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Cleanup thread: Magnificent Bastard

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  • Why do a cleanup?: This trope definitely exists and has has a well documented history of use. That being said, it frequently gets misused to a character who meets one of the components, namely that they are smart, charming while not necessarily even being a villain, or create good plans. While these are components, there is also a certain personality required, not to mention that all of the above are required to be present for a character to be a true Magnificent Bastard. As the trope attracts interest, it unfortunately brings in a lot of misuse and I thought the best way to rectify this would be a Perpetual Cleanup Thread, as is being done and has seen success with Complete Monster.

  • What makes a Magnificent Bastard: Below are a list of the individual components to make this character. Note that they must all be present, not just some, which has lead to frequent misuse:
    • Must be intelligent: Goes without saying, to be a Magnificent Bastard, the character has to be smart in the first place and use their brain to work towards whatever their end goal may be;
    • Must be a Bastard: While going overboard in how vile the character is can be detrimental, a key aspect is the Bastard part of the trope, whether the character is an out-and-out antagonist in the work, some manner of Villain Protagonist, or something in between, they at least have some unscrupulous qualities to qualify for this trope;
    • Must not be too detestable: Again, there is a ceiling on how bad the character can be before they just become too nefarious, blocking out the Magnificent part of the trope. A genocidal racist or child-raping Sadist aren't going to make the cut;
    • Think on their feet: In addition to being a Chessmaster, a Magnificent Bastard, if the character deals with situations in which their initial plan is ruined, has to be able to pull a Xanatos Speed Chess and at least come up with a competent strategy to make up for lost time, otherwise they fail for being unable to think in tough spots;
    • Have charm: Even if they don't necessarily make every character they meet fall in love with them and can even be detested by others, the audience has to find an amicable social relation to the character, or they are failing to make the impact required for this trope.

  • What to do if a character is listed on a page but has not been approved?: They need to be removed, all candidates need to come through the cleanup thread first. The character could well count but they need to be analyzed properly and voted on first.

  • Do we list Playing With this trope?: No; as a YMMV trope, this cannot be Played With, so we only want examples that are Played Straight.

  • What do I do if I want a character to be listed as a Magnificent Bastard?: The greatest success Complete Monster saw for its cleanup effort was from the invention of the effort post format, so, borrowing from that, a troper wishing to propose a Magnificent Bastard will create such a post in the following format:
    • Begin by describing The work, this will help establish the setting the character is in and for the reader to understand what kind of a scenario they are in;
    • Summarize The character's actions, this will provide a listing for readers to understand what they do and how it applies to this trope because charm and lack of smugness are so crucial, this is a good time to be incorporating exactly the flavour of how they operate to explain this;
    • List circumstances in which the character must Think on their feet, these are times where a wrench might be thrown in their initial plan and they have to adapt on the spot or even come up with a new scheme all together, this is also a good time to explain how the villain reacts to defeat when they have to face it, a true Magnificent Bastard won't break down into tears at the thought of death, they should have known such a possibility could occur and be able to handle it with more dignity;
    • The competition, similar to the Heinous Standard dealt with for a Complete Monster, this section is to deal with how successful the character is in carrying out their plans compared to other characters. While, as a villain, they probably are going to lose in the end, it is good to explain how other characters handle the same situation. There is no exceptionalism case to be made for this trope but explaining the variety helps the reader have a better understanding of the proposal.

  • How do you know when the character's arc is done so they can be proposed? When their tenure as a villain or antagonist finishes. This could happen in a single Story Arc in an entire work, a single work of a franchise, or the whole series in general. We'll show lenience to Long-Runners with constantly recurring candidates or series with outstanding continuities (ex. comic books), and it's entirely possible to count in a work or two but not in general for a reason like Depending on the Writer.

  • What about candidates evil because of external sources? Those Made of Evil can qualify if they show enough individuality and tactical acumen — in other words, they have the personality to fulfill the magnificence requirement. Conversely, those brainwashed, especially if they're a better person without it, may fail the individuality aspect and cannot count.

  • What if they are under orders from a higher-up? Depends. If the boss created the plans down to the letter and the candidate is just following them, sounds like we should discuss the boss instead. However, if the candidate takes creative liberties with the orders, adds their own charm and flair to them, fills in holes in the orders, and/or actively deals with obstacles their boss did not talk about, the candidate shows enough individual thinking to qualify.

  • What about Character Development? An MB is something a character can develop into... a nice person who plots well might become more morally grey as the work goes on and hits the "Bastard" criteria, thus making them viable. Likewise, a Smug Snake might shed their ego, become more understanding of the threat others pose and gain the personality or "Magnificent" criteria, likewise making them viable. Conversely, a character who looks like this trope might suffer from a Sanity Slippage or just get outed as not being as smart as they thought they were and become incompatible with MB.

  • Can an MB be a good guy? Not in the conventional sense... it is required they have at least some dubious traits lest they fail the "Bastard" criteria. That being said, a character who pulls a Heel–Face Turn or eventually stops taking villainous actions is still fair game: as there was a point in time where they were both "Magnificent" and a "Bastard" at the same time and they've merely adapted as time goes on. Now... if such a character begins showing other issues (i.e.: becomes prone to freak outs or starts getting outwitted) then they're compromising their Magnificence and will probably be deemed a cut. What's important is stylishly operating while at least for some time being willing to take at best underhanded methods to see a job done. A Heel–Face Turn in itself isn't a disqualifier but they do have to have been "Magnificent" and a "Bastard" at the same time and afterwards can't start slipping on the former front.

  • Is there a timeframe rule like with Complete Monster?: Yes, please wait two weeks until after the work has concluded before proposing a character (again, usually using the North American airdate). As is the case with CM, we want to give a reasonable time frame so that everyone interested in seeing the work has done so and can participate in the discussion without having anything spoiled.

  • What about groups like with Complete Monster?: This is a point of divergence between the two tropes. While CM does not allow for a single entry encompassing more than three characters lest their heinousness for crimes becomes too watered down, with MB as long as they are treated as one "unit" it is acceptable to lump all characters provided they share acts of charm and intelligence.

  • Can I propose my own work's character as a Magnificent Bastard?: No, this is a YMMV subject and the creator of a content is way too biased to be able to evaluate the criteria we're looking for without a second opinion taking over. That being said, you are more than welcome to encourage someone to consume your creation and if they feel a character counts, are more than welcome to suggest them.

Thread rules

When voting a troper must specify the effort post they're voting on and cannot merely vote on "Everything I missed" as in the past it has indicated the poster didn't read the effort post and is guessing instead of analyzing.

Resolved items

In general, a character listed on this trope is considered "settled". This means they should not be challenged unless information used to list them was incorrect or information was missed in the initial discussion.

However, when re-litigating a candidate, the same rules apply for when they were originally proposed. If they do not have five or more upvotes than downvotes for approval upon a re-litigation, including votes from the initial discussion if they do not change, then they are a cut.

This especially applies to the characters listed below, whom have been discussed excessively and repeated attempts to get them listed/cut may result in punitive action for bogging down the thread.

Definitely an MB

Definitely not an MB

  • South Park: The show's frequent use of vulgar comedy and mean-spirited humour leaves any potential candidates devoid of the dignity or charm to qualify.

Edited by 43110 on Sep 12th 2021 at 2:09:20 PM

Oct 22nd 2021 at 7:13:29 PM

Yes to BT, and I think Ravok is fine doing two write ups in this case since we're loosening our standards on DOTW around here.

[tup] Lady Luck.

Edited by PolarPhantom on Oct 22nd 2021 at 7:13:55 AM

43110 And you will shed tears of scarlet. from Mars Relationship Status: I only want you gone
And you will shed tears of scarlet.
Oct 22nd 2021 at 7:18:27 PM

Yes to the Tarantulas & Lady Luck. Great job lads! Go for it as well Star!

Pending MB writeups MB Drafts MB Dates
PurpleEyedGuma Still thinking of a good title from here Relationship Status: RelationshipOutOfBoundsException: 1
Oct 22nd 2021 at 7:27:43 PM

[tup]Tarantula and Lady Luck

Also, with MB image suggestions. Would this work as a DC comics image?

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lexluthormb.png

Edited by Snowy66 on Oct 22nd 2021 at 7:28:39 AM

227someguy I hate spoilers
I hate spoilers
Oct 22nd 2021 at 7:29:58 PM

[up] Isn't that a cropped version of Luthor from Villainous Reputation?

Edited by 227someguy on Oct 22nd 2021 at 10:30:06 AM

Everyone look at my sandbox
STARCRUSHER99 The rogue demon hunter from one of my unhealthy obsessions Relationship Status: Married to the job
The rogue demon hunter
Oct 22nd 2021 at 7:30:33 PM

I like it for the Image Links page. Unfortunately it won't work for the main one, but we can duplicate images for an image links page, so I say go for it there

And yep to tarantula and Lady Luck, great work all!

Edited by STARCRUSHER99 on Oct 22nd 2021 at 10:33:27 AM

I have, in fact, faced two vampires myself. Under controlled circumstances, of course.
Ordeaux26 The Starscream from Minecraft Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Oct 22nd 2021 at 7:36:41 PM

I do have my own possible image from the DCU unless this one is also on another page.

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ras_al_ghul_mb.jpeg

DreamWorks MB's
Oct 22nd 2021 at 7:41:47 PM

[up]Whether or not it's already used, it's cool nonetheless.

Yeah, crazy to see two socks in one day.

Edited by futuremoviewriter on Oct 22nd 2021 at 7:42:52 AM

Oct 22nd 2021 at 7:44:41 PM

ah so it is, didn't know about that page.

How do I do the image links thing? I've never done that before.

STARCRUSHER99 The rogue demon hunter from one of my unhealthy obsessions Relationship Status: Married to the job
The rogue demon hunter
Oct 22nd 2021 at 7:49:05 PM

I can do it for you if you'd like - copy the image text into a new post and put the [==] brackets around it so it just shows up as text, I can show you how to do it

[down] The one you just posted

Edited by STARCRUSHER99 on Oct 22nd 2021 at 10:53:28 AM

I have, in fact, faced two vampires myself. Under controlled circumstances, of course.
Oct 22nd 2021 at 7:52:37 PM

Oh cool thanks! The uncropped one or the one I just posted?

Okay!

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lexluthormb.png

Edited by Snowy66 on Oct 22nd 2021 at 7:53:58 AM

STARCRUSHER99 The rogue demon hunter from one of my unhealthy obsessions Relationship Status: Married to the job
The rogue demon hunter
Oct 22nd 2021 at 7:57:00 PM

So you put the text like this:

  • [[https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lexluthormb.png Lex Luthor]] from ''Franchise/TheDCU''

And then you get this:

Which does remind me - anyone mind if I quickly make MagnificentBastard.The DCU a redirect to MagnificentBastard.DC Universe? The pages can't seem to decide which one should be the right one, so it's easier to redirect then move the whole thing

[down] I mean, the Monster page is still at Monster.DC Universe, so I don't think a full switch is technically necessary

Edited by STARCRUSHER99 on Oct 22nd 2021 at 11:01:44 AM

I have, in fact, faced two vampires myself. Under controlled circumstances, of course.
Ordeaux26 The Starscream from Minecraft Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Oct 22nd 2021 at 8:00:38 PM

Honestly, I think we should just move the page there that is the title that used for the entire franchise on the rest of the site don't see why we don't do it. Same with Marvel being changed to Marvel Universe.

Edited by Ordeaux26 on Oct 22nd 2021 at 8:02:27 AM

DreamWorks MB's
Oct 22nd 2021 at 8:01:20 PM

Ooh okay thanks! And it goes to this page?

Edited by Snowy66 on Oct 22nd 2021 at 8:02:29 AM

STARCRUSHER99 The rogue demon hunter from one of my unhealthy obsessions Relationship Status: Married to the job
The rogue demon hunter
Oct 22nd 2021 at 8:02:46 PM

Well wait until it gets a certain number of votes first, and then when that's done, I guess put it in the drafts for now? The main image page is getting locked soon, so we shouldn't circumvent that

[down][down] You know, I've genuinely never thought to ask - anyone wanna message Willbyr real quick?

Edited by STARCRUSHER99 on Oct 22nd 2021 at 11:31:17 AM

I have, in fact, faced two vampires myself. Under controlled circumstances, of course.
DocSharp from the long lost land of Canada
Oct 22nd 2021 at 8:29:10 PM

Wait time out, does Pantheon even factor in for image picking? I was under the impression that was Just For Fun stuff that doesn't affect other site matters, especially since Pantheon tends to use duplicate images like... all the time.

As for the Lex pic, I like it and I think with some fixing it could look good at wiki size if we really wanted it to. Ra's looks good too.

Edited by DocSharp on Oct 22nd 2021 at 8:32:03 AM

Oct 22nd 2021 at 8:57:35 PM

Anyways, thought I'd try my first ever comic book candidate, and got a very bizarre one. First the work, a crossover comic from the "DC meets Looney Tunes" series: Batman vs Elmer Fudd (yes you read that sentence right).

What is the work?

Batman Vs Elmer Fudd is a crossover story that nobody asked for, but everyone should read. It gives a Darker and Edgier reimagining of Elmer Fudd and several other Looney Tunes characters (including: Bugs Bunny, Porkey Pig, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Sylvester, Tweedie Bird, Daffy Duck, Marvin the Martian, and Taz) as human crooks and lowlives who reside in Gotham. Their usual animal features are instead made into humans with gimmicks, such as Bugs now being a human with buck teeth and a fondness for carrots. They are all however still recognizable from their trademark catchphrases.

Elmer Fudd himself is reimagined from an incompetent rabbit hunter to a lethally efficient hitman. He is also given an Adaptational Badass upgrade, being far more smarter and can go toe to toe with Batman himself.

But Elmer is not the candidate, that honor goes to Elmer's love interest, Silver St. Cloud (yes Batman's Silver).

Who is Silver St. Cloud and what has she done?

Silver St. Cloud is the same socialite from Gotham, who in this continuity once dated Elmer. But one day he comes home and finds that she has been murdered. All that's left is a pool of blood and a half chewed carrot, so the perpetrator points to Bugs Bunny.

Elmer tracks Bugs down to the pub that all the Looney Tunes characters hang out, interrogates the bunny and upon Bugs confirming it was him, Elmer lets him finish his last meal before he kills him. However Bugs bargains for his life by telling Elmer that he was paid to kill her, informing Elmer the one who paid him was none other than Bruce Wayne. Allowing Bugs to live, Elmer tracks down his new target.

Elmer crashes a party Bruce Wayne is attending and guns him down then and there, but secretly being Batman he survives the shot. Batman then tracks Elmer down to his home, but before Batman can sneak up on him, Elmer is alerted to his presence and gets in a back shot. The two of them fight quite evenly, until eventually Elmer blurts out that Bruce Wayne deserved to die. From here they talk and Batman discovers Elmer believed Bruce killed Silver, but Batman affirms that neither is true. So the unlikely two team-up to discover the truth.

Batman and Elmer return to the pub, where Batman's presence is not welcomed among the lowlives. Batman and Elmer then proceed to beat up all the Looney Tunes thugs, before finally getting to Bugs and demanding to know the truth about Silver St. Cloud. However before Bugs can say anything, a woman's voice answers for him.

It is Silver herself, revealed to still be alive and explains what she did. She at different points had separately dated both Bruce Wayne and Elmer, but found out about both of their violent double lives and wanted no part of the danger herself. So she hired Bugs to fake her death, in order to leave their lives. Then if Elmer came looking for him, she tells Bugs to send him to Bruce instead, as the two violent men would keep each other preoccupied. She then departs the bar, leaving all three men behind in surprise.

How is Silver magnificent?

She manipulates both Elmer and Batman into fighting one another, while using Bugs as the intermediate messenger. Her plan works perfectly and she gets exactly what she wants, being split away from the two violent men she used to love.

No problem with personality, as her dialogue is as charming and affable as can be. She also loved both men at different points, just didn't love the violence.

Is she a Bitch?

She fakes her own death to break the heart of her former lover, then manipulates him to gun for her other former lover where they could very likely have killed one another (Elmer nearly did if Bruce hadn't survived the shot). So yep, she passes the Bastard line.

Final verdict?

[tup]

Not too sure where an entry like this would go to though due to being a crossover. But you guys understand it better than me.

Edited by Snowy66 on Oct 23rd 2021 at 12:27:38 PM

Scraggle I'm just a teenage dirtbag, baby from Calgary Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
I'm just a teenage dirtbag, baby
Oct 22nd 2021 at 9:07:50 PM

Mein Gott this is a comic I keep relying on for punchlines because Batman versus fucking Elmer Fudd

That said...yeah, honest to God, Silver is an easy keep. Great, great find, Snowy!

Edited by Scraggle on Oct 22nd 2021 at 10:10:00 AM

I got two tickets to Iron Maiden, baby / Come with me Friday, don't say maybe / I'm just a teenage dirtbag, baby, like you...
Bullman "We'll meet again Spider-Man!" Relationship Status: Longing for my OTP
"We'll meet again Spider-Man!"
DocSharp from the long lost land of Canada
PurpleEyedGuma Still thinking of a good title from here Relationship Status: RelationshipOutOfBoundsException: 1
Still thinking of a good title
jjjj2 A man who inflicts suffering can't rest.
A man who inflicts suffering can't rest.
Oct 22nd 2021 at 9:27:21 PM

This sounds delightfully insane.

[tup]Silver St. Cloud.

You can only write so much in your forum signature. It's not fair that I want to write a piece of writing yet it will cut me off in the mid
Bullman "We'll meet again Spider-Man!" Relationship Status: Longing for my OTP
"We'll meet again Spider-Man!"
Oct 22nd 2021 at 9:29:25 PM

So we are discussing cutting all the FS ones on the CM side. I figured we should discuss that here to. If we cut them there I feel like we should probably here as well.

Fan-Preferred Couple Cleanup
Oct 22nd 2021 at 9:30:26 PM

[up][up][up]Ah so under other continuities maybe?

Fanscription? Uh, I know nothing about them so I'll probably stay out of this one

Edited by Snowy66 on Oct 23rd 2021 at 1:39:42 AM


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