"Nevertheless a prince ought to inspire fear in such a way that, if he does not win love, he avoids hatred..."It's a rare and lucky Evil Overlord who manages to get The Empire nice and entrenched, perhaps even managing to Take Over the World. And when they do, life probably seems pretty good, what with being master of all they survey. There's just one little problem they sometimes face. (Well, two, if you count those pesky heroes, but they'll be dealt with soon enough.) Everyone hates them. Everyone. The reason varies. Sometimes, it's their little hobby of periodically going out and raining terror, destruction, and death upon the quivering populace to remind everyone who's boss. Sometimes, it's the high taxes (or tribute, if you're particularly old-fashioned) they demand to keep themselves living a life of luxury as the peasants starve. Sometimes, it's just because they have a different fashion sense than everyone else, and insist on making everything look drab, gray, and depressing. And sometimes... who knows? One almost has to pity the Evil Overlord who faces this. Sure, it's expected that a few foolhardy souls would form some sort of heroic rebellion, but it must hurt that, with the exception of the Evil Minions working directly for them (or, in extreme cases, especially the evil minions working directly for them), every single human being or other sentient creature in their dominion hates their guts and yearns for the day they're overthrown. The only consolation they've got is that most of the populace are willing to keep their heads down and hope to stay out of trouble. But it's a sure bet that even those people still grumble, and those damn rebels can be pretty confident of getting quiet assistance from just about anyone they meet. An Evil Overlord running The Empire doesn't always have this problem, it should be noted. Sometimes, they favour a certain segment of the population while keeping another segment down, so they have support in some quarters. Other times, they manage to keep their true nature hidden, becoming a Villain with Good Publicity who just about everyone loves, except for the few who find out about the true evil hiding behind the Government Conspiracy. Still other times, it turns out that a lot of people just don't care that the people in charge are openly homicidal, demon-worshiping alien hybrids who eat souls and babies, as long as they get their Bread and Circuses. This serves a pragmatic reason for writers in terms of keeping things morally justified for our heroes. Because if they were taking out an emperor who was popular with the people or who had done good work for the country under their control for a (usually) personal vendetta, they wouldn't seem that much like heroes at all! Then again, it happens sometimes, and then you have people Rooting for the Empire. For some reason, a Zero Percent Approval Rating rarely stops an overlord from recruiting hordes of utterly loyal Mooks. Trustworthy lieutenants and advisers are much harder to come by for the hated tyrant, though. Of course, if a Zero Percent Approval Rating really bothers you, there's always the option of Brainwashing, or singling out a couple of people and turn them into Les Collaborateurs. The Evil Overlord who wants to work at it can try Bread and Circuses. Sometimes, the Evil Overlord feeds on people's hatred/fear, so there's no reason for them to try to be popular. In other cases the Evil Overlord is some sort of incarnation of ultimate evil who just doesn't care that he or she has a Zero Percent Approval Rating. Then again, maybe he or she should consider some photo ops. If the person has a plan that requires this, then it's a Zero-Approval Gambit. The Caligula often possesses this sort of approval rating. Compare and contrast 100% Adoration Rating. Nota Bene: This trope does not work in Real Life because real politicians start running into major problems before they can achieve a ZAR. "Very low" is different from "zero". In stable governments, politicians with very low approval ratings are unable to accomplish any legislating, because they're working with other politicians who don't want their approval ratings to plummet. In less stable situations, politicians with very low approval ratings are overthrown before they can hit the zero mark. Even in a complete and absolute dictatorship, the Glorious Leader needs to maintain at least the grudging approval of his bodyguards, most of the army, and the top bureaucrats, to avoid being deposed/shot at the first possible opportunity. They also commonly have support among certain segments of the population, like their family or a minority race. This trope also doesn't work on polls and movie reviews as well, because polls and movie reviews are sampled through a small group of people and are often biased towards one opinion. Further more, ZAR does not mean foreign approvals. A leader can be quite competent and loved at its home country, but greatly hated by rival nations.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- As revealed in Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, Frieza was apparently not well-liked by his subordinates in the Planet Trade Organization, with two subordinates, Sorbet and Tagoma, only using the Dragon Balls to resurrect him because, with the empire going down the tubes since Frieza's demise, they see his fear factor as the only way to restore it. Even while searching for the Dragon Balls, Tagoma flat-out tells Sorbet that it's a bad idea to resurrect Frieza given what a psychopath he was, and Sorbet agrees that they may be better off without him.
- Fruits Basket: Nearly every member of the Sohma clan hates Akito Sohma, and considering the fact that she's heaped all manner of physical and emotional abuse on most of them, it's hard to blame them. By the end of the manga, however, almost all of them forgiven her for her actions, in part thanks to Tohru's healing personality and in part for Akito pulling a genuine Heel–Face Turn (again, thanks to Tohru).
- Akito does have the support of the older maids, who believe that the head of the family deserves their devotion. Akito's mother, Ren, on the other hand, has even fewer supporters. She's despised by Akito for being an Evil Matriarch and a good portion of the Sohma family hated her when she managed to win the heart of the then-head of the family, despite being a maid.
- Naruto: Almost everyone who has ever met and spoken with Madara Uchiha completely despises him, including his protege Tobi aka Obito Uchiha. Even the Nine-Tailed Fox, a self-proclaimed "living mass of malevolence," finds Madara to be nothing but an insufferable dick. The only people who can actually tolerate him are Senju Hashirama, who was once his best friend, and Izuna, his brother, though Madara did everything he could to hate Hashirama and, in rejecting his assistance, essentially let Izuna die.
- In Osamu Tezuka's Phoenix, the king in Yamato is distinctly aware of how much the kingdom hates him, and therefore orders a hundred people to be sacrificed when he dies just to ensure that the country will mourn his death.
- InuYasha: Nearly every named character in the series completely despises Naraku and wants him dead, including his detachments, which are explicitly stated to be spawned from his own flesh. Yes, that's right; Naraku is such a dick that even his own body parts hate him. It's to the extent that when he creates the Baby, a construct of his own heart, he actually anticipates that it will eventually betray him.
- Lelouch does this in Code Geass R2: since taking over as Emperor, he's alienated the nobility of Britannia by dismantling the aristocracy, and alienated everyone else by barging his way into the UFN and kidnapping everyone, making it seem for all intents and purposes that he's out to Take Over the World. Which he then does. Strangely, due to his actions, the common Britannia people love him. His master plan is to make himself into the enemy of the world. When Suzaku, disguised as Zero, kills him, the entire world will be united in their hatred of the now-dead Emperor.
- Celestial Being of Mobile Suit Gundam 00 drop deeper and deeper into this as they follow their Well-Intentioned Extremist nature and continue making attacks on anyone who they perceive as pursuing conflict. With the appearance of Team Trinity, who are even more aggressive in pursuing their goal than the Gundam Meisters and have no concerns about civilian casualties (to the point that when one of them blows up a wedding just on a whim, neither of her partners are at all concerned about this), the last lingering threads of approval vanish and they become reviled as the worst terrorist organization in history, enemies of all humanity. It turns out that this was all part of the plan.
- Dakki of Soul Hunter is a good example. She has got the emperor Chuuou under her leash (per seduction spell) and thinks of a new atrocity each month. She lives in luxury, while the peasants starve and are picked off for her entertainment. Entertainment, in this case, always involves dying, in a snake pit, in a forest by wild tigers, and somesuch, while the emperor and she drink on a boat on a frikking lake of sake...And the list goes on. Everyone that isn't under her temptation spell (aka, everyone powerful enough or far enough away) hates her with passion. The best/worst part? She gets away with it
- In the entirety of Kagerou-Nostalgia, there does not seem to be a single person (excepting his wife) who actually likes General Kiyotaka Kuroda, who controls eighty percent of the series' version of medieval Japan. His tendency towards organising random slaughters of people and using demons as a part of his army may have something to do with that. It's worth noting that even Ranmaru and Rikimaru, Co-Dragons to Gessho Kuki, the series' Big Bad, do not like Kuroda, and that Gessho himself seems to view Kuroda as The Starscream and, therefore, expendable. The man is truly loathed, albeit with good reason.
