Created By: arks on August 18, 2008
Nuked

Good Is Not Nice

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While we're discussing whether or not the other YKTTW is already covered, I'd like to put forth an alternate proposal for the same title.

We have a hero who does heroic things. When the bad guy comes along, he'll dispatch him, when the town is in trouble from some kind of natural disaster, he'll save it. However, he makes no effort to be friendly, polite or sympathetic. In fact, sometimes he goes out of his way to piss people off.

Examples suggested in the other YKTTW:

  • House, who will save your life, but he's never nice about it.
  • Shrek, until his shell was broken a bit by the Power of Friendship.
  • Both boys from Supernatural 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.
  • Severus Snape? (I'm not sure about this one.)

Others:

  • Kanda from D.Gray-Man. He's incredibly rude, and keeps up the image at least that he doesn't care for human beings. He also refuses to join in on the Nakama vibe that his companions have. However, when given a choice, he always does the right thing.
  • Batman, especially in his Animated Series portrayal.

Differs from the Anti-Hero in that they aren't amoral or morally ambiguous. In fact, there's no questioning whether or not they're good. This character is just not a people person nor does he want to be.
Community Feedback Replies: 32
  • August 18, 2008
    Arivne
    Eddie Murphy film roles:
    • Chandler Jarrell in The Golden Child. He's a complete smartass, constantly disrespecting and insulting everyone around him, but he repeatedly acts in a heroic manner.
    • Detective Axel Foley, Beverly Hills Cop. Ditto.
  • August 18, 2008
    Sukeban
    Granny Weatherwax.
  • August 18, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Dang, I was just about to suggest Granny, Sukeban. She's definitely an example of this.
  • August 18, 2008
    DomaDoma
    How about Into the Woods for a page quote?

    You're so nice.
    You're not good, you're not bad, you're just nice;
    I'm not good, I'm not nice, I'm just right.
    -- The Witch
  • August 18, 2008
    The Adversary
    Before someone asks:

    This is Good's answer to Affably Evil.
  • August 18, 2008
    pawsplay
  • August 18, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    While Eddie Murphy's semi-drama characters are unorthodox, they're anything but aloof.

    Pride and Prejudice takes this trope to its logical aesop.

    I think a good quote would be from Gladiator. "I may not claim to be a man of the people, but I am a man ''for the people".
  • August 18, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    @ pawsplay: Funkily enough, Punch Clock Hero has already been taken. X)

  • August 18, 2008
    Sir Psycho Sexy
    Affably Good.

    Noble Demon is a subtrope.
  • August 18, 2008
    Smokie
    Dr. Cox. Just Dr. Cox. (Scrubs)

    Fits this trope perfectly, he's Dr Jerk who usually dislikes his patients but still really cares about them.
  • August 18, 2008
    pawsplay
    The teacher in A Wrinkle In Time. In fact, he's perfect. The main character thinks he's an autocratic jerk, but it turns out he secretly buys shoes for down on their luck teenagers, even ones he's had to discipline.
  • August 18, 2008
    Cheesypoof
    Often the character is Chaotic Good.
  • August 18, 2008
    DomaDoma
    Incidentally, Snape is not this - he's too busy being the Death Eater headmaster for much heroism.
  • August 18, 2008
    pawsplay
    There's a line in the Amber stories by Zelazy about this. The characters ues a dirty move and remarks something to the effect of, "This isn't the Olypmics."
  • August 18, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Just wondering, what's the difference between this and Jerkass Facade?
  • August 18, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    I think the difference is, Jerkass Facade is when someone does it as a form of self destruction. Here, I get the impression it's when they just never priortized being affable.
  • August 19, 2008
    fleb
    Anti Hero covers this; amorality isn't what makes you an Anti Hero. That trope's not all about the Nineties Anti Hero everyone thinks of when they hear the word.
  • August 19, 2008
    pawsplay
    Anti Hero does not cover this, the character is genuinely a hero, they just don't feel this compels them to be a Boy Scout most of the time.
  • August 26, 2008
    arks
  • August 26, 2008
    pawsplay
    Heroic Leg Breaker. How's that?
  • August 26, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Good Is Not Nice covers it nicely.

    If it gets lumped into Anti Hero -- and it could, Anti Hero is sometimes used to mean "good guy not a paragon of perfection" -- Anti Hero needs a rewrite.
  • August 26, 2008
    Professor Thascales
    Although the protagonists on The West Wing are good, and often nice, some of them aren't afraid to play hardball. Josh once says something like, "The President's a nice guy. He doesn't like to threaten people. That's what I'm for." (Although, on The West Wing, when characters get tough, they only threaten people's careers (political ones, or sometimes mass media ones), not their health or their lives or their souls.)
  • August 26, 2008
    Professor Thascales
    Although the Doctor is sometimes written to be somewhat morally ambiguous, more often he is this (at least on the old show). He saves planets/galaxies/the universe out of the goodness of his hearts. Although most of his incarnations are often quite charming, they'd be pretty aggravating to deal with in person--the traits vary with the incarnation, but rudeness and condescension are very common. The 1st, 2nd and 4th also had a tendency towards childish mischief.
  • August 27, 2008
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    I'd say Snape definitely counts. Unequivocably good, he's still a total bastard.
  • August 27, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Ayn Rand, anyone?
  • August 27, 2008
    Golem
    The Punisher, for the love of God, Punisher!

    Also, some may argue Tony Stark is lapsing into this.
  • August 27, 2008
    pawsplay
    The Punisher is an archetype. Even Superman can fall into this role when the script calls for it (Depending On The Writer). Example: Superman deciding to annihilate the Anti-Monitor. Normally, he's a big believer in second chances, but he decides the Anti-Monitor embodies a hostility to all living things.
  • August 27, 2008
    arks
    Some of the people being suggested are Anti Heroes or people who Shoot The Dog. This is not that. These are people who are good, but act like dicks. If the person in question is doing something morally ambiguous, it doesn't fit.
  • August 28, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Family Guy had a memorable example:

    Peter: "The new owners gave everyone raises. Even Kenneth the badass mail clerk with a heart of gold" Peter starts flashing back Peter: "Hi Kenneth did I get any mail?" Kenneth: "No, and if you come any closer I'll slice you" Peter: "Okay, okay. *Peter walks away* Man what a badass" Worker: "Yeah well that badass just gave half his paycheck to orphans... Orphans with DISEASES." Cue sappy music.
  • August 28, 2008
    Alkthash
    From X-Men Wolverine and Cyclops depending on the writer.
  • August 28, 2008
    HeartBurnKid
    We've had a few YKTTW's on this subject before. I suggested Awful Good as a title, and I stand behind it.
  • August 28, 2008
    pawsplay
    The path of the Righteous Man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his Brothers Keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with Great Vengeance And Furious Anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=f5nge19e4ghfvvp2mqco0rv3&trope=GoodIsNotNice