Playing With / Classical Anti-Hero

Basic Trope: A character who suffers from flaws and hindrances, whose story tends to be as much about overcoming his/her own weaknesses as about conquering the enemy.
  • Straight: Bob has a lack of confidence in his abilities and must overcome his own doubts in order to defeat the Big Bad.
  • Exaggerated: Bob has a long list of crippling neurosis and can't even get out of bed in the morning, but must defeat an Evil Overlord.
  • Downplayed:
    • Bob is a little bit shy when he first meets someone but otherwise has everything together.
    • Byronic Hero.
  • Justified: Bob grew up with Abusive Parents and has a Freudian Excuse for his lack of confidence.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted: Bob has an air of healthy self-confidence.
  • Double Subverted: His air of self-confidence is just an act and he is pretty insecure underneath his facade.
  • Parodied: Bob whines about his social problems to the point where the Big Bad leaves on his own because he just can't stand to hear anymore.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob overcomes his doubts when he gets a new girlfriend. She dumps him, however, so he reverts back to having a self-esteem issue, only to realize his brief stint with self-confidence was due to a renewed sex life. He then goes out and turns into The Casanova, but soon realizes this shallow lifestyle made him feel even worse. He finally figures out he had self-confidence in him all along and vows to be more positive in life.
  • Averted: Bob has no major problems.
  • Enforced: The writers want to give the audience a hero they can relate to.
  • Lampshaded: "Everytime I think I've finally won, something always sets me back. It's as if my life is more interesting when I'm miserable."
  • Invoked: ???
  • Exploited: Emperor Evulz knows Bob is the one prophecized to eventually defeat him so he sets off to make his life miserable in hopes Bob will never have the drive to realize his destiny and defeat him.
  • Defied: Bob is The Pollyanna and doesn't let his problems get him down.
  • Discussed: "Bob has it rough, but it makes him more endearing somehow."
  • Conversed: "I like this character. He's going through the same problems as me."
  • Deconstructed: A rare optimistic deconstruction - Bob realizes that with his powers, he shouldn't have to worry about not getting a date, bullying, money issues, or anything else and uses them to solve his problems.
  • Reconstructed: And an even rarer cynical reconstruction - He ends up abusing his power and acting like a total Jerk Ass, which alienates the few people who cared about him. This, of course, just adds to his problems.
  • Played For Laughs: Bob saves the world, then has a "Why me?" expression when he can't get a date.
  • Played For Drama: Bob dealing with his personal problems show his determination in the face of adversity.

Back to Classical Anti-Hero.