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- David Eugene Edwards' lyrics for 16 Horsepower and Woven Hand are heavily inspired by The Bible (see the Religion section, below). Thus, the overwhelming majority of fans find Edwards' portrayal of a supremely good God rather frightening, even though Edwards has insisted that he isn't trying to write "dark" lyrics.
- David Byrne's song "The Gates of Paradise" is either an example of this or of Knight Templar. It's unclear how sincere the song's narrator is when he sings:And the laws of Man are not the laws of Heaven
and the Angels' breath is like the desert wind
and terrorists are acting out of love, sweet love
to bring us home again
- In the same vein as the David Eugene Edwards example above, Sufjan Stevens often applies this trope to God Himself. "Casimir Pulaski Day" (about a friend's death from cancer) is probably his most direct example:
- This is what Mara turns out to be in The Fallen Gods. They confirm they're on the party's side after some fairly ambiguous first interactions, but that doesn't stop them from shoving a hot poker into the stump of Jana's leg as punishment for enslaving dozens of merfolk.
- A fair amount of wrestlers who are fan favorites can definitely come across as this, most especially if they made a HeelFace Turn. Even though they stopped insulting the fans, they still can be found intimidating referees, picking on interviewers and commentators, trash talking their opponents, and even get into fights with other faces. In short, they're faces who act like heels.
- A study of his matches reveals that even superface Hulk Hogan would often pull out heel moves or tactics to fight and win, even in his original 80's glory days: he was fond of back rakes and face stomps (both heel moves), and more than once defeated his foe by throwing 'bad powder' into their face or hitting them with steel chairs when the ref was distracted. This is because Hogan was trained to wrestle like a generic big guy heel even though he had a Japanese technical background, he rarely used it in his American matches.
- Sting was been a face for about 99% of his career, but he was still kind of a jerk and was also not afraid to resort to heel moves like eye gouges, low blows and baseball bat attacks if pushed far enough.
- "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. A foul mouthed, beer chugging, asshole who hates his boss and fights for the good guys.
- Cheerleader Melissa is capable of being nice, but usually is not. She'll usually tease and taunt her peers and all but physically dissect her opponents, going well beyond the means to get a three count, and that how she's been known to treat people she likes and or respects. What she reserves for people she really doesn't like often requires them to be lead out on stretchers and yet she's spent a good deal of her career getting audience approval.
- Randy Orton. His past times include performing his finisher on women, punting a lot of people in the head hard enough to hospitalize them, and trying to kill John Cena with pyrotechnics during a match. These days, his attitude hasn't changed much, but he's just decided to use his violent tactics on Heels. Hell, in 2011 he punted all of the New Nexus, Chris Jericho, RKO-ed R-Truth into a table twice, kicked Christian in the nuts because he spat in his face, and has a street fight with him on the next episode of WWE SmackDown. Let's remember that a street fight is a no holds barred match that can take place anywhere in the arena, and Randy Orton has actually tried to use fireworks to kill an opponent. And he REALLY doesn't like Christian.
- When the Bella Twins were faces initially, they'd still pull a Twin Switch to beat their opponents, though they abandoned that when they turned back face. Nikki meanwhile would still be very feisty and aggressive towards her opponents, but would still show loyalty to her teammates - making it clear that she also loves her sister dearly. Brie is the nicer twin of the two in the ring.
- On NXT, Asuka is a shining example of this trope. A ruthless and dangerous competitor in the ring, about the only nice thing about her is that she fights by the rules and only dishes out punishment during matches. She merely wants to win and, once she has, she calms down.
- Roman Reigns actually pointed out this trope when Kurt Angle called him out for trying to kill Braun Strowman. As he noted, heroic wrestlers did stuff like that all the time during Kurt's era, and since Braun was a bad guy he did what he had to do. Roman often nudges into this in general in fact. While he's never made a formal heel turn, he's smug, overconfident and often disrespectful to other faces, not to mention the mutual antipathy he has with the fans.
Religion and Mythology
- The Bible: God is always good, according to Himself and His prophets (His victims always never get a voice in the Bible), but even they have to admit He isn't always nice. This trope also applies to Jesus, despite how He is perceived in modern times. For example, when the temple had been turned into a literal den of thieves, He started overturning tables and drove out the money changers with a whip, and His public debates with the Pharisees frequently utilized scathing (if not also well-deserved) insults that left His opponents the laughingstock of bystanders.
- On that note, Traditional Christian Sects (Catholicism, Orthodoxy, some Protestant sects) are all over this trope. Telling your coworker when he asks if you think he is going to hell for rejecting God? That's not nice. But being nice would be lying. Paradoxically these Religions also impose social strictures that require you to put a value on personal dignity in social engagements, (particularly relevant to western civilization would be chivalry), so sometimes it is hard to decide where one should stop being nice in order to do good.
- There are plenty of examples in the Old Testament where God provides some pretty harsh punishments to the wicked and sometimes the innocent. A good, well known example being the Ten Plagues of Egypt, the last of which involves killing thousands of innocent Egyptian children.
- There are also times where God also gives His followers hardships in life if it is only to test out their faith in Him, much like what He did to Job. Of course, He will make it better in the end since He has sovereign control over everything in the universe.
- This could also be applied to His use of death as a tool. Assuming that He has the capacity to judge any soul the moment it dies (Christian canon attests to this), He can call up someone's number whenever He wants, as the Book of Job calls to attention. Under this interpretation, "Let God sort them out" isn't wrong then because God 'can't' sort them out, it's wrong because when a person does that without specific judgement, they're presuming the right to non-defensively kill another- something a human doesn't have.
- Some methods of preaching can be considered this. While some of it may be encouraging and heartwarming, some of it can be very blunt and reprimanding, especially if it deals with humanity being on a low moral scale. With that, preaching is used to scare others straight into the path of righteousness.
- Just a number of biblical figures in The Bible are this. There's Samuel chastising King Saul for sparing only King Agag of the Amalekites and their animals, and there's the Book of Psalms which a lot of verses involve David praying that the sinners will be mercilessly punished by God.
- Angels. When God decided that a city shall be visited by an angel and not a prophet, it's because the overwhelming majority of the inhabitants of that city had continuously committed vile actions, in which case the angel brought utter destruction to them. Should have listened to the nice guy who sided with the poor and the downtrodden... (The first thing most angels say is, "Fear not!" That implies that angels are scary.)
- Odin in Norse Mythology is quite explicitly a lying, manipulative bastard who does very little for humanity as a whole in the short term. He's also doing all he can to avert the end of the world as long as possible and be as prepared for it as possible if he can't stop it, to the extent that he just doesn't have the time or manpowernote to deal with lesser matters, like being anywhere near nice.
- The Gods and Heroes in Greek Mythology. Like Heracles who was the symbol of the typical Greek hero, he's also a Boisterous Bruiser uses is super strength to do what ever he feels like doing, and has slain numerous monsters with his own bare hands, plus he had a lot of affairs with plenty of...people in his run. His father Zeus, the Big Good in Greek Mythology, cheats on his wife Hera, and strikes lightning bolts, or cast curses on people he doesn't like, weather they deserve it or not.
- High Elves in Warhammer Fantasy. True, they are the most noble faction in the setting and have saved the world many times in history, but this doesn't change the fact that they're a bunch of arrogant, uppity and haughty bastards who patronise humans, shun their Wood Elf cousins and hate pretty much everyone else.
- As are the human domains, Empire and Bretonnia. And they are supposed to be good guys.
- Lizardmen combine this with Blue and Orange Morality. They're continuing the Old One's plan before they up and left, which is to reset the world to the way it was. They're the foremost enemies of Chaos, and many of the targets of their genocides are irredeemably evil creatures like the Skaven. Word of God has compared them to Lawful Neutral.
- In the table-top RPG In Nomine, many of the angels would fall into this category, most notably the Seraphim, who are blunt as a brick to the head (except when they decide to tie the truth in knots), have egos the size of California, and generally find humans annoying, and the Malakim who are serious hardcore Proud Warrior Race Guys. The only groups of angels that could be considered unequivocally "nice" from a human perspective are the Mercurians.
- Dungeons & Dragons paladins, especially those who veer towards Knight Templar or the Lawful Stupid end of the scale.
- In 3.5, the Book of Exalted Deeds directly says that good does not mean nice.
- Complete Scoundrel introduces a Paladin Prestige Class called Gray Guard that is this trope. The illustration even shows a Gray Guard strangling a necromancer. A Gray Guard is a paladin who fights dirty, and can turn his lay on hands ability into a variant on the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique. Imagine Bryan Mills from Taken with a sword and a not-so-shiny armor.
- The Always Lawful Good metallic dragons are just as egotistical and arrogant as their Always Chaotic Evil chromatic cousins. All dragons, good or evil, in D&D believe they are the most awesome creatures in existence and boy does it show. They're not exactly wrong.
- Silver Dragons are a possible exception, as they are mentioned to enjoy spending time disguised among humans unusually much.
- Even good gods are quite apt to find a tough test for their followers — a textbook example is being sent to find a specific flower in Fire and Brimstone Hell and bring it back. Immortals of Mystara are divided only by Sphere of influence and not Character Alignment, so they have even less obligations on this side.
- Lathander is one of the most benevolent deities in the Forgotten Realms, but God help you if you're a necromancer.
- The cake goes to Rafiel — he's a caring guy in his own way, but plays with his Shadow Elf (prototype of drow!) followers The End Justifies The Means hard enough to convince everyone else he's the exemplary case of Light Is Not Good (which is a part of his plan too).
- There is also Ben-hadar, the ruler of Good-aligned water elementals. His gruff demeanor usually causes him to be perceived as an arrogant, selfish boor, so he has few allies, and most say he truly pushes the limit of what can be called "good". This is emphasized by the fact that he feuds with two other good-aligned elemental lords, Chan and Zaaman Rul (who view him as an isolationist with a repugnant personality) and maintains truces with both the yugoloth lord Cerlic and the Slaad Lord Rennbuu. Still, he opposes evils like Bwimb, who sought to pollute the Elemental Plane of Water, and maintains strong alliances with a few good entities, including Queen Morwel or the eldarin, Deep Sashelas, Eadro, Persana, and the enigmatic Water Lion.
- The Salamanders chapter in Warhammer 40,000. Absolutely relentless in battle, a chapter of Scary Black Men ( their skin becomes "onyx black" as they undergo the Space Marine transformation due to a genetic flaw) with Red Eyes, Take Warning and a Kill It with Fire fighting style. However, the good part here is from how they actually care about the people they protect and find the thought of harming civilians disgusting, even punching out another chapter master for even thinking of it. Amongst this Knight Templar Warrior Race, this respect for innocent lives is only shared by Chapters like The Space Wolves, The Raven Guard and The Ultramarines. The Salamanders and Ultramarines are the closest thing this universe has to Lawful Good and the Space Wolves are the closest thing to Chaotic Good.
- It's not actually that uncommon. The Celestial Lions are another notably humanitarian chapter, as are the Iron Snakes and presumably many of the other Ultramarines-derived successor chapters (and the majority of successor chapters are of Ultramarines stock). The majority of the first founding chapters at least try to keep civilian casualties to a minimum.
- On the opposite end of the spectrum you have the Black Templars. Definitely the good guys from the Imperium's standpoint, the hardest working and most pious Space Marine chapter. They have fought a crusade against aliens for 10,000 years, but they are willing to do things like sacrifice millions of human lives to kill an alien psyker that stood in the Imperium's way.
- In one story we see a Black Templar attack from the perspective of a simple human farmer when the battles over his farm is destroyed and he prays that they will never come back because they scared him more than the Orks they had fought. He even pitied the Orks for being in such a Curb-Stomp Battle.
- The Adepta Sororitas are described as "shining examples of all that is good about humanity" by numerous Games Workshop sources. Even what are unequivocally the nicest of the Sisters, the Sisters Hospitaller who are beloved across the Imperium as saints for their tireless (and almost always selfless) medical work, will gladly torture a heretic for information and then kill them in a very painful way.
- Actually, everyone who you could consider to be "good guys" in the setting are not nice.
- To simplify things about the setting, the Imperium is the Protagonist Faction, and, Depending on the Writer (or whether it's a novel or background material), its members can range from being genuinely holy crusaders to being truly monstrous. Or both at once.
- The Eldar as a whole generally fall into this trope if you get past the Values Dissonance. Their race is dying, and they're out to preserve their society and their people; they are the only faction in the setting to which a non-zero number of casualties is an unacceptable number. However, their goal is to preserve Eldar life, and they won't give a rat's ass if it turns out that they need to kill untold numbers of anyone else to save a few of their own.
- In the fan setting Brighthammer 40000, this is the defining trait of the Lords of Order, the Mirror Universe counterpart to the Chaos Gods. They're as unarguably good and benevolent as their Canon counterparts are evil and malevolent... but they're still ultimately alien manifestations of raw human emotion that can be truly dangerous if offended or treated carelessly.
- Magic: The Gathering: White is often stereotyped as the "good" color, representing law, order and the sacrifice of the individual for the good of the community, but even when white-aligned characters legitimately are good, they're rarely nice. Other times, White's tendency towards xenophobia and Black and White Insanity drags it straight into another trope.
- For example, the Boros Legion of Ravnica are the police and army and use a combination of White and Red mana. They're generally the ones most concerned with justice and keeping the citizens safe from lawbreakers or other such groups (such as the Cult of Rakdos). Their defining quote comes from the card Boros Charm: "Practice compassion and mercy. But know when they must end."
- Urza. In the process of trying to save his world from an invasion, he causes multiple cataclysmic events and blatantly manipulates everyone he comes into contact with. He is canonically white/blue aligned.
- The Templars from Deadlands: Hell On Earth slot quite neatly into this trope. Templars will gladly lay down their lives for people who prove themselves willing to do good and spread hope, but not lift a finger for anyone else. The Templars justify it by saying that After the End, resources are scarce, and trained Templars are the scarcest resource of all. As such, Templars need to be used where they, and the unique skills they bring to the table, can do most good in the long run, and not thrown away on short-term "feel-good" missions or spread so thin as to be rendered useless by trying to save everyone. Most Templars agree that this is harsh, but very few find it unnecessarily so.
- Those Templars that do come at this trope from the other side. Templars get their powers from capital-G God, who sends various Saints to the Templars in visions to make his will known. God in this setting is an Old Testament sort and approves of the Templars' "no respite for the wicked"-attitude. When a Templar turns his back on the Order, God turns His back on the renegade... but their are plenty of less wholesome entities who are quite capable of masquerading as the Saints and fuelling the Anti-Templar's magical abilities. The Anti-Templars, unaware that they are drawing spiritual power and guidance from demons, inevitably grow violent, ruthless and Ax-Crazy as The Corruption sets in. By the time the patron shows its true identity, the Anti-Templar is inevitably too far gone to even care.
- Pathfinder brings us the Eagle Knights, a Lawful Good faction of abolitionists from a nation that is a clear stand-in for the US or Canada. They will gladly resort to brutal or underhanded means to free slaves or kill slavers, and many belong to an organization of privateers with quasi-official sanction. To wit, they may secretly raid a slave ship, free the slaves clandestinely, then sink the ship with the slavers aboard, shooting any who try to save themselves from the waves. On a good day.
- John Adams in 1776 definitely fits. He's an early promoter of the cause of independence...and so obnoxious, abrasive, rude, arrogant, and snarky that he's detested by most of his friends.Benjamin Franklin: [referring to the Declaration of Independence] Why don't you write it yourself, John?John Adams: I am obnoxious and disliked.Benjamin Franklin: That's true, John.
- Lampshaded by the Witch in a kind of reverse way in Into the Woods:You're so niceYou're not goodYou're not badYou're just niceI'm not goodI'm not niceI'm just right
And take extra care with strangersEven flowers have their dangersAnd though scary is excitingNice is different than good
- This trope is almost directly quoted by Little Red Riding Hood in "I Know Things Now":
- Elphaba in Wicked could be considered an example of this.
- Leo Frank in Parade may be the lead protagonist, but he starts out as cold and looking down at the Southerners around him.
- The Mrs Hawking play series: The lead character Mrs. Hawking. As her apprentice Mary puts it in Part V: Mrs. Frost, "She's a hero. Not a saint."
- Slag, from the original G1 Transformers, is incredibly mean and nasty, will even attack his own comrades if they irritate him . . . and an Autobot. No one is even sure why he is even an Autobot at all, though it is implied here and there (memory fails as to specifics) that it is loyalty to his Dinobot teammates that keeps him around.
- Hell, all the Dinobots with the exception of Swoop and Sludge. None of them really like Optimus Prime for starters. Grimlock himself would gladly pull a Starscream if he could get away with it.
- Cross-universal consensus on this is that the Dinobots consider Optimus "soft", which usually results in Prime demonstrating this trope on Grimlock's head. That doesn't mean they consider a tyrannical dictatorship under Megatron or wanton murder to be good ideas.
- Similarly, there's the snobby, blunt, somewhat unhealthily violent Sunstreaker—he means well, being an Autobot, but is unpleasant and kind of a jerk to everyone, even his twin brother Sideswipe.
- Superion is the Autobot's first Combining Mecha, but most of the time he's shown as a violent, thundering titan, more unleashed than commanded. Yet he still very much aims to protect innocent life, given one of his lines is "No more, Bruticus! No more harm will come to the humans!"
- As noted on the TF Wiki itself: while he's charming and charismatic, we can't forget that he's a "Liar. Cheater. Compulsive gambler. Meet heroic Autobot Smokescreen, kids!"
- Primus, God-ancestor of all Cybertronians who is in the background of every subseries and universe, exhibits this quite well. His goal is to ensure that the multiverse is still here tomorrow, and will often make life quite difficult or unpleasant for mortals in the process if it is necessary for the greater good.
- It should be noted that most continuities, including the first he was created in, Primus essentially created the entire Cybertronian race to serve as nothing more than cannon fodder against Unicron.
- Keroff's unnamed lieutenant in Crystal Sun refuses to empathize with Keroff, the main protagonists, or anyone really, in the name of doing what appears to immediately benefit the majority.
- Sidney from Distillum ain't nice. Maybe when she's not overworked... because of the protagonists meddling...
- Rikk in Fans get a rather epic moment that screams this trope when he is laying the smackdown on Keith Feddyg. It's an interesting moment, as most of the time Rikk is easily the kindest and most level-headed character in the comic.Rikk: Your kind always underestimates ours. You mistake good manners for timidity. You mistake self-control for passivity. So self-controlled are we that sometimes we wont retaliate when you harm us. But if you — ANY of you — harm our loved ones — we will come at you like fanged, slavering beasts from the darkest of LSD nightmares. Believe it.
- Girl Genius: After Gil delineates how Zola is fairly innocuous and in danger — an idiot, but not malicious — he is questioned about whether her lack of malice is important... which produces an intimidating burst of rage: if he let everyone he thought was an idiot die, there wouldn't be many people left alive.
- Girl Genius is pretty fond of this trope — practically all of the "good" characters are able to slip into Evil Demented Sparky Genius Mode at a moment's notice. Agatha, Gil, and Klaus would be the best examples—and are at each other's throat half of the time.Agatha: I get it. I see where this is going. [...] I'm the big meanie, because I made Princess Psycho cry. I'm the bad guy because, for whatever reason, you didn't tell your nasty little friend who you are, and now she's sad. So you're mad at me — because now she's all sweet and teary and needs rescuing, and I'M the evil madgirl with the death ray and the freakish ancestors — and the town full of minions — and the horde of Jägers — and the homicidal castle full of sycophantic evil geniuses and fun-sized hunter-killer monster clanks and goodness know what else — [pause] And you know what? I CAN WORK WITH THAT!
- As an even earlier example — albeit with a good touch of Beware the Nice Ones — here is the very first time Gil realizes this and achieves a Crowning Speech of Awesome (if such a trope exists):Gil: I am sick to death of this! What do I have to do?! I just took down an entire army of war clanks, and still I get treated like a halfwit child! [...] Always, I try to be reasonable. To be fair. I try to talk to people. And no one ever takes it as anything other than weakness. [...] You listen to me try to be civilized, and you think—"Oh, he's nothing." "Him we can ignore." "Him we can push around." "We can do whatever we want—he won't stop us." [...] Because nobody ever takes me seriously — unless I shout and threaten like a cut-rate stage villain. Well, you know what? I can do crazy. I really can. And it looks like I'm going to have to. [...] I'll have to give up all this "being reasonable" garbage — and show you idiots what kind of madboy you're really dealing with! ...Oh. Oh, no. This must be how my father feels — all the time!
- Girl Genius is pretty fond of this trope — practically all of the "good" characters are able to slip into Evil Demented Sparky Genius Mode at a moment's notice. Agatha, Gil, and Klaus would be the best examples—and are at each other's throat half of the time.
- Raven, from El Goonish Shive, is a strict disciplinarian, quite caustic and doesn't suffer fools gladly. And will fight monsters or wizards to protect his students.
- Homestuck has a couple of examples:
- Karkat Vantas is the Alternian equivalent of the descendant of the troll version of Jesus, and Karkat himself is very, very heavily on the good side, being very devoted to his friends to an almost Team Mom-ish level at times. It is almost impossible to have a conversation with him that does not involve him yelling colorful abuse at you.
- Terezi, who is obsessed with JUST1C3 and who has no pity for evil, considers herself this. However, by Earth standards, the Alternian justice system wouldn't exactly be considered "good". Terezi herself is much closer to human morality, though, and would still qualify.
- Vriska also at least sees herself this way:VRISKA: I only ever wanted to do the right thing no matter how it made people judge me...
VRISKA: And you don't have to 8e a good person to 8e a hero.
VRISKA: You just have to know who you are and stay true to that.
VRISKA: So I'm going to keep fighting for people the only way I ever knew how.
VRISKA: 8y 8eing me.
- In Impure Blood, Elnor bluntly tells Roan that Fantastic Racism will continue if he doesn't act civilly.
- Mike from It's Walky! has this in him. He comes off as a total Jerkass until he sacrifices his life to save Joyce at the end. He also does several other heroic things before then, but that's the kicker.
- The angels in Maxwell the Demon run a Celestial Bureaucracy and, while working for good, are as dickish as the demons, if not worse.Demon: Oh, sorry. Go on through. No hard feelings, ey?
Angel: [muttering] First against the wall when the Rapture comes.
- The Order of the Stick: Roy to a certain extent, who, while being Lawful Good, enjoys verbally lambasting his friends and enemies a bit too much and is even berated for it by several other Lawful Good characters.
- The paladins of Azure City are pragmatic in general, cunning to the point of underhandedness when necessary. (Yes, even Miko.)
- Miko is socially inept, Lawful Stupid, and eventually jumps off the slippery slope, but she's unfailingly courageous and eager to save innocent bystanders.
- The deva who evaluates Roy's case rather easily intimidates Eugene from interfering.
- Haley has her moments, too. Those who read her origin comic may get Mood Whiplash when they see her friends again. She kills most of them without hesitation, and in many cases without them even having the chance to surrender or speak in their own defense. Mind, they're there to kill her, too.
- The same can be said, albeit in different ways, of Durkon. He's Lawful Good to the core, and weeps tears of joy when he realizes that he'll be going home to his people as a corpse. He also has Charisma as his dump stat, so even when people can understand his accent, he comes off gruff.
- When Mike shows up in Shortpacked!, some of the horrible things he does end up forcing other characters to confront bad aspects of themselves, making them better people overall.
- Angels in Slightly Damned canonically tend towards good. What little we've seen of their society could be generously called a hyper-conformist borderline-fascist state.
- Aeris from VG Cats. She tends to very bluntly berate Leo for his stupidity, but often times it's for his own good. (Here's an especially classic case of this.) She's also implied-but-not-shown to hit Leo from time to time, but it's presumably based on a similar principle.
- This varies from strip to strip though. Occasionally she will become so enraged by Leo's antics that she will go back in time to erase him from existence completely. He gets better though.
- Gilgam in The Water Phoenix King is the embodiment of this. Being Really 700 Years Old is only part of the reason; it mostly seems caused by post-war disillusionment and depression, though he was probably always sarcastic and irreverent (he was a lawyer, after all) and being the Only Sane Man (in his mind, at least) doesn't help.
- Tatsuma from Beyond Bloom may be heroic at heart, but is oftentimes childishly cruel and may come off like a schoolyard bully to even her friends.
- At some point in Exterminatus Now, the team meets an actual angel, who then proceeds to angrily insult them for being the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits they are.
- The Angry Video Game Nerd. He briefly showed some compassion in the Battletoads review by letting Kyle Justin sit on the couch. And in the R.O.B. episode, he single-handedly defeated R.O.B. so that all the games in the world weren't limited to Gyromite and Stack-Up.
- ARCHON has this in spades. Elves for instance are described as having rebelled against their original creator because they didn't want to harm innocents, yet Arglwydd has little issue with Kill It with Fire tactics and Badass Preacher Offeiriad is content to slaughter a town when they go feral and try to kill him.
- The Courier in Courier's Mind: Rise of New Vegas is a snarky, cynical, sadist with a Hair-Trigger Temper. But when the people of The Mojave need a hero, he'll always (begrudgingly) step up to save the day, no matter the cost.
- Demo Reel. Carl Copenhagan and Quinn both have terrorist backstories and little patience for stupidity, but become part of the Lonely Together family by the end of the second episode.
- Captain Hammer from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is a Superhero who's apparently saved the city numerous times over. He's also the world's biggest Jerkass; he only even seems to do the hero gig to earn the adulation of others and thus feed his insufferable ego, and, upon discovering the secret identity of his arch-nemesis, decides to gloat and continue dating the girl of the villain's dreams just to make him squirm instead of simply arresting him for his crimes. The first time he's ever actually hurt in the commission of his heroic duties, he runs like a scared child and spends months in therapy.
- Dreamscape: Jenna is a "good guy", but not a "GOOD guy". And Aseir is just as distant and aloof as she is.Dylan: I know she isn't the first person you'd invite to a party, and doesn't exactly spread happiness wherever she goes.
- Mandana, the Queen of Goodness from Elemental Goddess is the adopted mother of the main characters (all six of them) and was/is a Magical Girl. However, she's a royal bitch who acts rude and bitchy towards everyone she meets without any provocation, even a random person who simply said hello and asked about her day, she opted to skip out of the bill at a restaurant rather negotiate or pay, and she acts more like a thirteen-year-old Alpha Bitch rather than the forty-year-old "embodiment of virtue" that she's supposed to be.
- Hero House has several of the heroes acting like dicks. Particularly Red Hood.
- In Madness Combat we have Jesus (aka Jebus). His title in episode 5 is "The Savior", he wears a supernatural halo, controls life and death (primarily in the form of zombies), tries to bring justice to the wicked, opposes the satanic Auditor, and only fights against the protagonist Hank on the grounds that Hank is a dangerous criminal guilty of murdering law enforcement officers. However, his method of "Justice" is more or less Judge, Jury, and Executioner.
- The Nostalgia Critic may be a Psychopathic Manchild with a Dark and Troubled Past, but God help you if you were to hurt a child.
- Nyx Crossing: The natives help the group in episode 4, but in doing so, they severely injure one, tie them all up, go through their things, and abandon them before helping them.
- Most of the main cast in Red vs. Blue. They insult each other constantly, bicker over everything, and are generally jerks. But when it comes down to the wire, they'll put their lives on the line for a good cause.
- Weiss Schnee of RWBY is a metaphorical and literal Ice Queen and Academic Alpha Bitch who has bigoted opinions on Faunas (with a good Freudian Excuse thrown in though) and generally speaks to others with a snarky, derisive tone. She's still one of the good guys, however, and she's not quite nice yet but she's getting there.
- The RWBY Abridged version of Ruby is an extremely rude smartass, who makes her annoyance at others very well known. But, she also genuinely wants to keep her hometown safe and routinely stops criminals all by herself.
- Weiss is pretty much just like her canon self, with the added bonus that she's not even training to become a hero by choice. Still, when people are in danger, she will do what she has to, to defend them.
- In Survival of the Fittest, Adam Dodd circa v3. Whilst he's supposedly the good guy of the series that doesn't stop him acting like a a complete prick to more or less everyone.
- V4's Aileen Borden seems to fit this trope so far. Being a Deadpan Snarker and somewhat of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold from the beginning, she tends to snark her way through events in the game, and does from time to time get annoyed with her allies. However, despite this, she genuinely wants to get as many people off the island as possible, gets worried about her team mates when they go missing and is relieved when they show up again, and gets upset at Announcement time, especially if someone she knows is named. Shame about her being an Unwitting Pawn to Aaron Hughes...
- The Silver Order from Tasakeru exemplifies this trope. They feed, clothe, and shelter, and provide aid for vast numbers of Sankami's citizens in their credo to "protect life", but Gods help you if you fall outside their definition of "life"...
- Corporal Erik Mahren, range officer at Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe. Coarse, angry, and clinically insane after the horrors he experienced in a Black Ops group for the U.S. Defense Department, he acts like a Jerkass to the students. Except he'll do anything to keep students from being hurt on his ranges, and he was willing to be brutally ripped to pieces to save a teenage girl from killing herself.
- Worm applies this trope to almost every hero that we get to know, but usually in a way that emphasizes that they are only flawed humans with incredible abilities and more attention paid to them than normal people. It doesn't help that most people acquire powers by going through an incredibly traumatic event. The heroes who gain powers from Cauldron fall even harder into this trope.
- Armsmaster/Defiant is probably the most prominent example. He's arrogant, abrasive, non-empathetic, and socially-maladjusted. He's willing to take advantage of a truce to engineer the deaths of villains who are at least temporarily his allies in the name of the greater good. And yet he genuinely cares about helping people and doing the right thing, and he proves willing to at least try and improve on his interpersonal failings despite continuously falling short.
- The SCP Foundation is an organization dedicated to protecting humanity from the supernatural, in a setting where doing so requires a great amount of dog shooting, doing what's necessary, and protecting you from things you don't need to know about. They avoid collateral damage wherever possible, get rid of any of their agents who put their own desires above protecting innocents, and generally take great pains to make sure that any terrible acts they do are only done if there aren't any better, more moral options.Ethics Committee agent: You've done horrible, awful things while working for the Foundation don't try to deny it, Doctor. You've consoled yourself by thinking that all the torture and murder is for the greater good. This implies that there is a greater good and a lesser good. It implies that there are multiple distinct goods, and that these can be quantified and compared.