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->''He must be so lonely, he must be so sad''
->''He goes to extremes to convince us he’s bad''
->''He’s really a victim of fear and of pride''
->''Look close and there must be a sweet man inside''

This character is harsh and mean. They are abrasive and cruel, but in truth they're just depressed and fearful, trying to intimidate people into [[IWorkAlone leaving them alone]]. Like a hedgehog, this character bristles with spikes in order [[TheyreCalledPersonalIssuesForAReason to protect themselves]]. Intimacy scares them, and perhaps [[NeverBeHurtAgain they've been hurt before]].

This is a common method of creating a JerkassWoobie. By being introduced as a jerk that the audience hates, only for character development to reveal that in reality, they're just scared of getting close to anyone.

Often overlaps with the BrokenBird who has similar feelings of depression, isolation, and fear of social interaction due to a DarkAndTroubledPast. Broken Birds, however, tend to be passive, while this character is proactive about driving people away. May cultivate and revel in their {{jerkass}} reputation. If their hidden persona is discovered it is possible they might react with DontYouDarePityMe.

Compare with {{Tsundere}} and JerkWithAHeartOfGold, where characters have a harsh and abrasive personality that conceals a sweet or loving side. The StepfordSnarker is somewhat similar, hiding their sadness and insecurities under snarkiness, but not necessarily such a {{Jerkass}} about it. In anime fandoms this character is referred to as a ''tsunshun''.

In RealLife, frequent swings between angry/aggressive reactions and anxious/depressive ones is a hallmark of Borderline Personality Disorder.

Compare KnightInSourArmor.



[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* Asuka Langley, from ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion''. Her BrokenBird past, for example [[spoiler:(her mother Kyouko going insane and treating a doll as Asuka in place of the real deal, and then hanging the doll and herself)]] leads her to be rude to many people with some exceptions (Kaji, Hikari, Misato... even [[LoveInterest Shinji]]). However, when left to herself Asuka shows that she has almost no self-esteem and struggles to overcome it.
* Hinamori Amu, from ''Anime/ShugoChara''. Amu is known for being rough, blunt, and sometimes downright rude, with a fashion style that resembles punk. However, in the very first episode, she's revealed to be soft, intimidated, and girly deep down, and throughout the show, constantly regrets her rough attitude and rude comments. This is the basis of the show's premise.
* Accelerator, from ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'' and ''Manga/ACertainScientificRailgun''. [[spoiler: Being experimented on, forcing people away and being attacked on a constant basis]] because of his ability makes him more unbalanced than depressed, but he still uses his abrasive attitude to try to distance himself from others. Sometimes he acts more like a standard {{Tsundere}}, others he acts like a [=Tsunshun=].
* [[spoiler:Kanda Yu]] from ''Manga/DGrayMan''. His DarkAndTroubledPast is a very good reason to hate the Order. He doesn't even make a secret out of it.
* Revy from ''Manga/BlackLagoon'' takes this to whole new extremes. Normally she just acts like TheLadette, in that she's slightly abrasive, but more or less congenial once you get used to her aggressive nature. However, if you start trying to get to know her on a personal level, she can very quickly become AxCrazy and will make a sincere effort to kill you. Luckily for her, a handful of people like Dutch and Rock have been to relate to her on some level, but even then she's still very defensive. [[spoiler:Due to an horrific childhood wherein she was abused by her caretaker, the police, and anyone else in authority, she has severe fears of feeling exposed and vulnerable, and she NEVER wants that to be hurt like that again. She developed an obsession with power, and she tends to be very tightlipped about her personal life to protect herself from betrayal. As such, whenever anyone gets too close to her, she often gets spooked, and reacts with violence.]]
* Kyo Sohma, from ''Manga/FruitsBasket''. Being [[spoiler:the black sheep (cat) of the Zodiac]] has put immense pressure on his shoulders, which he covers up with his attitude. He gets over much of his negativity as the series goes on, mostly due to Tohru.
** Same with Rin. She began to act cold and distant to cope with her parents abandoning her as a child, to the point where she is incapable of expressing genuine feelings of concern for others. At several points she coldly tells Hiro and Tohru that they should butt out of her business and that "kind people should stay in their kind little worlds", only to later reflect that it came out much worse than she meant it to - she really just didn't want nice people end up hurt and broken like she was.
* Natsume, from ''Manga/HidamariSketch''. Her [[spoiler:[[LesYay feelings towards Sae]]]] cause her to overreact and act rude towards her before stomping away. One of the chapters (the only one to not be in 4koma style) helps explain the reason for her attitude. Sae also acts this way, but only when she deals with her younger sister.
* Ririchiyo Shirakiin, from ''Manga/InuXBokuSS''. Being virtually ignored by her family in favor of her sister and the bullying she went through as a kid because she's rich leads her to be rather unsociable at first. This facade lasts only about five minutes, for Ririchiyo either walks away to sulk somewhere or actually opens up to you and shows her SpoiledSweet side. She's also the TropeNamer for the term ''tsunshun'', as the term was coined {{In-Universe}} by Nobara Yukinokouji to describe Ririchiyo.
* Ryoko Ookami, from ''LightNovel/OokamiSan''.
* Shiva, from ''AudioPlay/SaintBeast''. He's got all of the tsun which covers up his fears of inferiority and frustration at not getting what he wants.
* Taiga Aisaka, from ''LightNovel/{{Toradora}}'', a deconstruction of {{tsundere}}. Also known as the "Palmtop Tiger" because of her fierce Tsun-ness. [[spoiler: Moved into an apartment when her parents got divorced, because she could not get along with neither her mother nor her father and stepmother. Her father also makes promises that he has no intention to keep.]] As the series goes on, she becomes emotionally stronger and Ryuji and others help her stand on her own again, [[spoiler: culminating with both a TrueLovesKiss with Ryuuji and her decision to come back home, so she can mend her broken family life before marrying him.]]
* Victorique, from ''LightNovel/{{Gosick}}''. At first [[EmotionlessGirl emotionless]] [[spoiler: due to being locked in a dungeon for several years and being forsaken by her father]], she warms up because of Kujo and [[spoiler: [[EarnYourHappyEnding they become happily married at the end]].]]
* Ichiko Sakura of ''Manga/BinboGamiGa'' seems to be your average SpoiledSweet rich kid. Up close, however, she's quite a massive BitchInSheepsClothing who thinks [[{{Narcissist}} of nothing]] [[ItsAllAboutMe but herself]]. Behind ''that'', however, lies a [[BrokenBird sad, broken little girl]] who just yearns for the loving care of her parents, whom she hadn't seen since ''infancy'', not to mention the fact that [[spoiler:she is still being haunted by a horrible betrayal by a girl she once trusted]]. All that trauma ultimately turned her into the AlphaBitch she has become when the series started. It came to the point that even her SitcomArchnemesis, resident {{Jerkass God|s}}dess Momiji, slowly started to mellow out to her and even become her TricksterMentor, helping her reconnect with humanity and bring back the kindness she used to have.
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'':
** Kyouko initially seems to be a mean, selfish girl who believes that {{Magical Girl}}s should use their powers for their own purposes, and never to help others. But as the series progresses, it's revealed ''why'' she acts this way: [[spoiler: Her family fell into destitution after her preacher father was excommunicated and when he found out that his followers increased and came back was due to Kyoko's Magical Girl powers from her wish compelled by Kyubey and not from people actually believing in him, he killed his family and himself and only she survived]], which resulted in her inability to trust anyone. It is only when she learns about the {{Awful Truth}}s of being a Magical Girl and when she saves Sayaka from Homura that she starts to get over her sourness, [[spoiler:which culminates in her performing a MercyKill to witch!Sayaka and sacrificing herself so Sayaka wouldn't be alone.]]
** Homura is also this, for different reasons. For a while she seems to be an arrogant loner who wants to prevent Kyubey from contracting any new magical girls, so she will have less competition. That is, until she suddenly breaks down in tears after narrowly averting one of Madoka's attempts to become a magical girl. Her backstory later explains that she really only cares about stopping Madoka, specifically, from making a contract because [[spoiler:she has experienced the horrific aftermath of that scenario [[GroundhogDayLoop many times]]. It often leads to the end of the world, and always leads to the end of Madoka; [[AlwaysSaveTheGirl the latter concerns Homura much more than the former]]. She very much [[IJustWantToHaveFriends wants to be friends with everyone]], but she drove them away after a few time-loops because they [[CassandraTruth didn't believe her warnings]] and because repeatedly getting close to them only to see them all die or become witches was too painful. She adopted her too-cool-for-you persona as a coping mechanism.]]
* Nishigami from ''Manga/ShindereShoujoToKodokuNaShinigami'', who tells his class not to get close to him on his first day at school because he believes everyone he gets close to will die.
* A minor example is Matsuoka Rin from ''Anime/{{Free}}''. Much of his jerkassery and his obsession with beating Haruka stems from his [[spoiler: low self-esteem and self-loathing for failing to live his father's dream]]. [[{{CharacterDevelopment}} He gets better though]].
* In the first arc of ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'', [[BrokenBird Guts]] deliberately [[JerkassFacade acts like a Jerkass]] to stop others from getting close to him. Not only is his normal fear of relationships heightened due to a recent [[BrokenPedestal betrayal by his master and closest friend]], but as a result of that betrayal he is currently [[SupernaturallyDeliciousAndNutritious marked with a brand that attracts horrific monsters to him that aren't averse to killing or devouring anyone who gets in their way]]. It is only when he finds Casca, his former lover who has also been marked with the Brand, again that he begins to become less of an asshole, but because of his obsession with vengeance against his former mentor for what he did to him, her and the band he once led, he has to deal with a horrific EnemyWithin that represents his absolute worst side.
* In ''Anime/CuteHighEarthDefenseClubLove'', would-be [[WorldDomination World Dominator]] [[{{Tsundere}} Kinshiro]] is like this. He's not only given up on friendship personally, he wants to wipe it out of the world entirely, because of [[spoiler:his failed friendship with [[EvilFormerFriend Good Former Friend]] Atsushi that hurt him so badly]], which he mopes over at every opportunity.
* The mangaka of ''Manga/Brave10'', outright calls Nanakuma [[{{Tsundere}} tsuntsun]] in her {{doujinshi}}. He's arrogant and proud, but also very [[InferioritySuperiorityComplex insecure and desperate to prove himself]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Ray of ''ComicBook/{{Plutona}}'' is an abrasive jerk to everyone he meets because his father is neglectful and abusive. He's given the opportunity to open up over the course of the story.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* The source of Argus Filch's crankiness in ''Fanfic/TheParselmouthOfGryffindor'' seems to be his resentment at the way everyone treats him for being a Squib.
* ''Fanfic/ACrownOfStars'': Surviving in a post-apocalyptic world had aggravated Asuka’s mental scars. Outwardly she was harsher, angrier and more jaded; inwardly she was utterly broken, depressed and self-loathing.
* ''Fanfic/AdviceAndTrust'': After their FirstKiss Shinji and Asuka have a long talk and Shinji discovers Asuka may look harsh and tough but inwardly she is so sad, pained and fragile as him.
* ''Fanfic/TheChildOfLove'': Asuka’s rage and viciousness is nothing but a shield she uses to hide her pain and push everyone away because she is frightened of them. If she is being real mad and rude it is a sign that she is breaking down.
-->'''Hikari''':''"You know how she is. Always so arrogant and strong. But deep inside she's one of the most fragile people I know."''
* ''Manga/{{Evangelion 303}}'': [[{{Tsundere}} Asuka]] initially came across like abrasive, rude and arrogant, but in reality she had very low self-esteem and little self-confidence, and she pushed people away because she was frightened of them.
* ''Fanfic/GhostsOfEvangelion'': Due to severe trauma and anger management issues, Asuka uses her anger to hide her hurt. If she is being mean it’s because she's inwardly upset, nervous or frightened.
-->'''Asuka:''' (nervously) Do you want me to help you?\\
'''Shinji:''' Why would you want to? You don't even like me.\\
'''Asuka:''' (frowning) That's not true. My mama asked me where I wanted to play, and I said here. I like being with you.\\
'''Shinji:''' But you're always mean to me.\\
'''Asuka:''' That doesn't mean I don't like you. I'm just afraid you'll go away, and it makes me nervous and upset. So I get mean even though I don't want to."
* ''Fanfic/{{HERZ}}'': The angrier and more hostile Asuka behaves the sadder and more awful she feels inwardly. When she was thinking of leaving Japan in the backstory and Shinji pleaded her staying with him she berated him because she thought he could not possibly love her since she was an ugly, worthless freak and he was just mocking her.
* ''Fanfic/HigherLearning'': At the beginning of the history Asuka pretends to be a tough, bold girl does not need anybody. However, as the war goes on her traumas get worse and the mask shatters progressively until she shows herself as a depressed, sad girl clings to Shinji desperately because she thinks she has nothing else.
* ''Fanfic/LastChildOfKrypton'': When Kaji says he is worried about Asuka Shinji answers she seems pretty hard-headed and capable to hold her own. Kaji warns him that she is not as strong as he thinks and she is in reality very fragile.
-->'''Kaji''':''"How's Asuka doing?"''\\
'''Shinji''':''"Fine, I guess. It's only been one day."''\\
'''Kaji''':''"I'm a little worried about her. She's not as strong as you think she is."''\\
'''Shinji''':''"She seems pretty hardheaded to me, [...] She held her own against some of the guys."''\\
'''Kaji''':''"Glass seems hard, [...] until you hit it the wrong way, or drop it, then it shatters."''
* ''Fanfic/OnceMoreWithFeeling'': Although Shinji was not afraid of arguing with Asuka anymore he did his best to not hurt her pride because after going through Instrumentality he knew it a mask and underneath she was a scared little girl thought being a pilot was everything she had.
-->''Then the Second Child had arrived, bringing with her conflict, friction and more then a few painful contusions to his head as she continually let him know exactly what she thought of him as an Eva Pilot, a man and a human.''\\
''All of it a giant lie to shield the four year old girl desperately hiding deep behind the moats, minefields and electrified fences she had placed around her heart.''
* ''Fanfic/TheOneILoveIs'': Shinji used to think Asuka was a brave, bold, self-assured girll to the point of being obnoxious although he had seen some glimpses showed Asuka was weaker than she looked. Then in chapter 6 she started tearing herself apart and he was shocked because she was so fragile and insecure and frightened as him.
* ''Fanfic/ScarTissue'': Asuka displayed an abrasive behaviour to hide her traumatized, depressed real self. After having been defiled, eaten alive and being forced to share her innermost thoughts and memories with literally ''everyone'', her temper became more volatile and uncontrollable. However, the more aggressive she got, the more awful she felt afterwards.
* ''Fanfic/TheSecondTry'': After returning to the past Asuka is depressed, worried and pained the whole time because she and Shinji are forced to go through their worst trials again and worst of all [[spoiler:their daughter is missing]] but she has to keep pretending to be a brash, temperamental, hostile thirteen-years-old kid rather a mature woman in her twenties. She also wore a mask to hide her fragility the first time around but it is worst now because she is feeling more depressed and now she realizes how childish was her act.
* ''Fanfic/SOE2LoneHeirOfKrypton'': Asuka tries to pretend she is tough, angry and bold so that nobody notices she is hurting inside and has many troubles, especially after [[spoiler:Arael’s MindRape.]]
* ''Fanfic/ThousandShinji'': When he met Asuka Shinji quickly realized underneath her angry, jealous front there was a huge sadness, fear and she was more fragile than she looked and her soul had many scars.
-->''Asuka glared up at him, and slowly the anger seeped out of her body… for now. Shinji could still feel it burning beneath the surface, ready to explode once the time was right, like how a burning room without flame could flashover when oxygen was introduced, producing a super hot fireball.''\\
''The smoke that covered up this fire however was sadness, the half burned fuel for her frenzy. Peering into her soul, Shinji could feel a near infinite well of sorrow hidden behind enough fortifications and trenches to make a World War One general wince at the thought of assaulting it.''\\
''She began to cry, and Shinji let go of her to allow her to regain her composure. She was more fragile than he had first thought. He would either have to repair her damaged heart or break her completely so as to rebuild her. If the situation continued, she could, and probably would, break in an undesirable fashion, most likely becoming useless.''
* Asuka again (noticing a pattern here?) in ''Fanfic/DoingItRightThisTime''. Having had quite some time to reflect upon just what an amazingly counterproductive coping mechanism this was, she throws herself into the [[PeggySue do-over]] with every intention of "using less ''tsun'' and more ''dere''" this time around.
* ''Fanfic/NeonGenesisEvangelionGenocide'': When Asuka opens up to Shinji, he realizes that she is and has always been very hurt and broken, but she's been hiding it since she was a child. Later on, he and Misato talk about her issues.
-->"She's been keeping all that inside of her for a very long time, I'd imagine," she said in her most tender voice. "She never has been the outgoing sort. Not with her feelings. I guess she was so hurt that all she could do was build a wall around her heart."

[[folder: Film ]]

* Jack Nicholson's character in ''Film/AsGoodAsItGets''.
* Katherine Brooks, the [[DeanBitterman principal]] of Queen's Academy in ''[[Literature/AnneOfGreenGables Anne of Windy Poplars]]''. She hates teaching, but as a plain, single woman who is determined to be independent, she has no other options, locking her into a career that is slowly sucking the life from her. Anne's relentless goodwill towards her eventually breaks through the sour shell, and a visit to Green Gables goes a long way towards easing the sad inside.
* Darth Vader from ''Franchise/StarWars'': On the outside, a cruel, deceptive, power hungry monster who would kill his officers for the simple crime of failing him. On the inside? A broken slave to his master and "friend" Sheev Palpatine. In a twisted way, he tried to protect his son Luke even if it meant cutting his hand off and trying to push him to the Dark Side (rather than have Palpatine kill him). Lukes's cries of pain are what lets him free himself from Palpatine's control.
* Rocket from the ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'' movies is a perfect example. In the second movie, Yondu, [[spoiler: who knows exactly what he's talking about since he's an example of this too and he knows it]], says it best:
--> '''Yondu:''' You can fool yourself and you can fool everyone else, but you can't fool me. I know who you are... I know you play like you're the meanest and the hardest but actually you're the most scared of all. I know you steal batteries you don't need, and you push away anyone who's willing to put up with you, because just a little bit of love reminds you how big and empty that hole inside of you actually is!


[[folder: Literature ]]

* Sandor "The Hound" Clegane, of Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire.
** Stannis Baratheon is strongly hinted to have the same problem.
* Severus Snape of ''Literature/HarryPotter'' floats easily between this and JerkWithAHeartOfGold once you learn his BelatedBackStory [[spoiler: of [[UnluckyChildhoodFriend unrequited love]], ParentalNeglect and [[AllOfTheOtherReindeer near constant bullying]]]]. He dealt with that via racism, massive ingratitude towards [[spoiler: the target of his UnrequitedLove]] and abusing an innocent kid for things that happened ''before he was born''
* Haymitch Abernathy from Literature/TheHungerGames would qualify for this trope; [[spoiler: after all, the president had Haymitch's loved ones killed for defying him]]. On top of that, he's the official coach to the tributes from his district. For years he's been responsible for training kids for a fight to the death that, statistically, they have no hope of surviving, and there's not really anything he can do about it. It would only make sense that he would refuse to take in people.
* Creator/FyodorDostoevsky:
** Nastasya Filippovna from Dostoevsky's ''Literature/TheIdiot'' is an example from classic literature. Her public persona is that of a proud, arrogant FemmeFatale, but in reality she takes on these characteristics to hide the pain and shame she feels about the abuse she suffered in her past. Interestingly enough, she is in a LoveTriangle with the more traditional {{Tsundere}} Aglaya Yepanchin for the favor of the [[IncorruptiblePurePureness saintly Prince Myshkin]], and [[spoiler: Myshkin's inability to choose between helping to overcome the problems of a 'shun' and returning the love of a 'dere' leads to his tragic downfall.]]
** Polina Alexandrovna from Dostoevsky's novella "The Gambler" has shades of this as well. Given Dosteovsky's interest in psychology and his tragic RealLife affair with the very SourOutsideSadInside Apollinaria Suslova, it is entirely possible [[AuthorAppeal that there is a reason for his use of this trope]].
* The titular raven for ''Literature/WhatTheRavenSaw''. To most people, he's the vicious old bird who won't let anyone else live in his churchyard; inside, he's deeply lonely and bitter with the world.
* Patience, in ''{{Literature/Dinoverse}}''. She's deeply, antagonistically cynical and exaggeratedly tough, because she's convinced that if she ever relies on anyone, for so much as a moment, they'll leave.
* Angel in The Literature/CharlieParkerSeries, at least initially. As the series goes on, [[BreakTheCutie his facade cracks quite badly]].
* Lu, the main protagonist in ''Literature/{{Murderess}}'', was [[spoiler:[[MosesInTheBulrushes sent to Earth from Greywall’d in her infancy]]]] and grew up repeatedly switching schools and being betrayed by the friends she made, and having all of her questions about her heritage ignored. At the beginning of the book, while she might not be actively mean, she does give people {{Death Glare}}s to keep them at arm’s length and is often fairly [[LittleMissSnarker snarky]].
* Peturabo, Primarch of the Iron Warriors from the ''Literature/Horus Heresy'' series. Beneath the sour, rage-filled mask hides a person really wishing for someone to appreciate his work.
* ''Literature/IAmNotASerialKiller'' has John, an active loner with anger issues that would impress Bruce Banner. He's a slightly unusual example in that he narrates the series, so his sad inside is apparent much faster. He himself notes that his tendency to self-sabotage relationships might keep him from being hurt, but it also prevents him from having a chance at a positive relationship.

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* In ''{{Series/Smallville}}'', Oliver may be this, especially in [[UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks season nine]]. Chloe might be a mild example on her worst days, but with [[TraumaCongaLine what she has gone through]]...
* Derek Hale from ''Series/TeenWolf'' mainly communicates through aloofness and threats of bodily harm. Which makes a lot of sense when you remember he was [[spoiler: sexually manipulated as a kid. By a grown woman. Who then burned down his home with most of his family in it.]]
* One could interpret Eric from Series/PowerRangersTimeForce as being this. Trip even scans him in one episode and finds that he's a good person but he's lonely.
* Peter Quinn from ''{{Series/Homeland}}'' is this. He's coolly hostile to his co-workers and was brought in specifically because he's good at not getting emotionally involved. Despite his bluntness, willingness to put people down and inability to trust or be trusted, by season three it's clear the majority of his issues stem from constantly being on the move due to CIA work and being haunted by the number of people he's killed. Even though he claims and acts as if he dislikes the people he's working with, he finds excuses to be around them and manages a few conversations that are non-work related, during which he's about as nice as any of the main cast.
* ''Series/{{Charmed}}'': Piper came off this way for a while after [[spoiler:Prue's death]], throwing herself into demon-hunting, coldly brushes Paige off (when she's not outright dismissive) and won't let anyone talk to her about it. She eventually mellows out to her old self and comes to accept [[spoiler:Prue's death, and Paige's place in the family]].
** She plays it even straighter during ''Centennial Charmed'' when [[spoiler:we see an alternate reality where Paige never met her; the Power of Three was never reconstituted, and she becomes a cluster of raw nerves and leather in her RoaringRampageOfRevenge for Prue's death]].
* ''{{Series/House}}'', especially in earlier seasons.
* ''Series/TheTwilightZone1959'' had Fitzgerald Fortune in the episode "A Piano in the House", where the titular player-piano could bring out the "true self" of someone whose "true" personality fit the music being played. He delights in using it to humiliate a heavyset, jovial woman named Marge at a dinner party, then wants to play something that would "call forth the devil" - except his wife swaps out the planned song for Brahms' "Lullaby". This song affects Fitzgerald himself, [[spoiler: revealing that, at his heart, he's actually a "[[https://youtu.be/ntfYJGf4cq8 small frightened boy, that only likes to hurt people]]", lashing out at anyone he feels envious of]].
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Sandor "The Hound" Clegane's unpleasant personality is rooted from the traumatic incident in his youth that literally burned all the idealism out of him, as well as the lingering guilt for some of the things he has done in life. Tormund Giantsbane outright calls him this trope.
-->'''Tormund:''' I don't think you're really mean. You have sad eyes.\\
'''Sandor:''' [[MistakenForGay You want to suck my dick, is that it?]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* This characterization is often given to Waluigi from the ''[[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Super Mario]]'' franchise. On the outside, the guy is an unrepentant {{Jerkass}} who does things [[{{Troll}} just to make people angry]] or [[ForTheEvulz because it's mean]]. On the inside, he knows he's never going to win, and that he's way out of his league.
* Jack, from ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', as a result of her horrific past. She [[AdoptTheDog gets better]] by ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' if she survives.
* Mandy from ''VideoGame/{{Bully}}'' is the quintessential AlphaBitch, but it's eventually revealed that she just bullies people to compensate for her own insecurities.
* Squall Leonhart of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' puts an extraordinary amount of effort into being brusque, unsociable, and unsympathetic to others in order to keep anyone from getting too close to him. As the game progresses, it reveals that he does this because he's actually cripplingly insecure and desperately afraid of coming to care about and rely on others only to lose them, which he believes is inevitable.
* Lulu from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' is a milder example; she puts up a very cold, alienating front - being outright abrasive to Wakka, Tidus and (very occasionally) Yuna - but is revealed to just be an exceptionally sad person inside as the game progresses, due to the loss of [[spoiler:her fiancé, Chappu, Lady Ginnem, her first Summoner [[MyGreatestFailure due to her own inability]] and the fact that Yuna will die too once they finish the pilgrimage]].
* Lightning qualifies as this in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'', at least in the first few chapters of the game. She comes across as confrontational, aggressive, and outright cold with people she has just met. In reality, she's deeply concerned about her sister Serah and, considering that she herself was branded a L'Cie, had pretty firm justification for being under some heavy stress. She begins to open up to Hope and show more of her inner fragility as the plot advances.
* Kazuya from the Tekken series. Once, he was a kind and frail boy that was treated badly by his father, culminating in an attempt to kill him, causing Kazuya to turn to help from a demon to achieve revenge. Because of this, Kazuya becomes merciless and cold and after defeating his father, he turned even more evil to rule his company. One day, though, a girl named Jun meets Kazuya and the two are attracted instantly. Jun is able to get close to Kazuya and she realizes that Kazuya isn't actually evil, but has a demon inside him and that his true nature is kind and good, her powers suppress the demonic powers in Kazuya, causing his good side to come out and fight the demon to free him. This causes Kazuya to weaken, which gave his father, Heihachi, the chance to retake his company and throw Kazuya in a volcano.

* Shane from ''VideoGame/StardewValley'' suffers from chronic depression and a SoulSuckingRetailJob. His coping mechanisms are [[DrowningMySorrows alcohol]], [[TheAlcoholic more alcohol]], and lashing out at anyone who so much as speaks to him. The more persistent you are trying to befriend him, the more abrasive he gets trying to push you away... until he snaps completely and [[spoiler: tries to throw himself off a cliff]].
-->[[EstablishingCharacterMoment Why are you talking to me? Go away]].
-->You're still trying to be friends with me? How rude do I have to be for you to take a hint?

[[folder: Visual Novels ]]

* Shizune Hakamichi from ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo'' turns out to be this, and it's hinted that it's in part to compensate for her deafness, and because she's actually extremely lonely and frustrated over her inability to keep friends.
* Aoba from ''VisualNovel/FamilyProject'' due to [[spoiler:issues with her parents and later her grandfather]] tends to treat others in an extremely hostile manner. It's quite rare for her ''not'' to be either a jerkass or completely disinterested.
* Touko Fukawa from ''VisualNovel/{{Danganronpa}}'', due to never having friends in the past. [[spoiler:For worse, she has a SplitPersonality... the SerialKiller known as Genocider Syo.]]


[[folder: Web Animation]]

* Max from ''WebAnimation/CampCamp'' is a mouthy little, cynical JerkAss, who often gives others a hard time for little to no reason, but underneath it all, is just a child lashing out, because his uncaring parents dumped him at a run down summer camp, [[ParentalNeglect just so they don't have to deal with him]]; as often as he tries to escape from Camp Campbell[[note]] at least early on[[/note]], he never talks about going home, or mentions his family at all. In "Parents' Day", he brags that his parents don't care about showing up to stupid camp events - however, as the episode goes on, it becomes increasingly clear that Max's parents aren't showing up because they really ''don't'' care about him [[spoiler: and didn't even bother to write what activity for him participate in.]].
* Kiazuki from ''WebAnimation/HanazukiFullOfTreasures'' acts like a {{Tsundere}} to hide her misery about her failure to protct her moon from the BigBad.


[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* ''WebComic/CheckPlease'' has Jack Zimmermann, in the beginning, since he was kind of mean to Bittle even after everybody on the team receive him with open arms. His story his revealed early on in the comic, as a recovered addict with anxiety and a deep need for his father's approval(no matter the fact that his father is actually very caring and supporting). He gets better after that, specially after he and Bittle take classes together.
* Zimmy in ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'': She's a creepy, [[CoveredInGunge grimy]], [[JerkAss nasty]] [[TeensAreMonsters teenage]] ex-street kid RealityWarper with PowerIncontinence with only one friend, gentle PowerNullifier Gamma. It's explicitly stated that Zimmy drives people away to protect them from getting trapped in her hell-world and [[spoiler:getting their souls stolen]].
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'':
** Vriska is hiding a lot of angst under that 'Bluh Bluh Huge Bitch' attitude. She only shows this to John.
** Similarly to Vriska is Karkat, who hides a lot of self-loathing under his angry exterior.
* ''Webcomic/LongExposure'' has Mitch. He is a SmugSmiler [[TheBully Bully]] and is known around school for his time in a reformatory after stabbing his stepdad, what's hardly an information to many is that [[spoiler:said stepdad was abusive towards him and his mother, and the stabbing only happened after he started getting physical and Mitch tried to defend his mother. He also has deep-seated self-loathing issues and disorder eating besides, all of that atop of being in love with his favorite victim due to having NoSocialSkills and said victim hates him]].
* ''Webcomic/MegaTokyo'' has Kimiko (aka [[http://megatokyo.com/strip/887 Kimi-Zilla]]). The artist has another character, [[http://fredrin.tumblr.com/post/40236855835/kotone-tsundepressed-girl-in-snow-for-a Kotone]], referred to as [[http://fredrin.tumblr.com/post/40153164099/sad-bears-and-tsundepressed-girls-in-snow-work-in Tsun-Depressed]].
* ''Webcomic/{{Sakana}}'':
** Yuudai is an angry, loud-mouth jerk who claims to "hate everybody"... except he actually doesn't. WordOfGod confirms that Yuudai suffered some pretty hardcore abuse not too long ago, and in reality is so afraid of being hurt again that he pushes everyone away. Due to this, he is very sad and lonely, but maintains a sour exterior to hide his feelings-- which works remarkably.
* Gordon in ''Webcomic/TheYoungProtectors'' acts overbearing and abrasive towards the {{Kid Hero}}es under his supervision. In a [[http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/typ/ete-tod-page-18/ candid moment]], however, he admits that he is deeply ashamed of things he once did with his superpowers, tries to protect the team from repeating his mistakes, and actually feels jealous of a member who seems to be coping with his own DarkAndTroubledPast better than he.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* One of the main antagonists of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', Prince Zuko, is short-tempered, arrogant, demanding and selfish (though with enough PetTheDog moments to make it clear he's not all bad), [[spoiler:and even after his eventual HeelFaceTurn he is noticeably more brooding and serious than the others]]. He is also deeply hurt inside, [[DarkAndTroubledPast and once his backstory is revealed in full, it's very easy to see why]].
* William Murderface of ''WesternAnimation/{{Metalocalypse}}''. This is even lampshaded when a psychologist working for the series' OmniscientCouncilOfVagueness analyses him.
* [[spoiler: Eddy]] from ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy'' is revealed to be this in TheMovie. He acts like a total bastard, treating everyone like crap (even his own friends) and doing everything to get as much money as he can. However, [[spoiler: it's all a JerkassFacade, only acting like his older brother (who [[DomesticAbuse abused him]] physically and emotionally) to be popular and hiding his own pain and suffering]]. Everyone in the show found this in horror, and [[spoiler: his admission and regret of all his mistakes leads him (and the other Eds) to be accepted by the other kids]].
* Babs Seed, from ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', is a particularly nasty example of bully compared to the show's usual duo of {{Alpha Bitch}}es. Later, Applejack reveals to the Cutie Mark Crusaders (her victims) that [[spoiler: Babs herself was picked on back on her home town because of her mark-less flank. [[PoorCommunicationKills After things are explained among the five of them]], everything goes for the better, and [[HeelFaceTurn Babs starts appearing in a far more positive light]].]]
** [[spoiler: Turns out Diamond Tiara, the usual bully, is this in reality as it's a side effect of being raised in impossible standards and is treated badly by her mother. This gets her the sympathy of her usual victims and this causes her to get a HeelFaceTurn to the side of good after she tells her mother off.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold'', Helga Pataki is portrayed as this. She is as mean as possible to everyone on the outside, bullying, dictatorial, and unsympathetic, but a flashback to when she was three shows that she is simply putting the act on because she is scared that if she isn't a bully, people will bully her. Therefore, although she frequently shows her personality as a hopeless romantic with a lot of creativity when she's alone, and does sometimes make sacrifices for those she cares about, she tries her hardest to keep those parts of her hidden.
* ''WesternAnimation/BoJackHorseman'' is a bitter, sarcastic, heavy-drinking old washout who treats even his best friends like crap, but in reality is experiencing very deep depression (resulting in substance abuse and anxiety attacks). In the first episode, his roommate Todd points out that [=BoJack=] must be a good person inside because he still hasn't kicked Todd out despite him living on his couch and not paying rent; as the series develops, it becomes apparent that just because [=BoJack=] is deeply depressed, [[DeconstructedTrope it doesn't justify or excuse his behaviour]].
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Kaeloo}}'': Mr. Cat. In one episode, he actually admits to Kaeloo that [[JerkassFacade he's actually hiding his vulnerable side by being a jerk to everyone]], and after getting shot with TruthSerum in another episode he's actually on the verge of tears.