Even Evil Has Loved Ones

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

If I have children and subsequently grandchildren, I will keep my three-year-old granddaughter near me at all times. When the hero enters to kill me, I will ask him to first explain to her why it is necessary to kill her beloved grandpa...


Being evil doesn't mean negative emotions 24/7 against everything and everyone, except in particular cases. Even evil characters (and real people) can feel and show love. Often, that love is twisted, a cause for villainy, or an act. Sometimes, though, a work can show an evil character's love as genuine and deep. This often serves to humanize the character, to give the hero doubts about fighting him/her, or even to provide a weakness for the hero to exploit.

Compare Even Evil Has Standards, Unholy Matrimony, Morality Pet, Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter, Daddy's Little Villain, and Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas. If the evil character in question is a Mook, and said love brings them in conflict with their own boss, that's Even Mooks Have Loved Ones. Can often overlap with Moral Myopia when the villain sees no problem with their own methods, until those methods are turned on the ones they love.

Examples of Even Evil Has Loved Ones include:

Anime and Manga

  • For many fans of Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gendo Ikari is really an evil bastard. He definitely did, however, love his wife Yui, and, in the movie, is shown to love his son but not know how to take care of him, which is why he makes such a piss poor parent to poor Shinji.
  • Played straight and averted in Death Note where Light does indeed care for his family, even well beyond his descent in morality. Otherwise though, he has no emotional attachments to anyone outside of his parents and sister.
    • Even then Light still considers killing both his father and his sister, but doesn't go through with it because Soichiro died before Light needed to kill him and Sayu's death could only be pinned on a task force member.
      • But the whole reason Sayu's death could only be pinned on a task force member was because Light set things up that way to avoid having to kill her.
    • Rather horribly averted in the film The Last Name, in which he writes his father's name into the Death Note in order to stop it being analyzed. It doesn't work - and what's worse, Soichiro gets to watch while he does it. Even Misa was horrified at that and broke down in tears. And just when we thought it couldn't get worse, it did: Light ultimately dies in his father's arms, begging him to believe that he acted as Kira to put justice into effect.
  • ''Pokémon Special's version of Giovanni, with his son Silver.
  • They may have been sociopathic assholes, but the three Trinity siblings of Mobile Suit Gundam 00 did really love and protect each other. And Nena genuinely cried and mourned when Michael and Johann got killed..
  • Yark Dore from Gundam AGE might have no regrets whatsoever for being the mastermind behind "The Day the Angel Fell," but he is shown to be a genuinely kind and caring father to his son Arabel.
  • This trope drives the plot of Basilisk. Two clans of blood thirsty killers, with their loyalties held close to their hearts, spiral the Cycle of Revenge to tragedy.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist the Fuhrer is one of the homunculi, but he shows affection for his wife.
    • Another homunculus, Pride, also shows affection for one person: his "mother", Mrs. Bradley. This is particularly surprising, as Pride is by far the most evil of all the homunculi.
    • There are also two chimera henchmen who turn to the path of righteousness when they find out their families will likely become victims of the evil plot.
    • Also implied with Van Hohenheim, but it's a Red Herring. He's not evil at all, but for a while viewers are given the false implication that he and Father (who doesn't have loved ones at all) are the same person.
  • Flame of Recca does this. Despite being a sadistic bastard of an assassin, it's made pretty clear Kurei has underlings who care for him. He clearly returns their loyalty, although in his own way, mourning them if they die and swearing revenge on their killers. Neon even falls in love with him, and they become a couple. As it turns out, he intends to take revenge on Kouran Mori because Mori murdered Kurei's first love.
  • Johan Liebert in Monster has loved ones, too, but it makes him more, not less, disturbing. Because to find and reunite with his estranged twin sister Anna, he actually kills her adoptive parents. Note that this one is an "iffy" case, because it's hard to tell if Johan actually loves her, or if she's simply his favorite experiment, as he may be incapable of love at this point.
  • Gin Ichimaru from Bleach appears to be evil to the core, but at least somewhere amidst the many, many things he did For the Evulz was a long and subtle plot to kill his boss Aizen for hurting his only friend, Rangiku, when they were both kids.
    • Even before that, look at Jerkass-bordering-on-Complete Monster Mayuri Kurotsuchi. While he would probably have killed Szayel anyway, he does so in a really horrifying manner and is especially angered after Szayel's abduction of Nemu Kurotsuchi, his daughter, which was followed by a truly squicky Moral Event Horizon involving her.
      • Or because Szayel called himself perfect, which Mayuri was enraged at. He doesn't show any indication that he's bothered by the other fact.
      • It's debatable, and a large part of it depends on one's ability to track Mayuri's extremely inhuman reasoning; storing a poison in Nemu's body is quite pragmatic when dealing with hollows of unknown abilities but a known tendency towards cannibalism, but on the other hand, it does mean that dying by Mayuri's hand is relatively quick and painless while consuming Nemu like Szayel did resulted in him taking an eternity to experience his own death...
    • Several of the Arrancar also demonstrate this tendency, most pointedly Tia Harribel and Coyote Starrk, who are both very attached to their Fraccion. When Tia thinks hers have been killed, she becomes furious and would have killed Toshiro almost instantly if he hadn't been quick enough to set up a decoy maneuver he'd been saving for Aizen, while Starrk in the anime seems to lose his will to keep fighting when Lilinette dies protecting him, and is soon slain by Kyoraku. Even Loly and Menoly, two arrancar girls who are noted mostly for their psychotic grudge against Orihime, appear to have genuinely loved each other, as Menoly supported Loly despite her massive and justified doubts about attacking Orihime a second time and Loly went berserk when Menoly was killed.
    • The Fraccions also share such feelings, as Lilinette's last words are her calling out ot Starrk in anguish, and the novels show that the three girls from Tia's group woul rather ask a human like Orihime for help than letting their leaderess die. One of them even refuses to have her own considerable injuries healed first (and mind you, the three had barely survived being torched alive on top of mutilating themselves to create a Chimera), so anxious for Tia's recovery she was.
  • Suboshi from Fushigi Yuugi had a twin older brother named Amiboshi, and even when he had jumped off the slippery slope after thinking the kid was dead (as in, he killed Tamahome's family as revenge for supposedly killing Amiboshi, he still cared for his twin. Tomo learnt it the hard way, indeed.
    • Also, Nakago and Soi, though it doesn't seem so at first. After Soi is killed, Nakago is obviously very pained to lose her, and keeps her body with him
  • The Noah from D.Gray-man genuinely care for each other. When one of them was killed (Skinn), they held a funeral for him and cried for his death.
  • This backfires badly in Hunter X Hunter. Gon assumes the Ryodan don't have emotional connections. When he discovers that they, too, suffer from the loss of loved ones, he becomes furious at their hypocrisy for inflicting that pain on other people.
  • Dark Oak of Sonic X acts like a Complete Monster, but deep down inside, he's actually not all that bad. That's because he actually cares for Hertia/Earthia, and was worried that he might never see her again after she abandoned him on his former homeplanet with many other dying males and only a few surviving ones.
  • Kurojaki from Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin. He's one of the strongest and most ruthless villains in the manga, but he cares deeply about his son. When he thinks the little pup has been killed, he's devastated and goes into a beserk rage as he takes on the entire pack of dogs at once.
  • Before The Reveal, Naruto fans considered Itachi completely evil and heartless. Then we found out how much he cared about his little brother. There's no denying that Itachi worked for the bad side and did horrible things, but every evil deed he ever committed was done to protect Sasuke.
      • Debatable. Protecting Sasuke was just a wish of his. His main motivation for all horrible deeds he commited is actually protecting the Leaf Village. He's even willing to brainwash Sasuke AGAIN to keep it standing. Whether that makes it better or worse is up to the reader.
  • In My-HiME, Alyssa and Miyu are willing to destroy the school to advance the Searrs' plan, but they deeply care for one another (albeit in Alyssa's case, not quite as much as for her father), in spite of the fact that they are not considered as human by the rest of Searrs (Alyssa for being an artificially created Hime and Miyu for being a robot). Similarly, Nao, one of the more antagonisic Hime who did not become so out of love, considers her mother her most important person and is devastated when Shizuru destroys her Child, killing her.
  • In Muhyo and Roji's Bureau of Supernatural Investigation, the Cortlaw siblings vary in alignment (Mick is definitely evil while Kid is more innocent and a victim of manipulation), but they all care for each other, and seek to bring their parents back to life.
  • In the spin-off manga of Dragonball Z, Neko Majin Z, we find out that FRIEZA of all people has a kid...who, apart from having a tendency to be Affably Evil (when he's not playing soccer with the protagonists), seems pretty well-adjusted.

Comic Books

  • The Hood is a textbook example of this trope, using some of the proceeds from his criminal activities to pay for his mother's care while also supporting his pregnant girlfriend Sara.
    • The main villain the Hood "fights" during his first mini also counts; he loves his family greatly and was trying to find a mutant to be part of his supervillain squad because his daughter was one and asked him to hire some more.
  • In Frank Miller's To Hell and Back, the corrupt precinct captain Liebowitz lets the local crime lords run their businesses without interference, but when they worry he might be wavering, they threaten his family and break his son's arm. His response is to splatter his contact's brains across an interrogation room.

Liebowitz: You shouldn't have threatened my family. You shouldn't have beat up my boy.

  • Doctor Doom's adoration of his deceased mother, Cynthia, is possibly his only unambiguously good trait.
  • During DC's One Year Later event, several minor Batman villains were killed off, one of them a mutated biologist named Orca. During the storyline, it's revealed that Orca was married to a normal human, who's interviewed by the police regarding the circumstances around her death. While a little humor is taken from the relationship (the man remarking that he had a thing for big women) the pain of loss is treated seriously.
  • Marvel villains Absorbing Man and Titania are both basically mean, violent thugs, but are married and genuinely love one another.
  • Darkseid, the self-proclaimed God of Evil and the Anthropomorphic Personification of Tyranny, once loved a good woman named Sulli and was loved in return. Darkseid's evil mother had Sulli poisoned, and any good in him died with her.
  • Mr. Freeze often tries to help his ill wife.
  • So does the Kingpin.
    • Used very well with the Kingpin who appears in Ultimate Spider-Man, as Daredevil decides that the only thing a man like him would understand is the murder of his wife, and Spider-Man has to try and convince him that enacting this plan would make them as bad as each other. All this happens while the Kingpin and his henchmen are in the room, by the way.
  • Despite General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross/Red Hulk being a type III Anti-Villain, it is clear that he loves his daughter Betty.
    • From what we've seen in flashbacks, he loved Betty's mother Karen too; her death from cancer left him emotionally devastated.

Fan Works

  • The Legend of Zelda lemon fanfic Offering to the Demon King depicts Ganondorf as a brutal, warmongering despot who wants to conquer Hyrule, kill Link and force Princess Zelda to be his Sex Slave. However, he also treats his concubines kindly and is a loving father to his children.


  • The Devil's Rejects has the firefly family.
  • Briefly used in the first Spy Kids movie when Floop informs the Big Bad he has built soldiers for him and to demonstrate their effectiveness asks him to disarm one. Then an evil robot kid looking exactly like his son runs in the room, the Big Bad does nothing and the kid knocks him to the floor.

Floop: You hesitated.
Lisp: I had to - he's my son.
Floop: Are you sure?
[kid's eyes flash]

  • In The Proposition, Charlie Burns is a criminal, but he loves his little brother Mikey and wants to protect him, almost enough to kill his other brother Arthur at Captain Stanley's order. Arthur is a Complete Monster, but loves both his younger brothers and the rest of the Burns gang intensely, and thinks Charlie quite reasonable in choosing to buy Mikey's freedom with Arthur's life. In the end, they team up to bust Mikey out.
  • Darth Vader of Star Wars fame has Luke Skywalker; you can tell by his hesitance to kill and instead try to force a Face Heel Turn he really cares. This ends up being what ultimately causes Vader's Heel Face Turn in Return of the Jedi.
  • Bill, Beatrix/The Bride and Vernita from Kill Bill are all merciless murderers as well as loving parents. Also, Budd's sword has the inscription: "To My Brother Budd, The Only Man I Ever Loved. Bill"
  • In Best Seller James Woods' amoral hit man character is shown to have grown up in a loving family who he cares for. They have no idea what he does for a living.
  • In The Dark Knight, the mob are shown in several scenes sharing camaraderie. One in particular has two gang bosses (The Chechen and Salvatore Maroni) eating dinner together. Subverted (predictably) by the Joker.

Batman: He must have friends!
Maroni: Friends? Have you met this guy?

  • Pando, the main antagonist of Two Hands, is an Affably Evil gangster and a killer—who has a young son whom he clearly adores, watching kiddie TV with him and praising him for the origami pterodactyl he made. This goes back to the main theme of the film that bad people have some good inside them and good people have some bad inside them, as represented by the yin & yang.
  • In the Mexican film El Infierno, which deals with the violence of the drug cartels, "Cochiloco", one of the most ruthless drug cartel enforcers takes the protagonist to his home and introduces him to his wife and children. Cochiloco then glosses over this by saying "What? You thought I lived in a cave and ate human meat?". However, later a rival kills his whole family in vengeance, triggering his Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Max Shreck in Batman Returns convinces The Penguin to capture him instead of his son Chip.
  • Karl in Die Hard grieves over McClane killing Karl's brother.
    • Used again the Die Hard With a Vengeance when Simon reveals that McClane killed his brother, Hans, despite Simon revealing that he hated his brother.

Simon:"There's a difference between not liking one's brother, and not caring when some dumb, Irish flatfoot drops him out a window."

  • In a similar vein to the Die Hard films, Jet Li's character, Wah Sing Ku, at the end of Lethal Weapon 4 is attempting to flee Riggs and Murtaugh with his brother, all the other villains having been killed. When Murtaugh shoots Ku's brother while aiming for Ku himself, Ku sticks around and tries to kill Riggs and Murtaugh in revenge. Riggs then shoots Ku underwater after they fall off a pier while fighting.
  • Vogel (Nazi war criminal) in The Debt is married to a nurse at his office, who is horrified when told that her husband has had a heart attack.
  • Mallory Knox in Natural Born Killers. She killed or helped kill dozens of complete strangers, but she doesn't lay a finger on her younger brother and even stops Mickey from hurting him as well.
  • In Alfred Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent, the Nazi spy villain loves his daughter very much. At one point, the heroes try to use that against him by tricking her into going off on a trip to the country with one of them while the other tells the villain she's been kidnapped and will be killed if he doesn't release the diplomat he has abducted. At the end of the film, the plane carrying the villain, his daughter, and the heroes is shot down over the Atlantic, and the villain allows himself to drown so he won't weigh down the bit of wreckage his daughter is clinging to.
  • Gru in Despicable Me, though in a lesser extent. It came as a surprise that Mr Perkins has a picture of himself giving a young Vector a piggyback ride and both seem to be happy.
  • Loki in Thor. Despite everything that happened, he loved his brother, his mother, his father, and his friends. It's partly this love that he uses to justify his actions; from getting Thor exiled to luring Lafi to Asgard and killing him and trying to use the Byfrost to destroy Jotunheim.


  • Sawney Rath in the Redwall book Taggerung did seem to start out genuinely liking his adopted/stolen son Tagg. Then of course Tagg went and messed everything up by being of a good species, and Sawney tried to have him killed, and things went downhill just a tad. Ferahgo, in Salamandastron, openly announces that if he finds out his son Klitch is in on the plots against his life, Klitch will be allowed to live "because he's my son".
  • An odd version in Good Omens: Although it's everything they've supposedly been working toward for millennia, Crowley (a demon) and Aziraphale (an angel) decide to go up against Heaven and Hell together to prevent the Apocalypse because they've gotten kinda fond of Earth and humanity after six thousand years and they'd rather not have it completely destroyed in a blaze of hellfire and divine glory.
  • In John C. Wright's War of the Dreaming, a number of the main heroes are very distant descendants of main villain Azrael de Gray; he mostly prefers to not kill them. Enslaving them in an And I Must Scream situation is a perfect alternative, though.
  • In the Harry Potter series, the entire Malfoy family has virtually no morally positive traits, save for that they genuinely love each other, culminating when Narcissa Malfoy lies to Voldemort to save her son and gets away with it.
    • Narcissa's sister, Bellatrix, who is the single worst psychopath among the Death Eaters (to the point that other Death Eaters look at her funny) also seems to have a close relationship with her; she calls her Cissy, she's confident that Narcissa wouldn't hurt her because they're sisters, and Narcissa has openly argued with and defied Bellatrix's will to her face without Bellatrix even threatening violence (which is something that only one other living person, Voldemort, can hope to get away with. Even Snape had to hold Bellatrix off by threatening her with Voldemort.)
    • And in Snape's case, his love for Lily is strong enough to provoke a Heel Face Turn before the books even start.
  • In the Sherlock Holmes novel Hound of the Baskervilles, the escaped Serial Killer Seldon is still loved by his older sister Elisa. Upon seeing Elisa's completely heartbroken reaction after Seldon is accidentally killed by the Hound (Seldon was wearing old clothing belonging to the Hound's intended victim, and smelled like him as a result), Watson comments "Evil indeed is the man who has not one woman to mourn him."
  • Very common in A Song of Ice and Fire; many villains are saved from being truly despicable by their love for their families. In fact it's quicker to list the subversions/aversions/inversions:
    • The Late Lord Frey is a bastard to everyone, but anyone who dares to mess with his children or grandchildren had best be prepared to suffer... and it's this reflex which caused him to cross the Moral Event Horizon. Robb Stark insulting his daughter led to the Freys switching sides and a massacre of the Stark forces known as the Red Wedding.
      • Actually, subverted, When Catelyn wishes to exchange Robb for his grandson at the same Red Wedding," a son for a son", Aegon the jester, he lets him die, because "That one is a Grandson, and hardly any use." She slits his throat and Robb dies. I think that, it's not about love, for Frey, but for Family Honour, an extension of his own. I think something alike is explicitly stated in the books.
    • Subverted with Roose Bolton and his bastard son Ramsay; they're close because they're both very nasty men.
    • Subverted with Cersei Lannister, who was entirely motivated by the desire to protect her children, but was doing it for selfish reasons, since it was prophecised that all of her children would die before her and thus still deeply unsympathetic.
    • Both subverted and played straight with Tywin Lannister. Tywin is borderline abusive to all three of his children, though in different ways. However, he is genuinely close to his brother Kevan and sister Genna. Genna says it best:

"How could I not love him....That is not to say that I approved of everything he did or much enjoyed the company of the man he became, but every little girl needs a big brother to protect her, and Tywin was big even when he was little."

    • Notably averted with Gregor Clegane, who straight-up murdered most of his family (father, little sister, and at least two wives), earning him both Complete Monster status and the undying hatred of his younger brother Sandor. Inverted with Sandor himself, whose hatred of Gregor is part of what makes him such a compelling character.
  • In the Star Trek Enterprise Relaunch, Admiral Valdore cares little for the appalling loss of life in the war of aggression he's waging. Indeed, despite some slight disquietude he shows little restraint in using near-genocidal tactics against Coridan. However, his love for his wife and children is always shown as completely genuine and admirable.
  • The protagonist of the Villain.net series is a kid named Jake. First the idea of being a supervillain seemed like fun, but when it costs him his family, he decides that becoming the greatest supervillain in the world is the only way to get them back, or else the only way to exact revenge.
  • Sunlight Gardener and Morgan Sloat in The Talisman genuinely love their sons. However, Sunlight's child is a psychopath in one world and a mutated freak in the other and Morgan Sloat's twinner's son died years ago. He does not care about Sloat's son at all.
  • Horris Quaiche from Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space goes from Loveable Rogue to insane religious leader and dictator to borderline Complete Monster, but he genuinelly loved his tragically deceased lover (whose death triggered his descent into madness in the first place).
  • In Mortal Instruments, the Big Bad Valentine seems to actually care about Jace. Of course, that doesn't stop him from killing Jace. He is sad afterwards and tried to keep Jace from forcing him to, though.
  • Thaddeus Valentine from Mortal Engines has his daughter Katherine who he truly loves and cares about. When she throws herself on Valentine's sword to protect Hester, he is heartbroken and dies cradling her body as London blows up.
  • In Animorphs, Visser One is pushing for a slow, secret conquest of Earth instead of the violent conflict Visser Three favors. An open war could result in the death of billions, and that might include the two children she gave birth to through a previous human host.
  • Tigerstar, the Big Bad of Warrior Cats had a mate and kits. So did his brutal, Blood Knight mentor Thistleclaw, and the eventually villainous Antpelt (minus the kits for him).
  • The Limbo Line by Victor Canning was about an organization that kidnaps defectors and ships them back to the Soviet Union to be brainwashed into saying that they tried the West and decided to come home because communism is better. A subplot is the head of this group, Oleg, developing a romance with his secretary, Ludmilla. When he's killed:

She moved mechanically, not allowing herself much room for thought, for thought was only misery. What happened now had no significance. It did not matter what she did, or where she went, because for her there did not seem to be anywhere to go, or anything to do, that would ever lighten the darkness that had settled over her.


Live-Action TV

  • An episode of Burn Notice has Michael do this once: Brennan the arms dealer is back for revenge, and he's holding Michael's brother hostage to get him to do his bidding. Michael is forced to comply, all the while surreptitiously contacting Sam and Fiona to try and find something they can use to make Brennan release his grip. In the end, Michael strings together the clues they find and figures out Brennan's weak point: he bluffs Brennan into thinking he's got an assassin positioned in Europe to kill his beloved daughter. Brennan is shocked that Michael would pull such a dirty trick and surrenders.
  • In NCIS Rene Benoit, aka La Grenouille, the Chessmaster target of the entire preceding season's Long Game sting operation, is the father of Jeanne Benoit.
    • Also let's not forget Ari Haswari who was Ziva's half-brother.
  • From Canadian drama show Flashpoint, one episode has a drug lord begging the man holding a gun to his fellow drug lord ... and brother.
  • From the first-season Law and Order episode "The Secret Sharers": The victim was a drug dealer and paroled rapist who was believed to have been murdered in retaliation for raping the murderer's girlfriend. His parole officer said that he was one step over a slug. Yet he regularly gave money to support his young daughter. One of the detectives said "Hey, you think he's crap? I think he's crap!...but he had a little girl who thought he was Mister Rogers."
  • Gul Dukat from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has a half-Bajoran daughter, Tora Ziyal. He goes insane(er) with grief when she is killed.
    • Cardassians in general are subject to this trope, as Cardassians are generally polite, considerate and loyal. It's just that they also happen to be loyal to a power-hungry facist government. In one instance, we see a Torture Technician being visited by his daughter while he is at work, and offering her kindly fatherly advice on how to care for her pet. Right in front of the man the father is currently tasked with breaking.
  • In an interesting use of the trope from Star Trek: The Next Generation, one of the liberated Borg drones goes absolutely apeshit when his comrade, Torsus, is killed.
  • The Femme Fatale from Angel.

Lilah: Is everything alright? Are they taking care of you? - No, mom, this is Lilah. You called Lilah. Do you need anything? Do you need money? - No - mom, I can't come over. I'm in Los Angeles. You know that. - Don't cry. Mom, please, stop it.

  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, if you hurt the Mayor or Faith, expect the other to come looking for you.
    • Spike genuinely loved and cared for Drusilla, in stark contrast to Angelus, Darla, and even Drusilla herself. Indeed his Establishing Character Moment has him instantly switch from threatening his future Mooks to worrying about whether Drusilla is cold after she had wandered into the room.
      • Drusilla loved Spike (and Angel), if not with the same level of devotion that Spike had for her. Drusilla herself said it best.

"We can, you know. [Vampires] can love very well, if not wisely."

      • Angelus, however, is completely incapable of love, despite him and Darla being passionately evil, they both have ditched each other or ratted the other out at times in the past, just so one of them doesn't get killed, leaving the other to face the wrath of their pursuers. Angel, on the other hand clearly loved Darla. As a human, it terrifies her, as a vampire, it sickens her.
    • Angel encounters a vampire couple who show this for each other while he's dealing with the news that Buffy has died (again). After Angel stakes the woman, the man turns himself into an unstoppable killing machine (with a very short lifespan) for a shot at vengeance. Angel ends up feeling guilty because his months of brooding over Buffy seems to pale in comparison to the love this completely evil monster felt for his mate and his reaction to her death.
      • The vampire couple were James and Elizabeth, who were actually old friends of Angelus and Darla (dating back to before Angelus sired Drusilla or met Spike). James was acting both out of vengeance for a lost love and outrage at being betrayed by an old partner -- throughout the entire episode he apparently shows no awareness that Angel even has a soul, calling him 'Angelus' the entire time.
  • One Law and Order: Criminal Intent villain was a con artist who had a mark's son murdered just to advance his scheme to defraud her. However, he did deeply care for one other person besides himself: his partner. Goren ended up exploiting his desperation not to hurt her to force a confession.

Eames: True love. Probably his only redeeming trait.

  • Alias: Arvin Sloane cares deeply about his wife, Emily; later, he bonds with his daughter (from a different mother), Nadia. Sark also expresses some emotion after Lauren's death.
  • In the ever-confusing The X-Files plot surrounding Samantha Mulder and whatever became of her, at one point it is said that the Big Bad, CSM, rescued Samantha from her captors and raised her as his own. She points out that he was a caring and loving father.
  • Terra Nova: From Boelyn's point of view prior to Lucas Taylor taking over Terra Nova, Commander Taylor fits this trope.

Boelyn: Taylor's a complete bastard, and then some...but he loves his son. He'd sooner slit his own throat than hurt Lucas.

  • From Glee: Sue Sylvester's genuine affection for her sister.
  • Volkoff from Chuck shows some hints of really loving his daughter Vivian.
  • On Babylon 5, Bester tries to play this card with Garibaldi in an early appearance, portraying himself as just a misunderstood family man. Garibaldi isn't having any of it. Later, it comes out that Bester really does have a true love: his mistress, a rogue telepath who ends up being abducted by the Shadows to become part of a Shadow vessel's Wetware CPU. Bester does not handle this well.
  • In an episode of Criminal Minds called "Parasite", a conman who tricks uses romance as one of his main weapons to trick people out of their money suffers a psychotic break. He may have been a cheating murderer at that point, but he did genuinely care about the safety of his wife and son.
  • On Twenty Four, many of the terrorists have family members who can be used against them, particularly when their love of those people is greater than their loyalty to the mission. For example, Jack breaks the initial Big Bad of Season 2 by pretending to kill his family, and Dina Araz of Season 4 cooperates with CTU to guarantee the welfare of her son (while pointing out that if he dies, she doesn't care whether the US gets nuked.
    • Subverted with Marie Warner.

Marie: I killed Reza... and I loved him. What makes you think I'd care for you or Dad?

  • This turns out to be a big part of Number Two's motivation in the remake of The Prisoner. Two loves his coma-stricken wife very, very much. Too bad she's secretly the real Number One. Her coma is powering the Village (which is actually a Dream Land) and it will be destroyed if she ever wakes up for longer than a day.
  • Ransik, the Big Bad of Power Rangers Time Force, genuinely loved his daughter Nadira despite being a mutant terrorist. This is what causes him to be one of the very few Power Rangers main villains to find redemption. Even better, it's Redemption Earns Life.
  • In Warehouse 13, H.G Wells—even after 110 years, the only thing she genuinely cares and mournes for is her daughter, Christina.
  • In The Adventures of Shirley Holmes, Molly Hardy is Shirley's nemesis and quite the manipulative Magnificent Bastard, but when she learns that her horse has to be put to sleep it's the first and only time we see her cry.
  • The rural Kentucky villains of Justified provide numerous examples of this trope. In season two, Mags Bennett used her three sons as henchmen and showed great warmth toward her adopted daughter, Loretta. After the deaths of Coover and Doyle, Mags killed herself by drinking poisoned moonshine.
    • In season three, Boyd's criminal enterprize includes his cousin Johnny and his girlfriend Ava, to whom he is very loyal.
    • Also in season three, Detroit mob lieutenant Robert Quarles has a wife and children back home. Quarles makes a point of talking to his son on the phone and mailing him postcards during his exile in Kentucky. Later in the season, however, as Quarles' schemes unravel and he plunges deeper into Oxycontin addiction, he ignores phone calls from his family. After the Detroit mob cuts ties with Quarles, Duffy suggests that Quarles go home. Quarles says that he has nowhere to go, suggesting that things may not be rosy at home.
  • In the episode "Bad Day to Be a Hero" of the 2018 Magnum, P.I. reboot, the primary villain is a mobster that ships destitute foreigners over on fraudulent (and highly illegal) indentures and forces them to stay while he sells their manual labor. The police detective finally breaks him in interrogation by holding a nightmare before him of his wife prosecuted as an accessory and his children split up into different orphanages.


  • Slim Shady is entirely amoral, and loves his daughter.


  • The Bible mentions this to make a point: If evil people know how to give good gifts to their children, then how much more does God know how to give gifts to His? Also given as one of the reasons we are supposed to love our enemies: Even evil people love those that love them, so there is nothing really extraordinary about loving those that love you.

Tabletop Games

  • Warhammer 40,000 has the infamous relationship between Nurgle, Chaos God of Disease, and Isha, Eldar Goddess of Healing. It's kind of one-sided, but it's the closest to nice that a Chaos God can ever get.
    • More generally, this is Nurgle's relationship with all his worshipers. He genuinely loves everyone, even his enemies, and will offer comfort and succor to all who suffer the travails of the condition of being mortal. That said succor involves making a person comfortable with the idea of decaying into a bloated and twisted form for however long they may last, and that refusal will result in his followers battering a person until they accept Nurgle's love is irrevelant to the affection he feels for them.
  • Warhammer Fantasy Battle: Warriors of Chaos has a character named Valkia the Bloody. She has a rule called "Consort of Khorne"; it lets her reroll on the Eye of the Gods table if she doesn't like the results. The reason she can is because her patron god, Khorne, who went so far as to resurrect her following her first death, can't stop watching her. This is a god whose throne is made of Nothing but Skulls, mind you.
  • Rich Burlew covered this as a way to make villains more fleshed-out in his Villain Workshop articles. In the presented example, two villainous siblings were honestly planning to divvy up the world between them and rule without fighting each other, but the heroes believed Evil Cannot Comprehend Good and assumed they were both gearing up to backstab the other. This led to a very shoddy attempt to play one side against the other that failed in the worst possible way.


  • Naturally, Shakespeare gets in on the action:
    • King Lear: When Edmund realizes that both Goneril and Regan loved him (or at least as close to love as they could get), he resolves to save Cordelia's life. Unfortunately, her death happened first, sending Edmund an unmistakeable message of You Are Too Late.
    • Macbeth: As Harold Bloom remarked, the Macbeths are the happiest married couple in Shakespeare.
    • Shylock of The Merchant of Venice is a fairly unpleasant Loan Shark, but he is shown to mourn his deceased wife and truly loves his daughter Jessica.


  • In Dragon Age, Loghain Mac Tir may be ruthless and paranoid, but he loves his daughter Anora. This appears to be subverted when Loghain attempts to have her killed to prevent her from siding with the Warden, but that turns out to be a lie perpetrated by Anora as part of her plan to remain in power regardless of who wins the civil war.
    • Also, when Shale asks Loghain (if he's in your party) if he'd do anything for power, why he doesn't simply Cut The Knot and kill Anora for power. Loghain makes it clear that he refuses to consider the idea even if it'd get him the power he needed.
    • Anora also had genuine reason to fear Arl Howe.
    • Speaking of Arl Howe, you meet his son Nathaniel in the expansion Awakening - who plans to kill your PC for murdering his father. (Nathaniel, though, didn't know exactly what his father was doing. . .)
    • Though you may debate whether anyone in Dragon Age II is really 'evil' due to the omnipresent Grey and Grey Morality, even if you play Hawke as a dog-kicking madperson with a tendency to let dangerous blood mages go/sell out innocent mages to the Templars when all they wanted was a taste of freedom, he/she still cares about his/her family.
  • It's thought that Darth Vader thinks of Starkiller from Star Wars: The Force Unleashed as a son. Thank god he didn't raise Luke.
  • Neverwinter Nights mostly averts this, as its villains are mostly the cackling Omnicidal Maniac sort, but the module-creating community does have some examples.
    • Alex in the Bastard of Kosigan series has definitely crossed the Moral Event Horizon, but her dialogue hints that she still loves the player.
    • Neverwinter Nights 2 Mask of the Betrayer might not count as Akachi isn't technically a villain, but his love for the Red Woman and his brother do help bring him back to himself and end the curse that is killing your player.
      • On another note, Arraman himself still loves his brother and has a tendency to not attack you when he really ought to.
  • Overlord has the title character gain a mistress partway through the game. Rose is prim and a bit condescending... although even later in the game, you can dump Rose for her sultry sister Violet. It turns out that both girls are the daughters of the former Overlord and the one you didn't pick will betray you when her father returns.
    • Overlord II stars the son of the previous Overlord, after said Overlord vanished at the end of Overlord: Raising Hell (while his mistress was pregnant). He has one childhood friend Kelda, who in turn becomes his first mistress. Even in the stage of the game when both are children, Kelda is the only character who likes the Witch-Boy and doesn't treat him like the Enfant Terrible he is, instead trying to protect him from bullying while developing a crush on him.
  • In Fire Emblem 4: Genealogy of the Holy War and Fire Emblem 5: Thracia 776, Yurius is evil as they come, but even though he's monstrous, twisted, and possessed by a Dark God, he still loves and adores the rather good, if mis-sided, Ishtar (and despite abhorring the evil he commits, she loves him very much in return). To note: In 4, there's two points where you encounter the couple as bosses... and the game lets you have the dreaded Berserk Staff...
  • The Super Mario Bros. villain Bowser with his seven Overlord Jrs and one Daddy's Little Villain. For this clan, taking over the world is like a family vacation! He even makes sure they each get their own little kingdom to play in/rule-with-an-iron-claw!
    • Despite being a textbook example of being an otherwise barbaric, power-hungry, bloodthirsty alien overlord, Elder Princess Shroob from Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time loves her sister the younger Princess Shroob who you see for most of the game and is so heartbroken by her death, that one of the main reasons she wants to fight Mario, Luigi, and their baby selves is because she wants to avenge her dead sister.
  • In Castle Crashers, after you defeat the Conehead Groom a big, burly cyclops enters the scene, picks up the Groom's body, and cries. He then escapes with the Princess. When you finally catch up to him, he's holding a funeral for his pal. Whether the groom was his son, father, or just a good friend is unclear.
  • Throughout BioShock (series), it's implied that Andrew Ryan had an illegitimate child. Later, it's revealed that Jack himself is Ryan's illegitimate son. Fontaine kidnapped and brainwashed Jack to do his bidding precisely because he knew that as evil as Ryan was, even he couldn't bring himself to kill his own son.
  • The Panda King from Sly Cooper series has Jing-King.
  • In Sengoku Basara 3 we have Otani Yoshitsugu, a leprous Misanthrope Supreme Evil Sorcerer whose stated goal in life is to make every human just as miserable as he is. Yet, for all this, he remains completely loyal and dedicated to White-Haired Pretty Boy Ishida Mitsunari, because Mitsunari already is that miserable and is very good at spreading said misery around. When Mori and Ieyasu make him realize at the end of one of his campaigns that this means he has someone he actually cares for, he suffers a Villainous Breakdown.
  • In Saints Row 2, the Boss looks like an amoral sociopath (and don't be fooled s/he is), but God help you if you dare to touch any of the other Saints. You will be ended in some particularly gruesome ways. A Villain Protagonist to the hilt, yes, but one who cares about their people at least...
    • Saints Row 3 leaves it up to the player to decide whether the Boss cares enough to prevent Saints from being killed or whether they're just a convenient excuse for the next rampage.
      • Saints Row 4, however, assumes that the Boss took the 'you genuinely care' ending as canon.
  • Dracula genuinely loved both of his wives; it was their deaths that prompted him to go evil. Twice. In Symphony of the Night, he expresses remorse upon finding out that his actions go against his second wife's last words. He is also implied to have some feelings towards his son Alucard, even though Alucard is his enemy.
  • In Alpha Protocol, Alan Parker is a cold and calculating person who considers everyone he works with as expendable and has no problems with eliminating them if he sees it as necessary. However, with enough research, Mike can find out that he's the father of Madison Saint James. If Madison is killed by Conrad Marburg, Mike can inform Parker of the man who killed his daughter, which will result in him trying to take revenge, or at least try to.
  • A Villain Protagonist version, Alex Mercer from Prototype shows he deeply cares for his sister Dana.
    • Later it turns out that "Alex" is actually the virus using his body as a form, and the original Alex was in fact just a Complete Monster.
    • In Prototype 2, James Heller was getting ready to kill Colonel Rooks but spares him when he finds out the man has a family he cares deeply about.


  • Order of the Stick makes it clear that an "evil" alignment does not prevent a character from having loved ones. This was especially clear in Start of Darkness, which subverts/inverts it when Redcloak does pick Xykon over his brother, and not because of Xykon's vision, but his own.
    • General Tarquin, Lawful Evil father of Elan, demonstrates this trope quite blatantly, celebrating his long-lost son's homecoming by throwing a festival that culminates in spelling out said son's name using the burning corpses of escaping slaves nailed to the side of a mountain.
    • They weren't corpses. At least not when they started burning.
    • Tarquin's right-hand Malack lost three offspring in a revolution. Even years later, he wants to be a father again but can't find another true love and is unsure about adoption.
    • Enor and Ganji are fairly amoral, greed-driven bounty hunters who are willing to kill friends and family members of their collected bounties should they come asking. However, they truly do care for each other, which is another Kick the Dog moment when Tarquin orders them to fight each other in the gladiator arena, which he sent there because they "tried" to extort money from him by playing out another Star Wars reference in a long string of them.
    • Nale and Sabine seem to honestly care about each other, even though she's apparently keeping the secret about working for the Three Fiends from him.
    • The ancient black dragon was probably evil before she ever decided to avenge herself against Vaarsuvius, but she had a very specific beef when Vaarsuvius killed her only son.
    • And the only being capable of inducing empathy in Belkar is his cat, Mr. Scruffy.
  • In Blip, Incubus and Succubus care for each other very much; their loyalty to each other is stronger than their loyalty to their boss. In fact, when Incubus was seriously injured, Succubus seemed willing to sacrifice herself to save his life.
  • In Evil Plan the Webcomic, supervillain Dr Kinesis still visits his clueless family for the holidays, and even looks out for his sister, objecting to her fiance as any suspicious sibling might.
  • Captain Snow in Archipelago (of all people) has his widow and daughter, the latter of whom was born a few months after he died. He is also rather protective of his nephew... but also averted in that he murdered his mother, though he seems to regret that.

Web Originals

Western Animation

  • Xanatos of Gargoyles is mad protective of his son Alexander and loves his wife Fox (who herself wasn't exactly a hero). When Oberon asks them to give up their son, it does not go too well.

Xanatos: "Now you know my weakness."
Goliath: "Only you would regard love as a weakness."

    • And in "Planet of the Bikers", the Dominatrix Space Bikers turn out to be a respectable elementary school staff on their home planet, and the mention that one has a kid on the way even causes Jenny to D'awww.
  • Oroku Saki of the most recent version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has one shred of humanity in the fact he truly loves his adopted daughter Karai.
  • Hoggish Greedly from Captain Planet and the Planeteers may be a supervillain, but he truly loves his son Junior. The one time his polluting put his son in harm's way, he performed an Enemy Mine with the Planeteers to fix it.
  • The first most prominent antagonist of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy had Nergal who went on to marry Billy's aunt, Aunt Sister, and produce their son, Nergal Jr - Billy's cousin. He still remained a villain, but was considerably more easy on Billy and often spoke of his love for his wife.
  • Although his evil can be debatable, Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz in Phineas and Ferb deeply cares for both his daughter AND his arch-nemesis.
  • The Monarch and his wife Doctor Miss The Monarch (formerly Doctor Girlfriend before she got married) are frequently considered the strongest, most loving relationship in the entire Venture Brothers show, even if they are deranged supervillains.
  • The X-Men: Evolution version of Mystique seems to genuinely care for her son, Kurt, despite trying to take out the rest of the X-Men.
  • In Futurama, most of the missions Farsworth sends the planet express crew on are the type he doesn't expect them to survive, and while they always do, they're rarely in very good shape afterwards. However, in "The Sting", he does not want to send them on the same mission that killed his previous crew, openly admitting that their demise was particularly agonizing.

Real Life

  • Almost if not always Truth in Television.
  • Hitler had a dog he was very found of, so much so he became completely inconsolable when she died. His wife Eva also had two dogs of her own. After he and Eva committed suicide, the surviving dogs were killed. The people in the bunker were more affected by the deaths of the dogs than Eva's death.
    • There's also pictures of him interacting with fawns.
  • Russian tsar Ivan The Terrible loved his wife intensely; her death only served to make him worse.
  • Al Capone tried to stop the gang wars in Chicago because he didn't want his son to grow up without his father and used the money from his criminal activities to support his sisters. He also had a close relationship with his siblings and mother.
  • Gangster Jimmy Burke Was a greedy man who had no problem hurting children and backstabbing others. However, he was said to cry like a baby after his best friend Thomas Desimone was murdered and regularly sent his adoptive parents money in appreciation for what they did for him.
  • Stalin loved his daughter, adopted son and youngest son deeply. He was grief-stricken when his first wife died and considered suicide over it.

...and when the hero launches into an explanation of morality that goes way over her head, that will be her cue to pull the lever and drop him into the pit of crocodiles. Children love crocodiles as much as they love evil overlords, and it's important to spend time with the grandkids.
—The rest of # 143