Created By: Nocturna on January 9, 2012 Last Edited By: Nocturna on March 17, 2012
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Proud, Dark, and Handsome

A proud, handsome, arrogant, sophisticated, cold man who often has HiddenDepths of kindness.

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Needs a Better Title
Suggestions: Handsome But Arrogant, Proud Dark And Handsome, Proud Handsome Man, The Arrogant Elite, The Proud Elite

This man is of elite status, often due to heritage, wealth, or both. Most people are willing to bend over backward to please him. He is tall, fit, and good looking. He carries himself with elegance and acts with sophistication. He is highly intelligent and quite competent at his pursuits. And he knows all this.

He treats almost everyone around him with a thin veneer of polite disdain, coming off as cold, arrogant, and uncaring. He values rationality and logic and cares little for people and emotions. Kindness is beneath him.

At least on the outside. While some Proud, Dark, and Handsome characters are truly that cold, hard-hearted, and arrogant, with no redeeming features, most Proud, Dark, and Handsome characters have a carefully hidden warmer, kinder side. Their gentler, nicer side will generally only come out around certain people or in situations where they can pretend a disinterested or self-serving rationale for their kind actions. Occasionally, a Proud, Dark, and Handsome character is not deliberately maintaining their cold, arrogant outer persona; they unintentionally come off that way, generally due to shyness or some other form of social awkwardness.

This character type, when set up as a romantic interest, generally appeals to the All Girls Want Bad Boys idea, in that the Proud, Dark, and Handsome man appears "bad" in his aloof arrogance, but generally has a warm heart underneath which allows him to fall in love.

Frequently used in Japanese works, although by no means exclusive to them. Japanese examples will frequently be bishonen.

Often overlaps with Tall, Dark and Handsome, Byronic Hero, Jerk with a Heart of Gold, Magnificent Bastard, Insufferable Genius, and Tall, Dark and Snarky. Compare the Ice Queen.

Note: Examples need to have more than just the character's name and the work they are from. Please include a description of how they fit the trope.

Examples

Anime and Manga
  • Bleach
    • Kuchiki Byakuya is a noble and a Captain, and he comes across as cold and arrogant. However, he has a deeply engrained sense of honor and cares passionately for those few people who make their way into his heart.
    • Ishida Uryuu is the last Quincy, the number one student in his class, and very proud of both. That pride plus his unwillingness to appear soft can make him difficult to get along with, and although he often pretends he cares little for the rest of his group, he has always come through for them.
  • In Ouran High School Host Club, Ootori Kyoya is the brain behind the Host Club. He acts as though he cares only about the bottom line and what will benefit himself, as he feels befits the third son of the Ootori family, but he has been shown to have a well-hidden altruistic streak.
  • Death Note: Namikawa Reigi, the member of the Yoshuba Group who Light initially contacts, is cold, calculating, and very intelligent. He is also quite attractive.
  • Sebastian Michaelis from Black Butler is a suave but aloof demon currently posing as the butler to the Earl Phantomhive. He is quite intelligent and there is very little he cannot do. Being a demon, he is one of the few examples who don't have a warmer side; he truly does care nothing for humans beyond their use as tools and food.
  • Kaoru from ...Virgin Love is known for two things at work: his unfriendly, brutally honest behaviour and for being extremely bishonen. He starts to defrost a little by the end of the first story.

Comics
  • Bruce Wayne is handsome, and, while charming, tries to be aloof enough that he makes people think he's a bit arrogant. However, when he catches criminals as Batman, he'll get them jobs at Wayne Enterprises. Even the Ventriloquist got a second chance once on an episode of New Batman Adventures.

Literature
  • Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice is perceived as extremely arrogant and completely uncaring of those around him, to the point that even those who acknowledge his good looks and wealth dismiss him as someone not worth getting to know. However, this impression is unintentional, and he is, in actuality, a morally upright, deeply caring man who is very socially awkward.
  • A female example: Isabelle from The Mortal Instruments, who has Raven Hair, Ivory Skin, is extremely cold and proud, and actively partakes in Shadowhunters' Fantastic Racism. She defrosts rather quickly, though.
  • Ian Kabra from The 39 Clues fits this trope perfectly. He's dark, described in the books as being very good-looking (although a lot of the fandom dislikes the pictures of him that the publishing company has on the website), and is extremely full of himself. He starts off pretty evil, but turns out to have hidden morals.

Video Games
Community Feedback Replies: 36
  • January 13, 2012
    ScanVisor
    Batman, natch.
  • January 13, 2012
    ScanVisor
    Also, Squall from Final Fantasy VIII, and probably Cloud from Final Fantasy VII
  • January 13, 2012
    Nocturna
    More information, please. I don't include X Just X examples. And Cloud doesn't count; he's blonde. Unless I should drop the dark-haired requirement?
  • January 13, 2012
    ScanVisor
    Dark hair is too specific a requirement anyway.

    • Bruce Wayne is handsome, and whislt charming, tries to be aloof enough to make people think he's a bit arrogant. However, when he catches criminals as Batman, he'll get them jobs at Wayne Enterprises. Even the Ventriloquist got a sedcond chance once on an episode of New Batman Adventures.

    • Cloud from Final Fantasy VII is tall, handsome, and his ego is so big that when he failed to become a SOLDIER he ended up super-imposing someone else's personality on himself who was actually able to do it. He's definitely kind and altruistic, but he is distant to the point of being rude as well, at least until Disc 2 when he confronts the Tomato In The Mirror.

    • Squall Leonhart is tall, dark, handsome, proud, stoic, quietly dismissive Jerk Ass (with one fuck of a Freudian Excuse it should be noted). When it comes to Rinoa however, he gets all squishy and emotional. And when he finds out his True Companions are Not Quite Dead, he's visibly pleased.
  • January 13, 2012
    SMARTALIENQT
    • Sirius Black from Harry Potter, and, it is revealed, Severus Snape.
  • January 15, 2012
    Synchronicity
    A female example: Isabelle from The Mortal Instruments, who has Raven Hair Ivory Skin, is extremely cold and proud, and actively partakes in Shadowhunters' Fantastic Racism. She defrosts rather quickly, though. Averted with her meeker older brother Alec.
  • January 15, 2012
    fulltimeD
    Charles Winchester from MASH was an arrogant blue blood who treated other officers with disdain, but he was an excellent surgeon and his hidden depths of kindness came out often enough that viewers could tolerate him better than his predecessor, the completely unsympathetic Major Burns.
  • January 15, 2012
    Nocturna
    ^ Is that from the TV series, the book, or the film of that name?
  • January 15, 2012
    randomsurfer
    ^TV. Although I wouldn't say he was particuarly dark or handsome (but I suppose YMMV on that).
  • January 16, 2012
    nabber
    In Literature, [[Handsome Devil: Ian Kabra]] from The 39 Clues fits this trope 'perfectly'. He's dark, described in the books as being very good-looking ([[YMMV: although a lot of the fandom dislikes the pictures of him that the publishing company has on the website, thou]]), and is extremely full of himself. He starts off pretty evil, but [[Heel Face Turn: turns out to have hidden morals]].
  • January 16, 2012
    cygnavamp
  • January 16, 2012
    jatay3
  • January 16, 2012
    Nocturna
    Kuudere is a fanspeak term, not a trope. The trope equivalent of Kuudere is Sugar And Ice Personality, which is related but not the same thing.
  • January 21, 2012
    OmarKarindu
    This is the popular archetype of the Byronic Hero as well.
  • February 8, 2012
    lebrel
    Kill the dark hair requirement and the snowclone name.
  • February 8, 2012
    Nocturna
    Then what name would you suggest?
  • February 11, 2012
    jatay3
    Simon Tam?
  • February 11, 2012
    Nocturna
    ^ Who's that?
  • February 11, 2012
    snowy86
    Simon Tam is the doctor from Firefly in the pilot episode he seems arrogant and cold but then it turns out he's just trying to save his sister and is actually nice. Also, he fits the dark hair requirement.
  • February 12, 2012
    Sackett
    Proud Handsome Man seems to be a good name. He doesn't need to have dark hair, although you should mention that he often overlaps with Tall Dark And Handsome. (That would be the better trope to identify rather then Tall Dark And Snarky).

    I'd identify this character as related to the concept of the Ice Queen. Just waiting for the love of a good woman to heal him.
  • February 21, 2012
    Chabal2
    The possible reasoning behind All Girls Want Bad Boys and Draco In Leather Pants, when the character is thought of as having qualities behind an arrogant facade.

  • February 21, 2012
    Rytex
    I care to comment on the Final Fantasy VII entry. His ego wasn't responsible for him taking Zack's place in the story. When he had Mako poisoning (and since he had just gotten experimented on by Hojo), he had no real memory, and Zack told him stories on the ride in the back of that guy's truck. The Mako poisoning, coupled with Jenova's cells inside him screwing with his body, he started to think he was Zack with a different name. Hell, he emulated him so well, even Aeris was convinced.
  • February 21, 2012
    Nocturna
    ^ So you would say that he doesn't qualify for this trope?
  • February 21, 2012
    Nocturna
    Anyone have any other suggestions for names? Proud Handsome Man works, but it's rather blah.
  • February 23, 2012
    ScanVisor
  • February 23, 2012
    whereismytea
    Cloud's short, just making a note. And I'm still a litte confused as to what is/isn't included in the trope. I do have one example I'm certain of though.

  • February 23, 2012
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    Namestorming:
  • February 23, 2012
    Nocturna
    ^^What exactly do you find confusing? The first two paragraphs are the requirements, and the third paragraph is often but not always part of the character type.

    ^ Hmm... I think that's the best suggestion we've had so far.
  • February 24, 2012
    whereismytea
    ^ Moreso, the subsequent arguing over he doesn't have to be tall/dark etc. Perhaps a different name will fix it. Basically, is the main focus the proud and handsome bit?
  • February 24, 2012
    Nocturna
    ^ Proud, handsome, high-class, and cold.
  • February 26, 2012
    Sackett
    Proud and Arrogant aren't exactly the same though.

    This type of character is more often depicted as proud rather then just arrogant.

    I still think Proud Handsome Man is the best name so far.
  • March 2, 2012
    Synchronicity
  • March 2, 2012
    Nocturna
    I like The Proud Elite. What do others think?
  • March 2, 2012
    surgoshan
    • Wuthering Heights: Heathcliff is popularly believed to have a soft core, overwhelmed by bitterness and tragedy later in the book.
  • March 4, 2012
    rosebud64
    Jorge in The Secret Life Of The Backyard Kids. He's handsome, rich, charismatic, a preteen version of the Latin Lover, and a bit of a snobbish jerk, but quite the Broken Bird-and post-panther transformation, he's Troubled But Cute.

    http://rose64bud.deviantart.com/ In case you don't know what I'm talking about.
  • March 17, 2012
    Nocturna
    Unless there's objections, I'll be launching this sometime soon under the name The Proud Elite.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=n91com9xt19pln2xs6bnviuj