It Amused Me

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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Raven: Great bird spirit! Why? Why did you lead us into this death trap?

Bird spirit: No particular reason. I thought it’d be funny.

This is the motivation of an amoral character seeking... well, amusement. It's not that they enjoy being good or evil—they may not know or care about the difference—but they do whatever they feel like without regard for others. They don't need a motivation or justification for doing anything beyond the amusement of the act itself. As a result they almost inevitably do things that are dickish, maybe even cruel, but generally not outright evil. This same character will lead you into a trap, fight you to the death... and then stop on the brink of killing you to laugh and say "Are you all right?" They won't kill the hero, because they find their attempts to save the day amusing, or are intrigued by the sheer selflessness of their thinking. They may help the hero, they may help the villain, they may do both at once or screw over both at once. They are rarely if ever a driving force behind a story, but they nonetheless play a significant role. And why do they do all this? Why do they switch sides so often? Why are they working below the Big Bad when they're just as powerful and intelligent as he is, if not more? Why did they make out with the hero of the same gender?

Because it was fun. They'd do just about anything for a lark, really.

Please note, this is different from For the Evulz. While a character who does commits evil acts For the Evulz does it because they enjoy being evil, if this character does evil things it is only because they shatter the boredom of everyday life—they're not out to hurt anyone per se, but they don't care (much) if they do. Just how much they care about collateral damage and hurting innocent people (if at all) varies. They usually believe that Victory Is Boring, and if they're a Punch Clock Hero or a Punch Clock Villain, they're in it primarily for the entertainment value. One of the few ways to really make an It Amused Me character take things seriously is to kill off one of their "playthings".

Often such a character will be the Wild Card, an Enigmatic Minion, or Chaotic Neutral. A common saying of the Trickster Archetype character, the Eccentric Millionaire, the Great Gazoo, and the Screwy Squirrel. But be wary of the character devolving into Chaotic Stupid.

As you may have noticed, the line dividing For the Evulz and It Amused Me is something of an academic distinction. It is often hard to tell from a single act whether a character enjoys evil actions solely for the amusement value of the acts (It Amused Me) or whether they also/mostly enjoy the thrill of acting evilly (For the Evulz). Generally, a character who truly does things For the Evulz will do things that aren't fun or interesting in the name of evil, which they seek at every opportunity—a character who does things because It Amused Them wouldn't bother because if it's not fun or interesting, why do it? It Amused Me—motivated characters are not necessarily without a sense of morality, as they have been known to minimize the collateral damage of their schemes, for example, or even to stop what they're doing if they think they're harming the 'wrong' person or people. Someone motivated by For the Evulz would never do this, unless it hindered their ability to commit further acts of evil -- and sometimes not even then.

Examples of It Amused Me include:

Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Pretty much par for the course in Death Note:
    • In the first chapter, Ryuk, a god of death, drops his notebook of death in the human world because he's bored. It falls into the hands of Light Yagami, who decides to use it to try bending the world to his will because, he explains, he too is bored.
      • Light's real motivation does seem to be that he's doing it for fun. He plays far too many unnecessary—but entertaining—mind games with the police for it to be anything else.
    • Light's primary antagonist L, a teen supergenius detective, as an Expy of Sherlock Holmes chases Light's alter ego for the lulz. Part of L's reputation, again like Sherlock Holmes, is that he refuses to take on a case that doesn't interest and challenge him, even though he's leagues above the rest of the world's police.
      • L's selective behaviour is imitated by Near and Mello.
  • This is arguably why Kaito Kid does things like tie-die people's underpants while they're still wearing them, use blinding pink sleeping-gas, and flip Aoko's skirt.
    • And on the part of the author, this is probably why Kaito has a phobia of fish and can't ice skate.
  • Why Izaya does anything in Durarara!!.
  • Urahara from Bleach also has a tendency to screw with people just for the hell of it. When beginning training, he gives Ichigo a helmet and claims that Ichigo needs to yell "Take this! The power of justice! Justice armor! Justice hachimaki! Attack!" When Ichigo does so almost instantly, Urahara mutters, "Wow! I can't believe he actually said that!"
    • Or the famous scene where he writes directions to Ichigo, Orihime, Ishida, and Chad outside of their houses... in blood. Scrawled underneath these directions are the words, "If you thought this was straight out of a horror movie, you have no sense of humor." Incidentally, that is exactly what they all thought.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam 00, the character Wang Liu Mei is The Mole during the entire series, pretending to be a valuable ally to the heroes, but then passing information on to the villains (and vice versa). As she expresses several times, she's simply bored and wants to see the world change—but doesn't care at all whether it is for good or ill.
  • The only reason the Sekirei plan exists is because someone got the bright idea of a Pokémon-style game.
  • Xellos, from Slayers. After about fifteen episodes' worth of hunting for the Claire Bible, it turns out that he knew where it was all along. He just didn't tell Lina and the others because he found it more entertaining to watch their antics as they went on multiple wild goose chases for the better part of a season. He also is prone to "forgetting" to state key pieces of information to watch the results.
  • The only reason Tsuyuri from Doujin Work stays involved with the rest of the cast is because their antics amuse her to no end—and she is not above stirring things up even more.
  • Guu of Jungle wa Itsumo Hale Nochi Guu. She often pretends to deliver Aesops with her actions, but always keeps ignoring them just because she can have more fun that way, and gets Hale another inch closer to a total nervous breakdown.
  • Urumi Kanzaki in Great Teacher Onizuka. While her actual reasons for hating adults is more complicated, she states her class terrorism to be a means of "killing time". Being a child prodigy leaves her often bored with the usual lectures, leading her to spend her class time giving teachers very hard questions, sabotaging their equipment, and other pranks. She eventually stopped coming to school altogether, until brought in by Miyabi to "kill time" with Onizuka.
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima, Tsukuyomi pretty much has this as her modus operandi. Unfortunately, the things that seem to amuse her are excessive violence, and Setsuna.
    • Evangeline also fits this perfectly. She loves giving Negi outrageous orders just to see if he'll go through with them, such as demanding that he lick her feet before she would teach him magic.
    • Haruna is also like this, although in a (slightly) more benign way.
  • In One Piece, this is Mihawk's justification for destroying Don Krieg's fleet and pursuing the survivors: He was bored, and they were there. He also allows Zoro to live following their duel for the same reason: Zoro has potential to be amusing for a very long time, once he Takes a Level In Badass.
  • The Prince of Dogra from Level E. He's the kind of guy who can will buy a planet and hand out advanced military tech just to play a (potentially deadly) prank on five random grade-schoolers and his second-in-command. Because he thinks it's funny.
  • Ronnie Suchiart of Baccano! cites this as the motivation for most of his actions. Very old and very powerful Eldritch Abominations tend to also get very bored.
  • Cell from Dragonball Z spiced up his For the Evulz with this. Fat Buu from the same combined it with his creator's For the Evulz. And, although he's mostly serious about being The Cape (trope) (with no cape), Son Goku himself plays the trope fairly straight (many times to his cost, such as when he prolonged the fight against Frieza after he turned Super Saiyan, allowing the latter to destroy Namek and to deploy his full power. This enabled Frieza to waste more of Goku's then-precious time because he was momentarily capable to keep him in check, mostly with speed). Also, Gohan in Super Saiyan 2 form, against Cell, and others.
  • Yu Yu Hakusho: When he discovers he's actually part-Youkai, and thus one of the most powerful beings to exist, Yusuke promptly tells everyone to "KNEEL BEFORE ME, YOU INSECTS!"... before he immediately wonders why anyone would do that, and has a good laugh at his friends' faces.
  • Saiyuki has numerous examples. Heaven is unchanging, and therefore said to be MINDNUMBINGLY DULL, which provides the motivation for the "merciful goddess" Kanzeon to do all sorts of things, from saddling her notoriously dull nephew with the heretic monkey-like Goku in Gaiden, just for the lolz, to forcing Sanzo and his party to take the physical road to India instead of the heavenly one, which would get there infinitely faster. She says the latter is cause they need to grow over the journey, but also admits it's also because it's much more interesting that way.
    • While Kanzeon is a bit of a bitch, she's ultimately on the side of the main characters, if only because one is her nephew, but Nii/Kenyuu/Ukoku is a genius who finds everything in life so easy it's deadly dull, so seeks out "eat or be eaten" situations so as to feel alive/find a challenge he can't meet so he can die. He is shocked by Koumyou's comment that since he finds everything boring, he must be a boring person. Koumyou is also a super-genius who in contrast is very lazy, avoids difficult situations, and can find joy in almost anything.
  • Arguably the reason Haruhi does anything in The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. And considering her god-like powers, one shudders to consider what she would do if aware of them.
  • Umineko no Naku Koro ni: Bernkastel. Actually For the Evulz, as she quickly reveals around Episode 4.
  • Hikaru and Kaoru in Ouran High School Host Club do this many times. MANY.
  • Pretty much everything Kanade Suzutsuki does in Mayo Chiki is simply because it amuses her at the time.
  • In Code Geass R2, Lelouch (falsely) claims this is the reason for his various actions when the Black Knights turn against him.
  • Orochimaru from Naruto gives this as his reason for arranging the war against the Village Hidden in the Leaves.

Orochimaru: I guess that I do kind of have a goal. Let me see if I can explain it. I find it very interesting to watch things in motion; I get no pleasure when the world is still. Like a windmill that isn't turning: I suppose some might find it beautiful, even if it's immobile, but to me such a thing is truly boring. So now I want to put things in motion myself. The first step is crushing the Leaf Village.

    • Also from the series, the Big Bad affected a goofball 'Tobi' persona for no tangible reason, especially since most of Akatsuki already knew it was fake, which can only lead to the conclusion that he did it for shits and giggles. And this might be why he pretended to be Madara, too.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Mr. Mxyzptlk. Bat-mite also has shades of this when he's not in Stop Helping Me! mode.
  • The Beyonder, of Secret Wars fame.
  • Superman's enemy the Prankster. Seriously, how can you not love a guy with no super powers, whose only real goal is to pull the biggest practical jokes on the largest number of people possible, and whose favorite target is the most powerful being on Earth?
  • While most incarnations of the Joker are a For the Evulz Monster Clown, some versions of the character (particularly Golden/Silver Age ones) fall into this category. Most notably is Joker's wild manner as portrayed in the animated show "The Batman" where he (although still wishing to either destroy Gotham or turn it into madness) will do things "...just for laughs..."

Joker: Kid, I don't kill people for no reason. I only kill people when it's funny.

Me: I don't even like chimichangas. I just like saying it.


Fan Works[edit | hide]

  • In I Put On My Robe and Wizard Hat, why exactly does Urobuchi Shirou piss off Lancer—who's trying to kill him—by forcing a download of dog porn directly into his brain?

Shirou: I did it... for the lawlz...

  • In Tiberium Wars, this is the entire reason why Kane has Nod's facilities lit with dim red lights. He finds his minions' constant stubbing of toes and banging of shins against consoles to be hilarious.
  • Almost everything that Harry and Sirius do in Oh God, Not Again is for this purpose.
  • In With Strings Attached, Brox, Grunnel, and As'taris are sadistic practical jokers. Brox's given name is, in fact, “Funny.” (The four would violently disagree with this.) Much of what Brox does is at least partially For the Lulz. Even Grunnel, who is genuinely fond of the four (at least, they're not his enemies), pulls some fairly nasty shit on them, including making them climb a hundred-foot staircase and not bothering to warn George that Ma'ar is a nympho or of her, um, tendencies during sex.

George: I think she carved her name in me back with her fingernails.
Grunnel: Sar uses a knife on me.

  • Methods of Rationality!Quirrell: It has sometimes amused me to play the part of a hero.
  • In the chapter "Surprise Box" of the RWBY/The Gamer crossover The Games We Play by Ryuugi, Jaune Arc (in his guise as the godlike tiger Faunus and martial artist Jian Bing) abruptly appears in a transport carrying General Ironwood, Professor Polendina and Penny. When he explains that he's there to talk to them, not attack them, Ironwood demands to know why he's bothering.

"What about the entertainment value?" I asked him, giving him an enigmatic smile. "Perhaps it simply amuses me to do so?"


Film[edit | hide]

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."

Belle Starr: "You're both crazy, but you do keep me amused. I am having a real good time."

  • Dangerous Liaisons, the original that Cruel Intentions was based upon.
  • In Trading Places, the Duke brothers decided to do their "social experiment" out of boredom and for a $1 bet, and completely ruined one of the protagonist's lives (they did help the other protagonist, but that was really only out of boredom as well; they didn't give a damn about him, and were planning to ruin him afterwards as well).
  • This trope pretty much sums the character Randal from Clerks.
  • Although he definitely has a certain ethical desire to aid the good and punish the wicked, the nameless protagonist of Yojimbo seems to be motivated a fair amount by this. He only got involved in the gang war by throwing a branch in the air and he is clearly amused by the prospect of earning a little cash while exterminating the two gangs by playing them against each other.
  • In the infamous torture scene from Reservoir Dogs, this is Mr. Blonde's stated motive: "Look, kid, I'm not going to bullshit you, all right? I don't really give a good fuck what you know or don't know. I'm going to torture you anyway, regardless. Not to gain information: it amuses me to torture a cop."
  • From Wall Street:

Budd Foxx: Why do you need to wreck this company?
Gordon Gekko: Because it's wreckable, alright?

This caused the 1977 New York blackout. A practical joke by the great attractor. He thought it was funny as hell.

  • From Gremlins 2, the Brain Gremlin after he shoots one of his fellows in the face with a pistol:

"Now, was that civilized? No, clearly not. Fun, but in no sense civilized!"


Literature[edit | hide]

  • The Dead Man from Glen Cook's Garrett P.I. novels enjoys pulling Garret along and trying to get him to think, usually with one or two Xanatos Gambits in the background in case Garret screws up, simply because it amuses him.
  • This is arguably Samuel Westing's reason for the entire plot of The Westing Game, or at least the form in which the events take.
  • Sherlock Holmes often accepts cases simply because he finds them intriguing, although he still has an altruistic side and a strong desire for justice.
  • Peeves the Poltergeist from Harry Potter is a literal spirit of chaos. His pranks are never fatal, but there's nothing he loves more than causing trouble or shattering the monotony of daily life. Most of the teachers can exercise a limited degree of control over him, but the only people he listens to regularly are Dumbledore himself, the Bloody Baron, and his human counterparts, the Weasley Twins (and that was only once, during their escape from Umbridge).
  • Lord Henry decided to turn the title character of The Picture of Dorian Gray into a hedonism-obsessed monster just because he could.
  • Apparently played straight in Atlas Shrugged when Francisco d'Anconia builds a worthless copper mine, just to have a laugh when a socialist government loots it to provide a "higher standard of living for the people", only to find it worthless. He tells reporters shortly before the story breaks that he came to New York to "witness the farce" (everybody thought he was referring to a sleazy divorce scandal). Shortly afterwards, we find him telling Dagny how amused he was at the prospect of the collapse of Wyatt Oil and all of the world's great industries that he would destroy with more apparent pranks. Later subverted when we find out that he is one of the "destroyers" (or strikers) who is destroying industry so the looters will gain nothing of value and capitalism can start anew after their downfall.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Supernatural: The Trickster spirit AKA the Archangel Gabriel screws around with people he thinks are pompous, both because it's fun and he's got an eternity to kill. He sometimes does it to teach a lesson, but usually in the most amusing way possible, or the most torturous.
  • Everything the Janitor from Scrubs does to JD.
  • From Star Trek: The Next Generation:

Voice of Armus (on killing a main character): Exactly! It had no meaning. I did it because I wanted to. It amused me.

    • And then subverted by Troi, whom Armus has held hostage:

Troi: No it didn't. You took no pleasure from it at all.
Armus: You're right. It was too easy!

    • Also from Star Trek, this is why Trelane does the shit he does, although for him it may overlap with For the Evulz.
    • Q from Star Trek: The Next Generation, who it is theorized may be related in some way. Though most Trek fans tend to forget the pilot episode where Q has a very clear reason for doing what he does: to "prosecute and judge" humanity as a directive from the Q Continuum. The audience is reminded of this in the series' final episode, too, when Picard finds himself back in the same court room he encountered Q in the first time:

Picard: Is humanity on trial again?
Q: No. The trial never ended. We never reached a verdict. But now we have: You're guilty. Guilty of being inferior.

    • Dax is one of the most trustworthy and dutiful officers on Deep Space Nine and very reliable when it comes to important things. However, being over 350 years old and having seen and done more things than most people ever will, she outright refuses to give in to boredom and instead constantly works to keep her life exciting and entertaining. For some reason, this includes marrying the most uptight and humorless Klingon in the galaxy.

Worf: Jadzia, I think it would be better to part here.
Dax: Oh, I'm coming with you. I took some days of leave and checked it with our superiors.
Worf: Why didn't you tell me earlier?
Dax: It's more fun this way.

  • The title character of House might qualify, although in the end, he often does it to either A) get the paycheck, or B) teach his associates, or even C) both. Of course, there's a reason he's sometimes considered the Trope Codifier for Dr. Jerk...
  • In one episode of Highlander the Series, Joe Dawson's daughter is kidnapped by an immortal with a grudge against Methos. In order to get her back, the immortal orders Joe to lead Methos to him for an ambush. All throughout the day and night, Methos talks about the bond growing between Joe and himself, and the unlikeliness of their friendship, until Joe finally snaps and tells the truth about the ambush, at which point Methos tells Joe that he's known all along. When Joe demands to know why Methos drew things out over the whole day, the explanation is: "I'm easily amused."
  • In the episode "Countrycide" of Torchwood, a town full of cannibals have been kidnapping and murdering people. When Gwen asks one of them why, he responds, "Because it makes me happy."
  • Sean Connery from the Celebrity Jeopardy! sketches on SNL. He doesn't keep coming back because the other players are Too Dumb to Live, nor does he come back because he enjoys the game of Jeopardy!; he only shows up time and time again because he likes to piss off Alex Trebek.
  • On the Firefly episode “Shindig”, Mal stands victorious over Atherton Wing whom he has just, through fortunate happenstance, defeated in a duel. Upon being told he must kill him rather than allow him to lie there in defeat, he replies, ”Mercy is the mark of a great man,” then lightly stabs Wing in the abdomen. “Guess I'm just a good man.” He then stabs him again and finishes with, “Well, I'm all right.“ Upon being chastised with, “You didn't have to wound that man.”, Mal quips back, “Yeah, I know, it was just funny.”
    • River seems to make commentary designed to deliberately anger or annoy Jayne just because it is amusing to her. Particularly when she insinuated that he has a "girl's name" and solemnly warns him that "I can kill you with my brain."
  • In Two and A Half Men, Charlie and Alan are talking to Herb, and Charlie keeps talking in sexual innuendos that only Alan, and the audience, notices.

Alan: Why do you keep doing that?
Charlie: Haven't we covered this before? It amuses me!

Frank: I did 'em all. All the poops.
The Gang: Why?
Frank: Because poop is funny.

Rick Gervais: "There's nothing funnier than Karl in a corner, being poked by a stick. I am that stick.”

  • In Dead Ringers , Gandalf's explanation for sending Frodo on his epic quests: "Because I am a bastard."
  • The George Lopez Show had an episode where George and Angie find old love letters that said bad things about them. It turns out they were forged by Benny because she was bored.


Mythology[edit | hide]

  • Loki of Norse Mythology, the local Trickster Archetype, who started out as Thor's practical joking buddy, but later did a Face Heel Turn and became genuinely evil. He was only evil to gods though, and they gave him no reason to be anything but nasty to them, since most considered him inferior scum. He was very friendly to humans, often going out of his way to help them when they were in need. It's best explained as Loki screwing around for the lulz with humans, and for the evulz with gods. He's never intentionally malicious to mortals unless they ask for it by royally pissing him off in the first place.
    • Odin, though somewhat less obvious than Loki, also falls under this. He acts very similar to Loki, to the point one theory is that Loki and Odin were originally the same god, but the more well-known myths tend to downplay his role as a Trickster Archetype.
  • And Hermes/Mercury.
  • And Anansi in Africa.
  • And Coyote among Native Americans (although he varies from just being clownish to being outright evil, depending on which tribe's mythos we're talking about).
  • The Fair Folk: The cheif differance between the Seelie and Unseelie courts in some stories seems to be in what they find funny and how much harm they consider acceptable, and that's if you're lucky.
  • There're a couple of myths invented for this purpose in Australia. Because apparently the real wildlife wasn't scary enough already, they decided to tell tourists that the trees were infested with carnivorous koalas and the only way to ward them off was to put Vegemite behind your ears. This is one of the only forms of trolling that the internet has actually discouraged.


Stand-up Comedy[edit | hide]

  • Gabriel Iglesias' "friend" Felipe constantly pulls off dickish pranks on his friends. Because of him, Gabriel has been nearly arrested for giving the impression that they were crossing the U.S.-Mexico border smuggling illegals in the boot of his car. Felipe made light of a cop showing off his scars ("Bullet wound, '96.") by showing the cop Gabriel's stretch marks ("Donuts, 1996."), which Gabriel thinks could have incited the cop to kill them. But what's Felipe's response to situations like these?

"I know, but it was funny, huh?"


Theatre[edit | hide]

  • In The Merchant of Venice, Launcelot Gobbo runs into his blind father, who doesn't recognize him. Instead of explaining who he is, Launcelot continues to pretend to be a stranger... and informs him that his son is dead, just to see what will happen.
  • Puck from A Midsummer Nights Dream hexes humans for his amusement. (Then again, well... see "The Fair Folk" under "Mythology" above.)
  • Peter Pan is prone to this trope, because he's a little kid and doesn't think seriously about the consequences of what he does.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Lucifer in Devil Survivor had Beelzebub join the fight for the Throne Of Bel for this reason. He's also willing to fight you as a Bonus Boss because he's basically bored.
    • The Gigolo, a.k.a. Loki (see above) mostly helps you because he wants to mess with Beldr. Again.
  • In Persona 4 Adachi kicks off the whole plot, at least from his end, for what amounts to needing some entertainment.
  • Fairies in Touhou have little restraint, less sense of mortality (being immortal as long as the aspect of nature they represent exists), and very poor memories, resulting in an entire species of perpetual children that never learn from their mistakes, resulting in them doing things that make no sense other than because they thought it would be funny. A lot of Touhou Sangetsusei is about the Three Mischievous Fairies invoking this trope.
    • Nue Houjuu spent who knows how long pranking humans and pretending to be sealed away, only to repeat the process, before she decided to take a nap underground. She has her limits, though, as she regrets screwing with Minamitsu and company's attempts to release Byakuren.
    • Tewi Inaba doesn't seem to able to get through the day without playing a prank on someone. Usually Reisen.
    • Tenshi Hinanai, who causes unusual weather across Gensoukyou, destroys the Hakurei Shrine with a small earthquake, and threatens to unleash an even larger earthquake... because she was getting bored with the carefree life of heaven and, seeing the regular incidents in Gensoukyou, wanted to cause one herself.
    • Yuuka Kazami loves to tease/threaten anyone she encounters because she enjoys their reactions, enough that the local Judge of the Dead tells her it's enough. If Perfect Memento in Strict Sense and her comments in Mystic Square (especially the infamous "Genocide is just another game" joke) are any indication, she's canonically a very massive troll.
  • Xom of Dungeon Crawl, who likes to give you really nice weapons that you have no skill in, give you armor while you're wearing (unremovable) cursed armor, watch you eat poisonous food, and so on.
    • And that's when he's being "nice". When he's feeling mean towards you or, heaven forbid, you begin to bore him, he'll summon demons at you, give you potentially horrid mutations, enchant your enemies' weapons, or get really creative and make all stairs to leave the current level move around and slide away from you when you try to flee. Also, throwing a bolt of divine lightning at you is considered a "good" effect, and he has a chance of sheilding you from it (it's "good" because your enemies get zapped too... assuming you were fighting something that was more of a threat than a bolt of lightning).
  • The Corwids of Zeno Clash combine this with Funny Schizophrenia, and incidentally a Double Subversion of Insane Equals Violent -- they do whatever they want, whether it's walking in one direction for as long as possible or killing and eating whoever passes by. Right now they're in the "killing and eating" phase.
  • The Umgah of Star Control II are essentially intergalactic pranksters. Their favorite targets are the Lovable Coward Spathi, whom they like to scare the pants off of. Though Sometimes their idea of "for the lulz" is awfully reminiscent of unconventional warfare.
    • They wanted to drop an asteroid in an ocean as a "prank" on the Thraddash, but the Ur-Quan conquered both species and spoiled this fun. The Thraddash are the ones who nuked themselves into stone age in several of their civil wars and are proud of this.
    • They got the Ilwrath to attack someone else (the Pkunk), but there is evidence that they may have TRIED to induce civil war with the messages that they sent to the Ilwrath. They ended up getting a plyable new upper caste (which is even better), however. Plus, the wording of the 'godly' command which induced their attack on the Pkunk suggests that the Umgah may have been intended to send the Ilwrath against the Pkunks' relatives, the Yehat, who would have made mincemeat of them. There is a definite strategic sense in crippling a decidedly unstable theocratic neighbour.
    • When you rescue their entire race from Mind Control, they gladly proclaim Player Character a "Great Hero", give a load of valuable data... and if you stay around to chat with them, they'll quickly get bored, and to liven things up declare Player Character a "Great Enemy". Nothing stops you from just running away with your "reward", of course, but it says a lot about them that they will hand over some of their own ships and crews, just to make sure you put up a good challenge when they immediately betray you.
  • Mana Khemia: Flay's motivation for everything he does, from forming the workshop in the first place to founding an Evil Syndicate and taking over half the world before being stopped by Alchemy Man, Just As Planned. In the sequel, he does things like launching a traditional Berserker raid on the office of a fellow faculty members and implanting chips in people's brains. Flay would be Wrong Genre Savvy for treating a JRPG like James Bond meets Sentai with ninjas, except he's very good at beating the genre into submission.
  • It's arguable if Smilin' Jack had any ulterior motives in VTM: Bloodlines or if he did it all simply for a good belly laugh.
    • He had the same reasons as the rest of the anarchs for the results. The methods made it an Overly Prepared Gag.
    • The overall implication is that Smilin' Jack is a Magnificent Bastard that knows exactly what he is doing and has very set goals.
  • The only stated reason Durandal has for buzzing Earth in a Precursor warship ten thousand years after the end of Marathon 2.
  • The player. Often. In almost any game.
    • When the player starts doing this online against other players when the game is not a Player Versus Player type, then this falls into Griefer status.
  • From The Elder Scrolls universe, Sanguine - the Daedric Prince[1] of Debauchery. In Oblivion, he sends the player on a quest in which his/her task is to cast a spell that removes all clothes from everyone affected in a middle of a prominent nobles' banquet (and fails to inform him/her that he/she will also become one of its victims). In Skyrim, after sharing a few drinks with a disguised Sanguine, the character wakes up in a completely different city at least a day after, and can set out on a quest to rediscover what it was s/he was doing in the meantime (which included wedding rings, goats, and temple desecration).
    • This seems to be the modus operandi for most of the Daedric Princes (though some mix it with Orange and Blue Morality). In Oblivion, Molag Bal, Daedric Prince of Corruption, uses the player to corrupt the soul of an honorable paladin just because he can. Meanwhile, Boethia, Prince of Plots, organizes a brutal tournament for the player for no real reason; he's just bored. And if Sheogorath is involved, chances are this trope will be invoked. Or not, it depends on his mood, really. When he gives you the Wabbajack, it's probably just because he wants to see what you'll do with it.
  • The Big Bad in Mother 3 falls into this trope. Porky ruins the lives of many people and corrupts the rest of the island's population, along with making mechas out of the animals and pulling the seven needles to summon a dragon that could destroy everything, just because he was bored and needed a giggle.
  • The Storm Titan, the one that invented the most chaotic magic in the Spiral, from Wizard 101 destroys the world of Celestia after he allied with them to stop Morganthe. Why, because like his brand of magic, he can destroy you just as easily a help you. It's likely that in the war of the ancients he's the one that threw the first punch


Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • Part of the reason why Richard, from Looking for Group, follows Cale on his adventure to protect those in need. The other part is For the Evulz... Do note, he has never been in on the quest, he pretty much just tags along because of the opportunity for destruction, the pleasure of killing, and the fact that watching Cale attempt to convince the survivors of Richard's onslaughts to forgive him on his lapses in morality, and steadily getting more and more disillusioned and cynical as the adventure unfolds, relieves him of boredom.

Toyk: You killed 126 of my soldiers! And another 48 are being thawed out from a massive block of ice. What do you have to say for yourselves?
Richard: Thanks? It was fun?

    • A bit more recently, it was explained he has a good... Well, he has a reason: being an evil psychopathic Jerkass was fueling his power as a semi-immortal regenerating lich. As he actually started to care, he felt some amount of pain when injured for the first time in who knows how long. Now it seems that he feels the cost is getting too high.
  • In Sluggy Freelance, Uncle Time is an Odd Job God with this attitude.
    • Bun-bun can veer into this too if he's in a good mood, especially with his "friends", whom he has come to grudgingly care about a tiny little bit. For the Evulz is a better characterisation for many of the things he does, though.
  • Immortals in El Goonish Shive apparently do for their own amusement a lot of things that humans take too seriously - sometimes for a good reason, sometimes not.
    • It was revealed that The Hammers which all women can call forth to painfully (but harmlessly) reprimand offensive men actually cause more offensive actions/comments because it's a reaction. The immortal who created them did so for the gag factor. Susan is NOT amused.
    • Pandora, who remained in "too powerful, too bored, too mad" phase for centuries, set out to make the world a better place for her son (as she sees it, at least), to which end she thoroughly demolishes the current status quo and sets the world on the ears. But if she's stirring magical chaos, why do it randomly, if there's a lot of bonus entertainment to be had? Or, in her own words:

Pandora: (looming in an intimidating manner) Now, then. I have given you power, and more than that, I have given you knowledge. More than I have shared with a mortal in many a score.
Pandora: And now? I want something in return.
Sarah: Uh... W-what's that?
Pandora: (with crazy grin) Don't. Be. Boring. (vanishes)

Redcloak: But if you've known all this time,[2] why do you keep sending goblins to their deaths?
Xykon: Because I'm BORED!

Web Original[edit | hide]


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • "The Twins" from Superjail.
  • Season 4 Megabyte in Re Boot, though he doesn't get enough screen time to change sides. He even says the trope name when asked about why he would disguise himself as Bob and marry Dot.

Bob: Why Megabyte? Why do this?
Megabyte: (laughs) It Amused Me.

  • King Bumi, from Avatar: The Last Airbender, actually stated that the reason he screwed with Aang so much is "Mostly because it's fun messing with people!"
  • Carmen Sandiego steals the hardest things in the universe to steal just to prove she can. The TV versions have it explained this way: She likes the challenge of detective work and outwitting people, but criminals aren't the brightest critters. The people actually worth challenging were other detectives, but she couldn't do that as a good guy; time for a Face Heel Turn, then. She considers her most glorious caper not to be stealing the Eiffel Tower, a country's entire gold supply, or anything of actual value... but having managed to steal her own detective records from ACME itself.
  • Two minor characters from Teen Titans, Thunder and Lightning, terrorize people because they find it "amusing". They don't take the feelings of the people around them into account, something Beast Boy calls them out on.
  • When Invader Zim's abduction of Dib threatens family dinner night, Gaz seeks to retrieve him from the alien containment. Zim saw her and could've attempted to stop her... but didn't, as he expected to get a laugh out of seeing her try. To paraphrase Yoda, she did. There was no try.
  • Gargoyles: The whole episode "The Mirror" consists of Faerie trickster Puck trolling Demona at every step, and having a blast doing it. At one point, he remarks, "Serving humans is fun. They have a sense of humor."
  • Bart from The Simpsons is a personification of this trope. In the past, he has played pranks on his family, school faculty, and the town itself, but was usually remorseful if his pranks has hurt someone badly. In the more recent episodes, Bart pulls pranks just to get a laugh and make himself amused, no matter how bad someone gets hurt. He gets upset whenever someone does try to punish him for playing a prank too far, as if they took his only source of entertainment away.
  • Similar to Bart, Peter in Family Guy will cause random shenanigans just for a quick giggle, no matter what the outcome of it is.
  • Roger of American Dad similarly utilizes this to an occasionally sociopathic extreme.
  • In My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, this initially seems to be Discord's motivation (it helps that he's voiced by John de Lancie) for throwing Equestria into chaos with cotton candy clouds that rain chocolate milk, corn popping spontaneously in the fields, and apples growing to tremendous sizes and making the rabbits that eat them grow long deer-like legs. But then he brainwashes Fluttershy after she isn't fooled by his tricks, putting him in For the Evulz territory.
  • A lot of what Chris McLean does in Total Drama Island is for his own amusement. He admits to putting a quicksand trap in one challenge for no particular reason, among other things. And while he does get crueler and more apathic in later seasons, his main motivation for his deeds is either pumping more drama out of the show, or getting a few good laughs.


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Meet Otto the octopus, who will do anything—for attention or perhaps out of sheer boredom—from dousing the lights to juggling the hermit crabs in his tank to throwing stones against the tank wall.
    • When you spend your entire life in an aquarium, you have to make up your own amusement. Of course, it's also possible that Otto is attempting different ways to escape his confinement—octopi are remarkably intelligent creatures, after all.
      • Escaping the tank by juggling the crabs? That must be one heck of a plan.
        • "Release me or the herms get it!"
  • Mary Bale's explanation for why she decided to drop a cat in a garbage bin.
  • Mario Balotelli lives his life this way. From racking up tens of thousands of pounds in parking tickets to going to a kids' school to stop bullying to walking around with obscene amounts of cash. Why? "Because he can".
  • During all the drama that surrounded Lebron James going to play for Miami, Chris Bosh's explanation for not doing the same with any more tact? "It's entertaining to see people react to your real emotions, because if it wasn't fun I wouldn't do it."
  • The entire schtick of the Jackass boys.

Ryan Dunn: (Explaining to Bam Magera's mom why he stabbed Bam in the ass with a hot iron brand in the shape of a dick) "Because it was funny."

  1. A Daedric Prince is something between a demi-god and very powerful demon lord; they are not always evil, but tend to be chaotic
  2. how to unseal the Gate