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Critical Backlash

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"How could anyone hate this game? It's a hilariously silly parody of fighters in general. If you played it as a youngster you're more likely to enjoy it later on than people who never did. It's a nostalgic game and is actually really fun with two players. Overall, a game with both Boogerman AND Earthworm Jim is at least worth trying just to play as them."
M.U.G.E.N user MC2 on Clay Fighter 63 1/3.

The opposite of Hype Backlash, critical backlash is what you get when something is over-criticized and condemned to the extent that it couldn't possibly be as terrible as everyone makes it out to be. Like hype backlash, it's yet more proof that the critics aren't always necessarily correct, and Quality by Popular Vote isn't always a reliable indicator of something's merits (or lack thereof).

Critical backlash tends to occur when critical reaction towards the product is tainted by some outside factor; overhype, overexposure, and outside controversy may prompt the critics to focus on the noise surrounding the work rather than the merits of the work itself. Critics are often primed to dislike the product based on some preexisting prejudice and fail to look deeply enough for redeeming value, particularly if the work suffers from Public Medium Ignorance. Some critics may Follow the Leader and echo more popular and louder critics.

Of course, some things also just press a critic's buttons the wrong way; critics usually have different expectations and approaches than the wider audience, and just because something doesn't tick the right boxes on their checklist doesn't mean the wider audience might not find something of merit in it. Alternately, it may be that the vehemence of the criticism has conditioned the audience to expect the show's flaws, lessening the blow, and thus making what good qualities it has stand out more.

If the work develops a particularly devoted audience despite the critical drubbing, then it may experience hype and critical backlash from different quarters; the work may not be as bad as the critics say, but likewise not as good as its most ardent fans claim, falling instead somewhere in between. Cult Classics have often suffered from a critical backlash, only to be later rediscovered and Vindicated by History or (if they went from popular to hated first) subjected to a Popularity Polynomial.

Adaptations and works that generally fall into a critic's Acceptable Targets radar (such as animation and genre fiction) often receive this kind of reaction. This phenomenon is deeply related to the Streisand Effect and No Such Thing as Bad Publicity.

Please note that this page is not a personal blog to discuss your personal experiences of this; this page is all about the general properties which tend to receive this treatment. Also remember that this is YMMV; seeing something you hate here only means that other people may not hate it as much as you do, not that it doesn't have points worth of criticism, so try to resist the urge to make a Justifying Edit.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Code Geass has received so much exaggerated praise and exaggerated criticism due to its Broken Base status that long after the show originally aired different people regularly experience either Critical or Hype Backlash (depending on their expectations, degrees of suspension of disbelief, etc.) after they finally get to see it for themselves. It's not surprising to see newcomers arguing that the series doesn't deserve all the hate or all the hype.
  • The soundtrack from Bruce Faulconer's production team for the FUNimation English dub of Dragon Ball Z was reviled early on, but its fans became more vocal in their praise for it over the years since the show's airing. The dub overall has its own supporters as well.
  • The Inuyasha anime has been on both ends of this: when the series first began airing on [adult swim] during the early 2000s, the show was considerably renowned, but the English dub from Viz Media and The Ocean Group was openly reviled by fans (sure, even back then it had its supporters, but they seemed to be in the minority). However, over time, the fanbase for Viz's English dub became a lot more vocal and, while it may not be seen as one of The Ocean Group's finest works, it is still considered to be a good effort. Unfortunately, while this was happening, the show itself was starting to get a lot more backlash due to various things, such as Hype Backlash and the show becoming more episodic. It has even gotten to the point where plenty of viewers think that the English voice acting is the only good thing about the show nowadays (especially in the case of Naraku and Koga).
  • MD Geist got this on both ends: it was promoted heavily by Central Park Media as the pinnacle of action animation, everyone in the anime fandom of the time saw it and were usually disappointed, and it garnered a reputation for being the worst thing ever animated. But when it aired on Sci-Fi Channel, it gained something of a fanbase largely for the designs of the mech, its intense action, and soundtrack. Most assessments of it today acknowledge that for all its flaws, it is nowhere near the worst animation ever, or the worst of the eighties boom of OVAs.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny has such a vocal hatedom that anyone watching the show after its initial run is liable to experience a Critical Backlash. The show has its issues, certainly, but since nothing could ever hope to be as bad as the hatedom claims it is, it's not uncommon to find people for whom all the bile is hard to understand. It helps that recent entries such as AGE and Reconguista in G have also been severely criticized, with many arguing that the title of "Worst Gundam Show" that Destiny carried for so long should instead be given to either of those.
  • A character example is Katejina Loos from Victory Gundam. She long had a reputation as "The Queen of Evil" in Gundam, more despicable and hateable than anyone in a franchise full of very human but still horrendously evil villains. Many people watching Victory years after it aired find themselves noticing her good points, mainly in the first half of the series, if only because the hatred she is given makes her bad ones something expected. Contributing to this, everything Katejina has ever appeared in since (the novelizations, manga, video games) has her significantly more sympathetic and Yoshiyuki Tomino himself said she was meant to be a tragic villain who could yet be redeemed.
  • Naruto having such a massive fanbase as well as a large, and vocal, Hatedom (a portion often holding it up to Double Standard for things they may let slide in other series) means that in addition being possible to suffer from Hype Backlash, hearing about the series from its haters means having Critical Backlash can be just as likely.
  • The Wham Episode ending for Neon Genesis Evangelion in the form of the movie The End Of Evangelion becomes a lot less tragically depressing if you come in expecting the show to be, well, tragically depressing. For most people, the fact that it came out of nowhere and derailed the series, killing off several major characters and giving us the infamous Tang ending is what really caused a lot of emotional anguish to the audience. However, thanks to how much it is talked about online, it's almost impossible to go into the show not knowing it will experience eleventh hour sadness due to Creator Breakdown. Thusly, when everything starts falling apart after episode 20, and the show forcefully cranks out the Deconstructor Fleet and Tear Jerker up to eleven, the implausibility borders from mildly depressing to so impossibly sad it comes off as funny.
  • Interesting example with the Pokémon anime. The series is often criticized for its Strictly Formula nature, as well as refusing to age the characters with the passing years or letting them accomplish their goals. Yet, despite the decline in popularity it experienced in the Johto arc, it still maintains high ratings in both Japan and the U.S. and has a large and devoted fanbase.
  • Following the Seasonal Rot of the Fairy Dance arc, quite a few anime fans who previously praised Sword Art Online have switched to bashing it by series end. Not surprisingly, an increasing amount of folks are saying that the hate and backlash for the show is quickly reaching this territory. This is actually the opinion of Toonami themselves (whom probably witnessed first-hand many requests of SAO coming to the block get retracted when the show moved on to Fairy Dance during its Japanese run), as their rationale for picking it up in response to the backlash.
  • The original dub of Sailor Moon. You'd think it was something that was universally panned with the number of negative comments on this very site, much less the rest of the Internet. However, many fans have nostalgic affection for it and a sizeable portion of fans actually prefer it to the new English dub produced by Viz Media.

    Comic Books 
  • The entirety of Brian Michael Bendis' Marvel career, really. People either love or absolutely hate him and his work (to the extent that he got death threats over killing Hawkeye) but there's been a growing wave of positive reviews for his more recent work. Ultimate Spider-Man and All-New X-Men seem pretty popular and generally have very good monthly reviews from the critics. That and there's always been a huge amount of Critical Dissonance with his writing. For all the people on the internet screaming about how he's "ruining" comics, his work consistently sells very well.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Maximum Carnage and The Clone Saga are routinely used for target practice by seemingly everyone under the sun. While they are probably not examples of the best of Spidey's career, there are many people who genuinely feel that both stories don't warrant the sheer volume of backlash routinely given to them.
    • One reason for The Clone Saga being less hated is how it was streamlined in the '90s cartoon (as was the Alien Costume/Venom origin). Another reason is that, due to its sheer length, many people had originally not been able to read the story in its entirety, often missing out on some really good comics (such as the miniseries The Lost Years). Now that the complete series has been collected in its entirety, this is no longer an issue, and many of the good stories have been rediscovered.
    • Maximum Carnage didn't read very well originally when it was spread out over three months and four different titles. It read a lot better when it was finally collected in trade form.
  • Batman: Tom King's run of Batman is one of the most polarizing comic book runs of the 2010's, kicking off with high praise and excitement as an ambitious long-term character study, but eventually falling out of favor due to increasingly poor characterization and plot choices, and when combined with King's increasingly controversial reputation following the much-maligned Heroes in Crisis and backlash towards his infamously esoteric and deeply psychological style, fans largely turned on the series as an exhausting slog. However, years after its conclusion, and especially following James Tynion's continuation (which was mostly received as being So Okay, It's Average), the pendulum has started to swing back. It's become widely agreed that the run works much better for the trade, and some degree of the backlash towards its quality of writing has softened thanks to the benefit of hindsight (King apparently had to put up with some messy Executive Meddling, and some believe that Bruce Wayne's most unsympathetic actions were the result of other books, not necessarily King's). There's definitely still a lot of differing opinions on the run (it's really common to describe it as having both high highs and low lows, good luck agreeing on which stories are which), but you'll definitely find more praise than when it came out.
  • Superman: The Superman Red/Superman Blue saga from 1998 (not to be confused with a similarly-titled one-shot from the Silver Age, which was the inspiration for this era) is considered one of the most infamous and pointlessly awkward eras for the character in his long history. A massive shakeup to the status quo, this arc saw Superman deprived of his usual powers and becoming an Energy Being that needed housing in a cyborg suit with a white/blue color scheme and new, electricity-based superpowers, who would then split into another energy being (this time white and red), which was widely panned at the time for being nonsensical and transparently gimmicky, with Supes being returned to his usual self by the following year. However, later critics find that this saga was more flawed in concept than in practice, with many finding that in a vacuum, the stories featuring Superman Blue/Red themselves were pretty decent (primarily when written by Grant Morrison in their JLA (1997) series), his new costume was well-designed, and as an experiment to radically reinvent the status quo of one of the biggest superheroes ever, it did far less damage to the character's legacy than expected; the key issue was simply that nobody wanted Superman's status quo to change to begin with. Despite the arc largely being written off as a failure, many writers in DC have tried their hand at reworking its ideas into other aspects of the Superman mythos, including the ally Strange Visitor, Lana Lang's appearance in Superwoman, and even Superman's son, Jon Kent, receiving electricity powers in his own right.

    Films — Animation 
  • Disney Animated Canon:
    • The first example was Alice in Wonderland. It was trashed by critics - many of whom vilified Disney for "Americanising a great work of British literature" - and bombed at the Box Office, Walt himself even disowning the final film. But it found popularity in the 1960s with stoners and steadily opinion softened towards it. By the 1990s, it was included in the Walt Disney Classics collection.
    • The Black Cauldron is a major Old Shame for the studio. It nearly bankrupted them and was trashed by critics for being Darker and Edgier. There's very little merchandise for it, and it took over ten years to get released on video. But it has a strong cult fanbase to this day. And the original author didn't think it was that bad, either.
    • There's also Home on the Range, which was heavily bashed by critics, and continues to be, even on This Very Wiki. But if you look on deviantART, YouTube, or IMDb, you'll notice that it has a decent fanbase who compare it to Disney's films from the '40s and '50s.
    • Chicken Little caught a lot of flak upon release, with one of the main criticisms being that it felt too mean-spirited. While its reception still hasn't improved that much over the years, it does have its fans who consider it a decent and enjoyable film. At the time of its release, it was one of the Black Sheep of the Disney studio.
    • The Hunchback of Notre Dame is the only Disney film to ever be nominated for a Razzie Award, and critics bashed it for being too dark and mature for children (or, conversely, for sugarcoating a great work of adult literature). As far as the Disney Animated Canon goes, it has a massive following and it has far more fans than its critical response would suggest.
    • Pocahontas got a lot of hate when it was released, and it's considered the turning point for when Disney started its slow decline. However, it does have plenty of fans for the characters, animation, and songs, and for those who think the Aesop is actually a good one. General consensus seems to agree that it's far from Disney's worst film, but by no means their best either.
  • Foam Bath from 1979 or '80 (depending on the source) was an experimental foray into adult animation targeting a specific niche of Hungarian urban youth, described by its creators as the first work of a new genre. It was a tremendous flop, despised by viewers and dividing critics with its ostensibly confused messaging, overload of padding, boring plot, uneven tone and off-putting Deranged Animation. In the studio's self-published magazine, the film's animation director addressed the criticism, arguing audiences "weren't ready" for a movie that defied the mainstream's understanding of animation. The film got more popular after the turn of the millennium. While many still say it's trash, it's a minor international Cult Classic, with overall commendably high (albeit very few) ratings on most film databases.
  • The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild: There are some who can see past the film's flaws and budget constraints, and appreciate it for being a fun, silly romp with some surprisingly heartwarming moments. Even some who dislike it consider it a step up from Ice Age: Collision Course and breaking the curse of the movies doing progressively worse over the box office, if only slightly by having a critic score 3% more positive and an audience score 8% more positive on than the latter respectively on Rotten Tomatoes for whatever that's worth.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls as soon as the movie's very existence was hinted at, involving a plot where the ponies become teenage humans in high school, a portion of fans pounced and rocked the very internet with drama. Even now people who haven't even seen it yet continue to hate it. However, most people who have seen it, while agreeing the story is a bit weak, admit that it is entertaining and definitely worth watching.
  • The original The Transformers: The Movie was not exactly well-received by critics on its debut, squeezing out a bare 58% on Rotten Tomatoes even to this day. However, it's also got an overall 88% fan approval rating, suggesting that despite its flaws, including a lore that was unwelcoming to those not already fans of the series, it is still a widely beloved and rewatchable movie. It isn't the cultural touchstone of the Transformers fandom for no reason—even the modern Transformer movies have yet to eclipse it. Notably, its sibling G.I. Joe: The Movie didn't do or age nearly so well with audiences.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Alien³ was initially unloved when released in 1992, to the point that director David Fincher disowned it. The biggest factor for this was the sudden deaths of Newt and Hicks, who became beloved characters in the previous film; others also critiqued the dark, dreary, and depressing story and various problems with the story. However, in later years the film underwent a reevaluation thanks to the Assembly Cut of the movie on blu-ray, which restores many scenes of character development for most of the main cast as well as subtle development for the supporting prisoners, changes the Alien's host from a dog to an ox, puts greater emphasis on the themes of religion and redemption the film was going for, and reveals the fates of two important characters, Junior and Golic, who simply vanish in the theatrical cut. Thanks to this cut, the film is now seen by some Alien fans as an underrated entry in the franchise and a decent way to end the original trilogy and Ripley's story, and many feel that had it not been for the Executive Meddling which led constant recuts, and had something along the lines of the Assembly Cut ended up in theaters, the film's reputation wouldn't have been so sour. The version of the film's reevaluation was helped in light of the sub-par quality films that followed. While the film's reputation has improved significantly from what it once was, the newfound praise is by no means universal and David Fincher still refuses to have anything to do with it, though it has more to do with his horrible experience with the studio than the film itself. Today, the general consensus seems to be "not a very good sequel to Aliens, but pretty good as a standalone story."
  • Avatar, even in This Very Wiki. When Avatar got extremely popular, the Hype Backlash was so bad, many critics began to dissect it and complain about even the slightest of its flaws, to the point where even that backlash and all its criticisms were considered overblown.
  • Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever has the unenviable prestige of "the statistically worst movie ever", not just being a part of Rotten Tomatoes' 0% club, but having the most aggregate reviews of such, all unanimously negative. With that level of notoriety brings curiosity from audiences, but an increasingly common sentiment among user reviews is "it's not as bad as they say." While actual positive reviews are fleeting, the general consensus is that Ballistic is a generic, mediocre action-thriller that fails at what it sets to be in a pretty unremarkable way. It's nowhere near So Bad, It's Good territory but also not excessively, offensively bad, leaving it in relative limbo of just "forgettable" bad, for better and for worse. It's telling that despite its pedigree, it wasn't nominated for a single Golden Raspberry Award.
  • Batman & Robin. Despite it making a boatload of money at the box office, it was also nominated for a whopping eleven Golden Raspberry Awards, including Worst Picture, though it only won for Worst Supporting Actress (Alicia Silverstone). It is a major target for hatred among Batfans and moviegoers alike. Its presence is all but guaranteed on a "Worst Super Hero Films Ever" list, and it has even made appearances on a few "Worst Films Ever" lists as well. It also didn't help that this film more or less killed the Batman movie franchise up until The Dark Knight Trilogy came out almost a decade later. While the film is still viewed unfavorably today, the consensus has changed from "the greatest insult to comic book fans" to "a hot mess that's worthy of a few chuckles" or, in more generous circles, "1990s Adam West". Then came other superhero films, such as Catwoman (2004) and Fantastic Four (2015), which are considered by most to be far worse than Batman & Robin. Then Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice gave us a Batman who kills criminals and established a bleak, depressing world. People's view of Batman & Robin softened considerably.
    • Attitudes towards Batman v Superman itself also lightened up over the years due in large part to the Better on DVD Ultimate Edition (which included nearly 30 minutes of scenes cut out of the theatrical version that added much more depth and context to the story overall), more so after a trickle of news reports detailing the deeply Troubled Production of its follow-up film Justice League (2017), where a combination of Mood Whiplash (which was due to rewrites and reshoots as an Author's Saving Throw attempt to make the film more "hopeful and optimistic" than the last movie), a switch in directors (going from Zack Snyder to Joss Whedon), and Aborted Arcs, and the 2021 release of the director's cut of Justice League resulted in a rethinking of what Batman v Superman was going for (essentially a "darkest before the dawn" type situation; even Snyder and screenwriter Chris Terrio stated that BvS was supposed to be the darkest in the series before having the subsequent films become lighter in tone). While it's still contentious, it's nowhere near the level of how things were in 2016.
  • Clash of the Titans got savaged by a lot of fans and critics alike. Richard Corliss of TIME magazine noted that a lot of the bad reviews came from critics who had nostalgia for the original. Some feel that it's a decent popcorn action flick when it's not being compared to its original.
  • The Divergent films are usually on many critics' 'Worst of X Year' lists, and "still better than Divergent" is often used to describe other movies based off YA books. Some understandably don't find the movies to be that bad.
    • This especially appears to be the reaction to The Divergent Series: Allegiant, which was near-universally panned by critics but has a So Okay, It's Average rating of 6.0 on IMDB.
  • Drop Dead Fred was critically panned on release and remains quite polarizing, yet it's managed to cultivate a cult following decades later. Part of it is nostalgic fondness, as well as some prominent criticisms — most commonly its unbalanced tone and Rik Mayall's performance as the titular Imaginary Friend — being looked as rather appealing in hindsight (love or hate it, Mayall made a name in America through the role). Several modern critiques also like to argue that the jarring tone problems (swinging wildly between juvenile kiddie comedy and the questionably "adult" psychology of its protagonist) is itself the point, and that the film works more as an intentionally awkward Black Comedy with fantasy elements rather than a straight-faced one that earlier critics judged it to be.
  • Exorcist II: The Heretic was released to scathing reception, being outright booed and laughed at by audiences during its premiere and being described by critics and publication as not only a failed follow-up to its beloved predecessor, but one of the worst movies of all time, a consensus that more modern critics and reviewers tend to find to be an overreaction. Nowadays, it's more commonly agreed that the movie is an otherwise a mediocre 70's horror flick, but nothing wretched — even taking historical context into account, many newcomers tend to be confused by the stories of walkouts within the first ten minutes considering that it's not unlike many horror films of the era, and its bizarre, nonsensical plot is usually seen as more amusing in an interesting way rather than foul.
  • Fantastic Four (2005) got mixed to negative reviews at the time of its release for showing less action than expected. That and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer are seen as superior Fantastic Four films since Fantastic Four (2015) came out.
  • Freddy Got Fingered was released to a widespread critical thrashing for its bizarre, nonsensical, at-times incredibly Squicky "comedy", quickly earning a reputation as being one of the worst movies ever made (nominated for 8 Razzies, winning 5). While that reputation has generally still stuck around, there's been an increasing movement of fans who make the case that its sheer bad taste actually shoots the moon and makes for an interesting anti-comedy, some even making the case for it being a Stealth Parody of late-90's, early 2000's lowbrow "dude-bro" comedies, much like most of Tom Green's oeuvre. Even Roger Ebert, who gave the film a scathing zero-star review — subjecting it to his infamous "bottom of the barrel" monologue — gave it a modicum of credit during his review of Stealing Harvard:
    "Bad movie, especially the scene where Green was whirling the newborn infant around his head by its umbilical cord. But the thing is, I remember "Freddy Got Fingered" more than a year later. I refer to it sometimes. It is a milestone. And for all its sins, it was at least an ambitious movie, a go-for-broke attempt to accomplish something. It failed, but it has not left me convinced that Tom Green doesn't have good work in him. Anyone with his nerve and total lack of taste is sooner or later going to make a movie worth seeing."
  • Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning was often considered one of the worst chapters of the franchise, with the Jason copycat killer being a particularly reviled aspect. But some viewers in recent years, particularly people new to the franchise, tend to be puzzled by the negative reception the film receives, appreciating the new inventive kills, the overall trashy, much more sleazy feel and noting the film only stops feeling like a Friday the 13th movie once the twist ending kicks on.
  • Ghostbusters:
  • Gigli is an interesting case. A lot of its initial reviewers said they thought it was bad, but not terrible. Somehow it sank in popular perception from 'bad movie' to 'worst movie ever' thanks to its many mildly to moderately negative reviews, combined with the fact that it starred Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez (who were the 'it' couple at the time). Roger Ebert actually took time out of a different review to point out that it wasn't that bad.note 
  • The American 1998 Godzilla film often gets this; true, it does severely depart from its source material, but as a standalone monster film and as a 'realistic' take on the Godzilla franchise, it's not bad, and some of the diehard Japanese Godzilla fans admit to liking it (and especially its Animated Adaptation) better than some of the official Toho films (some of which have been known to be famously horrible).
  • Heaven's Gate was annihilated in reviews and became one the most dramatic flops and Genre-Killers in Hollywood history, but some modern critics have suggested it wasn't as bad as it was made out to be. Part of the problem was that the film had received so much bad publicity during production due to delays, cost overruns, stories about Michael Cimino's hyper-perfectionist directing style, protests from animal rights groups, an ill-fated premiere which garnered negative reviews, including a very vicious one by The New York Times' Vincent Canby, and finally, Cimino getting the film pulled from distribution after said premiere and cutting ⅓ of the film in a desperate attempt to salvage the movie's reputation. With all those factors in mind, critics were already expecting it to suck by the time they reviewed it. Although critics have softened their views, and the rerelease of the uncut version in 2012 was actually very well-received, the shorter version is still panned as the cut muddled up the storyline.
  • Critics in 1969 hated Hello, Dolly! and it's credited with killing the big-budget Hollywood movie musical. If you overlook the most glaring problems (Barbra Streisand's Underage Casting and the at-times sluggish pacing) it's So Okay, It's Average at worst, though definitely not up to the standard the same studio had set with The Sound of Music.
  • The film adaptation of The Host (2008) has been well and truly savaged by critics, leaving it with a meager 8% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Opinions vary as to whether this was deserved, depending on your fondness for Stephenie Meyer's novel.
  • House of Wax (2005) was trashed by critics, and nominated for several Razzie Awards. It's noted here that the large amount of panning stemmed from the widespread Hatedom for Paris Hilton - and that the bashing seemed to be the Catharsis Factor for most of them. Roger Ebert likewise noted that Paris Hilton merely played a typical slasher movie victim - and did it no better or worse than any number of actresses in other such films. To prove this point, Paris would later spark She Really Can Act moments with Repo! The Genetic Opera and a guest spot on Supernatural.
  • Hudson Hawk was raked over the coals by critics when it was released for being a mess of a self-indulgent Vanity Project, which it is. Part of the problem is that the theatrical trailer made the film look like a fairly straightforward action film. so moviegoers were caught off guard. However, it has always had a small following of fans who appreciate its over-the-top Large Ham performances and Refuge in Audacity plot.
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. While it's doubtful the film will ever be considered the best of the franchise, and it does have a groan-worthy scene or two, it's by no means as bad as people make out. Most of the backlash aimed at this movie seems to be the result of Nostalgia Filter, as well as complaints about the film's MacGuffin being Science Fiction rather than a mystic/religious artifact. Which isn't true anyway, but that's beside the point.
  • The multitude of stories about the legendarily Troubled Production of Ishtar lowered critics' and audience's expectations for the released film, and indeed the box officenote  and reviews reflect that. But people who've watched it in the years sincenote  say it's actually not bad.note 
  • Manos: The Hands of Fate got a reputation as "the worst movie of all time" after it was shown on Mystery Science Theater 3000, causing Dr. Forrester to apologize for showing it to Joel. It's probably easier to agree with it if you haven't already heard it. Any fan of MST3K will readily confirm that it's hardly the worst movie they had ever mocked.
  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie was fairly well thrashed by reviewers but made a decent amount of money from its fanbase. Today, it is generally regarded as a Guilty Pleasure, retaining all that is considered fun about Power Rangers while having a much bigger budget and completely original footage.
  • The 1981 film adaptation of Mommie Dearest is widely remembered as the psychological drama that failed so spectacularly and became so unintentionally hilarious that its studio was forced to repackage it as a comedy flick. Over three decades of changing values have certainly had their effect on the film's reputation — the film was originally lambasted for burying the subjects of childhood abuse and Hollywood's shameful treatment of aging women under a mountain of over-the-top ham, but as public perception of those topics have become far more informed and nuanced, many — especially real-life survivors of abuse — have been more willing to speak out as such abuse being portrayed as surprisingly, if not uncomfortably, realistic (the film was Very Loosely Based on a True Story, after all), often criticizing the studio's decision to completely undermine that aspect for the sake of a laugh. In specific, Faye Dunaway's performance of Joan Crawford was laughed off for being loud and too ridiculous to take seriously — the "NO WIRE HANGERS!" meltdown in specific becoming the subject of mockery for decades — but more people have been willing to defend the performance for being a disturbingly accurate portrayal of an unhinged Abusive Parent, where if anything, Dunaway was under-acting. People have certainly shied away from calling the wire hanger scene "campy" or "cartoonish" considering that it immediately leads to a mother physically assaulting her daughter who's scared for her life.
  • Morbius (2022) was instantly lambasted by reviewers and fans of the comics, with such a bad reputation it led to ironic memes exalting the movie while never having actually seen it. But some viewers who did watch the movie for real out of curiosity instead of Bile Fascination found Morbius a fun vampire action flick if nothing else, that in spite of The Stinger being terrible and downright nonsensical, has plenty to offer and doesn't deserve the amount of hate it gets.
  • On lists of Worst Best Picture Winners, Ordinary People is often given a high rating. This is most likely due to it winning the Best Picture Oscar instead of Raging Bull. The film itself is a very subtle, quietly moving film that doesn't deserve the almighty kicking it gets.
  • Crash makes many "worst Best Picture winners" lists because it won the year Brokeback Mountain was nominated. Crash may have some clichés and contrived scenes, but it's not by any means a bad film.note 
  • Pixels: If you take away Adam Sandler's character (responsible for most, if not all, of the film's negative publicity) and focus on the video games and the way they're brought into the real world, then it becomes a fun, enjoyable romp with shades of Wreck-It Ralph.
  • Kevin Costner's The Postman was a major commercial failure and its premise sounds ridiculous the first time you hear it, but it's certainly no Battlefield Earth and the premise does makes sense after you think about it.
  • Despite how much critics love to hate Repo! The Genetic Opera, the movie still has a huge fan following similar to The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
  • Song of the South is notorious in large part for just how much Disney has gone out of their way to prevent you from seeing it due to concerns of it being racially insensitive and dated. This has resulted in much sensationalizing of what the film actually entails (many assuming it to just be "The Racist Disney Movie" with loads of grotesque, racist imagery and themes), but the common consensus among those who've actually managed to view it is that just about the only majorly questionable issue is the sanitized depiction of the post-Civil War South — otherwise, it's a standard, lighthearted live-action Disney flick that has some genuine highlights (namely the animated segments with Br'er Rabbit and James Baskett's beloved, Oscar-winning performance as Uncle Remus), and that at worst, it can be described as "forgettable". This in turn has led to decades of debate on whether or not Disney's treatment of the film is justified, with many feeling that the only reason there's an awkward controversy clouding over the film is because Disney themselves made it one.
  • Speed Racer. Critics hated it and it flopped, but many of those who watched it consider it to be a fun if silly movie.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Motion Picture, while a big box-office hit, got a distinctly mixed critical reaction for its slow pace and long effects sequences, which earned it the unflattering nickname "The Slow-Motion Picture" in many quarters. This soon developed into a backlash from fans who felt that the film had been unfairly dismissed by critics who were expecting another Star Wars, and had either overlooked or failed to appreciate that it was trying to be something more cerebral. This has only intensified in the decades since, as the following films, despite being more critically successful, generally tended to focus around the formula of stopping a villain who was out for galactic conquest.
    • Star Trek V: The Final Frontier will never be considered a good film by any stretch of the imagination, but there are some fans who feel that its overwhelmingly negative reaction on its initial release (let alone its reputation as one of the worst films of all time, which in fairness did lessen considerably after about a decade) had more to do with its being seen as a vanity project for William Shatner (whose public image was at the time very contentious), and that it would otherwise have probably been seen as a flawed, but still watchable film.
    • Star Trek: Nemesis ended up proving a serious Box Office Bomb, while getting worse reviews than any Trek film except for The Final Frontier. As with The Motion Picture however, an increasing number of fans feel that critics failed to give it a fair shake, with many of the reviews just complaining that It's the Same, Now It Sucks! rather than treating the film on its own merits, overlooking its Nature Versus Nurture themes, and failing to give Tom Hardy credit for his strong performance as the Big Bad.
  • Star Wars:
    • A look at Return of the Jedi's stats on Metacritic illustrates the considerable gulf between critical reaction (52%, meaning mixed reviews) and the audience reaction (8.3/10, meaning near-universal acclaim). The film still carries a reputation as a disappointing end to a great trilogy which made the bad guys into idiots, but the average Star Wars fan typically considers it to be a great film that simply happens to follow two even greater ones. And Revenge of the Sith (see below), regardless of one's opinion on the quality of that film, is agreed by many to have made Return of the Jedi an even more emotionally-charged film than it was before the prequel trilogy came out since it's not just about Luke redeeming his evil father, it's about Vader watching his son going down a similar path he did without giving in to the Dark Side, and rejecting it once and for all.
    • The 1997 Special Editions of the original trilogy were hit big-time with They Changed It, Now It Sucks! on their release (as were the subsequent 2004 DVD and 2011 Blu-Ray releases, which made their own changes), which made the very concept of the George Lucas Altered Version an incredibly contentious topic even to this day. Nowadays, the alterations are far less controversial, as the passage of time has lead to an increasing consensus that most of the changes are just cosmetic and don't really have that much of an impact on the films as a whole, with Greedo shooting first being probably the only change still widely agreed to have been a bad call. People on both sides of the argument usually agree that, ideally, the original theatrical editions should still be available for people who want to watch them, but other than that, most of the major alterations — such as the Wampa's being kept mostly off-screen in the theatrical release of Empire versus it being clearly visible in the Special Edition onwards, or the new musical numbers in Jedi — tend to be considered matters of personal taste, and complaining about minor details such as CGI creatures being added to the background of scenes or the colors of characters' lightsabers will usually just be dismissed as fanboyish nitpicking.
    • The Prequel trilogy films tend to get varied reactions from audiences, with many vocal Star Wars fans (especially those who saw the Original Trilogy first) utterly despising them. Out of all three prequels, The Phantom Menace is typically considered the worst of the trilogy and the worst Star Wars film ever (at least until the sequel trilogy came out). There's a contingent of fans who say that reputation has been blown out of proportion by people more angry with how the film wasn't what they expected from a Star Wars film than any actual legitimate criticism. While Menace and Attack of the Clones polarized both critics and fans, Revenge of the Sith was released to rather great acclaim.
      • While the acting of the prequel trilogy is incredibly divisive, many fans feel that some actors get too much flak for their performances. In particular, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd, and Hayden Christensen are often attacked by die-hard fans who are more forgiving towards beloved actors like Samuel L. Jackson and Liam Neeson, even though their performances were considered by many critics to be just as terrible. Some will excuse Lloyd's acting on account of him having been a child. As for Portman and Christensen, their defenders say that they weren't bad actors per se (especially since both have given performances outside of Star Wars where they received critical praise) and that their bad performances came more from George Lucas's directing and writing (Lucas himself has admitted that dialogue isn't his strong suit and many of the iconic lines in the Original Trilogy were ad-libbed by the actors). And continuing on that last point, some others also believe that Christensen played the character of Anakin Skywalker perfectly, and that the dislike is because Anakin is vastly different than what many Original Trilogy fans expected of a young Darth Vader (which Lucas has cited at least once). When Christensen returned to the role in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney+, his performance was unanimously praised.
      • Jar Jar Binks is often considered one of the worst fictional characters ever created (not just in Star Wars, but in all media) and those who hate The Phantom Menace and/or the prequel trilogy as a whole will usually point to Jar Jar as one of the main reasons why. Yes, he can be annoying. Yes, he can distract from the plot at times, and yes, he could be seen as a racist characterization of Jamaicans, but he can also be useful sometimes (if it weren't for him, the Naboo government and the Gungan army wouldn't have joined forces and the Trade Federation would have won) even pulling off a few Big Damn Heroes moments in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Making matters worse is that Jar Jar's actor, Ahmed Best, admitting that he had contemplated suicide at one point due to the harassment he received by haters of the character. While still a pop culture punchline, Jar Jar has gained some defenders in recent years (mainly from younger fans who were children when the prequels came out) who find the character to be no where near as insufferable as he's made out to be. Tellingly, Mr. Plinkett's review spends over 90 minutes discussing The Phantom Menace's flaws and barely mentions Jar Jar at all, making the unspoken point that Jar Jar is hardly an asset, but it's unfair to blame him for singlehandedly ruining the film when there are plenty of other things wrong with the writing, acting, story, and direction.
    • Reactions to The Last Jedi by Star Wars fans have been... mixed at best, splitting an already fickle fanbase into about a million pieces. The film's haters tend to claim that it's as bad as, or worse than, the prequel trilogy. The online backlash has been so bad there was an actual online petition in order to officially declare The Last Jedi non-canon and an attempted crowd-funded fan-remake of the film. Still, many feel that the film deserves nowhere near the amount of bile it receives in many internet circles, especially considering that it was a darling with critics in the first place. Part of this reaction may have to do with the fact that unlike the prequels (whose criticism was largely based of more obvious flaws like dialogue, special effects, and acting) The Last Jedi's criticism is mostly based off more abstract flaws like the discrepancies with tone and continuity from The Force Awakens and whether certain characters would behave in the way that they are shown in the movie (particularly Luke Skywalker).
    • Some very vocal parts of the fandom absolutely despise Rose Tico, leading to a frequent meme (sometimes used in jest, sometimes not) that she is the Jar Jar Binks of the sequel trilogy. The actress who played Rose, Kelly Marie Tran, received so much online backlash from viewers (including racist and misogynistic comments) that she shut down her social media accounts. Due to this intense hatred of her, many who have seen the movie after reading these comments have stated that while she does have quite a few cheesy lines and her character feels like a somewhat pointless addition to the franchise, she doesn't deserve the absolute hatred she gets from these circles, and certainly comes nowhere close to Jar Jar in terms of annoyance. In fact, the personal attacks against Tran made many fans realize that they'd treated prequel actors Ahmed Best and Jake Lloyd the same way, which may have set the precedent for those later attacks.
  • Super Mario Bros. (1993): it's the Ur-Example of Video Game Movies Suck, but some people who have looked at it from a different angle (not expecting a direct adaptation, not taking The Nostalgia Critic's word on something as infallible for once) actually don't find it to be that bad — some even think it's actually a pretty fun, trippy little movie if treated as a self-contained story divorced from the source material... which, admittedly, isn't that hard to do.
  • Tank Girl was a Box Office Bomb, wrecked by critics, and infamously thrashed by the creators of the original source material, who despised working on the film and felt that the Hollywood suits who made it simply didn't "get" the tone of their comic. Despite this, the film has a cult fandom who enjoys it for what it is — Lori Petty gets cited as a highlight for providing a faithfully wacky and rebellious take on the title character, with many finding that much of the overall dark yet irreverent humor works more than it's given credit for. By the 2020's, there's been some positive critical reevaluation towards the fact that the film is a surprisingly sincere Feminist Fantasy, and may have paved the way towards more feminist-skewing Hollywood action flicks of the modern age (the most obvious comparison being the critically-acclaimed Mad Max: Fury Road).
  • Transformers Film Series
  • Many people feel this way about Waterworld. It arrived in theaters in 1995 with both the baggage of its gigantic budget and Troubled Production (the sets got hit by a hurricane and that still wasn't the biggest issue) and growing critical and audience weariness with Kevin Costner and its story is hackneyed, but its scope and scale are genuinely impressive.

  • British author Colin Wilson first hit the big time in 1958 with a book of critical literary analysis called The Outsider. This was at first hailed as a critical success and the big-name critics couldn't get enough of this perceived driven young genius whose personal life was also newsworthy — it turned out he was living rough to save on rent and spending his days in the British Library researching and writing. However, with subsequent books the critics turned and savaged him, perhaps fearing they'd been over-fulsome the first time. While still having cult status, Wilson's 'formal' literary career never really survived this early critical Heel–Face Turn.
    • A lot of this had to do with his nonfiction writing: Wilson has written a number of histories of occultism and publicly stated his belief in some supernatural phenomena. He also wrote what is widely regarded as one of the most risible books about Jack the Ripper (at least until Patricia Cornwell got into the act).
  • This happened to Stephenie Meyer's Twilight. The peak of its popularity with the film adaptations was soon followed by the rapid growth of its hatedom, whose criticisms ranged from heavier matters such as the bad writing, the regressive sexual and racial politics, and the acting in the movies to things like the screaming fangirls, the Pretty Boy male protagonists, and the idea that the series "ruined" vampires. It also didn't help that several actors (notably Robert Pattinson) expressed regret over taking part in the movies. By the late 2010s, however, a backlash to the backlash emerged from former fans who agree that there's plenty about it to criticize, but also feel that it's hardly "the worst thing ever" as it was once touted as, and view the extreme vitriol the series received as both somewhat exaggerated and fairly misogynistic in its own right, driven by both men upset that women were infringing on "their" geek spaces and women who didn't want to be seen associating with "girly" things. As of recent years, a smaller fandom for the series has grown in online circles, one where the general opinion can be summed up as "yeah, it's trash, but it's our trash." Lindsay Ellis and Sarah Z have made videos on how the pendulum has swung in this regard.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Due to its extreme longevity, Doctor Who has entire eras that suffer from being critically maligned. This also applies to fan opinion, however; it is quite common for stories and eras previously negatively viewed to receive positive reappraisal thanks to the passage of time. The Sixth and Seventh Doctor eras are rife with examples, as is the Second Doctor era, the latter due to mostly more stories from Patrick Troughton's time being recovered.
  • Season 8 of Game of Thrones, when it was first released, suffered an extremely negative backlash from many people. Since its airing, some fans upon rewatching it have come to defend the season, appreciating its dark plot twists and character development. They argue that, in an age of media that plays it safe and tries to maximize its appeal to be as broad as possible with endless sequels, reboots, and nostalgia bait, a show that built its final season around shocking and subversive twists that go against the fans’ wishes deserves at least some credit, even if the execution wasn’t perfect. There are also people who watched the whole show after it aired who, while they may not particularly like season 8, still enjoy the show overall and don’t believe the final season completely taints the experience as many claimed.
  • Star Trek: Voyager had a lot of complaints aimed at it during its initial airing and for a decade or so after its finale, the chief ones being that it was too similar to Star Trek: The Next Generation, that it relied too much on Status Quo is God, and that the stories and characters just seemed too light-hearted for what some viewers should have been a grim scenario of a crew struggling to survive in hostile space decades away from home. Starting in The New '10s and beyond, however, people started questioning exactly why it was such a bad thing that the show had patterned itself so closely after a widely beloved and commercially successful predecessor, pointing out that Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was already there to cater for people who wanted a Star Trek show with Darker and Edgier and more arc-based storytelling, and finding many of the other common criticisms to be greatly overblown and/or to only really apply to the early seasons of the show.
  • Most Smart Marks despise Total Divas and any wrestling columnist that has to mention it will usually take the time to bash it. Despite this, the show still attracts a significant Periphery Demographic outside the E! network's target audience, including plenty of male wrestling fans.
  • Many people have disparaged Two and a Half Men, Chuck Lorre's other major sitcom, as the Antichrist of sitcoms. The show itself mostly just has unlikable characters and trite jokes and plots. It also gets away with many more sex jokes than its time slot, and having a minor as a costar, would seem to allow. Besides all that, Charlie Sheen's real-life antics seem to color many people's perception of it even though he left the series in the eighth season. Yet, like The Big Bang Theory it always commanded a sizable audience.
  • Variety shows definitely count. They were derided by many critics and audiences for being schmaltzy and uninspired in their heyday, but there's a sizeable population who view them with nostalgia goggles and think that they didn't deserve the bashing they got and/or are certainly better than the crop of reality shows that we have today. The Star Wars Holiday Special might be an example.

  • Teen pop acts and boy bands such as Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, and *NSYNC tended to be dismissed during their heyday by music critics as manufactured and inauthentic, as well as for having largely female fan bases.note  In the years since the teen pop boom of the late 1990s/early 2000s, writers have reclaimed these artists and acknowledged their artistry and showmanship, as well as their influence on pop acts of today.
  • The Beatles' final (sort of) album, Let It Be, was derided as a mess of half-done songs and sloppy editing, and arrived in stores after they'd broken up. However, it contains "Let It Be", "Get Back", "The Long and Winding Road", and "Across the Universe", some of the group's most famous and beloved songs.
    • As for individual songs, "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" routinely finds its way onto "worst songs of all time" lists by critics, which is confusing to listeners who consider it to be a fun, bouncy little chunk of cheese and don't really get why it's so frequently singled out as being especially terrible, when other songs on The White Album (like "Wild Honey Pie" and "Revolution 9") are much more disliked by fans.
  • Bob Dylan's 1978 album Street-Legal was slaughtered by critics (in Rolling Stone's review Greil Marcus started out by calling it "a joke" and got even more vicious as he went) for its Springsteen-ish arrangements and sometimes inscrutable lyrics. It's even been speculated that the album's poor reception might have helped drive Dylan to convert to Christianity. But after a remixed version was released in the '90s many fans have embraced it as one of their favorite albums.
  • During the early 2010s, Justin Bieber was one of the most hated names in music, and mentioning him positively on the Internet was a surefire way to get mocked, which wasn't helped by his bizarre and egocentric behavior offstage. As Bieber managed to mature as an artist in the latter half of the decade, the hate began to be seen as overblown. The prevailing opinion nowadays is that the while Bieber's music certainly wasn't perfect, the haters were simply trying to be seen as "cool" by hating on something popular.
  • The album My Beauty by former Dexys Midnight Runners lead Kevin Rowland came in for some of this. In this case, many critics chose to focus their ire on the fact that Rowland chose to wear drag and makeup on the album cover. This led the album being one of the worst-selling in the label's history, with only about 500 copies shifted; however, on its rerelease, after the controversy had died down, later reviewers found it to be a relatively solid album of cover tracks.
  • The 1970s musical genre of disco didn't inspire the former name of Condemned by History for no reason, but it's nowhere near as bad as many of its more virulent critics would make out. There's a lot of reasons it faced such backlash, but few of those reasons have stood the test of time and most people from the 90s onwards don't get what the fuss was all about. Disco has resultantly seen resurgence and acceptance, as well as becoming a huge influence on later popular music genres. It particularly doesn't help the "Disco Sucks" movement's case that some of disco's most vocal critics were reactionaries motivated less by the music's quality and more by straight-up bigotry and hatred of how disco broke through racial and sexual barriers — white and black racists alike targeted disco, as did homophobic and puritanical groups that affiliated disco with LGBT people and sex positivity. Predictably, this has only made the backlash against the backlash towards disco even more intense and caused many who consider themselves part of the aforementioned Disco Sucks movement to consider it an Old Shame that was used by bigots as weak justification for intolerance.
  • Eminem:
    • Eminem accused people who hated his album Revival of just dunking on him for the sake of it on "Chlorasceptic (Remix)", as people in the hip-hop community were calling it the worst album ever based on reading the track list before it even came out, and much of the rest of the hate being from Trump-supporting elements of his fanbase turning on it for its political message. Now the dust has settled... it's still considered a bad album that suffers from trying to please every part of Eminem's huge fanbase, but it's nowhere near as bad as it's been made out to be. Later critics commented that its politics are more coherent and thoughtful than initially assumed (and not really contradicting his shock-comedy persona much either, which was always satirical), with some who hated the album admitting they respected the artist for taking a hit in the pocket to stand up for his values by telling Trump supporters he didn't want them in his fandom - more than a lot of 'woke' pop stars bothered to do in 2017. (Em claimed, perhaps hyperbolically, that his fanbase went down to "about a third".)
    • Encore is generally considered the other candidate for Eminem's worst album, with fans speculating after it came out that it was a fake album designed to confuse the leakers. While the rehabilitation of the album is still controversial, it has been Vindicated by History to some extent: Teens listening to Encore to find out how bad it was led to Encore becoming a major influence on swag rap, mumble rap (he slurs and sing-raps a lot of the album) and shitpost rap, and caused a brief fad for flows imitating the Painful Rhymes and intentional flubs that dot the album.
  • Everclear was derided by critics quite a bit in their heyday, but they still produced at least three hit singles ("Santa Monica," "Father of Mine," and "Wonderful").
  • Megadeth:
    • Youthanasia and Cryptic Writings experienced this to the point where they are now considered great albums. Risk is on the verge of it, the album being the butt of jokes even though Dave Mustaine corrected a lot of the Executive Meddling when he remixed and remastered it in 2004. In a reversal of the situation, the once well-received 'return to form album' The World Needs a Hero is now considered lackluster.
    • It’s now safe to say that Risk is a strong example of this. The main arguments from its defenders being that the album was a gutsy move for Megadeth after the fan backlash Metallica received a few years prior for their similar change of sound and image. And that, when judged as a late-90’s alt-rock album rather than a classic Megadeth album, it actually isn’t too bad. Almost nobody will defend Super Collider, though.
  • Metallica's Load and Reload albums. Upon release, the albums were heavily criticised for their alternative rock leanings and the band's questionable fashion choices. Over time, however, they've become more accepted by the metal community. The reasoning for this is twofold: First, while the Load twins alienated many of the band's longtime fans, they also gained the band many new ones. Most significantly, they brought Metallica's music (and metal in general) to a much younger audience. Since a good portion of the people that got onboard the Metallica bandwagon with the Loads eventually went on to discover less mainstream metal bands, it's only natural that the albums would be more accepted by the metal community now than they were during the mid-'90s. Secondly, in a weird way, the enormous backlash (not just with metal fans but also with the mainstream) with 2003's St. Anger got led many to go back and listen to the Load albums, realising that 'For bluesy hard rock (i.e. mostly non-metal) albums, these really aren't so bad.'
  • The critical backlash that boy band New Kids on the Block received was especially notable, even noted on Wikipedia. A combination of massive overexposure (at one point, they even had their own Saturday morning cartoon, just like boy bands The Jackson 5 and The Osmonds before them), criticism for using pre-recorded backing vocals live (which was likely only an issue due to the then-recent Milli Vanilli lip-synching scandal), as well as a shift towards the rising trends of grunge and gansta rap left this blue-eyed urban contemporary act to start receiving massive hatedom. By the early 1990s, their popularity began to fizzle. Eventually, they too would make a comeback as a nostalgic act, and combined with the Backstreet Boys to create the Super Group NKOTBSB, which went on a profitable tour in the early 2010s.
  • Nickelback gets plenty of hate, often voted as the worst band ever to the point where many non-fans don't feel that it's deserved and rather consider their music as bland but not awful.
  • Oasis' Be Here Now has gone through a rollercoaster of reception: at the time of release, critics hailed it as yet another masterpiece from the band, but in the intervening years, reception took a nosedive, with many seeing it as the beginning of the end for Oasis as the band's music became too bloated, meandering, and excessive for their own good — retrospective historians believed the only reason the album was acclaimed in the first place was because critics seriously underestimated their previous albums, Definitely Maybe and (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, and thus overcompensated by coasting on the band's reputation alone. However, as time moves further on, reception has since stabilized and the album is largely considered So Okay, It's Average at worst — it's still very recognizably Oasis and is by no means unlistenable, it's just not anywhere near the level of quality of their previous two beloved albums.
  • Frank Sinatra was the original teen idol in the 1940s. Most of his songs of that period were hated by men across the globe because girls went crazy over him. Yet as Time Marches On and Sinatra became more associated with a mature adult singing about more world-wise topics these songs from early in his career have been judged on their own merits and are actually quite good. In fact, his voice never sounded better.
  • Billy Idol's 1993 album Cyberpunk was critically polarizing and a commercial failure that marked the end of his time in the mainstream spotlight, but has built up Cult Classic status over the decades. A New Sound Album made as Idol's exploration of the titular nascent genre, the approach alienated fans at the time due to being much more dense, topical, and gritty than the accessible Glam Rock/New Wave sound he'd built on, while hardcore cyberpunk fans rejected Idol himself as being a pretentious, opportunistic faux-rebellious poser who simply didn't get the philosophies of the genre beyond the surface level, with the album being written off as trashy, instantly dated cheese. However, modern reevaluations tend to be a lot kinder based on the knowledge that as flawed as the album is, Idol was coming from a place of sincere interest and respect for the genre (Idol regularly spoke highly of "Cyberculture" and its future, he produced much of the album on his own computer DIY-style in lieu of relying on his usual team of studio producers, and heavily interacted with the internet and supplementary multimedia for promotion, which was unheard of for any mainstream celebrities at the time), and that as far as dated cheese goes, it's ultimately harmless and enjoyable if you're into that early style of synth-punk.

  • Popeye Saves the Earth is one of the most frequently bashed pinball machines of all time, and any discussion of terrible pinball by someone who's played a lot of pinball machines will inevitably list Popeye Saves the Earth among them. However, should a discussion about this game go on for long enough, there will always be people coming out to defend it, or at least say it isn't that bad. Indeed, despite its jarring mix of themes (Popeye and conservationalism), it was still drawn professionally, and despite half of the playfield being obscured by a giant plastic model of a cruise ship's bow, it was crafted competently enough to preserve the ball's momentum traveling up and down ramps and lanes. There have been pinball machines with horribly Off-Model artwork (such as World Poker Tour), and there have been machines with worse problems with design (such as Orbitor 1). All in all, Popeye Saves the Earth fell victim to being a weaker game released after a long line of critically acclaimed and popular pinball machines and had confusing, ambiguous, and seemingly inconsistent rules.

  • The Unjustly Maligned Podcast is about this subject, with a guest every episode discussing and defending a work that they think isn't as bad as its reputation, including many examples from this page.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • John Cena, or more specifically, his wrestling ability. While Cena's move set is certainly limited and his matches can be formulaic, he's nowhere near as bad as a lot of his detractors will have you believe (at least in comparison with most other WWE main eventers with similar schedules). On the flip side, when he has a good opponent to work with, his psychology and understanding of story can lead to classics such as his Money in the Bank match against CM Punk; the same match that managed a five-star rating from Dave Meltzer, the premier writer of the The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the first one Meltzer had given the WWE in over fifteen years. For comparison, Shawn Michaels has only had two of his matches rated as five stars from Meltzer, and he's often regarded as the best in-ring performer of all time. The Undertaker, a similarly highly-regarded wrestler, has only ever managed one, and that was the first Hell in a Cell match against Michaels back in 1997, the last time WWE ever managed the five-star rating. Punk's second draw with Samoa Joe in their trilogy back in Ring of Honor was the first match in the United States to gain the rating in years. The fact that Cena managed to gain such acclaim for one of his matches indicates that he does have some amount of talent, no matter how much the other guy is carrying the match.
  • This extended to John Cena's girlfriend Nikki Bella. She attracted an insane Hatedom around the time she won the Divas' Championship, and this only increased when it became clear she would surpass A.J. Lee for the longest title reign. Most of the criticisms stem from Narm-filled segments during her feud with her sister (which she herself viewed as an Old Shame). A section of fans still believe she's just as bad as when she first started to get pushed. Others however felt the criticisms were overblown and that Nikki visibly improved her mic skills and wrestling. Bleacher Report praised her match against her sister Brie, rating it higher than the other Divas' match featuring smark favourites Paige and AJ Lee the same night. Likewise Lethal WOW named her the Most Improved Diva of 2015 and hatred of her has calmed down a lot in 2016 following a sidelining injury taking her out of action and other women being pushed in her place. Outside her Hatedom, general opinion seems to be that she's not amazing but she's not as terrible as her detractors would make her out to be.
  • Goldberg has a reputation among hardcore fans for being limited and a dangerous worker because he accidentally delivered a legit mule kick to Bret Hart, giving Hart a concussion which led to Hart retiring due to Post-Concussion Syndrome and Bret has never forgiven Goldberg for it, trashing Goldberg in shoot interviews every chance he gets. While Goldberg wasn't very technically sound and he was a bit sloppy, he at least tried to bust out new moves in his matches and while they weren't textbook perfect, they look effective enough. Let's be honest, the Spear and Jackhammer were all he needed, because fans loved him for it. The injury to Bret was due to a miscommunication.
  • Hulk Hogan was, and still is, criticized for his lack of actual wrestling ability and for being formulaic much like John Cena. Hogan was trained by legendary Japanese technician Hiro Matsuda, but American promoters thought that the American wrestling fans wouldn't buy a guy the size of Hogan wrestling that way and pushed him to wrestle like a generic big guy heel, with his offense consisting mostly of strikes, dirty moves and a few power moves. His ability became even more "limited" when he became the top face of the WWF in the mid-1980s since his matches always consisted of Hogan getting the crap kicked out of him, only for Hogan to get a Heroic Second Wind, perform the Five Moves of Doom and win. Hogan brought back some of his technical style when he became Hollywood Hogan in 1996, even putting on a decent technical match against Bret Hart in 1998 (though age and injuries had slowed him down considerably). Watching Hogan's Japanese matches compared to his American ones would almost make you think it was two different people. To put this in perspective, he once busted out an enzugiri in one of his Japanese matches against The Great Muta.
  • Ever since he became a singles wrestler, Roman Reigns has become Public Enemy number one because of his limited moveset, cringe-worthy promos, and his positioning as John Cena 2.0. Reigns' moveset is limited, but he does have a few moves that he can do quite well, he has been in several Match-of-the-Year candidates since then, and nearly every opponent he has faced has praised him for his work ethic out-of-character. His promos are mediocre at best but that's mainly due to the creative team's bad writing and Reigns can deliver decent promos when he's allowed more free will (Many agree that'd they'd at least tolerate him if he stopped talking altogether and be a silent badass), and there are many wrestlers on the roster who are far worse at cutting promos than Reigns. Ultimately, the way he's booked his not his fault, he's simply doing what WWE tells him. Even many people who are not fans of Reigns as a wrestler or character agree that while he's not good enough to be the top star, he still busts his ass at what he does and the hatred of him has gotten far out-of-control. (Un)Fortunately, opinions on Reigns softened considerably upon the revelation that he had been battling Leukemia for over a decade and that he had to step away from the ring in order to get it back into remission. Opinions on him improved even further after his 2020 heel turn, showing that Roman can be very entertaining once placed in a role that actually suits him.
  • Detractors (and some fans) of WCW often hate on its former lead commentator Tony Schiavone, who was voted "Worst Television Announcer" in 1999 and 2000 by The Wrestling Observer Newsletter (which Sacred Cow Gorilla Monsoon "won" six years in a row) and is often credited as being the one to put WCW on its deathbed by spoiling Mick Foley's WWF Championship win on RAW the same night as the Fingerpoke Of Doom, sarcastically saying "That's gonna put some butts in the seats!" It also doesn't help that Tony's late former colleague Bobby Heenan (also a Sacred Cow in the wrestling community) spoke very negatively about Tony in his book. Regarding his commentary itself, he would occasionally mix up the names of moves, pay little attention to matches that didn't involve the nWo, and shill WCW to death by declaring everything to be "The greatest 'X' in the history of our sport!" Truth is, Tony's commentary was much better prior to the nWo era and many of the points people criticize him for are a case of misblamed (i.e. Eric Bischoff ordered Tony to bury Foley and the non-main event talents, towards the end of WCW everything was so out of control that not even Jim Ross or Gorilla Monsoon could have saved it, the issues between Heenan and Schiavone were misunderstandings brought on by higher-ups, etc.). While few will call him the best commentator out there, those who don't dislike Schiavone believe he was good enough on his own merits and did the best job he could as the voice of WCW in the '90s. Opinions of him seemed to improve starting in the second half of The New '10s, after his "What Happened When" podcast re-ignited his passion for the business and led to him returning to wrestling commentary, first for MLW, then for All Elite Wrestling.
  • If you ask a lot of AEW fans who the worst wrestler to set foot in an AEW ring was, a lot of them would answer Mel. Mel was brought in as part of the unpopular Nightmare Collective faction with Brandi Rhodes (often accused of using political stroke to give herself a bigger role than she deserved), Awesome Kong (who by this point was severely broken down and a shell of what she used to be in the ring) and Dr. Luther (who was presented as a big deal even though he was a manager and few fans knew who he was). Mel then had a stinker of a match with Hikaru Shida, and because of Shida's reputation as the best worker in the women's division, Mel took 100% of the blame for the bad match. The thing is that although Mel wasn't exactly setting the ring on fire, her matches were generally inoffensive at worst, and her only other "bad" match, against Red Velvet, just had one botch in it, which was Velvet's fault. Also, although Shida is still considered a stellar worker, there are a few women she just doesn't gel with and she's had a couple other bad matches over the years. Before AEW, Mel worked in SHIMMER as Melanie Cruise, and her work there was generally well received.
  • Jinder Mahal is infamous in the WWE for being an unremarkable jobber that no one really cared for that very suddenly and rapidly received a mega-push to the moon in 2017 following him defeating Randy Orton to become World Champion, a Title reign that was met with widespread criticism due to lacking any credibility, and was seen as a shallow attempt to pander to Indian audiences after the WWE launched in the country the same year, which ironically made him even less fans than when he was just a forgettable midcarder. Following the end of his reign that year, he's mostly returned to languishing in obscurity, cementing his reputation as a case study of how a bad push can completely tank a wrestler's ability to go over with fans. As time further passes and history has become more critical, however, a growing consensus is that this had very little to do with Jinder Mahal as a wrestler, as he was still a decent in-ring worker and performer, and that he deserved better not in terms of accolades, but from booking, with many feeling that he had good potential that was completely squandered by writers who didn't know what to do with him other than "Ethnic Scrappy Foreign Wrestling Heel". In early 2024, following a controversy surrounding AEW owner Tony Khan, where he mocked Mahal on Twitter for him being slated for a World Heavyweight title match against Seth Rollins — which Khan found nonsensical given Mahal's year-long losing streak — fans, co-workers, and other industry figures from Booker T to Eric Bischoff were quick to jump to Mahal's defense, highlighting him as someone who warrants respect and quality treatment, not continual burials.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Monopoly is mostly reviled in board gaming circles, but when it's criticized, there'll usually be someone arguing that the game is fine if played as intended, with the players trading and without the notorious house rules that drag out games. (Of course, there are also people countering that while the game is less bad in this case, it's still bad.)

  • Monster High: As soon as concrete details about G3 came out, fans started tearing it apart thanks to the number of changes made to the characters and setting. The sheer amount of negativity led to a counter-backlash by fans who felt the detractors were overreacting to the changes — and once the media and toys for G3 were actually released, it managed to gain a sizeable fanbase of its own. Nowadays, while there's still a subset of fans decrying the changes compared to G1, general consensus is that G3 is decent in its own right and doesn't really deserve all the vitriol it gets.

    Video Games 
  • Aaru's Awakening is considered by GameFAQs to be the worst game ever made. The sheer fact that it has an actual and consistent art style and storyline would however place it above many even worse games. On Metacritic you can see the hatred in full-swing. While critics were polarized by it, it's considered divisive, with most of them citing that it has a good art-style, but that there are issues with the controls and gameplay, yet Metacritic users still decided that it was worth spamming floods of negative reviews to.
  • Alpha Protocol: Savaged by various reviewers who panned it for being unpolished and glitchy, scaring off the vast majority of first adopters, it has become a cult classic whose fans admit that it has flaws but enjoy the vast replayability it offers.
  • The Atari 2600 versions of Pac-Man and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial are frequently called "the worst games ever" by critics. Granted, Pac-Man suffered from being a Porting Disaster and E.T. has some issues of its own, but they're not as bad as critics might think, compared to other games released on that system at the time these two games were released. In particular, the urban myth that E.T. was the worst game ever even drove Digitalpress insane. To the point that they showcased 10 even worse Atari 2600 games that, according to the people that viewed it, made E.T. look like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
  • Batman: Arkham Origins gets a lot of flak from the fanbase for, among other things, being too similar to Batman: Arkham City (some even calling it a rip-off), despite WBM having Rocksteady's full approval. Some also consider it to be non-canon for its supposed horribleness. Yet, it got only slightly lower scores than the original two games, and some players feel like it has the best story in the series as well as the most badass boss fights.
  • Bomberman:
    • Bomberman Act:Zero was intended as a Darker and Edgier Continuity Reboot for the "next generation," but its Halo-reject characters, uninspired dingy levels and pointlessly hard single-player mode (99 sluggish, repetitive levels to play on one life with no continues or saves) won no awards. To further irritate fans of the series, few of the power-ups from previous installments were retained, and offline multiplayer, one of the series' biggest selling points, was not available. The game's only possible redeeming feature, its online multiplayer mode, was written off by most people for a long time; with copies of the game collecting dust in bargain bins, it was doubtful that people would actually be eager to actually play it. Then ProtonJon's livestream featured it on a dare, and a lively series of 8-player matches ensued.
    • Bombergirl gets utter hatred from series veterans, especially Westerners, for having gratuitous Fanservice and, due to being released in 2018, about three years after the infamous Konami scandals of 2015, it gets seen as more "proof" that Konami only ever does bad things now. Nonetheless it has a steady playerbase, both in Japan and out, who don't care for the hatred or the "Fuck Konami" mentality that fuels the backlash, and see it as a great MOBA-style take on the multiplayer Bomberman formula, despite the copious fanservice or even because of it.
  • Castlevania:
    • Castlevania II: Simon's Quest's departure from the level-based structure of parts I and III is still complained about today, along with its rather obtuse puzzles and several flat-out misleading clues. Those who grew up with the title or tried it in spite of contemporary internet critics' snarking tend to be more charitable in their assessment, appreciating the game for its attempt at an open-world action/adventure style (which became the series bellwether once Castlevania: Symphony of the Night ironed out the kinks) and pointing out that plenty of other well-regarded games from the era had their fair share of Guide Dang It! moments.
    • The soundtrack of Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance is an easy target for criticism due to using a less-advanced sound chip on the Game Boy Advance rather than the one used for the other two Castlevania games on the same platform. Nonetheless there are many players who like the soundtrack, either despite or because of its "inferior" sound for adding to the game's surreal atmosphere even by series standards.
  • Chrono Cross has generally always received a good response from critics, but when it was released it was loudly savaged by fans who were upset that it wasn't Chrono Trigger 2. It had brand new characters, a brand new world, brand new combat and magic systems (save for Trigger's trademark Combination Attack techs), and the only real references to its predecessor were oblique, unnecessary fanservice, entirely missable, or the Giant Space Flea from Nowhere final boss. Nothing that made Chrono Trigger a beloved classic was readily apparent in Cross' design, production, or play. In time, the fan stance softened and Cross is now regarded as one of the best RPGs of the PlayStation 1 era and an excellent game in its own right. Modern consensus tends to be that the "Chrono" name was more of a burden than a boon, and that Cross didn't need the pressure of living up to Trigger when it was never really making any strong attempt to connect itself to begin with (the developers have always been adamant that it was meant to be a loose sequel. Cross was its own game with small ties to its predecessor, and was never intended to be a continuation of Trigger's story, or require people to have played Trigger to understand the plot, or to feature a rehash of Trigger's best elements).
  • Clayfighter 63⅓, the final game in the Clayfighter series, was savaged by critics and gamers upon release. It was quickly regarded as the worst N64 game up to that point, due to its janky animation and broken gameplay. Not to mention some offensive-even-for-1997 ethnic stereotyping with some of its characters. Over the years, however, the game has developed a bit of a cult following due to its refreshingly non-serious tone, as well as having some cool ideas that, with more polish and better execution, could've made the game great.
  • Deus Ex: Invisible War is actually a really good FPS and received average critical scores of about 8/10. To hear the fans talk about it though, it's the worst heresy ever spawned from the pits of FPS hell- or at least little better than Daikatana and it is even considered Fanon Discontinuity by some. This is more because it simply can't live up to the original, largely because it's accused — with some justification — of being 'dumbed down' for the Xbox (but if Invisible War was dumbed down, you can't blame it on the Xbox — the original Deus Ex did just as well on PS2).
  • DmC: Devil May Cry was panned by Devil May Cry fans on release for its gameplay changes and grittier tone. As time went on, however, attitudes toward the game have softened, with many praising it for its fun gameplay and excellent environmental design.
  • Many reviewers chose to follow the crowd in bashing Dragon Age II, calling it a dumbed-down action game, when in fact it still features the tactical combat just like Dragon Age: Origins, only faster. The game did have its problems (recycled dungeons, unpredictable enemy spawns), simplified action commands, and removed isometric view for the PC version, but the writing and dialogue were very good. It probably doesn't help that BioWare was caught planting user reviews from its employees, was quoted out of context in wanting Call of Duty's audience, and that there was a ridiculous amount of pre-order DLC available. Despite a flood of harsh negative user reviews, many fans will agree that it's still a solid overall game.
  • Duke Nukem Forever: Rescued from Development Hell after a decade and a half, it was the most popular playable title at PAX 2010 — yet it was almost universally hated by critics once it was released. Some reviewers even ventured into Fan Hater territory, slinging insults at anyone who actually enjoys DNF. Despite all that, the game still sold well enough to be profitable — a fact that actually annoyed its critics. Check out the Metacritic scores for the PC version, and note the difference in distribution of ratings between critics and users.
  • Dune 2000, a remake of the Trope Codifier for the RTS genre Dune II. Upon release, the game received lukewarm reviews, with the main criticism being that it was essentially just Dune II in Command And Conquer's clothing, at a time when the RTS genre was rapidly evolving through games like Starcraft and Total Annihilation. The game sold poorly and was quickly forgotten. Over the years, however, it has developed a cult following for being a well-made but refreshingly simple RTS and solid update to Dune II, with a fairly strong modding scene to its name. There are even fan-made patches available to play the game at modern resolutions on newer versions of Windows.
  • The Elder Scrolls series has this happen with seemingly each new installment. Fans of the series tend to judge each new game against whichever game they were introduced to the series with, sort of their own personal version of First Installment Wins. Given Bethesda's tendency to build each installment from the ground up with wholesale changes from its predecessor, this leads to serious Broken Base issues and claims of Contested Sequels.
  • F-Zero: GP Legend had the misfortune of being released shortly after the critically-acclaimed F-Zero GX, and as a result suffered for it, being written off as a third-rate spinoff, not helped by being associated with the F-Zero: GP Legend anime which was not really well-liked. F-Zero Climax sold so poorly that it never left Japan and is regarded as the Franchise Killer. Nonetheless, both games have considerable playerbases, who see them as excellent refinements of the pseudo-3D formula established by F-Zero (1990) with a large variety of machines, the exclusion of bumper vehicles, and beautiful "Mode 7" takes on various locales, most notably Lightning (which was first featured in GX and has sleek-looking grille-based track textures and lightning flash effects). Climax in particular is seen as one of the most demanding, yet most satisfying games in the series due to the ludicrous speeds that players can reach on its 54 challenging courses.
  • See also Fallout 3. Like The Elder Scrolls, the previous game, Fallout 2, receives its 'fair' share, as well. Apparently consoles ruined RPGs forever, as has been said of this game, Oblivion, and Morrowind.
  • When the PC version of Final Fantasy VII was released on Steam in 2013, many who played it (including those who played for the first time ever) didn't think it was as bad as the hatedom says that it is.
  • Despite Final Fantasy VIII being an easy target for criticism for its obtuse gameplay systems and even more obtuse plot, there's still a large fandom for the game, liking the more complicated character drama, the subtle nuances of the plot, and the card game.
  • Final Fantasy Mystic Quest is becoming an example of this trope as well as its fanbase is starting to become a bit more vocal over the years. More people are willing to be okay with how simplistic the game is and find it to be a fun little title nevertheless (though its fairly renowned soundtrack probably helped).
  • Gradius ReBirth, upon its release, was widely panned for not living up to the lofty standards set by Gradius V, a game regarded by many as the best in the series due to Treasure's co-development of the game, the vastly improved graphics compared to previous games, a bombastic Hitoshi Sakimoto soundtrack, and the new Option types creating many new gameplay styles. In comparison, ReBirth is seen as a considerable downgrade that uses "weaker" 16/32-bit graphics, has a similarly "lower-quality" soundtrack, doesn't have as diverse of a selection of weapon loadouts or shields, and features only five stages that take about 15 minutes to complete versis the 30-60 minutes that many other shmups take (which only made mainstream review outlets give ReBirth even worse ratings, as many mainstream outlets since the 2000s pan shmups as a whole for what they perceive to be a lack of content). All of these factors turned ReBirth into, ironic to its name, a Franchise Killer. Nonetheless there's a fair number of players who think these criticisms are unreasonable and appreciate what ReBirth brings to the table, including arranges of many tracks from console and MSX Gradius games, the game being a Prequel to Nemesis 2 and Nemesis 3 (two games that are noticably more story-heavy than the mainline Gradius games), the higher loops having differences in level design and enemy formation that aren't just "enemies shoot more bullets", and difficulty levels having distinct changes, such as Easy mode allowing enemy bullets to be destroyed and the Hard and Very Hard modes starting the player on said higher loops. The game also has a lower difficulty curve than many other Gradius games, and coupled with the game's short length, it's seen as a solid title for less-skilled players and those who want to get a one-loop clear out of the way faster. In short, "it's not as lavish as Gradius V, but it doesn't have to be."
  • The Halo series tends to get this a lot of this, especially from fans of Half-Life, System Shock and Call of Duty. Especially on The Escapist, thanks to Zero Punctuation (who has openly said he didn't really enjoy Halo, but said it was average), in which the series is frequently complained about ripping off stuff it actually created or popularized or was already done by Bungie's previous shooter Marathon, is criticized for its fanbase (despite the fact that they themselves are not so different), has extremely subjective opinions thrown at it, and stuff that's flat out contradicted by the games.
  • Herzog Zwei had the unfortunate distinction of being among the first of its kind — a Real-Time Strategy game — coming from a developer renowned for classic overhead shooters, namely the Thunder Force franchise. Reviewers, therefore, treated Herzog as a classic shooter and were perplexed as a result, and their horrific scores followed that train of thought. Now that the RTS genre is firmly cemented in the gaming public's consciousness, fans are much kinder to the game.
  • Despite all the criticism, many feel that Mario Party 9 and Mario Party 10 were good games in their own right, especially with the changes they made to the series formula.
  • Kirby: Squeak Squad is generally considered one of Kirby's worst outings. However, upon a closer inspection, even fans who don't like it tend to admit that it's a relatively average (some even calling it outright good) game and its only crimes are a fairly lackluster plot and final boss, and the overabundance of assets directly ported over from the GBA games.
  • In a minor example, the first real planet you visit in Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, Peragus, was frequently criticized for dragging on too long (taking somewhere around two or three hours to finish) and being incredibly boring, with little dialogue with other characters save listening to Apocalyptic Logs and a lot of slogging through hordes of the same three types of droids (mining droids that shoot you or bash you, red mining droids that shoot you or bash you but a little harder and with a little more health, and maintenance droids that heal the other two) before you eventually get to leave a couple hours later. So many were absolutely vehement in their hatred for that portion of the game that several players getting into the game later expected the worst thing ever, witnessed it, and came to the conclusion it's not all that bad. Some even appreciate it for, despite its reputation, still being quicker and more to-the-point than the opening planet of the first Knights of the Old Republic, as well as its attempt to make a Survival Horror-style level where you have no idea what's going on and nearly everyone you meet is already dead in a Star Wars game.
  • Fitting for its status as arguably the most controversial game in recent memory, The Last of Us Part II managed to be hit with both this trope and its inverse. For the latter, most casual fans didn't get the heaps of praise critics were piling onto it, and felt like it sweeping most major game awards (including several Game of the Year awards) was underserved while its story wasn't the Citizen Kane of gaming that journalists said it was. And yet the same Silent Majority felt the former in effect especially amidst the rage against the story and characters, as the gameplay at least meant it was enjoyable in a gameplay sense, while the story itself, while polarizing (to say the least) wasn't the absolute worst thing ever many were making it out to be and the more vitriolic reactions coming from those who held its predecessor in high regard while those who didn't care for the first game's story didn't have a strong opinion. Nowadays, as the controversy has died down to an extent, people are at least able to talk about its positives and negatives together, and come to an agreement that it's not for everyone but it's not completely crap.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda was absolutely trashed upon release as an unworthy follow-up to one of the greatest trilogies in gaming (whose finale was still a sore spot in most fans' minds) thanks to bugs, wonky facial features, lackluster characters, and EA's overall perception among gamers not being the best. It didn't help that around the time of its release came The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Horizon Zero Dawn, and NieR: Automata, all of which are seen as modern classics thus making Andromeda even more forgotten in comparison. More recent looks away from the backlash and with patches however have seen it as an actually decent game, whose gameplay is pretty fun and whose characters, while not on the level of Garrus or Tali, are memorable in their own right. Many do agree that it was an unfortunate case of bad timing and hype putting the game under more cynical lenses, and if it were given more time or not even named a Mass Effect game, it could have had a chance.
  • Metroid:
    • Metroid: Other M. The game was met with intense disdain due to its story, characters, and gameplay upon release, to the point that saying anything positive was unthinkable. While the game would still be hailed as the worst entry in the series once the franchise was deemed to have regained its footing, there is a growing contingent of fans who think that the gameplay itself is perfectly enjoyable and should no longer be listed as one of its faults.
    • Whilst it is agreed that Metroid Prime: Federation Force could have been released at a better time, a lot of fans consider the game’s initial overwhelming negative reception to be unfair and outright ridiculous. Though just mentioning the game still garners knee-jerk hate and ridicule even years after its release from the fanbase, general consensus is that the game is actually So Okay, It's Average, with a lot of interesting concepts (such as giving a Day in the Limelight to the Federation and setting up Sylux as a potential main villain in the future), and that most of the anger directed towards the game was excessive at best.
  • Mighty No. 9, a crowd-funded spiritual successor to Mega Man, one helmed by none other than Keiji Inafune and co-produced by Inti Creates of Mega Man Zero and Azure Striker Gunvolt fame, was widely seen as a failure of nuclear proportions at the time of release. On top of negative critical and general audience response, the fact that it was backed by so many audience members on Kickstarter, had a well-documented myriad of behind-the-scenes problems, multiple delays, poor decisions and mismanagement on Inafune's part, and featured a disastrous marketing campaign by Deep Silver, combined into a huge reputation as one of the worst games of the decade, tarnishing Inafune's good name and his career. However, if you go into the game today, you'll probably find that it's mostly an underdeveloped, but fairly middling Mega Man-inspired clone, and it's become more common in the years following release that its failure had been blown out of proportion by its surrounding controversies more than its actual content, some players not finding the game as bad as many are making it out to be. Inti Creates would later reintroduce Mighty No. 9 to their much-better-received spin-off/crossover series Mighty Gunvolt, which also restored some favor in the project as not being a total loss.
  • Any Mortal Kombat game between MK3 and Deadly Alliance falls into this, most notably MK4. Ironically, the game was panned for the move to fully-3D graphics, the exact reason Street Fighter IV was acclaimed (albeit the latter is thought to have handled the transition to 3D much better than the former).
  • Paper Mario: Sticker Star is the lowest critically-rated game in the Paper Mario series and also gained a large hatedom for its gameplay, lacking original characters or memorable characterizations as seen in the previous titles, instead going into a "New Super Mario Bros.-esque" formula, which many fans were already sick of by that point. Despite this, it still has a following (albeit a small one, or just very silent) for being a decent and quirky game by its own standards and not when compared to the past titles, although nowhere near the level of Super Paper Mario which has been Vindicated by History since its release.
    • Paper Mario: Color Splash as well. It has a vocal hatedom because it uses the same gameplay mechanics as Sticker Star, but many people who originally hated it on reveal were won over when it turned out to have fixed at least some of Sticker Star's flaws (namely the Guide Dang It! gameplay, lack of meaning to battles and the generic locations). There are also some who think its flaws are getting overblown and the Nostalgia Filter for the first two games is minimizing their flaws (though that's not to say the reverse for either side doesn't happen). However, because it still retains some of the problems of its predecessor (such as lack of character variety, very little story, Bowser still as the Big Bad, quality of the battle system, no partners...), the quality of this game is still rather contested, as opposed to the former which is already hit with Sequelitis.
  • This is common with many Pokémon. Garbodor is one of the most prominent examples of this. In its debut, it was the symbol of what people hated about Pokémon Black and White, as many players believed it was ugly and lazy of Game Freak to make a trash-based mon. However, the sheer vitriol led to Garbodor gaining many passionate defenders such as Bogleech, and it ended up gaining a cult fandom as a result. The most notable instance is Chuggaaconroy using a Garbodor for his main team, which proved to be an effective Stone Wall, especially with a Rocky Helmet equipped. Amusingly, Pokémon media tends to portray Garbodor quite sympathetically, as if they were aware of how controversial it would be.
  • Ronde is a relatively obscure Japan-only game that's mostly known for having absolutely horrendous graphics, which resulted in loads of pre-orders getting canceled and the game being labeled as the worst game in the Shin Megami Tensei series. Those who've actually played the game claim that if you can look past the graphics, the gameplay itself is fine.
  • Many critics of Senran Kagura are turned off by the high levels of sexualization present in the character designs. Some, however, argue that it's a pretty good brawler with a surprisingly engaging story.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) has gained a reputation comparable in infamy to Atari’s E.T. to the point that it won ScrewAttack’s poll for worst game of the (2000s) decade over the objectively less finished Big Rigs. But, especially in the late 2010s, the game has seen an increasing number of people come to its defense, as while few will dispute the game’s a Blatantly unfinished and poorly optimized mess with an unintentionally off putting romance, it’s gained more appreciation for what it did right (such as the stories that aren’t Sonic) and recognition that its biggest problems are more related to behind the scenes development troubles and being obscenely rushed than inherent design flaws note . A big factor fueling this backlash being that the overcorrections following its infamy would proceed to haunt the franchise in the following decade.
  • The western Super Mario Bros. 2 is often derided for being a Dolled-Up Installment of Doki Doki Panic, odd mechanics and not being as much memorable than its predecessor and successor. This installment was also released in Japan under the title Super Mario USA and made it on Famitsu's Top 100 Famicom games at #45 all the while Doki Doki Panic was absent (What's more, Shigeru Miyamoto himself surprised many by revealing it to be among his favorites). It doesn't help that Doki Doki Panic itself was meant as a commercial for Fuji Television.
  • Unreal Tournament III was an Obvious Beta at launch. However, defenders of the game argue that its gameplay isn't as bad as the fans of previous installments make it seem, and, with the advent of the Black Edition, it was improved in every sense possible.
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is the most divisive game in the series, due in no small part to the Genre Shift and difficulty. While there are a few issues, namely limited lives, instant deaths, and reset experience, the game still controls incredibly well for an early-to-mid NES game and predated many Metroidvania games with RPG elements (in the US at least). Still, the game gets hate for "not being Zelda enough" decades after the fact.

    Web Comics 
  • The webcomic Ctrl+Alt+Del is widely derided, yet maintains such a significant base of regular readers that the author is able to live off the comic. In the world of webcomics, especially ones going as long as it has? This is very rare.

    Web Original 
  • Discussed in a SF Debris review of Star Trek: Insurrection, where Chuck Sonnenburg argues that the movie is one of the most hated films in Star Trek history because it didn't have Critical Backlash on its side. Though it definitely wasn't the most popular or critically acclaimed Star Trek movie, it also wasn't panned badly enough to make anyone eager to defend it. Thus, it probably has the least amount of people that openly admit to liking it, even though several movies in the series have gotten much worse critical receptions (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Star Trek: Nemesis come to mind).
  •'s Scout Tafoya does the video essay series titled The Unloved where he discuss the artistry of underappriciated films maligned by critics and audiences alike.
  • A minor case: when Nathan Rabin reviewed North, he found the movie worthless but not as abysmal as reviewers did in 1994:
    Expectations undoubtedly played a major role in my perception of the film as well. Ebert went into North expecting another winner from a talented filmmaker on a hot streak. I went in expecting one of the worst films ever made. I can't say I was pleasantly surprised, but I wasn't horrified either.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Breadwinners has received very negative reception from YouTube critics such as The Mysterious Mr. Enter as well as older Nickelodeon fans, many calling it the worst show to have ever existed. That said, professional critics gave it decent to average reviews, and it does have a small fan following who believe it's not that bad.
  • Angela Anaconda was memetically trashed for a multitude of reasons. The show's animation is rather bizarre, The Mysterious Mr. Enter found an episode quite apalling, it was seen as somehow screwing KaBlam! from getting rereleased when it didn't, the show's entire stories were mundane, Angela Anaconda could come off as Unintentionally Unsympathetic, and most notably its inclusion in Digimon the Movie - which had nothing to do with the creators at all. (To the point in which a greentext blamed its inclusion in the Digimon movie for destroying an already failing marriage.) However, as more people watched the show and an interview with the show's creator, some found it to not be that bad at all. Billiam in particular mentioned the show was quite over-hated when he did a video on it being weird and was surprised at how much more he wanted to see.
  • Transformers:
    • Beast Machines originally had quite a bit of backlash after all the praise and love Beast Wars got. With the advent of fansubs of Japanese produced G1 material and the later dubbing of The Unicron Trilogy made many people realized their weaknesses made Beast Machines strengths stand out more (animation, story, characterizations, etc.).
    • Any given Transformers series after Beast Wars is starting to receive this treatment as even Transformers: Robots in Disguise and the Unicron Trilogy were starting to have a bit more vocal fanbases over the years. While Transformers: Animated is still fairly popular with the fanbase, by the time it came out the fanbase was starting to be a bit more forgiving to past Transformers shows. (One potential reason why is the popular notion of "The Original series was the only good Transformers show!" is becoming more and more widely frowned upon in the Transformers fanbase even by those who still like the original series.)
      • Even Beast Wars itself was a victim of this when it debuted. Angry fans rejected the tiny cast of brand new characters, the handful of Legacy Character candidates such as Optimus and Megatron who were considered In Name Only knockoffs of iconic G1 characters, and especially the shift from vehicle and technology-based alternate modes to animal ones (with early Transformers discussion groups coining the meme "Trukk not Munky" to mock the backlash). Early plots were also often disliked for their simplicity or "lesson of the day" type formats. It took until the end of the first season and into the second before reactions softened and fans began to embrace the series' positives, to the point of it becoming perhaps the most praised incarnation of the franchise in terms of its characterization and story.
  • Ben 10: Alien Force and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien certainly aren't flawless, but they are far from being as crappy and hated as the original series' fans usually describe them; they were both on air for quite a long time, and still have quite a fandom of their own, judging from the huge Broken Base Ben 10: Omniverse caused.
  • Some Looney Tunes fans argue that the Daffy/Speedy series isn't as bad as it's made out to be. Many even argue that several of these cartoons are, by their own merits, actually pretty decent.
    • Same with Loonatics Unleashed, despite critics and some fans not particularly liking the premise, the show does have a considerable enough fanbase.
  • The Simpsons:
    • The Mike Scully-era episodes are starting to get this. While almost nobody thinks they're as good as "Golden Age" Simpsons, a good portion of them are still pretty funny and watchable in their own right. Some fans even believe they contain some of the best Funny Moments in the entire series.
    • "The Principal and the Pauper" spent well over a decade as the popular episode to point to when declaring "this is when the show stopped being good", which eventually caused protests against that idea for a range of reasons. This includes the fact that the most common criticism is aimed at the "Skinner is Tamzarian" reveal rather than anything to do with the actual episode's quality, and perhaps a bit of a frustration with the fact that declaring an early Season 9 episode as the cut off point turns potential fans away from plenty of good later episodes. "The Principal and the Pauper" even has its defenders who state that, while the Skinner twist perhaps isn't sustainable for a Status Quo is God show, the way the reveal itself was handled in this specific episode was good.
  • For how much hate the Pilot Movie of Star Wars: The Clone Wars got, many people have come to see it more along the lines of "Not too bad" instead of "It rivals The Star Wars Holiday Special for badness". Part of the reason is that many people now watch the pilot film less as a standalone canon work and more as the pilot of the installment. The series went on to be critically acclaimed and the initially hated Ahsoka has become a beloved character.
  • Teen Titans Go!: The show has a massive hatedom who often decry it for its parodies and flanderizations of the characters from the original show, as well as being more mean-spirited than the original series and on the air almost constantly at the expense of other programming. Go into the comments section of any YouTube video and chances are there will be some kind of snarky comment deriding the show, even if the video has nothing to do with Teen Titans Go! or animation in general. Despite this, some critics have given it decent reviews, and it even has a large regular fanbase. Even several casual viewers have watched it, and while hardly considering it a masterpiece, don't consider it to be the worst thing ever made. Much of the derision seems to be because of its genre (comedy), but its frequent use of Black Comedy has its fans.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: The episode "Chameleon" is infamous for tearing the fandom apart with its contentdetails, leading to the rise of the "salt fic" genre and to people treating Lila Rossi (and in some extreme cases, the main characters' best friends) as an irredeemable sociopath who's even worse than the show's Big Bad. For non-fans and fans who aren't as emotionally invested, however, this is merely seen as an average and largely inoffensive episode that's already been done to death in other shows, and not really worth the fuss it caused.
  • The later episodes of Family Guy are loathed by both critics and many fans for the Flanderization of the cast and the sharp increase in mean-spirited (especially with the way Meg is treated), offensive, and gross-out humor. However, there are some fans that will defend the newer seasons, claiming there are still more than a few Funny Moments, and there's another camp that will at least call them So Okay, It's Average.
  • High Guardian Spice: A lot of people who watched the show because they heard what a trainwreck it supposedly was have found that while it's not exactly good, it's not as terrible as some made it out to be; while it has a lot of flaws in terms of writing and animation, many viewers find it to be mediocre rather than flat-out awful and believe it has some good points and potential for improvement.
  • Masters of the Universe: Revelation attracted a great deal of controversy from fans, who were heavily divided on how the series handled the source material, the Darker and Edgier tone, and it's perceived shafting of He-Man in favor of focusing on Teela. This Broken Base wound up being hijacked by political groups online, causing many to see nothing about it but obnoxious internet discourse. This has led to a growing number of viewers seeing the series and feeling it didn't deserve all the drama and harsh criticism it got, highlighting the positives and arguing that the squabbling blew it's flaws out of proportion. There's a bit of Vocal Minority to it, as well; despite the negativity around the show online, it was acclaimed by critics during release and did well enough that it was very quickly renewed for a second season.


Video Example(s):


Deadpool defends Nickelback.

In a trailer for Once Upon a Deadpool, Fred Savage attempts to deliver a Take That to Nickelback, only for a fed up Deadpool to come to their defense.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (22 votes)

Example of:

Main / CriticalBacklash

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