Draco in Leather Pants

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Because surely such a sweet little angel couldn't possibly be evil!
"I tell you, Satan's gonna have no trouble taking over here 'cause all the women are gonna say: 'What a cute butt.' 'He's Satan!' 'You don't know him like I do.' 'He's the Prince of Darkness!' 'I can change him.'"
Bill Hicks, Arizona Bay routine

When a fandom takes a controversial or downright villainous character and downplays his flaws, often turning him into an object of desire in the process. This can cause conflicts if the writers are not willing to Retool the character to fit this demand.

In fanfiction, they are frequently the love object of the local Mary Sue, who uses the power of love to redeem the character. In extreme cases, the affection these characters receive from fans can lead them to forget that they're actually still supposed to be villains. Or, on the flip side, even the worst crossings of the Moral Event Horizon can be rationalized, while any insult from the hero towards the villain is cast as deplorably mean.

Common reasons for this include the character being wicked in a classy or cool way, or a deliberate contrast to a hero the fans find too squeaky-clean, stupid, or weak. A physically attractive character is much more likely to be subject to this trope than a physically ugly one; Beauty Equals Goodness, after all, and shallow as it may be, it seems that, for some fans, this is the case even when the character's beauty only extends to their appearance.

Jerkass Dissonance usually plays a part in this trope; it is much easier for people to forgive and overlook the negative qualities and stress the Freudian Excuses that form a vaguely sympathetic back-story for fictional characters than it is to do the same for people in real-life, because the actions of the fictional character have no real-world effect.

Expect, also, for fans to make excuses for the character not getting any comeuppance for their sins, and, for bonus points, gloat if one of their hated and/or villainized characters gets the short stick instead, especially if the latter is the victim of the former.

Named for a term in the Harry Potter fandom, for the mostly sympathetic Fanfic portrayals of Draco Malfoy, who, in Canon, is a petty, smug, elitist, Spoiled Brat.

If the audience seems to have a fairly good reason for preferring the bad guy over the good guy, you may have Unintentionally Sympathetic. For the fan villainization of one or more of the original protagonists, see Ron the Death Eater. When the audience embraces or admires a villain more because of his or her chutzpah and/or Break the Haughty potential than out of actual admiration, then it's Love to Hate. When done to a historical character, it's Historical Hero Upgrade.

Some villain archetypes, such as the Smug Snake (because of their off-puttingly arrogant personality), female villains (for exactly the same actions), and the Complete Monster (because of the severity of their evil deeds) are rarely susceptible to this. But it can still happen.

Misaimed Fandom is a closely related trope. The difference is that the sexiness of evil is often anticipated.

Loveable Rogue and Byronic Hero, characters you're supposed to admire even if they do nothing remotely admirable, may be the inverse of this trope. Magnificent Bastard often applies to both tropes, but this is a lot less certain for Draco in Leather Pants - he may be a character only a mother can love. "I can fix him" is a commonly expressed sentiment among fans of Draco in Leather Pants. See also Faux Affably Evil, Affably Evil, Foe Yay, and No Yay. When this trope happens in the series itself, it's Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful. See Rooting for the Empire for doing this and knowing it, and Jerk Sue for when the writer does this.

Sometimes, the creator of the original series may say "Sure, why not?", resulting in Ascended Leather Pants. May or may not result in And the Fandom Rejoiced.

Contrast Ron the Death Eater. Could be considering a branch of Springtime for Hitler because the character was made to be disliked but ends up as an extremely popular character

Character tropes related to/in danger of becoming Dracos in Leather Pants:

No real life examples, please; this is an Audience Reaction trope.

Examples of Draco in Leather Pants are listed on these subpages: