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Magnificent Bastard cleanup thread

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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, 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.

  • 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 ó 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.

  • 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 Jul 21st 2019 at 9:45:52 AM

SkyCat32 The Draftsman of Doom from A friend's futon Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
43110 36 styles of danger from the Brooklyn zoo Relationship Status: Getting away with murder
36 styles of danger
Aug 23rd 2019 at 5:58:54 AM

Welcome to Duck, yes to Magneto, great job on the trio Warthog!

As I said, I'm willing to put aside my personal feelings on a South Park fic but we've had two cases where a re-evaluation led to issues with the candidates that initially went unnoticed being picked up on. Again, I don't see anything to keep Bebe off the list for now, so I'm fine with her inclusion for the moment at least.

edit: Though G, do you mind seeing if she can be trimmed a bit? It's well written but in terms of size I'm not sure she needs to be longer than the likes of Thanos.

Edited by 43110 on Aug 23rd 2019 at 9:00:33 AM

Pending MB writeups MB Drafts MB Dates
Bullman Relationship Status: Abstaining
DemonDuckofDoom from Some Pond in Hell Relationship Status: In my bunk
Aug 23rd 2019 at 6:26:13 AM

[tup] Magneto. One of my favourite comic characters (I even own a "Magneto Was Right" shirt like the ones in Gtant Morrison's run).

Ongoing Projects
Bullman Relationship Status: Abstaining
Aug 23rd 2019 at 7:11:24 AM

@FriedWarthog: Do you think Lex Luthor from the Lego Batman games might be worth a look. I have been thinking about it for a while, but can't decide if I should do it.

Edited by Bullman on Aug 23rd 2019 at 9:11:49 AM

KazuyaProta Porky from A Industrial Farm Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Riley1sCool How... dramatic. from On the planet. In space. Relationship Status: GAR for Archer
How... dramatic.
Aug 23rd 2019 at 2:19:45 PM

[tup] Magneto.

I'd say Lex might count if we just took Lego Batman 2 into account but far as I can tell he endures Villain Decay from that point on and by Super Villains they pretty universally treat him as the Hate Sink even among the villains.

Dwight, are you my Stalin?
Bullman Relationship Status: Abstaining
Aug 23rd 2019 at 2:36:06 PM

Thanks Riley. I won't prepose him, but I will replay the games just for fun.

Edited by Bullman on Aug 23rd 2019 at 4:37:01 AM

Aug 23rd 2019 at 5:41:36 PM

Alright my writeup for Mouzone:

  • The Wire: Brother Mouzone, a legendary hitman from New York, is called down to Baltimore by Avon Barksdale to deal with Proposition Joes drug dealers in season 2. He first shoots Cheese, Joes nephew, with a rat shot, and then is able to intimidate Joeís gang into staying away simply by sitting on a bench and reading intellectual magazines. Stringer Bell, Avonís righthand man, had cut a deal with Joe, and manipulates Omar into attacking Mouzone, claiming Mouzone tortured Omarís lover to death. Omar shoots Mouzone but realizes the man is innocent and calls an ambulance for him. While in the hospital Mouzone is able to deduce that Stringer was responsible but keeps this information to himself. Returning in Season 3, he tracks Omar down asking him for help killing Stringer. He then blackmails Avon into giving up Stringers location. Together, he and Omar ambush Stinger and kill him at his condo developments. Affably Evil, and Wicked Cultured, Mouzone showed why he was so feared as a hitman.

Can I reserve The Righteous Gemstones?

Edited by jjjj2 on Aug 23rd 2019 at 8:46:38 AM

43110 36 styles of danger from the Brooklyn zoo Relationship Status: Getting away with murder
G-Editor Checking out both cleanup threads from Where crime is near Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
Checking out both cleanup threads
Aug 23rd 2019 at 7:42:48 PM

[up] is this one better

  • South Park fanfic Girls Game: Bebe Stevens is the leader of the girls, uniting them all against the boys. Bebe would also allign herself with child mobster Loogie giving him baby teeth while Loogie would provide his services for Bebe, while specifically tasking Karen McCormick to deliver the baby teeth, forcing her brother to watch over Karen, prevent him from stopping Bebe. Bebe would also expose Stan Marsh's disguise by in the groin and rip out his wig. Gathering everyone to the school gym, Bebe reveals her plan to use a magical fortune telling device to rid her enemies while reshaping reality and time in her own image, which she nearly succeeds until a sudden intervention of Dr. Mephesto's creations. The boys then decide to forgive Bebe and invite her to hang out with them, because they were impressed that she pulled off an elaborate plan.

Edited by G-Editor on Aug 23rd 2019 at 4:45:46 AM

Simultaneously!
43110 36 styles of danger from the Brooklyn zoo Relationship Status: Getting away with murder
Clown-Face Wild Child from Canada Relationship Status: In another castle
Wild Child
Aug 23rd 2019 at 10:46:25 PM

Posting here for the first time. Don't have any suggestions as of now, but I would like to bring up this unapproved entry on YMMV.Air America.

Also this, on YMMV.Counselors And Kings.

  • Magnificent Bastard: Dhamari found a way to artificially turn himself into one of these. Tzigone's mother created an amulet that protected whoever wore it from him. Dhamari later got ahold of it and used it to protect him from himself- preventing him from making mistakes in his scheming. He reverts to his natural Smug Snake level of competence after Tzigone finds out and rips the amulet off him, though.

The fact that his magnificence is only due to the amulet preventing him from making mistakes makes him a pretty clear cut, imo.

And this, on YMMV.Death Of The Family.

  • Magnificent Bastard: The Joker using incredibly meticulous planning and master manipulation in order to break up the Bat-Family. And it works.

I have major reservations on the Joker counting in general, and consider this is canon with the rest of his actions in the New 52....

Edited by Clown-Face on Aug 23rd 2019 at 10:59:39 AM

Why so serious?
GeorgieEnkoom Emperor Enkoom Evulz II from Somewhere.
Emperor Enkoom Evulz II
Aug 23rd 2019 at 11:02:15 PM

Just asking, if a character is a Deconstruction of the Noble Demon trope (I.e., even though he has much more chances of winning against his enemies, he chose to follows his Evil Virtues to the very end at the risk of losing and dying, something he's fully aware of), but still has the qualities of an MB, can he actually make it or it's too much of a mitigating factor?

[up] I forgot, but welcome here!

Edited by GeorgieEnkoom on Aug 24th 2019 at 9:21:32 PM

Here's my Code Lyoko/Naruto fanfic.
G-Editor Checking out both cleanup threads from Where crime is near Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
Checking out both cleanup threads
Aug 23rd 2019 at 11:52:13 PM

[up][up] So good to see you hear. Welcome to the thread.

Simultaneously!
Shadao Surprised Satoshi
Surprised Satoshi
Aug 24th 2019 at 12:49:58 AM

[up][up][up] The Joker in the New 52 never struck me as a Magnificent Bastard. I say remove it.

With that said, did anyone make an EP for Lego Joker from The LEGO Batman Movie? I mean, after "American Lunatic" Joker got in, I think it's time we talk about that incarnation of the Clown Prince of Crime.

Edited by Shadao on Aug 24th 2019 at 12:50:34 PM

Here's the Sink: Hate Sink Drafts | Hate Sink Dates | Hate Sink To Do Lists | Pending Write-Ups
Silverblade2 Relationship Status: TV Tropes ruined my love life
Aug 24th 2019 at 2:34:40 AM

I found this unapproved entry at YMMV.Veronica Mars

  • The true Big Bad of Season 4, Penn Epner. After he's badly injured in the Sea Sprite bombing, his lifelong resentment of the vapid, cruel spring break culture finally boils over and he seizes the chance to set off more bombs while passing them off as the work of the same culprit, all while using his unassuming appearance to keep up a flawless act as an incompetent amateur investigator that completely pulls the wool over Veronica and Keith's eyes for most of the season. And the whole time, he's well aware that even if he's caught, the fact that so many of his victims are unlikable jerks means that he'll become a folk hero to the many people sharing his hatred of them, and even arranges for a post-arrest revenge on Veronica that may fail to kill her but still causes the devastating death of Logan just after their wedding. When a public poll shows that a majority of Americans don't even think he did it, Veronica is forced to concede how despite his arrest he managed to win in the end.

Aug 24th 2019 at 3:00:52 AM

Maybe there's an argument, but I didn't see that guy as a Magnificent Bastard at all. Just a creepy, delusional douchebag who does have brains, but messes up many times as well and in the end is simply repulsive.

There is a different character from that season who does have the likable personality to match his unscrupulousness in addition to Clyde, a Mexican sicario on the cartel's payroll.

All I ever wanted was to pick apart the day. Put the pieces back together my way.
43110 36 styles of danger from the Brooklyn zoo Relationship Status: Getting away with murder
36 styles of danger
Aug 24th 2019 at 6:09:23 AM

@ Clown, Welcome to this side. Feel free to cut that stuff until someone wants to bring it up to be evaluated, we handle unapproved ones like CM does.

@ Shadao, We actually discussed LEGO!Joker and he ended up getting downvoted.

@ Silver, I don't watch the work so I'll defer to Mogan's expertise there. Sounds like a cut though.

Edited by 43110 on Aug 24th 2019 at 10:22:57 AM

Pending MB writeups MB Drafts MB Dates
Clown-Face Wild Child from Canada Relationship Status: In another castle
Wild Child
Aug 24th 2019 at 8:14:51 AM

On another note, these entries, on YMMV.Dragon Ball Z.

  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Vegeta was this when he was a villain. Frieza tried his hand too, but overall lies firmly in Smug Snake territory. This changes in the Tournament of Power arc of Super.
    • Cell. In his imperfect form, Cell runs rings around the Z Fighters as he masterfully evades their attempts to ambush him while draining countless cities of their populations' bio extract. Upon finding himself sorely outclassed by Vegeta later in the series, Cell tricks the Saiyan prince into allowing him to absorb Android 18 by promising to provide him with an opportunity to test the full extent of his newfound power. In the ensuing rematch, he succeeds in reaping vengeance upon Vegeta by breaking him down physically and psychologically. When facing Trunks, he shows how savvy he is about how raising his strength and muscles only slow him down. And then, rather than kill Trunks and everyone else, Cell instead opts to hold a martial arts tournament where all of Earth's greatest fighters can challenge him and be defeated... and he announces this to the entire planet on TV just so he can see them panicking and living in fear. During the Cell Games, however, Cell becomes increasingly reckless and overconfident in his actions until he ultimately loses control when Gohan became a Super Saiyan 2. And said state was precisely what he was seeking; the problem was that he never really calculated that Gohan's power increase would be far greater than his - rather than the worthy challenge he thought he was getting, he got a Curb-Stomp Battle with himself on the receiving end. He regains his magnificence when he comes Back from the Dead From a Single Cell for one last epic showdown where he and Gohan's powers are matched.
    • Super Buu goes for this after he's born, and until Vegito comes on the scene, he's successful at it.

I'm pretty sure at least Cell was disqualified, and on the same note as above, on YMMV.Freeza.

  • Magnificent Bastard: Why, of course! Is there really any term other than "magnificent" that does justice to such a being as myself? There are those who would argue that I really am just an overgrown bully with the short temper that entails, but even they must concede that I displayed utter cunning and pragmatism during my stint as a member for Team Universe 7.

I know even the entry there questions if he counts, but regardless, I feel Frieza's needless sadism kind of takes him out of this trope.

Why so serious?
Aug 24th 2019 at 8:38:38 AM

Sorry to interrupt, but I would like to nominate a character from a recently released book I have just read. The book is called The Mental State, and the character is called 'Zack State'. He seems to tick all the right boxes in my opinion. He is devious schemer whose plans always work (The Chessmaster), he can turn whole gangs against their own members and even out-manipulate a psychopath (Manipulative Bastard), he can improvise and fully exploit any situation in unbelievable ways (The Trickster) and his objectives become increasingly more fantastic as the story unfolds (Refuge in Audacity). He even comes complete with the occasional Psychotic Smirk. Not only that, but his entry in The Thirty-Six Stratagems is quite impressive. He is a similar character to Clive Shelton in Law Abiding Citizen, except less bloodthirsty and easier to relate to. Of course, you really need to read the book itself to fully understand and appreciate everything he does.

What do you think?

Edited by zookx1 on Aug 24th 2019 at 8:40:30 AM

43110 36 styles of danger from the Brooklyn zoo Relationship Status: Getting away with murder
36 styles of danger
Aug 24th 2019 at 8:42:56 AM

Hey, there and welcome. Your character sounds like they've got potential but do you mind using this format to expand a little bit:

    Template 
  • 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.

Pending MB writeups MB Drafts MB Dates
Awesomekid42 Relationship Status: Owner of a lonely heart
Aug 24th 2019 at 10:10:09 AM

Yeah, Cell and Frieza are too blatantly sadistic, and all three of them do not handle defeat well along with screwing themselves over due to their own hubris.

Edited by Awesomekid42 on Aug 24th 2019 at 1:11:33 PM

PolarPhantom Relationship Status: Longing for my OTP
Aug 24th 2019 at 1:47:11 PM

I be back earlier than expected. Was good.

Yes Legoneto.

Honestly we're lenient on bigotry if there's a reason.

You hate Jews because you hate Jews? No. Go away.

You hate humans because you lived through the Holocaust, see just how persecuted Mutants are and honestly believe reconciliation impossible? I will give leeway there.

He's like a less extreme Malcolm X.

...I hope that's not a controversial take.

Darkness rises and Light to meet it.

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