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It's Popular, Now It Sucks!

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"Posers! I hated Zoidberg before it was cool."
Bender, Futurama, "A Taste of Freedom"

The hipster's mantra. There's only one thing worse than people not watching your favorite show: people actually watching your favorite show.

You'd think that your favorite artist making it big by reaching Stage 5 of the Fandom Life Cycle would be something to celebrate. To certain segments of the fandom, however, a wide fanbase only means that the media in question has "gone commercial" and "sold out." This results in a subsection of both Fan Dumb and Unpleasable Fanbase.

Sometimes a valid complaint — fans might call foul when a previously creative artist starts Pandering to the Base or watering down their work to appeal to the Lowest Common Denominator. Fame can also have a bad effect on the artist's attitude — if they don't become a complete egomaniac who treats fans like dirt and turns their back on the scene they became famous in for a newer, more famous crowd, they might become disillusioned by fame. Or they could try to tie themselves in knots to please the Unpleasable Fanbase in such a way that they forefit any residual respect from the fanbase. On a practical level, more popular live shows may require bigger, less intimate venues — shows known for energy and spontaneity may move towards a heavily produced and choreographed live show. Low budget works known for cheesy effects and bizarre plots might switch to a slicker, more commercial style and "safer" plots, while Ensemble Dark Horse characters may be excessively milked and/or Flanderized into shallow parodies of themselves — see also They Changed It, Now It Sucks!.

This is usually a side-effect of the Newbie Boom and Gateway Series tropes. If the work or creator suddenly becomes "mainstream" or more popular, there's a chance that the newcomers would have contrasting opinions with the older fans who were there when the fanbase was still "niche".

Big fandoms tend to attract Misaimed Fans, and bring along a lot of Fan Dumb. Sometimes these newer fans are rabidly devoted, even starting fights with older fans or people who don't like the work "enough". Sometimes, the newer fans might complain about certain aspects of the work that older fans have already been accustomed to. Tensions also rise when the new fans represent a demographic shift in the fandom. More subjectively, popular fandoms are more likely to be subject to Hype Backlash if reality cannot possibly match the hype. (See also Wolverine Publicity, when a fandom is just plain overexposed.) This attitude can also contribute to Fandom Rivalries if a work becomes popular at the apparent expense of another, as fans of the latter work may become resentful towards fans of the former and blame them for their favored work not receiving the attention and success it deserves.

Of course, a lot of the tension is just snobbery — original members of a small fandom feel less special when their exclusive club is open to the masses. Some also seem to believe that artists should work and create art solely for the sake of art, with no consideration for things like paying rent.

A variant of that is "It's Popular, so it Sucks" — when people unfairly criticize something on the sole basis that it's popular, mostly because they want to appear "unique" or "edgy". In some ways the inverse of Quality by Popular Vote.

Sometimes this perception can be a bit of a fallacy — high profile works are more prone to being picked apart by critics, while small creators are looked on more favorably or even immune to criticism.

Compare Periphery Hatedom, who never liked it in the first place. See also Ruined FOREVER, Fandom Life Cycle, and Popularity Cycle. Contrast Complaining About People Not Liking the Show. When musicians hold this opinion for one of their own songs, it's a Black Sheep Hit.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • AKIRA has managed to avoid this fate, despite that most people are actually familiar with the old dub ("KA-NAY-DAAAAAAAAAAAAHH!!!") that, strangely, neither Otomo or Macek themselves agreed with. If anything, the only It's Popular Now It Sucks that Akira is getting is the 2001 redub, which you would ironically think would be better received. (More thorough translation, they actually know how to pronounce Kaneda's name, and the fact that the 80s dub got a PG-13 rating thanks in part to the Animation Age Ghetto while the 2001 redub is rated R...)
  • Anpanman suffered hatedom as seen across YouTube videos. It's likely due to the shame from the older adolescent anime fans who want to redirect its popularity among others to other mainstream anime series.
  • Attack on Titan began as a humble manga with a cult following, that sometimes suffered from iffy artwork. Over time, it emerged as a Sleeper Hit and with the airing of the anime has become one of the most popular series around. The resulting explosion in the fandom, as well as conflict between anime-only fans and manga fans has resulted in plenty of Hype Backlash and this trope.
    • Levi Ackerman gets a bit hate for his over-hyped state and the fact that he even got his own spin-off manga.
  • Berserk strangely is a more complicated and actually sympathetic case of this. Originally the series was nichest of niche mangas being fairly well known in Japan but much less popular in the west barring the 1997 anime (which aired before many Gen Z anime fans were even born). The Berserk series however managed to turn into a Sleeper Hit thanks to getting more coverage with the Berserk: The Golden Age Arc films, several video games, an infamous 2016 anime and Guts showing up in the popular YouTube series DEATH BATTLE! Not to mention the critically acclaimed Dark Souls series openly drawing influence from it. This well deserved newfound popularity nevertheless generated immense Newbie Boom with newer fans dragging Berserk and its very dark material into the mainstream eye — which as you can imagine wasn’t particularly pleasant for those quite sensitive to its often extremely disturbing content (everything from rape, paedophilia to unborn babies getting mutated by demon seed) and while the manga still has great beauty and nuance to it, that softer appeal was drowned out by the amount of fans glorifying the violence and stomach churning elements of it. It’s no surprise that certain people are simply just turned off by it and bash the series as seemingly grotesque and edgy spectacle. Since the author Kentaro Miura’s tragic passing however the negativity towards Berserk has drastically lessened with far more people declaring it a masterpiece of art and storytelling, despite obviously not being a story for everyone.
  • Bleach. There was once a time when it was a niche shonen series, and was only known by people who read scanlations from a popular scanlation site. Back then, any and all feedback were about how frickin' awesome it was, and how it's a shame that it's so obscure and no-named. And then, it got big. It's amazing how many countless people (including the fans who liked it back when it was small) have changed their tone to "I hate Bleach, it sucks because it's popular."
  • Death Note fans are not too thrilled about their series being dubbed, not so much out of fear of the dub's alterations (as there are very few) as fear that the series will be ruined by an influx of people who watch [adult swim]. Dub argument aside, Death Note in general has fallen victim to this. Back when it was new, Death Note was the greatest series in years, all the cool kids liked it, and making references to Death Note was the best way to flaunt your otaku elitism. Then the anime came along and Death Note became super-popular, and so now the trendy thing among the otaku elite is bashing it and making fun of all the stupid Death Note fanspawn.
  • Dragon Ball Z befell this wonderful fate during the late 1990s and early 2000s. Arguably one of the things that got anime into the mainstream, within five years or so it was very popular to bash it horribly. Nevertheless, the show has regained much of its popularity with a new generation of fans to the point when Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods premiered in 2013 it was so well received that it got a sequel in 2015 (which did even better than Battle of Gods) and a TV series the same year (which is constantly in the top 10 in Japan). The return of Akira Toriyama also brought back many of the last generation of fans.
  • Some fans of the Haruhi Suzumiya Light Novels did not take it kindly when their semi-obscure books were gonna be adapted into an anime and bring in new fans who never even heard of the books. Some of those fans also got pissed when it became a surprise hit and a Cash-Cow Franchise.
  • Many fans of Hetalia: Axis Powers were displeased by the influx of new fans brought by the successful anime adaptation. (Funnily enough most of them started complaining when the fandom was already huge.)
  • There was once a time in which Inuyasha, as well as every Rumiko Takahashi series, had a fanbase that was free to exist in public. But then, they became popular - Immediately, saying you like a Takahashi series nowadays, especially Inuyasha is tantamount to Suicide by Cop.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is a rather infamous, Western-only example of this. Prior to the Animated Adaptation of Phantom Blood, the franchise was relatively unknown to the United States outside of those who learned of it through any combination of the first print run of the Stardust Crusaders manga, a Capcom fighting game and a couple OVAs also of Stardust Crusaders, English Scanlations of the manga, and memes that have spawned from all of this material. The anime series by David Production in The New '10s caused an intense Newbie Boom for the franchise in the United States that has only gotten bigger and bigger as each part is adapted. This has finally allowed JoJo to be fully-known as a flagship Shōnen franchise in the country, but that also means that it has become another target of ridicule and Hype Backlash that shonen series are known to get. The combination of a Broken Base that usually consists of fans that came before the anime series and hates anyone that didn't or doesn't learn about the franchise through its manga versus the fans that came after the anime premiered, the fanbase having an aggressive and often one-sided Fandom Rivalry with any other modern shonen that may have also suffered from this trope (such as My Hero Academia, and Attack on Titan), and the overuse and overexposure of the series' memes (most notoriously, claiming that something that very barely or vaguely resembles something from the franchise is a deliberate "JoJo Reference, or making the same claim about things (especially songs) that were Referenced by... JoJo itself") has made onlookers weary of wanting to get into JoJo, and having some fans regret ever enjoying the series out of fear of being compared to either the older, more entitled part of the fandom, or the younger, more naive fans that came from the Newbie Boom. Some Western fans are even wishing that the franchise remained relatively-obscure in the West as it was prior to The New '10s just to avoid being accused of this trope.
  • Character example from Kengan Ashura: Gaolang Wongsawat, the Thai God of War, has a massive fanbase due to the series having a large readership in Thailand and South East Asia. His rabid fans' tendency to overstate his power level, and their general obnoxiousness, has caused many readers who would otherwise be fine with him to start actively disliking him.
  • My Hero Academia is another flagship Shōnen series that gained its fame starting in the middle of The New '10s, and being claimed as among the best anime series of that decade that gets more popular with each passing season. So it was only a matter of time before the series would suffer Hype Backlash due to its popularity and prominence.
    • On a character-related note, this is how some fans (and especially his haters) feel about Katsuki Bakugo. It's gotten to the point that they dislike him not because he is a Jerkass, but because of annoyance and fatigue over him continuously winning first place in the popularity polls at the expense of characters they personally prefer.
  • Naruto has fallen subject to this due to it being one of the best selling manga in history, and the anime series is probably the most popular and well-known in the world. The series has been consistently popular all over the world for almost two decades, having multiple video games, merchandise and movies. Naturally, some people are taken aback by the show's popularity and call the series overrated. Not to mention the rather toxic fanbase (despite not being as bad as the Dragon Ball fanbase) having tons of fights with each other and other anime fanbases, and the fanbase having tons of little kids due to the series popularity.
    • On a character-related note, like Bakugo, this is how some fans and haters feel about Sasuke Uchiha, for similar reasons to Bakugo.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion suffered a lot of Hype Backlash from mecha fans over the years, though in a pretty unique example this isn't directed towards the show itself but rather towards the incredibly vocal elitists within the fandom that somehow managed to popularize the incredibly hypocritical opinion that all other mecha shows are nothing but toy commercials, while Evangelion has story (in fact Eva is just as driven economically, if not more than the average for a mecha, by all the models which the fandom eats up like hotcakes)
  • Even the most popular manga, One Piece, has fallen subject to this. It is the best selling manga in history and the third best selling comic book of all times. It's also been consistently popular all over the world for almost two decades. Naturally, some people are taken aback by this popularity and consider the series overrated.
    • Character examples include Luffy, Zoro, Sanji, Ace and Law. Once upon a time these characters were obscure compared to their Shōnen forebears like Goku and co but now they’re much more popular and that comes with a lot of dislike and accusations of over-hype. Zoro in particular has a massive fanbase that are sadly known for considerable toxicity which inevitably leads to people in and out of the community disliking the swordsman for it.
  • One-Punch Man started out as a webcomic with a decent number of fans, and gradually began growing when it was officially made into a manga, but its popularity truly exploded when it was made into an anime, attracting even several non-fans. However, the large number of people naming it as "best anime of the year" and the limitless amounts of fans who say "Saitama could defeat x" in versus topics has ended up leading to a large amount of haters of the series as well, and this combined with Hype Backlash has made several people now want to skip it altogether.
  • It is highly recommended you never tell a hardcore Osomatsu-kun fan that you started because of Osomatsu-san if you truly value your safety.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica takes Magical Girl shows and adds a toxic dose of Darker and Edgier. It's also animated by Studio Shaft. Its popularity exploded even while it originally ran in 2011 and only more so after it came out "shafted" on Blu-ray and got story expansions in the form of manga, CDs, and movies - only to create a massive Hatedom that exists on near-exclusively this trope here. The general debate about the anime usually dealt with its overall style, with fans classifying it as a Deconstruction and basically everyone else suggesting otherwise.
    • The popularity of Madoka Magica, along with Psycho-Pass and ufotable's adaption of the Fate/Zero light novels, made Gen Urobuchi a highly recognizable name to otaku. Fans introduced to his works through these three works conflict with his older fans, the latter group states he hasn't made anything good since Saya no Uta (a Urobuchi-written nitro+ visual novel from 2003). At least a small portion of his fanbase feels that these newbies often ignore the writer's pre-2011 works as much as his style. A Vocal Minority of anime/manga fans opposes Urobuchi's works for being dark, expensive, overrated, and popular, with general negative criticism going to both Urobuchi and Madoka. Urobuchi's haters are dismayed when they see any indication of his involvement in any projects, resulting in Hype Backlash. There exists the possibility of a fan quickly growing tired of anything related to his works as a result of discovering information about his popularity boost, but that has occurred less frequently since the Madoka craze ended.
  • Ranma ½ may get a free pass - if only because it was more comedic and not so much plot-driven like some of her other manga. Likewise, Mermaid Saga sometimes gets a free pass too.
  • Re:Zero is the most vivid example of this after the Titans Attack, when Ensemble Dark Horse Rem suddenly gained wild popularity, which along with a series of unexpected turns and Take That! made the series incredibly popular. As a result of this, the show received an incredibly huge Hype Backlash at the expense of people who tried to interpret in a negative way almost any little thing in the work to prove to everyone that it "was not as gorgeous and revolutionary as you all say!". And in a more narrow example, part of the show's own fans, distanced themselves from Rem as a heroine, blaming her fans for Fan Dumb and complaining that because of her popularity, most of the series' products were devoted to her, despite the fact that she was not even the main character.
  • Sailor Moon was once considered a gateway anime in the 90s and an icon of feminism and girl power. Then when people realized everyone was watching it (especially The '90s dubbed version), it became trendy to bash it for being "kiddie" or sexist. It's since getting a revival in popularity, culminating in a Truer to the Text anime, Sailor Moon Crystal, but that hasn't stopped this trope completely.
  • Sword Art Online started off as a light novel series loved by the few who knew of it at first, but when the anime came out everyone turned against it and claimed the anime was crap. It has been mainly due to how the characters are handled, and the second half of the anime which is considered by many the worst.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann was affected by this after receiving Hype Backlash over the fact that Gainax was involved in the project.
  • Vampire Knight started as a modest shoujo manga about teenage vampires, until it inexplicably became one of the most popular manga in America. Since then, many fans of modest shoujo avoid it like the plague due to its rampant popularity at the time. Many original fans believed the only reason for its huge popularity in America is because of the film Twilight, even though the Manga and Anime were both out before the first film in the Twilight series was released.
  • Considering that Your Name got so radically huge popularity, and that even its author began to blame film fans for an "unhealthy obsession" and complain about his overestimation, it is not surprising that gradually the film began to receive such a reaction even from fans of Shinkai.

  • Ask an art historian what they think of Leonardo da Vinci or any other Renaissance master. Hell, just ask anyone about The Mona Lisa specifically. Common responses are "It only got really popular when it was stolen. The guards didn't even notice it was gone until the next day" and it's an over-hyped painting that takes visitors from the many other exhibits found in the museum, people only go to the Louvre to see The Mona Lisa and that's it.

    Comic Books 
  • The Batman series:
    • The Dark Knight's explosive popularity caused Batman to become a more popular cultural icon than ever. Many long-time Batman fans feel spited by the Bat's newfound mainstream status, resorting to the It's Popular Now It Sucks mantra. They must be extremely good at holding grudges for decades on end though, since Batman has been a "mainstream" cultural icon since the 60s.
    • Moore really hates being popular. "The Killing Joke" was not intended to be canon by him, but DC liked it so much or it was so popular that it was made canon (some Flip-Flop of God at play as Moore has said at other times he always intended the comic to fit within the universe). Some of his fans seem to claim DC is "lazy" for doing so. Other people simply dislike the comic for glorifying and tragedy wanking the Clown Prince of Crime and his layered antagonism with Batman. The fact that Joker has only grown in popularity since then doesn’t help either.
  • Harley Quinn has gotten hit with quite a lot of this of late thanks to a colossal amount of Wolverine Publicity. While she’s always been the poster girl for a Breakout Character going from a minor henchwoman in Batman: The Animated Series to canon comic character her popularity only further boomed with The New 52 and Margot Robbie’s portrayal in the DCEU (which became a cosplay sensation) eventually coming to the point where there are now scant few DC properties that don’t feature Harley with her own animated series pretty much using her character to show off the greater DC universe to non-comic readers. Not to mention her cinematic portrayal having more appearances than Superman himself and turning the Birds of Prey into her own team. This has led to a good deal of Hype Backlash regarding Harley, with fans either complaining that Harley takes too much limelight away from other female DC characters who are often undersold and ignored or those who prefer her as a villain and feel she’s been degraded into just another member of the Bat-Family who uses guns. Some even liken Harley to an Alternate Company Equivalent of Deadpool in terms over overexposure.
  • Tom Hiddleston has garnered a lot of this due to all of the female fans he garnered playing Loki. A number of comic fans seem to detest his fangirls rather than being happy that the character has become exposed to a much wider audience. Sure, some of his fans can be really annoying or creepy, but that can be said of elements of virtually every other fandom anyway.
  • Deadpool has been gaining lots of popularity ever since Wade Wilson's short appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, so popular he had several titles running concurrently at one point, and was featured on almost every variant cover for the week of 27th Feb 2010. This caused a backlash from some original fans, who hated Marvel making him into the "next Wolverine".
  • Geoff Johns tends to attract this on various forums. The trope seems to apply because the negative posts generally don't seem to say much besides "stop saying he's so good! he's not!" and rarely contain any actual criticism aside from simple nit-picking.
  • Every fan of Jhonen Vasquez's comics (like Johnny the Homicidal Maniac) from "back in the day" seems to hate and look down on fans who found out about Jhonen's work through his cartoon show, Invader Zim, a show that — being a cartoon on a big name children's cable channel — was accessible to a much larger and more varied audience than his early comics.
  • Some fans of Watchmen (and possibly Alan Moore himself) began sneering at the thought of someone reading the comic because of the movie. And it happened as the trailers caused the comic to become a top-seller again. Good for the comic, bad for Moore (who doesn't make a cent off of Watchmen due to licensing.)
  • Many longtime fans of The Avengers have lamented the team's promotion to Marvel's A-List in the wake of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and long for the days when the book was essentially a rest home for lesser known B, C, and D-List characters who no longer had books of their own. The series, in many fans' eyes, was blessed by a paradoxical situation where it's "lesser" position to flagships like Spider-Man or X-Men and usage of characters other books would consider C-List Fodder allowed it to be more free and meaningful then said popular books; relatively safe from the Executive Meddling that often troubles A-Listers, able to do epic yet intimate status-quo-breaking stories of the sort that would get A-Listers smashed with a Reset Button, and using it's "lower decks" nature to patch continuity, give continuation and closure to cancelled series, and build a mythology all it's own. But now that the Avengers are big names and the "core" of the Marvel Universe, their books have now ironically lost much of their direction and what made them stand out from the crowd, losing much of it's unique identity and dense history in favor of being streamlined into a more typical superhero series and becoming just as subject to editorial demands or entrenched "accessible" status quos as the aforementioned A-Listers.

    Fan Fiction 

    Films — Animation 
  • Despicable Me: The Minions. Poor guys got hit by this like a truck by the time the prequel took off.
  • Illumination Entertainment as a whole started getting this hard after their movies began to routinely outgross those of DreamWorks Animation and started going toe-to-toe with Disney. Of course, the Minions (as mentioned above) don't help either.
  • Disney animation often gets this treatment due to its influence and dominance in the animation world. Some, such as Ralph Bakshi, see Disney as only creating Follow the Leader tendencies amongst competitors which discourages diversity in animated filmmaking.
    • A lot of Disney movies from the animated canon get this effect; while some of the most obscure and less popular movies (such as Treasure Planet) are praised wildly, Disney's most popular films suddenly get bashed for their unevenness and plot issues. One of these successful Disney films, Frozen, has been subjected to this trope. The movie gets this treatment hard from the young male demographic. Quite a few males enjoy the movie anyway, or at least parts of it.note  However, you're also likely to find men who originally ignored Frozen due to it just being another good-quality Disney princess movie that's not really for them, but began to resent it as it became the colossal juggernaut of a success that it is now. It has Wolverine Publicity and this is especially true of the hit song "Let It Go". And after Big Hero 6 came out in November 2014, fans noticed Frozen was hogging the movie fame spotlight. Many people in general feel that the mass exposure of the Frozen franchise overshadows other Disney films that they believe are better.
    • The Nightmare Before Christmas. Some fans feel this way because of it becoming a Cash-Cow Franchise. It doesn't help many buy Nightmare merch just to look Goth or Emo, not because they have actually seen the movie. Then add the Hate Dumb that thinks the movie sucks because they've seen the merch but have not actually seen the movie, and you get some pissed-off fans. Luckily, this is a Vocal Minority.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A review for The Adventurers claims the film's status as cherished So Bad, It's Good schlock "it's been largely forgotten today, now that it's readily available for anyone to see", given scarcity of ways to watch raised some mystique regarding how bad it was, something that the reviewer also applies to Valley of the Dolls, saying it lost much of its Cult Classic following after getting a special edition by The Criterion Collection.
  • The Artist suddenly got this. Despite winning over 13 Best Picture awards from various critics groups, the Golden Globes, the BAFTA, and the Oscars, plus a 97% Rotten Tomatoes score, the film is now considered as overrated and not the best film of the year by some people.
  • Austin Powers is this combined with a bit of Hype Backlash too, as surely you'd be annoyed that EVERYONE was reciting the catchphrases by the time the second movie came out.
    • One small group of people was particularly turned off of it: When the pinball machine came out in 2001, the existing pinball fans at the time, by and large, loathed the Austin Powers movies and were baffled as to how it became so popular (or would rather pretend it was never popular in the first place). Reviews of the pinball machine often cited the theme as a reason why it's bad with no further explanation, under the assumption that you, the reader, must hate the movies too.note  That being said, pinball, by then, was aimed at a much older audience than the Austin Powers movies.
  • Look at the The Avengers, or really any popular Superhero film from the last decade or so. Chances are, you will find vocal fans of the source material that absolutely hate the publicity and popularity the franchise has received in light of getting a movie adaptation. For instance, it's not uncommon to hear Marvel fans complaining about how they have to put up with a bunch of kids and "fangirls" because of the popularity of the MCU.
    • Some complain because the popularity of the MCU has affected the comic universe. Now Nick Fury has been replaced by Nick Fury, Jr., whose name wasn't even Nick Fury initially, but he is Fury's illegitimate son, and also half-black, meaning they can have a counterpart to the Samuel L. Jackson version from the films. For that matter, the Hulk has rejoined the team after decades of hating them, and Phil Coulson has officially become a canon immigrant.
    • Some audiences grew to dislike the superhero movie genre for its overwhelming popularity in The New '10s. While there are only 6-10 superhero movies released per year, their high profitability means that they dominate much of the popular discourse and end up receiving the bulk of studio marketing and theater screens at the expense of other films. The relative popularity of superhero movies have frustrated some critics and filmmakers, most notably Martin Scorsese, for overshadowing other genre films and making it more difficult to green-light more niche films.
  • Batman (1989) managed to avoid this, if only because Tim Burton's movie was so massively hyped and generated so much controversy that it was bound to attract the interest of everyone, whether they liked it or not. As near as one can tell, Batman energized three very large, vocal and/or influential sectors of the viewing public: young adults, who delighted in Burton's "hipster" aesthetic and edgy humor; film critics (most of them older people) who were offended or even outraged by that same edginess and only watched the movie because it was so huge they just couldn't ignore it; and hardcore Batman fans, who were just so thrilled to finally get to see a true cinematic treatment of their hero that they didn't really care (or at least didn't care too much) that Burton's take was so radically different. (Incidentally, Batman ended up attracting a surprise fourth demographic: children, many of whom thought the movie was a lot of fun even though it was intended primarily for adults.) Generally, It's Popular Now It Sucks only applies to works that enjoy a moderately high level of popularity. If a work becomes insanely popular, as Batman did in '89, it turns into a phenomenon so awesome that no amount of backlash can truly hurt it.
  • A Christmas Story suffers this, largely due to over-exposure from the 24-hour marathon of the movie that's run every year at or around Christmas.
  • The Dark Knight has suffered this. Considering it's the 12th highest-grossing movie of all time, it seems that the higher the popularity, the higher the suck.
  • Donnie Darko, when it suddenly went from being a brilliant-but-weird movie that was buried in obscurity after 9/11, to a massive cult phenomenon that every teenager has seen. Somewhat ironic, in that it mostly became popular via word-of-mouth and Vindicated by Cable.
  • Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later, which is seen as the "sell out" of the series, by some.
  • After The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan's next film Inception received a similar treatment. After the initial wave of glowing praise, the film garnered its fair share of detractors. The main reasons given by viewers who dislike the film are one or more of the following: it's too complex, it's not as complex as everyone makes it out to be, it plays with an idea but doesn't develop it, there are (or seem to be) contradictions within the film regarding the "rules" of dreaming and that it attempts to pander to an action film fanbase with its spectacle, slighting fans of serious cyber punk science fiction and psychological thriller films.
  • James Cameron has made many critically acclaimed films, but it seems that to many on the Internet and even on TV Tropes, the more viewers his films get, the worse the film is. If it's popular enough, the film is placed in the same class as a Michael Bay film.
    • Titanic (1997) at first actually got a decent amount of public and critical acclaim. The backlash set in both after it was clear it was going to make hundreds of millions, becoming the highest-grossing film of all time until Avatar came out, and the loads of Oscar nominations and wins it got. At the same time, it was subject to Hype Backlash by people who consider the film flash over substance; a series of well-done set pieces offset by cardboard cutout characters.
    • When Avatar came out, it had a skyrocket of public acclaim and defining the standard of the 3-D Movie, with many proclaiming 'Oh man, Avatar was awesome!', only for about a few months later when it became the highest-grossing film of all time, a huge hatedom came out and proclaimed it as one of the worst films of all time while quite a few of its fandom changed their mind and stated 'Yeah, it's just Pocahontas in space'. Conversely, The Hurt Locker; which was directed by Cameron's ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow, was Left for Dead as a box office flop until somehow, it came out of nowhere around awards time to huge critical acclaim, with many proclaiming, 'Avatar is Lame. This is Best Picture right here'. Its momentum would be enough to upset and punch out Avatar at the Oscars and the BAFTAs, including the Best Picture award for both (and making it the lowest-grossing film of all time to win Best Picture), leaving Avatar to only beat Hurt Locker in the Golden Globes. For extra irony, in the wake of Avatar becoming the new highest grossing movie, it actually started to become trendy to like Titanic again. The one thing everyone agrees on with Avatar though - the visuals are incredible.
    • Practically the same happened with Avatar: The Way of Water (now the fourth biggest grossing movie ever), only this time it came much faster than in 2009. There's some bafflement on how it managed to gross over $2 billion, some of it stemming from discourse that arose during the decade and a half between the first and second Avatar films that has been largely dominated by the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its much discussed "formula for success" (some of the anti-Avatar discourse is fuelled by the Fandom Rivalry that kicked in when the re-releases of the first film made it outgross Avengers: Endgame and reclaim its place as biggest grosser of all time).
  • Johnny Depp is an extreme example of this for actors. After years of toiling away in often-quirky roles in mainstream and off-the-wall fare to frequent critical acclaim, he parlayed his eccentric stylings into 2003's Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, and became one of the biggest movie stars in the world. In the ensuing ten years, he reprised the role of Jack Sparrow three times and played similarly outre characters in other Summer Blockbuster-style fare; two of the Pirates films and Alice in Wonderland (2010) pulled down $1 billion apiece. Critics effectively went into mourning as the smaller projects he used to alternate big films with have dwindled, seeing him as "squandering" his talent on mindless Lowest Common Denominator fare. North American audiences ultimately tired of him in The New '10s as those movies and his roles in them grew stale (with The Lone Ranger's Box Office Bomb status the death knell). His ex-wife Amber Heard accusing him of Domestic Abuse in 2016 made matters much worse — though he remains popular internationally, the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them filmmakers have received a lot of criticism from the Harry Potter fandom for not recasting his role with someone who doesn't have his personal baggage.
  • Kevin Smith. Some fans have accused him of being a sell out, a label he has no problem with. Most recently, people accuse Smith of being a sellout because he directed Cop Out for a studio from a script he didn't write. This, despite the fact that he took a significant pay ''cut'' to ensure the film could have the R-rating he thought it deserved.
  • The Matrix:
  • Napoleon Dynamite was initially a relatively small-time indie film with limited release. It skyrocketed from cult hit to mainstream success seemingly overnight, and endless merchandising and commercialization of its catchphrases changed a lot of opinions just as quickly.
  • Peter Jackson. Full swing after making the movie adaptations of The Lord of the Rings. You'd be amazed at how many of his "fans" despise the fact he made a film that cost more than a million or so and look down on fans that were brought into the fold via The Lord of the Rings. Claims that he "sold out", "lost his touch", and "became a hack" are common in certain circles of his older fanbase. Not that he catches a break from those who became his fans because of Lord of the Rings; a widespread criticism of Jackson's King Kong (2005) was that it was very long (a Jackson hallmark), presumably because he'd become so popular he had Protection from Editors.
    • Immediately once the credits began rolling at the first screening of The Return of the King, fans began screaming for him to make a movie out of The Hobbit. The legal battles that ensued, when it seemed that a movie would be made but Jackson would be denied the opportunity to direct, had fans frothing at the mouth at the very idea that someone else would be allowed to direct this movie (though this died down quite a bit when Guillermo del Toro was first announced to direct). Finally, Jackson was announced as director, and fans were happy...until he started actually making them and it turned out there would be two (later three) movies (more out of Executive Meddling than because of Jackson himself). Cries of "he's become a hack", "he's blinded by greed", "he doesn't get Tolkien", etc. started being shouted well before we saw any footage. The actual movies themselves have been widely accused of being too populist, being too focused on homages to the original trilogy, etc. In other words "Jackson's too popular, the original series is too popular, these movies will be too popular, so they suck, and so does he."
  • Journalist Matt Singer has questioned whether the popularity of The Rocky Horror Picture Show invalidates its status as a Cult Classic.
  • While many claimed this was happening with Star Trek (2009) (as shown by the current page image), the reality is that it never seems to have been anything more than a Vocal Minority, to the point that there seemed to be more people complaining about this trope than actually practicing it. In particular, the articles claiming that Trekkies hated the film for having good special effects and writing reeked of The War on Straw. That's not to say it didn't happen at all; there most definitely were some who feared the franchise was being dumbed down for the sake of reaching a wider audience, but it was hardly the universal opinion many portrayed it as.
  • Star Wars, despite being mostly an aversion when it first released, has suffered through this, especially when the prequels came out and George Lucas had his reputation take a nosedive. Some film snobs have gone as far as blaming the popularity of Star Wars for killing off the New Hollywood era as the franchise's success convinced studio executives to bankroll movies based on their ability to generate money through sequels and merchandising. And now that The Force Awakens is one of the top-grossing films for the year (adjusted for inflation, only the 1977 film in the series has made more), combined with Disney having thrown away the rich history a la "de-canonized" the old EU, it's worse.
  • Tim Burton. Early in his career, he gained a cult following, most of his early films did well, but not huge numbers at the box office. However, as his films became more popular, the Hate Dumb grew and grew, in large part due to his popularity with the Goth and Emo crowd, and much because of this trope. It seems to be mostly due to the misconception that he and his movies are all whiny, mopey, self-indulgent navel-gazers, missing the part where he's actually pretty funny and doesn't take himself that seriously at all. Just watch this interview. "Could you roll the I.V. in here? I'm feeling a bit...faint."
  • Certain parts of the Transformers fandom, over the year or so before the release of the 2007 live-action movie, preemptively expressed the sentiment that "It's going to be popular! That sucks!" Everyone else was rather confused. It becomes very silly when people accuse Transformers, a franchise that was created specifically to sell toys, of selling out.

    This being Transformers fandom, a Broken Base if ever there was one, there's also a very vocal segment that runs counter to this trope, and cheered every time it topped charts. Transformers is somewhat a subversion as more fans were happy with the movies success as it made the franchise relevant again in the eyes of the public. More relevance means more plastic (and even better, more die-cast metal), which has always made 'True Fans' happy even if they despised the related series.
  • On the other hand, part of the reason why Transformers: Generation 1 purists hate the movies so much is because of their popularity; they're pissed that more people are familiar with the CGI Transformers starring in big, dumb action movies than their original, detailed cartoon incarnations. (Fans of more widely praised incarnations such as Beast Wars, Transformers: Animated, and Transformers: Prime also react this way if they dislike the movies).
  • Inverted with TRON, which received a Colbert Bump due to Kingdom Hearts II. The TRON fandom was actually quite accepting of the newcomers.
  • Robert Downey Jr. was the hardest actor hit with this since Johnny Depp, whose story is frighteningly similar. Like Depp, he spent the better part of two decades alternating between smaller fare and bigger films, turning in critically acclaimed performances and even garnering an Oscar nomination (Chaplin), that is, when he wasn't making headlines for numerous problems with substance abuse and the law. Then 2008 hit. His universally praised performance in Iron Man launched the MCU, and all of a sudden practically EVERYONE was going on and on about how he had "always" been their favorite actor, much to the chagrin of his longtime fans. Suddenly kids and fan girls were seen gushing over him, to the point where in the 2021 Teen Baseball World Series, one of the players (a 15 year old) listed Downey as his favorite actor. Somehow, it is safe to assume that one doesn't think the kid became a fan because of Less Than Zero or Natural Born Killers.

    Food and Drinks 
  • Often inverted for Gluten-Free diets. Outside of places like California or Boulder, CO, if you had a gluten allergy in the 90s...good luck finding gluten-free stuff outside of expensive specialty stores or health food stores! Now that Gluten-free diet has become a fad diet (or that people are actually more aware of Gluten-free diets), those with Gluten allergies can actually go out to eat more often and actually not have to shop at expensive health food stores. (Course, those are still the best places to go if you have a gluten allergy, but still.) Unfortunately, this also comes with a downside: it can sometimes be difficult to convince the waiter that, yes, you actually do have the allergy and aren't doing this for the fun of it, and can they actually be careful with your food. However other fad diets this has played through, some of them aren't actually meant to be taken seriously and are often misunderstood. (i.e. Atkins isn't eating nothing but meat forever and ever, and the Grapefruit Diet isn't eating just grapefruit.. It's eating grapefruit before each meal)
  • One easily noticeable trait among food enthusiasts is their total disdain for any chain restaurant. Chain restaurants get noticeably worse reviews on sites like Yelp than local restaurants. They might make an exception for regional chains like In-N-Out Burger in parts of the western United States or admit begrudgingly to liking some chains as a Guilty Pleasure. Some take it a step further and badmouth even local non-chain eateries that are popular and/or have attractive signs and architecture to bring in the curious. The most extreme eat from a single small and nondescript place that's hard to notice and nowhere else, and deride other food enthusiasts for eating anywhere else. However, there is another group that inverts this phenomenon: chain restaurant fans, who by and large ignore local restaurants, embracing It's Unpopular, So It Sucks.
  • In the specialty coffee world, admitting to liking Starbucks is the same as admitting to cannibalism. In Canada, saying you like Tim Hortons will get the same reaction, given the ubiquity of Tim Hortons in Canada.note 
  • Pretty prevalent among beer enthusiasts—it's as if the quality of the beer is inversely proportional to how much beer the company makes.note  Also, for the more hardcore cases, if the beer maker does so much as create an advertisement or license its name, the beer automatically becomes garbage—good beers spread through word-of-mouth alone. There is also some justification for this when a micro is acquired by a large macrobrewer - increased volume, the shifting of personnel, and the relocation of production facilities all tend to lead to a drop in quality, not to mention the potential for the production of poor-quality new beers to cash in on a trend, or gimmick beers that were likely produced more for their marketing potential than for their quality.
  • Justified for most wines. Producing good wine depends on a combination of the land, the vines, and the care taken by the vintners; there are ways to increase yield and speed production to meet increased demand, but these almost always mean sacrificing some measure of the quality of the final product.
    • There are people who don't like wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Chardonnay because those wines are so popular. They argue that this is, unusually, a justified example, because, since those wines are so popular, the market has been flooded, including with many bad versions. This is not to say that there are no good ones, but it is impossible to tell just by looking at the bottle, so unless you have reason to be confident in a particular vineyard and year, it's a crapshoot. By contrast, with a less popular variety, the argument goes, one can safely assume that that wine would not have made it to the shelf of your local shop at all unless it were a particularly good example of that wine, precisely because it is not a popular variety. There are also those who argue that with less well-known varieties, you are at least more likely to get something surprising and interesting, rather than just another Cabernet or Merlot, even if it is a good one. Not everyone agrees with this reasoning, of course: there are plenty of people who will say that this is just post-hoc rationalization for not liking certain wines just because they are popular.
  • It's hard to find any carnivore who doesn't love chicken wings, especially when marinated in hot sauce. It's very easy, on the other hand, to find people who hate the massive explosion in popularity for the things that began in the late 90's outside of its birthplace in Buffalo, New York (hence the name of Buffalo wings, if you were curious). This one's fully justified, because it took what used to be the absolute cheapest part of the bird (think "10¢-15¢ per pound on average" cheap) and drove prices clean through the roof and into the upper atmosphere, where they've remained ever since; today, a pound of wings can cost you as much or more than a pound of pre-cooked, boneless and skinless chicken breast.

  • Divergent even more so than The Hunger Games, as The Hunger Games is still typically considered to be great dystopian literature, whereas it's harder nowadays to find people who will openly admit to liking Divergent. The widely disliked movies certainly didn't help.
  • This happened to Harry Potter with the massive turnout for Order of the Phoenix — many "fans" assumed J. K. Rowling could get away with writing absolute crap from then on. However, they didn't so much drop the fandom as stick around to complain about everything, thus proving their worth as True Fans. Happened to a lesser extent with the influx of new fans the film brought, but the fact that most of them read the books anyway reassured the original fanbase somewhat.
  • The Hunger Games. Dear God, The Hunger Games. It was, upon its release, universally acclaimed and met with glowing reviews from critics and readers alike. Then, about the time The Movie came out, its popularity skyrocketed, the movies received stellar reviews from critics and audiences alike, and a small but incredibly vocal Hatedom led by an army of Hipsters rose up.
  • Would Inheritance Cycle have half the Hatedom it does now if it wasn't a bestseller?
  • A lot of long-time book fans of The Lord of the Rings were unhappy with the caliber of fans introduced to LotR by the movie trilogy. Many "old-school" fans consider the movie lovers shallow and frivolous, especially if said movie lovers were subsequently turned on to the books by the movies. In one way at least it was quite relevant that older fans of the books hated the success of the movies- it made buying replacements for your now venerable and worn copies extraordinarily expensive. The books went from being $10~$15 each ($35 for the set including The Hobbit) to $20~30 PER BOOK. As with most major movie merchandising, every older print of the book suddenly disappeared, only to be replaced with new editions with oversized, tie-in covers....and that's only the LotR books themselves. Tolkien's books had always had a great deal of secondary literature (books about the books), even a few written by J.R.R. or Christopher Tolkien, but after the movies came out? Merchandising mayhem.
  • Fans of A Song of Ice and Fire tend to have some disdain for readers who only started reading once the TV series Game of Thrones became popular. But that's nothing compared to the dismissive attitude they have toward fans of the TV show that have yet to read the books. They refer to them as "Unsullied" and speak of them the way you'd speak of particularly immature children.
  • The Twilight Saga series by Stephenie Meyer has gained a substantial hatedom merely because of how insanely popular the books are among young girls. This is especially true among fans of traditional horror stories and vampire stories, who will often yell "Your Vampires Suck!" due to its portrayal of vampires as brooding, beautiful, sparkly, baseball-playing teenagers. The character of Bella and the nature of her relationship with Edward has also garnered lots of criticism, as well as its retrograde views toward women.

    Live-Action TV 
  • All That got a lot more viewers and faced a lot more criticism after it was Un-Cancelled in 2001. The increased ratings could be attributed to more popular guests, more homes with cable/satellite, and Jamie Spears. The decreased reputation could be attributed to a change in the tone of the show, the complete replacement of all the old actors and writers, and Jamie Spears.
  • As The Big Bang Theory went through its twelve-season run (winning many awards along the way), it became a very popular target of mockery, especially on the internet. Even well after it ended, it has kept its status as both a pop-culture icon (in part due to getting a spinoff that also happens to be very popular, but isn't ridiculed nearly as much) and a frequent punching bag.
  • The success The Chaser's War On Everything practically relies on the cast remaining anonymous. As the show increased in popularity they have needed to do more of their farcical stunts overseas, where they are not so well known. As a result of this, many of their older fans are getting bored of them and jumping ship, so to speak. This hasn't stopped a good chunk of them complaining that the show is ending after its 3rd Season.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The classic series was for a long time very popular, becoming something of a national institution in its home country. By the time of its cancellation, however, it had for numerous reasons become something of a cult show, something which only intensified with the development of the largely fan-driven Expanded Universe media. When the new series came along and restored the show to its former popularity a certain subsection of these fans, having apparently forgotten that its period of being a cult was the exception rather than the intention, seemed to be convinced that the show's newfound popularity was a bad thing and that it should have remained the cult relic cherished only by a few fans and mocked by everyone else. Whilst the new series is significantly different in style and tone from the old series in many ways, thus generating plenty of legitimate criticism for numerous reasons, a significant portion of the critical response to the new version does seem to be comprised of people who are upset that it's not "theirs" anymore.
    • There have been several people who have criticized the new show as being this, namely that it's become too big for its own good. Some have noticed that ever since the show went from "popular in Britain with cult audiences elsewhere" to "massively popular in multiple markets," some people think there's been a slight downturn in quality. Some have theorized that, since the show has become a worldwide success and therefore made the BBC a lot of money, they've been deliberately simplifying the stories to make them easier to translate and therefore easier to promote and export.
  • Friends got hit from that during its third and fourth season, where its popularity skyrocketed, and it became trendy to make fun of it and say it was only watched by teen girls.
  • Glee times a million. To be fair, the back nine episodes are quite uneven, but plenty of people were hating on it before the season even officially started because the pilot was shown at the beginning of the summer of 2009, kicking off an extremely aggressive and relentless ad campaign by Fox (the most amusing facet of which was when they came up with the term "Gleeks" and then tried to pretend that hardcore fans had christened themselves that).
  • This can also cross over with music elitism, too, since there are many people who despise Glee for the simple fact that it causes a surge in popularity for whatever classic rock songs are features in a given episode.
  • The first season of iCarly was relatively low key, especially in the online fandom. It exploded in popularity in Season 2, and along with an increased emphasis on the Shipping, led many to quit watching.
  • Joss Whedon was seemingly universally beloved by fans back when his shows struggled to stay on the air and he was constantly threatening to retire from television because of Executive Meddling. After running one of the highest-profile new shows of 2013, "everyone" hated him. It doesn't help that a considerable number of his former fans were libertarians who thought (based on Firefly) that he was one of them, and now feel betrayed because his new show is about a "Big Government"-type entity that takes a dim view of hacktivists.
  • This seems to be happening to The Mighty Boosh. Many original fans have complained the latest series is too mainstream and lacking in invention. Whether there's been an actual drop in quality is debatable.
  • There seems to be a substantial backlash of this sort to anything by the legendary comedy group Monty Python, (especially, however, Monty Python and the Holy Grail). Some people might just be sick of the inevitable quotations, since so many people know the quotes and love them. Others have different objections.
  • A Vocal Minority of fans of A Song of Ice and Fire sneer at the thought of people who get into the series through Game of Thrones.
  • Star Trek: Discovery got hit with this because of its strong resemblance to the base-breaking "Kelvin Timeline" Star Trek (2009) films (see the Film folder above for that whole situation), leading to opinions that it was better before; because the series is set a few years prior to Star Trek: The Original Series, many expected/hoped for a similar aesthetic and overall feel, only to take the more modern look and attitude as a sign that the series would just be a giant Retcon that would throw out existing canon in favor of pandering to the Lowest Common Denominator and newbies brought in by the Kelvin films.
  • Violetta is easily the most popular Disney Channel show in Argentina, Italia and every other Latin American country in the world thanks to Martina Stoessel's music career. The same trait also happen with Soy Luna.
  • For many people, the decline of The X-Files began with its move to Sundays from Fridays and its attempt to be more "accessible" to Fox viewers, many who ignored the fact that a smaller number of people hated the show for being popular before the move happened. For comparison, the fifth season's average viewers (19,800,000) was 600,000 more than that of the preceding fourth season (19,200,000), the latter included its highest rated episode ("Leonard Betts"). Its Nielsen ratings rank declined after the fifth season.

  • ABBA. This complaint arises in their fan community every time there is a major surge in interest, the latest being the success of Mamma Mia!. Interestingly, each wave of popularity leads to a status increase for past newcomers, to the point where "Goldies" (newcomers after the release of the "ABBA Gold" album), who were ridiculed on their arrival, are now praised as "true fans" by the older fans who criticized them. Many of these older fans ignore the fact that they first liked the band in the 1970s, at the all-time peak of their success and popularity.
  • AC/DC has managed to avoid this for the most part, but there is still a portion of the fandom that believes the band was better before Brian Johnson replaced the deceased Bon Scott on vocals, simply because of the massive success of Back in Black (still the second best selling album of all time to this day) which was the first album to feature Johnson.
  • Against Me! not only got this, but their fans got outright hostile about it. Fans claimed the band sold out when they moved from the tiny No Idea label to Fat Wreck Chords in 2003, to the point where fans slashed the tires of the bands tour van and vandalized it and reportedly poured bleach over their merch table. The bizarre thing is that Fat Wreck Chords was well known for being anti-establishment indie label. Ironically, there was a lot less outcry when the band left FWC for an actual major label, Sire Records, in 2007.
  • All Time Low got this treatment starting from "Nothing Personal" in 2009, although it got better with the release of "Don't Panic".
  • Anthrax was accused of selling out when they chose John Bush as their new lead singer and with their more mainstream-sounding album, Sounds of White Noise. The band's rhythm guitarist, Scott Ian, commented on this in an interview saying, "The bottom line is, everyone in this business is in it to make money. Myself included." They also got this treatment when they dared to commit the unforgivable crime of trying to give fans of different genres some common ground when they did a Rap Metal project with Public Enemy.
  • Arctic Monkeys:
    • The EP Who the Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys was designed specifically to stop the band from falling victim to this trope by being unlikely to be played on mainstream radio (due to the profanity in the title), and deliberately ineligible for either the single chart (due to containing five different tracks) or the album chart (due to its length).
    • After the release of AM (which bought a massive amount of new fans), many people accused the band of becoming "Americanized" due to their slick haircuts, suits and stage presence, which they feel is a betrayal of their original image of humble, shy teenagers. The band themselves were overwhelmed by their newfound popularity, to the point where it factored into their decision to take a five year break before completely abandoning their old sound in favor of lounge music on Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino.
  • Baauer: While the artist himself managed to escape this, his song "Harlem Shake" received sizable backlash once Filthy Frank turned it into a popular internet meme, with many growing weary of the meme's overexposure during the peak of its popularity and turning against the song itself as a result.
  • The Beatles:
    • One of the few artists to be both massively popular and adored by critics. Yet, even they are an example of this trope; the band's Liverpool fans felt very betrayed when the band hit it big and moved to London and replaced drummer Pete Best with Ringo Starr. Plus, their massive success and influence and having stood the test of time more than most musicians is used to claim that they are overrated. Additionally, a number of people find it cool to hate The Beatles by dismissing them as a 60s pop group. Y'know, not putting them in the context of the 60s and realizing all the things they helped to make popular, not least the sheer timelessness of stuff like ''Rubber Soul'' and ''Revolver''.
    • And as this article from Cracked explains, even before that success, the band's image and musical style were a complete 180 from what they would later become famous for.
    • Similarly, some of those who take this attitude don't even provide or consider the "'60s" qualifier and just compare them to whatever current pop act they don't like or which happens to be at the top of the charts, without any consideration for how 1960s popular music and contemporary popular music might be different. This one tends to work both ways, however, with subscribers to this trope who happen to like the Beatles often driven to paroxysms of fury that anyone might dare consider or compare the Beatles to a 'mere' pop group — despite the fact that, at least early in their career, this is arguably a fair comparison in many ways.
    • In an odd meta-example, the Beatles' massive popularity contributed to their decision to stop touring. The screams of the crowd had grown so loud that the music could barely be heard - even by the musicians themselves. The ironic effect of over-enthusiastic crowds essentially ruining their concerts, combined with several other factors, eventually led the Beatles to stop touring altogether in 1966.
  • Behemoth is given a lot of flak in the Heavy Metal underground for moving from Black Metal to Death Metal and signing with Nuclear Blast
  • Justin Bieber: Many of the people that supported him when he made videos on YouTube abandoned him when he ascended superstardom at the turn of the New Tens. Now his hatedom greatly outsizes his fandom.
  • Black Eyed Peas: Happened after adding Fergie to their lineup and switching to a more pop oriented sound which made them commercially successful.
  • Blue Öyster Cult. The popularity of their song "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" as a result of it forming the centrepiece of the popular Saturday Night Live skit "More Cowbell" has seen something of an injection of new fans based on this song — much to the irritation of the existing fans, who feel that the band's other songs are being overlooked in the process.
  • Bob Seger after he allowed his song "Like a Rock" to be featured in Chevrolet commercials. Never mind the reason he did it; Chevrolet is owned by General Motors, which is headquartered in Seger's hometown of Detroit. They were on the brink of bankruptcy, and Seger had a lot of friends who worked for them. Not wanting those friends to be out of jobs, Seger allowed the song to be used, and it saved the company.
  • David Bowie usually falls victim to They Changed It, Now It Sucks! accusations due to his penchant for the New Sound Album trope, but the deliberately mainstream pop-rock of Let's Dance (1983) — which resulted in the biggest-selling album of his career — led to criticism along these lines as well. It got worse when his next two albums (Tonight and Never Let Me Down) followed in that vein to diminishing returns, thanks in part to pressure from his record label. As well, when he tried to merge his latest sound and stadium venues with the visual stylings and older tunes of previous tours for the Glass Spider Tour of 1987, he sold a lot of tickets but found that audiences didn't appreciate his efforts while critics called them overblown. Bowie, now far wealthier than he'd been in The '70s but dissatisfied with his work and risking Artist Disillusionment, chose to move on — first to the unsuccessful Hard Rock group Tin Machine and then to solo work that was driven more by art than commerce.
  • Cradle of Filth: Thornography apparently brought them mainstream. However mainstream extreme black metal can get. Some people will claim they're not black metal anymore, and/or never were in the first place. (The Other Wiki, for its part, says they "evolved" from simple Black Metal into a fusion band - that includes Black Metal elements)
  • Daft Punk had always been big in the electronic scene. But then "Get Lucky" got huge airplay, and its album Random Access Memories was a critical and commercial success, and thus the snobbiest parts of the fandom felt betrayed that the DJs who dressed as robots were beloved by a huge audience.
  • Jonny Davy confessed to feeling this way about Job for a Cowboy during the height of their fame. Once the initial rush of what was effectively his high school garage band filling up function halls several states away and blowing up all over MySpace before taking him across the world just a few years after forming had worn off, he began to feel that they had gotten way too big way too fast without really having earned it. Co-headlining with Behemoth and being billed above Hate Eternal with just one album was a particularly big sore spot for him, as he loved both bands and felt that he should have had to pay his dues supporting them. This also led to their collective decision to abandon the deathcore genre; Doom fast became a Black Sheep Hit for them, as none of them particularly liked deathcore and hated that they had blown up because of it, and they all decided that they would rather play death metal and risk losing their status and having to get day jobs than play a genre that they didn't care for just so they could make a living off of their music.
  • This happens so much to Black Metal bands that it's become a Running Gag, but it's probably happened to no one more than it's happened to Deafheaven. Mentioning them on metal forums is instant Flame Bait.
  • Disco flowered hugely and briefly as an underground club scene and focused on dance. Being an urban phenomenon, this alienated rural and suburban. As a black phenomenon, it angered the racists. As a queer phenomenon, it angered the homophobes. Note that Saturday Night Fever, while a subversive exploration of urban life, is completely focused on straight, white characters. So as its popularity grew, these subcultures found themselves alienated and driven away from what had been safe spaces. Black disco fans, for example, moved on to Hip-Hop, which draws a great deal of influence from Disco. As the marginalized communities that had made disco a phenomenon to begin with drew away, it also lost a lot of prominent artists and the movement lost its fire. Consequently, while the genre remained popular in Europe, it vanished from the mainstream American eye until the 2010s.
  • DragonForce shows you don't have to do much to get this treatment by allowing the use of "Through the Fire and Flames" as a bonus track for Guitar Hero III. Fans at first praised its inclusion, and it would seem that this trope was averted. Then the game came out, and the cries of "Sellout!" came with it. Seriously, just go on to any video of the band on YouTube, either their music videos, their live performances, or their interviews and count how many comments read along the lines of "I liked Dragon Force before Guitar Hero.
  • With the mainstream revival of "electronic dance music" in The New '10s in America, there have been complaints . Among other things, people think that the world of electronic music has become over-commercialized with a focus on big-budget festivals and artists having a Cult of Personality, the previously underground world of electronic music being overrun with new "fans" using "EDM" as a catch-all term for a number of genres (particularly progressive house) because they do not know all the specific sub-genres, people whose only exposure to "dubstep" have been the significantly harder styles of names such as Skrillex, "big room" tracks that suffer from a lack of real differentiation, and fans who straight-up do not actually give a fuck about the music and view shows as an opportunity to do as many drugs as possible and nothing more. When Hardwell usurped Armin van Buuren as the #1 "DJ" on the DJMag Top 100, people knew something was wrong.
  • Evanescence. When they began to take off, fans were in denial that the band had hit the Lycos 50 (yes, you read right, search engine results!), even though their only album before Fallen was Origin, a glorified demo tape.
  • Fall Out Boy. Many fans think that the quality of the albums are negatively proportional to how popular they are, which would mean essentially that they haven't done anything good since Take This To Your Grave...or From Under The Cork Tree, if they're feeling charitable.
  • Foo Fighters. Dave Grohl has gone on to achieve huge success since the end of Nirvana, now that he's the face of the band and not just the drummer. This has led to a lot of accusations of selling out.
  • Genesis: The band achieved huge levels of mainstream popularity in the '80s, but their shift to a more mainstream sound combined with the overexposure of frontman Phil Collins led to a massive case of Hype Backlash, resulting in the band's ignoble downfall in the '90s. Even after the '80s material (and Collins' solo work) got Vindicated by History in the 2010s, debates rage on about how it compares to the more uniformly acclaimed material that they put out when Peter Gabriel was their vocalist, a period when they were cult favorites at most.
  • Goo Goo Dolls. After their album A Boy Named Goo, they drastically changed their sound from high-tempo rock/punk to the mellower soft rock they're famous for today after the success of their single Name. It's a good thing they didn't go with the original planned name for the band, The Sex Maggots. Word of God says they were going to do this anyway, because they were tired of being labeled as ripoffs of The Replacements.
  • Green Day:
    • American Idiot thrust them back into the limelight after nearly a decade in obscurity and brought them a new generation of fans, as well as a new generation of older fans complaining about how they had sold out. Even older fans of "old school" punk rock, who complained about Green Day commercializing the genre and watering it down for the masses.
    • Cries of "sell out" were also heard in the previous decade, once they signed with a major label and released Dookie — which committed the extra sin of selling 10 million copies in the US alone!
  • The Hip-Hop genre as a whole fits this trope. Not only is hip-hop undeniably one of, if not the most, popular music genres in the world, but it's listened to by so many people that it can be very hard to tell how many of them genuinely enjoy the genre, or how many of them either listen to it because it's trendy or haven't explored enough music to find something they personally like more. It's gotten to the point that fans of other genres instantly write off rap due to how commercialized it is, and label its fans as ignorant people manipulated by the masses, even though that is certainly not always the case. Doesn't help that core hip-hop/Rap fans kinda share the same cynical opinion about modern Rap/Hip-Hop.
  • Howard Shore got quite a bit of Hatedom from film score fans because of all of the notice he got for The Lord of the Rings, which has led some people to claim he was never talented at all. Others could care less and enjoy all of his work.
  • Famous Post-Hardcore band Jawbox was signed by Atlantic Records in 1994, in the midst of the Nirvana-provoked Alternative Rock craze. Since they'd already had 5 years under their belt, they managed to score a very favourable record contract that allowed them control over their recordings and the ability to organise their own shows. Regardless, the Fan Dumb came fast and furious: one particularly psychotic fan wrote to the band wishing for their death in a fiery van accident.
  • Billy Joel was practically a poster boy for this, particularly during his most visible era. For much of The '70s, Joel was a one-hit wonder known primarily for "Piano Man", though he still garnered a decent following and a solid reputation among music critics. The commercial success aspect would skyrocket following The Stranger, where he pursued a more profitable sound through Phil Ramone at the risk of being dropped by his label, which just so happened to sell monstrously and be released in the year of the punk invasion. But the trope itself did not hit until after Glass Houses, when hit after hit had transformed Joel into a pop culture punching bag among anyone looking to be seen as "cool", in time culminating with his marriage to Christie Brinkley and the novelty hit "We Didn't Start the Fire", which by The '90s earned him an almost pariah status within the hipster circle. Though the idea of Joel as a Yuppie sellout has continued to taint his image for a lot of listeners, it's largely died down by the The New '10s as he continues to play packed arenas and discovers newfound fans among younger people through their own pop culture and who value the rock vs pop dichotomy far less than their parents did.
  • Elton John, particularly in The '70s, was a very successful and high-profile entertainer with multiple demographics and a larger-than-life image. His albums sold astronomically and/or had rave reviews, his tendency for flamboyance was at an all-time high, and he always seemed to be in the news or creating controversy with his outspokenness or humor. High-profile friendships with John Lennon, Billie Jean King and Rod Stewart also gave him notoriety, along with his ownership/management of British soccer club Watford F.C. His appearance in The Who's 1975 rock musical adaption of Tommy as the "Local Lad" in "Pinball Wizard" was considered the highlight of the movie, and Elton's cover of the song outsold the original. The critics' reviews and his treatment in the press seriously declined with "Elton Mania", and he was denounced as a "one handed piano player", "disposable" and "bland soft rocker". Similarly to Phil Collins, this may have led to much of the Critical Backlash and Hype Backlash against him by the end of that decade (middling albums and his outing in 1976 didn't help). Although he had major comebacks in The '80s and The '90s, often they were led by equal levels of backlash as his profile increased.
  • Journey has gotten a double dose of this trope:
    • Most millennials know this band only through one song, due to unending drunken singalong renditions of "Don't Stop Believin'" and its continual use in movies and TV throughout The 2000s. As a result, the band has entered mainstream pop culture as a Running Gag with a widespread camp status that really has nothing to do with how they present themselves. Any irritated Generation X fan of the band will tell you that Journey was far better off as a just another memorable old school band instead of becoming the National Anthem for drunken happy hour. However...
    • Those irritated Generation X fans forget that Journey was the epitome of the "It's Popular, so it Sucks" variant all through its heyday in The '70s and The '80s, after Journey changed from artsy psychedelic rock to pop rock with their fourth album, Infinity. Critics and rock magazines such as Creem and Rolling Stone despised the band because it was so popular, labelling them as faceless corporate sellouts for decades until Journey was Vindicated by History. Journey themselves often complained about the label in interviews, with lead singer Steve Perry stating "We gotta pay bills, we gotta pay taxes, and we gotta eat. And we enjoy eating as much as anybody", in the band's only interview with Rolling Stone.
  • Kings of Leon after Only By The Night. Many of their fans who followed them throughout their first few albums felt that particularly "Sex On Fire" was an uninspired sellout compared to their earlier work. It evidently turned several off them, as neither 5th album Come Around Sundown and its accompanying single "Radioactive" were as much of a critical or commercial success.
  • KISS to some extent, though the real irony is that the band's self-admitted, entire reason for existence was to sell a look and style on the road and not so much their songs.
  • Korean Pop Music has been subject to this in the West from the third generation onwards, after BTS brought it into the mainstream. What was once considered a niche thing is now associated by some with hordes of annoying teenagers who only "stan" idols for the Pretty Boy image. Others are more annoyed about concert ticket prices going up considerably, the increase of English lyrics and other attempts at seeking Western approval, and the increase of fan wars over who should be the most popular artist. In Korea, anyone getting the title of "The Nation's [x]" will also be subject to this (TWICE being the Nation's Girl Group; Yoona of Girls' Generation being the Nation's Ideal Type).
  • Many fans of the Canadian singer Lights became less keen on her when she started to gain publicity and become something of a darling of the hipster music circles.
  • Limp Bizkit and the whole Nu Metal genre in general circa the early 2000s after the release of Chocolate Starfish and the Hotdog Flavored Water. In the late 90s they had a reasonable following in the rock/metal world, however were unknown in the pop music charts. Chocolate Starfish was then released at the end of 2000 with several singles charting high and even one single ("Rollin'") reaching Number One in UK and Ireland, leaving many original fans feeling betrayed that their music was now being listened to by the same people who listened to Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys. This was also the view within the nu metal genre as a whole, who hated how Bizkit had usurped the genre and turned it into literally everything it wasn't supposed to be, and the general view among their peers by 2000 was that they couldn't go away fast enough.
  • Linkin Park:
    • For some fans, including "What I've Done" and "New Divide" were featured in the Michael Bay-directed Transformers movies is what sold the band out. This is an especially bad instance of this phenomenon because Linkin Park was plenty popular before that happened, with Hybrid Theory and Meteora having achieved widespread success, yet this trope was not in force for those albums. For other fans, it was the fact that Stephenie Meyer included "Leave Out All the Rest" to the soundtrack of one of her movies, which led to Twilight Fans entering the already divided fanbase and caused a new divide.
    • Linkin Park's only output before Hybrid Theory, though, was a couple of demos of which only a few hundred copies were ever pressed. They never really had time to hit that sweet spot of indie-dom, since Hybrid Theory was selling millions of copies fairly quickly.
  • Lene Marlin. The Norwegian singer had a huge success in Italy and Japan (of all places!) with her first album, Playing my game. Released with little fanfare, the album was not technically exquisite, but most fans loved it anyway and thought of it as simple yet made with passion — music for the sake of itself, rather than in the pursuit of the holy dollar. As a result, it was a surprise hit, and good times were had by all. In 2003, came the highly anticipated release of the second album, Another Day. Cue many of the fans (the most outspoken ones, usually) lamenting sore disappointment that Lene had sold out, that while the quality of the music had improved that of the lyrics had plummeted, that the album had been written to cash in on the success of her name, Blah, Blah, Blah. The third album, Lost in a moment, was unsurprisingly met with even more bashing. The fourth album, the experimental Twist the truth, it was unsurprisingly met with cries of "it's too different!" by the same people who used to complain that Lene's music was always the same.
  • Megadeth received a lot of hatred because they too made their sound more mainstream in the early nineties with Countdown to Extinction. They later began moving back towards their traditional style for a little bit before deciding to jump right back into the sound of their nineties output with Th1rt3en, which received a less-than-enthusiastic reaction, and continued on that path with Super Collider, which was met with near-universal dislike.
  • Metallica constantly face accusations of selling out, with every release since their debut attracting them for one reason or another, but it reached new heights after their 1991 self-titled album broke them into the mainstream for the next 12 years. The album's shift to a less experimental style resulted in widespread backlash from longtime fans, which continued when they shifted to Hard Rock on their later '90s albums and Nu Metal on St. Anger, which sold well off of name recognition but was so poorly received that it ended their mainstream momentum.
  • Modest Mouse suffered from this after Float On.
  • Muse has suffered a lot of this since the release of Black Holes and Revelations, and to a lesser extent since Absolution. Muse were considered very cool when they were indie artists on their first two albums, Showbiz and Origin of Symmetry, and reached their peak when they hit the mainstream with Absolution. By the time Black Holes came out, it was considered a disappointment because the singles released from it were pop songs rather than rock. This happens a lot, in fact, if an album is represented by the songs which are atypical for the album itself. Ever since "Supermassive Black Hole" was featured in the first The Twilight Saga film, you can't go to a Muse video on YouTube without fanboys shrieking about Twilight fans liking Muse due to said song in movie. Sad, because while Twilight is a polarizing series, almost everyone likes Muse.
  • Randy Newman parodied this on his 1999 ode to over-the-hill rock stars, "I'm Dead (But I Don't Know It)."
  • Nickelback. For a band with such a vocal Hatedom, and that so few people claim to like publicly, you'd think they'd get less airplay and make less money. A lot of their hatedom from grunge fans stems solely from the fact that the band can fill stadiums and arenas. Blame Canada for Nickelback, eh?
  • Nirvana:
    • It's widely believed that frontman Kurt Cobain killed himself as a result of his fear of this trope and even came to hate the band's signature song, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (which was supposed to be a parody of the same fans it started attracting) often refusing to play it live. Additionally, the band's popularity is often used to claim that they're overrated, and even some grunge fans don't like them solely because of it.
    • Kurt Cobain often wrote pop songs to subvert this. Even Bleach, their most abrasive and inaccessible release has "About A Girl" on it, which he wrote after listening to The Beatles all day. They followed up Nevermind with In Utero, which is much sludgier than Nevermind but ultimately reaches a compromise: songs which were heavy enough for Bleach/Incesticide fans, but melodic enough for Nevermind fans. "In Bloom", from Nevermind points fun at the people who listened to Nirvana because they were popular and didn't understand the lyrics, as well as the fact that plenty of the kind of people who bullied Kurt in high school were now listening to his music but were still losers.
  • No Doubt with Tragic Kingdom which put them on the charts with their hit singles, "Don't Speak" and "Just a Girl". Even more so with Rock Steady which was seen by their '90s fans as essentially the first Gwen Stefani solo album and was created solely to pander to pop audiences.
  • According to many a disillusioned OFWGKTA fan, the group completely fell off following the success of frontman Tyler, The Creator's viral single "Yonkers" and subsequent album Goblin (a view that Tyler himself shares to some degree, as he hates "Yonkers" and most of his old output, and sought to distance himself from it with Flower Boy). Earl Sweatshirt openly sought to invoke this circa Doris, stating that he knew he'd gain some new fans and lose some old ones, and was happy that he would because he wanted to lose the old fans who were just there for his horrorcore output and didn't want him to grow as an artist.
  • One Direction gained a huge following of teenage girls in the U.K. through their appearance on the 2010 season of The X Factor. Some of their original fans were not happy to see them become massive worldwide and were especially turned off by their success in the United States, and feared the boys would abandon their British fans to pander to American Directioners. Those fans eventually jumped to support new artists like Conor Maynard, Union J, and The Vamps, hoping they avoid "Americanization."
  • Ozzy Osbourne has never really gotten the full treatment of this, but his solo work being more popular and successful than his work with Black Sabbath is often the only basis snobbier fans use to claim the former isn't as good as the latter. He also got some minor claims of this with The Osbournes reality show in the early 2000's, which brought him a whole new generation of fans.
  • Pearl Jam actually kind of inverted this to turn less commercial, everything after Vs. were New Sound Albums.
  • Pink Floyd:
  • Queen, particularly in the years after Freddie Mercury's passing, where their most famous works skyrocketed in popularity with their use in films, commercials, sports events and random Internet memes. The trope, however, most likely began to take effect as early as 1974 when "Killer Queen" started climbing the charts. We Will Rock You and Bohemian Rhapsody have only intensified the sentiment amongst older fans.
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers' popularity became so high at the time of Stadium Arcadium and its singles overplayed that even they became exhausted by the fame, going on a 3 year hiatus after the tour finished. This caused their guitarist John Frusciante to leave the band for the second time, for exactly the same reason he left the first time (except that the previous time he was also a heroin addict).
    • It should be noted that there were fans who accused the band of selling out when they signed to Warner Bros and released the ballad "Under The Bridge "way back in 1991, even though most of its parent album Blood Sugar Sex Magik was a continuation (and possibly even improvement) of their old sound. Had Internet forums been around back then, there would have been a lot of this sort of debate on it. Even more so in the Californication and By The Way periods which were full of introspective ballads (One Hot Minute escaped this trope largely because it was not a massive radio success). By The Way in particular is incredibly divisive for the band, something they readily acknowledged with the rockier single "Fortune Faded" (itself a rerecorded By The Way outtake) and the more funk-based album Stadium Arcadium. They remain a big draw, but the more muted response to the Josh Klingoffer years (along with Frusciante's second return) might indicate they are becoming a cult band again.
  • The Latin America Reggaeton genre it is insanely popular genre in Latin America and the United States towards young people to the point that it is overplayed constantly in every place especially most recent songs of that genre sang by Bad Bunny, Karol G, Becky G, Ozuna, Natti Natasha, Maluma, Rosalía, Sebastián Yatra, J Balvin, Daddy Yankee, Lola Índigo, Rauw Alejandro etc:.
    • The Argentine trap and freestyle has the same traits as the Reggaeton such as Tiago PZK, Tini Stoessel, Trueno, John C, Nicki Nicole, María Becerra, Emilia Mernes, Rusherking, L-Gante etc:.
  • R.E.M.: Many people who followed the band in the '80s cried foul when they moved from indie label I.R.S. Records to major label Warner (Bros.) Records in 1988, accusing them of selling out (even though the band chose Warner because they offered complete creative control, something that I.R.S.'s distributors, the similarly big MCA, were threatening to revoke). Their audience further fractured after "Losing My Religion" became a surprise hit and cemented the band's mainstream rise.
  • Rise Against. Many fans feel their first few albums were closer to hardcore punk, faster, and generally less melodic than their previous two. It doesn't help, then, that these were their two real 'mainstream' albums (though they had some success prior to them). While the subjects of the songs are much the same, older fans often feel that the albums are intentionally more accessible to non-punk fans.
  • Brazilian band RPM had such a meteoric rise in the mid-1980s (to the point a live album made to cash in while they were still on top is one of the best selling ever in the country!) that backlash, specially from other bands, was imminent. Frontman Paulo Ricardo has declared that "You can't be big and cool at the same time, because the middle class will never like the same group the cleaning lady listens to. It was suddenly in fashion to complain about RPM."
  • Bruce Springsteen: Some longtime fans resented the ones who started liking Bruce after only "Born in the USA" album came out in '84 and he danced with Courtney Cox in the "Dancing in the Dark" video.
  • A case of It Was Popular, So It Sucks: Georg Philipp Telemann was the most (commercially) successful and highly regarded German composer of his time and in the course of an extremely long and productive life (1681-1767) wrote more music than Johann Sebastian Bach and Georg Friedrich Händel combined. After Bach was rediscovered in the mid-19th century, it became fashionable among musicologists and music-lovers to regard him as the great genius of Baroque Music. Since Bach had not been very successful commercially, it was easy to paint him as a misunderstood and unappreciated master who wrote for eternity while the "shallow" Telemann marketed himself by pandering to the tastes of the uncouth audience and producing notes as if in a factory. It would take over a century, during which other German Baroque composers besides Bach and Händel were rediscovered and reappreciated, for Telemann to (largely) regain his original stature. The ironic thing was that Bach and Telemann admired each othernote  and Bach not only copied out by hand entire cantatas written by Telemann, but would also sometimes incorporate Telemann scores into his own works, as was perfectly normal in the 18th century (before copyright laws). And then admirers of Bach like Philipp Spitta and Albert Schweitzer (yes, that Albert Schweitzer) inadvertently used pieces attributed to Bach but actually written by Teleman (as it turned out after musicologists properly took stock of the surviving part of Telemann's huge oeuvre) to "prove" the nigh-infinite superiority of Bach over Telemann.
  • They Might Be Giants. A lot of people found John Henry, their first album with a full band, to be selling out. God only knows what these people think of the band's four (so far) children's albums.
  • U2. Because of this trope, their fanbase is divided into two groups; pre-"Joshua Tree" and post "Joshua Tree".
  • The Verve. A lot of fans of their earlier psychedelic work (pre-"the") absolutely despise the hugely popular Urban Hymns.
  • The Vinyl Revival originated as a backlash against the perceived commercialism of the music industry, with vinyl having long been held as an alternative to the "consumerist" CD and MP3 after the format left mainstream distribution in the early '90s. While new albums were scarce, used LPs could be found cheaply as people unloaded their vinyl records en masse as the newer formats became popular. Consequently, when mainstream retailers started stocking players and records in the 2010s, many diehards cried foul (even though these chain stores sold vinyl during the format's heyday in the '60s and '70s). Audiophiles additionally deride many of the inexpensive turntables that the Revival created as poor quality devices that risk damaging one's records. Some people also resent the way some younger buyers seem to treat records more as a fashion accessory than a music format. And these younger people keep calling records "vinyls." A more legitimate complaint is that the demand for records has overburdened pressing plants, leading to declining quality control, and has jacked up the price of used records. This hit a tipping point during the COVID-19 Pandemic, which forced many releases to be delayed substantially due to shipping freezes exacerbating plants' order bloats.
  • Vivaldi was popular during his lifetime, but died in obscurity and was forgotten by most of the world until the 20th century. Today, his Four Seasons has a fair Hatedom due to them being overplayed in popular media, especially Spring. Their haters tend to forget that for 1723, they would have been incredible to listen to; they were the first concertos to put so much passion into a single instrument and forever defined what concertos in the future would be like.
  • Watain. The Black Metal community is notorious for its elitism towards bands that achieve even the slightest amount of mainstream recognition. So it goes without saying that when the band received a Swedish Grammi for Lawless Darkness, the fandom went berserk. Interestingly, there are some who accuse them of always having sucked, and being little more than knockoffs of Dissection and Mayhem.note 
  • The Who. The band was always popular, but when they became international sensations with the release of Tommy, fans of their earlier work thought they were becoming too popular. Not helped by the use of their songs in CSI.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • This happens ALL THE TIME in wrestling.
    • Especially in the IWC (Internet Wrestling Community). There were a lot more haters of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and The Rock when they turned face than when they originally found their footing as "bad guys". (Look at some of the reactions Rock got on between 1999-2000, for instance!) Granted, the fan favorite versions of both, and others, tended to pick up a bit of "Austin Powers Syndrome" in that their "characters" became catchphrase machines.
    • The IWC once LOVED John Cena at one point!
    • ...and Triple H, probably before all the political stories came to light. That is, if the dirtsheets are to be believed...
    • And something happened to Kurt Angle between WWE and TNA, as he came there minus the IWC fans who called him one of the best workers in the world, instead ridiculing his delusional radio interviews and etc. and his past refusals to address supposed drug problems.
  • Alexa Bliss was an Ensemble Dark Horse during her run in NXT and her run on SmackDown Live. Once she was drafted to RAW in 2017, becoming both its top female heel and RAW Women's Champion, she became booked as both a Spotlight-Stealing Squad and an Invincible Villain. Her unique gimmick was largely stripped down and replaced with a generic heel persona, and her first major feud on RAW against Bayley was a disaster that hurt both wrestlers' credibility quite badly, especially due to a universally panned "This Is Your Life" segment. Many people started turning on her, seeing her as an average worker who was only being pushed because of her looks. The heat reached nuclear levels when she won the Money in the Bank ladder match in 2018 over several newer stars. The backlash died down once she was booted out of the title picture to put the focus on Ronda Rousey, but even now, she is still seen as largely a joke.
  • Charlotte Flair was once one of the "Four Horsewomen", four female wrestlers from WWE's NXT brand credited for helping revitalize women's wrestling. However, as her career made the shift to WWE's main roster, fan opinion of her began to sour, with her being seen as another wrestler who was largely a disappointment to her father's legacy.
  • CM Punk was a Smart Mark darling on the independent scene, with the fans hailing him as quite possibly the best wrestler in America (or at the very least, the best wrestler in Ring of Honor, which is kind of synonymous these days). Then he signed with WWE, and became the centerpiece of its ECW revival, and now all of a sudden you can't go into a wrestling forum without hearing about how Punk is overrated and a sloppy wrestler. Some of this might be spillover anger from the ECW revival being mishandled; but Punk was one of the few bright spots of the show, and yet he seems to get the most criticism. Now that he's moved away from ECW onto Raw and then Smackdown and become world champ, the criticisms have only gotten worse. Partially due to Hype Backlash — a lot of Smart Marks kept hearing how great Punk was from ROHbots when he was working long main event matches, against top level opponents, with free reign over his gimmick and promos. Five minute extended squashes over Justin Credible didn't quite match up... Now that CM Punk has turned into a crazy cult-leader Heel, he's won over a lot of his former detractors. And from there, we had the 2011 'Pipe Bombs' and suddenly Punk is back to being among the smarks, as he so proudly declares, the BEST IN THE WORLD.
  • Like fellow indie-wrestlers-turned-WWE-superstars CM Punk and Daniel Bryan before him, Dean Ambrose saw a very similar reaction. When he debuted in The Shield and went on to have his solo career, Ambrose could do no wrong in the eyes of the fans, especially the IWC. After Daniel Bryan, Ambrose pretty much had the second biggest amount of grassroots support from fans imaginable and — especially when Bryan's career was on hiatus — seemingly almost everybody wanted him to become WWE champion. After he finally won the WWE Championship from Seth Rollins, however, a lot of fans turned on him for a variety of reasons, whether it was accusing him of becoming complacent on the top or accusing him of being a really limited wrestler in the ring. Ambrose himself, on the other hand, didn't seem to mind people turning on him too much because as he told Ziggler in a promo, anybody who becomes world champion had better have ice water running through their veins in order to put up with all the doubters and nay-sayers. Fortunately for Ambrose, the backlash died down significantly, and he was nowhere near as despised as his ex-Shield stablemate Roman Reigns.
  • Evan Bourne, formerly known as Matt Sydal. Hell, just calling him by his WWE name is enough to set off indy wrestling purists in some communities.
    • At the start of 2010, Evan Bourne was a jobber getting squashed by Sheamus most weeks. Many fans were complaining about how unfair this was to him. In the middle of the year he got a bit of a push by main eventing Raw and working great matches with Chris Jericho. Suddenly cue large amounts of threads bashing him for not looking old enough or some even complaining about how weak his kicks were. Oh boy.
  • Goldberg's popularity started dying down once he won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, due to both the obvious notion that WCW didn't know what to do with him after putting the belt on him and fans getting sick of his Invincible Hero schtick. Anti-Goldberg signs and chants became increasingly common, which was countered by WCW allegedly piping in chants and cheers for him. When Kevin Nash beat Goldberg at Starrcade 1998 thanks to Scott Hall tasing Bill, the crowd popped hard. The whole point of the Starrcade screwjob and the fingerpoke of doom was to make Goldberg vulnerable and have him work his way back to the title by ramming through the New World Order one member at a time. But it never materialized and Goldberg never quite recovered his momentum after that.
  • Pick any wrestler who's being used as a Jobber or just not being featured enough. You will find many IWC fans putting them over on message boards and saying they deserve pushes etc and how much they should be treated better than how they're being used right now. The wrestler gets a push - they're not underrated anymore so cue large amounts of haters and complainers bashing them.
  • This happened with John Cena. Hell back in 2003 when he faced Brock Lesnar for the belt at Backlash, the majority of fans wanted him to win the title. Nowadays any IWC fan wanting Cena to win a title is almost unheard of. The main reason he's hated is because he's got a large kid fanbase.
  • Natalya got this too. Ever since she was depushed in mid 2008 plenty of IWC fans were complaining about how she barely wrestled anymore and how they were dying for her to get a push. The Hart Dynasty split in late 2010 and Nattie got pushed in a Divas' title feud. She won the belt eventually and suddenly fans were complaining about how boring she was. When she was Demoted to Extra in early 2015, she suddenly gained back support, with fans once again complaining about her not being used properly.
  • Paige was extremely popular when she was on WWE NXT, and was given a thunderous ovation when she made her move to the WWE main roster in 2014. Nowadays, she's seen as another example of a dumbed-down and underwhelming Diva, saddled with mediocre matches and badly written angles, and she's today considered a Base-Breaking Character at best and a full-on Scrappy at worst. And that's not even getting into her personal life. Ultimately subverted following her return in late 2017.
  • Roman Reigns was very popular during his days as the muscle of The Shield. After the group disbanded and Reigns got a singles push, almost everyone turned against him. The reason being that he was clearly being positioned as the next top babyface despite not being anywhere near ready for that position.
  • A bit of a borderline example. When former Ring of Honor champion Tyler Black decided to sign a WWE developmental contract in late 2010, the ROH fans immediately turned on him and called him a "sellout". Black admitted in a later interview that this bothered him, and he used those feelings as part of the heel gimmick he took up due to the news. (In perhaps a bit of irony, Black supposedly also had the chance to re-negotiate his ROH contract, or also sign with TNA. Who convinced him to sign with WWE? The aforementioned Evan Bourne).
    • Black isn't the first ROH wrestler to turn an impending move to WWE into a heel run; the aforementioned CM Punk did the same thing.

  • Microsoft Windows became an Internet Antichrist when it clearly dominated the Computer Wars. Conversely, macOS did the reverse and became an Internet darling when it became the apparent underdog. Recently though, Mac has rebounded in popularity with the help of the iPod and may have picked up this trope as well but Apple hate is nothing compared to Microsoft hate. Don't dare to criticize any of its competitors or even point out their flaws: on a forum can bring the suspects that you're paid by Micro$oft to bash other OSes, while others are so good they would never do it.
  • Speaking of Apple, Apple Inc itself has become this. While still an underdog in the Computer Wars, the company has recently diversified beyond home computing, its dominance of the portable music player market and the downloadable music market (with the iPod and iTunes respectively), along with the success of iPhone, has made the company highly profitable even though it doesn't retain the share of the PC market it enjoyed in its computer-heyday. It has even overtaken long-time competitor Microsoft's share value and net worth. However, Apple's increased presence in these new markets and among ordinary people becoming Apple users (not to mention the late Steve Jobs' sporadic rants about competing products or Apple's heavy-handed tendency to enforce litigation against anyone who leaked details of unreleased or rumored products) have invoked this trope, where long-time fanboys are upset that the company is no longer part of the counter-culture they aspire to. The shift from its previous "Think different" campaign to the present somewhat-elitist Take That! and Strawman Product advertising as well, not to mention that Apple seems to get away with anything bad they do unlike Microsoft, and its often snobbish user base also contributes towards this.

    Some say that this may mark the end of "Microsoft's empire" and are calling Apple "the new Microsoft", but there's little sign that Microsoft is becoming "Unpopular, now it Rocks" considering that Microsoft is still dominating in the Computer Wars.
  • Ubuntu has made Linux more user-friendly and easier for newbies. Many GNU/Linux users complain about how mainstream this operating system has become, hence moving to other obscure operating systems such as Plan 9, BSD, and Haiku. A few long-time users are annoyed that the newbies seem more interested in getting actual work done than hacking the kernel.

    Linux itself is becoming this trope for some so-called experts which only tell people to Google it, n00b. (One wonders if those are paid by Google or just want a job there)
    • In this case, there is a partial justification: making a system easy for beginners to use means adding extra components that will slow it down or otherwise make it inappropriate for experts to do very specific things. Continuing to harp on about Ubuntu's mainstream release when there are "expert" distros like Arch (or even Ubuntu Minimal) available is a solid example of this trope in action.
    • To a certain extent, where software is concerned, this trope actually has some basis in reality. The tradeoff between user friendliness (interface complexity) and actual sound design from an internal/engineering standpoint (implementation complexity) is legendary. This is as much true in Ubuntu's case as it has ever been; Ubuntu has gained the former, while neglecting the latter.
  • Similarly to many Linux fans' animosity towards Ubuntu, some fans of BSD and its derivatives (particularly those of OpenBSD) tend to look down on FreeBSD for being the most popular BSD operating system (albeit only relatively; even FreeBSD consumes less than 1% of desktop OS market share).

  • For quite a number of years, being a Boston Red Sox fan was something passed down from parent to child. The "Red Sox Nation" went through roughly four generations without a Series win, and most Bosox fans were roundly mocked for supporting a "winless team". When Boston finally took home the Series in 2004, there was an influx of new fans - who were immediately labeled "bandwagon jumpers" because they hadn't endured generations of disappointment. To this day, unless you can legitimately claim to have been supporting them since well before their Series win, you will be derided as "not a true fan."
  • The Chicago White Sox went even longer without a World Series championship, and their fanbase underwent a similar development after the team won the Series in 2005.
  • The same thing happened to the Chicago Cubs in 2016. Given that they had last won a World Series in 1908, and had essentially sculpted their entire brand since then around being the "lovable losers", this had surprisingly mixed reactions among Cubs fans.
  • Similar to the Red Sox example, the 2009-2010 Chicago Blackhawks experienced this. Having finally been allowed to show Hawks games on the airnote , combined with the Hawks' potential to reach the Stanley Cup, the otherwise least-popular Chicago team became The Big Thing for a while. This really ticked off the die-hard fans who had stuck with the team through their low point. It didn't help that the 'new fans' were significantly different from the die-hard fans demographically: they were younger, more ethnically diverse, and enjoyed a wide variety of sports. Many of these new fans even enjoyed the successful minor league Wolves up in Rosemont before jumping on the bandwagon, who took advantage of the doldrums of the Blackhawks to build their fanbase up out of fans who wouldn't support the Hawks.
  • The Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL got this treatment. In a league of 8 to 9 teams (depending on the years discussed), the Roughriders have won three championships in 100 years (which is about 1/5th of how many they should have won, for those wanting to keep track). After each win, new fans were instantly shouted at for being not a true fan. It gets worse when, at any other time, the rest of the league will laugh at you for cheering for the lovable loser.
  • When Finland's national hockey team plays in the World Championships tournament or in the Winter Olympics, many Finns, who don't otherwise know or care much about the sport, suddenly get glued to their TV's. This - in some hardcore fans' opinion - causes the broadcasting company to "dumb down" the level of commentary.
  • The game of baseball — not so much any rise in popularity in itself, but the reason why it does. When home run and scoring numbers skyrocket, more people flock to the ballpark — much to the chagrin of purists, who insist that "pitcher's duels" are the best type of games.
  • Twenty 20 cricket is far more popular than traditional Test cricket or even One Day Internationals, and thus many purists refer to it as "hit-and-giggle".
  • Extreme sports in particular are targets of this. Skateboarding fans, for example, tend to complain to no end about the new fans that come with video games series like Tony Hawk's Pro Skater.
  • Apparently if you are a Pittsburgh Penguins fan, you can't be a true pure fan because you only liked them when Crosby and Malkin came into the team. The same thing happened when Lemieux came over.
  • Cities that have more than one team in a sport (mostly New York) have to deal with fans switching team allegiance depending on which team is more successful at the time. Example, when the Giants won the Super Bowl in 2008, they were New York's most popular team until the Jets made it to back to back AFC Championships in 2010-11, only to become the popular team again when they won it all in 2012. Fans that stay loyal to only one of the teams, regardless of their performance, find this very annoying.
  • Many hardcore UFC fans are quickly turning on Ronda Rousey after her fight with Bethe Correa and the mainstream media circus that followed, with most of those fans shifting their support to hardcore icon Conor McGregor. It got even worse after her loss to Holly Holm, with fans rejecting her and calling her an overrated fad that was bound to end. However, it barely made a dent in her mainstream popularity — being "the toughest woman on the planet" still makes her a strong symbol of feminism and keeps her popular with general audiences; in other terms, Ronda Rousey has essentially become the John Cena of MMA.
  • This trope is in full effect with some Formula 1 fans because of how the Netflix series Formula One Drive To Survive has had in the United States. Just look at the comments section on a video that's geared toward promoting the sport in the United States, like this Jimmy Kimmel Live! interview with Daniel Ricciardo. The comments will be full of people saying American interest in F1 has ruined the sport, turned it into a Marvel movie, given people the wrong image of the sport, and made it appeal to the wrong people.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Every edition of Dungeons & Dragons ever, save the first. Possibly the original edition as well, as compared to Chainmail. This is noted in the famous Jargon File:
    Role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons used to be extremely popular among hackers but they lost a bit of their luster as they moved into the mainstream and became heavily commercialized.
  • Warhammer used to be an adult game until mid-1990s when the target group was switched to children, and the rules were drastically simplified. Many old Warhammer players felt cheated. There is a movement called Oldhammer, which still plays Warhammer 3rd Edition rules (published 1987) with appropriate army lists.

  • Playwrights have this happen to them also.
    • With John Patrick Shanley, it's Doubt.
    • For David Lindsay-Abaire, it's Rabbit Hole. In both cases, that individual play is much more universally popular than any other play they're done so they're seen as selling out with them.
    • Shanley had also written Moonstruck and We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story. The film adaptation of Doubt was directed by him.
  • RENT received this treatment with the movie version, as fans of the 3-hour stage musical (many of whom can sing it start to finish from memory) were annoyed that people were now allowed to experience the story in half the time.note  Never mind that it put the AIDS crisis back in the limelight for a while, after it had been relegated to "that disease that kills African people".
  • As a company, Cirque du Soleil's suffered this perception since the Turn of the Millennium, when the success of their tours and Las Vegas "resident" shows spurred a boom period for the company with many new productions being mounted (in 2003 they had three different shows in Vegas alone; in 2013 that number grew to eight). While the newer tent tours from Corteo onward have received the same generally warm reception from North American audiences and critics that older ones have, the fanbase has been far more critical of them. It doesn't help that some of their other productions of late went over badly with casual viewers and fans alike (Banana Shpeel, Criss Angel BeLIEve, etc.) or were affected by outside circumstances (ZED, a Tokyo resident show, had to close after the post-2012 earthquake tourism slowdown) over 2008-2013, which gave support to the fans' claims that the company was favoring quantity over quality. On the upside, while the newer shows get a lot of brickbats from fans, the older shows that are still running (Mystere through Varekai, roughly) are regarded fondly, thanks in part to the company's excellent quality control.
  • This trope is the entire point of "Overdone Musical Theatre Medley", being an Affectionate Parody of the most familiar songs in The Musical genre of theatre. This sentiment is also seen in the comments, with justification: all of these songs are popular choices for theatre auditions.

  • Some people have claimed that this has happened to BIONICLE, despite the fact that the line is only marginally more successful than when it started. This stems from the belief that the repetitive design of their recent sets is because they're pandering to their, newer, younger audience, even though these claims come from people in their late teens, early twenties while the series is labeled as ages 7-16. You will constantly see topics like "Is Bionicle Selling Out?" on the forums for popular fansite, which are constantly getting squished out by the, thankfully, more intelligent majority.
  • Ever since the fidget spinners skyrocketed to becoming a trend in 2017, they received intense hatred. Haters claim that what was supposed to be a stress reliever for those with ADHD is now a status symbol for being cool. They also admit they're annoying.
  • Many people hate Funko Pops for this reason and for making figure collecting "mainstream", as well as the fact that they tend to overshadow other vinyl figures. It also doesn't help that the figures are also really generic looking, especially the older figures.

    Video Games 
  • Among Us saw a massive increase in popularity in 2020 and, as a result, gathered more players. Because of this, many fans say the game was a lot more enjoyable before it got popular due to factors in public lobbies like hackers, whistleblowers who tell their friends/siblings who the impostor is outside the game, people calling emergency meetings for frivolous reasons (such as trying to be funny or to plug their social media) and gullible players who believe one-sided claims with little to no evidence.
  • Animal Crossing saw a huge Newbie Boom as a result of New Horizons coming out during the coronavirus pandemic, offering a relaxing experience during the lockdowns. This has not sat well with some veterans of the series however, who believe that the game was watered-down to appeal to as many people as possible, citing cons such as the repetitive (and often sickeningly sweet) villager dialogue and the lack of features from previous games. Not helping matters is that more people entering the fandom means more drama over things such as turnip prices and the market for items/villagers, which some fans find to be exhausting.
  • Battle Royale games have garnered much backlash from some audiences by virtue of their sheer ubiquity. Following the breakout success of Player Unknowns Battlegrounds and Fortnite, audiences flocked to BR games en-masse while also creating vast amount of BR-related content. This in turn led to many developers scrambling to cash in on the craze at the expense of their other games or the content their games are known for, whether it's Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 replacing its single player mode with a BR mode, or Respawn Entertainment indefinitely postponing the third Titanfall game to support Apex Legends (though the backlash towards the Apex is mitigated somewhat by the fact that it did reignite interest in the mainline Titanfall games). The growing disdain towards the genre became so widespread that crowds actually cheered during the Borderlands 3 public announcement when Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford declared that the game would NOT have a Battle Royale mode.
    • Of all the BR games, Fortnite has been hit the hardest with the popularity backlash. Since 2017, Fortnite won over casual gamers with colorful aesthetics and kept core gamers engaged with its surprisingly deep building mechanics. However, some gamers despise Fortnite for its influence on the modern gaming from inspiring copycat BR games to popularizing wacky skins. The harshest detractors of Fortnite are fans of military shooters like Call of Duty and Battlefield, who blame Fortnite for inspiring developers to add "immersion-breaking" and "cartoony" character cosmetics into realism-based genres.
  • Bungie; in their early days as a Macintosh game developer, decided that their next title after their hit PID was Marathon instead of a PID sequel, but after Marathon, they made Marathon 2. "Oh no, they've sold out!", said the fans. "No we haven't", said Bungie, later revealing work on the genre-founding Real Time Tactics game Myth. Next, Marathon 2 was ported to become Bungie's first non-Mac release. "Oh no, they've sold out!", the fans said again. "No we haven't", said Bungie, "We're still doing our own thing making innovative work" pointing to pioneering Beat 'em Up/shooter Oni and Sandbox guerrilla warfare game Halo. After that, Microsoft bought them, and turned Halo into a Killer App for the original Xbox. "They've sold out!" screamed the fans, and Bungie responded "No, we haven't." After they were finished with the Halo series, 'Bung split up with Microsoft to create a new franchise, Destiny and signed a deal that it will be published by Activision. The fans said "They've sold out!" and Bungie responded with "No, we haven't."
  • Call of Duty:
    • Some fans were not too pleased when the Modern Warfare franchise was introduced and turned out to be a hit. Possibly aided by the recent changes of Modern Warfare 2 including the lack of dedicated servers in the PC version, the Downloadable Content, and most importantly; the Executive Meddling between Activision and Infinity Ward, leading to many of Infinity Ward's crew defecting to Electronic Arts. Go to a gaming forum (especially one with a lot of PC users) and ask them what the best entry in the series is. Chances are, the answer will be United Offensive or Call of Duty 2. Woe be it to the poor newbie that actually likes the newer games.
    • For that matter, Call of Duty in general is very popular to mock because of this trope, especially Reddit. The first few games enjoyed Sacred Cow status; even Modern Warfare did because it was different (and because a certain Internet critic praised it). Then it started to become popular. Nowadays if you say anything positive about Call of Duty, you'll be lucky if you aren't murdered in your sleep.
  • Due to Cuphead being most likely to be played by big YouTubers such as Jacksepticeye, expect it to be hit with swaths of accusations by this game's previous fans.
  • EarthBound Beginnings, now that the translation has finally been released and is receiving attention, there seem to be a lot of people who want to make clear to everyone that they always thought that the entire Mother series was overrated.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The series has its own twist on the First Installment Wins trope that comes into play here, as well. Bethesda has a propensity for building each new game in the series from the ground up, so most players end up comparing every new game to whichever game in the series they played first, their own personal version of "first installment wins". And given that each new game in the series tends to exponentially increase in popularity (for better or worse) over previous games, it naturally matches up with this trope as well. Broken Base tends to ensue, with fans of the previous installments declaring the newest installment to be inferior.
    • The first two games in the series, Arena and Daggerfall, were solid games (despite Daggerfall's Obvious Beta issues), but were mere drops in the massive bucket that was the late-90s PC Western RPG scene. Still, they developed a fairly strong Cult Fanbase which kept the series alive and, after a six-year Sequel Gap, led to the release of Morrowind. Morrowind was a massive critical and commercial hit, being the Breakthrough Hit for both the series and for Bethesda in general. Owing to both the sequel gap and its Multi-Platform release (PC and X-Box), Morrowind introduced a massive Newbie Boom, contributing to its success. All of this added up to Morrowind's "Game of the Year" edition still being available in stores even eight years after its release. However, until about 2006, a small but vocal group of older, "hardcore" Elder Scrolls fans derided Morrowind as derivative and dumbed down compared to Daggerfall, which was "True Art" and was granted "Immunity to Criticism", and considered Morrowind to be the symbol of everything that was wrong with the gaming industry. What happened in 2006? Oblivion was released. Despite its own "Game of the Year" level successes and popularity, Oblivion was now the symbol of everything wrong with the gaming industry, while Morrowind became the Sacred Cow. In 2011, when Skyrim came out? Ditto. Rinse and repeat.
    • Another angle to the situation for the series is that there seems to be a loose "odd-even" configuration to the fandom. It's not uncommon to find fans of both Daggerfall (The 2nd ES game) and Oblivion (the 4th), who enjoy that those games are closer to classic High Fantasy while disliking Morrowind (the 3rd) and Skyrim (the 5th) for being too "alien". Meanwhile, fans of these odd-numbered titles favor them over the even-numbered titles for the exact same reason.
    • Yet another angle to the debate is the perception that the series has been getting "dumbed down" as it has grown more popular. Ask a fan, and they'll tell you that their favorite game was the one that struck the right balance of openness and accessibility. For example, Daggerfall has a gigantic world map, roughly 161,600 km in size (similar to the size of Great Britain), while every subsequent game has gone with a much, much smaller world map. However, these games use Space Compression and drop most of the random and procedural generation that Daggerfall used to fill out its huge world, instead greatly increasing content density and variety within the smaller worlds. Other changes of the course of the series include: armors and outfits becoming less and less modular and customizable, spells and enchantments dwindling in numbers and variety, abandonment of mechanics like birthsigns (which granted passive bonuses and railroaded the status growths into a class archetype).
  • The Final Fantasy series tends to get a lot of this. Many fans love to claim how a particular entry "ruined" the series. Final Fantasy VII (for making the series too popular with the mainstream and in their perception, making the characters in future games be more anime styled with big swords) and Final Fantasy X (for introducing more frequent cut scenes and voice acting) tend to bear the bulk of it, but other games are not immune to these complaints; the series has been "ruined" about thirteen to sixteen times by now.
    • Many RPG fans just plain hate Final Fantasy because their preferred series isn't selling as much. This inevitably leads to people like this complaining that the popularity of Final Fantasy is crowding out "better" games. Interestingly enough; this complaint is only lobbed at Final Fantasy games; and occasionally Halo; when any look through a gaming magazine can point out how many other games with big publishers or developers receive just as much advertising if not more than every game that Square Enix and Bungie make. (Dragon Quest IX only got such a budget because Nintendo published it outside of Japan.)
    • With VII, some argue that, with the additional installments to the story, the franchise is starting to plummet. They argue that the fun factor of the game is relinquished for the sake of pleasing the fanboys and fangirls, sacrificing the deep integrated storyline that made the original RPG such an amazing game for the sake of indulging in characters such as Sephiroth, Vincent, and Zack.
    • Final Fantasy VIII also got this treatment. With crossovers such as Kingdom Hearts and Dissidia, Part 8 has grown more in popularity, and just as soon as it did, the sudden hatedom with it. Possibly justified in that Final Fantasy VIII was a very polarizing game even back in its prime, with many praising it and many others considering it the worst in the series.
    • Final Fantasy XIV was a commercial failure during 1.0 and it almost ended the game before it went past beta due to numerous problems that the dev team ignored. After a new development team was brought in to replace the former team, the game was redone from the ground up and relaunched with the subtitle A Realm Reborn (2.0). The game had a massive turnaround and became an extremely popular hit among fans, but many players who enjoyed 1.0 denounce the reworked game as selling out to the Lowest Common Denominator due to the game taking elements that made World of Warcraft so popular.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • The series got a taste of this when Nintendo of America announced an American release for Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones. Longtime fans raised such a stink about not only the localization changes but claimed the onslaught of newbie fans would muck up the nice cozy little fandom club they'd built for themselves.
    • When Fire Emblem: Awakening came out and received acclaim and commercial success, the reaction from 'hardcore fans' was predictable. They got even angrier when both Robin and Lucina were made playable characters for Super Smash Bros.
    • Non-fans of the series were surprised to see even Fire Emblem fans cry foul when Corrin was announced as one of the DLC characters for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U rather than a character from any other franchise, with a special shout-out going to the Inklings from Splatoon, with many assuming they'd be next due to that franchise's popular debut (they'd be the first fighters announced for the following installment instead). History repeated when Byleth was added to Ultimate as DLC, bring Fire Emblem up to nearly as many Smash representatives as Nintendo mainstays Mario and Pokemon.
    • It continues with Fire Emblem Fates, which not only takes pages from Awakening's book but has the new Phoenix Mode and removes weapon durability. Thankfully, some fans are appeased by one of the two paths having gameplay on par with the older games.
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses became the most successful Fire Emblem game with the mainstream by far, causing a Newbie Boom even bigger than Awakening's. While it's generally beloved as a game, some long-time Fire Emblem fans express frustration at the fact this success mainly comes from its Grey-and-Grey Morality story, extensive world-building and memorable characters, and feel the series' core gameplay is falling to the wayside. This became more pronounced when Fire Emblem Engage received widespread praise for its gameplay refinements and innovations among hardcore fans, but failed to find mainstream success due to its Cliché Storm story and less deep characters.
  • Five Nights At Freddys got this when the success of the franchise took off in such a way that the creator behind it, a lone indie developer previously known for making failed games, decided to make three sequels within the span of one year. The hate eventually reached a point where said developer eventually addressed this mentality and how shallow it is compared to people who have legitimate complaints about his games.
  • The Gears of War series has gotten popular enough to be alongside Halo as one of the "faces" of the Xbox platform. Nevertheless, fans of previous Epic Games titles and Console Wars debaters don't really seem too pleased.
  • Grand Theft Auto V, mainly the Grand Theft Auto Online mode has gotten hit by this. First seen as an extra mode to play after finishing the main story campaign, online mode surprisingly blew up in popularity over the years because of the different stuff you can do and its strong social features. It got to the point that Rockstar Games saw they had a major hit on their hands and decided to dedicate their time creating and releasing new GTA Online content during the following years in the 2010s, including rereleases of the main game with online bundle packs. This allowed the game to become the most profitable media property of all time in 2018, even when adjusted for inflation and reinforcing the perception that the game is Rated M for Money (though it's not the best-selling media property of all time), though the game has been dethroned by Dungeon Fighter Online as the most profitable media property of all time in the early 2020s. Overtime, people began to question when Rockstar was going to release a new game, as many years went by with only one release, Red Dead Redemption 2. It got worse when it was rumored that GTAVI was already in its final stages of development, but was being held back because of the popularity of GTA Online, and Bully 2 another highly anticapated game being completely neglected. Then in the 2020s, rumors of a big GTA annoucement surfaced, only for it to be revealed that Rockstar was rereleasing GTA V again, only this time for next generation consoles, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. To say fans were disappointed would be an understatement, especially since GTAV was originally a PS3 and Xbox 360 release, two generations prior.
  • When Famitsu released their top 100 games (as voted by the Japanese) to the Western public tons of fans of JRPG's started to get so angry that they swore to never play a JRPG again. It was also the source of some of the backlash towards Final Fantasy in the west.
  • The Kingdom Hearts series has received criticism from long-time players following the growth of the fanbase. Although the long-awaited Kingdom Hearts III is the series's best-selling entry and was met with mostly positive reviews, some fans feel that it doesn't live up to its predecessors in terms of story and gameplay—they attribute its shortcomings to the fact that it was developed with a wider audience in mind.
  • League of Legends provides an example within a game: there are people in the community that intentionally play unpopular characters, and find to their dismay that their team members leave the queue or flame them all game long because they picked a "bad" champion. But when the character is eventually "discovered" by the mainstream and rises on the tier list, they proceed to complain bitterly about tier lists and flavours of the month, abandon the champion and find a new unpopular character to play. It is apparently considered a badge of honour to claim you liked Galio or Irelia before they were popular. This is also expected to happen to Yorick.
  • The Legend of Zelda is particularly infamous for this on GameFAQs. If any Zelda character (especially Link), or any Zelda game, or any Zelda thing is in a popularity contest of some kind, it's bound to sweep the competition, making most such contests extremely predictable and repetitive, especially to fans who prefer other game franchises. Zelda has a similar dominating presence on Dorkly, a geek humor website. This leads to bizarre results in their popularity polls such as Midnanote  being ranked higher than any character from Kirby and Pokémon, Epona being voted the greatest gaming sidekick of all time, and The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass being voted the second-greatest Nintendo DS game of all time despite being considered a lackluster Zelda game, and causes corresponding Hype Backlash.
  • Many RPG fans don't seem too pleased that the Mass Effect series has become a hit, especially since they went towards a different game style than the "traditional" RPG.
    • In-Universe, Shepard attracts Morinth by invoking the trope, saying, "If you've heard of it, it's already too mainstream for me."
  • Minecraft, now that Mojang has received interviews in gaming magazines and been plugged on various Super Mario Bros. blogs, people are calling the demise of the game. The cries of "Mojang is a sellout!" became even more common among fans once they announced Minecraft would come to the Nintendo Switch, which happened because of the game's huge success. Thus, the game was later affiliated with Nintendo, right down to having official representation in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It was received as well as you would imagine. It doesn't help that Minecraft is the best-selling media property of all time (though it's not the most profitable media property of all time).
  • Overwatch quickly shot up in popularity only to suffer massive Hype Backlash. At launch, the game was widely praised for its fun gameplay that casual and pro gamers alike can enjoy, charming cast of well-designed characters and surprising good lore, which Blizzard fully backed with high quality animated shorts films. Besides the critical and commercial success, the game also got its own Esports league and won many Game Of The Year awards in 2016, the year the game was released. However, starting in 2017, the game received a massive backlash for several reasons.
    • Given how Overwatch became the most popular Hero Shooter, many games in the genre had to fight accusations of being clones of Blizzard's title. Many hero shooters released after Overwatch like Battleborn and LawBreakers flopped partially because of unfavorable comparisons to Overwatch. Even Apex Legends, a battle royale game with an edgier art direction and gameplay inspired by PUBG, is pitted against Overwatch just for having a colorful cast of characters. For many, Overwatch's popularity and status as the genre standard has created an environment where it becomes impossible for hero shooters to stand out and be judged on their own merits.
    • Then there's its hated loot box system in which players are incentivized to pay actual money to open boxes in hopes of getting cosmetics through a randomized system. While the system garnered complaints in the beginning, it didn't take until much later for the system to become more common in the gaming industry. Many people blame the game for popularizing and normalizing a gameplay mechanic that some have likened to gambling.
    • Support and Tank heroes are generally hated because of their competitiveness that lead to high pickrates at the expense of other heroes. The biggest offender would be Brigitte who shot up in popularity in casual and competitive play thanks to her durable shield and healing abilities. However, Brigette was so powerful that most teams were forced to use her to stand any chance of winning, resulting in a stale meta centered around Tank and Support heroes that wasn't as fun to play or watch.
    • The game’s lore also began stagnating which fans attributed to Blizzards compulsion to add new chapters and threads at the expense of developing present ones to the point many players opted to ignore it altogether based on how slow it moved and how little of it was actually in the game proper. Whilst the announcement of a PvE mode for Overwatch 2 promises to rectify the issue, time will tell if it reignites interest.
  • Pokémon, being one of the most popular media franchises of all time, was inevitably going to get hit with this. It got especially bad with Pokémon Sword and Shield, due to removing certain features, and the move from dedicated handheld systems to the Nintendo Switch, which led to increased expectations and tons of complaints, both justified and nitpicky, and replies of "it's the biggest media franchise" to any attempt at defending the games despite those issues. According to the complainers, since the franchise is so big, Game Freak should have no excuse for cheaping out and not giving it their all, yet at the same time, due to their massive popularity, they don't need to put in too much effort to succeed, since brand recognition alone guarantees that they'll get a best-seller.
  • The Resident Evil series after the release of Part 4. The style change, while making the series more popular, has caused many fans of the series' original style to feel betrayed, cheated, and forgotten. Some of which are the same fans that, before the release of Resident Evil 4, were complaining that the series had grown repetitive and stagnant.
  • Would you believe that Shin Megami Tensei is starting to show signs of this? A lot of it overlaps with Fandom Rivalry between fans of the mainstream-friendly Persona sub-series, and the rest of the series, which is more niche. It doesn't help that some of the newer non-Persona games have started taking more cues from the Persona series in hope of appealing to a larger audience.
    • Persona 3 was well-received, bringing in newcomers to the series and thus making the entire Persona franchise eclipse the popularity of the main series. Which leads to people complaining that Atlus has "sold out", leaning more towards making their games tailored to the mainstream. Complaints like this are tinged with a hint of irony, as the whole reason the Persona spinoff series was created in the first place was to make a MegaTen game that was tailored to the mainstream. These complaints are intensifying with the popularity of Persona 4 and Persona 4 Golden (to the point that Atlus has released multiple genre-bending sequels featuring both the Persona 3 and Persona 4 cast) is similarly getting trashed for proof that Atlus is "selling out". Even more so when Persona 5 joined the two during their 20th anniversary, with tons of promotion for the three of them as well as crossover spinoffs in the vein of Persona 4 (Including their own Dancing All Night games). At first, Fans of the (relatively obscure) Persona 1 and 2 duology hated the "3-4-5" trio for straying too far from the more traditional Megaten gameplay of the former and If (and likewise for 3-4-5 to 1-2), but it's somewhat justified franchise-wise since their games were downplayed in most of the anniversary events and seemed to have a crossover embargo due to the lead writers for them leaving Atlus.
    • Persona 5 deserves special mention, as while P3 and P4 were successful with JRPG fans, P5's social commentary-laden storyline and stylish UI led to it becoming a massive hit with mainstream audiences, including some who otherwise hate all JRPGs on principle. As such, there's a portion of P5's player-base who hasn't touched another game in the series and has no intention to, causing it to get this treatment even from P3 and P4 fans. There is also a frequent amount of conflict from within the P5 player-base when it comes to encountering fans of the game that have yet to even play the game, itself, and only base their experiences with it on fanmade content and material (including that stuff), thanks to the popularity of the game's Social Links reaching a new apex. Joker's inclusion in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is often blamed for triggering this Newbie Boom, accusing it of damaging the game's otherwise positive reception and leading Persona 5 to become a frequent target of Hype Backlash and Hype Aversion.
    • Nocturne also suffers from this, since it's the first main Shin Megami Tensei game to be released outside of Japan and hence more people have played this one than the original two. There is also a mix of Hype Backlash, as many Shin Megami Tensei fans have proclaimed this one of the best games ever while deriding the popularity of other games. The trolling can be a headache.
    • And now we have Shin Megami Tensei IV, a 3DS release that, horror of horrors, is not only more accessible to newcomers, but ALSO HAS AN EASY MODE! God help us all.
  • Shoot 'Em Up games that get really popular tend to be hated by the most devoted fans of the genre. Somewhat justified as many of these players take pride in beating games known from having an absolutely brutal difficulty level, but it's naturally the games that aren't Nintendo Hard that will draw in the casuals. So it's part this trope and part It's Easy, So It Sucks!.
  • Space Channel 5 has been getting this treatment ever since the announcement of the HD port of Part 2. Most of the Internet has cried about Part 1 not coming out, even though Part 1 couldn't be released due to pre-rendered backgrounds and STILL look nice.
  • Some people believe the insane popularity of the Super Smash Bros. series is what made the Brawl entry cater more to casual players due to the many changes made to the game mechanics and balance.
    • Let us all remember of the divisive fact: what many considered intricate controlling - wavedashing, the most famous case - was a technique that even the makers thought it would bring a nice differential to the game, back in the Melee days. But the mastering of said techniques were spreading a huge gap between the hardcore players and those playing for fun in the metagame. It was the very rivalry between these groups getting out of hand in the communities that got those techniques removed the series up until Ultimate.
    • There's also the series itself as a whole, which quickly eclipsed every traditional fighting game in popularity, sales, and mainstream awareness and has never stopped doing that. It's not hard to find fans of traditional fighting games who are quite resentful of that, and you'll likely find at least a few who refuse to play a Smash Bros. game due to the effects it has had on the rest of the genre, such as the subsequent Newbie Boom each time a new Smash Bros. game comes out and the mechanics being very different than traditional fighting games. The issue is even more pronounced with fighting game fans in Japan, for many of whom Smash Bros. is classified as an "Unmentionable," meaning the mere acknowledgement of the existence of Smash Bros., even indirectly, is frowned upon.
  • Tales of Symphonia is starting to get this treatment. Word of mouth (plus high exposure due to being a huge RPG on the RPG-starved Gamecube) led to it being a big seller and award-winner, and for the first time a lot of gamers outside of Japan started looking into the series. Fast-forward six or seven years and now the Tales Series has a lot of embittered older fans who are mad that the newer games in the series are bigger sellers and more popular than the pre-Symphonia cult classics that were the early games. And it's all blamed on Symphonia's breakout popularity.
  • The fanbase has been splintered again since Tales of Vesperia began ditching a lot of the deep characterization and morally grey themes that made the original games so loved in favour of a mainstream Green Aesop and The Power of Friendship themes, which have increased with each passing game. The base is now split between those who prefer this Lighter and Softer approach and those who miss the Crapsaccharine Worlds of the old games. Ironically, Vesperia set itself up to be the darkest in the series with its vigilantism theme but underwent an Unexpected Genre Change halfway through the game.
  • Team Fortress 2 already had this attitude as soon as the game was announced as being free-to-play. Suddenly, everyone who had Steam could start playing and it also made people who had to buy this game feel cheated. The announcement also brought a surge of inexperienced players much to the frustration of veterans, to the point "free-to-play" is still sometimes viewed as an insult and a synonym for being a noob. (Although the free-to-play players either quit the game or got competent.)
    • Wearing the Ghostly Gibus, the Mercenary or the Pyrovision googles is often seen as proof of a lack of skill, as these cosmetics are the only one easily available for free to play players. Free to Play Players cannot receive hats from a random drop, and they can't trade with other players, thus removing the two bigger sources of hats in the game, while the Mercenary is automatically handed to a new player the first time they log in, and the Gibus and Googles are obtained as soon as you land a domination on a player wearing said items. Since premium players never wear the Gibus once they end up getting a new, fancier hat, some players have it equipped it on purpose in order to lower their opponents' expectations, then catch them off guard by pulling off advanced techniques.
  • Touhou Project has been getting this treatment since the PC games came out. Many question how such a simple shooter series became so unbelievably-popular, or take issue with how many fans of the series have never played one of the official games. When a news program highlighted a fan-made Touhou video, never mind that Touhou wasn't even mentioned (and in fact, the newspeople probably didn't even know that Touhou existed), find a clip of that on YouTube and see how many people are complaining that Touhou is mainstream now, and thus "ruined".
  • The Uncharted series has started being hit with this. Drake's Fortune was a moderate hit, but both Among Thieves and Drake's Deception were mega-sellers, garnered tons of media attention, and wound up becoming so successful that Nathan Drake has practically become a mascot for the Playstation, which has naturally started bringing some detractors.
  • Undertale took off in popularity almost as soon as it launched, making it one of the most popular games of 2015 and also winning the GameFAQs Best Game Ever bracket. A lot of people who don't care for the game or hate it outright are angry that any video featuring the game can rise beyond one million views and they also accuse some people covering/playing the game just to get more hits. Not only is the game popular overall, but it's also very popular within the furry fandom. Because of this, people often view the fanbase as atrocious and full of furries.
  • Among the many haters of World of Warcraft are people who say that say because it is so popular, that it sucks. (That is, the people who have actually seen more than the box art.) Another large group of haters are people who complain that Blizzard has ruined the game by catering to the casual players, and believe the game was better back when raiding was still "hardcore". This is where it overcrosses with the Nostalgia Filter; since some of these same people were complaining about spending months getting their characters attuned. Typically, it's a very bad financial decision to have a game that locks out a good 75+% of its gamers from content and only cater to that ≤25% of the playerbase, since players typically quit when there's nothing for them. (If you're one of the elitists, then that's what you want.) A large proportion of the time some people spend on message boards is taken up by claiming Blizzard's subscription figures are bogus and thus the game is not as popular as it is claimed to be, because xyzabcblahblahblah (insert personal bugbear or whatever here). Well-reasoned legal arguments with copious citations have not stopped this train of thought.
    • The cross-genre reaction to Pandarens. During early years of the game, Pandarens were one of the races most desired as playable by the fans. Two Kung Fu Panda movies later and the announcement of Pandarens has been met with immense ridicule.
  • Even in games that have not experienced this trope yet, individual weapons, characters, equipment, etc. within the game can be the victims of this. If something gets too popular, a good portion of the community will start to label whatever it is as overused. This often happens for competitive multiplayer games.
    • Grand Theft Auto V has become quite notorious for this. Virtually anything can get this treatment from the GTA community once it gets too popular, be it a car, gun, mask, shirt, you name it, especially in the multiplayer portion of the game. This especially manifests itself on GTA-related forums, resulting in posts/threads that trash fast supercars as overrated and the like. Hell, even GTA V itself gets flacked on from fans of earlier GTA games. (in particular fans of both Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and the fourth game)

    Visual Novels 
  • The Fruit of Grisaia received this treatment when it was localized overseas for the first time in 2015 and became a Sleeper Hit among the western visual novel community. Its unexpected popularity put it on the same level as other high-profile Japanese visual novels like Fate/stay night, Steins;Gate, and CLANNAD, and in doing so, attracted a lot of detractors who would argue against the visual novel's overall quality. Some points of contention go towards the story pacing, the quality of the heroines (Michiru often being a popular punching bag), and the entire premise of the visual novel itself. A sizable amount of people flooded forums like Fuwanovel and r/vns just to complain about Grisaia, and in the latter's case, the complaints got so bad that much stricter rules and filters were set in place to prevent similar circumstances from happening again. Nowadays, this trend has largely died down.

    Web Comics 
  • Boyfriends.: This seems to be at least part of what sparked the comic's infamy. It was received positively at best and with indifference at worst when it was first posted on Webtoon. After it became a proper featured series and got animated promos, people left and right accused it of sexualizing gay men and being "unrealistic" in its portrayal of relationships.
  • Ctrl+Alt+Del. Would it be anywhere near as hated if it wasn't so darn popular?
  • Homestuck. Act 5, which properly introduced the trolls and their convoluted, bisexual romance led to a gigantic influx of fans, mostly from Tumblr, who mostly obsessed over that aspect of the comic. Some readers—mostly on 4chan—believe that this led to the comic jumping the shark, as the author began to pander to the Tumblr demographic's tastes, leading to things such as increased focus on romantic subplots.
  • Questionable Content has been hit with this, with people dissing it for being just a venue for selling t-shirts.

    Web Original 
  • The Internet itself. There's a reason the term Eternal September exists, and some regulars from before the mid-90s even rue the day that Tim Berners-Lee introduced the World Wide Web.
  • This was predicted with the Internet itself around the time US President Bill Clinton was promoting "The Information Superhighway", and Vice-President Al Gore was taking credit for inventing it. While the boom in online population has greatly increased the quantity and variety of information and interest-sharing, those watching it in progress didn't feel it did any favors for the quality. Whether it's better or worse now that it's popular depends on the virtual neighborhood, but at least the technology permitting access has gotten faster and smoother.
  • Online fandom and fan activity in general. There's a small but vocal group of fans who just won't shut up about how the scene is Ruined FOREVER whenever it gets any kind of attention from anything resembling a mainstream publication, though the fact that such coverage is very prone to Cowboy BeBop at His Computer admittedly doesn't help.
  • Quite a bit of forums were usually better before those "noobs" and "newbies" came in and ruined it all. This also includes any *chans.
  • The general consensus on 4chan is that you can tell a meme has run its course when it's mentioned by a news source. Most memes which the general public knows about (Chuck Norris Facts, LOLCats, OVER 9000, Rickrolling, All Your Base) inspire little but groan from the average poster. However, this is somewhat justified, since 1. Memes are jokes, and these people have seen the joke everywhere by this point, and 2. Memes are usually fads, and other media usually only find out about them long after the fad has run its course. The Newbie Boom (whenever it happens) is often called "the cancer that is killing /b/".
    • It has now evolved to where a meme is hated when it reaches more mainstream image sites like Reddit and 9gag. These two sites in particular were very unnoticed by 4chan until their memes began appearing on them. It Got Worse when 9gag began to claim the originator of all memes which led to 4chan leading a series of raids on 9gag. Posting an image from either site will be met with a constant stream of "GTFO" and "Go back to Reddit!"
    • This sentiment was often subject to parody on /b/, by pointing out that the website was never the way people fondly remember it. Standard response to someone asking "Remember when /b/ was good?" is to say "/b/ was never good".
  • This applies to Encyclopedia Dramatica's memes; every article on ED about a given meme complains how it got popular and is now unfunny. Logically, the ones that didn't catch on wouldn't have an article at all.
  • This is also the attitude about memes from those around during the earlier days of modern Net culture (i.e. 2000-2010). Those who were around back then would use memes as inside jokes. Phrases like "Pool's Closed" were references to Habbo raids as opposed to racist phrases like members of the public thought (though the penchant of the raiders to form swastikas with their avatars didn't help). But as with nerd culture, memes started going more mainstream (helped out by Hot Topic making clothing of different memes, and Family Guy featuring them on their show) until these "inside jokes" weren't inside anymore, and memes started taking on a more "flavor-of-the-month" quality as Vine grew in popularity. As such, the members of that older generation often lament how memes went from being inside jokes that had staying power to suddenly being fleeting fads that show up, get about two weeks of attention, and are never mentioned again.
  • You'll probably never hear anyone glad that their Roleplay chatroom hosts dozens of consistent members. This may be a Justified Trope — but rarely; just because people might be upset by not being given an opportunity to join in a storyline without being told or players playing a private story out and not giving others who can contribute a chance to join in, as well as trying to get a story everyone is involved in going only for one person to suddenly go offline or away from their computer and being forced to either wait for them or continuing without them.
  • Every widely known social networking site (Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, etc.) ever. Specifically, for Facebook, the introduction of high school and regional networks was what ruined it FOREVER!

  • The Archfiend is a YouTube ranter that frequently uses this trope. He finds it all-right that you make YouTube videos until it becomes your living (or you can live with that as a job). In fact, he frequently hates on popular YouTubers for asking money from their fans or using tactics that allow them to have a little bit more money.
    • Though he defends some popular channels as well if they have to delete videos for no legitimate reason.
  • During the first run of Benthelooney's rant series, Ben had an army of commentators and haters against him but despite that managed to have a cult fanbase and wasn't as well known on YouTube. When the rants returned, and Ben became more popular to the point of having more subscribers and fans (a lot of them are ironically former haters), his older fans for the most part have abandoned his videos and have long unsubscribed to him for the sake of this very trope.
  • The "cash me outside, how bout dah" girl from Dr. Phil's rise to fame and popularity is despised for even being famous at all for saying some dumb phrase on a show.
  • Common among certain fans of Channel Awesome. While their concern is mainly with fanwriters focusing too much on the more popular reviewers, they seem to forget that fandom is a hobby and people will write whatever they feel like writing.
    • Especially noteworthy should be Brad Jones. When you read the comments on his own website, every once in a while there is someone who claims he was so much better and funnier before he joined the CA-Crew, and that he should stop making crossovers with the other contributors, because they all suck. Various other members of the site can get this treatment as well.
    • This is true for a butt-load of reviewers, really. But especially regarding AVGN, when even his OWN fans are exceptionally vicious towards him when it comes to almost anything they can imagine. The hilarious thing is, though, that the fanbase itself can't even agree on why he sucks now without contradicting themselves. i.e.: He curses too much, he doesn't curse enough, the videos are too short now, the videos are too long now, he milks the AVGN persona too much, he keeps making things other than AVGN, there's too many poop jokes, there's not as many poop jokes as there used to be. And 99% percent of them are unable to pin down any specific reason why his videos suck now, often within their own lists of criticism, and begging him to "not suck anymore" for exceptionally vague reasons (if reasons are ever listed).
  • Early fans of Internet memes can be some of the most vitriolic out there. Dolan hipsters laud even the pre-"gooby pls" days, when the meme looked nothing like its current self and was all in Finnish. Doge hipsters swear allegiance to the "Daily Doge" blog from 2012, before the now-well-known "shibe" face and the associated captions ("wow", "so", "such", etc.) had become standardized.
  • The Harlem Shake meme. Most people detest its guts because of how viral it is - the videos are easy to produce, which makes it harder to get people to stop making them. Just look up what Know Your Meme (or any other meme site, really) has to say about it and you'll see what we mean.
  • The Onion satirizes this trope with the article "Band Dreams of One Day Becoming Popular Enough to Alienate Early Fans."
  • Nightcore emerged in the early 2000's as a style of speeding up slow techno songs to give them a happy hardcore-esque sound. The phenomenon initially had a small fanbase scattered throughout various online communities, but by The New '10s, it became wildly popular on YouTube, with lots of nightcore channels being created overnight. Nightcore soon became labelled as "lazy", "uncreative", and "oversaturated". As a result, many older listeners stopped following the nightcore scene. It didn't help that many of the new channels strayed from the original happy hardcore sound, even using non-electronic genres such as rock and hip hop.
  • For a while, using the Phillips CD-I games as a source for YouTube Poop was frowned upon by the members of the YouChew community for years now, although some people are still able to make some funny videos using them, and in more recent years members of the forum frequently make jokes involving CD-I memes, though in a more post-ironic manner.
  • Reddit is known for having this attitude toward subs that start off small then become popular, or already popular subs that become Default (not always without reason). Generally speaking, niche subreddits tend to be civil and have smaller amounts of quality content and discussion, which decays when more and more people join. It's commonly cited that around 10,000 subscribers, a sub's quality begins to tank.
  • Slender Man, to quite a few Creepypasta readers who were enamored of (or terrified by) the Humanoid Abomination before the June 26, 2012 release of the game Slender, which caused the character's "mainstream" popularity to skyrocket in a deluge of Let's Play videos and the like.
  • This has been the reaction of some veteran members of Survival of the Fittest following a surge of newcomers to the site.
  • In the Vocaloid fandom, wowaka and his songs have been experiencing this for a while, especially after one of his songs, World's End Dancehall, debuted at the top of the Vocaloid weekly rankings with an astronomical 1.5 million points and stayed on top for two weeks straight (a rarity on the rankings).
    • Miku Hatsune suffers a lot of backlash purely for being too popular and "stealing the spotlight" from other Vocaloids. The tendency of the media to zero in on Miku rather than other Vocaloids hasn't helped matters.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender got this treatment after it skyrocketed in popularity during its second and third seasons. The live action movie certainly doesn't help matters though this was downplayed by the latter being critically panned. The Shows Newbie boom around the New 10s certainly helped to tone it down.
  • Family Guy got this treatment when it was Un-Cancelled in 2005, after which the popularity of the series skyrocketed.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic clearly got this treatment.
    • Within the fandom itself, there are a number of first-wave Bronies who have withdrawn from the show since Season 2, because They Changed It, Now It Sucks!.
    • Some bronies that were fans of the show since the beginning disliked how the writers tried to appeal more to the new fandom after its discovery, which can seem like the case upon comparing the first and second seasons. However, the writers have revealed the second season was written long before they were even aware of the Periphery Demographic.
    • A large minority of the fans who post on 4chan now refuse to call themselves 'Bronies', due to what they see as a subversion of the term caused "embarrassing people" joining the fandom; more specifically, furries and Banjo-Kazooie fans that gave the Banjo-Kazooie fandom such a bad reputation. It's also generally claimed that many fans have "jumped on the bandwagon" and that when Friendship is Magic is eventually over, most people will jump on another bandwagon, most of the remainder will eventually let it fizzle out and only the people who have made it so important to their lives that they can't let go will carry the torch.
      • The fandom entered its cooldown stage in early 2016, shortly after the release of Undertale which drew a massive fandom of its own, and indeed, many of the fans that simply jumped on the bandwagon did jump off. But the fandom remained quite consistent up until the end of the show in 2019, and generally appears to be continuing to chug along. Many are sticking around to see if Generation 5 turns out good, but it's generally agreed nothing will ever match the initial surge in popularity the fandom had in Gen 4.
    • The popularity of the show and bronies made its way outside of the Internet to the point where most retail stores are now selling brony related merchandise. Some bronies love this while others hate it.
    • Bronies also managed to invert this trope. When Friendship is Magic took off, the fanbase exploded - and immediately started bashing on the previous generations of My Little Pony fans and shows. Fans of G1 My Little Pony love the new show, but if they ever mention that they were fans of the original, they immediately get insulted for liking such a "lame" show (same goes for younger fans who came on board during the G3 era, only even worse).
  • Rick and Morty after the show skyrocketed around Season 3 plus a series of real-life incidents involving violence in response to a lack of Szechuan sauce saw a marked increase in "ruined", "never liked it anyway" and "Reddit: The show" posts from Internet users on Twitter and 4chan.
  • The Simpsons was widely thought to be a better show prior to Season 9 or so, when Homer fully eclipsed Bart as the writers' favorite character and the gratuitous celebrity cameos started to take over the show, even to the point that the plots would often be about the celebrities - this, of course, despite Homer indeed being very popular with the fanbase and the celebrity cameos being a main selling point of the show almost from the beginning. However, the trope is averted when it comes to the program's very first season: even many longtime fans are embarrassed by it because its animation is so crude, its characterizations are ill-defined, and it coasts more on Black Comedy and Toilet Humour than on the much wittier patter and shtick of the later episodes, especially the post-Season 3 ones.
  • Some fans say they liked South Park better back during its early years when it was new and edgy, and most kids had to watch the show in secret since their parents had banned it from the house. Now that it is Comedy Central's highest rated show and widely popular, some people don't like it anymore.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants had this treatment as well. Due to its evergrowing popularity in the earlier seasons and the movie, they decided to create more episodes after Nickelodeon Uncancelled it. The popularity might not be a good one, since the newer episodes are labeled as being stale by many fans, although this is perhaps because the show has had a different director and production team since Season 4.
  • Steven Universe hit this somewhere in the latter half of Season 4 with the uprising of SU Critical on tumblr, to the point where some people join the fanbase just to bash the show. The Zamii Incident did not help matters for the fanbase either.
  • When Superjail! experienced a wave of popularity on sites like deviantART in the hiatus between the first and second seasons, there were a number of fans that cried foul and bemoaned the show becoming popular and no longer their underground favorite, claiming that it would only attract shallow and less intelligent fans who would not appreciate it as True Art. After it had since become prominent enough to gain interviews on the Huffington Post, MTV News, and even earn a Playboy tie-in comic, there are fans that take it as a sign of doom and the creators "selling out".
    • Season 2 experienced an exodus of fans, similar to the My Little Pony example above as it involved a change in format that split the fanbase. While season 3 received less open flamewars and outrage, there are fans that declare themselves only fans of the "true Superjail" (season 1 and pilot) and don't get along well with people who acknowledge the later seasons (this seems to be a particularly large problem with Season 2, to the point where some fans will acknowledge every season EXCEPT 2).

  • Atoms of noble gases, with eight electrons in their outer shells, don't attract nearly the attention that they did before all of those other atoms came by and gave them electrons.

    Real Life 
  • The "Kony 2012" campaign got this reaction shortly after it went viral. Although to be fair, giving only 31% of donations to the cause and oversimplifying the conflict won't keep many supporters by their side. Moreover, Invisible Children is being funded by hardcore Christian fundamentalist organizations. This revelation turned off a lot of atheist, agnostic, and liberal Internetgoers.
  • Mentioning anything related to Project Chanology (the Scientology protests) on most chan boards will now get you flamed, banned, and, possibly, your IP address posted.
  • The coins for Styx's ferryman are already on the Rickroll's eyes, and it now lies on the pyre. All that waits now is the torch. Good night, sweet prince... at least, according to 4chan and Encyclopedia Dramatica.
  • Almost any comedian who makes the transition from relative obscurity on the stand-up circuit to increased fame and public profile (most usually through the television) will lose part of their fanbase who will be quick to bemoan the fact that they are now a 'sell-out'. Apparently, some jokes become less funny the more people who are laughing at them.
  • Polish Demoscene. When the Polish videogame magazine CD-Action began publishing a series about the hitherto rather hermetic demoscene, many old sceners claimed that it ruined the demoscene forever, caused an influx of talentless newbies, and were angry that while they had to go to great lengths to learn about the community in the first place, all those new youngsters know everything by just reading a magazine.
  • A rare justified example: Beautiful secluded beaches. When only you and maybe a few friends know about the location of a secluded beach, its a wonderful thing but if the wrong people find out about it, before long the word spreads around and lots of people start visiting it which means that the formerly beautiful secluded beach turns into just another busy tourist trap.

    This is more to the fact that most beautiful, secluded beaches are fantastic surfing spots, mostly because you can get out onto some fantastic waves without having to worry about grommets and boogie boarders getting underboard. Here in Australia, if you find yourself in a nice secluded spot with a decent swell, the unwritten rule is that you keep it between yourselves and the locals.

    At least along the Florida panhandle, there are quite a few spots owned by the state as "preserves" of sorts where nothing can be built except for the occasional public crapper. They're nearly always deserted, as the more obnoxious tourists tend to gravitate towards spots covered in souvenir shops and overpriced restaurants.
    • Can also extend to camping locations. As Yogi Berra put it: "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded." (He was talking about a then-recently-famous restaurant in St. Louis, but same difference.)
  • This also affects beautiful secluded nature sites and landmarks usually off the beaten path outside of protected lands in the age of social media, "geotagging", selfies, and PokéStops and Gyms for Pokémon GO. Remote places that were once hidden gems for the adventurous few will become viral bringing in lots of unexpected visitors leading to infrastructure and safety concerns.
  • Two words: Bruce Campbell. Fans want him to be successful and more than a B-movie star, but at the same time they want to keep him all to themselves and hope he never gets that A-listing he deserves, because then a lot of what makes him cool will simply vanish and he'd be just another Hollywood star. As of 2012, his biggest role is one of the three leads of USA Network's hit show Burn Notice. His character is so popular he actually got his own spinoff movie. The fans don't seem to actually mind.
  • Honda is sometimes hit with this. They used to make comparatively tiny cars that were practical, fuel efficient, and sporty, all at the same time. Now the Accord is a veritable land-yacht and the Civic is barely a compact car, and they're not particularly fun to drive. The fanboys cry that Honda has abandoned them, nevermind that Honda is a publicly traded company with a duty to maximize profits, and it's very hard to make a business case for targeting specifically a very small section of the market to the exclusion of the rest. The kicker is the Honda Fit, which is everything Honda used to stand for, all in a modern, safe package.
    • This trope sometimes plays a role for car buying in general. Some people get tired of seeing the same cars over and over again, never mind that said cars are often popular because they are practical, fuel efficient, and easy to maintain, and opt for a more obscure model that may be less reliable and it's harder to find parts for, but stands out more.
  • The Steampunk subculture is beginning to be hit with this, even though it's only a few years old. There are purists who believe that the whole essence of Steampunk is to make everything yourself. If you so much as buy a pair of premade goggles, you're just a poser and it should never be allowed to enter the mainstream, as that would dilute it. There are others who believe that it needs to get popular or die. When it enters the mainstream, all of the stuff, goggles, brass and the like will become cheaper, possibly lessing the "Steampunks are Goths with money" mentality that many have.
  • Although not exactly a fandom, many followers of various conspiracy theories seem to subscribe to this mindset; many seem to reject the official record not because they sincerely believe it's wrong and want to know the truth, but simply because it's the official record and has been widely accepted. These 'theorists' then cling to the alternative theories because accepting them makes them feel smarter than the 'sheeple' who accept the official record ("I'm smart enough to see The Truth and you're not!"). This can have interesting results in cases where the official 'lies' are actually more accurate and / or make more sense than the alternative theory, or the alternative theory is patently flawed and nonsensical. Although actual examples are numerous (and far too bitterly contested to be discussed in detail here), many of the alternative theories around 9/11 appear to have attracted these types. And woe betide a conspiracy theory that has been proven to be partially or even fully right. The numbers of people who will either jump back to the original "truth" or create a new conspiracy theory is often astronomical. The controversy between Mendelism and Larmarckism in genetics is a massive case in point.
    • Some conspiracy theorists also have a hatred for the hard left/right for this very reason, as they launch a conspiracy theory into the mainstream thought. David Icke, for instance, said that he would rather prefer being ruled over by reptilian humanoids rather than religious fanatics.
    • People debunking them have also a similar mindset, Belgian conspiracy theorist Mark Peeters (known for saying that the moon landings are fake because it is impossible for a ball to get out of the orbit of the earth if thrown from the ground) is well-liked by them because at least he does not follow the common fallacies conspiracy theorists usually make. Justified, as debunking the same conspiracy for the umpteenth time really gets on your nerves.
  • When browsing through the comments areas of Behind the Name, every now and again, you'll come across some people commenting on how they used to like this name because nobody had it, but now they don't like it because more people have started using it.
    A comment on the name Seth: Cool name. It's masculine, brave, and caring, everything you could want in a boy's name. Too bad it's getting popular.
    A comment on the name Elias: ...I only hope that, with the growing popularity of Biblical names, this doesn't become popular. I hate trendy names.
    A comment on the name Aaron: This name is getting to be too common!
  • The Daewoo Lacetti (aka the Chevrolet Optra in the rest of the world (except Europe, where it's badged as the Daewoo/Chevrolet Lacetti, and Suzuki Forenza in North America, and Holden Barina in Australia and New Zealand.) was considered great at launch in 2002 (or late 2003, in the rest of the world, 2004 for North America), but by 2008 was considered to have lost its elite luxury image due to offering a basic 1.4-litre version, and going for the Lowest Common Denominator in equipment levels. However, motoring press and the public's opinion differed on this car. Now, with the new General Motors, it, and its successor, the Chevrolet Cruze are seen as a joke by some... but the Popularity Polynomial may come into play here. Some kind of plan maybe?
  • One of Fametracker's main features was "The Fame Audit", a rather justified/averted form of this trope, where, as the title suggests, the evaluated the relative merits and demerits of various pop-culture figures, both famous and somewhat under-the-radar, and would determine whether they were getting the appropriate amount of fame, and whether or not for the right reasons. Notable nods included a then-under-the-radar Jon Stewart from when he was only a year into hosting The Daily Show, where they determined that he deserved even more fame. Cut to the Re-Audit four years later when he was already quite famous, and they not only still loved him, but wanted his fame to continue to grow. ([FT] may be gone, but the former editors are still clearly pleased with his current fame.) In spite of the clear cases where they feel are low-talent (Sharon Stone and John Travolta) or on the wane (Michael Jackson circa the 2002 audit) among other things, they are rather objective in their assessments, sometimes choosing to either leave well enough alone or suggest a bump up in fame for people they might otherwise be ambivalent about who are nonetheless unpretentious and enjoyable enough to deserve some sort of extended presence. Beyond that, they have recommended that stars they have liked stay at their exact same spot of fame lest they become too overexposed or pushed into overly high-profile projects (see: Will Ferrell and Steven Soderbergh via their audits), or consequently a bump down for said cases either already beyond that point (Stephen Colbert's audit) or simply in need of going away in order to refocus (Lisa Kudrow and Edward Norton).
  • When the Netherlands decriminalized marijuana, its use among teenagers dropped from a rather low 11% to 8%. Guess we know who was just trying to be a rebel. Then it became common knowledge that the Netherlands had legalized weed and suddenly, the tourists came in like a tidal wave seeking legal pot. This has caused considerable backlash among people who find the idea that the Netherlands' biggest draw may be for drug tourism a mite embarrassing, in addition to the problems (perceived and actual) that these foreigners cause. In 2012, a law was passed which forbade tourists from getting cannabis at cannabis coffee shops nationwide, and restricted the purchase of cannabis among citizens to those carrying a "pot pass". However, actual enforcement of this law has proven to be a bit hit-or-miss. In Amsterdam, for instance, foreigners can come in and purchase pot from a coffeeshop without discrimination or legal repercussion, whereas some smaller towns and villages in more rural parts of the country, it's banned across the board, for everyone.
  • Actually, its not uncommon for some people to stop pushing for any progressive cause once it gains legal status, to the point of backing away from vocally supporting it. The 2010s backlash against the Soapbox Sadie may have its roots in this, with activists being now perceived as hypocrites often just motivated by money.
  • Apart from this, the popular belief of societies and cultures becoming more liberal with the pass of time has been defied in a few occasions. It can be pointed out that the higher push for "decency" in the 2010s can be linked to the extreme liberalism of previous years. The 1980s "conservative revolution" is arguably a better example of this.
  • Happens constantly in politics. When a politician is polling at 5%, they can be a political gadfly, constantly taking principled, unpopular stances. Once they get up to 40% and there's a chance they could actually win, their activist base will often accuse them of turning into just another politician.
  • Hipsters. Their entire shtick is "I liked X before X was cool!" If X becomes even the least bit popular, they decry it. Saying that the creators have now "sold out".
  • Fixed gear bicycles used to be the domain of weirdbeards and bicycle couriers. Hipsters adopted them because they liked the courier aesthetic and fixies immediately became uncool. Now that the fad's mostly died off, the same weirdbeards and couriers are still riding their bikes, but now it's easier for them to get parts.
  • Nerd subculture. With superhero films and genre works becoming more and more mainstream, video games being played by every boy in the country, and "nerd" protagonists becoming more common in TV shows and movies, some nerds are rather upset. This is understandable to an extent: when you've been mocked and ostracized for years because you like X, it can be rather jarring when X becomes popular and the people who previously mocked X fans now obsess over X themselves. As a result, a lot of long-term nerds have gotten defensive against new fans. Female newbies tend to be disproportionately attacked, since the "nerd" subculture was seen as a guy's thing for such a long time, so obviously a girl (especially if she's conventionally beautiful) couldn't possibly be interested in anything nerdy unless she was just doing it to seem cool. They also have some troubles with hipsters in general for appropriating their lifestyle and making it mainstream.
    • An increasingly common criticism towards mainstreaming of nerds and geeks is the tendency for a lot of self styled nerds/geeks to base their qualifications on passionate interest in topics that are solely entertainment oriented as opposed to topics that require above average intelligence, technical skills, and serious study well above and beyond the layman's level. Being a fan of Websites like this just won't cut it when compared to a real scientist.
    • It probably doesn't help that movies depicting a nerd as a hero still routinely make use of Hollywood types, tend to have the nerdy hero end up with a girl way out of his league, and often because he rose "above" his nerdiness to attract her. Shows like The Big Bang Theory make heavy use out of the idea that all nerds are socially awkward and want to be accepted by the "in-crowd", when in fact, most nerds are perfectly capable of social interaction and are perfectly happy being nerds.
  • In the similar note, justified for fan conventions, as they are physical spaces which can be negatively impacted by overcrowding. Hosting organizations can be overwhelmed in trying to accommodate greater attendance, and expanding themselves as a response leads to the risk of oversights that can severely disrupt the organizations' efforts. The actual building which a convention is hosted in may not be built for larger crowds, which leads to safety issues such as fire hazards and stampeding. Even the surrounding community (especially hotels) may become wary of the debauchery that comes with each con. Meanwhile, attendees would have greater difficulty socializing - or even moving about - in a crowded convention hall, and lines are more likely to be an issue. With these factors, a greater attendance means a greater likelihood that older attendees won't be able to tolerate the aforementioned factors, and give up those conventions.
    • In addition, many conventions, when they become big enough, will expand their scope beyond what their initial focus due to drawing the attention of fans of other things. This can result in cries of They Changed It, Now It Sucks! from people who were fans before or people who aren't fans of the expanded topics. San Diego Comic Con is a good example of this, as it's now more famous for its panels on TV shows and movies than for comic books, leaving some comic book fans pretty upset. This can even extend to behavior of fans at conventions: For instance, some hardcore anime fans are upset that Anime Expo is full of anime fans cosplaying characters from western media, like Homestuck or Adventure Time.
  • Can happen to countries as well. When Japan and Japanese culture got popular amongst anime fans, people started to bash Japan by bringing up Pearl Harbor and heavily exaggerating the country's flaws.
    • The inverse has happened as well: With Tokyo hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics, anime fans got upset over the immense boost in tourism to Japan it would bring in. It doesn't help that the 2020 Summer Olympics' mascot Miraitowa resembles a checkered-pattern humanoid Mon with large ears and large blue anime-like eyes.
  • Noam Chomsky argues that this happened to Christianity when Emperor Constantine became a convert. In his words, "Constantine shifted it so the cross, which was the symbol of persecution of somebody working for the poor, was put on the shield of the Roman Empire. It became the symbol for violence and oppression, and that's pretty much what the church has been until the present."
  • Message boards/forums will always have veteran members that have been around in the early days of the site and said members will have formed a tight-knit community. If the site gets more popular or opens itself up to more people, veteran members will decry that the newfound popularity makes the site less appealing since everyone is trying have their voices heard or are ruining the once small and close community.
  • Justified for dog breeds (or pets in general, if animals such as rabbits or rodents are to be taken into account). As demand increases, breeding increases which leads to more inbreeding and genetic problems also leads to less responsible breeding and puppy mills. One widely-publicised example was when the 1996 live-action remake of 101 Dalmatians and its sequel was released. Children begged their parents to buy them a "spotty dog" after seeing them in the films, not knowing how much of a pain in the ass a Dalmatian would be in the hands of an inexperienced owner, leading to protests by animal rights groups over the unwanted attention the films brought to the breed. Similar concerns about well-meaning owners joining in on "pet fads" and eventually abandoning them may have led Phineas and Ferb series creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh to portray Perry as a platypus owing to its relative obscurity compared to mainstream animals. While not directly naming Dalmatians, Marsh stated that in an interview "We wanted to pick an animal that kids couldn't go pick out at a pet store and beg for." The animal's obscurity also gave the series creators more flexibility with the character; despite this, Perry nevertheless became popular for all the right reasons.
  • The Goth and Emo subcultures. Aside from suffering from being The New Rock & Roll, after that stigma had passed, these groups are made fun of by outsiders who hate how surprisingly expansive they've become. Goths get targeted for being either perpetually sad/angry or openly violent (the latter of which stemming from crimes incorrectly attributed to goths). Emos are attacked for having a similar aesthetic, but being infinitely whinier. There's also the stereotype that teenagers turn to these subcultures as a result of teen angst, and that these are just a phase. The fact that stores like Hot Topic specialized in merchandise appealing to these groups for several years doesn't help.
    • Hot Topic, in turn, also suffered from this for a long time, though since roughly 2012 their main niche has been selling pop-culture merch, which means most riffs on it being a store for mall goths come from millennials who've outgrown it. Even the store itself makes jokes about its image now- a mailer from the summer of 2019 featured a group of tanned, smiling models wearing bright, beachy clothes available at the store- and one very stereotypical whiteface-sporting mall goth in heavy, dark clothes also available on their website, promising to meet the customer's needs whether they wanted to soak up some sun or avoid it altogether.
  • In cities that get a lot of tourism, locals have a tendency to avoid the popular, touristy areas of the city, bashing said areas as being full of cheesy tourist traps. Times Square, Fisherman's Wharf, and Hollywood are notorious for this, though most New Yorkers will suck it up for Times Square long enough to go see a Broadway performance.
  • The Hippie movement was "declared dead" by mid-1967. Yes, that was exactly the time that most people associate with the start of the hippie movement. However, being an "alternative lifestyle", it can't simultaneously be popular with members of the mainstream public.
  • Speaking of hippies, another prominent example is the Danish hippie commune known as Freetown, Christiania. After enduring decades of gang violence, police raids, and bureaucrats putting up red tape to drive up the cost of living, for many longtime residents the final nail in the coffin was the millions of tourists coming through on a regular basis and generally treating them like a sideshow. To be fair, I'd want to move too if I had people looking through the windows of my home more than once.
  • The Afro. Influenced by the "Black Is Beautiful" cultural movement, which saw Africans and African-Americans embrace African traditions as a means of resisting assimilation and integration into the predominantly white societies of the Western world of the 1960's, the Afro became a symbol of rebellion against racism and the demand to conform to Western cultural norms. Eventually, it became part of the Civil Rights Movement and was thus adopted by a number of notable African-American celebrities to show their support of the movement, and people started wearing Afros of gigantic proportions. However, as it became more popular in the mainstream—to the point where it was being adopted by people not of African ancestry—it became considerably less popular among African-Americans, and was largely a thing of the past by the end of the 1970's. Now, most people see the hair style as a goofy anachronism, though smaller and less outrageous versions still see some popularity.
  • Justified when it comes to going to a live concert, for basically the same reasons as any place where large crowds suck. Depending on the band's popularity, tickets could be sold out within a matter of days or hours. And chances are a good portion of those tickets were bought up by scalpers to be sold on resale sites at ludicrously marked up prices. Assuming you got a decent ticket at a decent price, you still have to deal with traffic, huge crowds, and trying to find a parking lot that doesn't charge an insane amount to park there (and some cabs and ride-sharing services will increase their rates if they know you're going to said concert). Of course, some people might find all this worth it, but it's easy to see why some people might get upset when their favorite band suddenly takes off in popularity.
  • When MoviePass started it charged users $35-$45 a month for a movie ticket a day, though its membership plateaued out around 20,000 subscribers, and in late 2017 its new parent company slashed the subscription price to $10 a month, attracting over three million new subscribers. The service was once known for its reliability and strong customer service, but buckled under the load, in part by many of its new users buying tickets far more often than expected, and by July 2018 it had to suspend service when it ran out of cash. The company had to institute a slew of new and constantly changing rules to curb its large user base such as requiring pictures of ticket stubs and surge pricing, and eventually limited users to three tickets a month and only supporting 5-6 titles a day with major releases blocked out for several weeks.
  • Beats by Dr. Dre. While generally regarded as good-sounding headphones, most people also agree that they aren't nearly high-quality enough to warrant their high price, and that half of its retail cost is only justified by the brand. Audiophiles in particular will deride them for being mediocre when asked about them, and go on about how the only reason they're so popular is because they look good, and that you can find better sounding headphones for around the same price from other companies, such as Bose, Sony, or Sennheiser.
  • Heck, even time periods and civilisations aren't safe:
    • Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome for how romanticised and glorified they're in pop culture. People praise them for being the cradle of western civilization and providing the world with philosophers, theatrical plays and the Olympic Games. And then, you have those who will remind you of its bad side: class systems, people dying early of diseases we nowadays have proper treatment for, slavery, democracy only for rich upperclass males citizens, bloody battles etc.
      • Specifically speaking, the Ancient Spartan culture receives this treatment a lot. Thanks to the Pop Culture Osmosis that 300 was, it has become extremely popular to modern people and thus, getting a lot of praise. Three was explicitly created to showcase some of its nastiest parts and that it isn't a good idea to idolise it.
    • Samurai. Ask any Japan fan what's his opinion over them and you will hear the worst about them.
    • The Victorian era is vaguely remembered for its gentlemen and classicism. For the general audience. For those who have studied it, it's an era where everything could kill you at a young age.
  • This is a possible motive for the 2020's backlash against the LGBT community.

In-universe examples

    Comic Books 
  • Batman: Fortunate Son. One of the main characters was a famous musician who applied this trope to himself, feeling that his fame prevented him from keeping it "real". This didn't work too well
  • In Nemi, Nemi declines to sell a record she loves to a customer, out of fear that it will become mainstream.
  • Fictional uber-geek Jason Fox in FoxTrot once worried about the highly positive public reception of The Lord of the Rings. Although he is only concerned that enjoying Tolkien's trilogy will make it (gasp!) mainstream to be a nerd, therefore depriving people like himself of their "special" status. A very early story arc had him upset when his mom bought him a Batman lunchbox, because the movie had already been out for a few months and he didn't want to be seen as a bandwagon-jumper.
  • Used in-universe in Phonogram; since the series is about a group of magicians who are not only indie-music snobs, but basically derive their magical power from their indie-music snobbery, there's naturally a lot of this about. A quick read of each issue's crib sheets gives a few hints that the authors of the series might not be entirely free of this mindset either. There's a reasonable amount of self-awareness about it, however, and the Character Development in the first arc essentially revolves around the main character, if not exactly deciding to abandon this mindset, then at least deciding to be a bit less of an insufferable dick about it.

    Fan Works 
  • A Fritz Fraundorf's Fan Fic parodies this tendency in music, with a music store clerk who only likes unpopular bands. The instant one band he's been promoting is talked about on the radio in the store, he begins to trash them.
  • In Sword Art Online Abridged, Kuradeel is a Laughing Coffin fanboy who is outraged that they took Kirito's advice to rebrand themselves from Bible-quoting serial killers to more professional assassins with an "ad campaign, PR blast, get your faces out there!" Which incidentally led to the group's downfall, since their idea to drum up more business involved sending out a mass-mailed message with directions to their hideout.
    Kuradeel: You made them Sell-Out! And what did it get them?! An army at their door and a blade to their hearts! (choking up) It... it used to be about the murder, you know?
    Kirito: Let me guess, you prefer their early work?

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Repo Man, at one point veteran repo man Lite is bragging to Otto about a band: "I was into these dudes before anybody."
  • Schmidt (Jonah Hill) in 21 Jump Street seems resentful about how all the things that made him a classic 'nerd' back when he was in high school now seem to be popular with most of the kids, and annoyed by former school jock Jenko (Channing Tatum) taking "his" Chemistry class.

  • Very literal example in The Dresden Files: the rituals in the setting's version of the Necronomicon become less powerful the more people know about them. Once the book was published widely, it became entirely mundane.
  • In "Pewdiecake", a part of The Chronicles of Steve Stollberg, a fan of the video star Pewdiecake stops liking Pewdiecake due to Pewdiecake becoming extremely popular.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Community episode "Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design", when their blanket fort makes the newspapers and inspires similar blanket forts in campuses across the country, Troy and Abed decide it must be destroyed.
  • In the cold open of an episode of Portlandia, a hipster gradually declares each of his hobbies, interests, style elements, etc. to be "OVER!" every time he notices the same particular yuppie partaking of them. By the end, the original hipster has become a yuppie and the original yuppie has become a hipster and the cycle between them begins anew.
  • Yellowjackets - in 1996, teen Kevyn Tan has soured on Nirvana now that they've "gone mainstream." He liked them better when he felt like it was just him and Natalie listening to them.

  • This T-shirt sums up this trope. As does this one.
  • Several songs in country music actually lampshade the phenomenon. The most famous is Barbara Mandrell's "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool". Alan Jackson's "Gone Country" has undertones of this as well.
  • KoRn makes an example of this trope in their song, "Y'all Wanna Single."
  • Lagwagon. The song "Know It All" lampshades this trope.
  • Christian Rock band Underoath lampshaded this trope by naming a compilation of their older albums Play Your Old Stuff.
  • tool produced an epic, Cluster F-Bomb-throwing response to this phenomenon with the song "Hooker With a Penis", where Maynard tells an OGT "Yeah, I sold out, fuck off."
    Well now I've got some/A-dvice for you, little buddy
    Before you point the finger/You should know that
    I'm the fuckin' man,/And if I'm the fuckin' man
    Then you're fuckin' the man as well/So you can point that
    All you know about me is what I've sold you/Dumb fuck
    I sold out long before you ever heard my name
    I sold my soul to make a record/Dip shit
  • Randy Newman parodied this on his 1999 ode to over-the-hill rock stars, "I'm Dead (But I Don't Know It)."
  • Regurgitator put out a song called "I Like Your Old Stuff Better Than Your New Stuff" parodying fan reaction to their album Unit, which was where they hit the mainstream.
  • Nicki Minaj: Two songs on Pink Friday address fan concerns about becoming more pop-oriented and hitting the mainstream.
    • "Dear Old Nicki" has become an anthem of sorts for the set of people who believe she really became more pop-oriented in her debut album, Pink Friday, before which she had mixtapes (and "Dear old Nicki, please call back" their motto).
    • On the other hand, bonus track "Muny" has become the same for those who think she was much better when she was completely in the underground, with said motto being "Bitches want my old shit, buy my old mixtape."
  • Five Iron Frenzy mocks this attitude in their song "Handbook for the Sellout," specifically mentioning that it was the "true fans" who made alleged sellout bands popular in the first place and that their songs didn't change.
  • Lil Nas X's song "Panini" — the following single after the astronomical breakthrough of "Old Town Road" catapulted into mainstream phenomenon-status — directly addresses this. It's framed not as a clap-back, but rather a frustrated, yet empathetic acknowledgement that several members of his initial underground following abandoned him once he suddenly became rich and famous, even extending an olive branch in the hopes that they'll come around to support him again.


    Professional Wrestling 
  • This is actually discussed In-Universe during the Paige Turner vs. Leva Bates match at Inspire Pro No Turning Back. After KC Warfield and Miss Diss Lexia tore up Leva Bates' Comic Books, one of the announcers said he wasn't an aficionado but that they might have been worth something. This led to the announcers arguing over whether comics qualify as literature or not.

  • The Mitch Benn's Crimes Against Music episode "Fans" has a song called "We Started Out as a Garage Band", in which the original "small but very loyal following" leave when the band suddenly has a hit and then signs up to a major record label. It's suggested they might have a point, since this leads to the band pursuing a new direction which nobody likes much, but many of the fans left before that happened.

    Video Games 
  • The World Ends with You parodies this in its bonus chapter. "I'll be off listening to bands you kids have never even heard of! And then... when they go major... I'll be there to complain about how they sold out!"
  • Tropico 4: General Rodriguez apparently has this view on art.
    Listen up, maggots! This is modern art! You should love it! Love it like your lives depend on it, unless it becomes mainstream! Then you should hate it! Noww, go stand in the corner and look thoughtful!
  • In LEGO DC Super-Villains, an NPC makes this remark about obscure Batman villain Kite-Man:
    Stupid posers! I liked Kite-Man before he was cool! Kite-Man, heck yeah!

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue mocked this trope in a PSA about "Ten Things We've Never Seen Posted on an Internet Forum". The first being someone that liked a band before they were popular and being happy about it.
    Sarge: Now they've gotten so popular, we get to see them in huge arenas all over the country, and their songs are on the radio all the time. It's great! I'm really happy for them, and for all their success.
  • Parodied in Homestar Runner on the Strong Bad E-Mail "geddup noise". Strong Sad was a fan of The Geddup Noise until it became a cultural sensation, after which he takes to wearing shirts that say "Corporate The Geddup Noise Still Sucks" and calling The Geddup Noise a sell-out.
    Strong Bad: Yeah, yeah, I know what you're thinking, "What about Trogdor?" You Internet types ruined Trogdor, just like you did zombies, pirates, ninjas, and Strong Bad! Er, wait, no, yeah!
  • Lampshaded by Yahtzee in his review of Amnesia: The Dark Descent.
    Yahtzee: ...and one should always support the independents... at least until they start making money, the soulless, sellout fucks.

  • Not Always Right has this gem:
    (A customer walks over to the first aisle and taps each and every last CD case with his finger while saying either 'mainstream' or 'sell-out'. He proceeds to do this with every single CD in the store, which takes him about 25 minutes. He then walks up to the counter.)
    Customer: What a bunch of mainstreamers you guys are! Don't you have anything more obscure?
    Worker: We do have a pretty large indie section, which you seemed to have skimmed over.
    Customer: You call those indie? I've heard of every single one of them. They're all sell-outs.
    Me: So, what is it that you're looking for?
    Customer: How the h*** should I know? If I've already heard of it, I wouldn't buy it.
  • Cracked refers to it in 4 Awful Things We're Now Considering Nerd Behavior or at least the motives and reasons for this mentality.

    Web Comics 
  • Indie Pete of Diesel Sweeties is the extreme version of this trope — indeed, he goes so far as to that he only liked bands "before they released any music". Playing on this theme, Richard Stevens also released a t-shirt design using a Venn diagram. On the left: "Music I Like". On the right: "Music You Like". In the overlap: "Music I Used To Like."
  • Questionable Content discusses this as it relates to Indie bands, resulting in the Theory of Hipster Relativity.
    • And as it relates to tattoos. At least Dora recognizes when she gets caught in it.
    • Mentioned for a laugh in #653, concerning Coffee of Doom itself.
  • Dorm Dorks uses the trope here.
  • a South African comic writer picked this up in this post too mainstream for my liking
  • Mentioned in VG Cats #269 concerning the complete and total assha- er, "hardcore gamers".
  • Wondermark gets in on the act here.
  • Brax the Alien Rocker, here:
    Manny: I like true indie music.
    Brax: So, do you like Starflyer 59?
    Manny: I did up until now.
    Brax: What?! Someone's heard of them, so you don't like them now?
    Manny: It's too late. You've ruined it.
  • In this Irregular Webcomic! strip, this is how Shakespeare feels about Harry Potter.
  • Calamities of Nature points out the irony of people not wanting their favorite artists to become successful for fear this will mean they have sold out.
  • This xkcd strip puts this trope in an unusual fandom (paleontology) as set-up for a simple pun.
  • Weregeek mentioned goth community being split on the whole "now-popular vampires" issue, comparing it to hipsters.

    Web Original 
  • Kyle Kallgren of Brows Held High discusses some aspects of this on his video on "Why I Hate The Word Arthouse". At first he talks about the common conception of "Art film = non-commercial", but then ponders on why you'll only make art as you don't expect being paid.
  • Discussed in The Nostalgia Critic's editorial "Can Hype Kill a Good Film?", citing the example of The Lord of the Rings above. He brings up the point that, if a work of fiction is less well known, a fan of it can feel a bit more unique for knowing about it and feel a stronger connection with other fans of the same because it's not ingrained in the public consciousness.

    Western Animation 
  • Bless the Harts: Violet and David become obsessed with watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the matinee, with seeing it being their motivation to train for a fitness test. But once they see that it's a Cult Classic and everyone in town loves it, they immediately lose interest.
  • Metalocalypse:
    • This comes up in the very first episode, "The Curse of Dethklok", when the band plays the "Duncan Hills Coffee Jingle" a reporter asks, "Is Dethklok selling out?" to which Nathan denies and insists that they're just trying to make coffee metal because they want to make everything metal.
    • Parodied in S2 Ep03, "Tributeklok". Dethklok is decried by fans when they refuse to play at a gig they won't make any money off of, and after they do an endorsement for chewing gum, a little boy spits in Nathan's face and calls them sellouts. The band members decide they need to get back in touch with their rock n roll roots which consists of joining their own tribute band and doing nothing that the successful Dethklok would do (not eating fancy food, only using amateur made fliers to advertise their shows, living in poor conditions). However, when they decide to play the gig that they refused to play before, (since it's the opposite of what they would do) the same little boy from earlier calls them sellouts again, saying the real Dethklok would never play it. Deciding it's a no win situation they decide to just go back to being wealthy and successful.
    • Vrunkus trashes his own music as soon as it's complimented by a commercially successful musician:
      Vrunkus: Do you liiiike it?
      Pickles: I dunno, it's okay.
      Vrunkus: Then I hate it.
  • South Park:
    • Parodied in "Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls", which focuses on film snobbery about independent films being better simply because of the "independent" label: "If you work in the entertainment industry, and you make money, you're a sellout."
    • Parodied in "Chinpokomon" when the parents thwart the plan of the Japanese toy sellers to brainwash the children with the titular Chinpokomon toys by buying the toys themselves, hence making the kids think the toys now suck (although this is more because "Adults are uncool and lame, so anything they like must also be uncool and lame" than this trope).
  • In Sym-Bionic Titan, Lance joins a band, then gets kicked off after his appearances draw a huge crowd.
  • The Simpsons: The episode "The Day the Earth Stood Cool" deals with a "cool" new family moving in next door, bringing in lifestyles like breastfeeding, retro fashion and natural substances. Springfield gets overrun by these hipster types and are adopting their lifestyles. When New York Times declares Springfield the "coolest city", all the cool people move out when the town has been "played out".
  • Arthur's It's Only Rock and Roll special, Francine has this opinion on the Backstreet Boys, that they're only in it for the money and not for the art, (not to mention Muffy's fangirling), which she sticks to for the whole special. Later, she argues with her band U-Stink for making a television appearance and quits because she accused them of selling out. She is then replaced with a drum machine.

"This page was awesome...until everyone started adding examples. Now this page sucks."


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Its Popular So It Sucks, True Art Is Not Popular, Reverse Bandwagon Effect, Complaining About Shows Everybody Likes


Laughing Coffin

Kuradeel's hatred of Kirito stems from how he managed to convince Laughing Coffin to sellout and become more popular, resulting in the authorities cracking down on them.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (19 votes)

Example of:

Main / ItsPopularNowItSucks

Media sources: