"He was guilty of robbery and murder, industrial espionage and several attempts at terrorism...It was obvious to Kitty that he'd steal the money out of the church hat, if he ever went to church.
So why exactly was she drawn to him? He certainly wasn't a nice man. Not like Superman. He could be cruel, callous, and unthinking...But there was still something about that bald head and those smoldering eyes.
If his confidence was electric, the power she saw burning in those incredible eyes was nuclear. When you were drawn into his circle you believe he could make anything happen.
Where most people saw smiley faces in the moon, he saw worlds ripe for conquest. It was sort of thrilling."
— Superman Returns novelization
"I'm ashamed to say it. But while I admire Ashley, understand him and like his sense of principle, in the end, it's Rhett that I'd want."
Picard: What does a woman like you see in a man like Professor Moriarty?
Countless Bartholomew: He is an exciting man, Captain. Brilliant, incisive... ruthless. He has an almost irresistible appeal.
Picard: He is also an arch criminal.
Countess Bartholomew: Only because he was written that way! I see him much differently, Captain — he is not a villain.
— Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Ship in a Bottle"
"That Tompkins is such a renegade!"
— So and So, Teen Girl Squad Issue 8
"You like me because I'm a scoundrel. There aren't enough scoundrels in your life."
— Han Solo to Princess Leia, The Empire Strikes Back
Shepard: "Some women like dangerous men."
Kelly: "Commander, that is a dirty, dirty stereotype! In my case it happens to be true, but still!"
I'll make a rich woman beg, and make a good woman steal
I'll make an old woman blush, and make a young girl squeal
I wanna be yours pretty baby, yours and yours alone
But I gotta tell ya honey, that I'm bad to the bone!
— George Thorogood, Bad to the Bone
Teen Bubbles: (On the Rowdyruff Boys) "Oh. We shouldn't talk to them. They're bad."
Teen Blossom and Teen Buttercup: (Smiling wickedly) "I know!"
— The Powerpuff Girls, "City of Clipsville"
"Honestly though, I thought he was cuter when he was evil."
— Tokine, Kekkaishi
"I don't understand. Do women like being treated like crap?"
— Stewie Griffin, Family Guy
"All good women have a missionary streak, sir; convince her that her orifice will be your salvation and she's yours."
— Puss-in-Boots, The Bloody Chamber
"I actually don't think girls like a guy who treats them bad. But I do think they—we—get off a little on the idea of changing someone for the better, or the idea of having the power that someone loves us so much that he'll change or sacrifice something for us. ... A nice guy doesn't need to change, and, most importantly, he's already nice to everyone. How do you know that you're special if he treats everyone else with as much kindness and respect as he treats you? The "bad boy" type, though? He may range from simple, garden-variety jackhole (hello, Sawyer!) to appalling psychopath (hello, Dr. Lecter!), but you know he loves you because he's completely different around you. You are an exception to his very nature. This is how "villain" ends up drifting towards "antihero"—Dracula, The Phantom of the Opera, Spike on Buffy, fanfic!Draco Malfoy—but you even see it with straightforward heroes: Mr. Darcy and Mr. Rochester are both cold, prickly, withdrawn types until Lizzie Bennet and Jane Eyre arrive, respectively, to bewilder and melt them. That's the fantasy."
He's a rebel and he'll never ever be any good
He's a rebel and he'll never ever be understood
And just because he doesn't do what everybody else does
That's no reason why I can't give him all my love
He is always good to me, always treats me tenderly
'Cause he's not a rebel, no no no
He's not a rebel, no no no, to me
— The Crystals, "He's a Rebel"
"I was reading an article in the paper about Ted Bundy being on trial in Florida. In the article it said the courtroom was filled with women waiting to give him flowers, love letters and wedding fucking proposals - and I'm afraid to say that the first thing that entered my head was: "And I'm not getting laid?" What am I doing wrong... Okay, what exactly are you ladies looking for in a man here?"
"I tell you, Satan's gonna have no trouble taking over here 'cause all the women are gonna say: What a cute butt. He's Satan! You don't know him like I do. He's the Prince of Darkness! ''I can change him.''"
"Witnesses said the sexy and oh-so-single Jeffries Ė best known for his role as daredevil test pilot Johnny Spade in the blockbuster G-Force movies Ė committed the murders 'for no apparent reason,' mowing down his terrified prey 'with cold-blooded precision, deaf to their desperate pleas for mercy.'" Ouch!"
Jonas Armstrong: "He's a murderer!"
Lucy Griffiths: "Yes, but he's a nice-looking murderer!"
"Woman's heart and mind are insoluble puzzles to the male. Murder might be condoned or explained, and yet some smaller offence might rankle."
— Sherlock Holmes, "The Adventure of the Illustrious Client"
Be my bad boy, be my man.
Be my weekend lover, but don't be my friend.
— Cascada, "Bad Boy"
Yeah the bad boys are always catching my eye
I said the bad boys are always spinning my mind
Even though I know they're no good for me
It's the risk I take for the chemistry
With the bad boys always catching my eye
— Alexandra Burke, "Bad Boys"
Solange: "What is it about bad men? You... my husband. I had so many chances to be happy, so many nice guys. Why can't nice guys be more like you?"
James: "Because then they would be bad."
— A frank summing up of this trope in the Bond film Casino Royale.
Rufus van Alden: (On his daughter's husband) "Why do women do it? Leave their damned brains in neutral when the bad guys start to sweet talk? Why couldn't she have married some straight up and down dullard who would have taken care of her?"
— Hercule Poirot, "The Mystery of the Blue Train"
Lennox: (On the same individual as above) "Itís that air of helpless ruin. Heís desperately attractive. He may well be a killer too of course so thatís a bit worrying. But maybe thatís whatís attractive, I donít know."
— Hercule Poirot, "The Mystery of the Blue Train"
Lily Evans (to James Potter): "You're such an asshole... that's so charming."
Kitty Fane: "As if a woman ever loved a man for his virtue."
— W. Somerset Maugham, The Painted Veil
Now you're in love, and why shouldn't you be?
I'm everything you'll never be.
— Queens of the Stone Age, "Ode to Clarissa"
Manny Calavera: "You know, you have a really bad taste in men."
Olivia Ofrenda: "No, I have a taste for really bad men. There's a difference."
Puck: "Jesse will never fully know what it feels like to be a Jew."
Rachel: "I'm ironically turned on by your bad boy image, but let's keep this professional."
"The whole 'quiet and stoic' thing must get you a lot of action, huh?"
— Oghren, Dragon Age: Origins Ė Awakening
"Doc, Iím not here to fill your ear with a load of crap about rules, or making wise choices or wasting your potential or any of that crap. You got on the pill; that tells me youíre trying to be responsible. Now, let me clue you in on something about bad boys. Most bad boys arenít a project, honey; theyíre not fixer-uppers. They wonít fall for the right girl and mystically be cured of their faults while keeping that cool edginess. And, sadly, most of them need a cop with a gun and the threat of a jail sentence hanging over their heads to wake up and figure out which way the world spins. I know because I was one and thatís what it took. More to the point, Trish and I would rather chew ground glass than see you hurt."
— Mr Donner, Whateley Universe
Bart: "What do you like about him (Jimbo)? He's just a good-looking rebel who plays by his own rules."
Lisa and Laura Powers: (Sigh wistfully)
"Who's that guy? The guy with all the tattoos who just punched that other guy in the gut and stole his car keys? The guy who called me a bitch and told me to stay out of his business? I want him to get me pregnant."
— 4 Pieces of Relationship Advice Movies Need to Stop Giving, Cracked
Player Katara: "Oh Jet, you're so...bad...."
— Avatar: The Last Airbender , episode "The Ember Island Players"
It is not vertue, wisdom, valour, wit,
Strength, comliness of shape, or amplest merit
That woman's love can win or long inherit;
But what it is, hard is to say,
Harder to hit,
(Which way soever men refer it).
— Samson Agonistes, 1010-1015
He's a tramp
But they love him
Breaks a new heart
He's a tramp
They adore him
And I only hope
He stays that way
He's a tramp
He's a scoundrel
He's a rounder
He's a cad
He's a tramp
But I love him
Yes, and even I
Have got it pretty bad
You can never tell
When he'll show up
He gives you
Plenty of trouble
I guess he's just a
No 'count pup
But I wish that he
He's a tramp...but they love him.
—>— Peggy Lee, Lady and the Tramp
"You got style, You got grace. But kid you try so hard, she just laughs in your face. Yeah, you're a nice guy with the wrong attitude, She want a bad boy."
— Cobra Starship, Nice Guys Finish Last .
"Women love a sick child or a healthy animal; A man who is both itches them like an incubus."
— Marilyn Hacker, She Bitches About Boys
"She wants fire, and Dorne sent her mud. You could make a poultice out of mud to cool a fever. You could plant seeds in mud and grow a crop to feed your children. Mud would nourish you, where fire would only consume you, but fools and children and young girls would choose fire every time."
— Barristan Selmy, A Song of Ice and Fire
"It's always the bad boy that makes the good girl's heart beat just a little bit faster."
— Simon R. Green, Something From The Nightside
"It amuses me. It honestly amuses me. People have been waxing lyrical [in letters] about Draco Malfoy, and I think that's the only time when it stopped amusing me and started almost worrying me. I'm trying to clearly distinguish between Tom Felton, who is a good looking young boy, and Draco, who, whatever he looks like, is not a nice man. Itís a romantic, but unhealthy, and unfortunately all too common delusion of ó delusion, there you go ó of girls, and you [nods to Melissa] will know this, that they are going to change someone. And that persists through many women's lives, till their death bed, and it is uncomfortable and unhealthy and it actually worried me a little bit, to see young girls swearing undying devotion to this really imperfect character, because there must be an element in there, that 'I'd be the one who [changes him]'. I mean, I understand the psychology of it, but it is pretty unhealthy. So, a couple of times I have written back, possibly quite sharply, saying [Laughter], 'You want to rethink your priorities here'."
Fred: Women don't love men for their goodness.
Mary: Perhaps not. But if they love them, they never think them bad.
Rose and Valerie, screaming from the gallery
Say he must go free / (Maxwell must go free)
"... [T]he seduction community is today rediscovering politically incorrect truths about female sexuality that everyone knew and took for granted before 1830 - albeit the old account was that women tend to make self destructive sexual choices, so need male kin supervising their sex lives, while the new seduction community account is that women tend to make self destructive sexual choices, so here is how to take advantage of them."
— Random internet forum poster on "Pick Up Artists".
"For some unknown reason,draw you in despite the fact that they are jerks"
Mermando: [after Mabel asks him out] I'm afraid I cannot, for I have a terrible secret! *swims away*
Mabel: I'm upset...but also intrigued.
"You know, it's very strange. You're really horrible, and cynical and shallow and selfish and immoral and completely worthless—and I like you. I like you very much."
—Patty, to David Slater in The Moon Is Blue