They're in love, can't you tell?
A common Japanese character type
, the Bastard Boyfriend (in Japanese, kichiku
, literally "brutal" or "demonic") character is an Always Male Love Interest
whose defining trait is that he is cold, cruel, or abusive to his romantic partner, in a manner intended to be kinky and appealing to the audience. Western versions exist, but are comparatively rare nowadays due to the inherent Unfortunate Implications
, except in fanfiction (which lacks the watchful eyes of Moral Guardians
Bastard Boyfriends can be readily distinguished from the more generic Jerkass
or Domestic Abuser
because their abuse is eroticized
, and their beloved's conflict and unhappiness will be played for titillation. As such, they are all-but-guaranteed to be Mr. Fanservice
, usually a Bishōnen
, and the consequences of their behavior are almost never handled realistically
. The Bastard Boyfriend almost always gets his girl (or guy)
, even in cases where they don't seem particularly compatible
, although a few are doomed to merely be the rival
This type is common in Yaoi Genre
(as a standard Seme
, and, to a lesser extent, Josei
romances, but comparatively rare in works aimed at a male audience, where guys like this are more likely to be the Romantic False Lead
or just a villain
Their love interest, male or female, is usually The Protagonist
, although a minority of stories are from the Bastard Boyfriend's point of view. They will probably be presented as a Love Martyr
or The Woobie
, and is likely to spend quite a bit of the story anguishing over the relationship
, possibly while weeping beautifully
. This trope has next to no overlap with Belligerent Sexual Tension
, since Bastard Boyfriends never seem to show an interest in anyone with the backbone to defy them.
The Bastard Boyfriend is sort of the Alpha Male equivalent of a Type A Tsundere
, but with the violent temper replaced by cutting sarcasm
and the deredere
side turned down to near-zero. They are, of course, completely immune to Can't Act Perverted Toward a Love Interest
, but they're usually not physically abusive
, since that's just not hot
. There are plenty of exceptions, though.
Bastard Boyfriends come in two major types:
(standard): Poised, confident, and perfectly happy with his own behavior, either because he doesn't care what the other party thinks of him
, genuinely believes that abduction and molestation are viable ways of showing his affection
, or just is a plain, sadistic bastard
. The Bespectacled Bastard Boyfriend
) subtrope is built on this type.
(less common): Troubled, but Cute
, and his abusiveness is generally driven by jealousy
, insecurity, a crushing inability to express his feelings
, a Dark and Troubled Past
that completely screwed up with his view of the world, or (very rarely) a desire to drive the other person away
(possibly out of a belief that they will be happier with someone else
). This type may have started as an attempt at a more realistic
implementation of the character type.
Both kinds are highly likely to be jealous and possessive
. Expect plots to feature a Green-Eyed Epiphany
— a character realizing their love only via jealousy.
The Bastard Boyfriend is likely to be redeemed
by The Power of Love
at the end of the book; alternately, he may eventually be revealed to be nicer underneath
. A minority may be revealed to have a Freudian Excuse
(such as Abusive Parents
or extremely bad former romances
). If none of these things happen, his partner may decide that Stalking Is Love
and embrace their status as a Love Martyr
. Along the way, the Bastard Boyfriend may well be Master of the Mixed Message
, if the author needs something to keep his partner strung along.
Mature-rated works that have Kichiku characters are likely to involve psychological abuse
, Loving Force
, and maybe some BDSM
. PG-rated examples tend to be cold, aloof, or sarcastic
. In either case, fan reaction tends to be polarized: either they're hot and sexy
and their love affair is squeeable
, or they're total Jerkasses
and the relationship is squicktastic
Works that contain Stalker with a Crush
or Mad Love
relationships are likely to attract fan interpretations
where the characters are recast along these lines.
of Bastard Girlfriend
. Usually a type of Romanticized Abuse
and subtrope to All Girls Want Bad Boys
, with a side order of Evil Is Sexy
. If the Kichiku character also has status, power, and hot little glasses
, he's a kichiku megane
(see Bespectacled Bastard Boyfriend
). For sort-of Western equivalents, see Handsome Devil
, who is usually more sarcastic than cruel, and the Romance Genre Heroes
under The Bastard and The Sadist, although those are usually played as villains. Contrast the Jerkass
varieties of Romantic False Lead
and the Disposable Fiancé
, who are superficially similar but guaranteed not
to get the girl, and the Domestic Abuser
and Unsexy Sadist
, who have the cruelty minus the fetishization.
A Handy Chart to determine if a character is this trope:
Your guy is in love, and he demonstrates his love in an abusive or predatory manner. His love interest:
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Anime and Manga
Yaoi Genre examples:
- Kyo in Black Bird: wants to marry female lead Misao, who he has been in love with since they were children, and licks her erotically when she gets attacked by his fellow demons (which is often). Doesn't seem to care that she's not completely on board with either of these ideas. Then she falls in love with him...but the saddest thing is, he's one of the few reliable allies that she has in the whole Tengu vs. humans deal, so if she did fully spurn him, other Tengus would jump at the chance to kill/rape/eat her. Still sucks to be her. In the end, of course, he is willing to do anything (including killing his own brother) to keep her happy and safe at the expense of his own life, and he does show genuine kindness to children.
- Director Domoto in Butterflies Flowers (but only when in dictatorial-boss mode).
- The male leads created by Mayu Shinjo have different degrees of this. The better known example is Sakuya Ookochi from Sensual Phrase: this is largely because of an incident where his girlfriend, Aine Yukimura, ended up with a hickey (due to assault from another character); Sakuya, in a fit of jealousy, barged into her class, tore her uniform to reveal the hickey (and her bra strap), then took her home (while class was ongoing) and prepared to rape her. Only when her uniform was almost totally ripped off and the poor girl was weeping hysterically did he stop and realize WTF he was doing. Yeah, he's a Conflicted type with an extremely Dark and Troubled Past (as in, he's an Heroic Bastard Child Of Rape, his "father" left him when he learned baby Sakuya wasn't his kid, he was bullied all the time because of his heritage, and his Lady Drunk mom drank herself to death when he was a child) and does get kinda better with time (the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue shows him as a decent father and husband, if somewhat of a Lovable Sex Maniac when he and Aine are alone), but that's not an excuse.
- Don't forget Hakuron from Haou Airen. Yeah, he is seriously screwed up after being raised in The Triads and the Tongs, and killed his father among MANY other things, and he does admit to Kurumi that he's fucked up, but that doesn't erase how, the moment he met Kurumi, he tried to keep her from making a noise by threatening to rape her. (And later, well, he does. For three days straight, even.)
- And then there's both Hanamaki and Gin from Love Celeb, to different degrees. Ironically, Gin's Big Brother Mentor was...Sakuya, another BB.
- And in Akuma na Eros (Virgin Crisis), the first famous Mayu Shinjo manga, Satan himself becomes one! Oh Miu Sakurai, you lucky little thing, you.
- Somewhat downplayed in Ayakashi Koi Emaki. Kagura is still a horndog and some of his attitudes can be pretty questionable, specially in regards to erotic dreamss but he's nowhere on the league of Sakuya or Hakuron and hjis girlfriend/Kid With The L Eash Miko is more self-aware than Aine or Kurumi.
- Ryoki in Hot Gimmick is a rare example of the Bespectacled Bastard Boyfriend subtype built off of the Troubled, but Cute model.
- Several of Shigeta's love interests in Happy Mania.
- Takumi from Nana: abusive, controlling rapist. So Hachi chooses him over Nobu and marries him, though, in a subversion, it's not only about her OMG loving him, but quite more because because she's pregnant, he is the father of the child, and she believes that as a popular and rich singer he can provide better for both her and the baby.
- Hijiri from A Portrait Of N And M looks like he's going to be one of these (he intimidates Mitsuru, fondles her hair, and tries to blackmail her into dating him), but gets subverted when it is revealed that he is actually deathly afraid of dogs and wants her to protect him from a rambunctious puppy on his route home.
- Shoei Jinnai of Desire Climax.
- One of the "Love Egoist" omakes from the Ouran High School Host Club manga involves a Stepford Smiler high school girl learning that the cute, friendly young male teacher who all her classmates admire is secretly as mean and sarcastic as she was on the inside.
- Deconstructed with Shoutaro "Shou" Fuwa from Skip Beat!. He treats his childhood friend, Kyouko Mogami, like crap since she lives at his house after she falls victim to Parental Abandonment, and is completely devoted to him...but the moment he openly berates and humiliates her is actually the moment she snaps on him, realizes how much of an asshole he is, and openly swears Revenge.
- Akuma de Sourou has Takeru, who blackmails Kayano into becoming his servant, sabotages her relationship with the guy she likes, and generally emotionally bullies her in the beginning. He seems to think it's only teasing, but considering how shy and emotional Kayano is, it comes off much harsher. Despite the progression in their relationship, he remains cold and distant, which makes her almost perpetually nervous.
- Q-Ta Minamitani from Honey Hunt is a Manipulative Bastard towards Yura, is possessive of her, and shows little genuine interest in learning what Yura truly wants.
- Bokura ga Ita: Yano has a hard time trusting Nanami completely, displaying jealousy and possessiveness, even to the point of physically abusing her.
- Reimei No Arcana: though they're technically married, Caesar starts off as this towards Nakaba, yanking on her braid and forcing kisses on her in the first chapter. Needless to say, once Caesar begins to genuinely fall for Nakaba, he stops doing these childish and insensitive antics for the most part and treats her gently and with respect.
- Revolutionary Girl Utena: Just about all of the main male cast with the exception of Miki. This is, of course, played for epic Deconstruction, and also in different ways: Saionji is the typical Domestic Abuser and very much the Conflicted Type, Touga is a Manipulative Bastard version and Unconflicted case, Ruka tries to be the Conflicted Type and mix it with Thanatos Gambit, and finally Akio is what happens when a Fallen Hero completely loses it and becomes the Unconflicted type Up to Eleven.
- Kyota Tsubaki in Kyo Koi O Hajimemasu manipulates girls into falling for him and then dumps them because he can't trust them, humiliates his girlfriend Tsubaki in front of their class and almost rapes her. He stops doing most of those things after he begins dating Tsubaki, and genuinely seems to care for her.
- Kouta from the one-shot manga Vitamin is like this. He says he loves his girlfriend Sawako and will stick by her, but he forces her into having sex and lies about being with her. Sawako eventually breaks up with him though.
- Sata Kyouya in Ookami Shoujo To Kuro Ouji treats Erika as his personal dog on the condition of becoming of his fake girlfriend, even after the two start dating for real he's still a jerk to her (just not as much).
- Ultimately averted in Maria-sama ga Miteru. It looked like Sachiko's arranged fiancè Suguru was heading towards this, but hile he tends to be very mean-spirited he nevertheless cares for Sachiko in his own, quiet way, shows gratitude to Yumi for helping his fiancee with her problems, and once even warned Touko of further alienating any prospective friend should she keep up her Jerkass Façade. And he's strongly implied to have feelings for someone else... Yumi's brother Yuuki.
