%% Image kept on page per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1310542351097173100
%% Please do not change or remove without starting a new thread.
%% Also, pages starting with quotes get their pics right-aligned.
%%
[[quoteright:250:[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/canonfanondrako_3385.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:250:Were they playing the same game I was?]]

->''"I tell you, {{Satan}}'s gonna have no trouble taking over here 'cause all the women are gonna say: '[[AllGirlsWantBadBoys What a cute butt]].' 'He's {{Satan}}!' '[[NotEvilJustMisunderstood You don't know him like I do]].' 'He's the Prince of Darkness!' [[ICanChangeMyBeloved 'I can change him.']]"''
-->-- '''Creator/BillHicks''', ''Arizona Bay'' routine

A form of MisaimedFandom, when a fandom takes a controversial or downright villainous character and downplays his/her flaws, often turning him/her into an object of desire and/or a victim in the process. This can cause conflicts if the writers are not willing to {{retool}} the character to fit this demand.

In fanfiction, they are frequently the love object of the local MarySue, who [[LoveRedeems uses the power of love to redeem the character]]. [[LoveMartyr "I can fix him"]] is a commonly expressed sentiment among fans of Dracos in Leather Pants. In extreme cases, the affection these characters receive from fans can lead them to forget that ''[[MisaimedFandom they're actually still supposed to be villains]]''. Or, on the flip side, even the worst crossings of the MoralEventHorizon can be rationalized, while any insult from the hero towards the villain is cast as deplorably mean. BonusPoints if the writer's attempt to make the villain more "sympathetic" causes them to [[{{Badass Decay}} remove everything that made the character so cool/well liked in the first place.]]

Common reasons for this include the character being wicked in a [[WickedCultured classy]] or [[EvilIsCool cool]] way. A [[EvilIsSexy physically attractive villain]] is much more likely to be subject to this trope than a physically ugly one; BeautyEqualsGoodness, after all, and shallow as it may be, it seems that, for some fans, this is the case even when the character's beauty only extends to their appearance. AllGirlsWantBadBoys may be a factor with male villains getting a female fandom that views them through this lens.

Some villain archetypes, such as the SmugSnake (because of their off-puttingly arrogant personality), female villains (because it's mostly {{Fangirl}}s who invoke this trope), and the CompleteMonster (because of the severity of their evil deeds and absence of redeemability) are rarely susceptible to this, but it can still happen.

JerkassDissonance usually plays a part in this trope; it is much easier for people to forgive and overlook the negative qualities and stress the {{Freudian Excuse}}s that form a sympathetic back-story for fictional characters than it is to do the same for people in real-life, because the actions of the fictional character have no real-world effect.

Expect also for fans to make excuses for the character [[KarmaHoudini not getting any comeuppance for their sins]], and, for bonus points, gloat if one of [[TheScrappy their hated]] and/or [[RonTheDeathEater villainized characters]] gets the short stick instead, especially if the latter is the victim of the former.


[[TropeNamers Named]] for a term in the ''Franchise/HarryPotter'' fandom, for the mostly sympathetic FanFic portrayals of Draco Malfoy, who, in {{Canon}}, is a petty, {{smug|Snake}}, [[FantasticRacism elitist]], SpoiledBrat. (The term originated in [[HurtComfortFic Hurt/Comfort Fics]], where Draco was the comforter and Ron was the abuser, usually with Hermione being the victim. Not coincidentally, the Trope RonTheDeathEater also originated from such fics.)

'''Related Tropes:'''

[[folder:Character tropes in danger of becoming Dracos in Leather Pants]]
* AffablyEvil
* AloofBigBrother
* AntiVillain: If the "anti" part is emphasized more than the "villain".
* AwesomeEgo
* BastardBoyfriend, BastardGirlfriend, and BespectacledBastardBoyfriend by design, since these types are ''supposed'' to induce PerverseSexualLust.
* {{Bishonen}} villains
* CrazyAwesome or CreepyAwesome characters (if evil)
* CryForTheDevil or, rather, characters who invoke it, if the fans feel so sorry for them that they forget that they're still supposed to be evil.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: [[FreudianExcuse because it totally justifies any of their negative attributes.]]
* DarkMessiah: If the fans agree with their messianic philosophies.
* DesignatedVillain
* EvilIsCool
* EvilIsHammy: If the "hammy" part is viewed as "good acting" or NarmCharm.
* EvilIsSexy
* EvilVirtues
* FreudianExcuse: When fans tend to ignore the fact that the excuse doesn't really justify the character's actions and shift the blame to another character for the individual's actions.
* FriendlyEnemy: If he is evil.
* HarmlessVillain: If they are harmless in a funny way.
* HotGuysAreBastards
* IneffectualSympatheticVillain
* JerkassWoobie, if the "Woobie" part is used to automatically excuse the 'Jerkass' part no matter how out of proportion (or unrelated) the one is to the other.
* KnightTemplar, if the fans agree with them.
** Alternately, characters or factions dedicated to opposing or destroying the Draco are often seen by fans as this trope even if they've got plenty of good reasons for wanting to do so.
* LaughablyEvil, if funny enough
* MagnificentBastard
* NoMrBondIExpectYoutoDine
* OffstageVillainy
* ProgressivelyPrettier
* PunchClockVillain
* SelfFanservice often accompanies this trope.
* SissyVillain.
* TooFunnyToBeEvil
* TroubledButCute or BrokenBird if they are evil.
* UglyCute if evil.
* UnintentionallySympathetic
* UsedToBeASweetKid
* VillainousValour
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: If the fans agree that the villain deserves their good public image.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: If the fans agree with their extremist views.
* WhiteHairBlackHeart
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: Like JerkassWoobie, when the "Woobie" is used to ignore the "Destroyer of Worlds" part.
[[/folder]]

Compare:
* If the audience seems to have a fairly good reason for preferring the bad guy over the good guy, you may have UnintentionallySympathetic (or Unintentionally Unsympathetic in the possible case of the hero they're against).
* When the audience embraces or admires a villain more because of his or her [[MagnificentBastard chutzpah]] and/or BreakTheHaughty potential than out of actual admiration, and are still perfectly fine with them receiving their ultimate defeat in the end, then it's LoveToHate.
* RootingForTheEmpire is doing this while acknowledging that the villains are evil.
* JerkSue is when the writer does this, with a character who is revered by other character in the story despite acting like a total prick to them.

Counterparts:
* For the fan villainization of one or more of the original protagonists, see RonTheDeathEater.
* When a character in an adaptation of another work is given a heroic upgrade, it's AdaptationalHeroism.
* When done to a historical character, it's HistoricalHeroUpgrade.
* LoveableRogue and ByronicHero, characters you're ''supposed'' to admire even if they do nothing remotely admirable, may be the inverse of this trope. MagnificentBastard often applies to both tropes, but this is a lot less certain for Draco in Leather Pants - he may be a character [[EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas only a mother can love]].
* When this trope happens [[InUniverse in the series itself]], you're probably dealing with a MonsterFangirl.

[[noreallife]]
----
%%%
%%% Examples create too much of a natter-magnet for the main article. This articles just defines and discusses the term. No examples desired here. -- FastEddie
%%% PLEASE! A Draco In Leather Pants IS NOT JUST ANY GOOD LOOKING VILLAIN. A DILP is a villain that is seen as not evil in the fanbase (e.g. Bowser is not that good-looking (YMMV on that) but he is still a DILP). It's just that good-looking villains are prime magnets for this sort of image.
%%%
!Examples:

[[index]]
* [[DracoInLeatherPants/{{Anime}} Anime and Manga]]
* DracoInLeatherPants/ComicBooks
* DracoInLeatherPants/{{Film}}
* DracoInLeatherPants/{{Literature}}
** DracoInLeatherPants/HarryPotter
* DracoInLeatherPants/LiveActionTV
* DracoInLeatherPants/{{Other}}
* DracoInLeatherPants/ProfessionalWrestling
* DracoInLeatherPants/{{Theatre}}
* DracoInLeatherPants/VideoGames
* DracoInLeatherPants/{{Webcomics}}
* DracoInLeatherPants/WebOriginal
* DracoInLeatherPants/WesternAnimation
[[/index]]

----
%%%
%%% Examples create too much of a natter-magnet for the main article. This articles just defines and discusses the term. No examples desired here. -- FastEddie
%%%
%%%