Created By: AnewManApril 24, 2013
Nuked

Perfect Asshole

A Jerk Ass with zero redeeming features.

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Page Type:
Trope
Sometimes a jerk with a bad attitude will be shown to not have a bad heart deep down when you scratch past the surface. Other times a jerk will be an unpleasent asshole to the core, but not always nessecarily a terrible person and will occasionally Pet The Dog, though sometimes might just revoke it later. However, some jerks just go all out in being hateful, unscrupulous, and mean spirited bullies and do not show a trace of true decency in their actions and behaviour. This is the Jerk Ass taken Up To Eleven: an unrepentent Jerk Ass with no qualms, no shame, and no redeeming qualities. On the sliding scale of dickery, this character comes right between a regular standard Jerk Ass and a Complete Monster. This person is the Perfect Asshole.

The Perfect Asshole is never kidding around in his or her jerkishness, even if the work is lighthearted or comedic. These guys have no Jerk Justifications about what they say and do: they will use, abuse, and put down others for self-centered reasons, or for no reason at all other than for kicks. Their Lack Of Empathy for anyone who's not them or in any way connected to them makes it impossible for them to display any acts of kindness. Instead, they will kick dogs and then Kick Them While They Are Down. It might even be that they enjoy this cruelty at the expense of others. In short, this is the worst kind of person you could hope not to deal with in regular life.

Trope name comes from Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, where Wallace Wells says the line "What a perfect asshole" in reference to Gideon Graves, the Big Bad.

Please note that a Perfect Asshole must not show any behaviour that could be considered in any way "positive." The character will never Pet The Dog, will rarely ever have a point on something, cannot be considered a Jerk Ass Woobie, will never have a Jerk Ass Realization, and nobody would ever want this jerk back. This is Exactly What It Says On The Tin: the character is perfect at being a total asshole.

May or may not be a villain. Can sometimes be a Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk, The Sociopath, or a Complete Monster depending on how the work's narrative choses to portray the jerk in question. See also Hate Sink.
Community Feedback Replies: 31
  • April 25, 2013
    Arivne
    So, Jerkass but more so?
  • April 25, 2013
    AmyGdala
    You literally defined this as "Jerk Ass taken Up To Eleven."
  • April 25, 2013
    DracMonster
    This kind of page isn't allowed anymore. It gets into the whole Kick The Dog / Rape The Dog problem from the old days.
  • April 25, 2013
    willthiswork
    Sounds like maybe a potential Complete Monster that fails the heinous standard. IDK, a dick with _zero_ redeeming qualities _might_ be tropeworthy, that is a _little_ different than just being a Jerkass++
  • April 25, 2013
    longWriter
  • April 25, 2013
    DunDun
    ^That has to do with a Jerkass being given the chance to show they have a heart of gold but then reveals they really are a Jerkass.

    This is more like what willthiswork said: a level or two above a Jerkass but also a few levels beneath a Complete Monster.

    Sounds like an argument to make in a Complete Monster or Jerkass TRS thread.
  • April 25, 2013
    StarSword
    ^I would say bring it up in the CM cleanup thread.
  • April 25, 2013
    Larkmarn
    I am torn. On one hand, something like this may serve to alleviate some of the overuse of Complete Monster. On the other (far more likely) hand, this will spiral out of control just like CM did and be a problem.
  • April 25, 2013
    DunDun
    If this is gonna happen can this not be called another way of saying "Dat Ass"?
  • April 25, 2013
    willthiswork
    ^^ I feel exactly the same way.
  • April 25, 2013
    Misskitten
    Yeah. Not sure about this one.
  • April 25, 2013
    AnewMan
    OK, I had this idea for two main reasons:

    1 - As was pointed out, to help cut down on Complete Monster misuse. Several contenders or bad examples for that trope were just sociopathic Jerkasses and bullies who failed the standard for heinousness or heinous deeds. However, to call them Jerk Ass might not be enough for people because the laconic definition for that trope is literally just "an asshole." Which makes Jerk Ass a vague, all-emcompassing term that could apply to non-villains, comedic jerks (like Homer Simpson or Cosmo), or jerks who do have redeeming qualities and standards. Therefore, this trope for jerks who are never shown by the narrative to have any redeeming or positive qualities beyond being a Jerk Ass. The criteria and standards for this trope would be simple: if a jerk shows any decency or restraint, has a heart of gold, or is a Jerk Ass Woobie, they're automatically disqualified. A Perfect Asshole is a Jerk Ass with no extra layers.

    2 - A more shallow reason would be that I'm surprised the "What a perfect asshole" line from Scott Pilgrim hasn't become a Trope Namer yet. It has the same potential as "You Magnificent Bastard, I read your book!" to coin a term made up of a compliment/sign of being impressed (magnificent, perfect) and an insult (bastard, asshole).
  • April 25, 2013
    Hodor
    1. I can somewhat sympathize with the idea of having a trope distinction between the more malevolent variety of jerkass and the comedic one. However, I'm uncomfortable with the sense that this trope is meant as like a "alternate Complete Monster trope" for people to put examples that were rejected from Complete Monster.

    At the end of the day, a villain who isn't a Complete Monster, is just a villain, which isn't trope-worthy in itself.

    2. I feel obliged to note that the quote is a Double Entendre (the character saying the line, Wallace, is gay) and doesn't really convey any analysis of Gideon (other than that he's a jerk).
  • April 25, 2013
    xanderiskander
    If this is tropable it would have to be YMMV the same way Complete Monster is because whether a Jerkass has no redeemable, positive qualities or not will be different depending on who you ask.
  • April 25, 2013
    Larkmarn
    ^^ 1: ... yeah. I feel like a lot of us feel the same way.

    2: While it is a double entendre in the movie, it really is his analysis (haha, anal) of Gideon. Just sayin'.
  • April 25, 2013
    DunDun
    ^^^^I thought the term for this was Total Fucking Asshole, actually.
  • April 25, 2013
    ErnestNTru
    I could get behind this. I would add one caveat that being a Perfect Asshole could be a redeeming quality on its own. You know, 'cause they're the kind of character we love to hate, and feel perfectly justified in doing so.
  • April 25, 2013
    AnewMan
    ^ It could be added that the only quality that could be seen as admirable or positive is just how much they dedicate themselves to being an asshole.

    @Hodor: Not all rejected examples would even make the cut for this one. For instance, Mr Krabbs can't go here because he does show redeeming qualities even post-Flanderization. Neither can Discord because he reformed. Or Katejina Loos because she loved Chronicle. Heck, even Hopper because he was lenient on his brother. Characters like Ghetsis, Turbo, Gaston, Spandam, and the recently discussed Night Porter could theoretically qualify. And Gideon himself from the original comic.

    And yes, it would have to be a YMMV Trope, too.
  • April 26, 2013
    TheHandle
    I like this trope. A mean guy you can Love To Hate more than you hate the actual bad guys...
  • April 26, 2013
    TiggersAreGreat
    How many "Motion To Discard" tags does it take before a YKTTW gets discarded?
  • April 26, 2013
    StarSword
    ^Problem is, there's a bunch of folks who think this is usable and a bunch who don't.
  • April 26, 2013
    ACW
    What's this Kick The Dog slash Rape The Dog problem?
  • April 26, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    How is this not Jerkass But More So?
  • April 26, 2013
    DunDun
    ^The discussion has basically become "we could use this, but not as it currently is," and the draft hasn't been edited since it was put up. The current belief is that this is Jerkass but more as well as Complete Monster But More Specific. It's in between. I'm not saying it's something we could really use; it's YMMV, which means it's not very useful in my honest opinion. StarSword already mentioned it in the CM cleanup thread, but it looks like that aside hasn't gone anywhere.

    If the draft isn't edited or if no one makes a better in-between-JA-and-CM trope (which I know I'm incapable of given my unfamiliarity with CM), I don't see why we're still seriously discussing this (especially with all the motions to discard).
  • April 26, 2013
    AnewMan
    ^ I say a YMMV trope like this could be useful in getting rid of bad examples and keeping Complete Monster less subjective.

    Does anyone know any way how the draft could be improved?

    @Septimus Heap: Jerk Ass is, laconically, "an asshole." This trope would basically be "a pure scumbag", which is right between asshole and monster.
  • April 26, 2013
    helterskelter
    This has like six motions to discard. Let's make it official:

    Motion to discard, seconded.
  • April 26, 2013
    VeryMelon
    Trash this.
  • April 26, 2013
    ACW
    I vote keep. Good way to have people who are thisclose to being a CM.
  • April 26, 2013
    Shaoken
    All this will do is be a dumping ground for tropers who are pissed that x character was cut from being a complete monster.
  • April 26, 2013
    AnewMan
    ^ Not nessecarily. Like I said before, come so-called "Complete Monster" DO have redeeming qualities, therefore would not be able to pass this Trope's criteria either. (Discord, Mr Krabs, Katejina Loos, Hopper, etc.) If tropers who are pissed that those characters were cut from Complete Monster, well tough because they're not going on Perfect Asshole either.
  • April 27, 2013
    Camberf
    I actually support this. While it may be subjective, lots of tropes are, and I think that there are quite a few characters that "Jerkass" doesn't really do justice to. You can have a characters who's a rapist, serial killer, mass-murdering baby torturer who would easily qualify as a Complete Monster except for the one positive trait that they're shown to have. I don't think that characters like that should be lumped together with your everyday bad boss or rude neighbor archetype that would generally be found on the Jerkass or even JerkWithAHeartOfJerk pages. I think that what each character listed on the "Perfect Asshole" page should have is a list of their crimes and whatnot, similar to a Complete Monster character's entry, but also their disqualifying factor, be it having loved ones, many of their crimes falling under Offscreen Villainy, etc.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable