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"A good boss gruntles the disgruntled."
Michael Scott, The Office

The Benevolent Boss is that rarity in the Work Com: a superior who is actually superior, a nice guy who listens to employee problems and really cares about the issues of those beneath him. If in a drama or dramedy, often will suffer from a long-term illness or similar psychological malady, which might be presaged by a Not Himself episode where everyone wonders what the heck is going on. A character that is The Captain is likely, but not required, to be a Benevolent Boss.

Contrast with Bad Boss and Stupid Boss. Compare Reasonable Authority Figure. In more fantastic works, this character usually comes in the form of Big Good.

In The Army, he is often The Captain, Majorly Awesome, Colonel Badass, The Brigadier, or even the Four-Star Badass and may be A Father to His Men.

For some lucky workers, this is Truth in Television. For a lot of other people, this is some sort of malicious fantasy.

Examples of Benevolent Boss include:

Anime and Manga

  • Kiichi Goto, Patlabor.
  • Detective Superintendent Yagami in Death Note comes off as something of a father figure to the other task force members, or at least Matsuda.
  • Tsunade toward Naruto; among other things, letting him call her Tsunade-no-baachan (Grandma Tsunade) instead of the formal Hokage-sama and letting him officially go on missions to find Sasuke (who is officially a rogue ninja and has a death penalty on him) whenever Naruto asks for it.
    • Most of the Hokages seem to have been this. Even the one who invented Edo Tensei, since he was willing to sacrifice himself to save his subordinates. Goes hand in hand with the "Will of Fire".
  • Greed from Fullmetal Alchemist who (while he denies it fervently) is rather pleasant to and pretty protective of his underlings, making him all the more sympathetic a character.
    • He justifies it by saying that if word gets out that he is good to his subordinates then more people will want to work for him.
    • Likewise, Ling gets dangerous whenever his underlings are in danger. It should really be no surprise when these two join forces... so to speak.
  • En from Dorohedoro is one scary guy, but otherwise quite nice to his subordinates.
  • Chief Aramaki, Section 9
  • Haruo Niijima Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple who, has shown from time to time to care for his subordinates, even if it meant resigning himself to certain peril.
  • Dutch from Black Lagoon.
    • And Balalaika, both to her own gang and her outsourced labor, the crew of the Lagoon.
  • Nanoha Takamachi of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS. She cares about her trainees. She works hard to make sure they don't overextend themselves while learning everything she can teach them. She never screams at them. She is, however, capable of blasting you into unconsciousness as a learning experience.
  • In a bit of a contrast to Real Life pirates, the most successful crews in One Piece are the ones with benevolent captains. (At least to their crews.) Monkey D. Luffy is the most obvious example of this, given that his True Companions are his very reason for living at this point, but at least one villain, Arlong, gets into this. The more recent crews exemplify this, and even the series' probable Big Bad Blackbeard likes this one.
  • Although he does make a rather worrying decision regarding the main characters' privacy in the Omake, the producer of Chou-Hayaoki from The Weatherman Is My Lover comes off as this sort of boss.
  • Tsuna Sawada of Katekyo Hitman Reborn.
    • Also Dino, to the point that he's at his strongest if his subordinates are around and he's also completely useless if they're not around. Fuuta's rankings also show that he's the #1 boss that cares about the well-being of both his subordinates and civilians.
  • Sailor Moon: Although the show's other bosses are spectacularly Bad, Professor Tomoe stands out as the only decent employer. True, he may not care about his Dragon or Quirky Miniboss Squad, but the worst any of them get is a scolding. (Though what they give each other is another matter entirely.) Hell, he even gives Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain Mimet a Rousing Speech when she's down.
  • Omega from Tekkaman Blade counts. Sure he might be trying to take over the Earth, but he actually seems to care about his troops to the point of listening to Evil explain the rivalry between him and his brother, as well as imprisoning Evil to keep him from undergoing a Deadly Upgrade. Note that Darkon, the English Dub version, is the exact opposite.
  • Kohta's boss in My Balls takes him out for drinks several times and one time even takes him to a brothel (the boss pays for all of it each time).
  • Despite being one of the most powerful villains around, Bigger Bad All For One from My Hero Academia reveals himself to be rather polite and even fatherly to his allies. Instead of punishing, Tomura for his previous immaturity, All For One instead manipulated the events to teach him instead. This in turn had Tomura's complete loyalty to him, it's almost cute if they weren't murdering psychopaths however.

