[[noreallife]]
->''"Let's see: We've got vandalism, [[HeroInsurance destruction of property]], endangering innocent bystanders... IT'S OFFICIAL! Our heroes are douchebags!"''
-->-Il Neige, WebVideo/WhatWeHadToWatch

A Designated Hero is a character in a story who, despite being presented as heroic, is actually a {{Jerkass}} at best and an arguable villain at worst. This is not the same as the deliberately morally ambiguous AntiHero. From the praise they receive from other characters and even the narrative, it is plain that the audience is expected to like and root for the Designated Hero; instead, they have problems that can even inspire pity or, on rare occasion, sympathy.

They are often mean people with no redeeming qualities aside from some superficial virtues, and they do not undergo appreciable character development. They're generally [[KarmaHoudini given a pass]] by the writers, freeing them from the consequences of their acts.

An extremely common plot associated with this character is their riding the coattails of a [[AccidentalHero misunderstanding]] or undeserved reward until they finally feel guilty about it -- and are allowed to keep it at the end anyway. In so-called 'guy movies', this is sometimes associated with an implausibly attractive woman inexplicably respecting that he came forward with this information and allowing it to wipe away all fault for what he originally did, despite the fact that most reasonable human beings would never want to see him again. But hey, he learned to be a NiceGuy, right?

Note that ValuesDissonance can sometimes be a factor with this since the exact definition of what constitutes heroism has changed over time; a character that comes across as a Designated Hero to a modern audience might well have been TheParagon when the story was written in FeudalJapan or AncientRome. Of course even in modern society people will have [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation different standards of what constitutes heroism]].

On the flip side, there's the DesignatedVillain, who we're supposed to dislike despite the fact that he's [[StrawmanHasAPoint pretty much right about everything]]. This is often because [[SmugSnake everything he says gets accompanied by an annoying smirk]]. Another inversion would be the VillainProtagonist, who, while presented as the ''protagonist'', is in no way presented as a ''hero''; rather the opposite. (Ironically, a failed attempt at writing a VillainProtagonist can come off as a Designated Hero, though a work with a sympathetic VillainProtagonist can use this trope to their advantage by making the [[SmugSuper hero who opposes them this]] ). [[UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist Comedy Protagonists]] are usually given a free pass but this can be a result if one of their jokes comes across as [[DudeNotFunny offensive]] to the audience members.

Not to be confused with TheChosenOne, though they can occasionally overlap. Also not to be confused with SupportingProtagonist, which is when the story just focuses on a character other than the hero. PinballProtagonist is for when a character doesn't do much that's "heroic" by dint of the fact that they just don't do much of anything ''important''. [[AccidentalHero Accidental Heroes]] do accomplish heroic things, but not intentionally. If the character is publicly perceived as a Hero, but is still shown to be villainous within the narrative context of the work, then he's a VillainWithGoodPublicity. For a character who is an utter [=Jerkass=], but still ultimately heroic, see GoodIsNotNice. For a morally ambiguous character who is ''intended'' to be seen as such by the audience, see {{antihero}} and its related subtropes. Can also be related to BitchInSheepsClothing, where a character who seems like a nice person turns out to be a mean person deep down. For a protagonist who fans consider to be less dynamic than the supporting characters but isn't morally ambiguous, see DesignatedProtagonistSyndrome.

See ShowDontTell. Almost always a result of being UnintentionallyUnsympathetic. Such a character might inspire RootingForTheEmpire when the villains are seen as more likable than the main character.
Often, but not always, overlaps with NominalHero.


'''Note:''' InUniverse examples or {{Intentional|Audience Reaction}} ones go to NominalHero.

----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Advertising]]
* The Miller Lite beer commercials have a guy enjoying time with his girlfriend; he mentions it's been 30 days and he thinks he's found something special. Just when we think he's talking about his girlfriend, he opens up his refrigerator and reveals the Miller Lite home draft. He even moves her out of the way. (This is a parody of the E-Harmony dating service commercials.)
* The kids of "Trix are for kids" advertising campaign love to torment that poor rabbit with the fact that he will never ever get to eat the damn cereal. By far the most {{egregious}} example was when the rabbit legitimately purchased some Trix with his own money, only for the kids to take it away when he left the store, essentially mugging him. Nobody points out the sadistic glee the kids seem to take in excluding and denying the rabbit over and over.
** Both times the Trix rabbit scores some Trix was due to two separate popular votes overwhelmingly supportive of his goal to get the sugary cereal. By that point, even kids were like "just give him the damn cereal you insensitive jerk-offs".
** This made sense in the early commercials (1950s-60s), where the rabbit was actually trying to steal the Trix from the children. Later commercials lost this, probably as a result of ButNotTooEvil.
** It's gotten to the point where if the Trix Rabbit even DREAMS of enjoying Trix products, the kids come along and steal them away.
* Much like the kids with the Trix rabbit, we got the kids from the Lucky Charms commercials, who will incessantly hound and chase after Lucky the Leprechaun to take his cereal. It's not as bad as the Trix example since Lucky is clearly toying with them. [[FridgeLogic (Otherwise, he wouldn't always be singing "Try me Lucky Charms - they're magically delicious!")]]
* In some of the commercials for Golden Crisp, mascot Sugar Bear came across as this. He was always pursuing Granny Goodwitch to steal her cereal instead of getting his own, even though she never did anything to him except try to hide from him so she could ''finish her cereal'', and share it with him during the Christmas season.
** There were numerous Golden Crisp throughout the 90s where the Sugar Crisp bear would actively '''steal''' the cereal. One would have him break in the factory at night and rush off with its entire contents, another would have him hijack a delivery truck full of the stuff, all the while singing off his "Can't get enough of that Sugar Crisp" slogan, coming off much more as a {{smug|Snake}} addict than anything worth sympathy.
* Like the above examples there's Barney, who would constantly come up with scatterbrained schemes, just so he could steal Fred's Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles, instead of buying his own. Some of the earlier commercials even had him break the fourth wall, winking at the audience while bragging how he'd trick Fred and steal his cereal, as though the audience is supposed to find this funny and charming.
** In [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhOqikF9cic one ad,]] he went as far as to disguise himself as a villain called the Purple Phantom and told Fred that Barney was being held hostage. That's right, Barney uses the very friendship he has with Fred as a tool to get Fred to hand over a box of cereal. Jackass.
* You know those "I'm a Mac/I'm a PC" commercials with the [[{{Adorkable}} dorky lovable]] PC and [[SmugSnake stuck-up]] Mac? Rumors abound that [[MisaimedFandom the audience is supposed to prefer Mac Guy]].
* The Alltel Wireless commercials have a similar problem. The audience is supposed to like Chad, even when he doesn't lift a finger to stop his supporters from doing terrible things to the avatars of the other companies. Besides that, Chad adopts a HolierThanThou personality to humiliate the other guys.
* The douchebag lies and gets the girl in the Twix "Take Your Time" commercials.
** One of the newer commercials features a guy staring at a bunch of "hot" women fooling around in the street. The guy's wife, with their presumably newborn daughter, yells at him, and asks what he's doing. The [[CatchPhrase "Need a Moment?"]] logo comes up, the guy eats one of the bars. He says, "I'm just looking at... potential babysitters!" The wife then KISSES his cheek, saying, "You are SO sweet!". What?
** Another has a girl finding the name Terry on her boyfriend's cell phone. After the Twix Time Freeze thing happens, he casually claims that Terry is his boss. The commercial doesn't say that cheating is okay, but doesn't say anything about it being wrong in any way, either.
* Aussie Haircare has a series of ads where a FunnyAnimal kangaroo is going about their business when Aussie products fall out of their pouch. Women nearby use them to get better hair. At no point does the 'roo ever get anything more substantial than a "thanks". This includes the meter maid who got the stuff when the 'roo was trying to get more change out to put in a parking meter about to expire. Yes, she stole her stuff and ''still'' gave her the ticket.
* Esurance has Frank [[TheMagnificent The Saver]], who spends all his screentime bragging about how great he is at saving people money and doing his best to undermine and downplay his coworkers' efforts. After all, [[SarcasmMode who]] ''[[SarcasmMode wouldn't]]'' [[SarcasmMode want to buy their insurance from somebody who only sees their accounts as another feather in his cap and another reason to rub his success in everyone else's face]]?
* The AdCouncil is guilty of this.
** In one commercial, a dentist is going around a store humiliating people who are thinking of buying soda. He then attempts to ScareEmStraight by showing pictures of one soda user's teeth. The message may be clear, but the dentist is treated as the hero, [[WellIntentionedExtremist despite his borderline harassment of shoppers.]]
** Another commercial had an overweight guy waiting for an elevator. Someone comes up to him and says something to the effect of [[{{Jerkass}} "Maybe you should take the stairs?"]]
* A Skittles commercial has one guy eating Skittles from an hourglass that represents his friend's lifetime. The friend comes in as an old man and as he continues to age before the guy's eyes, the guy ''continues to eat the Skittles''. Apparently we're supposed to laugh as the guy is so addicted to candy he's dooming his friend to an early grave.
** A group of girls are talking and two of them mention a boy has skittles in place of teeth. So one of the girls goes over to the boy, who is smiling and looks excited, and french kisses him. Then it's not only [[WhatTheHellHero revealed that she took his teeth into her own mouth]] but she promptly bites down on a skittle tooth with an audible crunch and smiles at the boy. What? She just made this random stranger toothless!
* Some of the worst offenders in commercials on the Website/{{Cracked}} article [[http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-ad-campaigns-that-prove-humanity-doomed/ 6 Ad Campaigns That Prove Humanity Is Doomed.]]
* Some of the latest Hanes commercials has a fan harass MichaelJordan while cruelly insulting another passenger on their plane for his "bacon neck" (a wrinkled collar on his undershirt). The fan is completely insufferable, though Michael Jordan himself regards him vague bemusement, so at least he comes out of this relatively clean (despite the inexplicable Hitler mustache he wears for it).
* According to their ad campaign, anyone with AT&T's 4G is entitled to act like a total {{Jerkass}} to anyone who DARES try to tell them the latest news: "That's SO Xsty seconds ago!" Not that these people ever see fit to share the information when they learn it ''first''; no, it's just an excuse to degrade and insult the 'uninformed masses'.
* A commercial for Kraft Mac and Cheese has a kid boasting how he took all the pans from home when he went over to a friends for a sleepover. Why? So he makes sure that his parents don't cook Macaroni and Cheese (Or anything else for that matter) and eat it when he's not there. Makes you want to throttle the smug rat.
** There was a similar commercial where a disgustingly bratty kid ''got their parents taken away/arrested'' for eating some of their Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The Abh from ''LightNovel/CrestOfTheStars'' are TheEmpire as depicted by an author who is RootingForTheEmpire, and glorified [[RecycledInSpace Space]] [[CantArgueWithElves Elves]] to boot. The dissonance between the fact they're intended to be the sympathetic, admirable, perfect, protagonist faction and the reality of what they actually are is so great that many viewers/readers end up RootingForTheEmpire instead -- and the TheEmpire in this case is a case of TheEmpire being played straight!
* The HiddenElfVillage in ''Anime/FafnerInTheAzureDeadAggressor'' is absolutely horrendous at first, refusing to help the rest of the world against the monster befalling it, as well as maintaining a {{Masquerade}} to fool their own children into not realizing [[AfterTheEnd The End Of The World]] had happened to the outside world. They then pick one of these children to be HumongousMecha pilots, and aren't sympathetic when they don't react well. Halfway through the series it seemed the writers realized that the viewers were more sympathetic to the DesignatedVillain, the U.N.-backed "Human Army." Steps were taken to make sure that the audience knew who was "right" and who was "wrong".
* ''Anime/DominionTankPolice'': There really is little quantitative difference between the cops and the crooks. Both prefer to drive large, destructive vehicles, and both cause massive amounts of collateral damage to life and property; one side merely has the advantage of legal sanction for their acts, while the other's motives are purely mercenary. This is most clearly lampshaded in the sequel series, wherein Anna and Uni are allowed to make a HeelFaceTurn without the least change to their personalities; they've reformed because they're tired of being chased by the police and have realized that ''being'' cops would allow them to continue blowing stuff up, but also provide a steady source of income.
** In the first ''Anime/DominionTankPolice'', there is an exchange between squad leader Brenten and Lovelock that illustrates this mentality perfectly. Brenten, probably the next most gung-ho member of the squad besides Leona, and most definitely a dyed in the wool veteran of the squad, suggests to Lovelock that they should quit the force right then, and go off and become criminals, for the action, the money, and the lack of regulations that plague them as Tank Police. From the tone of voice, it's clear that he's saying this in a half joking, half not manner, suggesting that if Lovelock had agreed to this, they would have actually left for a life of crime right then. When Lovelock declines, Brenten immediately recants everything he said, and nothing more is ever said of it again. It should be noted that ''Dominion'' is not a serious series, and the fact that the so-called "heroes" are just as bad as the "bad guys" (and sometimes ''worse'') is part of the joke.
* The title character from ''Anime/NadiaTheSecretOfBlueWater'' also qualifies. She's moody, distrustful, bad-tempered, and suspicious about ''everything''. But she's also a NotGoodWithPeople sort of person who has never socialized with anyone before except animals. As such, she is unable to recognize how she feels about anyone. As a result of Jean's love, however, she is gradually transformed by the end of the show and [[spoiler:uses the Blue Water's power to resurrect the latter when he is killed by Gargoyle]].
* ''Manga/FushigiYuugi'''s Mayo Sakaki. A ClingyJealousGirl inflicted with some of the most severe MoralMyopia ever, and walking factory of KickTheDog and ShootTheDog moments. Becomes a KarmaHoudini because the writer ''expects us to sympathize with her'', despite everything she pulls, and is even ''thanked'' by the people she spent all of ''Eikouden'' mind controlling or trying to kill. She'd be a VillainProtagonist except that the author insists she's just an ordinary, lovesick girl who didn't understand the circumstances she was in.
* ''{{Gundam 00}}'' gives us Celestial Being who, in the first season, were essentially unusually well-armed private army who tried to beat the rest of the world into submission on the orders from an OmniscientCouncilOfVagueness (which was later quietly forgotten). They only targeted military facilities and units, however. In the second season, authors turned the BigBad into a StupidEvil CardCarryingVillain, just so that Celestial Being will appear to be anything short of outright villains.
** Notably, some members of Celestial Being's strike team ''are'' aware of this, stage one of their founder's master plan involved them ''being'' villains in the eyes of the world, to unite the feuding superpowers against a common enemy. [[SpannerInTheWorks The problem came up]] when certain members of the aforementioned Council turned out to be said {{Card Carrying Villain}}s that highjacked the plan during stage two.
* ''Anime/CoyoteRagtimeShow'' has "[[OnlyKnownByTheirNickname Mister]]" and his team, who are the protagonists of the show, even though they are depicted as terrible people who unscrupulously kill innocents or get them killed through their mindlessly violent antics. Many viewers thought that the makers should have focused on [[InspectorJavert Angelica]] and her assistant Chelsea, since they are much more likable and heroic.
* ''LightNovel/{{Gokudo}}'' plays with this. From the beginning, the title character is an unlikable ass who uses anything thrown his way to cheat and steal, but everyone always tells him he's the hero of the land. After the first few episodes, he's tricked into killing the BigBad. Eventually, he uses his Genie to stop being the Designated Hero and sends the world back InHarmsWay because he finds the happy evilless world exceptionally boring.
* The protagonists from ''DragonPink''. The only good character is a put-upon CatGirl SexSlave. In one scene they encounter a group of "Slave Knights", skeleton warriors who defend themselves by keeping a naked girl hostage in their torso as a human shield. The protagonists say "Sorry!" and slash right through one of them, including the hostage. It really says something when the ''monster'' is shocked by their callous behavior.
* Dark Schneider of ''Manga/{{Bastard}}''. What's more, he ''knows'' that he's the designated hero.
* Domon Kasshu of ''Anime/MobileFighterGGundam'', at least in the first half of the series. Up until he obtains enlightenment and masters Meikyou Shisui, Domon's a bitter and angry man, constantly on a quest of vengeance against his brother. He always asks people where his brother was and isn't against getting rough on them. He would go so far as to interrupt a fight between Rose Gundam and a Gundam from Neo-Cuba, taking out the latter just to find his brother.
* Tohru Nishimaki does this by default with his male protagonists as they're ''supposed'' to be [[TricksterMentor Trickster Mentors]] helping their love interests getting over their issues, but ValuesDissonance aside they come off as Jerk Sues, [[KarmaHoudini rapists]] that're easily forgiven and in the case of ''Blue Eyes,'' which is supposed to be set in the real world (besides the GagBoobs,) the [[CunningLinguist protagonist]] is shot dead at point-blank range, [[AssPull realizes]] [[EleventhHourSuperpower it was a premonition,]] [[MartialArtsDoNotWorkThatWay knocks out the blackmailer/intended killer with a kick,]] [[DressingAsTheEnemy impersonates him,]] then [[KarmaHoudini forces his de facto/potential mother-in-law to have sex with him and reveals himself afterwards to which she only gives an "oh you" response since they've had sex before and will again.]]
* Most of Class F from ''LightNovel/BakaToTestToShoukanjuu''. Minami is a violent {{Tsundere}}, Yuji is a slacker, Kouta is a future sex offender, and Himeji devolves into Minami 2.0.
* Youko from ''{{Inukami}}''. As TheCartoonHero pointed out, she's possessive, tries to [[KillItWithFire murder Keita with fire]], mooches off of him, strips him in public, and uses dirty tactics to win fights (like [[MoralEventHorizon removing an elementary school girl's panties to distract her]]).
* Vulcan, the main character of ''Manwha/LetsBible'', who, within 5 pages of his introduction, knocks the female lead unconscious and drags her onto his boat with the intent to ''rape'' her. When the two of them get attacked, the only reason he protects her is so that he can have his way with her later. Only sheer amounts of CrazyAwesome and RuleOfFunny stop him from being completely unlikable (and the fact that he gets better eventually.)
* Kaname from ''VampireKnight'' is presented as an antagonistic character throughout the entire story, but it hits full force when he disappears about halfway through without giving a reason and starts murdering and manipulating other vampires who are in turn presented as victims. Towards the ending however, it's suddenly revealed that he didn't really kill his first victim, which somehow, makes him innocent and heroic for having "merely wanted to push people away", and everything else he did is more or less forgotten about - including having murdered the family of one of the other protagonists.
* Saya Kisaragi from ''BloodC'' is presented to be a high school girl who enjoys hanging out with her friends and fights and kills the monsters called "Elder Bairns" who invade her town and attempt to feed on humans. She is very skilled in killing the Elder Bairns but her main problem is that she sucks in protecting people. The most evident example is episode 8 [[spoiler:where she lets a number of her classmates die before she could move in and at the end, all of them, with the exception of the class representative, ended up dead. Her mourning over her dead classmates didn't help either. Her incompetence was justified in episode 11 and 12 where Fumito drugged her which hinder her true abilities and personality]]. And in the [[BloodCTheLastDark movie]], she does save a life but becomes a NominalHero.
* As noted by [[AnimeNewsNetwork Bamboo Dong]] (On both of his articles on [[http://www.animenewsnetwork.com.au/the-stream/2012-08-07#arh The Stream]], and [[http://www.animenewsnetwork.com.au/shelf-life/2013-12-16#arh Shelf Life]]), Akatsuki of ''Aesthica of a Rouge Hero'' is this, to the point where he felt uncomfortable watching it, and on its original stream, dropped it after 4 episodes. Akatsuki constantly forces women to wear demeaning clothing, disrobes them, humiliates them, like forcing them to [[PottyFailure wet themselves]], and constantly gropes them, all while the show attempts to justify it, and tries to show why he should be rewarded for it. (“He means no harm!”, “It’s not rape because she’s asleep!” etc.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comicbooks]]
* IronMan during the ''Comicbook/CivilWar'', with CaptainAmerica as the DesignatedVillain, DependingOnTheWriter. In some issues from that arc, the exact opposite effect occurred: IronMan appeared to be the DesignatedVillain (to many, he seemed like a reasonable guy defending normal humans against powerful forces while trying to avert a backlash against superheroes, yet some writers expected us to root against him) and Cap seemed like the Designated Hero (refusing to take seriously Iron Man and Reed Richards' arguments that humans were in danger due to the mega-powerful supers running loose and unaccountable, yet some writers expected us to find Cap to be completely reasonable). The fact that the ''writers themselves'' seemed to be fighting over which side was right just added to the confusion; some sources claim that there wasn't actually a single, mutually-agreed version of ''the letter'' of the SuperRegistrationAct, which surely cannot have helped.
** Perhaps the {{Aesop}} was that neither extreme was truly moral. ''If'' that's what they were going for, designated heroes were the way to go. CaptainAmerica was the Designated Hero more often than not with IronMan as the DesignatedVillain. Mainly because the politics associated with Cap's side tended to resonate better with most of the writers. But all in all, it was a case of a complicated issue being "simplified" by having a good guy and a bad guy. Of course, Iron Man and his pro-Registration side all took a big hit in the credibility department when they started tossing anti-Registration heroes into a parallel universe prison without trials.
** Another example of Iron Man being the Designated Hero was WorldWarHulk. To the point where many readers were cheering the Hulk on. (This was, in fact, already happening when Civil War was still going on, with "You're all fucked when the Hulk gets back!" being a common response to Marvel's ad campaign trying to get fans to choose a side in the war.)
** According to WordOfGod, the ''official'' stance is that Iron Man and the Pro-Registration side was meant to be the one in the right; and they thought it was "so ''obvious''" (despite "Registration" in Marvel comics historically relating to "Mutant Death Camps", and despite CaptainAmerica traditionally being '''the''' moral compass of the Marvel universe) that they threw in a few KickTheDog moments to make it seem more ambiguous. If so, they went ''seriously'' overboard, since the Anti-Reg does things like try to arrest Cap ''by force'' for breaking the Act '''before the Act was even passed''', creating a [[CloningBlues clone of Thor]] that went AxCrazy and killed an Anti-Reg C-list hero, [[ToCatchHeroesHireVillains hiring supervillains to capture their opponents]] (and giving the AxCrazy mass-murder NormanOsborn ''a major position in SHIELD''), ''throwing captured heroes into a prison without trial in the [[DeathWorld NEGATIVE ZONE]]'' (an otherworldly post-apocalyptic dimension populated entirely with dangerous aliens and monsters) and trying to start a war with another nation (Atlantis). The worst the Anti-Reg side did was hire ThePunisher (then fire him immediately), fight Pro-Reg forces, and be on the receiving end of StrawManPolitical journalism. The majority of readers sided with Cap and supporters of ''both'' sides thought Iron Man was a dick in this story and believed he was meant to be the bad guy.
* There was a lot of this in ''Comicbook/{{Avengers Vs X-Men}}'' as well. DependingOnTheWriter, Captain America and the Avengers are a bunch of fascists jerks to the plucky underdog X-Men, or Comicbook/{{Cyclops}} and his X-Men are a bunch of religious fanatics and dictators waiting to happen.
** The aftermath is just as confusing with regards to this trope. Cyclops is definitely framed as being in the wrong (it was him who killed Professor Xavier, after all), but the validity of this is pretty questionable considering why he killed Xavier and that he was spurred on by the Avengers, but other issues have members of the Avengers calling out Tony Stark over his role in the crisis. The fact that [[Comicbook/UncannyAvengers the Avengers were the ones to man up and offer the olive branch to the X-Men]] just confuses the roles even more.
** Throughout the series and aftermath, the only one who seems to be constantly a Designated Hero is Wolverine, who essentially causes the conflict by telling Captain America what essentially amounted to biased accounts on Cyclops' character and the Phoenix as a whole, repeatedly attempts to kill Hope because 'it's the only way' to stop the Phoenix (which would have fucked everything up had he been successful), and afterwards doesn't even try to help the newly appearing, and vulnerable, mutants. He does however, find the time to harass Cyclops at every opportunity when ''he'' tries to do so.
* ComicBook/BlackPanther in some of his more JerkSue interpretations.
* ''SamAndMaxFreelancePolice'':
** Sam and Max are ostensibly peacekeepers, but in practice they're peacekeepers who are only happy if there's no peace to keep, and the latter of the duo is a sociopathic maniac who's more of a mobile and highly unstable weapon than a detective. In Max's words, they save the world. Sometimes on purpose!
** One of Steve Purcell's rules for writers in other Sam and Max media is that while Sam and Max are sociopaths, they're still [[HeroicComedicSociopath HEROIC Sociopaths]]. Heroic sociopaths with a wing in Hell dedicated to them. That are allowed into Heaven. [[ZigZaggedTrope Make of that what you will.]]
* ''ComicBook/NemesisTheWarlock'' is supposed to be seen as an hero of the alien resistance, but is really a manipulative, murderous jerk and nobody would root for him, was he fighting somebody less evil than Torquemada. Later the series decides to turn him into one in-universe, revealing some unpleasant things about him: [[spoiler: most notably, that his motivation is simple boredom and he could have solved the conflict long time ago, but is holding back, therefore prolonging a monstrous war, that took a great toll on both sides and caused the genocide of countless alien species as well as the deaths of his wife and son, for thrills]]. That however makes him lose the status of a hero among both his allies and the readers.
* Gladstone Gander in ''[[DonRosa The Sign of the Triple Distelfink]]''. Considering the immense lucky streaks he gets every other day of the year, it's hard to feel sorry for him if his BornLucky status is inverted on a single one. And he accomplishes his goal of getting rid of even that blot on his entitlement to fortune, while beating Donald out of attaining any luck for himself, who can normally barely get by or financially support his nephews.
* Hard to imagine now, but Superman was like this during his early years (see [[http://www.cracked.com/article_20069_5-classic-superman-comics-that-prove-he-used-to-be-dick.html here]]).
* A common problem with the NinetiesAntiHero trope is that they might end up this when badly handled.
* Spider-Man in the infamous ComicBook/OneMoreDay is supposed to be suffering from the upcoming death of his Aunt May, instead he's a selfish manchild who scoffs at a man showing him sympathy for saying "I know how you feel", [[spoiler:accepts a ''literal'' DealWithTheDevil by giving up his marriage and talks his wife into doing it]]. So, with great power comes... [[BrokenAesop no responsibility? Peter's deal was a better option than taking responsibility for his actions and growing up?]]
** Things become more complicated and worse when it is revealed Mary Jane egged him on and her reasons why.
* In GoldKeyComics Star Trek story ''[[http://www.comics101.com/comics101/?mode=project&action=view&project=Comics+101&chapter=105 The Planet of no Return]]'', aka ''K-G, Planet of Death'', Kirk and co. discover a planet with a plant civilization, in an otherwise uninhabited ''galaxy''. Unsurprisingly, the plants view the landing party as prey. To prevent this civilization, which was just sitting there minding its own business, spreading to neighboring ''uninhabited planets'', Spock performs an act of planet-wide genocide. We even get to see the Enterprise phasering [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman sentient trees]] who burn as they run for their lives across a devastated landscape.
* {{Fables}} gives us Jack (of beanstalk and giant-killing fame, but also ''every'' Jack in every fairy tale or nursery rhyme,) who tries to be a LovableRogue, but often comes across as having all the conscience of TheSociopath, just one who finds it easier and safer to con people rather than use violence. The discovery in his spin-off ''Jack of All Tales'' that he is half-Fable (ie a ''character'' in a story) and half-Literal (an AnthropomorphicPersonification of a trope, like Dex the DeusExMachina or the Pathetic Fallacy, the AnthropomorphicPersonification of {{Anthropomorphic Personification}}s) leads to the conclusion that he is literally the incarnation of the DesignatedHero.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fanfic]]
* Ebony Dark'ness Dementia Raven Way of ''FanFic/MyImmortal''. She hates anybody who dares have a different opinion than her, swears at teachers, ''kills people just for bothering her,'' and has a hissy-fit whenever the attention isn't on her. And we're supposed to love her.
* While ''My Immortal'' was a particularly {{egregious}} example, the ''Harry Potter'' fandom abounds with MarySue characters who all behave exactly this way. Especially with the use of [[WhatTheHellHero gratuitously]] [[ValuesDissonance disproportionate]] [[AxCrazy violence]] on any character in the series the author doesn't like. Especially Snape and Draco, though the reverse is also frequent when [[DracoInLeatherPants leather pants]] are involved.
* This is fairly common in poorly written ''Literature/HarryPotter'' fanfiction in general. The author often seems unable to realize that having her Mary Sue OC (or a suddenly pure-blood Hermione) be a complete bitch to everyone, believe in blood purity, and/or side with Voldemort makes her a ''bad guy!''
* [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4780695/15/A-Collection-of-Harmonious-OneShots A Collection Of Harmonious OneShots]] is a fic that has Harry and Hermione ([[FanPreferredCouple who are married in the fic, for some reason]]) start out with good intentions -- [[SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong to prevent a war between]] [[BrokenMasquerade wizards and Muggles]] that is even worse than anything caused by Voldemort -- but they [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope jump off the slippery slope]] as soon as they arrive in the past, as they make a deal with the dementors, set fire to their enemies' houses, {{blackmail}} the Gringotts goblins ([[FantasticRacism and treat both the goblins as inferiors and approve of house-elf slavery]]) into executing Dumbledore and Snape, who have received RonTheDeathEater treatment, but [[StrawmanHasAPoint actually come off as better in comparison]], as Dumbledore at least implores Harry not to go around killing all who have angered him. Harry ignores him, and this is supposed to be seen as heroic behavior. In fact, there are many PeggySue {{Fix Fic}}s which have the main character, usually Harry, act in a way more befitting of Voldemort than the Boy Who Lived
* Rose Potter from the infamous ''Rose Potter'' series is a particularly egregious example - she belittles and bullies near everyone in the series. She angrily demands to know why she isn't being told anything while they're visiting Arthur Weasley in the hospital, she outright kills Quirrel herself, does absolutely nothing to keep Peter Pettigrew from escaping even though she knows everything about it in advance, spends half of the hearing with the Ministry of Magic [[CantArgueWithElves belittling the wizarding world for not being as wise and enlightened as the druids]], and ''carves words into Ron Weasley's forehead.'' The author believed these to be improvements to the canon and to the protagonist.
* [[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender Katara and Zuko]] in the infamous webcomic ''Webcomic/HowIBecameYours''.
** Katara: In canon, she is a [[NiceGirl kindly]] TeamMom and ActionGirl who does what she can to help her friends despite having [[{{Tsundere}} quite the temper]]. In the webcomic, however, she is presented as vain ("I'm sure that Kuzon will come out quite charming, with me as his mom."), [[ItsAllAboutMe self-absorbed]] ("[Kuzon] died years ago, ''a day before my birthday...''"and the emphasis is ''not'' added by the troper), and even downright murderous (do we even really need to mention [[spoiler: bloodbending Mai to death]] again?). Yet she's always right and no one ever questions her stupid, selfish or downright evil actions.
** Zuko: In the series, Zuko is an AntiHero with a lot of [[WellDoneSonGuy issues]] [[FreudianExcuse stemming]] [[AbusiveParents from]] [[MissingMom his]] [[DarkAndTroubledPast hellish past]], but genuinely does aspire to do good (even though he [[HeroWithAnFInGood initially has a bit of trouble at that]]). In the comic however, he [[YourCheatingHeart cheats on his wife]] behind her back ''and'' fathers an illegitimate child with the designated heroine mentioned above, [[DomesticAbuser physically and emotionally abuses Mai]] when she confronts him and [[JerkassHasAPoint appropriately]] [[StrawmanHasAPoint points out]] the huge political and social fallout his philandering will bring, leaves ''his struggling and almost destroyed kingdom'' without any seconds thoughts to get together with his woman-on-the-side -- and yet we're supposed to sympathize with ''him''.
* The ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' fans in [[http://dearheart42.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=24#/d1zl73m this fanfic]]. We're supposed to believe they're in the right and be rooting for Edward Elric, when his fans have just laughed at people going into '''CARDIAC ARREST'''! That's right folks, ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' fans will just point and laugh when you go into cardiac arrest. The reason? Liking something they don't. [[FlatWhat What.]]
* The "heroes" from ''FanFic/ThePrayerWarriors'' are self-righteous, racist, homophobic, misogynistic mass-murderers who made ''Stalin'' look sympathetic in universe. Even more so, they are never seen doing anything positive let alone anything heroic. We never see them feeding the poor, healing the sick, or even stopping to PetTheDog. They get rid of the "villains," and make everyone convert to Christianity, but the Satanists were actually better people than the Prayer Warriors were, and the conversions [[FridgeHorror are almost all coerced thanks to our heroes policy of killing those who refuse]].
** Assuming this isn't a [[FalseFlagOperation false-flag]] trollfic by someone who wishes they could honestly believe Christians to be AlwaysChaoticEvil.
* In ''[[Fanfic/TheConversionBureau The PER: Michealson and Morely - The Speed of Right,]]'' has the eponymous "heroes" forcibly [[BalefulPolymorph ponifying people]].
** Related to this, Princess Luna and Princess Celestia are considered the heroes in most ''Conversion Bureau'' fics, despite committing genocide against the human race.
* Brought up InUniverse by Joe Dark in ''FanFic/ClashOfTheElements'', who claims that Alex Whiter is getting undeserved treatment as a good guy after some sort of atrocities he committed in the past.
* Jenna from ''MyInnerLife'' does nothing besides fawn over Link, have sex with Link and get fringe benefits and praise for being married to Link. Every character loves her because it's explicitly stated that they do.
** Particularly egregious is the king of Hyrule. In short order, Jenna goes from a traveling foreign merchant with a good in at the castle to the king's de facto second daughter. By the middle of the story, it's stated that she effectively has a line to the throne.
* Princess Luna in ''FanFic/FrigidWindsAndBurningHearts'' is our main viewpoint character, and the plot of the story is about her learning how her sister smeared her and portrayed her as the monster during her time banished to the Moon. She also constantly refers to everyone around her as "commoners", has no sympathy for any mortal pony, was willing to abandon Equestria to centuries of anarchy and destruction just to get her own way, and outright ''brainwashes'' Twilight Sparkle onto her side. 90% of her dialogue is whining about Celestia while she waits for other ponies to fix her problems.
* Brolli Diamondback of the VideoGame/{{Touhou}} fan series/movie ''Fanfic/DiamondInTheRough'' is both a satire on SelfInsertFic main characters that result in this trope and then a nasty {{Deconstruction}}. In the first half of the movie, Brolli treats himself as the hero of his own adventure in Gensokyo, then later believes he is the only one who can save Gensokyo from a disastrous incident, even though he has done no good and everyone else is perfectly capable of handling everything without him. It's obvious to both the residents of Gensokyo and the viewers that Brolli is obviously unprepared and morally skewed. In the second half, [[spoiler:Brolli becomes aware he's nothing more than a Designated Hero and then does what he can to actually become a redeemable, likable hero. By this point, however, everyone has become fed up with his actions, even ones that aren't directly his fault, and believe killing him is the only option to save Gensokyo. By the end, the audience and Gensokyo get exactly what they want: Brolli is killed in the most horrific, humiliating, and tragic way imaginable, just after he's done everything he could to redeem himself.]]
* [[InNameOnly Harry]] in a ''Franchise/HarryPotter[=/=]WorldOfWarcraft'' crossover. He's functionally a living embodiment of [[LightIsGood the Light]]. He's also allied himself with the [[AlwaysChaoticEvil Black Dragonflight]], participated in the Culling of Stratholme, and gave Arthas the idea to [[MoralEventHorizon use mercenaries to burn his men's ships and then kill the mercenaries]]. His reasons? In order, to establish him and his men as powerful fighters, because he [[IGaveMyWord gave his word]] [[HonorBeforeReason to follow the]] [[MyMasterRightOrWrong orders of the crown]] (Jaina [[WhatTheHellHero calls him out on valuing his word over the lives of thousands]]), and to get back at Arthas for pulling Harry off a personal mission to help fight the Scourge. [[Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000 Our hero ladies and gentleman!]]
* [[DracoInLeatherPants L and Light]] both become this with a dash of UnintentionallyUnsympathetic in the ''Manga/DeathNote'' fan fictions by Dotti55 (found on [[http://archiveofourown.org/users/dotti55/pseuds/dotti55 Archiveofourown.org,]] [[http://dotti55.deviantart.com/ Deviantart.com]], and [[http://www.fanfiction.net/u/1638204/Dotti55 Fanfiction.net]]) Most of her works chronicle an AU of her creation in which L and Light [[StrangledByTheRedString inexplicably fall in love and get together]], and Light [[KarmaHoudini gets off completely scot-free for his crimes as Kira]] (though he does give up on being Kira; it's even suggested that Kira is actually [[DemonicPossession a demon-like entity that made Light do all those bad things]] in classic DracoInLeatherPants fashion). If that weren’t enough, L and Light devolve into SickeninglySweethearts and [[CreatorsPet Creator's Pets]] that never have to answer for what they've done in the canon series and despite all the CharacterShilling they get, seem to care more about themselves and their relationship than about crime-solving or anything else (or if they are solving crime, the conflict comes from how the case affects their relationship; [[BadassDecay expect copious amounts of]] {{Wangst}} [[{{Wimpification}} from them both in any case]]). Everyone else is treated as [[ShipperOnDeck a bystanding supporter of their relationship]] or if they don't or if they call them out on anything, they are [[RonTheDeathEater promptly villainized]] or at least proven wrong; [[DieForOurShip Misa]] in particular gets this treatment a lot. Granted, it would be a good thing that gay rights be advocated, but the problem is L and Light are pretty much the one couple that the stories are most concerned about, and every one of the stories [[RomanticPlotTumor focuses more on the relationship in some way than on actual crime-fighting.]] The author also ships [[BetaCouple Mello/Matt]], but they don't get nearly as much attention as the former. The way the author [[UnfortunateImplications handles female characters in general doesn't help, either:]] they have little if any importance beyond convenient plot devices, are almost never right about important things and are typically portrayed as either [[SatelliteLoveInterest Satellite Love Interests]] to straight male characters or rapist [[{{Yandere}} Yanderes]] and/or [[HeteronormativeCrusader Heteronormative Crusaders]] bent on tearing L and Light's world apart while males who act in a similar fashion get a proverbial slap on the wrist and are portrayed far more sympathetically overall.
** In [[http://archiveofourown.org/works/569423 one particularly egregious fanfic]], it's openly stated that L relishes the idea of putting [[DesignatedVillain Misa]] in restraints in case she loses her temper (compare this to his canon counterpart who treats tying up Misa as a necessary evil and shows no evidence of explicitly enjoying doing it) when Light tells her that he loves L and is leaving her. The fact that Light was the one that’d been leading her on up until this point is hardly if at all addressed and even then the story treats it as excusable because at the time Light was Kira and therefore "not himself" and besides [[SarcasmMode who cares what Misa thinks anyway? She's crazy and as dumb as a post.]] When she threatens to commit suicide ([[UnfortunateImplications "to give him a shock to snap him out of it"]]), L looks for a window to open so that he may [[SuicideAsComedy “accommodate her”]] (again, compare to his canon counterpart who appears visibly shaken about the deaths of Ukita and the FBI agents and has Watari stop Misa from killing herself in confinement by gagging her so she can't bite her tongue). Later when Misa leaves, Light tells L that he knows that he "didn't mean it," but L admits that "the thought was enjoyable, anyway." Somehow this attempt at a “TakeThatScrappy” [[DudeNotFunny is supposed to be cute and funny.]]
* [[GodModeSue Uzumaki Naruto]] and his mother [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast the Red Death]] Uzumaki Kushina are this in ''A Mother's Love''. Kushina gets away with ''literal murder'' for anyone who even tries entering Namikaze grounds, including those who are lost or just drunk. The Third Hokage lets her get away with it since its "Clan grounds and out of his jurisdiction"...yet the Hyuga, Akimichi, Aburame, Uchiha, hell, even the Senju Clan don't get that preferential treatment. Not only that, she teaches Naruto to be an arrogant dickwad with a entitlement complex and even gives him LostTechnology that would benefit all of Konoha-yet doesn't share since they aren't Uzumaki's. Naruto himself becomes a practical tyrant when he becomes Hokage after being a GodModeSue for the majority of the fic who ''conquers the entire continent through military force'' to usher in a Pax Konoha. In any other story, Naruto would be the antagonist and his rival (who he kills in the first half) [[RonTheDeathEater Sasuke]] would be the protagonist.
** Lord of the Land of Fire normally does this. For example in his ''A Mother's Love'' AU, Kushina leaves Konoha in a huff since she can't keep her lifestyle as the 'Namikaze wife', taking an infant Naruto with her and they settle in Sunagakure. No point no one tries stopping her, Hiruzen Sarutobi just ''lets'' it happen and the only way Kushina is stopped being portrayed as a VillainProtagonist is by having Fugaku lead a successful coup d'tat against Hiruzen when Itachi of all people chooses the clan over the village.
* Creator/CoriFalls's ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' fanfic saga tries to play like Ash Ketchum is a case of this, but the reality is that her versions of Jessie, James, Meowth and Gary fall into it more than Ash at his worst ever could. The stories make a big deal of what good people they are and how they literally have the souls of angels, even as the trio snark and mock anyone who doesn't live up to their standard of intelligence and brutalize first Domino, then later Ash and Tracey on several occasions.
* Awesome de Britannia in CodeGeassAwesomeOfTheRebellion, whom the narrator repeatedly assures us is a [[InformedAttribute kind, noble and heroic leader]] and yet he constantly murders any enemies who try to surrender to him, has the biggest ego ever, (at one point his subjects chant that "Awesome is the greatest" to which he "modestly" replies "Thank you, thank you. I know I am.") and by chapter 10 he's just blowing people up for ''no reason at all''.
* In the Literature/HarryPotter story ''Doing Hermione a Favour'', Harry is most definitely this trope regardless of what the author insists. First he realizes that Tonks is pretending to be Hermione so the latter can run to the store (why she needs to sneak out is never brought up) and tricks Tonks into having sex with him by acting like he and Hermione do all the time. Then Harry tricks Hermione into having sex with him by making her think Tonks promised it. When Hermione and Tonks admit that Tonks has been taking Hermione's place, he acts outraged at "their deceit" and demands a threesome. Finally, after a few weeks of regular sex with Hermione, Harry [[InsaneTrollLogic decides that despite being on birth control for months, Hermione must already be pregnant so he switches out her birth control with sugar pills]]. Hermione doesn't learn of this for another couple months when she learns she's six weeks pregnant.
* Tony Stevens in the RealPersonFic, ''[[http://gungemaleceleb.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/story-global-gunger-part-1.html The Global Gunger]]''. We’re supposed to laugh at the so-called [[InformedFlaw 'coc]][[ShowDontTell ky]] [[DesignatedVillain celebrities’]] while Tony humiliates them, gives them their [[DisproportionateRetribution 'Just Desserts’]], and wrecks their holiday, [[DisproportionateRetribution all because he’s jealous of them and they can afford it.]] And throughout all this, Tony’s regret for his actions are non-existent, bar a part of the story where he considers what he might be doing is wrong… [[spoiler: [[JerkWithAHeartOfJerk until he sees one of the celebrities ordering expensive wine, then he just goes ahead anyway]]]]. He also gets away with [[spoiler: [[MoralEventHorizon stranding a celebrity out to sea after gunging him, leaving him to be deserted, and at best, humiliated, and at worst, killed from starvation/dehydration.]]]] And, despite his actions, where he could be arrested in real life for harassment, [[KarmaHoudini which so far, he hasn’t]], the audience is supposed to cheer on him humiliating the celebrities, when they really hope that the celebrities give him their ‘just desserts’ for sabotaging their holiday.
* While the heroes in ''FanFic/TotalDramaStranded'' were called out on their more jerkish actions from time-to-time, the heroes of it's sequel ''Strandarama'' play this ''frustratingly'' straight. Portia in particular acts rather horrible, and while ''some'' of it is excusable, a lot of her actions after the merge have alienated most of the readers.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In ''Disney/{{Pocahontas}}'', Meeko the raccoon and Percy the dog, the {{Empathy Pet}}s of the main heroine and villain respectively, are meant to be cast in the same positions within their conflict. Yet Meeko steals Percy's food while the latter minds his own business, and continues to do this throughout two movies. And the things that Meeko does would result in bodily harm were his opponent not MadeOfIron. To top it all off, [[KarmaHoudini the damn raccoon gets away with everything.]]
* Sinbad in ''WesternAnimation/SinbadLegendOfTheSevenSeas''. Aside from the obvious fact that he is sent because he's their only option, the general way Sinbad acts for almost the entire movie makes him little to no different then a villain. He starts the movie trying to rob a ship, not even caring when it's his childhood friend Proteus he's robbing. Sinbad is then set up to be executed for a crime he ''didn't'' commit, and Proteus decides to take Sinbad's place in exchange for Sinbad retrieving the Book of Peace. Oh, yes, did we mention that Proteus is a prince who is next in line to inherit the throne? That means his death would result in a SuccessionCrisis and doom his entire country. Yet despite this overwhelming amount of faith Proteus puts in Sinbad, the pirate responds by ''leaving him behind to die'', something he very well would have gotten away with had it not been for Proteus's fiancee stowing aboard the ship to make sure he keeps his word. When she saves the crew from a Siren attack, Sinbad actually has to be pressured into showing her any gratitude at all. But the two gradually warm up to each other and start to fall in love, despite Marina's prior engagement. [[BigBad Eris]] even calls Sinbad out on this, saying that even if he's not betraying Proteus by running away, he ''is'' stealing Proteus's girl. He does go back in the end, but it's very hard to see what goodness is in him that others are seeing. The worst part? He's the one who ends up with Marina in the end.
** His abandoning of Proteus was explained as him believing that Proteus's father would ''never'' let his son be killed, which would have been true had Proteus not suffered a massive case of HonorBeforeReason. And [[spoiler:when Sinbad does go back at the end, it's fully expecting the death penalty (he believed he failed to get the book back) and refusing Marina's offer for him to run while she went back and got Proteus off the hook by explaining that Sinbad did everything he could.]] Whether or not this is too little too late or not is another matter.
* ''BebesKids''. Seriously, they destroy a theme park and cause trouble for many innocent people there, yet they never get punished for it. Worse, the audience is expected not to think badly of them because they have a poor life and have "attitude." In the original stand up routine the movie was based on, they were clearly the antagonists. Robin Harris was criticizing irresponsible parents who were too selfish to raise and discipline their ill-behaved children. Also, Robin Harris' character in the movie ALSO qualifies for this trope; generally acting like a major [=Jerkass=] to everyone yet actually being praised as a good guy despite doing nothing good whatsoever.
* Stanley from ''WesternAnimation/ATrollInCentralPark''. Aside from just being a delusional idiot, his "perfect world" is filled with trolls who [[UnfortunateImplications look and think exactly like him]], he acts ''[[LoliCon waaayyy]]'' too happy when a toddler kisses him, and at the end of the film he ''[[spoiler: covers New York City in vegetation]]'', [[InferredHolocaust causing untold devastation and no doubt killing hundreds of people]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' films:
** ''[[Film/PumaMan The Puma Man]]''. Given the fact that the "hero" is trying to come into his new superhero persona, he's still incredibly feeble, whiny, and ineffectual at genuine superheroics. Meanwhile, his wise Aztec sidekick/mentor Vadinho has to hand-hold Puma Man through his heroics, and is shown more than once to do an [[BadassNormal equal or superior job]] at whomping bad guy ass ''without'' superpowers. Towards the end of the movie on [=MST3K=], Crow thinks it's time to admit that ''Vadinho'' is the real hero. And frankly, the movie wouldn't have suffered if Tony weren't in it at all and it was about Vadinho in the first place. The movie ''may'' be having a go at the idea of a badass superhero in how useless Tony is (it attempts to make some jokes about how silly his superheroism is), but it may have been lost in the translation.
** In the episode ''Film/BeginningOfTheEnd'', Mike and the Bots make a running gag at getting increasingly angry at how Peter Graves's scientist character is treated as a ScienceHero, when in fact, it was his nuclear energy experiments that created the mass-murdering giant grasshopper menace in the first place.
--->'''Peter Graves:''' In a way I feel responsible.
--->'''Mike:''' ''In a way?!''
** ''Film/{{Mitchell}}''. The title character is an alcoholic slob of a cop who behaves like a complete [=Jerkass=] most of the time. Sure, he's a little more on the ball than his colleagues (only he suspects that Deaney may not have acted in self defense), but other than that he's a damn lousy cop. When a criminal tries to bribe him by sending him a prostitute, he actually sleeps with her. And then arrests her for possessing marijuana. Nice. Joel even says the line, "Our hero, ladies and gentlemen", when we first see Mitchell.
** Joe Don's character in ''Film/FinalJustice'' is a [=Jerkass=] CowboyCop who ignores every rule in the book - including violating the sovereignty of foreign nations and threatening blameless individuals for information - in order to hunt down criminals. We should probably mention that the word "hunt" is used literally - Geronimo doesn't give a damn about arresting the crooks, instead challenging them to OldWest-style gunfights. Oh yeah, and in the end, he kills the main villain by challenging him to a gunfight...and then shooting on "two". [[Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000 Our hero, a dirty cheater.]]
--->'''Servo:''' Yes, our 'hero': a murderous oaf who threatens women with coat hangers.
** ''Film/{{Escape 2000}}'', while maybe not a perfect example, does have somewhat of a Designated Hero. While Trash is somewhat more justified in his fight against the GC Corporation since they killed his parents, the man he gets to help kidnap the company President, Strike, not so much. He's only involved because once the GC is gone the gangs will be back in control to the dilapidated Bronx. Which means he'll get to go back to being "head of all the big robberies". Neither hero is helped much either by the fact that, even though they're the bad guys, the GC corporation overall wants to build schools and hospitals after they've paved over the now crime infested Bronx. So by rooting for Trash and Strike the audience is hoping they succeed in keeping the Bronx as a criminal's paradise... yay?
** In the episode ''Wild Rebels'', Joel & The Bots point out the only remotely heroic thing the protagonist does is flash his lights at some cops, which actually only gets the cops killed.
---> "So, Rod, that's thirteen dead cops, a half dozen dead innocent civillians, and a couple of dead bikers. Good work!"
** Used as a defense against critics claiming the subject of ''Mystery Science Theater 3000: TheMovie'', ''Film/ThisIslandEarth'', was "too good" to mock. When Kevin Murphy (Tom Servo) was asked about this during filming, he "threw his head back and laughed uproariously," explaining that Cal, the movie's protagonist, goes on a mind-bending journey across the universe but remains utterly unchanged in any way, and his most heroic action in the entire picture is to shout, "Run, Ruth, Run!" when she's being attacked by the mutant.
** Probably the worst one of the bunch is Adam Chance from ''Film/AgentForHARM''. Why? Read the above entries, at least those guys actually did something. Adam? ''He does nothing for the first 45 minutes.'' He spends most of the movie hanging around the beach house, trying to act cool, and failing every single time. What he does do is kill people, and is very nonchalant about it. In fact, [[DownerEnding he fails the mission entirely]]: Not finding the antidote to SPORE, couldn't save the man he was assigned to protect, [[FailedASpotCheck and missed an obvious mole.]] Mike and the Bots were all over him about this, with them believing that the only thing he did was to call the Archery Convention in Vienna, which revealed who the mole was...and then he reveals he knew all along. '''Loser.'''
** The main character of ''Film/TheWildWorldOfBatwoman'' performs something like two unambiguously heroic deeds in the entire movie. Admittedly, that's not a bad ratio given that she only ''does'' five things in the entire movie and two of those are stupid, but two good deeds in more than an hour of film does not a superhero make.
** Commander David Ryder of ''Film/SpaceMutiny'' enters the movie by ejecting from a flaming cockpit while making no effort to save his passenger, who he leaves to die. Then he shows absolutely no sympathy to a grieving colleague of his when she experiences an understandably emotional outburst over his inaction. But this wouldn't inherently be a problem if his first response to every situation wasn't to start gunning down everyone in sight instead of trying to get answers. His crowning moment of heroism is roasting a disabled man alive and watching him burn to death.
** Young "Tee" in ''Film/QuestOfTheDeltaKnights'' is built up to be a brilliant strategist and sage - yet his supposed wisdom and powers leads to him constantly getting himself or his allies captured or hurt, getting his father figure killed in a [[ShootTheShaggyDog pointless escape attempt]], and oh yea, ''blowing up the lost storehouse that his entire order, including his father figure, fought and died to have him open to save the world.'' He claims he had to do it to prevent it from being used for evil, but in reality, he accomplished nothing except wasting a lot of people's lives.
* ''Film/{{Jumper}}'' is an interesting case, as the director deliberately wanted to spread out the standard super hero origin story over several films... meaning that throughout the first film the main character is almost universally self-centered and, at times, needlessly cruel. Only at the end of the film does he do something truly altruistic; anything he'd done before that point that helped others was just a side-effect of him saving himself.
* The so-called heroes in ''Film/TheLostWorldJurassicPark'' are directly or indirectly responsible for every death that occurs in the movie. They free the captured dinosaurs from their rightful owners so they can live in their "natural" habitats - despite the fact that the dinosaurs were created by completely unnatural means, shouldn't even be around anymore to begin with, and are legally the property of [=InGen=]. The dinosaurs then proceed to destroy all the [=InGen=] hunting party's equipment, cars, and communications, leaving them stranded on an island full of lethal, genetically-engineered predators. In the end, most of the crewmen end up getting killed by them, after they risk their lives to save them for no benefit. This also means that the hunters are forced to bring the T-Rex to San Diego instead of the herbivores they caught in an attempt to recoup their losses. Thus our heroes (and the CorruptCorporateExecutive who organized the hunting party and brought the Rex to San Diego) are responsible for all the deaths and destruction in San Diego as well. However, the "heroes" are never held responsible for their actions.
* ''Film/MansBestFriend'', about a mutant killer dog, treats its protagonist, Lori Tanner as the hero of the film. While the film's MadScientist takes the heat for the carnage, Lori actually trespasses into his lab and "liberates" the killer dog herself, effectively making ''her'' responsible for every subsequent murder committed by it. The only person who objects to her actions is her boyfriend; the dog kills him. Go figure.
* The movie ''Cheaters'' was based on the true story about a group of students and their teacher who cheated their way through the United States Academic Decathlon. The cheaters were portrayed as heroes who had no choice except to cheat while the one student who did the right thing in outing them was portrayed as [[TheComplainerIsAlwaysWrong a disgruntled, rat-faced snitch]]. In addition, the movie also tried to play up the biased assumption that they had cheated because they came from a less than stellar school, regardless of the fact that 1.) ''[[ShutUpHannibal They had cheated]]'' and 2.) A sudden, unexplained spike in scores would naturally raise a few eyebrows.
* At one point in the ''Film/FantasticFour'' film, the Human Torch directs a heat-seeking missile at a garbage boat and blows it up, even though there might be a crew aboard.
* Yor from ''Film/YorTheHunterFromTheFuture'' is undoubtedly the protagonist, but he wipes out several mini-civilizations, including one he was trying to ''save''.
* Nomi Malone from ''Film/{{Showgirls}}'' ''really'' didn't even try to be heroic. The HookerWithAHeartOfGold trope is attempted to be played with her job as a stripper/topless dancer, despite the fact that many of her actions in the movie come off as mildly amoral and a bit of a SympatheticSue. She gives what is apparently a lap-dance, but is just actual sex while he kept his pants on. She screwed her boss Zack Carey to get higher in the consideration to be [[PsychoLesbian Cristal Conners's]] (the lead dancer) understudy. Then she pushes Cristal down the stairs, which one character mentions resulted in injuries that would keep her out for up to a year. Sure Cristal was a bitch, but Nomi just stooped to the level of the bitchy dancer who purposely injured another dancer because she yelled at her kids. Her best friend Molly Abrams is disgusted at Nomi for having done this... for a whole four minutes before she goes back to fangirling over Andrew Carver, who for some reason gang-rapes her. By the end, everybody forgives Nomi and treats her as some angelic force- the girl she pushed down the stairs, her boss, everybody. There's also the fact that her punishment of Andrew, to kick him in the face a few times, [[KarmaHoudini really did nothing to prevent him from raping again.]] Nomi leaves town at the end after threatening Andrew's life. Nomi was a Vegas star, did she think her disappearance would go unnoticed? What's stopping Andrew from attacking Molly again? Nothing.
* Poppy, the protagonist of ''Film/WildChild'' starts the film by [[KickTheDog ruining and destroying all of her father's girlfriend's possessions.]] He calls her out on it but it is treated more as an over the top prank than, you know, criminal behaviour. When she is sent OffToBoardingSchool, she is obnoxious and rude to everyone until her roommates find out her mother died and decide to help her get expelled out of sympathy. Then Harriet the head girl sends Poppy's roommates an email revealing that she told [[AlphaBitch Ruby]] from back home that they were all losers and another to the headmistress's son, Freddie, telling him Poppy was using him to get expelled. While playing with her lighter, Poppy accidentally starts a fire but puts it out only to find the whole dorm on fire and [[ChewToy Drippy]] trapped and in need of saving. She is almost expelled until TheReveal that Harriet actually framed Poppy for starting the fire. Harriet is expelled AS SHE SHOULD BE but no one bothers to mention that Poppy's lighter could easily have set the school on fire... or that she did say all of those things about her new friends... or that she did use Freddie (and he forgives her suspiciously quickly). The headmistress is automatically fond of her because she looks like her mother. Poppy undergoes CharacterDevelopment but it is more along the lines of 'know who your friends are and how great boarding school is' than 'don't be an UngratefulBastard.'
* ''Film/TheWizardOfOz'':
** There is sometimes a criticism about Glinda the Good Witch. When the Wicked Witch of the West shows up to claim her now dead sister's magic shoes, she gives them to Dorothy, who was just some random girl who showed up instead of, say, hiding them from her, and this is to assume that [=WWotW=] wanted them for some sinister, magic purpose. After she essentially forced a random teenage girl into a tug-of-war between two witches for seemingly no reason, she sent Dorothy to talk to the wizard. When she gets there, the wizard tells them that they need to take the witch's broom before he'll do anything for them. As it was pointed out, they'd need to kill her to do this. After they kill the witch and come back with her broom, the wizard's method of getting Dorothy back to Kansas fails (sort of) and she's left with no way to get home. This is until Glinda shows up and tells Dorothy that ''at any point'' she could have just used the slippers to wish herself back. When she's rightfully asked why she didn't tell Dorothy this, Glinda attempts to {{handwave}} the issue by saying she wouldn't have believed her. Except, yes, she would have. Dorothy is in a dangerous world with witches and the way out is on her feet. Considering how acid-trippy the place was, would there be ''anything'' you wouldn't believe at that point?
** There is even a [[http://www.cracked.com/article_18881_5-reasons-greatest-movie-villain-ever-good-witch.html?wa_user1=5&wa_user2=Movies+%26+TV&wa_user3=article&wa_user4=recommended Cracked article]] detailing how she is the best villain in film history, as well as a ''Series/MadTV'' skit in which Dorothy has a far more realistic reaction--utter outrage--to Glinda's actions.
** This is {{averted|Trope}} in [[Literature/TheWonderfulWizardOfOz the novel]]: Dorothy meets a different good witch when she comes to Oz ([[CompositeCharacter the film combined with Glinda]] in [[TheFilmOfTheBook the movie]]) who simply does not know of the [[AdaptationDyeJob Silver]] Slippers' power, and there isn't any immediate danger because the second Wicked Witch only shows up later.
* Lady Isabel, the female lead and love interest in ''Film/{{Ironclad}}'', is a medieval noblewoman trapped in a loveless political marriage, which does make her somewhat sympathetic. However, the film almost at once undercuts this by establishing that her much older husband finds the marriage at least as emotionally taxing as she does and he isn't interested in having sex with her (which she moans about, despite disliking him), meaning her supposedly intolerable position amounts to living in a comfortable castle with servants. When the ChasteHero shows up she constantly hits on him, uncaring that he is going through a crisis of faith and acting petulant when he (initially) rejects her. She comes across as a selfish [=Jerkass=] who is only interested in the hero at all because she finds him hot and wants to have sex.
* The titular character of ''Film/FerrisBuellersDayOff'' has cut school ''at least nine times'' before, covering his tracks by hacking into the school computer to change the records. He gets away with all sorts of things by blatantly exploiting the good will of everyone around him, including his parents, by weaving a complex web of whatever lies will serve him currently at the moment, and by psychologically bullying his friend Cameron. The original script includes scenes Ferris does more immoral things, such as stealing his father's money, but also has more dialogue clarifying Ferris's charitable intentions toward others, such as Cameron.
* The female lead Mina in the film ''Film/BramStokersDracula'' veers toward this. While the other heroes actually do their part in trying to destroy Dracula, Mina's affection for Dracula puts the team's plans in jeopardy many times. Making Mina more of a SixthRangerTraitor than a heroine. This is even worse for those who've read [[Literature/{{Dracula}} the original book]], where the whole 'affection for Dracula' thing doesn't exist.
* Bud (Pauly Shore) and Doyle (Stephen Baldwin) from ''Film/{{Bio-Dome}}''. They are portrayed as the heroes despite that they spend the majority of the movie acting obnoxious, destroying the experiments in the Bio-Dome, and sexually harassing the female scientists.
* In ''Film/MoneyTrain'', the two main characters John (Wesley Snipes) and Charlie (Woody Harrelson) are not heroes at all, and yet they are played out to be the morally good guys. They risk the lives of innocent people, rob the eponymous money train (to pay off the debts of Charlie's gambling problem), and assault an officer (the "[[DesignatedVillain villain]]"). They both get away with it absolutely scot-free and the villain is arrested for risking the lives of innocents -- while this is an accurate charge, the situation would never have arisen had the main duo not tried to rob the train and stop the brakes from working simply so they wouldn't get caught. In any case, the robbery came at the expense of the New York City taxpayers! If the film had been done differently, the villains could have so easily been the main characters, and the officer in charge of protecting the train could easily be made the hero.
* The designated heroes of ''Franchise/ThePinkPanther'' were so unsympathetic that many people don't realize they're supposed to be the heroes. The hero is supposed to be Creator/DavidNiven as GentlemanThief The Phantom, who foils the bumbling police, steals the diamond, gets the girl, and gets away with it all. There's a reason Creator/PeterSellers' Clouseau took the role of hero later on - viewers thought he was much funnier and more likable.
* KeanuReeves's character Johnny in ''Film/JohnnyMnemonic''. Throughout the movie, Johnny is [[{{Jerkass}} completely self-absorbed and unsympathetic and unheroic]], yet he's supposed to be viewed as a hero protagonist. He constantly whines to other people that they’re not doing enough to solve his problems. He informs the villains of the location of LaResistance's headquarters. He prepares to abandon Jane, his hired bodyguard, and leave her for dead when she gets sick, in spite of how many times she helped him get out of a jam. And, most {{egregious}} of all, Johnny ''never'' places a higher value on the information in his head (which could save the lives of millions) than on his own life.
* The 2002 film ''Film/{{Chicago}}'' subverts this trope by using the musical format to humorously portray Roxie Hart as heroic. In reality, she cheats on her husband, murders her lover (he was a liar), temporarily convinces her husband to cop to the murder, fakes a pregnancy, then cons herself off death row. The movie is never anything less than up front about all of this, making it perfectly clear that any suggestions that Roxie is in any way heroic exist purely as a result of her self-obsession and self-centred delusions.
* Matt Weston (RyanReynolds) in ''Film/SafeHouse''. Everything he seems to do (from turning off the surveillance cameras to allow for a waterboarding session to letting Tobin run away several hundred times to allowing himself to be constantly one-upped by other characters) makes everything worse for himself and his job. Even Tobin (the film's decoy antagonist) manages to be more heroic than our actual hero by actually doing something relevant. And don't get started on the ending where [[spoiler:Matt becomes the mastermind of [=WikiLeaks=]]]. To be fair, Weston is not only clearly shown to be ''way'' out of his league (and he knows it), its later shown that [[spoiler: the BigBad of the movie is his boss, so he was an UnwittingPawn all along.]] The biggest problem is that Tobin Frost is a DesignatedVillain- he's TheDreaded, and clearly a ''very'' ruthless man, but we get very little explanation as to ''what'' villainous things he's supposed to have done, his OffstageVillainy being limited to some vague mention of selling secrets. He's treated like a serious killer or terrorist, but the only people we see him kill are [[AssholeVictims torturers and traitors]].
* The heroes in ''TheMatrix'' franchise are fighting against a murderous regime of sentient machines that have managed to enslave humanity in secret, but they feel that saving mankind from this fate justifies [[KnightTemplar all sorts of ruthless behaviour]], including [[KillEmAll the absolute slaughter]] of security personnel and police whose only crime is to be working for the bad guys ''even though they don't know it.'' In fact in the first movie Morpheus says that since every single person in the Matrix is part of the system "that makes them our enemy", implying a willingness to kill ''ordinary'' people as well (once or twice they arguably do just that as well). In the first movie the BigBad Agent Smith refers to Morpheus as a "terrorist" and "the most dangerous man alive"; it doesn't take the audience long to find out that [[VillainHasAPoint there might be something in that argument.]]
** To be slightly fair to the protagonists, the movie tries to justify their actions by showing that any person in the Matrix can be possessed and become an Agent at any moment. Still, the fact that this ''doesn't happen'' to 99% of the human enemies they kill kind of detracts from that...
* Forrest Taft (Steven Seagal) from ''Film/OnDeadlyGround''. He performs several criminal actions in his defeat of the polluting oil companies of the film. When he acquires evidence as to how they've broken the law, he refuses to take it to the police (as his love interest suggests) and instead loads up to attack their oil rig himself. In doing so, he murders everyone inside, not just the armed mercenaries hired to kill him, but the construction workers for the rig as well. When he meets the owner of the oil company he kills him without hesitation, in spite of the fact that the man is unarmed, tied up, and unable to defend himself. At the end of the film, he blows up the oil rig in a clear act of eco-terroism.
* Erik, the father in ''Film/{{Hanna}}'', is portrayed as a good guy, but several times, he [[spoiler: kills innocent government employees. At times, they aren't even a threat to him, like the guy who is going to answer the door in one scene.]]
* The parents of the twins in both the original and the remake version of ''TheParentTrap''. The parents divorced when their daughters were infants, and decided it would be easier for both of them if each retained custody of one child. They then moved to separate parts of the world and never bothered to tell either child that "oh, by the way, you're an identical twin" - ''just to make it easier on themselves''. They never have to see one another again. But years later, when their daughters meet by a freak coincidence, the twins decide to switch places with one another so each can meet the parent they have never known. The whole time, the mom and the dad both make it clear they don't want to speak about their divorced spouse. The girls continue the charade for as long as possible, trying to push their parents back together [[spoiler:and eventually succeed]]. But at no point do the parents get called out for never telling their child the existence of a twin.
* All of the protagonists of ''Itty Bitty Titty Committee'' could be considered this to a certain extent if you don't share their radical feminist viewpoint, but Sadie and Shulie stand out especially. Our first scene with Sadie has her framing main character Anna for an act of vandalism she herself committed, to keep Anna from calling the police, which is is portrayed as being charming. Throughout the movie Sadie is portrayed as a serial philanderer, emotionally manipulative, self-obsessed, and self-righteous, yet Anna ending up with her (with little to no change aside from breaking up with the girlfriend she was previously cheating on) is viewed as a good thing. Shulie is merely a {{Jerkass}} sarcastic misandrist StrawFeminist, but her [[AuthorOnBoard radical opinions are never countered or challenged]].
* Neil Shaw in the ''Art of War'' films, to more and more of an extent as the series goes on. In the first film he's a competent enough agent, though kind of a {{Jerkass}}. In the second film he makes numerous basic errors of logic and judgement, and at the end he [[spoiler:casually murders his love interest]] just in the name of getting the villain to frame himself. The third film takes it UpToEleven, as he unknowingly takes the bad guy [[spoiler:or rather bad girl]] into his confidence, then ends up killing at least a dozen or so South Korean intelligence agents, before unwittingly facilitating the assassination of South Korea's U.N. representative and nearly getting the Secretary-General of the U.N. herself killed. After all that you'd think the Secretary-General would be only too happy to hand Shaw over to the South Korean authorities and let them hang him out to dry, but she instead ends the film by telling Shaw that he's the only person the U.N. can trust with their lives.
* Jeff from the Christian propaganda film ''Rock: It's Your Decision''. He's supposed to be a good Christian youth standing against the evils of rock and roll, but he comes across as a bigoted {{Jerkass}} who will verbally attack anyone who doesn't have the exact same beliefs he does, won't tolerate even an ''instrumental'' rock song being played in his general vicinity, and cannot even be bothered to do the ''slightest bit'' of research on the songs he thinks are so evil. He tries to control his friends, is an asshole to his mom, and is just generally very hypocritical and unlikable.
* Gavin, the atheist protagonist of ''Film/TheLedge'', comes off as a huge one. He is intended to be shown as a courageous, rational, tolerant and moral person who refuses to fall for any superstitious beliefs; however, the main conflict of the movie is about a LoveTriangle between him, Joe (a [[TheFundamentalist fundamentalist Christian]]), and Shana (the latter's ''wife''), and it is clear that the affair did not arise naturally and spontaneously, but was actively pursued by Gavin, which raises a lot of MoralDissonance here. Joe himself [[DesignatedVillain doesn't really do anything villainous]] other than [[CondescendingCompassion feel sorry for Gavin]] because of his "empty life without God" and pitying Gavin's gay roommate. [[GoodAdulteryBadAdultery It would be one thing if Shana was legitimately unhappy]], but she and Joe are shown to be perfectly happy together, and moreover, Gavin straight out admits and is shown to be [[ManipulativeBastard emotionally manipulating her]] to make her fall for him. And the justification Gavin uses for trying to seduce Shana and convince her to leave her husband is basically that he believes that she is too good for her deeply religious husband, and thus [[WhiteKnighting he appoints himself]] as her "savior" from an oppressive life.
* Heather from ''Film/TexasChainsaw3D'', she actively tries to help save Leatherface and aid him in killing the police even though she knows that he is a cannibalistic serial killer who murdered many people, including her friends. She actively aids a chainsaw wielding maniac, and the audience is supposed to believe that she's in the right.
* Dewey Finn from ''Film/SchoolOfRock'' mooches off his best friend Ned and acts like he's entitled to live with Ned and his girlfriend in their apartment without paying rent, steals a teaching job from Ned, and cheats his students out of an education so he can make a quick couple hundred dollars.
* ''Film/ManOfSteel'': Some people thought of Superman as this in regards to the final battle, given that he seems to be more focused on defeating the Kryptonians instead of saving lives. Though, given that he's still inexperienced and is trying to defeat the Kryptonians before they wipe out humanity, most are forgiving of him. This viewpoint is shared between Creator/KevinSmith and RedLetterMedia. The Kryptonians are also directly responsible for much more of the damage than Superman is.
* The main character of ''Paparazzi'' and his killing spree against said {{Paparazzi}} would be far less sympathetic if paparazzi weren't AcceptableProfessionalTargets (and if the paparazzi in the movie weren't practically cackling supervillains who take perverse joy in ruining people's lives.) One murder even had to happen off-screen, because the director found that test audiences found the main character less sympathetic when it happened on-screen.
* ''Film/BadTeacher'': Cameron Diaz's character is superficial, vain, lazy and mostly incompetent, and yet she is still the protagonist of the movie. She doesn't help her kids to learn (her success is achieved through cheating), she doesn't learn anything herself except perhaps to be ''slightly'' less superficial and jealously causes her to ruin the life of her [[KnightTemplar overbearing but well-intentioned]] rival. She breaks multiple laws and rules and her only selfless acts are brief attempts to make some of her kids a little more cool. In short she is a terrible person and does almost nothing to justify the fact that the audience are supposed to root for her.
* ''NowYouSeeMe'' gives us the Four Horsemen, a team of con-artist magicians who act JustLikeRobinHood, robbing the rich and giving to the poor...because they were ordered to by a shadowy mastermind- The Fifth Horseman- who promises them a place in a secret society of ''real'' magicians called The Eye if they do what he says. But they are morally ambiguous from the outset, and the main character is arguably the [=FBI=] agent Dylan who is chasing them. The ''real'' example of this trope is [[spoiler: Dylan himself, who is in fact The Fifth Horseman, because- while its implied he really does work for The Eye and his offer is serious- its established that the victims of the Horsemen were people / organizations he held responsible for his fathers death, so it was all really a revenge scheme; and worse, while each person did have some role in his father's death, ultimately the man died performing an extremely reckless magic trick, so arguably the main person at fault is the father himself.]] What pushes this beyond AntiHero and into "villain in any other story" territory is that many of the tricks of the Horsemen involved theft, assault, kidnapping and extremely reckless behaviour that could have gotten innocent people hurt or killed, such as the pre-arranged car chase throughout New York, as well as [[spoiler: the framing and apparent abduction of Thaddeus Bradley, strongly implied to now be a prisoner of The Eye for the rest of his life, despite being little more than a {{Jerkass}}.]]
* ''Film/{{Dave}}'': The film treats Dave, Ellen and Duane as heroes despite - or because of - the fact that by not denouncing the secret substitution of Dave Kovics for the incapacitated president of the USA, however unpleasant he was, they subvert democracy and the US Constitution, effectively depriving the entire US population of the government they voted for.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'':
** Edward and the Cullens are the good guys because ... well, they don't eat humans. They let their vampire buddies eat humans, routinely show up the Muggles, use their awesome powers for pure personal gain most of the time, and screw up the lives of many a werewolf to get their way, but at least they don't eat humans.
** Bella gives minimal thought to the innocent people being killed by vampires, [[ProtagonistCenteredMorality unless it's someone she knows]]. In ''New Moon'', she seriously considers withholding what she knows about vampires from the werewolves because telling them anything would feel like betrayal to the Cullens (even though she knows full well that the Cullens are in no danger from the wolves at all and that helping the wolves learn about the vampires will help them stop Victoria more quickly and thus keep more people from dying).
** It's a lot harder to sympathize with Bree Tanner when she shows no remorse at all for committing multiple murders and seems under the impression that she is above laws as long as there is no one to hold her to them. There's also the matter of her and Diego suffering from a ''severe'' case of TooDumbToLive.
** Edward Cullen at times acts like an abusive boyfriend. He physically stops Bella from driving herself home so he can take her there, forces her to eat dinner with him, resorts to drastic measures to stop her seeing Jacob, such as having his sister kidnap her and sabotaging her truck, and when she gets pregnant with a half-vampire baby, he tries to get it aborted, and offers to let Jacob impregnate her instead, all without telling Bella anything. And in the unfinished manuscript for ''Literature/MidnightSun'', he's definitely genocidal, casually mentioning wanting to [[MisplacedRetribution slaughter the Quilute tribe]] due to Jacob [[DisproportionateRetribution daring to speak to Bella]] because as far as he knew they were defenseless. He also comes across as a school killer, plotting the murders of his entire class so he could get to Bella without witnesses, and later plots getting her at her home in a way that comes across as ''very'' much like he's planning a rape.
** In ''Eclipse'', Jacob becomes just as emotionally manipulative of Bella as Edward is, threatening to go into battle and die at one point, unless she proves her love to him. When she kisses him to convince him not to kill himself, he orders her to "do better than that" or else he won't count it. At the end of the book, he's rude to Leah when she tries to talk to him about his feelings for Bella (granted she wasn't exactly gentle, but given that she too had been dumped by someone she loved very much, his taunting of her was pretty callus) and then abandons his father to go hide as a wolf for awhile. In ''Breaking Dawn'', he throws a fit when he learns that Bella intends to sleep with Edward while she's still human. In the second part of the book, when he hears that Bella's sick, he immediately believes that Edward changed her and goes over to kill the Cullens over it (rather creepily dismantling the phone and ensuring that his wheelchair-bound father couldn't follow after and stop him). He seriously considers Edward's offer to talk her into an abortion in exchange for him knocking her up instead. He later tries to invoke an imprint by going to a park and creepily staring at random girls to force it to happen. When Bella gives birth to Renesmee and he thinks she's dead, he ''goes to kill the baby'' to avenge her (ignoring the fact that Bella made it clear she was willing to give her life for her child) and was only stopped by imprinting on her. From then on, his imprint makes him do countless horrible things in the name of protecting Renesmee, including saying nothing while vampire allies stay in Forks and eat people outside of the town and ordering all of his pack (including ''newly-transformed young children'') to stay behind as canon fodder while he and Renesmee abandon them all to escape the Volturi.
* The heroes of ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'' regularly perform deeds of questionable morality, although the circumstances of the plot usually justify their actions (in the oft-criticized slaughter of the strawman pacifists, for example, Richard was left with few other options).
* Most Bronze Age heroes lack traits that modern audiences would find heroic due to ValuesDissonance.
** Achilles is a well-known example, since most modern audiences side with the Trojans defending their home and have little sympathy for the pouting, slave-taking Achilles. Another interpretation is that the Iliad isn't attempting to portray Achilles as a hero, but is rather showing the tragedy that results from a man's unwillingness to compromise in the face of a perceived offense. Not only to modern readers: in the Middle Ages, Hector was generally a much more popular character than Achilles, largely because he was seen as someone who was defending his home and his people. One popular legend said that Durandal, the sword of Roland, a popular medieval folk hero (based on the very real Roland who was one of Charlemagne's dukes), had been the sword of Hector. Also, in the King Arthur tales, Arthur's adoptive father was named Sir Ector, an alternate spelling of Hector (technically, Hector is an alternate spelling of Ector, but whatever). British statesman Lord Chesterfield wrote in ''Literature/LettersToHisSon'' about Achilles: "I dare assert too, in defiance of the favorers of the ancients, that {{Homer}}'s hero, Achilles, was both a brute and a scoundrel, and consequently an improper character for the hero of an epic poem; he had so little regard for his country, that he would not act in defense of it, because he had quarreled with Agamemnon about a w—-e; and then afterward, animated by private resentment only, he went about killing people basely, I will call it, because he knew himself invulnerable; and yet, invulnerable as he was, he wore the strongest armor in the world; which I humbly apprehend to be a blunder; for a horse-shoe clapped to his vulnerable heel would have been sufficient." (letter 64)
** Jason is another example, whose greatest accomplishments are actually performed by his mistress Medea, whom he promptly dumps when he's done with her. Jason becomes a FallenHero for his treachery at the end of his story. Even before he met Medea, Jason didn't really do anything {{Badass}}. Prior to seducing her, most of the work was done by his much more BadassCrew, which consisted of some of the greatest heroes of GreekMythology. The only really decent thing he does in the story is to help an old lady across a river. Note that this wasn't necessarily a ValuesDissonance thing. Euripides produced Medea in 430 BCE-that makes it clear this was how most of the Greeks felt about the character even a bare few centuries after the origin of the (presumed Homeric) legend. Whether the bronze-age heroes were meant to be unironically heroic or whether modern audiences just missing the sarcasm of ancient Greek poetry is still sort of in question.
** Similarly, when Theatre/{{Oedipus|TheKing}} kills a crazy old man that he meets on the road to Thebes because the guy insulted him, modern readers are likely to consider this DisproportionateRetribution. As a result, the sense that Oedipus is the (mostly) innocent [[YouCantFightFate pawn of fate]] gets somewhat lost in translation when it later turns out that that crazy old man [[ItWasHisSled was his biological father, Laius]]. Though it depends according to the myth as to whether or not Oedipus was being threatened, whether the King had the right of way, whether someone stepped on his foot, or if Oedipus really did just murder a bunch of guys on the road.
** Perseus. Yay, he killed the horrible monster ... that had been a rape victim (in some versions) and was hiding in a cave in the middle of nowhere so she wouldn't hurt anyone and was asleep at the time. Mainly because the host of a party he went to dared him to. Then he goes around petrifying everyone who annoys him. Slightly mitigated in the versions that include the king threatening to forcibly marry Perseus' mother, but Perseus doesn't ask Athene or Hermes to assist with that matter.
* This is a recurring element in the ''Literature/InheritanceCycle'':
** Eragon's condition as TheChosenOne, his lack of respect towards his master's skills and his lack of regard for the life of his uncle, all add up to a character that's portrayed sympathetically, but behaves like TheLoad.
** The lack of regard for the life/health/sanity of any person. While he'd had his bad moments all through the series, the scene in ''Brisingr'' with the slaves was enough to send book sporkers all over the internet into a frothing rage about what an utterly heartless dick this "hero" is.
** And then there's the scene where he [[spoiler: uses Sloan's true name to ''force'' him to take an unbreakable oath to make him never see his daughter again]]. The fact that the DesignatedVillain had apparently done the exact same thing (which Eragon regarded as reprehensible) never seems to occur to him.
* ''Literature/LeftBehind'':
** Cameron "Buck" Williams is [[InformedAbility referred to]] as an amazing investigative reporter who has won awards. He almost [[ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything never files reports or writes anything]], and when confronted with an international conspiracy that's already killed two people he knows, he... agrees to bury all the evidence if they'll spare his life. Way to go, hero.
** Rayford Steele fits this, too. First there's his stringing-along of Hattie Durham, but what ''really'' pushes him into Designated Hero territory is the fact that upon seeing a tarmac covered in crashed airplanes, rescue crews, and injured bodies, it never even occurs to him to help.
*** And let's not forget the time when he, as the pilot of the Antichrist, knows that the Antichrist is going to nuke millions of people - including the entire population of the city where he currently is - as soon as the plane takes off and gets clear. A hero would face a dilemma in how to stop this: Try to crash the plane during takeoff, which might kill the Antichrist but might fail thanks to Antichrist powers, or secretly try to remain in range of the nukes, which definitely will kill the Antichrist but could be detected, and will result in millions dead but might be worth it. Or assassinate him, or broadcast what he's doing, or something.
*** Rayford, OTOH, delays the plane so his wife can leave the city before he takes off. Then he takes off so the Antichrist can proceed. This is not after some long internal conflict, or for the sake of staying undercover, or because he thinks stopping the nukes will fail. It's just because flying the airplane is his ''job''. Our hero, everyone: ''Literally'' an accessory to murdering millions of people.
** Both Buck and Rayford, by working very closely with the Antichrist, helping him constantly, refusing to inform anyone of who he really is, and not doing a thing to stop him, are well past 'Designated Hero' and into 'Designated Not-TheDragon', which they would be in almost any story.
** Then there's Bruce Barnes, who supposedly becomes a model Christian after being skipped by the Rapture, yet when the time comes to make an apocalypse survival plan, it consists of building an underground bunker for ''himself and three other people'', then hiding in it. The notion of helping, or even ''interacting with'', any of his congregation beside the two {{Author Avatar}}s and Chloe Steele, except on Sunday morning, does not seem to occur to him.
* The two authors of LeftBehind didn't learn from their mistake
** In ''Soon'', by Jerry Jenkins, we get Paul Stepola. He starts out as a VillainProtagonist, working for the atheist NewWorldOrder's StateSec, he's responsible for the deaths of several unarmed civilians and treating his wife like crap. Once EasyEvangelism takes hold, he becomes a DefectorFromDecadence... and continues to treat his wife like crap while being responsible for the deaths of several ''thousand'' unarmed civilians.
** In ''Edge of Apocalypse'', co-written by Tim LaHaye, we get Josh Jordan. A rich businessman who developed an anti-missile system for the U.S. government which doesn't destroy nuclear cruise missiles, but just redirects them and has them detonate there... and refuses to give control of it to the government because he ([[AuthorTract correctly]]) guesses that the Democratic politicians will give it to enemies of America. So he basically demands to have a weapon that can redirect America's own nukes if he decides to, and no one is supposed to notice that makes him look like a Bond villain.
* Liu Bei from ''Literature/RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms''... who manages to get away with abandoning his wives and children multiple times, dashing his infant son into the ground since a brave warrior risked his life to rescue the boy, eating a hunter's wife, turning on or abandoning certain "allies" at rather opportune moments, and in the end having a HeroicBSOD, all because he's for upholding the "rightful" dynasty. Some of Liu Bei's actions are so over the top that one has to wonder if the authors (who were writing about events taking place several centuries before their own time) were at least on some occasions subversively critiquing those same cultural values by exaggerating them to the point of the ridiculous. Liu Bei does in the end fail rather ignominiously; even taking into account that Liu Bei had to fail because that was what happened in history, the novel does on several occasions seem to subtly emphasize his failure. For example, Zhuge Liang and Pang Tong are hyped up with a prophecy that any leader who obtains the services of either one of them is sure to win ultimate victory: Liu Bei gets ''both'' of them, and he ''still'' fails. While [[spoiler:the death of Pang Tong before he could do much]] was arguably bad luck, someone should have told Liu Bei that he had to actually follow Zhuge Liang's advice for the prophecy to work. (Ironically, when Zhuge Liang was newly appointed as military advisor, Liu Bei was the only member of their force to believe in him!)
* Several of Creator/RafaelSabatini's protagonists fit this pretty well, tending to be rather ChaoticNeutral characters. For example, the main character of ''Literature/{{Scaramouche}}'' seeks revenge for the death of his friend by an [[AristocratsAreEvil evil aristocrat]] and ends up as a high ranking member of the FrenchRevolution government and uses this position to cut a swath through France's aristocracy despite the fact he couldn't give a damn about the ideals of the Revolution.
* The Silver Horde from Literature/{{Discworld}} personify this trope, as explicitly lampshaded by the Patrician in ''Discworld/TheLastHero''.
** Better [[Discworld/InterestingTimes Cohen than Lord Hong]]. Also, they aren't meant to be 'heroes', just protagonists.
** Cohen is actually titled Cohen ''the Barbarian''. They are meant to be 'heroes' but only in the same way Conan was.
** Done literally with Granny Weatherwax. While she's [[{{Jerkass}} not exactly]] [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold the]] ''[[JerkWithAHeartOfGold nicest]]'' [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold person around]], [[GoodIsNotNice she's definitely a hero]] and [[ShootTheDog the Disc is much the better for her nastiness]]. Unfortunately, she's also a twin, and the TheoryOfNarrativeCausality holds that [[CainAndAbel twins must be opposites]]: one good, one [[EvilTwin evil]]. Granny Weatherwax [[EvilIsCool wanted to be the evil one]], and was horrified that her sister instead chose to be an insane KnightTemplar, forcing her to take the "good" role. (Note that "evil" witches are usually just sadistic [[KarmicTrickster tricksters]], and have as much contempt for [[ThouShaltNotKill killing]] and [[SorcerousOverlord conquering]] as the "good" ones.)
* Creator/MichaelCrichton's ''Literature/{{Timeline}}'' ends with the protagonists drugging the CorruptCorporateExecutive, and sending him to past to die of the Black Plague. While he was a fairly unpleasant individual and was more concerned about using TimeTravel to [[OnlyInItForTheMoney make money]] than actually giving a chance to learn about the past, he does actively work to prevent the tissue-damage caused to the people who do too many trips through the time-machine/teleporter by forbidding one person from doing too many trips, and all the problems result from those who disobeyed him. But since he's a douchebag, it's all right to murder him horribly. Notably, when TheFilmOfTheBook came out, his death and circumstances around it were substantially changed.
* Abdel Adrian from the ''Literature/BaldursGate'' novelisations by Philip Athans. The writer [[MarySue wants him to be everything positive, but since his skill level at writing is far below zero, the character ends up being the exact opposite]]. He's treated as the hero even though without being specifically kicked to it he hasn't even the motivation to do anything but booze, womanise, kill random people and possibly [[KickTheDog kick puppies]]. And that description makes it sound far better than it is. It's no wonder people have commented that it's unclear why they should care about what happens to any of the characters in these books or even who wins.
* ''The Sheik'', from the [[Literature/TheSheik novel of the same name]]. He's an abusive rapist who is initially portrayed as negatively as he deserves, but once the protagonist falls in love with him the book suddenly expects us to think of him much more sympathetically.
* Literature/AnitaBlake. Killer, rapist, performs the same actions she reviles in others but it's okay when she does them. And apparently the reason all the evil comes to town is that its attracted to her.
* In Creator/GeorgeEliot's "Literature/SillyNovelsByLadyNovelists", in the Evangelical novels,
-->''The Orlando of Evangelical literature is the young curate, looked at from the point of view of the middle class, where cambric bands are understood to have as thrilling an effect on the hearts of young ladies as epaulettes have in the classes above and below it. In the ordinary type of these novels, the hero is almost sure to be a young curate, frowned upon, perhaps, by worldly mammas, but carrying captive the hearts of their daughters, who can "never forget that sermon;". . . The young curate always has a background of well-dressed and wealthy, if not fashionable society;–for Evangelical silliness is as snobbish as any other kind of silliness; . . . but in one particular the novels of the White Neck-cloth School are meritoriously realistic,–their favourite hero, the Evangelical young curate is always rather an insipid personage.''
* The heroes of ''Literature/TheTurnerDiaries'' are a group of {{Western Terrorist|s}} neo-Nazis.
* Apparently Patch of ''Literature/HushHush'' is supposed to be a good guy, or at least an anti-hero we can cheer on. This is the same fellow who apparently uses the Abuser's Handbook as a guide for dating Nora and [[spoiler:at one point pins her to the bed and ''threatens to murder her''.]]
* Literature/SisterhoodSeries by Creator/FernMichaels:
** The Sisterhood or the Vigilantes have fallen into this territory at least once. The first seven books were all about the Vigilantes getting {{Revenge}} on the people who wronged them, and breaking the law in doing so. That's not supposed to be heroic. Despite this, once it got out what they were doing, they were considered heroes and household items. Reviewers at Amazon.com were quite happy to point out how the Vigilantes' behaviour went into this in the book ''Under the Radar''. In that book, the heroes go to a cult of pedophile polygamists. The heroes acted rather abusively toward the adult women in the cult. In fact, the book spelled out quite clearly that the adult women didn't care about the treatment their own children suffered in the cult and deserved absolutely no sympathy. Reviewers, however, pointed out that the adult women were raised in this cult and brainwashed into believing in the cult all their lives, and that they are actually victims who you should feel sympathy for. With that said, the heroes have the adult women lined up and shave off the hair on their heads. They did this, because the cult leader likes long hair, and they wanted him to look at bald women to spite him. Reviewers pointed out what the Vigilantes did seems to be uncomfortably close to what the Nazis did in those concentration camps!
** The book ''Sweet Revenge'' has this little gem from the thoughts of a stand-up male character named Bobby Harcourt: "He stopped at the receptionist's desk for his messages, hating how sleazy the young woman looked. He'd spoken to Rosemary about the receptionist's appearance and all she'd done was cluck her tongue and ask him if he wanted a lawsuit on his hands. It wasn't just the way the young woman looked, it was her stupid name as well. Sasha. No one named their kid Sasha except maybe a Russian mother. This Sasha was from Mud Creek, Mississippi. White trash, all ninety pounds of her. He rather suspected that Rosemary kept her on because Sasha made her look beautiful, which she was, but she was also a cold, relentless, heartless bitch of a woman. He'd found that out as soon as the honeymoon was over, much to his regret." For such a supposedly stand-up guy, Bobby sounds like he hates people who aren't Americans like him, he sounds mean-spirited towards people from the Appalachians, and he apparently judges people based on their appearance and ''their given name'' before things like morals or personality.
* Gareth in ''The Rebel Prince''. He is told he has to rape the protagonist in order to gain control of her psychic powers, needed to overthrow the evil leaders of the planet. He gets drunk to overcome his reluctance and does so, and feels bad about it afterwards. This is supposed to lead to him finding redemption. Instead, after claiming he is sorry, he continues to insist she is his wife (because they were married against her will) and uses mind control and threats of violence to control her. As well as using mind control to force her to learn pleasurable sex (it's still rape even if she enjoys it). The worst part is [[spoiler:she winds up staying with him at the end because he "loves her"]].
* Elizabeth Wakefield of the Literature/SweetValleyHigh series is constantly presented as the "good" twin--smart, level-headed, kind, etc. But she frequently proves herself to be a hypocrite. She blasts her sister Jessica for being promiscuous while she herself repeatedly cheats on her boyfriends, she goes on and on about how people deserve a second chance, but apparently thinks this only applies to ''her'' friends, not Jessica's, and she instantly makes judgments about people without getting to know them, while again criticizing Jessica and her clique for doing the same thing.
* Bertie of ''Literature/TheatreIlluminataTrilogy''. The reader is treated to her causing a bunch trouble around the theatre with no provocation whatsoever yet it's viewed as a matter of [[ProtagonistCenteredMorality liberation and freedom]]. All of the noble and decent characters respect and admire her, or [[EasilyForgiven are at least willing to give her a second chance]], while the ones who rightfully object to this behaviour, namely [[UnintentionallySympathetic the stage manager]], are just misguided bores for being upset that their livelihood is under fire by some bratty teenager. She's responsible for half of the bad things that occur in the book, yet she gets away with blaming everyone else. In fact, her immediate response to the stage manager calling her out on all the trouble she's caused? [[DisproportionateRetribution Attack him with a sword]] (injuring him and drawing blood, no less) and threatening to cut off his ear. She's [[{{Jerkass}} rude and inconsiderate toward everyone]] yet somehow she's always in the right and [[JerkSue remains the Golden Girl of the theatre]].
* Patrick Hennessy/Patricio Carrera in ''Literature/CarrerasLegions''. An ex-military officer who uses his wife and children's murder as an excuse to gun down unarmed Muslim civilians (while they were [[AssholeVictim celebrating a pseudo 9/11 attack]], admittedly) and apparently take orgasmic pleasure in doing so, then establish a PMC that carries out extreme torture and ultimately nukes a city solely to kill the family of the terrorist ringleader who orchestrated the attack that killed ''his'' family. He also establishes a training regimen that gets hundreds of his recruits killed through things like faulty grenade training, use of poor-quality mortar ammunition, and extreme high-risk live-fire training that requires recruits to wear heavy vehicle-door-gunner armor, and responds to all of these deaths with sociopathic apathy. And since he's Tom Kratman's AuthorAvatar, Henessey/Carrera is [[CharacterShilling repeatedly and at length described as the most incredible strategist and tactician in history]], and every callous, sociopathic act of violence, negligence, and murder he engages is in is portrayed as saintly and righteous.
** The ''prologue'' of the book opens up with a man going by the nickname of "the Blue Djinn" who takes pleasure in being considered outright evil, is portrayed with a savage, demonic light, orders the mass execution of hundreds of his enemies via crucifixion, and sells the wives and teenage daughters of said prisoners into sexual slavery. It isn't until you read further into the book that you realize that the Blue Djinn is ''Hennessy/Carrera''.
* Arguably Michael in Vikram Seth's novel ''Literature/AnEqualMusic''.
* In ''Literature/FateOfTheJedi'', the New Jedi Order's complete and utter failure to use clearly available legal options to deal with Chief of State Natasi Daala is presented as a good thing. Instead of using the mounting public pressure on the legislature to remove her from power legally, something that had already worked to break the siege of the Jedi Temple and get the [[KangarooCourt Court of Jedi Affairs]] dissolved, [[spoiler:they mount a violent coup d'etat]]. Bear in mind, [[StrawmanHasAPoint this is the exact sort of thing Daala was trying to prevent, albeit misguidedly,]] with her increasingly draconian anti-Jedi policies.
* The Clave from ''Literature/TheMortalInstruments'' is an entire group of designated heroes. With their FantasticRacism, inventive cruelty, and massive arrogance, it's a wonder how the audience is supposed to root for them in the final battle.
* Christian Grey of ''Literature/FiftyShadesOfGrey'' is someone that we're supposed to symphathize with, despite him effectively raping the heroine on more than one occasion, and chapter 21 of ''Fifty Shades Darker'' strongly implying that he blackmails his previous partners.
* The ONI characters of ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' ''Kilo-Five'' trilogy. They're supposed to be painted as morally superior and paint Dr Halsey as [[MadDoctor Mrs Mengel]] for what she did in creating the SPARTAN II's. But their plan is to instigate a civil war among the Elites as a means to tip the scales in the UNSC's favor, essentially going behind humanity's only ally and weakening them. And in the long run all of their actions only cause more harm, as the rebel Sangheili soon become willing supporters to the Didacts mission in eliminating humanity.
* Leon from ''Pagan Lover'' frequently makes unwelcome advances on the heroine, kidnaps her on the day of her wedding (to someone she would have been HappilyMarried to no less), repeatedly threatens to rape her, and later forces her to marry him. Yet for some reason, he's the romantic lead, and women are supposed to consider him a better lover than the other guy.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/TwentyFour'' had several occasions where the good guys acted like ruthless {{Knight Templar}}s and / or just extremely incompetent. [=CTU=] has tortured innocent people, including one of their own who was then ''[[KickTheDog fired for complaining about it]],'' and frequently succumbs to TyrantTakesTheHelm; their agents- including Jack Baeur- very often let family matters and personal vendettas get in the way of their job (occasionally to the point of treasonous or even terroristic activity); almost every single season involves this [[InformedAttribute premier counter-terrorist agency]] (or in one season, the [=FBI=]) ''failing'' to prevent ''multiple'' terrorist attacks ''on American soil''. The government is not any better and have done such things as framing a reformed terrorist for the attempted murder of a sitting President (when said ex-terrorist actually ''saved the Presidents life'') to cover up that the ''actual'' culprits were extremists ''within the government'' (worse still, this becomes an AbortedArc- hunting these traitors down is NEVER brought up again); much of the drama in several seasons comes from the Cabinet and the President arguing about whether or not to NUKE countries they ''think, might'' be guilty before the day is up ''without'' planning on organizing a thorough investigation first (with the most frequent excuse being that the don't want the rest of the world to think they are weak- they will kill MILLIONS of people just to ''look scary'')- the Cabinet has been willing to ''impeach'' a President for ''backing out'' of this. The PresidentEvil on the show is actually one of the ''saner'' ones in that regard; all ''he'' did was try to kill some ''proven'' terrorists and then cover it up when the plan failed (and try and kill Jack, but even ''good'' Presidents have attempted ''that'').
* ''Series/AllyMcBeal'': Georgia is generally described by other characters as a really nice, good-hearted person. While she certainly can be nice to some people, she can also be petty and quite mean; e.g., badmouthing Nelle, making it clear that she disliked her, and physically attacking her when she tried to break up a fight between her and Ally, for the sole reason that she's jealous, since she considers Nelle to be prettier than her.
* ''Series/AmericanHorrorStoryCoven'': the witches the show is centered on are unrepentant murderesses who think nothing of using their evil magic to get their way, not caring about the innocents that get in the way. And we're supposed to see the witch hunters as the villains '''why'''?
* ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'': Leonard, as he has gained a generally jerk demeanor and holier-than-thou attitude as the series went on.
* ''Series/BigTimeRush'': The four characters of the eponymous group all have moments that push them into this category, especially in episodes where they're carelessly destructive (i.e. Big Time Mansion, Jobs, etc). Though not all of them are always like this (sometimes it depends on the episode), you get the idea.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** For many fans, Buffy is the DH for much of [[SeasonalRot Seasons Six and Seven.]] However, there were implications that Buffy wasn't exactly being herself, being under even more massive pressure than usually, and having gone through several traumatic experiences in a short time. This has been played with several times, from Buffy's temper tantrum that she wasn't allowed to kill Faith and Series/{{Angel}} telling her to get stuffed, to her being rejected by the potential slayers, to a storyline where a rogue slayer intends to kill Buffy because of how much of a princess she is.
** There's also Spike in Season 7. For some reason Buffy and the writers seem to believe Spike is in the right when he tells Robin Wood that he doesn't regret killing his mother, and that she ''never loved him''. And frankly, that's only the worst time by a small degree.
* ''Series/{{Camelot}}'': Merlin kills an innocent man and girl after getting into a stupid fight with the man because Merlin doesn't want to give the smith his rightful credit for Excalibur. He helps Uther Pendragon rape his future wife. He never does anything objectively, unambiguously good in the entire series, but it seems as though the writers want us to see him as a good (if flawed) person simply because he's Arthur's mentor.
* ''Series/{{Charmed}}'': The Charmed Ones, in the later seasons, have stopped thinking about saving people and are more about themselves. They cast magic on innocent people, needlessly set up a human criminal up to get killed by demons in their home, and joined up with a bunch of magical extremists to wipe out free will for the sake of destroying evil. Then they faked their deaths and got a new girl (played by the same actress as the aforementioned Penny from ''Big Bang Theory'') to do all the work for them. Seriously, the new girl [[spoiler:being [[DefectorFromDecadence convinced]] by [[BeingTorturedMakesYouEvil her]] [[BrainwashedAndCrazy sister]] to [[FaceHeelTurn turn heel]] and the two of them almost being powerful enough to kill the Halliwells (before she got better, anyway)]] was practically a [[LaserGuidedKarma due backfire]].
* While Detective Scotty Valens of ''Series/ColdCase'' always had anger issues, he began to drift into this territory in the show's final season. Granted, he had a good reason for becoming increasingly douchey, namely [[spoiler:discovering his mother had become the latest victim of a brutal serial rapist]], but he spends most of the season losing his temper, assaulting suspects (when he had previously been revolted by {{Dirty Cop}}s who did the same in previous seasons) and finally JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope by [[spoiler: hiring a guy to kill the rapist in the prison shower]]. Whether he ever got his comeuppance for this is unknown and always will be, as the show was canceled with the very next episode.
* ''CriminalMinds'': Edward Allen Bernero stated that Jason Gideon was meant to be the central character to the show, even though episodes tended towards ensemble-like setups. Furthermore, Gideon as a character wasn't particularly nice to the rest of the team, as he frequently disobeys the chain of command (giving orders to the team when it's supposed to be Hotch's job), being terribly difficult to work with and not being very approachable. Hotch called him out on this in "What Fresh Hell?", telling him that he bought flowers for Garcia (after Gideon proved extremely difficult with her in the previous episode) and said they were from Gideon explaining, "Jason, people need to know that they're important, and sometimes you forget that."
* ''Series/DawsonsCreek'': Dawson. He normally acts like a spoilt, self-centred [=Jerkass=], especially in Season 3. After he himself rejected Joey, he is furious when she falls in love with Pacey. He forces her to choose between their friendship and Pacey, alienates Pacey and tries to win Joey back in an increasingly manipulative, underhand way. (Including almost killing Pacey in a sailing race, lying to Joey about renewing their friendship and tricking Joey to going to the prom with him). All of this is treated as a normal competition to 'win the girl'.
* ''Series/{{ER}}'': Mark Greene, who from the very first episode was pushed as the "heart" of the show. Said "heart" was frequently unbearably self-righteous with his friends, often failed to be there for them when they needed his support, was unable to take a stand on anything, blasted others from bending or breaking the rules, then bent or broke them himself, and deliberately withheld treatment from an AssholeVictim patient, resulting in the man's death. There's no denying that the man deserved to die--at the hands of a judge, jury, and executioner, NOT at a doctor betraying the most basic tenets of his profession.
* ''EverybodyLovesRaymond'': The title character's wife becomes this in the later seasons, as the show devoted ever-increasing amounts of screentime to the war between her and her mother-in-law, and kept trying to shill her as the heroine. What made it really ridiculous was the fact that her behavior was ''exactly the same as the mother-in-law's'' (i.e., bullying other family members, being arrogant and condescending,etc.), which made it really hard to actually root for her, as there seemed to be no real difference between the two characters. In fact, the wife's behavior was arguably even ''worse'' than her mother-in-law's, because she physically and emotionally abused her husband in virtually every episode of the mid-to-later seasons.
** In one episode, she forces her husband to go with her to a couple's therapist in the hopes that the therapist will tell Ray to be more compliant to her demands. Ray is initially reluctant to open up, but then the therapist finds Ray sympathetic during the session. Naturally, Debra is shocked by this, as she expected the session to be all about how Ray is not the man she wants him to be. After all, how could ''she'' possibly be anything less than perfect? After the therapist appears to ''not'' take Debra's side, Debra refuses to attend any more sessions and is mad at Ray for embarrassing her like that (to reiterate, he did exactly what she wanted him to do - open up). And the show then goes out of its way to portray her as being right.
* ''FlashForward2009'': Mark Benford. Many perceive him to be a major-league [=Jerkass=] to his coworkers, his family, and everyone. ''See:'' giving his wife huge amounts of shit for seeing herself sleeping with another man in her FlashForward, yet lying to her about his own (he was drinking in his); routinely flouting international law and direct orders from his boss, but unlike other Screw The Rules types, he doesn't really accomplish anything by doing so; having his hands superglued to the IdiotBall (best example: [[spoiler: shooting an assassin who has what is obviously a unit tattoo]]); and as the promo for the post-hiatus episodes shows, [[spoiler: accusing Demetri of being a mole]].
* ''TheFollowing'': Both the main character as well as the [=FBI=] are incredibly incompetent and act like idiots. Ryan Hardy, TheHero, thinks that [[TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou he and only he]] can take down SerialKiller Joe Carroll and his cult of maniacs, to the point where he ends up getting several police officers and innocent people harmed or killed and getting furious when anyone but him crosses the line to save their loved ones, as well as playing the very role Carroll wants him to play in the first place; on the other hand, the Feds aren't much better, repeatedly underestimating both Hardy and the cult and making many stupid mistakes. Both Hardy and the Feds also fail to consider that if Joe had people watching both his family ''and'' his only surviving victim, [[spoiler: then he might have had someone watching Ryan as well- this last one gets Hardy stabbed and Claire killed.]] The only reason the good guys win is that the cult turns out to be just as self-sabotaging themselves in the long run, but at least the cult has the excuse that they are all AxCrazy; Hardy and the Feds are just selfish and stupid.
* ''Series/{{Friends}}'': Rachel. She refuses to take Ross back but abuses any girl he tries to date (backstabbing the adorable Julie, shaving Bonnie's head, planning to ruin Emily's wedding and insulting a girl who flirts with him). She emotionally abuses Ross making him break up with girls and then putting stipulations on them getting back together, helping ruin his marriage, then says he's too 'messed up' to date, and forbidding him from dating her sister. She's also [[ItsAllAboutMe incredibly self-centred]], stealing Monica and Chandler's engagement night ''and'' wedding day, belittling others' problems, constantly complaining about her own and even telling Monica and Chandler they have to come to her baby's birthday party, so they can't go away [[spoiler:to reconnect after they've discovered ''they can't have children!'']]
* ''Series/{{Glee}}'':
** Rachel and Finn fall very much into this category.
** Will Schuster too, if not even more so. In the very first episode he ''plants drugs on a student'' to blackmail him into joining Glee Club. When said student protests his innocence and frantically promises to take a drug test, Will weasels around that obvious out by reminding the kid that being charged at all will look bad. Seeing as how in the US, a drug conviction of any kind bars kids from applying for student loans, Will essentially threatens a minor's future education to force him to join a failing club.
** BLAINE ANDERSON. A character afflicted by terminal ItsAllAboutMe syndrome that got away with ATTEMPTED RAPE, shaming and emotionally abusing his boyfriend, claiming to know what to do about the bully that was tormenting Kurt and instead making the situation (intentionally?) even worse, deciding to propose to him in a grandiose way just so he can't be rejected... the list goes on and on.
* ''Series/GossipGirl'': Serena frequently acts far nastier than Blair, and her protests and apologies just make her seem like a huge liar compared to the others.
* ''Series/{{iCarly}}'': Carly never stops her [=Jerkass=] friend Sam from bullying others. What kind of friend lets another friend bully her other friends? Then in "iMove Out," when Freddie's mom came on the set to humiliate her son, instead of turning off the camera, she points it at Freddie while he's getting embarrassed. And that's not even getting into Carly's emotional manipulation of [[DoggedNiceGuy Fredd]][[TheWoobie ie...]]
* ''Franchise/LawAndOrder'':
** Arguably, most of the characters in every iteration, but especially ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'' and ''Series/LawAndOrderCriminalIntent''. Hardly an episode goes by without an absolutely horrifying instance of breach of protocol, bad judgment, unnecessary hatred for a suspect, or outright lawbreaking on the part of the main cast. The main cast is made up entirely of law enforcement officers and lawyers. Almost every crime drama has this to some extent.
** Elliot Stabler is this trope personified. While interviewing a suspect (that's SUSPECT - not criminal, SUSPECT) he becomes aggravated and puts the man's head through the one-way glass in the interrogation room. He is not punished for it in any way, because obviously the suspect is an evil criminal and does not have rights.
*** What pushed the line for most viewers was when Elliot intentionally caused a man to have a ''Psychotic Break'' so the law can force him to go on medication. And Dr. Hong (the psychiatrist) is treated as a traitor when he rightfully objected and decided to become the defense's expert witness witness.
** Somebody is talking with Cabot, the prosecuting attorney, and accuses the police department of harming a suspect. Cabot replies that the injuries were sustained during a fight between two suspects. Her conversation partner acknowledges that this is technically correct... because the suspects were intentionally baited, by the police department, into turning on each other. Cabot does not even bother to reply, she just stands there looking smug for the rest of the scene.
** Stabler and Benson go to a suspect's home, where he lives with his grandfather. They do not have a warrant and cannot enter the house without permission. They tell the suspect something about his grandfather that shocks him and causes him to throw the door closed and run upstairs to confront the grandfather. Stabler ''puts his hand out to keep the door from closing'' and the two detectives chase after the suspect, into the house that they do not have permission to enter.
*** At the risk of advocating Stabler's [=Jerkass=] behavior, in that moment, he could have argued that he feared that someone's life was in jeopardy. Exigent circumstances.
** In one very serious episode, a young man recognizes that he is a pedophile and turns himself in before he harms someone. Specifically, he fears that he will molest a young relative of his and has actually been drinking heavily in an attempt to forestall his actions. When he accepts that he will not be able to stop himself for much longer he turns himself in to he police in the hope that they will be able to keep him from hurting any little kids. Benson explicitly states that up to that point, no pedophile had ever turned themselves in out of an honest desire to reform. Rather than appreciating the selfless efforts of a very confused person who needs help with a legitimate problem, he is despised by the police force and referred to as a "monster."
** It doesn't help that the detectives and prosecutors tend to have a smug attitude most of the time. Almost veering into SmugSnake territory.
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'': Several characters, especially [[DesignatedProtagonistSyndrome Jack and Kate]]. Aside from the fact that they are Designated Heroes, they are both essentially [=Jerkass=] types who meander between helpful-yet-arrogant [[StandardizedLeader leader types]] through to paranoid, secretive, unhelpful, cliquey and murderous asses.
** Season 3 Locke was far more reprehensible than even Kate or Sawyer ever were, especially in the last season episode. Jack himself tends to be more unremarkable or just plain capricious than reprehensible.
*** And on rewatches, Locke's actions even earlier than that come off as quite disturbing when you know he really had no real connection to the island, coming off as a cult leader using violence to brainwash people like Boone into agreeing with him.
* ''Series/{{NCIS}}'': MemeticBadass though he may be, Leroy Jethro Gibbs can definitely be seen as this, with repeatedly assholish behavior to various characters, occasionally bending or even ''breaking'' laws he's supposed to be enforcing, and some instances of hypocrisy regarding investigations with agents/officers from outside his team.
** He has also put his own agents (especially [=McGee=]) into dangerous situations just to save time. Of course, both Abby and DiNozzo tend to act terrible toward the guy.
* ''Series/TheOfficeUS'': Has Jim & Pam, who are supposed to be normal, but are actually kinda pricks. Jim knew he wasn't supposed to upset Andy when he was at Stamford, but he did, and he did it again at Scranton. He picked on Andy - someone he ''knew'' had anger management issues - enough to make him punch a hole in the wall. He even probably endangered Pam in helping too. Between the two of them, they were lusting after each other, regardless of the feelings of the people they were involved with. They also broke company policy in the baby shower ep with the bluetooth and making themselves noticeable enough to warrant investigation ([[FridgeBrilliance though considering how lax Michael is with office policy, he probably let it slide]]). Sometimes Jim's pranks on Dwight go too far (enough to give him a bit of a HeroicBSOD when regaling). The writers do notice this sometimes, especially in later seasons. A few episode show Jim being embarrassed by his immaturity, and show Dwight as more of a victim. This depiction is closer to the UK version, where Tim and Dawn were often presented as immature bullies, and not just playful jokers.
* ''Promised Land'': Shamaya Taggert from the ''TouchedByAnAngel'' spin off. You're supposed to like this character, but she come off as a bitter self righteous pretentious prick.
* ''Series/{{Revolution}}'': Charlie, increasingly. She began as just whiny, but took [[TookALevelInJerkass entirely the wrong lesson]] from [[AntiHero Miles]], and ended up deciding that she was better off being jerks to her friends to ''make'' them go forward to Danny... who they lag behind because of MotiveDecay. Then there's also the fact that, even after learning [[HeelRealization how bad the deed she is supposed to do in "Sex and Drugs" is]], she still decides to go through with it anyway rather than try to get the victim's help, while Miles, her "role model" for getting tough, takes the higher road and tries to go and stop her to TakeAThirdOption. Fortunately, she has been trying to become a better hero.
* ''Series/RobinHood'':
** Robin Hood from the BBC's 2006-2008 version of the story kept getting worse as the seasons went on. His "[[ThouShaltNotKill no-kill]]" policy was chucked out the second season when it became apparent that he was prepared to kill in the name of King Richard (even if it meant shooting unarmed priests and mentally-deranged spies), and by the third season he was shooting guards in the back whilst ''still'' insisting that he only killed when he needed to. He also treated his outlaws like crap (especially poor Much), started a relationship with a girl he was barely interested in despite knowing that his best friend liked her, attacked a frightened woman in her own bedroom after she's had to kill a man in self-defence, and shot dead an executioner who was just doing his job (and ''then'' having the gall to tell the aforementioned woman that not only is ''she'' "a murderer" for killing a man who was threatening to rape/strangle her but that ''he'' only kills when he absolutely needs to).
** The third season also introduced Kate, who was shilled as brave, compassionate and altogether wonderful even though she was never anything but rude, nasty and shrill to everyone around her, and once demanded that a terrified woman be left to be raped and strangled by her sadistic husband, stating that "she doesn't deserve our help."
* ''The Secret Life of Us'': Series 2 turned the character of Gabrielle into a serious [=Jerkass=]. She starts an affair with Dominic, a married man with two young children, and gets him to leave his wife Francesca for her, saying that because she loves him so, ''so'' much this is all justified. When Francesca shouts at Gabrielle and calls her selfish, she has the barefaced cheek to complain that Francesca is victimizing her, and then she breaks up with Dominic for ''spending too much time trying to comfort his heartbroken children'', rather than forgetting them and focusing all his time on her. A short time later Dominic, who has tried and failed to make things work with his wife because he can't forget Gabrielle, tries to win her back, and she says she has gotten used to being on her own, even though she caused all this pain on the grounds that she supposedly loved him so much. Despite this, neither Gabrielle or any other character apart from Francesca says anything about how selfish, fickle and destructive her actions are, and she is still depicted as a likable character the audience should root for and empathize with.
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'': In the early seasons, Lana Lang evolved from a slightly annoying DistressedDamsel into one of these, and remained one for her entire run. Despite her frequent betrayals of Clark and his friends, she was consistently treated as being in the right until her exit in Season 8; and unlike Clark and others who border on this, her motivation for anything heroic she does do is either 'to get with Clark' or, later, 'to punish Lex'. Former BigBad Lionel Luthor, post-HeelFaceTurn, is seen as this in-universe: the heroes use him for his resources, but [[ReformedButRejected don't trust him any farther than they can throw him]].
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'':
** TheFederation often veers into this territory DependingOnTheWriter due to the [[AlienNonInterferenceClause Prime Directive]] causing them to routinely let entire species go extinct, despite being in a position to avert such disasters; all whilst touting it as the "[[AppealToNature Natural Order]]" and the morally superior thing to do.
** ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'': Captain "Designated Hero" Janeway - after stranding her crew in the Delta Quadrant due to reasons largely beyond her control, she forgoes several attempts that would have gotten her back to the Alpha Quadrant, kills one of her crew to restore the status quo, and when given the chance to go back in time and save her crew, rather than preventing them from going to the Delta Quadrant in the first place, she opts to save someone they recruited along the way and abandon nearly a third of her crew to die when they get dragged into the Delta Quadrant.
*** This is demonstrated beautifully in the Episodes "Equinox 1&2". Voyager meets up with another Federation vessel, the titled named Equinox, who not only was in a similar situation as Voyager, it was MANY times worse. They were on the edge of starvation, they didn't have the magic ResetButton to fix all the damage they had sustained, they had lost half their crew. This was all before they got continually assaulted by extra-demensional aliens for weeks on end. It is made very clear that almost everyone Janeway then decided that spending 14 hours to refitting both Voyager and the Equinox with this week's techno-babble wasn't worth the risk (why they couldn't of just dragged around an empty Equinox with the same tractor beam Voyager was using to pull it around isn't brought up). Janeway stops the other Captain's protests by [[LoopholeAbuse by twisting a regulation meant for fleet combat, that the most combat ready ship gets command in a combat situation]]. When Janeway finds out that the aliens are attacking [[spoiler: because the Equinox found out they could be used as anti-matter fuel]], she brings the Captain before her. HE pulls out another regulation, saying a Captain is supposed to do anything to keep his crew alive. She decides that regulation does not protect against mass murder, and will lock the entire, barely sane, shell shock crew even though they were JustFollowingOrders. Did I mention Janeway once justified letting an ENTIRE SPECIES be assimilated by the '''Borg''' was an acceptable way to get home over the objections of her crew?
* ''TrueBlood'': The vampires. Bill killed many people with Lorena and has deliberately killed people even in the present day. Every vampire we've met we know for a fact have killed at least one human, and many of these vamps we know have killed more than that. Even "saintly" Godric killed Eric's 2 best friends before turning Eric into a vamp. And thanks to Jessica killing a man soon after she became a vampire, there's now no vampire we can definitely state has never killed a human. The Authority might be seen as a benevolent influence... except as their Arbiter they appointed a nasty [[FantasticRacism "humans-are-inferior-to-vampires" bigot]] who regarded the fact Bill killed a vampire to save the life of a human as making Bill's crime of killing the vampire worse, not better, and as punishment had a terrified teenaged girl (Jessica) kidnapped and forcibly turned into a vampire by Bill. And we're supposed to be rooting for the vampires and their integration with humans because why, exactly?
** Note that the later seasons ''realized this'' and now there is a War brewing between Humanity and the Vampires [[spoiler: with Bill, now a HumanoidAbomination, leading the charge as the Vampire's new god, taking the place of [[EldritchAbomination Lillith]].]]
* ''Series/VeronicaMars'': It's easy to sympathize with her backstory, which includes ParentalAbandonment, rape and subsequent social exile. It's not so easy to actually ''like'' her, as she's incredibly manipulative, enables various illegal actions throughout the series (including the kidnapping of a baby), uses her friends as pawns (sometimes putting their lives in danger) and is just outright ''mean'' to most people she speaks to on a regular basis. One could make a solid argument that the only difference between Veronica and the [[AlphaBitch popular crowd]] she was once part of is that fact that she's directing her manipulative tendencies into a profession which ostensibly helps people -- notably, her behavior worsens in season three when she has no central mystery to solve.
* ''{{Victorious}}'': Tori Vega. In the first episode, she gets revenge on the AlphaBitch by kissing her boyfriend. That wouldn't be too bad if she hadn't done it ''again'' in another episode (This time it was actually a good friend of hers). In one episode, she left her friend behind at a Sushi bar because she selfishly wanted to return to class. Earlier, he did something nice for her by treating her.
* ''TheWire'': Jimmy [=McNulty=], the closest thing this show has to a central character, discusses this trope in-universe with regards to his (oftentimes morally questionable) behavior.
-->You start to tell the story, you think you're the hero, and then when you get done talking...
* ''Wonder Woman'': In the failed 2011 pilot, they make the bad guys out to be complete and utter scum who use trafficked humans and underprivileged ghetto kids to test their steroid-type drugs and use their lobbyists to avoid being investigated, and that whatever means that Wonder Woman uses is justified. Unfortunately, Wonder Woman is a brutal, vicious killer who goes after people without any actual evidence, tortures people for information (''while pointing out'' she has a magic lasso called [[TruthSerum the Lasso of Truth]]), and uses her contacts with the police to avoid prosecution. This is very nicely demonstrated when the villain says that Wonder Woman is breaking the law and violating her rights, Wonder Woman ''rolls her eyes at her'' like a snotty teenager.
* {{Series/Survivor}} had this trope mentioned by [[Characters/SurvivorTocantins Tyson]] [[Characters/SurvivorHeroesvsVillains Apostol]] in [[Characters/SurvivorBloodVsWater Blood vs Water]] at the Final Tribal, saying he wasn't a villain and that "If you aren't the villain, you have to be the hero"
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Opera and Theater]]
* Siegfried from Creator/RichardWagner's ''Theatre/RingOfTheNibelung''.
* Subverted as early as Creator/GilbertAndSullivan's ''Theatre/TheYeomenOfTheGuard'', their only tragedy. Colonel Fairfax is often treated by other characters as a great hero. There's nothing they wouldn't do for him. The audience is repeatedly told how great he is, but sees little real evidence. At the end, he is revealed to be an absolutely hateful figure. No wonder audiences treat Jack Point sympathetically as TheWoobie, despite him being something of a jerk himself.
* In ''Theatre/MuchAdoAboutNothing'', Claudio was tricked into thinking that his fianceé Hero had cheated on him. Instead of asking her about it or even quietly canceling the wedding, he waited until the wedding ceremony was underway then publicly accused her of being a whore. Even after being (falsely) informed that Hero had died of shock afterwards, he showed no remorse.
* All of the Christian characters from ''Theatre/TheMerchantOfVenice'' can be seen this way, especially Portia, who ruins the DesignatedVillain / WellIntentionedExtremist Shylock's life, then decides to fuck with her fiance apparently just for the lulz with the whole stupid rings subplot.
** This is probably mostly due to ValuesDissonance. Shylock would most probably have originally been seen as the villain by its original audience and Portia and Antonio (who treats Shylock far worse than Portia who at least gave him what would have been a considered a happy ending) as the heroes. Over time this has changed with peoples attitudes as Shylock's portrayal has gone from villainous clown to tragic figure due to changing views of race and racism.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Professional Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/StoneColdSteveAustin was a NinetiesAntiHero during The Attitude Era and it worked because everyone was either a villain or an AntiHero, and the villains he faced in particular were into things like [[CorruptCorporateExecutive corporate corruption]], {{nepotism}}, and even HollywoodSatanism. Ever since around 2003 he's presented as a face (and is still popular) but hasn't changed his act so he's a straight up jerk. He once stunned Wrestling/StacyKeibler simply because she didn't like the taste of beer and also Linda [=McMahon=] (a middle aged woman who is not a trained wrestler) just for the hell of it. If any other wrestler had done this, Jim Ross on commentary would have villified them but with Stone Cold just said "[[DoubleStandard I may not like it but that's the way he is.]]" He also stunned Booker T at ''[=WrestleMania=]'' for doing a spinaroonie in the ring (apparently Austin doesn't like the attention being stolen from him) and also Josh Matthews for [[ShootTheMessenger simply reading a message from the Raw GM]] that Austin didn't like.
* The Wrestling/BellaTwins when they were faces. They would [[TwinSwitch switch with each other]] to win matches. Yeah that's right - faces would cheat to win. And it was presented as completely okay and their opponents were supposed to have deserved it somehow. This was reversed with their heel turn in 2011 where they continued to use it but commentators and other wrestlers would outline it as wrong.
* Wrestling/JohnCena frequently. One evening he hurled a hurricane of fat jokes at Vickie Guerrero who admittedly used to be overweight but has since slimmed down considerably. He also frequently bullies his opponents, [[BlatantLies spins and distorts the truth]] [[BerserkButton to get into their heads]], and generally acts like a [[SmugSuper smug prick]] when he's called on his behavior, but is still presented as a role model and leads the B.A. Star Anti Bullying campaign as well as most (if not all) WWE's charity causes.
* Wrestling/{{Paige}} from ''[=WWE NXT=]'' is a subversion. She was a heel in FCW but [[EnsembleDarkhorse got insanely popular]] so appeared as a face on TV without a proper character change. However she was presented as more of a WildCard and the announcers don't imply that her behaviour is justified (or at least particularly heroic) at all. She appears to treat faces and heels equally.
* Brooke Tessmacher in TNA. She unfortunately was pushed as a face but made it clear she wasn't able to portray herself that way. She came across as arrogant and full of herself in her entrance, bratty and bitchy in her promos and unnecessarily brutal in the ring. Hell, in her feud with her best friend [[Wrestling/LisaMarieVaron Tara]] she came across as the heel initially until the latter turned heel on her.
* Sheamus often comes off as these, and in 2013, had ''three straight'' feuds like this.
** First, he had a pre-Wrestlemania feud against WadeBarrett, which began when Wade started bragging about a movie he got to appear in. Sheamus, for no apparent reason, came out to answer this bragging by crapping all over the movie and Wade's acting skills. The odd part is that nothing ever came of this, partly because Sheamus was already in feuding with The Shield at the time, so it made his actions seem unnecessarily dickish.
** Secondly, he feuded with Wrestling/MarkHenry. This began when Henry attacked Sheamus backstage, during interviews, a couple of times. Sheamus paid these attacks back, then continued harassing him even after he seemed to lose interest in Sheamus. In two cases, Mark Henry challenged Sheamus to non-wrestling physical contests (tug-of-war and arm wrestling), which he clearly outclassed Sheamus in with superior strength alone. Sheamus came off as a massive dick by basically assaulting Henry in the middle of these just to keep himself from losing, or just to get the last laugh.
** His third feud is with Wrestling/DamienSandow, which consisted almost entirely of Sandow expressing intellectual superiority, then Sheamus attacking him for no particular reason. Even in cases where Sandow was legitimately acting like a dick (cheating at the shell game), Sheamus still ended up looking like quite a dick, such as completing the chess challenge by destroying the expensive computer for no apparent reason.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Roleplay]]
* ''Roleplay/DinoAttackRPG'' had it's share of Designated Heroes amongst actual heroes and {{Designated Villain}}s:
** Snake was supposed to be a likeable anti-hero [[Film/EscapeFromNewYork just like his inspiration]], but unlike his namesake he didn't have as much of a context to act the way he did (Snake Plissken at least had the excuse of living in a crime-filled post-apocalyptic future). As a result, he ended up coming off as a complete [=Jerkass=]. To add insult to injury, the guy who was supposed to be a low-life scumbag in comparison ended up being a DesignatedVictim, seeing as Snake's motivation for wanting to beat him up seemed incredibly weak.
** Trigger is a similar case. He kept being presented as though he was the OnlySaneMan, but every other second he was insulting other agents or accusing them of incompetence. The fact that other players' developments kept causing Trigger's "sane" opinions to be proven wrong didn't help.
** Dust would apparently be an example of this done right, given that despite his fanbase he spent most of his time in the RPG double-crossing or otherwise getting in the way of everybody.
** Firecracker was supposed to be an amusing comic relief. However, it turns out that apparently there's nothing funny about a man whose defining characteristic is an overt obsession with blowing things up.
** Duke... oh boy... Duke. This was a guy's primary character (and keep in mind that in this RPG all players are supposed to be on the same side, meaning he was supposed to be a good guy). His role was (thankfully) fairly brief, but the majority of his actions consisted of insane hate crimes against anyone in the team with the slightest idealistic beliefs. It came as quite a relief to players when Duke was finally locked up in a maximum security prison and there was actually a movement to ensure he ''stayed there''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}: The Grim Darkness of the 41st Millennium might as well be the poster boy of this trope. The only reason the Imperium of Man appears to be good guys is... well... because they are human. Beyond this they are xenophobic fascist anti-progress extremists that have committed just as many atrocities as any other faction. The closest thing the setting comes to actual good guys would be one of the more benevolent Chapters of SpaceMarines, such as [[SpaceRomans the Ultramarines]] or the [[ScaryBlackMan Salamanders]], just because they actually care about the lives of Human civilians enough to ''usually'' rate their defense of an entire world's population as being slightly more important than exterminating the enemy.
** The game's descriptions, however, tend to be self-parodies in many ways: all TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} fans accept that the setting is a zero-sum [[CrapsackWorld Crapsack Cosmos]] in which the cleverest strategists do not scruple to designate a planet of fluffy bunnies "acceptable losses." (Planets full of fluffy bunnies ''that breathe fire'' are a strategic asset, and might be worth defending.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Toys]]
* The Lego [[http://lego.wikia.com/wiki/Power_Miners Powerminers]] theme officially involved heroic miners armed with Dynamite and heavy digging equipment fighting rock and lava men deep beneath the earth while collecting valuable crystals. However, the packaging often depicted the the "heros" as imperialists coming to exploit the rock-men's food supply and then dynamiting the rock men when they resisted. The 2nd wave talked about how the miners had gone deeper down, which sort of contradicts the idea they are defending the surface.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:VideoGames]]
* Spoofed in ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 3|AbsenceOfJustice}}''. [[CardCarryingVillain Textbook evil]] Mao concludes that the only way he's going to be able to overthrow his father is by becoming a hero. Being unabashedly evil, he does this by mugging the title of hero from [[HeroicWannabe some poor sap]] and going on his merry way. [[spoiler: What he doesn't know is that the TheoryOfNarrativeCausality decides that it's going to remedy this by making him ''act'' like a hero - whether he likes it or not.]]
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'' plays this trope interestingly: Flynn isn't ''un''sympathetic nor completely ineffectual, it's just that he keeps being lauded for feats and accomplishments that were actually done by Yuri and Brave Vesperia, making it a ''literal'' case of "Designated" Hero. [[spoiler:His issues over this are what lead to the requisite Franchise/TalesSeries DuelBoss fight against him.]]
** Yuri himself is considered by some to be this: a hero with a bizarre, inconsistent, "it's okay when I do it" moral code; and rarely if every being called out on his inconsistencies. Whether your agree largely seems to depend on whether or not you think the writers did it intentionally or not (or if you handwave his inconsistencies as being incredibly subtle character development).
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'':
** Reimu Hakurei can definitely fall into this category. Reimu often only saves the day (if you don't let Marisa do it instead) because she's forced to do it, since she's the only one who can (except Marisa), and the one people can pressure into solving problems more easily. Sometimes, however, like ''Mountain of Faith'', Reimu attacks people she ''knows'' are not doing anything bad, and are actually goddesses just trying to carve out a niche for themselves. In ''Undefined Fantastic Object'', you can explicitly choose for Reimu to go "investigate" the treasure ship not because she is worried about Gensokyo, but because [[KleptomaniacHero she wants to loot the treasure]].
** The CuteWitch and TheRival, Marisa Kirisame, falls even more into this trope, as an unabashed KleptomaniacHero who often saves the world by accident while trying to loot the final boss's house for valuables. In ''Imperishable Night'', she even ''outright introduces herself'' to the BigBad as a "burglar", much to her partner's dismay (who was actually trying to stop the BigBad, and talked Marisa into helping her do it).
** Within the context of the games this looks even worse since it appears to be traditional in Gensokyo to solve every minor dispute with a (nonlethal) magical duel and to precede every such duel with some combination of insults and pretending you intend to kill your opponent. And the first two levels of almost every single game see you fighting someone who has absolutely nothing to do with the main plot or the final boss. Many of whom become fan favorites to boot.
* The protagonist of ''Road Avenger'', who causes what is probably millions of dollars in collateral damage and kills a few innocent people in his attempt to avenge the death of his wife, which was caused by him swerving into a rock in the desert to avoid the chaotic biker villains.
* In some ''WorldOfWarcraft'' storylines, you are this trope.
** Some storylines are well-supported by lore and interwoven into the game in every way possible, but others are just {{Excuse Plot}}s to loot gear from a new type of enemies in a new setting. For example, in the Mana Tombs dungeon, the enemies that {{Player Character}}s fight are simply graverobbers. Players fight them as mercenaries on behalf of a rival trade consortium. Graverobbers are obviously not nice people, but they're hardly the LegionsOfDoom players are supposed to be fighting across that ruined world. Meanwhile, the major "good" factions, the Alliance and the Horde, are openly examples of GrayAndGreyMorality.
*** This is actually lampshaded by a new rare spawn mob in Duskwood, who questions why graverobbers like her are considered absolute scum, while the player character she's fighting has most likely looted the gear and weapons they're wearing right now from a dead body.
** It's {{lampshade|Hanging}}d at some point, but then ignored again. You get hunting quests in more than one place from a dwarf called Nesingwary and first his son to kill various kinds of animals for gear rewards. Then in Northrend, Nesingwary's minions are evil poachers who massacre animals and whom you have to kill in turn for some druids. These "loot-crazed" hunters have dialogue indicating that they're trying to collect TwentyBearAsses to get some new piece of gear as a reward, just like you did. And then you can meet Nesingwary himself again in a different area, and he dismisses all moral questions in passing with one sentence and sends you out on his quests again.
* ''AgeOfWonders''. We're told that the Elves, Halflings and Dwarves are good, and the Orcs, Goblins and Dark Elves evil. While the good races are described briefly as having peaceful wholesome habits and the evil races are supposed to be violent and aggressive, we don't really see any of this in action. In gameplay the difference doesn't show up at all: both sides are equally warlike, and have the option of fighting or buying off neutral races. Furthermore, a central gameplay mechanic is the ability to repopulate captured cities with a population of a friendly race; it's plain cultural imperialism at best and the good and evil races do this with equal impunity.
* Alphonse Lohrer in ''TacticsOgre: The Knight of Lodis'' in that he works for the evil Lodis Empire that seeks to take control of the island of Ovis even though he does question Rictor's motive of taking the spear Longicolnis for the Empire. [[spoiler:He is revealed to be Lancelot Tartare, a main antagonist in the next chapter, ''Let Us Cling Together''.]]
* PlayedWith in ''VideoGame/BatenKaitos''. Kalas is a complete [=Jerkass=] for a good portion of the game, and he only helps people when it coincides with his interests. Then, a little over halfway through the game, it's revealed that [[spoiler:he was EvilAllAlong. After you fight him, however, he pulls a HeelFaceTurn and spends the rest of the game as a much better person.]]
* The Argon Federation in ''[[VideoGame/{{X}} X3: Albion Prelude]]''. We're supposed to think they're the good guys, even though, for all the information the game gives us, the [[SpaceColdWar Terran Conflict]] turning into a hot war was entirely their fault: an Argon character from ''X3: Reunion'' suicide-bombed Earth's Torus Aeternal, killing millions of Terrans instantly (let alone the people killed by [[ColonyDrop deorbiting debris]]). This was a 30th century equivalent of [[WarOnTerror 9/11]] taken UpToEleven; the Terrans' current RoaringRampageOfRevenge is self-defense.
** A rather extreme case of AllThereInTheManual turns it into a rather dark shade of GreyAndGrayMorality. Over the preceding decade the Terrans deployed a spy network into the [[TheAlliance Community of Planets]] with the intent of influencing the future course of their governments. This network was eventually discovered by Argon counterintelligence; the Federation understandably considered it an act of war. The Terrans' edge in military technology forced the Argon to take drastic measures such as [[AIIsACrapshoot artificially intelligent warships]] in order to give their navy a fighting chance. Since the Torus partly served as a shipyard and orbital defense station for Earth, destroying it opened the way for the Argon to attack Earth directly. It's still an atrocity, but at least it makes military sense.
* Purposefully invoked with Kratos in the ''VideoGame/{{God of War}}'' series. He's a monster outside how he cared for his family, yet the gods and titans are arguably worse. [[spoiler:By the end, even he realizes how horrible he is and kills himself to give humanity at least a fighting chance.]]
* Travis Touchdown of ''{{No More Heroes}}'' fits this quite well. He's a {{Blood Knight}} who kills people as bad or worse than him just to prove how awesome he is and shag with Sylvia. [[spoiler:Over the course of the sequel, he realizes [[HeelRealization just how much of a dick he really is]] and starts becoming more of an actual hero.]]
* Purposeful and comically invoked with {{Sam and Max}}. Part of the joke is that they're complete sociopaths yet are the guys who end up saving the world...or making things worse.
* Patroklos from ''[[VideoGame/SoulSeries Soul Calibur V]]''. He claims to be fighting ForGreatJustice when really he's a [[ItsAllAboutMe self-absorbed]], [[ArrogantKungFuGuy cocky]], [[TooDumbToLive naive]], [[UngratefulBastard ungrateful]], [[RevengeBeforeReason revenge-seeking]], [[FantasticRacism racist]] {{Jerkass}} who just wants to find his sister Pyrrha and kill all Malfested who are unfortunate enough to be standing in his path. His EstablishingCharacterMoment is killing an innocent bystander simply because he ''believed'' this poor guy was a Malfested.
-->'''Patroklos''': You're pale and filthy. You must be a Malfested as well.
-->'''Man''': No, my lord! I am not one of them!
-->'''Patroklos''': Is that so? ''(stabs him in the back)'' How unfortunate there's no way to prove it.
* Nilin of ''VideoGame/RememberMe'', the noble terrorist who kills her way through Neo-Paris on the word of someone she's never met, even after declaring how much she doesn't like or trust him. [[spoiler: She ends the game having released all the stored memories in the Memoreyes database to their owners, declaring that we need our memories, even the painful ones, to be ourselves... except she also declares she has the power to play God by editing people's memories to be whatever she wants, at least one instance of which being implied to result in the bombing of a hospital.]]
* While Mike Dawson of the first VideoGame/DarkSeed was a competent hero, he has gotten so much worse in the sequel. He is whiny, constantly asking awkward questions, comes of as a ManChild at some parts, starts to act unjustifiably antagonistic near the end of the game (and even has dialogue choices to make him come off as even worse of a human being), and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking cannot win simple carnival games without cheating!]] And this is supposed to be the ''good guy''. It has even been theorized that the dev team may have it in for Mike Dawson. [[spoiler: To be fair, he does succeed in his quest, but the ending leaves it all ambiguous. Make of that what you will.]]
* Jake from ''VideoGame/RideToHellRetribution''. Throughout the game, he murders several truckers to steal their truck, runs over two dozen police officers, and kills everyone in a power plant just to cause an explosion with the truck to let him jump over an electric fence.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Ariel from ''{{Drowtales}}''. As the narrator and viewpoint character, she considers herself a hero, in a [[CrapsackWorld world where nobody can decently be called such.]] Though the fact that she considers herself a 'hero' is toned down in the remake. She just wants to live, and some of her more [[KickTheDog dubious actions]] have been {{retconned}} or changed. Her [[spoiler:not really]] mother Quain'taina, is also portrayed as this {{in-universe}}, because to the Drow the definition of a great person is capability to great deeds; morality does not enter into the matter. Quain'tana's virtue is in her skills and charisma that allowed her to rise from a [[SatisfiedStreetRat homeless street rat]] to one of the greatest political powers in the city, while the fact that she's a horrifically [[AbusiveParents cruel mother]] is not particularly important to the drow. She isn't a sociopath, incidentally; it's more of a case of a cycle of abuse.
* Also occurs in the comic ''BlackTapestries''. The main star is a bitch. Also has Designated Antagonist, who manages to be a villain by a compulsive "Shoot the Dog" reflex.
* ''Webcomic/{{Goblins}}'' plays with this by putting the protagonists on the receiving end. A band of adventurers invade their home to clear them out with no other justification than that they were goblins and therefore AlwaysChaoticEvil. Most of the tribe gets wiped out and the survivors decide that they are sick of being walking chunks of XP and decide to become adventurers themselves to better protect their homes. Then one of their own gets captured and brought into a human city where so-called "monstrous races" are routinely captured and [[HumansAreTheRealMonsters tortured]] to better understand how to kill them. While it might seem that they slip into Designated Hero territory when they slaughter guards, they actually use the paladin's ability to detect evil to ensure only evil guards are killed. And Thaco's declaration of his intent to slaughter his way through the human civilians to get to his son is a bluff to scare away said civilians so that they aren't caught in the crossfire.
* All the "heroes" of ''{{Sonichu}}''. Many of the female main protagonists only exist solely for "{{fanservice}}", rarely, if ever, do heroics without their significant other and usually focus on shopping and having sex. Everyone takes the title with issue 10 and later AllThereInTheManual-type questioning. Issue 10 shows the AuthorAvatar for Christian Weston Chandler eradicating everything he hates - from [[CureYourGays homosexuality]] to simple Internet {{troll}}s with his fellow castmates cheering him on. Later questioning and written installments turn the characters into something of a private army for the city where they're granted immunity for any actions they've done and one of their more powerful characters is used as a sort of psychic security officer patrolling for anyone "gay". Chris continuously kept backpedaling after people kept complaining, leading to his big CreatorBreakdown.
* ''VampireCheerleaders'' has this with the main cast of five vampire girls who do some stuff that may cross the line for some viewers. Fortunately there's a good chunk of the fans that rages against this, not only unwilling to accept that having vampire powers simply means they just get to get away with things like that, but wishing the girls would be made to suffer and die. On the flip side there's the group of fans who accept the girls' good reputation InUniverse.
* Mora in ''LasLindas'' has a history of using [[http://laslindas.katbox.net/archive/shanghai/ sex, violence, and blackmail]] to extort people for cheap labor. Mora also throws [[http://laslindas.katbox.net/archive/breakdown/ childish tantrums]] and [[http://laslindas.katbox.net/archive/overdressed/ belittles her loved ones]]. Her occasional acts of charity often come as result of plot convenience or her boyfriend [[http://laslindas.katbox.net/archive/thatll-shut-her-up/ bribing her with sex]]. Yet, every story arc ends with Mora being labeled as the [[http://laslindas.katbox.net/comic/dianas-secret/ positive force]] everyone's life, despite her not really doing anything worthy of such praise. Even the ruler of the world shows favoritism towards Mora for no obvious reason, much to the chagrin of [[DesignatedVillain Alej]].
* Rhys from ''Webcomic/{{Teahouse}}'' is supposed to be a troubled and rude yet somewhat charming prince. Except that he's irresponsible (meaning he would be a terrible person to run the country - his sister points this out several times); he's uncaring (he left his sister, grieving over how their father is slowly dying in front of them (who he showed zero interest in), so he could go to a whorehouse and fuck a whore - there were plenty of people within the palace who he sleeps with so it isn't a matter of needing comfort/escaping his duties); he violently beat up the whore who, supposedly, slept with his sister after he suggested that she should go there; he's repeatedly raped a whore who is technically a slave and not allowed to say no (but he still fought back as much as he could before Rhys overpowered him and tied him down) and he only goes to said whore, who's straight, so afterwards he can mock and victim-shame him - meaning he only does it so he can feel better about himself. Not only is he supposed to be a good guy that whore/prince couple is supposed to be romantic.
* Makoto Yosue turned into this by the end of ''RedString.'' He started out as an obvious antagonist to the author's originally planned main couple and was a completely rude and unrelentless jerk to Miharu. Despite him knowing she's engaged and him knowing that he's also engaged to marry her ''cousin'', he continues to harrass and pursue her. The closest he ever comes in the comic to acknowledging this is apologizing...for still loving Miharu. However, as the author completely fell in love with him, she drastically changed the story to make him more of a protagonist and derail her original storyline to focus more on Makoto. This led to the original male protagonist getting written out of his own comic and Miharu's only concerns in the storyline being her ability to date Makoto. People in the ''story'' constantly tell the reader he's "changed" or blow off his continued bad behavior to everyone around him with handwaves. Other storylines not featuring Makoto rapidly dropped out of the comic as it blew towards its conclusion. The author herself declared him her favorite character because of his "self-sacrifice", a trait he never displays in the entire ten years of the comic's run. Miharu eventually winds up with him because the story expects him to have her. By the end of the story, he'd morphed into a complete KarmaHoudini and a CreatorsPet, but never actually a person who the reader would actually want to root for.
** To highlight the complete disconnect between Makoto's portrayl in the comic and how the author wants him to be seen, in one of the final scenes of the comic, [[spoiler: Makoto insults Kazuo for having an abusive home and for becoming so ill from it that he tried to commit suicide. Kazuo points out that Makoto entered his life by declaring the then-engaged Miharu and her family's business as his property, both of which he'd gotten his hands on with no actual effort, and pointing out that his life has been nothing but one lucky break or parental bail out after another.]] We are supposed to take Makoto's side. Oh, and his parents ''do'' bail him out once again, leaving him in a ''better'' position than he was before the argument...so [[StrawmanHasAPoint Kazuo was completely correct that Makoto is completely useless as a protagonist.]]
** Miharu devolves into this as well. By the end of the comic, anything about her that indicates she exists to be anything ''except'' Makoto's girlfriend has departed the comic and she can't even make the simplest decisions without relying on him to do them for her. Miharu's goal at the start of the comic is eating and being Kazuo's wife. All that changes in the end of the comic? [[spoiler: She just intends to be Makoto's wife instead.]] In the meantime, while the story tries to tell us that she's brave, thoughtful, and spunky, her actions come off as a spoiled bratty teenager that's never been told no. She's kicked out of high school (which is ''very'' hard to do in Japan and doubly so at her school in particular) due to her antagonism of her teachers and complete disregard for schoolwork. The story started to show her realizing that she was on her last chance at her new school...then dropped any pretense of showing her ever working on fixing her grades or having any plans beyond marrying [[spoiler: the guy that just threw his job away to date her full time and has shown no indication of actually planning on getting another one.]] In addition, she treats her parents like crap [[spoiler:when they rightfully point out her secretly dating Makoto could put her entire family (including Karen's family!) in serious peril if she isn't taking it seriously.]] Naturally, since Makoto just solved the problem for her, Miharu is never put in a position to admit she's wrong and the last scene of the comic is her mocking her parents. Oh, and Kazuo, the guy she was supposed to marry who she now knows had a physically and emotionally abusive home and who she claimed to still care about and that she'd "always be there for him?" even after his family pressured him (physically) into ending the marriage? Yea, she cuts him off entirely and can't even be arsed to tell him in person. She also seems to think she can magically solve his ''abusive homelife'' by manipulating him into participating in cooking contests and then gets angry and offended when he finally realizes she had literally convinced a woman to ''pretend to love him'' to convince him to cook. Only in that last scenario is Miharu ever shown to admit she did something wrong. The story still expects us to sympathize only with Miharu and be angry with Kazuo despite the fact that [[StrawmanHasAPoint he's absolutely right to be angry with her for treating his problems so flippantly.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Jay Naylor, author of ''BetterDays'', actually created a porn series sold online called "Haukaiu the Hero". People have pointed out that the title character hasn't done ''anything'' heroic, by either the old use or the current one, but has in fact so far been so blatantly unheroic as to not really care that his brain-damaged mother is being used as a sex toy by the men of the village. It is a ''porn'' series, so it's not really supposed to make sense to begin with, and the series are still incomplete, but still...
* In the Online novel series ''Literature/{{Tasakeru}}'', Skunk mythology states that their death-goddess loved the male element of the god's love quadangle so much she offered to be sub-dominant to him. The other two, the goddesses of life and time, reacted by infusing her body with poison so whatever she touches dies. They more or less act like horror-movie style sorority bitches, rather than the kind and loving goddesses they're worshipped as.
* [[VideoGame/HalfLife Gordon Freeman]] is depicted as being like this in ''Machinima/FreemansMind''. Everyone hails him as a great hero, but really he just sort of bumbles around and saves the world by an accident, while at the same time trying to negotiate with enemy soldiers (it doesn't work), looting things around Black Mesa, and trying to find anything he can to get high (such as animal tranquilizers). A good example is episode 19: throughout the last few episodes, he had been randomly wandering around, pressing buttons because they looked shiny and shooting zombies who attacked him. Turns out he accidentally turns on a rocket engine that burns a giant monster to death (that he had avoided being crushed by due to sneaking and sheer dumb luck).
* Captain Hammer, from ''WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog'', is the archnemesis of the eponymous VillainProtagonist. Although nearly everyone in the story regards Captain Hammer as unambiguously heroic, he's actually a JerkJock, SmugSuper who takes pleasure in humiliating anyone who doesn't measure up to his standards. This includes anyone "nerdy" or "unpopular", both of which describe Dr. Horrible to a tee and, in the backstory, led him to declare ThenLetMeBeEvil.
** An au fan-made prequel, Horrible Turns, claimed that this was his actual super-power.
* WebVideo/TheIrateGamer himself. He blew up a harmless alien mothership because of E.T. on Atari, murdered the Kool-Aid Man for doing what he does... ON CHRISTMAS, casually pals around with Satan, blew up Ubisoft's headquarters because he couldn't get into their E3 conference, and we're supposed to treat him as the hero. If he was just an asshole that would be kind of understandable, except he has an EvilTwin [[HeroAntagonist character]] that hasn't even killed anyone or done anything remotely evil outside of stealing something.
* Mutants in the WhateleyUniverse. A number of the mutant characters seem to hold the opinion that mutants are just another minority, cruelly segregated and persecuted by 'normal' people... which, to be fair, is true, except for the fact that most mutants have powers that could easily kill a baseline, many at the school are living weapons of mass destruction, and the superheroes can be deadly- for instance, the case of the Flying Bulldozer, who tried to stop his long-time nemesis by throwing cars at him. It worked, while injuring dozens and causing over a million dollars of damages.
** Especially the main characters of most stories and any of the school staff.
* A lot of people felt this about Meridell in {{Neopets}}' Meridell/Darigan war: The shiny, pretty town of Meridell is threatened by the evil, ominous Darigan Citadel. Lord Darigan demands that Meridell give him their magic orb and makes it clear that he'll not take no for an answer. Obviously, we're meant to side with Meridell... except that the orb originally belonged to ''Darigan'', and was stolen from him by the people of Meridell, so he understandably wants his property back- and while it's true that Meridell stole the orb only because they were doomed if they didn't, apparently nobody realised that if having the orb will make your land prosper, then maybe taking it from somebody else is a dick move.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Similarly, Timmy Turner of ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'' uses his wishes to save his hometown and/or the world from impending doom as often as he causes it. Granted, the show would end if he were to actually learn that age-old lesson to BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor.
* ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'':
** During the first season, before the show completely found its groove, the heroes could be this (Example: In one episode, Sissi tricks Ulrich by writing a note pretending to be Yumi, [[AndThatsTerrible and that's considered terrible.]] In a different episode, Ulrich and the gang trick Herve by writing a note pretending to be Sissi, [[MoralMyopia and that's considered perfectly OK!]]). Later seasons tone down this aspect fortunately.
** Jeremie could sometimes be this even past the first season. Many problems in certain episodes were caused directly by him and he usually always has to resort to the ResetButton to clean his mess up.
* ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor'':
** This is taken UpToEleven in the episode "Operation: A.R.C.H.I.V.E.", about the origins of the title organization, which states that children only created adults [[SlaveRace to be their slaves]] and generally treating them horribly, and not doing one actual heroic thing the entire episode. {{Justified|Trope}} because the episode is not canon, but just the ramblings and speculations of [[ConspiracyTheorist Numbuh One]], who has no idea what he is talking about. Maybe. The episode ends on an ambiguous note (the teacher calls someone and says "They know."), and it may explain the origins of Grandfather.
** Numbuh One does seem to hint at both sides being at fault until adults usurped control (where the even tone began going maniacal)
* ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'':
** Sometimes Jerry had reasons to act against Tom, sometimes, however, he was just being mean for the sake of it. The most common scenario seems to be: Tom is sleeping or otherwise doing nothing while Jerry, being a mouse, starts stealing Tom's owner's food. We're expected to support Jerry while Tom is constantly fed to the lions because, after all, CatsAreMean. Granted the writers weren't utterly oblivious to this, and actually let Jerry lose to Tom a fair few occasions he ''really'' crossed the line.
** There was one episode of the series where Tom was beheaded by his owner for failing to stop Jerry and that little nitwit baby mouse from stealing food set out on the royal banquet table. Not only are Jerry and Nibbles Musketeers in the episode, the food they're stealing is from the ''king'', the person they're supposed to be ''protecting'', with Tom as one of the palace guards designated to keep an eye on the banquet for later that night. Meaning, they're supposed to be ''on the same damn side'', and the mice are still stealing the food. At the end of the episode, as the mice are walking away with their tiny arms loaded with food, we hear a drum roll, and they look up to see the rise and drop of the guillotine. Nibbles, or whatever his name is in this one, swallows the bite of food in his mouth with a momentarily surprised look, says "Pauvre, pauvre pussycat," then casually shrugs his shoulders and says "[[MoralMyopia Ah, well, c'est la guerre]]!" and they go off happily munching with jaunty theme music in the background.
** The [=DtV=] movies are just as bad about this, with the exception being "The Fast and the Furry". In the others, Tom and Jerry often have to team up to save the day or find the MacGuffin, with Tom proving to be a good guy. But at the end, no matter what, Jerry screws over Tom without fail for no other reason. Which, considering Tom not deserving it [[CatsAreMean beyond being a cat]], turns Jerry into a [=Jerkass=] bordering on VillainProtagonist.
** The attitude towards Tom being the villain and Jerry the hero no matter what was probably best shown in Heavenly Puss, where Tom dies and is told by the Gatekeeper he will be sent to hell if he doesn't get Jerry's forgiveness for [[DesignatedVillain all the times he's persecuted him.]] Though it was AllJustADream, it shows very well who was always the "Good Guy" in the creator's mind.
** In one episode of ''TomAndJerryTales'', Tom is actually GenreSavvy to use this to his advantage, catching wise to the "[[WhatMeasureIsANonCute small underdog trickster always prevails]]" formula, he hires an even smaller cuter ant to steal back all the food Jerry took, and takes pleasure watching Jerry become the bumbling pursuer for once. Similarly this is rare occasion [[TeamRocketWins Tom gets the last laugh]].
* Kevin from ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy''. Although he is made to be a HeroAntagonist, he has blatant shades of TheBully and is usually more a [=Jerkass=] who picks on the Eds, and even some of the other (usually less provocative) kids in the cul-de-sac, for spite or [[ItAmusedMe a quick laugh]] rather than good intent. [[KarmaHoudini Him never getting struck by karma]] doesn't help either.
* Much of the WarnerBrothers animated stable have these characters as their leads:
** ''Characters/BugsBunny'' was like this [[CharacterizationMarchesOn in his early shorts]], where he was an obnoxious ScrewySquirrel and KarmaHoudini. In the later shorts this was rectified, with Bugs becoming a KarmicTrickster who only targeted those who deserved it though who "deserved" said retribution was still determined by ProtagonistCenteredMorality. Bugs more often than not though was very similar to Yakko and Dot below and works on the basis that Bugs just likes being a jerk, he didn't earn "ain't I a stinker?" as a catchphrase in an ironic sense.
** Everything said about Bugs Bunny also applies to WesternAnimation/WoodyWoodpecker, except for the charm. Most other Walter Lantz heroes are similar.
** [[LooneyTunes Chester and Spike]] were always the heroes of their shorts, and we're expected to cheer them on despite their goal in each and every one being to harass, torment and just plain beat the living shit out of poor Sylvester, who is always minding his own business and not doing anything wrong. Did mid-20th century cartoonists just hate cats ''that'' much?
** Same goes for Yakko, Wakko, and Dot Warner on ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}''. While Wakko might get a pass because he's often portrayed as TheDitz, Yakko and Dot are undeniably aware they're making life a living hell for the people they annoy, even as they try to cover their behavior by [[ObfuscatingStupidity playing "innocent children."]] True, often the target of annoyance will be assigned a KickTheDog action or just come off as TheScrappy to "justify" the Warners' treatment of him (or, more rarely, her), but most of the time the Warners have no way of knowing this person is the DesignatedVillain. Also the Warner kids aren't above relying on the old WoundedGazelleGambit when a third party shows up (as in "The Big Candy Store").
*** Also note that these 'kids' at the time of the show were at least 60 years old, so chances are they knew knew exactly what they were doing.
* Vendetta, on the Creator/{{Nicktoons}} show ''WesternAnimation/MakingFiends'', is technically the antagonist of the story, since she creates the monsters that keep the rest of the town under her thumb. But when "good girl" Charlotte moves to town, the natural order of things is turned on its head by the fact that she's completely immune to the antics of Vendetta's creations and is completely obnoxious to boot. As she progresses blithely through the series, bringing about her own destruction in the process, the townspeople find her even more terrifying then Vendetta. More than once, Vendetta is forced into the role of hero to undo Charlotte's reign of tyranny. Maybe the evil test was right after all.
* ''ChipAndDale'' whenever they're put up against DonaldDuck.
** To an extent the entire "Disney mainstream character vs mischevious cute animal" formula revolved around this. The title character would pitted against a rambunctious creature that was usually [[ScrewySquirrel disturbing them]] or [[DisproportionateRetribution victimizing them for a minor offense]]. [[WhatMeasureIsANonCute For obvious reasons]], the cute but abrasive little animal ''always'' won.
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' with TheItchyAndScratchyShow; most of the time Scratchy is doing nothing wrong and Itchy brutally butchers or beats him for no reason. This is {{lampshade|Hanging}}d a few times:
-->'''Homer:''' Which one's the mouse?
-->'''Bart:''' Itchy.
-->'''Homer:''' Itchy's a jerk.
** It's taken to such elaborate measures InUniverse that the show's interpretation of ''God'' once sided with Itchy killing Scratchy for fun and sent the latter to burn in the pits of hell.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{X-Men Evolution}}'' episode "Joyride" Avalanche becomes this while [[TheHero Scott/Cyclops]] of all people becomes the DesignatedVillain. To explain the premise of the plot: Lance decides he'd rather be in the X-Men to get closer to Kitty. Scott doesn't trust him. The episode consists of Lance making it as difficult as possible to be trusted (he ruins not one, but two different training exercises for the sake of being the center of attention, taunts Scott about his trashed car, etc) and so when the new recruits take the various X-Vehicles for [[TitleDrop joyrides]] Lance gets blamed, not because the kids frame him, but because he outright gives the adults reason to. When the new recruits take the X-Jet out, Lance jumps on with Kitty to stop them. However, when all the chaos ends Lance CONFESSES just to get into Scott's face. When Scott finds out he was innocent he apologizes, but Lance gets insulted by the fact he didn't trust him and quits the X-Men, not because of being blamed, but because he Just. Doesn't. Want. To. Try. We're supposed to have sympathy for Lance even though he did all he could to ruin his chance of freedom.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' most of the cast qualify due to DependingOnTheWriter as they alter between HeroicComedicSociopath and VillainProtagonist in any ep or even within the same episode.
** Stan, Roger and to some extent Steve are at least deliberately portrayed as {{Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist}}s. Francine and Hayley however are designated into long suffering WomenAreWiser archetypes who have moral superiority 99% of the time, despite often proving to be equally [[{{Hypocrite}} hypocritical]], [[ItsAllAboutMe self serving]] or outright [[ComedicSociopath sociopathic]] as the [[DoubleStandard male Smiths]].
* ''[[WesternAnimation/TotalDramaIsland Total Drama World Tour]]'' makes a big deal that [[VillainSue Alejandro]] is a much more evil version of [[AlphaBitch Heather]], the former villain; in the end, that makes Heather the "hero" when [[spoiler:they make it into the final two]]. But if you really compare Heather's actions over the course of the series, she's done every nasty thing Alejandro did--she was just less ''effective'' at it by season three, due to the others' {{Genre Savv|y}}iness about her and their perpetual IdiotBall about how ObviouslyEvil Al was.
* The heroes of the show ''WesternAnimation/{{Redakai}}'' seem to be having some trouble with how to act heroic.
** For example, they protect the Great Pyramids of Giza by ''[[TooDumbToLive leaping onto said monument and goading their enemies into firing at it.]]''
** In another episode, [[TheChick Maya]], who is supposed to be [[TheSmartGuy The Smart Girl]], leads the charge to protect the forest they're in by ''[[KillItWithFire hurling flames everywhere.]]''
** One of the shows villain groups, The Imperiaz, are a trio of siblings working for the show's BigBad reluctantly because he's holding their parents hostage. The heroes are aware of this, but rather than wanting to help or at least showing a little sympathy, they have no remorse making light of the siblings' situation to taunt them.
** In the show, there exists something called "The Kairu Honor Code." So far, there are three parts of it. The Kairu must be taken from the object by the team that gets the rights to it. The second part is that Kairu Warriors must NEVER attack ordinary people. The third part is that attacking your opponent even after they forfeit is forbidden. Even [[BigBad Lokar]] [[EvenEvilHasStandards can't stand anyone who]] [[LawfulEvil breaks the code]] and actually disbands the team that does. Team Stax, the good guys, attack normal people, and not a single scolding because they're the heroes and can get away with it! Why have such a thing in place if the heroes ignore it?
** Oh yeah, one of those times, Team Stax attacked an ordinary person by [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything stringing him by his ankles]] to a pterodactyl. And they're supposed to be portrayed in the right when they do this. Wow...
* WesternAnimation/JohnnyTest. He bugs most everyone around him, is pretty okay with being used as a guinea pig by his sisters in return for favors, which by the way, continuously endangers him, his family, and possibly the rest of his town, and... really just being a textbook example of the bratty kid hero. He's also a KarmaHoudini most of the time.
** Well, even if he didn't allow himself to be used as a guinea pig, his sisters would simply perform the experiment on him anyways, such as the 'grow your own monster' episode where they had replaced a glass of water with a glass of 'runoff' from a behavior modification liquid behind his back, simply to see what happens should he drink it. And considering it turned one of those 'sponge' toys into a living, breathing monster... At least he's getting something in return by volunteering.
** One infamous example of this is when Johnny unintentionally zaps his sisters with a ray that lowers their IQ. Rather than immediately trying to find a way to return them back to their genius selves, he takes total advantage of their stupidity for his own amusement initially. In fact, the ''only'' reason he turns them back to normal (with the help of Bling-Bling Boy) is because the school the girls go to would've gone through a nuclear meltdown ([[MST3KMantra Don't ask]]).
*** To be honest, the real reason was that the twins' stupidity would deprive Johnny of any assistance with homework and the gadgets from the lab experiments; in addition, Bling-Bling's involvement was due to a one sided crush on Susan and the fact that the meltdown would ''kill'' everyone in Porkbelly. Still, one must wonder if Johnny's actions overall makes him a SociopathicHero as well.
** Dukey, despite being the more level-headed one, isn't exempt from this either. While he ''does'' point out when Johnny is about to do something stupid and/or irresponsible, he's perfectly willing to join in with his friend's antics (And, if not, he's easily bribed with meat). One episode even had Dukey blatantly distracting Johnny from getting his schoolwork done causing Johnny to have to do extra credit (so he wouldn't have to go to summer school). Not once is Dukey called out or punished for essentially putting Johnny in that situation in the first place (It's also OutOfCharacter for Dukey since he's often the more responsible one of the two).
** Another infamous episode featured Dukey acting like a [=Jerkass=] dog (Including chewing up the sisters' belts and eating their food) causing said sisters' to invent an obedience collar for him to get him under control (albeit using him as a servant). In the end, it's ''Susan and Mary'' who end up being punished and Dukey and Johnny mock them for it. Again, Dukey is portrayed as a KarmaHoudini here.
** Susan and Mary are as likely as Johnny to put themselves, their family, and the world in danger with their inventions, and usually Johnny is the one who ends up fixing it.
*** In fact, many of Johnny's bad memories from a child seemed to have been linked to their experiments, so perhaps the former demanding favors in returning was learning how to try and even things out.
* ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'': Hank Hill is usually a well-meaning person, but at times he is shown to be laughably old-fashioned compared to a more modern family that it's not even funny. Other times, he shows total disregard to his family and friends (ex. "Texas City Twister", "Pretty Pretty Dresses", etc.).
** Also, Peggy. She sees herself as the sensible, long-suffering one, but there are [[SmallNameBigEgo many]], ''[[{{Jerkass}} many]]'', '''''[[SmugSnake many]]''''' reasons she's TheScrappy.
** Cotton Hill is an in-universe example. While he (and Hank at times) love to remind everyone he "killed fitty men in WWII", Cotton is also a racist, sexist, bitter old man who treats everyone ([[PetTheDog except Bobby]]) with utter disrespect and contempt. It's also shown that he exaggerated many of his "heroic" deeds in the war (Such as him claiming to be in two different battles that took place at the same time).
*** Out-of-universe, Cotton fits more comfortably into the ComedicSociopath trope.
* Rabbit from the short-lived series ''WesternAnimation/SkunkFu'' certainly counts. He's supposed to be a hero, yet he spends most of the time acting like an arrogant [=Jerkass=] around everyone else. This is the same series in which the BigBad got his StartOfDarkness for being arrogant.
** The Heavens themselves could be seen as this despite being the BigGood of the series. It's explained in the [[AllThereInTheManual official source material]] of the series that when Dragon asked if he could use his water powers to save the village, The Heavens said nothing. This causes Dragon to use his powers making The Heavens take away his water powers (he originally could control fire ''and'' water). Not once did The Heavens simply tell Dragon he couldn't use his powers to save the village (Which, by the way, was dying from a drought). Even worse is that they are said to have punished Dragon for his arrogance. Even if Dragon ''was'' acting haughty at the time, causing him to want to essentially ''destroy'' the same village he tried to save years ago out of vengence is far from a heroic act.
* WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants, DependingOnTheWriter, is occasionally thrown the IdiotBall or JerkassBall. As much as Squidward is painted as a hopeless pessimist, living next door to a nuisance who repeatedly breaks into his home and destroys his artistic creations means he's earned every bit of his impatience. The only one who can tolerate [=SpongeBob=] for any length of time is Patrick...who frequently gets into just as much trouble. However, at least his excuse is that he's an idiot.
** However, Squidward's traits seem to be that he is like this towards everyone (probably before meeting Spongebob), so while his behavior toward his neighbors is somewhat justified, his behavior towards other people probably not as much.
** Mr. Krabs. It used to be that he was a bit greedy, but eventually he became {{Flanderiz|ation}}ed to the point of psychotically spending a full episode trying to get a single penny from [=SpongeBob=]. (On another occasion he [[DealWithTheDevil sold SpongeBob to the Flying Dutchman]] for 62 cents, an act which [[WhatTheHellHero even horrified Squidward]].) Meanwhile, as Plankton heads more into {{Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain}}y Krabs' responses become more extreme; once he actual [[DrivenToSuicide drove Plankton to attempted suicide]]. In some episodes Plankton is even just a legitimate running business Krabs is just bullying profit away from (in one episode he became obsessed with ruining Plankton just because he earned ''one'' regular customer).
* The Land Of Dreams in ''WesternAnimation/TheDreamstone'', at least in early seasons. The Urpneys' biggest offense was usually trying to steal the stone so Zordrak could [[PokeThePoodle give the Noops scary dreams]]. While this was enough to provoke a retaliation, the heroes had a tendancy to take this ''completely over the top'', [[UnscrupulousHero gleefully beating or playing violent pranks]] on the Urpneys, who were usually [[TrappedInVillainy unwilling]], [[PragmaticVillainy pragmatic]] Mooks only following orders so as to avoid brutal or outright fatal punishments from their BadBoss. Despite this the Land Of Dreams was usually depicted as a messianic and borderline sickly sweet utopia that only gave the Urpneys exactly what they deserved. Later episodes tried to balance things out, giving Zordrak a genuinely menacing motive for stealing the stone and making the heroes more pragmatic in their retaliations, but they still often came off as disproportionately smarmy and vicious to their unwilling enemies.
* A fairly common trait of AbridgedSeries.
* An in-universe example on WesternAnimation/{{Sidekick}} is Maxum Man, who is hailed as the greatest hero of all time, even though he mostly just takes credit for the actions of his sidekicks, who are rewarded by being maimed repeatedly, often ''by him'' (keep in mind that sidekicks in this universe are generally small children), and many of the villains he faces became supervillains as DisproportionateRetribution for Maxum Man being a jerk to them.'
* Benson from ''WesternAnimation/RegularShow'' in "Muscle Mentor" where Benson makes Rigby go through Muscle Man's mentorship to get his job back despite the mentorship being basically just being abused for no reason, and even involves nearly drowning him to death at one point.
* Finn gets hit with this hard in the ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' episode ''Too Old''. [[WhatTheHellHero After manipulating his girlfriend into a fight with one of the antagonists of the series and being dumped for it]], Finn is on the rebound and quickly tries to establish a relationship with Princess Bubblegum all over again. This leads to him making some very out of character decisions like telling Jake PB hates him just so they'd have some time alone, ignoring the torment the citizens of Lemongrab's kingdom are enduring because Lemongrab 1 [[TookALevelInJerkass has become a ruthless tyrant]] [[NightmareFuel who also ate half the face of his brother Lemongrab 2]], suggesting they play a prank "like the old days" as a plan to free one of Lemongrab 1's prisoners even though it has no logic to it (though PB does use it to her advantage to make an actual plan), refuses to call Jake to save them when Lemongrab 1 wises up to their schemes and continues suggesting pointless pranks in the face of defeat just to woo PB even more. At the end of the day, Finn lets go of PB not because he learned that his rebound flirting almost got them imprisoned (or worse) [[BrokenAesop but because older people aren't as fun]].
* Sam Manson of ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' is seen as Danny's [[OneTruePairing true love]] and is [[CreatorsPet favored by the creator, Butch Hartman]]. However, many see her as a {{Hypocrite}} and no better than any other girl Danny could have been with. In the first episode, she had the entire school menu changed to fit her vegetarian lifestyle despite her being a vegetarian to be different. She enters a beauty pageant solely to make a statement about how it disrespects modern women (and when she won, she simply calls it stupid) despite that the other contestants were competing to actually win. She spies on Danny when he went on a date yet when he did it to her, for more legit reasons, she yelled at him and threatened to end their friendship. In the final episode, she scolds Danny for [[spoiler: purposely getting rid of his powers]] without considering the stress and trouble he was going through.
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