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->"Creator/{{HBO}} has proven that we will follow for years and years some pretty reprehensible characters as long as they're ''fascinating''."
-->-- '''Creator/GeorgeRRMartin''' talking about ''Series/TheSopranos''

An interesting twist on conventional storytelling is to make the TheProtagonist a {{villain|s}}. Sometimes (but not always), this villainous main character will even get the SympatheticPOV. On the other hand, it is not necessary for a villain to be sympathetic for them to be this trope. They simply need to be a villain whose morally reprehensible actions (however [[WellIntentionedExtremist well-intentioned]]) are in no way glossed over ''or'' justified within the context of the story. We are seeing the story from the villain's point of view.

A Villain Protagonist (especially in a comedy) is quite likely to go down in flames at the end. Whether this counts as a DownerEnding or not generally depends on [[KickTheDog how many dogs they kick along the way]] and/or how entertaining their HumiliationConga or KarmicDeath is. They may also do a HeelFaceTurn and become a HeroProtagonist.

When this is done for one episode, it's a VillainEpisode.

This trope often overlaps with a NominalHero and/or SociopathicHero, and sometimes with the more extreme cases of an UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist. It can easily result in DarknessInducedAudienceApathy if handled poorly, or if the Protagonist is ''[[MoralEventHorizon too]]'' Villainous.

Not to be confused with the ByronicHero, who is simply a deeply flawed person, heroic or not. Many Byronic Heroes tend to zone in and out of Villain Protagonist territory, though.

Contrast HeroAntagonist, both in terms of morality and role in the story. Compare and contrast VillainAntagonist and HeroProtagonist.
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!!Examples:
%% Moderator blackcat speaking: Rather than removing and replacing examples please discuss them on the discussion page.
[[index]]
* VillainProtagonist/AnimeAndManga
* VillainProtagonist/ComicBooks
* VillainProtagonist/{{Literature}}
* VillainProtagonist/LiveActionFilms
* VillainProtagonist/VideoGames
[[/index]]

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* Naruto in the Manga/{{Naruto}} Manga/{{Bleach}} crossover Fanfic/{{Amenaza}} swiftly becomes this despite his status as the HeroProtagonist in his canon universe.
* Played with in [[FanFic/DungeonKeeperAmi DKA]]: The land is torn with war, the forces of Light embattled with the vile Keepers- heralds and servants of dark gods. The Avatar of all that is good has [[TheEndOrIsIt been slain]]. So it has been for fifteen years when, suddenly, out of nowhere, a sorceress of unfathomable power emerges. [[FanFic/DungeonKeeperAmi Keeper Mercury]]. Taking the form of a [[Anime/SailorMoon lovely young woman]], this semi-demon seems to posses the antithesis of the Light's power. [[NotWhatItLooksLike Amoral]] and feindishly [[MadScientist intelligent]], who knows what manner of [[RunningGag cunning]] works behind that deceptive smile...
** [[AvertedTrope That's what the story would]] [[UnreliableNarrator sound like]] if [[BlatantLies narrated by]] [[RunningGag Baron Leoplond]].
* [[MegaCorp The Company™]] in ''FanFic/EventHorizonStormOfMagic'' is either this, or an AntiHero at best: they engage in a lot of ruthless and completely unscrupulous business practices and callous treatment of the natives. [[BlackAndGreyMorality But at least they also oppose the more omnicidal factions]], like Mordor and the Forces of Chaos.
* Justin as Kira in ''FanFic/KiraIsJustice''. However, his motive is that he is using the Death Note because he feels like "it is his duty".
* ''FanFic/KingSuperman'': Each and every one of the protagonists qualify, for acts including using the children of Little Lamplight as slaves and human shields, repeatedly leaving behind friends and allies to save their own asses, and convincing Cliff Briscoe to chug radioactive sludge.
* Tyrin Lieph, a WellIntentionedExtremist who believes that UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans is the protagonist equivalent in the EvilVersusEvil plotline of the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' fanfic The Council Era, his WorthyOpponent and antagonist being Halak Marr.
* Dark Yagami in ''Fanfic/LightAndDarkTheAdventuresOfDarkYagami''. While he's once referred to as the "hero" of the story (mainly to justify his PlotArmor), unlike many fanfics with sociopathic main characters, the author seems to acknowledge that he's almost pure evil.
* The ''Manga/KimagureOrangeRoad'' fanfic ''Fanfic/RevengeRoad'' is told from the perspective of [[{{Yandere}} Hik]][[AxCrazy aru]], who [[MoralEventHorizon murders]] [[MurderTheHypotenuse Madoka]] and [[IfICantHaveYou Kyôsuke]] out of [[GreenEyedMonster jealousy]].
* [[AwesomeMcCoolname Ghost]] in the Armored Core cooperative fanfic [[FanFic/ArmoredCoreFromTheAshes From the Ashes]] is this turned UpToEleven. Relatively early on in the story, he [[spoiler:kills ''one hundred million people'']]. It's implied that he's been running a ''huge'' EvilPlan for a long, long time, and is most definitely a MagnificentBastard and TheChessmaster; he seems to believe that UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans, but in this case, the 'means' are genocide of the highest order. He gradually turns all the members of the rebuilt ORCA Brigade against him, and when his MoralityChain Holly [[spoiler:came out of a coma and didn't remember him... well, it's going to get a lot worse]]. Given that he's an [[spoiler:OmnicidalManiac]] already... the world should probably start running. Especially given that he's got the king of all SuperPrototype [=NEXTs=] and is a PersonOfMassDestruction when on foot... well, this is bad. ''Really'' bad.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'' fanfic trilogy ''FanFic/MyHostageNotYours'', Zim and Gaz spend the first two stories as {{Anti Hero}}es (with some SociopathicHero thrown in), but switch to this in the final story (see page for details).
* The ''FanFic/PonyPOVSeries'', being [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin a POV series]], does this on occasion. But the example that stands out is [[spoiler:Princess Luna during her second POV. She starts out as a hero, but eventually performs a FaceHeelTurn due to her overpossessiveness of Pip. She gets into an argument with Celestia, resulting in her killing and bringing Pip back to life as an immortal undead so she can have him forever. When Celestia tries to convince her against making him immortal, she tries to murder her, killing a number of innocent ponies in the process. This leads to Celestia being a HeroAntagonist and fighting back to stop her now insane sister, ultimately killing her. It was AllJustADream, but still!]]
** A milder example, but one that shouldn't be overlooked regardless, is any of the chapters set in the [[BadFuture Epilogue timeline]]. Being a VillainWorld where [[TheBadGuyWins Discord won]], it's to be expected that about 99% of the story is told from the POV of either Discord himself or the [[BrainwashedAndCrazy discorded Mane Six]], who now serve as his CoDragons. [[spoiler:At least until Twilight Tragedy performs a HeelFaceTurn, followed shortly there after by Liarjack. They then redeem Rarigreed and, much later, Traitor Dash and Angry Pie.]]
** Queen Chrysalis' OriginsEpisode is entirely from her point of view, showing what a [[TheSociopath sociopath]] she was even from birth.
* SonicTheHedgehog fanfic ''Fanfic/PrisonIslandBreak'' has all the main cast as violent convicted criminals. They don't even have a particuarly heroic goal; they just want to escape. But because the story is centered on them, they get the SympatheticPOV and you completely forget they're a collection of terrorists, serial killers and rapists (even though the writer never lets you forget).
* In the short story series [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8700173/1/Lex-Luthor-Triumphant Lex Luthor Triumphant]] Lex Luthor gives Lois Lane an interview 8 months after Superman [[spoiler: vanished without a trace.]] Then it goes places.
* Jade's FaceHeelTurn in ''FanFic/QueenOfAllOni'' is what kicks off the entire plot in the first place, and she gets more much more focus than the heroes trying to stop her (though the author's started to rectify that in the latest chapters).
* Loki in some episodes of ''Fanfic/AgentLokiInternationalManOfMayhem''.
* Is [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/9311942/1/Cultist-chan-Destroyer-of-Worlds Cultist-chan of Warhammer40k fame adorably stupid?]] Maybe. [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/9426250/1/Cultist-chan-and-the-Re-re-re-re-re-re%C3%ABlection-of-Ronald-Reagan Does she have any redeeming features?]] Arguably. [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/9384175/1/Cultist-chan-and-the-Glorious-BolognaTown-Groxburger-Crusade Is she still a genocidal, infanticidal, buffoonish pervert who causes catastrophic destruction everywhere she goes?]] Without a doubt.
* [[http://discorderlyconduct.tumblr.com/ Discorderly Conduct]] is just about the best example you can find for good old Discord.
* ''Fanfic/PagesOfHarmony'' has Twilight Sparkle, who [[spoiler: kidnaps, [[ColdBloodedTorture tortures]], and [[MindRape Mind Rapes]] her friends to extract their Elements]]. She is a WellIntentionedExtremist who sincerely believes her plan to destroy chaos and let Harmony rule are good, even if it means [[spoiler: killing her friends, coldly murdering ponies who get in her way before her plans are set, and utterly destroying every disharmonious being in all of reality]].
* Maylu Sakurai from ''[[FanFic/MaylusRevenge Maylu's Revenge]]''. She wanted to get revenge against Roll for her actions as Empress in "Evil Empress Roll", the two-parter episode this fanfic takes place after. And she's willing to get it, even [[FaceHeelTurn siding with World Three]].
* Played with and ultimately subverted in ''Fanfic/StoryOfTheCentury''. L is actually the [[AntiHero Anti-]]HeroProtagonist (or the closest out of anyone in the fanfic to a protagonist) but he tends [[RonTheDeathEater to get the villain treatment]] in [[OriginalCharacter Erin's]] point of view, with Light, Misa and the whole task force as his long-suffering and far more heroic workmates. [[spoiler: Higuchi looks like the real villain at first, but the REAL villains and antagonists turn out to be Light and Misa, like L had been saying all along.]]
* While [[Franchise/AceAttorney Klavier and Apollo]] sometimes [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone regret the]] [[IDidWhatIHadToDo lengths they go to]], [[WhatYouAreInTheDark will do what is right given a chance]] [[TheDogBitesBack and have]] [[DomesticAbuse understandable]] [[BadBoss reasons]] [[LoveMakesYouEvil for their]] StrangersOnATrainPlotMurder they are this in ''FanFic/DirtySympathy''. They are willing to manipulate others to get the results they want or to not dirty their hands. Klavier was willing to kill Phoenix to frame Kristoph until [[AssholeVictim Shadi Enigmar]] gave him an opportunity. Apollo is willing to [[AmoralAttorney manipulate witnesses]], attempted to get Machi to give himself to Daryan fully knowing the latter would abuse or kill him, tampered with a crime scene [[FrameUp to implicate someone else]] and let the murderer off with a lesser crime.
* Ted/Darth Vulcan from ''Fanfic/TheRiseOfDarthVulcan''. A human who is brought to [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Equestria]] by the [[ArtifactOfDoom Alicorn Amulet]] (which he [[GrailInTheGarbage purchased at a pawn shop]]), his disdain for the SugarBowl environment and [[NiceJobBreakingItHero a series of altercations with the Mane 6]] drive him into [[FromNobodyToNightmare becoming the next major villain of Equestria]], with the power of the Amulet and the Diamond Dogs at his command. And since the story is told mainly from his perspective, it fits.
* The {{Anime/Bleach}}, WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic crossover fanfic FanFic/AHollowInEquestria has Ulquiorra Cifer, a literal villain of Bleach, and the reluctant anti-hero protagonist of Equestria.
* Charles Cooper from ''VideoGame/FiveNightsAtFreddys'' fanfiction ''FanFic/YouSeemAcquaintedWithThoseDoors'' is a murderous psychopath who is responsible for the deadly conditions of [[SuckECheese Freddy Fazbear's]].
* Disney's ''Disney/TheBlackCauldron'' fanfic ''Fanfic/HopeForTheHeartless'' takes place after the movie. [[TheDreaded The]] [[HornedHumanoid Horned]] [[OurLichesAreDifferent King]], the killed BigBad of the movie, is resurrected by [[CosmicEntities the Fates]] for unclear reasons and forced on a RedemptionQuest. If he manages to fulfill it under 18 months, he's freed permanently from [[ArtifactOfDoom the Black Cauldron]]; otherwise he's doomed to be [[SealedEvilInACan sealed into it]] [[AndIMustScream for all eternity]]. He initially doesn't believe he can fulfill [[ImpossibleTask the absurd quest]] (earning a human's love) and decides to settle for killing Taran, whom he believes to be responsible for his fate. But he encounters a young human named [[ChildrenAreInnocent Avalina]]. He imprisons her, but during the long months [[MoralityPet the prisoner]] and her [[LimaSyndrome jailer]] spend time together, the Horned King slowly turns from a CardCarryingVillain into a NobleDemon. It remains to be seen if the Horned King manages to save his soul from eternal damnation.
* The Company™ in the crossover fanfic ''FanFic/EventHorizonStormOfMagic'' is either this, or AntiHero at best. Yeah, they engage in a lot of questionable business practices, but they also oppose the omnicidal factions like [[WarhammerFantasy Chaos]] and [[LordOfTheRings Mordor]], and they've introducing a lot of social and technological progress to these worlds as well.
** Of course, given the CrapsackWorld status of at least two of the planets, [[BlackAndGreyMorality it isn't very hard for The Company™ to come across as ''the good guys'' by comparison]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/DespicableMe'': Its protagonist is Gru. He's a villain, but he isn't the best in the world.
* Kuzco from ''Disney/TheEmperorsNewGroove''. He's very mean and arrogant, and everyone hates him, but his EvilChancellor Yzma is way eviler than him, and the film revolves around him going on an odyssey that [[HeelFaceTurn helps him become a better person]].
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Megamind}}'' counts. (Well, if you consider him a villain at all...)
* The eponymous ''Disney/WreckItRalph'' stars an oldschool arcade villain who's tired of being ostracized for being the bad guy. He goes on a quest to prove that he can be just as heroic as his good-guy rival, Fix-It Felix Jr.
** Ralph is actually a bit of a subversion, since he's [[PunchClockVillain the villain]] [[MeanCharacterNiceActor in name only]]. He's actually just as much of a hero as Felix, but because it's his job to be the bad guy, the [=NPCs=] are [[{{Jerkass}} assholes]] to him [[spoiler:until the end of the film, when they grow to respect him.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Oz}}'', being set in a prison, naturally revolves around the inmates, many of whom are guilty of murder, rape, drug dealing, etc.
* ''Series/TheSopranos'': Considering that well over half the cast is in the Mob, this trope was bound to pop up. Even the nicer ones have no problem with murder, drug trafficking, and other unsavory, illegal activities. And chances are, if you're not in the mob, you're a huge Jerkass who just doesn't happen to be as morally bankrupt.
* The title character of ''Series/TheMaryWhitehouseStory''. (She was an overbearing MoralGuardian, and permanently upset by Creator/TheBBC, by the way.)
* Alan [[MeaningfulName B'stard]] of ''Series/TheNewStatesman''. A corrupt politician abusing his power, all PlayedForLaughs.
* Nancy Botwin and her AffablyEvil associates from ''Series/{{Weeds}}'' are drug dealers. Then again, [[BadCopIncompetentCop almost every official and law officer is a corrupt hypocrite]]. She starts out in a StepfordSuburbia in a CrapsackWorld, and [[CerebusSyndrome things go downhill from there]].
* Walter White of ''Series/BreakingBad'' slowly evolves toward this over the course of the first four seasons, but remains an AntiHero by always struggling against someone worse. By the fifth season, however, Walter has become a cold and cruel man, and his opposition is his own family. He's become the BigBad in his own story.
* There are a few episodes of ''Series/ICarly'' where even Freddie and Carly end up going against Sam when she does something bad. Example, starting a child labour sweatshop.
* Sylar of ''Series/{{Heroes}}''. In the first season he's the BigBad, but in the second and subsequent seasons he's a protagonist and goes through a HeelFaceRevolvingDoor, spending some portions as a hero and more portions as a villain.
* To the extent that they are protagonists, rather than Echo, the staff of the ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'' is this. Although their villainy lessens over time, especially in season 2 as a Greater Evil is uncovered.
* All male members of the ''Series/BlakesSeven'' crew flirt with this, even Blake when you consider that in the finale of season 2 it's made clear that he was fully willing to cause the deaths of millions of people (by computer failure) in order to take down the Federation.
* Francis Urquhart in the BBC series ''Series/{{House of Cards|UK}}'' and its sequels ''To Play the King'' and ''The Final Cut''. Urquhart is a ''Theatre/RichardIII''-esque British MP who schemes his way up to being Prime Minister via various sneaky and some downright evil acts.
* Frank Underwood in the ''Series/{{House of Cards|US}}'' U.S. remake is a ruthless politician who will do ''anything'' for more power. In Shakespearean tradition, he frequently gives snide, sneering and self-satisfied asides to the audience, letting the viewer see inside his twisted mind.
* SelfDemonstrating/LexLuthor in ''Series/{{Smallville}}''. Although the show is supposed to be about [[Franchise/{{Superman}} Clark Kent]], it focuses on Lex just as much and his descent into becoming the ArchEnemy of Superman.
* ''Series/ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia''. Don't hang out with those guys, or they'll crush your spirits and make you as vile as them.
* Al Swearingen in the first season of ''Series/{{Deadwood}}'' is a co-protagonist and the main villain, with Seth Bullock as the heroic co-protagonist. In the second and third season, the Hearst enterprises serve as the villain and Al becomes a more sympathetic AntiHero.
* This is very often the case on ''Series/TalesFromTheCrypt'', where the protagonist is a murderer or some other sadistic criminal (who usually [[AssholeVictim gets what's coming to him]] at the hands of someone who's even worse.)
* RodSerling wrote three stories in which the main character is a UsefulNotes/NaziGermany who receives a supernatural punishment:
*** The Brain Center at Whipple's
* ''Series/BoardwalkEmpire'': By the end of the second season, nearly every major character qualifies. [[spoiler: Hell, even the HeroAntagonist has turned into one.]]
* Almost every episode of ''Series/{{Columbo}}'' started off from the villain's point-of-view as he or she carried out a supposedly perfect murder.
* ''Series/TheBorgias'': Rodrigo Borgia, also known as Pope Alexander Sextus, is this. He's AffablyEvil, has four kids and an openly-known mistress, and has no problem with blackmail or bribery, and pimps his kids out to the highest bidder. Plus, there's all of the less-than-ethical executions he's considered, and the situations his children have had to endure--in what amounts to emotional abuse. His elder son, Cesare, is an even better example, what with the killing people, having a personal assassin as a best friend, and [[BrotherSisterIncest really]] loving his sister, though that's probably the least villainous part of his personality. [[TruthInTelevision If history has anything to say about it,]] he gets worse.
* ''Franchise/SailorMoon'': [[spoiler:Sailor Moon herself]] is revealed to have been this all along toward the end of ''Series/PrettyGuardianSailorMoon''. She's the WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds variety.
* Harry Montebello in ''Series/TheStraits'' has been known to kill people by feeding them to a variety of exotic wildlife. This is because he takes the security of his drug-smuggling business and his family ''extremely'' seriously.
* ''Series/TwentyFour'' has a couple: in the penultimate season there was [[spoiler: Tony Almeida]] who actually eclipsed Jack for a good chunk of the season by working with a group of terrorists and actually is the first to plan out an attack on a subway station all so he could work his way up try and kill their leader, and in the final season both [[spoiler: Allison Taylor]] who protects the masterminds behind a successful assassination attempt on a foreign government official and [[spoiler: Jack Bauer himself]] who attempts to assassinate said masterminds even though his doing so starts indirectly putting innocent people in danger, so much so that he [[spoiler: ultimately nearly stars a world war trying to kill the one in charge.]]
* ''Series/{{Scandal}}'': Olivia Pope and her team start out as traditional protagonists, but that changes at the start of season 2. For starters, Olivia and Supreme Court Justice Verna shut down Quinn's trial to save Quinn. David Rosen is unhappy about that, and he decides to dig for answers about Quinn. It turns out that Olivia, Verna, Cyrus, Mellie, and Hollis are working together in some sort of conspiracy. Olivia had an affair with President Fitz for a long time, despite the fact that Fitz is still married to Mellie. Also, Olivia participated in rigging the election so that Fitz would become President. She also sabotaged David's efforts to find answers. When you put it together, you have a group of protagonists who are actually villains and not heroes.
* ''Series/TheAmericans'' protagonists are deep-cover KGB sleeper agents in the United States in 1981. The main antagonist is the FBI agent who is trying to catch them. It's an American series, so it definitely qualifies for this trope.
* ''Series/{{Skins}}'' has Tony Stonem in Series 1, who is a manipulative, heartless bastard. [[CharacterDevelopment He gets better.]]
* Dexter Morgan in ''Series/{{Dexter}}''. The protagonist is a serial killer; he murders people as his hobby. Several steps are taken to make the audience sympathize with him: he only kills bad guys, he has a bad past and lots of reasons, and so on, but the fact remains that he's a serial-murdering sociopath. The series flirts with drawing him as a hero, especially in season 2, but he never quite makes it. He makes some less-researched, more impulsive kills as the series progresses. Later, especially at the end of the seventh season, Dexter begins to appear more and more evil, as his psychosis starts to catch up to him and the people he loves.
* Edmund Blackadder of the ''Series/{{Blackadder}}'' series is a greedy, self-centred arse who [[DeadpanSnarker enjoys insulting those around him]] and will happily betray, abuse and mis-treat those around him, especially his inferiors. Frankly, if he wasn't played by Rowan Atkinson he'd be almost completely unlovable.
* UsefulNotes/HenryVIII on ''Series/TheTudors'' is a [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder chronically-backstabbing]], ControlFreak {{Narcissist}} with a HairTriggerTemper who spends four straight seasons abusing his family, murdering his rivals (and sometimes their innocent family members), and manipulating national policy to flatter his own vanity.
* ''Series/{{Shameless}}'': Frank Gallagher is an alcoholic, lying, dishonest, violent, neglectful parent, but he's still the main character.
* Early seasons of ''Series/SonsOfAnarchy'' paint Jax Teller as the more idealistic (though far from innocent) alternative to his violent, crooked stepfather Clay Morrow. But near the end of Season 4, that all changes. A series of tragedies in Jax's personal life cause him to be sidetracked onto a path of revenge, and he becomes increasingly violent, manipulative, and generally controlled by evil. The show attempts to portray him favorably by putting SAMCRO up against some of the worst criminals imaginable, but [[HeWhoFightsMonsters his efforts to defeat them always wind up causing him and his club more mental anguish]]. By the start of Season 7, it's apparent that Jax has become the villain of his own story.
* Kiera Cameron is the protagonist in the series ''Series/{{Continuum}}'' and objectively would be considered a villain on the basis of her background and goals. She is a former soldier and police officer from a police state that has enslaved a large part of humanity and her primary goal is to protect that future so that she can return home to her family. This means stopping the freedom fighters who are trying to prevent that police state from coming into existence. She is a bit lighter than most true villains though and should probably be considered a type III {{Anti-Villain}}.
* ''Series/HouseOfSaddam'' chronicles the rise and fall of Iraq's infamous former dictator.
* Discussed in the ''HerculesTheLegendaryJourneys'' episode "Yes, Virginia, There Is a Hercules", where -- behind the scenes -- the lead actor Kevin Sorbo goes missing, forcing the writers to consider changing the show to account for Hercules' disappearance, and two of the staff members, a gun nut and an unhinged psychopath played by the actors who play [[WarGod Ares]] and Xena's nemesis Callisto, gleefully propose spinoff series about Ares and Callisto respectively.
** Though a third writer, Alex Kurtzman, notes that without Hercules as HeroAntagonist, there'd be nothing for them to do. Cut to Ares and Callisto playing an overblown game of rock-paper-scissors.
* ''Series/HitlerTheRiseOfEvil'': To be expected in a biographical miniseries that focuses on UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler. The main character is a racist demagogue who wants to institute a new dictatorial empire and annihilate the Jews.
* ''Series/{{Justified}}'' splits its screentime equally between {{US Marshal}} Raylan Givens and Harlan County crime boss Boyd Crowder, the latter of whom, as a ruthless criminal trying to take control of the county, is a definite example of this.
