Follow TV Tropes

Please don't list this on a work's page as a trope.
Examples can go on the work's YMMV tab.


Everyone Is Satan in Hell

Go To
It can also spell: "You're overthinking it."

"We've got trouble, right here in River City, with a capital T, and that rhymes with P, and that stands for 'pool!'"
Harold Hill, on why a pool table is serious trouble, The Music Man

Some Moral Guardians are so paranoid that they'll attack the most ridiculous things, or will attack them in the most ridiculous ways possible. It's not just your English teacher who would always find hidden meanings in even the most straightforward text; if you believe the Moral Guardians, half the things you read and watch are secretly filled with Satanic and immoral messages supposed to corrupt our children and the poor unsuspecting audience. Essentially, they use Insane Troll Logic to prove that something is The New Rock & Roll. There are a few favorite methods used:

  • Excluded Middle Ground
All those pretty colors and shapes? Those aren't just eye candy to captivate the show's hyperactive target audience — those are eeeeeeevil occult symbols!

This type of thinking runs thus:

A common example is when they claim that pentagram must represent Lucifer, because Luciferians use a pentagram as a symbol. Following this logic, one could assert that the Darigold cow symbolizes Hinduism, or the Nazis stood for Buddhism.

Or similarly:

  • Bob's middle name is Hikaru.
  • "Hikaru" means "to light."
  • "Lucifer" means "light-bringer."
  • Therefore, "Hikaru" refers to Lucifer and Bob is Satan.

Never mind the distinct possibility that Bob is half-Japanese and "Hikaru" was chosen because it's a relatively common name that reflects Bob's Japanese heritage (maybe it was his grandpa's name or something); it must have been chosen to represent Lucifer! This is also funny because God and Jesus themselves are heavily associated with light, which brings a whole other set of implications further.

Another trick is to take something nasty that a villain said or did out of context, then insinuate that the source material actually encourages that type of thing. This was done with the Harry Potter books, with paranoid fundamentalists citing Voldemort's actions and words as "values" the book supposedly endorses.

  • Devil Of The Gaps
Sometimes used against superhero and fantasy stories. The argument runs that if a source of what appears to be magical power is not explicitly explained or understood, then the power must come from Satan, and therefore the story is part of the Satanic agenda. A more likely explanation is that the writers intended the character to use a type of energy or phlebotinum that is as of yet unknown in our world, or that the power was intended to be a metaphor.

This is often used by religious fundamentalists against any story where the powers are explicitly referred to as "magic". The basis of the argument is that, in real life, Magic Is Evil (because — according to beliefs of some religious people — it is something you can only use if you make a Deal with the Devil), so naturally all stories which feature magic are meant to indoctrinate readers into getting involved with actual witchcraft (even if the in-universe magic has nothing to do with real-life occult beliefs).

How absurd is this argument? Picture a medieval peasant coming forward in time to your home and declaring that you must be in league with the devil because you use an ungodly power to light your home, cook your food, wash your clothes, etc. This power is electricity, but to the medieval peasant's eyes, such power could have only come from the devil. (This is also known as Clarke's Third Law.)

  • Make Stuff Up
And finally, some of them just make crap up, because their claims that such-and-such is an evil symbol of so-and-so has no historical basis whatsoever.

Expect a lot of sloppy research (especially any number of Logical Fallacies), Falsely Advertised Accuracy, Insane Troll Logic, and Cowboy BeBop at His Computer among these people (many of whom believe that Hollywood Satanism is Truth in Television).

Some of these may be born via parody, which the sufficiently naive will believe and spread as gospel truth.

This is a YMMV trope. The non-YMMV version about this happening in-universe does belong on this page, but on Satanic Panic.

See also Everything Is Racist and Pædo Hunt. Compare The Moral Substitute, Heteronormative Crusader, Windmill Crusader, and Informed Obscenity.

Not to be confused with Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory, although this trope could be seen as a negative version of that. (Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory is about people seeing symbolism and messages in stories where none exist. This trope is about people specifically seeing evil/Satanic symbolism and messages where none exist.)

Non-Fictional Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Anime in general — and many things associated with it — tends to be viewed as evil by many fundamentalists, since a lot of anime (children's anime, in particular) deals with magic and fantastic creatures. In many cases where anime or something similar is mentioned, you might hear someone refer to the characters as "Oriental demons" or that the work was "influenced by Japanese Paganism/Occultism". Not only are many of these cases nonsense or misinformed, but they carry some really annoying Unfortunate Implications (since they seem to imply that Japan is Satan's domain). Among these examples include Pokémon: The Series and Yu-Gi-Oh!, which are mentioned under the Tabletop Games and Video Games sections below.

    • If you search YouTube for "occult/satanic/hidden meanings/symbolism for/in (insert any popular anime here)", you'll likely find numerous videos, most of which have tenuous claims at best.
  • Blade of the Immortal: The main character, Manji, takes the "crux gammata" as both his name and his personal symbol. As a symbol of prosperity and good fortune, the swastika was widely used throughout the ancient world. The anti-Semitic or pro-Nazi meaning did not exist until 1910. Indeed, the swastika is still widely used in Hinduism (and Buddhism, to a lesser extent) as it was for thousands of years all over Eurasia before the Nazis appropriated it to their own use. Every volume of the US release explicitly explains right at the start that the symbol is not a Nazi swastika. While certainly played straight often, the anti-Swastika sentiment is actually a subversion in many cases. A lot of people who do recognize when a Swastika is used regardless of the Nazi connotations of it will still want to limit its public perception, at least in their own communities, as Holocaust survivors may be traumatized by just seeing the image too much whether it was intended in its use or not. Even striped pajamas have caused issues occasionally, without anyone thinking they were anti-Semitic.
  • Bleach: The tsuba of Ichigo's bankai, Tensa Zangetsu, takes the shape of the kanji for manji, referencing its meaning final. Since the manji resembles a swastika, some have taken to accusing Bleach of being pro-Nazi. Considering the chapter in which Ichigo activates his Fullbring is called "Swastika Break" and the villains of the most recent arc are a militaristic group of Gratuitous German-spouting Quincies on a crusade...

    Comic Books 
  • This is one of the biggest reasons why The Comics Code was created. In 1954, psychiatrist Fredric Wertham published a book called Seduction of the Innocent which argued that comics were a danger to children. It didn't help that there was a US Congressional hearing being held about comics at the same time. Before the Moral Guardians could crack down, the industry created the Comics Code itself. Eventually, someone actually went through Wertham's notes and found that his book was actually one big load of crap.
  • Adolf Hitler considered Superman to be an honorary Jew. (Superman's creators were two Jewish boys, to be fair.) However, since the Nazis referred to non-Aryans as Untermenschen, or "sub-human", you'll encounter people who think Superman is Nazi-related. (One of those people was Frederic Wertham, who was very disturbed by the image of a "superman" wearing an "S" just like the Nazi SS!)
  • A particularly bad example is Moral Guardians accusing Maus — a biographical comic about the Holocaust — of encouraging racism because of its artistic gimmick of portraying people as different kinds of Funny Animals based on nationality and ethnicity (i.e., Jews as mice, Germans as cats, and so on). People who make this accusation have rarely ever read the book. The ironic thing is that a lot of their complaints are actually addressed in the comic itself and used for Self-Deprecation, such as the protagonist's wife finding the National Animal Stereotypes vaguely offensive, or the narration remarking on how badly the metaphor breaks down when the characters interact with real, non-anthropomorphic animals.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Disney Animated Canon in general has often been accused of promoting witchcraft, having all kinds of subliminal messages and occult symbolism. Plenty of times, the reason of these accusations is based in the mere inclusion of magic and supernatural beings on the films, nevermind that a lot of them are actually inspired by old fairy tales and traditional legends, which already included those magical elements.
  • A Few people (Jewish and Gentile) have accused Mother Gothel in the film Tangled of being (or at least resembling) an antisemitic caricature. Gothel, the main antagonist with dark curly hair and a hooked nose, kidnaps the blond-haired, button-nosed Rapunzel for ritualistic purposes. They note how it's eerily similar to stories of blood libel, where Jewish people were falsely accused of kidnapping and murdering non-Jewish, Christian children for rituals. Some also took issue with the way Gothel is portrayed as nagging and passive-aggressive when acting as a mother to Rapunzel, which is a common stereotype of Jewish women, particularly mothers in this case. However, some dispute this, as Mother Gothel's design is actually a mixture of an Ink-Suit Actor (for her VA Donna Murphy) and a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Cher, neither of whom are Jewish. And most of Gothel's behaviour is fairly standard for the Wicked Stepmother archetype.
  • According to some, the rather milquetoast film Ugly Dolls is satanic because it celebrates people's flaws.
  • The Care Bears Movie was once accused of promoting the occult because a character used magic from a talking spellbook, despite the spellbook being the villain.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Harry Potter. Hoo boy. There's been so much brouhaha over the supposed occult and Satanist themes in the series that The Other Wiki had to devote a separate article to the subject.
    • The series contains "witches". Centuries ago, "witch" strictly meant someone who made a Deal with the Devil; therefore, even though the modern connotation of "witch" is simply "one who can do magic" and has nothing to do with Satanic origins, the magic must be Satanic and encouraging kids to pursue the same! The sad thing is that even a half-close reading of the series shows many parallels with Christian doctrine and the Gospels, especially by Deathly Hallows, but the Moral Guardians just don't know when to stop.
    • One criticized Voldemort's drinking of unicorn blood, claiming that the book was teaching children that they could gain immortality by drinking the blood of something that wasn't Jesus. They didn't mention the parts where it's explained that drinking unicorn blood is an atrocious thing to do and that while it will stop you from dying, you will live a cursed half-life.note 
    • "There is no good or evil; there is only power, and those too weak to seek it." Horrible philosophy? Yes. That's why the one saying it is the bad guy — but some moral guardians cited this as the supposed message of the book.
    • It's probably worth noting that some of the accusations that Harry Potter was turning kids on to witchcraft came from an Onion article that someone along the line didn't realize was a joke, forwarded to all their friends, and it blew up from there.
    • There were actually quite a few kids that started getting into the occult after Harry Potter got really popular, but if anything, the parents were to blame rather than the books. And anyone who actually knows anything about occultism quickly realizes that Harry Potter magic is a useless guide anyways (consisting almost entirely of Canis Latinicus puns).
    • From a different part of the political spectrum, it has been claimed that the whole series is centrist propaganda and/or promotes capitalism because Harry's parents were well-off and left him a bunch of money (his best friend is poor, and other wealthy families like the Malfoys are portrayed negatively, but apparently this doesn't matter), and because at the end Harry becomes an auror instead of dismantling the corrupt wizard government. Never mind that the heroes spend much of the series fighting the corrupt elements of that government, driving most of them out by the end.
      • In a supreme twist of irony, this left-wing neo-pagan blogger accuses Harry Potter of being filled with "latent Christianity", with Dumbledore's "coming out" apparently being homophobic.
    • Others claim it's racist because the characters are all white, but the race of many characters is never even mentioned in the books. Some fans interpret Hermione as being black.note  And that's not even getting into all the fantasy-oriented criticisms of racism. The series takes place in the 1990s when over 90% of people in the UK were white, and there actually are a few characters who are definitely not white (Cho Chang, Angelina Johnson, Dean Thomas, the Patil twins, among others).
  • The Chronicles of Narnia has actually been banned in some Christian school libraries because it's supposedly Satanic. Never mind its obvious Christian allegories, it was written by a devout Christian, and that Aslan is literally Jesus. As with Mr. Potter, fundamentalists also hated Narnia because it mentioned magic... making it quite obvious to everyone that apparently every fundamentalist ever skipped the day that symbolism was taught in Language Arts class.
    • In the original edition of his anti-Dungeons & Dragons (see below) tract "Dark Dungeons", Jack Chick claimed that the works of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, which D&D was based on, were... you guessed it. This is hilarious because Mr. Lewis was a professional Christian writer and apologist; one of his more famous works was The Screwtape Letters, in which he details the methods for combating Satan's influence, and the Narnia books are today treated as a Christian substitute for Harry Potter by some parents. Tolkien was also a devout Christian, and was supposedly responsible for Lewis' conversion. However, it's important to note here that Tolkien was a Catholic — Chick (like many fundamentalist Protestants) views Catholicism as not only un-Christian, but a flat-out Satanic deception, frequently using the Catholic Church as the big bogeyman in his tracts and conspiracy theories. Telling Chick that Tolkien was a Catholic, and that he was responsible for Lewis's conversion, would probably only strengthen his negative views of both men's work.
  • Jack Chick is hardly the only one to denounce Tolkien as "Satanic"—see this essay for an example. Interestingly, The Lord of the Rings books themselves take this stance. All "magic" is either a product of the villains or the Istari, who are explicitly angelic figures sent to guide the mortals against said villains. Everything else, the narrative and the characters take extreme pains to describe as not being magic, merely very skilled creations or natural talents, to the point where Galadriel gets offended when her Mirror is described as magical.
    • On the other end, there's the people who think Lord of the Rings promotes racism and white supremacy because the orcs are dark skinned and violent, which they take to mean they must represent black people. Never mind that Tolkien went out of his way to deny or refute any supposed racial subtext with orcs, and spent much of his writing career trying to think of an origin for them that would stamp the idea out (the concept of an Always Chaotic Evil race clashed badly with his religious beliefs). Not helping matters is works inspired by Tolkien's, such as Shadowrun, that actually do go with the "orcs as black people" thing, (though they're a Human Phenotype due to literal Magic Genetics rather than Always Chaotic Evil). Similarly, some claim that the dwarves are anti-Semitic caricatures, despite the fact that they're almost invariably good guys, as well as that Tolkien himself was vocal about respecting Jewish culture and hating antisemites like the Nazis.note  Apparently, Fantasy Counterpart Culture is a bad thing when done by Tolkien.
    • In this bit of work by Michael Moorcock, he claims that orcs and other Always Chaotic Evil races are "thinly disguised working class agitators".
    • The Lord of the Rings had a tough time in the Soviet Union. Soviet authorities were worried that the book had Cold War undertones (with the bad guys being from the East and good guys from the West), plus they were worried its pro-agrarian attitude had reactionary undertones. In fact, when Ziniada Bobyr tried to make Russian translations of The Lord of The Rings, it was re-written as a Sci-Fi story rather than a fantasy (as Sci-Fi was more popular in the USSR).
  • The Twilight Saga gets this treatment in this video that claims Edward Cullen was named after the kid who escaped a Satanic cult that one time, and the chessboard on Breaking Dawn's cover is supposed to look like the floor of a Masonic lodge. Incidentally, Bill Schnoebelen is the guy who claims that Dungeons & Dragons contains "authentic" spells and rituals. Given the bizarre, sensational, and contradictory stories he's told over the years, it's conjectured that he simply makes a large portion of his stuff up.
  • Some Internet conspiracy theorists have decided that The Hunger Games is actually designed to brainwash people into accepting the dystopian society it depicts.
  • Every writer of the horror genre or who includes supernatural elements in his books can be accused of this. Philip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials, has been accused by some Christians of being a satanist, because in his books there are "demons" (actually daemons, which are the souls of people who adopt animal forms outside the body). It does not help that in his case he is an openly atheist author and that his books deal with "killing God".

