Eddy: But that's my shtick...
A main character who, although not an outright villain, constantly uses zany schemes to get money, become popular, etc., that always blow up at the end. He is often selfish, egotistical, bigoted and aggressive. The other main characters usually disdain him, but still hang out with him for some reason.
The schemer is often popular, despite the fact that any normal person would probably hate the schemer in real life. The audience likes the schemer, but not enough to mind watching his schemes come crashing down. In Animated Shows, the schemer usually gets the main plot, while in SitComs he usually gets the B-plot.
Frequently The Chew Toy. Compare with the more endearing and successful High School Hustler. This character is an integral part of a Comic Trio (along with a Dumb Muscle and Only Sane Man/No Respect Guy). Not to be confused with The Chessmaster, Guile Hero, Manipulative Bastard and definitely not the Magnificent Bastard, since these guys usually succeed.
- Count Olaf from A Series of Unfortunate Events starts off as this, but he's an outright villain through the rest of the series.
- A Song of Ice and Fire: Littlefinger possibly invokes this along with elements of the traitor as a disguise, and is ultimately a subversion; he presents himself as a Sarcastic Devotee who will gladly increase his power and wealth but is basically loyal to those he cares about, and probably not as clever as he thinks he is. The Paragon Ned Stark finds out the backstabbing way that Littlefinger is just as treacherous as his Sarcastic Confession claimed, and Littlefinger's as yet unbroken run of success throughout the series indicates that he is in fact a subtle Magnificent Bastard who is fully as clever as he thinks he is.
- Holly Harper on Brothers & Sisters. As William Walker's long-time mistress she has a complex relationship with his family, especially when it is believed that her daughter was William's and thus half-sister to the Walker siblings. Her schemes tend to revolve mostly around getting what she felt she was denied having never been William's actual wife (most notably a chunk of his business). Yet at the same time she has a semi-cordial relationship with the Walker's. Because she is more opportunistic then strategic, she does not really qualify as a Manipulative Bitch and a lot of her plans tend to go sour pretty quickly.
- Kenan on Kenan & Kel. Frequently these involved Noodle Implements.
- Edmund Blackadder. "I've got a cunning plan," indeed.
- Tony on NCIS frequently uses zany schemes to scare, annoy, or pry into the lives of his co-workers. In real life, if someone destroyed your keyboard, got the forensics specialist to look up your boyfriends, went through your desk, pretended to be you to defend himself to a hot chick, or came onto you using a fake online account, you would be very, very annoyed. However, Ziva and McGee just ignore him, or sometimes, gloriously, return the favour.
- On Shining Time Station, the character in this role is literally named Schemer. He constantly comes up with zany plans, sometimes dubiously legal ones, to leverage his corner arcade in the train station to become rich somehow.
- Deconstructed by The Nostalgia Critic. He will gather his team to help him get power, but instead of telling them why he's so desperate for it (i.e he's utterly miserable with the way his life has gone), he lets them believe he's only doing it for reasons of being a greedy fuckhead.
- Eddy on Ed, Edd n Eddy.
- This is the focus of several episodes, including but not limited to, Eddy training Jimmy to be just like him, the kids getting sick and Eddy going crazy from having nobody to scam and Eddy returning to Jimmy when he runs out of scam inspiration.
- Eddy also often refers to his brother as his inspiration for some scams. We get to meet him near the end of The Movie.
- Crawford Crow in Columbia Pictures' Fox and the Crow cartoons. The cartoons themselves are little-known, but the characters also starred in a long-running DC Comics series.