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Nice Character, Mean Actor

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The Television Equivalent of a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing.

Princess Carolyn: I had just started working for Marv, so I went backstage to introduce myself.
BoJack: And then what happened?
Princess Carolyn: You told me you were too tired from pretending to be nice all night, and I needed to leave you alone.
BoJack Horseman, "Best Thing That Ever Happened"

There is an actor who is well-known for playing brave and courageous characters who are as good as it gets or playing characters who are sweet and easy-going. But off-camera, it turns out that they are not nearly as nice as they appear to be, when they start yelling at the rest of the cast, snapping at the director (in the sort of language their characters would never dare use) and proclaiming that they alone have the talent. When meeting with fans, they'll usually take on their nice character persona, but when alone they'll complain loudly about how much they hate their annoying fans. Hell, they might actually be genuinely nice, but the biz tends to bring out the worst in people pretty fast. And at the wrong time, too.

This is often used to give a message of not worshiping idols and raising false hopes. It is used to show the weaknesses and frivolities of show business and, funnily enough, considering the source, that just makes the message more interesting. People like to consider it knowledge from people who know what happens behind the curtain and take it as a knowing wink from the other side. Even if they're not really talking about their section of the industry.

Sadly, this type of encounter can lead to a Broken Pedestal moment for a character when they find out that their beloved idol is such a mean jerk, a bully, or even a predator.

Related to Hates the Job, Loves the Limelight and the Depraved Kids' Show Host; subtrope of Bitch in Sheep's Clothing and The Prima Donna. The opposite of Mean Character, Nice Actor. Compare Funny Character, Boring Actor and Small Name, Big Ego. Often overlaps with Former Child Star.

Since this normally involves characters showing their true colors at a climactic point of a work, expect unmarked spoilers. Also, No Real Life Examples, Please! There are numerous gossip magazines and websites that delve into this exact thing, and celebrities are sometimes held to higher standards of "nice" than normal people; having a short temper on a stressful day of work can be spun into making one sound like a terrible person.


In-Universe Examples Only:

    open/close all folders 

  • The infamous Juicy Fruit commercial set in the recording of a children's program has an actress trying to lip-sync the singalong song, only to lose it when her mascot-esque friend swipes the gum from her overalls!

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Blend-S, Mafuyu plays the role of a cheerful and adorable Little Sister Heroine when waiting tables at the Cosplay Café Stile, but she's really a Deadpan Snarker who tends to be brutally honest and isn't above hitting people for various slights. However, it's downplayed since she's not a bad person and just isn't as cheery as she pretends to be for her job.
  • Bubblegum Crisis: Vision may appear to be a calm, softhearted Idol Singer, but offstage, she is a ruthless mecha-driving terrorist on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge!
  • Sho of Skip Beat! is kind and sweet to his fans, but he's a ruthless, cruel jerk the rest of the time.
  • Akira Kogami in Lucky Star, but only in the anime. She's an Idol Singer who acts like an adorable Genki Girl and at first seems very enthusiastic about hosting the "Lucky Channel" segments, but in reality, she's a Jerkass who's very cynical about her job. While she usually tries to maintain her cute facade for the camera, she'll quickly reveal her true colors whenever something annoys or angers her.
  • Naruto:
    • Downplayed as they are not an actor, but Naruto Shippuden has Tobi, who was constantly shown to be a wacky goofball and one of the less-threatening members of the Akatsuki. But after the deaths of Deidara and Itachi, he begins to show his true sinister personality and is revealed to be the one who released Kurama to destroy Konoha in the past, which forced Minato to seal the fox demon into an infant Naruto. At first, he reveals himself to be Madara, but it's later revealed that he is actually Obito Uchiha, an old friend of Kakashi who wanted revenge for Rin's death.
    • Yukie Fujikaze from Naruto the Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow is an actress who gives a powerful and moving performance while on film, but is cold and bitchy everywhere else, to the point that she can only pretend to cry. She gradually gets better.
  • Pop idol Glitter in Hamtaro. On the stage, she's a nice, bubbly Genki Girl. Off the stage, she's a nasty, possessive bitch. Glitter's hamster Sparkle is the same way, though, unlike Glitter, Sparkle eventually gets better.
  • Megumi, Creamy Mami, the Magic Angel's rival. Though she too gets better by the end of the series.
  • Kiriri, the middle school voice actor from The World of Narue plays the bubbly and heroic Magical Girl Number 4, but outside of that, is a shallow jerk who tries to break Kazuto and Narue up.
  • As a riff on female celebrities who put on a kawaiiko persona, a Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei chapter/episode has Maria attacking people identified as a boke and when she goes to bop a seemingly ditzy female star identified as a "natural boke", said star flashes a Game Face at Maria and throws her to the ground- and then reverts to her cutesy persona in front of the camera.
  • Raymond Spume of the Ace Attorney manga plays the heroic Sparklestar for Sparkle Land but makes snide comments about his fellow employees and yells at his assistant Julie for biting her nails. It turns out that he's quite attached to the role and doesn't want anyone else ruining Sparklestar, so he kills Flip Chambers when Flip is set to replace him.
    • In the Ace Attorney Investigations manga, Emi St. Cloud follows this tradition, yelling at her assistant Kara when she only did what she was told and generally acting selfish and petty when she isn't putting on a good face for the press and as her role in the movie Othello Detectives. She ends up being murdered and is an Asshole Victim, but it isn't over anything she did; the killer simply wanted to stop the film from being released.
  • In episode 10 of Oreimo, Kanako is quite upset that Ayase and Kyousuke tricked her into a cosplay contest. However, during the event, she gives it her all, and does such an outstanding job at playing an adorably cutesy Magical Girl that she wins the contest, and her friend in the audience, Kirino, didn't even realize it was her. Afterward, backstage, she gives off a very vicious attitude which causes one of the younger cosplay contestants to run out of the room crying.
  • In YuruYuri, Chinatsu is sometimes forced to cosplay as Mirakurun, the main character of the Show Within a Show that Kyouko likes. She will often put on a cutesy display when entertaining a younger child, but then either break character the moment said child disappears (but is still within earshot, such as going to another room in a house), or does/says something that breaks said child's illusion/depiction of Mirakurun as a hero.
  • Soji, Reina's uncle in Yandere Kanojo. It's kinda downplayed that he's actually just a Mood-Swinger than actually malicious.
  • Mitsuki Yano in Yuri is My Job!, a manga that involves high schoolers working at a salon, where they roleplay as students at a prestigious all-girls school. While Mitsuki plays the kind senpai to Hime Shiraki, who's both a newcomer to the salon and Mitsuki's character's kohai, Mitsuki actually loathes Hime, as she's bitter over a past incident that ended their friendship. That said, she seems to get along at least reasonably well with her coworkers, even if she isn't exactly friends with them. It turns out to be a bit more complicated than originally thought since she thinks of "Mitsuki Ayanokouji" as her "kindre self," and hopes to become that person.
  • Dragon Ball Super: On-screen, Barry Khan regularly plays the role of the Hero. The real Barry Khan is a complete Jerkass and Spoiled Brat who does such things as risk the life of his stunt double just to make a scene look cooler and wishes harm to others because they snub him.
  • The final three episodes of Blood-C took the trope to downright depraved levels. The lead's "friends" were all actors hired by the Big Bad for the purpose of an experiment to see if a latent hunger for humans would be jolted awake. Most of the actors turn out to be pretty despicable people, especially the cute twins.
  • The Two Sides of Seiyuu Radio stars two voice actresses who take part in a radio show together, but while they act like best friends on the show, they can't stand each other in real life. The series focuses on their real-life relationship, and how it gradually changes over time.
  • My Favorite Idol Became My Little Sister is about Ichika, who is a fan of the underground Idol Singer Kanon. Ichika is thrilled when her new stepsister Akane turns out to be Kanon but is horrified when Akane reveals that the "Kanon" persona was a facade and that she's Only in It for the Money.

    Comic Books 
  • British girls' comic Mandy ran a strip in which a TV actress famous for playing a loving mother in a soap opera is in fact horrible to her stepdaughter behind closed doors.
  • In Fables (fairytale characters living in the real world), the Big Bad cast includes Geppetto, Goldilocks, Hansel, and two of the Three Little Pigs.
  • An issue of Simpsons Comics had what was effectively a Recycled Plot from the "Alaska Nebraska" example from the parent show (as detailed in the "Western Animation" folder), only with a Dragged into Drag Bart Simpson in the role of "Tori Missouri", rather strangely making him/her a Captain Ersatz of a Captain Ersatz of a Captain Ersatz.
  • Frank and Leslie Dean from Runaways appear to be the typical left-leaning acting couple, whose daughter remarks them to be "the only happy couple in California". In reality, they're Human Aliens and members of a supervillain team known as the Pride that regularly engages in Human Sacrifice. While the Pride do this so their children will be safe after The End of the World as We Know It, the Deans are initially unwilling to give up their safety in return, or even have children. They even plot to betray the other members of the Pride so they'll be assured salvation with their daughter and another Pride family, thereby dooming the other children.
  • A staple of The Boys, where "superheroes" are about as fake as professional wrestlers, and therefore noble champions of good and justice turn sour very quickly when the camera isn't on them.
    • A particularly cruel one is Swingwing, who depicts himself as a progressively-minded hero who supports gay rights, but is actually deeply homophobic and does it solely because the company wants an LGBT Fanbase.
    • Poor Starlight gets repeatedly hit with this, first when Homelander, A-Train and Black Noir force her to blow them if she wants to stay on the team, gets blown off by her idol Queen Maeve (who's still in a Heroic BSoD from failing to stop the 9/11 attacks), and in a flashback, it turns out her boyfriend was cheating on her with a fellow member of the Capes For Christ group.
    • Professor Godolkin (the Professor X Expy) is a pedophile, and a lot of the supers' hedonism can be traced back to his abuse. He and his G-Men get taken out by Vought when his Underling with an F in PR tendencies outweigh his usefulness.
    • The Homelander started out as a genuinely nice person. Unfortunately, the super assigned to take him down in case of a Beware the Superman event so desperately wanted to fulfill his purpose that he started taking pictures of the Homelander (actually himself, since they're clones) committing atrocities like eating babies alive or raping Billy's wife. Homelander, unable to account for the pictures, fell into Then Let Me Be Evil very fast until Black Noir could finally be ordered to take him down.
  • Robin (1993): One of the actors to play Crocky—a costumed children's character à la Barney the Dinosaur—turns out to be a violent criminal who Robin has to track down.

    Fan Works 
  • Subverted in Toonatopia: The Animation Initiation. King SpongeBob seems like a tyrannical jerk instead of the fun-loving sponge he is in canon, but he's actually being manipulated by Plankton to act that way. This still doesn't stop Waffle and Gordon from assuming this when they are forcibly ejected from SpongeBob's castle.
    Waffle: He seemed a lot nicer on TV.
    Gordon: Aye.

    Films — Animated 
  • Darla Dimple, the villain of Cats Don't Dance. On-screen and to the general public, she's a sweet and adorable child actress who loves animals (and is an obvious parody of Shirley Temple), but the real Darla is an Enfante Terrible and self-centered prima donna who can't stand being upstaged, especially by animals.
  • In Robots, Bigweld Industries' gate guard Tim is a cheerful-sounding puppet-like robot on Bigweld's TV show, but in reality, he's a massive jerkass who repeatedly slams the gate in Rodney's face and calls him a "loser" and a "freak" for his passion for inventing and dream of working with Bigweld.
  • Stinky Pete the Prospector from Toy Story 2. He is actually based on the cheerful and loyal friend to Sheriff Woody in an old children's show called Woody's Roundup, but the toy version of him is a selfish, bitter old man who never had the chance to be played with and manipulates the stolen Woody into wanting to be part of toy store owner and thief Al's prized collection so he can be part of a display in a major toy museum in Tokyo. When Woody later objects to the idea, he seals him into Al's apartment and on the way to the airport threatens to rip Woody into pieces if he doesn't go along with his plan.
  • Ernesto de la Cruz in Coco. He acts nice and cheerful in his movies and performing for crowds, but in reality, he murdered Miguel’s great-great-grandfather Héctor and stole the credit for his music.
  • In Kangaroo Jack: G'Day U.S.A.!, "Outback Ollie", the star of a children's zoology show, is actually a Child Hater and a smuggler of exotic animals. Furthermore, he actually has a New York State accent.
  • Thunderbolt's sidekick Lil' Lightning from 101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure. Onstage and on TV he's portrayed as being tough and serious, but in real life, he's jealous of Thunderbolt stealing his spotlight.
  • Wreck-It Ralph:
    • The Nicelanders act like helpless and Innocent Bystanders during game-play. When the arcade is closed, they are completely disrespectful towards Ralph by rendering him homeless; all the while completely ignoring the fact that wrecking their building is his job. They don't even invite him to Fix-It Felix Jr.'s 30th-anniversary party, even though he's still technically their co-worker. Gene easily stands out as the worst of them due to being the most downright rude and disrespectful towards Ralph, which actually causes Ralph to leave the game due to the mistreatment he receives from them. They get better by the end of the film and realize he's important to the game.
    • The only real exception here is Felix. Felix at least treats Ralph with respect from the beginning. However, he initially gets taken advantage of by the Nicelanders into ostracizing Ralph, which is why he's so hesitant in helping him (combined with simply not realizing Ralph's poor conditions).
    • Pretty much everyone in Sugar Rush save for Vanellope. Sugar Rush is a candy go-kart racing game starring adorable little children and their benevolent king. But when the arcade closes, they're all prejudiced jerkasses who treat outsiders like garbage and bully Vanellope for being a "glitch". Ralph even calls the game a "candy-coated heart of darkness". However, it later turns out that the reason they were behaving this way is because their memories and personalities were being manipulated by the villain in order to fulfill his own selfish needs.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Baby Herman of Who Framed Roger Rabbit. When the cameras stop rolling, he turns from a cute baby to a foul-mouthed, cigar-smoking, womanizing Jerkass. We later learn he is actually a Jerk with a Heart of Gold when he offers to hire Eddie Valiant to clear Roger's name, explaining that he and Roger are actually close friends. In all fairness, he is stricken with a "fifty-year-old lust and a three-year-old dinky."
  • Death to Smoochy focused on the sordid private lives of children's TV performers. Most of the drama comes from most of the characters trying to prove that Smoochy is just as bad as the rest.
  • Neil Patrick Harris portrayed himself in the Harold & Kumar movies as an insane lunatic with an insatiable appetite for drugs and hookers when off-screen. To be fair, he is a much more reasonable person when the drugs wear off.
  • Honey Whitlock from Cecil B. Demented. She has a charming public persona, but in real life is a crass, foul-mouthed diva. That is, at least, until she is kidnapped.
  • America's Sweethearts was built around this trope. Gwen and Eddie always played sweethearts in the movies (see the film's title). In real life, Gwen left Eddie for another man, treated her sister/assistant like garbage, and was a general bitch to most people she met.
  • My Name is Bruce, where Bruce Campbell plays himself as this type of actor, mostly being compared to Ash.
  • Pee-wee's Big Adventure: Kevin Morton (played by Jason Hervey of The Wonder Years) is a child actor playing an orphan whom all of the nuns and fellow orphans love dearly. In between saccharine takes of the film, Morton screams at production staff ("Doesn't it look like I'm ready? I am ALWAYS ready! I have BEEN ready since first call! I AM READY! Roll!") while his costar threatens the director to quit over that little brat's behavior.
  • Lina Lamont in Singin' in the Rain. She plays all sorts of glamorous princesses and whatnot (in silent films), but when she actually opens her mouth, you find out she sounds awful and has the personality to match.
    • She could be considered a Jerkass Woobie if you remember that she's been treated condescendingly by the studio for years, forbidden to even speak in public because of her screechy voice. It's also pretty clear that she doesn't think she has such a hideous voice. In the end, it's her treatment of Kathy Seldon and her attempt at destroying her career by forcing Kathy into a contract as Lina's dubbed voice both on screen and off that ultimately cements her as the Bitch in Sheep's Clothing and the film's antagonist.
  • Andy Griffith carries this off beautifully in 1957's A Face in the Crowd where he comes off as a folksy home-spun philosopher who somehow becomes a media success. Of course his downfall comes when his disillusioned girlfriend deliberately broadcasts what he really thinks of his audience during the closing credits of his TV program.
  • Neville Sinclair in The Rocketeer, an Errol Flynn-style '30s action hero actor who turns out to be a jerkass primadonna who "accidentally" stabs one of his costars for upstaging him. Even worse, he turns out to be a Nazi spy and kills multiple people (enemy and ally alike) in his quest to steal the jetpack for his Nazi superiors so they can take over the world. This is based on real-world accusations, but never confirmed, that Errol Flynn was himself a Nazi sympathizer.
  • In What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Jane was a cutesy Shirley Temple-esque child star who became a horrible spoiled brat offstage. Her career was ended when her fans witnessed her throwing a tantrum outside the theatre.
  • Tom Baxter in The Purple Rose of Cairo is charming and perfect while Gil Shepherd is an egotistical Jerkass.
  • Peter Sellers plays the primary Villain Protagonist of Your Past is Showing and is a variant on Hates the Job, Loves the Limelight/Depraved Kids' Show Host. The public knows him as a kind Fun Personified variety show host, but in reality, he's cold and cynical and has made money by investing in/being the landlord of slum housing.
  • In Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure, Amber Lee Adams at first seems like she's quite a nice person. However, as the movie goes on, it turns out that Amber is planning to have the 'best friend' written out of the show. In doing so, she hires Sharpay as (unknown to Sharpay) her maid by making her do Amber's dirty work so that she'll 'help' Sharpay's dog, Boi, get the role as the 'best friend' in the show. Of course, Amber's karma catches up with her when she is exposed as a jerkass onstage at dress rehearsal, and right in front of her own fan club, too!
  • Floop from Spy Kids though it's played with. His heart ultimately isn't in evil, and his softness allows his Dragon, Minion, to usurp him and become the Big Bad instead.
  • Sally Field's character in the soap opera parody Soapdish. On-screen, she's "America's Sweetheart" but off-screen, she's a conniving diva.
  • Mystery Men gives us Captain Amazing. Only his publicist ever sees the Bitch in Sheep's Clothing underneath The Cape.
  • In The Great Man, a journalist prepares a broadcast tribute to the late Herb Fuller, a radio comedian who had a reputation for being genuinely funny, warm-hearted, and empathetic to the common man. During World War II, Fuller even braved the battlefield to deliver plasma to a badly wounded soldier in order to promote a radio blood drive. However, while doing his research for the tribute, the journalist finds out that Fuller was actually a hard-drinking, abusive womanizer. As for that World War II broadcast, he staged it while staying in Paris, where he spent most of his time getting drunk and chasing women. According to Fuller's friend, he never even left Paris and actually had to be bailed out of jail there after being caught with a female black-marketer.
  • In The Killing of Sister George, the eponymous character on the Show Within a Show is a kindly, beloved nurse to the quaint rural community of Applehurst. The actress who plays her is an irascible, drunken lout who molests nuns and is sickeningly abusive to her girlfriend. Her bad behavior eventually catches up with her when the network decides to fire her and scripts her Applehurst character getting hit by a bus.
  • Galaxy Quest:
    • Alexander Dane barely hides his contempt for his role as Dr. Lazarus, as shown when he rudely yanks photos out of the hands of fans and begrudgingly signs them. Even when he actually finds himself in the presence of Quellek - the one Thermian who idolizes Lazarus instead of Taggart - Dane reacts with barely restrained annoyance and only warms up to the guy when he proves genuinely helpful. Becoming a hero alongside the rest of the cast and avenging Quellek's death gradually gives him a new outlook on his role, however...
    • Jason Nesmith; in the show's canon, Commander Taggart was a brave and compassionate Captain Kirk Expy, but behind the scenes, Nesmith was a smug, egotistical Manchild who constantly shoved his costars out of the the spotlight, gaining the hatred of every single member of the original cast as a result - including Dane. Even with his career in the toilet, he's still a narcissistic jackass by the start of the film and actually seems genuinely surprised when the rest of the cast blows up at him. It takes an overheard insult and an unexpected encounter with real aliens to get him to finally pull his head out of his ass.
  • The Truman Show: Just about all the actors playing Truman's family and friends are this. For all they act friendly towards him when the show is on, off-camera they are vain, uncaring, and Only in It for the Money. Most of them don't even really like Truman and tend to resent being made to spend too much time with him. The only exception is Truman's best friend Marlon, who is constantly getting drunk on-camera out of guilt over lying to Truman.

  • Just William
    • One of the stories featured William sneaking into a hotel so he could meet the actress playing "Princess Goldilocks" in the pantomime currently running at the local theatre. He discovers that she's grumpy, rude, and much older than she looks on stage.
    • In another story, the Outlaws meet Anthony Martin, a child star famous because of his mother's literary works about him (a parody of A. A. Milne's works about his son Christopher Robin.) Anthony is not the sweet, angelic child that his mother and the press portray him as; and the Outlaws finally get their own back when they manage to record him verbally abusing his nanny.
  • In High Society by Ben Elton, a drug-addled rock star who became famous via an American Idol-style reality show confesses to an affair with a fellow contestant, who had projected a cutesy family-friendly image on the show but was really a coke-snorting nymphomaniac off-screen.
  • Stranger Than Fanfiction: The cast of Wiz Kids are shown to be nothing like the characters they portray on the show. Topher and his friends take note that Cash Carter must be a magnificent actor if he's able to play the role of Dr. Bumfuzzle, given how much of a Jerkass Cash is.
  • A Sweet Valley Twins book, The Curse of the Ruby Necklace, where the twins are cast as extras in a movie. They meet the lead actress, who is a complete bitch but also an amazing actress who can turn on the sweetness in nothing flat.
  • In the Thursday Next universe, there's something really wrong with David Copperfield: he actually killed his first wife.
  • Animorphs:
    • Jeremy Jason McCole in "The Reaction". The girls were fangirling all over the place for him and then they found out he was a jerk for real and a voluntary Yeerk host.
    • One book has a New-Age Retro Hippie-type recruiting for the Sharing. He (or rather his Yeerk) is nearly batshit insane at being forced into the role of All-Loving Hero. The team exploits this by morphing a Small, Annoying Creature (a Mister Muffykins poodle belonging to Marco's stepmother) that attacks the guru in public where he can't fight back until he finally snaps on camera.
  • In the Wildlife trilogy by Todd Strasser, Oscar Roginoff gets worse and worse with each new book. As the keyboardist (who also composed all of their music) for the Coming Attractions, he has an amazing knack for connecting with the crowd. But the audience never sees his behind-the-scenes prima-donna antics — at least until the titular book, when the band appears on an MTV segment following the last show of their final tour. Then it all goes downhill — at least for him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will ends up in a fistfight with a Barney-esque mascot when the actor inside assaults him, and is subsequently called out on it since no one knows the actor was a jerk and attacked Will first.
  • Wayne Brady's infamous sketch on Chappelle's Show had him making fun of himself and his likable, good-natured reputation as a complete mask for his true self: a violent, murderous pimp.
  • Hannah Montana
    • Pancake Buffalo. His puppeteer may have him act sweet and kind on TV, but she is schizophrenic to the bone.
    • A more recurring example is Mikayla, who acts as a sweet and innocent little girl in her performances but is really a conniving, jealous bitch.
  • One episode of The Goodies had a game show host who was all charm and warmth on screen, but the moment the cameras were turned off he became a total bastard.
  • Pierre Chang of Lost seems to act like this, as he's quick to anger whenever something interrupts one of his recording sessions for another DHARMA initiation video.
    • By the end of season 5, it's clear that Pierre isn't a bad guy at all, really.
  • An episode of Family Matters has Carl arrest an actor who plays a genial sitcom dad for assaulting him.
  • iCarly:
    • Done with Wade Collins. Turns out that he made up that whole 'my mother needs surgery' thing to gain sympathy from the audience. He's really an insensitive, nasty hobknocker. And a bigot.
    • As seen in "iBloop", Miranda Cosgrove is really nothing like her character, Carly Shay, who is a nice girl; she's a hardass boss, at least toward Jerry Trainor, who plays her brother/guardian Spencer.
    • Amber Tate from "iCarly saves TV".
  • The Victorious episode "Beck's Big Break" has Melinda Murray, whom Tori was a fan of before she met her and discovered what a major Alpha Bitch she was. When Beck was hired for a bit part in a movie that Melinda was the star in, Tori corrected her on a line and Melinda unjustly had Beck fired simply because he was Tori's friend. When Tori attempted to reason with her later, Melinda just kept on being rude and ended up getting shot through the hand with a crossbow bolt when she unintentionally shouted a cue for a stagehand to do so, resulting in her role in the movie being recast. Cue And There Was Much Rejoicing because everyone on set hated her, with everyone praising Tori for it.
  • Debbie in Psychoville may count towards this: a pantomime actress playing Snow White who, offstage, is a self-confessed porn addict and mean enough to trick a fellow cast member into posing nude in front of the rest of the cast by pretending she wanted to act out a sexual fantasy with him.
  • Aaron Echolls in Veronica Mars is an actor playing action heroes and family men. In reality, he's an abusive parent (though in his defense, his own father was way worse than he was and made him into the man he became), philandering husband, and he murdered Lilly Kane.
  • The Boy Meets World Show Within the Show "Kid Gets Acquainted with the Universe." Its lead actor is shown to be abusive to a fellow actor who plays the antagonist.
  • There was an episode of Special Unit 2 where they were investigating a Barney Expy and his TV Show. The Barney expy was great with kids and very nice but turned out to be a brainwashing demon that fed on fear. It ended similarly to the Fresh Prince example above.
  • The Ghost and Mrs. Muir: The ghost of Captain Gregg views his living self in this manner (specifically a Dirty Coward) and sometimes demonstrates a low opinion of his Historical Hero Upgrade.
  • An episode of Gimme a Break!, Joey is a fan of a kids show host played by Paul Williams. Nell discovers that the guy is a total racist!
  • An episode of Drake & Josh had Josh act as a caretaker for a child star. While on-screen she's a sweet little girl, she's really a demanding brat in real life.
  • One episode of Growing Pains had Ben meeting a nice, clean-cut rock star he idolized. Said rock star later turned out to be a total two-faced jerk who was cheating on his wife.
  • Mio Kuroki in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon appears to be a sweet, bubbly idol. However, she's really a total witch (and a shadow of a psychotic sorceress). Usagi, ever naive, thinks Mio is her friend.
  • Father Ted had a parody of Irish singer Daniel O'Donnell. Like O'Donnell, Eoin McLove is a "Housewives' Favourite" who performs quietly pleasant acoustic songs. Unlike O'Donnell, he's actually a Psychopathic Manchild.
  • Cybill
    • In one episode, Cybill's car gets towed away when she parked in Betty White's parking place. Reason: "In real life, Betty White actually isn't such a nice person."
    • The show used this trope quite a bit, especially towards child actors. Cybill herself doesn't get off too well either.
  • Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show was the charming, sweet, homebody host of The Happy Homemaker. Almost immediately after the cameras stopped rolling, she showed herself as a nymphomaniac and something of a bitch. But she loved the role and never treated it like a joke.
  • Extras revolved around this trope, with virtually every well-known actor being portrayed, behind the scenes, as either racist, deluded, self-obsessed, drug-addicted, or sex-crazed.
  • The premise of Life's Too Short, where Warwick Davis plays a fictionalised version of himself who pretends to be nice but is really an arrogant, manipulative jerk.
  • In Power Rangers: Dino Thunder Kira interned for "The Funky Fisherman", a kids' TV show host, who, off-camera, was demanding, pushy, and arrogant.
  • One episode of GARO: Makai Senki featured "Juran", a celebrity making his acting debut as the noble hero of a stage play. His fangirls are unaware that he is a rude, obnoxious jerk offstage. He is then devoured by a Horror and the role is taken over by its host, who charms the audiences while they have no idea that he is actually a soul-sucking demon and killed a fan who came to visit him backstage.
  • Synclaire has to deal with a star of this type during her TV job as a clown on Living Single.
  • DJ Sagara of Kamen Rider Gaim seems like a nice Large Ham on his show, but is secretly one of the villains who acts condescending to his boss and spreads propaganda. This gets played with later on when his attitude seems to depend on who he's talking to, such as being a lot nicer to the protagonist and even providing some help. In the end, Sagara is a subversion: he's actually the avatar of Helheim Forest, the Alien Kudzu currently attacking Earth, and therefore isn't allied with the villains at all. Helheim is essentially a "test" that travels the universe and sees if the races it encounters are worthy; it's a very strict test to be sure, but Sagara does everything he can to ensure that those tested have a fair chance at winning. He takes a particular shine to protagonist Kouta Kazuraba, giving the young man both his Mid-Season Upgrade and Super Mode, and at the end of the series when Kouta Takes a Third Option that spares the Earth, Sagara praises his cleverness and wishes him well before departing to find the next race to test.
  • Inside No. 9
    • "Last Gasp": A charity (an obvious parody of the Make-a-Wish Foundation) sends a famous pop star to visit a terminally ill child on her birthday. He seems genial and charming, and is kind to the dying girl, yet doesn't bother to remember her name. After he dies suddenly from an aneurysm while blowing up a balloon for her, his assistant reveals that the guy was actually horrible to work for: rude, demanding, and complained about being asked to visit a sick child.
    • "Seance Time" is based around Scaredy-Cam, a hidden camera prank show. Terry, the host, seems friendly on camera but is abusive towards the backstage staff and rude to the participants, as well as deliberately endangering their safety. One participant explicitly says that Terry seemed much nicer on TV than he is in real life.
    • "Hurry Up and Wait": Adrian Dunbar plays a version of himself who's known for his heroic TV roles but is selfish and vain off-screen. He remembers all his past roles by what hairstyle he had for them, and rewrites James's only scene for Adrian's benefit, leaving James as an extra with no lines.
  • One episode of The Beverly Hillbillies featured a wrestling match with such an actress playing a poor country girl against a brutish woman (who incidentally was a Mean Character, Nice Actor). Not knowing that the performance was staged, when Granny saw the country girl lose, she jumped in the ring and whooped her opponent.
  • In the TV movie based on Problem Child, Junior had his heart set on a lovely blonde girl named Tiffany. Toward the very end, when he was able to get next to her, she revealed herself to be a vain and uninterested (downplayed) jerkass. He fixed her good in the process and found a true friend in a homely girl in a witch costume.
  • Genial game show host Tom Kennedy played this version of himself on an episode of Hardcastle and McCormick.
  • Jessica Jones (2015): Trish Walker is introduced in the first episode of season 2 performing "It's Patsy" at a Metro General Hospital employee's kid's birthday party (as a favor to get the guy to pull up hospital files pertaining to Jessica's time at IGH). When she looks at the files and notices something shocking, she lets out a ghast "Holy shit!" in the presence of the kids. Then she quickly hightails it out of there:
    Husband: Patsy's kinda mean...
  • Garth Marenghi's Darkplace: Garth Marenghi and Dean Lister play the heroic characters Dr Rick Dagless M.D. and Thorton Reed in the eponymous Show Within a Show. However, the behind-the-scenes features make it clear that they're both extremely shady and creepy guys who imply that they're somehow involved in the death of their female costar.
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt does this with a puppet. Mr. Frumpus is a beloved children's TV star, but a creep behind the scenes, engaging in indecent exposure and quid pro quo sexual harassment behind the scenes (though not with children, thankfully).
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): "Take My Life... Please!" Billy Diamond is billed as "America's Hottest Comic" and has audiences going gaga over his acts (which really aren't his). But in his Ironic Hell, he faces an audience that forces him to tell about the real him: an abusive drunk who stole the shown act from a starving young comic with a baby on the way. Oh, and he refused to pay him for it.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "Showdown with Rance McGrew", whereas the fictional Marshal Rance McGrew is extremely courageous and never hesitates in the face of danger, the actor of the same name turns up late for work, snaps at the director and other members of the crew at every opportunity and demands that a stuntman be used for even the simplest scenes.
  • The Twilight Zone (2019) has Jordan Peele playing a meta version of himself in "Blurryman", where he is this. While the Narrator is mostly neutral, the "Jordan Peele" of the series is an unpleasant jerk.
  • Martin two-parter "Hollywood Swingin'" had Martin work with a former WZUP host, Varnell Hill, who is now wildly successful and obscenely rich. While his public persona is that of a humble Nice Guy, his real attitude is that of an egotistical joke-stealing hack.
  • The premise of the Dinosaurs episode "Georgie Must Die", featuring kid's show host Georgie the Hippo who is revealed to be a greedy megalomaniac who wants to brainwash children to get rich.
  • In Saved by the Bell: The College Years, Zack was thrilled about Mike's former teammate Johnny Walters, a popular and wealthy football player, attending the college's homecoming dance and the latter soon takes a shining to him. While Mike tried to warn him that he's not what he appears, Zack writes him off as jealous...only to learn that he was an egotistical lech who made a pass at Kelly then deserted her when she turned him down.
  • A California Dreams episode has Jake helping his idol, a washed-up singer-songwriter, writing a hit song to reclaim his past glory. It does, but he takes all the credit for Jake's song for himself. Then when the gang tried to get him to wise up to what he did, he refuses to believe them until he confronts the man at a press conference where he learns that he's done the same thing before and that Jake should just get over it.
  • In Somos tú y yo: Un nuevo día, there's Hendrick, who presents himself as the charismatic host of "The Hendrick Show", very famous and popular. Off work, he's a manipulative rich boy who treats his staff like trash and is not above using his connections to get what he wants, especially if it involves revenge for any perceived slight.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Live☆Twins, ersatzes of the V-Tuber concept, from Yu-Gi-Oh! are bright, vibrant and cheerful. The Evil★Twins, their real selves, are unrepentant criminals who exploit said personas.

    Video Games 
  • In a rare robot example, Five Nights at Freddy's features animatronics of beloved characters Freddy Fazbear, Bonnie, and Chica (and Foxy, who may or may not be intended as a foe to the other three). At night, all four have one thing on their minds - killing the security guard. However, the second game says that during the day the four new animatronics are just fine around children but stare aggressively at adults.
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City has radio host Amy from K-Chat who is happy to interview an actor known for his positive and uplifting role as a sitcom dad struggling to control an adopted, unruly child who claims to be an adult with a growth disorder. However, Amy who is a big fan of the show, is shocked to discover that the actor is a rude, self-centered douch who doesn't even like his sitcom role and is on K-Chat to promote his new career in theater acting.
  • Gerry Romero in Mega Man Star Force 2 is a total jerk most of the time, but when the cameras are rolling he's just the nicest guy ever...until he has the footage, at which point he disappears as quickly as possible.
  • Kenshi and the protagonist in Love Letter from Thief X are fans of actress Nahomi Sahara. They are both dismayed to learn that, in contrast to her nice-girl roles, the actress herself is a terrible person who used underhanded means to gain ownership of a priceless jeweled ring after its elderly owner died.
  • In Mass Effect 3, the Citadel DLC reveals that the hanar actor who plays Blasto is a major prima donna in real life, compared to the smooth action hero he plays on the silver screen. Not only does he refuse to share top-billing with Shepard or Javik - who've been conned into appearing in the film - but he's rude and dismissive towards both of them, despite the former being the hero responsible for most of the real events that "Blasto" is fictionally credited for. His rudeness is also rather jarring considering that one of the hanar's most famous hats is their unfailing politeness, especially towards Javik, since the hanar revere the Protheans as their Gods.
  • Zipper T. Bunny from Animal Crossing tries to act perky and full of catchphrases when working as the Bunny Day Rabbit, but it doesn't much conversation with him to learn he does not like his job; while he's rarely outright rude, he's usually curt and snappish when not on the job, and has little tolerance for player antics like talking to him repeatedly without doing anything. He's also weirdly defensive about the nature of the Goofy Suit he may or may not be wearing, flipping out if he thinks you're looking at his suit's zipper.
  • In Bug Fables, Mothiva on-stage is very friendly, approachable, and fairly polite. Out of stage, however, she is an arrogant, rude, and selfish Glory Hound who will be willing to attack anyone who would try to take the spotlight away from her.
  • OMORI: Sweetheart is a duchess and idol who portrays herself as a Rose-Haired Sweetie just looking for love in her movies and TV shows. Off camera, she is a tyrannical Royal Brat and narcissist who casually dumps her loving boyfriend- twice- because he's not perfect enough for her, and will throw people into her dungeon for whatever petty reason.
  • Postal 2 features Gary Coleman As Himself. In-game, he’s a total asshole who tells his fans to go away after he gives them his autograph, threatens to kick the Postal Dude’s ass if he sees him selling his autographed book on eBay, and then finally apparently has a warrant for his arrest, leading to a shootout with the police. Definitely a far cry from his portrayal as Arnold Jackson.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Matt Engarde, who plays the hero of justice the Nickel Samurai from Justice for All. Even before all his horrific actions in the last case of the second game, namely hiring an assassin to kill Juan Corrida and having Phoenix blackmailed into defending him, he dumped Celeste over no particular reason, then leaked his past relationship with her to her fiancé and his rival, Juan Corrida, causing Juan to break up with Celeste, who then committed suicide. Particularly ironic, since Will Powers, his mentor/predecessor, was the epitome of Badass Character, Nice Actor.
    • Juan Corrida, who plays the titular hero of Nickel Samurai's rival show Jammin' Ninja wasn't a saint either, having both rejected Celeste Impax and faked her suicide note due to a petty rivalry with Matt.
    • In Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth, both the Pink Badger and the Pink Princess, both apparently kind and heroic characters, end up being played by Wendy Oldbag, a foul-tempered old woman who only acts nice to people she has a crush on.
  • Iori in Scandal in the Spotlight is known as "Prince Iori" to his fans, thanks to his gentlemanly stage persona. His real personality, however, is blunt, sardonic, and cynical. The protagonist is more than a little boggled by the contrast, and when on his route he lets the mask slip in front of some fans who've assaulted the protagonist, it adds gasoline to a backlash that escalates far enough to potentially threaten his career.
  • Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony has every cast member (except the Token Evil Teammates and Keebo). Before the events, the group willingly and enthusiastically threw their identities away to participate in the killing game. Only three of these students were shown with their original personalities.
    • Shuichi Saihara is the main protagonist who's quite nice, albeit shy, and is the one who solved all the murders. However, his pre-mindwipe self personally asked to be made into an Ultimate Detective just because no Ultimate Detective in the series so far had killed anybody and he wanted to be the first. The audition tape shuts off just before he can describe what he wants his own execution to be like.
    • Kaede Akamatsu, the Decoy Protagonist who'd managed to unite the group and prevent any murders until Monokuma announced the time limit, had her openly profess her lack of faith in humanity and distrust in others in her audition video.
    • Kaito Momota. Throughout the game, he was seen as a Nice Guy and he acted like the fortification of the group. However, his previous personality was a huge Jerkass who wanted to kill everyone else and get famous.

  • Subverted in this xkcd strip, where Mr. Rogers is caught on tape while "fighting" (i.e. politely stating that he feels frustrated when they don't see eye to eye about something) with his wife. As it turns out, he really is that nice all the time.
  • Sebastian Beauregard Constantine III in YU+ME: dream , who played Jake, Fiona's best friend in the first half of the comic is rather stuck-up and, in Fiona's words, "such a douche."

    Web Original 
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd: In his TV commercials and video game, Pepsiman is a goofy, bumbling superhero who is constantly on the receiving end of slapstick comedy. When the cameras aren't rolling, however, he is a sadistic Humanoid Abomination who tortured the "TV-Game Guy" from the game's live-action cutscenes and ruined his life.
  • The Cry of Mann: Sam Weiner plays the kind and cheerful mailman on the show, but on Tanking Mann, he's an arrogant jackass, who tries to monopolize the show and manipulate others.
  • The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot:
  • A downplayed version; in Empires SMP Season 2, Gem LARPs as the pacifistic Princess of Dawn, but her regular persona on Season 9 of Hermitcraft is more than happy to decapitate her server-members for a severed head collection. That being said, this is survival Minecraft, and all the Hermits are friends with each other, though, so Death Is Cheap and consensual.
  • Little Witch and Jack O'Lantern: The titular Jack O'Lantern is the Big Good of the show and Melanie's father figure who always teaches her and the kids good lessons. He is definitely a Dark Is Not Evil type character- despite his intimidating appearance, he loves and cares for Melanie and is a Friend to All Children. His actor, Timothy Clay, is a Serial Killer who uses his character as his persona, is indicated to have abused Melanie's various actresses, and stalks the kid protagonist Logan.
  • In an alternate universe version of Survival of the Fittest, with the premise that it really was just a TV show, the actor portraying Adam Dodd, arguably The Hero (Anti-Hero, at least) is depicted out of character as arrogant, selfish, womanising jackass — starkly contrasting with the character himself.

    Western Animation 
  • In Barbie in A Christmas Carol, Eden acts nice and cheerful on stage, and as soon as the curtain closes, she throws some flowers and declares she hates Christmas.
  • Baby Doll teeter-totters between this and Mean Character, Nice Actor in Batman: The Animated Series — unlike most actors, whose excuses were drugs and scandals, she was a very sympathetic character. In her debut episode, Batman claims that Mary Louise Dahl (which is Baby-Doll's real name) suffers from an extremely rare medical condition called "severe systematic hypoplasia" (basically a form of dwarfism), which caused her body to stop physically aging — in Mary's case, she stopped growing past the age of 5, so even by the time of the events of her debut episode (where she'd be around 30-years-old), she still had the looks and body of a little kid.
    • Despite being a talented actress, Mary couldn't move on because no one could look past her looks and became a White-Dwarf Starlet. She starts the plot in kidnapping everyone because the show was the only time she was happy. Her psychological troubles are really seen when she is switching between her adult self and the persona she had on the show. However, some things she does tend to cause sympathy levels to teeter-totter. One of her co-stars that she kidnapped mentioned she was difficult to work with on the set, always making extreme demands and throwing tantrums if she didn't get her way. However, this may have been foreshadowing of what would happen to Mary. After all, she looked like and had the body of a child and acted like one in her star role for most of her life. Ergo, whenever she sunk into tantrums and demands... she acted like an actual child would and probably had stunted development along with her psychological problems or at least made her very prone to mental regression.
  • Played With in Bojack Horseman, Bojack's character in the Show Within a Show "Horsin' Around" is a bumbling father figure who means well for his children. Initially, when starting out, he was a Humble Hero and a pretty nice guy though with some problems. At the present, he is a bitter alcoholic with a lot of serious issues that were his old problems but amplified as a result of age and cynical experience. Furthermore, he tries to become a better person, but it does not come easy to him due to psychological issues and substance abuse.
  • Boy Girl Dog Cat Mouse Cheese: In "Monster Butt", Girl is excited to meet the actress who plays her favorite TV superhero, Captain Calisto, but realizes she's a jerk when she hears the actress insulting Boy.
  • On an episode of Cyberchase, Digit gets to be on his favorite show the Fearless Chef, a cross between Iron Chef and The Amazing Race. The host of the show, the fearless chef, is kidnapped by Hacker. When Jackie and Inez go to rescue him they realize that the so-called Fearless Chef is really a complete coward.
  • In the DuckTales (1987) episode "Where No Duck Has Gone Before", Huey, Dewey, and Louie idol worship Captain Courage, hero of the TV show "Courage of the Cosmos". Uncle Scrooge owns the show and has Gyro redo it to make it more realistic. The boys go on the show and are blind to the fact that their hero is just a vain, egotistical actor. They also don't realize that Gyro made their set an actual spaceship and it launches into outer space. When they realize where they are and real aliens have captured them, Courage panics, and the boys see what a coward he really is ("real heroes just do their jobs!"). He not only panics, Courage abandons and strands a bunch of kids in space just to save his own hide.
  • DuckTales (2017) has its own jerk actor in the form of Jim Starling, who played the titular character in the Show Within a Show version of Darkwing Duck. He was idolized by Launchpad and Drake Mallard, who was to take over for him in an in-universe Darkwing Duck reboot. It turned out Jim Starling is a narcissist who only cares about reclaiming his former glory, even if it means violently attacking some security guards, the director, and the replacement who looked up to him so much. Launchpad tried his hardest to remind Jim of what his character represents while Drake Mallard tried to say how Launchpad is Jim's biggest fan and only wants what's right, but Jim Starling's Never My Fault attitude not only gave him an overwhelming hatred for the new Darkwing Duck but he went insane and became this universe's version of Negaduck.
  • The Family Guy episode "Road to Europe" involved Stewie's desire to move to Britain so he could live with the angelic Mother Maggie, the host of his favourite show "Jolly Farm Revue". But once he arrives at the BBC studio, he discovers that Jolly Farm is only a set and Mother Maggie herself is a foul-mouthed fishwife who hates children.
  • Twinkles Sunshine, the child actress in The Hair Bear Bunch episode "Whatever Happened To Goldilocks And The Three Bears?", is built up in the press as "ever-lovable". Tell her co-stars that — she's an absolute bitchy prima donna.
  • Subverted in the Hey Arnold! episode "Eugene Goes Bad". Eugene is obsessed with TV superhero The Abdicator, but things go sour when he visits the set and sees the actor acting like a spoiled diva ("Where is mah ahpreecot joose?"). After calling the guy out, Eugene decides there's no reason to be good anymore and starts to misbehave. Meanwhile, Maurice, the actor, has his own personal crisis as he can't stop feeling guilty about the incident and letting his fans down. Eventually, he helps snap Eugene out of his rebellious phase.
  • The Jem episode "One Jem Too Many" has the Misfits and Eric Raymond conspiring with Clash to have the latter disguise as Jem and portray her as being a rude, tantrum-throwing diva in the hopes of derailing her career. It was working rather well until she appeared at a big make-or-break concert to yell at and belittle the audience and was ultimately caught when it was discovered that unlike the real Jem, she couldn't carry a tune.
  • Kappa Mikey: In the Show Within a Show Lilymu!, female lead Lily is to act as a warm, caring, Implied Love Interest to our titular Mikey. When the cameras stop rolling, she goes back to being her Jerkass Attention Whore who hates the main character for stealing her thunder as Japan's most famous anime star. By the same token, Mikey Simon plays the heroic and totally competent Kappa Mikey but is in fact a totally well-meaning but inept Cloud Cuckoolander whose inability to effectively meld into Japanese society drives most of the show's plot.
  • The Littles featured a variation of this in the Very Special Episode "A Little Drunk", but the movie star Kurt Corwin would only be like this because he is an alcoholic.
  • The Mask has a Barney knockoff, Barnaby the Dinosaur, whose portrayer is local mobster Lonnie the Shark.
  • Subverted in the Pound Puppies (1980s) episode "Ghost Hounders" as, when seemingly haunted incidents plague the pound, Whopper calls his idol, TV star Biff Barker, for help. One look at the "ghosts" and Barker runs off with Whopper crushed. However, when Barker finds out the "hauntings" are all a scam to trick the Puppies into being captured, he becomes a true hero to rescue them.
  • The Proud Family: The episode "Hooray for Iesha" features Sunny Stevens, who portrays the lead in the in-universe sitcom Iesha which was cancelled but renewed after Penny protests, earning her a guest role on the show. Sunny is rude and insulting to Penny and her friends, but she is later revealed to be a Jerk with a Heart of Gold when she cries to Penny about how she's tired of the stress of being a TV star and wants to be a normal kid. Penny convinces her to quit the show and she does.
  • Rocket Power also did this in the episode "The Wrath of Don." Otto Rocket idolizes the 12-year-old skateboarding "Skate Wars" movie star, Donnie Lightning. Donnie appears to be an excellent skater on screen and rather friendly, but once they come to film a "Skate Wars" movie in Ocean Shores, Otto is dismayed to learn that Donnie is a major jerk who doesn't even do his own stunts.
  • Rugrats:
    • One episode featured a children's show hostess who absolutely hated her target audience. Angelica overheard her swearing, which led to Angelica repeating it on the show and getting the hostess fired.note 
    • Another episode features an Ice Show focused on Reptar (the main cast's iconic hero), with the guy portraying Reptar stating to his boss:
      Leo: [...] I don't know why I took this job. I can't skate. I don't like kids. And if you want to know the actual fact, lizards give me the creeps. And that goes for your amphibians, too.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Krusty Gets Kancelled", Gabbo says that his audience are "all SOBs." Made more amusing since he's a puppet and the ventriloquist operating him repeatedly begs him to stop, apparently having become Lost in Character (else Gabbo is himself a very dark case of the trope). The incident was based on an Urban Legend wherein some certain host of some certain children's show is supposed to have said something running along the lines of "That ought to hold the little bastards for another week" without realizing that the camera was still rolling.
    • Krusty himself is often this, often going from goofy and energetic to grouchy, selfish, and cynical as soon as the camera stops rolling.
    • Sideshow Bob, in his debut episode "Krusty Gets Busted", starts off as a silent stooge to Krusty, then once he takes over the show he is a beautifully eloquent and gracious host who actually wants to produce educational programming for children (though his ultra-highbrow style is less child-friendly than Krusty's slapstick). But of course Bart and Lisa uncover his framing of Krusty and reveal his true colors live on air. In all his subsequent appearances he has become a murderous criminal mastermind.
    • In "Waverly Hills 0921D'oh", Lisa's onetime idol Alaska Nebraska, a parody of Hannah Montana (and possibly Miley Cyrus) voiced by Elliot Page. A wholesome teen idol on television and in her music, Alaska Nebraska is dismissive and vain when Lisa finally gets to meet her.
  • South Park: Mickey Mouse is a Corrupt Corporate Executive nothing like the Nice Guy he's portrayed as in his cartoons. Also, he's a giant fire-breathing Kaiju from Valhalla.
  • Arnold Hugh from Stage Fright. He is the beloved star of a series of silent films, but off the camera, he blackmails and abuses his costars.
  • One episode of Sushi Pack featured Sugar Jimmy, the host of a Romper Room-like kids' show. On-screen he was a sugary sweet nine-year-old, but off he threw tantrums about everything, hated the chocolate bar he was hocking, and happened to be 22.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Chris Bradford is a martial arts superstar with a slew of movies and a cartoon series where he plays the hero. In real life, however, he's one of the Shredder's star pupils and serves him loyally.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures:
    • "Who Bopped Bugs Bunny?" has Stanley the Elephant, a parody of the Terrytoons character Sidney the Elephant. On stage, he was a clumsy, happy-go-lucky ditz who had to deal with coconut-throwing chimpanzees. Off-stage, he was a grumpy Prima Donna Director who turns out to have never gotten over Bugs Bunny's "Knighty Knight Bugs" beating him at the Schloscars and is the real culprit behind Bugs' kidnapping.
    • Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation had a Johnny Depp parody (Johnny Pew the skunk) who turned out to be much less friendly than his screen presence would suggest, although we never saw the films where he starred as a super charming guy that made him swoon-able. The best we could surmise was the in-show movie, "Skunknophobia", but the sole skunk there (the only possible role Johnny could fill in)... was a rabid, menacing skunk.
    • Parodied in the episode "Buster and Babs Go Hawaiian", which showed Hamton, of all people, as an absolute prima donna who is livid that Buster and Babs robbed him of his cartoon earlier in the episode where he played the lead role as an Action Hero, feeling it was the best role he ever had (which makes sense when you consider his Butt-Monkey status). On the opposite side of the spectrum, Plucky Duck, the one who abuses Hamton in cartoons and is an absolute jerk, was a Mean Character, Nice Actor.
  • Transformers: Rescue Bots features Maven Danger, a Captain Ersatz of James Bond. When Murray Dorfhauser (who responds to "Maven" in an attempt to stay in character) shows up in Griffin Rock, he proves to be a jerk.
  • Nom Nom from We Bare Bears is an adorable little koala who stars in cutesy viral videos. But off the camera, he's a snooty egomaniac who looks down on his fans. He's also not above trying to manipulate Grizzly, Panda, and Ice Bear in his schemes to stay in the spotlight. A few episodes do hint that Nom Nom has a Hidden Heart of Gold, like "Nom Nom's Entourage" and "Anger Management".
  • In World of Winx we have Ace, a genial host on camera, but off-camera, he's a short-tempered prima donna.