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Anime and Manga
- Amy Rose from the Sonic the Hedgehog games could be bratty and over obsessed with Sonic, but otherwise a Nice Girl, while in Sonic X, she was gradually Flanderized to be short-tempered, aggressive, violent, and downright nasty to others, most especially by the third season. This personality in the anime bordered to the games later on, but was still toned down from her worst in the anime.
- Downplayed in Blazblue Alter Memory: in the original games, Jin is already quite a Jerkass, but he still has a soft spot for his Childhood Friend Tsubaki. Here, that soft spot is gone.
- DD Fist of the North Star has Toki, who does have jerkass tendencies in comparison to his original counterpart who is Kung-Fu Jesus and a Nice Guy. DD has Toki attempting get a job as a part-timer in Ryuken's store, and will use any means to get the job, such as having Raoh arrested for murdering Jyuza.
- In Kirby, King Dedede, while he's a lazy and rather greedy king whose "royalty" is questionable, he can be a pretty good guy every now and then who helps Kirby saving the day. In the Kirby of the Stars anime, Dedede is more of a jerk who wants to "clobbah dat dere Kirby" almost every episode and treats other people like crap, with more spaced out Pet the Dog moments.
- Sailor Moon: Rei is an Aloof Dark-Haired Girl in the manga, but in the first anime adaptation, she is Hot-Blooded and often picks fights with Usagi. Rei is very prone to insulting Usagi, much more than the other way round and in many cases without provocation or reason other than teasing Usagi. Despite their bickering, they're still the closest of the senshi (in the manga Rei is closer with Minako than Usagi). The Dic dub takes this a step further. Rei is made even meaner to Usagi, losing almost every little hint of strong companionship they have in the original version.
- This is utilized with several Gym Leaders. Many, most notably Lt. Surge, Erika, and Skyla, are egotistical Jerkasses with a condescending demeanor towards their challengers (or, in Erika's case, towards those who don't appreciate the perfume her gym makes). Pryce is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who is cold towards Pokemon due to a misunderstanding with his Piloswine long ago, although he does get better when the Piloswine is found and the situation explained. In particular in the games, Pryce is a perfectly pleasant and decent man, Erika is a laidback Ojou, Skyla is a Nice Girl, and Lt. Surge, while cocky in the games, isn't nearly as mean about it as he is in the anime (being a Type 2 Eaglelander instead of a Type 1). All of them make friends with the heroes in the end.
- Misty downplays this more than the others, as her anime counterpart is a tsundere with a temper (though she calms down once Togepi enters the picture) while her game counterpart doesn't seem to be that way (though later games made the odd nod to this characterisation). The English dub also toned down her narcissism compared to the Japanese version.
- In Japan, Gary and Ash are friendly rivals, and Gary is respected. The dub has Gary be far more hated in general and he is a jerk towards Ash. This makes him more in-line with his game counterpart, Blue.
- Iris in the games is very peppy and nice; however in the anime, while heroic, her Catch-Phrase is telling Ash that he is "just a kid" due to his immaturity (despite being the same age as him). Iris in the anime is much more brattier than in the games, although she does improve by the end of the show, and since she is not a Gym Leader of Opelucid City yet in the anime, it's arguable that her anime characterization is meant to take place before her game characterization, allowing for Character Development. Her final scene with her adoptive grandfather and mentor Drayden says that she will one day take his place at the Opelucid Gym as leader.
- Spearow and Raichu are generally presented as far more aggressive than they are in the games, though good-natured Raichu have appeared.
- In Pokémon: I Choose You!, Ash has a moment where he abandons Pikachu after losing a battle. He says that he wishes he had a Squirtle starter instead of a Pikachu starter and runs off. Even though Ash in the Kanto arc could be stubborn and a little bratty, he would never say such things about his Pokémon. A downplayed example, as the rest of the film doesn't show him like this; and he does apologize for it in a later scene.
- Pokémon Adventures: Norman, the protagonist's father in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. In the games, Norman is a kind, gentle person who respects his child's wishes and would most likely not use physical violence. In the manga, Norman is a lot meaner and beats up his son for disobeying him. Despite his harshness, he is on the side of good — he is genuinely supportive of Ruby.
- Killua is an Anti-Hero in all versions of Hunter × Hunter; however, in the 1999 anime adaptation, there are more allusions to his dangerous Creepy Child nature from the get go.
- Girls und Panzer has a few examples from the manga adaptation:
- An odd example comes with Anchovy, since the manga was released before the anime showed her match with Oarai. In the anime, Anchovy's competitive but fairly good-spirited, and after losing, invites the Oarai crew to eat with her and the people who set up the match. In the manga, she starts off by accusing Miho of having a "weak" way of tankery, and at the end, accuses Miho of costing her old school the championship by abandoning the flag tank.
- Erika is a Jerkass in the anime, but mainly to the extent of being snide and condescending toward Miho (for example, in the finals, saying that Oarai must be weak if she became its commander). In the manga, between the semifinals and the finals, Erika flies over to Oarai, confronts Miho, and angrily accuses her of not just costing them the victory, but abandoning them in their time of crisis, and vaguely insinuates that Miho traded her vice-captaincy of her old school for captaincy of her of her new school. She's significantly more vicious and angry in that scene from the manga, and leaves Miho in tears at the end of it.
- Leon MacNicol in the Bubblegum Crisis OVA was supportive of the Knight Sabers. Leon in the Tokyo 2040 remake considers the team vigilantes and a blight on the AD Police.
- Sonic in Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie is ruder, more obnoxious, and less willing to help people than his video game counterpart.
- In the Advanced Variable Geo series, Yuuki is shown to be a Good Samaritan who protects other women from muggers and rapists, but the OVA adaptation nearly makes Yuuki out to be a rapist, herself, by having her sexually harass Satomi during their fight.
- In Dragon Ball Super, Goku invites Gohan to participate in the tournament against Universe 6, but Gohan has to decline because of an academic conference scheduled on the same day. In the anime, we see the conversation happen (Gohan was excited at the prospect, but then remembered the conference) and Goku is disappointed but understands how important Gohan's job is to him; in the manga adaptation Goku tells us this after the fact while dismissively calling Gohan a bookworm.
- In All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder, Batman is depicted as enjoying violence and inflicting pain, in contrast to his usual depiction.
- Sonic the Hedgehog is a heroic, laid-back, if somewhat cocky character in the games, and at the time of Sonic the Comic was written in western canon as being a Totally Radical Mascot with Attitude. But in here, he's a bullying, immature Jerkass, especially with the way he treated Tails. Despite caring for his friends, he really has a hard time showing it.
- Jem and the Holograms:
- The Misfits are still the antagonists and still not nice girls (except Stormer), but it's slyly demonstrated that each of the band stands solely on their own. Pizzazz's temper is even worse, and feels she literally cannot trust anyone in her life. Roxy and Jetta aren't down each other's throats anymore, but they'd just as easily laugh if one was the butt of a joke. Pizzazz, Roxy, and Jetta still gang up on Stormer, but Stormer is actually more likely to snark back at them, insult them and even scream at them, unafraid to stand up to even Pizzazz. Clash in the cartoon also wouldn't have tried to seriously injure, or outright murder, Jem like that.
- At the same time though, this is inverted as their softer sides and Hidden Depths are more present. Jetta went from the Token Evil Teammate to being calm and relatively nice (especially towards Roxy, who she's best friend with in the comics but is enemies with in the cartoon). A lot more emphasis goee into giving Pizzazz's Hidden Depths focus. She has a lot more moments of sincerity, happiness, and vulnerability. In one issue she actually listens to Stormer's wants to do a ballad and ends the issue on a middle ground. She'll allow a ballad on the next album, not the current one. In the cartoon scene that was inspired by Pizzazz outright just shredded the lyrics because she doesn't like "soft" songs.
- In The Star Wars, Princess Leia is much ruder than her canon counterpart, and has a Slap-Slap-Kiss thing going on with Annikin.
- Name one hero outside of Peter Parker and Miles Morales in the Ultimate Marvel universe and chances are they're either psychotic, a jackass, or (more often) a combination of both. That, or they have one aspect of their personality dialed Up to Eleven:
- Captain America's entire personality becomes "he's from the 1940s", and thus he picks up the then-normal racism and bigotry, as opposed to regular Cap, who is an example of the best of humanity.
- Iron Man gets his alcoholic aspect amplified to the point that he's always drinking, while mainstream Tony had his alcoholism dealt with incredibly seriously. That said, this is a mild example as he's still one of the nicer characters in the Ultimate Universe alongside the Spider-Men.
- As opposed to the classic Betty Brant, Ultimate!Betty was a general jackass to people, including sleeping with Kraven, throwing around Ned Leeds's drinking problem to get a story she wanted and making bets about Ben Urich's disappearance. And during Miles Morales's time, she died before she could "out" Jefferson Morales as the second Spider-Man, not caring about Rio or Miles.
- Professor Xavier used his powers for his own amusement, compared his love for his son to that of a pet owner and their pet and both he and Wolverine were Ephebophiles.
- Magneto was outright genocidal.
- Pyro initally started off as a case of Adaptational Heroism, helping other people and joining the X-Men. Then came Ultimates 3, where he infamously did something that one: got his hands cut off and Mastermind beheaded and two: would even appall 616!Pyro, even before his Heroic Sacrifice: suggesting he and Mastermind rape Valkyrie.
- In the Persona 4 fanfiction Into The Fog, Chie is far more hostile towards Rei than she ever was to the protagonist.
- While the Thanks Kyubey incarnation of Mami Tomoe is still fighting against the witches, she's also much more of a jerk than she was in canon.
- Several of the characters in RWBY Abridged, but arguably the most noteworthy example is Ruby herself, who while still heroic, is very cynical, short tempered, snarky, and abrasive, unlike her very friend Wide-Eyed Idealist cannon counterpart.
- Pinkie Tales: Pinkie in canon will, at worst, possibly reach Innocently Insensitive with some of her actions. Here though she is outright uncaring about what she does to the stories, refusing to stop her antics even when its clearly explained to her just what she's doing is rude and annoying to those around her.
- This is downplayed in Camaraderie is Sorcery with Celestia. She's still a genuinely good pony, but she's a great deal bitter and wrathful than her canon counterpart. This is best shown when Twilight and her friends beat Nightmare Moon, and Twilight is surprised when Celestia chooses to forgive her sister and is shown even better when she says Twilight is allowed to give twenty lashes to anyone who harasses her.
- Also, Twilight herself. She's still more or less as nice as her canon counterpart, but it's comes pretty clear she's this when we see she's perfectly willing to have ponies who bother her whipped.
- While most aren't villains, just about everyone is more cynical and mean in Friendship is Witchcraft than they are in the original cartoon.
Films — Animation
- Disney Animated Canon:
- Beauty and the Beast: In the original tale, the Beast was never a bad guy to begin with. He is seen to be kind-hearted for the most part, and gentleman-like, with only an occasional tendency to be hot-tempered. In the Disney version, he starts out as an outright Jerkass who is always angry, and only becomes good after Character Development.
- The Sword in the Stone: In the original book, both Sir Ector (Wart's foster father) and Kay (his older half-brother) were much more shaded and sympathetic in personality. Ector's Jerk with a Heart of Gold qualities were much more clear—he was stern towards Wart and Kay, but not mean, and he truly cared for their welfare and actually wanted Wart to have a tutor to educate him, and was even proud of him well before he pulled out the sword, and not to mention Ector was on much better terms with Merlin, to the point where he was as distraught to see him leave as Wart. Kay could act like a jerk, but he had a justifiable reason, since he suffered from an inferiority complex and Sibling Rivalry with Wart. The Disney adaptation throws out most of their sympathetic qualities and plays up their flaws in turn—Ector is almost a 180 in personality, becoming a bossy, demanding and judgmental disciplinarian who is against Wart being educated because it would mess up his rigid schedule, while Kay is reduced to a one dimensional bully who hates Wart for no good reason.
- Tangled: In the original tale, "the prince" (who Flynn is based on) was the stereotypical heroic character. Here, he is a selfish anti-heroic thief, but becomes less selfish after spending time with Rapunzel and steps up to true blue heroism. Flynn started development as a Gentle Giant thief named "Bastion" who only robbed because he had no other choice growing up an orphan, making his more true to the original prince, however the team decided to revamp his character into something "sexier".
- Son of Batman: In the comics, Nightwing is open to Damian becoming Robin and gladly supports and guides him even before he got the mantle. Here he's a rather standoffish jerk who would prefer to avoid Damian if at all possible and is vehemently opposed to Damian becoming Robin. Damian didn't exactly make the best first impression, though, so his attitude is understandable.
- In the original Coraline book, Coraline is polite, well-mannered, and stoic, while her film counterpart is sarcastic, belligerent, and snarky (although she does soften out by the end).
- In a case of this happening to the hero to a degree, Superman vs. the Elite actually sees Superman go through with lobotomizing Manchester Black and depowering the Elite. In the original comics, the Elite retained their powers and Supes merely gave Black a concussion.
- Big Hero 6 is more "Adaptational Jerk with a Heart of Gold." In the comics, Hiro Takachiho is an Ordinary High-School Student. At the start of the animated movie, Hiro Hamada partakes in illegal bot-fights before his brother shows him around his school. There's also the issue of trying to kill Callaghan, though to be fair, that was an extreme circumstance.
Films — Live-Action
- In Fantastic Four (2015), Johnny comes across as a cocky, spiteful, and combative individual — and unlike his comic counterpart, he doesn't get to show his devotion to his friends and family. Even his quip toward Ben (calling him "the Thing nobody wanted") comes across as mean-spirited instead of playful teasing (which is made worse by the fact that Ben in this movie was scarred by bullying growing up). The only justification he has is that he suffers a bit from perceiving himself as a "Well Done, Son!" Guy, but even then, he doesn't make an effort to learn anything that his father tries to teach him.
- A minor case of this happens in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. In both the book and the movie, the Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge thinks Dumbledore is planning to turn the Hogwarts students against him. To prevent this, he forbids them from learning practical defensive magic and sends Dolores Umbridge to Hogwarts to enforce this prohibition. Harry and his friends start an illegal study group named Dumbledore's Army, secretly teaching the students how to cast defensive spells without Umbridge knowing. In the book, Dumbledore's Army is willingly revealed by the best friend of Harry's love interest Cho, followed by Harry and Cho having a fight about this in which both sides actually have a point. When Umbridge discovers Dumbledore's Army in the movie, the group is unwillingly revealed by Cho, who has been obviously forced to show its location, as she was dragged along by Malfoy, yet Harry seems to treat it as if Cho willingly did so and alienates her like the rest of the school does, making him look like a bit of a jerk to her, only realizing his mistake when Snape later outright confirms what he should have figured out from the start.
- Spider-Man: Homecoming: Flash Thompson is a good deal less sympathetic than his comic counterpart, who, at the very least, had a Freudian Excuse for his bullying, and also greatly admired Spider-Man, qualities Homecoming!Flash lacks. Additionally, in one scene where he and his classmates are trapped in an elevator, he prioritizes saving himself and a trophy he didn't even earn.
- Beauty and the Beast (2017):
- While in the animated film the villagers seemed amused by Belle's quirks, here they are much more hostile towards her and see her as a genuine threat to the status-quo, becoming outraged when Belle commits the crime of teaching a girl how to read.
- In the animated movie the Bimbettes were just silly airheads without any real malice towards anyone, but in this version they act more snobbish, disdainful, and actively dislike Belle. When Gaston has Belle locked up alongside her father, they actually laugh at her expense.
- The Jungle Book (2016): Baloo. While he keeps the animated version's laid-back personality in this film, he also gets a selfish, cunning side, such as tricking Mowgli into getting honey for him, unlike his animated counterpart who never takes advantage of Mowgli.
- In the novelization of The Boss Baby, the executives of Baby Corp get this. When Francis Francis talks about them firing him, there is no mention of him being lactose intolerant like in the film. Apparently they just fired him without any stated reason.
- L from Death Note is subject to this in the TV drama. Though not exactly a hero (with Word of God admitting that he's a bit evil), he usually comes across as A Lighter Shade of Grey when compared to Light, and a few spin-offs (namely the film L: Change the World and the light novel Another Note) portray him more sympathetically. The drama, by contrast, draws more attention to the amorality of his actions and he is generally far more smug and arrogant than most portrayals.
- In addition to being reimagined from a doctor to a retired beat cop, Henry Allen in The Flash (1990) was also a jackass towards Barry for being a forensic scientist as opposed to following in his footsteps and becoming a beat cop like his other son Jay (a reimagined Jay Garrick) did.
- Several characters in Game of Thrones are subjected to this in contrast from the books:
- Ellaria Sand is a Nice Girl and an Only Sane Woman in the books who knows that getting revenge against the Lannisters will not bring back her dead lover and his relatives. In the show, she's antagonistic towards her lover's older brother who refuses to participate her revenge against the Lannisters and she even kills him personally.
- Robett Glover is a loyal Stark bannerman who helped Wyman Manderly in his plot to overthrow the Boltons and bring House Stark back to Winterfell, and - so far as we know - isn't bigoted against the Wildlings. In the show, he refuses to help Jon Snow and Sansa Stark in retaking Winterfell not only because Jon's army had Wildings in them but because he lost his trust on his brother Robb after the Red Wedding and he rudely told Sansa that House Stark is dead. Fortunately, after Jon and Sansa successfully retook Winterfell, he realizes his mistake and apologizes to them.
- Yara Greyjoy (the show's counterpart to Asha Greyjoy) is rather rude to her brother Theon as she comes off as a Karmic Trickster in terms of her baiting him.
- Renee Montoya is much more antagonistic towards Gordon than in other incarnations, her thinking clouded by the fact that he is with her ex-girlfriend, Barbara Kean, and going after Gordon for imagined crimes like the Penguin's disappearance. While she does apologize once the Penguin reveals himself to be alive, again, she still sleeps with Barbara behind Jim's back.
- In the comics, Alfred is usually proper and polite in dealing with others and Servile Snarker to counterbalance Bruce's darker moments as Batman. While not a complete jerk, in the series, he's more coarser, more prone to expressing Anger Born of Worry in dealing with Bruce and more flippant to Gordon, and promo materials even state this Alfred came from the East End, a rough neighborhood.
- Tommy Elliot and his parents were friends with the Waynes until Tommy's half-successful attempt at being a Self-Made Orphan. Here, either he and Bruce like each other.
- While Shadow is far from a nice guy in the Sonic the Hedgehog games, in Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, he is more of a Jerkass here. He is an abrasive, bullying Jerkass who calls Sonic weak for relying on his friends. His rivalry with Sonic is a lot more antagonistic than in the games as he's only there to fight him for no reason other than to antagonize him.
- Mega Man Battle Network: Downplayed with ProtoMan.EXE. The original Proto Man in Mega Man (Classic), while aloof, is a supportive big brother figure for Mega Man. In the BN timeline, ProtoMan.EXE is considered a rival to MegaMan.EXE because their operators are also rivals, but ProtoMan doesn't take it personally; he's also more willing to scold and even fight MegaMan if it's necessary.
- Harry Potter himself is a bit of a cartoonish jerk in the LEGO Harry Potter games. For example, during the Dueling Club scene in Chamber of Secrets, he deliberately commands the snake to go after Malfoy, looking smugly when Malfoy flees from it. In the original, he merely ordered the snake to stand down. He was also highly amused when he saw Snape being humiliated by his father during the flashback he saw in his Occlumency lessons, while the real Harry was actually disturbed seeing his father act like this.
