Follow TV Tropes


Bad Influencer

Go To
"Maybe you missed it, but I'm that #Bitch and I will do nothing less than what I please, woo!"

The grownup sibling of the Phoneaholic Teenager, the influencer is often the prime example of why Social Media Is Bad and/or New Media Are Evil. Expect them to be image-obsessed, deceitful, manipulative of their audience and those around them, to be shilling bad (if not actually illegal) products, to live under Social Media Before Reason, and to be prejudiced, self-absorbed, and bitchy. Expect them to get a lot of coverage on the Shallow News Site Satire.

At best, they'll be portrayed as shallow, dim, and spoiled, although it's possible for the much milder examples to come closer to being a Lovable Alpha Bitch or a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who is simply not living up to the values that they preach online. At worst, they'll be a pure Villain with Good Publicity who uses their reputation to commit crimes, up to and including rape and murder. However bad they are, they'll definitely be a Shameless Self-Promoter, an Attention Whore, and a Stepford Smiler. They will usually wield Instant Humiliation: Just Add YouTube! with prejudice, but it's also common for this to be how they get exposed for what they are.

This is primarily a trope that emerged in The New '10s and The New '20s, at which point the online influencer became so mainstream that they — and legions of wannabes — were impossible to ignore. Specific details of individual behavior depend on whichever platform is the most popular and monetised at the time. Whether on a Character Blog, Friending Network, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or some form of Fictional Social Network that was definitely not created as part of Writing Around Trademarks, these basic features will apply, even if the specific details differ. Regardless of medium, it's not unusual to see a YouTuber Apology Parody when the influencer feels they've been caught out.

Not to be confused with Anti-Role Model. See also Nice Character, Mean Actor, for an older version of this trope. Although theoretically a different occupation, these tropes have a lot of overlap. Rich Bitch will also frequently go along with this trope if they're particularly successful, or for that matter Mock Millionaire since they might be just posing with all those luxury items. If they court controversy or make a nuisance of themselves to attract views/clicks/likes, compare the Shock Jock.

While this is Truth in Television to a degree (some influencers have been caught out or accused of committing crimes), no real-life examples, please!


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • EDENS ZERO: Labilia Christy is the most famous "B-Cuber" in the Sakura Cosmos, one of the universe's four major sectors. She's also The Bully to the more obscure and untalented Rebecca, usually by livestreaming reaction videos where she and her followers mock Rebecca's content, and baiting her into a collaboration that turns out to be a cruel prank video in one Story Arc. She eventually gets her comeuppance after the three-year Time Skip, where Labilia has fallen off the map and gets just as cruelly harassed wherever she's found in public, while Rebecca's popularity has skyrocketed.
  • The 2018 anime based on GeGeGe no Kitarō featured a self-centered and somewhat deluded "U-tuber" called Charatomi who regularly streamed Yokai-related content. His antics invariably ended up causing disasters that affected both humans and Yokai alike due to a combination of selfishness and wanton disregard for social norms.
  • The Unpopular Mangaka and the Helpful Onryo-san: In Chapter 28, Senai almost signs a contract with a sleazy social media influencer, but Onryo-san saves him at the last minute.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Batman (2022) depicts The Riddler, here imagined as a Serial Killer targeting Gotham City's corrupt elite, live-streaming his terroristic plots to social media. Not only do his livestreams attract a small but fiercely loyal coterie of followers with several of them attempting mass murder on his behalf, but his behavior during the final, private one is eerily calm and friendly; he thanks everyone first for showing up like they're here to watch him play video games, not incite a disaster that will kill hundreds, and expresses his gratitude for the tips people gave him about remote detonators. It really drives home that this thirty-something manchild with little in the way of resources or practical knowledge still brought the city to its knees with his crimes.
  • Boiling Point (2021): At least one of the men who visits the restaurant is an Instagram influencer from a reality show, and they lech all over Beth, making her uncomfortable, are generally rude and boorish, and film one of the other patrons having an allergic reaction.
  • Contagion (2011): Alan Krumwiede is a blogger who claims to be an Intrepid Reporter. In truth, he's a Conspiracy Theorist who disrupts the doctors trying to do their jobs, slows down their progress, and peddles the bunk "cure" of Forsythia to make money, causing potentially hundreds (if not thousands) of additional deaths.
  • The Duff: The Alpha Bitch Madison (who is not in the book) is a vlogger who forces Beta Bitch Caitlin to film her at times.
  • Expend4bles: Lee Christmas' Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job after getting fired from the Expendables has him working as a bodyguard for one of these. The guy's loutish, misogynistic antics piss Christmas off so badly that he turns around and gives him a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown in the middle of a livestream. Later, we see some of the Big Bad's goons watching the video and hailing Christmas as a hero for what he did, expressing a desire to meet him.
  • Fall: Becky and her best friend Hunter climb a 2000 foot tall radio tower, and get stuck at the top. Hunter had become an influencer to make a living by doing extreme stunts on social media for her fans, and it is later revealed that she had an affair with Dan before his marriage to Becky and it was her idea to climb the tower in the first place, leading to the events of the film. It's subverted as she clearly regrets both of those things, as she tearfully admits to Becky, and doesn't blame her if she hates her.
  • The Spanish horror film Framed is about a group of sadists led by a PewDiePie lookalike who break into a home, stalk and torture the occupants, and film it on the titular livestreaming app. By the end, crowds of fans have materialized outside the house.
  • Glass Onion:
    • Duke Cody is a violent and unpredictable Men's Rights Activist Twitch streamer who got cancelled for endorsing All-Natural Snake Oil and is only back on track thanks to his billionaire friend's media influence. He later shows no qualms about pimping out his girlfriend Whiskey to said benefactor to expand his reach.
    • Subverted with Whiskey. Though Duke uses her as a Blonde Republican Sex Kitten in his videos and she initially seems vapid, she later turns out to be intelligent and ambitious and is mainly with him to build her brand. After a conversation with another character she is convinced to leave Duke and try and make it on her own.
  • Halloween (2018) features a pair of true crime podcasters who are obsessed with Michael Myers, even getting ahold of his mask and taunting him with it from the yard of his mental institution in hope of getting him to speak for the first time. However, they do have positive qualities, making this a downplayed example overall.
  • Hater:
    • Invoked by Tomasz, who shows off what he can do at the troll farm by picking on a random influencer and ruining her life, falsely calling her out for having shoddy products and creating such a firestorm around her that she has a breakdown.
    • Tomasz himself may qualify. He is shown using the Internet to convince Alex he has been picked out for a "special mission" and to ultimately commit mass murder.
  • Ingrid Goes West: Taylor is an Instagram celebrity who is superficial, shallow, rude to anyone who can't help her, and ditches Ingrid in a heartbeat when she gets a better offer. However, as she correctly points out, Ingrid is no better if not worse, as a dog-napping obsessive stalker. Then again, the ending implies that Ingrid herself now has at least some online fame, following her suicide attempt, where she is much more dangerous and risk-taking than Taylor.
  • Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (2021) After Marcel's livestreams asking for help finding his family go viral, people start coming up to his property—which he shared on the streams—solely to show themselves having visited the home of the now-famous shell, using his popularity to improve their social media standing, not to actually help him. The unwanted attention gets so bad that after Marcel and Dean come back home from their road trip, they find that Marcel's grandmother Connie was injured when she fell after being startled by a couple of influencers, leading Marcel to give up his search in favor of taking care of her.
  • Not Okay is basically a whole movie of this trope.
    • Danni's mistaken as surviving terrorist attacks, and goes with it to gain acclaim, with her lies piling on each other over time.
    • Colin is a dim, vapid stoner who also epitomizes Pretty Fly for a White Guy. For some reason he's a popular influencer.
    • Some of the popular YouTubers who jump on the backlash bandwagon when Danni comes clean. As bad as she was, posting her home address and comparing her to Hitler is over the line.
  • Downplayed in Old. Chrystal is an online influencer married to a much older doctor, possibly just for his money, and doesn't seem to have a good word to say about anybody. However, while she isn't of any use, she is shown to care genuinely for her daughter Kara, and she really wasn't just being an annoying Granola Girl about her calcium deficiency.
  • The killers in Scream 4 aspire to be this in an example of the Unbuilt Trope, staging and filming the Ghostface murders as part of a plot to achieve online Fame Through Infamy by posing as the Sole Survivors who stopped the killing spree. The Motive Rant sees them telling the Final Girl "I don't need friends, I need fans."
    Ghostface: See, with you, the world just heard about what happened, but with us, they're gonna see it. It's gonna be a worldwide sensation. I mean, people gotta see this shit, it's not like anyone reads anymore. We're gonna know fame like you never even dreamed of.
  • Peyton Jules in Slaxx is a fashion vlogger who, behind the scenes, is an Alpha Bitch all grown up who abuses everybody around her. No surprise that she quickly becomes an Asshole Victim.
  • Spree:
    • Kurt wants to be a viral influencer, but he ultimately isn't very good at it. However, people do tune in once they find out he's actually killing people, so he turns out to have a point. He even says that he would rape Jessie, not because he wants to, but if more people would watch it. In the end, the Lesson catches on in extreme far-right circles, suggesting that Kurt becomes this trope personified posthumously.
    • uNo is a Korean influencer who is shown to be extremely rude, ignores everyone to go on her phone, and refuses to talk to Kurt unless she's ordering him around.
    • Bobby is a Jerkass who sets fire to money in front of homeless people, eggs Kurt on in private but ignores him in public, and encourages him to continue with the Lesson. However, he doesn't deserve to be murdered, and it's implied that he didn't think Kurt would go through with it.
  • Teddy and Claire, the travel vloggers who serve as the protagonists of Superhost, are every bad stereotype of YouTubers one could imagine. Their sensationalism and Manipulative Editing come back to bite them multiple times: Teddy's marriage proposal to Claire is ruined because she thinks it's a Ratings Stunt, the owner of a rental they gave a scathing review tracks them down in order to give them a piece of her mind for ruining her business, and more importantly, they see ratings gold in Rebecca, the owner of the rental they're currently staying at and reviewing, not realizing until it's too late that her quirkiness is actually a sign of a seriously disturbed person. When Claire desperately uploads a final vlog warning that Rebecca is trying to kill her, nobody believes it because their channel has such a bad reputation for clickbait.
  • The Villain Protagonists of Tragedy Girls, Sadie and McKayla, are two teenage girls who run the titular True Crime blog that barely anyone reads, so they start killing people to drive traffic to their website by posing as the "authoritative source" about the Serial Killer stalking their town. McKayla's ex-boyfriend Toby, their first victim, is a less villainous example, a douchey and vapid influencer who refers to himself in the third person.
  • Thanksgiving (2023): Evan's first instinct when the riot breaks out is to start filming it, seeing it as a gateway to online fame, even when it becomes extremely violent and people die. He's also confused when his friends get angry with him for posting the video online.
  • Triangle of Sadness: Yaya's not a nasty person, but it's clear that her social media influencer side hustle and the luxuries it's provided her have left her painfully self-absorbed. She can't do anything without taking a photograph first, and when a return to civilization is in the cards, instantly and fatally assumes Abigail would want to work for her.

  • In Bad Mermaids Meet the Sushi Sisters, the titular mermaids are famous in the ocean for their prank videos, but their "pranks" tend to be downright cruel - they shave off a mustache whose owner has been growing it his whole life and plan to electrocute a nonviolent shark and slime an old woman. They spend most of the book planning their biggest prank yet: turning Beattie into a half-mermaid, half-sushi.
  • The Circle: Mae becomes the spokesperson for the Circle through perpetually live-streaming herself. Although she theoretically doesn't do anything illegal, she alienates herself from her parents, who run away to escape her, and uses her celebrity to petty revenge on Mercer that leads to him getting killed, allows Completion to occur by betraying Ty, causes her "best friend" Annie to have a breakdown and presumably attempt suicide, and plays a central role in normalizing the Circle's privacy-free misery.
  • Idol: Sam is a very manipulative wellness influencer who may have sexually assaulted her best friend as a teenager, and has at the very least exaggerated her own life story (though she often seems to be unaware or in denial about how much).

    Live-Action TV 
  • Abbott Elementary: Ava is at best a Jerk with a Heart of Gold and a spoiled, lazy dumbass who is more concerned with her social media followers and livestreaming from her office than doing her job.
  • American Horror Story: Hotel: Subverted. Sally is a Serial Killer who keeps sewing people into her mattress so that they can never leave her. At the end of the season, she manages to overcome her desperation for love and validation by becoming an online makeup guru.
  • LatinTuber from Ana (2020) is a downplayed example, as she is merely annoyingly perky but not evil. However, Ana detests her, particularly after she won a role that Ana had auditioned for and was hoping to get. And she is ridiculously popular, so Ana really can't escape her.
  • Based on a True Story unites this trope with Trashy True Crime in its depiction of true crime media:
    • The Sisters in Crime are a pair of blonde sisters who lecture superiorly on being focused on victims in between bragging that their podcasts sold for $60 million.
    • Ava sees an opportunity in Matt for a windfall when she learns that he's a Serial Killer, and ropes her husband Nathan into producing a podcast about it rather than turning him into the police (in doing so, she almost gets Nathan arrested for being a serial killer).
    • Matt becomes the ultimate exaggeration of this where the fame goes swiftly to his head and he talks obsessively about producing new "content" for his biggest and most beloved fans...i.e., killing people.
  • Black Mirror: In "Nosedive", "high 4" Naomi is an Alpha Bitch all grown up. She bullied Lacie and slept with Lacie's boyfriend Greg despite claiming to be her friend. In the present, she smiles as she watches Lacie mentally and emotionally collapse in front of her at her wedding, clearly enjoying the sympathy and notoriety she's about to get.
  • The Boys (2019):
    • Stormfront is introduced in Season 2 as a superhero who's especially popular on social media, and is heavily reliant on using that to enhance her image. Of course she's revealed to be a literal Nazi, slowly trying to Gaslight her fans into accepting her beliefs. Part of her undoing is exposing her Nazi past, destroying her reputation and fanbase.
    • Homelander suffers Sanity Slippage in Season 3 and can no longer maintain his original All-American Face persona. It however turns out to make him more popular with right wingers who appreciate his Brutal Honesty, and he begins to exploit this new persona to his advantage.
    • Subverted however with Starlight, who uses her platform entirely for good. She even pulls off two significant Engineered Public Confessions to expose both Soldier Boy's return and Homelander's crimes via live stream.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Gina is an online celebrity who leaves the Nine Nine in order to be a professional influencer. By her own admission, she's also a compulsive liar and prankster who was name-checked in her teacher's suicide note. Her online fame does have good results, though, like saving the Nine Nine in Season 4.
  • Evil (2019): Malindaz in the episode "7 Swans a Singin" makes a deal with Leland to increase her follower count and includes a Brown Note in one of her videos that causes self-harm among people who watch it.
  • Cinderella and the Four Knights: Yu-na is spoiled and mean, and is fittingly some sort of beauty influencer.
  • Girls5eva:
    • In the first episode, the women (former members of a invokedOne-Hit Wonder Girl Group) consider fellow member Wickie to be well above their league, since she's become something of a "girlboss" influencer with thousands of Instagram followers, various celebrity interactions, and an up-and-coming handbag business. However, it is shortly revealed that she's a Mock Millionaire with a Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job who was faking her online success. After the group reunites she's the most success-focused since she wants to return to the life of luxury she used to lead in the past and was pretending to lead in the present.
    • Wickie herself enters into a relationship with a devoted younger man... who promptly reveals himself to be two different guys with followings on TikTok. They continuously switched out as part of an online prank, and Wickie didn't notice because of her narcissism.
    • Ditzy, rich, and shallow Summer, while a celebrity endorser in her own right, has a daughter whose attitudes towards social media are intended to creep the audience out. She is introduced filming an 'unboxing' video and reacts negatively and woodenly when Dawn gives her a gift, since any endorsement must be done through the proper channels. Oh, and she's a preteen.
  • Gossip Girl:
    • The 2007 series centers around an anonymous online personality who posts scandalous gossip about the teens of the Upper East Side. Gossip Girl has no moral standards at all about people's privacy and gleefully joking about minors being sexually assaulted.
    • The 2021 sequel/revival updates it so that Gossip Girl now operates on social media (rather than a website as in the original series), and emphasises that the internet being more widespread now makes it harder for anyone to stay safe from her watchful eye.
  • High Fidelity: The Setting Update of the Hulu series remakes Rob's third ex, the mercurial, glamorous Charlie, into professional influencer Kat Monroe. Rob goes as Kat's plus-one to an event and is struck by how fake it all feels. Even the glamorous apartment turns out to have been rented by the company for the event.
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit:
    • Played with in "Star Struck Victims". Vlogger Kristi is portrayed as self-obsessed, not too bright, and deceitful. However, despite her lies and dramatics, the Unit figures out that she was telling the truth about being raped by a celebrity and his friend.
    • Played straight in "Fast Times at the Wheel House". Two brother influencers bribed a girl by claiming they would let her join their TikTok house, then raped her. Then they cornered her and forced her, under extreme doxxing and harassment by their fans, to say on a livestream that she'd made it up. (She hadn't.)
  • Modern Family: Subverted. At one point, Haley becomes a social media influencer and is hired to promote nightclubs. Phil disapproves of this and tries to steer her towards a more practical career. However, she demonstrates her skill as an influencer to her dad by using social media to sell a house he was having trouble getting people to buy.
  • Mythic Quest: The fandom of the titular in-universe MMO is represented by Pootie Shoe, an influential teenage streamer with millions of followers. He's also bratty and very crass, and the developers frequently call him a "piece of shit" even as they await his opinion with bated breath.
  • Nathan Barley: The titular character provides a rather fascinating Unbuilt Trope example, given that the show predates the concept of 'influencers' by roughly a decade. Nevertheless, Nathan manages to meet almost all of the hallmarks of the Jerkass variant, being a moronic, atttention-seeking Spoiled Brat Manchild prone to Conspicuous Consumption who performs inane publicity stunts and films a variety of dangerous and/or demeaning 'pranks' with the aim of publishing them on his website.
  • Nine Perfect Strangers: Subverted by Jessica. She's an Instagram model and people are generally dismissive of her because of this, imagining that she is an unlikeable person. However, she's actually pretty sweet and just very insecure — but she quits social media almost immediately (and continues to quit it after leaving Tranquillium because she and her husband Ben buy Traquilium) which may reinforce its incompatibility.
  • Scream Queens (2015):
    • Chanel Oberlin is an awful person, Alpha Bitch of the sorority Kappa Kappa Tow and has legions of online followers. One episode has her delivering Halloween gifts to her fans in a parody of how Taylor Swift was known for sending her fans care packages. One episode hinges on her having a public breakdown about the Red Devil murders.
    • Downplayed with Jennifer, who's a vlogger that does YouTube videos reviewing scented candles. She's portrayed as somewhat creepy and combative, but nowhere near as bad as the Chanels.
  • She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has a recurring antagonist Titania, who's a supervillain influencer with millions of online followers. At one point, she tries to one-up Jen by trademarking the She Hulk name and marketing products under it.
  • S.W.A.T. (2017): In one episode, Jessica took her niece to a party hosted by an influencer who established herself as this trope when she made her party guests wait for her by pretending to have just left the airport, she was actually in L.A. the whole time. She showed very little concern for the girl that died at her party. It's then deconstructed when the influencer reveals that she has been playing her online persona since she was a teenager, and her audience won't let her grow up.
  • In The Twilight Zone episode "The Wunderkind", Oliver Foley, the titular character, is an eleven-year-old YouTube star and influencer. A desperate campaign manager decides to back Oliver for President and successfully gets him elected through Loophole Abuse. Unfortunately, Oliver quickly reveals himself to be an impossibly spoiled brat who creates dangerous new laws that destroy both the country and individual lives, including the campaign manager's, who gets sliced to bits on the operating table after Oliver outlaws "old" doctors and replaces them with apathetic kids who don't know what they're doing.
  • We Are Lady Parts: The beautiful and well-regarded Zarina is mentioned to be a former influencer and present writer for a Shallow News Site Satire, and allegorically skewers both professions. She twists Lady Parts' interview for maximum dramatic impact and online engagement, to their dismay.
  • Wedding Season: Played With. Mitzi is a bratty influencer and the spoiled daughter of a crime lord, but she otherwise has enough mettle to survive a hostage situation and is sympathetic to her kidnapper Katie's struggles.
  • You:
    • Played with by Annika. She's a plus-size influencer and a genuinely sweet person, but she made some drunken comments about how only black men are attracted to her curvy figure, which Peach leaks in a deliberate attempt to make her look like this trope and causes her to get a lot of online hate.
    • Sherry in Season 3 is a much clearer example. She runs a mommy blog, passive-aggressively shames Love's weight and parenting style to her face, slut-shames Natalie then pretends to be Natalie's best friend, and mocks Forty's death within earshot of Love (his twin sister).

  • The video for Nightwish's song "Noise" takes aim at influencers among other negative aspects of social media. Then-bassist Marko Hietala plays a man pushing male enhancement pills, who on the bridge of the song is shown raging at something, and then slumped miserably on a pile of empty pill bottles.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • WWE developmental talent Jenny Cash hosted an 'Express News & Gossip' segment in FCW, where she would portray a bitchy character who gossiped about the other wrestlers. Her catchphrase was "thank you very little", and she was always a heel.

    Video Games 
  • Tyreen and Troy Calypso, the Big Bad Duumvirate of Borderlands 3, are the leaders of an evil Cult that "livescreams" their activities and refers to their followers as "Super Fans". Tyreen in particular combines the mouthy streamer attitude with a goddess complex that makes Handsome Jack's corporate propaganda seem humble.
    Tyreen: Don't forget to like, follow, and obey.
  • Kuro from Girls' Frontline: Neural Cloud constantly argues with her own chat, talks shit about pretty much everyone, and openly admits to sockpuppeting. It's actually subverted and invoked in her case: Kuro only became successful after accidentally breaking her Contractual Purity because her fans are tired of seeing clean-cut streamers, and she willingly provides a space where they can express frustrations about the world and their lives.
    • As MDR, she still retains this persona by the time of Girls' Frontline, regularly stirring up fights in Griffin's anonymous message board just because she thought it would be funny.
  • Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth has Tatara Hisoka, a Vtuber who makes life for our heroes miserable, including slandering Kasuga's good name and outing Kiryu as having faked his death. As it turns out, her real identity is that of new party member Chitose, who was Forced into Evil by the main villains and really did not want to ruin the lives of good men like Ichiban and Kiryu.
  • In Lily's Garden, Lily's college roommate Tina has gone on to become a social media influencer. The "Under the Influence" event sees her enlisting Lily and her friends to help fix up her old cabin, with the promise of making them social media personalities. In reality, she just wants the free labor, and is secretly ridiculing them all on social media.
  • Played for Horror in NEEDY STREAMER OVERLOAD with the Broken Bird protagonist Ame-chan. She Hates the Job, Loves the Limelight as she only became a streamer because she Desperately Craves Affection and didn't want to get a real job. Because of her psychosis she frequently alternates between hiding contempt for her fans and genuinely wanting them to have a good time. Several of the game's bad endings revolve around her having a live mental breakdown, with one of them having her form an Apocalypse Cult.
  • Persona 5: Goro Akechi is a celebrity detective with a devoted fan base who also runs a food blog and is well-known at a lot of restaurants as he goes to write about the food. On the surface, he appears to be sociable, kind, and moral, but this is just a meticulously crafted mask he made so someone would finally want him. Underneath, he's a deeply disturbed and violent teenager who's been carrying out hits for his illegitimate father, Corrupt Politician Masayoshi Shido, and his real personality is antisocial and rude. Even his food reviews are a lie since he doesn't care about taste and is fine with just eating frozen meals.
  • River City Girls 2: Tsuiko is a social media influencer and hacker who uses her position to sway more people over to the side of the yakuza currently oppressing River City, and most notably Kyoko and Misako. However, she does know when she's beat and complies with the girls when they beat her, not wanting to stand in the way of progress.
  • SIMULACRA 2 revolves around a group of four of these and the deal they made with the Ripple Man to erase all negative comments and increase their fame, which led to one of them dying. On the surface, they seem alright, but as you venture through the game, you see that their online personas are utter lies:
    • Maya, the victim whose death you are investigating, is a vegan vlogger who preaches honesty to her fans but eats meat and cheese while being the one who encouraged her friends to fabricate personas for attention.
    • Arya preaches friendship while being willing to throw her friends under the bus at the slightest opportunity if things go wrong.
    • Mina, the aspiring musician, makes up stories about hardship and loss to milk sympathy from her fans. One example we see is her claiming to have lost her friend in a hit-and-run, which motivated her to pursue her music career, when really she was just a witness who had no personal connection to the victim at all.
    • Rex, the "entrepreneur", is perhaps the worst of the four. He claims to be running a legitimate business that can make people successful and let them play by their own rules. His business is an MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) company — i.e. a pyramid scheme created to scam "employees" out of their money. He's even willing to doxx victims of his fraud for attempting to expose him.
  • Spider-Man (PS4): Screwball is even worse than her comic book incarnation. Instead of relatively harmless pranks, she eggs her followers to commit crimes in order to film them, and in the Silver Lining DLC she escalates to committing domestic terrorism by setting up bombs that she threatens to detonate if Spider-Man refuses to play along with her insane games.
  • Twisted Wonderland: During the first Halloween event, the school's stamp rally gets crashed by "Magicam Monsters", people who don't care about anything except getting the perfect photo for social media. Along the way, they trash the elaborate sets the students created, disregard their personal space repeatedly (especially that of Vil and Malleus, as they're both in-universe celebrities), and go so far as to knock down the statues of the Great Seven so they can pose as them. It ultimately gets to the point that the headmaster all but outright gives the students permission to try and chase them out, provided they don't outright hurt them.

  • Big Ethel Energy reveals that Veronica Lodge grew up into a popular but image-obsessed influencer. She's retained her friendship with Betty but has remained an Alpha Bitch.
  • Forestdale: Katie Kiel is a fashion blogger who uses her livestreams to insult the various members of the Forestdale cast for their poor clothing choices, although such actions almost always blow up in her face.

    Web Animation 

    Web Original 
  • SCP Foundation:
    • Played for Horror with SCP-2089, an Internet blogger called John_████████_Is_Here who has a Hate Plague effect on people that he uses to keep their attention through No Such Thing as Bad Publicity. People's psyches warp to the point where they'll obsess over killing him, even track him down to do the deed themselves, but because of his Resurrective Immortality he doesn't stay dead and will even kill or mutilate himself on video for their amusement. What makes it even more troubling is the implication that he's being forced into this.
    • Subverted with SCP-056, a narcissistic Shapeshifting Trickster with the ability to make itself annoyingly better than any person or object. It repeatedly requests access to the Internet so it can become one of these and have the entire world "know its face", with it being denied for obvious reasons.

    Web Videos 
  • Bossfight:
  • Joueur du Grenier: Fred makes constant reference to being one, such as dying and being sent to Hell when the Celestial Bureaucracy takes a look at his Twitter account.
  • In Smosh video "ADDICTED TO PRANKING (GONE SEXUAL)", Ian becomes addicted to pulling practical jokes and posting them on his YouTube channel. He was inspired by another pranking YouTuberJoeyPranktubeComedy — who is framed as a narcissistic dick that harasses people (physically and sexually) for views. It's revealed that Anthony is JoeyPranktubeComedy, having pretended to be someone else for a long con on Ian, revealing himself and then abandoning him after Ian's attempts at being a prank YouTuber leaves him homeless.

    Western Animation 
  • Big City Greens: The episode "Bad Influencer" has Itchaboi, an obnoxious online celebrity who talks about "spreading positivity" when all he's doing is flaunting his wealth and asking viewers to buy his merchandise. The usually Spoiled Sweet Remy is swayed by Itchaboi's videos and starts acting just like him, which concerns Cricket. In the end, Remy realizes what a phony Itchaboi is when he's the only one able to afford his very expensive "crewse", which he's not even attending in person. Itchaboi appears again in "Ding Dongers", having lost viewers and is now reduced to begging for attention on the streets.
  • Family Guy: In "HTTPete", the millennial Hammer, hired to improve the brewery's online presence, reacts to an employee accidentally pushing one of his triggers (being asked what a trigger warning was while the topic was being discussed) by using his social media influence to destroy him online, and get him fired in the real world.
  • The Ghost and Molly McGee: Andrea Davenport is a self-described tween "social influencer" who goes to Molly's middle school. She's also introduced as a bully who tries to make Molly an outcast on her first day just because she pronounced her name as "ANN-dree-ah" instead of "AHN-dree-ah". She softens up in later episodes to just being a slightly self-absorbed Lovable Alpha Bitch. She even becomes friends with Molly, and helps her family out in "Home Is Where the Haunt Is" by organizing a fundraiser to help the McGees make their overdue mortgage payment.
  • Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (2023): When we first meet Odessa Drake in “Today I am a Woman”, she just appears to be an average social media star that Casey is eager to impress, but she’s soon revealed to be a thief who steals super-technology.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rollercoaster of Friendship's antagonist is Vignette Valencia, who's obsessed with her social media following. When she's corrupted by Equestrian magic, she sends people to a White Void Room by taking pictures of them with her enchanted phone.
  • Jacob Hopkins from The Owl House episode "Yesterday's Lie" is the Head of the Gravesfield Historical Society and a Conspiracy Theorist who believes that Demons and Witches are real (which is true) and that they are from Mars and have teeth-powered time machines (which is not true). While he claims that he does what he does to save humanity from an incoming invasion, one of the things he wants from revealing this information is to have his "account verified", implying that he mostly just does this for attention.
  • Fittingly, the second episode of The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder is titled (with parentheses on the last letter) "Bad Influence(r)". Makeup influencer Makeup Boy (real name Sebastian Boyle) gives ridiculous makeup tips and charges far too much money for his products. He is later canceled by Penny Proud, who then uses her huge platform to cancel everyone at the slightest provocation.
  • Ronaldo Fryman from Steven Universe is the creator of "Keep Beach City Weird", a blog that he uses to investigate many of the unusual things that happen in Beach City and making (wildly inaccurate) conspiracy theories about them. While at first portrayed as harmless, the show goes on to show that he lives in his own little world and only does the things that he does for attention.
  • Total Drama:
    • Julia's initially well-renowned on social media for her chill attitude. After MK hacks into her socials and posts a video of her with the velociraptor online, Julia reveals she's not actually nice and enjoys not having to pretend. After this, she starts behaving more like an Alpha Bitch, especially when this earns her more followers.
    • Chase is a riff on prankster channels that trick people into doing dangerous and/or illegal stunts for the sake of viewership. He chooses not to comprehend why people wouldn't like him for this, even as he laughs at the misery he's inflicted on them.
  • Celebrity Superhero Ms. Heed from Villainous was a Villain with Good Publicity who used her Living Aphrodisiac powers to enslave an entire city into being her parasocial followers and would do livestreams to solidify her control over them.
  • Nom Nom the koala from We Bare Bears plays up his cuteness viral videos, making him a multi-billionaire Internet star. He's vain, spoiled, prone to anger, and very possessive of his role as the cutest animal on the Internet.


Video Example(s):


Penny Proud

This is what happens when internet fame goes to your head, kids.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (15 votes)

Example of:

Main / BadInfluencer

Media sources: