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Good Is Not Nice / Western Animation

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  • From Avatar: The Last Airbender, post-Heel–Face Turn Prince Zuko has shades of this. He's only slightly friendlier than he was in the first season. There's also Aang (when he gets pissed, he turns into a cold, ruthless Creepy Child with Glowing Eyes of Doom and the Voice of the Legion), Katara (who has shown a nasty, vengeful side when someone wrongs the people she loves), and Toph (a Deadpan Snarker who cons several Fire Nation citizens and sinks a zeppelin full of Fire Nation soldiers in the finale).
    • From the Sequel Series, The Legend of Korra, we have Lin Beifong, daughter of Toph and chief of the metalbending police. She can come off as overly harsh at times and appears to be a total hardass. However, she is unquestionably a good person who is trying to keep the peace and protect the innocent. This is made only more clear by her Heroic Sacrifice in episode 10 which cost her her bending.
      • The spirit Raava can also be considered this: whenever Aang went on his rampages in ATLA, Raava was probably 'holding the controls.' This includes annihilating the Fire Navy, as well as her apathy towards Wan in "Beginnings."
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  • Batman: The Animated Series: Detective Harvey Bullock, though especially in the episode, "A Bullet For Bullock". He may be an oafish, uncouth, unpleasant cop who doesn't like the dark knight, but he is one of the few decent, completely uncorrupted cops in the Gotham PD. Pretty much the entire force hates him since you could count the nice things about him on one hand, and pretty much the entire criminal underbelly hates him because of his impressive track record at bringing in criminals.
  • Blinky Bill and his friends are sometimes considered to be worse than the Dingos. Considering that he was "toned down greatly" in the cartoon, compared to his literary incarnation, he must have been a real Jerkass in the books...
  • Huey Freeman from The Boondocks. Although he has good intentions in building a greater American society, he is quite cynical, pessimistic, cantankerous, and has been labeled — not unjustifiably — as a "domestic terrorist".
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  • Chad Dickson, f.k.a. Numbuh 274 was so devoted to the cause of the Kids Next Door that he willingly turned traitor and smeared his good name in order to serve as a spy. That does not detract from the fact that he became a jerk as his jealousy for Numbuh 1 consumed him. Eventually, he is so driven by his envy that he tries to kill Nigel in his final appearance on the penultimate episode of the show, despite still being loyal to the organization as a whole.
  • Scrooge McDuck of Disney comics (such as ones by Carl Barks and Don Rosa) and adaptations such as DuckTales (1987) will never resort to illegal or underhanded means to make money (The one time he did, he ended up haunted by a zombie for several years - and Donald got chased as well several decades afterward.), but neither will he donate a single penny to charity. He'll give you a (really low-paying) job at the drop of a hat, though.
    • Donald Duck too. Especially when he's put in a blatantly heroic role, such as the Kingdom Hearts series. He might be selfish and temperamental, but when you get right down to it, he's nothing if not loyal to his friends.
  • There was a cutaway gag in Family Guy where Peter encounters Kenneth, the bad-ass mail clerk with a heart of gold. Peter is then told by another employee that said clerk donated half his paycheck to orphans with diseases.
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  • Pretty much sums up the morality of Granamyr from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. He brokers no disrespect from anyone, actual or perceived, and has been known to demand tribute for any help he gives. His enemies also rarely return for a second round once he decides to get involved.
  • On Invader Zim, Dib is the Hero Antagonist who wants to save the human race from an evil alien monster. And he often makes it clear that he will enjoy taking part in that alien's autopsy.
  • In varying degrees, almost any hero on the Justice League except for Wally, J'onn, and in Unlimited, Dove. Especially Hawkgirl.
  • The Legend of Zelda portrays Zelda as considerably unaffectionate; one episode has Link distinguishing between the real Zelda and the fake one by setting up a kissing contest in which Zelda's evil twin eagerly kisses him whereas Zelda herself slaps him in the face. Link assumes the real Zelda to be the one who slapped him.
  • Skipper from The Penguins of Madagascar is supposed to be the main protagonist, but he's pretty coarse and violent even on his comrades.
    Alligator: That looks as if it could be violent.
    Skipper: If done correctly.
  • Major Monogram from Phineas and Ferb. He's dedicated to fighting the forces of evil, but he's not a very nice person, especially to Carl, his unpaid intern.
  • Spinelli from Recess is hot-tempered, cynical, and has a violent streak, but is still a good friend to the rest of the main characters.
  • Benson from Regular Show. He's constantly angry and constantly threatening to fire Mordecai and Rigby, but all he's really doing is his job which includes making them do theirs. Plus, as later seasons show, he can actually be a friendly and fun when things aren't out of hand.
  • Rick and Morty: Rick admits he falls under this category during his best man speech at Birdperson's wedding. Of course, even calling this guy "good" is a real stretch, but even if only for entirely selfish reasons the guy has saved the world numerous times and does have a habit of saving his family, even Jerry, for no reason other than he might actually care for them.
    "Listen, I'm not the nicest guy in the universe, because I'm the smartest, and being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets."
  • In Samurai Jack, the Scotsman is Jack's closest ally and probably the closest thing he has to a friend in the future world. He's really not nice. In fact, he's downright rude.
  • Hefty as the Smurf Of Christmas Future in The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol leaves Grouchy in the Bad Future where all the Smurfs are captured to be chased after by Gargamel and Azrael.
  • South Park has this in spades. Usually Kyle or Stan fits this, particularly when Cartman is the antagonist.
    • The Big Damn Movie, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, has "Ze Mole." A huge Jerkass to everyone, who spews obscenities about God frequently, and goes on about how childish and naive the other boys are, but he still joins the boys to help Terrence and Phillip in the name of freedom and dies in the process. He does get better thanks to the Reset Button, though he's never had a major appearance since.
    • Reality, which takes the form of a top hat-wearing villain, in "Safe Space". He attacks an incredibly rattled Butters for filtering everybody's negative comments, and verbally attacks everyone for letting their obsessive fear of criticism push Butters into suicide by having him work to maintain their safe spaces. The townspeople, just make third-world children filter comments for them, and, publicly hang Reality.
    • James Cameron is portrayed as an unbelievably arrogant, egotistical, and gullible "hero" in "Raising The Bar", who is so obnoxious he forces his crew to listen to his theme music while he ignores their insistence that the "bar" is a metaphor. In true South Park fashion the bar is real, he saves the whole world from degenerate media by raising it, and he denies accepting any credit or thanks for what he's done because "James Cameron does not do what James Cameron does for James Cameron."
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • Mr. Krabs can be quite the greedy, selfish jerk, even risking the lives of his fellow employee's just for the sake of making a quick buck, but is still considered a good guy.
    • Squidward is an Anti-Hero who can at times be meaner than necessary. Despite being a villain, he's still on Team Krabs for life.
  • Star Wars Rebels: After his Heel–Face Turn, Kallus qualifies as this, willing to do morally grey actions, including framing another Imperial officer he'd been on good terms with, in order to maintain his cover.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
    • Raphael in all incarnations. He's cool but rude. (As he himself puts it, "I don't do nice!")
    • Casey Jones is like this in roughly half the incarnations. (For the other half, he's more a Knight Templar.)
  • Sentinel Prime from Transformers Animated. He's technically a good guy, but is also a Jerkass who hates organics and is willing to work with Lockdown in order to defeat the Decepticons.


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