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Condemned by History

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That font! That background! Those Dutch angles! That's so 1992.
"Only very rarely do you have a popular song that, in retrospect, pretty much everyone agrees was absolutely terrible."
Todd in the Shadows on "Afternoon Delight"
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At some point in time, there was a thing—an individual work, the body of work of a particular creator/performer/artist, an entire genre, a trend in an art medium, etc. Whatever it was, this thing got very, very popular. But at some point, it just got too popular. It was talked about everywhere, with no water-cooler conversation avoiding the subject. It was overexposed until people got bored. It got so much publicity and so many bad imitators that there was plenty of time to notice each and every flaw and dissect them under a microscope. Soon, small insignificant flaws become regarded as unavoidable and unforgivable sins. Sometimes, it just takes a change in sociocultural attitudes for the thing to fall out of favor. The final tell-tale sign is indifference, ridicule, or even downright hatred. Not just for the thing itself, as the people who like it often become the subject of nasty, highly-specific stereotypes. Simply mentioning that someone likes it online, even if meant completely sincerely, is considered trolling.

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Five or ten years later, almost nobody will admit that they ever liked this thing, and the only mention in the media will be cheap jokes about the fad. Retrospectives of the time in which it was popular will either point to it as a symbol of everything wrong with that time period's taste in its medium, or quietly skip over it and just pretend it never happened. It may get revived decades later as So Bad, It's Good or by Bile Fascination, but it's unlikely to be popular on its own merits ever again. In fiction (and Real Life), a Disco Dan is a rare admirer who refuses to accept the judgment of history and passionately holds on to the belief that the dead thing is still as big as it always was—usually with comical results.

When all of this has happened, that thing which was once so popular has become Condemned by History. Of course, twenty or thirty years later, the situation may change again. But if not, it will remain either scorned or simply ignored.

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Sometimes caused by people saying that It's Popular, Now It Sucks! too much, but not always. At its height, these people usually exist, but are typically not very vocal. It's particularly common with things that never had a cult following to begin with—they went from nowhere to everything, and then back to nowhere, very suddenly. This is essentially Hype Backlash after something faded from popularity, while its haters remained active.

For a more detailed examination of the ways a work can become Condemned by History, see the Analysis page.

Compare Jumping the Shark, "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny, Dead Horse Genre, Fallen Creator, Hatedom, Periphery Hatedom, and Discredited Meme. Contrast Vindicated by History and Nostalgia Filter. Also compare and contrast Overshadowed by Controversy, where uproar sparked by or around a work is better-known than the work itself, sometimes leading to the work and/or creator becoming condemned if the uproar is severe enough. If a single work is perceived as rendering something Condemned by History, it's a Creator Killer, Franchise Killer, Genre-Killer, or Star-Derailing Role. Compare and contrast Unintentional Period Piece, when a work can be precisely dated to a specific era, but it may (or may not) have remained popular up to the present day.

Important note: Real life examples require a 5-year wait before they can be added to the page. A show or other work which is currently in production cannot be an example even if popular opinion has turned against it for whatever reason. This is also not a place to be Complaining About Shows You Don't Like.


Examples

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    Advertising 
  • Cigarette advertisements on television, movies, and radio. Incredibly popular and virtually omnipresent throughout the 20th century, they are nowadays looked back on as a symbol of how naïve people were at the time about the dangers of tobacco use. They are also seen as symbols of kitsch from the '50s and '60s. The knowledge that at least four of the men who played the Marlboro Man in advertisements later died of lung cancer wound up making Marlboro's ads in particular Harsher in Hindsight, especially knowing the lengths to which tobacco companies went to deny or downplay the health risks of smoking. These days, the only places where you can advertise tobacco products are either on printed media like magazines, billboards, or the internet, and you must put in a noticeable warning about the specific health risks involved.

    Anime & Manga 
Companies
  • During the late 90s and much of the 2000s, 4Kids Entertainment was one of the most profitable anime distributors in America, being responsible for the popularization of shows like Pokémon: The Series and Yu-Gi-Oh!. While they always generated distaste from hardcore anime fans for their reliance on the Cut-and-Paste Translation, Bowdlerize, and Cultural Translation tropes, they still remained a Cash Cow Franchise with the general public. However, the decline of the anime boom and a shaky localization of One Piece resulted in them rapidly losing steam, suffering two bankruptcies, being divided among multiple other companies, and losing all of their properties. While some of their works were well-received at the time and remain fondly remembered today, 4Kids' reputation with hardcore anime fans ultimately overtook their general popularity in the fallout of their demise, leading their name to become synonymous with Macekre even among laypeople, moreso than even Carl Macek himself, whose reputation, conversely, has taken the opposite direction due to increased awareness of his more faithful dubbing work at Streamline Pictures.

Series

  • Oreimo was a phenomenon in the late 2000s and early 2010s, as it was one of the first light novels to combine a Harem Genre story with characters and stories that examined otaku culture. Fans loved being able to read about characters that shared their own interests, and the anime adaptation exposed the source material to an even bigger number of fans.

    However, several key issues began to propagate through the story that would ultimately lead to its downfall. The slice of life and otaku-centric content was put on the back burner for intrusive harem tropes, the anime increasing Kirino's bad behavior while still treating her as the primary love interest, and sidelining and derailing fan-favorite characters. But what really sealed the novel's fate was the ending, which saw protagonist Kyousuke alienating all the other girls to turn Incest Subtext into outright text by hooking up with his own sister. The final nail in the coffin was the sheer amount of copycat light novels in the next few years that rehashed the Brother–Sister Incest plot of Oreimo to a shameless degree, along with degrading the observations of otaku media and culture into simply pointing out media clichés while still indulging in them, seemingly for no other reason but cheap and easy pandering.

    Even the original author of Oreimo would fall victim to the backlash years later, when his follow-up work Eromanga Sensei was adapted to anime and quickly panned; most reviews noted that Eromanga Sensei took all the flaws that had been present in Oreimo and cranked them up to an intolerable degree. To this day, the first and only thing anime fans could tell you about Oreimo is that it's the show where the protagonist breaks up with his girlfriend to get intimate with his sister, apart from the interesting fact that the show, along with Eromanga Sensei, wasn't a Star-Derailing Role for all the voice actors involved.

    Comic Books 
Creators
  • There was once a time when Chuck Austen was a well-regarded figure and a legitimately popular up-and-comer in the world of comic books. After a number of stops and starts, he was catapulted to fame by the twelve-issue miniseries US War Machine, which played on the mix of the manga boom and the popularity of mature comics to become a surprise hit. When he was placed on Uncanny X-Men, running simultaneously with Grant Morrison's seminal New X-Men, it was no surprise at all to readers. The result? An utterly nonsensical story about Nightcrawler being an actual demon and a conspiracy by a sect of the Catholic Church to have him appointed as The Pope. An arc that served as a bizarre retelling of Romeo and Juliet that featured rednecks wearing Powered Armor and a midair public sex scene. The story where the Juggernaut pulls a Heel–Face Turn and bangs She-Hulk for no reason. And the introduction of Creator's Pet Annie Ghazikhanian (based off his wife Ann Austen, more known as a writer for Power Rangers than anything else). Austen also had short runs on many other famous books, from The Avengers to Captain America, each time being chased off by increasingly irritated fans. He eventually jumped ship to DC, who handed him Action Comics, at which he proceeded to write a Derailing Love Interests plot that pleased neither Lois Lane fans nor Lana Lang fans. It would be his last mainstream work, and he's since gone back to TV animation (which he had been doing before going into comics). Strangely, perhaps because of him not writing them, the shows he has worked on have been successful. He's credited under the name Chuckles Austen. Chris Sims summed him up thus:
    "When you look at that crowd of new comics writers that was really making waves at the start of this century, guys like Bendis and Geoff Johns, Austen was right in there with them, with four solid years as one of the most prominent writers in that crop of creators. And yet, the best thing you can say about Austen’s work in super-hero comics is that occasionally, it wasn't absolutely terrible."
  • Rob Liefeld, while never a critical favourite, was nevertheless considered one of the most successful writers/artists during The Dark Age of Comic Books. He created several famous characters, such as Deadpool and Cable. He also helped start Image Comics and was influential through his work on Youngblood. However, after the Dark Age ended, he became a laughingstock for being a Lazy Artist (not drawing feet or eyes properly, creating unrealistic and generic character designs, not caring about perspective or how the human body works, and overusing pouches), and for plagiarizing concepts from other people. For example, Deadpool started off as an Expy of Deathstroke. Today Youngblood is usually seen as So Bad, It's Good and a poor ripoff of Teen Titans. note Liefeld himself considers the first few issues of the series to be an Old Shame, and Image has moved away from superhero comics like it. Cable and Deadpool are still popular, but that is thanks to other writers who developed them in different ways than Liefeld. These writers are generally considered their true creators by fans. What little goodwill Liefeld still had by the 2000s dried up, after a much-publicized feud with Peter David. The latter revealed that the character Shatterstar was bisexual. Shatterstar had been created by Liefeld for X-Force and was at the time being used by David in X-Factor. The revelation about the character's sexuality was very well-received by fans (and given Shatterstar's origins, seems fairly obvious in hindsight). Liefeld, however, was incensed that the move had been made without consulting him. Many felt that his comments on the subject were worryingly close to biphobic (though Atop the Fourth Wall's numerous reviews of his comics didn't help). Nowadays, the only times you hear about Liefeld is mockery of his art style or of his lackluster characters. Comic book fans consider him to be the ultimate embodiment of everything wrong with '90s comics.

Specific Works & Storylines

  • "Endgame" was the four-part supposed-to-have-been Grand Finale for Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics). At one time, it was a popular storyline. It earned praise for being a Darker and Edgier storyline where the stakes seem to rise, culminating in a one-on-one No-Holds-Barred Beatdown between Sonic and Robotnik. However, time passed and there was bad blood garnered towards writer Ken Penders. His lawsuit led to the Archie series first undergoing a Continuity Reboot and then being canceled entirely. The reputation of this story by Penders began to rapidly turn sour, with the plot becoming widely lambasted as an Idiot Plot, and having few defenders.note 
  • Gen13 was a massive hit for WildStorm back in the late nineties, being part of their holy trinity with Stormwatch and Wild CATS Wild Storm. It was also one of the first American comics to feature a lesbian character in a major role, in the form of Rainmaker. At its height, it spawned two spin-offs (DV8 and Bootleg) and a number of crossovers and miniseries. Unfortunately, following the departure of co-creators Brandon Choi and J. Scott Campbell, the series was taken over by a succession of other creative teams who strayed far from the series' original lighthearted tone. The series hit its nadir when Chris Claremont took over. He forced his predecessor to kill off the original team, and replaced them with a new team made up of ethnic stereotypes. At the same time, Wildstorm itself was moving towards more adult-oriented work like The Authority, and thus no longer saw its teen heroes as a priority. By the time Wildstorm rebooted itself with Worldstorm, the "Genies" had fallen so far out of the company's esteem that Gail Simone was largely left to her own devices to reboot the franchise, resulting in a series that bore little connection to the rest of Worldstorm. Nowadays, the franchise is remembered mainly for the Values Dissonance-laden Fanservice involving its teenage female characters and its lesbophobic treatment of Rainmaker. Despite her lesbian status, she often dated male characters. Wildstorm's old properties eventually came under the control of Warren Ellis, who is not known to be fond of the series. It is unlikely to see another revival at this point.
  • Tintin in the Congo is one of the most infamous instances in Europe. Back in 1931, it was both a commercial and critical success within Belgium and the rest of Europe, spawning a franchise for decades to come. After World War II, it was widely criticized, even among Tintin fans, for its portrayal of the Congolese people. They are drawn to look like monkeys, and are depicted as stupid and infantile. Knowledge that the Belgian Congo was the scene of rampant atrocities that have since been compared to various historical genocides, and which horrified even the other colonial powers, doesn't help. Likewise, the fact that the hero hunts lots of the local wildlife is hard to enjoy now that many species of said wildlife are critically endangered. These scenes were modified in later editions so Tintin only scares the wildlife off instead of killing them. It doesn't help that the story is quite crude compared to the intricate plots of later Tintin albums. Hergé himself later came to regard the story (along with its predecessor Tintin - Tintin in the Land of the Soviets) as an Old Shame. He called it "bourgeois" and "paternalistic". Those who read it now do so chiefly for completeness or to see it as a historical relic of the colonial era.
  • Dreamwave's Transformers: Generation One comics went through this hard. When they were first announced, they had 'superstar manga-like artist' Pat Lee doing both all the promotions and a whole lot of the art. The cast was straight from the original The Transformers cartoon, coming during a period of 80s revival that ate those characters up like popcorn. It was advertised as a superb comeback, and sure enough, Dreamwave's entire original miniseries cracked the top ten in sales charts. Most issues even made it to #1. The success spread to the Transformers Armada comic as well, making it one of the only non-G1 comics to achieve mainstream success. They followed up with Transformers: The War Within, probably the most influential series to ever have Optimus Prime on the cover. Packaging art and merchandise of the time switched to a Dreamwave-esque style, and many of the designs of the various series (particularly War Within) would be incorporated into the following Transformers Cybertron.

    But even at the height of its popularity, Dreamwave had its detractors. Complaints about bad fanfic-like plots and a fetish for the original 1984-85 cast abounded. The general feel of the line reeked of faux-maturity and mid-2000s edginess. The artwork soon became one of the biggest complaining points, with "puffyformers" and "Dull Surprise" becoming common fandom terms to describe Pat Lee's art style (which all other artists on the payroll were forced to use). These complaints intensified with rumors that Pat Lee himself wasn't just a bad artist. He was reputedly a complete scumbag who refused to pay his employees, took credit from much better artists, and siphoned company funds into buying himself a Porsche. When Dreamwave went bankrupt from a mixture of flagging sales and Lee's embezzling, the public opinion of Dreamwave as a company flipped completely into "hate." Since then, aside from War Within (which likely escaped this fate thanks to the involvement of prolific Transformers scribe Simon Furman), Dreamwave's books have vanished from the eyes of both the fandom and Hasbro (with the exception of the use of Sunstorm toys). Many of the writers and artists who got their start there seem to regard it as an Old Shame. Even stylistically resembling Dreamwave books (using mostly the '84/'85 cast, quoting The Transformers: The Movie, killing off Puny Humans or GoBots) is enough to get alarm bells going in some circles.
  • Identity Crisis, upon release, was seen as a book that singlehandedly shifted eyes towards DC. Its heavy Cerebus Retcon of many events from past history swung the pendulum away from DC's image as the company of lighthearted fluff, and it proved a massive seller, with every single issue breaking the 100k mark and being in the top three of its month. Its focus on personal drama in a Crisis Crossover was seen as fresh and new, and the rather dark storytelling drew heavy attention, with the culprit being speculated all the way to the end. Though it was never lacking in detractors, as all big comic events were, it was still highly regarded. Many believed that its effects on DC would be felt for years to come.

    Unfortunately, these claims proved right, as Identity Crisis ended up being damaging in the long run. Many of its immediate effects, such as its attempt to make Doctor Light a viable threat or killing Tim Drake's father, completely backfired (Tim Drake suffered majorly from the loss of his supporting cast, and Doctor Light became a joke once again), while its treatment of other characters ended up having to be retconned or ignored due to it making those characters unlikable. Stories to follow up on it, such as Day of Vengeance, were mostly unpopular, with the sole exceptions being Ralph Dibney's arc in 52 and the introduction of a few legacy characters under other writers. What was more, separated from the hype, people began picking apart Identity Crisis more critically and noticed its many issues, such as implausible plotpoints, continuity mishaps, and the main story being a Clueless Mystery with a barely-present antagonist, to the point that many began to declare it an Idiot Plot. Its gratuitous use of Rape as Drama (which itself had a rather ugly origin, being an editorial mandate), though shocking at the time, became the public face of DC's poor handling of mature themes and female characters.

    The true culprit, though, proved to be DC's attempts to emulate its success—piling on one Cerebus Retcon after another, murdering characters en masse, and pushing the universe in the direction of being a Darker and Edgier version of its Bronze Age status quo. This led to many reviled stories, such as Countdown to Final Crisis, Amazons Attack!, and Justice League: Cry for Justice, all of which attempted similar blood-soaked revisionism of classic characters and proved far less successful. The likely nail in the coffin to Identity Crisis's legacy was Heroes in Crisis, which was a rather obvious attempt to fully recapture the original's success, with a murder mystery plot focused on dark revelations about classic heroes—and unlike Identity Crisis, it was derided and loathed immediately upon release, receiving mixed reviews from critics, underperfoming in sales, and outright bombing with fans.

    Nowadays, Identity Crisis tends to be regarded as less the modern classic it was once hailed as, and more a mediocre-at-best comic that turned out to be the Patient Zero for some of DC's biggest Audience Alienating Eras. By the end of the decade, critics were openly regarding it as one of DC's worst stories, and decrying its legacy as one that rendered swathes of characters unusable and pushed the entire universe into a miserable place. Even the fonder views of it tend to be very willing to acknowledge its shortcomings.

    Fan Works 
  • Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness by Thanfiction was once one of the best-regarded stories in the Harry Potter fandom. It provided an intriguing Perspective Flip to one of the premiere offscreen moments of awesome in the series, namely the resistance to the Death Eaters by the students of Hogwarts in the final book, and the author gained praise for researching actual Child Soldiers to better be able to describe the students' plight. The hype, however, was not to last, and criticisms mounted over time, including, but not limited to: the Character Shilling of Neville as the leader of the resistance to the expense of Luna and Ginny (in the book, Neville himself says they shared leadership duties equally); the treatment of women, particularly the arc involving Lavender Brown being raped and the boys, not Lavender herself, punishing the rapists; the seeming disdain for the canon main characters Harry, Ron, and Hermione, whom various characters insult for not weathering the storm with them; the fact that the story kills off several characters confirmed to survive in canon despite claiming to be canon-compliant; the repeated, unironic use of racial stereotypes, particularly of the Irishnote , and the treatment given to Snape, who is shown as an unrepentant Death Eater and the true Big Bad of the story — Thanfiction even stated on his blog that he hated how Snape was redeemed in the books and chose to write him as the sociopath he "really" is.

    Any fandom the story had was largely finished off when it came out that "Thanfiction" was actually Andrew Blake, a notorious Con Man who had, under his previous screen name "Victoria Bitter," swindled many The Lord of the Rings fans out of money, and who is also known for seducing and abandoning women in real life. The story still has a following, but they are mostly looked at with disdain and willfully blind to the story's flaws.

    Fashion 
  • The toothbrush mustache was once a very stylish look for men like Charlie Chaplin during the early 20th century. Then along came a certain Austrian politician donning that style (which Chaplin himself famously exploited in The Great Dictator), and ruined it forever by association, to the point where the look is still widely known as the "Hitler mustache".
  • Excessive artificial tanning, be it from spraying or using a bed. Tanning had been very popular in the late 1960s and 1970s as well as the late 1990s, and it was especially huge in the 2000s when spray tanning was popular with celebrities to achieve that sun-kissed glow. However, some took the practice too far, resulting in no shortage of mockery. Moreover, thanks in part to an increased awareness of skin cancer and a resurgence of heavy makeup in the 2010s, tans are no longer seen as a prerequisite for beauty, as the popularity of pale-skinned celebrities like Christina Hendricks, Robert Pattinson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dita Von Teese, and Katy Perry has shown. Excessive tanning is now far more likely to be mocked than swooned over, becoming associated with former U.S. President Donald Trump and his orange-hued tan (something he often denied), Jersey Shore, and more humorously, the Oompa-Loompas. The Kardashian family eventually became the sole remaining celebrities to keep the tanning afterwards, which has resulted in them being called out for potentially trying to darken their skin.
  • The leisure suit became popular from the 1960s through the '70s when the abundance of synthetic materials, cheap prices, and a dislike for formality made it the fashion symbol for men. Its height of popularity was during the '70s when it was frequently associated with disco culture. But when disco's mainstream acceptance died, the leisure suit went with it — and by the '80s, it was commonly considered emblematic of '70s kitsch. While disco itself saw a massive reappraisal in The New '10s, leisure suits remain associated with clueless fashion sense, as shown in works such as the Leisure Suit Larry video game series.
  • Mullets were a common haircut throughout The '80s that tended to show up on heroic characters in media of this decade. However, the '90s backlash against the coked-up excess of the '80s made the style a target of mockery, beginning with The Beastie Boys' diss track of the style in 1993 (which originated the word 'mullet'—though not the hairstyle itself, which had been around since the '70s). While mullets have had occasional 'ironic' revivals from '80s fanatics and lovers of kitsch (for instance, in 2020, Miley Cyrusnote , Rihanna and other female celebs sported said hairstyle), the style nowadays is mostly associated with Lower Class Louts in the popular imagination, far too irrevocably tainted to ever again be as sincerely cool as it was in 1985.
  • The "conk" was a very common hairstyle among African-American men between the 1920s and 1960s, which was the result of a complicated (and hazardous) chemical straightening process. However, progressive figures in the Civil Rights movement plain hated it, with Malcolm X deemed the style to be a means of black self-degradation. By the late 1960s, the Black Power movement promoted the Afro as a symbol of pride, and the "conk"'s reputation tanked among younger blacks. Later hair-relaxing trends such as the "Jheri curl" of the 1980s and the "S-curl" of the 1990s and 2000s faced similar fates after their peaks (the former is mostly remembered by Coming to America doing an unflattering parody of it in the form of the extremely greasy "SoulGlo", which is cited to have caused the "Jheri" to fall from favor)
  • The "heroin chic" style, as its name suggests, was characterized by traits often associated with heroin abuse, including pale skin, stringy hair, and a waifish appearance. Credited to the late supermodel Gia Carangi and sported by Kate Moss and Jaime King, the look was extremely popular in the early '90s thanks to the fading stigma against heroin, the drug's popularity in the grunge scene, and cynicism towards the sex appeal and vibrant fashion of The '80s. However, with the drug-related death of photographer Davide Sorrenti in 1997, figures such as then-U.S. President Bill Clinton and anti-drug activists began criticizing the fashion industry for glamorizing heroin, while King (Sorrenti's girlfriend) eventually went into rehab. The waning popularity of grunge and the rise of more conventionally attractive models like Gisele Bündchen, Heidi Klum, and Tyra Banks meant that, by 2000, the heroin chic style was firmly out of fashion. The look has since remained dead in the water without a hint of a revival, with the models who popularized the look having since moved on and concerns about glamorizing eating disorders making its emphasis on a very skinny figure no less questionable in hindsight.

    Films — Live-Action 
Creators
  • Steven Seagal made a name for himself in the early '90s as the star of gritty action movies like Out for Justice and Under Siege, typically playing stoic badasses who fought against criminals and terrorists by using Aikido martial arts. As outlined by Rossatron, his main appeal was that he combined the more reserved, down-to-Earth, and off-the-street action style of guys like Bruce Willis and Mel Gibson with the showiness and One-Man Army style of the likes of Jean-Claude Van Damme and Arnold Schwarzenegger and was a legitimately skilled martial artist with a fighting style that hadn't really been seen in mainstream action films before. With a string of box office hits under his belt, the media was quick to build him up as the next big Hollywood action star, and some even believed that he could potentially branch out as a dramatic actor in the future.

    However, Seagal started losing his box-office momentum in the mid-'90s following On Deadly Ground (his directorial debut) and Under Siege 2: Dark Territory. Critics began catching on to his limited acting abilities and film choices, and audiences gravitated towards similar films made by Jackie Chan and Will Smith, among others. By the early 2000s, Seagal was stuck with Direct to Video films. He attempted to rekindle his career through television work and a supporting role in Machete, but to no avail, and it was later sealed by a combination of reports about his abusive on-set behavior (most notably, multiple claims of sexual harassment), lies about his career and accomplishments coming forward, and his ties to the Russian government and Vladimir Putin. Another notable hit to his "badass" credentials was growing disdain for aikido itself, due to it earning a reputation for being utterly useless in combat sports. Many aikidoka will tell you that the system was very likely never meant for practical self-defense, but rather personal enlightenment and understanding nonviolence, which is very ironic when one considers that Seagal's onscreen fighting style was known for its needless brutality.

    Nowadays, Seagal is remembered as a product of '90s edge culture and seen as lacking any of the charm or talent of his contemporaries, with his biggest claim to fame being expertise in a fighting style that was never designed for a real fight. Whatever praise his earlier films get these days usually concerns the style and technical competence supplied by the filmmakers behind them, not their star.

Specific Films

  • The 1999 film American Beauty was a huge hit with both critics and audiences. It won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, in what is still acknowledged as a monumental year for Hollywood, victories that were not at all as controversial even as it beat out now-classic films like The Green Mile, The Sixth Sense, and Being John Malkovich. Over the years, however, the film saw its reputation fall victim to being a product of its time, as the 9/11 attacks and the Great Recession made its concerns seem trivial. The #MeToo movement didn't do it any favors, either, making Lester's sexual interest in the teenage Angela look far more problematic than it did in 1999, especially after Kevin Spacey, who played Lester, was later himself the subject of career-ending allegations that he had molested young men and boys. By the 2010s, it was listed on more than a few "Most Overrated Films" lists, and even its director Sam Mendes stated that he believed the film got too much praise at the time. On the film's 20th anniversary, Matthew Jacobs wrote in The Huffington Post:
    The profound ideas at which [this film] grasped now seemed passé at best and clueless at worst. Here was a saga about blue bloods, whose wealth, education, and good looks had bored them to the point of crisis. The class depiction at the center seemed more like low-hanging snark than trenchant analysis. In a roundabout way, Sept. 11 was the beginning of the end for this sort of movie, much like The Vietnam War luring 1970s Hollywood away from the once-prolific Western genre.
  • The Birth of a Nation (1915) was the first Epic Movie, the film that proved cinema to be a viable entertainment medium rather than a passing fad, and the pioneer of countless filmmaking techniques. Modern-day film scholars and critics are still more than willing to acknowledge this part of its legacy. However, the film's writing and story have aged so poorly (even though it is rated G) that, today, it's only widely watched by film students (for the technical/historical aspects) and by people studying the history of racism. Specifically, it is a feature-length ode to the original incarnation of the Ku Klux Klan that is widely credited with sparking a revival of the organization in the early 20th century. note  It is now seen as typical of the highly negative "Dunning School" view of the Civil War and Reconstruction, which promoted open, virulent racism in the name of "reconciliation" between North and South after The American Civil War. While the film was condemned even back in the day for being racist (which led to the director’s next film because he refused to accept that fact), it was still widely popular among racist southerners until its audience of Dunning School racists died out in the 1960s and thinned the number of interested viewers.
  • Crash was a 2004 Oscar Bait drama with an All-Star Cast that won Best Picture at the Academy Awards. But public opinion towards it has soured considerably. Its attempts to talk about racism are viewed as both Anvilicious and woefully misguided; Lindsay Ellis devoted a 2018 video to dissecting its portrayal as racism as simply being the actions of a few bigoted individuals, rather than tackling systemic or institutionalized problems - essentially going for a Captain Obvious Aesop of 'racism is bad'. Virtually none of the actors involved with it like to talk about it, and will only do so if prompted, and it's even been called the worst movie of the 2000s by Ta-Nehisi Coates. These days, its Best Picture win over Brokeback Mountain is a go-to joke about 2000s Award Snubs.
  • Garden State, much like American Beauty, was widely acclaimed and beloved when it came out in 2004 (even reaching 393 on Empire's 500 Greatest Movies of All Time), but opinions of it have quickly soured over time, with many viewers actually embarrassed to admit they loved the movie in the first place. New criticisms of the movie include viewing the protagonist as whiny, unsympathetic, and dull, the handling of its themes as flawed and even pretentious (especially with increasingly nuanced and sensitive portrayals of mental health in The New '10s), and Sam being a one-dimensional (and to some, annoying) Manic Pixie Dream Girl character. The only thing most people can agree stood the test of time was the soundtrack.
  • As discussed in this article by Andy Morris for GQ, The Godfather Part III received mostly positive reviews when initially released. Critics like Gene Siskel and Alexander Walker ranked it among the best films of the 1990s. It also was a respectable box office success, and earned seven Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. It was generally considered a worthy follow-up to the first two Godfather films, if perhaps not at their level. Backlash began soon afterwards, however, triggered by multiple sources. Before it premiered, press coverage already had a field day with the movie's Troubled Production,note  Godfather author Mario Puzo distanced himself from the movie and director Francis Ford Coppola openly commented that he made the film to clear his debts from the box-office duds which he created during the late '70s and early '80s. Sofia Coppola's performance was criticized as "inadequate" for an important production (with the fact that she was the director's daughter causing accusations that she was cast due to nepotism) and the film's overall tone was considered to be needlessly bleak, even for a gangster drama. Both perceived flaws were the focuses of a scathing Saturday Night Live parody. Being shut out at the Oscars intensified the criticism. The final nail in the coffin was GoodFellas, another mafia movie released in the same year. It quickly captured the same reputation as the first two Godfather films. Within a decade, Part III became a punchline, frequently mocked throughout the '90s as a textbook bad sequel or being on the bad end of Dueling Works. While not as universally reviled today, with a recut released in 2020 proving to be better-received, it remains a Contested Sequel even among Godfather fans. Coppola himself has described the series as "two films and an epilogue", and even titled his 2020 recut The Godfather Coda.
  • Upon its release in 1984, Revenge of the Nerds was a huge hit, and for years it was fondly remembered as not only one of the greatest sex comedies of The '80s but also one of the canonical depictions of nerds as heroes in Hollywood movies. However, due to changing societal attitudes, the film aged horribly. Not only does its definition of a "nerd" come off as incredibly silly and antiquated, but more importantly, the nerds' antics, which range from revenge porn to a Bed Trick and are presented as heroic, went from funny to outright horrifying.note  Today, now that nerds are better respected and more clearly defined in most works (e.g. The Big Bang Theory), and that colleges will crack down on anything involving sexual harassment and assault (especially in the wake of the #MeToo movement), the film feels like everything wrong with '80s college sex comedies.note  It didn't help that an attempted reboot in 2007 (when raunchy comedies were making a comeback) was cancelled after the school where filming was meant to happen saw the script, realized what it was, and promptly backed out, with no other school/college willing to allow filming to occur on their premises.
  • When Super Size Me originally released in 2004, it was a massive hit and was widely praised for illustrating issues with the fast food industry and its connection to the obesity epidemic by showing the ill effects of Morgan Spurlock eating nothing but McDonald's for a month. Its publicity led to McDonald's removing the "Super Size" option from its menu and made it a staple of health classes in American schools. However, by the end of the decade, it began attracting increasingly vocal criticism for the veracity of its experiment, with people highlighting confounds like Spurlock both having a history of alcoholism and having been a vegan prior to filming. The response documentary Fat Head particularly brought the film's issues to the forefront by repeating Spurlock's experiment but failing to replicate its results. By the second half of The New '10s, Super Size Me became better known for its methodological flaws, and the withdrawal of its sequel from the Sundance Film Festival and YouTube Red in the wake of Spurlock's admissions to sexual misconduct only drove more nails into the coffin. Nowadays, Super Size Me is typically mocked for both its Captain Obvious Aesop and its veracity issues when it isn't overshadowed by Spurlock's scandal.

    Literature 
Genres
  • During the 1850s, there existed an entire genre of "anti-Tom" literature (or plantation literature). It was written mainly by authors from the Southern US in reaction to the anti-slavery work Uncle Tom's Cabin. Such books were Author Tracts that portrayed slavery as a benevolent system that existed for the good of black people, and the arguments against the "peculiar institution" as a sack of lies. Abolitionists were used as strawmen, presented as either misguided fools who would often "come around" by the end once they saw the "reality" of slavery, or as mustache-twirling Damn Yankee villains who were out to destroy the Southern way of life. They were supposedly motivated less by compassion for the slaves than by personal gain. For obvious reasons, this genre died out very quickly after The American Civil War, while Uncle Tom's Cabin has gone on to be regarded as one of the great American novels.
  • The 2000s saw a boom in young adult books about "elite" high school girls, following the success of Mean Girls. Books about the lives of rich spoiled teenagers found a big market share. One of the more successful examples, Gossip Girl, was turned into an even more successful TV series. To a lesser extent, the similar series The Clique became a very short-lived Cash Cow Franchise. However, the Alpha Bitch was already firmly ingrained as a villainous character. Youth bullying became a hot topic towards the end of the decade. Values Dissonance turned the main characters of these books from enviable people into Villain Protagonists. The Great Recession around the same time made the large displays of wealth in the books look tacky and tasteless. Also, many of these series received heavy criticism for depicting their characters (who were almost always minors) in a sexual, sleazy manner. Nowadays, if any of these series are remembered, they are targets of ridicule for the people who grew up reading them, or seen as examples of everything wrong with youth culture in the 2000s.note 

Authors

  • Nonfiction author David Irving was once a respected "maverick" historian of World War II, widely praised for his knowledge of Nazi Germany and ability to find historical documents. While some of his claims were disputed by professional historians, critical and popular opinion of him was generally positive. However, things started to shift in the late 1970s, when he began promoting historical negationism. In his 1977 book Hitler's War, he claimed that Adolf Hitler merely used anti-Semitism opportunistically to get elected and had no knowledge of The Holocaust, as well as blaming Winston Churchill for the war's escalation and characterizing the German invasion of the Soviet Union as a preemptive strike intended to prevent an impending Soviet attack. This book's critical reception was resoundingly negative, and marked a turning point for his literary output.

    While his books continued to sell well, historians and critics began to criticize the inaccuracies, misrepresentations and biases present in them. Over time, Irving's claims about the Holocaust became increasingly controversial, culminating in endorsing outright Holocaust denial when he testified at the 1988 trial of German-Canadian Holocaust denier Ernst Zündel. His testimony and subsequent legal battles completely destroyed his reputation outside of Holocaust denier circles, and many of his earlier works were re-evaluated in a more jaundiced light.

    When the fall of the Iron Curtain enabled access to materials that disproved many of his claims about World War II and the Cold War (notably definitively proving that his estimates for the Dresden bombing's death toll were greatly exaggerated), serious questions were raised about his methodology and research, and this combined with many unsavory facts about him coming to light means that his work is no longer considered serious good-faith scholarship, with even the most charitable readings of his bibliography saying that all of it is slipshod and bias-ridden at best. Even more damaging was the libel lawsuit he himself brought against Deborah Lipstadt, because she called him a Holocaust denier (which he totally was), fictionalized in the movie Denial, which Irving lost, bankrupting and getting legally classified as a historical fraud, destroying his career.

Novels

  • Samuel Richardson's Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded was a best-seller in 1740. Its psychological analysis was revolutionary for its time and remains important to those studying the history of novels. It was a huge cult hit in its era, spawning trading cards and seeing many people name their daughters after the heroine. However, its storyIn summary...  has not aged well at all, and its once-revolutionary focus on the characters' thoughts and feelings over their actions has since become commonplace. Many people nowadays take the side of Richardson's rival, Henry Fielding, who never liked the novel and argued that its morally perfect main lead, tale of Love Redeems, and spouting morals with as much subtlety as a stack of bricks made the novel virtually impossible to connect to. Fielding would go on to write a vicious Take That!, An Apology for the Life of Mrs. Shamela Andrews, in which, among other things, the focus of Pamela on the heroine's "virtue" (read: virginity) is mocked by having characters obsess over Shamela's "vartue". Richardson's other main novel, Clarissa, has fared better; it even holds the record for the longest English language novel.
  • Ernest Cline's Ready Player One was a smash hit and instant bestseller when it debuted in 2011, hailed by both critics and readers (especially those within geek culture) for its nostalgic affection for '80s pop culture, its fun, lighthearted Genre Throwback to the escapist Wish-Fulfillment sci-fi and fantasy adventure films of that decade, its cool virtual reality setting, and its Proud to Be a Geek message. The movie rights were sold even before the book hit shelves, with Cline himself writing the screenplay and Steven Spielberg, a filmmaker deeply tied to the era of pop culture that the book was nostalgic for, tapped to direct.

    However, even at the time there were some critics who took issue with the book, seeing it as a juvenile Power Fantasy that relied on the Nostalgia Filter of its readers to cover for the clunky Purple Prose and a message that seemed to celebrate arrested development, nerd gatekeeping, franchise consumerism, and retreating from reality into a fantasy world. As the decade wore on and a series of scandals and controversies damaged the once-positive image of both the geek culture and Silicon Valley tech companies that the book celebrated, this view on Ready Player One displaced the initial praise as the mainstream opinion, with a poorly-received sequel in 2020 only seeming to bury the book further by repeating its mistakes and not improving on them. Nowadays, when Ready Player One is brought up, it's usually to dismiss it as hollow, lazy pandering to geek culture and a symbol of its worst excesses, one that was only ever popular because readers were tickled by its barrage of references to beloved '80s properties. If people give it any praise at all, it's usually directed less towards the book itself than towards its 2018 film adaptation, which removed or softened many of the more contentious parts of the book. To quote Constance Grady, writing for Vox:
    A time traveler from 2011 could be forgiven for being deeply confused by [the backlash]. In 2011, Ready Player One was beloved. It was "a guaranteed pleasure." It was "witty." It was not only "a simple bit of fun" but also "a rich and plausible picture of future friendships in a world not too distant from our own." What gives? How did the consensus on a single book go from "exuberant and meaningful fun!" to "everything that is wrong with the internet!" over the span of seven years?
  • The Sheik by Edith Maude was a huge bestseller when it was first published in 1919. The novel was adapted into a film in 1921, which was a blockbuster that turned Rudolph Valentino into one of the first Hollywood sex symbols. Between its initial release, a resurgence when the film was released, and another revival when the star-crossed Valentino died young in 1926, the novel was reported to have sold 1.2 million copies. Although it was well-received and popular in the 1920s, The Sheik is now widely despised. Why? Because the entire premise is about an English girl that is abducted by an Arab sheik who repeatedly rapes her until she falls in love with him. This was seen as romantic. Worse, said rapist is revealed at the end to be a child of European immigrants, purely so that the writer wouldn't have an interracial marriage on their hands. Nowadays, it is seen as the pinnacle of Values Dissonance and the early 20th century's equivalent of Fifty Shades of Grey.

    Live-Action TV 
Genres
  • The Jiggle Show. Starting in The '70s, there was a surge in the popularity of shows like Three's Company, Charlie's Angels, and to a lesser extent, the Wonder Woman (1975) series and The Dukes of Hazzard. They were long on beautiful actresses who didn't wear bras, but generally seen as a bit short on plot. Even at the time, they were seen as Guilty Pleasures. There were jokes that their fanbases were made up mostly of sexually-frustrated men who would be willing to sit through thirty minutes of flimsy dialogue for the chance to see Suzanne Somers in a bikini or Farrah Fawcett chase a bad guy while wearing a tight sweater. A glut of bad shows and a backlash against the decade's overt sexuality in the early '80s buried the genre.

    The genre received a second wind in The '90s with Baywatch and its assorted copycats. During the 2000s, it was frequently joked that every show on the Fox network that wasn't 24, American Idol, House, M.D., Bones, Fox News Sunday, or an animated sitcom was basically this. However, this second boom coincided with the rise of easily-accessible pornography on the internet, the presence of provocative content (including instances of nudity) on premium cable, and more liberal views towards sexual matters in general. As a result, shows that once expected to coast solely on the beauty of their female players were increasingly forced to budge to vulgarity. This was best demonstrated in 2011, when The Playboy Club and a revival of Charlie's Angels both got quickly canned after only a few poorly-rated episodes and scathing reviews.

    The 2010s would see the genere further shunned for what some considered sexism, amid changing views on sexuality and the #MeToo movement during the latter years of the decade. Most network dramas began featuring sex scenes on a regular basis at the same time, even outside the 10 p.m. Eastern "watershed". But these are not squarely aimed at a male audience, being more often than not made with female audiences in mind instead, or a unisex audience at least. And these sex scenes are pretty much more stylized than raunchy and thus are rarely promoted as a show's main selling point. Today, the era of "jiggle television" is remembered as fairly quaint and embarrassing, a relic of the days when television had just learned it could start pushing boundaries, not yet realizing what to do with its newfound freedom.

Series

  • 1st and Ten was one of cable television's (in general) first attempts to lure the lucrative sitcom audience away from the "Big Three" (ABC, CBS, and NBC), by taking advantage of their freedom to include occasional cursing and nudity. It ran for six seasons on HBO for a total of 80 episodes. While the complete series was released on DVD in 2006, the majority of episodes on the "Complete Collection" DVD are the bowdlerized syndicated versions. To add insult to injury, the series has been excluded from the streaming video platforms HBO Go and HBO Max (since HBO themselves didn't produce it, the Kushner-Locke Company did). Besides having some dialog and scenes edited for content, syndication versions ran for 22 minutes (as opposed to 30 minutes on HBO), and included a laugh track. While 1st and Ten was novel for its time (even though the language could nonetheless still be considered 'HBO-ish', it wasn't excessively vulgar) when compared to sitcoms on broadcast network television, it seems rather cheesy (with its pretty awful acting, cliched dialogue, continuity catastrophes, editing errors, and an off-and-on laugh track) in a modern context. The participation of O. J. Simpson most certainly didn't help its long-term legacy either.
  • Father Knows Best was hugely popular in The '50s, running for six seasons and reran for years afterwards. In the 1960s and 1970s, when the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Women's Liberation movement came to re-define the American landscape, Father Knows Best and its idealized middle-class nuclear family, came off as antiquated. Today, it has become infamous as a symbol of '50s conservatism at its most cornball. Similar shows from its era, such as Leave It to Beaver, The Donna Reed Show, and The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis have similar "rose-tinted" reputations, but they do not attract the same level of disdain, even if the latter has fallen into relative obscurity.
  • Little Britain was a hit in the Turn of the Millennium for its of-the-moment satire of British life, colorful catchphrase-driven characters, and lowbrow, shock-driven humor. It was popular enough that a live tour combining re-enacted sketches with new pieces was a success as well. However, keeping up its momentum was tough. By Series 3, the established characters and running gags had worn themselves into the ground, the new characters seemed to have no purpose beyond shock value, and the show and its characters had become so overexposed and overmarketed that audiences were sick of them. The critical backlash against the traditional Brit Com format with the success of The Office (UK) and Ricky Gervais didn't help, and a retooled Series 4 (Little Britain USA, co-produced with HBO) was the last nail in the coffin for the show.

    In addition, the series itself has not aged well - its constant pokes at minority groups, while already controversial at the time, are now seen as cringe-worthy. The show's creators, David Walliams and Matt Lucas, have since found success in different mediums - Walliams as a comic and children's author, and Lucas as an actor in shows such as Doctor Who. Lucas eventually outright apologized for the content and admitted it was rather insensitive and that society has "moved on".

    Walliams And Friend, which came out in 2016, did an unflattering sketch about Little Britain which makes it clear that David Walliams also regards it as an Old Shame. In the sketch, Walliams confesses that he made Little Britain by stealing unused Harry Enfield and Chums sketches "from a skip", since he "wasn't even a comedian at the time". This is followed by Stylistic Suck Little Britain "clips" which emphasize the show's racism, ableism, and transphobia ("It's alright to make fun of you for being in a wheelchair because you don't really need one!"). All of this culminated in the BBC taking repeats and streaming copies of the show out of circulation in 2020 after the death of George Floyd due to its copious use of blackface during sketches, completing its spectacular fall from grace.
  • In The '90s, older Christian viewers made Touched by an Angel a Top 10 show at the height of its run. Despite never being a critical favorite and regarded as glurge at its worst, it often outdrew The Simpsons in its Sunday night time slot, it launched a Spin-Off in Promised Land that lasted three seasons, it earned eleven Emmy Award nominations, and reruns of the show were central to the young PAX network's lineup. However, when its time slot was switched to Saturday nights for its final two seasons, ratings plunged, and the show's fandom evaporated. The show remains in circulation, but it is mostly seen as an overly sentimental, glurge-friendly joke, too sugary for non-devout audiences but too liberal for politically hard-right, evangelical Christians who now have plenty of entertainment aimed specifically at them.

Episodes

  • Star Trek: The Original Series: The episode "The Paradise Syndrome" was seen as a rare bright spot in the mostly disappointing Season 3 for a couple of decades after it aired, due in large part to Kirk, Spock and McCoy having interesting character beats and Miramanee's strong chemistry with Kirk. Unfortunately, time has not been kind to it, and as societal mores shifted, the inhabitants of Amerind being a gaggle of on-the-nose Native American stereotypes played painfully straight was viewed in an increasingly negative light, especially since Miramanee was played by a white actress in brownface. Other aspects of the episode have come under increasing criticism, such as Miramanee's intelligence and personality fluctuating, a clumsily-handled two-month Time Skip, and the episode's slow pace undermining the intended tension of Spock needing to make the right command decisions quickly. While it's generally not seen as particularly bad by third season standards, it's nevertheless now considered yet another bad episode in a season full of them, and an embarrassing relic of a less enlightened era to boot. These days, perhaps the only thing about this episode that remains popular are the mysterious Preservers.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Celestial Toymaker" (from 1966) was once regarded as one of the lost greats of the William Hartnell era, largely because the 1983 book Doctor Who: A Celebration gave it a positive review. After the sole surviving episode and the audio from the first three episodes became more widely available, fans were able to see it was actually a rather dull story with tons of long, boring Padding and Michael Gough done up like a Chinese Mandarin (presumably to make the villain more exotic and inscrutable). It's now often considered to be one of Hartnell's worst stories, as likely to be known for being the story where a side character, played by a white actor, casually dropped the n-word as for anything else.
    • "The Tomb of the Cybermen" (broadcast in 1967) has a dimmed reputation today, for two reasons. First, when it was only known from the audio and a few telesnaps it was widely regarded as a classic; its 1991 rediscovery, revealing cheap sets, poor pacing, inconsistent props, and troubling plot logic, was disillusioning. The unearthing of the story also exposed just how racist it was with regard to the servant character Toberman, a brutish, mostly mute black strongman.
    • When it was first broadcast in 1977, Robert Holmes's Victorian-set adventure "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" was quickly lauded by fans as a classic thanks to Tom Baker's outstanding performance, a memorable villain, Leela's development under the Doctor's tutelage, a well-layered plotline, and engaging supporting characters. These days, though it's still recognized for those qualities, a significant proportion of fans now shy away from "Talons", either cringing over the Yellow Peril-tainted plot, racist dialogue, and Yellowface casting or to avoid Flame Wars over how racist the story was. (Outside fandom, the story's objectionable qualities daunted the story from the beginning; some international broadcasters refused to air the story even back then, at the height of the Baker Doctor's extreme popularity.)

    New Media 
  • GeoCities, which allowed many early denizens of the 'Net to make their own Web pages without needing to know how to use HTML. However, Sturgeon's Law was in full force, as seen in this article: "It didn't take long before this simple change altered the face of the internet. GeoCities gave everyone a place to call home and then proved that most of us don't really have a lot to say. It didn't take long before GeoCities became home to the bottom of the Internet. Crackpot theories. Inane ramblings. Worm distribution." and "I think that most people set up a GC page as a novelty and then abandoned it leaving a whole lot of cyber-trash behind. That kind of ruined the overall GeoCities vibe; it wasn't long before you had to muck through a few dozen one-offs to find a page that was regularly maintained and had good, interesting content." GeoCities was often seen as a haven of garishly colored pages full of blink tags and animated GIFs. Furthermore, the rise of blogging, as well as social media like Facebook and YouTube, rendered the concept of a free personal homepage obsolete, while those who still wanted to build their own websites moved on to more advanced tools.

    Despite this, GeoCities has undergone a reappraisal over time, especially with the aforementioned websites like Facebook gradually reducing user control and becoming more homogenized. Its uniquely bad web design is fondly looked back upon and associated with the trailblazing creativity of the early Internet. The closure of GeoCities in 2009 (and its Japanese counterpart in 2019) led to active attempts to archive the available content and a renewed interest in the personal freedom offered by the service. Its influence can be seen in works like Hypnospace Outlaw and fan-made revivals like Neocities.
  • MySpace was the social media platform in the 2000s, boasting over 60 million users at the height of its popularity and helping to catapult numerous musicians (most notably from the emo genre) into the mainstream. However, due to the rise of competing social media sites (especially Facebook) that generally had a more intuitive format than the rather complex MySpace, around 2008-09 the site began hemorrhaging users. Its users moved on to other platforms. After founder and unofficial "mascot" Tom Anderson was fired, the site went through a change in management in 2010, attempting to rebrand itself as a "Social Entertainment" site. The site tried repeatedly to reinvent itself and attract back users, but most of the changes were poorly received by the few users still sticking around. They were mostly roleplayers, who would end up also leaving MySpace for other blogging platforms like LiveJournal and Tumblr). The platform often reeked of We're Still Relevant, Dammit!-type desperation. After being bought and sold to a revolving door of companies and individuals, the site was retooled into a virtual Facebook copy. It also deleted all the existing blogs, comments, and messages (or at least making them inaccessible) without any prior warning whatsoever. This change did not amuse the remaining fanbase.

    MySpace is still around as a social networking site, albeit now with a heavier emphasis on music and entertainment. However, between the existence of Facebook (with Tom himself even stating that he much preferred it) and other competing platforms, MySpace's Glory Days are nothing more than a distant memory for many '00s kids. It soon became considered the Internet equivalent to a Dying Town. Anytime MySpace is ever talked about nowadays, it is ridiculed for its status as a breeding ground for Emo Teens, Attention Whores, and pedophiles. The final nail in the coffin occurred when a data purge removed almost everything uploaded between 2005 and 2016, including upwards of 60 million MP3 files. Even if people wanted to check their old MySpace page, they can't now.note 

    However, a combination of nostalgia, people wanting to see what they had missed during the heyday of Myspace, and being fed-up with Facebook's near-omnipresence and data-mining tactics have led a Swedish coder to create a Spiritual Successor dubbed Spacehey.
  • At the Turn of the Millennium, LiveJournal was the most popular blogging platform, as it was very user-friendly. The site's popularity began to wane in the late 2000s when LJ was sold to up-and-coming software company Six Apart. Users didn't like how the service (which was originally split between free accounts and paid accounts) decided to Take a Third Option and make some of the paid account features available to everyone... with the caveat that ads began to show up.

    But the real nail in the coffin came in 2007 when Six Apart removed adult content in order to root out child porn. The problem is that this purge was done with broadly defined algorithms, meaning that multiple other types of content were also affected: fanfiction communities, support groups for childhood sexual abuse survivors, kink and BDSM blogs, online novels, a support group for nursing mothers, and many more. Even though many of these blogs and communities were eventually restored, trust had been lost, and the site began hemorrhaging users. And the users that didn't migrate left after a Russian company eventually acquired LJ and moved all content to servers based in Russia, meaning that now the content of blogs was subject to Russian law. To make matters worse, that company updated its terms of service and made users accept dubiously translated Terms of Services when they were actually agreeing to the Russian TOS even if they couldn't read Russian. Nowadays, very few people outside of Russia use LiveJournal anymore.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Ashley Massaro was very popular when she was first introduced, winning the third WWE Diva Search easily by fan votes and was liked for her unique look. However, after a disastrous match at WrestleMania 23 with Melina, constant injuries, and fellow Divas such as Michelle McCool, Layla, Candice Michelle, and Kelly Kelly putting work in to become better wrestlers, fans disappeared from Massaro's side. The final nail came when Massaro was exposed as possibly working for a high-class escort agency, and requested to be released in order to care for her daughter. While Massaro attempted to make a comeback on the indies, she eventually got a reputation for no-showing events she was advertised for. While some opinion on her has softened since her untimely passing, she's nonetheless remembered as a representation of everything that was wrong with the Divas division after Lita and Trish Stratus retired.
  • The Nexus. There was a time NXT as a show was not very well-liked, but fans were of the opinion that if The Nexus was the goal all along, then the terrible show was worth it. The only wrestler who managed to look halfway decent was Daniel Bryan, who was actively buried on commentary. But after winning the contest, Wade Barrett unexpectedly turned up on the next WWE show leading all the other "rookies" on a rampage to destroy everything in their path out of retaliation for being put through such a terrible experience. It became the most positively-received WWE event of the year. The inevitable big showdown on pay-per-view ended with The Nexus suffering a humiliatingly anticlimactic loss, not helped by Daniel Bryan no longer being associated with it. CM Punk was added to the group to invigorate it, but fans ignored the "New Nexus" altogether and focused solely on Punk. Wade Barrett tried to duplicate The Nexus's initial success with "The Corre", and did a pretty good job until, once again, the big fight came on pay-per-view and The Corre were destroyed, losing all momentum in the process. NXT would eventually take on a standard wrestling show formula, becoming much more popular when it did, making WWE's first effort that much more hated. Overall, The Nexus went from being seen as a smashing success during their time active, to these days being seen as one of the biggest cases of wasted opportunity in WWE.
  • WWE Tough Enough was a reality series produced by MTV that managed to last four seasons in its initial form: untrained rookies going through twelve weeks of training, with two winners earning a WWE contract at the end. Although the first season was popular, and its winners Maven Huffman and Nidia Guenard had a decent run with the company, cracks started to show by the second season. With the rise of the internet allowing smart marks to properly understand the business, the show's very concept would be illogical; it takes years to learn how to wrestle, and any contestants who won would be far too green to have a regular role on TV. This was demonstrated by the legendary 'That Jackie Gayda Match', featuring Season 2 winner Jackie Gayda botching nearly everything. While Season 3 did have a glimmer of hope in the form of one winner having a decorated career, the show's fourth season was largely seen as a joke and its winner got released mere weeks afterwards. There was an attempt at reviving the series in 2011 with a format that had potential, bringing in wrestlers from the indies with the necessary experience, but there was still a mixture of untrained contestants and some truly baffling eliminations.note  The winner was also an untrained rookie, who ended up getting released unceremoniously a few months later. A final attempt at a revival popped up in 2015, but it wasn't long before that too was seen as a joke, especially the decision to have the eliminations decided by public vote rather than skill. While Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville would still be signed and factor into the women's division, it was only after (following history) they had been repackaged completely. With three WrestleCrap inductions, Tough Enough is seen as a relic.
  • The WWE Diva Search was a gimmick thought up in 2003, but not fully executed until 2004; it was centered around various models, actresses, or other Ms Fanservices competing in a reality TV-style segment for a $250,000 contract. It didn't take long for the Diva Search to be torn apart by critics for its emphasis on Fanservice, and the eventual death of WWE's women's division as a result (and the castings emphasizing that contestants didn't need wrestling experience). While Seasons 1 & 2 were Critic-Proof, live audiences eventually turned on it too. WWE's switch to PG in 2008 and the abysmal ratings of the fourth season had it cancelled entirely. A revival did happen in 2013 but that was more like a tryout camp, and the winners were sent to developmental immediately (plus it wasn't televised). There was a proper revival announced in 2015 as part of the WWE Network, but it never surfaced (due to WWE retiring the 'Diva' term). If the Diva Search is mentioned, it'll be to make fun of how moronic the concept was in hindsight.

    Sports 
Styles and Trends
  • In the 1990s and early 2000s, multiple baseball stars used performance-enhancing drugs such as steroids in order to boost their statistics. In 1998, Mark McGwire broke the season records for most home runs, kicking off the "home run derby" era of baseball, and Barry Bonds followed in 2001. It was an open secret that at least some of these high-performing athletes were utilizing banned chemical assistance to perform their feats, and while no one was exactly shouting "yay steroids!" in public, the audience's acceptance of their use and cheers of approval for their users amounted to a tacit endorsement.

    In 2003, however, the feds started investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) for supplying PEDs to baseball players, leading the MLB to set rules the following year to suspend players if they tested positive for PEDs. Originally, a player would be suspended for up to a whole year after four offenses, but the rule was quickly changed to a lifetime ban after three offenses. In his 2005 autobiography Juiced, former MLB star Jose Canseco admitted to using PEDs and accused several other players of doing the same. As a result, many of the top power hitters of The '90s, and a few pitchers such as Roger Clemens, saw their chances at the Hall of Fame plummet instantly. Most of these players had long since retired, and only a few lasted more than a year on the Hall of Fame ballots. These days, the era of rampant steroid use in baseball is considered an Old Shame by most players and fans, and few will admit to having been okay with their widespread use in the sport.
  • Back in the 1960s and 1970s, due to rising inflation and construction costs, many US cities that had both major-league baseball and football teams built "multi-purpose" stadiums to accommodate both of them. These massive concrete fortresses—dubbed "cookie-cutter" stadiums for both their circular shape and architectural similarity to each other—tried to please everyone, but the vastly different dimensions of a baseball field vs. a football gridiron only led to a miserable experience for fans of both sports. Beginning in the mid-1990s, most cities began demolishing their cookie-cutters in favor of purpose-built stadiums for each sport. The last remaining venue to host both an MLB and an NFL team, the infamously-decrepit Oakland Coliseum, finally became baseball-only again when the Raiders relocated to Las Vegas for the 2020 season. To the extent that anyone today is nostalgic for the cookie-cutters, they are only fondly remembered for being home to the team's best years (e.g. the 70s Pittsburgh Steelers at Three Rivers Stadium) and not the venues themselves.
  • In the National Football League, the idea of the hard-hitting "headhunter" safety is gone and certainly never coming back. For decades, as best exemplified by multi-time Pro-Bowlers like Jack Tatumnote , Rodney Harrison, and Roy Williams, these players would deliver bone-crushing hits to opposing receivers over the middle of the field as they attempted to dislodge the football or, at minimum, make the receiver hesitate when going for catches over the middle in the future. The league implemented numerous rule changes with player safety in mind, following the revelation that concussions lead to long-term chronic traumatic encephalopathy, in the late 2000s/early 2010s including the "crown of the helmet" rule and "defenseless receiver" rules, effectively banning this playstyle. The same playstyle that made Tatum one of the best safeties of his era made Vontaze Burfict the most fined player in NFL history, the only player to be suspended the remainder of a season for an on-field hit, and ultimately blacklisted from the league.
  • In Ice Hockey, there is a specific style of play called the "Neutral Zone Trap", where instead of attempting to attack the opponent's forecheck individually or take the puck in the defensive zone, all five players on a team will sit in the middle of the ice (The Neutral Zone) and attempt to force turnovers, prevent the other team from getting into their end without performing a "Dump-In" (where you shoot the puck behind the net and attempt to get it from there, often in a board battle), and in general prevent offense from occurring. While it had been around since the 30s and was occasionally used off and on by many coaches, it really came into prominence under Coach Lemaire of the New Jersey Devils, who won the 1995 Stanley Cup with it, and everyone began to Follow the Leader into making it an almost default style of coaching, creating the "Dead Puck Era". After the 2004 lockout however, both the league and the player's association began to have serious concerns about the lack of offense seen throughout the league as well as safety concernsnote , as well as a major rule change regarding 2-line passing all but creating both a hard counter to the Trap and effectively ending it by the 2010s, as rule changes and advances in player talent had all but ensured that the traditional version of the trap is dead, and anybody who uses even a modified version of it, such as coach Guy Boucher, is often derided harshly as being boring.

Specific People

  • Cyclist Lance Armstrong is, perhaps, the biggest and most tragic example of an athlete falling from grace in the 21st century. He was an American sporting hero at the Turn of the Millennium, having not only won seven Tour de France titles but having done so after beating testicular cancer. He used his profile to establish a highly successful charity dedicated to curing cancer, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, whose Livestrong yellow silicone gel bracelets became a ubiquitous fashion item mid-decade. However, it had long been rumored that Armstrong's cycling success was a bit less than squeaky-clean and that he had been doping his way to the top. When those rumors were confirmed in 2012, Armstrong was forced to step down from the foundation bearing his name, and the International Cycling Union (the governing body for the sport) stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles.note  Now, while he still has his supporters due to his charity work, a lot of people view him as an embarrassment to the sport as well as an utter scumbag, considering he sued people for defamation and won despite their doping claims eventually being revealed as the truth. A common joke was that the Livestrong bracelets should now read "Lie Strong".
  • Former hockey agent and lawyer Alan Eagleson is one of the most disgraced Canadians to have ever been involved with the sport. His downfall and condemnation were so spectacular that they make Lance Armstrong look like a saint by comparison. In his heyday, Alan Eagleson was head of the National Hockey League Players' Association from 1967-1992, oversaw the iconic 1972 Summit Series between Canada and the USSR, and was a prominent member of Ontario's Progressive Conservative Party and its "Big Blue Machine" that dominated Ontario provincial politics for much of the 1970s and 1980s. In short, he was both a titan of Canadian hockey and Ontario politics.

    Come the 1990s, Eagleson was revealed to have been grossly corrupt, embezzling money out of everything from the NHLPA's general revenues to players' disability and pension payments. The fallout was catastrophic: Eagleson was fined $700,000 and served six months in prison on the charges that U.S. and Canadian proescutors were able to make stick. He was able to dodge many of them through his political connections, including over 30 charges of racketeering, embezzlement and obstruction of justice in the United States, where he managed to avoid being extradited for several years. He was also disbarred by the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Ontario legal bar, unable to ever practice law again. Worse than that, though, his name became radioactive in the hockey community and in Canadian society in general. He forfeited his membership in the Order of Canada, was kicked out of the Hockey Hall of Fame, was widely shunned by the Ontario high society that used to embrace him to the point where his wife couldn't even rent a one-bedroom coach house, and has since become a pariah in the hockey world where he was once nearly royalty.

    Stand-Up Comedy 
  • For a brief time in the mid-'00s, Dane Cook was one of the most popular stand-up comedians in the US. He was one of the first entertainers to use social media (MySpace specifically) to build up a huge fanbase, comprised mostly of high school and college students. By 2005-06, he had gained over two million MySpace friends, and his 2005 CD Retaliation had gone double-platinum and became the best-selling comedy album in over thirty years. In 2007, he became the second stand-up comedian in history, after Andrew "Dice" Clay, to sell out Madison Square Garden. Then came the severe Hype Backlash from critics, who were not amused by his comedic style, which consisted primarily of observational humor and telling long-winded anecdotes. Hate for him came from within the stand-up community as well, with numerous accusations of plagiarism and joke theft (most notably of Louis C.K.). As Cook's fanbase outgrew him, many joined the ranks of his Hatedom, and he came to be seen as the poster child for dumb college fratbro humor aimed at audiences that didn't know any better. Nowadays, few will admit to having been fans of his.
  • Carlos Mencia was a hugely popular comedian in the '00s, selling out massive tours and hosting the successful Comedy Central show Mind of Mencia. The entire time, though, he weathered frequent accusations of plagiarism from all across the comedy world, which culminated in an onstage argument with Joe Rogan in 2007. He was particularly accused of plagiarizing George Lopez, who utilizes similar topics and a style of humor; Lopez himself accused Mencia of stealing a significant amount of material from him. Fans also grew weary of his jokes based around Mexican stereotypes, which eventually caused a minor stink about his credentials as a "Mexican" comedian, given that he was born in Honduras to a Mexican mother and a father of German descent. Mind of Mencia came to be seen as a poor man's Chappelle's Show, and was canceled in 2008. Mencia has not released a new special since 2011, and these days, the man is mostly remembered as a joke thief and a one-note comedian. While he will be back to reprise his role as Felix in the Proud Family revival Louder and Prouder chances of regaining his fame are slim.
  • Andrew "Dice" Clay fell off hard after some initial popularity in the late 1980s and early 1990s. His character of "The Diceman" was a Deconstructive Parody of the Greaser Delinquents of '50s pop culture, especially Arthur "The Fonz" Fonzarelli from Happy Days. The Diceman played all of the stereotypes held during the '50s for Deliberate Values Dissonance, a foul-mouthed, racist, homophobic, and ragingly sexist Lower-Class Lout who saw women as little more than tallies on a score card. With some initial success coming his way, including his first record going gold and cracking the Hot 100 — a rarity for a comedy album — as well as becoming the first comedian to ever sell out Madison Square Garden, the Diceman had a meteoric rise.

