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->''"I must be cruel, only to be kind;''\\
''Thus bad begins, and worse remains behind."''
-->-- ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}''

A person you would expect to be a big {{Jerkass}} has some [[HiddenDepths redeeming qualities behind their tough demeanor]]. Occasionally, they'll try to make it a HiddenHeartOfGold.

In a romance series, a female character filling this role is usually a {{Tsundere}} instead (occasionally she's both). A male version is usually TroubledButCute, and his heart of gold should never outweigh his inner jerk because AllGirlsWantBadBoys, though it can if SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan. If his jerkishness threatens to overshadow his good qualities, he's likely to attract a LoveMartyr.

Sometimes TruthInTelevision, though you can expect RealLife examples of this to be far more subtle than fictional ones. Often this is PlayedForLaughs, but not always. They are just as common in drama, suspense, horror and other genres as they are in comedy. One reason for this is that they make an convenient PlotDevice. After all, the supposed jerkass turning out to save the family from their ''real'' stalker, instead of being said stalker, can be a source of SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments when done right.

If he's a manly-man who pursues an unexpectedly delicate hobby, it may be a case of RealMenWearPink. Audiences may also sympathize more with the JWAHOG if he's shown to frequently have a good reason to act angry or annoyed. Even the most patient of souls can only endure being the OnlySaneMan when they're SurroundedByIdiots for so long, after all. One or two PetTheDog moments scattered around for character depth does not grant a heart of gold. A true JWAHOG has many PetTheDog moments. Or maybe those moments are rare, but powerful. Or maybe they skew more toward the "Jerk" part but start making a point of showing the "Heart of Gold" part following a JerkassRealization. Either way, ultimately they manage to balance out the jerk in them. If it doesn't balance out, they're just a regular jerkass, or worse, a JerkWithAHeartOfJerk.

Not to be confused with [[Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy a certain jerk]] whose spaceship is ''named'' [[IncrediblyLamePun "The Heart of Gold."]] Even if he is an example. Or [[Series/{{Firefly}} a group of people]] who helped ''defend'' the [[StealthPun Heart of Gold]], even though--again--they include at least two examples.

Compare/contrast with JerkassFacade, BitchInSheepsClothing, NobleDemon, BruiserWithASoftCenter, HeroWithAnFInGood, and InnocentlyInsensitive. Sometimes subverted as {{Jerk with a Heart of Jerk}}. The LovableAlphaBitch is a frequent DistaffCounterpart of the frequently male Jerk with a Heart of Gold.

TheLancer and LoveableRogue are often, but not always, portrayed in this light. One half of the BelligerentSexualTension couple. Also compare GoodIsNotNice.

Truth in television: Most of the jerks you'll meet in your life will have some redeeming qualities to them. Few people are such jerks that they don't care about ''anyone'', and cynical people tend to handle bad situations better, so having one as a friend can be useful when things go downhill. Given that this would still call real life people jerks, [[Administrivia/NoRealLifeExamplesPlease please do not add real life examples]].


* [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold/{{Anime}} Anime & Manga]]
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold/ComicBooks
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold/FanFics
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold/{{Film}}
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold/{{Literature}}
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold/LiveActionTV
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold/VideoGames
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold/WebComics
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold/WebOriginal
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold/WesternAnimation
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold/{{Other}}

See, this page is just a big ol' softie.