History Main / TheBadGuyWins

15th Jan '18 7:11:11 PM TheGreatSkrond
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History has plenty of examples of this trope, especially in stories of failed rebellions against a powerful empire or recountings of real life tragedies. But in Fictionland, when this kind of ending shows up, it's often used either as a [[SequelHook hook for a sequel]] that will give the hero (or a new hero) the chance to succeed where they failed in the first one, or as a way of showing how much of an utter, hopeless CrapsackWorld that the characters live in -- particularly in the case of {{Dystopia}}s, where it serves as a warning to those living in the here and not let this kind of thing happen for real. There can be any number of other reasons for the bad guy winning: simply for the sake of a twist ending (especially in horror stories, which are often most effective if they leave the audience with a hugely emotionally negative final shock); out of the writer's desire to be original or to throw in a new twist to keep things fresh or unpredictable; or just because the writer couldn't find any other way to end the story which suited them. Sometimes it may all just be part of a BlackComedy anyway.

to:

History has plenty of examples of this trope, especially in stories of failed rebellions against a powerful empire or recountings of real life tragedies. But in Fictionland, when this kind of ending shows up, it's often used either as a [[SequelHook hook for a sequel]] that will give the hero (or a new hero) the chance to succeed where they failed in the first one, or as a way of showing how much of an utter, hopeless CrapsackWorld that the characters live in -- particularly in the case of {{Dystopia}}s, where it serves as a warning to those living in the here and now not to let this kind of thing happen for real. There can be any number of other reasons for the bad guy winning: simply for the sake of a twist ending (especially in horror stories, which are often most effective if they leave the audience with a hugely emotionally negative final shock); out of the writer's desire to be original or to throw in a new twist to keep things fresh or unpredictable; or just because the writer couldn't find any other way to end the story which suited them. Sometimes it may all just be part of a BlackComedy anyway.
10th Jan '18 7:17:02 PM MasterN
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DoomedByCanon often requires this trope. If the BigBad's {{backstory}} involves the Big Bad attaining all kinds of success to get him or her [[StartOfDarkness into the position that started the story]], the {{Prequel}} requires him or her to win -- and [[KillEmAll kill off any major characters]], no matter how sympathetic, who do not make it to the sequel. More generally, {{Villain Protagonist}}s will benefit from this trope, particularly in video games where the player takes on the role of a bad guy.

to:

DoomedByCanon often requires this trope. If the BigBad's {{backstory}} involves the Big Bad attaining all kinds of success to get him or her [[StartOfDarkness into the position that started the story]], the {{Prequel}} requires him or her them to win -- and [[KillEmAll kill off any major characters]], no matter how sympathetic, who do not make it to the sequel. original story. More generally, {{Villain Protagonist}}s will benefit from this trope, particularly in video games where the player [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential takes on the role of a bad guy.
guy]].



In cases when the hero was particularly well-liked or the villain particularly hated, the audience may call for a sequel in which the villain gets a proper comeuppance. Or lacking that, they may decide to [[FixFic write their own]].

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In cases when the hero was particularly well-liked or and/or the villain particularly hated, the audience may call for a sequel in which the villain gets a proper comeuppance. Or lacking that, they may decide to [[FixFic write their own]].
10th Jan '18 7:14:17 PM MasterN
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Not so with this ultimate of {{Downer Ending}}s. The Bad Guy Wins is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: complete and ultimate triumph for the villain, and complete and utter devastation (frequently with [[TheHeroDies death]] or [[FateWorseThanDeath worse]]) for the hero or heroes who dared to oppose them. A bad guy who wins is a KarmaHoudini by definition, and such endings can frequently be [[ShootTheShaggyDog depressing as all get out]] -- even more so than your regular DownerEnding. When this trope is parodied, it is the happy ending stuck on for the villain instead which is despairingly from the hero's perspective.

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Not so with this ultimate of {{Downer Ending}}s. The Bad Guy Wins is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: complete and ultimate triumph for the villain, and complete and utter devastation (frequently with [[TheHeroDies death]] or [[FateWorseThanDeath worse]]) for the hero or heroes who dared to oppose them. A bad guy who wins is a KarmaHoudini by definition, and such endings can frequently be [[ShootTheShaggyDog depressing as all get out]] hell itself]] -- even more so than your regular DownerEnding. When this trope is parodied, it is the happy ending stuck on for the villain instead which is despairingly from the hero's perspective.
13th Dec '17 7:27:34 PM ChaoticNovelist
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Some stories may attempt to use this trope, yet still try to soften the blow. Perhaps the villain's goal is [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans ultimately a good thing]]. Or the heroes are really NotSoDifferent after all (especially true if they're VillainProtagonist characters up against a nicer antagonist) and [[AssholeVictim their loutish behavior keeps us from feeling too sorry for them]]. Another variant is for the villain to create a VillainWorld that the heroes must topple in a future story.

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Some stories may attempt to use this trope, yet still try to soften the blow. Perhaps the villain's goal is [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans ultimately a good thing]]. Or the heroes are really NotSoDifferent after all (especially true if they're VillainProtagonist characters up against a nicer antagonist) and [[AssholeVictim their loutish behavior keeps us from feeling too sorry for them]]. Another variant is for the villain to create a VillainWorld that the heroes must topple in a future story.
26th Nov '17 12:05:53 PM FruityOatyBars
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If a [[NoAntagonist Lacks a Villain]], nature (or the heroes' own flaws) might defeat them instead.

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If a the story [[NoAntagonist Lacks lacks a Villain]], villain]], nature (or the heroes' own flaws) might defeat them instead.
26th Nov '17 12:05:03 PM FruityOatyBars
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Also, if a Story [[NoAntagonist Lacks a Villain]], It would mostly likely Nature would only devasted the heroes in the end Instead.

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Also, if If a Story [[NoAntagonist Lacks a Villain]], It would mostly likely Nature would only devasted nature (or the heroes in the end Instead.
heroes' own flaws) might defeat them instead.
10th Jul '17 10:59:02 PM Jonnybeng
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Added DiffLines:

Also, if a Story [[NoAntagonist Lacks a Villain]], It would mostly likely Nature would only devasted the heroes in the end Instead.
26th Feb '17 11:50:14 AM Prfnoff
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* {{TheBadGuyWins/Tabletop Games}}

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* {{TheBadGuyWins/Tabletop Games}}TheBadGuyWins/TabletopGames
26th Feb '17 11:44:52 AM Prfnoff
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Added DiffLines:

* TheBadGuyWins/{{Theatre}}
20th May '16 2:03:41 PM Shadowgazer
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History has plenty of examples of this trope, especially in stories of failed rebellions against a powerful empire or recountings of real life tragedies. But in Fictionland, when this kind of ending shows up, it's often used either as a [[SequelHook hook for a sequel]] that will give the hero (or a new hero) the chance to succeed where they failed in the first one, or as a way of showing how much of an utter, hopeless CrapsackWorld that the characters live in -- particularly in the case of {{Dystopia}}s, where it serves as a warning to those living in the here and now not to let this kind of thing happen for real. There can be any number of other reasons for the bad guy winning: simply for the sake of a twist ending (especially in horror stories, which are often most effective if they leave the audience with a hugely emotionally negative final shock); out of the writer's desire to be original or to throw in a new twist to keep things fresh or unpredictable; or just because the writer couldn't find any other way to end the story which suited them. Sometimes it may all just be part of a BlackComedy anyway.

to:

History has plenty of examples of this trope, especially in stories of failed rebellions against a powerful empire or recountings of real life tragedies. But in Fictionland, when this kind of ending shows up, it's often used either as a [[SequelHook hook for a sequel]] that will give the hero (or a new hero) the chance to succeed where they failed in the first one, or as a way of showing how much of an utter, hopeless CrapsackWorld that the characters live in -- particularly in the case of {{Dystopia}}s, where it serves as a warning to those living in the here and now not to let this kind of thing happen for real. There can be any number of other reasons for the bad guy winning: simply for the sake of a twist ending (especially in horror stories, which are often most effective if they leave the audience with a hugely emotionally negative final shock); out of the writer's desire to be original or to throw in a new twist to keep things fresh or unpredictable; or just because the writer couldn't find any other way to end the story which suited them. Sometimes it may all just be part of a BlackComedy anyway.



Some stories may attempt to use this trope, yet still try to soften the blow. Perhaps the villain's goal is [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans ultimately a good thing]]. Or the heroes are really NotSoDifferent after all (especially true if they're VillainProtagonist characters up against a 'good' antagonist) and [[AssholeVictim their loutish behavior keeps us from feeling too sorry for them]]. Another variant is for the villain to create a VillainWorld that the heroes must topple in a future story.

to:

Some stories may attempt to use this trope, yet still try to soften the blow. Perhaps the villain's goal is [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans ultimately a good thing]]. Or the heroes are really NotSoDifferent after all (especially true if they're VillainProtagonist characters up against a 'good' nicer antagonist) and [[AssholeVictim their loutish behavior keeps us from feeling too sorry for them]]. Another variant is for the villain to create a VillainWorld that the heroes must topple in a future story.



Compare PyrrhicVillainy when the villain's victory came at a great cost.

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Compare PyrrhicVillainy when the villain's victory came at a great cost.
cost. This is NOT necessarily the same with KarmaHoudini and DownerEnding, as there are plenty of happy endings where villains escape unscathed and a plenty of DownerEnding s where the villains suffer as much as everyone.
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