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Dirty Communists

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Annie: Who'd want to kill Mr. Warbucks?
Grace: The Bolsheviks, dear. He's living proof that the American system really works and the Bolsheviks don't want anybody to know about that.
Annie: The Bolsheviks? Leapin' lizards!

Dirty Communists are, essentially, Cold War-era villainous portrayals of the Soviet Union's people. After World War II, there was a very large effort to make them stock villains the same way Those Wacky Nazis were and still are. Special attention is brought to emphasizing all those wacky tropes found in Glorious Mother Russia.

Although Dirty Commies reached its height with the Cold War, the trope began at the turn of the 20th Century as communism and anarchism began to take root in the capitalist powers. Indeed, even before that, the title "The Communist Manifesto" itself was an ironic attack on Europe's fear of "communism," at the time meaning more the advocacy of living in "communes", though that also had a different meaning to many Europeans.note  Of course, since many communist nations were totalitarian dictatorships that practiced political persecution, censorship and outright genocide, some portrayals of Dirty Communists will play up these aspects to make them even more threatening.

This trope is for when the negative aspects of the Soviet Union are caricatured or used for comedic purposes (as pictured), or when Communists are shown carrying out their policies For the Evulz rather than out of expediency or misguided idealism. With the end of the Cold War, this has become a mostly Dead Horse Trope, though it oddly has a lot more universal success with post-Soviet villains than it has ever had with actual Communist ones. Related to Red Scare. It remains a significant legacy trope that many authors still use. Is sometimes still used in works set after the Cold War that involve the communist guerilla/terrorist groups that remain active into the present day, the majority of which are based in rural Asian and South American regions.

See Red China for a similar trope dealing with that other Communist power. Contrast Chummy Commies and Capitalism Is Bad. Also contrast Heroic Russian Émigré, which is sympathetic portrayal of anti-Soviet Russians who had to emigrate to the West.

Related tropes:

Examples in fiction:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Soviet powers in Future War 198X are the villains, murdering millions to get the designs for a missile defense system into their hands.
  • The Red May terrorist group from Angel Cop are the villains that the titular cop is sent to capture. Though in a twist, they are actually puppets of an American capitalist conspiracy spearheaded by Governor Maisaka.
  • Black Lagoon:
    • Asian communist terrorists play a minor role: Dutch mentions at one point that Lagoon Company has sometimes made shipments for the New People's Army, one of the world's oldest communist terrorist groups (dating back to 1968) and remains active well into the 21st century. The "Goat, Jihad, & Rock 'n Roll" arc also features as its main antagonist Masahiro Takanaka, a member of the Japanese Red Army, the most dangerous Japanese communist terrorist group to have existed. While Takanaka has a surprisingly sympathetic and respectable character, he still remains dedicated to a completely futile "revolution" that will only end up killing lots of innocent people for absolutely no reason, and he fully acknowledges how nihilistic his life's journey is.
    • From the other side of the world, there's the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC). Roberta Cisneros was a former enforcer for FARC until she became disillusioned with the revolution and abandoned the cause. In the El Baile de la Muerte arc (also known as Roberta's Blood Trail in its animated form), FARC sends a hit squad after Roberta led by a Cuban Naval Special Operations officer (the Fidel/Raoul Castro regime has and continues to have a long history of sending material support and advisers to communist terrorists on the South American mainland, not to mention other far-flung places around the world during the Cold War).

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Universe:
    • During the fifties, Captain America of the very popular World War II comics was set against communists, who had inherited the Nazis' mantle as global villains in the public mind in the days of Joseph McCarthy. Years later Marvel wanted to bring him back from near the end of the war. So, who was the fifties version? Through a Retcon by Steve Englehart, an 'Evil' Cap and 'Evil' Bucky who had changed their names and faces to seem like the genuine article, made into a Knight Templar and driven madly paranoid by a version of the Super Soldier Serum. Later Cap battled Evil Cap and Evil Bucky. Evil Bucky eventually became non-evil and sidekicked for a while before being killed; Evil Cap became a supervillain for a while, died, and recently, after the death of real Cap, came back not so evil though still slightly bent, ramping up the "righteous revolution" elements for all they're worth.
    • The Fifties Cap fought a Communist Red Skull, who had supposedly transferred his allegiance from the far right to the far left simply because they were the bad guys now. By way of Retcon, this Skull was later made an impostor. Eventually, the real Red Skull returned, was still a Nazi, and killed the pretender.
    • While later characterizations increasingly abandoned this from the 1970s onward, in the '60s "real" Cap was still really no less anti-Communist than in the '50s comics, and fought his share of Red enemies and subversives. He was still very much convinced that the Communists were a menace to America, as this quote from an early Avengers storyline illustrates:
      Captain America: But, be always on your guard! Their goal is nothing less than total world conquest, and world enslavement. Only constant vigilance and devotion to freedom can stop them. And remember—the Avengers always stand ready to do their part!
    • Iron Man was actually created to fight these guys. Many long lasting characters like the Black Widow and the Crimson Dynamo are a result of his constant battles against the 'Red Menace.' For a while, the book even featured Nikita Khrushchev ("Comrade K") as one of its regular villains. One of the differences between the appeal of Captain America and Iron Man, is that the former was created to fight Nazis and the latter was created to fight Communists, with Iron Man's Arch-Enemy, the Mandarin being a Fu Manchu-ish Yellow Peril archetype.
    • The Red Ghost, from Fantastic Four , is another villain with his team of super-apes (!!)
    • X-Men villain Omega Red was made as a Soviet Captain America before turning into a Terrorist Without A Cause.
    • One of the members of the "evil" superhero team the Ultimates of Ultimate Marvel encounter is a Russian Thor copy named Perun (the Slavic god of thunder) who carried a hammer and sickle instead of a magical hammer. The implications are obvious, despite the comic being published 15 years after the Cold War ended.
      • For one thing, the actual Slavic god Perun did carry a hammer and a sickle in the old myths. For another, he's based on the 616 Perun of the Winter Guard/People's Protectorate/Supreme Soviets. For another, he's the only one of the Liberators to survive.
    • In old-school Marvel, pretty much everyone took a turn fighting Commies, from Ant-Man to Thor. Quickly show of hands - who remembers that the Chameleon, the very first Spider-Man supervillain, was originally a KGB agent?
  • Surprisingly, the Rocket Red Brigade (the first Russian super-team in the DC Universe) managed to avoid this. Kilowog, their original creator, was the sole survivor of an alien race that was naturally community-oriented, and he was portrayed as an idealist who genuinely believed in the Soviet Union's potential. Brigade members varied widely in personality and outlook, but many of them took on heroic roles against bigger threats like alien invaders.
  • Danger Girl mocks this trope by creating the outrageous 'Hammer' organization that combines Nazism and Communism (!!)
  • Played for laughs in Fighting American — the villains were still Communists, but they had names like Ghnortz, Bholhtz, and Hotsky Trotsky. Of course, since after a couple of episodes the entire series was a Captain America spoof, this is unsurprising.
  • In the Earthworm Jim graphic novel, Evil the Cat freaks out when Jim starts singing "God Bless America". Not because of the first two words, but the last. Just to drive the point in, a Hammer and Sickle appears behind him.
  • Averted in the G.I. Joe comic series written by Larry Hama and published by Marvel. The Joes' Russian counterparts, Oktober Guard, were actually reluctant allies of the Joes who set aside their differences to fight against the Cobras. The only time the Soviet Union is ever referred as an "evil empire" is done sarcastically by one of the characters. Quite a feat, considering the comic was published during the Reagan era. Of course, portrayals of their soldiers and their government are two entirely different things. This treatment transferred over to the animated version.
  • Averted in Larry Hama's Nth Man: The Ultimate Ninja , despite being set in the middle of World War III between the US and the USSR. The Soviet military might praise Glorious Mother Russia, but they're highly competent, no-nonsense professionals. Too bad they're facing the world's deadliest assassin...
  • The National Lampoon did a parody 1950s Red Scare comic book "Commie Plot Comics" that depicted the Soviets taking over America, commandering everything including Howard Johnson's: "We have only one flavor now, Red Raspberry, and we are out of that too, little comrade! Ha ha ha!"
  • The Tick parodied this trope with a villain-for-hire actually called the Red Scare, who would take jobs dressing up in supervillain attire themed around communist Russian symbology, pretend to menace some major public place, and then get defeated by his customers in a staged fight. The whole affair went hilariously awry when the Red Scare's customer was late to arrive, and the Tick, mistaking him for a real supervillain, attempted seriously to thwart him.
  • Tintin in the Land of the Soviets is an unusually early non-American example.
  • The Transformers (IDW)'s take on the Decepticons casts them in a similar light as violent pseudo-Marxian revolutionaries, with Megatron himself even has a polemic named Towards Peace, treated in-universe as a Cybertronian version of either the Communist Manifesto or Mao's Red Book. The series ultimately takes the stance that while Megatron's opposition to the tyrannical Fantastic Caste System was ultimately justified, the Decepticon Revolution quickly became a brutal authoritarian regime worse than what they just overthrew and plunged Cybertron into The Great War. In the end, when given a second chance in an alternate timeline, Megatron instead rejects Marxist violent revolution and becomes an Utopian Socialist, advocating "Peace throuh empathy" rather than violent class struggle.
  • "This Godless Communism," a feature appearing in Treasure Chest, was a comic book published by the Catholic Guild and primarily distributed in Catholic parochial schools. The feature portrayed life in America after a hypothetical Communist takeover, with particular focus on the materialistic and anti-religious nature of Communism.
  • Red Ears: Subverted—A rather attractive woman has a day in court because she stands accused of being a communist, having visited China on three separate occasions. After flirting extensively with the judge, and even secretly exposing herself, she rhetorically asks him if he thinks she's a virgin because she's visited the Virgin Islands four times.

    Eastern Animation 
  • The militaristic Schumi-Qumi tribe from Qumi-Qumi are unabashedly Communist, and, save for Shumadan, are portrayed as antagonists for practically every episode they have a major role in. Ironically, this is a modern Russian cartoon.

    Fan Works 
  • One of the most popular mods for Fallout: New Vegas, namely New Vegas Bounties, has a communist minor villain, a ghoul supremacist terrorist by the name of Jacob Powers. It may or may not be a coincidence that while the mod series will have you face off against an entire cast of killers, rapists, slavers, and torturers, Powers manages to be the most depraved of the bunch.
  • Cool Cat Saves Vietnam: Cool Cat is told that the people he's fighting plan to spread Marxist Propaganda to the youth, and it's up to him to stop them.
  • The Loud House: Revamped's author hates communism. Every communist character it shows is a villain in this fic.
  • Rocketship Voyager is a Star Trek: Voyager fanfic written In the Style of a 1950's sci-fi magazine pulp. Rather than a Cardassian Deep Cover Agent, Seska is now a Communist agitator and suspected KGB agent. Ensign Kim however is North Korean but is portrayed in contrast to the "inscrutable fanatics" of Korean War propaganda.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A Wedding (1978): Aunt Beatrice is an outspoken communist who makes Stay in the Kitchen comments to a female security guard and insults a lot of South-American refugee workers who work for Toni due to how they fled the draft rather than serve a communist regime. Toni also notes that for all her talk about how people should be workers, she is living off her family's fortune.
  • Rambo: First Blood Part II and Rambo III gave John Rambo the Reagan-esque patriotism that the previously disenchanted with America character has since become famous for.
  • Red Dawn (1984) is arguably the quintessential anti-communist movie of the 1980s.
    • Which, interestingly enough, while presenting communist atrocities in the harsh light that they deserve, does not dehumanize the enemy troops or present them as caricatures. The rank-and-file soldiers are shown to be Punch Clock Villains, going to theaters and hiking with their comrades when off-duty, and the Colonel is a Father to His Men who fondly recalls when he was the guerrilla resistance fighter before his side grew dominant and relegated him to State Sec, writes a Tear-Jerking letter to his sweetheart back home, and even respects the protagonists as fellow warriors and lets them go after seeing one carry off his wounded brother
    • Times change. Red Dawn (2012) had to show the originally-cast Chinese commies as North Koreans, because China is a major market for action movies. Ironically, casting the Chinese as the commie villains didn't work due to real-life constraints brought on directly by the fact that the Chinese aren't communist!
  • Red Scorpion shows Russians as inhuman killing machines, except the one who turns against them.
  • Rocky IV created Ivan Drago, who remains one of the most recognizable symbols of Communism of the 80s. Besides him, all of the Soviet characters in the movie are depicted as unlikable jerks, from the condescending and nationalistic trainer to the dishonest doctors who shoot Drago up with steroids.
    • An episode of The Colbert Report featured a "special update" on the Cold War. The opening montage featured Lenin, Stalin, Kruschev, Drago, and Yakov Smirnoff.
  • America's favorite adventuring archaeologist fights some Dirty Communists in his fourth film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. This particular example seems more of a homage to Cold War era pulp fiction, fitting the overall theme of the series pretty well.
  • Much of Chuck Norris' body of work. Especially Invasion U.S.A. (1985).
  • French comedy La cité de la peur features a hammer-and-sickle-wielding (literally!) serial killer. His motives are not political; however, he's copying a similarly armed killer from the hilariously bad film within the film Red Is Dead, a dirty communist indeed, who kills rich people because "profit was unbearable from his proletarian perspective."
  • Clint Eastwood's film Firefox.
  • Angelina Jolie's Salt is about the Soviet Union having a secret program of sleeper agents out to destroy the United States and restore the Soviet Union. Given they intend to blow up Mecca to frame the United States for it, they are a PROFOUND collection of dicks.
  • East German bobsled Captain Yushuf Grull, he was very antagonistic towards the Jamaican bobsleders in the Disney movie Cool Running. In reality the Germans were very encouraging of Jamaica. There was no bar fight at Ranchman's, and being antagonistic AFTER athletes have signed the truce wall, and partook of the Olympic truce oath would have caused an international incident.
  • No Retreat, No Surrender 2: The film's main villains are a rogue Spetsnaz unit supporting a civil war in South East Asia, prolonging daily executions of captured prisoners for their own benefits. Their leader, Colonel Yuri, is especially depicted as a Sadist who enjoys feeding captured prisoners to crocodiles.
  • Subverted in X-Men: First Class. Although many Cold War cliches are in place, Russians are not portrayed as intrinsically evil or bent on world domination. They plan to install their missiles in Cuba not as a part of some Evil Plan to destroy capitalism, but as a counterweight to US missiles in Turkey (not to mention that both countries are being bullied and manipulated by the Hellfire Club). And, most importantly, the final act shows that Soviet sailors aren't so different from their American counterparts.
  • The James Bond movies would largely avert this by replacing the SMERSH organization of the books with the fictional criminal organisation SPECTRE, as by the time Dr. No was made evil communist villains were regarded as something of a Dead Horse Trope.
    • Furthermore, the evil "General G" of the novels becomes the much more genial General Gogol in the Roger Moore movies. Gogol is very much the face of the USSR in Bond films of this age. For instance, in Moonraker, it is he, not the Soviet premier whom the US leadership talk to over the hotline in a crisis and in Octopussy it is Gogol who personally oversees the pursuit and shooting of a warmongering traitor who wanted to invade the West. Although he is a villain in For Your Eyes Only, he is far nicer than the others in the movie and Bond doesn't even attempt to hurt him. In the Brosnan era he actually becomes an elder statesman figure (albeit off-screen, due to Walter Gotell's death) for the now friendly Russian Federation.
    • Gen. Orlov from the James Bond film Octopussy is a full-fledged communist villain seeking to be a hero of Soviet Union, but General Gogol contrasts this by investigating him in unwitting parallel to Bond's mission. The result of that was Gogol attempted to arrest Orlov before the East German border guards shot the renegade general dead and it's fairly obvious that if Gogol had learned Orlov's whole scheme, he would have raced to warn NATO.
  • Martin Scorsese's Kundun plays with this. The Dalai Lama is initially quite sympathetic to communism, identifying with its anti-imperialist ideology and compassionate to the suffering of the Chinese people during World War II. He initially feels that Tibet could have friendly relations with the Chinese communists but Mao feel no desire to treat Tibet as equals since they are strong and Tibet is weak.
  • The Pope John Paul II biopic shows the Soviet Russians, who take over Poland after the defeat of Nazi Germany, as hardly better than those they replace. This is not surprising as Pope John Paul II was a staunch critic of Communism and is often credited with ushering along its collapse in his support of the Polish Solidarity union.
    • As a young man, John Paul warns his fellow laborers that the Communists will not bring freedom for the Polish people.
    Karol Wjotyla: "The Communists will never bring freedom, not for us, not for anyone. .. I read their book … They have created a religion, a religion that is based on Man as its center … For Communists, God does not exist.”
    • There is also a scene where, in response to the Soviet suppression of Polish culture in banning religious images, Archbishop Wjotyla holds a religious procession, but instead of the usual focus on the image of Mary, simply an empty frame is displayed.
  • Trouble in Paradise features a brief scene with a literally dirty Communist, an extremely grubby man with a Russian accent who uses the opportunity of rich perfume company executive Mariette Colet having lost her diamond-encrusted handbag (in reality it having been stolen by the film's protagonist) to harangue her in Russian about what Trotsky said about the rich.
  • In Hot Tub Time Machine, the time travellers are mistaken for communist spies trying to overthrow the American government, after Blaine and the ski patrol find their modern cell phones and MP3 players (which they think are spy gadgets), and their can of Chernobyl.
  • Zigzagged in Bridge of Spies.
    • While East Germany is shown to be continuing Germany's authoritative and military persona and the Soviets are clearly more interested in self-preservation than justice, lawyer James Donovan will still go out of his way to defend accused spy Rudolf Abel.
    • Abel himself is something of an aversion. He is a genuine spy but he's shown to be less an ideologue than a soldier loyal to his nation, which he defended during the Second World War. He even implies that he knows that the Soviet government has become corrupt, but nonetheless, "is always the Boss."
  • Samuel Fuller's films in The '50s enjoyed playing with this trope in ways which infuriated the American government. Fuller, being a US First Infantry war veteran, and enjoying the support of Darryl F. Zanuck, more or less was untouchable allowing him to get away with stuff that other film-makers couldn't:
    • In The Steel Helmet, the main North Korean captive, nicknamed "Red", tries to divide the American Squad during The Korean War, by reminding the African-American soldier Thompson and the Japanese-American Tanaka of the very real bigotry and discrimination they face back home and how little their sacrifices on the frontlines will be rewarded. This was the first American fiction film to acknowledge the internment of Japanese-Americans (which "Red" brings up to taunt Tanaka) and it, and other factors, earned Fuller an invitation to the Pentagon. The Communist is still a bad guy, but Fuller allows him to be cool and make valid points and the main criticism towards Communism is its hypocrisy.
    • In Pickup on South Street he took a Cold-War trope of Communists trying to grab state secrets in a microfiche by centering it around an Anti-Hero who mocks the ideology of the era ("You waving a flag at me"), flirts with giving the Communists state secrets solely for the money and only turns to the American side because the Communist-hired mercenaries attacked his poor friend Moe, who the film paints as the very embodiment of the poor proletariat screwed over by both sides.
  • The John Wayne film Big Jim McLain is an anti-Communist film featuring a villain who is a communist and viciously racist against blacks, even though communists were ideologically opposed to racism and the American communist movement supported civil rights.note  Bonus points as John Wayne was pretty racist himself in Real Life, as were many anti-communists of the time.
  • The main antagonists of The Losers (1970) are soldiers of Red China, who have kidnapped an American diplomat. This turns out to be based on faulty intel. They're actually military officials negotiating China leaving Cambodia, and the diplomat is there willingly. The bikers end up bungling the whole operation by attacking.
  • The Viet Cong serve as the secondary antagonists of Nam Angels, mostly serving to attack our heroes while they're looking for the tribe that kidnapped Calhoun's unit. Downplayed in that their communist ideologies aren't really focused on, and they're basically generic enemy soldiers as far as the film is concerned, especially since the real Big Bad believes in Nazism, a far right ideology.
  • Films from the former Eastern Bloc after 1989 tend to be of the For the Evulz variety, depicting communist authorities as a tyrannic, power-hungry oligarchy with no higher motivation or ideals. It's a grim portrayal showing that even without the ideological conflict typically depicted in Red Scare Western media, these dictatorships could ruin lives.
  • The Death of Stalin has been criticized for its portrayal of the Soviet Union's leadership as this during the titular event. In fact, aside from the re-arranging events, it actually downplays a number of things more than leads them up. Beria wasn't actually found guilty of child molestation, despite having done that many times as well as being widely known as a practitioner, but "just" treason against the Soviet Union.
  • Gold Through the Fire: The communist Soviet Union is portrayed (accurately) as persecuting Christians, though this goes into demonization territory as the KGB even threatens, kidnaps and tries to kill Peter in the US apparently just out of malice for him as a Russian Christian who fled.
  • Two Malaysian films in 2015 and 2017 about the 21 year long Malay communist insurgency, Bravo 5 and The Malay Regiment cover a series of battles in 1989 & 1976, respectively, against the Malaysian Communist Party. Both movies show the communists to be nothing more than rapist thieving murderers who terrorize farmers that refuse to support the MCP as Category Traitors.
  • Tetris (2023): Not Played for Laughs, but characters like Trifonov were added to the story to represent the problems with the Soviet Union during its waning days.

  • General Pyotr Wrangel writes at length in his autobiography, Always with Honor, about the atrocities the Bolsheviks committed during the Russian Civil War, including mass murder, theft, and destruction of Churches.
  • Mine Were Of Trouble: Peter Kemp, writing about the Spanish Civil War, witnesses firsthand the violence and destruction the Republicans, especially the International Brigades, cause. It gets so bad that the Internationals are the only prisoners whom the Nationalists show no mercy to, throughout the war.
  • The Imperial Order in the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind is blatantly portrayed as a fantasy Soviet State.
  • The People's Republic of Haven in Honor Harrington is an example of a science fiction communist state, especially after the revolution against the Legislaturists.
  • James Bond novels, especially Ian Fleming's, are guilty of this.
    • SMERSH (which did exist in real life, albeit briefly and with a more limited purview) is an organization that sponsors countless crazy schemes to destroy the West and the communists tend to be both sexually "perverted" (Klebb from From Russia with Love is a Psycho Lesbian) as well as disfigured.
    • Colonel Sun is an example of how politics can get REALLY ugly in the Bond-verse. Kingsley Amis, under the pseudonym Robert Markham, wrote a very Fleming-like interpretation of the Red China threat with the eponymous sadist. What's really appalling about the book is that the book contains countless humanized Soviet villains as it goes out of its way to say how different they are from the Chinese!
    • The first few Bond novels written by John Gardner show SPECTRE working on behalf of the Soviets (i.e. Role of Honour), although It's Personal against Bond as well.
    • The Big Bad of Death Is Forever is a fanatical Stalinist, who was brought into it by the man himself, whom he came to regard as a father figure. He is seeking to restore international communism after the fall of the Soviet Union.
  • Also in Bill Granger's The November Man, which is set during the Cold War as well, particularly in The Shattered Eye and The British Cross.
  • Dennis Wheatley had a real thing for bashing commies. Even in the stories for which he is now remembered, the Black Magic books, there is a Dirty Communist link, as the blurb on the back of The Satanist puts it: Colonel Varney had long suspected a link between Devil Worship and the subversive influence of Soviet Russia...
  • The Bulldog Drummond story The Black Gang.
  • The Mike Hammer story One Lonely Night. It even admits that the commies are drawn to resemble a red-baiting editorial cartoon of the day. Still, there is An Aesop about America not needing to stoop to the Reds' level.
  • In The Zone, a 1980's action series by James Rouch (set in an Alternate History World War III Europe) the Warsaw Pact officers are universally portrayed as brutal sadists, who casually murder civilians and even their own soldiers if it suits their purpose or whim. However The Survivialist series by Jerry Ahern (written about the same time, and set in a post-World War III Soviet-occupied United States) makes sure to offset its evil communist villains with decent chaps such as General Varakov and KGB agent Natalia Tiemerovna.
  • In the 1970's action-adventure series The Executioner, Red China is mentioned as being involved in the drug trade, which given what the CIA was up to in Cambodia and Vietnam is ironic. When the series was sold to Gold Eagle in the 1980's the KGB became the main villains, often portrayed as The Chessmaster behind international terrorism. That said, the books do refer to the CIA drug connection, and the plot of one of the Gold Eagle era books ("Council of Kings") revolves around this. So that wasn't ignored.
  • Holmes on the Range: The haughty antagonists in the short story "Bad News" are embezzlers out to finance their dream of funding a communist daily paper.
  • The novel Malevil has Meyssonnier, a literal card-carrying Communist and resents the suspicion and distrust he receives from it. Like a good commie he is both an atheist and has para-military training.
  • Tom Clancy used the Soviet Union as a recurring villain during the eighties in the Jack Ryan series and his other writings, then switched to Red China after the end of the Cold War. The trope is averted or subverted with various individuals, some of which rise to the level of Worthy Opponent (Pavel Alekseyev, Sergey Golovko). The Communist system as a whole is portrayed as unequivocally evil, but not necessarily the people within it.
  • Oracle of Tao has a number of object lessons on why socialism doesn't work, using apocalyptic imagery to show happens when the Anti-Government Council fails and big government takes over. In addition to causing widespread suffering, it isn't even profitable, because when the government wants to enforce the Mark of the Beast (here, a RFID chip inside people to track how wealth is spent and tax accordingly), most people prefer to stay broke. All it does it make the government run out of money when they overtax the poor, and the rich figure out how to keep their money.
    • There are also numerous scenes where people actually call them "dirty communists" and one of them involves a town full of vampires and how they suck the lifeblood of others. One chapter has one popping raised fist first out of a coffin just to be Anvilicious.
  • Black Tide Rising: After the Zombie Apocalypse causes most governments to collapse, what's left of Russia's falls under the control of a septuagenarian General who is evidently a diehard communist, as he declares himself General-Secretary of a restored Soviet Union. His main contribution to the plot is to periodically threaten to nuke America if the remnant of the federal government doesn't share the vaccine he's certain they have stockpiled. Then at the end of the second book he evidently tries to make good on his threats, so his subordinates remove him from power and he reportedly shoots himself in the back 20-something times.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Star Trek:
    • Klingons were originally meant to represent the Soviet Union during the Cold War but have since become the prototypical proud warrior race. Star Trek: The Original Series averts this trope when they included Chekov in the crew: he was very proudly Russian, and the Cold War was at its height when the series first aired. May be a case of Accidentally-Correct Writing: this attitude can indeed be exhibited by some Russians nowadays.
    • The Cardassians take over this role (appropriately updated for the late-80s-early-90s) through their sparse appearances in The Next Generation and especially in Deep Space Nine: vaguely described early on as an impoverished people with "deep spiritual values" who embraced a military dictatorship as a solution. Later, a decaying authoritarian super-power forced to relinquish its hold on the peoples it once held subject. Although the outright genocidal brutality and species-supremacism of their occupation of the Bajorans means that they have quite strong Nazi analogies at times. This becomes quite blatant if you listen to some of the lunch conversations between Bashir and Garak, as Garak often takes a Straw Communist position when they debate some matter of politics or philosophy. Also, there is the title what the Cardassian's greatest creative work: The Neverending Sacrifice. This is, admittedly, slightly complicated by the fact that the Federation is described as a classless utopia without currency where people work for the common good - a pretty common vision of a Communist utopia. We never learn what economic system is used, in contrast, by the Cardassians.
  • Season 3 of Stranger Things ratcheted up the 80's Red Scare: making the Soviets secondary antagonists who have secretly built a base underneath Hawkins, having a Soviet scientist defect for Coke and hot dogs, and introducing a little girl character who stands up for capitalism. Cary Elwes plays the corrupt mayor dirtbag collaborating with the Soviets whose election posters are ripped practically 1:1 from Trump. Anyways, it ended with the heroes destroying the Soviet gate to the Upside Down. However, the stinger showed the Soviet continuing their experiments in the USSR and mentioning "the American", which everyone immediately knows referred to Hopper, who was ambiguously killed in the blast. Presumably magic is involved him getting spirited away by the Soviets. This being the '80s, there are a few lines calling them "commies".
  • Airwolf was a post-Vietnam series that nevertheless reinforced the need for the communist menace to be stopped.
  • Alias had K-Directorate, which seemed to be a Post-Soviet Free Agency (read: Terrorist). Likewise, it had Sydney's mom turn out to be a Russian Spy with two unreconstructed communist sisters.
  • MacGyver (1985), where the Soviets get called Soviets. When glasnost began in real life, the show started using Renegade Russians.
  • Stephen Colbert from The Colbert Report believes that the Cold War is still going on.
  • WKRP in Cincinnati's Les Nessman was paranoid about Dirty Communists, to the point that the emergency script he wrote for the station was an anti-Communist screed. When a tornado struck Cincinnati, Mr. Carlson ordered him to read the script on the air but to replace "Communist" with "tornado", which resulted in a long harangue about "Godless tornadoes" followed by the national anthem. His paranoia was explained in the final season when it was revealed that his father, who had abandoned their family when he was an infant, was himself a Communist, and that his mother had consequently instilled in Les a hatred of Communists.
  • In the 1960s, the Cybermen of Doctor Who were sometimes treated as Space Commies compared to the Daleks as Space Nazis. They want to conquer and assimilate humanity because (at times) they sincerely believe that they're the perfect society and have the obligation to bring its blessings to everyone else, they're unemotional, they lack individuality and their plans are often based (at least initially) on infiltration rather than all-out force.
  • The Tick (2001): Red Scare made an appearance in the live-action series as well, but in a completely different form. There, he was a 25-year-old Soviet combat android designed for one purpose: to kill Jimmy Carter. A group of diehard Russian commandos (or something) unearth it as part of a poorly-explained plan to destroy the U.S. Postal System, but the robot goes haywire (at the exact same time as Jimmy Carter arrives in town for a book signing).
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "Lithia", the female society in the future appears to be communist in allocating resources and supplies based on need, as decided by their Council. Mercer, a man from the past, does not like this attitude one bit.
  • Episode 11 of The Brave concerns an airplane hijacking in Colombia by 4 terrorists from the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), one of the oldest Marxist terror groups in the world dating back to 1964. The episode takes place in 2018; in real life, FARC signed a peace deal with the Colombian government in June 2016 and had fully disarmed and reformed as a political party in June 2017, meaning these fighters were some of the last remaining true believers in the ideology.
  • The latter half of the second season of SEAL Team has Bravo Team go on a deployment to Asia, where they go up against communist terrorist groups: the New Resistance Force in the Philippines and the Asian Liberation Army in Thailand. Both of these groups are stand-ins for real-life communist terrorist organizations: the New People's Army for the former (which is still active today) and the People's Liberation Army of Thailand for the latternote . Proud Texan SEAL Sonny expresses this trope's sentiment well:
    Sonny: "Can you friggin' believe there's still commies in this world? Don't these idiots read history books?"
  • Chernobyl, a meticulously researched period piece about the titular disaster. Notably, the miniseries does not simply have a villainous character who happens to be a Soviet, nor does it depict it all Soviets as evil. Most are regular people doing their jobs, and many (including the protagonists) are outright heroic, with lots of time given to the courageous efforts of even regular emergency workers (that's not to say there aren't a bunch of bad bosses and obstructive bureaucrats too, mind). Instead, the series focuses on the systemic issues of the Communist Party's governance and how they led to the disaster, with several characters such as Anatoly Dyatlov basically personifying everything wrong with the USSR. Note that Chernobyl was far from the only environmental disaster in the USSR, simply the most famous. Shcherbina comments that anyone who tries to stand up to the Soviet government to fix said issues will not just be threatening themselves, but encouraging the government to go after their friends and family.
  • Das Boot (2018): Carla is on the good (i.e. Allied side), but also a ruthless communist ideologue who's very willing to use brutal tactics in the name of her cause. She bombs the docks at Rochelle Port when German sailors return, killing not only them but also civilians nearby, knowing it will cause retaliation against local French citizens by the Germans. She considers all the above totally acceptable to help the revolution, since it will increase opposition by French citizens (and is unconcerned with the idea many will hate the communists for this).
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): In "Red Snow", the vampires in the Siberian gulag hate the Soviet Union and everything that it stands for. They believe that Communism has brought nothing but pain, suffering and death to the Russian people and seek to destroy the USSR for the sake of humans and vampires alike.
  • The F.B.I.: In "The Problem of the Honorable Wife", Erskine and Jim have to bust up a ring of American communists planning to an army warehouse full of materiel bound for The Vietnam War.
  • Girl Meets World episode "Girl vs. Commonism", where the class is being taught about capitalism versus communism. At first, Riley and her friends think communism is good, but then her father Cory (who is also her history teacher) brings up an example of why communism wouldn't work: if they were in a group project and one of them fails to do their part, then they would all get a failing grade rather than just that one team member. Meanwhile, Capitalism Is Good because instead, they would be graded individually; in other words, everyone gets a chance to succeed by their own merits and uninfluenced by other people's performances. Riley and her friends then learn that communism is "commonism" — under communism, everyone is treated the same or in common, but no one gets to stand out no matter how hard they work. The episode has been controversial for its perceived black and white depiction of capitalism and communism to children.
  • Young Sheldon: In "A Loaf of Bread and a Grand Old Flag", Sheldon goes on the news to talk about how he doesn't like the changes to his bread and how it should be better-regulated by the government, voicing support for Soviet bread lines. This leads to the entire Cooper family being accused of spying for the Communists and George nearly losing his job, until George sets up another interview to set the record straight with Sheldon dressed like Uncle Sam.

  • These are the antagonists in Data East's Secret Service pinball, complete with a secret headquarters outside of Washington D.C.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • During the post-war era, the Communist Russian villain was a common stock character in many local to national promotions of the time. The wrestler playing the Russian didn't even have to be from Eastern Europe or hail from behind the Iron Curtain ... he just merely had to affect an accent, come up with some anti-American rhetoric, wear clothing that had a hammer and sickle on them and voila, instant trope maker.
  • Nikolai Volkoff was wrestling's most famous Dirty Communist. Actually a native of Croatia, Josip Peruzović emmigrated to North America in 1967, at the young age of 19, and began training under Stu Hart (Bret's father). It wasn't until the mid 1970s when Peruzović, brought to the WWWF by Freddie Blassie (a real-life friend), adopted his most famous name, and not until 1984 when he began to be billed as coming from the Soviet Union note . Already feared for his (legit) strength, Blassie suggested that to help get Volkoff over as a despised Russian, he sing the Soviet National Anthem before each match ... and that, along with his pairing with The Iron Sheik, made for a most memorable tag team.

  • The syndicated, early 50's series "I was a Communist for the F.B.I." features this. Based on the real-life work of undercover agent Matt Cvetic (played in the series by Dana Andrews), the communists are nearly all portrayed as total villains. They are utterly ruthless, devoid of any compassion, fanatically loyal to the Kremlin, and more than willing to die or kill for the cause of Soviet communism.
  • Being a political satire made in the 60's and 70's, in The Men from the Ministry Soviet/generic Eastern Block agents appear as antagonists in multiple episodes.
  • The Adventures of the Falcon while for the most part a private detective show had a series of episodes where the titular character was forced to work for army intelligence investigating communist activities. Though more often than not, the plots were just standard private eye fair with the antagonists being Communists.
    • The bad guys in the episode "The Case of the Unwanted Christmas Present" were also Communists.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Price of Freedom plays it absolutely straight. In one early edition of one scenario the leader of The Klan is referred to favourably as he is anti-red. (although, at least some Ku Klux Klan groups did express social democratic views.) The commies are presented as taking away black and Jewish people for no apparent reason. If that's what communists did, wouldn't the Nightie Knights have switched their burning crosses for red flags long ago?
  • Paranoia takes the notion of a Red Scare to the Nth degree and beyond, usually with humourous effect.
  • The Star*Drive setting has a nation called the Nariac Domain, which consists of spacefaring cyber-communists.
  • Halt Evil Doer!! has Battle Czar, who is a communist Anti-Villain turned terrorist. Amusingly, he's close friends with flag-waving terrorist leader, General Venom.
  • In Rocket Age since Stalin is in power the Soviets are particularly brutal, sponsoring brutal genocidal revolutions and are engaged in all sorts of unethical activities.
  • GURPS Thaumatology: Age of Gold is set in a version of the Pulp-era 1930s where Functional Magic is a serious force, and so Communist Russia, under the rule of Josef Stalin, is as serious a power as it was historically, and a plausible opponent for Western heroes. Of course, good communists don't believe in magic, but in this setting, that just means that Communist Russian magic tends to take the form of exotic Magitek, accompanied by some appropriate Soviet Superscience doubletalk.
  • In Red Planet, a setting for the Fate system, the Soviet Union's operatives are depraved and selfish servants of an oligarchic dictatorship, which is contrasted with the Chummy Commies of the Union of Materialist Republics on Mars.
  • The default setting for Champions was originally developed in the 1980s, and so originally featured a pair of Soviet/Warsaw Pact super-teams ("The Supreme Soviets" and the "Cominterm"), who were largely loyal to the Soviet Union; several of them were hardcore Dirty Communists, although others could act more as Worthy Opponents or even as Chummy Commies on occasion. By the time the characters were updated for a new edition, in 1991, the Cold War had ended, and the Dirty characters had gone off to form a new Renegade Russian team ("Red Doom"); others from the old team directly opposed them in an independent but heroic group (the "New Guard").

  • In Chess, American chess player Freddie Trumper sees his opponent this way.
    Reporter: Does your opponent deserve such abuse?
    Freddie: All Soviets deserve abuse.

    Video Games 
  • In contrast to most other Works Set in World War II, Sniper Elite and Sniper Elite V2 feature the Soviets as antagonistic. Even moreso in the reboot, since they planned on firing a Tabun-loaded V2 rocket at London while blaming the whole thing on the Germans, to name a few things.
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops:
    • General Nikita Dragovich and his subordinate Colonel Lev Kravchenko. Unlike Reznov, who is depicted as a patriotic hero who helped crush the Nazi war machine during the Battle of Berlin, Dragovich and Kravchenko are shown to be ruthless warmongers who have no regard for the men under their command, and are even willing to recruit Nazis to their cause.
    • The North Vietnamese Army and Vietcong are no better either, with both factions being trained and supplied by the Soviets and using said training and equipment to mercilessly kill both South Vietnamese civilians and American forces brutally. In addition, the latter also partake in Cold-Blooded Torture openly alongside their Soviet advisors.
    • Fidel Castro, who willingly sides with the Soviets through Dragovich, hands Mason over to them without a thought, and allows access to his country to them for the latter's Evil Plan.
  • Modern Warfare has the Ultranationalists as a major threat. While they weren't spelled out as being communists, the big hammer and sickle on their flag implies they are if nothing else. They're also terrible people.
    • They might actually be National Bolsheviks, a very real fringe ideology in Russia that worships the Soviet Union, albeit not for its communist ideology, but as a period of Russian supremacy and anti-Americanism. National Bolsheviks may hijack Communist symbols as the Ultranationalists in the game do, but are more interested in fighting the USA.
  • Just Cause 2 has the Reapers, a group of communist revolutionaries led by Bolo Santosi, who like all the other faction leaders is a powerhungry megalomaniac more interested in becoming the next ruler of Panau than any actual worker's revolution. Like all other factions Rico is only using them as a means to an end and only cares about their ability to help them topple the local tyrant.
  • The Command & Conquer: Red Alert Series deals with Communist threats that start off half-way serious with an alternate continuity World War II and then go totally insane by the expansion pack Yuri's Revenge. To the extent that even when you're playing as them they still come across as jerks:
    Premier Cherdenko: We will sign this treaty, we will come together as brothers, and then... we will crush them!
  • Parodied in the first Destroy All Humans! video game, which is set in the 1950s; The Government and the sinister Government Conspiracy use the overwhelming paranoia around communism to cover up the actions of the protagonist, Cryptosporidium-137, who is actually an extraterrestrial. The population eventually buys into this to such a degree that people actually scream something among the lines of "communist" as soon as they see Crypto in his natural form, and the police and military report "possible communist activity" when the protagonist is going around vaporizing people and extracting brainstems.
    • Destroy All Humans! 2, set ten years later in 1969, focuses on the USSR government, mostly the KGB as the main antagonists responsible for the destruction of Orthpox's mothership (and the death of Orthopox, who manages to survive by installing his consciousness into a hologram unit) and an attempted assassination of Crypto, believing him to be a dire threat to the USSR. As the game progresses, Crypto discover that the KGB and their Premier, Milenkov, are helping a species of radioactivity-driven martians with Hiveminds take over the Earth and turn it into a water lodged homeland, having the latter already taken over the USSR government post the Tunguska crash of 1908, which was caused by a Blisk warship crashing into a remote community.
  • Freedom Fighters (2003) is pretty much the video game version of Red Dawn (1984), where the main antagonists are Communists invading America and you play as a leader of the resistance who is trying to push them out of the country. The major difference is, it's all taking place in New York and not Middle America.
  • The James Bond Licensed Game Everything or Nothing shows a Post-Soviet Union villain attempting to resurrect it.
  • Metal Gear:
    • Olga and Sergei Gurlukovich from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, despite being unreconstructed communists, are played fairly honorably and thus do not fall under this trope.
    • The most egregious one is Colonel Volgin in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, who is a Depraved Bisexual that possesses lightning powers and a desire to start nuclear war with the West. Of course, the game he appears in is one long love letter to 1960s spy movies, so he's not too out of place. Otherwise the game surprisingly subverts this, portraying most of the Soviet soldiers as Punch Clock Villains at absolute rock bottom worst who get a fairly noble portrayal as soldiers who are serving their country and, especially toward the end of the game, depicted as surprisingly heroic.
    • Likewise subverted in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Much of the game is set in Afghanistan during its occupation by the Soviets, with individual missions bringing attention to their inhumane tactics, but most of the individual Soviet soldiers you'll come across in the field are just ordinary men who want to provide for their families and make it home in one piece.
  • The state of the world in the Fallout series is due to a war with communist China.
    • Fallout 3 parodies this to the Nth degree. Malfunctioning military robots leftover from the war will often attack the player while screaming anti-Communist epithets at them. Members of the Republic of Dave will call you a Communist and attack you if you antagonize them. And in the game's final battle, the Lost Superweapon Liberty Prime makes many amusing anti-Communist battle cries ("Communism is a temporary setback on the road to freedom!" "Embrace democracy or you will be eradicated!" "Democracy is non-negotiable."). The Liberty Prime example is especially ironic, as he yells anti-Communist battle cries while fighting against the totalitarian remnant of the U.S. federal government.
    • Subverted somewhat in the series as a whole with regards to the Soviet Union, who aren't touched upon much but when they are it's usually in a friendly light when regarding it's relationship with the U.S. One of the pre-made player characters in the original Fallout was a descendant of a member of the Soviet Consulate in LA who was given an invitation to Vault 13.
      • It makes sense since in the Fallout universe, the US had switched its main Cold War adversary from the USSR to Communist China, and the Soviet Union hated China.
    • A classroom in a mock-up of a pre-war school in the Fallout: New Vegas add-on Old World Blues has large posters on the walls to teach the alphabet, including "C is for Commie" and "D is for Dirty Commie".
      • Old World Blues also gave us the talking Book Chute, who gave us such gems as, "If you haven't found any Communists in your back yard, you're not looking hard enough!" and "If you know what the word "proletariat" means, do you know what that makes you? Well read and erudite... for a Communist!"
    • Ironically enough, many of the smaller communities in post-war America operate on a collectivist communist basis. Of course, a "give what you can, take what you need" philosophy works better for a small community where everyone knows each other, resources are already scarce and the community's survival is often at stake. Capitalism is a rarity in post-war America, found only in the big city-states out in California and Nevada, that have the sufficient population and technology to build a decent production base. Most Wastelanders trying to scratch a living out of the devastated world have no idea what communism was, why it was bad or what difference it really made in the long-run.
    • Completely averted by Captain Zao from Fallout 4. Although he is the man who launched the nukes that hit Boston in the first place, he clearly regrets his actions, and willingly seeks assistance from the Sole Survivor (an American citizen and veteran of the Sino-American War) so that he can finally go home after 200 years. Of course, depending on the player's choice, the Sole Survivor can reject his attempt at atonement, scream "COMMIE BASTARD, YOU DESTROYED MY COUNTRY! DIE!", and then beat him to death with a bat.
  • Freedom Force plays this straight with Nuclear Winter and somewhat averts this with Red October who teams up with the Freedom Force in the sequel.
  • At about the same time that Rambo: First Blood Part II and Red Dawn (1984) were in their heyday, there was an arcade video game named Rush 'N Attack. It was exactly what it sounds like.
  • The Heavy from Team Fortress 2. At least, that's how The Soldier sees him.
    "Stars and Stripes beats Hammer and Sickle. LOOK IT UP!"
  • Homefront is a game where you see the menace of the North Korean government reunify with South Korea on its terms, then become a global superpower by gradually taking over Japan, eastern China and all of Southeast Asia before invading the United States' plague ridden ruins. It was written by John Milius of Red Dawn (1984) fame, and he truly outdoes himself here, even seeing fit to include the page quote.
  • Vega Strike has Interstellar Socialist Organization, with rather mixed image. In game and flavour materials some call them pirates and terrorists equal to Luddites, but they don't attack civilians and in one mission even act as a counterbalance to Merchant Guild captain thinking he's a greater priority than a shipload of wounded. ISO definitely is a paramilitary group habitually stealing stuff, but between their choice of signature ships (Goose, which they nicknamed "Sickle", and ugly "Hammer", nee Toad), leaving privateers alone and general spirit of being a little out of sync, they end up as a circus cosplaying Robin Hood — potentially dangerous, but hard to take too seriously.
  • Heavy Weapon has your Atomic Tank fight through the forces of the "Red Star", which are Russian Communists trying to take over the world. The game is pretty blatant about it as well, with your character saying things like "Take THAT, you commie pigs!", stages named "Killingrad", and bosses like "Kommie Kong".
  • World in Conflict has the Soviet Union start a war with NATO in order to prevent itself from coming apart. The game itself starts with Soviet forces landing in Seattle. Also, halfway through the campaign you find out that China has allied with the Soviets and is sending troops to reinforce the Soviet-held West Coast.
  • Amita from Far Cry 4 is a more nuanced example. She holds on to a vague feminist/Marxist ideology and is a brutal guerilla fighter, placed alongside Fundamentalist Badass Native Sabal. She does represent some of the more positive aspects of Marxism (gender equality, modernization, etc.) and is generally more passionate about helping the people of Kyrat than Sabal is. Played more conventionally if you side with her for the game's ending, where she succumbs to He Who Fights Monsters. The post-credits sequences shows how she's presiding over a forced exodus of people from towns and villages to enslave them and work them in heroin fields and sweat shops, while taking the children and indoctrinating them into becoming Child Soldiers to help defeat the remnants of Min's forces. Which actually isn't too far from what Pol Pot did in his first few weeks of Marxist dictatorship of Cambodia.
  • Zig-Zagged in Disco Elysium. The game takes place in a Culture Chop Suey of France, Germany, and Estonia known as Revachol, 50 years after a failed communist revolution acting as a Fantasy Conflict Counterpart to Red October and World War II. Accounts suggest the communists killed millions of people before they themselves were almost completely slaughtered by the Coalition. By the present day, communism has been discredited and is treated mostly as a historical curiosity, outside of some rebellious youth culture. Nonetheless, among many of the inhabitants of Revachol the failed revolution is often spoken of wistfully as a lost opportunity rather than with anger or bitterness.
  • Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine is notable for being one of only two Indiana Jones works to pit Indy against the Soviet Union, and for doing so eight and a half years before Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull did. It's also a notable subversion; Indy's American contact Simon Turner is the one who plans to use the power of the eponymous machine to win the Cold War, and Volodnikov actually understands the potential dangers better than anyone other than Indy himself.
  • In the PSP game Splinter Cell: Essentials, the first flashback mission takes place in 1992 when Sam Fisher goes AWOL to rescue his old friend Douglas Shetland, who has been kidnapped by FARC guerrillas in Colombia.
  • The Sun at Night is set in a world where the Communists discovered new energy sources that allowed them to successfully Take Over the World. Great Britain and the United States were destroyed in the global tension, and all the resistance movements aren't strong enough to take them down until Laika shows up.
  • Syphon Filter 3 begins with a mission in Tokyo when Gabe Logan interrupts a deal to buy the Syphon Filter virus between rogue Chinese general Shi Hao and the Japanese Red Army. In real life, the JRA had disbanded in April 2001, 7 months before the game was released.
  • Subverted in the Tomb Raider series. In Legend, Lara comes to the assistance of Russian-speaking Kazakh soldiers at a Soviet-era research facility that is being attacked by, of all things, American mercenaries hired by a West Point graduate attempting to steal a Soviet-owned relic. She saves them from a likely death, and with some reluctance, they supply her with the passcode for their command center. In Chronicles, Admiral Yarofev and his crew are painted in a much more sympathetic light than The Mafiya who have bought him and his submarine out. The bad Russians in this instance are the capitalists.
    • Played straight in Rise of the Tomb Raider but only retroactively. The Soviets came to the Kitezh region, and upon meeting resistance from The Remnant, they suppressed them and then press ganged them into forced labour, in horrible conditions, to mine the mountains protecting the city. They even broke through to the city gate and were in the process of pulling it open when the Remnant staged an uprising and drove them out.
  • The New Order Last Days Of Europe: There are a few Russian unifiers who would qualify, like the brutal and unapologetically Stalinist West Siberian People's Republic, or the West Russian Revolutionary Front under Tukhachevsky which sees the Soviet Union return in a deeply unethical and rabidly militaristic reincarnation that uses the Red Army as a political force to purge dissidents and plays a dangerous game of chicken involving nuclear and chemical weapons with the German Reich. For non-Russian examples there's Gus Hall, a potential 1972 US Presidental candidate who represents one of the USA's failstates; while not a monster, he doesn't have "compromise" in his dictionary and his reckless convictions are disastrous for the country.

    Visual Novels 
  • Science Adventure Series:
    • The antagonist organization of Steins;Gate, SERN, is officially just a research institution, but the dystopian One World Order and Bad Future they create, in which everyone is mentally enslaved and all borders are closed, is outright referred to as a communist dictatorship by John Titor/Suzuha Amane. By extenstion, there is their bosses, the Committee of 300, but they are more The Illuminati.
    • Steins;Gate 0: One of the antagonist organizations is the Russian military, who are depicted as wanting to steal the time travel plans to go back in time and make the Soviet Union win the Cold War (and actually succeed somewhat in one timeline).
  • In Sunrider, the People’s Alliance for Common Treatment (or PACT) are implied to be communists and have several parallels with Soviet Russia. They started out as a popular revolution against the decadent and oppressive leadership of the New Empire. They’re one of the galaxy’s two big superpowers, in opposition to the more democratic Solar Alliance. Their ships and mechs are painted red, their officers and leaders wear red uniforms, and characters from outside the PACT even refer to them as Reds. To drive the point home, their leader Veniczar Arcadius rallies his troops with a speech denouncing capitalism and imperialism just before the climax of First Arrival.

    Web Animation 
  • Isabelle Ruins Everything: In the Mayor's absence, Isabelle turned the town into a communist dystopia. First it started with taking peaches from villagers who had too many and giving them to villagers who didn't have any at all, then taking everyone's slingshots away, forcing Apollo to be a policeman, putting Cyrus in jail because he said he didn't like what Isabelle was doing...


    Web Original 
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, the Proninist Party is basically that setting's version of communists.
  • The Gemini Galaxy of Imperium Nova has the United Federation of People's Republics, inspired by this trope. On the other hand, thanks to the nature of the galaxy they're in, they're one of the better factions.
  • Parodied on Homestar Runner with Rumble Red, the space commie.
    Red: But Earthling, they don't have Decemberween on my planet!
    Old-Timey Homestar: Aww, phooey! What do they have on your planet?
    Red: Not much. Long lines. Expensive bread.
  • Red Dawn +20 explores the universe of the titular movie from a point 20 years "downstream", expanding vastly on the movie's world into a plausible and rich timeline from the standpoint of veterans of the war.
  • The attitude towards far-left parties and members within the Reddit Model Governments.
  • Subverted in the Alternate History, Reds!: A Revolutionary Timeline. The Dirty Communists turn out to be very much the heroes of the work, in spite of their moral complexity.
  • Despite world history being changed big way in 1200, the Chaos Timeline also has them. Except that everyone calls them Socialists. They take over Britain in the mid 19th century and spread over all of Western Europe.
  • Chairman Nuke lives and breaths this trope.
  • Skippy's List has examples:
    11. Not allowed to join the Communist Party.
  • The Cloak describes himself as a "life-long fighter of the international Communist conspiracy."
  • In Twilight of the Red Tsar, communism has this label more than ever after a longer-living Joseph Stalin takes his madness to new heights. By the late 1950s, far-left leaders like Castro have abandoned Marxism-Leninism in favor of syndicalism.
  • Fear, Loathing and Gumbo on the Campaign Trail '72:
    • Played horrifically straight with Mao Yuanxin, Mao Zedong's psychotic nephew, aka The Lesser Mao. He turns all of China into a mass killing field, with over 200 million people perishing during his reign, and floods the world with heroin.
    • Inverted in the sequel, where the USSR begins to adopt quasi-capitalist reforms (albeit by maintaining authoritarian governance) under the rule of Nikolai Ryzhkov, becoming a more prosperous place and having better relations with the rest of the world. Meanwhile America under Donald Rumsfeld adopts an uber-right wing and hyper-capitalist ideology, becoming an impoverished backwater and a pariah state.

    Western Animation 
  • Boris and Natasha of the Rocky and Bullwinkle show are a typical example of Cold War spies.
  • In the "Justice Friends" shorts from Dexter's Laboratory, Major Glory's (a Captain America Captain Ersatz) archnemesis was a Dirty Communists villain parody named Comrade Red who even used a weaponized hammer and sickle. Especially notable as Dexter's Lab came out years after the Cold War ended, but it's also worth remembering that Genndy Tartakovsky was born in the USSR.
  • In a season nine episode of The Simpsons, "Simpson Tide", Homer ends up in command of a nuclear sub and accidentally steers it toward Russia. This prompts an immediate emergency UN meeting, in which the Russian representative refers to his people as the Soviet Union, prompting the following exchange:
    US representative: The Soviet Union? I thought you guys broke up?
    Russian representative: Nyet, that is what we wanted you to think!
He then presses a button on his desk and the Soviet banner drops in Red Square, the turf rolls back and the Berlin Wall complete with guards and dogs rises out of the ground, and Lenin busts out of his tomb, yelling "Must crush capitalism!"
  • In The Legend of Korra, Amon and his Equalist uprising can be compared to real life Communist movements. They believe that the only way to protect non-benders is to de-power benders, whom they blame for forming oppressive societal hierarchies.
  • The Sealab 2021 episode "Red Dawn" has Murphy, and soon most of Sealab embracing communism. Quinn is reluctant to support it, but is forced at gunpoint to build a bomber and atomic bomb. Fittingly enough, the president of the United States and his attorney general were Kennedy expies.
  • Huey Freeman from The Boondocks, a far-left-wing radical, has been designated as a (retired) "domestic terrorist" by the US federal government. But this is subverted, as Huey is not really a terrorist, but more of an activist who just happens to be very vocal about his extremist views.
  • In the Duckman episode "America the Beautiful", there is a lot of deliberately heavy-handed commentary on American society throughout the years. Duckman and Cornfed first visit a black-and-white town representative of The '50s, where they confront a Standard '50s Father about the disappearance of a woman named America who he used to date. When they end up insulting his way of life, he deduces that they aren't from around here, and that they must be communists, which ends with the entire town forming an angry mob and chasing them out.
  • Parodied in Harley Quinn when The Joker manages to successfully run for mayor of Gotham on a platform of sewer socialism that aims to benefit the city through stronger infrastructure and civic programs (universal health care, bilingual schooling) through higher taxation on the wealthy (i.e. Bruce Wayne). Though he makes a show of direct wealth distribution, his campaign being structured like a reign of terror is completely unrelated to any ideology; it's just because he's the Joker. And, conversely, though he's pretty callous in breaking the news to Gordon, abolishing the police department and having Bruce Wayne arrested for tax evasion isn't even revenge or a pretense to commit crime — it IS ideological.
    Suave: You want the rich to pay for all this? Are you, like, a socialist?
    Joker: I'm not like a socialist...
    [He grins at the camera as a comically overblown Scare Chord plays]
    Joker: I AM a socialist.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Dirty Commies, Dirty Communist


World in Conflict

In an alternate Cold War scenario, the Soviet Union kickstarts World War III in order to save itself from collapsing, first by invading Europe, then by launching a surprise attack on U.S. soil.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / DirtyCommunists

Media sources: