%% Please do not add a picture to this page. Even if it's a joke. In the past, it has only lead to people constantly replacing it with their favorite example.
->''"[[UsefulNotes/ErwinRommel Rommel]]...you magnificent bastard, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJXKVOxqkWM I READ YOUR BOOK!]]"''
-->-- '''George S. Patton''', ''Film/{{Patton}}''

If there was ever a character that deserved to be called "Magnificent", that character ''is'' the Magnificent Bastard. The Magnificent Bastard is what happens when you combine TheChessmaster, TheTrickster, and the ManipulativeBastard: bold, charismatic, independent, audacious and genius. Capturing the audience with their charisma, incredible intellect, mastery of manipulation, and boldness of action, this character is a show-stealer, demanding your reverence at every turn. The term "Magnificent Bastard" was first used by General Patton in reference to UsefulNotes/ErwinRommel in the film ''Film/{{Patton}}'', upon realizing that he was facing a man who literally wrote the book on deceptive warfare. It acquired its current meaning courtesy of Lionel Luthor of ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', who was given this nickname by the Website/TelevisionWithoutPity boards.

So what makes a character a Magnificent Bastard? Let's break it down:

* '''[[TheChessmaster They are brilliant]] and utterly devious'''. Call it [[TheChessmaster genius]], call it [[GambitRoulette virtual omniscience]], but they always seem to [[ManipulativeBastard know what everyone else is planning at any given moment and makes them play right into their hands]], and exactly how to arrange the game so [[XanatosGambit they win even when they have been defeated]].
* '''They are a smooth operator.''' [[CrazyPrepared They always have a backup strategy]] and [[NervesOfSteel never lose their cool]]. Even if on the remote chance something happens that wasn't in their plans, [[IMeantToDoThat you'd never know it from his actions]]. DidntSeeThatComing doesn't derail them; if their plans are foiled, [[XanatosSpeedChess they can always improvise]].
* '''[[VisionaryVillain They have a goal]],''' they're not going to stop until they've completed it, [[HiddenAgendaVillain whatever it is]]. To that end they will do anything. They'll move heaven and hell. Despite their choice of tactics, they are [[NobleDemon rarely if ever pointlessly cruel]], and those who ''are'' tend to be so creative in their cruelty that it practically becomes an art form.
* '''They are charismatic,''' often [[TheCharmer charming]], their personality is like a physical force. People tend to like them, sometimes even when they know they [[AffablyEvil aren't on their side]], and even those who hate their guts [[WorthyOpponent have to admit respect]]. Even when at their darkest, they have traits which one can't help but admire.
* '''They are savvy'''. They do not [[EvilOverlordList fall for obvious traps]], release the SealedEvilInACan or negotiate a DealWithTheDevil before having devised ThePlan to deal with it. Bringing them down is a long process of getting them cornered, although sometimes it is abrupt and played for shock value to show [[TheWorfEffect someone's awesomeness by comparison]]. Heaven help you if you do manage to trick them.
* '''They detest usurpers of their power. Intensely.''' Anyone under their charge who even ''thinks'' of toying with them, [[TheStarscream competing with them, or going behind their back]] will learn ''quickly'' that FailureIsTheOnlyOption. As far as the Magnificent Bastard is concerned, they have a full-fledged patent, copyright and trademark on the word "evil", and they ''live'' for reminding their entire circle of minions and thugs who is in charge. Those who can't handle it might as well team up with the good guys, because they'll probably die at the Magnificent Bastard's hands anyway.
* They are '''[[RefugeInAudacity Audacious beyond belief]]'''. Probably the biggest thing that sets the Magnificent Bastard apart from TheChessmaster or a ManipulativeBastard is their ability to set themselves goals that seem suicidally over-ambitious and succeed with style. If everything goes exactly to plan, they don't just succeed in this outlandish goal. They do so in a way that leaves their foes [[SayMyName screaming the Magnificent Bastard's name at the sky]].
* They are definitely not '''{{dirty coward}}s.''' If they have to fight, they can and they will.

While usually an antagonist, especially if they're the BigBad, the Magnificent Bastard can be aligned on either side of a conflict. Hell, they're so amazing they tend to [[{{Ubermensch}} forgo the idea of good and evil altogether]], instead following their own agenda, choosing to [[PlayingBothSides help whichever side]] will further their goals. However, it's true that their penchant for manipulation at the expense of others means it's common for them to be a {{Villain}}, VillainProtagonist, or at least an AntiHero, but purely heroic examples exist. Either way, they're usually in charge of whatever organization they're involved with, or [[ChessmasterSidekick might as well be]].

Aside from all the various aspects which come together to define the Magnificent Bastard, compare and contrast the SmugSnake, who fell short due to their own arrogance. When a villainous Magnificent Bastard become so over the top that they are no longer believable, then they become a VillainSue (a regular MarySue for the heroic version). Also compare the GuileHero, who uses cleverness, trickery and manipulation but is generally on the side of good and often lacks the flair and depth of-planning to elevate them to Magnificent Bastard status. Despite the term, they are not likely to be a BastardBastard, thanks to that person's inherent daddy issues, but there's nothing preventing them either.

Bonus points if at one point he or she offers the enemy a SadisticChoice and gives a SlasherSmile.

Rarely a CompleteMonster, because audiences are likely to find it harder to admire such a character, but some bastards (ComicBook/TheJoker, [[Franchise/StarWars Palpatine]], [[{{Anime/Monster}} Johan Liebert]], [[Series/{{Sherlock}} Jim Moriarty]], [[Franchise/KingdomHearts Master Xehanort]] etc.) are so magnificent that they can get around this. Being a SmugSnake is a common trait of bastards ''trying'' to be magnificent, though some counted examples were capable enough to graduate to this.

As WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief and popularity can vary from person to person in an audience, so will which characters qualify for the title or fall under some other trope such as those stated above. Check this page out if you want to SoYouWantTo/WriteAMagnificentBastard of your own.

Not related to HeroicBastard or BastardBastard. Though as said above, the BastardBastard ''can'' become a MagnificentBastard if they play their cards right.

!!Now divided into:

* MagnificentBastard/{{Anime}}
** ''MagnificentBastard/{{Gundam}}''
* MagnificentBastard/ComicBooks
* MagnificentBastard/FanFic
* MagnificentBastard/{{Film}}
* MagnificentBastard/{{Literature}}
* MagnificentBastard/LiveActionTV
** ''MagnificentBastard/GameOfThrones''
* MagnificentBastard/{{Roleplay}}
* MagnificentBastard/TabletopGames
* MagnificentBastard/{{Theatre}}
* MagnificentBastard/VideoGames
* MagnificentBastard/WebComics
* MagnificentBastard/WebOriginal
* MagnificentBastard/WesternAnimation
* MagnificentBastard/{{Other}}