Not all fictional heroes are the sort of person you might expect to be a hero of a story. The idea that there is an "IdealHero" and there are "{{antihero}}es" who deviate from the ideal has been around [[OlderThanFeudalism since classical antiquity if not earlier]]. Since then, writers have explored many types of {{antihero}}es, each of which lack one or more traits of an IdealHero.

An Unscrupulous Hero is an {{antihero}} who lacks the '''moral character''' of an IdealHero, but is ALighterShadeOfGrey than the antagonists.

Despite this, these heroes share one overriding heroic trait: unlike a NominalHero, they are heroes in the true sense of the word: when they have to take a stand on one side or another, they choose to fight for good for a morally positive reason, and aren't just helping the heroes for selfish reasons.

These characters tend to fall under two different categories:
* They are usually defined by [[DarkAndTroubledPast dark experiences]] that have made them cold and unforgiving, and due to [[CrapsackWorld the settings]] in which they exist, there will usually be no compunctions to using [[JackBauerInterrogationTechnique more extreme methods]]. They are as much about [[PayEvilUntoEvil payback (or any assorted type of catharsis)]] as they are the greater good, and their targets will be deserving of it, more likely than not. You probably shouldn't expect them to be mindful of collateral damage, though.
* They may be a little more selfish, but unlike a NominalHero, have a much stronger honor code that keeps them from becoming less sympathetic.

In terms of sympathy, personality, etc., these characters can vary widely. For some, their admirable motivation may be their only good trait; others may be highly sympathetic, having all the characteristics of a compelling AntiHero combined with the fact that they are willing to sacrifice for a good cause.

A heroic character on this part of the scale runs the risk of kicking one too many puppies and end up a FallenHero if they can't get over their demons. See also ByronicHero for characters with this sort of conflict.

Compare with KnightTemplar and WellIntentionedExtremist. Compare and contrast with {{Nominal|Hero}} and {{Sociopathic Hero}}es (both of whom are more...well...[[CaptainObvious sociopathic]]). And also compare and contrast with the TautologicalTemplar and VisionaryVillain for villains who just ''think'' they're the good guys.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* [[PayEvilUntoEvil Vino]] from ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}'' is one of the [[MostTriumphantExample most quintessential examples]], gruesomely killing and torturing unsympathetic characters throughout the show.
* In the OVA of ''Manga/DogsBulletsAndCarnage'', the leads all have shades of the first type except for Badou who's closer to a cowardly LoveableRogue. In the manga, they edge a little closer to NominalHero.
* Kenshiro from the ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'' manga. Many people write him off as a compassionate messiah, but some seem to forget that he puts his own goals ahead of others and would only show concern towards friends and family (there are a few exceptions, but still...). The rest of the time he's TheStoic. Now he does have a strong sense of justice but he's definitely not a saint. And let's not get into how [[PayEvilUntoEvil violent he is with the bad guys...]]
** The manga version counts, but the anime version is a little less heroic even, since he's shown walking nonchalantly where atrocities are occurring whereas the former would run or at least arrive in time.
* The protagonists of ''Anime/HellGirl'' seem to be this at first, especially Hone-Onna. They've always gone after the AssholeVictim...well, until much later on that is, where they start being less restrained about who gets sent to hell.
* ''Manga/{{Hellsing}}'' has [[BadassPreacher Father]] [[HolyHitman Alexander Anderson]], though he does have shades of a NominalHero. He mainly targets vampires and heathens, believing them to be an affront against God and danger to the innocents of the world. And he sometimes takes it a little too far with his AxCrazy attacks and BloodKnight beliefs, but he also adores children, acts like a surrogate father to his Iscariot followers, respects Integra's principles and NervesOfSteel attitude, and takes a stand against Maxwell when he starts killing the innocent survivors of Protestant England.
** Another mention goes to Anderson's Iscariot followers, most of whom he raised himself. Compared to Maxwell and his fanatical Holy Crusaders, Heinkel, Yumie, and the rest of Iscariot are under Anderson's [[EvenEvilHasStandards Even Antagonists Have Standards]] direct influence, which prevents them from committing similar atrocities against innocent but non-Catholic populations.
** The TV series' version of the protagonist himself could qualify... until he [[TookALevelInJerkass Takes a Level in Jerkass]] near the end.
* [[WellIntentionedExtremist Reiji]] becomes this later on in ''Anime/KuroganeNoLinebarrel''.
** In some ways, the protagonist himself also kinda fits.
* In ''Manga/DeathNote'' we have L, the HeroAntagonist to [[AGodAmI Light/Kira's]] VillainProtagonist. While L does try to capture Kira because he's a murderer, his main motivation is because he sees Kira as a challenge, and it's revealed that in general he only cares about cases he finds interesting, making him something of a NominalHero in this regard. Describing himself as "childish and hates losing," he is willing to resort to, among other things, kidnapping, torture, lying and invasion of privacy to get the job done. The series lampshades how NotSoDifferent he and Light are from each other fairly often. Still, L only reserves his justice for people he sees as evil, and to be fair his accusations seem to always be correct. Moreover, while L does order the deaths of a few criminals to help further the investigation, [[PragmaticHero these criminals were on death row anyway.]]
** [[spoiler:His successors Near and Mello]] are a mix of this and NominalHero.
* ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'''s {{foil}}, Saito Hajime. Vicious verging on sadistic, believes Kenshin's optimism to be foolishly deluded, and yet is utterly relentless in [[KnightTemplar punishing the wicked]] and doing what is right for his country. He also does (ahem) have shades of a NominalHero, though, as he's more of a {{Jerkass}} and sociopath than usual examples. The manga's Revenge Arc, though, makes him firmly the latter, considering what he did to Mumyoi.
* Eren Jaeger from ''Manga/AttackOnTitan''.
* Lelouch, exiled prince turned masked revolutionary from ''Anime/CodeGeass'', falls under this for most of the series, fighting for the freedom of the world from the Holy Britannian Empire but causing a lot of damage in the process... and dealing with a lot of issues.

* Rorschach from ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' is basically a psychotic nihilist who's lost all faith in humanity and yet, he'll still [[VigilanteMan fight for his vision of justice]]. This is particularly evident in the story of Dr. Malcolm Long, who becomes "infected" with Rorschach's disorder after a CriticalPsychoanalysisFailure: while he begins viewing the world as cold and cruel, he also feels compelled to stop injustice and abuse whenever he encounters it.
* ''Disney Italy's'' Paperinik the [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Devilish Avenger]] has leanings toward this type of AntiHero. He is Donald's superhero (sort of) alter ego, but Donald initially created it to avenge himself against torts (real or imagined) he suffered, his main reason to fight criminals is that crime in general piss him off (assuming [[ItsPersonal they didn't somehow target Donald or Paperinik in the first place]]), and the most light-hearted stories still have him doing things like ''[[TorchesAndPitchforks sick a lynch mob on the Beagle Boys]]'' (they had organized a marathon with Paperinik's SecretIdentity as the prize to empty Duckburg and sack it. Once he found out they didn't actually know his real identity, Paperinik lured the citizens back in town and had them catch the BB in the act).
* Helena Bertinelli, the ''ComicBook/{{Huntress}}'', is a multiple murderer who shows no real regret for any of the people she's killed, and once even cracked a joke after killing a teenager who had been possessed by an EvilWeapon and wasn't really responsible for his actions. Her teammates or other heroes regularly have to restrain her from killing people and do not always succeed. Nevertheless, she is on the side of the good guys.
* Spider Jerusalem from ''{{Transmetropolitan}}''. Cynical or not, and crazy though he might be, he's a journalist because he cares about the truth, and a savage beating from people who don't appreciate it won't make him see otherwise. Unscrupulous in that there is ''[[TheUnfettered absolutely nothing]]'' he won't do to get to it, no matter what.
** Really, nine out of ten of the characters WarrenEllis has ever created, if not [[NominalHero Nominal Heroes]], fall here. Most of his main characters follow the basic template of 'violent, cynical, and snarky chain-smokers who still possess moral codes'.
* DependingOnTheWriter, John Constantine from ''ComicBook/{{Hellblazer}}'' could count. He's generally violent and anti-social, but when it's time, he'll stand up for most of the little people against the forces of heaven and hell.
--->''"He dances on the edge of the known like a [[CrazyAwesome crazy man]], pitting himself [[RageAgainstTheHeavens against Heaven]] and [[ToHellAndBack the Pit]], because he is John Constantine, and because he is alive."''
--->--'''Dr Occult to Tim Hunter on John Constantine''', ''"ComicBook/TheBooksOfMagic"''
** Even on the best of days, though, he still could qualify for Unscrupulous status as he has [[TryingToCatchMeFightingDirty zero scruples]] when fighting.
* If he's not being written as a NominalHero, ''[[SubMariner Namor]]'' tends to be this.
* ''ThePunisher'' [[VigilanteMan kills criminals]], and tends to be ruthlessly practical about how to do it.

* Film/JamesBond in ''Film/LicenceToKill'', although he borders on SociopathicHero. As part of his RoaringRampageOfRevenge to take down drug lord Franz Sanchez and avenge Felix Leiter, he kills off quite a few bad guys in particularly terrible ways, like feeding someone to sharks and shoving another down a stone grinder.
** He's more clearly this in ''Film/{{Skyfall}}'', where unlike most NominalHero incarnations of him, has heroic tendencies (while of course, still womanizing and having a merciless demeanor).
* Sheriff Matt Morgan from ''Film/LastTrainFromGunHill'' is simply trying to execute his duty to the law; however, he has no qualms about threatening his former friend's son, whom he's captured and holding for rape and murder, among other dirty tricks.
* Hit Girl from ''Film/KickAss'' starts off a bit too ruthless to be this trope but [[CharacterDevelopment in the end]], fits, as almost all her victims are taken for granted to have at least been unsavory, if not evil.
** Big Daddy to some extent as well, since he's basically a tragic, overly vengeful Batman {{Expy}}.
* Captain Jack Sparrow in ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'': he will lie and reason with friends and foes alike if it means saving himself or gaining the upper hand in his XanatosGambit.
* ''Film/TheBluesBrothers'', especially Jake. They mean well enough as they just want to save the orphanage they grew up in, but they're not above scamming patrons, acting like jackasses and endangering bystanders more than they really need to.

* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'': Harry Dresden, despite being one of the best examples of ChronicHeroSyndrome you'll ever encounter, is not at all unwilling to get his hands dirty, and though he may have a MyGodWhatHaveIDone afterwards, it doesn't stop him doing it again. This comes to a head in ''Changes'' when [[spoiler: he agrees to become the Winter Knight in order to save his daughter, despite knowing that he would then be totally at the command of a manipulative and utterly ruthless [[TheFairFolk Faerie Queen]] who could then make him do anything.]]
* Despite being a straight up bad guy in the films, in the novel Denethor of ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' starts off as a wise ruler dedicated to protecting his kingdom, though he treats his allies with suspicion and verbally abuses his son. Eventually, however, the combined stress of Faramir's coma and his despair send him JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope.
* Mr. Slippery from Creator/VernorVinge's novella, ''Literature/TrueNames'', is an out-and-out criminal hacker, in it for the fun, but when the chips are down, and the world needs saving, he's willing to save it. And not ''just'' because Federal agents have made him a deal he can't refuse--though that certainly removes any lingering doubts he might have had.
* The LightNovel ''LightNovel/FateZero'' gives us the adoptive father of ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' protagonist Shirou Emiya, Kiritsugu Emiya. Unlike most examples in this page he still has his moral character however it is [[TheUnfettered how he channels it]] that makes him this.
* Felix Harrowgate of ''Literature/DoctrineOfLabyrinths'' is a wizard uses his powers to put the dead to rest, save a country from invasion, and take out {{Magitek}} machines before they can annihilate ''another'' country, all at considerable risk to himself. Unfortunately, he also says horribly cruel things for the sheer joy of it, repeatedly [[MindRape mind-rapes]] people [[spoiler: including his own brother]], and has a rage blackout in which he seriously [[BondageIsBad crosses]] the [[SafeSaneAndConsensual line]] with an anonymous sex partner.
* Thomas Cromwell is portrayed as this in ''Literature/WolfHall'', with a ''very'' colourful past, and being quite willing to abuse the system to have his enemies executed.
* Pocket in Creator/ChristopherMoore's ''Pocket the Fool'' novels. He is deeply cynical, sarcastic and bitter due to his childhood as an orphan and generally being treated like a slave by his master King Lear. However he is protective of [[MoralityChain Cordelia]] [[LoveRedeems whom he genuinely loves]] and has a sense of justice when it comes to other oppressed groups. That the latter also tends to go along with his acute sense of vengeance he finds very convenient.
* In ''[[Literature/ElementalMasters The Fire Rose]]'', Jason Cameron is pretty amoral. To the extent that he's a good person, it's because he takes CutLexLuthorACheck and PragmaticVillainy so far that they take him out of the "villain" sphere entirely; he's a philanthropist because that (used to) earn him street cred in his social circle, and because a well-fed proletariat work well and don't start riots. Likewise, he's known for fair business dealings because [[DickDastardlyStopsToCheat he doesn't need to do anything shady]], but he doesn't especially care that his apprentice and agent gets his rocks off on rape and uses his magic to rig cockfights, except that they show him to be [[EvilIsPetty a complete tool]] and unfit to be a Master. [[spoiler: At least he develops genuine feelings of love for Rose at the end.]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/TwentyFour'': Gives us Jack Bauer, Probably the most famous unscrupulous hero in popular culture.
* ''Series/BlakesSeven'': Avon probably averages out here, especially in series 1 and 3 where he's amoral enough to try and abandon Blake on a Hellhole planet but occasionally shows concern for the others, especially Cally. In series 2 he has enough PetTheDog moments to push him closer to GoodIsNotNice, but by the final series the stress of maintaining a rebellion he wants nothing to do with turns him into a NominalHero.
* ''Series/{{Doctor Who}}'': Can you believe that Doctor started like this? Yes. He's devoted to his grandaughter Susan and is disgusted by villains like the Daleks but aside from that his morals are loose at best, with his flaws ranging from pride and paranoia to outright moral cowardice in trying to abandon Barbara to die on Skaro rather than risk further exposure to radiation, as well as Ian and Barbara becoming his companions only after he trapped them within the Tardis against their will. But by the conclusion of the first three stories he gets over this.
* ''Series/{{Revolution}}'': Miles Matheson after the blackout became this. He helped to start a dictatorship because he wanted to bring peace and order, as shown in flashbacks in [[Recap/RevolutionS1E3NoQuarter episode 3]]. However, he became the Butcher of Baltimore, hurt Rachel (shown in flashbacks of [[Recap/RevolutionS1E17TheLongestDay episode 17]]), and handed Alec over to the Texans when Alec balked at assassinating the Texan president (shown in flashbacks of [[Recap/RevolutionS1E14TheNightTheLightsWentOutInGeorgia episode 14]]). He ended up leaving the Monroe Republic when Monroe went too far and Miles failed to assassinate him (elaborated on in the [[Recap/RevolutionS1E20TheDarkTower first season finale]]). He makes it clear to Charlie that he hurts people and he doesn't think twice about it. Later on, Charlie's influence causes him to become more of a Pragmatic Hero.
* ''Series/VeronicaMars'': The title character's intent is always to catch the bad guy, but her methods can range from manipulating an officer in order to steal evidence or eavesdropping on therapy sessions. Her motivation is almost always revenge rather than justice. She certainly enjoys her KickTheDog moments, but her targets [[KickTheSonOfABitch are always REALLY terrible people so the audience doesn't flinch too much]].
* Tsukasa Kadoya, the main character of ''Series/KamenRiderDecade'', is held in prophecy to be the Destroyer of Worlds, who will bring about an end to the Rider multiverse and kill all the Kamen Riders. He ''acts'' less "ultimate evil", however, and more "[[PokeThePoodle kind of]] [[{{Jerkass}} a tool]]" - he will troll and endanger other people to find and defeat the [[MonsterOfTheWeek bad guys of the fortnight]], although he'll throw himself into the firing line as well. Much of the series' mystery is "Is Tsukasa a JerkWithAHeartOfGold, or actually [[BigBad the ultimate evil]]?"
* ''Series/BreakingBad'' has [[spoiler:Hank Schrader]] become one in Season 5B. He spends that entire season [[spoiler:trying to bring Walter White down, who by this point has become a monster. However Hank's tactics to do so range from the morally questionable to downright illegal. He even at one point flat out says that, if a plan involving a cooperative Jesse should go wrong, that he doesn't care if Jesse gets killed.]]
* ''Series/{{Revenge}}'': Emily Thorne/[[spoiler:Amanda Clarke]], true to form as an expy of the Count of Monte Cristo, sets out to get payback against the people responsible for [[spoiler:supposedly]] the death of her father and the loss of her childhood. Ruthless as she is, most of her targets however are treacherous and indecent, particularly BigBad Conrad Grayson [[spoiler:who it turns out was part of the very terrorist ring Emily's father was accused of being in on]], making her takedowns all the more karmic and satisfying. To her credit, Emily never kills on purpose outside of self defense, and ascends to a KnightInSourArmor in season 4 after capping off her revenge on Victoria as she tries to make amends by living more honestly.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* [[Wrestling/DwayneJohnson The Rock]] is usually this type of hero, when portraying a Face. The basic characterization of The Rock is that his ego is completely out of control, and this trait remains no matter what "side" he's on. The Rock doesn't care about anything other than himself. The only things that change are whether or not he's willing earn his victory with his own wits and skill or [[EvilIsEasy willing to take cheap and easy path to a championship]], and whether or not he cares about having the crowd on his side. However, both of these methods are also done to satisfy his ego; he does it just to prove he ''can'' do it.

* The [[TheEmpire Imperium of Man]], the [[OurElvesAreBetter Eldar]], the [[TheGreys Tau]] and to an extent the [[OurOrcsAreDifferent Orks]] of ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' are traditionally the "good guy" factions of the setting and better than the "bad guy" factions [[note]]that would be the [[ReligionOfEvil Forces of Chaos]], the [[OmnicidalManiac Necrons]], the [[BugWar Tyranids]] and the [[AlwaysChaoticEvil Dark Eldar]][[/note]], [[AbsoluteXenophobe but]] [[MagnificentBastard not]] [[ScaryDogmaticAliens by]] [[BloodKnight much]]. Pretty much the only thing they all have in common is that everyone is out to get them, they have ''some'' noble motives (if not exactly pleasant ways to achieving them) and no matter what horrid things they do, [[ShootTheDog they usually do it for a justifiable reason]], and the bad guys do far worse things than they could ever do anyway.

* Ammon Jerro of ''NeverwinterNights2'' is literally [[DealWithTheDevil Hell-bent]] on saving the Sword Coast from the [[OmnicidalManiac King of]] [[LivingShadow Shadows]] at all costs. He goes so far as to stealing the most sacred relic of a extraplanar race of [[BlueAndOrangeMorality Holy warriors]], making several infernal pacts with various demons and devils of the lower hells, killing any who oppose him (knowingly or not), abandoning any allies if they do not pull their weight, and even razing entire villages if it means he has a better shot at defeating the King of Shadows. He's even the DiskOneFinalBoss. [[spoiler:That is until he joins you anyways.]]
* [[ProfessionalKiller Zevran]] from ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' qualifies, if the player can gain his loyalty. He can be recruited after he tries to kill you; he swears to help you end the Blight if you spare him. He advocates the use of poison, rather enjoys his profession and is one of your more [[TokenEvilTeammate ''morally ambiguous'' companions]]. With that in mind, he is also [[UndyingLoyalty fiercely loyal]] to your PC if you can get his affection high enough and is nowhere near as bad as his former employers, [[ColdBloodedTorture the]] [[ChildSoldiers Antivan]] [[MurderInc Crows]].
** The player character can be played as an Unscrupulous Hero. You can lie, extort, steal and murder your way through Ferelden, all in the name of stopping the Blight (or ForTheEvulz, depending on the player). Given that you are the only thing standing between Thedas and [[ApocalypseHow total annihilation]] via darkspawn, [[GodzillaThreshold anything goes]].
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'''s ruthless mercs (and long-suffering P.A. Miss Pauling) may not have consciences, but they are capable of human affection, which is more than their ironically named business rival, [[spoiler: Gray Mann,]] can say...
* The Third Street Saints have become this by the time ''VideoGame/SaintsRowIV'' rolls around.
* Sarah Kerrigan in ''VideoGame/StarCraftII''. She's no longer the VillainProtagonist she was in ''Brood War'', thanks to being freed from the Overmind's programming, but she's still capable of controlling a HordeOfAlienLocusts by force and chooses to use them to kill Emperor Mengsk, mainly for personal revenge. She [[spoiler: can be persuaded to give civilians a chance to get out of her way, but she really had to think about it first.]]
* Midna in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'' may be this, especially at the beginning. Even when she had no sympathy for those who lived in the light, she still fought for a righteous cause. She loves the people under her rule and wanted to save them. Plus, her dispassion for the people of Hyrule is no different from a government's lack of interests in another nation's politics. She may not have cared about saving the world of light ([[CharacterDevelopment at the time]]) but she sure as hell didn't want to worsen the situation either.
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadow2'' is mainly about Dracula's [[spoiler: development from a NominalHero, who is only 'good' because he's fighting SATAN, into one of these (kinda). Admittedly not much of a jump, as although he does get some PetTheDog moments regarding his family, he never stops being utterly ruthless, and the mountain of tragedy he's gone through over the centuries never leaves him entirely. The main development is that while his desire for vengeance on Satan and Zobek certainly remains at the forefront of his motivations, it becomes clear as the game goes on he really just wants to be at peace with his family, and in the end, Marie and Alucard forgive him and help him find his peace.]]
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'': [[spoiler: [[TheChessmaster Delita]]]] is an embodiment of this trope, also [[spoiler: [[WellIntentionedExtremist Izlude]]]] may be taken into account after the events in Orbonne Monastery.

* Celesto Morgan, of ''Webcomic/DominicDeegan'', is the appointed Champion of Chaos and Destruction. While he views himself as a champion of freedom and destroyer of tyranny and evil, his actions frequently show him to be almost as destructive as the things he fights, such as his battle with The Infernomancer in Lynn's Brook, in which he killed more people than the man he was there to stop. He has also been the vigilante executioner of two, up until that point {{Karma Houdini}}s in the story and has become HeWhoFightsMonsters against the Beast.
* [[SmugSnake Vriska]] from ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' would embody this trope were [[BaseBreaker opinions on her not split further than the San Andreas Fault.]] [[AbusiveParents Forced by her lusus to become a]] SerialKiller from a very young age, she soon grows to embrace the role and [[KillerGameMaster kills thousands of trolls through FLARPing.]] Her EstablishingCharacterMoment is throwing one of her players off a cliff with MindControl ''because she can''. She then goes on to try and establish a [[FoeYay caliginous relationship]] with him - only he doesn't return her feelings, so her "courtships" come off as [[BastardGirlfriend abusive, even for the twisted culture she exists in.]] Later she even goes as far as [[spoiler:turning [[BigBad Jack Noir]] into a PhysicalGod just so that she can have some impact on the story and murdering said caliginous crush for having the guts to stand up to himself.]] And yet through all this, she has every intention of defeating [[BigBad Jack Noir]] and spends much of her time assisting [[TheHero John]] on his quest, [[spoiler:developing romantic feelings for him as time goes by.]] In her mind, she is following the footsteps of her powerful, infamous and morally bankrupt ancestor, but at crucial points proves she is either too cruel or ''not cruel enough'' to play that part.

[[folder:Web Originals]]
* ''Literature/{{Worm}}'' gives us [[spoiler:Armsmaster]], who arranges the death of multiple "villains", including a fifteen-year-old girl he ''knew'' to be TheMole, in order to give himself a chance to defeat [[spoiler:Leviathan]] in a one-on-one fight.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheDreamstone'' juxtoposes this with the SugarBowl Land Of Dreams (yes, odd). While usually sweet natured and borderline messianic, the heroes seem completely apathetic to the fact most of Zordrak's mooks are harmless cowards TrappedInVillainy, and often take sadistic pleasure in punishing them or taking their retaliations outside self defense [[PragmaticVillainy compared to vice versa]], mostly all on the principal of [[FelonyMisdemeanor trying to give them bad dreams]]. Later episodes made them more passive, like something in PragmaticHero territory.
* In ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'', Buford may [[CardCarryingVillain boast about being a schoolyard bully]], but when Phineas and Ferb need help, he can always be counted on.
* Jerry in ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'' depending on the episode. Without getting into his [[DisproportionateRetribution sadistic nature towards Tom]], he is generally a FriendToAllLivingThings. But he's definitely not above using violence for reasons other than self-defense or protecting others (often as vengeance for a legitimate wrong, but occasionally, because he's bored). Often when his actions are unambiguously unheroic, especially when unprovoked, we get a rare LaserGuidedKarma victory for Tom.
* If the show wasn't Batman in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'', AntiVillain Mr. Freeze could have been this if not a ByronicHero or NominalHero, since the CorruptCorporateExecutive he was opposing was [[BlackAndGrayMorality far worse than he ever was]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/ElTigre'', although Manuel Rivera is usually on the good guys side, that doesn't stop him from doing mischevious things from time to time.
* ''WesternAnimation/BugsBunny'' might be acting in self-defense when he injures or kills people, but damned if he's not enjoying it.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'', Brock Samson and Dr. Venture, despite being self-centered individuals, fall here on their best days when they show some regard for human life and collateral damage. Usually though, [[HeroicComedicSociopath not so much...]]