Non-Shoujo or Yaoi Genre Examples:
- Ryuichi Asami in the Finder Series (along with many other Ayano Yamane semes): starts off with rape and BDSM, then develops a romantic side. And so Takaba falls in love with him.
- Nakajima in Gakuen Heaven, in the manga volume that follows his route in the Visual Novel (which includes Loving Force — in the first volume that doesn't follow him at all, there's attempted rape, and he is tremendously rude to Keita throughout, though he points out that if the central love interest does nothing, he'll take Keita for himself). In the anime, he's toned down to a Jerkass, and his sexual harassment is elbow-licking.
- Yonekuni (crocodile-boy) in Love Pistols volumes 1 and 2: hates men. Nasty to Shirou. Screws Shirou (repeatedly over a two year period). Doesn't realize it. Jealousy ensues. Shirou, of course, is desperately in love with him.
- What's really frustrating about it that Shirou has horribly low self-esteem and doesn't think he deserves Yonekuni. In later volumes, it gets to the point where he actually believes that Yonekuni has graciously accepted his feelings and is simply putting up with his presence.
- This trope also applies to Seth. You can't really avoid being attributed with this trope when you knocked your lover out, took him to the opposite side of the world into a war zone, shackled him to the bedpost, and then demanded a child from him. The fact that he did it because he loved him and was jealous beyond all reason doesn't change anything. It does, however, explain why it was incredibly stupid and short-sighted of him.
- From the same series, a Shoujo-Ai/Yuri example is in Yonekuni's mother, Makio Madarame (the resident heroic sociopath of this manga). When they first met, she pushed her love interest, Karen, out of a four story window, and the only reason Karen survived was because of her madararui nature (and she still broke her legs!). Makio did spend the following months taking her everywhere and caring for her (against Karen's wishes), but still...Even after twenty years together, this trope continues to apply to Makio, as she constantly causes Karen no end of misery from everything from cheating on her to trying to derail Yonekuni or Kunimasa's psychological development, or running her prostitution outfit within the vicinity of their restaurant. These last two coincided at one point where she tried to pimp Kunimasa off to the highest bidder...and Karen was NOT happy.
- Yonekuni's brother, Kunimasa Madarame, is really only slightly better than Yonekuni when it comes to his boyfriend, the main character Norio "Norririn" Enya. Mostly because he's the master of mixed messages to the point where he has Norririn running terrified in fear that he's going to either break up with him or propose to him. Considering that Makio is their mother, both Yonekuni and Kunimasa didn't really have a chance when it came to learning by example of how to maintain a functional relationship.
- Considering that this is Love Pistols, you have quite a few dysfunctional relationships running around, but special mention has to go to Hiromasa and Shima's. Originally, they were sex friends in high school, and split up when Hiromasa's family moved him to a different prefecture, and then wound up working in the same hospital in their mid-twenties, eventually re-starting the sexual relationship they had before. Despite how much he tries to distance himself, Shima is in love with Hiromasa, but believes that if he tried to get any closer to him, he'd lose interest and leave him. In a moment of weakness, he uses a conception device that the Madarui use for same-gender reproduction (his thinking is along the lines of "at least he'd have something of him" when they eventually broke up). Consequently, he gets pregnant. Now, here's the bit where it gets creepy. It turns out that Hiromasa has actually been in love with Shima for years, and he came back from Kyoto to work in the same hospital as him for the expressed purpose of getting closer to him. Okay, that's fine, right? Well, here's the thing... Hiromasa noticed the fact that Shima seemed to be able to brush their relationship off like it was nothing, and had, for months, without Shima's knowledge, been using a very powerful conception drug on him in order to get him pregnant so he could tie him to him and stop him from leaving him. When Shima finds out that he's pregnant, despite being shocked beyond all belief, he blames himself, and Hiromasa not only lets him think that it's all his fault, but threatens to abort the child if it's not his. After things have calmed down a bit and Shima's sleeping in his arms, he remarks mildly in an internal monologue how nice it was to have miscalculated the extend of Shima's feelings for him and also how nice it was that he wouldn't have to kill anyone for sleeping with or impregnating him. Ladies and gentlemen, your Bastard Boyfriend incarnate.
- Genma in Ze volumes 3 and 4: possessive, controlling, and completely eaten up with jealousy at the thought that Himi was his father's lover. He wasn't. Relaxes considerably after he finds this out. Himi has been in love with him since childhood and meekly submits to rape and imprisonment.
- In the manga of Genshiken, Ogiue draws an explicit yaoi doujinshi starring her clubmate/crush Sasahara as a kichiku seme and clubmate Madarame as his quailing uke. In the anime, this gets expanded to an entire sequence: Youtube. Hilarious, since Sasahara is actually a Nice Guy and a little shy.
- Yuki from Gravitation is a PG Conflicted type example.
- Iason and Guy from Ai no Kusabi, but Iason defines this by putting Riki through hell for 3 years to break his pride so he may become submissive to Iason..
- Kanou from Okane Ga Nai is surprisingly a Conflicted type.
- Souma from Sakura Gari. He begins via taking Masataka under his wing as a butler/boarding student in his Big Fancy House, then puts the moves on him, then rapes him and gets him [[ to pay a certain debt with sex]]... and then not only he has a massive emotional meltdown as all the sit he had pulled on Masataka sinks in, but then we learn that he's a Conflicted type with HUGE Freudian Excuses.
- Swordfish from the yaoi manga Under Grand Hotel.
- Sawatari Atsushi in the yaoi manga Interval. Despite his initial cruel and heartless behavior for seemingly no reason, he's actually the Conflicted type.
- Naruse Fuuta in the yaoi manga Kawaii Akuma and its sequel is definitely Unconflicted.
- Averted and possibly parodied in Kizuna, where seme Kei has the Tall, Dark and Handsome looks and a Yakuza background that would make him the perfect Unconflicted type... yet his uke, Ranmaru, is a violent Tsundere and can have him very whipped.
- Gender Flipped (as in, Yuri) examples: Himemiya Yukio from Gokujou Drops. She is definitely a Conflicted type. She and the main character, Komari, both get better. Why is this example here? Because if all the residents of Haraiso Yakata are male, the story will be pretty much your standard Boys Love plot. (And yes, Loving Force is in full effect.)
- Sou Mizuhashi from After School Nightmare.
- Ayace of Corsair, who has no social grace and unusual ideas about what constitutes consent.
- Klaus von Wolfstadt of Hyakujitsu No Bara is a Conflicted type variety: very rough when he sexes up his secret boyfriend Taki Reizen, and completely screwed up due to his past and his currently very difficult position in Taki's land.
- Some suspect Honma of Boku No Sexual Harassment as being this.
- Gilbert of Kaze to Ki no Uta can be like this to Serge. He's definitely a conflicted version.
- Morinaga from The Tyrant Falls in Love starts out as a pretty straightforward Dogged Nice Guy with a five-year crush on his homophobic boss, Tatsumi. Then he decides to prove how much he loves Tatsumi by raping him while he was drunk and drugged, then blackmailing him into regular sex even though Tatsumi's made it abundantly clear that he's straight, uninterested and not enjoying himself at all. What makes it worse is that Tatsumi's homophobia was occasioned by a Near-Rape Experience at the hands of a college professor - which Morinaga knows all about, because he was the one who stepped in. Bastard boyfriend? Bastard boyfriend.
- Kumara-ten from RG Veda is a Conflicted type towards his girlfriend Karara. He was the leader and Sole Survivor of the former beautiful city of Kusumabura, and by the time he found and rescued his love interest Karara he was so fucked up by his experiences that despite wanting to rebuild the city so she'd have a better life, he treated her as few more than a Trophy Wife and Baby Factory. Boy, does he regret it when he loses her...
- Parodied in Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro, where Neuro is constantly cruel to Yako for no good reason, and this is supposed to hint towards romantic relations between the two characters, as well as being played for laughs.
- Light Yagami from Death Note definitely qualifies; the only reason he enters any sort of relationship with Misa is because she has her own Death Note and is wildly, cultishly in love with him. He really doesn't seem to give a crap about her other than that, and, in fact, is as willing to cruelly use her as a pawn as he is any stranger on the street. The only time he (pretends to) show any affection for her is when she's angry at him, or he wants her to do something. If Misa hadn't started with the infatuation, there's no way he would have treated her as anything more than a good lieutenant.
- His treatment of his other girlfriend/lieutenant, Kiyomi Takada. It's more or less canon that they have had sex at least once, he manipulates her almost as much as he uses Misa as well, and unlike in Misa's case, he callously disposes of her by using a piece of the Death Note to force Takada to burn herself to death as a part of his plan. Right after the girl had not only killed Mello for him, but was naked and frightened and trapped inside a truck, actually begging him to help her since she genuinely believes in him. It doesn't matter if you liked her or not, that was a horrifyingly cruel move from Light.
- Izaya from Durarara!! is an interesting take on the concept: he's not anyone's Bastard Boyfriend — he's everyone's bastard boyfriend. Specifically, he insists that he's madly in love with humanity despite (nay, because of) all of its flaws, and demonstrates this "love" by trolling, manipulating, and generally dicking around with just about every person he meets to get the reactions from humanity he loves so much. He even gets possessive and jealous when he encounters something that might upset the balance of this relationship (like, say, a Yandere sword that also insists she's in love with all of humanity).
- Played with in Zero no Tsukaima. Louise's original fiancé Jean-Jacques seems to be a decent guy, and only shows his bad sides after Louise dumps him.
- Depraved Bisexual Head from Star Driver is basically a Bastard Boyfriend to everyone he's ever involved with, including (but probably not limited to) Sakana-chan, Shingo, Sora (who he ends up impregnating) and even a bunch of characters he isn't romantically involved with (although in some cases, it's debatable). Of course, being the Manipulative Bastard he is, most of his relationships were just part of his plans. It doesn't help that pretty much everyone mentioned above becomes a Love Martyr for him sooner or later.
- Some fans love to turn Canon Characters into this trope, notably:
- Sasuke Uchiha from Naruto, whether it's Yaoi, or Hetero. Can't be too hard to find.
- Neji Hyuuga, especially when paired with Hinata.
- Seto Kaiba from Yu-Gi-Oh!: example.
- Also, try and find a Yami Bakura/Ryo Bakura fanfic that doesn't have Yami Bakura mentally or even physically abuse his poor suffering host (and giving him his own body just to make the latter possible). Go on. We'll wait.
- Yami Bakura, another Yu-Gi-Oh! character, in a good half of his romance fics.
- Draco Malfoy in Harry Potter fanfic.
- Sirius Black seems to get this interpretation as well in some fics.
- Edmund Pevensie, from Chronicles of Narnia, is portrayed as this in some fics, especially the Edmund/Lucy ones. Well, it's not that hard to see him that way since he practically torments and mocks the poor girl for pretty much the entire first book. So it's almost canon...without the romance part, of course.
- Although the second book prominently shows that he learned from his mistakes and is Lucy's strongest supporter when she keeps talking about seeing Aslan, the movie version still likes to portray him as dark to an extent, due to his snarkiness and witty character. They even switched his and Capian's lines from the book, because, while Caspian was supposed to be tempted by evil in the third movie, they gave this role to Edmund and made him look like a jerk again when he fell into temptation for the second time, even though it was for a short period of time. That's why many fans still see him as the bad one. And the bastard boyfriend title is easily used when it comes to Edmund Pevensie.
- It's somewhat canonical too, because, when Edmund fell into temptation for the second time, he actually tried to convince Lucy to join him when he wanted to obtain power.
- Craig Tucker from South Park is portrayed as this in most fics, particularly the Craig/Tweek ones, since he is...let's say, not quite a pleasant character. In most stories, he either acts like a jerkass towards everyone, a bully, a sociopath or he just does anything to obtain what he wants, using methods like rape or molestation.
- Eric Cartman. Almost half of Kyman (Cartman/Kyle) fics portray Cartman as a possessive, obsessed sociopath (not that he's not like that in the real show, too) who wants to rape Kyle and torture him in all possible ways. Most of them are M rated, too.
- Kenny McCormick also gets this portrayal in 90% of the fics that involve him, due to his infamous status of being addicted to sex and drugs in the show. In most stories, he's an obsessed pervert who molests almost everyone around him or the object of his desires.
- Flippy from Happy Tree Friends, and, good lord, to such an extent that almost the entire fandom sees him not only as an insane serial killer...but also as a serial rapist, due to the thousands anime-styled drawings in which he either molests or rapes Flaky or any other character. His rape involves sharp tools and blood, as well.
- Derek Venturi from Life With Derek. Yes, that Life With Derek. The character is the primary bastard of the show, but some stories exaggerate his negative traits to the point where he becomes an abusive sociopath who enjoys his step-sister/love-interest's suffering. Not that it's that much of a difference from the canon.
- Nine times out of ten, the villainous half of a Foe Yay ship becomes this trope. Sephiroth is one of the more popular examples, especially in doujinshi, and, oddly enough, is portrayed as either type depending on the fangirl.
- Axis Powers Hetalia has LOTS of fanon examples:
- Russia, the resident Psychopathic Manchild and Yandere, is usually portrayed as this in fanworks that pair him up with someone, especially if it's with Lithuania or America (and admittedly, it's not easy to portray him as a decent boyfriend without running into the other extreme). As it stands, when Russia is paired with China, it can lead to either this or Happily Married.
- England can become this when fans take his "tsun" side too far or become too enamored with the idea of him as a cocky, swashbuckling pirate claiming his love interest as his "possession" (with his favorite "love victims" being the wimpified Japan or America). And let's not get started on the Opium War and his fanon treatment of China and Hong Kong, which, more than once, has HK as actually England and China's Child by Rape (either via Mr. Seahorse or China having been a Sweet Polly Oliver all along)...
- This is also a distubingly common Alternative Character Interpretation that follows the "What if England remained an Empire?" scenario. Apparently, the only way a Still-Imperial!England can be portrayed as is...a violent and abusive bastard who still dresses like a pirate, shoots and beats up whoever dares raise their voice, and sexily abuses a Forever-Colony!America reduced to a whiny, wimpified Love Martyr mess.
- Turkey is typically portrayed as this in Turkey/Greece and Turkey/Egypt fanworks (although it's much less common for the latter). While some Turkey/Greece works veer into Belligerent Sexual Tension instead by making Greece into a defiant Tsundere on equal fighting ground with Turkey, many more Turkey/Greece works make it clear that as hard as Greece tries to fight back, Turkey thoroughly dominates him and is free to abuse and even rape him because he either wants to put Greece in his place or just can't control himself around Greece, leaving Greece a broken and embittered man who nonetheless can't help but keep coming back to Turkey. Some fics have him go as far as raping Greece as a teen or a child, brainwashing Greece into being his slave, or even raping Greece explicitly because he'd rather have Greece hate him than be indifferent towards him.
- He also comes off as this in Turkey/Hungary fanworks set in the "Ottoman Hungary" times, i.e. in several online places, there's quite the speculation about the possibility of the "young!Prussia finds an injured young!Hungary all battered and half naked after fighting the Ottoman Empire" strip being the aftermath to Turkey realizing that she's a girl, acknowledging how she's growing into a beautiful woman...and either tearing her clothes and raping her on the spot to "show her what's her place in the Ottoman Empire", or trying to forcibly get her into his never-heard-of-before-in-canon harem (if she wasn't already there and was defeated while trying to run away, that is). If the fanworks are set after that time, however, it goes much more by the Belligerent Sexual Tension way, with an Older and Wiser Hungary having the physical strength to keep Turkey's lechery and/or jerkiness at bay.
- Turkey/Japan fanworks are mostly free of this or at least don't have Turkey abusing or raping Japan. Even fanworks where Turkey's feelings for Japan are clearly one-sided portray him as a jealous but ultimately harmless Hopeless Suitor at the very worst. Maybe because Turkey and Japan have always had a cordial history with each other.
- Rather oddly averted with most Turkey/Iceland fanworks, even those in which Iceland is smacked with Wimpification. There are however a few with Ottoman Turkey kidnapping little/pre-teen!Iceland and putting him in his harem, "basing it off" the Turkish Abductions in Icelandic history.
- In a kinda infamous Turkey/Ukraine doujinshii, Ottoman Turkey captures Cossack Ukraine (apparently representing the struggles between the Crimean Khanate and the Zaporoszhian Cossacks) after a battle. He then has her stripped naked and delivered to his room, where he rapes her and she ends up loving it. We're supposed to find it romantic.
- Poor Japan. Not only is he turned into a Bastard Boyfriend in numerous Japan/[insert any other Asian nation here] fanworks (which includes many Japan/China fanworks, pretty much all Japan/either Korea, Hong Kong, and/or Thailand fanworks, and even the few Japan/Taiwan fanworks that don't go the Lady and Knight or Happily Married routes) thanks to his Lawful Evil imperial history, but he himself becomes the weepy victim...er, "lucky lover" of a Bastard Boyfriend in numerous America/Japan and England/Japan fanworks. The only pairing exceptions (so far) are Greece/Japan (whose reputation as the "peaceful, content, cat-loving pairing you steer clear of if you love angst" is too strong) and minor pairings like Turkey/Japan and Netherlands/Japan (who don't get that many fanworks in the first place, at least in the English-speaking fandom).
- China (as either the Chinese Empire or Mao's China) sometimes goes from the Love Martyr victim to the Bastard Boyfriend Yandere in China/Taiwan or China/Hong Kong fanworks, flanderising the country's "interest" into having them back (HK), or portraying the reason why they left him (Taiwan) as him stalking, abusing, raping, or even forcibly getting them hooked onto opium. Thankfully, it's not exactly common.
- He's not even safe in China/England fanwork. There's a Pixiv fanartist who has this as a kink, making Imperial China a Bastard Boyfriend who forces an wimpified England to dress up in imperial lady robes and go through footbinding. Even if the art style itself is not bad◊...
- Even worse are the China/Japan fanworks that make Imperial China a pedophiliac Yandere who physically, sexually, and psychologically abuses a completely wimpified Japan ever since he "discovered" him. (Or the fact that you can swap China and Japan's name in that sentence and replace "pedophiliac" with "sociopathic" and "discovered" with "conquered" [never mind that Japan never actually conquered China in real life, not even during WWII, and that China is actually the stronger nation nowadays] for a summary of at least 60% of Japan/China fanworks.)
- America gets this rep in more than one America/England and/or America/Japan badfic, with either England or Japan becoming the Love Martyr to America's Jerkass or Yandere via Wimpification. Double points if it's an USA/Japan fic set in the American occupation times where America either punishes Japan for his role in World War II by raping him or becomes a dangerous Yandere who threatens to bomb him again. Triple points if it's a "USUK" fic where the real reason for The American Revolution is either England's reaction to teenager!America overpowering and raping him, or America setting a spiteful plan in which he wants his "freedom" as a direct way to hurt and hate England (and often backed up by a France shown as a slutty, selfish Evil Mentor who leads America on *purely* to spit on "poor" UK - way to flanderize the French role in the Revolution).
- While nowhere as common as Pirate!England, the renditions of Conquistador!Spain also tend to have more than one whiff of this trope. Fortunately, this happens more often than not in regards to the England/Spain or France/Spain pairings, which has a less chance of Wimpification than, i.e., Spain/kid-or-teen!Romano, Spain/soon-to-be-Empire!Netherlands, or Spain/teen-and-still-Imperial!Belgium.
- Two or three fans give this treatment to Prussia, too. This happens in some Prussia/Hungary (with a badly chickified Hungary, one may add), Prussia/Austria and/or Germancest fics, but it's usually a rare sight.
- When the Foe Yay between Denmark and Sweden goes too far, the fanworks featuring this couple will make Denmark one of these. It's also a relatively common sight in Denmark/Norway fics: one of them had Denmark so deathly jealous of Norway's closeness to Iceland, that he has sex with Norway in front of Iceland to "teach" Iceland that Norway is his boyfriend.
- If we go to pure Original Character Realm, OC!Scotland is often portrayed by Japanese fans as a highly violent Evil Redhead who cruelly rapes and abuses a wimpified England.
- There are some fanfics out there that portray either Hibari or Mukuro from Katekyo Hitman Reborn! as a Bastard Boyfriend to Tsuna.
- Yu Kanda from D.Gray-Man sometimes tends to be made into a Bastard Boyfriend for Allen. And let's not even talk about Tyki Mikk...
- Either Roy Mustang or Envy in Fullmetal Alchemist. With the latter, it's so common it's almost Fanon at this point, especially if they're basing the fic on the 2003 anime (where he's significantly more powerful, and his MO is basically For the Evulz).
- Kaede Rukawa from Slam Dunk is frequently portrayed as this in fanwork to a wimpified Sakuragi. Yes, that Hanamichi Sakuragi is made into Rukawa's whiny and weepy uke.
- Parodied in Gantz Abridged. Kurono wants to be the Bastard Boyfriend of Kishimoto, but he has, as he puts it, landed in the one anime where being an asshole doesn't get you the girl. She instead has a thing for the Dogged Nice Guy.
- Kingdom Hearts fics pairing Ventus with Vanitas usually turn the latter into this.
- Heero Yuy, back when Mobile Suit Gundam Wing was the yaoi fandom out there, was the poster boy for this trope. Fics where he sexily abused Duo, raped him and claimed to love him, killed or humiliated Relena for daring to crush on him (which, of course, was okay, because she totally was a pink-dressed, girly, Yandere whore) and commited other squicktastic deeds "because he loooooooved Duo so much" (like considering to keep Duo in a cage for his own sake) were pretty much the hottest thing in those years, and fangirls loved such stuff.
- Ulquiorra Cifer in Bleach is transformed into this in fanon, particularly in some Ulquiorra/Orihime fics. This is usually featured along with Die for Our Ship, most likely towards Orihime for not expressing romantic feelings towards him in canon. And let's just leave it at that. It's also a popular interpretation of either Nnoitra or Aizen in any shippy stuff involving them, really not helped by both being infamous Memetic Molesters.
- A Woman's Face: The 1941 version, that is. Conrad Veidt's Torsten Barring is a suave and charming bastard and a wannabe murderer, but he's also so hypnotic and attractive Joan Crawford's embittered heroine actually considers murdering a child for him. When she tries to refuse, he lures her in with erotic gestures dripping with sexual sadism. She quivers in a mixture of arousal and revulsion.
- General Koskov is this to Kara Milovy in James Bond film The Living Daylights. Despite all of his gifts to her, he won't hesitate to use her as a sniper bait and engineer her death.
- The sheik from The Sheik: causing an entire generation of girls to swoon at the thought of being kidnapped and raped by a hot Arabian prince. (That Fetish Fuel was the intention is made transparent by the book's final pages, in which, in a fit of conscience, he decides to send her away so he won't hurt her anymore, and the heroine threatens to kill herself. The fact that The Film of the Book starred Rudolph Valentino helped.
- It has been HEAVILY argued that Twilight's Edward Cullen is an unintentional Conflicted type example of this trope. Jacob also gets warped into this in the third book. To add irony, it took Jacob becoming a Bastard Boyfriend for Bella to realize she has feelings for him.
- Relatedly, Christian Grey, the Edward-Expy from Fifty Shades of Grey, is practically the poster boy. While he claims to be into BDSM, what we see comes across a lot more like domestic abuse. At one point he outright rapes Ana, and uses the "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization. It's all meant to be seen as romantic.
- The Wicked Lovely series has Irial, who is incredibly emotionally abusive to Leslie, but is still hot. One reviewer describes their connection as 'Destructive yet seductive'.
- Don't forget his relationship with Niall in the past, after the whole ultimatum.
- Part of the dark court's whole nature is based around darkness, seduction, lust, torture, and beautiful destruction. The only important members of the DC who don't fit this trope to an extent are Bananach, who is more a Lady of War - her in-universe nickname is Lady War, after all - Ani, who is a Plucky Girl with dreams of chaos that her court disallows, and Niall, who fights every day to resist the darker side of his nature, although the injustices of the past and Keenan's apparent betrayal in Ink Exchange mean that, by Fragile Eternity, when he rules over these creatures, he is rather more inclined to give in to it.
- Irial is something of a subversion; he realizes that Leslie is better off without him, and he has spent centuries trying to make it up to Niall.
- Patch from Hush, Hush emotionally manipulated and sexually harassed Nora. It was later revealed that he was trying to kill her so he could get his wings back. Nora was understandably creeped out, but fell for him anyway.
- Chamberlain Yanagisawa of the Sano Ichiro series is an Unconflicted type after his rise to power, taking out all of the humiliation he suffered to gain said power in the first place on his lovers. This trait is lessened throughout the series as he quickly realizes after his love affair with Hoshina collapses that others are using him to gain power themselves.
- Nagasawa to Hatsumi in Norwegian Wood. She puts up with him throughout most of the book despite his casual cheating and bad treatment of her.
- The knight Erlend exhibits this behavior to the teenage girl Kristin in the trilogy Kristin Lavransdatter, set in the Middle Ages. Played straight in the first book, where Kristin falls in love with Erlend, breaks her engagement with her Nice Guy fiance, and defies the will of her father to be with him, all despite his shady past and his none-too-kind treatment of her. Deconstructed in the two later books, set after Erlend and Kristin's marriage, where she has to live with the painful consequences of her decision, all in a highly patriarchial world that offers little support for women.
- The Phantom of the Opera: In the original book by Gaston Leroux, Erik (the titular phantom) could be a deconstruction, if not an Unbuilt Trope: Erik is The Grotesque Psychopathic Manchild who terrorizes Christine into marrying him. In the book, the author wants you to think Erik's a Jerkass and Christine is a saint for putting up with him (Domestic Abuser meets Love Martyr), but the Misaimed Fandom (and all the adaptations) wants you to think Erik's totally hot and the relationship is deliciously kinky.
- Although it is somewhat cleaned up in the movie, the woman in The Sheltering Sky was repeatedly raped by two of her Arab captors. Her subsequent behavior was more like shell shock than the movies kind of "once you go whatever ..."
- Gor. A Gorean master will be one of these toward any slavegirl he cares for. If he isn't one of these at the start, (or falls into the conflicted version of this trope) it will be a subplot that he becomes an example of the unconflicted version at the end, either in general, or toward a particular women whom he'll end up enslaving.
- In Vampire Academy, Christian seems he will be this, but he softens. He at first taunts Lissa about her troubles, criticizes Lissa for her treatment of Mia Rinaldi, reveals the secret bastard side of her beloved brother Andre, and accuses her of enslaving the people she compels. He does not mean to harm her however.
Live Action TV
- On 'Allo 'Allo!, Private Helga Geerhart is seen standing in a corner like a small child receiving a "time out." Quoth her fiancé Herr Flick:
"Let this be a lesson to you. That is the last time you burn my toast!"
- As much as it was shown to be a legitimately (and mutually) abusive relationship, Buffy the Vampire Slayers relationship with Spike had definite elements of this. Spike's frequent semi-nude scenes certainly weren't there to cause disgust in the audience.
- In "Never Leave Me" Spike suggests that Buffy deliberately seeks out such men. "We both know it's not love. You like men who hurt you. You need the pain we cause you. You need the hate. You need it to do your job, to be the Slayer."
- The lyrics of the song "El duelo" by Chilean group La Ley seems to be written from the POV of a Bastard Boyfriend.
- "Under My Thumb" by The Rolling Stones comes off as a celebration of this, highlighted in its use in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.
- "Bad Enough For You" by All Time Low fits this stereotype (on the surface at least) so exactly that it could be used as the title trope. However, it's also an inversion as the narrator states that he'd rather be a nice guy and treat his love interest well but knows the only way she'll fall for him is if he is bad enough for her.
- Judas by Lady Gaga could be interpreted as this and coming from the love interest's POV.
- Romantic Cheapskate V2.0 by MC Frotnalot is about a guy who delights in stringing a girl along with a minimal amount of commitment on his part. This character is particularly proud of the fact he has never spent any money on his girlfriend, instead resorting to petty theft for gifts, or sticking his girlfriend with the bill.*
- Eldoth to Skie in Baldur's Gate. He's a blatantly sleazy, chauvinistic Jerkass who embodies the selfish nature of his Neutral Evil alignment. The only reason he elopes with Skie is so that he can blackmail her father by claiming he kidnapped her. He is only able to get away with this because Skie is just that naive and foolish and thinks he is romantic.
- Damien has at least significant shades of the conflicted version in Magical Diary, considering that he jerks you around for most of the year, culminating in breaking your heart and trying to kill you by way of stealing your soul. The only way to get any of his endings - not even just the good one - is to tell him that you love him no matter what and then forgive him for what he did when he shows up again. Your roomies, however, will call you out on being a Love Martyr if they find out that you've taken him back, though. And by using Spirit Echoes and Empathy, you can find out that he has genuinely fallen in love with you and really does want to reform. But if you haven't been working on White magic, you might be left wondering how long it will be before he turns on you again.
- It's not quite that simple - you can get his endings even if you play yourself as conflicted rather than all-forgiving. It's just the "I hate you forever" options you can't pick. And even with the white magic, it's questionable how much he's really changed. He doesn't want to kill you anymore, but he still enjoys messing with your head...
- Peter, a minor character in Resident Evil 6 that's only with you for a short part of a level, shows himself to be this. He seems to be a bit of a sociopath, and breaks the number one rule of surviving in a zombie apocalypse: stay together. He runs out into the street (away from the gun store that he and the other survivors (including Leon and Helena) had found shelter in) after stealing his girlfriend's gun and unsurprisingly gets killed by a zombie. Helena at least calls him out on repeatedly insisting the group abandon his girlfriend, though she's still upset when he dies.
- The love/hate routes of the otome game Under The Moon plays off this trope. The love interests begin the game on the fence about how to treat the heroine. The player's choices push them in one of two directions: towards "pure love" routes or "love/hate" routes. "Pure love" is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. In "love/hate", on the other hand, the guys give in to "romantic" abuse inclinations that generally include rape.
- Nakajima in Gakuen Heaven, in his route.
- Out of Aoba's love interests in DRAMAtical Murder, Mink fits in perfectly. His introduction features him kidnapping the protagonist Aoba to be gang-raped in front of him (something that's just barely averted by Aoba's Superpowered Evil Side showing up) and his actual route involves him treating a wimpified Aoba like dirt and coercing him into doing various things he doesn't want to do including, yes, rape. It turns out he's a Conflicted Type with a MASSIVE Freudian Excuse, and in the sequel Re:Connect he shows remorse for having treated Aoba the way he did.
- Hadaka Shitsuji takes this trope Up to Eleven. In a nutshell, the game revels in this trope so much that it goes so far as to invert Video Game Cruelty Punishment by punishing the player with a Bad End if they have Tomoaki act too nice to his love interests. Yes, in order to get the "Good Ends" in this game, you have to have Tomoaki act like a complete asshole and inflict truly horrible abuse on his preferred butler until said butler essentially becomes a Stockholm Syndrome-induced Love Martyr to him.
- Majima Tarou, a bonus character for Tokimeki Memorial Girls' Side. Basically everything he does involves being a narcissistic, self-absorbed, emotionally flip-floppy Jerkass who torments the protagonist, demands that she do ridiculous things for her, yells at her when he does, and all-around acts abusive to the poor Love Martyr protag who spends a lot of the time in tears.
- Shiki from Togainu no Chi is the Unconflicted type.
- Although the story's only two chapters in, and there seems to be more to be revealed where he's concerned, Cain of the Starfighter webcomic plays this one straight from the get-go. His idea of an icebreaker with his new navigator/roomie Abel is to bite Abel's lip so hard that he leaves a permanent scar, announce that Abel is now his bitch, and alternately threaten and sexually harrass him (sometimes both at once). Give Abel his due, though, despite his occasional emotional moments, he's a lot more assertive about not taking Cain's shit than most of the Love Martyrs listed here.
- "The one with the scar.. Don't look at him, don't touch him.. .. And don't fucking talk to him!" Self Explanatory.
- Chozen is this to his boy-toy Hunter. Hunter wants an actual relationship, but Chozen is only in it for the sex. Hunter eventually wises up and ditches him.