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A Hero to His Hometown

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"I'm going to save my people, Sothe. If the rest of the world paints me as a beast to be reviled and hated, so be it."

These guys are loved and celebrated by their people, whether they deserve to be or not, but have a hard time getting admiration from anyone else. It could be that the outside world simply does not know of their good deeds, but it's more likely they did something to make the outside world very upset. Their comrades may not know the details, they may not care about what makes other people angry, or they may not believe the accusations of the outsiders. Another case is that people are not impressed with a so-called hero, seeing him as a big fish in a small pond. Whatever reasons these heroes be unheard of, hated, or disrespected, they can rest assured knowing they are heroes to their hometowns.

Related To Realpolitik, compare also: Values Dissonance, Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters, Villain with Good Publicity, Hero with Bad Publicity. An Affably Evil or Well-Intentioned villain is especially likely to be this. May be a consequence of the hero's Moral Myopia (as well as the community's, if they both know he's doing horrible things to other people and support him despite it... or because of it). Contrast: Never Accepted in His Hometown, No Hero to His Valet, 100% Heroism Rating. Might contrast or overlap with Hated Hometown, depending on the specific reason for the dislike. Despite the name, it has little to do with Homegrown Hero, which is a story about someone from the area it is told in.


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  • One Geico commercial features a squirrel that intentionally causes car accidents and is admired by the other squirrels because of it.

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Attack on Titan, the Warriors are either reviled as "Enemies of Humanity" and traitors....or hailed as military heroes devoted to the protection of their motherland. Reiner Braun in particular is adored back home, while despised by his former comrades.
  • Dragon Ball Z: King Vegeta III. (not to be confused with his son, the antagonist-turned-protagonist rival to Son Goku) was the head exterminator of the Tuffle species. His people loved him so much they made him King and renamed the planet after him. He and his people had a low reputation among the rest of the Dragon Ball universe for their mass murder, naturally.
  • In My Hero Academia: Vigilantes, Koichi becomes a beloved local icon in his hometown of Naruhata for his constant self-imposed public services and heroism by helping Knuckleduster and Pop fight villains. Meanwhile, the police are very much not pleased with his vigilante activities and want to bring him in for breaking vigilantism laws (though a number of pro heroes are willing to look the other way for his sake). As a pro hero in the U.S., he's plagued by lawsuits, debt, and bad press from being "the Destructor of Naruhata" along with some Open Mouth, Insert Foot moments caused by the language barrier. Meanwhile, everyone back home watches his efforts online and continues cheering for him despite his less-than-ideal start to his hero career.
  • Itachi from Naruto is an interesting example; only a handful of people in his village knew the truth of his life, but those that did respected him as a hero.
  • All of the Straw Hat pirates of One Piece become this. Their friends and families all regard their Wanted Posters as cause for celebration. None of them have much love for the World Government, as they're generally from places the government either fails to protect or actively oppresses.
  • Pokémon trainer Ash Ketchum is a downplayed example. He may be "the pride of Pallet Town", but when he goes to a region outside his native Kanto, it's rare for him to meet someone who already knows who he is. This means that he has to prove himself all over again, which he's only too happy to do.
  • The protagonist of Tiger Mask was one when he first started fighting in Japan: in America, he was the most hated Foreign Wrestling Heel, but in Japan, he was initially admired by the fans because he was Japanese and fought the American heels. It didn't work for long, as his beatings were terribly savage, and even after his Heel–Face Turn remained hated for a while.

    Card Games 
  • Sentinels of the Multiverse has Ivan Grigori Ramonat (AKA Baron Blade), one of the worlds greatest scientific minds with a grudge against the Legacy Line. While the rest of the world sees his efforts as highly destructive and violent, the small town of Mordengrad that he turned from an empty shell into its own thriving micronation highly respects him and his efforts.
    • He doesn't let them down either, pouring himself into the work and the leadership that that entails. In fact, the destruction of Mordengrad would be the most thorough way to break him according to the word of god.

    Comic Books 
  • Aquaman is considered either a joke or a threat by the public at large, but the people of Amnesty Bay love and respect him.
  • Even at Black Adam's most villainous, the people of Kahndaq looks to him as their protector, since any action he takes, even siding with villains, is to protect them.
  • Darkseid, not that he's done much good for his people, but they accept his rule anyway. It's everyone else refusing to follow him willingly that makes him search for an anti life equation.
    Darkseid: I am many things, Kal-El, but here, I am god.
  • Doctor Doom is viewed as deceptive, violent, and megalomaniacal, and he does his best to live up to his reputation. Even people who would admire the way he rules his country Latveria don't like him because he will not stop betraying them, breaking their laws, or trying to steal their powers. The people of his country really do like him, though, because Doom is better than the leaders they had before and better than the guys trying to usurp him.
  • Another Fantastic Four villain, Mole Man, is at least respected by his constituents in Monster Island and Subterranea. They willingly follow him in his attacks against the outside world, which they believe he leads for their own benefit, though part of it is to fuel his unfounded revenge.
  • The Gladiator of Marvel is considered an idiot, psychopath, or both by the universe at large, but a few characters note that he does everything for his empire and its people do appreciate him for it.
  • Hilariously subverted in Suicide Squad, where after the Squad helps liberate Australia from an alien invasion, Captain Boomerang fully expects this to be the case with the people of his home country... only for it to turn out that they hate him even more than the rest of the world does, and consider him such a national embarrassment that many citizens claim that he's an American with a fake accent.
  • There was one Superman story where Lex Luthor took over a planet and became a hero to the population living there. He was still considered a super villain to the rest of the universe.
  • The Warbound of Sakaar were no longer this on a technicality. The United States destroyed their hometown, but they were heroes there before then and their invasion makes sense.

    Fan Works 
  • Showdown: No Holding Back: Rosemary doesn’t make a huge impression in the Capitol but is beloved by her District due to her healing services. No less than 3 girls try to volunteer for her, but she refuses to let them.

    Films — Animated 
  • Trolls World Tour: While most of the other kingdoms aren't fond of Queen Barb, considering her plan to destroy their cultures so that hers is the only one left, her own people on the other utterly adore her, with her being Loved by All and everyone going along with her plan simply because they love her so much.
  • Wreck-It Ralph: Everyone in Felix's game loves him. Outside the game, he's mistrusted and put into dangerous situations.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • From Long John Silver's Villain Song in Muppet Treasure Island:
    Take Sir Francis Drake; The Spanish all despise him,
    but to the British he's a hero and they idolize him.
    It's how you look at buccaneers that makes them bad or good,
    and I see us as members of a noble brotherhood.
  • All the British Naval officers from Pirates of the Caribbean, the series being set in a time where piracy and all other sorts of things we frown on today were considered okay if you did them in the service of your country. How heroic the films presented them as to the audience varied from individual to individual.
  • Tom Wachowski from Sonic the Hedgehog (2020). Whenever something goes wrong in Green Hills, the first person called is usually Tom. Tom, however, doesn't feel the same way, feeling that he's nothing more than a glorified babysitter. When Robotnik has Sonic and Tom dead to rights in the finale, the townspeople of Green Hills unite to protect their sheriff, which finally gets Tom to see the positive impact he has on their community and stay with his hometown.
  • Padme Amidala from Star Wars prequels is an example that's also presented as unambiguously heroic to the audience as well as viewed that way by her people on Naboo. There are plenty of people in the galaxy who hold the opposite view of her, though; the Trade Federation are the most notable, and assassination attempts come even from the wider republic she works for.
  • Team America: World Police: If the title of the film and its presence on this page weren't enough to tell you, Team America is an example. Some of the antagonists are trying to undermine their popularity at home too.

  • Noted as a trope to be wary of in the Discworld books, since the laws of the planet follow narrative and The Good Guy Wins (even if he isn't really good) in most narratives.
  • In Star Wars Legends, Darth Vader is revered as a hero by the Noghri people, after he and The Empire saved their planet from an ecological disaster that was originally the result of an accident during the Clone Wars, but as it turns out, the cleaning up the Empire did was not so much cleaning up as making it appear they were doing that to keep the Noghri perpetually under control.
  • In The Three Worlds Cycle, Rulke is a genocidal nutcase hated by everyone on Santhenar, including his old allies the Zain (who he betrayed). The race known as the Whelm, who flocked to him as their leader, still cherish the memory of him as their strongest leader, even after the mantle of their ruler is taken by someone else.
  • Aral Vorkosigan in Vorkosigan Saga is considered a war criminal by many offworlders because he was held responsible for an atrocity on Komarr, which was in truth the act of a subordinate; Aral was never able to completely clear his name, partly because he felt responsible for allowing it to happen behind his back but mainly because the subordinate in question didn't live to be court-martialled when his commander found out what had been done in his name. On Barrayar, while it took him a number of years to overcome the black mark on his record, he is respected enough to hold the office of regent to the child Emperor without significant opposition for decades.

    Live Action TV 
  • The Great Devourer from Angel had to rely on a lot of deceptions to get by everywhere, except for its first home, where everyone loved it despite knowing exactly what it was and still did long after it had abandoned them.
  • Invoked on Better Call Saul when Kim is defending Huell, a not-too-bright pickpocket who accidentally assaulted a police officer and faces a long prison term. She has Jimmy travel all the way to Huell's hometown of Coushatta, Louisiana and mail out dozens of letters supposedly written by members of a local church congregation. The letters paint Huell as a man who is beloved in his hometown because of the many good deeds he has done, including rescuing a number of elderly people from a fire. Then he sets up dozens of cell phones and pretends to be said churchgoers when the A.D.A. calls the phone numbers provided in the letters. The prosecutor decides that the public backlash from prosecuting someone with such a good reputation is not worth it and agrees to a plea deal where Huell is sentenced to time served.
  • In Luke Cage (2016), the titular character is a Hero with Bad Publicity due to being framed for several crimes and a smear campaign against superpowered people. The people of Harlem, on the other hand, don't buy the frame-up and regard him as their champion, helping him escape the police and cheering him on during his final fight with Diamondback. For his part, Luke seems just as loyal to them.

  • This is how The Megas portray Hard Man from Mega Man 3 - as an old, retired boxing champ who is Loved by All in the town he rules over, despite being one of Wily's Robot Masters. During his fight against Mega Man, when he starts losing, the crowd starts begging for him to throw in the towel so that he won't be killed (though he refuses). When he goes down, the last thing he hears before dying is the crowd still cheering for him even though he lost. The chorus of his song promises that the townspeople will revere him as a legendary figure for generations to come.
    Steel of the champion! Your legend will live on! Our sons will sing your song! Harder than steel!

    Mythology, Religion, Folklore 
  • The Bible: Goliath to the Philistines. He was simply trying to turn a war of attrition around through fulfilling his leaders' orders to call for Combat by Champion, but since he and his people were insistent on defying God, failure was inevitable.
  • Classical Mythology: Hector of Troy, to the Trojans naturally, even though the Greeks are supposed to be the heroes since they were out to get their abducted lady back from his brother.
  • Ravana is well-liked in his native Sri Lanka. In stark contrast to his portrayal as a demonic emperor in Ramayana, he's regarded as a scholarly king who functioned as a Science Hero with fantastic inventions and development for his people.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Jerry Lawler was God in Memphis. When he went to the WWF and began feuding with Bret Hart, he was a heel, one of the most hated men in the company. When the two faced each other in Memphis (for USWA, not WWF), Lawler was the hero and Bret the villain.
  • Bull Nakano has been booked as a villain and booed in all her appearances outside of Japan. WWE planned to change that when she worked for them before she got herself fired over cocaine. She was cheered when she returned to the US for RISE but then she tried to attack her old rival Madusa with nunchucks before forming a new version of Gokumon-to to beat down Cheerleader Melissa for no reason.
  • The WWF also booked Hakushi as a heel but made him a hometown hero for the Japanese shows. The only time they weren't completely behind him is when he wrestled The Undertaker.
  • Speaking of Bret, during his last year in the WWF, he was an anti-American heel, but fans in Canada LOVED him, especially in his hometown of Calgary.
  • Similarly, during WCW's last year, Lance Storm played a pro-Canada, anti-American heel. When WCW toured Canada, fans cheered for him and he was booked as a face.
  • The premier American example is Kurt Angle, who goes through the Heel–Face Revolving Door... outside of his hometown of Pittsburgh, where five minutes of heel heat is about the best he's ever done. They usually don't boo at all, no matter how much Cheap Heat he tries to invoke.
  • A more recent Pittsburgh example is Britt Baker, who's been AEW's top women's heel since 2020... except when AEW comes to that city, the nearest major city to her hometown of Punxsutawney and also where she attended dental school in real life.
  • Speaking of AEW heels, the company's top men's heel, MJF, got a monster face reaction in his home area of Long Island in December 2021. During this time, he was in a program with CM Punk, with Punk getting an equally large heel reaction despite being booked as the face.
  • Edge would sometimes claim to still be popular in Toronto when he got especially searing heat from the crowds of other cities, even those from Canada. He would then claim this made Toronto better than wherever he currently was, which made the booing even louder.
  • In general, any Foreign Wrestling Heel will be popular in their own country if their only negative traits are calling their homeland superior to whatever nation they happen to be wrestling in. Even with a full on gimmick in addition to being foreign, there is still a decent chance that this trope may apply anyway.
    • It's practically a law that no heel will get booed in their hometown, unless A: they insult their hometown (and even then, the next time they come around, they'll still get cheered) or B: they're going against a face from the same hometown. For example, even at his worst CM Punk was downright worshiped in Chicago — at his best, you'd think they thought the sun shined out of his ass. Even after he had left the company, they continued to cheer for him and probably will do so for a good long time. Not to mention the freaking gigantic face reaction he got when he returned to active wrestling in 2021 in AEW, especially since he returned in Chicago.
  • Canada's positive reception of wrestlers booked as heels is mirrored in the UK, where local grapplers are frequently guaranteed a positive reaction, regardless of their face/heel alignment. At the most recent UK Raw, William Regal and Wade Barrett both got pops rivaling the biggest faces on the card, despite Barrett being booked as a heel consistently through his WWE run thus far.
  • LuFisto in Canada, especially Quebec, after she fought a ban on women's wrestling. (Or rather, fought a ban on men wrestling women, which at the time was pretty much the same thing). For example, she got cheered against Mercedes Martinez at nCw Femme Fatales even after it was acknowledged she had sided with Martinez's attempted murderers in WSU. And those she sided with, The Midwest Militia? They still got booed.
  • The three top contenders to be the first holder of the World Wrestling League's Americas Title, Laredo Kid, Joe Bravo and Phenomenal BJ, were each baby face based on whether the show was in Mexico, The Dominican Republic or Puerto Rico, respectively.
  • Inverted by Mexican Sexy Star being a face in Lucha Underground against Puerto Rican Ivelisse Vélez being a face in AAA while feuding with each other in both.
  • John Cena plays with this. At the zenith of his X-Pac Heat he got booed straight out of the building by his de facto hometown of Boston, but after it died down, while they're not entirely averse to doing the infamous "Let's Go Cena!/Cena Sucks!" chants, they usually go easier on him than other cities, especially the smarkier ones like Philadelphia. Hell, if Cena is showing a bit of edge and not being all kiddy-pandering like he usually is, they aren't above turning against The Rock for him.
  • WWE's La Résistance (Tag Team) started as a team of French foreign heels and then levitated towards being Quebec partisans. This resulted in them receiving a standing ovation upon winning the tag team titles in Montreal.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Kharn The Betrayer from Warhammer 40,000 is viewed as a traitorous betrayer by most Chaos Space Marines after he killed a bunch of world eaters and emperor's children because they took a break from killing each other to seek shelter from a storm that would have killed them all anyway. He remains popular among the Khorne Berserkers though, just for being so dedicated to shedding blood.

    Video Games 
  • Dragon Age:
    • Hawke in Dragon Age II. After becoming Champion of Kirkwall, he/she is respected and even idolized by the general public, while various powerful factions and foreign powers see him/her as a destabilizing influence after the whole mage rebellion thing at the end.
    • The Herald of Andraste has a similar situation in Dragon Age: Inquisition, especially in the first act. After the prologue, the people in the village of Haven see them as practically The Messiah sent by The Maker to save them all, and this is also the opinion of some beyond Haven; but just as many think the Herald is, at best, an upstart who will tear apart the main religion. At worst, people think they are the one responsible for all the problems. To those in the Inquisition, though, they're a Hope Bringer, and unlike Hawke, things improve for them over the course of the game as they become the Inquisitor, who commands a level of respect roughly on par with that of royalty.
  • Amos in Dragon Quest VI protects the town of Scrimsley from monsters, and the townspeople adore him for all he does for them. Even after he develops an Involuntary Shapeshifting problem, the townspeople are still extremely protective of him, as he doesn't cause too much damage in his nightly rampages.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series, the legendary thief Rajhin is still beloved by the Khajiit people, even hundreds of years after his death. He is considered a folk hero and, possibly, even a demigod. Given that the Khajiit are a very pragmatic race with no word for "rules" in their language, it should not come as a surprise that a legendary thief is beloved by them.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • King Travant in Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War and Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 is adored by the people of Thracia for his unflagging efforts to bring the country out of the poverty and deprivation it suffered after it and its verdant northern neighbor, Munster, were split from one nation into two. The rest of the world sees him as a dangerous mercenary because he will use absolutely any method to achieve this goal, but the Thracians' loyalty to their king causes problems for Seliph and the Liberation Army when they have to fight there.
    • Micaiah in Part III of Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. She's despised by the Laguz Alliance for trying to trap their army between hers and Begnion's without warning, and later crippling the Apostle's Army by ambushing them in a canyon and almost burning them alive, yet the people of Daein, due to her role as the spearhead of Daein's liberation, revere her to the point of fanaticism.
    • Veronica in Fire Emblem Heroes is the princess of the Emblian Empire who led the invasion to the home kingdom of the protagonists, using subjugated spirits of Fire Emblem series characters as foot soldiers. Yet her subjects cheer on her conquest, the people she conquered are treated justly like any of her citizens, and said spirits she subjugated grow fond of her. It's to the point that when her cousin Letizia attempts to have her executed on trumped up charges to take Embla's throne, the Emblian people raise up in rebellion because they won't suffer slander of their princess.
  • Jin Sakai is this by the end of Ghost of Tsushima. Though his actions as The Ghost crippled the Mongol invasion and saved Tsushima, the shogun dissolves the Sakai clan and brands Jin a traitor.
  • The Legend of Zelda: In Ocarina of Time, Ganondorf starts out as King of the Gerudo, and by all accounts enjoys more than a 0% Approval Rating among them despite Nabooru's opposing faction. In The Wind Waker, he states that his original motivation for conquering the green and fertile land of Hyrule was that his people lived in a desert and knew only death and hardship.
  • In the Mass Effect series the player character can be this depending on which background you chose. If you select the "Butcher of Torfan" background, Shepard is considered a hero by most humans, but a psychopath by many aliens.
  • In Metroid Prime: Hunters, it's stated the only way citizens of the Kriken empire can earn respect is by discovering revolutionary technology or by helping to conquer a planet, and most choose the latter. It's also stated the Krikens are one of the most hated factions because of this, so the successful Krikens aren't getting much respect from anyone but other Krikens.
  • Nascour is set up to take all the heat for the criminal organization Cipher in Pokémon Colosseum. Since you fight him in an arena filled with members of Cipher, though, everyone cheers for him.
  • One fan theory is that Super Mario Bros. enemy Bowser only leads invasions into the Mushroom Kingdom and tries to force a marriage with Peach because his land is barren and he wants better property for his people. What supports this is that in Super Mario RPG and the Mario & Luigi games, it is shown that his subjects continue to follow him out of genuine respect despite his failures, and he does come across as a reasonable (if incompetent) authority figure when dealing with them.
  • The so-called Demon Lord of the Tales of... series is considered to be a wise and just ruler by his subjects and is willing to do anything to ensure their survival, including destroying your player character's world.
  • Tanimura from Yakuza 4 was raised by the residents of Little Asia, a ghetto district in Kamurocho where non-Japanese immigrants congregate. To pay them back, Tanimura slacks off work to gamble and extorts businesses that illegally hire immigrants, then passes the cash along to the Asian Gateway program that helps children whose parents were deported. To Little Asia, Tanimura is their beloved son and benefactor; to the rest of Kamurocho, he's a lazy and detestable Dirty Cop.

    Web Comics 
  • Girl Genius runs along more believable characterizations, so there's a lot of this.
    • "Sure, the Heterodynes were dangerous lunaticsbut they became our dangerous lunatics!" The Heterodyne lords of the past, until Agatha's father and uncle, raided surrounding territory, sometimes far afield, pillaging, looting, and causing a lot of destruction even aside from the lords' Sparkiness. But they always took care of their people.
    • You may compare the preferred treatment of the Jägermonsters away from, under and in Mechanicsburg. Jaegers are heroes and well-loved inside Mechanicsburg and Heterodyne territory, but because they were the supersoldiers who rode closest to the Heterodyne lords on their raids, many people still fear and hate them. It doesn't help Barry and Bill dismissed them and confined them to Mechanicsburg, rather than try to redeem their reputations; Jaegers will do anything for their lords -including putting up with Bill's wife Lucrezia treating them like objects.

    Web Original 
  • Played with in Worm, The Undersiders (and Skitter in particular) become this for Brockton Bay when they risk their lives fighting threats like the Merchants and the Slaughterhouse Nine, and do it better than the superheroes. Later on, the issue is complicated when Cauldron's masquerade starts to break down. In particular, the Los Angeles Protectorate sees Skitter as a hero and Alexandria as a hypocrite.

    Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender the group visit a town called Chin Village that hates the Avatar, and his previous incarnations, and arrest Aang for killing their founder Chin the Great. In reality Chin was a tyrant who conquered half of the Earth Kingdom, and Avatar Kyoshi simply avoided fighting him while he fell to his death in the resulting earthquake he was too stubborn to run away (Aang thinks that makes a difference, but Kyoshi herself disagrees).
  • In Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, Vilgax is well known as a ruthless alien warlord. In his own planet (where the people renamed the world after him), he is considered their leader and world champion. He is a genuinely good leader and when his world was attacked under Ghostfreak, he was willing to beg his archfoe Ben for help.
  • The City of Townsville is repeatedly attacked without provocation by giant monsters. A large number of these come from Monster Island, where those who manage to survive a fight with The Powerpuff Girls are celebrated as heroes, and just see attacking the city as a way to draw them out.
  • In Steven Universe, Jasper spends most of her on-screen ternure depicted as the most outright villainous of the homeworld gems, someone who's actually vicious for its own sake and a jerk even to her allies, up until her motivations and backstory are revealed. Right afterwards, we meet a group of adorable mooks from homeworld who admire her & fangirl about her, indicating that she is considered a famous, inspirational hero back in The Empire, underlining the general War Is Hell motif of season 3 by showcasing how for all their bigoted beliefs, the homeworld gems are still people.
  • The Sewer Urchin on The Tick is, on the surface, a milquetoast punchline. Underground, he's in his element, superbly competent, and feared and respected by sewer dwellers.

    Real Life 
  • Vlad the Impaler is a perennial Rumanian hero, mostly celebrated for fighting off the Turks and enforcing strict morality at home. Sometimes to make an omelet, you've gotta impale a few thousand people...
  • In Hungary, Attila the Hun is a folk hero and "Attila" is a popular first name.
  • Pablo Escobar is considered a hero in Colombia or at least to his hometown. The further away from his home you get, the lower opinions of him drop.
  • Whilst the rest of the country has warmed up to him relatively recently, John Brown has always been a hero in Kansas.
  • General William Tecumseh Sherman. In the South, he's viewed as a General Ripper of the highest order who committed countless war crimes in his mad attempt to break Dixie's spirit, and seen as proof that the Union soldiers of the The American Civil War had no honor. In the North, he's usually portrayed as someone who did what he had to do to help win the war, albeit with excessive force, and with very few casualties besides.
  • General Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson were lionized in the South as great generals and soldiers and for a long time, as a result of the Lost Cause and Dunning Thesis, this view was adopted by the North as well who portrayed them as Worthy Opponent or Noble Demon. This ended with the Civil Rights Movement and scholarly research into the Civil War that shattered the previous viewpoints. Today Robert E. Lee is seen very critically in the North. He's seen as a competent general at the very least but whose record is very mixed. He's seen as better at tactics than strategy, and some have brought to light his more dubious actions such as ordering Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg over the advice of his subordinates, and also noted that of all the generals of the Civil War, Lee's contingent had the most casualties. As for his Noble Demon reputation, that was revealed to be based on selective reading of some letters that showed that he was opposed to slavery in principle but supported the South out of state loyalty. Historians have demolished this by revealing that Lee's contingent sold captured Union Freedman conscripts at Gettysburg back into slavery rather than treat them as POWs and that there is one instance of him torturing slaves by putting brine on their wounds. However Pop-Cultural Osmosis means that this myth has yet to die in the South.
  • U.S. President Millard Fillmore is this within the United States. He was hated during his own (accidental) presidency: succeeding Zachary Taylor after the latter's sudden death, he managed to alienate the entire Whig Party beyond those few pockets who hadn't liked him to begin with, and he became the first president to not be renominated by his own party. Despite his personal opposition to slavery, he was accommodating to slave interests as president, and the Compromise of 1850 that he oversaw angered abolitionists and is seen as the critical misstep on the way to the Civil War a decade later. Following his presidency he ran again in 1856 on a populist, xenophobic anti-foreign trade ticket. Historians consider his presidency to be among the worst.

    But ... you'd never know this from visiting his native Buffalo. There are streets named after him, a hospital that bears his name, and buildings named after him on the campus of SUNY Buffalo ... because after he left the presidency and national politics, he went back home and helped found these civic institutions where his name is. Buffalo, in fact, honors him more than Grover Cleveland, its other claim to presidential fame. Please note that only a few cities can really lay claim to two Presidents (even New York City really only has threenote ).
  • Genghis Khan is a national hero in Mongolia.
  • Mao Zedong in the PRC; his face is still embedded all over Chinanote  and even if officially the Chinese government has criticized the Cultural Revolution as Maoist excess he's still deified and officially respected as Our Founder and anti-Mao or critical views are taboo. Outside China, especially in the Anglosphere, he's seen as one of history's biggest mass-murdering tyrants.
  • Josef Stalin is seen differently within Russia than he is the Anglosphere. Despite suffering under his regime via collectivization/purges/The Gulag, for many his defense of the Soviet Union in the Great Patriotic War, his building of atomic weapons, and other modernization are seen as pluses that sits alongside his minuses. Outside Russia he's seen as one of the 20th Century's worst dictators, either just as bad as Hitler or only slightly above Hitler. Also, don't speak ill of him anywhere near his birthplace, Gori, Georgia.
  • Vladimir Putin owes his popularity in Russia to similar reasons. He's seen as the man who saved them from the bad times of The '90s and restored Russia to a respected great nation. Interestingly enough, for a while his reputation in the West was also positive, with President Bush being friendly with him, but that changed as US-Russia relations worsened largely as a result of NATO enlargement. His reputation in the West has only worsened following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
  • The Kim Dynasty are revered as royalty, or even divine beings in North Korea, and this is mandatory.
  • In the United States, Pancho Villa is considered a terrorist who attacked civilians unprovoked. In Mexico, he is considered a hero of the revolution on the same level as Emiliano Zapata or Francisco I. Madero.
  • Hezbollah are celebrated as heroes in Lebanon, even by the Christians and Druze. During the July War, one Lebanese farmer pointed out to the international press: "Hezbollah is the people of this land. They are not from Mars."
  • In Great Britain, Oliver Cromwell is considered to be one of the greatest British military and political leaders in history. In Ireland, he is considered a tyrant who almost destroyed the Irish people by taking their land from them and killing thousands of citizens, in a series of actions that have been described of genocide, including the exportation of Irish people as forced indentured servants.
  • Saddam Hussein was so popular among the people of his hometown of Tikrit that it became a political liability. He abolished surnames to disguise the fact that so many of his supporters bore the name al-Tikriti.
  • The Northern Irish Troubles caused several cases of this due to how parochial the Protestant and Catholic communities were: cities like Derry and Belfast were carved up into neighbourhoods based on political and religious loyalties, so in the same town you could have IRA men be heroes to one neighbourhood and seen as the antichrist a few streets away, and that's without factoring in those who were neutral or desperately trying to be, minority religious groups and British government employees without enough knowledge of the situation to handle it.
  • Adolf Hitler was highly popular among the German people during The '30s, and appreciated by the German people for, seemingly, having fixed the economy and ending the polarized political atmosphere of the Weimar Republic, which according to them was a fair exchange for the curtailment of civil liberties, and the deaths and imprisonment of the few who opposed him. As for the Jews and Communists, well too bad for them. Internationally, Hitler was variously seen as a clown, a neutral statesman, a monster-in-the-making and among the Vocal Minority of right-wingers, a visionary saviour who will rescue Europe from Communism. This illusion finally ended when Hitler killed himself in his Bunker, with the army fiercely loyal and fighting bitterly to the end, opposing the incoming Red Army to the last. Today the situation has happily changed, with everyone in Germany regarding Hitler and the Nazi Germany with utter hatred while sentiments downplaying Hitler are found in the fringe in other nations.
  • Piet Hein is viewed by foreigners as one of the world's most ruthless pirates, having been able to capture 10 Spanish ships filled with gold. In The Netherlands he is a national hero and the Dutch still sing about him to this day.
  • Gavrilo Princip is a hero in Serbia and Republika Srpska, with statues in Belgrade and East Sarajevo. He is regarded there as a tyrant-killing liberator who paid the ultimate price for freedom. The rest of the world remembers him as the murderous terrorist who started the First World War.
  • Benjamin Netanyahu is very popular in his native Israel, seen as a defender of the Jewish people, albeit even there he has a great number of critics on the Left. He's more well-liked in America, but even there public opinion is starting to turn against him especially on account of his poor relations with Barack Obama and the incident where the Republican-led Congress invited him to give a speech to protest the Iran Nuclear Deal proposed by Obama which was widely seen within America as a crass political move and which ultimately didn't work anyway.
  • Francisco Solano López is celebrated in Paraguay as a national hero who led his troops fearlessly in the War of the Triple Alliance. In Brazil, he is regarded as a dictator who tried to invade them and nearly led his own nation to ruin. The consensus in other Latin American countries is varied: there are many who view him as an underdog for fighting a superpower and its allies simultaneously and he was even honored by Argentina's President Cristina Kirchner (Argentina was one of Brazil's allies in the war against Paraguay).
    • His mistress-wife Eliza Lynch also qualifies, since she was reviled by Brazilians as an evil seductress that induced López into starting the war. However, she is not only considered a national heroine in Paraguay (for introducing European costumes to the nation, accompanying her husband to the bitter end and helping treat the sick and wounded), but in her birthplace Ireland as well that just recently started to discover about her story.
  • An almost literal example with former President of Brazil Michel Temer. Even though he was born in the country from Lebanese immigrants, his family belongs to the small Greek Orthodox village of Btaaboura in Lebanon, that has show complete and absolute support for him following his predecessor's impeachment in 2016. In Brazil though? He is a very touchy subject over many questioning the impeachment's validity with 78% of the population rejecting and only 7% approving him by 2017.
  • Timur the Lame is considered a hero in Central Asia, specially in his birthplace Uzbekistan, to the point that after the fall of the Soviet Union, the local Karl Marx statue was replaced by his statue instead. To Turkey, Pakistan, India and the Middle East, he is viewed as an barbaric Evil Overlord due to the horrible atrocities he inflicted on them. Weirdly, he is popular among Christians in Europe for humbling the Ottomans and Persians to the point several plays, poems and musicals were written in his honor.

Alternative Title(s): A Hero To Her Hometown