Mr. Vice Guy

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to navigation Jump to search
"This was a noble house once, lad! McDucks sailed forth in fear o' no man born o' woman ... except maybe the tax collector!"

An ultimately heroic or good character nonetheless associated with an obvious vice.

Mr Vice Guy avoids being an Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist or Villain Protagonist in that while they have obvious greed, lust, etc. it never completely outweighs their good qualities or sense of morality. In some instances it weighs equally, and they feel justified making minor exploitations of their co-stars.

An easy way to create an antagonist for this character is to create an Evil Counterpart with the exact same vice, only without the morals that Mr Vice Guy has to keep it in check.

Beware! If he ever has to get over his addiction or make a Face Heel Turn, then it's "No more Mr Vice Guy!"

If the vice is taken to more prominent levels, it will probably make the Vice Guy a Type II Anti-Hero.

Compare Fatal Flaw, Good Is Not Nice, Jerk with a Heart of Gold. May overlap with Selfish Good, Selfish Evil. Contrast Evil Virtues, for villainous characters with an obvious virtue. Consider also Compressed Vice and Compressed Abstinence.

Examples of Mr. Vice Guy include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Master Of Mosquiton's Inaho is an unrepentant obsessive treasure hunter who often puts her friends in danger. Nonetheless, one of her Catchphrases is "Life is more important than money." (Which she can always get more of later...)
  • One Piece has Nami, who is a decent person despite being obsessed with treasure, even after she manages to save her hometown (which she was trying to free from pirate rule by paying off a ridiculous ransom), and Usopp, who is both a coward and a braggart, but as the series goes on becomes willing to stop fooling around and fight when the chips are down.
    • There's also Sanji, who is a loyal friend, a world-class chef, and an almost unstoppable fighter—but who will always be known primarily as the crew's resident pervert.
  • Lina Inverse of The Slayers invariably shakes down those she saves with her heroics, and even tries to cheat allies out of their property.
    • Not to mention she's a glutton and tends to leave a wake of destruction in her path, which includes blowing up the bad guy as often as she can manage.
      • Her penchant for destruction eventually gets her wanted by the law, charged with simply: "Being Lina Inverse". Her friends, acting as her lawyers, are hard-pressed to think of any effective defense for such a heinous crime.
    • In fact, even before this happens, Lina can't go anywhere without hearing about rumors and stories told about her that make her out to be some kind of horrible monster. This is a state of affairs that's been going on since before the actual animated series, as proven by the Slayers Specials (the six OAVs and the five movies). The sixth OAV, Mirror, Mirror, actually has a sequence highlighting Lina's status as a Miss Vice Girl when the Big Bad Evil Guy looks at the simpering, docile, sweet-natured shadow-clone and asks in horror just what sort of person Lina Inverse herself is.
  • Suzumiya Haruhi: Haruhi and Kyon. Haruhi starts out as a Jerkass Genki Girl and eventually becomes, well, a selfish jerk who means well and values her friends more than making the world exciting. Kyon is a Deadpan Snarker who risks his life for the SOS Brigade.
  • Rosette Christopher from Chrono Crusade is so Hot-Blooded that she causes massive damage on her missions, is revealed to be quite fond of gambling, and one time got so drunk she knocked over a nearly priceless vase—and she's a nun living during Prohibition! But despite all this, she's kind-hearted, a genuinely good person and lives life to the fullest even knowing her Deal with the Devil will cause her to die a young death.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist has Ling, a Big Eater who is constantly mooching off of and charging his meals to the other characters. He ultimately shows a noble streak, as he will do anything to protect his loyal bodyguards.
    • Greed is also protective of his subordinates. But when he fails to do so, Ling isn't happy about it.

"Look at them. Can you not hear their souls crying out?! You abandoned them! Your real family! You threw them away like trash. Fool. If you turned your back on something you wanted, YOU DON’T DESERVE TO CALL YOURSELF "GREED"!"

  • Mako in Nerima Daikon Brothers is basically the personification of the "attractive girl obsessed with money" version of this trope. Claiming to be a former pop idol, Mako has an expensive taste in wine and constantly complains about the poverty she and her two cousins find themselves in. While all of them are willing to cheat and steal for cash (in order to fulfill their dream of building a dome and making a living off of concerts instead of farming), Mako's the worst, and tends to put the brothers in even bigger debt because of her spending habits.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima has Saotome Haruna. Yes, she helps the hero with almost unstoppable enthusiasm and bravery. Yes, she is capable to show unlimited affection to her closest friends Nodoka and Yue. BUT she also is a damn busybody who could not resist to expose the triangle between said closest friends and the hero, AND forcefully stole a kiss from said hero only to achieve a magical power, AND is really capable to go for length for things that she deems "exciting", no matter the risk (for others). And she is a mangaka too...
  • Miroku in Inuyasha is a good and heroic person who is also an inveterate skirt-chaser and unrepentant con artist, in spite of the fact that he's a Buddhist monk. Miroku's vices are, notably, documented vices of real monks of the time period, and all things considered he manages to come across better than many accounts of the same.
  • Tokyo Mew Mew has FIVE Vice Guys/Girls: Ichigo, the protagonist, is such a glutton she accepted the cover job for her superheroing when she was told she'd have free sweets; her boyfriend Aoyama is a sloth, and never fights for what he believes into (unless it endangers Ichigo); Zakuro is so full of wrath she usually scares the customers of the cafe, and has a tendency to react with violence (physical and psychological) to every problem, even screwing up with her companions' minds and making a mock attempt at killing a saddened Minto; Minto is a textbook example of Pride, often treating Ichigo like a servant and mocking her just for fun, and doubles her value as a Miss Vice Girl by being the one with an even more prideful rival; and to ice the cake we have Shirogane, the mentor, is a textbook example of greed, shown by the low pays he gives the girls (actually high for working in a cafe, but quite low for battling aliens), his tendency to go to the Tokyo Dome without paying the ticket and even asking to be paid for helping Ichigo do her homework. We'd have envy and lust too, but Pie (envy) and Kisshu (lust) are villains, so...
  • Mr. Satan of Dragonball Z is addicted to the fame brought to him by legitimately winning the 24th World Martial Arts Tournament (the main cast didn't compete in this one) to the point where he cheats and deals his way into winning subsequent tournaments where the Z fighters do enter. That said, he's a genuinely heroic character, making contributions towards beating Cell ( he's the one who threw 16's head over to Gohan) and Buu ( not only did he convince Fat Buu to stop killing without throwing a punch, he's the one who got the entire planet to contribute to Gokou's Spirit Bomb).


