Designated Hero / Western Animation

  • Code Lyoko:
    • During the first season, before the show completely found its groove, the heroes could be this (Example: In one episode, Sissi tricks Ulrich by writing a note pretending to be Yumi, and that's considered terrible. In a different episode, Ulrich and the gang trick Herve by writing a note pretending to be Sissi, and that's considered perfectly OK!). Later seasons tone down this aspect, fortunately.
    • Jeremie could sometimes be this even past the first season. Many problems in certain episodes were caused directly by him and he usually always has to resort to the Reset Button to clean his mess up.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: This is taken Up to Eleven in the episode "Operation: A.R.C.H.I.V.E.", about the origins of the title organization, which states that children only created adults to be their slaves and generally treating them horribly, and not doing one actual heroic thing the entire episode. Justified because the episode is not canon, but just the ramblings and speculations of Numbuh One, who has no idea what he is talking about. Maybe. The episode ends on an ambiguous note (the teacher calls someone and says "They know."), and it may explain the origins of Grandfather. Numbuh One does seem to hint at both sides being at fault until adults usurped control (where the even tone began going maniacal)
  • Tom and Jerry has this in spades:
    • Sometimes Jerry had reasons to act against Tom.note  Other times, however, he was just being mean for the sake of it. The most common scenario seems to be: Tom is sleeping or otherwise doing nothing while Jerry, being a mouse, starts stealing Tom's owner's food. We're expected to support Jerry while Tom is constantly fed to the lions because, after all, Cats Are Mean. Granted, the writers weren't utterly oblivious to this, and actually let Jerry lose to Tom on a fair few occasions he really crossed the line.
    • One good example of Tom actually winning is "Timid Tabby", where Tom's identical cousin George, who is scared of mice, comes over. Jerry mistakes him for Tom and keeps tormenting him when he realizes his fear, coming across as a jerk. Finally Tom and George work together to scare Jerry out of the house.
    • Other examples where Jerry loses include "The Year of the Mouse," where he is particularly sadistic, and "The Million Dollar Cat".
    • There was one episode of the series where Tom was beheaded by his owner for failing to stop Jerry and Nibbles stealing food set out on the royal banquet table. Jerry and Nibbles are Musketeers in the episode, and they're stealing food from the king - the person they're supposed to be protecting, with Tom as one of the palace guards designated to keep an eye on the banquet for later that night. In other words, they're supposed to be on the same damn side, and the mice are still stealing the food. At the end of the episode, as the mice are walking away with their tiny arms loaded with food, we hear a drum roll, and they look up to see the rise and drop of the guillotine. Nibbles swallows the bite of food in his mouth with a momentarily surprised look, says "Pauvre, pauvre pussycat," then casually shrugs his shoulders and says "Ah, well, c'est la guerre!" and they go off happily munching with jaunty theme music in the background.
    • The DtV movies are just as bad about this, with the exception being "The Fast and the Furry". In the others, Tom and Jerry often have to team up to save the day or find the MacGuffin, with Tom proving to be a good guy. But at the end, no matter what, Jerry screws over Tom without fail for no good reason. This, considering Tom not deserving it beyond being a cat, turns Jerry into a Jerkass bordering on Villain Protagonist.
    • The attitude towards Tom being the villain and Jerry the hero no matter what was probably best shown in "Heavenly Puss," where Tom dies and is told by the Gatekeeper he will be sent to Hell if he doesn't get Jerry's forgiveness for all the times he's persecuted him. Though it was All Just a Dream, it shows very well who was always the "Good Guy" in the creator's mind.
    • In one episode of Tom and Jerry Tales, Tom actually uses this to his advantage, catching wise to the "small underdog trickster always prevails" formula, he hires an even smaller cuter ant to steal back all the food Jerry took, and takes pleasure watching Jerry become the bumbling pursuer for once. Similarly, this is a rare occasion in which Tom gets the last laugh.
    • This slightly seems to be lampshaded in one episode where Tom is told by the King, who is trying to sleep, that if he hears a noise Tom loses his head. Jerry and Nibbles keep trying to make noise, finally causing Tom to scream in pain, waking the King. However, they realize that they have gone too far and Nibbles sings the King back to sleep, after which the mice and Tom quietly leave the room and resume fighting.
    • Another example involving Nibbles and Jerry as musketeers. Jerry is in love with a female mouse and has Nibbles deliver love letters to her. Each time, Nibbles is beaten senseless by Tom and comes back badly wounded, even crawling to him at one point. At no point does Jerry show any concern nor try to help him, all he cares about is whether he received a love letter from the girl. And when the girl sends him a letter that spurns his affections, he rips it up, pulls out a portrait of another girl, and sends Nibbles out to do it all over again. Made even worse by the fact that Nibbles is a kid. In other words, Jerry is essentially performing blatant child abuse on a kids' show. Okay...
    • The basic premise of most shorts that involve Spike are as follows: Something Tom does angers Spike, Spike tells Tom not to do it again or else, Jerry overhears this and proceeds to ensure Tom gets in trouble from Spike and succeeds. "Hiccup Pup" actually subverts the part where Jerry succeeds by having Tom help Spike.
  • Kevin from Ed, Edd n Eddy. Although he is made to be a Hero Antagonist, he has blatant shades of The Bully and is usually more a Jerkass who picks on the Eds, and some of the other (usually less provocative) kids in the cul-de-sac, for spite or a quick laugh rather than good intent. And it does not help either that he mostly gets away with everything that he does.
  • Much of the Warner Bros. animated stable have these characters as their leads:
    • Bugs Bunny was like this in his early shorts, where he was an obnoxious Screwy Squirrel and Karma Houdini. In the later shorts this was rectified, with Bugs becoming a Karmic Trickster who only targeted those who deserved it, though who "deserved" said retribution was still determined by Protagonist-Centered Morality. Bugs more often than not though works on the basis that he just likes being a jerk, he didn't earn "ain't I a stinker?" as a catchphrase in an ironic sense.
    • Everything said about Bugs Bunny also applies to Woody Woodpecker, except for the charm. Most other Walter Lantz heroes are similar.
    • Chester and Spike were always the heroes of their shorts, and we're expected to cheer them on despite their goal in each and every one being to harass, torment and just plain beat the living shit out of poor Sylvester, who is always minding his own business and not doing anything wrong. Did mid-20th century cartoonists just hate cats that much?
    • It is most likely that Chester and Spike ARE Villain Protagonists and Sylvester is in one of his few "pure victim roles". The fact that Spike pays for his bullying ways by getting the snot beaten out of him by an escaped panther and ends up a Nervous Wreck and sucking up to Chester the same way that Chester was a sycophant who was abused by Spike makes for some hilariously ironic Laser-Guided Karma.
  • Vendetta, on the Nicktoons show Making Fiends, is technically the antagonist of the story, since she creates the monsters that keep the rest of the town under her thumb. But when "good girl" Charlotte moves to town, the natural order of things is turned on its head by the fact that she's completely immune to the antics of Vendetta's creations and is completely obnoxious to boot. As she progresses blithely through the series, bringing about her own destruction in the process, the townspeople find her even more terrifying then Vendetta. More than once, Vendetta is forced into the role of hero to undo Charlotte's reign of tyranny. Maybe the evil test was right after all.
    • The irony of the show is that Charlotte with her absolute "ignorance is bliss" attitude makes Vendetta powerless because she can't see the reasons to be afraid and thus cannot be swayed by Vendetta's reign of terror. So in short, we have a messed-up insecure bully who cannot conceive of the idea of someone not fearing her and unknowingly annoying her with her friendliness, and a messed-up happy-go-lucky girl who lives in her own happy-go-lucky world and has obvious issues.
  • The primary complaint about the classic Chip 'n Dale shorts is that, most of the time, they're the ones causing all the trouble and we're supposed to still take their side. This is especially prominent whenever they're put up against Donald Duck or Pluto. At best, the two end up going with a case of Disproportionate Retribution, as in one short where Donald as a lumberjack unknowingly cuts down their house, or in another, where Donald the zookeeper is basically collateral damage in their efforts to steal peanuts from a rather annoyed elephant. At worst, they're the out and out villains, as in one infamous short where they come onto Donald's farm and start eating all of his apples, even just taking big bites out of them and then discarding the otherwise intact fruit.
  • Parodied in The Simpsons with The Itchy & Scratchy Show; most of the time Scratchy is doing nothing wrong and Itchy brutally butchers or beats him for no reason. This is lampshaded a few times:
    Homer: Which one's the mouse?
    Bart: Itchy.
    Homer: Itchy's a jerk.
    • It's taken to such elaborate measures In-Universe that the show's interpretation of God once sided with Itchy killing Scratchy for fun and sent the latter to burn in the pits of hell.
    • Bart and Homer could be this on their bad days. For one, Homer's tried to kill his son quite a few times, and Bart has tried to break up his parents (even going back into the past so Homer and Marge never got together) on several occasions. Though both have very understandable Freudian Excuses (Homer was abused by his father, lost his mother, was traumatized by finding Waylon Smithers Sr.'s corpse as a child...) that doesn't excuse the fact they do pretty dickish things on a regular basis.
    • Even more liable to do so are Marge and Lisa. While the show generally enlists them into Straight Man roles against the former two, there are plenty of cases the girls can be just too priggish, hypocritical or self-serving in their cause to side with.
  • In the X-Men: Evolution episode "Joyride" Avalanche becomes this while Scott/Cyclops of all people becomes the Designated Villain. To explain the premise of the plot: Lance decides he'd rather be in the X-Men to get closer to Kitty. Scott doesn't trust him. The episode consists of Lance making it as difficult as possible to be trusted (he ruins not one, but two different training exercises for the sake of being the center of attention, taunts Scott about his trashed car, etc) and so when the new recruits take the various X-Vehicles for joyrides Lance gets blamed, not because the kids frame him, but because he outright gives the adults reason to. When the new recruits take the X-Jet out, Lance jumps on with Kitty to stop them. However, when all the chaos ends Lance CONFESSES just to get into Scott's face. When Scott finds out he was innocent he apologizes, but Lance gets insulted by the fact he didn't trust him and quits the X-Men, not because of being blamed, but because he Just. Doesn't. Want. To. Try. We're supposed to have sympathy for Lance even though he did all he could to ruin his chance of freedom.
  • In American Dad! most of the cast qualify due to Depending on the Writer as they alter between Heroic Comedic Sociopath and Villain Protagonist in any ep or even within the same episode.
  • Total Drama World Tour makes a big deal that Alejandro is a much more evil version of Heather, the former villain; in the end, that makes Heather the "hero" when they make it into the final two. But if you really compare Heather's actions over the course of the series, she's done every nasty thing Alejandro did—she was just less effective at it by season three, due to the others' awareness about her and their perpetual Idiot Ball about how Obviously Evil Al was.
  • The heroes of the show Redakai seem to be having some trouble with how to act heroic.
    • For example, they protect the Great Pyramids of Giza by leaping onto said monument and goading their enemies into firing at it.
    • In another episode, Maya, who is supposed to be The Smart Girl, leads the charge to protect the forest they're in by hurling flames everywhere.
    • One of the shows villain groups, The Imperiaz, are a trio of siblings working for the show's Big Bad reluctantly because he's holding their parents hostage. The heroes are aware of this, but rather than wanting to help or at least showing a little sympathy, they have no remorse making light of the siblings' situation to taunt them.
    • In the show, there exists something called "The Kairu Honor Code." So far, there are three parts of it. The Kairu must be taken from the object by the team that gets the rights to it. The second part is that Kairu Warriors must NEVER attack ordinary people. The third part is that attacking your opponent even after they forfeit is forbidden. Even Lokar can't stand anyone who breaks the code and actually disbands the team that does. Team Stax, the good guys, attack normal people, and not a single scolding because they're the heroes and can get away with it! Why have such a thing in place if the heroes ignore it?
    • Oh yeah, one of those times, Team Stax attacked an ordinary person by stringing him by his ankles to a pterodactyl. And they're supposed to be portrayed in the right when they do this. Wow...
  • This is one of the many problems viewers have with Johnny Test:
    • The title character bugs most everyone around him, is pretty okay with being used as a guinea pig by his sisters in return for favors (which by the way, continuously endangers him, his family, and possibly the rest of his town), and... is really just a textbook example of the bratty Kid Hero, which makes it extremely difficult to like him, let alone root for him. It doesn't help that he gets away with his behavior nearly 99% of the time. One infamous example of this is when Johnny unintentionally zaps his sisters with a ray that lowers their IQ. Rather than immediately trying to find a way to return them back to their genius selves, he takes total advantage of their stupidity for his own amusement initially. In fact, the only reason he turns them back to normal (with the help of Bling-Bling Boy) is because the school the girls go to would've gone through a nuclear meltdown (don't ask).
    • Dukey, despite being the more level-headed one, isn't exempt from this either. While he does point out when Johnny is about to do something stupid and/or irresponsible, he's perfectly willing to join in with his friend's antics (And, if not, he's easily bribed with meat). One episode even had Dukey blatantly distracting Johnny from getting his schoolwork done causing Johnny to have to do extra credit (so he wouldn't have to go to summer school). Another infamous episode featured Dukey acting like a Jerkass dog (Including chewing up the sisters' belts and eating their food) causing said sisters' to invent an obedience collar for him to get him under control (albeit using him as a servant). In the end, it's Susan and Mary who end up being punished and Dukey and Johnny mock them for it. Again, Dukey is portrayed as a Karma Houdini here. Not once is Dukey called out or punished for essentially putting Johnny in that situation in the first place (It's also Out of Character for Dukey since he's often the more responsible one of the two).
    • Susan and Mary are as likely as Johnny to put themselves, their family, and the world in danger with their inventions, and usually Johnny is the one who ends up fixing it.
  • King of the Hill:
    • Hank Hill is usually a well-meaning person, but at times he is shown to be laughably old-fashioned compared to a more modern family that it's not even funny. Other times, he shows total disregard to his family and friends (ex. "Texas City Twister", "Pretty Pretty Dresses", etc.). The most ludicrous example probably has to be “Hank’s on Board”. After Hank and Bill discover that Dale and Boomhauer take secret fishing trips every summer, Hank thinks that they have been trying to avoid Bill. But, when the guys open up a vacation to include their relatives he discovers that Boomhauer and Dale are trying to get away from Hank because he is too bossy. When Hank cuts loose, the guys get into big trouble just as Hank thought, stranded in the ocean next to their fishing boat with no way to climb back up to it. Hank's take-charge nature saves the four in the end, as he devises a means to summon help so they can be rescued. The problem is, as Dale said, it was Hank’s fault that they got in trouble as not only was he the last one to jump off the boat, but Dale and Boomhauer have been doing this four years without a problem. To make matters worse, it turns out that Bill, Dale and Boomhauer faked the fabulous time they had without Hank even though he didn’t find out that they were trying to get away from him until after they did that.
    • Also, Peggy. She sees herself as the sensible, long-suffering one, but there are many, many, many reasons she's The Scrappy.
  • Skunk Fu!:
    • Rabbit certainly counts. He's supposed to be a hero, yet he spends most of the time acting like an arrogant Jerkass around everyone else. This is the same series in which the Big Bad got his Start of Darkness for being arrogant.
    • The Heavens themselves could be seen as this despite being the Big Good of the series. It's explained in the official source material of the series that when Dragon asked if he could use his water powers to save the village, The Heavens said nothing. This causes Dragon to use his powers making The Heavens take away his water powers (he originally could control fire and water). Not once did The Heavens simply tell Dragon he couldn't use his powers to save the village (Which, by the way, was dying from a drought). Even worse is that they are said to have punished Dragon for his arrogance. Even if Dragon was acting haughty at the time, causing him to want to essentially destroy the same village he tried to save years ago out of vengence is far from a heroic act.
  • Spongebob Squarepants, Depending on the Writer, is occasionally thrown the Idiot Ball or Jerkass Ball. As much as Squidward is painted as a hopeless pessimist, living next door to a nuisance who repeatedly breaks into his home and destroys his artistic creations means he's earned every bit of his impatience. And let's not forget about the infamous "A Pal For Gary". The less said about that, the better. The only one who can tolerate Spongebob for any length of time is Patrick... who frequently gets into just as much trouble. However, at least his excuse is that he's an idiot, though it could be interpreted that Patrick is faking being stupid, as shown in "The Card"
    • Mr. Krabs. It used to be that he was a bit greedy, but eventually he became Flanderized to the point of psychotically spending a full episode trying to get a single penny from SpongeBob. (On another occasion he sold SpongeBob to the Flying Dutchman for 62 cents, an act which even horrified Squidward.) Meanwhile, as Plankton heads more into Ineffectual Sympathetic Villainy Krabs' responses become more extreme; once he actually drove Plankton to attempt suicide. In some episodes the Chum Bucket is a legitimate business Krabs is bullying profit away from (in one episode he became obsessed with ruining the Chum Bucket just because he earned one regular customer).
    • Word of God however is that he was supposed to be as much of a villain as Plankton, only less obvious. After all, many of his crimes were before the Movie.
  • An in-universe example on Sidekick is Maxum Man, who is hailed as the greatest hero of all time, even though he mostly just takes credit for the actions of his sidekicks, who are rewarded by being maimed repeatedly, often by him (sidekicks in this universe are generally small children), and many of the villains he faces became supervillains as Disproportionate Retribution for Maxum Man being a jerk to them.
  • Benson from Regular Show in the episode "Muscle Mentor", where he makes Rigby go through Muscle Man's mentorship to get his job back despite the mentorship being just being abused for no reason, and involves nearly drowning him to death at one point.
    • Mordecai and Rigby themselves fall into this a lot of the time, thanks to being lazy slackers who blow off their park-keeper jobs to spend hours playing video games. Since they get to live in a house provided for them by their job, it comes off worse, because there is no way either of them have the life skills to support themselves. When it comes to any job they're assigned, they usually do it halfheartedly and poorly. It's no wonder Benson comes off as an uptight Jerkass around them, and it's been shown when they actually do an okay job, he lightens up and becomes friendly towards them.
    • Rigby alone must get a mention for being incredibly childish, bad-tempered, petty and fickle. Much of the conflict in the show is caused by him getting mad over something trivial. Special mention to the episode where he learns the "Death Punch" and goes around beating everyone up. The reason? Mordecai made him be Player 2 in a video game.
  • Sam Manson of Danny Phantom is seen as Danny's true love and is favored by the creator, Butch Hartman. However, many see her as a Hypocrite and worse than the other girl that showed interest, Valerie. In the first episode, she had the entire school menu changed to fit her vegetarian lifestyle, without the consent (or knowledge) of her peers, or the teaching staff. When this angers the Lunch Lady Ghost, instead of reverting to save her friends, she insists that the school stay in danger for her agenda. She forces Danny to try and free a gorilla through blackmail. She enters a beauty pageant solely to make a statement about how it disrespects modern women (and when she won, she simply calls it stupid) despite that the other contestants were competing to actually win (and not demeaning her in the process). She spies on Danny when he went on a date yet when he did it to her she yelled at him and threatened to end their friendship (Danny thought the kid was trying to hurt Sam, and something like this did happen before, and nearly killed his sister Jazz.) In the final episode, she scolds Danny for purposely getting rid of his powers without considering the stress and trouble he was going through, and that Amity had ghost protectors already.
  • The Teen Titans would usually go in this territory in Teen Titans Go!, to the point where it can have a sub-page because of it:
    • In "Girls Night Out", Starfire and Raven free Jinx and they go on a crime spree.
    • In "Artful Dodgers", the Titans cheat at a dodgeball game between them and the Hive Five, and it's hinted they have done this before. And when the Hive win their game despite their blatant cheating, the Titans have them arrested so they would win by default. Made worse by the fact that both Robin and Starfire point out that "cheaters never prosper."
    • In the infamous "Staring at The Future", Beast Boy and Cyborg, upon being sent to a future where the rest of the Titans are responsible people with productive lives, decide to selfishly and deliberately ruin the others futures just to create a world where they won't have to deal with responsibility.
    • In "Baby Hands", when the Titans have their memories erased by Brother Blood, Robin takes advantage of their amnesia to retrain them to respect him by telling them outlandish stories of their origins, all to feed his ego.
    • In "Second Christmas", Beast Boy, Cyborg and Raven lie to Starfire, causing her to miss a holiday on her planet, just so they can have more stuff.
    • In "Ghost Boy", Beast Boy treats Starfire like a slave as a prank and when the Titans cast a spell of transparency on him to make him think he's a real ghost, Beast Boy retaliates by pretending to jump into a volcano, leading to the Titans accidently killing themselves when they try to stop him. He even has the gall to laugh at them.
    • In "Opposites", Cyborg begins dating Jinx for no reason even though she's a villain, and eventually convinces the other titans to become criminals so there is nothing to keep them apart.
    • In "Salty Codgers", Raven intentionally lets the others be turned into old people by Mad Mod because she found old people adorable, causing them to die of old age. And when she pulls a Batman Gambit on Death to get their souls back, he instead turns them into zombies as revenge. Raven shows no concern as she finds zombies just as adorable as old people. This is even Lampshaded by Death.
    Death: Shortening the lives of your friends for your own selfish desires. So very evil, Raven. I love it!
    • In the episode "Mas Y Menos", while mentoring the title twins, Robin treats Menos horribly, believing him to be a hindrance to his brother Mas. He even lies to Menos about Mas being in a hospital so he could spend more time with Mas. The other Titans are appalled at his actions, but Robin shows no remorse. And when the twins's energy overloads and nearly endangers the city, Robin helps stop them, but at the end of the episode, he outright says that the most important part of being the hero is to put yourself in the spotlight and steal the glory.
    • In the episode "Puppets, Whaaaaat?", Robin is fed up with the Titans's constant disobedience, so he sells their souls to the evil Puppet Wizard and turns them into puppets. Though he helps the Titans regain their souls, the end of the episode implies he hasn't learned his lesson.
    • In "Breakfast Cheese", all four members of the team, sans Starfire, are depicted as blatant sociopathic heroes who beat up criminals for fun and use being heroes as an excuse for their violent behavior. Starfire is disgusted by their actions and attempts to curb their violent tendencies.
    • In "Brain Food", Beast Boy uses Raven's spell book to make the other Titans dumber than he is just as they are attempting to destroy an oncoming asteroid just so he could feel smart. Had Silkie, accidentally made smarter by the spell, not come to the rescue with his giant robot, the city would've been destroyed.
    • In "Lazy Sunday", after Robin donates the couch to a retirement home in an attempt to curb Beast Boy and Cyborg's laziness, the two trick the others into helping them steal it back.
    • Aqualad is depicted in much the same way in the episode "Pirates". Instead of being a Friend to All Living Things, he treats his sea creatures like slaves, constantly standing on them and using them as stepping stones. Aqualad even has a large amount of sea creatures fed to sharks to impress Raven (who, being a Designated Hero herself, enjoys watching them be eaten). At the end of the episode, it turns out he's a pirate. It would be more shocking that a superhero became a looting, pillaging, murdering pirate who treats sea creatures like slaves and has them fed to sharks if half the show wasn't essentially an animated Fauxtivational Poster.
    • In the episode "The Hive Five", the Titans's Jerkass behavior is taken Up to Eleven. After suffering constant prank calls from the Titans, the Hive decide to take a day off to avoid them. But their day off is ruined when the Titans intrude on them.
    • Deconstructed in the episode "A Farce" where Brother Blood and the Brain take the Titans to court for their careless destruction of Jump City. They are all found guilty at the end of the episode.
  • The Powerpuff Girls can be this trope depending on the episode. Some episodes have the girls doing some things that are underhanded at best, un-heroic at worst and they are almost always portrayed in the right. Unlike other examples, however, this is balanced out in some episodes as the girls do learn from their mistakes and better themselves.
    • One of the more infamous examples happens in the episode "Mime for a Change". A freak accident involving a truck full of bleach turns Rainbow the Clown into Mr. Mime, who begins to drain Townsville of all color and sound. The girls managed to return the town and Rainbow to normal, but when he thanks them for bringing him back to his senses, the girls beat him to a pulp and send him to prison even though it was painfully clear he was Not Himself. The issue apparently got cleared up as he is seen attending the girl's birthday party in a later episode.
    • In the episode "Major Competiton", a new superhero named Major Man stops crimes before the girls can, but they eventually discover he's a fraud who sets up crimes in advance. Their plan to expose him? Hire a giant monster to attack the town without him knowing and force him to confess. The girls managed to get away with it even.
    • One of the more egregious examples happen in the episode "Candy Is Dandy". The girls develop an addiction to candy and the Mayor will give them candy whenever they save the day. When crime in Townsville is slow, they decide to hire Mojo Jojo to attack the town, get defeated by the girls, and they would break him out on the next day to do it again. When the Mayor informs them that Mojo stole their candy, the girls give him a vicious What the Hell, Hero? that leaves the poor man in tears before confronting Mojo, who gleefully admits he stole their candy just to get under their skin. Cue one of the most vicious beatdowns in the series as they kick the everloving shit out of him. It was so bad that the girls themselves eventually saw how far they've fallen and apologize to the Mayor for their actions.
    • In the episode "Ploys R Us", the girls awake to find their room filled with toys and discover the Professor has been robbing the toy store while sleepwalking. Instead of trying to prevent it, the girls take advantage of his nighttime strolls and have him steal toys for them while pretending to investigate the thefts. Eventually, the professor catches on to the girls's scheme and with the Mayor's help, tricks them into confessing. The girls again apologize for their actions, but get to keep the toys as they were all paid for.
    • In the episode "Slave the Day", The girls save Billy of the Gangreen Gang from being killed by an oncoming subway and to show his gratitude, he becomes their personal butler. With each well-intentioned feat, he causes horrendous collateral damage and eventally gets a "The Reason You Suck" Speech from Blossom which causes him to go back to the gang. The gang tries to kill the girls by trapping them on a subway track, but Billy gets a change of heart and rescues them. Instead of gratiude, the girls beat the crap out of him along with the gang even though he had clearly turned against the gang.
    • Deconstructed in "A Very Special Blossom". On Father's Day, Blossom wants to get the Professor some very expensive golf clubs for a gift. So, after stopping Mojo Jojo's rampage, she finds the set and steals it, which causes the Professor to get arrested when he goes to a golf game. Blossom at first tries to lie her way out of it by saying Mojo sold her the golf clubs, but is eventually forced to confess that she stole them. She is then sentenced to Community Service.
    • Deconstructed also in the Buttercup-centered episode, "Makes Zen To Me". During a fight with Fuzzy Lumpkins, Buttercup uses way more force than necessary and is called out on her violent actions by the girls and Fuzzy's doctor, who outright tells her she is no hero as her actions have left Fuzzy with crippling injuries. She then seeks the help of an Old Master to help find inner peace and curb her violent ways.
  • It seems that the main characters in Ben 10: Omniverse have forgotten how to be heroes.
    • The titular Ben Tennyson himself becomes one thanks to Flanderization. His Chronic Hero Syndrome, his defining trait in the previous shows, is heavily toned down in favor of making him an arrogant, incompetent, and thoroughly obnoxious Jerkass who causes as many problems as he solves, takes next to nothing seriously, cares more about having fun than actually helping people, and as the series finale shows, apparently cares more about Mr. Smoothies than his friends and family. It has gotten to the point that many fans prefer either Rook or some of Ben's alternate counterparts such as No-Watch Ben and Ben 23 along with his future self Ben 10,000. Some fans have even resorted to rooting for the villains as Ben is just too unlikable. This is even lampshaded by Proctor Sevantis, who outright says that the Omnitrix is too powerful to be left in the hands of someone as irresponsible as Ben.
      • The Galactic Monsters arc is a prime example. Despite Zs Skayr being on Anur Phaetos and plotting to take over the galaxy, Ben's only concern is getting off the planet. Meaning that had he not been forced to stay on the planet longer than he wanted to, he would have left Zs Skayr undefeated and still scheming. This is thankfully rectified in the episode "It's a Mad, Mad Ben World", where after getting Dr. Psychobos to fix his and Ben 23's Omnitrixes, he opts to stay and help defeat Mad Ben.
    • Blukic and Driba to many fans. The many problems they cause by acting completely stupid and irresponsible don't exactly make them come out as charming, and their comments on Cerebrocrustaceans' intelligence just make them come out as flat-out racist.
    • Azmuth can also be one depending on the episode by virtue of being Unintentionally Unsympathetic. He is supposed to be the wise and benevolent ruler of Galvan Prime, but it's frequently shown that he can be just as much of a jerk as Ben. A prime example of this is at the end of the "Duel of the Duplicates" arc where he punishes Albedo by permanently trapping him in the form of 11-year-old Ben. While Albedo was clearly meant to deserve that, to many fans, it came off as a needlessly petty Kick Them While They Are Down moment. Especially since one of the reasons for Albedo's Start of Darkness was him being fed up by Azmuth's treatment of him.
  • Super Noobs: All six of the main characters of the show. Seriously.
    • The Noobs are four twelve year old kids who are tasked with protecting earth from the virus but many of their actions are far from being considered heroic. They mainly use their battle balls for selfish gain, cause mischief that wreaks as much havoc on Cornbury as the virus itself, and their behavior in many of the episodes is very bratty and rude.
    • Memnock and Zenblock too. Although they are alien warriors sworn to protect the universe from the virus and stand in as mentors to the Noobs, they spend a huge amount of their screen time either being vitriolic towards each other or taking the Idiot Ball and behaving very childishly when tempted with exploring what Earth has to offer.
  • This trope is the main complaint fans have with Pucca. While the title heroine is a Nice Girl for the most part, she's also an Abhorrent Admirer, a Yandere, a Clingy Jealous Girl, and a Stalker With a Crush par excellence who torments Garu to no end and anyone who gets in between her and Garu is beaten senselessly whether they're right or wrong. The other characters in the show are fully aware of how ridiculously creepy Pucca can be around Garu, but they write it off as "Funny Love". Despite this, we're supposed to root for her because everyone in Sooga Village loves her unconditionally (even naming a year after her) even though she gets away with shit that would get any other character arrested years ago. The fact that she's an Invincible Hero who can effortlessly solve her problems does not help her case.
  • In The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, while Mandy is intentionally a Villain Protagonist, Billy is generally portrayed as a Kindhearted Simpleton and the Token Good Teammate. This is in spite of the fact that he is often just as much of a jerk, treats his supposed friend Grim like a slave, has been known to use Grim's control over death as a weapon to get rid of people he dislikes (or attempt to anyway), and has committed all kinds of evil acts for little to no reason, such as sacrificing everyone else in town to an alien creature for no reason other than that he didn't have anything better to do.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: Nicole and Anais are generally good people, and when not it's usually a case of Temporarily a Villain, but they definitely become this in "The Hero". When Gumball and Darwin call Richard useless when they don't know he's there, rather than pointing out things Richard had done for them (like raising them), Nicole and Anais throw cupcakes made of cement at them and then Nicole denies him access to anything she provides until they apologize, including food, until they apologize, and Anais supports her decision. They are portrayed as being in the right and never feel remorse or get punished, and no one points out that this is blatant child abuse.
  • Winx Club: Bloom and Sky in the first episode with Princess Diaspro. While Diaspro was derailed into a Yandere Rich Bitch later, in her first episode Bloom attacks her after seeing her in her boyfriend's presence, immediately assuming she's Icy in disguise with absolutely no proof whatsoever to this. In fact, Diaspro proves she's not a witch by transforming into a fairy! And that's not even mentioning Sky's behaviour- He was technically cheating on poor Diaspro with Bloom, and no one calls him out on this!
  • Bubsy falls under this in his failed cartoon pilot. He is shown to be boastful, reckless, and obnoxious, not to mention he often treats his sidekick Arnold like a lesser being. This is considered to be one of the main reasons for the pilot's universal hatred.
  • Animaniacs
    • Slappy Squirrel becomes a Designated Hero in the short "I Got Yer Can", where she torments Candie Chipmunk to the point of insanity all because Candie lectured her on disposing of her trash in other people's bins. While Candie is shown to be a rather conceited neat freak, it still doesn't justify the lengths Slappy goes to ensure that she's stuck with Slappy's empty soda can.
    • Yakko, Wakko, and Dot themselves are usually depicted as Karmic Tricksters like Bugs Bunny in that they only torment and humiliate people if they're jerks and/or have done something mean to them, but they sometimes cause trouble for people who haven't done anything wrong.
      • "Toy Shop Terror" has the Warners wreak havoc in a toy store during closing hours. While the owner of the toy store is rather grumpy, he had every right to want the Warners out of his store, and you'd be pretty peeved too if some children were making a mess of your store while you were trying to sleep.
      • The Warners remorselessly cause Otto Von Scratchansniff to get injured and humiliated in "Fake" and "Anchors A-Warners".
      • "Back in Style" shows that during the 1960's, Warner Bros. Studios were desperate enough for money to loan the Warners out to be guest stars in parodies of cartoons that were popular at the time. Every single one of the 60's cartoon spoofs has the Warners do nothing but insult and harm the cartoon's main characters unprovoked, but the worst instant is in the Underdog parody, where they prevent Thunderdog from rescuing the Sweet Polly Purebred stand-in and cause him to suffer an injury that permanently deforms his lower body.
  • DW in the Arthur episode "Arthur's Big Hit". She's portrayed as in the right, but the entire time she's annoying Arthur while he's trying to make a model plane and even blames him for supposedly making the plane wrong when she broke it.
  • Buttercup from The Powerpuff Girls (2016) is depicted as being right usually, but she's completely okay with beating up other people, even if they did nothing to bother her. She also calls Silico "messed up in the head" after he tells her and her sisters his sad backstory.
  • Ever since the beginning, many minor characters that Mystery. Inc helps in Scooby-Doo have been arrogant and egotistic jerks who fail to see that their actions led to culprits' motives. Unfortunately, the gang still helps those horrible people.
    • The earliest example is Bobby Mogul from "The New Scooby and Scrappy Doo Show" episode "The Fall Dog", he caused the culprit Mickey Hack to dress up as a gremlin he ruined his love story script and turned it into a dangerous stunt movie. Bobby however fails to see the error of that, saying he's a genius, only to have Mickey say that he's not a genius, but a hack.
    • Another example would be Owen De Castle from What's New, Scooby-Doo? episode "The Vampire Strikes Back", who fails to see that him buying Fortescu castle led to the culprits' revenge plan.
    • Professor Laslow Ostwald from "High-Tech House of Horrors" also goes under this, for him taking the credit of all the work of his own self-aware creation, S.H.A.R.I, led her to cause chaos for attention.
    • The most recent example of this in the franchise is Big Earl from Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! episode "Gremlin on the Plane", who failed to see that him making the airplanes more high-tech lead to the culprits sabotage motives.
  • The Land of Dreams in The Dreamstone is presented as a saintly community whose love for peaceful dreams are always under threat by Zordrak and his malicious Urpney army. They tend to ignore the fact however, that most of the Urpneys are Trapped in Villainy and only try to take the Dreamstone or ruin their dreams because Zordrak press gangs, abuses or executes those that refuse. The heroes were also often depicted with an excessively nasty zeal, brutally beating up or toying with the Urpneys, often as they begged for mercy. Some episodes even borderline conveyed the heroes as hypocrites, fine bullying the Urpneys for petty slights but cowering and surrendering the moment they acted too much like the dastardly villains they touted them as. The later points of the show tried to make the heroes look more benevolent, but since the Urpneys for the large part remained the same unwilling non-threats, it was still a delicate dance for them to look provoked by them.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/DesignatedHero/WesternAnimation