Opinion Myopia

"It turns out personal taste is a matter of taste."

A fan is shocked to find that Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has made so much money! Surely the low Rotten Tomatoes rating should have tipped viewers off. Okay, even if they didn't care about those, surely they would have seen how horrible it was for themselves after the first weekend. What are they? Sheep?

Conversely, how could Serenity not have made loads of money? Okay, many people didn't know about the movie, but surely word of mouth would have carried.

Well, the truth is that some people genuinely like Michael Bay movies such as Transformers, and that works like Firefly just don't appeal to everyone. If the fan can't or won't understand that, then they have Opinion Myopia. To take it further, some people even believe that what you like and dislike determines what kind of person you are.

The formal academic term for this phenomenon is the "false consensus effect", where a person tends to overestimate the extent to which their beliefs or opinions are typical of those of others.

A Super Trope to Fan Hater (hating people directly for positive opinions you don't agree with), Complaining about People Not Liking the Show (getting upset about negative opinions you don't agree with), He Panned It, Now He Sucks (same but with reviews), Fan Myopia (thinking agreement of your opinion must be widespread).

Compare It's Popular, Now It Sucks, Broken Base, Bias Steamroller, Vocal Minority.

See also Small Reference Pools (people stick to referencing certain works simply because those are the only ones they know... or think the audience will know).


Anime and Manga
  • Anime has the same issue as music, with frequent complaints that all recent releases suck and no one has any taste anymore. A popular False Dichotomy essentially claims intelligent fans judge shows based on the depth and complexity of their stories, while mindless idiots watch ones that have characters they like. This line of thinking is generally used to dismiss the idea that any genre other than dark realism or hard sci-fi could possibly be any good. In the other direction, many people can't understand why Japan doesn't make more shows like Cowboy Bebop, ignoring the fact that it wasn't all that popular in its home country.
  • Haters of the Pokémon anime often seem unable to comprehend how the show can still make so much money, garner such high ratings, and continue to air with new episodes and movies. This type of reaction often ignores that the show is for young children,note  who are largely responsible for its success, and that most of the show's hatedom is outside of Japan.
  • Lurks in the depths of the perpetual Subbing versus Dubbing debate, where personal preference often boils down to whether one is watching primarily for the story or for the art. The Sub side points to things like Cultural Translation, Bowdlerisation, and Lull Destruction while the dub side mutters about weaboos insisting on visual distractions just to put a pretentious gloss on what is essentially a pop culture art form. This was much more prevalent back in the VHS days, when sub vs. dub decisions had to be made in the store.

Comic Books
  • If your only exposure to the various books in the X-Men line is the Uncanny X-Cast podcast, you'd get the impression that it's just accepted that X-Force (vol. 3) was the only consistently good book in the line, X-Factor is entirely useless, and Greg Land is a wonderful artist. Start with certain other online reviewers and you'll come away with the impression that it's a universally accepted, scientifically proven fact that X-Force (vol. 3) was rubbish and X-Factor is the only Xbook worth reading, and that it's literally impossible NOT to believe that blindness would be preferable to having to look at Greg Land's art. It's not that both sides disagree, it's that they seem completely unaware that anyone in the world holds the other opinion.
  • Reactions of older readers for DC Comics' New 52 relaunch are getting this as well; many are still in shock that people are enjoying anything coming out of it.

  • A lot of famous movies hailed as classics, such as Jurassic Park and Forrest Gump did more poorly with critics than one would expect. They still did well, but it wasn't all acclaim. As an example, Forrest Gump's Tomatometer score is only 71%, and both it and Jurassic Park only have an average rating of 7 out of 10.(However, the first Jurassic Park has a Tomatometer rating of 93% at the moment, so it is currently exempt from this.)
  • The film critic community as a whole has many people who fit this type. The basic logic principle that you can only 'accept' or 'reject' an opinion naturally does not sit well with the people whose self-described job description is that you speak your opinion and people on purpose want to listen to you. This will often lead to name-calling or blaming systems that have been in place long before they were born as 'problems'.
  • With movies that have multiple cuts and director's cuts, many fans automatically prefer the director's cut simply because it's marketed as the 'film presented in the way the director intended'. They will often regard the original release as inferior even if it's the release that they originally loved for decades, ignorant of the existence of a director's cut. Such fans will often dismiss those who stick to the cut that they 'loved growing up', regarding them as improperly viewing the movie through a Nostalgia Filter.
    • Conversely with the Star Wars movies; George Lucas's various re-edits and remastered editions are frequently and bitterly denounced by many fans, in many cases precisely because they over-ride the versions that the fans grew up loving. See, for example, the controversy over whether Han Shot First.
  • Many either think the Beautiful Creatures, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and Vampire Academy films failed because they were a half-assed Twilight ripoffs or think they failed because Twilight was so bad that it poisoned the well for other, better supernatural young-adult novels being adapted to film.

