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Jerk With A Heart Of Gold: Western Animation

  • Iago from the Aladdin series retains his Jerkass personality from the first movie, but he always comes through for the heroes when needed.
    Iago: I'm just hiding my true compassion behind a facade of selfishness. Really.
  • The Ice King from Adventure Time is a Psychopathic Manchild who cares about little beyond kidnapping princesses to force them to marry him... but he'll still save the protagonists lives from time to time, and occasionally bemoan that he can't figure out how to be their friendnote , sometimes to the extent that it looks like that for all his needless cruelty and compulsive villainy, he's really just lonely. Must be his past as Simon Petrikov shining through.
    • The Earl of Lemongrab was shaping up to be this. An annoying, idiotic and childlike lunatic, but he loved his kids and was steadily forming better bonds with other people. Then he ate his brother over a toy and things went south BIG TIME.
  • Charlie from All Dogs Go to Heaven — despite his criminal nature and love of being a con artist, he is shown giving pizza to a family of hungry pups. The whole plot of the film invokes him getting said heart of gold, as he goes from exploiting an orphan under the pretense that he'll really be looking out for her to actually wanting to help her, and in the end he gives his life in order to save hers.
  • Z, from All Grown Up!, as shown in "Bad Kimi" and "It's Cupid, Stupid". He is not a jerk, but merely aloof and a bit distant, prefering to dress in a punk style. However, he's a good young man and he and his father donate to children frequently.
  • Stan Smith of American Dad! is a self righteous, bigoted, borderline Comedic Sociopath, however his callous antics are almost always with good intentions, and ultimately he does care dearly about his family.
  • Slappy Squirrel from Animaniacs could count as this.
    • As well as The Brain.
    • The Warners, who combine genuine affection for those they care about with a ruthless dedication to making the lives of assholes around the world a living hell.
    • Rita was prone to being selfish, rude and catty, but she also genuinely cared for and tried to look after Runt.
  • Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender (especially in the first two seasons, before his Heel-Face Turn). Toph Bei Fong sometimes acts like one, too.
  • Toph's daughter, Chief Lin Bei Fong from The Legend of Korra, is a definite hardass and comes across as overly harsh and bitter most of the time and greatly dislikes Korra. However, she is legitimately interested in keeping the peace in Republic City and proves herself to have a compassionate side as well as being completely selfless when she performs a Heroic Sacrifice to give her ex-boyfriend and his family (which he started with the woman he left her for) time to escape and also refusing to give up Korra's location to Amon at the cost of her bending.
  • Rattrap of Transformers: Beast Wars. He whines, he moans, he mocks, he groans. He openly voices his disdain regarding missions and is the most cowardly member of the Maximal crew. Yet, he is possibly Primal's most loyal cadet and, though reluctantly, always eventually accepts his missions. You can always count on Rattrap to do the right thing... Even if he's complaining about it the whole time.
    • Dinobot. Sure, he may be a backstabbing brutish Proud Warrior Race Guy, who regularly expresses his disapproval of Optimus not finishing off his opponents, but everyone knows where he stands note  and his death defending Proto-man is generally considered the Crowning Moment of Awesome for the entire Transformers Franchise.
  • Sparky from Beethoven The Animated Series often acts sarcastic and tough but deeply cares for his friends and goes as far as to set a bunch of strays free from the pound.
  • Ben 10 likes to use this trope a lot:
    • Ben himself is obnoxious, arrogant, immature, can't shut up about how he saved the universe many times, has few to no interest in a normal life, and has moments of being a big Jerk Ass. But he also has a HUGE Chronic Hero Syndrome, and would not hesitate a second to sacrifice himself or his powers to save people.
    • His cousin Gwen started out as one, though a lot of her Jerkassery was Positive Discrimination in reaction to Ben's immaturity. She got better by the time of Alien Force (At least in the first two seasons.)
    • Kevin became one by Alien Force.
    • Azmuth is an Insufferable Genius and a Cynical Mentor who can easily turn out obnoxious, but the fact this guy tried to create something that he thought would bring peace in the entire universe should tell you he is not that bad...
  • Vinnie from Biker Mice from Mars may be an egomaniac, but he would never leave his friends in trouble.
  • Danny Dingo from Blinky Bill has shown signs of this like in Blinky And The Magician where he gets a horrified look on his face as the kids fake their own torture. Also, Blinky himself counts as one.
  • Lucky Piquel and Skunky Skunk from Bonkers.
  • Uncle Ruckus from The Boondocks is shown comforting Jasmine at the of the episode "A Huey Freeman Christmas", after she had been told multiple times that Santa Claus didn't exist.
  • Kirby from The Brave Little Toaster. He acts like the only person he cares about is the Master, but when his friends fall down a waterfall, he jumps right in after them.
  • Maggie from The Buzz on Maggie. She may act selfish, make bad decisions, and act self-centered at times, but she shows that she cares about her family & friends and will do anything for them.
  • Wheeler from Captain Planet.
  • This is the main concept behind the Care Bear character of Grumpy Bear. The original idea was to show children that it's okay to be in a bad mood sometimes, despite what other cartoons would have you believe.
  • Rallo Tubbs from The Cleveland Show has shades of this, showing care for animals.
  • Sissi of Code Lyoko. She and Ulrich apparently got along somewhat better before she betrayed the secret of Lyoko... an event she has absolutely no memory of. To his credit, he's the one who initiates her into his group of friends in the series finale.
    • Ulrich is one in the prequel, but apparently got better after he started teaming up with the others and became a Lyoko-Warrior. He still has some shades of it though.
    • Jim also qualifies, at first seeming to be just a Drill Sergeant Nasty gym teacher, he ultimately shows that he cares alot more for the school's students than he lets on, and even nearly pulls a Heroic Sacrifice for their sake.
  • Numbuh Four on Codename: Kids Next Door. He likes fighting, is insensitive, and has a history of bullying, but it's clear he's loyal to his team, especially Numbuh Three. He's agreed to sing a mushy song he despised, faced his fear of water, and ran into the heat of battle all for his friends. It's even stated he took Numbuh One joining the Galactic KND in the finale the hardest.
  • Dan in Dan Vs. can somewhat qualify for this. Although he is a massive Jerkass, he does also have several Pet the Dog moments with his kitten Mr. Mumbles whom he genuinely cares for, and when some of the targets in his crazy revenge schemes actually turn out to either be even bigger jerks than he is or outright villains, he sometimes will wind up helping their victims out (such as in "The Fancy Restaurant" or "The Wild West Town".) He also has a massive soft spot for animals, and even released lobsters from a restaurant when he learned they were going to be boiled alive.
  • Daria is often a textbook example, despite her endless snarking and being incredibly rude to most characters on the show, she clearly never tried to ever hurt someone even if she made jokes about a gruesome death for them, quite frequent with Quinn who she ended up bailing out and teaming up with on a few occasions.
  • This was even apparent on Beavis And Butthead. Despite being mocked by the titular duo she tolerated them far more than any other character besides Van Driessen, and it was sometimes implied that while he never ceased in his mocking that she was the only person Butthead had any level of respect for.
  • Darkwing Duck. Yes, he is egotiscial and very much self-centered, but he cares very much about his friends and family and is first and foremost a hero that will always answer the call to action when the need arises. This becomes even more clear when you realize he is actually despised by all the population of Saint-Canard (to the point that when he seemingly died in Dead Duck, they didn't even bothered with giving him a proprer burial), and he still tries helping everyone despite it.
  • Although Roger from Doug usually seems more like a Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk, according to the show's writers, he is a Jerk With a Heart of Gold (he does have rare genuine moments however, and is arguably humanized more in the Disney revival).
  • Eric Duckman of Duckman comes off as an ass and a sexist most of the time, but he is shown to have a good side, as he will do anything to protect his children if something is bothering them, or if they're in danger, even if he doesn't always pay attention to them. And, as revealed in a flashback, he didn't always used to be a jerk.
  • Eddy from Ed, Edd n Eddy was this before being reduced to a selfish jerk who cared more for money than for his friends.
    • In an earlier Valentine's episode that took place at the school, Eddy picks a fight with the Kanker sisters (And even bites Lee's leg) because he thinks they've brainwashed Double D. Eddy is terrified of the Kanker sisters.
    • In the final regular episode, after Edd has been socially isolated due to a rumor and then publicly humiliated and beaten to a pulp, the Kanker sisters approach to "reward him" for his bravery, and Edd's face just screams Oh, Crap. What's Eddy's first reaction? He screams at the Kankers to lay off him. After they flee in legitimate terror, Eddy pulls some hot dogs out of hammerspace, gives them to his friends (perhaps the first example of him sharing anything), and asks them—abet a little nastily—if they're happy.
    • Kevin and Sarah end up being jerks with hearts of gold at the end of the movie, when they start being nice to the Eds and accept them as their friends.
    • It is very rare that they show it, but the Kanker Sisters displayed a hidden softer side in The Movie particularly during the climax.
  • Sharky the shark dog from Eek The Cat has shown his soft side before. He even hugged Eek in one episode.
  • Timmy Turner in The Fairly Oddparents may be somewhat jerkish, but he's still a nice guy. In fact, it's clear in the "Wishology" trilogy that he's The Chosen One not because he's strong, but because he's kind.
    • Mr. and Mrs. Turner may not be the best parents in the world, but they'll protect Timmy whenever he's in danger.
  • Parodied on Family Guy with the one-shot character of "Kenneth, the badass mail clerk with the heart of gold", who gives half his paycheck to "orphans with diseases", cue the touching music as Peter gives a heartfelt, approving nod.
    • Peter Griffin used to be this until he turned into a complete Jerkass.
      • He still has his moments, but they're fewer and much farther between.
    • Now Quagmire seems to be stepping in to fill that void.
      • Perhaps the best example of Quagmire's taking over this role is his relationship with Meg Griffin. He seems to be one of the very few people on the show who actually sincerely cares for her, occasionally helping her out with her problems. She's also the only woman he's demonstrated an extremely uncharacteristic willingness to have a Jail Bait Wait for. In addition to that, he volunteers at a soup kitchen and became a surprisingly good father to his Doorstop Baby.
    • Stewie, especially to Brian.
    • Brian himself is a lot more selfish and conceited than before, but still has several redeeming moments to place him into this trope.
  • The Flintstones: Fred Flintstone.
  • Garfield has several examples of this, but the whole "Here Comes Garfield" story pretty much sums it up.
    • "Garfield in the Rough" even more so. Garfield actually ambushes and attacks A BLACK PANTHER in order to save Jon and Odie.
    • Roy the Rooster from US Acres could count as this too. He's a self-centred arrogant prankster, but he will often use these very qualities to help his friends out of trouble and has moments of remorse when he feels he might have gone a bit too far.
    • The Garfield Show especially amps this trope up. He's still a gluttonous snarker, but he bullies Jon and Odie a lot less and actually goes out of his way to help others with sometimes little or no self-benefit.
  • Grunkle Stan on Gravity Falls is The Barnum, a massive cheapskate, and is frequently hard on his employees at the Mystery Shack. Outside of all that, he clearly loves Dipper and Mabel, even if the "family bonding" he comes up with sometimes involves counterfeiting schemes. It's also revealed in "Dreamscaperers" that the reason he makes Dipper do most of the dirty work around the Shack is to toughen him up.
  • Guy Gardner in Green Lantern: The Animated Series: He's arrogant, womanizing and smug, but he's also very friendly. After disagreeing with Hal, he takes him to get wings and displays his affability, helping Hal get out of trouble, working together with him to stop the Manhunters, and helping him through a break-up. Even Salaak and the Guardians seem to like him.
  • Patty Smith, the Huge Schoolgirl Gonk of Hey Arnold!.
    • Helga too. She's generally rather rude and obnoxious, but we regularly see her go above and beyond for the general good (in secret - after all, she's got a reputation to uphold). Granted, this is usually just to help Arnold, but there are episodes where she does the same for her sister, Phoebe, and even Lila too. In general she's a lot nicer a person than she'll let herself let on (her reluctance to do so often makes her her own worse enemy, however).
    • Harold under similar conditions evolved from a childish bully to a troubled Kiddie Kid with a transparent Jerkass Fašade. This reached a point he actually gained a crush on fellow Jerk With a Heart of Gold Patty, and if you have a problem with that, he'll pound you so hard it won't even be FUNNYYYYYY!!!!
    • The Jolly Olly Man starts out as a Jerkass, but after he got A Day in the Limelight episode with Arnold, his Freudian Excuse became made apparent and he becomes somewhat nicer.
  • Coach McGuirk, Home Movies .
  • Dib from Invader Zim can be this on occasion.
  • Gunther from Jane and the Dragon. Gunther is obnoxious to Jane (and occasionally the other denizens of the castle) and often uses underhanded tactics to get his way. However, he has also gone out of his way to right his meddling father's wrongs and usually ends up doing the right thing by the end of the episode.
  • Mr Spacely of The Jetsons isn't the nicest guy in the world, but he HAS had a few Pet the Dog moments, and he's nowhere near as bad as his rival Cogswell (who's a plain Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk).
  • In Justice League, Cute Bruiser Hawk Girl sometimes comes across this way.
  • Larry, Loopy's brother on KaBlam!'s "Life with Loopy" shorts seems to always constantly tease his little sister, but it's shown that he has a big heart and really cares for her (messing with Loopy's his Berserk Button).
    • June, from the Henry and June bits. She frequently picks on and sometimes even injures Henry, her best friend and co-host, and (starting in Season 2) is very prone to deadpan, snarky remarks. However, she cares about him a lot (to the point of having a crush on him), can't stand to be away from him for a long amount of time, and almost always makes him feel better when he's feeling down.
  • Cotton Hill of King of the Hill is a jerk and a sexist most of the time but he does show that he has a good side such as when he took the blame for Bobby burning down the church by accident, got a job to support his second wife and infant son, and even though he doesn't like her he helped Peggy to walk again after she broke her spine. Also while he rarely has a single nice thing to say to his oldest son, Hank, he doesn't wish the worst for him, "not yet" anyway.
    • Dale Gribble. Shallow, selfish, tactless, cowardly, unethical and quick to blame everybody and anybody else for whatever problem he caused. However, to say he "loves" his wife and son is a huge understatement. He dotes on his son Joseph, even though he isn't even Dale's biological son, putting him before everything else in the universe and defending him with his life despite his cowardly nature. He worships the ground his wife walks on and treats her like royalty, which she does not even deserve, having cheated on him for fourteen years. Also, on numerous occasions, he risks his life and/or sacrifices himself for Hank. For example, secretly switching Hank's low-running oxygen tank for his own full one before going to put out a fire.
    • Also, Khan Souphanousinphone. He may be a nasty, sharp-tongued elitist whose main purpose in life is to mock and look down on his neighbors as a bunch of hillbillies, but he has a very, very fierce integrity to his values, a deep sense of duty, and doesn't take injustice from anybody. Ever.
  • The Land Before Time: Cera's bossy, she's egotistical, she's short-tempered, and she'll always come through for her friends.
  • Link of The Legend of Zelda.
  • Timon is shown more as a Jerkass in The Lion King and the Timon & Pumbaa series. However in The Lion King 1 1/2 it is implied that Timon had a caring parent-child relationship with Simba when he was a cub being both a protector and a source of comfort.
    • He even shows this in the first movie:
  • Bleak in Lite Sprites seems like she doesn't care about the other sprites, finding their ideas of fun to be lame, but when her friends are in trouble, she instantly leaps into action.
  • Brattus from Mr. Bogus also appears to show shades of this. While he may act like a rambunctious Bratty Half-Pint 99% of the time, he actually does have his genuinely nice moments, such as at the end of his introductory episode "Et Tu, Brattus?", where he actually goes to the trouble to present Bogus with a cake to show him that there are no hard feelings between them.
  • A number of characters from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic qualify:
    • Rainbow Dash is hot-headed and can be a bit arrogant sometimes, but her heart's in the right place and she's loyal to her friends no matter the circumstances.
    • Spike is a bit of a slacker and has quite a bit of attitude, but he's a good guy underneath it all.
    • Fluttershy's bunny companion Angel is frequently pushy and obnoxious, going so far as to act like a spoiled child in "Putting Your Hoof Down", but it's been shown he does care for Fluttershy, doing things like reminding her of her appointment in "A Bird in the Hoof", comforting her when she was feeling down in the dumps in "Hurricane Fluttershy", and following her all the way to the Crystal Empire in "Games Ponies Play" because he missed her.
    • The minotaur Iron Will from "Putting Your Hoof Down" seems like a stereotypical loud and boisterous self-help guru who preaches "aggressiveness as assertiveness", and he seemed more than willing to threaten Fluttershy with violence for not paying for the assertiveness seminar she attended. However, when Fluttershy invokes Will's promise of "satisfaction guaranteed or it's free", he eventually gives up and leaves without a fuss.
    • Rarity is a moderate example, she can be extremely vain, and is rather materialistic. Bearing the Element of Generosity, she gives as much as she takes in that area however and is one of the more consistently friendly and sociable of the main ponies. This standard is acknowledged and upheld sternly by writers, one of her spotlight episodes (what would later become "Spike At Your Service") was rewritten completely with another character because they feared it would develop her to close to an outright Jerk Ass.
    • Cranky Doodle Donkey is a grouchy loner, but is genuinely grateful when others help him out, keeps mementos of past places he's visited, and softens up quite a bit after he meets up with Matilda again.
    • Twilight Sparkle can come across as this. She frequently treats Spike, her assistant, like a piece of furniture, has spent entire episodes harassing a friend for pride-related reasons (Feeling Pinkie Keen springs to mind), and can be very condescending and sarcastic at times. Despite this, she genuinely cares for her friends and Spike, and regularly hurls herself into danger for the good of others, be it holding off an Ursa or charging headlong at Nightmare Moon.
    • After his reformation, Discord becomes this. Sure, he still trolls the ponies for his own amusement, but he does help in his own twisted way. In the Season 4 two-parter, he taunts Twilight Sparkle over choosing to head back to Canterlot instead of helping her friends save the Tree Of Harmony. Plus, he leaves out the fact that he technically was the one who started the mess in the first place (it was long before his reformation, though) so that Twilight could learn a lesson about being a princess.
      • Even though he still enjoys messing with her, Discord still considers Fluttershy his friend even when (possibly deliberately) getting her name wrong and now that the Elements Of Harmony are now back in the Tree Of Harmony and therefore cannot be used to stop him. All it takes is for Fluttershy to remind him to behave himself, lest he breaks their friendship, to get keep him from causing too much trouble.
  • The Mouse King from The Nutcracker Prince may also qualify for the hint when he returns Clara's slipper after arriving to her room the next night, despite his grudge on her.
  • Lucky from 101 Dalmatians: The Series. He can be very selfish and bullheaded but he truly cares about his family and friends.
  • Lucy Van Pelt is somewhat a Jerkass in almost all of the Peanuts specials and comics, but occasionally, she has shown to care for others. For example, in It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown when Linus does not return home from the pumpkin patch by 4:00 A.M., Lucy gets out of bed, walks out to the pumpkin patch, leads her brother home, and puts him to bed. Furthermore, it was her who named Charlie Brown the pageant director in A Charlie Brown Christmas with no apparent ulterior motive. And the fact that it's her who utters the titular line at the end of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown is just one big Heartwarming Moment.
  • King Julien from The Penguins of Madagascar. He's mostly an Incidental Villain whom the other characters tolerate when he's not doing anything antagonistic, since he's not generally a bad guy, just a spoiled jerk who occasionally screws with people to get his own way. But now and then, he has his moments of being less jerk-ish, including saving Skipper's life.
  • Peter Pan from Peter Pan & the Pirates he's often a selfish, arrogant, egotistical jerk who sometimes rudely interrupts his friends or causes conflicts with other beings with no intention of apologizing leading to him and the others to face their wrath, but he has shown that he cares a great deal about the Darling children, the Lost Boys, and Tinkerbell risking his life to save them from potentially dangerous or deadly situations.
  • Pretty much any recurring jerk on Phineas and Ferb turns out to be this, but Buford may be the clearest example. He was a genuine bully in his first appearance, but "Raging Bully" gave him his own odd honor code, "Voyage to the Bottom of Buford" showed him to be incredibly lonely, and after that he basically became a cross between Punch Clock Villain and Token Occasionally Nasty Teammate. Becomes downright heartwarming in the Christmas Episode (he's Christmas wish is simply that his friends think of him as a nice person) and "Summer Belongs to You" (he purposely loses his own bet to help the group get home in time).
    • Word of God confirms this: the creators noticed how many cartoons had Jerkass characters and decided to see if they could make all of theirs likable while retaining interesting conflict.
  • Ioz from The Pirates of Dark Water. "Did I hear a compliment, Ioz?" "Eh, must have been the wind."
  • Leonard McLeish from The Hub's Pound Puppies is an acerbic, clueless social-climber who, despite repeatedly stating that he hates his job as head dog-catcher and wants to move on to bigger things, was shown to really care for the dogs of Shelter 17 in "McLeish Unleashed".
    • An interesting case is Agent Ping. She is first properly introduced in "Mutternal Instincts" as mostly a Jerk Ass who only showed a nicer side at the very end when noting she enjoyed herself during the episode's adventure and says she and her fellow agents should do it more often. in "Hail to the Chief" Ping Took a Level in Jerkass in the way she acts towards Strudel. But when she is called out on this, she reveals that she acts this way because of the stress of her job and apologizes. Then, Ping promptly becomes a Jerk Witha Heart Of Jerk as she still acts superior to the other Pound Puppies, basically taking back her apology and receiving Laser-Guided Karma. And she wasn't particularly jerky in her final appearance. Only doing her job and completely agreeing with Dot, Dolly and Dash Whippet that Lucky did the right thing by telling Dot he can talk.
  • Buttercup from The Powerpuff Girls. She may act like a bully most of the time (teasing Bubbles, fighting with Blossom and whatnot) but at the end of the day she really does care about her sisters. It's generally not a good idea to mess with them while she's around.
  • Cyril Sneer from The Raccoons is generally a business tycoon who will do anything to get what he wants, but there are times where he is shown to have a soft side like when he convinced Lisa to quit smoking and Bentley to not run away from home and he does care for his son.
  • Spinelli from Recess is hot-tempered and sarcastic, but will always stand up for her friends.
    • Miss Finster, as revealed after season one. She shares quite a few sweet bonding moments with fellow example Spinelli when she's having trouble with her friends. These get a nice little Call Back in "Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade" when Miss Finster once again helps her out.
    "Women of power like us, we're not allowed to have feelings."
  • Rigby from Regular Show.
    • Muscle Man is like this at times, but he's ALWAYS got a heart of gold towards women.
    • Benson could also be used as an example, because in multiple episodes he has either helped save the day, or was willing to sacrifice himself.
      • He also happens to be those with a Hidden Heart of Gold, and apparently, he hides it very, very well with a lot of security.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show: Ren H÷ek was this before John K. was fired. Despite yelling at Stimpy a lot and smacking him around violently, he was often shown to have a soft side, and genuinely care about his friend. (In one episode, he was even seen getting upset when he saw Stimpy feeling upset, and attempts to coax him into happiness by suggesting time on his irritating hobbies, all of which Ren despises otherwise.) In the Games Animation developed seasons, the selfish, psychotic side of Ren mostly took over, though his softer side reemerges on rare occasions.
  • Rocko's Modern Life: In the Season 2 episode: "Crusin", it was revealed that Grandpa Wolfe's full name was Hiram Willy Wolfe. When the ship was stuck in the Bermuda Triangle and when Rocko drowned in the ocean, Grandpa Wolfe finally found his conscience he at last rescued Rocko, after getting off the ship, they both decided whether to become friends or simply just go about their separate ways.
  • Angelica Pickles, resident Spoiled Brat of Rugrats. While she's the primary antagonist most of the time, she has alot of nice moments—such as when she admits she'll miss Tommy when he almost moves away, or apologizing to Suzie via a hand-made card. In the sequel series All Grown Up!, she's downright Spoiled Sweet most of the time.
  • Sergeant Major of The Shoe People. He's grumpy, bossy and pretty much a family-friendly Drill Sergeant Nasty, but he does have a soft side deep down.
  • Moe from The Simpsons, especially in the earlier seasons. In particular one instance when he was Homer's boxing coach, and he gave up a big money deal to save Homer from the heavyweight champion.
    • The ending credits are then set over him traveling the world via powered paraglider-he saves an explorer from quicksand, and an Indian woman and her child from floods.
      • He also delivered aid to African villagers, and fought a forest fire with a fire extinguisher.
      • As revealed in "Homer Loves Flanders" he reads to sick children in hospitals, but he doesn't want people to know about it.
    • Having said that, Homer himself qualifies, particularly in the earlier seasons. While he has become the Trope Codifier of Jerkass, the earlier season especially demonstrate that he really does love and care for his family, as he gets really upset when they're mad at him. He also goes to unbelievably insane lengths to help his friends out.
      • In Lisa The Beauty Queen he sells his cherished ride on the Duff Blimp so that that his daughter can enter a beauty pageant and feel better about herself.
      • In Saturdays of Thunder, after realizing that his son Bart needed his fatherly support, he puts aside his own feelings of shame and pride to help Bart win the soapbox race against Nelson.
      • In Lisa's First Word he sacrifices his dream job (bowling alley attendant) to support his family when he learns Marge is pregnant with Maggie.
      • Remember that a lot of his Jerkass tendencies are the result of Flanderization and the writers' need to compete with Peter Griffin.
    • Also Bart Simpson, who is well-known for the mayhem he causes in Springfield, although this is mostly done to drive authority figures crazy, rather than cause any real harm. He gets a number of Pet the Dog moments in helping people he'd normally antagonize, like when he noticed how his teacher Mrs. Krabappel was lonely and depressed. He cheered her up by nominating her for a prestigious teaching award, stating that she deserved to win because she'd managed to survive teaching him. The judges are shocked to realize that Bart is real (being so infamous that many teachers think he's just an Urban Legend), and declaring that if Mrs. Krabappel's managed to "dance with the devil in the blue shorts and live", she's a shoo-in for the award. Mrs. Krabappel is very happy.
    • Yet another example is Nelson Muntz the bully, who's beaten Bart up for arguably noble reasons, including "wasting Teacher's valuable time", "besmirching an innocent girl's name" and "taking credit for other people's work". Even if Bart was Misblamed on all three occasions, it's the thought that counts.
      • On a slightly less skewed sense, he has been shown to have an on-off friendship with most of his "victims" and even helps out Bart on a few occasions. There are some occasional implications that he merely plays a bully as a Jerkass Fašade.
      • The first-season episode "Bart the General" explicitly states that Nelson's position as bully is strictly ceremonial in the armistice signed between Nelson and his victims.
    • Groundskeeper Willie is pretty much the poster boy for the Violent Glaswegian, but he's shown a soft side on more than one occasion. Not only does he fight a wolf bare-handed to rescue Bart, he even comforts the wolf afterward and shares a drink with it.
  • Squidward Tentacles from Spongebob Squarepants fits this mold at times.
    • Almost every Spongebob character does, including Spongebob himself on occasion.
    • Mr. Krabs, depending on the writer.
  • Archimedes, Merlin's owl in The Sword in the Stone could qualify for this. For most of the movie he's eternally grouchy and berates both Merlin and Arthur alike; after he ends up saving Arthur (transformed into a fish) from a pike in the castle moat, however, he has moments showing that he's slowly warming up to the boy.
  • TaleSpin:
    • Baloo is an egotistical Ace Pilot that has an occasionally unhealthy obsession with his plane, the Sea Duck. It's made clear from the pilot episode, however, that he'd sacrifice it in an instant to save his friends and surrogate family (especially Kit).
    • Rebecca also fits this trope, a pompous Control Freak that has nothing against using her ownership of the Sea Duck to exploit labour from Baloo for her cargo company. She is also a class-A Mama Bear (literally) to her daughter Molly and is shown to make equal sacrifices as Baloo to protect her employee and best friend.
  • In Taz-Mania, the normally selfish Digeri Dingo has a "noble dog" side to him and Jerkass Bushwacker Bob once saved Taz's life from a haunted hotel.
  • Raphael and Casey Jones of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (at least in the 2003 series).
  • Red X from Teen Titans has moments where it's clear that as much as he's a thief who unabashedly enjoys committing crime, he's not a villain in the superhero-world sense of the word. He's mocking, sarcastic, and selfish... yet he chose to save Robin's life and help him protect Jump City from being disintegrated rather than make a clean getaway, and deliberately made enemies out of a bunch of villains of the week for Robin's sake. So maybe not a heart of gold, but at least tarnished silver.
    • Robin himself qualifies at first, but matures into a more level-headed person over the course of the series.
    • Raven does snark like there's no tomorrow, but nobody would question her desire to do the right thing.
  • The Thomas the Tank Engine series has a number of characters fitting in this category:
    • Gordon The Big Engine in the early seasons. He is a pompous buffoon, full of his own importance and constanly reminds everyone what a "Large and splendid engine" he is. He also cheerfully comes to the rescue when Thomas or Percy is in trouble and is prone to making up with the others after being humiliated. It was also his suggestion to let Henry out of the tunnel in Edward, Gordon, & Henry, despite the fact that Henry had laughed at him for bursting his safety valve. He also had a few good moments like in season 8. He didn't get any lines in Thomas & The Fireworks display but he was noticeably concerned when James was missing in action. The episode Squeak, Rattle and Roll gave probably his most over the top Pet the Dog moment. He developed a squeak and thought that if the Fat Controller found out, he'd be scrapped, so he had to go slow to avoid making too much noise. However if he went slow, the children would miss their boat. He was willing to sacrifice his life just so some kids wouldn't be late home, for goodness sake!
    • Thomas himself was this in the original books and early episodes of the series. He was something of an egotistical Bratty Half-Pint, who often heckled the other engines and moaned of his own importance. Nevertheless, he was insistent on being "really useful" and came through to help others when they got in trouble. In later seasons he became more friendly and laid back.
    • James is even more of a narcissist than Gordon and usually extremely arrogant and insulting to the other "common" engines. He does show humility over some of his actions however, and does try to be helpful and kind on several occasions, especially in newer episodes. Despite rarely having a nice thing to say about Toby, he is perfectly sympathetic to his cowardice over the Whistling Woods for example, and guides him through all it's supposedly scary residents.
    • Henry started off as a jerk due to his stubbornness in leaving the tunnel because of his fear of the rain, and even if he still has his rude tendencies, especially when he involves himself in one Gordon and James' shenanigans, he appears to be more nicer and sympathetic than the two and is willing to help anyone.
    • From the Narrow Gauge Railway, Duncan is reckless, stubborn, rude, and often complains about his work, but on rare occasions where he doesn't suffer Laser-Guided Karma for his bad behavior, he warms up on a few occasions such as the time he became apologetic and friendly to Rusty in Rock & Roll and was quite tame when Skarloey tells him the story about Rheneas in Gallant Old Engine which made him more appreciative towards the passengers.
    • Diesel in the older seasons hates steam engines and believes that diesels will take over the railway. By the later seasons, he tends to get a Pet the Dog moment roughly Once a Season. His antagonism towards the other engines remains, but he will occasionally admit a begrudged respect for steamies such as Thomas. He even lampshades in "Disappearing Diesels" that he simply doesn't know how to be nice, even if he tries.
  • Top Cat, who is very close to his friends despite his sarcastic attitude.
  • Duncan from Total Drama Island.
    • Noah may also count. While he's more of a Deadpan Snarker than a jerk, his Character Development in Season 3 shows that he's actually quite nice once you get past his snarkiness, revealing that he's affectionate towards animals and having him form an Odd Friendship with Big Fun Owen.
    • Scott has become one after Revenge of the Island, where he was a full-blown Jerkass who does anything to kill his team.'
    • Max in Pahkitew Island, considering that he has a soft spot for babies.
  • Ruby of Trollz fits the mold; while being a Spoiled Brat at times and too stubborn for her own good, she has her friends' well-being at heart and if something is seriously wrong, she'll apologize and try to help.
  • Ziggy, Joe and Tony from Trust Me Im A Genie.
    • Ziggy is a hot-tempered and smart alec genie who actually cares a lot about his master, Diego and has stood up for him before.
    • Joe is a sharp-tongued Insufferable Genius of a fox who has a soft spot for romance movies, sleeps with a teddy bear and has even saved the day a couple times in the show.
    • Tony is a greedy scorpion with a Money Fetish but most of the time, he's a decent guy.
  • Brock Samson from the The Venture Bros. is a Heroic Comedic Sociopath with a heart of gold. After OSI wiped Billy's memories, Brock took him to Pete White, so White could help take care of Billy. He also deeply cares for the Venture Brothers.
    • Brock's heart of gold wasn't hidden quite as well as Rusty's. It took four seasons for it to finally show itself.
  • Rabbit from Winnie-the-Pooh is as close as the Hundred Acre Wood gets to an Only Sane Man, as well as being one of the resident Butt Monkeys, along with Eeyore. He reacts like any sane, hard-working adult who has to put up with the hijinks of Pooh and Tigger would.
  • Winx Club:
    • Stella is vain, a bit airheaded and can be shallow, but she genuinely loves her friends and has no problem risking her own safety for theirs. She is also a very spoiled princess, but she clearly has no problem with commoners, as shown by how she is immediately eager for Bloom to attend Alfea with her and practically dragged her on a shopping spree to find a dress for a dance.
    • Riven is not as clear, but, as bad as he may be at showing it, he does care about Musa and does try to be nice to her (though sometimes, she's stubborn). He was also the one comforting the girls and Timmy when Tecna disappeared into the Omega dimension and they believed she was dead.
    • Bloom is milder than the above two, but she still fits. She's ill-tempered, somewhat self-centered, and occasionally acts childishly if she doesn't get her way (though she whines rather than having an outright tantrum). Nevertheless, she is undoubtedly loyal to the people she cares about and if any of those people are threatened, she will put that temper to good use.
  • Cornelia Hale from W.I.T.C.H. counts, although in the eyes of some fans of the comic she came off as too much of a pure Jerk Ass due to an alleged attempt to make her more similar to the stereotypical spoiled rich girl.
    • Even in the comics, she had some pretty strong Bad Ass Anti-Hero tendencies— robbing an armored car for the sake of the man you love is pretty hardcore—although it took place in an Alternate Timeline.
      • And while on the subject of the comics, Orube could also be seen as a Jerk Ass, Jerk with a Heart of Gold, or Bad Ass Anti-Hero. An extreme good character, she is very loyal to the other guardians, to the point of beating the shit out of anybody who might get in the way of her helping them, including the police.
  • X-Men: Evolution has Lance. He moves in with the Brotherhood and in his first appearance thinks nothing of manipulating Kitty Pride into stealing test answers for him. However, He became a saint in Season 2. In Season 3, he returned to being a thug, or a 'hood' as Kitty put it. But in the Season 4 episode "No Good Deed", he saved an old woman from a train crash and later cleaned up Pietro's mess, showing that, after being all over the place, he has gained some sense of right or wrong.
    • Gambit was amoral, narcissistic, and quite sarcastic, and even kidnapped Rogue, and threatened to blow up a train when she tried to escape, but then took her to Mardi Gras to cheer her up, talked to her about her adopted mother and compared it to his relationship with his father (And makes it clear how much he hates said father). It was revealed he only did this to manipulate her, but only to save said adoptive father and got rather defensive when his father showed an interest in Rogue's power.
    • Magneto formed and then abandoned the Brotherhood, had a rather blunt vision of 'Survival of the Fittest', locked his daughter up in a mental institute and abandoned his son (As well as Mind Rape to his daughter to make her forget about it all), and revealed mutants to the world. But he spared Wolverine, Nightcrawler, and Rogue when he was about to kill them as a thank you for Nightcrawler allowing him to restore his youth and to Wolverine for saving him from the Holocaust during WWII, and then devoted his efforts to, instead of wiping out mankind, stopping Apocalypse and showed at least some care for his Acolytes and children.
    • Toad was a thief, a jerk, a narcisist, and an all around ass who once ruined Kurt's first impression to his Girlfriend's parents by stealing his Imgae inducer, and had a few moments of almost stalker-ish attraction to Wanda, not to mention his Kick the Dog moments of attacking Nightcrawler and trying to leave him trapped in another dimension, but he did honestly care for Wanda, and only stole Kurt's image inducer so she would actually give him a chance and was deeply upset by her constant rejection, not to mention his Butt Monkey status.
  • Superboy from Young Justice. He's pretty abrasive and starts out a Smug Super with Cloning Blues. He also ends up being one of the more heroic and compassionate characters in the series, to the point that he could be considered The Heart of the team.

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