Accusing someone of being some kind of monstrous predator — sexual or otherwise — can be a really efficient weapon. It can make people hate the accusee, maybe even get them to hate themself. Or, simply use it as a particularly nasty Chewbacca Defense to shut him up. In some cases, it may backfire if the accusee decided to become what he was accused of and bites back the others.
Don't bother to do a Frameup: False evidence can be disproved, false testimony can be questioned. Instead, just go for the lower instinct, make people so afraid that they dare not disregard the accusation. What if it's true; we can't really take that risk, can we? After all, there's no smoke without fire, so let's just bring out the Torches and Pitchforks and start the big Paedohunt or whatever. This can be done against individuals as well as groups. Supertrope of All Gays Are Pedophiles and Slut-Shaming. When an AAA is honest, it's often caused by Aggressive Categorism or Black-and-White Insanity. Don't be surprised if these people resort to Activist Fundamentalist Antics.
Please note that false accusations of actual rape or child sexual abuse is Frameup rather than this trope. Same goes for non-sexual examples, such as accusing someone of ''eating'' children in a literal non-metaphorical way: It's this trope if the accusation is that he will eat your children, or has eaten children in general. If it's trying to pin the disappearance of the local missing kid on him, then it's Frameup instead. Honest & sane accusations have nothing at all to do with this trope: Just like Frameup, it's entirely about the malicious kind. In real life, this sort of thing tends to invite defamation suits (for obvious reasons), but that doesn't mean that they don't still occur, especially since being sued can often result in the party making the accusations becoming a martyr and/or looking like they were on to something, because why would anyone file suit if the accusations weren't true? Sadly, this sometimes works.
If this is used in a debate, it's a form of Ad Hominem and a very frivolous one at that. Compare Godwin's Law for similar accusations of being a Nazi, and Hitler Ate Sugar for a method often used in both kinds of accusations. If used consistently, this trope becomes a form of Demonization. Compare Van Helsing Hate Crimes.
Happens plenty of times in real life, but that's the most we will say.
- Kotoura-san: this is how the Crapsaccharine World's Tatemae ideal is maintained, even if the esper is perfectly innocent since everyone else sees them to be a threat.
- Subverted in Bitter Virgin: The Clingy Jealous Girl tries to accuse her boyfriend of rape... to the girl who has good reason to know she wouldn't react like that.
- Attack on Titan: It's known that Eren is capable of turning into an abomination, the attack is against his fundamental humanity and whether he's a threat to the rest of the humans or not. Quite a few people want him dead for their own reasons and in order to achieve that, they accuse him in a half-assed way about him killing two human traffickers as a kid despite the fact that: 1) they want to have him executed and 2) they have shown willingness to kill deserters which makes the whole accusation of being a murderer without respect for human life, very ridiculous and hypocritical. Not to mention that killing human traffickers is more like an execution anyways.
- From day one, Naofumi in The Rising of the Shield Hero has been victim of this. On his first day, Naofumi was accused of trying to rape his only party member Princess Malty after she steals all of his loot while he slept For the Evulz. Because the king has a personal vendetta against him for being the Shield Hero and the other Three Heroes think he is beneath them because his weapons and stats are less impressive than theirs, everyone instantly believes her. The only thing that saves him from being publicly executed is the fact that having all four heroes is essential for fighting off the oncoming evil.
- In the first issue of Lucifer, a young woman gets angry with the protagonist when he doesn't stop her from touching some wet paint, explaining only afterwards that it's actually blood. In retaliation, she threatens to call the cops and claim that he's a pedophile who has kidnapped her.
- Spider-Man is constantly a victim of this because of the Daily Bugle, which (because of Jonah Jameson) constantly accuses him of being a criminal despite everything he does to protect New York.
- The con artists in "The Emperor's New Clothes" convince the Emperor and his court that their magnificent cloth is only invisible to fools or the wicked (depending on the translation used). As the Emperor and his courtiers do not wish to be "outed" as fools or wicked, they marvel at the nonexistent cloth and outfits. Likewise, the commoners, who don't want to be accused of being idiots or villains themselves, all praise the Emperor parading about naked...until a child too young to understand (and too young to be accused of either) speaks up and asks his mother why the Emperor is marching down the streets of town in his birthday suit.
- Cheshire (Miraculous Ladybug): Played With. The Black Cat Miraculous had a long, uncomfortable legacy of being used by Evil Holders, leading to Master Fu and the other kwami to have an extreme distrust towards Cheshire and Plagg and are determined to retrieve her miraculous for fear of what she might do with it, a fear they have tried enforcing in their various holders. However, Cheshire's official debut was proceeded by countless acts of civilian level heroics (stopping muggings, rescues, walking old people across the street), and when Misterbug and Pegasus attacked her seemingly unprovoked, Cheshire became Paris' most popular hero in spite of what the other heroes claim.
- In the Pokemon fanfic Jessica, the first unequivocal sign that something's off in Cameron's Pokémon Black game was this quote:
Jessica: You're a liar... a cruel, heartless killer...
- In Beauty and the Beast, Gaston doesn't believe that the Beast even exists. When Belle proves him wrong, he changes his position to accusing him of eating children - never mind that the Beast has been around for a long time and the only person who had been missing was Belle herself! Or that the villagers believed Gaston over Belle despite that Gaston was proven wrong immediately beforehand.
- In a Red Skelton movie The Yellow Cab Man he is fooled into thinking that carnival barker/huckster Walter Slezak is a psychiatrist. When he spots Slezak making his spiel he slowwwwwly begins to put it together. Before Skelton can say anything Slezak points at him and yells "Arrest that man. He insulted the American flag." Cops immediately grab Skelton and drag him off as he protests that he never did that.
- The Wizard features a trio of children who basically run away from home so that one of them can join a video game tournament on the other side of the country. They're chased by a truant officer with shades of bounty hunter. When he finally corners them, the girl of the trio shouts out "HE TOUCHED MY BREAST!" It's Played for Laughs, but then the Fridge Horror hits for what this will probably do to the man for the rest of his life, just for doing his job and unintentionally looking a little creepy while doing it. However, while he does get roughed up by a group of bystanders, a random accusation with no follow-up doesn't stand up in a court of law. We see him later on, alive and free (albeit with a black eye). The accusation could still damage his reputation though if others heard.
- Played for laughs in Lost & Found (1999), when a bratty kid decides to get revenge on the jerkass man who pushed in front of him on the way to the bathroom. The man comes out of the restroom to find the cops waiting for him and the boy accusing him of molestation. He had earlier stated the threat of this was how he got random men to do his bidding.
- In Doctrine of Labyrinths, Thaddeus does this a lot, whether he's arguing that gay men are too sex-obsessed to think straight, that a refugee belongs to a "particularly pernicious cult" (it's actually pretty benign), or that all refugees from an oppressive regime should be assumed to be spies-in-waiting (when, in fact, he is himself a former refugee from said oppressive regime). Unfortunately, dissuading him is pretty much impossible, since he sincerely believes all of it, despite the fact that pretty much everyone else thinks he's cuckoo.
- In City of Glass, Sebastian/Jonathan Morgenstern openly denounces Alec Lightwood for his homosexuality, which the latter feels very insecure about because it is strongly frowned upon in Shadowhunter society. This is more than a little hypocritical on Sebastian/Jonathan's part however, seeing as how he himself has BrotherSister Incest desire for Clary.
- Of Mice and Men: Crooks gets fed up with Curley's wife coming into his sleeping quarters and threatens to complain to Curley about it. Unfazed, she snaps, "You know what I could do to you if you opened your mouth? You know what I could do?", all but stating that she'll accuse him of rape/attempted rape/or even merely looking at her and get him lynched. Cowed, Crooks shuts up.
- This is the Church's main propaganda tactic when it comes to Charis in the Safehold series.
