"I love this book so much I nearly read it!"The Inverse of Complaining About Shows You Don't Watch, in which these people somehow know exactly how good something is, without having ever actually seen it. Maybe they saw so much praise they feel like they can account for having actually watched it for themselves, or maybe they're just carbon-copying someone's opinions to fit into the group. Or they have seen a fragment of the work, liked it, and assumed the rest is equally good. Or perhaps they've seen the Audience Coloring Adaptations and decided they really liked those, which means the original must be just as awesome or even better. Who knows? Similar to somehow knowing a show is utter crap without having seen an episode, it's one of the greatest mysteries of human culture, and has only been exacerbated by the Age of the Internet. Praising Shows You Don't Watch is often a major contributor to Mainstream Obscurity. When it becomes really commonplace, Popcultural Osmosis Failure is not far behind. Compare Popcultural Osmosis. Often prone to happening with Sacred Cow works.
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- In the 1990s, the success of the movies of AKIRA and Ghost in the Shell meant that many in the West professed to be 'into manga', in many cases without ever seeing any more examples of the form than those two films. Or appreciating the difference between manga and anime. Or that there's a lot of different genres within the anime/manga world, besides dystopian sci-fi. This has created a weird situation where many fans of old-school anime want the industry to go back to "the way it used to be," i.e. focused on dystopian sci-fi; but it never actually was focused on that genre. For some reason, the other types of shows didn't start getting imported until years later.
- The Metroid manga suddenly became widely encouraged reading material on related forums and other discussion areas after the backlash against then new title Metroid: Other M. To the ten people who actually read the manga though, the common arguments used to defend Other M made little sense, as the game's plot directly contradicted it in several instances; mainly in regards to Samus's post-traumatic stress disorder and general characterization.
- The standard technique for averting this problem with new anime tends to end up causing it, in a roundabout way. Many fans will start watching every show each seasonnote , but quickly "drop" ones they don't like or don't have time for after one to three episodes. They usually believe, by the end, that they have a clear opinion of exactly how good every show was, despite having watched less than one-fourth of most of them. ANN took this phenomenon even further with the "preview guide," in which the review team ranks and analyzes every new show based on the first episode. The disclaimer says that these are not meant to judge a series as a whole (which no one, other than the production team, has seen yet) but readers treat them that way regardless, and will argue about what the best shows are after watching between zero and one episodes.
- Anime adapted from another work may be subject to this, where the show is praised for scenes and events that would only happen later in its source material rather than what is shown in the episodes themselves. This phenomenon tends to crop up especially for adaptations of books or light novels, since fewer people outside Japan may even come in contact with the material until after the show gets popular in their region. Until that point, the fanbase may have to go with word-of-mouth from the few who did read it.
- Miracleman: The relative rarity of the comics and the talent involved (it was originally written by Alan Moore with the artist roster containing many future big names such as Alan Davis and Rick Veitch) makes anyone who didn't read it assume it was an instant classic; but they might be disappointed in the actual product if they read it. The main problems come from the fact that Alan Moore wrote it very early in his career (around the same time he was writing Captain Britain) and as such the early issues are just... bad. The book is also saddled with a horrendous Idiot Plot for the heroes' origins, which allowed all of the silver age stories to still be canon. Even the Olympus story arc, the best regarded by far, is mired with the mistakes Moore made in the first two books. Practically everything Alan Moore has done in the intervening years has been far superior, which has led to disappointment among new readers. Alan Moore himself noted that Marvel was scraping the bottom of the barrel by chasing after the rights.
- Although many people involved with comic books and superheroes praise Jack Kirby's New Gods, one gets the distinct impression they haven't read the original comic books. Several post-Kirby New Gods comics show signs that the creators weren't familiar with the original work. When the New Gods comics were collected in hardcover Grant Morrison wrote an intro where he basically admitted he hadn't read it until now.
- This happens a lot with movies — movies known for being good, but unseen by many of the people who praise them. Many of these nevertheless become used as benchmarks, which terrible movies will often (according to many a review and rant) be described as "making merely mediocre movies look like...".
- Citizen Kane
- Lawrence of Arabia
- The Universal Horror Classics — Dracula (1931), The Wolf Man (1941), The Mummy (1932), Frankenstein (1931), Creature from the Black Lagoon, etc.
- A lot of German Expressionism — The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Metropolis, Nosferatu, etc.
- A lot of the classic non-American film directors — Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, Akira Kurosawa, Franšois Truffaut, Michelangelo Antonioni, Werner Herzog, Vittorio De Sica, Jean-Luc Godard, Jean Renoir, Jacques Tati, Andrei Tarkovsky, Bernardo Bertolucci, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Luis Bu˝uel, Yasujiro Ozu, etc.
- Plenty of Stanley Kubrick films, especially Doctor Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, and The Shining.
- Annie Hall, and Woody Allen in general
- Several iconic films of Martin Scorsese, e.g. Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and Goodfellas
- Gone with the Wind, Ben-Hur, The Ten Commandments- anything long enough to have an intermission built in.
- In general, the only truly "classic" non-Disney movies you can count on everyone having seen are Star Warsnote , The Wizard of Oz and (maybe) The Sound of Music.
- The Wizard of Oz downplays this. Almost everyone has seen it, but most people only watch it when they're kids or when they're with kids, and so can go many years without being exposed to it. It's common to watch it again after a long absence and being surprised by a sight gag, quip, or sequence that one had totally forgotten about. Or to suddenly get a joke that went over your head years ago. This is true of a lot of the earlier Walt Disney animated films as well, such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, and (especially) Fantasia. However this trope is more or less played straight with a lot of the live action films that he did, like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Swiss Family Robinson, and Old Yeller.
- This was a trend with the DC Extended Universe, with fans being dismayed at these films receiving more lukewarm critical reaction than the more widely-praised Marvel Cinematic Universe. For example, after Suicide Squad received mostly negative reviews, a petition was creating asking Rotten Tomatoesnote to be shut down. Note that over 18,000 people signed it before the movie was actually released, meaning that thousands of people assumed the criticism was unfair, without actually watching the movie.
- The Bible. Some people who espouse it as the direct word of God haven't read more than a few verses of it (as opposed to Biblical scholars, who tend to analyze and discuss it academically, regardless of their faith or lack thereof). On the flip side, some people who hate it haven't read much of it either. Some traditions do cover a large portion of the text over the course of a few years, though.
- In Islam, it is very important to learn about the Koran. It's not limited to just reading it either. Memorization of Al-Fatiha is important, as it is needed for prayer. Indeed, there are many people all around the world who have memorized the Koran by heart. However, like with the Bible, there are many who praise the Koran yet rarely ever read it.
- William Shirer characterized Mein Kampf as the bestselling book in Germany between 1934-1944 that was never read by most Germans who bought it. This may or may not have been a facesaving lie on the part of many Germans after the war, as there is actually a lot of stuff in the book that foreshadows what Hitler did when he had the means to do so.
- Any famous Doorstopper is in default danger of this trope or its inverse, especially the "modern" stuff like Pynchon or Joyce. Perhaps the most famous example, though, is War and Peace. Said to be one of the great Russian classics, but people tend to shy away from it due to it being 1200-1500 pages long in most editions.
- Pride and Prejudice is Jane Austen's most famous and highly-regarded book, and frequently assigned in English literature courses in secondary school... and seldom read for any other reason.
- Moby-Dick. People know the first line, and about Ahab and the white whale, but probably haven't read the chapters about the minutiae of whaling or sailing or any of the many other topics Melville wrote about in the book.
- Gulliver's Travels. Everybody "knows" it... the shorthand, children's version, that is. The voyage to Lilliput is just the first of four voyages Gulliver makes; Brobdingnag is occasionally shown in adaptations, while the last two (a floating island of highly-intelligent humans and a land of intelligent horses) remain in obscurity, rarely included in adaptations.
- Lord of the Rings gets this, too. Mostly for people who haven't exactly read it, but praise it more for what they accomplished. This one is perhaps a very sad example, as most people who claim to love it might never have cracked it open, but have seen the movies, and therefore think they know the story. The movies were great, but missing Tolkien's classic writing style and a number of the important themes of the work were either truncated or left out. Not to mention the sheer number of non-Tolkien ideas that were added to the script.
- Nineteen Eighty-Four. Many phrases from the book, like "Big Brother", "thoughtcrime", "doublethink", and "Room 101", have entered pop culture, so quoting these phrases and being aware of the general theme of "totalitarianism and censorship are bad" is probably enough to convince someone else who hasn't read it that you have. Ironically, his essay Politics in the English Language specifically advises people from using "dying" metaphors that one is used to seeing in print, and parroting them off without taking the time to fully understand what they mean in an effort to look smart. Now 1984 is one of the biggest sources of that.
- Orwell's work in general falls into this a lot, particularly from people who have either never read any of his writings other than 1984. Anyone describing Orwell as a conservative or a "fanatical anti-Communist" is talking out of their proverbial arses.
Why I Write: Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic Socialism, as I understand it.
- Brazil was inspired by Nineteen Eighty-Four, despite director Terry Gilliam having never read the book until after the film's production.
- According to a recent survey in Britain, two-thirds of people deliberately lie about having read a book to impress others. 1984 topped the list, with 42% of those surveyed admitting to lying about reading it. As a point of comparison, only half that number admitted to lying about reading The Bible.
- Orwell's work in general falls into this a lot, particularly from people who have either never read any of his writings other than 1984. Anyone describing Orwell as a conservative or a "fanatical anti-Communist" is talking out of their proverbial arses.
- Mark Twain would be displeased to learn that The Adventures of Tom Sawyer now meets his definition of "classic." When most people discuss the book, they refer to one scene — Tom tricking his friends into whitewashing a fence for him. This occurs in Chapter 2. Either that is an incredibly awesome scene, or it's got 'most quoted' status in school textbooks, or most people stop reading around page twenty. You can tell that someone has actually read the whole thing when they refer to other noteworthy moments, like getting lost in the caves, and Tom and Huck attending their own funeral.
- Much like the Tom Sawyer example above, you can tell whether or not anyone has actually read Don Quixote by whether they tell you anything about it other than the windmill scene.
- Umberto Eco would be another author for the pseudointellectual poseur. Most people likely never manage to get past the first 50 pages of The Name of the Rose and probably never start Foucault's Pendulum.
- Richard Feynman mentioned in his autobiography a case when one publisher sent a schoolbook to the California State Curriculum Commission, but it wasn't ready for print, so it had empty pages. Six out of the ten members of the commission still rated the book favorably — literally judging it by the cover! Ironically, it was one of the highest rated books, and according to Feynman's autobiographical account, none of the other members understood why he hadn't rated the textbook.
- Many works of mythology, such as The Epic of Gilgamesh and various other texts of Classical Mythology and other myths. Although many are well-respected as inspirations for modern fantasy and great storylines by themselves, few people have probably actually read them.
- Part of the Framing Device for why The Princess Bride (the book, not the movie) is an 'abridged version' is because the author (who is, in the Framing Device, claiming to merely be an editor) recommended this book highly to his son, despite the fact he'd never read it, having only heard the (much shorter) version his father read to him as a child. (In his defense, he didn't initially realize his father had only read him a shorter version and legitimately believed he was plugging the book for what it is.)
- While Twilight did have some... questionable... aspects of vampires, amongst the cries of how they ruined vampires like Dracula in Twilight is allegedly that they are moving during the day - which pretty much shows how familiar people actually are with Dracula.
- A Brief History of Time and G÷del, Escher, Bach are both well-known for this, the former having been described as "the most unread book ever written". These tend to be the sort of books that people leave on their bookshelves or coffee tables to look sophisticated, but because the books are quite challenging to read, only a handful of people who own them have ever finished them.
- Many people who praise the works of H.P. Lovecraft can't name a Lovecraft monster other than Cthulhu, who isn't a major character in his pantheon to begin with.
- Many a Dynasty Warriors fan may profess themselves to be a fan of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms story... but considering its unabridged version is well over 2,000 pages long, it's no small wonder many of said fans of the video games haven't actually read the epic. Same goes for fans of any other work inspired by the story.
- Justified due to it being one of the Chinese classics.note While translations of them into English do exist in the public domain, due to elements that look like Big Lipped Alligator Moments if you don't know the conventions of Chinese literature, it's quite common for even 'unabridged' translations to actually have experienced some abridgment themselves in order to handle such moments. It may be easier to just learn how to read Chinese than obtain a truly unabridged translation, and it might even make more sense if the translation lacks footnotes.
- Quite a few shows on HBO or Showtime have this problem, probably because those are higher tier networks so a lot of people can't see them (legally, anyway) until they come out on DVD, but everybody wants to seem "cultured".
- There are very few people who have seen acclaimed shows like The Wire in full, yet because it is the general opinion of critics, they immediately proclaim them "the greatest TV show ever made" after watching the first few episodes. Which is silly, given that it's a very slow-burning show which takes several episodes to get going.
- There's an extra on an The L Word DVD that shows a work-around: They re-enact the episodes using an AfterEllen.com recap. It makes for some...odd viewing. Presumably, they get the DVDs once they become available.
- Though AMC is not on the same tier of network as HBO or Showtime, a lot of shows on it, especially Mad Men and Breaking Bad, are in the same situation as described above. Both shows get raves from seemingly everyone, with some even putting them on the same level as The Wire and The Sopranos, despite only getting ratings in the low millions. This did change in the final eight episodes of Breaking Bad, where it broke its viewing record 4-5 times and pulled in over 10 million viewers for its finale.
- Doctor Who:
- The fandom is prone to praising episodes it can't watch, leading to the sardonic observation by some fans that when a "classic" Missing Episode is discovered, those who described it as a classic often go very quiet... The classic example here is "Tomb of the Cybermen", which was considered the high point of the show as horror before its shock rediscovery in the 90s. After which it was seen as hokey, nonsensical racist garbage afterwards. Some people comment that this may have a lot to do with the high reputation of Season 5, which at the time was so Strictly Formula that it bored Patrick Troughton into quitting the role, but ended up mostly missing with plenty of time for the Nostalgia Goggles to kick in.
- It's also been inverted, with some stories that were remembered in conventional opinion as very poor getting suddenly lauded when they got released on VHS, or rediscovered after some time on the "missing" list - the classic examples here are "Enemy of the World" and "The Underwater Menace" for opinion improving once more episodes got found, and "The Gunfighters" and "The Sunmakers" for re-evaluated video releases.
- In-Universe - the character Whizzkid in "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy" is an unsubtle and pleasantly sadistic parody of obnoxious 1980s Who Fan Dumb who insist everything is Ruined Forever but are too young to remember whatever period they held as the show's glory days. He's obsessed with a circus, but due to his young age never actually saw much of it. Note that he has to base his opinions on the show by pointless bits of ephemera like 'poster design', a direct parallel to fans having to guess the quality of Missing Episodes from Radio Times listings and set photographs. Although the story shows very clearly that Whizzkid is right about the Psychic Circus, just as the fans he is supposed to mock would argue that VHS releases subsequently proved them right about their favourite era.
"Even though I wasn't there in the early days, I know it's not as good as it used to be!"
- Happens with a lot of very successful and famous rock groups. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and many other older rock groups, in spite of having legit and quite large fanbases, are popular among this group of people, particularly in the case of music debates where one will list these bands and others to prove their musical taste is "superior" to the other person's. An exception to this is when someone uses a Progressive Rock group like Yes. They will often be seen as a music snob by others.
- Parodied by this Funny Or Die vid: "Take Off Your T-Shirt If You Can't Name A Song By The Band That's On It".
- The Ramones are another example. The shirts are more popular than the band ever was, and most probably don't know that the whole band is dead as of July 2014.
- Happens in the classical music world as well; everyone's heard of Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Johannes Brahms, and so forth (Ludwig van Beethoven gets a pass for the "Ode to Joy", "Für Elise", and the opening of the Fifth Symphony) but few can name a piece of theirs or identify it on hearing (to Jeremy Paxman's eternal frustration on University Challenge). Made more confusing by the fact that their best-known hits are sometimes not at all similar to the rest of their oeuvre - Brahms' Wiegenleid ("Lullaby"), for example, which is almost entirely unlike everything else he ever wrote.
- Take a trip to teenage "alternative" tumblr blogs, you'll find many teens wearing shirts of Nirvana, The Misfits or Black Flag, yet they post nothing about their music and don't know who Kurt Cobain or Glenn Danzig are.
- Michael Jackson gets a lot of accolades, especially since his death, proclaiming that he's "the greatest entertainer of all time!" Like William Shakespeare (see below), however, he did a lot more stuff than just Off the Wall, Thriller, and Bad, and it's telling that of those only a few Jackson 5 singles and Dangerous tracks continue to get exposure. As for his videos, beyond the three he did for Thriller, the bulk of the others are either forgotten — or Snark Bait. When the Cirque du Soleil show Michael Jackson The IMMORTAL World Tour exposed both professional critics and casual showgoers to a lot of lesser-known Jackson numbers (both solo and with groups), they didn't like what they heard. And the "greatest entertainer" accolade bespeaks an unawareness or willful ignorance of the fact that after 1989, most of his live performances (on tour, at award shows, the Super Bowl, etc.) were lip-synched, which gives him more in common with studio-assisted, prefab starlets like Britney Spears than Sammy Davis Jr., Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, James Brown, The Beatles, and other performers Jackson is held up as an equal or superior to.
- Due to the negative feedback about the fourth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, many gamers have an utterly unhealthy love of Pathfinder as it's an outgrowth of the game's third edition (which, ironically, also had a loudly negative reception and people rushing back to second edition). This coupled up with fourth edition being marketed aggressively towards new players (to the point of actively insulting the previous editions and those that enjoyed them), with Wizards of the Coast supporting game shops to run "Encounter" events to show off 4E, to result in a lot of new gamers praising Pathfinder to death in order to agree with older gamers rather than trying it and seeing if they liked it first.
- William Shakespeare is so well known for being "the greatest author in the English language, and possibly any language," that many people will not hesitate to dump heaps of praise over his entire body of work and over all aspects of his writing. While some of his best-known plays are required reading in most high schools, Shakespeare wrote quite a few plays, and not all of them were works of staggering genius. Some plays are preserved only out of a Gotta Catch 'Em All sense of duty to study Shakespeare's entire body of work, rather than for their individual quality. Also, many people don't know that most of Shakespeare's plays were adaptations/rip-offs of previous works. Shakespeare punched up the plot and wrote the dialogue (the latter of which someone would argue is the point of reading Shakespeare), but did not himself invent the stories.
- There's a joke about this in The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), where they ask if you've read a Shakespeare play...then go on to ask if you've read King John.
- Another thing about Shakespeare is that his works are difficult to read for the average Joe, as in they are written in what can seem like a different language. How many high-school students would pass a test on Shakespeare without an explanation on the words used? This makes anyone who proclaims that Shakespeare is a master of language, but when pressed doesn't even know what half of the dialogue means, particularly amusing. Especially if it's one of the many, many examples of Get Thee to a Nunnery and really just a string of dirty jokes.
- The works of Menander received loads of acclaim throughout history... despite all of his works existing solely as fragments from the eleventh century to the end of the nineteenth. Since then, a few of his works were recovered (Dyskolos, or The Grouch, has been found in its entirety, and now about three-quarters of The Samian Woman are now known), leading to an inevitable Hype Backlash.
- Stephen Sondheim has a reputation as the greatest of songwriters in late 20th century musical theatre (if not musical theatre as a whole), but of his solo works — as opposed to often-produced shows like West Side Story that he only contributed lyrics to early in his career — few are produced on any regular basis beyond theatre hotbeds such as New York and London, and they usually don't run for long, owing to his tendency for Audience Alienating Premises. Many of those shows, such as Pacific Overtures, Merrily We Roll Along, Assassins, and Passion, were flops in their original productions and still haven't caught on with the general public in restagings. (The key exceptions to this rule are Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Into the Woods.)
- Hamilton is this by the sheer virtue that it A) for some time had only been staged in New York and B) is damn near impossible to get tickets to, with what tickets that are available at a pseudo-affordable cost being several months in the future, without most of the original cast. The show has some diehard fans who literally have never experienced any part of it outside of the cast soundtrack and certain promotional materials released online or on television. This is now somewhat averted, as it has expanded to other cities and has a national tour (although those tickets often sell out months in advance as well). There is also some talk of possibly having a video release or, in the more distant future, an outright adaptation on television or the movies.
- Silent Hill 2 — particularly after it was continually heaped with praise by Zero Punctuation.
- The UK PC Gamer magazine's review of Far Cry 2 was more like a review of the press pack circa six months earlier; features were mentioned that didn't exist, the main factions were repeatedly called by the wrong names, and much was made over the ability to pick factions and missions, something you can't do unless you really hate advancing the plot.
- Compare the number of people who have praised Psychonauts or Beyond Good & Evil to the actual sales figures of those games. You'll almost certainly find the former number far exceeds the latter. Regular Steam and GoG sales, plus the curiosity caused by the games' Cult Classic status may have diminished this slightly in the several years following their release. But only slightly.
- Mysteriously, more people knew of and began to praise System Shock 2 after a certain someone reviewed a spiritual successor.
- Radiant Silvergun is praised outside of Japan for various reasons related to gameplay and story, but the fact it was never released internationally and that it costs a small fortune makes it skeptical that many of them have ever seen anything more than a few videos of it. Thankfully it's much more widely (and cheaply) available today due to an international X Box Live Arcade release.
- The Virtua Fighter series a whole. Often praised as the deepest fighting game ever created... by most that never played it.
- The entire trope of 8.8 is based around this, with Internet Backdraft occurring when a pre-release review scores a game negatively compared to other publications. Despite none of these defenders having not even played the game yet.
- The hype for No Man's Sky was so high that when Kotaku's Jason Schreier reported on sources saying that the game was delayed for two months, he was sent endless hate mail and death threats for even suggesting the game was delayed, until Sony confirmed the news. In case it needs to be said, this was in May 2016, a month before the game was originally planned to come out so they could play it..
- ICO is widely praised as being a simple yet artistic, touching game. Finding people who actually played it, though, is not quite easy.
- Portal has become insanely popular, but it is hard to tell whether people actually like the game itself or just listen to the memes the game created without even knowing a thing about the Companion Cube or how The Cake Is a Lie (and, to top it off, it isn't, as the ending shows).
- Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels is sometimes praised because people who found out that it was the "real" sequel to Super Mario Bros. instead of the Dolled-Up Installment released as Super Mario Bros. 2 in North America. Actually playing - and surviving - probably silences the praise.
- Terraria had a community like this pre-release, with many people praising the game well before it came out and claiming it to be nothing like Minecraft, despite only a limited number of them having played it at that point.
