-> ''"I'm the bad guy! I don't save the day, I don't fly off into the sunset, ''and I don't get the girl!'' ...*sigh* I'm going home."''
-->-- '''WesternAnimation/{{Megamind}}'''

EvilIsCool, right? WRONG!

Despite what [[ManOfWealthAndTaste certain morally ambiguous personages]] would have a character to believe, being evil isn't necessarily all it's cracked up to be. It can destroy the character, their soul, and [[PyrrhicVillainy everyone they love and care about.]] While evil may be temporarily satisfying, and man, it sure [[EvilTastesGood bakes good cookies]], said cookies are unhealthy and fattening, and once those cookies are gone, what does the character have left once he's [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone given up everything]] just for that tasty, tasty [[{{Metaphorgotten}} murder]], uh, I mean ''treat''?

While the character may enjoy themselves for a little while, the consequences will eventually [[LaserGuidedKarma come back to haunt them]] in unpleasant ways. [[KickTheMoralityPet Kicking the wrong dogs]] has the unfortunate side effect of making the character [[BadDreams lose sleep at night]] or [[OutDamnedSpot consuming them with guilt]] over the horrible things they've done, or [[RegretfulTraitor deeply regretting having betrayed their friends]]. Characters letting their [[TheDarkSide anger rule them]] will find it fun and easy until they [[KickTheMoralityPet kick the wrong dog]] in their bloodlust. There's also the likely chance that the character will [[ComesGreatInsanity go mad]], which really isn't as cool as it sounds when [[SanityHasAdvantages they're in a straitjacket.]]

The character will have to realize is that [[GoodFeelsGood true happiness]] can only be achieved through ThePowerOfLove or the PowerOfFriendship. ''[[EvilIsEasy Anybody]]'' can cross the MoralEventHorizon, but once the character reaches there it [[LonelyAtTheTop looks pretty bleak]]. Nobody wants to be the character's friend because they're all terrified that they will kill them in their sleep (or they already have), they've done nothing to better their position except cause more suffering and generally made the world a worse place to live in. And through it all they've nourished so many bad feelings that not even EvilFeelsGood anymore -- in fact, they don't even ''remember'' what it's like to feel good for a change. If they only switch because being evil is inefficient toward achieving their goal, then they're a MoralPragmatist.

Compare IneffectualSympatheticVillain, ThisIsYourBrainOnEvil, and VideoGameCrueltyPunishment (in which a video game enforces this trope). Contrast GoodFeelsGood (which sometimes leads to this Trope, or vice-versa, if one character is able to experience both Good ''and'' Evil in his career). Being evil can be even worse if the character is ''bad'' at it.

If the same work also argues that BeingGoodSucks, see CrapsackWorld.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'' uses this to full effect with [[spoiler: Reiner, Bertolt, and Annie]]. All admit that GoodFeelsGood, but are resigned to having no other options.
--> [[spoiler: '''Reiner:''']] It's fine. We're all short-lived mass murderers, right? Aside from us, who else could understand?
** The [[spoiler:Survey Corps themselves]] show elements of this after they're [[spoiler:forced to kill members of the Military Police in self defence]].
* In ''Anime/CodeGeass'', Lelouch Lamperouge is a mix of this and BeingGoodSucks due to ambiguous methods, pride, and bad luck, with [[spoiler:people stabbing him in the back,]] whereas Suzaku Kururugi learns that using dubious yet purportedly legitimized methods in hopes of achieving his goals, such as conquering relatively innocent people [[spoiler: and threatening ex-friends with highly addictive psychotropics...]] sucks. So they try to do good by joining up.
* ''Manga/ElfenLied'''s Lucy[[spoiler:/Kaede]]. After a series of events that shattered her mind, she fully gave in to the voice, which in turn proves to further ruin her life as it makes her the number 1 enemy of humanity as well as losing any chance of being with the boy she loves most. In other words, being a WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds sucks.
* In ''Anime/GuiltyCrown'', Shu Ouma becoming Tennouzu High's StudentCouncilPresident after [[spoiler:Hare's death]] causes him to lose everything and everyone he loves by the time of Episode 17 [[spoiler:when the Tennouzu High students turn against him]].
* ''Manga/FairyTail'': After [[spoiler:Minerva left Sabertooth and started joining Succubus Eye,]] everything just started to fall apart for her. [[spoiler:Not only was her first assignment in Succubus Eye a failure, when she came back to the Succubus Eye guild hall, everyone else was turned into a paper doll. The person who made it happen, Kyouka of Tartaros, showed up and said that they were too weak, then attacked her, captured her, and [[CameBackWrong turned her into a demon]]. When she fought Erza a third time, near the end, she begged her to kill her. It wasn't until her HeelFaceTurn that things started to improve for her.]]
* ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEEDDestiny'' has a scene where Neo Roanoke, [[TheDragon Dragon]] to [[FantasticRacism Fantastic Racist]] Lord Djibril reflects on the fact that his life has come to the point where he brainwashes teenagers into doing his boss' dying for him. He admits that he's crossed his personal MoralEventHorizon, but that he sees no way out now. [[spoiler:Given that Neo is himself a brainwashed Mu La Flaga]] this is unsurprising.
* ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers'': General Regius Gaiz. After years as a corrupt official, guilt came knocking at his door in the form of Zest[[spoiler:'s clone]], his best friend who shared his [[WellIntentionedExtremist dreams of justice]] [[spoiler:and was killed because of his secret connections to [[BigBad Scaglietti]]]]. Once he learned about his return, the formerly pompous general spent his time sitting in his desk in a defeated state, waiting for Zest to come.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'': Gaara doesn't ''quite'' realize this until he [[DefeatMeansFriendship gets the snot kicked out of him]] by Naruto in full "I fight for my friends" mode.
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'': Team Rocket are perpetually hungry and blown because of their poaching. The few occasions when they have tried to help Ash and his friends, they don't end the episode or film in question off on a bad foot, but as soon as they get back to trying to steal Pikachu again, we see them blasting off [[StatusQuoisGod again and again...]]
* In ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaTheMovieRebellion'', [[spoiler:Homura]]'s life deteriorates after her depression-induced StartOfDarkness. She's long since alienated everyone who knows her true identity, and has to live with the knowledge that she betrayed the only person who truly loved her. Also, she is far too cynical and repressed to deal with any of the above.
* The thing that kicks off [[spoiler:Eas/Setsuna's]] HeelFaceTurn in ''Anime/FreshPrettyCure'' is when she realizes this. Her life was cold, gray, impersonal, and she's been repeatedly asked to put herself in great pain and shorten her lifespan for fights she loses anyways. And all her infiltration of the heroines has accomplished is give her a taste of their happy lives.


[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''Comicbook/{{Watchmen}}'': [[spoiler:Ozymandias]]. His intentions were never entirely evil; he wanted to stop World War III before it started, and [[spoiler: he saw killing several million people as the only solution. Regardless of the fact that he sacrificed comparatively few to save everyone (sans Dr. Manhattan) it's obvious that he feels remorse and wishes that there had been another way.]]
%%* ''ComicBook/{{Empire}}.'': Golgoth
* ''Franchise/SpiderMan'': The Sandman eventually got sick of all the grief that came of being a criminal, and tried to go straight. He stayed a good guy for twenty years, real world time (just a couple of years, comic book time). Then his old evil teammate the Wizard stuck him in a brainwashing machine to make him evil again, causing him ''more'' grief. Poor dude.
* Superhero team the ComicBook/{{Thunderbolts}} was founded as a front for a group of supervillains to gain the trust of the world's various peace-keeping forces in preparation for a world domination scheme, by changing their identities and pretending to be heroes. At least half the original team members came to realize that they really liked not being feared and hated and decided to give up on world domination and remain good guys.
* It may never be known what insane reason Priscilla Lyons had to join a bunch of cold-blooded killers who murdered super-villains like the Scourges of the Underworld, but she discovered this Trope was true when given her first mark, that of ComicBook/{{Daredevil}}'s old enemy the Matador. She simply couldn't bring herself to pull the trigger after seeing that her intended victim was no longer a villain, living in poverty in Los Angeles, trying his hardest to help his sister take care of her children. In fact, this is what brought the organization down, due to their strict ResignationsNotAccepted policy; Priscilla was smart enough to know they'd be after her; prior to this, every would-be defector (or failure, or even members who were in danger of being caught) had been killed by the others before they could spill any of the groups secrets. But she was smarter than the others, and quickly called the Avengers hotline, and got in contact with [=USAgent=], and as a result, they both brought the entire organization down.
* ''ComicBook/TheMightyThor:'' Loki eventually began to feel this way about being an evil god, in part because as a god of mischief, he ''hated'' the idea of being predictable. One death and some not-quite-successful resurrections later, and the following Lokis embraced this trope whole-heartedly, doing everything in their power to avoid becoming a villain again, [[spoiler:including destroying their own identities.]]
* Played for laughs with the ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'' strip [[http://dilbert.com/strip/2009-04-18 seen here]] where [[CardCarryingVillain Catbert]] is depressed because being evil doesn't mean anything anymore. "These days I can cut salaries by ten percent, and people will thank me for not firing them!" (The strip was posted in 2009, during America's last economic slump, so it makes sense.)
* Turns out, [[spoiler: Trypticon]] of all bots feels this way in ''The Transformers: Salvation''. He deliberately leaves Devastator alive as a show of uncharacteristic mercy [[VillainRespect in honor of the latter's valor and determination in the face of an overwhelming foe]]. After the Dinobots successfully free him from Bludgeon's control (and he expresses his opinion of Bludgeon's EvilPlan via BreathWeapon), he announces that he's tired of being seen only as a force of destruction and [[spoiler: takes the newborn Sparks inside him so that they can use the metal of his body to construct new Protoforms for themselves, allowing him to be a force of creation]]. The idea that he hates everything including the Decepticon cause and himself was part of his original bio but was ignored in every appearance in the franchise until now.

* Played with in ''Fanfic/BlizzardStorm'', as its questionable just how much [[spoiler: Sakido]] counts as evil, but [[spoiler: she]] clearly still regrets her actions [[spoiler: during her time in Hell, which she feels she has failed Darius.]]
* In the [[WesternAnimation/BuzzLightyearOfStarCommand BLoSC]] FanVerse of ''Fanfic/ForGood'', [[TheDragon Warp Darkmatter]] holds this opinion [[HiddenDepths beneath his front]] of EvilPaysBetter. It's a crucial factor in his eventual HeelFaceTurn.
* Implied in Fred Porlock's conversations with [[GoodIsNotNice Patterson]], [[HyperCompetentSidekick Wiggins]], and [[TheWatson Watson]] in ''[[Fanfic/DeliverUsFromEvilSeries Mortality]]''. (An offscreen, pre-fic HeelRealization caused him to become TheAtoner.
* In the [[BadFuture Dark World]] timeline of the ''FanFic/PonyPOVSeries'', both Liarjack and Traitor Dash emphasize this trope. While Angry Pie and Fluttercruel have embraced their new evil and Twilight Tragedy has given up all hope and goes along with Discord's rule because it's all she feels she has left, Liarjack and Traitor Dash (especially Dash) are painfully aware of how Discord's magic has twisted them into monsters, and they hate themselves for it, but there's nothing they can do about it.
** [[spoiler: During Dark World's FinalBattle, against [[TrueFinalBoss Nightmare Eclipse/Paradox]] and her PsychoRangers, we see Liarjack and Traitor Dash's examples of this trope magnified in Nightmares Mirror and Manacle, who unlike Paradox and the other Nightmares, know that [[GroundhogDayLoop what]] [[HeWhoFightsMonsters they're]] [[OmnicidalManiac doing]] is evil, but feeling that it's [[WellIntentionedExtremist the best thing that they can do]]. Applejack and Rainbow Dash, [[HeelFaceTurn redeemed]] themselves by this point, recognize this in their counterparts, and [[SympathyForTheDevil pity them]] for it.]]
%%* A few griffin soldiers in ''Fanfic/AceCombatTheEquestrianWar'' think this way, especially Edge.
* In ''FanFic/NightmaresAreTragic'', Princess Luna argues this to her [[DemonicPossession possessing Nightshadow]] as part of her [[IShallTauntYou calcluated taunting]] of it during their [[FightingFromTheInside struggle within her own mind]].
* Parodied in ''FanFic/SeventhHorcrux''. Voldemort's one true love has always been teaching, but declaring oneself the Dark Lord Voldemort and killing people makes it really hard to get a job around children. He would know, as he's tried.
* In ''Fanfic/HopeForTheHeartless'', this becomes one of the main themes to be learned by [[Disney/TheBlackCauldron the Horned King]] who has been [[ResurrectedForAJob brought back to life]] and set on a [[ImpossibleTask seemingly impossible mission]]: [[RedemptionQuest earning a human's love despite all his sins]] before 18 months has passed. Otherwise he's doomed to be [[SealedEvilInACan sealed]] inside [[ArtifactOfDoom the Black Cauldron]] ''[[AndIMustScream permanently]]''. As he slowly [[LimaSyndrome becomes attached]] to his prisoner [[PurityPersonified Avalina]], he realizes how his [[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld over a thousand years of existence]] has been wasted by committing evil in his name and that of [[PredecessorVillain his former master Arawn]].
* ''FanFic/TheEquestrianWindMage'' is kicked off by Vaati coming to this realization, after musing on how no matter what he tries, he always ends up beaten and resealed by Link, so what's the point? As such, he throws their latest fight and teleports away, only for a last minute bit of interference to cause said teleportation to go awry, landing him in Equestria.
* In ''FanFic/{{The Lunar Guardsman}}'', Luna and Raegdan went to extremes for the sake of their goals and they ended up alone, rightfully calling their lives a living hell.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/MiraculousLadybug'' fic ''Fanfic/LePapillonRising'', Adrien Agreste is a supervillain known as Papillon. Adrien's akumas tend to get out of control and mess up his life. It's been implied that he'd actually rather die than hurt Marinette, but his ignorance causes him to terrorize her on a daily basis instead. He often goes without sleep, and can't sort out his love life at all, thanks to competition from himself.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda2'': Lord Shen is haunted by the perception that his parents hated him, and now is out to conquer Gongmen City and then China to have something worthwhile in his life. However when pressed, he can't say whether his dream is worth anything other than an excuse to take his pain out on.
-->'''Soothsayer''': Say you finally destroy kung-fu and take over China. [[AndThenWhat Then will you finally be happy?]] \\
'''Shen''': (''dodging the question'') It's a start. [[DeadpanSnarker I might also convert the basement into a dungeon.]]
* The eponymous character of ''WesternAnimation/{{Megamind}}'' provides the quote above, saying that he doesn't get what the heroes could.
* ''Disney/WreckItRalph'': The eponymous character has this experience. He's tired of having been the bad guy in a video game for thirty years and getting no respect for the job he does, which kicks off the plot as he sets out to prove he can be a good guy. Although he's not really evil to begin with, [[MeanCharacterNiceActor he just plays a villainous role and gets patronized for it]].
* ''WesternAnimation/RockAndRule''. Slow Schlepper Brother Zip has a HeelRealization, and becomes distraught. "We ain't evil, are we?" [[spoiler: It leads to his HeroicSacrifice.]]
* In ''Disney/SleepingBeauty'', Fauna says of the antagonist Maleficent: "Maleficent doesn't know anything about love, or kindness, or the joy of helping others. You know, sometimes I don't think she's really very happy." However, unlike most uses of this trope, it's not used to garner any sympathy; Maleficent is one of Disney's most [[CardCarryingVillain openly and unrepentantly evil villains]] and has no redeeming features whatsoever ([[EvilIsCool undeniable coolness notwithstanding]].) The only characterisation purpose this line serves is to showcase Fauna as the most gentle-hearted of the fairies, and in terms of plot it gives Flora her EvilCannotComprehendGood realisation that lets them trick Maleficent.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/AmericanHistoryX'' has Derek turning away from his neo-Nazi lifestyle as he realizes how unhappy and crappy it has made his life:
-->"And I kept asking myself all the time, how did I buy into this shit? It was because I was pissed off, and nothing I ever did ever took that feeling away. I killed two guys, Danny, I killed them. And it didn't make me feel any different. It just got me more lost and I'm tired of being pissed off, Danny. I'm just tired of it."
** The [[ArmourPiercingQuestion Armor-Piercing Question]] that prompts his HeelFaceTurn; "Has anything you've done made your life any better?" essentially marks the contrast between this trope and EvilFeelsGood.
* This is the lesson Cady learns at the end of ''Film/MeanGirls.''
--> "Calling someone else fat won't make you any skinnier. Calling someone else stupid doesn't make you smarter. And ruining Regina George's life certainly didn't make mine any happier."
* In ''Film/BattleBeyondTheStars'', Roger Corman's ''[[TheMagnificentSevenSamurai Magnificent 7]]'' [[RecycledINSPACE In Space]], one of the recruits is the galaxy's greatest assassin. He's amassed great wealth, but he muses that he lives alone and bored because he's feared everywhere he goes. The kid promises a home on his planet where no one knows him and where he can be happy if he helps them fight off the slaver.
* ''[[Film/{{DEBS}} D.E.B.S.]]'': has an example with [[{{Supervillain}} Lucy Diamond]]. After she falls in love with Amy and realizes that she'll have to give up her life of crime to be with her, she says "Being bad doesn't feel good anymore."
* ''Franchise/StarWars'': Anakin Skywalker's turn to TheDarkSide in ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith'' costs him everything and everyone that he loves as well as leaves him locked in a robotic life-support system. [[IKnowYoureInThereSomewhereFight When Luke insists he can come back from the Dark Side]] in ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi'', the way that Vader says, "It's too late for me," shows that he despises what he's become on a fundamental level, [[IveComeTooFar but he sticks around largely because he believes it's far too late to back out.]]
** It's epitomized in a comic where he duels a [[BackFromTheDead resurrected Darth Maul]], who [[EvilerThanThou accuses Darth Vader of being too weak]] to be Palpatine's servant, tainted by lingering love for Padme. When Maul gets behind him, Vader wins by [[DeliberateInjuryGambit stabbing himself through the torso]].
-->'''Maul:''' [[FamousLastWords What could you hate enough to destroy me?]]
-->'''Vader:''' ''Myself''.
** Essentially this is the Dark Side of the Force in a nutshell. While many Sith Lords truly believe that they're superior to the Jedi (who they see as weak for not taking advantage of their abilities), a few Sith Lords (such as Ajunta Pall, Yuthura Ban, Revan, and one Sith Lord that tried to balance the teachings between the two) have eventually come to realize that such power isn't all that it's cracked up to be when you have to kill your friends, your teachers, your family, and anyone else that could oppose you, leaving you all alone. Then again, this destruction of all the connections you hold dear (and the pain, sorrow, and rage that comes with it) is what powers the Dark Side; the Light Side of the Force is powered by not making said connections in the first place.
** This is what fully cemented Finn's MookFaceTurn at the beginning of ''Film/TheForceAwakens'' [[spoiler: after witnessing his fellow First Order Stormtroopers open fire on defenseless villagers and watching his friend FN-2003 die right in his arms]].
* ''Film/TheGodfather'': Michael Corleone justifies his descent into mob villainy as being done for the wellbeing of his family, but by the end of the second movie he starts to realize that it has destroyed his family. By the end of the third movie almost all the people he cared for are dead or driven away as a result of his choices.
* ''Film/{{Scarface 1983}}''. In spite of its massive MisaimedFandom for showing that EvilIsCool, it actually shows that being evil sucks. For all of Tony Montana's conspicuous consumption, he becomes a lonely and miserable person. This is especially evident when he makes a drunken scene at a restaurant.
* In ''Film/TheAssassinationOfJesseJamesByTheCowardRobertFord'', Jesse James spends much of the film in one stage or another of a VillainousBreakdown, and finds it all but impossible to escape the myths that have developed around him, (not to mention the government's attempts to catch him) and he is constantly reminded of [[TheseHandsHaveKilled the consequences of what he has done]]. While the film doesn't shy away from characterizing James as an [[AxCrazy unstable and murderous bully]], (instead of his usual FolkHero treatment) it's also clear that he feels genuine remorse for his misdeeds. So much so, in fact, that when he realizes that the Ford brothers are plotting to kill him, [[DeathSeeker he simply allows it to happen]]. It's beautifully summed up by his line:
-->''I look at my red hands and my mean face, and [[HeelRealization I wonder about that man that's gone so wrong]].''
* In ''Film/{{Goodfellas}}'', Henry Hill at first admits that "As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster," but such a life doesn't turn out as glamorous as he imagined it would. By the end, when he's broke, addicted to drugs, and a marked man, he says "I'm an average nobody. I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook."
* This is clearly evident with the title character in the film version of ''Film/HowTheGrinchStoleChristmas'' (where he's viewed as a sympathetic character for the most part). He's lonely and full of self-loathing (he uses that term exactly) and tries to make up with the Whoos even before his epic crime by accepting Cindy-Lou's invitation. Unfortunately, the mayor ruins that [[ItMakesSenseInContext by giving him an electric razor as a gag gift.]] Seriously, the whole guy's ''life'' sucks, and in this case, it's hard to blame him for hating Christmas.
* Creator/DannyTrejo states that the reason that he tends to play villains who always end up getting killed is to show the audience (especially kids) that bad guys always gets what's coming to them. Considering that he's a former convict who went straight, that message is understandable.
* By the end of Film/LordOfWar, Yuri's gun running business has led to his entire family either being killed or shunning him and Yuri himself is left with the knowledge that his new employers ([[spoiler:The U.S. Government]]) can have him [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness disposed of whenever he becomes inconvenient]].
-->'''[[HeroAntagonist Agent Valentine]]''': I would tell you to go to Hell but I think [[PyrrhicVillainy you're already there]].
* In the movie ''Film/TheButtercreamGang'', [[FallenHero Pete]] talks about how he's not entirely sure exactly how his FaceHeelTurn happened, only that he wishes he could go back to being who he was before it, but considers himself [[IveComeTooFar too far gone and incapable of it.]]

* ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'': Edmund Pevensie gets captured by the White Witch, he realizes that satisfying his greed wasn't worth the consequences it entailed for Narnia and his siblings.
* ''Literature/{{Confessions}}'':
** Augustine wasted his youth indulging every horrible whim he had, lying, fornicating, and stealing whatsoever he wished, all while getting no happier than the hobos he'd walk by as they lie half-dead on the street. He refers to this period of this life as "an abyss of death" and compares his joy in doing evil to a prisoner claiming omnipotence in his cell by breaking the rules without punishment, desperately trying to ignore his own confinement.
** Augustine's metaphysics make it a rule of the universe that evil sucks, since all evil is is the absence of a good that by definition would make you better if you had it. Oh, and existence itself is a good, so the more evil you are, the less you truly exist.
* The tortures in ''[[Literature/TheDivineComedy Dante's Inferno]]'' represent how each of the damned exists internally, implying their evil itself is a torture. So, the lustful are tortured by a hurricane because their lust throws them around without rhyme or reason, while traitors are tortured with cold because they heart turned cold as ice to those who they owed warmth to. Lampshaded by Virgil when a blasphemer blames God for his torment.
-->''"O Capaneus, for your arrogance\\
that is not quenched, you're punished all the more\\
no torture other than your own madness\\
could offer pain enough to match your wrath."''
* In ''Literature/DeathStar'', the gunner who fired the superlaser that destroyed Alderaan, who had always wanted to fire the biggest gun, finds that [[PunchClockVillain following orders]] and getting what he'd wished for led to misery beyond his wildest dreams, a personal MoralEventHorizon. He can't justify it, can't either make it less of a crime or blame someone else, and is unable to sleep for guilt and horrible dreams. When the Death Star is in range of Yavin IV, he stalls desperately, hoping that something would happen and he wouldn't have to pull that trigger again. [[ForegoneConclusion He got that wish]].
--> He wouldn't be able to walk on a street on any civilized planet in the galaxy; people wouldn't be able to abide his presence.
--> Nor would he blame them.
--> He couldn't stop thinking about it. He didn't believe he would ever be able to stop thinking about it. The dead would haunt him, forever.
--> [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone How could a man live with that]]?
* ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}} Legends'' trilogy: [[spoiler:Raistlin Majere gained so much power and was on the verge of becoming a God only to discover that continuing with his plan would result in the extinction of all life on the planet leaving him on a barren world. The alternative was only marginally better.]]
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'':
** In general, being a Death Eater sucks because they are under the constant threat of being murdered by their boss if they try his patience in any way. [[ResignationsNotAccepted Once they're in, they're in for life]]. If they're caught, they face life in prison with {{Emotion Eater}}s.
** Severus Snape: All of his years devoted to the dark side eventually gained him nothing but destroying the one thing he'd ever loved, and indulging in half-breed hatred didn't bring him any happiness.
** Draco Malfoy learns this the hard way near the end of the series. There's a big difference between idolizing a "cool" EvilOverlord from a safe distance and being ordered by said overlord to commit murder (practically a suicide mission) with the threat of having your entire family killed. Draco also finds out that he doesn't have it in him to directly kill a defenseless person right in front of him. In Book 7, he learns that he doesn't enjoy inflicting ColdBloodedTorture.
** [[BigBad Voldemort]] himself is completely incapable of feeling love. He is driven solely on ambition and greed, and does everything he can to ensure that he'll live forever, [[spoiler: even going so far as to split his soul into horcruxes which take away more and more of his humanity and cause him to gradually develop a very pale, snake-like appearance, and he becomes very paranoid and frantic as Harry and his friends destroy more of them. By the end of the series, he suffers a FateWorseThanDeath]].
** [[spoiler: Peter Pettigrew]] is of particular note because he gained literally nothing out of his betrayal. [[spoiler: He was such a DirtyCoward that nothing he did had any rhyme or reason other than temporarily saving his own ass. Before he became a Death Eater, he had three great friends who would have sacrificed their lives for him, but because Voldemort was taking over everywhere he decided to hand in the Potters in the hopes that he would be spared. This did absolutely nothing for him other than force him to spend twelve years as a rat and be abused for the remaining four years he lived, after which he was murdered by his new master anyway, completely defeating the purpose of siding with him in the first place. Along the way, he lost everyone who actually truly cared about him and destroyed countless lives, getting absolutely nothing out of anything that he did. Had he even shown the ''slightest'' bit of courage, he ironically probably would have ended up living longer than he actually did.]]
* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'': This is the overarching meta-theme in Middle-Earth. Evil consumes all it touches, leading them to waste their lives before their miserable deaths. This is true from the first DarkLord [[{{Satan}} Morgoth]] to mortals to [[BigBad Sauron]] to [[FallenHero Saruman]]. Everyone who gives in to darkness ends up bitterly regretting it, and that's if they're lucky. If they're not, it's AndIMustScream time.
* In ''Literature/{{Masques}}'', Aralorn's friend Wolf was evil once, [[spoiler: more precisely, his evil father raised him evil from the start]], realized that it sucked, and became neutral. While he's still challenged in the empathy department, he works together with Aralorn, who is more clearly heroic.
* ''Literature/NightWatch'': While the Dark Ones in use every opportunity to brag about all that freedom, independence and strength The Darkness had given them and to make some lenient remarks on the poor deluded Light Ones who are so very constricted by their rules and who fuss over humans so much... It turns out that vampires are haunted by persistent insatiable HorrorHunger, werewolves have to deal with feats of feral uncontrollable rage once in a while and all the Dark Ones in general live in a world of constant paranoia and distrust towards their own brethren and superiors; ''Especially'' superiors who wouldn't even bother notifying that YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness before they set up and sacrifice you as a part of their EvilPlan. The one ''non-Watch'' dark magician we see is shown enjoying himself in a restaurant with his [[HappilyMarried lovely wife and happy children.]]
* In ''Literature/ParadiseLost'', Satan makes a big show of being a epic hero who rails against God for His injustices. To himself, however, he admits that he really hates having fallen and knows that he only has himself to blame. In fact, one of the big themes of the book is that the fallen angels cast themselves out of heaven with their own actions. Thus, hell isn't a punishment, it's a result.
* The Sorcerers in ''Literature/RogueSorcerer'' are at constant risk of being driven insane by the very spirits they command. [[spoiler:There's also the issue of Aiden's death curse which he accidentally places over them, which kills them all off slowly and with a great deal of pain.]]
* ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'' For the first few books, it seems Count Olaf will always win, but slowly we realize that he alienated the one person he loved and lost practically all his henchman, all on the hopes of getting the Baudelaire fortune. Guess how well that worked out?
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'': Jaime Lannister [[spoiler:after getting his sword hand chopped off]] regrets becoming a BloodKnight and struggles to become the KnightInShiningArmor he always wanted to be.
%%** [[spoiler: Theon Greyjoy]].
* ''Literature/SoonIWillBeInvincible'': The VillainProtagonist spends much of the book demonstrating this. Being a SuperVillain is hard work -- FailureIsTheOnlyOption, it's LonelyAtTheTop, and the heroes get all the public adoration.
* In the book version of ''Literature/TheTalentedMrRipley'', Ripley gets away with everything. On the other hand, Ripley spends the rest of his life in paranoid fear of the police, wondering if the next cop he sees has figured out what Ripley has done.
* ''Literature/{{Victoria}}'' presents the [[StrawFeminist Azanians]] this way: according to the narrative, the only reason they are misandristic lesbians is because they have been rejected by men in the past, so being defeated by [[DesignatedHero the good guys]] is the [[EsotericHappyEnding best thing that can happen to them]] as they can find good men to marry and become happy little housewives completely out of their own free will, [[AnOfferYouCantRefuse under the threat of sold into sex slavery if they refuse]].
%%* Literature/SisterhoodSeries by Creator/FernMichaels: Roland Sullivan in ''Lethal Justice''

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** "Selfless". The whole point of that episode was to show how damaged Anya was following her return to vengeance.
** Even soulless vampires are sometimes subject to this--if, like Harmony or chipped Spike, they're [[IneffectualSympatheticVillain Ineffectual]] enough to be aware that they're Ineffectual. Harmony flat out says it in season four:
-->'''Harmony:''' Being a vampire sucks.
** When Faith returns in Season Four, it's clear that her hostility is accompanied by deep self-loathing of what she's become. She seemed to be happier with it prior to her awakening, but this is likely because her slide into darkness went in hand with her relationship with her [[AffablyEvil father figure]]. With him dead all she had left was the knowledge of how badly she'd fallen. Immediately after she leaves the season, she shows up in the first season of ''Angel'' attempting SuicideByCop, but thankfully ends up with a HeelFaceTurn instead.
* ''Series/{{Charmed}}'': A demonic seer (played by [[Series/{{Angel}} Charisma Carpenter]]) who contacts the Charmed Ones and offers them information if they will find a way to make her human. She explains that, through her visions she's seen just how much fun it is to be on the good side and realizes that as a demon, she could never experience any of that.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Theon discovers this when he captures Winterfell, but presses on regardless because he believes he's gone too far to turn back.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'': Mentioned by Mitchell after they've captured a Mook and promised him protection from the bad guys. Sam points out that "protection" will mean locking him up:
-->'''Mitchell:''' Well, there are downsides to working for a super-villain.
* ''Series/TheSopranos'': Tony's psychiatrist frequently hints that Tony's (and certain people around him) mental problems are due to this.
* ''Series/BreakingBad'':
** Because of his meth-cooking, Walt's wife wants to divorce him and he has been wracked with guilt over the results of his actions. Regardless, EvilFeelsGood and he keeps going. Ultimately, it becomes a straight Greek tragedy as Walt becomes the villain of his own story, [[spoiler:and he becomes a fugitive when the DEA discover his activities.]]
** For Jesse Pinkman, learning this is essentially the major part of his character arc. He starts as a delinquent who's more eager about going into the meth trade than Walt is. But as the series goes on, he starts losing everything he holds dear because of it. Two girlfriends of his die because of the drug trade (one overdosed and the other was killed to force him to comply with his kidnappers) and he himself ends up kidnapped for his knowledge of how to make blue meth. He finds out he can't take the ruthlessness of the criminal life, and his conscience constantly bothers him. He eventually tries to disassociate with the whole business, but finds out that it's way harder to get out of the drug trade than it is to get in. [[spoiler: He does finally manage to get clean of the business after the series finale.]]
* In ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'': Hell really sucks even for demons. Ironically, for a series that often puts BeingGoodSucks at the forefront, this is more or less how their universe works. All good people get to go to Heaven when they die, and spend eternity reliving the best moments of their lives. Likewise, the standards of what is classed as good is quite lenient. Despite not caring for man, the angels refuse to sell or barter the souls of Heaven, as it's their Creator's will that this be their fate. Meanwhile, all the evil people go to Hell, and are tortured til they become demons. Monsters who rip people apart in life go to Purgatory and spend eternity ripping each other apart, and all the other species just go to TheNothingAfterDeath.
* On ''Series/TeenWolf'' Chris Argent the Hunter is really feeling the bite of this. His sister abandoned the Hunter's Code and committed the mass-murder of a non-hostile family of werewolves and humans, which led to her death in the end. His father ordered the abandonment of the Code, and this led to increasingly psychopathic behavior all around. When his wife is [[LaserGuidedKarma bitten by an alpha]] while trying to murder her daughter's teenage werewolf boyfriend, she is obligated by Hunter rules, and Gerard's insistence, to commit suicide before she turns into a werewolf. Her death pushes Allison over the edge, and she goes on a psychotic rampage. Then, the real kicker, Gerard, who has been encouraging all this crazy, reveals that he is dying of cancer and that his plan along along has been to use the Hunters to help him capture the alpha so that he can receive the bite and become a werewolf to survive the disease, making it fully clear that he knows he will have to kill his son to do it. Needless to say, Chris finds himself stuck on-side with the werewolves because of how the evil in his family has led to loss and suffering for him and his daughter.
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'': Towards the end of Volume 5. Sylar realizes his evil life will leave him alone and unloved, so he went forth to do good and hoped to be forgiven. The judicious application of a MindRape taking the form of a FateWorseThanDeath by Matt Parkman helped, as well.
* ''Franchise/KamenRider'':
** In ''Series/KamenRiderOOO'' [[spoiler:Being a Greeed turns out to be pretty unpleasant. Their creator couldn't get them to do anything, so he removed one of the ten Core Medals that make up a Greeed's being from each of them, in order to give them something to ''want''. They came to life, but it's not much of a life. Their senses are dulled, they've got a void of desire they can ''never'' fill, and they're incapable of feeling even the most basic of positive human emotions such as love or compassion. Even getting all ''nine'' medals back and becoming as complete as they can get, most of the Greeed's ultimate goal, is a pointless effort, as it does nothing to remedy the above problems, except let them ''try'' to devour humans to feel what humans can, and even then, they're incapable of ever truly being satisfied no matter what they do. Ankh is so far the only Greeed to realize this after being able to experience what being human is like while possessing Hina's brother Shingo, and is increasingly disgusted with himself and frustrated the other Greeed are completely incapable of realizing it.]]
** In ''Series/KamenRiderExAid'', [[spoiler: Poppy Pipopapo]] realizes that there is no point to the [[MonsterOfTheWeek Bugsters]]' plan to destroy humanity. As video game characters that came into reality, Bugsters were created to play with humans. Without anyone to play with, there is no meaning to their existence.
* ''Franchise/PowerRangers'':
** PlayedForLaughs in an episode of ''[[Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers]]'': Finster is SquashedFlat by a monster troop as they leave the palace. He laments "Sometimes, I really hate being a bad guy." Whether Finster [[PunchClockVillain was truly evil at all]] is up for debate.
** In ''Series/PowerRangersSamurai'', Dayu made a DealWithTheDevil but didn't get what she asked for in the way she wanted ([[JerkassGenie devils are like that]]). By this point, she's sick of being TheDragon to Master Xandred but there's no way out.
* According to WordOfGod, this is the premise behind [[Series/OnceUponATime Once Upon A Time]]. The Evil Queen's reason for choosing to get revenge on Snow White by casting a curse on the ''entire'' fairy tale world is to create a world where she can "win for once." Even there, she is shown to be deeply unhappy and is aware that she has [[RevengeBeforeReason destroyed her life for revenge]]. Aware of this, she finally tries to become TheAtoner in Season 2.
* In ''Series/MyNameIsEarl'', this is what spurs Earl to create the list. After winning $100,000 from a [[spoiler: stolen]] lottery scratch ticket, he gets hit by a car (and badly injured), losing the lottery ticket in the process, and then his wife divorces him for Darnell and takes the trailer and the kids in the settlement, leaving him with nothing except the clothes on his back. Then, while doped up on morphine, he flips on the TV and hears CarsonDaly talking about (the ThemeParkVersion of) [[{{UsefulNotes/Buddhism}} karma]], and decides that the reason his luck has been so bad lately is that he's done a lot of bad things... and that this karma thing will destroy him if he doesn't [[TheAtoner make up for them]]. So he writes down [[ListOfTransgressions a list of all the bad things he can remember doing]] (some going all the way back to grade school). As he's tackling an item about littering, he finds the lost lotto ticket and claims the money, which he takes as a sign that karma is working for him. [[HeelFaceTurn He decides to do good things from then on]].
* An example of Being AmbiguouslyEvil Sucks in ''Series/{{Dexter}}'', where the title character is a rare AntiVillain example of IJustWantToBeNormal.

* Subverted in Music/{{Voltaire}}'s song "When You're Evil". The last verse sounds like the singer is bothered by his villainous ways and longs for some human happiness...
-->''It gets so lonely being evil.''
-->''What I'd do to see a smile... even for a little while.''
-->''And no one loves you when you're evil...''
-->''I'm lying through my teeth! Your tears are all the company I need.''
* Music/TheWho's "Behind Blue Eyes", which was intended to be a song for the villain of ''Lifehouse'', the album that became ''Who's Next''.
* Music/GetoBoys' "Mind Playing Tricks On Me" tells the story of a Gangster who rules his 'hood, makes money, drives fancy cars, is feared and respected... and has been driven batshit insane by paranoia: he can't sleep at night, he sees betrayal everywhere, and he's haunted by visions of people he's already killed.
* "I Fought The Law" by Sonny Curtis is a song that shows why crime does ''not'' pay.

[[folder:Multiple Media]]
* ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'':
** Krika realized that he and his Brotherhood have done terrible things, but carried on doing them because he saw himself as doomed anyway, and also partly because he had hoped he could sabotage the plan of his leader by being part of it. All his brethren that had been also opposed to the Brotherhood's corruption were executed.
** After his decision to sell out Metru Nui to the Dark Hunters, [[FallenHero Nidhiki]] gets nothing [[RewardedAsATraitorDeserves but misery for his trouble]]. His closest friend, Lhikan, has him banished from the city, and on the isle of the Dark Hunters (Odina) he is treated with scorn and contempt, since no one trusts a traitor. Although he made one friend, Lariska, he ultimately ends up being transformed into a horrifying monster by Roodaka after trying to escape, and ends up spending the rest of his days as a hideous spider creature (the type of creature he himself had an extreme phobia of) alongside a bumbling moron before being devoured by an EvilOverlord to recharge his energies. The only upside was that he got to capture Lhikan to sate some vengeance, but even then Lhikan ended [[TheParagon being remembered as a legendary hero]] while he himself was a minor villain. It's especially painful because other, far worse villains [[KarmaHoudini get off scot-free]], such as the Shadowed One himself; so even though Nidhiki isn't exactly kind and lovable, Karma picked on him the hardest out of pretty much everyone. Ironically, in an alternate universe where Nidhiki chose to betray Lhikan in a ''far worse'' way far sooner, he actually got the ''better'' deal than his main universe counterpart, ending up as a high-ranking official of the universe-spanning Toa Empire.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* [[Wrestling/SarahStock Dark Angel]] uncharacteristically debuted in Wrestling/{{CMLL}} alongside La Amapola as a {{rud|o}}a after training with El Satánico Dr No. It only took four matches with the promotion, which were all losses, for her to decide that she was much better as a {{tecnic|o}}a and [[HeelFaceTurn turn back]]. La Amapola ''never'' forgave Dark Angel for it.
* Averno, who himself was corrupted by El Satánico, went on to convince CMLL's poster boy of the previous decade Wrestling/{{Mistico}}, to become a rudo at the beginning of 2010. At first he came to like living by the all's fair philosophy and eagerly tore into his friends during matches but gave up on the philosophy after learning during his subsequent feud with Volador Jr. that even in [[GimmickMatches Super Libre]] being a rudo ultimately did ''not'' come with the freedom he was told it did, that he ended up being less successful than before and that his fans wouldn't appreciate his efforts to "defend" Mexico City even if he had otherwise succeeded.[[/folder]]

* ''Radio/OldHarrysGame'':
** Satan is borderline suicidal because of the toll that running Hell has taken on him.
** While not everyone in Hell is evil, all evil people ''do'' go to Hell, and those who are legitimately evil, like Thomas, tend to suffer worse there than those who ended up there only because of God's incredibly high standards, like the Professor and Edith.

* The original and most ancient concept of Karma, before later doctrines, meant action. Hence, doing anything inherently created a new 'self' which was different. Grossly oversimplified, the first victim of wrongdoing is yourself, since you've made yourself into something less than you were.
* In Christianity and Islam, the wages of sin are death, a weakening of your relationship with God, and eventual damnation if not repented.
** Satan himself is supposed to be constantly tortured by his decision. ''Literature/TheDivineComedy'' even has him [[spoiler: imprisoned with the rest of the sinners who betrayed their lords]].
* In ''The Scorpion and the Frog'', the Scorpion kills itself (alongside the frog) because evil is in its nature.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In the ''[[TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness World of Darkness]]'', [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption you just can't win]]. Not only does [[BeingGoodSucks being good suck]], but if you decide to go the other way and embrace the dark side, you can look forward to a number of side effects - starting with batshit insanity. Each of the game lines comes with its own drawbacks, lovingly crafted to screw with that particular type of critter.
** [[TabletopGame/VampireTheRequiem Vampires]]: Stronger predatory instincts and a thinner veneer of humanity, meaning the human prey can sense you want to eat them. This tends to make them want to stay away. You're literally going to devolve into a mindless animal if you do enough evil. Moreover your new society consists of assholes and psychopaths, most of whom are way older and more powerful than you and there is that mutual risk of flipping out and killing each other whenever you first meet another vampire. [[TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade The original Vampire]] doesn't let you off the hook lightly either. While meetings between two groups of vampires do not devolve into brawls every time, you're still stuck in the society of manipulative monsters, and the power difference between you and the PowersThatBe is much greater.
** [[TabletopGame/WerewolfTheForsaken Werewolves]]: The spirits you're trying to police can tell you're out of balance, and they hate you that much more. You have a harder time performing rituals, and it's that much harder to keep from kill-everything-around-you berserker rage. On top of all that, you tend to develop disturbing obsessions - from breaking every third window you pass to taking a bite out of anyone who looks you in the eye. [[TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse In the original Werewolf]] you suffer nothing of the sort and can techically do anything you please. There is just that little problem with the Universe-devouring BigBad who has a FateWorseThanDeath in store for your entire race and you personally, and whose local representatives are generally empowered by evil acts.
** [[TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening Mages]]: You know that Abyss that hates your magic? The more evil you become, the harder it can smack you around and the harder it is for you to resist it. [[TabletopGame/MageTheAscension In the original]], you're free to do as you wish; thing is, there's a horde of {{Eldritch Abomination}}s seeking to drag reality down into oblivion with them, and their goals are furthered by the spread of evil.
** [[TabletopGame/PrometheanTheCreated Prometheans]]: You know that whole "[[PinocchioSyndrome I wanna be a real boy]]" thing you've got going on? Your ability to comprehend humanity is judged in part by how much you understand human morals. You can be a mad murdering monster, but good luck ever earning a soul that way. If you want to create a kid/companion like you who'll help you deal with the loneliness, there's a much better chance the process will [[GoneHorriblyWrong go horribly wrong]] and result in the creation of a bunch of cannibalistic aberrations that wish to devour your essence.
** [[TabletopGame/ChangelingTheLost Changelings]]: A double-dose of insanity; not only do you suffer specific derangements, but your perceptions are more and more skewed by your Fae experiences. Plus, you become more and more like one of the Fae overlords who kidnapped you. [[spoiler: Because you'll probably become one if you grow powerful enough.]]
** [[TabletopGame/HunterTheVigil Hunters]]: One trope: HeWhoFightsMonsters. [[TabletopGame/HunterTheReckoning That goes for the previous game, too.]]
** [[TabletopGame/DemonTheFallen Demons]]: To start, you just spent human history in a Hell far worse than humans comprehend. You get out, but the more evil you behave, the more Torment you accumulate, until you become a creature incapable of hope and compassion. If you're forced into an inanimate host one way or another, it gets worse, as now you lose any anchor to humanity, any way to deal with the darkness within, and become one of the [[EldritchAbomination Earthbound]].
** [[TabletopGame/GeistTheSinEaters Sin-Eaters]]: You find it harder and harder to enter and navigate the Underworld. Kerberoi and geists can tell you're out of sync with your geist, and become more reluctant to deal with you. You also find it more difficult to perform ceremonies. Hit absolute bottom, and you end up as a MeatPuppet for your geist to drag around.
** [[TabletopGame/WraithTheOblivion Wraiths]]: Your Shadow, your resident EnemyWithin, grows more and more powerful, working against everything you care about. When it's [[SplitPersonalityTakeover finally able to take over]], you become one of the local servants of Oblivion, and now work to the destruction of everything.
** [[TabletopGame/GeniusTheTransgression Geniuses]]: (yes, it's fanmade, but shut up): the you that's actually, ''you'' slowly dissipates and your personality is overtaken by some strange, [[EldritchAbomination unknown and terrifying will]] that leads you to [[AxCrazy horrible acts]]. Also, the Geniuses who ''haven't'' given in to Illumination (likely including your friends and {{Mentor}}) will hunt you down and kill you. Granted, at that point it could be considered a [[MercyKill mercy]] to ''you''.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' and ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'': This is the fate of most servants of Chaos. Sure, the lucky few become immortal and godlike Daemon Princes, but the vast majority is doomed to become consumed by their emotions and end up as blood-crazed berserkers who live only to kill and die in battle, jaded hedonists who have to keep doing more and more depraved things simply to feel something, sorcerors who are forever driven to expand their knowledge in an attempt to reach an impossible goal, or disease-ridden husks who are kept alive by supernatural powers despite their bodies rotting away. That is all if you don't simply end up a mindless mass of betentacled gribblyness because of all the mutations you've been receiving, or simply sacrificed, as cannon, as an experiment, to slate the hunger of ravenous daemons, as a sex toy to rapacious daemons, or simply ForTheEvulz.
* Do enough truly evil stuff in TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}} and you'll end up a darklord, along with the requisite powers and your own domain. Sounds fun, right? Except that you're confined to to your realm, you're forever being tormented by the objects of your desire, and the only way to escape is through a HeelRealization. As the sourcebook states, if you were the kind of person to ever ''have'' a HeelRealization, you probably wouldn't have become a darklord in the first place.
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'': The ''Elder Evils'' sourcebook is full of villains like this. A lot of the mortals who are servants of the [[EldritchAbomination Eldritch Abominations]] featured in the scenarios are only such because they have no choice, and are full of self-loathing as a result. Unfortunately, when they show up in the stories it is [[MoralEventHorizon far too late]] for any of them to [[HeelFaceDoorSlam reconsider and change.]]
** [[DemonLordsAndArchdevils Asmodeus]] is the game's {{Satan}} analogue, a FallenAngel who came to rule the Nine Hells and plots to overthrow the deities themselves. He's thoroughly evil, elegant, and supremely confident... and yet anyone who descends to the lowest layer of Hell, and travels down the Serpent's Coil to his citadel, the Fortress Nessus, will find a vast and splendid palace that nevertheless feels empty, melancholy. Its magnificent halls are said to resonate with despair, regret, and the constant sound of soft weeping.

* Several villains in Creator/WilliamShakespeare plays find this out.
** Theatre/{{Macbeth}} and his wife find that killing the king so that you can inherit the throne wasn't worth it, and [[Theatre/{{Hamlet}} Claudius]] also ends up learning that same lesson.
** ''Theatre/RichardIII'', where at the beginning Richard says, "I am determined to prove a villain / And hate the idle pleasures of these days." At the end of the play, [[spoiler:after, amongst other ill deeds, having his brother and nephews murdered,]] he remarks to himself:
--> What do I fear? myself? there's none else by:
--> Richard loves Richard; that is, I am I.
--> Is there a murderer here? No. Yes, I am:
--> Then fly. What, from myself? Great reason why:
--> Lest I revenge. What, myself upon myself?
--> Alack. I love myself. Wherefore? for any good
--> That I myself have done unto myself?
--> O, no! alas, I rather hate myself
--> For hateful deeds committed by myself!
* In Theatre/TheRingOfTheNibelung [[BastardBastard Hagen]] tells his father Alberich he is constantly miserable and hates people being happy.
* ''Theatre/DoctorFaustus'':
** Faustus is killed and tormented eternally in Hell as a direct result of his DealWithTheDevil. Faustus is told very explicitly that this will happen decades in advance, but remains in denial until he's about to die.
** Mephistopheles claims to be "tormented with ten thousand hells" by no longer being allowed to taste the joys of Heaven, which was caused by his siding with Lucifer in the fall.

[[folder: Toys]]
* Also from LEGO, Lord Garmadon from ''Ninjago'' basically has nothing go right for him. He didn't even ''want'' to be evil in the first place, but TheCorruption caused him to slowly transform into a wicked villain with a taste for conquering all of Ninjago. Said desire ended up with him being cast into the Underworld by his own brother, losing his wife and child and missing out on the chance to see the latter grow up, and ultimately finding out that EvilIsNotAToy the hard way when he is betrayed by the Overlord. Thankfully, he is eventually purified and gets better... only for the consequences of his actions to catch up with him, and ultimately result in him being killed.[[spoiler: When he is eventually resurrected by the Sons of Garmadon, being evil ''doesn't'' suck for him because he is [[CameBackWrong reborn without any of his positive qualities, no longer "hindered" by his love for Lloyd.]]]]
[[folder:Video Games]]
* [[spoiler:Aribeth]] in ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'' turned to the dark side to get vengeance fully understanding that being evil sucks, and counted on the fact that her boss would betray her and kill her because she felt she deserved death for turning in the first place.
* Being evil for Darth Nihilus in ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublicIITheSithLords really'' sucked, as indulging his supernatural hunger ate him away from the inside. Likewise, Darth Sion is extremely unhappy with his existence and openly admits that his life was not worth living.
* Choosing the evil alignment in ''VideoGame/BlackAndWhite'' tends to earn the player far fewer rewards than if they play the good option when attempting challenges and mini-games.
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'': Even when he doesn't do something "evil", Waluigi suffers from this. He is hated by everyone in the Mushroom Kingdom (including himself), he lives at the constant shadow of his partner Wario, everyone despises or is scared of him and nothing ever goes right for him, no matter how hard he tries. In his first appearence, all he ever wanted was to be famous and loved like the Mario Brothers. He trained many years prior to that to become as strong as them.
* In ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'', poor Vivian was clearly already starting to realize this at the start of the game. As one of the Shadow Sirens, her sisters treated her like garbage, and always dumped the blame for their mistakes on her. Then, as fate would have it, she met Mario, and because [[UnPerson he couldn't tell her his name]] due to Doopliss' spell, the two formed a [[EnemyMine brief partnership]], and for the first time in her life, someone was treating her decently. When she did find out who he was, the choice was between staying with someone who was treating her nicely or going back to two rotten sisters who were treating her like dirt. [[HeelFaceTurn What other choice could she make?]]
* Creator/BioWare used to run with this in general. In both ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire'' and ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'', taking the dark path means you'll end up having to slaughter most of your party, delivering a PlayerPunch and making the endgame more difficult.
** In ''Franchise/MassEffect'', a hard-core Renegade path can bite you in the ass hard, as it makes your companions less likely to trust you, destroys several assets that would be ''really'' useful at the endgame, makes the political negotiations you have to make to get an army against the Reapers harder to accomplish, and usually results in a few dead squadmates.
** ''Franchise/DragonAge'' is a complicated case, as it's not really that being either evil or good sucks as much as [[GreyAndGrayMorality people and conflicts are so morally ambiguous, it's often hard to know what is good or bad to begin with]] (best illustrated with [[spoiler:the Dwarven questline]] in ''Origins''). There are, however, some cases where this trope does apply:
** In all three games, being a jerk or mistreating your companions makes them less effective, less loyal and can eventually result in some of them turning against you. "Good" companions will also inevitably turn on you if they consider you crossed the MoralEventHorizon, whereas "evil" companions [[SarcasticDevotee might disapprove some of your good actions, but will still stick with you regardless]] [[BecauseYouWereNiceToMe as long as you are nice with them]].
** In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', doing the right thing to solve the various main questlines (saving Redcliff, saving the Circle rather than anihilating it, [[spoiler:solving the conflict between the Dalish and the Werewolves peacefully]]...) usually results in better outcomes for you and ensures you more assets in the endgame.
** If the Darkspawns' backstory as narrated by the Chantry really did happen (it's implied it did), then the ancient Magister using BloodMagic and human sacrifices in an attempt to become gods only resulted in them being turned into hideously deformed and corrupt monsters who caused a deadly plague on the world.
* [[spoiler:Beat]] in ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou''. As a result of [[spoiler:his subsequent side-switching, Konishi gives him a few days to live, before he'll [[EverythingFades fade away]]]].
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'': Sephiroth has power beyond what anyone can imagine but at the expense of his sanity, memories, emotions, and humanity.
* While in the original ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'', Kefka was painted as a psychopath without remorse, restraints, or regrets who actively, and successfully, tried to make every bad situation much, much worse, [[ForTheEvulz all of it because he found it]] [[LaughingMad entertaining beyond reason]], the developers for ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'' decided to run with an AlternativeCharacterInterpretation. There he is instead depicted as a man who's nigh-godlike powers have ruined his ability to feel joy to the point where he can only feel it when destruction is involved. The reprise of his well-known, hateful, nihilistic rant about the futility of the world from the original game takes on the nature of a wistful lament, and even as Kefka dies, he laughs. [[AlasPoorVillain A sad laugh.]]
* In ''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine'', Colonel John Konrad had to do horrible, sadistic things to try keeping order in the sandstorm-ravaged Dubai. Throughout the game, he repeatedly talks to the main character, Captain Martin Walker, trying to explain the choices he had to make and forcing Walker to make a few of his own. [[spoiler:However, it is later revealed that the guilt Konrad felt for his actions led him to kill himself long before the game even began, and the Konrad that has been talking to Walker and the player is actually a hallucination; a manifestation of Walker's guilt for the actions he has done, like using white phosphorus on a refugee camp. This is an interesting variation, as the protagonist of the story thinks he's the hero charging in to save the day, but he subconsciously knows he's done bad things, and this drives him to insanity, reinforcing the game's central themes: an examination of what soldiers go through and how their mental state is affected, and a look at just how far removed modern war shooters are from reality.]]
* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV'': Dwayne Forge describes his experience as a drug-lord in these terms. More specifically, he describes it as ''"sorta fun and sorta like living in hell,"'' and being a [[TheCorrupter Corrupter]] to those around him, preying on their flaws to turn them into crack-fiends for reliable business.
* The Godfather games, Grand Theft Auto, Mafia... just anything in the Mafia genre at all tends to have this (or specifically Crime Sucks) as one of it's central themes. The main character will end up injured countless times, dead along with their friends and family, and lose anything and everything pursuing a life of crime alongside numerous others of the profession. Even in the rare cases they become rich and powerful by the end they'll have to go through tragedy after tragedy to get there, and if there's money in a sequel even then.
* ''VideoGame/VampireTheMasqueradeBloodlines'' follows this trope pretty much the same way [[TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade the game it's based on]]:
** Overall, committing evil actions in the game will result in [[KarmaMeter losing your Humanity]]. If you aren't careful about recovering it, this will in turn result in your character [[SanitySlippage gradually becoming more]] AxeCrazy, which will not only [[NoSocialSkills limit your dialogue options so you can only be a dick with everyone around you]] (thus making it ''very'' hard to find allies), but also cause you to more frequently suffer "frenzy", which causes your character to go in UnstoppableRage and randomly attack everyone on sight with no control, often breaking TheMasquerade in the process (and doing that too many times results in a Game Over).
** In the endgame, there are [[MultipleEndings five different endings]], depending on which faction you ultimately chose to ally with. This being [[CrapsackWorld the World of Darkness]], [[BlackAndGreyMorality none of these various factions really qualify as truly good]], but chosing the more NobleDemon sides ([[ReasonableAuthorityFigure Strauss]] and [[ChaoticGood the Anarch]]) typically results in better outcomes for your character. Meanwhile, sticking with [[AmbitionIsEvil LaCroix]] or betraying your kind for the Kuei Jin will respectively result in [[spoiler:your death]] and [[spoiler:being RewardedAsATraitorDeserves with a FateWorseThanDeath]]. Chosing the fifth "[[IWorkAlone Lone Wolf]]" can only end well if you kept a decent enough level of Humanity, otherwise [[spoiler:you die the same way than if you side with [=LaCroix=]]]. Notably, the Unofficial Patch provides an additional ending averting the trope by allowing you to [[spoiler:side with [[ReligionOfEvil the Sabbat]] if your Humanity is low enough, which ends with your character being fine.]]
* The No Mercy run in ''Videogame/{{Undertale}}'' is meant to invoke this feeling.
** From a gameplay standpoint, the No Mercy run requires you to kill enough of the randomly encountered monsters so that no more will appear in each area. The game is also coded to decrease the frequency of random encounters as you approach to quota (probably in order to ensure that no one falls into a No Mercy run unintentionally) so a lot of time is going to be wasted simply walking around looking for monsters to kill. Furthermore, on a No Mercy run you're powerful enough that you will kill almost every single monster in a single hit (the exceptions can be counted on one hand with fingers to spare) so the gameplay quickly becomes rote and unengaging. And what bosses ''do'' take more than one hit to kill are difficult, so freakishly difficult (and lampshaded as such) in a frustrating fashion that you don't get any satisfaction from actually fighting them because they're so unfair and cheap and are deliberately designed as such.
** From a storyline standpoint, the game does everything it can to guilt-trip you into abandoning a No Mercy run after you begin it. For example, Towns will be empty in No Mercy because everyone is fleeing for their lives from you, and [[spoiler:what would be the second boss of a regular run will refuse to fight you in No Mercy, because he believes you're lashing out in confusion and fright and that you can be a better person if you try, and offers his friendship to you. You kill him in a single hit, and his final words are to say that he still believes in your potential to be a good person.]]
* In ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'', the move Frustration invokes this (though it's more "Being Evil is Impractical"). It grows stronger the more the user hates its Trainer, but it's considerably easier to make them happier (simply walking around will do it) while methods of making them dislike you are rather limited. What's more, many Pokémon start off with a neutral affection towards the player, and the move's inverted counterpart, Return (which grows in power the more the user likes its Trainer), is far easier to use, [[UselessUsefulSpell making Frustration not worth the effort]].
* ''VideoGame/Injustice2'': Despite his constant ranting about how HobbesWasRight, it becomes clear that this is how Superman actually feels about being a tyrant. He misses being a hero, he wishes he and Batman were still friends and, despite himself, would probably like to listen to Supergirl and go back to being TheCape, but is too disillusioned with conventional heroics to actually follow through and do it.
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidVThePhantomPain'', despite supposedly showing [[ProtagonistJourneyToVillain Big Boss's fall to villainy]], uses a similar system to ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' where gaining Heroism is considerably easier than earning (and retaining) Demon Points. About the only thing a player can do to stay on the bad end of the KarmaMeter is to obtain [[NuclearWeaponsTaboo a nuke or two]].

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Kotomine in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' discovered a long time ago that BeingGoodSucks but kept trying anyway. After all, even if it brought him no satisfaction he ''did'' have a moral compass. Then his IllGirl of a wife died and he had a chat with Gilgamesh and decided to be evil instead. By the time the story starts, BeingGoodSucks ''and'' BeingEvilSucks and it pisses him off so much [[spoiler:that he attempts to bring a pseudo-CosmicBeing into the world to get some answers.]] Basically: If being good is supposed to be a good thing, why doesn't he like it? If he should just be evil, [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption why does that feel wrong to him]]?

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Trudy of ''Webcomic/GeneralProtectionFault'' loves Nick, but her scheming to take over the world and using him in those schemes ultimately drives him to reject her. In the BadFuture, this leads to her killing him, [[VillainousBSOD losing her sanity in the process]] and hunting down the rebels to "avenge" his death. In what actually happens, she tries to kill him, but is unable to go through with it, and ends up on the run, tormented by dreams of guilt about her actions and by Nick's last disappointed look toward her. After Nick and Ki get engaged, she slips past the DespairEventHorizon and once [[DrivenToSuicide attempts suicide]], but meeting Akhilesh enables her to come to terms with herself and work more toward atoning for what she has done.
* Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}
** As Fuchsia [[LoveRedeems begins]] [[http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2009-10-25 to see]], hellspawn aren't welcome in a lot of places, and GoodHurtsEvil.
** {{Satan}} [[http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2007-08-01 is baited by the angel Ezekiel about whether he's having fun.]]
* ''Webcomic/DominicDeegan'':
** During the "Court of Karnak" arc, Karnak and Bulgak both realize that reigning in Hell is utterly meaningless because no one truly rules Hell. They are all prisoners. Bulgak responds by [[HeelFaceTurn renouncing his old, selfish, egotistical self]], which [[FantasticNuke releases his essence back into the world]]. Karnak simply appoints himself warden.
* Alt-Schlock in ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' learned this far far too late after he'd [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt eliminated nearly all of humanity]] and created a CrapsackWorld of only one city whose few remaining citizens are living drug addled lives with no memories and that the only way to maintain it will slowly destroy what's left. He finally shuts off the nano machines keeping himself alive because he's lost everything and doesn't even want to live anymore. Schlock-Prime is heading in the same direction.
%%* [[spoiler:Vriska]] in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}''. Realizing she genuinely felt this way was her entire character arc.
* The ''[[Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick Order of the Stick]]'' prequel book ''Start of Darkness'' details the origins of Xykon and Redcloak. Redcloak eventually learns how much being evil sucks after Xykon makes him [[spoiler:kill his brother (who had already tried to run away from Xykon's evil scheme twice)]].
** Xykon himself may have a lot of EvilIsCool going on, but he also lost the one joy in his life ([[MustHaveCaffeine coffee]]) when he became a lich. The revelation that he could no longer taste his favorite beverage caused some severe SanitySlippage, and now the only thing that gives him any pleasure is hurting others.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog'' is about the horriblness of evil. The point at which Billy/Dr. Horrible stops being an IneffectualSympatheticVillain is the point at which his personal life starts going downhill. [[spoiler: In the end, he's totally succeeded at being the supervillain he always wanted to be... but the girl he loved was caught in the crossfire and died. The final shot is of Dr. Horrible as Billy, depressed and lonely.]]
* Voldemort goes on an impassioned rant about how much being the Dark Lord sucks near the end of ''Theatre/AVeryPotterMusical''.
-->'''Voldemort:''' You think killing people might make people like you, but it doesn't, it just... it just makes people dead.
* ''WebVideo/GloveAndBoots'' gives us Zombie, who is a nice guy who likes puppies and singing, but by virtue of being a brain-eating zombie, can never be accepted by Mario or Fafa.
* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', this is noted by [[VillainProtagonist Taylor]] with regards to being a supervillain. Supervillains don't have the support structure that a superhero does, they have to pull risky jobs, they fight other supervillains ''in addition'' to heroes...very few make it big, and while Taylor is one of those few she's been badly damaged by the experience.
* ''WebVideo/AskThatGuyWithTheGlasses'' was once asked "Do you love your job?"
-->'''Ask That Guy''': NO! IT'S THE WORST JOB IN THE WORLD! I JUST KILLED THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE! [after recovering] I'm sorry. [[PetTheDog Every now and then I get these little slips of humanity]], [[JerkWithAHeartOfJerk but I make sure to crush them as soon as possible.]]
* This is the central theme of the second half of ''WebAnimation/LlamasWithHats''. In episode 6, [[spoiler:[[RealityEnsues Paul gets fed up with Carl's violent outbursts and general obnoxious behavior and leaves while cutting off all contact with him, like any sane person would (and should).]] For the rest of the series Carl's mental state degrades further and further, no longer being [[LaughablyEvil comical and over-the-top]], but instead showing that he's genuinely mentally ill and delusional. As of episode 11, Carl has [[OmnicidalManiac destroyed all life on Earth]], and there's nothing left for him to do but wander around talking to himself. The series ends with Carl being DrivenToSuicide by the realization that, in the process of bringing about the apocalypse, he's killed [[MoralityPet Paul]] as well.]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
** Zuko realizes [[spoiler: after he ''averted'' a HeelFaceTurn]] that despite having everything he ever wanted, he's dissatisfied with the methods he used to get there in the first palce.
** His sister, [[TheDragon Azula]], learns the hard way that while being an EvilOverlord may get you all the power and success in the world, it also means that basically everyone around you is really only there either because they're scared of you or they were manipulated into it. Unlike Zuko, Azula's pride won't let her admit that she was wrong -- the resulting conflict pretty much [[VillainousBreakdown destroys her mind]]. However, WordOfGod claims that it's not totally beyond repair.
* Sequel series ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' has Varrick, who was a CorruptCorporateExecutive who attempted to mastermind a full-scale war out of a civil war, having threatened innocent lives and secretly backstabbed the heroes. By Book 4, he develops a conscience after making a huge breakthrough, and realizes how dangerous it was. This leads to [[spoiler:his HeelFaceTurn, and afterwards admits how horrible a person he was to discover the means to a terrible weapon]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBatman'': In the episode "The Apprentice", a kid in Barbara Gordon's class falls in with the Joker. Both have a weird sense of humor, and Joker makes him his sidekick as a mock to Batman and Batgirl. However, when they succeed against the caped duo and the Joker tells him to kill Batgirl, the kid is horrified. [[NotWhatISignedOnFor He just wanted to make a statement and defy convention, not go and kill people.]] He wisely bails and the now favorable odds let the heroes beat the Joker.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'' episode "Joyride", one Jokerz initiate tags along as another member of the gang hijacks an experimental advanced fighter craft. He becomes increasingly horrified as the hijacker goes mad with power and does things like attacking a rival gang armed with nothing but chains and tasers. When he overhears the guy denouncing the Jokerz as a crutch and ignoring Terry's warnings [[spoiler:that the craft's illegal nuclear reactor is going critical]] that's the last straw. He knocks down the lunatic with a folding chair and leaves the Jokerz forever.
* ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'':
** This is essentially the reason for Dinobot [[HeelFaceTurn switching sides]] during the first arc. He couldn't stand working for an evil guy like Megatron, and after failing to take leadership from him, jumped to the other team.
** Rampage is an {{Expy}} of [[Literature/SilenceOfTheLambs Hannibal Lecter]], but is clearly aware of what a nightmare his life is ("I regret everything, my sweet."). It's implied at the end that he's also a DeathSeeker.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Bravestarr}}'' episode "Brother's Keeper", Bravestarr captures one of a pair of bandits who are brothers. The bandit admits the life of crime sucked and he's glad it's over, and the only reason he'd kept on with it was to look out for his brother, who is a much more unrepentant low-life.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'',
** in the "Woodland Critter Christmas" episode, Kyle willingly takes the Antichrist's essence into his body, but immediately feels the excruciating pain of "having one's soul on fire". Stan replies with "what did you expect, dude, he's the son of the devil!" "Yeah, but I didn't think it'd be so... dark and evil!" [[spoiler:The whole incident was a Christmas story written by Cartman.]]
** Back in the second season, Satan's son Damien joins the boys' third grade class. For some reason, no matter how much he terrorizes and tortures the other third graders, he just can't get the kids to '''like''' him.
* Early on in the second season of ''WesternAnimation/XiaolinShowdown'', Raimundo, [[FaceHeelTurn who had turned on his comrades]] and subsequently joined Wuya after being denied promotion, has just been rewarded by Wuya for help in restoring her and helping her take over the world with his own personal arcade. He is soon lonely and disappointed that he has no one else to enjoy it with, and pleads his friends when they are captured to join him. Their impending execution finally convinces Raimundo to turn on Wuya.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'':
** This is one of the {{Central Theme}}s for Gotham City villians: Except ComicBook/TheJoker and DiabolicalMastermind Ra's al Ghul, every villain has HiddenDepths that let them know a life of crime sucks and would attempt redemption. AllThereInTheManual has a lot of examples or RedemptionFailure, and by the time ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'' sets in, all of Batman's RoguesGallery has died, said ScrewThisImOuttaHere (Poison Ivy) or even found Redemption (the Ventriloquist). Bane and Mr. Freeze's destinies are AndIMustScream, and all the others had been forgotten.
** In "It's Never Too Late", aging mobster Arnold Stromwell's life has become terrible. His marriage is crumbling, and his organization is falling apart due to Rupert Thorne's rise to power. Eventually, Stromwell sees that his own son has become a drug addict as a result of his organization dealing them. At first, he still isn't convinced enough to accept Batman's conditions and make a deal with the police, until his clergyman brother Father Michael (who had saved him from being run over by a train when they were kids, an act that cost him his leg) helps him out of charity one more time, resulting in him finally deciding to retire and turn State's evidence.
* In ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'', Pacifica discovers this the HARD WAY after discovering her family are [[spoiler:liars, cheaters, and sociopaths]]. After this discovery, she's willing to put an end to [[spoiler:her family's villainy]].
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': Discord is a PhysicalGod with near-infinite power, and certainly seems to enjoy unleashing chaos on the world whenever he gets a chance, but in all the eons he's existed, he has never had a single friend. [[spoiler: When he finally gets one, he's astonished to find that she matters to him more than anything else, and chooses to preserve that friendship by agreeing to use his power for good, "most of the time".]]
** [[spoiler:In the Season 4 finale, he falls victim to Lord Tirek's temptation and betrays the ponies, believing that he'll regain the freedom he thinks he needs... only to be betrayed in turn and realize too late that evil has no sense of loyalty. In contrast, ''despite'' his betrayal, Twilight Sparkle still considers him her friend, convincing him to take their side again, presumably genuinely this time.]]
* In the "Fallen Angel" episode of ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003'', there was Angel, a young girl from Casey's neighborhood who he tried to be a BigBrotherMentor to, wanted to join the Purple Dragons because she thought EvilIsCool, despite Casey's attempts to talk her out of it. She changed her mind quickly when his attempts led to him being captured by the Dragons, who obviously intended to kill him in as the finale to their violent initiation rites. Fortunately, Casey told her where to get help.
* By the end of ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'', both [[spoiler:Knock Out and Megatron]] have come to this. [[spoiler:Knock Out genuinely defects to the Autobots as they would treat him decently. For Megatron, it took getting killed, BarredFromTheAfterlife from his use of Dark Energon he'd been poisoning himself with and being possessed by GodOfEvil Unicron to make him realize just what kind of a villain he had become.]]
--> '''[[spoiler:Knock Out]]''': (''shrugs'') [[LampshadeHanging I'm joining the "Winning Team".]]
* ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'': The Dark Hand Enforcers originally had no problems being criminals, but after several seasons of getting caught up in demonic plots and getting nothing for it, they become rather sick of it all.
* ''WesternAnimation/WackyRaces'': In "The Super Silly Swamp Sprint," Dick Dastardly laments that it was the other racers that forced him to be a bad guy. So maybe it wasn't his idea after all.
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'': The finale suggests that Doofenshmirtz, despite his {{Card Carrying Villain}}y, never really wanted to be evil; his [[HilariouslyAbusiveChildHood absurdly horrible childhood]] just conditioned him to feel as though he had no choice. [[spoiler:He pulls a HeelFaceTurn after realizing how his focus on evil science is straining his relationship with his daughter.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/DanVs'': Played with. Dan's insane obsession with revenge prevents him from doing anything worthwhile with his life or forming any meaningful, healthy friendships. However, "The Barber" shows that [[EvilFeelsGood he enjoys getting revenge]] so much that he thinks this is worth it.