Follow TV Tropes


Magnificent Bastard cleanup thread

Go To


  • 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 much of a Bastard: 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, while this, like any other trope can be played with, we only want examples that explain it being 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:
    • Being 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Edited by 43110 on Mar 10th 2019 at 9:24:02 AM

DocSharp from the long lost land of Canada
Mar 13th 2019 at 12:35:41 PM

Yes to the Dragon and zap Glaurung.

Lightysnake Thanks a lot.
Thanks a lot.
Mar 13th 2019 at 12:37:43 PM

Because Sauron is a vicious sadist whose arc is marked by his utter degradation and decay. There's never intended to be anything likable or charming about him, not after the fall of Numenor. By the end, he's a petty, brutal fascist.

The oracle, the seer, the wit. No question that I am it.
G-Editor I'm actually Irish so I can be moody from Skewl Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
I'm actually Irish so I can be moody
Mar 13th 2019 at 12:42:02 PM

Dully noted, say who else might qualify in Middle Earth? Aside from that dragon were about to cut we've also got Celebrimbor from Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor but I wonder who else might fit the bill

Edited by G-Editor on Mar 13th 2019 at 9:42:14 AM

Here's my best lines
Lightysnake Thanks a lot.
Thanks a lot.
Mar 13th 2019 at 12:43:38 PM

It's not that long a list, trust me.

The oracle, the seer, the wit. No question that I am it.
Awesomekid42 Relationship Status: Owner of a lonely heart
PolarPhantom Relationship Status: Longing for my OTP
Mar 13th 2019 at 12:57:41 PM

I have beaten Devil May Cry 5. Oh boy. Game of the Year and maybe best game since Nie R Automata there. PM me if you fancy. I'm most interested in Lighty's views since we're working together on this one.

I have also seen Captain Marvel. It's as good as most other MCU films, so I can recommend it easily.

Darkness rises and Light to meet it.
Awesomekid42 Relationship Status: Owner of a lonely heart
Mar 13th 2019 at 1:26:57 PM

Well, here's an effort post from a show I've been bingeing recently.

What's the work?

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is a sitcom about five "friends" who run a bar. Attention craving twins Dennis and Dee Reynolds, the mentally handicapped janitor Charlie Kelly, the wannabe tough guy Ronald "Mac" McDonald, and the hedonistic legal father of the twins (and probably birth father of Charlie) Frank Reynolds. All five of them are horrible people (whose worse than who varies depending on the episode) and the show's been noted to take Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist to new highs/lows.

One episode, The Gang Goes to a Water Park is about the gang doing exactly that. Out of the three plot's of the episode, one is about Dennis finding a devious girl named Abby, and taking her under his wing in regards to conning people. As you figured by now, I'm going to be effort posting her.

Who is she? What does she do?

Abby is a young girl who spends her time stealing goods or conning people out of their money. When she sees Dennis try to woo a woman by lying about bringing his daughter to the park, Abby goes to Dennis acting as if she's his daughter, and manages to coerce him into giving her 20 dollars by acting as if she's hungry and that Dennis didn't give her any money in front of the woman Dennis was trying to seduce.

Taking an interest in her, Dennis immediately drops the idea of seducing the woman and follows Abby. He sees that she got caught trying to steal sunglasses, and talks to the security guard promising that she'll be grounded for a month (in the meanwhile, taking the sunglasses without actually paying for them in front of the security guard). Dennis then tells Abby that while she has talent, she’s not a true artist, who takes whatever they want while people are looking right at them.

Dennis and Abby then go together on a stealing spree, doing stuff like Dennis stealing a woman’s wallet, give it to Abby acting as if she “found it” and getting the reward money, falsely claiming valuable items from the Lost and Found, scamming their way into getting free meals by acting as if it got knocked over after they bought it (Abby faking crying to convince the servers to give them the free meals), pickpocketing, and so on. Abby also does some stealing of her own like tricking a boy into giving her his water gun in exchange for kissing him at the parking lot, only to take his wristband so he can’t get back into the water park. They then put all their stolen valuables into a locker to pick up later

Eventually, Abby tells Dennis that her mom is making her leave and that she never listens to her. Dennis tells her that Abby’s a genius and that she shouldn’t let her fate be controlled. Touched by this, Abby gives Dennis the water gun, and thanks him for being the first adult to actually give a shit about her. Abby walks away and Dennis confronts the woman Abby said was her mother, but finds out that woman doesn’t have a daughter. Dennis then notices he no longer has the locker key and realizes that Abby swiped it off him while she was giving him the water gun, and took all of their stolen goods for herself, impressing him.

How do her actions show that she’s a Magnificent Bastard?

Abby takes all the cunning and charm of Dennis with none of his cruelty or pathetic need to validate his ego. She acts like a mistreated kid who needs affection, which works on even the borderline sociopath Dennis, and gets away with everything she and Dennis stole, all with a playful personality. Rare case of a character in the show having actual charm and maintaining calm and collected overall.

Any mitigating factors?

Nah. The worst she does is theft, nowhere close to the atrocities committed by several other characters (protagonists included). And while she naturally acts like a kid, she doesn’t have any real pathetic moments, and she more than bounces back from when she got caught by a security guard.

Final Thoughts?

Leaving it up to you guys.

Edited by Awesomekid42 on Mar 14th 2019 at 10:15:06 AM

G-Editor I'm actually Irish so I can be moody from Skewl Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
I'm actually Irish so I can be moody
miraculous The queen of air and darkness from south africa
The queen of air and darkness
Mar 13th 2019 at 2:08:15 PM


I am Mab, and I keep my bargains. Question my given word again, ape, and I will finish freezing the water in your eyes.
lrrose Relationship Status: YOU'RE TEARING ME APART LISA
Mar 13th 2019 at 4:00:01 PM


Live long and prosper
Bullman Relationship Status: Abstaining
43110 36 styles of danger from the Brooklyn zoo Relationship Status: Getting away with murder
SkyCat32 The Draftsman of Doom from Nakatomi Plaza Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
The Draftsman of Doom
Mar 13th 2019 at 4:10:29 PM

[tup] to Abby

"Come out to the coast, we’ll get together, have a few laughs.”
SatoshiBakura    Remember freedom?    from    The Shadow Realm    Relationship Status: You cannot grasp the true form
   Remember freedom?   
Mar 13th 2019 at 6:22:57 PM

[tup] to everyone I missed except for Roman.

   Don't want to be an American idiot...   
Lightysnake Thanks a lot.
Thanks a lot.
Mar 13th 2019 at 6:36:59 PM

  • Dragonalnce, The Best: The nameless red dragon narrator disguises himself as a human to find the best adventurers who have a chance of destroying him. Luring them into a treasure hunt, the dragon brings them to his lair, only to ambush them and wipe them out completely while they barely have a chance to fight back so the dragon may simply enjoy his treasure without fear of pesky dragon slayers, distinguishing himself via incredible charm and wit in the narrative.

The oracle, the seer, the wit. No question that I am it.
43110 36 styles of danger from the Brooklyn zoo Relationship Status: Getting away with murder
36 styles of danger
Mar 13th 2019 at 6:38:55 PM

DND page on tabletop games? Just put it on lit?

Pending MB writeups MB Drafts MB Dates
Lightysnake Thanks a lot.
Thanks a lot.
Mar 13th 2019 at 6:46:30 PM

I say lit

The oracle, the seer, the wit. No question that I am it.
43110 36 styles of danger from the Brooklyn zoo Relationship Status: Getting away with murder
G-Editor I'm actually Irish so I can be moody from Skewl Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
I'm actually Irish so I can be moody
Mar 14th 2019 at 1:02:31 PM

Okay guys believe it or not I think I’ve managed to find another character from South Park that might qualify from the Season 12 episode "About Last Night".

What’s the Episode?

The episode revolves around the 2008 presidential election where Barack Obama wins the presidential election against John McCain. While the country either celebrates or panic about this result, the president-elect assembles his team for a job heist and yes he’s the candidate I’ll be discussing today. Introducing Barack Obama.

Who Is He? What Has Done?

Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States who happens to be the co-leader, along with John McCain, of a group of professional thieves orchestrating the events so that either he or his co-conspirator would win the election.

Regardless of who won the present-elect would be able to access the tunnel that connects from the Whitehouse to the Smithsonian museum where they planned to steal the Hope Diamond while creating mass-celebration and panic all over the country so that they would be too distracted to notice them stealing said diamond.

Obama would go through the tunnel to the Smithsonian museum to reach the safe containing the Hope Diamond while he has McCain and the rest of his thief crew dress as construction workers to provide cover for any noise Obama might make.

As Obama reaches the safe he discovers that its been recently installed with new security measure, lasers that would trigger the alarm. Instead of panicking and giving up on the heist, he calls his wife Michelle Obama, whose also apart of the heist and has her dismantle the security system.

Afterwards, Obama successfully steals the Hope Diamond from the safe, uses the tunnel to go back to the Whitehouse before leaving said Whitehouse to meet with his cohorts with the Hope Diamond where they prepare to leave the country.

From there its also revealed that he has hired Ike Broflovski, Kyle’s little brother, to help them escape the country, pretending that he has hurt his leg, going to the hospital where he remotely detonates a bomb to blow up a parked airplane containing dummies that resemble Obama, McCain and the other thieves, before altering the hospital medical records to show that they died, successfully faking their deaths.

All went according to Obama’s plan. However Obama decides to try becoming the President for real along with Michelle as his first lady. He parts with McCain and the rest of the thieves giving them the Hope Diamond, with McCain enthusiastically saying “I love happy endings”.

Is He Intelligent? Is He Charismatic?

Obama along with McCain, manages to rid the elections so that either he or McCain would win so that either of them would become president and receive access to the tunnel connecting to the Smithsonian Museum while also creating mass panic and celebration so that none would know that they stole the diamond, so yeah Obama is pretty intelligent.

As for charisma, Obama is a genuine archetype of a Gentleman Thief that's a homage to Danny Ocean from Ocean's Eleven with badass music background catchphrase, "Boom Baby", and never once looses his cool even when obstacle he didn’t predict occurred, merely having his "wife" Michelle dismantle them.

What’s The Competition Like?

Obama manages to be one the more brilliant and charismatic characters on the show, but has none of the dumb and deplorable moments that prevents other characters (Cartman for example) from qualifying. Even when he appear in subsequence appearances, his never delves into any idiotic or depraved act, the worst thing he does is tricking Kyle and Butters into killing a soldier, which is really tamed compared to the other more outrageous acts found in the show.

Is He a Bastard? Is He Too Much of A Bastard?

Okay he’s a thief who helped rigged the presidential election so either he or McCain would win, causes mass panic throughout the country, steals a very valuable diamond, and in another episode has a soldier of his killed, so I thinks he’s enough of a bastard to count.

However he never commits any the more deplorable acts usually found in the show, genuinely care for his fellow thieves, loves Michelle, and decides to become a President for real with possible intent to help the country, so yeah he not too much of a bastard to be disqualified.

Final Verdict?

I’ll leave that to you guys

Edited by G-Editor on Mar 13th 2019 at 10:41:12 PM

Here's my best lines
AustinDR Hee Hee from Fresh and ready for life.
Hee Hee
Mar 14th 2019 at 1:03:58 PM

Staying out of that one, no offense.

Why you little-!
Awesomekid42 Relationship Status: Owner of a lonely heart
Mar 14th 2019 at 1:21:40 PM

I'm gonna say no to Obama. Not due to it being South Park, but because the EP is mainly only taking his first major appearance into consideration here. In About Last Night, sure he was a cunning criminal mastermind. His others though? He ranges from a man desperately wanting to cling on to power who leaves all scheming to the Chinese (Obama Wins) to an imbecile and borderline fascist who blames the cravings rich men have to cheat on their wives on a Wizard Alien, only really succeeding because the people he's tricking happen to be dumber. Said alien was also just an innocent soldier he has dressed up to be killed (Sexual Healing)

I'd have voted him up if About Last Night was his only major appearance, but with the other episodes? He's about as stupid and charmless as most other South Park adults.

Edited by Awesomekid42 on Mar 14th 2019 at 1:17:12 PM

Lightysnake Thanks a lot.
Thanks a lot.
Mar 14th 2019 at 1:25:10 PM

And no

The oracle, the seer, the wit. No question that I am it.
G-Editor I'm actually Irish so I can be moody from Skewl Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
I'm actually Irish so I can be moody
Mar 14th 2019 at 1:25:47 PM

[up][up] What about John McCain since he only appears in "About Last Night" and is just as much of a charismatic thieving mastermind as Obama with no subsequent appearance?

Edited by G-Editor on Mar 13th 2019 at 10:27:09 PM

Here's my best lines
Mar 14th 2019 at 1:26:46 PM

[up][up][up][up][up] Well, I can understand the making write-ups for dead historical figures like Theodore Roosevelt or John F. Kennedy. Or ones that aren't in recent memory. But Obama is relatively recent (and John McCain just died recently), and will likely have more staying power in memory so long as his "successor" makes us long for the old days.

Thus, an example of Obama (or John McCain) being a Magnificent Bastard can be a bit insensitive for the time being. I would abstain until we have a real President back in the US.

Edited by Shadao on Mar 14th 2019 at 1:29:11 AM

Total posts: 8,037