For the Evulz

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"Some men aren't looking for anything logical like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn."
Alfred, The Dark Knight

Most villains have logical motivations for (morally) reprehensible actions and intentions. Ambition, greed, zeal, fear, love, hatred, revenge, a troubled childhood, the desire for utopia and other warped "ideals" can all drive people to evil in ways that you and I understand and may be personally familiar with. If a villain's motivations can just be understood, they can be reasoned with - sometimes.

Some villains, on the other hand, cannot be reasoned with because there is nothing reasonable about their reasons for acting... well, evil. Unlike the amoral motivation we call It Amused Me, which may lead to evil in the pursuit of attachment-free amusement, someone whose motivation is For the Evulz acts evilly because they enjoy it. It's not that they don't know or don't care about the morality of their actions - they know and appreciate the difference between good and evil - so much as they enjoy the evil of it all. To them, evil is not a bad means to a good end or even a bad means to an evil end; to them, evil is an end in itself. The evil of an act is all the motivation they need for doing it and their resultant amusement is (as with It Amused Me) to them a justification in itself. Generally speaking, and eschewing better and more specific adjectives, the more evil something is the more amusement they derive from it. In many cases, they will outright pride themselves in evil, and think that Good Is Boring and dumb.

A villain whose defining characteristic is this motiveless malignity is almost without fail a Complete Monster, with the Complete Monster being defined by, well, being completely monstrous - needing no justifications for evil acts and having no humanising or sympathetic elements (e.g., good intent or self-doubt) whatsoever. Other villainous personality types which dabble with For the Evulz include the Generic Doomsday Villain, the Psycho for Hire (who is very likely to be Ax Crazy), the Nietzsche Wannabe, The Sociopath and the Chaotic Evil. Please note, Chaotic Evil is not the same thing; it's a likely alignment for someone with this as their motivation, but Chaotic Evil encompasses anyone else who is clearly more evil than good and more chaotic than not. This means that realistically, even if someone is Chaotic Evil, they still can and likely do have more logical motivations than For The Evulz. Furthermore, it's possible to be Neutral Evil or even Lawful Evil and be in it For The Evulz.

Of course, Tropes Are Not Good without fail. Poor writing of this trope can lead to Stupid Evil territory from villains do petty things to doing things that'll kill them.

Video Game Cruelty Potential is when the player of a game is allowed or even encouraged to do things For the Evulz. If a whole race has a motive like this, it's Exclusively Evil (but Always Chaotic Evil can have other flavours of shared evil). Compare It Amused Me, for (comedically) callous or amoral seekers of amusement, If You're So Evil Eat This Kitten for the demand of evil acts as proof of evil, and Trolls.

Sister Trope to Threw My Bike on the Roof.

The Good Counterpart is For Great Justice.

Examples of For the Evulz include:


Anime/Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Ladd Russo for Baccano! makes it clear that the only reason why he works as an assassin and goes on a murderous rampage on the train is because he FEELS LIKE IT.
  • (Dis)Honorable mention goes to Eliza Reagan from Candy Candy who specifically tortures and abuses Candy a lot just because she can and she is amused at torturing her.
  • The motivation, understanding and epitome of Dragon Ball villain Majin Buu once he's stripped down to his true form. Frieza has an actual reason in doing it for power; for Cell, it was In the Blood. Super Buu kills every human on Earth to take up some time while waiting for Gotenks to fight him. This is, in hindsight, a hint as to what Kid Buu will be like.
    • Broly does unspeakable acts of destruction and slaughter just because he thinks it's hilarious.
  • Elfen Lied: The reason the cruel kids from Lucy's childhood made Lucy watch while they beat her dog to death.
  • Lust in the manga of Fullmetal Alchemist is like this, carrying out Father's orders just because she gets to cause pain and suffering towards humans. Though she isn't as bad as...
    • Envy, who also displays this trait way too much for his own good, as his sadistic tendencies introduce him to a world of hurt when he's up against smarter opponents.
    • Barry the Chopper, though he occasionally does good things.
    • In the first anime, Zolf J. Kimbley plays this completely straight, as he loves to cause explosions and makes people living bombs, because it amuses him. He confirms this during his showdown with Scar.

Scar: And what is it you fight for?
Kimbley: Nothing.
Scar: 'Nothing'?! You mean to tell me you sacrificed all these people, for NOTHING?!?

  • Ali al-Saachez from Mobile Suit Gundam 00 makes no secret that the many atrocities he's committed (including but not by any means limited to mass murder) are for his own personal enjoyment, and because he finds peace "boring".
    • Nena Trinity in season 1, who blows up a wedding (which Louise just happens to be attending) because she's bored.
  • Millennium from Hellsing have no motive other than causing as much chaos and destruction as they can, because they REALLY like war. The Major himself lampshades this when he responds to the question of Millennium's purpose with "Our purpose is a complete absence of purpose".
  • In Houshin Engi, Dakki seems to delight in nothing more than sheer sadism to the point that her own allies find her actions incomprehensible, but what makes her truly dangerous is that she's apparently studied the Evil Overlord List, thwarting her opponents at every turn—and then she reveals that everything she's done was all part of a massive Gambit Roulette.
  • A strange deconstruction of this is one of the reasons why Johan Liebert, the titular Monster, is so horrifying. He has no reason at all for what he does. There's no evidence it's fun for him so it is not for the evulz per se and he demonstrates more than once that he can stop whenever he wants. In other words, while the Joker wants to watch the world burn, Johan just wants to set it on fire.
  • Gauron, the character Ali is an Expy of, from Full Metal Panic!. And, like with Ali, the fandom is divided on whether this makes him horribly, horribly flat, or utterly, utterly awesome.
  • Kuroudo Akabane, the transporter from GetBackers, fits this to a T. He basically is a transporter for the sole purpose of being a transporter is cutting people into bloody bits—many of whom are not as skilled as him. The goal of this endeavor is to find someone who is a challenge to fight, which he finds with Ban and Ginji. (Cue the Ho Yay.) This is his idea of "fun."
  • There are two quotes from Dangaioh both uttered by Gil Berg, who spent his first few appearances getting kicked around by the heroes. He has one of the (teenage female) pilots trapped, and is torturing her. He says "You might think I'm doing this for information, or revenge, but the truth is I just like torturing little girls. I know it's sick, but everyone needs a hobby." Later, after handing the heroes their asses and destroying their mentor, the camera zooms in on his face and he says "Do you know anyone who has as much fun as I do?"
  • Wiseman/Death Phantom from Sailor Moon wants to wipe out all life in the universe with the power of his Evil Black Crystal just because he prefers silence and nothingness.
  • Although Drosselmeyer in Princess Tutu does have a few things in his back story that give him a motive, there's strong indication that his biggest motivator is he just finds tragedy... fun! As he was a writer, he may be Doing It for the Art and it just so happens that he enjoys his art.
  • Contrary to expectations, Ryuk from Death Note is an example of It Amused Me and not For the Evulz. He just wanted to see what a human would do with the absolute power of life and death and didn't care who might die as a result - he didn't enjoy the evil of it, he was just bored and amoral.
  • Mon and Toshi of The World Is Mine are Mad Bomber Serial Killers (Mon is also a serial rapist) who don't really have a motive, although Toshi is a Butt Monkey turned Manipulative Bastard who "wants power"; Mon is just pure id. The only demand Toshi gives, "to live in a peaceful world where everyone is equal", is to stall the police and keep them from discovering that their hostage is already dead.
  • This was a common theme in Osamu Tezuka's later manga, such as in Alabaster and MW, evil for the pleasure of evil, power and domination.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Just about every awful thing Dio Brando does (read: everything he does) that's not motivated out of Greed or revenge is for his own amusement.
  • Jail Scaglietti from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Striker S. While his actions are partly to take 'revenge on the TSAB For Science!', he also admits that he enjoys gathering magical artifacts, making weapons and cyborg women, and rediscovering forbidden magical arts and technology. Hard to blame the guy for that though, as based on Chapter 12 of the StrikerS manga, that enjoyment was molded into him by the TSAB when they created him so that they will have the best Mad Scientist ever working for them. Understandably, the not so good doctor wasn't very pleased about that arrangement for many reasons.
    • Smug Snake Quattro, on the other hand, is a sadistic little bitch simply because she likes seeing people she perceives as lower than her squirm.
  • Sakyou, from Yu Yu Hakusho, admits that he wanted to open a tunnel to the demon world—which would allow powerful demons free reign over the human world—for his own personal amusement. As he puts it, it would make things interesting. At one point, he mentions how he once used to work at a pet store. At first it seems like he's about to describe a Pet the Dog moment he once had, but he turns it around pretty quickly as he explains he used to enjoy seeing how long he could keep an animal alive after cutting its heart out.
  • Yokoya from Liar Game participates in the namesake game solely for a chance to control, dominate and generally screw other participants, preying on their fear and desperation - unlike other players he's rich and does not need prize money. Being a tyrant and forcing the worst in people to the surface is his hobby.
  • Gin Ichimaru from Bleach seems to have this as his sole motivation for getting out of bed in the morning. Perhaps his most notorious demonstration of this was just prior to Rukia's execution. Seeing that she was prepared to die, he offered to save her, just to suddenly take it back and tear apart her resolve, leaving her a screaming wreck just because he could. He managed to one-up that when he sliced Hiyori in half for no apparent reason. He certainly didn't do it because she was attacking Aizen. He did it because he could. All this makes it pretty odd when it's revealed that he joined Aizen just to get a chance at revenge against him for hurting his childhood friend Matsumoto. It fails to even explain why he went about doing it in the most jerk-like way possible. All this, of course, could point out to Gin having become a bad guy while seeking to get back at another one.
    • Aizen has shades of this. He comes up with long, complicated plans that he could solve with simple solutions. It does definitely appear that some things he does are just because hurting and crushing others feeds his sense of superiority.
    • Yoshi in the Bount filler arc. She admits during her fight with Ishida that she's only going along with Kariya's plan for the fun of it.
  • Not that she's a bad person or anything but, this is pretty much the only reason why Kämpfer's Student Council President would embarrass Natsuru.
  • Orochimaru, former Big Bad of Naruto, stated the only real motive he has for his (more noticeable) atrocities is that he finds peace too boring and wants to see what will happen when he kills the Kages. There's also Deidara. He actually worked for anti-government factions just because it gave him things to blow up and Akatsuki's leader said his reason for fighting was "a whim". Hidan decided to kill his neighbors, abandon his village, join the Jashin religion and, later, the Akatsuki. The last one he did, because he wanted to spread Jashinism. The rest, we're led to understand at first, is because he was bored. There is also Itachi who at first seemed to be this (the excuse given for slaughtering his whole clan in Sasuke's flashbacks was essentially to see how powerful he was). Later subverted, when it was revealed he was doing so on an order. What would this list be without the current Big Bad Tobi? He has all but outright stated that he's only doing all the horrible things he's done because he has nothing better to do with his time. When he was still pretending to be Madara, it was about vengeance on a world that had turned against him. Now, however, we're back to knowing nothing about him and why he wants to do something with the moon to reach his goals(...the hell?), except that he apparently wants to complete an Assimilation Plot because there is no hope or something, it's all very vague like a crack-pot theory.
    • After a couple of chapters, it becomes implicit that those reasons for joining Akatsuki ("because I wanted to") were just their ways to say "Not your f*ing business" to whoever asked. Deidara was forced to join because he lost to Itachi. Pain wanted global peace, his motivations for joining Akatsuki being to promote peace, protect the people and be with his friends and his motivations for turning Akatsuki into a ring of psychotic S-class nuclear-happy terrorists-for-hire being vengeance and world peace by nuclear threat. Konan was following Pain. Itachi was keeping tabs on them all. Sasori needed some shelter after his status in Suna was compromised due to him killing the Kazekage. Hidan wanted to spread Jashinism and learn about immortality from Kakuzu. Even Tobi had stronger reasons than just being bored(much better as he could demand a clearer motivation). Orochimaru joined because he was after Itachi's body and a great deal of his atrocities was just part of a bigger Gambit Roulette, his real reasons, after some digging, turning out to be him wanting to see his parents again. Kisame is the only one, who looks to be there because he feels like it. Even he eventually turns out to want a world without lies.
  • Luciano Bradley from Code Geass, one of Britannia's most elite knights, whose every single action and line of text indicate that he's just doing it for the joy of hurting people.
  • In the very first chapter of the Berserk manga (as well as the very first episode of the anime) there is the Baron of Koka Castle. As soon as he hears about the arrival of the Black Swordsman (our protagonist Guts), he goes on to slaughter the town he's been tyrannizing, even though the townsfolk have nothing to do with Guts at all(and, in the manga, Guts is, at the moment, imprisoned and tortured, so the Baron may have been able to get it over with right there had he bothered to give an order to dispose of Guts).

Baron: Gold... Prisoners... I don't care about such things. All I wish to see are humans within a fiery apocalypse, trying to escape. All I wish to hear is the sound of snapping bones crushed under the hooves of horses. I don't even need an excuse. None at all.

    • Of course, this could also be interpreted as wanting to show Guts that resistance against the Apostles is, in his own words, pure folly.
    • Later in the manga (but earlier story wise), we meet Wyald, another apostle, who considers this his personal philosophy. Even the brutish, bloodthirsty thugs from the military unit he leads are terrified of the guy.
    • Let's not forget the big one of the entire series : Femto's rape of Casca. The action - which was the very first action he did upon obtaining the incredible powers of a demon lord - played no role in the sacrifice during the Eclipse because both Guts and Casca were expected to die at the end of it all anyway. The only motive whatsoever that Griffith/Femto could have possibly had to doing this right in front of Guts was to spite him and (probably) punish Casca for pitying him and leaving him behind. Even if you are one to believe that he did it to achieve a particular purpose later on, you can't say that Griffith didn't thoroughly enjoy making these two suffer in an excruciatingly painful way just for the hell of it.
  • You'd think Munekata from Medaka Box would be this, with this little (paraphrased) speech:

"I don't kill for no reason, I have reasons to kill. I'll kill you because I don't want to fight you. I'll kill you because you're in my way. I'll kill you because the weather's nice. I'll kill you because my phone's batteries are low. I'll kill you because I had a good dream. I'll kill you because I'm in a hurry. And I'll kill you for no reason at all. (To Medaka in particular) I'll kill you because the chairman told me not to."

    • --except he's Axe Crazy, not Chaotic Stupid: he knows killing is wrong and has both a Jerkass Facade and horrific rumors of his killing prowess to keep people away.
    • Kumagawa, though, probably is a straight example. It is technically possible, that he might want Revenge against the rest of the world, but so far all of his actions were aimed towards torturing other characters, because he could (up to and including intending to return one of his most dangerous enemies to life to hurt him some more). Also, the main character of the series considers Kumagawa the main exception from her character-defining belief that no human is truly evil (rather than twisted by circumstances) and unworthy of trust.
    • Chances are if you have a Minus Power in Medaka Box you are in it For the Evulz, at one point the Battle Butler asks his fellow Minus' whether they would prefer to go to a Mountain or the Sea for a vacation, the fact that he was referring to a Mountain of Corpses or a Sea of Blood was a given to the rest of them.
  • This is pretty much the reason why Izaya does anything in Durarara!!. It is subverted by the anime's finale in which Simon implies that this is purely an excuse and he is jealous of Shizuo's influential status - only in the anime though. During that scene, Simon says something completely different.
  • Texhnolyze, Yoshii came down from the Class in order to instigate a massive war between the groups. He states that his goal is to awaken the people from their sleep in order to build leaders of them, or in other words, to help them realize their full potential, even if they don't want him to. This involves him murdering innocent people and starting gang wars because he finds it "interesting", all with a pleasant smile on his face. While he may have an ideological purpose behind it all, it is so obscure that it only makes him look all the more hysterical.
  • School Days: Otome's friends Natsumi, Minami and Kumi are a bunch of unlikeable, backstabbing bitches and not only towards Kotonoha, but to their "friend" Otome and to Nanami. The first is the target of their bullying just because she's pretty and rich; the second is betrayed by them twice as they first videotape her having sex with Makoto and then they have sex with him; the third has her reputation absolutely smeared at school when they not only tape her having sex with her boyfriend, but they show the video to the whole school, especially to the Jerkass sempai. And they do all of this shit for no reason at all.
  • Creepy Twins Hansel and Gretel from Black Lagoon. Gretel does an Evil Laugh when Eda asks her why they're still after Balalaika even though they killed the guy who hired them and then she replies "We don't have a reason. We do it because we want to."
    • Balalaika herself might as well qualify. She explains in the Japan arc that her motives are basically war and destruction.

Revy: She's the kind who prefers war over sex.

  • While Mukuro of Katekyo Hitman Reborn does have a reason for doing what he does (Changing the ugly world into a pure and beautiful sea of blood, starting a world war, etc.) no other explanation other than he did it For the Evulz can be made for how during his fight with Tsuna he possessed his friends' bodies, knowing Tsuna wouldn't attack them, and spent some time having Tsuna's friends beat him up, stating (and laughing) all the while that Tsuna "makes a good sandbag".
  • Resident Ted Baxter Prussia of Axis Powers Hetalia does almost everything he does just for this, but most notorious are the times he realizes he's all alone on Valentine's and Christmas...so naturally, it's time to start sinking some ships.
  • In the second Japanese Yu-Gi-Oh anime (the version that was dubbed), this is pretty much Dark Malik's motivation. He just wants to cause havoc because he can, really. Not so much in the dub...
  • Agon Kongo from Eyeshield 21 has this as his motivation for playing football. He doesn't particularly like the sport, he just enjoys putting people down and crushing their hopes and dreams.
  • Tsukoyomi from Mahou Sensei Negima. While most villains in this series seem to have some kind of motive, Tsukoyomi kills people because she likes it.
  • King Dedede in Kirby of the Stars, while not necessarily evil, is a mean old bully, who makes other people's lives as miserable as possible just because he thinks it's fun. Especially by buying Demon Beasts/monsters to help him in doing just that.
  • In Holyland it turns out that Katou beat up Shinichi just because.
    • Averted and invoked after Izawa beats the shit out of Yoshi, who was the main antagonist for most of the series. Most characters think everything he did was for the evulz, turns out he was simply jealous of Izawa, but didn't wanted anyone to know it, so he pretended to do it for the evulz. Even when asked directly, he answered "because he's an eyesore".
  • Pokémon Zoroark Master of Illusions: Grings Kodai's Moral Event Horizon is electrocuting a BABY in front of its MOTHER for no other reason but sadistic pleasure. He even says he got a kick out of it! While most everything else he does can be chalked up to Selfish Evil and being part of his plan, this is were you know he's a true Complete Monster.
  • From Rosario + Vampire, we have Kamiya Kanade, who will claims that killing humans is just something he does to pass the time and clear his head, and envisions himself atop a mountain of corpses he personally killed.
  • Assuming one character's interpretation is correct, Pariston of Hunter X Hunter falls into this. Despite showing he can do so easily, he's making not attempt to win the election for Chairman of the Hunter's Association. Instead, he's merely dragging the race out as long as possible so he can take advantage of his position to use especially dangerous monsters in the next Hunter's Exam.
  • Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: In Meakashi-hen, the killer begins with a motivation - avenging the boy she was madly in love with. However, after killing said boy's little sister (who she was meant to be protecting in his stead), she breaks down screaming, which turns into her regular, sinister laughter:

"Oh, what the hell? I knew it all along. The fact that this side of me has been a demon all along!"

    • She then goes on to dispose of the bodies, attempt to kill her twin sister's love interest (with her imprisoned sister listening from the other room), but ends up sparing him and killing her sister to escape from the police. Then she stabs her now dead sister's love interest. Just because the demon makes her.
      • She thinks the demon makes her. She's just delusional, which wasn't her fault to begin with.


Comics[edit | hide]

  • Nearly all depictions of Batman's arch-nemesis, The Joker, who might as well be the trope incarnate.
    • Example: In one issue of Gotham Adventures, the comic based on Batman: The Animated Series, Harvey Dent, the criminal Two-Face, has reformed and is starting a romance with his lawyer Grace Lamont. Joker hints to Harvey that Lamont is dating Harvey's friend Bruce Wayne, and is just seeing Harvey out of pity. Then he gets his assistant Harley Quinn to leak to a newspaper that Lamont is planning to marry Bruce and delivers the newspaper to Harvey. One breakdown, jailbreak, attempted murder and broken heart later, Batman asks the Joker why he caused such a horrible disaster. His response?
    • Even when he is out for money, he only really wants it to fund his sadistic plans. One of the first things he does in Brian Azzarello's Joker is to rob a bank. While he does get a decent of amount of cash, he considers the robbery itself to be ho-hum at best, due to a lack of carnage.
  • Victor Zsasz, a Batman foe who, even more than the Joker, just likes to kill people. That's it. Unlike the Joker he does not have schemes, plans or esoteric motivations, he just likes to kill. When Black Mask, the criminal mastermind who managed to take control of all crime in Gotham City after the War Gamrs crossover, tells him he has potential for greater evil as a part of Mask's criminal empire, he asks Zsasz what he would like to do. Zsasz's reply is simple: "I like to hurt people."
  • Some versions of the Riddler. Sometimes he steals purely for the financial gain and only leaves riddles because of a psychological compulsion that he cannot defeat. However, in other stories he just wants to see if he can leave a clue and still get away with his crimes.
  • The Scarecrow, also from Batman. While he claims he's exposing people to his fear gas for scientific interests, it's pretty generously implied that he's either sadistic or has a torturous compulsion.
  • In the Sonic the Hedgehog Archie comics, this is Fiona Fox's reasoning for turning traitor and joining Scourge, Sonic's anti-universe counterpart.
  • In one Calvin and Hobbes strip, Calvin asks Moe why he bullies him all the time. Moe's answer is "Because it's fun." Calvin, lying in the dirt, remarks, "Oh, he's a sportsman."
  • A Star Wars Boba Fett comic featured a Mengele-analogue who has given up any pretense of being scientific. He openly admits that he's butchering entire alien races because it's fun.
  • Blackblood from ABC Warriors ran a weapon shop where you didn't pay with money or goods, but with videotapes of the weapons being used on orphanages and such.
  • Carnage, of Spider-Man. Blood. Just 'cause he can. It isn't the symbiote's influence on Cletus either. He was a murdering psychopath before he ever bonded with the Carnage symbiote.
  • Norman Osborn is in this. Green Goblin's motivation in all of the situations is just for evil fun. That's just his Goblin persona, mind you. Osborn himself is usually out to extend his power and influence. Sometimes the Goblin's lulz actually bite him in the ass.
  • Daredevil's Bullseye. It's the reason why Kingpin and other crime lords hire him. The cops have a hard time figuring out when he kills because he was hired to and when he kills because he felt like it. He even recently claimed he probably has more money than Norman Osborn yet doesn't feel the need to spend it and continues killing "because it's fun".
    • Sometimes, he'll even kill his client's own mooks just to entertain himself when he's bored, as lampshaded in the film version when the Kingpin finds Bullseye sitting in his office with the still warm corpse of his security guard.

Kingpin (motioning at the body): Was that really necessary?
Bullseye: Necessary? No, it was fun.

  • Whenever Sabretooth isn't carrying out a job, he's either tormenting Wolverine or slaughtering random innocents. Sometimes he does those things anyways even when he is on a job.
    • One comic had Wolverine running into a group who videotapes themselves hunting and murdering innocent mutants; when confronted, they readily admit that they're just doing it for kicks and that they don't have a specific agenda in targeting mutants; as Logan put it, "It could have been anyone -- blacks, or gays, or Jews".
  • This was the only visible motivation of Antonio Prohías' Sinister Man and Sinister Woman.
  • In the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mirage comics, this trope was explicitly stated to be the motivation behind Baxter Stockman's plan to blackmail the city with his mousers. He was using the Mousers to rob banks as well. When April O' Neil tries to explain that he could have made millions of dollars legally, Baxter says he just did it because "it was FUN!"
  • When The Hobgoblin was asked why he framed Flash Thompson for his crimes, he answered "Why not?" That being said, this in fact turns out to be a subversion, since there was a reason the Hobgoblin decided to frame him. At the time of Tom DeFalco's story where The Hobgoblin frames Flash, Ned Leeds (whom DeFalco was using at his Hobgoblin Red Herring) had discovered Flash had been sleeping with his wife. This would be a "clue" to the readers, as Leeds would be understandably pissed. Years later, Roger Stern wrote a retcon in which the true Hobgoblin was actually Roderick Kingsley (his original choice when he created the Hobgoblin). Kingsley also had a reason to single out Flash, however; Flash had been on TV calling the Hobgoblin a "creep and a coward", among other things.
  • Doctor Destiny's Diner of Death. A supervillain armed with the King of Dreams's ruby wandered into a diner full of perfectly ordinary people, and spent an entire issue just breaking them. When he briefly freed his victims from his control, one of them demanded to know why he was tormenting them this way. His answer? "Because I can."
  • Supreme Power villain Redstone's reasons for killing: "Because I can, because I'm good at it, and because I like it." Well, okay, the real reason he does it is because he's crazy and he thinks nobody can stop him, but as you can imagine he doesn't recognize this.
  • Willy Pete. What else is there to say about a cannibal who doesn't even need to eat at all, but just happens to like the taste? (Plenty, actually, but I'll spare you the Squick.)
  • Sid Fernwilter Piranha Club (formerly known as Ernie), who is vicious just because he can. Purely on principle, he refuses to spend money on anything useful or necessary. He would rather sit in the darkness and freeze than to pay the electricity bill - And he has.
  • Also, Mr. Mxyzptlk in Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?? He explained that since immortality is boring, he tries out different things to break the monotony. He spent 2,000 years not moving at all, another 2,000 years being purely good, and then the last 2,000 years being a mischievous prankster. Now he's going to be evil. Things gets ugly, fast.
  • The "Reaver-Cleaver" killer from Preacher (Comic Book) confesses to one of the protagonists that he only does what he does because it's fun, being amused at having gotten away clean with killing a man in a drunken hit-and-run and just kept on killing to see how far he could push his luck.
  • Cletus from The Authority

"I didn't get involved in this because I'm some cackling super-villain who gets off on hurting people or anything."
Cletus: "Hell, I did."

    • Kaizen Gamorra from the very first Warren Ellis' arc. When asked why he orders his armies to invade major cities, he answers Gamorra -nation is built on terrorism, because Terror is its own reward. In addition, just before his Karmic Death thanks to Midnighter, he whines: I just wanted to have some fun.
  • JLA villain Prometheus had this exchange with Lex Luthor during "World War III", the last arc of Grant Morrison's run on JLA.

Lex Luthor: You could make yourself very wealthy patenting some of this equipment, Prometheus.
Prometheus: Money isn't what motivates me. If I want something, I just take it. I'm in this for the buzz.

