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Public Hater, Private Fan

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A character spends a significant amount of time telling another character that their favorite in-universe fictional franchise is completely idiotic and cites examples. At no point does it ever occur to wonder how exactly the detractor is so well informed.

Then they make a verbal gaffe, making a reference only a fan would know, revealing that despite professing to hate the franchise, they were a fan all along. Usually followed by a lame attempt to pass off their knowledge as casual interest. Of course, nobody believes them.

Compare the Obsessed Hater subset of Hate Dumb, which may sound a lot like this. Contrast Closet Geek where the fan simply hides their interest as opposed to pretending to hate the franchise. Also compare I Do Not Like Green Eggs and Ham, where someone assumes they'll hate something they've never experienced, only to love it once they actually try it.

In-Universe Examples Only

Anime & Manga
  • Diana from Little Witch Academia (2017) publicly derides the witch Shiny Chariot to hide that she was a massive fan as a kid, and still secretly looks up to her to this day.


  • In Eromanga Sensei, Masamune Izumi is a light novel writer with problems to get success with his novels, when he knows Elf Yamada, a more successful and famous light novelist who rivals Masamune and even he hates in some moments. After passing some time writing together, Masamune admits he's a fan of Elf's novels and even they were an inspiration to be a light novelist like her.

Live-Action TV

  • Coop & Cami Ask the World: Charlotte insists Cami should invest her time more productively than watching some trashy reality tv dating show, then mentions that the two-timing love cheater Mitchell is such a jerk, followed by her claiming that she caught a few episodes in passing. When she does a perfect imitation of one of the contestants later in the episode, she is forced to admit she watches every episode.
  • Hunter Street: Sal spends all episode saying how unrealistic McMacho is and challenges Max to prove it by having each of them construct two traps to find out which one is superior. When Max quotes a line from a McMacho episode after his trap is effective, Sal instantly cites the episode name and number that the quote originated from. Then he tries to claim he only watched a few episodes.
  • Jessie: Emma and Ravi receive advance copies of a much-desired novel. When Luke learns they are fans, he relentlessly mocks them until they mention a plot development that he doesn't approve of, followed by instantly checking the book to verify it for himself. Revealing he is also a fan.
  • Liv and Maddie: Parker's friends relentlessly mock him for watching a girly comedy show, but while doing so, they use an obscure catchphrase that only a fan would be aware of. This immediately gives him the realisation that his friends also watch the show.
  • On Brooklyn Nine-Nine Captain Holt ridicules Gina for playing a phone game called Kwazy Kupcakes only to become secretly addicted to the game himself.


  • Played with in Unwinder's Tall Comics: "One of these characters is a brony". Unwinder talks about how he doesn't understand the My Little Pony periphery fandom at all, and his friend Barbecue Sauce agrees with everything he says. But Sauce has MLP dolls in his room, which starts playing with as soon as Unwinder leaves... And then it's All Just a Dream. In the waking world, Unwinder is a very outspoken MLP fan, while Barbecue sauce doesn't like it at all.
  • In the Skin Horse storyline "My House is Me", Nick hates the Whimsy Princess franchise with a passion. And he has a whole load of Whimsy Princess media on his hard drive, so he can hate it more conveniently. He ends up becoming a Whimsy Princess, protesting (too much) the whole way. (There was going to be a scene where he's pressured into admitting he doesn't hate Whimsy, but Shaenon and Jeff decided it was clear enough what was going on, without spelling it out.)

Western Animation

  • Arthur: In the episode "That's a Baby Show!", Arthur gets addicted to The Love Ducks, a surreal cartoon that most people his age dismiss as a "baby show". He secretly pretends to hate it while watching it instead of the much more mature Batman Parody cartoon Dark Bunny. At the end of the episode, Francine turns out to have also been a fan all along (despite leading the mockery when Arthur was caught watching it).
  • Beast Wars: For all of Dinobot's bluster about Predacon virtues, he actually holds a great deal of respect for the Maximals. Largely due to Dinobot being an honorable warrior, while the remaining Predacons are not so honorable. Which the Maximals are.
  • Fairly OddParents: Trixie reveals she secretly loves comic book superheroes... but publicly claims they're childish and un-girly.
  • Gravity Falls: Dipper denies being a fan of musical group BABBA, at least until he learns that the Multi-bear has been rejected by the Manotaurs for being a fan of bubble-gum pop music.
  • Kuu Kuu Harajuku: Commander Bo-ring pretends to hate HJ-5 because of his job working for an evil General who hates all things fun, but secretly is one of their biggest fans. He even headlined for the band for two weeks under an assumed identity and when the girls found out who he really was, they let him keep performing.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: When Alya and Nino are discovered secretly playing a 2-player kiddy co-operative tablet game, Chloe laughs at them in front of all their classmates. Later in the episode, all their classmates state they play the game as well. Not to be left out, Sabrina then tells them that she and Chloe also play the game, much to Chloe's embarrassment.
  • 6teen: In "The Girls in the Band," Nikki says that she hates DawgToy, a boy band that Jen and Caitlin love. Near the end of the episode, her backpack rips open and a bunch of DawgToy merchandise falls out, revealing that she secretly loves the band just as much as Jen and Caitlin.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: In "The Grasp of the Gnome", a man who says he hates pirates is shown to be dressing and acting like one when nobody's around.