Created By: OwenPD on June 26, 2015 Last Edited By: OwenPD on August 13, 2015

Project Evil

Things named project are bad.

Name Space:
Page Type:
If an engineering program is named "Project _____", chances are it is being conducted by The Empire or a Mad Scientist, and is probably unethical. Expect anything from Body Horror to The Virus to an all-seeing Kill Sat. May be traced back to an abandoned laboratory.


  • Fallout: Equestria - Project Horizons has this in spades, what with all the secret research and development projects undertaken by Goldenblood's OIA during the war. Not every project was necessarily conceived with the intent to do evil, but given the setting, they all more or less end up that way.

Film — Live Action

Live-Action TV
  • Agents Of Shield has Project Deathlok, one of Hydra's many attempts to create Super Soldiers. The end result was essentially an army of Cyborg People Puppets.
    • Another has Project Darkforce, which involves the incarceration of a criminal named Marcus Daniels.
      Coulson: Nothing bad ever happens when you work with something called "Darkforce".

Western Animation

Real Life
  • Project MKULTRA was a secret CIA program, started in 1953, to research mind control and chemical weapons/interrogation tools. Not much is known about it, since most of the CIA's documents on it were destroyed in 1973, but from the little that is known (much of it revealed in the 1977 senate hearings), we can confidently say that it was a real life example of this trope.
Community Feedback Replies: 12
  • June 26, 2015
    Not all things named "Project Whatever" are bad things. For example, Project Genesis in Star Trek II is a technology capable of creating new habitable worlds for settling.
  • June 26, 2015
    It's not a guarantee, no, but even the stuff that's not outright evil still usually sounds pretty sketchy, just because it has a codename.

    Have some MCU examples:

    Film — Live Action

    Live Action TV
  • June 26, 2015
    Did some formatting and added namespaces, plus some better context for the Fallout Equestria Project Horizons example.
  • June 26, 2015
    This is already covered by Code Name. It's even in the first line of the trope description and in the common code named styles section.
  • June 27, 2015
    • Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. Dr. Evil's Project Vulcan is a plan to use a "big underground drill" to carry a 50 kiloton nuclear warhead into the Earth's molten core and detonate it, causing volcanoes around the world to erupt.
  • June 27, 2015
    • Futurama: "Project Satan" constructed the first werecar from pieces of the most evil automobiles ever built.
  • June 27, 2015
    ^^^ @MiinU: Given how long the Code Name page is, I'd say it's about time to split off a subtrope.

    • Red Vs Blue: Project Freelancer. ZCE, sorry, I haven't seen enough of the show yet, but I know it counts, so someone please fix this!
  • June 27, 2015
    • In A Certain Magical Index, "Sisters Project" exemplifies For Science. Make some 20k clones of a prospective esper girl. The results pale in comparison to original? Oh well, let's let another prospective esper boy murder his way through all the clones, seeing a chance for his level-up.
  • June 27, 2015
    • Project Blue, the program that created the superflu in The Stand.
  • July 19, 2015
    • Project Mayhem from Fight Club: a cult-like organization that trains itself as an army to bring down modern civilization.
  • July 19, 2015
    Averted with the D.N.A P.R.O.J.E.C.T. from All Star Superman. While its projects (such as Project Doomsday) could be used negatively, they're very decent.
  • July 20, 2015
    I think the Agents Of SHIELD example means Project CENTIPEDE. Project Deathlok was their project to turn Mike Peterson into a cyborg assassin (and previously SHIELD's project to rebuild John Garret).