Misaimed Fandom/Western Animation

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Examples of Misaimed Fandom for characters in Western Animation include:

  • Reportedly, Cartman of South Park was designed under the idea that you couldn't have an Archie Bunker character on TV now... unless he was a ludicrous little kid cartoon character. Naturally, there's dispute over why Cartman is one of the most popular kids. Just to make matters worse, Stan and Kyle, the characters based on series creators Parker and Stone and supposedly the only normal sensible people in all of South Park, are often perceived as "whiny little bitches" by a fanbase that prefers racist anti-Semitic misogynist Cartman.
    • The latter part about Stan and Kyle is definitely misaimed, but Cartman's popularity is probably because he's NOT supposed to be agreed with, thus setting up a character whom one loves to hate, and are able to laugh at him and his over-the-top evil antics, so long as he gets thwarted in the end (which he usually does, with some exceptions.) Even Parker and Stone "like" Cartman because of this.
      • However, many people simply prefer Cartman because Cartman, being Cartman, cannot deliver an Author Tract (save for that rainforest episode....), while Stan and Kyle frequently become voices for the creators' opinions.
        • It was at least slightly more justified in earlier seasons, where Cartman was more just an arrogant Jerkass than a scheming villain and Stan and Kyle were merely toned down bullies than actual Straight Men (and in some cases just as provokative or bullying as Cartman, it's easy to mistake them as hypocritical douches with their treatment of Kenny, Pip or Butters for example). However this faded for the most part in later seasons where the two are far more sympathetic and Cartman is very Obviously Evil (Kyle has occasional Knight Templar treatment in his handling with Cartman, though one could argue whether it's justified or not for aforementioned reasons).
    • Also, the Goth Kids. They're meant to be a parody of teen and pre-teen Wangsting, but instead get used by fangirls as outlets for their own misery. Also, the two older guys are apparently gay for each other, though the show gives no indication of that. Trey and Matt seem to be aware of this, so naturally they exploited it for merchandising. (Apparently, Hot Topic has a sense of humor about itself.)
    • The two-part episode "Go God Go" gets misaimed Fandom in TWO directions, one being Atheist and the other being Creationists.
      • To say nothing of "Cartoon Wars"....
    • While we're on the subject of South Park, Towlie was created as a sort of Take That against the Vocal Minority of the fandom demanding more drug humor. They out and out say it in his first appearence:

Stan: You're the worst character ever, Towlie.
Towlie: I know.

    • But then Towlie quickly became popular, and his "wanna get high?" catchphrase went memetic.
    • "Kick A Ginger Day" was not something that should have been Defictionalized.
  • Similarly, Beavis and Butthead and King of the Hill are animated satires of certain subcultures (dimwitted rock and roll loving teenagers and suburban Texans) done by Mike Judge. Both of the groups they target vocally enjoyed the very show that mocked them, and it's hard to claim that all of them are getting the joke. As Patrick Stewart once aptly put it: "Both the very smart and very stupid are fans of Beavis and Butthead, for very different reasons."
    • Or as The Onion put it in their Our Dumb Century book: "New MTV Show About Idiots Who Watch MTV Big Hit Among Idiots Who Watch MTV".
    • On the other hand, those paying attention might notice that smug jerks who look down their noses on Flyover Country suburbanites are the ones to get lampooned the most on King of the Hill.
  • In the series The Maxx, Mr. Gone is often quoted for saying "Of course I have a problem with women. Everybody has a problem with women. Because women taunt, and tease, and are attractive, and punish you for being attracted," which some fans find to be insightful and accurate. In fact, Mr. Gone is a rapist, and this attitude was intended as a representation of how a rapist thinks.
  • The Decepticons might as well be called "Transformers: Robots In Leather Pants". It's not quite clear how one can perceive the Autobots as evil and the Decepticons as noble warriors when they're called "the evil Decepticons" in the theme song, but there's a small but vocal fan group that supports this theory. One fan by the name of Raksha even became moderately famous within the fandom for it.
    • To offer some perspective, one of the key elements in Raksha's believes is the episode "Enter the Nightbird". In it, a human-built robot of unclear sentience/sapience is stolen by the Decepticons to become their latest weapon/a new soldier. Megatron and Bombshell are particularly "concerned" about her, and only one seems unhappy about her addition to the ranks. In contrast, the Autobots want her back in her creator's possession, where she can do no harm to either them or anyone else the Decepticons might target. But while their goal on itself is okay, they do go about it a little off. For instance, Optimus has pretty much heard from Nightbird's creator himself he plans to dismantle her when he gets her back, but still tries to lure Nightbird in with promises that he doesn't mean her harm. It's arguably one of the more grey moments in Transformers history, but while not the only one, it certainly is one of the rare ones. That said, the cartoon and Marvel comics did throw in little suggestions that the Decepticons are, among lots of less noble things, fighting an oppressive system, which in later canon has only become more prominent. People tend to cling onto that wee bit of woobieness more than on all the imagery of evilness.
    • This view eventually was made semi-canon by the time Beast Wars came around, with the writers showing off that the Autobots weren't exactly spotless in their morals, behind the scenes. And, arguably, the ultimate Fandom Nod came in the form of Transformers: Shattered Glass, a Mirror Universe parody series involving Heroic Decepticons and Evil Autobots.
  • Terra on Teen Titans was meant to be a Broken Bird Anti-Villain of the Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds variety. However, many fans simply cannot seem to accept the gray-shaded nature of her character. She's treated as either a perfect saint who had no fault in the matter (which is untrue) or a totally evil bitch (which is also untrue, though it ironically fits the less complicated Terra from the original comic series.)
  • An episode of The Powerpuff Girls called "The City of Clipsville" had one segment which was a Take That to PPG Fan Fiction cliches Craig McCracken hated, including Powerpuff Girls/Rowdyruff Boys shipper fics. The fake Flash Back showed the characters as dumb airheaded teenagers. Fandom embraced that scene and even made fanart of it.
  • Danny Phantom Fanfic is sharply divided between the silliness of the later episodes and very serious fan fiction that could rightly belong in novel form. Also, many fangirls see Ax Crazy Dark Danny as sympathetic, in spite of having the honor of being a sadistic sociopath who killed his human self along with probaly millions of others, and tried to go back into the past to kill his own family to ensure his existence!
  • Duckman. In some very strange parts of the internet, Duckman gets hailed as "the greatest philosophical mind of this generation." Really? While his rants are sometimes justified, he's generally a spiteful, selfish, arrogant prick.

"Don't you see what's it's like living in this deranged, Waring blender of a world? Every day is an agonizing ordeal, like balancing a pot of scalding water on your head while people whip your legs and butt. Ah, you never forget your senior prom. You think I'm sick? Well the only disease I've got is modern life, a shnug-busting gauntlet of inefficiency and misery that's one long parade of letdowns, putdowns, trickle-downs, shutouts, freezeouts, sellouts, numbnuts, nincompoops and nimrods! All making every day as much fun as waxing a flaming Pontiac with your tongue! And even if you do luck into the possibility of some fleeting pleasure, like say if some nymphomaniac telephone operator with the muscle control of Romanian mat slappers agrees to a little strip air hockey, it will be over before it starts, 'cause some foul lacking, Feta-reeking cab jockey slams his checker up your hatchback and the cab is owned by some pinata-spanker from a Santaria cult in Wakampa who starts shaking chicken bones at you and gives you a boil on your neck so big that all it needs is Michael Jordan's autograph to make it complete! And even with all this, with all this! I still drag my sorry butt off the Sealy every morning and stick my face in the reaping machine for one more day! Knowing when it's time to flash the cosmic card key at those pearly gates, I won't be in a coffin anyways, because some underhanded undertaker sold my heart, liver, pancreas and other assorted good and plenty to that SAME SANTARIA CULT! So does anybody really wonder why anybody is hanging onto sanity by the atoms on the tips of their fingernails, while life dirty dances on their digits, and is it really any wonder THAT I SEEM DERANGED?!

    • In this one particular case, he may have a point...
  • Chuck Jones created Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner as a parody of popular "chase cartoons" like Tom and Jerry, by picking two unlikely animals in a bizarre setting, making the Coyote his own worst enemy, and making the whole thing as over-the-top as possible. He was surprised when audiences took the first Road Runner short at face value, rather than as a parody, and loved it. Even though it didn't work out as he'd intended, Jones was happy to have a hit and continued using the two characters for years.
    • Ironically, when WBA folded in the sixties and Jones gravitated towards MGM, he worked on the Tom and Jerry series, and all but admitted he didn't quite get the characters. Tom was played as a feline version of Wile E. Coyote, down to the thick eyebrows and quirky facial expressions. One short even ends with a slightly modified version of his famous catapult trap gag from "To Beep or Not to Beep" (1963).
  • In the Family Guy episode "8 Simple Rules for Buying My Teenage Daughter", there is a scene where Brian, Chris, Peter and Stewie have an ipecac drinking contest. This is shown to be a terrible, terrible idea. And yet, the scene is credited with inspiring a recent upsurge in Ipecac-use among teenage bulimics.
  • In Pixar's Cars, the Delinquent Road Hazards who were responsible for Lightning falling out of his transport truck were meant to be a gang of dislikable street punks, to the point that the animators modeled them after tastelessly modified "ricer" cars. Strangely enough, the fandom completely fell in love with them, making enough fan art and fanfiction centering around them to impress even the most hardened internet warrior.
  • Also from Pixar: While no one disagrees that AUTO is a villain, they frequently seem to see a lot more to his (lack of) personality then there actually is. Then again, this may just be because Evil Is Cool and as noted, no one thinks he's a good guy.
    • Technically, NONE of the robots ever do anything they're not supposed to do, not even AUTO. It's just that AUTO's orders come from a dead man centuries ago based on centuries-out-of-date information, but nonetheless the dead man outranks the captain.
  • The Boondocks has Riley Freeman. His character is meant to be portrayed as a wannabe. He's obsessed with being viewed as a "real nigga" and goes through great lengths to keep it real. He's violent, ignorant, and obnoxious and yet is somehow one of the most popular characters on the show. Many fans of the show regard Riley as the "most gangsta' or "realest" character.
    • The whole show is misaimed much to the creators disappointment. Many refer to the show as the "realest show on television" for its hostile take on the system and the politics. They tend ignore some of the issues it takes with modern gangsta rap, the gangsta culture in general, and modern buffoonery. Case in point, Lil Wayne was perfectly willing to guest voice on the show. Be honest, what type of rappers does this show usually criticize.
  • Many Invader Zim fans seem perfectly willing to ignore Zim's ridiculous egotism and admitted evil, making him out to be a hero rather than a Villain Protagonist. These same fans often will hate and vilify Dib for, wait for it..."trying to stop Zim" from enslaving or destroying humanity.
  • Demona of Gargoyles gets this a lot. Being arguably the most popular character in the series, and a very attractive female, a large and vocal number of her fans tend not only to absolve her of any responsibility for her mistakes, but to pin the blame on other characters. These fans completely miss the point, as series creator, Greg Weisman has said over and over again that Demona is her own worst enemy, and that her entire life is a rationalization. Her most iconic quote, after witnessing the massacre of her clan was "what have I... what have THEY done to you?!" That's pretty much what the "Demona Revisionists" do. Like character like fandom.
    • Hilariously, Demona actually gets into a fight with a previous version of herself. Apparently, even her earlier self despises her for what she's done. Heh.
    • Explained (or perhaps made even worse) by the fact that while Demona is a sympathetic villain, she's sympathetic in a "we feel sorry for her because she's so messed up" way, not a "we think she's great and want her to win" way.
  • Parodied on an episode of Daria where Daria appears at a coffee house's opening reading an obviously satirical short story about a spy on an anti-communist operation. The reading stirs up a riot of anti-communist frenzy and forces the closure of the cafe.
    • This was very clearly her intent, as she was coerced into the reading by her English teacher.
  • This has happened to The Nightmare Before Christmas, with goth and emo crowds being drawn to it for its dark visuals, whilst in reality it is a film about overcoming identity crisis and learning to appreciate what you have.
  • The Simpsons: While the show spoofs, satirizes and lampoons the American family, religion, politics and society certain people see it as a celebration of these things instead of criticism.
    • Itchy and Scratchy are a parody of cartoon violence, yet there are many people who feel that the characters should be a real cartoon show. The show's creators once made a montage of several Itchy & Scratchy cartoons to respond to audiences' requests to make a full half-hour show with these characters. Invariably the audience's enthusiasm fades away after a few minutes of watching these violent scenes.
  • A minor subset of the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic fandom believes that Rainbow Dash is a lesbian, based on her Tomboy demeanor (and rainbow mane, because "rainbow" must always mean homosexual). Even though this is exactly the thinking that Lauren Faust (the adored creator of the show) criticizes as stereotyped and offensive.

As we all know, there are plenty of straight tomboys in the world, and assuming they are lesbians is extremely unfair to both straight and lesbian tomboys.

    • And don't even START on the Tyrant Celestia theory. And the associated New Lunar Republic - especially the subdivision of it who wanted NIGHTMARE MOON to win and bring about eternal night even though that would have killed all life in Equestria. Those who want Luna to overthrow her sister are almost equally difficult to comprehend, given that the two are currently, at last, finally peacefully together and reigning over the land in balance. And what about the Discordians? An unbelievably twisted Mad God fond of dishing out Mind Rape, who turns Equestria into a Crapsack World Gone Mad would totally make for a sweet ruler, no? But hey! He has cotton candy clouds that rain chocolate milk!
      • Plus, even if one doesn't consider Discord to be evil (YMMV, of course), there is the tiny little fact that he is a complete Jerkass. After all, he is an Expy of Q, who also loves to cause all sorts of trouble for his own amusement. Not exactly someone you want ruling over you.
      • As far as New Lunar Republic goes, Nightmare Moon would probably not perform much worse than Celestia, if even better. It's just the fact that bringing The Night That Never Ends may kill off all of the populace.
        • In the season 5 finale we get a brief look at an alternate timeline where Nightmare Moon won. Curiously, Equestria seems to be fine. Admittedly its 'fine' in the same way that Latveria is 'fine', and for the same reason, but in an episode devoted to taking looks at 'what if the villain won' Elseworlds glimpses of various alternate presents and possible futures, the 'Nightmare Moon victorious' scenario is presented as one of the best possible outcomes of the Mane Six losing.
      • In some ways these aren't bad developments, as it implies the characters and setting are interesting enough that Celestia is getting some of the same attention to her character and policies as a real-world leader; the most vocal parts of such attention are usually negative. Of course, this also means most of the fans doing this are about as serious about it as members of the real-world American "Elder Party" (to elect Cthulhu for President).
  • American Dad has an In-Universe example in the episode "Lincoln Lover": Stan writes a play about the relationship between Abraham Lincoln and his bodyguard John Parker, merely intending it to be a tribute to the President. However, the play attracts a gay following (especially amongst the Log Cabin Republicans) thanks to the homosexual subtext that Stan unintentionally wrote into Lincoln and Parker's interactions.

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