Superboy-Prime in Infinite Crisis & Countdown to Final Crisis has been all but a big middle finger to obsessive comic book nerds who were constantly complaining about how the DCU was better "before" and how everything should be back like it used to be. In hindsight the first writer, Geoff Johns, actually delivered this message with much greater subtlety than the writers of ''Countdown" who ironically only ended up inadvertently showed off how badly the character was being written by them. Given that its the same writers and editors who've insisted in bringing back Silver Age concepts and characters while removing and dismissing, if not simply killing off, modern characters they don't like, the irony of them making a character mocking those who complain about change has sadly been lost on them.
Adventure Comics took it Up to Eleven, while adding some self-aware humor and good-natured Lampshade Hanging, due to Geoff writing the character again.
Wanted spends its last few pages mocking the readers for enjoying the book; given its written by Mark Millar, that's not unexpected.
One More Day: Peter encounters an alternate version of himself who is bespectacled, overweight and talks about how people who buy comics and video games are losers who don't have anything better to do with their lives. This character feels very much like a plug from writer/editor Joe Quesade who's vocal about how he hates comic fans.
Similar to Grant, Mark Waid does something similar in his Daredevil run. When The Punisher's new apprentice is cornered by Hornhead, she gives a small rant about how the only people who are actually serious about being heroes are those who've suffered tragedy. DD chews her out and gives a long rant about how he finds this line of thinking disgusting as, while he himself HAS suffered tragedy (in fact, probably more tragedy than any other character in comics), he finds the idea that doctors, police officers, fire fighters, and heroes who are heroes because they want to do good are somehow not as heroic as he is just plain disrespectful and appalling to think. It's almost definitely an Author Filibuster aimed at fans who think the only interesting heroes are the Darker and Edgier angsty miserable sort, which is a line of thinking Waid is well known for hating with a passion, but the speech was still pretty awesome and befitting Daredevil's character.
Fans of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic tend to portray Lyra Heartstrings as an overly obsessed fan of humans. Fan art has had her doing everything from playing with human action figures (and thoroughly embarrassing her friend Bon Bon), to wearing pants and even masturbating to human porn. She's essentially a parody of the most overzealous brony in existence, and images of her fulfilling pretty much every brony stereotype exist. What makes this an odd example is that it's the audience themselves making the insults.
The horror satire/social commentary film Funny Games is intended as a giant Take That at the concept of viewers enjoying watching non-real people suffer and die for their own amusement. It carries itself as a psych-horror film, but it breaks the fourth wall several times to ensure that the viewer feels guilty for enjoying the film as a horror film. There's even an in-character debate about whether or not fiction and real life are the same thing.
Wanted leaves you with this message as its ending.
Shock Treatment (the disconnected sequel to The Rocky Horror Picture Show) parodies the only audience that would ever give it attention - Rocky Horror fans. The TV studio audience shouts in unison at what they're watching, seem hopelessly (and happily) glued to their seats, worship Brad and Janet's every move, and blindly follow the characters, even when they're all led into a mental institution. Subtly, they're also wearing costumes from Rocky Horror.
On top of that, cheerleader Francine DEMANDS to be called "Frankie". And only "Frankie".
On a fourth-wall-breaking basis, the film also includes quite a few tenuous references for those trying to make a connection between this film and RHPS - to name a few, a fictitious TIME magazine with Rocky lips on the cover, sitting in plain view; dialogue references to "a rocky marriage" and "anticipation" (the latter being said while Frank's now-red throne is visible); the newspaper headline "UFO spotted over Denton"; Riff and Magenta expys discussing 'their old series'; etcetera, etcetera.
The Lone Ranger: Churchgoers are either fools or hypocrites. The military are dupes, then willing lackeys of the villains. Capitalists are either cowards or actively evil. Either the entire creative team AND studio behind the enormously successful "Pirates" franchise threw a Critical Failure on "What is the audience for Westerns in general and the Ranger in particular?" or this was a deliberate slam at those fans (that also failed to please the rest of America)
Multatuli did this to his readers, who praised his writing. Multatuli wanted his work to inspire action, not just literary acclaim, causing him to make bitter remarks about despising his public with great fervour.
Live Action TV
Done to an extreme extent by Glee. When the makers of Glee wanted to get Brittany and Sam together, they used this. They actually made Brittany say that she couldn't be with him since a whole army of angry lesbians would be coming after them. This was a reference to the Brittana fandom that actually got pretty pissed about this.
This jokey example from Red Dwarf: In the episode "Backwards," in which time (and dialogue) flows backwards, the manager of the pub in Retsehcnam is actually addressing "the one prat in the country who has bothered to get a hold of this recording, turn it round and actually work out the rubbish that I'm saying. What a poor sad life he's got!"note Keep in mind that back then, reversing a recording was really hard.
The "Back to Earth" miniseries dumps Lister and company into a universe where Red Dwarf is just a television show, and they're all fictional characters. Naturally, the show's fans are all mentally disturbed. Craig Charles (Lister) has publicly lamented wasting "half (his) adult life at Red Dwarf conventions" in the past.
In the Emohawk episode, Duke of Dork Duane Dibbley is described as "Looking so geeky I don't think he could get into a science fiction convention".
A similar thing happened on the fourth episode of the first series of Newswipe. Charlie Brooker was talking about the G20 summit and a long list of the economies part of the G20 scrolled down the screen. However one of the entries was:
"Bottom Land. No,not really. We made that one up. And you bothered to pause this to read the phrase "Bottom Land". What a dismal little prick you are."
Donna: When I'm with you... I can't tell what's right and what's not anymore. 10th Doctor: It's probably best that way....
A more direct one happens during "The Almost People." There is a small but loud group of Who fans who dislike Matt Smithbecause of no other reason than he's notDavid Tennant. That had to have had something to do with this scene, when a clone of Eleven is having his skull runneth over coping with his past regenerations:
The Doctor: (David Tennant's Voice) Hello, I'm the Doctor. (Matt Smith's Voice) No! Let it go! We've moved on!
Though that line may also be referring to some lingering resentment the Doctor himself had over his previous regeneration. Which makes sense, given that his predecessor wasn't exactly what you would call a fan of the process.
Whizzkid, from the Sylvester McCoy story "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy," was intended as a slap in the face to obsessive Doctor Who fans. He enjoys the Psychic Circus a bit too much to be tolerable, but claims 'it's not as good as it used to be' (a common fan gripe at the time).
Heroes: Tim Kring's infamous "saps and dipshits" comment, in which he insulted any viewer of the show who used DVR.
The Monkees' TV special, "33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee" did this in the "Wind-Up Man" number.
I'm a wind up man / Programmed to be entertaining / Turn me on / And I will sing a song about a Wind-up world / Of people watching television / Wind up man / Can you hear me laughing at you?
Owing to her nature as a Brainless Beauty, Ms. Fanservice and Margaret'srivalnote Who hilariously, later went on to replace Lucy as the Scrappy herself, Lucy became the most hated character rather early in the first season of Boardwalk Empire, and some particularly mean fans extended the hate to her actress, Paz de la Huerta, claiming that she was as much a mess as her character and just behaving as usual rather than acting. In Season 2, the character was given a tragic arc and finally received a couple of centric episodes. One of them had a scene where she rehearshes the real 1921 play "A Dangerous Maid" in front of a mirror, filmed with her talking straight to the camera, and it totally comes as if she is talking back to the audience:
"I know what everybody says about me behind my back. That I'm just some flibbertigibbet with cotton wool between the ears. Well, I'm wise to a thing or two. I guess you think I'll fall for any old bean with pomade in his hair and keys to a coupe?"
Sadly, the scene's power was undermined when it was leaked that Paz was really difficult on the set, and her character was Put on a Bus.
Blues Traveler's single "The Hook" is basically about how the lead singer could sing anything as long as the audience thinks it sounds good.
