Card-Carrying Villain

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
A scene from Checkerboard Nightmare's concept for a new comic book.

Burns: I'm absolutely evil.
Bart: You're preaching to the choir, man.
Burns: What do I have to do, grow a devil beard?

Appealing to my better nature? I'm a villain! Here is My Card! "Eve L. Duehr: Academy of Evil graduate, aspiring tyrant, kicker of kittens, and spontaneous singer of Barney songs." I crossed the Moral Event Horizon while still in grade school and have never once looked back. And you think you can talk me out of my evil deeds? Ahahahahahahahahaa!

Villains like this may be greedy, violent, Badass, etc. but most importantly, they are Evil. It's in the job description. They refer to themselves as Evil, with a capital "E". Stretch it out to "Eeeeeevil" for emphasis. (They may even pronounce the "I" with emphasized shortness. Ee-vill. Like the froo-it of the dev-ill.) Terminal cases even require their minions to call them "Your Evilness". In fact, calling them evil, vile, ruthless, or any generally negative epithet will be an Insult Backfire and be taken as the kindest of compliments.

The Card Carrying Villain demands to be respected and feared and on top of the heap over everyone else because Evil Is Cool and Good Is Dumb.

Thus, they are expected to Kick the Dog and never Pet the Dog. If they acted differently, they'd lose their Evil ranking. Especially ironic if the reason they fell was because they wanted freedom from constraints on their actions. Whatever action they as a good guy wanted to do is considered "bad", so they have to do other bad things as well now. After a while, they usually forget about whatever goal it was that turned them Evil in the first place. a very odd way, they're very much The Fettered; since their actions are bound by the expectation of Evil.

There are, in general, three spheres of Card Carrying Villainy:

  1. Control - the Villain wants to rule; be it a gang, a city, a state, the country, the world, or a similar goal, and have everyone else below them obey their every whim.
  2. Corruption - the Villain wants to turn other people Evil. Give in to The Dark Side!
  3. Destruction - the Villain wants to destroy and kill for its own sake. Taken to the extreme, the first and second spheres may recognize that this includes them as well, so this often results in Evil Versus Oblivion or Eviler Than Thou if the villain teams up with the heroes so they can Take Over the World at a later date. (You can't take over the world if it's not there!)

A Black Cloak, a low-ranking Terrible Trio, an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain, or someone who's succumbed to The Dark Side is usually most likely to identify themselves this way.

A subversion is for these folks to not actually be cruel, greedy, or unnecessarily violent, but just doing their jobs. A Noble Demon is a Card-Carrying Villain who talks the talk, but has a tendency to hold back or even help from time to time.

If not done right (and it is very, very easily done wrong), that is to say, if the card is too serious or obvious, the result can be cheesy, annoying, and Anvilicious. (Of all the evil people in Real Life, how many have ever self-identified as evil? Hitler, Stalin, and Mao—all of them believed with messianic zeal that they were doing good.) Though, in comedy situations/shows, this fate is usually averted, as it's a humorous thing (and thus right in place). It can also be used with a darker twist - showing a person so beyond redemption, so beyond what we call usual morality, that he is literally impossible to argue and reason with.

In the final stage, you have a villain who insists on justifying their actions because "it's what villains are supposed to do"; see Contractual Genre Blindness.

Not to be confused with My Card, where the villain emphasizes their evilness in this trope, My Card actually deals with a business card (and is not always for villains). For people who fight using cards, see Death Dealer. Oh, and this is also not to be confused with the villains in Yu-Gi-Oh!, as everybody seems to carry cards in that series.

Contrast with Knight Templar, a villain who completely believes that they are good. They can become a Card Carrying Villain if they have a Heel Realization and decide to keep being a villain anyway. Also contrast Moral Myopia, where the villain doesn't consider the evil he's doing to others to be wrong. taken too far, the villain might become a Complete Monster, especially when he/she has no moral restraints.

Card-carrying villains are particularly likely to do something For the Evulz.

Expect them to have relations with the dark and/or have evil powers.

See also Exclusively Evil, Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad, Lawful Stupid Chaotic Stupid, Stupid Evil, and Punch Clock Villain.

Why "card-carrying"? See the Trivia page.

Examples of Card-Carrying Villain include:


  • In this commercial for E*TRADE, Benedict Arnold seems proud of his reputation as the "infamous traitor".

Anime and Manga

  • Yu-Gi-Oh! gives us Yami Marik, the Super-Powered Evil Side of Marik Ishtar in the Battle City Arc. While Marik is primarily motivated by wanting revenge on the Pharoh, the man he believed responsible for killing his father, Yami Marik is primarily motivated by wanting to kill the universe, kicking as many dogs as he can along the way.
    • In the 4Kids dub, Marik Isthar also falls into this trope, going from a sympathetic motive to simply wanting to Take Over the World.
  • The Digimon Kaiser from Digimon Adventure 02 refered to himself as evil...before he became a good guy.
    • However, his entire over-the-top villainous persona makes sense when you discover that he thinks the Digital World isn't real, more like a very interactive video game. His constant Kick the Dog-ery is similar to any Marathon fan who shoots BOBs. His Heel Face Turn was immediate when he found out it was real and he never really forgave himself.
  • Happōsai from Ranma ½ has no motivation for being an asshole and enjoys making peoples' lives miserable, even more so when his students take the fall for him. He, at one point, declares himself "evil 'till the day [he] die[s]".
  • Pixy Misa in the Pretty Sammy series is the self-professed evil mistress of chaos and destruction
  • Ladd Russo from Baccano!! is a hammyPsycho for Hire who freely admits that all he loves is killing, killing, and more killing. When his uncle tells him "Homicidal lunatics think you're a nutcase!" He informs him that his "attempts at flattery are so ham handed."
  • Lelouch from Code Geass pretends to be a heartless supervillain in order to unite the world through common hatred of him, then allows himself to be killed so everyone can move on and work together towards peace. Yeah, Lulu can be a little weird.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 has the freaking incarnation of the third sphere, Ali Al-Saachez. Gundam series generally (pretend to) have multidimensional villains with some understandable motivations. Or, at least, villains that are good at self-justification and excuses. Ali is probably the only villain in the entire franchise to readily admit that he loves war for war's sake, that he commits his (numerous) crimes For the Evulz, and that this makes him the worst sort of person in the world. He has absolutely no problem with it.
  • Xellos from Slayers is this whenever he isn't siding with the protagonists. Being a powerful demon in the service of powers that want to destroy the world and feeding off from negative human emotions does that to a person. He makes an effort to avoid killing the good guys because they're such fun, though.
  • Dio from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is an insanely over the top version, with most of volume one devoted to his doing everything he can to crush the hero's soul while pontificating on how he's doing it all purely for evil's sake. Around the time he arranges for JoJo's dog to be thrown into a garbage incinerator, he crosses the line from regular villainy into cartoonish supervillainy.
  • Evangeline of Mahou Sensei Negima tries and fails to be a type 2. She makes token attempts to turn Negi and Asuna to The Dark Side as her "sub-bosses", and occasionally tries to scare people, but other than that, she doesn't do anything all that evil and, as a matter of fact, helps the heroes a lot. Negi attempts to point this out to her, but she still claims to be evil.
  • Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro has Neuro, an actual demon who enjoys eating mysteries; while he claims to be evil, he never kills humans and tends to be more an amoral Troll than a "monster". On the other hand, we have Sicks, who is a Complete Monster and doing it For the Evulz.
  • Saint Seiya has some complex villains (like Gemini Saga), and then some not-so-complex ones, like Cancer Deathmask, who collects human faces to stick on his temple walls, is a Complete Monster, and seems to be a Saint just For the Evulz. He does a bit of a Heel Face Turn later. Also, Hades, who just wants to destroy the world because it's what he tries to do every 200 years and it would be a shame to go off-schedule.
  • Most of the major villains in Fist of the North Star, even the most cruel ones, tend to avert this, with the exception of Kaioh, who clearly brags about being strengthened by evilness.
  • The Huckebein family in Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force, as shown by the interrogation scene with the captured Tohma, where Fortis explains how the Huckebein performs one of their trademark massacres of innocent settlements.

Tohma: You really are evil criminals.
Fortis: (While smiling and doing an "Oh, please" hand gesture) Didn't we introduce ourselves like that?

  • Hagurou Dou is one of these in Wolf Guy Wolfen Crest, as his goal in life is to be seen as a cold blooded monster. A rare example that is NOT Played for Laughs, considering what he is.
  • Mint from "Trouble Chocolate" is a parody of this.
  • Several villains (and heroes) in One Piece revel in their status as criminals and rejoice when their bounties increase. The Seven Warlords of the Sea are considered 'Government Dogs' for choosing to become privateers to the World Government. Nami doesn't see what all the fuss is about.
  • Lust from Fullmetal Alchemist is very proud of being evil. She revels in causing humans pain and suffering, and compliments Mustang's determination while he's killing her, stating that one day soon, his eyes will widen with agony and despair.
  • Team Rocket (the whole organisation, not the Terrible Trio) in Pokémon. According to Cassidy and Billy, rivals to the trio, the motto they use is the real Team Rocket motto (where there are phrases like "To infect the world with devastation!" and "To blight all people in every nation!") and the motto Jessie and James use is, instead, a corrupted version (this version has phrases that imply that they see themselves as Knight Templars). Ironically, when Jessie and James updated their motto to become Card Carrying Villains (from Battle Frontier up to the end of Sinnoh), the motto Cassidy and Paunch use was also updated, and the phrases were Knight Templar-ish themselves.

Comic Books

  • Darkseid openly admits to being an evil god and that he desires to crush all happiness and free will in the Universe.
  • Kid Miracleman/Marvelman displays this trope when he goes over the edge. Moments after starting his slaughter-spree, he spares the life of a nurse who had been kind to him. He returns a moment later, saying "They'd only say I was going soft...", and pulverises the top of her skull with a blast of his eye-beams.
  • Most supervillain teams have names which identify them as evil; The Masters of Evil, the Injustice League, the Secret Society of Super-Villains, etc. Occasionally, as with the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, it's explained later that the characters don't see themselves as evil, but are aware others do and feel they can use this to their advantage.
    • The film version of X-Men avoids this by having Magneto simply call his group "The Brotherhood of Mutants".
    • Similarly, recent issues of Savage Dragon have subverted this a bit with the new Overlord referring to his team (the Vicious Circle) simply as The Circle. Since there are a number of similarities between Magneto's Brotherhood and Overlord's Circle, it's arguable that one is in response to the other.
    • In the comics, one version of the Brotherhood working for the US Government and led by Mystique takes a smart idea and calls itself by the innocuous moniker "Freedom Force" (Predating Freedom Force by almost 20 years).
  • Ava Lord from the Sin City story "A Dame to Kill For" identifies herself as evil in her Evil Gloating speech to Dwight McCarthy, who she has just manipulated into murdering her husband Damien so that she can inherit his money:

Ava: Insane? Ha! That's so easy, so convenient -- and so wrong. Crazy people push shopping carts down the streets and talk nonsense. Crazy people sit in padded cells and soil their pants. A madwoman couldn't have pulled this off. No. There's a word for what I am, but nobody uses it anymore. Nobody wants to see the simple truth. If they did, they'd kill people like me as soon as we revealed ourselves. But they don't. They close their eyes and blather about psychology and say that nobody is truly evil. That's why I've won. That's why I always win.

  • In Rick Veitch's early-2000s run on Aquaman, the titular hero confronts his archnemesis (and murderer of his son), Black Manta, and, after defeating him, uses his new magic powers to re-wire his brain and cure him of his autism; the painful and incompetent treatment he received as a child was part of why he'd become such an insane monster. He appears to turn himself around, but the apparent Freudian Excuse and Heel Face Turn are subverted when, at a critical moment, Manta stabs Aquaman in the back and explains: "Y'see, deep down, in my most secret heart of hearts, I'm still a totally depraved sonuvabitch whose main goal in life is to watch you die. Slowly and painfully. Just like your kid."
  • Queen of the Universe: Dober-Man.
  • Herr Starr of Preacher (Comic Book) starts out as a Knight Templar, but, in the end, admits, however unrepentantly, that he's become a "monster" obsessed with hatred and revenge.
  • The very first appearance of Captain America (comics)'s archenemy, the Red Skull, had him exit stage left saying "I'll be back - with more murder!"
  • The Joker once identified himself to Black Canary as "genuine, card-carrying, lock-me-up-throw-away-the-key lunatic!" It sparked a letter column debate (remember those?) about whether or not insane people could recognize themselves as being, well, insane.
  • Dirk Anger, Director of H.A.T.E in Nextwave.

I'm older'n you. I'm ninety years old. You want to know how I look so pretty? I take drugs. Special H.A.T.E. drugs. Life-extending drugs. H.A.T.E. has the best drugs because H.A.T.E. loves me. And I love H.A.T.E. Every day of my horrible drug-extended terrorist-fighting life. Every day I smoke two hundred cigarettes and one hundred cigars and drink a bottle of whiskey and three bottles of wine with dinner. And dinner is meat. Raw meat. The cook serves me an entire animal and I fight it bare-handed and tear off what I want and eat it and have the rest buried. In New Jersey! For H.A.T.E.!

  • During Dark Reign, Marvel Comics introduced Zodiac, a guy who killed every single member of an old supervillain team with the same name so he wouldn't be confused with them. Zodiac plots about the fall of Norman Osborn. Why? Because he finds Osborn's new position an insult to all who just wants to commit evil for it's own sake, like himself.
  • In Transformers Generation 2, Starscream ends up begging Optimus Prime to take the Matrix back, as he doesn't want to be good!.
  • In Judge Dredd, Pa Angel is openly trying to raise his sons to be the "meanest, orneriest, baddiest bunch a' men that ever lived." The boys are only too happy to learn from him.
  • Contagion, the villain of the first arc of Wolverine: The Best There Is.

I am not the hero in my own story. I am the bad guy. I have no end in mind that justifies my means. There are no skeletons in my closet, no abusive childhood or inciting misery that might expiate my vile behavior. Nor am I insane. I know the difference between good and evil. And I am fully capable of empathizing with the pain, emotional or physical, of others. No sociopath, I. Rather, I simply prefer bad over good. Wrong over right. Dirty over clean. Sick over healthy. Untrue over true.

  • Set, apparent leader of The Order in Invincible spin-off Guarding The Globe. In an issue released the same week as the issue in which Contagion makes the speech above, Set begins a meeting of The Order with this:

I've heard it said, everyone is the hero of their own story. The thought is that even the most vile villain believes his actions to be right and thinks of himself as "good". I am here to tell you, right now, that I am evil. I am greedy, selfish, I do not care for the plight of others.


  • In classic James Bond movies starring Sean Connery, the top villains are brought together by an organization named SPECTRE - that literally stands for "Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion".
  • Parodied with Dr. Evil in Austin Powers, who went to evil medical school and is disappointed that his son wants to be a non-evil veterinarian...or perhaps work in a petting zoo.

Dr. Evil: An evil petting zoo?
Scott: You always do that! (Storms off)

    • Later in the movie:

UN Representitive: Mr. Evil-
Dr. Evil: DOCTOR Evil. I didn't spend six years in evil medical school to be called 'mister' thank you very much.

  • The main villain of Time Bandits is the embodiment of evil and referred to simply as "Evil". It's interesting to note what the screenwriters consider evil. He's obsessed with efficiency, technology, and work. At one point, he laments feeling "good", and his minions sympathize.
  • The Chief Blue Meanie in the movie Yellow Submarine insists that his minion Max never say "yes". Because "we Meanies only take 'no' for an answer", and gets extremely angry at the sound of the word "yes", even when being answered in the affirmative. Sometimes, his own aggression gets the better of him and he needs to be revived with "nasty medicine", which makes him even more eccentric than he already is. He encourages his army of Meanies to be as unpleasant as possible, but later admits that his cousin is "the bluebird of happiness".
    • The Chief subverts his "No only" order moments later when he summons the Flying Glove:

Chief: Come here, Glove. Look out there and what do you see? Tell him, Max.
Max: Someone running, Glove.
Chief: Yes. But you'll soon put a stop to that, won't you Glovey? Go, Glove, point and having pointed...pounce, go!

  • The villains in Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band are as card-carrying as it gets. "WE HATE JOY. WE HATE LOVE. WE LOVE MONEY." "[I am] such a dirty, dirty old man!", etc.
    • Wait, so they hate money?
      • They love (in the sense of "really like a lot") money, and they hate love (in the sense of "experiencing literal love for a person or pet").
  • The 'cult' (see The Other Wiki) film Evil Roy Slade features this in Slade spades. He even yells at one of his henchmen who stays loyally at his side when the law offers a reward for him. Before that operation, he goes over the basics for his gang: 'Sneaking, Lying, Arrogance, Dirtiness and Evil. Put them all together and they spell "Slade!" '
  • A somewhat...jarring variant in the first Spider-Man film where the Green Goblin makes Aunt May finish the Lord's Prayer.

Aunt May: "Deliver us..."
Green Goblin: *Dramatic entrance* "FINISH IT!!"
Aunt May: "From EEEVIL!"

  • Ratigan of The Great Mouse Detective is no Harmless Villain, but in the spirit of Shakespearean villains, he loves boasting about how good he is at being bad.
  • In The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, the First Chinese Emperor's motive for taking over the world is, get this, that he hates freedom.
  • Mr. Freeze in Batman and Robin, who even shouts "Kill the heroes!" ("For I am the villain! And all ambiguous questions of right and wrong will be answered with ice-related puns!"") It is also worth mentioning that his only non-ice-related pun in the whole film, if memory serves, is the one identifying himself and Poison Ivy as "Adam and Evil".
  • In the Dragnet movie, the villain heads the organisation P.A.G.A.N. - People Against Goodness And Normalcy. However, it's a bogus group intended to get the populace riled up about having card-carrying villains in their midst.
  • In A Nightmare on Elm Street, Freddy Krueger absolutely revels in his work, perfectly happy to acknowledge how sick and twisted he is. However, he is after revenge for the vigilante justice he received, so he does have some delusions of justice.
    • Though he eventually did succeed at his Ghostly Goals...and continued killing anyway, since, hey, it's fun, and just because his revenge is complete, that doesn't mean he can't just go on slaughtering.
      • At first it seemed that way. Then Freddy's Dead revealed that he had an agenda against pretty much all the parents of Springwood for lobbying to have his daughter taken away from him for her own safety, and he wanted to get back at even those parents who weren't among his killers by taking their children away from them. And then in Freddy vs. Jason, a character mentions, contrary to Nancy's assessment in Part III, that some of the kids of the town still are related to his killers. You see how it goes.
  • El Nebuloso in Yellowbeard.
  • Most Disney villains are far too self-deluded to even think of labeling themselves as villains or just flat-out don't care. Then there's Maleficent, who, magnificently and scenery-chompingly enough, proclaims herself "mistress of all evil."
    • Mad Madam Mim in The Sword in the Stone. She sings a whole song about how wonderful it is that she's proud to be mad and evil, and she takes "terrible" as a compliment (and finds it lovely when someone's sick—though she doesn't find it so lovely when she gets sick later...).
    • Aladdin's Jafar doesn't carry quite as big a card as Maleficent, mainly because The Grand Vizier can't actually say he's evil (though he ALWAYS is), but he doesn't seem to take offense when called "Your Rottenness" or "Oh Mighty Evil One" by his parrot and...calling him a snake leads to an epic Insult Backfire.
      • "That's Sultan Vile Betrayal to you!!"
  • Pirates of the Caribbean;

Will Turner: You cheated!
Jack Sparrow: Pirate.

    • In that case, it was more because Jack was being pragmatic than evil. As he points out later, the only things that matter in the world "are what a man can do and what a man can't do", and points out that if he'll die in fair combat, "well then, that's not much incentive for me to fight fair, now is it?"

Phillip: You are killing her!
Blackbeard: I'm a bad man.

  • Bluto in the Popeye film, who has an entire song number boasting of his being mean.
  • Vigo the Carpathian from Ghostbusters 2. "Now is the dawning of the season of evil..." and etc.
    • And his titles. And his introduction.
  • Sardo Numspa from The Golden Child.
  • Wilson Croft from Flubber. "I'm petty and corrupt...I have profited from your ideas. To be honest, I'm here this weekend to steal your fiancee and make her my wife."
  • Lampshaded and then fully embraced by Tony Montana in Scarface in the restaurant scene.

You're all a bunch of assholes, you know why? You don't have the guts to be what you want to be. You need people like me! You need people like me so you can point your fucking fingers and say 'That's the bad guy!' What that make you? Good? You're not good. You just know how to hide. How to lie. Me? I don't have that problem. Me, I always tell the truth. Even when I lie. So say goodnight to the bad guy!

  • Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg from The Fifth Element is a great example, though he tries to justify this behavior by claiming that life comes from chaos and, therefore, destruction actually creates and improves life.

Vito Cornelius: You're a monster, Zorg.
Zorg: *Smirking* I know.

  • Gnorga, the Queen of Trolls in A Troll in Central Park, even goes so far as to sing a Villain Song about what a nasty person she is and how much she enjoys it ("It feels delicious, to be so vicious, I'm Gnorga, the queen of mean!"). When she explains why she hates Stanley so much, she angrily complains "he is good, he is kind, he is GENTLLLLEEEEE!"
    • "I'm a bad troll...a very bad troll...."
  • Red, the Big Bad of All Dogs Go to Heaven 2, loves being bad so much, he has a Villain Song about it called It Feels So Good To Be Bad. Kinda justified because he's a demon from the pits of Hell.
  • While not the main villain, or even doing anything horrendous (when you take the film's nature into consideration), some of Fat Sam's goons in Bugsy Malone proudly sing about just how rotten they are in the aptly named song "Bad Guys".
  • The self-identified Seven Evil Exes from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.
  • Ming The Merciless in the 1980s Flash Gordon movie: if there is a Villain cliche, he plays it. Note that "The Merciless" is the title he picked out for himself.
  • In Hudson Hawk, when Hawk asks Big Bad Darwin Mayflower who he is, Mayflower shoots back, "Isn't it obvious? I'm the villain."
  • Megamind lived and breathed this trope.
  • Benedict in Last Action Hero knows he's a villain and has no problem showing it. Of course, he's an actual villain in the Show Within a Show Jack Slater IV. Once he gets out into the "real world", he realizes it works by different rules (such as the cops not showing up immediately after he shoots a random guy on the street, and the neighbors not caring) and tries to subvert many villain tropes, except, of course, for the Evil Brit, the Evil Is Hammy, and the Evil Gloating ones (he can't exactly help the former, and the other two are too ingrained into him). He's played by Charles Dance, who also played the card-carrying Big Bad in The Golden Child.

Benedict: Gentlemen. Since you are about to die anyway, I may as well tell you the entire plot. Think of villains, Jack. You want Dracula? Dra-cool-la? Hang on (takes out the magic ticket), I'll fetch him. Dracula? Huh. I can get King Kong! We'll have a nightmare with Freddy Krueger, have a surprize party for Adolf Hitler, Hannibal Lecter can do the catering, and then we'll have christening for Rosemary's Baby! All I have to do is snap my fingers and they'll be here. They're lining up to get here, and do you know why Jack? Should I tell you why? Hmm? Because here, in this world, the bad guys can win!

  • 1979's The Villain, a western comedy with Kirk Douglas as the hapless, Wile E. Coyote-esque titular character.
  • Oba from the second Female Prisoner Scorpion film, Jailhouse 41. She's very quick to exaggerate her own badness compared to the legendary Sasori (the titular character), but her crowning moment of evilness is the point at which she outdoes all the other women present in describing the crime for which she was imprisoned: she drowned her two-year-old son and then stabbed her unborn baby to death, because her husband had an affair. She hikes up her dress to show off the scars...and keeps it up and in everyone's face for what seems like an eternity. She absolutely embraces this persona and the fear it engenders in almost everyone, and ultimately dies still muttering about going back to her home island, burning down everyone's house, and stabbing them all.


  • Discworld:
    • Subverted in the novels with Lord Vetinari, who cheerfully classifies himself as one of "the bad people", but is actually a force for good, or at least stability. A sort of Card Carrying Anti-Villain.

Greenyham: You can't do that!
Vetinari: Can I not? I'm a tyrant. It's what we do.

      • Greenyham has been calling Vetinari a tyrant through most of the book,[context?] on the grounds that Vetinari runs the government. (Vetinari probably is a tyrant in the original Greek sense of the word: a guy who bosses the polis.) It's a Take That to libertarian propaganda.
      • Note that he also classifies everyone as "bad people". But some of them are on opposite sides.
    • Lady Felmut, in Wyrd Sisters. Granny Weatherwax tries to Mind Rape her by "showing her her True Self" - and it doesn't work, because she's already well aware she's a villain, and she's proud of it.
    • Also somewhat subverted with Dr. Hix (né Hicks), head of UU's Department of Necr-- Post-Mortem Communication in Unseen Academicals. Because necromancy is a so-called evil curriculum, he wears the skull ring and forces himself (if apologetically) to take an Evil stance on things, simply because it goes with his job description.
    • Sub--Lampsh-- Done something with by Abrim, The Grand Vizier in Sourcery. He points out that the evil things he does are expected of him. But he doesn't apologize for doing them, like Dr. Hix, or do them for the greater good, like Vetinari. Probably closest to lampshaded.
  • Acheron Hades of the Thursday Next series literally wrote the book (Degeneracy for pleasure and profit) and extols the wonder of doing evil for its own sake. He also complains that profit "dilutes the taste of wickedness".
  • Some of Redwall's villains clearly revel in this trope. Vilu Daskar, upon being praised by his crew for inventive sadism, modestly says "Oh, I do my best to be the worst." The trope gets even more obvious in Triss, when the villainous pirate crew does three song and dance numbers dedicated to their own gruesome behaviour. The irony here being that Grubbage, one of the singers of the second song ("'Tis nice to be a villain/wot all honest creatures fears/and terrorise the beasts for miles around"), does a Heel Face Turn in a sadly very brief skimmed-over epilogue.
  • The Nome King from L. Frank Baum's Land of Oz stories is a sadistic old bastich who enjoys being angry because it makes everyone around him miserable.
  • Godelot, a historical personage in Harry Potter and author of Magick Most Evile, reveled in his villainy (although a passage quoted in Half-Blood Prince indicates that even he would not dare go into the field of Horcruxes).
    • Fenrir Greyback could also count. There's his memorable line towards the end of Half-Blood Prince, in which he openly admits to coming to the castle without being invited, just because he wants to kill and eat children. While still in human form.
    • The villain of Goblet of Fire might count: "Decent people are so easy to manipulate, Potter..."
    • If The Methods of Rationality is right, anyone creating a horcrux would pretty much have to be a completely unironic Card-Carrying Villain. The theory is, you need to do something so depraved and inhumane that you literally cannot live with yourself and break your own soul to get a piece to put in the horcrux. (Yikes.)
  • The poster-boy for Yellow Peril, Fu Manchu, started out as one of these ("They die like flies! And I am the God of Destruction!"), before turning into something closer to a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
  • The wicked duke in James Thurber's The 13 Clocks

"We all have flaws," he said, "and mine is being wicked."

  • When you're almost literally the Creator's Evil Twin and your most common name is Lord Foul the Despiser, it's pretty safe to assume that you aren't an Anti-Villain.
  • Dies the Fire by S.M. Stirling. The Big Bad who's turned Portland into a feudal dictatorship uses the Eye of Sauron on his flag. One of the protagonists comments how stupid this is, as it would make more sense to use the Stars & Stripes to give himself legitimacy. When his colleague points out that "Hey, it's cool to be bad!", he responds "What's the point of letting people know you're evil enough to backstab them at the first suitable opportunity?"
  • One gets the impression that Pryrates, Evil Sorcerer and The Dragon to the Big Bad of Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, has a list of Villain tropes in his pocket and is working his way through it as the story goes on. Kick the Dog, check. Torture Cellar, check. Sell your king's soul for power, check. All we need is the Evil Gloating...oh, there he goes.
  • Alex DeLarge of A Clockwork Orange happily rapes, murders, and beats as he pleases. Why? Because, as he freely admits, he just prefers to be evil.
  • Every villain of a Wilbur Smith novel basically lives and breathes this trope. They're so obviously evil that it's as if they all came from the same dog-kicking litter.
  • O'Brien, the villain (of many) of 1984, gives a Hannibal Lecture to Winston, where he extols the virtues of a world of fear, torment, and treachery. One of the more well-executed Complete Monsters in fiction.
  • A rare case of this trope being played both seriously and non-Narmfully is the Hunter of C.S. Friedman's Coldfire Trilogy. Living in a world where the human mind can unconsciously shape reality, he has made an absolute monster of himself in a bid to deliberately invoke the trope of the invulnerable evil overlord.
    • Beyond that, he's getting his immortality through a pact with an entity that's basically the unholy lovechild of Satan and Cthulhu - if he ever stopped being knowingly and extremely evil, it would withdraw its end of the bargain, killing him.
  • Don John in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing comes right out and says it. He's pissed that he can't rule because he's a bastard son, and will therefore do anything so long as it causes his brother grief: "I had rather be a canker in a hedge than a rose in / his grace, and it better fits my blood to be / disdained of all than to fashion a carriage to rob / love from any: in this, though I cannot be said to / be a flattering honest man, it must not be denied / but I am a plain-dealing villain." Played quite straight by Keanu Reeves in the 1993 film, the character has no purpose but to foil the good guys.
  • Partially subverted in the Babylon 5 Expanded Universe trilogy The Passing of the Techno-Mages with Galen, whose original high ideals for the Technomage order are shattered when he finds out that Technomages are products of Shadow technology. As such, he starts to believe himself to be inherently evil, incapable of good. Turning into a Person of Mass Destruction doesn't help. He later changes his mind.
    • On the other hand, several other Technomages definitely fit the trope. Razeel willingly chooses to serve the Shadows for an unknown reason. Circe's motivation for betrayal is pure desire for power.
  • Various characters in Andrew Vachss' Burke books, including the Anti-Villain Villain Protagonist himself, identify themselves as "thieves". How evil these characters are actually varies from person to person.
  • Kurt Barlow from 'Salem's Lot.
  • In Death: some of the bad guys reach this level in the series. Casto from Immortal In Death admits that he is a selfish man. Reanna Otts in Rapture In Death cheerfully describes herself as The Sociopath and completely agrees with that diagnosis!
  • Lieutenant Colonel Korn from Catch-22 takes positive delight in describing how odious and reprehensible his plans are.

Colonel Korn (to Yossarian): I really do admire you a bit. You're an intelligent person of great moral character who has taken a very courageous stand. I'm an intelligent person with no moral character at all, so I'm in an ideal position to appreciate it.

  • House Bolton in A Song of Ice and Fire. Their house arms features a flayed man due to their history of flaying their prisoners alive. They wear pink and red capes because ages ago they used to wear the skins before submitting to House Stark. Their castle is called the Dreadfort. Lord Roose Bolton and his heir Ramsay commit numerous atrocities and eventually betray their liege lords in a massacre that shocks the continent.
  • Set in The Kane Chronicles.

Set: You figure that out all by yourself? The god of evil is evil?

Live-Action TV

  • Taken literally in Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger where all the villains carry business cards that they toss to The Akibarangers
  • The Janitor from Scrubs identifies himself as evil and takes great dislike in anyone who doesn't fear him, coining the phrase "Fearitude" for his presence.
    • Though, he HAS helped others on occasion, is kind to people he likes, etc.
  • Power Rangers is one of the most noticeable examples of this, particularly in its earlier years, where each season's villains would refer to themselves as "[insert title here] of Evil". This culminated in the sixth season, where all the preceding villains were revealed to be members of a "United Alliance of Evil."
    • The only thing the UAE was ever seen doing was throwing celebration parties for themselves, complete with streamers and conga lines. That's one awesome organization.
      • And launching a massive, coordinated attack on the entire universe in the In Space finale.
    • Speaking of In Space, when the Psycho Rangers introduce themselves, Psycho Pink finishes off their onslaught of Pre Ass Kicking One Liners by simply announcing the fact that the Psychos are evil.
      • Adding more to this scene is the fact that, unlike the previous villain's announcing themselves as evil, it's actually truly menacing here.
  • Babylon 5 was mostly pretty good about avoiding this, going by the motto "The monster never sees a monster in the mirror." In fact, there are still a sizable number of fans who believe that one or more of the show's villains was right. Except for President Clark, whose ideology was basically future human fascism, with extreme xenophobia against the other races. When the rebellion is winning and he's about to be deposed, Clark is going to destroy everyone with him for spite and fear of its eventual fall, with the very appropriate order "Scorched Earth." It's actually a fairly prescient examination of how simple American-style patriotic conservatism could morph into fascism and, extending the analogy, Clark tries to do more or less what Hitler would have liked to have done had his domain been larger than Berlin/had there been much of Germany left to destroy anyway.[1]
  • The Trio from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, three supernerds who explicitly set out to become supervillains because they thought it was cool. They were really bad at it though.
    • At first.
    • Spike, on multiple occasions, proudly reminds the Scoobies that, although defanged, he is still a demon and therefore evil. Harmony (in Angel) is more ambivalent; apparently, she doesn't mind being good but, ultimately, cannot help doing evil.

Harmony: "Is this okay? I mean. I am evil, technically. I don't mind torturing her for the team. "

    • See also Faith in season 3.
    • And the First Evil does what she does because she is, well, evil.
    • Buffy vampires are pretty much unapologetically evil in general, unless they have souls.
  • Doctor Who has too many to count, the most famous and recognizable being the Master, who came complete with a Beard of Evil.
    • The Knacker's Yard Railyard Valeyard.
      • Even more so, surely, Sutekh! "Your evil is my good. I am the Sutekh the Destroyer. Where I tread I leave nothing but dust and darkness. I find that good."
  • Oz. Complete Monster Simon Adebisi acknowledges this to Muslim inmate Kareem Said, the night before their final fatal confrontation.

Adebisi: I know you have come here to destroy me.
Said: Simon, I don't want to destroy you. I want to help you change.
Adebisi: That is what will destroy me. You see I am who I am, just as you are. And I do what I do, just as you must.

  • The Mighty Boosh: The Hitcher loves to tell the audience he's pure evil and even raps about it in his theme tune. In The Mighty Boosh Live, he spent a few minutes extolling his evil to the audience and didn't stop when he ran out of examples: "I'm -- I'm a knob!"
    • "Every boo just makes my erection that little bit stronger! ...Don't boo after the concept, ya freak!"
    • The radio version has Vince and Howard thrown in prison and in the cell next to them is a man who simply mutters threats to them for hours on end ("I'm gonna snap your nose off and toss it at a vicar", for example). Howard eventually plucks up the courage to talk to him and asks him why he's doing that, and he replies that "all I'm interested in is evil".
  • Prince of Fire from Lexx gleefully described himself as "evil" and made a point to create as much pain and misery as possible For the Evulz.

Kai: Why do you want to destroy the Planet Water?
Prince: Because it is full of good, and I am full of bad. I think that's all there is to it. I'm not very complicated really.

    • While he's this trope, he chucks it off to being born a Sealed Evil in a Can (in this case, a planet), with the intended purpose of keeping balance, and blames his existence on Neglectful Precursors of some sort. He likes the being evil part, but he doesn't like the being sealed or keeping balance parts. He gets his wish...sort of.
  • Alex Russo in Wizards of Waverly Place. Whenever someone refers to her as evil, dark, or scary, she just grins and/or giggles, she actively encourages her Cool Loser status at school and deliberately provokes fights with her brother, Justin, because "that's how things are supposed to be".
  • Flosso of FlashForward takes this trope and runs with it. His first on-screen appearance involves him shooting one of his subordinates who delivered something, for no apparent reason. His official introduction starts with him lighting up a cigar, stating that he has done so his entire life, and pointing out "only villains smoke." When someone interrupts him, he flicks the still-hot ash at the offender's face, smiles, and proclaims "I'm a villain."
  • The Big Cheese from the Monty Python's Flying Circus "Secret Service Dentists" sketch, who not only shoots his own Right Hand CatRabbit but also makes death threats including phrases like "...and because I'm so evil..."
  • Pretty much all the villains in most Super Sentai or Kamen Rider series.
  • While the Goa'uld of Stargate SG-1 are Exclusively Evil, none of them ever seem aware of how evil they are. Anubis, who also happens to be the most evil Goa'uld, however, is a little different. From his dialogue as "Jim", it's implied that he knows exactly how evil and vicious he is. He spends a good deal of his appearance complaining about how cruel Anubis' actions are and how unfair it is that nobody is stopping him. All while pretending to be a good guy.
  • John Bly, the Big Bad of The Adventures of Brisco County Jr, actually cites uses this trope as the reason he refuses to free his now-useless hostage in the episode "Fountain of Youth". "Why don't you let me go? I'm no use to you anymore." "Because I'm evil, Professor."
  • Doctor Chaotica from the Captain Proton Show Within a Show on Star Trek: Voyager is your typical retro sci-fi villain.
  • Jim Moriarty from Sherlock.

Sherlock Holmes: You're insane.
Jim Moriarty: You're just getting that now?


  • Quasi-subversion: the Something Wicked two-part Concept Album by Iced Earth deals with the Ancient Conspiracy of the Setian race. The Setians are AntiVillains with a detailed Start of Darkness and a reasonable motivation for wanting to destroy mankind...but they still, consistently and repeatedly, refer to themselves as "Wicked".
  • Voltaire's song "When You're Evil" is a song about a guy who admits how much he loves being evil...or possibly actually is evil itself, as the speaker/singer says "The Devil tips his hat to me."
  • Uncle Ernie from The Who's Tommy: "I'm your wicked Uncle Ernie..."
    • Same with Cousin Kevin: "I'm the school bully/The classroom cheat/The nastiest play-friend you ever could meet..."
  • The Diamond Head song "Am I Evil?". The answer is, unsurprisingly, "Yes I am!".
  • The narrators of "Mr. Bad Example" by Warren Zevon and "The Future" by Leonard Cohen.
  • "I'm makin' a career of evil..."
  • Danish metal band Evil only released one EP, but half the tracks on there fit this trope perfectly: their namesake track and "Son of the Bitch."
  • Many songs from the point of view of a serial killer. For example, "The Ripper" by Judas Priest.

Newspaper Comics

  • In Dilbert, Catbert is the "Evil Director of Human Resources". That's right, he's got the word "evil" in his job title. And he lives up to it with glee:

Dilbert: My boss is preventing me from transferring to a great job.
Catbert: That's outrageous! There shouldn't be any great jobs in this company.

    • Equally good evil example:

Alice: How many of your policies are formulated for the sole purpose of gratifying your sadistic tendencies?
Catbert: All of them. Some are just more noticeable.

    • Don't forget Phil The Prince of Insufficient Light.

Professional Wrestling

  • Razor Ramon - "Say hello to the bad guy" as a play on the Tony Montana line mentioned above.
  • Eddie Guerrero (along with nephew Chavo as a tag team) was pushed as a heel in 2003 as someone who would always "lie, cheat and steal" his way to victory. It backfired, as fans grew to like the fact that Eddie was honest about his dishonesty (and because it made him look smarter than his foes).
  • Kane makes no effort to hide the fact that he's evil. It's in his intro video.
  • Kaientai (TAKA Michinoku and SHO Funaki). One guy would make an amusing speech that always ended with "We. Are. EEEEEVVVVILLL" and the other would make a long speech that was translated "INNNDEEEEEEEEED". Of course, they were huge faces and didn't favour cheap tactics.
  • The Undertaker, when giving his Motive Rant upon one of his heel turns, said, "And I know that some of you are wondering how it is that I can join forces with such an evil, despicable, maniacal individual [as Paul Bearer]...well, if that isn't reason enough all by itself then I don't guess I can explain it to you folks any better!" He would go around calling himself The Lord of Darkness and saying things like, "Embrace the purity of evil."
  • William Regal actually has the word "Villain" written on his tights.


  • The ironically named Mr Gently Benevolent in the Dickens parody Bleak Expectations. Also, the less ironically named Hardthrashers and their cousins, the Sternbeaters, Whackwallops, and Grimpunches.


  • Satan is often depicted in this manner.

Tabletop Games

  • "Evil" is one end of one of the two "alignment" axes in the AD&D setting. Most Evil characters recognize this. Not to mention how they are penalized if they don't act evil.
    • 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons tossed out the penalties, but there are still races that are simply unable to act otherwise.
    • And now 4th Edition has tossed out the second dimension of alignment. The law-chaos scale determining another portion of one's mindset is gone, so now alignment is simply determining just how good or evil you are.
      • Debatable, since alignment in 4th Edition has absolutely zero effect on your character (no penalties for acting out of alignment, no "Evil" or "Good" spell descriptors, etc.), it could be said that alignment is now only cosmetic.
  • Volrath from Magic: The Gathering was just absurdly over-the-top in how eeeeeevil he was. "I once had an entire race killed just to listen to the rattling of their dried bones as I waded through them." To be fair, he was R&D's first real attempt at creating a Big Bad, and, as it turned out, he was The Dragon to someone just as evil but with no bloody time or inclination for theatrics.
    • They recently created a new variant for casual play called Archenemy, a one-vs.-many game where, by dint of being the Big Bad of the game, the outnumbered player gets a number of benefits, including use of a "scheme" deck, a set of cards (that actually have the type Scheme) maintained separately from the library that give special benefits (usually for free) once per turn. (The idea is that the Archenemy is such a threat that other Planeswalkers have put aside differences and banded together to stop him.) The kicker is that each Scheme has a grandiose title (usually accompanying an equally devastating effect), often degenerating into card-carrying villainy, and some darkly appropriate flavor text. For example, Behold The Power Of Destruction destroys all nonland permanents target player controls. The flavor text?

I'd call that a successful first test. Golem! Rearm the Doom Citadel!

  • Chaos and the Dark Eldar in Warhammer 40,000 take delight in being on the extreme wrong side of the Moral Event Horizon. Considering the latter group literally lives off of Squick taken to the point of nightmarish, this is perhaps understandable. A quote from the nearest thing they have to a leader: "Death is my meat, terror my wine."
  • Exalted gives us the Infernal Exalted; while they aren't Exclusively Evil, the cards are stacked against them. For one thing, if they go against the will of their Yozi masters, they accrue Torment, which can backlash and affect mortals in nasty ways. The only way to bleed off torment is to engage in Acts of Villainy—stick your foes in death traps, force an innocent into an arranged marriage, monologue at your archnemesis, etc. This is what happens when the guy behind the plan is the cosmic embodiment of douchebaggery. Mind you, it's doesn't say who you have to perform some of those Acts of Villainy on...


  • Many Shakespeare villains were motivated simply by wanting to be a villain:
    • Most famously, Richard III.
    • Don John in Much Ado About Nothing, counseled to act nice to remain in the Prince's good books, retorts that he's always believed in being true to your nature. Since his nature is that of a villain, he's going to go ahead and be one, rather than pretend not to be—even if it's counter to his best interests.
      • And, of course, in case you have any doubts about that true nature, he's also a bastard. Being born out of wedlock makes you inherently a jerk.
    • Iago continually changes his reasoning for his actions in Othello. Originally, it was out of jealousy because he was passed over for promotion; however, he eventually abandons not only this justification, but all possible rationalizations. He is identified simply as a "Villaine" in the list of characters in the first folio, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge famously noted his "motiveless malignity". Iago himself, when questioned on his motivation, simply refuses to explain anything...though there are those who attribute his actions to less incomprehensible motives.
      • Or there's the possibility that he's simply jealous of anyone who has anything good that he doesn't and fucks with Cassio, Desdemona, and Othello accordingly.
    • Aaron in Titus Andronicus states outright that all he wants to do with his life is be evil; the only reason he aids the play's antagonist instead of working against her is because it gives him a chance to do very evil, uncouth things. It's because he's black, and black people are evil. His last line in the play is:

Aaron: If one good deed in all my life I did,
I do repent it from my very soul.

Video Games

Charnel: He lies! Do not believe anything he says!
James: ...What if he tells me you're a villain?
Charnel: Don't believe anything else he has to say!

    • Another bit with him:

Charnel: Kill the blasphemer!
Persephone: Charnel! Death is not the answer to everything...
Charnel: Yes, torture also has its merits.

  • In Super Mario Bros, Bowser actively pursues a life of evil debauchery, seeks evil locales for his castles, and enjoys being called "your vileness". However, in the spinoffs and Super Mario Sunshine, his evilness began to decline with being a "Noble Demon" too much, especially as in the Mario RPG's. Despite helping his enemies to his status as a Card-Carrying Villain, they only show that Bowser has become capable of goodness, at least to some degree. Still, his attempts to be a Card-Carrying Villain in the main platformers are still effective, whether Mario defeats him or not. His attempts in the Super Mario Galaxy games take him up a level, since he planned to take over his galaxy and, later, the entire universe, which would still end in disaster and kill him with the entire universe.
    • The Smithy Gang from Super Mario RPG seem to enjoy causing widespread chaos. Smithy even says he'd like to "Get rid of all wishes and create a world filled with...WEAPONS!!

Axem Red: We fight for evil!
Axem Black: We live for disorder!
Axem Green: We like what we do!
Axem Pink: We struggle for chaos!
Axem Yellow: We are...
All: ...the AXEM RANGERS!!

"OK, all right, fine! How about this reason? Seems as good as any. I do all the wonderful things I do because I want to see the miserable look on the faces of people like YOU when you're wallowing in despair, dismay, grief, frustration, misery...all sorts of other unpleasant nouns."

  • Most demons from the Disgaea series actively try to cultivate an evil and Badass image for themselves through means that vary from wanton acts of violence and depravity to not recycling and playing Ding Dong Ditch. Most of them fall into the latter category - place them next to the former, and they will recoil in disgust.
  • Devil May Cry
    • Arkham is obsessed with evil and spreading it wherever he goes, referring to the term "eeevil" with religious reverence as he carries what must be the Antichrist's Bible for Dummies over his heart. Vergil simply ignores him in these moments.
    • Bob Barbas, head of the Raptor News Network. Yeah, a network named after a well-known predatory dinosaur, you can expect the news to have a slight editorial slant, especially since Bob himself is one of the 72 members of the Ars Goetia and his title is Great President of Hell, and his true form is - supposedly - a bestial lion-demon, another predatory animal, although for the Boss Battle he looks more like the MCP from Tron.
  • Murray The Demonic Skull from Monkey Island.
  • Doctor Regal from Mega Man Battle Network, a representative of moral relativism taken to its extremes, is a very disquieting type 2 Card Carrying Villain, whose objective is to make everyone as evil as he is, first by gaining control of Duo's asteroid, then by trying to connect all human minds to the Soul Net, and then using Nebula Grey to corrupt it. Unlike most such villains, he is not played for laughs and, in fact, comes out as one of the most threatening and chilling characters in the whole series.
  • Mega Man Star Force. In the third game, this is used literally; the villains belong to an organization known as Dealer, and they carry Noise Cards with them to make Wizards go out of control.
  • The non-Naughty Dog installments of the Crash Bandicoot series portray many of its main antagonists as card-carrying villains, especially as the series took a more comedic turn.
  • Team Rocket, introduced in the original Pokémon games, pretty much embodied this attitude. They not only declare how evil they are repeatedly, but generally seem more concerned with making sure that Pokémon are harmed and exploited than actually profitting from their plans
    • The members of Team Dim Sun in Pokémon Ranger revel in their evil status at every opportunity. However, even they won't make fun of a Nosepass!
    • Also of Pokémon fame, Team Meanies of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon. They aspire for world domination. Their evil schemes include rescuing a little boy so someone else's mother will give them a reward, trying to get a worm to join their team, stealing your mail, and, this being slightly sinister, rousing up the entire town you live next to into hating you and wanting your blood.
    • Their counterpart in the sequels, Team Skull (Team Poison Rose in the Japanese versions), are the same. Their only motivation is greed and harassing the players' team to make them look bad. Compared to the real Big Bad of the game and his Dragon, they're almost literally the Team Rocket trio in Pokémon form.
  • The Genma of the Onimusha series revel in being referred to as "evil", most notably in the second game (evident by the final boss being the Golden Evil Statue, and also by the content of some in-game documents).
  • In Cuphead, the Devil himself is one. He makes no effort whatsoever to conceal that he is the owner of the Devil's Casino, not bothering to disguise his hellish appearance in the slightest while offering wagers to gullible customers. His right-hand man Mr. King Dice is even more blatant, boasting in his Villain Song, "I never play nice, I'm the Devil's right hand man."
  • Gnarl of Overlord, in a most over-the-top manner. He takes such great delight in evil for the sake of evil.
  • ALL of the antagonists in Hero's Realm fit the bill, but special mention goes to Balthalas, who sports a fantastic Evil Laugh to boot.
  • Bio-Haz, in the obscure Game Boy RPG Great Greed, is a textbook Evil Overlord trying to conquer Greene Kingdom, and he's generating as much pollution as possible because it makes him and his army stronger. It's not until the end of the game that you learn he has another motive besides his great greed; he wants to save the human world from pollution by using Greene Kingdom as its garbage dump.
  • Ridley, and most of the Space Pirates for that matter, in Metroid seems to have no other motivation for trying to (ostensibly) take over the galaxy, other than that it's an evil thing to do. They commit horrors and atrocities just for the pure fun of it (although some games suggest most of the Pirates are just a mindless drone race following the orders of dominant intelligent figures like Ridley). Sometimes, a motivation will be supplied from the villain of the week, but usually, they're there, they're bad, kill'em all and reap your rewards.
  • Dr. Nefarious of Ratchet and Clank, a Mad Scientist Large Ham robot bent on destroying the "Squishies".
  • The Ilwrath of Star Control II go on at length about how evil they are, as a matter of religion. They certainly do enjoy torture, genocide, murder, etc. However, you can induce a Logic Bomb by pointing out that, although they are certainly evil by external measures, by following the tenents and customs of their society, they are, in fact, good.
  • The super-villain Rictus in Anachronox:
    • I shall kill you...with death!
  • Irenicus from Baldurs Gate 2 may count. It isn't that he revels in being a villain, he simply does not care enough to bother denying the charge.
    • "No, you merit no villain's exposition."
  • The Soviets in Command & Conquer:Red Alert series.
  • E-123 Omega from Sonic the Hedgehog, despite being a friend of Anti Heroes Shadow and Rouge.
  • House Steiner in the Mechwarrior game franchise: on the couple of occasions you aren't fighting them, they're setting you up for a murderous betrayal. The original BattleTech universe portrays them as more morally ambiguous.
  • Malefor, the Big Bad of The Legend of Spyro trilogy, has absolutely no problems with his title as The Dark Master and, in fact, took the name himself. He's also a third sphere version intending to destroy the world. Unlike most examples of this trope, he's played dead serious and is pure Nightmare Fuel.
    • Didn't seem so accidental to me. Although he's also a villain with a side of ham, so maybe it is after all.
  • Oni of Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition outright says that he's evil incarnate in his intro.
  • King Squid from Jabless Adventure outright identifies himself as "the villain" and tells the hero, Jables, that it's too late to stop him be honest, King Squid never really gets to explain what, exactly, his evil scheme is.
  • In Metal Wolf Chaos, Vice-President Richard Hawk is never given any motive for his coup d'état and subsequent oppression. He just seems to really hate freedom.
  • Nene from Blue Dragon definitely fits. Wanting to "share [his] pain and fear" with others is all the explaination he bothers to give for spending the entire game (and many years prior) spreading chaos, death, and fear throughout the known world.
  • Most of the evil races in Galactic Civilizations take so much joy in their skull collections. If you're playing an evil race and are on good terms with other evil races, they may occasionally warn you that the good guys want to stop both you and them from torturing people.
  • Your character in Dungeons, along with everyone else, except the heroes.
  • Most of the Path of Dark class promotions in Might and Magic VII have a name that is either more associated with not-quite-a-good-guy than their Light counterpart (Warlock vs Arch Druid, Bounty Hunter vs Ranger Lord, etc) or invoke darkness (Priest of Dark, Black Knight). The Paladin promotion is called Villain, and yes, the guy that promotes you to it uses it himself.
  • Nearly every non-redeemed villain in the Advance Wars series is a huge one of these. For starters, the "evil" army in the original Advance Wars trilogy was known as Black Hole.
  • Warframe gives us its Grineer army:

Web Comics

  • Xykon from The Order of the Stick prides himself on his evilness.
    • As do most OOTS villains, both for the same reasons as D&D and because it fits so well with its playing with the Fourth Wall nature. Even Belkar, a member of the good guys' team, at least accepts, or even revels in, his Chaotic Evilness as a fact.
    • The Linear Guild literally carries (business) cards.
    • As do their masters, the Inter-Fiend Cooperation Commission, though, considering they're fiends (and therefore literal incarnations of evil), this trope rather goes with the territory.
    • Redcloak is an interesting example: he admits he and his god are evil by Dungeons and Dragons alignments, but he still thinks his actions are justified. He seems to think of alignments as being more like team names than actual moral judgments.
    • Elan's long-lost father turned up and explained why he chose to become an evil tyrant: every story calls for one, so he will be the villain and "live like a god for three decades" until some heroes come along to vanquish him. He'll still be immortalized in bardic lore and he'll get to be emperor for a while, so, in his opinion, eventual Karmic Death is worth the payoff.
  • Helen, Mell, and, later, Dave in Narbonic. Helen is, in fact, a Shirt Wearing Villain—her habitual outfit includes an old T-shirt which reads "evil", with a heart dotting the i.
  • Bob and George actually has this Catch Phrase: "What? I'm evil. I Lied."
  • Khrima from Adventurers!! is an archetypal example of this. Much like Dr. Evil, he got his degree from Evil University. He goes to great lengths to get people to believe he's extremely evil and cruel, and adheres religiously to the clichés of Evil in RPGs, with instances ranging from his exact following of the Sorting Algorithm of Evil to his personally preparing an Amazing Technicolor Battlefield for the final fight.
  • In Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic, all of the monsters of the mountain identify themselves as evil, though only the Drow (and King Louie the Liche) act like it. The only real difference between the rest of the monsters and the "good" humans and elves are a tendency to eat other sentient beings and a casual approach to mortal violence.
  • Concerned has Wallace Breen of Half-Life become something like this.
  • Richard of Looking for Group would be a Card-Carrying Villain if he was not a protagonist.
  • GU Comics demonstrates.
  • Black Mage Evilwizardington in Eight Bit Theater, if his last name didn't give it away already.
    • Hell, he even tried joining the bad guys after gleefully wasting all his fire spells on BATS and leaving the Light Warriors to die inside a block of solid ice:

Drizzl: What do you think you're doing?
Black Mage: I'd say I was joining the winning side, but that would imply that there was some point where I wasn't part of team evil.

Web Original

Bakura: Why do we even need the card game at all? Why can't we just push him off the boat?
Marik: No! The card game is essential to the plot! The EVIL plot!

Vegeta: That's it, everyone dies! Say goodbye to your planet, Kakarot!
Goku: That's not very nice.

Western Animation

  • Kim Possible‍'‍s Rogues Gallery not only self-identify as evil without exception (there are no Well Intentioned Extremists in this world), but most try very hard to prove it. Shego, in particular, is a good example. She's clearly in it as Drakken's Dragon for the money, but also tries to beef up her evil credibility on her own time; maybe because she used to be a Superhero. One time, she was even manipulated into helping Kim Possible herself, when the heroine threatened to tell the world that Shego used to be a good guy.
    • Evil is a whole lifestyle in Kim Possible, with its own magazines (Shego reads Villainess while not listening to Drakken's Evil Plans), supervillain conventions and trade shows, and a corporation that supplies equipment and henchmen ("HenchCo"). Though a Disney-produced show, they aren't above take potshots at the corporate lifestyle and how nicely it dovetails with being a villain.
      • It even has an own TV show: Evil Eye for the Bad Guy.
    • The villain culture has a whole set of traditions, to which the bad guys generally adhere, even when they clearly give the heroes a chance to escape or turn the tables.
  • Several in Teen Titans. Early on, the writers couldn't even come up with a goal for main villain Slade. Few villains even got origin stories, so most seemed to just be causing havoc for the fun of it. Trigon was a card carrying member of this trope, but that's understandable, given that he's an eight-story tall red demon.
    • Slade's not as much of one as some - he never self-identifies as evil, and his plans are clearly building towards something (though neither the audience nor the heroes ever get clued in as to what that is). Better examples are Brother Blood, who teaches a supervillain school that includes courses on doomsday threats and "Theory of Mayhem", and the Brain, who actually puts the word "evil" in his organization's name!
  • Same thing goes for the villains in El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera. They even have a villain quarterly magazine.
  • Let us not forget Captain Planet. While, contrary to popular belief, the show's villains generally did have some kind of discernible motive (usually raw profit at the cost of the environment), causing damage to the planet for its own sake sometimes seemed to take a life of its own and supersede anything else. In particular, villains such as Verminous Skumm, Dr. Blight on a bad day, and the evil spirit Zarm tended toward the "Corruption/Destruction for its own sake" end of the scale.
  • Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender embraces the rest of the world's view that she's evil. She even calls herself a monster in the later episodes, but that's actually her way of coping with the self-loathing brought on by those beliefs.
  • Roughly 90% of Disney villains are this. Seriously, some are laughable, some are complex, some have interesting backstories, and most are pretty cool, but it's rare to find a villain in Disney with any sympathetic qualities at all. The Black and White Morality of these movies almost always makes the bad guy rotten to the core.
  • In M.A.S.K., the main villain, Miles Mayhem, founded and led the Vicious Evil Network Of Mayhem. Though, really, when your last name is "Mayhem", you pretty much have to be evil.
  • Megatron in most of the earlier Transformers incarnations had a rather grating tendency to laugh and say how evil he was, or how evil his plan was, just so that the kids knew who to root for.
  • Beast Wars' Blackarachnia spends a lot of her first season or so repeatedly telling the heroes that she's evil, bad, evil, not to be trusted, and evil, occasionally even resorting to actual action to get her point across to particularly irritating non-believers.

Silverbolt: Blackarachnia, I want you to return with me, to the Maximals.
Blackarachnia: Get a clue, you canine cretin! I'm a Predacon! I'm evil! I'll shoot you--
Silverbolt: No. My heart tell me that you will not.
Blackarachnia: Oh yeah? * shoots him in the leg*
Silverbolt: * shocked* You...SHOT me!
Blackarachnia: No duh, Dog-Boy! I'm evil!! Now do you believe me?
Silverbolt: And ensured the wound would not be mortal. Your inner Maximal goodness?

    • You can't say evil in that show without mentioning Tarantulas, whose outright villainy and treacherous attitude was something Megatron considered to be a viable asset.
    • In Beast Machines, Thrust and Jetstorm take on this role, while Megatron ironically believes he is doing good:

Jetstorm: Nothin' noble 'bout us, boy!
Thrust: But savage? That we can do!

  • Aku, the Big Bad of Samurai Jack, identifies himself as "Master of Masters, The Deliverer of Darkness, and the Shogun of Sorrow." His name even means evil in Japanese.
  • Krombopulos Micheal on Rick and Morty, an odd case of a villain like this who is also Affably Evil. Guy's a cheery, friendly, talkative guy who loves his job, even if he is a Professional Killer and an ugly, bug-like alien. He even admits to having no code of ethics at all, that he'll gladly target children and the elderly, even pointing it out on his business card and Facebook page!
  • The Venture Brothers: Every SINGLE villain in the entire series is LITERALLY a card-carrying villain belonging to the aptly-named Guild of Calamitous Intent.
  • Xiaolin Showdown has both examples of this: most of the Big Bad are Black Cloaks and Jack Spicer desperately wants to join their club and get respect. One Big Bad comments that Jack tries so hard to be Evil because of his insecurities.
    • Jack refers to himself several times as an "Evil Boy Genius". He also has club jackets with his face and "evil" on it and, of course, he has an evil trademark laugh.
      • He didn't just trademark his laugh, he stated he was adding evil and other such words to his devices to "create a brand".
  • The Powerpuff Girls is full of these guys. Mojo Jojo is the most notable.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants parodied this with the bad-guy group E.V.I.L. (Every Villain Is Lemons)
  • And, of course, G.I. Joe, with the vastly over-the-top COBRA Commander.
  • Doctor Ivo Robotnik in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.
    • The Sonic the Hedgehog version of him as well, though to a lesser extent...his "pretend to be good when it's practical" moments are a bit longer and more pronounced. However, he's inclined to boast about his evilness as though it was something to be proud of, especially when in the company of those he believes are evil.

Robotnik: I want the location of Lazar's lair. Name your prize.
Lazar's guardian: You intend harm to my master.
Robotnik: Oh, you wound me dear guardian! I merely want to wake the grand wizard and honour his evilness! We have much in common.
Lazar's guardian: ...yes. I can see that.

  • King Koopa, Bowser's animated counterpart in all three of the animated Super Mario Brothers Super Show series, plus his seven Koopalings in the latter two series.
  • In the 1980s TMNT cartoon, Shredder says "It feels so good to be so bad."
    • Krang also has been known to say this more than once and being even more evil or cruel than Shredder, OR towards Shredder when Shredder's plans sometimes backfire on him big time.
  • Negaduck's goal on Darkwing Duck is to be Public Enemy #1. He was already the Evil Overlord dictator of the Mirror Universe, but "like death is never satisfied."
  • Jackie Chan Adventures had one episode with a literal Card-Carrying Villain. Complete with Incredibly Lame Puns ("We have the upper hand," etc., etc.).
    • Jade also references this trope when referring to the Dark Hand as "Card Carrying Members of the Forces of Darkness."
  • You can tell that Doc Ock has fully become one by the mug he drinks out of that has "Evil Genius" written on it.
  • The League of Super Evil is based around a group of Card Carrying Villains. If they didn't tell you so themselves, you'd find it hard to believe they're really villains.
    • Other villains in the series tend to also be quite open with the fact that they're evil, there's even a company making devices just for super villains and a special driving test for them. Heck, they even have their own evil version of Santa Claus who rewards them for being evil!
  • Justice League lampshades it when an evil race of snake spirits want to possess the League.

General (under possession from the spirits): How would one contact this "Just-Us League?"
Sergeant: I don't know, sir. Wear a gaudy costume and threaten a bunch of people?
General: Thank you Sergeant, you've been quite a help.

    • Lampshaded yet again in Unlimited by Flash, during his Freaky Friday switch with Lex Luthor:

"Luthor": *Walking out of the bathroom* What?
Polaris: You gonna wash your hands?
"Luthor": No...cause I'm EVIL.

  • Emperor Zurg in Toy Story and Buzz Lightyear of Star Command is a true Large Ham of a Disney villain and proud of it.
  • A bit of a plot point in the Legion of Super Heroes episode "Phantoms". Phantom Zone escapee Drax hears the voices of his still-imprisoned parents in his head, constantly reminding him that he's evil and always will be. Supervillains really do make Abusive Parents.
    • In the series finale, despite never having self-identified as evil before (quite the opposite, in fact), the still-alive villain says one in particular, "Evil does not die. It evolves," in an ill-fated Sequel Hook.
  • In Yin Yang Yo, every single villain is a Card-Carrying Villain and Large Ham, like Carl the EVIL Cockrotch Wizard or his tyrant brother, Herman. They're the biggest suspects, but there are a lot of runners up. These include everyone who's evil, basically. The Night Master is the worst, as he's the embodiment of EVIL until his defeat. There's evil restaurants and everything.
  • Most, if not all the villains on The Fairly OddParents. This includes Sadist Teacher Crocker, malicious babysitter Vicky (who wants to someday "share her hate with everyone"), Galactic Conqueror Dark Laser, the Exclusively Evil anit-fairies, and the always Lawful Evil pixies. Special mention goes to Foop, who was born with a single goal in mind: to be hated and feared.
  • After He-Man and the Masters of the Universe explains that Christmas Episode makes people "feel good," Skeletor responds, "I don't want to feel good! I want to feel evil!"
  • Lucius on Jimmy Two-Shoes
  • In Rocky and Bullwinkle, Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale are this trope, as is their nation of Pottsylvania. When Boris swears, he uses words like 'decency', 'honor', and 'joy'. He is occasionally awarded the "Order of the Double-Cross" by Fearless Leader, and when Natasha calls him a "sneaky, fiendish, rotten, no-good snake in the grass", she means it as a compliment. For a taste of Pottsylvanian culture, listen to their National Anthem;

"Hail, Pottsylvania, Hail to the Black and Blue!
Hail, Pottsylvania, sneaky and fiendish through and through!
Down with the good guys, up with the boss,
Under the sign of the Triple-Cross!
Hail Pottsylvania, Hail, Hail, Hail!"

    • In the movie, when Natasha starts musing about what a wonderful life they could have together if they could only stop moose and squirrel, she mentions about how they could have children that they raise to be "little monsters". This is mentioned in the same breath as them living a peaceful life in a house by the sea.
  • Dr. Jumba Jookiba from Lilo & Stitch: The Series wanted so badly to be one of these for a while...but he was really more of a Mad Scientist and mischief-maker with a heart of gold in the end.
    • You doubt he wanted to be evil at first? When he was turned into a baby for one episode (don't ask), he spent his entire time breaking things to the (adorably) malevolent chant of "Evil! Evil!"
    • Also from Lilo & Stitch: The Series, 627 was designed by Jumba to be pure evil and unable to be turned good. The only thing it can say is "Evil!".
  • In Angry Beavers, Norbert's costume Super Villain persona: Baron Von Bad Beaver, later extended to Baron Von Once Bad Then Good Then Bad Again Beaver.
  • Mr. Burns from The Simpsons sometimes introduces himself with the Imperial March music from Star Wars.
    • Moe the bartender had literal villain business cards printed up.
  • Pofessor Ratigan and his cronies from Disney's The Great Mouse Detective. Just...listen to them.
  • Gru from Despicable Me and his archnemesis, Vector.
  • In Codename: Kids Next Door, villains eventually evolve into this, having 'supervillain meetings' and a supermarket for villains only. This even goes so far as a 'Villain's Choice Award'...on public television!
    • On a character basis, Father calls himself the second most evil adult, then refering to his father as the 'World's Most Ultimate Evil' before reawakening him. Grandfather goes on to refer to himself as pure evil.
  • Phineas and Ferb has Harmless Villain Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz. He calls himself evil and has a company called 'Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated', complete with Jingle. In several episodes, he has a Villain Song where he declares how evil he is. It comes to the point he'd erase the media just to prevent his fellow villains from finding out he (accidentally) saved a kitty. In the Christmas Special, he feared he'd be expelled from his evil scientist association for not hating Christmas.
  • The Brain-Eating Meteor from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy claims it's "just your average evil meteor from outta the sky".
  • Dick Dastardly is a true, if ineffective, card-carrying villain, and probably the most popular bad guy in the Hanna-Barbera stable. The narrator of Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines calls him "the deadly, diabolical, despicable demon of the skyways."
  • Captain Zero from TUGS - he's not so much outright evil as sort of a shyster, but it's touched on in the first episode.

Captain Zero: You're a team! The best, the better-looking, more powerful, and, dare I say? More devious!
Zip: What is devious?
Captain Zero: What's devious is what's necessary to make an honest living in these days of corruption and bad business ethics!
Zip: ...Oh.

Real Life

I take it you don't want the "cold-blooded psychopath" option. Don't get me wrong, though. I've met guys who actually kind of enjoy the notoriety; got off on it; got off on having that label.

  • Several Serial Killers have seriously, honest to God played this trope straight:
    • Aileen Wuornos: To me, this world is nothing but evil, and my own evil just happened to come out cause of the circumstances of what I was doing.
    • Alberto De Salvo: It wasn't as dark and scary as it sounds. I had a lot of fun...killing somebody's a funny experience.
    • Carl Panzram: In my lifetime I have broken every law that was ever made by both man and God. If either had made any more, I should very cheerfully have broken them also.
    • David Berkowitz (Son of Sam): I am a monster. I am the Son of Sam. I love to hunt.
      • However, he later became an Atoner while in prison, going so far as to request his parole hearing cancelled, as he believes he deserves his punishment.
    • David Harker: People like me don't come from films. Them films come from people like me.
    • H. H. Holmes: I was born with the devil in me. I could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than the poet can help the inspiration to sing. I was born with the evil one standing as my sponsor beside the bed where I was ushered into the world, and he has been with me since.
    • Jane Toppan: That is my ambition, to have killed more people-more helpless people-than any man or woman who has ever lived.
    • John Reginald Halliday Christie: The sixth commandment - 'Thou Shalt Not Kill' - fascinated me... I always knew that some day I should defy it.
    • Ted Bundy: I'm the most cold-blooded sonofabitch you'll ever meet. Sometimes I feel like a vampire.
    • Richard Kuklinski: (Smiles) Assassin....Sounds so exotic....(Sneers) I'm just a murderer.
    • Richard Ramirez (The Night Stalker): We are all evil, in some form or another, are we not?....Yes, I am evil. Not a hundred percent, but I am evil....The great epochs of our lives is when we gain the courage to rebaptise our evil qualities as being our best qualities.
  • Stalin did play this trope at least once, though sarcastically:

God is on your side? Is He a Conservative? The Devil's on my side, he's a good Communist.

  • Adolf Eichmann went back and forth on this; sometimes he would claim that he was Just Following Orders, and that he was unnerved at what he did because "My sensitive nature revolted at the sight of corpses and blood.". On the other hand, he also gave us these lines:

I will leap into my grave laughing because the feeling that I have five million human beings on my conscience is for me a source of extraordinary satisfaction. (Eichmann countered the claim saying that he was referring only to "enemies of the Reich".)

Adolf Hitler may have been wrong all down the line, but one thing is beyond dispute: the man was able to work his way up from lance corporal in the German Army to Führer of a people of almost 80 million. ... His success alone proved that I should subordinate myself to this man.

If we would have killed 10.3 million Jews, then I would be satisfied and would say, good, we annihilated an enemy. ... I wasn't only issued orders, in this case I'd have been a moron, but I rather anticipated, I was an idealist.

Now that I look back, I realize that a life predicated on being obedient and taking orders is a very comfortable life indeed. Living in such a way reduces to a minimum one's own need to think.

To sum it all up, I must say that I regret nothing.


  • Thoroughly embraced by Floyd Mayweather Jr., who actively and gleefully seizes the black hat in the build-up to any of his big fights. Initially, the boxing ur-example would have been Muhammad Ali, but he eventually became the most beloved figure in boxing, even today.
  • During the 80s, the Miami Hurricanes revelled in being the college football team America cheered against.