We all have actually our favorite and least favorite tropes. From love triangles to slow burns, tropes are frequently the ideal ways come showcase good characters and storylines. Lock can likewise be frustrating and make you inquiry why it is even a trope in ~ all. In this weekly column, we’ll take it a deep dive into some that the most standard television tropes.

You are watching: Jerk with a heart of gold

We all love a good redemption arc. The is a classic device, supplied to really research a character and also those approximately them.

One of the most typical ways to start a redemption arc is by presenting us come an unlikeable character best from the start. From work one they space labeled together “the villain,” and continue to make questionable decisions the make girlfriend think the that human being cannot possibly be good.

Then, through a couple of subtle hints here and there, we come to learn the the jerk we all assumed this personality was, is actually a huge softie inside.

What i think is the ideal example that this is Nathan Scott native One Tree Hill. That is my belief that his character has the most expansion that i have ever witnessed in a television show. Now, ns love Nathan Scott, however the reason I flourished to love that so much is the we got to watch his journey from a high institution jock that was a complete asshole, to someone who came to be a loving and supportive father and husband.

Seriously, Nathan Scott is the epitome of this tv trope.

Throughout the first half the season one, we are shown just exactly how much of a jerk Nathan was. He was an terrible boyfriend come Peyton, he continued to bully his own brother, and also chose to pursue Haley in the really hopes that it would certainly piss turn off Lucas. That was not a good guy at first. But as the present went on, we started to see a whole brand-new side come him. We acquired to see how much press he to be under from his father, who was more or much less abusive to both Nathan and his mother.

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I might go on and on about Nathan Scott and how beautiful this trope played in One Tree Hill, yet he’s no the only one who has actually this sort of story-line.

Damon Salvatore (The Vampire Diaries) also started off as the poor boy that wanted nothing more than to damage the life the his brother and also everyone the cared about. Deep down, however, he was just a vampire who had actually been melted too countless times and also just wanted the mrs he love back. I will certainly say that Damon isn’t necessarily a an excellent example that this trope, since he really can be a villain at times. He eliminated his girlfriend’s friend just since she (well, technically it was Katherine at the time) dumped him.

That’s why this trope have the right to be a tricky thing to beat out. You can go the path of Nathan where he really becomes a good person and also stays the way. Or girlfriend can proceed to go back and forth together Damon does.

Another present that type of meets in the center of this trope is Once ~ above a Time. Killian Jones aka Captain Hook was absolutely not top top the same category of “good” as the Savior, aka Emma Swan was, once they to be introduced. Once we an initial met him, he was teaming through Cora that was the huge bad in ~ the time. Transforms out, that was just doing what he assumed was important to avenge the fatality of his late lover.


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When that met Emma, that really began to burned his villainous skin and also become vulnerable. He aided her the end on many occasions and also started to treatment for both her and her family. Eventually, the two fell in love and lived happily ever after, but with the way he was first introduced, you would have never believed that was gonna happen. I guess people love the idea of one person an altering another person to end up being better. My inquiry is – why walk a person need to start off being negative at all?

When a character starts off together a damaging person and the an ext the show progresses v them as a bad person, it makes you not want to root because that them. Among my best contentions v Once top top a Time is Regina’s arc. She was the evil Queen and during she reign, and also she did a many of damaging things.

As the display went on, and also while Regina ongoing to do an ext evil things, they attempted to do us believe that she actually did have actually a heart and also felt things. The difficulty is the they invested so lot time at first trying come convince us that she to be awful and also evil, that for united state to think that she did have a heart of gold to be a bit far-fetched. The is as if the authors just adjusted their psychic ,and want her come be regarded as a far better person once in fact, because that so long, she to be not.

As i said, this trope can be extremely tricky, yet there is a factor it is excellent so often. Opposites attract and it is as straightforward as that. Just kidding – the a many more complicated than that.

This trope is a wonderful way to develop facility characters. Characters, prefer Sawyer native Lost, are some of the many well-written and fascinating personalities out there. Sure, world love Jack – ns actually favor Jack a many – but the characters that room more facility and have actually layers ~ above layers often tend to be more beneficial come a display than just another straight-laced character.

Alex Karev (Grey’s Anatomy) easily came to be one of the most exciting characters later on in the collection run because each season sort of peeled back another great of him. The went from gift an stroked nerves misogynist to someone who deeply cares around his work and his friends and family. Izzie, Meredith, Jo, etc. Every played a component in helping us recognize why Karev was the way he was when the show first started. Now, he probably has one of the greatest hearts of gold in the series.

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This trope, choose all others, theatre out in different ways on various shows. Yet they all have an finish goal the making us truly feeling for a character. And also I have to say, they typically succeed.