Created By: Paul A on February 11, 2010
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Evil doesn't want the world to end

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Somebody is trying to bring about The End of the World as We Know It. The other evil characters are presumably in favour of this, right? Because they're evil.

Turns out, no. They like the world the way it is.
Examples:
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Becoming": Angelus is planning to perform a ritual that will bring about the end of the world. Spike sides with the heroes to stop him.
    Spike: I want to save the world.
    Buffy: You do remember that you're a vampire, right?
    Spike: We like to talk big. Vampires do. "I'm going to destroy the world." That's just tough guy talk. Strutting around with your friends over a pint of blood. The truth is, I like this world. You've got... dog racing, Manchester United. And you've got people, billions of people walking around like Happy Meals with legs.
  • In one novel in Jack Chalker's River of Dancing Gods series, there's a sorcerer plotting to bring about the end of the world. Every other evil sorcerer in the world is against him, once they find out, because they've all done Deals With The Devil to enhance their power, and consequently want to postpone Judgement Day as long as possible.
  • In Sacrifice, there's a prophecy that one of the gods is going to bring about the end of the world, and suspicion immediately falls on Charnel, the god of death and suffering. He denies, pointing out that if the world ends, there will be no people left to suffer and die, so it's in his interest to keep the world as it is.
Community Feedback Replies: 73
  • February 11, 2010
    Tezcat
    • At one point in Supernatural a powerful, successful and very evil demon helps the brothers to combat a world-shattering threat, as he's quite enjoying himself.

    edit; overlaps with Even Evil Has Standards
  • February 11, 2010
    Fanra
    I am thinking we have this somewhere. The Evil Overlord doesn't want to destroy the world, he wants to rule it.
  • February 11, 2010
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    • And inverted in Triple X. Xander tells the agent he works for "when you hire somebody to save the world, make sure they like the world the way it is."
  • February 12, 2010
    macroscopic
    Dr. Archeval from the Transformers Generation One multi-parter "The Ultimate Doom" helped the Decepticons with a mind-control plot, in exchange for world domination, until he found out the ultimate goal would leave the earth a lifeless husk.
    Archeval: "I will be ruler of a dead world!!"
    Megatron: "A simple problem, Doctor, for such a brilliant mind."
  • February 12, 2010
    DannyV_El_Acme
    Pretty much any villain in comics that is not specifically an Omnicidal Maniac will step up to help the planet if it's threatened.
  • February 12, 2010
    Tail-Kinker
    Seems to be related to Anti Anti Christ, but not quite the same.
  • February 12, 2010
    FishStampede
    In The Plane Below for 4e Dungeons And Dragons, it goes into the psychology of Archons. Created by the Primordials to wage war on the non-elemental creatures that served the Gods, they still exist and still regularly attack and kill non-elementals. However, they need battle and slaughter like humans need shelter and companionship, so they stop just short of pure genocidal mayhem. If they ever actually destroyed every non-elemental creature, then they wouldn't have anything to fight anymore.
  • February 12, 2010
    Topazan
    This may not count, since the character's team is the one putting the world at risk, but
    • This Order of the Stick
      Xykon: I like the world. Some of my best evilness took place here. I wouldn't mind ruling it, in fact. I'm certainly not about to destroy it unless I get really, REALLY bored.
  • February 12, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Heroes has Sylar. Head splitting serial killer of specials by day, but rather not have New York explode since it doesn't fit his agenda. Remember that part about the agenda, it becomes important later.
  • February 13, 2010
    BlackDragon
    I remember an episode of the Spider Man Animated Series, where Spidey and Kingpin are basically interrupted mid-battle by a runaway science-experiment threatening to destroy New York. Kingpin immediately calls a truce, and puts his significant resources at Spidey's disposal to stop the problem. When questioned by one of his lieutenants about his sudden change of tone, he comments "It's bad for business to let the world end every other week. No profit in it." Or something like that. Of course, Kingpin is a Villain With Good Publicity, so it's far from the only time he's played along with the good guys when things got rough, knowing that it'd just make him look even better. Come to think of it, he also joins forces with you in the Spiderman: Web of Shadows videogame, as New York is getting overrun by a Symbiote Apocalypse. And again, he simply comments that, along with the wholesale decimation of New York being unprofitable, helping the heroes in their time of need will make him appear a hero, thus further bolstering his image.
  • February 13, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Doctor Doom has saved the world almost as many times as he's tried to conquer it.
  • February 13, 2010
    Bisected8
    It's not quite the theme of the sonf, but as an alternative title, what about I Dont Want To Set The World On Fire?
  • February 13, 2010
    Amazingly Enough
    Its Where I Keep All My Evil Stuff?

    ...Okay, maybe not.

    Not sure if this counts because he's more Poke The Poodle than evil, but Crowley from Good Omens is a demon who rather likes the world and doesn't want the apocalypse to come and ruin everything.
  • February 13, 2010
    random surfer
    In the Marvel Comics Sentry miniseries, as the heroes are gathered to stop the Void Spider-Man notices Doctor Octopus (one of his many Arch Enemies) lined up with them. Dialogue goes something like this:
    Spider-Man: Doc Ock? What are you doing here?
    Doc: We need to stop the Void or else it'll destroy the world. Once this is over, next time I see you I'll kill you.
  • February 13, 2010
    TBTabby
    The reason for this is obvious: The villain lives here too, and has just as much to lose as the hero if it's destroyed.
  • February 13, 2010
    jojabar
  • February 13, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    ^ Seconded.
  • February 13, 2010
    KnownUnknown
    I know I've seen this somewhere, though it's lumped into some other trope, where villain doesn't want another villain to destroy/rule the world because then they couldn't do it.
  • February 14, 2010
    random surfer
    Related to Enemy Mine.
  • February 14, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    This is true in Legend Of The Five Rings. The Sleeping Void is seen as not being truly evil, because it simply wants to end everything, while the forces of the Shadowland ARE evil, and want to conquer the world.
  • February 14, 2010
    Idraena
    It's different if the people actually are mind-bogglingly evil but don't want the world to end because where would fresh victims come from, versus Crowley's situation where he's Affably Evil at worst (as far as I can remember) and doesn't want the world to end because he likes it.

    Voting against Everybody Wants To Save The World because for me that does NOT sound like this trope at all, but more like the traditional story, with everyone teaming up against the Big Bad.

    Related to the Evil Overlord. Also related to Out Of Character Moment, with Hidden Depths added.
  • February 14, 2010
    Tiiba
    Slayers Try has Xellos, who wants the world to be destroyed - but by locals. So when aliens try to do it, he works against them.
  • February 14, 2010
    TBeholder
    • Music: "My Evil Plan To Save The World" by Five Iron Frenzy.

    @ Tiiba: Xellos... oh, Lord of Nightmares, Xellos. How about Slayers: NEXT? The end-of-the-world fails and Xellos was entangled in this all. Complete with him appearing healthy and smiling right after destruction of the strongest Dark Lord who tried to bring it all down. It seems that he and his boss are more interested in power struggles between their kin than in serious apocalyptic activity.

    And then there's... "My Evil Plan to Save the World" AMV with Xellos. :]

    By the way. Good name for this trope, no?
  • February 21, 2010
    macroscopic
    My Evil Plan To Save The World would be a killer trope namer, yeah.

    • In "Planet Jackers," an episode of Invader Zim, another race of aliens steals the earth in a Dyson Sphere intending to use it like firewood to keep their sun alive. Zim immediately decides he has to stop them since if they do this, he can't be the one to destroy the earth.
  • February 21, 2010
    Lychee
    The World Ends With You: The Big Bad Megumi Kitaniji is actually in a game with the Composer to decide the fate of Shibuya. Neku happens to be playing for the Destroy Shibuya team.
  • February 22, 2010
    Paul A
    I don't think "My Evil Plan To Save The World" works for a title. For one thing, it's frequently a case of an evil person but a non-evil plan.

    For another, when I hear "evil plan to save the world", I think of things like the villain's scheme in Watchmen, which is a completely different trope.
  • March 14, 2010
    macroscopic
    Bump.
  • March 14, 2010
    Alucard
    Despite the good intentions involved with this trope, Apocalypse Maiden manages to portray this in a negative light anyway.
  • November 11, 2010
    Pierre
    I have been searching this one for a long time now. It is mentioned in the description of several tropes and really needs its own page. May I dare to revive this thread?

    Since it is a Sub Trope of Evil Vs Evil, opposing the Evil Overlord to the Omnicidal Maniac, it is probably wrong to say that "evil doesn't want the world to end".
    • That didn't stop the writers of Charmed to make "the Hollow" a third force, restrained only by a Ying Yang Bomb spell.

    A villain (all the less an hero) doesn't need to "like the world the way it is" either, as the world obviously offers room for improvement. Some villains are just not ready to rebuild it from scratch and from the grave.
    • But some heroes are. When the Daleks decided to save the Whoniverse, they alas believed they had to save it from the Doctor. Eventually, the Doctor pretty much had to restart it all, while dying in the process.

    The above example also shows that the world-saving villains won't necessarily team up with the heroes and that their methods need not be any more ethic nor more effective than usual.
    • On the other hand, I heard Bowser from Super Mario Bros can make a pretty good job at saving the world (when he doesn't accidentally destroy it in the first place).

    Devil Vs Death could be an appropriate title for this trope, for a certain interpretation of those characters.
  • November 23, 2010
    TBeholder
    @ Paul A: it reminds of Well Intentioned Extremist, yes.

    But also sides other than Enemy Mine this premise has: a villain is unlikely to do it in white gloves and it's sort of hard to decry underhanded methods in such a situation, so Black And Grey Morality is in sight.
  • November 23, 2010
    Chimaera
    • In Sonic Adventure 2, the forces of evil, despite threatening to destroy the world, don't want someone else to do it.
  • November 23, 2010
    RedWren
  • November 23, 2010
    Idraena
    I am voting against My Evil Plan To Save The World on the basis that there isn't necessarily a plan, and nor is the plan itself necessarily evil. It's more about being on the "side" of evil than having an evil plan.

    I also don't think Evil Likes The World, necessarily. It's more that the world is a better place than the alternative, or where their evilness is most effective, etc.

    I can't really think of anything, but something either literal -- like "Evil Does Not Want The World To End" -- or playful, like "But Where Else Would I Do My Evil Work?"
  • November 23, 2010
    TBeholder
    Then simply A Villain Wants To Save The World Too? or cut to Villain Wants To Save The World
  • November 23, 2010
    Prophet
    • Justice League Unlimited: Lex Luthor cuts a deal with Darksied to stop him from destroying the Earth, IIRC

    • Power Puff Girls: When an alien Expy of Galactus wants to destroy the world, Mojo Jojo defeats him single handedly. After all, how will he take over the world if there is no world to take over?
  • November 23, 2010
    HeartBurnKid
    • In the Dragonlance Legends trilogy, Raistlin plots to kill the dark goddess Takhisis, steal her divine powers, and take over the world. However, after Caramon travels into the future and discovers that the battle between Takhisis and Raistlin destroys the world, Raistlin decides he'd rather not be ruler of a dead world and instead seals Takhisis and himself in The Abyss.
  • November 24, 2010
    Moira
  • November 24, 2010
    Chabal2
    ^ More specific variation, that's about evil acts even they won't sink to.

    Inverted in Mastermind World Conqueror: the Mastermind apparently believes that conquering the Earth and blowing it up are in fact the same thing (he looked it up).
  • November 24, 2010
    Schitzo
    Arguably the Nightmares from Links Awakening, who are trying to stop you from carrying out your mission: A Dream Apocalypse
  • November 24, 2010
    Stratadrake
    @Blackdragon: I was thinking the same thing.

    Kingpin: "There is no profit to be made in the world's destruction. It is ... bad for business."
    -- 1990s Spider-Man cartoon
  • November 24, 2010
    PaulA
    Speaking of the end of the world being bad for business, Aztek had Lex Luthor supporting a project to save the world from prophesied destruction, because he didn't want the world destroyed any more than the next man. (Not that he didn't try to milk the situation for every possible advantage in the meantime.)
  • November 24, 2010
    elwoz
    The big twist at the end of A Night In The Lonesome October uses this. The Count (yes, that one) faked his own death to improve his side's odds in the ritual that will either save or destroy the world... and he wants to save it. "I like the world as it is."
  • November 24, 2010
    Earnest
    Just to entry pimp: Evil Only Has To Win Once.
  • November 29, 2010
    Arutema
    Another Order Of The Stick example: Tarquin is willing to forgive Elan's attempts to overthrow him because Elan is on a quest to save the world. A world Tarquin would very much like to continue ruling in.
  • November 29, 2010
    HeroicJay
    The finale of Danny Phantom has all the recurring ghost villains help Danny save the world from a meteor. Not entirely altruistic, though: the Ghost Zone is tied to the Earth, so the ghosts will share Earth's fate should the meteor hit.
  • November 30, 2010
    PaleHorse87
    • In The Dresden Files Harry often gets help from John Marcone, the crime lord of Chicago. This is because Marcone realizes that if the latest supernatural threat takes over a significant portion of the world, or blows up a large part of Chicago, it would be very bad for business.
  • November 30, 2010
    Jordan
    This might be more Even Evil Has Standards (or even him being The Atoner), but ex-Big Bad Grindelwald in the Harry Potter series refuses to help out Voldemort, the current one. It kind of ties into this, because Grindelwald's goal was to be a benevolent dictator over lesser (i.e. non-pureblood) wizards and muggles, whereas Voldemort pretty much wants to kill all non-pureblooded wizards and muggles.
  • December 1, 2010
    AreWeNotMEN
    No Profit in the End of the World, maybe? I think we already have this one, I'm not sure.
  • December 1, 2010
    AlexThePrettyGood
    I think this is tropable and sufficiently different from Even Evil Has Standards.

    However, it must be made clear in the description that the main motivation for the villain is that they help because the new threat interferes with their plans.

    As for a name, No Profit In The End Of The World sounds good. Or how about Who Wants To Rule A Wasteland ?
  • December 1, 2010
    Anya1254
    Another YKTTW was started for the same trope recently. [1]

    Since this is the older of the two, I recommend combining them and letting the other expire. (I think this YKTTW has most of the relevant info on the other, so this post is only a "just in case" precaution)
  • December 1, 2010
    AreWeNotMEN
    I KNEW I saw it somewhere! I guess it was another YKTTW, not a tropes page. Go figure. Seconded.
  • December 2, 2010
    sgamer82
    • The Order Of The Stick, Tarquin promises to help Elan, despite the fact they're on opposite ends of the alignment scale, precisely because he knows Elan is on a quest to save the world and, as the power behind the throne of a good sized kingdom, he has a vested interest in seeing that happen.
  • December 2, 2010
    BraveHoratio
    • In the animated series of Earthworm Jim, Bob the Man-Eating Goldfish says something to this effect after he realizes that the Ultimate Force of Destruction (which he just awakened) is going to destroy the universe by eating the Great Worm Spirit at the beginning of time.

    • The Doctor Who episode "Logopolis" does this with the Master
  • December 2, 2010
    Stratadrake
    No Profit In The End Of The World is the better title. And doesn't require a ptitle due to the apostrophe.
  • December 2, 2010
    PaulA
    No Profit In The End Of The World makes it sound like it only applies to Corrupt Corporate Executives.
  • December 3, 2010
    peccantis
    I like Its Where I Keep All My Evil Stuff, it sums up the trope nicely without stumbling onto whar "saving a world" actually means.
  • December 3, 2010
    Stratadrake
    ^ But it doesn't intone anything about the world's destruction in the first place.
  • January 4, 2011
    Pierre
    Black And Blank Morality could be listed in Shades Of Conflict.

    • The Mummy Returns opposes O'Connell, Imhotep and the Scorpion King. They are trying to save, conquer and destroy the world, respectively.
  • January 4, 2011
    sainatsukino
    somehow in Good Omens, although Crowley isn't THAT evil, but he's a demon nonetheless. Basically he finds out his bosses want to bring about the apocalypse and he teams up with an angel to stop it because he quite likes earth.
  • January 4, 2011
    Pierre
    My favourite names so far:

    So, tell a newbie, are we ready to start this trope?
  • January 4, 2011
    Iaculus
    Possibly No Profit In Armageddon as another suggestion for the trope title, being shorter and more poetic?

    Alternatively, No Profit In The Apocalypse.
  • January 4, 2011
    Pierre
    I just realized that the song My Evil Plan To Save The World is in the quotes for Utopia Justifies T He Means. I will just go with Black And Blank Morality until a title is chosen. No Profit In Armageddon is indeed more poetic, but doesn't it involve a final battle between Good and Evil?
  • January 4, 2011
    dangerwaffle
    I quite like No Profit In Armageddon (or the Apocalypse) - it's nice and to the point, although I'm kind of fond of I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire and It's Where I Keep My Evil Stuff too. My Evil Plan To Save The World is actively misleading, since it does seem to imply a horrific yet world-saving plan like Ozymandias' from Watchmen. I'm not sure what I'd make of Black And Blank Morality if I saw it without context, frankly, but I doubt I'd figure it out right away.
  • January 4, 2011
    ElementX
  • January 4, 2011
    invinible
    I too support No Profit in Armageddon.
  • January 4, 2011
    JonnyB
    In Rudolph's Shiny New Year, Eon the Terrible doesn't want the year to end, as that would bring about his death. He goes about trying to stop time by kidnapping the baby New Year.
  • January 5, 2011
    Stratadrake
    The term has to be Apocalypse, not Armageddon. "Armageddon" specifically means a world-ending battle (or war), not just the world ending.
  • January 5, 2011
    StarryEyed
    Chase Young, Wuya, and Jack Spicer in Xiaolin Showdown, prompting them to join forces with the Xiaolin Warriors on a couple of occasions. Here it's definitely of the "if the world is destroyed then I can't rule it" variety.
  • January 5, 2011
    TBeholder
    Villain Is Against The Apocalypse? Villain Versus Apocalypse?

  • January 8, 2011
    Pierre
    I too am for a title with some flavor of "versus" in it. Like...

    Devil Versus Death - this one is fun because it has two "D".

    Black And Blank Morality - two "B", but not obvious at all.

    Villain Versus Apocalypse - sure, why not, that could work.

    Dark Versus Void - perfect for examples with elemental powers.

    Evil Versus Oblivion - and there we have the word "evil" again.
  • January 9, 2011
    Pierre
    So, um, I created it under my last proposed title.
  • January 9, 2011
    Stratadrake
    Wrong move.
  • January 9, 2011
    Pierre
    Was it? Ah well, first trope, first errors, I guess. I will see how fast it gets revised.
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