Comic Books

  • Commissioner Jim Gordon in the Batman comics
  • Perry White in Superman.
  • His Alternate Company Equivalent, J. Jonah Jameson, is a subversion. He's a great (yet gruff) boss who protects his employees from various super-villain attacks (namely that guy who takes the great photos of Spider-Man), but hates Spidey's guts. Unfortunately, the two people are one and the same.
    • Depending on the Writer, most continuities make Jameson a Bad Boss, firing Peter Parker (and other employees) any time he loses his temper and only reinstating him when he must. The fact that he stands up to supervillains only makes him a brave Bad Boss.
    • He also anonymously pays for his employees' defense attorneys if any of them are ever charged with a crime.
  • Surprisingly, the Penguin in Gotham Underground when he is about to Face Death with Dignity.


  • Ami in Dungeon Keeper Ami, who is kind and gentle to all her minions. Of course being a Dungeon Keeper and basically a designated agent of darkness, she has tremendous trouble getting people to actually believe that.


  • El Guapo from Three Amigos is a villainous example of this trope, shown receiving a sweater from this henchmen for his birthday and wearing it for the remainder of the film. He even treats his birthday celebration like a party for everyone.
  • Lord Summerisle in The Wicker Man is also a rare villainous example.
  • Ellen Ripley becomes one of these when Dallas is killed by the Xenomorph. She becomes leader because Lambert and Parker both want her to be their leader. When she comes up with the plan to blow up the Xenomorph along with the Nostromo, Parker and Lambert are onboard with the plan. While it ultimately doesn't work, it establishes that Ripley is the kind of person that the audience would want to be in charge of them in a crisis.
  • Joe in Empire Records. He's basically a father figure to all his young employees, and a legal foster father to one of them.
  • Gru in Despicable Me. He may experiment on his minions occasionally, but he doesn't do this without their permission, and he treats them well and cares for them, even kissing all of them goodnight. And he knows all their names! In return, the minions all love and adore him.
  • In the Richie Rich movie, Richie's dad is a firm believer in not firing employees, claiming that job security makes better and happier workers. The one exception he makes is the Big Bad.
  • Ursula from The Little Mermaid is a villainous example. She treats her two eels, Flotsam and Jetsam, like her own children, and goes into a gigantic Roaring Rampage of Revenge when they're killed in the final battle (by her own friendly fire, when Ariel threw her aim off of Eric).
  • George Newman in UHF instantly becomes one the moment he steps in as manager of channel U62. Despite his brief depressed moment when the station seems to be going nowhere, he snaps right back to his cheerful Crazy Awesome self the moment Stanley Spadowski becomes a hit with his show. His willingness to put anyone on the air doing anything brings a contagious energy that quickly spreads to the entire station and makes them the highest rated channel in town.


  • Grand Admiral Thrawn was far too remote from his troops to really qualify as a father figure. His image was of an alien genius, strange but far too skilled to be brushed aside. But he wasn't unnecessarily cruel to the people on his side, he rewarded quick thinking, his Commander Contrarian pretty much adored him, and Thrawn was respected and trusted. Thrawn used a small measure of fear, certainly: the Grand Admiral realized that fear of failure was a powerful motivating force in a military the size of the Empire. But Thrawn's ability to invoke a sense of pride in his troops was his most powerful asset. Palpatine inspired arrogance and callousness in his officers; Thrawn made his men proud to be Imperial soldiers. Thrawn's officers would have willingly died for the Grand Admiral.
    • Repeatedly, some of his crewers are incapacitated by Joruus C'baoth. Thrawn always has more bridge staff take them to sickbay. Sure, it's the pragmatic thing to do; they're not dead, just useless for a while. But you never have Daala or Krennel or any other Imperial who doesn't switch sides saying this. If they give any orders about a fallen crewer, it's "Clean this up".
    • This goes into Moment of Awesome territory when he promotes a subordinate who failed to capture Luke Skywalker, but both admitted his failure and showed innovative thinking. Thrawn's XO Pellaeon notes immediately afterward that the crew of the Chimera had respected Thrawn before, but now they'd die for him.
  • A classic example is Fezziwig, the good-natured employer of Ebenezer Scrooge in his youth. This memory becomes the first step in Scrooge's path to become a better man.

  He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. Say that his power lies in words and looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count 'em up: what then? The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune.

    • Scrooge himself becomes this to Bob Cratchit in the end.
  • The captain in the Phules Company novels. He not only throws large quantities of money into shaping up the Omega Mob, but devotes much time and thought to figuring out their needs and meeting them, even to the point of ignoring his own.
  • From the Harry Potter series is Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, firm believer in second chances. He will defend his staff members to anyone, even the Ministry of Magic if need be, and don't you dare try to eject anybody from the school building while he's in charge.
    • Also, when Dobby (A Non-Human Sidekick of sorts) comes to work at Hogwarts and asks for both holidays and paid work (something that has never happened before), he agrees straight away and offers more then a considerable fair wage.
  • Commander Vimes is repeatedly proven to be a much better boss than his attitude suggests. Although he doesn't like anyone much, his men are willing to put up with his roughness because they know that when the chips are down, he's got their back; in fact, after most of them leave during Fred Colon's time as Acting Captain, the only way Carrot can convince them to come back is by telling them he and Commander Vimes are back.
    • One of the reasons many of the Guard left during Fred Colon's tenure was because he made racist comments while members of said races where standing feet away from him. When it's pointed out to them that Vimes makes similar comments all the time, they say that they don't mind when Vimes does it, for the reason mentioned above.
      • As far as Sam Vimes is concerned, the race of any Watchman is Watchman.
  • From Charles Stross's The Laundry Series, Angleton is an interesting example: he sits square in the Uncanny Valley and manages to frighten the hell out of nearly everyone he works with, including the narrator, Bob. He is also scarily competent and intelligent at his job and respects the same traits in others, has been known to occasionally pull a few strings for Bob's sake, and holds up well in high-stress situations. This is explained in the third novel, The Fuller Memorandum: Angleton is actually a Humanoid Abomination, summoned in the 1930s, who has effectively "gone native". Bob believes that the reason Angleton is directing the Laundry as well as he is is that he sees it as his personal best chance of survival, not to mention his own acquired senses of morality and fairness.
  • Leonard Stecyk in The Pale King.
  • In Gene Stratton Porter's Freckles, Mc Lean

 The men of his camps never had known him to be in a hurry or to lose his temper. Discipline was inflexible, but the Boss was always kind.

  • Dirk Struan from Tai-Pan is a self-made man who started out as a cabin boy under a tyrannical captain. When he becomes a ship owner, he pays wages on the day, in silver, and equips his ships with the best of everything. Sailors fight for the chance to work aboard one of his ships.

Live Action TV

  • Just about every serial crime drama and occupational drama on English-speaking television, such as Law and Order, CSI, ER, etc. Even the designated-asshole superior officer turns out to have a heart of gold by series end.
    • Capt. Donald Cragen of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is portrayed as a somewhat stern but understanding father figure who gives the detectives a great deal of leniency because he trusts their ability to get results.
    • Conrad Ecklie in CSI grew into the role over time. When he first got promoted to Assistant Director in season 5, he had a very rocky relationship with Grissom and his crew (especially Grissom), which eventually led to Ecklie splitting the team up. It begins to change in the season 5 finale, when Nick gets kidnapped and buried underground, as he becomes vital to the investigation and eventual rescue. Since then his relationship with the crew has become more cordial and he's given them far more leeway than he used to.
  • Jed Bartlet, The West Wing.
    • Leo McGarry as well, excepting Season 5.
  • Walter Skinner in The X-Files, although his benevolence is most certainly confined to his actions, not his demeanor.
  • The Boss, Highway to Heaven.
  • Rear Admiral A.J. Chegwidden and his successor Major General Gordon Cresswell in JAG.
    • Also Secretary of the Navy Edward Sheffield.
  • Jack Donaghy, from Thirty Rock cares about main character Liz Lemon and obsesses over staying a hero figure to NBC page Kenneth Parcell.
  • Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek the Next Generation.
    • Although Picard exemplified this trope, all the Star Trek Commanders fit.
    • Admiral Forrest, Starfleet's Chief of Operations, in Star Trek Enterprise. Considering all the crap he had to deal with the Vulcans and all the trouble Archer got into, he did a really good job.
  • General Hammond, Stargate SG-1; as O'Neill once noted, "He's a teddy bear."

 Hammond: As long as I am in command of the SGC, we will hold ourselves to the highest ethical standard.

    • General Landry followed a similar vein in seasons 9 and 10.
    • And then you had Elizabeth Weir and Colonel Carter in Stargate Atlantis.
      • And Richard Woolsey.
  • Edward James Olmos as Bill Adama, Battlestar Galactica.
  • Dave Nelson, News Radio.
  • David Brent and Michael Scott from the British and U.S. versions (respectively) of The Office think they're being benevolent, but are so bad at it they wind up being the Stupid Boss instead. Michael comes closest, even having moments where he actually is helpful. (Supporting Pam after her failed art gallery show, for instance.)
    • David on the other hand gets extremely angry and defensive when his "advice" is rejected or disputed.
  • Col. Henry Blake and, even moreso, Colonel Potter on MASH.
  • President David Palmer from 24
    • President Allison Taylor seems to be heading this way as well.
    • Bill Buchanan. And now we have Brian Hastings.
  • Lt. Al "Gee" Giardello in Homicide: Life On the Street; he's not exactly lovable and cuddly, but he'll walk through fire in order to stick up for his detectives.
  • Jack Gallo, Just Shoot Me.
  • Stanford Wedeck, Flash Forward 2009.
  • Isaac Jaffee, Sports Night.
  • Will Butler, Less Than Perfect. Can cause subversions because he's nice only to his direct employees and indifferent to everybody else.
  • In Primeval, Lester is really a fairly Benevolent Boss hiding behind a Jerkass Facade. However it is clear when he offers to let a temporarily homeless Connor stay at his place, and after he was forced to undergo a Ten-Minute Retirement his return is greeted with a standing ovation from the rest of the ARC staff, that he is at most a Jerk with a Heart of Gold (and awesome Deadpan Snarker).
  • Lou Grant, from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, spunk-hating notwithstanding.
  • Adelle DeWitt from Dollhouse is an odd example—her general persona is of an Ice Queen, a tough, non-nonsense businesswoman, and in her particular line of work she is even willing to kill if necessary... but she also cares about her employees, and they know it. (Which is what makes her giving Topher's schematics to Handling in Season Two a rather shocking Moral Event Horizon.)
  • Sam Merlotte from True Blood is a good boss, a great friend, and a kickass shapeshifter.
  • Siegfried Farnon from All Creatures Great and Small is a kindhearted guy underneath his brashness.
  • In Castle, Beckett's boss, Captain Montgomery, is just awesome. He also has the Bald of Awesome.
  • Paul Lewiston of Boston Legal may be the frustrated Only Sane Man in a firm made up of gun-toting, sex-addicted, filibustering, cross-dressing, midget-fetishising Bunny Ears Lawyers, but he still manages to put up with them all. And from season 2 onwards, after reconciling with his daughter and meeting his granddaughter, he becomes much more relaxed and pleasant.
    • Alan Shore, one of the aforementioned sex-addicted, filibustering, cross-dressing, midget-fetishising Bunny Ears Lawyers, is good to work for too. Every assistant or secretary he's had went away better for having been hired.
  • Arthur Carlson in WKRP in Cincinnati isn't an effective boss, but he's well-meaning and treats his employees with respect. Even Herb.
  • Rube in Dead Like Me is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who keeps his Ragtag Bunch of Misfits running about as tight a ship as can be reasonably expected. He often shows his softer side with George, and once carried Mason to his place to let him sleep off a drug overdose.[1] Basically, his subordinates love and fear him at the same time.
  • Roz from Raising the Bar from the public defenders' office, as a nice counterpart to prosecutors' boss Nick.
  • Mr.Bellamy from Upstairs, Downstairs.
  • Mayor Richard Wilkins from Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a swell guy to work for. He's always got a kind word, he asks after your family, he encourages good dental hygiene and good nutrition, and he discourages swearing and encourages teamwork and esprit de corps. He'll even pay for a new wardrobe and an apartment if you happen to be a homeless psychotic slayer in need of an outlet for your violent tendencies! Oh, and he wants to transform into a giant snake demon and eat everyone in the city. But what boss is perfect, right?
  • Cam Saroyan on Bones, pretty much. She's professional at work, but is still pretty enganged with the lab team at the same time. Goodman wasn't *too* bad, but he was more stern than Cam.

Video Games

  • While not necessarily a very good boss, Two-Face seems to be the only villain who cares about his underlings, giving inspiring speeches and trying to raise morale among his minions.
  • In the Disgaea series, both Laharl and Mao's fathers were very good to work under. Valvatorez is, too; just ask his Prinnies.
    • The old dean of Evil Academy was so good, in fact, that the evil reputation was used as a defense mechanism to keep idiot heroes out. The one hero it should have kept out, however, was far more worthy of this forged reputation.

  Champloo: Hyahyahya! That whole tale of a vicious Overlord was an urban legend we passed around to protect the Netherworld from stupid heroes. A bright red lie, redder than the ripest tomato! He simply wanted a peaceful Netherworld, a place where demons could live a carefree life. He was indeed the strongest Overlord...but at the same time, he was also the greatest Demon King!

  • Would you believe Geese Howard is like this? His Dragon, Billy Kane, is treated like a friend more than an employee, and he even treats his minions to drinks on occasion.
  • Osmo is to Daxter what Samos is to Jak, in a way: he compliments and praises Daxter for his excellent work.
  • Salieri in Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven is the more benevolent counter to the more violent and vindictive Morello, at least until the end.
  • Captain Elleanor Varrot from Valkyria Chronicles.
  • The Illusive Man of Mass Effect is an Affably Evil boss who is genuinely supportive and helpful towards his subordinates in every way possible and is never anything less than completely supportive and trusting of Shepard's actions and decisions (until a certain one comes up, however). Hell, he calls Shepard just before Shepard launches what is by all accounts going to be a suicide mission to offer moral support and show concern for Shepard's safety. Just don't betray him. Bad idea.
    • Shepard him/herself can be played as a Benevolent Boss. S/he can look out for each newly recruited team member, and can make side trips that help each member with what are really personal issues. When people are kidnapped by the minions of the Big Bad, Shepard is able to make a suicide run to try and save them. And if you're a good enough boss, you can save most of the kidnapees and your entire assault team. Of course, Shepard could also be played as a colossal dickosaurus.
    • Admiral Hackett from the first game also counts. He compliments Shepard upon successful completion of certain side missions, and in the second game, it's revealed he's the sole reason the Alliance isn't trying to arrest and interrogate you.
  • Bowser of Super Mario Bros. is this in the RPGs. He's generally beloved by his troops who follow him out of admiration rather than fear, has a True Companions-like bond with them and in Super Mario RPG is actually incredibly forgiving of them (letting two of his minions live in the Monster Town where they're incredibly happy). He can be abusive to them at times, but it’s only when he’s seriously provoked.
  • Yuri from Infinite Space. Bastian even notes this is the reason why he is a better captain than his rival, since Yuri forms a bond with his crews rather than simply treating them as the power to run his ship. In terms of gameplay, choosing the "benevolent" options will usually give pretty nice stat bonuses.
  • Inspector Chelmey, the Inspector Lestrade Expy from the Professor Layton series, reveals himself to be this in the third game. He admits to Layton that his right-hand officer, Constable Barton, makes a metric ton of mistakes and probably should have been fired — but Chelmey will not allow him to be, because Barton tries hard and means well and Chelmey trusts and is fond of him.
  • Byakuren Hijiri, Satori Komeiji, and Shikieiki Yamaxanadu are this trope in Touhou. Other masters? Not so much.
  • Big Boss arguably qualifies for Outer Heaven and Zanzibar Land, as many of the soldiers seem to praise him.
  • In Final Fantasy VI, General Leo qualifies for this trope, though he is not a boss in the video game sense. When he is first seen by the party he shows his benevolent nature by refusing to let his soldiers charge recklessly at the enemy, determined to minimize casualties on both sides. He later shows modesty when he tells Terra he is no better than Kefka (the main villain in the game) because he allowed him to get away with his crimes. He is killed by Kefka during his short time being controlled by the player, who in contrast was willing to allow Imperial prisoners of war to die in order to enjoy listening to everyone in a castle perish from poison.
  • Yamato from Devil Survivor 2 is an interesting play of this trope. He is a Jerkass who calls his subordinates "trashes" and he treats his subordinates like tools. On the other hand, he is a fair boss. He treats those who can do their jobs well nicely and he doesn't chew or punish employees that fail to do their jobs, but simply reassigns them to less demanding tasks. He doesn't throw his subordinates' lives needlessly and he doesn't hide behind them. No wonder why the J Ps respect him and are loyal to him.

Web Original

  • Lord Doom, an Evil Overlord active in the Global Guardians PBEM Universe. His henchmen and operatives are well-paid and enjoy excellent benefits (including total-coverage health insurance, college tuition assistance, low-interest housing loans, a retirement plan, and a generous life-insurance policy. They also know that if they are ever arrested, all they need do is keep their mouths shut and Doom will use his vast resources to get them the best legal help in the world. Of course, if they do talk to the cops, things go very different.
  • Whateley Academy has several examples:
    • Franklin Delarose, (unpowered) chief of security at Super-Hero School Whateley Academy.
    • See also Dr. Diabolik, a world-known supervillain... whose exploits are always intended, somehow, for the good of humanity. He treats his troops so well that none of them have ever cut a deal with the cops, and they're always broken out of jail, or represented brilliantly in court.
    • Elizabeth Carson, headmistress of Whateley Academy. Even if some of her teachers and staff are ex-supervillains.
    • Ayla Goodkind/Phase is already a Benevolent Boss, despite being a freshman (technically he's repeating stuff that he's already done). He was being bullied for being transgendered, so he hired a security firm to dig up info on the bully's family, bought the debt that they owed, then threatened to ruin them financially. When the bully relented and apologized, he set up a way for him to free his family of debt—just by acting as a source of information. When another student asked for a loan to save his family from bankruptcy, he offered to give him the money instead—in exchange for a very particular (but not particularly hard) service. The family was so thankful they gave him a share of the company. He then proceeded in finding more business for the company.

Web Comics

  • Nosfera from Nosfera truly seems to care about her minions and servants, and becomes furious when Seymour harms them.
  • Dora Bianchi in Questionable Content. After all, only an all-around really cool person would name her shop "Coffee of Doom".
    • Given she only employs three of her own friends, perhaps not so surprising. Marten's bosses have a tendency towards this trope though (among others).
  • Punch an Pie plays with this trope in the parallel story arcs regarding Angela's boss George and Heather's boss Brian. George is a Jerkass that nobody in the store likes, while Brian is a cheerful and upbeat guy who is naturally likable. Both of them end up in compromising sexual situations with their employees. George decides to Take a Third Option and Pet the Dog, resolving his conflict to the benefit of all; Brian, on the other hand, turns bureaucratic (albeit with a helping of regret) when confronted with conflict.
    • Then there's Angela's beloved former boss Dawna, pretty much a paragon of motherliness and benevolence.
  • Mike Bookseller has Fab, who is smart, reasonable, and well-liked by his employees.
  • Lawrence Sanderson, Something Positive.
  • Subnormality makes the claim that this is the worst boss you can possibly have; despite all the varied and sundry overtly horrible bosses for whom you could be working, this one makes you feel good about your terrible soul-crushing job.
  • In Wapsi Square, Monica's boss, despite his slight ineptitude at times, genuinely cares about the museum employees, and even set Monica up with her boyfriend Kevin. In addition, Heather's boss once told her that she had spent too much time working, and that she needed to go out and have fun (yes it was a direct order).
    • Tina the demonic barrista is this to her assistant. Whether she's the owner of the coffee shop or an employee herself is still nebulous.
  • Zig Zag, founder of the porn studio "Double Z Studios" from the webcomic Sabrina Online definetely qualifies; her employees totally adore her (with the exception of Darke Katt, though she always was a bitch to start with), she treats her male porn stars like people rather then pieces of meat, and she insists that she be addressed as Zig Zag, not 'boss' or 'ma'am' to keep her connection with her workers as close as a family.

Western Animation

  • Hank Scorpio, The Simpsons. (Great boss, just happened to be running a criminal empire.)
    • Depending on the Writer, Mr. Burns can play the trope straight, albeit on very, very rare occasions. Generally this what Hank Scorpio stands in contrast to Mr. Burns.
    • Smithers once attempted to become this after briefly being placed as Burns' temporary replacement after Burns was arrested for a theft of paintings, but after Homer, Lenny and Carl started mocking him behind his back about his allowing them to essentially goof off... well, you get the picture.
    • Homer himself played it quite straight when he became CEO and overthrew Mr. Burns, until he realized that he was missing out on his family, in which case, he gave the position back to Mr. Burns. (Well, kinda. Burns has a seemingly heartfelt conversation with Homer about the time running the plant costs someone, only to hit him with a tranq dart and attempt to wall him up in a mausoleum Cask Of Amontillado style. Being as frail as he is, however, he's barely finished a row of bricks by the time Homer wakes up in the morning. The bemused Homer simply walks off while Burns continues to add bricks.)
  • Optimus Prime (And Primal).
  • J. Gander Hooter from Darkwing Duck: Absent-minded, a bit on the eccentric side, but an effective and fair mission control to Darkwing and the agents of S.H.U.S.H., generous with praise and sternly serious about getting results on protecting the world from F.O.W.L.
  • Commander Joseph Walsh from Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers.
  • Mr. Yamaguchi from Rugrats (Rugrats in Paris, specifically). Based on how he interacts with Coco, he treats his employees with respect. But he is not a doormat. He can tolerate Coco trying to butter him up so she can replace him as head of his company (though he tells her that he wants someone that cares for children, a quality that Coco is lacking in), and he can most likely tolerate her lying about having a husband and a child of her own. But when he discovers that she had manipulated an innocent man who had a toddler gifted to him by his late wife into marrying him to persuade him into giving her the job, he draws the line and dismisses her instead.
  • Rebecca Cunningham from Tale Spin usually leans towards this, generally treating her employees more as friends and has yet to fire one despite their numerous acts of stupidity. That said, due to having slight Control Freak tendencies and a bit of an erratic personality, she can have shades of a Mean Boss or Pointy-Haired Boss at times (especially in early episodes).
  • This is the reason why Numbuh 362 is the leader of the KND (excluding the Galactic KND, who are child versions of the Men In Black). As opposed to her brother Numbuh 363 (who the KND would NEVER want as a leader), she is a very charismatic and compassionate member of the group. Even Numbuh 86 (who like Numbuh 363 isn't a nice person) will obey her orders without question.
    • In that same vein, there's Numbuh One. There's a reason why Sector V doesn't disobey him or try to have him removed from his leadership position. It also helps that he is friends with the rest of his squad. And despite his name, he does NOT only look out for number one.
  • Iroh from Avatar: The Last Airbender is a good candidate for this trope. He withdrew his troops from a two year long seige of Ba Sing Se when he realized that it was pretty much hopeless (granted, it took the death of his only son to see this....), and he acts more or less like the voice of reason to the troops under Zuko's command during his exile. It is probably safe to say that Iroh is the only reason that the crew did not mutiny the entire time they were under Zuko's command.
  • In DuckTales, Scrooge McDuck is tough and stern, but extremely fair to his employees.
    • He is less benevolent in the comics, varying from a Jerk with a Heart of Gold in comics by Carl Barks or Don Rosa to borderline Complete Monster in some of the Italian stories.
      • The thing most people don't get about Scrooge is that he doesn't believe in luxuries, for himself, or anyone else, period. So while he won't spend a cent on break rooms or heating for his employees, he will pay them very well.
        • For example, when asked for a loan from a real bad boss, Scrooge demanded 50% for himself (his usual commission fee), and 45% for the man's employees.
  • Jerrica "Jem" Benton could be one for Starlight Music—she is the CEO after the Five Episode Pilot.
  1. Since reapers have a Healing Factor, overdosing isn't such a big deal