  • In the third Batgirl series, the final arc dealt with the Reapers, a semi-cult of college students with advanced combat armor who had been running around Gotham for a few weeks. In their final battle, after Batgirl had foiled their individual schemes for money and power, Batgirl asked them why they were doing any of this in the first place. The response was the simple "because we can."
  • Gary "The Smiler" Callahan, the President Evil of Transmetropolitan. He flatly tells protagonist Spider Jerusalem that he ran for President simply because he likes to hurt people and wants to do it on as grand a scale as possible. By the time he's done, Spider is almost nostalgic for Callahan's predecessor, a thinly-veiled Richard Nixon Expy dubbed "The Beast."


Fanfic[edit | hide]

  • Ultimate Spider-Woman: Change With the Light features Jack O' Lantern, who starts out with bank robberies before graduating to hostage-takings, gassings, Mind Rape, and finally orchestrating a city-wide gang war. He implies that the reason he commits these increasingly ghastly crimes is, quite simply, because he knows it's wrong. Jack O' Lantern also brags about being so superior to people who in his mind hide their impulses behind their civilized facades, and develops an almost insane hatred for Spider-Woman in part for defending those people and in part for interfering with his fun.
    • Blizzard is a less malevolent example, in that he and his entire family are a group of chronic jailbirds who are always in and out of prison for offenses ranging from drug dealing to armed robbery to car theft. They actually enjoy prison, which for them is an extended family reunion. On the other hand, Even Evil Has Standards and Blizzard and draws the line at rape or murder. When an army of Brainwashed and Crazy supervillains are invading New York, Blizzard actually helps Spider-Woman protect the people of the city, before sticking around for the police to take him back to Ryker's Island.
  • Anything relating to yukkuri abuse tends to revolve monsters of humans who delight themselves in causing harm and death towards defenseless head-like creatures just because they can. Then there's the factory, which all yukkuri are naturally afraid of. They say it won't let them "take it easy", but it's way more sinister than that. There are even yukkuri shops people can go to select their "victim" on some works.


Film[edit | hide]

  • Pictured above, The Joker in The Dark Knight. The Joker actually seems more Nietzchean than sado-hedonistically Evil-for-evils-sake. He does not care about lost lives or pain - including his own! He lives without rules and enjoys showing others how stupid living by the rules is. We cannot reason with him - only make a different choice. Which is really the point and why it is so important for Batman to save him in the end. And why his real victory is bringing Dent down. If evil-for-the-sake-of-evil was the motivation, he would have blown up more hospitals and subverted less D As.
    • Other than the obvious mention of The Joker in The Dark Knight, there was also the Burmese Bandit that Alfred Pennyworth mentioned in the movie, who frequently stole gems that were intended to be given by the SAS to various tribes to bribe them, and then scattered them around, strongly implying that he only stole them simply because he could and that such antics greatly amused him.
  • The main character's former partner in End of Days suggests they cast their lot with Satan under the reasoning that their long careers as mercenaries meant they had no chance of "going upstairs" anyway, so they might as well have fun while alive.
  • The evil scientist from The Human Centipede wants to join together three peoples' digestive systems. Why? Well, why the hell not?
  • Castor Troy from Face Off ought to qualify.

Troy: You're not having any fun, are you, Sean? Why don't you come with us? Try terrorism for hire, we'll blow some shit up. It's more fun!

Kathryn: You were very much in love with her. And you're still in love with her. But It Amused Me to make you ashamed of it. You gave up on the first person you ever loved because I threatened your reputation. Don't you get it? You're just a toy, Sebastian. A little toy I like to play with. And now you've completely blown it with her. I think it's the saddest thing I've ever heard.

    • At least, she says that's the reason to Sebastian. It's heavily suggested that jealousy in regards to her twisted relationship with Sebastian was the actual driving force at work. In that light, "For the Evulz" is a less creepy reason.
  • The sociopathic door gunner from Full Metal Jacket. While machine-gunning Vietnamese peasants from his helicopter:

Joker: How can you shoot women and children?
Gunner: Easy. You just don't lead 'em so much! (cackles) Ain't war hell?

  • Deconstructed by the two killers in Funny Games. They give several conflicting backstories and motives, but ultimately they have none. They exist solely to be villains in the film.
  • The Creepy Child Enfante Terrible titular character of The Good Son.
  • John Ryder from The Hitcher.
  • All the Mad Scientists in Igor are of the traditional sort, loving evil for its own sake. But the prize goes to the king, who created a weather-controlling device that cast the entire country under permanent storm clouds, destroying the citizens' livelihood, and then suggested they all turn to mad science to make the country successful again. Okay, and... why did he do this, again?
  • Reservoir Dogs: "Was that as good for you as it was for me?"
    • Specifically, Mr. Blonde: "Listen kid, I'm not gonna bullshit you, all right? I don't give a good fuck what you know, or don't know, but I'm gonna torture you anyway, regardless. Not to get information. It's amusing, to me, to torture a cop. You can say anything you want cause I've heard it all before. All you can do is pray for a quick death, which you ain't gonna get."
      • "It's so hard to keep this smile from my face, Losin' control, yea I'm all over the place!"
  • Schindler's List: Amon Goeth. Oh so very much. The man sniped at his prisoners, severely beat and enslaved a woman who, in a different reality, he might have called a wife, blew the brains out of an argumentative engineer because 'we're not going to have arguments with these people,' shot a fourteen year old boy for failing to completely clean his bathtub, and when asked, during an 'Aktion' (pre-deportation sorting of prisoners) 'what was going on,' thought the question was about his semi-annual medical physical. "He does this," Schindler explains to Helen Hirsch, "because they [his other victims] mean nothing to him." (The actor who portrayed him—Ralph Fiennes, who also plays Voldemort—nails his portrayal so effectively that the Other Wiki states that "When Mila Pfefferberg, a surviving Schindler Jew, was introduced to Fiennes while on the set of the film, she began to shake uncontrollably in terror, as Fiennes -- while in full SS-Hauptsturmführer uniform -- reminded her of the real Göth.")
  • Hannibal Lecter, the quintessential psychopathic Serial Killer, at least in Silence of the Lambs, Manhunter, and Red Dragon.
  • The three killers from The Strangers.

"Why are you doing this to us?"
"Because you were home."

Swan: Why'd you do it? Why'd you waste Cyrus?
Luther: No reason. I just like doing things like that.

  • The Wizard of Oz: The Wicked Witch of the West. Hey, bitch stole her shoes - that shit don't fly in the merry old land of Oz.
  • Michael Myers from the Halloween films is never given a concrete motivation (they're always retconned) and Dr. Loomis, his psychiatrist, is convinced that Myers is pure evil, plain and simple. Moreover, he isn't even shown to enjoy his actions. Apparently, he murders people for literally no reason, which makes him all the more frightening.

Doctor Loomis: I met him fifteen years ago. I was told there was nothing left. No reason, no conscience, no understanding; even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, good or evil, right or wrong. I met this six year old child with his blank, pale, emotionless face... the blackest eyes, the Devil's eyes. I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realized what was living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply evil.

  • Despite the (former) picture above, Agent Smith is an aversion. He may do a huge amount of evil things, but he does them for a simple reason:

Agent Smith: More.

    • In the first film Agent Smith's motivation is simply entirely self-serving: "I hate this place. This zoo. This prison. This reality, whatever you want to call it, I can't stand it any longer. It's the smell, if there is such a thing. I feel saturated by it. I can taste your stink and every time I do, I fear that I've somehow been infected by it." In the sequels his motives start sliding to that direction. It's clear at the very end of the trilogy that for all the philosophical nihilistic extracurricular motives he claims to be acting on, Smith doesn't really understand WHY in hell he is doing what he does, but he DOES seem to enjoy himself in the process.

Bane: (Being assimilated into Smith.)"Oh, God..."
Agent Smith: "Mmm. 'Smith' will suffice."

Daisy: The little old beetle goes 'round and 'round. Always the same way, y'see, until it ends up right up tight to the nail. Poor old thing!
Sgt. Howie: 'Poor old thing'? Then why in God's name do you do it, girl?

Gabriel: I kill firstborns while their mamas watch. I turn cities into salt. I even, when I feel like it, rip the souls from little girls, and from now till kingdom come, the only thing you can count on in your existence is never understanding why.

  • Chad in In the Company of Men. When asked why he manipulated a deaf woman into a love triangle, he says "Because I could."
  • Alex from A Clockwork Orange has no other motive for his rape and ultraviolence than that he enjoys it. This actually brings him into conflict with the rest of his gang when they start to insist that their crimes yield a more substantial payout.
  • A deleted scene in Dogma revealed that the triplets from Hell died, when they were being carted to Juvenile Hall for bashing in a baby's head to see what it would look like.
  • Josie and the Pussy Cats, of all places. As soon as the band and Wyatt meet he is nothing but rude and dismissive of Valerie, to the point of leaving her by the side of the road when their car starts (He thought she was "already in") and delivering only two party invitations instead of three (Well, she could still come anyway). Towards the end of the film she learns too much, so then he begins to deliberately try to push her out of the picture for the sake of the evil plan, but for the first hour there is absolutely no goal or plan, he seems to be doing it just to watch her squirm.
  • The villain in The Vanishing is an emotional blank slate. The greatest high of his life was when he saved his daughter from drowning. Now he wants to see if he can get a similar high from doing something really evil.
  • In The Crow, Top Dollar gives a speech about how profiting from Devil's Night has grown boring to him, and the criminals of the city should sow mayhem purely for the evil of it.
  • In Space Buddies, Mr. Finkle is given absolutely no motivation for attempting to sabotage the mission when it could have been as easy as just having one line about him being a double agent for the Russians or something.
    • The Search for Santa Paws has Ms. Stout, the evil head of the orphanage who hates Christmas. She isn't even given a Freudian Excuse, she just hates Christmas for no reason. And she destroys any toys and decorations she finds in the orphans' possession. The only thing she does with an actual motivation is attempt to run off with her boyfriend with embezzled money and leave the orphans by themselves.
  • Paranormal Activity: Katie's demon. Honestly, it slams the door shut then bangs on the other side of it just to fuck with them. Indeed, Katie even acknowledges this trope when she asks "Do you think it would have left footprints if it didn't want to? Do you think it would do ANYTHING if it didn't want to?" In the 2007 ending, the demon fucks with them one last time. Just before the police discover Katie, a light down the hall is turned on and then turned off. The police end up shooting Katie because they were startled by the sound of someone slamming a door behind them.
  • Orin Scrivello from Little Shop of Horrors amputates a girl's jaw just so he can give her a hideous prosthesis.
  • This is discussed in Scream, which was big on lampshading various horror film Tropes. Randy points out how about halfway through the film that in most horror movies "Motives are incidental." The eventual killer does have one (rather flimsy) motive for the carnage he unleashes, but does lampshade this fact.

Billy: I don't really believe in a motive, Sid. I mean, did Norman Bates have a motive? Did we ever find out why Hannibal Lector liked to eat people? Don't think so! See, it's much scarier if there's no motive.

    • Also, Stu (the second killer) has the following exchange with Sidney:

Sidney: (over phone) So Stu, what's your motive- I mean Billy's got one, the police are on the way. What're you gonna tell them?
Stu: Peer pressure, I'm far too sensitive.

  • Several of the villains in 8mm. The rich old man who commissioned the snuff film? According to his lawyer, "He did it because he could." Machine, the man who actually committed the murder, sums it up horrifically:

Machine: Mommy didn't beat me. Daddy didn't rape me. I'm this way because I am. There's no mystery. Things I do, I do them because I like them! Because I want to!

  • Played with in both the novel and film No Country for Old Men. Anton Chigurh, to any of his victims would definitely appear to this and even to the viewer at first sight. However, it's stated that he has morals and values that make sense only to him. This is part of what makes him so frightening.
    • How about unlike most other examples in this page, the Anton rarely even enjoys what he's doing. Just utter indifference most of the time, the rest of the examples at least get a kick out of it for their atrocities.
  • Arguably, Count Rugen. Sometimes it's out of curiousity but mostly not.
  • Scorpio from the Dirty Harry series starts out asking for ransom money, but as time goes on is implied to be more so motivated by the "fun" of committing his crimes.

Scorpio: I've changed my mind. I'm going to let her die! I just wanted you to know that. You hear me? I just wanted you to know that before I killed you!

  • "Ghidorah", of the "Godzilla" series of films, for his debut movie "Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster". He's just here to destroy Earth for seeming kicks, like he apparently has for countless planets, including Mars. We're never given a reason why he's been doing this, nor do we know where he's originally come from.
  • Terry Silver in Karate Kid III is an unintentional example. He's supposed to be helping avenge his war buddy John Kreese and restore the dignity of the Cobra Kai, but in practice he's far too into it given that it's not his disgrace, seems to be aware that his buddy Kreese is the one who stepped over the line and is neglecting his multi-million dollar business to get vengeance on a teenager and his elderly mentor. Also, the vengeance is all his idea and is planned and executed by him with Kreese only getting to jump out from behind a cardboard cut out to scare Daniel in one scene.
  • The Martians from Mars Attacks! are the Played for Laughs version of this trope. They even make us think they can be negotiated with just to laugh at us when we try right before they kill us anyway, because they enjoy the killing so much.
  • Freddy Krueger from the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise can be viewed as an example born of deconstruction of Freudian Excuse. His mother was viciously raped by hundred of mental patients. He was bullied by his classmates. Growing up he killed animals and cut himself. He got beaten by his foster father, whom he later killed. Last of all, he was burnt alive. Obviously there is no excuse for killing children. Nonetheless, one can see how his past has molded him into a twisted person he is today, undoubtedly with deep mental issues. Except, it's not like he minds himself being as monstrous as he is. He is quite content in being that way. Even before he turns into a King Of Nightmares, he takes sadistic glee in raping and murdering children, as shown in the scene in the sixth movie where he's admiring a scrapbook of all the newspaper clippings of missing children. It is thus conclusive that he is the kind of person, who wouldn't even need an excuse. It is a fact that he takes all too much joy in hurting people.
  • A relatively mild example occurs in the comedy Airplane! when airport-employee Johnny thinks it's funny to briefly unplug the runway lights just as the plane is making its emergency landing.
    • In the sequel, Simon Kurtz covers up flaws in the shuttle and leaves everyone on it to die for no apparent reason.
  • The gang member at the beginning of Assault on Precinct 13, who shoots and kills a little girl while they're robbing an ice cream truck just because she's there.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Carcer from the Discworld novel Night Watch. "The sort that joins up for the looting, and that you end up hanging as an example to the men". Possessed of a pair of shoulder demons, in competition with each other.
  • In Under the Dome by Stephen King those responsible for the Dome.
  • While Nyarlathotep from H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos often works to fulfill the wishes of the Outer Gods or release the Great Old Ones, a lot of the times he seems to be messing with mankind for no other reason than his own amusement. In Nyarlathotep, he seems to be destroying the world without any actual motive. In The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, his goal is apparently to snatch off the earthly gods from their scented revels in the glorious sunset city purely to screw with them. Also, in spite of apparently sending Carter off to achieve this goal, he betrays Carter for no apparent reason other than, again, to be a real dick. The ways of the Outer Gods are essentially beyond human comprehension. In The Dreams in the Witch-House, he appears as a black-skinned Expy of Satan. He's even worse in other authors' appropriations of the character.
    • While Nyarlathotep may have had a reason to return the Gods of Earth to Kadath (that's where they're supposed to live), him sending Carter to accomplish the task for him and subsequently betraying him serves no point other than being a dick. Especially since in the end it's revealed he's powerful enough to return the Gods to Kadath with no effort at all.
  • In Hell's Children by Andrew Boland an entire race of aliens travel light years to wipe out all life on earth. Their motivation for this, they were bored. I’m serious.
  • Robert Silverberg's short story "Flies", in Dangerous Visions, deals with a man who is given God-like powers, and uses them to torture people, for his own amusement.
  • Fantomas: the valuables he steals is just an added bonus, what he really enjoys is to spread fear.
  • Pretty much the guiding philosophy of Acheron Hades from the Thursday Next series, and probably the rest of his family as well. He even says as much in one of the quotes from his book "Degeneracy for Pleasure and Profit"; despite the title he feels that crime-for-money is rather crass and much prefers evil for evils sake.
  • Inverted in The Acts of Caine. The bad guys always act out of self-interest, ideology, or pure hedonistic lust. The protagonist is the one who, for shits and giggles, escalates conflicts almost compulsively. So far this includes "escalating" a verbal argument into a lethal fight, a skirmish with an ogrillo tribe into ethnic cleansing, and a minor political conflict into a civil war. (And the bad guys are still worse.)
  • Edgler Vess from Dean Koontz' Intensity is a self-proclaimed homicidal adventurer, who loves to kill just for the sheer intensity of it. Vassago from another Dean Koontz novel Hideaway kills people so he could be reincarnated as one of the demon princes in Hell(it's not clarified what it would benefit him). As a matter of fact, simply every villain in every Dean Koontz book ever written ever.
  • In CS Lewis' Perelandra, Satan himself is this. While he has real (and deeply malicious) ambitions, when he can't move directly toward them he's just as happy torturing small animals or tearing up the turf, so long as he can hurt something.
  • Averted in The Screwtape Letters. The preface to later editions notes avoidance of "the absurd fancy that devils are engaged in the disinterested pursuit of something called Evil (the capital is essential). Mine have no use for any such turnip ghost. Bad angels, like bad men, are entirely practical. They have two motives. The first is fear of punishment.... Their second motive is a kind of hunger."
  • In James Beauseigneur's Christ Clone Trilogy when Decker, the viewpoint character, asks The Antichrist ( Christopher Goodman) why he does what he does when he knows he's going to lose, the reply is "Because it feels so good to twist the nose of God!" The same Antichrist later muses how an eternity in Hell will be tolerable in the knowledge that he tricked millions of people to join him there so he can listen to their screams forever, including his own parents. Complete Monster doesn't begin to describe this guy.
  • In Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, O'Brien admits that the Party isn't looking forward to improving the world, only seeking power for the sake of power, oppression for the sake of oppression. Ironically, this is the same reason why the nameless prole woman sings: just for the sake of singing.
  • Most of the villains in Thomas Berger's Arthurian novel Arthur Rex.
  • Jack Mort, a minor villain from Stephen King's Dark Tower series likes to hurt people and has ruined the lives of two major characters just for his own sadistic joy.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire—The series has some minor villains, who seem to be along just for their own sick pleasures. The worst ones would be the huge rapist knight Ser Gregor Clegane (among countless other atrocities sickening in nature), the inhumanly cruel outcasts in the Brave Companions, aka the Bloody Mummers, sadistic Ramsey Snow and the heartless boy-king Joffrey Baratheon, who practically revels in his power and prefers to make people fear him (not to forget what he did to Ned Stark).
  • Alex from A Clockwork Orange. This guy likes to kill, beat up and rape people for his own enjoyment and one could say he certainly deserves the treatment he gets after being brainwashed.
  • Organizations with essentially the same motives as Nineteen Eighty-Four's The Party are a recurring element in the satirical horror novels of Bentley Little. e.g. The Store is about a Walmart-esque retail chain that goes far out of its way to be as oppressive and cause as much unnecessary suffering as it can; The Association is about a homeowner's association that does the same; The Policy is about an insurance company that does the same.
  • Warrior Cats: Okay, so we know that Sol wants to use the Three's powers to gain control over all cats living around the lake and eliminate belief in StarClan, but his manipulation of the Twolegplace cats doesn't have anything to with his plans, and was seemingly done for the hell of it. Plus, he doesn't seem that committed to his goal, doesn't approach it with much urgency, and seems to get way too much enjoyment from messing with the main characters' minds.
  • Dr. Mabuse, who was inspired by Fantomas (see above). In addition to spreading fear, however, Mabuse wants to destroy the world... and laugh maniacally over the rubble.
  • Bellatrix Lestrange from the Harry Potter series always seems to have way too much fun killing people, breaking their stuff and torturing innocent people into insanity.
      • Much more obvious in her movie portrayal, where she spends quite a bit of her screen time laughing maniacally. Even more obvious near the end of Half Blood Prince, where while all the other Death Eaters are just calmly leaving the castle after Dumbledore's been killed, she decides to cause as much destruction as possible, clearly enjoying herself.
    • The werewolf Greyback also qualifies. He takes to infecting small children because he thinks they will be more likely to join his cause if they are infected young. He claims motives such as overthrowing the wizards, but most of his actions are purely for the fun of destroying people.
      • According to the Harry Potter Lexicon, all Dark creatures (including werewolves) harm people for the sake of harming people, not for survival like normal animals. Greyback is unique because he hurts people in his human form.
  • At the end of the The Saga of Darren Shan, it is revealed that Desmond Tiny's plan - fortunately foiled by Darren - involved magically fathering both Darren and Steve and giving the Vampaneze the fire coffin (so that they could find the Vampeneze Lord) and the Vampires a special stone that would help them in their hour of need (made from the brain of a dragon). He then manipulated events to ensure that Steve and Darren both went to see the Cirque du Freak, paving the way for Darren to eventually become a Vampire Prince and Steve to become the Vampaneze Lord. He then pits the two against one another, insisting that the vampires only have three chances to kill Steve before he overthrows the Vampires and later tells them that whichever boy won - Darren or Steve - would become the Lord of Shadows and kill all of their friends. When the vampires used the stone gift to create more vampires, it would create a new breed of violent ones. The reason he did all of this? He looked into the future and saw that things were going to be too peaceful for his liking, so he set the stage for a lot of chaos to amuse him.
  • The protagonists of the Marquis de Sade's The 120 Days of Sodom, as well as many of the men in the prostitutes' stories, like to rape, torture, murder, financially ruin, and otherwise harm innocent people, for pleasure.
  • Speculated as being one of the motives of the mutineers in the first Empire From the Ashes book for meddling with human civilization.
  • The protagonist in Edgar Allan Poe's The Black Cat starts hurting people and animals around him For the Evulz or, as he himself puts it: in the "spirit of PERVERSENESS". Poe's perverseness is an odd supposed psychological motive (but perhaps related to negative suggestion) that goes a step further than For the Evulz, inspiring not just morally wrong acts harmful to others, but any kind of irrational and wrong acts even just harmful to oneself; inspires one to do anything they shouldn't just because they know they shouldn't.
  • Melisande Shahrizai, of the Kushiel's Legacy series. When asked why she started a civil war and tried to conquer her own country she responds with, "Because I could."
  • The Vardii Collective Military in Earth 2350 killed all life on a planet because, hey, if you have a crust-melting superweapon on hand, why not use it on someone you don't like?
  • An awful lot of misbehavior in the Nightside series, from heinous torture of innocents to the merely rude, is attributed to the "just because he/she/it/they could" motive.
  • The Order of the Blackened Denarius from The Dresden Files are explicitly stated as being out to inflict as much chaos, death, and destruction as possible, and are responsible for inciting numerous plagues, wars, and other disasters.
    • Shagnasty, if anything, was even worse than the Denarians, deliberately striking out at hapless bystanders and opponents far too weak to hurt it, simply to show off how much pain it could inflict.
  • In Death: A number of times in the series, the murderer or criminal says that s/he is doing what s/he is doing because s/he can. If that's not another way of expressing this trope, then what is?
  • Venandekatra the Vile in Belisarius Series seems so evil that one wonders if the writer was doing a whimsical exercise in how to create the most evil villain.
  • The vampire Lestat from the novel by the same name and others by Anne Rice. When asked why he is so cruel, Lestat simply states that he likes it and enjoys it.
  • The sadistic serial killer in Spider Robinson's novel Very Bad Deaths exemplifies this: He inflicts horrible cruelties upon his victims because he enjoys it. He derives the same sense of satisfaction from cruelty than most people get from kind ones.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Q in Star Trek the Next Generation, half the time. The other half he's playing a mentor...
    • Arguably, Gul Madred, the Cardassian interrogator from "Chains of Command". Eventually, he lays off of the torture and drugs when he realizes that Picard really doesn't know what he wants to hear... and then picks up where he left off and keeps going for the sole purpose of breaking Picard's brain.
      • Considering that Gul Madred is also the MCP, this isn't too far fetched.
      • That whole episode was essentially one big Shout-Out to George Orwell's 1984.
  • In Doctor Who, we have this dialogue between Martha and a Toclafane:

Martha: But why? Why come all this way just to cause all this death and destruction?
Toclafane: Because it's FUN.

    • While he hasn't always been as open about it as in his John Simm incarnation, The Master has always been more interested in screwing with the Doctor than actually taking over the world. In The Sea Devils, he flat-out admits he's only working with the villains so they can get rid of "the human race of which you are so very fond."
    • Played for Drama and deconstructed in the Big Finish audio Master. All his evil plans were never expected to work, they were only designed to cause as much misery and destruction as possible. Why? Because as one of the Doctor's titles is Time's Champion, the Master is Death's Champion.
    • In the 2010 episode "Flesh and Stone", the Weeping Angels tell the Doctor they are forcing Amy to count down to her death "for fun, sir."
    • "Everything you say, Waterfield, is true. If we cannot find Jamie, the Daleks will take pleasure in killing everyone in sight, and their greatest pleasure will be in killing me." - the Doctor, The Evil of the Daleks.
  • Similarly, a villain in the Torchwood episode "Countrycide", when asked the reason for his actions, simply responds "Because it made me happy."
    • And there's this quote from a charming recurring villain in "Exit Wounds":

Captain John Hart: Do I mean fun or carnage? I always get those two mixed up.

  • Dr. Mikoto Nakadai in Bakuryu Sentai Abaranger is an Evil Genius who is utterly bored with life... until he discovers that tormenting the heroes and plotting widespread death and destruction is just the kick he's been missing.
  • Similarly, in the Supernatural episode "The Benders", Sam gets captured by a family of cannibal hillbillies, and Dean allies himself with a female county cop (whose brother was captured by the same hillbillies) to get him back. At the end, the female cop asks the hillbilly patriarch why they killed her brother, and he answers, "Because it was FUN." She shoots him off-screen.
  • Subtly subverted in the Millennium episode "Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me". Four demons cause death and destruction behind the scenes apparently just because it's fun for them. Except at the end, it's revealed (by Frank Black himself) that the demons are very lonely, simply doing evil not because they like it, but because it's what they've been doing forever and they don't know what else to do.
  • About the only reason why Arthur Petrelli of Heroes does anything. Mr. Linderman of Season One wanted to blow up NYC to heal the world and Adam Monroe of Season Two wanted to release a deadly virus to give his people a second chance, but Arthur didn't even bother with idealistic pretense. He just spouted the usual villainous cliches, and even then in a half-hearted fashion, as if he could barely be bothered to even offer a modicum of justification for his douchery.
    • The only justification for anything Sylar has ever done aside from wanting more abilities is simply because he can.
  • Angelus during season 2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, who nearly destroyed the world just for the giggles. Somebody earlier mentioned what could be more evil than leering at nuns? How about killing an entire convent just to drive one girl insane? Yeah, he did that because he could. And then he made her a vampire.
    • Most demons and vampires are like this, by their very nature. Two villains, however, get special mention: Spike and Ethan Rayne. Spike at least has an excuse, he's a vampire, and therefore is Exclusively Evil. Ethan doesn't even have this excuse; he's just an ordinary human who worships pain and chaos. Literally; his powers come from his worship of Janus.
      • Angel and Spike have a conversation in Angel concerning how they committed atrocities For the Evulz—but in different ways. Spike loved killing for the sake of it and didn't bother to give his victims another glance. Angelus couldn't look away from his victims and relished their suffering.
      • Spike could also be considered a subversion. While he enjoys killing humans as individuals, he actually likes human society in general (with Sex Pistols being his favorite rock band) and doesn't want to see it destroyed.

Spike: "The thing is, I like this world. You've got Manchester United, dogracing, and people. Millions of people, all walking around, like Happy Meals on legs."

    • One episode of Angel had a twist on this; the demon possessing a small boy did all his crimes For the Evulz, but the boy was a complete psychopath who trapped the demon in his mind and resisted control attempts, then burned things and killed people anyway (even after a successful exorcism) because he didn't see any reason not to. The demon was absolutely terrified by this, since demons see doing things out of a belief in evil as a valid reason but the boy lacked even that.
    • Hauser, a former employee of Wolfram and Hart, believes in evil.
  • Jonathan Creek, given that it focuses on Locked Room Mysteries and other planned murders, usually has very rational and logical villains with complex motives. Thus this trope came as something of a surprise when it was played in season four - after the media suggests that a series of murders are inspired by the fact that all the women killed were named after flowers (as an attempt to "deflower women") and the real killer is caught, Jonathan notes that no-one had considered the idea that a young woman would kill other young women "simply because she likes to". The floral connection of the names was just a coincidence.
  • Criminal Minds: A trio of killers graduate from vandalism to murder, and one of them is caught editing footage from their latest killing (to The Dead Weather of all things). When asked why they did it especially in light of the fact that unlike the profile they had steady jobs in a bad economy, the lone survivor can only say "Because it's fun."
    • Also the (unrelated) rioters in the same episode.
    • This seems to be the case for the Reaper George Foyet as well. The core of his character is that he gets off (maybe literally, it's hard to tell) on manipulating and having power over people.
    • Adrian Bale in the early episode "Won't Get Fooled Again". He agrees to tell the BAU how to disarm a complicated bomb, and in exchange he will be transferred from his maximum security prison to a mental hospital, and Agent Gideon will have to apologize to his victims' families, and admit that it was entirely his fault their respective relative died. When the inevitable Wire Dilemma occurs, Bale, even though doing so completely invalidates his deal, purposely tells them to cut the wrong wire... because the bomb blowing up will give him some kind of "emotional release".
    • It's a TV show about FBI profilers who hunt down (mostly) serial killers. At least half the episodes fall into this trope. The other half, however, subverts it to hell and back.
    • Subverted in the episode "To Hell And Back". The team profile someone who is abducting random drug users and homeless people as someone who is killing For The Evulz - but it is actually an Adult Child who is carrying out orders of his crippled Manipulative Bastard brother, who says he was using the victims to perform horrible human experiments in the hope of finding a cure for his condition. Then Double Subverted when Rossi calls bullshit on that and says he's just a sadist, who enjoys forcing his brother to torture and kill people while he watches, since none of the equipment he has on hand is remotely suited to advanced medical research.
  • Rico in Hannah Montana explains the fact that he is always trying to make people (his so called friends no less) miserable as "I'm rich and bored, It's What I Do."
  • On an episode of Law and Order Special Victims Unit, a serial rapist and murderer who is also a Phony Psychic keeps butting into a case in which he is actually the killer. After he's captured, a detective asks him why he did it, since he'd probably have gotten away with it if he hadn't. His response? "I just had to see what I had set in motion. The expressions on your faces were priceless. This place was like a big beehive that I poked with a stick."
  • CSI episode "Fannysmackin'", where local teens beat tourists to death. The point made at the end is that these kids were bored and were stupid enough to pick this to break the boredom.
  • Every villain in the 1960's Batman TV show. Has even one of them ever tried to commit a subtle and/or profitable crime?
  • In the Firefly episode "Our Mrs. Reynolds" Saffron implies she might be this, after Mal questions her about why she needed such a convoluted plan.

Saffron: "You're assuming the payoff is the point."

  • Professional Wrestling: The Big Bossman practically sprinted past the Moral Event Horizon and dove into Complete Monsterdom for no reason whatsoever, other than that he enjoyed it.
  • In Kamen Rider Kuuga The Big Bad was quite different from other final bosses of Kamen Rider, no speech about his desire to win the game, all he wants to do is fight Yosuke and even as he died fighting him. He didn't whine about how a mortal beaten him, just smiling as he watches Yuusuke being so violent.
  • A rather light example in The Goodies: Bill's just signed up to do a row of extremely violent shows for the BBC. Graeme and Tim, bewildered, simply ask why he'd join up for such 'immoral, gratuitous violence'.

Bill: Oh, don't worry, I have a perfectly good reason.
Graeme: Oh really? What's that?
Bill: I like violence! (jumps Graeme, beginning to strangle him)

  • Jim Moriarty from Sherlock: he threatens to blow up a series of bombs in London just because he was bored and to get Sherlock's attention.
    • Also Inverted with Sherlock Holmes himself, the only reason he solves crimes instead of commits them is because he gets to brag about it afterwards.
  • The Vampire Diaries - The motivation for most of Damon Salvatore's actions.
  • On Degrassi the Next Generation, Peter likes Manny, but Emma likes Peter. Manny gets drunk, and Peter films Manny stripping and uses it for blackmail. Emma then puts Peter in leather pants and blames Manny, but starts dating the guy who filmed her best friend stripping. Strike that. That whole plot was For the Evulz. Peter's motives are more clear in season 6. (Sean likes Emma, Peter's dating Emma, Peter frames Sean for "possession".) And he actually gets a random Face Heel Turn in season 7.
  • This is Sue Sylvester's primary motivation in Glee.
  • The motivation of Joey Heric, the resident Magnificent Bastard on The Practice. As his psychiatrist points out, he is clearly smart enough to commit murder in such a way that he would never be suspected, but that wouldn't be nearly as much fun as letting everyone know he is guilty and then getting away with it anyway.
  • The killer in the Criminal Minds Suspect Behavior episode "Jane" outright claims he had no reason to torture and kill women, he just did it. According to Coop, he's telling the truth; to the killer, people and even most things are just indistinguishable blurs, and he is incapable of anything even resembling emotion, especially (and even sadistic) joy or happiness, even while torture-murdering.
  • Francis from Malcolm in the Middle, during his youth, and even currently, was implied to have pretty much done things such as steal a neighbor's car, crash it onto a tree, as well as drink, smoke, gain multiple piercings, break curfew, slept around, as well as torture his brothers, lock them in a closet, steal their toys, and presumably scar Reese with a Bayonet because of this trope, almost certainly the prior stuff was simply to spite his mother.
  • In Sentai series, a general rule is that the villain's only ideology is evil.
  • Farscape: Selto Durka, Peacekeeper Captain, enthusiastic torturer, and all around bastard. He's so horrible that when Rygel—one of his former victims -- finally kills him, Rygel spends the next several days carrying his head around on a stick. It's really hard to blame Rygel for being so happy.
  • Thomas and O'Brien from Downton Abbey, who have attracted criticism that the mostly realistic series suffers from having these cartoon villains with no identifiable motivation. And ironically, the one thing O'Brien at least thought she had a motivation for (planting a bar of soap so Cora would have a miscarriage, and wouldn't fire her) is the only one she actually shows regret for.
  • One episode of The Pretender has Jared try to get into the mind of a serial killer to try and find his latest victim. He almost Logic-Bombs himself because he can't understand the reasoning behind the killer's actions. The killer helpfully informs him that there is no reason; he kills because he wants to.
  • When Methos from the Highlander tv series finally tells Duncan about his days as an evil marauder back in the depths of time, he sums up his motives as a combination of this and Evil Feels Good.

Killing was all I knew. Is that what you want to hear? I killed. But I didn't just kill fifty, I didn't kill a hundred. I killed a thousand. I killed TEN thousand! And I was good at it. And it wasn't for vengeance, it wasn't for greed. It was because... I liked it.


Music[edit | hide]

  • Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash:

"But I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die."

  • Voltaire's "When You're Evil" pretty much sums up the trope.

And it's so easy when you're evil
This is the life, you see
The Devil tips his hat to me
I do it all because I'm evil
And I do it all for free
Your tears are all the pay I'll ever need

  • My Chemical Romance's "I Never Told You What I Do For A Living"

It ain't the money
And it sure as hell ain't just for the fame
It's for the bodies I claim
And those only go so far

  • "Only a Lad" by Oingo Boingo discusses Johnny, who appears to have been born this way, despite society's attempts to suggest otherwise (Primarily as an excuse not to deal with it.)

His teachers didn't understand,
They kicked him out of school at a tender, early age just because
He didn't want to learn things,
Had other interests...
He liked to burn things!

    • Johnny does have motives occasionally, but they are so absurd that they hardly count. (He once shot a neighbor in the leg just so he could steal her radio.)
  • Such Horrible Things by Creature Feature:

I'm not a bad man
Even though I do bad things, very bad things, such horrible things
But it's not quite what it seems, not quite what I seem
Ah hell, I'm exactly what I seem.

I'm openin' a church to sell coke and Led Zeppelin
And fuck Mary in her ass.. ha-ha.. yo
I'm fuckin' Goldilocks up in the forest
In the three bear house eatin' their muthafuckin' porridge
I tell her it's my house, give her a tour
In my basement, and keep that bitch locked up in my storage
Rape her and record it, then edit it with more shit

  • The Bright Young Things by Marilyn Manson is this meets The Hedonist, referencing the titular "Bright Young People" of 1920s London.

We set fashion, not follow
Spit vitriol, not swallow
Good for nothing but being
Everything that's bad

  • "The Curse of Milhaven" by Nick Cave is a prime example.

I keep telling them they're out to get me
They ask me if I feel remorse and I answer, why of
Course!
There is so much more I could have done if they'd let
Me!

  • Sinner by a) Judas Priest doesn't seem to give a motive to the subject of the song beyond enjoyment of his (or her) own sin (evulz), the same can be said of the b) Drowning Pool song of the same name. Also note that no particular preference is given to any one sin in particular over the others.


Professional Wrestling[edit | hide]

  • Doing this in pro wrestling is generally called garnering "Cheap Heat"; being booed by the fans not for doing something legitimately vile but simply for the sake of being jeered. Interrupting someone's well-deserved title match to spoil their opportunity at glory is a truly nefarious act and being booed for this is well-earned. Telling the town you're in that their local football team just lost to [some other city] is done For the Evulz. Sometimes, cheap heat really adds to a wrestler's charisma (it's a great way to show how arrogant their character can be) but done sloppily, the facade is easily lost and the obviousness that it's a swing at just being bad for bad's sake is made evident.


Stand-Up Comedy[edit | hide]

  • In one George Carlin routine Carlin discusses the Catholic doctrine of sins of intent, and uses the hypothetical example: "You could wake up one morning and say to yourself, 'I think I'm going to go down to 27th St. today and commit myself a mortal sin!' Save your bus fare, man! You did it!"


