This is a male character common in any media with a romantic plot. He serves as a {{foil}} to the [[TheProtagonist male lead]], both for the audience and for the potential {{Love Interest}}s in the work. Often he has an [[{{Keet}} outwardly]] [[{{Jerkass}} abrasive]] personality. Despite that, he is the main character's [[HeterosexualLifePartners primary male companion]]. Common developments for the character include some sort of falling-out with the main character, often over a very serious issue. He is often a ChivalrousPervert or LoveableSexManiac, and meets with the disapproval of the female cast members in various ways, from exasperated sigh to MegatonPunch. Sometimes this is taken to the point of being a ButtMonkey. If the work has an OfficialCouple featuring a stereotypically attractive female, he'll probably publicly and futilely lust over her right up until the main character's interest comes out in the open.

As the main character's {{foil}}, his function is to show by example what the main character is NOT. Often, by contrast with him, it is no surprise that the main character has an UnwantedHarem. If he does end up in a relationship, he's probably part of the BetaCouple. If he gets together with the main character, it's through a GayOption. Often he is also the PluckyComicRelief.

SubTrope of {{Foil}}. See also TheLancer, {{Sidekick}}, ThoseTwoGuys.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/AkameGaKill'' isn't a harem series (at least, not officially. . .), but it does play the trope straight with Lubboc. He's a ChivalrousPervert, but most of the women on his team find his antics annoying. By contrast, [[TheHero Tatsumi]] seems to just [[ChickMagnet naturally attract female attention.]] He ''does'' have a LoveInterest of his own, Najenda, the leader of their entire group in fact, but she's not really considering a relationship until after their war is over. [[spoiler: He ends up dying anyway, so nothing ever comes from it sadly.]]
* ''LightNovel/BakaAndTestSummonTheBeasts'' - Yuuji is the best friend, but Kouta is the pervert.
** Baka Test is an unusual example in the the lead guy, Akihisa, is the ButtMonkey and the best friend, Yuuji, is the one abusing and using said butt monkey. Then again, it is also unusual in that Yuuji is only a few steps short of being the lead guy himself; it wouldn't be a stretch at all to say that Akihisa and Yuuji are both the protagonist.
*** Not to mention, Yuuji has a love interest of his own: Shouko Kirishima. Though Shouko is, well, a {{Yandere}}...
* Furuichi of ''Manga/{{Beelzebub}}'' plays it dead straight. He lusts after all the girls, and is quite jealous of the attention Oga gets. He has an admirer of his own, though: The ManlyGay demon Arandron.
* In the first season of ''Anime/CodeGeass'' we get the cool protagonist Lelouch and his more awkward best friend Rivalz.
* Masomi Kida of ''LightNovel/{{Durarara}}'' seems like this compared to the (sort of) protagonist, Mikado. While Mikado is fairly shy and reserved, Kida is a {{keet}} and ChivalrousPervert constantly obsessed with hitting on girls. [[spoiler:Ultimately subverted though, as Kida's personality and general cheerfulness is largely ObfuscatingStupidity, and he's actually pretty melancholic. As for Mikado, while he is shy, he hides his inner badass.]]
* Tadashi Teruya from ''VisualNovel/ElevenEyes'', Kakeru's best friend (somehow) and constant subject of derision by Shiori. Curiously, in ''Story of another side'', he actually gets a chance to show that he's more than just the ButtMonkey.
* ''LightNovel/HaiyoreNyarkoSan'' offers an unusual example with Yoichi; since the male lead Mahiro is {{Tsundere}} and high-strung thanks to his UnwantedHarem's antics, Yoichi plays the Foil by being cheerful and unflappable, which means he gets along well with the rest of the cast. He also has moments of NotSoAboveItAll, such as when he believes Nyarko's FakePregnancy lie.
* In ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'', Taniguchi is a friend to the protagonist, Kyon, and is a CasanovaWannabe and a SmallNameBigEgo, whereas Kyon himself is a snarky CovertPervert.
* Eishirou Sugata from ''Manga/HeavensLostProperty''. While he's a lot more reserved than Tomoki, he's also completely bonkers.
* Mugio in ''Anime/KujibikiUnbalance'' (both versions).
* In ''LightNovel/LoveChunibyoAndOtherDelusions'', there's Makoto Isshiki, Yuuta's back-seat classmate who has a hobby of profiling girls in their class.
* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' has [[WeaselMascot Chamo]] sort of filling this role early on, being a sort of JerkAss and DirtyOldMan to contrast with Negi's AdorablyPrecociousChild. Later on, Kotaro is introduced, being a MouthyKid to contrast with Negi's [[WiseBeyondTheirYears maturity.]]
* Yamato Kurose from ''LightNovel/MayoChiki'' is this, though since the female lead pretends to be a man he teases the main character for being gay instead of lusting after her in his turn.
** It also doesn't help that Jiro's friend, after seeing his fearful reaction from being touched by a female student, [[WithFriendsLikeThese loudly questions in the middle of a crowded hallway if he is gay]].
%%* Miyahara of ''Manga/MidoriDays''.
* Tatsukichi Hayama of ''LightNovel/{{MM}}'' plays this straight, though he has someone who admires him.
* In ''Manga/MyBrideIsAMermaid'', Saru, though [[TheProtagonist Nagasumi]] isn't as friendly with him as most examples.
* Nobunaga from ''LightNovel/NogizakaHarukaNoHimitsu''. Yuuto's best friend who's very open about his fanboy tendencies, when the point of the series is to keep Haruka's own love of anime hidden.
* ''Manga/OtakuNoMusumeSan'''s titular otaku father has the added issue of his foil being a lolicon. The friend's admirer, who is totally oblivious to his taste, assumes that since he's clearly not attracted to young ''women'', he might just be gay.
* Hyosuke from ''Anime/PleaseTeacher'' is an [[DoubleSubversion interesting case]] in that [[spoiler:he has a love interest of his own]] and yet he continues to act the part. Also, [[LampshadeHanging within the show itself]], a [[ObnoxiousInLaws character]] accused the main character of HoYay with him.
%%* Takeshi Momoshiro from ''Manga/ThePrinceOfTennis''.
* Haruhiko Nezu from ''VisualNovel/PrincessLover!'' is the show's perpetual [[ButtMonkey punching bag]].
* Ryoga performs this role for the title character of ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'': lawful, wrathful and guarded where Ranma tends to be chaotic, arrogant and trusting. Notably, he is outwardly much more shy and polite to pretty much everybody except Ranma, who is a major JerkWithAHeartOfGold.
* In ''LightNovel/SeitokaiNoIchizon'', Ken has the bluntly stated goal of turning the entire (female) student council into his harem, and draws analogies to a main protagonist in ero-games that he plays. Kurimu, the President, responds that his actions are probably closer to this trope instead.
** It's also a ShoutOut to Clannad: Ken states that his name can be written like "Okazaki" in kanji, and Kurimu answers "You mean ''Sunohara'', right?".
* Edogawa from ''Manga/SoraNoManimani''. In comparison to reserved bookworm Saku, he's loud, crazy and not even technically a member of the Astronomy Club.
* Saruyama from ''Manga/ToLoveRu''. He's there [[PluckyComicRelief just to be the envious friend]] that is jealous of Rito's ever growing harem. His CasanovaWannabe antics are also the exact opposite of Rito when it comes to trying to impress girls. Don't help that, in the sequel ''dDarkness'', he gets pushed to the background.
* [[AntiHero Wolfwood]] and [[AllLovingHero Vash]] from ''Manga/{{Trigun}}'' have the bromance and the foil part going, including the dramatic fight, but not the rest. Wolfwood is about as cool as Vash, with a bonus of brooding, dark looks, and they use similar varieties of ObfuscatingStupidity.


* Creator/KevinSmith films are renown for their [[TheLancer lancers]], who, more often then not, serve as this.
** Randal in ''Film/{{Clerks}}'' and ''Film/ClerksII''
** Brodie in ''Film/{{Mallrats}}''
** Banky in ''Film/ChasingAmy''
** ''Film/JayAndSilentBobStrikeBack'' is an inversion. Despite being the more obnoxious one of the pair, Jay is the romantic lead and Bob is his wingman.
* ''Film/DeadPoetsSociety'': Todd is this to [[TheHero Neil]]. Both trapped by controlling parents, the latter is outgoing, confident and seen rebelling and taking charge of life, while the former is quiet and shy and appears rather timid. In a surprise twist Neil is revealed to be the DecoyProtagonist, and Todd is the real hero.
* ''Film/SherlockHolmes2009'' has Sherlock and Dr. Watson, with the twist that Sherlock, the main character, is pretty much the foil.
* In ''Film/ShaunOfTheDead'', Ed serves as this trope for the titular character Shaun. While Shaun may fail to impress his girlfriend, his step-father, and his younger co-workers, at least he ''has'' a girlfriend and a steady job. Ed, on the other hand, lives on Shaun's couch, plays video games all day, sells marijuana, can't be trusted to write down phone messages, and is prone to silent but deadly flatulence to break the tension of emotional moments.
* ''Film/MenInBlack'' had {{Buddy Cop|Show}} variation with Agent K, TheStoic, and agent J, the CowboyCop.
* [[CowardlyLion Roman]] from ''Film/TheFastAndTheFurious'' franchise was this to [[NervesOfSteel Brian]] in the early movies, and the SmartGuy Tej in later installments.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'' had LovableRogue Han Solo and FarmBoy Luke Skywalker.
** R2-D2 and C-3PO are a robotic take on this trope.
* ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' had StraightMan Will Turner and WildCard Jack Sparrow.
* ''Film/XMenFirstClass'' focuses mostly on the friendship between BadassBookworm, GoodSamaritan Charles and ByronicHero turned VisionaryVillain / WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds Erik.
* Forrest and Lt. Dan from ''Film/ForrestGump'' eventually develop this kind of friendship.

[[folder: Literature ]]
* In ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'', Marco to Jake.
* In ''Literature/OverTheWineDarkSea'' Menedemos is a JerkJock, a HandsomeLech, and a MagneticHero. Sostratos is more austere and less charismatic but he is GoodWithNumbers and aspires to be ThePhilosopher. Naturally they can't stand each other.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'' often contrasts between Harry, TheChosenOne, and Ron, his ButtMonkey best friend.
** Remus Lupin is the BlueOni foil to BrokenAce Sirius Black.
** [[EccentricMentor Dumbledore]] and [[EvilFormerFriend Grindlewald]] were described as this as teenagers. Played with, seeing as WordOfGod says [[WordOfGay Dumbledore's feelings for Grindlewald weren't strictly platonic.]]
* Ford to Arthur in''Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy''.

[[folder: Live-Action TV ]]
* Mack to Fitz in Season 2 of ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'' is an interesting example: rather than opposing but complementary character traits, the two have polar opposite views of Fitz's LoveInterest Simmons: Fitz is still desperately hung up on her despite the undeniably shabby way she treated him after his DyingDeclarationOfLove at the end of Season 1, while the usually affable and easygoing Mack openly dislikes her for the same reason and is the only character to really call her out on her behaviour.
* ''Series/BeverlyHills90210'' had Brandon, TheAce, and TroubledButCute Dylan. Brandon was also foiled to another friend, Steve - the BookDumb BigGuy.
* True to form, Sheldon of ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'' was this to Leonard in earlier episodes.
** Howard. [[CatchPhrase But probably in a different way...]]
* Buddy cops Andy and Darryl from ''Series/{{Charmed}}'', of the AgentMulder and AgentScully variation.
* DoggedNiceGuy [[WideEyedIdealist Dawson]] and RebelliousSpirit [[TheCharmer Pacey]] from ''Series/DawsonsCreek''.
* In the earlier ''Series/{{Degrassi}}'' seasons when Jimmy was the star athlete and his relationship with Ashley was center stage, Spinner's job was to be everything Jimmy wasn't.
* [[BlitheSpirit Will]] and [[BlackAndNerdy Carlton]] from ''Series/TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir''
* ''Series/{{Friends}}'': Joey, Ross and Chandler all provide foils to each other in different ways, being an EnsembleCast none of them are technically TheHero. Joey is TheCasanova while Chandler and Ross are HollywoodDateless. Ross is [[AllWorkVsAllPlay uptight]] while Joey and Chandler are [[AllWorkVsAllPlay relaxed]]. Chandler is BlueOni to Ross and Joey's RedOni. Interestingly Ross and Joey contrast the most but both interact with Chandler, who falls roughly in the middle, more than each other.
* Brian to Zach, and Zach to Dave in ''Series/GilmoreGirls'' - a variation on the RockTrio.
* ''Series/{{Glee}}''.:
** The LovableJock Finn and BadBoy Puck.
** Seasons 4 and 5 also featured DoggedNiceGuy Ryder and Jake, TheCasanova. They were direct [[{{Expy}} expies]] of Finn and Puck, as Jake was Puck's younger brother, and Finn served as a BigBrotherMentor to Ryder. WordOfGod also said that their triangle with NiceGirl Marley was supposed to echo the popular Finchel/Puckleberry triangle from season 1.
** In later seasons we have Blaine, TheAce, and Sam, TheDitz.
* Chuck Bass was originally this in ''Series/GossipGirl'', with an abrasive personality, sex mania, disapproval from female cast members, and a falling out with best friend Nate (the male lead from the books). However, because of his popularity with fans, his affection for Blair (Nate's girlfriend and LoveInterest) stopped being futile and they're now the OfficialCouple of the series.
* House and Wilson from ''Series/{{House}} : the StepfordSmiler and the SnarkKnight.
%%* Barney Stinson from ''Series/HowIMetYourMother''
%%* Arthur to Merlin on ''Series/{{Merlin 2008}}''.
%%* Nathan and Simon in ''Misfits''.
* Seth and Ryan in ''Series/TheOC'' - of the SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan variation.
* ''Series/PrettyLittleLiars'' had BashBrothers Caleb and Toby - on is a TallDarkAndSnarky PlayfulHacker, while the other is a brooding, MisunderstoodLonerWithAHeartOfGold.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'' has one of the more famous examples - Spock and [=McCoy=].
* Dean to Sam on ''Series/{{Supernatural}}''.
* Adorkable Eric and BadBoy Hyde from ''Series/That70sShow.''
* ''Series/TwoAndAHalfMen'' inverts this. TheCasanova Charlie Harper [[FamilyUnfriendlyAesop attracts girls with his loads of money and obnoxious behavior]] while [[BitchInSheepsClothing (relatively)]] DoggedNiceGuy Alan is HollywoodDateless.
* Narm, FullyEmbracedFiend Damon to TheComicallySerious, [[TheFettered fettered]] Stefan in ''Series/TheVampireDiaries''.
* LovableRogue Logan and NiceGuy Duncan from ''Series/VeronicaMars''.
* WideEyedIdealist Sam and GrumpyBear Toby from ''Series/TheWestWing''.

[[folder: Theatre ]]
* This is OlderThanSteam: Creator/WilliamShakespeare [[JustForFun/ZerothLawOfTropeExamples did it]].
** Mercutio from ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'' is this to a T. Benvolio has his moments too.
** Also Graziano from ''Theatre/TheMerchantOfVenice''.
** Iago from ''Theatre/{{Othello}}'' is this trope deconstructed and then rebuilt, but GoneHorriblyWrong.
** Benedick in ''Theatre/MuchAdoAboutNothing'', technically part of the BetaCouple but usually thought of as the male lead.

[[folder: Video Games]]
* Masaki "Maki" Edo from ''Gift ~eternal rainbow~''. A master of crackpot inventions.
* One of the earliest examples is Yoshio Saotome from ''VisualNovel/TokimekiMemorial'', the main chara's best friend as well as the older brother of [[{{Kawaiiko}} Yumi]], one of the possible love interests.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Persona}}'' series has a tendency to do this with characters of the [[TarotMotifs Magician Arcana]]:
** ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' has two, Junpei and Kenji, the latter of which has you help him in a doomed attempt at love. Junpei's shot at love doesn't end much better, at first. [[spoiler: Chidori dies after doing to Junpei what Wolverine did to Rogue in the first ''[[Film/XMen1 X-Men]]'' movie, only in reverse.]]
** Yosuke fills the same shoes in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}''. His attempt at love is even more doomed: Not only is Saki ''murdered'' [[spoiler:(and he later discovers she hated him all along)]], but her death is actually what gets the plot rolling.
* Alistair can act as one to a male Warden PC in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins''.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'', Garrus serves as this to a male Shepard, especially if Paragon, where he's TheCowl to [[TheCape their Cape]]. In the third game, [[spoiler: he even ends up [[BetaCouple hooking up]] with Tali, if Shepard didn't romance her]].

[[folder: Visual Novels]]
* Kaine in ''VisualNovel/AProfile'' acts as a foil by... being a largely normal person with normal human reactions, which is enough when compared to Masayuki. [[spoiler:He also happens to be a female-to-male {{Transgender}} man.]]
* Possible subversion in ''VisualNovel/EienNoAselia''. Kouin comes across as rather perverted and isn't as pretty as Yuuto... but he's also more intelligent, competent and even stronger than he is. He just lacks charisma.
* Uzuki from ''VisualNovel/SharinNoKuni'' counts as one, but he is definitively amongst [[CloudCuckooLander the odder examples]] of this trope: Even the main character usually ends up as plagued by his antics as the UnwantedHarem. He's also AmbiguouslyGay and shows little if any overt interest in any females on top of it.
* Kenji Setou of ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo'' is notable for lacking the usual perversion of this trope - he's a [[ConspiracyTheorist paranoid]] [[HeManWomanHater misogynist]] instead. Possibly a deliberate {{subversion}}, considering the dev team's [[Website/FourChan origin]]. He also [[LampshadeHanging calls the main character "bro"]]. [[spoiler: In the first act [[BadEnd no-girl route]], he is the main character's companion during the SchoolFestival.]]
* Sumiyoshi of ''VisualNovel/SnowSakura'' (eroge) is a very typical example, heavy on the Keet and perversion.
* Masayoshi does this to the protagonist Junichi in ''VideoGame/{{Amagami}}''. Interestingly for a female variation, Kaoru does this as well whether she's the love interest of the arc or not.
* The Sociable, popular, hard working chick magnet Asino who is of average ability contrasts against the protagonist antisocial genius Chris from ''VisualNovel/SymphonicRain'' and is basically his only male friend. Though not perverted at all, if you go down [[spoiler: Fal]]'s route, it ends up with a LoveTriangle between him, Chris and [[spoiler: Fal.]]
* Youhei Sunohara from ''VisualNovel/{{CLANNAD}}'' (both VisualNovel and Anime) is an example played straight, heavy on the ButtMonkey. It was even lampshaded by Tomoya after he was ogling Tomoyo.
--> He's one of those people who can never be the main role for anything.
* Suginami in both ''VisualNovel/DaCapo'' and ''VisualNovel/DaCapoII''. Despite the large gap of years separating the two series, there will always be a Suginami, and he will always be there to serve as the protagonists' foil.
* Torahiko Ooshima from ''VisualNovel/{{Morenatsu}}'', a gay furry visual novel. Subverted, however, in that he's very tsundere-ish and is the game's canon route ([[DevelopmentHell when it gets released)]], also making him a homosexual example. It's further subverted: He's certainly got the outwardly abrasive part, and fits that part of the trope, but he's also [[MrFanservice Mr. Fanservice of the game]], making it something of an act. It ends up reaching [[StepfordSmiler Stepford-y points, particularly during emotional parts of the game.]]
* Arihiko from ''VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}}'' is Shiki's only normal friend, as well as being a comic-relief slacker, pervert, and all-around failure.
** [[ Seorin's]] LetsPlay lampshades the HoYay between the two and ramps it UpToEleven.
** Shiki doesn't really have "normal" friends. As pointed out in ''Kagetsu Tohya,'' they became friends because they've both had an encounter with death that is way too close for comfort. Satsuki isn't normal either; the Nanaya gland don't work on normal girls.
* Issei Ryudou from ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', Shirou's only normal friend, comedic example of HeManWomanHater and the UnknownRival of Rin, one of the heroines.
** Of course, Issei is also the respected StudentCouncilPresident, so he's a bit of a subversion.
* Taisuke Sawanaga from ''VisualNovel/SchoolDays'', also Kotonoha's DoggedNiceGuy and the PluckyComicRelief. Though he's more of a [[DeconstructedTrope deconstruction]], considering [[RapeAsDrama what he does]] [[MoralEventHorizon to his crush]] in the anime and at least one game route...
* ''VisualNovel/SteinsGate'' has Daru, an {{otaku}} LovableSexManiac and the worst guy Okabe could possibly get dating advice from.
-->'''Daru:''' Excuse me, have you considered giving the wisdom between these pages a try?\\
'''Okabe:''' That's a [[HGame hentai game]] strategy guide, jackass!
* Kazuhiko "Kattchan" Miyoshi in ''VisualNovel/TrueLoveJunaiMonogatari''.
* Played straight by Aizawa Eiichi in VisualNovel/GSenjouNoMaou and lampshaded in one of the many times he breaks the fourth wall.

[[folder: Web Comics]]
* [[AnythingThatMoves Konstantin]] from ''Webcomic/TsunamiChannel: Experimental Comic Kotone''. Bonus points for constantly calling the unnamed protagonist "my brother" ''and'' being the GayOption.
* Steve from ''Webcomic/QuestionableContent''. When he can [[PutOnABus get off the bus]], that is. At first, this was about all there was to him, and he was prone to [[PutOnABus disappearing from the story]] for stretches of time. ([[WebcomicTime Less than it seemed, though]]) Recently, he's been developing into his own character.
* [[Webcomic/MegaTokyo Largo]] had shades of this, especially his characterization in the dating sim imagine spots earlier in the comic.
* Ja Wangnan, the actual main character of ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod'''s second season, to ChickMagnet Jyu Viole Grace [[spoiler: aka 25th Baam, the main character of season one]]. It works, since ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod'' is mainly an action adventure with only a little romantic spice at the sidelines, but the foil and developing bromance as well as the complete opposite effect on women are there. It's also quite funny because Ja [[AmbiguouslyGay might actually not be into women.]]