This is when TookALevelInJerkass is plot-requested. Sometimes, an otherwise nice person becomes a {{Jerkass}} unexpectedly, most likely [[TheoryOfNarrativeCausality to advance the plot]] or sometimes simply [[RuleOfFunny for humor value]].

If done to deliberately take TheStraightMan or NiceGuy down a peg, it counts as NotSoAboveItAll.

AcquiredSituationalNarcissism is a specific ego centered JerkassBall.

May overlap with NotHimself, NiceJobBreakingItHero, DependingOnTheWriter and ComedicSociopathy. If done in a particularly exaggerated manner that in no way befits their normal characterization it is likely an OutOfCharacterMoment or a MomentOfWeakness. If the character has not actually become a Jerkass, but merely presented that way, it's {{Superdickery}}. Not to be confused with the [[ChappellesShow Haters' Ball]].

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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime And Manga ]]

* In ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'', Ranma's dad Genma was always a bit of a careless jerk, but definitely took a level with the introduction of the Nekoken (a super-secret technique that can only be taught by torturing children), turning him from BumblingDad to insane, nightmare dad. It's also a case of NeverLiveItDown, since he rarely does anything else that approaches that level of horrific stupidity.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* ''ComicBook/JusticeLeagueCryForJustice'' hands the ball to several heroes, making them increasingly violent and sadistic in their efforts to track down criminals. The worst of them is Ray Palmer, who [[JackBauerInterrogationTechnique tortures information out of Killer Moth]] by shrinking to a microscopic size, entering his brain and enlarging slightly to simulate a stroke--the same method Jean Loring used to kill Sue Dibny.
** ''ComicBook/SupermanDistantFires'' had Captain Marvel not only become arrogant and power hungry, but he became the main villain of the comic trying to kill Superman for leadership. Keep in mind that Captain Marvel is usually one of the more kinder DC Superheroes. Though then again, this was an independent comic and was never canon. [[spoiler: The Earth blowing up and EVERYONE dying (except Superman's son) at the end should be a clue]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* ''Literature/SeptimusHeap'': The usually nice titular character was rather mean to his sister Jenna at the beginning of Darke, for ostensibly no reason other than to disregard her warnings about a building danger in the Palace.
* There's a point in ''Literature/GalaxyOfFear'' where Tash starts pulling away from and being more mean to her brother, which confuses him; since their parents died she's halfway been PromotedToParent, halfway a partner in their close BrotherSisterTeam. Partly this serves to get her involved in the plot, but it's also partly because Tash is almost fourteen, growing up and not ''needing'' to be as close anymore. She quickly softens and apologizes for being mean, but while they stay close, in later books there's more distance between them than in the first six.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* In ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', red kryptonite is Clark's personal JerkassBall.
* Captain Archer from ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' played around with the JerkAss ball in the episode "A Night In Sickbay", rudely dismissing the idea of the Kreetassans being insulted because Porthos relieved himself on a tree (the fact that he brought his dog on a strange alien planet is a bit looney in itself), whining because they won't give them the plasma Injector that they need without him apologizing first, threatening to whiz on their trees himself, and berating everybody around him. The story writes in that this is because of his sexual tension with T'Poi. His abrasive behavior is one of the reasons why this episode is disliked by many, though YMMV.
* ''Series/TheXFiles'': Agent Mulder seems to be holding the Jerkass Ball in [[Recap/TheXFilesS01E13BeyondTheSea "Beyond The Sea"]]. He's compassionate enough and he genuinely feels for Scully who is dealing with the loss of her father. He actually calls her [[LastNameBasis Dana]] several times and suggests her some time off. But he also mocks her for only slightly tending to believe in Boggs, a SerialKiller with PsychicPowers, even though that's something [[AgentMulder he does all the time]]. Moreover, he reproaches her for following Boggs's leads (suggesting that it is foolish) and then for not admitting the truth to the investigating team (implying that she is not honest). When she returns to her usual rational explanation at the end, Mulder backs off and asks her why she cannot believe after all she has seen. He was seriously messing with her, probably still not trusting her entirely. Mind you, Agent Scully was originally assigned on the X-Files Unit to spy on him and to debunk his work, but they were seen working well together in episodes that preceded this one.
* ''Series/HouseOfAnubis''- There's one part in season three where Fabian rejects Joy. Being the [[NiceGuy nicest guy in the house]] next to Alfie, one would expect him to let her down gently like he'd done all throughout season two. Instead he rejected her in an incredibly harsh way, leaving her utterly heartbroken and to quit Sibuna.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' has a short list of those who played with this ball...Buffy Summers, Dawn Summers, Xander Harris, Willow Rosenberg, Rupert Giles, Angel, Spike, Oz, Tara Maclay, Riley Finn, Anya...examples include going off the rails from trauma, anger at the actions of another character, being a BrattyHalfPint or needing to ShootTheDog, or NotHimself, or TokenEvilTeammate, to cut a very long story short JossWhedon's SignatureStyle is RuleOfDrama and happiness is boring, anything to twist the knife and twist the characters to pull this off will be done.
* In the William Hartnell ''Series/DoctorWho'' serial "The Reign of Terror", Ian makes a sarcastic comment about the Doctor's driving skills. The Doctor suddenly forgets all of the CharacterDevelopment he's had since the series starts and announces that he's going to just dump Ian and Barbara in wherever the next place they land as punishment for being ungrateful.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* In ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'' Chapter 31 "Fire Spike", the cool-headed and stoic Annie argues with much-less-cool-headed Reynardine, beginning with copying her friend Kat's homework, effectively leading to revealing to him a secret that her mother has kept from him her entire life, one that Annie had learned about not 10 minutes ago. She [[http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/archive_page.php?comicID=804 harshly hammers the nail into him about it]] for little reason until he retaliates in frustration by making what is essentially TheReveal to her. Annie generally never acts this way and doesn't have much reason other than being visibly frustrated previously, but as a whole she's generally stoic.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* This happens on ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' on a very frequent basis due to the [[AnAesop Aesop]]-centric formula of the show. Some of the most particularly glaring examples however:
** In [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E3TheTicketMaster "The Ticket Master"]] Twilight receives a ticket to the Grand Galloping Gala [[EveryoneChasingYou everypony starts to chase her for it]] [[TrueCompanions including her friends,]] yes, even [[IncorruptiblePurePureness Fluttershy.]]
** In [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E9BridleGossip "Bridle Gossip"]] when [[TokenMinority Zecora a zebra]] comes to town and is the victim of [[FantasticRacism Fantastic Racism]] by everypony including the Mane 6 minus [[OnlySaneMan Twilight and Applebloom.]] Applebloom later follows Zecora home to see if the racism is justified and the mane 6 try to get her back. HilarityEnsues.
** In [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E15TheSuperSpeedyCiderSqueezy6000 "The Super Speedy Cider Squezzy 6000"]] [[NiceJobBreakingItHero Ponyville's insensitivity and impatience almost costs the Apple Family their livelihood.]] The Apple family ponies were being inconsiderate to their customers also, what with making them stand in line all day only to sell out early and leave the ponies in the back empty handed. Would it have killed them to raise the price? Or set up a pre-order system? Or at least limit the amount of cider per customer per day so Pinkie Pie couldn't walk off with a whole load while the others go thirsty?
** In [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E19PuttingYourHoofDown "Putting Your Hoof Down"]] Angel treats Fluttershy like crap, forcing her to go to the market so he can eat. Once there [[AdamSmithHatesYourGuts everypony hates her guts.]] For example a cherry costs her 10 bits but when another pony buys another cherry it costs only 2 bits. Tomatoes are now 2 bits rather than the one they were yesterday. Fluttershy eventually goes mad with her assertive training and starts bullying anyone who so much as vaguely inconveniences her. [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone She snaps out of it]] when she manages to make her friends cry as a result.
** [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E3LessonZero "Lesson Zero"]], where the usually fair-natured Twilight Sparkle has an outright SanitySlippage from being tardy in writing a friendship message, and resorts to making a problem in order to have material. Other [[FanNickname Mane 6]] bouncing with the ball laugh at her problem and she is overreacting.
** Held by Pinkie Pie in [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E14FilliVanilli "Filli Vanilli]]," where she is ''really'' InnocentlyInsensitive about Fluttershy's severe stage fright. She is called out on this by the rest of the cast though. What makes this more noticeable is that an early episode showed her pranking all of her friends ''except'' for Fluttershy, because she was aware that Fluttershy might be too sensitive, a level of consideration she rarely ever shows again. Also her behavior in [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E4LunaEclipsed "Luna Eclipsed"]] did NOT help make Princess Luna feel comfortable around her subjects in Ponyville, only managing to make ponies more afraid of the now reformed Princess, though she tries and justify her behavior by claiming she was only pretending to be scared in order to get into the Nightmare Night[[note]]this show's version of Halloween[[/note]] spirit.
** It's also held by Spike in the episode [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E10SecretOfMyExcess "Secret of My Excess"]], where he ends up being overcome by a dragon's hoarding instinct and starts abusing the fact that it's his birthday to try and get free stuff from people until it eventually gets out of control.
* Nearly every ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' character is prone to this based on RuleOfFunny. Lois and Brian, who by default are somewhat straight-faced and fairly empathetic characters, can become selfish, vindictive and outright sociopathic jerks if it helps with the shock value comedy. To a lesser extent Seth [=McFarlane=]'s [[WesternAnimation/AmericanDad other]] [[WesternAnimation/TheClevelandShow works]] are prone to this as well.
* A lot of ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'' shorts employ this, having Tom instigate the conflict so that while Jerry dishes out DisproportionateRetribution for the rest of the short the audience still roots for him ([[DracoInLeatherPants for the most part]]). The scenario is reversed on a few occasions, having Jerry draw the first punch or overdo his retribution so that [[TeamRocketWins Tom is allowed to win]].
* Combination of this an IdiotBall in ''WesternAnimation/TheDreamstone'', Rufus is usually extremely obedient and friendly to the point of [[TastesLikeDiabetes being saccharine]]. Whenever the plot calls for the Urpneys to steal the Dreamstone however, he seems to gain an arrogant streak, disobeying the Dream Maker's orders and messing with the stone so as to give the villains an opening.
* Stan and Kyle of ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' are usually [[OnlySaneMan Only Sane Men]] to the craziness of the world around them, and act as more moralistic foils to Cartman. At times however, often when Cartman is not in a starring role, they can act rather selfish or immoral, having nothing against using similar bullying or conniving tactics as Cartman to get what they want. This is more toned down in later seasons, though still pops up every now and then.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThomasTheTankEngine'', much akin to ''Friendship Is Magic'', utilizes this often for [[AnAesop Aesop]] value. This is especially prominent in later episodes, where even formally wise and kind engines like Edward can suddenly gain bouts of AcquiredSituationalNarcissism or FantasticRacism.
* ''WesternAnimation/GoofTroop'' has a couple of instances:
** In "Queasy Rider", the resident ExtremeDoormat NiceGuy PJ is shown laughing at his friend, Max, after Max was humiliated. Later, after Max is being somewhat rude to him, PJ deliberately sets an overflowing hose off on Max. It's not unheard of for PJ to [[BewareTheNiceOnes get revenge]], but it usually requires more provocation.
** "Bringin' on the Rain" takes a character who's ''already'' consistently a {{Jerkass}}, Pete, and turns his {{Jerkass}}ery UpToEleven. He likes to mistreat his neighbor, Goofy and his son, PJ, but he generally doesn't do both in the same episode, and when he does, the offense to one is small or subtle; sometimes he won't blatantly torment either one. In this episode he is crueler than usual to ''both'' of them: [[ItMakesSenseInContext deliberately getting Goofy arrested for "two consecutive life terms" just so he could win a gardening contest]] and forcing PJ to do difficult manual labor during a drought while consciously depriving him of fluids. He has no remorse for any of his actions, only relenting about Goofy's treatment once caught, and acknowledging PJ's as if it weren't a problem ''twice''. In the end, his [[LaserGuidedKarma punishment]] is left up to the viewer's imagination.
* Bubbles from ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'' is typically sweet as pie, with the exception of the episode "Bubblevicious", when [[AllCrimesAreEqual she starts beating up citizens for minor offenses]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheTick'' episode "The Tick Vs Arthur", Arthur is tired of being weak and being everyone's punching bag, so he steals villain Baron Violent's belt which gives him his super strength. At first he uses it for good, but after a while, he begins to abuse it, demanding respect and free things from everyone. When the Tick tries to interfere, Arthur beats him up. Eventually, after some convincing from his girlfriend, Carmalita, Arthur realizes what a jerk he's become and destroys the belt.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': In "Boys of Bummer" everyone in Springfield other than the Simpsons holds the ball when they torment Bart just for missing a game winning catch in a baseball game, even going so far as to goad him into committing suicide.
** In the episode "Separate Vocations" has Lisa turn into a Bad Girl stealing textbooks, smoking in class, and telling her teacher to "Shove it" inversely the same episode has Bart becoming a good kid. Which he has to forsake to bring his sister back and induce the StatusQuo.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}'' episode where Gus accidentally kicks their one good ball over the fence, Mikey is only one of his direct friends who gives him a hard time about it, even though he's supposed to be one of the nicer kids.
** Then there was the episode where Gus temporarily became King and the power went to his head. Changing the name Kickball to Gusball, changing the school's anthem into a personal vanity song, and imprisoning everyone for the slightest offense, especially when not agreeing to mining for cookies. And if anyone dare try to explain that cookies don't grow in the ground it only makes him more psychotic.
* The early ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'' special ''He's Your Dog, Charlie Brown!'' let nearly the entire cast hold it. Highlights include Snoopy actually physically attacking Charlie Brown and Linus, Peppermint Patty treating Snoopy as a slave, and even Charlie Brown himself at one point nearly strangling Snoopy with a leash!
* The rather [[BrokenBase infamous]] episode of ''JusticeLeagueUnlimited'', "Clash," had Superman take firm hold of the JerkAssBall, becoming uncharacteristically irrational and antagonistic towards new league member Captain Marvel.
* Is there a character on ''WesternAnimation/{{Archer}}'' that does not play with this ball? Yes, Burt Reynolds, Reggie, Ji, that's three. Out of hundreds.
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