->'''Win:''' Well-read fella. You didn't introduce us.
->'''Father Jackey:''' Walter Cow is not someone you want to know.
->'''Win:''' Whyzzat? Is he a gangster? Looks like one, anyway.
->'''Father Jackey:''' Walter!? Oh, Heavens no. He's a Barber. But there are many different ways to be dangerous.
-->-- ''Webcomic/LovecraftIsMissing''

They fight for the good guys. [[MoralSociopathy They might even believe in the cause]] (to a point). But they are a hero only in name.

They are {{antihero}}es who have a fundamental LackOfEmpathy, a [[TheSociopath sociopathic]] disregard for human life. They may be motivated by boredom, or by some sort of carrot-and-stick arrangement - a chip in the head, [[MoralityChain an attachment to some person or thing that requires them to do good]], or a pragmatic code that prevents their truly inhuman nature from landing them in jail.

They may solve their problems in much the [[NotSoDifferent same way as a villain would]]--ruthlessly manipulating and killing their way to their goal. They may routinely torture, murder, and commit evil acts nearly as bad as the BigBad. [[TheUnfettered They'll do whatever it takes to win]]. The people they fight beside worry about their behavior, but feel "[[GladHesOnOurSide At least they're on our side]]."

Compare HeroicComedicSociopath, for when this kind of behavior is PlayedForLaughs and TokenEvilTeammate, which he will be if a team player. A Sociopathic hero is generally either a NominalHero or a VillainProtagonist. If a character is treated as an IdealHero despite being this then this has been combined with a DesignatedHero.

This trope overlaps the SociopathicSoldier, especially if the settings is war or a chaotic milieu.

TruthInTelevision: sociopathic heroes do exist in RealLife. '''[[Administrivia/NoRealLifeExamplesPlease More detail is not necessary]]'''.
----
!!Examples:

%%Do not remove the folders, they are the standard.
[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The lead character of ''Anime/MDGeist'' is somewhere between this and VillainProtagonist. While obviously he's an evil, evil man, he's also the psychotic result of a SuperSoldier program by an offworld human faction, meaning that A: he's programmed to [[BloodKnight only care about fighting and seek to always have battles to fight]], and B: he's still loyal to his creators, who have decided it's best to just scrub all life from the colony world and repopulate it with fresh colonists.
* Alucard from ''Manga/{{Hellsing}}''. He has no regard for human life (though [[spoiler: deep down he admires humanity]]), will kill at any opportunity [[KidWithTheLeash if allowed]], and [[BloodKnight enjoys the thrill of war]]. He does at least attempt to limit his body count to those who actually are a part of the battle he's in.
* ''Manga/BreakBlade'''s Girge played it straight and full on, complete with TokenEvilTeammate, PsychoForHire, BloodKnight, BrokenAce, TeamKiller, PunchClockHero, FauxAffablyEvil, DissonantSerenity, anything else?
* ''Manga/DeathNote'' has two examples:
** Mello is a ruthless mafia boss whose methods include kidnapping, extortion, and killing his own men and anyone who gets in his way but he is technically speaking on the same side as [[SympatheticInspectorAntagonist the detectives.]]
** Near is more manipulative than L and treats the case like it was a game or puzzle and the other people in it as expendable pawns.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'': [[MadScientist Mayuri Kurotsuchi]] and [[BloodKnight Kenpachi Zaraki]] are sometimes depicted this way but can also veer into the HeroicComedicSociopath trope as well.
* ''Manga/DragonBallZ'' has Vegeta when he was the TokenEvilTeammate.
* ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}'''s Claire is an odd case because [[BlueAndOrangeMorality his moral code is very strange.]] He will PayEvilUntoEvil [[UpToEleven by being eviler than the genuine bad guys]] yet he [[EvenEvilHasStandards still has standards.]] He's motivated by heroism but he's also a professional assassin and employs countless methods of torture. He cares about his mentor and [[spoiler: his fiancee]] and his family. Off the job he's a NiceGuy but can quickly shift into a AxCrazy mode if his sense of morality is violated.
** In a different way, [[spoiler:Elmer C. Albatross]], a genuine "essence of pure evil" {{sociopath}} who, thankfully for the world around him, decided that working ForHappiness was more interesting than working ForTheEvulz.
* ''Manga/BlackLagoon'' has Roberta, who was once an amoral killing machine but has now dedicated herself to the Lovelace family [[spoiler:and goes completely off the deep end when she thinks her young master has died]]. And Revy laughs and sings when she's gunning people down, and nine times out of ten her first recourse is to put a 9mm round in any given problem, but she's one of the protagonists and is shown to have [[EvenEvilHasStandards a few standards]].
* Guts in his days as the vengeance-driven Black Swordsman from ''{{Berserk}}'' was very much this trope. Even now, Guts is still a sociopath. The only reason he saves people is because one of his companions asks him to. Even before that, Guts ''clearly'' enjoyed his job as a mercenary, relishing in crushing the skulls of his enemies and striking fear into their hearts.
* ''Manga/GetterRobo'' pilots Ryoma Nagare and Hayato Jin in several continuities. Jin's first appearance in the original manga is as a violent revolutionary punishing would-be deserters by ''ripping a man's face off.'' He mellows a bit as he ages, but is still willing to send in his own fiancee as part of a force defusing booby-trapped atomic bombs by trial and error. Ryoma practically lives to fight.
* Kuroko of ''Manga/{{Murcielago}}''. While she mostly sticks to [[SerialKillerKiller killing other serial killers]], she has no qualms about doing so.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Rorschach of ''Comicbook/{{Watchmen}}'' is more than willing to torture and kill if he believes good will come of it. He is also the target of a large MisaimedFandom that admires his absolute dedication to his cause.
--> '''Rorschach:''' Lying. Do it again - break finger. Not joking.
** Dr. Manhattan and the Comedian also qualify, the former more and more so over the course of the story.
** Ozymandias qualifies as well, as in order to save the world he was willing [[spoiler:to kill everyone in Manhattan.]]
* ''ComicBook/ThePunisher''. All his enemies are mob bosses and criminals, but his ultimate goal isn't to catch them or stop them, but to kill them.
* ''ComicBook/TheSpectre'' is such a sociopath that the only reason he isn't a well-meaning villain is that {{God}} keeps him bound to a human soul, to give him a conscience and sense of proportion. It works... barely. Sorta. If you stretch the definition of "proportion".
-->Saving this man is a waste of time. He would have been welcomed into God's kingdom, reunited with his father. While here in Italy, a boy rides his bike through the night and is struck dead by the driver. The murderer has been arrested, but that is not enough. He must feel his insides pop open as the boy's did. His rotten soul must be crushed like the boy's skull. The killer will taste the vengeance of the Spectre!
* Griffin (the Invisible Man), Captain Nemo, and Mr. Hyde in ''TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen''. [[spoiler:Griffin commits a FaceHeelTurn. Hyde does not, and takes Griffin's betrayal... Poorly.]]
* The Scarab, the source of BlueBeetle's powers, will default to lethal force for almost any situation. Thankfully, Jaime keeps it in check. It starts to get better with Jaime's influence.
* Marv from SinCity is the definition of sociopath, in fact on multiple occasions he describes himself as nothing more than a wild animal. On the other hand, Marv tends to over-exaggerative his foibles because no one ever told him otherwise. He is ugly; therefore he is dumb. He has a mental disorder; therefore he is a psychopath. While Marv relishes committing violence against those who deserve it, he has also come to the aid of innocents, such as a homeless man who was nearly immolated by a street punk.
* In ''Bloodstrike'', the whole second Bloodstrike team is this. They save lives and fight tyranny and evil, but none of them are heroic. Deadlock, for instance, claims to hate himself, and hate everyone else even more.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* [[{{Slayers}} Xellos]] is portrayed this way in author Prime Minister's [[http://vejiitasei.anesidora.ca/slayers_fanfics.php epic series]] about the relationship between him and Lina Inverse. He shows no love or empathy towards others, except Lina [[spoiler:and the children they eventually have together.]]
* Played with for L's character in ''Fanfic/StoryOfTheCentury'', whose canonical role as the BigGood becomes deconstructed; he looks like this at his worst due to his apparent LackOfEmpathy and [[{{Jerkass}} frosty]] [[{{Determinator}} single-tracked demeanor]]. It gets to a point where he's sometimes treated as the VillainProtagonist of the story, [[spoiler:that is until Light and Misa are revealed to be the REAL villains, but even then.]] However, there are moments in the story and in its supplementary material that suggest that [[SugarAndIcePersonality he does care more about people than he lets on]], he begins to act a little more "human" around MoralityPet Erin (though he will never outright admit how important she is to him, and sometimes [[KickTheMoralityPet not even she's safe]] [[ManipulativeBastard from his dirty play]]) [[spoiler:and ends up making a HeroicSacrifice at the end. Unfortunately, the way he goes about it earns him the treatment one may get from crossing the MoralEventHorizon instead.]]
* Directly played through with Mercury in the A dance of Shadow and Light series by [[https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3779251/Ocadioan Ocadioan]], where the author himself even states in an AN that Mercury is, at his best, a temporary sociopath, whom the author himself would fear if he was ever to find himself in a position of power with lands and titles.
** It certainly comes to show after the big reveal in [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8100008/1/The-beginnings-of-the-Shadow the first story]], wherein it is revealed that [[spoiler: Mercury was perfectly willing to betray every “friend” and ally that he had made up until that point in order to kill Galbatorix with plan B: [[NukeEm nuking the Capital]],]] which he knows would have killed quite a large proportion of the countryside as well.
*** He is somewhat justified in taking it up to this level, as this was his plan B, just in case the Varden and other races failed with plan A(and would therefore be dead anyway), and considering that he was the seemingly the only one thinking of what were to happen if plan A failed, one can’t blame him for thinking ahead.
** It becomes worse in [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8631890/1/From-the-darkest-of-Shadow-a-Light-is-born the second story]], where his flashbacks shows him not only [[spoiler:killing and mentally breaking a father in front of his wife and children (who btw have been tied up with nooses around their necks), but also killing off the rest of the family after he offs the father. HeWhoFightsMonsters indeed, especially when considering that he is doing all of this in a [[SpyVersusSpy war against The Black Hand]].]] He also gets extra points for [[spoiler:offing his old {{love interest|s}}, [[ManipulativeBastard manipulating the female protagonist]]]] and caring more about getting his [[spoiler:personal revenge against a shade that destroyed his home and killed his pets]] than the lives of those that could be saved if he just played along with the dragon riders and let them do the deed.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Riddick from ''Franchise/TheChroniclesOfRiddick'' series, at least mildly. He's more of a survivor than a sociopath, though FridgeLogic would suggest he's done a fair amount of killing over his life to earn a trip to a triple-max prison. He certainly has nothing against killing when it benefits him, at any rate. Just make sure you [[EvenEvilHasStandards mind the children]]. Lookin' at you, [[spoiler:Johns]].
* Depending on the actor, Film/JamesBond is a borderline case. Being a 00 agent practically requires it, as one has to kill in cold blood; that is, without the deceased having been any direct, active threat to the agent.
** Daniel Craig's is explicitly intended to play this trope straight, showing no remorse for killing two men, and feeling perfectly justified in breaking into his supervisor's home in the middle of the night.
* Billy the Kid in ''Film/YoungGuns'' consistently behaves as one. He is excited every time there is bloodshed, and kills perhaps more people than any of his companions, often ignoring the original plan they agreed on just so he can kill more opponents.
* Richard Chance from ''Film/ToLiveAndDieInLA'' counts big time. He is impulsive, treats his CI/friend with benefits Ruth like crap, and [[spoiler:robs an undercover FBI agent to finance his own sting against Rick Masters.]]
* [[FaceHeelRevolvingDoor Even when saving the Earth]], Franchise/{{Godzilla}} has shown himself to be very ruthless and brutal in his methods, though he subverts the trope in that he actually has some altruistic qualities.
* The Bride from ''Film/KillBill''. When she's under a truth serum from Bill, she admits that she genuinely enjoys killing and maiming people. In fact, what stops her from being a downright VillainProtagonist (she was after all a contract killer for most of her life) is the relative HeelFaceTurn she went through upon [[spoiler:finding out she was pregnant]], and her very deserved revenge.
* Travis Bickle in ''Film/TaxiDriver'' is a nice, quiet variant.
* Ripley in ''Film/AlienResurrection''. This Ripley is extremely cynical and callous, due to partially merging with the Aliens. A doctor theorizes that she has some form of emotional autism. Some examples of her sociopathy are trying to strangle Dr. Wren on a whim, breaking another doctor's arm immediately after she wakes up (in a deleted scene), and looking at another character getting dragged off by the Aliens with curious fascination. The only time she shows any real emotion is when she finds her other clones and incinerates them, and when her "son" (the Newborn) dies.
** She does, however, clearly form an emotional bond with [[RobotGirl Call]], which is shown increasingly clearer at the end of the movie. In fact, said bond between a hybrid human-alien creature and a synthetic, the latter of which is probably the character with the most intact moral compass in the entire film, who cares most about humanity and the threat the Xenomorphs present to it, seems to be part of an Aesop.
* If Snake Plissken gives even a fraction of a damn about the people who die helping him, he certainly doesn't show it.
** In ''Film/EscapeFromNewYork'', the only hint that he might care is when he asks the president how he felt about all the people who died to rescue him and is not impressed with the president's flippant response.
** In ''Film/EscapeFromLA'', he does seem to be shocked and upset at [[spoiler:Taslima]]'s death, perhaps because she's about the only person who hasn't either [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder turned on him]] or outright [[ManipulativeBastard manipulated him for their own ends]].
* Private Joker from ''Film/FullMetalJacket'' proudly states he joined the Marines for ''the sole purpose'' of killing people and bragging about it. Though he is extremely sarcastic, hence the name.
* In the Churchill biopic ''Film/IntoTheStorm'', we have General "Mad Bomber" Harris, who is the one to suggest and execute the bombing of Dresden and in one scene ''brags about it''.
* Zig-zagged in the film adaptation of ''Film/TheKeep''. There's a lot of toning down of the character of Glaeken. He still comes off as being an emotionally disconnected and kind of creepy individual, but the only person he directly murders besides the BigBad is a nameless Nazi soldier, although he does so with surprising ferocity and the guy's only real crime (outside of, y'know, being a Nazi) was he wouldn't stop attempting to grab Glaeken's arm. Seems like a considerably minor offense to deserve being [[RailingKill chucked down]] a gorge. They ''did'' film the scene from the book where Glaeken murders Carlos for betraying him, but it was cut (possibly in an effort to avert this very trope).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fairy Tales]]
* Let's face it, the heroes of MANY fairy tales behave this way, killing, lying and stealing their way to fame and fortune, often with no better excuse than "that guy deserved it." Jack (from Jack and the Beanstalk), for example, commits multiple burglaries and then murders the person coming to reclaim their stolen property. The musical IntoTheWoods deconstructs this story, among many others.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* This is how Literature/TakeshiKovacs views himself. Several times, he describes the traits needed to qualify for Envoy training as "psychopathic tendencies and a sense of team spirit", at least one of which he had instilled during time in the military. While he has enough of a conscience to PetTheDog for those who he feels to be the victims, he has no problem with [[KilledOffForReal permakilling]] or [[ColdBloodedTorture torturing]] anyone who interferes with his goals.
* Several characters in Peter Watts's ''Literature/{{Blindsight}}''; most prominently Jukka Sarasti: a potential murderer, a sociopathic vampire, but one who leads the crew against impossible odds, and who is possibly going out of his way not to offend their sensibilities.
* Like his television version, Literature/{{Dexter}} Morgan in ''Dexter in the Dark'' and subsequent novels.
* Severian the Torturer from the ''BookOfTheNewSun'' series by Gene Wolfe. His values are so far astern from the reader's sensibilities that he sometimes comes across as shockingly cruel. In some instances, it seems he is ambiguous when describing events that are of great moral relevance to the reader, apparently because he sees no ethical dilemma in them. He shows a mixture of traits, some of which may be sociopathic, others of which may indicate a place on the autism spectrum.
** Partly this is due to Severian having been raised as a Torturer from infancy, and partly it is due to his status as a mnemonist. Having studied Abnormal Psychology at Miami University, Wolfe was likely aware of the case history of a real life mnemonist (known as 'S.') who displayed a passive-receptive attitude, and a wealth of thought and imagination contrasting with a surprising lack of intellect. These traits are a significant plot point, with Severian unable to join the dots to see how he is being manipulated, distracting the reader with flights of fancy, and, in true Wolfeian style, leaving the reader to [[ViewersAreGeniuses figure out the true story]].
* PeterPan, probably much to the surprise of those only familiar with the LighterAndSofter adaptations. Peter spends an awful lot of his time killing off pirates, and often is willing to put his friends in danger simply because it would be interesting or even funny. This is because of the basic nature of his character; being a child forever, he's inherently selfish and often amoral. This is played up a bit in the 2003 film, but most adaptations soften the edges off the character.
** It is mentioned that during the fights between the Lost Boys and the pirates, if the pirates seem to be at a disadvantage, Peter will join their side to even things out. That's right, he will happily fight and ''kill'' his friends just because it's more of a challenge. Evidently, Lost Boys come and go, and Peter doesn't have any real interest in keeping track of them.
* Okonkwo from ''Literature/ThingsFallApart'' is more sociopathic than hero at times. He executes his adopted son, and gets convicted for murder and arson, the arson being for burning down a church (Which was a stand against colonialism, but still...).
* John Cleaver from ''Literature/IAmNotASerialKiller'' is actually a clinically diagnosed sociopath.
* ''Literature/TheDogStars'': AfterTheEnd, the main character Higs has a partnership with Bangley, a sociopathic gun-nut who lives for nothing besides killing. Higs does all the practical work, while Bangley protects them.
* Literature/JamesBond shows considerable devotion to MI6, to Britain and to long-time friends like Felix Leiter - but he does fit this trope. To his credit, he is not as relentless as many other examples; a {{Mook}} that can be gotten out of the way non-fatally will generally not be killed 'because it's easier'.
* This was part of Ayn Rand's SignatureStyle:
** John Galt of ''Literature/AtlasShrugged'' -- the man who has never experienced "fear or pain or guilt." This is supposed to be a good thing.
** Howard Roark of ''Literature/TheFountainhead'' blows up an apartment building because his designs weren't followed to the letter. Both of these characters are portrayed positively.
* Joy Phim is a perfect example of this trope in the ''Literature/NeverAgain'' series. When we first meet her, she mentions her skill with weapons and lovingly describes how swiftly she can kill someone with her martial arts. When training [[ActionSurvivor John]] in there use, she says that it's actually best to kill one's enemy instead of incapacitating them, even though this goes against the code of nearly every martial artist. If one still had any doubts as to her nature, she sulks in her room whenever John hires a criminal syndicate to do their dirty work instead of letting Joy kill their targets herself-- that's right, she throws a tantrum if she doesn't get to kill someone. The only reason John and the Society even put up with her is because their enemies are [[BlackAndGrayMorality the worst dictators of the twentieth century]].
* ''Literature/HowToBeASuperhero'' offers several examples and recommendations, most notably The Castrator, a man in spiked body armor who wields a bloody chainsaw.
* Glaeken Trismegestus in ''[[Literature/TheAdversaryCycle The Keep]]''. While not an actual sociopath (i.e. not suffering from any particular mental illness), he has lived for so long as an immortal on the fringes of human society and keeps himself from forming emotional bonds when he'll inevitably have to leave the person or outlive them, so he finds killing people very easy to do, and does so without remorse multiple times. When Carlos - the captain of the ship taking him from Greece to Romania - betrays him, Glaeken ''does'' initially let him live, but unfortunately the guy has ChronicBackstabbingDisorder, forcing Glaeken to kill him not even two sentences later. He also rather cold-bloodedly murders the Romanian soldiers at the border, although being that they're collaborators working with the Nazis it's hardly as if they're undeserving victims. This is toned down in the [[Film/TheKeep film]].
* Kelsier in ''Literature/MistbornTheOriginalTrilogy'' is, by WordOfGod, a clinical psychopath. Luckily for the world, he directs his psychopathy at slaughtering the evil nobles and overthrowing the Final Empire. By the end of the first book, he is being worshipped as a CrystalDragonJesus.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The main character of "Series/{{Revenge}}"- she proves several times over that she is willing to steamroll innocents to get what she wants.
* Dexter Morgan, in the TV show ''Series/{{Dexter}}'', is a prime example. A SerialKiller ([[SerialKillerKiller albeit of other killers]]) who has to emulate emotions to go unnoticed by others, and is only motivated by his urge to kill.
* In the 4th, 5th and 6th seasons of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', [[spoiler:the soulless vampire Spike]] plays this role, at first against his will, under the influence of an implanted chip that causes him pain when he attacks something with a soul. Now, his only outlet for his violent predilection is beating up monsters and demons. He sides with the heroes more out of boredom, looking for something to do. Later, he begins to do good for the love of a female character, but only because that's what she would want him to do. His transition to true selflessness occurs without him ever becoming capable of the soulful qualities that distinguish humans from Buffyverse vampires; for that reason, his final act of Season 6 is to seek a real soul.
* In the 5th season of ''Series/{{Angel}}'', [[spoiler:the vampire Harmony]] works for the good guys, but her motivation is her own personal development. She does good because it seems like an interesting thing to do. [[spoiler:In the finale, she turns on Angel, because as a soulless demon, it's just not in her nature to do good. Angel [[GenreSavvy saw this coming]] and made it part of his plan.]]
* In ''SonsOfAnarchy'', this applies to pretty much everyone in SAMCRO. Tig is the leading example in the early episodes, but he's overpaced by Happy. While the club watches an IRA member torture a traitor, most are shown to be either stoic or disturbed by the display. Happy is smiling.
* Damon in ''Series/TheVampireDiaries'', when the mood strikes him.
* Shane in ''Series/TheWalkingDead'' slowly slides into this role. By the second season [[spoiler:when he shoots Otis in the leg and leaves him to be killed by zombies]] he's this fully.
* The Doctor occasionally is this in ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** The First Doctor started out as this. He held some meaningful ideals, but genuinely did not understand or care about other people's feelings, being happy to openly lie to them and play them against each other to follow his own goals, which were mostly just to be able to do whatever he wanted ForScience. He kidnaps people, gets them into trouble for his own amusement, constantly accuses them of trying to steal from him, and at one point he even tries to murder a person for no reason beyond paranoia, while at the same time using a paper-thin veneer of doddery-old-man in order to make himself look weak and innocent whenever he has to. His granddaughter is something of a MoralityPet but even though she loves him she is obviously terrified of him, often more than the monsters, and weeps openly in fear of repercussions whenever she tries to persuade him to do something for her. He gets some CharacterDevelopment, though - Ian and Barbara manage to drum some basic manners into him, and although he starts out with NoSocialSkills and occasionally slips back into treating his companions like dirt (although apologising for it afterwards), by "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" he's declared himself a defender of the weak and by "The Time Meddler" he chooses to punish someone in a devastating but pointedly non-fatal way.
** The later regenerations of the Doctor constantly struggle against becoming this. During "The Waters of Mars" the Tenth Doctor ended up going so completely [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope off the deep end]], he briefly styled himself as "The Time Lord Victorious" and was willing to break time itself in half to save people, even if they didn't ''want'' him to.
* In the BBC's ''{{Jekyll}}'', "Hyde is love - and love is a psychopath."
* ''Series/PersonOfInterest'' has a few, most notably Sam Shaw, an actual diagnosed Sociopath who works with team machine, pretty much because she has nothing better to do. She still has a strong moral centre, however, and despite never expressing any genuine empathy at any time, still has a few tender moments and a soft spot for [[TeamPet Bear]].
** Reese tends to have a few more scruples, but he has had his moments, especially [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge after a corrupt cop killed someone he cared about]].
* [[NominalHero Sherlock Holmes]] of ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'' certainly plays with the trope a lot, with Sherlock even referring to himself once as a "high-functioning sociopath". He doesn't seem to care at all about the people who bring him his cases, [[ItsAllAboutMe only solves them to keep himself from getting bored]], and is definitely not above [[TheCharmer charming]], [[ConsummateLiar lying to]], and {{manipulati|veBastard}}ng anyone - including his best friend, John - as long as it helps solve the mystery.
** From Season 2 on, it becomes increasingly clear that, although he identifies himself as a "high-functioning sociopath", he really isn't, and Creator/StevenMoffat [[WordOfGod has more or less confirmed it.]] While he is seldom sympathetic, he is occasionally ''empathetic'' (a trait most true sociopaths lack), and genuinely caring about the few people he has allowed into his life; John, Mrs. Hudson, [=LeStrade=], Molly and Mary.
* Tsukasa Kadoya, the titular character of ''Series/KamenRiderDecade'', is more than willing to troll, manipulate and just generally be unpleasant, although [[MoralityPet his friends usually act as his moral compass]]. Most of the show is driven by the question of whether he is ultimately a hero or a VillainProtagonist.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Pro Wrestling]]
* A lot of wrestlers who either have monster gimmicks or spent a long time as a heel will become this after a HeelFaceTurn.
** Wrestling/TheUndertaker
** Wrestling/{{Kane}}
** Wrestling/RandyOrton
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Religion & Mythology]]
* The heroes of religious stories often get a pass similar to the Fairy Tale folder above. In Literature/TheBible, for example, the prophet Elisha asks God to punish a gang of teenagers for mocking and insulting him...and God complies by [[BearsAreBadNews sending two bears to devour the lot of them]].
* GreekMythology heroes. ALL of them. The GreekMythology doesn't ponder with such pesky concepts as "right" and "wrong" or "good" and "evil". The only concept of "sin" which the GreekMythology knows is ''hubris'', delusion of being as good as [[JerkassGod the deities]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* A character with Compassion 1 in ''{{Exalted}}'' can be played as this. Alchemicals with high Clarity are explicitly spelled out as ''not'' examples - they're emotionless, not wantonly cruel - but those infected by Gremlin Syndrome may well attempt to continue fighting the good fight even as their condition instils a psychotic desire to destroy and maim.
** Infernals who take enough Ebon Dragon Charms can easily become virtue-stripped sociopaths who have to actively resist the urge to flip out and ruin people's happiest memories, but they remain playable and capable of [[NobleDemon perverse nobility]] even as they're wrecking lives left, right and centre.
* The Wayward creed from ''TabletopGame/HunterTheReckoning'' cannot turn off their second sight, so they see the monsters that walk amongst humanity 24/7. They also have no empathy for the masses. Their fight against the supernatural does not care about collateral damage: if a Wayward thinks the most efficient way to kill a vampire that controls a local business is to bomb the building while he's inside (along with all of the innocent employees), then he'll bring it down. The iconic Wayward, God45, is implied to have stolen a nuclear weapon during the Time of Judgment.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* [[DependingOnTheWriter Depending on the Director]], ''{{Hamlet}}'' can be played this way.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Raiden from the ''Franchise/MetalGear'' series was a child soldier in Libra since 1989. He seems to be harmless in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2'' but in ''VideoGame/MetalGearRisingRevengeance'' has him going back to his sociopathic, more psychopathic persona as a major plot point later on. However [[WellIntentionedExtremist Raiden was hell-bent on saving the children from being forced into being killer cyborgs since he wants to prevent them from the same horrific childhood happening to others.]]
* Karel from VideoGame/FireEmblemElibe fits this trope in ''Rekka no Ken'', where he was a massive BloodKnight known as the ''Sword Demon'' who eventually rediscovers a part of his humanity through his supports. In ''Fuuin no Tsurugi'', his OlderAndWiser self is the famed ''Saint of Swords'', and acts much calmer.
** Similarly, Henry from FireEmblemAwakening joins Chrom's BadassCrew solely to get to fight against a more powerful army. From then on he gets massive kicks out of tearing through enemy lines and using GallowsHumor in many of his interactions with others.
* Jade Curtiss from ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' is a genuinely compelling example of this, being mentioned as killing animals for fun in his childhood, not being able to form significant emotional bonds, and being described by his own sister as having something "wrong" with the way he thinks. Despite what can be easily interpreted as a genuine lack of most emotions and {{moral|Sociopathy}}ity, he still tries to consciously compensate for this and do what he speculates others would see as the "right" thing. And near the end, it manages to be deeply touching when Jade calmly tells Luke [[spoiler:that even though Luke is objectively the better choice to die, he is compelled to stop him because he considers Luke his friend]].
* VideoGame/{{Wario|Land}}, when he isnīt [[VideoGame/WarioWare making microgames]] or [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros causing mischief alongside his partner Waluigi]], is one of the purest examples of this trope. All of Warioīs adventures (with the only exception being Wario Land III, and even thatīs questionable) are motivated by his greed. He rampages through lands, collecting hundreds of coins and treasures, [[OneManArmy smashing hordes of enemies in brutal ways]], smashing the coins out of the enemies, and looking for more treasure, while clearly enjoying himself during it. [[TheDeterminator He pulls no stops whatsoever]], and the only reason why he is considered an anti-hero is because he usually fights agaisnīt people who are even greedier, or because they are trying to destroy the world. Some people like to think of Mona, his supposed girlfriend, as his MoralityPet, but itīs obvious Wario cares very little for her or any of his friends.
* Morrigan of ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' is one of the StupidEvil variants: her answer to everything tends to be "Eh, we don't need to help them, let's just kill everyone." This has at least some justification since her only social interaction for most of her life came from her mother, who [[spoiler:might have intentionally crippled her emotionally in order to make her [[BodySurf easier to eventually possess]]]].
** The Warden can be played as such, which actually resonates with their entire order. Depersonalization is one of the reasons why the Wardens are such effective warriors, as we are often reminded the Grey Wardens can and will do ''[[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans whatever it takes]]'' to defeat the Darkspawn. Even if it means razing a city to the ground to ''save'' the people within.
** The Legion of the Dead are also comprised at least partially of this. Exiles, criminals, murderers and even rapists from Orzammar are accepted as members, who hold their own funerals when they join, consider themselves dead, and are willing to spend their last days waging guerrilla warfare and [[TheBerserker full head-on assaults]] against the Darkspawn horde.
* [[LegacyOfKain Kain]] really is a sociopathic hero, in that he was afflicted with some kind of mental illness seconds after he was born, making him megalomaniacal, anti-social (in the psychological sense of the term), and incapable of empathy. However, despite being a VillainProtagonist, he's the only real hope Nosgoth's got.
* VideoGame/{{Bayonetta}} sure does love killing angels.
* Caim from ''{{Drakengard}}''. The game makes it obvious he's only after TheEmpire for his own revenge: That they happen to be the ones trying to summon Elder Evils from beyond the Veil to destroy reality itself is incidental to him. He kicks enough dogs during the events of the first game to fill a small cart, butchers his way through several armies (some of which contain ChildSoldiers) with a SlasherSmile on his face, and even his human-hating dragon companion finds his shenanigans a bit over-the-top.
** Averted in the second game. Not because Caim has had a change of heart, just that the new main character Nowe is on the ''receiving'' end of his bad side.
* In the lore of ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'', Pelinal Whitestrake, the Divine Crusader, was a legendary hero and companion to Saint Alessia who was instrumental in toppling the tyrannical Ayleid Empire and personally slew their leader, Umaril. He was also a frothing-at-the-mouth racist and berserker who once did something so heinous it nearly caused the Divines to ''turn their backs on mortal life''.
* Kratos from ''VideoGame/GodOfWar''. In some games he's a somewhat-tragic ByronicHero, in others he's just a rampaging deicide machine, but no matter what he's on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge and anyone in his way is going to be splattered on the walls, [[{{Gotterdammerung}} regardless of consequences]].
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' has the BountyHunter and PunchClockHero mercenary Zaeed. While he doesn't exact always propose MurderIsTheBestSolution, he probably wouldn't be against suggestions for it, though he makes clear at a few points that [[EvenEvilHasStandards he has standards nonetheless]]. The same game features Jack, a biotic TykeBomb who's been so abused and beaten that at this point the only pleasure she finds any more is in killing. It helps that the men who trained her would torture her any time she showed mercy, and inject her with drugs to get her to associate pleasure with killing.
** Depending on how the player chooses, Shepard can also be a sociopath hero, wielding InsaneTrollLogic and shooting people on a whim. That's what gives us the YouTube videos [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sy-eRfupYbA&feature=kp Commander Shepard is Such a Jerk]] and [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PjTuSQNLI4 Commander Shepard is Still a Jerk.]] If you want to believe Shepard is a megalomaniacal paranoid schizophrenic who happens to have a fixation on a threat that, coincidentally, happens to exist, go right ahead.
* Alex Mercer from ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}'' is a very complex case, but he ends up being well-intentioned in the end, saving New York from destruction. Doesn't prevent him from being an AxeCrazy PsychoPrototype who savagely kills his enemies, consumes people (though the player can choose whether to eat civilians or not) and has a hard backstory behind him. By the time the second game rolls around he's [[RogueProtagonist definitely no longer a hero]] - but bizarrely no longer a sociopath, either.
* While the original Vault Hunters of ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'' toed the line (especially Brick), most of the new Vault Hunters in the sequel qualify big time. Axton is a GloryHound who committed treason against his government and purposefully puts his allies in danger just so he can look like a badass, Salvador h [[AxCrazy has too much fun]] slaughtering his way across the Planet, and [=Zer0=] is a BloodKnight assassin who will kill ''anyone'' if the price and challenge is right. Even Maya and Gaige, easily the most moral of the new Vault Hunters, are more than willing to viciously taunt their enemies, making Maya a Type 2 {{antihero}}ine with hints of Type 3 and Gaige a Type 3.
** And then there's [[AxCrazy Krieg]]. If it weren't for the SplitPersonality reigning him in, he'd go from [[PayEvilUntoEvil slaughtering bandits and Hyperion personnel]] to [[OmnicidalManiac slaughtering everything in sight]].
* Guybrush Threepwood, especially in ''VideoGame/MonkeyIsland2LeChucksRevenge'', where just about everything he does, from stealing, to framing people, to blatantly cheating at things, is a jerkass move. Many fans of the series enjoy the sheer feeling of power this game provides.
* Interestingly, while ''{{Ultima}} IV'' is written with the clear expectation that you should be the diametric opposite of this, there is the fact that Virtues can't actually go below zero. So there's nothing stopping you from spending the first part of the game stealing, murdering city guards for money and experience, abusing the trust of blind herbalists by underpaying them for their services, and messing around with incredibly evil skulls... until you have a few levels under your belt, plenty of money, and reagents for your spells, at which point you turn into a living saint. Also, while giving money to beggars is Compassionate, doing so by giving one coin at a time (to maximise the reward) is questionable ethics.
* 60% of what makes VideoGame/{{Deponia}}'s main protagonist Rufus unlikable is his jerkass personality. 40% is the fact that he solves half of his problems by blowing stuff up. Or setting up a domino-effect. Or even killing people.
* The Spartans from ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' are said to have "mild sociopathic tendencies" due to their years of being formed into killing machines, though it's shown throughout the series that the Spartans ''do'' care about others, with [[VideoGame/HaloReach Jorge-052]] at one point even going out of his way to comfort a civilian stranger who just lost her father.
** Dr. Halsey, creator of the original Spartan-[=IIs=], has elements of this. She kidnapped children and subjected them to grueling training as well physical augmentations that left many of them crippled or worse. Even the secretive and manipulative AI Assembly, despite approving of her work, though that she might have had an "undiagnosed, undocumented, or deliberately obfuscated chemical imbalance" in her neural system. While she does feel a great deal of guilt about her role in all of this (as does Cortana, an AI clone of her brain), she expresses absolutely none of it in public and remains adamant that it was necessary, even after ONI (the people who approved the entire project in the first place) arrest her to use as a scapegoat.
** The Office of Naval Intelligence (the aforementioned ONI) is basically an entire agency made up of these; apart from green-lighting SPARTAN-II in the first place, they also approved SPARTAN-III (which, despite absolutely zero involvement from Halsey, still used children, but as ''suicide'' super soldiers; the two Spartans we've seen who actually play this trope straight, [[VideoGame/HaloReach Emile-A239]] and [[Literature/HaloEvolutions Jonah]], are both [=IIIs=]), experimenting on prisoners with the galaxy-destroying Flood virus, sabotaging the one major post-Covenant faction who ''supports'' humanity's right to exist ([[NiceJobBreakingItHero and strengthening the anti-human factions in the process]]), secretly sacrificing an entire colony to capture a Covenant ship, etc.
*** James Ackerson, head of SPARTAN-III, is a good individual example of an ONI sociopath; despite a distinguished record both on and off the field ([[spoiler:even using his last moments in life to help save Cleveland from a Covenant attack]]), he's also often prioritizes his personal ambition over the greater good, to the point where he actually tried to get the Master Chief himself killed in a training accident on Reach ''when the Covenant were already attacking the planet''.
* The Boss from SaintsRow, despite preferring the term "Puckish Rogue".
* An common interpretation of the ''[[Franchise/ShinMegamiTenseiPersona Persona]]'' ''[[VideoGame/{{Persona 3}} 3]]'' and (to a lesser degree) ''[[VideoGame/{{Persona 4}} 4]]'' protagonists - to max out Social links (and to attain power) the protagonists are capable of tailoring their personalities to be whatever is needed by the subject, in order to be loved and trusted. They're also capable of dating about every single girl in the game, at the same time, with no qualms at all - with the third game's male protagonist being ''required'' to do this to achieve full completion.
** However, in ''[[UpdatedRerelease Persona 4 Golden]]'', dating more than one girl ([[spoiler:with the exception of Marie]]) will force you to [[spoiler:reject all but one of them in a continuous series of fully voice-acted scenes, and the game ''will'' call you out on YourCheatingHeart]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* [[spoiler:Kotomine Kirei]] from ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', albeit only in the backstory. He was a well-regarded member of his organization prior to his StartOfDarkness, but was a pure sociopath and ReluctantPsycho from the start.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Xanauzumaki's AlternateCharacterInterpretation of ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask Majora's Mask]]'' Link.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlibaEfqwKE From the first episode of Majora's Mask]]: (To the tune of the Hokey-Pokey) ''"You push your blade back in, you pull your blade back out, you push your blade back in, and you twist it all about. You stab and disembowel them until they start to shout, that's what it's all about, Second Verse!"''
* Loophole of the WhateleyUniverse has slipped from the perfect southern belle into this as of ''A Cold Plate of Vengeance'' given what she does to an enemy who [[MindRape mind-raped her]]. And then doesn't see anything wrong with using a holographic projection of said rapist as the face for Loophole's [=AI=].
* SfDebris AlternateCharacterInterpretation of [[Series/StarTrekVoyager Janeway]] is played like this (to the point of being the BigBad of the franchise). While it is done for humor there are several times where the Janeway in the show does something either as bad or ''worse'' than SfDebris!Janeway.
** In his review of ''Latent Image'' he compared his Janeway and the show's Janeway's solutions to the events of the episode. He gave up partway when he realized that the real Janeway's solution was more extreme than her own ''parody''.
* Near the end of V3 of ''SurvivalOfTheFittest'', Dominica Shapiro [[HeelRealization realizes that she has become this]] [[spoiler: just before she throws herself at the terrorists guns a-blazing in a bid to keep the escaping students safe, and to have some fun in the meanwhile.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The Light Warriors in ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'' would more or less be this, [[NominalHero with emphasis on the "In name only" part]].
** Except [[TokenGoodTeammate Fighter]], who's just incredibly stupid.
* ''LastRes0rt'' has Jason Spades, who considers himself a hero... y'know, except for that whole "[[AxeCrazy wanting to kill Daisy]]" thing.
* In ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' we have Belkar, an AxeCrazy KnifeNut halfling. WordOfGod makes it VERY clear that Belkar is 100% ChaoticEvil. For most of his screen time he fits better into HeroicComedicSociopath, though there have definitely been moments where his impulsive bloodlust causes drama and even setbacks for the rest of the team. For example, during [[LawfulGood Roy]]'s afterlife judgement it's mentioned that Belkar would normally cause Roy a lot of karma demerits if the team weren't so good at directing Belkar's violence toward the villains.
** After coming to the conclusion that he needs to [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0606.html fake character development]], Belkar has become more cooperative with the rest of the team. In other words, he's gone from being a sociopath to...being a slightly higher-functioning sociopath.
* ''Webcomic/SaturdayMorningBreakfastCereal'' has [[http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=2666#comic the Iron Sociopath]] who fights crime because it gives him an opportunity to commit violence unpunished.
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