The Perfectionist

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One time—just one time—she had gotten merely satisfactory results, and this was her state. How much of a perfectionist can you be?
—Lergen's POV, Saga of Tanya the Evil

A character that has to be perfect at what they do, or at everything they do.

There's a variation when some sort of special event is going on, where there's usually one crazy organizer who takes charge and the rest just go along. This chief organizer has a pretty good chance of becoming an overbearing perfectionist. Naturally, said character needs to learn that nothing is perfect in life; it would be pretty boring otherwise. Whether the message gets though (or not) depends on the character.

In a Four-Temperament Ensemble, this character is Melancholic.

Compare and contrast Super OCD, as well as the Ultimate Lifeform, who is "perfect". Also compare the Broken Ace, who often overlaps with this character. In academics, this may result in a The "B" Grade situation.

Examples of The Perfectionist include:

Anime and Manga

  • Death the Kid from Soul Eater, when it comes to symmetry.
  • For Chiri from Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei, everything has to be done "properly" ... even things that are not right, if you don't do them the right way.... let's just say things don't get pretty.
  • Deconstructed with a character in Fruits Basket. Throughout her childhood, she was forced to be absolutely perfect. Now, perfection actually causes her to snap and wreck things on purpose.
  • Asuka Langley from Evangelion, who uses perfectionism as a way of avoiding dealing with her crippingly low self-esteem. Once she loses her status as the number one pilot, bad things begin to happen to her sanity.
  • Sebastian Michaelis in Black Butler must always do everything perfectly. Even if that means he ends up massively overdoing things. Even if the result being less perfect would actually have been better by being less conspicious. It helps a lot that Sebastian is a powerful demon with capabilities far beyond human and so can actually accomplish his vision without getting stuck.

Film

Literature

  • Mentioned by the Navy psychiatrist as one of Lt. Queeg's faults in The Caine Mutiny.
  • In Saga of Tanya the Evil, when Tanya is unable to see his (and his unit's) performance in their first at sea search and destroy mission as satisfactory, Lergen sees Tanya as a someone that demands perfection. This is a bit distinct from the conventional view of a perfectionist, which is typically someone that demands perfection only of themselves (and even then probably not perfection in everything). It was like The "B" Grade, but with war (not a class on war, but actual war zone combat).

Live Action TV

  • Monica Geller from Friends.
  • Bree van de Kamp from Desperate Housewives, especially in the first season. Her second husband Orson could qualify too.
  • Boston Legal: Denny Crane has never lost a case. Nowadays he only takes cases he thinks it's a lock to win, and/or takes second chair in cases so if he side does lose it doesn't count for his stats.
  • In Star Trek, the entire Borg Collective is this trope, with special mention for Seven of Nine from Star Trek: Voyager.

Tabletop Games

  • Canonically in most Dungeons and Dragons settings, it's a traditional mentality of elves. This means they spend centuries to improve some or other art, craft or fighting style as far as they can. So they end up regularly doing stuff that amazes others, but being too focused on refinement to ever do much of anything at all.
  • Magic: The Gathering: Yawgmoth, and by extention every Phyrexian, is obsessed with perfection. Their methods to reach it always include a good dose of Body Horror.

Video Games

  • Creepily shows up with Sirush from The Reconstruction. One of his passive abilities even revolves around this.

No room for error. None.

  • Pretty much all of the prosecutors in Ace Attorney, especially Manfred Von Karma, who killed a defense attorney and raised his son to self-destruct just because his perfect win record was slightly damaged (and he still won the trial!).

Web Original

  • Grandmaster of Theft's Cassidy Cain strives to be the perfect at anything she aims at, to the point where she relentlessly drills herself, seeks challenges to improve, and won't accept anything less of her.
  • The Nostalgia Critic always wants everything to be perfect and breaks down in disappointment when the movies he's watching inevitably "fail" him.

Western Animation