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Life is short; When you're done, you're done.

We're on this earth to have some fun.

This character is strongly motivated by a desire to be happy and experience various kinds of pleasure. Unlike an Ethical Hedonist, however, the character isn't mature enough to sufficiently consider even his own long-term needs, much less the (short-term or long-term) needs of others. Personal instant gratification is the goal here. Sometimes Flanderized so that the pursuit of pleasure becomes the character’s only defining trait, doing whatever feels good without any thought of the consequences. "I did it for the lulz" might just as well be his motto.

Such a childish mentality is often justified by the character actually being a child. If the character is adult, he might be a sex maniac… lovable or otherwise.

While usually Played for Laughs, this kind of character is sometimes played as a Strawman Political against Ethical Hedonists or people with a Hedonistic Lifestyle. Unlike these real hedonists, a childishly hedonistic character is not prone to consider other people’s happiness, or even his own long-term happiness: Instant gratification is gold. If it feels good right now, live it up! Why waste time on thinking? Thinking isn’t fun! Unless you are thinking about how to get what you want as quickly and effortlessly as possible, that is.

It's original to compare this general viewpoint to the original hedonists, who believed you should basically do the opposite; true happiness is the opposite of desires, which cause pain. So you shouldn't do anything you really want. You can imagine any of the characters on this page laughing ruthlessly at the idea.

Compare Protagonist-Centered Morality (for this trope played sympathetically). For Happiness is another related trope.

No Real Life Examples, Please.

Examples of The Hedonist include:


Anime and Manga Edit

  • The apostle Wyald from Berserk. His motto is "enjoyment and excitement!" The fact that he says this while he is raping a farm girl who helped the Band of the Hawk (whom he and his Black Dog Knights have been hired to kill) illustrates all we need to know about his nature.
  • Greg from A Cruel God Reigns. He doesn't care that he rapes and Mind Rapes his step-son Jeremy to the point that Jeremy is Driven to Suicide and eventually ends up committing Vehicular Sabotage. He is convinced that what he is doing is fine and that love is about taking what you want (even though it is clearly not what Jeremy wants). Luckily for Jeremy and the audience, Jeremy's Vehicular Sabotage against him is a Karmic Death.
  • Cross Marian of D. Gray-Man to an extent. He likes to smoke and drink, and his hobby in the character book is visiting red-light districts. He's not a bad guy though. It's been shown he does respect women, and he's a gentleman. He hits on Lenalee, a 16-year-old girl. But earlier, he protected her on the crumbling ark. It seems, however, he does like to embrace the pleasures life has to offer -- loving the finest wine, sake, and beautiful things. Word of God says he lives hiding many bitter things, has hardships, and blows off steam in amazing ways. So, his hedonism is probably a way of blowing off steam, or trying to feel better in the midst of horrible war.
    • His character quote in the fanbook is "Sake is the best medicine." So, he apparently finds drinking to be good for healing for feeling bad.
  • Gauron from Full Metal Panic! does pretty much everything For the Evulz, because he gets off on it. Even Kalinin didn't expect Gauron to be such an extreme, insane, depraved pleasure-seeker. One ironically humorous moment shows Kalinin thinking to himself that, no matter what, Gauron is a smart pro that would value his life about everything else and would never do stupid things for short-term pleasure. And then... a short while later, Gauron is shown getting off on his fight with Sousuke, which culminates in his attempt at a double suicide with Sousuke just for the sheer pleasure of it.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya will do anything for her own amusement, to the point where she will use Mikuru as her personal toy.
  • Onigumo/Muso from Inuyasha. Unlike the more calculating Naraku, Onigumo/Muso is simply a violent psychopath who's after the best that life has to offer.
  • The Queen's Blade character Menace certainly fits. In her first life, she spent all her time playing with her huge lesbian harem, so much so that she allowed her kingdom to collapse into decay and corruption without care, so long as she could keep partying. Even though this eventually got her killed, after being revived, her sole goal is to rebuild Amara, her former kingdom, and go right back to her endless days and nights of lesbian pleasure.
    • Queen's Blade Grimoire features Hansel, the split-personality of Gretel, who enjoys fighting women and having their company. Then there's Despina who kidnaps women and makes them part of her personal harem.
  • Giriko from Soul Eater. He spends most of his free time drinking and hitting on hench-women, is lazy as sin, and acts disturbingly touchy-feely with the teenage girl he's attempting to kill.
    • Thanks to his sadistic liking for violence, Stein gets accused of this by his Morality Chain spirit. Even taking Stein's later Character Development into account, he has a point.
  • From Sword Art Online, Nobuyuki Sugo/Oberon the Fairy King. His lust for power and treatment of Asuna gives him some exaggerated hedonistic qualities.
  • Tsukiyami Shuu from Tokyo Ghoul. He surrounds himself with the finest things in life, and he's obsessed with experiencing the most unique and pleasing flavors. Classical music, fine literature, beautiful flowers, interesting people, and designer clothing are all things he savors.
  • Almost everyone in Toriko is a hedonist thanks to delicious food being Serious Business. The difference between the good guys and the bad guys is that the good guys are Ethical Hedonists and the bad guys... are not.
  • In World's End Harem where billions of men died due to a virus, leaving the women to run the world that collapsed, Five Men who are immune and survived were found: Hino Kouji, the #1 male, is thrilled with the way the world has become and considers it to be heaven on earth, where women will make all his sexual fantasies a reality. He shows no concern on the mission to repopulate the planet; he cares that women attend to his pleasures.

Comic Books Edit

  • Part of what makes the Purple Man such a Complete Monster. He's been abusing his Mind Control powers for sex since the Comics Code Authority would allow it (and just For the Evulz for way longer than that).
  • In one of the Judge Dredd crossovers with Batman, an entire cult of hedonists decided to go into self-imposed isolation from the rest of Megacity One in a Megadome, where they could indulge themselves until the end days. Unfortunately, without protection by the Law, this made them easy targets for the Joker and his Dark Judges, who lock themselves in with the cultists and proceed to slaughter them all. As Judge Mortis put it, he's a "Deadonist."
  • The Mighty Thor: Lorelei, the younger sister of villainous Amora the Enchantress. Amora is actually the more sympathetic sibling, since she does on some level genuinely care about a few other people and regrets that she ruined her best opportunities for happiness with her villainous ways. Lorelei is basically a younger version of Amora, minus any of her redeeming qualities. When Amora tried to persuade Lorelei to change her ways, Lorelei pondered it for a moment before laughing it off.
  • In Preacher, two Fallen Angels embrace hedonism by opening a hotel in Las Vegas and indulging themselves with drugs and sex. One of them tells his friend that if he knew what life on earth had to offer, he would have gotten himself kicked out of Heaven centuries ago. His only regret is that he didn't fall when Joan of Arc was still alive.
  • The main theme of the Wanted Comic Book. The hero is happy when he becomes a supervillain and begins randomly insulting and murdering people at will. Oddly enough, the villain also believes this exact same creed -- he's frustrated that the current Masquerade prevents appropriately powerful supervillains from simply causing worldwide pandemonium.


Fan Fic Edit

  • In Calvin and Hobbes The Series, the heroes' future selves turn out to be this. They'll go to any lengths to find fun... any lengths..
  • In Diaries of a Madman, Navarone turns into one as a coping mechanism for the psychological trauma he suffers over the course of the story.

==
Films -- Animated ==

  • Timon and Pumbaa from The Lion King. The main conflict from their part of the story is Simba's conflict over whether to continue his carefree lifestyle with them or to stand up and retake his place as king from Scar. He chooses the latter.
  • The Princess and the Frog: This serves as Prince Naveen's Fatal Flaw -- he's a raging pleasure-seeker who doesn't want (or rather, doesn't really know how) to actually work towards anything.

Films -- Edit

  • Dr. Frank N Furter from The Rocky Horror Picture Show does whatever he pleases in the name of "absolute pleasure".
  • The original version of the movie Alfie.
  • The main character in Bad Lieutenant Port of Call New Orleans, which mostly consists of getting high and getting laid. When they say he's "bad," they're not kidding around.
  • Tim and Eric's The Comedy provides an especially unfunny and a very harsh critique/deconstruction of this by taking hedonism to a new level which seems to be the only reason every one of the main character hedge-fund kids and their other hipster friends have to live.
  • Jenny from Forrest Gump becomes this in her adulthood, and a rather tragic example at that. Her parental abuse motivating her desire for happiness drives her into becoming a borderline junkie, getting one abusive boyfriend after another, and contemplating suicide. Her promiscuous life eventually causes her to die from AIDS.
  • Many characters in the Hellraiser series are this is varying degrees, inevitably leading them to the lament configuration.
  • Titus from Jupiter Ascending. He's too busy with his zero-G splice orgies to be bothered with things like keeping the company running. It's established at the start that he's squandered his inheritance and suffered a recent financial setback, and needs Earth for funds.
  • The Rapture: Sharon, Randy, and the other swingers. Sharon is tired of the lifestyle though and becomes a Christian, bringing Randy with her.
  • Sutter Keely in The Spectacular Now -- a teenager with zero plans, whose interest lies only in living in the moment.
  • The World's End: The Perky Goth Man-Child protagonist Gary King has only one ambition in life -- to "have a good time."
  • X-Men Film Series:
  • As an Oxford graduate student, Charles Xavier had a large appetite for bedding lovely co-eds and for imbibing liquor, and the latter becomes debilitating after he falls prey to alcoholism. It's part of his psychological maturation to gradually discard his selfish pursuit of sensual gratification and replace it with a selfless For Happiness perspective.
  • The Wolverine: Noburo Mori likes to indulge in drugs and prostitutes.


Literature Edit


Live-Action TV Edit

  • One key difference between Faith and Buffy was this. Faith lived life every second like she wanted to... and when accidents happened (like the murder of an innocent) that knocked Buffy for a loop, she merely "took care of the body" and went on as if nothing happened.
    • Except she was obviously feeling guilty as hell. And while she clearly enjoyed being able to do what she wanted, when she wanted, what she truly desired was a life more like Buffy's and, if she couldn't have that, make Buffy become more like her to ease the jealousy.
    • Early Faith is a Nietzschean, not a Hedonist. Being a Slayer (she thinks) means you are Above Good and Evil and can do whatever you want. Saving x lives means you can kill any number of people less than x, since you will still be in the plus column.
  • The future version of Castiel in Supernatural episode "The End."
    • Gabriel (also known as the Trickster) appears to be this, tormenting others for his entertainment, creating women out of thin air, gorging himself on chocolate and other desserts. Then of course it's revealed that, although he does enjoy it, he actually means some of the lessons he claims to be trying to teach and seems a little miserable under his Trickster persona.
    • Then there's Balthazar (funny how all of these are angels). His reaction to the good guys derailing the Apocalypse is to grab a bunch of valuable weapons, fake his own death and start doing whatever the hell he wants on Earth ("This morning I had a menage a...what's the French for twelve?"). When Castiel catches up to him, he insists he's just following the example Cas set. "You showed me we could do anything, so I'm trying everything."
  • Maryann on True Blood.


Music Edit

  • In the vocaloid song Evil Food Eater Conchita by mothy, we have Banica Conchita.
  • Foetus takes this to its extreme with a lyrical style and song-structure style similar to Tom Waits with over half of his songs being about the despair this sort of lifestyle can bring about.
  • The Katy Perry song "Last Friday Night" portrays her as this in spades.
  • The Residents' Tweedles! is pretty much an entire album dedicated to this, sung from the point of view of an emotionally-devoid narcissistic sexual deviant.
  • Tom Waits is in love with writing songs from the perspective of characters whose driving mentality epitomizes this trope: "Jockey Full of Bourbon", "A Good Man Is Hard to Find", "Get Lost", "Satisfied", "Tango 'Til They're Sore", and "Goin' Out West" being just a few examples.


Mythology Edit

  • Dionysos from Greek Mythology was essentially the god of hedonism. Technically he was the god of wine, but he and his followers formed an entire religion that was basically a drinking contest. Being a Greek god, he was also a huge Jerkass to anyone who objected to his followers' debauchery -- one king who persecuted Dionysos' flock (whose own mother was a follower of Dionysos) was caught spying on them and was torn limb from limb while they were in the throes of madness. Even worse, his own mother stuck his head on a stick and didn't recognize him until it was too late. Dionysos' creed was basically "Eat, drink, and be merry -- or I'll kill you."
    • On a more highbrow note, Dionysos was the patron of Tragedy -- even the name of the genre comes from him (tragedy=trag-oida=goat-song; a goat was one of Dionysos' major symbols). Whether or not this detracts from him being a hedonist depends on perspective: while your average people these days would say that tragedy's Downer Endings are mighty depressing, people who actually understand the Greeks -- including the average Ancient Greek -- would argue that Tragedy is actually pretty pleasurable.
    • Actually, Pentheus (the king in question) suffered because he wouldn't recognize Dionysos as a god; it was also about revenge. Agave, Pentheus' mother, was the sister of Dionysos' mother Semele. To shorten and simplify the story, Semele's family were mean to her when she was pregnant and wouldn't believe her when she said Zeus was the father and her son is going to be a god. Dionysos specifically wanted to establish his cult in Thebes to prove his mother was telling the truth. The rest of the family suffered grisly fates too like Actaeon (another cousin). Ultimately, the family became extinct and another royal house ruled Thebes.


Newspaper Comics Edit

Pinball Edit

Tabletop Game Edit

  • The color Red in Magic: The Gathering is this philosophy to its Tabletop Game conclusion. It has cards that are awesomely damaging to the target...but tends to leave the caster wide open to counterattack (when the spells don't damage the caster, too). Red is passionate and powerful, but the cost of that power is that it doesn't consider the effects and often harms itself. Compare with its allied colors Black, which knows the negative side effects and chooses them anyway, and Green, which is just as primal and wild but is also devoted to the arts of healing. Contrast with opposing colors Blue, which is all about careful thought, and White, which is about order and control (of one's self and others).
    • The (black) vampires on the plane of Zendikar are described as hedonistic. They are also, coincidentally, said to be the most advanced race on Zendikar.
    • Innistrad, a gothic plane, also have vampires, though they are separated into several clans. One clan, Markov, is more hedonistic than the rest.
  • Slaanesh from Warhammer and Warhammer 40000. He- she? it?- is literally the manifestation of all the Squick in the universe, while his followers are to a psychopath in it either For the Evulz or because Evil Feels Good. Lest we find the idea of a cult of hedonists even somewhat non-threatening, remember that this is 40K and their idea of a good time probably starts with "violate your intestines through your belly button" and just goes in whatever random direction they can find from there.
  • In the Dungeons and Dragons setting Planescape, the Sensates are a faction dedicated to experiencing every sensation and act that they can -- good as well as bad. Many members take this as an excuse to become hedonists; they are looked down on for indulging one sensation--pleasure--to the exclusion of all others, and to blinding themselves to new experiences. These members are commonly sent to a hold the Sensates have in Arborea, where they get to do nothing but blindly indulge their hedonist ways, over and over again for the rest of their lives without ever experiencing anything new (and before you ask, the door is open. Anyone sent there can leave any time they want. So far, nobody has).


Theatre Edit

  • Fiyero in the musical Wicked: "Nothing matters but knowing nothing matters... It's just life, so keep dancing through!"
    • Well, at least until he goes through some massive Character Development and some of his frivolous comments and beliefs become painfully ironic.
  • Val in Babes in Arms declares himself to be this (although whether he remains so is unclear, since his ideologies shift constantly).
  • In Antony and Cleopatra, this trait is shared by the Egyptians. Antony has also adopted the tendency due to being in Egypt for so long.


Video Games Edit

  • In Assassin's Creed III, Thomas Hickey is one of the villains, but unlike the other Templars that Connor assassinates, he's not in it for their principles of Order; he just goes along with them because they pay well. All he wants out of life is girls and booze, and his Motive Rant to Connor is all about how he, unlike the Assassin, can have what he wants. That is, until Connor kills him.
  • In Asura's Wrath Augus has Greed as his Mantra affinity, and it shows. He lives for pleasure above all else: sleeping with beautiful maidens, eating good food, drinking fine wines. Most of all, he enjoys a good fight.
  • Diablo III has Azmodam. Justified because he is the lord of sin.
  • Isabela from Dragon Age II seems to live for three things: the thrill of adventure, alcohol, and sexual gratification (from men and women both).
  • Shannon of God Hand. Her search for pleasure is never-ending and often involves mortal men being used as her "toys".
  • After only getting two or so scenes in Kingdom Hearts II, Demyx was somewhat fleshed out as this is Kingdom Hearts 358 Days Over 2. He's more interested in writing songs than following orders, and isn't above bribing Roxas to finish his missions for him.
  • Vorador from the Legacy of Kain series has fully embraced the image of vampires as creatures of indulgence when Kain meets him in Blood Omen. Kain is fairly disgusted with Vorador when he first meets him, quipping that the once great warrior had been defeated by his own hedonism.
  • Morinth of Mass Effect 2 is a killer afflicted with a condition that makes her kill those she has sex with, which has an addictive effect upon her. She's been spending centuries getting her kicks with either slaughter, music or drugs as well as evading her mother Samara.
  • MOTHER 3's main villain and recurring antagonist, Porky has traveled through time and space to experience every little bit of joy he can in his extremely long life. After perhaps thousands of years, he has decided to end all existence, just because it's the only thing he has yet to do. Eventually, he's sealed in a capsule that cannot be broken into or out of, forever, and he enjoys it.
  • The Inklings of Splatoon as a whole are described as leading a largely hedonistic lifestyle. They mostly care about fun, parties, and looking good. It gets to the point that, in the backstory of the game, the Inklings started off at a great disadvantage in the Great Turf War because they couldn't wake up early enough in the morning to fend off the Octarians' first assaults, and that in the present time Cap'n Cuttlefish and his agents are the only ones doing something about the Octarians' plans.
  • Suika Ibuki from Touhou, who has never been seen sober for centuries. Most other characters in Touhou also have various vices that they indulge in. It helps that the majority of them aren't human.


Web Comics Edit

Web Original Edit

  • In The Gungan Council, Deagan Hunt and XoChitl Salvaje, as Zeltrons, and Kirk search for the thrills and pleasures in life for their own reasons.


Western Animation Edit

  • General Iroh from Avatar: The Last Airbender pretended to be very much the hedonist, much to the chagrin of his naive nephew who refused to see that the evil empire didn't deserve their loyalty. For Iroh, life's little pleasures are more important than doing his duty... but only when his duty is actually evil, destructive or plain unworthy. Whenever he has a worthy cause to fight for, he's dedicated and self-sacrificing if needed.
  • Hedonism-bot of Futurama. How hedonistic is he? He's so hedonistic, he has his solid gold body smothered in chocolate.
    • The DVD commentary for Futurama stated that he was not simply a hedonistic robot but he was hedonism itself, which is why he is not called "Hedonist-bot". It wouldn't have done him justice.
    • How wonderfully decadent!
    • And he apologizes for nothing!
    • Your tax dollars at work!
  • Beezy on Jimmy Two-Shoes lives his life basically eating, sleeping, hanging out with Jimmy and dating Saffi. He seems to put his happiness first beyond anything. He's still one of the few decent people on the show.
  • In an episode of The Simpsons a self-help guru gets the entire town going on this motto -- specifically, acting like Bart. The whole thing falls apart at the festival celebrating this newfound freedom, the main catalyst being when a handyman decides he didn't "feel like" greasing the Ferris wheel so it wouldn't fall off its hinges and go on a rampage.
  • Time Squad: The Larry 3000 seems to split being The Spock and The Hedonist about 50/50. He gives a good show of being uptight and prissy, and the casual viewer might mistake him for being the Only Sane Man to Tuddrussel's Boisterous Bruiser, but truthfully the a nice chunk of the mission hang-ups happen as a result of him getting distracted and siding with whomever is messing up history if they promise more fun than fixing it would.

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