Misaimed Fandom / Web Media

Examples of Misaimed Fandom for characters in Web Comics and Web Original works.


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    Webcomics 
  • According to the Word of God of Drowtales Syphile is "not meant to have much redeeming features, she lost them all over time. I wouldn't portray her as anything else." Guess who's treated as The Woobie by a good portion of the fandom? Given the Grey and Gray Morality of the world it's understandable to a point, but now that Syphile's dead it'll probably get worse.
  • Misaimed fandom is the point of this Something*Positive comic. For those who don't get the joke, the author had previously used "cat girls" to represent annoying teenage anime fangirls who spout Gratuitous Japanese.
  • A rare positive example of this occurred during the fake "ending" in this strip of 8-Bit Theater. As he claimed in the blog post for the following strip, Brian Clevinger made the strip to piss people off and was later astounded to receive several e-mails of people saying how it was a perfect way to end the strip and thanking him for a job well done (even the ones who hated the "ending").
  • Someone once posted this minus. strip on a board, decipting a child preparing to deflect a meteor with a baseball bat, without any context nor any link to the comic. Immediately people saw it as a Heartwarming Moment, an innocent child's dream of saving the world because nobody told her it was impossible (probably), that no one should ever lose hope when faced with a The End of the World as We Know It, etc. Of course, anybody who has read the comic knows that minus is a mischievous Reality Warper, so there is nothing "impossible" here, and that she probably summoned the meteor in the first place.
  • Richard, the undead warlock of Looking for Group, does nothing so much as play jump rope with the line. He has an entire summer home in audacity. About the only time we ever see him is when he's killing stuff for the hell of it or making kinda Vincenty Price-y jokes. And "stuff" in this context means, well, you name it. Women, children, innocent bystanders, orphanages, whatever. It was well into the story before there was even a hint that he had any purpose or role other than as super-dark comic relief, or any redeeming qualities at all. Go on and guess which character seems to be by far the fandom favorite. Saying things like "I don't like to see evil characters get away with the things Richard gets away with" on the forums isn't quite going to get anyone flamed, but expect plenty of people to leap to defense of their favorite comic mass murderer. There are both Foe Yay and heroics in the strip revolving around Richard, especially in the more recent installments of the comic, so it's unclear if the character has a genuinely misguided fandom, or if he is being evolved in the comic progression, or if one has led to the other or vice-versa.
  • It's pretty much impossible to claim Misaimed Fandom in The Order of the Stick without getting hit with massive amounts of Internet Backdraft, though the contradictory positions means that someone must have the wrong end of the ten-foot pole. But Word of God eventually stepped in to confirm the "Belkar is Chaotic Good" claim as nonsense. He's Chaotic Evil, and not exactly subtle about it either.
    • And just confirmed Yes, killing off a quarter of an entire race is evil, even if most of them are also evil. Not that it's stopped people arguing about it.
    • There's also the case of Miko Miyazaki who was a parody of a badly roleplayed Paladin (in contrast to more balanced characters like Hinjo, O-Chul and Lien) yet developed a following. Time seems to have faded most of it away, though there are still occasional outbreaks on the official forums.
    • Girard Draketooth, who somehow gained a reputation as a Properly Paranoid Magnificent Bastard by his cunning plan of hurling inaccurate accusations of treachery at a dead man and ineffectively trying to blow up a group of people who showed up to help him. In process allowing his loose bragging tongue to poke a nice round security hole. Put it down to Cool People Rebel Against Authority.
    • This was both Lampshaded and Discussed in this strip, when fan-favorite villain Thog shows up as a gladiator. "No matter how many people he kills, the audience thinks he's lovable."
  • NewRem Comics's entire fanbase is misaimed. According to Word of God, the main character is intended to be a deconstruction of an RPG Heroine's life after there's nothing left to save, not a cutesy nerd rage comic.
    • It would probably help if the author gave any hint of this at all in the strip.
  • Gright the Suicide Doll in Far Out There was supposed to be offensive, unsettling, and an attack on the sort of people who would buy such things. Much to the author's horror, readers have demanded actual Gright merchandise ever since.