- This happens in one backstory of the "Great Distance in the Wind; the Sky at Dawn" arc of The Twelve Kingdoms. King Chuutatsu of Hou, on the advice of his wife, orders that anyone accused of a crime—regardless of severity—will be put to death. This results in the brutal, systematic slaughter of hundreds of thousands of his subjects (including several Women of Court falsely accused by the queen) and eventually a revolt by some of his governors and generals, who promptly behead the King and Queen and their kirin Hourin and force their 13-year-old daughter Shoukei into hiding. Only once the ex-Princess gets out into the real world does she find out just how much everyone absolutely despised her father for his cruelty (Hou was the only one of the 12 Kingdoms that still practised crucifixion, for one); at first she's in stubborn denial, then deeply ashamed.
- Played for laughs in Princess Jellyfish — while Kuranosuke's Cloudcuckoolander uncle Saburouta is competent as a politician, his approval rating is quite low (9% in episode 4, which drops to 5% by the finale).
- Rosario + Vampire: Just about everyone at Yokai Academy, including the teachers, despises Kuyo, head of the corrupt Student Police, to the extent that, upon his defeat, the entire student body declares Tsukune their hero for doing so.
- One Piece: In the kingdom of Dressrosa, the former king Riku Dold III is absolutely despised by his people. This grudge is so strong, it extends to the entire royal family, particularly his granddaughter Rebecca. This completely changed when Riku's name was cleared during the Bird Cage fiasco, and the hatred quickly transferred to the man who deposed him — Donquixote Doflamingo.
- In Anatolia Story, Nakia initially held some support from the upper-class, but was hated by most of the peasants and working-class people, who she ignored and abused. Her stepson, Kail, knows full well he wants to kill him and his brothers. Over the course of the manga, as Yuri more openly directly opposes Nakia's deeds and stands up for the people of the Hitte Empire, it becomes increasingly obvious that everyone would much rather have her as their queen instead of Nakia. By the end of the series, Yuri is openly spoken of as if she were the queen while Nakia loses the little political support she had when it's found out that she was selling military secrets to Egypt, becomes utterly alienated by everyone including her own son (who seemed to be one of the few people she cared at all for), and loses Urhi after he's executed.
- While Black Skull of Cyborg 009 has supporters in the manga, the graphic novel retelling plays him up as more of this trope. Dr. Wiskey (the only scientist who is left alive after Black Skull kills the rest) clearly has misgivings about the whole "destroy the world" agenda, only joining in the first place to cure his ill son and apparently only hanging around out of fear. When given a chance to betray Black Skull and save the cyborgs, he chooses to do so. The graphic novel also ends with the reveal that the Black Skull's own backers eventually turn on him and execute him, no longer willing to support his "selfish desire to take over the planet".
- Marvel's Doctor Doom has been on both sides of this trope. Sometimes, the Latverians hate him, but other times, they're okay with him — especially since alternative rulers like Prince Zorba are usually even worse. It doesn't hurt that he turned a backwater Ruritania into an industrial and military force to be reckoned with, strong enough to (before the Sliding Time Scale messed it up) stand neutral directly between Western Europe and the Soviet bloc. If he didn't have a terrifying and capricious temper, he'd stay out of this trope entirely.
- In the Hulk comics' Planet Hulk story arc, the Red King of Sakaar indulges in delusions of godhood and mass genocide and, judging by a flashback to Caiera the Oldstrong's origins, has been irredeemable since childhood, all the way to his death (where he tries to destroy the planet rather than not rule it). Really, the Mini-Marvels parody of this story arc summed it up:
Caiera: Wouldn't that be bad karma?
Red King: Everything I do is bad karma.
- Kid Paddle: Kid, when he plays SimCity. He put barbed wire around the city so no one can leave it and raised taxes to 100% to pay for the police he needs to oppress the population. Not surprisingly, when asked what the biggest problem is, 100% of the people say "The mayor!"
- The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck comments on this in the last chapter, showing a newspaper headline when Scrooge decides to retire: Cantankerous tycoon will be missed by few. Followed by a smaller headline later on the same page: ...if any...
- The entire world hates Superman's Regime in Injustice: Gods Among Us due to its severe authoritarian nature and global scope, though most are too afraid to stand up to it. Even some of the Regime's own high-ranking members start to question its level of power, and some start hating Superman himself since he treats them so disrespectfully.
- In The Lion King Adventures, no one likes Scar or Hago when they take over the Pride Lands in Friends to the End. They change this via hypnosis, though.
- In the same story, Hago even thinks Scar's actions are too much. This is why he kills him later.
- This trope is played straight in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic oneshot fanfiction, Adored with Queen Chrysalis. A Changeling monarch's best popularity indicator here is their ability to sense the love and adoration of their subjects. When she can sense zip, this starts to worry her. The causes of this fall from grace are put down to her increasing ineptitude, incompetence and over-reliance on a Rasputin stand-in, as well as the obvious...
- In Earth and Sky, it's established that no one — from her employees to her husband — likes Diamond Tiara. When Chrysalis replaces her, she's shocked to find that the best she can feel is tolerance, which to her is like trying to eat styrofoam.
- In A Growing Affection everyone hates Madara. The only people who don't want him dead are the ones who need to use him in some way. And they will kill him as soon as he outlives his usefulness. Some people like his Tobi persona, but once the mask comes off, they want his blood. Pein even trained a special corps of ninjas to take out Madara if he betrayed Pein, or just if Pein gave the order. Good thing for Madara he is pretty useful, and very tough to kill.
- In The North Remembers, the Lannisters' already shaky rule over the Seven Kingdoms completely falls apart after Cersei orders the executions of the Westerling family and Roslin Frey for allowing Jeyne to escape from Riverrun. This act causes nearly every noble house in Westeros, including those sworn to House Lannister, to rebel and declare for Aegon Targaryen.
- In the The Legend of Zelda fic Wisdom and Courage, Veran is noted to be universally despised even by her fellow Twili; given her twisted ambitions and love of carnage, destruction, and death, it's hard to blame her.
- The Infinite Loops: All MLEs and infamous malicious non-loopers such as Umbridge have this. Gendo Ikari was one such non-looper until, against all rhyme and reason (which, in the Loops, means Billy), he started looping. Since Evangelion is one of the seven oldest looping universes, almost every looper has had the... pleasure of meeting his baseline self, and none of them are happy to see him looping. Thus, Gendo Ikari finds himself at the mercy of an entire multiverse that more or less hates his guts, and the recipient of yet even more abuse, only except this time he remembers it.
- Sometimes I Hate The Life I Made: HYDRA is this for all the earth-bound characters, including the obvious ones like the Avengers, SHIELD and for SHIELD agents, but also Ultron and the Maximoff Twins. The only person or organisation to recieve more hate is Ward.
- Implied in Enslaved when Kirche states that if someone were to force feed the Emperor of Germania his own balls and kill him, she'd melt down all her family's gold to make a statue in honor of said person and her mother would swear undying loyalty.
- Sudden Contact: The UED sums it up pretty nicely about the Dominion:
"When the most likely reaction of your neighbors upon hearing of the UED assault is either applause or indifference, you know you have failed at diplomacy."
- Pony POV Series: Nyarlathotrot. As the God of Tragedy and Horror, as well as the Anthropomorphic Personification of the Shadows Who Are's dark side, he's tolerated by the rest of the Pantheon due to having an actual purpose at best. Both Nature's Law and Nature's Fury hate and oppose him, and the mortals who know him hate him. Even Discord ultimately ends up hating him and his own family, the Outer Concepts, now hate him due to his actions getting them banished from the POV Multiverse for several billion years.
- Sonic X: Dark Chaos: NOBODY likes the Emirate of Mecca, not even their own allies. Averted by the Demon Empire and Maledict, which despite its tyranny is widely considered better than the alternative.
Films — Animated
- The Lion King: Scar is such an unpopular ruler that even THE LAND ITSELF seems to hate him; it begins to wither and die as a result of his reign (and once he's overthrown, everything gets pretty again.) The lionesses and Zazu openly criticize his policies, all the animals seem to hate him, and the Hyenas who helped him come to power have grown so irritated with his rule that, at the end of the movie, they eat him alive, even admitting beforehand that things were actually better under Mufasa. Yet no one even tries to overthrow the guy until Simba returns from exile to take him down. In the sequel, however, it's revealed that Scar did have some supporters, namely Zira and her clan, and they remain loyal to him years after his death.
- Shrek: Lord Farquaad appears to be this. When Dragon smashes through the window and swallows him whole at his wedding, everyone in attendance actually starts laughing and cheering.
- Wreck-It Ralph: Ralph suffers from this because he's an 80's video game villain. What makes this worse is that his working buddy (and the title star of the game) Fix-It Felix, Jr., has a 100% Adoration Rating and the Nicelanders use it to shun and ridicule Ralph. In fact, this is what forces Ralph to start the main plot: he's tired of that approval rating!
- Aladdin: The Return of Jafar: Abis Mal's men get so sick of Abis Mal that they actually try to kill him, and would have succeeded had Abis not found Jafar's lamp at that precise moment.
- Robin Hood: Prince John's "The Villain Sucks" Song, "The Phony King of England," was so successful that everyone, even Prince John's allies (Sir Hiss and the Sheriff) starts singing it.
Films — Live-Action
- In the Tim Burton film of Alice in Wonderland (2010), the Red Queen is hated by everyone, and the only reason people obey her is because she's in control of the Jabberwock (it's not even clear why the beast obeys her). This goes to the point that once Alice kills the Jabberwock, the Red Queen's minions promptly surrender and openly tell her they don't have to listen to her anymore.
- In the Blade Trilogy, Deacon Frost is not well-liked by the vampire community, with the House of Erebus hating him. In fact, in the second film, when Damaskinos first meets Blade, he actually thanks Blade for killing Frost, saying he "did [him] a favor."
- The film version of Eragon. The villain is so despised, it seems that nobody, from the peasants to the minions to The Dragon (that is, his most powerful ally, not his literal dragon steed), has anything but fear and loathing for him, no matter how much his reign benefits them personally.
- By the end of Gladiator, Emperor Commodus has this in regards to the senate. At the end of the battle between him and Maximus, his body is left on the ground to rot while the populace carry Maximus to his funeral. During the battle, he lost his weapon and commanded his Praetorians to give him one. Quintus, the head of the Praetorians, intervened and told them to sheathe their weapons.
- Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy is hated by pretty much everyone who works for him. His two "daughters", Gamora and Nebula, both take the first chance they get to betray him, and Ronan the Accuser turns on him and promises to kill him the instant he (Ronan) doesn't need Thanos's help. It's like the guy suffers from Chronic Getting-Backstabbed disorder.
- In the live adaptation of The Man in the Iron Mask (a story from The Three Musketeers), nobody like King Louis and with good reason. Dartagnan is loyal to him just because he is his son.
- In Pixels, the US President starts the film with pretty much nobody fond of him and his ratings plummeting every day. It seems that the only people with any fondness for Cooper are his wife, his friend Sam and the UK Prime Minister.
- Arguably, the Empire in Star Wars. While the movies don't show how bad The Empire is when not hunting down La Résistance on screen, even people in Coruscant, the capital, is shown cheering in the extended edition once the Emperor dies, and the novels expand on just how bad things were (or weren't, Depending on the Writer).
- Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin demonstrates the Death Star's ability to be a roving Kill Sat on the planet Alderaan in the hopes that other systems who want to join the Rebel Alliance would think twice. Not only did it hasten the defection of those who were already considering it but a whole swath of otherwise neutral systems joined up because of it.
- One of the complaints directed against the film adaptation of Alan Moore's V for Vendetta is that everyone already hated and distrusted the government before V came around, and had no fear of saying so. This is definitely not the case in the original comic; one of the most nefarious things about the Norsefire Coalition, as Moore depicted them, was that they were Villains With Good Publicity who actually had valid accomplishments to brag about (e.g., resurrecting the UK economy in the aftermath of a nuclear winter).
- And the fact that if a person in the comic was caught badmouthing Norsefire, they'd be put into concentration camps. And anywhere you looked, there was a two-way CCTV with audio.
- They're Villains With Good Publicity in the movie too, to an extent; plenty of people aren't happy about the loss of freedom, but after 80,000 people were killed in a bioterrorist attack, they got enough popular support to become firmly entrenched. What the people don't know is that Norsefire coordinated the attack themselves for this exact reason. All of this happens in the movie only, and is widely viewed as an allegory for a certain U.S. presidential administration, much to Moore's chagrin.
- The Wizard of Oz: The Wicked Witch of the West. The second she died, her minions started cheering Dorothy for killing her because she was controlling them with magic.
- One might also consider The Wicked Witch of the East. When the munchkins realized she was dead, they broke into song for a good long while (Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead).
- The Jungle Book(2016): Shere Khan is extremely disliked among the jungle since he will happily violate the jungle law, and it is only through fear of him that the animals don't publicly criticize him. When Mowgli returns to challenge him, he was able to unite the entire jungle against the tiger even though he set the jungle on fire.
- Played with in a few of the Discworld novels. In Wyrd Sisters, the Felmets seem annoyed at how long it takes for their tyrannical rule to get to the people of Lancre; at one point, Duke Felmet laments "You couldn't oppress a people like that any more than you could oppress a mattress."
- Lord Vetinari is something of a subversion; very few people seem to actually like him or even the patrician system of government in general - there seem to be plenty of casual royalists in Ankh-Morpork. However, no one wants to get rid of him as he has carefully manipulated the situation to ensure his would-be usurpers hate each other more than they do him. If they do get rid of him, what then?
- Lord Hong of Interesting Times is another good example. When Cohen the Barbarian places his sword to the neck of one of the palace servants and ask them who scares the servant more right now, Cohen or Hong, the servant actually answers Hong.
- Cohen is pretty impressed by this statement, realising how terrifying, brutal and powerful Hong really is. He lets the servant live.
- In Dragon Bones, high king Jakoven comes pretty close to this. Ward mentions that, as Jakoven is a jerk, and Ward's father was a similar jerk, they should have liked each other, but Ward's father didn't like to have to pay taxes, so he, too, hated Jakoven. Garranon, the king's "lover" was raped by the king's soldiers when he was about fifteen, approached by the borderline pedophile king not long afterwards and only sleeps with Jakoven in order to protect his family from revenge. Hilariously enough, the villain the heroes face is actually someone who wants to overthrow Jakoven and become emperor himself. He's evil, power-hungry and cruel, but would arguably make a better king than Jakoven, as he at least knows the importance of being popular.
- Gajusz, vampire king in Dora Wilk Series is disliked by everybody in his coven, although his popularity boosts (a bit) when Albin threatens to take over. Albin, on the other hand, finds out he has no approval in Conclave (vampire government, which he presides over) the hard way.
