Pinky: Gee, Brain, what you wanna do tonight?
What's the goal most every villain has in mind? Why of course, it's World Domination®! Ambitious, more logical and sometimes easier than destroying the world, as Evil Plans go. They want to be in charge of everything and everyone. This could be just to feed their massive egos, or else they've got somewhat twisted ideals that they want everyone else to adhere to. Either way, it puts them in direct conflict with the heroes, whether professional or "I just want everything to go back to normal" types. Usually said villain fixates on the hero or someone/thing close to them as being part of their master plan. See Evil Plan. For a villain who has finally acquired godlike power, and did not Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence, then this is the next logical goal and use for said power. If it involves destroying the world to rule it, it's because Utopia Justifies the Means. Or they are just dicks.
Villains who want this will occasionally combat other villains who want to destroy the world, and sometimes, just sometimes, team up with the heroes to do it. After all, you can't conquer the world if it's destroyed, right? Whether or not the villain attempts to stab the heroes in the back the instant the world is safe, or they nod and civilly go back to their Secret Lairs in a gentleman's agreement to face each other tomorrow depends on the villain.
This trope is sometimes subverted when the villain actually succeeds, and it turns out that ruling the world isn't nearly as gratifying as they thought it would be—exactly what does one do with the world once one has it, after all? Plus, once you're ruling the world, you literally have to be in charge of everyone, and that's like herding giraffes. Seven billion giraffes, as a matter of fact. You actually have to run things, and make sure it works, and dang, Dystopia Is Hard.
The reverse is if they did it with Mass Hypnosis to get rid of The Evils of Free Will, then it'll be considerably easier to rule... and so dreadfully boring they undo the whole thing just to have someone to talk to.
The more fleshed-out villain will have some specific perception of what is wrong with the world and believe that a strong central authority with vision and strength of purpose can set it right.
For more information, check out the Evil Overlord List, a detailed guide on what should an evil overlord do and not do. Typically, this is accomplished with Stock Evil Overlord Tactics. Although sometimes the plans of villains with this motivation go rather in the Step Three: Profit direction. For several country-specific SubTropes, see America Takes Over the World, Japan Takes Over the World, and China Takes Over the World. See Take Over the City for a more modest version.
Anime and Manga
- The Mazinger trilogy:
- Mazinger Z: According his Backstory revealed in one of the manga versions, Dr. Hell was abused and belittled by everyone when he was a child until his mind snapped and he decided he wanted to make all pay: he would purge the world off idiots and force everybody to bow down to him. During the rise of Hitler, he realized if he took over the world he COULD do just that. Over ten years after the World War II he finally found the means as he researched several ancient ruins.
- Great Mazinger: The Mykene were an ancient civilization had been forced to survive underground for millennia. Big Bad and Physical God Emperor of Darkness and The Dragon Ankoku Daishogun wanted to return to the surface world and let their people walk freely over earth and enjoy sunlight, fresh air and clean water, and they thought take over the world was the only way to achieve that.
- UFO Robo Grendizer: Planet Vega had become unstable due to the overexploitation of ores of vegatron, a highly radioactive material. King Vega needed to find another world to settle his people on, and so he began conquering other worlds. That expansionist campaign finally led them to Earth.
- Tadase's goal in Shugo Chara (or at least his would-be self's goal) is pretty clearly spelled out as World Domination.
- Princess Tutu's Japanese official website listed profiles for most of the major characters—pretty standard stuff, including height, weight, and each character's "likes" and "dislikes". Most of it isn't too much of a surprise, like Ahiru's love for ballet and dislike of food with chicken in it... but then you get to Autor's profile. What he likes? "World Domination". Apparently that's the reason he's so obsessed with Drosselmeyer's story-spinning powers!
- Il Palazzo of Excel Saga wants to take over the world, which he believes has become corrupt. He decides a more reasonable goal is to start with just Japan, and the best way to take over Japan is to start with one city.
- After Chao Lingshen is revealed as the Big Bad of the Mahora Festival in Mahou Sensei Negima, we finally get a peek at her character bio. Listed under her Likes? World Domination.
- Now that she's out of the way, Haruna has stepped in. Lately, she overtly proclaimed herself "future mistress of this world".
- Axis Powers Hetalia: "Everyone will become one with Russia." Alternately, The Awesome Prussia will seize your vital regions.
- Code Geass: Lelouch vi Britannia eventually wants to conquer the whole world, rather than just destroy the Britannian Empire, as was his original plan. In subversion he doesn't actually want to keep it for himself.
- Light Yagami in Death Note wants to be the god of the world, which effectively is the same thing.
- Cleo in Glass Fleet wants to take over the galaxy. Luckily, the Big Bad, Vetti Sforza, has already conquered most of it. Cleo decides that taking down Vetti is the quickest way of doing it. Things don't go exactly as planned...
- Jio's goal in 666 Satan, by collecting all the O-Parts to rule the world.
- Katekyo Hitman Reborn's Big Bad Byakuran actually has taken over the world millions of times over. Being able to share his consciousness across parallel universes, he has become supreme ruler of all but one.
