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Likes Clark Kent, Hates Superman

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Someone doesn't like a person but is on good terms with their alternate identity

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
BreadBull on Oct 15th 2017 at 9:24:21 AM
Last Edited By:
BreadBull on Jan 9th 2018 at 1:54:24 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

And I heard Harry's said he wants Spider-Man dead
Aw, but his buddy Pete he can trust.
"Ode to a Super Hero", Weird Al

Many people have a Secret Identity. And since the whole point of a secret identity is to have as few people know it as possible, sometimes you might get a person who likes that guy in the office without realizing he's actually the superhero they're trying to kill.

See Loves My Alter Ego and Hates My Secret Identity, which is similar except the person in question is neutral to or unaware of your other self. Contrast Two-Person Love Triangle.


Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Anna Nishikinomiya from Shimoneta has a crush with Tanukichi Okuma before and (especially) after she becomes a Nymphomaniac Yandere after him, but she hates his SOX alter-ego (the only male member of the ero-terrorism group) without knowing it's the same Tanukichi behind the panty mask. However, her body recognizes him anyway, playing against Anna, who reacts against her will when she's getting close to him under the mask.

Comic Books

  • The Trope namer: Many iterations of Superman either have Lex Luthor and Clark Kent being Childhood Friends or at least Lex Luthor deeply respecting Clark Kent's journalistic work. But Lex Luthor always hates Superman, deeply jealous and distrusting of the superhero's powers and lack of checks and balances.
  • In the DC Animated Universe, Lois fell in love with Bruce Wayne, but greatly dislikes Batman. She was upset to find out they're one and the same. As a result, Lois breaks up with him.
    Batman: She loves both Bruce Wayne and Superman. It's the other guys she's not crazy for.
    Superman: Too bad we can't mix-and-match.
  • In the Jem and the Holograms comic, Rio is obviously in love with Jerrica, but he dislikes Jem, finding her conceited and an outsider.

Film - Live-Action

  • In Spiderman Homecoming, Adrian Toomes, aka The Vulture, initially likes Peter Parker, the teenaged boy who is trying to date his daughter, but hates Spiderman, the meddling superhero who interferes in all his nefarious plans. In an aversion, Toomes figures out that Peter is Spiderman soon after meeting the boy in his civilian identity.
  • In Spiderman 2 Harry Osborn is friends with Peter Parker, despite having sworn revenge on Peter's alter ego Spiderman for his role in the death of Harry's dad Norman (aka The Green Goblin) in the previous film.

Live-Action TV

  • In the early seasons of Arrow, most characters had a specific preference where they either liked Oliver Queen and thought the Hood (soon to be Green Arrow) was a menace or thought Oliver Queen was a douchey playboy but the Hood was doing what no one else would to save the city.
  • In The Flash (2014) while most of the city knows and loves the Flash, very few people know who Barry Allen is. However Eddie Thawne, Barry's coworker, is good friends with Barry but obviously initially distrusts the Flash and sought his capture.
  • In Merlin (2008), Prince Arthur is Vitriolic Best Buds with his manservant Merlin, unaware that Merlin is a powerful warlock - a capital offense in Camelot. However, "Dragoon the Great", the hammy Older Alter Ego that Merlin uses for his more flagrant feats of magic, is seen by Arthur as a criminal and a threat to the realm. In the series finale, he takes The Reveal very hard at first.
  • On Supergirl, Cat Grant initially thinks Kara is a hopeless simpleton, but loves the idea of Super Girl and considers the superhero her own creation and intellectual property. On the other hand, Max Lord is ambivalent about Kara but thinks Supergirl is a dangerous menace.

Web Comics

  • The Cyanide & Happiness short "Shark Dad" is about a kid who disrespects his father while idolising the superhero Shark Rad, not realising there's both the same person. His dad eventually reveals the truth to him in the hopes of winning his respect, but the kid suddenly decides that Shark Rad sucks and sarcastically thanks his dad for ruining Shark Rad for him.

Western Animation

  • American Dragon: Jake Long: Rose is part of a group that tries to kill all magical creatures, but doesn't know that her love interest Jake Long is one. There's even an episode where they're working on a school project in an apartment building and trying to kill each other on the rooftop as their alternate identities.
  • Danny Phantom: After an accident Valerie swears revenge against all ghosts, but she doesn't know that one of them is her classmate who has the ability to switch between ghost form and human form.
  • South Park: Shelly Marsh hates her dad Stan, who was revealed to be Lorde, a singer that Shelly looks up to.
  • The Lego Ninjago Movie: Lloyd is hated by nearly everyone because his dad happens to be an evil supervillain, although they don't know that he's actually part of the superhero group that fights against him.
  • In Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Bulk and Skull have a deep respect and admiration for the Power Rangers, but had nothing but contempt for the Rangers' civilian identities. This gradually changed in later seasons.
  • Miraculous Ladybug:
    • Marinette has a massive crush on Adrien, but finds his alter-ego Chat Noir to be obnoxious. On the other side of things, Adrien has a crush on Ladybug, but does not realize that she is secretly Marinette.
    • Chloe hates Marinette, but considers herself to be Ladybug's biggest fan.

Feedback: 22 replies

Oct 15th 2017 at 9:55:03 AM

Surprised not to see the Trope Namer:

  • In most interpretations, Lex Luthor was either Childhood Friends with Clark Kent or respects him due to his hard work, intelligence and human flaws. However, he HATES Superman, either because he's an alien or because he's too perfect. Thus, Lex never even considers that they could be the same person.

Oct 15th 2017 at 10:22:15 AM

Is there a parallel trope this should be linked to like "Hates Clark Kent, Loves Superman"?

Oct 15th 2017 at 11:57:15 AM

^That sounds good.

Would this be a subtrope of Secret Identity?

Oct 15th 2017 at 1:57:12 PM

  • In Merlin 2008, Prince Arthur is Vitriolic Best Buds with his manservant Merlin, unaware that Merlin is a powerful warlock — a capital offense in Camelot. However, "Dragoon the Great", the hammy Older Alter Ego that Merlin uses for his more flagrant feats of magic, is seen by Arthur as a criminal and a threat to the realm. In the series finale, he takes The Reveal very hard at first.

Oct 15th 2017 at 6:25:45 PM

Sam Raimi's Spiderman 2 has this going with Peter and Harry.

Oct 15th 2017 at 6:26:11 PM

^^ It's that, but inverted.

Oct 15th 2017 at 6:36:03 PM

^So...Loves My Alter Ego?

Don't those two tropes have the dissonance between the relationships covered?

Oct 15th 2017 at 8:46:03 PM

No. It's literally the reverse. You're saying this is "Hates my secret Identity, Loves my Alter Ego" which are two established tropes, but what's being proposed here is actually "Loves My Secret Identity, hates my Alter Ego."

Oct 15th 2017 at 8:48:55 PM

Hey ginsengaddict, can you add more context to your example so it can be included?

Oct 15th 2017 at 9:18:44 PM

^^ The tropes Hates My Secret Identity and Loves My Alter Ego already collect "inverse" examples.

Oct 15th 2017 at 9:26:52 PM

But do those inverse examples cover both tropes? If someone is the inverse of Hates My Secret Identity, does that express that they both love the secret identity AND hate the Alter Ego or simply Loves My Secret Identity. Ditto with Loves My Alter Ego. Do the inverse example express that they both hate the Alter Ego AND love the secret identity or simply hates my alter ego. Because as separate tropes, they aren't intended to cover both ideas. If Hates My Secret Identity, Loves My Alter Ego were a single trope, I would one hundred percent agree that subversion/ aversion would cover any and all examples of "Loves My Secret Identity, Hates My Alter Ego".

Nov 19th 2017 at 4:12:26 AM

  • In Lois And Clark, Mayson Drake loves Clark and vehemently dislikes Superman. She gets killed in an explosion in "Lucky Leon", and the last thing she does is learn that Clark is Superman. We don't know whether or not it changes anything.

  • In the DC Animated Universe, Lois fell in love with Bruce Wayne, but greatly dislikes Batman. She was upset to find out they're one and the same. As a result, Lois breaks up with him.
    Batman: She loves both Bruce Wayne and Superman. It's the other guys she's not crazy for.
    Superman: Too bad we can't mix-and-match.

Nov 19th 2017 at 7:15:41 AM

  • The Cyanide And Happiness short "Shark Dad" is about a kid who disrespects his father while idolising the superhero Shark Rad, not realising there's both the same person. His dad eventually reveals the truth to him in the hopes of winning his respect, but the kid suddenly decides that Shark Rad sucks and sarcastically thanks his dad for ruining Shark Rad for him.

Context for Spiderman 2:

  • In Spiderman 2 Harry Osborn is friends with Peter Parker, despite having sworn revenge on Peter's alter ego Spiderman for his role in the death of Harry's dad Norman (aka The Green Goblin) in the previous film.

Jan 2nd 2018 at 12:03:13 PM

Possible page quote from Weird Al's "Ode to A Superhero", when he summarizes the events of the first Spider-Man movie:

And I heard Harry's said he wants Spider-Man dead
Aw, but his buddy Pete he can trust.

Jan 2nd 2018 at 1:03:30 PM

Anime and Manga:

  • Anna Nishikinomiya from Shimoneta has a crush with Tanukichi Okuma before and (especially) after she becomes a Nymphomaniac Yandere after him, but she hates his SOX alter-ego (the only male member of the ero-terrorism group) without knowing it's the same Tanukichi behind the panty mask. However, her body recognizes him anyway, playing against Anna, who reacts against her will when she's getting close to him under the mask.

Jan 2nd 2018 at 5:41:49 PM

  • In Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Bulk and Skull have a deep respect and admiration for the Power Rangers, but had nothing but contempt for the Rangers' civilian identities. This gradually changed in later seasons.

Jan 3rd 2018 at 8:26:24 AM

Comic Books:

  • There's not just one, various of the supervillains of Spider Man usually appretiate Peter Parker but hate to death Spidey. The most common examples are:
    • The Osborn family in their Green Goblin persona (Norman Osborn sees Peter as a good and intelligent guy and Harry was the best friend of him). This was carried to live-action in the 2 first films of Spider Man Trilogy.
    • Doctor Octopus: Before the unmasking of Civil War, Dr. Octavius has some kind of sympathy for Peter as he was nephew of Aunt May as well for his scientist knowledge and similar Friendless Background. This went upgraded in Spider Man 2 movie in which Peter was his fan and he admired his knowledge as well Octavius' Hell Face Turn at the end of the movie when Peter is unmasked to Mary Jane.
    • Dr. Curt Connors has Peter as one of his students and one of the best (if not THE BEST) students he ever had. Then, when he converts into The Lizard, has a hate against Spider-Man without knowing he was Peter, the opposite case with Peter, who still admires Connors and always try to do everything to restore Connors to normal, seen a lot in The Animated Series and The Amazing Spider Man.

Jan 3rd 2018 at 6:51:04 PM

  • Another Spider Man example: J. Jonah Jameson despised Spider Man but thinks of Peter Parker as a valued employee.

Jan 3rd 2018 at 9:34:33 PM

Western Animation

  • Miraculous Ladybug:
    • Marinette has a massive crush on Adrien, but finds his alter-ego Chat Noir to be obnoxious. On the other side of things, Adrien has a crush on Ladybug, but does not realize that she is secretly Marinette.
    • Chloe hates Marinette, but considers herself to be Ladybug's biggest fan.

Jan 4th 2018 at 10:31:43 AM

  • In the Jem And The Holograms comic, Rio is obviously in love with Jerrica, but he dislikes Jem, finding her conceited and an outsider.

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