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Memetic Troll

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The Fans Know note 
A slightly less dangerous (usually) variant of the Memetic Psychopath, the Memetic Troll is a character the fandom likes to depict as a Troll.
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Quite often, the character isn't really a troll, but gets this reputation due to something he did or said in-story for no apparent other reason than screwing with others (such as neglecting a major detail about something in a situation where it would have been crucial) that cannot be attributed to his stupidity. It's also possible for the character to actually be a troll in the original support, but get this reputation exaggerated for laughs by the fandom. In any case, the character has a reputation of being a Troll that has become a Memetic Mutation.

Obviously an example of Memetic Mutation. Compare Never Live It Down. The Gadfly is susceptible to this kind of depiction, especially by those who don't know the difference between that and a Troll. Characters with god-like powers or spectacular scheming skills also have a particularly strong tendency to be subject to this trope, the former because this provides a good explanation why they don't use all their power to end the story quickly, and the latter because it is hilarious to imagine them manipulating entire groups of people just to pull pranks.

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Examples:

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    Advertising 
  • The Wendy's mascot, mainly due to the Deadpan Snarker tendencies of the official Twitter account. It eventually paved way for anime fan-art of the mascot categorized as "Smug Wendy's".

    Anime & Manga 
  • Kyubey from Puella Magi Madoka Magica lends himself quite handily to fanon portrayals as a troll, given his manipulative and duplicitous nature in the series proper.
  • Izaya Orihara from Durarara!!, who is a remorseless Troll in the actual series itself.
  • Kill la Kill has Nui Harime, who indeed takes pleasure in messing around with the protagonists' emotions, but the fandom ramps her up into an uber troll who not only screws with the cast, but the AUDIENCE as well: or fans, she practically trolled them in her own sendoff, and they like to see her as some sort of reality-warping trickster who denies the viewers the satisfaction of seeing her getting a comeuppance. (While she did eventually die, she did it on her own terms and furthered the Big Bad's plan by doing so, making the interpretation not too far-fetched). Not to mention that she did blatantly break the fourth wall in the penultimate episode's credits, where she appears in place of the usual Mako at one point, doing a "shush" motion to the audience before suddenly an extra scene interrupts the credits entirely...a scene beginning with a close-up of Nui's face as she makes an announcement.
  • Bleach offers us Sosuke Aizen, a Magnificent Bastard of the Soft-Spoken Sadist variety who practically rubs his superiority in the protagonists' (and the audience's) faces at every opportunity. While his plans were carefully laid out with judicious use of his zanpakuto's totally hax powers during the Soul Society arc, the infamous Hinamori incident in which he brutally showcased his Kyoka Suigetsu's abilities automatically propelled him from Chess Master to God of the Bleach-verse in the eyes of the fandom, with countless parodies to boot. Even after his eventual defeat, fans could still be heard musing that he's just using his Bankai to progress the plot.
  • Alucard from Hellsing; in the original works, he is a Sociopathic Hero bordering on Villain Protagonist and a Showy Invincible Hero, and definitely has a fondness for messing with his opponents before killing them and laughing at their dismay. Hellsing Ultimate Abridged turns all those characteristics plays Up to Eleven and plays them for comedy, making him a Psychopathic Manchild who takes every opportunity to annoy his boss Integra (from blackmailing her into giving him a plasma screen TV, to doing exactly the opposite of what she asks him to do, to tilting her paintings and crashing her father's car) and everyone else (he's sent over four hundred absurd death threats to the Pope via carrier pigeon). Even his laugh has become a Memetic Mutation.
  • Zeno from Yona of the Dawn is considered a benign troll among fans. Zeno is one of the Four Dragon Warriors meant to protect the title character. He's the last of the dragons to join the group and does so by just randomly showing up in their camp one day. There's no backstory, no tension, and no explanation. He proceeds to be a enigma to both the readers and other characters. Most the time he acts childish and happy-go-lucky but will occasionally drop wisdom and harsh truths. When his past is finally revealed much, much later it turns out that Zeno's power is immortality. He's the original and only yellow dragon warrior. On top of that, he'd been following Yona and her group ever since she was forced out of the castle. His randomly joining wasn't random; after months of watching, Zeno finally decided Yona was worthy of his power. With this knowledge, fans looked over some of Zeno's past actions (like saying the dragons could take a castle and then immediately saying he doesn't have that kind of power, or that time he called an elderly woman "young lady") and declared him a troll.
  • Dio Brando from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure gained this reputation due to most of his behavior in the first half of Part 1 having little purpose other than to make life difficult for Jonathan, the protagonist. Even after Dio drops that to become a full-on villain later, fans will not forget the relentless trolling he did to Jonathan and consider that a primary character trait of Dio's. This reputation was then cemented in Part 3, where in certain episodes, Dio invades the opening sequence and steals the attention from the heroes. Due to his most memorable act of jerk-behavior being stealing the first kiss of Erina, Jonathan's girlfriend, simply so Jonathan wouldn't get to have it (and Erina being very displeased at this), Dio is now seen as a man who will swoop in to steal something for no reason other than to annoy people.
    "You thought that (insert anything you'd like here) but it was I, Dio!"

    Comic Books 
  • M.O.D.O.K., normally a half-comical, half-sadistic villain of Marvel Comics, becomes this in Marvel vs. Capcom 3. From his Evil Laughs in many in his attacks (and in his Victory Pose in particular), some of his quotes that can come off as sadistically insane, his unorthodox playstyle (in that he can fly freely and mainly excels in keep-aways), and the fact that he just looks plain ridiculous and comes rather out of the blue (when compared to many other Marvel fan favorites that don't come in), the fans seemingly see him as a potent troll. Oh, and his theme goes with trolling.
  • Deadpool is unquestionably a Troll in-universe, and the fact he is fond of Breaking the Fourth Wall just helped him to get this reputation to Memetic Mutation level. Any fictional character you can come up with, there's probably fan-art out there of Deadpool being a dick to them while winking at the audience.
  • The Reverse-Flash is known for being incredibly petty, coupled with his abuse of time travel powers and tendency to personally cause traumatic events in Flash's life. This has caused him to gain a half-joking reputation amongst fans as a petty troll who goes out of his way to be responsible for every bad thing that has ever happened to Flash, no matter how insignificant or harmless said bad thing is. This became even more extreme after the 2014 Flash series, so now the Reverse-Flash is slowly becoming synonymous with "villain who only cares about tormenting the protagonist".
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    Fan Works 
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged's depiction of Goku looks like a Cloud Cuckoo Lander on the surface, but his knack for using his stupidity to annoy people happens at such a rate that one wonders how much of is intentional. It's even brought in universe thanks to his moments of Hyper-Awareness that imply he really is trying to get a reaction out of people.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Wizard of Oz: Glinda doesn't just tell Dorothy from the start that Dorothy's ruby slippers have the power to bring her back home. In-story, the justification would be that, had Glinda told her, Dorothy wouldn't have gone through her travel and grown up with it, but most people like to attribute it to Glinda just wanting to screw with her.

    Interestingly, this is actually an error from the adaptation, since the film combines two characters from the book: Glinda the Good Witch of the South and the (unnamed) Good Witch of the North. The one from the North tells Dorothy to go to the Wizard; and after the Wizard flies off in his balloon, everyone suggests that she visit Glinda, who is the one who tells her that she [Dorothy] had the power all along.
  • Downfall: Fegelein is generally depicted in YouTube Poops as annoying Hitler and the other occupants of the bunker with cartoon antics. That one really has no basis in the actual film (or real life), where he gets very little characterization before he's simply shot as a deserter.
  • Captain America, of all people, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, following the opening of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where he keeps lapping future partner Sam Wilson, while subtly gloating.

    Literature 
  • Sol of the Warrior Cats series has gained a memetic reputation as a troll thanks to his Affably Evil attitude and the smug expression he had on a book cover (which later got edited so it wasn't so smug). Here is a macro that got passed around for a bit with that original image.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Roose Bolton and his bastard son Ramsay, who often taunt and torment their opponents in overt or subtle ways, are members of "House Trollton" in the eyes of the internet.
    • Also in the running are Littlefinger (who has a magical transport system that allows him to pop up anywhere) and Ygritte with her famed "You know nothing" line.
  • The Flash (2014): Reverse-Flash carried on his reputation for trolling from the comics, but season 3 saw him get joined by Savitar. His constant declarations of godhood, tendency to needlessly brutalize opponents and than leave, and the scene where he uses his powers to predict Flash's friends all dying or betraying him - for the sole purpose of fucking with Flash - have combined to make fans see him as Jerkass Trickster God who gets off on trolling people.
    • Season 2's Zoom was a typical villain asshole right from the start, but the reveal that He was Earth-2 serial killer Hunter Zolomon who also assumed the identity of Earth-2's Jay Garrick/The Flash, and had done so by his own admission purely to screw with people by giving them hope that there was a hero who could fight Zoom, but could never quite stop him, makes him an even bigger troll than Reverse-Flash.

    Music 
  • Inverted with Akita Neru from Vocaloid. She's a Miku derivative who acts as a personification of trolling following an incident of Google censoring every Miku picture in the net (long story); her name means "I'm tired; off to bed" coming from people who tried to stop the talk about the issue. The inversion comes when her origins become glossed over over time and she's mostly depicted as a Deadpan Snarker (and sometimes Tsundere) in Fanon.
  • Russian singer Eduard Khilnote . sang "I'm Very Glad Because I'm Finally Coming Home" in the 1970s. The wordless tune was supposed to a "rambling cowboy" ballad. Once it hit the internet, however, Khil's oddly disturbing smile and the vocalizations making it sound as though he was laughing mockingly fit the trolling ideal all too well. To this day Khil is considered the greatest troll of all time. (In Real Life, the man appreciated the resurge in popularity but didn't really understand it.)
  • Rick Astley. Not by himself, but because of a certain internet...
  • Eminem is legendary for gleefully and effortlessly taking the piss out of anyone and everyone who gets in his way. His entire "Slim Shady" persona is a testament to his ability to piss off personal enemies and Moral Guardians alike with zero fucks given.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Kevin Owens has built up quite a reputation as a troll, particularly on Twitter, due to his hilarious Deadpan Snarker responses to (often poorly-written) hate comments.

    Puppet Shows 
  • The Muppets: Statler and Waldorf are considered by many fans and others to be the original trolls (in fact, one popular meme names them as, "Trolling before there was trolling." Given that their main schtick on The Muppet Show was sitting up in the balcony and heckling almost everyone in the show (they're especially merciless with Fozzie), which is a characteristic that continually follows them from medium to medium, helps validate this opinion. Their Screw Politeness, I'm A Senior! personalities also help. For a short while circa 2005, Statler and Waldorf actually had their own webcast where they would review (or rip apart) the latest movie releases. They even got their own Just for Fun page on this site.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Touhou
    • Yukari Yakumo is portrayed in fanworks as an incredible troll, ranging from simple tricks with her gaps to pulling elaborate schemes just to piss someone (usually Reimu) off. In canon, she does do strange things and have an odd nature, but generally has a good reason for what she does.
    • Tewi Inaba probably doesn't count on the basis that this is entirely canon for her.
    • Seija Kijin canonically likes pissing people off and hatches elaborate schemes to overthrow the social order. Fanworks tend to dial down the scale of what she does, resulting in this trope.
  • Hazama, a.k.a. Terumi Yuuki, from BlazBlue. This bastard trolls everyone in the series, and such is his nature that he feeds on other people's hatred of him, which he instills in others through his horrible acts. As a result, his trolling has reached out Memetic level that goes even beyond his usual high-level trolling. More or less, he's the go-guy to copy-paste the Trollface in and it'll still work in context. Sometimes, though, it makes people forget that he's an utterly nasty bastard, and just focus on the trolling (sometimes lumped with the more 'harmless' trolling) aspect.
  • The Ancient Dragon from Dark Souls II, while simply delivering a Disproportionate Retribution to the fool who provoked its ire, is often lauded by the fandom as a merciless troll who revels in the frustrations of players who die way too often to its incredibly random attack pattern, sometimes taking flight just for the sake of it (and not raining down fire), and possibly crushing some hapless fool upon landing.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona
    • Yukiko Amagi from Persona 4. Usually a Ditzy Genius Yamato Nadeshiko, the event at the Amagi Inn where she messed up the schedules of the boys on purpose and makes their stay at her inn just hilariously unpleasant has made people think she's a rather sneaky Troll.
    • If you search Morgana from Persona 5 on the internet, chances are that you are likely to find jokes about him trolling Joker to go to bed.
  • Castlevania has the Medusa Heads, notorious for enraging the tempers of millions of gamers and instilling a fear of sine waves with their tendency to appear in areas with Bottomless Pits.
  • Star Fox brings us Wolf O'Donnell, famous for his Signature Line "Can't let you do that, Star Fox!"
  • Tatsuta of Kantai Collection is known for trolling and teasing her fellow kanmusu, especially her "sister" Tenryuu. On Danbooru, there's an image pool dedicated to her trollish (and sometimes Memetic Molester) tendencies, called "God Damn It Tatsuta!"
  • Tsurumaru Kuninaga from Touken Ranbu loves to sneak up on people and surprise them, which naturally earns him this status in the fandom. Much like the Touhou examples and Tatsuta above, this has earned him an image pool on Danbooru dedicated to his trolling moments.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising has Hades, the hammy Big Bad of the game. After all, his first act of trolling is to troll the player by tearing away the fake credits sequence in the biggest Wham Episode up to that point. His later efforts include dropping Mimicuties everywhere just to freak out Pit even though they're temporarily on the same side, butting in on serious moments like Dark Pit trying to rescue a mortally-wounded Pit, and, after swallowing Pit, making jokes about Pit exiting through the other end. And he almost always has a smile on his face, showing that he does what he does For the Evulz.
  • Monster Hunter:
    • Plesioth. Fight him in the water? Well, it's water. Fight him on land? Hipchecks, hipchecks everywhere!
    • Rathalos, whose idea of combat is flying around for minutes at a time just to run down the quest timer, i.e. the Rathalos World Tour.
    • Congala, who treats nature as their toilet.
    • The High Questrix, who loves telling you that you're going to fail. The Arena Bambina is even worse.
    • So you're just going around on the latest High Rank quest and—god damn it, Deviljho!
    • Bazelgeuse joins Deviljho in being a constant fight-interruptor, seemingly actively seeking out monsters already fighting with players. "The best way to track Bazelgeuse is to get into a fight with another monster, he'll come running."
    • The RNG itself. Which can be summed up as: (carves monster tail) "(monster) scale obtained. Quest abandoned."
  • Javik of Mass Effect 3. Being the last Prothean, he's quite fond of sharing stories of what things were like in his cycle, which are either complete lies or said just to screw with the "primitives" of the current cycle. He's abrasive, arrogant, and oh so hilarious. But he will admit there is one thing primitives are good at.
  • Tubbs from Neko Atsume will eat all your cat food without remorse.
  • The Spy in Team Fortress 2 was initially depicted as a snooty, cold-blooded professional killer. The players, on the other hand, quickly made him out to be a troll by virtue of his playstyle (deceiving the enemy in disguise, sneaking around invisibly, and delivering a One-Hit Kill when his enemies' back is turned). Valve noticed, and in a later update gave the Spy domination lines to his opponents full of insults, puns, and deranged laughter.
  • Trying to get a Play of the Game in Overwatch? Well you can forget about it if any of the other players is Bastion, because he will go into turret form and mass-kill his enemies to secure it. Even that aside, he'll repeatedly mow down enemies before they can do significant damage to him (unless they get smart), resulting in those enemies getting angry, which has led to jokes that Bastion is powered by salt (more specifically, the "salty" Berserker Tears of Sore Losers).
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • Fans have tons of jokes about Sonic which essentially revolve around him spamming his "You're too slow!" taunt over and over.
    • Masahiro Sakurai. He'll crush your expectations about upcoming Smash games' rosters by not announcing that character (or three) you really wanted in Smash, announcing some weird out-of-the-blue character instead, and then demanding that you never ask him for anything ever again.
    • The Piranha Plant became this in record time due to nobody seeing it coming and the direct it appeared in obliterating the much publicized "Grinch leak" with extreme prejudice, with fanart often depicting it trolling the characters implicated in the Grinch leak, as well as Waluigi (as Sakurai got a moveset for a potted plant but not him), in numerous ways.
  • Pokémon has Shiny Ralts, which has picked up this reputation in the fandom for its rarity even compared to other Shinies.
    • By that same token, Wally. In the tutorial section of Pokémon Emerald there is a scripted battle where the player character helps Wally catch a Ralts. This Ralts can spawn as a Shiny and there is no way to get it for oneself. So naturally, some poor souls were unfortunate enough to see Wally get a shiny Ralts instead of them. Ironically, he doesn't even get to keep it, as it will be normal-colored in subsequent encounters with him.
  • Fire Emblem Fates features a plot point known as the "curse of Valla", which is explained by Azura. Basically, the dragon god ruling over the Kingdom of Valla, in order to be sure that nobody can find out in time about his plan to have the Kingdoms of Hoshido and Nohr destroy each other, has put a curse on the name "Valla" (à la Taboo curse, as seen with Voldemort's name in Harry Potter). Therefore, anyone who mentions Valla's name outside of it immediately disappears and dies. However, due to how the aforementioned curse of Valla is handled in the story (i.e. barely mentioned), fans tend to joke that Azura is either making up the curse's existence, making the curse seem more powerful/deadly than it actually is, or some combination of the two, presumably just to mess with everyone.
  • The mischievous goose from Untitled Goose Game started pranking other fandoms right away.

    Visual Novels 
  • From the When They Cry series:
    • Fans of Higurashi: When They Cry, often have Shion Sonozoaki serve this role. Images of her crazed laughter and psychotic expressions she had during her gradual mental deterioration will be used in other, often sillier contexts. The image of her laughing at Rika's suicide is especially popular to use. It doesn't help that her methods of trolling really were pretty nasty.
    • Beatrice the Golden Witch from Umineko: When They Cry is quite infamous for her trolling of Battler, especially since one of her expressions in the original sound novels looks very similar to the memetic Trollface. However, it turns out that her trolling nature is largely an act, and that Bernkastel is a much more cruel and merciless troll than Beato ever was.
  • Zelretch. While his apparitions within main Nasuverse works are quite limited and somewhat formal note , the fandom seems to have taken a liking to him as a bored old man whose sense of humour always causes others to suffer. His creation of the user-not-so-friendly Kaleidosticks and the mention of all his apprentices (bar Rin, so far) ending up insane due to his mischief being the main aguments of this theory.

    Web Comics 
  • The poster boy of this trope is none other than Rage Comics' Trollface, a grotesquely smirking face that screws with people (and sometimes logic itself), often with the phrases "U MAD, BRO?" and "Problem?" Typing the word "troll" into Google's search engine will bring up images of Trollface, and other memetic trolls will sometimes be depicted with their own trollface. U mad, trope page?
  • The milder Dolan comics portray Donald Duck (or a character very similar to Donald) as a troll. In most comics, he goes beyond that, being a Memetic Psychopath and a Memetic Molester.

    Web Original 
  • RWBY: Professor Ozpin can be the target of this, oftentime to Ron the Death Eater levels. He certainly was something of The Gadfly early on, though it's a trait he largely (though not completely) drops after Cerebus Syndrome kicks in after Volume 3. Note that even the creators get in on this in RWBY Chibi, which gives everyone a healthy dose of Flanderization for the sake of comedy, including turning Ozpin into a full-on Troll.
  • Twitch has the Kappa emote. Shortly after its debut in the Justin.tv era, it quickly became associated with trolling or sarcasm.
  • Danbooru has the "God Damn It (character)!" series of image pools, used for instances of a particular character being a troll, whether to other characters or the viewer.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Bugs Bunny. Trolling his enemies, friends, and even the audience sometimes since 1940!
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Princess Celestia. She's depicted in the series as a Reasonable Authority Figure who genuinely tries to make everything go for the better, but her tendencies to sometimes use deception to those ends, play occasional mild (but good-spirited) pranks, neglect some crucial details (such as the fact her pet is a Phoenix in "A Bird in the Hoof" or that she could give Twilight invitations to the gala for all her friends from the start in "The Ticket Master"), and of course the fact she banished her then-evil sister Luna to the Moon led to people commonly depicting her as a trolling ruler who borders on Caligula territory.
    • Discord as well, though it helps that he's an actual troll in canon.
    • Twilight Sparkle has become known on the internet for intentionally spilling chocolate milk and derailing 4chan threads as a result.
  • Soundwave from Transformers: Prime often gets this treatment due to often outwitting anyone who opposes him, and being a Silent Snarker.
  • Papa Smurf of The Smurfs can be interpreted as one, creating holidays like Unhappiness Day, where every Smurf has to be miserable while he walks around making sure they aren't having fun, and Hug a Smurf Day, which almost just becomes "Torture Grouchy" day because he hates hugs, not that Papa Smurf doesn't find this hilarious.
  • The Omnitrix, of all things, is considered this by some fans in Ben 10, despite being an object whose sentience isn't even confirmed in canon. This is due to the device's tendency to give Ben the wrong alien at the worst times, which at first was justified by Ben's unfamiliarity with it, but has now been flanderized to such a degree (even though by this point Ben has been wearing the thing for several years and should be familiar with it) that blaming the Omnitrix for being a dick just seems like the most credible option.

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