->''"According to a loose enough definition of 'hero', we qualify. Well, more or less. The point is that good deeds were'' '''done''' ''and'' '''we''' ''were '''nearby'''."''
-->-- '''[[Webcomic/EightBitTheater Red Mage]]''', "[[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2007/11/15/episode-920-we-could-be-heroes/ 8-Bit Theater]]"

Fictional heroes tend to be a diverse bunch, but most have one thing in common: a morally positive motivation. Even morally questionable heroes usually are at least partially motivated by a genuine concern for others, desire for justice, belief in playing by the rules, etc.

The Nominal Hero is the exception to this rule. While at least technically on the side of good, their motivations are neutral at best.

So why ''are'' they on the side of good? Usually, it's one of the following:
* Annoyance. For these characters, ItsPersonal. Maybe the villain did something to them in the past, or maybe they think the minion's uniform is tacky. They aren't interested in fighting ''evil'', they want to see their ''opponent'' defeated. Often overlaps with EnemyMine.
* Boredom. These characters are basically fighting for good because they don't have anything better to do. They don't care if the heroes actually succeed, they just enjoy the adventure. A HeroicComedicSociopath or TheTrickster might have this motivation.
* Mutual Interest. These characters have selfish reasons to help the heroes succeed. Often, they are characters who would normally be villains, but their future plans are threatened by a mutual enemy. Often an EnemyMine. A MagnificentBastard might aid heroes to manipulate events in their favor as a standard tactic. Or a heroic dissident fighting an oppressive regime might end up side-by-side with criminals who probably deserve to be imprisoned or executed.
* Relationships. Not all Nominal Heroes are purely selfish. Some [[EvenEvilHasLovedOnes have a love interest or otherwise that they do care about]]. A Nominal Hero might do [[VillainousRescue something heroic to impress or rescue that someone]], even though they couldn't care less if other people die.
* Reward. These characters want something in return for their help, such as a share of the treasure, or simply something to look good on their resume. They aren't interested in whether anyone else benefits. The MilesGloriosus is an example of a character type that might choose to join a band of heroes for this reason.
* Force. Some characters become heroes because they literally aren't allowed to be anything else. Maybe they're on an ExplosiveLeash or are a CosmicPlaything, but when they fight for the side of good, it's only because it's their only option other than perhaps death.
* [[LawfulEvil Lawful examples]] of this trope, find themselves "stuck" to the good side by a deal, contract or some similar bind, or simply out of a sense of loyalty to the heroes.
* Other motivations. Not all Nominal Heroes need to have a motivation that makes any sense to others. They might be a {{Cloudcuckoolander}} or have BlueAndOrangeMorality.

This type of hero is rarely averse to working alone, with other heroes. On a team of otherwise conventional heroes, they'll often be in an EnemyMine, SociopathicHero, or TokenEvilTeammate role. Other heroes may only work with them because they could use all the help they can get, or specifically to keep an eye on the hero-in-name-only, so that they don't become a more serious threat.

In terms of sympathy, Most of Nominal hero's examples are [[NobleDemon Noble Demons]].
Many other tropes about questionable heroes can overlap with Nominal Hero, but most are not true {{subtrope}}s:
* An AccidentalHero, [[IJustWantToBeNormal Reluctant Hero]], or UnlikelyHero is at least as likely to turn out to be a ClassicalAntihero at heart.

'''Note:''' This is for ''InUniverse'' characterization. Subjective[=/=]{{Audience Reaction|s}} interpretations go in DesignatedHero.

[[noreallife]]
----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* In ''Anime/ValvraveTheLiberator'', [[{{Deuteragonist}} L-Elf]] is this, firmly contrasting to the more typical protagonist, [[TheHero Haruto.]] He's on the good guys side because it will help him get what he wants, and really only sees them as tools, not allies.
* In ''Anime/DragonBallZ'', Vegeta goes through a Nominal Hero phase as part of his slow but eventual HeelFaceTurn, starting in the Namek arc as a VillainProtagonist seeking to overthrow his former master, and in the Cell and Buu arcs, defending earth, but only for his own selfish reasons. After [[spoiler: his death and subsequent pseudo-revival in terms of coming back to Earth for one day]], he fights for the Earth for the sake of defending it for the first time.
* In ''{{Anime/Slayers}}'' Lina Inverse and Zelgadis Graywords both fall in this category in different ways.
** Lina is fully conscious of her status as one of the greatest magical prodigies in the world, and is not above using her vast power to intimidate and extort food/treasure for herself.
** As far is Zelgadis is concerned, he is hell-bent on [[IJustWantToBeNormal changing his chimeric body back to normal]], and is even nastier than Lina in the intimidate/extort department. He ''will'' help save the world....if it'll save himself really.
** TokenEvilTeammate Xellos is a much straighter example.
* Mello from ''Manga/DeathNote'' is this with hints of an UnscrupulousHero. But despite intending to catch [[VillainProtagonist Kira]], he is more than willing to shoot anyone in his way, become a mob boss, kidnap innocent girls, and in the manga, threaten the President to sabotage his rival so that said rival can't catch Kira.
** Near also fits in a similar way; his sole goal lies in "winning the game," and he is far from opposed to putting others in the line of fire or (as Matsuda suggests he might have) using the Death Note himself in order to do it. Unlike their predecessor, both Mello and Near are more preoccupied by personal ambitions and competition than the actual idea of doling out "justice," which is maybe why their target - the VisionaryVillain [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans Kira]] - never develops the same WorthyOpponent respect for them as he had for L.
* Guts of ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'' fits here. His phase as the vengeance-obsessed Black Swordsman takes this UpToEleven, though. An utterly ruthless warrior who cared about nothing except killing demons, and would not lift a finger to help innocents caught in the crossfire, considering them small fry without the strength to truly live, and in many cases, he could be seen as even more horrifying than the Apostles that he was driven to kill. Only after finding Casca again has he been able to mellow out, though not exactly move out of this territory ([[AlwaysSaveTheGirl since, besides his friends, he's only been concerned with keeping her safe]]). He also has to deal with a particularly nasty EnemyWithin that represents who he used to be.
** Most of Guts friends and allies, pre-Eclipse and post-Eclipse, are in this territory as well. The original Band of the Hawk are probably one of the most likeable examples [[HiredGuns as far being mercenaries goes]], since they were hired by the Kingdom of Midland and became its national heroes (despite still having little heroic motivations). Guts' current TrueCompanions are all following him for various reasons that also aren't really heroically charged, but they end up doing some good wherever they go.
* ''Manga/DesertPunk'' gives us more than one:
** Kanta has no real redeeming moral qualities and doesn't care about anything except money, boobs and staying alive. However, much of his work ends up being vaguely heroic because of the jobs he's assigned tend to be things like "Take out this gang terrorizing our town." [[spoiler: By the end of the series he crosses the MoralEventHorizon and does a FaceHeelTurn]].
** Junko is equally amoral and only not a villain because her job is taking out people who tend to be worse [[spoiler: and like Kanta, she ultimately pulls a FaceHeelTurn]].
** Rainspider is a heartless enforcer for [[LoanShark loan sharks]] and implied deviant who has a tendency to abandon his teammates when battles are stacked against them. However, he's [[LaughablyEvil hilarious]], and always follows his fleeing by a BigDamnHeroes moment at the right time. He's kind of more likable than Kanta, if no morally better.
* In the Anime version of ''Anime/AfroSamurai'', the title character is something of a tragic example of this; he is not without some humanity in him, but ends up burying it in his all-consuming pursuit of vengeance and adherence to his brutal code of honor, to the point where it's not clear whether he;'s a Nominal Hero or a VillainProtagonist. Afro's goals are, effectively, identical to those that he fights, and a strong argument could be made that the audience only sympathizes with him because we saw his back story, and didn't see theirs.
* In ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'':
** After the ConspiracyRedemption, Mayuri and Kenpachi still remain a TokenEvilTeammate and a largely amoral BloodKnight, respectively. Mayuri in particular- who is guilty of genocide and sadistic human experiments, never once shows a hint of remorse (if anything, he's [[CardCarryingVillain PROUD]] of his actions), is violently, murderously abusive to his subordinates including his own daughter, and who tortured the grandfather of one of the heroes to death, ForScience- could easily be considered an [[VillainProtagonist outright and particularly depraved villain]] who just [[SociopathicHero happens to be on the side of the good guys]]. A horrendously evil KnightOfCerebus in his first appearance, Mayuri was subsequently and amazingly actually PlayedForLaughs for much of the rest of the story, yet still completely unrepentant, and [[KarmaHoudini never once facing justice]].
** Ichigo's AxCrazy SuperpoweredEvilSide, [[FanNickname Shirosaki]] also qualifies.
* In ''Manga/{{Bastard}}'', NobleDemon Dark Schneider has some PetTheDog moments, but on the whole is an egocentric JerkAss and sadist who openly admits that as soon as he takes down the BigBad of the series, he will subjugate the world through mass-murder and warfare. He also shamelessly gropes girls and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking treats almost everyone rudely]].
* Kyo of ''Manga/SamuraiDeeperKyo''- pretty much see the description of Dark Schneider, except in Sengoku Japan and with no interest in world domination.
* Giuse of ''Manga/GunslingerGirl'', albeit with shades of an UnscrupulousHero. As he reveals to Henrietta, he's only nice to her until things go to hell and Henrietta is "reset to factory settings", leading Giuse to take a ''very'' steep dive over the DespairEventHorizon and [[TookALevelInJerkass treat her like he does practically everybody else]] following the realization that he could do nothing to help her. [[spoiler: Later on, though, he thinks his behavior led Henrietta to frag him during the nuclear power plant strike.]]
* ''{{Gundam 00}}'' has two; Hallelujah Haptism, the SuperpoweredEvilSide of ReluctantWarrior Allelujah Haptism, and Nena Trinity in the second season by virtue of being against Ali Al-Saachez and [[BigBad Ribbons Almark]], who are much, ''much'' worse than her.
* ''Anime/{{Gantz}}'' features many of these. Extreme examples are the sadistic Osaka members who get off on hurting defenseless aliens who just happen to be their enemies. For the most part they could care less about their own team mates and threaten to kill innocent people who simply irritate them. One is a serial rapist who rapes female aliens before murdering them in order to avoid being imprisoned for rape. They just [[SociopathicHero happen to be fighting for the good of mankind]]. (Honestly, though, they're much closer to flat-out villains.)
** The [[{{Jerkass}} protagonist]], himself, could qualify. Only gradually does he [[CharacterDevelopment get better]], but he still shows shades of it several times.
* ''Manga/{{Hellsing}}'': The TV series' version has Alucard (since in the OVA/manga, he's more of a VillainProtagonist). The only reason he can be considered [[TheHero a hero]] is that he happens to be bound to the right KidWithTheLeash. Not only is he a monster who [[BloodKnight enjoys shedding blood]], but he's also aware enough of this fact to declare that only a man can kill someone like him. Alucard is made more sympathetic by his [[NobleDemon sense of honor]] and the fact that [[BlackAndGreyMorality his enemies are even worse than him]], but he is by no means a nice guy (though this isn't actually clear until the end of the TV show, mind you).
* NobleDemon Hiei from ''Manga/YuYuHakusho''.
* Nao Yuuki of ''MaiHime'' strongly believes that the Himes should use their powers for whatever they want, but allies with them to stop the Searrs foundation. [[spoiler:And then she is attacked by the other Himes when they think she attacked Yukariko, [[EyeScream loses an eye]] and undergoes a FaceHeelTurn.]]
* Masaru "Kodama" Kodaka of ''{{Bokurano}}'', is fighting to save the world like everyone else, but not only does he not care about collateral damage, he thinks it's a good thing, since he sees people as divided into those who deserve to survive and those who do not, and thinks that his father (of the former type) would benefit from being able to rebuild.
* ''Anime/PantyAndStockingWithGarterbelt'' has Panty and Stocking Anarchy, who are incredibly rude and selfish and usually have no desire to help others. They only fight the bad guys because it slowly earns their way back into Heaven.
* Boa Hancock from ''Manga/OnePiece'' is of the "Relationships" type. She has a LoveInterest, Luffy, and some [[MoralityPet Morality Pets]] (her sisters and to a lesser degree Nyon and Rayleigh) that she cares about, and she has a genuine FreudianExcuse, but otherwise she is ''quite'' the ruthless and selfish bitch who literally [[KickTheDog kicks dogs]] (and baby seals and baby kittens) and [[TakenForGranite petrifies]] people on a whim.
* ''Anime/FairyTail'' gives us Laxus Dreyar, who is only in the title guild because his grandfather runs the place. [[spoiler: That's actually the source of his rage: he believes he's seen as "the guildmaster's grandson" and not his own person. After being booted out and spending six months or so traveling and finding himself, he returns and softens into a PragmaticHero.]]
* ''[[Anime/KillLaKill Kill la Kill's]]'' [[TheHero Ryuko Matoi]] plays with this: While she's a good person who cares for Mako and her family, she's not fighting Satsuki and [[AbsurdlyPowerfulStudentCouncil the Elite Four]] to overthrow them and bring peace to Honnouji Academy, she's doing it because she believes that they know [[YouKilledMyFather who killed her father]]. She eventually grows out of this, though.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Genis-Vell, a.k.a. [[ComicBook/CaptainMarVell Captain Marvel]], during his "space madness" phase. Genis was something of a VillainProtagonist with a severely warped sense of justice and rabid sense of entitlement. Rick Jones, to whom Genis was molecularly bonded, constantly opposed him and (rightly) questioned Genis's sanity. On one occasion, Genis bestowed powers upon a serial killer whom his friend Rick Jones had testified against in order to get the killer to stalk both Rick and his wife, Marlo. After putting Rick through absolute hell to the point where death seemed certain, Genis then executes the serial killer and explains to Rick that all of this was to teach Rick that he only lived on Genis's own whims, and that he was ''never to question him again''.
* In ''ComicBook/SinCity'', Miho's motives are unknown since she is mute, but she seems to have loyalty almost exclusively to Old Town. She has assisted Dwight in the past only because he once saved her life but that didn't stop her from essentially threatening to kill him if he interfered while she was torturing a corrupt cop in the middle of a street. Otherwise, the best you can say about her is that she doesn't target innocent people. In the first movie, she does seem like an UnscrupulousHero, but only because it covered her more heroic actions.
* From ''Comicbook/{{Watchmen}}'', the Comedian: a thrill-killing BloodKnight, rapist, war criminal and all-around PsychoForHire (and he's actually a more sympathetic version of the trope, believe it or not).
* ''[[ComicBook/{{Hellblazer}} Hellblazer's]]'' John Constantine is also a milder case. But being an {{antihero}}, many of his battles are because he was being forced to comply, for personal gain (ready to sacrifice anyone), or simply just being bored and want to do some shit.
* In ''ComicBook/TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen'', Hyde, Griffin, and Nemo are a pair of serial rapists and murderers, and a psychopathic pirate, respectively, who are offered an official pardon if they'll turn those qualities against the Empire's enemies. In the [[Film/TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen film version]], Griffin is replaced by LoveableRogue Rodney Skinner, and Hyde and Nemo get a makeover.
** In the second volume of the comic, Griffin [[spoiler:eventually becomes a straight up villain when he betrays humankind to the Martians.]] His characterization never really changes, though, which shows how nominal a hero he was to begin with.
* ''{{Deadpool}}'' is an NobleDemon SociopathicHero. He easily eclipses even the Punisher, as he frequently finds it ''funny'' to casually torture, dismember, and murder people.
** Though in later years, Deadpool has become more and more heroic, to the point where he's a solid AntiHero in the place of his old NominalHero status. [[spoiler: To the point where he was the OnlySaneMan and the conscience of the X-Men's Black Ops squad under Wolverine who thought that killing the kid who was Apocalypses' reincarnation is just wrong. Throughout the arc, he became more and more heroic too via CharacterDevelopment, and even [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome convinced the kid to join the Jean School for the Gifted]] [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming so he can use his powers for good instead of evil]].]]
* In ''SamAndMaxFreelancePolice'', Max considers it a compliment to be called a grade-A sociopath, and was even dubbed the most terrifyingly dangerous force in the universe by ''the villain'' in Season One of the Telltale games. The only thing that really seems to keep him in line is his less sociopathic partner.
* DependingOnTheWriter, ''{{Lobo}}'' is sometimes portrayed as one, instead of a SatireParodyPastiche of an [[VillainSue unstoppable villain-full-stop]]. Considering that he is literally worse than Hitler, ''without any hyperbole involved'', [[WhereIWasBornAndRazed as he wiped out his own]] PillarsOfMoralCharacter utopian species for kicks and giggles... when he was a teenager, this reveals a lot about media conventions in general.
* ''[[SubMariner Namor]]'' can veer between this and UnscrupulousHero depending on the book and [[TheAgesOfSuperHeroComics era]]. [[WildCard Unless he's the villain of the piece.]]
* The vast majority of Gaulish villagers in ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}}'' are like this. They're only heroic at all because they're fighting against TheEmpire, which they mostly just pick on, usually for fun, rather than make any serious rebellion against them. They have two reasons for fighting them - they love fighting (even turning on each other when Romans aren't available) and they're incredibly set in their ways, usually even when the Roman way is better. They started out intended more as a RagtagBunchOfMisfits LaResistance, but got [[{{Flanderization}} Flanderized]] into this mostly because it's funnier. Asterix, Obelix and Getafix are much nicer people, though.
* Scrooge [=McDuck=] develops into one by the "Empire Builder From Calisota" chapter of ''ComicBook/TheLifeAndTimesOfScroogeMcDuck''. His life experiences have hardened him to the point that he's become a corrupt robber baron, hates his family, has [[IgnoredEpiphany Ignored Epiphanies]], and only derives joy from getting even richer. He ''is'' redeemed later on, however.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Array from the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fanfic ''FanFic/ChroniclesOfHarmonysEnd''. He represents Order, and therefore opposes Discord on principle rather than morality.
* In [[https://www.fimfiction.net/story/183015/iron-wills-foalcon-necrophilia-sex-rampage Iron Will's Foalcon Necrophilia Sex Rampage]] Iron Will is the only hero of the story. The only other character apart from Sweetie Belle is the computer shop owner who finds Iron Will's stash of foalcon and tries to extort money from him.
* In Fanfic/TwilightSparklesAwesomeAdventure, ADMIRAL Awesome eventually becomes this, although he starts out as an AntiHero.
* ''FanFic/LatiasJourney'' has an in-universe example in the Red Ranger. An amoral and borderline sociopathic "[[BewareTheSuperman superhero]]" is designated as heroic by [[spoiler:Mr. Ford.]]
--> '''Latias:''' So you even denigrate your comrades who fight alongside you. You attack a pair of Pokémon who had done nothing to hurt you without provocation or warning, intend to beat me to a pulp to capture me, and are also assisting a madman with his evil plans. You are no hero.\\
'''Red Ranger:''' Hey, as long as the people of Ever Grande City think I am, and I get paid for my work with money and power by Ford, I don't care what you call me!
** And the kicker? [[spoiler: He's ''Richie'' of all people.]]
* Nikolos Drakonakos from ''[[Fanfic/TheConversionBureau The Conversion Bureau: The Palladium Wings]]'' is the ''extremely'' cruel, borderline sociopathic leader of a band of SkyPirates. He fights against the Equestrians out of sheer hatred and desire for booty. In fact, many of the SkyPirates have the same motivations that he does.
* Lieutenant Commander Brokosh, the Lethean protagonist of the ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'' fic ''Fanfic/RedFireRedPlanet''. He does follow an ethical code of his own making[[labelnote:*]]At least part of it reads, "Don’t kill anyone you don’t have to, don’t risk your underlings without cause, and treat your prisoners with decency."[[/labelnote]], but he's a mercenary who signed with the Klingon Defense Force for the money, since he's married to a minor Klingon noblewoman from an ImpoverishedPatrician house and they have a son to support.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* In ''Film/{{Braveheart}}'', Steven the Irishman seems to have only joined the Scots because he'll be able to kill Englishmen, not to help the Scots get freedom.
* ''Film/EscapeFromNewYork'': When ordered to rescue the President of the United States, Snake Plissken would gladly hijack his transportation and fly to Canada, but a bomb planted in his body makes him do otherwise.
* The Heisei incarnation of Franchise/{{Godzilla}} saves the world, or at least [[TheTokyoFireball Tokyo]] from other monsters, but it's not clear whether he has any motivations other than territorial instinct and [[PapaWolf devotion to his son, "Junior"]].
* ''Film/{{Hulk}}'' is a milder example. But it's not entirely clear (until possibly the end) if the title character really knows and/or understands what he's doing.
* ''Film/StarshipTroopers''. Humanity in this film is a race of [[HumansAreTheRealMonsters arrogant, jingoistic, xenophobic bastards]] run by an openly [[PuttingOnTheReich fascist]] and militaristic PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny. Their every action in the war against the [[BugWar Klendathu Arachnids]] is presented as heroic, embodying the film's intended satire on militarism.
* In ''Film/TheStreetFighter'', Takuma "Terry" Tsurugi is a brutal and pitiless man. He sells a girl into slavery and kills her brother when they're not able to pay him for services rendered, and he's not above sacrificing innocents that he's not directly helping. He avoids VillainProtagonist territory by fighting against {{Yakuza}}, whom he despises, and working to protect the good guys, even though he does so for his own reasons. In the VideoGame version, he's portrayed in a somewhat more positive light.
* ''Film/ThorTheDarkWorld'': Loki's reasons for helping Thor defeat Malekith are fairly selfish [[spoiler:(Loki wants to avenge Frigga's murder, and this mission offers him an opportunity to escape his prison cell)]], but he nevertheless puts his life on the line to achieve their mutual goal.
* Lampshaded and played for laughs in ''Film/MysteryMen''. Captain Amazing is constantly viewed by the residents of Champion City as a great hero, even though he is often rude, inconsiderate, thoughtless, and only interested in making money off his powers. He even brings about the events of the film, unwittingly, by getting his archnemesis released from prison so he can fight someone worthy (and save his sponsorship deals), eventually getting himself killed stupidly in the process. The audience isn't ''supposed'' to like him. Their sympathies instead lie with the title characters, who are the underdogs of the superhero world; most of them have crappy superpowers (such as only turning invisible when literally nobody is watching...not even himself), and they're respected by next to nobody in the city they've sworn to protect.
* ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy''
-->'''Rocket Raccoon''': Why would ''YOU'' wanna save the galaxy?!\\
'''Peter Quill''': Because ''I'm'' one of the idiots who ''lives'' in it!
* ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'': The T-800 is a killer machine with no emotions, only protecting and following the orders of a ten year old because of his programming. By the end of the film he's able to understand human behaviour and emotions, so he becomes a more traditional hero over the course of the movie.
* The Terminator from ''Film/Terminator3RiseOfTheMachines'' plays this far more straight. At one point he even flatly admits he doesn't care at all about John or Kate, and is only protecting them because it's his mission. Even toward the end, when he's been [[MindVirus corrupted by the T-X]] and is about to kill John, it's being reminded that he's about to fail his mission that [[FightingFromTheInside makes him stop]].
* Putnam, the guy who recovers lost children for a living and is thus after the main characters in ''Film/TheWizard'', is this. True, he is doing a good service by finding missing kids, but he's only in it for the money and even risks putting said children in danger by ''actively preventing others'' from finding them first, even their own parents, just so he can get the reward money.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Karsa Orlong from Steven Erikson's ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'' is just about as anti as a hero can get. Being something of a {{deconstruction}} of the ProudWarriorRaceGuy, Karsa aims to improve the world... by slaughtering millions of people and smashing civilization back to barbarism.
* Yarol, the Venusian sidekick in C.L. Moore's ''Literature/NorthwestSmith'' stories, is heavily implied to be this. The narration never specifies his enormities, but hints that his [[{{Bishonen}} angelic beauty]] belies his absolutely evil nature.
* [[{{Everworld}} Senna Wales]], the witch of ''Everworld.'' She is motivated by her completely selfish goal of overthrowing the powers of Everworld, seizing control over the foundations of reality, and then [[DimensionLord ruling over the universe]] as [[AGodAmI an absolute god]]. However, she is kept from being a VillainProtagonist because most of the real villains that she opposes (Huizilopocli, Hel, Ka Anor) are monsters, she [[TokenEvilTeammate helps the other protagonists more often than she goes against them]], and she seems to genuinely think that Everworld and its people would be better off with her ruling them all.
* Uhtred Ragnarsson of Bebbanburg, the main protagonist of the [[Literature/TheSaxonStories Saxon Stories]], is this in his halfhearted service of Alfred the Great. Although he would much rather accompany the Danish invaders, certain events forced him to make an oath of service to King Alfred that he refuses to break.
* Raistlin Majere is this in the original Literature/{{Dragonlance}} ''Chronicles'' triology. Really the only thing keeping him with the Heroes of the Lance is some lingering affection for some of them and the presence of his brother Caramon. [[spoiler: Even during ''Chronicles'' Raistlin started drifting towards becoming the TokenEvilTeammate and the FaceHeelTurn was complete by the next triology ''Legends''. Still he did earn his RedemptionEqualsDeath and had a few PetTheDog moments.]]
* In ''Ghost'', the first novel in the ''Literature/PaladinOfShadows'' series by Creator/JohnRingo, Mike Jenkins starts out as this. In later books he tones it down to UnscrupulousHero. Katya is this throughout the series.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/TwentyFour'' protagonist Jack Bauer skirts along this trope during the show's eight seasons, but manages to stay away from it for the most part. The sequel mini-series "Live Another Day" however shows that he's officially entered this territory due to how much his experiences in the show's original run have soured him. He comes out of hiding to save the day again solely because he learned that his old flame Audrey and her father and his former boss James Hellar were in danger, and displays a much more ruthless attitude than he did during the original series, including shooting a group of people in order to incite a riot for a diversion and [[spoiler: outright murdering the main villain of the first half of the season with little provocation even after she's been successfully captured, a stark contrast to the original seasons where he primarily killed only in self-defense or if someone [[ItsPersonal murdered someone important to him]].]]
* ''Series/BlakesSeven'':
** Over the course of his development, Kerr Avon varies from TokenEvilTeamMate to a JerkWithAHeartOfGold but loses all sympathetic qualities towards the end of Series 4 when he tries to kill Vila in cold blood. He's still fighting the LawfulEvil Federation but he only cares about saving himself.
** His reasons for fighting the Federation also change as time passes: in Season 1 he claims to have nothing to do with Blake's revolution other than living on the same ship, in Season 2 he's playing along because he wants the ship, in Season 3 the Federation is a threat to his freedom and by Season 4 he genuinely hates them, though by this time he's [[SanitySlippage sliding down the sanity slope]] and it's hard to tell ''what'' his true motivations are.
** Most of the other "good" main characters -- except Blake, Cally, Dayna and perhaps Jenna and Gan -- are being dragged along behind Blake's idealism. They fight because there's nowhere for them to run.
** Dayna seems to stay with Avon out of a combination of not having anywhere else to go and wanting revenge on Servalan for her father's murder. While the seven more or less end up as FireForgedFriends, only Blake and Cally really have anything approaching idealism, rather than being motivated by loyalty or self-interest, and they're both gone by Season 4.
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'', which was [[SpiritualLicensee blatantly]] ''Blake's 7'' with money, was also filled with Nominal Heroes. The only reason why the main characters come together is because they're all being hunted by the oppressive government, but only one of them was anything approaching an idealistic revolutionary. (That one person was not the main protagonist and [[spoiler:died just over halfway through the show's run]].) In four seasons, they only consciously set out to do something "good" for the universe on two occasions, at the end of the third season and in the GrandFinale WrapItUp.
* ''Series/{{Dexter}}'': The titular character is at the far, dark end of this to the point where he could fairly be considered simply a likeable VillainProtagonist, being a SerialKiller who was disciplined at a young age to channel his sociopathy toward killing other evildoers. By the end of Season 7, he is 100% VillainProtagonist
* ''Series/FatherTed'': Father Jack Hackett is a violent, selfish, perverted alcoholic and flashbacks suggest he was once a bullying fire and brimstone preacher and a paedophile. The only thing keeping him from being a VillainProtagonist is that his alcoholism usually renders him too docile to harm anyone. And sometimes it does the exact opposite.
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'': Jayne is working for Mal only because Mal offered him more money and his own bunk. When given the offer he immediately shot the mercenaries he was currently working for and sided with Mal. He makes it clear throughout the series that he would do the same again if a better offer came along.
* ''Series/KamenRiderOOO'': Ankh is only helping Eiji against the other Greeed because it's in his own best interests, and has no qualms about who is hurt so long as he gets what he wants. [[spoiler: though he gradually transitions into a KnightInSourArmor by the end.]]
* ''Series/PowerRangersLostGalaxy'': Magna-Defender is like this. He may assist the rangers taking down a monster or two and want to take down Scorpious, but he's only does it for the revenge. This definitely becomes clearer when he tries to destroy Terra Venture because it might destroy Scorpious. Although he gets better, [[RedemptionEqualsDeath near the end]].
* ''Series/{{Revolution}}'': Rachel Matheson reveals herself as this in "[[Recap/RevolutionS1E17TheLongestDay The Longest Day]]", when she directly tells Aaron that she wants to turn the power back on not to help anyone, but to give the other factions the power to kill Monroe as revenge for killing her son Danny.
* ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'': In this 2010 BBC modernization, Sherlock Holmes describes himself as a "high-functioning sociopath," and cautions Dr. Watson: "Don't make people into heroes, John. Heroes don't exist; and if they did, I wouldn't be one of them." This shows that his motivations are not those of a typical straight hero, and that he's possessed of a very cynical worldview. His motivation is quite explicitly boredom and a need for intellectual stimulation.
--> '''Sherlock''': I may be on the side of the angels; but [[BadassBoast don't, for one minute, assume I am one of them]].
* ''Series/TheSopranos'': Tony Soprano is a con artist, a thug, a womanizer, a thief, a murderer, an extortionist, and an adulterer. But the things separating him from a VillainProtagonist are his genuine love for his family, kindness to his friends, occasional pangs of guilt and moments of vulnerability, and the fact that his friends (and enemies) are even worse than he is. It actually makes him seem like a milder case of the trope....and then he loses much of it by season 6B and the finale.
* In ''Series/TheWire'' many policemen and public servants don't really care about fighting crime or improving the city and would only perform good deeds when it furthers their own agendas.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/StoneColdSteveAustin in 1997. Although events involving Wrestling/BretHart made him firmly a face in the fans' eyes, he retained all of the aspects that made him a heel, to the point where some fans thought he was just a DesignatedHero. He beat up people who tried to help him, [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown smashed Bret Hart's leg into oblivion with a chair and then hijacked an ambulance to beat him up some more]] and generally acted like a massive JerkAss to everyone.
* Similarly, Wrestling/RandyOrton still acted as a heel after his 2010 [[HeelfaceTurn face turn]], [[KickTheDog beating]] [[KickTheSonOfABitch up]] anyone who gets in his way.
* The only real differences between Wrestling/TripleH as a heel and as a face is whether or not he's directly insulting the fans, and how often he tries to weasel out of a fight.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Voiree Misallo from ''8BitGamers''. Though firmly on the side of good after a religious experience and a genetic examination revealing her to be born with a semi-sociopathic defect, her motivation mostly has to do with wanting to avoid hell, keep her boyfriend, and remain friends with her TrueCompanions.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
''Theatre/IntoTheWoods'' uses this as part of its {{deconstruction}} of FairyTales. Everything that goes wrong in the DarkerAndEdgier second act is a direct or indirect result of the heroes [[ItsAllAboutMe putting their own]] HappilyEverAfter above the greater good. By the end, the cast admits that they have no idea who's the hero and who's the villain, and the most sympathetic character is the WickedWitch who was the first act's BigBad.
--> '''The Witch:''' You're so ''nice''. You're not good, you're not bad, you're just... nice. I'm not good, I'm not nice, I'm just right.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Gamers ''themselves'' are almost always this in the [[{{Meta}} Meta-sense]]. 99% of the time the only reason any gamer is willing to do a sidequest in a game is because there is some form of reward like [[DiskOneNuke a better weapon]] or a [[AndYourRewardIsClothes new costume]] that can only be acquired by doing it.
* In the early installments of the HeroesOfMightAndMagic franchise the so-called heroes do not take part in battle. And if their army is defeated we find that they were risking nothing as they don't even get captured by the enemy. Instead they simply 'abandon your cause'
** {{Hadriex}} [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xetp4WsUD6Q&t=1m40s mocks this pretty hard.]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Marathon}}'', not only does Durandal make it quite clear that he is only fighting the Pfhor as a means of escaping the end of the universe, [[spoiler: he is the one who brought the Pfhor to Tau Ceti in the original game, an action that resulted in the deaths of nearly everyone in the colony.]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Hexen}} II'', two of the heroes are the Assassin (who wants to prove she can kill the most powerful and best protected being on the planet) and the Necromancer (who has a problem with Eidolon being more feared than him).
* In ''VideoGame/GodOfWar'', Kratos, to the point that, particularly after the first game, many consider him an outright VillainProtagonist, even worse than the people (or gods) he's trying to kill.
** In which case the gods themselves become Nominal Hero antagonists. Their motivations for opposing Kratos are purely selfish, and they have little concern or empathy for humanity itself. [[spoiler: This gets ''epically'' flipped on its head in the finale of the third game which reveals that the Gods were actually heroic until Kratos opened Pandora's Box in the first game to beat Ares. The evils from inside infested and corrupted the Gods and twisted them from benevolent leaders into despotic bastards. Kratos is so shocked by this reveal, as well as the realization that he's caused and inflicted so much pain and destruction in his quest for revenge, that he kills himself and releases the powers of hope in order to give humanity a chance to survive on their own.]]
* In ''{{Drakengard}}'', Caim is this in the first game. The only thing that made him "heroic" in the first place was the fact that he was fighting against an evil empire that was [[ALighterShadeOfBlack even worse.]] Once they're defeated, he defaults back to [[KillEmAll RIP AND TEAR.]]
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'':
** Zaeed Massani is a ruthless revenge obsessed merc on Commander Shepard's team. During his loyalty mission, he burns an entire refinery to the ground while callously disregarding the innocent lives trapped inside just to get revenge on another merc who screwed him over 20 years prior. In ''Mass Effect 3'' he becomes an UnscrupulousHero through character development.
** Aria T'Loak is a crimelord who allows slavery, drug running and pretty much anything else as long as it doesn't undermine her power. She is however willing to aid Shepard to some extent, and seems none too fond of Ardat-Yakshi or the Collectors. Probably both [[PragmaticVillainy for practical reasons]] and [[EvenEvilHasStandards on principle]]. In VideoGame/MassEffect3, she helps you out of self-preservation because, as she puts it, the reapers are a threat to ''all'' existence, including hers, so it's [[PragmaticVillainy "within (her) interests"]] to help Shepard.
*** By default, ''everyone'' in VideoGame/MassEffect3 is either this or StupidEvil, depending on whether or not they side with Shepard, seeing as s/he's the best bet to stop the Reapers, [[{{KillEmAll}} who have made their intentions very, very clear.]]
** This trope is actually a plot point in the first game, where Saren is believed to be a hero throughout the galaxy and is well-liked by many. In reality he's a ''very'' amoral KnightTemplar who is willing to cause many civilian casualties as long as he gets the job done and is a severe racist. He popularity in the galaxy means that a big problem in the games opening act is actually convincing the Citadel Council that he's not on their side anymore and has to be brought in.
* In the first three ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' games, an evil player character could be seen as this, since you have the freedom to blow of civilian’s heads with absolutely zero provocation, enslave children and nuke cities. However, this is somewhat moderated by the main story pitting you against monsters who want to wipe out the vast majority of the remaining human race. With ''New Vegas'', the player has the option of becoming a full-blown VillainProtagonist by siding with Caesar’s Legion, as they bring the region under the grip of a nation endorsing rape, slavery, child molestation and murder for public entertainment.
* Demitri Maximoff from ''VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}}''. He only confronts PlanetEater Pyron and DarkMessiah Jedah because they are a threat to his plans in conquering the Makai, and treats everyone who aren't his servants with great disdain.
* [[BloodKnight Augus]] in ''AsurasWrath'' only joined the Eight Guardian Generals so he could have exciting battles.
** [[spoiler:4 of all]] the Seven Deities are [[spoiler:implied to be]] this
* In the ''Franchise/MetalGear'' series, Meryl, Psycho Mantis, and Liquid [[InformedFlaw claim that]] Solid Snake is a SociopathicHero who enjoys combat and killing, with the latter two telling him that he's far worse then they are. However, Psycho Mantis and Liquid are mass murdering psychopaths attempting to 'kill as many people as possible' and bring on a Darwinist 'warrior's paradise' respectively, which makes their attacks on him border on HypocriticalHumor and possibly UnreliableNarrator as well.
** [[EnforcedTrope Enforced]] in the ''[[VideoGame/MetalGearSolidVThePhantomPain Metal Gear Solid V]]'' duology, which shows Big Boss becoming more and more monstrous during his ProtagonistJourneyToVillain.
* Reaver from ''VideoGame/FableII'' and ''[[VideoGame/FableIII III]]''. He tries to double cross the hero at least twice and only helps the hero because [[spoiler: the BigBad proceeds to double cross him when Reaver tries to turn the hero over to him.]]
* In the first ''NoMoreHeroes'', Travis Touchdown. The only thing that makes him any kind of hero is that the rest of the assassins are sociopaths. Later, though, his motivation becomes more heroic.
* In ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'', Maleficent, while still not "good" in any sense of the word, is allied with the heroes in a common goal.
* Grom Hellscream and Illidan Stormrage of ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}'': the first is an amoral BloodKnight and the other is a subject obsessed with demonic power.
** Another examples are Garrosh Hellscream, the goblins and the Forsaken.
* Booker Dewitt in ''{{Videogame/Bioshock infinite}}'' starts out this way.
* In the ''SuperMarioBros'' series, Wario is willing to take on {{Evil Overlord}}s and the like, but only if there's treasure at the end of the road. Otherwise, he couldn't care less. WordOfGod notes that Wario doesn't really care about ''anything'', he just wants to keep doing what he wants.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Blood}}'', Caleb spends the entirety of both his games killing everything that moves. The only reason he's the good guy is, excluding a few mimes and other innocents, everything that moves is part of the world-spanning [[ReligionOfEvil Cabal]].
* In ''{{Ace Combat Zero|TheBelkanWar}}'', Cipher on the Mercenary path. As opposed to Soldier, on this path he's willing to take out ''anything'' not specifically on his side, be it enemy combatants, disabled enemy units, or even civilians on occasion.
* In ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'', Kokonoe has a few soft spots here and there, but REALLY has no problems in nuking a whole city just so she can claim the frag of Terumi's head... never mind thousands and thousands of innocents who will die along the way.
* One of ''TheKingOfFighters''' main characters, Iori Yagami (introduced in 1995 as the rival of Kyo Kusanagi), plays this role. A loner and a very angry and consumed character, he lives to see the defeat of Kyo and won't stop until that happens. He does do genuinely heroic things ([[TeethClenchedTeamwork even teaming up with Kyo]] when the situation warrants it) but only so that he can [[TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou resume thirsting for Kyo's blood]]. He has no friends and has attacked his own team members in the past (be it willingly or unwillingly when his Orochi blood goes out of control).
* ''StarWars'' ''TheOldRepublic'' Lord Scourge a Sith Lord who is a companion to the Jedi Knight class, he sides with the Jedi to stop the [[OmnicidalManiac Sith Emperor]] from destroying the entire galaxy. In the back story he was responsible for [[spoiler: Revans capture and the Exiles death because he saw that they would fail in defeating the Emperor.]] By the end of the Jedi Knight storyline, he is credited as a hero of the Republic, which both him and [[BigGood Satele Shan]] really don't like the idea of.
* Gensoukyou, the setting of the ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' games, is ''run'' by these. [[{{Miko}} Reimu Hakurei]] is, at best, motivated by a desire for her life to be predictable mixed with not wanting it to be too boring, either, and is at worst soley motivated by the [[{{Greed}} possibility of getting donations]] and being a SlaveToPR. [[CuteWitch Marisa Kirisame]] is one part motivated by the prospect of [[KleptomaniacHero getting to loot]] [[StickyFingers magical artifacts]] from the villain's lair, one part the opportunity to upstage [[TheRival Reimu]] and one part [[BloodKnight getting to kick someone in the teeth]]. [[{{Vampire}} Remilia Scarlet]] is more interested in alleviating her own boredom and maintaining her power than actually fixing Gensoukyou's problems (and she's not the harmless kind of vampire, either). [[DeityOfHumanOrigin Sanae Kochiya]] is interested in spreading the worship of and gathering faith for her ancestor-goddesses. [[HalfHumanHybrid Youmu Konpaku]] fights because [[MyMasterRightOrWrong her mistress says so]]. And [[RealityWarper Yukari Yakumo]] is the MagnificentBitch who founded Gensoukyou as a FantasticNatureReserve and everything she does is to further the survival of {{youkai}}, up to and including striking up deals with the humans that favor ''them'', because she knows that if humans become content and don't feel as threatened by youkai, [[DangerouslyGenreSavvy they'll lose their edge and become easier prey]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Sacrifice}}'': The player takes the role of Eldred who use to be a tyrant on his own world, then when his own people turn against him he summoned the demon Marduk to defeat them, then Marduk proceeded to destroy everything else. He is really regretful of having to kill a dragon, but is ok with slavery.
* The Daemoness in ''VideoGame/{{Sacred}}: Underworld''. At the start of the game she gets stabbed in the back by her master, Anducar, and has a prophetic vision that working alongside the other heroes is her best chance of getting revenge.
* Several of the protaganists of ''BaldursGateDarkAlliance'' ''2''. Vhaidra wants to hone her skills as a monk so she can take bloody revenge against the assassins who murdered her family, and Borador, as a result of a debt owed to the elves, wants to get his hands on as much coin as he can. Dorn is a borderline example, since his motivation comes across as equal parts 'make the realms a better place' and 'earn as much glory for myself and seduce as many women as I can.'
* Dark Pit from ''VideoGame/KidIcarusUprising''. He isn't to concerned with the war between the gods. He just likes beating up monsters. [[spoiler:After the time skip he gets more involved in order to make sure Pit remains alive (since he learns his existence depends on Pit's).]]
* ''[[VideoGame/ConkersBadFurDay Conker]]''. Guy's primary interest is in stumbling home in one piece, and (with some exceptions), he's not doing anything heroic without some serious compensation.
* All of "Team Dark" from the ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' series, who only ever join up with the rest of the good guys when something even worse comes along, and it gets too big to ignore. The most straight up example is [[AntiHero Shadow]], mostly in [[VideoGame/ShadowTheHedgehog his own game]]. After ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'' had him pull a HeelFaceTurn, he protects the world only because Maria wanted him to, or to boost his ego and superiority over others as the Ultimate Lifeform. Shadow has been shown as willing to cross any line to succeed his mission and goals, which may or may not be for the good of Earth. Most of the time, it is, but it's always about Shadow [[ItsAllAboutMe achieving his own ambitions first]].
** As for the rest of Team Dark, E-123 Omega only ever does anything either because it involves his goal of getting revenge on Eggman for abandoning him for other robots, or because Shadow and Rouge asked him to help them out. Rouge the Bat's main motivation in being a government spy is her obsession with the world's most famous jewels, which she expects to be rewarded with.
** Eggman is this when he is fighting against the Deadly Six in ''VideoGame/SonicLostWorld'' [[spoiler:until all the Deadly Six meet their final defeat!]]
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' many of the Grey Wardens. The Wardens will take people of any background with sufficient talents at killing darkspawn from warriors to thieves, to mages, even blood mages [[spoiler: as long as they're able to survive the joining]]. The Wardens have broad powers of conscription that are honored by most governing bodies so many Wardens are pressed into service against their will.
** Oghren is a warrior who fights because thats what he was trained to do and his training left him going stir crazy in dwarven civilization. He joins you to find his wife and stays with you because it means he can start swinging his axe again. Nothing more.
** Morrigan is a witch with a dark background and little to no regard for the well being of others. She's only with you because her mother told her to come and only helps because killing the darkspawn is in her best interest (though she can develop an attachment to the main character depending on how you play.)
* Tyler Smith in ''Clear Vision'', whose motive is sole money [[spoiler:and later to save his beautiful wife]], in every shooting he does regardless if the targets in question are actually evil.
* Isaac Clarke, the protagonist of the ''[[Franchise/DeadSpace Dead Space Series]]''. In ''1'' and ''2'', he's just an ordinary engineer who wanted to survive the Necromorph ZombieApocalypse. In the third game, he literally had to be coerced to get back into the fight, and even then only agreed because he learned his ex-Girlfriend was in peril. However, near the end of all three games, he ends up pulling a HeroicSacrifice, willingly entering a situation that would likely result in death in order to end the greater threat[[note]] Returning to Aegis VII to bring bring the Marker back to its pedestal in ''1'', assaulting an overrun EarthGov base to destroy the Golden Marker in ''2'' (which would cause a station overload), and staying behind to kill a Brethren Moon before it could find and consume the rest of humanity in ''3''. In all cases, when Isaac made his decision, he was in or right next to an escape shuttle[[/note]].
* Garrett of ''VideoGame/{{Thief}}'' doesn't really give a damn about anyone other than himself. He winds up in the "hero" role primarily out of circumstance: the BigBad is usually (in addition to their main plan) gunning for him personally for one reason or another. Also, it's of no benefit to him if The City is destroyed, then where would he do his thieving?
* ''VideoGame/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAsPortable: The Gears of Destiny'':
** Levi the Slasher, while being [[BoisterousBruiser a cheerful sort]], is mainly a ChallengeSeeker and had accidentally saved several towns in [[spoiler:[[DeathWorld Eltria]]]] since she loves taking down the powerful monsters that happen to be threatening them.
** Former BigBad and current AntiHero Lord Dearche is a CardCarryingVillain that has saved TheMultiverse in her quest to gain unlimited power, and is currently reversing the decay of a planet on its last legs as part of her plan to "[[TakeOverTheWorld conquer]]" it. At least, [[NobleDemon that's her story and she's sticking to it]].
* In the final stages of ''VideoGame/{{RefleX}}'', [[spoiler:the Phoenix is thoroughly trashed by ZODIAC Virgo and its pilot killed, causing its AI to take over and transform into ZODIAC Ophiuchus. It then proceeds to tear up Virgo, and later the other ZODIAC units. At first, the people of earth hail the Ophiuchus as its savior from the "Winged Menaces", but the Ophiuchus is not interested in protecting humanity, only dueling with the other ZODIAC units until they are all destroyed, no matter how much collateral damage happens in the process. The damage and death toll pile up, and before long, humanity sees Ophiuchus as [[HeWhoFightsMonsters simply yet another menace to the planet]].]]
* Joel from ''VideoGame/TheLastOfUs''. 20 years of hardcore survival [[AfterTheEnd in a world long]] [[ZombieApocalypse gone to Hell]] and [[spoiler:the death of his young daughter Sarah]] have left him an extremely bitter and almost nihilistic middle-aged man who will cross ''any'' moral line to survive in a harsh world. However, he is given the task to escort Ellie, a young girl [[spoiler:who may be the key to curing the plague]], to a holdout on the other side of America. He's ''not at all'' doing it because he cares about the ongoing factional conflict, or because he cares about Ellie's well-being [[note]][[spoiler:(initially)]][[/note]] or because [[spoiler:his doing so could end up saving mankind from extinction]], he's doing it to get his guns back.
* Luke in ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' for the first third of the game. Our “hero” is functionally a child, having been kept inside and away from people ever since an accident stripped him of his memory, leaving him a moody, selfish and arrogant ShelteredAristocrat brat with little people skills or knowledge of the world. He is then told that he is TheChosenOne, which does very little to help his already over-inflated [[ItsAllAboutMe ego]] and [[SmallNameBigEgo sense of entitlement]]. This is made even worse by the encouragement of his mentor, the only person he truly respects. Luke continues to become more whiny and insufferable until the game's WhamEpisode kicks in, where he's [[WhatTheHellHero called out on his actions]] by the entire party. It takes a few more [[MindRape rather]] [[BreakTheCutie unpleasant]] [[AndIMustScream experiences]] [[TraumaCongaLine all in a row]] before he finally [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone snaps out]] [[CharacterDevelopment of it]].
* Rufus of ''VideoGame/{{Deponia}}''. His main goal of escaping the titular trash planet for Elysium is entirely selfish, he is arrogant, rude and beyond egotistical, and much of the first game is him using, manipulating, and outright backstabbing other people in order to achieve his goals. The "intentional" part comes due to the fact he's actually a {{Deconstruction}}. Its made clear that ''nobody'' likes Rufus precisely because he's such an asshole, most, if not all of the series' crises are directly his fault, and he is ''constantly'' called out for his actions. In fact, in the sequel, [[spoiler:Lady Goal abandons the other Goals and all of Deponia to certain doom ''just'' so she could get away from Rufus after everything he's done to her]].
* The titular ''VideoGame/{{Tomba}}'' Sure he's a nice guy and sure he goes out of his way to help a ''lot'' of people along his journey, but all he ultimately cares about is getting back his grandfather's bracelet. Had the Koma Pigs not stolen it he'd have been more than content to sit back and relax as they [[WorldGoneMad did their thing]] to the island.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'':
** Eugene Greenhilt swore a BloodOath to defeat Xykon the Sorcerer because the latter killed his mentor, but he was the one who muttered "yeah, whatever," afterwards. He was a horrible father, an inattentive husband, and the small amount of interest he has in Xykon being defeated is only because that oath he swore is keeping him from resting. He's only ''barely'' inside heaven in the afterlife. When his son Roy died and went to heaven, Roy was able to get much further inside heaven because unlike Eugene, he actually gave a damn and did everything he could to fulfill the family oath.
** Belkar Bitterleaf is an unapologetic HeroicComedicSociopath with no actual redeeming qualities. At one point, [[TheHero Roy]] claims that the only reason he keeps Belkar around is to keep him from using his abilities to become a full-blown villain. Belkar's StupidEvil antics are entirely deliberate on his part, as he finds being his own personal MookHorrorShow is not only entertaining but also an effective way of gaining XP. Later, he shifts to a more subdued TokenEvilTeammate role, and gains an actual MoralityPet of sorts, his RightHandCat, Mr. Scruffy.
* In ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'', any time Bun-Bun does something good in the series, Pete Abrams is always careful to give him a completely selfish reason (usually either that the good guys bribed him, or that the villain happened to piss him off). It's rare that he's implied to do anything solely because he cares about a member of the main cast.
* The Light Warriors in ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'', except [[TokenGoodTeammate Fighter]], are {{Designated Hero}}es who only possess the distinction of being protagonists due to showing up at the recruiting station at the right time. Both in - story and by WordOfGod, they are far worse than any of the monsters they end up facing. The worst of the lot are Black Mage (a pure VillainProtagonist and an OmnicidalManiac who wants to deliver the world to Chaos) and Thief (a JerkAss MiserAdvisor who's only in it to screw over as many people as possible). Red Mage is an amoral {{Munchkin}} who's in it for the XP but will happily commit atrocities toward that end. Fighter, on the other hand, is an IdiotHero who is only going along because he [[HorribleJudgeOfCharacter thinks they're actually on the side of good]].
** Still, the epilogue has them being credited as the individuals who started the events that led to the world being saved. That is, by being responsible for the world-ending threat in the first place.
* In ''AnsemRetort'', the only difference between Axel and the villains he fights is that the villains want to destroy all of humanity at once while Axel would prefer to do it one person at a time.
* The Midnight Crew in ''{{Homestuck}}'' are a group of bloodthirsty, vicious criminals. The only thing thing that keeps them from being outright {{Villain Protagonist}}s of the first Intermission is the fact that the gang they're facing off against, the Felt, is even worse and is led by the BiggerBad of the whole story.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In [=ItsJustSomeRandomGuy's=] Website/YouTube ''FanFic/ImAMarvelAndImADC'' sketches, this trope is played around with. {{Wolverine}} [[{{lampshade}} says to]] [[Comicbook/{{Watchmen}} The Comedian]], "[[{{Dissimile}} You kinda remind me of myself at your age ... except I've got ethics... and I'm not a sociopath... or a rapist... you know what, maybe you remind me of someone else.]]"
* Captain Hammer of ''WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog'''s ''only'' qualification as a hero is that the guy he's fighting is trying to get into a supervillain organization. He may look like TheCape, but underneath his dashing, larger-than-life demeanor is a misogynistic, self-centered, bigoted glory hound who's far more interested in his image than in actually helping people. This makes him the [[HeroAntagonist antagonist]] of the story, set against the nerdy, TechnicalPacifist, ShrinkingViolet [[VillainProtagonist protagonist]], Dr. Horrible.
* In ''WhateleyUniverse'', the Scourge, which in the distant past has destroyed entire galactic civilizations in its efforts to defeat Mythos monsters. SociopathicHero Jobe Wilkins may fall in this trope as well.
* [[TheSpoonyExperiment Spoony]] (The character, not Noah Antwiller) is a sleazy pervert and a confirmed rapist as both The Nostalgia Critic and The Nostalgia Chick found out the hard way. The Chick herself is a sociopath with no qualms when it comes to tormenting and manipulating her best friend.
** Linkara fell into this trope during the Lord Vyce arc, becoming gradually more self-centered and obsessed in his fight against his enemy to the point of being abusive to his friends. The hard light hologram replica of himself he leaves behind to do reviews while he goes on a walkabout to figure out why his magical abilities shut down reflects this perfectly: it turns evil not because it was buggy or corrupted, but because [[GoneHorriblyRight it was a perfectly accurate reflection of Linkara at the time it was created.]]
* Many of the heroes in Literature/{{Worm}} are morally dubious or in it for the sake of their own careers, but Shadow Stalker-a thrill-seeking sociopath with a [[NietzscheWannabe poorly articulated philosophy]] that serves only the purpose of [[BewareTheSuperman placing her at the top of the food chain]] and regularly brutalizes or kills criminals when she thinks she can get away with it-is the clearest example of this trope.
* On Cracked, Dan O'Brien's darker grittier Spiderman film franchise reboot (basically him as Spiderman) was this. He only ever beat up bad guys if he felt like it and he only ever rescued Mary Jane. His archnemesis was [[ScarlettJohansson Doctor Scarlett Johctopus]] and they ended up making out.
* ''Roleplay/WeAreOurAvatars'': A version of Aurora is supposed to be the Dragonborn. Instead, she chose to focus on sidequests, and the Group essentially stole her job. However, the Dragonborn ends up being congratulated for their achievements, angering Imca and Asagi.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' features a few:
** Zapp Brannigan is a selfish, womanizing, ignorant {{Jerkass}} whose incompetence is of epic proportions, and whose battle plans often if not usually call for callously sacrificing thousands of lives in order to further his own career. Nonetheless, he is a key asset for [[TheFederation DOOP]].
** Bender is an extremely selfish kleptomaniac, and thus falls into nominal heroism at times. However, much of this can be excused by the fact that as a robot, he does not fully understand human needs and emotions. He also has quite a few PetTheDog moments.
* Eric Cartman from ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' can be one of these when he's working with the other boys towards any kind of cause. He usually comes across as helping out for his own personal amusement, but it is just as likely that he simply has mutual interests - in "Kenny Dies" he wanted to reinstate funding for stem cell research. He had 33 aborted fetuses he wanted to sell.
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'' has an InUniverse ShowWithinAShow example with Captain Ryan, the "hero" of the ''WesternAnimation/StarTrekTheAnimatedSeries'' parody "Space Heroes". He does nothing "heroic" on-screen, with actions like openly stating he brings along the {{Redshirt}}s so they die, refusing to help two redshirts because "they'll never learn if we keep saving them" (and not caring that this is their first mission and they have no weapons), subtly taunting the Spock-expy about being in love with one of the just-killed redshirts, and sucking a bunch of innocent aliens out into space because he finds their noise annoying. He's played on a meta-level as a HeroicComedicSociopath, in that the audience is amused by the fact that Leonardo seems to never realize how utterly terrible Captain Ryan is and tries to emulate his perceived leadership, whilst Raphael and the others recognize that "Space Heroes" is a terrible show because of Captain Ryan's utter lack of heroic qualities.
* Dr. Venture from ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' often falls into this category, sometimes bordering on VillainProtagonist. He's a BrilliantButLazy BunglingInventor with ''extreme'' [[FreudianExcuse Freudian Exuses]] thanks to his [[AbusiveParent emotionally abusive]] father and HilariouslyAbusiveChildhood. ''Usually,'' he still does the right thing in the end, but in a few episodes (The Buddy System, What Color is Your Cleansuit?,) he's "heroic" only in the sense that he is the show's protagonist, and the "good" he does (cloning a child who was killed on a tour of his compound, restoring the interns after exposing them to extreme radiation,) is basically done to keep himself out of trouble.
* Varrick from ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra''. He's pretty friendly and helpful to the heroes, but he's motivated by self-interest and the villains just happen to be cutting in on his business.
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