: A cynical character who is nevertheless obstinately good
- Straight: Carol Lime is an experienced police detective who honestly expects most of her cases to end without resolution ... but not for lack of trying.
- Exaggerated: Carol is an Iron Woobie who is constantly undermined by those around her.
- Downplayed: Carol is sarcastic but not particularly pessimistic.
- Most of her cases have been long-dead or badly prosecuted.
- As a cop Carol has witnessed Police Brutality and racial profiling, dealt with scumbag murderers and rapists, and on top that people hate her and assume she's a Corrupt Cop just because she's a cop.
- Carol might think she lives in a Crapsack World, but also thinks that being Good Feels Good even though it might suck from time to time.
- Carol might be cynical and think things will turn out for the worst, but she knows that there's still a chance that she's wrong and something good might happen.
- Carol isn't too fond of the state of the world, but that's all the more reason not to take it lying down, even if nobody else gives a shit.
- Inverted: Carol is an up-and-running villain filled with idealistic zeal of how easily she's going to Take Over the World.
- Subverted: The Reveal is that Carol is actually a Dirty Cop.
- Double Subverted:
- ...except she was framed.
- But that was in the past and she is trying to make up for it.
- ...and so is everyone else, to the point where it's suspicious if you aren't. Carol's bribes are voluntary payments from people grateful she actually did her job.
- Parodied: Carol is continually ranting about how Being Good Sucks and Humans Are Bastards, while at the same time stepping in to save every person she can and screwing the rules and the money to do what she thinks is right.
- Zig Zagged: ...but the framing was actually a lie fabricated by Carol in order to hide her True Colors.
- Averted: Carol is cheerful and optimistic.
- True Art Is Angsty.
- "The world can suck at times, People need a hero who realizes this and fights on regardless."
- "Why do you fight so hard if you know you're just going to lose?"
- "Things are bad enough already. I'm not letting them get worse."
- Invoked: "I Gave My Word."
- Exploited: Carol is assigned the case because the criminals are more likely to mistake her for someone who can be bribed.
- Defied: Whenever depression threatens, Carol remembers all the cases she closed successfully.
- Discussed: "Let me tell you right now — I would rather have Det. Lime investigating my murder than any wet-behind-the-ears Wide-Eyed Idealist who thinks every criminal is always caught."
- Conversed: "You know, for a character as cynical as Det. Lime, she seems to be awfully heroic."
- The work goes on about how Carol's dedication to justice with little reward is wearing away at her enthusiasm, and she begins wondering if it would be better to falsify some evidence just so she can have something to show for her hard work.
- Alternately: Remaining obstinately good feels good, causing her cynicism to slowly ebb away into a more idealistic mindset.
- Carol gets her ideas thrown back in her face by a Knight Templar or Fallen Hero who shares the same cynical beliefs as she does, forcing her to confront her own ideas and see how her attitude could create the same problems she despises.
- ...but she is reminded by her friends that the world needs her and that they believe in her good moral core. It gives her the strength to continue to work hard regardless of success or failure.
- ...but her new found idealism causes her to become overly-invested in a particular case, which she is unable to close. This causes her to remember that while having hope is good, she still needs to keep her professional distance or she'll compromise the justice she wants to bring and risk giving up all together.
- After considering it, she decides that the Knight Templar was full of it — she still chose to try to make the world better despite her resentment of it, while the other guy just decided to shoot at it for disappointing him.
The Knight in Sour Armor
is over here, ya goof...why do I even bother sometimes (mutter mutter)