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[[quoteright:350:[[Franchise/{{Superman}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/livewire-bt_9228.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:From ShockJock to just shocking.]]

->''"When your hair stands on end, you are already dead."''
-->-- ''Videogame/HeroesOfMightAndMagic IV'', [[EncyclopediaExposita flavor text]] for the spell "ChainLightning"

[[ShockAndAwe Lightning]]. An incredibly powerful force of nature that has awed mankind since before the beginning of civilization.

Today we know this to be an atmospheric discharge of electricity, but to the people of the past, this phenomenon was an Act of God and [[LightningCanDoAnything a symbol of great power]]. So characters who happen to [[ShockAndAwe wield the power of this electric element]] can be very powerful indeed...[[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity and you know what they say about those with great power]]. No, not [[ComesGreatResponsibility those ones]].

Enter the Psycho Electro.

A subtrope of PersonalityPowers, but one you have to do a bit of digging to make sense of. Lightning and Electricity related characters tend to be psychotic, sadistic, and/or just plain insane. Whether this is in [[NervousWreck a touchy and paranoid way]] or in a [[TheStoic cold, unhinged manner]] is up to the writer, but mostly, they're marinated in A-1 crazy sauce.

Lightning is not associated with madness in folklore or mythology, where it's treated as a regal and divine ability. In HighFantasy, this power is attributed to [[KnightInShiningArmor knightly and chivalrous people]]. But when it comes to modern SpeculativeFiction and especially SuperHero fiction, characters with lightning powers are just plain nuts or incredibly sadistic, almost guaranteed to take delight in giving their victims some ElectricTorture.

Perhaps it's because of the seeming disorder of thunderstorms. The songs of chaos sung by thunder and lightning, the loud, scary, booming sounds, the darkness that entails and the jagged appearance of lightning itself can make for decent symbols of madness. Maybe it has to do with the idea that the brain is controlled by electrical impulses, and the electrical current running through them messes with their mind. Cue the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electroconvulsive_therapy electroshock therapy]], which in this case just makes things worse.

It may have nothing to do with lightning and all to do with ''electricity''. Man-made electricity has allowed us to see it up close and witness its erratic patterns and behavior. Many associate electricity with pain and with good reason, thanks to the electric chair and the fact that electrocution (electrocution is ''electr''ical and exe''cution'') isn't a fun time for anyone. Whatever the reason, The Psycho Electro remains prominent in fiction. When it comes to crazy sadists with powers, nothing really expresses it better than the twitchy, destructive and unpredictable nature of lightning and electricity.

Or it could possibly relate the shocking sensation of electricity that would cause a person to twitch and how the ''typical'' psychotic person twitches. It's then just A+B=C+B=D.

Despite this, it is '''not''' a case of BadPowersBadPeople. There are still many heroes and good characters that have lightning abilities. It seems to be one of those "double-edged sword" powers where it can help people just as much as it can harm them, but the great potential for destruction is still there and may serve to enforce how careful they need to be.

Compare PyroManiac, RideTheLightning. Not to confound with EvilElectro, though those having FreakyElectronicMusic as their musical theme tend to have electric powers.

The moral- and personality-neutral trope is ShockAndAwe. Contrast AnIcePerson and PlayingWithFire, the other two elements that form the FireIceLightning trio.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Averted in ''Manga/SamuraiDeeperKyo'' with Sasuke, who, despite using lightning attacks, is one of the better-adjusted members of the team. Relatively speaking.
* An electricity controlling witch in ''Anime/WitchHunterRobin'', who was certified ''in the episode.''
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'', the user of the lightning-empowering "Rumble-Rumble" Devil Fruit is called Eneru and has the title of God. He wants to destroy an entire island of people to reach the moon. Actually he doesn't even need to destroy the island; apparently he just likes to blow up his old island whenever he moves.
* ''Manga/GetBackers'': If electricity-user Ginji uses his powers too much or loses control of his emotions, he can convert to his Lightning Lord personality - a super-powerful and hugely destructive badass.
* Both used and subverted in ''Manga/ZatchBell'' Gash is about as gentle as you can imagine but his twin brother Zeon is extremely violent and vengeful (and is shown using ElectricTorture in the manga).
* Precia Testarossa from ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha''. Mage with an affinity to Lightning and more than a tad insane. Fate, her daughter and another Lightning user, makes it a point not to turn out like her.
** Fate could actually be considered an inversion of this trope, considering just how much of a StoicWoobie she is.
** Fate's adopted son Erio used to be like this, until Fate basically [[CoolDownHug hugged the crazy out of him]].
* Atori from ''{{Anime/Noein}}'' nails this trope. Sadistic, insane and zapping everything in sight. Even if he did lose his sadism later on, he still kept the electricity and insanity.
* Averted with Nue from ''Manga/AirGear''; while he ''does'' have a thing for the macabre (calling out Kogarasumaru in the middle of a graveyard, anyone?) he's far from being villainous, and he and his team members support Ikki and company later on in the story.
* She doesn't actually have electrical ''powers'', but Shion Sonozaki from ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'' might still count with her, um, ''enthusiastic'' taser usage.
* If we are talking tazers then ''Manga/TheWorldGodOnlyKnows''' Kanon Nakagawa should come to mind: As a result of her neurosis, she, in her early stages, zaps Keima when ever he crushes her little self-esteem by ignoring her. When she is that way she is amazingly creepy.
* ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'':
** Misaka WORST. Being the youngest (and at the same time oldest) Misaka clone, her older sisters maybe a Tsundere letting off a lot of steam, a network of ten thousand military trained [[ReiAyanamiExpy Rei Ayanami]] [[StealthPun Clones]] and the most adorable MoralityPet that has crossed the screen since [[Manga/InuYasha Rin]], but she is so far the only one that managed to make [[SociopathicHero Accele]][[WorldsStrongestMan rator]] run away in fear, mind rape him and in general being an annoying troll[[note]]just pretend ArsonMurderAndJaywalking was hyperlinked there. You know that trope and that joke so well you probably already did[[/note]]. [[spoiler: Her being a sort of cyborg enhanced under great pain and being the garbage bin of the networks negative emotions, she is probably closest of all the clones to being a real psychopath: little regard for rules and others as well as a plethora of desires and negative emotions, but unlike psychos and socios, she is able to feel emotions like affection, even if they are just .]]
** Her older, but younger sister - and the original - Mikoto Misaka is in regards to main character Kamijou Touma very… zap-happy. Granted, it's because he can take nearly anything, but when you get improvised sand-saws, electro-shocks, railgun bullets and thunderstorms summoned upon you, you really start wondering if this is just {{Tsundere}} or [[{{Yandere}} manic obsession and sadism]].
** PsychoForHire Mugino Shizuri/Meltdowner, the [[FourIsDeath 4th-ranked]] [[PowerLevels Level 5]] esper in Academy City, has the ability to control electrons and fire them as incredibly destructive [[FrickinLaserBeams energy beams]] capable of disintegrating any matter, which initially appear as [[EnergyBall floating orbs of light]]. During their battle, [[ShockAndAwe Misaka]] [[spoiler:notes that their powers are fundamentally the same, which is why they can redirect one another's attacks]]. She's a calm and confident leader until things [[HairTriggerTemper don't go her way]], at which point she shows her foul-mouthed, AxCrazy true colors, often accompanied by a SlasherSmile. She has a ''very'' fragile ego and an InferioritySuperiorityComplex on top of it and hates being humiliated, completely [[StealthPun melting down]] whenever she suffers a defeat. Her ability is [[PowerIncontinence just as dangerous to herself]] as it is to others, so her mind [[AfraidOfTheirOwnStrength subconsciously prevents her from drawing out all of its power]] [[spoiler:lest she experience a SuperpowerMeltdown]]. She's quite possibly the most insane Level 5, managing to outdo Accelerator.
* Similar to the above, taser-wielding "knight" and title character Ame Ochibana of ''LightNovel/DenpaTekiNaKanojo'', who, while not malicious, clearly has a few screws loose.
* Laxus from ''Manga/FairyTail'' is a SocialDarwinist with the power to back it up. [[spoiler: He even tries to take over the guild at one point, and it takes Natsu and Gajeel working together to bring him down...and that was after Mystogan softened him up a bit first.]]
* In ''Manga/DragonBall'', a Super Saiyan 2 has a small lightning aura along with their regular golden one. The first person to achieve it, Gohan, went absolutely batshit insane and kicked the crap out of Cell.
* Averted in ''Manga/SoulEater'', where Harvar d'Eclair is one of the more stoical characters. Fellow lightning-related Weapon Marie Mjolnir, however, doesn't really count.
** As her fight with [[spoiler:Justin]] pointed out why she's a Death Scythe, Marie is more LightningBruiser, the lightning being related to speed rather than shocking people.
* ''Manga/KamichamaKarin'''s resident MadScientist slash ComesGreatInsanity BigBad just so happens to wield the power of [[Myth/GreekMythology Zeus]], god of thunder and lightning and such.
* Sasuke from ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' after his FaceHeelTurn. Most of the other lightning-users seem to avert this, like the mostly stoic Kakashi and the hotheaded, but mostly good Raikage and his "brother" Killerbee.
* Ash's Pikachu from ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' is normally a lovable critter, but when he got [[DemonicPossession possessed by the]] [[ArtifactOfDoom Blue Orb]], he definitely fits.
* Spooky Electric, one of the [[ArtificialHuman synthetic humans]] of the [[AncientConspiracy Towa Organization]] in ''LightNovel/BoogiepopSeries'' has power over electricity. Aside from being able to taze people with touch, he can also control electronics ''and'' brainwash people by subtly altering their brainwaves.
* Megatron of ''Anime/TransformersCybertron''.
* Subverted with Ryuubi Gentoku from ''Manga/IkkiTousen''. She's normally a sweet and kind girl who would rather read a book than throw a punch. The only time she's ever psychotic is when she's under the control of her dragon spirit.
* Kanon Ozu of ''Manga/{{Coppelion}}''. She is not what you'd exactly call "stable". Her DNA was spliced with an Electric Eel, which granted her a hoast of electric based powers, not least of which is blasting out lightning bolts from her hands. She can sense how far people are away with electronic pulses and much more. She also can't feel pain. It's partly ''from'' this power, the last part in particular, that she goes down the path of insanity.

* Creator/TheFiresignTheatre's "The Electrician", most prominently featured in ''Hemlock Stones and the Tale of the Giant Rat of Sumatra'', fits "electric crazy person" to a tee.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ComicBook/SpiderMan's villain, Electro normally is a very downplayed version of this trope. But he went crazy after ComicBook/SuperiorSpiderMan Spider-Man (actually Doc Ock in Peter body, at that time) experimented on him. He can no longer control his powers (to the point of accidentally frying his ally/lover) and has frequent nightmares of Spider-Man torturing him.
* ComicBook/{{Magneto}}. [[HeelFaceRevolvingDoor When he's a bad guy]], his electromagnetic powers do have a tendency to mess with his brain chemistry. Unlike most examples, though, he's more of an {{Ubermensch}} with a [[AGodAmI god complex]] than your usual twitchy lightning-throwing psychopath.
* ''Comicbook/{{Legion of Super-Heroes}}'' villain Mekt Ranzz, a.k.a. Lightning Lord, is nearly always evil and is frequently insane as well. In the post-Zero Hour version of the book, his brother Garth was convinced that the lightning had made him crazy and would do the same to Garth and his sister Ayla; Ayla convinced him that the lightning wasn't responsible, just Mekt's natural instability. Surprisingly subverted very well in the [[WesternAnimation/LegionOfSuperHeroes animated adaptation]], in which Mekt reforms and helps Garth save Ayla.
** In the Threeboot Legion, Mekt is still crazy, but this time it's because, being a solo birth on a planet of twins, he's missing out on a bond shared by everyone else he knows, and this naturally leads to depression. [[spoiler:He gets over it when he realizes he owes it to the Wanderers not to die]], but he's still got anger issues.
** And Storm Boy, whose non-natural powers kept him from being accepted into the Legion. He's since had over 75 separate operations to increase the voltage of his bolts and also to see what they can do with his face.
* Subverted in ''ComicBook/TopTen'', whose character Shock-Headed Peter is a [[FantasticRacism robot hater]], but definitely NOT psychotic. He also [[MommasBoy loves his momma]]. Although one issue stated Peter had some sociopathic tendencies.
* Averted with Zafir, one of the few costumed enemies of the "original" Paperinik. She is a violent criminal, but not psychotic in the least.
* Franchise/{{Superman}} villain Livewire's (pictured) powers [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity affected her brain]], kicking her natural AttentionWhore tendencies UpToEleven. Superman eventually fixed this by giving her one of his old containment suits from [[DorkAge that time he was an]] EnergyBeing, facilitating a HeelFaceTurn.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''Fanfic/ThousandShinji'', Shinji uses lightning attacks and is a manipulative, psychotic jerkass.
* In Fanfic/TheRainsverse, Chroma's alicorn powers are heavily lightning-themed, and she is a paranoid BloodKnight.

* ''Film/TheAmazingSpiderMan2'': Electro was a nice guy, but he had voices in his head even ''before'' his accident, and an obsession with Spider-Man after the hero saved him once and gave him some kind words. When he gets his powers, he heads into the [[PowerIncontinence "panicking"]] stage, and when the cops start shooting and people pay more attention to Spidey than him... [[ThenLetMeBeEvil he doesn't take it well]].
* ''Film/BigTroubleInLittleChina'': Of the Three Storms, Lightning is the most impressive. His body is crackling with electricity that he can shoot from his hands. He's the last Storm to be defeated.
* ''Film/GhostbustersII'': Since the two fried in an electric chair, the ghosts of the Scoleri brothers return to haunt the judge that sent them to it, as a pair of electrically-charged ghosts.
* ''Film/{{Prison}}'': Revolves around an electrically charged ghost who wants revenge.
* ''Film/TheRulingClass'': In a more satirical vein, the chief psychologist attempts to cure Peter O Toole's protagonist - under the delusion that he is God - by introducing him to another crazed man calling himself the "AC-DC Messiah".
* ''Film/{{Shocker}}'': Horace Pinker, SerialKiller who made a DealWithTheDevil, comes back after death as an electric ghost who can possess people.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'': Sith Lords, most notably Emperor Palpatine, have the ability to use the Force to attack and torture people with lightning. As he is arguably the most famous person to cackle madly while shocking victims, probably the TropeCodifier.
* ''Film/StreetFighter'': M. Bison has these vibes. [[AGodAmI FOR I BEHELD SATAN AS HE FELL FROM HEAVEN]]... [[LargeHam LIKE LIIIIGHTNIIIING!!!]]
* Parodied in ''Film/ErnestGoesToJail'' where attempting to fry him in the Electric Chair ([[ItMakesSenseInContext It happens]]) gives Ernest electric powers ([[ItMakesJustAsMuchSenseInContext It also happens]]). While he's definitely framed as one of these (and the prison guards and prisoners react to him as such) he's still the same old lovable Ernest, just with the occasional comedic twitch.

* In ''Literature/AfterTheGoldenAge'', Barry Quinn was a superhero with electric powers. He was also a paranoid schizophreniac who believed his medication weakened his abilities. No one was surprised when his career ended with him being institutionalized.
%%* Olivia in ''Literature/TheCircle2011''.
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'':
** Elaine is probably one of the least stable human characters in the ''Dresden Files'', and she most of her battle magic is electric. Possibly justified that it tends to be more targeted than fire, (thus requiring less energy,) and fire is the favorite of combat wizards with more power than technique, such as Harry. In a subversion, Harry is suitably impressed by her technique, and mimics some of her electricity-storing gadgets, though he continues to fight with air and fire.
** In the very first book, [[spoiler: the Entropy Curses that are ripping peoples' hearts out]] are powered by the energy in thunderstorms. And sex. In this case, the thunderstorms were just big, huge natural batteries that were conveniently around, a power source to be tapped into, the nature of the rituals themselves was blood magic. And Harry harnessed the power of the storm as well to get rid of [[spoiler: the toad demon that Victor Shadowman summoned.]]
* Parricidal Luke from ''Literature/{{Duumvirate}}'' is less flashy than most examples on this page. It's the [[LightningBruiser speed, strength]], and raw hatred that make him so horribly dangerous.
* The Rakasha in Creator/RogerZelazny's ''Literature/LordOfLight'' are pure energy beings represented by constantly shifting pillars of lightning. They are also arrogant, egocentric, and pathological gamblers.
* ''Franchise/StarWarsLegends'':
** In ''Literature/TheThrawnTrilogy'', the cloned Dark Jedi Master Joruus C'baoth uses mass mind control on most people, and Force Lightning on the rest. [[http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/286/blz23.jpg He is very unstable]].
* The Electro-priests which show up in the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' novel Soul Drinker. They're techpriests who have their entire bodies covered in electoos (basically, tattooed circuits layed under a person's skin). They chant litanies before going into battle to drive themselves into a ''Berseker Mode'' and turn into living fonts of electricity. They actually slice the hands clean off of a fully-armored Space Marine. With their bare hands.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* [[MeaningfulName Gwen Raiden]] from ''Series/{{Angel}}''. Not exactly AxCrazy, and she's a good guy in most of her appearances, but she's still very chaotic and possibly a little unhinged from her problems with PowerIncontinence, which have kept her from ever being directly touched (and which have caused at least one accidental death).
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E17E18TheEndOfTime "The End of Time"]], the imperfectly-revived Master gains the ability to generate and control electricity, an appropriate elemental complement to his already-established personality and mental state.
* ''Series/FlandersCompany'' has Carla Burnelle, TheHeavy from season 2, who possess lightning-based power. Since she usually is a FauxAffablyEvil MagnificentBitch who work for a Clothes-producing company, you initially don't really expect her to be one, especially with {{Villain Protagonist}}s as the main cast. Then come the season finale, where [[LetSGetDangerous she is able to take down all the protagonists of her own]], and has no problem attempting to kill them. This goes even worst after her VillainousBreakdown at the end of season 3, causing her to come back in season 4 and attack the Flander's Company in a state of insane rage.
* Elle Bishop from ''Series/{{Heroes}}''. Once she started indulging in electric sadomasochism with imprisoned pretty-boy Peter, it was clear she wasn't exactly right in the head. It's implied to be the result of years of being a test subject who's been denied a normal childhood. As well, though arguably psychotic to begin with, once Sylar copies Elle's power, using it somehow manages to make him seem even ''more'' unhinged.
* Generally averted by ''Series/KamenRiderStronger'': Stronger, the protagonist, has electricity as his motif, and is only crazy in [[CrazyAwesome a different sense than what this trope is about]].
* Heckyl from ''Series/PowerRangersDinoCharge'' is funny, insane and very dangerous. His lightning powers are one of the reasons why he was locked up in a solitary confinement for centuries (or longer). His EstablishingCharacterMoment in ''Wishing For a Hero'' says it all.
* UsefulNotes/NikolaTesla in ''Series/{{Sanctuary}}'', a gleefully sociopathic vampire who fell asleep in Edison's electric chair. Yes, really.
* Done to freaking death in ''Series/{{Smallville}}''. Probably Smallville's most common evil [[MonsterOfTheWeek mutant of the week power.]]
* ''Series/TheXFiles'' episode ''DPO''. If you mess with DPO's arcade game, he will call down the lightning and fry your ass.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Lightning in ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' is mostly associated with Red, the color of emotion and chaos. Therefore, unlike most fantasy settings, people with electricity powers here tend less to be divine and more passionate, which in some cases is manifested through outright psychosis. Specific examples include the [[MadScientist Izzet League]], which as a {{Steampunk}} faction tend to show the "fried brains" side of this trope, and the [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Kolaghan Brood]], who put lightning to good use by burning everything for their own amusement.
* In ''TabletopGame/UnhallowedMetropolis'', the power Electrokinesis allows the wielder to psychically control and generate electricity. At maximum power it allows the character to instantly kill anything in a particle beam blast that can take out a city block, unfortunately Electrokinesis causes a character to develop megalomania and at the highest rank it manifests as a full-blown god complex.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In the [=PlayStation=] game ''Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro'', the antagonist is hit with a jolt of power due to a mystical artifact, and becomes so strong that he is able to harness massive amounts of lightning. The final battle is held on top of a large industrial building, with Electro feeding off a power generator and smacking the hell out of the player until the generator is disabled.
* Larxene from ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsChainOfMemories''. She's not so much insane as she is a vicious DarkActionGirl who enjoys physically and emotionally abusing others. Don't forget her [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d81QJDIyTDc evil laughter.]] It's creepy as hell.
-->"More pain for you means more fun for me!"
* Colonel Volgin in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater''. There is actually a scene of him casually using ElectricTorture and he is described to be a sadist. Don't believe it? Check out the medical records of his HoneyTrap sometime. Yeeeeaah...
** It's debatable whether he gets that violent towards Raikov, though. We get a couple good long looks at him scantily clad and he seems just fine. She just manages to piss him off.
** Still, there's a reason his boss music is named: "Clash With Evil Personified." Hell, halfway through the game he takes one of his own people he believes to be a traitor and rather than interrogate him, stuffs him in an oil drum and beats him death while he's inside it.
* Kanden the bounty hunter, from ''VideoGame/MetroidPrimeHunters,'' uses a weapon called the shock coil, which fires bursts of electricity. He is also known for being a mentally unstable, and supposedly unkillable, living weapon of destruction.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'':
** Sheena Fujibayashi failed to form a pact with the summon spirit of Lightning in her backstory and it flips out and causes much destruction, as opposed to the other elemental summon spirits who just didn't give you the pact and left.
** Problem was that Volt didn't speak English. Or Tethe'allan. But mainly English. Volt speaks a language few other characters speak in the game and interprets nearly everything as a threat.
** There's also Kvar, the electricity-based [[QuirkyMinibossSquad Grand Cardinal]], who is the most sadistic of the lot and also [[spoiler:responsible for the death of Lloyd's mother]].
** And the other lightning-user, [[WellIntentionedExtremist Yuan]], while not exactly crazy per se, tends toward the cold and somewhat erratic.
* Lightning is the element of choice for Hasta, the resident {{Blood Knight}}/{{Psycho For Hire}} of ''VideoGame/TalesOfInnocence''.
* ''VideoGame/MegaManZero 3'': Volteel Biblio, Elec Man, Spark Man, Cloud Man, (arguably) Flash Man and Bright Man, and *shudder* [[MonsterClown Clown Man]] from the ''VideoGame/MegaMan'' series. As well as Spark Mandrill, Volt Catfish, and other Mavericks from the ''VideoGame/MegaManX'' series.
* Given their BloodKnight tendencies and the [[ElementalRockPaperScissors elemental alignment]] of the unlocked SuperMode, this was probably the case for the extinct Zerker tribe of ''VideoGame/MegaManStarForce''.
* Psymon Stark of the ''VideoGame/{{SSX}}'' series, who was electrocuted on power lines, leading to long-term mental health issues, noticeable tics, and a generally erratic and unpredictable personality.
* Robo-Ky of the ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear'' series has some...idiosyncratic mannerisms. To be frank, he seems to be constantly malfunctioning. Ironically, he has lightning abilities because the original Ky Kiske has them, not because he's a robot. This trope is subverted by Ky Kiske himself. He's a very disciplined knight who's mastery of lightning magic is a sign of his skill. Other issues aside, he's not a psycho electro but can be consider sort of the opposite.
* As the article quote implies, ''VideoGame/HeroesOfMightAndMagic'' use this trope in the fourth game, with Lightning spells being within the domain of Chaos magic, the "hey, let's burn the world to ashes" spell school. Which is an association inherited from Magic: The Gathering, as the schools in Heroes IV are equivalent to the five colors in Magic. Master of Magic has the same thing (with lightning spells coming, again, from the Chaos school) with both Master of Magic and Heroes IV also subverting the trope by having the lightning-using creatures belonging to each game's equivalent to M:TG's blue magic.
* The users of Tesla weapons in the ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer'' series. Especially the Shock Trooper from the original Red Alert, who would declaim deranged BondOneLiner catchphrases such as "Extra crispy!", "Lights out!" and "Fully charged!" Soviet commander Moskvin from Red Alert 3 is a former Tesla Trooper, and tends to be very aggressive and erratic, with unpredictable mood swings.
* ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney'':
** Although lacking actual superpowers, [[spoiler:Manfred von Karma and his infamous stun gun scene]].
** Then there's [[spoiler: Gant somehow ''striking himself with lightning'' when he's losing.]]
** The imagery returns in ''Trials & Tribulations'', when [[spoiler:Dahlia Hawthorne kills her ex-boyfriend with, of all things, a high-voltage wire.]]
* Normally Shermie from ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters'' is a bubbly, giggly, flirty lady. When she turns into Orochi Shermie though (appropriately named Orochi Shermie of the Insanely Violent Lightning as her full title) she becomes much more serious and darker, spouting the end of humans. Oh and in 2002, her skin gets tanned.
* Cole [=McGrath=] from ''VideoGame/InFamous'' can be played [[KarmaMeter good or evil.]] And evil Cole has blood-red electricity instead of blue, and a less healthy-looking complexion ala Emperor Palpatine as well as gaining what is pretty much Force Lightning and clusterbombs for his grenades. [[spoiler:If he chooses to commit a MoralEventHorizon at the end his lightning will turn black.]]
* Subverted by Horace Gage from ''VideoGame/TheSuffering.'' Out of all the ghosts and creatures on Carnate Island, Horace is by far the most stable, though he's still unhinged from the decades he's spent frying in the electric chair that killed him to begin with. He's also the ghost for the [[KarmaMeter Good alignment]], not wanting Torque to become corrupted by prison life and the supernatural taint of Carnate, as he was.
* Subverted in ''StreetFighter''. Crimson Viper, an electrified agent of the nefarious Shadaloo organization, presents a cold and villainous front (her presence is even accompanied by an ominous EtherealChoir-ridden theme song), but her in-game ending reveals that she is actually [[spoiler:a CIA double-agent working to take down Shadaloo]].
* This is how {{VisualNovel/Tsukihime}} villain Michael Roa Valdamjong is portrayed in ''VideoGame/MeltyBlood: Actress Again''. It's somewhat subverted though as he's a lot more calm than most psychopaths.
* The midget torturer in ''VideoGame/{{Wet}}'' is pretty clearly one of these, given his [[ElectricTorture choice of torture equipment,]] and it's apparently not his only "issue"...after capturing Rubi, Sorrell orders him to "finish her off...then you can do whatever you want with her."
* [[EvilOldFolks The Matron]], one of your henchmen in ''EvilGenius'', is a sweet, grandmotherly old lady with a morning-star and a penchant for electroshock therapy. During her time as a 'carer' in a Swiss mental institute, she'd administrate her torture until either the fuses were about to blow or the arthritis in her hands started to flare up. It was only uncovered when the electricity board decided to check on why a small village in the mountains was sucking up more juice than Zurich.
* Averted completely in ''VideoGame/FragileDreams'': The BigBad, a MadScientist ghost named Shin, has [[ShockAndAwe electrokinesis]] as part of his PsychicPowers. He, however, is TheStoic, and never acts sadistically or without purpose. He also seems quite sane, except during his "words are meaningless" rants. [[spoiler:Once you discover [[MotiveRant what he means by that]], it's hard [[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds not to feel for him]].]]
* [[VideoGame/CityOfHeroes Shock Treatment]]. Electric, all around crazy, and at least once she will turn on you seemingly against her will. As her name implies, an excess of shock therapy was the source of her powers. She was technically crazy ''before'' the powers, now she's crazy ''with'' them.
* ''VideoGame/{{Rosenkreuzstilette}}'' brings us [[spoiler:Iris Sepperin]], who uses lightning attacks. And she [[VillainousBreakdown gets crazy]] and starts LaughingMad when she finally realizes that Spiritia [[spoiler:is actually Rosenkreuz's other reincarnation, the "Blade of Rosenkreuz"]].
* [[BigBad Lord Deus]] from ''VideoGame/AsurasWrath'' was probably the Regal version of a lightning user like this, like in Actual Folklore. Upon becoming the BigBad, however, He shows his real colors by acting like this to some extent, electrocuting Asura to death and throwing him out of heaven to Earth.
* It's a [[DownplayedTrope lighter case]] but you could count Kanji from ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}''. He's rather hotheaded and was known for very destructive behavior before you saved him from the TV world. His Persona uses electric powers, seems to reflect his personality well.
* Akihiko of ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'', however, is actually an {{Inver|tedTrope}}sion. He uses the same element but he's a far more stable person and learns a lot of support and stat effect moves instead of attack focused techniques.
* Nikolai Dmitri Bulygin from ''VideoGame/AnarchyReigns'' is a cyborg with electricity powers, and the first thing we see him do is electrocute an innocent bartender robot for information. [[CaptainObvious He isn't exactly a nice guy.]]
* General Dynamo from the Team Ninja reboot of ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden''.
* [[OurGhostsAreDifferent King Boo]] in ''VideoGame/LuigisMansionDarkMoon'' uses lightning attacks thanks to [[AmplifierArtifact his new crown]] he got prior to the game's events. It's no coincidence that this game was the point at which he went from a WellIntentionedExtremist who wanted to look after his fellow Boos, to an AxCrazy sociopath who was willing to [[ApocalypseHow collapse the entire dimension]] just to have revenge on Luigi.
* In ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic'', playing a Dark Side Sith Inquisitor in the Lightning discipline gets you this. Pretty much all of the Inquisitor paths are varying degrees of this trope though.
* ''Videogame/{{Sonny}} 2'' plays with this one in a new way. One of the two kinds of powers Psychological builds give you, other than MindRape, are electricity-based powers. Rather than using insanity to destroy minds, you're using your own thoughts' electricity (the brain and nerves running on electric impulses and all) as a weapon, applying this insanity in a different way.

* Electricity is a common weapon in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', but [[spoiler: Anevka Sturmvoraus is borderline this. After frying her father with enough electricity to both kill him in an instant and set her clothes on ''fire'', her only reaction is to complain about the loss of her dress.]] And then there's Bang, who, while having no ability to generate electricity on her own, is all too happy to use the defibrillator-like electrical device Gil built on anyone who gets close enough as a killing/interrogation method, as Abner unfortunately found out.
* ''Webcomic/DominicDeegan'' has The Maestro, who isn't insane exactly but ''is'' a bit eccentric and probably not someone you want to annoy.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Pacificators}}'', lightning-type people are almost universally crazy, [[http://www.sailorenergy.net/MangaPacificators/MangaPacisV02CH09P137.html due to their abilities' effects on the electrical signals in the brain.]]
* Raque, from ''Webcomic/DubiousCompany'', though her insanity is connected more with her [[{{Yandere}} heart]] than her electricity magic. After her attempt to seduce Elly [[EpicFail fails miserably]], she beats him to the ground and storms out of the room, locking and electrifying the door behind her. She later electrocutes him in [[InsaneTrollLogic an attempt]] to unbraid his hair.
* Romeo in ''Webcomic/NoSongsForTheDead'' has a very destructive personality, though it's more due to his rather rough life and the loss of his wife, than the powers messing with his mind. Despite all his anger, he is not without a softer side.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Crankrats}}'', the titular crankrats are {{steampunk}} versions of this.
* Slade from ''Webcomic/HeartCore'', the [[TheDragon right hand man]] of [[BigBad Royce]]. To give you an idea of just how insane the guy is, he is willing to kill his own kind [[ItAmusedMe just for fun and curiosity]], loves to torture people with electricity [[WouldHurtAChild (including children)]] and [[EvenEvilHasStandards is even shunned by most demons]] for his actions.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In the Literature/WhateleyUniverse, the only group more susceptible to the neurological disorder Diedrick's Syndrome (which causes the sufferer to act like a stereotypical super-villain - megalomania, monomania, ranting about the wrongs done to them, plotting elaborate but impractical traps and weapons, etc.) than [[MadScientist Devisors]] are Energizers, ''especially'' electrical Energizers. In an half-twist, it isn't limited to villains, though even well intentioned 'drickers tend to run afoul of the law because of it.
** Olympia, who has both Diedrick's Syndrome and schizophrenia, is a PsychoElectro ''and'' a FlyingBrick. She spends most of her time locked up in Hawthorne (a dorm for students with PowerIncontinence or other unfortunate side-effects), not because she can't control her powers but because she ''won't''. Rumor among the students holds that the Greek government agreed to foot the bill for her education on the condition that she not return to Greece for at least the next four years.
** Imperious thinks he's the reincarnation (or something) of Zeus, and unfortunately, he's right. He treats both mere mortals and super-powered mortals accordingly.
* The Electrocutioner from the ''Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'' is an AxeCrazy supervillain who doesn't need an axe because he's got the lightning!
* In ''WebVideo/PokemonApokelypse'', the Rocket torturer tortures Brock with a Magnemite's electricity and has fun doing it.
* In ''Roleplay/RainQuest'', the main antagonist is an anthropomorphic, power-hungry lightning bolt.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Frylock of the ''WesternAnimation/AquaTeenHungerForce'' can shoot electricity out of his eyes. Subverted in that he's the most even-tempered member of the Hunger Force, and is usually no worse than a ControlFreak. [[NotSoAboveItAll Usually.]]
* "Lightning-bending" is the secondary ability of Firebenders in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''. However, it's a complete subversion as it requires a kind of emotional clarity and detachment (which can be calmness, such as with Iroh, or cold-heartedness, as with Azula and Ozai) which allows one to separate and focus the necessary energies. [[spoiler: Azula's ability to continue shooting lightning even after her VillainousBreakdown is probably due to a combination of familiarity, the significant power boost provided by Sozin's Comet, and having great clarity in terms of ''really'' wanting to kill Zuko and Katara.]] Also subverted in the ''WesternAnimation/LegendOfKorra'', where bending lightning has become commonplace. There are even factories where lightningbenders can work to provide electricity for utilities.
* Maxie Zeus is a minor Franchise/{{Batman}} villain who thinks he is the Greek god Zeus, best remembered in the comics for running into a tree and falling unconscious while escaping Arkham Asylum in ''Knightfall''. He was revamped in ''WesternAnimation/TheBatman'' as a CorruptCorporateExecutive--who still believes he's Zeus and demands worship--who builds a giant aircraft with a private army and outfits himself with a suit that shoots lightning bolts.
** In ''Comicbook/ArkhamAsylumASeriousHouseOnSeriousEarth'', he's portrayed as a man with messianic delusions and an obsession with electroshocks and coprophilia - since electroshocks cause him to lose control of his bowels.
* Megavolt in ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck''.
* Parodied in one episode of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', when Peter goes mad with power after he finds out he can shock people by rubbing his feet on the carpet.
* Electronique, a villain from one episode of ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible''.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/LegionOfSuperHeroes'' we have the hotheaded Lightning Lad and his morally ambiguous brother Mekt.
* Sparky from ''WesternAnimation/LiloAndStitchTheSeries'' is a subversion of this trope- although he starts out as a destruction-happy monster, he is rehabilitated and put to constructive ends, such as powering an abandoned lighthouse.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': [[FallenAngel Nightmare Moon]] zapped three [[PraetorianGuard Royal Guards]] when they tried to apprehend her. Her non-corrupted form [[DarkIsNotEvil Princess Luna]] also has power over lightning, but she only uses it for [[DramaticThunder dramatic effect]].
* Although usually pretty lowkey, Unagi from ''WesternAnimation/SushiPack'' has a tendency to [[DrunkOnTheDarkSide lean toward megalomania]] when overdosing on electricity.
* Shrapnel from the ''{{Transformers}}'' series, who [[VerbalTic repeats the last word of every sentence]] and is generally insane, insane.
** For that matter, Megatron/Galvatron in ''Anime/TransformersCybertron''. He can shoot lightning from his hands, like Shrapnel. Or a Sith Lord.
* ''Westernanimation/UncleCrocsBlock'': The "Fraidy Cat" segments feature a cat whose [[CatsHaveNineLives nine lives]] come back to haunt him as ghosts. Fraidy's final (and current) life is personified as Cloud Nine, a sinister storm cloud who's fond of ejecting lightning strikes and always chases down Fraidy to zap him to death.
* The Electro of ''ComicBook/UltimateSpiderMan'' is very psychotic, unhinged, and paranoid, unlike his original [[MarvelUniverse Marvel]] counterpart where he was just your basic thug with electricity powers.
** The Electro of ''WesternAnimation/TheSpectacularSpiderMan'' cartoon even further exemplifies this trope, essentially running around in a panic and discharging voltage uncontrollably. Before the accident he seemed a cocky Jerkass, and right after it, although he was rude and snappish, he wasn't villainous so much as panicking and [[PowerIncontinence accidentally shocking things]]. But after encountering Spider-Man and being threatened by cops, he immediately became the spastic crazed type.
* Livewire (pictured) from ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries''. She has electrical powers and isn't very sane.
* The appropriately named "Lightning" (along with his sound-based brother "Thunder"), from ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'', though he comes across more as a PsychopathicManchild since wasn't aware of the destruction he caused.
** In the comic books, Thunder and Lightning deluded themselves into believing they were gods.
** Then there's the villain Overload, who's just a great big sentient ball of electricity with a floppy disk for a face.
* Electric Eel from ''WesternAnimation/{{Underdog}}''.
* From ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub'' we have Stormy, a witch with [[ThemeNaming powers based on lightning]], who is the most unstable villain of the whole series.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{WITCH}}'' Quintessence manifests itself as lightning, and Nerissa, wielder of this power since her days as a Guardian, went corrupted by her power and insane, in contrast to Will, her successor as a Guardian and wielder of the same power who does her utmost to NOT end like her.
* ''WesternAnimation/WanderOverYonder'': Lord Hater is a somewhat downplayed example, in terms of psychopathy at least. He's not exactly a laughing, murderous maniac, but he ''is'' a would-be planetary conqueror with vicious, cruel tendencies and horrific temper. His electric powers, however, are definitely not downplayed; he is ''enormously'' powerful when he's properly riled up, being able to fight a villain that Curbstomped every other at once without a problem to a standstill, and even [[spoiler:one-shotting a planet-killing starship with an electric blast]].

[[folder:Real Life]]
* TruthInTelevision: Several members of the law enforcement community. Witness the staggering number of excessive force incidents involving tasers.
** ''[[MemeticMutation "Don't tase me, bro!"]]''
** A result of the widespread belief that taser is a harmless device that does no real damage. As it turns out, while less lethal than a firearm, it's still a dangerous weapon to be only used at utmost need.
* Possibly [[TropeMaker originated]] with UsefulNotes/NikolaTesla, famous for his studies of electricity and for pioneering mad science as we know it today.
** Take a look at [[http://gcoinc.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/tesla.jpg this picture]] and you might want to reconsider that "possibly" part.

''[[TheStinger These people have gone]] [[JustForPun ec-static]] [[IncrediblyLamePun with the powers they've conducted,]] [[AxCrazy aren't exactly grounded]] [[LackOfEmpathy and may get a jolt out of doing]] [[MoralEventHorizon revolting things, whether it hertz others or not.]] [[AllBlueEntry Indeed, sometimes they]] [[JumpingOfftheSlipperySlope Jump Off the Slippery Slope]] [[ForTheEvulz for a simple surge of enjoyment,]] [[MultipleReferencePun and as such should never be left in charge.]] [[HurricaneOfPuns Notably, most of them go with the current, do watt they do best and sometimes,]] [[StartOfDarkness with a shocking past from their childhood's ohms as the driving spark,]] [[PungeonMaster they run down the wire and]] [[DeadlyEuphemism pull the plug]] [[AndYourLittleDogToo on a few puppies.]] [[StealthPun Suffuse to say,]] [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity their power has corrupted them]] [[BroughtDownToNormal and is reason enough to have them]] [[KarmicDeath put in the chair.]]''