[[quoteright:347:[[ComicBook/SpiderMan http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bugglespiderman_1254.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:347:"What is he up to now?" Well, I believe that despicable ne'er-do-well is right at this moment [[DudeWheresMyRespect SAVING YOU INGRATES]]![[note]]Again![[/note]]]]

->''"I don't have time to justify myself to your viewers. I have a galaxy to save."''
-->-- '''[[AntiHero Commander Shepard]]''', ''Franchise/MassEffect''

Being a {{Superhero}} isn't all it's cracked up to be. The heroes' lives and those of their loved ones are constantly in danger from their [[BigBad archnemeses]]--and sometimes from their own powers, too. Sometimes [[FakeUltimateHero someone else]] [[DudeWheresMyReward takes credit]] for their heroic efforts. But perhaps [[EtTuBrute the most hurtful and confusing]] drawback comes when the people they've sworn to protect hate their guts.

This could arise for any number of reasons:
* Resulting from the hero's actions:
** Late payments on her HeroInsurance.
** The hero DoesNotKnowHisOwnStrength.
** TheHero is in the middle of a ConspiracyRedemption.
** TheHero is taking on the mantle of a reviled LegacyCharacter.
** [[GoodIsNotNice He's a jerk.]]
** [[NominalHero He deserves it.]]
** He pulls a ZeroApprovalGambit.
** He's the type who [[TerrorHero benefits from it.]]
** [[BadPowersGoodPeople His powers are harmful/"bad" by nature]].
** He usually [[LordErrorProne screws up and does more harm than good]].
* Because people just plain want [[TheChewToy to pick on the hero]]:
** [[ShootTheDog Shooting the dog]].
** [[KillHimAlready The public doesn't agree with]] [[HonorBeforeReason the hero's lack of dog shooting]].
** [[AllOfTheOtherReindeer Just because they're different]].
** [[MugglePower Just because they have powers]].
** People like [[BullyingADragon pissing off]] someone above their SuperWeight category.
* Other:
** Freedom of Speech, which is a common justification used.
** [[MaliciousSlander Anonymous rumors]], perhaps planted by a VillainWithGoodPublicity.
** TheHero is centerpiece to some disastrous prophecy.
** The hero's [[WalkingDisasterArea constant proximity to awful events]] makes him [[TheScapegoat appear suspicious]].
** The news media just needs to [[OnlyInItForTheMoney sell some copies]].
** The news media/corporations/government ''really'' hates his guts for doing something anti-establishment.
** The latest fashionable ideas rule out the idea of him being anything other than a villain.

But whatever the reason, public sentiment is against these heroes, and there's usually [[StatusQuoIsGod nothing they can do about it]]. Sorry - you can't please everyone.

Usually serves as the grass-roots support for a SuperRegistrationAct. Can be a reason that HilaritySues. Especially ironic when it happens to the SlaveToPR. Think of it as a tamer situation than BewareTheSuperman, where the only people who are acting like the supers are the ones to be feared are individuals and not society. The permanent version of the UntrustingCommunity. When the hero's problems are evident only to intimates, is NoHeroToHisValet. A bad guy that people like is a VillainWithGoodPublicity. A character who can do no wrong in the public eye has HundredPercentHeroismRating.

'''Administrivia/NoRealLifeExamplesPlease''' [[noreallife]]



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Arata from ''Manga/ArataKangatari'' is a wanted criminal due to having been framed for the attempted murder of Kikuri-hime. By extension, Hinohara is this as well due to swapping places with Arata and having his image in the eyes of other people.
* In ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'', the Survey Corps were already largely considered a joke and a waste of valuable resources due to how unsuccessful the majority of their missions are. However, its not until [[spoiler:their reckless plan to capture Annie, aka the Female Titan, results in the death of hundreds and the near complete destruction of Stohess District]] that their public opinion ''really'' starts to plummet.
** Taken UpToEleven with Eren himself, who is seen by [[spoiler:the rest of the world[[note]]everyone who isn't living on the island of Paradis, where the main characters reside[[/note]] as a "traitor of peace"]].
* Guts from ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'' has been treated as a dangerous villain by townspeople and the authorities since he started WalkingTheEarth as the Black Swordsman, when he is actually just a sometimes ruthless AntiHero who is assumed to be--and actively pretends to be--worse than he is. In the first place, he's on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge against the demonic Apostles who killed everyone he cared about, and he claims not to care about collateral damage. He's a WalkingDisasterArea because confronting an Apostle on their home turf invariably escalates into an all out war that causes the streets to run with the blood of (more or less) innocent bystanders, and by the end of it everybody who knows the truth of what happened is either dead or on the run, leaving him as the scapegoat. It doesn't help that he looks a lot like a villain because he's dressed all in black, and tries to act like a total bastard toward anyone who starts to get friendly with him in order to drive them away for their own good. There's also the fact that demons and Apostles that he kills turn back to their human form after they're killed, so that if the monsters' original form had been children, he ends up looking like a mass child murderer to anyone who arrives on the scene afterwards. That causes KnightTemplar Farnese of the Holy Iron Chain Knights to pursue and arrest him because she's [[InspectorJavert convinced that he's a servant of evil]]. After all these misunderstandings he's gotten sick of trying to explain himself because everybody always assumes that he's evil anyway, and he figures that at least if he scares them, they might keep the hell out of his way. Fortunately, his reputation as a hero has improved somewhat since the Millenium Falcon Arc gave him the chance for some high-profile heroics, and some of his best sidekicks now are former enemies who realized that he was right all along.
* The title character of ''Manga/BlackJack'' is a brilliant surgeon who truly cares for his patients, but his outrageous fees and [[JerkassFacade bad attitude]] give him a bad reputation.
* Victor Freeman from ''Manga/BlasterKnuckle'' hunts demons that revert to a human form when killed, and have often taken the forms of women and children. The first issue kicks off with him stomping into a saloon and gunning down a pretty brunette pleading for help (she was actually a demon, but...). Did I mention that this story takes place in the 1880's Deep South, and that Victor is ''[[ScaryBlackMan Black]]''?
* In ''Manga/{{Bokurano}}'', Zearth is so destructive it's considered a {{Kaiju}}. They even assassinate a kid who claims to be a pilot.
* A major plot-point and cause of grief for Hoichi Kano, protagonist from ''Manga/CannonGodExaxxion''. Good part of it comes from the [[DestructiveSaviour absurd amounts of damage]] caused by the titular {{Super Robot|Genre}}, but the Riofaldian defamation campaign on him (which smashes to dust the WeWillNotUsePhotoshopInTheFuture trope) makes things even more difficult.
* Zero and the Black Knights of ''Anime/CodeGeass'', [[YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters when it comes to]] the Britannian Empire.
* Akuto Sai in ''LightNovel/DemonKingDaimao'' has a world's worth of factors against him. He's going to become the next Demon King, which [[SelfFulfillingProphecy his classmates are forcing him towards]], willingly or otherwise, because the prophecy said so. Every time he tries to do some good, people assume it's part of his reign of terror. And then there's [[PunnyName his name]].
* While the public and the Magic Council is grateful that the ''Manga/FairyTail'' guild often solves world-threatening crises, the tendency for its members to cause massive property damage greatly irritates them.
* In ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', Roy Mustang more or less cultivates this by appearing to care only about chasing women and promotions. He gets hit with it for real when he [[spoiler:is apparently responsible for burning a fugitive woman to death. Subverted in that he's ''still'' cultivating it - he fakes the murder and smuggles the woman, who is innocent, to safety in another country, knowing full well that people will hate him but preferring that over leaving her to her fate]].
* In ''Anime/GaikingLegendOfDaikuMaryu'', this ends up being the case since the heroes essentially take the fight to the enemy's planet very early on. The episode in which the hero Daiya finds this out is actually called "''We're the bad guys?!?''"
* ''Manga/{{Guyver}}'' features this after the Zoanoids go public and claim that the Guyver and his allies are alien invaders. The recent anime just barely scratches the surface of this plot and is the only non-manga iteration to get up to even that point.
* The titular character of ''Manga/{{Kinnikuman}}'' has this problem early on. In the first chapter, aliens actually ''cancel'' their invasion plans rather than fight Kinnikuman, the only hero available at the time. A bit later, the Japanese government allows American superhuman Terry Man to become their resident hero, in spite of the fact he charges for his rescues, because it's ''still'' better than being saved by Kinnikuman.
* Mist from ''Manga/{{Knights}}'' is generally feared and hated because he's black and he's in a Medieval European-esque setting with an overwhelmingly white population. Just about everybody in this society believes that witches are real and that the Church is infallible, so Mist's attempts to rescue wrongly convicted witches from burning at the stake are seen as heretical and treasonous.
* Celestial Being in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam00'' thanks to the corrupt A-Laws and [[GreaterScopeVillain Ribbons Almark]].
* Kenzo Tenma from ''Manga/{{Monster}}'' is accused of murder and goes on the run; he is hunted by the police wherever he goes, but in truth, he's WalkingTheEarth in search of the true perpetrator, an utterly amoral creation of a twisted psychological experiment, [[ChronicHeroSyndrome while trying to save everyone he comes across]] - [[AllLovingHero even those who are trying to arrest him for crimes he didn't commit.]]
* ''Manga/OnePiece'':
** The straw hats tend to be treated like this, they do a lot more good than harm, but still get chased out of places due to technically being pirates, and series of bad coincidences.
*** This is mostly because the World Government would rather eat their shorts than admit that a band of pirates are more effective than their own forces (Especially since said forces are the villains Luffy's crew typically fight). During the Fishman Island Arc, Luffy outright states he doesn't ''want'' to be seen as a hero... for rather off reasons. The Straw Hats don't mind helping people and admire those that do, but they're not that interested in getting good press.
** The poor Noland, in the flashback, is a big example. He was a truly strong and courageous explorer who saved the Shandians from being wiped out by disease, as well as who knows how many other deeds. However, due to the City of Gold debacle, he's been painted as a fool and a liar throughout history, and has become the North Blue's analogue to the Boy Who Cried Wolf.
* Saitama from ''WebComic/OnePunchMan'' is initially regarded as a joke, but after the defeat of the Under Sea King word starts spreading that he's a powerless faker who steals credit from hard-working heroes. The truth is that Saitama '''is''' that powerful, and has saved humanity from extinction several times over even before the series began; at first he got no credit because he wasn't registered with the Hero Association[[note]]and people latched onto a random bystander who happened to be at the scene every time, turning him into an unintentional FakeUltimateHero[[/note]], but afterwards he willingly cultivated the image of a lazy GloryHound because he realized the idea of a nigh-invincible fighter diminished all the other heroes in the public's eyes. He only has a small circle of TrueCompanions who not only know how strong he is, but that he's an incredibly kind person deep down, and the Hero Association is gradually becoming more and more aware that there's much more to him than meets the eye.
* At first glance, Shogun Ienari in ''Manga/{{Ooku}}'' looks like a case of AdaptationalHeroism, due to how different he is (well meaning, secretly working against his EvilMatriarch mother, actively promoted treatment and vaccination against the {{Gendercide}} plague) from how Ienari was in real life (a spendthrift who cared more about his harem than government). [[spoiler:On his deathbed he tells his wife he ordered the scribes to portray him as the spendthrift pervert, in order to suppress any knowledge of the Redface Pox from foreign powers who may take advantage of the disproportionate gender ratio and invade Japan.]]
* This trope seems to disproportionately affect [[DarkIsNotEvil Dark-type]] and [[OurGhostsAreDifferent Ghost-type]] Pokémon. The eponymous Pokémon in ''Anime/PokemonTheRiseOfDarkrai'' is this, and in the ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' episode "Ghoul Daze", a Dusknoir [[TheWoobie suffers being attacked]] by Pikachu and others when it was actually trying to save them from an ''actual'' malevolent ghost.
** Thankfully, both of the above receive credit once the heroes realise the hastiness of their judgement.
** Absol also suffers bad publicity. It is known as the Disaster Pokémon, and is able to pre-empt when disasters will happen. It then does the logical thing and tries to warn people of the impending disaster, only to be blamed as the cause of it, since it happens shortly after he appears.
* In the [=FRLG=] saga of ''Manga/PokemonSpecial'', an ultimatum was set up in that the three Pokedex holders, Red, Green and Blue, must surrender themselves to Team Rocket, or else the evil team's attack on the Sevii Islands will continue until they are captured. This caused the local community to pin the blame on the Pokedex holders, and even trying to hunt them down.
* ''LightNovel/ScrappedPrincess'': Both 'gods' of the setting are villainized by the people [[StealthInsult of "Dustvin"]], due to being SadlyMythtaken:
** While [[DeityOfHumanOrigin Celia Mauser]] is revered by her followers, who have created [[CrystalDragonJesus a religious faith in her name]], to the followers of [[MinorMajorCharacter George Browning]], she's a traitor who cost humanity the Genesis War five millenia ago. Not knowing that she did it [[spoiler: because humanity was losing to the point of being on the verge of extinction. So Celia made a bargain with [[ScienceFantasy their alien overlords]] [[GodIsGood to spare their lives]]]]. When the war ended, she was left to watch over the world, as their "caretaker".
** To the Church of Mauser, George Browning is considered a satanic figure and a heretic, along with those who follow his teachings. In truth, he was [[spoiler: a human, like Celia. But unlike her, he was committed to fighting the aliens in order to free humanity from their control. Which is why he designed [[AMechByAnyOtherName the Gigases]] as his trump card against them]]. At least, they might've been, [[IDidWhatIHadToDo had Celia not "betrayed" them.]]
** Finally, there's Pacifica, the titular Scrapped Princess herself, a sweet {{Ingenue}} whose only powers are subconscious and purely defensive despite a prophecy that she's going to trigger TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt and who gets unfairly blamed for all of the collateral damage caused by the people hunting her.
* Soma Yukihira in ''Manga/ShokugekiNoSoma'' is really hated due to an incredibly arrogant speech he made on the first day of transferring to his new school. This persists even when he continues to rise up in the ranks of his school. Later on, its revealed that the students continue to disparage Soma despite his achievements due to envy and their own inferiority complexes, because if they acknowledge Soma's skill it would mean to acknowledge that they themselves do not work as hard as he does. His reputation does improve eventually when the student body can no longer ignore his skill as he continues to rise to the top. Hilariously, Soma wasn't even ''aware'' of how bad his reputation was and is genuinely surprised by it.
* Lina from ''LightNovel/{{Slayers}}'' has a pretty terrible reputation... because she tends to [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill use Dragon Slave]] [[DestructiveSavior in the middle of towns.]] Plus steal. But she manages to do heroic stuff anyway!
** ''[[OddlyNamedSequel Revolution]]'' cranks it UpToEleven –- she's nearly arrested and tried for the crime of "being Lina Inverse"! ''Her own friends regard this as being a valid reason to try and arrest her!''
* Happens to Simon in ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' when the war against [[EldritchAbomination the Anti-Spirals]] start. The guy who was just yesterday praised as a hero who defeated Lordgenome is now [[spoiler:going to be executed]]. Doesn't help that the crowd is breaking Kamina's statue, [[spoiler:the war was actually declared by Nia]] and Rossiu [[spoiler:is attempting a coup d'état]].
* Vash from ''Manga/{{Trigun}}'' has a reputation so bad he's viewed as a natural catastrophe. Mostly because people keep trying to kill him and blowing up the nearby towns (which he gets blamed for), blowing up a city himself one time (Which was actually Knives' fault) and finally because Knives is trying to {{break|TheCutie}} him and convince him once and for all that HumansAreTheRealMonsters.
* Yusei Fudou in the first season of ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds''. Neo Dominoe residents do not take kindly to "Satellite scum" with a [[MarkOfShame criminal mark]]. They don't take kindly to Satellite people in general....
* ''Franchise/DragonBall'':
** During the King Piccolo Saga of the original series, Tien is briefly suspected to be the SerialKiller going around murdering martial artists and nearly arrested, though Tambourine was the real culprit. It's not unjustified, since Tien ''did'' have a reputation for being exceptionally brutal during fights, most notably [[KickThemWhileTheyAreDown breaking Yamcha's leg when he was already down]] ForTheEvulz.
** ''Anime/DragonBallSuper'': Goku gets hit with this in the Universe Survival Saga when it's discovered that ''he'' was the one who gave [[GuardianOfTheMultiverse Zen-Oh]] the idea for the Tournament of Power in the first place, especially since Zen-Oh will destroy any universe that loses the tournament. Virtually everyone in TheMultiverse now sees Goku as a selfish villain, and Goku doesn't help matters since he ''is'' more concerned with the powerful opponents he'll face. Even the reveal that [[spoiler:Zen-Oh was planning to destroy several of the universes anyway and Goku reminding him of the tournament actually gave them all a chance to defend themselves doesn't help]].
* In most of ''Anime/PrincessTutu's'' first season, Fakir is a threatening presence who keeps Mytho under his thumb for unknown reasons. Eventually it's revealed that this is a misguided attempt to protect the emotion-deprived Mytho from his ChronicHeroSyndrome, and as Tutu restores Mytho's emotions, Fakir eventually decides to help her. Unfortunately, the entirety of his previous behavior makes it ''really easy'' for [[spoiler:a BrainwashedAndCrazy Mytho]] to cast him as a violent, dangerous villain who pushed Mytho out of a window.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Seriously, what hero in the Franchise/MarvelUniverse (besides ComicBook/CaptainAmerica) DOESN'T have bad publicity?
* The instigation for the events in Creator/MarvelComics' ''Comicbook/CivilWar'' [[CrisisCrossover crossover]] is a large amount of collateral damage (including a few hundred dead children) due to a TakingYouWithMe villain. For a brief time, ''all'' the heroes have bad publicity -- [[GoodVictimsBadVictims especially the few surviving New Warriors]]. The government's idea of damage control is, of course, a SuperRegistrationAct that promptly pits hero against hero. Public opinion then gives all the non-compliers bad publicity. When the new 'government-sponsored heroes' turn out to have overlooked a massive planet-wide [[ComicBook/SecretInvasion infiltration by aliens]], ComicBook/IronMan and ComicBook/SpiderWoman wind up with bad publicity. At this point the government decides to put noted psychotic and multiple-murderer ComicBook/NormanOsborn in charge, due to his brief moment of VillainsDoTheDirtyWork. This works out about as well as you'd expect, thus leaving the reader to wonder if the ''US government'' isn't being depicted as a VillainWithGoodPublicity.
* The anti-mutant prejudice in the ''ComicBook/XMen'' labels probably qualifies, although this can also be seen as a case of FantasticRacism. Anti-mutant sentiment is so strong that the original ''ComicBook/XFactor'' masqueraded as anti-mutant crusaders to endear themselves to the public.
* Franchise/SpiderMan gets a lot of undeserved flak, mostly due to the negative PR campaign by his employer, J. Jonah Jameson. Probably the first superhero to have this as his status quo.
** Within the first twenty issues it was revealed JJ felt jealous of Spidey's successes. Later revelations included [[FreudianExcuse being beaten by his stepfather]], [[AllOfTheOtherReindeer a mistrust of superheroes]], and JJ's own failure to live up to the high standards he sets for himself. In ''WesternAnimation/SpiderManTheAnimatedSeries'', JJ hates Spider-Man because he wears a mask, and his wife was killed by a masked man.
** Though he is always the first to accuse Spider-Man of crimes, JJ is also usually the first to retract his statement when he is proven wrong, at one point remarking that he believes that ''claiming'' Spidey to be a menace prevents him from actually ''becoming'' one. Furthermore, regardless of the Daily Bugle's libel, there is enough evidence to suggest that the New Yorkers are not so easily manipulated anymore and ''will'' rally behind Spider-Man.
** Jameson eventually became the Mayor of New York City -- and as you might expect he constantly leveraged his expanded sphere of influence against Spider-Man.
** There is the fact that Peter began his superhero career as a teenager with no guidance and tended to be a wisecracking jerk who often screwed up and lost, and also tried more than once to draw a paycheck for it (nobody knows he needs the money to take care of his aunt). A bad first impression is hard to shake. Plus, being immature, he tended to egg on JJ or get angry at him (which could be interpreted as threatening).
** Interestingly, while the public and the police are quick to believe the worst about Spider-Man, and his "friends" in the superhero community ''rarely if ever stick up for him at all'', it has been shown on several occasions that most of the villains in his Rogue's Gallery know he is a decent man and innocent of just about everything he's accused of. This was highlighted in an early issue of ComicBook/{{Thunderbolts}}, when Spider-Man was accused of a crime and the team of villains-pretending-to-be-heroes was trying to develop a plan to capture him in order to get good publicity. Mach-One, who was really the Beetle in disguise and had fought Spider-Man many times, told the team that the best thing to do was to go to the scene of the crime and wait for Spider-Man to show up and start investigating himself. When asked why he was so sure Spider-Man would do that, Mach-One responded with: "Because he's innocent. He'd never do anything like this. He'll be looking for the person who did." During this same issue, Mach-One fought alongside Spider-Man and was so impressed that this event was the beginning of him trying to turn his life around and become a real hero, which also spread to several other members of the team.
** In ''Comicbook/SupermanVsTheAmazingSpiderMan'', Superman initially thinks Spidey may be connected with a phony Superman because of Jameson's smear. Supes realizes his mistake right away, though.
** Perhaps one of the biggest reason why Spider-Man gets a lot of publicity (particularly the police force) is his [[ThouShaltNotKill total unwillingness to kill the supervillains that he fights against]]. In fact, in ''Comicbook/SuperiorSpiderMan'', [[spoiler:Otto Octavius inside Peter Parker's body, manages to ''win'' public support by killing Massacre. Something that Peter Parker himself is unwilling to do because [[IfYouKillHimYouWillBeJustLikeHim he's aware of the moral hazards]]. Apparently, the public isn't really happy about Spidey fighting a supervillain, sending the villain to [[CardboardPrison jail]], only to escape again and commit crimes that are [[FromBadtoWorse worse]] ([[WhatTheHellHero something that Otto himself pointed out]] to Ghost Peter). Because apparently, the governments inability to execute/permanently incarcerate villains is totally Spidey's fault.]].
** In the ComicBook/{{Ultimate|SpiderMan}} line of Spider-Man comics, JJ initially only wanted to make headlines. This quickly changed however. It came to a head after The Bugle publicly started to support Sam Bullit, who was running on an anti-vigilante (in other words, anti-superheroes) campaign. But later, after an attempt on his life by some of the Kingpin's goons, JJ went to Peter's house (after having fired Peter from his job at the Daily Bugle earlier) and revealed his deeper reasons. He'd launched a smear campaign against Spider-Man because he didn't like the fact that his own son, who had died in a space shuttle accident (a real hero in Jameson's eyes), wasn't thought of as one and didn't get the attention he deserved, while everyday people looked up to a guy swingin' in his underwear.
*** Finally inverted later on, though. After Jameson sees Spider-Man risking his life to save a woman during a flood, he does a total 180, and devotes the Bugle's energies to supporting him.
*** In fact, after the Ultimatum wave, Jameson becomes [[spoiler:one of Spider-Man's greatest advocates]], leading to multiple [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming crowning moments of heartwarming.]] For instance, [[spoiler:when he discovers Peter's identity, he uses the information to clear Spider-Man's name without revealing his secret identity. He then gives Peter his job back and offers to pay for his college tuition. Eventually, when Spider-Man dies, he attends the funeral and comforts Aunt May in her time of need]].
** Humorously, the alternate future of ''ComicBook/MarvelComics2'' sees JJJ as a big fan and major supporter of ComicBook/SpiderGirl, the daughter of the hero he had slandered.
** This is exaggerated in ''WesternAnimation/UltimateSpiderMan'' where Jameson's smear campaign is not only [[NeverAcceptedInHisHometown more effective]], but less deserved as he's become an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and has never egged-on JJ, thus giving less credence to it. The beginning of Season 3 finally averts this. Spidey joining and becoming a successful Avenger results in the general populace of New York loving him.
** Apparently, it comes with the webs, because across the Multiverse it's revealed that numerous Spider-Men/Women/Girls have this going for them. ComicBook/SpiderGwen is wanted for the murder of Peter Parker and has drawn gunfire from police officers. The steampunk Lady Spider has been labeled a menace by J. Jonah Jameson in her world. ComicBook/SpiderManNoir isn't much loved where he comes from. And they're all [[ComicBook/SpiderVerse bouncing around]] [[ComicBook/WebWarriors the multiverse]] filling in where other Spider-Men were killed or lost, and finding themselves not necessarily welcome.
* The ComicBook/IncredibleHulk. In fact, due to the damage he's caused in his career, it would be very hard to find someone in the Marvel Universe with ''worse'' publicity who could still be considered a hero.
* Played literally in the 2006 Comicbook/MsMarvel series, where Carol Danvers hires a publicist after a D-list villain (Stilt-Man) doesn't recognize her.
* In the ''ComicBook/AllNewAllDifferentMarvel'' era, [[ComicBook/TheFalcon Sam Wilson]] ComicBook/CaptainAmerica has this problem: after a whistleblower revealed what ComicBook/{{SHIELD}} was doing using Cosmic Cubes, Sam decided to take a stand and no longer be bipartisan. This has lead to his popularity tanking and people calling him names like "Captain Socialism". This has also damaged his friendship with Steve Rogers, as Sam no longer trusts the US Government to do the right thing and only ''hopes'' that they can, compared to Steve, who unabashedly believes they ''will''.
** [[ComicBook/MsMarvel2014 Kamala Khan]] is following in those footsteps when [[spoiler:a plot by HYDRA]] ends up making Ms. Marvel look like a total sellout when her face is used to promote new and expensive apartments without her knowledge.
* ''ComicBook/NewAvengers2015:'' The whole team has bad publicity, despite pretty much all of the line-up being some of the nicer people around. The American military and S.H.I.E.L.D. are just waiting for the team to step out of line and arrest them all. That they're supposedly run by A.I.M. has a lot to do with this.
** For an added bonus, the team includes Hawkeye and Songbird, who have both been heroes with bad publicity themselves.
* Over at Franchise/TheDCU, no matter how hard he tries, ComicBook/BoosterGold goes up against negative public opinion fairly often... usually due to his own screw-ups and glory-hound nature. He's getting better... but the nature of his [[SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong time-travel mission]] means that, in the PresentDay, he's maintaining ObfuscatingStupidity and a JerkassFacade, so he ''still'' has bad publicity. Meaning that now he '''has''' to have bad publicity, as being an infamous screw-up is the ultimate insurance against his enemies (also time travelers) trying to RetGone him... But, among his family, he is the greatest hero of all.
* Richard Wentworth, Literature/TheSpider, had a habit of killing crooks by the score. While this behavior was justified within the stories, it did make the police and public think of him as a dangerous criminal in his own right.
* Just about all of the masked vigilantes in ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' after they fell out of favor and costumed adventuring was made illegal -- except for those who work for the American government. Of course, the only other one still active is Rorschach, and let's be fair -- [[NinetiesAntiHero he's an insane person who does terrible things.]]
* The [[ComicBook/BatmanAndTheOutsiders Outsiders]]' raison d'être is to be the team of superheroes that can do the DirtyBusiness and ''know'' they're going to come out with stains upon their name. Considering that it was funded by Franchise/{{Batman}}, it makes sense, but raises some [[ThouShaltNotKill interesting questions]]. When Batman took control of the team again, he fired several of the members, pointedly because they weren't suited to that sort of reputation:
-->'''Batman:''' Only criminals operate without constraints anymore, so we're going to ''cultivate'' the Outsiders' reputation as a team of ''outlaws''. I didn't think you'd ''mind'' sparing Nightwing and Thunder that kind of stigma.
* While this tends to come up at some point in most incarnations of ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'', it was a particularly strong theme in the original Marvel Comics run, where the humans frequently weren't even aware that there were two factions of Transformers, let alone that one of those factions might be better-intentioned than the other.
** In particular, Walter Barnett of the Intelligence and Information Institute, inspired by one of his son's comic books, hired its writer, Donny Finkleberg, to portray "RobotMaster", who claimed to be in control of ''all'' the robots. When Finkleberg ended up a prisoner of the Decepticons, Megatron decided to keep the charade going, if only because it would invoke this trope for the Autobots. It didn't ''quite'' work, though, seeing as how it was kind of hard to explain why a madman bent on [[TakeOverTheWorld Taking Over The World]] would have two groups of robots under his control fighting each other, but fortunately for Finkleberg, he was able to escape before [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness he outlived his usefulness to Megatron]].
** In the IDW sequel series ''Regeneration One'', the Autobots definitely fall under this on Earth, seeing as how they failed to clean up after themselves when they left for good in 1991, and [[spoiler: inadvertently let Megatron [[ApocalypseHow nuke the population to near extinction]]]].
* ''ComicBook/TheTransformersAutocracy'' and its sequel ''ComicBook/TheTransformersMonstrosity'' play with this. In the first, the Autobots are considerably hated by the populace, as they are a security force for the corrupt government, and their leader, Zeta, levels a city to stop the Decepticons, who are the oppressed masses forming behind a charismatic leader, Megatron, and numerous citizens sympathize with them. The Protagonists even team up with him to stop their corrupt leader, and the second Megatron blows Zeta's head apart, he turns on the Autobots and the rest of the populace. The Autobots managed to rally the citizens (as well as getting the press on their side), and oust the Decepticons. The sequel continues to play with it, as much of the populace doesn't trust the Autobots, partly because of the old government, but mostly because people don't want to get involved in a war. Dai Atlas uses this distrust to [[GoodVersusGood rally]] people against Prime, but even then a few civilians just consider Atlas's group a bunch of cultists. At the end, the Decepticons have been thoroughly discredited, and despite the good publicity, most Cybertronians just leave rather than join the Autobots.
* ''ComicBook/TransformersRobotsInDisguise'' has this once again toward the Autobots from the people of Earth, for very justified reasons. Humanity is aware that there are two factions of Cybertronians. They're also aware that in the instances where those factions have clashed, it's resulted in hundreds of thousands of human casualties and nearly got New York nuked. They're aware that Megatron is the leader of the faction called the Decepticons and is considered an enemy of the Autobots. They're aware that Megatron and Devastator were [[EasilyForgiven allowed to join them]] instead of [[KarmaHoudini being executed for their crimes]]. So humanity sees no reason to trust anyone who would turn around and let such mass-murdering war criminals join them with no apparent repercussions.
* Franchise/{{Superman}}:
** With the ''ComicBook/NewKrypton'' storyline, Superman, ''Comicbook/{{Supergirl}}'', Nightwing, Flamebird, Valor, and their friends are lumped together with General Zod and the Kandorians in Earth's eyes.
** In a complete 180 of his long-held status, Superman in the Comicbook/{{New 52}} starts out as one of these (which is covered in ''ComicBook/ActionComics''.)
** It becomes full blown after he [[DarkestHour loses his powers and gets his identity outed]] in the ''Comicbook/SupermanTruth'' storyline and [[UngratefulBastard half the population]] turns against him. His approval rating dropped to just ''twenty-five percent.''
** He previously had a bit of bad publicity during his Electric Superman phase where losing control of his powers made him dangerous briefly.
** Before that, there was a storyline a few years after Superman returned from the dead where stories started circulating that Superman had not returned from the dead and that this was another impostor. Seemingly backed up when Superman's body was found in his tomb (turned out to be an illusion placed by Brainiac.)
** Way back in the very first Superman stories, by way of EarlyInstallmentWeirdness, this happened ''entirely'' as a result of his own tendency for morally questionable actions. He started getting good publicity pretty quickly, though, since one of the city's most prominent reporters was ''in love with him.'' Being a reporter ''himself'' can't have hurt, either.
** In ''Comicbook/KryptoniteNevermore'', Morgan Edge slanders Superman to try to bring him down.
* ''Comicbook/{{Supergirl}}'':
** ''[[ComicBook/Supergirl2005 PostCrisis Supergirl]]'' suffers from Kryptonite poisoning when she arrives on Earth, which changes her personality to one of a crazy, self-absorbed, whiny, rude emo teen. After one year she gets her act together and begins acting as an S-wearing hero, but it took some time for her initial behavior being forgotten. Likweise, Daily Planet journalist Cat Grant starts a negative PR campaign to smear Kara. She finally stops one year later when Supergirl saves her life.
** Confused and frightened, ''[[ComicBook/Supergirl2011 Post-Flashpoint Supergirl]]'' fought Superman when they first met; which didn't exactly make the public like her. She yo-yo's back and forth on this, though. Some remember her fight with the Worldkillers in New York and praise her as a hero. Others... not so much.
** In the ''Comicbook/{{Supergirl}}'' story arc ''Comicbook/RedDaughterOfKrypton'' -- in which Supergirl became a Red Lantern -- this was subverted when Superman and [[Franchise/GreenLantern Guy Gardner]] talked about Supergirl. Superman admitted that Justice League teammate Hal Jordan had nothing good to say about the Red Lanterns (even when they try to be heroes, Red Lanterns are generally regarded as violent, dangerous, blood-thirsty sociopaths); but he added that he judges people based on what they do, not what people say about them, and he forms his own opinions.
** In ''Comicbook/SupergirlRebirth'', Director Chase regards Supergirl as an out-of-control liability -although she has saved the world several times at this point- due to the number of messes she caused or took part in before getting over her angst, loneliness and anger issues.
** In ''ComicBook/{{Bizarrogirl}}'', the inhabitants of Bizarro World hate Bizarrogirl, believing she left them to fend for themselves when [[PlanetEater the godship]] turned up. As soon as they see her, they insult her and pelt her with fruit, eggs and worse things.
* WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck's superhero alter ego, Paperinik, suffers from this in Comicbook/PaperinikNewAdventures, thanks to Angus Fangus, a low-life reporter who's decided to paint Paperinik as a menace to society for the sake of ratings. This mostly happens in his city, Duckburg; he has a pretty good reputation worldwide. All of this is {{Justified}}: the early stories of Paperinik made clear he was an hell of a criminal and TheDreaded, thus the people of Duckburg are ready to believe he just returned to his original ways, while people from outside Duckburg started hearing of him when he became a famous superhero and don't believe Angus.
* ComicBook/TheCreeper is often seen as a creep by the public and as an outright criminal by the police/other superheroes, but the twist is that he himself is more than willing to accuse and demonize the Creeper as Jack Ryder, his reporter/talk show host alter ego to lessen any suspicions that they might be connected. And Ryder is seen as an irritating TV menace on his own too.
* Franchise/TheGreenHornet actually invokes this. Since his day job consists of him being the owner and publisher of a major newspaper, Britt Reed, he constantly has his newspaper run stories about the Green Hornet being a dangerous criminal mastermind so he (as the Green Hornet) can infiltrate criminal gangs who assume he wants a cut of their operation.
* The three main heroes in ''Comicbook/SinCity'':
** Hartigan was framed for Junior Roarke's murder due to being one of the only clean cops on the force.
** Marv already had a reputation of being a psychopath but going up against the Roarkes ensured that his name would be mud [[spoiler: before execution]]. In fact, they initially ran afoul of him when they tried to frame him for murder.
** Dwight is wanted for the murder of an established socialite [[spoiler: unlike the other two examples, he actually did it, although he was manipulated into doing so]]. His reputation was bad enough that he underwent plastic surgery to avoid being recognized.
* ''ComicBook/AllFallDown'' has Siphon suffer from this [[spoiler: when she is arrested on the news, for the deaths and injuries her accidental power-stealing caused]].
* In ComicBook/LesLegendaires, the Legendaries, who used to be loved by the people of their fictive world Alysia, became Heroes with Bad publicity after their "final" fight with their BigBad Darkhell by accidentally breaking a magic stone, causing it to accidentally trap everyone on the planet in the form of a child. The population ends up blaming them for this, and while they gradually get their reputation back, it's only after they saved the world from an OmnicidalManiac GodOfEvil that the population seem to have fully forgiven them.
** This sometimes cause the population of Alysia to be portrayed as [[UngratefulBastard horribly ungrateful]], seeing how they were quick to forget all the time the Legendaries risked their life (and keep doing so) for them just because of ''one'' accident that wasn't even lethal to the population.
* Franchise/{{Batman}} is being hit ''hard'' with this in the new DCU as Batman ''and'' as Bruce Wayne. Some people in Gotham actually riot because they think he killed ComicBook/TheJoker -- yes, ''The Joker'' is more sympathetic in the public eye. Bruce's attempts at urban renewal are also not being well received. Some people in Gotham do not see it for the act of goodwill it is and see it as a rich bastard tearing down historical buildings (read: run-down buildings in a high crime area they didn't care about before) to make a new skyscraper. Most versions of Batman actively cultivate this trope, because it lends credit to him being far more ruthless than he truly is, therefore scarier to most criminals.
* ''[[Comicbook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog Sonic the Hedgehog]]'': Following her [[BrainwashedAndCrazy brainwashing]] by the Iron Queen, NICOLE becomes a subject of fear to much of New Mobotropolis, particularly IdolSinger Mina Mongoose, who begins a series of musical protests against her. And things are made even worse when [[EvilSorcerer Ixis Naugus]] starts using Mina's music as a conduit for his magic, amplifying the public's distrust of NICOLE into [[HatePlague paranoia and hate]], in a bid to make himself a VillainWithGoodPublicity by promising to dispose of NICOLE for them. [[spoiler: And it ''works'', leading to a HeroicBSOD on NICOLE's part and a MyGodWhatHaveIDone on Mina's part.]]
* ''ComicBook/AtomicRobo'': Robo's creator, UsefulNotes/NikolaTesla, deliberately thrust him into the spotlight as an international celebrity as a protective measure; if anything happened to him, or if anyone tried to weaponize Tesla's technology, ''people would notice''. Turning public opinion against Robo (through a FalseFlagOperation involving [[spoiler:a stolen nuclear warhead]]) is how [[GovernmentConspiracy Majestic 12]] finally gains the upper hand on him, allowing them to shut down Tesladyne and absorb its resources (and other SuperScience institutions around the world) into the paramilitary Task Force ULTRA. Opinion swings back towards Robo's favor after he saves the world from a [[{{Kaiju}} Biomega]] invasion.
* ''ComicBook/CleanRoom'' shows every public opinion of Astrid Mueller as "evil, corrupt, manipulative, secretive corporate emperor". While much of it is true, it pales in comparison to her hidden enemies' depths. It's implied that Astrid allows this on purpose since it explicitly separates her allies from her enemies.
* ''ComicBook/ROMSpaceknight'''s a KnightInShiningArmor by any standard, but he's very bad at explaining things. Things like "my gun doesn't kill people, it sends them to a PhantomZone", "this gadget I pulled out lets me detect shapeshifting aliens planning to conquer Earth", and "those people I shot were shapeshifting aliens hiding among you." Combine that with his faceless red-eyed design and silver full-body armor, and you have him looking an awful lot like a KillerRobot descending from the sky, waving around mystery devices, and vaporizing random humans for no reason. It's really no shock that people are scared of him.
* ''{{ComicBook/Transmetropolitan}}'': Spider is one of the few people who is consistently willing to stand up for the little guy, and he gets a lot of shit for it. Granted, Spider has done a wide variety of colourful things to piss off the rich and famous, and, at least to some extent cultivates this persona in order to draw creative inspiration from it. However, consider the fact that he once received a death threat consisting of a petition to have him dragged outside and shot. It had over five-hundred signatures....

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/RiseOfEmpressMidnight'': Alternate Borris: Having apparently failing easy attacks against the Mork army, [[spoiler: and is also an ex-Mork]].
** [[spoiler: Twilight Sparkle since her alternate is Empress Midnight.]]
* Fanfic/MassEffectHumanRevolution: Adam. Even accounting for Udina's distorted views, much of (or at least the most noticeable factions of) humanity consider Adam to be "a walking war crime", [[UngratefulBastard despite his actions on Elysium]]. Also, Tali.
* The ''Fanfic/FalloutEquestria'' universe has this in the form of Rainbow Dash, to the Grand Pegasus Enclave. After the balefire apocalypse that destroyed the world ended, the pegasi decided to stay up in the clouds instead of going back down to try and help Equestria recover. Rainbow Dash (who during the war and after it was a national hero due to being on the front lines and leading an elite pegasus unit) was sickened by their decision and eventually went back down to the surface to try and help. As this could be a devastating PR blow for the Enclave if one of their own leaders said that they all sucked for their actions, they instead declared that she was a traitor (and she's still thought as one even after two hundred years) and attempted to have her hunted down (by [[spoiler:Gilda, no less!]]) so that her head could be brought back. We never find out whether she lived or died, though after she left, every pegasus that leaves the Enclave is branded with her cutie mark and given the label "Dashite", though many take it as a badge of pride because they're not as selfish and arrogant as the Enclave.
* Light Yagami/Kougoukan in ''FanFic/SexNote''. While many women's groups on the Internet like Kougoukan, the police and a lot of guys do not. [[ShootTheMessenger Chief Souichiro Yagami assumes that Kougoukan must be a terrorist of the highest order who is out to embarrass the police]] because their ''can't'' be such corruption in his department! Also, like in canon, some people hail Light's alter ego as a savior but since he's not ruling by fear there are even more public dissenters calling Kougoukan's works the work of the devil.
* ''Fanfic/{{Kage}}'': [[WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures Jade]] becomes this when she arrives on [[WesternAnimation/{{WITCH}} Meridian]], due to a combination of the Guardians and rebels' [[NiceJobBreakingItHero prejudices and misconceptions]], actions by [[EnemyWithin the Queen]], and [[ManipulativeBastard Nerissa]]'s lies.
* In ''FanFic/MegaManDefenderOfTheHumanRace'', as of episode 11, [[spoiler: [=ProtoMan=] is this, with 68% of New York distrusting him]].
* In ''[[FanFic/SovereignGFCOrigins Origins]]'', a ''MassEffect''[=/=]''StarWars''[[spoiler:[=/=]''[=Borderlands=]''[=/=]''[=Halo=]'']] MassiveMultiplayerCrossover, the Citadel Council is aware this can happen and hopes to [[AvertedTrope avert it]] by exploiting the inverse of TheGreatestStoryNeverTold. Otherwise, widespread knowledge of Samantha Shepard's [[AMillionIsAStatistic previous actions]] could result in a full-on application of this trope, undermining their war effort by knocking their preferred agent down a peg. They, being politicians, [[AcceptablePoliticalTargets don't want to catch blame]].
* ''FanFic/RainbowDoubleDashsLunaverse:'' In the season 1 finale, Trixie (whose reputation in Canterlot was already in the toilet) gets even more bad publicity courtesy of several scheming nobles using the tabloids to slander her.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11772125/1/Metroid-Kamen-Rider-Generations-Full-Series Metroid: Kamen Rider Generations]]'', [[Series/KamenRiderGaim Mitsuzane Kureshima]] considers himself to be this, but more of a [[AlasPoorScrappy broken scrappy example]].
* ''FanFic/DungeonKeeperAmi'': The titular Dungeon Keeper. It's hard being taken seriously as a defender of the innocent when all other Dungeon Keepers are {{Evil Overlord}}s by nature.
* ''Fanfic/HopToIt'' has Rabbit, an American Miraculous holder who used to be about as accepted in Los Angeles as Ladybug and Chat Noir are in Paris. However, around the time she moves to Paris, she accidentally acquires her partner's power, Dogstruction, which activates when she tries to use her own power of Lucky Strike. As such, her run through a Paris neighbourhood while trying to avoid an akuma results in her causing over a million dollars in property damage and several injuries. Chat Noir accepts her explanation quickly enough, as does Ladybug when Chat tells her, but Rabbit is first mistaken for an akuma by the media and then for a supervillain in her own right, earning the nickname "Jack Hammer". She does earn a few more defenders when she helps out civilians during the Road Rage attack, including Nino, but the media continue to question whether she's a hero or a menace. Alya even makes a Ladyblog video painting "Jack Hammer" as an agent of Hawk Moth, which persuades most of her class, some of whom have family members that were affected by the first "rampage". Alya eventually turns around on her after she helps save her from Cottontail and makes her a second video with the other heroes, but Rabbit still hasn't quite escaped her "Jack Hammer" reputation.
* Downplayed in ''Fanfic/ScionOfSorcery''. Stephen Strange and the Mystics of Kamar-Taj are considered [[NotEvilJustMisunderstood "Dark Wizards" and criminals under the Ministry of Magic's definition of such]], and thus are feared by Magical Britain. ''Everywhere else'' though, Stephen Strange is considered a hero by No-Maj Society and is an ally to Magical Congress.
* ''Fanfic/RuinedWithYou'' has a variation where Chat Noir's publicity is still fine (partly because he hasn't done anything since he retired after Hawk Moth was captured) but Adrien's modelling career has suffered thanks to his association with his father, now a convictted supervillain, forcing him to leave Paris for two years just to find designers willing to work with him.
* ''Fanfic/FreakinGensokyo'' features Reimu. She already is one in Touhou canon, but ''FREAKIN GENSOKYO'' takes it UpToEleven: Various people in the Human Village want to kill her, destroy her shrine, take her prisoner or [[spoiler:dissect her and use her blood to power up the human race]].
* In ''FanFic/WeightOfTheWorld'' [[spoiler:Yang is manipulated into attacking Alfred (who she hallucinated as Neo) on live TV, beating him before shooting him in the stomach and painting herself as a murderous, violent monster. In ''The Depths of Deception'', this causes a barkeep and other travelers to fear and mistrust Yang. Last they knew she was sitting in jail awaiting trial, so they believe she is running to Mistral's criminal underground to escape justice. Yang uses her "criminal past" to get into Kuchinashi to look for Neo without raising suspicion.]]
** Many people on Remnant hate, fear, or shun Pyrrha because they think she [[spoiler:wanted to win the Tournament so badly she purposely killed Penny. Some civilians also [[TheScapegoat blame her for kickstarting the fall of Beacon]].]] It's so bad the passengers on the airship get the crew to kick Pyrrha off, much to RNJR and the nations' disgust. Pyrrha wears a hoodie in an attempt to stop people from recognizing her due to this.
* ''Fanfic/AWandForSteven'': Given the Ministry's policies on nonhumans and Minister Fudge's bitterness towards Dumbledore, the Daily Prophet is used to slander Steven, questioning if he should even be allowed in Hogwarts in the first place for his half-human physiology.
* ''Fanfic/BreakItDownButterfly'': Since he has the same powers and butterfly motif as the very super villain that has been terrorizing Paris all of this time, Vrai Papillon naturally has a hard time getting on everybody's good side, people from the press to Ladybug and Chat Noir are naturally suspicious of him and assume he is just Hawk Moth venturing onto the frontline.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'', all supers have Bad Publicity after they're sued for causing damage while saving lives. The result is that using superpowers becomes illegal and they all have to go into the "[[SuperRegistrationAct Superhero Protection Program]]." By the end of the movie, this all ends after Mr. Incredible, his family, and Frozone save everyone from the Omnidroid and Syndrome.
* Franchise/{{Shrek}} is this in [[WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}} the first]] [[WesternAnimation/Shrek2 two movies]], because he's [[FantasticRacism an ogre]] and most people are fully prepared to assume the worst of ogres. By ''WesternAnimation/ShrekTheThird'' onwards, this has changed, and the public not only accepts him, but views him as a local hero and role model.
* Zig-zagged in ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirlsMovie''. Before becoming heroes, their game of tag renders Townsville asunder ("Bug-eyed Girls Destroy Townsville" reads the headline of the Townsville Times). Even when they attempt to do something good, they are seen as pariahs.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/{{Hancock}}'' starts off with this and the PR agent who volunteers to try to improve his image.
* While the Avengers (and other superheroes in the ''Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse'') are considered heroes to the public, there are some who look at them the other way; going as far to blame them for the caused of some the events. It eventually reach a boiling point in ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar'' where the Avengers are forced to sign the Sokovia Accords after causing more deaths in Lagos.
* The titular hero goes through this during ''Film/BatmanReturns'', thanks to the manipulations of the Penguin, the resident VillainWithGoodPublicity. The mayor hangs a lampshade on this at the end of the movie.
* In ''Film/TheDarkKnightSaga'', [[spoiler:this seems to be one of the most direct results of the Joker's efforts. Batman deliberately takes this on himself at the end of ''Film/TheDarkKnight'' when he convinces Gordon to blame him for the murders committed by Dent. This is part of Batman's ZeroApprovalGambit to get criminals to fear him again, and more importantly, protect Harvey Dent's reputation and legacy]].
* The Franchise/{{Ghostbusters}}, who are largely thought to be charlatans while they are saving the city. ''Film/GhostbustersII'' shows that [[SequelReset many people continue to doubt their legitimacy]] even after the climax of the [[Film/{{Ghostbusters 1984}} first film]].
* Andy Barclay, TheHero of the ''Film/ChildsPlay'' series, gets kicked out of multiple foster homes and eventually ends up in a military school because he is believed to be insane due to [[CassandraTruth his claims that his doll is alive and a serial killer]]. Not only that, some people even insinuate that ''he'' is responsible for the murders.
* {{Deconstructed|Trope}} in ''Film/TheAssassinationOfJesseJamesByTheCowardRobertFord''. Ford's killing of Jesse is clearly cowardly but he tried to play it off like it's heroism. Nobody buys it and Ford is widely vilified, and later murdered by a lone gun nut seeking to avenge Jesse's death (who, to twist the knife further, is buried as a hero, while Ford's tombstone reads "the coward who killed Jesse James"). The irony is that Jesse was actually a VillainWithGoodPublicity- while the public at large thought he was a LovableRogue, he was actually a violent, brooding, paranoid lunatic who had recently [[ThePurge murdered]] several members of his gang because he thought they'd betrayed him, including one that he shot from behind, just like what happens to him later. In private Ford confesses that, ultimately, the real reason he killed Jesse was that he seriously believed Jesse was going to kill him, and based on the evidence he was ProperlyParanoid. To top it off, James is implied to be a DeathSeeker and ''let'' [[SuicideByCop Ford kill him]] to escape a miserable life constantly on the run from the law.
** ''Film/IShotJesseJames'' similarly examines Robert Ford's typical depiction. While he did shoot Jesse [[InTheBack in the back]] for selfish reasons, Jesse was a vicious outlaw that just killed three men and was planning another robbery. In this film, Ford's vilification and Jesse's romanticization is portrayed as a result of {{hypocrit|e}}ical Western society, and portrays Ford as a JerkassWoobie that can't escape his reputation and the guilt of killing Jesse.
* The ''Desperado'' series of TV movies follow Duell [=McCall=], an innocent man framed for one murder who travels from place to place, upholds justice, defeats evil men and inevitably gets blamed for everything that happens in the film so his bounty just keeps getting bigger.
* The premise of ''Film/TheGreenHornet'' is this. He posed himself as a villain, but his deeds are actually heroic. Look at the Comic Book example above.
** In Film/TheGreenHornetSerials, the Hornet framed himself for murder (of a gangster) on his first outing.
* Mystery Inc. in ''Film/ScoobyDooMonstersUnleashed'' after some vicious slander from a reporter.
* It's a plot point in ''Film/TheAdjustmentBureau'', where the hero unsuccessfully runs for the United States Senate because of a college reunion prank where he exposed his bare backside has been caught on film.
* Vlad Dracula in ''Film/DraculaUntold'', according to his son.
-->"My father was a great man. A hero, so they say. Sometimes the world does not need another hero. Sometimes what it needs... is a monster."
* In ''Film/BatmanVSupermanDawnOfJustice'', several protestors, politicians, and such angrily blame Superman for the massive destruction and loss of life from his battles against General Zod and his forces in ''Film/ManOfSteel''. Batman also considers Superman a threat to the planet instead of a hero.
* In ''Film/BridgeOfSpies,'' attorney James Donovan believes that the American edicts of equality for all and Constitutional justice apply even to a Soviet spy. Since this is taking place during the height of UsefulNotes/ColdWar hysteria, this gets his family targeted.
* Much like the source material, the Film/SpiderManTrilogy features the titular hero facing a lot of flack mostly because of a smear campaign led by J. Jonah Jameson. Though by the second film the general public begins to accept him more as a hero.

* In ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' and others of Tolkien's writings, Galadriel -- the Lady of the Golden Wood -- has a bad reputation with the Riders of Rohan, as well as Gondorians. So does Fangorn Forest.
** Gandalf isn't well thought of in places, either. Some of this is the Enemy manipulating rulers against him, but part of it is that he only shows up when things are about to get ''really'' bad (which is why [[IHaveManyNames one of his nicknames]] is [[RavensAndCrows Stormcrow]]).
* ''Literature/TheZombieKnight'' 's main character, Hector, has this problem. It started when his enemy attacked him with controlled versions of his classmates, and the property damage from later servant battles cemented this reputation. [[[spoiler: at least until he got a royal pardon, anyway.]]]
* In ''Literature/DragonBones'', the protagonist, Ward, and his companions suffer from this. Ward's reputation was that he's stupid when he was ObfuscatingStupidity. Then, in an attempt to make himself harder to discard by becoming a hero, he traveled to a neighbouring country where people from his country are universally disliked. Solving the bandit problem there got them some good publicity, but before that, they were close to starving, as no one would give them food. This trope is also played straight by [[spoiler: Garranon, who is known to be the sex toy of the evil king. Turns out this arrangement is not entirely voluntary on his side, and he tries to use it to protect his family. He tries to join the revolution, but can't convince them that he's trustworthy]].
* By the end of the second book in the ''Literature/WarchildSeries'', [[spoiler: Captain Azarcon and his men]] have acquired this reputation.
* Literature/HarryPotter, despite being TheChosenOne, gets this treatment frequently throughout the series, mostly being portrayed as an AttentionWhore:
** In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheChamberOfSecrets'' he is suspected of being the Heir of Slytherin due to always being seen with the victims shortly before it happened and being able to [[SssssnakeTalk communicate with snakes]].
** In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire'' he is accused of tricking the eponymous goblet into allowing him to participate in the InevitableTournament.
** In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix'', the ''Daily Prophet'' convinces the populace that he's a psychotic attention-seeker who is pretending that Voldemort has returned to get himself more [[TheWoobie Woobieness]]. However, when Voldemort is seen at the Ministry of Magic, the ''Prophet'' not only reverses its position, but also gilds Harry's reputation as a fearlessly determined [[TheCassandra Cassandra]] warning the Wizardry community of the threat. Not to mention leaving out their role in smearing him.
** In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows'', the ''Daily Prophet'', having fallen under Death Eater control, accuses him of murdering [[spoiler:Dumbledore]] and the anti-Voldemort resistance movement starts to lose faith in Harry because of his sudden disappearance, secretly criticizing him for being a [[ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything Chosen One Who Doesn't Do Anything.]] [[spoiler: Of course he wasn't doing nothing, and in the end all is forgiven.]]
** This trope could also apply to Severus Snape. No matter how many times he has demonstrably saved Harry's life, or failed to cause him any harm besides a few detentions and sarcastic remarks when he had plenty of opportunities, Harry continued to hate his guts until the very end. Also, everyone believes him a traitor after book six because [[spoiler:he killed Dumbledore (done at Dumbledore's request, but only Snape and Dumbledore knew this).]] Especially given that [[spoiler:Snape had been a Death Eater before (of his own free will,)]] it was an ''entirely reasonable'' conclusion to come to. The fact that Snape was always a {{Jerkass}} to Harry doesn't help his case. He was also a DeadpanSnarker to everyone, as well. Except for his chosen TeachersPet students. Heck, even them at times. [[spoiler: Harry ''finally'' gets this when he views Snape's life story and forgives him for his flaws. Not only did he get his second son's middle name from Snape, he even campaigned to have Snape recognised as a legitimate Headmaster and hero of the Wizarding World.]]
** Sirius Black also qualifies; nearly everyone in the wizarding community believes he is a murderous psychopath until after [[spoiler:his death]].
* The demigod children who form the focus of the ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'' series are usually branded as troublemakers because [[BlessedWithSuck their heritage causes ADD and dyslexia]], but it's even worse for the main character. Percy seems to start every schoolyear by getting into a fight with monsters sent by the BigBad, destroying them, and then being blamed for all the damage because the [[WeirdnessCensor Mist]] obscures the eyes of mortals who witness the event. Even worse, exactly ''how'' mortals see through the mist is determined by [[CosmicPlaything what the gods think of Percy at the time]]. And since he has a habit of [[DidYouJustFlipOffCthulhu pissing off gods or getting framed for things]], they don't see any reason to make his life easier.
* The Literature/{{Deryni}} in the novels by Katherine Kurtz suffer for this generally, and Camber of Culdi and Alaric Morgan most particularly.
** Some Deryni are evil, and a family of them conquered Gwynedd and ruled tyrannically for eight decades. Unfortunately, in the backlash ''all'' the Deryni were condemned as evil. [[ShroudedInMyth Fear, ignorance and imagination soon make them seem nigh on demonically powerful and diabolically clever.]]
** Camber of Culdi found the heir of the previous ruling family, engineered his restoration to the throne (and the toppling of the evil Deryni ruler), and for what? Sure he gets sainthood, but quickly loses it. He and many members of his family are outlawed and die untimely deaths, his estates are forfeited, even his family's tombs are destroyed.
** Alaric Morgan had bad publicity from birth. He chooses to make use of this, cultivating his [[ShroudedInMyth dangerous reputation]] as a means of protecting himself; he often [[DarkIsEvil wears black]] and he is open about the fact that he is Deryni, even if he doesn't perform magic openly. Despite this, he serves two kings loyally and effectively, often risking his life in the process. While he reaps many rewards, his reputation precedes him.
* ''Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse.''
** Arguably, the entire Literature/NewJediOrder.
*** In their initial invasion, the Yuuzhan Vong vanguard quickly learned that the Jedi were (for various reasons) the only force that was both willing and able to oppose them. So their agents set about slandering the Jedi name, implying that the entire invasion was due to some (wholly invented) insult the Jedi had offered the Vong, offering planets amnesty if they took Jedi prisoners and turned them over, etc. Some of it stuck; at the height of their unpopularity, a third of the Senate was willing to vote to basically hand the Jedi over to the Vong, their paramilitary activities were curtailed, and [[BigGood Luke Skywalker]] was even put under (house) arrest. Although certain political and military leaders (such as [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure General Antilles, General bel Iblis]], [[LovableRogue Talon Karrde]], and even [[SmugSnake Borsk Fey'lya]] in his way) offered them secret support, the tide of public opinion didn't begin to turn until, ironically, [[DarkestHour the war hit its lowest point]]. A series of high-profile victories at [[HostageSituation Talfaglio]], [[LastStand Borleias]], and [[CurbStompBattle Ebaq Nine]], made possible by Jedi support and tactics, finally redeemed their image in the eyes of the public. Still, a certain amount of JurisdictionFriction continued until (and even beyond) the end of the war.
** Once again the case in the ''Literature/FateOfTheJedi'' series. Given [[GeneralFailure Natasi]] [[OmnicidalManiac Daala]] is the incumbent Chief of State for the Galactic Alliance and a major antagonist of the Order (and Force users in general) this is not that surprising. Subverted in that while the leader of the Galactic Alliance blames Jacen Solo's FaceHeelTurn and subsequent reign of terror on Luke Skywalker failing to prevent it and pushes him into a self-imposed exile from the Jedi Order, the Jedi wish him well in his quest for the truth, and his son Ben agrees to help with his father's investigation of the facts. As well as, at his trial, a crowd of Muggle supporters that reminds the reader that ''no'', the entire GA is not against the Jedi, and ''yes'', despite said leader's smear campaign, people in-story still realize that Luke is one of the biggest heroes and forces for good in the GFFA.
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'': Harry Dresden might just rival Peter Parker for the hate that gets directed at him in-universe. To the [[{{Muggles}} "straights"]] he's at best a quirky man who knows way too much and thus is pretty damned creepy, and at worst they see him as a delusional charlatan who may or may not be conning Chicago PD out of good money. And so, InternalAffairs rabidly hates him and tried to jail him at least once, while trying to undermine him and everyone connected to him repeatedly. The FBI also doesn't like him considering that one time [[spoiler: four FBI agents investigated him and vanished a few days later]], and his criminal record suspects him of kidnapping, murder, and at least two cases of arson, and he was recently accused of blowing up another building. To the White Council, however, he is considered a loose cannon who may or may not be a devious, dangerous schemer at BlackMagic, and it doesn't help that he caused a war with the Red Court of vampires. His ostensible allies don't trust him, and the only people he's got on his side are a gaggle of werewolves, the [[ChurchMilitant Knights]], a few members of the Chicago PD's Special Investigations unit, [[spoiler: his half-brother]], his teenage apprentice, [[spoiler:a Foo dog]], and a smattering of allies in the Faerie Courts and the White Council. And knowing Harry, [[spoiler: being homeless and dead for about a year]] is going to cause even more problems.
* Patrick [=McLanahan=] and his team(s) from Creator/DaleBrown's books are disliked at best, outright hated at worst by those in the American government who know of their existence. Jason Richter and Task Force TALON get a similar treatment.
* In ''[[Literature/MythAdventures Something M.Y.T.H. Inc.]]'', we see how Skeeve's well-meant efforts to reform the kingdom of Possiltom in ''Sweet Myth-tery of Life'' are mistaken for the actions of a stereotypical "evil wizard" or DarkLord by the kingdom's more impressionable citizens.
* ''Literature/CalebWilliams'' is this in his own home after his employer accuses him of theft. His infamy spreads nationwide after he escapes from prison and his employer's half-brother offers 100 guineas for Caleb's capture.
* In the ''Literature/KnightAndRogueSeries'' Michael develops a tendency to be the prime suspect of the crime he's trying to solve due to being [[spoiler:tattooed as an unredeemable criminal]], thanks to a spectacular failure on the law's part.
* Pei Shan-wei of ''Literature/{{Safehold}}'' tried to stop her fellow colony directors from giving in to their AGodAmI delusions and forever turning the planet into a MedievalStasis when the objective is to build back up to full technology. Her AntiMutiny is rewarded by her being murdered, along with all her friends and associates, and labeled the [[PathOfInspiration Church of God Awaiting's]] Satan.
* It also happened to Franchise/SherlockHolmes in the Anthony Horowitz story ''Literature/TheHouseOfSilk''.
* Victor Steiner-Davion in the ''Franchise/{{BattleTech|ExpandedUniverse}}'' expanded universe suffers from this. Of all the House Lords of his generation he's possibly the closest to a "good guy" you can get, he earnestly ''believes'' in his ideals and considers making compromises for reasons of statesmanship a necessary evil at best -- but between the shadow cast by [[MagnificentBastard his father]], the obligatory smear campaigns of his enemies, and at times simply rubbing people the wrong way in person, he still has the hardest time catching a break as far as public opinion is concerned. (That his sister Katherine takes advantage of every chance to nudge the media into reporting things ''her'' way doesn't exactly help, either.) Which of course ends up contributing straight to the eventual breakup of the Federated Commonwealth and later civil war....
* ''Villains Inc.'' (sequel to ''Literature/WearingTheCape'') finds Astra going through a bit of this. Sure she helped [[spoiler: save the President of the United States and took down a big bad super-terrorist]], but she's also accused in the sensational media of being underage and [[spoiler: having an affair with a much-older Atlas (her mentor and the setting's version of Superman)]]. Add to this that she publicly opposes supherhuman registration—a popular cause after a supervillain-triggered earthquake leveled southern California—and she's not the media-darling that she was.
* Mesa's gambit in the ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' book ''Shadow of Freedom'' is to invoke this on the Star Empire of Manticore by going to several planets under the thumb of the Solarian League's Office of Frontier Security, offering resistance movements aid in Manticore's name, and letting it appear that Manticore left them in the lurch when the movements are either stopped or take major action thinking Manticore has their backs. It [[spoiler:fails, because someone ''does'' actually get word to Manticore -- and it's not like the Royal Manticoran Navy doesn't practically fetishise initiative, or anything]]. Besides, the Manties, when they find out about it, realize that by going along, they are helping their own cause, and hurting Mesa's.
* A post-humous example with Xavier Harkonnen in the ''Franchise/{{Dune}}'' [[Literature/LegendsOfDune prequels]], who finds out that Grand Patriarch Iblis Ginjo is secretly endorsing the Tlulaxa organ farms' secret practice of abducting Zensunnis and using them as unwilling organ donors. Realizing that Ginjo will have him quietly "removed", Harkonnen decides to out with a bang by flying the ship carrying him and the Patriarch into Tlulax's sun. Prior to that, he sends a message to his friend Vorian Attreides, letting him know the truth. However, Ginjo's wife and NumberTwo canonize the Patriarch and villify the "traitor" Harkonnen, causing his entire family to change their name in order to distance themselves from the shame. Vorian eventually reveals the truth to Xavier's grandson Abulurd Butler, who changes his name to Abulurd Harkonnen shortly after that and becomes the founder of the House Harkonnen we know and "love".
* ''Literature/EndersGame'': Ender Wiggin manages to do this to himself quite by accident. At first, he's a great hero who saved Earth from the evil Buggers. However, after writing ''The Hive Queen'' under an assumed name, he gets people to sympathize with the Buggers and villify Ender as "Xenocide".
* Tyrion Lannister from ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' is assumed by the commoners to be evil simply because he's a dwarf. Even after he defended King's Landing from a siege that would have killed everyone inside it and let Stannis take the Iron Throne, he's condemned by [[ConvictedByPublicOpinion pretty much everyone]] because of his dwarfism after he's framed for poisoning the King. His stint as Hand of the King was rife with this, as the smallfolk blamed him for the antics of [[TheCaligula Joffrey]] and [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen Cersei]], perceiving him as a depraved EvilChancellor when in actuality he was the only one trying to reign the king's madness in.
** Tyrion's older brother Jaime is an unusual example. While he is a definite scumbag for the first two books, when we finally see his [[SympatheticPOV P.O.V.]] in the third book, we find out that [[TheKingslayer the act that he is most widely hated for]] was done with the most noble of intentions in mind and saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. The fact that he did get such bad publicity over it is part of what made him the amoral man he started the series as.
* King Trent in the ''Literature/{{Xanth}}'' series. When he was known as "Evil Magician Trent," he states outright he's only "evil" because he opposed the ruling Storm King - whom no one would deny was far closer to the ideal of "evil" than Trent ever was. When the Storm King dies and Trent is the only one willing and eligible to take the throne, the "evil" part of his name is quickly forgotten.
* In Jeramey Kraatz's ''Literature/TheCloakSociety'', Cloak's plots get the heroes labelled as imposters working for the Cloak Society.
* Rose Marshal, the heroine of ''[[Literature/GhostStories Sparrow Hill Road]]'', is a [[BewareOfHitchHikingGhosts hitchhiking ghost]] straight out of urban legend, which is spooky enough, but it's her tendency to act as a voluntary {{Psychopomp}} for people fated to die on the road that's given her the undeserved reputation as a harbinger of death or even a rapacious reaper of the unwary, rising to the level of NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished when she's targeted for revenge over a death she attended but did not cause.
* Surprisingly, in ''Literature/CompanionsCodex'' Drizzt Do'Urden is barred entrance from Bryn Shander, because twengy years ago, while he was undergoing a BigSleep, the Balor Errtu attacked the town in search of Drizzt. Bryn Shander blames Drizzt for the catastrophe and tells him he's no longer welcome. All that after he spent the better part of a century trying and succeeding in endearing the people on the surface to him.
* {{Literature/Worm}} has just about everything on the spectrum. To name a few:
** Bastion got some bad press for calling a fan a spic.
** [[spoiler:The protagonist, Taylor, after she takes on the hero identity Weaver and joins the Protectorate. Understandable, considering that as Skitter, she led a group of teenage supervillains in conquering a city, humiliating the heroes at every turn.]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** The main character is feared and/or disliked by much of the teaching staff at Sunnydale High School. Initially, it was because they'd heard rumors about how she [[KillItWithFire burned down the gym]] at her old high school, but later she's the focus of a smear campaign directed by her principal. However, in the prom episode, the entire student body reveals that they knew that she had been protecting them all along and gave her a "Class Protector Award" in gratitude.
*** Even Joyce assumes Buffy is a juvenile delinquent, when she's actually trying to do the right thing.
*** Even more pronounced in the Season Eight comics, where the Slayers are, suffice it to say, ''controversially'' heroic, in large part due to there being [[VillainWithGoodPublicity Vampires With Good Publicity]]. They've even been labeled a terrorist group by the U.S. government, due in part to the fact that Sunnydale was wiped off the map prior to this. (Yeah, the whole purpose of the place was to serve as a buffet for demons and vampires, but few non-residents know that.) It's not even entirely unjustified; Buffy's brilliant idea for funding her worldwide Slayer operation was to rob a Swiss bank with the aid of magic and Slayer powers; her justification was that it was probably Nazi gold, anyway. Meanwhile, the vampires are all a VillainWithGoodPublicity.
---> '''Willow:''' "Sweet girl. Not that bright."
*** As of the Season Nine [[ComicBook/BuffyTheVampireSlayer comics]], Buffy is pretty much universally despised by the magical community, including the Slayers who used to respect her, for destroying the source of Earth's magic. As for Angel, it's been stated that his image and reputation among them is even ''worse'' than Buffy's, due in part to the various atrocities he committed as Twilight.
** The Scooby Gang as a whole is this as of Season 8. Many people believe them to be a speciesist group preying on vampires.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
** Quite a number of people consider themselves to be this, notably Jaime, Tyrion, and Stannis.
*** This is shown to be at least partially true with Jaime in Season 3, when he reveals that he assassinated Aerys Targaryen to prevent him burning King's Landing to the ground.
*** Tyrion is dismayed when he discovers that the people blame him for Joffrey and Cersei's actions, which he actually tried to stop, mostly because he is a dwarf. Not only that, he is also framed for Joffrey's death, and submitted to a KangarooCourt where all his achievements are discredited and his personal lifestyle mocked at which points he publicly expresses contempt for his unjust reputation, deciding that he no longer cares about his reputation or trying to be a "hero" to gain the acceptance of a pack of ingrates. When he's eventually released by his brother, he decides to murder his father out of vengeance, righteous anger and hatred, permanently tarnishing his reputation in the eyes of Westeros.
*** As far as the War of the Five Kings goes, Stannis is the one in the right, since Joffrey being a bastard makes him Robert's rightful heir as his eldest brother. He's also the only one to come to the aid of the Night's Watch when they put a call out to all of Westeros. Despite this, his cold and stern personality, combined with the concern over his worship of the Lord of Light, means very few respect him and fewer love him.
** The Starks' reputation has suffered over the years but this is mostly averted by Season 6. "The Door" reveals that Ned Stark is remembered (or at least lampooned) as a boorish yokel who was executed for greedily trying to steal the throne rather than a noble martyr. King Robb and Talisa's love affair is blamed for the loss of the war. Jon is seen as a Night's Watch deserter who betrayed his oath as Lord Commander of the Night's Watch by letting Wildlings into the realm, who Northerners believe will rampage their lands. This causes House Umber to pledge their allegiance to the Boltons, whom they despise very openly, to defend themselves. The Umbers are the ones who give Jon's little brother Rickon to Ramsay as hostage. Sansa is seen as a glorified Southerner owing to her time in King's Landing and marriage to Tyrion and few powerful northern families support Jon or Sansa because neither of them are legally Starks.
** Thanks to the actions of his brother and mother, Tommen is forced to deal with hatred and insults despite having done nothing wrong personally.
** In the eyes of Grand Maester Pycelle, Egg was another madman who got himself killed while trying to hatch dragon eggs, ignorant or indifferent to any deeper intentions he might have had.
** While in his own words he isn't even close to a hero, Varys is one of the least malevolent members of the Small Council, and yet not a soul seems to trust or appreciate his job because of the widespread eunuch prejudice and the fact he's TheSpymaster (considered "dishonorable" in the honor-obsessed society of Westeros).
* In ''Series/TeenWolf'', Derek Hale is known as a criminal, but he's actually a decent, [[WolfMan if]] [[DarkAndTroubledPast somewhat]] [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold dark]], guy.
* Narutaki, a self-proclaimed "prophet", spreads rumors across realities about the eponymous ''Series/KamenRiderDecade'' being destined to destroy TheMultiverse. [[spoiler:To be fair, Narutaki wasn't far from wrong.]]
%%* Starts to happen in ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' Season 8 and in full force in Season 10.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies, and what is it? [[spoiler: the Doctor. Who, at the time of discovering this, is about to save the ''entire universe'' for at least the fourth time.]]
** After Martha's departure to travel with The Doctor, her mother is warned that the Doctor is dangerous by the mysterious "Mr Saxon" (later revealed to be [[spoiler: The Doctor's fellow Time Lord and old nemesis, The Master.]]) In the season finale, Saxon has the Doctor, Martha and Jack Harkness declared public enemies number one-through-three.
* Not superheroes, but Series/KenanAndKel becomes this in episode, "Foul Bull", due to Ron Harper's injury being blamed on them.
* Surprisingly averted in ''Franchise/PowerRangers''. The population still trust and love the Rangers, despite the regular rampage of hijacked Zords and the [[ConvenientlyEmptyBuilding general levels of property damage involved]] when you're engaging in HumongousMecha battles every week. Impersonators and other such smear campaign plots by villains don't ever get the public turned against the heroes for more than that one episode.
* Sam and Dean Winchester on ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' they've repeatedly made the FBI's most wanted list and when that was fixed by a heroic sacrifice on the part of [[HeelFaceTurn Agent Hendrickson]] it's undone by [[VillainWithGoodPublicity Dick Roman]] and now they're wanted as serial killers. Again. Some more.
* In the BBC ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'' second-series-ender "[[Recap/SherlockS02E03TheReichenbachFall The Reichenbach Fall]]", this is one of Moriarty's objectives for the titular sleuth. For as-yet-unknown reasons, [[spoiler:Sherlock himself seems to go along with it right at the very end, after having resisted]] throughout the episode. (It doesn't help that he's known for a [[GoodIsNotNice brusque and cold demeanor]].)
* ''Series/{{Merlin|2008}}'': Merlin would probably out a lot more villains if he didn't spend so much time [[ObfuscatingStupidity convincing everyone he's a moron]]. And on a lesser note, it's mentioned several times that while he's saved the kingdom, Arthur, and everyone on the show at least once, the fact that he's [[FantasticRacism magical]] would probably get him executed anyway due to all the magicians that attack Camelot.
* ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'':
** S.H.I.E.L.D. as an organization has to deal with this from midway through season 1 all the way to the beginning of season 4. Following the events of ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'', no one trusts them anymore. Of course, the fact that [[spoiler:they were infiltrated by HYDRA from their very inception]] is a very good reason not to trust them, but the fact remains that Coulson's S.H.I.E.L.D. really was trustworthy.
** At the beginning of season 4, Daisy, AKA Quake, is this. Due to her vigilante actions against the Watchdogs and their allies, the public only knows her as a dangerous bank robber and terrorist. It doesn't help that her powers are overly destructive; she took out a bridge while capturing some fleeing Watchdogs. No one else was hurt, but that's still the kind of thing that freaks people out.
** In the same season, Robbie Reyes, AKA Ghost Rider. Since he supernaturally knows who deserves to die, he never bothers producing any proof that any of them have done anything wrong. While this is fine for common criminals, Daisy mentions a cop and a teacher -- a DirtyCop and pedophile, respectively -- who did nothing wrong as far as the public knows. Even when told why they were killed, Daisy still takes issue with just outright murdering them.
* ''Series/TheDefenders2017'':
** ''Series/{{Daredevil|2015}}'':
*** In season 1, [[ComicBook/TheKingpin Wilson Fisk]] uses his control over the media to pin several bombings (his doing to eliminate the Russians) and the shooting of Detective Blake and several other cops (also his doing with snipers and crooked cops on his payroll) on Matt Murdock's masked vigilante persona.
*** In season 2, Frank Castle is a case of this, without an opponent trying to smear him in the public eye.
** ''Series/LukeCage2016'': Played with.
*** After Luke survives Cottonmouth blowing up his building with a bazooka, Cottonmouth needs to recuperate his losses, as he's lost 80% of his cash reserves due to Luke attacking his stash houses. He decides to double down, recuperating his money while also trying to drive Luke out of Harlem by having his gang shake down and extort local businesses in the name of a "Luke Cage stupidity tax". The move backfires as the business owners go to Luke, who willingly recovers their money and possessions. Shades is savvy enough to realize that this move will backfire even before Cottonmouth implements.
*** Mariah, Shades, and Diamondback all work to smear Luke in the public eye, first by [[spoiler:framing him for Cottonmouth's murder]], and then by exploiting FantasticRacism and basic otherism, as he's not a Harlem native. For several episodes, it seems like it's working, as the police are doing everything in their power to find him (including militarizing to a disturbing extent), and hundreds of people show up for an anti-Luke Cage rally. However, later episodes show that the majority of the people in Harlem, especially those who know Luke personally, don't believe a word of it. One cop lets Luke escape when he's cornered, and when Luke inadvertently rescues Method Man from an armed robbery while he's running from the police, the owner of the store starts selling hoodies that look like Luke's bullet-ridden one. Many people in Harlem start wearing them to show solidarity with Luke, which makes it impossible for the police to find him.
** ''Series/IronFist2017'': In the last episode, Danny gets framed for drug smuggling and embezzling by [[spoiler:Harold Meachum]] and becomes public enemy number one. It really doesn't help that Danny attacked a DEA SWAT team sent to arrest him (in his defense, he thought they were Hand soldiers). Thankfully, once Danny, Ward, and Colleen recover the laptop full of evidence used to frame him, they are able to turn it over to the police, who quickly realize it was doctored. It's noted that even with the main charges dropped, Danny ''should'' be in trouble for assaulting the DEA agents and resisting arrest... [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney but Jeri arranges for a big donation to be made to their widows and orphans fund, so they dropped those charges as well]].
* In one episode of ''Series/TheFlash2014'', Barry ends up being affected by the week's meta-human and ends up attacking his romantic rival Eddie as the Flash. After he's "cured", he tries to explain himself to Iris (again, as the Flash, since she doesn't know that he's Barry yet), but she wants to hear none of that. She quickly forgives him in subsequent episodes, however.
* In ''Series/{{Supergirl 2015}}'', Kara ends up turning into a bitch under the influence of red kryptonite, turning the city against her. She laments [[WhatHaveYouDoneForMeLately a single bad act turning many good acts moot]]. In the crossover episode with ''The Flash'', Barry tells her of the above-mentioned situation and explains that the only cure is time. Luckily, the real "cure" turns out to be Supergirl willing to publicly perform a HeroicSacrifice to save the people (in a twist, it's the regular folks who end up saving the day, if one can call [[BadassNormal firefighters]] "regular"). It's also pointed out in the episode that Kara's boss Cat hasn't written off Supergirl like the rest of the city.
* In the first two seasons of ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'', our heroes have this problem because the Kazon have been badmouthing Voyager to prevent them gaining allies as they trek through the Delta Quadrant. In later seasons however, their reputation has improved enough for some con artists to make a profitable business out of pretending to be the Voyager crew.
* ''Series/AshVsEvilDead'': Ash gets hit with this from the first season episode "Bait" onwards, becoming wanted by the police for the chaos caused by the Deadites.
* In ''Series/BlackLightning'', the titular superhero is frequently called a vigilante by the media and the police, who claim that he's only making the gang violence in Freeland worse. However, most of the African-American community sees Black Lightning as a symbol. Then [[spoiler:Tobias sends his people to kill his boss Lady Eve and frame Black Lightning. The result? Even the regular folks are now against him. Jefferson rightly refuses to go out as Black Lightning until his name is cleared, as he figures that the cops will probably shoot him on sight]].
* In the season 4 finale of ''Series/BrooklynNineNine'', Jake and Rosa, two heroic (if occasionally irresponsible) cops, [[spoiler: get framed for bank robbery.]]

* In Music/TheProtomen, Dr. Light is very much this. He created the machines to benefit mankind, but Dr. Wily stole them and used one to kill Light's girlfriend, Emily. Wily blamed Light for the murder, and the angered citizens tried to ''lynch'' him.
** This is even lampshaded by Willy when he states that it doesn't even matter if he's telling the truth or that his arguments don't really make sense, the very fact that he pointed his finger at Light caused the crowd to blindly hate him.

[[folder:Myths & Religion]]
* [[EverybodyHatesHades Hades/Pluto]] is frequently portrayed as a [[HijackedByJesus Hellenistic analogue to Satan]] in modern media. This portrayal of him is entirely unfair. He was certainly a {{Jerkass}} by modern standards, but [[JerkassGods most of the Hellenistic gods were]]. If the Hellenes had a Satan-type, it would have been Ate, the personification of ruin, folly and destruction who causes... well, ruin, folly and destruction ForTheEvulz. Of course, this would serve as an inversion for those who believe he is evil.... To clarify, unlike Satan who was cast into Hell for defying {{God}}, Hades pretty much got the job of ruling the afterlife because his older brothers screwed him over. Zeus claimed the Earth and the Heavens, Poseidon the Sea, meaning the Underworld was all that was left for Hades. He didn't like the job, but he wasn't overly cruel about it (at least, not in comparison to some of the other gods). And since his realm included the entire afterlife, including the Gardens of Elysium, he was essentially the ruler of both Heaven and Hell.
* Some strands of Abrahamic thought hold that Satan is simply in charge of God's judicial system, and [[SatanIsGood doesn't deserve all the hate that is thrown at him]] - he has a damn dirty job, but SomeoneHasToDoIt. The proto-EvilLawyerJoke if you will. This seems to be more the case in the pre-Christian tradition. Which would hold his original Hebrew name, "Ha-Satan", "the accuser."
* Literature/TheBible:
** Jesus Christ is this during His preaching days. It kinda led to his death (depending on which translation you read). He also warns his disciples that the world will hate them.
** Thomas is the only disciple to volunteer to die with Jesus in John 11:16, one of the few people in the Gospels to explicitly call Jesus God, and, according to Church tradition, traveled all the way to India to preach Christianity. Even so, most people only know him as the guy who didn't believe that Jesus had really come back. "Doubting Thomas" is a common nickname for a skeptic.

[[folder:Pro Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/{{Glacier}} was this during the Blood Runs Cold storyline in Wrestling/{{WCW}} in 1997. He was a {{Face}} but not a particularly popular one.
* Wrestling/JohnCena is this today and has been so for several years in Wrestling/{{WWE}}. He is the top {{Face}} in wrestling and unfortunately one of the biggest {{Base Breaker}}s. Try convincing someone who normally gives him bad reviews or says bad things about him that he or she is wrong. Being that he's often a DesignatedHero with ridiculous degrees of ProtagonistCenteredMorality about him....

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* This is a common problem for ''Solar'' and ''Lunar TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'', since they've been branded as psychotically evil demons by the main religion of the setting.
* In the ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'', Helm has become considerably less popular due to his killing Mystra during the Time Of Troubles.

* Elphaba from ''Theatre/{{Wicked}}'' probably qualifies as she is definitely engaged in heroic activities saving Animals from the fascist dictator of Oz. However due to the Wizard's efforts to paint her as wicked she rapidly becomes the most hated figure in Oz.
* Similarly, Ja'far from ''Theatre/TwistedTheUntoldStoryOfARoyalVizier'', the Creator/TeamStarKid parody of ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'', is actually a kind, honest and hardworking guy, but is hated by almost everyone in the magic kingdom as the truth keeps getting [[TitleDrop twisted]] to paint him as a villain. Later in the play [[spoiler: it turns out that the same thing happened to several other Disney "villains" in the past- except for Cruella di Vil, who really did just want to make a coat out of puppies]].
** [[spoiler: Even Cruella di Vil isn't all that evil in the grand scheme of things because there's an entire industry that raises animals just for their fur.]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Videogame/MegaManZero'': Everyone calls him a legendary hero, but only a few know that there's something more benevolent to Zero's "extremist" actions. This isn't really explored until the fourth and final game, since all characters that Zero interacts with prior to that game are Reploids who see him as a champion to their cause. It was in the fourth game that a colony of human refugees are introduced, and this trope is in full force.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'' series plays with this trope in a rather interesting way :
** The protagonists of the first game start as treasure hunters and thrill seekers and happen to rid part of Pandora of its most dangerous bandit leaders along the way to the Vault, being praised as heroes by the inhabitants. That doesn't prevent Captain Steele, the Crimson Lance leader, to publicly call them dangerous outlaws, but no one else seems to care.
** In ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}'', more treasure hunters and thrill seekers join in, and are quickly hunted by Handsome Jack, a villain of otherworldly proportions who doesn't hesitate to publish bullshit news about them burning orphanages or strangling kittens, and this time he has an audience buying his shit. Luckily for the protagonists, they still have allies not believing him.
** And comes ''VideoGame/BorderlandsThePreSequel'', that lets you see the events between the two previous games from Handsome Jack's perspective. There you learn important things: [[spoiler: Jack wasn't the worst boss Hyperion ever knew, far from that; his first motives were rather heroic, to save the galaxy from a possible cataclysm and to save all the inhabitants on Elpis from a certain death by KillSat; and above all he became the villain he is in ''Borderlands 2'' because of a series of betrayals by the Vault Hunters of the first game, and they never explain their motives, which leaves only the conclusion that they gratuitously screwed with him. Who is truly the misunderstood hero and who is truly the villain in this story]]?
* In the first ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer'' at least, GDI. Nod's Greg Burdett, a respected journalist, would help them fabricate news stories about GDI slaughtering villages and burning down orphanages. Nod's mainline troops would also regularly partake in a little bit of the random slaughter, usually so they could make it look like GDI did it. This was also the entire point of the last couple of missions of Nod's campaign, in which you were [[spoiler: working to hijack the GDI Ion Cannon to destroy a landmark (you go to pick), framing GDI for the attack]].
** In the GDI campaign, this is played with. It ''looks'' like Nod's media campaign has brought UNGDI to the brink of being disavowed by the Security Council, with funding being suspended while investigations are made... and then, when Nod launches a major offensive, it is revealed that it was a trick by the GDI leadership, taking advantage of Nod's media edge to bait the Brotherhood into striking before properly building up its strength. You still have bad publicity, but it wasn't ''so'' bad as it looked to you or Kane.
* Georg Prime of ''VideoGame/{{Suikoden}}'' fame is frequently accused of committing regicide against the Queen of Falena. [[spoiler: It's true, but she WANTED him to do it, as it was the only way to keep her from using the Sun rune (which was driving her insane) to wipe out the entire country.]]
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy''
** AVALANCHE in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' is branded as a terrorist group. It's basically true, but the government that labels them so [[OneNationUnderCopyright consists almost entirely of]] {{Corrupt Corporate Executive}}s.
** Ramza in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics''. [[spoiler: He gets branded as a heretic for pretty much telling the bad guys to stop doing bad things, and is STILL remembered as a villain after the game is over. It eventually stops and it's implied he gets the recognition he deserves... five hundred years later.]]
** Orran Durai also gets this as he attempts to tells Ramza's story to the public and [[spoiler: the church brands him as a heretic as well, and has him burned at the stake and hides his history. Until it is found hundreds of years later and clears both of their names]]
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'', Tidus [[spoiler:and later Yuna]] develops a case of this for not going along with temple traditions.
-->'''Woman''': You heathen.
-->'''Old woman''': Stay away from the summoner.
-->'''Young girl''': You're a bad man!
* Pretty much everyone wants to arrest and/or kill [[VigilanteMan Yuri Lowell]] in ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia''. Though he really ''did'' commit the crimes he's accused of (well, at least most of them; one of them was a misunderstanding).
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda''
** Villain smear campaigning causes Link to suffer this fate in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast'', where the palace guards have the townspeople convinced that he's responsible for Princess Zelda's disappearance. He has to slink around Kakariko Village in order to achieve his objectives; if his neighbors spot him, they send for the guards to kill him.
** This trope can also happen in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening'', although in that case, it really is justified. It is triggered if you make Link steal any item from the store by careful manouvering around the shopkeep while carrying one of the items. Should you decide to do it, your game file will be permanently renamed to THIEF, and everybody in the town will treat you accordingly, and if you return to the shop after stealing an item, [[spoiler:the shopkeeper uses magic to shock you to death]]. Yikes. Still, it is pretty hard to resist doing this in-game, since the bow in the game is sold at the ridiculous price of 990 rupees (the rupee cap is at 999), and it takes a looooong time to save up that amount of money.
** Unless you use the Bonus Dungeon's secret room in the UpdatedRerelease.
** Point to note, the two games actually happen to star the same Link, so this is obviously quite a defining trait for that incarnation. Link is pretty much always a KleptomaniacHero, but rare is the case where he actually gets ''punished'' for stealing.
*** And in the remake, you're ''encouraged'' to steal something. The last photo is unlocked this way, making it that LastLousyPoint. This Link just ''can't win''.
** Wolf Link in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess''. Outside of the Twilight, he's feared as a monster. Inside of it, he's invisible so he gets no credit for his heroic actions. Thankfully, Link also has a human form in which he can be viewed heroically.
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild'', the older generation of [[FishPeople Zora]] hold Link in contempt, largely because they blame him and the Hylians in general for [[spoiler:digging up the Guardians and Divine Beasts that Calamity Ganon possessed to devastate Hyrule and getting their beloved princess Mipha killed as a result]]. The younger Zora, in contrast, either weren't alive when all this happened or were ChildhoodFriends with Link, and thus have no reason to hold him responsible. And the older Zora eventually soften their views once Link subdues Divine Beast Vah Ruta.
* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog''
** [[Characters/SonicTheHedgehogGUN Shadow the Hedgehog]]. Not that he seems to care much.
** Sonic in ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'', when he is mistaken for Shadow. (Despite being a different colour, much like the Sunshine example below).
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/InFamous''. The player character starts out with bad publicity [[spoiler: because he was the delivery boy who carried the immensely destructive Ray Sphere into the heart of the city, where it exploded]], but as time goes on ([[VideoGameCaringPotential and if you choose to play the good guy]]), his publicity gets much better.
** Nonetheless, Cole does retain some bad publicity in ''VideoGame/{{InFamous 2}}'' to the extent that a member of LaResistance remarks that he heard rumors that Cole EatsBabies, and in ''VideoGame/InfamousSecondSon'', the Department of Unified Protection made sure that Cole, having been [[HeroicSacrifice dead for seven years]], went down in history as a villain to reinforce their [[MutantDraftBoard efforts to imprison or kill Conduits]].
* ''Franchise/MetalGear:''
** In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots'', Snake reveals that he has been branded an international criminal since [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid the Shadow Moses incident]], and he was also framed as an ecoterrorist by the Patriots in ''[[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty MGS2]]''.
** As of the end of ''VideoGame/MetalGearRisingRevengeance'', Raiden appears to have become this. [[spoiler: Going on a bloody rampage through the city of Denver and butchering legions of cops (DirtyCops, yes, but cops nonetheless) on a mission to dismantle the biggest PrivateMilitaryContractor in the world will do that.]]
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'' has an especially tragic one that is also posthumous with [[spoiler:The Boss, who undertook a mission as a FakeDefector. But as soon as something went wrong, she was scapegoated by the U.S. government so they could save face, and she went along with it, both to prevent World War III and out of continuing to her country. From the start, she knew that her favorite student would kill her and she would be remembered in death as one of the most despicable traitors and war criminals in recorded history. Later games reveal that the mission wasn't even about saving face; the government wanted The Boss dead from the very beginning because they were afraid of her]].
* ''VideoGame/QuestForGloryIV'' starts out like this, due to suspicious townsfolk who are fearful of strangers and especially anything to do with magic, although the hero will gradually win their trust by helping them out.
* Tassadar has a bit of a publicity problem in ''VideoGame/StarCraft'' due to his alliance with the Dark Templar and the Terrans. Arcturus Mengsk used to be one too, back when the Confederacy was in power. Jim Raynor has been one ever since the Dominion rose to power.
* Marina from ''VideoGame/MischiefMakers'' takes flak from the evil double's paper-thin disguise.
* [[spoiler:Archer]] from ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' got ''executed'' because nobody liked him.
** Saber, [[spoiler:AKA Arturia Pendragon (a [[GenderFlip gender-flipped]] KingArthur)]], [[SweetPollyOliver disguised herself as a boy]], [[TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask suppressed all emotion, and used very pragmatic methods in order to properly rule her country]]. Needless to say, her apparent coldness caused her subjects to resent her:
--> ''The more perfect she became as a king, the more she was questioned as a ruler.''
* Similar to the Franchise/{{Transformers}} example above, Jedi are almost universally hated and hunted during the time of ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic II'' because the galaxy perceives the whole Jedi-Sith war that nearly tore apart the Republic as "a religious dispute between two factions of Jedi". Many people refuse to see any distinction between Jedi like the {{P|layerCharacter}}C (if light side) and the Sith Lords and assassins that seem to follow him/her wherever they go.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'':
** [[PlayerCharacter Commander Shepard]] in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', what with the [[MagnificentBastard Illusive Man]] resurrecting and manipulating him/her to save the galaxy with a [[YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters Cerberus logo]] on his/her ship, s/he has to deal with this problem throughout the game. On the one hand, the civilians who recognize him/her love Shepard, though there are still some who feel betrayed by his/her long absence and rumors about his/her working with Cerberus. But those who knew him/her personally range from being leery of his/her new connections to outright enraged that s/he would associate with them. It's heavily implied that Cerberus [[InvokedTrope invoked this]] with strategic information leaks to keep Shepard away from people who could counter Cerberus' efforts to manipulate him/her.
** At the beginning of ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', s/he's widely seen as a FallenHero due to the events of The Arrival, where s/he was forced to kill over 300,000 people. [[TheExtremistWasRight When people finally find out why s/he did it]], [[BigGood s/he becomes the face of the entire war against the Reapers.]]
* In ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'', Ragna the Bloodege is very much hated by the world, to the point where half of the cast are trying to kill him. This is justified though because, JerkWithAHeartOfGold he may be, he is also a wanted terrorist who has gone around destroying government facilities and cutting down any soldiers that stand in his way. There's also the little fact that he has a legendary ArtifactOfDoom that everybody and their mother wants to take from him.
** [[HighlyVisibleNinja Bang Shishigami]] is another example. He tries very hard to be a Shonen action hero and is motivated purely to restore his fallen homeland. He even shows mercy to his enemies. However, because of his LargeHam and HotBlooded attitude, he's mostly seen as a crazy old man by most of the cast. Although, there are a few people who do respect him.
* ''Mario'', of all people, has to deal with this in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioSunshine''. He gets tried by a KangarooCourt for the actions of a {{Paper Thin Disguise}}d Bowser Jr.
* In ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'', there is a StoryArc where you become a Hero with Bad Publicity. You get framed for a crime and have to collect evidence that will clear your name, all the while being chased by the [[KnightTemplar Malta Groupp]] and their {{Demonic S|piders}}appers.
* In ''VideoGame/GoldenSunDarkDawn'''s recap of the [[VideoGame/GoldenSun first two games]], what little mention there is of [[spoiler: Felix's actions]] openly casts him in a bad light, and [[spoiler: the Fire Clan]] are never explained at all ([[spoiler:though the latter weren't particularly heroic to common knowledge]]).
* Entirely possible in ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas''. Because your karma (how good or evil you are) is factored separately from your reputation (how much people like you) it's very, very possible to end the game with the highest karma possible, and ''every single faction hating your guts.''
** Although, because of the game, it's actually very hard to end with high karma and everybody hating you, and you must actively peruse this as a goal, because you must do a lot to up your karma, and most karma upping quests are related with one faction are another.
*** If somebody is going through the trouble to be hated by everybody but still be a picture of justice overall, that might be more suspicious than anything else, that or every single person around them is just insane.
* Alex Mercer in ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}'' is treated as a villain. And understandably so: not only is he a carrier of TheVirus who runs around Manhattan [[ImAHumanitarian eating people]], [[spoiler:he looks like and has the memories of the scientist who released TheVirus in the first place]]. Nevertheless, he's grown a conscience by the end of the game and ultimately performs a genuinely heroic and selfless act. [[TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodCharacter That was until]] ''VideoGame/{{Prototype 2}}'' [[TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodCharacter came along]].
* ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChroniclesIII'': Kurt Irving and The Nameless can give [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics Ramza]] a run for his money. They are supposed to do the dirty jobs that the official military won't, and at one point was branded traitor (and possibly heretic). But they finally have their name cleared, even if they must live in obscurity for the rest of their life.
** Depends if you're talking about an individual level or group level. Individually, most are nothing more than people caught in a bad situation or simply got shanghaied into the unit. By comparison; two characters are actually Lanseal graduates (the game's equivalent of West Point), one of which graduated with honors. (And thats not including the volunteers.) As a group, the unit's bad reputation has more to do with the fact that its commanding officers keep them on hand and use them explicitly for wet works than anything they actually do.
%%* Janos Audron in the ''VideoGame/LegacyOfKain'' series.
* In ''Franchise/AssassinsCreed'' games the Heralds always speak out against the Assassins even if you do your best to avoid civilian deaths. However, this is easily solved with simple bribes.
* ''VideoGame/DmCDevilMayCry'' shows a newscast of a reporter claiming Dante to be a terrorist from his "attacks" when really it's just damage caused by the fights in the parallel world, Limbo, carried over to the real one, however humans can't see the monsters so they pin the blame on Dante. [[spoiler: Justified since the news network is being run by those same monsters.]]
* The [[PlayerCharacter Warden]], in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', is left with this reputation after the first battle of the game. Loghain spread the rumor that the Grey Wardens abandoned and betrayed everyone in the battle, which in point of fact is what ''Loghain himself'' did, and the Grey Wardens themselves were almost obliterated in the fight - only two remain alive in the entire kingdom. The trope is somewhat played with, however, because very few people genuinely believe that the Wardens are guilty.
** By the end of the events of the second game, [[PlayerCharacter Hawke]] has become a legendary but controversial figure because s/he was at the center of an event that sparked a global conflict.
*** If you choose the Human Noble background, your family's political enemies try to paint our family as rebels and traitors. However, when you visit the Landsmeet the other nobles make it very clear that everyone knows your family are staunch royalists and the bad guys full of crap.
** In the beginning of Inquisition, the player character is the only one to survive an explosion that killed hundreds of people, including [[HighPriest the Divine]], and who everyone believes is responsible. After the prologue, some people start believing the Inquisitor has been [[TheChosenOne chosen by god]] to save the world, but many continue to think the Inquisitor is guilty for the first third of the game.
*** ''Trespasser'' takes place two years after the BigBad was defeated and there has been an increasing backlash against the Inquisition (and the Inquisitor themselves), which many believe is power-hungry and on the verge of invading nearby countries. [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] in that it's revealed the organization had been infiltrated by various spies and was falling to corruption after all, although this wasn't known to its leaders or critics at the time.
*** Dalish elves believe Fen'Harel is the god of deception who was responsible for locking away their other gods and dooming their civilization. In truth, Fen'Harel was leading a rebellion against the other gods, who had become slave-owning tyrants, and ended up locking them away to keep them from destroying the world. It is true, however, that he was resonsible for their empire crumbling.
* Marona, the protagonist of ''VideoGame/PhantomBrave''. She is quite possibly the nicest person in the whole world, but almost everyone fears and hates her and calls her "The Possessed One" because of her ability to communicate with phantoms. People routinely send her nasty letters or write articles in the paper where even the good things she does get nasty spins; she is blamed for things she had nothing to do with, and some of the people who hire her cheat her out of payment for various reasons. She keeps soldiering on, smiling and waiting for the day when everything is going to be okay. Thankfully she does gain friends and respect from some people, [[spoiler:and in the end everyone respects her for saving the world, including the nasty columnist in the paper]].
* Jodie Holmes, the protagonist of the upcoming ''VideoGame/BeyondTwoSouls'', has been depicted in various trailers and gameplay videos as being pursued by both local police and the FBI, with one demo claiming that ''every single cop in the state'' has been called in to apprehend her.
* Adam Jensen in ''VideoGame/DeusExHumanRevolution '' was hit with this in his backstory. When Adam and his SWAT unit encountered a belligerent teenager with augments, he was ordered to take a kill shot because subduing the kid nonlethally would have been too much trouble thanks to his augments. Adam refused to take the shot and another SWAT commander did it instead. Adam quit the force in disgust. His superiors were upset by this and doctored his psyche profile to make him look like a violent borderline lunatic as payback. In the present there are still rumors that Adam was fired from SWAT for that incident when he actually quit. Fortunately for Adam, [[spoiler:the private investigator that David Sarif had look into Adam's background before hiring him]] read between the lines of the profile and saw it for the fairy tale it was.
* In ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublicIITheSithLords'', the Jedi Exile is subject to this constantly, having been indirectly responsible for the accidental destruction of Peragus II during the prologue. The Exile was also one of the Jedi who joined Revan during the Mandalorian Wars, where they [[spoiler: gave the order to detonate a superweapon over Malachor V, wiping out all life on the planet and in orbit and ending the war]]. When the game begins, the Exile returns from their ten year long self-imposed exile on the Outer Rim, having been banished from the Jedi Order for their actions during the war.
** The Jedi Order are also subject to this in the second game and have been forced into hiding. It's explained that as a result of the Mandalorian Wars, the Jedi Civil War and Revan and Malak's attempted takeover of the galaxy, most common people consider the Jedi and Sith to [[NotSoDifferent indistinguishable]] from each other and little more than crazed zealots bent on destroying the galaxy over their opposing ideologies.
* Lemeza Kosugi in ''Videogame/LaMulana 2'', thanks to what happened at the end of the first game. [[spoiler:He saved humanity, but had to destroy a world heritage site in the process. The public either doesn't know or doesn't believe his reasoning, so he's been on the run from Interpol.]]
* ''VideoGame/StarStealingPrince'' features a variant, with Prince Snowe starting off well-loved by his subjects. [[spoiler: However, early in the game he comes so close to death that it ends up breaking a spell cast on the entire kingdom, and one of the many side effects is that Snowe's subjects (aside from a select few in the court) don't remember him, but instinctively don't like him (probably because he's part of the royal family that cast the spell on them in the first place.)]]
* In ''VideoGame/YuGiOhBAM'', for much of the early game the police are after you, and you have no idea why.
* James Parnell in ''VideoGame/{{Evolve}}'' has this as part of his backstory. He was the leader of a mercenary group that dedicated itself to helping the little guy, often against the will of Hub. When a rescue attempt when wrong, the media blamed him for the loss of his own ship, the other ship, and every member of both crews.
* ''VideoGame/Persona5'' starts with the protagonist ''helping a woman being physically assaulted'', [[NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished only to be treated as a violent delinquent by those around him afterwards, due to the molester having connections with the local police]]. Additionally, the vigilante group he leads is often treated by the news media as villains and criminals, though they still get some popular support, [[spoiler:at least until they're framed for murder]].
* ''VideoGame/ValkyriaRevolution'' has the Five Grand Criminals who started a war with TheEmpire and managed to kill thousands of people in the process. [[spoiler: This is actually true but they needed the war to rescue their CoolTeacher who has been kidnapped by the empire and the war is their only ticket to save her.]] Their actions however also benefited Jutland in that after the war, Jutland has become one of the richest nations in the world. A researcher at an academy 100 years later wants to prove their innocence while a descendant of one of the people who know about the conspiracy wants to keep it secret because it's what the Five Grand Criminals would have wanted.
* ''VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeonExplorers'': [[spoiler:Grovyle]] is here as part of a TerminatorTwosome, to SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong and prevent a BadFuture. Unfortunately for him, the other half of the twosome is a VillainWithGoodPublicity, who has managed to [[spoiler:spin Grovyle's efforts to fix the BadFuture as the ''cause'' of that future.]]
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'''s infamous [[BadassNormal Yuri]] [[DeadpanSnarker Lowell]] is officially a criminal due to various factors (a lot of which are a product of his [[BornUnlucky bad luck]]). Yuri...doesn't care. He's actually kinda pleased to find himself with wanted posters. His friends aren't so amused, especially when it means they have to flee the inn they are staying at to avoid a confrontation.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfBerseria'' takes this trope and combines it with VillainWithGoodPublicity and InUniverse HistoricalVillainUpgrade. [[AntiHero Velvet Crowe]] will go down in history as the [[TheDreaded Lord of Calamity]] who killed the "heroic" Shepherd and caused devastation to run across her world. She won't ever be remembered as the true hero of the time period [[spoiler: though the Berseria novels suggest that, due to Maotelus telling [[VideoGame/TalesOfZestiria Sorey]] about it, her real story just might get out.]]
* In ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series, Meridia is a [[OurGodsAreDifferent Daedric Prince]] whose sphere is obscured to mortals, but is associated with LifeEnergy, [[LightIsNotgood Light]], and [[ProudBeauty Beauty]]. She, in different ways, manages to be this trope ''and'' a VillainWithGoodPublicity. Most of Tamriel is skeptical, or at least cautious, toward Daedra in general (especially after the [[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion Crisis]] at the end of the 3rd Era). Some groups, such as the [[CreatureHunterOrganization Vigilant of Stendarr]], actively oppose any and all Daedra regardless of intention. Meridia, however, still undertakes actions on behalf of mortals despite this and sometimes has to work through a proxy (like Sees-All-Colors in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsOnline Online]]'') for groups that would never collaborate with her willingly.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* In ''WebAnimation/XRayAndVav'', [[spoiler:the Mad King essentially manipulates the entire city into believing that X-Ray and Vav are nothing but a bunch of SuperZeroes and that Mogar is the hero they really deserve. It doesn't help that he's ''right'' - Vav's a nice guy, but not all right in the head and X-Ray suffers from a crippling case of ItsAllAboutMe and that's not counting the destruction they've caused by their antics]].
* ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}''
** When the city is briefly overrun by a Grimm invasion, Ironwood reports his concerns about Ozpin's apparently laid-back approach to protecting the city to the Vale Council, who enter discussions with the Atlas Council. The two councils agree to strip Ozpin of responsibility for overseeing the security of the Vytal Festival in favour of Ironwood, and the Vale Council makes it clear that Ozpin's job will be discussed once the tournament has ended. During the tournament, Beacon students are framed for vindictive, violent acts on world television, leading to discontent with Ozpin's leadership of Beacon Academy.
** After Yang and Mercury's battle ends, Cinder's machinations ensure the entire world witnesses Yang suddenly shoot Mercury in the leg for no apparent reason. The stadium crowd's reaction is so ugly it causes a spike in Grimm activity, and Yang's apparently vindictive action doesn't just damage her reputation but also Beacon's and Ozpin's, too. Ironwood is therefore forced to disqualify Team RWBY.
** All this comes to a head in "[=PvP=]", where [[spoiler:Penny is dismembered by Pyrrha in the Tournament and her robotic nature is fully revealed]]. Cinder gives a huge public address decrying the kingdoms of Vale and Atlas and asking the public why they should trust academies that create [[SociopathicSoldier psychotic]] ChildSoldiers and RidiculouslyHumanRobots. [[MagnificentBitch It seems to have worked swimmingly]].
* The titular character of ''WebAnimation/NomadOfNowhere'' is just a friendly, [[CuteMute mute]] hermit with magical powers, who [[IJustWantToHaveFriends just wants to have friends]]. But for reasons yet to be elaborated on, though likely connected to the tendency of his good deeds to backfire, he is seen as menace by most of the world and was forced into hiding for ''a hundred years'' to avoid being hounded by bounty hunters. Heck, Skout didn't even recognize him at first mainly because she couldn't reconcile the almost demonic visage on his wanted poster with the actual guy.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The title character of ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'' becomes one in the final arc. The Doctor manages to stop King Radical from sacrificing billions of lives, but thanks to King Radical's almost magical charisma, almost no one is grateful for it. Quite the contrary, the entire world goes out for the Doctor's blood.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Erfworld}}'', Parson is the main protagonist and TheChosenOne, having been chosen by the [[GeniusLoci spirit of the world]] to kill the BigBad. But between his unsettling genius, work for an aggressive faction, and his own [[CombatPragmatist total lack of honor]], just about everyone fears and loathes him.
* In ''Webcomic/GirlGenius''
** The Wulfenbachs suffer a lot from this. OK, they are the despot of Europa and his heir, but Klaus is often accused of being the Other, betraying the Heterodynes, etc. He could probably use a good propaganda service which would only have to use some positive facts. Gil is also accused of having destroyed Dr. Beetle's lab for no reason (well, actually, he just send a bomb back to the thrower, saving not only his life but an innocent assistant as well). [[spoiler:After the Wulfenbachs' fall during the TimeSkip, Europa is in chaos again and quite a few people now think of their rule as a "golden age".]]
** World opinion on Agatha herself is quite polarized. Many people see her as the rightful successor to her father's heroism. But there is also no shortage of people that believe she is every bit the monster her ancestors were, and Klaus tries very hard to kill or contain her due to being one of them.
* ''Webcomic/VampireCheerleaders'': The ''Webcomic/ParanormalMysterySquad'' are a group of cryptid hunters, who strive to protect humanity. But, as far as the general public's concerned, it's the cryptids who need saving ''[[http://www.vampirecheerleaders.net/strips-vc/live_from_las_vegas from them]]'', since they believe the PMS's actions are inhumane. And their image is made worse [[http://www.vampirecheerleaders.net/strips-vc/back_to_you_don by their leader's flippancy]] and flagrant [[http://www.vampirecheerleaders.net/strips-vc/i_am_not_a_waitress disregard for the laws protecting cryptid rights.]] Which puts them at odds with [[AnimalWrongsGroup PETM]][[note]]"'''P'''eople for the '''E'''thical '''T'''reatment of '''M'''onsters"[[/note]], who eventually [[ObstructiveBureaucrat takes legal action against them.]]
* Saitama in ''Webcomic/OnePunchMan'', thanks to the civilians being a bunch of [[UngratefulBastard Ungrateful Bastards]], other Heroes going out of their way to ruin his reputation out of envy, [[ZeroApprovalGambit Saitama himself going out of his way to ruin it to maintain public faith in the other Heroes]], Saitama not really caring about publicity, and Saitama only reporting the bare minimum of his deeds to the Hero Organization to stay registered as a Hero. Despite this, his rank is still slowly rising since enough people witness and report his heroic actions anyway.
* Ballister Blackheart from ''Webcomic/{{Nimona}}'', who's mostly just looked down upon for being cast out of the local special knights' institution, and is trying to reveal their schemes for the better of the kingdom.
* ''Webcomic/SonicTheComicOnline'':
** This trope has become Sonic's downfall - the [[StrawmanNewsMedia Kane Broadcasting Company]] uses their footage to convince the population of Mobius that Sonic is actually a villain who might be ''worse'' than Robotnik, and the worst part of it is, the footage they have to back up their claims, while very one-sided, is still genuine. Sonic's base can spy on every zone in the world, Sonic himself [[JerkSue is a bit of a dick,]] and [[SuperpoweredEvilSide his super form is a monster who's already caused havoc before.]] Not to mention the fact that in essence, ''[[CreateYourOwnVillain he created Robotnik]]''. As it turns out, Grimer, Robotnik's former [[TheDragon Dragon]], not only gave the Kane Broadcasting Company the footage and knowledge they needed, but also built a new VoluntaryShapeshifting model of [[EvilKnockoff Metallix]] to frame Sonic for crimes such as bombing the Green Hill Zone with [[PoisonIsEvil Mega Mack]], turning half of it into an uninhabitable wasteland, to get revenge on Sonic for driving Robotnik insane. The plot has succeeded, with Sonic now a wanted fugitive and terrorist, hated and feared worldwide; even the ''Freedom Fighters'' (sans Tails) no longer trust him.
** In the wake of Sonic's fall from grace, Tails has become the Hero of Mobius in his place. Despite this, he has earned a fair bit of scorn from the public, including the other Freedom Fighters, because even in the wake of the Kane Broadcasting Company's smear campaign, he [[UndyingLoyalty continues to support and defend Sonic]].
* ''Webcomic/{{Metacarpolis}}'': In Emi's flashback, it is revealed that she was a former magical girl who became an idol when her and her group signed up to be stars. However, she finds her career turn sour when she stops a mugger with a gun by... breaking his legs. Let's just say, it goes pretty public.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Nebula}}'', Sun becomes one due to Pluto witnessing what seems like him committing a brutal (as in, [[HalfTheManHeUsedToBe ripping the person in half]]) and unprovoked murder. What Pluto didn't know is that [[spoiler:the person Sun killed was torturing innocent people to death at the time with their supernatural abilities, and Sun only resorted to violence to save them when trying to talk them down peacefully failed]].
* ''Webcomic/MechagicalGirlLisaANT'': Between her alien-ant-robot costume and [[http://ant.comicgenesis.com/d/20050822.html Pink Flash's propaganda]], Lisa's heroic alter ego ANT is perceived as an "alien monster."

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''TabletopGame/NewVindicators'', there are plenty of examples-mostly because all superhumans are pretty much feared and or hated by the public at large, to one extent or another. Magnus Loder (who is a bit of a dick), holds a place on the FBI's most wanted list because he was framed for killing an anti-superhuman Senator who was campaigning for President. Anomaly, for a while, went around killing men who were abusive to their girlfriends, making him a kind of serial killer superhero.
* There are several examples in the Literature/WhateleyUniverse:
** Battery, whose final battle against his arch-enemy destroyed one of the New York City bridges and injured hundreds,
** The Flying Bulldozer, who wasn't smart enough to avoid massive collateral damage when fighting evil: one of his recurring villains, Doctor Debt, figured out how to make millions by surrendering to FB and collecting rewards from insurance companies for preventing the incipient damage
** Tennyo, because she is powerful even by school standards, and (through no fault of her own, other than naivete) is a major trouble magnet.
** The Lamplighter, Boston's Franchise/GreenLantern {{Expy}}, also gets this. He's powerful and certainly a hero in his own mind, but he's also enough of a loose cannon that the city's police department tends to breathe a collective sigh of relief whenever he ''doesn't'' show up while they're trying to deal with a 'situation'.
* [[ComicBook/LessThanThreeComics The <3-Verse]] has the Shadow (no, not ''that'' one), a vigilante, shunned for his violent methods against regular crooks.
* In the ''Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'', the Motor City Marshalls are wanted by the Detroit police for assault, battery, destruction of privacy, reckless endangerment, aggravated assault, and pretty much every other crime that your everyday, standard superheroic activity can be described as under the law if the local District Attorney thought superheroes were a menace to society.
* ''Literature/TheGraystoneSaga'' is the story of Lady Gray, a woman on a religious quest to defeat and capture twelve demons who escaped into the world in order to restore peace and harmony to the five nations. She's easily the most hated and feared person on the planet, although the exact reason why has yet to be revealed.
* In ''Literature/TheSwordOfGood'', it turns out that [[spoiler:the Lord of Dark wants nothing more than to bring the Age of Enlightenment to a world that is quite feudal in both politics and science]]. When the prophesied hero shows up, the real villains go to great lengths to [[spoiler: demonize him, in an attempt to make the hero perpetuate their stagnant, self-serving regime instead]]. It doesn't work.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Believe it or not, Captain America is on the receiving end of this following the fallout of the Skrull storyline in ''WesternAnimation/TheAvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes''. [[spoiler:This thanks to the machinations of the Skrull impersonating Cap, who manipulated the Avengers and told the world to surrender to the Skrull forces.]]
* Some instances of Franchise/{{Batman}}, such as in ''WesternAnimation/TheBatman'' until Gordon becomes the commissioner at the end of the second season.
* Ben in ''WesternAnimation/Ben10UltimateAlien'' has this when his SecretIdentity gets outed. Will Harangue, jerk reporter even breaks out the [[Franchise/SpiderMan "threat or menace"]] false dichotomy. Not to mention the fact that Harangue is going a step above JJ with the hero he smears by actually trying to ''kill'' Ben outright at least once. Though this played with: kids love him, and the government will occasionally collaborate with him. Creator/DwayneMcDuffie actually stated that Harangue is [[HateSink despised by many people for his antagonism towards Ben]], and his attempts to turn everyone against him are always unsuccessful.
-->'''Ben:''' Maybe I can do more good as a public superhero than I did in secret. Sure, most people think I'm a menace now.\\
'''Julie:''' Only 26% of adult viewers think you're a menace.\\
'''Ben:''' See? That's not bad.\\
'''Julie:''' 74% think you're a threat.
* Ziv Zulander from ''WesternAnimation/TheBotsMaster'' has been branded a terrorist by the RM Corp.
* ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' for the majority of Season 1 and the beginnings of Season 2. He gains good publicity eventually. Too much of it actually (''plushies'').
* ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'' parodies this a lot; the titular characters suffers ''a lot'' from bad publicity due to his [[DarkIsNotEvil dark looks and mannerisms]], both from civilians and authorities, to the point when he dies in "[[Recap/DarkwingDuckS1E45DeadDuck Dead Duck]]", he is only granted a cheap burial, and [[PsychoElectro Megavolt]], who is believed to be the murderer, not only gets away with it without going to jail, but even ''becomes famous by writing a book about it''.[[note]]However, this may have been AllJustADream.[[/note]]This reaches such proportions that Darkwing attempts in one episode to give himself a better image so he'll get better publicity, and almost succeeds until his ArchEnemy Negaduck ruins it. Ironically, both the audience and Darkwing ended up grateful to Negaduck, as Darkwing realizes his obsession with good image prevented him from focusing on his cases, and the fans found Darkwing's new look ridiculous.
* A ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales1987'' episode featured a reporter named Lawrence [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Loudmouth]] who started a smear campaign against Scrooge [=McDuck=] and later started to impersonate a new masked hero [[spoiler:(who happens to be Scrooge)]] and then make a smear campaign against the real hero. He was eventually captured and [[spoiler:Scrooge gave up the vigilante career.]]
* [[AdamWesting Catman]] from ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'', and it's mostly, if not completely, justified. He often ends up attacking innocent civilians while letting real criminals like purse-snatchers get away, and constantly causes more trouble than he prevents. In fact, if it weren't for Timmy (and his fairies), he would've ended up in jail a ''loooong'' time ago.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' has... well, the titular gargoyles. Brooklyn even lampshades their "publicity problem" in "Hunter's Moon." [[spoiler: Creator/GregWeisman has alluded to that being only temporary. After saving the city a few times, the Clan becomes a branch of the NYPD and eventually, due to [[HeroicSacrifice Goliath's sacrifice]] sometime in the future, the United Nations declares the Gargoyle Species a protected race, acknowledges its sentience, and creates a Nation for the Gargoyles to found.]]
* Rex in ''WesternAnimation/GeneratorRex'' suffers from this very hard in "The Hunter", where the titular character Hunter Cain turns the general public against him by claiming he is infecting people with his nanites. Of course, Cain is lured into an EngineeredPublicConfession and exposed.
* The focus of ''WesternAnimation/GIJoeRenegades'' which has most of the team being branded as criminals while trying to expose Cobra's operations who, in this incarnation, are [[VillainWithGoodPublicity Villains With Good Publicity]].
* Dib, from ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'', although he receives more contempt than outright hatred.
* ''[[WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague Justice League Unlimited]]'' dealt with this quite a bit. 'Eclipsed' featured a downturn in popularity due to the efforts of a GloryHound TV personality, while a much more drastic one in "Panic in the Sky" led to six of the League's founders turning themselves in to federal custody in order to clear their names.
* The Burners in ''WesternAnimation/{{Motorcity}}'', especially Mike Chilton, the leader. Abraham Kane, the leader of Detroit Deluxe is likewise the VillainWithGoodPublicity.
* Princess Luna of ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''. Her role as [[TheSacredDarkness Princess of the Night]] and her [[PerkyGoth love of creepy]] [[LargeHam public display]] causes most Ponies in her backstory to shun her while loving her sister, which [[GreenEyedMonster results]] in her original FaceHeelTurn. After her banishment, return (after a thousand years), defeat and redemption, many Ponies find it hard to believe in her new HeelFaceTurn. StatusQuoIsGod is [[AvertedTrope averted]]: eventually (though not before some misunderstandings), most ponies come to trust her again.
* Scooby and the gang in ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooMysteryIncorporated'' are mostly reviled by their townspeople. This is because Crystal Cove enjoys having a bunch of {{Scooby Doo Hoax}}es to attract tourists (mostly not caring about how the bad guys are mostly doing this to steal something), and they don't appreciate a bunch of [[YouMeddlingKids meddling kids]] spoiling the extra revenue. [[spoiler:Once the mayor is unmasked as a villain, the town officials become much more accepting of the gang, especially once they manage to catch the truly destructive Cry Baby Clown.]]
* ''Franchise/SpiderMan'':
** Just like in the comics, Spider-Man suffers from this in ''WesternAnimation/TheSpectacularSpiderMan''. Oddly enough, J. Jonah Jameson at first shows some signs that he hates Spidey (although it is shown on the ''Daily Bugle'' newspapers), and simply views him as easy publicity but still tries to discredit him. However, similar to ComicBook/UltimateSpiderMan, a story about Spider-Man in a rival newspaper outsells the Daily Bugle's own story on his son's heroic landing of a space shuttle. As a result, Jameson finally snaps and begins a smear campaign against the web slinger.
** In the earlier series, ''WesternAnimation/SpiderManTheAnimatedSeries'' as part of "The Alien Costume" trilogy, Spider-Man saves John Jameson's life (who mind you, is ''JJJ's son'') after his spacecraft crashlands in George Washington Bridge. Unfortunately, Spidey gets into a tangle with the Rhino while doing so, and the Rhino steals off with a space rock than Spidey didn't even know about. Poor Peter Parker went home thinking that for once Spider-Man will get his due, only to learn that an incensed J. Jonah Jameson went on his own network accusing Spider-Man of stealing the rock, and offering a $1 million bounty on his capture. Parker even considered quitting being Spider-Man for a while, until [[TheSymbiote a mysterious ooze]] bonds with him. This starts a new set of problems when Spider-Man [[SuperpoweredEvilSide acts more aggressively]] during this time, particularly with Jameson.
** This is part of the series premise of ''WesternAnimation/SpiderManUnlimited'', as Spidey is blame for the disappearance of John Jameson by Jonah to the point that his saving a fire fighter from falling debris [[HelpMistakenForAttack was mistaken by the fire fighter to be an attempt to attack him and the debris stopped Spidey.]]
** This exaggerated in ''WesternAnimation/UltimateSpiderMan'', where unlike past series Spidey has pulled pranks on Jameson and is technically a vigilante, here Spidey works for S.H.I.E.L.D. and has never met him. Despite this nothing Spidey or S.H.I.E.L.D. does stops Jameson's smear campaign. As a result until season 3, Spidey is [[NeverAcceptedInHisHometown generally hated]] by the people of the city.
* The ''WesternAnimation/StreetSharks'' get this constantly, to the point in which one of their friends has to point out to the police that if they were really guilty of one of the crimes they're accused of, they'd have to have been in two places at once. The BigBad also gets everyone to blame their dad for creating ''them'', so yeah.
* Superman has become this in the series finale of ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries''. Thankfully, he salvaged his reputation, but the events of the finale became a precursor to the Cadmus Arc in ''[[WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague Justice League Unlimited]]''.
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles1987'': The Turtles themselves get this a lot, courtesy of April's boss Burne Thompson. It gets even worse during the [[RedSkyTakeWarning Red Sky seasons]], where after Shredder blows up the Channel 6 building, Burne, blaming the Turtles for it, goes full J. Jonah Jameson on them and does everything possible to make them look bad, and when Dregg, the BigBad replacing Shredder for the final two seasons, uses propaganda to turn the entire city against them and make himself into a VillainWithGoodPublicity.
* A bit of a problem for the Autobots in season two of ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'', presumably after the property damage of the first season starts sinking in. In the first season, it's mainly just Bulkhead who has a problem with this, as he's [[DoesNotKnowHisOwnStrength a klutz who's strong enough to throw cars]].
** In ''Anime/TransformersSuperGodMasterforce'', Hydra and Buster attack Ginrai in a populated with the intention of causing considerable enough collateral damage to turn public opinion against the Autobots. They actually succeed for a short while.
** The G1 two-part episode "Megatron's Master Plan" was all about this, to the point that the Autobots were exiled from Earth [[spoiler:and their ship's navigation systems tampered with to send them into the sun.]]
** Also, the Stunticons were mistaken for Autobots for the first few weeks of their existence due to conventional wisdom being "cars=Autobots". Oddly, no one ever seemed to think the Aerialbots were Decepticons....
* In ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'', Justice League popularity starts to take a nose-dive in season 2. At first its mostly fueled by political pundits, but then a group of new, popular aliens ([[VillainWithGoodPublicity who are actually preparing to take over]]) manage to make the JL look everything from inept, trigger happy to outright deceitful.