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[[quoteright:300:[[Film/RebelWithoutACause http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/James_and_Natalie.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:[[Music/{{Cascada}} Be my bad boy. Be my man. Be my weekend lover, but don't be my friend.]]]]

->''"Why do girls always prefer the distant, aloof, handsome, dangerous dudes instead of cheerful chaps like me?"''
-->-- '''Creator/RogerEbert''', ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' [[http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081119/REVIEWS/811199997 review.]]

Maybe Hollywood is tapping into the ancestral female animal instinct to choose [[WomenPreferStrongMen the mightiest, strongest, toughest genes]] for their offspring. Maybe it's just because GoodIsBoring and EvilIsSexy. Whatever the reason, in Hollywood, it's the ''bad boys'' the girls want.

The "bad boy" targets the strongest womanly instincts: [[TheQuietOne the stoic, silent guy]] is a mystery waiting to be solved; the TroubledButCute youth with a [[DarkAndTroubledPast tragic past]] is a [[TheWoobie woobie]] needing comfort; he's tough enough to be a girl's [[BodyguardCrush protector]], but vulnerable enough to [[LoveRedeems need her]] as well. Add to that the fact that EvilIsCool, the AntiHero ranks as Bachelor of the Month.

All this, of course, tends to gloss over the fact that [[ShapedLikeItself bad boys are]] ''bad'', meaning criminally inclined, [[{{Jerkass}} self-centered]], [[SanityHasAdvantages probably not too mentally stable]], potentially abusive, might have trouble keeping a legal job, and will most likely be more interested in the physical (read: ''sexual'') aspect of a relationship than anything else. He's also probably not going to be that concerned with fidelity, either. So what if he can't be trusted? It's an honor for girls in media to be chosen by him, to walk into prom night with him on her arm, to ride on the back of his motorcycle with her arms around his waist, to stick her tongue out at the AlphaBitch from the passenger's seat of his stolen convertible.

Depending on the nature of the Bad Boy and whether he's redeemable or not, use of this trope may cause the viewer to question the character's sense or intelligence, particularly if it's immediately obvious to everyone from the outset of the relationship that the man is a thoroughly nasty piece of work. Don't count on ReformedRakes if the ''bad boy'' is a OneShotCharacter. If the ''bad boy'' and or the ''girl'' are unimportant characters, they have a tendency to be [[StrawCharacter Straw Characters]].

This portrayal can sometimes be the product of EntitledToHaveYou, StandardHeroReward or NiceGuysFinishLast on the part of good guy we're supposed to root for or the audience or [[AuthorAppeal the author]]. This bad boy is made to be a {{foil}} and show how "undesirable" the other options are. This can backfire if there are [[PeripheryDemographic female audience]] members who have something else in mind. Ironically, their FixFic is likely to 1) [[DracoInLeatherPants make the bad boy look better]] and 2) [[RonTheDeathEater make the nice guy look worse]].

Sometimes the badness is an InformedAttribute, such as with the LovableRogue. It all depends on what the author wants to use this trope for. It's entirely possible for someone to [[FaceOfAThug look like]] a ''bad boy'' but not fit the above description. Sometimes a supposed ''bad boy'' who really isn't has to deal with the advances of a hyperactive FanGirl [[NoGuyWantsToBeChased who doesn't know when to cut it out]] resulting in comedy at [[TheComicallySerious the "bad boy's" expense]].

Interestingly, younger women are often portrayed as prone to this trope, while older, more mature, and wiser women (meaning 35 and older) seem much less receptive to "bad boy" vibes (maybe they learnt their lesson through painful experience or are simply mature enough to know better), although there are always exceptions (especially bored housewifes with marital issues). Can be portrayed as being either savvy or if the ''bad boy'' falls into the ''not really a bad boy'' category (especially if he is a main character) as a [[IfYouEverDoAnythingToHurtHer overly protective but well meaning mother figure]] for the girl.

For [[JerkWithAHeartOfJerk really bad]] ''bad boys'', the Girl (either intentionally or not) may find herself becoming a MonsterFangirl or a LoveMartyr at worst. The girl may also go to the other end and find what they are looking for is the NiceGuy because SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan--particularly as a SecondLove, and often via JustFriends, when they've been burned by their previous boyfriend.

See SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan for a typical inversion. A popular subversion is to make the guy ''look'' like a bad guy but revealing himself as a JerkWithAHeartOfGold with little to no criminal record.

Related to ICanChangeMyBeloved, which often follows after this. The fandom reaction version of this is DracoInLeatherPants. In high school settings often found alongside AllGuysWantCheerleaders (its [[DistaffCounterpart Spear Counterpart]]). A male SexierAlterEgo will probably be one of these. Contrast {{Adorkable}} and WeaknessTurnsHerOn, where more timid, sweet, and "uncool" characters are seen as attractive.

Despite the gendered name, it can also be gender-inverted or applied to same-sex couples.

[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybristophilia Hybristophilia]] is this trope taken UpToEleven.

This is actually supported by the [[https://tinyurl.com/yaf7yrbg Trivers-Willard hypothesis]]; females in poor conditions have more female than male children, while females in comfortable conditions have more male than female children. Thus, the children of comfortable(IE ''wealthy'') parents always have their choice of females to impregnate. While in modern times such children are from less outright "bad" origins, in pre-industrial times that meant the children of ''[[MightMakesRight warlords]]''. And females that submitted to them were more likely to be placed in comfortable conditions to bear males. Feel free to throw up.

%% Only add in-universe examples.
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys/AnimeAndManga
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys/ComicBooks
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys/FanWorks
* [[AllGirlsWantBadBoys/LiveActionFilms Films Live-Action]]
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys/{{Literature}}
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys/LiveActionTV
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys/{{Music}}
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys/ProfessionalWrestling
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys/{{Theatre}}
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys/VideoGames
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys/WebComics
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys/WebOriginal
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys/WesternAnimation


* An advertisement for a brand of [[AllWomenLoveShoes high-heeled shoes]] said shoes were like men. "The ones you want to take home with you aren't the ones you can live with."

[[folder:Card Games]]
* In the ''[[TabletopGame/CerberusEngineGames DC Comics Deck-Building Game]]'', Wonder Woman and Black Canary need Villains in order to trigger their Super Hero abilities. The card Princess Diana of Themiscyra, i.e., Wonder Woman, automatically gains all Villains in the Line-up. In Crisis Mode, Black Canary is the only character who can add Villains to her deck under normal circumstances.
** Possibly subverted with Tauriel in ''[[Film/TheHobbitTheDesolationOfSmaug The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug]] Deck-Building Game Expansion Pack''. Her ability also relies on Villains (called Enemies here), but with the intention of using them as {{Bulletproof Human Shield}}s.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* ''ComicStrip/FunkyWinkerbean'': In the mid-1990s, the romance between then-high school sweethearts Wally Winkerbean and Becky Blackburn. Becky was heavily involved with music and drama, but her heart fell for a guy that struggled in school and often drank and partied on the weekends. Years later, in 2010, Becky reflects back on how she came to fall in love with Wally [[note]]in the concluding chapter of a storyline where Wally, thought to have died several years earlier in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan was revealed to readers to be alive[[/note]] and admits that it was his "bad boy" attitude that drew her to him.
* Played with in [[http://www.dilbert.com/strips/comic/1997-05-28/ these]] [[http://www.dilbert.com/strips/comic/1997-05-29/ two]] ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'' comics.
* ''ComicStrip/InkPen'''s Scrappy Lad spends a week trying go bad to win over Moxie. He and Hammock [[http://www.gocomics.com/inkpen/2008/06/26 discuss the trope.]]

* The BBC documentary ''The Human Animal'' proposes a reason this trope exists in simple biological terms. The short of it is that the dangerous aspects of the target are sexual advertisements. According to the documentary, on a biological level, women are looking for signs of protective prowess (IE: who will help protect and rear offspring). Displays of aggressive behavior are then read as signs of this prowess (cultural signs of this vary greatly, but the intended messages are the same). Once partnered up, however, the female will actively work to prevent the male from displaying further (the "redeeming" aspect of this trope), so as to prevent the male from gathering further attention from the opposite sex. There's a lot more to human courtship, of course, mostly because, unlike other primates alive today, sex among humans lasts more than 8 seconds.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Brought up in song in ''Disney/LadyAndTheTramp'':
-->He's a tramp\\
He's a scoundrel\\
He's a rounder\\
He's a cad\\
He's a tramp\\
But I love him\\
Yes, even I have got it really bad...
* In ''WesternAnimation/JimmyNeutronBoyGenius'', Cindy has the hots for local skateboarder Nick Dean...that is, until he encounters Poultra and ScreamsLikeALittleGirl.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/WonderWoman'' film, Steve suspects this with Hippolyta and Ares. Hard to get badder than the God of War.
* Gender-Flipped in ''Disney/{{Hercules}}''. The titular hero is sweet, innocent, {{Adorkable}}, and head over heels for the sexy, sarcastic, jaded {{Anti Villain}}ess Megara. The feeling turns out to be quite mutual, and LoveRedeems in its classic form kicks in. Definitely something different, especially for a Disney movie.
* ''Disney/TheSwordInTheStone'': The cheerful red haired girl squirrel was already in love with Arthur/Wart in squirrel form [[LoveAtFirstSight the moment she laid eyes on him]]. When she wraps her tail around him and kisses him on the lips three times, he wipes his mouth, throws her tail over her head and pushes her. She chirps in an excited, flirtatious way suggesting this trope.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ShinboneAlley'' Mehitabel lusts after the roguish Big Bill even though he's treated her badly in the past. She even goes back to him in the end despite the fact he ran out on her when she gave birth to his litter.

* In Myth/ClassicalMythology, Aphrodite's passionate (and lasting) affair with the dangerous, bloodthirsty war-god Ares makes this trope OlderThanFeudalism. The fact that her husband Hephaestus was [[TheGrotesque deformed and disabled]] and the marriage wasn't even her idea didn't help matters.

[[folder:Stand Up Comedy]]
* Creator/JeffFoxworthy mocked and Deconstructed this trope at the same time. He said that when women say they want a "dangerous" guy, they're usually thinking of some Franchise/JamesBond-type of dude, but if a woman ''did'' end up with a "dangerous" man, then the likeliest outcome would have them on an episode of ''Cops'' with her hanging out of the trailer in a tube top, screaming ''"Lock his ass up!"''
* Creator/BillHicks has a routine about this trope in which the "bad boy" is Satan and the woman believes ICanChangeMyBeloved. He has also recorded a song about it: "Chicks Dig Jerks". Both have a decidedly bitter tone.
* Glen Foster, aka "That Canadian Guy", says that someone once told him that girls may be attracted to bad boys initially, but they don't ''stay'' with the bad boys. Glen [[ComicallyMissingThePoint interprets this as a double benefit]].

[[folder: Visual Novels]]
* Toyed with in ''VisualNovel/CrescendoEienDatoOmotteItaAnoKoro''. Ryo, the main character, is a gruff guy with a bad reputation and a troubled past who sleeps through school enough to put his graduation in jeopardy. However, the girls like him... because [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold he's a kind-hearted guy who stands by them when they need support]], not the fact that he can beat up 3 guys at once.
* ''VisualNovel/YoJinBo'' has [[BloodKnight Tatsunami Ittosai]] as one of your possible options. He actually [[spoiler:betrays the heroine to the villains, becoming TheMole for a substantial section of the game]], but can be [[LoveRedeems redeemed]] courtesy of the PowerOfTrust, and has some of the most emotional endings in the game.
* ''VisualNovel/DiabolikLovers'' is all about a girl who is abused by a group of {{Bishonen}} vampire brothers. One of them even calls her 'Bitch-chan'. It's intended to be fanservice for girls who do want bad boys.
* Subverted in ''VisualNovel/ShallWeDateNinjaShadow'': two of [[PlayerCharacter Saori's]] potential love interests (Toru [[spoiler: Nakagawa]] and Tsubaki Kusunoki) fit very well as bad boys in one way or another... but Saori, who tends to swear by the "SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan" principle, will ''only'' start looking their way when they [[PetTheDog show her their gentler, kinder sides]]. i.e., in [[spoiler: Toru's younger brother Makoto]]'s route, Saori will be repulsed by the "bad boy" Toru's VillainousCrush on her and remain firmly in love with [[spoiler: Makoto]]... but Toru's own route will start with him showing his AntiVillain chops right from the beginning [[RescueRomance and rescuing her at least twice from tight situations.]]