Good Is Not Nice

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
(Redirected from Jerkass Hero)
Works best against Faux Affably Evil villains.

Woman in alley: Thank you! Thank you! That thing was going to kill me!
Spike: Well, what did you expect? Out alone in this neighborhood -- I've got half a mind to kill you myself, you half-wit.
Woman in alley: What?
Spike: I mean honestly, what kind of retard wears heels like that in a dark alley? Take two steps and break your bloody ankle.
Woman in alley: [annoyed] I was just trying to get home.
Spike: Well, get a cab, you moron, and on the way, if a stranger offers you candy, don't get in the van!

Angel, "Soul Purpose"

He never kills anyone if he can help it, nor will he allow people to come to any sort of harm by ignoring them. He's always willing to go out of his way to save the town and complete strangers. When the call comes, he will answer it, usually with very little protest. He will often help people in need with little promise of reward. In almost every way, he acts like an Ideal Hero.

Except that he's asocial and sometimes downright abusive toward most people he meets. He may refuse to explain anything. He may actively rebuke people who express gratitude, friendship, and love as well as offers of support if he's got a problem. Let's face it; Good Is Not Nice.

Affably Evil is when a villain is polite, friendly and genuinely kind, even while plotting evil. Good Is Not Nice is the inverse of that: a character who is morally slanted toward the good side but is rude, unfriendly, and mean.

There are a few reasons a person may act like this:

  1. He may want to be selfish and arrogant, or just unbiased to either side, but his morality keeps on getting in the way, even if it's to his detriment. He may put on a Jerkass Facade to try to counter it.
  2. Unlike Type 1, Type 2 is not putting on any facade. This is because he really does believe he's better than the regular Apathetic Citizens, and ranges from Smug Super all the way to Arrogant Prick. After all, it's tough to be nice to people when you don't even respect them. However he still feels compelled to help these lower creatures on a regular basis.
  3. He's a natural loner. His sense of duty forces him to perform heroic acts, but he does not consider chitchat, or politeness, to be one of his duties.
  4. He may want to be a nice person, but believes in tough love, particularly if he has to teach something. (This one may be an intermittent effect, applied only when necessary; contrast Beware the Nice Ones, where such outbursts result from break-down. On the other hand, emotional trauma can coincide with the realization that nice won't cut it.)
  5. He can't afford to let others get close to him because his enemies will use them against him.
  6. The world he operates in has a somewhat cynical take on things, so Strict Good Guyism doesn't work - either in the eyes of the author or in a literal in-universe sense.

The Naive Newcomer may be surprised to learn he isn't the idealized hero everyone thinks he is.

Compare Noble Demon, who will likely fall into this if not too morally ambiguous. Often a Knight in Sour Armor, Mr. Vice Guy, Jerk with a Heart of Gold, Jerkass Woobie, or sometimes just a Jerkass who does good things. The term Anti-Hero is sometimes used to cover this trope—see Sliding Scale of Anti-Heroes for discussion of the types. Sister trope to Creepy Good.

Why Light powers can be the Holy Hand Grenade even when Light Is Good.

Contrast Nice Is Not Good and Good Is Not Dumb. If a character acts like this exclusively towards their enemies, you've got a case of Good Is Not Soft.

Lawful Good versions of this trope may be strict, humorless and serious. Very common personality flaw for The Paladin.

See also Hidden Depths.

No real life examples, please; calling real-life people "Not Nice" is a bad idea.

Examples of Good Is Not Nice include:

Anime and Manga

  • Yuu Kanda from D.Gray-man, who says often that he doesn't care about other people, but will save them and protect them, often after saying he was using them as bait.
    • General Cross could also fall under this one. He's brutal, but effective, and he genuinely does care about Allen when push comes to shove. Awww.
  • Sanzo from Saiyuki is on a mission from God... er, Buddha, to save the world. He has a knack for smacking down villains and convincing people to live again. He's also a bitchy, verbally and physically abusive Jerkass.
    • Pretty much the entire main cast can fit under this trope, except Hakkai
  • The supposed hero Sunred in Tentai Senshi Sunred. He knows he's supposed to play the role of hero and does beat up villains regularly. Yet he's also a smoking, pachinko-playing jerk who mooches off his girlfriend and becomes (understandably) annoyed at Florshiem's attempts at "world domination".
  • L from Death Note is on the trail of dangerous serial killer known as Kira. He's also a sugar junkie with practically No Social Skills and a very low opinion of most other people, who only takes up cases that interest him in order to fend off boredom. A frequently lampshaded fact is that he and Light are Not So Different.
    • And then there's Near, who is even more Raised by Wolves and much less subtle in regards to snarking. There's endless debate over whether or not he used the Death Note to control Mikami's actions, so as to convict Light. Word of God also states that he "cheats".
    • Not to mention Soichiro, Light's father. Word of God states that he is the only truly good character in the series...notwithstanding holding two people (the first a civilian, the second his own son) at gunpoint, actually firing - even when it's loaded with blanks - at point blank range during the latter occasion, and later still making the trade for Shinigami Eyes and attempting to write Mello's name in the notebook, only failing to write said name in full because Mello asks him if he's ever killed a person before, leading to a moment of hesitation which proves his undoing.
  • Meta Knight in the Kirby anime acts as a Trickster Mentor to Kirby, training him and helping him, but being rather distant. Also notable: in his first appearance he speed-trained Kirby to wield a sword... by beating the crap out of him and pointing out all his mistakes. Other times he's cool and distant and generally only directly helps Kirby when his life is in danger.
  • Togusa in Ghost in The Shell, as The Rookie recruited from the regular police, is pretty much the only character who is actively trying to work within the law and respect the rights of criminals. The rest of Section 9 is not above using torture and murder, but the entire country is in such a corrupt state that even Togusa usually accepts that as a necessary part of their work.
  • The entirety of Team Urameshi in Yu Yu Hakusho. Hiei is just plain evil For the Evulz (at least at first). Yusuke is an ass towards literally everyone he knows, but he genuinely cares about all of them, and his power spikes exponentially whenever they're in danger. Kurama is outwardly pleasant, but he's also a Deadpan Snarker of the highest order, incredibly fond of the Stealth Insult towards his less intelligent teammates, and (even by Hiei's admission), the most ruthless fighter on the team, a trait he demonstrates when he mercilessly executes most of his enemies even after they're defeated. By contrast, Kuwabara's a borderline Nice Guy, a Boisterous Bruiser with a soft centre.
  • Both of them are generally heroic to a fault, but Fullmetal Alchemist's Edward Elric can be quite an arrogant jerk, in contrast to his more empathetic and polite brother Alphonse.
  • In Bleach, pretty much all of Soul Society exhibits this trope from time to time. Incidentally, Kaname Tosen defected to Big Bad Sosuke Aizen because of this fact, believing the latter's planned world would be an improvement.
    • Particular examples? They merrily employ Jerkass-bordering-on-Complete Monster Mayuri Kurotsuchi, a truly sadistic Mad Scientist who's caused the deaths of many, killed subordinates, and beat up his daughter For Science!.
    • Yamamoto. Has certain ideas about upholding justice and doing his job as a Soul Reaper. Can be extremely harsh in applying said laws. For example, whether the order for Rukia's execution was legitimate or not he did not question the sentence. If anything, when questioned by Ukitake and Kyoraku, he emphatically supported the sentence in principle. His response to those Soul Reapers and humans who tried to save her was to order their deaths as well. He is, generally, not a terribly 'nice' person.
  • Hiruma from Eyeshield 21 will always take any chance to grab his endless artillery of guns and shoot his own teammates at any notice. However, he does care for every one of them, and will make sure that none of them get seriously hurt. Of course, his excuse is that because the Devil Bats is just such a small team, there are barely enough competent substitutes if anyone gets hurt.
  • In Slayers Black Magician Girl Lina Inverse is mostly a self-centered, immature, avaricious and temperamental teenage girl with an advanced grasp on highly destructive Black Magic. And yet, she and her team is all that stands in the way of the various ravening monsters, mad wizards and nihilistic demons that pop up over the course of the series, some of whom try to destroy the world.
  • Asuka Langley Soryu from Neon Genesis Evangelion can be quite arrogant and obnoxious, yet despite claiming to pilot her Eva only to become famous ("prove (herself) to the world"), risks her life on countless occasions to defeat the angels/save humanity and is highly honorable (she willingly puts herself in harm's way in episode 11 to square her debt with Shinji).
    • Rei Ayanami also counts. A combination of being a loner, utter devotion to duty no matter how much it might suck and a rather cynical world in general make some of her attempts to be nice fall flat, especially with Asuka or Ritsuko.
  • Ban Midou from GetBackers. He is the most condescending, arrogant, and insulting character in the entire thing. No one is safe from his snarking. It's even lampshaded in the manga, where the author even says that he makes unnecessary enemies and makes people hate him for his constant taunts and insults. Thankfully, if people stick around him and get to know him long enough, they eventually get used to it and like him. Ginji surely does, huh!
  • Played with regarding Takeru from Digimon Adventure 02. While he is normally level-headed, nice, and affable, when something or someone presses his Berserk Button he can be far less pleasant. The most poignant angry moments had him leaving his partner Iori with no explanation to storm off to the enemy, coldly suggesting that they kill Dark Digimon instead of redeeming them, and physically beating up Ken/the Digimon Kaiser. He is also much more irritable and dismissive during such states. However, this is addressed in the series, with Takeru recognizing that these tendencies weren't exactly healthy, and with Iori being pretty conflicted about teaming up with him more than once and specifically, when they realize they're Jogress partners, but Iori doesn't know if they're up to the task, so he's more in control in the latter half of the series.
  • Integra Hellsing; determined to protect the world from any threat, and perfectly willing to mouth off, insult, and snark at anyone who criticizes her, even the Vatican. And specially the Vatican. Bloody Papists.
    • This trope is also one of the defining moments for her character. When Alucard and Seras are holed up in a hotel in Rio de Janiero that is being swarmed by the SWAT team, which is under Millennium's control via promising immortality to the corrupt government officials in charge of the police force, there's no way for them to get out without killing innocent humans. Up until this point, Integra has scrupulously avoided this, but her hands are tied. When she receives a call from Alucard and he asks if she is willing to set him on them, she agrees. She even questions her decision after hanging up, asking Walter if she made the right choice.
  • As his journey progresses, Dr. Kenzo Tenma from Monster becomes more and more unhinged, and less and less interested in following the basic precepts of civility. Evident even in the beginning of the series, where he is not above manhandling people in rather unwarranted rage, this escalates into theft, coercion, and all-too-frequent death threats.
  • Sakurako Sanjou from Hana Yori Dango is a Rich Bitch Bitch in Sheep's Clothing as well as very nasty when crossed. After her Heel Face Turn, despite having a kinder disposition, she still remains spoiled and childish.
  • Much to everyone's surprise, Eva turns out to be this in Umineko no Naku Koro ni.
  • Gundam:
  • Kaiser Ryo of Yu-Gi-Oh GX is this in seasons 1 and later in season 3. In season 1, he's a loner and not very friendly, but he's willing to risk his life for his friends and brother. Season 3 features a much darker Anti-Hero, but he's essentially one of the "good guys" and ends up sacrificing himself in order to snap Judai out of his Heroic BSOD
  • Keroro Gunsou: Natsumi Hinata is Earth's best of line of defense from her freeloading alien house guest. And she makes sure he knows that...a lot. In the most abusive ways she can think of.
  • Possible interpretation of Shinigami in Soul Eater. Some of his methods of enforcing order are decidedly questionable (Asura, the witches (especially Kim and Angela), Mifune) they're just not half as questionable as what his fellow Physical Gods, or more appropriately their associated baddies, get up to.
  • Gen from Kekkaishi could be the posterboy for this trope. Masamori is a less obvious example, as he's outwardly polite, even while he's delivering a thinly veiled threat.
  • Sakura and Sasuke from Naruto. While Sakura eventually had Character Development, Sasuke eventually went under a Face Heel Turn.
  • The title character of Inu Yasha is a prime example; he starts off motivated largely by self-interest, and while Character Development soon brings out his better nature, he remains a short-tempered, foul-mouthed Jerk with a Heart of Gold whose first solution to most problems involves violence.
  • Much like Inuyasha, Kyo from Fruits Basket is a case of this, especially in the anime, where he doesn't go through the Character Development he goes through in the manga. Kyo is very aggressive and occasionally violent, especially with Momiji, but he still cares for Tohru.
  • Guts from Berserk. In his backstory, he starts out as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, but after the traumatizing events of the Golden Age arc, becomes a cruel, cold-hearted psychopath who, nonetheless, is intent on avenging the deaths of his comrades and protect his now-insane lover from the demons who are constantly hunting both of them down. He does start to get someone better over the course of the series though.
  • Piccolo from Dragon Ball. Even after his Heel Face Turn, he is generally aloof and distant from the rest of human characters. Some of them consider him be to outright scary but Piccolo saves his softer side for Gohan. Not to mention he is quite ruthless in battle, such as severing Dr Gero's arms (though he had assumed he was an android) and bifurcating Babidi.
  • Miyu does what she can to aid humans, and occasionally feels regret for those she can't help, but in the end her job is to banish Shinma, not to protect or save people. She's not above using mortals as bait, if necessary.
  • From Fairy Tail, the mages of Sabertooth are mean, arrogant Smug Supers who consider themselves better than everyone else in the Grand Magic Games. They're also a legal guild that hasn't resorted to any dirty tricks, like Raven Tail has, so they're technically good guys.
  • Killy from Blame! since he shoots the Silicon Creatures indiscriminately.
  • In Gundam Seed Destiny, Yzak sides with Clyne's faction while insulting Kira, i.e. Lacus' fiancé. It really makes sense if you know their common past ( Yzak knows that Kira killed one of his friends and disfigured him due to War Is Hell, and he knows that when Lacus fights against a government, she's usually the on the good side. But he's not forgiving enough to speak nicely to Kira while doing the right thing).

Comic Books

  • Batman is sometimes portrayed as this, Depending on the Writer. Often described with roleplaying terms as "Lawful Good doesn't mean Lawful Nice."
  • Reggie Mantle from Archie Comics sometimes falls into this category. Some stories portray him as hating the holiday season because the Christmas spirit interferes with his natural desire to be rotten, while others portray him as actively taking precautions to make sure the victims of his pranks are only humiliated, without actually being hurt.
  • Spider Jerusalem from Transmetropolitan IS this trope.
  • See also: Wolverine.
  • The British-published Sonic the Comic by Fleetway paints the eponymous hedgehog as such. He's a hero and saves the day constantly, but if you're one of his allies? Expect to be belittled, verbally abused, and made to cater to his ego.
  • The Golden Age Superman had no trouble with threatening crooks to get them to confess. He didn't kill people, but if criminals suffered Karmic Death (which happened a lot) he'd usually comment that they got what they deserved. In one comic he grabbed a doctor, ignored his protests, and flew him through a hurricane and two hundred miles cross-country so he could save a dying kid.
  • Green Lantern (for now, anyway) Guy Gardner is a pretty good example of this trope. He's rude, crude, slightly sexist, and can be downright mean to certain heroes, but when the chips are down, you can count on Guy Gardner to fight with his all.
    • And lately, the Guardians of the Universe have had this in spades.
  • The female Dr. Light: Helping fellow heroes while looking down on them since 1985.
  • Grimjack aka John Gaunt. His code of "Always Seek The Truth" can (and often does) hurt his friends, family, clients, random people on the street, etc.
  • Gemini Storm. The heroine helps keep down the plague of monsters by viciously killing them and enjoying every minute of it.
  • The Spectre is literally the Angel of Vengeance, tasked by God with punishing those murders, molesters, and miscellaneous malefactors that escape the justice at human hands. He is also one of the creepiest, most unsettling, and cruelest beings in the DC universe.
    • Let's put this into perspective: the Spectre needs a human host to do his job, and while the Spectre does dish out horrifically poetic justice to those who think they can escape the consequences of their actions, he doesn't do this to every Karma Houdini out there... which leads us to Crispus Allen, the Spectre's current[when?] host. Crispus was murdered, and the Spectre took no steps against the murderer... but Allen's son kills the man, leading the Spectre to punish the boy, with Allen helpless to stop him.
  • Jack Knight from the '90s Starman. He becomes a better person - outside of being a superhero - as the series goes on but he's still a Jerkass Anti-Hero for a good portion of the early issues. Even at the end, he still shows signs of being a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Pick a Hardboiled Detective from early Detective Comics, and you'll get this. Slam Bradley comes to mind best.
  • King Faraday is gruff, cynical, and jaded. He's also just as determined to help the common good as much as the Heroes in Spandex are, and shows this famously in Justice League: The New Frontier - by trying to arrest said Spandex Clad Heroes. But I swear he's doing it for a good cause.
  • All Sin City heroes with the exception of Wallace, who was very polite.
  • Spider-Man had his moments in his early teenage days. He would often act very cocky and could be a bit of a jerk towards fellow heroes at times. He mellowed out a lot more once he came into adulthood.
    • This is even how the Uncle Ben incident happened originally. Several retellings (such as The Movie) try to make it more sympathetic, but really, he just let the thief go because it wasn't his problem. He learned the "with great power..." thing from what happened later, but it didn't instantly transform him into a perfect human being.
    • He's still a much lighter example, relentlessly insulting and taunting the criminals he fights and at times even the people he saves.
  • Prowl gets this treatment a lot in the IDW version of Transformers. He's an arrogant prick, a Manipulative Bastard, comes off as cold and unfeeling, seems to treat even people he professes to like as tools more than as comrades or friends, and sometimes does some morally-questionable things in the name of getting things done... but in the end of it all he's without a doubt a loyal Autobot dedicated to defeating the Decepticons, protecting the innocent, and reaching for the greater good overall.
  • Deconstructed (along with everything else) in Watchmen.
  • When the Fantastic Four trespassed into Heaven in a bid to resurrect Ben Grimm, Johnny was struck by an archangel's Flaming Sword and noted that it hurt even worse than Hellfire.
  • From The Avengers, Sersi is, in fact, Circe from The Odyssey (Greek poets are lousy spellers, it seems) and while she is more benevolent than the story portrays her, she often uses her reputation from the story to her advantage. In one story she laughs evilly when she turns a squad of Skrull into lizards, implying she would keep them that way forever. Most of the time, such threats are bluffs.
  • Nick Fury, more often than not. Having led the Howling Commandoes in World War II, he doesn't do "nice".

Fan Works

  • Harry Johnson (ne Potter) of Top Dog is this, so much so that you have to look rather hard to find the Good (though it is there). He openly expresses contempt for conventional morality, and in fact is a highly-priced mercenary who will kill anyone he's paid to kill—but he's also working on a long scale to make the universe more fair, and it's noted that he's "the kind of person who would get Jews out of Nazi Germany just because he can". This is also a trait of the Kenti empire; they're Good, basically, but very paranoid, and very militaristic, and they've several times espoused a policy of preemptively killing things that might in the future become a threat.
  • The dwarven noble protagonist in Dragon Age the Crown of Thorns does usually maintain an affable manner, but he doesn't bother being overly amiable to people who press his buttons like Lady Isolde, King Cailan and the Orzammar Assembly, to name a few.
    • Gwenith 'Gwen' Cousland is the more straight example. She has a tendency of getting into bar fights and is overall quite Hot-Blooded, getting angry easily and yelling often. She also seems to take people for granted. Nonetheless, she does mean well, proven particularly accurately by how she, though not without help from some of the other Wardens, spent some time holding off the darkspawn attacking Redcliffe in order to help the remaining refugees flee.
  • In The Official Fanfiction University of Middle-Earth, Elrond. Assigns a crap-load of homework, and prone to temper-tantrums when someone gets their facts wrong.
  • Mr.Evil's Original Character Fredi "Frediano" Heat is described as a borderline sociopath, isn't afraid of practically crippling or killing anyone in his path, and ultimately hates being referred to as a "good guy". Despite all of this, he is extremely loyal and gets the job done. The police are just happy that he is on their side.

Fredi: “Whoever said I had to be a ‘good guy’ to do my job?”

  • Tatl Beryllia in The Blue Blur of Termina. Though she generally means well, she can be quite a jerk at times.
  • In Rorschach in Equestria, when Twilight Sparkle confronts Rorschach for the first time after he Saves Applejack and the Cutie-Mark Crusaders from some Timber Wolves, his rather blunt answers to her questions frustrate her, when he points out he's "not a nice person" and Twilight points out the above incident as a counter-example, Rorschach replies “Doing the right thing, and being nice, is two different things. I do the right thing, doesn’t mean I’m nice.” Given the setting, Twilight probably hadn't even considered the possibility beforehand.


  • The eponymous ogre of the Shrek films, who initially just wants to be left alone in his swamp. Then he agrees to rescue a princess in exchange for clearing out the exiles in his swamp, and things spiral from there.
  • Ace Ventura is a send-up of this sort of character, whether intentionally or otherwise. He literally talks out of his backside, is inherently immature and even sociopathic, but losing someone he was trying to save drives him into seclusion in a monastery. Said someone was a raccoon.
  • Hancock starts off like this. He goes out of his way to help people in need and stop criminals, and he also doesn't commit murder, with one possible exception right near the end of the movie. He's also an alcoholic with a short temper who isn't afraid to use his powers to intimidate people he doesn't like.
  • From the first Prophecy movie, regarding Biblically-correct angels:

"Did you ever notice how in the Bible, when ever God needed to punish someone, or make an example, or whenever God needed a killing, he sent an angel? Did you ever wonder what a creature like that must be like? A whole existence spent praising your God, but always with one wing dipped in blood. Would you ever really want to see an angel?"
"I'm an angel. I kill firstborns while their mamas watch. I turn cities into salt. I even, when I feel like it, rip the souls from little girls, and from now till kingdom come, the only thing you can count on in your existence is never understanding why."

"Now you know why they call me Dirty Harry. Every dirty job that comes along..."

  • Also a theme of the Star Wars series. More general examples include the strict Jedi code and the lengths the well-intentioned pro-republic characters are willing to go to in order to keep the galaxy together. (For example, an army of clones whose genetics are modified to make them obedient, as a means of crushing the separatists, was created, and Mace and Yoda didn't object at Palpatine's announcement of this.)
  • Lean on Me portrays Joe Clark as on several occasions being willing to do the right thing when the right thing isn't exactly nice. He expels hundreds of "troublemakers" at a time to improve the school for the better students, orders the school's doors "chained and locked" on being told that someone from inside the school let an expelled student into the school building, and fires a teacher for picking up trash during the school song for which everyone was told not to move.

I cried "my God, why has thou forsaken me?" and the Lord said "Joe, you're no damn good. No, I mean this! More than you realize, you're no earthly good at all unless you take this opportunity and do whatever you have to." And he didn't say "Joe, be polite."


  • Anna from Belisarius Series. At first glance she is a Spoiled Sweet rich girl. But when she saw the horrors of military hospitals she devoted herself to reforming by the only means of keeping a hospital in those days-by fanatical discipline. More specifically she threatened to have her bodyguards beat up the lazy staff workers if they didn't earn their pay.
  • Discworld:
    • Granny Weatherwax from is practically the poster girl for this. It's her freaking catchphrase. She was supposed to be an evil witch, until her "good" sister turned evil in her place. She resents her for that.

"I'm not saying she's not basically a nice person--" Magrat began.
"Hah! I am. You'd have to go a long day's journey to find someone basically nastier than Esme," said Nanny Ogg, "and this is me sayin' it. She knows exactly what she is. She was born to be good and she don't like it."

    • To a degree, many other Discworld witches. Miss Treason intentionally dresses up the evil witch appearance even though most of it is Boffo novelty items, and can only really do her job because people fear her.
    • There's also Sam "This is how you play Lawful Good you morons!" Vimes.
      • Vimes is a pretty definitive one, but what about Vetinari? He's pretty much the archetypal Magnificent Bastard, ascended his position with the help of 'a few mysterious murders' and in some of the books comes this close to being an antagonist... but, on the other hand, he's turned Ankh-Morpork into a smoothly-running machine with a large and efficient police force and a thriving economy. Nice? Hell, no. Good? Hmm...
        • He also arranged things so when he dies, everything goes to hell. It makes sure he won't be assassinated, but all men are mortal, and Vetinari is a man.
    • Even Carrot qualifies at times, such as when he kills Dr Cruces in Men at Arms, and upbraids Colon at the end of The Fifth Elephant.
  • Micah E. F. Martin's The Canticle gives us Jonathan Servitor, a merciless inquisitor serving a Corrupt Church that's all humanity has standing between it and the ravenous legions of the dead. Needless to say, sometimes he gets his hands dirty.
  • Flannery O'Connor spawned a quote that often comes up to describe this trope; it is most commonly repeated through the form in which Walker Percy paraphrased it, when she wrote that, "tenderness leads to the gas chamber". It's a rather shocking way of pointing out that trying to be nice without first being good is a fast road to becoming a very dangerous kind of person.
  • In Harry Potter, Severus Snape, while devoted to Dumbledore's cause and atoning for Lily's death is acerbic, strict, and apparently despises Harry, while trying to protect him all the time.
  • Max Pesaro from The Gardella Vampire Chronicles.
  • In C. S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia series, the narrator points out that many who haven't been to Narnia don't believe something can be terrible and wonderful at the same time. They are wrong. We are repeatedly warned that Aslan "is not a tame lion." As the beavers tell us in the first book, he's "good", but not "safe." There is this encounter, from The Silver Chair, in which Jill Pole, a girl from our world, encounters Aslan without knowing anything about him except that he's a very large talking lion:

"Do you eat girls?" she said.
"I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms," said the Lion. It didn't say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.

    • It's worth noting that Aslan is actually supposed to be Jesus Christ. Lewis was a strict Christian, but was quite exasperated by people trying to turn God into a "nice Guy" rather than a "good Guy."
  • In Stationery Voyagers, the good angels don't mind at all how much they creep everyone out. But they are usually within workable, tolerable attitude. Unless you deliberately go pushing their buttons, try Tempting Fate, or ignore the Web of Destiny's Center Rod. Which happens a lot in this series, as at least half the villains are rabid about their zealous hatred for the heroes.
  • Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice and Sir Thomas Bertram from Mansfield Park by Jane Austen—Both are principled and responsible, but also stiff and distant.
  • Nicholas van Rijn from Poul Anderson's Technic History is a greedy, sloppy, cynical, womanizing corporate executive. He also constantly saves his employees from death and disaster, often with an elaborate Batman Gambit that involves using evolutionary psychology to psychoanalyze whatever alien race is giving their interstellar trading company trouble. He is also merciful towards his enemies and tries to create win-win situations for them.
  • Sherlock Holmes was often arrogant, self-absorbed, callous, and rude; subject to many theories about Asperger's Syndrome and bipolarism.
  • The Night Watch.
    • The main character Anton embodies this trope to a T. Especially during that section of the first book where all bets are off.
  • Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time has quite a bit of this. Rand al'Thor, and to a lesser degree Perrin Aybara, want to be good and nice, but end up growing more bitter and reclusive as the series progresses. And then there are all the Jerkass women, who are "good" only because they oppose the Dark One. There are also the Aiel, who oppose the Dark One, to their last breath, but have a massive superiority complex over all Wetlanders. In later books a few of the characters get annoyed with their attitudes but say nothing because they need them for the Last Battle.
  • The Malazan Book of the Fallen Verse by Steven Erikson and Ian Cameron Esslemont has many good-guy characters who are very disillusioned and grumpy. In fact, most of them are either this or wangsty, or both.
  • In Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novel Ghostmaker, the angel (or hallucination) that appears to Larkins inspires him to carry out his mission alone, despite his terror, but that includes prying out him the truth of his panic-stricken flight and demanding that he carry it out.
  • Richard of the Sword of Truth books. Pick a book, especially a later book. He is 'good,' but has a nasty habit of killing people who disagree with him
    • The other heroes are worse. Richard will only kill you. Cara will torture you first. As for Kahlan...

(after Verna orders an assassin who just killed one of their friends to be tortured by Cara)
assassin: "Mother Confessor! If you're so good as you claim, then show me mercy!"
Kahlan: "But I have, I am allowing you to suffer the sentence Verna has named, and not the one I would impose."
general: "The others we captured?"
Kahlan: "Cut their throats."

  • In JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings:
    • Frodo tells Gollum that he must obey him, because if not, Frodo will put on the Ring, and order Gollum to jump off a cliff or the like. This astounds Sam, who had always assumed that Frodo's goodness made him soft, and reduces Gollum to whimpering terror.
    • Gandalf fits this trope perfectly, enough that it's alluded to be a general stereotype of wizards. He has quite a temper, he hates explaining himself, and he's also something of a Deadpan Snarker. But he's also the Big Good.

Gandalf: "Dangerous! And so am I, very dangerous: more dangerous than anything you will ever meet, unless you are brought alive before the seat of the Dark Lord!"

  • Aragorn fits this trope too, especially when he appears for the first time, berating Frodo and getting him scared. As he puts it himself, 'I look foul and feel fair'.
  • Also Denethor, who is willing to sacrifice anything for Gondor, although this depends on how "good" you consider him to be.
  • Both Legolas and Gimili seem to enjoy killing more than typical heroes, even having a Body Count Competition in one battle.
  • Both Fëanor and Fingolfin fit the bill in The Silmarillion. Though where Fëanor is concerned, "good" may be debatable. He goes pretty Ax Crazy there after awhile.
  • Noldor in The Silmarillion in general fit this trope.
  • Roland from The Dark Tower series. He desires to be kind, and whenever he has an opportunity he demonstrates it. But he always ends up in situations where he must hurt, even sacrifice those he loves for the sake of his mission. It bothers him.
  • Stated fairly well in The Dresden Files, when Charity is dressing Harry's cut even though she dislikes him.

"I hear they make antiseptics that don't hurt these days. Charity used iodine."

Harry: People like you always mistake compassion for weakness. Michael and Sanya aren't weak. Fortunately for you, they are good men. Unfortunately for you, I'm not.

      • Even demonstrated by the Knights themselves in the same scene. When Harry leaves the room, the Knights are standing calmly in the hall, knowing full well what Harry was doing and choosing not to intervene. After all, they aren't out to judge or punish someone for taking a baseball bat to an evil bastard's knees. And they take gleeful delight in the look on the man's face when he realized what Harry was about to do, as well as Harry's parting shot: he left the man a quarter to call for an ambulance, assuming he dragged himself across the parking lot to a payphone.

Sanya: Payphones cost more than a quarter these days, Harry.
Harry: I know.

    • Ebenezar McCoy, who once pulled a decommissioned Soviet satellite out of orbit to punish a vampire duke who tried to cheat in a duel against Harry.
      • And in Changes, during the attack on Chichen Itza, Ebenezar kills two hundred enemy gunmen with a few gestures of his staff.]] He is the Blackstaff, who has an unique license to kill and use Black Magic in defense of the Council, after all.
    • Morgan is not nice, or even going after the right person. However, he's loyal to a fault and his motives are most definitely Lawful Good.
      • Lawful Good? I think not, Lawful Neutral at best. He will NEVER break the laws he serve, but he is one of the more vocal wizards who claim that all warlocks should be executed, even those whose brush with darkness was temporary, and did not necessarily condemn them.
  • The main character in Brian Stableford's Hooded Swan novels is practically a pacifist who abhors violence and will almost always step up to do something heroic if he's called upon, including sacrificing his own life if it saves others, but he's abrasive and sarcastic, doesn't get along with anybody and either resents, insults or condescends to people trying to be friends to him, including the alien symbiote inside his mind. He even seems blind to his own heroic nature, the first person narrative is full of rationalizations of why he's no hero.
  • In T.H. White's The Once and Future King, Sir Galahad is detested by most of the knights he comes into contact with, because he is far too good to be merely polite.
  • The Baroness in Thackeray's The Virginians remarks: "...Let me tell you, sir, that angels are sometimes not very commodes à vivre. It may be they are too good to live with us sinners, and the air down below here don't agree with them."
  • In the Circle of Magic, Tris. It's even lampshaded by her student in "Shatterglass", which makes her blush. Aw.
    • Another Circle of Magic example would be Dedicate Initiate Crane. He's a Jerkass to everyone, even the people he speaks reasonably politely to. He kicks hard-working, earnest helpers out of his laboratory for so much as having a loose thread on their clothes. (The reasoning was justified, in that they were working with the pure essences of an incredibly virulent and thus far incurable disease. The manner in which he dismisses them, however, was not.) He automatically believes the worst of everyone, even his university friend Rosethorn. And yet he has, on more than one occasion, worked himself almost to the point of collapsing from exhaustion in an effort to find the cure for a plague and save people from dying.
    • Tamora Pierce does it again in the Tortall Universe series when she makes a comment about how good kings are not necessarily nice people.
  • Bernabus, Drust and later Grubbs from The Demonata series pretty much love this trope.
  • After undergoing some major Character Development, Scorpio from the later Revelation Space novels is one of the more altruistic characters, but he's definitely not someone you should piss off.
  • Speaking of which, in the Left Behind series, God goes all out with His judgments during the Tribulation in order to bring as many people to salvation as possible before sending Jesus to finish off the hardened moral rebels which comprise the bulk of the Global Community army sided with the Antichrist.
  • X Wing Series: Wedge Antilles is said to have cold-space lubricants for blood. He will take aside and verbally tear his subordinates apart if, say, they're too cocky or they've done something wrong. One of them who was called out at length for folding up whenever he's given any responsibility says "Every time I hear one of your 'motivational speeches' I want to beat you to death." Despite that, Wedge is a Reasonable Authority Figure of the highest caliber. Gain his trust, prove that you've learned and changed, and he will back you to hell and back. To people who haven't just screwed up, he can be very kind and understanding - but he can also be very cruel if someone steps out of line and endangers the squadron, the mission, or civilians.
  • Ii-chan, the main character of NISIOISIN's Zaregoto novels, fits this trope to a tee.
  • Allanon of Terry Brooks' Shannara series is manipulative, shadowy and secretive. He frequently resorts to threats and bullying, is perhaps the king of Figure It Out Yourself, and uses people like sock puppets. He's also seven feet tall, sports a Black Cloak, and is mistrusted by the vast majority of those who meet him. He's the Big Good.
  • Quite a few characters in Honor Harrington fit this to a T, particularly the title character, a naval officer who is a skilled marskman, expert tactician, and unbelievably dangerous in hand-to-hand combat.
    • Another noteworthy example is the President of Haven in the later books. One of her cabinet members is tampering with the official communications between their government and Manticore, hoping to game the situation so that he can take power when the current leader falls out of favor. He comes to the startling realization that he's been running with the Idiot Ball after she declares war on Manticore instead of bending over backwards to avoid it. He particularly should have seen that coming considering that she started her political career as a cell leader in a violent left-wing revolutionary organization in the Legislaturalist days, and says so in a mental comment to himself when she does blow up.
  • The good guys (if you can find them) in A Song of Ice and Fire, being feudal lords of a war-torn kingdom, generally fall here. The nicest of the main characters are the various members of the Stark family, who are kind enough to personally execute criminals rather than keep an executioner on staff.
  • Herald Alberich of Heralds of Valdemar. His successor Kerowyn has a bit of it going on, too.
  • In Death: Eve Dallas is good, but she is not nice. Roarke seems nicer... until you get on his bad side.
  • Yahweh. Yes, He's ultimately a force for good, but you do not want to cross him.
  • Sisterhood series by Fern Michaels: The Sisterhood/Viglantes. Each member did start out as nice, but the minute they form this group is the minute they dive into this trope. Reason 6 is certainly a factor for this, although reason 2 may possibly apply as well. The first 7 books are all about them getting Revenge on the people who wronged them. The last 13 books are all about trying to get back to their normal, everyday lives. Unfortunately, this trope gets cranked Up to Eleven so much that some of the villains actually become Unintentionally Sympathetic!
  • From the Laundry Files by Charles Stross, we get Angleton, head of the Counter-Possession branch and protagonist Bob's sometimes-boss (matrix management at work). He takes a personal interest in Bob's career, makes sure he's given the best of care when he needs it, and is inhumanly effective at managing the titular occult intelligence agency to protect civilians from the Cthulhoid horrors lurking around the edges of reality. He's also scary as hell and has been known to very ruthlessly deal with anyone who tries a boardroom coup. Angleton is eventually revealed to be an Eater of Souls who was indoctrinated to pass for human in the 1930s; given the ramshackle nature of the spells that were supposed to hold him in place, Bob is sure that he's here as The Fettered voluntarily, and sides with humanity against other Cosmic Horrors of his own accord.

Live-Action TV

  • Dr. Cox of Scrubs is willing to risk his career to save a patient's life, but is not an overwhelmingly friendly person and gladly insults a patient who has different opinions than him.
    • Differing opinions, the woman he loves, his favored protégé, complete strangers... Cox is not a nice person, but see his reactions to losing friends and patients.
  • And following this pattern, Reid Oliver from As the World Turns.
  • Becker.
  • Blue Bloods: Typical for the Reagans. Great-Grandpa Reagan who is a good natured and jovial soul always gives hints about the Good Old Ways which sound like he got away with a lot.
    • Danny Reagan is the best example of this. You wonder why he wasn't busted for Police Brutality by now.
    • Erin is a Prosecutor. It sort of comes with the job. While she is picky about what cases to take it's obviously because she wants the police to stop sloppy work and give her cases she can win, not because she actually seems to mind dumping an evildoer in a hole to rot. She is herself capable of a Batman Gambit once in awhile which skirts into Manipulative Bastard territory. Even on off-duty occasions she is so formal and dour that it is just plain scary.
    • Jamie and Eddie, by contrast avert that for the most part. They are the nicest cop couple you can find. And both have several kills under their belt.
  • As much as Dr. House wants everyone to think he only does it for the puzzle, many episodes show in his behavior that he does genuinely care, and has on several occasions put himself in harm's way to save the patient's life. Sure, he may say he doesn't really care about people, but, well...everybody lies. In spite of his genuine goodness, however, he regards pretty much everybody else he meets as an idiot, and tells them as much to their face.
  • The Fist Team from Double the Fist are here to help. They want the world to be more activate and powerful, and even helped save the woodland from loggers once. However, they have also murdered a number of innocent people, destroyed a lot of public property, and eventually conquered the world. Their hearts are in the right place...Well, Mephisto may enjoy his work a bit too much.
  • Malcolm Reynolds of Firefly. If his damn conscience didn't keep dragging him towards good, and let him get on with his life as an amoral rogue, he'd have single-handedly won the War of Alliance Aggression. (At least that's the way he sees it nowadays.)
  • Pretty much every one of the good guys on Supernatural but the new angel, Castiel, deserves special mention. He might work for the greater good but he and all of the other angels are warriors, they're not there to follow anyone around or perch on anyone's shoulders. Seriously, they're about as far away from Roma Downey as you could possibly get.
    • Zachariah's way of asking for help is elaborate long, drawn out murder. And he's "lacking in imagination".
    • The Trickster. His way of trying to 'help' involved killing Dean over and over again in order to try and get Sam to accept that he was going to die and there was no stopping it. Oh, and he's actually Gabriel. hiding from his brothers because he can't stand them fighting.
  • In Doctor Who the Doctor is often sharp and blunt with people and has been known to rub people the wrong way at times. When the Abzorbaloff in "Love & Monsters" accuses the Doctor of being 'sweet' and 'passionate' the Doctor agrees. However, he also adds "...don't ever mistake that for nice." (However, this rebuttal was somewhat part of a bluff). The Doctor doesn't entirely fit this mould all the time but he has been known to (especially in his first, sixth and ninth incarnations).
    • The Fourth Doctor also had some very "alien" moments, like showing no emotion over the death of an Innocent Bystander. (Though by no means the norm for him, there was still a large gap between himself and his previous, more "human" incarnations.)
    • The Tenth Doctor also fits the bill. Although he was often cheerful, gregarious and friendly, he was equally often arrogant, dismissive and downright ruthless.
    • Adam, then a new companion of the Doctor's, winds up in a future news station and gets tempted at the prospect of using future knowledge in his relative present to make money. This indirectly endangers the Doctor, who nonetheless escapes unharmed. The Doctor's punishment? Taking Adam back to the present, with a future device in his head that opens panels to his brain whenever someone snaps their fingers. He tells Adam, a child genius who's seen the future first-hand, that if he wants to escape being dissected by the government for his future tech, he has to live a dull life.
  • Rodney McKay of Stargate Atlantis is about as rude, obnoxious and anti-social as they come, but despite his vocal cowardliness he's one of the first to put his life on the line for the greater good, and is capable of truly awesome heroics whenever his internal "Chance of Impending Doom" gauge redlines.
    • Also, there's Ronon Dex, who can be outright mean, is hard to get to know, and takes a long time for him to warm up to you enough to trust you as a friend. But when that time comes, he's a fierce fighter.
    • To a lesser extent, O'Neill of SG-1. He's clearly far more comfortable with kicking evildoers' asses than making friends. That's what Daniel was for.
  • Michael Westen of Burn Notice. Always fights for the good guys, the underdog, those with no other place to go—and he and his cohorts have been damned ruthless while doing so, including Sam Axe shooting a pistol into the ground as he listens to a rather hysterical stand-off between two Bad Guys of the Week. The next sounds you hear are some fatal gunshots. Though in case you felt bad for them they kidnapped a kid and were going to kill him.
  • Spike in Angel. During a brief stint at Angel's old job of helping the helpless, he stops a vampire from killing a woman. He then proceeds to insult the crap out of her for being dumb enough to be walking down a dark alley dressed the way she is.
    • Hell, Angel in Angel is this trope, for the most part. Reason #3 describes him rather well.
    • Also, Giles. Despite how he acted in the first few seasons, he's often one of the most sarcastic and foul-mouthed people on the show (never picked up on by most due to him using mostly British swears). Plus, he'll kill humans if he must, an opinion only shared by him until Season 8.
  • Keisuke Nago follows this trope to the letter in Kamen Rider Kiva, to the point where all five reasons listed in the opening paragraphs that a person could experience this trope apply to him. He eventually mellows out, but it takes half the series to happen.
  • Dexter: Sergeant James Doakes is an anti-social Jerkass with a penchant for violence, but a damn fine cop and a good person at the end of the day.
  • Jacob on Lost. While he may work to good ends, he doesn't seem to care much about what happens to the people he uses along the way to achieve those ends. So much so that for much of the final season fans frequently speculated online that in the end Jacob would turn out to be the evil one and the Man In Black the good one.
  • Saul Tigh of Battlestar Galactica is an unfriendly, grumpy bastard with an alcohol addiction and is the first to call out for the execution of a Cylon. He's also Lawful Good, fiercely loyal to his best friend and superior Bill Adama and is not afraid to sacrifice himself if necessary.
  • Summer Roberts from The OC can be bitchy, rude, and inconsiderate, but she also saves Christmas when needed.
  • Captain Dylan Hunt of the Andromeda Ascendant. Perfectly nice and agreeable guy and eternal optimist. He is also a seasoned military officer who has started a war, destroyed thousands of ships in one fell swoop, and if you screw him over, he will drag you down with him and let you experience the results first hand. "Right now, my bad day is your bad day, enjoy the view."
  • Gibbs in NCIS is a non-fantasy version of this. He's certainly good, and never would be described as nice. He's rarely really mean, but sometimes he is. Reasons 3 and most of 4 apply (we're never given the impression he actually wants to be a nice guy).
  • Elliot Stabler in Law and Order SVU can be a Jerk with a Heart of Gold- but he enforces the law and is on the side of good.
  • Patrick Jane in The Mentalist. He catches killers, thieves and rapists, but he is not nice, frequently pissing off other law enforcement officials just because he can. He'll also embarrass his teammates and blurt out secrets for no real reason. And he never, ever comes out and says anything relevant if he can set up an elaborate way to trick it out of someone instead. He does have a soft spot for children, but that's it. It's often mentioned that if he wasn't so damn good at what he does, he'd have been fired or possibly killed by now.
  • In Lost in Oz, Bellaridere's soldiers capture Alex and company, and she's essentially blackmailing them to fight the Witch. On the other hand, she does have the best interests of Oz in mind.
  • Sherlock Holmes is this in spades. He helps solve crimes, but only because he'd be bored without cases to keep him occupied. He tends to ignore any sort of human element to his cases and has been self-diagnosed as a sociopath.

I may be on the side of the angels, but don't think for one second that I am one of them.

  • Deputy Chief Brenda Lee Johnson in The Closer will fight for her people and for the victims of crime, but will run rough-shod over anyone and everyone (including her husband the FBI agent) to solve her case. In one notable episode she was after this rich young punk who has fled to Mexico after raping and killing his family's Mexican maid. Brenda threatens to charge his mother with aiding and abetting his escape unless he explained the entire thing to her. He cheerfully does so and then arrogantly tells Brenda she can't touch him. Brenda agrees that this is true, but then she points out that he is in a Mexican police station with two Mexican police officers who understand English standing behind him and he just confessed to raping and murdering a Mexican girl. They promptly arrest him for the rape and murder and drag him away to a life sentence in Mexican prison, stated to be far worse for him than the similar sentence in US prison. Even Brenda acknowledges that she may have gone a little too far to close this case.
  • Parodied on Monk. Monk is so demanding of his dry cleaners that he is charged extra, and eventually banned from the place. Of course the murderer is a more courteous customer. Even after being informed of his deeds, the dry cleaner still thinks the murderer is better customer than Monk.
  • Probably any Law Enforcement, military, or espionage hero will have a little of that. The job of cops is to render blood feud obsolete by subcontracting the feud to themselves. The job of soldiers is theoretically to defend the nation by violent means and practically to be used as international poker cards by violent means. The job of spies is to be a sort of government approved criminal.
    • Lawyers too. They are also part of the law enforcement system and are expected to be more than a bit of Manipulative Bastard.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer,
    • Buffy herself. Giving quarter to vampires and other demons isn't a good idea in the Slayer's line of work, as they will never give you any in return. Buffy rarely makes any attempt to spare her foes.
    • Kendra was even more brutal. Sure, one can't hold it against her for assaulting Angel (he's a vampire, she's a Slayer, do the math, it wasn't personal) but seriously, did she have to lock him in a cage in a warehouse with a skylight, forcing him to wait it out until the sun rose? At least Buffy doesn't prolong their agony.
    • Cordelia Chase in this series (and to a lesser degree on Angel) is selfish, abrasive, and when not being intentionally rude is still staggeringly tactless. On the other hand when it comes to fighting the bad guys she's as brave as anyone else, loyal and brutally honest.
  • Luther is this. As much as he can at times be a jerk to subordinates and suspects alike, he still is a genius who passionately solves crimes. (And seriously, many people he has to do with aren't better.)
  • Tatort has several examples, such as inspector Horst Schimanski or pathologist Prof. Karl-Friedrich Börne.
  • The titular character of Professor T is this, at least in the German version. As much as he is an Insufferable Genius who keeps emphasizing the incompetence of his students and the police department, he is really dedicated to his work when he helps solving crimes. Also, he slides more and more into Jerkass Woobie territory over time with his mental illness, tragic backstory and hard luck, and he appears to get somewhat nicer towards the end. The final episode pretty much redeems him - he is Driven to Suicide after his love interest gets murdered, and the murderer turns out to be someone he trusted.
  • Gunvald Larsson from Beck (Swedish TV series) is another Cowboy Cop example.


  • David Eugene Edwards' lyrics for 16 Horsepower and Woven Hand are heavily inspired by The Bible (see the Religion section, below). Thus, the overwhelming majority of fans find Edwards' portrayal of a supremely good God rather frightening, even though Edwards has has insisted that he isn't trying to write "dark" lyrics.

Professional Wrestling

  • Sting could be considered this, since he is a face, but kind of a jerk.
  • Stone Cold Steve Austin. A foul mouthed, beer chugging, asshole who hates his boss and fights for the good guys.
  • Randy Orton. His past times include performing his finisher on women, punting a lot of people in the head hard enough to hospitalize them, and trying to kill John Cena with pyrotechnics during a match. These days, his attitude hasn't changed much, but he's just decided to use his violent tactics on Heels.
    • Hell, recently he punted all of the New Nexus, Chris Jericho, RKO-ed R-Truth into a table twice, kicked Christian in the nuts because he spat in his face, and has a street fight with him on the next episode of WWE Smack Down. Lets remember that a street fight is a no holds barred match that can take place anywhere in the arena, and Randy Orton has actually tried to use fireworks to kill an opponent. And he REALLY doesn't like Christian.


  • The Bible: God is always good, but isn't always nice. This trope also applies to Jesus, despite how he is perceived in modern times. For example, when the temple had been turned into a literal den of thieves, he started overturning tables and drove out the money changers with a whip, and his public debates with the pharisees frequently utilized scathing insults that left his opponents the laughingstock of bystanders.
  • Angels. When God decided that a city shall be visited by an angel and not a prophet, it's because the overwhelming majority of the inhabitants of that city had continuously committed vile actions, in which case the angel brought utter destruction to them. Should have listened to the nice guy who sided with the poor and the downtrodden...
  • Speaking of Greek mythology, Zeus definitely qualifies. A classical Jerkass God, and the most powerful of the good guys. He is the god of law and morality - at least everytime he's not busy doing more interesting stuff like romancing - and occassionally raping - various mortal and immortal female beings (yeah, and all this despite being married).

Tabletop Games

  • High Elves in Warhammer Fantasy. They are arrogant, uppity and haughty bastards.
  • In the table-top RPG In Nomine, many of the angels would fall into this category, most notably the Seraphim, who are blunt as a brick to the head (except when they decide to tie the truth in knots), have egos the size of California, and generally find humans annoying, and the Malakim who are serious hardcore Proud Warrior Race Guys. The only groups of angels that could be considered unequivocally "nice" from a human perspective are the Mercurians.
    • In Seraphim's defense they 'are' the angels of Truth, which can be painful at times. Plus the thing that really annoys many of them is the self depreciating lies that people tell themselves. Lying to yourself is one thing but even the most loathsome demons have the good sense to tell themselves 'happy' lies. Malakim don't need to be Proud Warrior Race Guys, in fact the Archangel Laurence (who most Malakim not under Hostile A.A.s point to as their role model) is somewhere between a Knight in Shining Armor and a Knight Templar depending on how Grey and Gray Morality you want your game. Actually the most Proud Warrior Race Guy in the game is Michael and he's a Seraph.
  • D&D paladins, especially those who veer towards Knight Templar or the Lawful Stupid end of the scale.
    • In 3.5, the Book of Exalted Deeds directly says that good does not mean nice.
    • The Always Lawful Good metallic dragons are just as egotistical and arrogant as their Exclusively Evil chromatic cousins. All dragons, good or evil, in D&D believe they are the most awesome creatures in existence and boy does it show.
    • Even good gods are quite apt to find a tough test for their followers—a textbook example is being sent to find a specific flower in Fire and Brimstone Hell and bring it back. Immortals of Mystara are divided only by Sphere of influence and not Character Alignment, so they have even less obligations on this side.
      • The cake goes to Rafiel—he's a caring guy in his own way, but plays with his Shadow Elf (prototype of drow!) followers The End Justifies the Means hard enough to convince everyone else he's the exemplary case of Light Is Not Good (which is a part of his plan too).
  • The Salamanders chapter in Warhammer 40,000. Absolutely relentless in battle, an entire chapter of Scary Black Men (literally; their skin becomes "onyx black" as they undergo the Space Marine transformation due to a genetic flaw) with Red Eyes, Take Warning and a Kill It with Fire fighting style. However, the good part here is from how they actually care about the people they protect and find the thought of harming civilians disgusting, even punching out another chapter master for even thinking of it. Amongst this Knight Templar Warrior Race, this respect for innocent lives is only shared by Chapters like The Space Wolves and The Ultramarines. The Salamanders and Ultramarines are the closest thing this universe has to Lawful Good and the Space Wolves are the closest thing to Chaotic Good.
      • It's not actually that uncommon. The Celestial Lions are another notably humanitarian chapter, as are the Iron Snakes and presumably many of the other Ultramarines-derived successor chapters (and the majority of successor chapters are of Ultramarines stock).
    • On the opposite end of the spectrum you have the Black Templars. Definitely the good guys from the Imperium's standpoint, the hardest working and most pious Space Marine chapter. They have fought a crusade against aliens for 10,000 years, but they are willing to do things like sacrifice millions of human lives to kill an alien psker that stood in the Imperium's way.
      • In one story we see a Black Templar attack from the perspective of a simple human farmer when the battles over his farm is destroyed and he prays that they will never come back because they scared him more than the Orks they had fought. He even pitied the Orks for being in such a Curb Stomp Battle
    • The Adepta Sororitas are described as "shining examples of all that is good about humanity" by numerous Games Workshop sources. Even what are unequivocally the nicest of the Sisters, the Sisters Hospitaller who are beloved across the Imperium as saints for their tireless (and almost always selfless) medical work, will gladly torture a heretic for information and then kill them in a very painful way.
    • Actually, everyone who you could consider to be "good guys" in the setting are not nice.
    • To simplify things about the setting, the Imperium is the Designated Protagonist Faction, and, Depending on the Writer (or whether it's a novel or background material), its members can range from being genuinely holy crusaders to being truly monstrous. Or both at once.
    • In the fan setting Brighthammer 40,000, this is pretty much the defining trait of the Lords of Order, the Mirror Universe counterpart to the Chaos Gods. They're as unarguably good and benevolent as their Canon counterparts are evil and malevolent... but they're still ultimately alien manifestations of raw human emotion that can be truly dangerous if offended or treated carelessly.


You're so nice
You're not Good
You're not Bad
You're just nice
I'm not Good
I'm not nice
I'm just right.

    • From the same musical, this trope is almost directly quoted by Little Red Riding Hood in "I Know Things Now." See the page quotation.

And take extra care with strangers
Even flowers have their dangers
And though scary is exciting,
Nice is different than good.

  • Elphaba in Wicked could be considered an example of this.
  • John Adams in 1776 definitely fits. He's an early promoter of the cause of independence ... and so obnoxious, abrasive, rude, arrogant, and snarky that he's even detested by most of his friends.

Benjamin Franklin: (referring to the Declaration of Independence): Why don't you write it yourself John?
John Adams: I am obnoxious and disliked.
Benjamin Franklin: That's true John.

Video Games

  • Squall from Final Fantasy VIII. He gets better, but still never becomes a paragon of niceness.
    • Another Final Fantasy example is Shadow from VI.
      • He'd slit his mama's throat for a nickel. YMMV
  • Gene from God Hand is a snarky, somewhat childish demon-hunter. His female protectee and love interest also shows traces of this trope.
  • Shadow the Hedgehog from the Sonic the Hedgehog series is a rather arrogant Type 2 when he's doing good things, which he does a lot more now since he saved the world in his own game. His friends consist of E-123 Omega, a homicidal robot, Rouge, a thief whom he pals up with when one wants something from the other, and Brutus, a crazed military commander. This could be attributed to the fact that Shadow's original self-given mission was a massive Roaring Rampage of Revenge that he was willing to destroy the world over. Afterwards, the same motive for that Rampage has become his Moral Compass... but he's still a Jerkass on a regular basis.
    • Knuckles the Echidna is an excellent example of how a Lawful Good character often becomes a Type 3 in their struggle to adhere to a code and fight evil fiercely at the same time.
    • Blaze is a type 3 like Knuckles. She eventually opens up thanks to Cream.
  • Zero from Mega Man X is a type 6, and with good reason.
  • Baird in Gears of War is a complete Jerkass but he's still a loyal member of Delta Squad.
  • Harpuia in Mega Man Zero is a mixture of type 3 (much like Knuckles above) and type 7. The only people he's nice to are his siblings.
  • Cody from the Final Fight series, as he appears in the Street Fighter series. After defeating the Mad Gear gang, he went on to pick fights for no good reason until he got himself thrown in prison. Even then, he not only continued to pick fights, but would break out of prison for no reason other than boredom. While his former ally Guy believes he still has a sliver of good in him, Cody will just shrug and continue being a dick.
  • Yuan from Tales of Symphonia is snarky, impatient when the heroes need things explained, apparently changes sides without warning... and is doing everything in his power to save the world from the Big Bad. No matter who's in his way. In fact, it's a little iffy to label him "Good", except that he ends up (somewhat reluctantly) on the party's side, when it becomes clear that they actually might succeed... and that they're the only ones in the world with a chance.
    • Asch from Tales of the Abyss takes this trope Up to Eleven. He works as a Double Agent in part of helping out the heroes by keeping them in the loop of the Big Bad's plans. The problem is, he is a verbally abusive, ill-tempered Jerkass who prefers to work alone. His fiancé isn't one to be spared from his wrath, either, even if she is the only one who can draw an ounce of anything resembling compassion from this cold individual.
  • Doctor Magnusson from Half-Life 2: Episode Two is temperamental, impatient, and arrogant. He's also capable, in his own way, of showing genuine gratitude.
    • Some players actually find it surprising and a little heartwarming that the guy thanks you, because they know it took an almost superhuman effort for him to admit that he's grateful.
  • The Brotherhood of Steel in Fallout are some of the purest good guys in the games, with the exception of a good-aligned Player Character. With some exceptions, they're also arrogant bastards who are more than willing to let innocents die in the pursuit of their long-term goals for the revival and salvation of humanity.
    • In Fallout 3, they're comparatively nicer Knight Templars, so the Outcasts take over for the good is not nice through Anti-Mutiny.
    • Mind you, you can play your Player Character like this too, save everyone, but be a dick about it.
    • New Vegas however has them gunning down unarmed Humanitarians for daring to think about taking in a former member, and attacking anyone with any tech higher than a lightbulb, until the Other Good Is Not Nice Faction, The NCR killed most of them.
    • In the Honest Hearts DLC, we have Joshua Graham, the former Malpais Legate (now a good guy again). While he truly cares for the tribals he's sworn to defend, he is completely over the top Papa Wolf who will (and has) gone Beyond the Impossible to prove fucking with those under his protection will result in the Wrath Of God killing the hell out of you. However, depending on how things play out, you can either encourage him to take this to it's logical, ultraviolent conclusion, or help him temper his ultraviolence for a good cause with a little mercy.
  • Solid Snake of Metal Gear, especially in the first game, where he's a flirtatious asshole who bluntly tells you he can't be bothered getting to know you. In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, he ends up doing some very douchey things for very good reasons.
  • Fate Stay Night Archer, Archer, Archer. To be fair, he would seem like less of a (rather badass) jerk if he wasn't always going up against Shirou. Almost all of the above examples apply to him. The constant switching of sides really muddies the issue of whether he's 'good' or not for a while. As a matter of fact, he's True Neutral.
  • Some of your allies in the Suikoden series can come off as complete jerks who you nonetheless respect because they're good at what they do. Shu and Zerase immediately spring to mind.
  • Cenarius from Warcraft III is shown to be rather rude, arrogant, and threatening so the player will be more eager to kill him.
    • He's just topping the Night Elves' performance. Rather than informing Grom that he's trespassing on their land (which wouldn't have stopped him), their solution was to launch a series of aggressive raids on the orcs. In fact, night elves' attitude in WC3 was generally "shoot first, ask questions later".
    • Maiev, leader of the Wardens, got an increasingly concentrated dose of this in The Frozen Throne. She was utterly obsessed with capturing Illidan, her efforts gradually becoming more and more fanatical as time passed.
  • Freaking Marietta from the Dept. Heaven series. She's a Jerkass Knight Templar who spends much of Knights in The Nightmare kicking little puppies, killing you, imposing Sadistic Choices, and flat-out denying that Meria has any right to be alive at all. The only way to get her to be even slightly kind to you is to jump when she tells you to, no matter how much it grates. She's also a guardian of order and has extremely strict good intentions, sort of.
  • Jimmy Hopkins from Bully IS this trope. We could rename it "The Jimmy Hopkins", and not lose any meaning.
  • Jaheira from the Baldur's Gate sequels, where it otherwise looks like she's not living up (down?) to her obligatory druidic True Neutral alignment, is still a blunt know-it-all with no patience for people who don't happen to see things her way or who happen to annoy her through no fault of their own.
  • If You choose to play non-leathal in Deus Ex Human Revolution, Adam is Essentially Batman with cybernetics.
  • Hakumen from BlazBlue: One of the six legendary heroes who stopped the Black Beast. Is a dick.
  • Godot in Ace Attorney. He's an outright jerk to Phoenix Wright in court, and the three 'targets' of his prosecuting are a sweet but hapless young woman, a sweet but hapless young man, and a sweet but secretly conspiring with him young woman. However, all of his actions in the final case were either to avenge Mia, take down Dahlia, or protect Mia's sister Maya.
  • The moral choices in Mass Effect can be either "Paragon" or "Renegade" - and a Renegade Shepard can be a real ass.
    • The sequel shows that Paragon Shepard, while generally fitting the description of The Ultimate Hero, won't put up with your crap either. Paragon Shepard in ME2 probably better fits Good Is Not Nice better than Renegade Shepard, because Renegade Shepard can do some really downright malevolent things. Grunt sums up the Paragon mentality pretty well when he says "You offer one hand, but arm the other. Wise, Shepard." Paragon Shepard starts off nice, but if s/he has a reason to be pissed at you, s/he'll kick your ass just as hard as Renegade Shepard would.
      • Case in point, during Zaeed's loyalty mission, there's a part where Zaeed goes out of his way to set off a refinery. The paragon option involves punching Zaeed and asking him what the hell he was thinking, and later on when Zaeed gets pinned under a girder because he refused to play as a team, the paragon option involves laying out for Zaeed exactly why acting like a loose cannon isn't going to fly if he wants to stay on the team.
      • You can even leave Zaeed to die there, but only after completing the main storyline quests.
    • Mordin also fits this, in that while a doctor driven by a desire to help those in need, he's also quite capable of being incredibly ruthless should the situation warrant it and generally doesn't hesitate in Shooting The Dog.
    • Similarly Samara, who by all accounts would die to save an innocent and generally fights for justice. With her that usually means killing evil people, armed or unarmed. This even goes as far as killing her own daughter.
    • Another case in point: on Omega, Shepard encounters a quarian merchant who got stuck there while on Pilgrimage. He's selling salvage to try to get off the station, but another merchant, an elcor named Harrot, is forcing him to sell higher than him to maintain market share. Shepard can talk to Harrot with the traditional Paragon/Renegade dialogue options. The renegade approach is to convince him to shut down the quarian, with the merchant's fate left uncertain. The paragon approach, meanwhile...

Shepard: What if you and I made a deal? You let him set his own prices, and I won't break your legs.
Harrot: With barely contained terror: You drive a hard bargain, human.

  • Also on Omega, if Shepard buys a drink from the batarian bartender in Afterlife s/he nearly dies because the bartender poisons it. Afterwards you learn that you're not the first human he poisoned and certainly won't be the last if he continues. The Renegade response is to get the bastard to drink his own poison. The Paragon response is to incite a turian bystander to shoot him for you—after all, he could easily start poisoning other races too.
  • Lair of the Shadow Broker: "I sacrificed thousands of lives to save the Destiny Ascension! I unleashed the rachni on the galaxy! And you think I'll let one hostage stand in my way?"
  • Even more ironic if you went full renegade in the first one only to be a paragon in the sequel: "I let the Destiny Ascension die with ten thousand people on board, including the council! I personally destroyed the last Rachini Queen! So for your sake you better not hope your damn escape plan hinge on taking a hostage!
  • Incidentally? Those lines are a successful attempt to intimidate someone taking a hostage into letting their guard down long enough for Liara to free the hostage... but there's a strong implication that if that hadn't worked, Shepard was not bluffing.
  • Also, in the Overlord DLC, Shepard, no matter Paragon or Renegade shows absolute disgust and horror at what Gavin Archer did to his brother in the name of Cerberus and the Illusive Man. In the Paragon ending, as Shepard angrily confronts Gavin for trying to shoot him/her, a Paragon Quick Time Event comes up to pistol whip him.
  • And one last one involves Conrad Verner, the Renegade plan is to simply force the weapons dealer to apologize to Conrad. The Paragon one sets her up to be arrested as she foolishly believes that Conrad has the situation under the control.
  • In short, Paragon Shepard, while s/he can be very kind and supportive depending on the circumstances, is also one of the crowning examples of this trope and also a great example of Good Is Not Dumb.
  • If he survives Virmire, Wrex becomes leader of the largest and most powerful Krogan clan in Mass Effect 2. He does everything in his power to make the Krogan people a legitimate part of the galactic community, but in a society where Klingon Promotions are the norm and Blood Knights are plentiful, he has to be pretty damn tough to keep his job.

Arcade: Captain America. I'd salute, but I think my arm is broken.
Cap: Don't be an idiot. Tell me what Doom is up to, or I really will break your arm.
Arcade: You wouldn't do that, that'd be torture.
Cap: After what you did to Jean Grey, it wouldn't be torture, it'd be justice. Now tell me what Doom wants before I do something you'll regret.

  • The Warden in Dragon Age Origins can be a good example. He or she can always choose the more Lawful Good options and save as many innocent people as possible while still being a Jerkass Deadpan Snarker to everyone they meet.
    • The Grey Wardens in general fit this trope. While they seek to save Thedas from the Blight, they use rather questionable methods to do so. In particular, they refuse to tell their recruits about the risks associated with becoming a Warden until after their induction, and are willing to burn down Blight infected villages to prevent the Blight from spreading.
  • Sam Fisher of Splinter Cell, arguably. According to the manual, he has a strong belief in justice and freedom, as well as a dark sense of humour, a disturbing knowledge of ways to hurt people, and the scariest voice ever.
  • Reimu Hakurei of Touhou, Shrine Maiden of Paradise, preserver of the Great Boundary, tasked with defending the denizens of Gensokyo from any threat. Also beats the everloving crap out of anyone in her way (including those who didn't have anything to do with what's happening) and has no tolerance for any disturbances, regardless of cause or motive.
  • Miranda of Legend of Dragoon. She's the First Sacred Sister of Mille Seseau, a combination of princess, general, and priestess for the people of her country. She's also chosen as the White Silver Dragoon, the holiest and gentlest of dragoon spirits. Too bad she's a raging bitch. She gets better as the game goes on, but her cynical business-first attitude puts her in stark contrast to her predecessor, Shana.
  • In Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer, Kaelyn the Dove is a just, noble Aasimar that tries to do good whenever she can. However, she is obsessed with destroying the Wall of the Faithless, and is willing to do anything to tear it down.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Malo of Twilight Princess claims that even though he can't be a hero, he seeks to end the corruption and inflation in Hyrule Castle Town by bringing heroic business deals, but often acts blunt towards any unfortunate soul who crosses his path, insulting Link if he doesn't buy anything from his shop.
      • From the same game, there's Midna, at least up until the first half of the game.
    • Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon (one of the much-reviled CD-i games based on - and disowned - by The Legend of Zelda franchise) portrays Zelda as a bitch with absolutely no mercy towards enemies. Her reaction to the Big Bad screaming in agony as he dies is a smarmy smile and a "Good!"
    • Revali from Breath of the Wild is egotistical, arrogant, and often rude, often pushing the limits of what can be called "Good", even if he is on your side. Buliara is also very hostile towards Link and quick to anger, but she's a good person and merely a bodyguard that takes her duty very seriously. Not to mention the Gerudo City Guards; yeah, men aren't allowed, but do they seriously have to be so rude about it?
  • Golden Sun games love this trope, the biggest example being the twist in The Lost Age that the "bad guys" we hunted down in the first game were trying to save the world. Several subplots involve other characters with good intentions but questionable methods.
  • Some of the Daedra from the Elder Scrolls games may qualify as this. Daedric lords such as Azura, Meridia, and possibly Nocturnal have reputations for being less malignant and more beneficial to humans than the other lords. However, they aren't necessarily nice. Azura is described simultaneously as being cruel, but also as wise and encouraging her worshipers to love themselves as much as they love her.
  • Mortal Kombat is a franchise where the objective is to kill your opponent, so being “nice” isn’t going to cut it, but some of the anti-heroes of Earthrealm stand out:
    • The Cage family is this; Johnny is rude, egotistical, and arrogant (although his Older and Wiser self in X and XI has mellowed a little), Sonya is overbearing and has an uncontrollable temper (though she can soften a little among family and friends) and their daughter Cassie has inherited the attitudes of both of them, plus a Deadpan Snarker attitude to boot.
    • Jax is a Scary Black Man and combat veteran, the mere sight of whom implies someone you do not want to mess with. Much like his ally Sonya, he has a rotten temper. His daughter Jacqueline is only slightly better than Cassie.
  • Boogerman is a super-hero dedicated to saving the environment from industrial greed and villains who maliciously pollute it; a noble goal, but the powers he uses to do so involve sneezing, belching, farting, moving through sewers by flushing himself down toilets... Yeah, this is a case where Good is Pretty Disgusting.
  • In Street Fighter, the heroes aren't as brutal as the ones in Mortal Kombat, but their win quotes at the end of the match where they gloat over their fallen and often visibly injured opponent... Seriously, is that really necessary?

Web Comics

  • The Order of the Stick: Roy to a certain extent, who, while Lawful Good, enjoys verbally lambasting his friends and enemies a bit too much and is even berated for it by the forces of Good.
    • The paladins of Azure City are pragmatic in general, cunning to the point of underhandedness when necessary. (Yes, even Miko.)
    • The deva who evaluates Roy's case rather easily intimidates Eugene from interfering.
    • Haley has her moments, too. Those who read her origin comic may get Mood Whiplash when they see her friends again. She kills most of them without hesitation, and in many cases without them even having the chance to surrender or speak in their own defense. Mind, they're there to kill her, too.
    • The same can be said, albeit in different ways, of Durkon. He's lawful good to the core, and weeps tears of joy when he realizes that he'll be going home to his people as a corpse. He also has Charisma as his dump stat, so even when people can understand his accent, he comes off gruff.
  • Girl Genius. After Gil delineates how Zola is fairly innocuous and in danger—an idiot, but not malicious—he is questioned about whether her lack of malice is important. Producing an intimidating burst of rage that if he let every idiot die, there would be few people left alive.
    • Girl Genius is pretty fond of this trope - practically all of the "good" characters are able to slip into "Evil Demented Genius" mode at a moment's notice. Agatha, Gil and Klaus would be the best examples—and are at each other's throat half of the time.

Agatha: "Oh, I see where this is going. [...] I'm the bad guy, because, for whatever reason, you didn't tell your nasty little friend who you are, and now she's sad. So you're mad at me because now she's all sweet and teary and needs rescuing, and I'M the evil madgirl with the death ray and the freakish ancestors and the town full of minions and the horde of Jägers and the homicidal castle full of sycophantic evil geniuses and fun-sized hunter-killer monster clanks and goodness know what else--(pause)...And you know what? I CAN WORK WITH THAT!"

    • As an even earlier example—albeit with a good touch of Beware the Nice Ones—here the very first time Gil realizes this and achieves a crowning speech of awesome (If such a trope exists?):

Gil: "I am sick to death of this! What do I have to do?! I just took down an entire army of war clanks, and still get treated like a halfwit child! [...] Always, I try to be reasonable. To be fair. I try to talk to people. And no one ever takes it as anything other than weakness. [...] Because nobody ever takes me seriously - unless I shout and threaten like a cut-rate stage villain. Well, you know what? I can do crazy. I really can. And it looks like I'm going to have to. [...] And show you idiots what kind of madboy you're really dealing with! ...Oh. Oh, no. This must be how my father feels - all the time!"

Rikk: Your kind always underestimates ours. You mistake good manners for timidity. You mistake self-control for passivity. So self-controlled are we that sometimes we won’t retaliate when you harm us. But if you – ANY of you – harm our loved ones – we will come at you like fanged, slavering beasts from the darkest of LSD nightmares. Believe it.

  • Can an entire culture count? Angels in Slightly Damned canonically tend toward good. What little we've seen of their society could be generously called a hyper-conformist borderline fascist state.

Web Original

  • ARCHON has this in spades. Elves for instance are described as having rebelled against their original creator because they didn't want to harm innocents, yet Arglwydd has little issue with Kill It with Fire tactics and Badass Preacher Offeiriad is content to slaughter an entire town when they go feral and try to kill him.
  • Captain Hammer from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is a Superhero who's apparently saved the city numerous times over. He's also the world's biggest Jerkass; he only even seems to do the hero gig to earn the adulation of others and thus feed his insufferable ego, and, upon discovering the secret identity of his arch-nemesis, decides to gloat and continue dating the girl of the villain's dreams just to make him squirm instead of simply arresting him for his crimes. The first time he's ever actually hurt in the commission of his heroic duties, he runs like a scared child and spends months in therapy.
  • In Survival of the Fittest, Adam Dodd circa v3. Whilst he's supposedly the good guy of the series that doesn't stop him acting like a a complete prick to more or less everyone.
    • V4's Aileen Borden seems to fit this trope so far. Being a Deadpan Snarker and somewhat of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold from the beginning, she tends to snark her way through events in the game, and does from time to time get annoyed with her allies. However, despite this, she genuinely wants to get as many people off the island as possible, gets worried about her team mates when they go missing and is relieved when they show up again, and gets upset at Announcement time, especially if someone she knows is named. Shame about her being a Unwitting Pawn to Aaron Hughes...
  • Corporal Erik Mahren, range officer at Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe. Coarse, angry, and clinically insane after the horrors he experienced in a Black Ops group for the U.S. Defense Department, he acts like a Jerkass to the students. Except he'll do anything to keep students from being hurt on his ranges, and he was willing to be brutally ripped to pieces to save a teenage girl from killing herself.
  • Mandana, the Queen of Goodness from Elemental Goddess is the adopted mother of the main characters (all six of them) and was/is a Magical Girl. However, she's a royal bitch who acts rude and bitchy towards everyone she meets without any provocation, even a random person who simply said hello and asked about her day, she opted to skip out of the bill at a restaurant rather negotiate or pay, and she acts more like a thirteen-year-old Alpha Bitch rather than the forty-year-old "embodiment of virtue" that she's supposed to be.
  • Nyx Crossing: The natives help the group in episode 4, but in doing so, they severely injure one, tie them all up, go through their things, and abandon them before helping them.
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd, but he briefly showed some compassion in the Battletoads review by letting Kyle Justin sit on the couch.
    • And in the R.O.B. episode, he single-handedly defeated R.O.B. so that all the games in the world weren't limited to Gyromite and Stack-Up.
  • The Nostalgia Critic may be a Psychopathic Manchild with a Dark and Troubled Past, but God help you if you were to hurt a child.
  • The Silver Order from Tasakeru exemplifies this trope. They feed, clothe, and shelter, and provide aid for vast numbers of Sankami's citizens in their credo to "protect life", but Gods help you if you fall outside their definition of "life"...

Western Animation

Alligator: That looks as if it could be violent.
Skipper: If done correctly.

  • One of Samurai Jack's closest allies in his personal way against Aku is the Scotsman, a case of Good being downright rude.
  • Huey Freeman from The Boondocks. Although he has good intentions in building a greater American society, he is quite cynical, pessimistic, cantankerous, and has been labeled—not unjustifiably—as a "domestic terrorist".
  • Benson from Regular Show. He may be constantly angry and constantly threatening to fire Mordecai and Rigby, but all he's really doing is his job. Plus, he's actually pretty friendly when things aren't out of hand.
  • The title character of The Life and Times of Juniper Lee. She snarky, cheeky, and at times, rather rude while doing her job as The Chosen One who protects the mortal world from unseen monsters and demons, and rarely makes any effort to hide how much she resents having to do it. Hard to blame her though, as she is still a "tween" and is the youngest of her line to be chosen as such, due to The Chooser of the One skipping a whole generation for some unknown reason.

  1. like her little business on the magical projections of Luna taking a bath