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Took A Level In Jerkass / Film

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Films — Animated

  • Mushu from Mulan II spends most of the movie trying to break up Mulan and Shang. It was all just because the ancestors did the same, threatening to separate him from Mulan and give him back his old job of gong ringer if she was married, and he didn't want that. Thankfully, Mushu's lesson is mostly learned (he still makes the ancestors cater to his whims, but not only did they essentially kick-start the plot, they still treat Mushu like dirt even post-redemption, so they kinda had it coming).
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  • In Cinderella III: A Twist in Time, Lady Tremaine. She was already a jerkass, but now she goes from abusing her stepdaughter to trying to kill her. Inverted with Anastasia, who becomes sympathetic and eventually makes a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Clopin from The Hunchback of Notre Dame is first introduced as the colorful narrator of the film, and the master of ceremonies at the Feast of Fools, where he was very kind to Quasimodo. However, near the end of the movie, he is now the bitter judge (his hand puppet serving as Quasi's defense) presiding over the Court of Miracles, and is now very mean to not only Quasimodo, but also Phoebus as well, and as a result he wanted the two both sentenced to death for being spies of Frollo (they were actually working against Frollo, not for him). Had Esmeralda not showed up at the Court of Miracles to stop Clopin and tell him that both Quasi and Phoebus are trying to help them, Clopin would have actually killed them both.
    • This seems to be more about Hidden Depths than becoming more of a jerk - Clopin's mostly rather genial on the outside, but he's also secretly the leader of an insurgence desperate to stop a madman's oppression of his people (so he's a bit of a Stepford Smiler). He was likely exercising caution to protect his people and simply acted hastily - though he could have at least waited for their side before passing immediate judgement, true, it's unlikely he would have believed them without Esmeralda vouching for them, and one must remember that Phoebus was the Captain of the Guard prior to this event (information which had likely not yet reached Clopin), so yeah...
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  • The Once-ler in the 2012 adaptation of The Lorax undergoes a jarring change in temperament (as part of a Face–Heel Turn in a Descent into Darkness Song) when his Thneed business becomes a success, turning from a mostly good-natured guy into a greedy, arrogant Corrupt Corporate Executive, carelessly abusing and exploiting the forest creatures he'd previously befriended.
  • The whole town after they run out of Krabby Patties in The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. They don't hesitate to kill SpongeBob after he offers himself as a sacrifice to the "Sandwich Gods".
  • Hal from Megamind. While he had shades of selfishness from the start, he never had a malicious streak in him and at least tried to be sophisticated towards Roxanne. Once he is given powers, however, he becomes a full-on Psychopathic Manchild who thoroughly believes that Roxanne belongs to him. The kicker is when he tries to kill Roxanne just for not returning his feelings and saying that she broke his heart, even though it is clearly not the case.
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  • In Casper's Haunted Christmas, the Ghostly Trio are far bigger jerks than they usually are. In the other films, they are shown as jerks with hearts of gold who do care about Casper deep down despite frequently being mean to him, and they are shown to have Pet the Dog moments. In this film, they outright laugh when Casper is told he may be banished to the Dark and taunt him about it, only growing concerned when they are told they would be banished there as well. They also try to ruin Christmas just for kicks.

Films — Live-Action

  • Spider-Man Trilogy:
    • Harry Osborn. Goes from a mostly nice guy in the first movie to lashing out at Peter in the second movie and acting like a douchebag for most of his scenes. In the third film he gets better via a little Easy Amnesia, but then reverts to full blown Rival Turned Evil. In the end, he redeems himself, but Redemption Equals Death.
    • Mary Jane also becomes increasingly self-centered as the series progresses. She has No Sympathy for Peter despite all the problems he has, refuses to hear his side of the story as to why he missed her play, and then dumps her fiancee at the altar to get with Peter! In the third movie she resents Spider-Man's popularity for saving people's lives and not having the time for her, but this time she at least recognizes this as negative behavior, does feel bad about it and tries to do better....but life doesn't make that easy for her.
    • Even Peter himself took a level in the third movie. He develops a little Acquired Situational Narcissism in the beginning, then got on a vengeance kick, and then he got the Venom symbiote. You know the rest.
  • Alan from The Hangover. Initially, he was a well-meaning idiot whose only deeds were caused out of ignorance than malice. In the later films, however, he begins to be very rude and condescending towards everyone. In the second film, he deliberately drugs the Wolfpack in order to incapacitate Teddy, and in the third film, he begins to have a real bitterness towards Stu. Fortunately, at the end of the third film, he drops his rudeness to start his life over.
  • Titanic (1997) has the obnoxious aristocrat Caledon "Cal" Hockley, who starts out as a pompous, misogynistic Jerkass. He soon graduates to smack his fiancee around, trying to frame Jack for burglary, and when things really start to go south, kidnapping and attempted murder. He survives the Titanic sinking, but it's later revealed that he committed suicide after losing his fortune in the 1929 Stockmarket Crash.
  • Ash of the Evil Dead series does this over time. In the first film he's basically a Final Guy, by the second he's a badass, and in the third he's a full blown Jerkass. It makes sense, though. After going through some horrific events, losing a limb, nearly losing his mind, and having everyone die on him, he gets sucked into a time period where its residents initially treat him like crap, make him a slave, and then try to kill him. It's probably safe to say it'd be more disturbing if he didn't have a huge chip on his shoulder by that point.
  • Abigail Chase from the National Treasure series seems to take one between the first and second movies. In the first movie, she starts out as a tad bitchy, but really not without reason given the crap she ends up in thanks to Ben. By the end of the movie, she's considerably nicer and has evolved into a proper Love Interest. When the second movie comes around, she's reverted to the beginning of the first movie and gone even further, being worse than she was then. She changed the alarm code in what is most likely Ben's house, and she's hostile around him even when he's trying to be nice. He also has to bribe her to get her to help him clear his family's name.
  • In Deep Rising, Simon Canton's plan at first was to destroy the ship as an insurance scam, but to make it so all of the passengers live. Later though, he uses the others as bait so he can escape himself, and tries to kill Trillian and steal Finnegan's boat. Fortunately though, he meets a Karmic Death in the end.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In Iron Man 2 Tony Stark allows the fame to get to his head again, and it screws him over worse than his playboy tendencies did in the first film. However, it's something of a ruse. The power source for his arc reactor is poisoning him, pretty much having months to live/find an alt power source. With Hammer trying to get his tech and all of this, he lashes out yet also does it in a matter so Pepper can run the company and make sure it remains right while goading his friend into taking the prototype armor to become War Machine. He doesn't fully recover after seeing the final message from his dad, getting some much needed faith and hope.
    • Loki in Thor: Tragic Villain and Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds. Loki in The Avengers: psychopath who enjoys ripping a guy's eye out, and directly or indirectly kills around 200 people (80 people in the first two days — according to Black Widow, including those who died in and after the explosion caused by the Tesseract, unknown number of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents during the attack on the Helicarrier, plus 74 causalities during the Battle of NY — according to General Ross's data in Captain America: Civil War).
  • Roger Moore's James Bond went from being charming and urbane in Live and Let Die to a huge asshole in The Man with the Golden Gun. This was mandated by the studio to counteract Roger Moore's "nice guy" image", as we see him threatening to break a woman's arm, threatening to blow off a guy's testicles, and later pushing a kid salesman ("bloody tourist!") into a rapid stream during a boat chase. Having sex with Anders while Goodnight, who he was just about to have sex with, is hiding in the closet. And then she still has sex with Bond at the end! Following the negative reception of this movie, Moore went back to his previous portrayal for the rest of his tenure.
  • Halloween II (2009) had Loomis of all people go through this, having no problems with morality or ethics whatsoever when it came to writing a book that allowed him to profit off the tragedy of the previous film. Fans were not happy about this change.
  • In Scarface (1983), Tony Montana starts out the film as a crook, but it's not until he gains power that he allows himself to become a cocaine-addicted wreck. He constantly curses and acts like a cantankerous prick towards even his friends, and gets called out on it by almost everyone close to him.
  • In The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Thorin Oakenshield gets more callous as he becomes obssessed with Erebor as he gets closer. It gets to the point where Balin has to call him out on it when he refers to Bilbo as simply a burglar.
  • John Rambo in his fourth movie - although he is still one of "the good guys" - he is portrayed as more rude and cynical than in the first three movies. Considering everything he's been through up 'til then, it's perfectly understandable that he'd be a left a little bitter.
  • X-Men Film Series
  • When Noni decides to end things with semi-boyfriend Kid Culprit in Beyond the Lights, he accepts it surprisingly well and they maintain their friendship...for about 20 minutes. Never indicated to be more than kind of annoying (with a side of insensitivity- he actually tries to sext Noni right after she attempts to commit suicide by jumping off her balcony!), Kid Culprit crosses the line into outright Jerkassery when he publicly humiliates and basically sexually assaults Noni on-stage during their performance at the BET awards. He then goes on to claim that HE dumped HER because he was cheating on her, and that she's a bitch and a freak (ON NATIONAL TV). His behavior is so over-the-top that By-the-Book Cop Kaz ends up punching his lights out. As if all that weren't bad enough already, he then CONTINUES to trash Noni via Twitter, claiming that everything about her, including her accent, is fake. Just wow.
  • When he is first introduced in the Jurassic Park series, Dr. Henry Wu, InGen's chief geneticist, is a decent if incautious person. The "decent" part is more present in the first novel than the first film, the former of which sees him actively helping to repair the damage to which he unwittingly contributed, but he a nice guy in both nonetheless. Come Jurassic World more than 20 years later, and Wu has become a much more bitter and cynical person, indifferent to the latest casualties of his new Indominus rex and countering the resulting What the Hell, Hero? reprimand from Simon Masrani by contending that everything unique and successful about the park is ultimately thanks to him.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day does this to Sarah Connor, who went from the naive but sweet girl we saw in the first movie into a hardened gun-tolling woman with no time for bullshit. As soon as she learns that Miles Dyson was the creator of SkyNet, her first instinct is to travel to his house and kill him on the spot with his wife and son present before John stops her, and then later goes on a rant that sounds a lot like something a so-called feminist would say. In a deleted scene, she attempts to destroy the T-800's control chip while he was offline despite the fact that the T-800 was the only thing keeping her and John safe from the much deadlier T-1000. This all, however, comes from the fact that she was greatly traumatized from her experiences in the first movie.


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