[[quoteright:350:[[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Asuka_you_jerkass_woobie_you_9239.png]]]]
[-[[caption-width-right:350:She just wants a hug. [[DontYouDarePityMe She won't admit it though]].]]-]

->''"It's amazing how I can feel sorry for you and hate you at the same time."''
-->-- '''[[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Lisa Simpson]]''', [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzZcnEqdNQc directed at]] [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Bart]]

%% One quote is sufficient. Please place additional entries on the quotes tab.

Normally, TheWoobie is a sufficiently {{Moe}} character that:
* You'd want to sympathize with, sometimes to the point of wanting them [[BreakTheCutie broken]] to like them more.
* You'd like to hug or otherwise care for or help them.
* You want to see any villain who hurts them get hammered by LaserGuidedKarma.

The ''Jerkass'' Woobie produces a different visceral reaction: you'd like to punch them in the face yourself ''and'' you also want to hug them and say, "I'm so sorry that your life is such a mess."

This character type is defined by three elements:
* First, the character must be a '''{{jerk|ass}}'''. Even if they [[AntiHero help people]], they're not just selfish or insensitive - they're outright cruel, insufferable, immoral, amoral and/or the villain. They have a mean streak that tends toward the sadistic; they may delight in hurting others, whether emotionally or physically, and often have little patience for anyone who disagrees with them. Also, keep in mind that sometimes, any sympathetic character does act like a jerk at some point, such as when a normal Woobie gets pushed too far, but this does not necessarily make them into this trope.
* [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold They have a hidden, softer side]]. Many are clearly capable of being downright friendly, courteous, and kind, but either are too angry and impatient inside, or [[NobleDemon fear showing their softer side]] when not behind closed doors. Others are clearly TroubledButCute, with a FreudianExcuse.
* As if in return for their bad behavior, [[CosmicPlaything the author seems to delight in]] [[ButtMonkey placing them in unpleasant situations]], and yet continue to show that they ''are'' sympathetic. Basically, the universe hates them so we don't have to.

This isn't a case of DefrostingIceQueen, SugarAndIcePersonality, or {{Flanderization}}. The character is just that complex. From both the fans and the other characters' point of view, the character can come across as an AntiHero of the worst sort, or just [[VillainProtagonist plain]] [[AxCrazy nuts]], and there may even be a BrokenBase over whether they are a KarmaHoudini, got what they had coming, or were more victim than villain. They likely think of themselves as a ButtMonkey or CosmicPlaything, which, really, they kind of are. It also helps if the audience gets to see just ''why'' the character is always in such a bad mood. Being the OnlySaneMan or SurroundedByIdiots can take its toll on even the most patient of souls. Typically, the trope is PlayedForDrama or PlayedForLaughs as a {{justifi|edTrope}}cation for JerkJustifications or JerkassDissonance.

This character type may:
* Overlap with AntiHero, AntiVillain, BabysitterFromHell, BrokenBird, ByronicHero, CryForTheDevil, DesignatedMonkey, DracoInLeatherPants, FallenHero, GoodIsNotNice, IneffectualSympatheticVillain, JerkWithAHeartOfGold, NunTooHoly, TragicHero, TragicVillain, Type A {{Tsundere}}, etc.
* Be subverted if it turns out that their nice side was just an act as part of an EvilPlan, or their cruel side turns out to be NotEvilJustMisunderstood
* Have a large JerkassFacade.
* Be a symptom of GreyAndGrayMorality, CrapsackWorld, FantasticRacism, etc.

The difference between this and an IneffectualSympatheticVillain is that an IneffectualSympatheticVillain is often a borderline HarmlessVillain and their nasty schemes fail so miserably that you start rooting for the author to ThrowTheDogABone while this character's evil is often less about schemes and more just a mean streak. The character's woobie nature may also play a factor in the phenomenon of AllGirlsWantBadBoys.

Contrast WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds, where a tragic but less cruel character destroys everything around them because [[DespairEventHorizon they have already been broken]]. The Jerkass Woobie's cruel acts are generally not a result of him being broken and his suffering may even come after he has sinned. Not to be confused with PutThemAllOutOfMyMisery, where a sympathetic villain seeks large scale destruction out of a desire to end misery. See also DracoInLeatherPants, where one of these happens accidentally.

JerkSue is a failed attempt at this trope, where the author attempts to make his/her mean OC sympathetic by laying out a stock tragic backstory for him or her then having the rest of the cast ooh and aah about it unless they are the DesignatedVillain, in which case they will act extremely [[EvilIsPetty petty]] for no reason and probably be revealed as Just Jealous before dying in an over-the-top "comedic" fashion so Sue can be "right all along". UnintentionallyUnsympathetic can also result if the character feels heavier on the jerkass part and the bad things that happen to them feel more like karmic punishments. A true Jerkass Woobie, even if they truly suffered in their past, may still not get sympathy from all of the people around them and certain types of characters probably wouldn't be quick to forgive them for their behavior, either, i.e. the author and story allows both the other characters and the audience to ''choose for themselves'' whether to hate or forgive them, and doesn't try to force forgiveness out of either. Just because the audience has knowledge about something doesn't mean that every character should know, and it doesn't make the character a "bad guy" for [[WhatTheHellHero calling out another character for being a jerk]] even if they are intended as sympathetic.

Put another way, this is what you get when the author {{invoke|dTrope}}s a BaseBreakingCharacter.

If this character type ever sheds tears or outright cries, you can bet it will most likely be a CryCute moment.


If you're looking for a few more pointers on writing this kind of character, take a look at our [[Analysis/TheWoobie analysis page]] on Woobies as a whole, particularly the "'Just Deserts' test" section.

* JerkassWoobie/AnimatedFilms
* JerkassWoobie/AnimeAndManga
* JerkassWoobie/ComicBooks
* JerkassWoobie/FanWorks
* JerkassWoobie/{{Film}}
* JerkassWoobie/{{Literature}}
* JerkassWoobie/LiveActionTV
* JerkassWoobie/{{Music}}
* JerkassWoobie/ProfessionalWrestling
* JerkassWoobie/{{Radio}}
* JerkassWoobie/TabletopRPG
* JerkassWoobie/{{Theatre}}
* JerkassWoobie/VideoGames
* JerkassWoobie/VisualNovels
* JerkassWoobie/WebAnimation
* JerkassWoobie/{{Webcomics}}
* JerkassWoobie/WebOriginal
* JerkassWoobie/WesternAnimation