- Narnia's Evil Overlords spanned the entire popularity spectrum:
- Jadis the White Witch: absolute zero approval rating from the "good" races (only the "evil" races were her allies).
- Miraz: zero approval rating from the Old Narnians in hiding, but was approved of by most of the Telmarines.
- The Tisroc of Calomen, during The Horse and his Boy: from what we're shown of the Middle East-esque Calormen, it's impossible to say what his approval rating is. Everyone except the rich provincial Calormene lords has reason to hate him, but it appears that at least some of the peasants revere him - the protagonist, Shasta, briefly fantasizes about being this guy's son without actually knowing anything about him, for example - while the rich lords envy him and plot to rise to his position.
- The Tisroc is just a generic Middle Eastern monarch and not even given a name. The peasants have no real reason to hate him(other then taxes) or love him(other then for not being worse)and their reverence would be simply the instinctive reverence taught in a hierarchical society. As for Shasta wanting to be the Tisroc's son, well it's not as if that position is without advantages.
- The Lady of the Green Kirtle: Brainwashed all of the gnomes into serving her.
- Older Than Feudalism (at the very least), as it is simpler to make, say, the Pharaoh Ramses II of Egypt, King Saul of Israel, or Prince John of England universally unpopular so as to make Moses, David, and Robin Hood heroic in an uncomplicated way. In the novels of Sir Walter Scott (Ivanhoe), Alexandre Dumas (The Three Musketeers), and Rafael Sabatini (Captain Blood: His Odyssey, The Sea Hawk), the characters are universally liked, or at least accepted, by the populace, who favor them over their legal rulers. The hundreds of Hollywood movies made from or imitating these novels follow that lead and usually exaggerate it.
- The Winkies feel this way about the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Likewise the Munchkins about the Wicked Witch of the East. The Wizard is just a Villain with Good Publicity.
- The Witch of the East did things like fly around on her broom with the body parts of one of her victims dangling from it just to make a point, put the Munchkin peasants in an extremely harsh form of serfdom, and (in Maguire's Wicked) was an around the bend religious nut who thought of herself as avatar of the Unnamed God.
- Machiavelli's The Prince advises against this. It suggests ruling by being both loved and feared. However, it acknowledges that instilling both in the populace is difficult. Love is a good choice, but fear is the safer bet because love is given at will, while fear is involuntary. Above all, a ruler must avoid being hated.
- In Astrid Lindgren's novel Mio, my son (or Mio, my Mio, in some translations), the antagonist, sir Kato the knight. Everyone and everything the protagonist runs into during his quest hates him, including his own servants and nature itself. Just saying Kato's name causes the sky to darken, moonlight to fade, flowers to wither, and birdsong to fall silent. Oh, and his heart is made of stone. Everything the protagonist meets during his journey enthusiastically tries to help him defeat Kato, not only people, but even rocks and trees actively helps him to hide from Kato's men since they despise the knight just as much as everyone else. In the end, when the hero finally manages to defeat him in a duel, even Kato starts begging the protagonist to kill him, which makes the hero realize that probably no one hates Kato as much as Kato himself.
- Also, Tengil from The Brothers Lionheart. There doesn't seem to be anyone in Briar Rose Valley who hasn't geared up with hidden weapons to fight him with.
- In The Black Company novels, the Dominator is so thoroughly hated by everyone, even his own inner circle, that many of his former lieutenants conspire with the Black Company to keep him bound in his grave. His successor, the Lady, goes out of her way to avoid this trope, but still ends up fighting disaffected rebels. For example, her big black fortress of Evil is named 'Charm'.
- In The Lord of the Rings, it is made clear that Sauron is not well-loved even by his own minions. His Nazgûl are directly enslaved to his will and don't have much choice in the matter, but beyond that, he controls endless swarms of Orcs and Trolls. From what little we hear from them, they aren't at all content with their lot, and if they weren't completely terrified of their master and hoping for a better life once he successfully takes over the world, they would probably be much happier looting and pillaging for themselves. Mordor is apparently designed to keep all of Sauron's slaves in just as much as it is to keep everyone else out.
- Tolkien once said Sauron had many slaves, but no servants, implying no one would have served Sauron willingly.
- The so-called "Mouth of Sauron" is an exception, as he seemed to be in it willingly, being rumored in-universe to have been one of the "Black Númenóreans" who sought Sauron's power. Still, that makes only one inhabitant throughout all of Mordor explicitly stated to like what he was doing.
- Even Sauron's two big-name allies are openly against him. Saruman has a (loose) alliance with him to crush the Fellowship, but is also independently seeking the ring so he can use its powers for him. Shelob seems to work on Sauron on the surface, but it's soon revealed to be just a convenient arrangement between the two and she couldn't give two shits if he wins as long as she keeps getting fed.
- The Reynard Cycle:
- The Calvarians are universally despised by every country they interact with, which is not surprising seeing as their normal method of dealing with other countries involves invading them and then wiping out the native populations in order to replace them with "pure" Calvarian citizens. They are constantly forced to put down rebellions wherever they've gained a foothold.
- Glycon is also generally reviled, being a country of fanatical, dragon worshipping, slavers whose main export seems to be professional assassins and psychos for hire.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire, Stannis Baratheon more or less admits that he would be a king of this type if he manages to win the throne in the current civil war. The populace would hate his guts because he's a stern, taciturn Knight Templar, the nobility would hate him because of his complete unwillingness to budge on so much as what appetizers to serve at dinner, and his own supporters and bannermen would hate him because he would treat them just as harshly as he would his own enemies. The only reason he even wants the throne stems from the reason he would be so bad at it: as his elder brother's heir following the former king's illegitimate children, he sees the throne as legally his, despite the fact that almost no one, including himself, actually wants him to hold it.
- His most fervent supporter, Davos Seaworth, the Onion Knight, was previously a smuggler/pirate who sneaked onions and other foodstuffs onto Stannis' besieged fortress during the previous rebellion. In recognition for his gallantry and heroism, Stannis knighted him. And as punishment for his smuggling activities, he ordered the last joint of the fingers from one hand removed. He let Ser Davos choose which hand. Needless to say, loyalty like the Onion Knight's is very much the exception in Lord Stannis' court.
- The Lannisters seem to be moving closer and closer to this as the series goes on. In the fifth book, even random nobles on another continent spit at the sound of their family name.
- Joffrey Baratheon is completely loathed by everyone even before he was king for his pointless cruelty to everyone, just to show he's the king. Of course, when he gets poisoned later on, nobody knows who killed him and nobody, not even his own family, rally care about finding out.
- Even more so Cersei Lannister in particular, who managed to surprise even Magnificent Bastard Petyr Baelish with how fast she managed to alienate everyone and turn her control of the kingdoms into a disaster.
- After House Frey breaks the rules of Sacred Hospitality by brutally murdering King Robb, his mother and his bannermen at a wedding, the entire North and Riverlands want them dead and the rest of the continent are appalled by them. However they also have a rather impenetrable fortress and as of Dances With Dragon the undisputed rulers of the North with House Bolton who too are universally hated for their excessive cruelty. Should a Frey be out in the open however its open season for everyone in Westeros... and thanks to Tywin Lannister's death they can't count on the promised protection that induced House Frey to commit the wedding massacre in the first place!
- Visser Three from Animorphs is a textbook example. He's an Ax-Crazy Evil Overlord who executes his subordinates at the drop of a hat and makes a hobby out of collecting torture devices and morphing giant alien monsters. Consequently, he's almost universally hated and feared among his fellow Yeerks, with only a few die-hard fanatics expressing loyalty towards him. This actually becomes a plot point in later books, as the Animorphs are threatened with the prospect of seeing Visser One take over the invasion and decide it works more to their advantage that Visser Three remain in charge, as his leadership makes the Yeerks less effective.
- Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter is an aversion. She manages to appeal to the magic!Nazi/sadomasochist niche that the school just happens to have. Plus, many at the ministry seem to find her pleasant enough.
- Galbatorix from the Inheritance Cycle. While his (corrupt and evil) nobles like him, anyone who is good hates his guts. He's just too powerful to be overthrown.
- Or, at least, so it first appears; later books show that most people support Galbatorix. While he is evil, the forces of good don't make the citizens' lives better, as it is them that are destroying the country. As such, they met with heavy opposition in most villages. Also, in the first book, the village of Carvahall didn't care that Galbatorix was ruling them because they were remote and unimportant enough to evade his attentions and thus still lead a peaceful life. The Varden are the only ones that really oppose him.
- Fulbert from Malevil pays this price for subverting the Villain with Good Publicity that an evil priest with a flock should have. He would be overthrown in a heartbeat if he didn't gain total control over the food and weapons while people trusted him. To make matters worse, his Corrupt Church is composed of merely four men who are only half-loyal to him anyway.
- Saint Dane in the Pendragon series: The Soldiers Of Halla, in particular. While it looks like the Ravinians are on Saint Dane's side, it's revealed late in the book that they hate what's going on too, and they deactivate the dados and help save everyone. So no one likes Saint Dane, not even the people he gave immense wealth and privilege to.
- In The Belgariad, this is the crux of Garion's "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Torak: the Angaraks worship him out of fear and/or lust for power, but none of them actually love him.
- In The Malloreon, we learn that only fear of Torak kept the Angarak nations from fighting each other.
- In Warrior Cats, Brokenstar, leader of ShadowClan was hated so much by the ShadowClan cats that at the end of the first book they all teamed up to drive him out.
- As depicted in Someone Else's War, the Lord's Resistance Army seems to have one of these. However, they're still successful in war because they use an army of children to fight all their battles, and their blindsided enemies have a hard time bringing themselves to murder children.
- Played with in Dirge for Prester John. The people of Pentexore like John well enough, but nobody likes the Christian teachings he brings with him.
- Venandekatra the Vile in Belisarius Series is hated by everyone, even his own kin. He not only has every vice that can possibly be crowded into a single man, he is utterly incompetent.
- In Natalie Mooshabr's Mice, people are dissatisfied with premier Albin Rappelschlund, his dictatorship and terror. They want to see their rightful ruler, widowed Duchess Augusta. The official propaganda says she still rules together with Rappelschlund but she hasn't been seen in public for decades and the rumour has it she's either hiding or dead.
- A rare protagonist example, August at first in Wonder 2012.
- Black Peter Carey, the Asshole Victim of the Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of Black Peter," was such a pariah that, when he's run through with one of his own harpoons, not one of them has anything nice to say about him. His own daughter openly admits to Holmes and Watson that she's happy her old man is dead and grateful to the person that killed him.
- The Bosses in Clocks that Don't Tick are despised by everyone but themselves, and for good reason. Of course, they're far too delusional and arrogant to realize this. Not that they'd care if they did.
- Avin Wargunsson in The Tamuli isn't so much a tyrant as he is useless, attention-obsessed and weaselly, but he's still remarkably unpopular. When he's murdered in a particularly embarrassing way—shoved into a wine barrel and the lid nailed down—the entire congregation at his funeral have trouble holding in their laughter, and one of the theoretically holiest men in the country is more upset about the waste of good wine than anything else.
- In The Golgotha Series, Malachai Bick, a wealthy businessman who owns much of the property in Golgotha and controls the town from the shadows, has reached this point by The Shotgun Arcana. When Ray Zeal announces his attention to come into town and kill Malachai, no one speaks against him and most people start cheering.
- In Guns of the Dawn, Mr Northway, Mayor-Governor of Chalcaster, is widely unpopular — everyone knows him to be corrupt, and the aristocrats who are just as bad nevertheless view him as a shabby commoner who they'd rather not have at parties. The protagonist has particular reason to dislike him, but finds that he's used to being disliked and doesn't take it amiss — he even gives her his blessing. She eventually decides that he's not so bad... but his approval rating with everyone else is likely still low, since he's now working for the victorious foreign occupiers, mitigating their rule while enduring the inevitable unpopularity.
- iCarly: Ms. Briggs and Mr. Howard in iHave My Principals.
- The Master of Doctor Who achieves this when he takes over the world in The Sound of Drums/Last of the Time Lords. Even his wife despises him.
- In his defense, he has an 100% Adoration Rating among the six billion aliens who work as his personal enforcers.
- All My Children has quite a few examples:
- Michael Cambias earned this when he raped Bianca. At his funeral, literally everyone in Pine Valley attended said funeral simply to give eulogies on how much they hate him for what he did, with Bianca's then-lover Lena literally spitting on his grave.
- Hell, he was so hated that some of Bianca's friends broke into the funeral home and stole his body just so they could throw it in the dump. His casket was empty.
- When Will Cortlandt was beaten to death with a crowbar, his approval rating was so abysmal that there were no less than fifteen suspects, including his own sister.
- After David Hayward's apparent death, only Greenlee, Marissa, and Krystal attended his funeral; he had become such a pariah by that time that everyone else in town celebrated his demise at ConFusion.
- Greenlee Smythe earned this for a while after she exposed Kendall's pregnancy with Michael's child as a fake in the middle of her trial for Michael's murder, and cemented it even further when it is believed that she caused Kendall's son Spike to go deaf.
- Michael Cambias earned this when he raped Bianca. At his funeral, literally everyone in Pine Valley attended said funeral simply to give eulogies on how much they hate him for what he did, with Bianca's then-lover Lena literally spitting on his grave.
- Married... with Children: In one episode, when Al is believed dead, the entire neighborhood apparently broke out into song ("Ding dong, the shoe man's dead"), and declared it a "cruel, cruel hoax" when they found out he was still alive. Al even admits in another episode that the entire city "curses the day [he] was born."
- It seems that lower demons on Supernatural weren't too upset about Azazel's death. One particular demon described him as a tyrant who kept the demons in line before his death.
- Malcolm in the Middle: The entire family is hated by their neighborhood, to the point that said neighborhood throws a huge block party to coincide with their annual vacation.
- Scrubs: Everyone, absolutely everyone at Sacred Heart hates Dr. Kelso, to the extent that when Dr. Cox tricks everyone into thinking Kelso is dead in the episode "My Kingdom," their reactions are range from indifference to joy.
- Discussed Trope (and Lampshaded) in Ravages Of Time, where the more savvy characters think to themselves that no government could truly be that incompetent, and that they must have been painted in a bad light by the dynasties that usurped them as to give the new guys in power the illusion of legitimacy.
- In Flash Gordon, Ming the Merciless seems to be hated by everybody — but their hatred of him is exceeded by their fear of him, as his name would suggest. That, and most of Mongo's races are too busy hating each other to focus on Ming himself. (By contrast, in the Sci Fi Channel series, he's charismatic and actually has a pretty good PR thing going.)
- Played for Laughs in Bloom County, when Opus is involved in yet another presidential campaign and learns that according to the polls, he's only slightly ahead of a cucumber.
- The National Radical Meadow Party (which ran Opus as its nominee for Vice President several times) isn't actually evil, but its staff are so hilariously incompetent that it might as well be. When a Meadow Party campaign is in progress, it's a rare day when its ticket isn't polling at or near zero percent; the polls are as likely as not to have the Meadowcrats below zero. After all, this is the party that more than once nominated a dead cat for President (he was only dead the first time; the second time, when he was alive, he polled lower).
- After successfully being crowned king, everything goes wrong as a result of his murders and all his subordinates begin to depart from him. Even Lady Macbeth, who encouraged him in the first place, loses her mind, and Macbeth goes into a soliloquy about how life is pointless as a result of him having no friends.
- In the play, Macbeth's and Malcom's roles are actually switched around, and he was, in history, a good king who actually brought peace to the land for a long time. In fact, Shakespeare lampshades this with Malcolm's speech to Macduff. The other King was also dumbed down in the play too.note
- While not an overlord, the Mayoress in Anyone Can Whistle is so disliked that she mentions this in the opening lines to the opening song, "Me and My Town":
"Everyone hates me, yes, yes
Being the mayoress, yes.
All of the peasants
Throw rocks in my presence
Which causes me nervous distress, yes."
- Cyrano de Bergerac: Count De Guiche is not an Overlord, but he is the colonel of the cadets. All the cadets hate his guts because he is a ''rational'' gascon. He has a Cool Crowd of hangers-on nobles who bow to his every whim. The marquises lampshade that they distrust De Guiche because he’s a Gascon and only want to leech him out. De Guiche tries to bully Roxane to be his mistress. She will have none of it. Even Ligniere, a poet, dares to write a satiric song about it. Until the last part of Act IV, nobody likes De Guiche.
- Batman: Arkham Series: After the Joker's death at the end of Arkham City, Harley Quinn takes over his gang, and none of Joker's mooks are happy about it. In the DLC campaign Harley Quinn's Revenge, some believe her to be even crazier and worse to work for than the Joker, and Joker himself was a horrible boss.
- In the Starcraft expansion pack, Brood War, Kerrigan almost lampshades this when she says she is 'the Queen bitch of the Universe'. The Protoss also describe her as the 'enemy of all who live'.
- So long as she controls the swarm, it doesn't really matter how popular Kerrigan is with other species, she presumably intends on wiping them out anyway.
- Even within the Zerg swarm, her approval rating isn't 100%. She introduces the Zerg campaign of Brood War by threatening to kill the player cerebrate if they don't obey her, and between the first game and Starcraft II she apparently disposed of the cerebrates and replaced them with Brood Mothers who only defer to her because they respect her strength.
- Subverted by Baten Kaitos, where the ruler everyone hates (except the people in his capital city, who adore him) is actually being puppeteered by a lesser noble that everyone loves.
- Orochi in Ōkami. Granted, being a monstrous, armored, multi-headed dragon probably killed any thoughts of resistance against him.
- Although Tony Montana from Scarface: The World is Yours is usually a Villain with Good Publicity (or, more accurately, an Anti-Hero), raising his Cop Heat and Gang Heat too high can cause him to suffer detriments that include gangsters attacking unprovoked and police responding with amazing speed to minor transgressions.
- In Half-Life 2, everyone you meet (even those who aren't members of La Résistance) seem to be fed up with the Combine's reign. The constant relocations, disappearances, warrantless investigations, and the impotence field don't help matters. Gordon's first major blow against them (Nova Prospekt's accidental destruction) is an instant signal to start a massive rebellion.
- During development, the game developers had Combine propaganda posters hanging on walls throughout the game, but thought that the alien overlords wouldn't care about public opinion, so they left it out. In the final game, Breen seems to be the only one who thinks of the invasion and enslavement as a positive.
- After the second American Civil War in Shattered Union, the one faction not composed of former Americans trying to rebuild the country is the armed forces of the European Union. Every other faction sees them for what they really are - Europe's thinly veiled attempt to prop the United States back up (the world economy did collapse as a result of the war, after all), essentially turning it into a puppet state to all of Europe.
- The conflict's outbreak actually traces all the way back to the election of U.S. President David Jefferson Adams, who's first term as president saw the rapid rise of civil unrest and domestic terrorism within the United States as a result of his unpopular policies, some of which bore signs of an increasingly totalitarian regime. The final straw was when he managed to get the Supreme Court to rule that any opponents to him in reelection was unconstitutional His ultimate assassination at the hands of who initially appeared to be domestic terrorists results in the war's outbreak. Russia propped him up and then ulimately nuke Washington DC so they could be the only World Power.
- In the Mega Man Zero series, Dr. Weil takes over Neo Arcadia in Zero 3. Sure, Copy X was a total jerk, but at least he was good at taking care of the people he governed. Then in 4, we see humans leaving Neo Arcadia in droves for the greener pastures of Area Zero. Gee, I wonder why? Weil tries to rectify the problem...by forcefully taking them back. This doesn't work, so he tries to destroy Area Zero's environment instead. Not only is he making things worse for himself, but Neo Arcadia is blown up by Weil's own Kill Sat, and his approval rating also seemed to be an indication of his chances of survival... In this particular case, however, that's exactly his intention.
- Final Fantasy VI: Kefka as well. When Shadow and Sabin Figaro arrive at Imperial Camp at Doma, they overhear several soldiers talking: One of the soldiers, when learning from another soldier a rumor that Kefka intends to usurp Leo Christophe's position in the military, exclaims that he'd quit the Empire if that ever happened. The soldiers have a very good reason for complaining against Kefka (although they did it behind his back, for obvious reasons), as this is also the same guy who had a brainwashed Terra burn fifty Imperial soldiers alive during her training exercise, and later deliberately poisons Doma knowing full well that there are still Imperials being held prisoner there.
- Surprisingly averted in Final Fantasy XII. When Vayne takes over as regent of the newly defeated Dalmasca, everyone expects to hate him, but he gives an impassioned speech and many members of Dalmasca begin to grudgingly respect him. At least, for a while.
- In Fire Emblem Awakening, Gangrel, the Mad King of Plegia, was steadily losing the support of his countrymen over his costly war with Yllise. After Emmeryn makes herself a martyr by killing herself after being captured to be executed, all but the most ardent loyalists begin to desert his army en masse.
- Rare Justified example from Summoner: when the Big Bads initially invade Orenia and Medeva, there are actually significant portions of the population that think their rule might be an improvement. They're quickly proven VERY wrong, as the villains are revealed to be Nuvasarim, followers of a Religion of Evil which revolves around deriving magical power directly from raw human suffering, and consequently have an excellent motivation to become the most hated despots they can be.
- In Stronghold, some of the scenarios require you to have a certain approval rating — and in some cases, that approval rating has to be below a certain threshold. This makes the game more challenging, because maintaining a high enough population to achieve the scenario goals while everybody hates you is quite tricky. The trick is to make them too afraid to leave, by showing yourself to be a malicious and frivolously evil ruler. In other words, you have to be in it For the Evulz in order to prevent your zero percent approval rating from hurting you too much.
- Subverted fairly well in Crystalis. Though the villagers in most of the backwater places you visit complain about the rule of the Evil Empire, the urbanites in the later cities of the game (Goa and Swan (sort of)) are really living up the prestige and wealth of being in the right place at the right time.
- Though some residents make a quick about face when the empire falls...or so you think, but can't tell due to the Good Bad Translation.
- You can play one of these in Fable III, depending on your policies.
- In Metal Wolf Chaos, following his coup, Richard Hawk sets out to be this, militarizing cities, bringing back slave labor, building a Wave Motion Gun on Alcatraz, gassing Chicago, and terrorizing New York with a giant mechanical spider for seemingly no other reason than just being cartoonishly evil. He at least subconsciously acknowledges that everyone hates him and runs a Bathos laced propaganda campaign to boost his approval ratings out of the .000%-range.
- It is heavily implied in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops that Colonel Volgin fell into this category, with Jonathan's claims that by Naked Snake killing Volgin at Groznyj Grad (although technically, it was lightning that killed Volgin rather than Snake himself), Snake was also considered a hero by the Soviet Union. It also explains why he wanted to place Breszhnev and Kosygin in power as PuppetKings in the first place: The Soviets would never have served Volgin had he tried to do rule it directly.
- Saints Row IV: It's never explained what exactly it is the President of the United States did, but their approval rating is nearly rock-bottom.
Pierce: Here's the latest approval poll.
President: We lost twenty points, we can get them back.
Pierce: They're at twenty points.
- Nobody likes the Thalmor in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. This becomes very evident if you kill a bunch of Thalmor officers, the guards only charge you for assault.
- If you initiate a conversation with them and provoke them into attacking first, the bounty is zero.
- The Borgias in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood are universally loathed by everyone in Roma, even the soldiers are more interested in the florins paid to them than the cause they fight for as Ezio removes the pillars of support that funds the armies. Even the Templars themselves hate Rodrigo Borgia and regard his time as their Grand Master as their order's Dark Age.
- Meghren of Dragon Age: Origins was a cruel tyrant who despised the Fereldens to the core. Mass Executions and needless brutality was how he managed to hold on the the nation for a quite a long time. His most favorite pasttime was to throw parties and invite the Fereldan lords, at least one of which would be taken away and executed either for displeasing Meghren or just because he felt like it. Unfortunately, this also resulted in many lords willing to betray their rightful Queen in order to please him. Meghren was, in fact, exiled from the Orlesian court, as his own cousin, The Emperor, didn't even like him.
- In Dragon Age II, the leader of the Templars in Kirkwall, Knight-Comander Meredith is completely bonkers, with everyone from beggar to lieutenant seeming to know this and her treatment of the Mages also gets worse as the game progresses, to the point where she's mass ordering the Rite of Tranquility on Mages who have passed the Harrowing, something illegal under Chantry law. Unfortunately, everyone's too afraid of her to stop her... that is, until Justice/Anders sparks a Mage rebellion by blowing up the Chantry and pushing Meredith off the deep-end.
- Largo LaGrande in Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge is the ruler of Scabb Island despite claims of the island being an "anarchist cooperative," but only because he bullies everyone else, and is hated by everyone in turn.
- Star Fox Adventures: Everyone, absolutely everyone hates General Scales. Including his own soldiers, who must have become rather sick of being used as meat-shields and projectiles. After his defeat, the Sharpclaws are shown celebrating and thanking Fox.
- God of War Series: Kratos gets this, in part due to the various atrocities he committed under Ares; in the first game, one character is actually more terrified of Kratos than of the monsters attacking him and openly states he would rather die than let Kratos save him. After becoming the new God of War, it's stated that all of the other Olympians despised Kratos and refused to accept him.
- Conker's Bad Fur Day: After the Panther King's death, everyone, including his own guards, celebrates his demise and happily declare Conker the king in his place.
- Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves: In China, most of the missions there show just how much of a despised and complete asshole General Tsao is. When he's arrested by Carmelita at the end of the level, even his own minions are happy to see him go.
- Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines: The Camarillan Prince Sebastian LaCroix is already on sandy ground with most of the city's Kindred (the Anarch majority hate him for being Camarilla) but can't even keep house in his own faction. Camarilla loyalists like Tung explicitly mention they're loyal to the Camarilla and not to its 'official' local leader, and one of his Primogen all but openly says LaCroix is in charge because he's a useful lightning rod. LaCroix is fully aware that nobody respects him either and it's a perpetual source of annoyance to him. His attempts at the Ankharan Sarcophagus burns what few bridges he had left.
- The backstory of Ravenmark has this with the Carsis nobles who used to rule the lands that now comprise the Empire of Estellion. Their decadent rule, complete disregard for any laws or morals, and brutal suppression of any resistance means that, when the people rally behind a charismatic and righteous figure, the Carsis find themselves beaten before they can even figure out what's going on. House Corvius, the ruling dynasty of the Empire, remembers that lesson and teaches their children to keep in mind that they rule because the common people support them. One of the major mechanisms for ensuring the loyalty of the populace is the path to Ravenhood (nobility). Essentially, any commoner can attain temporary nobility by faithfully serving the Empire as a soldier for 22 years (or as an administrator for 36). If the individual has served with distinction, he or she is given the status of a Raven, which also makes him or her an officer in the Imperial Mark. The Ravenhood is retained for no more than 2 generations, which means that the person's grandchildren once again become commoners, unless the status is reaffirmed by continued service to the Empire. This keeps the Empire from descending into the same decadence that proved the undoing of the Carsis. By retaining Ravenhood for 10 unbroken generations (extremely rare), a family can attain permanent Raven status and become a noble House, with each firstborn holding the title of Rook.
- Superman has become a universally-hated tyrant in the parallel world of Injustice: Gods Among Us, who brutally puts down any opposition and kills any hero who dares question him. While most of the other heroes initially support his methods, even they eventually see that he has become no better than his enemies.
- The version of King Louis Philippe in Aviary Attorney is right around here. Very few characters seem to hate him but his selfishness and incompetence are staggering and when an attorney tries to collect favorable anecdotes about him, every single story makes him look worse.
- King Steve of 8-Bit Theater.
Left Hand Man: Recent polls show a 40% approval rating.
King Steve: Excellent!
Left Hand Man: Sir, you only got that because the poll only had two options: Be ruled by King Steve forever, or get a sword in the head. We lost 60% of the voters.
- Bug Broke the Rating Scale, as shown in the image above. Here's the link to the comic.
- The Dark Overlords from the web fiction serial Dimension Heroes are almost universally hated by the populace of their dimension...that is, unless they manage to brainwash them to see things from their point of view.
- The King of Town from Homestar Runner, while not a villain per se, manages to be hated by all of his "subjects" except the ones he employs. With the possible exception of Homsar, no one respects him, and he is routinely beaten up and stolen from.
- It is possible to achieve this and 100% Adoration Rating through selective methods such as polling site like Glassdoor, although it happens very rarely. The improbability of it happening in real life makes such findings humorous.
- In Medusa's Daughter, nobody likes Rictus. Nobody. Not even his business partner and co-owner of the circus. The only way he seems to keep control is through being the most on-the-ball person in the group. Skully is a hopeless alcoholic and is deeply ashamed of his role in helping to kidnap Maia, Maia is kept under Rictus's thumb through emotional and physical abuse, and everyone else at the circus just seems to be too busy hating one another to do anything against him. Skully lampshades this at one point, when he tells Maia how it's like the people from his native Ireland spend all their time killing one another, instead of working together to deal with external threats.
- In the Super Mario Logan episode, "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Part 2", Craig the Devil uses a lifeline to ask the audience to help him answer a question. All four answers result in 0%, and the Brooklyn Guy asks the audience if their keypads are broken. He soon finds out that the audience deliberately chose not to help Craig.
- Adventure Time
- As established in "You Made Me!", just about everyone in the Candy Kingdom completely despises the Earl of Lemongrab and vehemently protest against Princess Bubblegum's request that some of them go to his castle to keep him company. One Candy Person, Mr. Cupcake, actually goes so far as to break his own arm to have an excuse not to hang out with him.
- Later when King Of Ooo managed to dethrone Bubblegum in becoming the new princess of the Candy Kingdom his malicious acts harms the whole community of the kingdom to the point every single Candy Citizens hates him, preferring their old Candy Princess over him. The final straw of this is when a Dark Cloud approaches and rather than march his candy citizens to defend, he orders them to close the gates just to save his own skin. No surprise that he ended up being overthrown by them and have Bonnibel reclaim her rule over the kingdom.
- American Dad!: Roger's Ricky Spanish persona of the episode of the same name is universally despised by everyone in Langley Falls, and for good reason: he's committed such horrible crimes as defecating in the chest of a man undergoing open heart surgery and stabbing Avery Bullock's wife to death on a whim.
- Beavis And Butthead. Everyone in town dislikes them, though not without good reason. It shows the most in one episode where the duo "calls in dead" to get out of school and the reactions to their deaths range from overly happy to complete indifference. The only people in the entire town who are actually saddened are Stewart Stevenson and Van Driesen, the latter of whom cries when he hears the news.
- In one episode, Iznogoud actually manages to become the Caliph by changing bodies with him. However, due to his tyranny, he's overthrown by the people of Baghdad, who think that "everything's been worse since he threw the Grand Vizier in jail". After overthrowing him, the "Grand Vizier" (really the imprisoned Caliph in Iznogoud's body) becomes the new Caliph, thus restoring everything to normal (except the two now have swapped bodies and Iznogoud is in jail, together with Dilat Harat, who now has the body of the Caliph's food taster).
- In Iznogoud Finally Caliph, a conspiracy is formed by the inhabitants of Bagdad to get rid of him. When asked who is in this conspiracy, Dilat replies to Iznogoud that everyone in Bagdad is, since except for the Caliph, they all hate him.
- Similarly, when he travels to a Mirror Universe (literally on the other side of a mirror where everything is reversed), he is delighted that every single citizen wants the Caliph's head... except that in the Mirror Universe he is the Caliph.
- Princess Luna of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic earned this after enacting her plan to bring eternal night, since ponies really don't like you after you initiate a scheme that will eventually kill off all life on the planet. Ironically, her mistaken/exaggerated belief that she was already unloved was what drove her to force ponies to love her and the night, giving her the rating she thought she had.
- Things haven't improved a whole lot by "Luna Eclipsed", where her subjects are downright terrified of her, not helped by her out-of-date sense of royal protocol. Twilight Sparkle helps her cope and improve her public image, however.
- She's since made a lot a progress in getting away from this trope thanks to the revelation in "Sleepless In Ponyville" that, as Princess of the Night, she watches over her subjects' dreams. In the episode, she helps Scootaloo end her nightmares after Rainbow Dash tells her scary stories that Scootaloo ashamedly admits to being afraid of.
- For further irony, the Bad Future in the Season 5 finale showing Nightmare Moon victorious actually looks like the nicest of the half-dozen Bad Futures seen; out of all the Big Bads, Nightmare Moon is the only one who actually cares about approval rating.
- In "The Return of Harmony," Celestia reveals that Discord was a rare example of an Evil Overlord who came to power without the aid of an army of Evil Minions; because his powers have no clearly established limit, he was able to step in by himself and effortlessly convert Equestria into his personal World Gone Mad where he would use the terrified and miserable ponies as playthings for his own amusement.
- A flashback scene in "The Crystal Empire" shows that King Sombra was a similar case to Discord. He used his incredibly powerful Black Magic to oppress and enslave the population directly, earning the hate and fear of literally everyone (as demonstrated by their continued misery and reluctance to remember what life under his rule was like, one thousand years after being reawakened).
- Things haven't improved a whole lot by "Luna Eclipsed", where her subjects are downright terrified of her, not helped by her out-of-date sense of royal protocol. Twilight Sparkle helps her cope and improve her public image, however.
- Superman: The Animated Series:
"I am many things, Kal-El, but here, I am God."
- Lois Lane visits an alternate reality where Superman and Lex Luthor joined forces to take over Metropolis and seem to have a Zero Percent Approval Rating.
- Subverted in the series finale, where Superman expects this to be the case when he throws a beaten Darkseid to his oppressed masses, but is shocked to find that the people of Apokolips love the tyrant and tenderly help him to safety.
- Appears in an alternate timeline in Justice League. In that timeline, Luthor kills the Flash, which causes the Justice League to go rogue and take over the world (even going and changing their group name to the Justice Lords), and because of it, the public hates them.
- Subverted, or perhaps parodied, in The Simpsons "Easter Stories", where David (Bart) fights and kills Goliath Jr. (Nelson), who took over his kingdom. David gets arrested for "megacide" because Goliath Jr. was publicly beloved and used his huge size to build roads, libraries, and hospitals.
- "We called him 'Goliath the Consensus-Builder'."
- Mayor Quimby usually holds a pretty good reputation, despite his... lackluster... abilities, but Sideshow Bob briefly managed to push him into this during one episode. After a brutal campaign and multiple failures on Quimby's part, the election results in Quimby taking home one percent of the vote, "and, we remind you, there is a one percent margin of error." Bob cheats anyway.
- In the two-part cliffhanger "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" ending Season 6 and starting Season 7, EVERYONE in town has good reason to shoot the evil Mr. Burns, including his only known friend, Waylon Smithers. Eventually, DNA tests suggest that Homer Simpson may have been the shooter, though it eventually turns out to be the baby Maggie who did it. By accident.
- The episode The Boys Of Bummer is a rare version of this Trope Played for Drama (even within this show), to not mention it deconstructs Spingfield's love for Disproportionate Retribution: Bart accidentally losing a fly ball (which made his baseball team lose) gives the rest of town enough reason to hate on him non-stop, all day long, for weeks-bad enough that it drives Bart into suicidal depression and jumping off the town's water tower (which they actually encourage him to), and when it doesn't kills him, they arrive to the hospital where he's lying in a coma to keep on raging on him. It takes Marge giving them a well-deserved talk for them to finally stop.
- Lucius on Jimmy Two-Shoes definitely has this, but that's to be expected from someone who generally likes to make people miserable. While he mostly revels in this, a few episodes show him trying to be loved.
- The Stunticons from Transformers Animated have a vicious tyrant as a leader called Motormaster who is loathed by his fellow members, but they are too scared of him to disobey his orders. Drag Strip also counts due his narcissism and obnoxiousness. Their combined form Menasor is completely uncontrollable because none of the component minds will cooperate with each other.
- Said word for word in the Hercules TV series for King Salmonues in the episode "King of Thessaly".
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Plankton has been stated on more than one occasion to be the most hated person in Bikini Bottom.
- The Amazing World of Gumball:
- Miss Simian, the local Sadist Teacher of Elmore Junior High. Even Rocky Robinson, a Nice Guy who claims to like everybody, openly admits he doesn't like her. Only Principal Brown, her Love Interest, appears to have any tolerance for her.
- The Watterson family themselves have also earned this, according to the episode "The Finale," considering all of the chaos their antics cause Elmore on a regular basis. By the end of the episode, the entire town is so sick of them that they form an angry mob and break into their house to kill them.
- Looney Tunes: A Running Gag in several cartoons is that Daffy Duck, no matter what he does or how talented he is, is always looked down upon by everyone whereas his rival Bugs Bunny has a 100% Adoration Rating and gets big rounds of applause for the smallest things he does.
- In Babar, Rataxes is lucky to have a "popularity ranking" greater than a rattlesnake bite or a volcanic eruption.
- Total Drama has Depraved Kids' Show Host Chris McLean. Everyone (except Chef) hates him. Everyone. Though the original cast by far hate him the most — even with the temptation of the million, all of them (including super-competitive Heather) do not want to be on the show anymore after suffering three seasons of his sadism. The only reason any of them show up is due to contractual obligations, with many of them profusely shouting about how much they hate Chris.
- South Park: Just about every kid in town hates Eric Cartman, though not without good reason. It's to the extent that in one episode, they all flat-out tell Cartman to his face that they don't like him, never thought he was cool, and couldn't possibly have a lower opinion of him than they already do. Though most of the time, Cartman either misses the point completely or doesn't care.