bad boyz.

(whenever i think of bad boys, i think of this video.  CLASSIC STUDIO C!)

My sister and I have recently gotten into Gilmore Girls.  Mild obsession there, totally justified because it’s just SO. GOOD.  The dialogue is witty and quick, there isn’t a flimsy, undeveloped character in sight, and the story is amazing.  Not to mention the ships.  *clutches heart*  Luke&Lorelai forevahhhh.

If you aren’t familiar with it, the story follows Lorelai Gilmore and her daughter Rory and the ups and downs that go with growing up in a small town and trying to make their way in the world.  With that comes a series of boyfriends for both women, starting with Max for Lorelai and Dean my precious, angry ray of sunshine for Rory.  Everything goes fine for Dean and Rory – they love each other, they’re adorable, they help each other…

Then Jess Mariano comes in town.


He’s super smart and loves to read, but hates going to school.  In the first episode he’s in, he steals Rory’s book, writes notes in the margins, and gives it back.  He’s dashingly handsome and knows it, rebellious, hates living in Stars Hollow, and basically wants to be anywhere else but where he is – and grouchily lets everybody know it.

My sister – and the entire female population of the show’s viewers, apparently – immediately fell in love.  Understandably, too.  He’s had a super hard life, a rough childhood, and nobody seems to see past his “bad boy” facade and try to figure out who he really is underneath that.  (And my sister didn’t fall in love with him because he was hot, although it was a contributing factor.  She loved him because nobody else seemed to, because she wanted to see him succeed, and because she thought he had potential.  Completely understandable.)

I, on the other hand, didn’t like him.  I liked Dean.  Dean was precious and sweet and may have had some anger problems and was a little controlling, but there was so much LOVE between him and Rory!

If you’ve seen the show, you know what happens.  (And if you haven’t, here be spoilers.)  For some reason, Rory becomes infatuated with this kid.  Dean notices and gets ticked.  Rory tries to keep their relationship going, but she’s too distracted by the new kid.  Eventually, Dean gives up and breaks up with Rory, culminating in one of the most intense throw-downs of all TV history, second only to their massive fight at the end of the third season.  Rory and Jess immediately get together.  Because he doesn’t know how to communicate, they work together, but not as well as they could have.

jess and rory.jpg

To be completely honest, I still don’t really like Jess.  (WHY DOES HE HAVE TO BE SO CUTE, THOUGH?!)  I want him to be redeemed, but I can’t stand how rude he is to Rory.  My sister and I are at the end of the third season, and while I still don’t love him, he’s grown on me a little.  But STILL.  He’s gruff, rude, selfish, and does a lot of irresponsible things to get Rory’s attention.  My sister and I have had a lot of conversations about him and other bad boys.

There are so many of these “bad boy” characters on the screen today.  Shawn Hunter from Boy Meets World, Dean Winchester from Supernatural*, Moriarty from Sherlock, Jack Harkness from Doctor Who*, Jayne Cobb (and, to an extent, Malcolm Reynolds) from Firefly, Han Solo and Kylo Ren from the Star Wars franchise, Loki from the Marvel movies, half the guys from The Outsiders, and Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter.  (Starred are characters/shows that I’m aware of and know enough about, but don’t watch.  Just fyi.)

These bad boy characters are suave, always have problems with authority, have a devil-may-care attitude about everything, are kind of cocky or disrespectful, usually don’t treat ladies well, get into fights easily, are played by super hot actors, and typically wear leather.  (Does Draco wear leather?  I need to look into this.)

Girls typically swoon over them faster than the “good guys” on the show, or – like me – find themselves inexplicably drawn to this character, regardless of their initial hatred.  I’ve become deeply interested with the bad boy characters because they’re so interesting.  A few of my favorites are Shawn, Mal, and the boys from The Outsiders.  (If you’ve never liked a bad boy character, congratulations.  You’re a special snowflake.)

shawn hunter

So why are bad boys so entrancing?  All of the above characteristics should be immediate turn-offs… shouldn’t they?  Why do girls fall in love with them so quickly?

Well, let’s look at Rory’s situation.  Jess was mysterious.  He had a troubled past.  (They all do, don’t they…)  More than that, he needed her help.  At least, she thought he did.

My theory is that Rory and other female heroines who fall in love with these types of guys have some kind of Superman complex.  If only they could save this guy, he’d be such a catch!  And sometimes they don’t even go that far – he’s just so hot they can’t help but want to save him, regardless of what he does in return.  They pity him because of his troubled past or because “he’s just misunderstood” or because he’s just so smooth and hot and looks good lounging against a street sign when he should be in school.  A friend also suggested that they promise adventure.


Most of all, women were born with an innate desire to nurture, and sometimes we pick the worst off.  This leads me to always fall in love with and cheer on the underdog.  Show me a slightly pathetic, deserves-everything-yet-has-nothing character and I’ll keep him for forever.  Neville Longbottom, Shawn Hunter, Johnny Cade – those are the kinds of guys my mothering nature leads me to.  For others, that may mean the bad boy character.  If you can heal or help him, you will.

I personally think that the bad boys often have the most potential.  If they can get out of that bad situation, they’ll stop at nothing to keep themselves from going back.  I’ll take a redeemed bad boy over an unchanging good guy any day.

So what do you think?  Agree?  Disagree?  Do you fall for bad boys or do you prefer good guys?


29 thoughts on “bad boyz.

  1. Pingback: love week | some fanvids of my favorite ships. | inklings press

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  4. “I personally think that the bad boys often have the most potential. If they can get out of that bad situation, they’ll stop at nothing to keep themselves from going back. I’ll take a redeemed bad boy over an unchanging good guy any day.”

    aMEN SOMEBODY SAID WHAT I KEEP TRYING TO EXPLAIN TO PEOPLE THANKKK YOU. I guess I like redeemed bad boys because they give me hope?? I just love seeing other people fight inner evil and WIN. I don’t really imagine myself actually falling in love with someone like that, though– just in fiction. 🙂

  5. So I’ve seen some of Girl Meets World because I’m a nanny, but I didn’t even know until like a week ago that there was such a thing as Boy Meets World. *facepalm*

    I LOVE the Anne Shirley quote someone gave above! I also think there’s a difference between fictional bad-boy characters that we like to watch/read about, and real-life bad boys that we might actually fall in real-life love with. 😛

    • HA! Well, GMW is the sequel show and Boy Meets World is about all the parents (Cory, Topanga, Shawn, Minkus, Eric, etc). BMW isn’t on Netflix, but I think most of the episodes are on YouTube (unless you want to be absolute trash like me and just buy all the DVDs XD).

      Same! YES. Definitely. 🙂

  6. I, um, tend to love bad boys. This is a struggle of mine. 😛 They’re just so, UH, I can’t explain it, but you did a pretty darn good job in this post! Totally agree. And now I really want to see Gilmore Girls because it looks darling.


  7. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

    I’ve thought about this a lot myself, but your post is making me think even more . . .

    Is there really such a thing as two separate categories, “good guys” and “bad boys”? I mean . . . aren’t we ALL a little “bad”? Guys and girls both? Because we’re all imperfect; we all have issues we’re struggling with. You can’t really put people in categories–you have to judge them as individuals.

    I’m not saying there’s no such thing as a “bad person,” because obviously that’s not true; but I guess I mean that, if somebody SEEMS “bad,” you have to think about WHY they’re that way, are they trying to become better or not, and THEN make your decision on whether or not you’re going to be friends with them. Or date them. Or whatever.

    Case in point: Shawn Hunter, from “Boy Meets World.” *heart-eyes emoji* He’s my baby, and ain’t nothin’ ever going to change that. He’s not perfect, but he’s not TRYING to be awful, either–he’s just had a pretty rough life (wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy more so than Corey) and it wouldn’t be fair to push him aside as a “bad boy” who doesn’t deserve to have us care about him.

    (Not saying that’s what YOU said–because of course you didn’t–I’m just saying that’s something one COULD say if one were taking the whole “good guy/bad boy” thing too far, and that’s why I want to avoid that.)

    Man. That was a long, rambling comment. Blame it on grad school sucking all the energy out of my brain 😉

    • I definitely agree. Good characters have good and bad qualities, but some just have more of one than the other. Some are more clearly “bad,” just like some are more clearly “good.”

      I completely agree that you have to step back and think about the WHY before you just judge them.

      And SHAWN, YES, MY CHILD. He was definitely influenced by his background, and he accepted it for a while and thought that he HAD to be that way (see my favorite episode, “Wrong Side of the Tracks”). And he was redeemed in the end, so that puts him in a sub-category of Ex-Bad-Boys. I do care about him and I do love him and he’s my favorite character in the show because his story arc and how his character changes over the duration of the show is just so fascinating and I love how realistic it is. (This is also why my sister fell in love with Jess Mariano – because he was so real.)

      Haha, sorry about grad school! I know the feel. I replied to your comment during a break from writing a 10-page paper on selective mutism. *yawn* Thanks for commenting!!!

      • Exactly. It’s more about seeing a character with flaws who needs to be redeemed–and who hopefully WILL choose to redeem themselves, because obviously you can’t make that choice for them–than it is about seeing a “Bad Boy” per se. Because not all the bad characters are boys, or even male 😉

        It’s all right . . . I do love it, it’s super interesting and challenging and fun, just REALLY HARD WORK. (Two books per week! And writing something about each book! Hooray! (Not).)

        • Definitely – yes yes yes. And that’s so true. 🙂

          SAME. And I’ve been reading 2+ books a week and writing essays about each. It’s been NUTS. I feel ya.

  8. I once read a blog post about this subject that suggested girls like “bad boys” for their confidence. They don’t EVER care what other people think, and that can be attractive. However, there are also plenty of good guys (Steve Rogers, Gilbert Blythe, Henry Tilney…) who have confidence as well. They’re just more humble about it. 😉
    As much as I love SOME “bad boys”, I definitely prefer good guys. I want to marry someone mature and confident and admirable, though of course not perfect, because we know no one is 😉 As Anne Shirley so aptly put it, “I’d like to marry someone who COULD be wicked….and wouldn’t.”

    Anyways, this was a great post!!

    ps. Kylo Ren is a villain to me. A fascinating villain, but still a villain. I don’t see how anyone can find him attractive. I’d like to see him change, yes, but beyond that….um, no.

    • Interesting! That’s definitely why I’ve fallen for some bad boys. And humble confidence is always better. 🙂

      Same here. I wouldn’t want to marry a bad boy, but I think they’re fascinating. And that Anne quote is SO perfect!!!


      PS: Yes, I agree. I think he’s super hot and I’d love it if his character got redeemed, but I’m not romantically attracted to him.

  9. Good points. Grace Pennington actually wrote a similar post about a year ago.

    I’ve never been drawn to a “bad boy.” They always make me feel uncomfortable. I don’t like Jack Harkness, Kylo Ren, or Loki, and while I don’t hate Han, he’s never been my favorite (still sad about the turn of events in TFA, though). I kind of get the mothering instinct, but I still don’t get why girls would get romantically involved with a bad boy. If you must help him, help him without becoming his girlfriend. Though honestly, the bad boy character could be dangerous. I wouldn’t trust Mr. Rochester. But a guy character that needs help and mothering doesn’t have to be “bad.” Plenty of people who are “good” have struggles and need help. Emotionally damaged men aren’t always dangerous. They can be good too. And the “good” guys are always way better. 🙂

    • I knew somebody had written a post like that and I forgot who it was so thank you for that. 🙂

      Completely understand. And the guy character who needs help without having to be bad (ie the underdog) is definitely my favorite archetype.

  10. Loved this post! Definitely agree with your explanation of why girls like us fall for bad boys. 🙂 It makes a lot of sense (I’ve never really thought about the whys and wherefores behind the attraction). I do have to admit that I tend to like good guys, like Steve Rogers, better than bad boys. (Though based on my new obsession with The Outsiders, that statement doesn’t really seem to hold water, does it? ;)) And, YES, to your reply to Naomi about wanting the bad guys to be redeemed. Yessss.

    By the way, I was reading this interview with Ralph Macchio (Johnny) and the interviewer described Johnny as ‘a pouty bad boy’. WHAT. That’s sooooo inaccurate. 😛


    • I hadn’t thought about it much either, but once I did, it intrigued me. 😛 Steve Rogers is ALWAYS a good idea . (And lol about The Outsiders. XD Ponyboy and Johnny technically aren’t bad guys, even though Johnny *cough* murdered somebody. *cough* Everybody’s got faults. :P) BAD GUYS WHO ARE REDEEMED ARE MY ONE WEAKNESS. I WILL TAKE THEM ANY DAY.

      Oh my gosh, that’s SO INACCURATE. I was watching the special features on the Complete Novel edition (alllll the heart eyes) and they described him as a “softer” bad boy, I think. Like he’s a “bad boy,” but he’s got a gentle side. (And, here’s me talking, you just wanna cuddle him and give him everything because he DESERVES EVERYTHING.)

      • Y’know, I never really think of the characters in The Outsiders (with the exception of Dally) as being really ‘bad’ or ‘rough’ or anything, but that’s probably because I’m seeing them through Ponyboy’s eyes. 🙂 (Ugh, don’t get me started on the fact that Johnny technically did murder someone. It’s just like in Jo’s Boys by Louisa May Alcott when one of my favorite fictional characters of all time ends up killing someone and basically the rest of their life is ruined.)

        Yes, I think that’s a good description of Johnny. HE DOES DESERVE EVERYTHING.

        • Exactly. (And he’s so precious, it doesn’t even matter.) Which just goes to show that Hinton was right – sometimes the labels we put on people are wrong. Like that Soc who didn’t like fighting, whatever his name was. (Haha, I know, I know. It was self-defense. Well, defending Pony. I’m not condoning murder, but at least there was a reason for it and it wasn’t just unbridled rage.)


  11. I definitely agree that most (I won’t say all because there are always exceptions) girls do have the Superman complex. We want to save the bad boys from themselves, and make them into the good guy they could be.
    Sometimes I think these characters are written into stories merely to gain a female following. More times than not, we tend to think with our emotions, and we all know how deceiving those can be 😉 But, there are such characters in real life, and they deserve all the love, hope, and care we can give them. Anyway, that’s my deep thought of the day 🙂

  12. GOOD GUYS ALL THE WAY. This is a Pet Peeve of mine… I hate how society nowadays love the ‘bad’ people. Girls like the bad boys. Boys like the bad girls. WHY. I’ve never had that – the baddest boy I feel in love with is Tom Branson in Downton Abbey, and he isn’t even bad. (I guess I’m a special snowflake? :-))

    However, I DO get why girls swoon at the idea of adventure and well, sometimes it’s cute when boys get into mischief… TO AN EXTENT. And one can be good and kind and mature while yet cheeky and adventurous. Those are the kinds I like best. 🙂 (Mature boys = me likey.)

    Rant over. 😛 Anyways, great post as always! I haven’t seen this show, but I’ve seen BITS on Youtube and those bits were cute. 🙂

    ~ Naomi

    • SAME. I mean, bad boys are entrancing and mysterious and I always want to figure them out, but I like my bad boys redeemed. I infinitely prefer the good guys. Haha, he barely counts. 😛

      YES. Definitely. Thank you! 🙂 And, yeah, it’s a great show. 🙂

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