Doing the right thing is messy, but if you want to fight for what's right, sometimes you have to fight dirty.
~ Deadpool.
When one's young, it seems very easy to distinguish between right and wrong. But, as one gets older, it becomes more difficult. The villains and the heroes get all mixed up.
~ Rene Mathis.

An Anti-Hero is the opposite of an Anti-Villain; while the anti-villain plays a villain's game, but for a noble cause, the anti-hero often fights on the side of good, but with selfish motives.

Anti-Heroes (also spelled Anti Heroes or antiheroes) are heroic characters who lacks several heroic qualities compared to the original heroes of fiction and folklore - these popular characters can be rude, selfish, disloyal, obnoxious, violent, killer or even be a criminal in nature, but will still fight on the side of good, whether they are willing, or forced to. 

They are not as kind, noble or heroic as their other heroes, but they are ultimately the hero of their stories in spite of their unusual attitudes. Simply put an Anti Hero is a hero with bad qualities who never stops functioning as the hero; he/she saves the day despite having a bad attitude, being a bungler, being selfish, etc.

However, they don't have to be selfish, rude, or precisely criminal all the time, they can be polite and nice in nature, due to the part they're not good or evil, but in between the two alignments. Thus, it is possible and in fact very common to be both an anti-hero and anti-villain at the same time, depending on the character's goal and their methods of attaining it. They also can be in the center of being in the Grey Zone, depending on their alignment (though an Anti-Hero is not necessary in the Grey Zone and can be outrightly good). Alternatively, characters that are meant to be seen as heroes in universe or out, but are not really all that evil, such as a Heroes by Proxy, may also be this.

One thing almost all anti-heroes have in common is that they live by the philosophy "the ends justify the means", meaning they employ harsh or even villainous methods in order to reach their goals.

Examples of popular anti-heroes include Deadpool, Rorschach, Jimmy Hopkins, Dean Winchester, some incarnations of The Doctor from Doctor Who, Ash Williams, Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lelouch vi Britannia, Derek Hale, Integra Hellsing, Ryu Hayabusa, Wolverine from the film adaptation of X-Men comics, Severus Snape, Red X, Shadow the Hedgehog and Diego from Ice Age franchise.

Anti-Heroes are not Pure Good, due to the fact that a Pure Good is incorruptible, selfless, loyal, civil, polite, and merciful. If an anti-hero does become Pure Good, please remove this category from the said character's article.


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