Created By: Galos on May 1, 2013 Last Edited By: AmyGdala on May 4, 2013

A Boy Into Bad Girls

The Spear Counterpart of All Girls Want Bad Boys

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Trope
Here we have Alice and Bob. Bob is a friendly enough fellow, Alice is not involved in any criminal activity, etc.

And here we have Mary. Mary can be The Vamp, the Femme Fatale, the Dragon Lady, etc. Dating Catwoman might apply here. Even if not an outright antagonist, Mary can still be the Veronica to Alice's Betty, the Dark Action Girl to Alice's Action Girl, the Lady of Black Magic to Alice's White Magician Girl, as well as being the Lovable Alpha Bitch, the Broken Bird etc.

There may or may not be a confrontation between Alice and Mary. Who ends up with Bob varies.

Western Animation

  • In the King of the Hill episode "Bad Girls, Bad Girls Whatcha Gonna Do", Connie's family takes in her delinquent cousin, and Bobby falls for her, intrigued by her dark rebelliousness. He unwittingly helps her set up a meth lab.
Community Feedback Replies: 26
  • May 1, 2013
    lexicon
    Just because something exists doesn't mean that it needs a Spear Counterpart. Are there any examples out there?
  • May 1, 2013
    MissKitten
    Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't boys liking "Bad girls" covered in Betty And Veronica? If so, then this seems a little redundant.
  • May 1, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    ^ The Betty And Veronica trope covers the choice between two diametric love interests. In Archie's case, he's waffled on this decision for 50+ years.

    "Good girls go to heaven. Bad girls go everywhere." - Mae West.
  • May 1, 2013
    lexicon
    The way it's written it is Betty And Veronica where the guy has to choose between the good girl and the bad girl. All Girls Want Bad Boys, on the other hand, is about how multiple female characters want the bad boy of the story.
  • May 1, 2013
    surgoshan
  • May 2, 2013
    Random888
    Don't we already have this? It's All Guys Want Cheerleaders.
  • May 2, 2013
    Arivne
    ^ Please Read That Again. Cheerleaders aren't automatically bad girls (The Vamp, Femme Fatale, Dark Chick etc.), and not all bad girls are cheerleaders.
  • May 2, 2013
    Frank75
    The description is confused. Who's good and who's bad, Alice or Mary? (Don't answer this with "yes".)
  • May 2, 2013
    AmyGdala
    The description is so full of trope names that it's completely incomprehensible.
  • May 2, 2013
    Sackett
    Except this isn't true. There is no trope or cultural expectation that all boys want bad girls.

    If anything the opposite. All boys want good girls. (Hence, My Girl Is Not A Slut, and all the purity tropes for girls). This is one of the reasons why the All Girls Want Bad Boys is an interesting trope.
  • May 2, 2013
    lexicon
    Despite the cultural expectation of good girl with bad boy or the cheerleader fantasy (see second to last paragraph of All Guys Want Cheerleaders) this could be a trope if there were examples out there. Frank is right. The description is confusing on who's who. This seems like an unnecessary gender flipping. I motion to discard.
  • May 2, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    I think we can explore this a little more and suss out a meaning before throwing it out... there may be something to this. Not universal to guys, but I happen to know that All Girls Want Bad Boys isn't as universal as people tend to think either, at least in Real Life.

    Live-Action TV

    • On an episode of The Big Bang Theory, Raj and Howard go to a bar to try and pick up Goth chicks. The whole Goth thing is generally considered "dark and edgy", and their expectations were generally that they'd have some wild sex with such women. The guys dressed like goths and wore "tattoo sleeves" to look like they were inked--and they picked up a couple of them and were doing alright until the girls took them to a real tattoo parlor and Howard freaked.

    [This is more "girls with a reputation for wildness" variety of "bad", combined with some dark fantasy image.]

    • On an episode of Two and a Half Men, Charlie points out to Alan that he has a tendency to be drawn toward women who treat him badly--his ex-wife being one case in point. Charlie then asks Alan to scan the bar room and asks him what woman he finds most attractive. As he scans it, some women smile, but one woman meets his gaze with contempt and rolls her eyes. Alan says that he's attracted to that one.

    [And this is more Alpha Bitch or Jerkass variety of "bad".]

    ...Agreed that we need to define "bad", but there is something to quite a few guys being attracted to either girls that are seen as "wild" or "dark" (and "easy" may not hurt either), or are stuck up, bitchy, and inaccessible (perhaps holding out hope that with some work they can win them over). Not "all" guys, but a number of them.
  • May 2, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Western Animation

    • In the King of the Hill episode "Bad Girls, Bad Girls Whatcha Gonna Do", Connie's family takes in her delinquent cousin, and Bobby falls for her, intrigued by her dark rebelliousness. He unwittingly helps her set up a meth lab.
  • May 2, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    It can be common for teenaged boys, as part of general rebellion, to be attracted to girls who are similarly (or more) rebellious and do forbidden or even criminal things (as in the above^). This is yet another aspect of this trope, but I'd have to think of examples in works (there may be a lot of them in teen shows which I'm not familiar with--the teen shows in my day I think had some examples, but I don't remember specifics). I remember in my Real Life being so attracted, though... sometimes to my detriment.
  • May 2, 2013
    McKathlin
    For guys liking girls who are "bad" because they're sexually promiscuous, we have My Girl Is A Slut.
  • May 2, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Perhaps this is "bad" in the sense of nonconformist. In a milieu of cookie-cutter coquettes, the Dark Chick will stand out.

    Film
    • Hackers features Dade "Zero Cool" Murphy being attracted to Kate "Acid Burn" Libby. Though Kate is a straight-A student and a computer whiz, she has cruel side: when she first meets Dade, she pranks him by stranding him on the school roof.
  • May 3, 2013
    AmyGdala
    We still don't have any sign of a trope whereby "all" boys want bad girls, or even that boys *tend* to like bad girls. We barely have any examples of specific boys whi tend to like bad girls. We're just collecting any examples where any boy has ever been attracted to any bad girl. That's not a trope or trend or anything.

    Good Boy Falls For Bad Girl could be a trope - but that's not what we have here so far.
  • May 3, 2013
    rtsstrtrst
    I don't get how you can consider All Girls Want Bad Boys to be a trope and yet not consider at least some of what was written here as a trope. You can go on how men being into "bad girls" is not a cultural trend, but is every woman into "bad boys"? If not, then why call it "ALL Girls Want Bad Boys"? Why not, "Girl Wants Bad Boy" And what method do you use to determine what is or isn't a cultural trend?

    Really, you don't think with how many works feature Dating Catwoman,and having Femme Fatales, Broken Birds, etc. as options for somebody and said somebody is really into one of them as something that can be called a trend? And a trope?

    I say this could be spruced up. But still a trope.
  • May 4, 2013
    lexicon
    All Girls Want Bad Boys isn't "Girl Wants Bad Boy" because often times multiple girls are interested in the bad boy of the story. Because of the "all" in the title I don't know if something should count if it's only one girl interested in a bad boy.

    It's nice that we have some examples for this but the only one where it's more than one guy into a bad girl is where they want to have some wild sex with such women. They're not interested in the women themselves. I'm glad the "all" was taken out of the title here.
  • May 4, 2013
    nitrokitty
    This overlaps a lot with Dating Catwoman.
  • May 4, 2013
    Sackett
    Don't we have My Girl Is A Slut for those guys that are into "bad girls" in the "non-virginal" meaning?

    I guess there could be something about guys who are to "bad girls" in the delinquent sense. Biker girls, etc. That aren't necessarily "bad girls" in the sexual sense.
  • May 4, 2013
    1810072342
    What's wrong with calling this trope 'All Boys Want Bad Girls', so we can tell what it's meant to be a supposedly Spear Counterpart to? When I read the 'A Boy Into Bad Girls' title I thought it was some sort of freaky transgender thing at first.
  • May 4, 2013
    AmyGdala
    Because it isn't about all boys wanting bad girls and it isn't the spear counterpart to All Girls Want Bad Boys.
  • May 4, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    ^^^^^I didn't get from the description of the trope All Girls Want Bad Boys that it had to involve all or even a group of girls in a work wanting the same bad boy: the description described an individual character's feeling or choice, not that of a group, although you are right that in some works, competition among two or more girls for the bad boy does occur. I'm guessing the "all" in the title alludes to the often frustrated observations of "good boys" that the hot girl (or the girl they happen to want) is attracted to that Jerkass who treats her like crap, and wishing they had the chance to do better by her. They see bad boys getting more "action" than they do and start thinking most girls want that--and "all" is often used as an exaggeration or generalization of "most" (and when dealing with something as complex and diverse as human relationships, it pretty much has to be, can't be absolute). I don't actually think even most are like that, although most may have gone through such a phase (and some learn from that, some never do).

    Similarly, I think some boys (maybe not as many as girls) go through a similar phase--where they're intrigued by a dark or Badass girl, rebellious, defiant of social convention or even the law, something which makes them "different" and intriguing to a boy finding his wild side himself. Then there are other guys who--and this is very much a different thing--tolerate or become codependent with a "bad" girl as in one who will use them, possibly be openly contemptuous of them, or be irresponsible with the expectation that he will clean up their messes, even be very verbally or even physically abusive to them, etc.--the counterpart of girls who tolerate the same in their "bad boys". Alan Harper, whom I mentioned above, demonstrated a mild case of this--and he, like his female trope counterparts, probably thinks he can somehow "change" such women. Sadly, this for guys so afflicted is often not a phase but a chronic condition, like it often is for their female counterparts suffering destructive or abusive relationships.

    Unlike All Girls Want Bad Boys, though, that popular (possibly mis-) conception that most girls are inclined that way doesn't exist as far as guys go, and so a title mirroring that isn't going to resonate or make as much sense--and the relative dearth of examples (I know I've seen this in other works but can't remember, but I know it's not as common in media) reflects that. So A Boy Into Bad Girls may make more sense for the title. Hot For The Bad Girl might work as well. The codependency version should probably be treated as a separate trope though, if we don't actually have such already.
  • May 4, 2013
    darkclaw
    As for guys who like Bad Girls...

    Some guys just like "Bad Girls", does it have to be a phase?

    I know that I personally love tomboys and "bad girls". I've been trying to suppress or remove that side of my personality since it heavily links to my Blood Knight tendencies (which trust me, is not nearly as awesome as fiction makes it look...thanks, Reality Ensues :P...) and other parts of me, but no matter what I do, it's not going away. So I'm pretty sure it's not a phase and I know other guys like me who like bad girls.
  • May 4, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    ^ Being into girls that have a "wild side", are tomboyish, or generally buck authority isn't necessarily a phase--I too am intrigued by women who have that side to them and probably always will be. Women that go overboard with that and have criminal tendencies or drug problems, and will get you in trouble if you don't watch out--that for me was, thankfully, just a phase.

    And again there is also "bad" as in "will treat you badly", which is a different thing but can sometimes overlap, as with "bad boys".

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