- In SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos, Ryu went from a stoic warrior who trains to better himself every day to and out and out asshat who taunts everyone he meets and even makes fun of Mai for her choice of ninja garbs.
- in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, Seto Kaiba is even more of a jerk than in Yu-Gi-Oh!, especially in mistreating his little brother.
- Practically everybody in the "grounded videos" that have a "Baby show" character as the target could count, from the main character who goes from a likable guy and or girl to a sociopathic bully who wants to fuck everyone over to the main character's parents that go from loving to hating their kids' guts to the character's teacher that will punish their students for every minor thing.
- Aladdin: The Series: Aladdin is a downplayed example, as a lot of episodes saw Aladdin act more smug than he did in the films, but his positive and noble attributes remained overall intact.
- Anyone familiar with Link, the hero of The Legend of Zelda, knows that he's near consistently portrayed in adaptations as, and implied in the games to be, a brave, humble, all around heroic person who saves the land of Hyrule and its princess without expecting anything in return. People familiar with Link's other portrayals will probably be surprised that in the The Legend of Zelda cartoon, that came after the NES games, he's the complete opposite. This Link was lazy, self-centered, whiny, and is only motivated by getting Zelda to kiss him.
- In the Witch cartoon, Cornelia is presented as more of a straight Alpha Bitch than the Lovable Alpha Bitch she is in the Witch comics. She's ruder and generally more aggressive. In the comics she is a Bully Hunter but in the cartoon, prior to her Character Development she was The Bully herself.
- Scooby-Doo franchise:
- In Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated Scooby is more of a jerk, which adds to the attempt in developing the characters. He gets better, of course.
- Velma in Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated is more cynical, self-centered, vain, and sarcastic, similar to the titular protagonist of Daria. Most of these changes however, are to do with her being written a lot more like an actual teenager would act.
- Fred has become this in Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!, rendering him into a dimwitted, control freak and an unmasking hog.
- In Teen Titans, the Titans are straight-laced heroes. In Teen Titans Go!, they regularly display Jerkass behavior, are often Vitriolic Best Buds, and are Heroic Comedic Sociopaths.
- Thomas the Tank Engine:
- Gordon in The Adventure Begins comes off as far more antagonistic and rude to Thomas than he was in the original book and the first episode of the TV series "Thomas and Gordon". His trick dragging him along with the express is similarly revenge for Thomas heckling him earlier, however this itself was only in retaliation for Gordon belittling him a fair deal beforehand.
- The Flying Scotsman seemed relatively humble and respectful in his few speaking roles in The Railway Series, but in his first appearance in the special The Great Race, he's much more pompous and arrogant, has a low opinion on Sodor's engines, and often makes remarks to rile up Gordon, his brother.
- While Donald Duck has always been a bit irritable, Mickey Mouse (2013) portrays him as rather assholish and more prone to being inconsiderate and insensitive toward his friends.
- In Avengers, Assemble!, Captain Marvel is written in a more arrogant, condescending and combative manner than she usually is in the comics. While her comic counterpart can be cocky at times, she's usually not this much of a jerk to her fellow heroes. Usually.
- In The Batman, the Penguin is rude, boorish, and all-around unpleasant. While he's still a bad guy in the original comics, he's nowhere near as impolite. On the contrary, he's Affably Evil enough to be known as the "Gentleman of Crime".
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012): Splinter is a minor example. Make no mistake, he does love his sons dearly. But, at the same time, he's not above messing with their heads for his own amusement, can be something of a hypocrite, overreacts to an extreme degree towards some of the mistakes they make when fighting above ground, and, at times, he can be borderline physically abusive. The reason the Turtles all fear disturbing him is because his default reaction to their fighting or being disruptive tends to be beating the shit out of them with a flurry of advanced ninjitsu techniques. It certainly keeps them in line, and is Played for Laughs as Tough Love, but at the same time, no Splinter before him would have ever lifted a hand to the Turtles in anger.