Created By: Mr Initial Man on July 13, 2008
Nuked

Good is Not Nice

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
I thought we had this one!

So you've got the hero. He's good. He's definately good. He not only pets the dog, he brings it into a good home and gives it a warm meal.

Then he goes after the jackass who left the poor thing shivering and starving in the rain, shoves said jackass against the wall, and delivers a talking-to while the jackass pisses himself out of fear.

This guy is not a Knight Templar. This guy beats the living daylights out of Knights Templar for abandoning the way of good. And he does have mercy when it's warranted. He doesn't even need to be an Anti-Hero. All he needs to do is be the good guy who--surprise, surprise--knows how to kick ass.


Examples:
  • Quentyn Quinn of Tales of the Questor. Look at the sample panel from the comic. Later on, he uses 3 wishes to UTTERLY, COMPLETELY RUIN an Unseileigh Fae, making the Humiliation Conga look like a lighthearted jig.
  • Batman. Just Batman.
Community Feedback Replies: 41
  • July 13, 2008
    Conqueso
    I'm not sure this is tropable. Why would a good guy be nice to bad guys, unless he's a Stupid Good? Hating bad guys and expressing that hatred is implicit in a good guy's job description. Any protagonist with a Crowning Moment Of Awesome does this.
  • July 13, 2008
    Mr Initial Man
    Okay, let's look at some other tropes associated with the good guys.

    Save The Villain -- The "Good is not nice" guy will let him drop off the cliff.

    Thou Shalt Not Kill -- The "Good Is Not Nice" hero WILL KILL if need be.

    Sorry, those are the only two I can think of right now. But seriously, so many heroes are Stupid Good when it comes to villians, I think this is tropable.
  • July 13, 2008
    UnknownTroper
    But in most of his incarnations Batman WILL NOT KILL, and this is often made a point of. So where does that leave us?

    Also Heroic Sociopath, Anti Villain and half a dozen other tropes I'm too lazy to look up.
  • July 13, 2008
    Reg Shoe
    Obligatory Discworld reference. Granny Weatherwax. She is good, she would look after an abandoned dog, I have no doubt. She protects those are in need of protection but, as Nanny Ogg says, If you throw yourself on her mercy, you better be damned sure that you deserve to bounce.

    Even the people who relay on her don't like her. There are about two people (Nanny and Tiffany Acking, possibly Agness and Magrat too) who actually LIKE her.

    On the other hand, I feel this may be covered by other tropes like Anti-Hero, not sure... But there are people who are nice to the other guy, Gandhi and Jesus (well save that one time when he lost his temper and attacked the crooked money changers in the temple) spring to mind.
  • July 13, 2008
    Gizensha
    In Doctor Who, The Doctor has elements of this. He commits infanticide in The Runaway Bride, brings a villain on board an overheated space station of her making and watches her explode in The End Of The World. It's probably most notably in Human Nature/The Family of Blood, where he goes into hiding instead of facing a villain because he knows what he'll do if he faces them (Specifically give them immortality in ironic prisons)...
  • July 13, 2008
    Stinkoman87
    Wasn't one of the Superman knockoffs after the events of Doomsday like this?
  • July 13, 2008
    Bisected8
    So is this basically a hero with some, but not all, the traits of a Knight Templar?
  • July 13, 2008
    Pika Hikari KT
    Light Is Not Good, though this one seems more for those on the face side rather than associated with light.
  • July 13, 2008
    Mr Initial Man
    Maybe this has the wrong title.

    How about Good Kicks Ass instead? Or maybe Badass Good? And I'm not sure about Anti Hero--they stay within the rules as much as possible, but they're not averse to pulling a whole building down on top of their enemies if they have to. Maybe he DOES have some traits of the Knight Templar, where those that have justice brought down on them end up nailed but good (maybe even dead), but those who break a few little rules get off lightly
  • July 13, 2008
    Indigo
    • Captain Marvel -aka I Am Not Shazam is a good guy who is nice to bad guys. But that's because he has the mind of an eleven year old boy from 1950.

  • July 16, 2008
    Mr Initial Man
  • July 16, 2008
    Sackett
    Isn't this just Pay Evil Unto Evil
  • July 17, 2008
    Medinoc
    No, I dont think it is.

    However, the Doctor Who example made me think of He Was Being Nice as a title...
  • July 17, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    I'd argue that The Doctor isn't an example of this trope. He might be cruel to villains, but he's hardly to the same extreme of Batman or Granny Weatherwax.
  • July 17, 2008
    LickyLindsay
    I really love this trope title, and if it doesn't get used to describe the examples listed here, it needs to be used for something.
  • July 17, 2008
    Sackett
    Good Is Not Nice makes me think of a Jerkass Hero.

    Dr. House for example- he saves your life, but he is certainly not nice about it.
  • July 17, 2008
    arks
    Yeah, I think this should be a character who does good things, but makes no effort to be friendly or polite and sometimes goes out of his way to make people hate him.

    Shrek was like this at first, but he changed through the Power Of Friendship
  • July 17, 2008
    Tinted
    Both Supernatural boys tend to get into this - the kind that arks described - occasionally; Dean because you probably did something that reminds him of how crappy his life is and Sam because he thinks he's much, much smarter than you.
  • July 17, 2008
    Rissa
    The Good organisations in Achaea spend a lot of time explaining to new members (usually in precisely those words) that Good Is Not Nice, and that they're more likely to be holding flaming swords than fluffy kittens. Not sure if that's exactly what's being described here, though.
  • July 18, 2008
    Mr Initial Man
    You know, I think this is suffering from the wrong title. Maybe I should have suggested Good Is Not Soft.
  • July 19, 2008
    arks
    I think your idea might be covered under things like Designated Hero, Heroic Sociopath, Anti Hero, etc. I would like to see Good Is Not Nice launched under my proposed definition, if there are enough examples to make a trope.
  • July 19, 2008
    Wyvernil
    I'm guessing this is Good's version of Affably Evil; just as villains aren't always total jerks who kick puppies all day, heroes aren't always sunshine and lollipops.

    This guy is likely somewhere between The Cape and the Anti Hero; but unlike the latter, he usually has principles deeper than "look out for number one".
  • July 19, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Might as well call a spade a spade and make it "The Punisher"...
  • July 19, 2008
    Heatherly
    I like arks's proposed definition going under Good Is Not Nice, and have an example for that: Severus Snape. Just...Severus Snape.
  • July 19, 2008
    Da_Nuke
    Actually, the Lawful Good entry cites Batman under its examples, and it also says "Lawful Good doesn't means Lawful Nice".
  • July 20, 2008
    arks
    So are you saying we already have it, or giving another example?
  • July 20, 2008
    Mr Initial Man
    I dunno. It doesn't just have to be Lawful Good. Honestly, I think Good Is Not Soft would fit what I'm trying to say here.
  • July 20, 2008
    HeartBurnKid
  • July 20, 2008
    Starfire
  • July 21, 2008
    pawsplay
    Confucius said, "Recompense injury with justice, and recompense kindness with kindness." So how about Payment In Kind?
  • July 23, 2008
    Heliomance
    I'm sorry. Any quote from Confucius must be attributed "Confucius he say..."

    It's like a law, or something.
  • July 23, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Vicious Good?

    I was looking for a trope like this for a character who is definitely portrayed as one of the good guys and for the majority of the series is determinedly portrayed as being against needless violence. Then there's this one part where he not only kills the bad guys, he dissects them, bottles their organs and gives their organs to somebody as a gift.

    It's not played for laughs, so it's not Heroic Sociopath, but it's not far off either.

    I think the criteria I'm looking for is "You would be horrified at this behavious if it wasn't one of the good guys doing it." Regular badassitude isn't enough.

    Does that make sense?
  • July 23, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    When I first heard the title, I figured it referred to heroes who, well, weren't nice. Hancock and Inuyasha come to mind. The main description, though, sounds like every good guy ever. I find most good guys disapprove of villainy...
  • July 27, 2008
    Mr Initial Man
    How about Badass Good?
  • July 27, 2008
    Golem
    The more I read, the more I know this HAS to be called "The Punisher"
  • August 17, 2008
    MasterKnight
    Agreeing with The Punisher.
  • August 17, 2008
    Luc
    Sadly, The Punisher is already taken by the Marvel Comics character.

    And yes, Dr. House would probably qualify if we go with Good Is Not Nice.
  • August 17, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Would Black Jack count as an example?
  • August 17, 2008
    pawsplay
  • August 17, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Anti Hero covers a lot more than just the Nineties Anti Hero--I'd just file this as Anti Hero.
  • August 17, 2008
    pawsplay
    That's not going to work. This stuff can be completely heroic, just brutal, unsavory, viciously karmic, etc. Even Superman pulls one of these every so often.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=64y8lxbq&trope=GoodIsNotNice