  • Harry Potter: Potterheads, if you're going to study English in college, be prepared — they disparage Rowling all the time there. Some creative writing classes devote entire lessons to teaching pupils not to put the books on a pedestal. Same goes for other popular and well-loved books.
  • The Da Vinci Code: Two sides. One: 'Holy crap, how do people actually like this trash?!' Two: 'Wait a minute, I thought it was a good book!'
  • People who loved Fifty Shades of Grey don't seem to be aware that anyone hates it. Those who hate it cannot believe that anyone aside from lonely single mothers in need of a good lay could possibly like it.
  • You either think Twilight ruined literary vampires, or vampires in general, or literature in general, and that Stephenie Meyer can't write worth a hill of beans, or you think that it's the only real vampire novel out there and that all others are just cheap imitations written by jealous hacks who only wish they could write like Meyer.

Live-Action Television
  • Doctor Who has the eternal war between the Classic Series fans who can't believe that anyone could possibly enjoy the flashy, superficial soap opera that is the New Series over the complex, deep masterpiece that is the Classic Series, and the New Series fans who can't believe that anyone could possibly enjoy the cheap, tacky snooze-fest that is the Classic Series over the complex, deep masterpiece that is the New Series. And, of course, both sets of fans find it hard to believe that there's anyone out there who might like both, and they find it impossible to believe that anyone might not like either.

  • People who talk about what is and what isn't 'real music' or how 'there isn't any good music anymore'. If someone has heard examples of a genre that they dislike they will automatically write off the whole genre as bad and 'how can anybody listen to it?'
  • In a similar manner, don't tell certain vinyl collectors (the kind who collect old, rare records merely to put on display) about how you listen to your records. Expect a massive diatribe if you casually mention you opened a sealed record.
  • People who refuse to share rare music on the grounds that they have something hardly anyone has are like this. Especially when someone else shares their copy of the same material and says they're doing it because they want to make people happy.
  • The director's cut example mentioned for films also applied when the British versions of the early Beatles albums were released on CD in the U.S. in The Eighties. Most fans embraced them and they gained retroactive status as the official Beatles discography. But there was enough nostalgia for the original U.S. Capitol Records releases that the LPs and cassettes circulated widely among collectors. Consequently, Capitol released two deluxe CD box sets of the U.S. albums, only to get bashed by purists accusing them of greed and peddling inferior mixes of the music.

New Media
  • Any Message Board that is enforcing conformity in opinions will likely have this. Any Message Board aimed at a particular group or interest will have the majority of posters holding the opinion and any poster who doesn't will tend to be the type to post on message boards they specifically disagree with. Sometimes the moderators of the message board will kick off those who do not toe the party line.
  • Any Message Board/blog with a sufficiently strict moderation/comment policy will be accused of this. How dare the owner of the blog decide that some opinions are not worth hosting and some people not worth arguing with. Let's leave it at that.
  • Reviewers, especially vitriolic ones, who point out Unfortunate Implications present in works get this a lot.
  • This is one of the main reasons that the Television Without Pity forums maintained strict 'no talking about the boards on the board' and 'talk about the posts, not the other posters' policies. Posts like 'I don't get why everybody wants her to win' or 'what's wrong with all these people who don't like him?' would net at least a warning and possibly a ban.
  • This overlaps often with Critical Dissonance. Many reviewers, especially Video Game reviewers, seem to think that because their tastes are limited, that means that any game they review should be strictly along those.
    • A very notable example are the reviews of Grand Theft Auto IV, which gushed about recreating a living, breathing world, while minimizing the gameplay and technical issues, which were noted strongly in user reviews.
    • A common form is if they think the content of a game is 'kiddie', they will put that well above if the gameplay is any good, how the game performs, replay value, and other factors that would appeal to many gamers more than whether a game is kiddie or not. Because they don't like kiddie games, it's clear no one else will.
    • Players also respond to video game reviews (seemingly more so than other forms of reviews) especially strongly in this way. Expect any review of a video game that disagrees with someone's opinions to be met with numerous comments about how the person/the site is biased and that reviews should be objective, even though an objective review is impossible; any criteria or theory you choose to follow in a review is in and of itself a form of bias. This is what an objective and unbiased review looks like.
      • Reviews for re-released "classic games", especially, tend to get hit with this pretty hard. If a re-released classic game gets a relatively poor or even average score from a reviewer, you can expect accusations of the reviewer being "biased towards modern games" or (in a subtle invoking of Moff’s Law) "unfairly holding the game to modern standards."
  • One game reviewer talked about this, stating more or less, what while most reviewers talk about what the game is, what you do, and why they thought it was fun, a truly good reviewer also talks about why you the reader might like it.
  • Parodied in the Onion article "Man Who Enjoys Thing Informed He Is Wrong".
  • Browse Facebook fan pages. While you'll find a lot of posts about how good a work is or gushing about certain characters, you'll invariably get haters of the work liking the page simply to say, 'How can you people like this crap?' or 'You people are stupid, [Work] is obviously bad!' Some more extreme haters will demand the page get deleted because it dares to like something they don't. Similarly, browse pages devoted to hating certain works and you'll find the same thing in reverse: fans posting on the page saying, 'You people are stupid!', 'You obviously don't realise how superior [Work] is!', or 'You just haven't read/watched it!', and some demanding that the page get taken down because it dares to not like something they do.
  • IMDb forums are similar — people often seem unable to comprehend another opinion. Many users assume those who dislike films they themselves like are automatically trolls, and those who like films they themselves dislike are automatically involved with the movie. These people will very often seem incapable of talking about the movie without stating their dislike. Occasionally, you'll come across someone who disagrees with the majority, but actually asks why [movie] is loved/hated.

