Follow TV Tropes


Likes Clark Kent, Hates Superman

Go To
And I heard Harry's said he wants Spider-Man dead
Aw, but his buddy Pete he can trust

Many people have a Secret Identity, and since the whole point of a secret identity is to have as few people know it as possible, sometimes you might get a person who likes that guy in the office without realizing he's actually the superhero they absolutely hate, and in the worst of cases are trying to kill.

See Loves My Alter Ego and Hates My Secret Identity, both of which play with inverting the dynamic of this trope, the former being summed up as "In Love With Superman, Indifferent to Clark Kent" and the latter, "Adores Superman, Hates Clark Kent." Contrast Two-Person Love Triangle.



    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Death Note, police chief Soichiro Yagami hates the wanted serial killer Kira, but deeply cares for his son Light, unaware that they are one and the same. Even after Light becomes the prime suspect for the murders, his father insists that Light is innocent and the real Kira must be brought to justice.
  • Fresh Pretty Cure!: Before finding out she's a Pretty Cure, Miyuki's brother Daisuke is a male Tsundere to Love, but he's very polite and respectful to Cure Peach and he thinks Love should be more like her. However, he's also attracted to Love instead of her as Cure Peach. When he finds out that Love is Peach, being too stupid to confess to her other her about his feelings for the real her, Daisuke tells Love that he will wait for her to tell her feelings to him. However, in the end, she's not going to tell him.
  • In Magical Project S, Hiroto has unrequited love for Misao but hates Pixy Misa for being a victim of her troubles. Luckily, he gets to find out they're the same person.
  • The title character of Ranma ½ is a Sex Shifter and a Chick Magnet in both forms, but also tends to make a lot of enemies. This has resulted in numerous characters who love one form but hate the other:
    • Kuno hates Ranma as a rival in martial arts and for Akane's love, but is infatuated with the "pig-tailed girl". Once Ranma exposes his identity to the school, Kuno fails to comprehend this development and continues going on, the same as before.
    • Kuno's sister Kodachi has it the other way around, loving Ranma, but hating his female side because she mistakenly views her as a romantic rival.
    • Shampoo lost to both of Ranma's forms in a fight without knowing they were the same person. Because of the customs of her village, she has to kill female Ranma and marry male Ranma. When she learns that they're one and the same, and the male form is his original one, she wholeheartedly opts for marrying him.
    • Mikado hits on female Ranma, but hates male Ranma.
    • Picolet Chardin the 3rd loves female Ranma, but... demands that male Ranma pay his bill for the French food he (Ranma) ate.
  • Sailor Moon: Sailors Uranus and Neptune are willing to let innocent bystanders suffer and even die to prevent a prophecy of doom, which gives them a very antagonistic relationship with the other Sailor Guardians. However, in their civilian identities, Haruka and Michiru are universally adored by their younger counterparts, and are fond of them in turn. In particular, Makoto greatly admires Haruka, but physically attacks Uranus after having her heart pulled out while Uranus and Neptune stood by and watched.
  • Anna Nishikinomiya from Shimoneta has a crush on Tanukichi Okuma before and (especially) after she becomes a Nymphomaniac Yandere after him, but she hates his SOX alter-ego (the only male member of the ero-terrorism group) without knowing it's the same Tanukichi behind the panty mask. However, her body recognizes him anyway, playing against Anna, who reacts against her will when she's getting close to him under the mask.
  • Superior: Exa loves Sheila but absolutely despises the demon queen for killing his parents and wiping out his home village. He does not take it well when he finally learns that the two are one and the same.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS has Naoki Shima/the Brave Battler, who is self-admittedly Playmaker’s biggest fan, but his first meeting with Playmaker’s RL identity Yusaku has him admitting that the words he can think of to say to him are things his grandmother would be ashamed of him for saying.

    Comic Books 
  • In the Jem and the Holograms (IDW) comic, Rio is obviously in love with Jerrica, but he dislikes Jem, finding her conceited and an outsider.
  • Marshal Law: Joe Gilmore's girlfriend Lynn hates superheroes and doesn't know he is really Marshal Law, who she thinks is a "fascist pig" no better than the superheroes he fights.
  • In PS238, Ron comes to blame "Moon Shadow" for the various problems in his life, but over time he and Tyler become more friendly with each other.
  • Robin (1993): Darla Aquista is trying to date Tim Drake, despite his repeated assurances that he's not at all interested while trying to murder Robin without knowing that the two are one and the same.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Early into their feud, Norman Osborn had great respect for Peter Parker, in fact seeing him like a surrogate son because of Peter's brilliant intellect and go-getter determination, in opposition to Norman's actual son, and Peter's best friend, Harry who was an unmotivated, emotional wreck. As the Green Goblin, however, Norman hated Spider-Man with a passion, and once he figured out Spidey and Peter were the same person, his affection for Peter died immediately.
    • This also extends to most incarnations of his son Harry, who usually comes to hate Spider-Man through misunderstandings from the latter always thwarting his or his father's plans without realising how much dangerous or used for evil they actually are, or in worst-case scenarios, witnessing his dead father at the hands of Spider-Man. Despite this, he still remains best friends with Peter. At his most irrational, he was capable of hating Spider-Man and liking Peter despite knowing they were the same person.
    • J. Jonah Jameson, when he's not ranting about "that wallcrawling menace" is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who tries to look out for Peter, although he'd deny it if asked.
    • Flash Thompson bullies Peter throughout high school and much of college but is Spider-Man's biggest and most loyal fan.
    • Aunt May loves her nephew Peter dearly, but in some continuities, she can't stand Spider-Man (reasons vary from her thinking he's a dangerous vigilante to her having arachnophobia).
    • Throughout much of the later Ultimate Spider-Man run, Miles Morales must contend with the fact that his father loves him but hates most superheroes, and Spider-Man in particular.
  • Superlópez: Luisa Lanas (the Lois Lane expy) is Juan López's girlfriend, but hates Superlopez.
  • Superman:
    • As the Trope Namer, many iterations of Superman either have Lex Luthor and Clark Kent being Childhood Friends (How Luthor Met Superboy, Superman: Birthright) or Lex at least respecting Clark Kent's journalistic work, but Lex Luthor always hates Superman; in some portrayals, deeply jealous and distrusting of the superhero's powers, or angry that Superman is the one person in Metropolis who does not fear him. In the case of All-Star Superman, Luthor admires Kent because he had to work his way up the ladder for everything, rather like he did.
      Luthor: I've always liked you, Kent. You're humble, modest, uncoordinated. Human. You're everything he's not.
    • One female love interest of Clark Kent played this straight in the late Silver Age comics. After being traumatized during a rescue, she ended up a psychosomatic paraplegic who blamed Superman and hated his guts. However, she liked Clark quite a bit and her debut story ended with him wondering what lay ahead for them. She didn't last.
    • In The Strange Revenge of Lena Luthor, Lena breaks her friendship with Supergirl when she discovers the Girl of Steel kept her brother's identity from her for years, but she does not know Linda Danvers is Supergirl; so even though she wants nothing with Supergirl, she still considers Linda her friend.
  • Inverted in Wonder Man (Fox). Brenda Hastings can't stand her "chaperone" Fred Carson, but she falls in love with Wonder Man, to the point of kissing him on the cheek as thanking him for rescuing her as well helping people.
  • Wonder Woman (1942): Gen. Darnell is very fond of Diana Prince even though he never outright asks her out since he is in her chain of command but doesn't care for Wonder Woman and resists having to work with her and will jump to accuse her of endangering Diana and Steve.

    Fan Works 
  • Becoming Lífþrasir: Astrid feels guilt for being partially responsible for Hiccup's self-imposed exodus and proudly refers to him as her betrothed, thus finds Cattongue (Hiccup's Secret Identity) incredibly suspicious when he admits to knowing him. This comes as a shock towards Cattongue, who still has lingering feelings towards Astrid.
  • Cheshire (Miraculous Ladybug):
    • Adrien honestly wants to befriend Marinette, but as Misterbug he wants to capture Cheshire, her alter ego, and retrieve her Miraculous.
    • Adrien can't help but compare the status of his civilian identity as "Paris's Golden Boy" with the cold reaction of the Parisians to his hero self, Misterbug.
  • Leave for Mendeleiev: Aurore has a crush on Adrien Agreste, but thinks very little of Chat Noir, seeing him as The Load who jokes around too much during battles and is far too dependent upon Ladybug pulling all the weight. She's unaware that Adrien is Chat Noir, or that he's effectively showing his true colors with his selfish behavior as the latter.
  • A (mostly) platonic version in MHA: World's Finest. Nana is very close friends with Bruce Wayne, the homeless guy she took in after he helped her stop a criminal. However, she can't stand Batman, the mysterious unlicensed vigilante that’s started showing up out of nowhere.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, Izuku's powers make him the envy of his classmates, who all expect him to become a top-ranking Hero rivaling All Might. On the other hand, almost everyone around him would like nothing more than to imprison and savagely beat the alien whose spaceship crashed into Mt. Fuji solely for being an alien.
  • Of Patience and Pettiness:
    • After Rena Rouge finds herself permanently retired and a new Fox appears, Alya absolutely despises Ladybug, believing that she didn't do anything to deserve losing HER power. At the same time, Marinette remains her bestie... or at least, that's what she keeps insisting, despite Mari making clear that Alya seriously hurt her and she no longer considers her to be a friend at all.
    • Adrien gradually slips into this over time, as he starts falling for Marinette while resenting Ladybug for never returning his feelings. However, he doesn't realize that this is the case; in fact, he winds up suspecting somebody else of being the spotted heroine.
    • Alya later thinks that this has been the case with poor Eden, and utterly flips out when Adrien accuses Eden of being Ladybug, demanding to know whether their friendship was just a game to them.
  • Aizawa falls into this in Powdered Gold and Pottery, where he's unaware that new coworker Yagi Toshinori isn't actually All Might's secretary, but the man himself. While he respects the organizations that the retired hero has funded, such as the Peacemakers, he dislikes how others offer All Might personal credit for those projects when it appears that all he's done is funnel money into them. He also feels that All Might encourages and butters up the media too much, while others see that more as Necessarily Evil and part of the business.
  • Retrograde Motion: A weird case. The younger Jason hates Batman and loves Bruce, despite being completely and totally aware that they are one and the same.
  • In Scarlet Lady, Chloe's just as clingy towards her Childhood Friend Adrien as ever, but she absolutely can't stand Chat Noir, as the two of them constantly butt heads in their superhero identities.
    • Downplayed on Adrien's part. Though unaware that Chloe is Scarlet Lady, his experiences with her alter ego make him far less tolerant of her bullying behavior, leading to him calling her on it and making clear that unless she changes her ways, they won't be friends anymore.
    • Played for Laughs in "Lady WiFi". When Nino tells Adrien about Alya's theory that Marinette is Scarlet Lady, he reacts with utter horror, and Plagg later taunts him about how, if that's true, it means he "has a crush on Scarlet Lady."
  • With Confidence: Aizawa likes Yagi while disliking All Might. Since Aizawa doesn't know they are the same person, Yagi had to calm him down from going to confront All Might for perceived mistreatment of Yagi.

    Film — Animation 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Spider-Man: Norman Osborn is impressed with his son Harry's best friend, Peter Parker, and sees him as a kindred spirit. He hates Spider-Man, however, and eventually turns against Peter when he realizes they're the same person. His respect for Peter comes back just a bit as Norman dies at the end, as he begs Peter not to tell his son about his double identity.
    • In Spider-Man 2 Harry continues to be friends with Peter, despite having sworn revenge on Spider-Man for his (supposed) role in Norman's death. Naturally, Harry is not pleased to learn that Peter and Spider-Man are the same person, and spends Spider-Man 3 trying to kill his (former) best friend. Similar to Norman, he decides to help Peter in the final battle after figuring out what really happened to his father, ultimately pulling a Heroic Sacrifice and letting him know that he forgives him before dying himself.
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming downplays this.
    • Adrian Toomes, a.k.a. The Vulture, likes Peter Parker, the teenage boy who is trying to date his daughter, and doesn't really hate Spider-Man, who he respects for his heroism but is annoyed that he's starting to interfere in all his nefarious plans. Soon after meeting the boy in his civilian identity, Toomes figures out that Peter is Spider-Man, but has enough respect for the young hero that after Spidey sends him to jail, Toomes lies to another inmate about knowing Spidey's secret identity.
    • Flash Thompson appears to admire Spider-Man despite hating Peter Parker in real life.


    Live-Action TV 
  • In the early seasons of Arrow, most characters had a specific preference where they either liked Oliver Queen and thought the Hood (soon to be Green Arrow) was a menace or thought Oliver Queen was a douchey playboy but the Hood was doing what no one else would to save the city.
  • Batwoman (2019). Jacob Kane, commander of CROW Security, loves his daughter Kate Kane but regards Batwoman as a menace who is only creating more villains. In the season one finale, Batwoman tries to convince Jacob they should form an alliance to take down the Villain of the Week, hoping that if he comes to accept Batwoman she can reveal her Secret Identity to him. Instead, Jacob double-crosses Batwoman and makes a serious attempt to kill her. Mary Hamilton-Kane finds Kate in tears afterwards saying that their father hates her, and has to remind Kate that it's actually the vigilante that he hates.
  • Daredevil (2015):
    • Foggy Nelson (and to a lesser degree, Karen Page) is fine being friends with Matt Murdock, but he's not all that enthused about Daredevil's vigilante activities, even before finding out about Matt's secret nightlife.
    • In season 2, Elektra is the opposite. She likes Daredevil and finds Matt's civilian life to be a complete bore.
  • In The Flash (2014) while most of the city knows and loves the Flash, very few people know who Barry Allen is. However, Eddie Thawne, Barry's coworker, is good friends with Barry but obviously initially distrusts the Flash and sought his capture.
    Ralph Dibny: (after learning that Barry is the Flash) I used to like the Flash, now I have to hate the Flash!
  • Kamen Rider shows under head writer Toshiki Inoue tend to do this, to the point where it's considered part of his Signature Style. The format is always the same: the secondary Rider wrongly believes that the main character is guilty of some crime while being friends with him in their civilian identities. Later in the series when the identities are revealed, the Second realizes that he must have been wrong since the hero is too good a person to have committed said crime. Over time smaller variations took place.
    • Kamen Rider Agito serves as the template for later versions of the story. Ryo Ashihara is good friends with Shoichi Tsugami but wrongly believes Agito killed a girl he liked.
    • Kamen Rider 555 repeats the plot with Yuji Kiba being friends with Takumi Inui but thinking Faiz is Smart Brain's attack dog. The added twist in this series is that the Transformation Trinkets change hands several times in the show, and one character (Masato Kusaka, who's usually Kamen Rider Kaixa) deliberately does villainous things while using the Faiz Gear because he utterly despises Takumi and relishes every opportunity to screw with him.
    • Kamen Rider Kiva does it again, with Keisuke Nago (Kamen Rider Ixa) mentoring Wataru Kurenai but believing that Kiva is an evil mass-murdering enemy of humanity. At one point Wataru half-reveals his identity (responding to Nago's demand of "Where's Kiva?!" by pointing to himself), but Nago brushes it off as a bad joke. The twist in this series is that there was a Kiva back in the 1980s who wanted to destroy humanity, but Wataru is his Redeeming Replacement.
  • Lois & Clark has Mayson Drake, an old friend of Clark's from Smallville who adores Clark, but views Superman as a vigilante menace.
  • In Merlin (2008), Prince Arthur is Vitriolic Best Buds with his manservant Merlin, unaware that Merlin is a powerful warlock - a capital offense in Camelot. However, "Dragoon the Great", the hammy Older Alter Ego that Merlin uses for his more flagrant feats of magic, is seen by Arthur as a criminal and a threat to the realm. In the series finale, he takes The Reveal very hard at first.
  • Money Heist has Raquel, a police officer, falling in love with the Professor's civilian alter ego while being tasked to end the money heist he's orchestrated.
  • On Supergirl (2015), Cat Grant initially thinks Kara is a hopeless simpleton, but loves the idea of Supergirl and considers the superhero her own creation and intellectual property. On the other hand, Max Lord is ambivalent about Kara but thinks Supergirl is a dangerous menace. In a later episode, Kara meets an imprisoned hacktivist. The guy considers Supergirl to be a "malignant narcissist", who does more harm than good, but when he meets Kara Danvers, he immediately gushes about her articles and journalistic integrity, considering her to be a kindred spirit. Where Supergirl fails to get any information on Lex Luthor from him, Kara gets all that and more.

    Video Games 
  • The Wonderful 101: Luka despises the Wonderful 100 due to blaming them for the death of his mother. However, he does seem to like his school teacher, Mr. Wedgewood, who happens to be the leader of the Wonderful 100, as Wonder Red.

    Web Animation 
  • The Cyanide & Happiness short "Shark Dad" is about a kid who disrespects his father while idolising the superhero Shark Rad, not realising they're both the same person. His dad eventually reveals the truth to him in the hopes of winning his respect, but the kid suddenly decides that Shark Rad sucks and sarcastically thanks his dad for ruining Shark Rad for him.

    Western Animation 
  • American Dragon: Jake Long: Rose is part of a group that tries to kill all magical creatures, while the titular Jake is one of the wardens of the magical realm. Leading to instances like the episode "Act 4, Scene 15", where one scene has them constantly make excuses to take breaks while working on a school project to head up to the roof and try to kill each other's alternate identities.
  • Batman: The Animated Series:
    • In the Batman: The Animated Series/Superman: The Animated Series crossover "World's Finest", Lois falls in love with Bruce Wayne, but greatly dislikes Batman. She was upset to find out they're one and the same. As a result, Lois breaks up with him.
    Batman: She loves both Bruce Wayne and Superman. It's the other guys she's not crazy for.
    Superman: Too bad we can't mix-and-match.
    • Within BTAS itself, Robin and Batgirl participated in Teeth-Clenched Teamwork in "Shadow of the Bat: Part II" and "Batgirl Returns", but were dating as Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon in the latter episode. When they find out each others' identities in "Old Wounds", Robin becomes furious and breaks ties with both her and Batman (Bruce knew she was Batgirl all along but didn't tell Dick) to become Nightwing.
    • In "Trial", District Attorney Janet Van Dorn is determined to arrest Batman, but also happens to be dating Bruce Wayne at the time. Though she never finds out that they're one and the same, her opinion of Batman changes by the end of the episode. But she's never seen dating Bruce after that, so apparently they broke up offscreen.
  • In Big Hero 6: The Series, Karmi is bitter and jealous over Hiro taking her position as the youngest student at SFIT, but is madly in love with his unnamed superhero identity, who she has dubbed "Captain Cutie". As of the second season, she's lightened up and started being nicer to Hiro in his civilian identity.
  • Danny Phantom:
    • After an accident that results in her father losing his job, Valerie swears revenge against all ghosts, but she doesn't know that one of them is her classmate who has the ability to switch between ghost form and human form. They even dated for a while, only for Valerie to break things off to keep Danny safe... from his own alter-ego.
    • Danny's parents are ghost hunters who are as liable as the general public to distrust their son's alter ego.
  • DC Super Hero Girls:
  • DuckTales (2017): Drake Mallard/Darkwing Duck takes a liking to Fenton Crackshell-Cabrera after he sets him up with some advanced crimefighting tech and considers him one of his biggest allies. Meanwhile, he hates Fenton's superhero alter ego Gizmoduck because the public adores him while ignoring Darkwing. Despite a Running Gag being that Fenton fails at keeping his identity secret from anyone he's remotely close to (even his mailman knows), Drake has no idea they are the same person and thinks Fenton is wasting his talents working for Gizmoduck, and even assumes Fenton also hates Gizmoduck. His refusal to recognise this is so complete that when Fenton unmasked in front of him, he assumed that Gizmoduck chickened out and left poor Fenton carrying the can.
  • In The Mask episode "Magic", we’re introduced to Vicky Pratt, Stanley’s old high school crush who is now a famous illusionist known by the stage name Davida Steelmine. When the two meet up years after high school, it turns out that Stanley’s crush on her was mutual. And when he discovers her double life as a jewel thief she still liked him enough to reveal her secrets to him, because after all, “magicians never reveal their secrets”. The Mask, however, she can’t stand, much to his shock.
    Mask: Does this mean you really do like Stanley more than me?
    Davida: (faux gasps) You figured it out. You’re a genius.
    Mask: I know.
  • Miraculous Ladybug:
    • The show's biggest example is in the form of a Two Person Love Square. Marinette has a massive crush on Adrien to the point she can barely interact with him without devolving into Gibberish of Love, and while she respects his alter-ego Chat Noir as a partner and close friend, finds his constant flirting obnoxious. On the other side of things, Adrien has a crush on Ladybug but is oblivious to why his awkward and clumsy friend Marinette becomes moreso whenever they're alone together.
    • Chloe hates Marinette but considers herself to be Ladybug's biggest fan. At least, until the Broken Pedestal sets in, and she starts hating Ladybug enough to want to get akumatised willingly.
    • Gabriel Agreste appears to genuinely love his son (despite being a horrible parent). Unbeknownst to him, his son is one of the two superheroes that his akuma minions battle on a daily basis. Conversely, while their relationship is strained, Adrien/Chat Noir is clearly horrified when it's suggested that his father could be Hawkmoth and relieved when the theory is "proven false".
  • Moe from The Simpsons swears that if he ever catches that kid who keeps prank-calling him, he'll kill him gruesomely, but he thinks of that Bart Simpson kid as an amusing little scamp. Even when Bart admits that he does prank calls, Moe finds it so amusing and even gives Bart a candy bar.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Lars considers Steven annoying and constantly acts rude and mocking toward him. When Steven becomes a masked wrestler called "Tiger Millionaire", Lars is his biggest fan. Some excessive Heel behavior has that pedestal broken and rebuilt by the end of the episode.
    • We eventually discover Rose Quartz was actually Pink Diamond. Given the fact that she tricked everyone into believing Pink was assassinated by Rose, basically anyone who'd heard of them both loved one and despised the other.
    • In "Alone Together", Kevin is impressed by Stevonnie's dance moves and starts hitting on Stevonnie, followed by Stevonnie unfusing back into Steven and Connie, the realization that they're basically a Totem Pole Trench weirding him out. For whatever reason, it doesn't stop him from continuing to hit on Stevonnie in "Beach City Drift", where he insists that Stevonnie is still obsessed with him after he manages to goad them into the episode's titular drift race.
  • Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters: Stretch/Jake's crush, Riya, finds Stretch overhyped, but likes Jake enough to accept his invitation to the school dance. After the Flex Fighters learn that one of their enemies, Blindstrike, was Riya in disguise, it seems hard to blame her for hating Stretch, seeing how he kept getting in the way of her mission. (This reveal also turns Stretch's and Omni-Mass/Ricardo's feelings for Riya into another example.) It also must not have helped that the Flex Fighters unknowingly worked for the man who killed Riya's parents. After Stretch and his friends cut ties with the murderer, then assist Blindstrike with her mission, they learn to like both sides of each other.
  • The Superhero Squad Show: In the episode "Too Many Wolverines", Reptil isn't keen on being partners with his classmate Angelica Jones due to her missing classes or arriving late. He also gets along with the hero Firestar when they team up with Wolverine to deal with his clones. Reptil spends their team-up mouthing about his gripe with Angelica to Firestar, which comes to blow when she blurts out that she is Angelica, which shocks Reptil to silence.
  • TRON: Uprising: Beck is well-liked among his co-workers and Occupation Commander Paige is even romantically interested in him (feeling is mutual). However, Beck's alter ego as the Renegade is very much a Hero with Bad Publicity. Especially after Beck's predecessor Cyrus murders the garage's boss Able. Paige is under direct orders to kill the Renegade on sight.