When a fandom takes a controversial or downright villainous character and downplays his/her flaws, often turning him/her into an object of desire and/or a victim in the process. This can cause conflicts if the writers are not willing to retool
the character to fit this demand.
In fanfiction, they are frequently the love object of the local Mary Sue
, who uses the power of love to redeem the character
. In extreme cases, the affection these characters receive from fans can lead them to forget that they're actually still supposed to be villains
. Or, on the flip side, even the worst crossings of the Moral Event Horizon
can be rationalized, while any insult from the hero towards the villain is cast as deplorably mean. Bonus points if the writer's attempt to make the villain more "sympathetic" causes them to remove everything that made the character so cool/well liked in the first place.
Common reasons for this include the character being wicked in a classy
way. A physically attractive character is much more likely to be subject to this trope than a physically ugly one; Beauty Equals Goodness
, after all, and shallow as it may be, it seems that, for some fans, this is the case even when the character's beauty only extends to their appearance.
usually plays a part in this trope; it is much easier for people to forgive and overlook the negative qualities and stress the Freudian Excuses
that form a vaguely sympathetic back-story for fictional characters than it is to do the same for people in real-life, because the actions of the fictional character have no real-world effect.
Expect, also, for fans to make excuses for the character not getting any comeuppance for their sins
, and, for bonus points, gloat if one of their hated
and/or villainized characters
gets the short stick instead, especially if the latter is the victim of the former.
Named for a term in the Harry Potter
fandom, for the mostly sympathetic Fan Fic
portrayals of Draco Malfoy, who, in Canon
, is a petty, smug
, Spoiled Brat
If the audience seems to have a fairly good reason for preferring the bad guy over the good guy, you may have Unintentionally Sympathetic
(or Unintentionally Unsympathetic
in the possible case of the hero they're against). For the fan villainization of one or more of the original protagonists, see Ron the Death Eater
. When the audience embraces or admires a villain more because of his or her chutzpah and/or Break the Haughty
potential than out of actual admiration, then it's Love to Hate
. When done to a historical character, it's Historical Hero Upgrade
. When a character in an adaptation is given an heroic upgrade, it's Adaptational Heroism
Some villain archetypes, such as the Smug Snake
(because of their off-puttingly arrogant personality), female villains (for exactly the same actions
), and the Complete Monster
(because of the severity of their evil deeds) are rarely susceptible to this. But it can still happen.
is a closely related trope.
and Byronic Hero
, characters you're supposed
to admire even if they do nothing remotely admirable, may be the inverse of this trope. Magnificent Bastard
often applies to both tropes, but this is a lot less certain for Draco in Leather Pants - he may be a character only a mother can love
. "I can fix him"
is a commonly expressed sentiment among fans of Draco in Leather Pants. See also Faux Affably Evil
, Affably Evil
, Foe Yay
, and No Yay
. When this trope happens in the series itself, it's Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful!
. See Rooting for the Empire
for doing this and knowing it, and Jerk Sue
for when the writer does this.
Sometimes, the creator of the original series may say "Sure, why not?", resulting in Ascended Leather Pants
. May or may not result in And The Fandom Rejoiced
Contrast Ron the Death Eater
. Could be considering a branch of Springtime for Hitler
because the character was made to be disliked but ends up as an extremely popular character
Character tropes related to/in danger of becoming Dracos in Leather Pants:
- Affably Evil
- Aloof Big Brother
- Awesome Ego
- Bastard Boyfriend, Bastard Girlfriend, and Bespectacled Bastard Boyfriend by design, since these types are supposed to induce Perverse Sexual Lust.
- Bishounen villains
- Crazy Awesome or Creepy Awesome characters (if evil)
- Cry for the Devil or, rather, characters who invoke it, if the fans feel so sorry for them that they forget that they're still supposed to be evil.
- Dark and Troubled Past: because it totally justifies any of their negative attributes.
- Dark Messiah: If the fans agrees with their messianic philosophies.
- Evil Is Cool
- Evil Is Sexy
- Evil Virtues
- Freudian Excuse: When fans tend to ignore the fact that the excuse doesn't really justify the character's actions and shift the blame to another character for the individual's actions.
- Hot Guys Are Bastards
- Jerkass Woobie, if the "Woobie" part is used to automatically excuse the 'Jerkass' part no matter how out of proportion (or unrelated) the one is to the other.
- Knight Templar, if the fans agree with them.
- Alternately, characters or factions dedicated to opposing or destroying the Draco are often seen by fans as this trope even if they've got plenty of good reasons for wanting to do so.
- Laughably Evil, if funny enough
- Magnificent Bastard
- Offstage Villainy
- Progressively Prettier
- Rooting for the Empire
- Self Fanservice often accompanies this trope.
- Too Funny to Be Evil
- Troubled, but Cute or Broken Bird if they are evil.
- Unintentionally Sympathetic
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid
- Villainous Valor
- Villain with Good Publicity: If the fans agree that the villain deserves their good public image.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: If the fans agree with their extremist views.
- White Hair, Black Heart
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Like Jerkass Woobie, when the "Woobie" is used to ignore the "Destroyer of Worlds" part.