General Ripper

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Doctor Doom? The Green Goblin? The real menace is those damn superheroes![1]
"Restraint? Why are you so concerned with saving their lives? The whole idea is to kill the bastards. At the end of the war, if there are two Americans and one Russian, we win."
General Thomas S. Power, Commander of the U.S. Strategic Air Command (1957-1964)

A hard, grizzled military man, promoted to the highest echelons of power because of his exemplary record. At some point, however, something changed.

Maybe the war he'd been fighting for his whole life ended abruptly. Maybe he's haunted by his past in the field, or by real ghosts. Maybe he's just flipped under the strain of command. At any rate, he's obsessed with a specific enemy, and will take any means to rally the troops to battle against this foe, "Enemy X".

Monster attack? It was Enemy X. Terrorist attack? Gotta be Enemy X. Local superhero? Obvious spy for Enemy X. Everything quiet on the front? Enemy X is just lulling us into complacency so he can strike when our guard is down. Does it look like Enemy X is trying to surrender? It's a trick! Shoot'em while they're distracted! Wait, you say Enemy X was defeated last year? Sure, that's just what they want you to think!

If they even bother trying to explain their attack objectively, they will likely characterize the enemy as an inherently evil and eternal foe, and follow it up with Do Unto Others Before They Do Unto Us. After the fact, you'll be lucky if you get any more than a smug I Did What I Had to Do. As for making him stop, he will only listen to the orders of the highest superiors like the Joint Chiefs of Staff and more often only the The President himself, and then pout at not having his way.

Enemy X comes in a host of forms. Nazis, Commies (once common but now Dead Horse Trope),[2] Nazi Commies (because they're the same thing, of course), aliens, robots, Terrorists Without a Cause, Muslims, the undead, teddy bears, marauding foreheads, fluoride...

A character type that is an aftereffect of the Cold War. It's officers like him that turn the The Cavalry into a case of Armies Are Evil. Basically, who The Brigadier becomes when you sap and impurify his precious bodily fluids.

Named for Air Force General Jack D. Ripper, the patriotic madman who triggered World War III in the film Dr. Strangelove. He launched his wing of B-52's on an irrevocable attack mission because of a paranoid delusion involving Communists, fluoride, and his "precious bodily fluids". His portrayal (along with that of the slightly milder Gen. Buck Turgidson from the same film) set the example for all to follow. Ripper is, of course, named after a certain Victorian serial killer.

May or may not be a Four-Star Badass, depending on how badass he is.

A Sub-Trope of Insane Admiral; for the grunt version, see Sociopathic Soldier. Compare with Well-Intentioned Extremist and Colonel Kilgore. Contrast with The Brigadier and Reasonable Authority Figure. While you're at it, you better pray that a General Ripper doesn't launch a coup d'etat and become President Evil. Can very easily become the fate of He Who Fights Monsters.

No real life examples, please; while this is Truth in Television, we don't need an Edit War (No pun intended).

Examples of General Ripper include:

Anime and Manga

  • Admiral Akainu (whose real name is Sakazuki) from One Piece's career so far has shown him to be a good very, very bad example of this trope. In his first appearance in the Ohara flashback, he blasted a ship filled with civilians based on the possibility a scholar may have gotten on board (there wasn't one...). Later on, during the World Government's war against Whitebeard and his allies, Akainu is seen personally blasting deserting Marines.
    • Marines which, it should be noted, have absolutely no chance of contributing anything to the battle except their own casualty numbers due to the ridiculous power levels involved. We're talking Mooks in a battle that involves pretty much every single one of the highest power level characters we've ever met or heard of... in a Shonen Manga.
      • And when someone tries to call him out on this fact? Yep, that person needs to die, too. This is the guy that defines his enemies as "evil". Not "evil" as in "bad people", but "evil" as in the concept itself. He's downright insane.
      • Fits quite well with the general Marine philosophy of "Absolute Justice"... he just happens to be vastly overpowered compared to the generic marine and is taking the philosophy a bit seriously.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, we have Lt. General Raven, who tries to lure in Major General Olivier Armstrong (a heroic example of one of these) into joining the Government Conspiracy. He's killed for his efforts, as Olivier had already learned about the conspiracy from the Elric brothers and has decided she's not really interested in sacrificing her men's lives just so that she can achieve immortality.
  • Lt. General Regius of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, who sees Hayate as one of the criminals they should be persecuting due to her connection to the incident in the second season. Considering his not so clean connections with Jail Scaglietti which led to the death of his friend, Zest, it may be his way of projecting his guilt.
  • Miwa Sakimori from Daimos, a very bigoted racist commander who will do all he can to torture and eradicate all Brahmins, even when they're Not So Different. This riles him up so bad that he'd dare to even shoot down Brahmin and humans that were already in danger of drowning. That's the last straw for Kazuya, who finally goes batshit insane and beat the living shit out of him. While telling him that the Brahmins are not the monsters... He (Miwa) is.
  • Colonel Hopkins from So Ra No Wo To. He's obsessed with defeating Roma, Helvetia's neighbour country, to the point of using biological warfare and trying purposely to ruin peace talks. He also believes war advances civilization.
  • Patrick Zala, Chairman of the ZAFT Supreme Council in Gundam Seed. He's out to wipe out all of the Naturals due to personal hatred and paranoia. This culminates in him using a Wave Motion Gun to try and kill every Natural on Earth, after attempting to have his own son, Athrun, executed for failing to comply with his crazed orders.
    • It should also be noted that he has his old friend Siegel Clyne gunned down because Siegel was a moderate and therefore opposed a war of annihilation. He then goes to great lengths to silence the entire moderate faction. During the final battle, he is perfectly willing to destroy his own forces with GENESIS, while trying to end all life on Earth.
    • On the Earth Forces' side, we have Captain William Sutherland, who despite what sounds like a relatively low-ranking title, is a member of the General Staff, and thus in a position to influence the outcome of the war. He's also the closest thing that Muruta Azrael has to a Dragon, and is more than willing to consent to the very worst of the latter's plans, using the Cyclops system on his own men and ordering the launching of nuclear weapons at ZAFT in a bid to exterminate all of the Coordinators. He doesn't get as much screentime as Patrick (due to being overshadowed by Azrael) but is every bit as mad.

