Ron the Death Eater

aka: Paint The Hero Black

"Ok, Ron is acting really dumb...but it’s my story. Ron is my least fave character and I make him how I want him to be dumb cuz he is. Sorry for the inconvenience."

The result of either shoehorning a good canon character into being a villain or making a villain significantly more evil than in canon is Ron the Death Eater, the inverse of Draco in Leather Pants.

This can be seen as a kind of deliberate Flanderization — Often, in creating Ron The Death Eater, a fanfic writer spins his canonical non-evil actions into evil acts, uses canonical evil actions as a justification as to why they are irredeemably evil even if the canon says otherwise, and has every possible negative trait of the character exaggerated. A measure of ruthlessness becomes complete and utter sociopathy, a tendency towards holding grudges becomes an obsessive hatred of anything they dislike, slight denseness becomes raging stupidity, etc.

This is often the result of also having a Draco in Leather Pants, but it doesn't have to be - some characters inspire this sort of hatred on their own, either through their canonical blunders or being an obstacle to the author's One True Pairing, especially if said character is a member of the Official Couple set. Or maybe they're getting in the way of the Mary Sue's spotlight.

In other cases, it seems like the target character, regardless of their original characterization, will simply default to one of two stock personalities, based entirely on their gender. Basically, male characters end up as drunken assholes while female characters end up as manipulative bitches. In any case, Ron the Death Eater is more likely to be a Card-Carrying Villain who does things For the Evulz than to have any plausible reason for switching sides.

The fic may also have other characters who are canonically friends of the victim act as though he or she has always been an object of justified loathing, rather than going the "shocked at betrayal" approach. Or, even if these characters end up siding with the Draco in Leather Pants, they are subject to some character defamation themselves by way of "I was stupid to love him and not you".

Unlike Draco in Leather Pants, this can also be intentionally done as a comedy trope, usually of the black variety. In this much rarer variant, the character in question is turned into The Jerk (or worse), but the other characters' relationships with them aren't changed much. That way the main characters are exposed to, and thus constantly made to suffer by, a villain and good times are had by the audience.

Named for the tendency in Harry Potter fanfics where Draco Malfoy turns good and hooks up with Hermione to have Ron — in canon a decent, upstanding sort of fellow with a few faults but firmly on the side of good who happens to have a long-standing enmity with Draco — lose his mind (or have it lost for him) and often join Lord Voldemort just for a chance to kill the sainted Malfoy.

A Sub-Trope of Demonization.

Compare Die for Our Ship or Derailing Love Interests (the major cause of this trope), Designated Hero (the other major cause), The Scapegoat (when a character is blamed for an event they're not responsible for), Historical Villain Upgrade, Dark Fic, Rooting for the Empire, and Adaptational Villainy. See also Accentuate the Negative, which this trope essentially does to fictional characters.

Contrast Draco in Leather Pants.

And last but not least, fandoms that have so many examples of this that they needed to be moved to their own pages:

Oh, and head to Paint The Hero Black if you wish to join in the madness.

Examples (sorted by the original canons' media):

    open/close all folders 

"Official" Examples:

    Comic Books 
  • The entire League of Extraordinary Gentlemen seems to be based around this trope. Mina, who at the end of Dracula was happily married to Jonathan Harker, divorces her husband and presumably abandons her child prior to the beginning of the first volume. The upstanding Great White Hunter Alan Quatermain is an opium addict. Perhaps the most extreme example is from Black Dossier. The comic features a violent, sociopathic version of James Bond in a Lawyer-Friendly Cameo. Jonathan Harker goes from a loving and fiercely devoted husband to dumping his wife for being 'soiled goods'. In LOEG 2009, a Writing Around Trademarks version of Harry Potter is turned into The Antichrist.
  • Mary Jane from Spider-Man is a frequent victim of this In-Universe. Basically, whenever a writer wants to break up MJ and Peter they'll try to do so in a way to make Peter look like a victim so he can angst over it. First time was her rejection of his proposal and shallow break up with him (though while MJ was yet to finish her character development and was a bit shallow, it was STILL very out of character for her to be so unapologetic about it), second time was serious bitchification before then killing her off (didn't last, fortunately), third time was, AFTER they already broke up, they decided to have One Moment in Time to explain that it was all MJ's fault, and wrote her as an emotional trainwreck who was ready to break down from stress.
  • TRON: Ghost in the Machine (a mini-series of comics based off the Alternate Continuity of TRON 2.0) depicts Alan as somewhat callous, work-driven, and harsh towards his son. Of course, his circumstances in the 2.0 timeline suck worse than his circumstances in the TRON: Legacy one — Flynn still vanishes, but he's been relegated to a lab instead of the boardroom, and while Lora's alive in Legacy, she died in 2.0 — but the depiction really goes off the rails when he was shown murdering his wife in a jealous rage. Granted, it was just a villain's attempt to Mind Rape Jet, but still.
  • Parodied in The Unwritten, about a son of a writer who got famous after creating a series of novels very similar to Harry Potter. The first two start with fragments of those books, and the third with a fragment of Frankenstein. The first page of the fourth issue shows Harry's counterpart slaughtering Ron and Hermione's counterparts in a really terrible way, only to have it turn out on the next page that it's a Dark Fic.

    Literature 

    Live-Action TV 
  • In-Universe example: the gang at Cheers have an elevated Deconstruction about the Road Runner / Wile E. Coyote shorts to the point where an Orphaned Punchline has Norm exclaiming, "Oh, I suppose that proves that the coyote is the Anti Christ?"
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: In "Hollow Pursuits", Reg Barclay's Three Musketeer-esque holoprogram depicts the male main crewmembers, especially Commander Riker, as arrogant idiots, whereas the female main crewmembers are portrayed as loving maternal figures (although Troi's not very pleased to see her holographic alter-ego).
  • The Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager writes a holo-novel (which is supposed to be about the abuse and objectification of holograms) featuring Expys of the ship and crew of Voyager, making them far more abusive and sleazy, and who ultimately have the self-insert protagonist Doctor shut down and reprogrammed. When the Voyager crew finds out, they're offended that he would paint them in such a bad light, eventually convincing him to make enough changes that the cast aren't just Voyager crew look-a-likes with mildly different names.
  • The writers of Seventh Heaven themselves do this to Mary in later seasons, turning her into the black sheep and disappointment of the family just because Jessica Biel posed topless in "Gear" magazine, infuriating the producers. It got to the point where her mother cringed at the mention of her name.
  • In the Suite Life On Deck episode "The Play's the Thing", Cody writes a play that is in Bailey's words "a thinly built portrayal of their breakup from "Breakup in Paris" where the character based on Bailey is portrayed as a heartless two timer that's willing to "shake her bonbons for all the men in Paris" and eventually falls to her death after breaking up with the character based on Cody, upon realizing the intent of the play, Bailey refuses to play the role which hilariously forces Cody to dress in drag and play the role opposite his twin brother, Zack; the play does not go over well.
  • The Torchwood episode "Fragments" depicted the usually sympathetic Doctor Who Men In Black organisation UNIT as a vindictive group of sadists who "disappear" people on little provocation and keep them in Hellhole Prisons forever. This was very unpopular with the fandom and widely assumed to be a case of this trope.
  • One of the most controversial changes in "Game of Thrones" from "A Song of Ice and Fire" is the Adaptational Villainy of Stannis Baratheon, one of its most popular characters. Book Stannis is a stoic lawful man who claims the throne out of a sense of duty but has trouble gaining support because of his lack of social skills. While this is effectively the same in the series, TV Stannis is more of a R'hllor fanatic, burning people alive as sacrifices for refusing to convert, and even sacrificing his daughter Shireen. Book Stannis only burnt people who had already been condemned to death. Also, while Book Stannis doesn't know his role in his brother Renly's death, TV Stannis is aware of it. The producers have even admitted to not liking Stannis and claims he is being ambitious, even though this doesn't even match the show's characterisation.

    Music 

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Colt Cabana during his "feud" with Homicide in Ring of Honor. Apparently, since Cabana unknowing insulted him, Homicide was fully justified in committing his namesake against him. On the other hand, Colt was also on the other side of this trope, where he bullied Jimmy Jacobs and used his love interest Lacey for sex before dumping her out of disinterest and was cheered throughout, making Jimmy Jacobs the Death Eater for protesting to it.(Jacobs was also being used by Lacey though, so perhaps he was simply too pathetic to cheer for)
  • Bobby Lashley in TNA, was supposedly the bag guy for wanting to leave the company because they wouldn't do anything about Scott Steiner assaulting his wife (though they only booed when he decided to leave. They were happy when Lashley fought Steiner). They also booed him against Samoa Joe, Lashley being the one who rejected the Main Event Mafia while Joe being the Sell Out.

    Theatre 
  • It's semi-canonical, in that the text can be interpreted in different ways, but a lot of productions of The Merchant of Venice (notably that with Laurence Olivier as Shylock) not only make Shylock as sympathetic as is possible, but also chose the most unflattering interpretations of the protagonists' characters.
  • Raoul de Chagny gets one in Love Never Dies, the sequel to Andrew Lloyd Webber's wildly popular musical The Phantom of the Opera where he goes from a kind and loving man determined to protect his beloved childhood friend...to an alcoholic, abusive jerk so Christine can be justified in leaving him for the Phantom.

    Video Games 
  • Borderlands 2 DLC Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon's Keep centers around a tabletop RPG run by the titular Tiny Tina that loosely retells the story of the main game. In it, Angel is made out to be the villainous Sorcerer's Daughter who screams lines about how everything is her fault since Tina blames her for leading Roland to his death. In actuality, Angel was an unwilling pawn of Handsome Jack (her father) and genuinely tried to help the heroes in the second half of the game. Lilith at least tries to tell Tina that the real Angel wasn't as bad as she thinks she is, to which Tina answers that without Angel, no one would have died.
  • In Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time, the character Penelope, a trusted member of the team and even major character Bentley's love interest, is turned into a villain and has seemed to change her morals and motives from how they were in the third game. This may be because of the company switch, the last game's cliffhanger, and as a reference to her disguise as a villain in the last game.

    Western Animation 
  • Happens In-Universe in one episode of Samurai Jack: Aku attempts to win over a large group of Jack-worshipping children by telling them stories and painting himself as a hero, and when it fails he starts telling stories about Jack, portraying him as Ax-Crazy Jerkass who gets rightfully deserved punishment.
  • One episode of Arthur features Ladonna telling Fern about her bingo-playing aunt Mable and a mysterious bingo opponent. When Fern rewrites the story (without Ladonna's permission), she makes Aunt Mable the Big Bad by combining her with the bingo opponent (and changing her name to "Sable"). Ladonna calls Fern out on it.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Itchy & Scratchy & Marge", Roger Meyers Jr. and his lead writers portray Marge is a cartoonish squirrel, who continuously tells the cat and mouse duo "Don't do that!", while they hit each other with baseball bats, before whacking her head off.
    • In "Homer Badman" with the TV movie Homer S.: Portrait of an Ass-Grabber, Homer, played by Dennis Franz, is portrayed as a cackling, dog-kicking pervert.
    Ashley: No, Mr. Simpson! A cat is a living creature!
    Homer: I don't care! [runs over cat] Now I'm gonna grab me some sweet!
    Ashley: No, Mr. Simpson! If you do, I'll scream so loud the whole country will hear!
    Homer: Heh, with a MAN in the White House?! Not likely! Muah ha. Muah haha. MUAH HA HA HAAAAAA!
  • Happens In-Universe in Family Guy episode "You Can't Do That On Television, Peter" in which Peter portrays Lois a nagging Sock Pocket on a kids show called Saggy Naggy.

Fan Work Examples:

    Anime and Manga 
  • Cardcaptor Sakura:
    • Darkest Before Dawn twists Syaoran into a Domestic Abuser just so Sakura can run weeping into Tomoyo's arms.
    • Messy Nightmare is about a dream that Sakura has, in which she, Naoko, Chiharu, and Rika are all tiny inside Meilin's house and attempt to escape an Ax-Crazy Meilin as she kills each of them one by one.
  • Digimon Adventure fans has a recurring habit of demonising Yamato/Matt by Tai(chi)/Sora shippers by either portraying him as an unfaithful man to Sora, an abuser who attempt to beat up Sora just because she hung up with Tai a bit more often, or someone who prioritises other activities over his girlfriend to the point that Sora feels more closure in hanging out with Tai than Matt. Hold on is a good example of fan fictions like these by demonising Matt to the point that he is willing to beat up Sora and even kill Tai with a gun.
    • Whenever the author either invests on Daikari (Davis/Kari) or Takari (TK/Kari) shipping fics, you can expect the rival (TK and Davis respectively) to be demonized as callous jerks who are not above sexually assaulting Kari just to have the male love interest to rescue her and became an Official Couple, with the rival ended up either being humiliated or even dies, completely ignoring their experiences as a Digidestined.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • It Falls on Me has Yamcha dedicated to ruining Bulma's family name, plot to steal her wealth, and kill Vegeta. This is contradictory to canon in several ways; Yamcha is shown remaining on good terms with her after their breakup, its stated in series that Yamcha is not interested in power or status, him, Yamcha entering the relationship which was initiated by Bulma before he knew of Bulma's wealth, and being one of the characters portrayed as more accepting of Vegeta.
    • The Legacy of Kaiser does this to Yamcha (and, inadvertently, Goku) by having him laugh over the memory of his friends dying.
    • Those Magical Three Years (once found here) does this same thing on Yamcha, turning him into an abusive drunk who apparently regularly cuts Bulma.
    • As does the story Breathe.
    • Repeat for Black and Blue.
    • The Highschool AU, Teenage Drama has Yamcha attempt to to rape Bulma, in addition "hearting" her.
    • Pain is Pleasure by the same author as Teenage Drame, has Vegeta sense great evil in Yamcha.
  • Elfen Lied: In Heirs Of The Generation [1], an Elfen Lied and Death Note crossover, it RetCons it so Yuka was the one that alerted the facility to Lucy's location in an attempt to have her killed, and when Lucy survives getting shot up, Yuka doesn't tell anyone in the hopes she will just bleed to death or starve to death, and when that fails, Yuka becomes a fervent Kira worshipper and prays that Kira will take care of her problem for her.
  • Girls und Panzer
    • Boys Do Tankary, found here, has one with Ami who, unlike many examples, doesn't have much of a fandom or hatedom. Initially set up as a Butt Monkey when the male main characters force their way into her class and rub her defeat and being passed over for a promotion in her face, she decides to get revenge against them by getting them transferred for having relationships with the girls, but ends up getting demoted to Sergeant Major. Blaming the girls, she holds them hostage and beats them up, until the boys arrive, rescue the girls and arrest her. At this point, she reveals she is working for the apparent Big Bad, "The Orchestrator," who wants to start another war, after which she is knocked out and has not been seen since.
    • From the same fic, and a few others, Maho is depicted as an Aloof Big Sister who pushed Miho away for not living up to the Nishizumi family's standards for tankery. This is not always done out of deliberate malice, as many writers don't know that in the Little Army prequel manga it's revealed that Maho actually loves Miho dearly, and serves as a Nishizumi heiress so that Miho will be free to choose her own path in life.
    • In Girls und Panzer The Eagles of Oarai, Shiho not only disowns Miho for not doing tankery the Nishizumi way, but also Does Not Like Men to an absurd extreme, hating their getting involved in tankery through fighter planes, and wanting to see them as "nothing more than slaves to female kind." After her school loses, and one of her pilots almost dies because her plane didn't have an ejection seat, she pulls a gun on the male lead and gets arrested.
  • Love Hina
    • An Alternate Keitaro Urashima isn't kind to Granny Hina or the Hinata Girls. Shinobu is the only tenant who doesn't have a crippling case of It's All About Me. No matter how severe the consequences of their actions, as well as constantly being informed that they're responsible for their own actions and have to deal with the fallout, they continue to blame everyone but themselves, recasting themselves as the victim.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!
    • In Crashed, Pharaoh Atem is the victim of this, being portrayed as full of wrath and needlessly cruel to his servants, disregarding his canon personality. This example is notable for being a milder example of portraying him as a despot, and the copious amounts of this fics tend to go hand-in-hand with turning Yugi into a Mary Sue, purehearted slave. Interestingly, Yami/Atem gets both Ron the Death Eater and Drace in Leather Pants treatment, presumably because of the sheer amount of different versions of his character and early series retooling into a straight shonen series.
  • Lucky Star
    • In The Library, Tsukasa, having concealed her true nature behind a facade of innocence, seeks to shoot up her entire school, with Konata and Hiyori as her lackeys, after endless bullying that all three of them had (non-canonically) been through. This trope also applies to Kagami, Misao, and Ayano, nice enough in canon (even though Kagami was somewhat of a hothead), as three of her former tormentors.
    • Speaking of Tsukasa, Ahoge renders her insane enough to believe that Konata's hair could be grown into some kind of plant and chop her head off with an ax for such a purpose.
  • The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
    • The fancomic Gulliver depicts Haruhi as a bikini-clad giantess who stumbled upon an island containing a foot-tall city and decides to go on a stomping spree. Though, that might be about more than character assassination.
  • Naruto
    • In Chunin Exam Day, the other members of Team Seven aside from Naruto get hit with this extremely hard, to the point where Kakashi kills Naruto for embarrassing Sasuke, indicative of a common trend of fanfic authors accusing him of favoring training Sasuke to Naruto and Sakura's detriment. It's a "Groundhog Day" Loop situation, so he gets better, but still.
    • Naruto One Man Team has this with multiple characters, especially Sasuke and Sakura, with Sasuke attempting and threatening rape, attempting to rob/murder Naruto, and more while Sakura agrees with everything Sasuke does.
    • In Team8, Hiashi gets this quite a bit. In canon, he looked down on Hinata and saw her as weak, but gradually came to respect how far she had come; in this fic, he not only tells her that she is weak to her face, but he also physically abuses her. Another stark contrast point is how he treats Neji; in canon, after Neji loses to Naruto, Hiashi goes up to tell Neji the truth about his father, ending by prostrating himself before Neji and begging his forgiveness, but in the scene's equivalent here, he plans on punishing Neji for his defeat. It has also recently been revealed that Hiashi was most likely behind the deaths of Kurenai's old team, because one member developed the Byakugan and refused to join the branch family- which would mean becoming a slave with his life in the main family's hands.
    • The Comics Nix "fan"fic ''Training in the Village for a Massive Man'' has Naruto and Sasuke as an evil Camp Gay couple that is constantly trying to make Sakura's life a living hell. Even though she constantly tries to sexually harass Sasuke and tried to kill them. And the fact that they offered to help Bruce Banner and have been nothing but kind to him.
  • Pokémon:
    • Cori Falls's fanfiction loves this trope. Jessiebelle, James's fiance, is portrayed as a monster who would murder Jessie in cold blood just to be able to keep James chained to her forever. (Granted, the woman is a sadist in canon, but not to the degree Cori's fics portray her.) In a non-shippy sense, Ash Ketchum is made into a holy terror whose only purpose in life is to ruin the trio's.
    • On the PokeShipping front, Just Friends? transforms cocky rival Gary into an unrepentant douchebag who goes out of his way to crush Misty's spirit with cruel words.
    • Darkest Night twists Grimsley into a sadist who regularly rapes female challengers to the Pokemon League and has done the same to Shauntal. In fact, Grimsley gets this treatment fairly often due to his sinister appearance and having a habit of gambling.
    • Another fic by the same author, Silver Bindings, warps Well-Intentioned Extremist N into a psychotic, possessive Yandere who kidnaps Hilda and forces her to be his queen. When she protests, he has her thrown in a dungeon and beaten. When she won't have sex with him to produce an heir, he rapes her. When she escapes, he stalks her and tries to have her "soul mate" Hilbert murdered.
    • In Gym Leaders On Survivor, Morty is turned into a selfish, bossy, and overbearing prick who plans to cheat in the Survivor game so he can win.
    • Three's A Crowd is an interesting case, because the author was not intending to make any character Die for Our Ship. Despite this, when it comes to the competition between Ash and Gary for Misty's love, Ash inevitably comes off as the worse person, i.e., as somebody with the maturity level of a ten-year-old even though he is supposed to have aged between the first season and the time the fic is set, makes sexist comments and is so obsessive that he should probably never date any woman ever, lest he become abusive.
    • Our Eternal Journey turns Calem into an arrogant, stoic Jerk Jock who bullies Serena and constantly makes callous remarks.
  • Ranma ˝
  • Saki
    • In canon, Teru is an Aloof Big Sister who has grown cold to her younger sister, Saki around the time the series starts, to the point at which she refuses to speak with her or admit that she has a sister, although she does have more sympathetic, moments, such as when she appears completely shocked after one of her opponents collapses after their match. In Saki After Story, found here, she goes into an Unstoppable Rage and viciously attacks Saki for trying to talk to her after defeating her team in the tournament, and also attacks Nodoka when she intervenes, putting both in the hospital.
  • Voltron:
    • Devoted Obsession twists Keith into a psychotic Yandere who tries to murder Allura for falling in love with Lotor. By the same author, Infinite Jest portrays him as a thoughtless lout and ends with Allura desiring to kill him for being lousy in bed.
  • While Samantha from Medabots was never a particularly nice character to begin with, in Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi she's downright evil. Maybe the cybernetics have something to do with it?
  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman
    • There's Something About Birdstyle warps Jun the Swan, canonically a caring Team Mom with a crush on Ken who shows a fiery temper sometimes into a crazed shrieking harpy who would gladly see Joe the Condor dead for various reasons, the two biggest being his comments about the length of her skirt (which were completely out of line and out of character for him) and for flirting with Ken, whom she wants to keep all for herself.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • I'm Here to Help Arguably applied to Neo-Queen Serenity and the future senshi, depending on whether or not one takes Emerald's words at face value. If he is to be believed, Serenity committed planet-wide brainwashing and the senshi were ruthless soldiers. If one takes him as an Unreliable Narrator though, this trope is averted. In the latter case, there's also Pluto, who in canon takes her duties as guardian of time incredibly seriously and in the fic allows a known criminal to travel through time and change the past and alter the Crystal Tokyo in the future.
    • Conflicting Convictions, a Dark Kingdom fic that portrays Nephrite in love with Kunzite to the point of being a Crazy Jealous Guy who constantly bullies poor little Zoisite. Now, Nephrite isn't a saint in canon but he's shown to be the most redeemable of the four in the first anime and to care for his fellow Shitennou in the manga. Plus, in the first anime where the antagonism originated, Zoisite was the one bullying him. (In general, Zoisite-sympathetic fics turn Nephrite into a bully and a rapist while Nephrite-sympathetic fics turn Zoisite into a giggling sadist.)
  • In many, many Kikyou/Inuyasha fanfics from InuYasha, such as this which is now unavailable, Kagome is turned into a shrill Alpha Bitch who bullies the eponymous half-demon every chance she gets, by making him "Sit" at even minor things. (Like simply looking at Kikyou instead of her) Inuyasha eventually dumps her in favor of the revived Kikyou, or sends her back to her own time and covers up the well. It's gotten so bad there are actual groups where Kagome haters join to write bad fanfiction about Kagome being a Type A Tsundere at best and a Alpha Bitch at worst. Likewise, in many Kagome/Sesshomaru fics, for example, this, Inuyasha will be turned into a selfish Jerk Ass Bastard Boyfriend to Kagome, who bullies the sweet angelic Sesshomaru by using the Wind Scar on him, or slashing him with his claws until he bleeds to death. There are actual groups on fanfiction.net that are dedicated to not demonizing either Inuyasha or Kagome.
  • The amount of Fairy Tail fanfics that have Lucy getting either ignored or kicked out of both her team and the guild by Natsu because he wants to replace her with the newly-returned Lisanna (who is, of course, extremely bitchy and evil) is too damn high. In canon, pretty much the exact opposite situation took place: Natsu and Lisanna have had all of perhaps two conversations since she came back, she even encouraged Lucy to stay with Natsu, and Natsu and Lucy re-confirmed their status as an unbreakable team. This hasn't stopped at least eight of these fics from popping up each week, though.
    • There's also a rewritten version of Chapter 372 in which Erza tortures Kyouka back. Sometimes with crueler methods. How do you respond to being stripped naked, having your sensitivity to pain heightened, and then getting whipped like crazy and electrocuted? By chopping your torturer's arms off, smashing her face against a stone floor multiple times, ripping open her stomach and leaving her organs exposed, ripping out a few of her organs, including one of her LUNGS!, squashing her shoulder bones like tin cans, and, of course, more electrocution. And when you're done, why not rip her eyes out too?

    Comic Books 

    Film 

    Literature 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Shenny authors in the The Big Bang Theory tend to ignore Sheldon's canonical aversion to romance, his unique brand of love for canonical girlfriend Amy, his close, almost father/son like relationship with his roommate, Leonard, and the fact that while he does count her as one of his closest friends, his relationship with Penny defaults to Vitriolic Best Buds. Instead, Sheldon becomes a poor soul that's been in love with Penny for years, but that "asshole Leonard" (canonically an incredibly nice, often stepped over, guy) saw her first (ignoring the fact they are canonically a loving couple). Eventually Penny (canonically an independent weapons expert/sharp shooter/Girly Bruiser) will escape from under his abusive, whiny thumb, and will somehow find her way to Sheldon. One of the more egregious examples can be found here. While it does play with the typical amount of time it takes for Penny and Sheldon to find each other, it makes up for it by being written specifically to piss off fans of the canonical characterizations and also giving the Draco in Leather Pants treatment to Leonard's mother, Beverly, who in canon was an Abusive Parent that basically thought mind raping her kids was okay if she could use the experience to write parenting books and push them to the tops of their fields as adults.
  • One particularly bad and extremely unsettling NSFW Degrassi fic called The Junkie Journals turns Riley Stavros into a Mind Rapist, gay basher, drug addict, Jerk Jock, Villain Sue, and Karma Houdini. People walk away from the story feeling like they've come across the seedy underbelly of the world. All of this without warning or explanation. The main character of the story is also rescued by Peter, but it's a mystery why the so-called "author" couldn't just make up an OC who's evil instead of having to defile Riley's character.
  • Allecto's controversial critiques of Firefly are something of an extreme example of this; the actions of several of the characters (especially the Caucasian males) are often twisted in order to fit an extreme radical feminist reading or her preconceived notions about gender relationships, thus unfairly painting them as evil. One such example is Allecto's citing of Zoe calling Mal "sir" (presented as an ingrained habit developed from their days together in the military, simply for the reason that he was her superior officer and you call your superior officers "sir" in the military) as an example of Mal being evil and sexist. It's also fair to suggest that Allecto tends to let her preconceptions affect her views of the characters, such as her assumption that Wash must be abusive toward Zoe (despite the fact that she could "kill me [Wash] with her pinkie") because every relationship between a white man and a woman of color that Allecto has seen has been abusive according to her.
  • The Friends fic Somebody Save Me (found here) has portrayed Richard - a perfectly decent guy whose relationship with Monica only broke up because of May-December Romance problems - as a drunken, selfish, physically and emotionally abusive asshole who doesn't care for Monica at all, so that Chandler can have an even better reason to be there for her. Why an OC abusive boyfriend cannot be made up, seeing as Monica dates dozens of men throughout the run of Friends, is a mystery. It's not the only one of its kind either. And it's not even like he ever got in the way of the Chandler and Monica pairing either.
  • Star Trek: Voyager: The otherwise fairly well-written Janeway/Seven Just Between Series has a tendency to do this with any male in Janeway's history, turning Cheb Packer into a raving drug addict, smuggler, and murderer who's terrible in the sack and even bringing Justin Tighe Back from the Dead in order to demonstrate that he would have made a much worse spouse than Seven.
    • And then there's SF Debris's reviews of the various Star Trek series. Picard of The Next Generation is generally portrayed as a fanatical child-hater who would happily order Worf to saw up a teddy bear in order to interrogate a child, and may or may not have ordered Jack Crusher to his death solely to increase his chances of getting with Beverly; Voyager reviews, meanwhile, react to the uneven characterization of Janeway by portraying her as a demented supervillain who views her crew as entertainment dispensers - even inventing a holiday, "Condescending Bitch Day", which happens every day and involves selecting someone to torment - and is planning to take over the entire Alpha Quadrant when she gets back. Chuck Sonnenberg has even joked that Janeway is his favourite villain.
  • There's an entire website dedicated to doing this to Gwen Cooper of Torchwood. In them, she's reduced to a shrill harpy who wants nothing more than to get into Jack's pants and hurt Ianto in the process, no matter how little sense it makes at the time. There's even one story where the rest of the team can't stand her and murder her with no remorse. It makes one wonder why they didn't just fire her. For clarity's sake: the team has shown no sign of despising her in Canon, and she gets along well with Ianto despite the fact that she has two-sided UST with Jack (with whom Ianto is eventually an Official Couple).
  • The author of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer fic Penny For Your... is especially blatant when it comes to clearing away Buffy's other boyfriends in order to leave room for her "one twoo wub", Spike. Angel is depicted as an arrogant idiot child with a god-complex, while Riley is turned into a sadistic monster whose attitude actually improves once he's turned into a vampire. And of course, Buffy's friends are all okay with her getting with Spike, even the vampire-hating Xander.
    • Spuffy authors really don't give Angel or Riley a break. The fanfic Five Words or Less is another, albeit much milder example. Riley is portrayed as a bastard boyfriend who likes to gleefully beat up Spike for no reason other than he's proving to be a better match for Buffy, and while Angel isn't bashed nearly as much as Riley, there is one instance where he comes off as a little too childish and petty.

    Music 

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Dragonlance canon, Kender are treated as a "good" race, with many of the sourcebooks chatting up their pure hearts and innocence. However, years of "borrowing" the wizard's spellbook and the cleric's holy symbol has led to them becoming, in fanon, a despicable blight of inconsiderate thieves who are either brain-damaged or playing dumb. On some boards, killing Kender is considered to be Poke the Poodle-level evil at worst, as opposed to canon, where it's treated with about the same weight as murdering children. This is primarily because a Kender's more distasteful traits in canon are because they truly don't know any better, whereas the player sitting across from you with a smug grin on his face most certainly does.

    Video Games 
  • From the Ace Attorney series, Klavier Gavin is one of the few rivals who isn't an Amoral Attorney, and is The Charmer. In these fics (hide your kids first), both by the same author, well... this comment left on one of the fics will explain:
    Okay, I know that Klavier can be mean(in a funny way) but THIS mean? That's sick. That's just sick! Maybe he likes Ema but not that much. Why would he rape her? I know its fanfiction but GAWD.
  • Dragon Age The Crown Of Thorns gives this good to Bhelen, complete with ridiculously long rant.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • One particular fic is a Sacred Stones fic that treats Lyon this way, making him out to be manipulative and passive-aggressive and even making Eirika resent him for trying to take her away from Seth.
    • The Big Decision, an Erk/Florina fic that paints Serra as a jealous bitch of the worst kind who would happily let Florina die just so she could have Erk all to herself.
    • Forever With You, an Ike/Soren Melodrama in which Micaiah goes from Well-Intentioned Extremist My Country, Right or Wrong to a jealous bitch who hates Soren to death for simply being the technical rightful heir to Daein and even goes so far as to have him killed.
    • Jealousy, a Chrom/Boy!Avatar fic that makes no bones about how the author feels about Sumia and her relationship with Chrom. Sumia goes from a sweet, clumsy, friendly girl who may have a crush on her prince to a whiny, petty little bitch who actively tries to break up Chrom and the Male Avatar's "true love". Boy!Avatar doesn't come off too well either, turning him from a loyal friend into a just as petty jackass who tells Sumia "Well I had his child, so you can just back the fuck off."
    • Someone to Protect is a High School AU that pairs Chrom with the male Robin and casts Maribelle in the Clingy Jealous Girl role. The story's stalled, but from the way the second chapter ends it's pretty clear she's the "wickedly smirking" presence who will soon make Robin's life a living hell for taking "her" Chrom away.
  • Mega Man:
    Narrator: M is for Mega Man, a hero to some. But in Robot Land, he just ruins all the fun.
  • Nerf NOW!! did this to The Legend of Zelda series star Link.
  • Ash Ketchum from Pokémon gets this treatment in Pokemon: Black and Blue thanks to PETA.
  • Mario gets this treatment in Super Tanooki Skin 2D for wearing fur... despite said fur not coming from an animal at all.
    • Mario is seen like this by great part of the fanbase (particularily when those two Game Theory (Web Show) videos came out), mostly because of Luigi (Luigi doesn't get as much screen time as him, but many people make it look like Mario mistreats and abuses his brother), the endless enemies he stomps (other playable characters aren't blamed), and his relationships with Daisy and Pauline (both relationships are dead now) besides Peach.
  • Endlessly done to Luigi in Super Mario World ROM hacks. Some examples:
    • SMW YEAHHH has him as the true villain and final boss
    • Brutal Mario looks to be the same, as implied by this early final overworld map. Note him riding in the clown car and the giant neon letters on the castle. Also, it does the same to Peach (who's shown to be working with Luigi, and can be seen as an unfinished boss in game) and Mario (who's apparently trying to take back the kingdom he ran as a dictatorship beforehand).
    • S Mario has this, according to the translation raocow is working with.
    Luigi: "Brother, I've become a wielder of Black Magic."
  • In the Super Mario World creepypasta I HATE YOU, the level that the storyteller discovers ends with Luigi facing off against Mario, apparantly sick of always being in his brother's shadow. He also seems to have been working with Bowser the entire time. What follows afterwards is a cutscene where the two fight, ending with Mario punching Luigi into a pit of lava in the arena.
  • Spyro the Dragon: Ember was included in The Legend of Spyro: A New Dawn mainly to defy this trope because the author was sick and tired of her getting this treatment by the fandom. Quite a few readers agreed and she ended up being the Ensemble Darkhorse.
  • Touhou:
    • The Chinese Touhou doujin Yuyuko's Yukkuri Farm goes to the extreme and has Yuyuko raising yukkuris in order to eat their babies (warning: link is to Danbooru and has NSFW ads). The author is extremely fond of depicting Yuyuko as a sadist and has a major dislike of her.
    • A Dark Fic author by the name of Stripe Pattern believes Byakuren, a Buddhist magician in charge of a temple, is a psychotic monster. In Stripe Pattern's doujin Love and Peace, Byakuren genocides the entire human village, as she declares humans to be weak-willed, compared to the "strong" youkai, citing Buddhism to support her actions. The author actually quotes Byakuren's background to support the "fact" she's evil.

      The same author also depicts Sanae, a happy-go-lucky ditz with racist tendencies and an overt fondness for youkai exterminationnote , as a very serious, sadistic Blood Knight who hates her own goddesses (people she loves in canon) who goes insane frequently.
    • One author, Zounose, has Byakuren come up with a way to keep the youkai she takes care of from eating people: use the corpses of recently dead babies to fertilize the fruit trees she grows, so that the resulting fruit technically counts as human fleshnote . Just so we're clear that the author doesn't consider this to be a good thing, everything is done in sinister tones and Byakuren chews on the flesh of one of the fruits, signifying she's a technical cannibal, which is, for obvious reasons, a major no-no in Japan. Or anywhere else. The same artist also considers Sakuya to be willing to murder her own mistress, someone she's undyingly loyal to in canon.
    • There's a mildly popular series among a certain subset of fans revolving around Koishi, who can manipulate subconsciousnesses, being a cannibalistic, sadistic psychopath who drives all of Gensokyo into mass murder and torture. Note that, in canon, Koishi is considered to be brain-dead, with absolutely no thoughts or personality of her own.note 
    • This is subverted in the doujin The Silence of the Rabbits, which depicts Eirin as a sadistic monster who does cruel experiments and is also a cannibal. The subversion is that this isn't the real Eirin, but a clone that Eirin created to manage the other clones that she created, but who went evil, incapacitated and imprisoned her. The clone wanted to come up with a poison that could kill a Hourai immortal, but despite her advances, she feared the original, and it turns out during the climactic battle between the Eirins that Eirin created her using the template for the Reisen clones rather than her own.
    • With some characters, it gets up to a Memetic Mutation, as shown on Memes.Touhou. The opposite is rarer, due to White and Gray Morality in canon.
  • Kid Icarus Uprising 2: Hades Revenge gives this treatment to Dark Pit, or as he is referred to in the story, Pit2. In the source material, he is neutral at worst, while the fanfic has him as part of the Big Bad Ensemble. His track record in the story includes attacking a university and submitting various tortures upon the children within, stealing a nuke, then building his own when it's stolen off him, sacrificing Pit to create a 'zomboy' army, stealing The 3 Scarred Treaures, unleashing The Smooze on the world, teaming up with Hitler, Stalin, Frollo, and David Cameron, tricking Cloud Angle into destroying the world, framing Pit for terrorism, brainwashing Mao Zedong into attacking Japan, and building a laser cannon to bring the world to his mercy.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY
    • In the fic Trials of a Workaholic, Weiss is depicted as sexually abusive. This was apparently based off her Squeeing over Pyrrha's battle skills for all of two scenes. Why the author even thought that it was sexually motivated, we don't know.
    • In Pinned, Pyrrha- of all characters- is depicted as a rapist. This is the girl whose greatest canonical flaw is that she's so compassionate she can't speak up for herself.
    • The general FNDM on Tumblr has twisted Pyrrha to no end, for example Sexual Predator!Pyrrha

    Webcomics 
  • Homestuck
    • Bro Strider, Dave's badass older brother, is subjected to this in Out of His Depth, a Dave/Tavros fic, where he is both abusive and a homophobic jerkass whose only real purpose in the fic is to provide a reason for Dave to be reluctant to admit his feelings and someone for Tavros to stand up to. This is a bit Hilarious in Hindsight as the fic was written before the Post-Scratch Universe versions of the kids' Guardians were introduced and Bro's own counterpart Dirk is revealed to be both a pretty nice guy and, more importantly, gay.
    • Troll Fic Homestuck High depicts Sollux Captor as an actual demon who lives in a castle decorated with aborted fetuses and is attempting to forcibly impregnate Rose and Jade for some reason.
    • Dave Strider is subjected to this in fanfic a LOT, especially in fics where he's shipped with John. In fics, he is characterized as a jock who picks on John, has tons of one night stands, does weed/drinks, and picks fights. In canon, he's actually pretty passive, despite his "Cool Kid" attitude it mainly revolves around deadpan sarcasm, he knows little to nothing about sports, collects fossils and has an interest in photography, actually seems easily weirded out around ideas of sex and alcohol use in the times when it's seriously brought up, and in fact there's enough incidents to have the suspicion that he's even more of a pushover than John when it comes to people he really likes.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: Be My Escape does this to Princess Bubblegum, as she goes from a sweet, smart girl who occasionally acts somewhat Cute and Psycho to an Ax-Crazy, sociopathic, (implied) pedophile.
  • Avatar The Last Airbender:
    • Mai in the fan comic How I Became Yours. Because how dare the woman be angry that her husband cheated on her and had a kid with another woman, clearly she deserves to be killed. Admittedly, she poisons Katara, causing her to miscarry, and later tries to kill her personally, almost killing the Out of Character but Heel Face Turned Azula in the process, but she comes off as more reasonable and sympathetic than the author intended her to be, which is surprising considering how much the author tried to derail and demonize her.
    • Aang in this Toph/Katara fic, Do you hate me?, is twisted into a swearing, angry jackass who throws rocks and hurts Toph on purpose. Granted, this does take place during "The Desert" and he was angry at Toph for not saving Appa, but he'd never go out of his way to hurt her. He, in fact, became upset after intentionally hurting buzzard-wasp hybrid creatures. It's also incredibly out of character for Toph since the canon Toph wouldn't put up with that sort of treatment from him for anymore than a second.
    • Embers. Katara's season three rage over Zuko getting Aang mostly-killed after she'd started to trust him is transposed into a season one homicidal fury that Zuko is of the Fire Nation and has the nerve to be a better healer than she is. Since then, Katara has been publicly humiliated by the amazing Zuko in three or four different ways and has been reclaimed as an acceptable being, but is being used as a prop in the new goal of showing that Aang is a horrible, selfish boy who's deeply intolerant of everything that doesn't fit into his childhood culture (which by the way is secretly evil).
  • Batman Beyond: Wheres Max shifts Dana from her canon Spoiled Sweet characterization into an outright villain who orchestrates Max's kidnapping out of jealousy over Terry.
  • Code Lyoko fans who love to ship Odd/Aelita tend to do this to Jeremie in their fanfics often twisting him into a possessive Jerk Ass that abuses and insults Aelita. This particular fic being a good example.
  • Invader Zim Born Again Christian does this to poor Dib, who's an anti-heroic Well-Intentioned Extremist in canon, but in the fic is literally The Antichrist.
  • Merida and Astrid: The Absesses Of The Heart and Hiccup: The Hasteful Hatred Of The Pericardium both depict Hiccup as a demented misogynistic pervert who tries to rape the protagonist/s of the story, failing horribly at that. He's also a Mad Scientist for some reason, and a cry-baby who whines to "daddy" about the protagonist/s hurting him.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • Not only does Abuse Cycle (found here) take the Mako/Korra relationship down the road of Domestic Abuse and murder, but the author's notes make it clear that they think the signs of it on Mako's part are self evident in the show itself.
    • Voices (found here) does a bizarre inversion. The narrator (Korra's noncanon adopted sister) quickly falls for and latches onto Mako, while Korra is portrayed as being an irresponsible ditz who has no sense of manners or responsibility and needs her sister to be her "manager", because she can't take her Avatar training seriously (ignoring how, in canon, Korra loved being the Avatar more than anything). Given that the author proclaimed a rather loud hatred of Asami, in the notes of another fic, it's no surprise that she turns out to be an Equalist Sympathizer with little to no sympathy once she's found out.
  • The Secret Show: Sneaky Agent and other fanfics written by agentmatt portray Alphonse, normally a gentle Italian artist and Anita Knight's canon boyfriend, as a sadistic asshole bent on killing Victor Volt because he stole his girl.
  • The Simpsons: The fic Hidden Secrets, a Lisa/Nelson romance, portrays Dogged Nice Guy Milhouse as a rapist and eventually a murderer.
  • Steven Universe:
  • Teen Titans:
    • It's hard to tell in The End of Ends, but the author was aiming for this portrayal of the Titans, even though Beast Boy's Wangst, stalking, descent into outright villainy, and eventual death are behavior commonly associated with characters who get this treatment... And this is his Creator's Pet we're talking about!
    • Return of a Titan by RainthelingeringSentiment shows Robin to be a Manipulative Bastard who threw Beast Boy out of the team, afraid Starfire is attracted to him. In the end of the fic, he ends up as Slade's apprentice and Star ends up with Red X.
  • Geoff in the Total Drama fan fic Total Drama Luxury Tour. About a third of the way into the story, he goes from being one of the nicer competetors (as he is in canon) to being insane and overly violent, with one of his actions even giving Trent a serious injury that forces him to be removed from the game. After his elimination, he is shown to become so crazy that all he can say is "Bridgette," the name of his ex-girlfriend.
  • Total Drama: Some Stars gives us Mike, The Generic Nice Guy in canon, the Establishing Character Moment of imitating Manitoba Smith to make his wife cry. This is explained in-universe as expanding upon the implied Split Personality Merge after the much-reviled Reset Button in the finale of All Stars. By Word Of God, this was used as an excuse to remove Mike first, considering his canonical character boring and offensive (ironically, the writers of the fic like this Mike better than his canon self since they feel he is actually a rounded character), since they felt they just had to feature him in a season where an entire team is a recognized Spotlight-Stealing Squad. He does, however, retain his canonical concern for Zoey, and even has a few moments where he's regretfully aware of his becoming meaner.
  • Transformers fan Raksha has a whole series of essays detailing how the Decepticons are the truly oppressed minority and actually noble creatures (yes, even Starscream and Megatron) and that the Autobots are the bad guys.
  • X-Men: Evolution:
    • Not Just A Sleepover (found here) states right at the beginning that it's for non-Jean and Cyclops fans, and just gets worse from there.
    • Tsunami (found here) depicts Jean Grey as a cliché Alpha Bitch, with everyone vocally denouncing her as a two-faced bitch, all while her powers are degraded to Pre-Claramont Comics!Jean level in order to "fix" how "perfect" she is.
    • In Diamonds Are A Fuzzy Dudes Best Friend (here) Cyclops and Jean get this treatment. Jean gets pretty much nothing but abuse from Emma Frost with everyone stating how she 'deserves' it, while Cyclops is depicted as a moron who just follows either Jean or Xavier's every word.
    • Logan Vs Lance (here) has Avalanche portrayed as a cheating, abusive, Bastard Boyfriend to motivate the X-Men to beat him up so Kitty would have a reason to break up with him.
    • Web Of Shadows turns Rogue into a mean spirited Satanist. (here). Although it's worth noting that the whole thing is a Troll Fic and a Stealth Parody of Spider-Man's resident Canon Sue Carlie Cooper and of this type of Character Derailment. In the former ending before it was continued, it turned Carlie Cooper and all Mary Sues into evil entities that try to take over fictional universes.

Alternative Title(s):

Paint The Hero Black, Fanfic Character Assassination