There is a character who does things that are dickish, maybe even cruel, but not outright evil. This same character will lead you into a trap, fight you to the death... and then stop on the brink of killing you to laugh and say "are you alright?" They won't kill the hero, because they find their attempts to save the day amusing, or are intrigued by the sheer selflessness of their thinking. They may help the hero, they may help the villain, they may do both at once or screw over both at once. They are rarely if ever a driving force behind a story, but they nonetheless play a significant role. And why do they do all this? Why do they switch sides so often
? Why are they working below
the Big Bad
when they're just as powerful and intelligent as he is
, if not more?
Why did they make out with the hero of the same gender
Because it was funny.
This is different from For the Evulz
, because while a character who does things For the Evulz
does them because they enjoy being evil or sadistic, this character does things because they shatter the boredom of everyday life. They really don't want
to hurt anyone... but they don't really mind if it happens. They usually believe that Victory Is Boring
, and if they're a Punch Clock Hero
or a Punch Clock Villain
, they do it for entertainment, not the money, though that is a nice side-benefit. Usually, the only way to truly piss a character like this off is to kill off one of their "playthings".
Often such a character will be the Wild Card
or an Enigmatic Minion
. A common saying of the Trickster Archetype
character, the Eccentric Millionaire
, the Great Gazoo
, and The Prankster
Live Action TV
- From Cruel Intentions:
Kathryn: "You were very much in love with her. And you're still in love with her. But it amused me to make you ashamed of it. You gave up on the first person you ever loved because I threatened your reputation. Don't you get it? You're just a toy, Sebastian. A little toy I like to play with. And now you've completely blown it with her. I think it's the saddest thing I've ever heard."
- It may seem as though this was For the Evulz, but the 'saddest thing' makes it more sympathetic.
- From The Long Riders:
Belle Starr: "You're both crazy, but you do keep me amused. I am having a real good time."
- Dangerous Liaisons, the original that Cruel Intentions was based upon.
- In Trading Places, the Duke brothers decided to do their "social experiment" out of boredom and for a $1 bet completely ruined one of the protagonist's lives (they did help the other protagonist, but that was really only out of boredom as well and didn't give a damn about him).
- This is arguably Samuel Westing's reason for the entire plot of The Westing Game.
- Admittedly the reason Sherlock Holmes accepted a case. It had to be interesting enough for him to put away the opium and morphine.
Manga and Anime
- Loki, Loki, Loki...
- As well as Puck.
- Eris, the goddess of discord, pretty much started the Trojan war for the lulz.
- Ryuk from Death Note.
- This is arguably why Kaitou Kid does things like tie-die people's underpants while they're still wearing them, use blinding pink sleeping-gas, and flip Aoko's skirt.
- And on the part of the author, this is probably why Kaito has a phobia of fish and can't ice skate.
- Why Izaya does anything in Durarara!!. What I find interesting is that Izaya has actually achieved a level of fear that equals respect. NOBODY dares be angry with him; or hate him (except Shizuou, who is pretty much invincible) because they're TERRIFIED at what he could do if he actually got angry with someone.
- "The Twins" from Super Jail.
- Urahara from Bleach also has a tendency to screw with people just for the hell of it. When beginning training, he gives Ichigo a helmet and claims that Ichigo needs to yell "TAKE THIS! THE POWER OF JUSTICE! JUSTICE ARMOR! JUSTICE HACHIMAKI! ATTACK!" When Ichigo does so almost instantly, Urahara mutters, "Wow! I can't believe he actually said that!"
- In Gundam 00 the character Wan Lu Mei is The Mole during the entire series, pretending to be a valuable ally to the heroes, but then passing information on to the villains. As she expresses several times, she's simply bored and wants to see the world change- but doesn't care at all whether it is for good or ill.