  • Shipping wars. So many vicious, seething, blood-boiling wars have been launched because so many fans could not comprehend how anyone could not support their One True Pairing. Not even fans who don't ship them with anyone or have no interest in shipping will be spared, because shippers believe that their OTP champions true everlasting love and if you don't agree with them, then you must not believe in love.
  • The comparisons of earlier works to newer, updated, or reimagined versions. Those who stick by the earlier works and admit they were enjoyable are often accused of wearing a Nostalgia Filter. At the same time, those who prefer the newer versions are accused of not understanding what made the original compelling in the first place or only capable of liking newer productions simply because they are more recent and made on better budgets with newer technology (especially CGI effects).
  • In general niche fandoms can have this sort of reaction when more mainstream attention starts rolling in. The newer fans are only exposed to more contemporary works while older fans scratch their heads at some of the best works of the medium/genre being ignored. Some examples include young fans calling Naruto the best anime ever while older fans tend to disagree or the hardcore versus casual gamers.

Professional Wrestling
  • The Internet Wrestling Community, or the IWC. As a whole, they tend to favor wrestlers with a higher "workrate." At times, this tends to conflict with who's actually over and receiving a push in various promotions.

Web Original

Web Comics
  • Cinema Snob Reviews Frozen (a fan comic where The Cinema Snob reviews Frozen) spoofs this (as the source Snob videos do as well), such as Snob claiming that his need not to have certain films made matters more than if other people like those films.

Video Games
  • The JRPG/WRPG debate tends to veer towards this, especially when the "freedom vs. story" conflict is mentioned.

Western Animation
  • The general feedback loop of 'Oh my God, grown men like My Little Pony now?!'/'Yeah, we like My Little Pony now, what are you gonna do about it?' has led many bronies to forget that the show has just as many fans in its target demographic (that is, small children, especially of the female variety) as it does grown men and women, which occasionally causes friction when people who haven't forgotten this ask them to try and make their... not quite work safe material a little less accessible for the young'uns. Which has apparently led to the newly-penned "Brony Pledge", which is less a "pledge" and more of a "stern reminder from one of us to the rest of you". Which, admittedly, is in and of itself rather more decorum than one usually sees from fandoms that have an excess of Rule 34.
  • Animation vet Bruce Timm has said that he rarely lets internet criticism get to him for precisely this reason. He reasoned that statistically speaking, the people who post on message boards are a very small fraction of the actual fandom and audience, so just because some people are screaming Ruined Forever, that doesn't make it representative of the general opinion of his work.
  • Anyone who spends five minutes on a comic-book message board would think Ultimate Spider-Man is the most hated cartoon of all time, when in reality, it does quite well among its target demographic of young children. Brian Bendis pointed out that even though 'It's for kids!' is a common admission of a lack of quality, the network and advertisers don't actually care what the small Periphery Demographic of grown men think. In the United States at least, kids are still the primary consumers of superhero animation and the tie-in toys, so anyone is else pretty much irrelevant as far as the execs are concerned.
  • Older fans of Nickelodeon will tell you that the channel has gone to crap, ratings are going down, and how the Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, and even The Hub are beating it. When in reality, Nickelodeon easily defeats the latter two, with a small head up on the Disney Channel. Besides, the new shows seem to be doing well with their target demographic, and Nickelodeon, being a channel that focuses on kids, couldn't care less about the adults.