[[caption-width-right:257:[[http://camilkuo.deviantart.com/art/Time-to-be-King-4143320 Time To Be King]]]]

->''"A son can bear with equanimity the loss of his father, but the loss of his inheritance may drive him to despair."''
-->-- '''Creator/NiccoloMachiavelli''', ''Literature/ThePrince''
%% One quote is sufficient. Please place additional entries on the quotes tab.

AristocratsAreEvil. AmbitionIsEvil too. So what could be worse than ambitious royalty?

Evil Prince Bob knows he's the stuff of which great kings are made. Unfortunately, while he is [[RoyalBlood in line]] for the throne, there are a lot of lesser men in front of him. If only Prince Bob could...persuade them to get out of the way, then nothing would stand between him and the glorious reign he ''knows'' he is destined to have.

Usually the Evil Prince is not high in the line of succession, and his scheming arises from the fact that he won't inherit under current circumstances. But sometimes he is the eldest son and heir, and his only reason for [[{{Patricide}} giving his father a push]] into immortality is that he's too impatient to wait.

A common subtrope is to have the Evil Prince as [[CainAndAbel the younger brother]] to the king, who tends to be his [[TheGoodKing polar opposite]]. This usually means the king is [[HorribleJudgeOfCharacter too good-hearted]] to see [[DevilInPlainSight his brother's true nature]], with bad results for the children of the king once he is gone (since Evil Princes tend to make {{Evil Uncle}}s).

For some reason there are very few Evil Princesses. One explanation is that, perhaps because of [[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses the very strong influence of Fairy Tale (and]] [[Franchise/DisneyAnimatedCanon Disney)]] [[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses heroines]], [[WomenAreWiser princesses are generally]] [[FemalesAreMoreInnocent seen as good characters]]. Another explanation is that royal daughters are usually not in the line of succession and have nothing to gain by disposing of their rivals. However, since in fiction [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen queens can be evil]], the odd evil princess can turn out to be a total tyrant. Additionally, the Evil Princess is becoming more common in recent media as a subversion of the EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses trope, although her goals are often very different than the aspirations of usurpation shared by her SpearCounterpart (usually, the Evil Princess is a [[EvilAllAlong twist villain]] because of the overtired DamselInDistress trope).

This trope is rooted in an underlying belief that certain persons are or are not meant to rule, particularly when the monarch is understood to hold the throne by the will of some higher power. King Bob, by circumventing the rightful sequence of succession, is an illegitimate ruler -- he wasn't ''meant'' to have the throne -- and thus he and his rule will be bad. The irony is that legitimate rulers are not automatically good: the firstborn son may be a RoyalBrat; the King who believes he is [[AGodAmI descended from the gods]] may become a tyrant. On the other hand, the law of succession may be a better system for determining the ruler than [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority combat and/or murder]] as a man who would literally kill for the throne is unlikely to rule with kindness.

This is at least OlderThanPrint, stretching back to [[KingArthur Mordred]] and seen as recently as ''Film/{{Stardust}}''.

See also {{Patricide}}, AristocratsAreEvil, TheBaroness, EvilUncle, and EvilChancellor. If an Evil Prince already has the throne and is trying to keep the rightful heirs off of it, see RegentForLife. Regardless of how thorough they are in killing off rivals, there's usually a HiddenBackupPrince with better credentials.

Contrast with ShelteredAristocrat, TheWisePrince and KnightInShiningArmor.

In terms of the ranks of AuthorityTropes, the tropes that are equal are PrinceCharming, PrinceCharmless, WarriorPrince, TheWisePrince, and all PrincessTropes. The next steps down are TheGoodChancellor, EvilChancellor, StandardRoyalCourt and DeadlyDecadentCourt. The next steps up are TheCaligula, TheGoodKing, GodSaveUsFromTheQueen, TheHighQueen, SheIsTheKing, and TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask.


* TheEvilPrince/{{Literature}}


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* From ''Anime/DragonBallZ'', we have Vegeta, who is nicknamed "the Evil Saiyan Prince" [[spoiler:until after his HeelFaceTurn]]. He played the trope more straight during his first confrontation with [[TheHero Goku]]. Despite violent and brutal nature for most of the series unlike most evil Princes Vegeta loved his father and doesn't take the King title out of respect.
* Tsukuyomi from ''Mugen Densetsu Takamagahara Dream Saga'' refuses to allow Amaterasu to awaken because her current incarnation, his sister, would quash his pollution-and-repression-happy regime in an instant. [[spoiler: Actually, she'd do [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt a lot more than that]]]].
* Most all of the princes in ''Anime/CodeGeass'' are manipulative mass murderers raised by [[TheEmpire the Holy Britannian Empire's]] Darwinistic ideals to scheme and fight against each other for the throne... with the exception of the mellow 1st Prince Odysseus, AKA [[FanNickname Prince Valium]]. [[spoiler: Schneizel]] is the prince that tries to overthrow his father and take the throne. [[spoiler: Lelouch]] is the one that succeeds, though he did it for [[spoiler: revenge rather than the throne]]. And to [[spoiler: save the world]], but that's besides the point. And he ''did'' [[spoiler: take the throne afterwards]], but that was completely unrelated.
* ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'' has Prince Gihren Zabi, who acts as the EvilChancellor and TheStarscream to his father, Sovereign Degwin Sodo Zabi. Cutting his father off from [[PuppetKing all genuine power]], Gihren takes the reins of the state, before finally [[spoiler:annihilating Degwin with a WaveMotionGun]] when the latter hopes to make peace with TheFederation.
** Gihren's sister Kycilia is one of the rare Evil Princesses in fiction. A ruthless military commander who acts as TheStarscream to Gihren, Kycilia and her brother go back and forth on the coup d'etat attempts before she [[spoiler:finally blows him away in revenge for her father]].
* Ukyo from ''Anime/SamuraiSeven'' kills [[spoiler: the emperor, who he is a clone of]] in order to inherit the throne ''sooner'', although [[spoiler: it's implied he is the last remaining clone of the Emperor (who is hooked up to a life support system), so he probably wouldn't have had to wait that long]]. He also caused his adoptive father's demotion in order to take his place.
** He wasn't the last possible heir. He found some of the others and made them act as [[BodyDouble body doubles]]. He was the only one to ever be publicly acknowledged as heir instead of being executed as unsuitable, however.
* ''Anime/SailorMoon'': Though mostly filled with attractive ass kicking Princesses there is one evil Prince: "Demande", who kills his own brother, plans to rewrite history in his favor and kidnaps the main lady after he realizes [[ReallyRoyaltyReveal her royalty]]. In the end he gets killed by Sailor Moon & [[BadassInANiceSuit Tuxedo Mask]] in BattleCouple style, really these chicks in mini skirts aren't screwing around.
* Almost everyone in ''LightNovel/TheBrideOfAdarshan'' assumes main character Alexid to be one of these. He's called the "Black Demon" for his apparent savagery in battle, he consistently wears dark clothing, and [[spoiler: his mother was a commoner]]. [[spoiler: Even his ''mentor, who raised him,'' believed Alexid harbored resentment towards his older brother the king and harbored ambitions to take the throne. This culminated in his mentor trying to kill him.]] The truth is the complete opposite. Alexid truly loves his brother and is actually ''terrified'' by the prospect of taking over the throne since he doesn't have the same knack for ruling a country.
* ''Manga/TheFiveStarStories'' has FEMC GL IIII Amaterasu dis Greens OOE Ikaruga, better known as Sarion. While he's a pretty minor character, he still fits this trope as a glove. AxCrazy? Check. [[SelfMadeOrphan Made himself an orphan]] just ForTheEvulz? Check. [[KickTheDog Gleefully permitted]] his underlings to rape and pillage ''their own nation'' during his rebellion? Check. Rebelled ''after'' his royal cousin the protagonist commuted his death sentence (due to aforementioned orphaning) to life imprisonment because [[FantasticRacism a lowly fatima]] was [[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses made a princess]] and [[AmbitionIsEvil placed higher than him]] in a succession? A tick mark the size of a Float Temple.
** And for the kicker he's still one of AKD's [[KarmaHoudini premiere knights]], commanding a sizable detachment of the Royal Guard, First Easter Mirage Corps Green Left Wing, consisting of heroic sociopaths just like him. In fact, his current princely title was given him ''after'' that story with the rebellion. He's just that useful.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'' has a few: Wapol, a spoiled [[VillainousGlutton gluttonous]], [[TinTyrant tin-plated]] asshole who was so bad even his father of the King of drum Kingdom was concerned about him. Unfortunately he kicked the bucket and Wapol took over ruling and was [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen terrible ass king]] luckily Main Hero Luffy literally [[VillainExitStageLeft blasted him out of his kingdom]].
** [[spoiler: 3/4 of the Royal sons of [[EvilIsOneBigHappyFamily Vinsmoke Family]] fit this trope nicely as Prince Ichji Prince Niji and Prince Yonji are huge murderous lustful douchebags who brutally bash their decent brother [[ChefOfIron Sanji]] for caring people lower in status something royalty should not do. While they have no intention to kill off their equally asshole father [[ArchnemesisDad King Judge]], they still have no issue butchering a island full of soldiers just to end a war and even ordering their henchman to play HumanShield for them. Ironically the only decent Prince in the family is one who refused his royal status Sanji, who plays both Both WarriorPrince and WisePrince. When Sanji returns to his kingdom after 13 years of training , he shows his attitude towards his brothers as when his younger bro Yonji tries ripping into him like he used to, he gets a very different [[http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/onepiece/images/6/6a/Yonji%27s_Face_Restructured.png/revision/latest?cb=20160725072612 response]] but Sanji still fears his older brothers and is [[IHaveYourWife forced]] to act like a evil prince so they don't kill everyone close to him]].
*** [[spoiler: Vinsmoke Princess Reiju is a subversion as she acts heartless and cruel in front of her family but it turns out it's all a act and she really a loving person, patching up her little brother Sanji everything her brothers beat him up, making her a CoolBigSis]].
* Xanxus of ''Manga/KatekyoHitmanReborn''. Subverted because he's [[spoiler:adopted so he couldn't be the next boss of the Vongola after all]]. And also Belphegor. [[spoiler:His brother Rasiel is supposed to be the next king. Belphegor killed him because of this. In the Future Arc Rasiel shows up alive and reveals that he is just as evil, that he was also planning to assassinate Belphegor and that they tried their plans on the same day]].
* Crown Prince Sincline from ''Anime/{{Golion}}'', whom himself is a [[spoiler:halfbread spawn of a human and whatever creature Daibazaal is]].
* RareFemaleExample: Joei from ''LightNovel/TheTwelveKingdoms'', younger sister to [[spoiler:the deceased]] Queen Joukaku and aspirant to the Kei throne, who tries to usurp it from the rightful heir Youko.
* Dilandau sits on a throne in a scene or two in ''Anime/TheVisionOfEscaflowne'', but he is not actually a prince. [[spoiler:He is a noble, being Allen's sister Selena and all, but he doesn't know that.]]
* Believed to be the case in-universe in ''Manga/TsubasaReservoirChronicle''. The Valerians fear that their (supposedly) evil twin princes [[spoiler: Fai and Yuui]] will usurp the throne someday, and this is implied to be part of the reason that said twins are "punished" as horribly as they are.
* Ruu-Kain from Anime/BlueCometSPTLayzner, son of BigBad Admiral Gresco and leader of the Gradosian army [[spoiler: and THE BigBad of the second part]].
* While Touka Bergatt from ''Manga/AkagamiNoShirayukihime'' is an earl's son rather than a prince he otherwise fits this perfectly with his plans increase the Bergatt house's power and lands and make a puppet of the royal family's representative in the north. There's also the fact that [[spoiler:he murdered his father to take over as head of the house]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* It's explained in his BackStory that {{ComicBook/Darkseid}} was second in line for the throne of Apokolips behind his older brother. With help from Desaad, he killed his older brother and usurped both the Omega Force and the role of crown prince.
** Likewise Marvel's ComicBook/{{Thanos}}, who is an Expy of Darkseid, was the eldest son to the planet Titan's leader and was banished for his crimes. Years later he would return to devastate Titan and rule it with an iron fist until he was defeated by Earth's heroes during his first encounter with the cosmic cube.
* Comicbook/{{Aquaman}}'s half-brother Orm (alias Ocean Master), who is constantly out to usurp his place as King of Atlantis.
* ''[[WesternAnimation/ClassicDisneyShorts Mickey Mouse and the World to Come]]'' has Nikolai of Illustania, who took charge of the kingdom when his father became old and ill and decided to ruin the [[GhibliHills pristine landscape]] with industry as well as assist international criminal the Rhyming Man in a scheme to change the face of the globe.
* Bron from ''ComicBook/{{Scion}}'' began this way [[spoiler: before killing his father and becoming king himself]].
* According to two 1940s comic stories, [[Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs Queen Grimhilde]] had one of these for a brother.
* In ''ComicBook/TeenTitans'', Blackfire is first in line to inherit the position as Queen, but the fact that she was born without the superpowers that are common on her planet make her seem weak, so her younger sister Starfire becomes first in line. This does not sit well with Blackfire, who then sells her into slavery to get rid of her.
* The Comicbook/FantasticFour found out to their horror that Prince Zorba, the hereditary ruler of Latveria they restored to the throne after deposing Doctor Doom, was this when Von Doom showed them the tyrannical devastation he was inflicting on the country. In cooperation with Doom, the Four helped depose Zorba, but were forced to leave Doom in power.
* Comicbook/{{Loki}} is prince by adoption of Asgard and technically prince by birth of the Frost Giants of Jotunheim. He has enough clout with the Frost Giants to at least use them as {{Mooks}} from time to time and regularly schemes to overthrow his adopted father Odin, take over Asgard and kill his foster brother ComicBook/TheMightyThor somewhere along the way.
* Like Loki, Vulcan from the ''ComicBook/XMen'' books is a common-born brought into a royal family. Instead of being adopted, as Loki was, Vulcan exploits a loophole on Shi'ar law to marry into the Shi'ar royal family through marriage to Deathbird, the emperor's older sister. He wastes no time in wasting his new brother-in-law and taking his crown. Deathbird herself (who had murdered her father many years earlier, and been exiled for it) and her brother D'Ken (an OmnicidalManiac) prior to his ascension to the throne were also examples; their younger sister Lilandra was apparently the only non-evil member of the royal family.
* Tyrannus from ''ComicBook/{{Swordquest}}'', who succeeds his father as king after the latter's suspicious death. One of Tyrannus' first acts was to order the deaths of two infants because he received a prophecy that they would be responsible for his death.
* Lord Nomed from Action Comics #301, the EvilNephew of Prince Endor of the Sorcerers Planet of Zerox. He tries to depose his uncle by feeding Pegasus a potion that will prevent him flying the day of a procession, meaning Endor will lose the throne. When Supergirl foils the plan by bringing the flying horse Comet to Zerox, Nomed tries to feed Supergirl a potion that will turn [[TakenForGranite her to gold]]. However Comet fires an arrow that knocks the potion onto Nomed, [[HoistByHisOwnPetard turning him to gold]].
* ''Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs'' spin-off comics sometimes pitted the Seven Dwarfs against "The Wicked Prince", Queen Grimhilde's younger brother.

* British comedians love to make jokes about Prince Charles being one of these and frequently trying to assassinate the Queen.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Prince Michael in ''Fanfic/WhatAboutWitchQueen''. He believes himself to be the rightful heir to the Southern Isles instead of his older brother Friedrich, and schemes to overthrow him in a way that would make him the king. He also has no qualms about sending eleven-year-old girl to what's almost certainly her death. To most of the outsiders, though, he appears to be WisePrince.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In the Franchise/DisneyAnimatedCanon:
** Prince John from ''Disney/RobinHood''.
** Scar from ''Disney/TheLionKing'' kills his brother and tries to kill his nephew.
** [[spoiler:Prince Hans]] in ''Disney/{{Frozen}}.'' [[spoiler: Since knocking off his twelve older brothers would be a lot of work, his ambitions involve usurping a throne outside his own kingdom through either manipulation and marriage or murder, whichever comes first. All of the above would also be quite acceptable to him.]]
* PrinceCharming from the ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}'' movies is intended more as a parody of the traditional [[KnightInShiningArmor fairy tale good prince]], but fits this role very well in ''WesternAnimation/ShrekTheThird''.
* Laird from ''WesternAnimation/ThePrincessAndThePea''.
* Lord Shen from ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda2'' is a slight subversion, as both of his royal parents are already dead by the time he sets his plans in motion ([[FreudianExcuse though still influence him heavily]]).
* Prince Nekron from Ralph Bakshi's ''WesternAnimation/FireAndIce''.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Prince Yu from ''Film/CurseOfTheGoldenFlower''.
* Prince Leopold from ''Film/TheIllusionist'', who is based on Prince Rudolph of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Prince Rudolph committed a murder-suicide in his hunting lodge; his body was found with a number of bullets in it, indicating that there was a palace cover-up and that TheCoronerDothProtestTooMuch. Given that, after his death, Franz Ferdinand became heir, things might have turned out ''better'' had Rudolph gained the throne.
* Louis Mazzini, (eventually) Duke of Chalfont, the cheerfully amoral [[VillainProtagonist 'hero']] of ''Film/KindHeartsAndCoronets''.
* Commodus, from ''Film/{{Gladiator}}'', though he had something of an excuse. His father, rather than passing on emperorship to him, as had become commonplace [[note]](at least in the world of the movie--in Imperial Rome, it was relatively common for an Emperor to choose an adoptive heir as opposed to a blood one; look at Julius, Augustus and Marcus Aurelius himself)[[/note]], was going to give it to Maximus, who in turn was going to use it to put power back into the hands of the Senate and restore the Republic.
* ''Film/RoboCop1987'' makes a modern-day EvilPrince out of the CorruptCorporateExecutive.
%%* Lord Rathbone from ''Film/ShanghaiKnights''.
* ''Film/TheMadnessOfKingGeorge'' portrays George III's son, the Prince of Wales, in this manner. Whether or not it's TruthInTelevision is debatable.
* Prince Nuada in ''Film/HellboyIITheGoldenArmy''. He has the sympathetic aspect of fighting for his realm's survival, but his tactics are ''so'' extreme that ''everybody'' argues against him.
* Prince Nizam from ''Film/PrinceOfPersiaTheSandsOfTime'' although he's never called by this title, since the audience could confuse him with the good guy.
* ''Film/{{Stardust}}'' has a bunch of evil princes, most notably [[Creator/MarkStrong Septimus]].
* Subverted in ''Film/{{Thor}}''. Loki shows all signs of being the evil prince, who wants his brother and father out of the way so that he can have the throne, except for one thing: he ''doesn't'' want the throne. He never intended for Thor to be banished to Earth or for Odin to fall into the Odinsleep, but they did and the throne just dropped into his hands.
-->'''Loki:''' I never wanted the throne! I only ever wanted to be your equal!
* Played much straighter in ''Film/ThorTheDarkWorld'', where Loki [[spoiler:disposes of Odin through unknown means and impersonates him in order to usurp the throne.]]
* Otwani in ''Film/{{Sheena}}'' is a modern example as the film is set in then present day Africa. He has his brother Jabalani assassinated so he can become king.
* Prince Humperdink from ''Film/ThePrincessBride'', although he doesn't fit the trope entirely straight. He has no intention, either in the film or [[Literature/ThePrincessBride the book]], of killing his father or doing anything else to get him out of the way. (In fact, in the book he's shown to be quite disillusioned to learn that his father is dying, because it means he has to get married and actually deal with the matters of ruling; he'd rather spend his time hunting.) He only actually falls into the Evil Prince slot when [[spoiler:he comes up with the plan to kill his wife and frame a rival kingdom for it, giving him the excuse he's always wanted to conquer them]].
* Prince Einon from ''Film/{{Dragonheart}}'' grows up to be an evil tyrant. It pains his mentor, Bowen, but he must finally accept, that despite his teachings, [[DeceptiveDisciple the kid was always a rotten little punk.]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Prince Edmund, from the first series of ''Series/{{Blackadder}}'', tries very hard to be one but fails because he's so pathetically spineless. Prince Ludwig the Indestructible from the second series is also fairly comic, being a master of disguise with a silly accent and a long list of psychological problems. [[spoiler: Oddly enough, he's a ''successful'' example.]] Arguably, the Blackadder of the third series would also count in so far as he [[spoiler: ends up taking the place of George IV and presumably living out the rest of his life under that identity]].
* Lanny from ''Series/PairOfKings''; presumably a prince, because he was to have been king before Boomer and Brady came along.
* Princess Eleanor of the short-lived British drama ''Series/ThePalace'' is an ultra rare female example. Within the (fictional, and unnamed) [[UsefulNotes/TheBritishRoyalFamily British royal family]] depicted on the show, she is the older sister of the new King, Richard IV. She doesn't stoop to violence, but she clearly has no qualms about forcing her brother to abdicate through scandal and political crisis.
* An episode of ''Series/{{Space 1999}}'' had aliens kidnap Maya to extract her brain cells for their leader's bid for immortality. The prince was less than pleased about this, so he helped foil the king's plan before trying to become immortal himself.
* That most luscious of Evil Princes, Dirk Blackpool of the short lived ''Series/WizardsAndWarriors''.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Joffrey actually ''subverts'' this trope. Yes, he's a RoyalBrat and an evil king but he legitimately has nothing to do with his predecessor's death. His ''sole'' sympathetic moment is his distraught moment at the deathbed of the man he considers his father. His [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen conniving mother]] actually orchestrated the king's death so she could [[MotherMakesYouKing put her son on the throne]].
* ''Series/KamenRiderGhost'' puts a twist on this with siblings. The youngest brother, Alain, subverts this as despite his [[EvilIsPetty vile]] [[PsychopathicManchild behavior]], he genuinely loves his family. His older brother, Adel, on the other hand has this in spades as he killed their father, framed Alain for that and tried to conquer the world.
* ''Series/StargateAtlantis'': Subverted in an episode where Atlantis visits a royal family who possess the [[SuperpowerfulGenetics gene required to operate Ancient technology]] necessary to protect their planet from the Wraith. The king's son is a snobbish aristocrat who is clearly plotting to overthrow his increasingly fragile father and lock up his sister in the process. The subversion comes when it turns out that it was the ([[EvilAllAlong apparently well-intentioned]]) EvilChancellor who was the real brains behind the plot and locks up the ambitious prince when he has no more use for him.
* ''[[Series/CarryOnLaughing Carry On Laughing!]]'': He's not a prince, but Duke Boris from [[Literature/ThePrisonerOfZenda "The Prisoner of Spenda"]] bears all the hallmarks of one, wishing to usurp the throne of [[{{Ruritania}} Pluritania]] from the Crown Prince.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Prince Nana, an Ashanti Prince who claims to rule with an iron fist and takes tax money from Ghana in order to fund his machination in Wrestling/RingOfHonor. However, this stream of revenue was cutoff in 2008.
* Prince Kanu of Arochukwu Nigeria, who is often trying to make wrestlers of the Southwest US into his "property" by goading or blackmailing them into signing ridiculous contracts.[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' has Horus, most favored son of the Emperor. Also the one responsible for plunging humanity into a galaxy-wide dark age run by an ''extreme'' ChurchMilitant.
* Being a classic FeudalFuture setting, ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' naturally has its share of examples. The most obvious one in recent times would be another evil princess -- Katherine Steiner-Davion, who first arranged for the assassination of her mother after her father had already died of a heart attack and then manipulated her way into taking over her parents' former entire realm while her elder brother was busy trying to deal with the Clan threat.
** In the Dark Age Caleb Hasek-Sandoval-Davion, killed his father the First Prince Harrison Davion when he said he wouldn't be the heir of the throne, and immediately takes the title of First Prince of the Federated Suns. Its doesn't help that he is also a violent schizophrenic.
* TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons: [[DemonLordsAndArchDevils Levistus]] isn't really a prince, but he calls himself one.

* Many, ''many'' characters in Creator/WilliamShakespeare, but Claudius (''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}''), Macbeth (''Macbeth'') and Richard, Duke of Gloucester (''Richard III'') are the three most prominent. Don John from ''Theatre/MuchAdoAboutNothing'' might count as well, although he's more interested in messing with the life of his brother than taking power (during the play -- he's said to have rebelled ''before'' the play). About half of the examples in other media come from works that are, to a greater or lesser extent, based on these villains.
* In ''Theatre/{{Pippin}}'', the title character rebels against his kingly father and kills him. He's ''not'' portrayed as evil, though his step-mother, who assists him in his rebellion, is; he just has misguided (not to mention anachronistic) notions of what a good king ought to do.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork series has [[spoiler: [[RareFemaleExample Princess Pride]] in ''Mega Man Battle Network 2'', who as usual for the DistaffCounterpart of this trope is a twist villain. She appears as a high-ranking member of Gospel and has deceived everyone in her kingdom because she believes she's doing what's best for her country. Interestingly, her status as a villainess isn't carried over to any other version of the character - Princess Pride gets a helping of AdaptationalHeroism for the Anime and has pulled a HeelFaceTurn by the time she reappears in ''Mega Man Battle Network 5''.]]
* Prince Luca Blight from ''VideoGame/SuikodenII'' fits this trope to a T. He is probably more evil than all of the other princes listed here combined. [[DownplayedTrope Yet he notably lacks one of the most common traits - he didn't kill his father.]] While he may eventually have wound up killing his dad, he certainly didn't seem to have any immediate plans to do so. All ''Luca'' did was slaughter the equivalent of his country's version of the Boy Scouts/Army Cadets wholesale as an excuse to restart a pointless war, [[{{Sadist}} sadistically]] [[DomesticAbuse abused]] and murdered hordes of peasants along with a couple of major characters, traumatized a little girl into becoming the game's resident CuteMute and generally acted like a complete Khorne-wannabe. It was [[spoiler:''Jowy'', one of the game's protagonists, that had been planning to murder the king and usurp the throne from practically the beginning of the main plot proper - and succeeded.]] It adds another interesting dimension, though, that [[spoiler: Luca knew about the plot from the beginning and was coaxing Jowy along (he knew Jowy drank some Antitoxin before poisoning himself for the blood-exchanging ritual with the king). That could've been a test of character and loyalty he gave Jowy]].
* The sociopathic villains of both ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' and ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'', Seymour and Vayne both qualify (although they aren't exactly princes, they still are the inheritants of enormous power). Vayne even goes so far as to systematically assassinate his older siblings in the backstory. The implication was that they may have invoked this trope themselves as it's indicated Vayne demonstrated both his loyalty and ruthlessness by disposing of them when they sought to claim the throne. As an interesting twist with the trope being downplayed: it's heavily implied that all of Vayne's actions are aiming for [[spoiler: Larsa, his ''younger'' brother, to inherit the throne, so that Larsa (and Archadia) are free from the Occuria and [[ScrewDestiny can control their own destiny]]]]. The goal he accomplishes. Whether he meant it to happen the way it did is still debated by fans.
* [[spoiler:Morgan Fey]] from ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney''. Destined to become village leader and usurped by her far more talented sister [[spoiler: Misty]], she has plotted to kill every other member of her family and frame the rest for the murder, just so she or her daughter [[spoiler: Pearl]] can become the new Master.
* Ashnard from ''VideoGame/FireEmblemPathOfRadiance''. Unusual in that he was only distantly related to the previous king; ''a lot'' of people had to die for him to take the throne. ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemRadiantDawn Radiant Dawn]]'' explicitly shows him cutting down the king, although that was to break the curse Ashnard setup to kill everyone else before it killed him.
** [[spoiler: Continuing the tradition, Ashnard's long-lost son (who would probably be just as evil himself were it not for the MoralityPet and VictoriousChildhoodFriend aspect) has a direct hand in his defeat and death at the end of the game. Averted in that said son, Soren, was part of the Good Guys and had no knowledge of being a part of a royal lineage at all.]]
** And on the subject of Fire Emblem, [[spoiler: the [[GenderInvertedTrope gender-inverted]] version of this appears in VideoGame/FireEmblemHeroes as the BigBad in the form of Princess Veronica.]]
* Arthas of ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}'' fame. Even though he had lost his soul at the point when he stabbed his own father, he showed a great deal of evil and selfish tendencies throughout the campaign before.
** To clarify, he is shown to be a genuinely good and noble prince (a Paladin no less), but then a little something called [[TheUndead The Scourge]] ravages the kingdom. Over the course of his hunt for the Scourge leader Mal'ganis, he gradually develops WellIntentionedExtremist KnightTemplar tendencies, to the point that by the end he is willing to do just about anything if it means saving his people from undeath. He decides to accomplish that by wielding [[UnholyHolySword Frostmourne]], an EmpathicWeapon forged by the Lich King himself. In an ironic twist of fate, Arthas is the one who ends up leading the Scourge against his own former people, and does eventually become king... of the undead.
--> '''King Terenas''': What are you doing, my son?
--> '''Arthas''': [[FaceHeelTurn Succeeding you,]] [[SelfMadeOrphan Father]].
** Blizzard likes playing with this trope; in the same game, Prince Kael'Thas ''also'' goes from WellIntentionedExtremist to this. In the ''[[{{VideoGame/Diablo}} Diablo]]'' series, both of the princes of Khanduras are possessed by the titular demon and go on to become the respective [[BigBad Big Bads]] of two games, although neither of them seem to have intended for that to happen. Finally, ''[[VideoGame/StarCraft2 Starcraft II]]'' inverts this trope; one character is a ''good'' prince out to depose his evil father.
* ''VideoGame/CrusaderKings'', by Paradox Interactive, encourages this type of behaviour, by virtue of the fact that you can ''inherit'' another kingdom.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fable}}'' has this in Lady Grey, the Mayor of Bowerstone, who locked her sister in the Grey House basement and starved her to death in order to become Mayor. This actually forms a subplot in the expansion pack, ''The Lost Chapters''.
* The 'not so good' [[CainAndAbel Prince Archibald]] in ''[[VideoGame/HeroesOfMightAndMagic Heroes of Might and Magic II]]'', who ascends to the throne through a series of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=py9tNdQlzI0 ridiculous accidents]].
** In an interesting variation, ''none'' of those accidents hit his actual competitor for the throne; rather, they hit the ones responsible for deciding between the two.
*** If you lead Archibald to victory, he also has Roland imprisoned for life rather than killing him. [[EvenEvilHasStandards It would seem he stops short of actual fratricide]].
* Celdic in ''VideoGame/TalesOfGraces''. [[spoiler:He kills his brother (the king) and ''repeatedly'' tries to kill his nephew, the next in line for the throne, though the whole thing [[BewareTheNiceOnes backfires]].]]
* Cesare Borgia, Captain-General of the Papal Armies, is the ''de facto'' Prince to his father, Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia) in ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedBrotherhood'', having taken that spot by having his brother murdered and using his armies to conquer Italy, while privately conspiring towards sidelining his father. This doesn't succeed though, as the Assassin Order intends to push them ''both'' out, and the eventual regicide actually accelerates his own downfall.
** In ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedRevelations'', Sehzade Ahmet fills this role, trying to kidnap his nephew, depose his father, and in the long run, take away the people's freedom. His brother, Selim, isn't exactly a good person either,
* Bhelen of ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' arranges to have his older brother Trian killed and his other sibling (the PC, if they've chosen the Dwarf Noble Origin) blamed for the murder and exiled to the Deep Roads. He is also implied to have poisoned his father, blackmails half of the nobles into choosing him, uses false evidence to discredit his opponent (who was his father's choice for heir), and attempts to launch a coup if his bid for the throne fails. [[spoiler:Interestingly, picking him as king is better for the dwarves in the long run, as Bhelen imposes social reforms and opens Orzammar to human trade, which with some help from Ferelden leads to the darkspawn being pushed far back and several lost Thaigs recovered. He eventually dissolves the DeadlyDecadentCourt altogether and rules as a tyrant with support from the lower classes.]]
* Morgeilen [[spoiler: aka The Father]] from the ''VideoGame/KingsQuestII'' FanRemake.
* Minor character Captain Juno of the Turtle Clan in ''VideoGame/GuildWars'' is one of those rare female examples. She [[NotProven (allegedly)]] killed her own father to gain leadership of the Clan. She's not an outright evil character. In fact we learn most of this through quests involving her daughter, the Ritualist hero Xandra, from the Eye of the North expansion.
* Subverted with Laharl from ''VideoGame/DisgaeaHourOfDarkness''. He ''wants'' to be the EvilPrince, [[NobleDemon but he's not quite as worthy of the "evil" descriptor as he wants to be]].
* One of the [[EverythingTryingToKillYou many people trying to murder you]] in ''VisualNovel/LongLiveTheQueen'' is doing so in order to move up the order of succession. [[spoiler: Of course, she's not actually out for the throne directly, but to put her husband and daughter onto the throne while she rules from the shadows.]]
* ''VideoGame/KnightsAndMerchants'' plays with this trope regarding its BigBad. While he displays most of traits, he actually is the heir to the trone; he actually goes as far as declaring war on his father.
* [[spoiler:Prince Cort]] from ''VideoGame/LegendOfLegaia'' is the primary antagonist of said game. He gets [[DemonicPossession possessed by a Rogue]] and his ambitions turn toward evil from there.
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkBetweenWorlds'', [[spoiler: Princess Hilda]] is revealed to be the BigBad, with Yuga merely serving as TheDragon. [[spoiler: Subverted in the end, as she [[WellIntentionedExtremist was only trying to restore her land after its own version of the Triforce had been destroyed, leaving it on the brink of doom.]] Ultimately, she never meant any harm in her actions. The same, however, [[TheStarscream could not be said of Yuga]].]]
* ''VisualNovel/{{Sunrider}}'' has two possible Evil Princes, both from the [[AbusivePrecursors Holy Ryuvian Empire]]:
** Crow Harbor was the [[BastardBastard bastard son]] of the Ryuvian [[GodEmperor Infinite Emperor]]. He is believed to have assassinated his father and the crown prince in a bid to put himself on the throne, and he definitely went to war with his remaining brother over control of the Empire, sparking a civil war that would devastate the galaxy.
** His brother, [[HeroicBastard Sola]]ís unnamed father, may not have been much better despite having a legitimate claim to the throne. At one point [[LivingRelic Sola]] mentions that the assassinations of the Emperor and his heir might have been her fatherís doing, and that he set it up to make Crow look responsible so that he could have a clear shot at the throne.
* Prince Yurias of ''Tecmo's VideoGame/{{Deception}}'' is the classic example, framing your character, his brother, for the murder of the king in a bid for the throne, and he has you burned at the stake for good measure. Your character turns into an alternative example, as he is rescued by a demon named Astarte and becomes lord of the Castle of the Damned, responsible for the deaths of nearby townspeople regardless of what your motives ultimately end up being.

* As a female example - in ''Webcomic/{{Drowtales}}'' not 1, not 2, but 3 Sharen princesses worked together to overthrow their Queen and Mother. [[spoiler: However, she was LeftForDead, organized it in a way that they NeverFoundTheBody, assuming NoOneCouldSurviveThat. Said Queen escaped via GrandTheftMe and is biding her time [[HesJustHiding by hiding]].]]
* Fang "Overlord of Darkness," the main villain from ''Webcomic/LinT'', killed his entire family to take over the kingdom even though he was already first in line for the throne!
* Thief in ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'' is an inversion of this, he's evil, and he's a prince, but [[EvenEvilHasLovedOnes loyal to his father]], it's just the rest of the world he's prepared to screw over for pocket change
* Averted with Kyo in ''Webcomic/EvilNotWorthIt'', although Kelli fits this trope.
* In ''Webcomic/GoblinsOfRazard'' ,[[http://goblinsofrazard.smackjeeves.com/comics/1608775/ch-2-page-28// Reign's brother]] has taken over this mantel & is on a quest to have Reign assassinated so that he can solidify his position.
* ''[[http://www.jinxville.com/comics/frog/ The Tourist and the Frog]]'', a [[FracturedFairyTale humorous take]] on ''Literature/TheFrogPrince'' by Diana Nock the un-froged Prince clarifies: "I was not cursed for being kind".
* In ''Webcomic/LatchkeyKingdom'', Princess Rosaline poisoned her parents into a coma for the crime of [[HeirClubForMen trying to conceive a male heir]], which perfectly fits the page quote. She was perfectly fine with waiting as long as she was sure of the prize at the end.
* ''Webcomic/{{Plume}}'' has Auran prince [[spoiler:Aricon]], who murdered his older brother to become the king.
* Prince Vince, in the ''WesternAnimatnion/{{Beetlejuice}}'' cartoon, is a benign and friendly individual who is quite fond of both Beetlejuice and Lydia. In ''Webcomic/CobwebAndStripes'', however, he's been recast in this role, and is absolutely determined to make Betelgeuse's afterlife as nightmarish as he can. It has yet to be revealed exactly why he hates the AntiHero so much.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Roleplay/TheGamersAlliance'', Prince [[VisionaryVillain Geraden]], the cousin of the current King [[AChildShallLeadThem Gerard]] [[TheWisePrince Aurelac]] [[WarriorPrince de Maar Sul]], was kidnapped as a baby and ended up corrupted into an amoral, power-hungry warrior. He sees his younger cousin as a weak, easily manipulative fool who has in his view robbed him of his rightful throne and that it is his destiny to turn Maar Sul into a powerful, feared kingdom which it once was. Emira [[ManipulativeBastard Adela]] [[WomanScorned al-Saif]] ends up killing her twin sister [[TheHighQueen Razia]] in order to become the Sultana of Vanna.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', Prince Zuko subverts this trope entirely as even before his DarkAndTroubledPast is revealed it is clear that he is loyal [[WellDoneSonGuy to a fault]] towards his father the EvilOverlord. It is only after two and a half seasons of CharacterDevelopment, [[spoiler: IOW when he makes a HeelFaceTurn and become the Sixth Ranger[=/=]TheAtoner,]] that he seeks Ozai's overthrow.
** Played straight with the current Fire Lord, Ozai, who killed his father [[spoiler: (or had his wife kill him)]] and then usurped his older brother Iroh as heir. However, also ''averted'', in that Ozai's daughter Princess Azula, is not only one of few Evil Princesses, she consistently proves herself [[DaddysGirl loyal to her father]] at significant risk to her life and cheerfully passes up golden opportunities to usurp him. Whether she was acting out of actual affection, habitual/conditioned obedience, or simple disinterest in taking the throne herself ''yet'' was a longtime matter of debate among fans.
*** At show's end, it is plain that Azula loves her father as much as her screwed-up mind is capable of loving anyone. Not only that, [[spoiler: she gets the one reward every BastardUnderstudy wants, the crown. She ''was'' to be crowned Fire Lord Azula, until Zuko came back to dish out some destiny-cooked justice on her]]. She could have had it all if her best friends betraying her didn't [[VillainousBreakdown seriously shake her]]. However, [[spoiler: the title and position of Fire Lord was summarily reduced to something between a hollow gesture and a bad joke by her father assuming the position of [[AGodAmI Phoenix King]] and going forth to [[MoralEventHorizon remove the Earth Kingdom from the map]]]] - and Azula knew it.
** Also played straight with [[spoiler: Unalaq]] in ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', yet that was part of something bigger.
* On ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice,'' Count Vertigo is this, despite having a different title. He attempts to steal the donor heart intended for his niece, the ten-year-old Queen Perdita, to gain the throne of Vlatava. WordOfGod has hinted that he might have had a hand in whatever happened to Perdita's dad, as well.
* Randall becomes this in the ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}'' episode "Prince Randall"
* Tritannus in ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub'' is one of the twin sons of King Neptune. He considers himself a far better candidate to be king than his brother Nereus. He's also a complete psycho and attempts to assassinate Nereus when Nereus is being named crown prince.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' the Fire King usurped the throne by killing his brother. His reaction when his nephews reminded him of this...
-->'''Fire King''': [[ButForMeItWasTuesday Oh yeah]].
** Blargatha is a RareFemaleExample, though {{Downplayed}}, since her plan to take the throne involves politics instead of murder.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TotalDrama,'' Mal, Mike's evil alternate personality, fits this trope to the letter. He even has an evil spire!
-->'''Manitoba Smith''': Behold, the tower of Mal!
* WesternAnimation/TheHairBearBunch audition for the roles of the bears in a filming of "Goldilocks And The Three Bears." The film's uppity star, Twinkles Sunshine, rewrites it to include an evil prince, a role that zookeeper Peevly winds up getting.
* Prince John, as tradition dictates, in ''WesternAnimation/IvanhoeTheKingsKnight.''
* The main antagonist of WesternAnimation/{{Ninjago}}'s Sons of Garmadon series is [[spoiler: The [[RareFemaleExample Evil Princess]] Harumi, who was manipulating Lloyd for the entire season and is easily one of the darkest villains yet. Her aspirations of power are not related to the line of succession, though, so this is not a straight example of this trope; she's more of a BitchInSheepsClothing.]]