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Lovable Rogue
aka: Loveable Rogue

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Helix: How do you know when you should break the law?
Sam: When systems evolve that crush the spirit! When the law is corrupt! When people cry out for justice! But mostly, when it's fun.

A person who breaks the law, for their own personal profit, but is nice enough and charming enough to allow the audience to root for them, especially if they don't kill or otherwise seriously harm anyone. It helps that none of their victims are anyone we know or that they've made sure the audience knew they were jerks, which makes it "okay" to steal from them. For extra points, he may even give some of his takings to the poor. The most legitimate way to make this trope work is by making the rogue a Justified Criminal who steals only to survive in an uncaring world that leaves him with no other option, especially if the laws are unfair and benefit a select few at the expense of others, including the rogue.

Note that while morally a click below your average antihero in the sense that they might not be considered a hero at all, the Lovable Rogue is strongly associated with highly Idealistic series on the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism, as Cynical series tend not to place value on the concept of a Code of Honor, which is usually what makes the Lovable Rogue, well, lovable.

Their loyalties are often played with, particularly if they show up to rescue the hero. If they end up being the star of the show, expect a straight-arrow Supporting Protagonist to be the audience viewpoint character. Complicating matters further is the fact that this person is usually chased by a Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist.

A click above the Lovable Traitor, who is definitely not a nice person, but wins by lowering the audience's expectations so much, that he charms them with a few token Pet the Dog moments (which usually include helping the hero. It's amazing how much fans will overlook if they help the hero). Usually male, but female thieves tend to be considered Lovable Rogues by default; i.e. they are not "rare".

The g comes before the u, ladies and gentlemen. That is, unless you're talking about Rouge the Bat, who just happens to be a good example of this trope, in more ways than one. If the charming person is a villain instead of an Anti-Hero, then they are described as being Affably Evil. The audience will usually not root for a villain, even if he or she is Affably Evil. Usually.

See also Gentleman Thief, Karmic Thief, Venturous Smuggler, Roguish Poacher, Indispensable Scoundrel, Justified Criminal, and Just Like Robin Hood. Contrast Evil Hero, where a person with a Noble Profession is evil.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Androids 17 and 18 of Dragon Ball Z — in the main timeline, at least, where they hold back and don't kill people. In Trunks's timeline, they're sociopathic killers that killed most of humanity.
  • In Fushigi Yuugi, the rough and brash thief Tasuki's first appearance consists of kidnapping the heroine Miaka, unleashing ghost wolves against the heroes who try to stop him, and later faking his own death to avoid joining the heroes. However, he later shows up to save the heroes from zombies and becomes completely dedicated to their cause, to the point of nearly making a Heroic Sacrifice on Miaka's behalf.
    • Plus, the actual thieving of Tasuki's thief gang is easy to ignore since they border on being The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything anyway (except when they briefly serve as The Cavalry later in the series, which makes their thieving even easier to ignore).
  • Mika of Jatkosota High School in Girls und Panzer is this. A beautiful and capable tank commander who is admired by her peers, she is also a noted kleptomaniac even by the standards of her school.
  • Great Pretender has Laurent Thierry, a globe-trotting con man who's made himself filthy rich scamming wealthy jerks, and who also isn't above manipulating his own friends to achieve his ends. However, his marks are all horrible people who have also committed far worse crimes, and he frequently uses his cons to get enough information on them to turn them over to authorities... after he makes off with their money like a bandit.
  • Inuyasha: Miroku has no qualms about lying, drinking, womanizing, conning and stealing, being determined to enjoy life to its fullest, but he later shows that he's also loyal, wise, and is ready to help and protect others even with his own life. Although there is pressure on him to produce an heir that can avenge his death (and also inherit the same curse), his womanizing is an inherited character flaw. His grandfather's womanizing nature is what allowed his Arch-Enemy to curse the family line in the first place. Miroku's flaws therefore run in the family.
  • Lupin III follows the exploits of the titular thief as he attempts to woo Fujiko (or any other attractive lady), and steal anything that amuses him. A bit less lovable in the manga, but often more of a rogue.
  • Ali al-Saachez from Mobile Suit Gundam 00 is a subversion; his men love him for his fun nature, and he does take care of them, often fighting Gundams by himself because he knows only he can match them in direct combat. However, he's also a Blood Knight who cares only for chaos and slaughter; if it's not him causing a civil war, it's making children kill their parents to prove their devotion to the cause, or just random murder for the sake of it. Though it hasn't really stopped the actual audience from enjoying him anyway.
  • Everyone in any of Ryohgo Narita's works. There's no unambiguously straight Capes, or even simple "squares" in his stories, and everyone is more or less involved in some shady dealings, from petty gang wars to bootlegging or serial murder, and most of these people (for a given understanding of the word) are charismatic enough to get the pass from the audience, even when they're actual villains. The exceptions are few and far between.
  • Nami from One Piece is this at the beginning of the series, and still has bits and pieces of this personality as the story progresses. She was stealing in order to save her village from Arlong's hands. Later on, her thievery is often Played for Laughs or used against villains.
    • All of the Straw Hats are this to varying degrees, especially Luffy. They may all be pirates and break the law, but the World Government is corrupt, and the Straw Hats mostly fight other pirates who are actually evil and oppressors.
  • Gene Starwind from Outlaw Star. He's a heavy drinker, a womanizer, doesn't pay his debts, and is a self-proclaimed "outlaw" (often treasure hunting and pirate-fighting, but not afraid to hoodwink and steal from the Galactic Police if he must). Yet, everyone loves him because he has a spunky personality and keeps promising he'll pay them back when he "Makes it big".
  • Green, from Pokémon Adventures, fits this description at first. She consistently cheats and lies, and shows absolutely no signs of a conscience or caring for anyone but herself, yet she and Red manage to remain on almost friendly terms. She gets nicer and gives up thievery by the end of the first arc, but still keeps some lovable and roguish qualities.
  • Favaro Leone of Rage of Bahamut: Genesis. He will eventually do the right thing, even if there's plenty of self-centered backstabbing in-between.
  • Space Adventure Cobra: Cobra is a dangerous thief who regularly finds himself rescuing the helpless from the forces of evil.
  • In-universe in Spy X Family. Twilight is a master spy whose work involves various cloak and dagger activities of a typical espionage mission, where pragmatism overrides morality. His work necessitates him to lie a lot, even to his own 'family'. But Anya is a psychic who's a Living Lie Detector and she can always tell when he's lying... but she still finds him a cool 'dad' as he's working to better the world.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds:
    • Yusei Fudo is often chased by Security (which is the name of the police) because he's either trying to defend his friends or for trying to get/getting into Neo Domino City. The only reason why Yusei wanted to go into Neo Domino City was to win his stolen card back and settle a score with his friend who betrayed him.
    • Crow Hogan often breaks into Security's facilities to steal confiscated decks, which he then gives to the unprivileged orphans he takes care of. He also tells the kids not to imitate him or else they turn into a Tattooed Crook like him.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V: This version of Crow Hogan is in a similar situation where he has to resort to stealing food in order to feed the orphans he's taking care of, and just like his 5D's counterpart, he often gets into fights with Security. He also lacks the extremist mindset that his friend Shinji Weber has.

    Comic Books 
  • Catwoman has been this trope in the comics for over twenty years, though it doesn't stop certain adaptations from just treating her like a villain.
  • The snarky outcast drow rogue Downer, the protagonist of the comics Downer: Wandering Monster and Downer: Fool's Errand by Kyle Stanley Hunter (formerly published in DUNGEON Magazine). A down on his luck "proven loser" who survives by his wit, quick tongue, quick blade, and quick reflexes (and mainly by running the hell away when outnumbered, unless he's sufficiently pissed off that he decides to indulge his inner badass and take on a whole bunch of enemies by himself). Although he considers himself an "evil bastard" who puts his own survival first and claims he's "always prepared to be screwed over by his friends", Downer has demonstrated amazing loyalty to friends and guild mates on several occasions, and he always pays back his debts. Downer's brother Aristide claims Downer is a "jerk", but then, Aristide is more of a typical drow (read: selfish and cruel) and his viewpoint is questionable. By the end of Fool's Errand, Downer's status has been firmly updated to Anti-Hero.
  • Elsewhere (2017): D. B. Cooper is the same thief he was in real life but has a more snarky and thrill-seeking personality.
  • Subverted with Jack from Fables and its spin-off ''Jack of Fables." He starts out like this but get to know him long enough and like the tpb character introductions state he is the "lovable rogue" without the "lovable" part.
    • From the same series is Reynard the Fox, who appears as one, who seems to have a self-serving agenda, but then genuinely appears to just want to help. He even points out that being self-serving and helping others are goals that complement each other.
  • Hellblazer: John Constantine sometimes qualifies — if you're watching from a distance. If you're personally acquainted with him, you'd be more inclined to say that he is a prick, since sometimes his only goal is taking care of his own interests, and he can exploit others ruthlessly. But most of the time he's saving the world, which makes him an anti-hero.
  • Henchgirl: Mary Posa was introduced as “the villain with a heart of gold” - she's henching for the money (and because she has serious problems adulting in the legitimate world), prefers to steal from the rich and banks, doesn't kill, blows the whistle on the Butterfly Gang's scheme to rip off the orphanage, which she finds abhorrent, doesn't steal from her friends or family (with one exception), and is portrayed as a very likeable, if needy and people-pleasing, young woman. Things change, however, when Monsieur Butterfly has Dr. Maniac inject her with Psycho Serum, turning her more reckless and cruel. Even then, her good qualities prompt her friends and sister to use The Power of Friendship to try to save her from committing irredeemable acts, at the cost of Tina's arm, Coco's life, and Fred's body.
  • Spider-Man: Gentleman Thief the Black Fox has this vibe going for him. So much so that Spider-Man actually lets him escape from their first few encounters because he just can't bring himself to send the Fox to jail.
  • Star Wars: Doctor Aphra is ultimately a Deconstruction of this trope. Aphra is a charming, adventurous criminal who frequently outsmarts her enemies. However, the comic doesn't gloss over how her constant lawbreaking and backstabbing torments her conscience and ruins her personal relationships.

    Fan Works 
  • A Clash Of Neets: Eris is the Goddess of Loveable Rogues, and was one herself prior to her apotheosis; she still occasionally took on mortal form to moonlight as Chris the Thief until that identity was taken up by her daughter. She's stated to particularly favor those who rob from the rich (she's flexible on the "give to the poor" part).
  • Lampshaded in the Death Note fic A Cure for Love when L indirectly calls Light one... to his face. Mello and Matt better qualify.
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami has Jered, a mercenary thief turned treasurer, occasional spy and one of the closest friends and advisers for Keeper Mercury.
  • A Far Green Country. Elden is a deserter and a thief. Also, Durus and Surad are thieves. The story presents all three characters as protagonists: Elden became a thief for his own survival, and Durus and Surad become his allies.
  • The Strex Family has a group of them — the "reverseverse Strexes"'s raison d'etre is "steal everything in sight".
    Miguel: Gotta find my son! Gotta get out of—
    [sees full cigar box; begins stuffing his pockets]

    Films — Animation 
  • Disney Animated Canon:
    • The title character of Aladdin steals food only out of a necessity to survive, is quick to give it to children, and never uses violence.
    • Coco: Héctor is a crafty Con Man who is nonetheless caring and responsible around Miguel. He was like this in life too, sacrificing his chance at fame when he realized he needed to be there for his family... after running off to seek fame to begin with.
    • Esmeralda from The Hunchbackof Notre Dame Disney is a rare female example.
    • Flynn Rider from Tangled certainly counts; he's dashing, funny, and experiences the most Character Development.
  • My Little Pony: The Movie (2017): Capper the anthropomorphic cat is described by Rarity as "charming" (he claims "Charming's my game") and appears to have quite a few friends in Klugetown. He also tries to sell the Mane Six to pay off a debt but ends up pulling a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Miguel & Tulio from The Road to El Dorado are a pair of Spanish con artists who upon washing ashore in the New World are mistaken as gods by the local people of El Dorado. While mostly just in it for the gold, their tenure as "gods" is mostly benevolent (if a little eccentric).
  • José Carioca, introduced in Saludos Amigos and further developed in The Three Caballeros, is a tribute to the Brazillian romantic ideal, the malandro, a heartbreaking scoundrel that doesn't quite obey the law. José stays away from the violence, but he's perfectly willing to engage in a bit of mischief while wooing the ladies.
  • Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas has Sinbad leading a troop of non-murderous pirates. They're just so awesome they don't need to kill. Except that one bit in the first scene where they did... but eh.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Character actor Terry-Thomas in most of his roles was that of an upper-class bounder and scoundrel. Still, there was something endearing about him. Perhaps it was because Terry-Thomas was also a gifted comedian.
  • Sam Quint and Nina from Black Moon Rising both qualify.
    Quint: Oh, come on, we oughta try to trust each other. We have a lot in common, you know.
    Nina: What?
    Quint: We're both thieves.
  • Stephen Bloom in The Brothers Bloom. He's a con man who has no problems stealing money, blowing things up, and even occasionally being violent. He drinks, smokes, and swears. However, unless you try to hurt someone he cares about, he doesn't wish real harm on anyone. Stephen spends most of his life with one goal: taking care of the little brother he loves. In fact, the entire movie is a plot of Stephen's to find a way to make his brother happy.
  • Frank Abagnale of Catch Me If You Can (winningly played by Leonardo DiCaprio). He's a very clever young man who successfully passes for a lawyer, doctor, and airline pilot, whilst committing millions of dollars worth of check fraud. But he only does this because he sees no other prospects for himself; what he longs for most is a stable family. Pursuing FBI agent Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks) comes to realize this, so arranges for Frank to eventually achieve a happy ending. This story has some overlap with Real Life.
  • Sergio Leone's Dollars Trilogy:
    • The Man with No Name, as played by Clint Eastwood, is a con-man, a thief, and a murderer, but dammit, he's just so cool with that poncho of his.
    • Tuco from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is even more roguish, and several times more lovable. A murderer, thief, and alcoholic, but very personable.
  • Dungeons & Dragons (2000) has two: Ridley Freeborn and Snails, both Commoner thieves living under the brutal Fantastic Caste System of Izmir. Despite Ridley's ego and bigotry against Mages and Snails' cowardice, the two are ultimately noble at heart: Snails sacrifices his life to help his friends continue their quest and Ridley slowly gets over his bigotry and comes to value things greater than himself.
  • Emperor (2020): Rufus Little is proud of being a bank robber and doesn't hesitate to shoot Posse members who pursue him. However, he's also quite friendly and one of the few non-racist white men in the movie. He's surprised to find Shields hiding in his getaway wagon, but he doesn't really mind, works with Shields to try to escape, and later thanks Shields for not just stealing the wagon, telling him to take half of the money if Rufus survives his wounds and all of it if he doesn't.
  • Entrapment: The criminal dealer Conrad Greene, to whom Gin sells the Rembrandt and the mask, who is genial and friendly in his dealings with Gin. However, he turns very nasty when Gin does not have the mask, and only has a slate with a drawing of a mask on it, substituted by Mac.
    Greene: Oh goodie, goodie, goodie, give it to papa. Where's my mask? I want my mask.
  • Bob, the title character of The Good Thief. Even the cop who's after him has a soft spot for the guy.
  • Frank Skeffington, the crooked big-city machine politician, is undoubtedly one of these in the movie version of The Last Hurrah; he is ferociously loyal and would never desert a friend, and if he sometimes uses money or offices to secure political favors, he only does it to help out his constituents. He is slightly more overtly sympathetic in the film than in the book (see "Literature" section below).
  • Rodney Skinner, in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. A cheerfully self-acknowledged Gentleman Thief, who stole the invisibility serum so that he could be the greatest thief in the world, he arguably emerges as the most lovable character in the whole movie. Bonus points for being The Mole and also for winning over fans of the graphic novel who were disgusted by his predecessor, original invisible man Hawley Griffin.
  • Yuri from Lord of War is a very prolific, very successful Arms Dealer, selling weapons to the worst kinds of dictators and mass murderers, and doesn't feel much remorse for being indirectly responsible for the thousands, possibly millions of deaths caused by his weapons. And yet, his amoral and aloof attitude is exactly why he's so charming. He doesn't sell weapons out of politics or a personal vendetta, but because it's a business to him, and he's a really good businessman who takes care of his customers. His likability is improved because he doesn't flinch when being threatened with own weapons, casually entertains special requests from his customers like he were recommending wine, and the people he deals with are infinitely worse than he is.
  • Daniel Dravot (Sean Connery) and Peachy Carnehan (Michael Caine) from The Man Who Would be King. They're unscrupulous con men who set out to use modern weaponry and tactics to manipulate a small nation into appointing them kings, with the intent of making off with hoards of treasure, but for most of the film, you can't help but root for them. This is a matter of Adaptation Distillation, since the original characters in the Kipling story are not particularly attractive, and Kipling doesn't pretend they are.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 and Vol. 2: Peter Quill aka Star-Lord is a thief, a con man, and a womanizer, but he's so charming that it's hard to hold these things against him.
    • Thor: Ragnarok: Loki's charm is noticeably more lighthearted and less sinister than in the previous movies. Although he's initially a thorn in the heroes' side when they're on Sakaar, he chooses to fight with them during the Final Battle and saves his fellow Asgardians from Hela's deadly wrath.
  • The Mummy Trilogy:
  • Danny Ocean and friends of Ocean's Eleven. They're all charismatic in their own way, and everyone hates Asshole Victim Terry Benedict anyway.
  • The protagonists of Olsen-banden and their norwegian and swedish counterparts are pretty much all this. They prefer cunning, overcomplicated plans over basic thuggery, never use guns, and never engage in anything that endangers innocents. They also match wits with more serious and organized criminals (who are definitely not this trope) and end up winning by the skin of their teeth. They usually also lose or return the heist macguffin in the end, but manage to snag some nice loot on the side, usually stealing it from the other criminals.
  • Hachi in Onibaba, though he's a pretty dark example, he's about as close as the movie gets to sympathetic.
  • Captain Jack Sparrow, from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, is a mix of this and Magnificent Bastard. He has his own peculiar code of honor and can be heroic when he wants, but is highly pragmatic and values his own skin over everyone else's.
    Cdre Norrington: You are without a doubt, the worst pirate I've ever heard of.
    Cpt J. Sparrow: But you have heard of me.
    [after the Captain's escape]
    Lieutenant: That's got to be the best pirate I've ever seen.
    Cdre Norrington: So it would seem.
  • Plunkett & Macleane's titular Macleane definitely fits the bill in spite of his thieving and gambling ways.
  • Repo! The Genetic Opera has Grave-Robber, who is, obviously, a graverobber. He's also a drug dealer who sleeps in a dumpster, but he is very, very lovable.
  • The Serpent and the Rainbow: Mozart is indeed a bit of a con artist and implied to have sold poison to people in the past, but does end up helping the main characters with his powder, at the risk of his own life, and is intrigued by its medical applications. He even gives Alan the powder on credit after the Secret Police stole his money.
  • An interesting version in Shish O Besh: Sami is treated as one in-universe, but is in fact an unlikeable Jerkass.
  • Star Wars:
    • Han Solo. He seems to be so lovable that all the pretty rotten things he has done seem so justifiable that they don't seem to sink in. Particularly in the Han Solo trilogy, but also in many other EU books, he has conned a number of people, smuggled what is basically the hardest spice (SW equivalent of drugs) available, stolen, forged government documents, entered Imperial services under a false ID, faked his own death, cheated at games of chance, betrayed several employers, led a picket ship on a chase that resulted in its complete destruction, bribed an Imperial officer, freed slaves (morally good, but technically illegal), led a raid on a former employer's base, resisted arrest a whole lot of times, kidnapped Leia, and killed numerous people (though all of them were at least directly or indirectly trying to kill him at the time). In some instances, these acts were justifiable by being morally good or because he didn't have any sort of choice, but in other cases, they were purely selfish acts to get what he wanted. Essentially, the only two lines he consistently has shown is an unwillingness to kill anyone in cold blood and a refusal to take a direct part in any type of slavery operation (he would work for slavers in other matters though).
    • Talon Karrde has been said by his creator to be based on what Han Solo might have become in the years since the films if he hadn't fallen for Leia. Karrde developed from there — it's hard to imagine Solo running a large and well-organized smuggling/information brokering group — but the basic idea is the same. He's Not in This for Your Revolution, he has no love for the Empire but doesn't see the profit or point in open resistance, and he does have a sense of honor. The audiobook version of Heir to the Empire even felt the need to give him a Spanish accent.
    • The Last Jedi sets up the hacker DJ as a successor to Han; a Jerk with a Heart of Gold crook who joins up with the heroes for his own benefit, only to end up a genuine part of the team. Then it's subverted. He's quirky and friendly on the surface, but he's still a selfish criminal deep down and he sells out Finn and Rose the second things go sideways. He's not given any sort of redemption arc like Lando either; the First Order pays him and he leaves, though he is left visibly shaken by his actions.

  • Robin Hood, the legendary outlaw whose favorite grift is to rob the rich and give to the poor, so famously that the trope for that is called Just Like Robin Hood. It helps that his rich and powerful adversaries (Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham) oppress the poor, while Robin clearly fights on the side of good, so it's no wonder he's well-loved by everybody except maybe the rich.
  • Louis Dominique Bourguignon Garthausen, a.k.a. Cartouche, in early 18th century France. A highwayman reported to steal from the rich and give to the poor in the environs of Paris during the Régence until the authorities had him broken on the wheel. Cartouche's personal dash and exploits were exploited in ballads and popular prints and, much later, in several films.
  • Slovakia has Juraj Jánošík, who also became a national symbol of resistance to oppression.
  • Japan meanwhile has Goemon the charitable ninja.

  • American poet Mildred Plew Meigs wrote of this romantic rascal in her most famous poem:
    Sing ho! For the Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee!
    He was as wicked as wicked could be,
    But oh, he was perfectly gorgeous to see!
    The Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee.
    • She goes on to enumerate all his glories, from his plumed hat to his swashbuckling boots, his parrot, his hidden treasures, and his weapons (including a "squizzamaroo"), and mentions that mermaids were crazy about him.
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer: Tom Sawyer commits petty misdemeanor after petty misdemeanor but generally gets a pass because he's such a charming little rascal. Although some of the stuff he does in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn crosses the line from "petty" to "What the Hell, Hero?"
  • Hex from the Alpha Force series. A snarky serial hacker who's apparently broken into some highly classified websites, who admits he only does it for the challenge (Except when the person really deserves to have their bank accounts emptied) and is otherwise highly moral.
  • Downplayed with Emmon in Gifts from the Annals of the Western Shore trilogy. Caspromant only takes him in because the whole place is undergoing a Heroic BSoD. As a lowlander, Emmon's accent reminds Canoc of his recently deceased wife, and Emmon has entertaining stories and questions for Orrec and Gry; plus he's a novelty. When he takes some silverware with him on his way out, the family takes it stoically since they knew he was a thief in the first place.
  • Adventurer, mercenary, pirate, counterfeiter, and all-around adventurer "Half Cocked" Jack Shaftoe, King of the Vagabonds and hero(?) of Neal Stephenson's The Baroque Cycle.
  • Silk from Belgariad; popular enough that he was the only non-sorcerer member of the party (aside from the Love Interest Ce'Nedra) to star in both The Belgariad and its sequel, The Mallorean.
    • David Eddings then put artistic street urchin and pickpocket Talen and Gentleman Thief Stragen into The Elenium and The Tamuli.
    • The Tamuli also gained Caalador, a swindler and thieving coordinator who drops in and out of a folksy drawl whenever he feels like it. Queen Ehlana finds his routine charming, and at one point speculates on whether she can work the phrase "happier 'n' pigs in mud" into a royal proclamation, and his feigned accent is infectious enough that nearly everyone in the series imitates it at least once.
  • Bems and Bugs: Jacques the dashing pirate is tall, lean, carries a lighstaber as his personal weapon of choice, and insists on wearing a cape at all times to accompany his carefully groomed mustache. When not hacking the computer systems of target vessels, he mediates disputes between shipmates and helps newcomers acclimate to their new lives away from civilized society.
    • “Apologies go a long way,” Jacques assured him. “If you offended someone by accident, just apologize. But if you start talking down to people, acting like you’re an intellectual aristocrat? We call that sort of thing, “fighting words.””
  • The Chronicles of Dorsa: Akella is a pirate captain, though quite charming and friendly. She's also fiercely loyal to her crew, feeling quite guilty at fleeing when they were captured (not that anything else was really an option at the time), going back for them at the risk of her own life. Akella is also kind to people whom she gets close with, and like all Adessians is very protective about children. Her piracy all takes place off page (which apparently had included selling captives into slavery at times) which also helps.
  • Discworld:
    • Moist von Lipwig is one of these turned Boxed Crook. There's a bit of Deconstruction on the idea that he's only conned big businesses and people who deserved it and never hurt anyone. Mr Pump reckons that, if you add up the amount of harm he's done, it's equivalent to killing 2.338 people, and this really gets brought home when it turns out his girlfriend lost her job when he defrauded the bank she worked for. The TV miniseries subverts the expectations even more harshly; he apparently drove at least two people to suicide, and one innocent to prison, since he failed to realize that banks themselves would never admit mistakes on their part. It also multiplies the indirect deaths he's caused by a factor of (nearly) ten to 22.8.
    • Night Watch's Carcer Dun is a subversion; Vimes notes that he certainly looks and acts like one of your standard cheeky-yet-lovable-rascal types, but if you look closer you'll realize what an insane and unrepentant monster he is.
    • Reacher Gilt is a subversion, a pretty nasty piece of work who charms people with his florid, pseudo-pirate style — he even has a parrot that squawks "twelve and a half percent" (work it out... )
    • This applies to an entire race with the Nac Mac Feegle, "a bunch of thieving, drunken reprobates and scoff-laws with no respect for the law whatsoever."
      Would ye no mind addin' the words "drunken disorderly"? We would nae want to be sold short here.
      And what about the snail-rustling, Rob?
      Have you no good points?
      We kind of thought them is our good points, but if ye want to get picky we never steal from them as has nae money. We has hearts of gold, although maybe— okay mostly somebody else's gold. And we did invent the deep-fried stoat, that must count for something.
    • And subverted again in a Moist book with the Lavish ancestors in Making Money, some of whom are described in the family history as "rogues" ... except what that means is "slavers and pirates, but a long time ago, so it barely counts".
    They were indeed what was known as 'old money', which meant that it had been made so long ago that the black deeds which had originally filled the coffers were now historically irrelevant. Funny, that: a brigand for a father was something you kept quiet about, but a slave-taking pirate for a great-great-great-grandfather was something to boast of over the port. Time turned the evil bastards into rogues, and rogue was a word with a twinkle in its eye and nothing to be ashamed of.
  • Tasslehoff from Dragonlance could count as this. He's a kender thief who steals due to being a Kleptomaniac Hero but is never actually malicious.
  • Thomas Raith of The Dresden Files. As a vampire, he has a slightly different morality system from humans, but he does try to minimize the damage he causes. It helps that he becomes a woobie to rival the protagonist as we learn more about him and that he's not a sociopath like the rest of his vampiric family.
  • Nicamo Cosca from The First Law is a massive Deconstruction of the archetype. He is a ruthless amoral mercenary in command of the Thousand Swords mercenaries in Styria. He has lived the wild life of a rogue but by the time we first meet him in the trilogy he has become an alcoholic, has some sort of rash-like std from sleeping around, and with a deep-seated self-loathing as decayed as his morals. He is ridiculously easy to buy off and double-crosses his closest associates.
  • Fluke: Street dog Rumbo, for their mutual survival, trains the titular stray to steal food.
  • People who went against the system and smashed its unjust laws were a common fixture of Ayn Rand's novels. Howard Roark from The Fountainhead, for instance, burned down his own building rather than let his architectural vision be compromised, and was played by the rugged, square-jawed Gary Cooper in the film adaptation. Most of the main characters in Atlas Shrugged also qualify, but special mention goes to Francisco D'Anconia, a pirate who serves as John Galt's right-hand man while posing as an Upper-Class Twit, and Ragnar Danneskjöld, a fellow pirate who steals from relief ships bound for famine-struck countries. He, quite literally, steals food from starving children. (He keeps most of the profits, too.) Nevertheless, he is presented as a charming hero, at least partly because it's implied by the narrator that those relief goods never would have reached the starving children anyway, and that the aid was propping up the corrupt governments who were responsible for the famine to begin with.
  • The Gentleman Bastard series by Scott Lynch basically runs on this trope, with the main character Locke Lamora being a textbook example, except for an unusual lack of flirtiness/promiscuity. Still, he's got the quick wits, he's got the snarky sense of humor, and while he will kill or torture people who have harmed those he loves, he's got unusually high-minded ethics in comparison to practically everyone else in the setting - especially after the author slightly retcons the basic tenets of the character's deeply held religious faith in the second book to be more politically-minded (teach the rich and powerful a lesson) than simply amoral (steal from those who have money because you can). He's still no Robin Hood (he doesn't give away the money to the poor), but he doesn't steal to enrich himself but mainly uses his ill-gotten gains to plan and execute more heists designed to embarrass and harm the oppressive and often sociopathic upper class. The rest of the Gentlemen Bastards crew also count, especially the Sansa twins and Sabetha (the former are more humorous clowns, the latter is more the charming con artist).
  • The Han Solo Trilogy: Han of course, but also Lando and Mako. All are charming, nice men (although Mako turns bad eventually) who work as smugglers, but don't harm anybody except in self-defense. Han also refuses to ship slaves. The fact he traffics highly addictive drugs which cause terrible effects on addicts, along with weapons, is glossed over.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Fred and George Weasley. While in school they take a positive delight in breaking rules- including a couple of actual wizarding laws -and generally messing with people, but always remain on the 'good' side of things. After dropping out of school, they open an amazingly successful joke shop.
    • The Marauders would be another, at least when they were young, having actually broken the law by not registering to become animagi, and being a bit jerkier.
  • The Hobbit: Bilbo Baggins is hired to be one of these, and manages to become one after obtaining the ring.
  • There's a number of them in Honorverse, given the scale of the whole franchise.
    • Sir Horace Harkness, PMV, before being "reformed" was a classic thieving, brawling, moonshining rascal — with an unshakeable moral code and a soft spot a mile wide. Later he toned down the "rascal" part, though he remained a firm believer that it's not an offense unless you get caught.
    • Jeremy X, a Torch Minister of War, is an ex-genetic slave often described as a lovechild between Joker and Punisher, doing Very Bad Things to Very Bad People, dancing and cracking jokes all the while — he was created as a house entertainer, after all, and is a totally swell guy, unless you happen to be somehow linked to the industry of genetic slavery — in which case taking your own life would probably be the easiest option.
    • Damien "Firebrand" Harahap is an Affably Evil Mesan Agent Provocateur in the "Wages of Sin" subseries, who manages somehow to get liked by everyone, from his marks to his counterparts on the heroes' side. Being an Anti-Villain who just punches his hours working for the main villains, he later has a change of heart and defects to the heroes' side.
  • Fisk from the Knight and Rogue Series is this for the first two books, though by the third constant close quarters with Michael seems to have gotten him to behave a little more within the law.
  • Frank Skeffington in The Last Hurrah is a crooked big-city machine politician who is nonetheless beloved by his constituents (and not because he is fooling them- they know how he works, and they don't care). He may hand out offices and money as a way of buying political power, but he is ferociously loyal and would never desert a friend. Still, his portrayal is a little more overtly sympathetic in the Film than in the novel, which is slightly more ambivalent about him and his legacy.
  • Jean Valjean from Les Misérables, the book's primary protagonist, Atoner, and Messiah. He's a convict who spent years in prison for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister's starving family, with more added to his sentence due to repeated attempts to escape - making it a total of 19 years. He then spends the rest of the story trying to make the best of his life by being an honest man.
  • Dirk Slipstream in the Doctor Who novel Night of the Humans claims to be this. However, it turns out he's a mass murderer and an escaped convict out to settle a score with the Doctor and obtain a powerful artifact. He still talks like a British rogue (e.g. "sorry, ol' chap").
  • Seregil, one of the main characters in Lynn Flewelling's Nightrunner series also fits this trope to a T. He will steal from even relatively poor people if he must (e.g., stealing horses from a farm while on the run) and he has no problems with killing in self-defense, but mainly he steals stuff like jewelry from the rich and even that only occasionally - his primary occupation and purpose in life is to be a spy working for the Crown and other governmental functionaries of his adopted home country, and these days his wealth is mostly based on legitimate investments he made with the valuables he stole or won in his youth. And he cares very deeply about behaving honorably in those areas of life that the readers will care aboutnote . The "lovable" aspects of the trope are in full effect in order to make him look like a believable love interest for the other main character Alec, who starts out as an innocent, good-hearted and law-abiding male version of the classic ingenue and thus would not have wanted to join Seregil as an apprentice if the man didn't quickly turn out to have a lot of charm, a good sense of humor, and a heart of gold.note 
  • Demigod children of Hermes in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series are this by default; their father is basically the god of this trope. Subverted with Luke, however.
  • Simon Templar, aka The Saint, has devoted his life to making 'The Unrighteous' miserable and occasionally dead not because he has any particular regard for the law, or any particular code of ethics beyond "be nice to pretty women and try not to hurt innocents", but simply because his idea of a fun afternoon is separating a conman from the proceeds of his swindling, donating a portion to charity and spending the rest on nice suits, expensive booze, and world travel. He's charming in person and engaging to see in action, and he puts genuine effort into his vigilante sting operations; even the cops who are out to get him invariably seem to find themselves asking him for help, which he provides...with a generous dose of banter in the process.
  • Ilmar the Slick in Sergey Lukyanenko's Seekers of the Sky duology is a thief, a grave robber, and a murderer (although in this world's mythology he hasn't yet committed the "mortal sin" of killing a dozen). He's also a devout follower of one of the two Churches of this world (the one more concerned with redemption and forgiveness than punishment) and will often donate sacred texts found in abandoned temples to the Church. Unlike a typical rogue, Ilmar isn't shown to be particularly charming. His fling with a female pilot (who's also a countess) happens after he kidnaps her and forces her to fly him to the mainland. They crash, and she ends up having Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex with him, while he can't even move.
  • Jonathan Small, opponent of Sherlock Holmes in The Sign of the Four has committed various acts of murder and robbery, which he tells of in detail - and still has much of the reader's sympathy. He has a strong loyalty to his three co-conspirators; also, much of his story takes place in a quite brutal penal colony - and of course, in this situation, the reader tends to side with the prisoner against the guards.
  • The Sunne in Splendour: Played with. The charismatic Ned, the future King Edward IV, is introduced seducing his little brother Richard's nanny while Richard becomes lost in the forest. When Richard refuses to tattle on his brother, Ned realizes he's got an ally. Ned is not only The Casanova but a Warrior Prince who soon wins (or steals if you are a Lancaster) the crown and wins over the common people. When he is not forcing Scotland or France to pay him tribute, he does his best to rule fairly despite lining his own pockets, but he does alienate key allies when he marries for love and marrying for love doesn't stop him from having a Decadent Court with mistresses aplenty, including Jane Shore whom he seduced away from his Best Friend. The moralistic Richard grows up to be frustrated with his brother's carousing and is incensed that Ned's campaign in France seems motivated by money rather than honor but never stops being loyal.
  • Gary Karkofsky AKA Merciless: the Supervillain without MercyTM in The Supervillainy Saga is one of these. Despite the fact he's an Evil Sorcerer, he robs from the rich and gives a slight cut to the poor. He's also a snarky badass (or so he claims).
  • Almost deconstructed in Chris Wooding's Tales of the Ketty Jay series with Darian Frey, the main protagonist. He's a petty crook, and while he's certainly charming, has yet to cross the Moral Event Horizon, and learned loyalty to his crew, he is also deeply selfish and the author never lets us forget his flaws for long. In his first appearance, he allows an enemy to shoot his friend and shipmate rather than lose his ship; in the first scene of the second book, he and his crew are found robbing an orphanage. Yet, they remain sympathetic. That takes skill.
  • George Cooper, King of Thieves, from the Tortall books. His title is actually "The Rogue", and he basically runs the thieves' organization throughout the kingdom. (He later becomes the realm's spymaster.)
  • Jeff Raven of The Tower and the Hive series. A Prime-level "Wild Talent" (a psychic-powered human with no formal training), who swoops in and claims the heart of The Rowan (the strongest Prime around) with nothing more than confidence and mental rapport.
  • Bad Tom of The Traitor Son Cycle is very deserving of his nickname - he's a scoundrel and a man you definitely don't want to meet in a dark alley - but he's unflinchingly loyal to the Red Knight and saves the day more than once.
  • Long John Silver from Treasure Island, who is in fact one of the earliest examples of this trope. He spends the whole book playing Xanatos Speed Chess against both the heroes and the pirates to ensure that he gets away at the end with as much money as possible, but he’s so charismatic and funny, with a few genuinely good traits to his name, that the reader (and even the heroes) can’t really hold it against him.
  • Abe Mazur from Vampire Academy. Eventually. He is a smuggler and trader in information. He remains a rogue to the end of the series but comes off as a charming person and loveable Team Dad to Rose's supporters in their efforts to protect her.
  • Subverted in Warbreaker: Denth and Tonk Fah keep cracking silly jokes about what vile criminals they are whilst helping Vivenna, making them seem like harmless rogues with their hearts in the right place. In reality, they’re not joking; they really are sadistic criminals and they turn out to be the real villains of the story.
  • The Phouka in War for the Oaks qualifies; his idea of buying things is paying for them with soon-disappearing fairy gold. But being a member of The Fair Folk, he probably can't really help it.
  • Count Vega from Wereworld. A pirate, exile, and a lady killer who has a crush on Whitley.
  • The Witch of Knightcharm: Emily's roommate Megumi was a thief even before she joined their evil Wizarding School, and she's primarily at her new school to gain the power she needs to crush her enemies, but her enemies are horrible gangsters, all the people she steals from that we see or hear about are evil too, she's willing to help Emily stay alive and withstand the crueler students at their school, and she's a very friendly, kind, and charming person as long as you don't get on her bad side.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Hatter, from the Syfy version of Alice. Combine Han Solo and Captain Jack Sparrow (complete with Guyliner) but slightly less rogue and more lovable through the second part of the series.
  • All of the members of The A-Team are this since the bad guys are so one-dimensionally horrible, but Face probably fits here the most since he's the slick and charming ladies' man (and Con Man). The team also fits as a group of Anti-Heroes.
  • Vila Restal from Blake's 7. Cheerfully unrepentant thief, totally up-front about how he's not in it for Blake's revolutionnote  and thoroughly disinterested in sticking his neck out unless there's money in it... Or if someone he cares about is in danger. He's also the Plucky Comic Relief.
  • Saul Goodman from Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul is described as a 'criminal' lawyer, a.k.a. the kind of lawyer professional criminals hire to get them out of trouble, and has a toe stuck deep into criminal profits himself. His greatest weapon is his mouth, and he will say anything you want to hear, use any tactic you cannot anticipate, and charm the pants off your ankles while you thank him for the privilege.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine has recurring villain Doug Judy. He's an unrepentant criminal and liar, but he's so charismatic and friendly, even to his enemies, that it's impossible not to love him. This is probably why all of Jake's attempts to arrest him fail — he's so likable, the audience wouldn't actually be glad if Jake won. Lampshaded:
    Doug: I can't go to jail! I'm too cool!
  • Cheers gives us Harry the Hat, a minor character in the first few seasons (he was played by Harry Anderson, who left the show to become a night court judge). He's a small-time conman who largely uses his tricks to wrangle petty cash from customers and free drinks from the Cheers staff, but his crimes are so harmless, and Harry so charming, that the audience laughs at his antics. It helps that Harry's victims often claim they're too smart to fall for his latest con, so their falling for them comes across as Laser-Guided Karma rather than cruelty. Harry also gets Lovable points for being surprisingly protective of the Cheers gang and teaming up with them to take down genuinely mean-spirited swindlers and crooks.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor stole his TARDIS, fled his home planet, disrespects most forms of authority and is a very lovable guy. The most obvious example is the Fourth Doctor, a vibrant but slightly difficult Rebellious Spirit charisma volcano associated with Swashbuckler tropes, though the First, Second, Eleventh and Twelfth qualify particularly too.
    • Captain Jack Harkness starts out this way, but by his appearances in Torchwood, he's turned outright good. Maybe.
    • River Song is a time-travelling archaeologist, convicted murderer, thief and still saves the universe every now and then with the Doctor.
    • A (less heroic) example from the classic series was Sabalom Glitz, a charming conman who showed up in a few episodes and became a friendly acquaintance of The Doctor. His character was so enjoyable that episodes featuring him tended to gloss over things like him selling his mutinous crew into slavery.
  • Captain Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly and Serenity. Charming, good-natured, willing to do a hell of a lot of morally dubious things for money... But there are some lines he won't cross for any price, and he's every bit as loyal to his crew as they are to him.
    • Jayne fits the type as well, even if it's only the audience that finds him lovable. He's a lot like Mal, but without the slightly wonky but still functional moral compass. Or the smarts ... though he does look cunning in that hat.note  Besides, it was a gift from his mum.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Via a combination of being hilarious and badass, Bronn is definitely this.
    • Tyrion fills a similar niche in the cast to Han Solo or Captain Jack Sparrow, as the resident charismatic anti-heroic Deadpan Snarker. He constantly defies his noble superiors and authorities (including his own father), leading to many memorable moments such as slapping and talking down to Joffrey and an epic "The Reason You Suck" Speech in "The Mountain and the Viper".
    • Daario is a mercenary with wit, charm, and a very badass demeanour.
    • Salladhor Saan is a captain of a fleet of pirate ships, has no qualms killing and plundering for profit, and states out loud that he desires to fuck Queen Cersei Lannister. He's also a good friend of the noble (and former rogue) Davos Seaworth, has his own minor virtues, and is freakin' hilarious (he's not going to rape the queen, he's going to fuck her; he's confident it'll be voluntary).
  • Heartbeat:
    • Claude Greengrass. Lampshaded when a character calls Greengrass a rogue and he responds "Yes, but I'm lovable".
    • Peggy Armstrong, who began as an Unlovable Rogue but was subsequently softened. In between, there was Vernon Scripps, who is often considered this, but stayed on the right side of the law.
  • Claude Rains, the invisible, pigeon-keeping thief in the first season of Heroes is utterly cynical, lives invisibly (thus isolating himself from the rest of society), hates everyone, and steals everything he needs, but everyone loves him because we've seen glimpses of something more underneath all that.
  • Newkirk from Hogan's Heroes, pickpocket and card-cheater. Good thing he only uses his skills on the Nazis.
  • The main characters from Hustle, a team of con artists who only con those who deserve it.
  • Darien Fawkes in The Invisible Man. He's a notorious thief who only got caught last time because he tried to revive an old man he thought was having a heart attack (instead, he got convicted for attempted rape). His brother, an accomplished scientist, gets him out of prison to be the guinea pig for a top-secret project. After Darien gets the quicksilver gland, he can now become invisible at will. A dream come true for a thief. However, he needs regular injections of a counteragent that prevents him from going insane from quicksilver overdose, a deliberate flaw in the gland. Despite now working for a secret government agency, Darien still has plenty of roguish qualities, who loves to use his new ability to sneak into places he shouldn't (like spy on a guard and a nurse getting it on). However, in the series finale, the flaw in the gland is finally fixed, allowing him to be free from the Agency. The first thing he does is rob a place, only to leave the money on the sidewalk when he realizes he's not the same guy anymore.
  • Kitchen Nightmares: "Lela's" had a fairly scummy prep cook who tried to present himself as this. He would turn up for his shift, do the bare minimum while eating out of the restaurant's pantry on the clock, and then go home (sometimes excusing himself early) with takeaway boxes full of food and even bottles of wine and champagne pilfered from the cellar. The other staff knew his antics and laughed it off, even giving him the nickname "Buzzard". Gordon however has none of it, pointing out how blatantly stealing from a restaurant that is already financially in dire straits is simply unacceptable from an employee, and he gets fired the morning after being caught red-handed taking three bottles of wine and enough food for a four-course dinner.
  • Lutin, from The Legend of Dick and Dom, is introduced in the opening credit voiceover as the heroes' thieving servant. Saves the quest several times with heists, capers, and jailbreaks, as well as routinely sabotaging opponents and lifting small items; she's a classic cheeky, sarcastic rogue.
  • Sawyer from Lost, a highly popular character despite being a conman and murderer. In season 5, he develops from one into a snarky but otherwise perfectly heroic character. The actor has said that Juliet's death will push him into this territory again in season 6... except drop the "lovable".
  • Luna Nera: Persepolis will steal anything not nailed down, but she is fiercely loyal to Ade and also cares about Spritos.
  • Bret Maverick, from the aptly named western Maverick. Most often Bret is forced to break the law by escaping jail for crimes he's framed of or commits crimes as part of schemes and cons to outwit those they have wronged him (stolen his winnings) or his loved ones.
  • Dennis Stanton on Murder, She Wrote. A jewel thief who crossed Jessica Fletcher's path several times. (He ended up using his skills for legal purposes as an insurance investigator.)
  • Del Boy from Only Fools and Horses. He's an unrepentant hustler who's nowhere near as clever or charming as he thinks he is, but he has several important redeeming qualities: He never seriously harms anyone or even really breaks the law on-screen (severely bending the Trade Descriptions Act is about as bad as it gets), he's utterly loyal to his family and his motivation for everything he does is ultimately to lift himself and said family out of poverty.
  • Our Miss Brooks: The titular burglar in "The Honest Burglar" and its Sound-to-Screen Adaptation "The Burglar". Miss Brooks' catches him in the act at 5:00 AM raiding the refridgerator in the kitchen of landlady Mrs. Davis. He's been doing this for several months, ever since he's been out-of-work. He had recently stolen a bowl of fried chicken from Dean Bitterman Mr. Conklin. Rather than turn him in, Miss Brooks recommends him as a fill-in for the sick Crusty Caretaker Mr. Burwell.
  • Player: All of the team, especially Ha-ri. Yeah, they're criminals who rob and scam people out of their money, but they make a point of only targeting horrible people and they even go out of their way to publicly expose criminals who otherwise would have evaded justice.
  • Shawn Spencer from Psych likes coming up with scams and cons as part of his job. But he also scams people to keep his best friend from looking bad...
    • Not to mention the fact that he scams the police department, regularly, by pretending to be a psychic. Oh, and the various crimes and misdemeanors he perpetrates in every single episode.
      • But he only does those things to solve worse crimes (and the first time, to keep from being wrongfully arrested)!... And also sometimes for fun.
      • And wrongfully arrested for essentially doing the police department's job for them. Constantly. If anyone is justified for irreverent behavior towards law enforcement, it's Shawn.
      • Basically, the cops would rather arrest him for being involved in a crime than believe he's that good at spotting things.
  • Danny from Redfern Now is a shoplifter who becomes inadvertently involved in a hit-and-run—when he calls an ambulance in the latter case it begins his Character Development that puts the "lovable" in his character.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation tried to pull one of these off in a second season episode, "The Outrageous Okona". While it didn't work too well, he was at least a little funny. It comes off as almost a parody of the concept; when it comes down to it he's just an eccentric delivery driver who does nothing illegal.
    • On the other hand the original series did it very well with the immortal and immoral Harry Mudd, as well as the somewhat more benevolent Cyrano Jones.
      • Mudd is brought back (or forward?) in Star Trek: Discovery, although the younger version is more "rogue" than "lovable". He becomes more like his TOS self in the "Escape Artist" short, trying to bullshit his way out of being turned over to Starfleet for a bounty.
    • ST:TNG also had a supporting character named Vash, a female version of this trope who romanced Picard for a short time. For bonus irony points, Q casts her as Maid Marion in a Robin Hood fantasy.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Quark is one of these most of the time almost to the point of being a Gentleman Thief. This makes him the first exemplar of the virtues of Ferengi. It's telling that Quark is noticeably uncomfortable when he turns to arms dealing to stay afloat and the people who liked him up to that point are disappointed in him. He also typically abhors violence.
    • A greater rogue and far more charming is Garak, resident tailor and former spy/torturer to the Cardassian Union. He constantly lies about his actual skills that everyone already knows about, but is so goshdarn charming and funny that you can't help but cheer when he performs the awful yet necessary espionage that the main characters are too lawful and decent to do.
  • Star Trek: Picard: Cristóbal Rios is a former Starfleet officer striking out on his own and who doesn't really care about the law all that much. However, Picard notices that everything on Rios's ship is impeccably maintained to Starfleet standards, right down to every bolt, clasp, and fitting. He then tells Rios that the latter may be out of Starfleet, but he's still Starfleet to the core.
    • A look into his Dark and Troubled Past reveals that he was a model Starfleet officer until his beloved captain/father figure murdered two alien ambassadors under a "black-flag directive" from Starfleet Security (i.e. comply or their ship would be destroyed). Said captain then Ate His Gun, leaving Rios to clean up the mess; this would lead to Rios suffering a mental breakdown that ended his Starfleet career and left him disillusioned and bitter.
  • Dean and Sam Winchester of Supernatural, who commit credit card fraud and hustle pool to fund their world-saving activities. The Snark Knight Dean, in particular, embraces this lifestyle as well as enjoying strippers, porn, and other hedonistic pursuits where his brother more often craves respectability.
  • One sketch on Thank God You're Here has Bob Franklin putting his English accent to good use by playing an extremely likeable and charming philandering golfer.
  • According to the presenters of Top Gear and The Grand Tour, anyone who drives a Jaguar can do mildly despicable things but get away with it. The Grand Tour even has an episode to demonstrate that you can "borrow" towels and bathrobes from a hotel, drink most of a bottle of wine before declaring it "corked," and get out of a speeding ticket by exploiting your British passport, but it's okay. Because you drive a Jaaaaaaag...
  • The Wire has a few, most notably Omar Little. He robs drug dealers for a living, and he kills without much remorse if he has a beef with somebody. But he has a moral code of "all in the game," he never hurts or robs civilians, he's kind to children, he spends much of his loot on taking care of his grandmother, and he is just too lovable for the audience not to, well, love.
    • On the law's side there's Jimmy McNulty. He breaks rules that he considers unjust, cares more about catching murderers than busting petty corner dealers, and refuses to juke the stats to make crime look artificially low. His inveterate womanizing has already cost him a marriage, but his heart is decent enough that his eventual love interest, Beadie, seems willing to give him a second chance in the end. And unlike the traditional Cowboy Cop, he disdains violence and shows of force, favoring cerebral (if illegal) investigative work.
    • Donut is a cheerful, friendly middle-schooler ... and a skillful car thief by the age of thirteen. He's never violent or malicious; he just loves stealing cars.

    Myths & Religion 

    Pro Wrestling 
  • "Stone Cold" Steve Austin was a "tweener" but was mainly treated as a face in feuds.
  • The late Eddie Guerrero was well known for his "Lie, Cheat, and Steal" lifestyle. But he was so damn charming, he'd usually get away with it, all the while stealing the audience's hearts.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Former French President Jacques Chirac is portrayed this way in the satirical fake news show with puppets Les Guignols de l'Info, being shown to be a shameless liar (he even had another identity as Super Menteur, i.e. "Super Liar") while still remaining highly likable. It's thought this may have actually helped (the real) Jacques Chirac get re-elected.

  • Harry Lime as he was portrayed in The Lives of Harry Lime. He was considerably less lovable in The Third Man.
  • Our Miss Brooks: The titular burglar in "The Honest Burglar" and its Sound-to-Screen Adaptation "The Burglar". Miss Brooks' catches him in the act at 5:00 AM raiding the refridgerator in the kitchen of landlady Mrs. Davis. He's been doing this for several months, ever since he's been out-of-work. He had recently stolen a bowl of fried chicken from Dean Bitterman Mr. Conklin. Rather than turn him in, Miss Brooks recommends him as a fill-in for the sick Crusty Caretaker Mr. Burwell.
  • Gemma and Damien Mildury in The Space Gypsy Adventures, it helps that they mostly steal from the Federal Alliance military and that Damien's only about ten years old.

    Tabletop Games 
  • There's a good chance that any given Thief/Rogue, Bard, or Swashbuckler you meet in a game of Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder is this kind of character. An old maxim of roleplaying states that "A thief or rogue character will never be morally centrist. He will either be a good-natured chap who steals from people who deserve it and is the subject of much affection, or he will be a complete sociopath". There's an even better chance they won't be but will pretend they are.
  • Warhammer Fantasy: While the Crapsack World makes it kind of hard to be loveable and alive, there's actually a god of Lovable Rogues: Ranald, Trickster God, patron of thieves and liars, and believed to be an ascended human (like Sigmar). But where Sigmar did so via feats of strength, Ranald tricked his way into godhood.

  • "Professor" Harold Hill, of The Music Man, is this, with a heavy emphasis on the Lovable part (since he's also The Charmer). He's a con man who travels from one town to the next selling instruments and then running off with everyone's money without actually teaching the town's children how to play them- but he's also quite charming and by the end of the musical, he settles down with the town librarian, Marian Parroo.
  • Macheath from The Beggar's Opera is a generally lovable highwayman of his era. He's a criminal, yes but also tends to attract more lovers than he can name. Within the story, he gets thrown in jail for wanting to marry one of them when two others set him up, gets busted out by a fourth one, and thrown back in jail when ratted on by a fifth.
  • Bertolt Brecht deconstructs this trope in The Threepenny Opera, his Darker and Edgier version of The Beggar's Opera. Here people try to put this trope on this Macheath, but this one is really just a murderer, rapist, pimp, etc that is only ever really out for himself and nobody should want anything to do with him. However various translations of the original German have sometimes heavily altered this. In some Macheath plays this trope straight and in others, he's just as Brecht intended.

    Video Games 
  • Absinthia: Jake is the party's thief and is a bit of a kleptomaniac, but is also fighting to protect Katti from Lilith.
  • The two characters in Ace Attorney who get a Karma Houdini fall under this category. For Phantom Thief Ron DeLite it's because he's so darn adorable and for Shelly de Killer it's because he's Affably Evil and such a classy assassin.
    • And Kay Faraday, even though she doesn't technically steal anything. Except the truth! (And Edgeworth's lines.)
  • Baldur's Gate:
    • Imoen, your little sister from the first two games definitely qualifies, though she dual-classes into a Squishy Wizard in the sequel. Her merciless torture at the hands of Jon Irenicus is a vicious Player Punch and one of the main reasons for you to hate Irenicus' guts.
    • Yoshimo also works hard to project this image, although there are moments where it's a little off. From all indications, he was 100% this trope prior to selling his life and soul to Irenicus.
    • Saemon Havarian probably works as this as well, if not for the fact that half of the time the one he's screwing over is you. He seems to hold no ill will towards you or anyone despite throwing you to the wolves repeatedly to save his own skin (and he does seem to have an interest in defeating the Big Bad as long as he's not in the direct line of fire), and you have the option of having CHARNAME reciprocate. After about the third time he backstabs you the dialogue offers the line that it's basically just Saemon being Saemon.
    • Astarion from Baldur's Gate III is a Chaotic Evil vampire Rogue, and a flamboyant, Laughably Evil, Large Ham who lives for causing mischief and acts as a cheerleader to a more malicious player character.
  • Zane from Borderlands 3 definitely qualifies. He’s a retired corporate hitman who returns home to Pandora to lay low and joins the Crimson Raiders seemingly just to have a relaxing time shooting some bad guys and to see what all the fuss over the Vaults is about. The game also has a gun called the Lovable Rogue, the flavor text of which directly references Han Solo, arguably the trope codifier.
  • Shift from BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm. He’s a petty thief living in the sewers of the game’s Hub City, but he’s a good guy who joins the heroes out of a genuine desire to stamp out corruption and make the city safer for everyone. He’s also a big source of comic relief, albeit as the team’s Butt-Monkey.
  • Rei and Teepo from Breath of Fire III, respectively a Deadpan Snarker Classy Cat-Burglar and a Hot-Blooded Badass Adorable mugger.
  • Jack, in Dark Parables: Jack and the Sky Kingdom, grew up impoverished and decided to be Just Like Robin Hood in order to spread around that wealth to which he helps himself. His cottage is partly decorated with notes and drawings sent to him by children whose families he has helped. Nevertheless, he's still quite the fortune hunter and has a massive treasure trove in his basement. He's also extremely roguish in personality, but even so, he's one of the most lovable characters the Fairy Tale Detective has yet met.
  • Dark Souls:
    • Patches in Dark Souls and Dark Souls III at least tries to present himself as this, although his Chronic Backstabbing Disorder often gets in the way. Played a bit straighter when he recovers his memory in the Ringed City DLC; while he still kicks you off a cliff and mocks you, he'll leave his armour behind and help you out as a summon.
    • Laddersmith Gilligan in Dark Souls II is notorious for his greed, sells a bunch of crime-related gear like the Black Leather Set and bleeding serum for your weapon, and ...but he's also pretty chummy when you talk to him and never actually tries to screw you (in stark contrast to Licia of Lindelt, another merchant, who invades you a couple of times).
    • Greirat from Dark Souls III is one of the nicest characters in the Crapsack World of Dark Souls, and it's is heavily implied that he only became a criminal in order to support his family.
  • Lyndon from Diablo III, despite the setting, falls squarely into this category, thanks to his charming (and humorous) personality. He does have some noble motivations at least—one of his own thefts caused his brother to be imprisoned, and Lyndon is working to get him freed.
  • Isabela from Dragon Age II sits here with a drink and a few knives most of the time, if only because of her easygoing nature and the fact that the loss of her ship has forced her into a lack of pirating recently. It can be subverted when she abandons Hawke and Kirkwall to the Qunari at the climax of Act II. If the player has her at at least 50 friendship/rivalry though, she'll come back. There's also the fact that she lost her ship in the first place because she refused to carry a shipment of slaves. Zevran and Varric also count. One of them is a charming assassin with some degree of conscience, the other is a witty information man.
  • Jespar Dal'Varek of Enderal is a friendly and likeable mercenary with few scruples about what he'll do for money. He later becomes more guilty about this, however.
  • In Enter the Gungeon, the Pilot, one of the playable characters (Gungeoneers), derives inspiration from this trope, with his smile and energetic pose shown in his thumbnail and boss slides. Furthermore, once he is taken back to his past, he can be seen helping his wingman loot/steal from a wrecked ship in the beginning.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Leila from Final Fantasy II is a captain of a pirate ship who attempts to rob Firion's party in the middle of the ocean where no one can help them. After her pirate crews get beaten, Leila happily joins up with the party and turns out to be quite friendly.
    • Locke the treasure hunter, from Final Fantasy VI is pretty much the definition of this trope, though he drifts into being less of a rogue and more of a hero as the game progresses.
    • Zidane Tribal from Final Fantasy IX.
      • The rest of Tantalus probably qualifies too.
    • Rikku from Final Fantasy X. Sure, she's a thief who comes from a group of people who are considered heathens, and even kidnaps Yuna at one point, but she's also a sweet, lovable Genki Girl who's always ready to brighten up the mood. It doesn't hurt that the game reveals the reason why she tried to kidnap Yuna, is because she's Yuna's cousin and trying to prevent her and other summoners from committing a Senseless Sacrifice.
    • Balthier from Final Fantasy XII. Considering how much Final Fantasy XII seems to be inspired by Star Wars, he's almost certainly inspired by Han Solo.
  • Fire Emblem:
  • Gex was reportedly supposed to be this, as revealed in the interview with the creator at the end of the Enter The Gecko Strategy Guide.
  • Sky from Jade Empire has a darker backstory than other examples, but makes up for it with some glib lines and pragmatic approach to events.
  • Nick from Left 4 Dead 2 has a somewhat shady (and probably violent) criminal past, and he starts out with a lone wolf-style attitude, but because of the circumstances he's in, as the game progresses, he's slowly forced to shed that attitude and learns to trust and respect his teammates (well, respect MOST of them) and almost grows close to them, through whatever they go through.
    • It also helps that he's the character providing most of the game's snarkiest lines. He bounces some of the best lines off of Ellis because of this.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword introduced the Mogmas, a race of tunnel dwellers who are mostly seen plotting to steal ancient treasure from the local temples. Despite being thieves they always repay debts, and their kindness and inclination to help Link save Zelda make them very lovable.
    • Wind Waker has Tetra and her crew, who spend the first half of the game seeking to rescue a bunch of kidnapped they can charge Rupees through the nose for their return.
  • Jansen Friedh from Lost Odyssey plays this one almost perfectly, with a healthy dose of Plucky Comic Relief. Obfuscating Stupidity too. And a little bit of Butt-Monkey. He's one of the best characters in the game.
  • Kasumi Goto from Mass Effect 2, primarily due to her upbeat, energetic nature but still sad backstory. It also helps that she's willing to risk her life for humanity along with the rest of you and she seems to genuinely care about the crew being the Shipper on Deck for multiple potential couples.
  • The Bonnes in the Mega Man Legends series. Sure, they're pirates, but they aren't monsters out to cause destruction or harm people (that's just a side effect of piracy). Tron in particular, at the end of her spinoff game, goes out of her way to help Denise Marmalade, the rookie cop who tried (and failed) to arrest her a few times, by dropping other more dangerous criminals on her door and letting her take the credit for capturing them.
  • Tomi Undergallows from Neverwinter Nights is probably the most entertaining henchman for his sense of humor and his questionably accurate tales of working for evil monstrous humanoids and stealing the hearts of women twice his size. Deekin from the expansion packs also counts because, well, he's a kobold bard. A nonevil kobold bard who speaks in the third person and sings about doom. How can you not love that? "AAAAHH! Deekin...heart..."
  • Neeshka from Neverwinter Nights 2. She is a sort of a tiefling reincarnation of Imoen. Safiya's familiar in Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask Of The Betrayer may count as well.
  • In Persona 5, the protagonists are a Badass Crew of high school Phantom Thieves who Heel-Face Brainwash those who have abused their power and authority, with each member having a variety of dorky personality traits.
  • The Prince in Prince of Persia (2008) seems to be this, considering how the developers have stated that he's inspired by Harrison Ford's characters. Although the ending also has a VERY serious moment that might be crossing the Moral Event Horizon.
  • Red Dead Redemption: John Marston.
    • In Red Dead Redemption 2, Arthur Morgan counts. While he's an outlaw who has killed many people in the past over money, with several negative flaws such as being prone to anger quickly, starting fights, maybe even shooting or knocking out someone at the drop of a hat, he's still rather very likable and can be a genuine Nice Guy when he wants to be, coming off as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold at best who's loyal to the people in his camp and friends, showing kindness and being compassionate to innocent townsfolk while often lending a hand to those he comes across, even willing to suck some venom out of a man's leg! Many women find him charming and men think he's a gentleman, although he'll often deny this and tell him he's really a bad man. He highly respects women, talks to them in a respectful manner, and agrees with their rights to be able to vote (speaking the game takes place in a time period where women were treated in disregard and seen as the property of their husbands) and thinks nothing bad of women who can hold her own and often encourages and supports them. He even shows one of them how to shoot a gun properly and being patient with her. He'll even bust doors down and throw up all Hell if he finds out about a woman is being raped or threatened somewhere. He doesn't support racism and is courteous to people of all races. One of his best friends is a black man. Not to mention that he's really affectionate with his horses and dotes on them, and also the stray dogs he meets, and has a low tolerance of animal abuse. He also enjoys literature and can often be seen writing in his journal to reflect on his thoughts and feelings throughout the game, with aesthetically pleasing handwriting and reveals a very eloquent and even sensitive side you'd never guess he'd have, even self-doubting himself at times. He tries his darndest towards redeeming himself towards the end of the game, doing everything he can to help others before his sickness takes over.
    • Dutch is a subversion. He describes his philosophy as "we shoot fellers as need shooting, save fellers as need saving, and feed 'em as need feeding." This attitude has garnered immense loyalty from his gang, who view themselves as an entire group of lovable rogues. However, as the gang's fortunes worsen, Dutch becomes increasingly violent and obsessed with vengeance against people who have wronged him (or possibly wronged him). A frequent topic of discussion in the later half of the game is whether Dutch used to be a genuine lovable rogue or if he was just Faux Affably Evil all along.
  • Luis Sera from Resident Evil 4. A charismatic womanizer with a good heart working for the wrong side.
  • Ruina: Fairy Tale of the Forgotten Ruins:
    • Paris and the rogue route protagonist are willing to take on illegal work, but they do so in order to provide for the children of the slums.
    • Deconstructed in the rogue route. Paris is willing to do dirty deeds to save Chuna and has a grudge against Duke Kamur for executing his mother (who is also a rogue). This makes him easy prey for Pingar, who manipulates him into attempting to assassinate Duke Kamur.
  • Ozan, one of the Signature Heroes of RuneScape, seems to fit this category well. He happens to be a thief and a liar with an inflated ego... Yet his friendly, fun, and charming personality makes him likable despite this. Oh, and he is a hero (if the term Signature Heroes wasn't enough of a clue).
  • In later video games, the crew of Saints Row makes a point of deliberately branding themselves as this trope as they become famous.
    Zinyak: I should have realized a prison of peace would never hold a sociopath like yourself.
    Boss: I'm more of a puckish rogue.
  • Chosokabe Motochika from Sengoku Basara is a kleptomaniac pirate known as the "Demon of the Western Sea" who crushes people's skulls with a giant anchor. However, once you get past this he's actually a fairly honest, charming, and good-hearted guy who values things like friendship and keeping promises, and overall one of the most honourable characters around.
  • Practically 25% of the world's population in Skies of Arcadia is made up of "Blue Rogues". They only attack the military and "Black Pirates", i.e. not the helpless or innocent. They're quite friendly and helpful to strangers. Naturally, this includes all the playable characters.
  • Sly Cooper and his two friends, Bentley and Murray. They have a Just Like Robin Hood style of thieving and are all very loveable, to the point where Sly was able to endear himself to a police officer.
  • If Robin Hood is a Lovable Rogue, then definitely we have to include Yoshimitsu of SoulCalibur and Tekken. In both games, he steals from rich people and gives to the poor, much like Robin Hood. Most people love him, even if he's not really important to either storyline, but everyone loves him only because he's just so damn awesome. It helps that he can use his sword as a pogo stick. And as a helicopter.
  • The Smuggler in Star Wars: The Old Republic runs on this Trope. S/he is Refuge in Audacity personified, starts out as a small-time gun-runner on a corrupt Republic backwater, and pretty much ends up leading half the criminal underworld by the endgame. But it's hard not to laugh when the Smuggler trolls the guy who stole his/her ship by inflating the guy's criminal record and marking him as a carrier of "Bothan Nether Rot."
  • Sword of Paladin: The Eagle Pirates aren't on the right side of the law, but they protect innocents from less scrupulous pirates and kicked out Red Rose for being too bloodthirsty for their standards.
  • Symphony Of War: After the Evil Chancellor has the protagonist thrown in jail, they're rescued by Stefan, a charming thief working alongside Diana The Paladin in order to free prisoners from unjust punishments (in addition to raiding coffers).
  • Raven from Tales of Vesperia, who, despite being a bit of a pervert and working a selfish agenda, also happens to be a genuinely good guy and the comic relief character.
  • The Spy from Team Fortress 2 considers himself this, and is one when on your team. On the enemy team, he's a sadistic psychopath.
  • In TerraTech, early-game quest giver Crafty Mike always seems to have dubiously legal "business" to take care of, so he ropes the player into doing minor tasks around his bases. The loveableness comes into play because he lets the player keep the bases, including powerful crafting equipment that can't be found anywhere else unless the player gets lucky with invaders.
  • Lara Croft from Tomb Raider. While the game would prefer you to see her as an Adventurer Archaeologist, in the real world she would be called an ordinary grave robber.
  • Nathan Drake's interactions with his crew in the Uncharted series makes him a lovable and entertaining rogue. He also tends to operate at least somewhat outside the law (such as being forced to get into an explosive gunfight with pirates in the first game's intro due to operating without a permit), and Uncharted 2 opens with him engaging in a museum break-in.
  • World of Horror: Kana proves themselves as such in "Eerie Episode of Evolving Eels", where they draw your protagonist into their investigation of what one of your neighbors has been up to. Despite casually engaging in a series of misdemeanors in the course of satisfying their curiosity, none of their mischief is especially harmful save, perhaps, to themselves.
  • The Battle for Azeroth expansion introduced Flynn Fairwind to World of Warcraft. A former pirate, Flynn now takes under-the-table jobs from the government of his country, including helping the player character investigate the ruler's closest advisor.
  • Milanor the Silver Wolf from Yggdra Union is the leader of a loosely-knit group of vagabonds, but he also helps the eponymous princess form a counter-imperial rebellion.

  • The pirates from Dubious Company. Sure they steal ships, rum, and polyphase conductors, but overall they're terrible pirates. Of course their main adversaries, the Imperial Guard, are terrible officers. A major arc involved the pirates trying to stop the Imperial Guard from giving the Emperor superpowers, by murdering an otherwise innocent priestess.
  • Sam Starfall, from Freefall, isn't someone you would trust with a loose credit — and if you shake hands with him, count your fingers afterwards — but he does have a Code of Honor, he doesn't do anyone any physical harm, and his exploits are generally comedic enough that, even in-universe, most of the inhabitants of Jean simply regard him as a cross between a public nuisance and street theater.
    Helix: How do you know when you should break the law?
    Sam: When systems evolve that crush the spirit! When the law is corrupt! When people cry out for justice! But mostly, when it's fun.
  • Greg: Ted displays his rouge tendencies by sneaking onto a college campus disguised as a professor to score the digits of the female students.
  • Hark! A Vagrant portrays Robin Hood in this manner. Dick Turpin, on the other hand...
  • This trope is invoked in Homestuck to describe the difference between the Rogue and Thief classes.
    UU: a rogUe is a passive class. yoU see, there are passive (+) and active (-) classes. some more strongly passive or active than others.
    UU: the +/- distinction can mean many things, bUt coUld be qUite roUghly sUmmed Up in this way: active classes exploit their aspect to benefit themselves, while passive classes allow their aspect to benefit others.
    UU: classes always come in +/- pairs, with significant disparity between them.
    UU: while a rogUe is passive, a thief woUld be its far more active coUnterpart.
    TG: so basically
    TG: a thief is like the asshole class
    TG: the player who says step off shits mine suckas
    TG: whereas
    TG: a rogue
    TG: is bascially robin hood
    • All of the Rogue players are rendered cute and underestimated. Roxy (the Rogue of Void)'s only character trait in the fandom is often being drunk all the time, but she is also a hacker and knows her way around a shotgun. Nepeta (the Rogue of Heart) is best known as being an innocent Cat Girl, but hunts animals with huge Wolverine Claws and eats them raw on a nightly basis. While there isn't much known about Rufioh (the Rogue of Breath); he can certainly stand strong in a fight.
  • Varden of Inverloch is not nearly as callous and pragmatic as he'd like to think. Although his initial pose as an "honorable thief" is a sham, he soon grows attached to the group in spite of himself, risking himself to save them and displaying a sentimental side. Of course, none of this Character Development makes him less inclined to keep stealing whenever he sees the chance because it's the quickest way to get money, he's good at it, and he enjoys it.
  • Mordekai from the Fantasy theme of Irregular Webcomic! actually insists on being referred to as a Lovable Rogue.
  • Magick Chicks: Ash has occasionally lead breastplate raids on Artemis Academy. Despite this, he's roguishly handsome and charming enough that he's gained a fair number of admirers among its students. It also helps that he looks out for his cohorts and is skilled enough to trade repartee and punches with their student council president, whom he happens to be dating, as even she can't resist his charms.
  • Mob Psycho 100 features Reigen Arataka, a Phony Psychic con man who lies to everyone about his abilities, underpays his pupil Mob who does all the work when performing exorcisms, and commits tax evasion. What makes him so lovable is that he has a noble heart as he offers genuine help for his clients when it comes to solving their problems whether supernatural or psychological. He also provides meaningful wisdom to Mob and does what he can to protect him from dangerous threats.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Julio Scoundrél, who briefly becomes Elan's mentor.
    • And back in the main party, Haley Starshine definitely qualifies— we don't see her do much on-panel lawbreaking, but she was a prolific thief prior to joining the party, and while her quest to literally save the world takes priority, she won't turn down an opportunity to enrich herself along the way, as seen here. Bonus points for being a literal member of the Rogue class, due to the world running on D&D 3.5 rules.
  • Most of the main characters of Shiloh are career criminals whose crimes range from petty thefts to killing for hire, but they're a team of close friends who genuinely care for each other, are funny and genuinely likeable (when not trying to murder you, that is).

    Web Original 
  • Jack Masterson of Chrono Hustle is a con artist who has no problem lying and cheating. But he does try to avoid hurting good people and will help out people in need from time to time.
  • The Undersiders from Worm are this to a greater (Tattletale and Grue) or lesser (Regent and Bitch) degree when we first meet them. A band of teenage supervillains who rob banks and casinos and whatnot for fun and profit, all of them either have sympathetic motivations (like Grue) or extremely nasty backstories which guarantee that they couldn't have normal lives even if they wanted to for reasons largely beyond their control. As the Villain Protagonists of the story, they tend to fluctuate between putting their lives on the line for the greater good and trying to Take Over the City.

    Web Videos 
  • In Critical Role's first campaign, Scanlan was a textbook example of this trope, as can be expected of a gnomish bard played by a trained comedian and musical/voice actor who is old enough to fully embrace his attention-seeking personality 'flaw' and turn it into a virtue for the entertainment of his friends. Vax and Vex might also count since they each have levels in the Rogue character class and Vex can be very charming and has stolen a few things. Vax, despite being the main Rogue of the Vox Machina party, never actually steals anything (at least during the broadcast parts of their adventures) and he's probably the kindest and most empathetic male character in the groupnote , though he also enjoys playing pranks on those of his male friends with whom he has a Vitriolic Best Buds type relationship. (See also: the entry for Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder above, since those are the RPG systems this campaign was based on.)
  • Captain Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock in Hitler Rants. In Das Boot, he was a Tragic Hero caught up in a war he did not understand. In the U-Boat Parodies, he's a lovable, manipulative rogue who always manages to remain one step ahead of Hitler, and almost always finds ways to benefit from the latter's misery.

    Western Animation 
  • The Blue Spirit of Avatar: The Last Airbender, the "lovable" part established in Season 1, with the "rogueish" part not really coming out until he committed several thefts and at least one death threat.
  • Rattrap from Beast Wars. At one point Optimus Primal is presumed dead during the course of one night. During that time Rattrap takes it upon himself to take over his (much nicer) quarters and replace everything with his own stuff. When he is called out on it, his response is basically "Hey, come on. What do you expect?"
  • The title character of Dan Vs. is a short-tempered Jerkass who will use any means possible to get his revenge on people for petty reasons, but his hidden Freudian Excuse, Comedic Sociopathy, and protectiveness of animals, accompanied with the fact that his foes are usually worse, makes it very hard not to like him.
  • The Skywing elf Nyx from The Dragon Prince qualifies for this. Trying to kidnap the Prince of Dragons because she hopes to get a reward from his mother, she simply leaves Callum and Rayla in the desert. Before that, she comments that the two are lovers to embarrass them. However, she is not really malicious and is also grateful when Rayla saves her from danger.
  • Eddy in Ed, Edd n Eddy is a conniving scam artist who suckers the kids out of their money and is even willing to put his own friends in precarious situations just to get what he wants. However, balance all that out with how unbelievably silly some of his scams can be, along with his many Pet the Dog moments with his friends and his chance to excel over his main targets (Kevin or Sarah) in certain episodes, he actually becomes quite loveable. He was this even more so in the first season, where he was laid-back, jovial, loved playing small pranks, and only occasionally scammed the kids.
  • Bender from Futurama.
    Bender: It's me! Bender! The lovable rascal!
  • Puck from Gargoyles most definitely qualifies. "Sunny disposition and always kind to animals" indeed.
  • Daffy Duck of Looney Tunes fame, under Robert McKimson's direction was evolved into a compromise of both his former and latter forms, often acting as a con artist or door to door salesman. In tradition with this trope, his luck was often karma based, when trying to swindle protagonists such as Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig he was usually foiled, when trying to make money out of antagonists such as Elmer Fudd and the Tazmanian Devil however, Daffy would often make a profit.
    "I may be a craven little coward, but I'm a greeeeeeeeeeedy craven little coward!"
  • Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic can be very lazy and loves to play pranks on the other ponies. However, she is the most loyal of the cast and will do everything it takes to help her friends out. This was less prominent in the first few seasons but as the series goes on, she becomes a lot more of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • T.J. Detwhiler from Recess is definitely this. In the eyes of most adults, T.J. is nothing but a troublemaker who is always up to no good. However, in the eyes of the kids, he is a major Nice Guy and Wise Beyond His Years that always look out for his fellow kids and is generally the person people go to for advice. Even certain adults like Principle Prickly and Miss Finster who are often annoyed by T.J.'s antics stated that they actually don't hate him. And even if it seems like, at times, T.J. is causing trouble for the fun of it, it's often harmless pranks that even an adult could get a chuckle out of.
  • Shaun the Sheep in his spin-off series. His schemes often involve screwing the Farmer or Bitzer in some way, but he has no harmful intent and occasionally tries to do nice things for them to compensate. Usually the rest of the flock get in on this too.
  • Teen Titans (2003) has Red X, who is not only entertainingly witty during combat, but also manages to completely dominate all five Titans at once. He also remarks that he doesn't steal for any sort of incomprehensibly psychopathic reason; he's just doing it all for the fun. To add to this status, he even saves the heroes' lives and helps save the city before escaping.
  • Total Drama: Duncan's snarky, destructive, law-breaking, shady, reckless, thieving and proud of being evil, but he keeps a social status and is a nice person if you earn his respect.
  • El Tigre was a Chaotic Neutral juvenile delinquent with superpowers, running from the cops one day and fighting supervillains the next.
  • Top Cat and his gang of alley cats are either con artists or Zany Schemers, but have altruistic qualities and a ton of charisma to boot.
  • The title character of Yogi Bear. He's obsessed with stealing 'pic-a-nic baskets' from campers and often winding up Ranger Smith in the process, but he's a friendly easy-going guy who is repentant when his stunts cause significant problems in the park. In most interpretations he is not portrayed as a thief he becomes an outright protagonist solving mysteries or helping friends.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Loveable Rogue


Plucky Thief

Stock fantasy archetype for a thief character in the heroic party.

How well does it match the trope?

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Main / LovableRogue

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