Evil Plan

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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    "Ah, how shall I do it? Ooh, I know. I'll turn him into a flea, a harmless little flea, and then I'll put that flea in a box, and then I'll put that box inside of another box, and then I'll mail that box to myself, and when it arrives, ahahaha... I'LL SMASH IT WITH A HAMMER! It's brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, I tell you! Genius, I say! (BAM) ...Or, to save on postage, I'll just poison him with this!"


    So you've got your Big Bad Evil Overlord, looming over the world like a colossus. But he can't just putz around on his throne or hang out in his gym all day long, waiting for the Big Damn Heroes to show up and kick his butt. And while The Omniscient Council of Vagueness doesn't seem to do much but sit around and wait while spouting off cryptic nonsense, they've got to have some sort of hidden agenda to hide or there isn't much of a point.

    So they've got to have a Plan. An Evil Plan. Otherwise there's not much of a story, is there?

    Some popular examples of Evil Plans:

    Normally, these are accomplished with Stock Evil Overlord Tactics. Of course, most of the smaller-scope plans can usually be accomplished in a less grandiose fashion.

    Can involve a Xanatos Gambit but only if the Evil Plan is arranged so that whatever the heroes do helps the villain in some way. See the trope page for details.

    If you are looking for Evil Plan the webcomic try here.

    Examples of Evil Plan include:

    Anime and Manga

    Fan Works

    • Ultimate SpiderWoman: Change With the Light did this with Jack O'Lantern, Spider-Woman's Arch Enemy as well. Jack immediately minimizes most of the risk to himself by using Corrupt Corporate Executive Phillip Watson as his mind-controlled dupe and making it look like Phillip is the one pulling the strings. Jack is giving Phillip instructions on what to say and do, and makes sure to delete all his correspondence with Phillip so it can't be traced back to him. The plan works out just as he'd hoped—the resulting Mob War decimates two of New York City's crime syndicates, allows him to begin implementing his Legion of Doom plan to set up a new supervillain crime organization, Phillip is blamed for the whole thing and Jack gets off scot-free, and he manages to give Spider-Woman a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown as the final delicious twist.


    • Every James Bond villain has had one of these:.
      • Dr. No's plan was to topple American rockets from his island base as part of a mission from SPECTRE, probably with a hostile foreign power as a client.
      • Kronsteen and Rosa Klebb in From Russia with Love wanted to steal a cryptographic device from the Soviets and sell it back to them, as well as take revenge on Bond for killing Dr. No. This was also a SPECTRE mission.
      • Goldfinger's scheme was to nuke Fort Knox to devalue American gold and increase the value of his own.
      • Emilio Largo's plan in Thunderball was to steal two nuclear missiles and try to get ransom from the U.S. by threatening to launch them. This, too, was a mission from SPECTRE.
      • Blofeld's plan in You Only Live Twice was to start World War III by destroying American and Russian spacecraft and framing the other. Again, SPECTRE had been hired to do this by a hostile foreign power.
      • Blofeld's plan in On Her Majesty's Secret Service involves hypnotising a group of 12 unwitting divas and arming them with a virus that causes infertility in the plant and animal life of his choosing, unless the world meets his demands of immunity from past crimes and to be recognised as a Count.
      • Blofeld's plan in Diamonds Are Forever is to use stolen diamonds to build a Kill Sat and hold the world hostage.
      • Kananga/Mr. Big from Live and Let Die wanted to corner the heroin market.
      • Scaramanga, The Man with the Golden Gun, wanted to corner the market on solar power during the '73-'74 energy crisis. Bit of an Excuse Plot- the real meat of the story is that Scaramanga has abused his girlfriend one too many times and she has duped Bond into going after him by making it look like Scaramanga has taken a contract on his life.
      • Stromberg from The Spy Who Loved Me wanted to start World War III by hijacking nuclear submarines and launching them at New York and Moscow respectively, as in You Only Live Twice framing both countries a perpetrators of the others plan. He will then build and rule an underwater city as a paradise for the survivors to rebuild civilization. Yes, he is insane.
      • The plan of Hugo Drax of Moonraker was the annihilation of the human race in order to repopulate the world with his own "ideal" specimens. Given that the original villain of Moonraker was a Nazi, this shouldn't come as much of a surprise.
      • Kristatos in For Your Eyes Only wants to recover a MacGuffin for the KGB, and to manipulate Bond into assassinating his rival as a bonus.
      • Renegade Russian General Orlov in Octopussy wanted to detonate a nuclear warhead on an American base (making it seem like an American accident), forcing the US to pull out of Europe and leaving it vulnerable to Soviet conquest. He is in a Big Bad Duumvirate with Diabolical Mastermind Kamal Khan who is getting paid for it, and hopes to kill his boss / partner in crime in the process and take over her organization afterwards.
      • Max Zorin's ultimate plan in A View to a Kill is to detonate explosives along the Hayward and San Andreas Faults, causing them to flood. The other major bomb was set to destroy a "geological lock" that's in place to prevent the two faults from moving, causing a double earthquake that would destroy Silicon Valley, leaving his microchip company with a monopoly.
      • The evil plan of Big Bad Duumvirate General Koskov and Brad Whitaker in The Living Daylights is to get ludicrously rich using the profits from a large shipment of opium paid for using diamonds and to repay the loan from the Russkies they took and are a bit late in returning, as well as pitting the British against the KGB chief who is on to them by framing him for murdering British agents.
      • Sanchez's scheme in Licence to Kill involves cocaine hidden in gasoline sold to Asian drug dealers, conducted via a televangelist, revolutionizing the drug smuggling business. He's also bought Stinger missiles from the Contras and is threatening to use them on American airliners if the DEA didn't back off. The story, however, is more about Bond's Roaring Rampage of Revenge for what Sanchez and his people did to Felix Leiter and his new wife.
      • Alec Trevelyan of GoldenEye sought revenge against the British government for betraying his family, who were Lienz Cossacks sent back to Stalin, by detonating the titular Kill Sat over London. Furthermore, he planned to steal billions of pounds from the Bank of England—as well as all sorts of data like credit ratings, land registers and criminal records—and the records of the transactions will be zapped, leaving him very rich and leaving the British—and indeed, the world—economy in shambles.
      • Elliot Carver of Tomorrow Never Dies wanted to start a war between the West and China to increase the ratings of his media empire, and then to murder the Chinese government so his ally in the military could take over, who would give him exclusive media access (China being the only country in the world that refused him broadcast rights after he gained the ability to reach the entire world with his new satellite system).
      • The World Is Not Enough has Elektra King and Renard scheming to raise petroleum prices by triggering a nuclear meltdown in the waters of Istanbul, destroying every oil pipeline except for hers and giving her a monopoly on Europe's oil.
      • Die Another Day's Big Bad, Gustav Graves, takes a page from Blofeld's book from Diamonds Are Forever and uses a diamond-powered Kill Sat that runs on solar energy. He sought to use it to help North Korea take over the South, as well as Japan and presumably elsewhere (he is actually a corrupt North Korean colonel Faking the Dead and in disguise as a wealthy Corrupt Corporate Executive).
      • Casino Royale involves one bad guy, criminal banker Le Chiffre, who short-sells successful companies and engineers terrorist attacks in order to sink their stock values and turn a profit. The other bad guys are his superiors and clients who are pissed because he is doing this with their funds and behind their back. Bond screws up Le Chiffre's plan by foiling a terrorist attack and Le Chiffre has to hold and win a multi-million dollar poker tournament to pay his clients back. Bond is there to win it to force Le Chiffre to sell out his clients and superiors to MI 6 in return for sanctuary before the other villains track him down and kill him.
      • Quantum of Solace involves Dominic Greene wanting to hold the revolutionary government-to-be of Bolivia over a barrel by controlling the majority of the water and not oil through a system of planned underground demolitions.
      • And while we're at it, Never Say Never Again is a rehash of Thunderball with SPECTRE hijacking nuclear weapons and holding the world hostage; Casino Royale 1967 spoof is much the same as above, except Le Chiffre is (as in the novel) working for SMERSH instead of terrorists and his double-dealings (which, again like the novel, has nothing to do with Bond) are a side-plot to SMERSH's master plan, which involves murdering spies all over the world (like the Real Life SMERSH, a Soviet counter-intelligence agency) and to fill the world with a biological agent at the behest of its Diabolical Mastermind Doctor Noah aka Jimmy Bond, the real James Bond's nephew, a.k.a. Woody Allen. The agent will kill all men over 4'6" (his height) and make all women beautiful; in other words leaving him as the "big man" who gets all the girls.
    • Dr. Leopold from Mystery Science Theater 3000-film The Blood Waters of Dr. Z has one of these on a huge chart with each step illustrated, and which he crosses off as he completes them.
    • The Kagenos' true goal in Robo Geisha is to drop an atomic bomb into Mt. Fuji, which they believe will destroy Japan so that they can rebuild it in their own image.
    • Season of the Witch: The villain is a demon who seeks the only book with the knowledge of how to banish it back to Hell in order to destroy it and the entire movie is the heroes helping them find it.
    • Many, many Disney villains have these.
    • Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery parodies this trope. Dr. Evil explains various evil plans only for his Number Two to point that they already have happened. At last he throws up his hands and says, "Let's just do what we always do: hijack some nuclear weapons and hold the world hostage."


