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Playing With / Jerk with a Heart of Jerk

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Basic Trope: A jerk character seems like he may have a nice side, but turns out is just a bigger jerk.

  • Straight: Bob, the Jerkass, helps Alice win a ton of money, but it turns out he just did it to scam her out of it.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Bait the Dog
    • Bob throws a huge party at Alice's house. When she comes back she is shocked, because he and his revelers trashed and looted her house, and left her with the mess.
    • Bob seems to have turned soft and helped Alice achieve her wildest dreams, but it turns out he just did it because he knew it would cut her life short.
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    • Bob tries to help Alice obtain her dreams, while telling her unrealistic they are. He then watches her Heroic BSoD when her dreams get shattered, and mocking tells her that he "warned her".
    • Alice thinks that Bob is a jerk because he was isolated by society, and decides to give him a chance. She later finds out that many people tried to do the same for him, and he would turn on them no matter what they did for him.
    • The Sociopath
    • Pragmatic Villain
  • Downplayed:
  • Justified:
    • Bob is not a good enough actor to play nice full time, an occasional "nugget of fools gold" is the best he can do.
    • Bob is well aware of Alice's savior complex. He acts like a jerk knowing that she will try to help him, and then feigns a few nice moments that Alice will see as progress.
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  • Inverted: Bob, a Nice Guy, seems to have a darker side, only to turn out to be really as nice as he seems.
  • Subverted:
  • Double Subverted:
  • Parodied: Bob's obviously a jerk, who's daily activities includes bullying people smaller and weaker than himself and scamming old ladies out of their money, but people repeatedly tell his victims they shouldn't judge him too hard and insist that he's a good man deep down.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob is usually a douchebag, but he saves Alice from a rampaging tiger. He tells her he only did it to get laid that night. When she turns him down, he decides to buy her a new TV, no strings attached, to make up for his behavior. Then he tells her he doesn't actually care about what Alice thinks about him, and the real reason he bought the TV was ...nothing, he just felt like doing it.
  • Averted:
  • Enforced: The author starts Bob's Character Development by showing his nicer side, but Executives insist on sticking to the status quo.
  • Lampshaded:
    • "Trust me, what you see of Bob is pretty much what you get. In fact, he's even worse than you'd think..."
    • "You think I use meanness as some defense strategy, or that it's some type of cry for help? No, I'm a jerk through in and through out! The only gold my heart's made out of is fool's gold, maybe!"
  • Invoked: Bob was told to trust no one except him self when he was young.
  • Exploited: Bob wants nothing more than to be left alone, so he acts like a dick to drive everyone off.
  • Defied: Bob decides to drop the jerkass act entirely. Emphasis here: act. Whether he becomes a Nice Guy or a grade-A asshole is up in the air.
  • Discussed:
    • "I should have known rudeness was your only defining trait."
    • "It was clever of you not to trust someone who seemed to nice. What you didn't think however, was that if someone seemed mean, they might really be that mean if not worse.
  • Conversed: "Here's his moment to reveal his heart of gold, and, it's gone..."
  • Deconstructed: Thanks to Bob's asshole attitude, everyone avoids him like a plague lest they get tricked by him. And because of this, no one is there to save him when Bob gets into trouble, leaving him to die alone.
  • Reconstructed: Even when he's going to die, Bob regrets nothing, and even said that it was Worth It.
  • Played For Laughs: Bob is from a Bizarro Universe where his douchebag activities make him a Nice Guy over there.

Back to Jerk with a Heart of Jerk, dumbass. Aw, well, maybe that wasn't nice. I'll just call you a dimwit, okay?

Example of: