History Main / ReliableTraitor

2nd Feb '16 3:06:22 PM Spindriver
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* Tama Montezuma, mistress of racialist leader Marengo North English from the ''GarrettPI'' novels, doesn't make any attempt to hide that she's staying with him because he provides her with a lavish lifestyle. [[spoiler: Subverted, as her honesty about regarding him as a sugar daddy blinds him, and other men she's seduced the same way, to the fact that she's been putting words in his mouth to exploit his underlings and allies while ostensibly acting as his intermediary.]]
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* Tama Montezuma, mistress of racialist leader Marengo North English from the ''GarrettPI'' novels, doesn't make any attempt to hide that she's staying with him because he provides her with a lavish lifestyle. [[spoiler: Subverted, [[spoiler:The trope is subverted, though, as her honesty about regarding him as a sugar daddy SugarDaddy blinds him, and other men she's seduced the same way, to the fact that she's been putting words in his mouth to exploit his underlings and allies while ostensibly acting as his intermediary.]] intermediary]].
17th Jan '16 9:16:59 AM ImpudentInfidel
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** ''Out of Gas'' reveals that Mal actually ''recruited'' him this way, giving him a better cut than he would have gotten as part of the gang robbing them.
17th Jan '16 9:14:51 AM ImpudentInfidel
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* The hyenas from ''Disney/TheLionKing'' don't particularly care about Scar's lust for power beyond the fact that him in charge means more food for them.
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* The hyenas from ''Disney/TheLionKing'' don't particularly care about Scar's lust for power beyond the fact that him in charge means more food for them. them. By the time Simba returns they're on the brink of mutiny because he failed to deliver (he failed to account for the FisherKing effect).
17th Jan '16 9:11:36 AM ImpudentInfidel
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* In ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar'', [[AxCrazy Lord Bale]] expresses concern over joining forces with the Orks against the Blood Ravens due to their unpredictability, to which the [[TheChessmaster Sorcerer Sindri]] replies "Orks are not unpredictable... they will honor our agreement, as long as we provide them with enemies to fight."
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* In ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar'', [[AxCrazy Lord Bale]] expresses concern over joining forces with the Orks against the Blood Ravens due to their unpredictability, to which the [[TheChessmaster Sorcerer Sindri]] replies "Orks are not unpredictable... they will honor our agreement, as long as we provide them with enemies to fight."" The scene then cuts to the Orks giving their own reasons: the Chaos forces are obviously not a worthwhile opponent for [[BloodKnight da boyz]] if they need to get somebody else to fight for them, so there's no point fighting them while better options are available.
29th Nov '15 2:50:13 PM rjwut
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Added Firefly example
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* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'': In the pilot, Mal has this conversation with his crewman Jayne: --> '''Mal''': How come you didn't turn on me, Jayne? --> '''Jayne''': Money wasn't good enough. --> '''Mal''': What happens when it is? --> '''Jayne''': Well... that'll be an interestin' day. ** [[spoiler:Later, in "Ariel," Jayne indeed does attempt to betray his crew for money. It doesn't go very well for him.]]
18th Oct '15 11:42:43 PM KyleJacobs
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Full page replacement per TRS vote.
->''"Me, I'm dishonest. And a dishonest man, you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly."'' -->-- '''Captain Jack Sparrow''', ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl'' A minion of the BigBad, down from LesCollaborateurs up to and including TheDragon, who is motivated by pure [[AmbitionIsEvil self-interest.]] They talk back, dislike their associations, and overall make clear they don't like the antagonist. The BigBad is nonetheless assured this will be [[ConservationOfCompetence their best]] [[EvilMinions minion]] (until they [[HeelFaceTurn desert]]) because they are not concerned with sucking up, just getting results and getting out of whatever debt or obligation makes them work with villains in the first place. If done well, the Reliable Traitor comes off as not always good, just [[AntiVillain not evil]], making them a good candidate for the EnigmaticMinion, as well. Usually will (un)wittingly help heroes survive. Nearly always ChaoticNeutral or NeutralEvil, sometimes TrueNeutral or ChaoticEvil. Compare TheStarscream, LovableTraitor, SelfProclaimedLiar, and the WildCard. Tends to be an integral part of a BatmanGambit and often prone to ChronicBackstabbingDisorder. Can sometimes lead to a WhoNeedsEnemies situation. Contrast BewareTheHonestOnes, though a type 2 or 3 LawfulNeutral character can be both a ReliableTraitor and this, if their constant reaction to any perceived violation of their principles is to throw their allies under the bus.
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->''"Me, I'm dishonest. And a dishonest man, you can always trust [[IControlMyMinionsThrough There are almost as many reasons for minions to be dishonest. Honestly."'' -->-- '''Captain Jack Sparrow''', ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean: The Curse serve a master as there are masters to serve]]. Some minions serve out of the Black Pearl'' A minion [[UndyingLoyalty personal loyalty]], while others serve out of the BigBad, down from LesCollaborateurs up to and including TheDragon, who is motivated by pure [[AmbitionIsEvil self-interest.]] They talk back, dislike their associations, and overall make clear they don't like the antagonist. The BigBad is nonetheless assured this will be [[ConservationOfCompetence their best]] [[EvilMinions minion]] (until they [[HeelFaceTurn desert]]) [[BadBoss fear]]. Some minions, however, serve a master not because they are not concerned with sucking up, just getting results and getting out of whatever debt or obligation makes they're loyal to them work with villains in personally, but because working for that master furthers their own goals. These goals can range from the first place. If done well, [[OnlyInItForTheMoney strictly mercenary]] to something more abstract. Both minion and master know this, and both know that the Reliable Traitor comes off minion will jump ship as not always good, just [[AntiVillain not evil]], making them a good candidate soon as working for the EnigmaticMinion, as well. Usually master is no longer beneficial, but also both know that they will (un)wittingly help heroes survive. Nearly always ChaoticNeutral or NeutralEvil, sometimes TrueNeutral or ChaoticEvil.serve ably and well until then. Compare TheStarscream, LovableTraitor, SelfProclaimedLiar, The result of this is that the master has a capable and reliable minion as long as his own plans align with that minion's, and the WildCard. Tends minion benefits from the greater resources available to the master's organization until it comes time to strike out on their own. Of course, if the minion's and master's ultimate goals come into conflict, then the minion may graduate to TheStarscream and plot to overthrow their boss, or the master may decide that the minion has [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness outlived their usefulness]] and have the minion killed before she becomes a liability. But hey, until then, it's a win-win situation for everybody. Note that the difference in goals has to be an integral part of a BatmanGambit and often prone to ChronicBackstabbingDisorder. Can sometimes lead to a WhoNeedsEnemies situation. Contrast BewareTheHonestOnes, though a type 2 or 3 LawfulNeutral out in the open for the character can be both a ReliableTraitor and this, if their constant reaction to any perceived violation of their principles qualify; otherwise we're talking about a DragonWithAnAgenda. This character is to throw their allies under the bus. frequently also an EnigmaticMinion. Compare WildCard.

!!Examples: [[foldercontrol]] [[folder: Anime and Manga ]] * Happened more than once in ''Manga/SailorMoon''. This was lampshaded in the LiveActionAdaptation ''Series/PrettyGuardianSailorMoon'', where Queen Beryl explains to an annoyed minion that she's aware her generals don't always particularly like her, so she allows the in-fighting between them as a distraction that pushes them to be more creative against each other. * The Black Beauty Sisters in ''Manga/MermaidMelodyPichiPichiPitch''. * Subverted in ''Anime/StrainStrategicArmoredInfantry'': the traitor openly plots against Ralph for ages, but [[spoiler:gets killed off before he can do anything. He simply wasn't a threat.]]
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!!Examples: [[foldercontrol]] [[folder: Anime !!Examples [[AC:{{Anime}} and Manga ]] * Happened more than once in ''Manga/SailorMoon''. This was lampshaded in the LiveActionAdaptation ''Series/PrettyGuardianSailorMoon'', where Queen Beryl explains to an annoyed minion that she's aware her generals don't always particularly like her, so she allows the in-fighting between them as a distraction that pushes them to be more creative against each other. * The Black Beauty Sisters in ''Manga/MermaidMelodyPichiPichiPitch''. * Subverted in ''Anime/StrainStrategicArmoredInfantry'': the traitor openly plots against Ralph for ages, but [[spoiler:gets killed off before he can do anything. He simply wasn't a threat.]]{{Manga}}]]

* Motoharu in ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'' is working for several organizations as a spy... and every one of them knows it. However, since he's pretty good at what he does, they tend to overlook it. * Ichimaru Gin of ''Manga/{{Bleach}}''. He tells you straight to his face that he's a [[AnimalMotifs snake]]. ** [[spoiler:Aizen was actually counting on this, MagnificentBastard that he is. He figured that Gin would betray him at some point (though he didn't realize [[{{Revenge}} the real reason why Gin would do it]]), and even acknowledged there was a chance that Gin would successfully kill him in the betrayal. But he needed a genuine risk of dying to kickstart his "evolution".]] * Aquarius from ''Manga/FairyTail'' will attack everyone indiscriminately, friend and foe alike. But when all's said and done, she usually ends up being helpful overall.

[[/folder]] [[folder: Comic Books ]] * The ''Franchise/{{X-Men}}'' franchise has Sabretooth. Whether it's Weapon X, the Brotherhood, Apocalypse, or even the [[HeelFaceTurn X-Men themselves,]] no one who employs him ever really trusts him. With good reason, too, as he's one of the [[AxCrazy Ax-Craziest]] of Marvel's creations. * Everyone on ''ComicBook/DarkAvengers'' who wasn't Comicbook/{{Ares}} or TheSentry. Especially {{ComicBook/Daken}}. At least until {{Siege}}, when both of them ended up betraying him. * SelfDemonstrating/{{Deadpool}}, at least in the beginning. While still insane, lately he's developed a rudimentary moral code, keeps his word to those he thinks deserve it (but will lie like a rug to anyone he doesn't like), and will not harm innocents even in self-defense. However, in his early appearances he was a completely amoral mercenary who thought nothing of ''switching sides in the middle of a battle'' if he was offered more money. * ''ComicBook/VForVendetta'' has Inspector Finch. He criticizes Susan's dictatorial regime to his face. As Sutler's puts it, the fact that Finch is still alive proves how appreciated his work is. * Mycroft Holmes invokes this with regards to Campion Bond in ''TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen''. When Mina asks if Bond will be punished for his deeds, Holmes replies in the negative, saying, "It is often useful to have employees whom you know to be treacherous." * In ''ComicBook/SonicTheHedgehog'', Eggman has stated that he knows full well that [[TheStarscream Snivley]], Lien-Da, and several others are planning to overthrow him, but because of that they will work the hardest for him, because they want to inherit a strong empire. He actually goes through the trouble of saving Lien-Da simply because he was impressed by her attempt at his position. * It was revealed that SelfDemonstrating/{{Loki}} allowed himself to die at the end of "Siege" and be reborn as a child because he realized he had become a Reliable Traitor. As a god of trickery and chaos, he could not bear to be ''predictable''. [[spoiler:In the end, he even betrayed himself.]] * The One Sith in ''StarWarsLegacy'' try very hard to avoid being Reliable Traitors. The self-serving nature of the Dark Side makes it very difficult. All things considered, the do a better job of it than most Sith orders that don't adhere to the Rule of Two. * TheJoker, flat out. It's not so much a question of "if" he's going to turn against your merry little band of super-villains, but when. Best case scenario he'll just get [[AttentionDeficitOohShiny distracted at an inopportune time and wander off]]. So why bother? As pointed out by Lex Luthor, the alternative is to ''not'' let the most unpredictable and dangerous villain in the DC Universe have his fun, which just begs for trouble of [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge a different kind]]. * In ComicBook/LesLegendaires, Tenebris warns her father Darkhell about [[TheDragon Raptor]]'s obvious ambition and [[TheStarscream Starscream]] tendencies. Darkhell basically answers he is aware of it, but still keeps Raptor at his service regardless because he think such ambition only increases his motivation to succeed in his mission. [[/folder]] [[folder: Film ]] * Capt. Renault in ''Film/{{Casablanca}}'' is this. He openly admits that he "blow[s] with the wind", and the wind is blowing from Vichy, so he collaborates with the Germans. The film ends with his memorable HeelFaceTurn. * '''Any''' Sith in ''StarWars'', given that ChronicBackstabbingDisorder is one of the side-effects of TheDarkSide. The Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse is filled with examples of characters using this against the Sith or a previously powerful Sith Empire eating itself because all of its members were... less than trustworthy. The RuleOfTwo - which is how the Sith operate by the time of the films - was intended to control this treachery and actually turn it into a strength, though given how both Palpatine and Vader fully expected the other to use Luke against them it wasn't a perfect arrangement. * Jack Sparrow of ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' has betrayed every other character in the series at least once, but he's so motivated by self-interest ([[WildCard usually]]) that he can still find allies. He even [[SelfProclaimedLiar admits he's dishonest]]. -->'''Jack Sparrow:''' Me, I'm dishonest. And a dishonest person you can always trust to be dishonest. * In ''Film/SupermanII'', [[spoiler:Superman's plan to defeat General Zod hinges completely on Lex Luthor selling him out after learning how he can be depowered. He had earlier altered the device so that the only safe place was inside it.]] * Melanie in ''Film/JackieBrown''. -->''"You can't trust Melanie, but you can trust Melanie to be Melanie."'' --->-- ''Ordell Robbie'' * Ash from ''Film/{{Alien}}'' doesn't appear to like those he serves any more than those he betrays. ** His android 'ancestor', David from ''Film/{{Prometheus}}'' is similar, though much more sympathetic, overall. * In ''[[Film/{{Blade}} Blade 2]]'' after the vampires offer Blade an alliance against a common foe, he approves of their plan and then calmly notices that "they'll fuck us up at the first chance". He's correct. [[/folder]] [[folder: Literature ]] * Achilles to Agammemnon in ''[[{{Homer}} The Iliad]]''. * The heroic version is exemplified by Major Elim Rawne of ''GauntsGhosts''. Early in the series he doesn't disguise the fact that he hates Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt and, when the time is right, fully intends to kill him. He even tells people this. Gaunt not only knows, he gave him the knife (to replace one Rawne lost) which everyone expects Rawne to use in the attempt. He eventually mellows out about the whole "Killing my commanding officer" thing. * Creator/DavidEddings' ''[[Literature/TheElenium Elenium]]'' and ''Tamuli'' series, Krager is regularly [[JokerImmunity kept around]] by both sides, the villains because he's a competent minion, the heroes because he coughs up information worth a lot more than his life fairly willingly. Ironically, at the end of the Tamuli series, he's dying of self-inflicted illness due to his heavy alcoholism. * In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' [[MagnificentBastard Littlefinger]] has this trope wrapped around his, er... little finger. Not only is he purely out for himself, but he manages to convince other characters that this makes him reliable FromACertainPointOfView... which never turns out well for them. * ''Literature/CodexAlera'': ** Lady Invidia Aquitaine has betrayed almost every character in the series at least once, to the point of being TheDragon to ''two'' Big Bads (both the initial apparent one ''and'' the ultimate real deal) while having several EnemyMine moments with the heroes. [[spoiler: Ultimately, though she shows some signs of a HeelFaceTurn as she gets increasingly disturbed by her current inhuman boss, she ends up solidly a villain. Eventually the Vord Queen realizes just how reliable she is by predicting her latest betrayal and turning it to her advantage. And isn't in the slightest annoyed by it]]. ** On the other end of the spectrum, we have Fidelias, who fits the description above almost perfectly. He turns on Gaius Sextus because he feels his politicking is destroying the country, and becomes the Aquitaines' chief spy despite not liking them much because he thinks Attis would be the best leader. [[spoiler:He remains absolutely reliable to them until he decides Gaius Oc[[TheHero tavi]]an would make a better First Lord, at which point he delivers his letter of resignation with a poisoned balest bolt.]] * Also from Butcher, ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' has this relationship among many of the darker powers. As of ''Ghost Story'', [[spoiler:Harry himself has promised to become Mab's strongest and most reliable Winter Knight, but without truly being her ally]]. ** The non-subordinate version can be found with the Denarians, who, without question or exception, [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder break their word the very second they think they can get away with it]]. In many cases this comes across as short-sighted StupidEvil; most of the villains of the series always keep a promise or bargain ([[IGaveMyWord either from personal honour]] or [[PragmaticVillainy because it makes diplomacy and negotiation much easier]]) and can thus negotiate with the other powers, while the Denarians have to operate alone because everyone knows they can't be trusted, and most of the betrayals get defeated pretty quickly because they were predicted. Nicodemus, however, is sufficiently clever that he still manages to surprise people with the ''manner'' of his betrayal, even though the betrayal itself is foreseen a mile away, and can force people to deal with him even knowing he will stab them in the back when he can. ** Additionally, [[AffablyEvil Binder]] appears to be one of these. He's [[OnlyInItForTheMoney only interested in money]], and being alive to enjoy said money, which is why he ends up working with Harry to get out alive despite initially working for the bad guys, twice. * Colonel Thomas Blood in ''Literature/ThePyrates''. He even warns the hero of this, when he first signs on. Later, when Blood runs out on the hero, he leaves a note which actually says: -->Ye mind I warned you I might play false. Well, this is it, ould joy, and if I said it grieved me I'd be a liar, which I am, but that's naught to the matter. * Diana from ''Literature/{{Gone}}'' is very open about the fact that she can't be trusted. -->'''Caine''': Whose side are you on, Diana? -->'''Diana''': I'm on my side. * {{Narses}} in Literature/BelisariusSeries is an interesting example. He betrayed conspired with agents from the evil Malwan empire against the Emperor and Empress of Rome. He intended however to betray Malwa itself all the time which he does eventually just in a different manner. He is a skilled chessmaster, and his chief rival, Irene points out that Narses' loyalty isn't to be trusted but his skill in chessmastery is. * Denth in ''Literature/{{Warbreaker}}'' is a friendly mercenary who likes to [[SarcasticConfession joke]] about how as a mercenary he has no loyalty other than to whoever pays him most. As with Littlefinger, he openly reveals his treachery to his future victims, because he realizes that being WrongGenreSavvy, they interpret his openness about his treacherousness to mean that he is trustworthy. * Tama Montezuma, mistress of racialist leader Marengo North English from the ''GarrettPI'' novels, doesn't make any pretense that she's not staying with him because he provides her with a lavish lifestyle. [[spoiler: Her honesty about regarding him as a sugar daddy blinds him, and other men she's seduced the same way, to the fact that she's been putting words in his mouth to exploit his underlings and allies while ostensibly acting as his intermediary.]] * it's noted several times by several people on the Discworld (Vimes in ''Discworld/FeetOfClay'' for one), that those sorts of people are easier to work with than less reliable ones. [[/folder]] [[folder: Live Action TV ]] * All over the place in ''Series/{{Hustle}}''. A lot of the time, their marks are so reliably likely to turn on the gang that Plan A relies on it entirely. In some cases, it even goes so far as to mess up a perfectly good plan when the ''don't'' try to betray the gang... * ''Series/{{Firefly}}'': ** Subverted with Jayne. Everyone fully expects him to turn on them if given enough (monetary) incentive, and are prepared for it. However, not only is Jayne far more loyal than even ''he'' realizes, but the time he ''does'' betray them isn't suspected at all. Mal is far more furious than he would be if he expected it. ** Played straight with Saffron. When she comes to the crew to get them to take part in a heist, they immediately suspect she will turn on them. They create an [[BatmanGambit elaborate ruse]] to play off her inevitable betrayal and take her for the fool in the end. * ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'': ** One of the Winchesters points out that the Trickster/[[spoiler:Gabriel]] is playing a trick on them. His response? "Hello, Trickster?" ** The demon Crowley starts out like this, before heading sharply into MagnificentBastard territory. ** ClassyCatBurglar [[SmugSnake Bela]] [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder Talbot]] may also count. She spends half of her episodes as [[BelligerentSexualTension a sort of]] FriendlyEnemy to the Winchesters before cementing her position as an antagonist by [[spoiler:stealing the Colt and trying to kill them in her desperation to get out of her own DealWithTheDevil]]. [[spoiler:In her final moments alive, she tattles on [[BigBad Lilith]] to the boys because Bela wants her ''dead'' for using her.]] * The ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' team can only beat Sterling when Sterling wins too. --> '''Sterling:''' Your entire plan relied on me being an arrogant, self-serving bastard. --> '''Nate:''' Oh, yeah. That's a stretch. * ''Series/{{Angel}}'': Harmony can be relied on to apologetically backstab her friends whenever a better option presents itself, though she doesn't like to admit it. Her backstabbing them actually [[BatmanGambit factors into their plan]] in the finale. --> '''Angel''': Loyalty really isn't high on your list. --> '''Harmony''': Oh, is that right? I'll have you know I am damn loyal, dumbass. --> '''Angel''': You betrayed me. You are betraying me ''now'', even as we are talking! * A few castaways throughout the seasons of ''Series/{{Survivor}}'' have fit the bill, but the most straightforward example is ''Cook Island's'' Jonathan Penner. After mutinying from the Aitu Tribe when the opportunity presented itself, he later turned on his new alliance to help the tribe he left behind overcome a numbers disadvantage during the Tribal Merge. The reason? Yul Kwon, (Aitu's de facto leader) threatened Jonathan with his hidden immunity idol, knowing that Jonathan's interest in self-preservation was greater than his loyalty to the Raro Tribe. * For the first couple seasons of ''Series/{{Farscape}}'', Moya's crew could always count on Rygel to abandon and/or betray them whenever things got tough. He got better...eventually. * On ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' you can always count on Todd to join forces with Atlantis for an EnemyMine situation or run to them for help. You can also count on him to betray them as soon as he possibly can.
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[[/folder]] [[folder: Comic Books ]] * The ''Franchise/{{X-Men}}'' franchise has Sabretooth. Whether it's Weapon X, [[spoiler: Wei becomes this]] to Amber in ''Anime/DarkerThanBlack''. He serves Amber so that he can have a chance to fight Hei again. * DarkMagicalGirl Lutecia from ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha [=StrikerS=]'' who cooperates with MadScientist Scaglietti not for his goals of world domination but to find [[spoiler:and reanimate her mother, Megane, who is in a coma.]]. * Nico Robin of ''Manga/OnePiece'' starts out as [[ArcVillain Sir Crocodile's]] Dragon. His goal is eventual world domination. Hers is simply to discover information about the Brotherhood, Apocalypse, or even the LostSuperweapon that her hometown was destroyed for researching. After Crocodile's defeat, she [[HeelFaceTurn X-Men themselves,]] no one who employs him ever really trusts him. With good reason, too, as he's joins the Straw Hat crew]] solely because she thinks they give her the best opportunity to continue her search, although she quickly becomes one of their TrueCompanions. [[AC:ComicBooks]] * In ''ComicBook/SonicTheHedgehog'', Eggman has stated that he knows full well that [[TheStarscream Snivley]], Lien-Da, and several others are planning to overthrow him, but because of that they will work the [[AxCrazy Ax-Craziest]] of Marvel's creations. hardest for him, because they want to inherit a strong empire. * Everyone on ''ComicBook/DarkAvengers'' who wasn't Comicbook/{{Ares}} or TheSentry. Especially {{ComicBook/Daken}}. At least until {{Siege}}, when both of them ended up betraying him. * SelfDemonstrating/{{Deadpool}}, at least in In ''ComicBook/DeathVigil'', this is the beginning. While still insane, lately gist of [[TheHeavy Maria's]] arrangement with [[EldritchAbomination The Pale Court]]. The Court wants access to [[TomeOfEldritchLore The Dreamers' Codex]], which only Maria can translate. Maria wants the Grim Reaper's scythe, which only the court has the muscle to get. Maria makes it quite clear that she's only in it for the scythe, and has absolutely no personal loyalty to the court beyond what's required for her to get it. [[AC:{{Film}}]] * In ''Film/ConAir'', Cameron Poe asks black supremacist Diamond Dog why he's developed a rudimentary moral code, keeps his word content to those he thinks deserve it (but will lie like a rug be second in command to anyone he doesn't like), and will not harm innocents even in self-defense. However, in his early appearances he was a completely amoral mercenary who thought nothing of ''switching sides in the middle of a battle'' if he was offered more money. * ''ComicBook/VForVendetta'' has Inspector Finch. He criticizes Susan's dictatorial regime to his face. As Sutler's puts it, the fact that Finch is still alive proves how appreciated his work is. * Mycroft Holmes invokes this with regards to Campion Bond in ''TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen''. When Mina asks if Bond will be punished for his deeds, Holmes white Big Bad Cyrus Grissom. Dog replies in the negative, saying, "It that while his long term agenda is often useful vastly different from that of Cyrus, he needs to have employees whom you know escape before he can get back to be treacherous.it going along with Cyrus is "a means to an end." * In ''ComicBook/SonicTheHedgehog'', Eggman has stated that he knows full well that [[TheStarscream Snivley]], Lien-Da, and several others are planning to overthrow him, but because of that they will work the hardest for him, because they want to inherit a strong empire. He actually goes through the trouble of saving Lien-Da simply because he was impressed by her attempt at his position. * It was revealed that SelfDemonstrating/{{Loki}} allowed himself to die at the end of "Siege" and be reborn as a child because he realized he had become a Reliable Traitor. As a god of trickery and chaos, he could not bear to be ''predictable''. [[spoiler:In the end, he even betrayed himself.]] * The One Sith in ''StarWarsLegacy'' try very hard to avoid being Reliable Traitors. The self-serving nature of the Dark Side makes it very difficult. All things considered, the do a better job of it than most Sith orders that hyenas from ''Disney/TheLionKing'' don't adhere to the Rule of Two. * TheJoker, flat out. It's not so much a question of "if" he's going to turn against your merry little band of super-villains, but when. Best case scenario he'll just get [[AttentionDeficitOohShiny distracted at an inopportune time and wander off]]. So why bother? As pointed out by Lex Luthor, the alternative is to ''not'' let the most unpredictable and dangerous villain in the DC Universe have his fun, which just begs for trouble of [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge a different kind]]. * In ComicBook/LesLegendaires, Tenebris warns her father Darkhell particularly care about [[TheDragon Raptor]]'s obvious ambition and [[TheStarscream Starscream]] tendencies. Darkhell basically answers he is aware of it, but still keeps Raptor at his service regardless because he think such ambition only increases his motivation to succeed in his mission. [[/folder]] [[folder: Film ]] * Capt. Renault in ''Film/{{Casablanca}}'' is this. He openly admits that he "blow[s] with the wind", and the wind is blowing from Vichy, so he collaborates with the Germans. The film ends with his memorable HeelFaceTurn. * '''Any''' Sith in ''StarWars'', given that ChronicBackstabbingDisorder is one of the side-effects of TheDarkSide. The Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse is filled with examples of characters using this against the Sith or a previously powerful Sith Empire eating itself because all of its members were... less than trustworthy. The RuleOfTwo - which is how the Sith operate by the time of the films - was intended to control this treachery and actually turn it into a strength, though given how both Palpatine and Vader fully expected the other to use Luke against them it wasn't a perfect arrangement. * Jack Sparrow of ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' has betrayed every other character in the series at least once, but he's so motivated by self-interest ([[WildCard usually]]) that he can still find allies. He even [[SelfProclaimedLiar admits he's dishonest]]. -->'''Jack Sparrow:''' Me, I'm dishonest. And a dishonest person you can always trust to be dishonest. * In ''Film/SupermanII'', [[spoiler:Superman's plan to defeat General Zod hinges completely on Lex Luthor selling him out after learning how he can be depowered. He had earlier altered the device so that the only safe place was inside it.]] * Melanie in ''Film/JackieBrown''. -->''"You can't trust Melanie, but you can trust Melanie to be Melanie."'' --->-- ''Ordell Robbie'' * Ash from ''Film/{{Alien}}'' doesn't appear to like those he serves any more than those he betrays. ** His android 'ancestor', David from ''Film/{{Prometheus}}'' is similar, though much more sympathetic, overall. * In ''[[Film/{{Blade}} Blade 2]]'' after the vampires offer Blade an alliance against a common foe, he approves of their plan and then calmly notices that "they'll fuck us up at the first chance". He's correct. [[/folder]] [[folder: Literature ]] * Achilles to Agammemnon in ''[[{{Homer}} The Iliad]]''. * The heroic version is exemplified by Major Elim Rawne of ''GauntsGhosts''. Early in the series he doesn't disguise Scar's lust for power beyond the fact that he hates Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt and, when the time is right, fully intends to kill him. He even tells people this. Gaunt not only knows, he gave him the knife (to replace one Rawne lost) which everyone expects Rawne to use in the attempt. He eventually mellows out about the whole "Killing my commanding officer" thing. * Creator/DavidEddings' ''[[Literature/TheElenium Elenium]]'' and ''Tamuli'' series, Krager is regularly [[JokerImmunity kept around]] by both sides, the villains because he's a competent minion, the heroes because he coughs up information worth a lot charge means more than his life fairly willingly. Ironically, at the end of the Tamuli series, he's dying of self-inflicted illness due to his heavy alcoholism. * In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' [[MagnificentBastard Littlefinger]] has this trope wrapped around his, er... little finger. Not only is he purely out food for himself, but he manages to convince other characters that this makes him reliable FromACertainPointOfView... which never turns out well for them. them. [[AC:{{Literature}}]] * ''Literature/CodexAlera'': ** Lady Invidia Aquitaine has betrayed almost every character in the series at least once, to the point of being TheDragon to ''two'' Big Bads (both the initial apparent one ''and'' the ultimate real deal) while having several EnemyMine moments with the heroes. [[spoiler: Ultimately, though she shows some signs of a HeelFaceTurn as she gets increasingly disturbed by her current inhuman boss, she ends up solidly a villain. Eventually the Vord Queen realizes just how reliable she is by predicting her latest betrayal and turning it to her advantage. And isn't in the slightest annoyed by it]]. ** On the other end of the spectrum, we have ''Literature/CodexAlera'': Fidelias, who fits the description above almost perfectly. He turns on Gaius Sextus because he feels his politicking is destroying the country, and becomes the Aquitaines' chief spy despite not liking them much because he thinks Attis would be the best leader. [[spoiler:He remains absolutely reliable to them until he decides [[TheHero Gaius Oc[[TheHero tavi]]an Octavian]] would make a better First Lord, at which point he [[HeelFaceTurn delivers his letter of resignation resignation]] with a [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill poisoned balest bolt.bolt]].]] * Also from Butcher, ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' has this relationship among many of the darker powers. As of ''Ghost Story'', [[spoiler:Harry himself has promised to become Mab's strongest and most reliable Winter Knight, but without truly being her ally]]. ** The non-subordinate version can be found with the Denarians, who, without question or exception, [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder break their word the very second they think they can get away with it]]. In many cases this comes across as short-sighted StupidEvil; most of the villains of the series always keep a promise or bargain ([[IGaveMyWord either from personal honour]] or [[PragmaticVillainy because it makes diplomacy and negotiation much easier]]) and can thus negotiate with the other powers, while the Denarians have to operate alone because everyone knows they can't be trusted, and most of the betrayals get defeated pretty quickly because they were predicted. Nicodemus, however, is sufficiently clever that he still manages to surprise people with the ''manner'' of his betrayal, even though the betrayal itself is foreseen a mile away, and can force people to deal with him even knowing he will stab them in the back when he can. ** Additionally, [[AffablyEvil Binder]] appears to be one of these. He's [[OnlyInItForTheMoney only interested in money]], and being alive to enjoy said money, which is why he ends up working with Harry to get out alive despite initially working for the bad guys, twice. * Colonel Thomas Blood in ''Literature/ThePyrates''. He even warns the hero of this, when he first signs on. Later, when Blood runs out on the hero, he leaves a note which actually says: -->Ye mind I warned you I might play false. Well, this is it, ould joy, and if I said it grieved me I'd be a liar, which I am, but that's naught to the matter. * Diana from ''Literature/{{Gone}}'' is very open about the fact that she can't be trusted. -->'''Caine''': Whose side are you on, Diana? -->'''Diana''': I'm on my side. * {{Narses}} in Literature/BelisariusSeries is an interesting example. He betrayed conspired with agents from the evil Malwan empire against the Emperor and Empress of Rome. He intended however to betray Malwa itself all the time which he does eventually just in a different manner. He is a skilled chessmaster, and his chief rival, Irene points out that Narses' loyalty isn't to be trusted but his skill in chessmastery is. * Denth in ''Literature/{{Warbreaker}}'' is a friendly mercenary who likes to [[SarcasticConfession joke]] about how as a mercenary he has no loyalty other than to whoever pays him most. As with Littlefinger, he openly reveals his treachery to his future victims, because he realizes that being WrongGenreSavvy, they interpret his openness about his treacherousness to mean that he is trustworthy. * Tama Montezuma, mistress of racialist leader Marengo North English from the ''GarrettPI'' novels, doesn't make any pretense attempt to hide that she's not staying with him because he provides her with a lavish lifestyle. [[spoiler: Her Subverted, as her honesty about regarding him as a sugar daddy blinds him, and other men she's seduced the same way, to the fact that she's been putting words in his mouth to exploit his underlings and allies while ostensibly acting as his intermediary.]] * it's noted several times by several people on the Discworld (Vimes in ''Discworld/FeetOfClay'' for one), that those sorts of people are easier to work with than less reliable ones. [[/folder]] [[folder: Live Action TV ]] * All over the place in ''Series/{{Hustle}}''. A lot of the time, their marks are so reliably likely to turn on the gang that Plan A relies on it entirely. In some cases, it even goes so far as to mess up a perfectly good plan when the ''don't'' try to betray the gang... * ''Series/{{Firefly}}'': ** Subverted with Jayne. Everyone fully expects him to turn on them if given enough (monetary) incentive, and are prepared for it. However, not only is Jayne far more loyal than even ''he'' realizes, but the time he ''does'' betray them isn't suspected at all. Mal is far more furious than he would be if he expected it. ** Played straight with Saffron. When she comes to the crew to get them to take part in a heist, they immediately suspect she will turn on them. They create an [[BatmanGambit elaborate ruse]] to play off her inevitable betrayal and take her for the fool in the end. * ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'': ** One of the Winchesters points out that the Trickster/[[spoiler:Gabriel]] is playing a trick on them. His response? "Hello, Trickster?" ** The demon Crowley starts out like this, before heading sharply into MagnificentBastard territory. ** ClassyCatBurglar [[SmugSnake Bela]] [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder Talbot]] may also count. She spends half of her episodes as [[BelligerentSexualTension a sort of]] FriendlyEnemy to the Winchesters before cementing her position as an antagonist by [[spoiler:stealing the Colt and trying to kill them in her desperation to get out of her own DealWithTheDevil]]. [[spoiler:In her final moments alive, she tattles on [[BigBad Lilith]] to the boys because Bela wants her ''dead'' for using her.]] * The ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' team can only beat Sterling when Sterling wins too. --> '''Sterling:''' Your entire plan relied on me being an arrogant, self-serving bastard. --> '''Nate:''' Oh, yeah. That's a stretch. * ''Series/{{Angel}}'': Harmony can be relied on to apologetically backstab her friends whenever a better option presents itself, though she doesn't like to admit it. Her backstabbing them actually [[BatmanGambit factors into their plan]] in the finale. --> '''Angel''': Loyalty really isn't high on your list. --> '''Harmony''': Oh, is that right? I'll have you know I am damn loyal, dumbass. --> '''Angel''': You betrayed me. You are betraying me ''now'', even as we are talking! * A few castaways throughout the seasons of ''Series/{{Survivor}}'' have fit the bill, but the most straightforward example is ''Cook Island's'' Jonathan Penner. After mutinying from the Aitu Tribe when the opportunity presented itself, he later turned on his new alliance to help the tribe he left behind overcome a numbers disadvantage during the Tribal Merge. The reason? Yul Kwon, (Aitu's de facto leader) threatened Jonathan with his hidden immunity idol, knowing that Jonathan's interest in self-preservation was greater than his loyalty to the Raro Tribe. * For the first couple seasons of ''Series/{{Farscape}}'', Moya's crew could always count on Rygel to abandon and/or betray them whenever things got tough. He got better...eventually. * On ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' you can always count on Todd to join forces with Atlantis for an EnemyMine situation or run to them for help. You can also count on him to betray them as soon as he possibly can.]] [[AC:LiveActionTV]]

* In the second season of the American ''Series/BigBrother'', Dr. Will Kirby (who is ''still'' considered the greatest player of the game that any of the Big Brother series around the world has ever seen) announced that he would lie, cheat, and betray everyone. He swore he would throw all contests, and generally acted like a huge dick. People didn't buy it, thought they could trust him, and they paid for it. He walked away with the season's win in his pocket. What's more, in the seventh season (the "all-star" season) Will Kirby came back, made the same announcement, and then promptly engineered a win for his real life best friend, Mike "Boogie" Mallin using the exact same tactics, because people figured that there was no way he could get away with it a second time. * The Borg in ''Franchise/StarTrek'' have made temporary alliances with the heroes many times, the best known being Voyager's ''[[Recap/StarTrekVoyagerS3E25S4E1Scorpion Scorpion]].'' Every time they betray their allies the exact instant the common threat is dealt with. What moves it into this trope instead of TheFarmerAndTheViper is that they do it so predictably that everyone always knows they're going to do it from the moment the alliance begins, and have a counter prepared. [[/folder]] [[folder: Tabletop Games ]] * The [[EldritchAbomination Chaos God]] Tzeentch in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' and ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' is the AnthropomorphicPersonification of this trope. It and its followers are mysterious and unpredictable, but the one guaranteed thing about them is that they ''will'' screw anyone and everyone over if it serves (or even if it [[GambitPileup runs contrary to]]) some nebulous "master plan". ** Kharn the Betrayer. Almost everyone ''knows'' that he'll kill anything near him just for being near him, enemy or not. It's a testament to Kharn's bloodlust (and his compatriots' insanity/stupidity) that this doesn't usually save them. * In ''Literature/{{Exalted}}'', this is the very core of Ebon Dragon's being: you can count on him betraying you at some point. In fact, you can count on him ''betraying himself'' at some point. [[/folder]] [[folder: Toys ]] * "Darkness" ([[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep it's a]] CodeName) from ''{{Bionicle}}'' hangs over the Shadowed One's shoulder, waiting for him to show weakness so he can kill him and assume leadership of the [[BountyHunter Dark Hunters]]... The Shadowed One is well aware of this and actually ''encourages'' it; the idea being that this way the Shadowed One will be ever vigilant and [[CardCarryingVillain never go soft]]. [[/folder]] [[folder: Video Games ]] * In the Barbarossa campaign of ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpiresII'', Henry the Lion betrays Barbarossa, but is still forgiven, considered a valuable ally. Then he [[TheStarscream betrays you again]], and is banished. * From a FourthWall perspective, so is Revolver Ocelot from MetalGearSolid. * Etna from ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea|HourOfDarkness}}'' makes it rather clear to Laharl that she'll kill him where he stands if he doesn't prove himself worthy. Laharl just sees this as ''even more'' of a reason to promote her to second-in-command. [[spoiler: She did take out a key enemy, after all, so she gets the job done.]] * Archer in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight''. Lancer and Assassin also have shades of this trope, being motivated by being {{Blood Knight}}s while being stuck with Masters who deny them battles, but neither of their masters appreciate them either. * In ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar'', [[AxCrazy Lord Bale]] expresses concern over joining forces with the Orks against the Blood Ravens due to their unpredictability, to which the [[TheChessmaster Sorcerer Sindri]] replies "Orks are not unpredictable. On the contrary, you can rely upon them to turn against you." It doesn't matter either way, [[XanatosGambit since the Alpha Legion's scheme was made to work no matter which side won and started fighting them directly]]. ** ''Winter Assault'' features two very brief [[EnemyMine alliances]], which are brief because each side expects the other to betray them, and each side doesn't disappoint. However the fact that each of them betrayed the other side because they expected ''the other side'' to betray ''them'' might put this into SelfFulfillingProphecy territory. ** In ''Dawn of War II: Retribution'', Abaddon fully expects Eliphas to betray him at the first opportunity, but isn't concerned as for the moment Eliphas is completely under his power and must follow his commands. This incredibly short-sighted behavior might contribute to Abaddon also being [[FanNickname known as]] [[GeneralFailure Failbaddon]]. * ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}'' has plenty of these. First case was EvilSorcerer Gul'dan, who Orc Warchief Orgim Doomhammer kept around because he knew Gul'dan would be useful to the Horde, even though he didn't trust the warlock. Statements about Gul'dan say that he preferred having himself surrounded by untrustworthy, ambitious individuals like himself because he knew how they thought, and actually didn't like having individuals motivated by loyalty around him because he had no clue how they thought. Additionally, Ner'zhul, the Lich King, works for Kil'Jaeden despite quite clearly having ulterior motives--since Kil'Jaeden never trusted Ner'zhul, he had his EliteMooks, the Dreadlords, watch the Lich King. ** In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' [[DarkIsNotEvil Warlocks]] are often kept around because it lets those in power keep an eye on them. If they were banished from the capital cities or executed, others would still be around but no one would know where they were. Of course it also helps that most of them don't want the world destroyed (if only because they'd die too) so will fight against the Undead Scourge, Burning Legion, Twilight's Hammer, etc. * Some early editions of ''VideoGame/RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms'' on the SNES had an oddly literal example in UsefulNotes/LuBu. While undeniably the [[BadAss deadliest general in the game whose WAR rating was unparalleled]], he was almost impossible to use in that function because he could be counted on to turn on whoever he served if you provided him with a modest bribe. Even measures to ensure high loyalty wouldn't come to much--a little more gold and your best warrior was off to join the opposition. On the other hand, coming across Lu Bu was not as threatening as it might be in [[VideoGame/DynastyWarriors other games]], because any half-decent strategist could bribe the [[DumbMuscle clueless brute]] in return, bringing him over to your side for the turn. You could even mess with history by doing this to [[FatBastard Dong Zhuo]] during the campaign to overcome him. It eventually leads to the bizarre situation where you have the greatest warrior in the land, and you're keeping him holed up in some corner of the kingdom training troops for the rest of your officers. While the early games didn't offer the greatest amount of characterization, this ''is'' Lu Bu we're talking about. [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder I think it's been demonstrated that he's not exactly the most loyal of people.]] * In ''VideoGame/ArcTheLadTwilightOfTheSpirits'', Darc (a deimos who believes firmly in AsskickingEqualsAuthority) spurns letting any deimos who is slavishly loyal to him serve him, since he sees it as a sign that they're weak and would turn on him as soon as a stronger overlord turned up. In contrast, he happily welcomes Delma back into his service after she stabs him in the back, leaves him for dead and tries to steal control of his clan from him, seeing it as an acceptable display of strength on her part. * ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'', being part of ''StarWars'', not only inevitably features this amongst the Sith but even allows ''the player'' to implement it in the Sith Academy, playing Reliable Traitors against themselves as a distraction for their own treachery. * In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', the Tevinter magister Caladrius is openly contemptuous of his patron, [[spoiler:Teyrn Loghain]], and immediately offers to betray him to the protagonist if he is allowed to live and still make a profit on his EvilPlan.
to:
* In the second season of the American ''Series/BigBrother'', Dr. Will Kirby (who is ''still'' considered the greatest player of the game that any of the Big Brother series around the world has ever seen) announced that he would lie, cheat, and betray everyone. He swore he would throw all contests, and generally acted like a huge dick. People didn't buy it, thought they could trust him, and they paid for it. He walked away with the season's win in his pocket. What's more, ''Series/{{Arrow}}'': We learn in the seventh season (the "all-star" season) Will Kirby came back, made the same announcement, and then promptly engineered a win for his real life best friend, Mike "Boogie" Mallin using the exact same tactics, because people figured episode "Deathstroke" that there was no way he could get away with it a second time. * The Borg in ''Franchise/StarTrek'' have made temporary alliances with the heroes many times, the best known being Voyager's ''[[Recap/StarTrekVoyagerS3E25S4E1Scorpion Scorpion]].'' Every time they betray their allies the exact instant the common threat [[spoiler:Isabel Rochev is dealt with. What moves it into this trope to Slade. She insists that she's working ''with'' him instead of TheFarmerAndTheViper ''for'' him as she is trying to exact her own revenge on the Queen family, and it's just that they do it so predictably that everyone always knows they're going to do it from the moment the alliance begins, and have a counter prepared. [[/folder]] [[folder: Tabletop Games ]] * The [[EldritchAbomination Chaos God]] Tzeentch in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' and ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' is the AnthropomorphicPersonification of this trope. It and its followers are mysterious and unpredictable, but the one guaranteed thing about them is that they ''will'' screw anyone and everyone over if it serves (or even if it [[GambitPileup runs contrary to]]) some nebulous "master plan". ** Kharn the Betrayer. Almost everyone ''knows'' that he'll kill anything near him just for being near him, enemy or not. It's a testament to Kharn's bloodlust (and his compatriots' insanity/stupidity) that this doesn't usually save them. * In ''Literature/{{Exalted}}'', this is the very core of Ebon Dragon's being: you can count on him betraying you at some point. In fact, you can count on him ''betraying himself'' at some point. [[/folder]] [[folder: Toys ]] * "Darkness" ([[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep it's a]] CodeName) from ''{{Bionicle}}'' hangs over the Shadowed One's shoulder, waiting for him to show weakness so he can kill him and assume leadership of the [[BountyHunter Dark Hunters]]... The Shadowed One is well aware of this and actually ''encourages'' it; the idea being that this way the Shadowed One will be ever vigilant and [[CardCarryingVillain never go soft]]. [[/folder]] [[folder: Video Games ]] * In the Barbarossa campaign of ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpiresII'', Henry the Lion betrays Barbarossa, but is still forgiven, considered a valuable ally. Then he [[TheStarscream betrays you again]], and is banished. * From a FourthWall perspective, so is Revolver Ocelot from MetalGearSolid. * Etna from ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea|HourOfDarkness}}'' makes it rather clear to Laharl that she'll kill him where he stands if he doesn't prove himself worthy. Laharl just sees this as ''even more'' of a reason to promote her to second-in-command. [[spoiler: She did take out a key enemy, after all, so she gets the job done.]] * Archer in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight''. Lancer and Assassin also have shades of this trope, being motivated by being {{Blood Knight}}s while being stuck with Masters who deny them battles, but neither of their masters appreciate them either. goals are mutually beneficial.]] [[AC:VideoGames]] * In ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar'', [[AxCrazy Lord Bale]] expresses concern over joining forces with the Orks against the Blood Ravens due to their unpredictability, to which the [[TheChessmaster Sorcerer Sindri]] replies "Orks are not unpredictable. On the contrary, you can rely upon unpredictable... they will honor our agreement, as long as we provide them to turn against you." It doesn't matter either way, [[XanatosGambit since the Alpha Legion's scheme was made to work no matter which side won and started fighting them directly]]. ** ''Winter Assault'' features two very brief [[EnemyMine alliances]], which are brief because each side expects the other to betray them, and each side doesn't disappoint. However the fact that each of them betrayed the other side because they expected ''the other side'' to betray ''them'' might put this into SelfFulfillingProphecy territory. ** In ''Dawn of War II: Retribution'', Abaddon fully expects Eliphas to betray him at the first opportunity, but isn't concerned as for the moment Eliphas is completely under his power and must follow his commands. This incredibly short-sighted behavior might contribute to Abaddon also being [[FanNickname known as]] [[GeneralFailure Failbaddon]]. * ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}'' has plenty of these. First case was EvilSorcerer Gul'dan, who Orc Warchief Orgim Doomhammer kept around because he knew Gul'dan would be useful to the Horde, even though he didn't trust the warlock. Statements about Gul'dan say that he preferred having himself surrounded by untrustworthy, ambitious individuals like himself because he knew how they thought, and actually didn't like having individuals motivated by loyalty around him because he had no clue how they thought. Additionally, Ner'zhul, the Lich King, works for Kil'Jaeden despite quite clearly having ulterior motives--since Kil'Jaeden never trusted Ner'zhul, he had his EliteMooks, the Dreadlords, watch the Lich King. ** In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' [[DarkIsNotEvil Warlocks]] are often kept around because it lets those in power keep an eye on them. If they were banished from the capital cities or executed, others would still be around but no one would know where they were. Of course it also helps that most of them don't want the world destroyed (if only because they'd die too) so will fight against the Undead Scourge, Burning Legion, Twilight's Hammer, etc. * Some early editions of ''VideoGame/RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms'' on the SNES had an oddly literal example in UsefulNotes/LuBu. While undeniably the [[BadAss deadliest general in the game whose WAR rating was unparalleled]], he was almost impossible to use in that function because he could be counted on to turn on whoever he served if you provided him with a modest bribe. Even measures enemies to ensure high loyalty wouldn't come to much--a little more gold and your best warrior was off to join the opposition. On the other hand, coming across Lu Bu was not as threatening as it might be in [[VideoGame/DynastyWarriors other games]], because any half-decent strategist could bribe the [[DumbMuscle clueless brute]] in return, bringing him over to your side for the turn. You could even mess with history by doing this to [[FatBastard Dong Zhuo]] during the campaign to overcome him. It eventually leads to the bizarre situation where you have the greatest warrior in the land, and you're keeping him holed up in some corner of the kingdom training troops for the rest of your officers. While the early games didn't offer the greatest amount of characterization, this ''is'' Lu Bu we're talking about. [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder I think it's been demonstrated that he's not exactly the most loyal of people.]] * In ''VideoGame/ArcTheLadTwilightOfTheSpirits'', Darc (a deimos who believes firmly in AsskickingEqualsAuthority) spurns letting any deimos who is slavishly loyal to him serve him, since he sees it as a sign that they're weak and would turn on him as soon as a stronger overlord turned up. In contrast, he happily welcomes Delma back into his service after she stabs him in the back, leaves him for dead and tries to steal control of his clan from him, seeing it as an acceptable display of strength on her part. * ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'', being part of ''StarWars'', not only inevitably features this amongst the Sith but even allows ''the player'' to implement it in the Sith Academy, playing Reliable Traitors against themselves as a distraction for their own treachery. * In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', the Tevinter magister Caladrius is openly contemptuous of his patron, [[spoiler:Teyrn Loghain]], and immediately offers to betray him to the protagonist if he is allowed to live and still make a profit on his EvilPlan.fight."

* Captain Scarlett of the first ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}'' DLC is completely honest about her [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder treacherous nature]] (her intro even states "Will Absolutely Stab You in the Back") but states that she'd much rather work with you to find the treasure before backstabbing you. [[spoiler:She is completely honest in this regard, and ''does'' stab you in the back as soon as you discover the location of the treasure]]. * Saemon Havarion of ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'' always betrays someone whenever he appears; interestingly, the betrayed is only ''sometimes'' the PlayerCharacter. He also proves to be much more trustworthy when sufficiently motivated ([[spoiler:i.e., after all of his friends and associates have been betrayed and murdered]]). [[/folder]] [[folder: Webcomics ]] * In the ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' storyline "Oceans Unmoving," Bun-Bun ''purposely'' makes the most untrustworthy member of his pirate crew the first mate, because he "feels safer knowing where the next mutiny will come from." * In ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', the entire Sturmvoraus clan seems to breed nothing but these. [[/folder]] [[folder: Web Original ]] * In {{Whateley| Universe}}, half of the campus security is made of these. EVERYONE is spying on EVERYONE for SOMEBODY, but it all cancels out, so everyone ends up working as reliable cops. Some are more snarky and bickering then others, though. ** There was that one guy with Humans First, who tried to kill Tennyo...[[spoiler: Ayla successfully manipulated him into this trope.]] [[/folder]] [[folder: Western Animation ]] * In ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}: WesternAnimation/BeastWars'', Megatron thinks of Tarantulas this way, who presents a facade of loyalty and fools Megatron about as often as Megatron sees through it. ** From what impressions we are generally given of Predacon 'culture', betrayal and treachery are expected, as they ensure that only the strongest and most capable remain in command. "I can suffer your treachery, lieutenant, but [[YouHaveFailedMe NOT YOUR INCOMPETENCE!]] Treachery requires no mistakes." ** The other spider, Blackarachnia, fits into this trope much more neatly, often voicing her dissatisfaction. Notably, her ambitious personality was purposely designed by Tarantulas, whose MadScientist expertise first converted her from a Maximal. Turns out she was pretty much like that anyway even without the cerebro shell, which makes you wonder what the point was. ** Yet ''another'' example is Rampage, who openly has no loyalty to Megatron, but is kept in line by routine reminders of the RestrainingBolt and the upside of opportunities to terrorize and demolish. * On the subject of ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'', this was the exact reason why the TropeNamer for TheStarscream was not destroyed. He was a capable scientist and the leader of the best fighters in Megatron's army and therefore inexpendable. This has been remedied in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'', where he does not have such luck and [[spoiler:is promptly killed the moment Megatron gets his hands on him. [[BackFromTheDead He came back a lot.]] Five times in one episode of ''Animated''. DeathIsCheap (for Starscream at any rate).]] ** Ironically, this occurred to the original Starscream as well, who came back as a ghost. ** In ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'', Megatron admitted he kept Starscream around because [[ItAmusedMe his repeated failures were entertaining]]. [[spoiler: When Airachnid let Starscream be captured, Megatron was furious because as second-in-command, Starscream had valuable knowledge.]] *** Granted, ''Prime'' also demonstrates that Megs is probably well aware ''his entire crew'' except for Soundwave would off him if they thought they could get away with it. Starscream's just the only traitor with the guts to be proactive about it, which kept Megatron entertained until Starscream started becoming too predictable to be of any use to him. * Wuya from ''WesternAnimation/XiaolinShowdown'', after falling victim to the SortingAlgorithmOfEvil and becoming a minion of Chase Young. She's so reliably untrustworthy it makes her MORE predictable, and he incorporates her inevitable betrayal into his plans. * Iago in Disney's ''[[Disney/{{Aladdin}} The Return of Jafar]]'' [[HeelFaceTurn abandons Jafar and moves in with Aladdin and Jasmine]]. Then when Jafar [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin returns]], he [[FaceHeelTurn switches sides again]]. Guilt, however, prompts him to make a [[HeelFaceRevolvingDoor third turn]] towards the heroes, this time acting ''against'' his own best interests. ** Jafar actually lampshades Iago being a reliable traitor as a ''compliment'' since it fits into Jafar's plan of revenge against Aladdin, though Jafar's ownership of the VillainBall and ContractualGenreBlindness does him in when he forgets/ignores the possibility of Iago taking one last turn on the ol' Heel/Face wheel. ** And at the end of the third movie, he [[TakeAThirdOption takes a third option]] and flies off with Aladdin's father, the King of Thieves. "You're a good guy, Kazim. But not ''too'' good." * Capt. Barca in ''WesternAnimation/ExoSquad''. * ''WesternAnimation/TheSecretSaturdays'' had Doyle's girlfriend betray him for Van Rook in her second major appearance. What makes her this trope is that she [[spoiler: betrays Van Rook next!]] * ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub'': the Trix started falling into this role after they became returning minions. Darkar they actively betray, combining themselves into one super-being and helping the Winx after being betrayed in turn. In the next season, they simply stay out of what they think is the final fight with Valtor, only to get recaptured anyway. And in the fifth season Darcy and Stormy abandon Tritannus when he goes too crazy for their taste, and their sister Icy when she chooses Tritannus over them (they later team up against Tritannus when he becames even ''worse'' and tries to kill Icy, because the only people they will ''not'' betray is each other). [[/folder]] [[folder: Real Life ]] * [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Maurice_de_Talleyrand-P%C3%A9rigord Talleyrand]] * His friend and former roommate DavidNiven once said of ErrolFlynn: "Errol's the most reliable person in the world. He will ''always'' let you down." * [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcibiades Alcibiades]] [[/folder]]
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* Captain Scarlett In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', Commander Shepard can end up as this to the Illusive Man. Even if he's actively against his employer's human supremacist agenda, he's willing to take orders from him as long as they involve saving lives and fighting the Reapers. However, at the end of the first ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}'' DLC is completely honest about her [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder treacherous nature]] (her intro even states "Will Absolutely Stab You in the Back") but states game, Shepard can decide that she'd much rather work with you to find the treasure before backstabbing you. [[spoiler:She is completely honest in this regard, and ''does'' stab you in the back as soon as you discover the location of the treasure]]. * Saemon Havarion of ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'' always betrays someone whenever he appears; interestingly, the betrayed is only ''sometimes'' the PlayerCharacter. He also proves order to be much more trustworthy when sufficiently motivated ([[spoiler:i.e., after all of his friends and associates have been betrayed and murdered]]). [[/folder]] [[folder: Webcomics ]] * In the ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' storyline "Oceans Unmoving," Bun-Bun ''purposely'' makes the most untrustworthy member of his pirate crew the first mate, because he "feels safer knowing where the next mutiny will come from." * In ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', the entire Sturmvoraus clan seems to breed nothing but these. [[/folder]] [[folder: Web Original ]] * In {{Whateley| Universe}}, half of the campus security is made of these. EVERYONE is spying on EVERYONE for SOMEBODY, but it all cancels out, so everyone ends up working as reliable cops. Some are more snarky and bickering then others, though. ** There was that one guy with Humans First, who tried to kill Tennyo...[[spoiler: Ayla successfully manipulated salvage the collector base]] is over the line and end his association with TIM on the spot. * The BlackKnight in ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn]]'' aided TheChessmaster in [[spoiler:unleashing Ashera and her judgement]] and fought on their side in the game's climax, but didn't seem to have much interest in which side won in the end. His only personal goal was to [[spoiler:surpass his teacher, Greil, as a swordsman. After Greil was killed, he figured his son Ike would make a suitable substitute, and siding with Ashera gave him into the chance to face Ike in combat.]] This goal also existed when he was serving Ashnard in ''Path of Radiance'', but the player didn't know about it then. [[AC:WesternAnimation]] * During the fourth season of ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'', Slade (formerly a Big Bad himself) only serves as [[{{Satan}} Trigon's]] [[TheDragon Dragon]] so he can [[spoiler: get his mortal body back.]] Interestingly, he starts out this trope.plotline very subservient to Trigon, and gradually starts acting less as a servant and more like a partner when he gets closer to getting what he wants. [[spoiler: When it becomes apparent that Trigon has no intention of honoring their agreement, Slade teams up with the Titans to take him down.]] [[/folder]] [[folder: Western Animation ]] * In ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}: WesternAnimation/BeastWars'', Megatron thinks of Tarantulas this way, who presents a facade of loyalty and fools Megatron about as often as Megatron sees through it. ** From what impressions we are generally given of Predacon 'culture', betrayal and treachery are expected, as they ensure that only the strongest and most capable remain in command. "I can suffer your treachery, lieutenant, but [[YouHaveFailedMe NOT YOUR INCOMPETENCE!]] Treachery requires no mistakes." ** The other spider, Blackarachnia, fits into this trope much more neatly, often voicing her dissatisfaction. Notably, her ambitious personality was purposely designed by Tarantulas, whose MadScientist expertise first converted her from a Maximal. Turns out she was pretty much like that anyway even without the cerebro shell, which makes you wonder what the point was. ** Yet ''another'' example is Rampage, who openly has no loyalty to Megatron, but is kept in line by routine reminders of the RestrainingBolt and the upside of opportunities to terrorize and demolish. * On the subject of ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'', this was the exact reason why the TropeNamer for TheStarscream was not destroyed. He was a capable scientist and the leader of the best fighters in Megatron's army and therefore inexpendable. This has been remedied in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'', where he does not have such luck and [[spoiler:is promptly killed the moment Megatron gets his hands on him. [[BackFromTheDead He came back a lot.]] Five times in one episode of ''Animated''. DeathIsCheap (for Starscream at any rate).]] ** Ironically, this occurred to the original Starscream as well, who came back as a ghost. ** In ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'', Megatron admitted he kept Starscream around because [[ItAmusedMe his repeated failures were entertaining]]. [[spoiler: When Airachnid let Starscream be captured, Megatron was furious because as second-in-command, Starscream had valuable knowledge.]] *** Granted, ''Prime'' also demonstrates that Megs is probably well aware ''his entire crew'' except for Soundwave would off him if they thought they could get away with it. Starscream's just the only traitor with the guts to be proactive about it, which kept Megatron entertained until Starscream started becoming too predictable to be of any use to him. * Wuya from ''WesternAnimation/XiaolinShowdown'', after falling victim to the SortingAlgorithmOfEvil and becoming a minion of Chase Young. She's so reliably untrustworthy it makes her MORE predictable, and he incorporates her inevitable betrayal into his plans. * Iago in Disney's ''[[Disney/{{Aladdin}} The Return of Jafar]]'' [[HeelFaceTurn abandons Jafar and moves in with Aladdin and Jasmine]]. Then when Jafar [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin returns]], he [[FaceHeelTurn switches sides again]]. Guilt, however, prompts him to make a [[HeelFaceRevolvingDoor third turn]] towards the heroes, this time acting ''against'' his own best interests. ** Jafar actually lampshades Iago being a reliable traitor as a ''compliment'' since it fits into Jafar's plan of revenge against Aladdin, though Jafar's ownership of the VillainBall and ContractualGenreBlindness does him in when he forgets/ignores the possibility of Iago taking one last turn on the ol' Heel/Face wheel. ** And at the end of the third movie, he [[TakeAThirdOption takes a third option]] and flies off with Aladdin's father, the King of Thieves. "You're a good guy, Kazim. But not ''too'' good." * Capt. Barca in ''WesternAnimation/ExoSquad''. * ''WesternAnimation/TheSecretSaturdays'' had Doyle's girlfriend betray him for Van Rook in her second major appearance. What makes her this trope is that she [[spoiler: betrays Van Rook next!]] * ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub'': the Trix started falling into this role after they became returning minions. Darkar they actively betray, combining themselves into one super-being and helping the Winx after being betrayed in turn. In the next season, they simply stay out of what they think is the final fight with Valtor, only to get recaptured anyway. And in the fifth season Darcy and Stormy abandon Tritannus when he goes too crazy for their taste, and their sister Icy when she chooses Tritannus over them (they later team up against Tritannus when he becames even ''worse'' and tries to kill Icy, because the only people they will ''not'' betray is each other). [[/folder]] [[folder: Real Life ]] * [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Maurice_de_Talleyrand-P%C3%A9rigord Talleyrand]] * His friend and former roommate DavidNiven once said of ErrolFlynn: "Errol's the most reliable person in the world. He will ''always'' let you down." * [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcibiades Alcibiades]] [[/folder]]
5th Oct '15 12:56:13 PM TheSinful
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* ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}'' has plenty of these. First case was EvilSorcerer Gul'dan, who Orc Warchief Orgim Doomhammer kept around because he knew Gul'dan would be useful to the Horde, even though he didn't trust the warlock. Statements about Gul-dan say that he preferred having himself surrounded by untrustworthy, ambitious individuals like himself because he knew how they thought, and actually didn't like having individuals motivated by loyalty around him because he had no clue how they thought. Additionally, Ner'zhul, the Lich King, works for Kil'Jaeden despite quite clearly having ulterior motives--since Kil'Jaeden never trusted Ner'zhul, he had his EliteMooks, the Dreadlords, watch the Lich King.
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* ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}'' has plenty of these. First case was EvilSorcerer Gul'dan, who Orc Warchief Orgim Doomhammer kept around because he knew Gul'dan would be useful to the Horde, even though he didn't trust the warlock. Statements about Gul-dan Gul'dan say that he preferred having himself surrounded by untrustworthy, ambitious individuals like himself because he knew how they thought, and actually didn't like having individuals motivated by loyalty around him because he had no clue how they thought. Additionally, Ner'zhul, the Lich King, works for Kil'Jaeden despite quite clearly having ulterior motives--since Kil'Jaeden never trusted Ner'zhul, he had his EliteMooks, the Dreadlords, watch the Lich King.King. ** In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' [[DarkIsNotEvil Warlocks]] are often kept around because it lets those in power keep an eye on them. If they were banished from the capital cities or executed, others would still be around but no one would know where they were. Of course it also helps that most of them don't want the world destroyed (if only because they'd die too) so will fight against the Undead Scourge, Burning Legion, Twilight's Hammer, etc.
4th Oct '15 7:50:45 PM nombretomado
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* Mitchell of BeingHuman describes himself this way, neatly summarizing his various changes of allegiance by saying that he will do anything to survive. He explains to [[spoiler:Herrick]], "Right now, the only way for me to stay alive is by siding with you. Completely and 100%? You bet. Forever? I doubt it."
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* Mitchell of BeingHuman ''Series/{{Being Human|UK}}'' describes himself this way, neatly summarizing his various changes of allegiance by saying that he will do anything to survive. He explains to [[spoiler:Herrick]], "Right now, the only way for me to stay alive is by siding with you. Completely and 100%? You bet. Forever? I doubt it."
24th Aug '15 4:36:16 PM Austin
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* Deadpool, at least in the beginning. While still insane, lately he's developed a rudimentary moral code, keeps his word to those he thinks deserve it (but will lie like a rug to anyone he doesn't like), and will not harm innocents even in self-defense. However, in his early appearances he was a completely amoral mercenary who thought nothing of ''switching sides in the middle of a battle'' if he was offered more money.
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* Deadpool, SelfDemonstrating/{{Deadpool}}, at least in the beginning. While still insane, lately he's developed a rudimentary moral code, keeps his word to those he thinks deserve it (but will lie like a rug to anyone he doesn't like), and will not harm innocents even in self-defense. However, in his early appearances he was a completely amoral mercenary who thought nothing of ''switching sides in the middle of a battle'' if he was offered more money.
14th Aug '15 9:42:22 PM wootzits
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* Happened more than once in ''Anime/SailorMoon''. This was lampshaded in the LiveActionAdaptation ''Series/PrettyGuardianSailorMoon'', where Queen Beryl explains to an annoyed minion that she's aware her generals don't always particularly like her, so she allows the in-fighting between them as a distraction that pushes them to be more creative against each other.
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* Happened more than once in ''Anime/SailorMoon''.''Manga/SailorMoon''. This was lampshaded in the LiveActionAdaptation ''Series/PrettyGuardianSailorMoon'', where Queen Beryl explains to an annoyed minion that she's aware her generals don't always particularly like her, so she allows the in-fighting between them as a distraction that pushes them to be more creative against each other.

* Subverted in ''SoukouNoStrain'': the traitor openly plots against Ralph for ages, but [[spoiler: gets killed off before he can do anything. He simply wasn't a threat.]] * Thorfinn in ''VinlandSaga'' makes no secret of his homicidal hatred of Askeladd. Askeladd is still able to successfully use him for any job he needs as long as he promises to duel him in return.
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* Subverted in ''SoukouNoStrain'': ''Anime/StrainStrategicArmoredInfantry'': the traitor openly plots against Ralph for ages, but [[spoiler: gets [[spoiler:gets killed off before he can do anything. He simply wasn't a threat.]] * Thorfinn in ''VinlandSaga'' ''Manga/VinlandSaga'' makes no secret of his homicidal hatred of Askeladd. Askeladd is still able to successfully use him for any job he needs as long as he promises to duel him in return.
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