Comic Books

  • In Marvel Comics, and various Incredible Hulk adaptions, General "Thunderbolt" Ross (the picture provider) is obsessed with stopping the Hulk at any cost, often interfering with Bruce Banner's attempts to cure himself in the process. Which one he actually hates can get blurry—he once tried to shoot a de-Hulked Bruce Banner on the day Bruce married his daughter. He's even willing to Hulkify himself (and his daughter, in addition to Brainwashing her) if it means stopping the Hulk (he became the Red one).
    • There's also Ross's Expy General Ryker.
    • The Red Hulk has his own General Ripper nemesis in General Fortean, Ross's former apprentice, who blames him for Ross's death. Of course, Red Hulk is Ross.
  • This seems to be how the Knights of the Old Republic prequel comics is going to explain the Face Heel Turn of Admiral Saul Karath, one of the major antagonists of the first video game of the franchise. He's certainly been increasingly obsessed by Zayne, the comics' protagonist, thinking him a spy and blaming him for much of the collapse of the Republic.
  • Superman tends to come across one or two occasionally, who see him as an alien threat, but It Got Worse with hundreds of Kryptonians alive and powered. One of the main ones was none other than General Sam Lane, Superman's father-in-law!
    • What's even more unusual is that Lane, who had been thought dead since Our Worlds At War, had apparently been planning this since he escaped death. Project 7734, Lane's anti-Superman organization, is the culmination of such anti-Kryptonian hate, Lex Luthor himself is only a minor "flunky".


  • As mentioned above, the Trope Namer, Air Force General Jack D. Ripper in Dr. Strangelove.
    • Ripper himself is the epitome of cool, collected calm, despite being totally guano de murciélago[3] insane. If you were to watch a dubbed version in a language you didn't understand, you could easily be excused for thinking he's the one rational person in the film. Turgidson (also mentioned above), on the other hand, is clearly channeling his inner three-year-old and having a great time playing soldiers (watch him explaining how the bomber could avoid radar if you doubt this).
  • Col. Miles Quaritch from Avatar. He is focused primarily on Jake after he sides with the Na'vi, but he also quite enjoys stomping Na'vi from his giant gunship.

"And that's how you scatter the roaches."

  • General Hein of Final Fantasy the Spirits Within becomes obsessed with wiping out the alien invaders at the source, and eventually wipes out an entire city to accomplish the goal. In his favor, he was almost Driven to Suicide out of guilt... but then he got the permission to use the Zeus orbiting laser cannon which was the entire point of the wipe-out. The cannon overloads and kills him.
    • Note he wiped the city out by letting the Alien Ghosts inside a bit in a bid to scare his superiors into thinking the orbital bombardment was necessary. He thought the aliens were just aliens. He didn't know that they were ghosts, or that they would be able to phase through the walls and invade the city with such ease.
  • Mercilessly skewered in Mars Attacks!!. General Decker rants and raves with the best of them, but his instincts prove entirely correct about the nature of the Martians.
    • On the other hand, his attempts to fight back prove entirely useless.
  • Captain Skroeder in Short Circuit, whose pursuit of wayward military robot prototype Number 5 encompassed defying the orders of the CO of the company he was head of security for and setting up one of the robot's designers as bait for an ambush when said designer was having a meeting with the robot's female companion (a meeting that could've easily landed the robot in their hands had he not interfered), mostly due to his high level of technophobia (though, given that the robot's primary laser weapon was armed and combat-ready when it went AWOL, even the movie's crew admitted he was technically in the right for dogging it as he did, despite his questionable methods).
  • Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now, a highly decorated officer (one scene has Captain Willard going over his dossier and marveling at Kurtz's accomplishments) who one day just snapped and went native, becoming as much a cult leader as a soldier, taking his orders from only the jungle as Willard says.
  • The (unnamed) General in Z is a somewhat restrained version of this. He can almost seem normal—and then he throws in a bizarre metaphor about sun spots into a speech that's already slightly off-kilter, or goes into an antisemitic tirade. Of course, it's his tendency towards dramatic pronouncements that gives him away in the end.
  • General Midwinter (Ed Begley Sr.) in Ken Russell's Billion Dollar Brain is a textbook example.
  • An argument could be named for General Leland Zevo in Toys, who converted his dead brother's toy factory into a preschool-ish weapons facility.
  • In the first movie by Brazilian comedy group Casseta & Planeta, General Manso (an ironic name, it means "calm"), an enemy of the leftists with phrases such as: "Surrender with your hands up and suicide! Not necessarily In That Order!". A stark contrast with General Mirandinha, who entered the army for calmer things such as the Independence Day parades.
  • Colonel Stryker in X2.

Stryker: I was pilotin' Black Ops missions in the jungles of North Vietnam while you were suckin' on your mama's tit at Woodstock, Kelly. Don't lecture me about war. This already is a war.

    • In the Wolverine prequel, he is a Major, with anti-Mutant sentiment still in formation.
  • General Chang from Star Trek VI the Undiscovered Country. He even joins a conspiracy to sabotage the peace treaty between the Klingon Empire and the Federation. Chang is that afraid of a peaceful future that has no place for someone like him.


  • Kurtz in Conrad's Heart of Darkness,, although not a general, is an agent for an ivory trader, turns himself into a demigod amongst the natives and is unable to pull himself away from the jungle where he can carry on hunting his worshippers, was the direct inspiration of all the other Kurtz's in this list (and was himself based on real life man 'Klein'), making this trope Older Than Radio.
  • The Alternate History novel Resurrection Day takes place in a United States where the Cuban Missile Crisis turned into World War III. The US is a military dictatorship ruled by General Ramsey "Rammer" Curtis, obviously based on Curtis LeMay. At one point, Curtis even jokes about himself being 'the mad general'. Although President Kennedy is popularly blamed for starting WWIII, it later turns out that Curtis launched an air raid on Cuba against his orders, triggering the war. The book centers around efforts by an American reporter, British Intelligence, and the military government to find a cache of documents that prove this.
  • General Stanis Metzov in The Vor Game by Lois McMaster Bujold. None too stable to start with, and with dark secrets in his past, he becomes fixated on a certain Ensign Miles Vorkosigan after Miles repeatedly crosses him... pretty much by accident.
    • Be fair now, someone who leads a mutiny that costs an officer his career (never mind that Metzov was about to begin a massacre of support staff using green trainees as triggermen) would earn the ire of most. Stanis just went a bit... overboard.
      • Green trainees that Metzov had no authority to issue orders to at all, mind you. Metzov was only in command of the base facilities, not the personnel cycled through the base for training purposes.
  • In Sandy Mitchell's Ciaphas Cain novel For The Emperor, Amberley Vail includes excerpts from Stententious Logan's Purge the Guilty!: An impartial account of the liberation of Gravalax, and apologizes not for its Stylistic Suck but for the author's single-minded obsession with rogue traders as the source of all evil (even though, from her point of view, it's fortunate, as it means he won't guess at the truth).
  • Alloran-Semitur-Corass in Animorphs behaves like this in The Andalite Chronicles (he's disgraced because he released the quantum virus onto the Hork-Bajir homeworld, literally breaking nearly all Hork-Bajir into molecules) and he demands that Elfangor slaughter an entire pool of Yeerk prisoners. In a cruel twist of fate, Elfangor's defiance and insistence on not becoming the monster directly leads to Alloran becoming Visser Three, the only Andalite-Controller.
  • In R.A. Salvatore's Pirate King, Hralien the elf fully believes that Tos'un Armgo, a drow, is lending the orcs some tactics, refusing to believe that they could be intelligent enough to discover new tactics themselves. Of course, he might just be right.
  • Senator Arnos in the Codex Alera, particularly Captain's Fury, is absolutely convinced that the Canim are primitive savages, the army of former slaves working with them are all traitors who need to die, and the fact that the Legions stationed nearby haven't exterminated them yet (despite being outnumbered something like 10 to 1) just shows a lack of moral fiber. And he treats the whole thing as an excuse to advance his political career. Needless to say, Arnos doesn't really get along well with Captain Tavi Rufus Scipio.
  • In the Dale Brown novel Battle Born, General Park will do anything to protect United Korea from Chinese aggression, even Nuke'Em and having the president killed to get the necessary codes. Fortunately, he is stopped before he can carry out the attacks.
  • By the Great War, the version of George Armstrong Custer in Harry Turtledove's Timeline-191 series had become one of these, with a virulent disgust toward all things Confederate, ordering thousands of troops forward in reckless charges in an effort to allow his cavalry to massacre the foe. His opinion of Canadians was rather lower.
    • General Patton could also fit the bill in the Settling Accounts series. When the United States started pushing the Confederates back, Patton would order suicidal counter-attacks instead of defending, which meant high casualties and not a very strong defense. This trope shows best when he almost shoots one of his soldiers suffering from shellshock during an attack.
  • Colonel Kurtz from Stephen King's Dreamcatcher also fits here. Even when the landed aliens show no sign of hostility, he insists in killing every single one of them, as he thinks it's just a trick. He's right.
  • Admiral Josef Byng from Storm from the Shadows takes the traditional Solarian arrogance towards "neobarb" star nations to ridiculous levels. He becomes an Unwitting Pawn for the Mesan Alignment.
  • Admiral Volskiar in Star Trek: Vulcan's Heart, with the Klingons as his "enemy X":

Think, Romulans, of our colony worlds. Think of the honest, hardworking, loyal men and women who ask nothing but to serve the Empire. Now picture foreigners imperiling those Romulan men, women, yes, Romulan children. And such invaders do threaten, brutish creatures who know nothing of honour, nothing of glory: Klingons! Klingons who know nothing but blood lust! You ask, how can this be? Have we not dealt peacefully with the Klingons, even purchased warships from them? Yes! We made that mistake! We let them sell us faulty ships -- but no more! That was all part of their plan to weaken us, then overwhelm us.

  • Captain Joak Drysso from the X Wing Series becomes this right at the end of The Bacta War. The Lusankya, his Super Star Destroyer, is badly damaged, is rapidly losing offensive capability, and has run out of fighter cover, a problem compounded by the arrival of a second Star Destroyer captained by Booster with three squadrons of A-wings on board. Wedge asks the guy to surrender. Drysso responds by promoting himself to Admiral, saying that he will never surrender. He responds to the beginning of another plea by screaming "How dare you insult me!" when Wedge calls him "Captain". Eventually he orders the Lusankya to be rammed into Thyferra, though none of the crew follows the order, and almost immediately after giving it, the guy's first mate shoots him.
  • French Sci Fi novel Malevil briefly mentions this. World War III occurs and nobody is certain why it happened, they lived through it and yet the lack of information and details turns it into the Great Offscreen War. One of the possible, never to be confirmed, theories as to why the world ended was a General Ripper.
  • In Harry Turtledove's Second World War alternate history, Jake Featherstone is convinced that every problem with the Confederacy is caused by the blacks (he'd use a stronger word). Admittedly, he only attains the rank of Sergeant by the end of the First World War (though he ultimately becomes President of the Confederacy), probably because he's an Expy of Hitler.

Live-Action TV

  • Admiral Helena Cain, commanding officer of the battlestar Pegasus in the rebooted Battlestar Galactica, may be a rare female example—a hotshot young military commander who cracked under pressure after the Cylon attack, leading her to abandon civilians to die after "requisitioning" all their supplies and fuel, use torture, allow her troops to keep their morale up by raping female Cylons, and punish any disobedience with summary execution, all in the name of her suicidal quest to obliterate the Cylon fleet.
    • Helena Cain is the new series' take on Admiral Cain (played by Lloyd Bridges) from the original Battlestar Galactica. The original Admiral Cain was apparently based in turn on George S. Patton. Ron Moore notes this in the Razor DVD commentary.
      • The original Cain, much like the character he was based upon, was more of a Magnificent Bastard than a General Ripper.
  • Jim Phelps in the first Mission: Impossible movie shows a fair number of the symptoms of this character type.
  • Every captain in the Star Trek franchise have each come to the brink of becoming General Rippers, before pulling back: Captain Kirk in Star Trek VI the Undiscovered Country (Klingons); Captain Picard in Star Trek: First Contact (Borg); Captain Sisko in the latter seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (The Maquis and later The Dominion); Captain Janeway in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Equinox" (Captain Ransom, he himself a bona fide General Ripper ironically enough, and his crew of the titular ship), and Captain Archer in the latter half of Star Trek: Enterprise (The Xindi).
    • Arguably Sisko becomes a full blown General Ripper in "In the Pale Moonlight" when he authorizes the creation of a fake Dominion plot to attack Romulus in order to get the Romulans to come into the war and then covers up the murder of the Romulan Senator who discovers the hoax and threatens to expose it. To quote: "So: I lied... I cheated... I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all: I think I can live with it, and if I had to do it all over again, I would."
    • There was also Admiral Satie, renowned for her expertise in sniffing out conspiracies, going loco in the Next Generation episode "The Drumhead". Apparently, being famous as a conspiracy-uncoverer makes one pretty paranoid in one's old age...
    • And Admiral Leyton, who tried to overthrow the Federation government and install a Starfleet-run military regime because he believed it was necessary to combat the Dominion.
    • And Admiral Pressman, who as a captain violated an interstellar treaty and started developing a Federation cloaking device, and only got more fanatical about Starfleet being "held back" by the treaty with age and promotions...
      • Lampshaded by Ronald D. Moore after creating Admiral Pressman: "I am proud to say that I've written another insane Admiral. They must put something in the water at Federation Headquarters."
    • Don't forget Commodore Decker in TOS episode "The Doomsday Machine." To be fair, Decker's goal was actually fine, but his methods were suicidal... literally, as it turned out.
    • In the TNG episode "The Wounded", the Enterprise is sent to intercept a rogue starship whose captain is about to start a war with Cardassia because he believed the Cardassians was preparing to launch a surprise attack on the Federation. The trope is played with, since while the rogue captain is shown as being a paranoid wreck who never recovered from the murder of his family by the Cardassians, as it turns out, his suspicious were right even though his methods were wrong. Also, unlike most Rippers, he knows when to fold them, at least after a trusted former crewmember confirms that his situation is unwinnable.
  • General "Bull" Fulbright from Season 4 of The A-Team. If you replace "Enemy X" in the example above with "The A-Team," and you get his general approach to catching the A-Team.
  • The Greatest American Hero episode "Operation: Spoilsport" had one these plotting to start World War III.
  • General Slade Wilson on Smallville is firmly convinced all heroes need to be under government control, else they threaten the stability of the government. And if he has to use Cold-Blooded Torture, murder, and corruption by Darkseid to get his way, so be it.
  • In Doctor Who, the Doctor has become this towards the Daleks after fighting them for centuries, eventually even counting their narrow escape as complete and utter failure and defeat on his part. In fact, his entire race became this to the point where they were preparing to destroy reality to stop the Daleks for good.
  • The Daily Show satirized John McCain blaming wildfires in Arizona on being started by illegal immigrants by bringing in a puppet version of him for an interview. Puppet Senator McCain started blaming illegal immigrants for everything from starting fires to hiding his remote in his freezer and knocking over his thrash bins.

Tabletop Games

  • The Imperial Guard in Warhammer 40,000 makes this a matter of policy from Lord Commander Militant to Lieutenant, and hopes for combat skill to match. It doesn't always get it.
    • It is rather flanderized in fan depictions, though generally because its Played for Laughs. The quotes page for General Failure tells you that such aggressiveness without cause is naturally discouraged - the Imperium has more than enough actual problems requiring billions to be thrown in the meat grinder without creating new ones, thank you very much.
    • The most notable example is Commander Kubrik Chenkov of the Valhallan Ice Warriors. One of his campaigns involved sending legions of his own men straight to the enemy citadel, without armor or artillery support. This cost about 10,000,000 guardsmen to achieve victory.
  • FASA's Star Trek: The Roleplaying Game adventure Decision at Midnight. Captain Vellacora of the U.S.S. Arkadelphia has become obsessed with the Klingons and feels that only he can perceive their threat and save the Federation from Klingon domination.
  • Paranoia. The Computer is obsessed with traitors (Communists, mutants, secret society members) as enemies of Alpha Complex.

Video Games

  • Legate Lanius of Caesar's Legion in Fallout: New Vegas. The rank of Legate is equivocal to General, and Lanius literally means butcher... so his translated name is General Butcher. An interesting example, as he was elevated to his rank because of his Blood Knight tendencies, not despite them.
    • The NCR are not exempt from this. Most notable are Colonel Cassandra Moore, whose answer to the various tribes of Vegas seem to just be to try and wipe them out (especially the Brotherhood of Steel, to the point that she'll be pissed at you for managing to come to a diplomatic solution between the two) and General Oliver, a Glory Hound General Failure whose main strategy is just to bide his time until he can Zerg Rush the Legion.
    • And of course, there's Lanius' predecessor, Joshua Graham. Even after becoming The Atoner after his failed execution, Graham instead shifted gears from becoming a Complete Monster to a Knight Templar.
  • In the PC game No One Lives Forever 2, American General Hawkins favors attacking the Russians first using trained sharks with nukes attached to them that would swim up the Volga to Moscow. When he gets to push the red button at the end of the game, he comments with glee, "I wish I had some popcorn!"
  • The unnamed General in the PC First-Person Shooter Vivisector: Beast Within is obsessed with the Biological Mash Ups that are the enemies in the game, first as a source of disposable uber-soldiers, then as a force to control and exterminate after they rebel against his cruel treatment. He goes as far as to nuke the rebelling hybrids' village and allow a train-full of them to be destroyed to keep them in line, and even kills the protagonist's friend to ensure he helps him corral the beasts.
  • Shades of this with Garrosh Hellscream in World of Warcraft. High Overlord Saurfang, remembering the multiple Kick the Dog acts the demon-controlled Horde committed in the past, is trying to keep Hellscream's bloodlust in check.
    • While Garithos in Warcraft 3 appears to be one, this is not the case, since it turns out he was mind-controlled by Detheroc all-along.
      • He was only controlled for the last half of his appearance, but either way he wasn't so much a Ripper as just a straight up racist Jerkass that hated everyone who wasn't human.
    • Jaina's father, Daelin Proudmoore, due to some unfortunate... situation, ends up and dies as this.
    • And don't forget Varian Wrynn, the "leader" of the Alliance, that hates the Horde so much he would rather let an Eldritch Abomination of Lovecraftian proportion destroy the planet, than help the neutral faction battling it because they also asked the Horde to help too. (Of course, the fact that Garrosh Hellscream had picked a fight with him moments earlier probably didn't help.)
    • Arthas himself becomes something like this during his campaign against the undead. There's Stratholme to consider. The only reason he doesn't command every last soldier to this undertaking is because Uther is very much opposed to the notion. Medivh points out to him that his course of aggression against the undead only makes life easier for the Scourge. Even Muradin, Arthas' lifelong friend and teacher, calls out the prince's new qualities after he burns his own ships to force his army forwards.
  • Admiral Greyfield from Advance Wars: Days of Ruin (Dark Conflict). Originally a high-ranking Rubinelle leader, he became obsessed with destroying the Lazurians, believing them to be mostly responsible for the world's current state. Since he feels that the Rubinellians aren't doing enough to wipe out Lazuria, he heads the New Rubinelle Army and decides to finish the job himself... except now he has the old Rubinellians gunning for him as well, after he shoots and kills both Forsythe and Brenner in cold blood.
    • To be more accurate, he shoots Forsythe after he surrenders and takes on all responsibility for the actions of his soldiers. Then he imprisons the surviving Lazurians, planning to execute them later, but Brenner won't have any of that and helps them escape. Greyfield's response? He nukes Brenner, as well as ALL the New Rubinelle forces that had his position surrounded. General Ripper indeed.
  • Tasen Elite Krotera from Iji. His response to Iji's plea to get the Tasen to leave Earth is to refuse and then attempt to kill her, even if she hasn't killed a single Tasen up to this. If you're playing on the Pacifist route, this attitude causes him to get killed by one of his own troops. However, he does have a very good reason to refuse Iji: Enemy X is actually here, and the Komato are quite capable of exterminating every last Tasen if they find out where they are. No one ever thought of both species peacefully staying on Earth.
  • General Randall from Prototype has been fighting the infection for forty years and is willing to burn Manhattan to the ground to win. In the Wildstorm comic, we see that he was "poached" from 'Nam by a General Stilwell, who coldly executes Randall's then-squad.
  • Your first clue that Modern Warfare 2's General Shepherd is a bit off the hook is when he inserts an undercover man in villain Makarov's organization, allowing him to mow down innocent Russians at an airport in hopes of destroying the organization from within. But he goes from Well-Intentioned Extremist to Magnificent Bastard when you discover that he was behind everything, including framing the US for the airport attack and allowing Russia to invade Washington DC. After losing 30,000 of his men in Call of Duty 4's nuclear explosion, Shepherd needed an excuse to exercise the might of the US military, and essentially started World War III to do it. Protagonists "Soap" MacTavish and Captain Price take Shepherd down at the end of the game, but by then Shepherd's plot has essentially succeeded, just without him at the helm, while Price and Soap even before his death are international fugitives wanted for "treason, global terror, violent acts against the government."
    • Doesn't help that Shepherd doesn't seem to have the concept of "danger close" down pat...
  • Loghain Mac Tir in Dragon Age: Origins is a wonderful example of this trope. Having fought against the Orlesian Empire his entire life and only recently seeing his country freed from them, he is paranoid that they are using the Blight as an excuse to take over again. In fact, thinking the Grey Wardens (the only people who can stop the Blight) are under Orlesian influence, he frames them for the murder of King Cailin, then seizes the reins of power from his daughter (who was married to King Cailin) and refuses to let Orlesian reinforcements inside the nation despite the fact that they are desperately needed.
    • It is in fact an opening statement you can make in the Landsmeet, reminding everyone that the threat is the Blight, not Orlais. Loghain allowed an accomplice to murder one of his peers (another Teyrn), attempted to poison Arl Eamon to death by means of an apostate mage he spirited out of the Templars' custody, allowed Tevinter slavers to operate in the city and sell the nation's elven citizens into slavery, and plunged the nation into civil war by ham-handedly consolidating power through bullying while the Blight is on their doorstep... All so he can keep the Orlesians from helping with the problem.
    • The sequel, Dragon Age II, introduces Knight Commander Meredith. Her Enemy X is blood mages.
  • Soviet army general Alexei Guba from the Operation Flashpoint series.
  • Admiral Geoffrey Tolwyn from the Wing Commander series became this by the time of the fourth installment of the games. The Kilrathi war was over, peace had been re-established, and Tolwyn was already hard at work committing treason by staging fake terrorist attacks and breeding a new army of unstoppable killers and biological weapons to combat the next big threat. The irony of the next big threat arriving after his death was not lost.
  • Commander Dominic Lockhart from Crysis 2 is utterly obsessed with destroying the Nanosuit and "Prophet". A brief line of Enemy Chatter early on mentions that he lost a nephew who was prototyping the Nanosuit.
  • General Bayel in Guild Wars Nightfall. Is quite happy to destroy as many villages as needed, and work with demons, to get rid of the sunspears.
  • In Mass Effect 2, the quarian admiral, Han'Gerrel, showed shades of this with his desire to go to war with the geth, quarian-creations that drove them from their homeworld, and wipe them out. By Mass Effect 3, he has fully gone into General Ripper territory now that his species is at war with the geth. He is even perfectly willing to fire on and destroy a geth dreadnought when another quarian admiral and Shepard are on said dreadnought.
    • For added meta points, not only is Han'Gerrel voiced by Simon Templeman, but he uses the exact same voice he used for Loghain Mac Tir.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • Santa Claus from Futurama — a robot that became murderous because he started to judge everyone as "naughty", with lethal vengeance.
  • John Canmore, aka John Castaway, in the last season of Gargoyles. After he accidentally shoots his brother while trying to kill Goliath, he starts "What have I..." only to correct himself with "What have they done?!" From then on, he fits this trope well.
    • Castaway is a Call Back to Demona's Start of Darkness. A scheme to drive humans away from her clan ends up in said clan getting massacred, prompting the same "What have they done?!" correction and leading to a hatred of humanity.
      • A hatred which led to the scarring of a certain man's face and the birth of The Hunter, whose traditions and descendants lead us right back to...guess who. It's a vicious cycle.
      • Demona's Ripper tendencies go all the way back to when she helped some Vikings sack Castle Wyvern (her clan's home) and was then surprised when they betrayed her by killing the gargoyles along with the humans. Canmore's "What have I... What have they done?" was even an Ironic Echo to Demona's own reaction to the Wyvern massacre.
  • Pretty much every American military officer in Justice League Unlimited is either one of these or "Just Following Orders" in order to destroy the menace that is also their only hope against a universe full of baddies.
    • To be fair, they have a lot to fear. After all, the League has a Binary Fusion Generator positioned overhead and nobody seemed to know about it. Given the trouble they had the last time a superhero went rogue (in Superman the Animated Series), I'd say their fears are justified. Even Batman and Green Arrow agree. "Look, I'm the only guy here without powers, and you guys scare me."
    • Although, it's subverted in the very first story arc. Nuclear disarmament has been completed to the horror of one general who argues that they are essential for defense, obviously seeming to fit this trope. However, it turns out that the Senator responsible actually manipulated the world into it as without nukes, the normal defense forces were completely helpless against the alien invasion. Because he was secretly an alien. And stuff. But in any case, the general favoring nukes was right. The world just got lucky.
  • General Hardcastle from Superman the Animated Series and Justice League. His feelings about the Man of Steel slowly grew from mild xenophobia (can't trust'im, he's not from Earth) to becoming a key player in a governmental conspiracy against him and pretty much all the other JL members. By Justice League, he still harbors immense distrust of all Kryptonians, even threatening Supergirl with a kryptonite-loaded gun, explaining that "YOUR kind can be, fickle...".
  • General Eiling, from Justice League, is worth noting for how he turned himself into a variant of the Shaggy Man (a creature that is almost completely invicible & monstrous) in order to protect America from the League and metahumans in general... and ends up only fighting members of the League without metahuman powers (though the heroes in question have some cool gear). He Who Fights Monsters... Eiling started out simply mistrusting the League, but eventually went to conspiracy-joining levels just like Hardcastle.
    • It's worth noting that Eiling is voiced by (and physically resembles) J.K. Simmons, who has played another hero-hater: J. Jonah Jameson.
  • Superman himself was on his way to becoming a General Ripper during the Cadmus arc of Justice League Unlimited. Remember the indicent with Captain Marvel, and Batman calling him out after his way of neutralizing Doomsday?
  • Parodied on South Park in the episode "ManBearPig", wherein Al Gore has dedicated his post-political career to tracking down and destroying the titular ManBearPig, a hybrid monster which he blames for all of his personal and political failures.
    • Also the "Robot Friend" episode where the government think the Awesom-O disguise Cartman uses to fool Butters is a real robot.
  • Taken to humorous extremes in a late episode of Megas XLR: the characters encounter a giant robot built by the US military in the '50s, which was built to fight "the enemy". When asked who that was, it found that piece of data missing—therefore, "EVERYTHING is the enemy!"

"I was designed to defend this land, and I will do it by destroying everyone!"

  • General Rogard in The Iron Giant is an inversion. He acts reasonably and cautiously, leaving the ranting and recklessness to Kent Mansley, a minor government agent. Who still manages to almost get everybody killed. Also, when it seemingly becomes apparent that the Iron Giant was a hoax due to Hogarth warning Dean beforehand about the military's arrival, Rogard makes it quite clear that he did not like how Mansley got them involved for what was apparently nothing, shouting at the top of his lungs to Mansley outside, in his words: "Do you realize how much hardware I've brought down here? YOU JUST BLEW MILLIONS OF UNCLE SAM'S DOLLARS OUT OF YOUR BUTT!" and heavily implies that he's going to fire Mansley for the seeming blunder when they return to Washington DC.
  • Possibly Admiral Donald Hayes, Lisa Hayes's father, in Robotech (Admiral Takashi Hayase in the original Macross series), and most prominently Supreme Commander Leonard in The Robotech Masters.
  • General Buck Rockgut in The Penguins of Madagascar with his obsession with the Red Squirrel.
  • The blustering, impetuous, and ultimately incompetent Captain Matthew Marcus from Exo Squad.
  • General Mandible of Antz who deliberately sends thousands of soldiers loyal to the queen to their deaths in an attack on the termites, so that he can then wipe out the rest of the colony, and start his own colony that consists of nothing but soldiers in it.
  • The Simpsons episode G.I. (Annoyed Grunt) had a parody of this trope, where the Colonel ended up leading the Army unit to invade Springfield due to Homer Simpson and his (retarded) unit going AWOL, going from trying to get the civilians to capture Homer's Unit (although they didn't capture Homer), and eventually locking up all of those who were either fat, bald, and/or were ever amused by the antics of Homer Simpson. His second in command also tried to convince him to call off the invasion, feeling it's gone far enough, especially seeing how the entire operation cost the military $15 billion just to continue. Eventually, he did end up surrendering due to a hangover. Also, the reason why Homer's unit went AWOL in the first place was due to their being in COMPNOR, which meant they were to be tested with weapons. Unfortunately for Homer and his unit, the Colonel in question seemed to think that they should test them with live weapons rather than simulations.
  • Subverted in Monsters vs. Aliens with General Warren R. Monger. He comes across as this trope, but proves in the crunch to be reasonable and decent.
  • Shen from Kung Fu Panda 2, who is an Evil Albino peacock warlord who hates kung fu and wants to destroy it forever using an army of wolves and giant cannons. He almost even wiped out the entire Panda race.
  • General Steel from Sym-Bionic Titan. Steel's violent obsession to stop any aliens tends to endanger his men and everyone around him. During his mecha's first battle, his fighting style is far more agressive than the Titan's and tends to cause a great deal of damage.
  • Governor Ratcliffe from Pocahontas. "Savages! Savages! Barely even human!"

Bodily fluids!!

  1. However, to be fair, this panel is from a What If story that ends with Ben Grimm now a legitimate menace as a rampaging maniac with the equivalent strength of the Hulk.
  2. But that's only what they want you to think!
  3. batshit