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Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist

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June does this all the time to poor Henry.

Charlie: ...Whereas I am a well-known rascal. When I don't do the wrong thing, people are disappointed.
Alan: Was that supposed to make me feel better?
Charlie: No, the story was about me. God, you're such a narcissist!

Most of the time, the big jerkass in a story is an antagonist, provoking delight when they are put in their place by the main characters. The Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist is where the main character has undesirable traits where they act cruel, sometimes even villainous, to others, yet they are supposed to be rooted for and supposedly the hero of the story, despite being pretty much everything a human being shouldn't be... or everything a human being essentially is. If absolutely everyone is an unsympathetic jerkass, you are looking at a World of Jerkass.

There are a couple of things at the core of this trope, as well as go to different extremes. Because much of comedy is derived from eliciting laughs at another's misfortune, the Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist is often crucial to the comedic formula. If horrible things happened to a character that the audience genuinely sympathized with, the reaction to their plight would be shock and angry letters rather than guffaws and chortles. If the character brought the misfortune on themselves, or just generally seemed like they deserved it, the audience can disconnect from their pain and let loose with the belly laughs when the character gets the inevitable Pie in the Face.


Sometimes the character behaves this way because they are the only moderately sane, intelligent person and has to deal with the mess caused by apparently nicer people. Alternatively, he or she is someone whose loneliness and self-loathing make them, if not likable, at least pitiable, despite engaging in Comedic Sociopathy. It's exactly this engagement that makes it entertaining when they are on the receiving end of it. In other cases —despite the name — they do garner some sympathy via Pet the Dog moments or showing signs of being The Atoner and a Jerk with a Heart of Gold but struggle to get past their own nature and continue to treat others poorly.

Nevertheless, it's not surprising when watchers actually take the "Unsympathetic" side of the character literally, with less than pleasant consequences for the fandom if they don't shut up about it, so it's not surprising that most try to avoid basing an entire series (at least where big money is involved) on this. This trope is often the difference between laughing with them and laughing at them if there's any laughing at all. Despite all this, there are a few actors who try to make a living out of portraying these characters (e.g. Will Ferrell, Ricky Gervais, Adam Sandler), to extremely mixed results that relies heavily on the actor's ability to be charming (at least to the audience) and not over the top, which usually creates a "love them or hate them" response from the audience.


This seems to be more prevalent in British comedy than in US comedies. If it's an ensemble comedy with 4+ main characters, expect one of three things: 1) at least one of them to channel this role to some degree (and don't be surprised if they're also the Token Evil Teammate), 2) for the role to jump around as the various plots demand or 3) for some combination of the two.

Compare with Jaded Washout (a specific social category that is a very popular choice as this in sitcoms), Nominal Hero (when character does heroic things for all the wrong reasons), Small Name, Big Ego (a flaw often present in these characters because its funny and easy to mock) and Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain (which many of these types will be as well, being foul but also hilariously hopeless and pitiful, apart from a few competent ones). Often the Smart Jerk in a Smart Jerk and Nice Moron pair. Contrast with Designated Hero when the Unsympathetic part is unintentional and therefore the character becomes neither Karma's punching bag nor the audience's laughingstock.

Not to be confused with Sociopathic Hero or Heroic Comedic Sociopath; those pages are about one way a character can be a horrible person, while this page is about characters who are horrible people in a comedy (for that reason or otherwise) having bad things happen to them.

Also, not confuse this with Villain Protagonist, an exagerrated form of this trope.


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    Anime and Manga 

  • Oga from Beelzebub is an arrogant, notoriously violent, good-for-nothing delinquent who has few redeeming qualities, yet his character is just so off the wall and his situation so hilariously weird and awful that you can't help but like him a little. Furuichi counts, too. In the end, they're really just jerks with hearts of gold, though.
  • The eponymous Desert Punk. Bordering on Villain Protagonist quite often.
  • Kogoro Mori on Detective Conan who regularly punches, kicks, and berates Conan. If Conan were a REAL child, he would likely turn out to be some sort of severely messed up Omnicidal Maniac from the treatment he got.
  • Nobita Nobi from Doraemon in most of the stories tends to misuse Doraemon's gadgets for his own benefit, whether it be troubling Gian and Suneo, making a fool out of his parents, or peek on Shizuka during her bath. However, things usually backfire on him, hilariously so.
  • Gintama pretty much runs on this. Almost everyone in the cast can be an unrepentant sociopathic asshole. Gintoki himself is often shown as a lazy, greedy, petty and selfish human.
  • The eponymous Haruhi from Haruhi Suzumiya is (at least in the beginning) an unrepentant jerk who rarely thinks about what problems her actions cause for others. There is also little the other characters can do — Haruhi has god-like powers unknown to herself, and everyone but Kyon is simply too scared of what would happen should Haruhi become depressed. The End of the World as We Know It being the big possibility.
  • In Konosuba, all four of the main characters are sociopathic whack-jobs with long strings of unsavory qualities, which provide plenty of funny moments. However, main character Kazuma Satou is the best example of the four of them. A self-described NEET, Kazuma would rather spin a good line of bullshit and laze about doing nothing than go out and fight against the Devil King or his army. Which makes it all the funnier when things blow up in his face or force him to fight when he doesn't want to. While Kazuma does get a few Pet the Dog moments to show that he's a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, there's one moment of that for every twenty moments that he's screaming at his teammates, getting the stuffing beat out of him, or getting utterly humiliated by someone.
  • Kanako in Maria†Holic is a perverted, Yuri Fangirl who gets so many erotically-spawned Nosebleeds that a running joke involves her passing out from blood loss. She is selfish, arrogant, dumb, and all-around obnoxious. Her perverted actions are so extreme that the constant abuse by Mariya and Matsurika actually come off as being warranted half the time.
  • My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU: Hikigaya Hachiman starts the series as a bitter, cynical, somewhat sexist high schooler who prides himself on being a loner. This is tempered by the mockery he receives from everyone, as well as his own social experiences.
  • Tomoko Kuroki from No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular!. She's self-centered, full of herself, lecherous, scornful, spiteful, and just plain mean-spirited and hypocritical all around. So when her ill-thought plans to become popular blow up in her face and leave her thoroughly humiliated, it's all too easy to laugh at her misfortune. Even so, she's still widely considered one of the most identifiable characters in the manga thanks to her terrible social skills and crippling loneliness, all of which combine to make fans feel very sorry for Tomoko despite her unpleasant characteristics.
  • The Quintessential Quintuplets: While they're not completely unsympathetic, the Nakano quintuplets are at first primarily characterized as a group of lazy idiots who bring most of their problems upon themselves.
  • Sailor Moon: Rei Hino, mostly in season 1. She regularly takes joy in harassing Usagi and even forces Ami to side against Usagi on a few occasions. Nevertheless, she is one of the main heroes and generally still likable. Downplayed in later seasons, but taken Up to Eleven in the DiC dub, where she comes across as far less likable in her treatment towards Serena.
  • Memetchi & Kuchipatchi from Tamagotchi are a child-friendly and downplayed version of this, the former is very bossy and can be argumentative towards her friends, while the latter is a dimwitted glutton whose stupidity & greed often get the better of him, they are still pretty friendly overall though.
  • Toudou, the protagonist of Sorry, But I'm Not Into Yuri, is trying to get her (male) teacher to drink a Love Potion so he'll fall in love with her. In order to achieve this goal, she tests it on a (female) morals committee member she doesn't like, and ends up handing it over to a Delinquent (who's also female) who threatens her, resulting in her ending up at the mercy of both girls once they're overcome with lust. Given her selfish and self-serving personality, it's difficult to feel sorry for her.
  • Reimu from Touhou is already said to be lazy, but in Touhou Ibarakasen ~ Wild and Horned Hermit we see much more of her bad side. She frequently neglects her shrine maiden duties, preferring to engage in various get-rich-quick schemes instead. And because she's lazy, these schemes are often poorly thought out, and often backfired on her popularity at the end. This contrasts her portrayal in Touhou Suzunaan ~ Forbidden Scrollery, where she's often on-duty and her competent side is shown more.
  • Shuichi Hayasaka, the title character of A Lazy Guy Woke Up As A Girl One Morning. He's not exactly a jerk per se, but is so lazy that he doesn't care about anything besides taking the path of least resistance, with little to no regard for the trouble doing so might cause others.

    Comic Books 
  • Reid Fleming, World's Toughest Milkman: Most of the people who interact with Reid, including almost all of the people on his route, are absolutely terrified of him. The only concessions towards making him sympathetic are: A) he's particularly vile to other jerkasses, like his supervisor, Mr. Crabbe, B) Rule of Cool, C) Rule of Funny, and D) he's the World's. Toughest. Milkman!
  • Iznogoud verges from this to an outright Villain Protagonist who schemes to murder and replace the Caliph who trusts him and considers him his best friend. And also aspires to become a tyrant and have people mutilated or impaled for the smallest of reasons.
  • Gert from I Hate Fairyland walks a thin line between being this (with shades of Heroic Comedic Sociopath thrown in) and being a Jerkass Woobie. On the one hand, it's clear being separated from her family and putting up with the overly Tastes Like Diabetes whimsy of Fairyland for the past 27 years has driven her crazy... but at the same time, she's so murderous (if not outright psychotic) that she probably deserves whatever troubles befall her.
  • Léonard le Génie: The titular inventor is as full of himself as humanly impossible and a Bad Boss who will empty his blunderbuss at his hapless lackey at the slightest provocation.

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live Action 
  • All the guys, but especially the Channel 4 news team, in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy are misogynists with very high opinions of themselves. Large portions of the film involve the new reporter on the block, Veronica Corningstone, putting them all in their place while all of them but Ron fail to land a date with her. And Ron ends up losing even that due to his vanity and fury at being upstaged by her.
  • Bruno from the 2013 Brazilian comedy movie He cheats on his girlfriend Fernanda and somehow expects to get back with her. She posts a video on the internet of them having sex to humiliate him and the video in question deeply emphasizes his premature ejaculation, ruining his image and reputation. To get those things back, he gets his exes to talk about him and none of them have good things to say about him. Hard to believe that a man as misogynistic, transphobic, obnoxious, shallow, unfaithful Jerkass as him is the protagonist.
  • Brüno, who is a narcissistic, attention-seeking Jerkass that embodies virtually every negative gay stereotype imaginable.
  • Nikita Khrushchev gets portrayed as one in The Death of Stalin. Steve Buscemi sticks with his native Brooklyn accent and portrays Kruschev as the kind of wily, cowardly schemer found in many a Work Com. Except that the stakes are the fate of the entire Soviet Union, and his schemes get people killed.
  • Pierre Brochant in The Dinner Game. He and his friends organize dinners where they each have to bring one guest. What the guests don't know is that they're invited because they're considered idiots, that everyone is going to make fun of them behind their backs and that the guy who brings the "best" idiot wins. "Il est méchant Monsieur Brochant," vraiment. When he gets stuck in his apartment with a bad back and the champion of idiots, he deserves nearly everything he gets.
  • Ethan Tremblay from Due Date. He gets Peter Highman kicked off the plane for planting marijuana on him, gets Peter high against his will, randomly accuses Peter's best friend of sleeping with his wife to his face and it's eventually revealed that he stole Peter's wallet to force him to come with him across the country when Peter's wife is going into labor. The writers attempted to make him sympathetic by giving him dead Daddy issues but... nope, still a douche.
  • The four main characters in Four Lions are jihadi terrorists, and the only thing that prevents them from being treated as monsters is their plainly visible incompetence and Mr. Bean-level bad luck, both of which the film milks for all they're worth.
  • Britt Reid (Seth Rogen) in the 2011 film version of The Green Hornet. He's a thick dunce who cares for no one but himself and doesn't see anything wrong with that. In addition, all of his plans are utterly stupid, and Kato (his sidekick) is the smarter one. The duo even gets into a fight over it and split up for a while. He's so dumb that as he sits there piecing together the villains' plan (after it has basically been spelled out for him), the villain asks if he's ok because apparently, he was just staring into space with a pained look on his face for a good 30 seconds.
  • The protagonist of The Heartbreak Kid, who sees a hot blonde on the beach on his honeymoon and decides to abandon his dowdy but affectionate new wife.
  • Paul from The Manhattan Project, who has a nuclear bomb at his disposal and isn't afraid to use it to get his way.
  • In addition to neglecting his children, Royal Tenenbaum of The Royal Tenenbaums even fakes cancer to trick his family into getting closer to him.
  • W.C. Fields, in most of his films, like The Bank Dick, in which he badgers his son-in-law into Stealing from the Till.
  • Both Neal and Katz in Flakes spend much of the film sniping at each other and trying to undermine the other's efforts.
  • Matashichi and Tahei from The Hidden Fortress are a pair of foolish, desperate, blubbering cowards whose motivations to join the group escorting the princess in disguise to her homeland are driven entirely by greed. They try to escape whenever possible, they sell everyone out and they even draw straws to see who molest the princess while she sleeps.
  • The mother and daughter protagonists of Heartbreakers are con-women who make their money by seducing rich men. But the men they con are usually criminals or Jerkasses, making our "heroines" the lesser of two evils. The film also has no trouble pointing out that they are utterly horrible people though.
    Dean: Do you have any idea how much therapy you people need?
  • Peter Rabbit certainly fits the bill in his eponymous film. While he's meant to be hilarious, he's also supposed to be unsympathetic since his selfish actions against Thomas McGregor lead to him being called out and having to make amends.
  • Beca Mitchell in Pitch Perfect start as a mild case. In the first part of the film, she comes out as a self-centered snob, focusing only on her dream of becoming a music producer, being rude to her father and looking down on most of the people she meets. She only joins the Bellas because her father blackmails/bribes her into joining a club. She finally embraces her Bellahood during the bus trip to the second competition by, after some initial reluctance, belting out Party in the USA with the rest of the Bellas.
  • MacGruber is a self-absorbed, idiotic, bigoted, misogynistic, obnoxious, thin-skinned and incompetent man who generally has no positive qualities whatsoever.

  • Octave Parango in 99 Francs is a habitually late, drug-abusing, infantile, misogynist, snobby jerk. The Film of the Book implies that he successfully performs a Karma Houdini trick by vanishing before the authorities can have a word with him about his rampage in Miami. However, Word of God says that he serves jail time before the sequel.
  • Mr. Bagthorpe of Helen Cresswell's The Bagthorpe Saga. No other children's character comes near him for arrogance, misanthropy, and sheer awfulness — but he's still hysterically funny.
  • All of the main characters in the Clique series, with the tentative exception of Claire. Rude, bratty, spoiled rotten teenage girldom at it's finest and you'd better believe the author knows this and plays it up. Massie is an especially good example; she once justified her maid cleaning and refurbishing her private clubhouse (for free!) because the maid had to enjoy it, as "why else would she choose cleaning as her profession?"
  • Georgia Nicolson of Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, is this to a lesser extent: she's a bratty teenager who hates pretty much everything except for boys (and sometimes even boys), stalks the girlfriend of a boy she likes, gets mad at her friend for going out with a boy she likes (who she wasn't even dating anyway), skips class to hang out with popular girls, and is extremely rude to her caring family. Occasionally gets a Pet the Dog moment.
  • Greg Heffley, the title character in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid novels. Though he feels victimized by the world and is suffering at the hands of his obnoxious older brother Rodrick, Greg brings a lot of his problems on himself; he's always trying to take the easy road out of any difficult situation and lies and cheats to get ahead (though he rarely gets far). As the books consist of his journal entries, it's clear from reading them that he is oblivious to his flaws — and a fair amount of the comedy comes from the reader recognizing that.
  • Don Quixote: The first part of the novel settles Don Quixote characterization as a Lord Error-Prone: he almost kills the Biscayan at chapter IX and maimed for life the Licentiate at chapter XIX. This makes easier to read the continuous Humiliation Conga in practically all the chapters for Don Quixote. Misaimed Fandom insisted on seeing him as the much more sympathetic Mad Dreamer. The second part deconstructs the Mad Dreamer into a Wide-Eyed Idealist that everyone else mocks mercilessly because Humans Are Bastards.
  • Harry Flashman, the "hero" of a series of historical novels by George MacDonald Fraser. Outwardly, Flashman appears to be a stereotypical Victorian hero. But the books, which are told from Flashman's viewpoint, reveal he is an unprincipled coward who prospers through luck and deceit, not to mention opportunism and low cunning.
  • Of similar vintage to the above, Billy Bunter of Greyfriars. Originally a Unsympathetic Comedy Side-Character, Bunter, a Fat Bastard constantly on the scrounge for extra tuck, on the prowl for gossip, ready to giggle helplessly at another's misfortune, bragging of his possibly mythical titled relations, and saying the wrong thing at the worst possible moment, actually became so popular that he took on title role for the series.
  • John Self, protagonist of Martin Amis' novel Money, is a drunken, loutish, womanizing boor. He's an advertising executive who creates stupid TV ads that insult the viewers' intelligence. For some reason, you quite like him anyway.
  • Many of the engines in The Railway Series are arrogant and rude, and prone to getting some sort of Humiliation Conga at the end of each story as a result of their delusions of grandeur. Gordon, James, and Sir Handel are arguably the most notable (though occasional redeeming moments keep them in check). This was kept up in early points of its Animated Adaptation Thomas the Tank Engine, though the later Lighter and Softer seasons usually allow them more moments of clarity and have them make amends after their wrongdoings, leaning most of them more into Mr. Vice Guy territory.
  • Saki's stories usually have unsympathetic protagonists, typified by Clovis Sangrail. He is cruel, unprincipled, sly, and lives for mischief: the archetypal trickster.
  • From The Wind in the Willows, we have Toad of Toad Hall, who frequently swings from jerk to noble idealist in the space of as little as two paragraphs. Toad tends to be the focus of most TV & movie adaptations, but Mole is really the protagonist of the original novel. This is at least partially because Toad is seen as a broader, funnier character, while Mole's character arc tends to concern subtler, more wistful things.
  • Ignatius J. Reilly from A Confederacy of Dunces is an arrogant, puritanical, selfish, hypocritical, and lazy Jerkass who is unable to take responsibility for his own actions and spends his days mooching off his mother, harassing everyone around him for not living up to his standards, getting jobs that he inevitably screws up through his own incompetence, and generally making an ass of himself.

     Live Action TV  
  • Vince Clark from 15 Storeys High. His flatmate Errol is kind, considerate, thoughtful whereas Clark is a misanthropic, cynical, borderline sociopath and Social Recluse. Some of the things he has done to Errol include: Gluing his hands to a fish tank, not allowing him to eat chicken or bring people over to his flat, not helping him get out of a room full of cactuses, and slicing his trainers in half and putting them on a ledge knowing full well that Errol suffers from Vertigo and thus will be unable to get them back.
  • Archie Bunker from All in the Family stands as an extreme example, where many of the jokes derive from his extreme ignorance or outright bigotry. A dangerous device, if any bigots in the audience fail to get the joke. Although, for what it's worth, Archie is more sympathetic than he first appears; he often seems more ignorant than ill-intentioned, and in certain episodes, it's heavily implied that he's more a product of his environment than anything, and he seems to be a generally good, if misguided, person. For this, you don't have to look any farther than his speech at the end of the Klan episode.
    • As any Brit or Aussie can tell you, the original model for Archie Bunker was Alf Garnett of Till Death Us Do Part; a right 'orrible little man, but for some reason, sympathetic (sometimes, anyway). (The US show All in the Family and its equivalent character Archie Bunker were directly inspired by him.) The Aussies had their own equivalent with Kingswood Country in the early 1980s.
  • Archie's black counterpart George Jefferson from The Jeffersons.
  • GOB (Handsome Lech, manipulative), Lucille (abusive mom, manipulative), Lindsay (neglectful mom, Spoiled Brat), and George Sr. (abusive dad, criminal) in Arrested Development definitely apply. Buster, Tobias, George Michael, and Maeby tend to be in the middle; while they are much more likable, and in the latter two cases, saner, than the first four, they are still flawed and can come off like this (with the possible exception of George Michael) in comparison to Michael.
    • Near miss for Michael, since he is the Only Sane Man in a land of fools and tries to save his family from financial and legislative ruin. He is more of a hypocrite than a Jerkass though. He keeps trying to do the right thing but usually ends up having to do something wrong because of the position the rest of his family puts him in. And of course, since he Can't Get Away with Nuthin' any time he does act selfishly or immorally, it will blow up in his face even worse than usual. This does apply more to both him and his son in the fourth season, however, as they both have a notable increase in Jerkass levels and each commits some heavily unethical acts of their own volition. By the end of the season, their relationship has fallen apart and neither is all that nice a person anymore.
  • Sheldon Cooper of The Big Bang Theory. Sheldon's self-centered egotism and condescending behavior is the source of conflict for any given episode, even just by being sick and asking for help (his obnoxious neediness at that stage is dreaded by everyone). The other main characters can be this Depending on the Writer.
  • Bernard Black in Black Books: misanthrope, alcoholic, hates his customers who take Manny for granted. Extremely unsympathetic. At least until the last episode...sort of. The other characters aren't much better: Manny is a hopelessly incompetent Manchild, while Fran is just as much of a workshy drunk as Bernard.
  • Edmund Blackadder.
    • Blackadder, Blackadder – his life was almost done! Blackadder, Blackadder – who gives a toss? No one!
    Mary: Edmund, do you have someone special in your life?
    Blackadder: As a matter of fact, I do.
    Mary: Who is it?
    Blackadder: Me.
    Mary: No, I mean someone you love and cherish, and want to keep safe from all the horror and the hurt.
    Blackadder: Still me, really.
  • Bill Bittinger (Dabney Coleman) in Buffalo Bill.
  • Burnistoun: Kelly McGlade, the main character and narrator of a series of humorous sketches focused on her. She's arrogant, self-absorbed, and very mean to her fellow band-mates who depend on her, and ends up physically fighting someone almost every time she appears. However, someone else usually gets the better of her by the end of each sketch, though she never admits it.
  • Jonty de Wolfe from Campus. He starts off from the first episode by calling Stephen Hawking a spastic and throughout the rest is thoroughly bigoted, rude and offensive.
  • Valerie Cherish of the short-lived HBO series The Comeback is a deeply vain, insecure, and self-absorbed D-list actress who desperately wants fame at any cost. She occasionally ventures into The Woobie (or The Chew Toy depending on your perspective), though, because as bad as she can get she constantly has to deal with people and situations that are even worse.
  • Community has Pierce, who is racist, sexist, and rude and manipulative to his friends note .
  • Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm, where he stars As Himself, and is portrayed as even a bigger jerk than his previous character from Seinfeld; he is incredibly self-involved, he's very dishonest at some times and rudely honest at others, and he's so abrasive and annoying that few people can stand being around him.
  • Drake Parker from Drake & Josh spends much of the time being a jerk, taking advantage of girls, and getting everything he wants, but somehow we all love him. It helps that occasionally he shows his sensitive side.
  • Eastbound & Down: Kenny powers is a very extreme version of this, trying to break up a marriage in the first episode, for instance.
  • Everybody Loves Raymond has this in spades, with the entire cast being this way, but especially with Ray and Debra. Ray is portrayed as lazy, whiny, and a selfish Momma's Boy. Debra is portrayed as a shrieking harpy.
    • Marie purposely enables Ray to continue as he while underhandly blaming Debra for not being a better wife, and when called on her bullshit plays the "I'm only trying to help" card to invoke sympathy. Frank will undermine any attempt of Marie's to find independence because he's too used to her doting on him like a servant. Robert will constantly try to play any situation against Ray even if he has no stake in the original grievance, just to be petty to Ray for being their mother's favorite, often being blamed just for being in the vicinity of the argument.
  • The title character from Father Ted. "JUST PLAY THE F***ING NOTE!" It's his interaction with Father Jack and Father Dougal that really bring it out of him, as he's portrayed as fairly normal — although still a bit of jerk — when he doesn't have to deal with them. He also stole money meant for sick children, which is how he wound up banished to Craggy Island. Although as he's always quick to claim the money was "just resting in his account".
  • Basil Fawlty on Fawlty Towers. Basil desires to move up in social standing and attract a better class of customer to his hotel, but he's also verbally abusive to the help, only superficially nice to his guests, and his Hair-Trigger Temper and persistent zany schemes built on webs of lies keep getting him into all kinds of trouble. Were Basil simply more honest and maybe a little cooler-headed, most of his problems would disappear, but any attempts to dig beneath the surface show how petty and shallow he is, and any lessons he learns are quickly forgotten. Creator John Cleese has said that were Basil a good person, Fawlty Towers would be the greatest tragedy ever made.
    • Interestingly, Basil is based on a real person (a hotelier named Donald Sinclair), whom his wife said was nothing like what was portrayed on the show, until a bunch of previous guests wrote the media saying "Oh yes he was!"
  • Josie and Kingsley from Fresh Meat. The first series makes them out to be the only sane people compared to their eccentric flatmates. By the second series, Kingsley has become a pretentious wanker with a soul patch, while Josie tried performing dental work whilst hung over and puncturing her patient's face.
  • Rachel Berry from Glee is an extremely self-absorbed member of Glee Club who not only believed she was the only singer worthy of having solo numbers (which is only partially true, as she did have more technical training than the other members), acted as if any attempt to give them to other members was a personal attack. While there are relatable aspects of her character, it's hard to feel sorry for the comedic bullying she suffers when she herself does things like tricking a rival singer into going to a crackhouse, and never really being apologetic about it. She gets better in the later seasons, to an extent.
  • Eleanor Shellstrop from The Good Place was an extremely selfish and rude person who eagerly took a job selling fake medicine to elderly people and constantly blew off anyone who tried to befriend her or get her to do anything that didn't directly benefit herself. Much of the comedy of the first season comes from her having to learn, or at least pretend, to not be a selfish jerk to avoid getting sent to the Bad Place after being accidentally sent to the Good Place instead. In fact, her unsympathetic traits were exactly what caused her to be sent to the Bad Place as one of the four people Michael planned to use to torture one another in a false "Good Place".
  • Tony Hancock from Hancock's Half Hour. In that show, Hancock was playing a twisted version of himself. He is pompous, rude to pretty much everyone around him, venal, self-centered and a really nasty piece of work. In the episode "The Cruise" a woman is trying to come on to him and all he can do is be obscenely rude at her.
  • Barney from How I Met Your Mother manages to be the most popular character on the show, despite being a Corrupt Corporate Executive, misogynistic womanizer, and a borderline sociopath in general. For most viewers, he avoids becoming truly unlikable partly because he does have a sensitive, caring side (even if it only comes up once or twice a season), and partly because he uses and manipulates people with so much style that he enters Magnificent Bastard territory.
  • Needless to say, the main character of the One-Episode Wonder Heil Honey I'm Home!.
  • Samantha "Sam" Puckett in iCarly is part of a ¡Three Amigos! group rather than being the main protagonist, but one wonders why the other two would still have anything to do with her. Freddie especially — it's a small miracle that nothing she's done to him has resulted in a permanently disabling injury.
  • Steve Coogan's I'm Alan Partridge persona. Egomaniacal (despite no observable talent), treats everyone around him with utter contempt whilst expecting complete loyalty in return, given to constant hideous faux pas, ignorant, clearly doesn't care about anyone but himself and anything but his career, and bigoted in every conceivable way. Not content with merely talking down to and humiliating his guests on Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge, he even kills one of them live on air.
    • Later Partridge media plays with this in an interesting way. In his in-universe autobiography I, Partridge: We Need to Talk About Alan he massively plays up tiny unpleasant incidents in his childhood such as his parents having a very mild argument about VAT receipts or being told to clear out the garage on a sunny day into severely traumatic experiences — and being Alan, he goes out of his way to specify that he's not exaggerating anything because his publishers thought his childhood might be boring — and later in his life recounts his "Toblerone addiction" as if it's heroin addiction. However, life events that are genuinely unpleasant like living in a Travel Tavern for six months after his wife left him and his children have no interest in him, and to a lesser extent the resultant nervous breakdown, are if anything played down and given a positive spin. Of course, still being Alan, he annihilates any potential sympathy it might create in the reader by remaining a generally loathsome human being throughout: for instance, recounting how his assistant Lynn helped him get back on his feet after his breakdown to the point of offering to help him shower, he marvels at how much time she dedicated to him and thought she must not be getting any actual work done, and thus knocked her temporarily down to a part-time wage when he already pays her a pittance.
    • Made especially funny because the show will occasionally give us a reason to sympathize with him or at least feel sorry for him...and then he'll do something even more ridiculous and/or awful
  • The main cast of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia are all extremely self-centered, lack any sense of empathy or decency, and manipulate even their best friends for the sake of their own amusement:
    • Dennis is obsessed with his own appearance and intelligence, and routinely lies to women to trick them into sleeping with him.
    • Mac has delusions of grandeur and moral superiority and lies to the same women after Dennis is done with them, for the same reasons.
    • Charlie is generally the most morally upright character, but he has his moments, such as his constant attempts to manipulate the Waitress into sleeping with him culminating in his using a perfectly nice woman who actually liked him to make the Waitress jealous, then informing the girl of this fact and dumping her in the most cold-blooded manner possible.
    • Frank is a drug addict who frequently screws the rest of the Gang over for his own benefit or amusement, or simply to "teach them a lesson."
    • Dee, originally the Only Sane Woman, has developed into just as much a self-serving, abusive jerk as the rest of the Gang, abusing government programs for personal gain, treating her friends like crap, and acting like she's better than everyone around her.
  • Roy from The IT Crowd. He does so much to get out of his job unless the person who's asking him is a hot chick, has slapped a police officer for ruining a twist in a film, has told Moss all of his inventions are worthless, tried stealing 20 pounds from his knocked out boss (who was faking, but he didn't know that) and tried sabotaging Jen's speech for kicks.
    • Then again, the people he works for are idiots who can't seem to work out the most simple functions of computers while still mostly treating him as a dogsbody because he can, the police officer was throwing the book at him and Moss for copyright violation but didn't seem interested in the fact that the person they were with was a cannibal, the 20 pounds actually was his in the first place and he tried to sabotage Jen's speech because Jen had become utterly Drunk with Power after being nominated for an award (largely on the backs of Roy and Moss) and was due for a bit of ego-puncturing. He's not the only jerk around.
    • And tricking Jen into thinking that 'googling Google' would break the internet was pretty awesome.
    • And laughing at his girlfriend's grandfather's funeral, and telling a midget barista that he's too short to be one! Let's just say that his absurdly huge Butt-Monkey status is mostly provoked.
  • The eponymous character of The Jack Benny Program.
    • Though every once in a while (such as the "It's Jack's birthday!" episodes) the rest of the cast would acknowledge that Jack was a particularly harmless, even endearing example of this type. Then things would go back to normal by the next show.
      • Jack was always pretty benign in his show, being portrayed as much more self-absorbed and stingy as opposed to out-and-out malicious, and his character rarely strayed into Jerkass territory. In Real Life, Jack Benny could not have been any farther from his on-air persona — apparently, he was very much a man who'd give you the shirt off his back if he thought you needed it.
  • Kim from Kath and Kim. She's bratty, whiny, irresponsible, self-centered and treats everybody around her like crap. She's just a horrible, horrible person.
  • Hyacinth from Keeping Up Appearances. Big time. Although her relatives are supposed to be completely pathetic slobs, they come off as quite admirable when contrasted with Hyacinth. This isn't an accident.
  • Kirby Buckets is often very selfish and manipulative, often abandoning his own family and friends in the process, and most of the problems in the show were of his own making. Oh yeah, and he's a cartoonist who constantly draws his sister as an ugly dinosaur with braces and publishes those drawings online. Because of this, he often comes off as a less sympathetic character than her, who is mocked and humiliated in almost every episode regardles of whether or not she deserves it.
  • Rick Spleen in Lead Balloon is another case where the character arguably worsened over time, with him being slightly sympathetic in season one and then doing a massive Kick the Dog at the beginning of season two. However, in season two there was also an episode that focused on him doing a good deed by supporting a charity with no evident ulterior motive...and it still blew up in his face.
    • Given how he can't even save a man from committing suicide without it all going wrong its no wonder he's such a misanthropic guy. Life just hates poor Rick so he's obviously decided to hate it right back
  • Baber in Little Mosque on the Prairie who may be a retired economics professor, but he's still unapologetically the Islamic version of Archie Bunker.
    • Actually most-if not all-of the cast have pretty sketchy morals at times. Fortunately, the sketchy moments are divided more or less evenly between the Christian and Muslim characters.
  • Al Bundy of Married... with Children. All of the Bundys could qualify, but none of them are as callous and uncaring as Al. Although considering just how miserable his life is, how he is arguably the most moral of his whole family and the fact he never wins, sometimes you honestly can't blame him for ending up that way.
  • Midge from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel flirts with this trope. She's a good person but she has a tendency to be selfish about her new career in comedy that alleinates her family and friends. She also has No Social Skills which causes her a lot of trouble. In season 2, she ruins her friend Mary's wedding when she goes into a crude comedy routine during her speech during the reception at her church. She makes a joke about how Mary had just gotten engaged so it must be a Shotgun Wedding only to realize mid-sentence that's what it is. In season 3, she opens for a singer whom she finds out is gay. In the finale, she's told by his manager to make jokes about him. However, she does a bit where she's talking about him being a diva that he takes to mean she's outing him to the crowd (who doesn't think anything of it). She genuinely didn't mean it that way but it's understandable that he's worried about his secret being revealed. She probably should have known better than to say anything that could be remotely construed by him to be that and he fires her.
  • Howard Moon and Vince Noir of The Mighty Boosh. Howard is a prickly, asocial, know-it-all; Vince is vain, shallow, and flighty. Howard is the more sympathetic of the two, being the Butt-Monkey of the show.
  • Mr. Bean is so self-centred, he is usually unconcerned about the harm his off-the-wall methods of solving mundane problems do to others. A lot of the show's humour comes from his ability to slip out of situations where anyone would want to punch him. He gets little better in the cartoon series but still qualifies as this trope.
  • Mr. D's title character. In the anti-bullying episode, he shows himself to be the worst bully in the school.
  • Murphy Brown is a self-centered, self-righteous, egomaniac with a hair-trigger temper and a never-ending list of Freudian Excuses.
  • The three main characters from Nathan Barley, particularly the eponymous Nathan, who Word of God described as a "strutting, meaningless cadaver-in-waiting" who "genuinely deserves to die".
    • Some measure of the writer's feelings towards Barley can be gleaned from its origin, a fictional program on Charlie Brooker's TV Times-parody website TV Go Home, simply named Cunt.
  • Christine Campbell on The New Adventures of Old Christine. She's obnoxiously neurotic, clingy, dishonest, desperate, meddling, a helicopter parent, shallow and a borderline alcoholic. And those are her more charming qualities.
  • Jill Tyrell from Nighty Night. She is a Narcissistic, selfish, devious, manipulative, passive-aggressive and violent. She is without guilt or morals and will do anything to get what she wants, even killing people.
  • Michael Scott from The Office (US) can come off as this depending on the episode. Although Michael is portrayed as more of a genuine Manchild who just wants to be liked and doesn't always fully understand the consequences of his actions despite his best intentions. He's quick to say what is on his mind regardless if it is appropriate, and more often induces Cringe Comedy with his own sense of self-importance.
    • When Andy took over Michael's job, he was originally clueless but lovable. However, in the final season, the writers decided to turn him into such a Michael/David clone that he's now displaying Jerkass behavior and even shows genuine disdain for coworkers Nellie and, all of a sudden, Toby (Get it? Because Michael hated him too). He also treats his once-seeming-true-love Erin with contempt but punishes her new boyfriend who has the misfortune of working for him. Some of this can be attributed to his dormant anger issues welling up.
  • David Brent (also played by Gervais) in the Transatlantic Equivalent of The Office (UK).
    • Series creators Gervais and Merchant claim that Brent is not a horrible person, despite the things he does in the show; he's just an idiot, a fallible human being who is star-struck by the Mockumentary film crew, which drives him to act the way he does to get attention. By the end of the second series, his true colours are shown and he is much more sympathetic, no more so than when he breaks down when he is about to be made redundant and practically begs for his job back. Word of God also says that the character of Chris Finch was introduced so Brent would appear less of a wanker by comparison.
      • Brent's 'Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist' status was also lampshaded and explored in The Office Christmas Specials as being at least partially a consequence of the Mockumentary format of the show; he bitterly notes how the documentary crew 'stitched him up' in order to make him look bad, arguing that they overlooked or downplayed his achievements and benevolent qualities and presented an uneven focus on his incompetence and stage-hungry nature in order to present him in the worst possible light for the sake of ratings. That same episode also ultimately showed Brent in a more positive light — hinting that he was actually quite a talented salesman (if not actually management material), showing him manage to charm a woman and actually managing to make the staff laugh in genuine good humour at one of his impressions — almost as if the fictional documentary makers were trying to make it up to him.
  • Victor Meldrew from One Foot in the Grave. Though he does fall in the "at least pitiable" category sometimes; after all, he does end up in the oddest predicaments which does go some way explain his eternal grumpiness.
  • Averted with Del Boy from Only Fools and Horses. He has many of the common traits of the typical UCP, including ambition that far exceeds his ability, criminal tendencies, substance abuse (of the cigarettes and alcohol variety), is a Jerkass and has a complete shopping list of personality flaws. However, his unflappable optimism, highly protective attitude to his friends and family and the occasional glimpse that under the surface he can actually be quite sensitive make him a very sympathetic character for all his failings.
  • Peep Show — between Jeremy eating a girl's dog in an attempt to have sex with her and Mark attempting to get out of his wedding by hiding in the church balcony both of these guys are about as unsympathetic as it gets.
    • Its not just them either. Pretty much every character on the show gets a moment that makes you wonder how no one has killed them.
    • However, the "point of view" nature of the show prevents this trope from applying completely. Mark's underdog nature and, to a lesser extent, Jeremy's equally present insecurities, allow the audience to often sympathise with them even when they're doing horrible things to each other and everybody else. Take the moment where Mark has a breakdown about the boiler after receiving the most devastating news in his life, or the "minimal water damage" scene.
  • The horrible, horrible Lynda Day of Press Gang, who blackmails her bosses and employees alike, steals her ex-boyfriend's passport, attempts to push her childhood best friend out of a window... and still keeps the audience on her side.
  • Shawn in Psych often butts up against this with his self-centered man-child shtick. Lassiter could count as well.
  • Rimmer from Red Dwarf. To a lesser extent, the rest of the cast.
    • Lister, despite being a slob and not that bright is a pretty sympathetic character. And Rimmer for all his faults has Pet the Dog moments now and then. The best example is the Cat: shallow, self-interested, vain and selfish. And we wouldn't want him any other way.
    • He's shallow, self-interested, vain and selfish...with a great ass!!!
  • In Steptoe and Son, Albert Steptoe was the nasty one and Harold Steptoe was actually a good guy. All Harold wanted to do was move up from the grog heap of his life into something better. But his father did everything he could to prevent Harold, his son, improving himself—especially if it means him leaving home. Albert was also lazy, stubborn, narrow-minded, foul-mouthed, and had revolting personal habits. Worse still, he was far more competent than Harold at all of the things Harold wanted to do.
  • Pretty much all the main characters in Seinfeld, with a special mention reserved for George Costanza, who is selfish, insensitive, untrustworthy, abrasive, cowardly, dishonest, annoying, cheap, lazy and stupid. Jason Alexander himself feels that Seinfeld is "a very dark show about very dark people".
    • In a bit of Lampshade Hanging, in the episode "The Fatigues", Jerry acknowledges that he's not the nicest guy in the world:
      Abby: I need someone I can trust.
      Jerry (disappointedly): Oh.
    • Also lampshaded, of course, in the final episode, when they're actually put on trial for their selfishness.
  • Carrie Bradshaw (and, to a point, the other ladies) of Sex and the City. Self-absorbed: check. Shallow: check. Materialistic: check. Immature: check. Was there anything redeemable?
  • Frank Gallagher in Shameless (US). He lives only to drink, get high, sponge money and/or drinks off of his friends and family to the point everyone hates his guts.
  • 30 Rock: Most of the main cast is this.
    • Liz Lemon, the protagonist, is portrayed as a lovable nerd, but she is constantly doing evil things played for laughs. She frequently lies and manipulates to get a man, tried to split up a couple so she could adopt their baby, heroically refused a flu shot since they weren't available for everyone only to get one in secret, and went to her high school reunion to meet the classmates she used to bully and then bullied them all over again.
    • Jenna perhaps more than most. She's the kind of actress backstage people dread working with. She's an attention whore that can't handle anyone taking over the spotlight, to the point of being jealous of babies for it. She thinks she is better and more beautiful than anyone and has a hard time any time anyone is in the spotlight, easily recurring to sabotage when things like that happen. Liz reveals that Jenna is even more demanding than Tracy because she needs to create the illusion that she is super popular by using fake accounts and fake fan clubs to keep her in line.
    • Tracy is a self-obsessed Cloudcuckoolander that has very little in the way of caring about others. While he seems to care for his family, he is explicitely stated to be a bad father and husband because he doesn't understand about putting the needs of others before his own craziness. he is also a constant thorn on the side of everyone else because he demands his absurd needs be satisfied, which includes never getting on time and suddenly deciding that he wants to go to sapce.
  • Most of the cast of Two and a Half Men, particularly Charlie, who manipulates, lies, and cheats, because he's bored, to get laid, etc...
  • Every character save for one and maybe two from Unhitched is a horrible, horrible excuse for a human being.
  • Veep gives us Vice President Selina Meyer. She treats all her subordinates like worthless Mooks, is hopelessly out-of-touch with her daughter, and is completely uncaring about anyone's interests but her own. She acts like Gary, her personal assistant is an indentured servant, though he seems all too willing to perform this function and even uses him to break up with her boyfriend when she cannot. It's a testament to Julia Louis-Dreyfus that she comes off as sympathetic the handful of times that she does.
    • Some of the main cast tends to qualify due to the cutthroat nature of politics. Dan Egan is an overambitious, back-stabbing career guy whose schemes always backfire, while Jonah Ryan tends to be obnoxious enough to annoy everyone.
  • Despite being a drug dealer, Nancy from Weeds was for the most part still a fundamentally good person and quite sympathetic in the early seasons. This largely changed from Season 4 onward. And her accountant Doug was a horrible person from the start.
  • Al of The Weird Al Show managed to be an effective one despite CBS trying to aim the show at small children. This universe's version of Al is a selfish, rude, and inconsiderate jerk who lies to his friends, ditches them for people he thinks are "cooler", yells at them for his own mistakes, and berates them for not living up to his standards. The real Al made a running joke in the DVD commentary about what an unlovable cretin his character was on this show. In fact, the only times he wasn't this annoying was in two episodes, each with a one-shot character who was a bigger Jerkass than he was, making Al seem kind and considerate by comparison.
  • Grace from Will & Grace. Just barely has enough morals to not be a Jerkass, but still broke up with someone for having an extra toe, admitted that it was because she was shallow, then asked for sympathy.
  • Anti-Hero Alex Russo from Wizards of Waverly Place is lazy, irresponsible, selfish, openly mocks authority, and treats her best friend like a servant.
  • Workaholics:
    • Subverted with the main trio. While the three main characters are basically the annoying frat boys that come to your party uninvited, get really drunk, and fuck up your couch, they manage to be so ineffectual and pathetic while still showing heart every now and then that they actually become sympathetic. "Heist School" is a prime example because the guys lose so badly to teenagers and audiences hated the ending. The guys are losers, but they're the audience's losers.
    • A straighter example would be Bill. While his suffering occasionally makes you feel bad for him, the show makes it clear that he's kind of a complete scumbag who deserves everything that happens to him.
  • All main characters in The Young Ones (except perhaps Neil, sometimes). According to DVD commentary for the pilot, when it was shown to American networks the writers were asked which of the characters was supposed to be the "hero" the audience sympathizes with, and had to explain that none of them really were and that that was sort of the point.
    • To elaborate a little, Rik is an insufferable left-intellectual poseur and artist wannabe, Mike is a sleazy con artist, Vyvyan is completely psychotic and regularly violent and Neil is constantly passive-aggressive and constantly attempts to guilt-trip everyone around him.
    • Not to mention the Balowski family. But Vyvyan was a particularly good example of this, arguably one of the most likable "complete bastards" in the history of British comedy, precisely because he was a totally unpredictable bastard.
    • Both the protagonists of Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson's (Rik and Vyvyan) next collaboration Bottom were even less sanitary, well-adjusted and sympathetic than their characters in The Young Ones.
    • For that matter, every single character ever played by Rik Mayall. Including himself in his not-entirely-serious ego-trip of an autobiography, Bigger Than Hitler, Better Than Christ.
  • My Name Is Earl loves playing with this. The main character Earl starts off trying to correct a lifetime of bad behavior when his life hit rock bottom and seeing that good deeds improve his life. Extensive flashbacks show him to be every bit as bad as he makes himself out to be, but instead of being despicable it is offset by his attempts to make things better in the present day. In the third season he relapsed and goes back to the way he used to behave for a couple of episodes, and the same behavior ceases to be funny.
  • Schitt's Creek plays with this, as all four members of the Rose family begin the series as spoiled, selfish and self-pitying jerks thanks to their Impoverished Patrician status. Over the course of the series, however, they gradually become better people even though they all have bursts of selfishness now and again.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes usually is more likely to be misunderstood than malicious. But he can be a Jerkass on his worse days.
  • Jason Fox in FoxTrot likes to pull mean pranks on his older siblings (especially Paige), for no better reason than to amuse himself.
  • Garfield. Jerkass, Nominal Hero, and considered one of America's greatest cartoon characters.
  • The rebooted Nancy is going in this direction; Nancy regularly insults and sabotages classmates, she disrespects her teachers and aunt.
  • Though audience reactions to him vary wildly, Charles Schultz always intended for Charlie Brown of Peanuts to be this. While it's easy to feel bad for him being such a Butt-Monkey, if not a full-blown Cosmic Plaything, the thing a lot of people miss is that between his constant wallowing in self-pity and apparent refusal to just stay the hell away from things that cause him trouble he deserves a good chunk of the misery he gets and very often brings it on himself. These days, though, most of the hate he gets is from people who despise him for being a Stalker with a Crush to the little red-haired girl.

  • Rudyard Funn of Wooden Overcoats is The Chew Toy, suffering a lot of abuse in nearly every episode... but since he's also rude, misanthropic, sarcastic, and self-important, he deserves nearly all of it. Nearly every problem he faces in the series is at least partially his own fault (though he is funny and pitiful enough to still be likable, and at least a few of the crises that pop up were out of his control). Even Madeline, his Only Friend, admits that the worst day of Rudyard's life (which starts the series) was "a bit overdue."


  • William Shakespeare's character Falstaff from Henry IV, his most popular and beloved by far. How popular? The play had two sequels and a spinoff starring Falstaff, called "The Merry Wives Of Windsor," reputed to be commissioned by Queen Elizabeth herself.
  • Of a sort: Mr. Punch of the traditional puppet show Punch and Judy is a thoroughly vile fellow given to outrageous acts of villainy. He beats his wife and mistreats their child. He solves all his problems by repeated application of a big stick: he is convinced that's the way to do it and says so frequently. He violently resists any attempt by any form of authority to bring him to justice or impose any kind of richly deserved punishment — whether that authority be the local policeman or the devil himself. However, the world he lives in is full of people just as psychotic as him (although his wife still retains enough humanity to be rightfully horrified at whatever horrific torment Punch inflicts upon their baby), as well as a crocodile that constantly menaces him. Throughout all this the audience watching cheers and laughs.

    Video Games 
  • Deconstructed with Vincent, the protagonist of Catherine. He's an unassuming, unambitious 30-something IT guy caught between his pushy girlfriend Katherine and young fling (read: succubus) Catherine. Though his indecisiveness and cheating tendencies aren't treated with any sympathy, what he goes through is so horrific that it becomes easy to forget all of that. This is intentional, it's clearly showing that in spite of his problems, he does not deserve what he goes through.note . His heroic behavior in the game's "Nightmare" sections and character development show that he isn't beyond redemption, either.
  • Rufus of Deponia is a selfish lazy bum who mooches off his ex-girlfriend and generally annoys everyone in town.
  • Travis Touchdown, the protagonist from No More Heroes. A sociopathic Byronic Hero who kills people largely for fun while generally being a repugnant asshole, his character flaws are so pronounced that he ends up becoming hilarious. His screwed-upness is perfectly summed up in a single quote from Desperate Struggle: "Everybody deals with grief differently, right? Some people fuck at funerals. I cut off heads". By the end of Desperate Struggle, when he realizes how many lives the UAA has destroyed, and decides he has had enough with the assassination scene, instead vowing to destroy the UAA because of this.
  • In Sengoku Rance Rance himself qualifies for this trope. Anything he does is out of amusement for us audiences. Except for the part where Sill gets frozen. This is what his personality is like as a whole, though he does begin to change after Sengoku due to the spoilered section.
  • In Simon the Sorcerer the player character is a little bland but generally sympathetic. This all changes by the second game when he acts like a sexist, mean-spirited, stubborn, self-loathing, whiny, sadistic jerk to everyone he meets. Many of the game's puzzles require Simon to screw over the game's other characters in order to get his own way. This continues in the third game where, when tasked with assembling four specific characters, he discovers that three of them are people that he has variously killed, crippled and turned into a frog in his adventures up to that point. The fourth he simply leered at whilst making near-constant remarks about her large chest and revealing outfit. It helps that Simon gets dumped on almost as often as he messes with everyone else, preventing him from becoming a monster and generally leading to hilarity. Bonus points for the fact that in the first game, he is voiced by Chris Barrie, who played the similar character Rimmer in the Red Dwarf example above.
  • Touhou's protagonist Reimu Hakurei is a strange example of this, because the unsympathetic part only really shines through in stories where she's not the protagonist — something that's outright lampshaded in her profile in the official magazine Strange Creators of Outer World. In the actual video games, she's painted in a more heroic light since she's doing her job of protecting Gensokyo from people who want to upset the balance. In canon side materials like Forbidden Scrollery and Wild and Horned Hermit, however, she's "off the clock" and her less positive traits come to the forefront, meaning she comes off as a Greedy Lazy Bum who's constantly attempting harebrained Get Rich Quick Schemes to draw worshipers and donations to the Hakurei Shrine.
    • Reisen Udongein Inaba is another character who has this unusual dichotomy going on. A lot of the time when she appears, she's antisocial and engages in rather arrogant Cultural Posturing, with Word of God even saying that she's not a good person, just good at acting the way people expect her to. As a result, the abuse she endures from her superiors (punishments from her mentor Eirin and severe pranking from Tewi) come off as karma. However, in stories where she's the central character like Inaba of the Moon & Inaba of the Earth and Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom, her primary character traits are being a Beleaguered Assistant and Only Sane Woman, meaning the aforementioned abuse makes her The Woobie instead. And even this may be changing as of LoLK, where thanks to Character Development she's lost a lot of her earlier arrogance and even refers to herself as "an Earth Rabbit who came from the Moon" rather than a Moon Rabbit.
  • Just about everybody in Oh...Sir!! The Insult Simulator is a Jerkass who says nasty (but most of the time outright bizarre) things to one another, and the game makes sure that none of them are sympathetic enough to not feel the need to insult them to your heart's content.

    Web Animation 
  • The title character of The Annoying Orange regularly makes fun of other foods, acts like a Gasshole and makes his friends (Pear in particular) the butt of jokes. He does become somewhat of an Adaptational Nice Guy in the Cartoon Network series, though.
  • Strong Bad of Homestar Runner, who openly fantasizes about killing other characters.
    • Homestar himself could be considered this as well, seeing how his general cluelessness has often drifted into to Jerkass territory.
  • Tom from Eddsworld can be a black hole of morality at times, not his eyes, but sometimes Tom can be totally evil.
  • In Helluva Boss, Blitzo is the self-absorbed, comically-inept manager of an assassination company in Hell who stalks his employees relentlessly out of some misplaced fascination with their domestic lives. He's also adopted a hellhound for a daughter named Loona, and while Blitzo tries to be a good parent, he comes across as an Overprotective Dad who never lets Loona do anything she wants to do. Throughout the series, Blitzo is portrayed with various degrees of incompetency, his employees openly think he's an idiot (including Loona, who gets paid to do nothing out of nepotism), and various other denizens of Hell repeatedly insult him.
  • The Most Popular Girls in School: Mackenzie, Shay, and Brittnay. They're Alpha Bitch major characters, yet misfortune is always on their tails.
  • Mickey the Dick of Wacky Game Jokez, 4 Kidz! doesn't have a whole lot of redeeming qualities. A grade-A Jerkass that started as a petty thief kidnapped into doing a web show he despises, which would qualify him as an Anti-Hero if he were to oppose it.
  • Nearly every main character of a typical Go Animate Grounded video is this to some extent, whether they are a trouble-maker looking to cause trouble for their own amusement or a parent character who grounds the trouble-makers for huge periods of time or give them Punishment Days. There are two major characters that are quite notable for being this:
    • Boris, Caillou's father. Boris will happily ground Caillou for even the pettiest of reasons. He will torture Caillou violently, sometimes leading to his death, has No Sympathy for his plight, even if it wasn't his fault or wasn't as bad as it was shown, treats his daughter Rosie as the favorite child and can even leave Caillou to die at times.
    • Fred Jones. Unlike his kind-hearted myth-hunting self, Fred is a self-centered jerk who is abusive to everyone, especially his girlfriend Daphne. He's an In-Universe Stop Having Fun Guy who will shut down any sort of attempt to have fun, is incredibly cheap and will dish out "Concussion Times" for anyone who crosses him.
    • Dora the Explorer and her family, to the point where it seems like a strange Cycle of Revenge.

    Web Comics 
  • Ethan from Ctrl+Alt+Del. Seriously, could you stand being around such a Psychopathic Manchild for more than a few seconds?
    • Lucas has his moments too, especially where relationships are involved.
  • In Commander Kitty, CK establishes himself as this early on. He grows out of it later, though.
  • The main character of Concerned. He's well-meaning, but he's such an idiot he causes pain to many people.
  • All four of the Light Warriors in 8-Bit Theater are very much this, with the possible exception of Fighter, who generally only goes along with the contemptible activities of his teammates because he's too stupid to figure out that they're evil. Or at least they should be, as many fans do sympathize with the Omnicidal Maniac Black Mage. It helps that the rest of the world is just as unsympathetic, save for exceptions like Onion Kid (who becomes as much of a jerk as others when he grows up) and White Mage.
  • All four main characters of Exterminatus Now (a jerk, an idiot, a sociopath, and a egotist respectively).
  • Hazel Tellington of Girls with Slingshots varies from Deadpan Snarker to Jerk with a Heart of Gold to Jerk Sue to this, depending on the storyline. Although some of the setbacks she encounters, such as losing a great job, are not her fault, most of the problems in her life result from her immaturity, irresponsibility, and constant drunkenness. Occasionally lampshaded in the comic by different characters, mainly her friend/former boss Clarice, and ex-boyfriend Zach.
  • Rayne from Least I Could Do, in spades. The character is incredibly rude, selfish and arrogant, yet is held up to be the object of admiration for men and a sex god for women. The typical storyline is 90% Rayne trying to bed hot girls, live out his Gary Stu fantasies, and/or insulting his friends, and 10% him "being awesome", which usually involves getting the cast out of sticky situations that he got them into in the first place. While he does have some redeeming traits (like unconditional love for his niece Ashley) these only tend to crop up in Author's Saving Throw moments just when the audience is wondering why nobody's shot the asshole yet.
  • Virtually the entire cast of Ménage à 3 is less than perfectly sympathetic — but the comic tends to be relatively subtle about this. For example, Gary is a kind-hearted, nervous geek, who is also passive and manipulable to the point of irresponsibility; Zii takes her Manic Pixie Dream Girl tendencies to the point of manipulating other people for her sexual amusement; and DiDi is an open-hearted ditz who breaks countless men's hearts without even knowing it (and whose desire for an elusive orgasm is eventually flanderized into unthinking selfishness). This leads to minor Values Dissonance problems for some readers, who complain when people they thought they were supposed to like do somewhat despicable things. The alternative way of looking at this is that the cast are all flawed human beings; other readers claim to find them more sympathetic for their sometimes-large failings, because, like real people, they make mistakes, but are worth tolerating for their better moments as well as their comedy value. There is a problem of flanderization in some cases, though; the characters’ comedic flaws become their defining features.
  • Belkar Bitterleaf of The Order of the Stick is an excellent example. He's outright evil, a murderous sociopath with no redeeming qualities. He still remains hilarious to read for two main reasons. First, his teammates (who are actual heroes) have learned how to use him like a weapon; they point him in the direction of their good intentions and let him off the leash because Belkar doesn't care who he's killing so long as he's killing somebody. Secondly, because he's the guy who doesn't care about anyone or anything, he's in position to get a lot of the funniest jokes.
    • It's even Lampshaded when Belkar is under the influence of the Mark of Justice and its curse. Lord Shojo appears to him and basically tells him that if he keeps going like this he is heading into Scrappy territory and that the only cure is Character Development or at least to fake it.
  • Something*Positive averts this trope in regards to Davan. He has enough humanizing moments to just about keep him the sympathetic, misanthropic bastard that he is. Aubrey and Pee-Jee invoke an awful lot of Comedic Sociopathy, beating up friends or even strangers for kicks in the early years, but both have plenty of moments in which they show themselves to be kind and sympathetic. Peejee in particular, gives Jhim $1,000 so that he can move away from Boston and be happy, despite the fact that she has a major crush on him and is shown crying after he leaves. She also friggin' moves to Texas just to help and support Davan who must go home to take care of his father Fred, who has developed Alzheimer's, and her continual kindness is pretty much the sole reason for Mike's Heel–Face Turn, even though he insulted her repeatedly and never believed that she was just trying to help him before she finally got fed up gave him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, which caused said Heel–Face Turn. Aubrey is less prolific in her good deeds, but she still finds time to worry about Davan and specifically try to make him happy, to the point of sending Nerdrotica girls on a flight to Texas in order to make Davan look impressive at his high school reunion, since she knew full well he would be miserable at it. She is also a loving wife to Jason, and chooses to adopt a baby, citing that she could give an orphaned child a home, rather than have a new child.
  • Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff: Both of the eponymous characters establish themselves as this very quickly. Hell, pretty much every character present leans into this (except maybe Geromy).
  • All three of the slightly sociopathic main characters of Two Guys and Guy.
  • Graham, the 'hero' of Wizard School, is a misandrist Jerkass whose main occupations are sex, alcohol, and sarcasm. Justified, since he was deliberately chosen by the Big Bad to be as useless a "chosen one" as possible.
  • Black Hat Guy in xkcd who is a complete sociopath fond of Disproportionate Retribution.
  • Gogo from Bomango. She's a smelly violent jerk who speaks broken English and has anger issues. Her flaws are Played for Laughs.
  • In nearly every strip of The Bedfellows, Sheen regularly abuses his roommate/boyfriend Fatigue and everyone else around him and is a promiscuous and depraved bisexual.

    Web Original 
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd is a violent, short-tempered, hostile, abrasive, and incredibly foul-mouthed Jerkass who beats up and threatens to kill other characters merely because he's frustrated with a bad game he's playing at the moment. Additionally, he has also swore at and acted rude toward two kids on Halloween and literally gave them shit instead of candy, and angrily lashed out at the Guitar Guy just for trying to be apart of his review.
  • Tom from Echo Chamber is a total ass to everyone, especially Zack.
  • Filthy Frank is an evil, amoral, sadistic, politically-incorrect asshole who does incredibly immoral things For the Evulz and commonly treats his own friends and audience like shit.
  • On Cinema: Both Tim and Gregg are self-centered, rude, and out of touch with reality.
  • Pittsburgh Dad, a constant complainer and malcontent, is constantly giving his wife and kids a hard time for various annoyances. Even his favorite activity (watching the Steelers play) is rife with criticism.
  • All the characters in the early seasons of Red vs. Blue, especially Church.
    • And Doc might be an exception. Well, he's halfway in this trope.
    • It's telling that by the time Church lightens up through Epsilon the show has gotten much darker.
  • Doug Walker originally intended The Nostalgia Critic to be this, however, he actually became a lot more sympathetic as the series progressed, falling more into Jerkass Woobie territory. And the things he did in the Scooby-Doo review and To Boldly Flee show that he had actually drifted far away from this trope, which is even discussed between creator and character in the latter. He seems to have become one again after the Uncancellation, though.
    • Many of his fellow reviewers, on the other hand, are this through and through.
  • Jobe Wilkins of the Whateley Universe. The Jobe stories are hilarious, and all from Jobe's point of view, but there's no mistaking he's an obnoxious jerk even for a sociopathic Mad Scientist.
  • Donnie Hoyle in You Suck At Photoshop. Occasionally goes into Kafka Komedy mode, but it's mostly Donnie's mental issues and awful personality which lead to his bad luck.
  • Captain James B. Pirk of Star Wreck is intentionally the exact opposite of the character he's parodying, James T. Kirk. That is, he is a cowardly, loud-mouthed bully who gets incredibly lucky. The writers thought he was too nice in the fifth film of the series (where he actually seemed motivated to save the world besides his own skin) and made sure that he was his own nasty self in the feature film.
  • Jace Connors of Deagle Nation — a self-important Manchild whose deluded worldview leads him into trouble constantly.
  • Pokemon Pals: Ash. Nearly every problem the group faces is his own fault. Whenever he is given good advice, he completely ignores it. He is also a complete idiot.
  • Rusty from Pokémon Rusty is hilarious despite, and also because of, the fact that he's pretty much everything a Pokemon Trainer should not be.
  • Black Yoshi from ''SuperMarioLogan is a selfish jerk who mooches off Mario, is incredibly lazy and never pays for anything, usually breaks the law and steals frequently, and is willing to do things like kill Toad over a game of Call Of Duty.
  • Almost everybody in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, especially Kaiba, Yami, Joey.
  • Charmander from Starter Squad is more of a psychopathic jerkass who acts demanding to Bulbasaur and Squirtle and treats them as his property, but most of it is played for comedy and he somewhat develops a bit out of the jerk part.
  • Freeman's Mind turns the Heroic Mime into a narcissistic, violently anti-social and delusional Action Survivor who believes everyone is beneath him and is actively trying to ditch everyone to fend off alien invasions themselves, not even realizing that he's inadvertently saving the world through the bloody path he's carved trying to escape. Unlike other examples, his mental state and positive traits actively degrade to the point where he's a ranting lunatic in Powered Armor by the end of season 1 and the beginning of season 2.
  • The Joueur du Grenier, who was initially designed as a Foreign Remake of the AVGN, is largely written as a "beauf" (an uneducated jerk, basically). He’s not only foul-mouthed and ill-manered, but also chauvinistic and accidentally racist on occasions, and will more often than not be called out on it by the other characters.
  • Jake and Amir. Jake alternates between deploring Amir's Comedic Sociopathy and proving that he's Not So Different.
  • Adolf Hitler and his bunker staff from Hitler Rants are the main protagonists of this meme phenomenon series. Because the cast are Nazi Protagonists, these Hitler parodies could easily be mistaken as pro-Nazi propaganda and thus many video creators try to avoid that by making Hitler as either an unsympathetic jerkass or a stubborn idiot who deserves every bad thing that happens to him.

    Western Animation 
  • Many "classic" characters in animated shorts fit the bill: Donald Duck, Daffy Duck, Sylvester, Wile E. Coyote, Woody Woodpecker, Tom and Jerry, Screwy Squirrel, etc.
  • Allen and his father, Richard in Allen Gregory. Allen constantly hits on the principal (who is an obese 60-year-old woman), insults his teacher, and lashes out against his sister and his father's life partner. Richard is a complete attention seeker like Allen is and is even more so if any of that attention is on his life partner, Jeremy. Richard is also never wrong, despite what everyone else tells him.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: Zig-zagged with Gumball himself who is a terribly self-centered guy whose focus is to be the center of attention or get something by petty means and often the butt of the jokes made. Other times, however, he does have a genuine desire to help others and don't mean any harm to anyone. There's also the middle ground where he helps others for selfish goals or is just completely indifferent to a situation.
  • American Dad!
    • Subtly deconstructed with Stan Smith. If you pay attention, Stan's recurring fear (other than seagulls) is if his friends and family still actually love him or not.
    • Roger. In one early episode, it's revealed that because of his alien physiology, he has to treat people like crap. Acting nice would literally kill him.
  • Archer has, well, just about everyone in the main cast, which includes:
    • Sterling Archer, a selfish, vain, childish, alcoholic nymphomaniac man child who screws up pretty much everything he can and treats everyone around him like crap,
    • Lana Kane, who despite often being the Only Sane Man, is a shockingly petty person willing to let her fellow agents be brutally beaten and tortured in front of her due to snippiness or insulting her fashion,
    • Cyril Figgis, who despite often being portrayed as the relatively moral one, is still a nymphomaniac who has killed several innocent people through his recklessness as an agent,
    • Malory Archer, a racist, elitist Bad Boss responsible for numerous acts of treason against the United States whose abusive parenting is the reason Archer is so messed up and who is arguably the primary conflict creator throughout the series,
    • Cheryl Tunt, a probably clinically insane Psychopathic Manchild who gets off not only on getting the shit beaten out of her but also on taunting others to do the same in addition to being a repeat arsonist,
    • Pam Poovey, a violent-tempered Depraved Bisexual heroine addict who has killed people in underground bum-fights and raped Cyril several times,
    • Dr. Algernop Krieger, a deranged Mad Scientist who tapes bum fights, experiments on people without their consent, freely sells ISIS weapons to gangs and criminals to fund his lab operations, denies he's a... serial killer, and may or may not actually be a clone of Adolf Hitler,
    • Woodhouse, a heroin addict whose method of "raising" Archer was shown in Season 4 to involve much of the same mistreatment Archer heaps on him now,
    • And Ray Gilette, who while usually the Only Sane Man has still done his fair share of bad things, like faking paralysis twice and is implied to have raped Cyril numerous times
  • Everyone on Aqua Teen Hunger Force is willing to kill, steal, or cheat for whatever reason the plot demands that episode.
  • Beavis and Butt-Head are both deliberately rude, childish, and insensitive to everyone they meet.
  • The Boondocks has Robert Freeman and his grandson Riley. Robert is a greedy womanizer who habitually uses corporal punishment against Riley, a juvenile delinquent who frequently gets himself into big trouble. The other grandson Huey has to put up with his brother's and grandfather's antics, which often cause them a hell lot of problems.
  • The eponymous conjoined brothers from CatDog. The former is a greedy, arrogant Jerkass willing to take advantage of his brother for what he wants, while the latter is a reckless, thoughtless moron whose penchant for causing mayhem leads to endless suffering for his brother.
  • Wilshire Pig from Claymation Comedy of Horrors wants to steal Dr. Frankenswine's monster and use him to conquer the world. In A Claymation Easter, he kidnaps the Easter Bunny so he can replace him and make a fortune from endorsements.
  • Dan of Dan Vs. He's a short-tempered, self-centered, vengeance-obsessed lunatic. The only thing that even comes close to making him sympathetic is the occasional Pet the Dog moment and that the guys he seeks revenge on are sometimes worse than he is.
  • Daria Morgendorffer from Daria. She's outright bitchy to everyone in existence, but the other people in the series are exaggerated stereotypes of annoying things found in high school and suburban America, so she's a much more justified example.
  • The entire cast of Drawn Together. Running down the main character list, we have:
    • Captain Hero, the narcissistic superhero who rapes dead bodies and uses teenage girls as a shield against bullets, despite being impervious to them.
    • Foxxy Love, who, despite being the most normal, is still a total black slut who can't even turn down Al Roker.
      • She even has a grandchild, despite being in her mid-twenties.
    • Xander, a video game character who isn't really a bad guy, just an extremely offensive gay stereotype.
    • Wooldoor Sockbat, an insane SpongeBob-esque cartoon character who has done MANY unforgivable things over the course of the series.
    • Spanky Ham, an internet porn pig who regularly bullies Wooldoor, kills animals, enslaves immigrants, and escapes all punishment with flatulence.
    • Princess Clara, a girl who starts off as an oblivious racist and homophobic Disney princess, and gradually grows worse over time.
    • Toot, who, after being unable to become the sex symbol of the house due to changing standards of beauty, decides to become "the bitch".
    • Ling Ling, a psychotic Pokémon-esque being who killed/mercilessly attacked his master and uses skulls as sex toys.
  • Jason Alexander supplied the voice for another one in Duckman. The title character is an unapologetic asshole who is a completely sleazy pervert and just a rotten dad. However, it's shown time and again while he often deserves what's coming to him, he is a sad, lonely guy who never got over the death of his wife who wasn't actually dead.
  • Eric the Cavalier from Dungeons & Dragons, for a given value of Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist. Since Moral Guardians and Executive Meddling meant that nothing good could ever really happen to him until he relented and went along with the group, he was definitely meant to be unsympathetic, even though he was the most sympathetic character in the show because he was the only one reacting realistically to their situation, and many of the bad things that happen to him are distinctly slapstick, since he has to survive to agree to go along with the group's plans later.
  • Eddy of Ed, Edd n Eddy is always out for people's money. He scams the other kids constantly and even treats his own friends like crap. The Grand Finale reveals that his attitude was all an act to impress his older brother, who's even worse.
  • Peter Griffin on Family Guy. He constantly undermines his wife (who, herself, isn't too fine and dandy of a character either), scolds Chris when he finds out he has a larger penis than him, constantly bullies and mistreats his own daughter, and has apparently put all of his kids in a coma while hiding it from his wife and not taking them to a hospital.
  • Fred Flintstone from The Flintstones was often rude to his wife and best friend and blatantly negligent towards his child(ren).
  • Bloo from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends manipulates his best (perhaps only) friend and blatantly ignores the feelings and opinions of every other character.
  • Xander Crews from Frisky Dingo. Probably moreso than the "villain", Killface. Of course, Killface may be the protagonist of the series. But pretty much every character fits this trope anyway!
  • Bender, of Futurama: "Bite my shiny metal ass." Most of the main cast have strong Jerkass tendencies, actually, except for Fry and Zoidberg, though even they occasionally have their moments.
  • All three main characters of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. Mandy is a Villain Protagonist who, despite having no supernatural powers, is evil enough to terrify most beings who do. Grim, though generally a Nice Guy, is still The Grim Reaper, and not afraid to murder people when the urge strikes him. Billy, while ostensibly the Token Good Teammate, would come off as quite a Jerkass in almost any other team, only seeming like the good guy because the other two are so evil.
  • Helga Pataki of Hey Arnold! She's often abrasive and gives others (especially Arnold, her secret crush) a hard time. However, many of her flaws stem from an unhappy childhood as The Un-Favourite. Often times, she still remains the Only Sane Man among classmates, lamenting their stupidity.
  • Coach McGuirk on Home Movies; he seems to regard himself as a father figure to Brendan, but he's a beer-swilling lout who dispenses lots of spurious advice.
  • Invader Zim is trying to conquer/destroy the Earth and everything on it, but because (in Gaz's words) "he's so bad at it", his machinations are more amusing than mortifying. Being a Large Ham doesn't hurt.
  • Heloise and, to a lesser extent, Beezy in Jimmy Two-Shoes. Heloise is a sadistic scientist who works for Lucius Heinous VII, while Beezy is a lazy, idiotic hedonist, making Jimmy the Token Good Teammate.
  • Johnny Bravo, a Too Dumb to Live Casanova Wannabe, though he does have some decent points. His stupidity was more apparent in later seasons than in the first season.
  • June from KaBlam!, who is featured doing her thing in the page image. While she's quite likable and has a big heart underneath her cute but tough, snarky exterior, it's not uncommon for her to give her best friend / implied crush Henry hell — whether he deserves it or not. And if you think what she's doing in the page image is bad, just check this out. While her Jerkass qualities tend to vary from writer to writer - and the cake scenes are from season 3, in which she Took a Level in Jerkass (but was toned down for season 4) — she more than qualifies for this trope.
  • Hank Hill from King of the Hill can wander into this territory, especially in regards to his son, who he sometimes seems to think is completely worthless, for no reason other than being different from Hank.
    • His wife Peggy also takes the reins, seeing herself as the smartest person in any given situation and thereby rightfully the one who should be in charge, even if it was her actions (that she'll refuse to admit) that started said situation. Peggy is/was a substitute Spanish teacher, who doesn't know Spanish (well, she could say words, but not in the correct order, phrasing or usage) and an entire episode was devoted to how that was the cause of and also the reason for her release from prison.
  • Tim of The Life & Times of Tim. A slight twist in that he isn't a character who goes out looking for awful things to do, but in almost every single episode he goes along unquestioningly with the awful things that his friends do and then gets surprised that it gets him into trouble.
  • On her bad days, Rainbow Dash of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic can be this. Examples include the episode "The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well" where she's little more than a loudmouth braggart who can't back up her boasts and the episode "28 Pranks Later" where... well, let's just say she had it coming.
  • Kaz from Neo Yokio is a jerk to many of his friends and generally to anyone who needs anything from him. He dislikes having to work despite his family depending on him and only begrudgingly accepts requests when forced by his aunt, complaining during the whole time and when he faces drama, he acts with so many levels of Wangst that it's hard to care or even not laugh at him.
  • The entire main cast of Scaredy Squirrel (except for Dave, Mildrid, and Hatton) constantly push around others and put themselves before anyone else.
  • Everyone on Sidekick is a Jerkass with almost no concern for those around them.
  • Homer and Bart on The Simpsons. Homer is often abusive towards his wife and children and his reckless stupidity causes many of the problems on the show. Bart is a mischievous self-admitted hellion who often bullies those closest to him.
  • Eric Cartman from South Park is a Villain Protagonist who is willing to do things like feed a kid his own parents or even cause the end of the world to get revenge for minor wrongdoings against him. Most people in South Park are a lesser version of this trope.
    • Second to Cartman is Randy Marsh, who more and more regularly gets himself and often his family (or even the entire town, starting with joining the PC bro fraternity) involved in some narcissistic driven need for attention because he believes he's smarter than he actually is (more so in the last five years or so, as in early seasons he was often a voice of reason to the kids or situation, except in instances where being an idiot adult and ignoring the smarter child was funny, only being an outside witness to the events instead of the instigator).
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Mr. Krabs, especially in post-movie episodes.
  • The Warden in Superjail! He goes from ultraviolent sadistic Cloudcuckoolander to potentially becoming an ultra-violent sadistic Nazi-esque overlord in a possible future — just in the space of ten episodes. He spends most of the first season drunk, sick, oblivious to everything around him, angrily berating and abusing his assistant for not properly honoring him, terrifying his staff and inmates alike, giving birth to grotesque manifestations of his inner child through his anus, and following sex-crazed alien cult leaders around. Of course, the viewers don't mind this at all. He's toned down a bit in the later seasons, becoming more of a simple Manchild but still causes trouble for the jail, such as burning it down in the season 3 finale.
    • Alice can also be seen as this, as even if she does have an unfortunate backstory and a kinder moment here and there, she's also admittedly described as a "sadistic bully" by the creators, and will abuse her power to force inmates to have sex with her as well as also bullying Jared.
    • Basically all the cast have elements of this, even Jared here and there.
  • The team themselves in Teen Titans Go!, which exaggerates their traits from the original 2003 series; Robin is an obsessed control freak whose leadership is often ridiculed, Beast Boy and Cyborg are idiots with very stubborn streaks in their recklessness and Raven is much snarkier than before and even willing to put her friends in harm's way on a few occasions. Starfire somewhat averts this as mostly her naïveté is played up and usually when she does any action, it's not for a selfish reason.
  • Both Tom and Jerry are this. The former is a Super-Persistent Predator who would throw the first punch at times and, on occasions, has tormented Jerry just for kicks, and the latter, while usually attacking Tom out of self-defense, has also tormented Tom for no other reason other than to see him suffer and/or took his retaliation towards said cat too far.
  • The Captain of the Jupiter42 in Tripping the Rift is ugly, crude, disgusting, sarcastic, depraved, and his crew never misses a moment to lampshade it. Not lampshaded yet is that his name, Chode, sounds much like the stretch of flesh between the testicles and asshole, which is where his mentality seems to reside.
    • And the rest of the crew aren't exactly sympathetic either. Apart from Six who, ironically as she's an android, is the only one who seems to actually have a heart.
      • And a brain, in addition to a lot of common sense. As a matter of fact, most sex droids on this show tend to be built to be remarkably smarter than their owners.
  • In The Venture Bros., Rusty Venture fits the trope perfectly. Greedy and selfish, the Brilliant, but Lazy super scientist regularly neglects his sons as well as takes them around the world on dangerous adventures. The bigger reason why he is so neglectful is that he knows that when they die (they have died a LOT) he can just clone new ones. He does become much more protective once he loses his backup clones.


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