  • Collar 6: Early on, some fans have suggested that Buttefly may simply be an "antagonist" and not a "villain." This comes with the claim that her torturing Trina for information on Sixx was consensual BDSM.
  • Trollface. The meme originated from a comic lampooning Internet trolls, but the face was so awesome that the very same trolls had no problem making it the most recognizable icon of "the lulz" this side of Awesome itself.
  • One of the major themes in Homestuck is that everything is predestined, and that going against what's meant to happen will only result in disaster. It's been established in the comic that the kids the story follows are the only ones who will play Sburb and survive - any of the other kids who got the game will be doomed to failure when the meteors come because they aren't the ones who are supposed to play. And yet, fanfics and roleplay that take place in a Sburb session with entirely new human or troll kids are hugely popular. At least some of them make up a new species for the players to be first, but the vast majority of them don't.
    • Zig Zagged in canon; Hussie has left open the idea that other human sessions escaped, but all of them are also doomed for failure, even showing a brief snippet of a session with a friend of Dad's. No other troll session exists though.
    • Also, many fans take whatever Andrew Hussie says outside of the comic, such as on the forums or his Formspring page, as Word of God that is unarguably canon. Problem is, Andrew is a Teasing Creator and many of the things he writes about his comic outside of the actual comic are intended as jokes.
    • Troll Romance was supposed to be comically exaggerated. It and the related characters ended up breaking the comic out into mainstream awareness. Similarly, Andrew chose to make the main characters 13-year-olds so that romance wouldn't come into play. Guess what comic has one of the largest shipping fanbases on the Internet?
    • The character of Kankri has made more people aware of the concept of triggers and has given rise to more fanfic writers providing warnings...despite the fact that he's supposed to be an obnoxious Strawman Political whose obsession with triggers is annoying and misguided at best.
  • In Ansem Retort, Axel proposing to Aerith at the end of season 4 was meant to purely be a Take That! towards how most shows tend to end a season with a major Shocking Swerve, but many readers consider it to be a genuine Crowning Moment of Heartwarming. The fact that they were already the main couple probably didn't help in getting his point across.
  • The famous Hark! A Vagrant strip about Mr Darcy was originally intended to parody how ridiculously fangirlish women still get about Mr Darcy, because most of the tropes that made him sexy to the audience of that day no longer apply in modern society and because no-one could possibly live up to the sex symbol Mr Darcy has become in the popular imagination over the years.
    • A more straightforward example is Beaton's Strong Female Characters. Initially, Beaton use them as a parody of "faux feminist" characters used in fiction but several fans seriously think they are a parody of feminism in general. Beaton later responded with this comic.
  • Misfile is a deconstruction on Gender Bender stories, where the nightmare of a boy waking up as a girl is played straight, along with the issues that transgender people go through. However, in the forums there are always people who can't understand why Ash doesn't just conform to the Second Law of Gender Bending. Among the comic's trans fans, meanwhile, while there are many who get the author's intention and identify with Ash's predicament of being trapped in the 'wrong' gender, there are also some of whom see the premise of waking up the opposite gender as a dream come true (it completely escapes them that Ash was cisgendered before it happened).
  • Matt Furie, the creator of Boys Club, got a real kick out of the fact that Pepe the Frog became an internet meme, but he was considerably less stoked about its adoption as a mascot by the alt-right, to the point where the Anti-Defamation League named it a hate symbol. He points out that the comic's Funny Animals are diverse, and that Pepe, being green, could not possibly be a white supremacist. He and his publisher eventually put out an official statement rejecting the 'nihilism' of the alt-right movement and describing Pepe as "a peaceful cartoon amphibian who represents love, acceptance, and fun. (And getting stoned.)" Furie eventually admitted more or less defeat in reclaiming his character, as he decided to kill Pepe off by depicting his funeral in a one page comic released on Free Comic Book Day 2017.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Lalli was deliberately written as being socially and emotionally maladjusted due to his upbringing on top of possibly having a few neurological issues, to the point that many fans consider him a quite realistic portrayal of autism. He's shown to be a good and hard-working person at heart, but have No Social Skills and be extremely prone to Brutal Honesty. The end result is that each time events leave him in bad enough mood for a legitimate reason, anyone trying to interact with him during his much-needed alone time will be met with an extremely abrasive reaction, even if they are one of the two members of the crew Lalli gets along with the rest of the time. Such moments cause some readers to treat Lalli as if he's an outright Jerkass being mean to whoever he's interacting with for no good reason. This becomes especially visible when Lalli enters a state of depression because of his cousin basically getting a death sentence, which results in him getting easier to "set off" and still getting "what a jerk" reactions, despite the fact that he cares very much about his cousin being the cause of his bad mood.

    Web Original 
  • Has been discussed a couple times in Cracked:
    It's easy to understand why people idolize these characters. "Despicable" as they might be, they're being portrayed by literally the most charismatic people on earth. That makes them pretty damn attractive. Plus they don't take no crap from nobody, and they (for a brief moment, anyway) get exactly what they want. But so does a fly when it lands on a big, fresh pile of shit. So did Hitler. ... Just because someone is charismatic and fleetingly gets what they want doesn't mean they should be emulated. That's how we went from the character Alex P. Keaton to real life Scott Baio."
  • James Rolfe:
    • Though most of the games reviewed by The Angry Video Game Nerd are just as bad as he says they are, there are a large number of viewers that didn't realize his first review of Castlevania II: Simon's Quest was deliberate Accentuate the Negative, and thought the guy who played him genuinely hated that much (James Rolfe stated that the first review was done as a joke and he didn't really think the game was that bad). It doesn't help that he frequently brings up Castlevania II when discussing other games' flaws, notably long passwords. His Metal Gear review does a better job of what he was aiming for with Castlevania II.
    • He also mentioned in his second review for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde that, despite (or likely because of) how bad he demonstrated the game was, many played it anyway, thinking "It can't be that bad."
    • When Rolfe announced that he would not be seeing or reviewing Ghostbusters (2016) due to his disapproval of various creative decisions made during its production, many of his viewers have praised him for "fighting against the evils of feminism"...even though the all-female cast was not among his list of complaints, and Rolfe has never voiced anti-feminist opinions at any point during his 10 years on the web.
    • As Rolfe's page on The Other Wiki notes, the original joke of the Angry Video Game Nerd character was that it was absurd at the time for a grown man to get so mad about video games. Ten years on, it's common to see ordinary forum posters with AVGN levels of rage, partly because the character's influence ended up making disproportionate rage about games a normal part of gamer culture.
    • The AVGN's character had another bit to him as well. He's also serves to remind us not to look at all the old gaming days with rose-tinted glasses. Most of the older really shitty games in the past are bad, but that's because it was all we really had to work with; clunky controls and all without much developmental thought. For every Mario, Mega Man, Sonic, and Zelda, there were equally bad games in those days as well.
  • The critics over at That Guy with the Glasses have quite a bit of this going on as well.
    • The Nostalgia Critic attracts a lot of this. Despite the fact that a fair number of the episodes conclude with him admitting the film's strong points, any YouTube re-post will inevitably have loads of comments claiming "he was so right!" and bashing the film in question (sometimes without even having seen the movie themselves). He also gets a lot of fans who think he's a badass, manly role model, when Doug has said time and time again that he's supposed to a weak, pathetic waste of space jerk who's always getting the short end of the stick.
    • The Spoony One is deliberately trying to accentuate the negative on Final Fantasy VIII and the other Final Fantasy titles; however, his Fan Dumb tends to overlap with the massive Hate Dumb and Hate Dom for the franchise, as comments even pointing out how subjective he could be or flat out fallacious were downrated and flamed into oblivion. Even saying that he was complaining about a game he hadn't played and ADMITTED he never played. (Final Fantasy IX)
    • Somewhat related, Lindsay has expressed annoyance that many fanboys seem to think The Nostalgia Chick is a "good person" when she's really a fucked up bitch with an Inferiority Superiority Complex.
    • How much of it is just malice is up for debate, but whenever Rachel Tietz did vlogs and mentioned missing Demo Reel, a lot of comments would muse that if she'd just shown her "tietz" the show would have lasted longer, missing her character's whole point of being angry because she'd been abused by Horrible Hollywood All Men Are Perverts for so long.
  • Game reviews by IGSRJ, which serve as dual Irate Gamer parodies/AVGN tributes, not only include horrible games, but also games generally believed to be the best of all time, including Super Mario Bros. 3, Mortal Kombat and Duke Nukem 3D. He does a well enough job at Accentuating The Negative that reading the comments reveals that many viewers consistently either bitch about how wrong IGSRJ is, or more stupidly, agree with his arguments.
    • Similarly, many Youtubers fail to realize that the Third Rate Gamer is completely satirical in his reviews. He even puts up a disclaimer at the beginning of his Nintendo DS "review" stating that it's not intended to be serious, but the misconception still rages.
  • Similar to the above examples, many people actually assume that because they find Yahtzee so funny, he is actually the Word of God and that the games he reviews are genuinely crappy. Never mind the fact that there is a huge Bias Steamroller on there, and how he is deliberately trying to Accentuate the Negative. Many of his reviews are just fixating on one thing that bugged him or attacking the fans. This is especially true with JRPGs and Fighter games, where Yahtzee deliberately insists that he really doesn't know that much about them and didn't care about fighting games, yet played 'em anyways, acted like he knew everything, said The World Ends with You was an okay game, and most of his Brawl review was pretty much insulting Fan Dumb. Unfortunately, if you go to the Escapist Forum, you'll find all sorts of people who claim that they were glad they didn't get a game Yahtzee just savaged despite that he said plenty of positive things bout it (Especially BioShock), insist that all fighters and RPGs are "Crap" despite proudly admitting having never played one in their lives.
    • Yahtzee himself has said that he exaggerates the flaws for comedic value, and that he 'praises by exception'. Anything he doesn't mention is fine or at least average, while if he takes the time to mention something's good in the review, he thought it was really good. He's also admitted his prejudices and that what he likes or hates may be the opposite for other people. Above all he just wants people to think for themselves and demand better than 'average' from developers. He's also gone on record in his earlier videos that "nobody likes him when he's not being mean" hence, the drive to sound angrier at games than he really is.
    • It was also particularly bad about Brawl, in which, before he reviewed it, a lot of people actually liked it. Then, mysteriously, after he said he hated it because it was a fighting game, the Escapist was full of people saying it was the worst game and they were glad they never bothered with it, despite that several weeks before, their posts said they liked it. Suffice to say, if Yahtzee basically said he thought sex was overrated, you can pretty much bet that the Escapist Forums will be full of people who have proudly declared themselves to be celibates or that they were always Asexual.
    • In the Zero Punctuation review of The Witcher, Yahtzee made a Take That! towards the elitist attitude of some PC gamers. Nonetheless, they seriously started to call themselves a "master race".
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series is actually mostly an Affectionate Parody of Yu-Gi-Oh!, with most of LittleKuriboh's hatred being directed at 4Kids. In case it's not obvious, Little Kuriboh is actually a fan of Yu-Gi-Oh. Unfortunately, this has lead to a lot of people admitting that Yu-Gi-Oh hatred is "cool" or calling it a "children's card game" for serious, and assuming that LK actually hated the franchise. Despite that his username is LittleKuriboh.
  • This video is a parody of incredibly impatient gamers. Then people started believing the kid was one, which led him to stop making videos for about a year.
  • The Greatest Freakout Ever, which has become ridiculously popular among teens and young adults as a humorous video. Any responsible adult who views it can only be horrified at the dysfunction it represents - in both brothers and in their parents.
  • Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog: some people, as highlighted in this essay, are arguing that a large part of the audience seems to have missed the point especially in the way it tackled the idea of Disposable Woman and of Billy as a Nice Guy. Billy's complete transformation into the Dr. Horrible persona is clearly and unambiguously portrayed as a tragedy; not only because of the loss of Penny, but because it costs him the very humanity that his friend associates with. Some people are still going to prefer the Well-Intentioned Extremist Dr. Horrible over the nebbish Stalker With a Crush Billy.
  • These guys are satirizing the Christian Side Hug. However, more Christian groups have become aware of the Christian Side Hug thanks to the video and have adopted it because they believe front-hugging is a public display of affection and that it can cause accidental sexual contact.
  • Spoony created Doctor Insano as a satire of the idea that in fiction obviously evil people can be elected into positions of power. However several of his fans said that they would vote for him. Why? Because he is honest.
  • This video, technically part of a film project that doesn't look like it will ever be made. It's really a brilliant expression, and critique, on the American potential for fascism. Needless to say, most of the comments are on what a straight-thinking person Derek Jacobi's character seems to be.
  • Christian Lander started Stuff White People Like as an affectionate satire of his fellow liberal Hipster and Bourgeois Bohemian types. But peruse through the comments section on any of the site's pages and you'll find that SWPL tends to attract a large number of (presumably non-ironic) "alt-right" racists.
    • Especially racists who went on to make spin-offs that miss the point and just list a bunch of racist stereotypes without a hint of humor.
  • Urban Dictionary was created as a site where people can make their own slang words with their definitions, and also for other people to find out what (a) certain slang word(s) mean. However, a lot of people simply use it as a vehicle for their (biased) opinions. It's prevalent enough that the site's most popular entry for "Urban Dictionary" (which is also Urban Dictionary page's quote) acknowledges this.
  • Australian teen Madelene Zammit vents her frustrations against Facebook in an internet song with clear statements like "Na, I don't want to be judgmental towards people that I don't know. I'm sure you're nice, but your statuses must go," along with slamming people who post scandalous photos and creepy stalkers. Even after all that, she can't be too pleased after discovering her song was "liked" over 10,000 times by Facebook posters.
  • The Germaine character in the Neurotically Yours series is portrayed as the stereotypical goth female teenager that hates men, doesn't take orders from the man (aka refusing to get a job because she hates being told what to do), and acts like her poetry writing is amazing and shows how she knows the world for what it really is. As the series progressed, Germaine is shown to be dressing more and more slutty and performing sexual acts on random men while also revealing her fetishes and what she would do to the people and celebrities she has a crush on, yet Germaine still tries to stay true to her views on men and sex. Viewers of the series kept demanding to see Germaine naked, which pissed off the author every single time and as a response to the requests, he decides to have Germaine grow very fat and shave her hair off to make her ugly. However, not only did this cause people in-universe to find her even more attractive, it caused the viewers to whine at the author to change Germaine back. In response to that, the author made a video where he explains for over 10 minutes on how the Germaine character is supposed to be a satire on girls that claim to be above anything sexual and yet go against their values behind closed doors.
  • ProtonJon has encountered this a few times in his Let's Play videos. He hates Super Mario World ROM hacks that abuse the use of invisible coin blocks and in response to the hacks that kept doing that, he made his own level that had over 200 invisible coin blocks in a platform like maze with a switch at the very top that reveals the level exit. He sent the level to some of his friends and one of them thought the level was just brilliant, causing Proton Jon to exclaim "No, you idiot! You're missing the point!"
    • Proton Jon's videos of him doing an LP of Superman 64 was to show people just how awful the game was, along with all its random bugs and glitches. Proton Jon admitted that the game was So Bad, It's Good and that was his only motivation to play the game. However, many viewers that saw the game in action started to make their own videos showcasing all the glitches in the game, which baffled Proton Jon.
  • Youtube personality Dom Mazzetti exemplifies this. The NYU educated comedy pair Mike & Gian created a parody of the dull-witted, hard-partying New Jersey Douchebags (as played by Mike). Not only is this sketch series their most popular, but has been accepted as a measure of bro-solidarity by the dull-witted, hard-partying New Jersey Douchebags it seeks to parody.
    • This character was so popular that they created a spin off show Broscience Life where Mr. Mazzetti teaches you the ins and outs of being a gym-rat. The problem with this show is that while the show gives comically bad advice "Don't warm up before you do your cleans", "Hurt yourself", etc., it intersperses it with legitimately good advice that frequent exercisers wish they could give out to the more uninformed masses: "If you're benching 135, don't ask me to spot you and then put 405 on the bar. I can't deadlift three hundred pounds!"
  • Jeff The Killer And Slenderman. Full stop. One can sort of understand Jeff being a Draco in Leather Pants (since he had his psychological break due to extreme bullying, and the disfigurement he suffered as a result of said bullying), but SLENDERMAN?!
    • You'd be surprised at how much the Slender Man is idolized despite the fact that he's an Eldritch Abomination that stalks people, drives them insane, and then disappears them (it's heavily implied in some media that he eats them). Hell, the guy's original appearance as an image macro implies he kidnaps and/or eats children.
    • Some of this can be explained by the popularity of the mythos he was based on, and the creatures within it — particularly since "Slendy" is more humanoid, and thus seems more "accessible" than many other Eldritch beings. (However, this ignores that it's still an utterly alien being that operates on Blue and Orange Morality and causes untold destruction and suffering wherever it goes.)
  • A common grievance for Maddox as he attracts people he loathes. He even claims that his fan mail can be much dumber than his hate mail. There was also an incident where his fanclub hacked a website they don't like and while he said nothing of it, Maddox has stated that he hates hackers especially when they are script kiddies.
  • The anti-pedophile group Perverted Justice used to regularly post lengthy logs of the online chat sessions members did to lure and expose pedophiles. They stopped after it turned out that those logs were actually being avidly read by said pedophiles.
  • After Candle Cove became popular, many people began making videos simulating the titular show. Since the horror of the original piece comes from the fact that there was no show, only static that (for whatever reason) appeared as a show to children, re-creating it kind of goes against the spirit of the thing.
    • The story's creator, Kris Straub, has stated that he doesn't care for the fan sequels or spin-offs because they try to explain or rationalize the deliberately vague and unexplained events of the story — thus negating the entire reason why it was frightening in the first place.
  • The Team Service Announcement series was meant to give inexperienced Team Fortress 2 players advice on common situations. As such, the fact that people watch them mainly for entertainment has caused some Creator Backlash.
  • The Raging Red Tide, a (borderline) NSFW web blog that parodies and pokes fun at Social Justice bloggers has Checked Privilege who was meant to be a one-off character joining Sweetie Belle to take down 4Chan. She immediately gained popularity (and even Fan Art) from 4Chan's denizens who think she's adorable.
  • Every wiki will attract people who will abuse the open format. The best known is the Wiki Vandal, who cuts content or adds false information For the Lulz. Then there are those who are taking it seriously, but only to obsess with a Single-Issue Wonk - sometimes repeatedly adding their opinions (until it gets ridiculous. Or a Shameless Self-Promoter, who feels their opinions/experiences are worth including.
  • Similar to the Yugioh Abridged situation above, Dragon Ball Z Abridged by Team Four Star has attracted some fans who think that the show's jokes aimed at the story of the show are meant as legitimate criticisms or interpretations of the characters and story as to how they're supposed to be taken as, rather than just jokes at their expenses, as well as taking the flanderized personalities of these versions of the characters as canon, most notably Goku and Piccolo. While Goku's has apparently become canon as of Super, which even fans of the Japanese version have said has become a bit much, Piccolo is another case, since he was Gohan's mentor, not his adoptive father. Krillin has also become a punching bag for many, despite the guys themselves admitting that the reason they shat on him so much in the first 2 seasons was because Yamcha wasn't a part of the story during those arcs.
  • Many detractors of The Mysterious Mr. Enter spout opinions about him that show that they have no idea what kind of reviewer he is. He's a more straight-forward reviewer and not another Nostalgia Critic, even though he's inspired by him, thus saying he's not funny enough, or that his anger isn't played for comedy, is entirely a moot point because that's not how he carries himself in his reviews. One review on I Md B even thought he was supposed to be this and his channel was just another web review show not meant to be taken seriously, and even said that he sounded legitimately angry, which he was, so thinking his reviews are meant to be like the Nostalgia Critic is not only missing the point entirely, but not even aiming for the right target.
  • The three laws of gender bending were coined to show that the stereotypical Gender Bending plot is fundamentally flawed, as the characters don't react anything like an actual human being would to their situation. Fans of the genre seem to take them as guidelines.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/MisaimedFandom/WebMedia