- Sasha And The Frogs: Sasha herself maybe rude and still somewhat of a Control Freak, however, here we are shown that she really does care and appreciate the Plantars' company.
Axis Powers Hetalia
Calvin and Hobbes
- In Chapter 2 of Hunger, Lisa finds Dracula healing after a Vampire Hunter threw holy water in his face. She correctly deduces that a vampire as worldly as he simply wasn't ambushed by an amateur human, but rather he protected one of his vampire subordinates from being dunked instead.
- Firefly from Ace Combat: The Equestrian War. There are times when she acts like an a-hole towards other ponies, especially Fluttershy at the beginning (going as far as to smack her!) as well as Derpy and Medley later on. But deep inside, she's just a troubled mare, trying to readjust herself to the circumstances around her. Thankfully, Rainbow Dash is there to help her.
- Avenger of Steel soon establishes Jessica as this, as her cynicism starts to slip as she acknowledges her private admiration for Clark's genuine desire to be a hero.
- Child of the Storm and its sequel, Ghosts of the Past, have a number:
- Tony, albeit with the Jerkass part significantly downplayed following years of Pepper and the Avengers' good influence. The news that he's becoming a father has further improved his disposition.
- Carol Danvers is a downplayed variant, a Stepford Snarker and a Broken Ace who is actually very nice once you get past the understandably spiky outer shell, and Harry almost invariably sees the heart of gold. However, the narrative makes mention of others who aren't so lucky: pre-Spidey Peter Parker, who so happened to be unfortunate enough to catch her on a bad day. The sequel also has the older of her two younger brothers call her out on the fact that Cool Big Sis moments aside, she's been an Aloof Big Sister to them most of the time and outright ignored most of the youngest brother's issues. She admits that he has a point: she does love them and is extremely protective of them, and has her own issues (plus Harry's) to deal with, it goes back before that. Plus, she's not Locked Out of the Loop.
- Nick Fury is a grumpy, ruthless man, more than willing to use intimidation and coercion to get his way. He was also once a nice young man who ended up massively disillusioned after going twelve underfunded and undersupported rounds with Lucius Malfoy and lost two of his mentors, Mr and Mrs Evans (who were SHIELD Agents) and the closest thing he had to a little sister in Lily Potter.
- Peter Wisdom a.k.a. Regulus Black, his protégé, is all of this and more, for obvious reasons.
- Namor is an unrepentant asshole, and hinted to have tried very hard to kill the First Class of X-Men (whatever he did, Colonel Summers is still holding a grudge most of fifty years later). However, he apparently apologised, considers Steve one of the very few men he ever really respected, paying him a number of back-handed compliments and immediately seeking epic scale vengeance for HYDRA's actions in chapter 74. He was also rather impressed by Rhodey's attempt to hold up the Helicarrier. Despite bitching and moaning the whole time, he can usually be relied upon to do the right thing.
- Following the Forever Red arc in the sequel, Harry winds up as this, after a particularly awful Trauma Conga Line leaves him with PTSD, combining with his existing issues. He's snappish, temperamental, and touchy in the extreme, but he's genuinely horrified once it hits him just how much he's been frightening people and how he nearly lashed out at Cedric Diggory for practically nothing, he dedicates himself to helping fix Ruth Aldine's mind, which was damaged after her Psychic Powers manifested in the midst of his and Maddie's massive scale psychic brawl, treating her very gently, and he gently counsels Maddie after she telepathically contacts him in a moment of anxiety and insecurity. Afterwards, he's still somewhat grumpy, and still has issues, but he's generally nicer.
- Shatterstorm and Roaring Yawn both show their jerkish sides when they first appear in Equestrylvania. However, the moment something traumatic happens, they end up coming to the defense of the ponies they've belittled. In Shatterstorm's case, he's shown to actually be pretty good with kids.
- Cordelia Chase shows her kinder side in Mirror, Mirror when she's in a mirror-verse. According to her, she has to act like a Rich Bitch or her parents give her hell. The same applies to the Cordettes and all of them have to snitch on the others. In the mirror-verse, it's only Xander and whoever he brings with him so she's free to act like a slob, drive like a maniac, and generally be a friendly though rather destructive girl (such as unlocking her own house by kicking down a door then smashing the alarm system).
- Kazuma V Tanya: Tanya's Mistborn teacher, Tohmes, is lazy and a member of a tyrannical and slave-owning nobility... but he's too lazy to bother mistreating his inferiors, and he handles Tanya quite gently in their lessons despite his griping about it.
- Peace Of Mind, Piece Of Heart: Despite her jerkass behavior, Catra does attempt to cheer others up when they're feeling down, and at one point she immediately apologizes to Steven when she realizes one of her quips struck a nerve.
- Despite acting like a total jackass most of the time- make that all of the time- Chaos from the Tamers Forever Series still has some moments where he shows that he genuinely respects his other half, and that he can actually be a nice guy when he wants to.
- Ryo also fits the bill, or as Takato puts it:
he knew Ryo was just trying to be a friend
a crazy, narcissist, extremely annoying friend, but a friend, after all.
- Zao, the Headmaster of the Imperial Naval Academy in The Odyssey. His initial address to the assembled class consists of telling them that they're all going to die horrible deaths in service of the Realm. Despite this, he really does mean well.
- Brainbent features a few, which isn't surprising since the majority of the cast are dealing with some emotional problem or other, many of them fairly serious. Karkat is probably their reigning champion. He's a shouty little ball of rage and self-loathing, coated in a complete lack of tact, but he is, at heart, a compassionate person. When he isn't buried over his head in his own issues he's genuinely concerned for the people around him, and for all that he can be painfully inept at dealing with his own emotions, sometimes he gives good advice.
How to Train Your Dragon
- What Lies Beneath: When Jerrik tries making Hiccup and Zephyr's (supposed) deaths look like a triumph, Mildew is one of the villagers who stands up for them, mentioning that Zephyr would keep him company while Hiccup helped him fish Fungus out of the well whenever he fell down it... though he insists he still didn't like him.
The Hunger Games
- Down And Out: Amelia. The false conductor isn't exactly sympathetic towards Grace's plight; as soon as Grace meets up with her, she says that Simon is a lost cause that Grace should just let die, and continues to dismiss the idea that her reign as Conductor played any role in the problem. Despite this, she does promise to assist once it's clear how adamant Grace is about needing help.
Kill la Kill
- In Kill la Kill AU, we have Nui, being the "asshole sibling" who liked to bully Ryuuko when the two were three and two years old, but, however, at the same time, she does care about her, as can be seen in comic 27 when she makes it clear she doesn't want her to be sent away to a remedial boarding school. Likewise, there is an eight-year old Ryuuko, who is shown to care about her sisters and was distraught when she thought she was going to be sent away.
Kung Fu Panda
- In The Vow, an Alternate Universe Fic about the life of Lord Shen, he starts out as this. Being in his early twenties, the young peacock noble is the prideful and short-tempered perfectionist he's known as in canon, but he doesn't doubt the love his parents and old nanny have toward him. His condescending attitude is born from being scorned by almost everyone as an abomination and a bad omen due to his white coloring, no matter what he did to please people. Eventually he stopped trying to win people's acceptance and decided give them the monster they were determined to see. However, he was the only noble in general to show any shred of kindness toward his family's wolf guard, winning their undying loyalty. While he initially treats his might-be-fiancée Lady Lianne with disdain, her gentle nature and vulnerability behind her regal lady's facade win his heart. Unfortunately, as his ambition and attempts to prevent his fate corrupt him like in canon, his heart of gold has eroded by the time of the movie's happenings to the point that it's barely visible anymore. Fortunately, Lianne's love eventually sets him more or less on the right path to the point that he stops his attempt to force her into marriage with him, prompting her to marry him anyway. He also sends the Wolf Boss and the wolf pack away before his final confrontation with Po, sparing them from their canon fates. Following his return to Lianne after avoiding his canon ending, he retains many of his negative qualities, but resigns himself to live the rest of his life in secret imprisonment of his wife's home so that he can stay and protect her and their son.
The Legend of Zelda
The Lion King
- Tama in The Lion King Adventures. Despite being the Big Bad of Series Two, she actually saves Simba from dying of a terminal illness in Sick Simba. She changes her ways in Goodbye, Nala, finally becoming an ally.
- In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, even though he's a bad guy until the episode 11 finale and is not fond of most humans, ProtoMan has demonstrated acts of kindness, especially to Nomad, Mega Man and Roll.
- In Mega Man Recut, Gemini Man and Proto Man are this.
- Arthur's friend Kay from The Student Prince is elitist, sexist and just plain obnoxious, but when he's offered money by a reporter in exchange for details on Arthur's private life, he responds by punching the reporter and smashing his camera.
Kay: I'll stick your bloody camera where the sun don't shine, you scum! Offering me bloody money for dirt on Arthur! You're not worth the mud under his shoes, you leeches, even if he is a bloody poof! He's our bloody poof!
My Hero Academia
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
- In Persona: The Sougawa Files, Rina initially starts off rather cold towards others but proves to be much nicer underneath. She grows out of the "jerk" part, though. A straighter example is Ryouichi, a generally gruff and blunt guy who is actually pretty decent underneath.
- Some examples from Pokémon Reset Bloodlines:
- Ash's Pokédex may be sarcastic, condescending and loves to remind everyone of how smart it is, but it has Ash's best interests at heart, always willing to help him when it counts.
- Gary Oak is a tad egotistical, abrasive, and likes to tease Ash, but at the end of the day, he's not a bad guy. His teaming up with Paul in the Fuchsia Tag Tournament proves that he has many lines he wouldn't cross, and he's not above giving his Pokemon praise for a job well done.
- Clair, the Blackthorn Gym Leader is a downplayed example. She never goes easy on her challengers and can be very nasty with people who piss her off (especially those with Small Name, Big Ego attitudes), but she's very nice to those who earn her respect, and she gladly gives praise and encouragement to those who deserve it.
- Mortality: Gregerson may be a jerk, but like Watson, he seems to care about Holmes.
- Hefty in Empath: The Luckiest Smurf represents this trope in the series. Most of his jerkassery is directed toward Empath and Duncan McSmurf.
Sonic the Hedgehog
- In fanfiction Prison Island Break, Shadow shows that under all his Axe-Crazy perverted psychopathy, he's a very deep person. Since they're all in prison, he tries to conceal his softer side. However he privately acknowledges that Sonic is a better leader, and has become incredibly loyal to the team, even willing to risk his life to protect others.
Narration: What Shadow the Hedgehog said, and what he thought, were not exactly always in the same carpool. On the flip side, they changed lanes so often that they'd clipped each other's wing mirrors off. Still, he certainly wasn't a hero. And nobody could make the mistake of calling him a good man. But he was quick-minded, and fastidious, and determined, and clean, which are all becoming of a hero. The sole quality he lacked was virtue, and he knew it. Still, good men who believe their virtue to be satisfactory have already taken a step down the ladder, and bad men who think themselves sinful enough are ready to take a step up.
- Pretty much every single member of Eric's crew in Sonic X: Dark Chaos follows this trope. They often fight, make fun of each other, and make cruel jokes, but they're all firmly on Sonic's side and are willing to help others even at great cost. Sonya in particular embodies this trope - she's highly arrogant and willful, but also has a strong sense of justice.
- The rewrite makes Tsali of all people into this. Under all his genocidal Axe-Crazy psychopathy, he has quite a few Hidden Depths. He considers his Tsali Endoskeletons as his children and shows remorse that most of them are gone. Likewise, when he hired a group of mercenaries to help him hunt down the Seedrians, he became quite fond of them and was utterly devastated when they betrayed him - it actually causes him to consider whether getting revenge was really worth it in the end. The fact that one of them was his little sister probably didn't help.
- Hellsister Trilogy has Dev-Em, who is an arrogant, rude jerkass but still risks his life time and again to help other people. When his behavior leads Dawnstar to think he's all but a villain, Supergirl states that Dev is an asshole but not a bad guy.
- Unbreakable Red Silken Thread: Jo wields her authority as the dorm's Resident Assistant like a battleaxe, but takes her position seriously and doesn't turn a blind eye if something seems wrong. She'll more often than not help where she can, albeit indirectly.
- In Old West, Rattlesnake Jake is this with a dose of Adaptational Heroism. The Grim Reaper of the Mojave Desert is intimidating, brusque, violent and a remorseless killer. While he's initially indifferent of Grace Glossy and her son Teddy, he slowly comes to care for them while having to keep them safe. He helps Teddy in overcoming his sight problem and devotes himself to Grace when she confesses her feelings toward him.
- Professor Arc:
- When they arrive at Beacon The Arc family member say things that range from dismissive to outright insulting and condescending toward Jaune-something which does not endear them at all to Beacon's students. It is implied that they have played a role in Jaune's self-esteem issues. However, they are alarmed over the amount of trouble he could be in due to his deceptions, and they do bite their tongues when they first arrive at Beacon, and (reluctantly) agree to let Jaune be his own man when he proves himself in combat against his father. They also refuse to sell out his secrets, even while they are interrogated by Atlas. One of his sisters even decked a reporter for daring to ask her to sell out Jaune.
- Cardin and Team CRDL grow into this after Velvet saves Cardin from a Grimm, despite their mistreatment of her. They become tremendously loyal toward Jaune, becoming very incensed by the Arc family's crude remarks about him, they almost attack Atlas students after Ironwood arrests him, and also are among the few who defend Yang after she was unfairly accused of attacking a downed opponent, and are all too willing to attack Atlesian soldiers to defend Jaune from arrest.
- The fanfic Team LVDR has Verde as a very downplayed example. Theyre a little grouchy and sarcastic, but most of the time is pretty nice and gives their friends good advice.
- Aramus could be argued as in The Legacy of the Blood Ravens. He's incredibly arrogant, and doesn't hesitate to charge into battle or lead his men into danger, but he'd give his life for the Chapter and in the end, wants what's best for the Blood Ravens as a whole.
- In Atonement, Cassie Herren goes from 'racist anti-social jerkass' to annoying but selfless girl who's genuine friends with the multi-ethnic Wards.
- In Young Justice: Darkness Falls, La'gaan sadly still is a jerk, but at the very least, he gets better at being a team player over the course of the fic, and he even gets to bury the hatchet with Conner.
- Yuga Senku from Yu-Gi-Oh! Xross fits this description. He acts like a cocky and arrogant asshole to anyone he comes across, but it's due to his lack of confidence in himself and him finding it hard to really connect to people on a personal level and feels lonely because of it. This is due to the fact that his mother disappeared during The Fracture when he was 6, and was bullied mercilessly during the grieving process resulting in an Inferiority Superiority Complex. He values the friends he does manage to make (such as Keishi and Takumi) greatly.