    However, there was long-standing confusion as to whether the things that the Diceman said were what Clay actually believed, or if this really was just all an act. This confusion was not helped by Clay's commitment to staying in character every time he appeared on TV, even for talk shows and interviews. This eventually began attracting people who missed the fact that Clay was joking, taking his sexism and racism at face value and applauding it, which aided in Clay's downfall. The backlash to the character eventually reached a point where Clay was banned from MTV, a rarity for the network in the 1990s. After that, Clay's popularity plummeted and never recovered. His attempts to recast himself as a family man didn't work, and his remaining albums failed to get even close to his initial success. While still around, the blurring between character and actor along with a much more progressive culture means that the Diceman's success is unlikely to ever be repeated.
  • Sam Kinison was highly popular in the 1980s, helped by being taken under the wing of Rodney Dangerfield who opened a lot of doors for him in the standup world. His style of insane screaming inspired by his prior career as a Pentecostal preacher was unlike anything else in comedy at the time, and his tragic death in a car accident just increased his legend. Unfortunately, even at the time his act came under fire for its undeniable misogyny, racism, and homophobia, which like the above-mentioned Andrew Dice Clay was very hard to tell if it was part of a staged character or his actual opinions. As society keeps moving on from this kind of material, it becomes harder and harder to admit you were ever a fan.

    Theatre 
Genres and Trends
  • Minstrel Shows were some of the most popular forms of entertainment in the 19th and early 20th centuries, being viewed as good, clean, light comedy. They were also very culturally significant as one of the first uniquely American forms of artistic expression. As times changed, however, the nasty racial undertones that lay at the core of the genre fundamentally discredited it after WWII. The practice of blackface — using heavy makeup on a white actor so that they can play a caricature of black stereotypes (or sometimes to sneak an actual black actor on stage, which couldn't be done prior)— is a particular source of Old Shame. Today, it is only used in period works as either Deliberate Values Dissonance or shock comedy. A notable turning point was in White Christmas, the 1954 remake of sorts of 1942's Holiday Inn. Like Holiday Inn, White Christmas has a minstrel-show number; unlike Holiday Inn, the performers wear tuxedos, top hats, and gloves, but not black makeup.

Specific Shows

  • The infamous Happily Ever After version of Shakespeare's King Lear by Nahum Tate. The 1681 rewrite (which Tate boasted "rectifies what was wanting in the Regularity and Probability of the Tale") ends with the good guys surviving, Lear regaining his throne, and Edgar and Cordelia marrying. It proved popular with Restoration audiences, who hated Shakespeare's Kill 'Em All Downer Ending. The ending was purely Shakespeare's invention and diverged drastically from his source material, the Historia Regum Britanniae. The legendary king's story had a cheerful conclusion. Tates's version completely eclipsed Shakespeare's King Lear for the next 150 years, enjoying hundreds of productions. The original Lear languished in obscurity and went all but unperformed. In the 1830s reverent fans of the Bard began to restore Shakespeare's original ending to performances, and the Tate version gradually fell out of favor. It was increasingly derided by Victorian critics as sentimental and trite. Since the start of the twentieth century, the Tate play has only been revived a few times. It is seen as a quaint historical curiosity.

    Toys 
  • Fidget spinners have been around since 1993, but didn't start to gain mainstream acknowledgment until 2017. They were used by teenagers to cope with psychological stress, and to better pay attention in class. Because they eventually caused more slacking in classrooms than focus (in no small part due to people who didn't need them playing with them) and the rise of novelty fidget spinners that lit up and made noise, thus defeating the original purpose of them, they soon faded into obscurity. The many offensive memes centered around them were stereotyping neurological disorders, like autism and ADHD. Many schools across the nation were forced to ban fidget spinners entirely, due to the disruption caused by them.

    The only positive element of its legacy is that parts of the wave of imitators that followed, such as fidget cubes and eventually Pop-Its, were seen as viable alternatives, not to mention that the craze increased the awareness and practical use fidget toys in general. This helped normalize the use of non-fidget spinner fidget toys in public settings, benefiting those who genuinely needed them.
  • Becoming popular in The '60s, the game of Lawn Darts, also known as Jarts, were a staple of family fun in American suburbs for almost three decades. However, the darts this game was played with were large, heavy, and very sharp. Hospitals in The '70s reported thousands of Lawn Dart-related injuries and even casualties. A seven-year-old girl was killed by a dart in 1987, causing their sale to be made illegal in the United States. While the game still has scattered fans, either in small private tournaments or with safer plastic versions, their reputation has changed from an Americana family classic to one of the most blatantly dangerous toys ever made.

    Video Games 
Genres and Trends
  • Full motion video games/Interactive Movies. When Dragon's Lair emerged in arcades in the early 1980s, a game with movie-like animation done by Hollywood director Don Bluth really stood out among game cabinets with 8-bit graphics. When CD-based consoles like the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer and Sega CD first hit the shelves, a deluge of FMV games followed because of the increased memory space. After the novelty wore off, gamers caught on that the "gameplay" offered by FMV games was shallow, with their interactivity being a series of quick time events or clicking through menus. Since FMV games were expensive to create, developers were stuck with awful acting, poor video quality, and excessive use of Stock Footage.

    The genre was dead by the late 1990s, as the one selling point of FMV games was their "graphical edge" and that was gone when other games could look great while offering actual gameplay. That didn't stop developers from trying to revive the genre during the Turn of the Millennium with the advent of the DVD: Love Story was an FMV game by Enix made to demonstrate DVD-ROM technology which was heavily promoted by Sony for the Japanese launch of the PlayStation 2, but drew unfavorable comparisons to the FMV games of the '90s and never left its home country. Four years later, The Guy Game (a softcore porn FMV party game) bombed upon release and was pulled from shelves when one of its models turned out to be underage, sinking the genre for good. Certain FMV games like Dragon's Lair are still well-remembered for their graphical prowess, but most examples of the genre are seen as a failed experiment. The only other FMV title people remember is Night Trap, and even that's mostly remembered for its infamous trial that led to the creation of the ESRB.

    FMV games are still being made to this day, but only by indie studios, and they are much more story-driven and are designed more like visual novels than the simple point-and-click games they used to be. The Interactive Movie genre also still exists, but features in-game graphics instead of pre-rendered cutscenes allowing for greater flexibility of gameplay.
  • Capcom Sequel Stagnation in Fighting Games is considered to be an obsolete model. During the golden age of fighting games in the '90s, due to the games being released straight first to arcades before being ported to consoles, it was common for the more popular games to get updated releases featuring rebalancing of the gameplay and new characters. Since they were not wholly new games, they typically got denoted with new subtitles to reflect that they were updated versions of the original games. This method of updating games continued into The Sixth Generation of Console Video Games, but by that point, the trend was growing increasingly unpopular. The arcade scene saw a massive decline in the West while fighting games as a whole saw diminishing returns into their commercial success.

    Come the The Seventh Generation of Console Video Games, paid Downloadable Content became the new norm for doing upgrades to existing games and new characters would be released this way. Capcom, the namesake of this trend, caught an increasing flack for continuing to rely on the classic "arcade-first" methods of doing a new release rather than rebalancing the game through patches and DLC. They eventually did adapt to this by offering an upgrade path through DLC for Ultra Street Fighter 4.

    Finally, by The Eighth Generation of Console Video Games, Capcom Sequel Stagnation got phased almost completely out in favor of fighting games adopting a season pass model, in which each year of the game's duration would be dedicated to a new season of releasing new characters and balance patches for it. This is due to the arcade decline finally catching up to Japan as well. Many fighting games saw their releases made first to Console and PC, and even the arcade ports now had an internet connection, meaning that there was completely no excuse to give a game an updated rerelease. Some of the last games to follow the old method were Guilty Gear Xrd, Street Fighter V, and Under Night In-Birth, which all offered upgrade paths through DLC.

Specific Games

  • The original Battle Arena Toshinden was immensely successful at release. Being one of the first 3D Fighting Games with texture-mapped graphics and weapon-based combat, it received a considerable amount of hype and glowing reviews from the enthusiast press (Electronic Gaming Monthly would give it a rating of 100%). Console manufacturer Sony would seize on this when they published the games in Western territories, hyping the franchise as a "Sega Saturn killer" and using its female characters as the unofficial mascots of the PlayStation 1 launch in multiple ads. The game would be among the first to be re-released as part of the "Greatest Hits" line, further confirming its success.

    However, in hindsight, retrospectives of the PS1 launch and modern reviews (removed from the context of the launch hype) have little nice to say about the game. The consensus is that it had shallow mechanics and clunky controls, which don't even compare favorably to earlier 3D fighters such as the first Virtua Fighter. A belated Saturn port would receive mediocre reviews and sink without a trace, despite being the same game with more content, and none of the sequels came close to replicating the original's success. The advent of Namco's Soul Edge, another weapon-based 3D fighter that was considered superior to Toshinden in every way, further confirmed the game's obsolescence.

    Originally the launch title of the PS1, Battle Arena Toshinden is largely forgotten and disliked by those that remember it, with the game being held up as a prime example of style over substance. Illustrating the game's fall from grace is EGM's (the authors of the 100% review mentioned above) statement in its 2005 "most overrated game" feature:
    [It] was 3D, it was flashy—Battle Arena Toshinden was exciting and new. But later Namco showed us what really could be done with 3D fighting on the PlayStation (Tekken, Soul Blade). (...) But is it actually good? Oh God, no.
  • Bubsy was rather popular upon his game's initial release, with his first game doing well enough in both sales and reception to kickstart several sequels and even a pilot for a cartoon. Even the now-notorious Bubsy 3D received only mixed reviews at the time, likely due to being one of the first 3D platformers. What caused many to turn on the bobcat was hindsight, as numerous internet reviewers (most notably JonTron) brought attention back to the original games, the cartoon, and Bubsy 3D. These reviews were not at all kind to Bubsy, exposing many of the problems (poor level design, Fake Difficulty, and Bubsy himself being annoying) to a wider audience, which would subsequently cause Bubsy to become a notorious punching bag. Whatever good rep he had from his first game all but disappeared. When Bubsy was briefly brought back during the mid-2010s, the common reception from people at the time was "Why?" This new game got torn to shreds by critics, citing that all of the problems that people had complained about for ages still hadn't been addressed, and Bubsy was promptly swept back under the rugnote . These days, few people will admit to playing any of Bubsy's games, even if the first game isn't quite as notorious as the others.
  • Castlevania: The Adventure got great reviews at release, critics hailing it as a solid sequel that showed the Game Boy could do NES-style action games just as well. But by the mid-2000s, the game was widely derided as one of the low points of the series, complaints centering around its sluggish pace, frustrating design decisions filled with Fake Difficulty and dumbed-down or missing series staples, such as subweapons, stairs, or the ability to keep your whip upgrades when damaged. About the only aspect that doesn't attract criticism is the game's soundtrack. This change in perception was likely brought about by the advent of better and more faithful Castlevania games on handheld, including its direct sequel as well as a remake that ironed out its flaws and modernized the game.
  • The Nintendo Entertainment System port of Metal Gear was initially well reviewed by critics and sold well enough to receive a direct sequel exclusively aimed for the overseas market. In subsequent years, however, as international gamers became more aware of the original MSX version, the NES port came to be widely lambasted for its extensive cuts to the level and game design (the most infamous of these cuts being the boss battle with the eponymous Metal Gear, making it an Artifact Title) and its dodgy translation. Hideo Kojima publicly disowned the NES version, effectively buried it in favor of the original version in all rereleases of the game, and made his own sequel to the original in order to de-canonize Snake's Revenge, which further damaged the reputation of the NES version. Nowadays, it is regarded as a novelty as best and an outright Porting Disaster at worst.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I was released in response to the fans' desire to see a Genesis-style Sonic game. At the time of its release, the game got good reviews, but as time went on, the game has been derided for its inaccurate physics, its poor visuals, and music that many claimed to sound like dying cats. While Episode II tends to be regarded as an improvement, it still was not a smash hit, and the planned Episode III was ultimately cancelled. Sonic Mania, a later attempt to make a classic-style Sonic game, was widely seen as a much better effort.

    Web Original 
  • Creepypastas, campfire-style horror stories originating on internet forums and Image Boards, emerged into the Web mainstream during the second half of the 2000s. They were extremely popular during the early 2010s, with entire communities dedicated to certain stories or genres. By the middle of the decade, however, creepypastas quickly lost popularity for a variety of reasons. First, their mostly teenage audience grew out of them as they got older. Second, tastes began to shift towards less "edgy" material, primarily among younger audiences. Finally, later creepypastas became increasingly derivative and cliched, and soon enough, their "scare factor" declined dramatically. While the creepypasta phenomenon as a whole has survived to the present, a number of more prominent works in the genre have long since been consigned to the junkyard of pop-culture history:
    • Jeff the Killer was one of the most popular creepypastas ever written, and inspired loads of imitators, spin-offs, and sequels. But the story's popularity eventually caused its own downfall. The first problem was the flood of imitators, most of which were negatively received for being too derivative and poorly written in general. The second problem was that, when people looked back at the original story, they discovered it wasn't that great to begin with, filled with typos and failed attempts at scares or drama. An attempted "rewrite" just made it look even more outdated and badly-designed. These days, if asked about Jeff the Killer, most Internet denizens will greet it with either a snort of derision or a short lecture about the poor imitators it inspired in its wake.
    • Slender Man was an early innovator of the creepypasta, his mythos spread far and wide across the internet like wildfire. Works such as Marble Hornets became viral sensations, making the character a popular boogeyman and a hit with horror fans. Not long after his introduction, though, the character became massively overexposed. He appeared in video games, fanfics, and was shoehorned into works that didn't need him. But what really sealed Slender Man's fate was a 2014 incident in which two adolescent girls stabbed one of their friends multiple times and left her for dead as an attempted Human Sacrifice to Slender Man. This incident, among others, badly damaged Slender Man's relevance and public perception. A 2018 movie based on Slender Man was widely panned as being in poor taste due to the incident. While the character still has his fans, the overexposure and bad publicity of Slender Man has all but assured that he will never be as popular as he once was, and certainly not taken seriously anymore.
    • Sonic.exe used to be one of the most well-respected creepypastas based on a video game. Besides being an early story about The Most Dangerous Video Game, the titular Sonic.EXE was seen as genuinely creepy and unsettling. Time was not kind to the story, however. It not only shares the aforementioned "outgrown by the audience as they get older" problem Creepypastas in general tend to have, but critics picked the story apart and pointed out all its plot holes and glaring writing flaws over time. The pasta was lampooned so hard it got moved off the Creepypasta Wiki and onto a wiki dedicated explicitly for bad creepypastas. The creator's rather vitriolic reaction towards the decision did not help the story's reputation at all. The only fans of the creepypasta left now are little kids, purely ironic "fans" who enjoy it for decidedly different reasons, fans of Friday Night Funkin' (due to a quality mod based on the game adaptation) or people who want to rewrite the original story to fix its mistakes. Young fans have not helped in improving the pasta's image, given that derivative fanworks made by these young children are generally not very good. An incident in the summer of 2021 where the author was found out to have been doing sexual role plays with various users while they were still underage led to many in the fandom disowning him and his creation now falling under new ownership. As such, it's unlikely that Sonic.exe will be taken seriously as a horror story ever again.
    • Squidward's Suicide was one of the very first and most well-known pastas of the "lost episode" subgenre. It started using the typical tropes of this subgenre, like the description of "hyper-realistic" eyes, extra blood and gore, and normally lighthearted cartoons doing unbelievably dark things. All of those aspects were probably very shocking and disturbing at the time, leading to its initial popularity. But it was followed by the massive influx of generally poorly written "lost episode" stories that used the same format or something similar. It now comes off as more Narmful than anything else. The SpongeBob SquarePants cartoon itself has done just as many shocking things to the eyes of the average fan, making a suicide seem less shocking. The story doesn't hold up nearly as well as it once did. The Season 12 episode "SpongeBob in RandomLand" would later make a brief reference to it, but it didn't take long for it to be censored afterwards.
  • The "angry reviewer" style was a popular style of reviewing in the late 2000s and early 2010s. It was popularized around 2006-2007 by The Angry Video Game Nerd and The Nostalgia Critic, who made a name for themselves deliberately reviewing bad video games and movies with comedically exaggerated anger. They often interspersed their "reviews" with skits, foul language, and Vulgar Humor, alongside giving background information about what they reviewed. The genre also spread outside of reviewing video games and movies, with many critics reviewing comics or animated works.

    However, in the mid-2010s, the genre saw a massive decline in popularity. Once AVGN and The Nostalgia Critic blew up, Sturgeon's Law kicked in: a large number of inferior copycats tried to ape their style by simply ramping up the vitriol and Vulgar Humor, while ignoring the wit and research they had in their videos of the two aforementioned review shows. Several of these videos also contained personal attacks against the creators, as well as against fans of the works being reviewed, which were not always done humorously. By the late 2010s, viewers began to see such reviews as too mean-spirited and often done in bad faith, gravitating towards straightforward video essays with less vitriolic humour. Perhaps the final blow was a series of scandals involving Channel Awesome.

    Nowadays, the only truly successful shows that survive with this style are the aforementioned AVGNnote  and JonTronnote . Even Doug Walker himself, despite being the main inspiration and source of criticism for the genre, significantly toned down the anger in his Nostalgia Critic persona when the show was Un-Cancelled and incorporated film re-enactments and surreal comedy. Most of the critics known for the genre have either retired from reviewing, suffered from declining viewership for sticking with the old formula, or have transitioned into a more professional style, with some, like Quinton Reviews and Lindsay Ellis, going so far as to publicly disavow their older videos.
  • Noah Antwiler aka "The Spoony One" first caught the internet's attention with his reviews for games in popular franchises like Final Fantasy and Ultima during the late 2000s. But after joining Channel Awesome in 2008, Spoony became one of the site's most popular critics thanks to his psychotic personality, frequent crossover videos, and his wide range of review topics, including board games and tabletop RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons. However, he also faced backlash for his reliance on nitpicking and tendency to insult fans of works in his videos, frequently seen arguing with anyone who disagreed with his views.

    His bad attitude got him in trouble with Channel Awesome in 2012 after joking about raping JesuOtaku (who hadn't come out as transgender at the time), which led Noah to resign from the site shortly afterwards due to a backlash. From there, Spoony's worsening physical and mental health led him to clash with his most loyal fans over the handling of his opinions and content direction, along with his increasingly frequent hiatuses. With his admission to having no plans for a Spoony Experiment movie after crowdfunding for one in 2014, what little goodwill Noah still had left vanished. Spoony's former fans now see his critiques as hateful and nitpick-heavy towards their subjects, and his even slower update schedule means he's remained in obscurity. As such, it's highly unlikely that he'll ever achieve the same level of success ever again. With even his earlier work being forgotten, Spoony's rise and fall is now seen as a cautionary tale of a man with promise whose worst enemy was himself.
  • To Boldly Flee was Channel Awesome's fourth anniversary special and possibly the least well-regarded of them all, even by former fans of the website these days. Released in 2012 when the standing and popularity of the website was arguably at its zenith, it was initially well-received, being seen as funny, emotional, and overall a genuinely impressive feat for a scrappy team of Internet personalities. The only real point of contention among the Channel Aweseome fanbase was the decision to kill off The Nostalgia Critic so Doug Walker could focus on his dream project Demo Reel, and even those who disagreed with the choice to do so generally liked the special overall, saying that at least it acted as a good swan song for the character.

    However, after Demo Reel flopped and the Critic was hastily revived, opinions on the special shifted. Not only was killing off the Critic now universally seen as a mistake, changing tastes led to a reappraisal of the special for the worse. Its humor was seen as clumsy and immature at best and downright offensive and uncomfortable at worst (and not in a good way), its attempts at drama now rang hollow for many, its plot was viewed as unfocused and meandering, its frequent use of pop culture references became seen as a crutch, and its heavy-handed commentary on the controversial intellectual property legislation being discussed in Congress at the time was seen as badly dated. Even many of those who had participated in the special's making began to express open disdain for it.

    The final nail in the coffin came in 2018 when the Not So Awesome document revealed (among other things) serious behind the scenes troubles that permanently tainted the reputation of the special as a whole. Even with Channel Awesome's best days well behind it and the site reduced to a shadow of its former self, there are still those who look back at the earlier specials with at least some degree of fondness. To Boldly Flee, however, is universally seen as a troubled, overly long, self-indulgent mistake that played a major role in setting the stage for the website's fall from grace.
  • While YouTube Poop as a whole remains popular, numerous techniques commonly used in it have fallen out of grace.
    • Jokes relying on Refuge in Audacity, such as racial jokes and Black Comedy Rape, have increasingly come to be seen as tasteless as the Internet moved its preferences farther away from "edgy" content. Some creators who once employed it, such as Combuskenisawesome, have publicly disowned the videos in question.
    • Audio Sensory Abuse, colloquially known as "ear rape", has come to be strongly associated with Sturgeon's Law, as many, many videos that utilize it use it as a substitute for jokes, sometimes to the point of having the entire video being nothing but it.
    • Word-mirroring, also known as "sus jokes" (or "coc jokes", or "weew jokes") is simply taking half of a word and reversing it immediately afterward. This grew to be widely mocked the more it was used due to being one of the easiest possible edits to make. Even the creator who popularized it in the first place, DaThings, now mainly uses it in ironic Self-Deprecation.

    Western Animation 
Creators
  • John Kricfalusi made a name for himself with The Ren & Stimpy Show, the third of three animated series that kickstarted the Nicktoons franchise, heralded a wave of creator-driven cartoons during The '90s, and codified the Gross-Out Show. However, Kricfalusi was notoriously hard to work with and turned in multiple episodes of Ren & Stimpy late due to his rampant perfectionism. His inability to keep a deadline eventually got him fired from his own show. Over a decade later, he was given the opportunity to take the reins of the show again with Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon", which met such a negative reception that it killed Spike TV's animation block in mere months, led to the downfall of gross-out cartoons, and caused Ren & Stimpy fans to begin considering Bob Camp, one of the co-founders of Kricfalusi's animation studio Spümcø, the true creator of the show and characters.

    Kricfalusi lost his remaining respect and reputation in 2018 when he was revealed to be a sexual predator who had groomed two underaged girls after he was fired from Ren & Stimpy, and harassed female crewmembers of Adult Party Cartoon. The final blow came in 2019 when he released the short film Cans Without Labels, which had been in Development Hell since 2012 following a successful Kickstarter campaign and was felt to be not worth the wait when it finally did come out. All of this has made Kricfalusi's name toxic among animation fans. When Comedy Central announced a Ren & Stimpy reboot, they made it a point to mention that Kricfalusi would not be involved in any capacity. That the show was getting a reboot at all was enough to spark harsh criticism, due to its association with Kricfalusi's sordid history. It would take nothing short of a miracle for Ren & Stimpy to regain the respect it used to have, while the statutory rape allegations will likely prevent Kricfalusi from getting work ever again.

Genres and Trends

  • Ethnic and gender stereotypes or caricatures (along with cartoon violence) were very prevalent in cartoons made during The Golden Age of Animation or during World War II. Starting in 1968, these cartoons were increasingly censored in TV re-airings. Some of the cartoons that did contain stereotypes were banned altogether, such as the Censored Eleven. The first to go were gags about black people, then one by one jokes about Asians, Native Americans, women, and the like all received informal bans. Today, the only cartoons that still use these jokes, albeit under a satirical hood, are adult cartoon series.

Characters

    Other 
Architecture
  • Brutalist architecture, as explained in this article. Buildings in this style were designed so that form followed function. Their few windows and tons of unfinished concrete often made them look like fortresses, and they were indeed very durable and cheap to build. This led to the proliferation of brutalist structures in urban centers and on university campuses in the 1960s and '70s. However, while modernist structures from the same time period are still beloved today, brutalist structures are not. For many people, they evoked the image of flood channels and highway overpasses, and before long they came to be seen as blights on the landscape. Furthermore, while they were easy to build and keep standing, keeping them looking decent was a different story altogether, since unfinished concrete has a tendency to crack and stain very easily, especially in humid climates. What's more, those cracks could let water in and undermine the structure. The proliferation of brutalist structures in the Eastern Bloc also gave the style an indelible association with Soviet-style communism, leading many dystopian sci-fi works from the '70s and '80s to use such buildings as symbols of oppressive regimes. Nowadays, "brutalist" is often used as a synonym for any ugly concrete building or public space, and few people still defend the style. To add insult to injury, quite a few brutalist structures were built to replace either the function of a building of a previous era of architecture or built in the place of a bombed-out or torn-down building of a previous style. Given that many of those styles have gained in public perception, just how anybody could ever consider this oppressive Soviet-style concrete hunk a better fit for the site/purpose than whatever it replaced is often another accusation leveled at brutalism, of which the style itself is innocent. It is unlikely that the building style will be respected or replicated again after the destruction of London's Grenfell Tower in 2017, where the poorly-done claddingnote  was blamed for helping the fire escalate.

Automobiles

  • The Chevrolet Vega was showered with praise by automotive critics when it debuted in 1970, and it was hailed as proof that General Motors could compete with Volkswagen and Toyota at their own game. However, the Vega had a multitude of engineering and build quality problems that made it notorious for rust, breakdowns, excessive oil consumption, and being a death trap in crashes. These flaws, which only became apparent after many people had their cars for a couple of years, turned the car's name into a byword for The Alleged Car and a symbol of GM's Audience-Alienating Era in the '70s. By the end of the decade, even many junkyards refused to take Vega cars, assuming that there were virtually no usable parts that could be stripped off of them. Nowadays, Americans remember the Vega as one of the worst cars ever built, a car whose initial praise is now treated as an Old Shame by the magazines which published the glowing reviews.
  • The Hummer. Created in 1992 as a civilian version of the military HMMWV (or "Humvee"), it soon became one of the most popular SUV brands in the United States, particularly after the launch of the smaller, cheaper H2 and H3 models. The original H1 model earned a reputation as the ultimate off-road vehicle and a straight-from-the-military Rated M for Manly super-SUV, while the H2 and H3 models modernize the design. However, even at the height of their popularity, Hummers were notorious for guzzling gas, making them the butt of jokes about Conspicuous Consumption and oversized SUVs. Naturally, sales for the brand started to tumble as a result of the oil crisis and recession of the mid-late 2000s when people generally had less money to throw around. Today, the brand is remembered as a poster child for the excesses of Turn of the Millennium consumerism. Only the original H1 model still gets any respect nowadays, and even that comes almost entirely from upper-class (or nostalgic) off-road or military enthusiasts, while its H2 and H3 siblings are seen as pure style-over-substance road boats. William Clavey of Jalopnik, looking back on the H2 years later, described it by saying "If there’s an automotive equivalent to the phrase 'we’ve gone too far,' it's the Hummer H2."

Food and Drink

  • Zima was a clear alcopop beverage that showed up in the 1990s during the "clear craze". Beverage manufacturers had started selling clear drinks, such as Crystal Pepsi and Tab Clear. Zima was marketed heavily by its manufacturer, the Coors Brewing Company, as a manly alternative to wine coolers for guys who didn't like beer. For a while, the drink became very popular. To Coors' horror, most of its drinkers were women in their twenties. The drink was also popular with teenagers due to an urban legend that Zima couldn't be detected on police breathalyzer tests. Coors then attempted to sell Zima to the male demographic by releasing a bourbon-flavored variant. This was unsuccessful. After a while, Zima began to gain a reputation as a "girly man" drink. It became the butt of jokes by stand-up comedians. The drink's popularity plummeted after its first year, but it managed to linger for another decade before Coors quietly decided to discontinue domestic sales of the drink. These days the only place you can still buy Zima is Japan where it was discontinued in 2021, although it was briefly brought back for sale in June 2017. To this day, some men still make jokes to each other about Zima being a drink for wimps.

Other

  • Back in The '50s and The '60s, Aluminum Christmas trees were a very popular decoration in the United States. Their demise is usually attributed to the 1965 cartoon A Charlie Brown Christmas, where such trees were used as a symbol for kitsch and the commercialization of Christmas. This caused the general public to view them as tacky and embarrassing. The aluminum tree was dead by 1970. Today, they are almost entirely forgotten, except as a reminder of how kitschy people could be during the post-war era. There's a reason why "Aluminum Christmas Trees" is used on this very wiki as a term for something that modern audiences cannot believe actually existed.
  • In the 2000s, the Hollywood club scene meant you couldn't go a week without hearing about the wild partying of young celebrities like Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton. It was all but mandatory to be seen at a club in order to be relevant. Music about the club was a mainstay on the pop charts. However, the self-indulgent excess of drugs and alcohol, petty feuds between celebrities, and parties until sunrise became the downfall of club culture. The culture itself became regarded as ludicrously out-of-touch in an era of economic meltdown. Lohan saw her once-promising movie career ruined by her constant club antics, as they became the only things people knew her for. Hilton's reputation for being "famous for doing nothing" and the reveal of her racist and homophobic views led to her being viewed with contempt by an increasingly celebrity-critical and progressive culture. The rise of social media and smartphones also contributed to the club scene's fall. Not only did it ensure that indiscretions were impossible to sweep under the rug, but a celebrity no longer had to be seen at certain locations in order to be considered socially active, and that went double for non-famous people. Nightclubs are still around, but they are mocked these days for denying entrance to people based on appearance, for overly long lines that keep people waiting for hours just to go inside, and for music that encourages the worst excesses in a time where such things are seen as a waste of money. These days, few people will admit to becoming so embroiled in the club scene of the 2000s.
  • Traditional freak shows that let spectators Come to Gawk at people with handicaps, bizarre illnesses, and body distortions were viewed as a normal part of American culture from the late 19th century to the early 20th century. However, towards the end of the 19th century, the freaks' previously mysterious anomalies were scientifically explained as genetic mutations or diseases. This explanation gradually led to freaks becoming the objects of sympathy rather than fear or disdain, and laws restricting freak shows were passed. In addition, competition from TV and movies also hurt the freak show; people seeking quick and easy entertainment could just watch TV or go to a movie theater instead of paying to see freaks. The killing blow was the rise of disability rights and activists spreading awareness of these disabilities. Soon, people started viewing freak shows as profit-motivated exploitation of the disabled. Today, traditional freak shows are extinct, and Values Dissonance ensures that they are not coming back. There are still a few modern freak shows that exist, but they rely on quality performances from the freaks or make sure to portray the freaks in a positive light.

In-Universe Examples

    Literature 
  • The 2016 non-fiction book But What If We're Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman is an examination of this trope and its inverse. He argues that future generations might look back on the pop culture, political debates, social structures, and scientific theories of both the present day and the 20th century in ways very differently from how we regard them, much like how we look back on the prevailing ideas and culture of the Middle Ages through the 19th century. The introduction alone recounts how Aristotle's theory of gravity stood for two thousand years as 'conventional wisdom' before being discredited by Sir Isaac Newtonnote , how Herman Melville's Moby-Dick was initially a critically-roasted, career-killing flop until the post-World War I generation rediscovered it as a classic, and all the hilariously wrong predictions made by futurists in the 20th century.

    Video Games 
  • In Flying Red Barrel, a big deal is made out of recently-invented planes and airships taking to the skies. They are seen as something akin to the next step in accomplishing their pilots' dreams. And then the Blue Sky Union attempts to forcefully take control over the skies with a flying castle, leading to an all-out war. Needless to say, this entire shitshow led many folks to drop flying altogether out of sheer disillusionment with what happened in the end. The exception is Marc, who in one ending starts up her own small-scale guild so that she can keep flying her plane.
  • Several in-universe examples occur in the Grand Theft Auto series.
    • In the 3D Universe games, Lazlow is one of the hottest DJs and radio hosts in America, starting off as the co-host of V-Rock in Vice City Stories before becoming the sole host in Vice City, and the host of various radio talk shows after 1986. By the events of IV, however, several payola scandals and bizarre personal indiscretions have turned him into a joke, where he resorts to wandering around Liberty City to find people to interview (who view him with contempt). In V, his popularity seems to have recovered enough to be a host of a radio show and talent show, but his jerkass demeanor is cranked up and his colleagues can't stand him. Michael even humiliates him twice in the story campaign for his creepiness towards Tracey.
    • In Vice City, set in 1986, Love Fist is shown to be one of the biggest bands in the world. Two of their songs playing on the rock station, and the band goes on a world tour that has been banned in several countries. However, in San Andreas, set in 1992, they appear to have been largely forgotten. The DJ on the classic rock station asks "whatever happened to Love Fist?" Love Fist was a parody of the stereotypes of Hair Metal and the musicians that performed it, so it makes sense that, by 1992, the band would be washed up like many real-life hair metal acts.
    • In GTA IV, set in 2008, the website MyRoomOnline.net is a parody of MySpace, its users, and the culture that surrounded it. By GTA V, set in 2013, MyRoom is a shell of its former self. It is referred to as "the ghost town of the internet", having been driven into irrelevancy by the rise of Facebook parody Lifeinvader. The company is forced to sell its domain name, reflecting how Myspace went out of style in the late 2000s and early 2010s.
  • Hypnospace Outlaw:
    • You get to watch the rise and fall of the musical genre of Coolpunk. When you first arrive in Hypnospace, the genre is popular enough to have an entire zone dedicated to it. It also has an active community, full of internal disputes on what does or does not count as Coolpunk. There is a planned "Coolpunk '99" live music get-together with major corporate sponsors. Then "Coolpunk '99" actually happens, and turns into a total disaster. It involves a lip-syncing debacle, and a helicopter crash that kills a drummer and costs one of the headliners his leg. Shortly thereafter, the community realizes that they have been listening to, and passionately arguing about, a genre focused on sampling soft drink advertisements and Christmas music. Aside from the weirdly good founding tracks by Fre3zer, most of the genre's music is seen as pretty terrible. Later conversations found in M1nx suggest that only through astroturfing by the biggest corporate sponsor and the operators of Hypnospace did the genre ever become anything more than "a few kids being weird online".
    • Taurus and Muletta, a comic book about an anthropomorphic bull superhero and his sentient cape sidekick started out as a violent Cult Classic, but then was rebooted in a Lighter and Softer form that became a huge Cash Cow Franchise. Then animal rights groups pointed out that the comic (and new cartoon) glorified bullfighting, which destroyed the franchise's reputation, not helped by the fact that the original creator lost the rights to the characters, making him powerless to do anything about it.
  • In the world of Disco Elysium, disco was dominant in the '30s, two decades before the beginning of the game. It became emblematic of this time, an economic boom era known as The New. In this era, centrist liberal capitalism had seemingly solved all problems and tacky Conspicuous Consumption was delighted in. Towards the end of the '30s, disco stopped being relevant after the idiotic excesses of The New caused a recession, making the disco lifestyle unaffordable to its largely working-class consumers. Disco singles started to fail to crack the charts, and major local disco star Guillaume le Million died at the height of his fame in an autoerotic asphyxiation accident (or possibly of contracting every venereal disease in existence, if Joyce's account is more reliable). By the time the game is set, disco and the associated culture are seen as the height of passé, associated with an embarrassing time and tainted by the misery that followed it. However, significant elements of disco culture have stuck around. Calling something "disco" means that it is exciting, in the same way people in our world might describe something as "rock 'n' roll". Your player character loves disco and identifies heavily with it and with Guillaume le Million, which serves as a symbol of the character's outdated, misjudged commitment to substance-aided hedonistic self-destruction.

    Web Original 
  • Nathan Rabin uses the term "forgotbuster" to describe this, referring to films that were among the top-grossing hits of the years in which they came out but have gone on to be almost completely forgotten since. On the website The Dissolve, he has done a series on forgotbusters from past and present, exploring why they were hits then but never stood the test of time.
  • YouTuber Quinton Reviews has a series called Fallen Titans which discusses Internet phenomena that were once massively popular, but have since faced significant backlash and/or fallen into obscurity. Specific examples covered include Ray William Johnson, The Nostalgia Critic, the Channel Awesome debacle, and The Abridged Series.
  • Todd in the Shadows:
    • In one episode, Todd says that while "Afternoon Delight" was a very popular song at the time, nowadays nearly everyone agrees that it was absolutely terrible.
    • The One Hit Wonderland video on Rick Dees' "Disco Duck" points out how, despite the song being huge enough in its time to have a massive wealth of performance footage available, it's now one of the few major disco songs still near-universally considered a punchline at most.
    • In the Trainwreckords episode about the hip-hop group Arrested Development and their album Zingalamaduni, Todd examines why the band went from winning Grammys to being considered embarassingly outdated. Reasons include changing politics, behind-the-scenes arguments, and an increasing perception of the band as pretentious and looking down on other rappers whose music was considerably edgier, not helped by many of their own lyrics or remarks in interviews.

    Western Animation 
  • Parodied in The Amazing World of Gumball with the Void, a pocket dimension where all of Elmore's mistakes are thrown away and erased from history. While more general things like failed products and extinct animals are present, cultural staples that were once popular like mullets, hippie vans, socks with sandals, disco, and even Crazy Frog are shown to exist there as well.
  • The Boondocks: Otis Jenkins, better known as Thugnificent, was a rapper who rose to fame with his big hit, club anthem "Booty Cheeks". Almost overnight, he became one of the most popular rappers in the country, and his entourage the Lethal Interjection Crew were very visible. While his narcissism, a very public feud with one of his neighbors, and a music video accused of promoting violence against the elderly made him a controversial figure, his career was still thriving. But then cracks began to show. When his popularity began to stagnate due to his complacency, he tried to give it a boost through a collaboration with two other members of the Lethal Interjection Crew and Gangstalicious on a remix of the latter's song "Homies Over Hoes". Once Gangstalicious was outed as a closeted gay man, however, the Lethal Interjection Crew cancelled the collaboration due to Thugnificent's obsession with wanting to protect his image. During Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, he decided to present himself as a politically astute intellectual and activist who proudly supported Obama, making "Dick Ridin' Obama" with will.i.am. This backfired when he was humiliated by Bill Maher on national television, with it being revealed that he knew far less about politics than he claimed (when asked to name the three branches of the federal government, he thought one of them was the "main branch"). Still, the worst was yet to come. Thugnificent's long drought of musical output and hedonistic lifestyle began causing him financial difficulties that were only exacerbated by rising star Sgt. Gutter eating into his fanbase. To right the ship, he released his first album in four years, "Mo Bitches Mo Problems"... which flopped due to overuse of autotune, being humiliated in a beef with Gutter, and the perception that he'd become out of touch. After an attempted comeback failed to pan out because of his previous involvement in drug dealing, he retired from the music industry and became a UPS driver, while the former members of the Lethal Interjection Crew either got similarly ordinary jobs or turned to crime.


Alternative Title(s): Hype Reversion

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