open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Zig-zagged by Benny from Black Lagoon. He is definitely friendlier than Revy (but so are most rabid wolverines), and prefers electronics to guns, but like his co-workers he's utterly cynical to the point of apathy, and has no compunctions about participating in murder, grave robbing, human trafficking and the other nice things the Black Lagoon company does for money.
- Dan Dreiberg, from Watchmen, is Ambiguously Jewish, but according to Word of God is actually a lapsed Calvinist. Nonetheless, the fact he behaves a lot like a nice Jewish boy is almost certainly partially responsible for the widespread fanon that he's a Jew.
- Ted Kord, the second Blue Beetle, employs a distinctly Yiddish turn of phrase for the whole time he's being written by Len Wein and displays elements of this trope.
- Billy Kaplan/"Wiccan" in Young Avengers, although he wasn't confirmed to be Jewish for some time.
- Peter Parker aka Spider-Man was sometimes thought to be this due to his very pronounced feelings of guilt and domination by his surrogate mother Aunt May, especially as his creator Stan Lee is Jewish. However, particular details about his family added since the late 1980s have established his background as at least partly Irish and Catholic.
- The Rebbe's son in A Stranger Among Us.
- Greg Focker in Meet the Parents.
- Adam Sandler tends to play the nice Jewish boy in about half of his movies, and Jerkass or Jerk with a Heart of Gold in the other half. This is most apparent in Eight Crazy Nights, wherein he used to be a Nice Jewish Boy before becoming a Jerkass.
- The main character in American Pie. He's a perv, but then All Men Are Perverts, and other than that he's one of the best behaved characters.
- David Levinson of Independence Day. He's played by Jeff Goldblum.
- Paulie Bleeker in Juno. True, he's only an informed Jew, but still fits.
- Lindermann in Freddy vs. Jason, who's an all-around nice guy and adorkable.
- David Kessler in An American Werewolf in London; true, he finds it difficult to kill himself when the animated corpse of his best friend tells him to, but you can't really blame him.
- Rabin in the Star Trek novel Vulcan's Forge.
- Reuven Malter in The Chosen. Danny was less so, due to his introspective nature and his father believed he had temptations toward becoming an Insufferable Genius.
- Sent up in Portnoy's Complaint.
- Adolphe Blanc from The Well of Loneliness.
- Nate from The Love Affairs Of Nathaniel P is a subversion. He acts like this trope, but only because he hates it when people think badly of him. On the inside, he's a selfish Jerk Ass to the core.
- Schmendrick from The Last Unicorn. More Ambiguously Jewish than anything, but it fits overall well (that and Peter S. Beagle is Jewish himself, so he may have added a little bit of himself onto his character).
Live Action TV
- The Steve Harvey Show. Recurring character Arthur Rabinowitz is almost always referred to by Steve as "That little polite Jewish boy who helps me with my taxes."
- House: Dr. James Wilson. Sensitive, caring, has an excellent bedside manner, and retains his composure without being the least bit cold when dealing with dying cancer patients. Even when he does bad things (like rat his best friend out to the police), it's almost always motivated by good intentions (getting said best friend off drugs). His biggest character flaw may be that he's too selfless. And his mother can talk about, "My son, the doctor..."
- Charlie Eppes, from NUMB3RS, though he is non-observant.
- Largely wanted by Nanny Fine in the early seasons.
- Discussed and subverted on Glee, as Puck's (Jewish) mother asks him why he can't find himself "a nice Jewish girl." This is part of the reason he goes out with Rachel. Neither Rachel nor Puck exactly fit the "reliable and gentle" mold, though. There is also Jacob Ben Israel, whose School Newspaper News Hound persona is anything but nice.
- Howard on The Big Bang Theory when he's not a complete pervert (which isn't that often).
- My So-Called Life: Brian Krakow is the brainy, sensitive, Jewish boy next door to Angela. He pines for her while she pines for the troubled, bad-boy gentile Jordan Catalano.
- David "Gordo" Gordon on Lizzie McGuire.
- Chase Matthews on Zoey 101.
- Robbie Shapiro on Victorious. When he's not insulting people through his ventriloquist dummy.
- Hilariously subverted on the UK version of The Apprentice, when Sir Alan Sugar berated one of the contestants for not knowing the difference between Kosher meat and Halal meat after claiming he was a 'good little jewish boy' on his application.
- Josh from Being Human (US).
- George is Jewish, too. Maybe a little less nice, though.
- It isn't often mentioned in The Wonder Years, but Kevin's best friend Paul Pfeiffer is Jewish: one episode featured his bar mitzvah. A geeky Nice Guy, he fits the trope.
- Matt Parkman, from Heroes, is Jewish according to Word of God.
- On Seinfeld, Jerry's mother can't be persuaded that her son isn't a nice Jewish boy, although he very obviously is not.
- Sheldon in Less Than Kind.
- Sol Star on Deadwood fits the mold of nice Jewish boy to a tee—which isn't really an asset, considering he lives in a Wild West town of murderers, thieves, gamblers, and drunks.
- Zachary Ezekiel Rosenblatt Beekerman, also known as Zeke, from Wizards of Waverly Place is probably the nicest character on the show. He's so nice, he sometimes blames himself for other people's problems.
- Jeremy on Sports Night. Dan is less nice, but he's working on it.
- Ross Geller of Friends is a mild example bordering on Informed Judaism.
- The O.C. has Seth Cohen, a snarkier version of one but one nevertheless.
- Nico from Rebelde Way fits this to a tee, despite his commitment issues.
- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Midge's husband Joel is a complicated example. He seems to be a good husband, father and breadwinner with a high-paying job at his uncle's company and a hobby in stand-up comedy. Flashbacks reveal that he swept Midge off her feet while she was dating a lantern-jawed, blond gentile. However, by the end of the first episode, he's revealed to have many character flaws that make him much less an example than he first seemed.
- Punisher: Brain, a Jew, is a friendly, brilliant and loving husband and father. At least, he was before he had to go into hiding.
- Collaborator Michael Moorcock described American heavy rock band the Blue Öyster Cult as a bunch of nice, well brought up, Jewish boys from upstate New York. (Only three of the original BOC lineup were Jewish, though).
- Other nice Jewish boys who went into musical careers include a certain Robert Zimmermann.
- Jewish acapella group the Maccabeats do Jewish-themed parodies of pop songs, and often mention the importance of family in their songs. They are/were also all students at Yeshiva University.
- Geddy Leenote of Rush described himself at their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction as "a nice Jewish boy from Toronto."
Religion and Mythology
- In the Bible:
- Jesus makes this trope Older Than Feudalism. One of the possible titles for Jesus Was Way Cool was Jesus Was A Nice Jewish Boy, and it's mentioned several times throughout the article. This is sometimes taken to extremes: there's a hymn titled "Gentle Jesus Meek And Mild"... which is an ironic hymn. Jesus had differing ideas about the definition of "meekness" then the modern connotation and, even in the Bible, has his moments of Kung-Fu Jesus. He was not a tame carpenter.
- A joke says "he was thirty-three, single, no obvious girlfriend and living at home with his mom. He's Jewish."
- The Old Testament is also full of this trope. Isaac and Jacob are good examples.
- The Talmud has guidelines for...kosher relations, between husband and wife. One particular rule is that Jewish husbands are required to satisfy their wives before themselves.
- Tommy Pickles from Rugrats. It's even invoked in All Grown Up!.
- Kim Possible's partner Ron Stoppable.
- South Park: Kyle Broflovski is probably the best modern version of the stereotype. Even though he can be a bit Hot-Blooded occasionally, mostly due to Cartman's behavior, he can still be pretty nice, especially in later seasons. Unless, of course, something causes his Inner Jersey to manifest. Like Snooki.
- The Simpsons parodies this in a Treehouse of Horror episode, where a golem, when told to "speak" by Lisa reveals himself as this, albeit rather neurotic.
- T.J. Detweiler from Recess, though he's more Ambiguously Jewish from the events of the Christmas Episode.
- Dipper in Gravity Falls is a bit Ambiguously Jewish.
- Arnold Perlstein on The Magic School Bus.
- Jacob Two-Two from the show of the same name
- This calendar of Nice Jewish Guys.
- In the documentary A History of Britain Simon Schama describes himself as a nice Jewish boy when describing England's Christian Reformation.
- In this NSFW comedy video, 12 year old Jeffrey seems like such a nice Jewish boy. But — Oy veh! — what an imagination he has about his seemingly Plain Jane mitzvah instructor (whom he sees as a Hot Teacher).