- Adventure Time:
- Adventure Time with Fionna and Cake: Marshall Lee believes that Fionna likes him because of this. Fionna also raises a good point to this trope - if Marshall is as bad as he claims, then why would he want to hang out with a nice hero like her? Thus, she knows it's all just an act.
- This was also skewered in an early episode. The Ice King, who at that point in the story has little character besides abducting various princesses and attempting to marry them, shaves his beard in a fit of depression, dresses differently, and his line "Well, I'm an ice king" is misheard by a princess as "Well, I'm a nice king." Princesses turn out en masse in their eagerness to meet and court the "Nice King," as do Finn and Jake, who immediately come to offer their services to him. However the Ice King's inability to be truly nice or considerate of anyone else, (as well as his beard rapidly growing back due to the magical influence of his crown, giving him back his distinctive appearance) quickly undoes the ruse and drives everyone away.
- On American Dad!, one episode has Hayley fall for a Saudi terrorist who is torn between his mission and his love for her. Actually an Invoked Trope—he isn't a terrorist at all, he just uses that schtick to get American girls to sleep with him.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel The Legend of Korra both have examples which end up subverted in some way or another.
- Prince Zuko, who has the scars, the attitude, and the fangirls to qualify, not to mention a familiar name. Even well before his HeelFace Turn however, the more he is seen outside of battle, the clearer it is that he is much less a bad boy than a brooding dork.
- Katara also was quite goo-gaa over Jet in his first episode when he was a heroic Robin Hood-esque figure fighting for the freedom for the Earth Kingdom but still had the roguish aloofness of a bad boy. At least, until she saw for herself that Jet and his gang were about to destroy an occupied Earth Kingdom village. The man she ends up marrying, Aang (aka The Hero), is literally (yes, literally) the embodiment of light in the universe and is therefore about as opposite a man as Jet as possible.
- It's played entirely straight in "The Ember Island Players," wherein Play!Katara falls for Play!Jet (who wipes out the town for her) and later Play!Zuko. What she says about Jet is on the quotes page.Play!Katara: Oh Jet, you're so bad.
- Better yet, in the sequel series Korra's first crush Mako seems like Zuko 2.0 with the same personality and attitude...but is actually such a Love Martyr Without a Cause that he makes anyone he's in a relationship with the Bad Boy by default. He ends the series single.
- Discussed in Baby Blues. Were Daryl bemoans that his babysitter is going out with a complete jerk who acted like he was "hurting inside." They try and set her up with a nice boy but she displays no interest in him and runs back to the jerk at the episode's end. The jerk boyfriend even threatens Daryl to get Dizzy together with him again. Despite the threat of violence he refuses and gives the guy a "The Reason You Suck" Speech about how nice guys like him are the ones hurting inside because girls flock to utter assholes like him who treat them like crap.
- Daryl is also the victim of this, since in high school he lost the girl he had a crush on to a guy playing the bad boy to get girls. He's vindicated years later when it turns out that guy became an overweight, balding janitor at not even thirty.
- In The Batman, Firefly gets a girlfriend who seems rather self-aware about this.Firefly: Beauty, brains and cool under fire. What did I do to deserve you?Blaze: Simple. You were very, very...bad.
- Gender reversed on Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Both Black Canary and Huntress throw themselves at Batman, but he's solely interested in "reforming" Catwoman.
- Gender flipped in Beast Wars, where good-boy Knight-In-Shinning-Armour Silverbolt can't stop himself from falling for the naughty bad-girl Blackarachnia. And he's not the only one. Cheetor has the hots for her as well. She appears to show some interest in his upgrades after he became the much more badass Transmetal II Cheetor, but still calls him a "nice kid," pointing out that it's already two strikes against him, prompting Cheetor to angrily mutter that he's neither a kid nor that nice. She still goes with Silverbolt, probably because spending years around Predacons has turned her off to this trope (and she's a Maximal at heart anyway).
- Gwen in Ben 10: Alien Force gets one towards Kevin, someone she wouldn't even considered talking to before her Girliness Upgrade. Partially subverted in that she seems more appreciating of his softer side, and usually gets pissed off by him acting like a jerk or doing illegal deals.
- Jazz in Danny Phantom fell for the motorcycling Rebel-Without-A-Cause type Johnny 13 after he rescued her, the results of which had her acting rebellious as well. Of course, he's really a ghost planning to entrap his equally dead girlfriend in Jazz's body. Creepy.
- In The Deep, Fontaine Nekton clearly has feelings for Smiling Finn, a pirate. Smiling Finn returns those feelings.
- Spoofed briefly in Dilbert; Alice gets involved with a prison inmate. When his appeal goes through and he is found innocent, she promptly dumps him.
- Similarly spoofed in the episode where Alice falls head over heels for Bob Bastard, a disfigured and evil testing engineer. That is, until Dilbert (somewhat unwittingly) reveals what he's really like...At the very least, everyone (save Dilbert) fell for him.
- One would think the ending of the Disney short, The Barn Dance would qualify for this as Minnie leaves Mickey Mouse for Pete. However its actually a Subverted Trope as Pete was actually a courteous gentleman in this cartoon for once, whilst Mickey, while sympathetic, was a mischievous young man.
- Family Guy
- Quagmire (who is only a Chivalrous Pervert towards Meg and is an implied rapist otherwise) explains that the more a woman is treated like crap, the more interested she'll be in you.
- In one episode, Stewie realizes the way to get Olivia to go out with him is to treat her like crap. It works.
- The trope is also subverted in one episode when Chris gets a girlfriend and Peter tells him to treat her like crap so that he'd be "cooler than the other side of the pillow." She dumps him almost immediately for it.
- This trope is inverted in Futurama, where Amy is in love with the sensitive Kif. Her parents disapprove of the fact that Kif isn't "manly enough" and try to hook her up with the more stereotypical bad boys. After failing to impress Amy's parents, Amy assures Kif that it's a good thing that Amy's parents don't like him, which raises the question, is it the trope that's inverted, or the meaning of 'bad'?
- In "Proposition Infinity" (quite possibly a case of Depending on the Writer as it was after Comedy Central picked up the series), it turns out that Amy still can't keep her eyes off of bad boys or flirting with them. This causes Kif to break up with her and Amy starts a "robosexual" affair with the biggest bad boy she knows, Bender.
- Subverted in Gravity Falls—Dipper worries that Wendy and Robbie will start a relationship because, even though Robbie's a jerk, "He's a jerk with tight pants and a guitar." When Wendy and Robbie do hook up, it's implied to because of Robbie showing an occasional soft side. They break up largely due to him being unable to keep the "jerk" aspect buried.
- The Jungle Show has Jessica Cat being into Lou the Wolf.
- Justice League:Wonder Woman: No. No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.Batman: One: dating within the team always leads to disaster. Two: you're a princess from a society of immortal warriors; I'm a rich kid with issues...lots of issues...
- In Kick Buttowski, Kick has a crazy stalker in Wacky Jackie. He also has gotten Kendall (who has a boyfriend already) to fall hard for him.
- Kim Possible admits to Ron (in the appropriately titled episode "Bad Boy") that she likes the Troubled, but Cute type. Ron sees a pattern, and attempts to cultivate a bad boy persona as date-bait. This coincides with a Transformation Ray that makes him a genuine supervillain. Ironically, not Disney, but Nickelodeon would grant Kim's wish in one of their magazine's prank comic books◊ that announced she was dating...
- On The Looney Tunes Show, when Bugs tried to find a way to break up with Lola Bunny, he disguised himself as a woman warning Lola to break up with him or have her heart broken. Rather than being scared away, as Bugs had hoped, she's intrigued by it, and outright calls him one with glee.
- The Powerpuff Girls
Bubbles: We can't talk to them! They're bad.
- There's an episode where Buttercup develops a crush on Ace from the Gangreen Gang who, naturally, upon noticing, decides to suck up to her to get her on his side while the rest of his gang try to kill her sisters.
- In a later episode which shows the girls as teenagers, all three flirt with the Rowdyruff Boys.
Blossom and Buttercup (excited): I know!
- Gender inverted in ReBoot with the relationship between Bob and Mouse. Early episodes showed a certain degree of UST between them, but we knew Bob's OTP was with Dot and Mouse found her love interest with Ray Tracer, the web surfer.
- Directly spoofed on Rugrats. The Pickles family goes to see an incredibly lame musical called "Reptar On Ice." In it, a female news reporter falls in love with the insanely destructive Reptar, despite the fact that he's a dinosaur and she's a human being. Backstage, the actor playing Reptar complains about the ridiculousness of this romance.
- The Simpsons:
- In "A Hunka Hunka Burns in Love", Mr. Burns acquires a girlfriend who is attracted to "bad boys," and finally dumps him for her former boyfriend—pretty criminal Snake Jailbird, causing much confusion for Mr. Burns: "I don't understand, Simpson! I'm a bad boy! I'm completely evil! I once blotted out the sun!"
- Discussed on the DVD Commentary for "Lisa's Date with Density," with those present ruefully concluding for all the nice guys out there that, "It's nice to be a nice guy, but with the ladies...steal a hood ornament...otherwise you'll have to wait to be someone's second husband."
- In the episode "Bart's Girlfriend," Rev. Lovejoy's daughter, Jessica, is attracted to Bart's "Bad Boy" status after a dinner with the Lovejoys has gone awry:Jessica: [walking up] You're "bad", Bart Simpson.
Bart: [plaintive] No, I'm not! I'm really—
Jessica: Yes, you are. You're bad...and I like it.
Bart: [suave] I'm bad to the bone, honey.
- Later turned on its head, as Jessica is actually worse than Bart and had set Bart up as a patsy all along, so if they got in trouble, everyone would look at him instead of her.
- When Kirk van Houten was imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit, he found himself becoming an object of affection to a group of women who thought he was guilty.
- Bart invoked this to make himself popular at a new school. In exchange for attending Ralph's birthday party, Chief Wiggum pretended to take Bart into custody in front of the entire school, calling him a rebel who follows his own rules. One girl promptly swoons after hearing this.
- Discussed in a later episode when Bart asks Lisa why she still has a thing for Nelson. She goes from denying any kind of attraction, to admitting that he's mysterious, to gushing that he's dark, complex and she's the only one who can change him!
- Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM): Princess Sally's Love Interest is Sonic the Hedgehog - an arrogant, egotistical showboat with a minimal formal education, who also has superpowers that allow him to ignore most of these shortfalls.
- Star vs. the Forces of Evil:
- In "Cheer Up Star" Star develops a crush on Oskar Greason, a keytar-playing slacker who "has a record." Given her demonic ex Tom, it's not the first time she's had a crush on a bad boy.
- Marco, meanwhile, seems to believe in this trope, and thus tries to act like a "misunderstood bad boy." In truth, he's really just a Nice Guy.
- In Superman: The Animated Series, Lana Lang dates Lex Luthor in "My Girl" and tells him she likes bad boys...but given the choice, she'd much prefer Nice Guys like Clark Kent. Played straight in "Superman's Pal" when Jimmy's crush Tina turns out to be involved with Metallo.
- Sym-Bionic Titan: Most of the girls at Sherman High School seem to be crushing on Lance.
- In Total Drama, Courtney and Gwen both dig Duncan.
- In one Slacker Cats episode, Eddie seduces a female cat by pretending to be a hardcore bad boy, this proves too much for him because, while he was always a bit of a jerk, he was never as bad as she wanted. Eventually, he tries to prove how evil he is by robbing a baby panda, but it backfires and, eventually, she leaves him to date Dooper, the local homeless cat (who she considered more "bad"). But due to the Reset Button, this never lasted after the episode.
- Extreme badass characters on various shows such as Brock Samson on The Venture Bros. seem to have an almost supernatural ability to court women. Even though both of them are kind of ugly, physique aside.
- X-Men: Evolution
- Kitty (Shadowcat) is attracted to and dates the Troubled, but Cute Lance (Avalanche), even though he tried to kill her in an earlier episode. The whole relationship was an homage to Claire and Bender from The Breakfast Club. Avalanche looks exactly like an animated version of Judd Nelson's Bender.
- Also note that Pietro is the biggest jerkass in the Brotherhood, has repeatedly bullied and tormented the X-Men, primarily Evan, and, later, teased Kitty, was an irredeemable Dirty Coward, and, in some episodes, seemed like a budding sociopath. This has not stopped him being able to date FOUR girls at the same time.
- Yin of Yin Yang Yo! ignores Coop the chicken when he's in his normal geeky state, but when he's tainted with evil, she's mad about him. This also goes for other males in their world. She finds evil "dreamy."
All Girls Want Bad Boys / Western Animation