    • Voldemort in Harry Potter wants to make a perfect society (one ruled by wizards, pure-blooded wizards, loyal only to him), rule it (with much pain and torture and fear), and become immortal. In fact, the immortality is probably the most important to him.
      • The especially ironic part of this is that while he vaunts the so-called purity of blood among wizards, he is himself not a pure-blood wizard - he is a half-blood, as his father was a Muggle (non-wizard) whom his witch mother tricked into eloping with her with a love potion because she loved him (which he did not reciprocate).
        • The books also mention that practically no wizard is pure-blood even though the so-called "pure-blood" families marry almost exclusively amongst each other; most of them have at least one Muggle or Muggle-born wizard somewhere up their family tree.
    • Dr. Impossible's half of Soon I Will Be Invincible revolves around escaping from jail, creating a(nother) new plan to Take Over the World and putting it into action.
    • In Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn, we find out at the end of book 2 that The entire plot of the first and second books were engineered by Ruin in order to get Vin to release him from the Well of Ascension. Also, the search for the Lord Rulers' Atium stockpile which took up a good part of book three was yet another gambit by Ruin. Although to be fair, the Lord Ruler and the Terris prophets had planned for this eventuality.
    • No matter how minor the case in The Dresden Files, eventually it will turn out to have at least one of these behind it.
    • Going Postal: Big Bad Gilt wants to corner the communications market by keeping the post office closed. He's Moist's competition through the story.

    Live-Action TV


    • The Tempest—A rare heroic version; the entire play is Prospero's God Game to end his exile from Milan. 'heroic' because all he wants is to get his home back and teach his Evil Brother a lesson. No one gets hurt, not even the evil brother, and almost all of them go back to Milan as more or less friends.

    Video Games

    • Raphael from the Soul Series has some of the most ridiculously insane plans ever devised, all for his adopted daughter. In Soul Calibur 2 he planned to destroy the country that he fled from by giving its nobles the Soul Edge on the basis that they would tear the country apart in a demonically-dueled civil war so that the world would..somehow.. be safer for his adopted daughter Amy. In Soul Calibur 3, on discovering that he and Amy had been accidentally turned into basically vampires, he decided to turn the entire world into creatures like them so Amy wouldn't feel left out. Amy may constitute a pretty drastic subversion of a Morality Pet.
    • Shining Force III: The plot to abduct Emperor Domaric in the third game is a rare villain-on-villain Evil Plan, perpetrated by Domaric himself. When he hears that one of his sons is plotting to have him killed, blame it on the breakaway republic of Aspinia, and use the resulting war to seize the throne and conquer the rest of the continent, Domaric sends his own agents to infiltrate his son's conspiracy and allows himself to be kidnapped. Then, when the empire's armies are geared up to invade, Domaric has his mole "free" him, takes control of said army, and marches on Aspinia - just as he's wanted ever since the country seceded 20 years before. He even corners his son's partner in the whole plan, to force him to use an ancient superweapon to break down Aspinia's walls for him.
    • The Tales series often has Well-Intentioned Extremists but the plots have the same narrative purpose
      • Tales of Symphonia: Mithros wishes to revive his sister and end discrimination, and to do that he splits a world in two and makes them fight over Mana while his evil army antagonizes the dying one. The first part is Unwitting Pawn and the rest of the game is the heroes unraveling the plan and how to foil it.
      • Tales of the Abyss: The Big Bad and his minions are more upfront about their goal of ending The Score but unraveling the details and creating a counter measure still drives the bulk of the plot
      • Tales of Legendia: Actually has three BigBads and each has their own plot to either Take Over the World or Kill'Em All.
    • Legend of Dragoon likewise has a series of Man Behind the Man whose plans drive the plot. From Emperor Doel's plan to usurb his homeland to Lloyd's manipulation of that war to collect Macguffins to the final Big Bad's A God Am I ambition.
    • In the Baldur's Gate series, Bhaal the Lord of Murder sired the the Bhaalspawn in order to revive himself. They would kill each other until none remained, at which point his essence that was scattered among them would have accumulated, and his chosen follower, Amelyssan, would have performed rituals that would have brought him back. Neither Amelyssan nor the last Bhaalspawn (the protagonist) complied to these plans, however.
    • Saints Row 2: Dan Vogel's plan is to strike a deal with the winner of the gang war and get credit for cleaning up Stilwater. The Boss nuked that dream nicely.
    • In Mass Effect 3, the Illusive Man attempts a massive one: to take control of the Reapers themselves and use their overwhelming power to bring complete human dominance. As brilliant as he was, it doesn't work and he ends up indoctrinated for his efforts.

    Web Original

    • The less creative of us may use the Evil Plan generator.
    • Broken Saints has a whole big complicated scheme. The short version? Lear Dunham wants to bring down the corrupt power systems of the world and end the suffering they cause. To do so, he plans to use various high-tech gadgetry to blast a Mind Raping "God signal" across the entire planet. Major world leaders and military honchos implanted with a certain chip -- a chip they thought was supposed to protect them while the blast took care of their enemies -- would find that in actuality the chip enhances the signal, and all implanted with the chip will die horrific deaths, and surrounding un-chipped populations would be hit with massive psychic trauma. The rest of humanity would receive the signal but would not die; instead they would hear the ominous voices, see the giant "eye of God" in the sky, and feel the signal-stimulated fear in their hearts, and submit themselves to the angry God. Those few whose brains are less prone to the signal's power would be drawn to Lear's Evil Tower of Ominousness, where he would make them his apostles, helping him rebuild the world. Oh, and in order to broadcast the "emotion" element of the signal, he uses his own daughter, an empath born and bred to fulfill precisely this function.
    • Doctor Steel is "a man with a plan and a mechanical band, who can't do a little cause he can't do enough!"
    • Red vs. Blue: Omega, an aggressive AI, has tons of evil plans. They range from rather elaborate - Weather Control Machine, extremely slow robot army, downloading music - to just plain crushing the entire universe.
    • The Necromancer of the Whateley Universe has one, but it still hasn't been revealed, because he's still at the Grand Theft MacGuffin stage of the plot.
      • He still had a massive plan in play just in "Ayla and the Birthday Brawl" where he found out Ayla was having a birthday party in Boston. He spun it into a plan to: break his minions out of the inescapable superjail outside Boston; find out which of his other minions was The Mole; steal yet another MacGuffin; create a hostage situation to get yet another MacGuffin; take out the SWAT teams that would get sent to that hostage situation; get Fey under Mind Control or worse; and also kill a bunch of Ayla's friends, just to send a message to someone who had pissed him off. He pulled off most of it.
    • Played for laughs with Cinder's "Evil Plan of Evil" in RWBY Chibi. Judging from what we can see written on her whiteboard, there's no small amount of Step Three: Profit involved.

    Web Comics

    • Tons in Sluggy Freelance.
      • HeretiCorp: 1) create an army of invincible alien clones to conquer the world, 2) locate Oasis by making the trigger for her homicidal rages the symbol for a national fast food chain.
      • Chilus: release a swarm of mind-eating insects to bring about "the end of the world through bugs" as prophecied.
      • Dr. Steve: brainwash his adoptive daughter so she can "go on a date with a lesbian and then tell all." Okay, they can't all be winners.

    Western Animation

    • Boris and Natasha go through many Evil Plans on Rocky and Bullwinkle, such as a sinister plot for giant, robotic mice from the Moon to eat through American TV antennas so that entertainment-starved Americans will flee the country, leaving it ripe for conquest. Boris is, of course, the Big Cheese.
    • Cobra Commander from G.I. Joe once wasted a huge amount of resources stealing equipment to build a giant laser... so he could carve his face in the moon. Destro was not impressed.
      • Another attempt by Cobra Commander was to use a love potion to allow The Baroness to seduce a ship magnate, only to have a fight break out between Cobra and G.I. Joe over the chemical, only to have the potion stolen by a crab. At least this time Destro found the whole silly fiasco hilarious.
    • Endlessly lampshaded and subverted over and over again by the various Card-Carrying Villains of Kim Possible.
      • In fact, while tutoring another villain, Shego explains how it's the single most important part of being a villain.
    • The Robot Devil in an episode of Futurama: "My ridiculously circuitous plan is one-quarter complete!"
    • Parodied (we hope) in Justice League Unlimited, where Grodd's elaborate evil plan turns out to be "transforming every man, woman and child on Earth...INTO AN APE!!!" This is appropriately lampshaded, and also face-shotted.
    • Parodied in The Tick, in which The Tick has just captured one of the serial robber Idea Men and demands to know "what's the big idea". The idea man explains that their plan was to steal a lot of money, so they'd get rich and wouldn't have to work any more. The Tick is genuinely shocked by this fiendish plan.
    • Played every which way with Phineas and Ferb‍'‍s Dr. Doofenshmirtz, whose main goal is to "TAKE OVER THE tri-state area". He's not above the occasional revenge sideplot or a little mind control, but ultimately, he wants to rule. The alternate-universe Doofenshmirtz in the "Across the 2nd Dimension" movie has alt-Doof trying to take over the multiverse's... tri-state area. Some things never change.
    • The villain in the first season of Wakfu looked for fuel for his MacGuffin, so he can undo a past wrong. In the process, he nearly destroys an entire race, justified by "it will all be undone when I'm successful." In the end, though, it seemed that his MacGuffin isn't very 'fuel-efficient'.
    • Virtually every episode of Pinky and The Brain is driven by a plan to Take Over the World.