"Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy."
— Lloyd Bentsen
to Dan Quayle
, 1988 US Vice-Presidential debate.
Basically, the trope is about the attitudes of those who actually belong (or think they belong) in a particular category, and those who actually know them, or think they do (including their enemies) towards those who pretend to be in the category. Vampires towards Vampire Wannabes
, Big Bads
towards Big Bad Wannabes
, real heroes towards Heroic Wannabes
- you get the drift. The trope also has a number of Real Life
and less fantastic counterparts, not least because of the (minor) distinctions differentiating those who would admit (if reluctantly) that yes, We Are Struggling Together
The attitude can vary from amused to outraged, and express itself in anything from shrugging and snarking through more serious annoyance
to termination with extreme prejudice. It is not, however, incompatible with using the wannabe as The Renfield
, Sycophantic Servant
, or treating a group of wannabes as "useful idiots", minions, or Cannon Fodder
It can be justified (or not) according to a number of different variables, such as whether the wannabe(s) actually stand any chance (by nature or nurture) of achieving their Wannabe goals, whether it would actually make them happy (or cool) if they did (cf. Be Careful What You Wish For
, I Hate You, Vampire Dad
, Super Loser
), and whether there is something... questionable about their reasons for wannabeing it in the first place (e.g. white middle class suburbanite kids pretending to be gangsta rappers, or claiming to be "spiritually" Native American).
This trope is not uncommon (depending on self-awareness) in those on the receiving end of in-universe Fan Dumb
and Misaimed Fandom
, let alone in-universe versions of Draco in Leather Pants
delusions. Also not uncommon, conversely, by despisers of both, whether for or against the relevant misapprehensions.
Not that the disdain always goes in one direction. The wannabes might well be trying to "clean up" the genuine guys' ethos or subculture, thus declaring themselves The Moral Substitute
. The real guys might also be seen by both the wannabes and the general public as elitists, jealously guarding for themselves something that is actually part of the mass culture. (See also It's Popular, Now It Sucks
Bonus points if the wannabe uses phrases like "I want to be like you!" or "But I really do
understand!" or "I totally
See also Never Be a Hero
Please keep Real Life
examples light on Flame Bait
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Cassidy from Preacher, faced with Les Enfants du Sang, a group of Vampire Wannabes: "Bunch of poncy rich kid goth wannabes." Though he isn't any nicer to the actual vampire who cultivates their fanboyism and uses them as food stock, possibly because the guy acts like every vamp cliché in the book. (That book being The Vampire Lestat, not Dracula).
- The Sandman has a few examples:
- In Collectors, the actual serial killers take this attitude to the fanboy who has infiltrated their "Cereal Convention". When they penetrate his cover, the fanboy's fate is...unpleasant.
- Thessaly's disdainful attitude towards neo-pagans; she herself is an ancient and ruthless witch who would under no circumstances act like a cuddly environmentalist in harmony with all things. Perhaps unusually, this isn't meant to be a Take That to make the audience feel superior — she's frightening (almost monstrous) in her behaviour and prickly in attitude, and Death rather definitively disagrees with her on one important point.
- Another example: Morpheus's response to the ghost of Hector Hall calling himself "The Sandman" is — in stark contrast to his usual behavior — laughing his head off.
- Vampires Dave and Jerome in Life Sucks are really just regular guys who happen to subsist on blood and be burned by sunlight, but even they manage some contempt for people like Rosa's ex-boyfriend, a melodramatic Goth who goes around in a black cape. And when Rosa, not knowing Dave is a vampire, wishes she were one, he shows some exasperation at her fantasy of what life as a vampire would be like.
- Johnny the Homicidal Maniac takes the "extermination with extreme prejudice" route when Jimmy the wannabe homicidal maniac shows up at his door, raving about his "work." This is a reminder to the reading audience that ours is a Villain Protagonist.
- In one issue of Green Lantern Corps, Kyle Rayner confronts Sinestro, who tells him something along the lines of "I want the real Green Lantern". Rayner responds, "A few years ago, that would have stung, but not any more. You want the REAL Green Lantern? You're looking at him."
- The climax of The Flash storyline "The Return of Barry Allen."
- In Star Wars: Legacy, Darth Krayt summons the spirits of the ancient Sith Lords Darth Andeddu, Darth Bane, and Darth Nihilus and tries to ask for advice. They pretty much tell him to screw himself, calling him a phony Sith Lord doomed to fail because he disobeyed the Rule of Two.
- One Spider-Man comic had a minor villain run afoul of the law. At one point of of the S.H.I.E.L.D. officers calls out, "This is a specialized Hulkbuster unit. And you, kid, are not The Hulk".
Films — Animation
- The Incredibles has Buddy, a powerless (though talented) fanboy of Mr. Incredible. Bob brushes him off for several reasons, among them that he was just a kid, that he followed Mr. Incredible around to incessantly harass him (which put Buddy and others in very real, life-threatening danger), and that he was really, really irritating. Unfortunately, Buddy took the brush-off as Bob saying he'll Never Be a Hero because he hasn't got superpowers and grew up to massacre innocent Supers specifically to screw over Bob in revenge.
- In Turtles Forever, 2003 Raph tries to suck up to the more-badass Mirage Turtles by ripping on 1980s Turtles' initialled belt buckles. This causes his Mirage counterpart to roughly twist his arm behind him before shoving him. The Mirage Turtles first comments to the others are mumblings about "colored bandanas" and "wannabes". As a kind of Brick Joke, Mirage!Michaelangelo says he kinda dug the belt buckles in the ending scene.
Films — Live-Action
- Blade: Big Bad Deacon Frost is dissed as a Vampire Wannabe by the elder vampires despite actually being a vampire (in this universe, some vampires are born vampires while others are born human and turned, and Frost was turned). As probably the only person on this page who didn't wilt under the repeated Pretender Diss, he proceeds to torture the head vampire to death and sacrifice the rest for his evil scheme. That'll show 'em. Bonus points for said evil scheme being to transform himself into the vampire god. Especially since said scheme worked (mostly). Ironically, Frost also says the reverse to Blade himself (who, being half-vampire as a result of having been infected by vampire blood as a fetus in his mother's womb, is arguably more of a vampire than even Frost is): "Oh, back to pretending we're human again?"
- The Dark Knight: Batman scolds the band of vigilantes.
Batman Wannabe: What gives you the right? What's the difference between you and me?
Batman: I'm not wearing hockey pads!
- Bane has his own taunt for Batman during their fight in The Dark Knight Rises.
You think the darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it. Molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, and by then, it was nothing to me but blinding! The shadows betray you, because they belong to me
- In Batman Returns the Penguin gives Batman a dose of his own medicine with "You're just jealous, because I'm a genuine freak and you have to wear a mask!"
- The Maltese Falcon: Sam Spade has venomous contempt for wannabe tough-guy and "gunsel", Wilmer.
- The Matrix Reloaded. Neo and the rest of the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar can't stand the Kid, who's always following them around and bothering them because he wants to become a member of the crew too.
- In SLC Punk!, the movie's beginning is largely about the main character explaining who the fake punks are and why he hates them. It closes with him finally admitting that he is himself a poser, accepting it, and moving on from the lifestyle.
- In the music documentary on No-Wave, Kill Your Idols:
- A few of the interviewees express hatred for modern music, which they deem to be full of wannabes compared to their generation of music, which they consider to be legit. The most outspoken on this side of the scale is probably Lydia Lunch.
- Lydia, in turn, is generally dismissed as a bad joke by performance artists.
- William Munny's reaction to the Schofield Kid in Unforgiven.
- From Carlitos Way : Carlito Brigante does not like gangster wannabes. At all.
Carlito: Who the fuck are you? I should remember you? What, you think you like me? You ain't like me motherfucker, you a punk. I've been with made people, connected people. Who've you been with? Chain snatching, jive-ass, maricon motherfuckers. Why don't you get out of here and go snatch a purse?
- The villain bikers in Wild Hogs don't like Tim Allen's little group because they're a bunch of middle-aged men who just bike for fun instead of riding across the nation leaving terror in their wake, and call them posers. Then it gets turned around on them when their hero shows up and points out that they're a gang of fifty-someodd young men in their prime; and four middle-aged office workers, who only bike for the wind in their hair and the road beneath their wheels, are standing up to them; so who's the poser again?
- In the wretched 80s rock/horror flick Trick or Treat, the protagonist verbally provokes the Satanic rocker's ghost to lure him into a trap. He finally succeeds in getting the reaction he wants by calling the ghost a fucking wimp poser.
- In the original Fright Night, vampire Jerry Dandridge shakes Peter Vincent's hand, telling him that he's seen all of his old vampire-hunter films and found them very amusing. He and Billy later poke fun at Peter's show dialogue.
- In the Spawn film, The Clown gets annoyed by three moronic Satanists and asks, "Why does God get all the good guys and we get all the retards?"
- In Drive Angry, The Accountant mocks the Satanists and says that Satan hates them too. This is because, Satan and his minions are not evil, they are merely the enforcers of Hell, and are annoyed that humans think they are evil.
- In the final rap battle in 8 Mile, Jimmy reveals that Papa Doc is a well-off guy named Clarence from a stable family and went to a private school. Jimmy, despite being white trash, has far more in common with the poor black community in downtown Detroit because he's actually from there and went through the same things they did.
- In Enter the Fat Dragon, Sammo Hung's character, a Bruce Lee fan, runs afoul of a Bruce Lee Clone who is an arrogant bully. Sammo kicks the guy's ass and says, "Bruce Lee is my hero! You can't destroy my idol! Try harder if you want to imitate him!"
- In Quigley Down Under, Quigley remarks to Marston before their Showdown at High Noon, "This ain't Dodge City, and you ain't Bill Hickok."
- In Neil Gaiman's novel American Gods, Mr. Wednesday expresses hatred towards a neo-Pagan waitress who doesn't know anything about the religion she's following. His exact words were "doesn't have the faith and won't have the fun". Further, he knew all of her sins, some of which were pretty heinous; she's even shown to be a pretender there, because Wednesday made it clear he felt that, terrible though the actual acts of wrongdoing were, the worst was that once she reached the point of no return she would chicken out rather than follow through on her transgressions.
- Good Omens:
- Demons are said to feel like this towards satanists, whom they also treat as useful idiots.
- There is also a later reference to how Hell's Angels feel about weekend bikers. On the other hand, literal Hell's angels (well, the Badass Bikers of the Apocalypse), tolerate the Hell's Angels they meet, finding them rather cute — though not enough to avoid leading them to their deaths, in passing and without even bothering to laugh at them.
- A similar approach to satanists is taken by the demons in Mike Carey's Felix Castor novels.
- Literary vampires in general tend to take this view, combined with the "useful idiots" angle, towards human admirers, whether this is Played for Drama (Stoker) or Played for Laughs (Terry Pratchett, Christopher Moore). The Renfield version of the useful idiot wannabe often features here.
- Occurs sometimes in The Dresden Files:
- At least one Black Court vampire was contemptuous of a crowed of LARP players in vampire get-up (ironically, one of their number really was a relatively decent White Court vampire), but for the most part, vampires don't rate their food highly enough to feel proper disdain. Vampires like Lara Raith are pretty businesslike about the whole thing (including eating their own wounded servitors), which is made all the more chilling by the fact that Lara can be quite warm and empathetic to humans she respects.
- Done again in another short story in which Dresden is confronted by a small group of teens wearing a combination of goth and "wizard" garb (as in Slytherin scarfs). They were upset that Dresden removed a curse so weak he could barely detect it, placed by the leader (assuming there was one in the first place). Dresden laughs at them and points out that none of them have any real magical potential, then pulls a gun on them when they threaten him.
- In Alan Dean Foster's Glory Lane, punk rock guy Seeth points out you can always tell the posers by their nice shoes.
- In Codex Alera, Aldrick ex Gladius, regarded as one of the greatest swordsmen alive, is legendary partly because of his famed duel with Araris Valerian. At multiple points throughout the series he crosses swords with other famed warriors, calmly informing each of them "The only man who has ever matched me in battle was Araris Valerian himself, and you aren't Araris." When it turns out that one of them actually is Araris, Aldrick practically collapses.
- The first line in X-Wing: Rogue Squadron is Wedge Antilles knocking an overconfident rookie pilot down several pegs with "You're good, Corran, but you're no Luke Skywalker." When the squadron is officially formed Wedge makes sure to remind the next generation of pilots that they'll never be considered as good as those who fought and died before their time. Corran's mental response is "I can dream, can't I?"
- In the Bernard Cornwell novel "Scoundrel" a group of Provisional IRA members have great contempt for their Irish-American supporters who think that simply giving money to The Cause entitles them to think of themselves as 'freedom fighters'. The IRA men like to invite these posers to visit Ireland and then have them beaten and robbed by other IRA members posing as Protestants or British police.
- This is the theme of The Great Gatsby: The Old Money West Egg will never accept Nouveau Riche Gatsby.
- Jack McDevitt uses this a few times, mostly regarding (xeno-) archaeology:
- In the Alex Benedict series, real archaeologists often have this attitude toward Benedict, an antiques dealer who is basically only in it for the money. He does get occasional respect for not having messed a site up too badly, but in general, the real scientists loathe his breed, even if they grudgingly come to tolerate him personally.
- The Priscilla Hutchins series is much the same, except that in this case, the archaeologists are the protagonists (except for Hutch, who's a pilot working for the Academy), and their scorn for the amateurs tends to be better justified.
- Andrew Vachss's Burke was a mercenary in the past. He knows what it's really like: no glamorous work. Part of his "day job" involves scamming those fool enough to want to be mercenaries themselves.
- In Elmore Leonard's Pronto; Nicky is a mobster wannabe who bluffed his way into a job with a small-time Miami mob boss. When he and Professional Killer Tommy Bucks go to Italy, Tommy and the Italian mafiosi quickly realize how big a poser Nicky is and insult him to his face. Since Nicky does not know Italian, it takes him days to understand that he is being insulted. Nicky's status as a Butt Monkey only increases when he is sent out to kill US Marshal Raylan Givens and he chickens out multiple times. Interestingly, Nicky's cowardice ends up being a form of Genre Savvy. He instinctively recognizes how extremely dangerous Raylan Givens is and is thus unwilling to do anything Raylan might consider to be a threat. In contrast, the hardened Italian hitmen who mocked Nicky go right at Raylan and straight to their deaths.
- Being Human: Mitchell responds to a wannabe-vamp girl who wants to be fed on by sending her away and later feeding her to a friend.
- A recurring issue between vamps, the Slayer, the Scoobies and Vampire Wannabes in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- The bikers of Sons of Anarchy do not like posers. However, they usually skip the dissing and go right to severe beating, especially if they feel the poser is disrespecting their colors or their motorcycle.
- The monster hunters dislike wannabe-hunters, since they tend to derive their knowledge of monsters from popular fiction — which can get them and others killed. When Dean meets Samuel, Samuel tests him with a question about vampires that a wannabe would fail.
- Sam and Dean are also very derisive of Vampire Wannabes and vampire fandom in general. Supernatural's vampires are, with very few exceptions, brutal killers who will use their fans for food without second thought. And the exceptions don't act anything like Pattinson.
- Death himself delivers one to a power-tripping Castiel in the season seven premiere. "I know God, and you, sir, are no God."
- True Blood: A redneck vamp threatens a frat boy and a wannabe-vamp clerk. "I'll fuck you, and then I'll eat you."
- Star Trek:
- Worf, in both The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, gets this frequently because he was raised by humans and serves in Starfleet with its mission of peaceful exploration. The first time he does serve with Klingons, he doesn't fit in because he's spent his life patterning himself as what Klingon stories say: serious and honor-bound, rather than a bunch of hard-drinking Boisterous Bruisers. Expect any Klingon adversary in a given episode to tell him, at some point, that he's not a real Klingon.
- Also from DS9 is Jadzia Dax, who used to be Curzon Dax, an Ambadassador who brokered the peace treaty between the Federation and the Klingon Empire and became a bit of an honorary Klingon himself. Most Klingons treat her with the same respect that they would Curzon, but one notable exception is Martok's wife Sirella. When Jadzia wants to marry Worf, Sirella treats her not as Curzon but as an alien interloper riding on someone else's reputation.
- On Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, a group of genetically enhanced humans watch Legate Damar delivering an address to Dominion-occupied Cardassia, shortly after his former boss Dukat's fall from grace. While watching him, they repeatedly call him "the pretender" and one yells at him "You don't belong on that throne and you know it!"
- Pulp's "Common People" is a Take That at rich kids playing at bohemian poverty. For some reason, it's also been the go-to song for satirists doing musical sketches about David Cameron.
- "Captain Anarchy" by Anti-Flag; basic gist, you can't be an anarchist if you buy designer jeans.
- Take a Frank Zappa song about hippies. Any Frank Zappa song about hippies.
Think I'll just drop out, I'll go to Frisco, buy a wig and sleep on Owsley's floor
I'll stay a week and get the crabs and take the bus back home
I'm really just a phony but forgive me 'cause I'm stoned!
- The Mindless Self Indulgence song "You'll Rebel To Anything" seems to be about this.
Boo fucking hoo, you're not the only one whose life's a piece of shit
And yet miraculously somehow we all seem to deal with it!
Did anybody think that you would really seriously slit your wrists?
In fact I think that everybody thinks you're seriously full of shit!
- Just as the above example, So much for suicide by Tiamat ridicules wannabes:
Animated junkies trying hard to be insane
With only water in your veins (...)
Momma's gonna make all of your nightmares go away
And death can wait for another day
So much for suicide — lots of talk but you never tried
A few pills short of a straight line, waking up still feeling fine
- Five Iron Frenzy's "All The Hype" is a bit of a Wannabe Diss at themselves. On that note, Reese was known to refuse to sign autographs so as not to allow the fame to go to his head.
- David Allan Coe's song "Jimmy Buffett" is a Take That towards Buffett calling him out for living in Malibu, California ("Jimmy Buffett doesn't live in Key West anymore") and essentially calling Buffett a poser.
- The Dead Kennedys' "Holiday in Cambodia":
Play ethnicky jazz to parade your snazz
On your five grand stereo
Braggin' that you know how the n***s feel cold
And the slums got so much soul
- There are such things as standards, you know. Even for genres like Steam Punk. You can't just glue some gears on it.
- Manowar loves this trope. They refer to themselves as True Metal and many of their songs take jabs at wimps and posers.
- Call of Cthulhu supplement The Cthulhu Companion, adventure "The Rescue". A werewolf despises two insane men who want to be werewolves like him. He has told them that the power of transformation lies within everyone and only the oppression of society and the lies of religion prevent people from using it. He has them perform ludicrous and humiliating "meditative rites" that he says will open their eyes to the truth (they're actually useless). He will kill either of them if they ever pose a threat to him.
- Shadowrun has the Elf Poser and Ork Poser disadvantages. Humans look on "posers" (normal humans who alter their bodies to look like elves or orks) as either pathetic or (for extremists) race-traitors; actual elves consider posers irritating and a little insulting. (Orks, by contrast, often avert the trope and embrace any poser who's orky enough.)
- Warhammer 40,000 has the rivalry between the Imperial Guard and various worlds' Planetary Defense Forces, similar to the Army/National Guard divide mentioned below. When the Redshirt Army looks down on you, you know you're bad.
- The gaming-humor document "The Munchkin File", about the four types of RPG player, repeatedly Lampshades alleged poser-like attitudes on the part of Munchkins ("I'm a Real Roleplayer too!").
- OG Loc from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, a black kid who tries so hard to be gangsta it hurts to watch. His rapping is just as bad.
- Very minor example: In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, you can give your sword to the blacksmiths to be sharpened, they do this by beating comically large hammers onto an anvil. Using your own hammer on the anvil gets you a response of "Hey, hey, amateurs shouldn't try to do this." Of course, smithing in real life is highly skilled labor and if you don't know what you're doing, you're probably going to screw over the poor sap using that sword. Especially Japanese smithing, which refines the metal as the blade's being shaped due to the low quality ore in that country.
- Mass Effect:
- The Reapers despise the A.I. geth who see them as their Gods — in fact, they find the worship (and the idea that the geth could ever be like them) insulting.
- Also, Renegade Shepard's dealings with Conrad Verner. Even Paragon Shepard, to some extent, although (s)he at least tries let him down gently in telling him he doesn't have what it takes.
- Which gets even better in the Citadel DLC — Shepard tells the villain, an evil clone of Shepard, that "Conrad Verner is better at being me than you!"
- Shadow in Sonic Adventure 2 has one. "Faker? I think you're the fake hedgehog around here. You're comparing yourself to me? Ha! You're not even good enough to be my fake!"
- In Final Fantasy Tactics A2, a Vaan impersonator speaks in Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe (that he and his fellow Penelo impersonator can't even keep straight!) for no obvious reason, constantly asserts that he is Vaan, and mangles his catch phrase. Luso isn't fooled for a moment and calls him out on it.
"Vaan": Nay, 'tis I, Vaan!... 'Twere this a play, I'd be leading man!
Luso: If this is a play, the acting's terrible.
- In Fire Emblem Awakening, Tiki has this initial reaction to "Marth," since she's a 3000-year-old dragon who knew "Mar-Mar" personally. But it doesn't take long for her to decide that maybe the appellation is fitting after all.
- One of the most famous examples: "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy." Context for this example, since it is cited so many times in this article: just before the debate, the Democrats were making an issue of Quayle's young age, and whether he was old enough to be president. He pointed out that JFK had been even younger when he became president. It seems plausible that much of Senator Bentsen's outrage at Quayle daring to compare himself to Kennedy was feigned, since mentioning Kennedy was an obvious counterargument to the age argument. The age issue quickly disappeared from the campaign; the "no Jack Kennedy" meme was more effective anyway. "More effective" being a relative term, since the Bush/Quayle ticket defeated Dukakis/Bentsen by a large margin. Also, Bentsen was in private business during much of Kennedy's political career (they did in fact serve together in the House from 1948 — when Bentsen took his seat — to 1953 — when Kennedy was elected to the Senate) and never was a friend of John Kennedy, as annoyed Kennedy people pointed out.
- La Vey Satanists towards Satan worshippers. (Well, the ones that look up to them anyway.) It also goes the other way around.
- Professional soldiers often feel this way towards any reservist which isn't proper military (the exact details of which depend on the country).
- For example, in the United States, Army National Guardsmen and Army Reservists are often referred to as "weekend warriors" by the Regular Army, which views them as incompetent liabilities. That said, this attitude has diminished a fair amount, given the the National Guard and Reserves have been deployed almost as long as the active-duty Army.
- Similar to Soldiers/National Guard: Police towards security guards, though this is less cops adopting the "rent-a-cop" meme as spillover annoyance at a vocal minority of security guards (especially armed security) claiming they are "legitimate" law enforcement officers.
- The disdain that "old money" families stereotypically have towards the Nouveau Riche. Assuming the upstarts stay around for more than a generation or two, this becomes their attitude towards the even newer money. And the cycle continues...
- The Bourgeois Bohemian gets this a lot, and from both ends of the U.S. political spectrum (liberals in Case "A", conservatives in Case "B").
- The standard phrase for any "serious actor" who hasn't got talent — or, at least, nearly as much talent as they think they do? "X, you're no Meryl Streep."
- People who read pre-Twilight era vampire books feel this towards Twilight and it's Follow the Leader style books. Of course, some of them can get just as vehement about what vampires are and are not ("scary!" "romantic!" "nocturnal only!" "sparkles during the day!" etc.) that they're almost as bad.
- Common complaints among EMT personnel are aimed at well-meaning but clueless good Samaritans who engage in Hollywood-style healing and end up making the situation worse for the afflicted person.
- People officially diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome or other autism-spectrum disorders tend to view the ever-increasing multitude of self-diagnosed cases as posers. Or "jackasses making up excuses". It doesn't help that said array of self-diagnosed morons have turned the entire spectrum into an Internet punchline, to the point that a fair number of people don't believe anything less severe than Rain Man actually exists.
- Those who consider Renaissance faires or SCA events Serious Business sometimes react this way to others who show up wearing a costume-shop tunic over jeans and sneakers. Such events often have to provide explicit declarations about whether or not "garb" needs to be period-appropriate to avert conflict between the two. Same for historical-reenactment buffs.
- Legitimate hippies against poser-hippies who just want to get high and get laid. Of course, considering this latter group is what the general public thinks of when they think of hippies, this may be a valid complaint.
- Some people from other countries (mainly, America) who have Irish ancestry proudly proclaim themselves as Irish, though there are people who look down on this, mainly people who are from Ireland, claiming that these "plastic Paddys" know very little about real Irish culture beyond leprechauns, pots o' gold, the color green, and only care about their "heritage" when St. Patrick's Day rolls around.
- This belief also extends to other cultures where natives or purists feel "If you're not 100% X and/or aren't from X, then you're not a true X."
- It could also extend to any who play up a national heritage during an appropriate holiday and go back to ignoring it for the rest of the year.
- Also when such non-natives only ever deign to celebrate the upper-class traditions of a culture they profess to be part of, while avoiding any mention of customs from its working-class majority.
- Similarly, Mexicans and non-assimilated Mexican-Americans take a dim view of gringo attempts to copy or co-opt their culture. When Taco Bell opened its first restaurant in Mexico in the early 2000s, they had to promote themselves as an American restaurant; if they had called themselves a purveyor of Mexican food, they would have faced widespread ridicule.
- After The Great Politics Mess-Up lots of people "suddenly saw the light!" or "always felt that way, honest!" all over ex-USSR. They tend to be seen as weasels by everyone else, but no-one despises them deeper than the real dissidents, especially a few exiled from USSRnote . These invented several new vitriolic terms like "almost shot ones".
- On the opposite side, Stalin's successor Nikita Khrushchev denounced Stalin and his "cult of personality" in a secret speech after he took power, on the basis of how it violated core Marxist principles. When someone in the crowd he was addressing demanded to know why he hadn't said this when Stalin was alive, Khrushchev angrily barked, "Who said that?!" — frightening the speaker into silence. "Now you know," Khrushchev then explained.
- Some American neoconservatives (who, significantly, are most often not Jewish, or at least not practicing Jews) praise the pious warrior ethos of the nation of Israel while describing the "wimpy", secular, and more often than not liberal Jews of North America and Europe as "false Jews", as people who have betrayed their heritage. Even leaving aside the fact that many of the first settlers in Israel when it was founded in 1948 were American or European Jews, there's something... off about a non-Jew trying to tell a Jew about what makes a "real Jew". And actually saying something like that to a non-Israeli Jew's face — especially if he or she is a descendant of Holocaust survivors — will not get one a very sympathetic reaction.
- This was the reaction of the National Football League to its upstart 1960s rival American Football League. The NFL and its partners in the media did everything they could to paint the AFL as second-rate and full of castoffs and wannabes.note "That Mickey Mouse league" was the most frequent nickname). The documentary Full Color Football shows many examples of this.
- Eastern Roman Emperor Nicephorus Phocas had this reaction when visiting with an ambassador from the Holy Roman Empire. Annoyed that they claimed the title of "Roman," which he saw as rightfully and uniquely his, he made a speech at dinner one night with the ambassador insulting the Holy Roman military before exclaiming: "You are not Romans but Lombards!"