- The novel Beautiful And Cursed has people trying to do this to the gargoyles. It doesn't work, since the heroine is a lady, with a Stiff Upper Lip and completely unfazed by the fact that hideous stone beasts can turn into humans.
- Bring Up the Bodies ends with the execution of Anne Boleyn and the five men convicted of adultery with her, one of whom was her brother George. When Thomas Cromwell first hears this gossip from George's wife, he's rather incredulous but soon devises an explanation plausible enough for his Kangaroo Court: that as siblings raised apart, Anne and George would find the other's similarities intriguing rather than inhibiting, making it possible that they would "cross the frontier" into a sexual relationship. (And, importantly, making it possible to get all the men who played demons in the masque denigrating Cardinal Wolsey.) Whether or not it's true is immaterial.
- Isaac Asimov's Lucky Starr and the Moons of Jupiter: After Bigman has accused and failed to prove that Mr Norrich is the robot spy several times, Lucky takes a turn doing the same thing (to throw his actual suspect off the mark).
- Used by Morgoth in The Silmarillion to make the Noldor disobey the Valar, and it works to some degree. He argues that the Valar are greedy and want the Eldar to be dependent on them. A fair number of the Noldor at least seriously consider that his argument could be valid. However, they end up seeing that he was twisting things up fairly quickly (but after they've already disobeyed the Valar and been slapped with the consequences).
- In the Diagnosis: Murder episode "An Education in Murder" when Mark Sloan confronts the killer in the high school hallway and accidentally rips the sleeve off her shirt she threatens to report him for sexual assault if he doesn't drop the investigation.
- Kamen Rider Blade: A friend of Kuriharas starts suspecting that Hajime Aikawa murdered her boss, the family's father, after she accidentally found a family picture in Hajime's possession and made the obvious but wrong conclusion. He didn't kill her boss; he was just there when the man died after passing him the photo and asking to take care of his family. Investigating her suspicion, she finds out that he might not even be human, which leads her to accuse him of being a monster out to destroy the world after seeing him transform in Kamen Rider Chalice. She is convinced to drops her threats later on when Hajime protects her from an Undead and provides some explanation. What she didn't know is that he really is a monster out to destroy the world. He doesn't want to, because he is enjoying human life with his Found Family, but it's not in his control.
- In an episode of the 1960's police show NYPD, a young detective is going door to door trying to find a witness to a crime. When he encounters a young woman and says he's investigating, she immediately rips her blouse and screams rape. In trying to prove his innocence they ask themselves why she had such an extreme reaction. Turns out she panicked because she and other housewives were part-time prostitutes.
- Played for Laughs in The Office (US) when during "Take Your Child to Work Day", Stanley's daughter develops a Precocious Crush on Ryan and Kelly gets jealous and tells Stanley that Ryan's a pervert in an attempt to separate them. Cut to Stanley cornering and shouting at Ryan who has absolutely no clue what's happening.
- In Wolf Hall, Thomas Cromwell makes use of Lady Rochford's hatred of her husband when she accuses him of sleeping with his sister, Anne Boleyn. He finds it hard to believe at first, but it's an incredibly useful accusation for him to use in his Kangaroo Court and allows him to include George in with the other men who mocked Cardinal Wolsey's death in a masque.
- One activist who got an essay published in a Swedish newspaper argued the point that all white men who are in relationships with Asian women are actually pedophiles. Because Asians are smaller than western women, or something like that. The author was, of course, a male Asian. And he later got arrested for stalking and arson against his (white) Swedish ex-girlfriend. Classy.
- This may be the author of "Single Asian Female" in the Web Comics section.
- This is the favored tactic of the dark god Tlacolotl from Nexus Clash. He's the genuinely worst monster in the setting and the rest of the pantheon despises him, but they have never been able to unite against him because he knows about all of their petty grudges and rivalries with one another. Too many of them are more willing to believe (and act on) lurid things he says about the others than to go after him, and he knows it.
- In Persona 2, this is Katsuya Suou's idea of negotiating with demons.
- In Exiern, Tiffany despises Theresa, among other things because Theresa is happy with having been magically turned into a woman. In one very public argument, with the population of Theresa's home city as audience, Tiffany talks as if it was a fact and common knowledge that Theresa is a Pedophile Priest child-molester. Of course, this smear has no basis other than Tiffany's own malice—and she eventually realizes what a bitch she has been.
- Single Asian Female (written by a single Asian male) spreads the message that if a white man shows interest in an adult Asian woman, it means he's actually a pedophile.
- In TwoKinds, Maddie (who looks about 12 but is actually 17) accuses local ladykiller of trying to molest her to trick the leads into helping her stay on his ship. Which she had stowed away on, and he wanted her off of right now, even threatening to throw her overboard (although he promised to give her a jollyboat under duress).
- Not Always Right has one episode with a woman going totally overboard with this trope as she visits the movies and decides that she owns the place and has the right to deny random strangers the seats they have bought, all in the name of Think of the Children!—accusing two random young women of being potential child molesters and thus disqualified from being treated with basic human respect.
- There's more stories like this on the site, too—take for example the man who accuses a student working at a library of stealing books and planting a bomb for absolutely no reason, or the woman who sees someone stop a runaway cart with her baby in it and promptly calls the police on him for attempted kidnapping. Both end with the accuser arrested instead (the man for lying and wasting police time and money, the woman for abandoning and endangering her child).
- At least one IRC chat channel, probably many, used to have as its policy to publish a little message to everyone in the channel every time a banned person tried to enter the channel and get auto-kicked: a message explaining that the user is a pedophile and that such people are not welcome here—and this procedure applied to everyone, no matter why they were banned. People could get banned for things such as being AFK when an admin wanted to chat, and would invariably be casually branded "pedophile" for it.
- Zinnia Jones used this trope for satire in the episode Conservative Christians Are Rapists And Pedophiles.
- When suffering through an intervention to find out why she hates The Little Mermaid, The Nostalgia Chick at one point ends up pointing a finger at her friends and calling them "Disney zealots".
- When Madoka starts to ask questions about the whole Magical Girl schtick in Meduka Meguca, Mami's response is to accuse her of smoking, with Sayaka going along with it for whatever the reason. By Episode 3, they've ramped it up to accusing her of doing hard drugs like heroin and meth.
- In the Springhole article about predatory people:
- Predators will not hesitate to do this to innocent people in order to gain or increase their status, to get some amusement, or just for the sake of it.
- Syera advises against mislabeling people as predators just for having occasional or superficial similarities with one, as it can lead to the accused being unfairly ostracized, harassed and targeted, either by well-meaning but ignorant vigilantes or actual predators.
- In Monkey Dust, the Paedofinder General is universally feared for his ability to call anyone a paedophile (and then get the randomly accused person killed). For example, he kills the fiddler in Fiddler on the Roof for fiddling on the roof, implying that it must be a euphemism for paedophilia.
- South Park: In "The Wacky Molestation Adventure", Kyle is furious at his parents for not letting him go to a Raging Pussies concert despite him fulfilling a ridiculously difficult task they had assumed he wouldn't be able to (get Fidel Castro to abandon communism). Cartman tells him to just call the police and tell them his parents had been "molestering" him, even though none of the boys know what molestation is and treat it like a magic spell. Sure enough, the cops haul the Brofloski's away with no proof whatsoever, and social services doesn't even bother to check that anyone else looks after the kids, and Kyle relishes in his newfound freedom. Soon, all the kids begin accusing their families and teachers of molestation, and shortly after, the entire town is left to the kids.
- Parodied in an early episode of Family Guy, where Peter and Lois are running against each other for a seat on the local school board. Lois dismisses Peter's complete lack of experience, a plan for election, or qualification. Peter retorts that Lois Eats Babies. He wins in a landslide after a combination of this, and releasing an attack ad of Lois in lengerie, accusing his wife of being a sexual deviant.