->''"Always predict the worst and you’ll be hailed as a prophet."''
-->-- '''Music/TomLehrer'''

A character who believes that the world is, to put it lightly, a [[CrapsackWorld bad place.]] Whenever they describe something, expect them to AccentuateTheNegative. If someone puts forward an idealistic or optimistic premise, TheCynic is about equally likely to respond with '[[SillyRabbitIdealismIsForKids That's moronic]],' as 'That's a nice idea in theory, but it's never going to happen', probably [[{{Deconstruction}} pointing out all the flaws]] as they go. This character may be angry or indifferent to their (perceived) CrapsackWorld, or may be heavily critical and [[DeadpanSnarker sarcastic]].

An extreme version of The Cynic is The Pessimist/Misanthrope, who always expect the worst out of everyone and everything ([[FinaglesLaw Anything that can go wrong will go wrong, the world tends to maximum entropy]], HumansAreMorons and/or HumansAreBastards, and that morality is [[GreyAndGrayMorality grey and grey]], [[GreyAndBlackMorality grey and black]] or [[EvilVersusEvil black and black]]). If used badly and you can expect them being called out as {{wangst}}y.

The {{Trope Namer}}s, the Greek [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynicism Cynics,]] were not especially cynical as we now understand the term - they believed that people should reject all conventional notions of happiness, like those that involved wealth, power, fame, idealism, etc., and live a simple, natural life with no possessions, sharing some similarities with Buddhism. However, many of the Cynics (such as [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diogenes_of_Sinope Diogenes of Sinope]]) took the philosophy to its extreme, criticizing Classical idealism while also preaching poverty and ugliness ('cynic' is from the Greek word ''kynikos'', 'dog-like'). Which is why the Cynics are depicted by the Enlightenment as hateful {{Straw Nihilist}}s.

This character is likely to show up in either a CrapsackWorld, where they are always right, or in a SugarBowl, where [[TheComplainerIsAlwaysWrong they exist solely to be proven wrong]]. Of course, in more realistic settings, more nuanced forms of cynics can also turn up, their rightness index varying.

Polar opposite of TheIdealist. Compare/contrast TheStoic. See also CynicismTropes, SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism.
!!{{Sub Trope}}s:
* AntiHero
** KnightInSourArmor (if their core idealism is overshadowed by their cynicism)
* CynicalMentor
* CynicismCatalyst
* TheEeyore
* GrumpyBear
* JadeColoredGlasses
* JadedWashout
* TheSnarkKnight
* SourSupporter
* StrawNihilist (when this is taken UpToEleven)

This is a SuperTrope, so examples should go to the relevant subpages if possible.