- 101 Dalmatians: The Series: Lucky gets to meet his hero, Thunderbolt, when his show decides to film a scene on their farm in the episode "Watch For Falling Idols". Although Lucky is initially star struck to meet him, his opinion begins to change when he learns that Thunderbolt doesn't do his own stunts and that Thunderbolt may actually be a coward. Thunderbolt eventually earns Lucky's respect back when he has to save Lucky from actual danger.
- Adventure Time: Finn finds out his dad is trapped in the Citadel and is excited to meet him, even giving him the benefit of the doubt for abandoning him as a baby. But upon meeting his dad, Martin, he behaves like a Jerkass and doesn't even give Finn a real explanation for abandoning him in the forest. Then after Finn heals his injured leg, Martin proceeds to abandon Finn again for a group of escaped criminals. During said escape causes Finn's arm to get ripped off. Can you blame Finn for wanting revenge afterwards?
- Animaniacs has Chicken Boo where his disguise fails, exposing him as a giant chicken and everyone turns against him.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- In Book 2 of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Zuko is suddenly exposed to the horrors of what his beloved Fire Nation is actually doing to the world. He shoves it aside for a while, though, and helps Azula defeat Aang so he can return to the Fire Nation, where he's welcomed back by their father, Fire Lord Ozai and almost goes completely back to his old self, until Azula and Ozai plot to incinerate the entire Earth Kingdom, and he can no longer deny he's on the wrong side of the war.
- The Legend of Korra:
- The Equalists, specifically the Lieutenant, to Amon. Amon preached equality and removed the Bending of people to achieve it. Amon was revealed to be a Waterbender, and that shook the support from his cause. When the lieutenant finds out, he smashes his equalist mask, and attacks Amon, calling him a traitor, and screaming that they all had trusted him.
- In the Book 2 premiere, Korra hasn't had a good opinion of her father Tonraq since she learned he was one of the people behind the compound she was stuck in most of her life (Tenzin had a hand in that too) along with his exile from the Northern Water Tribe, and the fact he is treating her like a child. But later on, Korra swears off loyalty to Unalaq once it's revealed he not only fixed her father's trial to send Tonraq to prison and also to appear "merciful", but also caused Tonraq to be banished so that he could become chief of the Northern Water Tribe. After that, she reconciles with him and Tenzin, though realistically she still wants answers regarding her own upbringing for him to fully regain her trust.
- In Book 4, the final season, this would be the reason for Kuvira's FaceHeel Turn. She looked up to Suyin, the leader of Zaofu and a woman who took her in when she was a homeless child and raised her like a mother, until Suyin refused to help the Earth Kingdom during its time of need. Kuvira lost all respect for Suyin and would go on to become the very thing Suyin feared, a tyrant, using Zaofu's advanced technology and resources to conquer the world.
- In Avengers, Assemble!, Spider-Man suffers this towards Captain America when the latter quits and forms his own team after Ultron made fools of everyone.
- Batman: The Animated Series does this to some extent in "Beware the Gray Ghost". The eponymous character (voiced by Adam West) was the hero of an in-universe TV show that Bruce Wayne loved as a child, and an inspiration to the latter's own vigilantism. The actor, although not mean, is a bitter old man who has suffered from longterm unemployment, and briefly grows to hate his old role. Batman is quite disappointed when this Reality Ensues, but once it turns out that rediscovering the past is vital to solving a crime, the actor fortunately rediscovers his passion, aids Batman on his quest, and the episode ends on a very high note.
- Ben 10:
- Ben towards his childhood hero, Captain Nemesis in Ben 10: Ultimate Alien. He's upset to learn his former idol had become a jerk and staged many of his crimes to become famous, and went out of his way to hurt Ben and the people he cared for out of jealousy.
- Downplayed with Rook Blonko in Ben 10: Omniverse. He was a huge fan of The Ben 10 Show, which was (very loosely) based on Ben's exploits, so Rook came to Earth with some exaggerated expectations of his hero. While he was disappointed with how lazy and idiotic Ben could be, Rook was also pleasantly surprised to see that, despite his flaws, Ben Tennyson was still a hero through-and-through and very much deserved his reputation.
- Big City Greens: The episode "Dolled Up" has Tilly attend a tea party in honor of Saxon's birthday and attracts the attention of its VIP, Cantaloupe Sinclair. She is devastated when she learns Cantaloupe treats everyone like they're her dolls and forces them to do what she wants, and calls her out.
- Bob's Burgers has "Torpedo", where Bob meets a baseball player he's always been a fan of, though everyone keeps pointing out that it's a little weird that his hero is the same age as him. Due to certain events, Bob ends up providing him with burger grease that he uses to cheat at the games. When Bob decides to cut him off, Torpedo reveals that he has been cheating his whole career and flat out calls this trope out.Torpedo: Word of advice. Next time you want a role model, find an older guy. By the time you grow up, they're dead.
- The Boondocks: "The Story of Gangstalicious" is all about this, as Riley finds out quickly that his idol isn't exactly what he made himself out to be. Amongst other things...
- Bravestarr had this as the Central Theme of the aptly-titled episode "Fallen Idol". Bravestarr's mentor and idol Jingles Morgan turns out to be wanted for murder, which devastates Bravestarr. Throughout the episode, Bravestarr often tells Jingles "You were my hero..." in a mournful tone of voice. Upon Jingle's arrest, he attempts to understand why his idol attempted to kill him (you see, it was a test of his ruthlessness to join Tex Hex's gang), only for Morgan to show how far he has fallen from the beloved Jerk with a Heart of Gold Bravestarr remembers by saying "I never asked to be your 'hero'". After he's taken away, Bravestarr tells his deputy (who looks up to him) that "If anyone ever, ever lets you down, just... remember them for what they did right, and not what they did wrong."
- In one episode of Brickleberry Steve gets to meet his childhood icon, a Smokey the Bear expy named Flamey the Bear, who turns out to be a drug-addicted asshole who has sex with Ethel on Steve's bed and gives Steve a mean-spirited autograph.
- The Butt-Ugly Martians episode "Out of Sync" had Stoat Muldoon mention that he used to look up to Dr. Brady Hacksaw, but had a falling out with him because of how ruthless he was when it came to dealing with alien life forms.
- In the Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers episode "Flash the Wonder Dog", Dale becomes depressed after learning that the titular Flash (the star of one of his favourite TV shows) is not the hero he thought he was, but an actor who has a stunt double do all the action scenes for him and is afraid of heights. But, when the Rangers learn that Flash has been framed for a crime wave (which was actually the work of Fat Cat's gang) Dale snaps out of it, saying even if Flash isn't a hero, he's not a bad guy either, and goes with the others to clear Flash's name. At the same time, Flash redeems himself by proving he can be a hero for real.
- Codename: Kids Next Door:
- Cree was formerly Numbuh Five's mentor, her Cool Big Sis (literally and figuratively) and one of the best operatives of all time. As you might expect, then, the fact that she turned traitor made her one of the worst examples of this trope, becoming the Cain to Numbuh Five's Abel in the process. To make it worse, if Operation: M.A.U.R.I.C.E. is any indication, Cree seems more than willing to reconcile with her sister, but only on her terms; she seemed overjoyed when Abby briefly seemed to be willing to join her. Fortunately, Abby's other idol convinced her otherwise.
- A strange example would have to be Chad Dickson, f.k.a. Numbuh 274 and Soopreme Leader of the KND. Both his debut and his final appearance had shown him to be downright idolized by his subordinates (he had trading cards, for God's sake), making his betrayal downright heartbreaking in hindsight. Numbuh 1 deftly points this out in their final confrontation, having been one of the ones most affected by this betrayal as Chad was both a mentor and a dear friend to him, only for his former comrade to shout that he doesn't care. While Chad being a teen spy like Maurice has somewhat redeemed him, Nigel's forlorn expression at the end of the episode expresses how that doesn't detract from his legitimate negative qualities or what happened between them, especially with the former being why Chad tried to kill him.
- Danny Phantom:
- Danielle, Valerie, and Jack lose admiration, loyalty and respect for Vlad once they see his true colors by the end of the series.
- Maddie had viewed Vlad as a strange but trustworthy friend since their college years, but she changes her opinion after Vlad confesses that he always loved her and blames Jack for causing the portal accident (and "stealing" Maddie from him).
- Daria has Tommy Sherman in "The Misery Chick", who disappoints and disgusts everyone who meets him, even Kevin Thompson who idolizes him. As soon as he's killed in an accident, Kevin forgets all about his problems with Tommy's character.
- In the DuckTales (1987) episode "Where No Duck Has Gone Before", Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Doofus idol worship Major Courage, hero of the TV show Courage of the Cosmos. The boys go on the show and are blind to the fact that their hero is just a vain, egotistical actor, and pay no attention to Launchpad and Scrooge's statements to the effect that his derring-do isn't real. When they realize that they have really been launched into outer space and real aliens have captured them, Courage panics, and the boys see what a coward he really is ("real heroes just do their jobs!").Courage: What happened? What's going on?
Huey: We're going home!
Dewey: No thanks to you!
Doofus: You've been saved by a real hero — Launchpad McQuack!
- Downplayed in "Duck to the Future" - while Doofus is still on good terms with Launchpad, he has long outgrown his hero worship and is fully aware that Launchpad has flaws.
- Ducktales 2017:
- In the episode "The House of the Lucky Gander", the brothers start out thinking that Gladstone is the coolest thing since electricity, but by the end of the episode, Gladstone shows what a selfish, petty jerk he is, so the kids no longer think he is the "cool" uncle.
- In "The Infernal Internship of Mark Beaks", Huey idolizes billionaire, Mark Beaks, and competes with Dewey to gain an internship at his company. However, Huey is crushed when they discover that Mark Beaks is a deceitful fraud and scam artist, not to mention how much of a jerk he is to both boys.
- This happens to Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Webby towards Scrooge in "Last Crash of the Sunchaser" after Scrooge reveals the truth about the Spear of Selene. Though in Webby's case, it has to do more with the fact that Scrooge said she wasn't family.
- Downplayed in "The Duck Knight Returns", when Launchpad gets to meet Jim Starling (the actor who played Darkwing Duck) after learning that a movie adaptation will be made. However he is briefly stunned to see how much of a self-centered jerk he is. Even when the actor playing Darkwing Duck in the movie tells Jim how much he idolizes him, Jim tries to kill him just because he wasn't cast to star in the movie. However, both Launchpad and the actor thought they could get through to Jim, and they did when he seemingly sacrifices himself to save their lives in an explosion. That said, they still acknowledge what an inspiration he was, and Launchpad convinces the actor (revealed to be Drake Mallard) to take up the Darkwing mantle in Jim's honor.
- In Ed, Edd n Eddy, Eddy's brother was respected by most of the other kids (except for Kevin and Rolf, who fear him because they, or at least Rolf, are old enough to remember what he's really like), but when he finally shows up in The Movie, they lose that respect when he beats up his own brother, For the Evulz, and Double D, just for calling him out.
- Extreme Ghostbusters has Garrett reunite with his childhood best friend, only to discover he is now a member of a white surprmacist gang which was responable for attacking a Jewish temple which resulted in the Monster of the Week in the form of a Golem.
- On The Fairly OddParents, Chip Skylark, when he's held captive by Vicky, admits he isn't rich and worries that his fans wouldn't like him if that was the case. Timmy realizes that Vicky wouldn't like him, which is how he rescues Chip.
- Family Guy does this with Stewie's love of fictional kids show Jolly Farm. He goes to London only to find out Jolly Farm isn't real, Pengrove Pig is a pervert in a suit and Mother Maggie hates children and speaks with a Cockney accent.
- Gargoyles: At first, Derek Maza/Talon admired Xanatos greatly. He's the richest man in the world and he gave him a high paying job. When Derek was mutated, Xanatos became his only hope for a cure. All this was shattered when he realized Xanatos used him for his own nefarious schemes and was the one responsible for his transformation in the first place.Talon: I don't believe it. Goliath wasn't Sevarius' partner - it was you all along! I trusted you! You turned me into a monster and I defended you!
- Grojband: In the episode "Girl Fest", Laney is furious when she discovers firsthand that her favourite punk girl-rocker Candy Jams is in fact a superficial Girly Girl who sucks up to men and uses her tough independent image to sell beauty products. Laney's anger at Candy Jams is gloriously channeled through the episode's song "You're So Untrue".
- In one episode of Grossology, Abby discovers that her favorite basketball player has been trying to eliminate his competition by giving the other players shoes that give them really bad athlete's foot. Although, Abby has a very hard time believing it. Even when the player admits to it, Abby thinks that he's being brainwashed.
- Hey Arnold!:
- The eponymous character tracked down his favorite author only to find that she'd become mean and surly because of years of writer's block. His insistence that she was still his favorite author, despite how terribly she treated him before and during the interview for his school report, is the catalyst for her future change of heart and eventual return to writing.
- Eugene turned bad when he found out the actor from his favorite TV show wasn't anything like the character he plays. The same episode also subverts it when the actor saves Eugene and Spot, a smaller kid neighbor influenced by Eugene's breakdown from falling to their deaths, at great personal risk. As a result, it becomes a case of Warts and All, since Eugene realizes that for all his flaws, the actor is still a fundamentally good person.
- Then there was the time Phoebe found out her favorite singer, Ronnie Matthews, was a lip-synching hack. Inverted with Helga who was impressed with Ronnie Matthews for being a lip-synching hack.
- "Monkeyman!" features Sid losing his faith and admiration for the episode's titular character when he gets mugged right outside a building where Monkeyman was attending a party and his cries for help go unheard.
- In Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures, Race Bannon's old mentor (and boss) is revealed to have been working for Dr. Zin.
- Justice League Action: In "Freezer Burn", Killer Frost becomes excited when Mr. Freeze invites her to Gotham City for a Villain Team-Up, saying she is a huge fan of his. However, almost as soon as she arrives and helps Freeze take down Batman, Freeze callously knocks her out and uses her as a Living Battery to power his new airship's freeze rays. When Firestorm frees her, she helps him and Batman take out Freeze while calling Freeze a jerk.Killer Frost: Never meet your idols. It leads to heartbreak.
- The Justice League Unlimited episode "Clash" revolves around the entire Justice League (and in particular, Superman) becoming this to Captain Marvel, culminating in him giving them an epic mix of What the Hell, Hero? and "The Reason You Suck" Speech by the end as he becomes disenchanted with the team and leaves them.
- The Kingdom Chums special "The Original Top Ten" is about the 10 commandments. In the "Thou shalt not worship false idols" segment, the dumber of the kids finds himself among crumbling statues of sports and rock-and-roll idols, although exactly why these kinds of idols aren't good (other than "not being God") isn't explored or has been lost to memory.
- In a Very Special Episode of The Littles entitled "A Little Drunk" regarding alcohol abuse, Henry and the Littles are big fans of the action movie star Kurt Corwin, but when they go meet him in Hollywood they are dismayed to find that Kurt is a raging alcoholic that doesn't do his own stunts and is rude to the crew (the latter because of the alcohol).
- Littlest Pet Shop (2012):
- In the episode "Lights, Camera, Mongoose" the pets meet Shahrukh, the famous movie star mongoose, who they all admire, only to discover that he is a lazy jerk who expects everyone to do everything for him, even blinking for him.
- In "The Big Feathered Parade," Blythe meets the famous fashion designer, Ramone, who she greatly admires. That is until he steals her designs for the titled parade and tries to pass them off as his own.
- Subverted in the episode "Lotsa Luck", where Pepper meets her comedy idol, an orangutan named Old Bananas. At first, it looks like that he is a miserable old grump who doesn't laugh at any of Pepper's jokes. But then it turns out the whole thing was just an act to help Pepper get ready for the big leagues.
- In The Loud House episode "ARGGH! You for Real?" Lincoln and Clyde are not too happy when they find out that "ARGGH!," their favorite ghost hunting show, is all staged.
- Men in Black: The Animated Series: Kay's mentor Alpha betrays him and the MIB after merging with some alien technology that allows him to combine with anything.
- Motorcity: Mike did not take it well finding out that Kane, who was his adoptive father, was evil.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- In the season five episode "Rarity Investigates!", Rainbow Dash meets her idol Wind Rider, a famous Wonderbolt who holds the record in the Mustang Marathon. However, when Rainbow Dash is framed for the crime of getting rid of Spitfire so she can take her place in the Wonderbolts show, and will be kicked off the Wonderbolts reserves if she doesn't prove her innocence, Rarity takes matters into her own hands and her own investigation reveals that Wind Rider was behind it all. He sent Spitfire away with a fake note that her mother was sick and framed Rainbow Dash by cutting off some of her hair and planting it. Why? Because he was afraid Rainbow Dash would break his flight record, and with her out of the way, his record would be totally secure. If lying and screwing around with Spitfire's personal life in order to sabotage Rainbow Dash's future for such a petty and selfish reason wasn't bad enough, Wind Rider is also revealed to be an extremely narcissistic Smug Super who self-admits he isn't above playing dirty to get ahead, even if it means screwing over his teammates. Needless to say, Wind Rider's pedestal crumbled pretty quickly, and he was swiftly booted off the Wonderbolts team.
- Rainbow Dash has had this happen to her twice with the Wonderbolts, mostly with their leader, Spitfire, only for it to be subverted both times. The first time was in the episode "Wonderbolts Academy", where Spitfire makes Lighting Dust a lead pony and not Rainbow Dash, who is mostly upset about it because she thinks she deserves it. But then she gets upset about it when Lighting Dust starts to become reckless with her duties, even going as far as to creating a tornado to clear all of the clouds in the skies, which almost kills all of Rainbow's friends, and not showing any remorse for what she did. Rainbow almost quits the academy, thinking that only reckless ponies get in, but Spitfire stops her and tells her that Wonderbolts push themselves in the right direction. She then strips Lightning Dust of her leadership and gives it to Rainbow.
- The second time was in the episode "Rainbow Falls". During the tryouts for the Equestria Games, Soarin' injures his wing and Spitfire, along with another Wonderbolt member, Fleet Foot, convince Rainbow Dash to take his place until he's recovered. Later on, Spitfire and Fleet Foot tell Rainbow that Soarin's wing won't be healed in time for the tryouts and they ask her to be part of their team permanently. But then Rainbow Dash discovers that Soarin's wing is fully healed and that Spitfire and Fleet Foot lied to her just so they could get a better flyer. Rainbow refuses their offer, stating that they may be a winning team, but they're not the kind of team she wants to be a part of. Spitfire and Fleet Foot soon discover the errors of their ways and apologize to Soarin' and let him back on the team.
- Rainbow Dash is hit with this in turn with "Parental Glideance". With her parents constantly following her and cheering her on, Rainbow Dash is driven up the wall by it, embarrassed to no end. When they keep doing so when she enters the Wonderbolts locker room, she finally blows up on them... in front of Scootaloo, who was with Dash's parents at the time. The filly, upset to see her idol chew out her own parents, throws down her scrapbook she was creating about her and storms out. This makes Rainbow realize that she took it too far, and sets up a private Wonderbolts show as an apology gift for her parents, earning Scootaloo's respect back in the process.
- Scootaloo has this happen to her again in "The Washouts." She starts to idolize the Washouts, who are an extreme stunt team lead by Rainbow Dash's old rival, Lightning Dust, and thinks that they are awesome. This soon changes after Scootaloo joins the Washouts and Lightning Dust forces her to do an extremely dangerous stunt that almost gets her killed. After being saved by Rainbow Dash, Scootaloo realizes that Lightning Dust never cared about her safety and was only thinking about putting on a great show, and quits the Washouts.
- On Mysticons, Em is a huge fan of gnome pop singer Lance O'Lovley, and is super excited when she and the other Mysticons are assigned to be Lance's bodyguards. They are soon attacked by a banshee who is after Lance, who claims that she's a former backup singer who's jealous of his talents. But the Mysticons soon find out the truth. The banshee use to be a singer in a band where Lance was her backup singer and he used a magical microphone to steal her voice and use it to become famous. Needless to say, Em is not happy when she finds this out, even calling Lance a fraud to his face. It also doesn't help that Lance shows no remorse for what he did and he was also planning on using the microphone to steal the voices from his own fans.
- The Powerpuff Girls: Inverted. Princess Morbucks wanted to join the Powerpuff Girls when she first met them, but after they rejected her because they know she's only doing it for selfish reasons, she decided to destroy them so she can be the only Powerpuff Girl.
- In The Real Ghostbusters episode "Sea Fright", Ray Stantz starts admiring a treasure hunter named Max Pilopolous. Ray loses his respect for his hero when the Ghostbusters try to ask his permission to borrow the treasure he recently found so they can use it to make it easier to capture the ghosts of Captain Jack Higgins and his crew, only for Pilopolous to rudely turn them away.
- Regular Show
- In the episode "150 Piece Kit", Mordecai and Rigby are madly admiring the band Hair to the Throne that was arranged to come play their music and drum solo in their park (as opposed to Benson, who isn't taking too kindly to their visit). Then the band tricks Mordecai and Rigby into driving them to Benson's recently set up percussion kit to destroy it, which makes both of them lose all respect for the band.[Benson arrives and sees Hair to the Throne destroying his kit]
Mordecai: You guys are supposed to be cool!
Oggy: We are cool. That's why we destroyed that loser's drum kit.
Gunner and Bass Player: Ooh!
Mordecai: No way. I don't care how good your first album was. You're just a bunch of jerks.
- Near the end of the episode, however, after Benson successfully performs his drum solo, the band members realize how awful they were towards Benson and apologize, and beg him to come back to their band.Oggy: Benson, we're sorry, mate. It was pretty uncool of us to throw you out of the band and lie about you. We know that now. You're the heart and soul of the band, Benson. Please, come back.
- In the episode "150 Piece Kit", Mordecai and Rigby are madly admiring the band Hair to the Throne that was arranged to come play their music and drum solo in their park (as opposed to Benson, who isn't taking too kindly to their visit). Then the band tricks Mordecai and Rigby into driving them to Benson's recently set up percussion kit to destroy it, which makes both of them lose all respect for the band.
- Rick and Morty
- Morty slowly loses his respect for Rick as the series goes on. Rick is family and Morty loves him, but he slowly understands that Rick is a selfish asshole that hardly cares about anyone but himself, and he doesn't even fully care about himself either, no matter how people might feel about him. By season 3, Morty has given up on Rick, feeling that he'll never change and will just keep bailing when things get bad for him.Morty: (after Summer says he's bailing on Rick) He bails on everybody! He bailed on Mom when she was a kid! He — He bailed on tiny planet! And in case I never made this clear to you, Summer, he bailed on you. He left you to rot in a world that he ruined because he doesn't care! Because nobody's special to him, Summer, not even himself. So, if you really want your grandpa back, grab a shovel. The one that won't let you down is buried in your backyard!
Morty: (after showing Summer dimension C-137) These are the parts of Rick's adventures you don't get to see, the parts he leaves behind.
- In "Vindicators 3: The Return of World Ender", Morty hero worships the titular superhero team, so naturally Rick takes it upon himself to destroy Morty's respect for them by putting them all in a Saw like trap where they are killed one by one thanks to their incompetence and infighting, which proves Rick right about their flaws. The Sole Survivor, Supernova, turns out to be a remorseless traitor who betrays her teammates and tries to kill Rick and Morty (the latter whom actually tried to save everyone). It's safe to say Morty doesn't look up to them anymore.
- For years, Beth has had nothing but admiration for her father, to the point where she blames her mother for their failed marriage. While she has her limits, she never ceases in trying to make him proud of her or taking his side. Come "The ABC's of Beth", that starts to change. She not only learns that he made an alternate dimension named "Froopy Land" that he would leave her in, but he's negligent to the fact that her childhood friend Tommy was in that world for years and became a cannibalistic tyrant while his father is going to be put to death for allegedly eating him. Beth even admits at the end she realizes Rick isn't the great guy she convinces herself he is.
- Morty slowly loses his respect for Rick as the series goes on. Rick is family and Morty loves him, but he slowly understands that Rick is a selfish asshole that hardly cares about anyone but himself, and he doesn't even fully care about himself either, no matter how people might feel about him. By season 3, Morty has given up on Rick, feeling that he'll never change and will just keep bailing when things get bad for him.
- In Rocket Power, Otto learns that his favorite skateboarding action hero movie star is coming to town to film another one of his movies but is stunned to learn that the kid is a huge Jerkass who doesn't know how to skateboard, has all his stunts done by a (female) double, and rudely rejects Otto's request for an autograph.
- In one episode of Sabrina: The Animated Series, Harvey discovers that his favorite action star isn't as tough in real life as he is in his movies. He doesn't do his own stunts, he enjoys cooking and he's scared of spiders. In the end though, the star saves Harvey, who was trapped inside a building that was about to collapse and earns back his respect.
- Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo: Shaggy, Scrappy, and Scooby are all horrified when they believe their favorite comic book character has come to life and is acting like a villain. Of course, it's just a hoax perpetuated by a secretly disgruntled assistant to the creator of that character. The assistant wanted to create his own comic book character because he no longer wanted to be an unknown assistant.Scrappy: That's my hero... so why is he acting like a meanie?
- The Simpsons:
- There's an episode where Lisa learns that Springfield's founder Jebediah Springfield, contrary to his rugged frontier hero image, was actually a bloodthirsty pirate who once attempted to kill George Washington. Though initially dedicated to revealing the truth to the town, she changes her mind since she didn't want to take away the inspiring (fake) image people had of Springfield.
- Another episode has Lisa learning about her ancestor Eliza Simpson, who was part of The Underground Railroad and helped a black slave reach freedom. Lisa becomes crushed when she later learns that Eliza was a coward who did not stand up to Burns's ancestor when he came to reclaim his slave.
- Subverted by Bart and Krusty the Clown, star of his favorite TV show. Although Krusty has repeatedly shown that he's a terrible role model, and has been an Ungrateful Bastard despite all the times Bart has helped him, Bart nonetheless remains devoted to his hero. To Krusty credit, he has shown to help Bart and his family out in occasion so there's that.
- Sofia the First: Princess Amber used to have a crush on Prince Hugo until she saw him cheating during a failed attempt to keep Sofia from entering Royal Prep's Derby Racing Team.
- SpongeBob SquarePants:
- In "I'm Your Biggest Fanatic", SpongeBob gets to spend the day with his idol, jellyfish enthusiast Kevin C. Cucumber, and is even offered the chance to join his group. However, Kevin is actually a Jerkass who only wants to humiliate SpongeBob (but has a hard time doing it). He eventually plays a trick on SpongeBob, leaving him feeling hurt and embarrassed when Kevin reveals that he thinks of him as nothing but a loser. Kevin gets his just desserts at the end when SpongeBob proves to be the better jellyfisher.
- In a later episode, SpongeBob meets another of his heroes, Kenny the Cat, who has the ability to hold his breath underwater for hours. SpongeBob is devastated when he discovers that Kenny has been using an oxygen tank for breathing.
- Mr. Krabs suffers this in "Selling Out" after he meets Howard Blandy, head of the Blandy Franchising Company and an extremely rich man. Blandy purchases the Krusty Krab and turns it into a generic franchise restaurant. Krabs doesn't seem to mind the changes until he discovers Blandy is now mass-producing Krabby Patties from piles of grey goop, at which point he goes utterly berserk.Mr. Krabs: I used to kiss the ground you walked on, Blandy, but after seeing this... I wouldn't even spit in yer direction!
- Star vs. the Forces of Evil:
- The episode "Mewnipendence Day" has Star realizing that the holiday in question is a case of Written by the Winners and the conclusion that her people have been annually celebrating the slaughter of innocent monsters proves upsetting, to say the least.
- Star wasn't happy that her beloved idol, powerful Mewni warrior Mina Loveberry, had turned into an utter nutcase. Comes to a head in "Monster Bash" when Mina becomes an outright villain and terrorist who advocates monster genocide. During the Season 4 episode "Pizza Party", certain events make Star regretfully admit that she used to look up to her.
- In "Pizza Party" Star experiences this towards Moon, when she is revealed to have been behind the things that the Magic High Commission and Mina caused just to overthrow Eclipsa. Although Moon tries to explain how she was trying to de-radicalize them by finding less violent solutions, Star refuses to hear her or to forgive her. Of course, their mother-daughter relationship has never been the best to begin with, and when it came down to that moment, Star felt like her mom just ruined her life in general. However, Star learned from this experience and from her own experience with Eclipsa that mothers are flawed, and that she should not be quick to condemn her mother as a bad person just because she made a bad decision. Star later concludes that her mother needs to be reminded that she should always have her family to help her through when she makes these kinds of mistakes..
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: When Ahsoka is framed for multiple murders, terrorism and sedition, the Jedi Council abandons her and made no effort to conduct their own investigation, and the Senate Court is more than happy to sentence her to death. Anakin and Padmé are the only ones to support her in all what she went through, and even after it's discovered that she's innocent, and she's offered the chance to return to the Jedi with a promotion, the damage is already done. Her faith in the Council is shattered, and she leaves them completely. The event in question also kickstarts the distrust Anakin displayed with the Order during Revenge of the Sith.
- It gets worse in Star Wars Rebels. The knowledge that Anakin Skywalker is now a Sith Lord fueled by rage and hatred utterly devastates her. By the end of the series, she learns to accept what has happened and moves on.
- Star Wars Resistance: In "Descent", when Tam finds out that her boss Yeager and her co-worker Kaz have been keeping her in the dark all season about their connections to the Resistance, she's so upset about nearly getting arrested by association and the impounding of the Fireball, almost taking away her last chance at restarting her racing career, that she gives in to her Genre Blindness and joins the First Order in an attempt to prove her innocence, naïvely believing that they'll leave her alone afterwards. She learns the hard way just how bad a decision she's made.
- Steven Universe:
- Peridot holds up her leader, Yellow Diamond, as the most brilliant, rational, objective being in the universe. Over the course of a brief conversation, she discovers that the latter is unwilling to pursue any course of action that isn't "blow up the Earth out of spite". Peridot does not take it well, cementing her HeelFace Turn in the process.
- During the Gem War, Bismuth was a devoted follower of Rose Quartz and her ideals, but the two had a falling out when the former showed signs of Jumping Off the Slippery Slope, resulting in a confrontation and Bismuth being sealed away for millennia. When Steven releases her in the present, she still carries some resentment over said confrontation, and learning that Rose never told their friends what happened to her doesn't help matters. After she forces Steven to strike her down, he tells her that he won't make the same mistakes Rose did; Bismuth tells him that he's already a better person than Rose was.
- In return, Bismuth herself became one to the remaining Crystal Gems, who still thought of her as still dedicated to their cause of protecting the Earth and a potential leader in Rose's absence. But when they find out that she tried to kill Rose (and Steven) over an ethical issue regarding Homeworld's supporters, and that she was willing to even kill her own closest friends over it (putting her own personal goals of vengeance as her first priority), they become heartbroken at her betrayal and agree with Steven to keep her sealed away.
- The event described above, and The Reveal that Rose shattered Pink Diamond has deeply affected Steven's perception of Rose.
- Even though it turns out Rose didn't actually shatter Pink Diamond, the pedestal was broken even further with The Reveal that Rose actually used to be Pink Diamond all along, faking her shattering with Pearl's help to save Earth. Not only is Steven hurt over it, but the other Crystal Gems are, too; Sapphire, in particular, did not take this revelation very well.Sapphire: SHE LIED TO US! SHE LIED ABOUT EVERYTHING!
- Even though it turns out Rose didn't actually shatter Pink Diamond, the pedestal was broken even further with The Reveal that Rose actually used to be Pink Diamond all along, faking her shattering with Pearl's help to save Earth. Not only is Steven hurt over it, but the other Crystal Gems are, too; Sapphire, in particular, did not take this revelation very well.
- In the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Brave New Metropolis", the authors specifically wrote Jimmy Olsen as having this relationship to Superman after he goes Knight Templar following Lois Lane's death.
- Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! has four cases of this, only one of which was never rebuilt — that one being Master Zan towards Antauri.
- Teen Titans: In "Troq", the Titans all think that the alien superhero Val-Yor is cool... until they discover that he is prejudiced against Tamaraneans and that "Troq", the apparent nickname he gave Starfire, is actually a Fantastic Slur.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012): The episode "New Friend, Old Enemy" centers on this. Mikey was a Hero-Worshipper of Chris Bradford, a martial arts superstar with a chain of dojos across the country, and loved hanging out with him... until he discovered that Bradford was one of Shredder's disciples and was just pretending to be his friend to track down Splinter and find their lair.
- Played for Laughs in an episode of Totally Spies!: In "The Wedding Crashers", Clover is so stoked to see Prince Charlie at the royal wedding. But upon witnessing that he's actually a cowardly Prince Charmless, she immediately crosses his type off her dream boy wish list.
- Transformers: Prime has this between Megatron and Orion Pax in the beginning of season 2. Millennia ago, they were both heroic until Orion Pax's becoming Optimus Prime caused Megatronus' jealousy to lead him to becoming the villainous Megatron. When Optimus loses his memory, Megatron quickly resumes the master-pupil relationship for as long as he can until Orion starts figuring out that Megatronus isn't quite as noble as he remembers.
- Zig-zagged in the Transformers: Rescue Bots episode "A Brush with Danger", where Kade Burns meets his favorite movie star Maven Danger and loses his respect for him after learning what an egotistical blowhard he is. Kade's disillusionment for some reason doesn't stop him from being excited at the prospect of appearing in Maven Danger's latest movie or from asking for Maven Danger's autograph at the end of the episode.
- The Venture Bros.:
- Brock Samson's mentor Colonel Hunter Gathers is thought to have gone rogue and Brock is sent on a mission to hunt him down and kill him. Brock is disgusted to find that his mentor, who insisted on never killing women or children, apparently killed the woman he'd slept with the night before (she turns out not to be dead, but Brock doesn't know that). In the end, we see that his mentor ran off to get a perfectly innocent sex change, and the morals he passed down to Brock invalidated the now-female mentor as a target. Though as it turns out in season 4, he really did go rogue... but he wanted to do things his own way rather than following OSI's strict policies. And with the Season 4 finale, it appears that Colonel Gathers is the new commander of OSI, letting him come full circle.
- Season 3 showed flashbacks where Dr. Jonas Venture Sr. was either a complete Jerkass or just too naïve to realize the damage he was inflicting on his son due to his womanizing and seeming disregard for human life.
- Whatever pedestal Jonas Venture Sr. had left was broken, crushed, and pulverized into dust by the season seven episode "Arrears in Science."
- Inverted in the Wander over Yonder episode "The Good Bad Guy" when Big Bad Lord Hater finally gets to meet his inspiration and idol: Major Threat. Unfortunately for Hater, the once ruthless tyrant has become a hippie who would rather go by Jeff, and this change of heart was caused by Hater's arch-enemy: Wander! So Jeff still falls under this category in a Bad is Good and Good is Bad kind of way.
- An episode of Wishfart had Dez, Puffin, and Akiko going to a concert held by their favourite rock musician Hairy Smilez. When they meet him backstage, they discover he is in fact a colossal jerkass with a gigantic ego. He even returns in a later episode as an antagonist to the trio.Puffin: Wow. Never meet your heroes, kids.
Broken Pedestal / Western Animation