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What makes Black Christmas such a joy to behold is that it answers every one of the most common complaints about slasher films, despite having been made at least six years before the vast majority of the movies eliciting those complaints were more than a twinkle in their creators’ eyes. We have cops here, to begin with, and not only do we have cops, but they’re competent cops for the most part. Screenwriter Roy Moore sends them off in exactly the wrong direction, of course, but he does so in a way that plays completely fair — longtime slasher fans will conclude very quickly that Peter Smythe is not the killer, but there’s every reason to believe that he may be evolving very swiftly into a killer, and Fuller and his fellow policemen are therefore right to be chasing after him. Moore has also devised a set of circumstances in which it is possible for the characters caught by the killer to disappear one by one without attracting undue attention. Everyone simply assumes that Claire Richardson has gone home until her father shows up to tell them otherwise. Mrs. MacHenry tells Jess and Barb that she will probably have left the sorority house to embark on her own holiday trip by the time they return from the police station, and because her plan was to hire a taxi to take her to the airport, there’s no cause for concern later when her car is around and she isn’t. Barb, for her part, is sleeping off an economy-sized drunk when the killer gets to her. The only victim whose disappearance couldn’t reasonably go unnoticed for at least a little while is the one whose unexplained absence finally alerts Jess to the full extent of her peril. Black Christmas even manages to employ what would become the slasher movie’s most obnoxious cliché — the killer who isn’t dead even though he certainly ought to be — in a way that is not only perfectly reasonable, but which actually improves the film as a whole! It possesses the most shockingly downbeat ending of any slasher movie I’ve seen, and it carries the convention of the red herring suspect further, with more upsetting results, than any film I know of in any genre. Simply put, Black Christmas is about as thoroughly unsafe as any slasher flick you’re ever going to find.
-Scott "El Santo" Ashlin of 1000 Misspent Hours on Black Christmas (1974)

As far as I know, it started with For All Time having people like Manson and Jim Jones as political figures, done after a longer, steady progression through steadily worse "conventional" figures. There, it was kind of the final result of how far everything had sunk, and it made more sense within the context of the story.
For the imitators, it's just cheap shock value, and isn't even remotely original anymore.
Colier of on the cliché of having notorious criminals become political figures in crapsack timelines

While at first glance it might look like most of YU-NO's characters are cliche, keep in mind that this is before the cliches were actually solidified. Because of that, they're actually their own characters who helped *shape* the cliche. If you design a character and call her 'tsundere', then that's all she ever is. But if you design a wholly-complete character who found her crush sleeping with a teacher, making her try to hate him and decides never to hold back on anything again, you have Mio.
A 4channer praising YU-NO's character writing