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Many older RPG modules had this in spades due to the focus being on the gaming rather than the story - why did the evil overlord capture the princess, build a ten-level dungeon, hire all those monsters and threaten to destroy the world with his ritual? I already mentioned he's Evil, didn't I? So do you want this loot and XP or not?
  • In Exalted, the Ebon Dragon is the incarnation of this trope. Seriously, when the world was being created from formless chaos, he invented the entire concept of betrayal. He also argued for the invention of a being of virtue and light to defend the world solely because its formation would empower him as something to oppose. His power suite is built entirely around dicking people over. Just to cap it off, while he's trapped in the prison-body of his king like the rest of his kin, he would gladly make his escape back into the world and slam the door shut behind him in the face of the Yozis, and possibly seal them away for all eternity just to laugh in their faces. This guy just doesn't do it For the Evulz, he wrote the book on it as a checklist for personal life goals. The only consolation is that he is such a complete pathological dick that when sealing his kin while escaping, his own component souls are likely to betray him and trap the rest of him within the permanently sealed hell.
    • Some of the material implies that he actually orchestrated the war that resulted in him and his fellows being trapped in said Hell. And actually came out ahead for it—he was a fairly minor Primordial, but he's one of the most powerful and prominent of the Yozis.
  • Quite a few Dark Eldar and followers of Chaos in Warhammer 40000 have lost whatever reasons they once might have had for their journey to what lies beyond the Moral Event Horizon and are now in it for the giggles. The Dark Eldar are a particularly stellar example as the reason for their current predicament (hiding in the Webway and constantly hunted by the god of perversion) is that their entire civilization imploded in an orgy of hedonism and depravity, and they have no intention of stopping(While this is buried away in some fairly obscure canon, the Dark Eldar carry on as they are out of a deep-seated spiritual dread. All the evuls are to try and stave off the attention of the god of perversion for just a bit longer).
    • As for Chaos, most who serve it do so for the promise of power and advancement from them, or are even just clinging to it for the hopes their god(s) may help them (they generally won't, and even if they do, you still probably won't find it pleasant). However, it's not uncommon for many of their servants to simply become addicted to the horror they inflict in the names of Chaos. With Khorne's followers, it's generally hard to tell due to their sheer Ax Crazy. It also is worthy of mention that once you get far enough into slaaneshi cultism, everything you do to yourself/other beings is for some kind of high. Removing your own arm then replacing it with someone else's leg, for teh lolz.
    • The Orks, meanwhile, are an entire species who embark upon interstellar campaigns of genocide for entertainment purposes. "Orkz wuz made fo' fightin' an' winnin'!"
    • Remiare, the assassin, in Mechanicum, who casually burned out a man's memory centres simply because she enjoys making living beings suffer.
  • The old fantasy Warhammer Fantasy Battle has the Skaven... Frankly, most of their clans neither want nor need a motive for what they do.
    • Though they are pretty goal-oriented whenever they are put up against someone of equal or superior skill (and considering the strength of the average skaven, that isn't too hard).
  • Tends to happen rather spectacularly every time PCs are permitted to be actually evil rather than just designated. The Full Frontal Nerdity take on this gave us the cleverly innocent name of Dark Lord Evisceratrix O'Kittensquisher. This is not much of an exaggeration.
  • Depending on what Haunt you trigger in Betrayal at House on the Hill, the Traitor's motivation can range from Tragic Monster to More Than Mind Control to this. The poor preacher might randomly turn into a werewolf, or the geeky Tagalong Kid may just decide the Giant Spiders are just too cool to fight.
  • Vampire: The Requiem has the Crassus family. It's a horrible, horrible example to retype here, so just check it out on their section on the Requiem article.
  • Fiends in Dungeons and Dragons. As the Witch-queen Iggwilv explains in the Demonomicon:

"To understand a demon is to know what drives it. All demons crave carnage and absolute ruin, but to what end? Unlike devils, demons do not commit acts of violence from a philosophical desire to foment evil for its own sake. The desires of a demon are less existential. More instinctual."

  • In the Magic: The Gathering set Ravnica, the Rakdos Cult is populated entirely by Exclusively Evil demons and supplicants, whose entire reason for doing their actions is For the Evulz. Interestingly, in the magically-enforced government of Ravnica, there needs to be that sort of group as part of the government... even if it spends most of its time trying to destroy said government.
  • Most agents of the Wyrm in Werewolf: The Apocalypse don't have a whole lot of motive for what they do. A fair amount of the Pentex book is scary not because of the malevolence on display, but because most of it seems to have no motive at all beyond "yay Wyrm".


Theatre[edit | hide]

  • Shakespeare is known for doing this:
    • Iago's motives from Othello were noticeably thin and contradictory, which leads many scholars to surmise that he doesn't have motives at all, only excuses. This trope was almost named "The Iago" because of this. The alternative title Motiveless Malignity is a term Shakespearean scholars often use to describe his actions.
    • The "Villains by Necessity" speech in King Lear Edmund gives, in which he mocks people blaming their faults on the stars, as they did him, for being an illegitimate son of the Duke of Gloucester conceived under "bad stars." Edmund sums up with "S'foot (bullshit): I should have been what I am had the maidenliest star twinkled on my bastardizing." It's also possible that he went bad because people thought he would, in something like a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. Of course, to Edmund it doesn't matter anymore...
    • Don John from Much Ado About Nothing, actually mentions early in the play that since people have pegged him as a bastard already, he might as well get into it and enjoy himself.
    • Richard III: He tells us in the very first speech of the play that he's going to be a villain because he has nothing else with which to occupy himself.
    • Aaron of Titus Andronicus does everything he does over the course of the play because he simply likes being evil.

Ah, why should wrath be mute and fury dumb?
I am no baby, I, that with base prayers
I should repent the evils I have done;
Ten thousand worse than ever yet I did
Would I perform, if I might have my will.
If one good deed in all my life I did,
I do repent it from my very soul.

I wanna taste their tears
I wanna hear their screams
I want that special rush
You get from crushing
Hopes and dreams


Toys[edit | hide]

  • From Bionicle, we have the Piraka, six (formerly seven) former Dark Hunters out for the Mask of Life.
    • Even Makuta Teridax himself strayed into this territory at times, like when he became the Matoran Universe itself, and so gained control over the natural forces of the universe.
  • The Purr Tenders had to deal with Ed-grr, the grumpy pet dog of the owner of Pick-A-Dilly Pet Shop. While they'd all gotten adopted thanks to their disguises, meaning his owner didn't have to care for them anymore and they were out of his hair, Ed-grr wanted to capture and drag them back to the shop just so they'd be unhappy and he could laugh at their misery.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • World of Warcraft: As a Horde character, many players may enjoy engaging in particularly Orcish behaviour towards the Alliance. It was also part of the game's history, that the reason why Blizzard removed the ability of the two factions to communicate with each other, was because of how savage and profane player communication could become during combat. Given that the Alliance could be considered the "jock," faction, WoW provided an environment where the average Horde gamer could release and work through the sorts of psychosocial dynamics that probably led to the Columbine Massacre, without actually entering a real classroom with a gun.
    • Here's a humorous example from the Black Comedy that is the Forsaken:

Undercity Champion: I punched a penguin on my way in here.
Argent Confessor Paletress: Oh, my. Do you feel remorseful, at least?
Undercity Champion: Nah, not really. I just wanted to see the look on your face. (laughs)

  • Kefka from Final Fantasy VI is the result of crossing this trope with Nietzsche Wannabe. Thanks to the Magitek experiments he's undergone, his mind has rotted to the point that destruction and death are the only things that bring meaning to his life, so he destroys and kills everything and everyone he can because it's the only thing that puts a smile on his face. And boy does it ever. Towards the end, it's possible that the only reason he stops playing this trope straight is because he's so ridiculously powerful that it just isn't fun anymore. Without the Evulz to drive him, he no longer has any use for either the world or even his own existence.
  • Saleh, one of the Quirky Miniboss Squad in Tales of Rebirth is an extreme case that he is very much repulsed with anything good and strives to do evil and it just delights him to see people suffer.
  • Kirei Kotomine, the Big Bad of the Fate route in Fate Stay Night, was going to empty the contents of the Holy Grail, an Artifact of Doom containing a tangible form of all of man's evil upon the world, causing untold amounts of death and destruction. When The Hero asks him why he's doing it, he replies with a speech that can be summed up as: "Just as some people find music or art entertaining, I can only find amusement in watching other people suffer".
    • The Heaven's Feel scenario turns this into a Deconstructed Trope by giving us Kotomine's backstory and showing just what sort of twisted and tormented person he is: Kotomine is perfectly capable of understanding the nuances of right and wrong and has, in fact, on several occasions tried to live a good life -- by for instance becoming a priest specializing in healing and trying to have a family -- while at the same time being utterly unable to get any pleasure from life unless he's causing (or simply observing - he's not picky) someone pain and suffering. He is fully aware of just how deviant this makes him and he considers his birth to be a 'mistake'. This in fact turns his motives into a subversion. What he is truly aiming for is something close to a Rage Against the Heavens.
  • Yuber and Luca Blight from the Suikoden series.
  • Both Psycho for Hire Grims and Lubikka Hakinnen from Super Robot Wars. Archibald forced Elzam von Branstein to make the Sadistic Choice between killing his wife or having his whole colony gassed, as well as bombing an excavation site all for the lulz. His predecessor Lubikka is also said to have done a lot of atrocities for the lulz, and takes extra lulz if he is torturing Tytti Noorbuck mentally.
    • Archibald actually does have a grudge against the Branstein family, but when not torturing them, he just really likes killing people. His hobbies include joining rebellions that he couldn't give a damn about, "accidentally" firing on civilians in an occupied country, and drinking red tea because it looks like blood.
  • The eponymous mask from The Legend of Zelda Majoras Mask. This is emphasized by the fact that the person it chooses to possess is a (skull) kid, and during one of its three boss fights, it dances around giggling like a child. It doesn't seem to have a clear reason for all of the horrible things it does, part of what makes it scary as fuck.
    • Doubly so in the questionably canon manga adaptation, where the Mask is revealed to have hexed Kafei into a child for the hell of it when he refused to play with the possessed Skull Kid, and once discarding the Skull Kid, comments that Link "looks like a fun fellow" and tosses off a few inexplicably creepy lines about how he wants to play with Link now, eventually settling on "tag". Majora further has a Villainous Breakdown as he and Oni Link fight, calling Oni Link a "meanie" when he hits him the first time and giggling madly before repeating his actions from the video game of running around tittering with excitement. In the final form, he bawls out Link for ruining his "game", screaming that humans had always "played" willingly with him before. We're given a pretty good view that Majora threw the entire world into chaos and tried to destroy it purely because it was fun.
    • Not Majora himself, but they establish a Freudian Excuse for the Skull Kid, who was being influenced by him at one point in the game. A long time ago, the Skull Kid and the Giants were friends (his ONLY friends), but the giants left to sleep in the four compass directions leaving the Skull Kid all alone and feeling he had been abandoned. This caused him to become bitter and antagonistic toward people, which got turned Up to Eleven when Majora possessed him.
    • Plus the evil plan brings his friends back to visit/stop him from destroying the world!
  • Minions (especially brown ones) from Overlord might also count toward this trope - they simply enjoy killing and crashing everything (this is evident from their constant remarks, like "Kill, kill!" or "Burn, burn!").
  • Doctor Neo Cortex in Crash Bandicoot.

Coco Bandicoot: Cortex, why do you keep doing stuff like this?
Doctor Neo Cortex: Well, actually it's pretty fun. You should try it. Y'know, riding around in huge, rumbling machines and whatnot? Very stimulating.

    • Perhaps in the new games, but in the original three Neo Cortex was always all about World Domination.
  • The killer in Persona 4 decides to cure a serious case of Small Town Boredom with murder and (attempted) rape. In his own words:

"I did that stuff 'cause I could. And it got interesting, so I watched."

  • Rugal Bernstein from King of Fighters. Some of his plans have a reasonable motivation, but he usually just does evil because he's amused at how low he can sink. Why do you think he killed all those people he then made into decorative bronze statues? Because he could.
  • The Evil Matriarch Hilda from Fire Emblem 4. Most of her acts seems to derive from her lust of power. But torturing her sister in law Tiltyu to death and then her daughter too? That's simply done For the Evulz. Also, when her husband was very much disdainful towards child hunting so they can be sacrificed to an evil god, she goes ahead and supports it wholeheartedly. For what? For the Evulz.
  • Carnage and mass destruction are integral parts of fun for Gig from Soul Nomad and The World Eaters. He is very open about this, by the way.
    • Likewise, Thuris seems to cook up virulent, nigh-incurable plagues mainly for shits and giggles. The protagonist of the Demon Path trumps them both by a long shot. His/her final words after destroying reality itself in a Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum? "It doesn't matter. It was fun."
  • This is what The Adel Bernal's motivation boils down to essentially in Super Robot Wars Z.
  • Meria, of Knights in The Nightmare, loves to run around blowing shit up. She will actually take it all the way to Asgard if you let her.
  • Pokey/Porky Minch from the Earthbound series seems to fit this trope perfectly in Mother 2 and Mother 3. He pretty much states that being the hero doesn't sound like fun to him. In Mother 2 he seemed more like a harmless example who usually appeared to taunt or hinder Ness. Mother 3 however... his actions shifted more towards Complete Monster territory, transforming a peaceful island's plants and animals into violent chimeras, then gathered all the inhabitants on the island to his flying "utopia" so they could all watch as he awakened a dragon to destroy all of existence. All this because he was bored and needed a quick laugh.
  • Rosso from Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus. Her motivation boils down to "why not?". The rest of the Tsviets say similar things, to the tune of "We were made as killing machines, so why not do what we do best?"
  • Most characters in Touhou have a reason for what they do, if not a good one. Except for Tenshi, who causes a lot of chaos and some earthquakes because she was bored. Utsuho would also qualify, but she got beaten down before she actually did anything.
  • More than half of the Acts of Infamy in Evil Genius are done solely to make sure you're the most evil genius trying to Take Over the World.
  • Malefor is a Complete Monster, no matter what fans try to portray him as. We're talking about a villain who kidnaps a baby dragon only too have some company after exposing her to darkness - no doubt putting her through terrible misery and suffering in the process. Then he launches an army of crazed apes (whom he eventually condemns to a Fate Worse Than Death simply because they do not seem totally loyal) to kill anybody who tries to stop him, so that he can destroy the entire world with a deadly blast. His motive is apparently Because Destiny Says So, but seriously - what would his actions accomplish?
    • Not to mention when the heroes show up to stop him, he gets a kick out of using Mind Control to turn one against the other, and is visibly miffed when she breaks free, ruining his game. Then as the planet starts to disintegrate during the final battle, he gets an even bigger kick out of taunting them for being too late: "Welcome to the end of the world!"
  • And if you you're really looking for nasty evil leadership, seems like the whole place of Sim Nation is an ultimate Crapsack World that corrupt mayors can run cities in. Crime can be rampant on the streets, or a mayor can summon a tornado to hit that peaceful neighborhood, or he can even drive around and spill toxic waste in shopping districts.
    • The people living in those cities aren't too bright for staying there either. Try reducing all firefighter budget to zero and set a few fires. As the industries explode and set the entire map on fire, you will find that even with a third of the map burning and another third already turned to ashes, 30% of people polled will still find traffic or taxes to be the biggest problem in town...
  • Word of God states that this is Wario's reason why he's working with the Subspace Army in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. [1]
    • Wario does have motivation in greed, but the efforts he goes through to get it, right down to literally shaking money out of enemies way too gleefully just proves he enjoys the methods as much as the gains.
  • RICHARD Hawk, who laughs constantly while testing out a superweapon on New York City and filling Chicago with poison gas for no reason other than the fact that he just hates freedom for some reason.
  • Most villainous contacts in City of Villains use you as a tool in their Evil Plan, for some petty thefts or revenge plots, or trying to further their own (and, in some cases, your) agendas. Westin Phipps, on the other hand, poses as a charity worker and sends you to do things like kidnap an inspirational schoolteacher, destroy textbooks, and poison food supplies. Why? For no reason other than to crush the hopes of the downtrodden poor. People are split over whether or not he's evil enough to make even villains uncomfortable.
  • Murray, the Demonic Talking Skull from the Monkey Island series fits this trope quite nicely.

"What! Murray, I did you a favor!"
"Yes, thus making my betrayal all the more evil! Muhahaha!"

  • The first mission of Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception has Enemy Chatter showing that some Leasath chair forcers are raining bombs on a defenceless city just because they can spare the ordnance.
  • Mass Effect: The Reapers plan to purge the galaxy of all intelligent life, including mankind, because... that's simply what they've been doing for ages.

"Your extinction is inevitable. We are the end of everything. ... The pattern has repeated itself more times than you can fathom. Organic civilisations rise, evolve, advance and at the apex of their glory, they are extinguished."

    • It should be noted that this is game one of a planned trilogy, their motives right now may appear to be "for the evulz" but by the end of the third game it's likely that there will be an actual reason given.
    • And in Mass Effect 2, their secondary motivation has been revealed to be reproduction. By way of melting the most appropriate races into primordial porridge. This porridge is then used as the primary ingredient for a gargantuan cyberorganic gestalt of the entire species in question, that then becomes the core of a new Reaper. While the biological imperative of this motivation is typical, the sheer absurd horribleness of it is probably Lulz related.
    • Mass Effect 3 finally did reveal their motives (which are spoilerific and long-winded in explanation), and it turns out they were operating on Blue and Orange Morality / Well-Intentioned Extremist rather than this trope.
  • Summoner: Emperor Murod, Prince Sornehan, and Queen Galliene purposely cultivate Zero Percent Approval Ratings upon taking power? Because they're part of a demonic cult whose acolytes literally fuel their magical power with evil and suffering.
  • SHODAN from System Shock. She's an apegy of villainy and bloodlust. First, Edward Diego tricks the hacker into removing her ethical restraints, and how does she thank him? By turning everyone except you into her mutant slaves, while letting Diego still have at least somewhat of a mind. Worst of all, she plans to use Citadel Station's mining laser to destroy the cities of Earth, and then use her mutant virus on anyone who survives her wrath.
    • After you defeat her in the first game, there's also her appearance in System Shock 2. SHODAN merely used Dr. Marie Delecroix as a pawn for disposing of The Many after Dr. Janice Polito commits suicide. But she abandoned her when she needed her most. She also made a deal with you: if you destroy The Many, she will let you live. She never lets you come to the aid of another human being in need of your help. You destroy the Many, and she leaves you for dead. Only to fight you... and die. But not really, because you then see her TAKE OVER REBECCA SIDDONS! Why? 'Cuz she's "a perfect immortal machine!"
  • Nene in Blue Dragon has an actual ultimate plan: he tricks your party into powering up their magic so he can steal it and save himself from a wasting disease, but in order to pull this off, he simply cackles and invokes this Trope at every one of their meetings. At a certain point, it starts to seem like he just sits around brainstorming new ways to make the heroes mad.
  • In Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion there is the Dark Brotherhood which the player can join by murdering someone who doesn't deserve to die. The first time you 'sleep rather soundly' after doing so and consequently meet Lucien Lachance and ask him about the Dark Brotherhood, he remarks:

Lucien Lachance: We kill for profit, for enjoyment and for the glory of our Dread Father Sithis."

    • Some of the victims are slain for revenge, for selfish gain of whoever pays, to (assumably) remove someone seen as a threat or to send a powerful message to the Brotherhood's enemies. Even the murder of Baenlin on your second mission, the harmless old man who doesn't seem to have done ANYTHING to deserve dying in the 'accident' you staged, is explained. His nephew Caenlin moves into the house soon after the hit is complete. If you talk to him and/or read the black horse courier article about Baenlin's death, you'll likely assume Caenlin used the hit to claim his inheritance. However, there are a few instances where there is no hint in that direction. For example, in one mission you are sent to a fancy manor where five guests have been lured to by a false promise of hidden gold. No matter how much you socialize with the guests and how much information you get them to tell you about themselves(and each other), at no point do you get any slightest clue about why someone would pay the Dark Brotherhood for their deaths. Quite frightening, if you think about it.
    • The stark contrast from Morrowind's I Did What I Had to Do Morag Tong can be very disappointing for people coming to Oblivion from that game. Of course, the Dark Brotherhood are in Morrowind too, albeit as NPC antagonists, specifically set up as the Chaotic Evil counterpart to the Lawful Neutral Morag Tong. The disparity is deliberate.
    • Again, that above statement about "for the glory of our Dread Father Sithis"? That gets even worse when you consider that canonically, Sithis isn't even sentient, it's the term for the void, basically nonexistence. The Dark Brotherhood take up many of their missions to kill people in order to appease an abstract concept that wouldn't even care. Talk about Complete Monsters.
  • The Dark Star in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story is this. He's already a Made of Evil Eldritch Abomination, and as a result, has no motivations other than destruction. His 'plan' is to destroy the Mushroom Kingdom or world, and he doesn't even consider that he happens to be 'living' there at the time. Then again, he's Made of Evil itself, I don't think he'd understand the concept of having motivations or reasons.
  • By the time Travis Touchdown reaches her, Bad Girl in No More Heroes is so utterly burned out by her career as an assassin that she slaughters countless gimp clones just for the fun of it. She openly admits that she has no reason to kill anyone, she does it to keep herself entertained. Travis, who is only slightly less of a Villain Protagonist than Kratos, finds himself disgusted.
  • Most of the villains in the first Sly Cooper game have some sort of Freudian Excuse or another behind their criminal careers. Sir Raleigh, however, is simply a bored aristocrat who commits crimes and sinks ships to entertain himself.
  • In Assassin's Creed, Majd Addin is the only one of Altair's targets not to try and justify his actions by claiming they were for the greater good. When asked why he executed innocent people (to the point of performing the executions himself), he replies that he simply enjoyed the feeling of holding someone else's life in his hands.
  • In Prototype, you (as Alex Mercer) can run around murdering absolutely anyone you care to using a multitude of techniques and abilities. True, they drop some health for you, but then why not absorb them instead of, say, throwing the smoldering remains of a helicopter at some random grouping?
  • The Blood Roses from All Points Bulletin are bored rich kids who commit crimes for fun. Their leader, Jeung, started with killing a hobo just because he felt like it.
  • Terumi Yuuki from Blaz Blue is directly responsible for a lot of the bad things that have happened to Ragna, Jin, Noel, Kokonoe, Arakune, and many others, and he has no motivation for doing many of these things except to be a dickTroll.
    • It goes deeper than that, though. Terumi has stated that if he is not hated, he would cease to exist. Therefore, he had to be as Troll-ish as possible and make as many people hate him. It's a double-subversion, however, because Terumi himself enjoys inflicting sufferings here and there.
    • He actually put it best himself when explaining his motives to Hakumen:

Hazama/Terumi: Seriously, I can't believe you just asked me that! 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... I guess you could say I'm bored. At least misery is interesting.

Iris: I was born with absolute power and unparalelled brains. Now, when someone knows everything there is to know about something, they get bored with it. That's the reason why I chose to stage this little revolution: to make this world just a little less boring.

  • Reaver in Fable II: "There's something rather edifying about hurting people."
  • Bulnoil in Brigandine, due to being a Card-Carrying Villain. He wants to summon Ouroboros to engulf Forsena in chaos... for no reasons other reasons aside of he's a huge dickhead.
  • In Final Fantasy XIII, was there any sensible reason for Primarch Dysley to shoot Jihl Nabaat in the back when she was about to defend him from the party? Even if his killing her was important to the plot and his characterization, wouldn't waiting until she'd fought the party and then invoking You Have Failed Me have made more sense?
    • Actually, no. Dysley's two irreconcilable Focuses were to Protect Cocoon and to Destroy Cocoon; to that end it was important that the main characters were not killed before they could help him carry out the 2nd Focus. Had they fought Jihl it's possible that they would've been unable to, in their weakened state, protect themselves against Dysley himself when he had been forced to fight the party in order to further his 1st Focus. Or, in other words: Jihl even being given the chance to fail him wasn't in his best interests.
  • The Nightmare Court in Guild Wars 2 manages to have an actual plan that requires its followers to kill and torment For the Evulz: By creating terrible memories for themselves and their victims, they try to make sure that their pseudo-Hive Mind, the Pale Tree, gets darker too, and will cause newly born Sylvari to be less acceptive of the Lawfull Good teachings from Ventari's tablet, which the Nightmare Court considers Stupid Good as opposed to their own Knight Templar approach.
  • It isn't made very clear why Tuber kidnapped the fruits in The Caverns of Hammerfest.
  • Solomon in Battlefield 3 was heavily implied to be this.
  • Munenori from Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams is a crazy piece of work. His motivation in this is cemented when he learns that his eye from his mother was not forced upon him to make him strong but given by his mother willingly to save his life. He begins to break down....and then starts cackling and explaining that it's irrelevant to why he does anything.


Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • Jeff of RPG World, Eikre's former best friend, essentially killed Eikre's mother, neighbor, and burned down part his village simply to show everyone what true evil was and because he enjoyed it. He has now ascended to Dragon status.
  • One Stolen Pixels strip has Francis trick Bill into thinking a pushbroom is the best weapon.
  • Order of the Stick:

Xykon: ...sure, I could've just blasted you all from above with fire and lightning and such... But I've always felt that when it's really important, it's worth to go that extra mile. Don't you agree?
<Last moving warrior in the room commits ritual suicide for the horrible deeds she did because of Xykon's tricks>

    • Xykon was like this even as a mortal, but he got even worse when he realized that, as a lich, he could no longer taste coffee. Killing and torturing people are now the only pleasures Xykon has now that he can no longer enjoy a good or bad cup of coffee.
    • Belkar may also qualify in his more murderiffic moments. Especially when he tries to get a Paladin to murder him in cold blood surely so she'd fall because of how funny it would be.
    • General Tarquin is a really odd case. He thinks he's Above Good and Evil, but for some reason he keeps doing things in the most evil (and often Obviously Evil) way possible. Often it's quite possibly just to get what he wants regardless of who is hurt, but sometimes there's no logical reason for it at all.

"But you can't make an omelette without ruthlessly crushing dozens of eggs beneath your steel boot and then publicly disemboweling the chickens that laid them as a warning to others."

  • Bun-bun of Sluggy Freelance fame is sometimes this. A lot of the time, he's after something (money, strippers, alfalfa hay), but sometimes, he just wants a bit of a laugh. A sadistic one. Ka-CLICK.
  • In the second Dungeons and Discourse, Dmitri's character in Dresden Codak excuses stopping to eat the philosophical zombies with "Evil for Evil's sake." Then he kills off the entire party with the Dungeon Boss's mega-weapon. Again, For the Evulz.
    • His character type, Dark Kantian, is based on this trope. His Categorical Imperative is that he must do evil regardless of its utility. (And all the Platonists have headaches now. Whee....)
  • Richard from Looking for Group is a delightfully evil character who will happily slaughter entire villages out of sheer boredom. He takes great joy in seeing the hero of the comic, Cale, slowly become less innocent, more violent, and more cynical. His motivations are largely unknown, but after each of the other characters had explained their reasons behind the main quest, he simply states "I like to kill things. How do you not get that by now?"
    • To be fair, he's not completely motiveless. Remember: that orphanage attacked him first!
    • Actually, this is his main motivation for traveling with the group at all. He's bored, and enjoys all the chances he gets to do very bad, exceedingly violent things.
      • During his trial in issue 6 Richard says that he feels he's on a path like Cale is.
  • Black Mage from 8-Bit Theater frequently has this as the motivation for his behavior. Here's just one example out of many.

Dwarf Villager: By Moradin's beard! Why do only our homes and children burn!
Black Mage: Because it seemed excessively cruel! [winks]

Penny: She never tries to win. She just tries to make everyone else lose.

  • Juathuur averts this trope, and explicitly evokes it here. The comic, as a whole, makes a point that no one is evil 'just because', everyone has his reasons.
  • This is the motivation for easily half the people and events involved in Ansem Retort. Axel even explicitly stated that this is why Zexion should steal tax dollars from his constituents to finance Axel's wedding: just to prove he could.
  • In Girl Genius, most of the old Heterodyne family's sadistic experiments were For Science!, but they left behind a Castle whose motivation for messing with prisoners is, aside from protecting heirs of the Heterodyne family, For the Evulz.
  • Norman from Dragon Tails wants to conquer the world and destroy Enigma seemingly because he has nothing better to do. Unfortuantely for him, he's...not very good at either.
  • The Grand Highblood from Homestuck seems to be the troll incarnate of this trope, killing those who seek him out on a whim simply because he truly thinks of himself as the highest on the troll totem pole. And he's also Gamzee's ancestor, and the moment Gamzee sobers up, he decides it's time to prepare for The Vast Honk via killing off all the other remaining trolls. Which he successfully does in a doomed timeline, considering he has their blood to paint with.
  • This is the only discernible reason why Christian Weston Chandler's enemies continually try to ruin his Love Quests in Sonichu.
  • The hat guy in Xkcd enjoys inventive ways of being cruel, and only sometimes as payback for someone being stupid.
  • Aram of Men in Hats. His two entertainments are television and the physical and psychological torment of his housemates.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Trolls, of course.
  • Blood Boy of Survival of the Fittest. Word of God states he does have a motive, but it A) Doesn't make sense, and B) If it did, boils more or less down to this anyway.
  • Don Sebastiano of the Whateley Universe. His idea of 'romance' is seducing a classmate, having sex with her until she's in love, then humiliating her in front of the whole school. And that's the least damaging side of him.
  • Entire basis of Evil FTW, but not NEARLY so extreme.
  • Dr Horrible's sole motivation for trying to take over the world is so that he can qualify as a supervillain and get into the Evil League of Evil.
    • Actually, Dr. Horrible is a subversion; it's made a clear on a couple of occasions that he feels the world is corrupted, and the only way to "save" it is to take control himself; most obviously in his opening spiel and during the song "My Eyes". Indeed, when it comes time to kill the "hero" of the piece, he can't bring himself to do it until he's lost his chance.
  • Dr. Heiter in Human Centipede the Musical, even more so than his film counterpart.
  • That Guy With The Glasses did a sketch about the Joker from The Dark Knight trying to come up with an origin story. After several rather ridiculous attempts, he decides to forsake the attempt altogether.

Joker: "Argh, that will never work! You know what? I'll just say I'm an asshole!"

  • In Dragon Ball Z Abridged, it seems that this is part of Vegeta's motivation for his presence on (and subsequent attempt at destroying) Earth.

Vegeta: "Say goodbye to your planet, Kakarot!"
Goku/Kakarot: "That's not very nice."
Vegeta: "Of course not! I'm f** king evil!"

  • Veronica Carter of Shadowhunter Peril, through a technicality, falls under this category. When she originally existed in Fan Fiction, Veronica was a psychotic vampire who had bullied her three siblings into working for her in her quest for total destruction of everything, murdered her rebellious little brother's best and only friend, killed and drained blood from the bodies of humans well after she was full satisfying her thirst, and went on a celebratory trek across of vandalism across the country after she killed her own army and attacked the opposing one (keep in mind that her idea of vandalism is burning everything she sees). Her reasoning for all this is because she "was just bored".
    • Even in Shadowhunter Peril, she will occasionally do something that could be slightly considered evil towards the Resistance, such as setting demonic, tentacled, man-eating pies on her friends (she literally commands them to eat Nicholas and Umbra); and firing missiles at Oblivion. When asked why she does this, she just giggles.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • All the villains from Captain Planet except Looten Plunder, Hoggish Greedly and Duke Nukem.
    • Sly Sludge usually has greed as a motivation like Looten Plunder, but sometimes is just out to pollute apparently for the heck of it.
      • Sludge's motivation is always greed, but his method is different. He's meant to represent laziness in how people choose to deal with their messes, so his apparent random polluting with stuff like toxic waste is really just him being a deliberately lazy waste disposal worker.
  • Although eponymous Invader Zim does have a motive, it's obvious from his actions, particularly in flashbacks, that he's more concerned with the evulz than anything else.
    • Especially since his actual mission is to observe and report. His decision to conquer and destroy is all for the heck of it. Well, and his ego.

Zim: Well... back to my filthy evil, I guess.

  • Shego from Kim Possible. her entire family is classic Lawful Stupid. When Kim, visiting another superheroic team composed of Shego's old family, points out that having a huge TV screen in their base that the villain can appear on any time he likes for spying purposes is a huge security flaw, Shego's response is an annoyed "Why do you think I left?!"

Hego: The more we fought evil, the more Shego liked it.
Ron: The fighting?
Kim: The evil.

  • The anti-fairies in The Fairly Odd Parents go out to cause bad luck, for no other reason than to go out and cause it.
    • Well they are the Evil Counterpart to the Fairies, who go out to help kids basically For Great Justice(and to fill the void of not having kids of their own.) Maybe they cause bad luck to "fill the void" too?
    • Vicky also counts. Her very purpose in life is either to swindle cash or torture those under her care, even her own little sister. When Timmy (who needs his tonsils removed) demands why she is working in the hospital, she replies with this obvious answer: "I like volunteering in places where there's pain."
  • Samurai Jack: In the DVD Commentary, Genndy Tartakovsky mentioned the idea that Aku set up the Jackass Genie well in Episode VII as well as several other obstacles Jack encounters throughout his travels. He notes this isn't to capture Jack, but so Aku could just mess with the people he's already enslaved.
  • One memorable episode of Teen Titans featured the season's Big Bad trying to create a giant tidal wave to drown the city - for no discernable reason at all. Admittedly, the one-shot villains often fell into this too, though were usually just following whatever their gimmick happened to be (except for Adonis, who just seemed to wreck things because it helped boost his ego).
    • Also the Brotherhood of Evil, at least in their first appearance. There is no logic reason, other than being a massive dick (quite an accomplishment for a Brain In a Jar), that the Brain would use a black hole machine to destroy the Titans' home city. They weren't even there at the time, and he knew it. Even their later plan to capture and freeze every hero only seems to be so they can be evil without interruption.
      • On the other hand, there's really quite a lot that the head of an international crime ring could do with a black hole machine, even if it's not spelled out. Can you say "extortion", anyone?
    • Even Slade flirted with this—see "Forces of Nature", where Robin wonders why Slade wanted to destroy the city, and never gets an answer. For that matter, Thunder and Lightning from the same episode would fit under this label, although they have a more believable "motive" of causing trouble for the fun of it because they're immature jerks. (Being forced to consider the victims of their actions gives Thunder pause.)
      • Slade in that episode could be Fan Wanked into setting the whole thing up to see what the Titans would do to stop it (thereby helping pick an apprentice - and it's only after that episode he decides to focus on Robin alone). Or it could just be Characterization Marches On, as they hadn't quite decided what they wanted to do with him yet.
    • Trigon, being the God of Evil, kinda has to fit this trope.
  • Sleeping Beauty has Maleficent. She tries to murder the titular character. And when that fails, she captures her Prince Charming so she can send him back when he's old and grey. Why? 'Cuz she's "the mistress of all evil!"
  • On Jimmy Two-Shoes, Lucius is pretty much evil for the sake of being evil. The sole focus of his Mega Corp is to make people miserable.
    • Heloise too. On one occasion she was seen sucking up all the water around a tree just to get it to wilt.
  • There is no doubt that this is the cause of Megabyte's actions later in the series. Shapeshifting as Bob and almost marrying Dot was done for no other reason than to amuse him.
    • Hexadecimal is so chaotic that she sometimes falls into this trope, for example creating the Medusa Bug and overriding the system Paint command. She even fires The Hardware at the Principal Office, despite Megabyte's warning that doing so will destroy the entire system and everyone in it, including herself, simply because it is "screaming out to be destroyed".
  • In the Super Mario Bros. cartoons, King Koopa and his kids are Card Carrying Villains that are always doing evil for the sake of doing evil. Occasionally they would have plans that involved financial gain, but evil always took top priority and financial gain was a bonus.
  • Arguably, Swiper from Dora the Explorer might count. As a villain, Swiper's only motivation seems to be to steal Macguffins for the purpose of inconveniencing the protagonists and then throwing them away (similar to the jewel thief mentioned in The Dark Knight).
  • Lamilton from The Boondocks. "It's fun to do bad things" is basically his catch phrase throughout the episode.
  • In Powerpuff Girls, this is the only reason Him does anything.
    • Except his aerobics.
  • In Justice League Unlimited, though Lex Luthor does have a legitimate master plan, he explains this as his motive for the part where he tricks the League into thinking they were destined to become like their Knight Templar Alternate Universe selves.

Luthor: That's right, conspiracy buff, I spent seventy-five million dollars on a fake presidential campaign just to tick Superman off.

  • Skeletor in the original He-Man and the Masters of the Universe certainly qualifies. His motive was simply that he enjoyed being evil. He waxed rhapsodic about how much he loved evil. He found joy in any act of nastiness, no matter how petty or arbitrary, and was repulsed by anything good or nice. (Of course, being an '80s cartoon character, he never did anything really evil like, say, trying to kill anyone. But given how much fulfillment he found in even the smallest acts of evil, maybe he didn't feel the need to.)
  • Eris from The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy. Even though her actions are justified since she is the goddess of chaos after all, she seems to enjoy way too much what she does, and the worst part is that most of the time her goals are just petty or meaningless, like ruining a kung-fu tournament or tormenting the main characters while they aren't even bothering her.
  • Mr. Black in episode 401 of The Simpsons, "Kamp Krusty", as demonstrated by his toast to the three juvenile delinquints he is employing as camp counselors:

Mr. Black: (Raising his glass) Gentlemen-- to evil.

  • Itchy kills his Best friend Scratchy for this. A good example is a cartoon where Itchy pretends to commit suicide by jumping in a well so he can shoot Scratchy when he comes down to save him.
  • Gnorga, the Queen of Trolls in A Troll in Central Park, who likes to watch babies cry just for fun and even goes so far as to sing a song about this being her motivation.
  • Madam Mim in the Disney film The Sword in the Stone despises anything pleasant (such as flowers and sunshine) and tries to murder Arthur just because Merlin sees something good in him.
  • The villains from Freddie as F.R.O.7, Freddie's aunt Messina and El Supremo, plan to take over the world by hypnotizing people for reasons completely unclear. However, El Supremo seems to be really into it, with evil laugh and everything, not to mention Messina, who boasts about her evil power in her song Evilmania.
  • One episode of Johnny Bravo had the devil's nephew, IIRC, possess Johnny in order to turn off the filter to the city's water supply, giving the water a metallic taste. When Pops asks why the demon couldn't have done it himself, the demon says that he could, but it wouldn't be as interesting as forcing someone else to do it.
  • While many of the other ghostly villains from Danny Phantom did what they did for money, power, revenge, or just because it was their job, Dark Danny clearly caused chaos and destruction throughout the Earth and the Ghost Zone mainly for this trope. Unlike most Western Animation examples, which are hammy, Anvilicous or just an excuse motif, Dark Danny plays this for pure terror.
  • Sid from Toy Story spends most of his free time thinking up ways of torturing toys for a quick laugh, including, but not limited to, tearing them apart and switching their pieces together.
    • Sid only seems this way to the audience and the toys—who are aware that he is doing this to sentient beings—but as far as he and any human in the movie is concerned, he just has a creepy hobby. Of course, he does wreck his sister's toys and delights in her horror at the monstrosities he creates, but picking on your sibling isn't exactly "evil."
      • It's more bullying rather than just picking on her. But bully ≠ evil villain.
  • Katz from Courage the Cowardly Dog lives for this trope, to the point that it's actually frightening.
  • Many villains in Megas XLR live by this trope. Two explicitly notable examples include Gerrkek the Planet Killer and Ender.

Ender: My name is Ender. I end things. People, planets, galaxies.

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Azula may have her eyes set on the crown and other external motivations, but a lot of times she seems to just enjoy being an evil bastard.
  • The Coachman from Pinocchio, who actually kidnaps naughty young boys, brings them all to Pleasure Island, turns them all into donkeys, and locks them all up in crates headed either for the salt mines or the circus just for the fun of it! And to make matters worse, he's actually a Karma Houdini!
    • Even worse, he's actually losing money by doing this, since fellow villains who persuade wayward boys to go with the Coachman typically demand payment in the form of gold coins.
  • Discord from My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic loves causing chaos with his reality warping powers simply because he wants to. He shows pretty quickly that he possesses godlike power and could likely win with a fingersnap, but instead locks everyone in a rigged game where he can Mind Rape them at his leisure. Any possibility that his motivation might be more It Amused Me is put to rest when Fluttershy wins his game by being too mentally stable to fall for More Than Mind Control, when he promptly loses his temper and cheats at his own game by breaking her through more brute force methods—which incidentally makes her embrace this trope as well while under his influence, as she's brainwashed to be cruel and does things solely from that motivation.
  • In G.I. Joe: Resolute, Zartan says this about why he does what he does: "But I like the idea of living in a world where I can kill anyone I like, anytime I like. I don't need the money; I just need the killing."
  • In the Aladdin series, Mirage is a cat goddess who's labeled as "Evil Incarnate" and whose primary motivation is to destroy good and spread misery. She developed into wanting revenge on Aladdin, but started out trying to hurt Agrabah because there was too much good in it.
    • Seing how the city is choke full of beggars and thieves, does this mean that the rest of the world is even worse?
    • Of note is the being literally named Chaos. Aladdin and Co. think he's following this trope, but it's really more because It Amused Me. They eventually find out he's not ACTUALLY evil, just making things "interesting" for them because of the "rut" that Aladdin is in, always being the hero and whatnot. When he accidentally lets slip that Mirage sent him there? They proceed to let him known that Aladdin's life is already pretty damn chaotic, but Mirage? ALWAYS the same thing, nothing but evil, evil, evil. He decides to go make HER existence a little more... Varied. It's even revealed that screwing with Mirage for trying to manipulate him was his real plan all along.