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In order to properly evaluate a Hate Sink candidate, the following questions must be answered.

    Click to Expand 

What is the work?

State the work and which medium it is a part of, as well as what the work is about.

Who is the character, and what do they do?

State who the character is, and what courses of action they take.

What makes them personally despicable?

State the specific reasons they are despicable, such as petty behaviour and personal villainy.

Evil Is Cool traits? Complexity? Freudian Excuse?

State whether or not the character has any traits which get in the way of them being despicable, and if so, whether said traits are de-emphasised in favour of their despicable behaviour.

Verdict?

State whether or not you believe the criteria are met.

In order for this trope to be in effect, the character in question must actually display detestable qualities, and be hated by other characters at least, or treated by the narrative like someone you are supposed to hate. The authorís declared intent cements an example, but is not needed if the narrative itself treats the character as someone who is supposed to be hated.

Haman the Agagite, for instance, displays qualities of ego, bigotry, and pettiness; additionally, there is a custom of jeering at his nameís mere mention. It goes without saying, according to this thread, that Haman was intended to be despised by the audience. Being a Draco in Leather Pants, like Draco Malfoy, or a character people Love to Hate, like Joffrey Baratheon, doesnít preclude being a Hate Sink; being a Complete Monster, like Haman, certainly doesn't preclude this trope either.

The main concern is whether the narrative treats the character as someone intended to be despised.

With regards to this trope, actions still generally speak louder than words. The format of editing which brings up characters who don't fit the bill, doesn't generally go into enough detail with regards to what makes these characters loathsome.

The entries for this trope should focus on who does qualify, not the characters who do not.

Admittedly, this trope is less complex, but, because a Hate Sink carries out loathsome actions the same way a Complete Monster carries out evil actions, and a Magnificent Bastard carries out clever actions, it is ostensibly necessary to write these entries with a similar structure, albeit usually with a shorter paragraph.

Edited by gjjones on May 28th 2019 at 5:46:22 AM

gjjones Musician/Composer from South Wales, New York
Musician/Composer
Jan 15th 2019 at 8:55:19 PM

In order to properly evaluate a Hate Sink candidate, the following questions must be answered.

    Click to Expand 

What is the work?

State the work and which medium it is a part of, as well as what the work is about.

Who is the character, and what do they do?

State who the character is, and what courses of action they take.

What makes them personally despicable?

State the specific reasons they are despicable, such as petty behaviour and personal villainy.

Evil Is Cool traits? Complexity? Freudian Excuse?

State whether or not the character has any traits which get in the way of them being despicable, and if so, whether said traits are de-emphasised in favour of their despicable behaviour.

Verdict?

State whether or not you believe the criteria are met.

In order for this trope to be in effect, the character in question must actually display detestable qualities, and be hated by other characters at least, or treated by the narrative like someone you are supposed to hate. The authorís declared intent cements an example, but is not needed if the narrative itself treats the character as someone who is supposed to be hated.

Haman the Agagite, for instance, displays qualities of ego, bigotry, and pettiness; additionally, there is a custom of jeering at his nameís mere mention. It goes without saying, according to this thread, that Haman was intended to be despised by the audience. Being a Draco in Leather Pants, like Draco Malfoy, or a character people Love to Hate, like Joffrey Baratheon, doesnít preclude being a Hate Sink; being a Complete Monster, like Haman, certainly doesn't preclude this trope either.

The main concern is whether the narrative treats the character as someone intended to be despised.

With regards to this trope, actions still generally speak louder than words. The format of editing which brings up characters who don't fit the bill, doesn't generally go into enough detail with regards to what makes these characters loathsome.

The entries for this trope should focus on who does qualify, not the characters who do not.

Admittedly, this trope is less complex, but, because a Hate Sink carries out loathsome actions the same way a Complete Monster carries out evil actions, and a Magnificent Bastard carries out clever actions, it is ostensibly necessary to write these entries with a similar structure, albeit usually with a shorter paragraph.

Edited by gjjones on May 28th 2019 at 5:46:22 AM

No matter who you are, always be yourself.
Jan 16th 2019 at 2:37:03 AM

HateSink.Anime And Manga:

  • Death Note: While Light Yagami possibly avoids this treatment by falling under the Rooting for the Empire and Evil Is Cool categories, the same cannot be said of these characters:
    • Light Yagami, especially near the end of the series. He's a narcissistic, pretentious Knight Templar that constantly gloats about his victories in the most unlikable way possible. It's no wonder a large portion of the audience cheered when he met his end.

This is arguing with itself. There was an order entry that justifies this (explaining he lost his cool, likable traits). Should I restore that entry.

I say delete examples that don't 1. explain that they avoid any fun or cool traits, or 2. it would be hard to root for/against characters otherwise. Thoughts?

Jan 16th 2019 at 5:28:38 AM

Light Yagami has way too many fans to count. Draco in Leather Pants? Maybe. Love to Hate? Definitely. Hate Sink? Nuh-uh.

Jan 16th 2019 at 7:44:50 AM

A Hate Sink is a character who's designed to be hated by the audience (though this doesn't always happen) whereas The Scrappy is a character whose hatred is unintentional. So why is Harold Wilson listed as The Scrappy? How can Hate Sink and The Scrappy overlap?

Silverblade2 Relationship Status: TV Tropes ruined my love life
Jan 16th 2019 at 11:53:23 AM

It can overlap if they're hated for different reasons than intended.

Alfrid from The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is a Hate Sink because he's intentionally written as unlikeable as possible but a lot of fans also hate him for being a Canon Foreigner and a Spotlight-Stealing Squad who ends up taking screentime from better characters.

PhiSat Planeswalker from Everywhere and Nowhere
Planeswalker
Jan 16th 2019 at 12:05:53 PM

Hate Sink: Writers write a character to be hated for X reason

The Scrappy: Fans hate a character for Y reason/s

Oissu!
WarJay77 The googly-eyed monstrosity from Upstate New York Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
The googly-eyed monstrosity
Jan 16th 2019 at 12:16:43 PM

I'm unsure why the criteria listed in the OP is necessary; the trope is just "X is designed to be hated by fans". Now sure I can get behind a cleanup because I'm sure there's misuse but I don't know why we need all the criteria; a Hate Sink depends on author intent first and foremost.

Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread
AnotherDuck No, the other one. from Stockholm Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
Jan 16th 2019 at 8:29:41 PM

Whether a character has many fans or not is completely irrelevant for Hate Sink. It's not an Audience Reaction. It does not depend on how the audience reacts. It depends entirely on what the purpose of the character is.

Any villain who's supposed to be rooted against and is not sympathetic is (most likely) a Hate Sink. However, I don't think there's any point in listing any clear villain on the trope. As I've said before, it's like listing The Protagonist on every single protagonist. It technically fits, but it's so common it's pointless to list.


Hate Sink and The Scrappy can overlap. We deal with those on occasion in the cleanup thread for The Scrappy. The short version is that if a Hate Sink character is hated for a different reason than the intended way, the character can fit The Scrappy as well. For that reason it requires more context to explain why the character fits The Scrappy despite being a Hate Sink (as opposed to just enough context to explain why the character fits The Scrappy).

An very similar trope relationship is X-Pac Heat as applied to a Heel. A heel is by definition a Hate Sink (it's a subtrope), and X-Pac Heat is where instead of the audience hating the character (the purpose of a Heel), the audience hates the performer (not intended).

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Shadao Surprised Satoshi
Surprised Satoshi
Jan 17th 2019 at 3:35:16 AM

The issue with Hate Sink is that it opens with this:

The guy everyone just loves to hate, seeing as that's the idea.

The paraphrase words, Love to Hate, is used in the context. That blurs the line between Hate Sink and Love to Hate. Not to mention that Hate Sink apparently allows any kind of villain and not just the Alpha Bitch type.

My impression of Hate Sink is that the writer clearly intended this character to be despised to either prevent a Draco in Leather Pants scenario or setting up a Catharsis Factor. That's why it's not listed among the tropes in the Audience Reaction list.

Love to Hate, in contrast, is listed the Audience Reaction list because YMMV on whether or not that villain deserves to enjoyed for the hatred.

Judge Claude Frollo is a great example of this problem. The character, by all accounts, hits way too close to real-life bigots and fanatics that it's clear that Disney deliberately wanted the character to be truly unlikeable, regardless of what the audience finds him to be. This is helped by the fact that Frollo lacks any of the common traits that make other Disney villains fun and endearing. He's an old frail man, a Knight Templar hypocrite, a sexual predator, has no superpowers, is not meant to be laughable, and is willingly to commit genocide in a manner of Does This Remind You of Anything?.

And yet, he's also considered to be a Love to Hate character among the fandom because they find these traits to be uniquely refreshing among Disney villains along with the fact he's voiced by Tony Jay and has an awesome Villain Song. And that itself is problematic because there are some people and fans who really do hate Frollo unironically, along with Dolores Umbridge and Joffrey Baratheon. Funny thing is that the latter two are also in the Love to Hate list.

Edited by Shadao on Jan 17th 2019 at 4:01:04 AM

Here's the Sink: Hate Sink Drafts | Hate Sink Dates | Hate Sink To Do Lists | Pending Write-Ups
WarJay77 The googly-eyed monstrosity from Upstate New York Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
The googly-eyed monstrosity
Jan 17th 2019 at 11:50:25 AM

Right, exactly. Hate Sink depends on the author writing a character to be hated by the audience. How the audience actually reacts to this character, in addition to other factors (such as the "criteria" listed above) isn't relevant to whether or not an author wrote a Hate Sink.

Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread
Jan 17th 2019 at 12:07:53 PM

Should we just drop this thread? Unlike Complete Monster, Magnificent Bastard, and The Woobie, Hate Sink isn't a YMMV trope.

WarJay77 The googly-eyed monstrosity from Upstate New York Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
The googly-eyed monstrosity
Jan 17th 2019 at 12:12:56 PM

I think there can be a cleanup because I'm sure there are misused examples but the criteria isn't at all necessary.

Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread
AnotherDuck No, the other one. from Stockholm Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
Jan 17th 2019 at 1:38:35 PM

[up][up]Not being YMMV is not a reason to not have a cleanup thread.

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Jan 17th 2019 at 1:53:06 PM

After reviewing Hate Sink, I've got three criteria, meeting just one is enough to count:

  • Word of God they wanted a stand-out unlikable character.
  • Explain they lack the likable, cool, fun, or outlandish traits expected from the series/genre.
  • Explain they exist to make others likable in comparison or we can't root against the source of the conflict otherwise (too impersonal, offscreen, sympathetic).

Thoughts on the following from HateSink.Dragonball (remember most characters are superpowered badasses which would make them hard to hate):

  • Tao Pai-Pai: lacks explanation for how they avoid Evil Is Cool or stand out (save a brief explanation that they're a mere human).
  • Shen: lacks explanation for how they avoid Evil Is Cool or stand out.
  • King Piccolo: lacks explanation for how they avoid Evil Is Cool or stand out.
  • Raditz: lacks explanation for how they avoid Evil Is Cool or stand out. But it notes "it's no wonder Goku never wanted to find out anything more about his Saiyan heritage or his birth parents if there was even the slightest chance they were as bad as Raditz" means there was reason to make him such.
  • Nappa: keep because they're to make Vegeta look cool in comparison. Could be reworked to reflect that.
  • Dodoria: notes to avoid Evil Is Cool, keep.
  • Frieza: keep only because Word of God that they went for this, too outlandish or cool otherwise.
  • Mr. Shu, Babidi, Van Zant, Smitty: keep because they're supposed to make others likable in comparison.
  • Zamasu and Goku Black: They have coolness, Villain Has a Point and in the anime some acknowledgment for their wrongdoing they rationalize as Nesseary . But as the page images, are there any criteria that would let them count? The Manga versions count for removing their coolness and few mitigating moments, should it be reworked to focus on them?
  • Barry Kahn: lacks explanation for how they avoid Evil Is Cool or stand out.
  • Quitela: stand out hatable compared to others Gods of Destruction, basis enough to keep.
  • Chilled: notes lack of Evil Is Cool, keep.

AnotherDuck No, the other one. from Stockholm Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
Jan 17th 2019 at 2:07:29 PM

I don't think Evil Is Cool is a good measurement, since it's subjective. And characters can be cool and hatable.

I think it's enough to describe why we're supposed to root against or hate the character, since that's what really matters. Or if Word of God said so.

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WarJay77 The googly-eyed monstrosity from Upstate New York Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
The googly-eyed monstrosity
Jan 17th 2019 at 2:09:49 PM

[up] I agree.

Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread
Jan 17th 2019 at 2:42:09 PM

[up][up] But then, we may as well list (almost) every villain in media as a Hate Sink.

WarJay77 The googly-eyed monstrosity from Upstate New York Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
The googly-eyed monstrosity
Jan 17th 2019 at 2:45:59 PM

Not every villain is necessarily made to be despised by the audience in the way a Hate Sink is. Plenty are but others are just made to be interesting and intimidating characters who need to be stopped. And, Hate Sink =/= villain, as they can just be antagonists.

Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread
Jan 17th 2019 at 2:51:04 PM

Well, back in the old days, people tended to associate Hate Sink with Complete Monster.

Shadao Surprised Satoshi
Surprised Satoshi
Jan 17th 2019 at 2:58:14 PM

I've been thinking about what qualifies a character to be a Hate Sink for quite some time. And I've come to the conclusion that a Hate Sink, by objective terms, has to be a character that emphasize on a negative personality. Specifically a personality that is supposed to invoke excessive obnoxious or cruelty. The emphasis on loathsomeness is why a character like Gilbert Huph is considered to be a Hate Sink despite not being a villain of sorts (unless you consider greedy CEO of a capitalistic company to be such).

Speaking of villains, since they are meant to be hated by default, I think we have to make it clear that they can only achieve Hate Sink if their personalities are emphasized (and highlighted) to be excessively negative and terrible, even by villain standards. Like it's not enough for the writer to make them just villains.

Emperor Palpatine, for example, doesn't qualify as a Hate Sink despite being a Complete Monster because the scenes he's featured in heavily emphasize on his chessmaster skills, manipulation, temptation, and charisma over his sadistic cruelty he harbors deep inside. Likewise, the Joker (when written properly as a balance of clown and killer) doesn't count as a Hate Sink because the stories emphasize on the Black Comedy and Camp aspects on his crimes to make us laugh rather than loathe. But a character like Ridley or Freddy Krueger are Hate Sinks because the stories that feature them emphasize on their cruelty, murders, sadism and torture on our protagonists, even if they have Evil Is Cool moments. Same thing with Lotso, where the production team doubled down on Lotso's evilness when they realized the original cut of the story gave too much sympathy to the Big Bad.

Emphasis from the story is the key for this trope. Entries of Hate Sink should explain why the work would emphasize the character's loathsomeness over their other characteristics. With that said, I wouldn't mind some kind of official litmus test for what qualifies as a Hate Sink if it must come to this.

P.S. In regards to Scar from The Lion King, I say he only qualifies as a Hate Sink after he becomes king since that is when he loses nearly all of his cunningness and charisma that earned him the throne and just devolved into a whiny child dooming Pride Rock to death out of his own stubbornness and pride.

Edited by Shadao on Jan 17th 2019 at 3:01:40 AM

Here's the Sink: Hate Sink Drafts | Hate Sink Dates | Hate Sink To Do Lists | Pending Write-Ups
Jan 17th 2019 at 4:57:44 PM

[up] [tup] That's a good definition, explaining how the narrative emphasizes their unlikable traits as opposed to fun or likable.

How's this for a litmus test?

  • Word of God admits the went for stand-out unlikable.
  • The conflict is morally gray enough it needs someone stand-out unlikable to root agains (Zamasu and Goku Black may fall under this since they have valid points that they're Hate Sink traits undermine).
  • There's reason it's hard or impossible to root against the cause of the conflict (Dolores Umbridge since the villains are not directly involved and only commit Offstage Villainy until the end).
  • There's other characters they're trying to make sympathetic in comparison.

Scar I agree only counts in the second part when he loses his cool/fun traits, but for the movie as a whole, does he count on average? How do we deal with examples that are HS at times but not others? (Ridley only counts in the Manga as his other portrayals are too badass and lacking in characterization)

Jan 17th 2019 at 5:19:38 PM

That Word of God line is a bit much. Has every work ever had Word of God at some point?

Jan 17th 2019 at 6:37:55 PM

Word of God isn't necessary, but if it's there it's a definite example. Other examples are valid if the explain how or why they avoid the likable or fun to watch traits you'd expect otherwise.

Shadao Surprised Satoshi
Surprised Satoshi
Jan 17th 2019 at 7:34:17 PM

A Hate Sink character should be self-explanatory by personality and action. Word of God is not necessary, but it does make it clear if a character is intended to be hated rather than be unintentional. Hate Sink is not The Scrappy if the intent is deliberate.

Really, I see Word of God to be more befitting for the trope page quotes and providing some contexts if the example is historical. For example, there's a quote from Harriet Beecher Stowe, writer of Uncle Tom's Cabin, that explains why she wrote Simon Legree as a Hate Sink (which is also the page quote for the Literature sub-page of Complete Monster):

"(Simon) Legree is introduced...for...bringing to the minds of honourable Southern men...a very important feature in the system of slavery...: that no Southern law requires any test of CHARACTER from the man to whom the absolute power of master is granted."
Harriet Beecher Stowe, A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin (can be found here)

[up][up][up]Now going on to your quote...

Scar I agree only counts in the second part when he loses his cool/fun traits, but for the movie as a whole, does he count on average? How do we deal with examples that are HS at times but not others? (Ridley only counts in the Manga as his other portrayals are too badass and lacking in characterization)

Scar, in my opinion, is a Hate Sink for the movie overall because the traits that made him into The Caligula were hinted in his first scene where he whines about how life's not fair to him. His cunning and charm were only he's dealing with the naive cub Simba and the lowly Hyenas in need of a strong leader. It's quite necessary for him to have it if he wants to gain the throne. But I will say the entry needs to emphasize on the fact Scar doesn't become a Hate Sink character until the second half of the story. As the Nostalgia Critic once said in his Top 11 Disney Villains: when Disney villains get their power, they are still interesting characters. But when Scar gets it, he stops being interesting and turns into a whiny Prima Donna while Pride Rock starves (which marks the full transition to Hate Sink).

As for Ridley, I say it can safely snuggle with the Metroid manga page without bringing it up on the main page. His Hate Sink entry is already on his character page with an emphasis that it's the manga that emphasize that aspect the most.

But for characters that are Hate Sink in some works but not in other works, this is a case of Depending on the Writer. If we have a DC comic where the Joker is downright cruel monster with no humor, we cannot deny that he was meant to be a Hate Sink even if the other comics don't portray him that way. As such, like with Ridley, emphasize on the specific work that makes the character a Hate Sink.

This may, however, complicate the Magnificent Bastard clean up effort if a comic character like Lex Luthor suddenly becomes a massive HS and we have to factor that into the account. But then again, Luthor in some of the Superman stories is a massive Smug Snake, yet that didn't detract from his overall character qualification to MB.

Edited by Shadao on Jan 17th 2019 at 7:36:09 AM

Here's the Sink: Hate Sink Drafts | Hate Sink Dates | Hate Sink To Do Lists | Pending Write-Ups
AnotherDuck No, the other one. from Stockholm Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
Jan 17th 2019 at 8:37:30 PM

I think most of you are talking about what's acceptable for an entry on the page, not what qualifies as an example at all. I think that's an important distinction.

If the main villain is also a Hate Sink, it's a normal villain. I don't think there's any point in listing those, since being a Hate Sink is the default purpose of a villain.

As for what's required context in the example, I think the most important question is one of three (mentioned before, but phrased my way)

  • Does the Hate Sink draw hate from another villain or antagonist, such as a sympathetic villain or Hero Antagonist?
  • Does the Hate Sink create a focal point for the audience to root against where there's otherwise none, such as in a disaster film?
  • Does Word of God say the character is meant as a Hate Sink?

Any of those makes for interesting context for what the trope is about, compared to just "classic villain". They highlight what the trope is about, rather than just pack it into a standard package with a bunch of other tropes.

But then, we may as well list (almost) every villain in media as a Hate Sink.
Read what I wrote before about that, or just above.

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