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Take That, Critics!
"If anyone really pisses you off, depict them in your comic as a ridiculous strawman and mock them with infuriating self-righteousness. You know, kind of like exactly what I'm doing now."
Ben 'Yahtzee' Croshaw, offering some advice for budding webcomic artists.

A specific form of Take That, in which the producers of a show respond to criticism of the show through the show itself, either through subtle in-jokes that obliquely refer to the criticism, putting lines of dialogue into the mouths of the characters, or presenting parodies of their critics. The program may even break the fourth wall to directly address the critics.

Depending on the producer, this can come in many forms; gentle ribbing or parody of the critics and their position, pointed rejoinders, triumphant gloating, and — in extreme cases — over-the-top bile that leads to the strong assumption that the critics may have struck a delicate nerve.

Sometimes features the Straw Critic. See also Dear Negative Reader.

Examples:

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    Advertising 
  • Exclusive promos for the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie made fun of the critics that didn't like it. One featured the Mooninites giving the pinky to a fake critic named Lionel. Another one featured Carl describing any critic that didn't like the movie as a 97 year old. Ouch.
  • Domino's invoked this trope by having ads featuring videos taken from focus groups about how their pizza sucked. Then they showed the Domino's execs reactions. Then the chefs vowing to do better. Then the chefs taking their new, improved pizzas to the critics houses. "I'm eating my words!"
  • This ridiculous response to Stephen Colbert's criticism of a "hip" Miracle Whip ad. Stephen retorted by thanking them for all the ad revenue and announcing he'd spend all the money on mayonnaise.
  • In response to PETA deprecating Dodge's use of a monkey in one of their commercials, Dodge released a new version of the commercial with an invisible monkey.
  • In a commercial for Audi's "Stay Uncompromised" campaign, Ricky Gervais stoically endures a recitation of nasty Twitter comments about him... read by an adorable little girl. Given Gervais' reputation, the tweets could have very plausibly have been real.

    Comic Books 
  • Dan DiDio actually turned one of his online critics into a supervillain so he could be beaten up. A really lame supervillain seeking Disproportionate Retribution. And for extra insult, he decided to make the villain Camp Gay.
  • A late 90s-era Astérix story, The Secret Weapon, was criticised by many people for being sexist as hell, centering as it did on a Straw Feminist One-Shot Character who mostly makes completely reasonable points. The second-to-next album, Asterix and the Class Act (a "stuff that doesn't fit anywhere else" compilation of one-shots) contains multiple comments in the original material poking fun at anyone who could possibly accuse Uderzo of anti-feminism, and implying people who do are empty-headed reactionaries.

    Fan Fiction 

    Film 
  • History of the World Part I features this in its opening sequence, with a cave-painter being the "birth of the artist", followed by the inevitable after-birth - the first critic.note 
  • Lady in the Water features a Straw Critic expressly for this purpose, who gets killed. Also, there is an author who changes the entire world by becoming a martyr, and is played by Shyamalan himself. Naturally, in their (mostly savage) reviews of the movie, many of the critics were quick to note this stroke of narcissism. When the movie completely bombed he had to eat crow. Made even better by the common reaction to the critic, who became something of an Ensemble Dark Horse.
  • The 1998 film Godzilla took dead aim at Siskel And Ebert by featuring the latter as the buffoonish Mayor of NYC and the former as his sycophantic sidekick, as revenge for the critical mauling their previous movies had received (also, presumably, a preemptive strike against criticism of the current movie). One problem: neither critic rose to the bait. Ebert claimed he was just happy to finally be a character in a Godzilla movie. And on their program, Siskel delivered the definitive Take That to this Take That:
    Siskel: If you're going to go to the trouble of putting us in a monster movie, why don't you at least take advantage of having the monster eat or squish us?
    • While Siskel and Ebert weren't squished, another critic of the movie was - the extra in the car that is squished early in the film was intended to be a representation of J.D. Lees, editor of G-Fan Magazine, who had harsh criticism for the film based on information leaks prior to its release. Several Godzilla fans noted how extremely petty it was to cast an extra for someone most film goers would never recognize just to have him killed off.
  • Meet the Spartans has one of the most spectacularly backfiring examples in history: they build up the gag, by having characters read unflattering reviews of the previous installment, Epic Movie, off the Internet in a mocking tone of voice... but forget to put in the punchline. So all the scene adds to the movie is that it flat out explains how bad the rest of the film is.
  • Superprodukcja, by usually brilliant Polish director Juliusz Machulski, stars a movie critic who is forced to become a screenwriter and director of a movie under the thumb of a mob boss. It's pretty bad.
  • In Gremlins 2: The New Batch the titular monsters overrun a TV studio. In one scene a critic is ranting about how horrible the original Gremlins is, using actual lines from a bad review, is mobbed by gremlins and starts yelling "I was just kidding! It was a 10! A 10!" Unusually, the critic was actually Leonard Maltin, playing himself and reading out his own review; a rare case where the producers and the critic seem to be taking things in equally good humour. (The entire sequel could be seen as a Take That to the original, despite being directed by the same guy.) Elsewhere, the sequel demonstrates its own self-effacing good humour by including a scene where people discuss the inconsistencies in the "don't feed them after midnight" rule (before being mauled by gremlins) and another scene where Kate (Phoebe Cates) is physically dragged away as she launches into a maudlin speech about why she doesn't like Presidents' Day, parodying her speech about Christmas in the original film.
  • Fairly mild, but critic Pauline Kael gave negative reviews to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope and Raiders of the Lost Ark, leading to George Lucas naming a villain in his later movie Willow after her. Also in Willow, the two-headed dragon is named "Ebersisk" after Gene Siskel and Ebert - although the name is never mentioned in the film. This makes zero sense since Siskel and Ebert had generally given out very positive reviews to George Lucas's previous films.
  • In Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Jay and Bob blast some Internet critics for making fun of them (in context of making fun of a comic book that is based on them in-universe). The film's penultimate sequence involves the two of them beating the shit out of the Internet posters (most of who are revealed to be annoying twelve year olds).
    Jay: [as Silent Bob transcribes on an Internet movie site comment] All you motherfuckers are gonna pay. You are the ones who are the ball-lickers. We're gonna fuck your mothers while you watch and cry like little bitches. Once we get to Hollywood and find those Miramax fucks who are making that movie, we're gonna make 'em eat our shit, then shit out our shit, then eat their shit which is made up of our shit that we made 'em eat. Then you're all you motherfucks are next. Love, Jay and Silent Bob.
  • In They Live!, after Nada destroys the signal and the aliens' true forms are revealed, a pair of critics on TV (clearly expies for Siskel and Ebert, are shown as aliens, complaining that directors like George Romero and John Carpenter "need to show some restraint". This is a bit odd, considering that at least Ebert greatly championed Night of the Living Dead and Halloween (1978) when many critics reviled them as trash, although Ebert hadn't been as kind to some of their later films.
  • The villain of Galaxy Quest is named after Andrew Sarris because a producer had a grudge.
  • A guy who shows up at the beginning of The Asylum's The Hitchhiker was based on a critic who writer and director Leigh Scott hates. He's depicted as an Ambiguously Gay porn reviewer.
  • Starburst's John Brosnan delivered a Take That to Harlan Ellison, no less, when the latter took the former to task over his good review of Gremlins (Ellison hated it, dubbing it "The Muppet Chain Saw Massacre"):
    I resent it when a critic presumes to lecture me as well as accuse me of having a severe lapse of morals because I happened to like a particular film that he didn't.
  • Jamie Kennedy's Heckler is an entire film based around this trope. First it analyzes and criticizes hecklers at stand-up comedy shows, then moves on to its larger point of comparing negative critics to hecklers. A good portion of the running time is Kennedy personally confronting hecklers from his shows and critics who have panned his films.
  • In Robocop 2014 Novak's last line, "quit whining", can be interpreted as either a What the Hell, Hero? against In-Universe bioconservatives trying to uphold the Dreyfuss Act or a You Bastard against out-of-universe luddites.

    Literature 
  • In Michael Crichton's Next, Crichton wrote a minor character into his book that was currently being tried for raping a toddler, with the commentary that while his penis was fairly small, he still did significant damage to the child. Strangely enough, the rapist's name was almost identical to that of a man who had criticized Crichton's last book. The critic found this very funny.
  • SF&F author and Vietnam veteran David Drake's Hammer's Slammers was reviewed unfavorably early in his career by reviewer Charles Platt, who said that if Drake had ever seen war he wouldn't have written "such queasy voyeurism". In response, many of his works feature a reprehensible character named "Platt" who typically dies violently. About the best any "Platt" can hope for is to be stupid.
  • Piers Anthony takes a direct shot at his critics in the first chapter of Xanth book Currant Events: In the very first chapter, the muse Clio runs into a evil doppelganger who taunts Clio with many of the critiques of the Xanth series as she attempts to to kill and replace her as the Muse Of History. (It was one of Good Magician Humphery's challenges, so she probably wouldn't have killed her, but still.) In his Author's Notes and introductions, and even some of his stories, he frequently bashes critics and editors. His defense of his works (which are basically the print equivalent of a Summer Blockbuster) usually boils down to Quality by Popular Vote; plenty of people like them, so they must be good.
  • Artist Raoul Hausmann's The Art Critic.
  • Lord Byron famously satirised the various Scottish critics who had panned his early verse, in the poem English Bards and Scotch Reviewers. It can be found in Vol.1 of his collected poetic works on Gutenberg.
  • Terry Pratchett has a handful of Discworld books where, alongside the usually glowing review snippets you see on the covers and first few pages of books, ends with one from The Late Review that reads "Doesn't even write in chapters ... a complete amateur ... hasn't a clue".
    • The quote is also used by a vapid and shallow witch in A Hat Full of Sky to dismiss another, hard-working witch: "She's rather sad. Complete amateur. Hasn't really got a clue. Just bustles about and hopes."
    • That review is supposedly the reason Pratchett wrote his Moist von Lipwig series of books, which not only have chapters but even have Victorian-style chapter titles.
    • Not to mention the "critters" that infest the depths of L-space, grazing on books and pooping out slim volumes of literary criticism.
  • Tolkien's foreword to The Lord of the Rings features the following: "Some who have read the book, or at any rate have reviewed it, have found it boring, absurd, or contemptible; and I have no cause to complain, since I have similar opinions of their works."
  • Older Than Feudalism: 1st Century BC Roman poet Catullus' poem 16 is a response to two of his critics, and has been described as one of the most offensive poems ever.
  • A.P. Herbert's Misleading Cases in the Common Law includes the following passage, where a judge (apparently) urges the jury that they shouldn't discriminate against a critic:
    You were invited by the plaintiff's counsel to consider upon a somewhat higher plane the activities of Miss Trott, which are admittedly creative, than those of Mrs. Tulip, as being chiefly occupied in tearing to pieces the things which other men have made. But this distinction, however attractive to the lay mind, I must ask you to dismiss from your own. In many ponderous and ill‑drafted enactments our ancestors have been careful to secure to the most repellent of the King's subjects the common rights of free expression so long as it takes the harmless form of venomous and enraging words.
  • Illuminatus! has a pre-emptive strike on its critics, by including the worst possible review of the novel in the text of the novel itself, and attributing it to a deeply obnoxious Camp Gay who admits that he hasn't actually read the novel itself.
  • Poul Anderson's "Critique of Impure Reason" is a critique of literary fiction and its critics.
  • In Candide, a Straw Critic who points out all the flaws during a play Candide is enjoying later is specified as "a pamphleteer - a Freron" - one of Voltaire's critics was Elie-Catherine Freron. This shot at critics is a little odd, given that a page or so later, Voltaire insults a few of his contemporary writers.
  • P. G. Wodehouse: "A certain critic — for such men, I regret to say, do exist — made the nasty remark about my last novel that it contained 'all the old Wodehouse characters under different names'. He has probably by now been eaten by bears, like the children who made mock of the prophet Elisha; but if he still survives he will not be able to make a similar charge against Summer Lightning. With my superior intelligence, I have outgeneralled the man this time by putting in all the old Wodehouse characters under the same names. Pretty silly it will make him feel, I rather fancy."
  • In one of the many chapters of The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling where Fielding speaks directly to the reader he asserts that critics are the same thing as poisoners and should all be hanged as such. (This would have been even more shocking to a contemporary reader, since Fielding had been a Chief Magistrate of London who had sentenced men to hang in Real Life.)
  • S.M. Stirling has often been accused of sympathizing with the Domination of The Draka, a racist, technologically advanced Evil Empire that has conquered much of an Alternate History Earth. In response, the unrelated novel Conquistador contains the following line, in response to those making the accusation: "There is a technical term for someone who confuses the opinions of a character in a book with those of the author. That term is idiot."

    Live Action TV 
  • The short-lived show Vengeance Unlimited had "Critical", an episode that incorporated many critics' negative statements. Most of these lines were given to the naive 16-year-old computer whiz who was unwittingly helping the villain of the week, just to show how much they thought of the critics. This time the critics happened to have the show pegged, and it was canned two episodes later. The fact that ABC aired the show opposite of Friends at the height of that show's popularity probably didn't help matters either.
  • Murphy Brown addressed then-Vice President Dan Quayle's well-publicized criticisms of the show and its favourable depiction of a single mother directly through the show. This eventually culminated in a Take That right back at him when they arranged for a dump-truck full of potatoes to be dumped on his front porch, in reference to Quayle's equally well-publicized 'potato' / 'potatoe' gaff. "It's a good thing he didn't misspell 'fertilizer.'"
  • In a Dinosaurs episode, Earl comments, when watching a puppet show, that while the aesthetic of using puppets makes it appear at first glance to be a children's show, the actual content and themes of the show make it clear that it isn't, may refer to criticism of the show being for children. Or something to that effect.
  • The Doctor Who story "The Greatest Show In The Galaxy" is pretty much based around this trope, complete with a stereotypical Fan Boy whining that the circus isn't as good as it used to be, and the villains of the piece being a metaphor for television executives.
    • The 2005 Christmas special has the Tenth Doctor scolding Rose for giving up on him while he was comatose following regeneration. Given that this was the first regeneration following the show's relaunch, it's easy to picture these words being aimed at everyone who dismissed David Tennant for replacing Christopher Eccleston.
    • The 2005/6 seasons were criticised by some fans who complained about the number of stories set on contemporary Earth, wanted more exotic settings and Space Opera content, and got upset about the number of contemporary pop culture references. The 2006 Christmas special, "The Runaway Bride", featured an unspeakably nasty, misanthropic, intellectually-snobbish human villain who turned out to be plotting with aliens to destroy the world just because they offered to show him the wonders of the universe, and who was given a long and unsympathetic speech mocking pop culture.
  • The Babylon 5 season four finale "The Deconstruction of Falling Stars" episode ended with a dedication: "Dedicated to all the people who predicted that the Babylon Project would fail in its mission. Faith manages". The really neat part is that it works on both sides of the fourth wall. In addition, the blurb on the back of the box set contains a few comments from the show's harsher critics.
  • Richard Ingrams once attacked Fawlty Towers as unfunny. An episode of the next series featured a 'Mr Ingrams' inflating a sex aid doll in his room.
  • Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear lives and breathes this trope. A particularly notable example comes from Season 9 episode 1, when Richard Hammond returned from a rocket-car crash at 288 mph that left him temporarily brain damaged and could have killed him. Clarkson thanked the (very much alive) Hammond for reminding everyone of an important lesson: Speed kills.
  • Similarly to the Richard Ingrams example, the lengthy Not the Nine O'Clock News parody of The Two Ronnies came about after Ronnie Barker called the show obscene, making the point that someone whose entire routine relied on Double Entendre possibly shouldn't be throwing that particular stone.
  • The West Wing featured an episode where Josh posts a message about some minor issue of government procedure on an Internet forum. Though the site is actually dedicated to him, the users (including a forum administrator "sitting in a muu-muu and smoking Parliament Lights") attack him for getting the issue wrong. Creator Aaron Sorkin wrote this episode as a response to his experience using Television Without Pity, where he was a member for quite some time. Sorkin posted a topic about a dispute he had with a staff writer, which led to the site's users attacking him.
  • Leonard Maltin made a cameo in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode Gorgo where he claims he liked the titular movie despite "sending two of [his] assistant editors into intensive care". Maltin had in fact written a positive review of Gorgo prior to the episode and his cameo was equally good-natured, despite the show having in earlier episodes brutally mocked Maltin's scores of MST3K movies: the episode The Undead where Crow made Mike dress up as Maltin and read a humiliating apology for "his" review and the episode Laserblast where Maltin's two-and-a-half star rating of the titular movie is constantly mentioned as a Running Gag culminating in Mike and the 'bots going through one of Maltin's books comparing his scores of classic movies to the one he gave Laserblast (coming to the conclusion that, for example, Maltin considers Laserblast to be superior to Being There and equally as good as Unforgiven and Sophie's Choice). In his review of The Undead he called it a black comedy, however, so it's possible he thought it wasn't supposed to be serious. Please note that all of these were in good fun and Maltin holds no grudges, and even freely admits that his reviews are pretty much just his opinion and if you disagree that's fine and dandy too.

    Music 
  • In January 2013, a brief feud between country music superstar Blake Shelton and legend Ray Price ensued after a series of "Take That Critics"-type comments. While taping comments for the GAC series "Backroads" (for an episode devoted to his career), Shelton spoke out about the criticism several classic country music artists sometimes have about current country music. Shelton – known for not being shy about expressing his opinion, sometimes without thinking – stated the following: “Nobody wants to listen to their grandpa’s music ... (a)nd I don’t care how many of these old farts around Nashville going, ‘My God, that ain’t country!’ Well that’s because you don’t buy records anymore, jacka–. The kids do, and they don’t want to buy the music you were buying.” Price – not known for his outspokenness – posted the following response on his Facebook page: "It’s a shame that I have spend 63 years in this business trying to introduce music to a larger audience and to make it easier for the younger artists who are coming behind me. Every now and then some young artist will record a rock and roll type song , have a hit first time out with kids only. This is why you see stars come with a few hits only and then just fade away believing they are God’s answer to the world. This guy sounds like in his own mind that his head is so large no hat ever made will fit him. Stupidity Reigns Supreme!!!!!!! Ray Price (CHIEF “OLD FART” & JACKA–”) ” P.S. YOU SHOULD BE SO LUCKY AS US OLD-TIMERS. CHECK BACK IN 63 YEARS (THE YEAR 2075) AND LET US KNOW HOW YOUR NAME AND YOUR MUSIC WILL BE REMEMBERED." Shelton later realized he had offended Price, a performer he identified as one of his heroes, and scaled back his comments, and Price accepted the apology. But neither came before an exchange of "Take That Critics"-type comments.
  • Many people think that the song Droppin' Plates by Disturbed is a Take That at the record company who told them that because they played a unique style of music, they wouldn't become successful. Their first album selling over four million copies and their three consecutive #1 albums are even more effective examples. Sons of Plunder and Awaken could also count.
  • The entire (albeit lighthearted) point of "Silly Love Songs," Paul McCartney's attempt to combine a, well, love song with a defense of the entire genre. Rock critics hated 'silly love songs' in The Seventies, and took it out on the musicians...
  • Eagles' song "The Long Run" has been interpreted as a response to music critics:
    People talking about us, ain't got nothing else to do
    When it all comes down, we will still come through in the long run
  • Adam And The Ants' song, "Press Darlings," namedrops two adversaries in the British music press, Nick Kent and Garry Bushell. Adam Ant would later extend this trope to an entire album, Friend or Foe, where most of the tracks answer Ant's critics in the media.
  • Tim Minchin's "Song for Phil Daoust"
    Just wanna say, Phil Daoust, occasional guardian newspaper journal-oust
    That it's been three years since you wrote it,
    And time is very healing.
    But I still wanna cut big chunks of flesh out of your stupid face,
    And make your children watch while I force you to eat them.
  • "99 Problems" by Jay-Z featured a pretty vicious one: Rap critics say it's money cash hoes/I'm from the hood, stupid/what type of facts are those?...I'm like, fuck critics/You can kiss my whole asshole/If you don't like my lyrics you can press fast-forward.
  • Perhaps the most direct version of this trope came from Billy Joel, who, early in his career, actually tore up newspapers on stage that gave him bad reviews.
  • And take THIS, HATERS!
  • The Clash's "Garageland" isn't entirely about this, but the first few lines are a direct response to a Caustic Critic's take on one of their early live performances - they were referred to as "the kind of garage band who should be returned to the garage immediately, preferably with the engine running". Thus "Back in the garage with my bullshit detector/ Carbon monoxide making sure it's effective". The song was also meant as a response to music press and fans who had said the band had sold out by signing to a major label.
  • Oingo Boingo's "Imposter": It may or may not be based on anyone specific, but it depicts a Straw Critic as a jealous failed artist ("You're just a critic, we know why you drink so much / Jealousy slowly consuming your gut").
  • Guns N' Roses' "Get In The Ring."
  • Christina Aguilera quite likes defending herself against criticisms of her sexual music/show. "Still Dirrty" and "Can't Hold Us Down" are both also against those types of critics.
    • She also has "Here To Stay", "Keep on singing my song", "Bionic", "Dirrty", "Thank You", "Welcome, "Make Over", "Fighter", "Prima Donna" and "Beautiful".
  • Death metal band Cryptopsy received massive fan backlash for their album "The Unspoken King" and its jump into deathcore. They later uploaded a track, "It's Dinner Time" to their myspace page mocking fans for this criticism.
  • "Mean" by Taylor Swift doesn't seem like this at first, but at the end it has a line that calls out those who think she can't sing, a common criticism held against her.
    • Actually, the whole song refers to a critic who had brutally insulted her music.
  • "Shut Up Bitch" by Lil Kim.
  • "Don't Wanna See Your Face" by the John Butler Trio. Often assumed to be a break-up song, mainly due to the chorus being the only really intelligible part of the song for many listeners.
    You think I love you? You think I need you?
    Damn no, get out the door. don't wanna see your face no more.
    • However in the verse...
      Tell me why you're in this game
      There's better use for your pen
      Than criticising others for doing their thing.
  • "Mr Writer" by the Stereophonics.
  • "Jools and Jim" from the Pete Townshend solo album Empty Glass doesn't even try to hide the fact it's about music critics; the title refers to the critics Julie Burchill and Tony Parsons - who had written criticising the late Keith Moon - and the lyrics spit bile at professional critics.
  • Tyler, The Creator of OFWGKTA often calls out critics who label his music as "hatemongering horrorcore", but his most notable example of disdain for the criticizing bloggers is heard at the very beginning of the title track of his debut album "Bastard" where he rants:
    "Yo, fuck 2DopeBoyz and fuck Nah Right, and any other fuck-nigga-ass blog that can't put an 18 year old nigga making his own fucking beats, covers, videos and all that shit."
  • "On Fire" by Eminem features the line "So, the next time you blog, try to spit a flow / You want to criticize, dog? Try a little more" which is assumed to be directed at former rapper Nick Cannon who claimed that a song on his Relapse album proved him to be racist and jealous of the relationship he now has with his ex-girlfriend Mariah Carey.
    • The entirety of ''The Marshall Mathers LP" is this, among other things.
  • Queen's "Princes of the Universe" has a verse that's commonly seen as a Take That to critics who thought them past their prime: "People talk about you / People say you've had your day / I'm a man that will go far / Fly the moon and reach for the stars / With my sword and head held high / Got to pass the test first time, yeah / I know that people talk about me / I hear it every day / But I can prove them wrong 'cause I'm right first time"
  • Her Space Holiday's "Meet the Pressure". There's something incredibly petty about saying that the wives of your critics masturbate while listening to the very words they criticised.
  • Lou Reed's live album Take No Prisoners contained a tirade against Village Voice critic Robert Christgau, calling him a "toe fucker" and complaining about his previous album receiving a B+. Christgau responded by giving the album a C+ and thanked Reed for "pronouncing my name right" in the review.
  • Sonic Youth also reacted against some bad reviews by renaming the song "Kill Yr Idols" to "I Killed Christgau With My Big Fucking Dick". Christgau later named it one of the best singles of 1984.
  • Much of Britney Spears' later career is essentially this, beginning with her first Saturday Night Live appearance, her TV appearances, Kill the Lights, her fame songs in general and some unreleased tracks like "Guilty" and "Dramatic".
  • Nick Cave's "Scum" is a tirade of abuse against Matt Snow, a British music journalist who had been a friend of his until he dared to give him a bad review.
  • The appropriately named song, "Shut Up!" by Simple Plan
  • "War Nerve" by Pantera is a direct attack on the media in general and critics in particular.
    "For every fucking second the pathetic media pisses on me and judges what I am in one paragraph - Look here - Fuck you all"
  • "Panama" by Van Halen was written after a critic claimed that Van Halen only made songs about "partying, sex, and cars". Upon reading this, David Lee Roth realized that the band didn't have any songs about cars, so he decided to write one.
  • Pink Floyd did this, in the third verse of Pigs (Three Different Ones) from their album Animals against British Moral Guardian Mary Whitehouse.
  • One of the more entertaining aspects of Christian musician Steve Taylor's career was his constant battles with charlatan televangelists who decried him as an agent of Satan for writing rock music. "Guilty By Association" in particular is all about critics who unfairly maligned his work as Satanic simply because of the instruments it uses and the genre of music it belongs to. Also, from "Cash Cow: A Rock Opera In Three Short Acts"
    The golden Cash Cow had a body like the great cows of ancient Egypt
    And a face like the face of Robert Tilton (without the horns)
  • Who could forget Nicki Minaj's Stupid Hoe?
  • Chicago's "Critic's Choice."
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's I Can't Watch This (This is even funnier when you realize a few years earlier, Siskel and Ebert gave UHF a scathing review)
    "Those Siskel and Ebert bums oughta go home and just sit on their thumbs!"
  • Sting gets one in on "St. Augustine in Hell"-when Satan is listing former occupations of current residents of Hell, the last named is Music Critics.
  • Lady Gaga does this in "Applause", which is all about how she doesn't care if critics hated her previous album, because she did it all for the fans.

    Newspaper Comics 

    Professional Wrestling 
  • In recent years, the WWE has made numerous subtext references to Triple H's real-life marriage to Vince McMahon's daughter Stephanie McMahon, which many critics claimed was the only reason Triple H became a main eventer.
    • In 2006, when Stephanie was expecting their first child, Shawn Michaels asked Triple H who he thought got her pregnant. Triple H's response: "I don't know, but I tell you what - that guy's gotta be one hell of a stud!"
    • When Stephanie gave birth on the same night that RAW aired live, Michaels explained Triple H's absence by saying he was at the hospital without the McMahons knowing, then said, "Between you and me, I think he knows who the father is."
    • In a later show, when Shane McMahon told Triple H and Michaels to grow up, Triple H brought up how Shane's father "put his own daughter in an I Quit match, just days before she married a man with the world's largest peni..." (Michaels cuts him off before he can finish.)
    • On RAW's 15th anniversary, when the McMahons tried to shoot a family portrait, Triple H came out and said he felt like he was a part of their family. Later, Stephanie got back at Vince for all the times he humiliated her by kissing Triple H. Trip's response: "All right Steph, see you at home... I mean, your brother's a gnome..."
    • This all came full circle in the buildup to WrestleMania 25, when Triple H and the WWE not only admitted to the marriage on TV, but used it to hype his match with Randy Orton by having Orton assault Stephanie. On an episode of Smackdown, Triple H called his marriage "the worst-kept secret in the WWE".
  • WWE had an infamously horrible feud between Triple H and Kane centering around a dead ex-girlfriend of Kane's. However, Vince McMahon expected the angle to take WWE into its second boom period and duplicate the success of Austin vs The Rock, and was quite displeased when the fans hated it. The Raw after the infamous mannequin rape promo, Triple H cut a promo about how he didn't care that people were offended and anyone who was offended was so lame they shouldn't be permitted to watch WWE. It's very easy to watch that promo and hear Vince's voice coming out of Triple H's mouth.
  • During the early turn of the century, WWE had the Right To Censor heel stable, which was a direct shot at the Parent's Television Council and other such media watchdog groups. Interestingly, the RTC was actually pretty successful - giving the WWE a kayfabe reason to make some of the changes the PTC and allies were calling for.
    • WCW had a much less well known stable of a similar nature called "Standards and Practices", consisting of Lenny Lane, Lodi, and Ms. Hancock. This one was created by Vince Russo after he got pissed off at Turner Broadcasting for limiting violence and edgy material on WCW Nitro broadcasts. WCW and Russo being, well, WCW and Russo, S&P was never really used for much of anything, and they disappeared fairly quickly. However, it was Stacy Keibler's start in wrestling. And really, it's hard to complain about Stacy Keibler dressing as a secretary and doing table dances. (Incidentally, if you're wondering why a team called Standards and Practices would have a valet doing erotic dances, ask Russo, because no one else has a clue.)
  • Hulk Hogan had always been a target of criticism by the The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, a wrestling dirt sheet written by Dave Meltzer. Hogan had "won" "Most Overrated Wrestler" 3 times from the Wrestling Observer Awards. So at World War 3 1995, during Hogan's "return from the Darkside" (it was a storyline that Hogan was no longer a good guy because of Kevin Sullivan's Dungeon of Doom stable. Except for he was. It's WCW, it's always been very confusing), burning the clothes of his previous identity. Hogan would produce an Issue of Wrestling Observer, calling it a rag sheet, and was a dinosaur compared to the Internet. Hogan would then throw it to a fire burning his clothes. Dave Meltzer would take note; not only did Hogan win "Most Overrated Wrestler" that year, but he also won "Most Embarrassing Wrestler" as well. He also had all of the "swervy" booking changes in the newsletter before the PPV went down.
  • Dave Meltzer was also the target of UWF promoter Herb Abrams's wrath, in the form of a Jobber named Davey "The Observer" Meltzer. Steve Williams methodically took apart "Meltzer" and then stuffed a copy of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter in his mouth as a final humiliation.

    Radio 
  • Showing an uncharacteristically pointy side, radio comedy team Bob & Ray reacted to New York Magazine critic John Simon's negative review of their stage show by incorporating him into their skits as 'The Worst Person in the World' - a character who never spoke, just made rude noises while other characters (that is, Bob and/or Ray) commented loudly on his uncouth manners. (Broadcaster Keith Olbermann later picked up the concept, sans specific attack, and used it in his Countdown.)

    Sports 
  • Game Six of the 1995 World Series, which clinched the championship for the Atlanta Braves, might be seen as a Take That to the Braves' most overly critical fans. Tom Glavine was the winning pitcher with eight one-hit innings; many Atlanta fans booed him throughout the year for being the Braves' union representative during the previous year's strike. The game's lone run was scored on Dave Justice's home run; Justice had been booed throughout that very game after claiming the Braves fans hadn't been enthusiastic throughout the series.
  • Michael Jordan's Hall Of Fame induction speech. Yes, the greatest player of all time had detractors, and he went after them. He devoted his crowning moment to belittling anyone and everyone who has slighted him, at all, EVER! He singled out coaches and players for insults they had hurled his way as far back as 20 years ago—singling out Isiah Thomas, Magic Johnson, George Gervin, Bryon Russel and Jeff Van Gundy among others—while barely mentioning his own family at all, and even that was to remind them how tough they had it having to put up with his ego. He even flew in, at his own expense, the high school coach who cut him from the varsity team sophomore year and the player that coach had kept on the team instead of him, just to ridicule them for their mistake.
    Michael Jordan: “I wanted to make sure you understood: You made a mistake, dude.”

    Stand-Up Comedy 
  • Every stand-up comedian has a set of pre-planned jokes and come-backs that they use to respond to hecklers and negative reactions to their jokes, though sometimes they just improvise, with Michael Richards' racially-fueled tirade being a good example of the latter going horribly wrong.
  • In the Martin Lawrence special Runteldat, there's one bit where he rants about critics and how much he hates them.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: The web animation "The Red Dragon's Interview" shows Wizards of the Coast taking one of these at anyone who criticizes not the execution of 4e, but its highly controversial content by depicting them as a literal and figurative troll.
    • Though it must be noted that the whole thing was very tongue-in-cheek. By the same token, it looks as though Wizards itself was represented by the Red Dragon, who does nothing but sleep and crap, and the fans represented by the ridiculously fanatical Kobolds who worship the aforementioned crap.
  • In Ars Magica, one of the backstory's major bad guys was the Scottish wizard Davnalleous, named for Dave Nalle, a game designer and reviewer who was critical of the game early on. Later editions of the game explained the name as an attempted Latinization of a more plausibly Gaelic-sounding name (Damhan Allaidh, which translates as "Spider".

    Theater 
  • The 2007 production of Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors at the Stratford Festival was panned for being disjointed and nonsensical. In response, they added a giant penguin which wandered across the stage sometime during the third act, with a sign on its back reading "For the critics".
  • In one of the most extreme cases ever, magician Criss Angel found out during an April 2009 performance of his much-pilloried Las Vegas show Criss Angel Believe that celebrity blogger Perez Hilton was in the audience...using Twitter to tell his followers that the show stunk. During the curtain call, Criss pointed him out to the audience and profanely dissed him. The media stir in Vegas this caused proved a setback for Criss, as commentators derided him as unprofessional and a disgrace to the Vegas entertainment scene.
  • [title of show] discusses some of its own reviews within the show.
    Hunter: Jeff, what was that bad review in anyway?
    Jeff: Broadway.com.
    Hunter: Broadway.com?! Broadway.com can can kneel down, open it's online mouth and suck my—

    Video Games 
  • The computer game Peggle has often been described (notably by Ben 'Yahtzee' Croshaw) as being pure luck with no room for skill. In the sequel Peggle Nights, if the player attains the relatively difficult achievement of 100% Clear on all the levels, the quip of the "lucky" rabbit character Warren in the trophy room is "You cleared all the pegs? I'm starting to think there's more to this game than chance!"
  • After spending several games being panned savaged by critics NISA decides to fire back with the first trophy of Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory with the following quote.
    Neptune Oooh, looks like you started a new game! Think any game reviewers won't get this one?
  • Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge advertises an "optional easy mode for beginners and magazine reviewers" in its back cover .
  • A subtle one in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag has the in-universe front for the antagonist faction panning the idea of a game about Ratonhnhaké:ton, specifically citing his stoic yet angry personality — echoing some real-world player complaints about him — but also claiming that depicting his early years was not recommended either because, "although Ratonhnhaké:ton's early life would be of some interest to our more educated audience, it is unlikely that his story would appeal on a broader scale... being too 'foreign', as it were, to normal audiences."

    Web Comics 
  • Shortpacked! frequently broke up its "Flashbacked!" plotline to use Robin as a surrogate for criticism that his comic had gotten too serious. "The End of Shortpacked" was interpreted by many as a direct response to the John Solomon review, featuring a hostile customer upset that his opinion on how to run the store was not taken as the gospel and declaring the staff to be too arrogant to listen to him and regular customers to be merely yes-men.
  • In direct response to Kevin Smith's statement that Jersey Girl "wasn't for Critics", the Penny Arcade creators came up with a random strip called The Adventures of Twisp and Catsby, daring the critics to criticize it.
    Gabe & Tycho: I'd bet you'd love to criticize that, wouldn't you, you Critics? But you can't. It's not for you.
    • This backfired spectacularly as Twisp and Catsby became incredibly popular. No critic wanted to criticize them.
    • Penny Arcade also had a variant (inversion?): after making fun of various game reviewers for years, they worry about the critics' response to their own game. Cue cut to the big review sites throwing a party: "Hey, guys - I just started my review! Do you know if there is a number less than zero?"
  • VG Cats ran a strip with a controversial abortion joke. "Now some people weren't happy about the content of that last strip, and we can't have someone not happy. Not on the Internet."
  • Sin Fest has been doing this a lot starting around late January 2013, labeling anyone that dislikes Xanthe or the Sisterhood Arc as a Straw Misogynist regardless of reason.

    Web Originals 
  • The Nostalgia Chick got a lot of negative reaction to her "rapping about rape" video. Feeling that Spoony wasn't getting nearly as much criticism for the rape jokes in his own videos, she had a line in the "Inside the NChick Labs" special where reprimands one of the other characters for even mentioning the rap, declaring "we're not Spoony, we can't get away with that shit".
  • The Nostalgia Critic tends to do this in regards to his Fan Dumb, most notably with his character of "Douchy McNitpick", who endlessly whines and bitches about every tiny mistake he makes, and finds the idea of agreeing with him on anything to be repulsive. In his James and the Giant Peach review, he did a Running Gag that the fans of the movie were pointing guns at his head so he couldn't actually criticize it. At the end of the review he both says what he doesn't like about it and very fairly says many things that he thought the movie did do well, only for the Fan Dumb (in voiceover) to shriek "HE SAID HE DIDN'T LIKE IT!" and attack him. Also, on the whole, Doug mixes it with a lot of Self-Deprecation and a constant need to apologize for things that aren't his fault, so nobody really gets upset. At the end of his review for A Simple Wish, the Critic is confronted by Mara Wilson, who had been the leading child actress in that movie. Angry with him for mocking her for doing such terrible movies, she starts playing some of the really bad home-made films the Critic did in his teens, showing him as an extremely awkward adolescent. The episode commentary explained the circumstances behind Mara's cameo, how the whole thing was arranged between her and Doug, and how both of them had great fun doing it.
  • Ultra Fast Pony:
    • After making fun of the source material for several episodes, "One Joke to Rule Them All" made fun of fellow Abridged Series Friendship is Witchcraft. In the video description, the series creator preemptively called out anyone who viewed Friendship Is Witchcraft as a Sacred Cow:
    insult the canon? "heh, that was kinda funny."
    insult the fanon? "I'LL EAT YOUR FAMILY!"

    Western Animation 
  • Occasionally happens in The Simpsons, usually through the mouth of the Comic Book Guy. One notable example had him point out a continuity error that the producers had made ("Should The Simpsons get a horse?" When they did have one in an earlier episode, with completely different circumstances), followed by Homer asking "Anyone care what this guy thinks?" - with the entire town yelling "No!" at him.
  • Family Guy
  • Drawn Together tried to do this with an Entertainment Weekly review using the justification of the cast saying "Members with these characteristics aren't our target audience." Unfortunately they listed so many characteristics that it's impossible to find a member of society that doesn't fit into some of the demographics that were mentioned.
    • Entertainment Weekly kept playing along, though, culminating in a review that went "I gave the show an F. They killed off my coworkers. If this continues, we'll have to get married."
  • Ratatouille has a line that might be read this way. The final article of food critic Anton Ego says that "In many ways the life of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so." However, considering Pixar's good track record with critics, that might not be so.
  • Futurama has Bender say, "have you ever tried turning off the TV, sitting down with your children, and hitting them?" in response to parents who blame television shows (like Futurama) for making their kids misbehave. Given the way it's presented, it's kind of a Spoof Aesop.
  • Subverted by Animaniacs, which pit Slappy Squirrel against Siskel And Ebert knockoffs but didn't seem to be a shot at them personally - A) Slappy's shtick is being a washed-up cartoon star, of course she'd have to deal with critics; and B) the show made liberal use of No Celebrities Were Harmed, they weren't not going to lampoon recognizable faces if they could help it. Then again, in her other cartoons Slappy repeatedly badmouthed Moral Guardians who wanted over-the-top, slapstick violence toned down. One cartoon specifically had her nephew Skippy deal with bullying, to which all the nonviolent solutions failed and he resorted to Aunt Slappy's favorite solution - liberal use of cartoon explosives. The same toon's B-plot saw Slappy forced to build some machine to tone down on-screen violence, which ended up working by moving the violence offscreen.
  • Siskel and Ebert caricatures appear in the Bakshi Mighty Mouse finale "Mighty's Tone Poem" to tell everybody what they think of Mighty Mouse's home movies (which he's screening as punishment to four of his foes). Petey Pate gives them the heave-ho:
    Petey Pate: Beat it, Baldy! You too, Fatso! The doughnut shop is down the street. Just follow the trail of cops!
  • Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper ripped The Powerpuff Girls Movie, calling it a "nasty little film." At Comic-Con in San Diego that summer, creator Craig McCracken was seen wearing a T-shirt that read "a nasty little film."

    Real Life 
  • Gustav Klimt entitled one of his works Goldfish - To My Critics
  • Benjamin Disraeli, who earned his living as a novelist, said that "Critics are those who have failed in literature and art."
  • German composer Max Reger legendarily wrote the following to a critic who had panned his music:
    "I am sitting in the smallest room in my house. Your review is in front of me. Soon it will be behind me."
  • Quote of lost origin: Critics are like eunuchs at an orgy. Meaning, they may claim to know everything about how to do it, but cannot do it themselves.
  • At the 2013 World Wide Developer's Conference, while introducing the redesigned Mac Pro desktop computer, Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller said "'Can't innovate anymore', my ass!", in reference to those that felt Apple's best days were over after Steve Jobs' death in 2011.
  • In 1947, Han van Meegren was arrested on charges of selling artwork by the Dutch master Johannes Vermeer to Hermann Goering. It turned out that the painting was actually part of a scheme to ruin art critics-van Meegren had painted it himself. His plan worked: he was found guilty of forgery, and the Dutch art critics were greatly embarrassed.

Straw CriticCriticism TropesUnacceptable Targets
Take That, Audience!Insult TropesTake That, Scrappy!

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