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Disney's Scrooge McDuck, as written by Carl Barks and Don Rosa, used to be the Trope Namer: an industrious and fairly ruthless businessman who is tempered by affection for his family and his strong work ethic. It's essential to note that Scrooge is a saint compared to his rivals: Flintheart Glomgold, who's a cheating scoundrel, and John D. Rockerduck, who inherited all of his money. Except for one important instance as noted in The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, Scrooge worked hard for his money. And he made it square. (As a bonus, Greed is in the McDuck blood). However, other authors have depicted him cheerfully committing fraud, extortion, or even bald-faced theft, although it's usually obvious the writer didn't think it through completely. This is mostly due to Characterization Marches On. The original Scrooge McDuck created by Carl Barks was very much an antagonist who wasn't above cheating, theft, bribery and environmental vandalism (he was often set against the Junior Woodchucks in wanting to exploit a natural reserve they tried to protect).
    • Of course, most people who aren't Don Rosa portray Scrooge far more ambivalently, so who is calling Canon Discontinuity varies. And even in Rosa's canon, Scrooge's sister calls him out on that it was far from "that one time" that he overstepped the bounds of decency.
    • One of the Running Gags of the 'verse is that he always prepares The Plan to get whatever money he pays as wages back as payments for loans, compensation for tools, traveling expenses or other "services rendered". He also openly despises the concept of a minimum wage. All in all, this delivers the opposite of his intended Aesop to his lazy nephew, Donald: It isn't worth the trouble to work for someone else.
  • Booster Gold, late of the Justice League International, who fights crime, rights wrongs, and has multiple smokin' endorsement deals.
  • Arguably, The Incredible Hulk. He's got Wrath down pat.
    • The Joe Fixit, or Gray Hulk, personality is a straighter example of this, he wears fine, personally tailored suits, eats the finest food (and a lot of it), and of course, heaping helpings of pleasurable company, but is shown to have a certain honor, mostly taught to him by his former employer, Mr. Berengetti.
  • Even more arguably would be Atrocitus, whose connection to wrath is easily greater than Hulk on his most angry day. While he technically starts off as an antagonist, and is not particularly inclined to go out of his way to help little old ladies cross the street, he sees his motives and actions as being genuinely for the greater good.
  • Tony Stark has two vices in particular: Alcoholism and womanizing.
  • Double Subverted in Moonshadow. The title character thinks Ira seems like a good fellow under his sex addiction, bad attitude, and self-centeredness, but the careful reader will notice that in the beginning he mostly does things for Moonshadow when they also benefit him. It turns out he really is that much of a Jerkass, and treacherous to boot. However, he undergoes a lot of karmic retribution, and it leads him to Character Development and a true place on this list.
  • Jack Point, an undercover Judge from the Judge Dredd Spin-Off The Simping Detective, has well exceeded his lawful limitations for blending in with the normal citizens of Mega-City One. He has a strong affinity for whiskey, smokes, and a womanizer, and to top it all off, all three of those are highly illegal for any city Judge.
  • Pointed out in the Archie Sonic comics, where Scourge, one of Sonic's many, many antagonists, observes that they share the same arrogance and vanity, though that he lacks what he describes as a "limiting factor" - Sonic's moral compunction.


Fanfiction[edit | hide]


Film[edit | hide]

  • Oskar Schindler, as least as he is depicted in Schindler's List. A glad handling, womanizing opportunist who went on to save over a thousand Jewish lives during World War II. He even destroyed his own fortune (made by slave labor) by making defective shells for the Nazis.
  • Woody in Toy Story is a heroic character, but becomes intensely jealous when it seems Buzz Lightyear has upstaged him- his flaw is always needing to be the center of attention, which also drives the second film.
  • The Hong Kong film Millionaire's Express stars Sammo Hung as one of its main heroes, a brave, clever and determined man who fights off marauding bandits with his Acrofatic skills... so that he can achieve his life's goal, which is to run his brothel in peace.
  • James Bond is a heavy smoker, drinker and womanizer, but still saves the world from Nebulous Evil Organisations.
  • Charlie Wilson in Charlie Wilson's War discovers his cause while sitting naked in a hot tub with a couple of naked ladies.
  • 'Uncle' Max from The Sound of Music is a fame-seeking hedonist friend of the Captain, but he's also a true Austrian nationalist and in the end he faces down a possible death in order for the Von Trapp family to escape
  • In To Be or Not to Be Joseph Tura is an egotistical ham of an actor and his wife Maria is a somewhat shallow probable adultress. However, both of them are extremely brave when roped into the Polish Resistance.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Sherlock Holmes is a brilliant man and a gifted detective - and he's also a heavy user of cocaine.
    • And a completely egotistical man.
  • Nero Wolfe is arrogant, lazy, greedy, gluttonous, and rude, but he always ends up having done some good.
  • Coulter Dixon in Fablehaven retains a heavy amount of "misguided-chivalry-style" sexism, and won't put a woman in danger or ask for one's help on a dangerous mission. This irritates heroine Kendra to no end. Notably, he does get better, especially with some exposure to Kendra and Badass Grandma Ruth.
  • Horace Slughorn in the Harry Potter books is gluttonous and loves to be in the spotlight- he likes to mentor promising young witches and wizards so that when they become famous, he can name-drop them and seek out favors from them. Still, he's a nice guy, has a lot less Fantastic Racism than the other Slytherin (He still holds prejudices, but only until he has had a chance to meet the person and judge them as an individual), and has no interest in joining the villains, also a quality absent from most other Slytherins. In fact, he's pretty much the only good character from that house in the series—indeed, he went out of his way to spend a year in hiding from the villains to avoid joining them, knowing his life was at stake. And, in the end he was one of three wizards willing to personally fight with Voldemort. This also doubles as a demonstration that he's not just 'famous for being famous', or for his potion skills, but that he is an incredibly talented and well-rounded wizard.
    • The only unambiguous good Slytherin, perhaps, but that may be pushing it; it is a world of Grey and Grey Morality, after all. Slytherin has a couple who prove to be ultimately good or at least decent. But they're not exactly known as the Hero House for a reason. Adding to the list, we should have Harry himself: his rather glaring vice is Wrath, or at the very least lack of control over his anger and other emotional outbursts. He's been accused of occasional arrogance, but that was really more his father's failing, not really his.
      • He's also way too stubborn (often in foolish ways) for anyone's good, including his own. "A 'saving people thing'" indeed.
    • Dumbledore may have had the biggest, most glaring flaw of any character in the series: Pride, which led to the death of his sister, Ariana. And yet there was no denying he was a good guy; a Chessmaster and more manipulative than a puppeteer, but good all the same.
      • Dumbledore is an excellent example of a Mr Vice Guy who recognizes their vice and acts accordingly. He knew the worst he could do, and acted accordingly. The reason he never became Minister of Magic is primarily because he did not trust himself in the position. When Dumbledore finally opened up to Harry, it became clear that he was terrified of who he could have been. His old slogan "For The Greater Good" taught him that he could easily become a Well-Intentioned Extremist, without even noticing. As such, some of the most touching parts of his final conversation with Harry was asking whether or not he had gone too far, whether or not he hadn't slipped and once again become the tyrant under the banner of the 'Greater Good'.
  • Ciaphas Cain (HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!) is a Dirty Coward, but very good at pretending not to be.
  • Crowley of Good Omens is literally on Earth for the sole purpose of making people miserable, which he does quite happily, but he's one of the most sympathetic characters in the book.
    • Alternatively, Crowley is more of a Punch Clock Villain, acting according to his nature rather than for a salary—but he recognizes that he'll never do anything that humans don't do to themselves far more effectively than hell ever could. Also, there was his occasionally doing a good deed for Aziraphale (who would in turn do a bad deed for him). If he had a vice, it was pride—he liked looking sharp and driving an extremely nice car.
  • Henry Bacon of the Dragons series is staid, grumpy, and old-fashioned to the point of being stifling. He's not exactly a Friend to All Children. He's even the primary antagonist of the first book in the series. However, as the later books prove, he is nonetheless a loyal neighbor who truly does care about his neighbors and their friends. Even if he does think they're a little loopy.
  • Eliot of The Magicians chain-smokes Merits and drinks too much wine. He eventually goes off the deep-end and becomes The Alcoholic, but he gets better.
  • Silk from The Belgariad, moreso in The Malloreon sequels where he is the world's wealthiest merchant. But as he confides to Garion, he's not overly interested in material wealth as much as the intellectual challenge of entrepreneurship.

SILK: The money's just a way of keeping score. It's the game that's important.

  • Played with in the novel The Natural (the movie has a very different ending). Roy can arguably represent EVERY vice with Lust, Pride, and Gluttony being the most obvious; he lusts over three women in the book and really only cares about their looks, his only goal in baseball is to be the greatest that ever was, and in a few points in the novel, he eats nonstop, including grabbing 6 cheeseburgers as a midnight snack after a humongous meal only an hour or two before. the reason it's played with is that Roy, despite being the protagonist, isn't exactly heroic and ends up crashing and burning at the end, disgracing himself and his whole team.
  • Samuel Vimes of Discworld - alcoholic, pessimistic, and cowardly, but still intentionally sympathetic and still honorable and serious about being a cop, in his own way.
    • Your Mileage May Vary by a lot. By the second book he appears in, he's not drinking any more, and he was never cowardly so much as completely pragmatic. (I can't even consider arguing with "pessimistic," though.)


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Captain Jack Harkness of Doctor Who and Torchwood fame is definitely one of these. You can't help but love him even though he flirts with literally everyone he meets because he's just such a good guy.
    • Then, in Torchwood, he was (unwittingly) put in charge of Torchwood Cardiff, and his vices expand from merely flirting with everyone to also being in charge, dammit! Of course, he will forgive you. But first he will shoot whatever you thought you could get away with having in his base, or outside of it, or possibly teleport it into the sun or erase its existence entirely. Just don't mess with him, okay? Don't.
    • Oh, and nobody knows who he is and he ain't telling.
    • His vice of lust is actually the status quo of his era. In the 51st century, omnisexuality is the norm.
    • Depending on the Writer, the Doctor himself is sometimes written as a Mr. Vice Guy. He's capable of amazing heroism, but occasionally shows a hideous streak of Pride, occasionally bordering on (and in at least one episode, crossing into) A God Am I territory.
  • Rygel on Farscape. Gluttonous, greedy, prideful, lecherous, lazy, and when sufficiently provoked, more than capable of wrath. (A borderline case, as he does try to sell out the others on occasion in the early season, so he's not that heroic.) However, you will almost never find him envious—what's there to envy? He's perfect.
    • Chiana, meanwhile, is Lusty McFuck.
  • Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly will happily admit that he's a fan of all seven deadly sins. He's a criminal by trade, but he also has Chronic Hero Syndrome, which he does his best to hide.
  • Emerson Cod in Pushing Daisies is obsessed with money, but he's a good friend and does have principles, even being able to occasionally call out other characters on their misbehaviour.
  • Quark from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. For all his greed, he does have morals... usually.
    • Arguably the entire Ferengi race on their better days have this as their hat. Remember Rule of Acquisition 57: Good Customers are as rare as latinum. Treasure them.
  • David Lister of Red Dwarf fame is a total slob (Sloth) who also resorts to pulling some dirty tricks on Rimmer but he's also capable of greatly heroic acts.
    • Likewise, Rimmer is a prickly egotistical smeghead who blames all of his problems on others (Pride), but when the chips are down, he'd rather be dead than smeg.
    • And The Cat screeches back and forth from Lust to Gluttony to Pride to Greed to Sloth (...just like a real cat), but he's also a great pilot, and ends up being one of the more dedicated (if not intelligent) members of the team.
    • At first, Kryten seemed to be immune to sin, being a robot programmed to follow instructions, which he generally did, even after he broke his programming. Then Kochanski was introduced, and Kryten's Envy of Lister's relationship with her began to dominate his characterization.
  • Samantha Jones of Sex and the City. Lives life according to her many vices (most notably sex and fashion), unsentimental, and more than a little arrogant, yet comes through and supports her friends in the end.
    • To the point of handfeeding one of the other characters who had fallen into a deep (if temporary) depression.
  • DCI Gene Hunt from Life On Mars and Ashes to Ashes drinks, smokes, gambles, plants evidence, steals from crime scenes, takes bribes, assaults suspects, and never cease to amaze the protagonist with his casual and tactless displays of bigotry. But his heart's in the right place and he's a big enough Magnificent Bastard to not just get away with it, but make it look awesome.
  • Dean Winchester from Supernatural is a thief, a conman, and a habitual liar. He's also crude, flippant, promiscuous, and violently cynical. He still manages to be pretty damn heroic on a regular basis.
  • Barney Stinson of How I Met Your Mother is a greedy, narcissistic womanizer, but he has proven on numerous occasions to have a hidden heart of gold.
  • Nathan Ford of Leverage is a vengeful alcoholic, but also compassionate, brave, and genuinely loyal to his team.
    • Also Eliot Spencer, whose vice is physical violence, and Alec Hardison, whose vice is being kind of a dick (and a hefty dose of pride.) Both of them are just as reliable, trustworthy and caring as Ford, if you can get them to show it.
  • Chief of security on Babylon 5 Michael Garibaldi and chief of the Medical section Stephen Franklin are both highly competent professionals, resourceful, valiant, persistent, dedicated and loyal to their friends. They are, however, prone to resorting to unhealthy substances (alcohol and stimulators respectively) at hard times.
    • G'Kar turns out to be one of the wisest and self-sacrificing members of the cast, but remains a pervert with a human fetish.
      • Not just humans - he expresses an interest in Centari women, though that might be just to piss off their Ambassador (who he hates - most of the time)
  • Gabrielle of Desperate Housewives is vain, materialistic and adulterous, bu.t she is also a good friend and (in later seasons) a loving wife and mother.
  • Face of The A-Team uses his charisma to get whatever the team needs. But even between missions, he flat out manipulates people just to get a taste of luxury, he's a huge womanizer who's only loved one woman in his life, he doesn't like taking jobs pro-bono, and it's pretty clear that of all the members of the group, he's the one who would most like to drop the soldier of fortune lifestyle to live a life of glamour, and does so without hesitation in one episode.
  • Captain Mainwaring may be amazingly egostistical and very jealous in some ways of Sergeant Wilson but he's also an amazingly brave man who would do anything for the Walmington on Sea platoon and his country. Wilson occasionally shows similar vices, as well as an angry streak if someone pushes him too far or does something to Mrs. Pike.
  • It's sometimes suggested that each of the castaways on Gilligan's Island represented one of the Seven Deadly Sins; Mr. Howell was greedy, the Skipper was wrathful, Ginger was vain, etc. But in spite of their flaws they all come off as more or less sympathetic, likeable people.
  • Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger has Luka/Gokai Yellow, who's a debatable Expy of One Piece's Nami (see above). Money is always the first thought on her mind, she gets extremely upset when she has to part with any (as seen in the first episode when an attack torches some of her bills), and she has her own reasons for her greed: She used to be the Cool Big Sis of a group of young orphans and wants enough money to buy a planet that she can use as a home for them. Not to mention, her Dead Little Sister was part of said group, resulting in her getting somewhat overprotective with Ahim/Gokai Pink.


Newspaper Comics[edit | hide]

  • Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes, a selfish, irascible, arrogant powder keg that makes his parents and teachers reach for Maalox by the quart... but also intelligent, insightful, imaginative, and demonstrates a true love of animals and nature in his dear friend and Morality Pet Hobbes. Hobbes may also qualify, considering how he constantly attempts to attack and needle Calvin, just as often as he demonstrates his friendship.

Radio[edit | hide]

  • Jack Benny, throughout every incarnation, is always defined by his intense desire to hold onto as much of his hard-earned money as he can. His most famous gag is being held up by a mugger and vacillating endlessly as to whether [Benny] should give the mugger "your money or your life".

Tabletop RPG[edit | hide]

  • Any high Morality (or Wisdom, or Humanity, or Obligation) World of Darkness character can fall into this trope; the mechanics actually force you to choose a flaw.
    • The Daeva from Vampire: The Requiem get it twice over, good guys and bad guys alike. The game system awards characters a small amount of Willpower for acting on their Vice. If a Daeva actively refuses to indulge in their Vice, they lose a fair bit of Willpower. Most players act on the "succubus" image of the Daeva and choose Lust as a Vice, but a Daeva with Wrath is... well, something to behold. Daeva with Envy, on the other hand, quite literally have Chronic Backstabbing Disorder - if they don't screw over their enemies and rivals at every opportunity, they become severely depressed because of the Willpower loss.
  • Sesus Nagezzer, AKA "the Slug," from Exalted. He wallows in the sins of lust and gluttony and is viewed as a Fat Bastard, blitzed-out dope by most of the Realm...but he's basically a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Mr. Vice Guy characters with hearts of gold underneath are a staple of the Lunar series.
    • Lunar: The Silver Star has Kyle, an overconfident bandit/barbarian who might party a bit too hard and definitely loves to boast about doing so.
    • Lemina Ausa in Lunar: Eternal Blue is the very model of amoney-grubbing pretty girl - she even has a character portrait with dollar signs in her eyes. It turns out her motive is to restore the Magic Guild, run by her family for generations, to its former glory. However, the nobility of her goal is diminished by the fact that it's sort of her pet project; no one else actually cares. This is balanced because she does genuinely want to help save the world, and she has good intentions. Even when she grows out of being so money-grubbing, she makes jokes about it like in the epilogue, where she asks a large amount of money in return for help in reaching Lucia, but is surprised when Hiro takes the demand seriously.
    • Ronfar from the same game is an alcoholic, womanizing, perverted gambler... as a result of a deep depression stemming from a great personal failure of his. Once he gets back on track, he's a loyal friend, and extremely devoted boyfriend.
  • Gredy Miser of Mega Man Star Force is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. The bottomline is always on his mind, and he can't stand seeing one of his investments fail, which they tend to. He's also an all around nice guy, and gives the cast free tickets to his projects on multiple occasions.
  • Touhou is notable for featuring many nice but nonetheless sinful characters, with the two lead characters, Reimu and Marisa, primarily being slothful and greedy respectively, among other unfavorable traits. Aside from them, virtually every character is self-serving and a little too keen on using violence to solve their problems, which may just be the norm in Gensokyo.
  • Rudger from Dragon Force (video game).
  • Some incarnations of Sonic the Hedgehog are very vain.
  • One of the four characters you have the option to play as in Left 4 Dead are these. Both are in it solely to survive, One is a biker gang member who wants to take advantage of the no police being around so he can cause as much destruction as possible, and the other is a riverboat gambler who will also use the no police thing for his advantage, such as emptying out a cash register in a Pawn shop his band stopped in. Both of them do develop some affection for their teams, but will undoubtably stick to their vices of wrath and greed.


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Rayne from Least I Could Do. One wouldn't think an arrogant womanizer Mary Sue could be such a likable character, but some people think he pulls it off through a combination of sheer charisma and being a big softie on the inside.
  • Order of the Stick's self-proclaimed "Chaotic Good-ish" thief Haley Starshine is sneaky and greedy, but ultimately good-hearted and even prone to suprising moments of charity.
    • It's been broadly hinted in the strip that the reason she glomps so fiercely onto money is that she needs to pay off some sort of enormous ransom to save a family member. This has been semi-Jossed by the Origin of PCs book, depicting her as greedy even before receiving the ransom note.
    • Roy Greenhilt also qualifies. He is a bit of an asshole sometimes and is mean and deadpan to most people he meets. But this doesn't stop him from being an essentially honorable, decent young man who wants nothing more than to defeat the forces of evil, even at the cost of his own life, but he got better. This is best shown when he is being judged for entering Lawful Good heaven, and gets in, but is told off for being a compulsive Deadpan Snarker.
    • Belkar is a kind of reversed trope. He'll stand up for his party members and is capable of great feats of heroism, but ultimately he's a homicidal sociopath who's only adventuring because it lets him commit atrocities he'd be arrested for otherwise.
      • Played to the hilt with this comic when he REALIZES IT'S TRUE.
    • Averted with Vaarsuvius who, while nowhere near as amoral as Belkar, is too flawed and broken for this trope, to the point where his/her good points don't outweigh the bad points.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • The Flash from Justice League despite being a hero is greedy (capitalizing on his image) proud (capitalizing on his image) and definitely lecherous (constantly hitting on every woman he finds).
  • The various Disney Afternoon series use this to great effect.
    • In DuckTales (1987), Scrooge McDuck is, well, The Scrooge to sometimes absurd levels, but always honors his deals, does not resort to criminal means, and genuinely cares about his nephews.
    • Darkwing Duck was less caught up on avarice than Pride - he was supremely arrogant, leading him to alienate allies and boast like a Bond villain... but there's a reason he named Let's Get Dangerous: that pride was almost all justified, when he actually took problems seriously.
    • Finally, Baloo from Tale Spin was a kind and heroic figure in the most Crapsack World of the three, but cripplingly lazy, constantly causing himself and others problems which were easily avoidable.
    • All three were accompanied by child sidekicks who existed largely to tell their caretakers when the vice was getting out of hand, and to create trouble through their own vice (overwhelming curiosity in all cases).
    • Rebecca of Tale Spin is arguably even closer to the trope as Baloo. Being his employer, she can be rather demanding and uptight, and shares Baloo's arrogance and money lust (if not more so), but all in all, she cares about her workers and treats them as her best friends. Similar to the former examples, her daughter Molly often acts as a Morality Pet.
  • Gwizdo of Dragon Hunters usually haggles with desperate villagers over the price of the Hunters' services or actually tries to swindle them. However, his schemes either go wrong or his good nature prevails, effectively preventing the team from getting rich and settling down.
  • Mr. Krabs from SpongeBob SquarePants used to be this fairly consistently but has since been reduced to a Designated Hero or Villain Protagonist starting around season 4-5, but may qualify in a few of the post movie episodes, such as Kracked Krabs.
  • Dr. Thaddeus Venture of The Venture Brothers, despite being mostly portrayed as a cynical, emotionally crippled, amoral slime ball, does occasionally show that deep down he is a decent human being, major examples including Stopping Brock from murdering his brother at the end of season one, refusing to become the super villain Dr. Killinger had been grooming him to become in season three, and again in season three when he decides to study the super powerful ORB rather than use it for his own personal gain.
    • But then again we are talking about a man who creates the Joycan, a fully interactive virtual environment powered by the heart of a dead orphan, resurrects dead people to make them into suicide bombers - (note that said resurrectees are not mindless zombies) & orders his bodyguard to go kill people so he has more corpses to make said Suicide Bomber Zombies. Dr. Venture's decent and humane moments are few and far between.
      • Keep in mind, too, that one of the overreaching arcs of the show has been the slow redemption of dear old Rusty. The first season featured loads of Jerkass moments for him, but these have toned down as time went on. By season 3, he's just more of an insensitve Jerkass, with his 'worst' crime that season probably being when he covered up the death of one of his daycamp kids with a sloppily made clone made from DNA in the dead kid's shoe. Better than the Joycan, at least.
        • And he cured some genetic diseases the kid had, too.
    • Now Brock Sampson on the other hand is closer to an unambiguous example... he definitely puts the heroic in "heroic" and the sociopath in "sociopath"
  • Ruel Stroud in Wakfu is a treasure-hunter with an obvious attachment to money, but when his traveling companions are in danger (especially his best friend's adoptive son) he'll rush to their defense.
  • Sunstreaker in The Transformers is as brave and heroic as any of the Autobots, but his defining characteristic is his ego. Powerglide and Sky Lynx have hefty egos as well, but they're generally less obnoxious about it than Sunstreaker. Tracks, on the other hand, has a heftier ego and is more obnoxious about it...
    • The Dinobots all have anger and self-control issues, but this just makes them seem childlike and therefore comes across as endearing.
    • Blurr has a problem with impatience.
  • Aaahh Real Monsters: Ickis had a whole slew of issues. Having a father as famous and skilled as Slickis gave him a lot to live up to, and he frequently flipped between resenting this and trying to exploit it. He could go from insanely arrogant and cocky to an insecure nervous wreak in a heartbeat, was naive and endlessly curious about the human world, but also cynical and snarky at times. To top it all off, he had image issues thanks to being an Ugly Cute monster that constantly got mistaken for a rabbit. Of course, in a way, he was...
  • Both Buck Tuddrussel and Larry 3000 in Time Squad are Vice Guys: Tuddrussel tends toward aggressive and childish flaws, whereas Larry's are hedonistic and lustful. Luckily, they have Otto to keep them in line.
  • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: All the main characters are supposed to have both flaws and strengths. Many of the flaws are more weaknesses than vices and/or not obvious much of the time, but some fit this trope:
    • Rainbow Dash is brash, insensitive and prideful, with a very strong attitude, one which hides her fear of not living up to her own expectations. However, she is an extremely loyal friend and a rather good jester.
    • Rarity is superficial and likes attention far too much, but in spite of this is actually very considerate (most of the time), and even the superficiality ties to her artistic calling, making it actually less superficial (and is just as often manifested as a desire to help others look fabulous too).
    • Twilight Sparkle has No Social Skills, is extremely logical and has an obsession with control, so much that any chaotic situation is almost guaranteed to give her a Heroic BSOD. But even so, she is a fun-loving, easygoing character that is always willing to lend a hoof.