Snark Bait


While a good movie or show is fun, there's just nothing like the visceral pleasure of taking apart a bad one. And sometimes hating something popular is what defines a crowd, especially if, despite its popularity, it's actually pretty bad. Not terrible, not pitiful, just boringly bad.

Of course, in order to hate it to its fullest potential, you need to watch it and find out why it's so terrible.

Snark Bait refers to any popular work that evokes a desire to watch specifically to mock and join other people mocking. It's often a generic Hollywood blockbuster, or best-selling book. It's usually so formulaic you can see the TV Tropes Wiki Words forming in the air as the plot happens, or so poorly fact-checked that 640k could pick it apart.

Either way, everyone is going to be complaining about it, and you wouldn't want to be left out of slagging off all those idiots who gave up their money and time for such junk. Or the derision of stupidity with the passwords halfway and the predictability of the ending. So, of course, you need to buy it yourself. That'll show 'em!

As a Troper, good Snark Bait can lead to seeing how far off you can see the Treacherous Advisor, which characters are secretly related, or playing Trope Bingo or a trope Drinking Game with them. On the plus side, seeing a trope done badly can help you see what it is, and appreciate when it's done well.

It should also be noted that those who engage in Snark Bait could range from those who "love it but are able to laugh at its flaws" to those who "love to hate it and enjoy ripping it to pieces". Those who love it so passionately and are unwilling to recognize its flaws are unlikely to appreciate snarking, as well as those who hate it with a huge passion that they refuse to waste any time on even acknowledging its existence.

It often displays some of the following tropes:

Does not relate to the monster that can be utilized to bite your opponents or self. Nothing to do with thimbles, forks, railway shares and soap. Compare Periphery Hatedom.


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  • "America's Navy: A Global Force for Good". Whether you disagree or just think it's Narmfully Hammy, it's hard to deny this slogan's Snark Bait quotient.
    • Pretty much any military recruitment campaign invites this upon itself, especially from the people who are in the military branch being advertised.
  • The "Head On" commercials. How can you not make fun of a commercial that consists of nothing but "Head On: Apply directly to the forehead" repeated over and over?
    • The same applies to most other television advertisements for prescription drugs. Usually features a generic, bland spokesperson doing something, well, generic. Bonus points for corny CGI graphics. Especially notable are the Viagra commercials.
  • An Italian spot with Manuela Arcuri promoting a book entitled Il labirinto femminile inspired countless Youtube parodies due to its amateurish direction, poor acting, creepy Soundtrack Dissonance and the overall bad quality of the book itself. It even contains a word ("strategismo") that doesn't exist in Italian. Here it is.
    • The most recent version of that spot featured Karima El Marthoug, a.k.a. Ruby, the girl (under age at the time) Prime Minister Berlusconi has been accused of having had mercenary sex with. During the spot, she gets undressed by a guy with a Phantom of the Opera mask. Oh, and the direction is still amateurish, the (rest of the) acting is still poor, the soundtrack is still creepy and the book is still bad, thanks for asking.
    • Not to mention the one starring Lele Mora, the TV agent with Fascist sympathies involved in the Corona scandal.
  • National Organization for Marriage's "Gathering Storm" ad has gathered quite a bit of this. Just try searching for it on YouTube. Almost every result is a parody of some kind. This is not unexpected of course, given that it's melodramatic enough to be a Stealth Parody to begin with.
  • Rick Perry's "Strong" ad has launched a meme based on making fun of it.
  • Pepsi brand 7UP made a critical mistake lately in India- they showed Kathakali, a serious south Indian classical dance form, as a street dance.
  • Ads for feminine hygiene products in general, due to their corny stock photo aesthetic, the cheesy music, the overall bubbly-ness of its protagonists and for making viewers uncomfortable without showing anything more explicit than unnamed blue liquid.
  • Many ads, posters, and articles from the 1940's and 50's weren't considered Snark Bait in their own time, but contain Values Dissonance that people enjoy laughing at decades later. Adding naughty captions to prim-and-perfect media of the period is also popular.
  • Political ads in general are prone to this, since they seldom have the slightest hint of subtlety. Attack ads in particular have a tendency to be so melodramatic in their negativity that it leads to Narm.

    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Everything done by Rob Liefeld and Chuck Austen.
  • All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder: Virtually every other panel has some.
  • Anita Blake, listed in the Literature section below, also has a comic book adaptation. Chris Sims has more than a few words to say about it; he particularly loves taking shots at the comic's misleading covers, bad art, wasted premise, abysmal pacing, and Jean-Claude.
  • All over the place in Avengers Arena. Special mentions go to:
    • "I've always been a hater." It's a bad line, misuses the word "hater"note , and shows a complete lack of understanding of Hazmat's character and back story.
    • "My boyfriend exploded all over me!"
    • "Botsplosion."
    • "Chasehawk" achieving Ascended Meme status caused a lot of eye rolling.
  • Comics by Jack Chick. Those, sadly, become much less funny when a ten-year-old girl, with fervent earnestness, gives you one.
  • Marville: an unfunny, soon-dated parody comic created on a bet by the then Marvel editor, which then inexplicably morphed into a rambling, scientifically inaccurate diatribe about God, evolution, humanity, and the causes of war. You better believe the only reason anyone reads it is to marvel at how awful it is.
  • Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose has attracted a considerable deal of snark for its constant Fanservice, Stripperific costumes, Author Filibusters (usually in favor of Wicca), and oft-narmy dialogue.

    Fan Works 

  • Clothing by Abercrombie & Fitch and its subsidiaries, mostly for its frat guy clientele and some controversial statements from the CEO.
  • Crocs, for being widely regarded as hideous.
  • Anything by the brand Ed Hardy.
  • Fedoras, though the snark here is mostly directed towards the people who can't pull them off.
  • Mullets, which in the western world have become synomynous with White Trash.
  • Ugg Boots, again, for their questionable design.


  • Anita Blake:
  • Atlas Shrugged, just take a look at the quotes in this very site.
  • Baby Sitters Club has become this in recent years after the popularity has waned, with several blogs and online communities being devoted to it.
  • According to many Warcraft fans, Cycle of Hatred.
  • The Da Vinci Code. It seems that a less-than-shiny book assembled from moldy pieces of cryptohistory is not going to be less of a target if advertised as a daring innovative idea and (whispering) maybe even really relevant theory.
    • The fact that it holds the record for the most frequently donated book gives way to a lot of Snark Bait.
  • The Eye of Argon is possibly the worst fantasy short story ever written ever. Terrible in the extreme, only readable with the help of the MST3K crew heckling it... yet somehow, impossible not to read (at least once). In places, it has become tradition to stage competitions of how much people could read with a straight face and expressive voice. Three quarters of a page is considered doing extremely well.
  • Fifty Shades of Grey in general, especially the part where Ana describes Christian's penis as "my very own Christian Grey-flavoured popsicle." The series has been parodied numerous times, e.g. by Jimmy Fallon[1] and barelypolitical [2].
  • Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle is one of the biggest examples, primarily due to accusations of being unoriginal.
    • With all the crap Paolini gets, you have to feel a little sorry for the guy when you learn he started writing the series when he was only sixteen years old. It probably started out as some sort of fan-fiction-y amalgam of all his favorite fantasy series. Of course, said pity may dissolve completely with the knowledge that he published it when he was over twenty-one, that was nine years ago - and it still looks very much like a sixteen-year-old wrote it (with the help of a thesaurus).
  • Though not remotely popular, the Maradonia Saga has become famous for being made of 100% pure fail. It's not just derivative, it literally plagiarizes from The Bible, has Random words Capitalized for no Reason, random italics, and 'quotes' where none should 'be'. has sporkings and a drinking game, though it would be better to avoid the game if you don't want to die of alcohol poisoning and/or acute liver failure. The enormous ego of the author is the subject of as much, if not more, snark than the books themselves. SwankiVY sums the whole thing up nicely.
  • Tyra Banks is writing a fantasy novel about models. No, really.
    • The book trilogy in question is titled Modelland, and ends up practically snarking itself. For example SM-ize is an actual word. Really.
  • John Ringo's Paladin of Shadows series, although it seems to be something of a Stealth Parody. Proven by the fact that he links to most of these reviews and will usually write letters not only supporting many of their accusations, but pointing out inconsistencies and logical failures they missed. Such as the main character would have died about 6 pages into the first book. He called it his Dark Fic. People liked it so he published it and made a shit load of money. Here is a review, which gave us the "OH JOHN RINGO NO" meme.
  • The Sword of Truth series is a particularly big magnet. There are many websites and forums that mock passages from the books.
  • Twilight for a sizable fraction of those following it.
  • As far as Mark Twain was concerned, the entire body of Fenimore Cooper's work, and especially Deerslayer. This resulted in "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offences," a hilarious Take That and early example of what we call Books on Trope.

    Live Action TV 
  • American Idol has the "Vote for the Worst", er... party.
  • The Big Bang Theory has gotten hit hard with this, be it due to accusations of Seasonal Rot, the portrayal of nerd culture which many see as insulting or just plain wrong, or simple It's Popular, Now It Sucks reactions.
  • Community had an In-Universe example called Kickpuncher, which the main characters watch entirely for the purpose of making fun of it.
  • Because of Seasonal Rot, a large section of the fandom of Criminal Minds (including most of the comments posted to Television Without Pity) have continued watching the show simply to snark at it, simply because of how far down in quality the show has declined since the beginning.
  • Two Words: CN Real. There's a reason why we had to merge it with the original Cartoon Network page, along with many things we will not discuss.
  • CSI Franchises are incredibly formulaic, so much of it, technologically and procedually wrong, plus you can spot the murderer (always murder) in the first 10-15 minutes: There will be a background character who get 10 seconds of front of stage exposure, for no apparent reason. Did someone walk up to the lead (Horatio/Mac/Gill) and offer help for no apparent reason? Was a line said by an assistant to the chief suspect when they could have said it? Is someone pointed out for no reason - "I was fishing with Steve all day", cue Steve waving from the background? It's them
  • Dexter has definitely become this as of Season 8. Particular complaints include the poor pacing, massive and frustrating use of the Idiot Ball, lack of a truly epic conclusion, and worst of all, the overuse of voice-over to inform the audience on what they already know. It'd actually be harder to find any positive discussion about the show now.
  • In the UK, few annual events are more fun than gathering around a TV with your friends and/or family to watch and make jokes about the Eurovision Song Contest. Try it; a great time will be had by all.
    • In Spain even the commentarist does this.
    • The Spanish are mere amateurs compared to the ultimate master at sarcastic/sardonic Eurovision commentary, the formerly Irish/presently British Sir Terry Wogan. His commentary has been so vitriolic at times that some countries have threatened to ban him from entry into their country. For snarking on their Eurovision entry/-ies to the extent he does.
      • Wogan's sucessor Graham Norton does this also.
      • As does Australian host Julia Zemiro.
  • Doctor Who has the In-Universe example of Origins of the Universe by Oolon Colluphid, which the Fourth Doctor in "Destiny of the Daleks" is reading purely to mock.
  • Full House
  • Glee.
  • The extensive use of the Idiot Ball to keep those with a Story-Breaker Power under control has pushed Heroes to becoming this. Among other reasons.
  • Jersey Shore for the vast majority of viewers.
  • Mob Wives
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 (and its related fanfic-mocking technique) popularized snark baiting (and pretty much invented the Alternate DVD Commentary community).
  • The Oprah Winfrey Show has this, with people claiming Oprah will or already has her own religion.
  • The Secret Life of the American Teenager for a plotline that features exactly what it says on the tin.
  • Smallville had headed down that road.
  • Smash is quickly becoming this.
  • Sons of Anarchy: Many watch the show just to see what bizarre plots Kurt Sutter will come up with next. There is much debate over it. A Running Gag is that Jax often says he will 'get to the bottom of things' but either takes a long time to or never does.
  • The short-lived Discovery Channel show Smash Lab was this for a lot of MythBusters fans.
  • 7th Heaven
  • Pretty much any live action sitcom on Disney Channel.
  • Pretty much any show on E.
  • News channels that cater to the political party opposite to yours, and that's all there is to say about that.
    • There is also a sizable base of people who enjoy snarking at all news pundit shows regardless of the pundits' political slant. Don't Shoot the Message tends to come into play here.
  • Reality TV in general.
  • Ancient Aliens for anyone possessing a basic knowledge of history, biology, mythology, physics, astronomy...or anything at all really.

  • An excessive use of the pitch correcting software Auto-Tune turns anything into an instant Snark Bait.
  • Chris Brown.
  • And of course, even Jesus hates Creed.
  • Lampshaded by Jethro Tull on A Passion Play:
    Tell us, is it you who are here
    For our good cheer?
    Or are we here for the glory
    For the story
    For the gory satisfaction of telling you how absolutely awful you really are?
  • Iggy Azalea.
  • Justin Bieber is major Snark Bait for his Periphery Hatedom (interestingly, much of this is Astro Turf). It isn't possible to go onto any metal video on Youtube without comments saying that the only people who dislike the video are Bieber fans.
    • The standard of heartthrob for many pre-teens to just teenagers is enough to get anyone's dislike especially when you go from looking like a girl to a shirtless douche through the evolution of your career.
    • His ability to be egocentric in basically every exposure to the public. When visiting the Anne Frank House and writing in the guest log "Hopefully she would have been a belieber".
  • Justin Timberlake has remarkably managed to avert this thanks to a highly successful solo career. Many of his present-day fans don't even realize he was once the head of a boy band whose notoriety rivaled that of Justin Bieber during the Turn of the Millennium.
  • Kanye West has managed to put himself into this category, first by "George Bush doesn't care about black people," then by his now memetic interruption of Taylor Swift 's award acceptance speech, then his increasing megalomania, misogynist lyrics and his relationship with fellow Snark Bait Kim Kardashian.
  • Kidz Bop. Features bastardizations of pop songs sung by kids.
  • The later career of Madonna, mostly for trying too hard to stay relevant.
  • I Hate Your Blog by MC FrontALot is this trope's unofficial theme song. The tale of a man who repeatedly posts flame comments on an "incredibly terrible" blog telling the blogger to get off the Internet, then complains with equal volume when the blog isn't updated for a while.
  • Subverted by Metallica. The band was definitely this from the release of Load through, strangely, the release of St. Anger. It isn't that St. Anger was a good album. It was just so bad that it made people re-listen to the Load records and realize, "For bluesy hard rock records, these really aren't so bad". Death Magnetic, meanwhile, returned the band to relevance among the metal community, so they are arguably no longer part of this trope.
  • Nickelback is the ultimate snark bait band, mostly due to their sheer mediocrity and total lack of innovation. Also, Chad Kroeger has funny hair.
  • Nicki Minaj due to her music not only being reviled by anybody born before the turn of the millenium, but also for her rather strange outbursts and questionable dress sense.
  • One Direction: They're yet another Boy Band singing Silly Love Songs with large amounts of Ho Yay between the members, so this was inevitable. Then they became popular worldwide, so the snark bait spread globally as well.
    • Also their The X Factor performance of "Kids in America" was in the United Kingdom.
  • The Guardian did a hilarious review of Paris Hilton's Self-Titled Album.
    Lest one carp, Hilton has been quick to point out that singing is a vocation for which she is eminently skilled. "I know music," she reassured the Sunday Times children's section. "I hear it every single day." [...] While this obviously gives Hilton a massive advantage over those who have never heard any music and thus believe it to be a variety of cheese, there remains the nagging suspicion that this might not represent sufficient qualification for a career as a singer, in much the same way as knowing what a child is does not fully equip you for a career as a consultant paediatrician.
    • Paris Hilton herself is Snark Bait due to her lifestyle, behavior, and (at one time) constant appearances in the tabloids.
  • Psy quickly became this after "Gangnam Style" started to lose popularity.
  • Rebecca Black's Friday.
  • R. Kelly's Trapped In The Closet. It was so over the top Narmy that it became the source of so much parody and a result more and more people watched it so they could join in on the mocking.
  • Taylor Swift, who seemingly built a career on unfair breakup songs.
  • Tokio Hotel is one, even if that faded together with the band's success. Especially true for their own home country during the height of their fame, mostly for the lead singer's androgynous looks, their rabid fangirls and the very idea of then-15-year-olds posing as edgy naughty rock stars despite their actually very vanilla music.
  • Most Disney acts like Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers are also common victims.
  • In the heavy metal community, bashing Nu Metal bands is a popular pastime. Especially hated bands are Slipknot, Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park.
  • Critics have loved to mock Progressive Rock almost since its inception.
  • Modern Pop Music as a whole has become Snark Bait ever since the internet started becoming more widespread.
  • Pop Punk became Snark Bait to the punk community once the "second wave" became mainstream popular. Bands that bear the full brunt of derision include Green Day, Blink182, Simple Plan, and Good Charlotte.
  • In general, pretty much any Dead Horse Genre is going to be Snark Bait, period.
  • Vaporwave is seen by some to be boring, pretentious, hipster crap. So naturally it became this pretty quickly. That it has its roots partially in Tumblr doesn't help.
  • Any rock/metal band that uses turntables as an instrument is bound to get this reaction from some people in the community.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • The Church of Happyology has its own trope about specific examples for that particulal religion, whose real name we cannot print because doing so in this page would constitute slander.
  • Members of the "New Atheism" movement such as the late Christopher Hitchens tend to see all religion as an excuse to have a good snark. The Religious also snark back and also at each other.
  • Fundamentalists of any religion (especially Christianity and Islam) are often Snark Bait to non-fundamentalist co-religionists.

    Newspaper Comics 

    Tabletop Games 
  • See the bit about Twilight above? Now you can experience it on Tabletop, courtesy of Monster Hearts. Its tagline is "A story game about the messy lives of teenage monsters".
    Turn Someone On
    When you turn someone on, roll with Hotnote . On a 10 up, take a String against them.
    On a 7-9, they choose one: give themselves to you, promise something they think you want, give you a String against them.
  • To a sizeable number of Warhammer 40,000 players, Matt Ward and anything he writes is prime Snark Bait. Seriously, just look at his 1d4chan page.

    Video Games 


    Web Original 
  • Due to the criticism the show attracts, The Irate Gamer is subject to many jokes, rants, and comments from online personas such as the folks of That Guy with the Glasses, Retsupurae, and various parodies such as the Save-State Gamer and Third Rate Gamer.
  • Anything by Dark Syde Phil: His Let's Play videos are painful to watch, but his general incompetence and bizarre behavior has spawned dozens of "Let's Endure" and "Let's React" videos riffing on the highlights.

    Western Animation 

  • Angelina Jolie for her frequent adoptions and the infamous right leg during the 2012 Oscars.
  • Armond White's movie reviews, as can be found on The New York Press Website and Rotten Tomatoes, constantly bring vitriol upon those who read them. Seriously, just look at the individual moviepages at Rotten Tomatoes - his will, almost without fail, rack up the most comments. He's gained a reputation for being a completely predictable contrarian, and many suspect he's only looking to gain controversy and thus gain attention for himself (Roger Ebert even called him a Troll). Ironically, his reviews have actually become arguably the most reliable prediction of how good or bad a movie is; if he slams it, it's a good movie, and if he kisses up to it, it's a bad movie.
    • Remember that Roger Ebert initially defended White, pointing out that not only is there nothing wrong with challenging consensus position, but White even agrees with the Tomatometer 50% of the time which he considered to be ideal. The biggest problem most people have with White is that the reasons he gives often go above and beyond Epic Fail - to the point that people question whether or not he actually saw the movies he reviewed. For example, he complained about the length of Rapunzel's hair in Tangled and comments that her hair never becomes a problem for her, which is flat out wrong (in the opening song, for example, she laments the length of time she has to spend brushing it, and later it gets snagged on a branch while she's trying to run). Then in his infamous Toy Story 3 review, he called Hamm the pig a villain, even though he's a good guy who spends much of the movie imprisoned with them!
    • White has never, ever given a single Steven Spielberg film a bad review, even calling films like 1941 a "classic", and going overboard in his effusive praise of A.I.: Artificial Intelligence. Even his praise of Spielberg's good movies somehow go way over the top.
  • Rosie O'Donnell, whose vocal political opinions and weight issues have long been the butt of many jokes.
  • Sarah Jessica Parker, whose alleged resemblance to a horse has become memetic.
  • Apple gets this a lot, largely over the pricing of its computers and the perceived "dumbing down" of its operating system. Microsoft fanboys especially make Apple a target of snark, and Apple fanboys are no better (see the Microsoft example below).
  • Contemporary Art as a whole, particularly due to True Art Is Incomprehensible.
  • Microsoft's products also get this a lot.
  • Netflix has a "show" called Fireplace for Your Home which is, well, fireplace footage. It has 685 reviews, roughly 685 of which are snark.
  • vBulletin 5. Ever since it was shown as a beta product, admin and webmaster forums have been absolutely filled to the brim with discussions on its downfalls and mishaps, as well as those of creator Internet Brands in general. If it's ever brought up in any sort of tech forum, the posts will devolve into repeatedly tearing it to shreds within the space of about five posts.
  • Virtually every well-known politician gets this treatment. Please leave it at that.
    • Consider that every time someone puts the words "nobel peace price laureate" in front of the name Barack Obama, it sounds like a snark.
  • After 1994-96 American Wrestling Federation and The new generation WWF were done, the twilight years of WCW became the snark bait for wrestling fans for its nonsensical storyline and constant burying of younger talent, along with a bunch of other problems that we won't really get into. After they closed down, fans stuck to ribbing on some of the WWE's sillier angles for a while. TNA didn't really succeed WCW in this role (despite willingly employing Vince Russo for as long as they did) until Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff took over and turned the place into "WCW-lite", and eventually the fans got sick of making fun of that since they had seen it already and went back to ribbing on PGWWE.
  • Other popular targets include Kodo Fuyuki's stint as FMW's booker, WCW Thunder and The entirety of Dragon Door Project.