Not Always Nice is the opposite of both Beware the Nice Ones and Not All Bad. In a lot of stories, the villain/villainess is quite presented as a Nice One to the heroes/heroines. But at some moment, they reveal his/her true nature by betraying the protagonists and revealing his/her negative intentions. The wrongdoer can even prove to the audience in the story that looks can truly be deceiving. Any villain, who acted as nice one, have ways to gain trust in the hero/heroine for their own purposes. Most Faux Affably Evil villains fall under this trope.
Sometimes it may happen that the hero can become a villain.
There are a few reasons these people may act like this:
- They may want to be selfish and arrogant or just unbiased to either side, but their morality keeps on getting in the way, even if it is to their detriment. They may put on a rude façade to try to counter it.
- They do consider themselves as better than everyone else, and their attitudes range from highly smug to insufferably intelligent to hubristic. After all, it is difficult for them to be nice to people when they do not even respect them. However, they still feel compelled to help these lower creatures on a regular basis.
- They are natural loners. Their senses of duty force them to perform heroic acts, but they do not consider chitchat or politeness to be parts of their obligations.
- They may want to be affable people, but they believe that being nice does not always get things done, and that accomplishing good requires them to do harsh and cruel acts, particularly if they have to teach something. (This may be an intermittent effect, applied only when necessary; contrast "Beware the Nice Ones", where such outbursts result from break-down. On the other hand, emotional trauma can coincide with the realization that nicety will not cut it.)
- They cannot afford to let others get close to them because their enemies will use others against them.
- They might wish to be nice but live so far outside normal human experience that they have no idea how to go about it; similarly, the hero might be autistic, or a non-human alien.
- The world the heroes live in is operated through such cynical ends, so the "strict good guy" routine does not work - either in the eyes of the author or in a literal in-universe sense.
- They intimidate enemies through every harsh demeanor.