- A good number of Touhou fans have not played the games proper, and are only familiar with the games through fanart, doujins, remixes and other fan material. Most fans who have seen what the games look like praise them for having beautiful bullet patterns, but won't play them. Then there are Touhou Project fans that are only familiar with the games through canon and semi-canon gaiden works by the games' creator (from fantasy-land travelogues up to and including a book-length short story series), and praise the project as a whole because there's no single phrase referring to these works alone. This is perhaps part of why a lot of Touhou fans who are into the lore and fan works don't play other shoot-em-up series and why the general shoot-em-up fanbase is baffled by the Touhou fanbase.
- A good portion of the Dangan Ronpa fandom has not played the games. Since it didn't have a release outside of Japan at the time, it was pretty unknown until a Let's Play made it popular. Despite a fan-translated English patch, the animation of the game was as far as many fans went. It finally got an official English export, but it's only on the PlayStation Vita (which has its own problems).
- Now that DR 1 and 2 have both been officially released in the West through Steam, this has been mostly remedied.
- There are certain fangirls who claim to love games like Kingdom Hearts and will tell you all about their ships, but have never actually played the games.
- Even before the MOTHER series earned its status as Sacred Cow, there were many people repeatedly praising EarthBound and talking about how awesome it is. Now look at its sales figures, and ask yourself how many of those people actually played it when you could actually obtain a cartridge for a reasonable price.
- Final Fantasy VI can reach this depending on the person. In some cases, you'll find that they like it just because it's not Final Fantasy VII. In other corners of the fandom Final Fantasy VII itself can get this effect by people who only like the game for one or more of its characters but only have knowledge of the game through YouTube videos.
- Harvest Moon fans are quick to call Harvest Moon 64 the best in the franchise despite the fact few have played it. A good majority of the fanbase got into the games through (More) Friends Of Mineral Town, A Wonderful Life, and the Nintendo DS games plus 64 was obscure as it was; the 64 wasn't as popular as the Playstation and even kids who owned a 64 were more likely to pick Mario than some farming game. They simply hear other fans praising it so they praise it too. It doesn't help that it will likely never be ported onto the Virtual Console.
- Tetris: The Grand Master. For all the attention it gets over two superplay videos, there are very few players outside of Japan who have seen videos of it and played it, due to No Export for You combined with arcade-only releases (Tetris: The Grand Master ACE on Xbox 360 doesn't count), and, like with Bullet Hell games, the harsh-seeming learning surve.
- Undertale got an awful lot of attention for the first month or two after it came out—absurdly high Metacritic scores, a quirky yet endearing aesthetic, and its two-year history of almost solo development (the entire design team could fit in a phone booth) quickly brought it to the attention of a wide audience. Tumblr in particular is a hotbed of Undertale fan work, many of whom have not played the game themselves. Given how Undertale runs on its characters and story, rather than its gameplay (a modest combination of roleplaying game systems and Bullet Hell mechanics), most of the non-players who sing its praises do so for the writing and personality.
- Homestuck has a number of fans who only ever read the parts of the comic that deal with one of the resident Humanoid Aliens species, the trolls. The troll characters are teenagers who are quirky and easy enough to identify with that it is often unclear when browsing the plethora of fan works whether some people are even aware that there is a story going on with these characters, or whether they simply latched on to the character designs, alien romance habits and exaggerated manners.
- Cinema Snob Reviews Frozen (a fan comic where The Cinema Snob reviews Frozen) spoofs this In-Universe when Snob claims that The Snow Queen (1957) is superior to Frozen without even watching the older film, simply because it's classic and foreign.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, a conceptual amalgamate of all the previous generations as admitted by the creator Lauren Faust herself, generated several different groups of fans, among them two interesting ones, either of which doesn't seem to have ever seen the old shows:
- First says all the old generations sucked, and the new one (4) is so much better (possibly said to avoid ostracism, as the old shows were targeted to little girls),
- Second says the first generation was great, then they sucked, and the new one is good because it's a remake of the first generation only.
- There's also a surprisingly large group who are in it because of the multitude of surprisingly well done fan works floating around the net, to the point that few haven't even watched more than a few episodes since it debuted, or even watched the show at all!