%% 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.
->''"[[Main/ErwinRommel Rommel]]... you [[TropeNamers 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, and audacious. Capturing the audience with his 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 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 TelevisionWithoutPity boards.

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

* '''[[TheChessmaster He is brilliant]] and utterly devious'''. Call it [[TheChessmaster genius]], call it [[GambitRoulette virtual omniscience]], but he always seems to [[ManipulativeBastard know what everyone else is planning at any given moment and makes them play right into his hands]], and exactly how to arrange the game so [[XanatosGambit he wins even when he is defeated]].
* '''He is a smooth operator.''' [[CrazyPrepared He always has a backup strategy]] and [[NervesOfSteel never loses his cool]]. Even if on the remote chance something happens that wasn't in his plans, [[IMeantToDoThat you'd never know it from his actions]]. DidntSeeThatComing doesn't derail him; if his plans are foiled, [[XanatosSpeedChess he can always improvise]].
* '''[[VisionaryVillain He has a goal]],''' he's not going to stop until he's completed it, [[HiddenAgendaVillain whatever it is]]. To that end he will do anything. He'll move heaven and hell. Despite his choice of tactics, he is [[NobleDemon rarely if ever pointlessly cruel]], and has a reason for everything he does.
* '''He is charismatic,''' often [[TheCharmer charming]], his personality like a physical force. People tend to like him, sometimes even when they know he [[AffablyEvil isn't on their side]], and even those who hate his guts [[WorthyOpponent have to admit respect]]. Even when at his darkest, he has traits which one can't help but admire.
* '''He is GenreSavvy'''. He does not [[EvilOverlordList fall for obvious traps]], release the SealedEvilInACan or negotiate a DealWithTheDevil before having devised ThePlan to deal with it. Bringing one down is a long process of getting him cornered, although sometimes it is abrupt and played for shock value to show [[TheWorfEffect someone's awesomeness by comparison]].

Other common aspects of a Magnificent Bastard include being a SharpDressedMan and WickedCultured, in general.

While usually an antagonist, especially if he's the BigBad, the Magnificent Bastard can be aligned on either side of a conflict. Hell, he's so amazing he tends to [[{{Ubermensch}} forgo the idea of good and evil altogether]], instead following his own agenda, choosing to [[PlayingBothSides help whichever side]] will further his goals. However, it's true that his penchant for manipulation at the expense of others means it's common for him to be a {{Villain}}, VillainProtagonist, or at least an AntiHero, but purely heroic examples exist. Either way, he's usually in charge of whatever organization he's 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 his own arrogance. When a villainous Magnificent Bastard becomes so over the top that he is no longer believable, then he becomes a VillainSue (a regular MarySue for the heroic version). Also compare the GuileHero, who uses cleverness, trickery and manipulation but lacks the flair and depth of-planning to elevate him to Magnificent Bastard status. Despite the term, he is not likely to be a BastardBastard, thanks to that person's inherent daddy issues, but there's nothing preventing him 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 are so magnificent that they can get around this. Being a SmugSnake is a common trait of bastards ''trying'' to be magnificent.

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.

!!Now divided into:

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