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Noble Bigot

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"God, I got more in common with these gooks than I do with my own spoiled-rotten family. Jesus. Happy birthday."
Walt Kowalski, Gran Torino

The noble bigot prides himself — it usually is a man, due to gendered stereotypes — on doing the right thing and making sure that those in need are taken care of, yet in the same instance has no qualms with labeling those different from himself with unreasonably prejudiced terms and backhanded compliments. Although the noble bigot basically wallows in his own jerkass nature, he's not considered truly villainous. His bigotry might even be motivated by a misguided desire to be good and "loyal" rather than a Category Traitor, and might even tie into his positive traits (i.e. he considers himself to be superior, and superior people are supposed to hold themselves to high standards). Other characters either are constantly revolted by his nature, or brush it off as it just being in his nature, in the hope that others will get used to it. It may or may not prove to be Pretend Prejudice.

This character will almost always be redeemed in the end — and even if he isn't, it will still be acknowledged that he has his good qualities. Sometimes, he is as sympathetic as such a character can be, only holding on to his prejudices due to a Freudian Excuse (his parents taught him to be this way, or he was once wronged by a member of the group he now despises). A distinct but closely related trope is the Innocent Bigot, who honestly thinks he is not prejudiced due to Values Dissonance, and is thus unaware rather than a Jerkass.

Confusingly, it is also possible for a person to act both racist and anti-racist, such as admiring groups theoretically while in practice hating them out of envy or fear (see Race Fetish and Karmic Transformation). Or maybe they have a ridiculously outdated "idealized" notion of a certain group, but then hate modern-day individuals of that group for not living up to that imagined standard or "betraying" their culture. Conversely, they might spout racist slogans or offensive words about a given group or ethnicity in general, yet turn out to be friendly or charitable to the actual members they encounter in person. It's not for nothing that a common defense from bigots is "Some of My Best Friends Are X".

This trope has its roots in the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, when well-known scholars of the day condemned religious bigotry (insofar as Christian denominations were concerned, anyway) but viewed racial bigotry as acceptable and even logical. The attitude went mainstream during the Victorian era and then steadily degraded as it percolated down through the less educated classes. More modern anthropological discoveries during the early twentieth century did much to discredit scientific racism, and then the Holocaust killed it off for good as a topic of serious discussion. In fiction, however, it is alive and well.

May also overlap with Tragic Bigot and Troubled Sympathetic Bigot. See also Noble Bigot with a Badge and Boomerang Bigot. Compare Good is Not Nice. May overlap with Wicked Cultured or Fair for Its Day. May come off as Affably Evil (or even Faux Affably Evil) to the targets of his prejudice. Compare Hates Everyone Equally, which describes a person who is not bigoted against a particular demographic. The Noble Bigot possibly Wants a Prize for Basic Decency; after all, many other people manage to be just as noble without being bigoted at all.

Polar opposite of the Politically Correct Villain, who considers bigotry to be unacceptable but is fine with causing damage and suffering as long as it's on an equal opportunity basis.

A well-drawn Noble Bigot can be used for An Aesop against self-righteously writing others off because of aspects of their character.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Fullmetal Alchemist
    • Most of the heroes are at least slightly racist towards the Ishvalans (barring the Elric Brothers. Possibly justified since of their age.)
    • The surviving Ishvalans have admitted that they hate Amestris and many of its people for what they did to Ishval. Many bluntly state that they may never forgive Amestris for what its people have done. However, most of them are willing to put this aside and work with the heroes to save Amestris because they want to end the cycle of unthinking hatred and vengeance.
    • Many of these refugees (they're all refugees) are motivated by the opposite side of Scar's religious position, that Ishvala would not want them to be consumed by revenge but to survive and carry on their culture and blood. This is almost the only truly positive depiction of religion among the many, many appearances and references it receives over the course of the series.
    • Miles is a soldier in the northern fortress of Briggs. He's technically half-Amestrian, but visibly takes after his Ishvalan side, so he tends to identify himself with them. Kimblee has a remarkable scene with Miles where he's flaunting his evil Ishvalan-slaughtering cred (he seems to have founded his whole identity there and gets a huge kick out of how much Scar hates him) and enjoying what he presumes is Miles forcibly restraining himself because of the chain of command, when really Miles has mostly made his peace with the genocide issue, values the living more, and just wishes the annoying guy would shut up, but won't say so because his job is to keep him busy.
    • Racism of Amestrians towards Ishvalans is much more prominent in Fullmetal Alchemist (2003).
  • Grandpa Joseph from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders has a dislike of all things Japanese. This is because his daughter Holly married a Japanese jazz musician and moved away to Japan to be with her husband. As a result, he doesn't get to see his daughter or grandson much and blames Japan for tearing his family apart. Although considering how it's only mentioned a few times after he shows up for the first time after the Time Skip that has him age from an 18-year old in the previous part to a 68-year old, it could almost count as Early-Installment Weirdness, since the next part, which takes place ten years later, has him visit Japan and extensively interact with Japanese people (one of which is his own (illegitimate) son) while being friendly and polite the entire time. Not to mention the fact that he apparently had no problem seducing and sleeping with a Japanese woman 6 years before Stardust Crusaders.
  • The Morose Mononokean: One of the leaders of the Underworld, The Executive, is known for his hatred towards humans. But he is also responsible with his duty, and he's willing to let his personal hatred slide if it helps protect the Underworld. He is apparently the one who taught Abeno about the language, history, and culture of the Underworld, despite knowing that the latter is human, and later agrees to rely on Ashiya's help even though the latter has killed a demon.
  • Haruka Suzushiro of My-HiME, the upstanding if somewhat overzealous head of the disciplinary committee, implies that she finds lesbianism disgusting.
    Haruka: Two women behaving like that with each other... you're filthy! Both you AND Natsuki Kuga!
  • Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs: Angelica Rapha Redgrave stands out among most of the nobles since, despite having some classist attitudes towards commoners, is at least somewhat tolerant of them as long as they stay in their place. She starts rethinking her beliefs after she befriends Leon and Olivia.
  • Sochie Heim from ∀ Gundam is a generally heroic (sometimes too heroic) young woman who is nonetheless very ill-disposed toward foreigners. She hates the Moonrace for the understandable reason that her father died in their initial invasion of Earth and she also resents the idea that her country needs to ally with others to fight them.

    Comic Books 
  • Artemis' dislike of men and rampant misandry doesn't stop her from saving them from danger. She has also expressed romantic interest in multiple men despite outwardly decrying all men as stupid and inferior. She's also slowly growing out of her misandry the more time she spends with the Amazons of Themyscira and in the world as a whole apart from the Bana-Mighdall.
  • Zig-zagged by Billy Butcher in The Boys. He constantly mocks gay and transgender people, calls Americans "Septics" (Septic Tank = Yank) and (like many Brits) refers to Chinese food as "Chinky", but doesn't actually hate anyone on the basis of who they are other than superheroes – after all, he's happy to work with the Japanese Female and African-American Mother's Milk. Despite his sociopathic tendencies, he has an easy charm that allows him to get on well with almost anyone. He actually despises Rayner because he sees her as racist towards Middle Easterners. However in the final arc of the series, he snaps and tries to enact a Final Solution against the supers.
  • Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl: Batgirl is very biased against parahumans, and she doesn't even trust super-powered crimefighters. Even so, she's a crime-fighter who is committed to protecting people, she at least respects Wonder Woman a bit and befriends Supergirl, and at the end, she appears to have gotten over her bigotry a bit. And she isn't as bad as Lex Luthor at any rate (She merely wants parahumans out of her city. Luthor wants them dead and doesn't even regard them as human beings)
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen:
  • Sparx, friend of Superboy and member of Superboy and the Ravers, is homophobic but knows that it's messed up that she's treating Hero and his boyfriend the way she does. The matter is further complicated by the fact that H-Dial transformation shenanigans had caused her to think she and Hero were dating so his coming out to her felt like he'd played a cruel joke on her even though she knew the H-Dial heroes were separate entities from Hero despite sharing his memories.
  • Rorschach from Watchmen. He Does Not Like Women and is homophobic (both apparently the result of the abuses of his childhood that make him recoil from any expression of sexuality), but he does try to do the right thing a lot of the time (albeit from his own effed-up perspective). Similarly, earlier heroes Captain Metropolis and Hooded Justice, both seriously racist. (Not homophobic, though - in fact, they were a couple.)
  • WILQ – Superbohater: Wilq is a genuine superhero trying to do the right thing for Opole and the rest of the world, but many of his opinions about sexual and ethnic minorities would be considered at least inappropriate by mainstream Western audience. His short temper doesn't really help, either.

    Fan Works 
  • Daphne Greengrass and the Boy Who Lived;
    • Defied in principle for most of the characters regarding Slytherin; with Daphne as an example of a good Slytherin, even Ron is willing to acknowledge that the whole house can’t be that bad.
    • Daphne’s observations note that Arthur is actually a gentle form of this; while he doesn’t think negatively of muggles, his attitude towards them is somewhat patronising and he seems more fascinated by their technology than caring about them as people.
  • Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness has various DA members who happen to believe in pureblood supremacy. Rather oddly handled, though - in many cases, their only noble quality is being willing to fight Voldemort, and they still seem to hate all the mudbloods and non-bigots they're fighting with.
  • In the One Piece/Steven Universe crossover A Gem in the Rough, Pearl's character arc is seemingly to overcome this. Even though she respects and admires the humans in the Grand Line (especially Zoro, whom she even emulates his Santoryu style during the fight with Mr. 1), she truly believes that Gems are stronger than any human. It takes the combination of a dream version of Mihawk and Admiral Aokiji to make her realize how wrong she is.
    • Garnet also falls victim to this trope, but nowhere near as severe as Pearl. She is far more open to the strength of humanity but is still highly overconfident in combat.
  • In Incarnation of Legends, Susanoo fears outsiders and wants to turn the Far East into a warrior state where only the strong survive, but this is because he genuinely believes that it will produce a stronger country. He also cares deeply for his own children and is outraged when one of his own children is involved in Haruhime's kidnapping, as it could have easily sparked a Civil War.
  • Aizawa proves himself to be one in the Sleeper Hit AU. In order to make room in his class for Shinsou, he decides to expel the student who scores the lowest in his Quirk Assessment test... only to fudge the results after the Quirkless Midoriya, who trained extensively to compensate for that, scores higher than Hagakure. Deciding that her invisibility has much more potential, he claims that Midoriya scored the lowest, even outing him as Quirkless to the whole class while declaring that he won't get any 'special treatment'. While he does come to regret this decision, and attempted to compensate for his actions long before the truth comes out, it still shatters the regard others once held him in.
  • At the beginning of Splint, Cadoc is very prejudiced against Orcs, seeing them as little more than bloodthirsty monsters who get everything they deserve. This is somewhat understandable, given his only interactions with Orcs were during battles and raids, where he witnessed first-hand the horrors they inflicted on innocent people. He is otherwise a good man who fights to keep Gondor's lands and particularly the rural communities safe. However, after getting to know Rukhash he comes to realize that Orcs are Mirroring Factions to Men and begins changing his views, to the point where he falls in love with Rukhash. Even then, his views were pretty tame compared to some other human characters like Dellon, who goes out of his way to hunt down and kill Orcs out of hatred for them, even if they weren't doing anything wrong.
  • The Stalking Zuko Series has Pakku, who remains an example of this even after the Character Development he experienced in canon. He strongly opposes Water Tribe members marrying outside their people, and believes, albeit somewhat pragmatically, that the best thing Katara could do in the patriarchal Water Tribe society is to marry well. Since Katara is in love with Zuko and hopes to work for gender equality in the Water Tribe, she obviously doesn't agree with him.
  • A Tactician's Testimony: Early on, Katri is prejudiced against Sacaeans, but nonetheless makes friends with Lyn and helps her out of gratitude, since Lyn saved her life. After the events of "Blood of Pride," in which Marquess Araphen refuses to help them against Lundgren out of Fantastic Racism and openly demeans and dehumanizes Lyn to her face, Katri is disgusted that she used to think of Sacaeans the same way as him and does a complete 180.
  • The protagonist of With This Ring encounters a Martian Prelate who genuinely believes in the system of colour-based social stratification and oppression, considering it to be divinely inspired and not negotiable, but doesn't actually hate White Martians per se, and considers herself to have responsibilities by virtue of being superior.
    Paul: In the American context, she wouldn't set fire to a cross on a White Martian's lawn, but she wouldn't want them to be able to get golf club membership.

    Film — Animated 
  • Wyldstyle in The LEGO Movie is a Master Builder who fights to save the world in the name of creative freedom, but also looks down on non-Master Builders like Emmet, thinking of them as mindless lemmings who can't do anything without following instructions. After acknowledging Emmet's creative potential through his heroic deeds, however, she pulls a 180 on her tone and begins helping other non-Master Builders realize their own untapped potential.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • All The Way has Lyndon B. Johnson portrayed this way, dropping casual N-bombs in private while fighting tooth and nail to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964. By contrast, Richard Russell, Jr. is shown to be repeatedly Nice to the Waiter when around black service personnel, but fighting desegregation at every turn.
  • Dirty Harry Callahan "doesn't play favorites." He hates all races, including his own.
  • Sergeant Hartman from Full Metal Jacket is considerably homophobic but a well-intentioned guy.
  • Walt Kowalski from Gran Torino, even toward the end of the movie after being adopted as a new grandparent by a Hmong family, still referred to a particular Asian girl as "Yum Yum" when he couldn't pronounce her name.
  • Mr. Putterman in Gremlins (1984) is outrageously patriotic to the point of xenophobia, even going so far as to getting plastered in a bar after he finds out his cab which he thought was 100% American-made is actually filled with foreign parts.
  • Police Chief Bill Gillespie (Rod Steiger) in In the Heat of the Night. The portrayal was so well done it earned Steiger an Oscar for Best Actor.
  • In Sapphire, David's father had reluctantly agreed to David and Sapphire (who is black) marrying despite his own racist views, and the family's concern about their social standing, as well as the knowledge that David would probably have to forfeit a scholarship to study in Rome. This is at least partially driven by his insistence that his son will 'do the right thing' when he learns Sapphire is pregnant. By the end of the movie, he has formed a friendship of sorts with Sapphire's brother.
  • Ethan Edwards in The Searchers has this toward both Comanches and Yankees. His hate of Comanches comes from years of fighting and his hatred of Yankees comes from his participation in The American Civil War.
  • Trading Places: Randolph is just as condescending and prejudiced as his brother Mortimer, but unlike his brother, he shows genuine pity for Valentine's plight and the plot begins with his belief that Valentine could easily turn his life around if he got some opportunities. Subverted later on, when even after Valentine proves he's more than capable of commodities trading, Randolph is very happy to leave Valentine in the poor house out of pure racism.
  • Dirty Steve from Young Guns. He constantly harasses Chavez calling him a greaser and using Navaho as an insult, but in the final shootout, he rides back to save Chavez getting himself killed instead.

  • Adrian Mole's grandma doesn't like Indians or Pakistanis but is otherwise sympathetic and somewhat badass.
  • Animorphs: Andalites are superior to every other species, at least according to themselves. They'll also make any personal sacrifice for what they consider to be the greater good, including laying down their lives at a moment's notice if that's necessary to avoid giving the Yeerk Empire an advantage. note 
  • In Tom Kratman's Caliphate, Adbul Mohsem might be anti-American, but he did care about Petra's well-being unlike his wife Khalifa.
  • Discworld:
    • Sam Vimes is a self-proclaimed equal-opportunity specieist (racism doesn't get too much traction on the Discworld on the grounds that inter-species discrimination is more interesting - xenophobia, however, is quite common). However, though he is initially Mistaken for Racist a couple of times (and Mistaken for Misogynist by Angua), he actually comes off as a textbook case of Hates Everyone Equally.
      • Specifically, he thinks dwarves are irritating little bastards, trolls are irritating big bastards, werewolves are violent bastards, vampires are bastards who embody everything that's wrong with wealthy aristocrats, and humans are perhaps the biggest bastards of them all. This doesn't stop him from being Knight in Sour Armor who consistently helps anyone in need, no matter their species, and he will always, always force himself to be fair and respectful of their cultural traditions so long as they don't conflict with the law. Even (eventually) to vampires.
      • He also (maybe) acknowledges that Lady Margolotta (a vampire) isn't a complete monster - though he doesn't like her and as she admits, vampires are predators by nature. Even the ones who try to be good aren't necessarily very nice. He also highly values Angua (a werewolf), Detritus (a troll), Cheery (a dwarf), and all the other Watchmen he works with, because they're no longer just dwarves/trolls/werewolves/vampires... they're watchmen.
      • In return, the non-human members of the Watch generally ignore Vimes' comments, partly because they're unilateral, but mainly because they know that if their backs are against the wall, he'll be the first one diving in to help them.
    • Albrecht Albrechtsson from The Fifth Elephant hates Ankh-Morpork, but he's a good, loyal dwarf who, Rhys notes, probably would have made an excellent king a few hundred years ago.
    • A minor character in Raising Steam is a traditionalist dwarf who disapproves of human/dwarf marriage but nevertheless shows up politely dressed for one in his village since he was invited and it'd be rude not to be there for a wedding he was invited to in order to congratulate the couple. This ends up saving the lives of several people (though sadly not both in the couple) when extremist dwarfs attack the wedding, as he is politely dressed by traditional dwarf standards, IE what most humans would call heavily armed.
  • In the Dragaera universe, the Vlad Taltos books give us Aliera, and sometimes Vlad himself. Played with and lampshaded by Vlad when he realizes that, while he hates Dragaerans, almost all his friends and loved ones are Dragaerans.
  • Lord David Alderscroft, from the Elemental Masters novels, isn't quite as bad as some of the other examples on this page. But in most of his appearances, he assumes that nonwhites, the lower (social) classes, and females are inherently inferior to wealthy, white male nobility like himself.
  • Played for laughs in Good Omens with Witchhunter Shadwell. He has a (mildly) derogatory slur for everyone, belittles foreign cultures and religions, and suspects everyone of being a witch or a warlock, yet everyone is charmed by him and he fearlessly prepares to fight Satan when the Apocalypse comes.
  • In The Grimnoir Chronicles, Joe Vierra is a Portuguese farmer who spits at the Okies that pass by his farm. But he still buys and adopts the daughter of one family when he notices that she has a potentially self-destructive power that needs training.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Horace Slughorn is a downplayed example. While he's one of the most sympathetic characters Slytherin House produces, he still displays the 'Blood Purity' ideology that makes most Slytherins so distasteful; he assumes Voldemort must be a pure-blood due to his immense magical power and expresses mild surprise when he finds muggle-born wizards with above-average talent, such as Lily or Hermione. However, he won't look down on a muggle-born for long if they manage to impress him with their talent.
    • Harry, the Gryffindors, and the other Houses could be considered this, given their attitude about Slytherin House. It's open for interpretation, as the books present them as being in the right to not trust any Slytherin - until the introduction of Slughorn, who adds a shade of grey. The general impression is that Slytherin House as it is in the time of the books has been under Voldemort's shadow for about half a century, adversely shaping its members as a result.
    • Regulus Black very bravely died trying to destroy one of Voldemort's horcruxes but he never actually abandoned his ideas of blood supremacy. He simply thought that Voldemort had gone too far.
    • Centaurs in general are a very proud race who usually prefer to maintain their distance from humans, and look down on them while claiming (not always wrongly) that humans are the ones who are prejudiced against them. They go so far as to banish one of their own, Firenze, for being too helpful to humans. However, they also show up at Dumbledore's funeral to pay their solemn respects, and join the good side (after some prodding from Hagrid) in the Battle of Hogwarts.
  • Gem of Sphene in the Imperial Radch series. On the one hand, Sphene is a useful ally and source of intelligence, and seems to get along pretty well with Zeiat, a creation of the alien Presger who happens to look human. On the other hand, Sphene is also ancient and rather set in its ways: none of the characters we've met are true Radchaai by its standards and it makes that very clear, there's nothing morally wrong with lobotomising people to turn into ancillaries, and so on. But of course, Breq really wants Anaander Miannai dead, and Sphene is a huge fan of that.
    "Citizens live inside the Radch. What's outside the Radch is impure, and mostly barely human. You can call yourselves Radchaai as much as you want, you can wear gloves like somehow not touching impure things is going to make a difference, but it doesn't change anything. You're not citizens, you're impure by definition, and there isn't an entrance official who'd let you within ten thousand kilometers of the Radch, no matter how many times you wash, no matter how long you fast."
  • Isengrim from The Reynard Cycle is portrayed this way consistently, in spite of the fact that he's rejected the society that made him that way. Old habits die hard, apparently.
  • The Rivers of War portrays Andrew Jackson like this. He is highly bigoted, even by the standards of the time, and does not hesitate to call friendly Cherokees "savages", ask how Sam Houston can be so sure that his coloured teamsters won't steal his gear and sum up state militias as drunken and cowardly to a man. However, he hesitates to shoot Red Eagle (a rebel Cherokee responsible for a major massacre) because he surrendered voluntarily, promotes a coloured sergeant to commissioned rank, against regulations, and threatens to kill a man who protests against arming free coloured men, but who won't join the militia himself. Essentially, the Andrew Jackson in the book is bigoted against groups but is capable of respecting an individual who is especially heroic and or a fierce fighter. While he is a bigot, he hates fools and cowards even more.
  • Barrayar in Vorkosigan Saga. Honorable and valiant warriors who always keep their word but have an extreme prejudice against cripples.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Archie Bunker from All in the Family is a decent man at heart who clings to outdated ideas and prejudices. While definitely close-minded and judgmental, he is neither a hateful or violent man, and a lot of his prejudices are born from a general misanthropic view of humanity on the whole and how the world has changed, rather than being aimed at any specific minority. While a good part of the show is Archie's family trying to show him the error of his ways, it's generally his own noble heart that pushes him to do the right thing: his treatment of Lionel is definitely ignorant and condescending, but he never-the-less considers Lionel a friend and genuinely loves the kid in spite of his race, even when he's shocked to learn his friend Stretch was Jewish he ends up feeling bad about telling anti-Semitic jokes to the man and gives a hearfelt eulogy at the man's funeral complete with a respectful shalom, despite his mistreatment of Edith he greatly loves her and is immensely protective of her to the point he'll almost immediately back down on the rare occasions she stands her ground to him or his behavior causes her harm, and most infamously he is utterly disgusted by the KKK and outright denounces all of their behavior.
  • Angel: Connor was brought up to hate demons and magic by the Obliviously Evil Holtz, but has no intention of hurting humans (at first). Wesley even uses this as an excuse for not cluing Fred and Gunn in about him in "Deep Down".
  • Rafe McAuley from Defiance. He generally holds aliens, especially Castithans, in contempt, largely because of the war, but he also tries to do the right thing, even, eventually, coming around, more or less, to his daughter marrying a Castithan.
  • Firefly: Mal Reynolds usually takes some issue or another with Inara's career as a High-Class Call Girl, or Book's religion, but anyone on his crew is under his protection regardless of any of that.
    Mal: (to Inara, regarding a client he punched out earlier) I may not show respect to your job but he didn't respect you. That's the difference.
  • House: Gregory House: He's bigoted toward everyone but he will do whatever it takes to save their life from whatever disease is killing them. Possibly a subversion, since he pretty much mocks everyone's race, religion, and sexual orientation, and it's pretty clear he's doing it to annoy them, rather than out of genuine prejudice. It's lampshaded in one episode after he fails to ruffle Cameron's feathers; she tells him that he's "a misanthrope, not a misogynist."
  • Frances "Our Country, Our Rules" O'Brien from The Librarians (2007). In spite of her frequently culturally insensitive comments and racially stereotyping (thinking that an Arabic internet banking site was advocating terrorism), she still manages to work with and even apparently cares about a highly diverse group (many of whom she presumably does have the authority to fire). She's made more sympathetic by her unfortunate home life, her past, and her panic disorder.
  • Charles Emerson Winchester III in M*A*S*H,is an elitist snob who regularly demonstrates derision for those he says are beneath him, but he secretly has a charitable side, despite being a scion of a snooty Boston Brahmin family. Throughout the series, his (very many) prejudices are Lampshaded and challenged and he is big enough to jettison many of them in the light of hard experience. Albeit in a graceless and reluctant way.
  • Jesus is presented in this way in a That Mitchell and Webb Look sketch when his disciples point out the inherent Unfortunate Implications in the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Note that, unlike how the sketch puts it, Samaritans were not an ethnic group but a sect of Judaism considered heretical by mainstream Judaism, thus making the moral of the parable less "goodness comes in unexpected places" but more "people society say are your neighbours (the priest and the Levite) can still be dicks to you while people society say are dicks (the Samaritan) can still treat you as true neighbours, so don't go around treating people based on what society says about them but rather what they do" (which is exactly the point the disciples make in the sketch).
  • Andy Sipowicz from NYPD Blue is a reformed mean drunk, whose racial bigotry stems ostensibly from his father being battered by a black man when trying to read the man's gas meter, and his own experiences infiltrating the Black Panthers when he was still freshly traumatized by his Vietnam war experiences. Sipowicz struggles to keep his racial bigotry from affecting his work, and consistently displays genuine empathy for people of color, even though at times his temper gets the best of him and he says the wrong thing to the wrong person.
  • Kareem Saïd from Oz. He's homophobic and biphobic, but he's one of the only prisoners with an actual code of ethics and he works doggedly to ensure that conditions in Oz are improved for everyone, on top of helping various prisoners regardless of race or sexuality in legal matters. He's also close friends with the openly bisexual Tobias Beecher, though he frequently tries to persuade him to end his relationship with Chris Keller due to the aforementioned prejudices.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series: Both Spock and Leonard "Bones" Mc Coy are shown this way, often making disparaging comments about humans and Vulcans, respectively, although it's shown that they do trust each other and are good friends, and aren't completely serious with their prejudice.
  • S.W.A.T. (2017): Annie scolds Chris over explaining her polyamory to Lila, Deacon and Annie’s young daughter. Whilst she initially explains that it’s because Lila will now ask awkward questions about the relationship, Annie ultimately admits that she probably wouldn’t have asked Chris to be Victoria’s godmother if she’d known about it. Otherwise, she's a very sweet woman and appears to have made up with Chris later.
  • Logan Echolls from Veronica Mars is something of a racist, and very much a classist. He really hates poor people. And yet, he's also genuinely heroic at times, and we root for him, and we cheer when he falls in love with Veronica and they become a couple.
  • Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead. While he still harbors the same racist tendencies as his older brother Merle and makes wisecracks about "Chinamen" at the end of the day, he's still an effective and capable survivor who's a crack shot with both a crossbow and rifle and he pitches in to help the rest of the survivors as much as he can.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Aryan from the Champions book Allies, who does honestly believe he's a member of the master race, but rather than seeing this an excuse to oppress other races he sees it as his moral imperative to protect and guide them. Hasn't kept him from being rejected for membership in every hero team out there, though. Him appearing in a campaign is meant to ask the players how they react to a fellow hero who also happens to be a sane, well-intentioned fascist.
  • The god Erastil in Pathfinder is Lawful Good and generally a positive force in communities where his worshippers congregate, but also has some very old-fashioned and sexist social ideas, favouring a kind of Stay in the Kitchen attitude towards women (although he has a grudging respect for the warrior-goddesses Sarenrae and Iomedae).
  • Rocket Age makes it explicitly clear that all player characters are meant to be heroes, however, there is the Bigot negative trait, which gives negatives when interacting with people the character would look down on. Downplayed, however, as the designers also make it clear that if a player has this trait the games master should require them to buy it off as soon as possible, to represent their character growing into a better person.
  • Space 1889 it’s almost unavoidable that the player characters will display a bit of this attitude. They are supposed to be Victorians, who mostly believe in Victorian values, but still be good guys.
  • Warhammer
    • High Elves are virtually all Noble Bigots, being incredibly haughty, aristocratic, and condescending towards all non-elves, but at the same time devoted to fighting the forces of Chaos and protecting the world and its people from destruction. The entire elven race is afflicted with a sense of its own superiority over everyone else, but where this causes the Dark Elves to despise and enslave others and the Wood Elves to ignore them, in the High Elves it manifests as a patronising tendency towards helping the poor "lesser" races who couldn't possibly survive without High Elf help. One or two High Elves are aware of their racial prejudices - Teclis for instance - but most see it as the natural order of things. That elvenkind is naturally gifted far beyond the race of man provides a foundation for their monstrous egos.
    • The Lizardmen are also similar, in that they consider themselves the inheritors and workers of the Old Ones's plan, and that they as such know better than any other races that should go back to the way they were in the Great Plan. That said, they're ultimately protectors of the world, and in the End Times, their leaders sacrificed their lives casting a spell that would protect all the other races from a Colony Drop.
  • Virtually every good or even heroic Imperial human in Warhammer 40,000 is also a bigot at the very least. Standard Imperium policy holds the Absolute Xenophobe as the ideal, with every citizen conditioned to hate and fear the unknown. They are further encouraged to kill every mutant, heretic, and alien they encounter (if possible). Even characters who get on reasonably well with aliens like Ciaphas Cain have to work through their disgust while holding a conversation. With characters from the Adeptus Astartes, respect for the xeno only comes if they prove a worthy foe.

    Video Games 
  • Mute from the visual novel Analogue: A Hate Story is extremely open about her sexism and homophobia, yet shows compassion and even admiration for actual women and lesbians, if heavily filtered by her prejudices. In Hate Plus in the aftermath of *Mute's suicide you learn that her original, factory-state programming has no such bigoted ideas—they were very much taught and in large part literally programmed by the patriarchal Ryu dynasty.
  • The Elven hero Nasrudin in Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura. Founded the Elven Council, devoted much of his life to righting wrongs and fighting evil, and became the inspiration for the Panarii the same time, an arrogant supremacist who was motivated to heroics by a belief that elves were the greatest, wisest race, and who felt it was his duty to act as shepherd and protector toward what he regarded as 'lesser races.'
  • In Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony, Tenko is very much prejudiced against "Degenerate Males", always sides with the girls over them and tends to threaten them with violence whenever she perceives them doing anything bad/perverted, but she is indeed a good person - she's one of the most empathetic students, tries to offer advice to Himiko and Shuichi and even stops to offer Shuichi some comforting words after Kaede's death. Her prejudice actually stems from a misunderstanding her Neo Aikido Master told her, which is doubly ironic because he is a male. She apparently did not notice this, since having it pointed out to her causes her to Go Mad from the Revelation.
    • On the boys side, (though less in the English version) we have Kaito Momota who says quite a few things that could be considered sexist. However, like Tenko, he has his friends' interests at heart.
    • Kokichi Oma could also be this as while he messes with Keebo about his robot body, he does seem to care about his friends in the end dying having known he saved Maki's life, and puts his Robophobia aside for the sake of saving everyone and ending the killing game thanks to giving Kaito a script.
  • Kormac the Templar from Diablo III considers the Witch Doctor and Barbarian to be uncultured savages, but will still travel and fight alongside them if they request his assistance and will praise the barbarian for their courage and incorruptibility. Towards the end of the game, he will express gratitude that his time spent alongside the heroes has given him cause to challenge his own prejudices.
  • Dragon Age II, Fenris has a deep hatred and mistrust of mages, having been a slave in the Imperium and seen firsthand the depravities they're capable of. He also hates slavers and is one of the more morally centered party members. To his credit, Fenris recognizes that while he holds his attitude for mages in general exceptions can be found in individuals, and if pointed out will admit that some of his views are hypocritical. He will thank mages (Hawke) that have assisted him, and the worst he'll do with unproven mages is keep an eye on them.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition has Solas, a very strange case. He appears to be simply an elven supremacist who longs for the "good old days" of elven society. He also views non-elves as little more than children. Of course, it turns out he's a nihilistic omnicidal god.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Ulfric Stormcloak, the Jarl of Windhelm and leader of the Stormcloak rebels during the Skyrim Civil War, is a Fantastic Racist who places the rights of the indigenous Nords above those of the immigrant Dunmer, Argonians, and Khajiit living in his jarldom. However, he ultimately recognizes that loyalty is more important than blood and will allow a non-Nord Dragonborn to serve in his army if he's convinced they are loyal to Skyrim and his ideals.
  • The Brotherhood of Steel are portrayed as Noble Bigots in Fallout 4, which takes place in 2287, approximately 10 years after Fallout 3 where they were more sympathetic. In particular, the Brotherhood's current leader, Arthur Maxson, and Paladin Danse espouse this trope the most. They rigidly believe in safeguarding the Commonwealth and its people, though moresp its human people whereas they are ruthless towards the ghoul, Super Mutant, and Synth inhabitants to make it a safer place for humans.
  • Wakka from Final Fantasy X was a fun-loving, easy-going joker of a Big Brother figure to many in the party. He was also a devout Yevonite during the first half of the game and shared the religion's condemnation of the machina-using Al Bhed. He makes numerous disparaging remarks about the Al Bhed throughout the game, all the while looking out for his "little sister" Yuna, who is half Al Bhed. He later befriends Yuna's Al Bhed cousin Rikku. He's horrified to learn that both have Al Bhed heritage- angrily shunning the former for a little while, and asking "Yuna's Yuna, right?" after learning about the latter- but eventually overcomes his prejudice and apologizes for his previously bigoted attitude.
  • Maribelle from Fire Emblem: Awakening, who is the daughter of a duke, holds some prejudice towards those of lower social class, which she speaks of constantly even to her lower-class allies, even when she is trying to assist them in some way. It's implied part of her prejudice stems from a thief (who turns out to be Gaius) framing her father for a crime he didn't commit, which nearly got him killed.
    • Similar to Maribelle, there are the noble siblings, Clair and Clive, from Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. Clair comes off as highly condescending in her first encounter with Alm, since she's not used to dealing with commoners. That said, she quickly apologizes and later defends Alm when Fernand much more harshly insults him for his social standing. As for Clive, while he allows both commoners and nobles alike to fight for the Deliverance, he admits that he still believes in the feudal status quo, and Python calls him out on his belief in meritocracy being potentially condescending. He even finds himself doubting his decision to hand the reins of leadership over to Alm after learning that Alm is not Sir Mycen's grandson.
    • Subverted with Fernand, who was something of a Noble Bigot before defecting to Rigel and just becoming a Politically Incorrect Villain instead. Then it's Double Subverted when he admits that a lot of what he'd said was wrong when he dies.
    • Lorenz from Fire Emblem: Three Houses may come off as a typical Upper-Class Twit who likes to brag about how he comes from a noble family, and has instances where he treats the achievements of his commoner comrades with You Are A Credit To Your Social Class based Condescending Compassion and talks about how nobles and commoners each have predetermined roles they should play in society. But at the same time, he is never intentionally mean-spirited, he treats all of his comrades with politeness and respect regardless of their social class, and on the few occasions when someone actually does take offense to his attitude, he goes out of his way to apologize.
  • Dennis Vicarth in Front Mission 3 made a few off-color remarks about the Japanese but is still willing to help Kazuki.
  • Lord Shimura from Ghost of Tsushima, who is a noble, honorable Samurai through and through... which, of course, includes being a proud enforcer for a very rigid and stratified caste system where the petty commoners are expected to know their place. Winds up being a Deconstruction, as Shimura's bigotry towards peasants and fanatical devotion to the Bushido code is what ultimately undermines his genuinely well-intentioned attempts to protect his people, driving his beloved nephew away and causing him to send his soldiers into senseless bloodbaths against Mongol forces that see no reason to play along with the local rules of engagement.
  • Guilio from Gungnir is quite racist against everyone the same race as his oppressors. There are also a few women on Guilio's side that see his race as nothing more than tools to be used.
  • Rico from Killzone hates the Helghast for invading his planet and wiping out his unit and never misses an occasion to remind it to everybody, but especially to his half-Helghan teammate Hakha. He changes over the course of the first game by slowly warming up to Hakha and even taking a bullet for him while fleeing the SD platform. In the second game, it's clear he still loathes them, but went from genocide to spare a civilian Helghast in the second game and being as horrified as everyone when their planet is nuked in the third game.
  • In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Aqua (who is literally an agent for the forces of light and virtue across the multiverse) doesn't like how her best friend Terra is becoming more (D)ark, but her goal is always to change him back, not to destroy him outright. Unfortunately, she doesn't get to explain this before Terra, wounded by her very real condescension, blows the situation out of proportion, and starts attacking her in what he thinks is self-defense. And so on.
  • It'd be quicker to list the Mass Effect characters who don't fall into this. Almost every one of your squadmates will have at least a moment of mistrust, condescension or downright hostility to some other species. Fans tend to point to Ashley as the "racist" squadmate, but she's one of the milder cases - she just worries about letting alien nationals (including a bounty hunter and a Cowboy Cop) on your prototype warship and believes that the Council will sacrifice humanity when times are difficult; Garrus is actually far more blatant about his bigotry, especially toward Tali. The kicker is when Dr. Chakwas, ship medic and all-around Cool Old Lady, reveals some unexpectedly strong feelings about synthetic life in the third game...and if you disagree with her, she dismisses it and calls you a machine due to Shepard's cybernetics.
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: Code Talker puts his tribe first, going as far as to research supersoldiers via parasite therapy and uranium-eating bacteria, all in the name of preserving his "peaceful, nature-abiding tribe". However, he has learned over the years that what matters more than a man's culture is how he chooses to act over it; Skull Face has proven that some people who claim to protect their homelands can be complete dicks. He compliments the efforts of Diamond Dogs as a "Superorganism" that recognizes cultural and individual differences and combines them to create a small nation.
  • Khelgar Ironfist from Neverwinter Nights 2. Initally hates Neeshka because she's a tiefling. Hates Elanee because she's an elf. Through his sidequest though you can get him to see his attitudes are an injustice. If you complete that quest he never quite forgets them but he is far more willing to let the person's actions speak.
  • Overwatch has Torbjörn and Zarya. Both of them are fighting on the good guys' side - Torbjörn being a founding member of Overwatch and Zarya a soldier in the Russian army - but they both unapologetically hate Omnics. This is somewhat understandable, as Torbjörn's warnings of the impending Omnic Crisis were ignored by his peers, and Zarya lost her home in said crisis. But since the only playable Omnic characters are a Nice Guy Religious Robot, an ex-soldier with robotic PTSD who has made friends with a bird and a Gentle Giant Cute Machine, their hateful anti-Omnic speech makes them seem a bit like Jerkasses.
  • Project Wingman: Stardust, your contact in the Cascadian liberation movement is not enthused, to put it mildly, about being forced to work with mercenaries, seeing them as unreliable and greedy (though it is implied that some of it is jealousy over pay disparity more than anything else). Still, he recognizes that the skills and experience Sicario brings to the table are worth the money, and is consistently professional in dealing with them.
  • The Protoss in Starcraft are this as a society. Though individuals might be less bigoted and more noble, or less noble and more bigoted. There is however a reason behind this attitude. The Protoss see themselves as protecting the universe from the Xel-naga. While they are biologically improved and culturally sophisticated as a result of what the Xel-naga did to them, they still have a massive superiority complex that is largely unjustified. In general, they display a rather disquieting emotional coldness: sacrificing the few for the many and being willing to let species kill themselves or their planet out of ignorance. They are also a religious society and view heretics as almost worse than non-Protoss. And then there's the weird anti-cyborg prejudice, which makes literally no sense. The cyborgs in question are actually the most zealous Protoss, as they request to be given mechanical bodies in order to continue fulfilling their duties to Protoss society. However, by the third game, they've recognized that all of this is a problem: and turn to Artanis to lead them away from it.
  • Zelos Wilder from Tales of Symphonia was taught from birth that half-elves were disgusting, stupid, beneath regular humans, saw his mother get killed by a half elf and confesses to the rest of the party that he feels conflicted about traveling with two half-elves. However, at the same time, he sympathizes with them far more than he does with his aristocratic background, and even before meeting the party, he stopped the Pope from passing various anti-half-elf legislations.
    • Lloyd has a few prejudices against half-elves himself at the start, due to the half-elf supremacist Desians oppressing all of Sylvarant (and Lloyd himself living right next door to what is basically a human concentration camp.) During his travels, he realizes that half-elves aren't necessarily sympathetic to the Desians and gets over his prejudices.
    • Genis is somewhat prejudiced against humans, even though his best friend Lloyd is a human, owing to being a half-elf and he and his sister Raine have been on the run for most of their lives. Raine, notably, doesn't carry the same mindset as her brother and tries to correct his mindset, though not always successfully. This actually comes back to bite Genis in the ass, as when Mithos turns out to be the Big Bad and calls Genis out on trusting him just because he's a fellow half-elf, Genis finds it incredibly difficult to let go of thinking of him as a friend.
  • Maximilian Strauss from Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines manages to be ageist, sexist, racist and classist, but still manages to be quite decent. His prejudice is far more patronising than vitriolic, he is generally quite helpful and unfailingly polite, and he is also very self-aware and never refuses to consider that his prejudices may have caused lapses in his judgement.

  • Dominic Deegan Siggy was this briefly.note 
  • In El Goonish Shive, Mrs. Kitsune may not acknowledge Nanase and Ellen's relationship, but she does care about her and her happiness.
  • Equius of Homestuck is an alien version. He's contemptuous of his fellow trolls with blood colors too far to the red end of the rainbow and annoyed that the more purple-blooded Gamzee doesn't act like an aristocrat. He's also perfectly willing to work with lesser-blood trolls and even makes a pair of robotic legs for one on the bottom of the totem pole. His bigotry ends up getting him killed when Gamzee goes on a murderous rampage. Despite his obscene strength, he doesn't lift a finger to defend himself.
  • Rudy of Kevin & Kell, while a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, has problems accepting an herbivore as his stepfather and the head of the family, yet gradually grows closer to Kevin over time, even making an anonymous call exposing himself as domesticated (a condition he finds deeply shameful) to Kevin's insurance agency so that Kevin won't lose his insurance. Even Kell, despite being in a Maligned Mixed Marriage, has some prejudice against felines; an arc focuses on her working on those prejudices.
  • Skin Horse: Sweetheart does her level best to be a good Civil Servant and help her charges as best she can. However, she is also a self-loathing homophobic closeted lesbian and has been known to go off on blistering rants about the dangers of miscegenation when drunk.
    • Artie is also a genuinely good person, but so hyper-intelligent that he has trouble relating to people and is often condescending to those he considers beneath him. '
  • Duane in Unsounded: a devout nationalist, he subscribes wholeheartedly to his home country's abhorrence of its arch-rival Cresce and its Stay in the Kitchen attitude towards women. He comes to deconstruct the trope when he's faced with highly confident and independent women within his own family and meets Crescians living normal lives, shunting him into Troubled Sympathetic Bigot territory as he weighs his loyalty to his home country against the realities before his eyes.
  • In When She Was Bad, Amber is openly homophobic, which only worsens her conflict with Gail.

    Web Original 
  • Karstodes of If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device is an interesting invocation of this trope. Of the trio of the Emperor's caretakers, he is by far and away the most vitriolic towards baseline humans and almost never misses an opportunity to mock them, while the other two by comparison mostly seem apathetic. It's eventually revealed however that the other two caretakers don't get angry at "normals" because they consider them so inferior that they barely even count as people in their eyes. Karstodes is the only Caretaker who genuinely values the lives of baselines humans at all, and eventually realizes that his elitism is a flaw he needs to overcome.
  • Weiss Schnee from RWBY is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who dreams of becoming an Honest Corporate Executive like her grandfather and is training to become a Huntress. At the same time, she starts off incredibly dismissive of faunus due to her family's experience with the White Fang. She starts making a conscious effort to shed that uglier part of her personality at the end of Volume 1 for the sake of her teammate Blake (a former member of the White Fang), and it's all but gone by Volume 3. Later volumes even have her be the first to get angry whenever someone directs a racist comment at Blake.
  • Welcome to Night Vale: Town embarrassment, the Apache Tracker, turns out to be this in the end. Deconstructed, as while everyone acknowledges his heroic actions, he's still considered an offensive jerk.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, of all places, both Twilight Sparkle and Rarity exhibit what comes off as racism towards mules. Rarity wails about a Diamond Dog calling her a mule, which she equates to being called ugly. Twilight gets off a little lighter, using the phrase "stubborn as a mule" and then promptly turning to a nearby mule and embarrassedly saying "no offense" (to which the mule good-naturedly replies "none taken.")
  • In The Penguins of Madagascar, Skipper has a rather condescending attitude towards mammals of all kinds and constantly goes out of his way to put birds (penguins, especially) on a pedestal. Nonetheless, he and his team will always gladly help any animal in trouble, no matter their species, and also holds Marlene, an otter, in great respect and esteem.
  • Cartman in South Park, surprisingly, is turning into this in the most recent seasons. After his scary encounter with "Jewpacabra" and subsequent proclaimed conversion to Judaism he argues in favor of an angry and malicious Torah/Old Testament god. And the entire plot of "Cartman Finds Love" revolves around his racist views manifesting in a need to hook Token up with the new black girl in class because they 'belong together'. The lengths he goes to prevent Kyle from mucking up his plan is pretty extraordinary.
  • In Steven Universe, the Crystal Gems tend to be rather... dismissive of humanity, to the extent of Pearl at one point offhandedly remarking after accidentally knocking out the Beach City's electricity that it hasn't been that long since humans were hunter-gatherers, and "why don't you go back to that?". They have nevertheless sacrificed everything to protect humanity and life on Earth, and show every willingness to give their lives if that's what such protection requires.
    • Pearl is the most bigoted out of the three of them, as Garnet protects Earth because it's where she can be herself, while Amethyst protects it because it's where she was made, not to mention she also maintains a healthy Interspecies Friendship with Vidalia. Pearl only protects it out of devotion to Rose and is the most dismissive towards humans, which is really jarring considering her kind are a Servant Race, and you'd think she would sympathize with humans instead. It's possible that she may view humans as insignificant to make herself feel better. Furthermore, given that Rose, the one gem she held purely romantic feelings for, was taken away from her by a human, may have contributed a lot to her less than favorable opinion of Homo sapiens sapiens.
    • This is particularly examined with Rose in the episode We Need to Talk. Up until then, Rose had always been described by basically everyone as entirely kind and compassionate to everyone, with a special love for humans. However, in a flashback we see Greg being quite concerned about whether Rose actually sees him as a person in his own right or just as a cute, interchangeable human to play around with. Finally, he confronts her and asks if she respects him - her immediate response is to laugh, and she becomes quite confused when he stresses that he's serious. She seems to quickly realize that she's hurt him, however, and while she doesn't change her mind on the spot, the two make a pledge to try and understand each other better from then on.
  • The Teen Titans (2003) episode "Troq" featured Val-Yor, an intergalactic space hero who enlists the Titans' help to defeat an otherworldly menace. Unfortunately, his people are extremely prejudiced against Starfire's people, and he repeatedly uses the slur "Troq" (meaning "nothing") when speaking to her. He gets along so well with the other titans (green-skinned elf boy, demon girl, black cyborg, and the Token Human) that they think "Troq" is a harmless term until she corrects them. He ultimately parts with the Titans on chilly terms.
  • A lot of characters in ThunderCats (2011) are this to some extent, most notably Tygra and Claudus, and the Cats in general.
    • Claudus cares about and does a good job of ensuring the safety and well-being of his people and Tygra has a good heart underneath his jerkish exterior, but both have a distinct dislike of Lizards, and Tygra holds a bad opinion of Dogs. These beliefs are common for most of the Cats living in Thundera though due to generations of conflict between the two.
    • One reason Lion-O is considered weird is that he's not a bigot at all, noble or otherwise.
  • We Bare Bears has Charlie, a Sasquatch who is one of the bears' closest friends, and a very friendly person to everybody. However, he is extremely distant and xenophobic towards humans because every human he comes across can't help but harass him with cameras. Despite his xenophobia, he also cares about their lives as he wouldn't let Ranger Tabes die from a fire (despite her trying to capture him), and refuses to let Ralph (a Yeti) kill a group of tourists as a prank.


Video Example(s):


Dick Jett

Dick Jett does at least try to have a bit of sympathy for people and do the right thing... but, well, he's a 50s man in the modern United States, and has even more trouble navigating the weird and over-the-top world of, say, queer social media content creators than a normal person would.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / NobleBigot

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