Appointing a blind man as their leader might not have been the best idea.
"If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us."
This is the implication that a character who dislikes a particular thing is secretly a practitioner of that thing.
This especially comes into play when ethnicity
is involved. Such a character is likely to believe in negative stereotypes about his own group
(no matter how irrational
), and hate himself for it, or live by those stereotypes so they become self-fulfilling prophecies. If Fantastic Racism
is in play, such as with Differently Powered Individuals
, the person may try to suppress the trait that makes them part of the hated group, or use said power as a weapon against them.
In older shows this sometimes comes up with racist characters who are exposed as being light-skinned African-Americans who are 'passing'. Depending on the time frame of the media, the result may be either to show that the character should love himself
or, in very old media from before 1940 or so, to show that the character is a sneaky liar who wasn't ethical enough to accept his "natural" place in the order of things
This sort of implication is "non-falsifiable": If even denial is taken as proof, there's no way to prove innocence. Characters who don't actually fall under this trope, but are accused of it by other characters, may get increasingly angry (or despondent) about no one believing them.
This trope comes in several flavors.
- The hater genuinely does not know he is a member of the group he hates.
- The hater has clear evidence that he is a member of the hated group but is in denial. He refuses to identify with said group and often comes up with convoluted explanations as to why he isn't actually a member. Will often invoke the No True Scotsman fallacy.
- The hater privately accepts that he is a member of the hated group but hides it from others.
- The hater hates all members of the group, including or especially themselves.
When the character is openly
a member of the group he despises, then that's a Boomerang Bigot
. It is possible for the two to overlap. A bigot's membership in the hated group might be secret to most people but known to a few. If he continues to sincerely express hatred towards the group, even when in a situation where his secret will not be exposed, then he might show shades of both Boomerang Bigot
and You Are What You Hate
Often a cause of Unfortunate Implications
. See also Hypocritical Humor
, He Who Fights Monsters
, Karmic Transformation
, Cultural Cringe
, I Do Not Like Green Eggs and Ham
. Contrast Pretend Prejudice
, in which a person pretends to hate a group but secretly likes or tolerates them. Armoured Closet Gay
is one common Sub-Trope
. If the hater doesn't realize that they're a member of the group they hate, they might just be a Tomato in the Mirror
. Contrast Hunter of His Own Kind
which usually involves fantastic Half Human Hybrids
. Contrast Color Me Black
for when a bigot is forcibly turned into a member of the group they hate, usually by supernatural means. See also Stop Being Stereotypical
in which a person doesn't hate
his group but is embarrassed by the behavior of some members.
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- Graydon Creed, the founder of the anti-mutant Friends of Humanity in X-Men, is not himself a mutant — but his parents were Mystique and Sabretooth.
- Larry Trask, son of Sentinel-maker Bolivar Trask. He very nearly succeeded in having his giant robots wipe out all (then-known) mutants, but when his dad's friend Judge Chalmers ripped the power-suppressing amulet off of him, surprise surpise, Larry's a mutant too.
- A surprisingly large number of anti-mutant bigots from the X-Men's Rogues Gallery are cyborgs - including Donald Pierce, Akab, Cameron Hodge, Bastion and the Phalanx. So while they're not mutants, they're not exactly normal humans, either.
- The villain Magneto is also an example. He hates Nazis for what they did to him and his family, but as a result became a mutant-supremacist, hating all humans and just becoming a different kind of bigot.
- Major case of Depending on the Writer. He's dated humans, and he's gone way out of his way to protect them… but, yes, he's also tried to wipe them out. He's conflicted.
- In Ultimate Spider-Man the biggest mutantphobic person turns out to be a mutant.
- In the Ultimate Universe Magneto and all mutants are actually human beings, who have been genetically altered by an airborne variation of the super soldier serum.
- The "homophobes are all secretly gay" idea shows up in a few comics, including Preacher and The Authority.
- There is a theory that Rorschach was deeply closeted because of his apparent dislike for homosexuals (and women). See the WMG page for the graphic novel. Somewhat wobbly, since Rorschach dislikes all forms of sexuality.
- Red Hulk is implied to be someone who really hates the Hulk. He turns out to be General Ross.
- In Empowered, Mind???? takes a peek into (ex-)lover Spooky's memories and instantly grasps that her public persona has been subconsciously patterned after the same vain blonde bimbos she was so traumatized by. Both physically (sans actual Blondeness) and personality.] Said blonde bimbos even sold their souls for "supernatural hotness" (sans superpowers) just like Spooky did, and for the exact same reasons. Spooky discovered this when she tried to use her powers to take revenge — her patron demon didn't allow it because he is forbidden from interfering with other demons' clients.
- In Irredeemable, The Survivor (briefly) helps defeat The Plutonian out of vengeance for killing his twin brother, and soon takes the spot of the world's most powerful hero. The power and reputation quickly corrupt him though, and he soon becomes just as petty and vindictive as the Plutonian was before he became evil. This includes feeling entitled to having Kaidan, who had picked his brother over him, and considering murdering his other brother so he could keep his top spot one The Plutonian comes back.
- Xander Payne from the Mega Man comic is leader of the anti-robot group Emerald-Spears, but is actually part robot himself. His brother had Xander's eye surgically replaced with a cybernetic implant after Elec Man fried it during Dr. Wily's first world domination attempt.
- In Thor: God of Thunder, the God Butcher, Gorr, lived his life believing gods did not exist, because he no and his people suffered through so much tragedy, particularly those who deeply believed in the gods, that he thought there was just no way any one with that level of power would allow this stuff to happen... Then two gods in a grudge match crash land next to him, and he realises that gods aren't helping people because they're too busy fighting each other, so he kills the remaining god with the other's power. He then dedicated himself to killing all gods across all of time, so that everyone would have to learn to cherish what time they had, and would turn to each other for help. He does this by basically empowering himself into a god, and waging war on various pantheons. A god he is torturing asks him, if he is so powerful as to be able to do these things, who is more godly than he is? He... Does not react well.
- The Psyche Master in Empath: The Luckiest Smurf is a Smurf who hates his own blue-skinned race and creates a Caucasian-skinned race of people called the Psyches who are taught to hate Smurfs. Of course, none of the Psyches know what the Psyche Master really is.
- Rika in the Touhou fanfic The Tale of Rumia hates Youkai with a blinding passion- and at the end of the arc she's introduced in, it's revealed that over the years, she herself became a Youkai. She never really stops being in denial about it, although she privately turns herself into a robot so that she won't have to live with the shame.
- In the Pony POV Series, Nightmare Eclipse loathes Discord and seeks to punish him for his crimes. However, her methods of doing so ultimately not only make her worse than he is, but causing him to have a Heel Realization and her forcing him still doing the things she's punishing him just so she can keep punishing him, effectively meaning everything she hates him for is now her doing. [[spoiler:Rota Fortuna, the Alicorn of Fate, lampshades this by giving her a Breaking Lecture during the Nightmare's defeat.
Rota Fortuna]: You condemn Discord for the murder and sin he's done onto others, yet you use those same ponies to die and suffer for your satisfaction. He only continued to make the ponies suffer because you allowed and then forced him to do so. The very sins you claim to punish him for are now your own. You embarrass yourself!!
- The main character of Inside A Skinhead / The Believer is viewing himself as a highly anti-semitic white supremacist, despite being of Jewish origin himself. Of course, he tries to hide his biggest secret but ultimately fails.
- In American Beauty, the homophobic neighbor turns out to be a closeted homosexual.
- Lampshaded in This Is England: one of the far-right extremist characters, Combo, is a racist played by a mixed-race actor... hence his Meaningful Name.
- Brian from Monty Pythons Life Of Brian hates Romans only for his mother to reveal that he is half Roman. He hates them because they have invaded his homeland, not because they are Romans, though.
- Erik/Magneto hates Nazis due to being a survivor of the Holocaust, but ultimately embraces racism against non-mutants, this is highlighted in X-Men: First Class.
- Enforced in X-Men, where Magneto's crew mutates Senator Kelly, the US government's biggest backer of mutant suppression. Although we don't really get too good a gauge of how he feels about it, since he dies as a result not too long after.
- In I Robot, Detective Spooner (Will Smith) displays an intense dislike towards humanoid robots... despite being a cyborg. Although, he does have a justified Freudian Excuse for that one.
- Surrogates features the Prophet, a man leading a group against the eponymous surrogates. It turns out that he himself is a surrogate, controlled by the inventions' creator at that.
- In Die Hard with a Vengeance, the character of Zeus is a black man with serious problems with white people, most especially white racists. Eventually McClane calls him out on the fact that he's acting like a racist himself.
- Subtly hinted at for comedy with Nigel Powers in Austin Powers: Goldmember: "There are only two things I can't stand in this world! People who are intolerant of other people's cultures... and the Dutch!"
- Gretel in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is revealed to be a witch by inheritance. This leads to no character development whatsoever.
- In The Human Condition, Kaji openly states his moral disgust for deserters and POW escapees. He becomes both by the end of the film.
- In Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Judge Doom turns out to be a Toon in a human mask. Possibly justified in that he was motivated by greed, not bigotry, although he makes several anti-Toon statements prior to The Reveal as well (claiming, for example, that Toons are naturally lawless and deserve the most brutal punishments imaginable). It's probable that he's saying those things not because he believes other toons are like that, but because he knows that HE is like that.
- Chink is a movie about Eddy Tsai, a self-hating Asian who becomes a serial killer targeting other Asians. He changes his name to "Richards" and falsely claims to have been adopted by white parents.
- Jay of the View Askewniverse often makes homophobic remarks, but it's been hinted he's secretly gay or at least bi.
- The movie Thor spends much of its arc following the self-destruction of Loki, setting him up for his role as the villain of Avengers. His racism against Frost Giants clearly has deep roots, but was never a major part of his life until it turned out he was one. Along with being a "Well Done, Son!" Guy who seems honestly to be The Unfavorite and regularly suffer All of the Other Reindeer, and with knowing he's actually responsible for Thor's exile and the fact that they're currently at war, and combined with unexpectedly being temporary king, this violent undermining of his entire identity causes him to go completely insane.
- Insane actions taken include but are not limited to setting up a complex plot to allow him to 'heroically' kill his biological father in person and the attempted destruction of the Frost Giant home world. He attempts suicide at the end, but just comes back crazier.
- In Tucker And Dale Versus Evil, Chad hates hillbillies because his mother was raped by a hillbilly Serial Killer who also murdered his father. The serial killer was actually Chad's real father, the proof being an old newspaper article with a photo of the killer. Said killer looks exactly like Chad. Chad, already murderously insane by that point, has a total breakdown when he learns the truth.
- In The Colbert Report, the eponymous Stephen Colbert (the character, obviously) considers gays and their agenda to be one of the biggest threats to America, and is so deeply closeted a diagram of his brain had a large area labeled "Repressed Homosexual Urges".
- In the July 28, 2010 episode of The Daily Show, Jason Jones interviewed Scott Lively, who argued that the Nazis persecuted gays to hide their sexuality:
: The Nazis did persecute homosexuals to distract public attention away from their
: So that which you hate the most... you secretly are.
: I am not gay. Jones
: I didn't say you were.
- Hazel on Degrassi The Next Generation is rude to the Muslim girl on Culture Day and secretly pretends to be Jamaican, until the Muslim girl's exhibit is vandalized (context: this was only a few months after 9/11) and Hazel comes clean about her Somali heritage.
- On Heroes, Angela vaguely hints that Danko, The Hunter of supers, might be a super himself. Whether this is true is left ambiguous.
- Dave Karofsky on Glee is highly homophobic and bullies Kurt, and it's revealed in the second season that he's actually gay.
- Dr. House harbors a simmering rage at stupid doctors and clueless patients. He's both; when doctors misdiagnosed his leg clot, House insisted on waiting it out instead of amputating. He ended up with 1½ legs and double the pain.
- Kutner acts pretty hostile towards a group of high school bullies. His co-workers immediately assume he was bullied in high school (as Taub theorizes, being an Indian-American and having had his parents murdered in front of him most likely didn't help his popularity). However at the end of the episode, we see Kutner visiting a former classmate and apologizing to him about bullying him. A rare positive example?
- The season two finale of Murdoch Mysteries has a mild example. A visiting Mountie starts upstaging Murdoch in the areas where he usually excels which leads Murdoch to declare "I don't know how anyone could put up with it." As Murdoch walks off his superior says to a third character "Yet somehow I manage." Of course it also later turns out that Murdoch and the Mountie are half-brothers.
- Jocelyn Jee Esien's sketch show featured the character of Fiona, a black woman who dislikes black people and fears they will "out" her to her white co-workers, who (she believes) do not know that she's really black.
- The image above is from Chappelle's Show, which contains an extremely literal example; in the sketch "Clayton Bigsby, White Supremacist", it is revealed that, in a twist of irony, the eponymous blind Ku Klux Klan leader is actually black (and the only reason it has gone unnoticed is because to his robes and his friends hiding his own race from him). He later becomes a Boomerang Bigot in the closing narration:
In the past few weeks, Clayton Bigsby has finally accepted that he is a black man. And just three days ago, he filed for divorce from his wife. When asked why, after nineteen years of marriage, he replied, "Because she's a nigger lover".
- A much earlier and much less comedic version of this idea was used in the 1963 film Shock Corridor, which featured a (non-blind) black KKK member in an insane asylum. In case you missed that one, suffice to say that anti-black rhetoric sounds even more terrifying when it's coming from a Scary Black Man.
- Extremely southern Blanche from The Golden Girls discovers when attempting to join "The Daughters of the South" (an expy for "Daughters of the Confederacy") that not only is her great-grandmother a Yankee from Buffalo NY, but was nee Feldman.
- The Killer Of The Week on an episode of Cold Case turned out to be a Jewish (or at least half-Jewish) member of a neo-Nazi group.
- In episode 7x01 of Supernatural, Castiel kills a homophobic preacher who Cas reveals is secretly gay himself.
- Gordon Walker hated all supernatural creatures and thought that they should all be killed. After his Karmic Transformation into a vampire, he agrees to let his partner kill him, but not before using his enhanced abilities to try and kill Sam Winchester, who gained psychic powers after ingesting demon blood.
- Played for Laughs in How I Met Your Mother, when after years of enduring his taunts surrounding her heritage, Robin finds out that Barney is one-quarter Canadian.
- In one episode of Grimm, Nick suspected there was another Grimm killing wesen in Portland. It turned out to be another wesen who was in denial about what he was and was trying to kill all wesen. When he's forced to confront his true form, he starts saying to Nick "You should kill me!"
- Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation is very disdainful of people from Eagleton, a nearby affluent town. She later discovers she was born there.
- The fifth season introduces Marcia Langman's husband Marshall. Like her, he's a right-wing Christian fundamentalist horrified by the slightest hint of sexual deviation. He's also very obviously Camp Gay.
- In the second episode of 30 Rock:
Liz: Toofer's just afraid of black people.
Tracy: Which one is Toofer?
Liz: The black guy.
- This is used to explain Rodrigo Borgia's treatment of his elder son Cesare, whom he spurns and ignores in favour of his bratty younger son Juan. While Cesare is certainly no saint, he is clearly the more dutiful and intelligent of the two, and Rodrigo's hostile attitude towards him sometimes seemed illogical, but he finally breaks down and admits that he sees too much of himself in Cesare, and therefore finds him far more difficult to love than his other children.
- Helena from Orphan Black is a clone, but hates her sisters, believing herself to be the original from whom her sisters were cloned.
- Played for Laughs in a Key And Peele sketch involving a Literal-Minded school bully. After hurling a homophobic insult, the bully immediately confesses that he only said it because he's beginning to realize that he himself might be gay, and thus wants to seem like he hates homosexuals so that nobody will suspect him.
- Pink Floyd's The Wall has the main character become the very thing his father had died fighting against, as noted in the later songs "In The Flesh", "Run Like Hell", and "Waiting For The Worms"...at least within his own mind. This is made even more noticeable in the movie version.
- Titledropped in "Brush the Dust Away" by in Flames, "We think we're in control then we become the things we hate"
- The video for "Sugar, We're Going Down" by Fall Out Boy, is about a teenager with antlers, whose girlfriend's dad despises the fact she's dating a boy with antlers. At the end, dad gets hit by a truck while trying to shoot the kid, and as Antler Boy rushes over to help, it's revealed the dad has deer hooves.
- During a segment on WWE Raw, CM Punk taunted John Cena with the fact that he (and by extension, Cena's hometown of Boston, of which Raw was taking place in that night...) was no longer the underdog by consistently being the "top dog" in the WWE, stating that he was no longer the Boston Red Sox, but rather the New York Yankees. Naturally, Cena didn't take too kindly to the comparison and promptly decked Punk after his comments.
- A campaign in the old Marvel RPG had a mutant villain wanting to eradicate all mutants, founding an American NASI party, and of course being mutant himself.
- Emperor Karl Prosek in Rifts is rumored to be a magician.
- In the Ravenloft setting, Malocchio Aderre seized political control of Invidia and initiated a pogrom against the Vistani. Malocchio's mother, whom he ousted from power, is part Vistani herself.
- The general concept behind sanctioned psykers in Warhammer 40,000, who must wield the energies of the Warp to defend Humanity from, among other things, the creatures of said Warp.
- The New World of Darkness sourcebook Second Sight explicitly states that possessors of the two anti-psychic merits listed are latent psychics who have mental blocks preventing them from accessing their powers, and that this in turn makes them virulently skeptical.
- Paranoia is generally played with every player character as a "Troubleshooter" whose job is to hunt down various types of traitors, including unregistered mutants. Due to unacknowledged malfunctions in the cloning vats, everyone in the setting is a mutant. Bonus irony if they're also a member of the "Anti-Mutant" secret society, the members of which are completely unaware that there's not a single genetically pure human among them.
- This trope is given something of a work-out in Fate/stay night, especially in the "Unlimited Blade Works" route: Archer is quite vocally disapproving of the idealism and stubbornness that seems to plague most of his 'allies' (especially Shirou), and yet it is repeatedly pointed out by several characters and scenes that he is, in many ways, just as bad when it comes to suffering from Chronic Hero Syndrome. Just to make things weirder, this is a LITERAL example in regards to Shirou, considering that they are the same person.
- Grand Theft Auto IV gives us Bryce Dawkins, Deputy Mayor of Liberty City, notorious for his vitriolic homophobic rants (and advocacy of family values) to appease to his right-wing base... all the while having an affair with Bernie Crane, a famously Camp Gay fitness trainer and alter-ego of Florian Cravic, Niko Bellic's former comrade. Once their affair is leaked (as a postgame radio news indicates), blowing the closet open for the whole city to see, Dawkins apparently decides to enter rehab until the pressure has dissipated.
- Adrian from X-Men: Destiny is a Purifier-in-training and despises mutants. Turns out he is one, though he had no way of knowing until the events of the game.
- Bertrand from inFAMOUS 2 considers Conduits to be demons and ultimately wants them to be exterminated, but is secretly a Conduit himself. Although Cole points out that he most likely is jealous of the fact that whilst others became shiny supermen, he got to be a big bug. So maybe instead of "you are what you hate," he falls more under "you hate that others like you possess awesome powers yet yours suck."
- In Hatoful Boyfriend, Sakuya, the proud heir of a pure-blood fantail noble family, treats every non-pureblood bird like trash, including even his half-brother Yuuya who he calls a "half-breed mongrel". However, he learns on the Bad Boys Love route that he's actually not the true heir of the Le Bel family and is Yuuya's full brother, which means that he's the very same "mongrel" that he constantly scorned Yuuya for being.
- Done in a rather literal sense in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, as one of the focal points of the story is Master Xehanort manipulating Terra enough to make the boy immensely hate him, thus giving in to the darkness within his heart, which in turn would make Terra a suitable host for Xehanort's heart.
- In Pokemon Platinum's Distortion World, Cyrus's Straw Nihilist attitude gives way to a screaming tantrum, revealing that he's an uncontrollable Mood-Swinger who hates his own passions most of all.
- Pokemon Gold And Silver. Silver considers Team Rocket a weak nuisance, only to find out later in the game that he's Giovanni's son.
- In one episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, Squidward claims he hates Krabby Patties, but after just having a tiny bite, he tries harder and harder to secretly get a Krabby Patty. He is finally caught in the Patty Vault. For clarification he hated them before he ate them because he's Squidward and he's a grump but after he ate one, he loved it but lied to everyone, including Spongebob who later finds Squidward eating thousands of Krabby Patties. Which go straight to his thighs. And then he blows up. (Run-on sentences without context are fun!)
- Rocko's Modern Life: Ed Bighead both hates circus clowns and secretly wishes to be one, a situation that many children only realized years later was a giant, glowing metaphor for sexual fetishes.
- Family Guy:
- In an episode of American Dad!, Francine is revealed to dislike left-handed people thinking of them as "the devil's minions". It's also revealed that Francine herself is naturally left-handed and dislikes lefties due to being struck in the orphanage she was in as a child when using her left hand.
- King of the Hill has an interesting case: Hank Hill, proud Texan that he is, is initially horrified to find out he was actually born in *gasp* NEW YORK! "NEW YORK CITY?!?!"
- Played with on South Park:
- Cartman hates "Gingers" (People with red hair, freckles, and pale skin) and insists they have no soul. As revenge Stan, Kenny, and Kyle draw freckles on him and dye his hair red in the middle of the night. He then hangs out with the gingers and whips them into a genocidal frenzy against everyone else. At a massive rally, they're about to kill everyone who isn't a ginger (starting with the "Daywalker", Kyle) only to have Stan, Kyle, and Kenny reveal Cartman's not a ginger. Then he just goes back to ripping on gingers. And then in 201 it turns out Cartman's father was also Scott Tenorman's father, making Cartman half-ginger. Its also worth noting that Cartmen is anti-semetic due to Jewish stereotypes he perceives as true such as Jews being frugal and carrying gold. This is ironic considering Cartmen had no issues taking advantage of Walmart deals and ultimately isnt at all above doing absolutely anything for money, from scamming people to eating kilos of gold to smuggle it out of an attraction.
- Mr Garrison is homophobic in the early seasons, and is in denial about his sexuality throughout seasons 1-3 until he admits to himself that he is gay in the fourth season. When his sex change results in Mister Slave breaking up with him, he goes back to being hateful to homosexual men, and when it turns out Mister Slave is going to marry Big Gay Al, Garrison becomes an angry opponent of gay marriage. Then there's a mini-arc where Mrs. Garrison thinks it's "wrong" to be with another woman, but enjoys it and claims to then be a lesbian... And then there's a reverse sex change and Garrison becomes a man again, and almost immediately uses a homosexual slur. There's a quote from one of the creators that goes something along the lines of, "Garrison just hates whatever he happens to be."
- Uncle Ruckus from The Boondocks. He's the darkest guy in the series and he hates black people with a passion. He does his best to distance himself from being black, holding on to whatever European heritages he believes he has (though a genetic test in one episode reveals he's 102% African, with a 2% margin of error) and claims to have a condition called "re-vitiligo", the "opposite of what Michael Jackson had", which supposedly causes him to get darker.
- When Springfield tried to pass a law deporting all immigrants in The Simpsons, Moe was one of its most vocal supporters. He viciously blames them for everything that ever happened in town, including bear attacks, and rants about things that piss him off about them like not learning the local language. He was later spotted nervously taking the citizenship exam wearing a very thin disguise.
- In an episode of Futurama where Bender and Amy had a robosexual relationship, Bender at one point was sent to a retreat where Preacherbot urged sinners to wrestle with human mannequins in order to symbolically beat out their sinful impulses. Naturally, this entailed the robots making out with the mannequins. Preacherbot was clearly aroused.
- In Justice League, General Eiling deeply despises superheroes and metahumans. When his organisation Cadmus was disbanded, he decided to use a superhuman serum and turn himself into "The General" to fight the Justice League, facing the League's non-metahuman members. The public calls him out on his actions.
- Personally hangs a lampshade on it and says it almost word for word but claims he is still in the right.
- In Recess, Spinelli despises "The Ashleys" (a group of Alpha Bitch-esque girls all named Ashley) yet becomes very defensive when it's pointed out that her own first name is Ashley, since she despises the thought of being lumped in with them.
- The Legend of Korra has this with Big Bad Amon wanting to get rid of all Benders while being a waterbender.
- Alfred J. Kwak: Dolf is a crow supremacist with a lot of Hitler parallels, and he's secretly half-blackbird.
Statler: I'm pretty sure we are what we hate.
Waldorf: How so?
Statler: We're on this TV Tropes page!