Follow TV Tropes


Jerk With A Heart Of Gold / Webcomics

Go To

  • Agents of the Realm have Norah and Paige, the former of which is a loner who doesn't like people invading her personal space, and the latter a straight-A student focused on remaining such. They both take time to warm up to other people.
  • Cpt. Dahl from Air Force Blues. At least, when he gets into serious "Danger Zone" mode.
  • Ito, the God of Trust and Betrayal from A Moment of Peace, steals dreams and crushes hopes for a living, and has prosthetic hands forged from moments of despair by crows that grew hands to strangle people. Despite all this, he seems to be a nice guy when you get to know him.
  • Advertisement:
  • Paulo from Bittersweet Candy Bowl; while he often acts like a jerk, and hits on girls, deep down inside he is a very nice young man who does care about his friends, and who doesn't need to be thanked for his help.
  • Jay the Christian fundamentalist in Bruno. In an early arc, when hearing about Bruno's pregnancy, he swoops in to set her straight before she decides to have an abortion. Later he tries again, a little less condescendingly, only to be told that she had already had the abortion. He sputters a bit, then simply asks "...are you OK?"
  • Leodegrance from The Bug Pond is often portrayed as a vain idiot, but he is shown to genuinely care about the wellbeing of others and is eager to help in most situations.
  • CK from Commander Kitty is normally an abrasive jerk to everyone he meets, even when he's trying to be civil. But the sight of his crew and rivals in danger is enough to make even him try and spring into action.
  • Advertisement:
  • The Klegdixal ambassador from the Gallimaufry arc of Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire, and possibly the Klegs as a whole. The way the ambassador tells it, the Beemahs are their albatross, and they desperately want to fix the mistakes they made with the poor fuzzy little weapons.
  • Bianca Abercrombie from Clinic of Horrors tends to be rather cold and at times violent to others, including her boss. However, she proves many times to not be Battleaxe Nurse and actually care about the health of people, including removing a parasite from her friend and showing disgust at a gaming center that prioritizes people wants over their needs.
  • In Curtailed, it's pretty obvious that Fox loves Seley deeply. Still, he's not above answering "Did these pants shrink in the wash" with a treadmill crack.
  • Amon Thorn from Cwynhild's Loom is typically rude and comes across as selfish, but in reality he cares a great deal about the Valkyries and is risking everything to help them.
  • Advertisement:
  • Abel from Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures. Though sometimes it's hard to tell whether he's a Jerk with a Heart of Gold or just a plain ol' jerk. Also, Wildy; she's the kind of tomboy whose idea of caring sometimes takes the form of "only I get to beat up my friends, damn it!" ... but it's there nonetheless.
  • Dandy from Dandy and Company.
  • Netta from DDG usually spends her time thinking up fresh torments for Zip, but can be capable of the occasional sweet gesture.
  • Trawn from Electric Wonderland can occasionally seem single-minded and forceful in her movement for her newspaper's success, but she does show sympathy for Aerynn (due to her rejections from society) and Lululu (due to her household's state of poverty).
  • Diane from El Goonish Shive is a lying, haughty manipulative bitch... but she takes care of what friends she has, and helps Grace when she's in need.
    • Susan adopts the angry Straw Feminist role, but she's both smarter and nicer than that. So when something touches her where this convenient mask is too stretched, the next moment it's torn and you can see the real Susan (a cynical Deadpan Snarker, but not without compassion), while jerks still face "The Hammer Queen".
  • Bob of Emergency Exit is surprised to find out other people see him as this: 'jerk' because of his poor social skills and unwillingness to show affection, 'heart of gold' because he genuinely does care for his friends.
  • Most of the main cast of Ennui GO! have varying shades of this, but it's especially clear with Izzy. She may be a hedonistic goofball who does some amazingly antisocial things, but she has a good heart, will do whatever she can to help someone when she sees that they really need it, and will set things right when she realizes that she's genuinely wronged someone.
  • The most of the main characters from Errant Story are a bit dickish on the surface but are, at heart, decent people. Jon, Sarine, Sara, and more recently Meji (though that was more the result of maturing as a person rather than revealing something that was already there) all more or less fall into this category. In fact, the only one who is nice on the surface turns out to be a genocidal maniac.
  • Thanatos from Gallows Humor
  • Krosp in Girl Genius. Of course, he's a cat and you have to make allowances.
  • Wallis in Gloomverse.
  • Anpu of Godslave is incredibly self-absorbed and pretty much forces Edith to help him out, but he can be fiercely protective of her.
  • Zimmy from Gunnerkrigg Court. She has No Social Skills and actively does her best to push people away with her rude behavior, but in large part because her powers are a danger to everyone around her. She's helped out other students when they've needed it, without caring what they thought of her.
  • Both Conrad and Veser from Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name.
    • Doc Worth, too. He genuinely cares for Hanna and doesn't want him putting himself in dangerous situations.
  • The Trolls of Homestuck at first appeared to be an entire race of Jerk Asses, but quite a few of them showed off their hearts of gold during the Act 5 "Hivebent" arc. Karkat is probably the best example, and is actually a relatively nice guy compared to some of the other trolls... Despite his habit of insulting everybody constantly.
    • Before the SGrub game, Eridan spends most of his time trying to save the very troll castes he wants to wipe out, if only because it would make Feferi unhappy. Double subverted after a brief yet murderous Face–Heel Turn.
    • Equius Zahhak may be a racist thug, but after Gamzee goes Ax-Crazy, the first thing he does before heading out to confront him is send Nepeta to safety. After the two of them had spend some time talking about their feelings in the robot pile after Aradia's explosion.
    • Dave fits this category quite often, too. Obsessed with coolness, relentlessly stoic, obsessed with doing everything ironic and overly fond of pissing off the trolls, but his letter to John gives away a lot of his actual personality, refuses to let Rose sacrifice herself, and it's likely his fondness of irony is used an as excuse not to admit he gives a damn. He also occasionally lets something slip without checking he's got his irony up.
    • As of later comics, the 'heart of gold' part becomes very obvious with Karkat. He takes his role as "Team Leader" extremely seriously and feels immense guilt over not being able to lead his team to victory (despite that arguably not really being his fault), as well as the fact that he unknowingly sabotaged the Kids' game session due to his own mistakes. He is shown to care deeply about his friends underneath all the insults, and he will reign himself in and apologize if he ever crosses a line with his vitriol.
    • Honestly, most characters in the comic (with some exceptions) are this trope.
  • Several in I Don't Want This Kind of Hero.
    • Dana is violent and ill-tempered, but ultimately cares for her subordinates and tries to do the right thing.
    • Haze cares about money. And his girlfriend, Raptor. But mostly money—but still about Raptor too!
    • Dune is constantly getting on people's cases for one reason or another, but he genuinely believes in the image of the Ideal Hero (hence why he's always nagging about people's behavior).
  • Protagonist Shin-Ae of I Love Yoo is a rude, sarcastic loner, but she has a soft spot for children and will go to war for her friends.
  • Galatea in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! had a terrible childhood and has a pretty solid Freudian Excuse for grabbing hold of the Villain Ball periodically — but one way or another, she never really follows through on these schemes; and she truly does love her adopted family of Molly, Bob, and Jean and will go to absolutely absurd lengths to help them if they're in danger.
  • Bentley Kindle from Kevin & Kell is a career criminal usually out to make money quick, but he does have his moments of good-heartedness, particularly if it involves his family:
    • He took the blame for the murder of a Herd Thinner employee so his daughter Danielle (the real killer, albeit accidentally) wouldn't go to jail.
    • He pulled strings to get his ex-wife's new paramour Douglas to share his cell so he could make sure Douglas was good enough for her.
    • He later would run an underground service to help migrating species cross the border, and briefly harbored Caniche when all records of her-including that she was a legal immigrant-were erased. However, he still insists on being called a slimeball by the migrants.
    Bentley: I have a rep to uphold.
  • Jamie from Khaos Komix is typically depicted as a grouchy, mean, homophobic Jerkass. In his girlfriend Charlie's story he's shown to be quite polite and nice. It appears that something happened when he was younger that sparked his mean behavior.
  • Mora and Rachael from Las Lindas. The writer tries to portray Miles as one, but most consider him just a regular jerk.
  • Ben from Loserz. See this strip for his jerk tendencies and this one for his golden heart.
  • Pato from M9 Girls! can be considered this, since she is always questioning the Girls' decisions. Being the Only Sane Man of the group justifies this and her snarky personality.
  • Magick Chicks: Melissa was formerly a "queen bee" with a mean streak a mile wide, before she and her Coven were given the boot from Charybdis. She's slowly being reformed, since the transfer to Artemis.
  • Matt of Ménage à 3 is widely regarded as a jerkass for his repeated, compulsive sexual infidelities — but perhaps more by readers than by anyone in the comic. The fact is, in any matter that doesn't depend on sexual fidelity, he seems to be a good, reliable, helpful friend (if a little bit snobbish about people who aren't as attractive as himself). Even an ex-girlfriend who suffered from his lying and cheating will turn to him for advice — and he'll take a break from sex with a lingerie model to provide it.
  • Rumisiel from Misfile is sleazy, sexist, drunken, stupid, incompetent ... the list goes on — until someone needs some advice about the human heart or a vengeful spirit placated.
  • morphE features Billy Thatcher a chess champion with no patience for ignorance or people holding him back. He has cowardly tendancies and is quick to insult others. However he does fill a leaderly role in the seedling group and is quick to protect the youngest member and scold anyone who carelessly hurts their feelings.
  • Never Satisfied's protagonist, Lucy Marlowe, copes with feelings of inadequacy and social isolation by faking a rude, arrogant persona among their peers. Their true nature becomes apparent when they are by themselves or among people they trust, like the beggar children and Ivy.
  • The Order of the Stick:
  • Though his group finds him unpleasant and cranky, Rocky from Our Little Adventure isn't such a bad guy.
  • To varying degrees, almost all of the major male characters in Out There (the exceptions being John and Chuck). James is selfish and abrasive, arrogant, constantly borrowing money without paying it back; he also volunteers at a homeless shelter. Clayton is surly, has been known to steal alcohol from his favorite bar, and is constantly seen mooching off of others; but he refused to take advantage of Miriam when she was drunk. Steven and Rod are unrepentant philanderers, but are generally loyal and respectful towards their ex-flame-cum-best-friends (Sherry and Araceli, respectively). Wally is a repentant (and former) philanderer. Considering the fact the main character, Miriam, has enough flaws to fill a book (while remaining unerringly sympathetic) Out There seems to be a world where everyone is a little bad, but nobody is too bad (although the near-saintly John is an idiosyncratic exception).
  • In this Pokémon comic, Zorua laughs at Ditto when it can't transform into other Pokémon perfectly, not being able to change its face. When Ditto's feelings are hurt, Zorua makes up for it by bringing its friend to a colony of Wooper, species of Pokémon that has the exact same face as it, allowing Ditto to make a perfect transformation.
  • RGB from The Property of Hate. Painfully blunt and frequently blind to others' emotions, he still protects Hero at every turn.
  • Brent Sienna from PvP.
  • Faye of Questionable Content can be really mean to random strangers just for the hell of it, which she has been called out on at least once. The heart of gold is apparent around her friends (though this isn't immediately apparent with Dora).
  • Sniper from Romantically Apocalyptic. Word of God says he's actually a Nice Guy, but considering who he has as company, and all the utter crap he gets put through (left hanging upside-down in an abandoned train, abducted by aliens, sent off on a quest with only a Hello Kitty handbag for protection), can you blame him for acting that way?
  • Zig Zag from Sabrina Online. She may be a slut, but she has been shown to be nice when she wants to. Time will tell on whether the events of Internet/GIFT Arc will shift her character to pure Jerkass.
  • Sandra and Woo :
    • Larisa can be kind of a jerk, but she is very loyal to those she cares about. Case in point: selling her soul to the devil to save her best friend's life. She also comforted Zoey over her Incompatible Orientation with Michelle, despite the two of them normally not getting along.
    • While pretty much all of Michelle's appearances have been of her insulting Sandra or Larisa, she tries to help Larisa and Landon's relationship when Landon's mom forbids the two from seeing each other.
  • Cammi the limo driver in Sandra on the Rocks initially chose to smirk and ignore the way that the intimidating Zoé demanded Lavali's clothes, leaving the latter in her underwear in the car. However, seeing Lavali looking stunned and lost in the driver's mirror evidently awoke Cammi's conscience.
  • Finn, the protagonist of Sea Of Insanity started as a garden variety jerk, but may actually be one of these.
  • Darkslug from Sidekicks. In the season finale, after Camilla tells Dream Girl that Darkslug was protecting the First Prana, Dream Girl reasons that Darkslug must've been acting like an asshole because he was protecting something so important. Cue Camilla replying that Darkslug was a cocky bastard from the beginning. Despite this, Darkslug ended up saving Dream Girl's life as well as transferring all of his powers into her because of his faith in her righteousness.
  • The Judeo-Christian God from Sinfest is portrayed as a Cloudcuckoolander who spends His time messing with His creations. However, this isn't to say that He doesn't have His moments.
  • Nick in Skin Horse:
    "Why do I work for you people again?"
    "Because your heart is strong and full of love. Let's fly."
  • Rhea, main character of Slightly Damned.
  • Davan from Something*Positive, a sarcastic, cynical jerk but nonetheless is capable of great caring and fearsomely loyal to his close friends. In fact, most of the cast are like that.
  • Charlie from Soul Symphony is pretty rash, condescending, angry, opinionated metalhead. He even talks down to one of his closest friends all the time. We realize over time that he means no harm, and even has a soft spot for those close to him.
  • Emil from Stand Still, Stay Silent. He's a self-absorbed Spoiled Brat, convinced of his own awesomeness and rarely remembers other people exists, but once you get through all that he really is a stand-up guy. For example, he spends a lot of time during the first train ride needling Lalli, but when Lalli steals the meat out of Emil's sandwich, Emil's immediate response is to buy Lalli a sandwich of his own.
    • Mikkel is also a good candidate, being able to troll anyone anywhere, and goes from sleeping to snarking in 2.4 seconds. However, if there is any sign of real pain or discomfort, Mikkel will be there with whatever is needed to make it all better, be it a blanket, a bandage or a cookie.
    • From the prologue, we have Signe, Mikkel's great-grandmother. She's sent to chew out a passenger of the ferry on which she works when he reacts much too rudely to being stuck in Bornholm close to an important work meeting. However, when that same passenger gets fired by his Mean Boss over the phone and starts crying over it, Signe comes to cheer him up. Long story short, Mikkel shares that passenger's last name.
  • Bruno, in Too Much Information (2005): a skirt-chasing jerk, but when he steps over the line and his best friend Ace is going to have to be the bad guy, Bruno announces he has a new job and is leaving. He doesn't. He quit so his best friend wouldn't have to fire him.
  • Though he is only a jerk to Keidran, we see "Red" from TwoKinds act like one here (spoilers).
  • Wylie in Undead Friend is often a jerk towards the other characters and tries to act like he doesn't care, but still can't keep himself from helping them. He sometimes falls into the Tsundere category.
  • Winter Moon: Florence may be a complete, absolute jerk with seemingly no heart of gold underneath, but deep down, he does care about Risa and Gideon.
  • Pyramos from Wurr is an arrogant, pompous ass who runs Iacar (the protagonist) and his pack out of hound territory altogether. Why? Because a pregnant female in his pack has lost her mate, and needs a cave for her pups. Of course, there's canonically some question as to whether or not he's got some vested interest in the situation, which would mean that he'd broken the hound rule against deepblooded mating, but even so.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: