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Critical Dissonance

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"Well, I liked it."

"If film critics could destroy a movie, Michael Bay and Adam Sandler would be working at Starbucks. If film critics could make a movie a hit, the Dardenne brothers would be courted by every studio in town."

Critical Dissonance is polar opposition of public to critical opinion. Critics might love a certain work while general audiences shun it, or vice versa. Art — all kinds, not just abstract — is notoriously subject to this.

Critics may look down on a popular work on principle, denouncing it as Lowest Common Denominator garbage that’s all flash and no substance. Critics tend to favor serious drama and disdain genre works (horror) and lighter works. Conversely, the public may see a work beloved by the critics as boring, angsty, and pretentious drivel engineered solely to win awards from equally boring, angsty, and pretentious Academy members. Other divides could result from critics putting greater emphasis on the politics some media are perceived to be pushing rather than the merits of the media itself (or, inversely, a work's political angle being largely looked past by critics while serving as a Berserk Button for the opposite-leaning fanbase).

A major factor for this disparity is that critics tend to consume much more of whatever media they work with than those whose time to do so is limited by their day jobs. Critics' schooling and training can result in them having an entire vocabulary for interpreting their chosen artistic medium that a popular audience simply doesn't have. This can lead to something that seems fresh to viewers who aren't too familiar with similar works getting panned by critics who've seen that kind of thing a million times already, or to critics appreciating something that actually is very innovative but is missing elements a general audience seeks and enjoys.

Some media are less affected by this than others. Since comedy relies on what an individual finds funny, this is the genre of movie most likely to spur on Critical Dissonance. One critic may find a movie hilarious while another finds it tacky. Switch out comedy for the horror genre and you get the same polarizing results. Niche media may particularly suffer this because some or all of the critics assigned to review it aren’t members of its target demographic or don’t even have a basic knowledge of the genre. To look at it another way, if the business model involves an audience who will actively seek it out, those people will be predisposed to enjoy it, whereas critics who see it out of professional necessity will not have that selection bias.

In general, this trope has historically been uncommon with video games, partly due to the far greater reliance on reviews among gamers, and partly because the technical side (gameplay, graphics, etc.) tends to carry more weight with games than with books or TV. Additionally, good gameplay (at least in terms of, say, lacking glitches) is much more black-and-white than a what counts as a good story, writing, or acting. However, video-game journalism is infamous for its frightening degree of corruption, to the point where reviewers who don’t sufficiently praise games that buy enough advertising space on their stomping grounds tend to get fired pretty quickly. When Critical Dissonance does occur with games, it is more often than not because gamers thought that the critics had been overly kind or even been paid upfront by the publishers as part of an advertising and/or first-look article special.

Telltale signs of Critical Dissonance include disagreement between a work’s revenue and its reviews, simultaneous nominations for both ‘best X’ and ‘worst Y’ awards (bonus points if X=Y), and angry comments on those review sites that have them. Note that both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic user scores should never be used to solely evaluate whether something falls under this trope since its voting system is extremely susceptible to manipulation by a Vocal Minority seeking to use review bombing to promote their own cause célèbre.

See also Critical Backlash, Critic-Proof, Bias Steamroller, It's Popular, Now It Sucks!, Opinion Myopia, and Oscar Bait. Could overlap with Pop-Culture Isolation and Acclaimed Flop. Critical Dissonance is often a driving factor behind shows and works being consigned to the Comedy Ghetto. Contrast with Cult Classic where a work tends to have neither critical acclaim nor general popularity, but is enjoyed by a few die-hard fans. Possibly the cause of Mainstream Obscurity. Sometimes later opinions can match, and then we have Vindicated by History (or Condemned by History, as the case may be), but not always. And sometimes a movie may have a terrible story but people want to see the giant monsters and/or robots kickin each other's asses.

No examples are allowed from works that - at the time of posting - were released less than a month ago, or have not finished their first season or theatrical run.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Black Bird (2006) was the sixth best-selling manga series in the US for 2011. You wouldn't have guessed it based on the lukewarm to negative reviews most mainstream reviewers gave it, with some even being openly disgusted by the main male lead's treatment of its heroine.
  • Digimon:
  • Hot Gimmick has received mixed/poor reviews. Despite this, it has sold well as it had a twelve-volume run. In some circles, however, saying you’re a fan of Hot Gimmick will get you very dirty looks.
  • Among casual manga/anime fans and the general public, Naruto is a merchandising juggernaut with a massive and rabid fanbase. On the critical side of things and amongst more core and hardcore circles, it’s generally treated as a fairly average and generic Shounen action series at best, and overrated and over-exposed at worst.
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba faces criticism from anime critics and the more hardcore side of the anime fandom in contrast to mainstream audiences. While Demon Slayer is perhaps one of the most successful anime franchises in the late 2010s/early 2020s where mainstream audiences praise it mainly due to its themes, action sequences and especially its art, many critics and hardcore anime fans believe that when one looks past the manga's art and the anime's high production values, it's really an average battle shonen series with a simplistic storyline and out of place comedy (with sidekicks whom some may not tolerate), which clashes with its serious tone and graphic violence.
  • Pokémon:
  • All incarnations of Yu-Gi-Oh! have been huge financial successes and run for years, but many people outside the demographic consider them to be little more than either glorified card game commercials or watered down garbage. Complaints include overreliance on gimmicks.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion has been almost unanimously positively reviewed by professional anime/manga critics, yet it's a very divisive series within the world of anime fandom, with some finding the tone way too dark, the cast having so many issues that they're under-developed or unlikable, and an ending that was hard for many to understand, among others.
  • The controversial 2023 anime adaptation of ONIMAI: I'm Now Your Sister! from Studio Bind gained almost nothing but negative reception upon its original release from western critics and audiences alike for its unconventional story and presentation, but was a major success in Japan, becoming both the top rated and highest selling anime of its respective season, praised for its heartwarming themes and characters.
  • The original anime adaptation of Sailor Moon is one of the most iconic anime series of the '90s and among the most popular and recognized anime of all time, but if you asked some critics what they thought about it, they'd likely call it nothing more than formulaic Magical Girl fare, likely because the series suffers a big case of "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny.
  • Super Sonico get mixed to negative reviews from Anime reviewers on the web, but the few Anime fans that have given the series a chance has been much kinder.
  • Black Clover performs very well in popularity polls in Weekly Shonen Jump, both the Japanese and English versions, but gets mediocre to negative reviews overall (even going as far to be deemed the worst manga of 2016 at a panel at San Diego Comic-Con). Detractors call the series highly formulaic and derivative, resulting in a boring read for those who have already read a lot of Shonen action manga, and it also doesn't help matters that it's compared unfavorably to its more critically acclaimed, popular and well-regarded contemporaries.note 
  • Sonic X generally received mixed to positive reviews. Fans generally consider the show's first two seasons to be mediocre at best, with Season 3 being considered either the best season or the worst.
  • Love Hina was adored by critics, but many audiences, especially over time, dislike it for using or inventing some of the most hated cliches in harem manga and anime, most of the characters being Jerk Asses, or for constantly playing what looks like domestic abuse for laughs. To say nothing of the quality of the English, Latin American Spanish, and German dubs. This was Lampshaded by Bennett the Sage in one of his reviews for the series, whenever there was a scene he found really absurd, he made quotes from positive reviews appear on the screen.
    Sage: "Depressed yet?"
  • The anime adaptation of The Rising of the Shield Hero. Many critics downright loathed it from the very first episode, detesting the False Rape Accusation that sets up the rest of the series, and the fact it was an isekai series, a genre heavily associated with male wish fulfillment that is extremely popular among readers and viewers yet which critics aren't exactly crazy about, likely didn't help it either. In fact, many critics hated the series so much some even named it among their worst anime of the season. In stark contrast, many anime fans and casual viewers loved the series, and it went on to become one of 2019's biggest hits: it was reportedly the most continuously watched anime that year, spawned some of the year's most popular anime memes and a couple of its most beloved anime girls, and its user scores on most fan sites remain high even today. In fact, the aforementioned false accusation was part of why the series attracted so much attention. It was so successful that it got an unusual announcement of two additional seasons after the first season concluded.
  • The Seven Deadly Sins won the Best Shōnen Manga at the 39th Kodansha Manga Awards and was nominated for the 2014 Manga Taishō award and Best Youth Comic at the 42nd Angoulême International Comics Festival in France. Amongst the manga community, The Seven Deadly Sins is one of the most hated shōnen series and experienced widespread derision since it ended.note  Not helping is the very shoddy anime adaptation of Season 3 and onwards by Studio DEEN which became ridiculed by many for its poor, stiff animation and off-model art.
  • Tokyo Revengers has won the 44th annual Kodansha Manga Award in the shonen category and ranked 9th in the "Book of the Year" list by Da Vinci magazine. However, among Western anime and manga fans the series is one of the most hated modern shonen, with critics bringing up its unrealisticness, repetitive story, and divisive main character. Not helping was Hype Backlash and the manga entering its divisive final arc around the time the series was gaining a lot of popularity.

    Art 
  • When Alexandre Cabanel presented The Fallen Angel to the judges of the Salon of Paris, he was harshly judged (and rejected) for not following the very Strictly Formula that Academicism mandated. The painting was called sloppy, of uneven composition, and subpar proportions. Additionally, the emotions simmering on Lucifer's countenance were deemed more appropriate for a Romantic piece than for an idealized (dispassionate) rendition of reality. It didn't get better after Academicism died out — modernist art critics accused this and the rest of Cabanel's paintings of being the contrary: too apathetic, idealized, and just not free as art ought to be. Meanwhile, the public has adored this artwork since the first time it was exhibited. Come the later half of the XXth century and creators (not all of them art-savvy) from all walks of life have referenced Cabanel's Lucifer on Satanic Archetypes and characters pulling a Face–Heel Turn. Or just angsty characters, really.
  • Scottish painter Jack Vettriano's work is criticized as softcore porn. Vettriano makes more money from prints of his paintings than selling the works himself. They are popular in coffee shops and Italian restaurants. Scottish sculptor David Mach has called this attitude to Vettriano’s paintings “art world snobbery”.
  • The works of the late Thomas Kinkade, "Painter of Light™", are so enormously successful that his distributor claims that his works can be found in one American home in twenty. Art critics lambast his Sugar Bowl themes and subjects while dishing out backhanded praise for his marketing savvy.
  • Twentieth-century Dutch illustrator Anton Pieck is very popular for painting and drawing romantic scenes of 19th-century life and fairy tales, which have been printed on countless calendars, postcards and other merchandising. But, you guessed it, average art critics regard it as petty kitsch.
  • Margaret Keane’s paintings of vulnerable angels and waifs with enormous doe-like eyes are widely reproduced and appear in a lot of households. You’ll never see her work being exhibited in a serious museum, though. In Sleeper, by intellectual darling Woody Allen, it's even joked that in the future Keane will be considered one of the greatest artists in history.
  • Hummel figurines are collectors’ items for many people who see them as adorable little statues. Among people who fancy... fancier things, these statues are dismissed as nauseatingly bad taste.
  • Garden gnomes are things you will never see in the gardens of people who claim to have an artistic taste. All other people in the world just see it as nice.
  • The artwork of Jeff Koons has tried to bridge the gap between art and kitsch, by making statues of everyday kitsch objects and exposing them in a museum. This polarized many art critics who feel it is either a postmodern subversion of kitsch, while others say it’s just the same thing.

    Asian Animation 

    Automobiles 
  • Among automotive journalists and enthusiasts, especially in North America, it's a joke and a cliche to bring up the fact that their tastes in motor vehicles almost never line up with those of the average person buying a car.
    • Wagons and hatchbacks are the modern darlings of car buffs, many of whom bemoan the fact that so few are sold in the US and that the market for such has been cannibalized by crossover utility vehicles (or CUVs), a vehicle segment that can drive them into a frothing rage for being bloated, soulless "everycars" that don't excel at anything and have zero personality. For the average Joe or Jane who only regularly drives one car, however, a crossover is the ultimate Boring, but Practical Jack of All Stats choice: nimble enough to escape an accident even if it can't compete with a sedan or a wagon at the track, roomy enough to hold gear for a weekend trip even if it can't also comfortably fit a family of eight on top like a minivan, rugged enough for large puddles, dirt, grass, and poorly-maintained roads even if it will never take on the Rubicon Trail like a truck or a Jeep, and with fuel efficiency that, while slightly less than a sedan or wagon, often far outstrips that of a truck.
    • Before the crossover, it was the "econobox", a slang term for small-to-midsize cars made either by the Japanese or in a style imitative of how they built cars. Cars like the Honda Civic and Accord, the Ford Fiesta and Escort, and above all else the Toyota Camry (in beige) were seen by enthusiasts and journalists in the late 20th century as symbols of how the oil crises and regulations of The '70s had emasculated the auto industry. And yet the Camry has been the best-selling car in the US (excluding trucks and SUVs) for two decades straight and counting, building a reputation as a Nigh-Invulnerable machine that will keep going long after cooler cars have broken down. Hatred of econoboxes has largely shifted to crossovers these days, though, especially with many former econobox models moving upmarket with greater performance and amenities in response to competition from such; reviews of the latest model Camries, Civics, and Accords often include variations on the words "surprisingly sporty".
    • Korean luxury cars like the Hyundai Equus and the Kia K900note  were loved by journalists and completely ignored by North American buyers (case in point, the K900 moved only 500 units a year). Hyundai hasn't given up, launching the Genesis luxury brand in 2017, which has gained a little more traction.

