Mr. Vice Guy

aka: Ms Vice Girl
The Operative: Do you know what your sin is, Mal?
Malcolm Reynolds: Ah hell, I'm a fan of all seven. (gains the upper hand)... But right now, I'm going to have to go with wrath.

An ultimately heroic or good character nonetheless associated with an obvious vice.

Mr Vice Guy avoids being an Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist or Villain Protagonist in that while they have obvious greed, lust, pride, wrath, etc. it never completely outweighs their good qualities or sense of right. In some instances it weighs equally, and they feel justified making minor exploitations of their co-stars.

An easy way to create an Arch-Enemy for this character is to make an Evil Counterpart that embodies the exact same vice, but doesn't have the morals that Mr Vice Guy has to keep it in check.

Beware! If he ever has to get over his addiction or make a Face-Heel Turn, then it's "No more Mr Vice Guy..!"

A Mr. Vice Guy with more prominent vices will overlap somewhat with Anti-Hero in that, while they have obvious flaws, they are still ultimately good.

Compare Fatal Flaw, Good Is Not Nice, Good Is Not Soft, Jerk with a Heart of Gold. Contrast Evil Virtues, for a villainous character with one or more obvious virtues. Consider also Compressed Vice and Compressed Abstinence.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Mr. Kimura from Azumanga Daioh doesn't even bother hiding that he's a teacher with a high school girl fetish. However, aside from his sleazy behavior towards his students, he's implied to be a model citizen.
  • Rosette Christopher from Chrono Crusade is so Hot-Blooded that she causes massive damage on her missions, is revealed to be quite fond of gambling, and one time got so drunk she knocked over a nearly priceless vase—and she's a nun living during Prohibition! But despite all this, she's kind-hearted, a genuinely good person and lives life to the fullest even knowing her Deal with the Devil will cause her to die a young death.
  • Mr. Satan of Dragon Ball Z is addicted to the fame brought to him by legitimately winning the 24th World Martial Arts Tournament (the main cast didn't compete in this one) to the point where he cheats and deals his way into winning subsequent tournaments where the Z fighters do enter. That said, he's a genuinely heroic character, making contributions towards beating Cell (he's the one who threw 16's head over to Gohan) and Buu (not only did he convince Fat Buu to stop killing without throwing a punch, he's the one who got the entire planet to contribute to Goku's Spirit Bomb).
  • Fullmetal Alchemist has Ling, a Big Eater who is constantly mooching off of and charging his meals to the other characters. He ultimately shows a noble streak, as he will do anything to protect his loyal bodyguards.
    • Greed is also protective of his subordinates. But when he fails to do so, Ling isn't happy about it.
    "Look at them. Can you not hear their souls crying out?! You abandoned them! Your real family! You threw them away like trash. Fool. If you turned your back on something you wanted, YOU DONíT DESERVE TO CALL YOURSELF "GREED"!"
    • Justified in that Father had repressed his former memories when Greed first died and abandoning his subordinates caused it to re-surface.
    • There's also Scar who is very dominated by Wrath, although he eventually mellows a bit.
    • Ed himself is arrogant and prone to flipping out at perceived insults, and recklessly overestimating his abilities.
  • Miroku in InuYasha is a good and heroic person who is also an inveterate skirt-chaser and unrepentant con artist, in spite of the fact that he's a Buddhist monk. Miroku's vices are, notably, documented vices of real monks of the time period, and all things considered he manages to come across better than many accounts of the same.
  • Kamisama Kiss: Tomoe used to regularly visit the Red Light District, tends to transform and threaten to cook opponents, is very vicious in battle even without that, easily made jealous and very rude. However, he is firmly on Nanami's side and honestly cares for her, not to mention very loyal and at times awkwardly kind. And his sadistic tendencies in battle tend to come out mostly by people pressing his Berserk Button - threatening Nanami.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima! has Saotome Haruna. Yes, she helps the hero with almost unstoppable enthusiasm and bravery. Yes, she is capable to show unlimited affection to her closest friends Nodoka and Yue. BUT she also is a damn busybody who could not resist to expose the triangle between said closest friends and the hero, AND forcefully stole a kiss from said hero only to achieve a magical power, AND is really capable to go for length for things that she deems "exciting", no matter the risk (for others). And she is a mangaka too...
  • Master Of Mosquiton's Inaho is an unrepentant obsessive treasure hunter who often puts her friends in danger. Nonetheless, one of her Catchphrases is "Life is more important than money." (Which she can always get more of later...)
  • Tiger from Monster Rancher is a good guy even though he prefers not to show his softer side. He is very prideful and his temper can get the best of him at times.
    • Likewise with Hare, who is a trickster and enjoys conning people, though he can fiercely protective of his friends. Being The Smart Guy of the group, his overconfidence and arrogance works against him sometimes.
  • Mako in Nerima Daikon Brothers is basically the personification of the "attractive girl obsessed with money" version of this trope. Claiming to be a former pop idol, Mako has an expensive taste in wine and constantly complains about the poverty she and her two cousins find themselves in. While all of them are willing to cheat and steal for cash (in order to fulfill their dream of building a dome and making a living off of concerts instead of farming), Mako's the worst, and tends to put the brothers in even bigger debt because of her spending habits.
  • One Piece has Nami, who is a decent person despite being obsessed with treasure, even after she manages to save her hometown (which she was trying to free from pirate rule by paying off a ridiculous ransom), and Usopp, who is both a coward and a braggart, but as the series goes on becomes willing to stop fooling around and fight when the chips are down.
    • There's also Sanji, who is a loyal friend, a world-class chef, and an almost unstoppable fighter — but who will always be known primarily as the crew's resident pervert. Sanji always was and probably will remain a Jerk with a Heart of Gold to his male friends.
    • Brook, the other pervert in the crew, is actually a very nice person who just happened to forgot a few of his manners due to 50 years of isolation from other living beings.
  • Lina Inverse of Slayers invariably shakes down those she saves with her heroics, and even tries to cheat allies out of their property.
    • She's a glutton and tends to leave a wake of destruction in her path, which includes blowing up the bad guy as often as she can manage.
      • Her penchant for destruction eventually gets her wanted by the law, charged with simply: "Being Lina Inverse". Her friends, acting as her lawyers, are hard-pressed to think of any effective defense for such a heinous crime.
    • In fact, even before this happens, Lina can't go anywhere without hearing about rumors and stories told about her that make her out to be some kind of horrible monster. This is a state of affairs that's been going on since before the actual animated series, as proven by the Slayers Specials (the six OAVs and the five movies). The sixth OAV, Mirror, Mirror, actually has a sequence highlighting Lina's status as a Miss Vice Girl when the Big Bad looks at the simpering, docile, sweet-natured shadow-clone and asks in horror just what sort of person Lina Inverse herself is.
  • Soul Eater: Death the Kid would be the Only Sane Man of the group if it weren't for his Super OCD.
    • Black☆Star has a very large ego but will storm the enemy's headquarters if his friend has been harmed.
  • Suzumiya Haruhi: Haruhi and Kyon. Haruhi starts out as a jerkass Genki Girl and eventually becomes, well, a selfish jerk who means well and values her friends more than making the world exciting. Kyon is a Deadpan Snarker who risks his life for the SOS Brigade.
  • Tokyo Mew Mew has FIVE Vice Guys/Girls: Ichigo, the protagonist, is such a glutton she accepted the cover job for her superheroing when she was told she'd have free sweets; her boyfriend Aoyama is a sloth, and never fights for what he believes into (unless it endangers Ichigo); Zakuro is so full of wrath she usually scares the customers of the cafe, and has a tendency to react with violence (physical and psychological) to every problem, even screwing up with her companions' minds and making a mock attempt at killing a saddened Minto; Minto is a textbook example of Pride, often treating Ichigo like a servant and mocking her just for fun, and doubles her value as a Miss Vice Girl by being the one with an even more prideful rival; and to ice the cake we have Shirogane, the mentor, is a textbook example of greed, shown by the low pays he gives the girls (actually high for working in a cafe, but quite low for battling aliens), his tendency to go to the Tokyo Dome without paying the ticket and even asking to be paid for helping Ichigo do her homework. We'd have envy and lust too, but Pie (envy) and Kisshu (lust) are villains, so...
  • Working!!: Souta Takanashi is capable, diligent, upright, caring, smart. But his extreme appreciation of anything small and urges to openly and heartily advocate such views ruins his image with his colleague restaurant worker. He compliments girls on-screen by comparing them with water fleas.
  • Pretty much all of the Ouran High School Host Club (except for Mori). Tamaki is vapid and vain, Kyouya is manipulative to the point of getting the nickname "Shadow King", Hikaru and Kaoru are mischievous and think very little of people in general, and Honey is practically addicted to sweets, to the point where being deprived of them brings out the unstoppable monster within. Still, they do all genuinely care about each other, and all have their heroic moments.

    Comic Books 
  • Disney's Scrooge McDuck, as written by Carl Barks and Don Rosa, used to be the Trope Namer: an industrious and fairly ruthless businessman who is tempered by affection for his family and his strong work ethic. It's essential to note that Scrooge is a saint compared to his rivals: Flintheart Glomgold, who's a cheating scoundrel, and John D. Rockerduck, who inherited all of his money. Except for one important instance as noted in Don Rosa's The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, Scrooge worked hard for his money. And he made it square. (As a bonus, Greed is in the McDuck blood). However, other authors have depicted him cheerfully committing fraud, extortion, or even flatout theft, although it's usually obvious the writer didn't think it through completely. This is mostly due to Characterization Marches On. The original Scrooge McDuck created by Carl Barks was very much an antagonist who wasn't above cheating, theft, bribery and environmental vandalism (he was often set against the Junior Woodchucks in wanting to exploit a natural reserve they tried to protect).
    • Of course, most people who aren't Don Rosa portray Scrooge far more ambivalently, so who is calling Canon Discontinuity varies. And even in Rosa's canon, Scrooge's sister calls him out on that it was far from "that one time" that he overstepped the bounds of decency.
    • One of the Running Gags of the 'verse is that he always prepares The Plan to get whatever money he pays as wages back as payments for loans, compensation for tools, traveling expenses or other "services rendered". He also openly despises the concept of a minimum wage. All in all, this delivers the opposite of his intended Aesop to his lazy nephew, Donald: It isn't worth the trouble to work for someone else.
    • Arguably his DuckTales incarnation follows this trope more closely than any other rendition. His greed and meticulous obsession with money remains, but he is tamed significantly in most other areas, being a warm, caring father figure otherwise.
  • Booster Gold, late of the Justice League International, who fights crime, rights wrongs, and has multiple smokin' endorsement deals.
  • Arguably, The Incredible Hulk. He's got Wrath down pat.
    • The Joe Fixit, or Gray Hulk, personality is a straighter example of this, he wears fine, personally tailored suits, eats the finest food (and a lot of it), and of course, heaping helpings of pleasurable company, but is shown to have a certain honor, mostly taught to him by his former employer, Mr. Berengetti.
  • Even more arguably would be Atrocitus, whose connection to wrath is easily greater than Hulk on his most angry day. While he technically starts off as an antagonist, and is not particularly inclined to go out of his way to help little old ladies cross the street, he sees his motives and actions as being genuinely for the greater good.
  • Tony Stark has two vices in particular: Alcoholism and womanizing. He's also (Depending on the Writer) an arrogant control freak.
  • Double Subverted in Moonshadow. The title character thinks Ira seems like a good fellow under his sex addiction, bad attitude, and self-centeredness, but the careful reader will notice that in the beginning he mostly does things for Moonshadow when they also benefit him. It turns out he really is that much of a Jerkass, and treacherous to boot. However, he undergoes a lot of karmic retribution, and it leads him to Character Development and a true place on this list.
  • Jack Point, an undercover Judge from the Judge Dredd Spinoff The Simping Detective, has well exceeded his lawful limitations for blending in with the normal citizens of Mega-City One. He has a strong affinity for whiskey, smokes, is a womanizer, and to top it all off, all three of those are highly illegal for any city Judge.
  • Pointed out in the Archie Sonic comics, where Scourge, one of Sonic's many, many antagonists, observes that they share the same arrogance and vanity, though that he lacks what he describes as a "limiting factor" - Sonic's moral compunction.


    Films — Animated 
  • Woody in Toy Story is a heroic character, but becomes intensely jealous when it seems Buzz Lightyear has upstaged him- his flaw is always needing to be the center of attention, which also drives Toy Story 2.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Oskar Schindler, as least as he is depicted in Schindlers List. A glad handling, womanizing opportunist who went on to save over a thousand Jewish lives during World War II. He even destroyed his own fortune (made by slave labor) by making defective shells for the Nazis.
  • The Hong Kong film Millionaire's Express stars Sammo Hung as one of its main heroes, a brave, clever and determined man who fights off marauding bandits with his Acrofatic skills... so that he can achieve his life's goal, which is to run his brothel in peace.
  • James Bond is a heavy smoker, drinker and womanizer, but still saves the world from Nebulous Evil Organisations.
  • Charlie Wilson in Charlie Wilson's War discovers his cause while sitting naked in a hot tub with a couple of naked ladies.
  • 'Uncle' Max from The Sound of Music is a fame-seeking hedonist friend of the Captain, but he's also a true Austrian nationalist and in the end he faces down a possible death in order for the Von Trapp family to escape
  • In To Be or Not to Be Joseph Tura is an egotistical ham of an actor and his wife Maria is a somewhat shallow probable adultress. However, both of them are extremely brave when roped into the Polish Resistance.
  • While Max Renn in Videodrome is mostly a good person, he is quite a sleazy guy, whose vices are mostly associated with lust.
  • Charlie Bucket in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: He is a decent kid, but it's clear he wants more than what life gave him, seeing the Wonka bar contest as a means to achieve it. He is tempted a rival of Wonka's to give away one of his inventions. At one point Charlie does give into temptation, sampling some of Wonka's Fizzy Lifting Drinks, which nearly does him in, as it did the other bratty children. But even when this costs him his prize of a lifetime supply of chocolate, he still won't give away his gobstopper, proving to Wonka he is a good kid at heart.

  • Lana from the Gone series picks up smoking and drinking after the events in Hunger.
  • Sherlock Holmes is a brilliant man and a gifted detective - and he's also a heavy user of cocaine.
  • Nero Wolfe is arrogant, lazy, greedy, gluttonous, and rude, but he always ends up having done some good.
  • Coulter Dixon in Fablehaven retains a heavy amount of "misguided-chivalry-style" sexism, and won't put a woman in danger or ask for one's help on a dangerous mission. This irritates heroine Kendra to no end. Notably, he does get better, especially with some exposure to Kendra and Badass Grandma Ruth.
  • Horace Slughorn in the Harry Potter books is gluttonous and loves to be in the spotlight—he likes to mentor promising young witches and wizards so that when they become famous, he can name-drop them and seek out favors from them. Still, he's a nice guy, has a lot less Fantastic Racism than the other Slytherin (He still holds prejudices, but only until he has had a chance to meet the person and judge them as an individual), and has no interest in joining the villains, also a quality absent from most other Slytherins. In fact, he's pretty much the only good character from that house in the series—indeed, he went out of his way to spend a year in hiding from the villains to avoid joining them, knowing his life was at stake. And, in the end he was one of three wizards willing to personally fight with Voldemort. This also doubles as a demonstration that he's not just 'famous for being famous', or for his potion skills, but that he is an incredibly talented and well-rounded wizard.
    • The only unambiguous good Slytherin, perhaps, but that may be pushing it; it is a world of Grey and Grey Morality, after all. Slytherin has a couple who prove to be ultimately good or at least decent. But they're not exactly known as the Hero House for a reason. Adding to the list, we should have Harry himself: his rather glaring vice is Wrath, or at the very least lack of control over his anger and other emotional outbursts. He's been accused of occasional arrogance, but that was really more his father's failing, not really his.
      • He's also way too stubborn (often in foolish ways) for anyone's good, including his own. "A 'saving people thing'" indeed.
    • Dumbledore may have had the biggest, most glaring flaw of any character in the series: Pride, which led to the death of his sister, Ariana. And yet there was no denying he was a good guy; a chessmaster and more manipulative than a puppeteer, but good all the same.
      • Dumbledore is an excellent example of a Mr Vice Guy who recognizes their vice and acts accordingly. He knew the worst he could do, and acted accordingly. The reason he never became Minister of Magic is primarily because he did not trust himself in the position. When Dumbledore finally opened up to Harry, it became clear that he was terrified of who he could have been. His old slogan "For The Greater Good" taught him that he could easily become a Well-Intentioned Extremist, without even noticing. As such, some of the most touching parts of his final conversation with Harry was asking whether or not he had gone too far, whether or not he hadn't slipped and once again become the tyrant under the banner of the 'Greater Good'.
      • Ron Weasley is one of the nicest characters in the books; however, he also gets jealous very easily.
  • Ciaphas Cain (HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!) is a Dirty Coward, but very good at pretending not to be.
  • Crowley of Good Omens is literally on Earth for the sole purpose of making people miserable, which he does quite happily, but he's one of the most sympathetic characters in the book.
    • Alternatively, Crowley is more of a Punch Clock Villain, acting according to his nature rather than for a salary— but he recognizes that he'll never do anything that humans don't do to themselves far more effectively than hell ever could. Also, there was his occasionally doing a good deed for Aziraphale (who would in turn do a bad deed for him). If he had a vice, it was pride— he liked looking sharp and driving an extremely nice car.
  • Henry Bacon of The Last Dragon Chronicles is staid, grumpy, and old-fashioned to the point of being stifling. He's not exactly a Friend to All Children. He's even the primary antagonist of the first book in the series. However, as the later books prove, he is nonetheless a loyal neighbor who truly does care about his neighbors and their friends. Even if he does think they're a little loopy.
    • His alternate in Fire World, Mr. Henry, averts this trope by being a definite good guy.
  • Eliot of The Magicians chain-smokes Merits and drinks too much wine. He eventually goes off the deep-end and becomes The Alcoholic, but he gets better.
  • Silk from The Belgariad, moreso in The Malloreon sequels where he is the world's wealthiest merchant. But as he confides to Garion, he's not overly interested in material wealth as much as the intellectual challenge of entrepreneurship.
    SILK: The money's just a way of keeping score. It's the game that's important.
  • Played with in the novel The Natural (the movie has a very different ending). Roy can arguably represent EVERY vice with Lust, Pride, and Gluttony being the most obvious; he lusts over three women in the book and really only cares about their looks, his only goal in baseball is to be the greatest that ever was, and in a few points in the novel, he eats nonstop, including grabbing 6 cheeseburgers as a midnight snack after a humongous meal only an hour or two before. the reason it's played with is that Roy, despite being the protagonist, isn't exactly heroic and ends up crashing and burning at the end, disgracing himself and his whole team.
  • Samuel Vimes of Discworld - alcoholic, pessimistic, and cowardly, but still intentionally sympathetic and still honorable and serious about being a cop, in his own way.
    • By the second book he appears in, he's not drinking any more, and he was never cowardly so much as completely pragmatic. (I can't even consider arguing with "pessimistic," though.)
  • Li Kao of Bridge of Birds is fond of introducing himself as a sage "with a slight flaw in my character". Said "slight flaw" includes alcoholism and a perfect willingness to lie to, rob, and kill people to achieve his ends without batting an eyelash. He even freely acknowledges to his much more pure-hearted companion Number Ten Ox that the only reason he didn't become a criminal instead of a crime-solving wise man was that he found committing crimes to be so easy that it became too boring for him. In spite of all of this, he's an unambiguously good guy whose morally questionable actions are done solely to find the ginseng root that will cure the dying children of Ten Ox's village and he isn't shy about expressing his disgust at the reprehensible deeds of the villains they meet during their quest.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • Captain Jack Harkness of Doctor Who and Torchwood fame is definitely one of these. You can't help but love him even though he flirts with literally everyone he meets because he's just such a good guy. Then, in Torchwood, he was (unwittingly) put in charge of Torchwood Cardiff, and his vices expand from merely flirting with everyone to also being in charge, dammit! Of course, he will forgive you. But first he will shoot whatever you thought you could get away with having in his base, or outside of it, or possibly teleport it into the sun or erase its existence entirely. Just don't mess with him, okay? Don't. Oh, and nobody knows who he is and he ain't telling. His vice of lust is actually the status quo of his era. In the 51st century, omnisexuality is the norm.
    • Depending on the Writer, the Doctor himself is sometimes written as a Mr. Vice Guy. He's capable of amazing heroism, but occasionally shows a hideous streak of pride, occasionally bordering on (and in at least one episode, crossing into) A God Am I territory. Pride and the occasional dash of Hubris are constants for all Doctors, but individual incarnations have their glaring character flaws as well. Even after the First Doctor gets some character development and stops being a Sociopathic Hero, he remains naturally rude and surly, even making several racist comments. The Third Doctor is condescending and his casual sexism is remarked upon by other characters fairly often. The Fourth Doctor is a Horrifying Hero with an Awesome Ego who likes to appear cute and harmless to disguise how utterly, fundamentally selfish he is — weirdly, his selfishness makes him one of the nicer Doctors, since Good Feels Good. The Sixth Doctor is similar, but doesn't bother with the cute and harmless exterior and ramps up the abrasiveness and violence tenfold. The Ninth Doctor's surliness and anger are exaggerated by a boatload of Time War trauma.

      All Doctors tend to be unbelivably vain, though the precise mechanism of this changes with the Doctor. Some take pleasure in fussy, expensive outfits; others take pleasure in fussy, expensive outfits that they then wear in a deliberately scruffy way so they don't look too fussy and expensive; others take pleasure in dressing in outrageous clothes in the misguided belief that they are so gorgeous they can pull off anything; some love being the centre of attention; others feel entitled to being the centre of attention and whine if they aren't; some make a habit of lying about their age to flatter themselves.
  • Rygel on Farscape. Gluttonous, greedy, prideful, lecherous, lazy, and when sufficiently provoked, more than capable of wrath. (A borderline case, as he does try to sell out the others on occasion in the early season, so he's not that heroic.) However, you will almost never find him envious—what's there to envy? He's perfect.
    • Chiana, meanwhile, is Lusty McFuck.
  • Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly will happily admit that he's a fan of all seven deadly sins. He's a criminal by trade, but he also has Chronic Hero Syndrome, which he does his best to hide.
  • Emerson Cod in Pushing Daisies is obsessed with money, but he's a good friend and does have principles, even being able to occasionally call out other characters on their misbehaviour.
  • Quark from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. For all his greed, he does have morals... usually.
    • Arguably the entire Ferengi race on their better days have this as their hat. Remember Rule of Acquisition 57: Good Customers are as rare as latinum. Treasure them.
  • David Lister of Red Dwarf fame is a total slob (Sloth) who also resorts to pulling some dirty tricks on Rimmer but he's also capable of greatly heroic acts.
    • Likewise, Rimmer is a prickly egotistical smeghead who blames all of his problems on others (Pride), but when the chips are down, he'd rather be dead than smeg.
    • And The Cat screeches back and forth from Lust to Gluttony to Pride to Greed to Sloth (...just like a real cat), but he's also a great pilot, and ends up being one of the more dedicated (if not intelligent) members of the team.
    • At first, Kryten seemed to be immune to sin, being a robot programmed to follow instructions, which he generally did, even after he broke his programming. Then Kochanski was introduced, and Kryten's Envy of Lister's relationship with her began to dominate his characterization.
  • Samantha Jones of Sex and the City. Lives life according to her many vices (most notably sex and fashion), unsentimental, and more than a little arrogant, yet comes through and supports her friends in the end.
    • To the point of handfeeding one of the other characters who had fallen into a deep (if temporary) depression.
  • DCI Gene Hunt from Life On Mars and Ashes to Ashes drinks, smokes, gambles, plants evidence, steals from crime scenes, takes bribes, assaults suspects, and never cease to amaze the protagonist with his casual and tactless displays of bigotry. But his heart's in the right place and he's a big enough Magnificent Bastard to not just get away with it, but make it look awesome.
  • Dean Winchester from Supernatural is a thief, a conman, and a habitual liar. He's also crude, flippant, promiscuous, and violently cynical. He still manages to be pretty damn heroic on a regular basis.
  • Barney Stinson of How I Met Your Mother is a greedy, narcissistic womanizer, but he has proven on numerous occasions to have a hidden heart of gold.
  • Nathan Ford of Leverage is a vengeful alcoholic, but also compassionate, brave, and genuinely loyal to his team.
    • This also applies to the rest oi the team as well. Eliot Spencer, whose vice is physical violence, and Alec Hardison, whose vice is being kind of a dick (and a hefty dose of pride.) Parker is an unapologetic thief who loves money and lacks basic empathy and Sophie is a manipulative con artist who even manipulates the rest of the team on occasion. All of them are just as reliable, trustworthy and caring as Ford, if you can get them to show it.
  • Chief of security on Babylon 5 Michael Garibaldi and chief of the Medical section Stephen Franklin are both highly competent professionals, resourceful, valiant, persistent, dedicated and loyal to their friends. They are, however, prone to resorting to unhealthy substances (alcohol and stimulators respectively) at hard times.
    • G'Kar turns out to be one of the wisest and self-sacrificing members of the cast, but remains a pervert with a human fetish.
      • Not just humans - he expresses an interest in Centari women, though that might be just to piss off their Ambassador (who he hates - most of the time)
  • Gabrielle of Desperate Housewives is vain, materialistic and adulterous, bu.t she is also a good friend and (in later seasons) a loving wife and mother.
  • Face of The A-Team uses his charisma to get whatever the team needs. But even between missions, he flat out manipulates people just to get a taste of luxury, he's a huge womanizer who's only loved one woman in his life, he doesn't like taking jobs pro-bono, and it's pretty clear that of all the members of the group, he's the one who would most like to drop the soldier of fortune lifestyle to live a life of glamour, and does so without hesitation in one episode.
  • Captain Mainwaring may be amazingly egostistical and very jealous in some ways of Sergeant Wilson but he's also an amazingly brave man who would do anything for the Walmington on Sea platoon and his country. Wilson occasionally shows similar vices, as well as an angry streak if someone pushes him too far or does something to Mrs. Pike.
  • It's sometimes suggested that each of the castaways on Gilligan's Island represented one of the Seven Deadly Sins; Mr. Howell was greedy, the Skipper was wrathful, Ginger was vain, etc. But in spite of their flaws they all come off as more or less sympathetic, likeable people.
  • Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger has Luka/Gokai Yellow, who's a debatable Expy of One Piece's Nami (see above). Money is always the first thought on her mind, she gets extremely upset when she has to part with any (as seen in the first episode when an attack torches some of her bills), and she has her own reasons for her greed: She used to be the Cool Big Sis of a group of young orphans and wants enough money to buy a planet that she can use as a home for them. Not to mention, her dead little sister was part of said group, resulting in her getting somewhat overprotective with Ahim/Gokai Pink.
  • Insubordinate detective Jimmy McNulty from The Wire is a womanizer drunkard and a derailed human being in general, but also natural police, as good as they come.
  • Faith in Buffy the Vampire Slayer is portrayed in this light to show she's bad in comparison to the main character. Before her Face-Heel Turn, and after her Heel-Face Turn (surprisingly when evil these traits barely came up) she smokes (season seven, comics;) drinks (season seven, Chaos Bleeds;) sleeps around, treats men like crap (season three, season seven, comics;) and uses stakes as dildos (Chaos Bleeds, comics.) As she grew older she drops most of these habits, except for masturbation if the comics are anything to go by.
  • Alan from Two and a Half Men. A deeply loving father and brother and a staunchly good friend to Walden, his virtues are usually overshadowed by his stinginess and cowardice.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes, a selfish, irascible, arrogant powder keg that makes his parents and teachers reach for Maalox by the quart... but also intelligent, insightful, imaginative, and demonstrates a true love of animals and nature in his dear friend and Morality Pet Hobbes. Hobbes may also qualify, considering how he constantly attempts to attack and needle Calvin, just as often as he demonstrates his friendship.

  • Jack Benny, throughout every incarnation, is always defined by his intense desire to hold onto as much of his hard-earned money as he can. His most famous gag is being held up by a mugger and vacillating endlessly as to whether [Benny] should give the mugger "your money or your life".

    Tabletop RPG 
  • Any high Morality (or Wisdom, or Humanity, or Obligation) World of Darkness character can fall into this trope; the mechanics actually force you to choose a flaw.
    • The Daeva from Vampire: The Requiem get it twice over, good guys and bad guys alike. The game system awards characters a small amount of Willpower for acting on their Vice. If a Daeva actively refuses to indulge in their Vice, they lose a fair bit of Willpower. Most players act on the "succubus" image of the Daeva and choose Lust as a Vice, but a Daeva with Wrath is... well, something to behold. Daeva with Envy, on the other hand, quite literally have Chronic Backstabbing Disorder - if they don't screw over their enemies and rivals at every opportunity, they become severely depressed because of the Willpower loss.
    • The Ravnos in the Old World of Darkness Vampire line had this as their clan hat, essentially forcing all players to have a vice that they must try to avoid indulging in if they can. Since vices weren't required for Old World of Darkness characters in general, the Ravnos stand out as one example where you actually had to pick a vice.
  • Sesus Nagezzer, AKA "the Slug," from Exalted. He wallows in the sins of lust and gluttony and is viewed as a fat, blitzed-out dope by most of the Realm...but he's basically a patriotic Jerk with a Heart of Gold, and one of the many examples of The Chessmaster in the setting.
    • Some Limit Break can force an otherwise Temperate exalt to indulge in decadent pleasure. It's quite disturbing to watch a wise martial art guru turn into a violent madman or a crazed sex fiend.

    Video Games 
  • Mr. Vice Guy characters with hearts of gold underneath are a staple of the Lunar series.
    • Lunar: The Silver Star has Kyle, an overconfident bandit/barbarian who might party a bit too hard and definitely loves to boast about doing so.
    • Lemina Ausa in Lunar: Eternal Blue is the very model of a money-grubbing pretty girl - she even has a character portrait with dollar signs in her eyes. It turns out her motive is to restore the Magic Guild, run by her family for generations, to its former glory. However, the nobility of her goal is diminished by the fact that it's sort of her pet project; no one else actually cares. This is balanced because she does genuinely want to help save the world, and she has good intentions. Even when she grows out of being so money-grubbing, she makes jokes about it like in the epilogue, where she asks a large amount of money in return for help in reaching Lucia, but is surprised when Hiro takes the demand seriously.
    • Ronfar from the same game is an alcoholic, womanizing, perverted gambler... as a result of a deep depression stemming from a great personal failure of his. Once he gets back on track, he's a loyal friend, and extremely devoted boyfriend.
  • Gredy Miser of Mega Man Star Force is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. The bottomline is always on his mind, and he can't stand seeing one of his investments fail, which they tend to. He's also an all around nice guy, and gives the cast free tickets to his projects on multiple occasions.
  • Touhou is notable for featuring many nice but nonetheless sinful characters, with the two lead characters, Reimu and Marisa, primarily being slothful and greedy respectively, among other unfavorable traits. Aside from them, virtually every character is self-serving and a little too keen on using violence to solve their problems, which may just be the norm in Gensokyo.
    • A more glaring, non-human example is Suika. She is firmly on Reimu's side and is one of the few people who are genuinely kind, doesn't rope Reimu into a scheme, and is close to the traditional idea of innocence. The catch: she's never been seen sober.
      • And she kinda wants to rope other people into her parties...
    • It's so bad, that one character's issue was pointing out that everyone ELSE sorta deserved to go to hell.
  • Rudger from DragonForce.
  • Some incarnations of Sonic the Hedgehog are very prideful, making them cocky or reckless in the face of danger. Particularly evident for the games incarnation, who is an easy going All-Loving Hero in every other area.
    • Rouge The Bat is a government spy with a bad habit of being greedy and obsessive with jewels.
    • Despite being helpful to the heroes and being dedicated in guarding the Master Emerald, Knuckles suffers about three vices. One, he's quite prideful about his strength. Two, he's envious of Sonic's freedom and carefree nature. And three, he has a very short temper which can make him difficult for others to get along with him.
    • Some versions of Tails are very intelligent, but retain a very childish demeanor, making them impudent or over excitable.
    • The Chaotix are basically this personified, a misfit gang of so-called detectives who ultimately have good intentions at heart. Vector is extremely brash and rough around the edges and is horrible with money, but notices things others don't and offers his services free of charge to those that deserve them. Charmy is incredibly hyper-active and childish, yet is only occasionally mischievous. Espio often fails to successfully reign in the excesses of his two partners, but is otherwise extremely competent and dedicated towards whatever mission he's assigned to.
  • One of the four characters you have the option to play as in Left 4 Dead are these. Both are in it solely to survive, One is a biker gang member who wants to take advantage of the no police being around so he can cause as much destruction as possible, and the other is a riverboat gambler who will also use the no police thing for his advantage, such as emptying out a cash register in a Pawn shop his band stopped in. Both of them do develop some affection for their teams, but will undoubtably stick to their vices of wrath and greed.
  • The President of Hocotate Freight from Pikmin 2 is quite greedy and his treatment of his employees is questionable. But when one of his employees gets left behind on an alien world, he's more than willing to help find and rescue him.
  • Garrus Vakarian in Mass Effect is ultimately a good person but has problems with Wrath - he is easily moved to a kind of calculating Tranquil Fury that ends with dead people when he sees the prospect of some bastard getting away scot-free.
  • This is an option for the heroes in the Fable games: you can play as a gluttonous lech who's earned a Holy Halo as well as a pot-belly. In Fable II it's codified in the Corruption meter: a hero who's Good but also highly self-indulgent earns the title of Decadent.

    Web Comics 
  • Rayne from Least I Could Do. One wouldn't think an arrogant womanizer Mary Sue could be such a likable character, but some people think he pulls it off through a combination of sheer charisma and being a big softie on the inside.
  • The Order of the Stick's self-proclaimed "Chaotic Good-ish" thief Haley Starshine is sneaky and greedy, but ultimately good-hearted and even prone to suprising moments of charity.
    • It's been broadly hinted in the strip that the reason she glomps so fiercely onto money is that she needs to pay off some sort of enormous ransom to save a family member. This has been semi-Jossed by the Origin of PCs book, depicting her as greedy even before receiving the ransom note.
    • Roy Greenhilt also qualifies. He is a bit of an asshole sometimes and is mean and deadpan to most people he meets. But this doesn't stop him from being an essentially honorable, decent young man who wants nothing more than to defeat the forces of evil, even at the cost of his own life, but he got better. This is best shown when he is being judged for entering Lawful Good heaven, and gets in, but is told off for being a compulsive Deadpan Snarker.
    • Belkar is a kind of reversed trope. He'll stand up for his party members and is capable of great feats of heroism, but ultimately he's a homicidal sociopath who's only adventuring because it lets him commit atrocities he'd be arrested for otherwise.
      • Played to the hilt with this comic when he REALIZES IT'S TRUE.
    • Averted with Vaarsuvius who, while nowhere near as amoral as Belkar, is too flawed and broken for this trope, to the point where his/her good points don't outweigh the bad points.

    Western Animation 
  • The Flash from Justice League despite being a hero is greedy (capitalizing on his image) proud (capitalizing on his image) and definitely lecherous (constantly hitting on every woman he finds).
  • The various Disney Afternoon series use this to great effect.
    • In DuckTales, Scrooge McDuck is, well, The Scrooge to sometimes absurd levels, but always honors his deals, does not resort to criminal means, and genuinely cares about his nephews.
    • Darkwing Duck was less caught up on avarice than Pride - he was supremely arrogant, leading him to alienate allies and boast like a Bond villain... but there's a reason he named Let's Get Dangerous: that pride was almost all justified, when he actually took problems seriously.
    • Finally, Baloo from TaleSpin was a kind and heroic figure in the most Crapsack World of the three, but cripplingly lazy, constantly causing himself and others problems which were easily avoidable.
    • All three were accompanied by child sidekicks who existed largely to tell their caretakers when the vice was getting out of hand, and to create trouble through their own vice (overwhelming curiosity in all cases) which brought out the protagonist's moments of clarity.
    • Rebecca of TaleSpin is arguably even closer to the trope as Baloo. After taking over his cargo business, her more educated and ambitious, hard working nature brought a new life to his dying business, but also caused new problems due to being uptight and overzealous. Similar to the former examples, her daughter Molly often acts as a Morality Pet.
  • Gwizdo of Dragon Hunters usually haggles with desperate villagers over the price of the Hunters' services or actually tries to swindle them. However, his schemes either go wrong or his good nature prevails, effectively preventing the team from getting rich and settling down.
  • Mr. Krabs from Spongebob Squarepants used to be this fairly consistently but has since been reduced to a Designated Hero or Villain Protagonist starting around season 4-5, but may qualify in a few of the post movie episodes, such as Kracked Krabs.
    • Sandy is arguably the one character who has maintained this trait. She is a scientific genius, physically robust to superhuman levels and thoroughly optimistic and friendly on top of that. However, perhaps because of her many strengths and talents, she often displays an ego problem, which can lead her to be very aggressive and competitive when someone challenges her.
  • Dr. Thaddeus Venture of The Venture Bros., despite being mostly portrayed as a cynical, emotionally crippled, amoral slime ball, does occasionally show that deep down he is a decent human being, major examples including Stopping Brock from murdering his brother at the end of season one, refusing to become the super villain Dr. Killinger had been grooming him to become in season three, and again in season three when he decides to study the super powerful ORB rather than use it for his own personal gain.
    • But then again we are talking about a man who creates the Joycan, a fully interactive virtual environment powered by the heart of a dead orphan, resurrects dead people to make them into suicide bombers - (note that said resurrectees are not mindless zombies) & orders his bodyguard to go kill people so he has more corpses to make said Suicide Bomber Zombies. Dr. Venture's decent and humane moments are few and far between.
      • Keep in mind, too, that one of the overreaching arcs of the show has been the slow redemption of dear old Rusty. The first season featured loads of jerkass moments for him, but these have toned down as time went on. By season 3, he's just more of an insensitve Jerkass, with his 'worst' crime that season probably being when he covered up the death of one of his daycamp kids with a sloppily made clone made from DNA in the dead kid's shoe. Better than the Joycan, at least.
      • And he cured some genetic diseases the kid had, too.
    • Now Brock Sampson on the other hand is closer to an unambiguous example... he definitely puts the heroic in "heroic" and the sociopath in "sociopath"
  • Ruel Stroud in Wakfu is a treasure-hunter with an obvious attachment to money, but when his traveling companions are in danger (especially his best friend's adoptive son) he'll rush to their defense.
  • Sunstreaker in The Transformers is as brave and heroic as any of the Autobots, but his defining characteristic is his ego. Powerglide and Sky Lynx have hefty egos as well, but they're generally less obnoxious about it than Sunstreaker. Tracks, on the other hand, has a heftier ego and is more obnoxious about it...
    • The Dinobots all have anger and self-control issues, but this just makes them seem childlike and therefore comes across as endearing. Unless you're a Decepticon, then it's scary.
    • Blurr has a problem with impatience.
    • Rattrap is insubordinate, cowardly (though less so than he may appear), sleazy, and obnoxious enough to irritate all of his comrades. When the chips are down, though, he's as much a hero as any other Maximal. He'll rush in to save the day, guns blazing... and complaining all the while.
  • Aaahh!!! Real Monsters: Ickis had a whole slew of issues. Having a father as famous and skilled as Slickis gave him a lot to live up to, and he frequently flipped between resenting this and trying to exploit it. He could go from insanely arrogant and cocky to an insecure nervous wreak in a heartbeat, was naive and endlessly curious about the human world, but also cynical and snarky at times. To top it all off, he had image issues thanks to being an Ugly Cute monster that constantly got mistaken for a rabbit. Of course, in a way, he was...
  • Both Buck Tuddrussel and Larry 3000 in Time Squad are Vice Guys: Tuddrussel tends toward aggressive and childish flaws, whereas Larry's are hedonistic and lustful. Luckily, they have Otto to keep them in line.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: All the main characters are supposed to have both flaws and strengths. Many of the flaws are more weaknesses than vices, and/or clearly the less dominant side of the character, but some fit this trope:
    • Twilight Sparkle is meticulous and scientific, making her very efficient as The Smart Guy of the group and suggesting a down to earth opinion, but also an obsessive perfectionist and a tad cynical and easily aggravated.
    • Rainbow Dash has a very headstrong attitude (albeit one which hides her fear of not living up to her own expectations) often making her brash, insensitive and prideful. However, she is also determined, an extremely loyal friend and a rather good jester.
    • Applejack started off this way, being very neighborly and altruistic with a high moral code. However she could also be very prideful, which could make her confrontational, self righteous and incredibly stubborn when crossed. She seems to have a better grip on her Vices in later episodes however and is far more laid back.
    • Rarity is superficial and likes attention far too much, but in spite of this is actually very considerate (most of the time), and even the superficiality ties to her artistic calling, making it actually less superficial (and is just as often manifested as a desire to help others look fabulous too).
    • Pinkie Pie occasionally doesn't listen to others who have a better assessment of how to handle a problem or who question her own ability to deal with things. She also deals with actual or perceived rejection extremely poorly, either completely breaking down or becoming a Determinator to the extent that she disregards all concerns for personal choices or privacy. That said, she never, ever intends to do anything but ensure that everybody has a great time.
    • Fluttershy doesn't really have many obvious vices (unless you count fear), but sometimes would rather ignore problems that need to be decisively dealt with. Because she's also hesitant to call out others on their bad behavior, she can also act as a bit of an enabler to less moral characters like her spoiled pet bunny Angel or to reality-bender and house guest Discord. Generally, though, she's a naturally kind pony who wants to help her friends and the local wildlife.
    • Spike is rude and greedy (dragons are hoarders by nature, after all), but also loyal, hardworking, and considerate.
  • The heroic hedgehog siblings on Sonic Underground each have their own short-comings: Sonic is the bravest of the three, and therefore the most brash. Sonia is whiny and overly-concerned with petty things like dirt and dust, but has a host of technical and social abilities to make up for it. Manic, meanwhile, struggles with the kleptomaniac impulses he learned growing up (he was raised by a thief), but otherwise is the most laid-back and approachable of the bunch.
  • Most of the engines are depicted this way in Thomas the Tank Engine, particularly in the later Lighter and Softer episodes. As Sir Topham Hatt constantly emphasizes, all of his engines are "really useful" and competent at their specific job on his railway, but nearly each and every one has a heavy shortcoming that causes problems and hinders their work. Thomas for example is optimistic and altruistic, but is also impatient and easily forgets his duties to focus on some task he finds more important. James meanwhile (though originally more of a Jerkass) is an extremely headstrong mixed traffic engine, making him versatile for numerous tasks, but sometimes unwilling or easily distracted due to his vanity.
  • Plastic Man is this in Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

Alternative Title(s):

Ms Vice Girl