History Main / UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist

20th Apr '16 3:52:54 AM KJMackley
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A character (frequently the main one) in a comedy who is a huge {{Jerkass}} (or [[VillainProtagonist just a flat-out villain]]), yet is supposed to be rooted for, despite being pretty much everything a human being shouldn't be... or [[ThisLoserIsYou everything a human being essentially is]].

Because much of comedy is derived from eliciting laughs at another's misfortune, the UCP is often necessary to the comedic formula. If horrible things happened to [[TheWoobie a character that the audience genuinely liked]], the reaction to their plight would be sympathy and angry letters rather than guffaws and chortles. But if the character in question is irredeemable, [[HoistByHisOwnPetard brought the misfortune on themselves]], or just generally seemed like they deserved it, the audience can disconnect from their pain and let loose the belly laughs when the character gets the inevitable PieInTheFace.

Sometimes the character is presented as the [[OnlySaneMan only moderately sane, intelligent person in a land of fools]]. Alternatively he or she is someone whose loneliness and self-loathing make them, if not likeable, at least pitiable, despite engaging in ComedicSociopathy. Nevertheless, it's not surprising when watchers actually take the "Unsympathetic" side of the character literally, with less than pleasant consequences for the {{fandom}} if they don't shut up about it, so it's not surprising that most try to avoid basing an entire series (at least where big money is involved) on this. This trope is often the difference between laughing ''with'' them and laughing ''at'' them, if there's any laughing at all. Despite all this, there are a few actors who try to make a living out of portraying these characters (e.g. Creator/WillFerrell, Creator/RickyGervais, Creator/AdamSandler), to extremely mixed results that relies heavily on the actor's ability to be charming (at least to the audience) and not over the top, which usually creates a "love them or hate them" response from the audience.

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A Most of the time the big {{jerkass}} in a story is an antagonist, provoking delight when they are put in their place by the main characters. The Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist is where the main character (frequently the main one) in a comedy who is a huge {{Jerkass}} (or has undesirable traits where they act cruel, sometimes [[VillainProtagonist just a flat-out villain]]), even villainous]], to others, yet is they are supposed to be rooted for, for and supposedly the hero of the story, despite being pretty much everything a human being shouldn't be... or [[ThisLoserIsYou everything a human being essentially is]].

is]].

There are a couple of things at the core of this trope, as well as [[TropesAreFlexible go to different extremes]].
Because much of comedy is derived from eliciting laughs at another's misfortune, the UCP Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist is often necessary crucial to the comedic formula. If horrible things happened to [[TheWoobie a character that the audience genuinely liked]], sympathized with]], the reaction to their plight would be sympathy shock and angry letters rather than guffaws and chortles. But if If the character in question is irredeemable, [[HoistByHisOwnPetard brought the misfortune on themselves]], or just [[LaserGuidedKarma generally seemed like they deserved it, it]], the audience can disconnect from their pain and let loose the belly laughs when the character gets the inevitable PieInTheFace.

Sometimes the character is presented as behaves this way because they are the [[OnlySaneMan only moderately sane, intelligent person in a land of fools]]. person]] and has to deal with the mess caused by apparently nicer people. Alternatively he or she is someone whose loneliness and self-loathing make them, if not likeable, likable, at least pitiable, despite engaging in ComedicSociopathy. In other cases, despite the name they do garner some sympathy via PetTheDog moments or showing signs of being TheAtoner and a JerkWithAHeartOfGold, but struggle to get past their own nature and continue to treat others poorly.

Nevertheless, it's not surprising when watchers actually take the "Unsympathetic" side of the character literally, with less than pleasant consequences for the {{fandom}} if they don't shut up about it, so it's not surprising that most try to avoid basing an entire series (at least where big money is involved) on this. This trope is often the difference between laughing ''with'' them and laughing ''at'' them, if there's any laughing at all. Despite all this, there are a few actors who try to make a living out of portraying these characters (e.g. Creator/WillFerrell, Creator/RickyGervais, Creator/AdamSandler), to extremely mixed results that relies heavily on the actor's ability to be charming (at least to the audience) and not over the top, which usually creates a "love them or hate them" response from the audience.



* Michael Scott from ''Series/TheOfficeUS'' can come off as this depending on the episode. Although Michael is portrayed as more of a genuine ManChild who just wants to be liked and doesn't always fully understand the consequences of his actions despite his best intentions.

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* Michael Scott from ''Series/TheOfficeUS'' can come off as this depending on the episode. Although Michael is portrayed as more of a genuine ManChild who just wants to be liked and doesn't always fully understand the consequences of his actions despite his best intentions. He's quick to say what is on his mind regardless if it is appropriate, and more often induces CringeComedy with his [[SmallNameBigEgo own sense of self-importance]].


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* ''Series/MyNameIsEarl'' loves playing with this. The main character Earl starts off trying to correct [[TheAtoner a lifetime of bad behavior]] when his life hit rock bottom and seeing that good deeds improve his life. Extensive flashbacks show him to be every bit as bad as he makes himself out to be, but instead of being despicable it is offset by his attempts to make things better in the present day. In the third season he relapsed and goes back to the way he used to behave for a couple of episodes, and the same behavior ceases to be funny.
8th Apr '16 6:08:10 AM Shadowgazer
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A character (frequently the main one) in a comedy who is a huge {{Jerkass}} (or just a flat-out villain), yet is supposed to be rooted for, despite being pretty much everything a human being shouldn't be... or [[ThisLoserIsYou everything a human being essentially is]].

to:

A character (frequently the main one) in a comedy who is a huge {{Jerkass}} (or [[VillainProtagonist just a flat-out villain), villain]]), yet is supposed to be rooted for, despite being pretty much everything a human being shouldn't be... or [[ThisLoserIsYou everything a human being essentially is]].
7th Apr '16 7:37:03 PM ading
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[[folder:Advertising]]
* [[Advertising/SegataSanshiro SEGATA! SANSHIRO! SEGATA! SANSHIRO!]] An AxCrazy borderline RealityWarper with a HairTriggerTemper ready to beat up ''anyone'' [[DisproportionateRetribution who doesn't play enough Sega Saturn]], even if they're [[WouldHurtAChild just kids]].
[[/folder]]
22nd Mar '16 2:12:22 AM Shadowgazer
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%% * ComicBook/{{Iznogoud}} verges from this to a VillainProtagonist.

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%% * ComicBook/{{Iznogoud}} verges from this to a VillainProtagonist.an outright VillainProtagonist who schemes to murder and replace the Caliph who trusts him and considers him his best friend.


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* {{ComicBook/LeonardLeGenie}}: The titular inventor is as full of himself as humanly impossible and a BadBoss who will empty his blunderbuss at his hapless lackey at the slightest provocation.
2nd Mar '16 7:05:04 AM fearlessnikki
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* The mother and daughter protagonists of ''{{Film/Heartbreakers}}'' are con-women who make their money by seducing rich men. But the men they con are usually criminals or Jerkasses, making our heroines the lesser of two evils. The film also has no trouble pointing out that they are utterly horrible people though.
--> '''Dean:''' Do you have any idea how much therapy you people need?
29th Feb '16 3:19:39 PM Tommypezman
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* The entire main cast of ''WesternAnimation/ScaredySquirrel'' (except for Dave, Mildrid and Hatton) constantly push around others & put themselves before anyone else.
4th Feb '16 3:34:32 AM rafi
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%% * The eponymous ''Manga/DesertPunk''. [[spoiler: VillainProtagonist, in the end.]]
* Richard Moore/Kogoro Mori on ''Manga/DetectiveConan'' who regularly punches, kicks, and berates Conan. If Conan were a REAL child he would likely turn out to be some sort of severely messed up OmnicidalManiac from the treatment Richard gives him.

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%% * The eponymous ''Manga/DesertPunk''. [[spoiler: VillainProtagonist, in the end.]]
Bordering on VillainProtagonist quite often.
* Richard Moore/Kogoro Kogoro Mori on ''Manga/DetectiveConan'' who regularly punches, kicks, and berates Conan. If Conan were a REAL child he would likely turn out to be some sort of severely messed up OmnicidalManiac from the treatment Richard gives him.him.
* The eponymous Haruhi from ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'' is ([[CharacterDevelopment at least in the beginning]]) an unrepentant jerk who rarely thinks about what problems her actions cause for others. There is also little the other characters can do -- Haruhi has god-like powers unknown to herself, and everyone but Kyon is simply too scared of what would happen should Haruhi become depressed. TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt being the big possibility.
* ''LightNovel/MyTeenRomanticComedySNAFU'': Hikigaya Hachiman starts the series as a bitter, cynical, somewhat sexist high schooler who prides himself on being a loner. This is tempered by the mockery he receives from everyone, as well as his own social experiences.



%% * Keroro in ''Manga/SgtFrog'' can often be this, with the other Platoon members save Dororo all fitting this trope as well.



* The eponymous Haruhi from ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'' is ([[CharacterDevelopment at least in the beginning]]) an unrepentant jerk who rarely thinks about what problems her actions cause for others. There is also little the other characters can do -- Haruhi has god-like powers unknown to herself, and everyone but Kyon is simply too scared of what would happen should Haruhi become depressed. TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt being the big possibility.
* ''LightNovel/MyTeenRomanticComedySNAFU'': Hikigaya Hachiman starts the series as a bitter, cynical, somewhat sexist high schooler who prides himself on being a loner. This is tempered by the mockery he receives from everyone, as well as his own social experiences.
22nd Jan '16 10:37:11 PM nombretomado
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* Charles Prentiss in ''Radio/AbsolutePower''. According to StephenFry "There's not much to say that's nice about him, except that there is some pleasure in watching a natural born killer at work and knowing whatever happens he will win."

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* Charles Prentiss in ''Radio/AbsolutePower''. According to StephenFry Creator/StephenFry "There's not much to say that's nice about him, except that there is some pleasure in watching a natural born killer at work and knowing whatever happens he will win."
20th Jan '16 10:17:32 PM KizunaTallis
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* Gert from ''ComicBook/IHateFairyland'' walks a thin line between being this (with shades of HeroicComedicSociopath thrown in) and being a JerkassWoobie. On the one hand, it's clear being separated from her family and putting up with the [[SugarBowl overly]] TastesLikeDiabetes whimsy of Fairyland for the past 27 years has [[DrivenToMadness driven her crazy]]... but at the same time, she's so murderous (if not outright psychotic) that she probably deserves whatever troubles befall her.
27th Dec '15 2:11:33 PM Vir
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** Brian has especially become this really badly after his [[spoiler:death and revival]]. He's supposed to be the most likable, relatable, and sanest member of the cast, but his worst actions include screwing underage teenagers, murdering a little girl's parents to stop them from calling the cops, and [[MoralEventHorizon giving herpes to several people, including Chris and Stewie, for absolutely no reason whatsoever]].

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** Brian has especially become this really badly after his [[spoiler:death [[DisneyDeath death]] and [[CosmicRetcon revival]]. He's supposed to be the most likable, relatable, and sanest member of the cast, but his worst actions include screwing underage teenagers, murdering a little girl's parents to stop them from calling the cops, and [[MoralEventHorizon giving herpes to several people, including Chris and Stewie, for absolutely no reason whatsoever]].
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