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Took a Level in Jerkass
I used to be such a sweet sweet thing 'til they got a hold of me.
I opened doors for little old ladies. I helped the blind to see.
I got no friends 'cause they read the papers. They can't be seen
With me, and I'm gettin' real shot down and I'm feeling mean.
Alice Cooper, No More Mr. Nice Guy

When a character grows into a jerkass over time (sometimes not much of it at all). Can be due to flanderization, a Face-Heel Turn, or just another regular albeit unfortunate case of Character Development. While a Jerk Ass growing into a Jerk with a Heart of Gold is a common phenomenon, especially in dramas, a reversal, resulting in this trope, is also common, especially in comedies.

This can also cause tropes like What the Hell, Hero?, though whether if the character changes for the better after that is well Depending on the Writer. If the transition is shown as a flashback regarding a known jerk/villain, it may be a Start of Darkness. See also Took a Level in Badass, Took a Level in Dumbass, Cynicism Catalyst and Jumping Off the Slippery Slope. When a character has this temporary for the sake of the plot, the Jerkass Ball is present. The Counter Trope to Took a Level in Kindness. Contrast Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, who was always a jerk. A character taking his/her level in jerkassitude was genuinely nice. When a character becomes more of a jerk in an adaptation, that's Adaptational Villainy.


Examples

     Professional Wrestling 
  • Edge took several levels of jerkass on Monday Night Raw when it became clear the crowds were getting sick of him. Now if only John Cena would follow his example...
  • Charlie Haas on Friday Night Smackdown, following Dawn Marie spreading a rumor about the two of them having an affair and picking fights with his girlfriend Jackie Gayda. He decided he didn't want anything else to do with either of them and let them know it in the meanest way he could, leaving both crying.
  • Takayuki Iizuka used to be a fairly unassuming tag team specialist but then he broke out on his own, attack wrestlers with a loaded glove and finding a new hobby in bullying New Japan Pro Wrestling's tv commentator Shinpei Nogami with already jerkass Toru Yano.
  • Austin Aries was already a jerkass but took it to new heights when the Ring of Honor fans started showing preference to Tyler Black over him.
  • Mercedes Martinez started taking several levels of jerkass in World Wonder Rings Stardom in 2011 after she vowed to take their championship to the United States and started resorting to underhanded tactics to try and fulfill that vow. Then it started to crop up in the USA while she was in SHIMMER, where she was unusually rough with Davina Rose and continued to attack Leva Bates after she had already won their match.
  • Bobby Roode became much more of a jerk ass following his first victory of the TNA World Heavyweight Championship following Hulk Hogan's claim that he wasn't ready to hold the belt.
  • La Rosa Negra suddenly became a jerkass in the PWS after a couple shows in. It was eventually revealed this was because Vinny Fenucci had practically appointed her to become the next Bombshells champion in the event someone "not pretty enough" won the tournament.

Took a Level in DumbassCharacter DerailmentVillain Decay
Took a Level in DumbassScrappy IndexUngrateful Bastard
Then Let Me Be EvilHeel Face IndexTrapped by Gambling Debts
Super DickeryThe Jerk IndexTroll
Theory of Narrative CausalityAdministrivia/No Real Life Examples, Please!Toxic Phlebotinum
Made Out to Be a JerkassVillainsJoker Immunity
Took A Level In IdealismCharacterization TropesTook a Level in Kindness

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