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Basic Trope: An arrogant and unsympathetic character who is nevertheless favored in-story.

  • Straight: James Hugecock is a cocksure, self-serving, vulgar and intolerant bully that is presented as an ideal person.
  • Exaggerated: James Hugecock is always the cause of the chaos that surrounds him but people still love him for wrecking their lives and making them miserable.
  • Justified: James is a jerk to everyone around him, but he does so much good stuff people forgive him for it.
    • James is always around a bunch of people who've known him for long enough and sympathize with his Freudian Excuse.
  • Inverted: James is meek, gentle, and polite and hated by everyone, including the author, for being an unassertive, easily discouraged pushover with little charisma.
  • Subverted: Everyone around James is fed up with his unbearable attitude so they cast him out and James ends up lonely and unloved.
  • Double Subverted: ...only to be called back because the town is too silent without him.
  • Parodied: James is always the cause of the chaos that surrounds him—up to and including major disasters and intergalactic incidents—but people treat him like a hero for wrecking their lives. Whoever ends up actually saving the day always gets ignored or mocked.
  • Deconstructed: James gets viciously humiliated because of his cocky recklessness and is obliged to be a nicer person to those around him to come back to his former glory...
  • Reconstructed:...only to undermine the people he owes his return to the spotlight to.
  • Zig Zagged: James is putting up a Jerkass Facade because being a Nice Guy blew up in his face. However, he was really more of a Crouching Nice Guy, Hidden Jerkass all along. Except that the reason he had such a shitty attitude is because of his awful childhood.
    • Alternative: As Double Subverted, only this leads to a round Zany Scheme Chicken that literally destroys the universe.
  • Averted: The amount of favor James receives from the author and the audience is proportionate to the likableness of his character.
  • Enforced: "Nice guys finish last! Let's have a flawed ace!"
  • Lampshaded: "Anyone else who would've done half the crap you pulled would've been fired months ago!"
  • Invoked: "James may be a jerk, but he's our jerk."
  • Exploited: James is all too aware of how much he can get away with - and takes advantage of it.
    • A team persuades James to join, because they know he can do all the dirty work with no problems and no consequences.
  • Defied: "Do you really believe you're going to get praised for being an asshole, James?"
    • James doesn't see being a popular jerk to be worth it.
    • James acts like a jerk, because he loathes people and becoming popular is so contrary to his desires he starts acting all sugary-nice and passive-aggressive.
    • James acts like a jerk, because he loathes people and becoming popular is so contrary to his desires he acts increasingly more socially distant, cold, uncaring, boring and listless to get people to leave him alone.
    • Acting like an asshole is drastically against James' values, so he wants to become popular in other ways.
  • Discussed: "Why must all these fan-made characters always put their energy in pissing people off?"
  • Conversed: "How can anyone like this jerk?"
  • Plotted A Perfectly Good Waste: James is intentionally written as The Scrappy. However, just when the audience can't take any more of his effortless victories and endless Jerkass behavior, his role in the story shifts, resulting in some much-needed Character Development, transforming into a complex and likable character.

Back to Jerk Sue