In Australia, we use the expression Tall poppy syndrome for a "social phenomenon that occurs when someone's success causes them to be envied, resented, criticized or discredited."


Conversely, is there a term or expression that's used for a social phenomenon where successful and popular figures are respected and blindly defended only because they are, well, popular and successful. I notice this behaviour in the YouTube world where smaller channels (or lesser known Youtubers) get extreme flak for criticizing popular channels, no matter how right they can be.


  • Critic: I cannot stand this person. His opinions have no basis. I can't believe he's so popular.
  • Fan: Oh my god, you're such a pathetic jealous hater. Get a life!
  • Critic: Wow, you sure suffer from [insert expression or word]. People like you are hilarious.

I am fine with an idiom, a single word or an expression. Just whatever fits.

  • 3
    Please include a sample sentence with a blank for the target language. Commented Jun 12, 2023 at 14:59
  • 2
    It's an example of conformity or conformism, herd mentality or following the herd, bandwagon effect etc. But that doesn't seem specific enough to be an answer.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jun 12, 2023 at 15:46
  • 1
    ...sounds like "sucking up". Commented Jun 12, 2023 at 17:41
  • 1
    @Cascabel_StandWithUkraine_ I have included sample sentences. Hope it helps.
    – E.Groeg
    Commented Jun 13, 2023 at 8:59
  • 1
    maybe hero worship or something similar Commented Jun 13, 2023 at 19:01

4 Answers 4


The first word that comes to mind is star-struck.

From the online Cambridge dictionary:

feeling great or too much respect for famous or important people, especially famous actors or performers

It would not fit directly in your example sentence, but with a small change it could become:

Wow, you are star-struck. People like you are hilarious.


The Matthew Effect originates in the synoptic Gospel's Book of Matthew 25:29, "For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away," or more colloquially, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

In the sixties, two scientists, Derek J. de Solla Price, Yale historian of science and Robert Merton, Columbia sociologist, associated this effect with scientific citations (Price) and social phenomena (Merton) such as wealth inequality. In a landmark paper, Merton described it as being ubiquitous wrt all social institutions and phenomena https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.159.3810.56

Later, Price's model of cumulative advantage was adopted (without attribution) by Barabasi for social network theory, renamed preferential advantage.


Similar usages include the bandwagon, lemming or Pied Piper effects as well as herding.


Consider idolization.

To idolize is to admire someone too much. A twelve year-old might idolize a pop star, for example, wallpapering her bedroom with photos of him and screaming loudly throughout his concerts.

You can idolize someone you've never met, like a famous actor, and you can also idolize a friend or family member. A boy who idolizes his father adores him unquestioningly, believing that everything he does is admirable. Another way to say idolize is worship, and both words have a religious origin.
Source: Vocabulaty.com

Fan may then suffer from unconscious blindness.


Fanaticism seems to fit the bill.

Here's how Vocabulary.Com defines the word:

Fanaticism occurs when someone is unwilling or unable to accept a differing point of view. You can use the word to describe the endless war between fans of the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees.

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