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Contempt Crossfire

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But I did read every single comment, because I am absolutely obsessed with myself, and it was just "Gay people aren't funny", "I hate gay people", "I hate the white girl whine", "We get it, you like dick, don't make it sound like one's in you right now", "Gay people aren't funny", but then thank God, finally people did come out and say "Actually, shut up, because gay people are funny, and just because this person isn't funny doesn't mean no gay people are funny." And I was like, "Oh my God, even the allies are absolutely dragging me!" Put it on my tombstone: "Here lies Pat Regan, the allies hated him even."

A three-character dynamic where Alice and Charlie are diametrically opposed on some subject, with Bob leaning slightly towards one and is disrespected, dismissed or ignored for it by both sides. Bob is often derided by extremists on his own side as being too soft while the opposition sees him as being affiliated with said extremists, while any attempt at defending his views are seen as defending the extremists', and any attempt at conciliation is treated as high treason. Even a Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal won't get him any favors with the opposition, and he may even be Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves or at least be the target of many a Pretender Diss.

Note that Bob can be meant to be sympathetic (for example, if Alice is a Fan Hater, Charlie a Fan Dumb, and Bob a non-obsessive fan of the same work—or, alternately, Alice and Charlie are part of rival gangs, and Bob is the police officer just trying to keep the peace) or unsympathetic (Alice is resisting her country's invaders, Charlie is one of the invaders, Bob is The Quisling, David just wants the fighting to stop—or, alternately, Alice is an honest cop, Charlie is a mob boss, and Bob is a heroin dealer who is making life difficult for both of them).

Compare Category Traitor, Your Approval Fills Me with Shame and Stop Being Stereotypical (the middle character's perception of the extremists), No True Scotsman (the extremist's perception of the middle character), Half-Breed Discrimination (where the issue isn't ideology but race/species), The Horseshoe Effect (where the more extreme opposing positions are, the closer they are to each other), My Species Doth Protest Too Much, With Us or Against Us, The One Thing I Don't Hate About You, and Black-and-White Insanity. Frequently seen alongside Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves.

Contrast Neutrality Backlash, where leaning towards neither side causes problems.

See also Golden Mean Fallacy, Mediation Backfire, and We ARE Struggling Together.

In-Universe Examples Only.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Urd in Ah! My Goddess is held in contempt by both the Almighty One (because Urd is the Antichrist) and by Hild (because Urd is half-angel, and this makes her noble and heroic and thus not a proper harbinger of the Apocalypse).
  • Cross Ange:
    • The Norma are discriminated by the Mana users for the fact that they shatter Mana on contact (not to mention that they were programmed by Embryo to do so to placate them), expelled from Mana society and sent to a Penal Colony where they are used as Cannon Fodder against extradimensional DRAGONs from the age of twelve. The DRAGONs themselves, who are similarly opposed to Embryo, the architect of the world, the slaughter of their kind, and the Normas' predicament, at first lack empathy for the Norma, seeing them as accessories to Embryo's crimes, and obliterate half of their base, Arzenal, killing off several Norma in the process, and their leader almost executing Ange, who was nearly killed twice by both sides already. It takes Sala to slowly form an alliance between the two.
    • Alektra is a very beleaguered, borderline sympathetic case. Having been outed as a Norma as a child, and failing with Libertas and her comrades against Embryo, she has had a long standing vendetta against the World of Mana, to the point she'll use anyone. When Ange returns and offers the idea of allyship with the DRAGONs, she accepts, but her idea is to use them as Cannon Fodder against Embryo, using Ange's loyal maid Momoka as leverage. Ange rightfully seethes with indignance, calling her out for becoming as bad as Embryo.
  • Hero Union BBS: The premise of the series is various people Trapped in Another World having an interdimensional social network where they can communicate and ask for help. One such person explains that they're in an adventuring party of attractive young women (gaining them the contempt of the more involuntarily celibate posters) and that the party is split into two groups who hate each other for political and religious reasons (but the only thing they agree on is how much they hate the person asking for help). The posters are still split, but when the OP reveals that they're a girl (so not an Ungratefu Bastard living out a tsundere harem fetish as they first thought), the entire forum immediately helps her to get out of there.
  • One Piece:
    • In the Syrup Village arc, not only do Luffy and his friends hate the Black Cat Pirates for being accomplices to Captain Kuro the Arc Villain, but Kuro himself considers them expendable, using an attack that harms his own men. When Luffy is prepared to finish off Kuro, Kuro's men cheer him on, but Luffy reminds them they're still his enemies.
    • The Seven Warlords of the Sea are pirates who work with the World Government in exchange for a certain amount of license to operate with impunity. Law-abiding citizens hate them for being criminals who went unpunished for their crimes and are likely plotting against the government, while pirates consider them "government dogs" who sold out. As a result, virtually no one complains when the World Government dissolves the Seven Warlords system and immediately moves to capture the remaining Warlords.
    • Donquixote Homing decided to part ways with the rest of the Celestial Dragons in order to live as an ordinary human, but found that the common people despised the Celestial Dragons so much that they sought brutal revenge against him and his family. Meanwhile, the other Celestial Dragons looked down on Homing and refused his request to have his sons reinstated as nobles. This culminated in Doflamingo killing Homing in a futile attempt to return to the nobility.
    • Kurozumi Orochi, the tyrannical shogun of Wano, is despised by nearly all of his country, save for a handful of loyalists. He even ends up attracting the contempt of his ally Kaido, despite the fact that they are both enemies of the samurai, and Kaido decapitates Orochi once he's no longer useful, even if the decapitation doesn't actually kill Orochi.
  • In A Lazy Guy Woke Up As A Girl One Morning, the boys and girls of the third-year class argue which of them should get Yasuda, the lazy guy-turned girl, because the boys realize that Yasuda's laziness causes them to lose while he's on their team, and the girls don't want to give up the advantage by having to take him onto their team now that he's a girl.
  • In Karakuridouji Ultimo, Dr. Dunston, who created robots that are pure good and pure evil, encounters a group of bandits who are Just Like Robin Hood. He remarks that the good robot, Ultimo, would consider the bandits criminals who deserve punishment, while the evil robot, Vice, would kill them For the Evulz. However, this is subverted when Ultimo sees the bandits' sense of camaraderie and protects them from Vice.

    Comic Books 
  • The Punisher: Frank often ends up creating these (with himself as the extremist regarding bringing criminals to justice) when another superhero (usually Daredevil or Spider-Man who just want the criminals arrested) tries to prevent him from killing a criminal. Said criminal usually ends up shooting at both of them, even knowing going with the super means he'll live, albeit in prison.
  • The Punisher MAX:
    • During the "Slavers" arc, a weaselly little Dirty Cop is one of the titular slavers' informants in the police, looked down on by other cops for his brown-nosing. His employers have nothing but contempt for him, referring to him solely as "the little shit" to his face. Frank lets him live to send a message to the slavers' European suppliers, secure in the knowledge that he won't make it back: "The Moldovans won't even leave fingerprints."
    • During the "Man of Stone" arc, Rawlins' Dirty Coward, Smug Snake and Chronic Backstabbing Disorder tendencies are so exacerbated he ends up making General Zakharov look good, and Zakharov's strategy for luring mujaheddin out of cover involved pushing their families (babies included) off a cliff in front of them. By contrast, Zakharov has the greatest respect for Frank, deeming him a Russian born in the wrong country by mistake, and whatever feelings Frank had, he at least gives Zakharov a Mercy Kill. Rawlins's death is considerably messier.
    • "The Cell": The hopelessly corrupt chief warden Leonard reports to Don Drago, saying that they tried to intimidate Frank by showing him the scariest inmate they had (Frank killed him in maybe ten seconds), but they can't kill him without prompting a huge investigation that would reveal just how many guards are on the take or blackmailed. The don says he has a point, then tells him to fuck off: the made men have plans to make. Frank later plants Leonard's name tag on a black drug lord he murdered (and carved a swastika on his face), because Leonard's alibi is that he was having sex with the leader of the neo-Nazi gang.
  • The Boys: Billy Butcher's single goal is to exterminate supers from the face of the Earth. Hughie is well aware that the vast majority of supers are hedonistic Smug Super assholes with entitlement issues, but he also knows that there are some good ones among them (even if they tend towards Dumb Is Good). Once the most dangerous/evil supers are out of the picture, Billy starts turning on his own allies until Hughie kills him.
  • Famously happened in the Batman / Captain America crossover comic book. Since Red Skull is a Nazi, Red Skull is held equally in contempt not only by the heroes, but by The Joker as well (since, by Joker's own admission, Joker is still a proud American even if he is Axe-Crazy).
  • In the aftermath of Avengers Arena, Arcade's attempt at showing he's a worthy contender in the villain circle backfires hard: all of the other heroes out there want his blood in retaliation for forcing a bunch of teenagers into a Deadly Game but don't really give more of a damn about him now than they did before, and all of the other villains think even less of him now because they believe he's incredibly stupid because he had to go after teenagers ("easy targets") to make a plan that worked and they also consider said plan to be copycat crap (Arcade himself acknowledged In-Universe that he "borrowed" the idea from Battle Royale). They even show more respect to Arcade's assistant, who is the one who made most of the legwork.

