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#bad characters

My Least Favorite Tropes

Faux Action Girl: It’s okay for a action girl to be the one in danger and need of rescuing sometimes, but stop with the fake outs. Faux Action Girls tend to be stupid and incompetent and their other strengths gets put on the back burner in favor of making them the damsel in distress. It’s even more frustrating when the narrative tells us that she’s strong but doesn’t actually show us how and why. 

Designated Hero: Don’t expect me to root for someone who is a complete asshole. I don’t care if he’s “flawed and unique” if he doesn’t have anything to give him redeeming qualities or character development I won’t care. Especially if his shitty actions are never called out, or they’re portrayed as a positive thing. 

Token Pink Female/Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Can’t girls be any color other than pink/light red/purple? Now I like pink but I’m so fed up with female characters especially the Token Girl being pink, especially if it only serves as an code for them being the distaff of the male character? I get it if it’s To Sell Toys but, that gets annoying and turns into a stereotype that female characters must always be pink. Why not orange or green? It’s more irritating when the Token Pink Girl ends up having no personality beyond Strong Female Character™ or a trophy between the male characters. She’s essentially “the color pink the character.”

Sassy Black Woman: Because black women can’t have any other personality trait. She can’t be spunky but also knowledgeable, or shy and docile, she has to constantly spit out salty one-liners and act all ratchet and ghetto in order to be relatable. I’m more annoyed that dark skinned girls get pigeonholed into this type of role.

Derailing Love Interests: Screwing up a perfectly normal character in an attempt to shove a pairing in the audience’s faces is one reason why people hate shipping wars so much. You don’t have to warp characters just to make a potential partner look good. Everyone has good and bad traits. It’s especially aggravating when it’s used to promote a toxic pairing/character over a nice character who can be part of a healthy relationship. Quit pitting people, more specifically women, against each other for the sake of pointless romantic drama.

The Complainer is Always Wrong even when he’s right and provides good arguments for said complaints. 

Creator’s Pet: I have a special list coming up for this trope because I really hate it. In short, a genuinely awful character is given love and support by their original creator or author yet has done little to nothing to receive said praise. Also the good and popular characters get shafted or demonized to make this character look good. I happen to share my birthday with one of the biggest Creator’s Pets in Western media (Brenda Barrett from General Hospital). 

Human Focused Adaptation: If I want to see a movie about say, Road Rovers, I want to see the dogs in action, not their owners in their world of boring politics. If I want to see a movie about Bionicle I don’t want some crummy and cliche white kid sucking up the spotlight from the Toa. Basically, this takes the characters from the original franchise and regulates them to special guest stars IN THEIR OWN MOVIE!!!! 

What’s more, the humans from the original franchise are forgotten or never given expanded roles; alternatively they end up hogging spotlight from the actual cartoons and given a stupid and forced romantic arc over helping their friends saving the world. In fact if the original show was about saving the world, expect that to take a backseat to “I gotta impress the person I like so much” or “I have a crummy job” plot. I’ll write more about this trope later on, but for now it’s the one thing about these types of “cartoons to live action” aspects that I hate. 

Bratty Teenage Daughter/Dumbass Teenage Son: Again, teens can’t have unique or complex personalities. If they’re a girl expect to always be a brat or bitchy or so stupid in life they can barely function. If they’re a guy then they always spend their time talking about girls and being dicks and failing school. The teenage girl can’t be nice or nerdy or smart, and the teenage boy can’t be competent or selfless. This perpetuates harmful stereotypes on both ends. 

Other Tropes I hate or find irritating

- Strangled By the Red String

- Woman Scorned

- With Friends Like These

- Badass Decay

- Villain Decay

- Flanderization

- Mentor Occupational Hazard

- Freudian Excuse

- Draco in Leather Pants

- Ron the Death Eater

- Spotlight Stealing Squad

- Designated Love Interest

- Official Couple 

- Revenge by Proxy

- Idiot Hero

- Karma Houdini 

- Jerk Sue

- Flat Character

- Darker and Edgier

- Dumb Muscle

- Love Dodecahedron

- Chickification

- Superhero fights another superhero

- Smurfette Principle

- Disproportionate Retribution

- Tangled by the Red String

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This post might be a little controversial. It’s come to my attention that there is a lot of hate for particular characters that they don’t deserve. Lots of people like to talk about how a character ‘sucks,’ without actually understanding the difference between an objectively bad character and just one that is easy to dislike. I’ll mention a few prime examples here, and a lot of people will probably recoil, but hear me out and note that this is a personally outlook on the world of writing and characters, though I personally believe it to be right.

Characters Hated for a Lack of Likability

If you search anywhere on the internet for the least popular characters in all of anime, there’s an 80% chance you’ll find Sasuke Uchiha (or alternatively Sakura) on the list somewhere. Lots of people hate this guy, and personally, usually for stupid reasons. The most common excuse for hating him is something along the lines of being ‘emo’ or ‘whiny’ (apparently being angry/vengeful for your slaughtered immediate family is only for babies), and people label him as a bad character because of these personality traits.

Here’s the question you have to ask about every character. Are they doing what they were designed for? Sasuke was designed to be a darker, rival counterpart to the main character of his series. He was designed to be disillusioned with the world, designed to be hateful and apathetic, and throughout the series he often fulfilled all of those designs quite well. That said, calling him an objectively bad character is wrong. He sufficiently fulfills the role the author designed him for, making him a decent character at the very least.

Characters Hated for Doing their Job

Are you ready for this? Jar Jar Binks is an objectively good character. Yeah I know you all want to punch me in the face now, but ask the key question: does he do what he was designed to do?

It’s undoubtedly clear to all of us that Jar Jar Binks was designed to appeal to the humor of young children. And you know what? He did that. You can deny it, but the majority of young children that watched Phantom Menace liked Jar Jar. He was specifically created to appeal to a certain portion of the audience, and he did. The fact that less and less of us find him funny as we age doesn’t mean he didn’t fulfill his designated role in 1999.

Characters Hated for Making Mistakes

This one always gets me. I could easily go back to Sasuke again, but let’s use Boromir from Lord of the Rings. Anyone who knows the series knows that he betrayed Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring, almost dooming them all. A big mistake? Obviously. Does that folly ruin his character or make him a blight on the story or something? Of course not.

There are no real mistakes in writing. Obviously everything that happens was supposed to happen, as ordained by the author. So if the author intended for a character to have a negative influence on the protagonist, or for them to just make a lot of mistakes during their story, then they are once again fulfilling their designated purpose, making them decent characters at the very least.

There are a lot of other things that characters are labeled as ‘bad’ characters for, but to list them all would take all day. So the main thing to remember, if you’re looking to start writing yourself one day, is that you can create a disliked character without them being an objectively bad one.

You can intentionally design a character to be annoying, an asshole, or an idiot. And people will probably try and label them as ‘bad’ characters for having those character traits. But if you create those characters to fulfill an actual purpose, whether or not they do is the most important thing.

A character that actually contributes nothing to the story whatsoever is a bad character. A character that ‘is just there’ is a bad character. Characters without actual purpose are bad characters. Characters that are easily disliked because of what they were designed to do are not.

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frogoperaAnswer
Hi there! I was wondering why you don't like Anasui and Stroheim. I haven't finished part 6 yet, but I really like Anasui from what I've seen of him. And Stroheim was one of my favorites from part 2. No hate, just curious ^^

stroheim is literally a nazi so no matter how good a character he might be i don’t give a single fuck about him and he’s bad, and annasui is predatory and possessive of jolyne in a very very uncomfortable way. also he…..killed and dismembered his last gf????? ooooghh

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My character is a pretty bad guy and can be violent. I HATE it when someone I’m rping with provokes my character and expects him not to react aggressively. It bothers me even more when the rper doesn’t want me to hurt their character but keeps egging mine on. If you can’t handle bad characters, DON’T rp with them!

roleplayingconfessionsfromrpers
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[[cutting it close with 15 minutes to go on the clock, not like anyone reads this bullshit]]

Y K A L E I

She spent the night from arm to arm, dancing in laughter.

She remembers- vaguely, dimly, as it should be- that there was alcohol. Sweet-souring in her mouth, slippery on the floor, sloshing on mugs and bottles cracked open. She sings wildly, at times offkey because she cannot care, because Ykalei loses her voice late in the wee hours of the morning when everyone else can but rasp.

It is her last night, regardless of outcome.

It is her last night, so she caterwauls some tune about a priestess accidentally sinning in every single way, her common mangled by the drink and mauled by her sailor’s accent. She sings of stifling jungles in butchered zandali; she slips over a thalassian mourning song.

Ykalei did not fully intend to sing the last. But it was the wee hours of morning, the sun peeking bleary-red over the horizon. Red skies in the morning, sailors take warning.

Foot soldiers don’t care, she thinks, so she rips into some other bad song to make the crowd roar to forced life again.

Before tonight, she intends to make everyone feel immortal in the way she does not, with sore ribs and a bandaged leg.

S Y N T H I E L

She manages to, if not wake, to remain conscious.

The steady dark is something she can deal with easily. Shock had overstayed its welcome; a determined bite had not. Synthiel can stay aware if she takes it easy, if she focuses on the small things.

She is prone. The hall she is in has gone quiet, static silence that lives in a dreadful way. If she did not know she should be fighting, should be sun-blazing glass and arrow shards; should be healing, there is a sinking feeling she knows where she is and it is treacherous in a way battlefields are not.

The Sunguard would not have taken her back; she knows no one, she trusts no one, she is known to no one and she is useful to even less than that. She needs to stand and fight, because it’s what she knows how to do.

She needs to heal because duty- and that is odd weight on the side of her chest she barely feels but for dulled burning- demands she does. In pitying tones, in doe-eyes made of steel.

(The silence, too, has receded in the way unconsciousness has; the rustle of leaves is familiar and curious. Who is that, and Synthiel does not know who they ask for.)

She is worthless and standing would be sure death. She does not think standing to be impossible; to think that is to give in to the lulling black, painless, tainted by softened voices that reek of someone something anything else.

She curls her left hand’s fingers. Uncurls. Right hand, slower, in pained bursts that near drown her again.

Who is that. (Nothing of importance, not in this life, not in the last.)

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I hated The Awakening in high school. Looking back on it, I feel like the parts composing it were all very good. I like other stuff by Chopin. I like her writing style. But all through The Awakening, every good thing I found about it was consumed in this wave of loathing towards Edna. I don’t think I’ve ever hated a fictional character this much. It’s not like she doesn’t have her good moments, but overall it’s just like … Does she care about anyone besides herself?

To me, The Awakening was always the story of a woman who abandons her children and endangers the reputation of her surprisingly tolerant husband in order to live the vida loca. Then she kills herself after her crush refuses to have an affair with a married woman.

I mean, there’s wanting to be your own person and be happy, and then there’s this. Her suicide felt less like a moment of liberation and more like a petulant “SO THERE!” Which ultimately just left her husband widowed and her young children motherless.

Sure, she felt trapped by a society that expected her to give up everything and be a model of womanly self-sacrifice, but dang it, Edna, as an adult and a wife and a mother and a rational human being, you do have SOME responsibilities.

One of my favorite responses to this book was from someone who took a copy out into the woods and shot it with a gun.

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I really dislike when someone that plays a female character uses phrases like “she’s strong and independent and won’t take shit from anyone” as excuses to make that character a total bitch.  If the character is just a bitch, then say so, but don’t say it’s because she’s strong and independent.  A woman can be strong and independent and still be polite, those qualities aren’t mutually exclusive with a piss poor attitude.

roleplayingconfessionsfromrpers
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