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Jerkass: Live-Action TV

  • 100 Deeds For Eddie McDowd: Eddie McDowd is the epitome of The Bully, not to mention that his face is not shown to the viewers. He arrives to school stealing a student's sandwich for breakfast, probably bullies a teacher for money, pushing a student to a trash can, and bullies another student for milk. When Justin Taylor came to the school, he is spilled milk on him by accident. Eddie starts to retaliate by putting paint on him and hanging him on a flagpole. Later on, he skips classes just to "exercise" by tossing rocks into windows. Noticing a dog, Eddie starts throwing rocks on the car that it's hiding until it explodes. The Drifter shows up and knows everything about Eddie of how he took people's lunch money, the bikes he stole, the kids he terrorized, and his heart-shaped birthmark. The Drifter, to a lesser extent, as he may be a Well-Intentioned Extremist, but he acts like an a-hole about Eddie doing good deeds.
  • The Adventures of Lano and Woodley : Col cannot go five minutes without physically or verbally abusing Frank.
  • ALF can be this surprisingly at times, especially in the last season. Dorothy Halligan, Kate's mother, is more of this than ALF was, though.
  • All The Small Things: Rude, smug, condescending, arrogant, cruel, selfish Ethel Tonks.
  • Almost Live!: The reoccurring unnamed antagonist in the "Billy Quan" Kung-Fu parody skits; every one of these ends with him receiving a well-deserved beat-down from Billy.
  • Arrested Development: George Bluth, Sr. His company builds substandard housing, he steals company funds, hates at least two of his children, constantly has affairs and puts his entire family at risk with his attempts to evade justice.
  • Band of Brothers: Pvt. Cobb is one. In episode 4 he guilts one of the New Meat into removing a ribbon that he says he didn't earn (a veteran sergeant puts him in his place by pointing out his hypocrisy). He gets really annoying in episode 8 until his shit is finally confronted by an Ensign Newbie and a Sergeant Rock. However, Cobb in the miniseries could be considered a Historical Villain Upgrade. The real Roy Cobb was described by Stephen Ambrose as "generally good-natured," and certainly not the Jerkass the series made him out to be. Another Jerk Ass on the show was Captain Sobel, being just a total dick and making the men run miles just after deliberately feeding them a heavy spaghetti meal. Although if you read about his life after the war he attains Woobie status.
  • The Big Bang Theory: Sheldon is probably the most unusual case for this trope. While he is very intelligent, he has been known to be a real nuisance to his friends, by trying to take all charge for Leonard's app idea, trying to sabotage them after they kick him out, staying at Raj and Howard's houses and keeping them up, never accepting gifts from others, kicking Raj out of his apartment due to regulations, and so on. He also forces the others to obey his ridiculously rigid schedules to the point of trying to control them and belittles his friends (especially Howard for daring to be an engineer).
  • Black Books: Bernard Black.
  • Vic from Black Jesus is an asshole through and through.
  • Blakes Seven: Avon in is a combination of this and Deadpan Snarker. Also Del Tarrant and almost everyone else on the whole show.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Cordelia Chase, although she got better after the first season.
    • In the seventh season and the comic book, Kennedy.
    • Forrest in Season 4.
    • When the series was running it was not outside the realm of possibility that Vegas took bets on whether Angelus sought Principle Snyder out on guidance on how to hurt Buffy, and that was before it was shown that Snyder almost gets a sexual kick out of it.
    • Most of the main cast have had major Jerkass moments, up to and including Buffy herself, especially in the show's later seasons.
  • The Catherine Tate Show: Lauren Cooper, an overblown parody of unruly high school students who seemed to go out of her way to humiliate other people as much as possible for her own amusement. She gets her comeuppance more than once, though. (She still ain't bovvered, tho'.)
  • Cheers: Cliff Clavin is not only a Know-Nothing Know-It-All, he's also the Jerk Ass - so much so at one point he tries to give himself electroshock therapy to stop being a jerkass. Needless to say, it doesn't work. Carla Tortelli also serves as a Jerk Ass - at one point, Rebecca tells Carla, "There's some customers over there having a good time. Shouldn't you be putting a stop to it?"
  • Community:
    • Jeff is vain and manipulative.
    • Pierce is insulting and insensitive.
    • Chang qualifies for the biggest Jerkass on the show. He's constantly abusing his power as a teacher, he regularly insults the students and faculty, and it's revealed early on that the only reason he's like that is because his wife left him. And even after Jeff convinces her to take him back, he's still a Jerkass to everyone. After season one he becomes a mix of Jerkass and Ax-Crazy.
    • Abed has recently been shown to care very little for his other friends' interests and very demeaning of them even when they're trying to help him.
  • Coronation Street: Depending on the Writer, many characters have at a hand at playing this. Currently, Kevin Webster is playing up it the biggest. After sleeping with his friend's wife several times, he sabotaged her car. After Molly died and the affair was exposed, Kevin went around acting as though he was the victim. Twice he attacked Molly's widower Tyrone in the street and then filed for devorce, claiming that Sally was behaving unreasonably. He also treated his daughter Sophie's girlfriend Sian like dirt and blaming her for Sophie falling off the church roof.
  • The Crossing: Portrays General Horatio Gates like this. He insults and belittles Washington to the extent of questioning his sanity, never mind his fitness to command (and it's common knowledge that Gates thinks that he deserves to be Commander-in-Chief). In Real Life, Gates really did try to scheme his way into Washington's job twice and was considered something of a Glory Hound, until he torpedoed his career by ditching his troops in a losing battle.
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm: This show of Larry David fits the bill. Nearly every character seems to be an unhappy, neurotic, oversensitive, needlessly-hostile Jerkass. The fictional Larry David himself is merely a crass and socially-backwards Jerkass.
  • Damages: Has Arthur Frobisher, who is all the more so because, in his mind, he's The Woobie.
  • Danger 5: Ilsa may fight Nazis, but she's willing to make out with one if he's hot enough. Most of her jerkassery comes from her putting her whims and base desires above her sense of ethics.
  • Dead Set: Patrick was a total Jerk Ass. On top of demanding that the survivors save him, risking their own lives, he ate some of the last food they had without permission, cut up a dead friend to use as zombie bait, and was willing to sacrifice every other survivor to try and escape Britain. And look how that turned out. In an interview, the actor who played Patrick believed everything the character did was justified.
  • Dear John: Kirk.
  • Degrassi:
    • One of the most notable is Lucas, who is a bully, the Disappeared Dad to Mia's daughter Isabella, and is so bad that his sister, Jane, actually changed her last name because she didn't want it to be known that she was his sister. If you're so bad that your sister changes her name to avoid being associated with you, then you have cemented that status. On the other hand, Lucas's calling out of his Disappeared Dad for sexually abusing Jane could be considered a CMOA.
    • Drew Torres. However, his Pet the Dog moments with his brother Adam and his girlfriend Bianca put him more in the Jerk with a Heart of Gold territory.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor frequently exhibits fickle, merciless, almost psychopathic behaviour, but as he is a godlike being, i.e. a Time Lord, some degree of inhumanity is to be expected. A lot of the Doctor's jerkiness is not so much cruelty so much as it is his totally overlooking people's feelings - usually he genuinely doesn't know when he's being a jerk (like when the Tenth Doctor has to stop and ask if he's being rude in his first episode). The people and creatures whom he does act particularly hostile to usually have it coming or have no one to blame but themselves.
      • Even after the First Doctor stopped being the Token Evil Teammate and Took a Level in Kindness he still isn't someone most people would willingly hang around with, being rude and unbelievably condescending to everyone as his default setting, and occasionally even racist. Ian, Barbara, Steven and Ben all express severe irritation with his behaviour not infrequently. His hearts are in the right place and his love of his companions (especially Ian and Barbara) is staggeringly intense and meaningful, but his companions only really figure that out because the circumstances of his travel have it so that they can't leave his company.
      • The Third Doctor had quite a lot to be in a mood about - his exile to Earth and being put by the Time Lords into a new body he didn't want - but it's difficult to use that to justify his outright condescension to all of his coworkers, especially bellowing at Jo for being a 'stupid girl' or his occasional sexism towards Sarah Jane.
      • The Fourth Doctor is generally one of the nicer ones but he loves tormenting people for fun (occasionally going very much too far), and generally has a 'difficult' personality, prone to sudden intensely dark moods and periods of brooding interspersed with attention-seeking and selfish unreliability. On his good days he's lovely to be around, fun and magnanimous and interesting and wise and hopelessly adorable - on his bad days, he's virtually impossible to talk to and no sensible person would consent to being in the same building as him.
      • When it comes to being obnoxious, the Sixth Doctor most certainly appropriates the gateau. Good examples are him repeatedly calling Peri fat for no apparent reason.
      • Eleven has turned the Jerkass up to... well, 11 (but in a good way). There are many instances in the new series but as some random examples - the way he introduces himself to Amy's fiancé.
    • Steven starts out as a bit of one in "The Time Meddler" due to his hot temper and his social skills being severely damaged by a long period of imprisonment and isolation. He tends to semi-maliciously forget the Doctor hates being called 'Doc', pick fights with people in normal conversation, and physically attacks a passer-by to get information off them instead of just asking like a reasonable person.
    • Jeremy Baines and most of his fellow bullies in "Human Nature". Being possessed by an insane alien doesn't help much.
    • Even worse are the passengers in "Midnight". While the whole repeating thing was a bit creepy, it didn't justify their attempts to throw the Doctor and Sky off of the vehicle into the instantly lethal sun.
  • Drake & Josh: Megan Parker is a massive jerkass, but she always gets away with it, because she tends to pull Wounded Gazelle Gambits.
  • ER: Dr. Romano. Continued to be one even after having one arm severed by a helicopter blade! And then was killed when a different helicopter fell on him. What are the odds?
  • Everybody Loves Raymond: All five of the main characters in their own ways.
  • Farscape: Rygel is greedy, selfish and vindictive. He does have his more noble moments, especially later in the series, so he's really on the border between Jerk with a Heart of Gold and Jerkass, but he can be a complete prick at times. Ka D'Argo is if anything worse. Quick to anger, and for the first two seasons does absolutely nothing but make their situation worse whilst belittling everyone else. His inability to control his temper and incredible speed to jump to conclusions despite reality is amazing and he never learns from his mistakes. Someone brings news your son is being sold as a slave, strangle them!
  • Fawlty Towers: Basil Fawlty is mean, snide and abusive to everyone from his wife to his employees to the guests at the hotel he owns. Many of his victims are just as obnoxious as he is, but it's impossible not to feel for poor Manuel, the naive Spanish waiter who takes the most abuse of all.
  • Father Ted: Several characters. There's Father Jack, Bishop Brennan, Father Dick Byrne, Father Stack, and Father Ted himself to a lesser extent. While Ted is the most sympathetic character in some respects, in others, he's actually worse than the others, having stolen funds from "that Lourdes thing."
  • Firefly: Jayne Cobb is another example.
  • Friends :
    • Rachel's father, Dr. Leonard Green.
    • Rachel's older sister, Amy Green.
    • Judy Geller.
    • Phoebe's Evil Twin Ursula.
    • Many temporary love interests, such as Barry, Paolo, and Julio.
    • Susan, Carol's partner.
  • Game of Thrones: Joffrey somehow manages to redefine what it means to be a complete and utter cunt with each word that comes out of his mouth. He's such an irredeemable little dick that it's actually kind of impressive, if not anything else.
    • Whilst Roose Bolton is usually pretty measured, he likes to indulge in this if he feels he can get away with it. For example, giving Jaime Lannister, who's just had his hand chopped off, a steak that's too hard to cut on his own and making Brienne the Beauty wear an extremely unflattering dress at a dinner.
    • Viserys Targaryen was self-absorbed, childishly entitled, disrespectful to pretty much everyone - even his sister Daenerys, thoughtlessly cruel and generally unpleasant. Pretty much every scene with him involved some form of Kick the Dog, and he served as a reminder that the Targaryens were once horrible, horrible people. His Karmic Death at the hands of Khal Drogo via a crown of molten gold was most assuredly cheered for by many viewers.
  • ''George Lopez": George's mother Benny often treats him with disdain and makes joke at his and his family's expense, George's father Manny was also one for running out on Benny and George and never giving them any money when they needed it.
    • Benny's parents are even worse then she is, it's implied that they're the reason for Benny's own mistreatment of George.
    • Carmen's boyfriend Zack Powers was the worst, he abandoned his last girlfriend while she was pregnant and was planning on doing the same to Carmen
  • Glee: Sue Sylvester spends her days verbally (and occasionally physically) abusing her students and co-workers, blackmailing her boss, and scheming to destroy anyone who crosses her. She's kind to her sister, but that's about it. She has her good moments. She voted for the good guys to win in the Season 1 Finale. Besides, he Jerkass-iness in general is what makes her SO DAMN FUNNY. As of Silly Love Songs, every character at one point has had a Jerkass moment.
  • Hannah Montana: Rico. London Tipton also has her moments, but never more so than in the crossover where she throws Hannah's anklet, the one her mother gave her overboard and then flounced off as if it wasn't a big deal. And wanted Miley to give her a receipt and two forms of ID for a bracelet that HER MOTHER HAD GIVEN HER.
  • The Haves And The Have Nots:
    • Jim Cryer is the biggest example. In addition to being surly, arrogant and wholly corrupt, he is physically and emotionally abusive to his recovering addict son Wyatt (while, oddly, being nice and doting to his daughter Amanda), and routinely mocks and insults his wife Katheryn (whom it's implied he only married so he could get her wealth).
    • Veronica Harrington is the second biggest Jerkass on the show. She's extremely snobbish, self-centered, controlling, and bigoted, and constantly bullies her son Jeffrey for not being the man she wants him to be. When Jeffrey admits his homosexuality, her response to deliver a hateful speech, deprive Jeffrey of his finances, and fire him from his counseling job, and she later blackmails Jeffrey into dating women by threatening to have him arrested as an accomplice for the vehicular manslaughter of a young girl. Additionally, she generally treats just about everyone around her like shit, and her cruel behavior ends up alienating her husband David, who moves out of their house and declares he won't return unless she changes her ways.
  • Hells Kitchen:
    • There are many, many Jerkasses on this show. Prominent examples include Jeff from Season 1, Sara and Keith from Season 2, Josh from Season 3, Jason, Ben, and Jen from Season 4, Andrea from Season 5, Joseph from Season 6, and Scott and Benjamin from Season 7. What also doesn't help is that the good majority of the Jerkasses are the ones who can cook well, but are horrible with getting along with the team, prolonging their stay in Hell's Kitchen.
    • Joseph was so bad that he was suspected to be a plant, though one thinks that if that was the case, he would have hung around for several episodes instead of blowing his stack and getting kicked off at the end of the second episode.
    • Sabrina in Season 8 tried to get teammate Nona eliminated in the first episode because she snores (and because she made fried chicken, which Sabrina felt did not count as a good dish).
    • Russell from Season 8 was just as bad, if not worse. He was probably the most talented chef in the competition, but by the final dinner service everyone despised him so much that Nona's brigade was fired up at the prospect of beating him, and Russell's brigade clearly put minimal effort into cooking for him. Russell even vowed to blackball the chefs he picked for causing him to lose (even though he did plenty to lose it himself, like trying to fire two tables at once and nearly getting in a fight with Rob). Classy to the end.
    • Season 9's Elise definitely takes the cake. Her irrational hatred of Carrie as well as her tendency to blame others for her mistakes and never take responsibility for her own made her extremely unpopular among her fellow chefs, as well as the audience. When Jennifer was eliminated (the two never got along to begin with), Elise mouthed off about how much of a better chef than she was, causing Jennifer to curse Elise out and flip her off when she walked off.
    • For season 10 there's Clemenza, Kimmie, Robyn, Royce, and Tiffany.
    • Season 11 had Dan, who might be considered the worst of the lot, even above the likes of Joseph and Russell. Regardless of his talent Ramsay had to boot him off for his utterly toxic attitude.
  • Homicide: Life on the Street: Frank Pembleton was a major one until Season 5. He was condescending, cold, arrogant and never gave anyone else, including the partner who idolised him, any credit for their work. He was kept because he was an excellent detective and because, compared to fair amount of the other members of the squad he wasn't entirely unlikeable. In Season 5, after a major stroke, the other characters prove to be getting on fine without him with Bayliss doing brilliant work on his own. He then realizes that he can't do it alone and asks to be partners again. There were a number of others who weren't as sympathetic or likeable as Pembleton, chief among them being Detective/Captain Gaffney, who was a total prick and hated by literally everyone on the squad, especially after he got promoted ahead of Gee.
  • Hotel Hell had John of the Roosevelt Inn, a Man Child who was making numerous death threats half way through the episode. Robert and Ari of Juniper Hill as well, snobs who are Not Good with People and didn't want those who didn't have a fortune at their inn.
  • House: Dr. Gregory House, the main character, is obnoxious to an almost religious degree, devoting his life to proving that kindness is rooted in selfishness and fear. He usually gets away with it because he's the patient's only chance of survival, although the show does put a strain on your Willing Suspension Of Dis Belief in its realism, as a House who actually did suffer the consequences of his behaviour would make the show's premise impossible. The writers seem to realise how far he's stretching his luck. Boss Cuddy notes that she got House for a fraction of what he's worth because the other hospitals won't touch him with a barge pole, he's in a legal mess by Season Three, and in the finale, his entire medical staff quit - although he fired one of them (after the other two quit on their own accord). Later seasons pushed the envelope with the drug-addicted House being (temprarily) fired, committed to an asylum to dry out, and imprisoned after nearly mowing down Cuddy in his sedan. It's then immediately reversed at the beginning of the fourth season, when, despite his Jerk Ass tendencies, and his well-deserved reputation for being an asshole, he still has forty very qualified (with one exception) doctors damn near killing each other to be on his team. And he forces each and every one one them through a season-long hazing ritual. People have put up with worse to learn under a genius, and in spite of his attitude, House is a genius with diagnostic medicine.
  • How I Met Your Mother: Barney Stinson treads the line between Jerk Ass and Jerk with a Heart of Gold. He's definitely the latter towards his friends — despite often being manipulative, insensitive, and insulting towards them, he's done a number of incredibly sweet and selfless things for them out of sheer love and devotion. But to the people outside of a tight-knit circle that seems to consist of Ted, Marshall, Lily, Robin, his mother Loretta, his brother James, his brother's husband Tom, and his nephew Eli, he's a straight Jerk Ass who demonstrates barely any trace of scruples or conscience. At least, until season six, where his Character Development reaches a new level that includes glimmers of self-awareness about how his actions affect strangers.
  • iCarly: Nevel. Sam a lot of the time as part of her Jerk Sue character build, Carly and Freddie not so much.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Every single one of the main characters is selfish, arrogant, amoral, conniving, and dishonest. Many of the show's episodes involve them hatching elaborate schemes for either personal gain or revenge.
  • Kingdom Hospital: Dr. Stegman.
  • The King of Queens: Carrie Heffernan. Don't let her pleasant appearance fool you. She has an incredibly short fuse, is incredibly demanding of everyone around her, makes ridiculously selfish requests (often for minor reasons), and even caused a Downer Ending. In addition, she's a status-seeking social ladder climber. To be fair, she learns her lesson by the end of the episode (most of the time... and then forgets it by the next.) Honestly, if you hadn't seen his collegate wrestling photo, you'd think the reason overweight Doug has her is because he's the only person who can be around her for any length of time. She most likely inherited it from her father Arthur, whose as demanding, short-tempered, and as ridiculously selfish as his daughter. He also regularly yells loudly and throws temper tantrums when everything doesn't go his way or if gifts don't meet his standards (which they never do).
  • Law & Order: SVU: Sonya Paxton. And pretty much every single defense attorney on the show.
  • Leave It to Beaver: Classic TV Example: Eddie Haskell. Unctuous towards adults, a complete jerk around his fellow teen-agers, and a bully to younger kids. At one time Wally Cleaver tells him: "Eddie, even I don't like you — and I'm your best friend."
  • Life on Mars (2006): Ray Carling. At times, he exists purely to make Gene Hunt appear likeable in comparison. This applies both Dean Andrew's portrayal on the BBC version and Michael Imperioli's portrayal in the U.S. version. He was softened in Ashes to Ashes. He was portrayed as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold and dangerously closed to Jerkass Woobie. It's hard to tell if that's Character Development or Badass Decay.
  • LOST: James "Sawyer" Ford spent much of the first season as the Jerkass before his evolution into Jerk with a Heart of Gold. Jack Shephard had his moments too, though he got better in the later seasons.
  • Lost in Space: Dr. Smith, played with scene-stealing gusto by veteran actor Jonathan Harris, virtually took over the series. Standing out that much in a series not intended to be all that serious was a remarkable achievement.
  • Malcolm in the Middle: Gives us several: Reese's favorite activity is physically assaulting Dewey, Malcolm is an Insufferable Genius, Hal regularly puts his own wants and desires ahead those of his family, Francis was one until he emancipated himself and became a generally nice person (although he seemed to go back on that one after he got fired from the dude ranch), Dewey usually shows these traits toward someone who has wronged someone in some way, making him a subversion; even a toddler Jamie is shown stealing, framing his brothers and being an overall asshole, even by toddler standards. The mother of them all is Lois: specific examples are numerous but for simplification, while the entire family is generally disliked by their neighbors, they seem willing to at least tolerate everyone except Lois. Watch one episode and it will become entirely clear how much of a Jerk Ass you need to be to make the rest of that family tolerable by comparison.
  • The Mary Tyler Moore Show: Phyllis was a huge Jerk Ass directly toward Rhoda. In the very first episode, she keeps calling Rhoda a "dumb awful woman" and admits to getting Mary her apartment mainly to keep Rhoda from getting it. The height of her jerkassery may be in the episode "My Brother's Keeper," where she nearly has a nervous breakdown over the possibility of her brother dating Rhoda, causing the first of Mary's traditional bad parties in the process.
  • M*A*S*H: Major Frank Burns. Though only one of the characters qualifying as a Dr. Jerk, Burns stood out for his lack of surgical skills, constant scheming to get rid of Col. Blake, and all around nastiness to tentmates Hawkeye, Trapper, Spearchucker, and B.J. (whom he once shot in the leg). Shooting B.J. was an accident attributable to Frank's idiocy rather than his jerkassity. He has both in spades. This was the reason Larry Linville (Burns' actor) left the series - he felt that he had gone as far as he could with the character, and that Burns' jerk tendencies were so awful there was no way at all to redeem him.
  • Naeturvaktin: Georg, the Bad Boss. He confiscates his employees' pay, assaults a stroke victim, offends customers with racist tirades, and is utterly obnoxious to everyone he meets, all while absolutely convinced that he's in the right. Much of the humour in the series comes from schadenfreude when Georg's behaviour backfires on him.
  • NCIS: Tony. He's consistently rude and disrespectful to his colleagues, his superiors, other law enforcement agencies, and even the friends and families of the victims. However, that's more of a Jerkass Façade than anything else. Gibbs himself counts to an extent. Regardless of personal problems, he comes off as very abrasive and cold towards others. Though this could be a case of Jerk with a Heart of Gold, as he is also a venerable and respected Jerkass Woobie.
  • The New Leave It To Beaver: In this 1980s revival, Eddie's kids are Jerkasses too, Freddie and Eddie Jr. aka "Bomber".
  • NewsRadio: Bill McNeal. He almost always gets away with it, and most of the other main characters let him walk all over them (especially Dave, his boss).
  • Night Court: Dan Fielding.
  • Noah's Arc: Ricky is this at times, particularly when putting his consorts before his friends. One particularly notable example is when his friend Chance is lost in a dangerous neighborhood at night and calls Ricky to pick him up. Ricky says yes, but then immediately forgets about it when distracted by a stripper (who he consequently has sex with). The really Jerkass part though is that when Chance confronts him about it, Ricky laughs the whole thing off as a joke.
  • The Office: Chris Finch from the UK version. But his jerk-assedness sets up a Crowning Moment of Awesome for David Brent in the final episode, when Brent finally tells "best friend" Finch what he can do. Word of God has it that he was created so that Brent wouldn't seem like quite so much of a tosser in comparison. The American version of Chris Finch is Todd Packer. They're both obnoxious, over-sexualized, condescending sales reps.
  • Once Upon a Time: King George is the most blatant and agreed-upon example.
  • Only Fools and Horses: Del Boy during the 1986 Christmas special "A Royal Flush". Boycie is this more generally, though obviously it's played for comedic value.
    • Reg Trotter, who just packed his bags and left his family to fend for themselves after his wife Joan died.
    • Mickey Pearce to a lesser extent.
    • Slatter.
  • Oz: Being a show centered around prison, it's inevitable that a large number of characters are complete assholes with varying levels of sociopathic and malevolent behaviour on both sides of the law. The worst has to be Kenny Wangler, who only isn't a total monster because most of his actions only amount to him behaving like a complete jerkass. Yet despite his pettiness, he still comes across as more evil than actual monsters like Schillinger and Adebisi due to having absolutely zero redeeming qualities and taking sadistic glee in everything cruel.
  • Pitchmen: Billy Mays takes this to the level of sociopathy.
  • Power Rangers: Has had its share of Jerkasses Bulk and Skull during Season 1 being the most notable.
  • Red Dwarf:
    • Rimmer qualifies, though he's got enough sympathetic traits that it's hard to say how much worse than everybody else he is. Nonetheless, the man's avarice is shown to have virtually no limits, going so far as to steal his crew mates' bodies against their will, attempt to seal them in a quarantine cell for several months just to torture them, alter history to prevent Lister from becoming a successful millionaire, and many, many more.
    • Similarly, Cat is a vain, shallow, narcissistic Jerk Ass who, in the early seasons especially, has absolutely no problem leaving a clearly unwell Lister slumped unconscious on the floor in favour of going to find something to eat (although he does draw the line at stealing Lister's shoes in the process). It says something that when a universe-hopping stimulant arrived on Red Dwarf seeking to remove the useless and worthless from the ship, both Cat and Rimmer were spared because their own shallow, narcissistic personalities and low expectations for themselves meant that, by their own selfish standards, their lives were worthwhile.
      • Rimmer actually was justified on that due to Ace. His alternative self being such a heroic, charismatic, likable figure. Rimmer is actually pointed out to be the worst Rimmer by the show, yet he was able to take over Ace's role when he died.
  • Rescue Me: Pretty much the entire Gavin family.
  • Revolution:
    • Miles Matheson started out as a surly bartender in "Pilot", but he seemed to become a Jerk With A Heart Of Gold as of "Sex and Drugs". He did temporarily relapse into being a jerkass in "The Love Boat".
    • Charlie Matheson became more of a jerkass, but it was only blatant in "Sex and Drugs". She got better after that episode.
    • Rachel Matheson didn't start out as one, but she certainly became one after "The Stand", with her attitude turning into It's All About Me Wangst. "Ghosts" had her slapping Charlie because her daughter tried to call her out on never being there for her or Danny Matheson. "The Longest Day" had her stooping low by leading the Blackmores to believe that she could heal their son Philip, and then abandon them. Not only that, but she reveals to Aaron Pittman that the only reason she wants to turn the power back on is to give the other Republics the ability to kill Sebastian Monroe and thereby avenge Danny's death. She also warns Aaron that if he doesn't help her, she'll abandon him too. This is after he refused to abandon her and went to a lot of trouble to heal her wounds, which were the result of one of her screw-ups in "The Love Boat".
    • Major Tom Neville has been one since "Pilot", but he was mostly able to pass himself off as an Affably Evil villain. "The Plague Dogs" had him arresting Danny again and this was after the kid saved his life. "Soul Train" had Neville use Danny as a punching bag to vent his frustrations out on. "The Children's Crusade" has Neville snatch Eve Jaffe, and when Rachel tried begging Neville to let her go, Neville coldly reveals to Dr. Bradley Jaffe that Rachel told him about Jaffe in the first place and making it easy to find Eve in the first place. "Ties That Bind" had him calling the Californians "heathens" and throwing his so-called friends the Fabers under the bus to save his son's life. "Nobody's Fault But Mine" had him say that he was a big fan of Aaron, but then went into a childish Who's Laughing Now? speech because Aaron had the nerve to ask where Charlie and Miles were taken to. "The Stand" had him gloating over the systematic extermination of rebels, and then beating up his son and throwing him out because the son refused to call in the air strike. "The Song Remains the Same" has him suffering humiliations, not being upset over Danny's death, as well as killing a rebel preacher. "The Love Boat" emphasizes the Jerkass part of him by having him lord it over Team Matheson, treat Dr. Ethan Camp and his family like dirt, and flying off the handle over things like Charlie putting a gun to his head, his son criticizing him and saying he hates him, and so on. "The Longest Day" has Neville slapping his son around and taunting him for not having the guts to shoot him dead on the spot. "Children of Men" and "The Dark Tower" have Tom Neville successfully take over the Monroe Republic in a coup, murder Major Mark Franklin and pass it off as self-defense, betray Team Matheson and the Georgia Federation, and go back on a promise he made to his son to spare Rachel and Charlie.
  • The Ricky Gervais Show and An Idiot Abroad: In both these shows, Ricky can come off as a huge jerkass to Karl Pilkington. In the former, he reacts to Karl's admittedly dumb statements by screaming at the top of his lungs about how much of an idiot Karl is. In the later, he blatantly admits to delighting in making Karl miserable by forcing him to do painful things or stay in sub-standard hotels, at one point ordering Karl to stay the night in a cave because he disagreed with a metaphor about the ruins of Petra (fortunately, Karl ended up liking it).
  • The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Jesse Flores. Resistance fighter from the future who came back pretty much solely to wreck John Connor's life. With a seemingly counter-productive desire to destroy the only thing protecting the savior of the human race, she brought a sidekick Scrappy of her own to seduce John Connor, and then promptly disposed of said girlfriend as part of her scheme. What's potentially even more disappointing than Fox's cancellation of the show is that we never got to find out if Derek really killed her or not.
  • The Sarah Silverman Program: Sarah Silverman takes this trope to sociopathic levels. Being a Black Comedy, it'd be hard to expect anything less.
  • Scrubs:
    • Both Dr. Cox and Dr. Kelso (especially Dr. Kelso) are mean spirited misanthropes bastard-coated bastards with bastard filling to everybody that comes in contact with them (especially each other). They both soften as the series goes on, or at the very least have their jerkass-a-tude played for laughs more.
    • Frankly, The Janitor also qualifies, especially when J.D. is nearby him. Although he does also have a heart of gold. Even towards J.D. at times, while it might not show as often to him than to the other main characters. And it turns out that his attitude to J.D was sort of justified, because J.D lied to him in the first episode.
    • Jordan, ex-wife of Dr. Cox, also deserves to be listed here.
  • The Secret Circle: Nick at first, also Callum. Jake as well. Although, like Nick, he changes and evolves as a person.
  • Seinfeld: Much of the humor is derived from all the characters being complete jerks who have zero Character Development over the course of the series.
  • Sherlock: The title character tells John that he has no friends, acts like a complete jerk towards Molly, shouts at an hysterical woman so as to get her to co-operate, and is unaware of Lestrade first name. Though, by the end of the first season, he's turned into a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
    • And then there's Sergeant Sally Donovan, who is universally detested and loathed by the fanbase for being a jerk in all appearances, calling Sherlock a freak, mocking him and taunting him constantly and generally being a Karma Houdini. The ultimate example is probably in "The Reichenbach Fall", where her Jerkassness goes right through the roof. By right through the roof, we mean "it's so bad, John wanted to beat her up but couldn't do so."
  • Skins: Cook.
  • Smallville:
    • In the early seasons, Lionel Luthor, while Affably Evil, shows definite signs of legitimate jerkassery, mostly toward his son Lex but toward other characters as well. One Season 3 episode had Lionel mockingly compare Clark to Sancho Panza for believing Lex's story about Lionel conspiring with Morgan Edge to murder his parents.
    • Jonathan Kent lapses into this at times, most especially in Season 2's "Insurgence" when he rails at Lex and then Clark for trying to help him and Martha reconcile after a marital spat.
    • Lex, starting in Season 5 following his turn towards full-blown villainy.
    • The artificial intelligence version of Jor-El.
  • The Smoking Gun Presents: World's Dumbest: Frank Stallone.
  • Soap: The ventriloquist Chuck seemed like a sweet mild-mannered guy, but his dummy alter-ego Bob was a massive flaming jerkass to everyone in sight. To the point where Benson achieved a Crowning Moment of Awesome by throwing Bob out the window. Hilariously, Bob's victims almost always took out their rage on Bob, the dummy, and left Chuck alone. (And it's a testament to Jay Johnson's ventriloquism talents that you could find yourself totally going along with that until Fridge Logic kicked in.) Elaine was also a supreme Jerkass, which led to another Crowning Moment of Awesome when Mary threw a pie in her face at dinner. Then Elaine opened up to Danny about her dysfunctional upbringing and started to turn things around — only to wind up getting killed.
  • The Sopranos is full of people with anti-social if not downright sociopathic behavior. Ralph Cifaretto stands out as the meanest character in the show; rude, disrespectful, obnoxious, depraved and pointlessly violent.
  • Stargate Atlantis:
    • Dr. Rodney McKay (David Hewlett) starts out as this. Constantly complaining, constantly obnoxious, egotistical, and cowardly. As his character matures he is shown to have redeeming characteristics though, developing into a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. He also still manages to come up with the plan almost every time regardless of his Jerkassitude, usually saving many lives in the process.
    • More completely straight examples from Stargate Atlantis would be Sergeant Bates and Dr. Kavanagh, although they're clearly Designated Villains as they do have legitimate points, but because these are directed against the main characters they're portrayed as petty jerks (Bates, unlike Kavanagh, turns out to be, although not entirely, right and the leads apologize). Bates continues to improve over the course of the series. Kavanagh remains a dick.
    • The living Ancients that showed up in "The Return". "Thanks for protecting our city, now get the fuck out so we can wallow in our misery." Not verbatim, obviously, but this is essentially what they wanted. They blamed the Atlantis team for everything that was happening with the Wraith (Woolsey at least has the good sense to call their commander on this and she shuts up real fast), threw the Athosians off the planet (they weren't even living in the city, the Ancients apparently felt they needed the entire planet - they only repopulated Atlantis mind you - to themselves), and only allowed O'Neill and Woolsey to stay as guests. Frankly, it's hard to sympathize when they all die in the next episode.
  • Stargate Universe: Ups the ante on Atlantis by having an entire cast composed of extreme jerkasses, with only one or two exceptions. But then it is pretty much Battlestargate Galactiverse (with the worst qualities of both). They do get better though, when Rush and Young come to an agreement and when Rush sits in the Ancient chair and sees his wife die again. They all have moments, but in general the characters, except for Telford, have escaped from this trope. Telford may be stepping away from Jerkass territory, now that he's no longer under the brainwashing influence of the Lucian Alliance.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise:
    • T'Pol, possibly Star Trek's biggest Jerk Ass. She was seriously flirting with Jar Jar Binks status. Of course, like many Vulcans, it was a case of Jerk Ass Facade. And there was the whole sex appeal thing...
    • However, she didn't even come close to the Krenim from Star Trek: Voyager. Listen to the minor Krenim functionary before the time shift, and you will have looked into the very face of Jerk Ass.
    • Whenever Q gets bored, he goes to f*** with the Enterprise.
    • Dr. Pulaski from Star Trek: The Next Generation is essentially Dr. McCoy's occasional Jerk Ass behavior Flanderized up to Eleven. She regularly insulted Data on a regular basis, ignored the fact that he could not comprehend her insults, and was often callous to the others. No wonder she left at the end of her only season.
  • The Suite Life of Zack and Cody: Zack Martin could be this. Not only is he disobedient and lazy, he has, more than once, been responsible for the titular pair's problems. He once locked Cody (who was wearing only a towel) out of the hotel room, was told not to do it again under pain of grounding by his mother, did it again, then acted surprised when she grounded him. He also once worked a job with Arwin, and spent most of the time goofing off at the store where Cody was working. He once did this even after Arwin told him to put a filter on the pool to keep all the junk from going into the pool, got a paper cut and left for hours. By the time he got back, it was too late. The Suite Life On Deck also has shades of this, as he and Cody now have part-time jobs on the ship because he used up all of their student money buying things for girls. He even stole Cody's, insisting that he "left it lying around" when it was in Cody's wallet under his pillow, guarded by his teddy bear.
  • Supernatural:
    • While John's awful, emotionally abusive behavior towards Dean in "Something Wicked" could be excused because of how Azazel killing his wife broke him, the "I wouldn't have given you the damn thing [The Impala] if I thought you'd ruin it" incident in "Dead Man's Blood"—lashing out at Dean (who had been a good little soldier throughout the entire episode) because Sam (who had been rightfully asking questions) annoyed him—is just cruel. Far more callous is the exchange where John bitches at Dean for not calling to pass along important information. As Dean points out, "Sam called you when I was dying" and John didn't pick up; John's response to this is to admit that his son's got a point...and then to criticize his tone.
    • Sam can approach this, especially when the darkness introduced into him as a baby gains more influence on him. In Season 4, where we see him under the influence of demon blood, he's prone to lying, being condescending, declaring openly that Dean is too weak to get the job done, and even fights with his brother and almost strangles him after Dean calls him a monster, then approves the bleeding of a possessed woman for the power to defeat the Big Bad of the season. Flashes of this in Season 5 accompany cravings, and Sam even tells his Big Brother Instinct-driven brother that Dean's controlling behavior is part of what drove him towards his Evil Mentor girlfriend Ruby.
    • Dean approaches this too, most notably in "Point of No Return," when he coldly tells Bobby "You're Not My Father," tells his brother that Sam's so "angry and self-righteous" that he'll eventually give in to Lucifer, and decides to give in to the angels' plan for him even though that will invalidate everything Castiel has done against Heaven's orders for Dean and destroy most of the world. Throughout the series, Dean has repeatedly called his brother a "freak" and a "monster," even though he knows that's Sam's biggest fear.
      • Let's just say they all go through so much trauma that it isn't surprising when the boys lash out, and continual proximity means their brother is usually the victim.
  • Taxi: Louie De Palma.
  • That '70s Show: Laurie, Eric Forman's sister. She obviously gets it from their father Red Forman, who is usually a real jerk to Eric and Kitty.
    • Hyde is also prone to being one at times.
  • The Thick of It: Malcolm Tucker, obviously. However, everyone else have their moments, because they were in no way better than him.
  • Torchwood: Owen Harper. Despite being unbelievably rude, sexist and condescending - not to mention opening the Rift, with apocalyptic results, and shooting his superior, Captain Jack Harkness, in the head three times (don't worry, he got better) - everyone on the show seems to love him (sometimes, inexplicably, in a romantic sense; not one, not two, but three of his female co-workers have been strongly sexually attracted to him). Flashbacks in "Fragments" showed he was nice, but losing his fiancée and joining Torchwood really took its toll and he gradually dialed back to a Jerk with a Heart of Gold by series 2.
  • Tracy Beaker Returns:
  • Two and a Half Men:
    • Virtually everyone: Charlie, Judith, Jake, Berta (to an extent), Evelyn, several of Charlie's girlfriends and flings (including Rose) and even Alan.
    • Especially Alan.
      • To be fair to the characters, this is the result of Flanderization. In the earlier years the characters were kind of likeable, except Judith, who was always a complete bitch, though she did manage to become even worse in the later seasons.
  • Victorious: Ryder Daniels from one episode. He has a reputation for using girls to get a good grade and then cruelly dump them. Even worse is that he dumps Tori midway through the episode just to make her try to get him back (though that was somewhat a Justified Trope by the fact that she was snooping through his phone at Trina's advice), even though he had the intention of dropping her afterward. It's made clear that he doesn't care about breaking others' hearts.
  • The Walking Dead: Both Merle and, at first, Daryl Dixon in this AMC show.
  • Who Wants to Be a Superhero?: Mindset from the second US season. Aside from insulting Ms. Limelight, he deliberately failed a challenge out of refusal to spell words with the extra "bee" word, getting his teammates stung by bees in the process. According to Mindset, at least in the second case, he was refusing to play by Bee Sting's twisted rules and banking on that being the secret challenge of the day. (On this show, stranger things have happened.) Except it turns out it wasn't, and he was reprimanded for putting himself above his teammates, who had no say in his choice even though it affected all of them, and they were understandably not pleased. The Iron/Dark Enforcer from the first season also counts.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place: Mostly Alex, but everyone in the Russo family can slip into this occasionally.
  • The Young Ones: Rick from this British sitcom is an over-the-top example of this character type. One of his housemates describes his name as being spelled "with a silent P." Oh, hell. The characters from this show took turns being the Jerk Ass! Except for Cloud Cuckoo Lander Neil, who never got a turn for anything. Neil belongs here as well; his particular brand of Jerkassery simply takes the form of whining, self-absorbed Wangst rather than the more sociopathically violent form of his housemates. After all, his response upon learning of the death of both Rick's parents was to moan "You think that's bad?"


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