- Dragon Ball
- Piccolo Daimao's goal is to conquer the world. And he does. Easily.
- Pilaf, the Red Ribbon Army, Vegeta, Frieza and his relatives, and Babidi, who all had plans for world/universal domination at one point or another. Specifically, Frieza was in the business of conquering and selling planets.
- Gundam Seed Destiny: Gilbert Durandel wants to do this as part of his Utopia Justifies the Means plot.
- Fullmetal Alchemist: This is one of Greed's stated goals though in the end Ling calls him out on his bluff and Greed grudgingly admits that deep down his true desire was to have friends. In the first anime, Bradley seemed to have this as his intention, which makes sense, him being a Hitler-expy and all.
- He is actually holding the title "Führer"!
- When 4Kids was dubbing the Pokémon movies, they had a habit of changing the villains' motives to this, because kids wouldn't understand their original motives.
- This is now Team Rocket's goal. Since they've become competent and now have frikken jet-packs, they might actually have a shot.
- Pain of Naruto originally claims this to be the goal of Akatsuki. As a small mercenary force of exceptional skill they would build a strong reputation and slow supplant the established villages; then they would use the captured Bijuu to start small wars, promptly ending them, to gain complete dominance of the market. At that point, they would crush the weakened nations reliant on their services and become the sole world power.
- Kuroda from Neko De Gomen.
- This is the goal of all of the evil organizations in Hajimete no Aku. Their methods and reasons are generally more benign than most of the other examples on this page.
- In Read or Die, the British Library apparently wants to take control of the world's information networks, so they can get the world to doublethink itself into believing that they already rule the world.
- Squid Girl's ultimate goal is to take over the world in order to punish humans for polluting the oceans and harming the ocean life. Thus far, her invasion has stalled at the beach house where she first made landfall.
- The Evil Organization Florsheim from Tentai Senshi Sunred has this as their objective B. It will follow objective A; the defeat of their mortal enemy Sunred. So far, they're stuck at objective A. And probably will be for some time.
- This is the goal of Rider, aka Alexander the Great, in Fate/Zero. Which is to be expected, given that it was his goal in Real Life. An unusual case in that he is a hero rather than a villain.
- Poseidon in Saint Seiya. Cue his one-time help against Hades, who wants to destroy the world.
- Played straight in Mark Waid's Empire limited comic series. The supervillain mastermind Golgoth actually conquers the world. All opposition is crushed, all superheroes are defeated, and Golgoth is still victorious at the end of the tale. Needless to say, it's a VERY dark story. However, Golgoth finds that ruling the world is not exactly easy, either.
- Dilbert: Dogbert has taken over the world a few time. In one arc he does so through hypnosis, but abdicates after he gets bored. He's also taken over the company frequently, usually becoming obscenely wealthy and retiring within a matter of days.
- Darkseid, the Lord of Apokolips, wants to rule the entire DC Universe.
- In the Marvel Graphic Novel Emperor Doom Doctor Doom succeeds in taking over the world. He hits the Reset Button himself when he realizes he didn't want the world, he just wanted the quest to take it over.
- The Doomster also pulled it off in Marvel Ultimate Alliance, complete with building an army with hybrid Doombot and Iron Man technology and giving himself a castle the size of Latveria. Then the heroes beat him up and Odin blows him to vapor with a lightning bolt.
- In the aftermath of the Onslaught Saga, Franklin Richards created an entire alternate Earth and Doctor Doom conquered THAT before getting bored with the absolute power over it he'd usurped from Franklin Richards' weird computer overseer thing.
- He pulls it off in Doom 2099 (or the United States, anyway, which is not actually the entire world). The twist? He's actually a pretty good leader.
- From AVENGERS #290, in one of his few impressive moments Dr. Druid points out to the Super-Adaptoid the importance of thinking things through:
Dr. Druid: And once you have conquered the people of Earth, what then?
- "Rule the world" is the key phrase that Piffany taught Yeagar to differentiate between the good guys and the bad guys in Nodwick.
- Audrey II In Little Shop of Horrors.
Seymour Krelborn: We're not talking about one hungry plant here, we're talking about world conquest!.
- General Zod in Superman II did take over Earth after defeating the pesky son of Jor-El. It just didn't last because of Superman.
- Technically he is only shown taking over the presidency of USA.
- The Blood Waters of Dr. Z: Dr Z wants to take over the world. Dr Z wants to take over the universe—by turning himself into a humanoid catfish and mutating all sea life.
- Star Wars: Senator Palpatine, AKA
RapmasterDarth Sidious, didn't just take over a world, he took over an entire galaxy. Beat that!
- M. Bison himself in Street Fighter. Of course!
- G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra: the goal of Cobra is to—you guessed it!
- In The Shadow the villain is a descendant of Genghis Khan. He says that his ancestor conquered half the world and he's here to "finish the job".
- Recurring villain goal in the Scanners movies:
- Darryl Revok plans to do this in Scanners by initiating a country-wide scheme of covertly prescribing pregnant women with a dangerous drug that will turn their unborn children into "scanners" (telepathic and telekinetic psychics), who he will then convert to his cause - being one himself with a deep hatred for normal humans.
- Commander Forrester in Scanners 2 advocates the creation of a "New Order" to "cure" the cities of crime, which really means that he'll be in control of everything. He tries to build an army of scanners to keep the rest of society in line, and uses their abilities to get himself into successively higher public offices, going from police commander to police chief and planning to run for mayor next.
- In Scanners 3 Helena hatches such a scheme after discovering that scanners abilities work through camera and television signals. Her first step is to mind control thousands of people through a widely televised public broadcast of her, but she doesn't seem to think much further ahead than this.
- Clu in Tron: Legacy wants to escape from the Grid into Real Life and bring his army with him. How he plans to take over the world with a few thousand troops and no real weapons (or, at least, something that would work in the real world) is never explained, although some fans claim he can program more troops once outside. One thing's for sure though, if Clu escapes he will stop at nothing to make our world open and available to all of them. Yes! TO ALL OF THEM!!!!!
- Drax's Evil Plan in Moonraker is to wipe out humanity and replace it with a "master race" under his rule.
- The Lord of the Rings: Sauron already controlled the greater part of the world by the main story opens. Two ages before that, his boss—a fallen angel type, name of Morgoth—had similar ambitions before the gods dethroned him. The key difference is that for Morgoth, world domination was merely one step in his ultimate plan to corrupt and destroy all reality, whereas for Sauron it was an end in and of itself.
- Harry Potter: Lord Voldemort has this goal, now that he's functionally immortal.
- Deconstructed in Soon I Will Be Invincible. As he works on his latest Evil Plan (and afterwards) Doctor Impossible wonders what "taking over the world" even means, having tried everything from Time Travel to an army of fish:
What does it mean to conquer the world? Is there really a way to do it? Do you have to be the richest one, or the smartest one, or to beat everyone in a fight? Or just to know you could? Is it to be invincible? ... Does it just mean to get the girl you really wanted?
- Ender's Game: Peter Wiggin, the brother of Ender begins putting his Take Over the World plan in motion at the age of, like, fourteen? He succeeds several books later. And in an interesting turn, is a very effective and respected leader.
- In Edgar Rice Burroughs's A Fighting Man of Mars, this is the jeddak of Jalar's intention—though being a Dirty Coward, he insists on marvelous Mad Scientist inventions in sufficient quantities first. Also Phor Tak, who had made him those inventions and been exiled by him; desire for Revenge drives him insane.
- It is eventually revealed late in the Everworld series that this is the master plan of the witch Senna Wales.
- The Draka: The Draka seek to conquer the world so that there are no other competing ideologies or worldviews to their own. The existence of liberal democracy is considered a direct threat to their empire.
- In Powers That Be the Big Bad corporation, Intergal, wants to take over the planet of Petaybee because it terraformed it in the first place and has only just realized that it might be more profitable to mine it than to allow settlers to live there.
- Petyr Baelish's goal at this point in A Song of Ice and Fire seems to be "control as much of Westeros as possible". Given that this is Littlefinger we're talking about here, he may have a bigger ultimate goal, a smaller ultimate goal, or no goal at all.
- Nathan Stark of Eureka admits in one episode that he has dreams about world domination. "But not all the time!"
- On Sabrina the Teenage Witch, the Spellman family cat Salem is actually a former warlock who's being punished for plotting to rule the world. In one episode he is denied parole (and a return to his human form) when he lets it slip to the interviewer that he still dreams of overlordship.
- Doctor Who: In "Tomb of the Cybermen", Kleig, a human helping the Cybermen for power, goes on a rant about how the world is a disorganized mess of conflicting ideals, and only his superior intellect could bring it together to solve all its problems. A few seasons later, in "The Invasion", Tobias Vaughn, also helping the Cybermen, would make almost word-for-word the same rant.
- In the new series Series 3 finale, The Master takes over the world. It gets undone. He does however seem to enjoy it, playing music, torturing his prisoners and planning to take over the universe for all time. In The End of Time, the Master takes over the world again. Once again, it gets undone.
- It's probably worth noting that in the new series, at least, when an episode takes place on Earth, chances are good the Alien of the Week is trying to take over the world or some variant on that theme. Recurring villains the Cybermen are also proponents of Taking Over The World. Notable exceptions to this rule, however, are the Daleks and the Time Lords.
- The ultimate goal of every single villain in Stargate SG-1 is the conquest of the Milky Way galaxy. Every. Single. One.
- Mighty Morphin Power Rangers makes Rita's motivations clear the moment her
canspace dumpster is unsealed. "After 10,000 years I'm free! It's time to conquer Earth!" Same goes for the motivation of every other Power Rangers villain ever.
- This is Big Bad Herrick's ultimate plan in season 1 of Being Human (UK).
- The Middleman is Genre Savvy about this being a standard Evil Plan.
- Star Trek: Khan Noonien Singh wakes up after a 270-year nap and decides to take over the galaxy.
- Warren Mears in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He mostly fails because he's less like Lex Luthor, and more like Max Cady.
- Apparently the goal of The Mayor, though he never got past the "become giant demon snake" stage of his plan. Presumably this would give him the power to do so.
- The Master also showed interest in ruling the world, as did Adam, and the First wanted to possess every human being on the planet, so it probably applies as well. The only Big Bad with no ambitions of this kind was Glory who just wanted to go home at the cost of the apocalypse.
- On Angel this was Illyria's plan when she first reemerged. She went to revive her demonic army to conquer the earth, and found she'd been dead so long they had all crumbled to dust. She was so damn depressed she pretty much just gave up on it after that.
- And one season before that, rogue Power that... Am, Jasmine, nearly succeeded as she was able to brainwash everyone who saw or heard her, even via electronic media, into loving her. She was ultimately only defeated by epic Glamour Failure and Connor turning into a full-blown Nietzsche Wannabe who punched through the back of her head.
- Unsurprisingly, this is Hitler's goal in Danger 5. He is also depicted as being in charge of Benito Mussolini and Emperor Hirohito - the show being a parody of pulp and exploitation fiction, he's pretty similar to the stereotypical megalomaniacal supervillain.
- Tons of Showa era Kamen Rider villains had this as this as their plan. Not so much in the Heisei era, where the villains plans are usually more complex. The only villains whose end goal plan is conquering the world is Smart Brain from Kamen Rider Faiz, whose plan entails a Zombie Apocalypse.
- Risk, "The Game of World Domination".
- In the german version, it has been bowdlerised to a "Game of World Liberation".
- World War IV, which is Axis and Allies meets Fallout.
- History of the World.
- Pretty much all the evil gods in the Forgotten Realms have this goal.
- Bane has this as his main goal and almost all of his followers' failed plots revolve around this to some degree. Indeed, he is the god of tyranny.
- In Crucible: Trial of Cyric the Mad, the main character's goal towards the beginning was to get a book that would make everyone worship his god, Cyric, thereby allowing him to take over not only the world, but the entire pantheon.
- Shar is an exception: the Lady of Loss wants to destroy the world, not rule it.
- In the Kalamar D&D setting, the holy book of the god of tyranny is a political manifesto that not only proclaims the deity's intention to do this, but why it's absolutely imperative that his followers make it happen, for the greater good of all sentients.
- Cartoon Action Hour: All three sample series' Big Bad (Nekkrottus, General Archnid, and Maxilliam Mercy) have this trope at their goal—but this is justifed as it's a 1980s Shout-Out to goals of most 1980s cartoon villains.
- The Net Runner card "World Domination". If the corp manages to score the card, it wins the game.
So, Wilson, how in the frack did you know the fileset was secret plans for world domination?
- Gary from Bully. His goal is ostensibly to "take over the school", but nobody seems to have figured out what that actually means, least of all Gary.
Gary:"I keep imagining myself in charge of a large empire."
- At the end of the first half of Final Fantasy VI, Kefka conquers the world. The goal of the second half is to dethrone him, preferably before he gets bored of nuking the survivors with the Light Of Judgment and really gets cracking on the stated goal of "building a monument to nonexistence.".
- This is the raison d'etre for the Big Bad of Final Fantasy II, The Emperor. Why he wants to rule everything is never gone into in the game itself.
- The Combine from Half Life do this on a regular basis. When they were introduced in Half-Life 2, it became the reason the Vortigaunts invaded Black Mesa in the first game, as they were fleeing their conquered homeworld. Taking over Earth actually was an afternoons work for the Combine.
- This is the (repeatedly) stated goal of Murray, the mighty demonic skull in the Monkey Island series. Exactly how he is planning to do this, being a talking disembodied skull with a superiority complex, is slightly less apparent.
- Parodied in the Baldur's Gate series with Tiax, an utterly unhinged gnome priest of Cyric, who claims his destiny is to rule the world. Appearing as a recruitable NPC in the first game, the sequel places him in an asylum from where Tiax claims that he already has taken over the world and now rules it all from inside his
little padded cellthrone room.
- This is the ultimate goal in Evil Genius, a Real Time Strategy game where players take control of a wannabe overlord and set off to conquer the world with various criminal means.
- Beautifully mocked by Shadow Hearts: Covenant. When the Bonus Boss Orobas appears he begins to spout off about his plans for world domination. At that point, however, Anastasia - who by this point has seen a half-dozen different enemies say much the same things - steps forward and asks, "And Then What?" When Orobas asks what she means, she demands to know what he's going to do with the world once he conquers it. Orobas stammers for a bit, and then mutters that he'll have to think about it... at which point Anastasia tells the party to just beat him down.
- Ocelot in Metal Gear Solid 4 is trying to take over the world to trick the heroes to into helping him freeing the world from its real secret rulers.
- Most strategy video games have this as an explicit or implicit victory condition.
- Almost all 4X games give you victory when you conquer the world or the galaxy.
- This is the explicit goal of most of the villainous factions (Nod, the Soviets, the Imperial Japanese, CABAL, etc.) in the various Command & Conquer series. The good factions on the other hand (GDI, the Allies) more often than not strive for a return to status quo, seeing the defeat of their enemy as a way of preventing this trope, not to practice it themselves. Because their endings are usually canon this leaves the door open for another rematch in a sequel.
- The campaigns from Dawn of War: Dark Crusade and Soulstorm fulfill this. They end only when the player faction rules the planet or, in the latter, the solar system.
- Syndicate ended with your Mega Corp conquering the entire world. In the sequel, they control the planet uncontested until the game starts.
- Purple Tentacle in Day of the Tentacle wants to do this, after drinking some sludge-contaminated water. In fact, he succeeds, as the human sent 200 years into the future, Laverne, can attest to. The objective is to travel to yesterday and prevent the water from being contaminated in the first place, as he's nigh unstoppable otherwise (somehow).
- Threads of Fate has a main character example in Princess Mint. While Rue, the other main character, seeks to revive his sister, Princess Mint has but one goal in mind: World Domination, baby!
- Kira "The Maiden who wants to take over the world" Daidohji of Arcana Heart has this as her goal even though she hasn't hit puberty yet. She's naturally against Mildred's plan, which would destroy the world that she's trying to conquer.
- Your goal in Overlord. Why? Because you're THE OVERLORD!!
- Mega Man Zero's own Big Bad, Dr. Weil. He succeeds, too...well, conquering what's left of it, anyway. This guy ruling the last gasp of humanity is NOT a very good thing...
- Dr. Wily of the original series, though he wasn't as good at it.
- Subverted in Arc the Lad: the Big Bad became the world's master the spirits called him "The Ancient King of Humans" in Arc 2 long before the game started: what he wanted was not control over mankind, but control over the whole planet's ecosystem, and he almost succeeded more than once, leaving the world crippled each time the heroes managed to seal him
- Street Fighter: This is the goal of M. Bison.
- The goal of Demon's Crest is to destroy Phalanax, the demon who conquered the world. There's a catch: your character is Firebrand, a Red Arremer from Ghosts N Goblins, and he wants to kill Phalanax because he intends to conquer the world.
- Malladus from The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, apparently, until his revival is about to be undone and he decides that an Earthshattering Kaboom is good to go as well. At least Ganon(dorf) was modest enough to limit himself to just Hyrule...
- In Paradox Interactive games like the Europa Universalis series or the Hearts of Iron series it's a challenge to take over the world before the time limit is reached. This is called a 'World Conquest' or WC in the community and is a common Self-Imposed Challenge if attempted with a small, weak country.
- Bowser, the main villain of the Super Mario Bros. series games is constantly known for his tendency to take over the entire Mushroom Kingdom besides kidnapping Peach, but there are actually occasions where Bowser will actually expand his plans for world domination by actually taking over outer space!
- This is the stated objective of the various Campaign modes in Rise of Nations:
- World: Take over the entire world in a free-for-all between every sizable nation on Earth from the beginning of history up to the future.
- Alexander: Take over the known world of ancient times as Alexander the Great.
- Napoleon: Take over Europe, and hence the colonized world, as Napoleon Bonaparte.
- New World: Take over the New World as either the Americans, a European colonizer, or one of the Native nations.
- Cold War: Take over the entire world as either the Americans or the Soviets.
- The goal of Metal Command in Shatterhand.
- The whole point of Psycho Walui. Oh no, it's not enough just to conquer kingdoms of worth, you must have it ALL! Even bathrooms!
- The Big Bad in The Perils of Akumos plans to use his evil spiders to dictate terms to earth's government.
- In the old Might and Magic 'verse, this was surprisingly uncommon, with most would-be evil overlords aiming for continental domination instead. Kastore's faction of Terrans is an exception (they might have been able to pull it off, too, if they hadn't been hampered by lacking a key component to repairing the Heavenly Forge and the fact that the world blow up only a few years after they began phase one).
- Bruno from Solatorobo plans on reawakening and controlling an evil power to take over the world.
- MAG-ISA—The main antagonists in this comic are demons. Their agenda is to bring hell on earth and turn planet earth into a giant prison... all for the lulz.
- Tony of Real Life Comics, being the Mad Scientist that he is, does set out to accomplish this goal for one story like because, according to him, that's what evil people are supposed to do. He manages to succeed in the end, even defeating a challenger to his reign, but relents when he starts to discover just how much work is involved.
- Bob and George Deconstructed Trope the trope in a short-lived sub-comic Raw Lemons and Baked Pizza. After having it up to here with Dr. Wily, Mega Man finally spells out just what taking over the world will require. Namely, having to sort out the already noticeable mess of differences between various nations, having to deal with the various uprisings, learning ever language known to man just to communicate with them, getting people to accept his rule in the first place and the insane amounts of stress that would be implied. It ends on a nice humorous note as Dr. Wily, having clearly gone too insane to recover, laments that he already had a custom gold world-domination crown made.
- Subverted in Girl Genius, where by the start of the story, the evil mad genius Baron Wulfenbach has already taken over the Europa with his no-nonsense straightforward plan. It is then doubly subverted in that the Baron hates being the ruler, but does it anyways because he believes the world needs him (and it probably does). Indeed, the Baron took over the world largely to stop everyone else from trying to do so and wrecking everything in the process. Because the comic takes place in a world full of Mad Scientists, there's always at least a dozen factions trying to rule the world. Without the Baron stamping them down, the entire continent would probably be aflame with the burnt wreckage of a million war clanks. England mostly sank under the sea, but still thrives because the Queen "wouldn't stand for it", and Paris is a Truce Zone under the control of Simon Voltaire.
- Sluggy Freelance: Happens a number of times. Bun-Bun and K'Z'K have both tried to take over the main Sluggy universe (Bun-Bun actually succeeded, for all of ten minutes). The Dimension of Pain demons apparently took over their home dimension in order to make it "of Pain," and tried to do the same thing to the Dimension of Lame. This is also the long term goal of the Hereti Corporation and the K'Z'K cults that have sprung up following the Demon's death.
- Friendly Hostility: Collin, is a megalomaniac who has dreams of becoming a dictator to politically unstable third world countries. Several arcs have sprung from this desire.
- Kevin and Kell used the subversion - in a plotline where it appeared that Herdthinners CEO R.L. had been eaten by bears, his even more ruthless wife, Angelique, took over the company and slowly replaced the normal employees with ones that suffered from domestication. Since domestication causes absolute loyalty, she planned on creating an army of them to eventually Take Over The World. After her husband returned alive and well, he reminded her of the headaches of trying to run the whole world and they agreed to just make gobs of money instead. But the last strip in the storyline did show her encouraging her children to play Risk and learn from it.
- Evil, Inc. had it discussed on intern orientation - a lady proclaims "One day... I will rule the world!" to which Evil Atom explains why it's a "rookie mistake": this way you'll be responsible for everything. The young lass corrects this to "One day... I will rent the world!" ("I think she's got it!")
- Dr. Nonami: Mechano's goal is world conquest. So far it's not going very well.
- Deconstructed by Bug.
- Nukees: This has been the stated goal of Gav since the beginning, but especially since Ma'at told him it was his destiny. As of August 2010, he seems to have succeeded, albeit in a way no one could have expected.
- Xykon of The Order of the Stick.
- According to Rhea, in To Prevent World Peace, "Born mages have a manifest destiny . . ." (To destroy all magical girls and take over the world, presumably.)
- Also, the main character was going to take over the world for its own good. Because only magical girls could be trusted to be totally pure dictators, right?
- Raichan in Vinigortonio needs to destroy one of the main character's building in order to conquer the world. Or at least so he says. It turns out he needs to destroy it to get to the only known source of Unobtainium Raichanium.
- Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog: Precisely what the titular Mad Scientist protagonist tries to accomplish: take over the world, change the Status Quo, put power into different hands.... and impress the girl from the laundromat that he has a crush on.
Dr. Horrible: (re: Johnny Snow, his self-proclaimed "nemesis") "Look, I'm just trying to change the world, okay? I don't have time for a grudge match with every poser in a parka!"
- Doctor Steel: Dr. Steel for World Emperor!. Toward a Utopian Playland!
- That Guy With The Glasses:
Nostalgia Critic: His goal is to - you guessed it - take over the world.
- Other members of the team such as Paw Dugan and Linkara have adopted this gag for their own videos as well, effectively making it a Running Gag for the entire website.
- In the website's second-year anniversary epic Kickassia, this is the Nostalgia Critic's plan, starting with the invasion of Molassia. When he gets Molassia, he soons forgets this, becoming Orcus on His Throne. Receives an epic lampshading when the Critic actually dresses up as
M.N. Bison when launching his attack and subsequently taking over the place. Rollo T even tries to get him to recreate the clip in an interview, asking him if his plan is this as he's leaving (to get him to turn around and say it, as per the clip.) This backfires; N. Bison only gives the line after being asked if he gets a lot of pussy with that outfit. Somewhat misplaced deliberately in the The Thief and the Cobbler review. Zigzag is trying to take over the Golden City, not the world. But Doug couldn't fit an Of Course in there if he had actually mentioned that.
- Dimension Heroes: The Dark Overlords from the web fiction serial managed to take over an entire dimension.
- Agamemnon Tiberius Vacuum: Agamemnon's hobby is "collecting the universe" and he wishes to add the Earth to his collection.
- Greek Ninja: The villain's intentions are to control the world to bring back the reign of the Olympians.
- The basic goal of the New Villain Order
- Every Big Bad in The Questport Chronicles has this as a motivation, although for three different reasons: The Master of Darkness wants to cover the entire world with darkness; the Prince of Shadows and Illusions just wants to kill everyone. The mysterious mage's motivations are never made clear.
- Skippy's List has examples:
203. "To conquer the earth with an army of flying monkeys" is a bad long term goal to give the re-enlistment NCO.
- He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: Skeletor was always trying to take over Greyskull, and with that, the universe.
- Samurai Jack actually opens with Aku taking over the world. The entire thrust of the series was Jack trying to go back in time to stop it from happening.
- Most of the villains (especially the recurring ones) in Kim Possible. To quote Shego:
Shego: Every villain needs an evil plot. Take Drakken. His plot? Yeah, always 'taking over the world.' Always.
- The Brain of Animaniacs and Pinky and The Brain. Every episode ended this way, and every episode began with some inane plot to take over the world.
- It's refutable whether Brain is truly a villain, since he honestly believes the world would be better off with him in charge- he said as much in Megalomaniacs Anonymous. Also notable is the lack of any regularly-appearing nemesis to thwart his schemes (unless you count Pinky); they generally crash & burn on their own.
- On the other hand is Snowball, Brains archrival from the latter series, who has all of the ambition and none of the morals or good intent.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Fire Nation.
- Lampshaded in an episode of the Spider-Man: The Animated Series: When the Kingpin announces he is planning to take over the world, Spidey retorts that he sounds like a Saturday morning cartoon villain.
- On the very last episode of The Powerpuff Girls, Mojo Jojo manages to take over the world by stealing The Key To The World. At first he surprises everyone by creating the perfect utopia, but then gets bored with it and resumes trying to destroy everything. Most of the episode consisted of every single villain than has ever appeared on The Powerpuff Girls (yes, even the Villains of the Week) fighting to the get the Key to the World. The girls, of course, try to stop them, but once they get the key they become mad with power and start planning what they would do if each of them ruled the world and start fighting for the key themselves.
- Also Lampshaded in an episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: A Wonderful Life episode ("Shredderville") shows an Alternate Universe where Big Bad Shredder succeeded in taking over the world, only to find the actual job of ruling so difficult and boring that he begs the Turtles to relieve him of this responsibility.
- The generally-assumed goal of the Legion of Doom on Challenge of the Superfriends, albeit it got a bit problematic in the execution. As has been pointed out elsewhere, when you've snagged literally all the money in the world, exactly what do you spend it on?
- On Fairly Oddparents, most villains want to do it. According to Norm the Genie, most (or all) of humanity wants to. In fact, Crocker and Vicky succeeded in 2 of the movies, albeit Vicky only in a Bad Future.
- While it's never explicitly stated that Lydia, the villain of Barbie and the Diamond Castle, wants to take over the world, the heroines bent on stopping her treat her actual goal, ruling the birthplace of all music (and keeping all the music for herself) as the same thing.
- Phineas and Ferb
- Parodied: Dr. Doofenshmirtz restricts all his evil schemes to the Tri-State Area for no obvious reason. The first episode even has him seemingly about to announce that he's going to take over the world, only to switch maps and finish with "Tri-State Area!" It's later revealed that he used to date Phineas's mother, who encouraged his set more realistic goals than "take over the world", so he scaled back to "the entire Tri-State Area!".
- Lampshaded in "The Beak", when Dr. Doofenshmirtz makes a public announcement that he already has taken over the Tri-State area. The idea was that if he claimed this with enough conviction, people would believe him, and treat him like their new Evil Overlord. Only Major Monogram and Carl were fooled.
- The Incredible Crash Dummies: Junkman's plan, after he's picked up lunch.
- Danny Phantom Big Bad Vlad only hinted that he had potential desires for the world as his current evil plans focused more on personal vendettas, but then Season Three came where it's revealed he wants it. Only one has ever succeeded in dominating the planet: Dark Danny in an alternate future, though arguably that can be a case of destroying the planet. Pariah Dark gets special mention as well, since he took over the Ghost Zone (and Amity Park) before he was turned into Sealed Evil in a Can again.
- Invader Zim: This is Zim's goal right from the start, along with destroying all humans.
- ReBoot: In "The Medusa Bug", the chaotic villainess Hexadecimal fabricates a viral bug that gradually converts all of Mainframe and its occupants to stone. The only character that manages to avoid this fate is Bob, the Guardian, who eventually convinces Hexadecimal that while she may have perfect control over their world, life would be awfully dull with everyone frozen. And, really, the last thing Hex would want is predictability, so she terminates the bug and the system returns to normal.
- In Storm Hawks, to spread her empire over the whole Atmos is Master Cyclonis' number one goal (and seeing as she is the latest in a royal family, the ambition seems to run In the Blood). She's demonstrated some pretty impressive schemes to do so, but has always failed so far on behalf of those meddling Storm Hawks and her bumbling minions.
- Darkwing Duck lampshades this in the episode that introduced the villian Moliatry.
Darkwing: It's probably just another 'take-over-the-world' plot. We should be back by dinner.
- In another episode, Honker gets controlled by an alien-hat Puppeteer Parasite, who then announces his plan to take over the world via a TV broadcast. After the alien is defeated and Honker gets home, his dad, having only seen the broadcast, sympathetically says "Sorry the whole 'take over the world' thing didn't work out, Honk!"
- In Futurama it is implied that the United States has taken over the world sometime in the past and simply adopted the name "Earth". The "Earthican" Flag looks like the American flag just with the stars replaced with Earth. And when Nixon is running for president of "Earth" in the year 3000 at first they say he can't run because "no body can be president twice" implying the government of Earth is a continuation of the American government.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive Mom wants to take over the world, and uses mind control chips planted in every robot (which encompasses virtually all known technology in the future) to get it. This leads to the memorable line, "Go conquer Earth, you bastards!" This is inspired by the fact that Farnsworth dumped her, leading to the next one: "Hell hath no fury like the vast robot armies of a Woman Scorned!"
- Xiaolin Showdown: The goal of every main villian. Three of the four actually do rule the earth for a few hours before they're stopped by the heroes of the show. Jack Spicer rules the longest, for entire decades.
- In Teen Titans, while Slade rarely elaborates on his goals beyond what he's immediately after but this seems to be the desired end result, judging from "Aftershock II". Later, new Big Bad Trigon does take over the world- as a stepping stone to conquering the entire physical universe.
- Dolf in Alfred J Kwak. Because of an innate fear of being perceived as weak by others, when he's still a child Dolf decides that one day he will simply rule over everyone and everything. Moreover, when he stages his coup he outright declares that he simply wants power for its own sake. A dream he has in the final episode reveals that despite many years having passed he still harbours this desire.
- If you count humanity as one deeply fractionated empire then we've already achieved this. But as we all know, one world is not enough.
- The person in real life who set the record for most land conquered was Temujin, better known by his title Genghis Khan (even more, if you also count the conquests of his sons). He even invoked this goal when choosing that title, which roughly means "Oceanic ruler".
- Alexander the Great conquered what was the known world of ancient times, all before he was 33. In fact, he took massive slabs of territory that the Greeks hadn't even heard of before he started conquering the places in between. Unfortunately, he didn't live long enough to cement his control over most of it, or raise a good heir—important in a culture where men traditionally killed one another to get the throne. The empire didn't last.
- Caesar Augustus accomplished this, in that he took over an already-powerful republic and made himself absolute ruler. Contemporaries would compare him to Alexander the Great, but Augustus pointed out that it was far more difficult to rule an empire than to conquer one.
- While Peter the Great's infamous challenge to his successors to conquer the world is a fabrication of Anti-Russian propaganda, the Russian Empire at its height covered more than one-sixths of the Earth's landmass.
- Napoleon Bonaparte, maybe. What is certain in sure terms is that he wanted to make France the principal state in Europe, a large and prosperous military power full of national pride that would dominate the continent and lord over a vast colonial empire; essentially a new Roman Empire with Paris as its capital instead of Rome. He changed his tactics to accomplish this goal several times, but it was always a constant of Britain (which traditionally tried to undermine any continental power that it perceived as growing too powerful) and a shifting coalition of European allies opposing France to break the new empire. He did manage to take over all of continental Western and Central Europe, but was eventually outdone after the disastrous venture in Russia and the War of the Sixth Coalition. He escaped his exile on Elba to try again, but Waterloo proved to be the hypothetical nail in Napoleon's coffin, not the turning point of the wars.
- The British, through a combination of trade and military action, created an empire that covered a quarter of the globe, across so many lines of longitude that famously "the sun never set" on their Empire.
- As well as, arguably, all of the world's oceans.
- The Nazis: Although still an ongoing debate (referred to as the "Continentalist vs Globalist" theories), since the end of World War II historical study has convincingly established that the expansionist aspects of Nazi ideology only allowed two possible outcomes: total victory or total defeat. Adolf Hitler wanted to ensure German and Aryan supremacy and realised that Nazi Germany would have to take over the world to do this. However, he also realised that this would take a lot of time (he was 50 when he started the war in 1939) and planned to take over "only" Europe in his lifetime (coming fairly close to accomplishing this), leaving the rest of the task to his successors. Historians have also argued that the military alliances with Japan and Italy were part of Hitler's short- and medium-term pragmatism, not his long-term aims, and that the Nazis would likely not have had much choice about continuing to expand due to how their economy was structured.
- Hitler specifically did not want to establish a blood dynasty, and given his personal situation it's doubtful he would have lived long enough to groom a descendant as a successor anyway. He also kept his subordinates squabbling for position within the Nazi Party as a means of holding onto power himself. Most likely if Hitler had succeeded the Greater German Reich would have collapsed into chaos soon after his death. Nazi Germany's leadership was too busy playing hacky-sack with the Idiot Ball to plan for long-term conquest as Hitler envisioned.
- When your founding father Vladimir Lenin repeatedly states his eagerness for what he calls the "Worldwide Conflagration", and tries to put it into action in various stages, it is a fair bet you are aiming for this. This would later be checked by the rise of Stalin, who believed in "Socialism in One Country".
- This is the stated goal of Bungie, the makers of the game Halo. It's stated all over the special features of the second two games. And the web site. And the promotional material...
- Here's Google's plan to take over the world.
- Its even the goal of villains that already rule entire galaxies, sometimes several galaxies. Earth is just that special, possibly because nobody has taken it over yet.
- Even if Napoleon's forces had managed to beat Britain and Prussia there and then and managed to occupy the Low Countries there would be still more Russians, Austrians, more British and Prussians, and others ready to oppose him, all now using the same once-revolutionary tactics of Napoleon.