* ''Series/TheVampireDiaries'' didn't start out this way, but as more of the MainCharacters became vampires, and even "good" vampires like Stefan were revealed to have done horrific things, {{Villain Protagonist}}s became the norm. By the end of the third season, Elena admits that killing all the vampires in the world, including her friends, would actually be the right thing to do, and that trying to keep them alive, at the expense of who-knows-how-many people they'll go on to kill, makes her the bad guy. To which she adds, "Fine, I'll be the bad guy."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* Clockwork Quartet's [[http://clockworkquartet.com/music.php 'The Watchmaker's Apprentice']] is told from the perspective of a man who frames his boss for murder.
* The narrator of the Wreckers song "Crazy People". There's a ''reason'' only crazy people fall in love with you, lady.
* Pink, from Music/PinkFloyd's ''Music/TheWall''. Though the album begins with a StartOfDarkness and ends with a redemption of sorts.
* The narrator of Music/WarrenZevon's "Mr. Bad Example". He starts out stealing from a church fund for widows and orphans, and only gets worse. The AxCrazy "Excitable Boy" would be another example.
* Hip-Hop artists like Music/JayZ or [[FiftyCent 50 Cent]] were allegedly criminals before having music careers, and many of their songs deal with this topic from their perspective.
* The viewpoint character of Voltaire's song "When You're Evil" is a CardCarryingVillain. Also "Almost Human", and "The Chosen" and "Brains"... he kinda likes that one.
* The Rake from Music/TheDecemberists' "The Rake's Song" sings, without so much as a hint of regret, about how he killed his three children in order to escape from the responsibilities of parenthood. It's quite [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome good.]]
* Nick Cave has a few songs about villain protagonists, most notably the entire album ''Murder Ballads''.
* The heavy metal band GWAR can be classified as this.
* Then there's "Sympathy for the Devil" by Music/TheRollingStones, which should qualify.
* Music/BlackSabbath's "Iron Man" is about a hero who travels to the future and witnesses TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt, and when he travels back to the present, [[AndThenJohnWasAZombie he is transformed into the title's villain]] who [[StableTimeLoop causes the future destruction]] in the first place.
* Music/PeterGabriel's songs "Intruder" and "Family Snapshot" are told from the perspectives of a burglar and Lee Harvey Oswald, respectively.
* The Primus song "My Name Is Mud" is sung from the perspective of a man who murdered his friend and is burying the body.
* Everything that happens in a Monster Magnet song happens with a fistful of pills. Protagonists run the gamut from garden-variety drug abusers/dealers to comic-book-style supervillains and demonic agents. There are a lot of bombs getting planted, and things might get a little rape-y. Notable are the infanticidal couple of "See You in Hell", the drug-addled character in "Tractor", and various personifications of evil in "Kiss of the Scorpion", "Atomic Clock", and "Bummer".
** "I drove out to the Meadowlands to throw our baby away."
-->See You in Hell
** "If you wanna spank your demons and make them pay, well baby, I'm your man of the hour"
-->Bummer
** "Got a knife in my back, got a hole in my arm, I'm driving a tractor on a drug farm"
-->Tractor
* "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Music/{{Queen}} is sung by a condemned murderer who is only sorry he didn't get away with it. [[WordSaladLyrics Maybe.]] At the very least, we know Beelzebub has a devil put aside for him. For him. For ''hiiiiiiiiiiiim''.
* Music/TheBeatles had a few examples: the title characters in John's [[GreatWhiteHunter "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill"]], Paul's [[SerialKiller "Maxwell's Silver Hammer"]] and George's [[IntimidatingRevenueService "Taxman"]] (the last one is also the viewpoint character), the persona in John's [[CrazyJealousGuy "Run for Your Life"]], and John's persona in the second half of [[TriggerHappy "Happiness is a Warm Gun".]]
* Ziltoid from the Ziltoid the Omniscient album by Music/DevinTownsend is definitely this. He destroys earth, because he didn't like the coffee they presented him, follows the escaping humans to another planet, unsuccessfully attempts to destroy that one, then he asks the Planet Smasher to destroy another planet, which is populated by sentient being, just to lift his mood.
* The Music/{{Nirvana}} song "Polly" is sung from the point of view of a rapist who holds his victim captive and tortures her with razors and a blowtorch. It was based on a true story.
* Many, many {{Vocaloid}} songs. Notable examples include Mothy-P's Story of Evil and the numerous 'yandere' songs like Luka's Love Disease and Miku's Rotten Girl, Grotesque Romance.
* "Behind Blue Eyes" by Music/TheWho is this with an AntiVillain.
* The narrators of Music/IronMaiden's "Sanctuary" (a man who killed a woman and is looking for a hideout), "Moonchild" (Lucifer himself) and "El Dorado" (a CorruptCorporateExecutive).
* Music/{{Metallica}}'s "Jump in the Fire" is sung by the Devil.
* Music/{{Slayer}}'s "Angel of Death", about [[ThoseWackyNazis Josef Mengele]].
* Music/EltonJohn's "Ticking" has an initially unassuming protagonist going on to kill 14 people in a mass shooting before being gunned down by police.
* Music/TheBoomtownRats' "I Don't Like Mondays" was written about Brenda Spencer, who killed two adults and injured nine children in a school shooting in San Diego in 1979.
* Music/{{U2}}'s "Until the End of the World" is sung from the perspective of Judas Iscariot, the apostle who betrayed [[{{Jesus}} Jesus Christ]].
* Music/{{WithinTemptation}} uses these most significantly in their [[ConceptAlbum "Unforgiving" album]] [[AllThereInTheManual (and supplemental arc videos)]], which revolves around a [[SerialKillerKiller vigilante serial killer cult]] [[ResurrectedForAJob recruited from the souls of the damned.]]
* Music/{{The Eagles}}' 1973 album Desperado tells the story of real-life wild west outlaws Bill Doolin and Bill Dalton.
* The main character from NineInchNails' ''The Downward Spiral'' starts off as someone who indulges heavily in sex and drugs to try to feel something, but crosses the MoralEventHorizon when he eventually rapes someone.
** Several songs on ''Year Zero'' are also from the villians' perspectives. "God Given" and "Capital G" are from the viewpoints of the corrupt church and state respectively, "The Great Destroyer" is most likely the viewpoint of a character known as "The Angry Sniper," and the last half of "The Warning" has the disembodied hand in the sky known as The Presence threaten to destroy mankind if they don't change their ways.
* The band, ''FearFactory's'', earlier albums were based on a continues storyline about a futuristic war between man and machine; machines being the villains. Many of their songs at the time had the machine leader giving it's commentary on wanting to wipe out the human race.
* Barnacle Bill the Sailor from the BawdySong of the same name is occasionally depicted as this, especially in the more vulgar versions of the song. If the fair young maiden asks what will happen if her parents see him, he will answer that he will "kill your pa and fuck your ma". When asked about what will happen if he goes to jail, Barnacle Bill will brag that he will escape. At the very least, the cleaner versions of the song make it clear that Barnacle Bill is [[{{Jerkass}} not a pleasant fellow]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Pinball]]
* In Creator/{{Capcom}}'s unreleased ''Pinball/{{Kingpin}},'' the player is an up-and-coming mobster who wants to get to the top of the organization by [[KlingonPromotion killing everyone in his way.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* After two expansions to their ''TabletopGame/{{Middle Earth|RolePlaying}} CCG'', Iron Crown Entertainment tried shaking things up by releasing a whole second basic set called "The Lidless Eye", casting the players as one of the nine Nazgul, working in the shadows to locate the Ringbearer and/or rally the monstrous races into an army. [[TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot An interesting idea]], but unfortunately, one which did nothing to [[CCGImportanceDissonance stem fan complaints of "filler lore"]], and only ruffled ''more'' feathers by being largely incompatible with cards from the previous set.
* The forthcoming ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' RPG ''BlackCrusade'' will cast the player characters as members of [[Characters/Warhammer40000ForcesOfChaos the Forces of Chaos]], either Chaos Space Marines or human Heretics. A PC's story arc will have one of four endings: [[KarmicDeath death]], [[OneWingedAngel ascension as a Daemon Prince]], [[GalacticConqueror leadership of a Black Crusade]], or [[AndIMustScream transformation into a Chaos Spawn]].
** In the main 40k game, playing as any of the "evil" factions will automatically lead to this, even the fluff in the book is less sympathetic. This is most notable with the aforementioned chaos space marines and Tyranids, the latter of which usually has fluff written in an ApocalypticLog style. This is more true during global campaigns, where the victories of "evil" factions will slowly edge the plot towards a downer ending, and the player base will still cheer for it.
* The basic assumption when you play an Abyssal in ''{{Exalted}}''. One chapter even has discussion about how to make the game more than one slaughterfest after another; they are ''that'' Baaad.
** This is where you're assumed to start as a Green Sun Prince. Subverted, however, in the assumption is that you'll quickly catch on that the [[DemonLordsAndArchDevils Yozis]] are (A) certifiably insane and (B) can't actually rope you in, so you'll either become a PunchClockVillain looking for an escape, a WellIntentionedExtremist AntiHero using a loose interpretation of your orders to push an ultimately producitive agenda, or just a plan ol' NobleDemon who just wants to be left alone, before you slip the leash entirely.
* Though not specific to any system in particular, it's very much the point to many campaigns. The "evil campaign" is often used to change things up where the [=PCs=] are the group of troublesome goblins, the terrorizing bandits or eclectic grouping of monsters. The goals tend to vary from pure destruction for the sake of destruction, sticking it to a certain group, actual goals of city/country/world domination or even a subversion of the genre.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mythology and Religion]]
* Iktomi in numerous [[Myth/NativeAmericanMythology Lakota fables]]. Despite being a member of the [[FiveBadBand Wacan Sica]], he is also the paradigm of human advancement, meaning that he will appear in these stories to teach the characters and readers valuable lessons (often [[StealthMentor indirectly]]).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio]]
* Thomas in ''Radio/OldHarrysGame'' is the focus of most of the story lines he's in. He's also such a godawful person that ''Satan'' (himself an example of this trope) is shocked by how evil he is at times.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Roleplay]]
* ''Roleplay/DestroyTheGodmodder'': In Be the Godmodders, you played as godmodders, trashing the last safe haven left.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* Creator/ChristopherMarlowe's play, ''Tamburlaine the Great'', features as its protagonist a man who mutilates, kills, subjugates, and rapes at any opportunity he gets. He locks up the Ottoman Emperor in a cage and feeds him his wife; he kills one of his own sons for being unwilling to fight; he is driven around in a chariot drawn by deposed kings and emperors. In the end, he burns a [[Literature/TheQuran Qor'an]] and [[BoltOfDivineRetribution dies suddenly]].
** Marlowe liked villain protagonists; ''The Jew of Malta'' is another example, as is ''Theatre/DoctorFaustus''.
* In the plays of Creator/WilliamShakespeare:
** Although ''Theatre/{{Othello}}'' is ostensibly a play about Othello, Iago is really the protagonist and most definitely the villain.
** Richard of Gloucester (a.k.a. King Richard III) from Creator/WilliamShakespeare's ''Theatre/RichardIII'' is one of the earliest Villain Protagonists.
** The title character of ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'', naturally. He is somewhat of an AntiVillain despite his MoralEventHorizon against the family of the play's HeroAntagonist; though his antivillainy isn't really of the "[[WellIntentionedExtremist good intentions]]" variety so much as the "[[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds just plain pitiable]]" variety.
** Shylock from ''Theatre/TheMerchantOfVenice'', although Bassanio and Portia have about as much or more lines. Some productions turn Shylock into an AntiVillain, as the play was fairly FairForItsDay and gives him legitimate reasons for being so ruthless.
* Medea from Greek Myth, at least as presented by Creator/{{Euripides}} in the play ''Theatre/{{Medea}}''. A straight reading of the facts of the myth makes Medea come across as an irredeemably evil multiple murderess (her victims included [[spoiler:her younger brother]] and [[spoiler:her sons]]), yet [[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds Euripides presents her as sympathetic]], or at least understandable.
* ''Theatre/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet'': The title character kills everyone who comes into his barbershop and [[CrossesTheLineTwice has them baked into meat pies]] to get rid of the bodies. [[ImAHumanitarian Mrs. Lovett]] fits the trope as well.
* In ''UsedCars'', the salesman protagonists lie, cheat, and steal from essentially everyone they meet.
* Volpone of ''{{Volpone}}'' is a greedy and lecherous con man; the play's main plot is about him faking being on the edge of death to trick people into giving him gifts in the hopes that he'd name them as his heir.
* Arnolphe, from ''The School for Wives'' (''L'école des femmes''), is a clear example, although he is usually seen as sympathetic because all his plans are easily thwarted and his villainy stems mostly from his desire to have a loving wife who will not be unfaithful to him.
* Don Giovanni of ''Theatre/DonGiovanni'' is a lecherous noble who has had sex with over two thousand women before callously abandoning them. The opera begins with him trying to rape a woman, then [[spoiler:killing her father when he defends her honor.]]
* While most of the cast of ''Theatre/GreatBritain'' are morally ambiguous at best, the main character, Paige Britain, is most definitely a villain, being a worker at a tabloid paper, who rapidly becomes more corrupt and goes to greater ends to try and further her career. She eventually crosses the MoralEventHorizon [[spoiler:by allowing a Page Seven model to starve to death so she can have the exclusive rights to her death story]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/SayaNoUta'''s protagonist and female lead are an [[spoiler: insane, cannibalistic killer and an amoral EldritchAbomination,]] respectively. Although one doesn't start out that way and they're both very, very sympathetic.
* A number of "dark" visual novels of the H variety feature a protagonist who, from the beginning, intends nothing better than to rape and/or enslave as many targets as possible.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/TheFourth'' is about Dark Lord Tiberius Skarva [[CharacterTitle IV]] and his plans to take over the local kingdom.
* ''Webcomic/{{Darken}}'' features a party of evil characters led by Gort, the Lord of Hellfire, who wants to unite the three Artifacts of Hell in order to become a demonic demi-god and rule all of Darken with an iron fist.
* ''Webcomic/{{Narbonic}}'''s protagonists are evil, but it's [[AffablyEvil cute fluffy evil]]. The MadScientist is an upbeat, plump, 26-year old blonde woman ([[RealTime aging to ~32 by the end of the strip's run]]) with pink glasses and a T-shirt that says "evil" with the "i" dotted with a heart. They're all {{Card Carrying Villain}}s, too.
* [[OmnicidalManiac Black Mage]] of ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater''. Actually, [[CrapsackWorld every main character]] that isn't [[OnlySaneWoman White Mage]] is not someone you'd want to share a bus ride with (and she's not that nice either). Strangely enough, Garland (the main "villain") is [[HarmlessVillain the next friendliest]] character. Fighter is mostly just played as being [[DumbIsGood way too stupid]] [[PsychopathicManChild to understand morality above a kindergarten level]].
* ''Webcomic/TheAntagonist'', which follows a villain after he fails. K, the Antagonist, is largely AffablyEvil, and would be DangerouslyGenreSavvy if he were a little more ruthless. He frequently [[NoFourthWall talks to the readers]], an act which confuses [[GenreBlind everyone around him]], sounding sometimes like the narrator of a book, and he believes his life is ruled by an overreaching "plot".
* The title characters of ''Webcomic/SuccubusJustice'' are soul stealing demons who regularly mutilate innocent people.
%%* ''Webcomic/HipsterHitler. [ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin? ADD MORE CONTEXT]
* ''Webcomic/YetAnotherFantasyGamerComic'' is from the point of view of a group of evil humanoids (and unnatural beings) living underground.
* ''Webcomic/TheLastDaysOfFoxhound'' is as pure an example of this trope as you can find, given that the [[QuirkyMiniBossSquad six lead characters]] are all the freak mercenary terrorists that Solid Snake must fight in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid''. It's also a subversion. Foxhound might be villains by the time ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', but they start out the comic as heroes working for the US government, and remain so right up until the very end, where they become heroes working against The Patriots, Metal Gear's version of the Illuminati.
* ''[[Webcomic/{{Sins}} The Sins]]''. Sure they are the {{Anthropomorphic Personification}}s of The SevenDeadlySins and no matter how [[TheCutie innocent their unwitting host is]] they lose their soul instantly, but they are also pretty fun guys to have around. That they are also {{Punch Clock Villain}}s and AffablyEvil helps.
* ''WebComic/AntiHeroes''. The title sums it up, although we should avoid confusion by saying that they're the opposite of heroes (i.e. villains, but sympathetic and fun) NOT {{Anti Hero}}es as we know them.
%%* ''Webcomic/TheManiacChainsawWieldingDuckbilledPlatypus''.
* ''Webcomic/LifeAndDeath'' while played for laughs, Steve takes his job as Death seriously and murders a lot of people as does his assistant Sally.
* Bun Bun of ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' is a sociopathic, switchblade-wielding, possibly immortal madman (well, madrabbit) who cuts anything that annoys him, and he was actually the protagonist of a story arc.
* In ''Webcomic/ZebraGirl'', the eponymous character's transformation into a demon was initially PlayedForLaughs, but the long-running CerebusSyndrome is turning her into a Villain Protagonist.
* Arthur Yahtzee from ''Webcomic/YahtzeeTakesOnTheWorld'' (by Creator/{{Yahtzee}}) is a wannabe EvilGenius who's trying to take over the world.
* Every character in ''Webcomic/CryHavoc'' bar Hati is greedy, violent, sadistic, or manipulative. The only defining characteristic the protagonists share is a sense of group loyalty (that may or may not be innate).
* Dr. Kinesis, and in fact, most of the main characters in ''Webcomic/EvilPlan''. The webcomic is about supervillains, so this trope applies heavily.
* The stunningly mis-named Angel of ''Webcomic/TheGoodWitch'', who has a FreudianExcuse, but long since went over the MoralEventHorizon.
* ''Webcomic/{{Jared}}'' features three main characters who are all varying shades of evil; Jared, Mary and Lilac, as well as some with questionable motives; corrupt police officer Carl and Hat Cat. The [[DesignatedHero good guy]] is not introduced until the last page of the first arc.
* ''Webcomic/SecondEmpire'' has the [[Series/DoctorWho Daleks]] of the Second Dalek Empire going against the slightly more evil First Dalek Empire.
* ''Webcomic/BadGuyHigh'', which is about a school for wannabe supervillains.
* The ''WebComic/VampireCheerleaders'' were meant to come across as group of [[HeroicComedicSociopath comedic sociopaths]], but wound up being perceived as this trope instead, [[http://www.vampirecheerleaders.net/strips-vc/meet_the_parents_4 due to the severity]] of [[DudeNotFunny some of their actions.]] They officially became villains during the ''"Vampire Cheerleaders Must Die!"'' crossover which cast the ''WebComic/ParanormalMysterySquad'' as [[HeroAntagonist heroic]] [[http://www.vampirecheerleaders.net/strips-vc/bat_is_out_of_the_bag antagonists]], who were out to save Bakertown High [[http://www.vampirecheerleaders.net/strips-vc/prom_aftermath from Lori and her Coven of vampires.]] This created [[InternetBackdraft a huge]] [[BrokenBase split]] in the fanbase that caused many of them to drop the series.
* ''Webcomic/{{Heist}}'' stars Geist, an IntangibleMan master thief who makes the same mistake [[Myth/GreekMythology Icarus]] did.
* The GreyAndGreyMorality of ''Webcomic/TwoRooks'' complicates matters, but protagonist Dea O'Malley ''is'' a ruthless assassin working for a crime syndicate, and his opposite number, Serus Eden, ''is'' undeniably ALighterShadeOfGrey. But neither side is all that nice.
* ''Webcomic/VoodooWalrus'' ended their first year with a massive storyline focusing on baddies Mac and Shmeerm viciously taking down ''BigBad'' Cyradwee and every last one of his underlings.
* ''Webcomic/MinionComics'' focuses on the lives of minions who sign up with an evil organization.
%%* Witchy, a cannibalistic witch from DeviantArt contributor [[http://green-glutton.deviantart.com/# Green Glutton]].
* ''Webcomic/{{Goblins}}'' follows a band of goblins from a role-playing game, usually regarded as low-level adventurer fodder, leading you to expect it would be this. However, the goblins are actually pretty heroic. A couple of straight examples do occur in the series, though, particularly the character of K'Seliss. (K'Seliss is part of a party including a couple of more admirable characters, though; the truly ''evil'' characters in the setting are never really used as viewpoint characters.)
* The eponymous characters of the MegaCrossover ''Webcomic/{{Roommates}}'' are [[Film/{{Labyrinth}} Jareth the Goblin King]], [[Theatre/ThePhantomOfTheOpera Erik]], [[Theatre/LesMiserables Javert]], and [[Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean Norrington]].
* [[http://cockeyed.the-comic.org/comics/47/ Harry the Dagger]] is a fairly low-level example.
* ''Webcomic/WhenSheWasBad'' focuses on Gail Swanson, a gang member who accidentally receives some superpowers meant for Amber Price, who is TheChosenOne and also happens to be an AlphaBitch who bullied her in high school. Rather than be a hero like Amber, Gail decides to use her powers to become a supervillain.
* Asa and Rook of ''{{Webcomic/Hotblood}}'', who -- when introduced to us, the audience -- are hightailing it away from law inforcement. Rook notes he has a bounty of $800 on his head (a lot of money, for TheWildWest).
* ''Webcomic/BeyondTheVeil'' is about a deposed Galactic Emperor resurrected in the stolen body of a hapless ([[GenderBender female]]) explorer. Her plan to regain her throne seems to involve spreading misinformation and fear by unleashing a genetically engineered monster and a henchman who can't remember what order to RapePillageAndBurn on a medieval planet.
* ''Webcomic/TrueVillains'' is about a former NominalHero trying out the dark side of the alignment divide with a CardCarryingVillain demon, an AxCrazy {{Necromancer}}, and a power-hungry mage. It doesn't take him too long to stop being put off by how ''[[ForTheEvulz fun]]'' his new boss finds villainy.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* The Blogfic [[http://sooniwillrule.blogspot.com/ Soon, I will Rule The World!]] has one of these. He's a [[OurLichesAreDifferent Lich]] who [[MageInManhattan has come to our world to take it over]]. He hasn't really crossed the MoralEventHorizon yet, and he's decent to his minions, but does collect protection money from a substantial chunk of the city and did try (and fail) to hypnotize some orphans to mess with his nemesis. Though it is implied (Albeit barely, though the author says that more on that is planned) that he does have a FreudianExcuse.
* Unlike most superhero based [[SharedUniverse Shared Universe's]]. The {{Metaverse}} focuses primarily on the villains. And then, a lot of the heroes aren't all that heroic...
* In ''WebVideo/SailorMoonAbridged'', Raye/Sailor Mars is very much this, being a {{Satan}}-worshipper (Human Sacrifice included) who was more than happy to [[spoiler:take Molly up on her offer of "Kill me first!" when she defended Nephlyte]]. All of it is played for [[RuleOfFunny laughs]].
* Doctor Horrible from ''WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog'' is a [[CardCarryingVillain self-proclaimed]] {{supervillain}}, and the story opens with him practicing his EvilLaugh. As a nerdy, AffablyEvil, WellIntentionedExtremist, he's contrasted starkly with HeroAntagonist Captain Hammer, who is closer to a KnightTemplar VillainWithGoodPublicity than anything resembling an actual hero.
** Though this really counts as a {{Deconstruction}}: Billy/Dr. Horrible insists that UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans, but even he seems confused sometimes about his motives (''"All the cash, all the fame--and social change!/Anarchy, that I run..."''), in contrast to [[LoveInterest Penny]]'s more traditional, charitable methods of improving the world. And, of course, there's [[DownerEnding the ending]].
* ''Roleplay/DorfQuest'''s Beardbeard embodies this trope - cutting down forests, killing elves, attacking small children, and [[spoiler:promoting Satan himself to godhood.]]
* Muschio in ''DiveQuest'''s goal is to "become the Devil" and has no qualms about burning down peaceful villages and assassinating his rivals to get his way.
--> Muschio: When I was very young, I asked my mother what I would have grown up to be, if I were not the Prince. She told me, "Muschio. Whatever you desire, that you shall have tenfold. If you want to be a soldier, you will become a general. If you want to be a monk, you shall become pope." I wanted to be a villain. *Beat* And I do not intend to stop until I have become the Devil.
* The point of the [[http://causeofdeath.weebly.com/ entire series]] ''WebOriginal/CauseOfDeath'', where individual serial killers and psychos end up joining together and, in some cases, dueling against one another. It's up to the viewer to decide who to root for, because everyone in the show is going to Hell anyway.
* Website/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses:
** The most blatant example on the site would be WebVideo/DiamandaHagan, who is an actual supervillain.
--> "DoctorDoom [[TakeThat is a pussy!]]"
** WebVideo/AskThatGuyWithTheGlasses is a rapist, a DomesticAbuser, a pedophile, a murderer, works for the devil and yet still stays [[SympatheticPOV sympathetic and charming]].
** WebVideo/BennettTheSage, who [[EvenEvilHasStandards disgusts and terrifies even That Guy with the Glasses]], and may or may not ''be'' {{Satan}}.
** In ''WebVideo/{{Kickassia}}'', WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic, who even dresses up as [[Franchise/StreetFighter M. Bison]].
* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', not only is the protagonist a villain (well, [[TheInfiltration sort of, at first]] -- [[spoiler:although she later becomes one for [[AntiVillain sort-of real]]]]) but most of the perspectives seen via [[ADayInTheLimelight Interludes]] are also villainous. Anti-villainy varies greatly.
* Michael from TheSalvationWar. Though the humans are undoubtedly the real heroes of the story, Michael acts as our main viewpoint in Heaven, and has quite sympathetic motivations in wanting to limit the damage done to Heaven when the humans inevitably invade, even as he keeps crossing the MoralEventHorizon to accomplish this.
* WhateleyUniverse example: the story "Mimeographic", featuring the supervillain Mimeo. He's not an amoral street thug. He's an amoral street thug with unstoppable superpowers.
** Or "It's Good to be the Don", told from the viewpoint of Don Sebastiano.
** Or the Jobe stories. Or "Razzle Dazzle", told by a supervillain who may have been, among other supervillains, the legendary Cerebrex. It's hard to be sure, since it clearly has an UnreliableNarrator.
* Eric from Roleplay/MallFight. Originally he was HeroicNeutral, a Type IV Anti Hero at worst, but in the latest canon he rules over a WretchedHive, keeping dozens of slave girls and [[StalkerWithACrush a former classmate he's obsessed with]] as his queen [[AbductionIsLove against her will.]] He still tries to do good and wants to be a hero, he just doesn't care about what anyone else wants.
* Iriana from ''IlivaisX'' gradually becomes this. At first, she's mostly freaked out, having narrowly escaped from an eternity of servitude to an empire that half-unwittingly tortured her for more than half of her life. As such, she spends her first week or so taking respite, learning to use the eponymous robot, defending herself, getting in close with Mille, and generally being moderately suspicious but even pitiable at times. But soon she realizes the infinitely destructive power of her robot, and her grudge against the Aztecs and the world in general begins to surface. She begins antagonizing the empires far more adamantly for little reason aside from wanting them destroyed, manipulates and forces people into serving her (especially Mille), and shows an unwillingness to accept things that aren't in her control- and if that doesn't change, she deigns to erase it from existence.
* In the prequel segments of ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'', the Freelancers fall in this category... but they're not portrayed as bad guys, just as guys being told the bad things they're doing are actually for good reasons.
* As of episode 8, [[UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist Twilight Sparkle]] becomes this in the parody series ''FriendshipIsWitchcraft''. Twilight's characterization has always been [[ItsAllAboutMe self-centered]] and [[LackOfEmpathy apathetic]] but no real threat since the series began, until [[spoiler: she ruins Cadence's wedding, leaving her in a cave to die so that Twilight [[BrotherSisterIncest could marry her brother Francis]]]].
* Psycho Gecko is a murderous, insane supervillain protagonist in the WebSerialNovel Literature/WorldDominationInRetrospect. BlackComedy and BloodyHilarious violence abound.
* WebVideo/TheJokerBlogs: Lampshaded by patient 4479 himself in episode 17. "You want to hear something funny? Right now, they are all rooting for me.''"
* ''Website/SFDebris'' portrays Captain Janeway of ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' in this way - a power-crazed, murderous sadist who is deliberately spreading chaos throughout the Delta Quadrant and has set up a XanatosGambit to gain control of the Alpha Quadrant.
* The webseries ''GothamGirls'' stars four of Franchise/{{Batman}}'s most prominent supporting ladies. One of them is the vigilante superhero Batgirl... and the other three are jewel thief Catwoman, eco-terrorist Poison Ivy and supporting henchgirl Harley Quinn. Their shenanigans can be entertaining, but they never let up with the thievery and crime.
* ''Roleplay/STOForumVersusThreadRP'': artan42's character Romulan Spy Agent 007 starts out looking like a SociopathicHero, but graduates to this after, unprovoked, he vaporizes three members of a Bronze Age native village [[MakeAnExampleOfThem as an example]] and tells them to resupply him.
* ''WebAnimation/GEOWeasel'' focuses on The Big Weas, whose goal is to take over the world, though he is [[ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything not seen doing much to that end]].
* ''LlamasWithHats'': Carl is an AxeCrazy psychopath who slaughters crews ships, nukes cities, mutilates babies to steal their hands, and eventually goes on to [[spoiler: end all life on Earth]].
* ''WebAnimation/HappyTreeFriends'':
** While Lumpy is usually portrayed as well-meaning but extremely stupid, there are some episodes where he is instead portrayed as this, such as "We're Scrooged" where he murders Toothy for the sake of selling his body parts, "Banjo Frenzy" when he goes on a killing spree because nobody liked his song, and "All in Vein" when he's a vampire, and not the [[FriendlyNeighborhoodVampire friendly kind.]]
** Lifty and Shifty are the focus of most episodes where they appear. They also swindle and steal from the other characters on a regular basis, often knowingly killing the victim in the process.
** While Splendid is usually just a HeroicComedicSociopath, he's this full-on in his one appearance in "Ka-Pow!" when he starts a fight with Splendont which destroys half the town and kills countless people just because Splendont wouldn't shake his hand.
** While Flippy isn't a villain to start with (most of the time), his SuperpoweredEvilSide usually takes over midway through most episodes focusing on him.
* Many WebAnimation/YoutubePoop protagonists will murder, rape, and do all kinds of horrific things for little to no reason.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes:
** While Characters/BugsBunny was generally a defensive character, there have been several episodes where he became a straight up villain. Examples of this include "Elmer's Candid Camera" (with a Bugs prototype where he picks on Elmer unprovoked), "Elmer's Pet Rabbit" (where he heckles Elmer for no justifiable reason), "Tortoise Beats Hare" and its follow ups "Tortoise Wins by a Hare" and "Rabbit Transit" (where Bugs is portrayed as an egomaniac who's willing to harm and cheat just to beat a turtle), "Wabbit Twouble" (again, picking on Elmer unprovoked), "The Wacky Wabbit (picking on an unprovoked Elmer again), "Hare Ribbin'" (where he picks on a dog who just happened to encounter him, unlike his encounter with a similar dog in "The Heckling Hare", and ''assists the dog in suicide''[[note]] It's even worse in the directors cut included on Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 5, where ''Bugs himself shoots the dog''[[/note]]), "Buckaroo Bugs" (where he's a flat out thief and bully), and "Rebel Rabbit" (where he wreaks havoc on the US solely because the bounty for rabbits was so low, doing atrocities like filling up the grand canyon and ''sawing Florida off the mainland'', breaking into congress during session and physically assaulting a senator, and by the end of the short gets so out of control that the '''military''' is called in to bring him down).
** WesternAnimation/DaffyDuck also had several bouts of this trope, such as "Daffy Duck in Hollywood" (where he causes trouble in a Hollywood studio for the heck of it) and "Boobs in the Woods" (where he heckles PorkyPig for the sake of causing trouble). This only intensified during his later meaner years where he evolved into a genuine villain, albeit still often with the primary spotlight (see above).
** "WesternAnimation/HoneysMoney" is the only Yosemite Sam short where Sam is the star, rather than playing antagonist to Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck.
* WesternAnimation/WoodyWoodpecker went in and out of being this and an AntiHero in the original cartoons. Sometimes, he just goes about breaking the rules or causing trouble for the mere thrill of it or just out of ignorance, and is clearly shown to be a selfish glutton who will mow down or manipulate anyone who gets in the way of his food. On the other hand, he did occasionally star in a sympathetic light (i.e. "The Hollywood Matador") and by the late 40's his AntiHero traits were played up more by director Dick Lundy, especially when Buzz Buzzard entered the series. By the 50's, Woody veered between being a straight up hero, a villain and an anti-hero, and by the mid-50's both of the former traits were dropped altogether in favor of making Woody a straight up hero character.
* Brain and Pinky of ''WesternAnimation/PinkyAndTheBrain''. One is a [[DiabolicalMastermind genius]], the other's [[TheDragon insane!]] They're laboratory mice, their genes have been spliced!
* Zim of ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'', an alien trying to TakeOverTheWorld. He is juxtaposed to Dib, a preteen paranormal investigator trying to stop him. One could argue that the issue becomes confused for this show, however; while the majority of episodes focus on Zim, there are so many {{Villain Episode}}s that some fans would argue that Dib and Zim could ''both'' be seen as the protagonists, and that the show has one Villain Protagonist and one traditional hero.
* A weird in-universe example mixed with DeliberateValuesDissonance in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', the [[ShowWithinAShow Play Within A Show]] "The Boy In The Iceberg" stars actors playing the Gaang as protagonists, with Ozai as the main anatagonist. As all the characters are exaggerated parodies of the "real" people, the play version of Aang is a WideEyedIdealist with IncorruptiblePurePureness, whereas Ozai is a flamboyant CardCarryingVillain; however, at the end of the play, when Ozai brutally kills Aang, the audience gives it a standing ovation. Although the viewers know that Aang is TheHero and Ozai is a monster, due to a century of propaganda and cultural conditioning, as far as the Fire Nation rank and file is concerned, Aang is the play's Villain Protagonist, despite [[ButNotTooEvil not actually comitting any evil acts onstage]].
* Eddy from ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy'', while not as evil as some of the examples, is still a cynical con artist who will do every dirty trick in the book for money. Including stealing Christmas presents from children. [[FreudianExcuse He has his reasons]], but still.
* Mandy of ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy'' is so evil that she makes Grim, the personification of death, look like a nice guy in comparison.
* Killface of ''WesternAnimation/FriskyDingo'' is a ''super''villain protagonist who built a doomsday device designed to launch Earth into the sun, and he's still way more sympathetic than {{Jerkass}} superhero Xander Crews.
* The episodes of ''WesternAnimation/GothamGirls'' that do not focus on Batgirl on this. (In which case she becomes a HeroAntagonist.)
* Several episodes of ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'' used this trope, with the episode focusing solely on the villain, and Jack having little - or no - role in the actual story, making only a cameo appearance. Notable examples are "The Princess and the Bounty Hunters" and "Tale of X-9". In "Aku's Fairy Tales", Jack did not appear in person at all, with Aku being the main character.
* Cartman from ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark''. He either serves as TheDragon for an even greater evil, or IS the BigBad in most episodes. Occasionally though, he functions as a NominalHero.
* Task Force X are focused on during their mission to infiltrate Justice League headquarters and [[spoiler:steal an invincible armor forged by the gods]] in the ''[[WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague Justice League Unlimited]]'' episode named after them.
* Stewie Griffin from ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' started out as a diabolical Villain Protagonist (he still has his moments, but it's more general ComedicSociopathy).
* Both {{WesternAnimation/Tom and Jerry}} can alternate between this role in [[DependingOnTheWriter any given theatrical short]], a fact ''especially'' glaring if the former ends up being a DesignatedVillain and the latter turns into a DesignatedHero.
* Resident Alien Roger from ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad''. He started out as a sympathetic, vaguely hedonistic alien, but over time he has established himself as a volatile, dangerous sociopath.
* Zordrak and the Urpneys of ''WesternAnimation/TheDreamstone'' usually act this, in that each episode starts and ends from their perspective and we generally spend more time following them than the heroes. DependingOnTheWriter however, SympatheticPOV is sometimes given to the actual heroes.
* Wolf from ''Animation/NuPogodi'' is one. Much like the Coyote from Chuck Jones' "Coyote and Roadrunner" shorts, the Wolf drives the plot... except that his entire ''raison d'etre'' is to eat the Rabbit, who more often than not is minding his own business.
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'' completely redid the series as ''Joker: The Vile and the Villainous''. The storyline was adapted from an issue of the seventies ''Joker'' comic.
* Clay Puppington is this in the third season of ''WesternAnimation/MoralOrel'', which focuses more on him than the other two seasons. Several episodes showcase his VillainousBreakdown.
* The antagonists of ''WesternAnimation/AquaTeenHungerForce'' range anywhere from {{Harmless Villain}}s to {{Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant}}s. Master Shake, however, is ''disgustingly'' heinous and completely unrepentant with every last action, his ability to [[LackOfEmpathy repel empathy]] outweighed only by his ability to attract [[LaserGuidedKarma poetic justice]].
* Dan of ''WesternAnimation/DanVs'', is short-tempered, paranoid, and violent, and each episode is about him seeking revenge for some slight, real or imagined.
* Hector Con Carne is the CardCarryingVillain Protagonist of ''WesternAnimation/EvilConCarne''. (Just [[IneffectualSympatheticVillain not a very good one.]])
* The TitleCharacter of ''WesternAnimation/MrPicklesGoodBoy'' is a satanic dog who kills and tortures many people and has a number of human slaves. Since he still saves the day a number of times, he can be considered a mix of this and NominalHero.
* [[OurDemonsAreDifferent Callie Maggotbone and Twayne Boneraper]] of ''WesternAnimation/UglyAmericans''. As far as the series is concerned, demons from Hell aren't AlwaysChaoticEvil, but are incredibly apathetic towards all humans in general. Combined with varying degrees of outright psychopathy, and the eerie fact that they seem to be planning TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt behind the scenes, it's a wonder the former is an AntiAntiChrist with standards, and the latter is an IneffectualSympatheticVillain without a spine.
* In a similar vein to Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck above, Gumball Watterson of ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball'' sometimes crosses the line from JerkWithAHeartOfGold to what can only be described as "dangerous psychopath PlayedForLaughs": In "The Saint" he spends the entire episode harassing Alan, making all his friends and his girlfriend hate him, and ''sells his parents into slavery'' just because [[TallPoppySyndrome it annoys him that Alan is so perfect]]. In "The Spoiler" he goes crazy trying to avoid hearing any spoilers about a movie he's going to watch, even knocking someone out with a shovel and eating another student alive. In "The Laziest", he and Darwin deliberately ruin Lazy Larry's life just so that he'll help them win a bet.
* Captain Hero from ''WesternAnimation/DrawnTogether'' is a psychotic murder-rapist who wiped out the entire rest of his species out of spite. The entire cast qualifies for this, really, with the [[TokenGoodTeammate exceptions]] of Xandir, Foxxy, and [[DependingOnTheWriter sometimes]] Wooldoor.
* The titular "{{WesternAnimation/League Of Super Evil}}". Though calling them [[HarmlessVillain evil would be a bit of a misnomer.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'':
** Bender is a greedy and amoral criminal who constantly lies, cheats, and steals from everyone. Although Bender really does like his best friend Fry, he is not above swindling him as well.
** Also, to a lesser extent, Professor Farnsworth, a MadScientist who knowingly places his employees in dangerous situations all the time. He also keeps an unused arsenal of {{Doomsday Device}}s with him.
* ''WesternAnimation/GolanTheInsatiable''. The title character is a demigod from another dimension who has no problems with killing anyone and causing mayhem, but he's also a LargeHam who still wets the bed and tries to hang out with high schoolers and become homecoming king by pretending to be a teenager. The show's other main character, Dylan, is a young goth-looking girl who also finds joy in pain and misery, but also thinks turtles are cute, finds a [[ItMakesSenseInContext molted Golan to be adorable]], and deep down just wants her mom to be proud of her (though she doesn't like to admit it).
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