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"My favourite joke is the one played on the reader."

Authors who get some (or a lot) of their kicks from yanking the audience's chain. Sometimes it's to prove a point, sometimes it's out of frustration, and of course sometimes it's for pure schadenfreude...mostly the last one.

Note that in many cases their behavior has little impact on the devotion of fans, who sometimes expect it.

See also Teasing Creator, Lying Creator, and The Walrus Was Paul.

Examples of Trolling Creator include:

Anime and Manga

  • Ken Akamatsu of Mahou Sensei Negima. Just look at how he ended the manga after YEARS of Ship Tease galore. Following up on twitter saying a sequel is PROBABLY coming....
    • And let's not forget how he resolved the plot with The Lifemaker possessing Nagi. (Hint: He didn't. Not in any satisfying way at least). Or the whereabouts of Negi's mother Arika.
    • Although this certainly counts as trolling, Akamatsu wasn't (directly) trolling the readers. He was trolling his publisher and the Japanese government, because of an impending change in Japanese law which would have taken some of his rights as a creator away from him (and away from other creators) and given them to the publishers. He abruptly ended Negima — up to then a very profitable manga for his publisher — as both a protest and a punishment.
  • Tite Kubo's tendency for "Plotkai" as fans call it in Bleach has given him the title of trolling god via Memetic Mutation.
    • For some, Kubo may be on his way to graduating from Trolling Creator to Magnificent Bastard, considering how many people complain or bitch about Bleach and yet they keep reading it no matter what.
  • On the other side of Pacific, Hideaki Sorachi of Gintama fame is seen as an even greater troll than Kubo. There are even terms stating that "Gorilla is playing with the crotch of the readers again".
    • Example: Ch 238 showed a bunch of dialogue that seems to imply Tae and Gin became a couple - but then at the last page it showed it was some one else who sounds like them.
    • The Renho arc help introduced Sorachi's trolling style to anime viewers. Start of with a tear-jerking scene of Elizabeth leaving his friends behind, with a longer credit song to mark it as a saga, made it greatly resembles the Four diva arc... Until the post credit scene, which shows that the Elizabeth that left is only a temp. Cue fans asking the Gorilla to return their tears.
    • The Anime does it too. For example, they advertised a movie trailer of the fan favorite Benizakura arc... only to afterwards state that no one would be stupid enough to give them a movie.
      • And then a real movie of the Benizakura arc came out!
        • Followed by a trailer for the second movie that focused on Gintoki's past.
  • Kyoto Animation got a reputation for trolling fans of Haruhi Suzumiya in relation to season 2 of the series—first they denied they were doing it, then they claimed they were just rerunning the first season—but then suddenly, new episodes in the middle of the reruns! And then they did Endless Eight—eight consecutive episodes with the exact same plot, adapted from a short story that only covered the final loop. And they were animated from scratch too, so it wasn't just laziness or budget issues. Endless indeed...
    • This looped into self-trolling when they damaged their own DVD sales and caused the lack of 3rd season.
  • Ryukishi07, creator and head writer of the When They Cry sound novels LOVES to troll his audience whether its introducing text that no one understands or making the plot even more confusing than it already is! And is loved for it.
  • Hideaki Anno, though this may have been due to a Creator Breakdown.
  • Seo Kouji, author of Kimi no Iru Machi and Suzuka, is quickly gaining this reputation.
  • Gen Urobuchi, the healing-type writer of Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
    • He even trolled the other people working on the anime. For example, he withheld the knowledge of the show's grim-dark setting from character designer Ume Aoki and neglected to inform Emiri Katou, the seiyuu for Kyubey, of the character's true nature. The reactions of both were, in other words, priceless. Not to mention that he refused to bring Sayaka back even when the director Akiyuki Shinbo requested that he do it.
  • Hiro Mashima, in Fairy Tail added a character who looks exactly like one of the most popular from his previous work, with both of them being highly notable characters, then did a crossover between the two stories. Guess which two characters never even get mentioned?
    • That's nothing compared to his seven year time skip where none of his core cast aged.
    • Let's not even get started with chapter 261-263.... after trolling the fans 3 chapters in a row, he whips out chapter 264 which treads into Magnificent Bastard territory.
    • Generally, it has become somewhat of a fan meme on some Fairy Tail forums that Hiro trolls his readers, sometimes even stretching to Hate Dumb when he actually isn't trolling in the way the trope describes, but people insists he is.
  • Mayu Shinjo, creator of Sensual Phrase and Haou Airen, seems to be one now. It helps that she's a friend of Tite Kubo.
  • Hidekaz Himaruya, the creator of Axis Powers Hetalia has trolled the massive fandom a number of times, leading them up to believe that England was going to confess, America was going to confess to England, slipping his schedule for hours at a time, not really giving a clear answer on anything, not showing his face, and just keeping the fandom on its toes in general.
  • Some fans say this about the creator of Otaku no Musume-san, as Kouta, the main character and The Woobie by default, is constantly trolled by everything that he's getting serious about. Consider that he became an otaku after Kanau's mother just left him and disappeared, as a form of consolation. So you can tell how woobie his life is.
  • Kunihiko Ikuhara has to count. What with the happily mind-fracturing Utena fans by informing us that every interpretation of the series' symbolism is correct, giving "not sure if serious" answers to deep questions at conventions, and to top it all off "explaining" (for a given interpretation of the word) the biggest symbolism WTF of the Utena movie by cheerfully stating that he just wanted to have a pretty girl turn into a car at some point in his work.

All of you have enjoyed making your predictions. Now, I'll tell you the truth. Yes. Just as all of you have predicted all along: the Penguindrum is a pink washing machine.

  • Eiichiro Oda, author of One Piece, was recently told by the voice actor for Franky regarding what hairstyles he doesn't want Franky to have. Guess which character inexplicably got a new hairstyle every chapter.
  • Though not nearly to the extent of Akamatsu, Masashi Kishimoto seems to be trolling the shippers a lot over the last couple of years: Sai bluntly stating Naruto's feelings about Sakura based on information that may well be out of date, Naruto ignoring Hinata's love confession, Naruto calling out Sakura's clearly fake and shallow love confession, Kushina's vague dating advice (telling Naruto to find someone like her), coupled with the recent revelation that Karin is an Uzumaki. This is also not a series where a Third Option Love Interest is very popular with the fandom, illustrated by the loathing that Shiho gets for having a crush on Shikamaru.
  • The makers of Kuroshitsuji II hyped the introduction of the new main characters, Claude and Alois, in all the pre-release promotional materials. This, combined with the way the previous season ended, promoted a huge fan outcry about how it's not Kuroshitsuji without the original main characters, Sebastian and Ciel. There were promises of boycott and threats of violence and some people in the English fandom calling the new season Monoshitsuji because it didn't meet the requirements for being called Kuroshitsuji. Then, right before the commercial break in the first episode, a mysterious stranger arrives, face half hidden under his hat's shadow... The old main duo was brought back despite the obvious logistical issues and other obstacles and left the hated usurper couple to a lesser role.


  • Bavarian comedian Karl Valentin, who would tell deliberately unfunny jokes (OK, sometimes also So Unfunny It's Funny) or break off a story before the climax.
  • Andy Kaufmann would do esoteric or unfunny sketches if he thought he becoming predictable, or audiences just wanted him to go over the same material again. There are even some people who think his death was faked in order to troll his fans and family

Comic Books


  • George Lucas is often believed to be this. Especially after his claim that "Greedo always shot first."
  • British journalist and filmmaker Charlie Lyne created the film Paint Drying to protest the prohibitive cost to small independent filmmakers of getting a film certified by the British Board of Film Certification. This he did by making a ten-hour-long movie of paint drying, which by law the BBFC was required to watch frame-by-frame.


Live Action TV

  • Joss Whedon has gone on record that he likes to create loveable, happy, sweet characters that he knows the fans will love, then kill or crush them in the cruelest way possible just to see the reaction.

"People love a happy ending. So every episode, I will explain once again that I don't like people. And then Mal will shoot someone. Someone we like. And their puppy."

  • Steven Moffat, head writer of Doctor Who and Sherlock, has become known as a master troll within many online communities.
    • And to his actors. Notably, he kept everybody (including David Tennant) Locked Out of the Loop on the topic of River Song. The Doctor's confusion when he meets her is absolutely genuine. And in series 6, just as the audience is finally given enough hints to figure out who River is, Moffat throws in a massive Ship Tease Red Herring just to screw with everyone.
    • With how the Series 1 Cliffhanger was resolved in A Scandal In Belgravia, he and Mark Gatiss are a Trolling Creator duo.
  • Ryan Murphy, memetically so. Especially with regards to Glee. Everything he says is either a lie, designed to piss fans off, or a lie designed to piss fans off.
  • The Prisoner has one of the most classic and well-known examples of this trope. After its Gainax Ending "Fall Out" aired, series creator Patrick McGoohan had people routinely coming to his doorstep demanding to know what it was all about. His comment:

"I wanted to have controversy, arguments, fights, discussions, people in anger waving fists in my face saying, how dare you?"

    • McGoohan had almost complete creative control, a budget 1.4 times as large as that of most other series, and no idea where the show was going from episode to episode. After what was broadcast as episode 11, the script editor, George Markstein, quit the series and was not replaced. Scripts and story ideas from that point on came from random people and places: a Western-themed episode was suggested by a video editor, and the infamous episode "The Girl Who Was Death" was an unused script from Danger Man (featuring characters, props and locations from said series).
    • The series is also believed by many to be a sequel of sorts to McGoohan's previous series, Danger Man, with "Number Six" actually being Danger Man's John Drake. There is at least one shared character (or possibly just a character with the same name and actor), Number Six's "civilian" clothes are the distinctive outfit usually worn by Drake, and a publicity photo of McGoohan as Drake is X'ed out during the opening credits. Official Prisoner novels flat out name the Prisoner as Drake. For many years, McGoohan publicly maintained that the Prisoner was not Drake, but it is suspected that he was just being contrary.
  • In a commentary for season 1 of Game of Thrones, the producers talk about the difficulty of adapting certain things from the books, and specifically tell us not to get our hopes up that white ravens will be included. In episode one of season 2 (filmed before the commentaries were made), we do get a white raven.
  • After Lost concluded, leaving an untold number of unanswered questions, the creators were asked who built the enormous four-toed statue of Sobek. The response: "I assume the Egyptians did it."

Video Games

  • Hideo Kojima, owing to the surely intentional amount of Fan Disservice in later Metal Gear Solid games.
  • Valve, though they walk the line between this and Teasing Creator, especially with Team Fortress 2 - intentionally obfuscating the Pyro's gender, the whole business of crates. Gabe Newell never answering any questions about Half-Life 2: Episode 3 and instead focusing on randomness such as Team Fortress 2's hats and Counter-Strike updates.
  • Yoshinori Ono of Capcom (the man in charge of Street Fighter) is slowly gaining this status. He did declare he wanted to see the gamers suffer with the constant inclusion of Seth and he tops himself by fooling the audience of Street Fighter X Tekken by bringing Dan Hibiki—who had already been killed off within the SFxT timeline because Ono and the dev team didn't want him in the game—to a wishlist poll, and when he saw Dan winning by a far margin, he declared the winner... by replacing Dan with Sony's mascots Toro and Kuro.
  • Square Enix when it comes to Bonus Boss Absolute Virtue. Every time the players find a way to beat him, the dev team goes out of their way to squash the methods used to beat the monster. Square Enix seem to either want to make Absolute Virtue unbeatable or they enjoy watching players cry as Absolute Virtue's weaknesses gets changed every time people find a way to weaken him.
  • With the release of Mass Effect 3 BioWare has begun to develop this reputation. The fact that the ending was comparable to the definitive Gainax Ending of Neon Genesis Evangelion in how out of nowhere and confusing it was has a lot to do with this. If that really was the ending they wanted, the tweets telling angry fans to hold on their saves and refusing to discuss details of the ending would qualify.
  • David Gaider, a BioWare employee and the chief writer of the Dragon Age series, is very fond of telling the story of how he came up with the idea to kill off Alistair in the end if he was romanced. According to him, when he first told it to the other writers, the entire group shared an Evil Laugh, foreseeing the fangirls' reaction, and he still smiles fondly whenever a player is devastated by that event.
  • Takeshi's Challenge announces on its title screen that it was created by a man who hates video games. Much of what the player is supposed to do in the game falls under Violation of Common Sense.
  • For April Fool's Day 2012, Riot Games, makers of League of Legends, hyped up to a new champion release. On the day of his release, they released a story about how the day before, the new champion had been murdered. However, rather than the fandom being trolled, they went with it and trolled the trollers.

Web Comics

  • Andrew Hussie of Homestuck fame is a big fan of psyching out the readers, especially during Act 2. "Andrew is the best troll" has become a meme among the fandom. He prefers, however, to call it "doing jokes", which is an alternate name for this page.
  • Brian Clevinger of 8-Bit Theater fame, noted for his love of the Anticlimax. He wrote two separate fake-out endings to his webcomic, and admitted to doing the second one solely to see the readers' angry reactions (only to be disappointed by their Genre Savvy acceptance of said ending).
  • RK Milholland of Something*Positive does this a lot. The more he abuses his fans, the more they love him (to his eternal bewilderment).
    • And in-universe, Davan, whom Milholland modeled on himself, starts his own Comic Within A Comic, only to grow bored with it. However, rather than abandoning the project, he decides to use it to troll his fanbase. Hopefully, this will turn out better for him than for Davan (Catgirl rampage!)
  • Jeph Jacques of Questionable Content has a rather unstable relationship with his hardcore fans. When asked if he had ever written a story arc deliberately to piss off the 'shippers, he replied "see my entire comic". One of the strips is even titled "Suck It, Shippers".
  • Gunnerkrigg Court. Tom Siddell has been riding on the unexpected plot twists that seem to be the complete opposite of which the readers where hoping. Examples? Nearly every author comment is a sarcastic response about the comic. Every time something happens, he says "Mystery Solved!" MANY ships have been burned, as exemplified by this strip. There's basically a Take That directed to those specific readers in EVERY CHAPTER.
    • When he really trolled the readers is the amazing Chapter 55 ("The Break Out").
  • Kailin and Richard from Samurai Princess have been known to joke around with their fan base but their ability to troll becomes apparent within their April Fool's day joke for 2011 where they teased a spin off featuring a fan favourite character and when fan favourite Jacquline slipped off a cliff and was falling to her doom Kailin mentioned she had just finished matching Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Richard said all he had written for the next page's script was SPLAT!

Web Original

  • If people are clamoring for Yahtzee to review a particular game, he will deliberately review anything but.

...Given options, I'll go for the one that infuriates tosspots.


Marik: Okay, listen everybody, listen this is very important stuff I'm about to tell you, okay. A lot of people have been theorising about whether or not Bakura and I are in a relationship and I wanted to put those rumours to rest right now, okay. You see, technically KILL YOUR FAMILY. KILL YOUR FAMILY. KILL YOUR FAMILY. KILL YOUR FAMILY. KILL YOUR FAMILY. KILL YOUR FAMILY. KILL YOF AMILY. KILL YOF AMILY. Yes, this goes on for the entire 13 minutes.

  • One of the motivations behind Vivian James' creation, as given her "normal gamer girl" appearance, it goes against what people tend to expect from 4chan's /v/ board. Since then however, she's gone well beyond that.

Western Animation

  • The creators of The Venture Brothers can be like this. They admitted to doing things like intentionally giving the Murderous Moppets more screentime and bringing back the Ghost Pirate (who isn't a Scrappy, but no one cares about him) at every opportunity. The episode The Revenge Society was a playful Take That, Audience!. It took the long-awaited return of the most competent villain on the show, Phantom Limb, and turned him into a raving lunatic (he got better), and also revealed that the entire ORB MacGuffin hunt from the previous season was completely pointless.
  • While Michael and Bryan have a history of Sure, Why Not? and Ship Tease in Avatar: The Last Airbender, they crossed into what must surely be mastery with the "Book IV: Air" convention video.

"Gimme some sugar, baby!"

    • They have continued their evil, trolling ways into The Legend of Korra. Case in point? This line from the very first episode.

"What loose ends? Ha ha ha!"