    Fan Works 
  • The Mountain and the Wolf:
    • The Wolf never shows anything but unrelenting contempt for his victims, decrying their combat ability and weakness. Said victims are also the most hated people in all Westeros (Gregor Clegane, Ramsay Bolton, Petyr Baelish, Euron Greyjoy, and Cersei Lannister). Euron's crew doesn't lift a finger to help him after the Wolf beats him in a duel.
    • The Wolf himself is technically a victim of this- even the people he's allied with and hate the aforementioned victims can't stand him and his oafish ways, but he never seems to notice.
    • The Wolf later captures a Dark Elf slaver, reserving especially humiliating and terrifying treatment for its captain. Even when all the elves are about to be sold off to Chaos Dwarves, the crew are seen looking disgustedly at him for collapsing in fear.
  • Sword Art Online Abridged: In episode 12, we're introduced to Asuna's father, who's decided to marry her off to one of his employees as an alternative to keeping her comatose body in the hospital. However, it quickly becomes apparent that for all the disdain he shows Kirito he couldn't care less about the guy either, not even bothering to get his name even slightly right.
    Asuna's father: Ah, good, you're here! Allow me to introduce you to my daughter's fiancé! Kazuto (Kirito's RL name), Versace. Versace, Kazuto.
    Sugou: [exasperated] Ah ha ha, sir, that's not my name. That was the brand of briefcase I put all the money in.
    Asuna's father: You're sure? It's a pretty cool name. Maybe you should go with it. All classy and Italian, like Ferrari! Ooh, I haven't bought one of those in forever! Excuse me, gentlemen, I need to go call my Ferrari guy!

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: Elsa is visibly distraught at seeing the Nazis burning books, and is shocked that Indy thought she would give up the diary for incineration. Indy refuses to let it change his opinion of her since she's still working for them.
    Elsa: Is that what you think of me? I believe in the Grail, not the swastika!
    Indy: You stood up to be counted among the enemies of everything the Grail stands for. Who gives a DAMN what you believe!
    Elsa: You do!
  • In the X-Men Film Series, Deadpool holds this place in the Mutant Civil War. Neither the X-Men nor the Brotherhood of Mutants want anything to do with him, with the only exceptions being Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Colossus.
  • Django Unchained: Django explains that "house niggers" (slaves who serve in a plantation's mansion rather than in the fields) are the lowest of the low, being looked down by whites for being black and hated by other slaves for their cushy job and Quisling-like position.
  • In Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), Dr. Emma Russel is regarded with disgust and mockery by both the MONARCH scientists she defected from, who call her insane for twisting their pro-kaiju beliefs into justifying borderline genocide "for the sake of Earth's survival", and the ecoterrorists she joined up with, who mock her as weak-willed and hypocritical for not only accepting the true horror of their plans but for also getting cold feet once her daughter gets in danger trying to stop her plan.

  • Discworld:
    • Jingo: Vimes finds himself on the receiving end when he investigates the attempted murder of the Klatchian envoy, finding evidence everywhere that somebody tried to make it look like a Klatchian did it. It actually was the Klatchians (deliberately badly framing themselves), but Vimes was railroading himself into looking for Ankh-Morpork guilt because doing otherwise would make him appear to side with the racist Upperclass Twits (most of which already look down on him for not being of sufficient breeding and daring to think he can actually arrest them) and unthinking lowbrow hotheads in the city.
      You couldn't bring yourself to think the Klatchians had done it. Because that'd line you up with Sergeant Colon and the rest of the Klatchian-fags-are-made-of-camel-dung brigade.
    • Going Postal has Gilt and Vetinari exchanging a look after Upper-Class Twit Horsefry (one of the clacks executives) demonstrates his crass ignorance of Thud (used to demonstrate that Smart People Play Chess):
      Gilt and Vetinari shared a look. It said: While I loathe you and every aspect of your personal philosophy to a depth unplumbable by any line, I'll credit you at least with not being Crispin Horsefry.
    • Unseen Academicals: Ridcully finds himself having to rebuke an unpleasant Obstructive Bureaucrat without looking like it to preserve his authority but let Nutt continue coaching the team.
    • Night Watch Discworld:
      • Vimes gets three hitmen sent after him. One of them is clearly in it for the thrills, so he gets selected for interrogation where he instantly breaks down. Not only do the two professionals think he's Not Worth Killing, he later ends up joining Carcer's crew and gets slapped down by him (just to rub it in, Coates was also part of the crew, and he stared down Carcer).
      • It's also mentioned that Carcer views Knock and Quirke (two petty, backbiting corrupt guards) with the exact same disdain as Vimes, he just approaches it from the other direction.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Gilderoy Lockhart, Miles Gloriosus extraordinaire, is loathed by students (well, male students) and staff alike.
    • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Harry puts himself between Sirius Black trying to murder Peter Pettigrew to avenge the murders of Harry's parents and Sirius' imprisonment. Harry does this not because he has any sympathy for Pettigrew (he rejects his sniveling attempts at gratitude) but because he wants to think his father wouldn't have approved of his friends killing each other (not to mention that leaving Pettigrew alive to face trial is a Cruel Mercy).
    • Pettigrew appears as this even later: when he tries to get credit for being Lord Voldemort's sole servant between Voldemort's rebirth and the Azkaban breakout, Voldemort laughs at him, pointing out Pettigrew stayed on out of fear of Voldemort's retribution rather than any loyalty or devotion (such as the Lestranges). Even Snape gets in on it, snidely suggesting that he recommend Pettigrew for more dangerous missions than being Snape's housekeeper.
  • Animorphs: Aftran (a Yeerk) has some difficulty convincing the Animorphs that there is such a thing as peaceful Yeerks who oppose taking unwilling hosts, as they've known nothing but Yeerks trying to kill them. Meanwhile the militaristic Yeerks see the peace movement as traitors to the cause and hunt them down.
  • Downplayed to mutual ignorance in Dave Barry's Money Secrets, where one of the reasons newspapers are failing (according to newspaper editors) is that young people don't read the papers, thus changes must be made to make it more enticing, mostly involving giving less actual news, more pieces on celebrities, tattoos, skateboarding, etc. This has the two-pronged result of making older readers cancel their subscriptions (as the paper now looks like a hybrid between a tabloid and a comic book) and younger readers not subscribe because, as noted earlier, young people do not read newspapers.
  • Le Silence de la mer: Werner the German officer quartered in the French home is an Officer and a Gentleman, truly believing in the ideals of the Nazi party and how eliminating the weak will make the world a better place (for their part, his unwilling hosts maintain absolute silence towards him). Then after he meets his brother (now a Card-Carrying Villain delighting in the pain and misery he causes) and learns about the death camps, he finally realizes the brutish, destructive thuggery that the Nazis stand for, and volunteers for the Eastern front.
  • 20 Years After: During the Fronde, Mazarin is well aware that just about the only person who doesn't want him kicked out of France is the queen, whether they're opposing her or part of her faction. His one or two attempts at Still the Leader in front of the prince of Conde get him looks reminding him that "if Conde was defending him, it was neither out of conviction nor enthusiasm".
  • The Count of Monte Cristo: As a Nouveau Riche count, Morcerf (previously a poor Spanish fisherman) is despised by bluebloods and by commoners. It only gets worse once it's revealed just how exactly he achieved his position.
  • In the fourth book of The Death Gate Cycle, Alfred stands in an almost literal example of this, when Samah blames him for helping the Ancient Enemy, the Patryn, and being unworthy of a Sartan, and Haplo, the Patryn helped by Alfred, blames him for being Sartan and expresses disgust in the idea of being allied with one. All Alfred wants is to stop them fighting.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Blackadder:
    • In the second series, Blackadder has nothing but contempt for Lord Melchett for his constant sucking up to the Queen. Melchett hates him right back, constantly scheming to get Blackadder in trouble with the Queen, but must take great care that the Psychopathic Womanchild not decapitate him on a whim either.
    • Blackadder Goes Forth: Captain Blackadder finds himself with an antagonistic relationship with Captain Darling, who abuses his position under General Melchett to make Blackadder's life miserable (and is constantly belittled by Blackadder), but he's ignored and mistreated by the general in turn. It's a sign of just how badly they know they're screwed in the final episode when Darling is volunteered for the big push and neither of them snarks at the other.
  • Game of Thrones
    • Theon ends up here after his poorly thought-out attempt to take over Winterfell. The Starks hate him for betraying them, while the Ironborn are furious over how badly he failed.
    • By the end of the series, Tyrion observes that everyone in Westeros hates him- half of them because he sided with Daenerys and aided her in her war to reclaim her family's throne, and the other half because he betrayed her by freeing his brother Jaime in the penultimate episode.

    Video Games 
  • Empire Earth: The final English mission gives the Duke of Wellington this feeling, as he's defending a corrupt monarchy busy having a party while he's fighting against a man who tried to give France a better government.
  • Mega Man X4: the game centers on the conflict between the Maverick Hunters (and Zero in particular) and their supposed partners, the Repliforce (and their higher-up Colonel in particular). Iris — Zero's girlfriend of sorts and Colonel's sister — got caught in the tension between the two, with Colonel refusing to stop the coup d'etat and Zero being vehement on stopping Colonel's group at any cost. Iris tries to make the two stop fighting, to no avail. This culminates in Zero slaying Colonel, then a distraught Iris merging Colonel's robotic core with hers and then fighting Zero, who then has to take her down in self-defense. Iris' body got overclocked and she died peacefully on Zero's arms. Cue Zero's anguished scream about questioning his (lack of) reason for fighting and the subsequent Roaring Rampage of Revenge, especially once he knows who's the real mastermind behind the (largely unnecessary and avoidable) conflict of the 2 groups.
  • Fallout 4: Runaway synths truly have it bad from everybody. The Institute that made them considers them to be malfunctioning equipment which must be forcibly subdued, brought back and mind-wiped. Synths are terrified of this prospect, seeing having their mind wiped as akin to death. However, the wasteland they escape to isn’t welcoming of them either, due to long standing paranoia about synths being part of the Institute’s Kill and Replace manipulation of society, as well as possibly being Omnicidal Maniac types, owing to a decades-old massacre. The only people sympathetic to their plight, the Railroad, have to work in secret.
  • In Fire Emblem: Awakening, Yarne's Paralogue has your faction, Chrom's Shepherds, arrive at a village that is being caught in the crossfire between feuding bands of mercenaries. You can choose to ally with one of the factions, at the cost of losing some of the items you can gain, or you can oppose both, resulting in the bitter enemies deciding to Gang Up on the Human.
  • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Those Who Slither In The Dark, an antagonistic faction, end up drawing the contempt of both sides of the war between the Adrestian empire and the rest of Fodlan. Their allies despise them and only work with them out of convenience, disposing of them after the war ends in the route in which Byleth joins Edelgard, and leaving behind instructions to ensure their defeat in the Golden Deer and Church routes.
  • In World of Warcraft, this is rather common due to how the warring Alliance and Horde factions often find themselves facing a mutual foe, and can sometimes put aside their differences to fight their common enemy.
    • The Forsaken, the Token Evil Teammate of the Horde, are distrusted by the rest of their faction and outright despised by the Alliance due to the atrocities they commit against their enemies. It gets especially bad after the battle of the Wrathgate, in which a rogue Forsaken alchemist bombards a joint Alliance and Horde effort against the Scourge with a plague designed to kill the dead and the living.
    • In Warlords of Draenor, Gul'dan and his followers fit this role. Not only are they enemies to the Alliance and Horde(as well as their draenei and orc allies), but also to Grommash's Iron Horde, which rejected Gul'dan's offer of power thanks to a time traveling Garrosh's help. When Gul'dan becomes the final antagonist of the expansion, Grommash fights alongside the heroes to stop Archimonde.
    • Also from Warlords, there's Ner'zhul and the Shadowmoon Clan. Being part of the Iron Horde makes them enemies to the heroes, but even the Iron Horde doesn't value them, and pressures them to prove their worth lest the Iron Horde destroy them anyway.
    • In Legion, the Nightborne who collaborated with the Burning Legion are enemies to the Alliance, the Horde and many of their own people. Even the Legion don't regard them very highly, with Tichondrius mocking them for failing to defeat the intruders.
  • In Persona 4, Kanji, a boy who had feminine interests such as sewing, not only didn't fit in among his male peers, but the girls didn't accept him, either. Being rejected by both guys and girls for his hobbies is one factor that led to him becoming a delinquent.
  • In Plumbers Don't Wear Ties, you, the player, end up in one. Midway through the game, you are required to choose an extremely disgusting story choice, in which Thresher tries to extort sexual favors from Jane, the female lead and a job applicant, which results in your score permanently going negative and the narrator calling you out on it. Some time later, a Straw Feminist shows up and [[[It Makes Just As Much Sense In Context usurps the narrator's position] but is no happier with you, and proceeds to pick up where he left off in criticizing your story choices. After the original narrator returns, he continues his criticism.

    Web Comics 
  • Sequential Art: Art is told to redo a drawing by both the marketing and censorship departments: one wanting more cleavage or the ad won't sell, one wanting less cleavage or the ad won't air.
  • Ménage à 3: When Yuki and Sonya are fighting over which one is his girlfriend, Gary makes the mistake of suggesting both. The girls instantly turn on him instead.
  • In The Order of the Stick, Miko Miyazaki not only ends up being hated by the eponymous party of adventurers, but her fellow Paladins hate her, too. Unsurprisingly, Xykon and his minions don't think much of Miko when they interact. After Miko assassinates her liege lord Shoujo for supposedly betraying her and her fellow Paladins, she's become a pariah from both the good and evil sides. Even when she loses her powers she's unwilling/unable to see that it's all her fault.

    Web Videos 
  • A Scotsman in Egypt: Despite working for an odiously unworthy king who makes his contempt for him clear, an English general tries to throw a Breaking Speech at the Scottish army he's fighting, about how their leaders are content to throw their men into the grinder and not risk their own hides. One of the Scots points out that true as it may be, he's an Englishman, and that's all the reason they need to fight.

    Western Animation 
  • Frizz and Nug, two unwilling cronies in The Dreamstone, are regularly abused and Press-Ganged by the Big Bad Zordrak or his Co-Dragons, Sgt Blob and Urpgor. The heroes meanwhile either don't know or don't care that either of them are The Drag-Along and often repel them just as violently. The two Urpneys are so aware of their doomed position against either that most episodes they are more focused on evading their job altogether instead of committing much evil.
  • Rick and Morty: One episode sees Summer held hostage by a Council Rick. Rick makes it clear he's going to Shoot the Hostage, until Morty threatens to shoot Rick... leading to Rick admitting it was a bluff. Council Rick admits it had him going, calling Morty a fucking moron, an opinion repeated by Summer and Rick. All three calling him an idiot causes Morty to snap and shoot Rick... who takes advantage of the distraction to kill Council Rick (Morty's gun was fake, as stated by a note attached to the gun... which Morty evidently only read after the shooting).