    Comic Books 
  • Avengers Arena and its sequel Avengers Undercover. Professional reviewers loved them and praised their social satire and Anyone Can Die tone. Readers were divided at best on the former and almost entirely despised the latter, which ended up getting axed at only ten issues.
  • Daniel Way's run on Deadpool was disliked by most professional critics and derided as dreck aimed at the Lowest Common Denominator, but managed to sell very well and was one of the longest runs anyone has had on the character. Over time, however, some fans have started to agree more with critics and consider Way's run with Deadpool the absolute worst. They attribute its success to a counter-reaction on Deadpool's In Name Only adaptation in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Others feel that, while not bad, per se, and playing a major role in bringing Deadpool back into the mainstream, it has negatively impacted how many people perceive the character and some subsequent portrayals. Explanation 
  • Gail Simone’s The Movement was critically beloved, but readers couldn’t have cared less about it, leading to it being Cut Short just as its plot was kicking into high gear. Nowadays, it's more or less forgotten outside of the tiny, niche fanbase it formed during its brief run.
  • The comics of Mœbius are praised as high art among comic-book aficionados, yet average comic-strip readers don’t understand them.
  • Krazy Kat is widely praised as one of the best comic strips of the 20th century, yet average readers find it way too eccentric and don’t get what all the fuss is about.
  • Pogo has always been more popular with fans of good satire than regular comic fans, who would find it too pretentious.
  • Jommeke: In Flanders, it’s among the most popular, best-known and top-selling comic strips, widely read among children and remembered fondly by many adults who grew up with them. Yet serious readers have always looked down upon them because it is extremely bland, formulaic, naïve and conventional. Only in the final years leading to his death did creator Jef Nys finally get some kind of serious attention and praise for his work, though the taboo still remains.
  • Underground Comics: Hugely influential on the graphic arts and fellow comic-strip artists, loved by some hippies, but apart from that most of the general audience have always looked down upon them as pure pornography or sick, twisted, female-unfriendly filth.
  • Corto Maltese is praised as one of the most important and impressive comic strips of the 20th century, yet the general public has usually not even heard of it.
  • Gary Panter is one of the most influential comic artists to have emerged since the late 1970s, but his comics don’t sell at all among regular comic book fans.
  • One big example is the comic strip adaptation of the M.A.S.K comic released by IDW in 2016. Critics love it for its strong racial diversity and more Fast and Furious-style of storytelling. Fans of the original cartoon dislike it for the Race Lift of Matt Trakker and having a more serious storyline. The IDW Hasbro Wiki even calls it "The biggest example of Critical Dissonance ever", with a link to this page.
  • Many comic strips based on the popularity of a TV/movie franchise will be dismissed as utter money-grabbing garbage for children. It doesn’t help that many companies just give the job to a few amateurs and tell them to stick as closely to the general plot or spirit of the original, while they know that it will sell well regardless of its quality or lack thereof.
    • Many Disney comics are usually seen as pure children’s entertainment despite tight quality control of the company. The only one to get some praise by critics and audience alike is Carl Barks, whose Donald Duck adaptations not only expanded the universe but also enriched it with clever satire, engaging storylines, memorable characters, and well-told moral life lessons.
    • Urbanus: In its early run it was a cult among the general audience in Flanders, mostly because of the fame of the comedian on which it was based, but critics absolutely despised its art which may go down as some of the ugliest art in a comic book ever this side of Pitch. As time changed and the art style got better critics started to like it as well, especially because the comedian has a good grasp of what the author is doing, but is still dismissed by hipsters. Seeing as they are Acceptable Targets it’s very understandable.
    • FC De Kampioenen: This comic strip is based on the popularity of the Flemish sitcom of the same name and the last comic strip launched in Flanders to still sell in enormous quantities. It has even survived the original sitcom which has now been cancelled in 2011. Despite being a huge bestseller, critics who consider the creator’s other works to be much better loathe it.
  • America (2017) is the best example of this in the already contentious All-New Marvel lineup. Critics adored the series for starring a lesbian person of color, America Chavez, as its main character; readers instead considered it one of the worst series in the lineup, criticizing it as poorly written with an Unintentionally Unsympathetic main character, narmy dialoguenote , nonsensical plot decisionsnote  and hamfisted political viewpoint pushingnote . On Comic Book Roundup, its lowest Critics rating from the first 10 issues is a 6.9; in contrast, its highest User rating from that same period is only 3.7. The most telling aspect of dissonance? Entertainment Weekly named America Superhero of the Year because of her solo; the next day, her book was revealed to have been cancelled, likely due to its abysmal sales.
  • The "Female Thor series" re-direction for The Mighty Thor is another hugely contentious Marvel work. Critics absolutely adored the idea of relaunching one of Marvel's most iconic heroes as a woman, whilst fans were torn between those who agreed and a very vocal alignment of those who hated the idea, citing a vast list of problems with the series' execution ranging from the handling of "the Thor identity"note , to the reduction of many characters to straw misogynists in order to make Female Thor look better.
  • Batman (Tom King) by Tom King won multiple awards (including several "Best of the Decade" ones). You wouldn't know that, considering the tepid to downright hostile reception it had from the fans. Critics enjoyed it as an ambitious and in-depth character study of Batman, while fans hated it for the darker-than-usual atmosphere and the general sidelining of the rest of the Bat-Family. Bruce's characterization becoming Unintentionally Unsympathetic as he started abusing said family after the failed Bat/Cat wedding (which in itself was hated) certainly didn't help and proved to be one of the most controversial aspects of the run. The Bruce/Selina romance also became contentious, as while it was initially welcomed, it became divisive after it started consuming the plot the more Bruce became obsessed with it post-wedding.

    Comedy 
  • Ricky Gervais' second Netflix stand-up special, SuperNature, has an audience score of 91% on Rotten Tomatoes while the critics' score is just 31%, one of the biggest gulfs between the two scores for any work. Some fans claim the negative reviews are due to critics taking offence and "virtue signalling", while some critics claim they simply didn't find the jokes funny.

    Literature 
  • Older Than Print. Chang Hen Ge (長恨歌; lit. "Song of Everlasting Regret"), a famous poem from the Tang Dynasty (618—907 AD), is a romanticized rendition of the love affair between Emperor Xuanzong of Tang and his favorite concubine Yang Guifei, that was lambasted by many critics for the liberal Artistic License taken in the retelling of an important history (at the time of its release, the surrounding culture expects works of art to reflect reality and Confucianism values). However, the poem was loved by the public, who appreciated the vivid and beautiful imageries painted by the verses, and the poignant themes of love, sacrifice, and the possibility of reuniting with loved ones even after death. It was a best-seller of its day, and became as an inspiration for many literary works that come after.
  • Dan Brown’s books tend to get this, but none as much as The Da Vinci Code. Absolutely despised by critics, but some of the most successful books out there. That being said, a study found that, in the UK, The Da Vinci Code is the book most frequently donated to charity shops. The public certainly bought many copies of it; that’s not to say they enjoyed it.
  • Barbara Cartland was at one point among the most widely read authors in the world. Yet she only wrote romance novels that literary critics dismissed as shallow and formulaic.
  • The Clique, at least when the books first came out. Critics hated them, but they were bestsellers and beloved by their demographic. Fast forward to today, however, and said demographic has grown up, realized all the Fridge Horror and Dude, Not Funny! moments in the series, and now they’re nigh-universally despised.
  • Discworld for a while — at the time when Terry Pratchett was being claimed as "the most shoplifted author in Britain", most critics seemed mildly baffled by him. Eventually, it went meta; by the 2000s the majority of reviews were hailing him as a genius while claiming that all other critics were blinded by genre snobbery.
  • Fifty Shades of Grey sold remarkably well. Quite a few literature/English majors, participants in the actual world of BDSM, and critics as a whole despise it.
  • Jonathan Franzen was actually the subject of a controversy around this when his 2010 novel Freedom won rave reviews, but received backlash from a number of younger, mostly female writers, with a tweet by Jennifer Weiner serving as the spark. For many of them, it was The Last Straw in what had become a perception that literary criticism was dominated by a small clique of mostly white, mostly male, and uniformly well-to-do writers who gave undue weight to books from people who shared their backgrounds and Bourgeois Bohemian worldview, while mostly ignoring books written by women and people of color (save for a few tokens) unless they sold so many copies as to make themselves impossible to dismiss. The affair has since been regarded in hindsight as the beginning of a sea change in literary criticism in The New '10s, marking the breakdown of the Girl-Show Ghetto in literature (especially Young Adult Literature).
  • The Left Behind series of Christian apocalyptic fiction fits into this, as the critical response to the books tended to accuse them of starring dull, unlikable characters and having a plot only made possible by an ostensibly Like Reality, Unless Noted Earth populated with Flat Earth Atheists.note  However, it sold amazingly well, constantly enjoying New York Times bestseller status, and is regarded as one of the most influential pieces of contemporary “Christian” fiction.
  • Zig-Zagged Trope with Stephen King, who consistently gets good sales and good reviews, but with a significant number of literary elites considering him sub-literate Gorn. This attitude peaked when King won the National Book Award Medal for Distinguished Contribution, with Harold Bloom declaring the award (and American literature itself) Ruined FOREVER.
  • Les Misérables is listed under theatre, but the novel was also received very negatively when first published, described as “infantile” and “tasteless and inept.” However, it was a commercial success and is now considered a classic of French literature.
  • The Mike Hammer books by Mickey Spillane were hated by critics back in the day, and to a degree they still are. On the other hand, in 1980 Spillane was responsible for seven of the top 15 bestselling books in America, and his books have been adapted into successful movies, TV shows, and radio dramas. Spillane himself mocked this trope, stating that he didn’t care what critics thought so much as what his fans thought.
    “Those big-shot writers could never dig the fact that there are more salted peanuts consumed than caviar … If the public likes you, you’re good.”
  • Karl May’s novels have always been bestsellers, but mostly among young boys who like adventure stories set in The Wild West. It’s not considered worthy of the name literature among other people.
  • A fan of the cult-classic book (and movie) Mommie Dearest would probably be shocked to find how much critics hated it, as well as other stars of The Golden Age of Hollywood who actually had known Joan Crawford and her adopted children and wrote in their own autobiographies how off-base the book was. Faye Dunaway said she wished she hadn’t acted in that movie after it hurt her career.
  • The Twilight Saga gets a mention here too. Successful as it was (in its target market, at least), many readers still avoid it like the plague years after the fad ended. What’s funny is that Twilight’s original target demographic has by now outgrown the books themselves.
  • Danielle Steel is currently the best selling author alive and the fourth bestselling author of all time. She has been a near-permanent fixture on the New York Times hardcover and paperback bestsellers lists—in 1989, she was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for having a book on the New York Times Bestseller List for the most consecutive weeks of any author—381 consecutive weeks at that time. Since her first book was published, every one of her novels has hit bestseller lists in paperback, and each one released in hardback has also been a hardback bestseller—novels that have been consistently dismissed by critics as "formulaic" and "fluff."
  • Upon publication, T. S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats was derided by critics who felt he was wasting his talent writing whimsy for children. Fair to say it's been Vindicated by History, and often acts as a gateway into Eliot's more serious work.
  • Contrary to popular belief, the infamous witch-hunting manual, the Malleus Maleficarum was condemned by much of the Catholic Church, the Inquisition, and the Pope himself for its Insane Troll Logic and rampant misogyny (yes, it was considered misogynistic in the fifteenth century, that's how bad it was). Unfortunately, the lay people took it to be completely valid, and the rest, as they say, is history.
  • Like Fifty Shades a few decades later, Jacqueline Susann's work gained notoriety partly from the mere fact that its trashy, critically-lambasted prurience was so popular.
    Kirk: (asked for examples of 20th-century literature full of "colorful metaphors") Oh, the complete works of Jacqueline Susann, the novels of Harold Robbins....
    Spock: Ah... The giants.
  • The Sorrows of Satan was critically panned when it was first released in 1895, but it was hugely popular, becoming one of the first modern bestsellers, and was praised by people including Oscar Wilde.

    Pinball 

    Professional Wrestling 
  • The WWE often uses this as a justification for pushing Base Breaking Wrestlers or Creator's Pets like John Cena and Roman Reigns. Claiming that only a handful of "Internet Fans" dislike them, even when half or an entire arena boos them out of the building and ratings continue to fall. What defines an "Internet Fan" vs a "Casual Fan" is often whatever the WWE wants to define it as. While it has been said that Roman Reigns is a top merch-seller, this claim has never been verified beyond hearsay. Roman Reigns in particular had X-Pac Heat so bad that The Other Wiki has an article on the matter. It took the WWE pulling back Cena's Creator's Pet status and giving Roman Reigns a Face–Heel Turn (Which they had claimed for years that "Only a few 'internet fans' want") for either man to start getting respected for their genuine talent.
    • Too Cool were especially loathed by critics during the Attitude Era but got great reactions. Fans who aren't Smart Marks tend to remember them as a good tag team with a fun gimmick.
    • Santino Marella was pretty over in his time, but critics never rated his matches very high. Smarks consider him an embarrassment.
    • Paige got good reactions from fans in the arenas but is an extreme Base-Breaking Character with critics and internet fans.
    • Kelly Kelly was insanely over in the PG Era, and even Diva Dirt writers warmed up to her. Anyone outside the Diva-fan demographic utterly hated her guts.
    • Natalya Neidhart is one of the favourites on Diva Dirt but smarks tend to be indifferent to her. Likewise with Alicia Fox.
    • Molly Holly is praised by smarks as one of the greatest female wrestlers ever, a Hall of Fame talent who never botched and could carry lesser opponents to a decent match. However, casual fans didn't care anything about her, partly because she was a devout Christian and refused to have the blatant sex appeal her colleagues did, partly because she was too willing to let others shine at her expense, and partly because she was too gung-ho to make herself the butt of comedy spots.
    • The Bella Twins, especially Nikki (mainly due to having John Cena as her partner rather than Daniel Bryan), have a very vocal internet Hatedom. However, critics began praising them for their improvement by the end of 2015 and they get decent reactions from most casual audiences. Their reality show helped.
    • Kevin Nash was one of the most hated wrestlers among critics and internet fans, due to his backstage politicking and lack of effort in the ring. But was insanely over in the 1990s and nearly always gets good reactions when he appears on TV these days. The reaction has mellowed somewhat over time with Nash's post wrestling comments and shoots, as Jim Cornette put it: "Nash is at least a witty, personable asshole."
    • And then there's Sid, who was hated by wrestling critics and many smarks for his lack of technical ability, unintelligible promos, his tendency to quit and go play softball in the middle of anglesnote , and other unprofessional behavior (nearly stabbing Arn Anderson to death certainly didn't win him too many friends, it also got him shitcanned and cost him a world title run). Didn't stop the crowds that were actually in the arenas from going crazy for him, and when he managed to show up and do what he was told he usually drew decent money. Today the smart fan crowd tends to appreciate Sid a little more (he's often called the best "bad" wrestler) thanks to having the kind of look and charisma (not to the mention the "what the hell is this nutjob gonna do this week?" factor) that is sorely lacking in current pro wrestling.
    • Sid's polar opposite would probably be Dean Malenko. Considered one of the best technical wrestlers in the world (if not the best) by smarks and ragsheets, to the point that he was #1 in the 1997 Pro Wrestling Illustrated "PWI 500" when no one really did well enough in kayfabe to earn the top spotnote  and PWI awarded it to who they called the best wrestler. Outside of one program with Chris Jericho (which can totally be credited to Jericho's usual stellar work as a heel) crowds never really gave a shit unless the rest of the The Four Horsemen were standing next to him. Kevin Nash got torn apart for calling The Radicals (Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, and Perry Saturn) "vanilla midgets" after they fled up north, but with Dean he might have had a point.
    • There's also Shelton Benjamin. Like Malenko he's brilliant in-ring worker with a strong pedigree (he was a two-time NCAA All-American wrestler at the University of Minnesota and was college roommates with Brock Lesnar, and came from the same training program that gave us John Cena, Randy Orton, Batista, Lesnar, and basically every other major and minor star of the Ruthless Aggression Era) who everyone can agree puts on great matches, but like Malenko he's not particularly charismatic, can't a promo to save his life, and has never really connected with the crowd. He's spent most of his career in a tag team or as part of a stable and has never really received a serious singles push.
    • Melina became massively over in 2008 after a Heel–Face Turn and was praised for being one of the better workers of that era. However, she's a Base-Breaking Character within the wrestling community, mostly stemming from her reputation for being obnoxious in the locker room during her early years in the company, as well as cuckolding her longtime partner John Morrison.
    • Summer Rae. The casual audiences couldn't give less of a fuck about her, as she was little more than a heel Jobber who occasionally got fluke wins, and that's not even getting into the near-universally panned love quadrilateral storyline with Rusev, Lana and Dolph Ziggler during 2015. However, smarks, particularly those who saw her work in NXT, consider her an underrated talent with much potential dealt a bad hand on the main roster.
    • Jacqueline. Audiences outside the South Eastern US never cared for her (WWE crowds would often be dead when she'd enter the arena), but she's one of the more well-respected competitors among Smart Marks.
    • Maria Kanellis (at least during her first WWE tenure). Diva Dirt writers didn't like her at all and expressed shock at the great reactions she got from fans in the arenas. She claims she would frequently check the ratings of the different segments. The WWE Diva Search was reviled by smarks, yet according to Maria, the segments were some of the highest rated on the show. That only applies to the 2004 and 2005 versions though, since, by 2006, the live audiences booed the shit out of those segments.
    • Randy Orton. Casual fans like him, but he's a Base-Breaking Character among critics and smarks.
    • Ashley Massaro got decent reactions from WWE audiences, but virtually every wrestling critic and journalist despised and mocked her to no end, especially Diva Dirt. Harsher in Hindsight after her suicide.
    • The most despised wrestler among the smart mark crowd is bound to be Hulk Hogan, for most of the same reasons as Kevin Nash. He still had legions of Hulkamaniacs and got standing ovations whenever he appeared on TV...until he was caught on tape being racist and was publically called out by other wrestlers like The New Day. The WWE still trots him out on occasion but his appearances now are controversial.
    • Jon Moxley. Look almost anywhere online and you'll find that professional critics like Jim Cornette or just anonymous online commentators on wrestling websites love to dogpile on Moxley and trash him for his persona, his wrestling ability, him being a "garbage wrestler", and almost anything you can think of. On the other hand, when you take a look at Moxley in AEW or any other indy wrestling ring, the live audience absolutely loves him and Moxley always has them pumped up and cheering with his promos and matches.
  • Not a wrestler, but a storyline. In October of 2009 Mickie James (who is almost universally liked by both casual fans and smart marks) had been moved from Raw to SmackDown. LayCool (the Heel duo of Michelle McCool and Layla, both of whom were stick-thin) began making fun of her and calling her "Piggy James" for supposedly being overweight, which initially drove Mickie to tears before she started fighting back. Despite winning her fifth and final Women's Championship from McCool, Mickie ultimately lost the feud and was subsequently released from WWE. Numerous critics and smart marks hated it (though Diva Dirt were more sympathetic to it) claiming that the opinions of LayCool reflected those of WWE's management (since they used to focus on Hollywood Thin supermodel-type women) and LayCool received a fair amount of X-Pac Heat because of it. Mickie listed it as one of the better feuds she had done during her time in WWE. Other fans pointed out that the commentators and other women made it perfectly clear that they didn't think Mickie was fat at all, that it was the first real storyline the Divas had in a while, and that many who criticized the angle were being hypocritical, since numerous smarks had been calling Mickie fat for ages.
  • WWE NXT was at one point a Sacred Cow among critics and smarks. Casual fans are mixed about it and many don't even watch.
  • The Attitude Era is considered by many fans to be WWE's apex (considering that it's WWE's most profitable period, had the highest ratings ever and unquestionably saved them from WCW's wrath, this opinion isn't unfounded). However, it's divisive to many other fans now because of the misogyny and match quality, and there's a growing Hype Backlash towards the Nostalgia Filter of that era in favor of the Ruthless Aggression Era.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Despite being the biggest licensed board game in the world, Monopoly is almost universally maligned by tabletop gaming enthusiasts due to its emphasis on luck, player elimination, and the tendency of one player to gain an early runaway lead with little chance of anyone else catching up.

    Theatre 
  • One review of Romeo and Juliet's premiere described it as “a mawkish melodrama which, God willing, will see no second performance.”
  • Les Misérables, which has been running nonstop for thirty-plus years in London and played to over 60 million people worldwide, was derided when it first opened, being accused of being glum and mawkish. The 2012 movie adaptation received a similar reception but was a box-office smash to the point that USA Today did a feature story about the dissonance.
  • Disney’s Beauty and the Beast was seen as little more than a glorified theme park show when it opened on Broadway in 1994, but managed a decade-plus run and tons of professional and amateur productions. Since then many other grandiose family-friendly musicals have come down the pike — all adapted from well-known stories, and many outright Screen to Stage Adaptations as Beauty was. Most see only a few raves among seas of notices that are So Okay, It's Average at best and Beauty-level pans at worst (only The Lion King and Matilda are truly embraced by critics) but some soldier on to win the hearts of audiences anyway: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, A Christmas Story, and Mary Poppins are all success stories. Part of this dissonance owes to the fact that while critics and many ‘serious’ musical-theatre fans prefer more sophisticated fare like Stephen Sondheim shows, The Book of Mormon or Next to Normal, those shows aren’t exactly suitable for families.
  • Mamma Mia! — this fluffy Jukebox Musical is a symbol of the Lowest Common Denominator to hardcore musical-theatre lovers, and its 2008 movie adaptation didn’t wow film critics, but it’s sort of the Lighter and Softer Les Miserables when one looks at its global popularity.
  • The Phantom of the Opera received a lot of pans in its initial stagings in London, New York, and Toronto, but to say it rode those reviews out is an understatement — it celebrated its thirtieth anniversary in London in 2016 and reached that same milestone in New York in January 2018, with a myriad of foreign and touring productions as well.
  • We Will Rock You was panned when it opened in London, but word of mouth kept it alive, turning it into a sellout show that ran for over a decade and launched several sister productions elsewhere.
  • Wicked fared poorly in reviews from critics when it initially opened. The show became wildly popular and beloved among theatregoers. Subsequent productions elsewhere have received similar lukewarm critical responses, but the New York production is currently the eleventh-longest-running show in Broadway history (having celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2013) and the foreign and touring productions have seen comparable success.
  • Reviews for the original New York production of Almost, Maine were mixed, and it closed after only a month. Within five years it had become the most frequently produced play in American high schools, beating out perennial staples like Our Town, Noises Off, and A Midsummer Night's Dream.

    Web Original 
  • Internet Reviewers, like The Nostalgia Critic, try their best to avert this. If they don't do their research on movies that are based on TV shows, comics, or any other media the work is based on before reviewing them, they get torn apart by the viewers. He later discussed this very trope in When Are Critics Wrong?
  • The Cinema Snob was made as a response to this trope. Brad Jones created his snob-persona to make fun of Exploitation Films because he felt it was weird that film critics panned those films for lacking qualities they weren’t supposed to have.
  • Bob Chipman:
    • He addressed this trope in his reviews of The Eagle (2011) and Knight and Day. He feels that the reason for the disconnect between critics and the ‘average’ moviegoer is because critics watch and pick apart hundreds of movies per year as part of their job and have learned how to spot every trope and plot twist from a mile away, making them much more receptive to original, offbeat movies that go against their expectations. Meanwhile, people who don’t see more than one movie a week (i.e. most non-critics) can better appreciate films that are cliched but well-made on the technical side, and find arthouse films that challenge "traditional" genre boundaries to be off-putting.
    • Chipman returned to the subject after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice came out to negative reviews but massive box-office, discussing how the idea of critics being out-of-touch with what the people want is a perennial concept that is as old as creative expression itself. He notes that, sometimes, time can vindicate the masses, using the Fast & the Furious films as an example; while critics previously dismissed them as dumb car chase flicks, they're now generally praised as one of the most progressive franchises in Hollywood and damn good action movies on top of it. In the case of superhero films, however, he feels that the idea of Critical Dissonance applying to the genre as a whole is mostly a fanboy myth, noting that critics' and fans' opinions have tended to line up more often than not — critics have long been friendly to superhero movies that were actually good (like Superman: The Movie, The Dark Knight, Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), and Deadpool), while the ones they tend to dislike (such as Batman & Robin, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Green Lantern (2011), and The Amazing Spider-Man 2) were generally hated by fans and moviegoers as well.
  • A recurring theme in House to Astonish is comics that are praised to the skies, but nobody actually reads, and which are therefore doomed to be cancelled after six issues, no matter how good they might be. However, rather than suggest there's a dichotomy between what comics critics like and what the public like, Al and Paul reckon that comics readers have been trained to believe that anything outside the norm (which is what critics tend to like) isn't worth picking up because it won't affect the DC/Marvel Meta Plot and will probably be cancelled after six issues anyway.
  • Discussed in this article by Shamus Young on The Escapist, which asks why critics are so frequently enamored of ‘art games’ like The Stanley Parable and Gone Home that are usually Cult Classics at best and polarizing at worst. He argues that merely being a professional critic changes a person’s outlook on, and taste in, games or movies away from that of their audience. While mainstream moviegoers or gamers won’t complain about an overused trope or cliché if it’s done well, critics will roll their eyes at the mere sight of it.
  • Music blogger J. Eric Smith discussed this at length in his 2005 essay "Slaughtering the Sacred Cows: An Abbreviated Look at the Most Over-Rated Records Ever". This piece had omitted the March Madness-bracket format he used for his other "best of" essaysnote  after ditching his initial metric of "overrated=low commercial success/high critical praise"note  After incorporating the more subjective metric of "overrated=musical quality/critical praise", he cuts to the chase with naming the most overrated record:
    J. Eric Smith: In the other contests, I was generally surprised where I came out, and the process made me think differently about certain records and bands as I went. I can’t see the process of comparing and contrasting these records in great detail changing anything I feel right now . . . since, to my mind, the very clear winner of the most-over-rated record title on that list of 64 albums (in terms of critical praise divided by musical quality) is Horses by Patti Smith. I find that record to be just flat out bad, no matter what my critical breathren and sistren have to say about it. Flat. Out. Bad.
  • In one The Comics Curmudgeon post, Josh went on a tangent about NCIS and Mad Men, pointing out that NCIS averages nearly ten times the maximum viewership of the critically-acclaimed series, and TV critics don't even acknowledge it exists.

    Western Animation 
  • Almost Naked Animals really hasn’t gone over well with fans (ratings from TV.com and IMDb have hovered in the 2.0 to 3.0 range), but the few mainstream reviewers who did pay any attention to the show found it decent. It was also nominated for a Gemini Award, sold lots of merchandise, and ran for three seasons — things that do not usually happen to shows ranking that low with viewers.
  • Avengers Assemble is generally seen in a mixed reception kind of light. However, that didn't stop it from getting 5 seasons and 127 episodes, making it the longest-running Marvel cartoon.
  • Breadwinners, despite being popular with its target audience, was universally panned.
  • Critics have been mixed towards Final Space; fans and members of online animation communities, however, have been far more positive with the series, especially once it more clearly started to develop into a more serious plot driven show, and because of it trying hard to not be reliant on vulgarity and meanness for the sake of it like Animated Shock Comedies are so often known for. Season 2 received somewhat more positive reviews from the professional critics that did review it, although it also didn't receive as many reviews from them as the first season did due to a lot of critics being underwhelmed by the first season and not feeling like the show was worth their time as a result.
  • Sanjay and Craig is another example of being popular with children but hated by critics and adults. Unlike the aforementioned Breadwinners, though, people warmed up to it somewhat from its second season onward instead of hating it even more.
  • Hanna-Barbera has a library running on this trope. On critical pieces, they are the leaders of The Dark Age of Animation. Most classic animation critics only like the original Tom and Jerry cartoons (1940–58) and feel that as soon as the studio made the move to TV animation their work became awful. These people must be flustered year after year when Warner Bros. throws so many bones to home video releases and promoting them than the more critically hailed parts of the library. Then again, it's odd that after 50 years of popularity, there are still some critics who have nothing but disdain for Scooby-Doo.
  • Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain is typically seen as an unneeded retool of a series that was already doing fine, not to mention the entire concept was simply lit by Executive Meddling, to the point that it went unmentioned when the original Pinky and the Brain series was released on DVD. Critics loved it, though, and it won several awards (including an Emmy) during its really short run.
  • My Gym Partner's a Monkey was generally seen as a solid series by the few mainstream critics who noticed it at the time, but audiences were pretty divided on it, with some deeming it one of Cartoon Network's worst animated series and many others calling it So Okay, It's Average at best. However, the series did prove fairly successful with target audiences.
  • Fellow Cartoon Network series Squirrel Boy was considered to be decent by professional critics and its target audience of children liked it just fine, but the mixed-to-negative reception from the network's Periphery Demographic resulted in the show's early cancellation.
  • The My Little Pony (G3) specials are not well-liked by the general public (outside of its target demographic), but several specials score around six or seven on IMDb.
  • The animated pilot The Groovenians was panned by both audiences and reviewers, yet was nominated for an Annie Award.
  • Drawn Together was polarizing by critics, but those who hated it, really hated it. (to the point where the show made an episode about it after Entertainment Weekly gave the show an F), yet it managed to gain a cult following during its relatively short run.
  • The first half of season 1 of BoJack Horseman had a critical response that could be summed up as So Okay, It's Average. It’s currently rated by Metacritic users at an 8.3. It’s subverted as critics eventually came around once the show grew the beard in the season's second half, with Season 2 earning a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. The Show Within a Show Horsin Around was also an example; it was dismissed as lowbrow in the 90s and in the present day is dismissed as having sucked, but it ran for nine successful seasons and is still a massive cultural touchstone decades later.
  • Fans of the original Tom and Jerry shorts absolutely despise both The Tom and Jerry Show (1975) and The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show, but IMDb gave the shows a 7.8 and a 7.6 respectively.
  • Duckman received great reviews from TV critics, intellectuals and people who liked its satirical bite. But at best the show could only get a cult following due to the relatively few people who watched USA Network.
  • Family Guy:
    • Within the series, "Life of Brian" is one of the most despised episodes among the fanbase for being a shameless Ratings Stunt. The AV Club, however, gave it an A-, the highest grade out of any Season 12 episode.
    • "Send in Stewie, Please" garnered similar reactions. Critics loved the episode, and Gary Janetti was nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award for the episode's script (though he didn't win). Among the fanbase, the episode is highly polarizing; some fans liked how it explored Stewie, while other fans found the episode boring and pointless.
    • "Brian Writes a Bestseller" received a positive review from The AV Club, saying that it had "just about everything you'd ask for from the show". Among the fandom, the episode is very divisive due to Brian's Jerkass behavior. In addition, The AV Club singled out the Bill Maher scene as the only thing they didn't like about the episode, whereas many fans found the scene incredibly cathartic.
    • On the other side, there’s “Big Man on Hippocampus”. Many fans felt it was better than most of the rest of Season 8, gaining a pretty healthy 7.6/10 on IMDb and was on the most downloaded episodes list on iTunes 2010 Rewind. However, professional critics loathed it; the AV Club stated its plot was “a thin spine to hang jokes on” and gave it a D.
  • Brickleberry was disparaged as a wannabe Family Guy clone in a time where Family Guy isn't seen as much better in hindsight, yet the Internet Movie Database gives the show a 7.4 score.
  • The Legend of Korra has been well-received by critics with positive reviews all around. Fans, on the other hand, had a more mixed reception, viewing it as a Contested Sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender. However, with the arrival of Book 3, the series has become universally acclaimed by both critics and fans as well, with the remaining detractors mainly being The Last Airbender purists.
  • Season 6 of Adventure Time received praise for its newfound cosmic, Contemplate Our Navels nature, citing it as an example of the show's growing maturation. However, Season 6 is considered to be the most divisive season by fans for the same reasons. Many were put off by the show's newfound philosophizing and considered the new direction pretentious and ridiculous, thought the season finale was anti-climactic, and believed that the writers were getting more than a little self-indulgent.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender: The show has a notably loathed final season. Despite this, the critics praised it and gave it a 86% score on Rotten Tomatoes. This is 80% more than the audience gave.
  • Atomic Puppet did quite well with professional critics and animators, seeing how the series was nominated for two Annie Awards, as well as a Reuben Award for Best Animated Series (alongside The Loud House and The Simpsons, both immensely praised series), and the Dallas Morning News called it "a hoot of a superhero show". However, casual fans and viewers were more mixed to the series, with the show earning a lousy 5.1 on IMDb and user reviews on Common Sense Media dismissing the series as generic and mediocre.
  • Bless the Harts. It is positively received by professional critics with an 82% on Rotten Tomatoes from them, but general audiences tend to dislike the show, with a paltry 4.8/10 on IMDb and a 49% audience Tomatometer, accusing it of copying other Fox animated sitcoms. Season 2 was viewed by audiences as an improvement, but not by much, so the show was unceremoniously cancelled after that.
  • The South Park episode "Stanley's Cup" was well-liked by critics, with IGN giving it a 9.1 out of 10 and calling it a funny satire of sports movies. However, general audiences were far less positive on the episode, due to the widely-disliked Downer Ending even by the standards of the Sadist Show, where Stan's pee-wee hockey team gets crushed by the much-larger Detroit Red Wings and one of their players dies of cancer afterwards.
  • ChalkZone's later seasons hit rock bottoms at the ratings & Nickelodeon screwed over the final one. Audiences however liked it and wish Nick would've treated it better.
  • Shuriken School did horribly with ratings when it hit Nickelodeon in the US. But audiences loved it making it an Acclaimed Flop.
  • Bordertown was doomed to fail with critics and ratings. But it did solid with audiences via IMDB and TV.com and viewed it as one of Fox's better animated shows.
  • Sidekick is considered an underrated Cult Classic by many people (or at least So Okay, It's Average), as well as mostly positive audience reviews on Google. Despite this, its ratings on IMDb and TV.com are pathetically low (a 4.2 and a 3.9 respectively).
  • Seasons 6 and 8 of SpongeBob SquarePants received mixed-to-positive reviews from professional critics. Fans, on the other hand, absolutely loathe both of them for their abuse of gross-out humor and mean-spirited plots. This trope does not apply to Season 7, which was lambasted by critics and fans alike.
  • The Simpsons:
    • The majority of critical reception for the episode "Flander's Ladder" was mixed to negative (though Screen Rant did call it the 29th season's best episode). Most notably, Dennis Perkins of The A.V. Club utterly hated the episode and described its ending scene as "a cheap gambit to close out a truly disappointing episode (and season) with unmerited weight." In contrast, audiences and fans loved the episode, calling it one of the best out of the entire series and with special praise being given to the Six Feet Under Series Finale parody at the end of the episode.
    • "Love is a Many Strangled Thing" got a B+ from Rowan Kaiser of The A.V. Club, who said there was a "consistent stream of amusing lines, steadily increasing in frequency, until I realized that I'd been chuckling essentially from the start of the second act until the end of the fourth". In contrast, the episode was panned by the show's fans due to the excessively mean-spirited nature of the plot and making Bart look Unintentionally Unsympathetic, especially the scene where he shows apathy to Homer being hanged.
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2017) received fair reviews from professional critics and was nominated for two awards.note  Most fans of the films, however, loathe it for Flanderizing the characters, its clichéd and/or dumb stories, the cheap-looking character designs, and many Series Continuity Errors with the films.
  • Rocko's Modern Life received dismal reviews from Entertainment Weekly and the Los Angeles Times, panning it for allegedly copying The Ren & Stimpy Show. In stark contrast, audiences consider it to be among the network's best series. The fan following it maintained over the years was strong enough for Nickelodeon to produce a proper finale for the show long after it ended.
  • Garfield and Friends was poorly-reviewed during its time, gaining ire from both the Los Angeles Times and the Pittsburgh Press. Audiences, however, often consider it one of the best cartoons to come out of the The '80s, the best thing to come out of the Garfield franchise, and a forerunner of The Renaissance Age of Animation.
  • Velma got mixed-to-negative reviews from professional critics and was absolutely despised by online commentators, uniting people across cultural and political lines to rag on it as one of the worst animated series ever made. Left-leaning critics thought that its Adaptational Diversity was an attempt to cover for mean-spirited writing that was rooted in dated and offensive stereotypes, right-leaning critics opposed its Adaptational Diversity in general and saw its writing as bigoted against white men, and nearly everybody thought that its Animated Shock Comedy take on the Scooby-Doo franchise was outright Canon Defilement. And yet, despite (or perhaps because of) the controversy swirling around it as well as the turmoil at Warner Bros. Discovery that was causing them to cancel many TV shows, it wound up as the most popular animated series on HBO Max and was quickly renewed for a second season.

    Other 
  • Architecture: many highly praised modern buildings are regarded by the general public as nightmarish, dystopian, soul-crushing, and devoid of beauty.
    • Boston City Hall is universally loathed by the public, with ordinary people usually calling it one of the world's ugliest buildings. Despite this, it's regarded by architects and critics as an fantastic example of Brutalist architecture.
  • Nearly all design enthusiasts loathe the fonts Comic Sans and Papyrus, yet lots of ordinary people love them. They even turn up on signs for local businesses.
  • Mosin-Nagant rifles. You’d be hard-pressed to find a professional reviewer who would have much nice to say about them while complaining about the sights, the straight bolt handle, the action, and the rimmed cartridge. People who shoot Mosins, however, tend to say that all the flaws found within the rifles are what give them character. Both sides can agree on two things though: Mosin-Nagant rifles have more than a century of history in them (designed before the turn of the 20th century, and some still in service to this very day!), and they are absolutely indestructible.
  • The Zagat’s Guides are a series of books rating numerous venues (restaurants, shops, etc.) in over 70 cities. Following the alphabetical index, places are grouped into categories, one of which is ‘Critic-Proof’ — places that consistently do good business despite mediocre food/service/merchandise, even when the patrons themselves attest to the mediocrity.
  • There's a dissonance between pet breeders and pet owners, especially when it comes to dogs and cats. This has been discussed in various documentaries and articles such as Pedigree Dogs Exposed and Adam Ruins Everything. How professional breeders think dogs should look are not exactly what fans of the breed believe. For example, in America most Chihuahua are of the larger "deer-headed" type, and it's the one seen in most media (such as the Taco Bell dog or the dog from the Legally Blonde films), but American Kennel Club only allows "apple-headed" Chihuahua and rejects the other variation. When it comes to cats, most Persian breeders around the world breed them to be very flat-faced but most people prefer the traditional, longer-muzzled face.
  • Ketchup is extremely popular among the general public. However, professional chefs tend to hate the stuff due to the fact that it can easily overpower the flavor of the dish that it's put on as well as its association with WASPnote  culture.
  • Massimo Vignelli's highly stylized 1972 map for the New York City subway is widely regarded as a design masterpiece. The population by and large loathed it for being too disconnected from the city above, and by 1979 it was replaced with a more geographically accurate one.


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