So, I did what I always do — murder people horribly — but because I killed the people everyone else wanted me to kill, I get presents instead of prison time? Roy:
Uh, well, it's a lot more complicated than that, but — Belkar:
HA HA HA HA HA HA! It's working! It's WORKING, SUCKERS!
The Heroic Comedic Sociopath is a very special
sort of comic relief who works toward a positive, morally affirming goal whilst being as evil as possible along the way. He differs from most Anti-Hero
archetypes in that he's never ineffectual or angsty — he loves what he does for a living. His punishment, at worst, is that he may be on the receiving end of some Comedic Sociopathy
. Far more often he's dealing out Comedic Sociopathy
and Crossing the Line Twice
. (Note that it is not always
a "he", but female Heroic Sociopaths are rarer.)
A Heroic Comedic Sociopath can and will eat the souls of jaywalkers, swindle old ladies, detonate buildings, punt puppies into traffic, and steal candy from babies all in broad daylight with a hundred witnesses present. The Karma Houdini
is a natural part of his being — it's simply too hilarious
to let him get away with it. Being cranked up to the top and played for laughs as he is, the Heroic Comedic Sociopath is so fun and invincible that the audience naturally cheers for him and his wacky antics. At the same time, he may serve as Wish Fulfillment
: a fantasy for the audience. Some who have wanted to give the boss what they deserve can wish they were like the Heroic Comedic Sociopath.
At this point you may be wondering why the "good" characters in the story put up with him. Sometimes, it's because while he may be a monster, he's their
monster. Sometimes the other heroes have protection from the Heroic Comedic Sociopath's hijinks — it might be a Restraining Bolt
, or the fact that the heroes combined can stand up to him. Failing that, they may be in some way endearing to him. Or possibly the Heroic Comedic Sociopath just finds the heroes amusing enough to see the advantage of not pestering them too much, or may just find it more fun to target the bad guys instead. Other times, they don't have that luxury and are stuck with an "ally" as disruptive to them as to their enemies.
Compare Sociopathic Hero
, for when this kind of behavior is not Played for Laughs
. See also Token Evil Teammate
and Poisonous Friend
. Heroic Comedic Sociopaths are either Nominal Heroes
or Villain Protagonists
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Anime & Manga
- Many of the members of the Squadron Supreme in Supreme Power, though mostly Zarda. She kills with particular glee, and has secret desires for global domination.
- The title character of Jhonen Vasquez's Johnny the Homicidal Maniac; at least when he's not being full of wangst.
Johnny: On a crowded street, I could drain a flower vendor of all his blood, and not get caught! People would scream and vomit, and yet, somehow, I would walk away unscathed. I could do that!... Oh, wait... I did do that!
- The slightly cracked, catchphrase spouting, ever-shameless Deadpool. He's also Faux Affably Evil, loves to make people go What the Hell, Hero?, is Dangerously Genre Savvy, and is the Trope Codifier of a few other tropes. Note, however, that it seems to depend on the writer. Sometimes he's this with a very large helping of Crazy Awesome, while at other times (particularly in the newer issues) he becomes a Noble Demon who would Never Hurt an Innocent. As noble as someone who is insane can be anyway. Considering that he's an absolute fruitcake, there is absolutely nothing preventing both those interpretations from being true, depending not so much upon the writer as on the state of Deadpool's brain-pan.
- Also Depending on the Writer is DC's Lobo, who can be anything from this trope to outright Villain Protagonist depending on how seriously he's being played in that particular issue.
- Sam & Max: Freelance Police, in most of their media appearances, are a Heroic Comedic Sociopath duo. The dynamic being that Max is much more sociopathic than Sam, who is mostly of the "apathetic towards anyone I don't personally know" variety. Sam basically keeps Max from blowing up the world by being several times larger than him. Also, did we mention that Max is the President of the United States, following the decapitation of the robot that the previous president turned out to be?
- Rasputin in the Corto Maltese series has no qualms killing, and is generally considered as stable as a landmine while far from that dangerous.
- The Space Marine from the Doom comic. He may be batshit insane and enjoying his job way too much, but he is fighting demons from hell and is a human space marine. The intentional Played for Laughs aspect is debatable, in that nobody is entirely sure if the comic was meant to be serious or not, but he's definitively 'funny' either way.
- The Blazing Skull of the New Invaders used to be a pacifist. He doesn't exactly remember what that means, but anything with the word 'fist' in it can't be all bad.
- Sebastion O. from the comics of same name is a complete dandy and more interested in filling the void of a dull life (and getting revenge on the people who put him in Bedlam) than any form of kindness. Also one of his best friends is a pederast.
- Princess Lucinda, of her own comic and the second volume of Witch Girls Adventures, on those occasions when she's not being played as an outright Villain Protagonist. Yes, she actually is being played for laughs, despite what some might tell you — the Witch Girls franchise has tended toward Black Comedy.
- Several main characters of Sin City can come across as this, especially Marv: A lot of the quite horrible things he performs with his usual boyish enthusiasm seems to be played for (somewhat reluctant) laughs.
- As a Freelance Peackeeping Agent, Death's Head often falls into this role. He doesn't really care who his targets are as long as he gets paid, yet by various coincidences only the truly deserving end up dead.
- The scarab from Blue Beetle is quick to propose the murder of whatever obstacle Jaime has to deal with. Jaime eventually influences it enough to give it a full Heel-Face Turn, but that doesn't stop it from occasionally proposing solutions so overkill that they have "theological implications."
- The Creeper is basically a heroic version of The Joker. There have even been instances where the latter found him too unstable.
- Transformers: More than Meets the Eye: Whirl, and to a lesser extent Brainstorm. Whirl's a violent crazy Autobot voted twice the most likely to defect. In the first issue he gives an passionate thank you speech... to a group of corpses he's been mutilating. Casually mentions that he wants to be filmed "killing things for the greater good" and after that, the film maker states that Whirl punched himself in the face to prove he's super invincible. When he almost causes an explosion to detonate half the ship, his only question is which half. Brainstorm makes a hobby of making the most destructive and unethical weapons he can to piss off the ethics committee. In the series proper he's a quirky inventor who jokes about a weapon that made a sun go out once, and also cracks a joke when he finds one of his comrades fused into a Generator and dead. Brainstorm is really more of a subversion. He's a Decepticon spy, which isn't very heroic, and tried to murder most of the cast in cold blood in #35, which isn't comedic at all; he's really just a sociopath.
- Dogbert, Dilbert. A great deal of what Scott Adams wishes he could say or do ends up in Dogbert's actions. Specifically, the part he can't say "for fear of retribution".
- Iron Will in Iron Will's Foalcon Necrophilia Sex Rampage.
- In Becka Rangers Nemo Thunder, Kyle's Jellyfish Ranger suit tends to turn him into one.
- The Hunter in With Strings Attached. Though he considers himself "good", he constantly brags to the four about all the people he's killed and the destruction he's wrought. They find him completely repellent. Until The Power of Friendship (not of them to him but amongst themselves) causes him to reexamine his life and ultimately have a Heel-Face Turn. They're actually quite surprised to hear that he doesn't consider himself or his BFS evil.
- The shadow demon, introduced late in The Legend of Link: Lucky Number 13, is equal parts ruthless and hilarious. His Establishing Character Moment is murdering the families of twelve men while they're powerless to do anything about it, after which we get this little exchange:
Man: "Who are you? What are you?"
Demon: "The 'what' am I is demon. As for 'who'... I'm not a big on names. I suppose you could think of me as the Left Hand of God."
(no one responds, which makes the demon seem "genuinely uncomfortable")
Demon: "... That's not too long, is it? ... How about 'the hand?' No, 'handy?' No? None of those?"
- Chaos from the Tamers Forever Series always takes the simplest solution to any problem. E.g., Love Interest is a bitch >> Love Interest is dead >> Love Interest is not a bitch.
- Rampage from Fallout: Equestria - Project Horizons, at least whenever she's in a good mood and her foal-murdering personality hasn't taken over her body.
Rampage: Can't we just kill them all and not care?
Films — Live-Action
- A good portion of protagonists from Quentin Tarantino films, such as The Bride from Kill Bill Vol. 1/2 could qualify as this trope. And then there's Inglourious Basterds, which is completely based around the trope.
- The Mask in his film and cartoon incarnations is an id-dominated maniac who is liable to act on everything that Stanley Ipkiss represses and it's all Played for Laughs. He also isn't actually that villainous when compared to the actual villains of said film and cartoon. His comics incarnation, meanwhile, is a pure-up Villain Protagonist. It also helps that so many of the characters who get picked on by The Mask are Asshole Victims. In fact, in the movie it often seems as if Edge City is swarming with all kinds of pests, weirdos, bullies, and all-around Jerkasses whose only purpose in life is to drive Stanley to impossible levels of madness and inspire him to wreak creatively ghoulish destruction as The Mask. Fittingly enough, it is eventually revealed that the title mask is an Old Norse archaeological find in which is trapped part of the power of Loki, God of Mischief. Among Stanley's outrageous actions as The Mask in the film:
- Lancelot from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. When he receives a note via arrow that someone is being forced to marry against their will, he rushes to the poor (presumed) princess' aid... and slaughters not only every unresisting guard in his way, but about half of the party guests as well, including brides' maids and elderly folks. Afterwards, he sincerely apologizes for the misunderstanding.
- Frank D'Arbo, the protagonist of Super, has a case of hyper-morality after being told by God himself to bring justice to the streets of his neighborhood. Inspired by comics, he assumes the superhero alter ego Crimson Bolt and uses a wrench to smash the faces of not only criminals, but people who push in queues, all For Great Justice. His sidekick, the self-named Boltie, is another, even more extreme version of this.
- Although the description of the trope refers to wicked characters, Tom Cruise's protagonist Roy Milner in Knight and Day still comes across this way despite having elements of The Cape. He racks up a massive amount of property damage over the course of the film and a body count to match while maintaining a totally nonchalant attitude as a humorous contract. At one point, the villains try to persuade the heroine that Roy is actually a psychopathic pathological liar, and that is a surprisingly believable explanation. The effect is helped by Meta Casting / Reality Subtext which thinks of Cruise as mentally unstable. For a representative exchange:
The pilots are dead? Miller:
Shot... By who? Miller:
Uh, me. Actually, I shot the first pilot... he shot the second pilot accidentally. It's just... one of those things.
: I'm going to go talk to the men in the tunnel. (beat
) Actually, I'm just gonna shoot them.
- Junior in Problem Child, a Bad To The Bone seven year old who ruins the lives of those who wronged him even the slightest. In the third movie his victims are left severely injured and are mummified in bandages.
- Yulia Latynina's sci-fi political thriller Insider gives us Kissur The White Falcon, imperial favourite, former prime minister, supreme tactician and feudal overlord of the Aloms. He is also a reckless madman that spends most of the book either committing or threatening to commit acts of over the top violence. In the first chapter, for instance, he drives around recklessly at night, slams his car into the first other car he finds and mugs the recently arrived protagonist. Twice. Just for fun. He befriends the protagonist out of respect for him actually fighting back on the next day. It gets better and better through the novel. In the words of another character, "If [Kissur] sees a house that is on fire, he'll rush inside to save the baby; if he sees a house that isn't on fire, he'll set fire to it."
- Viruk from David Gemmell's Echoes of the Great Song. Viruk takes great pleasure from fighting and killing his enemies. He believes that the Source (God) talks to him and orders him to kill people. He is described as being very changeable as a person; he kills a convoy of raiders and their caravan drivers and finally decides to let one live. Later on in the book he kills a king and is about to kill the man's bodyguards when he sees some flowers nearby and becomes distracted. Near the end of the book, when all of the remaining Avatars go on a death charge against their enemies, everyone is grim and determined; however, when it switches to Viruk's point of view, it shows that he is in ecstasy and truly enjoying the brutal fighting.
- He later goes down in legend as the god of war and spring/nature.
- Carnival of the Deepgate Codex series is about as Ax-Crazy as Ax-Crazy gets (and has a Hair-Trigger Temper), but she's just so damn cute that her insanity winds up being part of her appeal.
- The Acts of Caine: Caine of Garthan Hold skirts the line of this. Well, maybe dances on it. Okay, he does a full soft-shoe number up and down with Broadway routines and a full stage orchestra in the background.
- Meursault in The Stranger, if you go for the Alternate Character Interpretation.
- Jeeves of Jeeves and Wooster constantly throws people—especially his employer—under the bus in order to further his Zany Schemes. Since most of the said schemes ultimately benefit the people involved, he gets away with it.
- Lockhart Flawse of Tom Sharpe's The Throwback cheerfully committed a wide variety of immoral and illegal acts in order to kick out the residents of a housing development his wife inherited so that he could hike up the rent.
Live Action TV
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- Spike is this in season 4 and part of season 5 — his Restraining Bolt meant that helping the good guys was the only way he could get his Blood Knight kicks.
- Anya couldn't act on any of it (at least until mid-season six), but she openly missed the days when she could solve her problems by eviscerating people. She and Spike ended up drowning their sorrows together more than once.
Anya: I'd kill for [R.J]!
Willow: You'd kill for a chocolate bar.
- The Colbert Report once did a segment that more or less showed a repo man as one: he jokes that his job is more or less stealing the cars of people that are in debt, and is pretty damn happy about it.
- Jayne Cobb from Firefly does this a lot, as he manages to knock some decent giggles out of the audience by being an amoral, violent and intimidating bastard.
Jayne: Hell, I'll kill a man in a fair fight... or if I think he's gonna start a fair fight, or if he bothers me, or if there's a woman, or if I'm gettin' paid - mostly only when I'm gettin' paid.
- Joy Merryweather, who is referenced on the Drop the Dead Donkey page.
- iCarly: Sam anytime an incident goes from a regular run of the mill incident to something that threatens Carly.
- The Janitor from Scrubs approaches this on occasion.
- Nathan from Misfits certainly borders on this. Other characters do occasionally suggest that he probably has some kind of mental illness (usually when they're trying to explain his bizarre behavior to baffled and offended strangers) but it's still played exclusively for laughs. In fact, everybody from Misfits can be classified as this since they constantly kill people(in one specific episode more then a dozen at once) and with one or two exceptions this never seems to bother them all that much
- Stuart Jones, one of the two leads in the UK version of Queer as Folk. He's much more of a bastard than a hero really, but every now and then he does something so outrageous and awesome you can't completely hate him.
- The eponymous Sherlock Holmes of the BBC's Sherlock, despite solving crimes and catching murderers, is actually more interested in the intellectual challenge that his cases present than helping anyone. And while Sherlock's manipulative, callous nature turns out to be something of a front, it's still played for laughs in nearly every episode.
Molly Hooper: I was wondering if you’d like to have coffee?
Sherlock: Black, two sugars please. I’ll be upstairs.
[Sherlock leaves the room]
Molly Hooper: ...Okay.
- On "Leverage" Parker is this, stealing from random people out of boredom and without really concern over their possessions. She does start to become more caring as the series goes on however.
- One of the later episodes in the series has an exchange where Parker is genuinely surprised when someone explained to her that pushing other people off buildings without any warning is in fact, Not OK, and that the screaming and flailing wasn't just them playing along with the joke.
- All the main characters from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
- The eponymous protagonist from House. He goes out of his way to humiliate and torture co-workers and patients and seems to get off on it. Said sociopathy is Played for Laughs, but is surprisingly effective at producing results and usually well-intentioned.
- Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother has been this, and he's not afraid to admit it, sometimes even being proud of these tendencies. Lilly has elements of this, also.
- Guerrero from Human Target skirts this trope.
- Frasier: Bebe likes to portray herself as this. When Frasier fires her in "Roz's Turn":
Bebe: That's it, is it? I'm not virtuous enough for you, not noble. Fine, quit! Next time you need a deal made, call the Dalai Lama. A long time ago, I had to make a choice between being a good agent and a good person, because trust me, you can't be both! So forgive me if I don't have time to make everybody warm and fuzzy. I am just too busy spending every waking minute pouring any drink, pulling any shameless tricks I can to make my clients' dreams come true! I AM A STARMAKER!
- Dirk Gently: Dirk treats everyone around him like dirt and it's hilarious. At one point, he goes so far as to give the wrong address to a pizza place in the hope of getting it free because it's late. He also has a fine line in lying to the police and going through the pockets of the dead.
- Red and Ted from Red & Ted's Road Show, who travel cross-country in their bulldozer, blowing up everything along the way.
- Cyrano de Bergerac: Deconstructed by Cyrano: Possessing severe Mommy Issues and a strange upbringing, Cyrano's actions are a cry for acceptance, delivered the only way his broken mind knows how. Cyrano is a rare example that is not a Karma Houdini. When Cyrano is sad, he bullies annoying people and picks up the occasional Sword Fight. When Cyrano is happy, he searches for various Asshole Victims to kill. He kills eight thugs paid to ambush one of Cyrano’s friends as he lampshades this in Act I Scene VI:
Le Bret: Now you'll be calm, I hope?
Cyrano (beside himself for joy): Calm? I now calm?
I'll be frenetic, frantic,—raving mad!
Oh, for an army to attack!—a host!
I've ten hearts in my breast; a score of arms;
No dwarfs to cleave in twain!. . .
- Sam & Max: Freelance Police: Same as the comic book version. In Season Two of the games, it's revealed that they even have a wing of Hell dedicated to them. Better yet, you don't even have to be a particularly bad person to get sent there when you die; you just have to have been involved in Sam & Max's shenanigans during or near the time it happens. But remember, everything Max does, is just because Sam "Can't think of a reason not to." In fact, Sam and Max are such impossible a**holes that they once dreamed that they died and went to Heaven, but got kicked out for being too rowdy. That's right: even Jesus can't stand Sam and Max!
- Bioware loves this trope:
- Henry from Fire Emblem Awakening is this trope taken to the extreme. He's happy and optimistic to the point of complete insanity, and shows zero compassion for other people. Over the course of the game, he tries to raise an army of zombies to kill civilians, offers to kill your entire army, and says that he'll kill anybody who gives him "stupid" orders, like "Don't kill the enemy". One of his battle cries when getting a critical hit is "I'M GOING TO KILL YOU!" in the most happy, cheerful voice possible.
- The most blatant example is his Support with Ricken, where he cheerfully talks about his old Plegian friends that you, the player, slaughtered:
Ricken: Henry, it's my job to kill Plegian soldiers... So I have to believe they deserve to die. But now you've reminded me that they aren't faceless blobs with axes. They have friends, and families, and... H-how am I going to fight them if I know that? What if I hesitate?
Henry: You're weird. I don't see the problem here at all.
- Henry turns out to be a subversion: a good part of his Character Development is about him actually realising that his moral compass is whacked and trying to take measures to at very least help his friends. While he's still a weirdo and very fond of blood and slaughter, he does come to care fot the Shepherds in his own Henry way, and if he gets married he turns out to be a pretty decent husband and father. In example, another support with Ricken has this exchange:
Ricken: If I were cut down in battle tomorrow, would you just shrug and carry on?
Henry: No! I'd be very sad and angry. And I'd find out who did it, hunt them down, and exact bloody revenge! ...Oh yes. There would be blood.
- Thanks to the Karma Meter, your character could be like this or a Straight villain, in the Fable games. An NPC example would be Reaver, the Hero of Skill from Fable II. He's a smug and egotistical pirate who is seen trying three times to immortalize his likeness in art, only to shoot the artist for some slight error in their work, and tricks you into sacrificing your youth (or that of an NPC, if you're playing an evil character) to the Shadow Court in order to prolong his life.
- Of those artists that are killed, the first two maybe, maybe deserved it for screwing up the work. The third? It's everyone's favorite photography dude, Barnum, who happily takes the picture and promises to deliver it in three months when it's "developified". Which, according to Reaver, is too long and a murderable offense.
- He just becomes a regular Jerkass in III, though. Not lovable at all.
- The commentators from MadWorld. One is a former contestant in the Death Watch, the other is a wife-beating Too Kinky to Torture Jerkass who's probably voicing this gig because he's too wanted to get work anywhere else and both of them are Played for Laughs.
- Alpha Protocol's Steven Heck will, during the course of the game (if you play your cards right):
- Tie up, beat the crap from, and threaten to pour dry-cleaning fluid down the throat of his assistant in order to locate his keys.
- Mount a gatling gun to a train car and fire wildly on enemy agents as his train passes the station when asked to provide unspecific "support".
- Cut off three of a man's fingers for calling him "Steve", before setting him on fire for trying to bribe him.
- In one ending of the Taipei storyline, finger the aforementioned assistant for the assassination of the president of Taiwan.
- React to being told "no casualties" like a normal person would to being told to eat a puppy.
- Consider "tie down this [rival character] and give him the bees!" a reasonable suggestion.
- Be reputed to have killed an agent of the papacy by choking him with communion wafers.
- And despite all this, if you get him on your side, he's an excellent support character, doing everything he does out of loyalty to his friends and country.
- Marisa Kirisame from Touhou, who habitually steals from the mansions of the enemies that she beats up. Despite this, she's still arguably more heroic than fellow protagonist Reimu.
- Shantotto of Final Fantasy XI is a good-aligned character, but she has no qualms blasting random poor adventurers with her magic if they irritate her, and she'll deliver her trademark Noblewoman's Laugh after. Carries into her appearance in Dissidia: Final Fantasy where she's far more bloodthirsty than the other characters, but she's just so funny about it.
- Gig from Soul Nomad & the World Eaters is a gleefully Omnicidal ex-Psychopomp, responsible for why the game world is set After the End, who spends the game possessing your character. Because Gig has little direct control over your actions, he spends most of the game insulting, tricking and annoying the rest of the party and everyone else you interact with, snarking at your character's motivations and personal history, and repeatedly trying to tempt you to do evil and accept more of his power so he can gain more control of your body. The main character is forced to go along with his because a) he/she can't get rid of Gig as their souls are fused together, and b) Gig is the only being in the world powerful enough to defeat the World Eaters, and letting him possess you grants you access to some of his powers.
- Riki from Bangai-O seems to qualify, to an extent. While he has the noble goal of using the title mech to defeat the Cosmo Gang, he doesn't hesitate to blast anyone that stands in his way (no matter how sympathetic they are).
- Sergeant Viktor Reznov in the Russian/Soviet campaign of Call of Duty: World at War seems to enjoy killing Germans a little too much. He even twice encouraged the Player Character to kill helpless German soldiers (first was when they surrendered, second was when they lay dying).
- Princess Sapphire from Disgaea 3 is one part this and one part Cloudcuckoolander. She's liable to flip out and kill anything she perceives as a 'threat', only to come to her senses the next moment and apologize profusely to the very dead and broken body of her would-be opponent. Her solution to practically ever problem the party comes across is one form or another of 'murder', including the suggestion to 'open Mao's heart'... With a chainsaw. Unlike most examples she usually *means* well, though. For a certain definition of 'well'.
- The Saints Row protagonist is somewhat a bit heroic (but still on the looser side of sanity) in the first, considerably even more insane in the sequel, and gets a healthy boost in both categories in the third entry of the series. Anyone who's in the Saints also counts.
- Though most GTA protagonists fit the bill for this, Luis Lopez of Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony openly admits to being this. The only people he shows any attachment to are his mother, who he doesn't even particularly like while she frequently shows contempt towards him; his friends, with whom he has probably the healthiest relationship; and his benefactor Tony, who is a father figure to him, but who also uses Luis specifically because the only qualms he has about doing anything are purely practical ones. When asked by Brucie about him having a softer side, Luis replies with a flat "Not really, I like killing people for money."
- Trevor, the Token Evil Teammate of the three main protagonists in Grand Theft Auto V is deliberately designed to be a reference to the average GTA player, going through the game as a complete psychopath only in to cause as much mayhem as possible and enjoying it. The real redeeming factor to make him likeable in the eyes of the audience is that he manages to be both hilarious and awesome while doing it.
- Travis Touchdown of the No More Heroes series, at least in the first game. Character Development in the sequel makes him much less of one.
- Bayonetta is a witch with dark powers who, despite being good, is casually sadistic to the angels that she kills and she apparently loves the sound of them screaming.
- The entire team of Team Fortress 2 are a bunch of Laughably Evil loonies with loads of Comedic Sociopathy and Amusing Injuries thrown into the mix.
- Fear Effect. Hana, Glas, and Deke are very much in this category. Rain doesn't seem to qualify as one.
- The Angry Birds, who laugh while massacring their pig enemies.
- When you think about it, Kirby can come across as this. He is an adorable pink puff ball who often has to save the day, but the way he does so is by eating sentient creatures and absorbing their abilities.
- In Abobo's Big Adventure, Abobo kills a whole slew of other video game characters, sometimes because they were trying to kill him, sometimes for no reason whatsoever.
- The protagonist of the Rance series, the eponymous Rance, is perhaps the worst human being in existence. He owns his own personal slave (when few to no others are shown to do so) that he constantly abuses, has sex with everything in sight that doesn't have a Y chromosome whether they like it or not (though to be fair, he's the protagonist of an eroge series, so sometimes his journey requires him to), and constantly looks for ways to extort money, items, or information from everyone in general. And yet, his actions always somehow seem to have a positive effect on the societies he visits (not that he cares) and it's always Played for Laughs...
- To be fair, Sill (the slave in question) and Rance do care for each other, but Rance is terrible at showing it. He is basically just the most tsun and least dere tsundere ever. Rance also actually understands that rape is a terrible thing to do, he just usually doesn't connect it to what he does because in the Rance games Sex Equals Love since he's so good at what he does.
- Borderlands 2 has the downloadable character Krieg, a psycho whose old, sane self is Fighting from the Inside against the violent conductor of the poop train currently in control. He has made it clear in no uncertain terms that if the beast in charge kills an innocent, or a hero, he will exert his will to gain enough control to kill them both.
- Really, most of the Borderlands 2 main characters (except Maya) would probably count as this trope to one degree or another. Axton is a self-centred Glory Hound with an appealingly high tolerance (not to mention tendency) for 'collateral damage', Zer0 is a sociopathic Blood Knight Ninja who only speaks in haiku and misinterprets people with hilarious (and bloody) results, Salvador is a testosterone-addled cackling maniac with a rep sheet taller than he is who thinks killing people is fun, and Gaige is a playable Tiny Tina who blew up one of her classmates and has a pet killer robot. Most of them are only after the vault because they're some variant of bored and can't think of anything better to do.
- Belkar Bitterleaf (pictured above), from The Order of the Stick, is a hot-headed, impulsive, and homicidal Chaotic Evil halfling ranger/barbarian. Almost all of his screen time is spent being a giggling killing machine, a wacky hijinks victim, or both.
- Richard from Looking for Group is an undead warlock spellcaster of immense power with Cloudcuckoolander tendencies who likes to slaughter innocent peasants and "eat babies". His catchphrase is a variation on a line spoken in this comic: "You all saw it! That orphanage attacked me!" with the burning building in the background. Being undead, he can take normally fatal injuries (as being impaled through the stomach, getting an axe in the forehead or being Too Kinky to Torture) and joke about it, and is capable of destroying anything with his ice and fire spells (at the cost of needing to rest after exerting himself). His "partner" is the naďve elf Cale'Anon Vatay, who wishes to be good and noble (even though elves in his time are feared as brutal and callous after wiping out the last remaining nation of their noble kindred in the past. Richard's excuse for traveling with the other characters is that he "likes killing things" and gets bored easily. Richard treats Cale like an amusing pet, but he "respects his [Cale's] willingness to kill" whenever Cale is confronted with obvious Bad Guys.
- It's been said that if they changed LFG's title to "Richard Fucks Shit Up," and was all about Richard and his nonsense, readership would double. Hell, they even made him a musical.
- It may explain both Richard's callousness and his popularity that of the group, he seems to be the only one who knows he's playing a game... and anyone who's ever played a video game knows that no sympathy needs to be wasted on NPCs, and the only thing to do is to amuse yourself with them.
- Bun-bun, the lop-eared switch-blade-wielding rabbit of Sluggy Freelance. His plans usually fall through, often due to Kiki's screwups, but he almost never suffers any consequences... usually because no-one's brave enough to try punishing him.
- He does still kill a lot of people, even innocent people, especially in the early years. Though it's debatable that telemarketers are "innocent".
- Walkyverse Abductee Mike Warner, who especially enjoys Halloween: in different years, he's tried to sacrifice Joyce's dog in a Black Mass, dressed up as Saddam Hussein (and putting a fake beard on the same dog he tried kill, calling him 'Osama bin Doggie'), dressed again as the recently deceased head of the Government Conspiracy they worked for, and given out candy with razor blades in it. And that's what he does for fun; he's even worse the rest of the year. He crosses the line so many times that it has become blurred beyond all recognition.
- Fuzzy from Sam and Fuzzy. A borderline heroic sociopath who lapses between true sociopathy and The Imp depending on the seriousness of the story arc (the less important the strip is, the more he gets away with).
- Recently it's come to light that Fuzzy merely took someone's advice about acting in a certain way. Couple this with his apparent amnesia and there's no telling what behaviors of his are genuine, and what aren't, as even Sam himself has noted.
- The title character of Schlock Mercenary. At their worst several other members of Tagon's Toughs would qualify as well, but Schlock is responsible for the lion's share. This is lampshaded by Tagon, who says "Shlock may be a sociopath, but he's our sociopath."
- Schlock has been known to refer to his "random act of violence fix for the day".
Lt. Sorlie: I've read your dossier. It's fat with the blood of kittens.
- And then there's Lieutenant Piebald, for whom sociopathy would be the least of his conditions.
Ennesby: Thurl's really fleshed out the company. He had to turn away a few crazies, though.
Tagon: Violent sociopaths?
Ennesby: No, those are all getting signed right up.
Tagon: Good man, Thurl.
- Girl Genius':
- Bangladesh Dupree. Although technically more of a Psycho for Hire because she works for the antagonist Baron Wulfenbach, Dupree crosses the line over into this trope: The extremely over-the-top acts she inflicts upon the remaining cast with a cheer on her face while cracking jokes about it are played as much for laughs as for horror, and Wulfenbach is both a viewpoint character and an Anti-Villain (and one may wonder how she plans to kill someone with a block of cheese...).
- An even clearer example is Castle Heterodyne, a sadistic and sentient building loyal to the Heterodyne family. It gleefully inflicts gruesome acts of violence at anyone nearby at Agatha's command... And occasionally after interpreting an otherwise innocent comment from Agatha as a command... Or simply because Agatha isn't around to tell it not to. Because it thinks it's fun.
- Then there are the Jaegers. Their loyalty to House Heterodyne comes first, and (for most of them) their loyalty to the baron comes second, but their third biggest motivation is sheer bloodlust. They are self-proclaimed "killing machines" who regard the evil Heterodynes as "the fun ones". They always charge into battle with great enthusiasm and laugh at the grisly deaths of their enemies. Nevertheless, so long as Lady Heterodyne is on the side of light, so are they, and most effective at it.
- Black Hat Guy from xkcd. And he's proud of this.
- "Red" from No Rest for the Wicked. She carries around an ax, enjoys causing fear in the people around her, smells death, and tells little girls her cloak is dyed in blood. Her partner is Princess November, a young naive girl who bruises easily. A very mild form, but still qualifies.
- Psycho Mantis from The Last Days of FOXHOUND. The webcomic also gives an excellent insight into the differences between this trope (Mantis) and the Magnificent Bastard (Ocelot) — anyone who tangles with the latter on an intellectual level is going down, but it is hard to engage in intellectual battle when your opponent just sets you on fire with his mind instead.
- Most of the characters from Charby the Vampirate fit this trope given how little they value human life (though the titular character eventually decides to stop killing people for the sake of his friendship with resident Badass Longcoat demon hunter Vic, the other characters continue to maim, kill, slaughter and eat whomever the want, whenever they feel like it).
- Mal of Head Trip. Her antics include: arson, assault with a deadly weapon, breaking and entering, holding Fox executives at knife point until they agree to give Joss Whedon full artistic control over all future projects, abducting and threatening with torture a writer for lost, giving Jack Thompson a Karmic Death and murdering Sailor Moon. She is likely not joking when she says that Ebert of Ebert and Roper has a restraining order on her. She even has her own demon assigned on a permanent basis to follow her around holding a handbasket.
- The Fear, The Pain, and The Fury from The Cobra Days. When they're not fighting agents of the Axis powers, they spend a lot of their time violently bickering with each other or picking on The Sorrow.
- Rocky from Lackadaisy Cats, while being a fairly well-meaning guy overall, has very little grasp of what's socially acceptable and scares most "normal" cats he talks to. When carrying out rumrunning duties, he is completely unaverse to revenge and forcibly putting other "establishments" out of business... and he does. Oh, and he's a pyromaniac. Yet, his childlike enthusiasm, general clumsiness and ineptitude, and lyrical ability make him pretty endearing to the reader.
- Calvin (a.k.a. "Freckle") is probably this trop in training. A quiet, shy fella, he undergoes a complete and psychotic personality change any time he gets his paws on a gun. The end result can involve a lot of bodies (and horror on his part, once he comes back to himself). The story as it stands seems to suggest that he will put this particular "talent" to use, and then his "training" will probably be complete as far as this trope goes.
- Drew from Mac Hall, a foul-mouthed, utterly cynical Comp Sci major who loves tormenting freshmen and is grandmaster of humorous Disproportionate Retribution. Like so.
- Black Mage from 8-Bit Theater exemplifies the archetype, in spite of being the comic's major Chew Toy on top of it.
- Aram from Men In Hats, the prototype of Black Hat Guy.
- Kenta Daisuke of No Need for Bushido does ultimately have a motive (guess what it is), but it hardly covers all of his gleeful, wanton violence. He leaps at the chance to fight, loves nothing more than to slaughter countless enemies with a grin on his blood-spattered face, obtains all his money by mugging passers-by, and feels no regret whatsoever for harming others. Nor does he seem to understand that his casual violence makes others regard him as somewhat...disagreeable.
- Chicanery has Ness, Pokey, Jeff and Mr. Saturn from EarthBound. The gang have saved the world on more than one occasion — but are just as likely to steal, cheat and murder indiscriminately to get what they want.
- Skoll of Cry Havoc qualifies. She is a good guy... but only because the people she mutilates and kills are slightly worse, or at least less skilled, than her.
- Ethan from Ctrl+ Alt+ Del who consistently has absent-minded daydreams about strange ways to kill or injure his co-worker Rob, a counter-strike playing idiot, and sometimes enacts these daydreams...he also daydreams about killing or injuring customers of the video game store he works at.
- Freefall has the robot Edge, who helps Florence Ambrose]] to prevent a genocide on Ridiculously Human Robots...so HE doesn't get lobotomised.
- Sam, the kleptomaniac, greedy, totally self-centered squid.
- Doctor Hubris from The Apple of Discord (and later Apple Valley) is usually responsible for whatever horrible things are going on in the comic, including inventing the technology that created Gayzilla and creating a highly contagious form of "robot cancer". It's been implied several times that he hired Doyle just to kill him, and that the superheroes of Apple Valley classify him as a supervillain. It's even been implied that he is the one who actually broke the barrier separating reality, not Arthur which has been more-or-less confirmed by Word of God.
- In Scandinavia and the World, Finland. Drunken, mute, ax-wielding, sniggers-at-your-misfortune Finland. Only Sister Sweden gets the better of him for long.
- In Noblesse we have Franken, who sounds like a mostly Nice Guy (albeit with a little obssession with cleanness) but he's actually THE BIGGEST Mad Scientist in the series who can pull out very scary Slasher Smile and impale people with brutal ease and the worst of all, enjoys it.
- Ansem Retort: insofar as the protagonists can be called heroes, about half of them qualify. Axel kills people constantly for no reason, and if he's looking at you you'd better hope it's no reason, 'cause he gets brutal when he has actual motive beyond 'likes killing things'. Zexion takes pride in his Jerkass credentials and commits crimes just to prove he can. Red XIII views the whole of humanity as food. And as for Larxene...well, we're not sure what Larxene's deal is apart from huge quantities of drugs and Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!, but she does seem a little too fond of killing things.
- Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal brings us the aptly-named Iron Sociopath.
- Mary Dixon of Joseph And Yusra shoots up robbers with a Slasher Smile on her face, and is perfectly willing to hold her friend hostage on top of a partially constructed building (tied to a chair) and kick her cousin off said building from lethal heights (sure, it was to test their hidden psychic powers, but still).
- Milkman Dan from Max Cannon's Red Meat, author-proclaimed "Booze-fueled paragon of pointless cruelty and wanton sadism". Especially noticeable in his repeated pestering of Bratty Half-Pint Karen.
- Eric Cartman from South Park tends to flip-flop back and forth between this and Villain Protagonist, depending upon the demands of a particular episode. Yes, he is a smarmy, self-serving, thoroughly sociopathic bully who has no qualms about doing literally whatever he wants, damn the consequences. But one side effect is that he's so completely fucked up that he can occasionally be called upon to get everyone else out of catastrophic situations when all else seems lost — and he does so in ways so ruthlessly efficient and imaginative, only he could have ever come up with them. In The Movie, for starters, he saves the entire world from being swallowed by the legions of Hell by electrocuting an undead Saddam Hussein.
- Lampshaded in "The Snook" when he makes the case to Kyle that his fanatic racism toward Muslims is what led to the thwarting of a terrorist attack. Kyle was not amused at the fact that racism saved the day.
- Even better is that while Cartman triggers the hunt due to his suspicion of Muslims, the actual terrorists were the British..
- Stewie from Family Guy is a fan favorite whose antics are over the top mostly for comedic effect and he has little intent to kill or harm his family save for Lois. Yet it is made clear at varying times he does not always think much of Peter, Chris, or Meg either.
- It should be noted that Stewie routinely murders people on and off-screen.
Brian: How would you feel if you killed another baby?
Stewie (offhandedly); I've killed seven...
- Stewie has clearly inherited his evil traits from Peter. Peter is not so much a genuine moron and more a moron-themed super villain. He has been shown to murder for fun and profit, commit acts of terrorism and arson and even wipe his boogers on Meg.
- Roger the Alien from American Dad! is a camp and omnisexual coward who loves to play dress-up. He's also utterly amoral, selfish and unpredictable, and his childish games sometimes turn homicidal. It doesn't help that he's also a drug addict.
- When a fraternity refused to pay for Roger's limo service, he hunted them down in the limo and turned their lives into a cross between The Car and Final Destination.
- Mandy and Grim, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. The show sometimes subverted it by having Mandy do everything right, but fail because of the idiots around her, or bad luck. For a little girl, though, her achievements are quite impressive.
- She did once erase every living thing from existence except herself but, probably because the Crapsack World the show is set in is so surreal, it didn't last.
- A possible case in the Warden from Superjail. While dedicated to his job and perfecting the art of incarceration, he is AT LEAST a psychopathic sadist the show isn't afraid to play for laughs. Most of the people he ends up killing — generally indirectly — are dangerous inmates who pose a clear threat to society.
- Brock Samson from The Venture Bros. is a scientist's bodyguard whose main priority (at least in the beginning) is to brutally murder his enemies while having sex with as many women as possible. His college football career (and scholarship) ended when he accidentally killed another player, so he joined the army. He wound up as a government agent with his own license to kill, which he's been known to take advantage of if a bartender makes fun of his mullet.
- Also Rusty, from the same show. While not as bloodthirsty as Brock, he isn't above screwing over friends, family, or innocent bystanders just to gain the most minor of conveniences. Not to mention his Joy Can, a virtual reality simulator powered by an orphan's heart!
- Captain Hero from Drawn Together is ostensibly a superhero, but has almost no regard for human life whatsoever (although he may simply be too stupid to know what he's doing). An example of his sociopathy is throwing an entire planet (which happens to be his home planet) and everything living on it into a star to prove he's "heroic".
- And his clever use of human shields.
- Captain Hero One! Billions of Innocent Zeblonians... um... dead. Oh. I uh... (Slinks away)
- Ling Ling, the Pikachu spoof from the same show is initially portrayed as this as well; a murderous sociopath who wants to kill and destroy everyone he encounters in hilariously brutal manners, but later becomes a frequent Chew Toy/Butt Monkey (given the nature of the show, this could apply to anybody, though).
- It takes on a whole new dimension when one episode reveals that among his people, battles to the death are an allegory for sex, complete with one-night stands and unsatisfied opponents faking it.
- In The Boondocks, Ed Wuncler III and Gin Rummy are two sociopathic veteran soldiers who constantly drink, curse, and rob stores yet get away with their idiotic plans due to Wuncler's extremely rich father having the police on his payroll.
- Riley is a sociopath-in-training. Naturally he gets away with anything his gurus do, but he could incite a riot and get a mere slap across the crown for cursing too much.
- Korgoth from Korgoth of Barbaria is basically a combination of Conan the Barbarian and Brock Samson. He is an apathetic and anti-social badass with an insatiable appetite for sex and violence in the most graphic degree. In just the first fight of the pilot episode, he tears off a man's arm and beats him to death with it, chops a man in half down the middle with an axe, and tears off another man's skin, douses him with alcohol, and lights him on fire. For laughs.
- Each member of Dethklok in Metalocalypse, brutally killing and maiming people even live on stage with no consequences whatsoever. In fact, it seems that because of this nature they are ridiculously powerful and wealthy; ranking as the 12th most powerful nation in the world, despite only being a band.
- It should be noted that very rarely is Dethklok the direct cause of the violence around them, and even when they are, it's not always intentional. Not that they necessarily care about a few thousand casualties, of course. Until it starts to affect their record sales.
- And then there's their manager...
- In Futurama, Bender is a megalomaniacal robot who is only after his personal stimulation. He is frequently shown stealing just about anything he can get his claws on, as well as indulging in all manner of other crimes and immoral behavior. A recurring joke is his apparent desire to "kill all humans." Depending on the Writer, however, he can also be a Loveable Rogue and/or a Manipulative Bastard.
"I came here with a simple dream... a dream of killing all humans. And this is how it must end? Who's the real 7 billion ton robot monster here? Not I... Not I..."
- Killface (real name Evelyn) from Frisky Dingo. His goal for much of the series is to use his Annihilatrix to propel Earth into the sun for no apparent reason, and he kills and mains people at the drop of the hat. In the pilot episode he kills a man and uses the corpse to stage an impromptu ventriloquist act (oblivious to how appallingly lame his jokes are). Watch some choice moments.
- And yet he's still more sympathetic than Xander Crews. Proving, forever, that it's better to be a sociopath than a douchebag.
- The title character in Assy McGee may very well qualify, being a ultra-violent and remorseless parody of 70s/80s cops that makes Jack Bauer look tame by comparison.
- Izzy of Total Drama Island, who not only looks back at the time she BLEW UP A MOUNTIES' CAMP with cheer, but enjoys being hunted down by them!
Izzy: You'll never get me alive! AHAHAHAHAHA!!
- The Brak Show features Zorak Jones, an Eddie Haskell-esque character who is also a sadistic, sociopathic, morally bankrupt misanthrope. He is basically what you get when you mix Master Shake and Cartman. Luckily though, he often gets killed horrifically during each episode, which might make him somewhat of a subversion.
- Heloise from Jimmy Two-Shoes is this. She works for Misery Inc. as top inventor to make hazardous products and she also like to destroy things for fun. However, she likes to hangs out with Jimmy due to her crush on him.
- Possibly Rico from The Penguins of Madagascar. He's described at least once in universe as a "world-class psychopath," and he especially likes blowing stuff up and causing other characters bodily harm. That said, is there anybody out there who doesn't absolutely love Rico? I doubt it.
- Skipper too. In less then five minutes he's admitted his dream future involves a post apocalyptic scenario with roving bands of irradiated mutants and then proceeds to help stop a time paradox from erasing existence.
- Murdoc Niccals, big time. His rap sheet includes fraud, kidnapping, extortion, Organ Theft, tons and tons of assault and possibly homicide. Despite this, he's still technically a protagonist, and maintains a sizable fanbase as such.
- Cesar Salazar of Generator Rex is a subversion of this. He is described as "kooky" and "kinda off" and appears for a while to just be a wacky inventor, but pretty normal otherwise. But as time goes on, he begins to display a marked lack of concern for people (including his own brother) or ethics. It seems he has no moral code of his own, even.
- Lobo's incarnation in Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League, in addition to being a Bad Butt, was a clear version of this once he underwent a Heel-Face Turn (which didn't really change his personality any, just the people he was currently beating up). He's a sleazebag and a jerk to both heroes and villains and both gives and receives Amusing Injuries a lot, and gets a lot of funny lines.
- Jerry of Tom and Jerry often displays these characteristics. In most (but not all) shorts, Tom Kicks The Dog at the beginning and Jerry spends the rest of the short dishing out Disproportionate Retribution. While his goals are usually either his own survival or to help out another animal Tom is picking on, he does sometimes screw with Tom's head just for fun.
- Bugs Bunny alternates between this and a Karmic Trickster. In his earliest shorts he was actually much worse, attacking for no good reason, but Tex Avery and Bob Clampett soon established a moral code for the character that, for the most part, he followed for the next five or six decades.
- Dan's entire purpose in life is to exact revenge on anyone or anything he perceives as having wronged him (whether they actually did anything or not). Many of his schemes result in spectacular failure, but when he does succeed, more often than not it turns out that his victims really did have it coming.
- Jake the Dog from Adventure Time borders on this. He sometimes comes off as an asshole, holding off on helping Finn (when he really needs it too) just to suit his own needs. But he usually ends up saving the day afterwards.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has an In-Universe Show Within a Show example with Captain Ryan, the "hero" of the Star Trek: The Animated Series parody "Space Heroes". He's clearly an utter maniac with no respect for his crew, casually letting his crew die, describing himself as "humane" for opening an airlock and sucking out the noisy Tribble-expies into space, and a rampant womanizer, but he's supposed to be the hero of the show and is played for laughs. Admittedly, the actual audience laughs more at Leonardo, who seems to think Captain Ryan is a good "heroic role model" for himself and never seems to notice his Nominal Hero status.