Took a Level in Jerkass

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"You used to be sweeter than honey! Now you're getting all kinds of nasty!"
LeShawna, referring to Geoff, Total Drama Action

When a character grows into a Jerkass over time (sometimes not much of it at all). Can be due to Flanderization, a Face Heel Turn, or just another regular but unfortunate Character Development. While a Jerkass growing into a Jerk with a Heart of Gold is a common phenomenon, especially in dramas, a reversal, resulting in this trope, is also common, especially in comedies.

This can also cause tropes like What the Hell, Hero?, though whether if the character changes for the better after that is well Depending on the Writer.

See also: Took a Level in Badass, Took a Level In Dumbass. The Counter Trope to Took a Level In Kindness. Contrast Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, who was always a jerk. A character taking his/her level in jerkassitude was genuinely nice.

No Real Life Examples, Please

Examples of Took a Level in Jerkass include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Due to unexplained happenings during the Time Skip, Hei of Darker than Black has gone from a ruthless Anti-Hero, to a drunk ruthless Anti-Hero with an unwanted Morality Pet. Hei had been nicknamed "Chinese Electric Batman", but unfortunately, he's just "Chinese Batman" since he was Brought Down to Badass.
  • Bleach uses this trope every now and then, such as in the Hueco Mundo arc with Ichigo's infamous scene with his childhood friend Tatsuki demanding to know why their classmate Orihime had suddenly vanished. The dialogue seemed to be setting up for a classic "It's Not You, It's My Enemies" speech, but instead he coldly told her that it had nothing to do with her. The very next page is him getting his head put through a window. There is also the scene where Yamamoto deems Orihime a traitor shortly after being kidnapped (which is a big reason why some fans deem him a Knight Templar). While both of those characters received a fairly substantial amount of What the Hell, Hero? plenty of fans have felt that they could have handled those situations a lot better.
    • In fairness, even if Yamamoto had handled that a lot more gracefully, Ichigo being the hot head that he is would have rushed into Hueco Mundo anyway.
      • The earlier example with Ichigo was actually a Jerkass Facade on his part because he was attempting to push his friends away knowing full well he was getting ready to go on a near suicide mission that would easily get them all killed.
  • Guts from Berserk. After the horrible events of the Eclipse that all but broke him, he spends two years as a Byronic Hero who keeps everyone distant from him and is focused solely on vengeance and blood.
  • Canute in Vinland Saga after ascending to the throne.
  • Suzaku from Code Geass gets a huge one during the timeskip, for obvious and rather justified reasons. He never really gets better, and his pain is very apparent, if expressed in the wrong way.
  • Amy Rose of Sonic X was initially a kindly bubbly girl with occasional Tsundere mood swings. By the final episodes she more consistently acts as an obnoxious and occasionally outright violent Stalker with a Crush to Sonic, to the point half her allies, and even some foes, are outright terrified of her. The video games interpretation bordered a little into this trope as well, though it's usually much more toned down.
  • Oh Lordy, Nakai from Bakuman。. When he's first introduced he was desperate to get a manga serialization despite not succeeding in ten years. Through much perseverance he proves himself to fellow manga artist Aoki and the two do manage to start up a serialization. However, once he gets a taste of success it goes right to his head and he starts acting like an arrogant, womanizing asshole, alienating most of his friends and colleagues, ultimately getting himself canceled and decides to quit manga and go back home. Recently he's returned to the business, but not only is he working for Nanamine, the first unambiguously "evil" rival in the series, but both his appearance and personality have grown even more slovenly and repulsive during the interim.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: This happened in the backstories of both Kyouko and Homura.
  • Chiba and Maho from Wandering Son have taken this in recent chapters. In Maho's case, it might be because she hit puberty.
  • Naruto: Sakura in the fillers. While she started to genuinely warm up towards Naruto, the fillers seem to ignore the poor girl's Character Development for the sake of humor. This got to the point where she started taunting Naruto for his misery in the third movie.
    • Let's not forget Sasuke.
  • Dragon Ball: This happens to Vegeta after his Face Heel Turn.
  • A Justified Trope in the case of Tem Ray in Mobile Suit Gundam. He was already a borderline Mad Scientist in the beginning, but the biggest leap into jerkassery happened due to brain damage from oxygen deprivation, which can really screw up your personality.
  • Arguably, Medaka of Medaka Box. Since Ajimu has introduced five "normal" people to her, Medaka no longer views Zenkichi as someone special to her since he couldn't pass the first trial of a test she gave the normals. Then she actively tries to turn him into her enemy by acting cold and offensive just so she can see value in him again. Kind of sad considering it's a combination of her abnormality and her personality that causes her change like this since she can't understand failure or things from a "weak" perspective. She even goes as far as using an abnormality that makes her weaker than Zenkichi and goes all out in a fight against him. Since Zenkichi isn't really willing to fight her at this point she mops the floor with him. However the abnormality she used is a "perfected version" of Kumagawa's Bookmaker and isn't meant for fighting, but for allowing the person affected to feel the world from the opponents perspective.
  • Takanashi from Working!! is suddenly a lot gruffer in the second season. Justified in that dealing with Inami will do that to you. Then inverted in that he becomes super-nice to her with even less explanation.
  • Chiaki Yoshino from Sekaiichi Hatsukoi went from bratty but well meaning Adult Child to immature Jerkass. This might be justified as he's dating his best friend Hatori who is a Yandere and given that he was brutally raped and then suddenly forced the two into a relationship based on co-dependancy pretty much made him worse as shown when his relationship with his best friend Yanase is strained given that he fails to understand Yanase's feelings and not only turns him down multiple times in the worse way possible but constantly rubs salt on the wound. It gets to the point that Yanase does call him out on his attitude...unfortunately, it means nothing in the next episode where Chiaki pulls a huge Jerkass moment that the fanbase won't let him live down and generally through him into The Scrappy territory.

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • The title character of Funky Winkerbean was something of a pessimist as an adult, but still mostly a nice guy. After Time Skip #2, he became a grumpy, avaricious Jerkass.
  • Hank Pym in the Marvel Universe, though this fluctuates Depending on the Writer.
  • Although he was already kind of a jerk, Iron Man during the Civil War/SecretInvasion period was borderline approaching villain status. Thankfully, the movie helped him to get the better of it.
  • Batman has an on-and-off again history of this. All-Star Batman and Robin The Boy Wonder probably takes the cake though.
  • Nearly every incarnation of The Hulk goes through periods where he goes from Woobie to Jerkass Woobie to just plain Jerkass.
    • Then again, it's The Hulk. His superpower is taking a level in both badass and jerkass.
  • Most of the New Mutants in recent years, but especially Cannonball.
  • Namor with his oxygen-processing problem.
  • Power Girl with her diet soda processing problem.
  • Cyclops in X-Men, getting more and more obnoxious since Utopia.
  • In his earlier appearances, Curt Connors of Spider-Man was a reasonably sympathetic character when he wasn't the Lizard, and even as the Lizard retained some protective instincts towards his family. He was retconned into being Evil All Along, and as of The Gauntlet he completely lost control of the Lizard persona and killed and ate his own son. After that, his more sympathetic characterization likely won't be coming back any time soon.
  • Everybody in Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog during Ian Flynn's run. Sonic was derailed to the point where he dissed Tails' parents in front of him and didn't apologize, and Fiona spontaneously turned evil despite the fact that nothing in the comics' past could have possibly hinted at such a turn. Even Tails, the lovable eight-year-old child genius, was turned into a lovesick, smug, self-aggrandizing show-off.
  • Batman to a huge extent in JLA: Act of God, infamously.


Fan Fic[edit | hide]


Film[edit | hide]

  • Beauty and the Beast: Gaston starts out as a mostly-harmless Handsome Lech. When it becomes clear his charms have no effect on Belle, he attempts to blackmail her into marrying him by having her father committed to the insane asylum under false pretenses. And just when you don't think he can sink any lower, he realizes that the Beast is the object of Belle's affection, and rallies a lynch mob to kill him. And when that fails he stabs the Beast after the latter decides to spare his life.
  • Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars.
  • Harry Osborn in the Spider-Man franchise. Lashing out at Peter in the second movie and acting like a douche bag for most of his scenes. In the third film he gets better via a little Easy Amnesia, but then reverts to full blown Rival Turned Evil. Mary Jane also becomes increasingly self centered as the series progresses. She has No Sympathy for Peter despite all the problems he has, refuses to hear his side of the story as to why he missed her play, and in the third movie she resents Spider-Man's popularity for saving people's lives. Even Peter himself took a level in the third movie. He develops a little Acquired Situational Narcissism in the beginning and then he got the Venom symbiote. You know the rest.
  • The Wedding Singer: Glenn Guglia morphs from a normal, loving fiance to a caricature of a Handsome Lech.
  • Titanic has the obnoxious aristocrat Caledon "Cal" Hockley, who starts out as a pompous, misogynistic Jerkass. He soon graduates to smack his fiancee around, trying to frame Jack for burglary, and when things really start to go south, kidnapping and attempted murder.
  • Ash of the Evil Dead series does this over time. In the first film he's basically a Final Guy, by the second he's a Badass and in the third he's a full blown Jerkass.
  • Abigail from the National Treasure series seems to take one between the first and second movies. In the first movie, she starts out as a tad bitchy, but really not without reason given the crap she ends up in thanks to Ben. By the end of the movie, she's considerably nicer and has evolved into a proper Love Interest. When the second movie comes around, she's reverted to the beginning of the first movie and gone even further, being worse than she was then. She changed the alarm code in what is most likely Ben's house, and she's hostile around him even when he's trying to be nice. He also has to bribe her to get her to help him clear his family's name.
  • Sarah Connor in Terminator 2 is barely recognizable as the sweet-natured waitress from the first movie. The way she treats people, including her own son, uncomfortably evokes shades of Drill Sergeant Nasty and She Who Fights Monsters. Fortunately, she seems to get better by the end.
  • Clopin from The Hunchback of Notre Dame is first introduced as the colorful narrator of the film, and the master of ceremonies at the Feast of Fools, where he was very kind to Quasimodo. However, near the end of the movie, he is now the bitter judge (his hand puppet serving as Quasi's defense) presiding over the Court of Miracles, and is now very mean to not only Quasimodo, but also Phoebus as well, and as a result he wanted the two both sentenced to death for being spies of Frollo (they were actually working against Frollo, not for him). Had Esmeralda not showed up at the Court of Miracles to stop Clopin and tell him that both Quasi and Phoebus are trying to help them, Clopin would had actually killed them both.
    • This seems to be more about Hidden Depths than becoming more of a jerk - Clopin's mostly rather genial on the outside, but he's also secretly the leader of an insurgence desperate to stop a madman's oppression of his people (so he's a bit of a Stepford Smiler). He was likely exercising caution to protect his people and simply acted hastily - though he could have at least waited for their side before passing immediate judgement, true, it's unlikely he would have believed them without Esmeralda vouching for them, and one must remember that Phoebus was the Captain of the Guard prior to this event (information which had likely not yet reached Clopin), so yeah...
  • Janet from The Rocky Horror Picture Show if you consider Shock Treatment to be a direct sequel.
  • In Deep Rising, Simon Canton's plan at first was to destroy the ship as an insurance scam, but to make it so all of the passengers live. Later though, he uses the others as bait so he can escape himself, and tries to kill Trillian and steal Finnegan's boat. Fortunately though, he meets a Karmic Death in the end.
  • Loki in The Mighty Thor: Tragic Villain and Woobie Destroyer Of Worlds. Loki in The Avengers: omnicidal psychopath who enjoys torturing people and kills 80 people in two days ("He's adopted"). It's implied the trip through several dimensions to Earth took a toll on his already fragile sanity, but wow.
    • The first Thor movie also ends with Loki having an apparent mental breakdown and choosing death in the interdimensional void over reconciling with his family. It's literally Villainous Breakdown: The Movie. So, not so much derailment as development.

Literature[edit | hide]

  • Roger and Jack from Lord of the Flies. In addition to becoming huge jerks, they both reach Complete Monster by the end.
  • Percy Weasley and Cornelius Fudge from Harry Potter both start out fairly nice, then turn against Dumbledore. Of the two, Percy gets better just in time for one of his brothers to get killed.
  • Nick Carraway from The Great Gatsby becomes more and more sarcastic toward the end of the novel, since the girl people tried to hook him up with turned out to be a fraud and his friend Gatsby got killed by his cousin's abusive husband's lover's widower. Kind of a lot to swallow.
  • Joni from Boy Meets Boy is shown as a good, somewhat tomboyish straight girl and friend of gay teens Paul and Tony. But then she hooks up with dumb jock Chuck, who is really most likely dating her out of spite for a previous girl who spurned his advances, and things go downhill from there. Although her friends try to like Chuck, it's no good and then they don't try very hard to hide how much he annoys them. Even so, this doesn't excuse Joni for giving all of them (except Chuck) the silent treatment, not returning calls, or dropping completely out of their lives after about a decade of friendship. To her credit, she probably goes back to making nice with Paul and Tony in the end.
  • Nathaniel in The Bartimaeus Trilogy starts out as a kid you can sympathize with and becomes a complete Jerkass as he becomes more and more invested in the magicians' society.
  • Rand al'Thor in The Wheel of Time gets harder and colder as the series goes on, a combination of the trials of his position and his traumatic experiences (he's pretty mad as of book 7 and spirals downward into insanity from then on). This gets really bad in The Gathering Storm, where he starts alienating even his closest friends and allies to the point of nearly killing his own father out of misplaced rage and paranoia, before finally having a breakthrough while having a good old therapeutic Nietzsche Wannabe rant and conversation with the voice in his head upon the site of the death of his last incarnation 3000 years ago..
  • Onestar from Warrior Cats. He's a Nice Guy early on, but after becoming the leader of WindClan, he becomes more of a jerk as he attempts to prove his Clan's independence.
  • Sisterhood series by Fern Michaels: Oh, man! Many of the characters start out as relatively nice, and then become more and more like Jerkasses as the series goes on. Charles Martin notes in the book Vanishing Act that the Vigilantes are treating him with little respect, when they used to defer to his judgement before. Charles is hardly a saint himself in terms of behaviour. However, their attitudes come back to bite them hard in the book Deja Vu, and they seem to have dropped the Jerkassitude (ha, ha!) by the book Home Free.
  • King Orrin in the Inheritance Cycle. He begins as a somewhat dissolute, but brave and intrepid young man and a vital component of the Varden (Orik even says that the Varden couldn't exist without his hard and dangerous work). However, stress, as well as feeling under-appreciated and overshadowed lead to a drinking problem in between Brisingr and Inheritance, which leads to his taking a level in jerkass.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Carrie from The King of Queens, to the point of "What Does He See In Her?".
  • Ryan was one of the more likable and sympathetic characters in the first few seasons of The Office, but his sudden rise to power at Dunder-Mifflin coincided with a massive increase in the size of his ego. His humiliating, highly public fall from grace only seemed to make things worse.
    • This also seems to have happened with Pam, albeit to a lesser extent.
    • Andy presents an inversion—originally Jim's new foil (or "Dwight 2") when he transfers to the Stamford office, Andy has become the "all-around nice guy" in Scranton following anger management courses and (more likely) Executive Meddling to avoid having two Dwights.
  • Ross on Friends arguably becomes more egotistical and obnoxious, if only to justify his Butt Monkey role.
  • And Malcolm from Malcolm in the Middle.
  • Criminal Minds: Season 1 serial killer Karl Arnold is shown again in season 5 episode Outfoxed. Sure he wasn't a nice guy when they caught him, but four years later, he's got even worse.
  • How I Met Your Mother: In Season 6, Zoey Morrison gets Ted's entire class to do this when he tells of his wanting to tear down the Arcadian.
    • Barney does one in season 5 after breaking up with Robin (which is saying something, as he already was a pretty big jerkass, albeit one with a Hidden Heart of Gold). He goes back down to his pre-Robin level of jerkery in season 6 though.
  • iCarly: Sam was a bully from episode 1, but she takes level after level. A couple of her points include the episode she bashed Freddie with a tennis racquet and chucked him out of a treehouse for a differing opinion, and then later starting a basement sweatshop using elementary school kids to mass produce their Penny Tee Shirts.
    • Freddie takes a level in "iCan't Take It", while he is dating Sam, he edits Carly out of a webshow skit (something he never did even to Sam when they hated each other), and taunts her about being jealous of their relationship.
  • Jade West of Victorious in the second season. In the fourth episode, she sabotages Tori in an effort to steal a role in a musical by forcing her to repeatedly donate blood Robbie needs for surgery, and in the fifth episode, she attempts to wreck the prom Tori created because Tori unwittingly held it on the same night as the one-man show Jade was planning. Possibly Justified Trope by the fact that Beck, who usually calms her evil side, hasn't been around as much this season.
    • To be fair, since the main cast are portrayed as being either sophomores or juniors in high school, what reason does Tori have for even wanting a prom when it wasn't her time? Not that it excuses Jade being Jade, but Tori more or less ruined Jade;s big night.
  • Vanessa and Jenny in Gossip Girl. Jenny gains points for having gone from sweetheart-everyone-adores to being hated by pretty much all of the NJBC.
  • Kengo from Kamen Rider Kiva disappears after a couple of tragic events, then returns several episodes later with special training and a chip on his shoulder, especially regarding Wataru and Nago. Thankfully, he gets better.
  • Dr. Eric Foreman on House, who started off as a fairly self-possessed guy who didn't really appreciate House's shenanigans, and then progressed to the type of guy who screwed over a colleague and then stabbed her with a dirty needle (the latter under duress, but still). His jerkassery has calmed somewhat, but hasn't completely gone away. To be fair, the growing jerkassery did become a plotpoint after that—Foreman was afraid that spending so much time around House was causing him to become more like him. He quit Princeton-Plainsboro to try to stop this... but then got fired from a job in New York after using very House-like tactics. Cuddy even once called him "House-Lite."
  • Phoebe of Charmed seemed to take a level in jerkass at the end of her relationship with Cole.
  • Admiral Adama drifts this way toward the end of the fourth season of Battlestar Galactica Reimagined; after the disappointment of the scorched Earth arc, he temporarily regresses from a respected leader into an angry, pathetic drunk.
    • Actually, BSG seems to have tons of examples. Lt. Felix Gaeta, anyone?
    • Also, Tom Zarek. Early in the series, he was a recurring political provocateur and alleged terrorist, but he actually managed to be somewhat nice towards the main characters, especially in the Kobol and New Caprica arcs. Flash forward to mid-season 4, and he's perpetrating a mutiny among the fleet and having the Quorum of Twelve gunned down in a petty power-grab while President Roslin is in the midst of a Heroic BSOD. Fortunately, he doesn't survive it.
  • Detective Quinn in season six of Dexter. He had already stolen from a crime scene earlier in the show, but he got worse. After screwing up at work he shows up to his ex-girlfriend/new boss Debra's housewarming party drunk off his ass with a girl he picked up from a bar, and proceeds to act like a douche to all present. It's quite telling that even the girl leaves because he took her to his ex's party simply as a cheap insult, and his partner (Batista) straight-up slugs him when he takes it too far by harassing his sister. In the following episodes he goes out drinking on week nights, behaves like an obnoxious asshole at strip clubs, doesn't show up for work, gets his partner almost killed by getting drunk and sleeping in instead of going to work. When he's fired for it, he manages to stay by exploiting a loophole intended for helping alcoholics. (He is an alcoholic, but only because he's such a Jerkass, not because he actually needs help)
  • Mike Stivic of All in The Family apparently turned into a jerkass after he, Gloria and Jr. moved to California. We never see exactly how it happened, but he started to ignore his once beloved wife and son, slept around with another woman, compared marriage to Hell and he called Gloria fat.
    • Well, to be fair he was already pretty much a jerk. And there were a few episodes dealing with him being a tad embarrassed of Gloria's lack of a higher education and in one episode Gloria worries that the above is exactly what would happen one day.
    • Much to everyone's surprise it was Gloria who cheats on Michael, causing Archie to call her a whore. So it was Gloria who takes a level in jerkass.
  • Kellerman in the later seasons of Homicide: Life on the Street, for (arguably) understandable reasons in response to certain plot developments.
  • Cody Martin has been known for most of the Suite Life franchise as socially-awkward but lovable nerd. One couldn't help but root for him in the first season of On Deck as he fought with painstaking care to win Bailey's heart. Then, in the second season, he suddenly became full of himself, constantly fought with Bailey for dominance in the relationship, and even assumed Bailey and former love-interest Jessica were jealous of one another, despite a complete lack of evidence thereto.
    • When he and Bailey broke up and Zack got a girlfriend, after which he starts making fun of Zack for having a girlfriend, and gains the sexist attitude that Zack recently got rid of.
  • Similar to the above is the story of Justin Russo of Wizards of Waverly Place. Justin was originally just a lovable nerd whose over-achieving sometimes got the better of him, and later on a badass who would fight to the death for his loved ones. Following the "Wizards vs. Werewolves" special, Justin became his sister Alex's bitter arch-rival.
  • On Everybody Loves Raymond, Debra started out in the early seasons as a fairly reasonable everywoman who seemed to have a quite playful and loving relationship with Ray. Then, the character suddenly changed. It's hard to pinpoint exactly when the change occurred, but Debra eventually became a raging, physically-abusive and Smug Snake Karma Houdini who treated Ray like trash, beat him up, forbade him from seeing his friends most of the time, and convinced Ray's own children to feel contempt for him. Oh, and the worst part? The show tried to act like she was the reasonable one, despite her abusive, Jerkass behavior. So basically, she went from being a well-rounded, likable character in the beginning to the writers' Mary Sue by the end.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer had become increasingly arrogant over the last two seasons. It's partially justified in that being yanked out of Heaven and coming to buried alive in her own grave had been very traumatic. However, by the last season she had practically declared herself dictator of the group and made sneering comments when one of the girls under her charge committed suicide.
    • This is hardly the first time she does. At the start of season 2 she is stressing over her temporary death at the hands of the The Master, and her Jerkassness in that episode would impress Faith at her worst. Later everyone took a level after Buffy flees Sunnydale at the end of the second season. Justified in the fourth season as a demon was stealing her soul. And in season five a magical retcon gives her a sister that is being pursued by a nigh-invincible Hellgod, her mother is dying, and her boyfriend is found cheating on her with vampire prostitutes and then flees town, so Buffy is epically not in a happy place.
    • Speaking of Faith, she does this to a frightening degree after she accidentally kills someone, to the point where Buffy is happy to kill her. She gets better following her first Angel appearance, however, to the point that she's one of the nicer characters by the end of the television series.
      • Attempting to provoke Buffy, and then later Angel, into killing her was actually Faith's objective. It was a more complex character arc than it appeared at first glance.
  • Seth Cohen from The OC becomes noticeably more self-absorbed in later episodes. Arguably this helped round out his character a bit more and explain his previously inexplicable unpopularity.
  • Nate from Six Feet Under, even though the personality changes are very gradual and subtle. His idealistic, free-spirited nature doesn't mesh well with his family responsibilities in season 5.
    • Similarly, Rico
  • Finn Hudson in Glee recently cranked it up a notch. After whining about being cheated on by his last two girlfriends, he eagerly began an affair with one of them while she was still in a relationship with Sam Evans.
    • Sebastian Smythe is another example. Sure, he was always a jerk, but mostly in the "lovable rogue" sort of way. Some people even shipped him with Blaine or Kurt or both. Fewer people do now thanks to him tampering the slushy, causing Blaine to need surgery.
    • Becky was a sweet kid in Season one but under Sue Sylvester's influence became ean and cruel
    • Artie has shown signs of this in Season 3, especially when he's playing director.
  • The Big Bang Theory: Dr. Sheldon Cooper turned from a shy, socially awkward Hollywood Nerd into a full on Insufferable Genius. Both Leonard and Wolowitz became rather nasty Deadpan Snarkers themselves. Penny gradually adapted a policy of Brutal Honesty toward the guys, but developed a mutual respect for their nerdy tendencies as well.
    • Priya and Raj in season four. For Priya, she basically forbade Leonard and Penny to hang out together due to jealousy, then she lies to Leonard about not moving back to India. For no adequate reason. Karma Houdini doesn't cover it. For Raj, he begun to have lust for Howard's fiance Bernadette (and when being told a rumor of them breaking up, wanted to date her even though Howard possibly wouldn't let that fly) and then after Penny falling asleep before they could have drunken sex still acted like an ass that slept with her.
  • The Doctor after losing too many close friends too many times, to the point that he snapped, said "screw history!" and declared himself the Time Lord Victorious. Then someone killed herself to save the future and brought him back to Earth.
  • 90210: Adrianna in season 3. She even went as far as swapping out Silver's medication for Bipolar Disorder with placebos.
  • We've seen this happen a few times on Deadliest Catch as various crewmembers' clout increase, especially in season 6:
    • The Northwestern's resident Woobie/Determinator, Jake Anderson, wanted to go to the captain's chair after his climb up the crew ranks at the beginning of the season, prompting Captain Sig Hansen to swap him for a few weeks with Jake Harris of the Cornelia Marie, who was reaching a boiling point with his elder brother Josh.
    • However, in season 7, when Jake is being taught how to be a captain by Sig, even allowed to run his own string of crap pots, he shows surprising humility. When his string comes up almost blank, he blames himself more than anyone on the crew and resolves to work harder to make up for it. A distinct example of losing a level in Jerkass.
    • Inverted Trope on the Time Bandit, where the other crew started treating Mike Fourtner badly when he was actually given a test run in the Captain's chair.
  • Jack Hunter on Boy Meets World in season 7. He started out basically a Nice Guy who was a little naive due to being new in town and occasionally exasperated with Eric's Cloud Cuckoo Landerness. In the season 5 premiere episode "Brothers," we are introduced to him as someone raised by an upper-class stepfather. His estranged brother Shawn assumes he's a rich brat because of this. However, in the following episode "Boy Meets Real World," while he and Shawn are arguing, Jack admits to working summer jobs in order to obtain the money he has, thus giving Shawn and the viewers a positive impression of him. But he seemed to transform into a Jerk Ass after his breakup with Rachel in the season 7 premiere episode "Show Me the Love." Throughout season 7, he degrades into a narcissistic, spoiled pretty-boy. This is especially Lampshaded in the ante-penultimate episode "Angela's Ashes," when Jack is cut off from his father's funding. Rachel tells him he can't go to fancy restaurants, shop at name-brand stores, get expensive haircuts, and such. Jack whines throughout the episode about this, even as he's saying goodbye to Angela who's leaving for Europe for a year with her Dad.
  • In Season 5 of Chuck, Morgan, the title character's friend, turned into quite a self-entitled asshole, brushing off Chuck and the rest of his team, and even going as far as joining a rival spy firm. However, Morgan himself isn't at fault for it, as the Intersect that he gained at the end of last season was "tainted", causing him to lose himself, so to speak. He eventually had it removed after four episodes or so.
  • Walter White of Breaking Bad becomes less and less sympathetic as the show goes on. Vince Gilligan has confirmed this is deliberate.
  • Roseanne's titular character started out as a gruff, but otherwise friendly and wisecracking blue-collar woman who loved her husband and kids, and slowly transformed into a cruel, selfish, sniping, raging, shrieking bitch with severe misandrist tendencies. On top of that, she was often portrayed as being in the right and getting away with being an asshole to everyone. Her daughter, Darlene, seemed to follow her into this mold. Given that this dovetailed with the men of the show (particularly Leon, Mark and David) becoming more and more pathetic, useless, and stupid, and that the show was practically written and run by Roseanne herself, it's a pretty clarifying look into her mindset at the time.

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Prince of Persia's Sands of Time trilogy. The Prince was originally a charming, likable Guile Hero, but in the sequel, he became the very embodiment of a Jerkass. Needless to say, the fans were NOT pleased.
  • In Condemned, Ethan Thomas is a nice enough guy, a gifted investigator, but personality-wise, he was never too impolite, despite clearly being under some MAJOR stress. Come the sequel, Ethan's undergone about a year of alcoholism as well as some Jerkass power leveling. He curses all the time and is routinely impolite and distrustful towards everyone who tries to help him. This is in fact underlined by the change in his voice actor and character design (he went from an Ambiguously Brown SCU agent wearing a nondescript police uniform, to a rather less ambiguously Caucasian bum in grunge clothes). The personality change is possibly justified by the year of vagrancy and the events of the first game.
  • Hubert Ozwell is regarded to be the king of this trope, and one of the biggest in-series trolls, in the Tales fandom. For those not in the know, he starts off as a weak, and easily-terrified little boy, but seven years down the line he takes about a million levels in badass due to being adopted into the military-based Ozwell family. When he reunites with his older brother, Hubert reveals that part of the alliance his new nation has with Windol is that they get Lhant, the brothers' homeland, and then Hubert proceeds to Blast Caliber Asbel into next week, exile him from Lhant, blow their mother off when she tries to intervene, and then sets himself up as the one running the shots. Yeah... Hubert becomes kind of a douche.
  • Saïx from Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days goes from being the emotionless bastard we all know and love to smack around in Kingdom Hearts II to having his behavior borderline Complete Monster proportions in regards to Xion. Many were happy to learn that you get to fight him again near the end of the game. His beat down was much deserved. That's what happens when you talk smack about Xion like that. That's right, Roxas kicks your ass. This is especially true because Isa was a pretty decent guy in Birth By Sleep. The rest of the Org. doesn't really suffer any drastic personality changes beyond losing the ability to truly care about others, yet Isa goes from a stoic but reasonably friendly boy to the borderline Complete Monster, cold-blooded Jerkass Saïx.
    • Some fans have suggested from certain changes in Saix's appearance (the pointed ears, lightened hair color, and perhaps most ominously, yellow eyes) that Isa may have been corrupted by darkness before he turned into a Nobody, which would certainly explain a lot...
  • Eric Sparrow from Tony Hawk's Underground went from the Player's friend to the game's antagonist who was taking credit for everything you did.
    • Ironically, between THUG and THUG 2 he Took a Level In Dumbass and is treated as an incompetent loser in the latter.
  • Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters the Video Game is a huge jerk compared to his occasional niceness in the movies.
    • Word of God is that this was partly intentional: he and Dana were having relationship difficulties and were apart at the moment, causing him to be a little... grumpy.
  • Warcraft: Garrosh Hellscream went from being an obscure emo kid trying to find his purpose in life to being a disrespectful, belligerent, loudmouthed Jerkass.
    • He suffers it again in Cataclysm, and randomly becomes racist. Despite not discriminating and even being friendly with the player in Nagrand. In short he's a walking Conflict Ball.
    • At the same time, he also seems to get rid of a few Jerkass elements too, ironically. For instance, while he is one of the major reasons as to why the war between the Alliance and Horde has reemerged, there are things he simply won't stand for. First off, he specifically does not approve of Sylvanas raising the newly dead on the battlefield to replenish the ranks of the Forsaken. He also gets really pissed off when he finds out that one of his commanders has been attacking night elf settlements to kill civilians. He is also the one who drives the Grimtotems out of the Horde when he finds out that they were responsible for]] Cairne's death.
      • Cairne's son Baine did that last part. No all Garrosh did was send Magatha Grimtotem a letter that amounted to "I hope you burn in hell". What Garrosh did do to elevate his Jerkass status was whine to Baine about the honor he lost after he killed Baine's father in less-than-honorable combat.
    • Garrosh will be taking this trope to its logical conclusion in Mists of Pandaria. The final raid dungeon is going to be a siege on Orgrimmar itself by both Alliance and Horde, because apparently at some point in the expansion Garrosh does something so horrible that it disgusts everybody.
  • Palom was an overeager, boastful, and sort of annoying character in the original Final Fantasy IV, but that was probably excusable on account of him being five years old. In Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, though, he's kind of a dick for no readily apparent reason before softening up some.
  • Before the FMV games, Admiral Tolwyn, from the Wing Commander games and novels, was a gruff but overall fair person. Starting with WC3, though, he became Admiral Asshole (possibly due to Typecasting of Malcolm McDowell, the actor that played him), and continued on to Space Nazi in WC4. William Forstchen's novelizations of those two games tried to lessen that a bit, but was limited by the game scripts he was writing from.
  • Nathan Spencer in the 2009 Bionic Commando sequel.
  • Taki takes one between Soul Calibur III and IV. She goes from hunting demons and fighting those like Cervantes who want the power of Soul Edge to hunting demons and fighting those affiliated with Soul Edge, fighting ex-villains and people affiliated with Soul Calibur, and fighting good guys or neutral parties who might become affiliated with one of the swords. Nearly every character's story path involves Taki trying to kill them at one point. It's certainly not helped that while she does this she accuses everyone but herself of being evil and delusional and makes some verbal low blows against Siegfried and Ivy.
    • Within Soul Calibur III's Chronicles of the Sword mode, Abelia, your friendly rival at the start of the story and, slightly later, useful ally, turns full tilt into a Knight Templar halfway through, complete with a costume change and deeper, more aggressive voice bank.
  • Liara acts cold and distant in Mass Effect 2, even if you were lovers by the end of the first game. She also has developed a ruthless streak, and both threatens people with violence and casually has her enemies murdered. If you persist, help her out, and make effort to get her come out of her shell, she eventually reveals that most of her current behavior is a mask, resulting from losing Shepard in the beginning of the game.
    • As well, whichever of your human comrades (Ashley or Kaidan) survived the first game will become Jerkasses in their cameo in 2, probably because they're just in shock that you're working for Cerberus.
      • Though if it's your love interest that does the What the Hell, Hero? speech, they'll send you an apology letter, telling you to be careful because they can't lose you a second time.
    • The third game sees the Asari and Salarian Councilors take a few levels in Jerkass (contrast to the Turian Councilor). They, however, are beaten out by Quarian Admiral Han'Gerrel, who power-levels in Jerkass to the point of doing positively insane things in his attempt to wipe out the Geth, including firing on a Geth Dreadnaught while Shepard and Tali are still inside it. If you fail to broker peace between the Quarians and Geth, he has his ships bullrush the upgraded Geth fleet and gets them all - and himself -massacred, while he is positively furious if you manage to get the two species to make peace.
  • Maggie's father in The Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker. When you first meet him, he's a pitiable pauper who is distraught over his daughter being kidnapped. But when Maggie comes back with a massive fortune in Skull Necklaces, he turns into a selfishly greedy bastard who won't even let Maggie get letters from her (sort of) love interest.
    • May actually be a bit of a subversion—the first time you talk to him about Maggie, he mentions that having her missing "makes it hard to earn a single rupee," suggesting that he only cared about the money from the beginning. Once he got wealthy, he just didn't have to pretend to be nice anymore.
    • There's also Ingo from Ocarina of Time. While he was never the friendliest person in the game, he was nothing more than a disgruntled employee who complained about Talon's laziness when Link was a kid. After Ganondorf comes to power, he uses the Evil King's "good" graces to take the ranch for himself, exile Talon to Kakariko Village, and proceeds to generally make life miserable for Malon until Link returns and intervenes.
  • Yukari in Persona 3. She was genuinely The Cutie until FES' "The Answer", where she seems to have gained a sour coating over her usual sugary sweet self. Though given the events of "The Journey", some would see her as more of a Jerkass Woobie, though later on she gets better.
    • She doesn't become a jerk ass so much as go through a brief Face Heel Turn
  • Zoey in The Passing in Left 4 Dead 2. Compared to her nicer and more open nature in the first game, she becomes outright annoyed and angry with some of the survivors in both teams. The reason for her change of attitude is her trying to cope with the recent death of Bill.
  • Heavy Rain has Rabid Cop Carter Blake and his boss, Captain Perry, becoming this due to their hatred toward By-The-Book Cop Norman Jayden.
  • Anders takes several levels before and during Dragon Age II. Being possessed by an increasingly pissed off spirit that had no idea of being nice to begin with and gradually succumbing to it does not help a bit.
    • What happens to him in-game, (even outside the possession), isn't all that pleasant either.
    • It's actually trackable through the game's timeline. In Act I, he's a bit grimmer than before, but still kindhearted, snarky, and occasionally goofy. In Act II, he eventually attacks (and kills, unless you stop him) an innocent mage he just saved from templars during a bout of Unstoppable Rage, panics, and retreats into a Heroic BSOD. In Act III, he's become completely paranoid of the rest of the party (except for Hawke and Varric), quick to swing between manic determination and deep melancholy, is completely obsessed with his cause, and some of the party banter implies he might be hallucinating. Sanity Slippage at its finest folks...
    • The Spirit of Justice itself took a few levels in jerkass when it possessed Anders - it's explicitly stated ingame that it was overwhelmed and corrupted by Anders's anger at what was going on, and back in Dragon Age: Origins, it was actually much more reasonable and willing to listen than it is in the sequel. On top of that, it's hard to tell how much of Anders's behavior is this trope and how much is him just plain hugging the Idiot Ball, given the increasingly horrible and poorly thought out choices he makes as time goes on.
      • It's not even a Spirit of Justice anymore (though it likes to claim otherwise). It's a Demon of Vengeance. That's how badly it was corrupted.
      • Although it's implied that Justice's corruption (and his becoming a Knight Templar that Jumps Off the Slippery Slope) may not actually be Anders' fault, or at least not entirely; Kirkwall is basically a city built right next to the prison that holds the origin of the darkspawn. The prisoner in question can drive people insane without even being conscious and from miles away.
        • Kirkwall is also built on the very site of the magical ritual that originally breached the Golden City and created the darkspawn. The most epically evil mystic event that occurred in the history of the world, a cosmic blasphemy that literally broke Heaven, and you're sleeping right on top of it. It's a miracle anyone can spend a week in Kirkwall without sprouting tentacles.
  • Crash Bandicoot briefly fell into this trope in Crash Tag Team Racing, numerous bonus cutscenes focusing on his Screwy Squirrel antics inside Von Clutch's Motorworld, ranging from feeding Park Drones mouldy apples to disintegrating them in rocket engines. Granted this reversed back in the following game, where he goes back to being a Kindhearted Simpleton.
  • Ema Skye of the Ace Attorney series is introduced as an aspiring forensic investigator, full of useful investigation techniques and eager to meet people in the business. However, eight years later she finds herself in a job she didn't want (detective work) after doing poorly on her forensic investigation exam and her derailed dream definitely takes its toll on her personality. The Ema of Apollo Justice Ace Attorney is a sour and jaded woman who doesn't offer much help (unless she can use some of her forensic investigation techniques, at which point some of her original personality leaks out).
  • Cloud does this between Crisis Core, in which he's a shy, brave, and supportive person with really bad self-esteem (with some backstory about him picking fights with the people who bullied him in his hometown), and Final Fantasy VII, in which he's a rude, cocky, reckless and obsessive person who deliberately antagonises his friends Barret and Wedge and does things like taking salary from a slum-dwelling little girl's school money. He's nicer to the girls, but also pretty sexist and won't trust them with anything on their own. He gets a lot nicer after a few hours of play, but he remains vengeance-obsessed and arrogant until his entire persona implodes halfway through the next disk.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Avalon has Alison grow noticeably more full of herself and frustrated at the antics of her friends as the years progressed.
  • Seymore has become more and more of an asshole around 2010, culminating with the Bad Behavior series.
  • Due to sleep deprivation, Jade Harley of Homestuck has gotten a lot grumpier - although it should be noted that she's only like that to the trolls, who have been picking on her for her entire life (with the exception of Tavros).
  • Bittersweet Candy Bowl sees Mike go from a Nice Guy to a bitter Jerkass as part of its Deconstruction of the Tsundere archetype. Turns out all those years of getting punched around while his friends laughed have taken their toll. To make matters worse, by the time he finally snaps, Lucy has actually improved, and his newfound nastiness and need to vent all that pent-up frustration leave her more of a mess.


Web Original[edit | hide]


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Bloo from Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends is shown as the perfect Imaginary Friend in the pilot/TV movie, but just one episode later he has become a self-absorbed jerk who verbally and physically abuses Mac Once Per Episode.
    • Living in an Orphanage of Love might ironically have something to do with it. He wasn't used to having so much freedom before moving into Foster's, so it probably inflated his ego.
  • Eddy from Ed, Edd n Eddy goes from a Jerk with a Heart of Gold to a greedy bastard due to Flanderization.
    • Finally reversed in The Movie, where we find out that Eddy was just acting that way because he idolized his older brother, who we find out is a far bigger bastard.
  • Krusty the Clown from The Simpsons went from being a slightly weary and cynical old showbiz figure, to a greedy, shameless sellout who doesn't care the slightest if his licensing products are crappy, or even downright dangerous.
    • A large amount of the cast have evolved this way as the show has leaned into zanier more satirical territory. Even Marge and Lisa act rather mean spirited or outright unstable at times.
  • Geoff from Total Drama Island undergoes this in season two when, as the host of the aftermath show, he let fame go to his head, to the point where he tried to drop an anvil on his former friend DJ and feed Gwen to a Piranha Problem.
    • The case can also be made for Courtney after her return to the show in season two. She went from being a slightly stuck-up and haughty girl who was still civil enough to be the Team Mom, to a scheming, spoiled princess who uses her lawyers to cheat her way to numerous advantage on the show. She basically transformed from a significantly more good version of Heather to a straight up Expy.
      • In World Tour, both Geoff and Courtney (the latter at least in the first half of the season) are back to form, only for Cody, Gwen, and Duncan to get jerkier.
  • Peter Griffin, after his show was Uncanceled, goes from being a basically-good Jerk with a Heart of Gold to more of a full-on, often malevolent Jerkass. Likewise, his son, Chris Griffin, seems to be taking a level in jerkass as of late.
    • Cleveland has had some Jerkass moments since he got his own show.
    • Connie went from being the standard Alpha Bitch to a downright bitch, which was best demonstrated when she made fun of Meg shortly after the latter returned to school from being in prison for three months (to compensate she pays for this, and a lot of her Jerkass moments, to dire extremes).
    • Lois, originally a Mama Bear and arguably the most Closer to Earth character in the show has gradually became what is basically a female variant of Peter. Made worse by the fact the cast still often treats her as the same character she was before.
    • Even Brian followed this route to the point where he got told off by Quagmire, of all people.
    • Joe Swanson took several levels of jerkassery once he regained the ability to walk in the episode "Believe it or Not, Joe's Walking on Air". Joe gained confidence in himself once he could walk again, but it got to the point where he demanded his not-so-physically-fit friends to keep up with him in his extreme physical activities and insulted them for not being as good as he is. It got to the point where Joe ditched his friends for new ones and dumped Bonnie while she was still pregnant. Joe had to be recrippled in order to get him back down to humbleness.
      • It's safe to say that Flanderization has engulfed the cast so intensely that it's easier to list characters who haven't taken a level in jerkass. The best instance of an inversion is Stewie, who Took a Level In Kindness to the point where he's now the most likable character on the show. (Relatively speaking, of course; he used to be evil, and nowadays he's just an asshole.)
  • Roger of American Dad was a pretty plausible Jerkass to begin with, though (Depending on the Writer at least) could occasionally show compassion and restraint in his antics. In later episodes the callousness of his actions and schemes border outright Faux Affably Evil territory. For example, in "Virtual In-stanity", he hunted down five frat boys who stiffed him $20, then killed some more random people just because he's "got the blood lust".
    • In contrast, Stan's own Jerkass tendencies have become more toned down or at least more well intentioned as the show has progressed.
    • Principal Lewis has become quite the jerkass in recent episodes, he constantly harasses the students and uses them for his own selfish wants.
  • Cosmo from The Fairly OddParents after the first three seasons.
    • Icky Vicky: Originally just a mean, bossy babysitter. Now a sadistic, maniacal human monster not above threatening her own parents to keep her true colors a secret.
    • Timmy's dad surely began showing signs of this as the series went on.
    • Timmy himself has become more of a heartless asswipe each season. But thankfully not as awful as Norm the Genie's clone Timmy, whose extreme jerkiness causes his fairy god parents to quit their jobs.
  • Johnny Canmore from Gargoyles is the youngest and most innocent of the Canmore siblings, and the least inclined to take up his family's ancient feud against the Demon and her kind. As the events of "Hunter's Moon" transpire, he becomes a Jerkass and decides to take up the hunt even as his older brother and sister decide to give up on it.
  • Sentinel Prime of Transformers Animated was always a jerk, but in the third season it seemed that it was all there was to him. "Predacons Rising" has him take it to villainous levels, being ready to kill his former love interest because she's now part organic. Keep in mind that believing she was dead and being angry with Optimus for leaving her behind was the reason for his Jerkassitude when it came to Optimus and his team. He started at merely Good Is Not Nice, but that's fully gone by season three.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants does this with the title character, and Mister Krabs. While Squidward is a Jerkass he's pretty much been one from the start.
    • A good example of SpongeBob being more of a jerk comes in "A Pal for Gary". He gets some freakish pet, which constantly ruins Gary's life. And SpongeBob constantly punishes the poor snail. Even after said snail saved him from the pet's horrific attempt to eat them.
    • Patrick even more so. The prime example? The episode "Rule Of Dumb".
      • There's an episode "Yours, Mine, and Mine", where Patrick 'borrows' money from SpongeBob to 'share' a Krabby-meal together. He of course eats the whole thing himself. Mr. Krabs then makes Sponge pay extra for the toy (which is really just a Krabby Patty that Krabs dressed up as a doll. Score one Jerkass point for Mr. K!) Patrick then claims that since he and Spongebob are still 'sharing' that he gets to play with it. Long story short, Pat eventually never lets SpongeBob play with the 'toy' (that he paid for!) and Pat inevitably eats it just so he can't have it. ...After the two eventually make-up, Pat offers to pay for some new toys, by using SpongeBob's wallet!.
    • Mr Krabs can border into Faux Affably Evil territory in some episodes.
    • "The Card", revolves around SpongeBob getting a rare Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy card, and lending it to Patrick for a while. However, Patrick abuses the card in so many ways (using it as a lockpick, grilling it and eating it in a Krabby Patty, scratching his back with it) you'd think he's actually doing this all just to torture SpongeBob, who gets increasingly stressed and worried about the card. Surprisingly enough, after doing much more dangerous things with it (such as potentially smashing it or setting it on fire), when SpongeBob warns him, Patrick just says, "You can't expect my usual brand of stupidity, SpongeBob. I like to mix it up. Keep you on your toes." And Patrick flimsily makes it up to the Too Dumb to Live SpongeBob by just giving him new cards. Most people would have at least demanded forgiveness for how he freaked out his friend.
      • Actually, it was Patrick who got the card. SpongeBob had been tearing through pack after pack but eventually ran out of money. Patrick bought the last pack, and voila, he got the card. Patrick said he could have it later, but destroys it before SpongeBob can get it. Then Patrick gives him the four OTHER identical cards that he got in the same pack. Still, this doesn't change much. Patrick still knew how important that card was to SpongeBob. Yet he didn't care and deliberately tried to destroy it, as mentioned above. Stupid episode is stupid.
    • Conversely, Squidward and Plankton have become more sympathetic characters as the characters we're (apparently) supposed to like have taken copious levels in jerkass.
  • Although Lemongrab of Adventure Time was a Jerkass Woobie literally since the day he was born, a deleted scene showed a much more insensitive, even malicious side to him. He terrorized a small candy child and made the poor little kid cry. THIS was originally the reason Finn and Princess Bubblegum decided to make him leave- you can tell, from the storyboards, how disgusted and shocked they were at Lemongrab's actions towards the child. While he's a jerk throughout the whole episode, progressively being more of a jerk the more he is pranked, Lemongrab scaring the crap out of that kid really was the peak of his jerkassery.
  • While still a rather sympathetic character, Baloo's Tale Spin counterpart is often shown to act more selfish and egotistical than his original The Jungle Book interpretation (albeit Depending on the Writer). In contrast Louie and Shere Khan are slightly less antagonistic.
  • While Daffy Duck of Looney Tunes fame was hardly an angel to begin with, he arguably was merely a prankster and an attention freak too warped to understand the extent of his antics early on. As time passed Daffy became more stable and ambitious, as well as more embittered and obnoxious in personality, often acting as an antagonist for Bugs Bunny. His cruelty was taken to extremes with his pairings against Speedy Gonzales in the De Patie Freleng era.
  • It's very easy to forget that Peggy Hill was actually nice at the beginning of the show. She didn't start showing her egotism until season 3 and wasn't even a jerk about it until season 4.
  • KaBlam!: June started out as a prankster with an enormous heart, but season three-ish, she became more of a Jerkass. Season four ended this.
  • Velma on Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated has been noted to have taken on Jerk Ass traits, but only because she can't get time with Shaggy to herself due to Scooby Doo himself. She'll be Jerkass to start then sadly wistful (to her mom: "Am I radioactive?"). In the heat of the "love triangle", Scooby had taken on the Jerkass label as well, being as pushy as Velma in forcing him to "choose". Currently, now that Shaggy chose him, Scooby's remorseful at how sad Velma is over it and is trying to make up, but conversely, Velma's Jerkass level has risen with the rejection, making a reconciliation difficult.
    • Episode 15 shows that she might be getting over herself a little; she resents Scooby but she draws the line at his getting hurt.
    • Daphne had one temporarily in Episode 6, becoming a Hex Girl and stating that her new name was Crush. She reverts back to normal at the end.
    • Also, it's speculated that she might go into this against Velma, due to Velma having not told them a very important secret that was partially the reason why the gang split up.
  • Pietro Maximoff on X-Men Evolution started as a minor antagonist/rival with some Jerkass traits; when season two hit, he was the only one who doesn't become sympathetic & by the end of the series he takes a level in Jerkass by revealing that Mystique had been impersonating the Professor so she could blow up the mansion, something Pietro and the other Brotherhood members not only knew, but likely helped. Then he fucks EVERYONE over by joining the Acolytes, Magneto's new team, since he had been The Mole the whole time. Then when Magneto lets the Brotherhood join him he puts Pietro in charge, who has Toad work as a TV antenna, and Blob make him thousands of sandwiches, each time throwing them back in his face for the tiniest detail until Blob cries.
    • Next season, Pietro taunts his sister Wanda until she accidentally derails a train, which unintentionally ends up painting them as heroes to the public & rewarded with cash; he then stages several accidents so they can cash in, ultimately framing the X-Men when they catch on of misusing their powers on a rampage, before deciding to derail another train to send it all home. When he finds out that this time many more people are in danger, he decides to leave quickly out of fear and selfishness, knowing full well that many people are going to die because of his own selfishness. And this is after he was an accomplice in his own sister's Mind Rape and persuaded Toad not to reveal the truth to her.
    • Irony is he's a Draco in Leather Pants, so the fangirls who actually build up the X-Men Evolution's Fan Dumb, interprets him as the only good member of the Brotherhood, despite the fact that, arguably, he's the most self-centred character the series. Apocalypse is a Knight Templar who wishes for the world to become a Mutant utopia, Magneto is a Well-Intentioned Extremist who wants to avoid another Holocaust, every other Brotherhood member has redeeming qualities (especially Avalanche), Colossus is an Anti-Villain under Blackmail, Gambit is a hired Merc/thief who had some Pet the Dog Moments, Sabertooth and Pyro are just plain crazy... but Pietro is a calculating, selfish dick who serves only himself (and his father isn't a sufficient excuse for some of the shit he pulls).
  • On Jimmy Two-Shoes, Dr. Scientist was more-or-less neutral in the first season. However, in "Heads Will Roll" he becomes a full blown villain, tormenting Heloise. This could just be the result of not having a major role before then.
    • Samy Garvin did this twice in season 2. The first time was giving a trophy to lucius and stating the Jimmy dances like there a lobster in his pants. The second time was intruding on a chat that Jimmy had with Lucius's dad to read a scroll.
  • Charmcaster in Ben 10 used to treat her golems (or whatever they were) like they were pets. In Ben 10 Alien Force, she can't go a few minutes without insulting the giant ones she has now for everything they do. Also, in the original series, while a troublemaking bitch, she wasn't murderous or out to take over the world. In Alien Force, she does try to conquer the world, and expresses a gleeful desire to kill Gwen.
    • Ben himself takes a massive level in Jerkass in the third season of Alien Force.
  • Mr.Whiskers has his fair share of Jerkass moments in Brandy and Mr. Whiskers but the one where he really crosses the line is making Ed cry in the episode Monster Of My Skin:

Mr.Whiskers: I don't want any more of your stupid food! I don't want any more of your worthless cures! If you can't help me, I don't ever wanna see your ugly face ever again. I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU!
Ed: Gee, if that's the way you *sniff* I mean if uh, all right then....

  • Both Tom and Jerry seemed to have done this when Chuck Jones started directing the shorts. Jerry would sometimes start their Escalating War without provocation—in "The Year of the Mouse" he and another mouse took on a role similar to Hubie and Bertie, driving Tom insane purely for kicks. On the other hand, Tom's torture of Jerry was severely stepped up, particularly in "Of Feline Bondage", where the sadistic glee he took in tormenting him was rather... unsettling.
  • This is the major problem Fluttershy undergoes in the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic episode "Putting Your Hoof Down." She got better after realizing, with a little help from Pinkie Pie and Rarity, that there are other ways of being assertive WITHOUT being nasty and mean.
    • In the same episode, Angel the Bunny, always a little bit of a brat, has become violently abusive and borderline sociopathic, making unreasonable demands regarding his breakfast, and then throwing Fluttershy's best effort away for being short one cherry and kicking her out of the house. The closest he comes to any kind of apology is an expression of gratitude after he realises he enjoys Fluttershy's cucumber slices, but then, it was only because of the Stare that he was willing to try them in the first place.
    • Something like half the town Took a Level in Jerkass in that episode. Some viewers have claimed Gilda had crossed the Moral Event Horizon when she made Fluttershy cry. She arguably did less to abuse Fluttershy than what most of the background characters did in that episode.
      • There is a consistent fan theory that this is a prequel episode, showing an incident that occurred back before Twilight Sparkle arrived in Ponyville and before the cast had had any of their character development. Evidence in support of this theory: Twilight appears nowhere in the episode, the only Mane Cast members in the episode are those who were confirmed as already being friends or acquaintances with each other even back before the pilot episode, nothing they do is inconsistent with their season 1, episode 1 characterizations despite them all having substantially diverged or progressed from them since then, and Word of God is that some episodes are shown in achronic order.
    • This tendency is common with most of the characters in the show, due to its tendency to deconstruct the character's flaws as part of the episode's Aesop. Usually one of the characters will become highly egotistical, neurotic or vindictive (or in some exaggerated cases, borderline insane) for a brief point Once Per Episode before learning their lesson and reverting back. Rainbow Dash may be a slightly more consistent example, if only because she has gotten the lion's share of Aesops in recent episodes and thus required more frequently to act up.
  • In Transformers Prime, when Ratchet takes some Psycho Serum, it impairs his judgement, causing him to become increasingly obnoxious and aggressive, even to his own team. Not to mention becoming overconfident to take on Megatron and the Decepticons on his own (which would cost him). He not only flirts with Arcee but he also directly calls out Optimus for being too soft for what had happened to Cliffjumper and also passing several chances to finish Megatron off. While his judgement was impaired, it's implied that he's saying what he would have normally held back. Fortunately, by the end of the episode, he returns back to normal.