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Characters / American Psycho

Patrick Bateman

  • Cloudcuckoolander: Hallucinates that an ATM tells him to feed it a stray cat. He actually tries to do it in the movie.
  • Creepy Monotone: His Inner Monologue is this, talking about murder and torture as if it was a mundane hobby he has.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Makes several snarky comments at the people around him, when he isn't thinking about killing them, that is.
  • Evil Is Petty: Almost all of his murders are motivated by people having nicer clothes or better apartments than he does.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Trapped in a shallow world of greed and hatred than he despises as much as he detests himself. All while knowing that nothing he does will ever be of any consequence.
  • Faux Affably Evil: While he does enjoy making articulate lectures about pop music and chatting about Men's fashion, most of his polite and politically correct behaviour is a Mask of Sanity that barely stays on half the time. A good example is when he appears to sympathize with a homeless man and gives him some money before stabbing him to death and killing his dog.
  • Hallucinations: Caused by stress, and extremely bizarre, but he believes every one of them.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Despite his insane levels of narcissism, it is shown often that Bateman utterly detests himself as much as he does everyone else and most of his murders are motivated by people unintentionally reminding him of this.
  • It's All About Me: The only people he refuses to kill are ones who profess some affection for him, all of which he coldly discards.
  • Karma Houdini: He escapes punishment for all his crimes, and boy is he upset about this status. See Fate Worse Than Death.
  • Kill the Poor: Stabs a homeless man to death at one point, probably because he disdained the state of him.
  • Mask of Sanity: And it's about... to slip.
  • Morally Bankrupt Banker: A banker and Ax-Crazy Serial Killer.
  • Morality Pet: Luis and Jean. Not only are both in love with Bateman, they're also the only two characters in the story who are genuine people and completely honest. Consequently, Bateman can't bring himself to kill either of them, and actually is somewhat nice to Jean - definitely far nicer than to any other woman he knows.
  • Narcissist: Ye gods... Half of his Inner Monologue is centered around how superior he is and how perfect he does everything.
  • Pet the Dog: In the book, he drops a dollar bill into a homeless girl's cup to see if he's capable of doing something good. It's subverted since the girl was a student and the cup was full of coffee.
    • Played straighter when he warns Daisy (Jean in the film) to leave the apartment because they "might get hurt", thereby sparing their lives.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: He hits the trifecta: he's sexist, racist, and homophobic, as well as extremely elitist. And yet, he frequently calls out his "friends" for making even mildly prejudiced remarks.
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: Some chapters consist entirely of him going on tirades about music, be it Whitney Houston, Huey Lewis, or Elvis Costello. Subverted, at least with Whitney Houston, since he's convinced she's a jazz singer.
  • Purely Aesthetic Glasses: He seems to just wear them because they are designer and because all his other Yuppie friends wear the same thing.
  • Sadist: Gets off on causing pain because that's the only thing he could ever do that's of any consequence.
  • The Sociopath: Informs everything about his life — the film's director describes him as a Martian trying to imitate human behavior (and never quite hitting the mark). He is probably one of the best examples in media.
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: As we learn during his narration of his morning routine, he is the pinnacle of physical perfection.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: He once sees that a cheerio is the guest on a talk show and an atm tells him to feed it a cat.
  • Unreliable Narrator: His sanity is, at best, questionable.
  • Villain Protagonist: A Serial Killer with a host of disorders making him Ax-Crazy. Our central focus, everyone. And even if he's just imagining the murders, he's still an unlikable, self-centered, elitist, racist, shallow bastard.
  • Would Hurt a Child: He stabs a small boy to death just to see if he'd enjoy it. He doesn't... because he doesn't find it evil enough.