    Live-Action TV 
  • Parody sites like Christ Wire play with this a lot. For example, in their analysis of Glee, they accuse the straight Glee club teacher of turning kids into homosexuals because he dances and sings a lot, and they also criticize it for encouraging kids to "have fun in the arts" instead of pursuing "real" careers. They skip over all the show's much more obvious attacks on the Christian Right — like the fact that the celibacy club president becomes pregnant, or the way her ultra-conservative, Glenn Beck-loving parents throw her out of the house when they find out. Even better is their article where they accuse The Golden Girls of turning "a generation of American boys into homosexuals."
  • Legendary Firefly hater "Allecto" picked apart almost every action and line of dialogue in the series in an effort to expose what she saw as Joss Whedon's hatred of women. As far as she was concerned, the show was Whedon's manifesto of how he thought women should be abused by men.
    • What was even worse was her criticism of the episode Our Mrs. Reynolds, whose first half is largely taken up by Mal loudly protesting that the girl who has apparently been sold to him for getting rid of the bandits plaguing the town is not anyone's property and is free to do as she likes. Not only does she condemn the wife-selling as if Whedon had been openly endorsing it, but she dismisses the viewpoint character's obvious disapproval with "but he can't really mean it, he's a man".
    • Though given what's come out about Whedon in recent years, she might have been on to something.
  • Jack Chick thinks Bewitched was Satan's first step in getting the occult accepted by mainstream America. Really.
  • Jon Stewart parodied Glenn Beck's tendencies towards this trope on The Daily Show where, after 'logically' piecing together numerous 'clues', he was able to reach the conclusion that Bert was Hitler.
  • Teletubbies: The purple one with the triangle and handbag, Tinky-Winky, is often used as proof that the gay liberals are forcing their godless agenda on children.note  He also wore a skirt at times that the other male, Dipsy, refused to wear (strangely, it seems this was never brought up by either side).
    • Religious fundamentalists also claimed that the symbols on the Teletubbies' heads were actually Satanic symbols designed to brainwash children, despite the fact that most of the series' target audience can't grasp symbolism.
  • Pat Robertson of The 700 Club infamy said that he would never leave Freeform (no matter what lengths the network went to get rid of him) because he thought everything else on the channel was satanic and that he was needed.

  • During the infamous Satanic Panic of the 1980's, lots of metal bands such as Slayer and Black Sabbath were accused of hiding Satanic messages in their music via backmasking. This ignores the fact that if you listen to music backwards, and are trying to hear something, the gibberish will naturally sound like something to you. Today, accusations of backmasking are almost always Played for Laughs, though there are still some conspiracy theorists who take them seriously.
    • The Sabs went out of their way to refute any and all claims of satanism or worship thereof, as stated in both Ozzy Osbourne and Tony Iommi's memoirs. While they did dabble with the occult back in the day, it was more out of curiosity than a sincere devotion towards the dark arts; Geezer Butler came from an Irish Catholic background while Ozzy is at least to some extent a practising Anglican.
    • As for Slayer, Tom Araya is actually a devout Catholic, which is far cry from the ostensibly satanic themes in their music. Araya explained that he seperates his beliefs from his career and would never compromise their music to appease those in the same faith as he is in; any and all satanic references in their music are all just for shock value.
  • In the late 90's, the main Scapegoat was Marilyn Manson especially during the Antichrist Superstar era with many claiming that the Antichrist refers to Manson himself. Ignoring how this isn't really the case since it is a Concept Album about a fictional person, it wouldn't make sense anyway since it contradicts almost everything in the Book of Revelation anyway. To the religious groups' credit, Manson was conferred the title of Reverend by Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey and wrote the foreword to one of LaVey's books, Satan Speaks! hence their concerns, but even that "satanic priesthood" title was more honorary than anything else and was not an actual member of the Church of Satan past-Antichrist Superstar.
  • Even contemporary/rock artists who identify as Christian, and who produce explicitly Christian music, are not immune to accusations of espousing Satanism. The folks at Dial-the-Truth Ministries have "found" Satanic imagery in one of Amy freaking Grant's music videos.
  • Oddly enough, David Bowie avoided the “Satanic” label despite writing songs with allusions to Nieztchean Supermen, Crowley, Kabbalah, and gay sex with actual demons.
  • Parodied with the Worm Quartet's song (link hilarious but NSFW) "What Your Parents Think All Your Music Sounds Like", allegedly "the most evil song ever recorded", which consists entirely of commands exhorting the listener to perform all sorts of misdeeds from raping their mothers to drinking milk straight from the jug, accompanied by a crowd chant of: "SEX! DRUGS! SATAN!"
  • According to some conspiracy theorists, trying to grow out of your innocent child star image is proof that the Satanic media is using you to lure innocent children away from their own purity and innocence. For example, Britney Spears' entire life was a plot — start her out on The Mickey Mouse Club so parents think she's sweet and innocent, then when she gets older put her in skanky clothes and have her kiss Madonna to lure (former) children into depravity.
  • The Tritone. Because it's dissonant, it must be the devil! To clarify: The tritone is not just dissonant. It is the most dissonant interval in existence, lying between the base tone and the semi-tone between the ultra-consonant perfect fourth and perfect fifth in a scale. The interval is also exactly three whole tones (three being a holy number in Christianity, representing the Trinity, the cardinal virtues, etc.). Both these aspects make it extra satanic.
  • The Beatles got plenty of flak just for being a rock band. But then Charles Manson found some "call to arms" messages in The White Album, and before you know it, Roman Polański's wife is dead. A rare case where the people claiming it was evil were not the Moral Guardians, but rather, a Serial Killer cult. "Helter Skelter" got it the worst, given the Manson family even painted it on the walls. Despite the proto-metal sound, the song is about an amusement park ride. Or, well, a relationship being like an amusement park ride, where that ride is a long spiral slide. Which is possibly the most mundane relationship metaphor ever imagined.
  • The YouTube channel iamaphoney started out as a series of "Paul Is Dead" videos, but branched out into theories about the Beatles worshipping Aleister Crowley and other such things. For example, the Beatles were known for using backwards tracks, and since Crowley wrote "let him learn to talk backwards..."
  • Michael Jackson attempted to pre-empt this by putting a disclaimer right before the video for "Thriller", which depicts supernatural forces reviving the dead (as well as a fictional werewolf in a film within said music video) that he did not believe in the occult. (He was still a devout Jehovah's Witness at the time.) It didn't work, as Jehovah's Witnesses still disliked the video, which led him to disassociate himself from them afterwards.
  • During the biggest music-related outrage by Moral Guardians, Dee Snider testified before the Senate in the PMRC hearings because he felt Twisted Sister was being accused of this trope. For instance, Tipper Gore wrote in an article that "Under the Blade", a song Snider wrote about the guitarist being afraid of an upcoming surgery, was as an ode to sadomasochism and rape.
  • Parodied by Sabaton's "7734", which contains Satanic "messages" so blatant a child could find them: the title of the song is "HELL" in calculator spelling, the line "do glatem live" in the chorus is "evil metal god" backwards, and the second verse contains a bunch of numerology jokes.
  • The Brazilian singer and animator of children's programs Xuxa was also accused of this in the early 90s. There were rumors that if their songs were heard backwards, Satanic messages would be heard. That was nonsense that very few people really believed.
  • Some Christian groups gave the Disco Sucks trope a more fire-and-brimstone twist by labelling the dance trend under the backronym Dancing in Satan's Company as a way to condemn the hedonism disco supposedly glorifies. Then again, people have gone burned out by the dance craze by the end of the 70s anyway.
  • There exists a conspiracy theory that many pop stars have sold their soul to a version of Satan called 'the Rain Man' as he 'rains' material gifts down on his subjects, derived from the Eminem album Encore, particularly the track "Rain Man". Other celebrities have been involved in this for using rain imagery, such as Eminem's occasional collaborator Rihanna, for her song "Umbrella". There is no older use of the term "Rain Man" to mean the Devil until someone on the internet made it up. Eminem uses Demonic Possession and Religious Horror imagery on multiple songs to analogise his misfit personality and his hatred of fame (the Slim Shady EP Intro skit, "Evil Deeds", "Rain Man", "My Darling", and several others), but the song "Rain Man" is a comedic freestyle analogising Eminem's inability to do anything other than rap to the Dustin Hoffman character from Rain Man. Outside of Eminem's Villain Protagonist persona, he's a Christian; he never says anything pro-Satanic, even when mocking Moral Guardians who think rap will turn their kids into Satanists. This doesn't stop the idea that "Rain Man" is a nickname for Satan dominating the song's annotations on Genius.
  • The hip-hop group Three 6 Mafia was, at least for a time, the butt of controversy from religious groups and conspiracy theorists alike—the group's name itself is a thinly-veiled reference to the Number of the Beast in keeping with their image as a Horrorcore group (at least until they shifted to the more mainstream "ringtone rap" sound in their later albums); this bit back on them in the song "Stay Fly" where a sample from the Willie Hutch song "Tell Me Why Has Our Love Turned Cold" was misinterpreted as "Lucifer, you're my king, you're my father" instead of "you're my pride, you're my king, you're my father", as if the Three-Six was indeed singing praises to the devil.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Some Protestants are convinced that the Catholic Church is secretly a Satanic cult and that the Pope is the Anti-Christ. Their "proofs" often include the "horned hand" or "segno delle corna" (an old Italian charm to ward off the evil eye, as popularised by the likes of Ronnie James Dio; not Satanic), the upside-down cross on the papal throne (actually based on the tradition that Saint Peter, who is said to have been the first Pope, was crucified upside-down as he felt that he did not deserve to die the same way Christ did; compare the Saint Andrew's cross), and the hexagram (appropriated from Judaism; called the "star of creation" by some Christians and used to represent the six days of creation). You can find one of Jack Chick's highly flawed attacks on Catholicism here.
  • For some fundamentalist Christians, any religion other than Christianity (Buddhism, Shintoism, Hinduism among others) clearly can only be the work of Satan. That includes, as noted earlier, Catholicism and Islam. Although "Allah" is technically the same god of Jews and Christians, for many fundamentalists it is actually an absolutely different, and therefore demonic, monotheistic deity.
    • That sort of raises the question, how one can have a different deity, when both parties agree that there is only one. But then again, Muslims regard Christians (most especially Catholics with their practice of venerating and keeping images of saints) as polytheistic idolaters.
  • In the pre-Constantine era, the leaders of Ancient Rome sometimes accused Christians en masse of certain grave crimes, such as atheism, cannibalism, and so on. The misinformation going around was so bad that St. Justin Martyr had to write two treatises to the Roman establishment in an attempt to set things straight and secure better justice for Christians. It didn't work.
    • Technically the allegations of atheism were kinda true. The Christians really did deny the existence of Zeus, Hera, Mars and all the other Roman gods. From the point of view of Romans who thought that those gods were real and would smite offending cities who allowed them to be disrespected, the atheism charges would have seemed justified.
    • This probably wasn't helped by the fact that other Christians accused churches they considered heretical (like the Gnostics and Montanists) of cannibalism and orgies as well.
    • There were a few reasons why misunderstanding of Christian doctrine was so rampant. Not only was Christianity a young religion at that time, but the ins and outs of Christian doctrine were only explained piecemeal to prospective converts, and some of the sacred mysteries were not permitted to be discussed with those who were outside the Church. Hence, Christians' partaking of the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist may have been misunderstood as cannibalism, the liturgical "kiss of peace" and the agape feasts that used to accompany the Eucharistic celebration may have been misconstrued as orgies, etc.
  • Thousands of years of scientific advancements and cultural heritage by the Maya were destroyed by Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century, under the false belief that the codices and tomes the indigenous tribes kept contained "nothing in which there was not to be seen superstition and lies of the devil".
    • Ditto with the subjugation the Sámi people faced from Nordic missionaries. In 1609, King Christian IV of Denmark wrote that the Sámi were heathen sorcerers skilled in magic and demonic sorcery, and as such no mercy was to be spared when it comes to such "occult" beliefs. Such persecution against Sámi religious beliefs were alluded to in Frozen II, whose Northuldra tribe was used as an allegory for tribal discrimination.
  • Even Jesus himself was accused of practising demonic acts as told in Matthew 12:22-37, where the Pharisees accused Jesus of performing sorcery by the power of Beelzebub (yes, that Beelzebub) as he drove demons off a blind and mute man who was also healed of his condition. Jesus did not take kindly to such a spurious accusation and left a stern reply rebuking their claims.

  • According to this parody website, everything from candles to paisley prints contains demons waiting to pounce on you:
    • Paisleys, you see, are evil because 1: the design was invented by those heathen Indians, 2: it looks like that heathen Pythagorean comma, and 3: it was printed on fabrics made from goat hair, and anything to do with goats is evil because goats represent Satan.
    • From the website: "For those of you who demand to see a Scripture before you can believe something, there are NO Scriptures that say YOU do NOT have demons. That should settle it!"
    • If you need any more evidence of trolling, it also says: BOYCE and BOICE are two demons that interfere with any electronic equipment, i.e., phone, computer, printer, automobile. If something malfunctions, command these two demons to leave your equipment, in the name of Jesus. We get many emails saying this worked.
  • Apparently, every round or semi-round shape in a logo is supposed to represent the Satanic all-seeing eye. Also, they point to logos containing eyes in which the eye makes perfect sense even without the conspiracy angle, such as eyes incorporated into the logos of home-security products. This makes even less sense if you know the symbol can also be used to represent God (because he is omni-cognisant.)
  • Anything and everything that is taller than it is wide is a phallic symbol. No exceptions. The same goes for anything that is famous for being larger than its peers. And if it's shorter than it's wide, you just turn it on its side...
  • Not even Santa Claus is safe from this trope:
    • There is a site explaining, in all seriousness, why Santa Claus is an evil Satanic character. One reason was that "Old Nick" is a nickname for Satan. "Old Saint Nick" in fact just derives from "Saint Nicholas," a historical person upon whom Santa Claus was based.
    • There's an even sillier claim that Santa is just a Significant Anagram for Satan, which fortunately, most people just take as a joke. In reality, "santa" simply means "saint", which is about as far as a regular human can get from Satan.
    • Ironically, the Finnish name for Santa Claus, which is "Joulupukki" and means, seemingly nonsensically, "Christmas He-Goat", actually does associate Santa and Satan in some way. This comes from a goat St. Nicholas was said to walk around on a leash, which really represented the devil, specifically his having bound it and made it harmless. This is not so much satanic as people having forgotten what the symbolism originally meant.
    • One common claim is that the myth of Santa Claus was fabricated by the devil to dispel faith in God, i.e., when children discover that Santa Claus is not real, they will become more likely to apply this same logic to God as well, thus falling within the devil's evil grasp.
    • For this reason, even metals aren't immune. Nickel comes from the German Kupfernickel, "Old Nick's copper".
  • The two major colas around the world are said by some extremists to be anti-Muslim:
    • There is one video by Muslim extremists that claim that Pepsi is pro-Israel, stating Pepsi is an acronym for "Pay Every Penny to Save/Support Israel". Ironically, Pepsi is less involved in Israel than Coca-Cola is, and neither one can be accused of conspiracy, just of doing business there or not.
    • According to some fundamentalist Muslims, Coca Cola's logo can be read as Arabic if it's inverted, and it says "No God, no Mecca." Although you have to squint a lot and do some seriously creative interpretation of the patterns, it resembles the words "For God, for Mecca" more closely. Which means that some fundamentalist Christian out there believes that, but fortunately, few of them can read Arabic.
    • If you're wondering what cola the fundamentalists will drink: Some reject cola altogether (which is sort of ironic, since the kola nut was first introduced to the world outside West Africa by Muslims); others drink Muslim-made colas as The Moral Substitute. Note that the makers of these colas don't necessarily buy into the conspiracy theory themselves (for instance, Mecca-Cola and Qibla Cola, run by Muslims in Europe, were established with the goals of backing Muslim charitable causes like relief for the Palestinians, while Zamzam Cola was produced in Iran after American sanctions denied the country Coca-Cola and Pepsi).
  • Vigilant Citizen. A website devoted to finding all of the Illuminati / Masonic symbolism and brainwashing in the pop culture world, from Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Disney to Lady Gaga and Beyoncé. There is a swelling undercurrent of believers who have congregated to YouTube to warn of the evils of music videos, children's programming and everything else in popular culture. The amount of reaching (and "research") is scarily staggering. See: the 5 part series on the possession of Beyonce, the 11 part series on Jay-Z's "Satanic Connections", and the 21(!) part series on Rihanna's "Umbrella" video.
    • This site, and others like it, hasn't gone unnoticed among the celebrities targeted. Lady Gaga is at the point where she's milking the attention/paranoia of conspiracy theorists for all it's worth, and Jay-Z's response was the brilliant and darkly artistic video for "On to the Next One." They and other celebrities have also used metaphors like "selling their soul to the devil" and "swearing to Lucifer" in interviews, in an effort to troll conspiracy theorists.
  • The Beltway Sniper caused fear and panic throughout Washington. Before he was caught, an investigation of one of his nests turned up a tarot card note  which had the words "I am God" written on it in marker. Despite the many theological or philosophical, or cultural possibilities given from the choice of card and words, some journalists declared that it was clearly a crazed video gamer. Why? Because "I am God" is clearly a reference to "God mode", a term in video games for a cheat that makes you invincible. This leads to the obvious question — if he thought he was in "god mode", why was he hiding?
  • The YouTube user gorilla1999 can connect anything to Freemasons, Satanists, and reptilians. There's also a video where he claims that most businesses in the world are controlled by reptilians or Freemasons. One wonders if that applies to Mom & Pop grocery stores as well.
  • Christopher Lord, AKA Truthiracy. He aims to prove that everything is Satanic. His over-dramatic delivery of everything and his insane troll etymology suggests that it is a Stealth Parody — though you can never really be sure.
  • For a while, the Procter & Gamble company suffered from rumors of having links to Satanism, mostly thanks to this company logo. It was claimed that the logo was a mockery of Revelation 12:1 ("And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of 12 stars."), since it has 13 stars instead of 12. It didn't help that rival company Amway also helped in propagating the rumors.
    • The 13 stars have more to do with P&G having started in the United States of America, which uses the number 13 in its iconography. This implies that the USA is itself Satanic by the standards of its own citizens who are followers of this trope.
  • Glenn Beck once claimed that the artwork outside Rockefeller Center (NBC's corporate headquarters and site of many of their TV studios) in New York was intended to glorify communism and/or fascism, as documented here. In reality, the only artwork that was ever on display at Rockefeller Center that can be considered communist-themed, the mural Man at the Crossroads, was destroyed after an outraged Nelson Rockefeller saw the mural's depiction of Vladimir Lenin and ordered it painted over with one of Abraham Lincoln.
    • On a (slightly) less insane note, he has also said that the fasces is an ancient symbol for fascism. It is indeed a Roman symbol for authority, and it was indeed borrowed by Mussolini who named fascism after it, but that's not quite the same. The fundamental symbolism of the fasces (a bundle of reeds: one reed breaks, a bundle doesn't) is appropriate to democracies, republics, and federations, and has been used by Francenote  and—significantly—the United Statesnote  since the late 18th century (before fascism was even a thing people could imagine).
  • Since the colorless energy image on the Pokémon trading card game looks like a hexagram, it led to the game being repeatedly considered a Zionist conspiracy, and banned in Saudi Arabia, as shown here. There's also the presence of crosses (Christianity) and triangles (Freemasonry) in the cards.
    • There was also quite an uproar about a Nazi swastika in the background of a Zubat card illustration... turns out, the card image was flipped when brought into America, and it's the symbol of peace they intended to put on the card. Not that most people in America would be able to tell the difference anyway.
  • BSD (all types) has this problem since their logo/mascot is a little devil. It also doesn't help that background processes in *nix systems are called daemonsnote .
  • There is an urban legend that the word "picnic" derives from "pick a nigger" and was originally used to refer to a lynching with food and music for white spectators. Snopes dealt with this one...
  • The American Sign Language is believed by some to be Satanic because the "I Love You" sign resembles the "horns" sign. Never mind that 1) the "horns" sign is different from the ILY sign (it has the thumb towards the palm, rather than outstretched,) and 2) the sign isn't even an "official" part of the language, just a bit of slang made up by the ASL community themselves as a combination of the letters I, L and Y, so it has nothing to do with any supposed Satanic/masonic/Zionist etc. plot by the creators of ASL.
  • Not Always Right gives us this customer, who goes to a hotel during a convention and claims that the trolls from Homestuck are demons because they have horns and that anyone cosplaying as them must be a devil worshipper. She also thinks that Human Sacrifices will be done at midnight and when she is told that the only thing happening at midnight is a dance, she is quick to twist those words into "A dance with the Devil".
  • Hello Kitty has an urban legend associated with it, which claims that it was created as a part of a Deal with the Devil. As you can probably guess, there are quite a few people who believe it...
  • The year 2012 saw rumors that the acronym LOL means "Lucifer Our Lord" rather than "Laugh Out Loud" and is used in prayer by Satanists. Debunked here by Snopes.
  • Try to mention The Illuminati in one of your works, whether it be satire, or a society based on the Conspiracy. People will take that as evidence you're one of Them.
  • Monster Energy Drink is the work of SATAN!
  • YouTube user The Vigilant Christian has made several videos where he is convinced that everything is Satanic. Some of his targets include Disney and Cartoon Network, the former of which he even made a video where he ranted on how Disney hiding subliminal messages in their movies to corrupt children and claiming that Disney was Satanic because the logo for The Walt Disney Company had 666 hidden in the "W" and "T" in Walt and the "Y" in Disney. Not that cursive writing has loops that resemble the number six though, mind you.
  • Some subcultures are attacked for encouraging Satanism/celebrating the occult. The Goth subculture is a very prominent example; they dress in black and dabble in the arts, so they must be evil!note  It's not just religious zealots, either; for a while, the general public has had quite a few misconceptions about goths being angry and dangerous, specifically after Columbine, as Harris and Klebold had been misidentified as being part of the subculture. Luckily, this seems to have died done significantly, but prejudices don't just disappear completely.
  • Microsoft, specifically its founder Bill Gates, has had its fair share of satanic accusations, with Gates being accused of selling his soul to the devil thus accounting for his immense wealth (though as we all know, it had more to do with his company's monopolistic tendencies than anything else). A programme by the Philippine television network ABS-CBN entitled Verum Est once aired a segment about rumours connecting Microsoft to the antichist—only to be made quite ironic when said TV network ran ads for Microsoft products years later. The segment was also riddled with factual errors: Bill's role in the company when Windows 95 was released was more of an executive role than a programmer, and he was far from the one who invented computer software as we know it; the "Hall of Tortured Souls" message is an Easter Egg hidden within Excel 95, not Windows 95, and this did not in any way grant Gates immense power to subjugate the world either.
    • The anti-Gates sentiment saw a resurgence (albeit in a more secular manner) in the 2020s due to his vaccination advocacy in relation to the COVID-19 Pandemic, with those who bought into the conspiracy theories blaming the former Microsoft chairman for allegedly conspiring towards a New World Order.

  • Former Formula One driver Michael Schumacher was the subject of conspiracy theories in some automotive enthusiast circles as having made a Faustian pact with the devil which accounted for his dominant career during his heyday; an auto magazine in the Philippines discussed this in the mid-2000s and debunked said claims, dismissing whatever deal Schumi had with Satan and chalked it up to him being just good with the sport.
  • Lithuanian-American skateboarder Natas Kaupas became the butt of controversy due to the spelling of his first name, as 'Natas' spelled backwards is 'Satan'. Kaupas tried to explain that his name is actually a masculine variant of the Lithuanian female name 'Natalija', but many schools and establishments imposed a ban on merchandise bearing his name, which is unsurprising given how the Satanic Panic was in full swing during the 80s.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons — One of the big ones. Certain people have claimed that the game contains "authentic" occult rituals and spells. The immortal Jack Chick did a whole tract, the infamous "Dark Dungeons", about fantasy gaming being a gateway to Satan. This is in spite of the fact that Gary Gygax was himself a Christiannote  — you'd think portraying demons and devils as bad guys, and angels as good guys, would be an obvious enough clue of his actual stance.
    • This has caused other game companies (like Rifts publisher Palladium Books) to place a disclaimer in all their books stating that their books are works of fiction and they don't condone the supernatural or occultism.
    • Some books actually do include ceremonial and Ritual Magic information. The entire Goetia (Lesser Key of Solomon), minus the sigils, made it into Dragon Quest in 1986.
  • Worth mentioning is Magic: The Gathering. It has been associated with everything from pagan rituals to Tarot cards. This has reached a point that demons were actually barred from the game for a while and replaced by horrors to avoid accusations of satanism endorsing, before Wizards of the Coast realised that was a dumb decision.
  • For that matter, Tarot cards were originally just playing cards, until bored rich people in the 19th Century decided to pretend to be wizards. Now, the cards themselves are considered by some to be evil and magical.
  • Paranoia was, in the '90s, accused of promoting communism. Another complaint by Christian groups was that it allowed people to play as a Muggle Power anti-mutant secret society dedicated to wiping out every mutant in Alpha Complex despite being mutants themselves. This is true, but said group is portrayed as completely evil and are deliberately made to invoke Nazi-esque imagery. They are in no way the heroes of Paranoia — there are no heroes in Paranoia.
  • Parodied in In Nomine. In Nomine is a game about an actual conflict between the angels and the demons where demons are just fallen angels, and yes, capital G God the Almighty exists but chooses not to just end it. The angels (fallen and otherwise) are not sure which religion is true - Laurence is a Catholic, but Gabriel (Jibril) did in fact deliver the Qu'ran to Muhammad. It's played for laughs. The inside cover says, "Satanized for your protection. Do not play this game backwards."
  • It's not as common as other examples, but the Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game and anime have been attacked for being Satanic and evil. Take this article for example. Part of the argument is that the game encourages summoning Pagan gods and refers to the Ancient Egyptian themes as "occult". It also mentions nearly everything else that gets attacked for being demonic (Harry Potter, Pokémon, Magic: The Gathering).note 
  • Warhammer 40,000 occupies a weird place to say the least. See, the Imperium of Man (the POV faction for most lore material) is an obvious satire of totalitarian political ideologies, especially fascism. Most 40k fans (including, no, especially left-wing ones) know this. However, it's also a setting somewhere between Evil vs. Evil and Black-and-Grey Morality. So when the 40k writers inevitably depict the Imperium acting heroically, some left-wing fans will accuse the writers of glorifying fascism. None of this is helped by 40k's Misaimed Fandom of actual fascists.
    • A user on The Other Wiki, on a talk page for a 40k-related article, tried arguing that the symbol of the Ultramarines is based on the symbol of the Ustašenote . Ignore the fact that the Ultramarine logo is just the Greek letter Omega (Ω) turned upside down. They even claim the "ultra-" prefix is a reference to ultranationalism (instead of, you know, a reference to the actual shade of blue called ultramarine).

    Theme Parks 
  • A Tough Pigs article on the Sesame Street area of Universal Studios Japan tongue-in-cheek claimed that the only way to interpret the backstory of Moppy (a pink monster who came through a mirror when Elmo touched the star on his hand) is as a demon who Elmo summoned via his "pentagram stigmata".
  • A TV Advert for the Alton Towers ride Nemesis: Sub-Terra faced controversy over whether a TV advert for the ride was racist. The advert in question showed an alien egg hatching and then cut to an extreme close-up of a (clearly terrified) black man's face; this was seen by some as implying he was the monster within the egg. Alton Towers had to clarify that the man was scared of the alien.


    Video Games 
  • Almost any and all video games were subject to this before The New '10s or so, since some Moral Guardians considered all video games to be "Satanic", with only a few exceptions (see this Wikipedia article for a more in-depth look of the phenomenon). These are just the most egregious examples, which were attacked mainly because of their popularity.
  • Pokémon — accused of being Satanic for various reasons. Two ridiculous examples that stand out is the accusation that the -mon suffix stands for "demon"note  or that the card game is a "stepping stone" to the equally satanic Magic: The Gathering (the fact that Magic is put out by Wizards of the Coast, the same company that first produced Pokémon cards in America, didn't help.) Supposedly, Pope John Paul II even approved of Pokémon, though this does not necessarily help, as many fundamentalist Protestant sects consider him to be the Anti-Christ.
    • Arabic countries banned the game (though it has since been made available and popular in many Arab countries since) due to it containing a six-pointed star, and it's been claimed that "Pikachu" means "be a Jew," or worse, "stronger than God" in Latin America. (The truth is much more benign; the name is based on a Japanese onomatopoeia, coming out to roughly "Sparklesqueak" in English. Alternatively, it's named after the small fuzzy animal known as a pika. Or it could be both; they do love their puns in Japan, after all.)
    • Koga's Ninja Trick shows a manji. What's so bad about a manji? Well, it looks an awful lot like a swastika. Some people thought it meant Pokémon was encouraging Nazism.
    • A few distinct Pokémon have been subject to criticism from paranoid watchers. The Pokémon Houndoom has been accused by some of representing Satanism, since it is characterized as a hellish dog with horns and a barbed tail.
    • Some people criticized a Pokémon card showing a Registeel raising its arm. Apparently, it resembled a Nazi salute. To the less paranoid, it just looks like it's raising its arm. That pose was also on its sprite in the first two fourth gen games, Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, though it was altered in Platinum.
    • There are creationists who accuse Pokémon of being anti-Christian because the Pokémon "evolve". Anyone with even a passing familiarity with the franchise will immediately recognize that the "evolution" portrayed in the series has absolutely nothing to do with the actual concept of evolution, and is in fact much more similar to the real-life phenomenon of metamorphosis (caterpillars becoming butterflies and the like).
    • Pokémon apparently promotes Roman gladiators, but the arguments in the video are laughably bad. First, he claims Pokémon stands for "Pocket Men", when it stands for Poketto Monsuta, which is "Pocket Monsters" written in Japanese katakana, and claims that series creator Hideo Kojima created the series for Racism. He compares battles to Roman gladiator matches, and Poké Balls as cages they keep the Pokémon in, leaving out the fact that Ash gets along very well with his Pokémon. The fact that the arguments in the video are laughably bad, combined with the fact of his other video subjects, his video about hashtags make him a likely Poe.
    • A rage comic here chronicles the author's supposed encounter with the trope (obviously, take it with a grain of salt); a DJ refuses to play the Pokémon theme song, because some people find it anti-religious, but has no problems with playing sexist rap.
  • You could call Poe's Law on this one, but check out these two videos for the hidden meanings someone has claimed to find in Legacy of Kain.
  • There's no question that the original DOOM eventually takes the player to Hell. Enemies are explicitly referred to as demons, and Satanic imagery is rampant. However... the player is tasked with destroying these images and agents of evil, yet the game has been accused of supporting the forces of Hell instead of opposing them, just for featuring them at all.
    • According to id level designer Sandy Petersen, he saw no conflict between his affiliation with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (of whom he is a devout member of) and the Satanic themes present in DOOM. He went on to tell John Romero during development that "I have no problems with the demons in the game. They're just cartoons. And, anyway, they're the bad guys."
  • Similarly, the Diablo series fell into this for a number of uninformed parents. Diablo is the name of the Satanic Archetype that the player is meant to fight, the Big Bad of all three games, and the Final Boss outside of expansion packs. The player, as a holy warrior or even a nephalem, is charged with destroying him. This hasn't stopped a few from claiming the entire series is meant to drive people into worshiping Satan.
  • A rumor that started around the early Turn of the Millennium claims that Super Mario Bros. is actually Communist propaganda. Among the many McCarthyist pieces of evidence to support this claim are Mario's resemblance to Joseph Stalin, Mario pulling down a flag with a peace sign (actually meant to be a skull) and putting up a flag with the Red Star at the end of each level, Mario coming from a working-class background, and Mario striving to depose Bowser, a monarch, just like the Bolsheviks deposed the tsar (never mind that Mario's also trying to rescue and reinstate another monarch). One of the Bowser events in the Mario Party series is "Bowser Revolution", which takes all the coins from the players and redistributes them evenly so that each player has the exact same amount. So one could argue that in a sense Bowser has some communist tendencies as well.
  • Yo Kai Watch: It seems as if some are appalled by the references to Buddhism that were, surprisingly, left in the game. It doesn't help that the game is about paranormal phenomena, which some interpret as "satanic".
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
  • Once notable Roblox user TheJKid used to run a popular Roblox fansite. However, he would ultimately end up quitting the game altogether. According to his blogpost, he, as a very devoted Christian, believed that the spawn image and many of the items (specifically ones with the theme of "evil, darkness, or death") were offensive to Christians and signs of the Devil, and appearances in one's own home could result in Demonic Possession. This all started when his uncle believed the spawn symbol was satanic and TheJKid ended up agreeing with him.
  • Animal Crossing: Wild World: A number of news outlets picked up K.K.'s statement that "Those industry fat cats try to put a price on my music, but it wants to be free," and interpreted it as Nintendo advocating that Digital Piracy Is Okay, at a time when online piracy was a hot-button issue. Nintendo of America had to put out a statement clarifying that K.K.'s line was not meant as an endorsement of piracy, and was simply supposed to reflect his free-spirited nature.

    Western Animation 
  • This article is a painfully straight example of this trope, accusing Chowder of being one big hate speech against the mentally ill and the obese, The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack of exploiting child molestation, and The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy of giving kids clinical depression.
  • Rainbow Brite — Accused of being Satanic by Texe Marrs, due to the abundance of stars and rainbows in its imagery. According to Marrs's logic, if someone who isn't God is throwing around rainbows, that person is definitely promoting Satanism. Surprisingly he didn't seize upon two (actually, three) connections that would have halfway made sense. The star is an ancient symbol of Islam (or, alternately, could be mistaken for the pentagram), while the rainbow is one of the most famous symbols of gay pride. So, you could say that Rainbow Brite is a satanic Islamist-homosexual! Texe Marrs really lived and died by this trope. In Circle of Intrigue, Texe quotes Hermes Trismegistus as saying "God is a circle." He then reasons that, since Hermes was a Satanist, Hermes's god is Satan. Therefore, by his logic, anything that uses a circle as a symbol is Satanic. He then goes on to list examples of things that have circles in their logos, coats of arms, or general shape.
  • The Year Without a Santa Claus was pulled from TV in some places because Heat Miser was deemed "Satanic." Especially absurd because he looks much more like a clown than like a devil.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic did not escape unscathed, either.
  • Moral Guardians have accused Disney of promoting a satanic cartoon: Gargoyles. The lead characters do have demonic appearances, but they are not demons or devils. They are sentient, noble creatures and are largely good. The only evil gargoyles are the ones persecuted (or cloned) by humans. The controversy died down as none of the accusers watch any footage of the series. In fact the purpose of real-life gargoyle statues is to scare away demons, so it's not even based on any kind of satanic mythology.
  • In the DVD commentary of The Venture Bros., Doc Hammer talks about an incident where his own mother got on his case for including a scene where the Monarch calls someone a retard, as if the word's mere inclusion meant Hammer endorses such things. He responded by stating the obvious; the whole point of the scene was that Monarch is a Jerkass Politically Incorrect Villain who doesn't care about other people's feelings.
  • Many Christian parents group hit the moral panic button after Disney Channel released the series The Owl House with many saying it would turn their children towards witchcraft, which the creators took as a compliment. They tried to ban it a second time because Luz is bisexual. This failed, as the show was an enormous success with a humongous fanbase.
  • Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters has been hit by this due to the similarities between the Tech Men's mind-controlling plot and the 5G conspiracy theories. They have also compared the Smart Mark (the mind control device) to the Mark of the Beast and concluded that Netflix is indoctrinating the youth, even though the show clearly portrays the creators of the Smart Mark as villains that the heroes have to stop.
  • In 2016, a preacher in Kuwait argued this about SpongeBob SquarePants, due to the main character being feminine and Sandy being more masculine. He then goes on to say the series is a plot by the Jews to turn the children of the Middle East, as well as the rest of the world, into homosexuals.
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) was accused of promoting bullying because the other reindeers are assholes to Rudolph because of his nose, even though the whole special is about embracing your special qualities. You'd think people would have more of a problem with Santa saying that he's going to "cancel Christmas," which implicitly makes the holiday Santa Clausmas while subverting the celebration of Christ's birth.
  • Muppet Babies (2018) Once news about Gonzo wearing a dress in the "Gonzorella" episode hit the mainstream, many Moral Guardians slammed the show for promoting a supposed "trans agenda" and "grooming". Even though Gonzo has worn dresses numerous times in the original show, and Gonzo himself doesn't even care about gender (one comic strip had him going to a 'whatever' bathroom).
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy is about the Grim Reaper being forced to eternally serve two kids after they win a bet against him. In one episode of the show, Grim is temporarily turned into a mortal human. The creators intended for Grim's human form to be a black man, matching his actor Greg Eagles. The censors vetoed this on the basis that this would create the image of a black man being "owned" by two white kids, forcing Grim's human form to be altered to be white instead. When the creators argued that this is an absurd connection to make and only a moron would take offense, the censors actually agreed but pointed out that it didn't matter; even if the connection made no sense whatsoever, the mere fact that it is possible to make that connection means that somebody would and would raise a stink, creating problems for Cartoon Network.
  • Hazbin Hotel is a musical horror comedy that tells how Charlie Morningstar, the daughter of Lucifer and princess of hell, decides to try to redeem sinners and give them the opportunity to enter heaven. so it was practically inevitable that this would happen. As soon as the first trailer appeared, several videos from conservative Christians accused the show of "glorifying Satanism" and presenting Satan as a good guy, in addition to mocking Christianity, in an animated series "clearly intended for viewing by young children."

Fictional Examples:

    Comic Books 
  • Human Gotara-worshippers in ElfQuest are quick to blame nearly anything unpleasant on "evil elf spirits", even if the elves have been suffering the same misfortunes all along (e.g. Madcoil's attacks) and acted to stop them.
  • Exploited by Veronica Cale in a Wonder Woman Story Arc. Wonder Woman (at this time ambassador of Themyscira) had published a book from which Veronica took a phrase out of context and used it to send the Moral Guardians after her.
  • Happened in a fashion in a Batman Story Arc revolving around the publishing of a Batman comic within The DCU, which is a ridiculously over-the-top Darker and Edgier interpretation of Batman involving the occult. (Bruce Wayne couldn't get them to stop as he obviously never copyrighted Batman.) A Serial Killer calling himself "Batman" proceeded to kill those whom he perceived as "sinners", claiming that it's what Batman would've done. The comic book writer stopped making any more by the third issue, claiming he wouldn't bear the responsibility for any further killings.
  • The Clerks Holiday Special says that Randal got an F on a school report that said that Herbie was possessed by Hitler's ghost.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Cloud Ten film Deceived seems to have been made by the type of people who made this trope. A 6.66-second long sound byte that the military claimed came from space makes people's... um, sinful natures more prominent, and eventually gives them funky Psychic Powers. The signal's true origin turns out not to be space, but the depths of Hell itself.
  • Turbulence 3: Heavy Metal plays with this sort of logic. Popular heavy metal star "Slade Craven" needs to take a flight to get to his next concert. He keeps up his "Anarchist" and "Devil Worshipping" persona until he boards the plane, which is when the trouble begins. See, all the stuff he sang about and allegedly stood for really struck a chord with some people. So much so that they take his lyrics as a prophecy, hijack the plane, kill the Captain and replace Slade with an impostor. It Makes Sense in Context. Slade even asks them quite seriously "You REALLY believe all that...?" and calls them lunatics. The climax of the story is that Slade has to land the plane. He's lost contact with any and all that were helping him and has no experience. Just before he attempts this he rips the Sign of Satan necklace off and says "Please God, Let us land safely.".
  • The Mother of The Waterboy, who clams everything is "The Debil", especially anything related to "Fool's Ball". Though it is later revealed she does this to prevent her son from leaving her like her husband did. But after she sees how much the town loves him, is able to get past this.
  • Rock: It's Your Decision, a Christian-made film about The New Rock & Roll (reviewed brilliantly by Brad Jones on DVD-R Hell) becomes all about this. A formerly rock-loving teen starts to discover all the "horrible and evil" elements to rock music, eventually turning against it completely by the end of the movie. However, as pointed out in Jones' review, the "hero" of the film clearly had no idea what the songs were about in many instances, and by the end has become so paranoid, self-righteous and horrible to everyone around him that one kind of has to wonder if the audience was really meant to side with him. The best part is when he starts giving examples of evil influence in the titles of the songs.
    Brad: Yes, I can see how you would have misinterpreted the line "You've got to change your evil ways."
  • Parodied in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, after Dewey Cox sings a pleasant song about holding hands which instantly causes well-behaved teenage boys to turn into violent louts and well-behaved teenage girls to turn into sex-crazed nymphos, the local priest angrily declares the song to be evil. When Dewey protests that it's simply a song about holding hands, he is informed that the the Devil also has hands "and he uses' 'em for holdin'!"
  • Revenge of the Old Queen was an unmade sequel to The Rocky Horror Picture Show that said the original movie exists in-universe and was made by Transylvanians who were altering our media to make us more like them and easier to invade.
  • Parodied by Conspiracy Brother of Undercover Brother who thinks innocuous greetings like "Hi" and "Good morning" have hidden racist meanings.

  • In A Swiftly Tilting Planet, a Magical Native American is depicted as giving birth in complete silence, but the white townspeople expect women to scream during labor. Said townspeople happen to be Puritans at the height of the American witchcraft scare, so it's treated by the townspeople as a sign of devilry.
  • Harry of The Dresden Files has to deal with this on a fairly regular basis. He does this with his usual blend of sarcasm, dry wit, and setting things on fire. He does, however, try not to exacerbate the situation, and he points out that he does not use pentagrams in his magic because he knows it would make people even more hysterical.
  • The Imperial Order in the Sword of Truth claims this about wizards and sorceresses in particular, but also in general about anyone who is better than anyone else at anything. They are not nice people. It also doesn't stop them from employing these wizards and sorceresses, either. A mob tries this on Zedd. He stokes their fears of him until they all run away screaming. How? By asking them to explain why they're afraid of him.
  • Through a combination of a poor knowledge of history, general paranoia, and the Aes Sedai tendency to meddle in everything, many people in The Wheel of Time-verse believe the Aes Sedai to be evil and aligned with the Dark One. By and large, the most you could say about them is that they're incompetent.
    • To be fair, only the Whitecloaks support such a negative view of the Aes Sedai. In most countries they are respected but not trusted, because of their flair for Exact Words and Metaphorically True statements
    • It doesn't help that a small minority of Aes Sedai historically have been evil and/or aligned with the Dark One, that the Aes Sedai claim (even to themselves) that they are the one group this cannot possibly be true of, and that providing enough contrary evidence to perpetuate rumors of the "Black Ajah" - never quite enough to convince the Aes Sedai of their validity - may have been an actual long-term project of the Dark One.
    • Slightly more justified with male channelers — the Dark One actually did taint Saidin, so the devil actually does make male channelers go crazy and kill everything.

    Live-Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Dark Matter setting for both Alternity and d20 Modern offered up the Final Church to provide GMs with a ready-made evil Satanic conspiracy for games where all the raving paranoia about Satan's influence in the world is true. The necessary Insane Troll Logic is encouraged.
  • In Mage: The Ascension, the Technocracy encourages this sort of thinking in order to turn the public against the Traditions. Granted, the Traditions do engage in some morally dubious practises (cf. the Euthanatoi's "Good Death" or the Verbena's ritual sacrifices), so while the logic may be faulty, it may get close to something the Traditions don't want revealed. The irony is that the Technocracy would be just as valid a target for this, given that they're a world-spanning conspiracy who engage in such things as mandatory brainwashing of their agents.

  • In The Music Man, Harold Hill convinces an entire town that a pool table is a tool of Satan to corrupt their children. He lists several "symptoms" that their children are being corrupted, which include a few things that would actually be worrisome if they happened, but also a few which were perfectly normal and harmless behaviors for teenage boys. (Like using slang words such as "swell".) In the end, he boils it down to a catchy little chant that runs on circular logic: "We've got trouble with a capital T, and that rhymes with P, and that stands for pool!" Just like in many real-life cases, this is a ploy to get the gullible townspeople to buy something: Hill proclaims that the way to save this town from falling into the clutches of evil is to start a boys' band... and Hill just happens to be a music professor (a fake one, at least).

    Web Original 
  • Parodied by The Angry Video Game Nerd, who once ranted about increasingly contrived evidence (ranging from an area on the map arranged like a pentagram to the fact that there are fires in the game) that Super Mario Bros. 3 was Satanic and that his cartridge was demonically possessed. He was right.
  • Parodied by Todd in the Shadows in his review of the song "Like a G6". He determines that the song is Satanic after hearing Dev's "like three six" line, ultimately stretching it to conclude that all pop music is controlled by the Devil and that we must repent before the great Johnny Cash.
  • Parodied by Smosh in their video "MOST VIOLENT GAME EVER!?", where a psychologist accuses Ian's game of encouraging violent tendencies (when Ian only swatted a fly), and vows to kill Ian to prevent any violent outbreaks.
  • The SCP Foundation is subjected to this in the Broken Masquerade canon. Unsurprising, considering that a lot of their actions are not only unethical, but actively occult. One crazy conspiracy theorist referred to them as the "Satanic Child Pain Foundation", accused them of having kidnapped an American girl in order to make her a puppet for a European science cult, and that they had called her SCP-23-1-9. (presumably a combination of 231-7 and 239, showing that she clearly had no idea about the workings of the Foundation).
  • The Escapist decided to parody the idea that Harry Potter and Dungeons & Dragons teach kids witchcraft in this article. The author tries out the various spells from Harry Potter and Dungeons and Dragons in real life ... and fails magically.
  • This webcomic brutally roasted the "everyone/everything is Satanic" mentality by fundamentalists in the Philippines and those who bought into thieir Kool-aid.

    Western Animation 
  • Subtly invoked in The Simpsons episode "Bart Star", where Ned Flanders' sons Rod and Todd wear football jerseys with the numbers "66" and "6", at one point even standing beside each other just to drive it home.


Video Example(s):


Church Chat - Satan

In a famous Christmas skit from "Saturday Night Live," a viewer of "Church Chat" from Toledo, OH writes to the Church Lady, expressing her outrage at those who have fallen prey to Santa Claus. But just who is this jolly old elf with the "ho ho ho"? Is he really just a nice old man bringing toys to good little boys and girls, or is there something more sinister in play? Well, as it turns out, it's right there in the letters of his name... could it beeeeeee... Satan?

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / EveryoneIsSatanInHell

Media sources: