Toxic fan behavior has been a staple of American celebrity culture. That's what brought the famous British band The Beatles over to the States. They knew their career would take off, and it did, and even had women fainting in their concerts.
Since then, celebrities have been idolized to a point where fans feel connected to celebrities on a deeply emotional level. In reality, that star has no idea who that fan even is, let alone feelings any emotional connection.
This is what we call "Stan Behavior," which stems from an Eminem song called Stan. Ultimately, the term has evolved even further since the internet makes us connected to what our favorite celebrities are up to at almost all times.
Fans on the internet can become vicious when doting after their popular celebrity crushes. If someone comes after their pop culture icon on Twitter, they become a mob trying to defend them. As if celebrities can do no wrong (we know that's not true, they're human just like us).
Redditors shared some of the most toxic fan bases out there today.
"What's the most toxic fan base you've ever seen?"
Here's some of those toxic fans, and sometimes equally as toxic celebrities.
"Chris Brown, seconds after he almost beat Rihanna to death, they were bending over backward to rationalize the assault, mercilessly attacking anyone who spoke up about it, and haven't stopped for over a decade. And they won, he's still famous, successful, and a huge participant in popular culture."
"If it makes you feel better, he is banned from entering Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, due to his criminal record."
"The most wtf moment was I was talking about music to a girl from work and she said she loved Chris brown. I explained why I didn't like him and the whole beating up Rihanna, her response to it was, 'Yeah, but he's hot.'"
"That kinda stopped me for a second."
"Similar conversation I had with girls I worked with. One was playing music and was asking who liked Chris Brown and I was the only one who said I didn't. They were all shocked when I said uh because he's a woman abuser so he's a terrible person. And they all started saying ohhhh well maybe that's just how the relationship was. These girls were all 19 and 20. I was stunned."
"This just made me sad. Imagine believing that kind of relationship is 'normal' enough."
"All those crazy fans who support serial killers just because they think they're hot. Ted Bundy fanatics, etc."
"When the Boston Marathon bombing happened some women were fawning over the Tsarnaev kid. Rolling Stone published a mugshot that looked more like a boy band pic with ruffled hair and all that. Kinda tasteless after he helped kill 4 people and blasted ball bearings through dozens more."
"There are plenty of hot people who aren't crazy, why do people idolize the crazy ones."
"Crazy a** BTS stans threatened to kill me when I said their Korean songs are better than their English ones."
"Stan culture in general, tbh, is toxic af. It just involves supporting strangers blindly, no matter what they do. Just switching off all critical thinking. I feel like this obsessive fan behaviour is exactly what Eminem was condemning in that song, but now it's a good thing?"
"But yeah, K-pop stans are a different breed. I like K-pop but I never say I'm a fan because I look at other people who say they're fans and I go... Nah I don't like anything that much lol."
"There's no way anyone who calls themselves a Stan has heard the song it originally came from lol."
The fans that love to hate.
"No one hates Star Wars more than Star Wars fans."
"Star Wars fans and Star Wars fans are natural enemies."
"I work in the TV industry. I've been involved in all sorts of things from Doctor Who to Marvel and DC movies. Star Wars is the only production I can mention where I physically get harassed for."
"Dude, I was a background extra on it for 6 months. Do you REALLY think I have any say in the script?"
"I was a background extra on it for 6 months."
"Oh come on Ahmed Best, now you're selling yourself short!"
The reputation follows the fans that aren't toxic.
"I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned Rick and Morty yet."
"I believe it USED to be a toxic fandom, but when the lightning in a bottle died out it seems that only the people who are super interested in the show are still watching it. It's still a great show nonetheless."
"I am a big fan of the show, but the fans have such a toxic reputation that I don't wear any merch because of the negative associations."
If you want to read more about the toxic Rick and Morty fan base, here's a Medium article that breaks it down.
"I did enjoy the pickle Rick episode where Dr. Wong (voiced by Susan Surandon), calls out Rick and to an extent, the diehard fans, that being intelligent (or perceived intelligence) is not a justification to be a sh*tty person."
"It's funny too because that episode is probably what launched the fandom to its highest heights of toxicity."
The reboot that caused a violent fan base.
"The Voltron Fandom. The show itself took a nosedive after a couple good seasons, but the fanbase got wild. Massive shipping wars that had people run off the internet and calling each other pedophiles; blackmailing the studio; harassing VAs; someone reportedly sent cupcakes with glass in them or something."
"I'd second this. The Voltron fandom also built up a quagmire that spread to other fandoms even long after the original show has lost any relevance. It's genuinely not uncommon to find toxic people in newer fandoms these days and find that they were Voltron fans at one point. Or that they proudly had a hand in also shaping the media landscape for that product to be as awful as it was."
"While there have been many shows with fandoms that allowed toxic mindsets to fester I genuinely feel like the effects of that particular fandom had a knock on effect for all that followed it."
Just taking this video game too an extreme.
"As much as I love Five Nights at Freddy's, I came across a good fair share of fans who would fight over which gender the spirits of the animatronics were, some who firmly believed in one of MatPat's theories, and, hell, even some people who literally went yandere over some of the characters, saying that characters like Bonnie or Freddy belonged to them and only to them."
"Like, it was like some of these people had a literal creepy infatuation with fictional, possessed by child spirits, robots, and that's only some of the crazy stuff I've seen on Wattpad."
"When the first game came out it was simple fun partaking in the fad of a unique new horror game, it's insane the kind of rabid, strange fan base the series has garnered. Not anywhere near what I would have expected."
"Find. Better. Idols."
There's no reason to become obsessed with a person, character, or game to a point of inciting true violence. No human is above another and that includes celebrities.
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Famous people are normal people too.
There are countless videos and stories of famous people granting meetings and giving hugs and they're always heartwarming. So don't be afraid to say hi to your favorite high-profile personality if given the chance!
Redditor u/owen__wilsons__nose wanted to hear all about the times many of us have come face to face with the famous we love by asking:
Who's the most famous person you've interacted with?
Us plebeians often think of celebrities as faraway people who remain untouched by the stresses and difficulties of average life.
But there is a different way we can view the spectacular aspects of celebrity lives.
In some cases, the life stories of famous musicians, artists, and actors are overshadowed by the even more spectacular ways those lives ended.
A recent Reddit thread explored those tragic deaths.
Redditor oozingmachismo asked:
"What celebrity suffered the worst death?"
Many Redditors talked about the celebrities who struggled with painful, tragic medical difficulties throughout their lives.
When Hugeness Hurts
"Andre The Giant was pretty bad. Poor guy was in pain all his life because he just never stopped growing. That scene in Princess Bride where he catches Robin Wright? He literally couldn't do it. They had to have her in a harness or something and lower her into his arms."
"And he was still wrestling on top of everything else. He died only a few days after going home to his father's funeral."
"People always tout his drinking ability, being able to knock back over a hundred beers in a single sitting, or 4-5 bottles of wine with dinner, but he drank to numb the pain."
One Thing After Another
"Daniel von Bargen who most people recognize from Seinfeld, Supertroopers, or Malcolm in the Middle. He had diabetes and had to have a limb amputated."
"Depressed, he shot himself in the temple, but survived and lived another three years. Just a really rough end for a beloved character actor."
A Terrifying Rarity
"Manute Bol, NBA player. Died of a disease (Stevens-Johnson Syndrome) where your skin slowly sloughs off your body."
Other people shared the stories of famous people who died in sudden, freak accidents. These were often lives cut shorter than they otherwise would have been, and in the most gruesome possible way.
On the Other Side of the Glass
"F1 driver Roger Williamson. Motor racing is dangerous, but most deaths are quick."
"Williamson flipped his car and it caught fire, back then none of the marshals were adequately trained or equipped in dealing with this situation."
"Fellow driver David Purley tried to save him but even with his fireproof gear couldn't get close enough. Roger burned/asphyxiated to death only feet away from multiple people who were powerless to help."
"The video is online, but it's horrific to watch."
"Kirsty MacColl. She was swimming with her children and a powerboat came towards her son. She managed to push him out the way. She was not so lucky."
"What makes it worse is the man who killed her paid 1,034 pesos to get out of jail"
Unable to Escape
"Swedish jazzlegend Monica Zetterlund died when her apartment caught fire."
"She was unable to get out since she was in a wheelchair due to severe problems with scoliosis."
The Danger of Scarves
"Isadora Duncan, a famous dancer back in the early 1900s used to wear long flowing scarves and drive a convertible. In 1927 her scarf got caught in the real wheel of her car, pulling her from the car and breaking her neck."
"My grandmother always told us kids to be careful wearing scarves. We thought she was crazy."
Parents Explain Why They Regret The Name They Gave Their Child | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
Others discussed the celebrities who died at the hands of another human being. These murders are, of course, well-known.
But their mentioning reminds us how shocking it was all over again.
And It Was On His Birthday
"Marvin Gaye was shot dead by his own dad." -- Ronaldo_McDonaldo81
"Then my mom changed the station and someone else was announcing it on another station. And crying." -- NotDaveBut
A Struggle the Whole Time
"Probably the death of Judith Barsi from The Land Before Time is the worst I know. Shot in the head by her own father after being abused all her life."
"She was 10 years old."
A Famous Case
"Everyone else listed on here died horrible but mostly quick deaths. Tate was literally begging for her life as she was being murdered."
These deaths were tragic, whether we knew or were fans of the person or not. At the end of the day, these lives ended with pain, they ended too short, or they were ended unjustifiably.
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Celebrities and artists of note are just people, too. That is the first rule to remember when coming face to face with a star. They are no better than the rest of us mere mortals. That realization should ease the anticipation or disappointment should they prove to be less than kind. However I've had encounters and heard stories were the celebrity couldn't have been nicer. Meryl Streep is a gem. Idina Menzel is a sweetheart and Lady Gaga is super tiny. So my divas were on point.Redditor u/Qazival wanted to hear about the times they've encountered the famous by asking.... Which celebrity did you meet and found they were much kinder/ruder than you expected?
"I Love Your Shirt!"jack black GIFGiphy
A few years ago Tenacious D played a concert in Kuala Lumpur. The building the concert was in was pretty small, and there's no way they made a lot of money from the show.
Despite that, after the show was over, Jack Black came back out on the stage and just chatted and joked around with people for like an hour. My buddy yelled out, "I love your shirt!" Jack Black yelled back, "I love your shirt! Trade me!" Then he took of his shirt and threw it to my buddy, who threw his shirt to Jack Black. Jack Black threw my friend's shirt back after pretending to try it on (my friend is much thinner than Black, haha), and then told him to keep his shirt from the concert.
It was a great experience!
I met Renee Zellweger and she was so much kinder than I ever could have imagined. This was when hurricane Harvey hit Texas. I was working at Austin Pets Alive and we took in thousands of animals from hard hit areas. It was insane. One day Renee Zellweger just showed up to volunteer. No warning, no fanfare. In fact, the only reason I noticed her is that she was wearing long sleeves and long pants and it was august in Texas. She spent a week volunteering.
She did laundry, cleaned out poop covered crates, and drove vans of dogs from Houston to Austin (not a pleasant job with the smell and the barking). I hope this doesn't get buried because she was truly amazing. So so nice and hardworking. The laundry room was next to my office so we became friendly over the week she was there. There are multiple news articles about this so it's legit. Forever a fan.
A Kinder Soul
I met Gordon Ramsay once at a book signing event, I was just walking around the area and ran into him on his free time. He was actually so nice and down to earth. Talked about food for a few minutes and how he's liking his trip so far. Super nice guy and nothing like you see on his cooking shows.
The Aussiedonald trump v GIFGiphy
I met Liam Hemsworth at a supermarket in a small coastal town in Australia earlier this year. I almost didn't even notice it was him as he fit in seamlessly being the down to earth, laid back Aussie guy he is. He was super nice and genuine and even made an effort to thank the employees and the store's security on his way out.
When in Malta
Brad Pitt is a top-notch guy in real life
I met him in Malta while he was filming Troy. I was guiding a group of students as a group leader on a holiday trip and we saw Pitt just walking out of a cafe. He took time to take lots of pictures with all the kids and was really nice to everyone. Among my group were a bunch of teenage girls who almost fainted. Hilarious day all around.
Also i recall a comedian being impressed when he met Arnold Schwarzenegger. The man has a bodyguard who has to stop him from talking to a single fan for too long, otherwise he would have never stopped on time for the rest of the fans to get their turn to speak to him.
Imagine being so nice to your fans that you need someone to stop you...
The Fassi dont know michael fassbender GIFGiphy
Haven't had many rude experiences, but I can definitely attest that Michael Fassbender was a kind man who acted more excited to meet me than I was to meet him. Very satisfied by that experience!
Kinder - Nicole Kidman. To be fair, this was back in the 80s before she hit the big time. She was, however, making movies then and had a profile. I did ask her what it was like being in films and she replied: 'Oh good, but, you know, Tom (Burlinson, her then boyfriend) gets all the good roles'. She struck me as a very genuine, decent person.
The Good Guys
David Beckham - not just a nice guy, but when his kids came to the secret event we were filming and some people spotted them, he came across and told the public who could see him that he'd do any photos or signings they liked, but to please leave his kids alone as they were not in the public eye and he wanted them to be afforded privacy. Good dad.
Jamie Lee Curtis - we chatted about cameras for ages before I realised who she was (after we finished chatting). She had a very nice Leica.
Skater Christina Lenko was an absolute diamond, playing with someone's kids on set between rehearsals, I fell a little bit in love watching her.
Eartha Kitt - despite being mid-80's, she was doing 2 shows a day and would still use the show interval for a fan meet and greet, then her rider was "a salmon salad sandwich". A true star with true humility.
I won't go on about the fools. They tend to be mid-famous on the way up. The bottom rung are just so happy to be entertaining, the top rung have nothing to prove.
Hey RobinRobin Williams Hello GIF by 20th Century Fox Home EntertainmentGiphy
Robin Williams was shooting a film in my city he stopped by the nearest senior home just to say hello and take pictures with the residents. No other reason than to brighten up their day class act of a man. My grandma was a resident.
Chris Noth (Sex and the City's Mr Big) sat next to my brother on a flight years ago. My brother can't have been more than 10 at the time and used to get super nervous and travel sick on flights. Chris Noth was unbelievably kind to him. Told my mum he was happy to keep an eye on him, made sure he had plenty to drink and extra blankets, and even offered him his dessert because he woke up after food had been around. He was just such a lovely man and made my bro feel loads better. Genuinely awesome guy!
Spoon full of sugar
Julie Andrews was a sweetheart. My boss was starstruck because he loves Mary Poppins so he went out to her table to do his chef thing and he said she was so down to earth and complimented his food.
Harry Connick Jr is also really nice, and so are his kids. They were having breakfast and his kids asked if they could please go to the pool after, and said "please" and "thank you" to the waitress. They were really polite and you could tell that their parents don't let them get away with bratty shit just because they're rich.
Best of Welsh
Michael Sheen - he does a lot of charity work for our shared hometown. I had no idea just how well known he was as a kid. Years ago he spent a night bowling with our youth club, it's been a decade and I'm still blown away by how caring and genuine he was. He's always doing something wonderful for the people in South Wales, and every time I hear about what he's up to I still can't believe my luck that I met him.
He's the best of the Welsh.
I used to work in the music and film industry (as a grunt, when I was in my early 20s), so I've met a lot of celebrities.
George Clooney was the nicest one - SO down to earth, and would play practical jokes on the entire crew very regularly. He had these t-shirts made for every crew member to wear with the director's picture on the cover of People's "sexiest man alive", lol. (This was not an attractive director - it was kind of a joke between them I guess.) He had his car drive people home if buses weren't on schedule or whatever. He'd eat lunch with the crew rather than in his trailer.
I had the pleasure of working a show on a David Bowie tour he did in theatres. Every member of his band made a point to thank the crew members. IDK if Bowie himself did it but I wouldn't be surprised.
My dad had a coworker who was in Lake Como and decided to go look at George Clooney's house. While he was standing there, he heard a voice say "Don't just stand there and stare, come have a beer inside" and it was frickin' George Clooney. So he did, and said it was awesome. This was before George was married with kids, so I don't think he'd do it now. (Disclaimer: the coworker could have been lying, but he DID have a photo of him clinking beer bottles with George Clooney, so they had a drink SOMEWHERE.)
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Have you ever fantasized about going out on a date with a celebrity? Or spending a day with a revered rock star?
Few lucky people have had the opportunity to meet their idols of the stage and screen thanks to various contests and promotions.
Those who are still waiting to have their fantasy dates realized may wonder if the stars they admire so much are anything like how they are portrayed by the media.
Curious to hear from lucky individuals, Redditor jjmoffitt asked:
"To anyone who has 'won a date'/'spend the day' with a celebrity, musician, athlete, etc. Who was it with and what did you do?"
Date With A Twist
"I was in Toronto and won a contest in a win a date with a celebrity."
"I had gone to the place where I was going to meet up with whoever I won a date with and it turned out to be Shawn Mendes. I'm a guy by the way."
"When we both realized what happened, I guess his manager read my name which is Jesse and assumed it was a girl named because they probably misspelled it by Jessie, we both laughed it off. We ended up just hanging out for the day because why not and he was actually pretty cool about it."
"We went to a pool hall and played a couple of games and went to a bar for a bit. Real chill guy."
"My dad won a dinner with Charles Peanut Tillman when I was young. My dad wasn't very into sports, but I was playing youth football at the time and my dad asked if he would rather go to one of our football practices instead. Tillman came and was absolutely awesome, gave our whole team lessons and advice, signed anything we wanted to be signed, an absolute amazing guy."
"Back in 2011 my friend's Dad won a contest for the Foo Fighters to play a set in his garage in Yonkers, NY. He was only allowed to invite a certain number of people to the show, and luckily my friend knew they were my favorite band so I was one of the lucky attendees."
"Before the band arrived, I got to play Taylor Hawkins' drum kit while their tech guys set up the equipment. When the band finally arrived, there was like an hour of just hanging out with them. I remember talking to Dave Grohl and Pat Smear. It was insane. Also I believe I was so incredibly awkward because I didn't know what to say because it was so surreal."
"Then they played for like an hour. I was like 2 inches away the whole time."
"Can't even believe I was lucky enough for that to happen to me and I owe my friend an enormous debt for one of the coolest days of my life."
"(Also they had people filming. If you go on YouTube and search "Foo Fighters Garage Tour New York" you can see a clip of that day)"
Hanging Out At The Wood Shop
"Got to chill with Nick Offerman at his wood shop. That laugh that Ron Swanson does.. That is his legit laugh. He giggles, I thought it was acting. :D But he's a chill cool dude like you would expect."
"Dinner with Ice Cube. Banquet hall full of winners. He came table to table meeting and greeted everyone and taking pictures. I also ad a CD signed for a friend."
"He Was A Machine"
"I bought a Sprite at Ralph's and unknowingly entered myself into a contest to win a day playing video games with Kobe Bryant at Gameworks. When Ralph's called to tell me I was the winner, I almost hung up on them."
"It was me + 3 friends, and probably a group of about 30-40 people who spent a day with Kobe. He was super chill and friendly, spent a lot of time with the younger kids. And he absolutely destroyed the game where you shoot the little basketballs through the little hoops, he was a machine."
A Big Time Crush
"Kendall Schmidt from Big Time Rush. It was a costume contest but since it was raining heavily only like six people showed up and there were like 4 or 5 winners or something? It was very easy to win due to those odds. It was also supposed to be a 'go sledding with Kendall' thing but since it was raining they turned it into a pizza lunch date. It was a lot of fun. I could've done without getting hate and death threats from the girls who didn't win, though. Teen girl fandoms are brutal."
With: Gigi Hadid October 2018 Got to paint pottery with her and a group of others at Color Me Mine. She wore no makeup, jeans & a cropped sweatshirt and looked beautiful. Very kind and quiet. Laughed at a couple of my stories. I really liked her and she made everyone feel comfortable."
Like A Dream
"Got to meet Ed Sheeran and see his backstage setup. Felt like a dream since my sister and I are huge fans and I was so nervous. But he was incredibly down to earth and genuine. Felt like talking to a friend. Ed is the best!"
A Decent Hunk
"Not me, but my dad."
"My dad used to work for a rather popular boat manufacturing company, and as part of an incentive, the company would pick one of the workers to go drive the boats at big boat shows. Throughout his years working for the company, my dad was picked twice, and he got to drive a boat for Hulk Hogan both times."
"He said that aside from the macho public image, Hulk was actually a decent guy. They made small talk about their families, and various things that were going on in their lives. He was a little cocky, but my dad just looked past that, because he was so starstruck to be talking to an actual celebrity."
The Flirty One
"I met Rowdy Roddy Piper at a 'meet and greet' in Nottingham a few years ago when he was on tour talking about his life. He was being very rather flirty and complimentary to me so I said 'I bet you say that to all the girls!.' He gave a delightful chuckle and said, 'Yes, Ma'am, I do!' He was such a good laugh and I was sad to hear of his demise shortly after."
"I don't really remember how/why this happened, but Danny Glover made an appearance at my local library when I was a kid. I think I remember him reading to us? Either way, I sat on his lap and I remember him being pretty chill."
The Fleeing Celeb
"I drooled on my shoulder sitting next to Isobel lucas on a flight from Brisbane to Sydney in about 2004."
"I'd fallen asleep after a three day bender before the plane took off."
"She moved seats. Does it count?"