The Nirvana song "In Bloom" is squarely - or at least as squarely as anything the typically cryptic and abstract Cobain ever wrote - aimed at that sections of Nirvana's audience who just liked the tunes and didn't much care for or were even aware of the underlying message. In the unused liner notes for In Utero, Cobain was brutally direct:
If any of you hate homosexuals, people of different color, or women, please do this one favor for us — leave us alone! Don’t come to our shows and don’t buy our records!
Inverted in Molly and the Tinker's "The Anti-Singalong Song", in which the performers get the audience to sing about how they won't sing along, because the singers are just being lazy and not doing their jobs.
Fridge Brilliance also plays it straight, as the lyrics profess that folksingers assume audiences are spineless patsies who can be conned into doing their work for them. And, hey, the audience is singing along, even if it's about how they don't want to...
There's a Liar's Paradox in there somewhere.
The Fall's "How I Wrote Elastic Man", about a singer who complains that whatever he does, everything everyone ever wants to know is how he wrote that one song... and they don't even get the title right.
And they will ask me
How I wrote "Plastic Man"
How I wrote "Plastic Man"
Showbread's song "Shepherd, No Sheep" from their 2009 album "The Fear Of God" is a whole song consisting of this trope coupled with Misaimed Fandom and Artist Disillusionment, talking to their old fans who latched onto their first album "No Sir, Nihilism Is Not Practical" because it was a high-energy, distorted rock album with screamed vocals released at a time when Screamo and Metalcore were steadily gaining popularity.
Frank Zappa: "This here song might offend you some. If it does it's because you're dumb."
Mindless Self Indulgence frequently takes jabs at their audience, both through their lyrics and hurling between songs during their live shows.
Their third album has a song called 'You'll Rebel To Anything (As Long as It's Not Challenging)' which seems to be dedicated to insulting their fans. As the chorus says:
You're telling me that fifty million screaming fans are never wrong,
I'm telling you that fifty million screaming fans are fucking morons
The same album has another song titled "Stupid MF." It pokes fun at the audience for being unable to understand Jimmy Urine's fast-paced singing.
"Is it simple enough for you? Can everybody understand me? You all still following me?"
"Should I talk slower like you're a retard? Should I talk slower like you're retarded?"
The live segment at the beginning of "Backmask," where Jimmy talks to the audience:
Jimmy: "You guys, man, you gotta get organized. Come on! When I say we, you say suck! We!"
All you know about me is what I've sold you, dumbfuck
I sold out long before you ever even heard my name
I sold my soul to make a record, dipshit
Then you bought one.
"Admit It" by Say Anything is six and-a-half glorious minutes of frontman Max Bemis blatantly saying how much he hates hipsters.
Prototypical non-conformist You are a vacuous soldier of the thrift store Gestapo You adhere to a set of standards and tastes That appear to be determined by an unseen panel of hipster judges (BULLSHIT!)
"Three Little Pigs", by Green Jelly concludes with the following:
And the moral of the story is That bands with no talent Can easily amuse idiots With a stupid puppet show.
Brian Pillman's infamous "smart mark" promo in the ECW Arena is one enormous middle finger to the much more inside ECW fans. He even compared them to the much maligned Eric Bischoff to prove his point.
A staple part of the humour in The Now Show is making fun of BBC Radio 4 listeners.
Pretty much every episode of the XFM The Ricky Gervais Show contained some form of insult to the listeners, usually berating how few listeners there were and that the minority listening should just turn over or switch it off.
Aristophanes's plays were written to be performed only once, in front of an audience he knew personally, so he did this a lot, (making this trope Older Than Feudalism):
The Clouds: During an argument between the personified Stronger Argument and Weaker Argument, Weaker tells Stronger to look out at the audience and tell her what he sees. Following her advice, he exclaims "By the gods, they're all gay!" (Various translations render this anything from "faggots" and "assholes" to "blackguards" but the meaning is pretty clear from his very next exclamation that "Every one of them is one of those spreaders of their butt cheeks!")
The Frogs: "Wait, if we're in Hell, shouldn't there be a lot of sinners around?" "Sure, check out the audience."
In Hamlet (written of course by the English William Shakespeare and performed for English audiences, but set in Denmark), the graveyard scene has this exchange:
Hamlet: Ay, marry, why was [Hamlet] sent into England? First Gravedigger: Why, because he was mad: he shall recover his wits there; or, if he do not, it's no great matter there. Hamlet: Why? First Clown: 'Twill, a not be seen in him there; there the men are as mad as he.
Near the start of Lucky Guy, Courtney Vance's character Hap Harrison says the time period is from 1985 to 1998. “(New York) City had become polarized between rich and poor." Harrison indicated the people in the front row as "rich" and the people sitting the balcony as "poor." In the performance this troper saw, the audience responded "harshly" to this, briefly taking Harrison aback.
Do really badly in Fire Emblem (a.k.a. Rekka no Ken) and the ending will note about the player "To this day, historians look back and question how these incomprehensible strategies ever led to victory."
If the player loses enough units in Shadow Dragon to be unable to meet the maximum number of units deployable for a chapter, they will receive filler units named after numbers. Lose them, and (in the US translation) you receive more... with names like Owend, Lucer, and Auffle (Owned, Loser, and Awful).
Miss all of El Oscuro's eggs in Rise of the Triad, and you're treated to a fake ending where you save the world.... well, until El Oscuro's spawn rises to power and explodes the Earth. Complete with a .wav file going "Youuuuuuuuuuu suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck."
Lose enough times in a Mortal Kombat game, and Shao Kahn will go "it's official: YOU SUCK."
In Blaze Union, one battlefield depicts a gaggle of delinquents first trying to score with the female party members, then actually attacking and trying to rape them when that fails. Said delinquents are given the same kind of musical cues and attention that the player characters do—and they're portrayed as laughably ineffectual scum of the earth that will most likely die virgins even if their attacks on women don't get them killed. This appears to be a stab at the Vocal Minority of depraved otaku in the Japanese fandom, especially as Japanese society is starting to frown on the extremist Basement-Dweller corner of shut-ins lately. Unfortunately, this backfired; said Vocal Minority absolutely loved the attention.
In The Lost Vikings, the eponymous vikings routinely Lean On The Fourth Wall. Fail often enough and they'll comment on it. If you have to restart fifteen times, Thor will tell them they're doing very badly and they need to shape up.
The second game will say you really suck if you die on the first level. As you have to intentionally work at it to die, this is clearly an Easter Egg and doing it will give every character otherwise unobtainable Game Breaker abilities.
One of the Dave Mirra BMX games would actually use this as a cheat code - if you saved and quit enough times in practice mode, the game would eventually display "My grandma can play better than you". You'd then unlock a grandma as a playable biker...
Miyuki: But~ Miyuki is so happy to hear this~! After all, with su~ch a beautiful day like this, young people shouldn't shut themselves in their room the whole day playing video games~!
The Freespace 2 level editor will call you a moron if you try to confuse its ship naming system.
Metal Gear Solid 2 has a somewhat humorous, fourth-wall-breaking one during the "Colonel"'s malfunction, "Honestly, though, you have played the game for a long time. Don't you have anything else to do with your time?"
Some might see the entirety of Metal Gear Solid 2 as being a Take That - the game's core design element was basically a recreation of the first game, and the plot is revealed to be your main character (Raiden) is just a lame wannabe from the video game generation trying to be Snake and the Patriots are assisting that goal by making him play over and over through the same formulaic iterations of Solid Snake's adventures. Kojima seems to somewhat hate his fans.
A subtle one is in the Infocom game Suspect where the behavior of an NPC detective is implied to be a recreation of how most players acted when assuming the detective role in the earlier Witness... which is to say, not very competent at all.
When the first trailers and screenshots of Diablo III were released, there was a lot of backdraft over the game not being "dark enough", to the point everyone thought the game was going to be a Lighter and Softer cash-in. Blizzard's response? Whimsyshire, the game's new cow level, which has you fighting your way through a Tastes Like Diabetes landscape of rainbows, smiling clouds, dancing flowers, and unicorns.
Similarly, World of Warcraft had complaints from beta players who felt the Maelstrom was not "epic" enough, considering its importance in game lore. Blizz's tongue-in-cheek response was to add Epicus Maximus, a guitar-axe-playing undead riding a T-rex riding a rocket-powered shark with lasers on its head. It has since had cameo appearances in a hologram of what appeals to degenerate tech-lovers and the Brawler's Guild.
After some players complained about the endings of Mass Effect 3, the developers added a fourth ending option...which leads to the Reapers wiping out the galactic civilization. Then, for good measure, included a different stargazer scene implying the next cycle did what you were supposed to do: use the Crucible. The game made it clear that the galaxy was not going to win without the Crucible, and the Extended Cut made that clear.
Did you destroy the krogan research data in Mass Effect 2 ? You're going to hear quite a lot about why you shouldn't have.
Spec Ops: The Line is simultaneously a deconstruction of the modern military shooter, a Take That at the same, and a huge take that to the players, with plenty of leaning (and breaking) of the fourth wall. Even the loading screens near the end have such gems as "Do you feel like a Hero yet?", "You're still a good person.", and "This is all your fault."
The ZX Spectrum version of the shooter Sqij, in addition to being a Porting Disaster which is an unplayable, glitchy mess even if you fix the Game-Breaking Bug that prevents the player from moving in the first place, goes out of its way to insult a losing player: "What a plonker. You got yourself killed."
Dm C Devil May Cry has a particular scene which pokes fun at the HUGEInternet Backdraft that occurred among the franchise's old-time fans after trailers unveiled Dante's re-design. While fighting a giant demon at a fair, an attack destroys a building and leaves Dante wearing a long-haired white wig and a smashed mirror in front of him. He looks at himself, smirks, says "not in a million years", and then tears the wig off and goes back to fighting. Some fans saw this as a light-hearted joke, and others, especially the old-timers, saw it as a further middle-finger directed at them. However, this whole scene ends up being a case of Hypocritical Humor at the end of the game, as his hair turns permanently white as a side-effect of the Devil Trigger. Also later DLC allowed you to play as classic Dante.
Dr. Shen: Is this what the aliens do for fun? At least they're not playing ... computer games.
The 8-Bit Theater strip "Unwisely Pissing Off the Fanbase" claims to do this but is actually more Self-Deprecation. Many feel the strip's vast overreliance on Anticlimax is one of these as well. Brian Clevinger has repeatedly stated that the best jokes are the ones played on the reader.
In The Order of the Stick, the mass-murdering barbarian Thog became a fan-favourite, which is then mirrored in-universe by him becoming a widely popular gladiator.
Tarquin: It's weird, no matter how many people he kills, the audience still thinks he's lovable.
Yahtzee: A nerd, after all, is someone who obsesses over something, like the cultural impact of gaming, or people who criticise same in silly internet videos."
Also, seeing the face of the viewer is apparently enough to make an imp's head explode.
The Ultra Fast Pony episode "A Library With No Twilight" gives quite a bit of characterization to the series' Lemony Narrator. Specifically, his name is Phil, and he's a complete creepazoid. Then the episode ends with the text, "Phil is a brony, exactly like you! YES! JUST LIKE YOU!"
Andrew Hussie, creator of Homestuck, does this all the time to the Fan Dumb if something is misinterpreted or some logical leap not made.
GA: Sorry I Thought That Was Obvious.
The cherubs are parodies of the fandom and the Hate Dumb respectively.
He died in 2012, but then returned in 2013 with a different wall colour behind him. When fans made comments about how the old wall was better (with vrying levels of pleasantness and obnoxiousness), he delivers one of these:
"I thought the most important part of the Nostalgia Critic... was the Nostalgia Critic. Not the wall behind him!"
From Son of the Mask onwards, the trope has been included more often in reviews. The most glaring example was "The Top 11 South Park Episodes", a topic the fans chose when Doug asked if he was allowed to do a Top 11, where he started out hating the fans, them annoying him, and finally him screeching virgin-shaming insults at them.
In Chapter 26.3 of Worm, Clockblocker complains that "[s]ome dingbats online speculated that I had a thing for Weaver, and it took off." This is, of course, a direct jab at the substantial Shipping contingent among the fans who insist these two characters would be awesome together.
Nash:...Gentlemen, and I'm using the term loosely because you're watching my show...
Adventure Time has the episode "Fionna and Cake," a gender-swapped version of Finn and Jake. The whole episode is filled with cheesy dialogue, fight scenes, and a song. The fans loved it, and ate it up...until the end, when it's revealed that the whole episode was the Ice King's fanfiction about Finn and Jake, and the big bad Ice Queen was an Author Avatar for the Ice King! It was like a giant (albeit affectionate) middle finger towards the show's more zealous fans who write that kind of fanfiction and obsess over Finn and Jake just as much as the Ice King does.
"All The Little People" also pokes fun at shippers and fanfic writers when Finn discovers a bag of miniature versions of himself and his friends (left in his pocket by Magic Man) and starts messing around with them, only to start feeling guilty when he sees how unhappy he's making them with his meddling in their relationships.
The Phineas and Ferb episode "The Beak" has an odd example in its second song, making fun of the viewers for being weaker than the eponymous superhero.
"You really are pretty lame compared to the Beak!"
There's also Irving, a nerdy outcast sort of character whose obsession with the titular duo is taken by some fans as a playful dig at the fandom.
In the "Ember Island Players" episode of "Avatar: The Last Airbender", the writer of "the Boy in the Iceberg" made Katara and Zuko a couple, Actress!Katara considering Actress!Aang more like a little brother than a lover (which ticks off Katara to no end). This is most likely a "Take That!" to the people who ship the actual Katara and Zuko.
The Simpsons episode "Bye, Bye Nerdie," in which Lisa discovers that bullies detect nerds via their scent, ends with the bully Francine sniffing straight ahead of her and leaping at the audience.
In the later seasons of the show — starting around season 8's "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show," an extended riff on this theme — nearly any appearance of Comic Book Guy heralds one of these.
An in-universe example appears in a sequence where Bart has a daydream about being a jaded, bitter rock star. During a concert he informs the audience that he's going to play a new song entitled "Me Fans Are Stupid Pigs". Cue an outburst of squealing and fawning from said fans.
South Park: When Stan and Kyle finally reach their goal in scoring 1,000,000 points on Guitar Hero, instead of saying something along the lines of "You're a rock star!" the game mocks them and says they're fags for playing the game so much.
During the episode of The Boondocks where Grandpa fights an old blind man, the show stops before the killing blow and Huey muses to the audience that they could be reading a book right now. The screen stays still a few more seconds, like the show is telling you to do something better with your time than watch two old men beat each other.
ReBoot: When Enzo and Dot are in a zombie shooter game, they discuss the brutality of it.
In season 2 finale of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Princess Cadance comments on Pinkie Pie's plans for her wedding reception: "Perfect! ...if we were celebrating a six-year-old's birthday party", even though that's basically the target audience of the show. Justified, though, since it's really the Big Bad impersonating real Cadance.
In the season 3 finale, "Magical Mystery Cure", Princess Twilight Sparkle's final line, "Yes, everything's gonna be just fine!", was interpreted by the Bronies as a swipe to the Hate Dumb and the critics who continued to have doubts about her turning to an alicorn. In actuality, it's a Callback to Spike's last line in "The Crystal Empire, Part 2":
Yeah, I knew everything was going to be fine. — Spike
The creators of Daria pulled this in the episode Camp Fear where Our Heroine is accosted by a clingy "friend" from her childhood who's completely obsessed with her. The real kicker, though is that MTV had earlier held a contest where Big Name Fans Erin Mills and Michelle Klein-Hass won the right to get their likenesses made into background characters, it was this out of all the episodes they could have done, that they were used in.
The Powerpuff Girls episode "City Of Clipsville," with the girls and the Professor recounting past adventures, was intended as a Take That to PPG fan fiction, most notably those that paired teen Powerpuffs with teen Rowdyruff Boys. It backfired, as it didn't happen.
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