The Sociopath

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

"I see no difference between things and people."

Seishiro Sakurazuka, Tokyo Babylon

The Sociopath is a character with a marked Lack of Empathy, a self-centered disposition, a disregard for social norms and ethics, a propensity for using charm, lies, manipulation or outright violence to get his way, a reckless and shamelessly impulsive streak, and a heart black as pitch. They show no remorse and can describe gruesome events in a nonchalant manner that many find creepy. When many people hear the term "Complete Monster" they often think of this personality type.

The Trope Namer is an old edition of the DSM which used the term to refer to a personality disorder now known as Anti-Social Personality disorder. Though the terms sociopathy and psychopathy are still recognized in some circles, they have no official standing. See Analysis and Lack of Empathy/Analysis for more detailed information.

Compare Sociopathic Hero and Comedic Sociopathy.

Examples of The Sociopath include:

Anime and Manga

  • Seishirou Sakurazuka mori from Tokyo Babylon. Although he may or may not have managed to fall in love with Subaru.
  • Johan Liebert, the eponymous Monster. The title suits him.
  • Michio Yuki from MW, who was the prototype for Johan.
  • Yami Bakura and Yami Marik from Yu-Gi-Oh!.
  • Darker than Black: The Contractors are this in theory (and popular belief in-universe), but Hei at least is proof this isn't necessarily the case. Then again, Hei isn't a true Contractor, and he's arguably more sociopathic than most, since his most pronounced character difference seems to be that he can become angry.
  • Akagi has some sociopathic qualities. He has no regard for his own life, can't be threatened, doesn't care about rules, will cheat if he can and generally doesn't really care about other human beings. He isn't really malevolent, however, unless you manage to piss him off.
  • Dilandau Albatou from Vision of Escaflowne, although he was more psychotic than sociopathic. Also, remember that he was originally a she. ...And that's the nicest thing about what was done to him/her by the Big Bad of the series.
  • Light Yagami, the Villain Protagonist of Death Note, becomes one as the series progresses and his ego expands. By the time his father dies, Light is more upset that his father failed to do what Light wanted of him than the fact that he's dead!
    • Mello's also a strong candidate, given his aggression, tendency to put himself and others in danger, and superficial charm. On the other hand, the author has pointed out that he doesn't think Mello was an inherently bad person, because he shows genuine empathy for his accomplice Matt. While he has strong aggressive personality disorders, he probably isn't a full sociopath.
    • Light was probably a successful psychopath all along, the kind who make up a large percentage of world leadership rather than the kind that make up a large percentage of the prison population; he degraded into the more antisocial kind with the possession of the nasty book of death. He never shows any actual empathy for anyone, even in his relatively nice and highly-socialized period where he'd lost his memories.
      • Misa Amane, too. The histrionic kind. In one of her earliest appearances she's quite calmly contemplating how to kill Rem just because it would probably be more convenient. The fact that she fiercely and insanely pair-bonds to Light doesn't actually make her less of a psychopath, it just makes her one with poor self-esteem.
  • Sakyou from Yu Yu Hakusho is a textbook example. As a child, he lived a normal life and had loving parents and siblings...whom he detested for no reason. He later got a job in a pet store, abusing and even killing animals for the hell of it. Then he became a gambler, and then a crime lord, and by the time of the series, has plans to open a portal linking Demon World to the human realm just because "life would be more interesting" that way.
  • Azusa from Hot Gimmick. Some have said that Ryoki qualifies as one, but he seems to be more of a Borderline, or perhaps Narcissistic Personality. Hatsumi, meanwhile, seems to have some traits of Dependent Personality Disorder. Actually, most of the characters are probably diagnosable with some sort of mental illness or personality disorder.
  • Due to brain damage suffered in infancy, Kazuo Kiriyama of Battle Royale cannot form meaningful connections to anything (a condition known as pseudopsychopathy in real life). The manga shows him mastering painting and the violin... and immediately throwing out both his artwork and his instrument when he's finished with them. He only associates with his "friends" because they won a coin toss; when they lose a second coin toss on the island, he slaughters them.
    • Interestingly, he is VERY self-aware that he is a sociopath. One of his lines, is that he sometimes gets 'confused' on right and wrong. When he slaughters his friends, he takes no pleasure in it. It is just something he has to do. Afterwards, however, he becomes a Determinator, dedicated to winning, with few lines.
  • Let Dai: Dai doesn't understand empathy or why Jaehee cares about anyone other than Dai and himself.
  • Envy, Zolf J. Kimbley, Wrath, Frank Archer, and Dante from Fullmetal Alchemist are all examples of this. Envy, Kimbley, and Wrath are excellent examples of low-functioning sociopathy, while Archer and Dante lean towards the high-functioning end of things.
    • In the manga, Shou Tucker and Kimbley are both clear-cut examples, with this Kimbley being an extremely intelligent, extremely self-aware psychopath in the vein of Hannibal Lecter, masking his lunacy beneath a Faux Affably Evil facade and a bizarre code of honor.
  • Psycho for Hire Ali al-Saachez, and siblings Michael and Nena Trinity of Gundam00.
  • Agon Kongo of Eyeshield 21 is this, along with having every single trait that characterizes antisocial personality disorder. Fortunately, with the series' scope being limited to high school football and a shonen jump title, most of his truly horrendous acts are stopped before they could follow through.
  • Grings Kodai from Pokémon: Zoroark: Master of Illusions. He fits all of the above criteria plus is one of the most sadistic monsters in Pokémon history.
    • Pokémon Hunter J also qualifies. A heartless poacher of Pokémon, J will commit just about any atrocity in the book if it means she gets a solid paycheck out of it. Murder? Torture? Kidnapping? Nothing's off limits, not even the murder of children as shown by her sending her dangerous Salamence after Ash.
    • Minor villains Damian and Shamus are cut from the same sociopathic cloth. They aren't supervillains trying to seize power or poachers who kill for fun and profit, they're simply abusive Pokémon trainers with no functioning moral compass. They both abandon a poorly-trained Pokémon to die while tricking them into thinking that they love them and will come back for them, and when they realize that they're missing out on a powerful battler, they try to win them back over with honeyed words and fake remorse. Shamus is probably the worse of the two, because he takes genuine sadistic glee out of emotionally abusing the Tepig he ditched, and doesn't hesitate to have his Pokémon attack each other in order to get an edge in battle.
  • Lloyd from Code Geass cheerfully refers to himself as a sociopath. An odd version in that he's not really a villainous character; he's very indifferent to all the fighting, manipulating, and killing that goes on around him, but really all he wants to do is fiddle around with the latest high-tech gizmos For Science!.
    • Of course, this is a case of You Keep Using That Word, as many have pointed out, he fits the bill for Asperger's Syndrome much better than outright sociopathy. It's even implied that his indifference is just a coping mechanism, and he buries himself in his work to avoid sinking into depression (both from the millions of people who died at the hands of weapons he designed, and from him knowing that people think he's crazy). So presenting himself as a sociopath is more of a cover than anything.
    • A true sociopathic character from the same anime is Brittanian knight Lucciano Bradley.
  • Muruta Azrael of Gundam Seed. He's smug, arrogant, condescending, misognynistic, loses his temper at the drop of a hat, finds the very idea that he could lose to be inconcievable, and views his subordinates as expendable pawns in his personal vendetta against the Coordinators. His superficial charm cannot cover his inner monstrousness for long, with continued exposure to him alienating even his staunchest supporters, and while he's bright, he has a definite inability to learn from experience. Even his bravery—he does after all, lead the assault on ZAFT from the front—stems from his arrogance, and he's far more afraid of losing than he is of dying.
  • Wolf Guy Wolfen Crest features quite a few examples, such as Yandere Nightmare Fetishist Ryuuko Kounuma, the Knife Nut Kuroda brothers, and especially Haguro Dou.
  • From Naruto we have Hidan, who unlike most characters in the series literally has no positive traits and never did. He slaughtered his village simply because he was disgusted with their pacifistic way of life, and performed gruesome rituals to attain immortality for himself. He's also Axe Crazy and cruel for its own sake. On top of that, even the series itself seems to posit him as the most unsympathetic major villain, as he's exempt from the Cycle of Revenge Aesop pervading the storyline with his Fate Worse Than Death (though it helps Shikamaru's case that Hidan has nobody who would care about his cruel fate barring potential allies).
  • Frieza from Dragonball Z fits most of this to a T. Lack of Empathy? Manipulative and deceitful? Sadistic and cruel? Prone to explosive fits of rage? Bad at keeping his violent impulses in check? He hits practically every bulletin on the sociopath checklist, but what else would you expect from a genocidal real estate speculator?
    • Cell is every bit as cunning, arrogant, and cruel as Frieza. Makes sense, given that Frieza's cells are a part of his genetic makeup!
    • Super Buu and Kid Buu, Majin Buu's most evil forms. Kid Buu is a feral berserker incapable of displaying any emotion beyond the urge to kill everything in sight, and doesn't seem to be able to understand the difference between right and wrong. Super Buu does have an understanding of morality, however. Too bad he just doesn't care, and would much rather murder and manipulate people purely for the fun of it.
  • Big Bad Naraku from Inuyasha.
    • Note that as a conglomerate consciousness nothing about Naraku's psychology is normal. Also that many characters act like sociopaths when introduced and then receive Character Development. Including people like Kouga, although arguably he never actually shakes the title.
  • An aversion to the normal presentation of The Sociopath occurs in Haruhi Suzumiya, in which the title character Haruhi has all the symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder except animal cruelty (unless you count Mikuru). She's harmless to society in general and played sympathetically, just extremely impulsive, domineering, and an eternal source of exasperation for Kyon.
  • Medaka Box: A lot of the characters are sociopaths to some degree (the title character narrowly escaped becoming one herself), but Ajimu takes the cake: not only does she regard people as things she's basically a Physical God. There's also Shiranui, who pitted her friends against an Irish wolfhound (a giant dog that was used to hunt wolves in Ireland) because it was funny.
  • Full Metal Panic!: Gauron is a Combat Sadomasochist and Death Seeker with a Hair-Trigger Temper, No Sense of Personal Space, No Social Skills, an utter Lack of Empathy, and an obsession with the hero that borders on the ephebophiliac. His successor as Big Bad, Mr. Gates, is worse, being an example of psychopathy at its purest. Like Gauron he's a Bad Boss with a ridiculously exagerated Hair-Trigger Temper, and a total Lack of Empathy. He's also a Large Ham and a sexual predator who is implied to have slept with two teenage girls, jacks off to images of squirrels and kittens, talks about the many, many uses for a dead body, and takes a completely insane delight in causing as much damage as humanly possible; he's also oddly unconcerned about his own death in the TSR finale. Averted by his replacement, Leonard Tesstarossa who's more of a Narcissist than this.
  • In the first couple of episodes of Black Cat many of Train's assigned targets seem to posses sociopathic traits.
    • Big Bad Creed Diskenth has many of the characteristics of Antisocial Personality Disorder; it hurts him rather than helping him as he is totally oblivious to his underlings' opinions of him.
  • Arguably, Izaya Orihara of Durarara!!, who has absolutely no Freudian Excuse for the crap he pulls. Upon first introduction in the novels, he organizes a fake suicide group and talks to two suicidal girls about why they want to kill themselves with a big ol' smile on his face, mocks them for wanting to end their lives, and he's even taken aback when one of them tells him that he's wrong. He then drugs them, stuffs them into suitcases and asks his courier to "plop them on a park bench somewhere". It's outright stated that this is nowhere near an isolated incident and implied that he's even sold his past victims to loan companies. This scene isn't much better in the anime, where he orchestrates a girl's kidnap and rescue, mocks her thoroughly, holds her over the edge of a building, then watches from the sidelines with a gleeful smirk when she decides to jump (thankfully, someone cared about her safety a little more). It's also likely that he's the one who sent her photos of her father with another woman, which caused the start of her angst in the first place. Throughout the course of the series, he manipulates humans and supernatural beings For the Evulz, breaks many a cutie, orders hits on his enemy, manipulates a ten year old Yakuza princess into attempting to kill said enemy, stomps on a girl's cellphone while laughing like a maniac and generally hurting and using anyone and everyone who comes in contact with him and not even giving a shit about who gets hurt and sadistically enjoys every minute of it.
    • However, it becomes Subverted when we learn about his past and realize that there is at least one person he cares for - Shinra. It's so extreme that he's more or less Yandere for him (though not in the romantic sense) to the point that he's basically stalking the man who hurt Shinra and setting him up for two huge crimes even though he realizes that he could get into trouble too. He even gets close to breaking down at the thought that he might have to betray his only friend to advance in his own goal.
    • It's also worth noting that Izaya's never said that he is unable to love, just that he simply has no desire to.
  • Sosuke Aizen from Bleach He puts on an affable façade, is the most manipulative character in the manga (with the possible exception of Kisuke Urahara), sees people as little more than pawns and tosses them aside once they've outlived their uselessness, harms people just because he can (just look at what he made Hitsugaya do to Momo), and tortured and killed who knows how many shinigami in order to create the Hogyoku, just so he could 'stand in Heaven'. Not to mention he's responsible for the creation and near-execution of the Vizards, and came pretty close to destroying Soul Society itself. Mayuri has sociopathic tendencies as well, given the lengths he goes to in the name of 'research'.
    • Mayuri is definitely a sociopath. As his "evil-counterpart" on the villain's team, Szayel Apporo Granz, and quite a few other Arrancar, and by definition all normal Hollows. That some Arrancar aren't this is actually the remarkable part, but plenty of them aren't, even among the total bastards.
    • Nnoitra Jiruga and Kenpachi Zaraki also count.
    • And now it looks like Aizen has a contender in the equally Affably Evil and manipulative Shukuro Tsukishima.
    • Incredibly, another contender has come along, with none of the Affably Evil of either, yet the A God Am I mentality of Aizen: Giriko Kutsuzawa. He kills his wife to test his ability.
  • The Caligula Delphine Eraclea from Last Exile is a decadent aristocrat with zero empathy and manipulates everyone around her for her own amusement.
  • Mad Scientist Akihiro Kurata from Digimon Savers.
  • The Unreliable Narrator and Villain Protagonist Itsuki (Boku) Kamiyama from Goth.
  • Gihren Zabi, de facto Big Bad of the original Mobile Suit Gundam is an Evil Prince with a Lack of Empathy so severe it's almost awe-inspiring. Caring nothing for others, Gihren turns his brother's funeral into a political rally, condescends to his other siblings, isolates his father while plotting to steal his position, and uses Weapons of Mass Destruction to lethal effect. Ambitious, overconfident, manipulative, and a brilliant orator Gihren lacks the sadism and For the Evulz motivation of many psychopaths and sociopaths, but nevertheless profiles as a charismatic, Machiavellian personality taken to such an extreme that there really is no other word for it. He also has the shallow affect, limited emotional range, shamelessness and total fearlessness associated with the most extreme psychopaths—even at the end, when his sister has a gun against his head it never seems to cross Gihren's mind that he could possibly lose.
  • Knives, Big Bad of Trigun seems to have developed this as part of his Face Heel Turn when he went mad from the relevation that Humans Are the Real Monsters. He Used to Be a Sweet Kid, though children are generally a bit patchy at empathy given they're not fully cognizant of other people as individuals. Given Knives went into his Roaring Rampage of Revenge when technically about a year old, he never seems to have gotten past this developmental stage, emotionally. Though in many respects he's a Magnificent Bastard.
    • As well as completely disregarding human feelings, which doesn't really count since he hates them, he mindslaves his psychic 'sisters' into a giant million winged angel without really noticing they didn't want to, and torments the ever-living hell out of his twin brother.
  • Huckebein from Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force. Just Huckebein. Full stop.
  • Shogo Makishima from Psycho-Pass is superficially charming, manipulative, and kills as easily as he breathes. He slits a frightened woman's throat while she begs and cries for mercy, murders people who put their trust him, and even tries to kickstart a nationwide famine, all while maintaining an eerily detached sense of serenity. He's so detached from normal human emotions, in fact, that he doesn't even trigger the Orwellian Sybil System's criminal-detecting algorithm.
  • Doug Rosenberg from El Cazador de la Bruja. A chessmaster obsessed with creating a powerful "witch" under his personal control, he manipulates and even kills people without a care or qualm in order to guarantee that he gets the results that he desires. He's married, but he seems to treat his wife Melissa more like a pet than a loved one, and is manipulating and using her as much as anyone else in his life.

Comic Books

  • The Joker, Arch Enemy of Batman.
    • The DC Universe also has Kid Karnevil, an adolescent Torture Technician first introduced in Shadowpact. He claims to emulate the Joker and ultimately wants to kill him. Old Greenhair is unimpressed.
  • Max in Sam and Max is described repeatedly in story as a sociopath, but The Devil's Playhouse Retcons him into having a conscience (who is highly repressed and suicidal).
    • Even before that, his behavior doesn't quite fit; he's more like a violent psychotic with psychopathic tendencies.
  • Complete Monster Gideon Graves of Scott Pilgrim.
  • Alfie O'Meagan from Nth Man: The Ultimate Ninja is a textbook example: he tortures small animals, shamelessly lies and shifts the blame to others, has sudden outbursts of anger and arrogance, and lacks any sympathy or empathy for others. Problem is, he's also a Reality Warper and the most powerful being on Earth.
  • Sin City has Senator Roark and his Serial Killer son as probably the best examples of sociopaths. There are plenty of crazy people but they show at least some remorse or have emotional attachments here or there.
  • The Transmetropolitan Myth Arc features the protagonist squaring off against a sociopath who got himself elected President of the United States just so he could exercise his every sadistic whim unimpeded.
  • Lucifer, to no-one's surprise, would be considered a sociopath by human standards. Of course, he isn't one (human that is), and neither are many of the comic's other sociopathic characters.


  • American Psycho: Patrick Bateman. A perfect example. On the article about the most believable sociopaths in film, Bateman scored higher on the APD/sociopathy checklist than Hannibal Lecter and the Joker.
  • Nicky Santaro in Casino. And speaking of mobsters played by Joe Pesci, Tommy De Simone in Goodfellas probably counts as well.
  • Heathers features Jason Dean, who is originally seen as simply Troubled but Cute before revealing himself as one of these.
  • The Scorpio Killer from Dirty Harry.
  • Vincent from Collateral. He's even described as such, in story.
  • As you later find out in the film Chinatown, Noah Cross.
  • Peter and Paul, the protagonists from the film Funny Games.
  • Aaron Stampler from the film Primal Fear.
  • Frederick "Junior" Frenger from the film Miami Blues is a textbook example.
  • Catherine Tramell of the Basic Instinct series is a rare example of a female sociopath in popular culture. A charismatic, seductive, narcissistic author, Femme Fatale, pathological liar and Serial Killer, she manipulates and causes the deaths of nearly everyone in the story, including many of her lovers and even her own parents, largely for her own personal gain, amusement and to inspire her novels with no real remorse whatsoever. She is even described as such by multiple characters in the films.
  • Geaer Grimsrud from the film Fargo. A mute, nearly emotionless man with a love of pancakes, he reveals his true colors when he murders a police officer and several innocent people nonchalantly, and later kills an innocent woman for simply making too much noise and shoves his partner into a wood chipper for mouthing off to him. He does all of this without changing his emotionless demeanor whatsoever.
  • Daniel Plainview is gradually revealed to be one as the film progresses.
  • Anton Chigurh from No Country for Old Men. He seems to view people much like cattle, and shows absolutely no remorse or consideration for any of the horrible deeds he performs throughout the movie.

"What's this guy supposed to be, the ultimate badass?"
"I don't think that's how I'd describe him."
"Well, how would you describe him?"
"I guess I'd say he...doesn't have a sense of humor."

  • Waldo Lydecker from 1944's Laura.
  • Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars certainly qualifies. Lack of Empathy ? Check. Manipulates people like chess pieces and only emitting shallow emotions? Check. Experiences extreme rage and is uplifted when hurting enemies? Check. That's just in the movies. The expanded universe has him being a sociopath even when he was a kid (including murdering his parents and siblings), and is incapable of feeling regret when committing heinous actions and various misdemeanors (including manslaughter when driving like a maniac). His cloning attempts only make his sociopathy even worse.
    • Grand Moff Tarkin is one of the worst sociopaths the Empire has to offer. Whether it's cities or entire planets, he has a habit of testing the Death Star on civilian populations in order to stamp out even the smallest hints of rebel activity, and he does so while maintaining a stoic, callous demeanor that he never breaks away from. Even at his angriest, he doesn't muster up anything more emotional than mild annoyance and exasperation.
    • Jabba the Hutt from Return of the Jedi is a repulsive Fat Bastard crime boss who subjects anyone who earns his ire to truly horrible deaths, often taking joy out of their suffering and fear. He's also a perverted hedonist who enjoys enslaving beautiful women and forcing them to dance in skimpy outfits for his entertainment, often killing them if they reject his creepy advances. The Expanded Universe, however, would go on to humanize him, showing that even sociopathic slugmen have loved ones by giving him an infant son named Rotta that he loves dearly.
  • James Moriarty is portrayed as such in Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows. People are just pawns to him, employment termination involves life termination ("No loose ends"), has a ginormous ego, has superficial charm, and is completely ruthless.
    • Holmes lampshades this by diagnosing him with "moral insanity", a dated term for ASPD.
  • From The Lion King: The two main villains, Scar and Zira, qualify. They also show great contrast between High Functioning and Low Functioning sociopathy, with the more calculating Scar being the more high-functioning and the deranged Zira being more low-functioning.
  • Loki in Thor and The Avengers could qualify as the Asgardian equivalent of a sociopath, at least at first. He uses displays of emotion as a manipulative tool, he lies and backstabs, he shows no remorse when killing dozens of people, and he views himself as a superior being meant to rule over humans. Imprisonment, the death of his mother, and reconnecting with Thor would lead to him growing out of it, which is a lot more than can be said about...
    • ...Hela, Odin's true firstborn introduced in Thor Ragnarok. With a bodycount that could likely be measured in billions, a serious narcissistic streak, and a tendency to stack up corpses at the drop of a hat, she's far worse of a sociopath than Loki ever was.
  • Half Past Dead has a line from the villain: "You see, I'm a sociopath. That means I could kill everyone in this room and not feel bad about it."
  • Hans Gruber from Die Hard. He's genuinely suave, charming, and fun to be around, but the very second he finds any sort of reason to do so, he drops the charm and lets his love of casual murder shine through. Presenting himself as an ideological terrorist when he and his men take an entire Christmas party's worth of people hostage, it turns out to be a front for an elaborate heist, meaning that he's willing to kill dozens of innocent people just to satisfy his Greed.
  • Ego the Living Planet from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is disturbingly good at wrapping people around his finger, coming this close to turning Peter "Star-Lord" Quill against his friends and family with a combination of sweet-talk and Mind Rape. He puts on a very convincing facade as a chummy, fatherly man, but in truth he's a massive egotist seeking to assimilate the universe itself into his very being and kill every single person in it out of disappointment for it all failing to meet his lofty expectations. He's seduced and abandoned thousands of women, has murdered every single bastard child of his for not inheriting his powers, and when Peter turns against him he throws a screaming tantrum, daring to accuse him of being ungrateful before enslaving him as a living battery. He thinks so little of leaving the love of his life, Meredith Quill, to die a slow and awful death from cancer that this is how he responds to Peter finding out the awful truth.
  • The Talented Mr. Ripley: The movie's central plot essentially is the interplay of two sociopaths. Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law) is a rich kid whose bumming around Europe on his plutocrat father's dime. Tom Ripley is a young blue collar musician willing to impersonate a fellow Princeton grad, defraud Dickie's father of a rather nice expense account to "convince" Dickie to come back, then play Dickie off his father to bum around Europe. Both display a great deal of superficial charm, little remorse about lying and manipulating others, quick tempers, a willingness to lash out violently when it suits them, and no qualms with defrauding the old man. Dickie has no problem blowing off a young Italian girl he impregnated, and when she is Driven to Suicide, he seems more upset at how this affects him. Tom lies his way into high society and is willing to lie, steal, and murder to stay there. Marge, Dickie's girlfriend, describes how when Dickie takes note of you it's like being in the sun. This is a common trait among sociopaths. Tom has a similar trait and facility for lying. The few moments where either shows an emotion similar to remorse may seem to break the mold, but even real sociopaths are not completely inhuman. Sociopathy exists on a sliding scale.
  • Lotso from Toy Story 3 used to be a good toy until a tragic incident caused him to "snap," and now he no longer believes in the concept of love or the bond between a child and a toy; Word of God even describes him as now permanently believing the love his own owner had for him was nothing but an illusion, which he even yells out at one point ("She never loved me!")
  • Jafar from Aladdin is described as "Senor Psychopath" by the Genie, and with good reason too. He thinks nothing of sacrificing people's lives in order to get his hands on the Genie's lamp, enjoys manipulating and lying to others, and views everyone else as beneath him. He even screws himself over by making a careless wish that results in him being trapped in a lamp due to being too impulsive to realize that Aladdin was tricking him.
  • The Walrus from Disney's Alice in Wonderland eats a bunch of sentient oysters like he did in the original book. But unlike his remorseful literary counterpart, this Walrus is a shameless glutton who enjoys tricking a bunch of toddlers into letting him eat them, presenting himself as a jovial grandfatherly figure before dropping the act and going in for the kill. He's also an incredibly lazy bum who will lie off his ass in order to avoid helping the dim-witted Carpenter with his construction projects.


  • Kevin Khatchadourian, the eponymous character of We Need to Talk About Kevin. A teenage school shooter and torturer, he has been a Complete Monster ever since he was a young child. Kevin has a severe case of APD/sociopathy; his disorder results in him never relating to other people and finding everything to be dreary, pointless and uninteresting. Every day of his life. By the time he is a teenager, he exists in a constant state of And I Must Scream.
  • Discworld has Jonathan Teatime in Hogfather. According to the book, he "sees things differently from other people, in that he sees other people as things."
  • Roose Bolton from A Song of Ice and Fire is possibly one. Capable of extreme cruelty and betrayal, while never wavering from his Dissonant Serenity. Although his lack of emotions and total detachment from other humans is actually more indicative of a psychotic/schizoid mental disorder, while his son Ramsay (who is a sadistic serial killer) is more of a typical sociopath.
    • Gregor Clegane. Case-in-point: he burned and scarred his little brother's face over a toy.
  • Somerled from Juliet Marillier's Wolfskin. He commits genocide, fratricide and rape, has no empathy, and his only reaction to human pain and sufering is mild curiosity. He also thinks Despotism Justifies the Means
  • Lord Voldemort is pretty much a textbook sociopath. In his younger days before he became Obviously Evil, he was a canny manipulator brimming with superficial charm. He does not understand love, viewing other people - including his own followers - as merely tools to serve his ends. Also, the "persistent killing" part fits him pretty well.
    • The book posits a reason for his sociopathy. His mother seduced a Muggle with a love potion, and it was a completely loveless union. Riddle Sr. did not truly love Merope back, displaying affection only under the influence of the potion. This absence of love in Voldemort's conception was the reason for his complete inability to love. Dumbledore also believes that had his mother not lost the will to live and died in childbirth, but instead raised Voldemort and loved him, his sociopathic tendencies might have been avoided.
    • Bellatrix Lestrange definitely falls under this category as well. She definitely does have emotions, but she is unable to extend any of these emotions to anyone outside her own social circle of bigoted murderers. It is questionable whether Dolores Umbridge is also a sociopath (albeit to a slightly lesser extent), but since she completely lacks a conscience and only displays kindness to people to win them over so that she can use them for her cause, she probably is.
  • Alex from A Clockwork Orange (both the book and the movie). Although considering the Crapsack World he lived in, the general deconstruction of human morality, and Alex's own status as an Unreliable Narrator, it is debatable exactly where he falls on the in-universe scale of Chaotic Evil.
  • Some interpretations of Sherlock Holmes. Another, probably much straighter example is Sherlock's Evil Counterpart Moriarty.
  • Though many of the supernatural creatures in The Dresden Files exhibit elements of sociopathy (notably vampires who fully embrace their predatory nature and many of the nastier Winter Court sidhe), the most obvious example is the all-too-human Nicodemus, a man so thoroughly and unapologetically (and yet often politely) evil that a Fallen Angel works with him as a genuine partner. Nick's wife Tessa and daughter Deirdre are also candidates.
  • Henry Bowers in IT by Stephen King is a prime example of a sociopath, as he matures from a schoolyard bully to a murderer. Had he not been institutionalized, he likely would have ended up eventually going on a shooting spree.
    • In the same book, Patrick Hockstetter is explicitly described as a sociopath, with no grasp of the fact that other people are in fact real, and at five years old killed his baby brother for disrupting household routine.
  • In the gruesome flashback scenes in the Inspector Lynley novel This Body of Death, one of the three boys shows most of the listed traits. As an adult and one of the murder suspects, he turns out to be innocent and eventually dies redeeming himself. Since the author has a degree in psychology, this may well be intentional.
  • Count Olaf of A Series of Unfortunate Events. He burns down a hospital to cover his tracks, kills at least one person per book to further his agenda, seems to view violence as rather entertaining, is extremely narcissistic, has a sense of entitlement to a fortune that isn't his and is able to manipulate and charm pretty much anyone but the children. Oh, and he's perfectly willing to kill children.
    • Subverted in book 13 when we find out he loved Kit Snicket and he he saves her life and is shocked that the Baudelaires would even think that he would hurt their parents. Also, he has a Freudian excuse - it's implied that the Baudelaire parents killed his parents with poison darts.
  • Ivar Ragnarson of The Last Light of the Sun. He doesn't see people as people, murdered his sister for laughing at him, sheds no tears over his dead brother, has to keep reminding himself to speak to people as though they were equals, and loses his temper when irritated. At one point he murders a captured earl just to make sure the mercenaries he's hired won't think of just ransoming him and going home; Ivar has lots more For the Evulz murder and mayhem planned for them. He's the bad guy.
  • Caine from Gone is confirmed by Word of God to be a sociopath. His Lack of Empathy becomes clear early on, but his status as this is confirmed when he tells a pack of mutated coyotes that they can feed on young (some daycare-age) children because . . . there was no reason not to. He actually manages to be a nuanced character, though; the real complete monster is his Dragon, Drake.
  • The Silence of the Lambs: Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a Serial Killer and an Evil Genius, and perhaps one of the most famous examples of the inhumanly charismatic and exceptionally intelligent "elite psychopath" popularized by Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer.
    • Though Dr. Chilton's diagnosis ("Oh, he's a monster") is likely more accurate, it's hardly a clinical diagnosis.
  • Psycho for Hire Anton Chigurh from No Country for Old Men is a particularly potent example.
  • In the RCN Series series, Adele Mundy's assistant/bodyguard Tovera is a complete sociopathic monster who knows she needs Adele to act as her conscience to keep her functioning in society, and enjoys, as much as she can be said to, serving Adele (and by extension, Daniel Leary) because it gives her plenty of opportunity for authorized mayhem. For her part, Adele is very scrupulous in not asking Tovera what she does in her free time for amusement when she disappears into the city's slums.
  • John Wayne Cleaver is a deconstruction of a sociopath: he's completely aware that he is nothing less than a nascent serial killer who has yet to kill anyone, but is also every bit as aware that acting out his fantasies of killing would ultimately lead to his arrest and execution. Having to kill someone to save his mother's life at the end of the first book seriously fucks him up, and leads into the plots of the other two.
  • In the Red Dwarf novel "Last Human", the alternate Lister is a full-fledged sociopath, nicely outlined in his psych profile.
  • Richard Lopez of Ship Breaker is a drug-addicted, Axe Crazy, Archnemesis Dad who suffers from massive mood swings and a severe inability to connect to other people. He has no qualms about threatening to maim his son, or cut out a girl's eyes, and eventually tries to sell Nita's organs on the black market. His attitude towards his son, Nailer, is especially volatile, shifting from almost fatherly affection to an attempt at Offing the Offspring at the drop of a pin. He kills without remorse, and no one, not even Nailer, is sad when he dies.
  • In the Privilege series, Kaitlynn Nottingham is this. She kills her best friend's dad, who happens to be her lover, and has no qualms with killing one of her classmates so she can get into a secret society. The protagonist, Ariana Osgood, arguably counts as this, since she kills at least 3 people in the book and only feels remorse about one of them.
  • John Dread of Otherland is explicitly described as a sociopath, complete with a psychologist telling the police how he was the scariest person he'd ever attempted to treat, because he could tell that Dread did not see him as a person, but merely an object, to be evaluated on his usefulness and killed without a second thought if he became too inconvenient. Dread is given the Freudian Excuse of a drug-addled prostitute mother who brutally abused him in order to turn him into a weapon against the world she hated. It worked.
  • Razim from Alex Rider is this to an unbelievable degree.
  • Jadis the White Witch from The Chronicles of Narnia is up there with Iago. Superficial charm? Check. Above average intelligence? Check. Pathological egocentricity? You betcha! No capacity for empathy or remorse? "So much for love."

Live-Action TV

  • Dexter: The eponymous Dexter Morgan, the most famous Sociopathic Hero and Serial Killer Killer on TV.
    • The Ice Truck Killer, Miguel Prado, Jordan, Travis, Trinity and Lilah also count.
    • Dexter claims to be a sociopath, but he actually doesn't fit the bill all that well. He's not sadistic, he's capable of extraordinary self discipline and long term planning, he's capable of lying and manipulating people, but usually only does this to his targets (i.e. murderers) or people who are trying to hunt him down or in order to protect his secret identity. He is also repeatedly shown to be capable of guilt love and empathy. Dexter is actually more of a secret schizoid (albeit with a compulsive urge to kill) than a sociopath, and the show probably wouldn't be nearly as watchable if he was an actual sociopath.
      • Well, he is actually sadistic, or he wouldn't torture and murder people. Also, he initially gets into a relationship with Rita entirely as a disguise, so he is a bit more manipulative and callous than the above paragraph makes him.
  • Profit: Jim Profit
  • Around half of the cast of Oz, most notable with Simon Adebisi and Chris Keller.
  • Serial killer Hoyt from Rizzoli and Isles.
  • Criminal Minds encounters a "pure psychopath" about once a season. Interestingly, despite the hundreds of cases the BAU have investigated, only 9 characters have been listed as genuinely sociopathic/psychopathic. They are Adrian Bale, Nathan Harris (who was not actually a criminal), Frank Breitkopf, The Boston Reaper, Ray Campion, Raymond Donovan and Sydney Manning, Danny Murphy, and Greg Phinney. Of these, The Reaper is probably the worst, being an utterly amoral psycho who killed people for no better reason than a desire for fame, and went after the police when they dared to try and stop him. One could arguably make a case for Mason Turner, who viewed the subjects in his experiments as nothing more than fodder, ruthlessly manipulated his brother, and believed that his victims should be happy that they were getting to be a part of something that was so much bigger than themselves.
    • Jeremy from the Season 6 episode, Safe Haven is a 13-year old "budding psychopath", with severe attention deficit problems and antisocial tendencies. He can't pay attention to anything for more than a few minutes, has a serious lack of impulse control, lies complusively and convincingly, killed his neighbour's dog, regularly tortures his little sister, and tried to poison his entire family with rat poison in the Thanksgiving turkey. After being abandoned by his mom he goes on a crosscountry killing spree as he attempts to return home and murder her, killing entire families and torturing the mothers. He has no real emotions (as is repeatedly demonstrated), but fakes them incredibly well, and at one point expresses a very creepy sexual interest in a girl who can't be much more than ten. Rossi suggests that they should keep him on file for a reason.
  • Mr. Rabbit on The Kill Point, who manages to be the Token Evil Teammate of a bank robbing crew. He beats the hostages unprovoked, psychologically tortures one of them for no particular reason, carries around the severed ear of an Iraqi soldier he previously tortured to death, and tells Captain Cali that he considers the hostages "cattle" and "sheep being led to the slaughter." He ends up getting beaten to death by the leader of the team, because Even Evil Has Standards.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Every character is a sociopath. They're frequently doing things that are unethical if not illegal, stabbing each other in the back, and no one in the gang is able to stick to a plan.
  • Smallville: If we are to believe Lionel Luthor, his Bastard Bastard Lucas is one of these. Lionel himself, and his son, Lex, both display traits of the disorder as well, but not enough to qualify. A much better example is probably Earth-2's Clark Luthor aka Ultraman. A promiscous Career Killer and Psycho for Hire, he lies like a dog to everyone he meets, has a violent, Hair-Trigger Temper, and switches between moods quickly enough to give you whiplash. His adoptive father, Earth-2 Lionel is likely an example as well, with a Lack of Empathy that runs so deep it's almost frightening. The same goes for Serial Killer and Torture Technician Desaad.
    • Lx-3, Lex's clone and Shadow Archetype from Season 10's "Lazarus" is a solid example. He spends all his time on-screen committing mass murder, has a Hair-Trigger Temper and a sadistic streak, seems to actively enjoy murder for its own sake, and hates everyone. He literally tries to kill every person he meets.
  • Heroes has a few among its villains, notably Arthur and Sylar . Elle Bishop was actually diagnosed as a sociopath and displays extreme aggression coupled with no empathy.

Elle: The shrinks diagnosed me as a sociopath with paranoid delusions, but they were just out to get me because I threatened to kill them.

    • It's also heavily implied that she wasn't naturally a sociopath so much as driven insane after her father had used her in various experiments relating to her power. She seemed to be growing out of it but never got the chance for redemption.
      • Bob Bishop most likely is one. Letting a sociopath raise a child to become a sociopath...
    • Sylar's own father is a case. When asked why he murdered Sylar's mother and sold him to another family, he replies that he doesn't even remember because "it didn't matter to me."
  • Servalan of Blakes Seven is another rare female example.
  • Francis from Malcolm in the Middle qualifies. Early on in his life he deliberately set a teddy bear of his on fire by dousing it with lighter fluid. During his childhood, after Reese and Malcolm were born, he frequently tortured them, stole their toys, locked them in a closet, and presumably scarred Reese on the shoulder with a bayonette. Probably one of his greater joys is tormenting his own mom. During his teen years, he also frequently made destructive revolts for no reason outside of just for the heck of it or simply to spite his mother. One instance of this is his stealing a neighbors car and then proceeding to total it. He also frequently smoked, did drugs, and slept around, also getting four nose pierces just to spite his mom, who said that she'd put him in military school if he goes so far as to get one. He seemed to become more sane when he joined a Dude ranch, but he then reverted back after he was fired, and it was implied in the season finale that the reason why he got a steady job and wanted to keep it a secret was to further anguish his mother about being jobless for his own entertainment.
  • Nora Dershlit from iCarly. The only thing she cares about is to make friends, but her perception of what counts as "friends" is so horrifically skewed that she believes locking the iCarly gang in her basement against their will qualifies, ignoring their repeated expressions of the fact they don't even like her, believing she can force people to be her friends. She has absolutely no remorse for holding people against their will and outright tries to murder Gibby when he comes to save the iCarly gang. In her second appearence, she once more holds them against their will by holding Spenser hostage and torturing him on a giant wheel to keep the iCarly gang under control, even implying she can and will kill him if it comes to it. She also shows the Manipulative Bitch qualities of the trope, feigning remorse for her actions to trick the iCarly gang into agreeing to release her from prison and luring them into her trap again. She's also confirmed to be a sociopath In-Universe, even referring to herself as one.

Carly: Nora... You're a nutcase!
Nora: The correct term is disturbed, lonely sociopath.


Moriarty: If you don't stop prying, I will burn you. I will burn the heart out of you.
Sherlock: I have been reliably informed that I don't have one.
Moriarty: But we both know that's not quite true.

  • Charlie Harper from Two and A Half Men probably qualifies as a sociopath. For starters, he often shamelessly sleeps around and manipulates women (and the only time he doesn't try to sleep with a woman is if that woman is married, although sleeping unknowingly with a married woman happens as well) and some of the instances possibly could also qualify as statuatory rape or require him by law to get registered as a sex offender had it been real life, and he doesn't seem to have any remorse for what he did. He's also extremely dispicable around those near him.
  • The Master from Doctor Who is this with a generous helping of megalomania.
  • There's a good chance that Mordred from Merlin is one of these. He is a rather unemotional child, seems quite apt at manipulating the adults around him, shows no remorse when he kills several armed men, and responds with anger rather than grief when his father is executed.
  • Alice Morgan from Luther. She's pretty much Hannibal Lecter in drag, with a healthy Villainous Crush on the hero, no ability to empathise with others and a Nietzsche Wannabe streak.

Tabletop Games

  • In Trinity, this is the dirty secret of the main branch of the vitakinetic order. Their powers make them intimately aware of the physical and mental health of people in close proximity to them. Quite a few of these healers find being surrounded by so much pain and decay so overwhelming that they voluntarily undergo a process that turns them into sociopaths, just so they can get on with their jobs without being constantly crippled by empathy with their patients.
  • Sigvald the Magnificent from Warhammer Fantasy bounces like a ping pong ball between being a darkly hilarious take on a sociopath one minute and being a dead-serious take the next. But no matter what, he's always defined by his vanity, bloodlust, and tendency to murder, maim, and torture anyone for the smallest, pettiest offenses. Usually, it's because the victim's crime is being "ugly" (at least by his standards, which means "less handsome/beautiful than me"), though he did famously slaughter tons of High Elves for having better hair than him.
  • When written by writers with a... less than charitable view of him, Warhammer 40,000's very own God Emperor of Mankind himself is a callous and manipulative tyrant who openly views his own sons as tools, commits genocide against xenos on the regular, and can't relate to people or even humanity in general, with his love of mankind being more of a love of his highly idealized version of humanity that lives up to his impossible standards. More even-handed writers do give him genuinely good traits, but even then he's still a ruthless pragmatist whose thoughtlessness and inability to understand the wants and needs of the Primarchs cause more harm than good.

Video Games

  • Morinth in Mass Effect 2. The mission overview after Samara's loyalty mission even says that her biotic powers would make her an excellent addition to the squad...if her "sociopathic tendencies were mitigated." Though you can kill Samara and recruit her anyway.
    • Quarian Admiral Daro'Xen displays several classic signs of sociopathy as well. She especially shows it in matters related to the Geth, whom she plans to, as a race, mind-wipe and return to their "rightful place" as the Quarians' slaves. Tali'Zorah flat-out calls Xen insane when this bit of info comes out, showing that even among the anti-Geth Quarians Xen's stance is seen as radical. Also, Xen apparently used to perform surgery on childhood toys; Tali's response is predictable. Lastly, she shows unhealthy interest in Legion (your Geth squadmate), once expressing the desire to dissect the poor thing to see what makes it tick (which Paragon!Shepard is having none of, by the way).
  • Kefka Palazzo of Final Fantasy VI, is a particularly over the top example of this.
  • Likewise, fellow jester Dimentio from Super Paper Mario (who is believed to have been inspired by Kefka due to hitting many of the same characterization and story beats as him). Both he and Kefka are Omnicidal Maniacs who are care for nobody but themselves and don't show much in the way of emotion aside from murderous insanity and the cruel joy they find in hurting and manipulating others.
    • Grubba from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door acts the part of a friendly Southern Gentleman, but once the mask slips off? He turns out to be a selfish, murderous narcissist who drains the life out of people who trust him so he'll never grow old, and dares to laugh in the faces of Mario and his friends when they call him out for his callousness. Even when he's defeated he doesn't feel an ounce of shame or remorse for his crimes, and while he comes to respect Mario, it's more for his fighting skills as opposed to respecting the man himself. Since The Thousand Year Door is where Paper Mario hit its Darker and Edgier phase, it's surprisingly accurate to describe him as a kid-friendly serial killer who disguises himself as a pillar of the community.
  • The Suikoden series has a few, with the most exemplary examples being Luca Blight and Childerich.
  • One of the more unstable versions of this trope is Albedo Piazolla from the Xenosaga series, particularly in Episode 1.
  • Tohru Adachi in Persona 4, who initially hides behind the mask of a Nice Guy, though when revealed shows himself as a sadistic manchild who finds entertainment in ruining the lives of others with a tendency to violently lashing out at women who spurn his advances.
  • Vanitas in Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep. Justified in that he's Ven's personified darkness. Makes you wonder what he'd be like if he were the darkness of someone less nice than Ven...
    • Nobodies are by their very nature sociopaths, since they lack the hearts required to form bonds or experience true emotions. The members of Organization XIII function at varying levels, with the exceptions of Roxas and Xion, the former of which actually does have a heart; the heart of the aforementioned Ven and the latter of which isn't even a Nobody. Another member, Axel, does gain emotional care for Roxas and Xion after hanging out with them, but it's only for them; he is still a sociopath in regards to anyone else.
      • As of Kingdom Hearts III, Vexen, Demyx, and Xigbar can also be counted among non-sociopathic Organization members. Vexen and Demyx, despite their lack of a heart, are genuinely repentant of their evil ways and are moles working to undermine Master Xehanort's True Organization XIII from within. Xigbar, however, is revealed to actually be Luxu, an ancient, world-weary Keyblade master who misses his old friends and wants nothing more than to see them again.
    • As far as sociopaths with functioning hearts go, there's Master Xehanort, the silver-tongued sadist responsible for everything going wrong in the initial "Seeker of Darkness" saga. He lies to and manipulates his old friend Eraqus before murdering him with a smile on his face, as well as ruining the lives of Eraqus' young apprentices with just as much glee, but not before grooming and gaslighting Terra into becoming the perfect vessel for his pitch-black, wretched heart. He destroys countless worlds, endangers plenty of others, and almost causes two separate universal apocalypses purely out of reckless intellectual curiosity. Even when he's "redeemed" upon dying in Kingdom Hearts III, he never truly owns up to his actions and ducks culpability for them altogether.
  • Complete Monsters Irenicus and Bodhi from Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn. In their case, it's a magically caused condition, though from what we hear, they weren't exactly nice people before.
  • The real Alex Mercer from Prototype. After all, he "wasn't paid to feel."
  • BlazBlue's own Relius Clover. In what can only be considered a seriously messed up logical extreme of the page quote, he even turned both his daughter and his wife into puppets! Completely unapologetically. For Science! And then he attempted to kill his son when he demanded an explanation. Relius' sociopathy puts him in nice contrast to BlazBlue's other Big Bad, Hazama/Terumi Yuuki, who is fully aware of the difference between "things" and "people", and greatly enjoys the misery innocent furniture cannot feel, but innocent humans can.
  • Hitman's protagonist, Agent 47, is a sociopathic clone who is also the best assassin the ICA, Agent 47's employer, has at its disposal. He tries to avoid unnecessary deaths, but that is only out of professional pride and a desire to avert suspicion; he will murder anybody who inconveniences him.
  • Surprisingly, more than a few Pokémon villains count to some extent.
    • One of the earliest examples would be Silver, the rival from Pokémon Gold and Silver. As the neglected son of Giovanni himself, Silver's less than ideal childhood led to him becoming a violent, misanthropic petty criminal with very little impulse control, stealing rare Pokémon at least twice and repeatedly assaulting the player character at the slightest provocation. People and Pokémon alike are treated disdainfully by him, with him regarding the latter as tools for him to crush any "weaklings" who get in his way with. Thankfully, being on the receiving end of a Curb Stomp Battle at the hands of Champion Lance would give him the kick in the pants needed to get him to mellow out and become a better person.
    • Cyrus from Pokémon Diamond and Pearl hates emotions and human spirit with every fiber of his being, and is a cold, bitter man who is seeking to kill them on a conceptual level. Despite stifling his emotions, he can turn on the charm and sway hundreds of loyal Grunts to his side while truthfully believing them to be naïve fools, and he has no qualms with endangering and torturing Pokémon to further his ambitions. And he was noted to be detached and creepy even as a child, likely as a result of the emotional abuse he suffered at the hands of his cold-hearted parents.
    • The true villain of Pokémon Black and White, Ghetsis, is a sadistic and power-hungry madman who loves nothing more than to manipulate people with his powerful rhetoric and charisma, before completely crushing their spirits after showing his true colors. He's also a terrible father to N, who he manipulated into becoming a Well-Intentioned Extremist with a Messiah complex with strong implications that he was going to dispose of him once he served his purpose, before throwing all semblance of parental love out the window and treating him like an inhuman freak for failing him. And murdering children is not off the table, as shown by him ordering his Kyurem to kill the player at the climax of Team Plasma's arc in the sequels, and him threatening to kill Lillie with his bare hands in Ultra Sun and Moon's postgame after being defeated.
    • Team Flare from Pokémon X and Y is an organization of sociopaths, aside from their Well-Intentioned Extremist leader. The rank-and-file Grunts and Admins are vapid Rich Bitches who hold anyone not associated with them in contempt, and are downright joyful at the prospect of wiping humanity out with their doomsday weapon for not being able to afford the organization's steep entry fee. Ironically, their vanity, greed, callousness, elitism, and general selfishness make them the perfect embodiments of the flaws in humanity that turned the once optimistic Lysandre into a genocidal misanthrope hoping to reset the world with the Ultimate Weapon.
    • Thanks to Nihilego's inhibition-nullifying toxins, the once loving and caring Lusamine has been warped into this by the time Pokémon Sun and Moon take place. She's a cruel and narcissistic madwoman who only finds value in beauty, and views anything or anyone who defies her as ugly and undeserving of her love. This even applies to her own children, who she horribly abused until they had enough and ran away from home. She's also charismatic and manipulative to a fault, and has quite the sadistic side to her as shown by the deranged grin on her face while torturing Nebby to near-death. Ultra Sun and Moon would abandon this angle, but she's still abusive towards her children and is more of a narcissist with a savior complex before redeeming herself.
    • Ein, Lovrina, Nascour, Evice, Ardos... many of Team Cipher's higher-ups are sociopathic to some extent in Pokémon Colosseum and its sequel Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness. It comes with the territory when your MO is to torture Pokémon with inhumane experiments that warp them into dangerous living weapons without the slightest bit of shame or remorse. Out of all these creeps though, Lovrina, Evice, and Ardos are probably the ones who stand out the most.
      • Lovrina is the protege of fellow sociopath Ein, who created Shadow Pokémon to begin with. She improved on his method, and is proud of herself for pulling it off. She's a terrible sister who bullies and belittles her brother, shows no empathy towards others, and when she stops hating Michael, the hero? She still turns it into a self-serving thing since all it amounts to is her adding him to her "fan club" as a way to inflate her ego.
      • Evice puts on a friendly face to the public as Es Cade, the lovable mayor of Phenac City, but he's truthfully a literal monster of a man who looks downright demonic when he shows his true colors. By using his position as a respected politician to pull the necessary strings, he allows dangerous criminals to terrorize his city as well as the other few bastions of civilization in the rugged Orre region, and his master plan is to build his own colosseum where the rich and powerful can let Shadow Pokémon battle in what's basically a kid-friendly bloodsport. He's such a good manipulator that you're very unlikely to think he's shady at all until The Reveal.
      • Ardos admittedly doesn't do much, but his one crowning moment of villainy is a shocking one: he beats Ghetsis to the punch by trying to murder the player, as well as everyone else in Cipher's home base once his boss and father Greevil's plans are ruined by trying to convince him to remotely blow it up. Not only is he willing to kill a kid, but his lack of emotion and empathy really set his sociopath status in stone.
    • Purple Eyes from Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs, who is a crazed misanthrope that dabbles in Pokémon poaching before trying to wipe out humanity itself. He's easily one of the most openly murderous villains in the franchise, let alone the Ranger series.
    • Volo from Pokémon Legends: Arceus. Manipulative? Charismatic? Views his Pokémon as tools to be used? Befriends the Pokémon equivalent of Satan before siccing him on the teenaged player character with intent to kill? Not only is "yes" the answer to all of the above, but he's also got a serious entitlement complex. The reason why he wants to destroy the world? It's because Arceus won't pander to his ego.
  • The Wasp King from Bug Fables is a competent villain, but also on the lower-functioning side of the sliding scale of sociopathy. As a result of a traumatic childhood and a Friendless Background, power is the only thing that matters to him and he will happily abuse it to his heart's content. He lives in a well-kept palace while the rest of his kingdom is in ruins, his soldiers are all brainwashed slaves that he will happily abandon to die the second it suits him, and he's a little too happy to hack other bugs apart with his axe when they get in his way. As befitting of a lower functioning sociopath, he's quick to lose his temper when faced with any kind of setback, and his lack of impulse control bites him in the ass when him leaving Queen Vanessa alive to torture instead of killing her allows her to give Team Snakemouth a charm to protect them from his hellish fire magic.
    • Mothiva isn't anywhere near as bad as the Wasp King, but still counts. She has enough charisma to fool thousands of excited fans with her facade of a kind, bubbly pop star, but when she's off the stage she's a horribly self-absorbed bitch who is rude and disdainful towards just about everyone around her. When her own exploration team is in danger of being upstaged by Team Snakemouth, she wastes no time in trying to beat them to death with her lackey Zasp, and later in the game shows a startling lack of impulse control when she tries to derail their attempts at forming an alliance with the Termite Kingdom for a publicity stunt despite knowing that she could doom Bugaria to be crushed by the Wasp King. Even Zasp isn't safe from her Lack of Empathy, because if he's the first to fall during their boss fights she's visibly annoyed with having to revive him.
  • Porky/Pokey Minch from Earthbound develops into one over the course of the game, going from an obnoxious and cowardly bully to a rich and powerful hedonist after throwing in his lot with Giygas. He becomes the alien warlord's chief servant and is happy to hand over the Earth on a silver platter to his master by the game's horrifying climax. He'd get even worse in Mother 3, where he's an iron-fisted tyrant who oversees cruel experiments on innocent people and creatures, twists the good-hearted denizens of Tazmilly Village into selfish and materialistic jerks through brainwashing, and rules over a dystopian city meant to embody the hedonistic desires of a Psychopathic Manchild who never truly grew up. Sadly, it's likely that his sociopathic tendencies didn't just manifest out of nowhere given that his parents were shallow, materialistic, and in the case of his father, physically abusive, and having Giygas whispering in his ear probably didn't do his sanity any favors either. He's aware of how lonely he is and on some level wants Ness to be his friend, but he doesn't truly understand how friendship works thanks to his extremely warped worldview.
  • While many Grand Theft Auto protagonists have a few screws loose and are okay with committing shockingly vile crimes, it's surprisingly hard to find a true sociopath among them. Even the nuttiest ones tend to have people that they care about, genuine moral lines that they refuse to cross, and the ability to feel empathy and even remorse for some of their actions. There is one exception to the rule, though, and that's Claude from Grand Theft Auto III. Empathy, loyalty, and remorse are completely alien concepts to the guy. He doesn't even talk or show any sort of emotion! He's just a stone-cold brute who will betray and kill even his closest allies if he stands to profit from it.
    • Mike Toreno from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is an interesting example in that he's a sociopath and a good guy (or at least a trustworthy ally). Sure, he's a pathological liar, a cold-blooded killer, and willing to press-gang CJ into doing dangerous missions for him on threat of having his brother raped in prison... but he does keep his promise and has Sweet released once CJ's done working for him, not to mention that he seems to grow genuinely fond of CJ in a way that only an emotionally stunted psycho can be. Goes to show that even sociopaths can have a genuine moral code.
  • Many incarnations of Dr. Eggman from the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise are sociopaths to some degree, and that's definitely the case for one who started it all. Most of the time, at least. He's such a hammy, immature goofball that it can be easy to forget that he's willing to stoop to any low in order to get what he wants. Turning adorable animals into living batteries for his robots? Turning adorable aliens into living batteries for an entire theme park? Transforming the world into a hellscape by messing with the fabric of time? Using a Kill Sat to bully governments into complying with his demands? Trying to drop an artificial sun on the planet to burn a small resistance force to death? He's done all this and more, all without feeling any shame or remorse for his actions. Combine his crimes with a tendency to flip out and throw undignified tantrums over any setback he faces as well as a ridiculous narcissistic streak that demands he plaster his visage upon everything, and you've got probably one of the silliest examples of a sociopath in fiction.
  • If you thought a setting as cute, innocent, and laid-back as Animal Crossing would be lacking in these, think again! While he may not be a dangerous criminal, shady merchant Crazy Redd fits the bill as a high-functioning sociopath. He's shallow and manipulative, putting on grand displays of phony niceness so he can sucker people into buying overpriced goods that may or may not be stolen, as well as forged, useless artwork. While he makes a big deal about how everyone he interacts with is "family", he'll rip off his business partners and ditch them, leaving them penniless and destitute while never losing even a wink of sleep over it.

Web Comics

  • MAG-ISA—All the villains of MAG-ISA are pretty much this personality type. The higher up the ladder you go, the more evil you are. (1) (2)
  • Order of the Stick: Xykon, even before he became an undead abomination.
    • And Belkar, of the Comedic sort.
    • Tarquin is quite the sociopath himself—while his fans like to paint him as leather pants-wearing Noble Demon, that doesn't change the fact that the lives of others mean very little to him. Just look at how he "convinces" his wives to marry him, or how he forced Gannji and Enor to fight to the death because he thought Elan would enjoy it (and seemed confused when Elan wasn't thrilled with the idea). He's also got Lack of Empathy down, as he basically told Malack (his supposed friend, mind you) to stop whining about his dead children and ordered him to work with Nale (who killed said children).
  • Angel, the Villain Protagonist of The Good Witch, remorselessly torments and ruins the lives of her friends, family, and anybody unfortunate enough to cross her path with her newfound magic powers. There are hints she is a "made sociopath," not originally being so cruel and self-centered but gradually cracking under an intense amount of bullying, but any sympathy that might have been gifted to her has long since passed; for God's sake, she turns people into articles of clothing, and keeps them sentient so that they can desperately try to find anyone to help them and eternally despair over their predicament!

Web Original

  • Survival of the Fittest villains can quite frequently be sociopaths, with characters like J.R. Rizzolo and Jacob Starr being prominent examples of these traits. In spin-off The Program, Brigadier General David Adams has all the hallmarks of being one, given he doesn't seem to care at all about the imminent deaths of the students.
  • The Nostalgia Chick, especially with the "not understanding boundaries" thing. What's wrong with installing cameras in your friend's bedroom?
  • In MSF High Forums, Seram Rosenbyme is meant to be one. Whether or not she can stay written as one of these, when she is engaged, is an interesting conflict for the player, and is likely to cause severe character drama in the future.
    • She does not possess the lack of long-term planning, but DEFINITELY lacks empathy.

Western Animation

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Princess Azula, and her father Ozai even moreso - Azula has at least some humanizing qualities, though she mostly tries to bury them due to both her father's influence and her mistaken beliefs about her mother's love. Ozai, by contrast, doesn't seem to feel anything for anybody but himself. Not his son Zuko, his daughter Azula, his brother Iroh... he doesn't even bat an eyelid when admitting he framed and banished his own wife! The saddest part is that he didn't used to be this way, but the desire for power he had corrupted him completely and irreversibly, which led to all the pain the rest of his family had to go through.
  • Eric Cartman in South Park. Let's see, he has no conscience, he's incredibly racist, oh, and he *deep breath* tried to restart the Nazi movement, joined the Special Olympics and pretended to have Tourette's for personal gain, put a classmate in a Saw-inspired trap, infected one of his friends with AIDS somehow, oh and turned a kid's parents into chili and fed it to him.
    • He hates Jews and idolises Adolf Hitler. However he does not idolise Hitler because he hated Jews; he does so because Hitler was one of the greatest manipulators that history has ever known and Cartman is also a manipulator; thus he mimics Hitler's hatred of minorities. Cartman just doesn't get that Hitler was also a Complete Monster.
    • In the episode "Toilet Paper", Stan and Kyle confess to doing something bad, for which Butters had unfairly been blamed. Cartman literally could not understand Stan and Kyle's guilt. In the end, he's the one who ends up confessing though... because he realized that he'd get off with a lighter punishment for confessing, not because he felt any guilt.
  • Kevin Levin from Ben 10, and when the Time Skip sequel shows had him become good, first Kevin's Evil Counterpart Darkstar and then the evil alien Aggregor came around to fill the void.
    • Ultimately, it's revealed that for Osmosians like Kevin and Aggregor, using their powers to absorb energy (which Kevin did as a kid, and Aggregor still does) induces a sociopathy-like state. Kevin stopped absorbing energy before Alien Force began, which was what allowed him to regain his sanity.
  • Big Bad Slade from Teen Titans. He admits as much in "The End: Part 2".
  • Word of God describes the villains Jackal and Hyena from Gargoyles as sociopaths.
  • The Ice King from Adventure Time is a rare sympathetic example, as his sociopathy never works out in his favor. Then it's learned he used to be a normal person who went insanely sociopathic against his will because of the power of his magic crown. Even all the show's characters show pity for the poor guy after this...his Lack of Empathy is just a sad, sad case.
    • The Ice King is more of a Narcissist than a Sociopath: he's self-centered, but his main obsession is with getting other people to praise him and acknowledge how great he is. Unfortunately, the only way he can think of making people like him is to force them to. The Ice King is also genuinely embarrassed when he appears foolish in front of prospective brides, something a sociopath wouldn't really care about. Really...a sociopath would have forced himself on a princess long ago. As a Narcissist, the Ice King kidnaps that he can force them to socialize with him at his castle, "interrogating" them about inane little details about their likes and dislikes.
    • Lemongrab is a sociopath by the older definition of the word, (the definition that didn't have as many negative connotations, and was once used to describe Aspies,) as in "one who is not able to understand the emotions of others" and "cannot read social cues." Because of this, he's grossly unsympathetic towards everyone, and doesn't realize that he's making everybody completely miserable.
  • The Penguins of Madagascar has King Julien XIII. He lies with a smile, he manipulates people, he treats people as objects, he often loses his temper, he lays claim to a job he's clearly not qualified for, and of course he never admits that he has a problem with any of those things. All this is covered by wit and charm and hilarious antics.
    • However, he also saves Skipper's life on a few occasions, has proved more then once that his "subjects" are the most important things to him, and has mustered up some empathy on several occasions. He is a case in point that not all sociopaths are monsters, and some may suffer themselves for their disorder.
  • Mozenrath from Aladdin the series.
  • Most of the bad guys in X-Men: Evolution have shades of this. The Brotherhood is primarily filled with narcissistic and amoral mutants who, despite often been said to be more 'sympathetic' than normal, they're anything but when you take a good look at it. Pietro was self caring and allowed a train of bystanders be derailed and let it crash into one filled with fuel. Blob kidnapped Jean and showed incredibly creepy, rapist vibes, as well as other violent behaviour. Toad was amoral, selfish, vulgar, and cruel, with his attraction to Wanda being his only redeeming quality. Avalanche was aggressive and violent, and while he looked rather sympathetic in the second season, a number of things made it look like he was faking the nice guy persona he had during that season. Of the Acolytes, Pyro and Sabretooth are the closest we get to text book Sociopaths in a show for kids; the two attempted murder, enjoyed their work, and are pretty much the definition of why mutants may be a risk. Averted with Colossus and Gambit; the former a good guy forced to work for bad people, the latter a Card Carrying Villain.
  • The Big Bad of Season 1 of WITCH, Prince Phobos.
  • Jeff, Quagmire's sister's abusive boyfriend from one episode of Family Guy. As if beating his girlfriend over the smallest things wasn't monsterous enough. The gang has had enough of him and decide to take him to the woods to kill him, but he turns the tables on them, knocks out Peter and Joe, and beats Quagmire within an inch of his life, seemingly choking him to death. Then it turns out Quagmire survived (since he chokes himself for sexual pleasure), and rams Jeff into a tree, killing him.
  • Starscream from Transformers Prime.
  • Dark Danny from Danny Phantom definitely counts as this. He feels no emotion, single-handedly caused an apocalypse, and ruthlessly manipulated all the people who loved his past self, to their horrible deaths to ensure he would exist as he did.
  • Discord, the villain from the first two episodes of season two of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. He loves to break ponies For the Evulz, feels no empathy, finds anything non-chaotic boring, is very good at controlling everypony, and cares only about himself and his own amusement, and is also suppose to be the perfect opposite of harmony. It's a shock they not only got a villain this scary, but such a graphic example of a Sociopath in a TV-Y show that looks very sugary at a glance.
  • Despite heavy censorship, Spider-Man: The Animated Series still managed to make their version of Cletus Kasady, aka Carnage, into a bonafide psychopath, portraying him as a Laughing Mad Bomber, who cackles with glee at the possibility of vaporising an entire city block—himself included—in his first appearance. He shows no remorse for his actions, and after becoming Carnage is downright eager to get back in action and start stealing souls for Dormammu (an Omnicidal Maniac who will consume the souls of everyone in the world if he is unleashed). He displays no regard for human life (least of all his own) and goes out of his way to injure anyone who tries to help him, including his psychiatrist, Anne Kafka.
  • Miss Power from Word Girl counts. She manipulates the entire town into bullying each other, she teaches Word Girl to mock the other villains, she throws Mrs. Botsford into jail for a disagreement they had, she severly beats up WordGirl, and she tries to kill Dr. Two-Brains. This was all her plan to Take Over the World. Also, she's one of the few villains in the show that do not have any redeeming qualities.
  • Harm from Young Justice tries to be this so that he can be pure enough to wield the Sword of Beowulf. He murdered his own little sister Greta because he loved her, and that love was the only thing holding him back. It ultimately doesn't work out for Harm because deep down it's only an act: the moment he sees his sister's ghost his repressed guilt gets the better of him and the Sword rejects him.
  • Dr. Londo from Legion of Super Heroes shows a complete lack of empathy (especially towards his son), and considers morals and ethics to be pointless obstructions of scientific progress. He manipulates people around him to do his dirty work, playing on the Legion's sense of empathy to capture his son, and showing his son how far he can go when he's pushed to the limit a few years later. He is certainly arrogant enough to believe that his works (which involves human and animal experimentation) are masterful creations of life, that people should thank him for these 'gifts', and feels no remorse when called out on how cruel his experiments are. And he is not above using violence (through his creations) in order to enslave people.

Real Life

NOTE: Individuals cited in this section must actually be professionally diagnosed with sociopathy.

  • Ted Bundy. He raped, tortured and murdered women for several years, including two 12-year-old girls, while appearing to lead an exemplary life. Yes, this sadistic Serial Killer was a member of the Crime Prevention Council, a political staffer, and a volunteer at a suicide hotline. If Ted hadn't done "those things", today he'd probably be holding elective office.
  • Hermann Göring, the Reich Marshal of Nazi Germany and the initial second-in-command to Adolf Hitler. Also the founder of the Gestapo. He was diagnosed as a narcissistic sociopath, and found to have the highest IQ among the Nazis at the Nuremberg Trials. Cruel, corrupt and self-indulgent, he amassed enormous wealth at the expense of his country, during wartime. Neither did he give two shits about any National Socialist ideals - when they asked him why he joined the Nazi movement in the first place, his explanation pretty much boiled down to "I did it For the Evulz."
    • And yet Göring also rescued several Jews and Jewish families from the Nazis, making sure they were able to get out of Germany, mostly because they'd showed him some kindness when he was poor or otherwise in a bad way. And by all accounts he really did love his daughter. His brother was an opponent of the Nazis who used Göring's name to smuggle Jews out of Germany; Göring knew about this, and turned a blind eye.
      • Not to mention, his first wife Carin—enough that he maintained a shrine in her honor after she died.
  • Robert Hare estimates that around 1% of the population is made up of psychopaths. Other psychologists have gone even higher, some going as high as 5% of the population (1 in 20 people).
    • It should be noted that those percentages mostly account for "functioning sociopaths", meaning people such as grifters, con artists, and shady used car dealers because they're unempathic enough to not be bothered by swindling people but are still affected by stronger social/moral conventions like "murder is bad". Violent sociopaths, like Bundy and Dahmer, are much more rare, sitting at perhaps .5% of the population.