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Classic Villain
The one on the right.

In the comic you know how you can tell who the arch villain is going to be? He's the exact opposite of the hero!
The Villain, Unbreakable

A quintessential villain, who acts as an evil foil to the hero's personality and is a main block to his journey towards his destiny. Will always end up existing as an obstacle to, or as a consequence of, the hero's quest, and they generally have the following characteristics:

In a nutshell, a villain who is iconically evil and represents a certain sin deep down, who deceives the heroes to further his own ends, is essential to the heroes' Character Development, and is defeated iconically in a super-dramatic final battle, usually due to his own flaws.

This is extremely common in Disney Animated Canon, where it could be said that any given villain follows this formula, though the Trope Codifiers may be in the works of William Shakespeare, where, likewise, any given villain could fit this mold perfectly.

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Disney examples:

    Disney Villains 
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Evil Queen. The first Animated Canon villain — adapted from the Brothers Grimm story — personifies Pride in her status as Fairest of Them All, and Envious of her stepdaughter Snow White, becomes horrifically Wrathful, determined to see the girl dead. Her beauty and voice is cold and haughty compared to the warmth and sweetness of Snow White; when she transforms herself into a peddler, she becomes a wretched old hag who plays on the girl's kindness. She succeeds in poisoning Snow White with an apple, and a thunderstorm starts immediately afterwards. Snow White's friends - both the forest animals and the Seven Dwarfs - chase her to the top of a cliff. The Queen attempts to crush them with a boulder, but a bolt of lightning strikes the cliff, sending her over the edge...and the boulder falls after her.
  • The Lion King: Scar. Vice: Envy/Wrath/Pride. Often stated as the king of all the Disney villains, this guy traumatized many a child with his assassination of Mufasa, and his musical number that's reminiscent of Nazi Germany. Wildly different looking than the other lions, he is copper colored with a black mane (though apparently he resembled Mufasa's much more honorable father, in a bit of a subversion), and was extremely skinny. Is eventually done in by his own cowardice when he blames his horrible actions on his henchmen.
    • Zira from the sequel, too. Vice: Wrath/Pride. VERY angry at Simba for exiling her and feeling her pride hurt by this and her Tykebomb son betraying her.
  • Aladdin: Jafar. Vice: Ambition. An Evil Chancellor with a black and red motif, which extends to his kingdom when he takes over, Jafar has both a villain song and a kick ass leitmotif. However, he was also somewhat... relatable, leaving many rooting for him instead, and that's probably why he lived through the movie in an age where Disney villains generally died, but not the sequel. Is eventually done in by his own ambition, when his lust for power leave him trapped in a Genie's lamp. Has a pet parrot who is essentially his equal partner in crime, though Iago generally does do the manual labor.
  • Aladdin: The Series: Mozenrath. Vice: Pride/Envy. A ruthless young ruler with a lust for power to contrast Aladdin's insecurities about becoming a good Sultan. While he's both mighty and cunning, he's also very arrogant, seeing himself as the "Most powerful sorcerer of their generation". He is envious of Aladdin gaining power "the easy way" through his engagement to Jasmine and having the Genie to grant him magical assistance, while Mozenrath had to sacrifice his own hand and a big part of the rest of his lifespan for magical power.
  • The Little Mermaid: Ursula. Vice: Greed/Wrath. An extremely evil-looking Octopus Mermaid, Ursula uses her crooked contracts and devilish wiles to trick Ariel in allowing her to usurp the kingdom. Has a couple of pet eels and a memorable song number. Gets stabbed by the bow of a ship piloted by Ariel's Prince Charming.
  • Tarzan: Clayton. Greed. Jane and her father's bodyguard. Unique in that his deception/revelation of being the final villain of the story is impossible to detect until right before he does it, before that is merely seems as though he's trying to keep everyone safe. Accidentally hangs himself when, in a rage, he tries to kill Tarzan.
  • The Emperor's New Groove: Yzma. Her vice is Ambition, obviously, being the classic Evil Chancellor. As for opposites, she's old, scheming, and malicious while Kuzco is young, impatient, and merely thoughtless; she's pale and wears dark colors while everyone else is tanned and wears bright colors. Doesn't die, but she does get turned into a kitten by one of her own potions. As per nearly everything else in that movie, Yzma is, in a large way, a parody of Disney's own use of this.
  • 101 Dalmatians: Cruella de Vil: Luxury (Lust)/Delicacy (Gluttony). It's not that she wants more, she just wants it her way. Wears furs, speaks in an over-the-top manner, clouds of cigarette smoke. Pretends to be friendly with the dalmatians' owners to get access to the puppies. Defeated by being in a crash during a dramatic car chase. Total opposite of the heroes, in spades. She doesn't die, but she's defeated because of her lack of self control (Karmic Defeat?). In the original book The Hundred and One Dalmatians, she suffers a Humiliation Congaall her husband's money was in the furs at her home, so when those were destroyed by the puppies, her black and white hair goes half white, half green from shock. They flee the country to escape their creditors.
  • Beauty and the Beast: Gaston: Pride/Lust/Vanity. He is not visually distinctive from most Disney heroes and characters, but this is intentional. He is intended to be the complete opposite of the Beast character; the Beast is ugly and has a nasty temper, but is also noble and inwardly kind (though he struggles to make this apparent at first). Gaston is handsome and popular but despicable and inwardly monstrous. Might have been a Lovable Buffoon if he weren't such a complete asshole, but the effect stays the same. Most audiences tend not to take him seriously, as most of the plot moves without him. Has not one, but two songs, plus a reprise - the former and reprise are about how great he is. The Beast spares Gaston's life in the climax, but - proving that he is beyond redemption - he stabs the Beast in the back; in doing so, he accidentally falls to his death.
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Claude Frollo was also a Pride/Lust villain. He was a Knight Templar who was fully convinced that he was in the right despite Kicking The Dog rather viciously with the Gypsies and Quasimodo, and his lust for Esmerelda drove much of the plot of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He's one of Disney's creepiest villains, committing more horrible atrocities than many of Disney's worst, and is comparatively worse than the Victor Hugo novel and play that inspired him. And again, he's sure he's a good man.
    Frollo: It's not my fault! I'm not to blame! It is the Gypsy girl, the witch who sent this flame! It's not my fault, if in God's plan, He made the Devil so much stronger than a man!
  • The Princess and the Frog: Dr. Facilier: Greed, with a hint of Sloth. He's noticeably lanky and wears a black and purple outfit with a skull-and-crossbones top hat. His low, almost lazy-sounding voice perfect for sweet-talking unsuspecting rubes. Oh, and his shadow is sentient. His name is meant to be a play on the French word facile, meaning "easy", and he's all about cutting corners, which contrasts with Tiana's remarkable (to a fault) work ethic. Much like Ursula, Facilier uses Naveen's desires (for "the green") to tempt him into agreeing to his intentionally vaguely-worded business proposition. Facilier himself isn't above taking the easy way out to further his own goals and has an outstanding debt with his "Friends on the Other Side", a sinister mob of Voodoo demons who run deals with him remarkably similar to the ones he runs with others. Facilier meets his demise when Tiana breaks the amulet given to him by these "Friends", prompting them to decide that he was very unlikely to pay back what he owed them and drag him kicking and screaming to the depths of Voodoo Hell to the tune of his own Villain Song. The last you see of him is his terrified face, forever immortalized on his own gravestone.
  • Tangled: Mother Gothel: Pride in her youthful looks, which also qualifies for vanity. More than simply befriending the heroine however, she kidnaps her at birth for her youth restorative powers and brings her up as her own child so she can emotionally manipulate her into never leaving her side. She seems sweet and loving, but it's all a ploy. Her out-of-date clothing and curly black hair sets her apart visually from the other characters. She's eventually killed as a result of trying to keep Rapunzel away from the outside world. After mortally wounding Flynn and giving Rapunzel the Sadistic Choice of healing him or going free, Flynn cuts Rapunzel's hair. This destroys her source of youth, causing her to age until there's nothing left of her but dust. Well, that along with the fact that she tripped over Rapunzel's hair (which Pascal was holding up so that it'd be done on purpose) and fell to her death
  • TRON and TRON: Legacy: Master Control is Pride personified, casually says he can run things "900 to 1200 times better than any human," and demands the Programs worship him instead of those puny human "Users." Dillinger Sr. is Greed, Envy, and Sloth. Desiring money and power, he steals Flynn's work and worked to ruin the man instead of working to improve his own programming skills. Clu 2.0 is a lethal cocktail of all seven, with Pride and Envy being his favorites.
  • Wreck-It Ralph: Turbo/King Candy. Wrath, Pride, Envy and a little bit of Ambition as well. In a world of multicolored and interesting arcade characters, Turbo was nominally short, in a white jumpsuit and had an eery yellow smile. His biggest connection is just how similar he is to the hero Ralph: both wanted more out of their lives as game characters, and both went to other games in order to accomplish it. However, Ralph went on to find a friend in Vanellope Von Schweetz and genuinely doesn't want to cause too much trouble, while Turbo's actions are only about getting attention for himself. Angry that the more advanced "Roadblasters" game was taking away attention, he left his game and invaded it, making it crash. Mt. Litwick unplugged both it and his own game in the carnage, and "Going Turbo" came to be synonymous with causing trouble. Later, he enters "Sugar Rush", messes with Princess Vanellope Von Schweetz's code and locks the memories away so he can take the throne as King Candy. He then cons Ralph into destroying Vanellope's new kart in order to save her from an unplugging, when it's all a lie anyways. In the final race, he's revealed as the wicked program he was, and though eaten by a Cy-bug, he takes control, and plans to invade every game so he can always be the center of attention. The program dies in a beacon of red hot cola as his new Cybug programming drags him to a fiery Light Is Not Good death.
  • Peter Pan: Captain Hook has the vices of Pride, Vanity and Hatred. Granted, his hatred is directed at a boy who cut off his hand and fed it to a crocodile, but that's really just icing on the cake. While this isn't elaborated on in the Disney film, the novel states that Hook hates Pan because he's so cocky, and because he seems to have good form without realizing it. He clearly hates his crew, ready to claw any of them when they begin to doubt him or slip up in the slightest way, and berates Smee for his incompetence when he's not cowering behind him when the crocodile's about. On top of that, he's fairly foppish, dressing in ridiculously ornate coats when the rest of his crew settles for far more practical clothingnote . He also serves as a perfect foil to Peter in a way few realize. While many suggest that Hook represents adulthood because his actor usually also plays Mr. Darling, Hook's profession of piracy denounces any sort of actual responsibility that comes with growing up. In essence, Hook is not so different from Pan, he's just in an adult body. Of course, he also gets the iconic death in the novel of being kicked by Peter into the crocodile's jaws.

Non-Disney Villains:

    Anime & Manga 
  • Fullmetal Alchemist
    • Father Cornello, ironically. Ambition (planned to use the deceived "followers of the Church of Leto" to destroy Amestris), and in the 2003 anime version, is visually different (pure white skin compared to the dark-skinned Reoleians). A majority of the underling Deadly Sins fit the bill as well, having the personality of their eponymous sin, as well as having a visual difference to the normal citizens.
    • Dante, herself, represents Greed and Pride.
  • Nightmare from Kirby of the Stars. Sloth, Wrath, Ambition. For the sloth part, he's generally a laid-back sort of tyrant who prefers to kick back and amuse himself with watching the progress of current events. For the wrath part, he enjoys watching others get angry because this anger eventually leads them to be consumed by hatred, which is what he loves. This often gives him a perfect opportunity to use the terrible things they do due to their anger to his advantage by turning them into Demon Beasts/monsters. And for the ambition part, he wants to take over the galaxy by having his Demon Beasts/monsters go down to planets to conquer them. Despite his laziness, he has quite a knack for trickery and deceit, and can absorb attacks into his cape (which is also invulnerable until opened up in the games), making him somewhat of a Villain Sue, but not without good reason - he's really just a bad dream, meaning he can never be killed and will always come back As Long as There Is Evil. It turns out that in addition to only being able to be bested in someone else's dreams, he is actually afraid of his one and only weakness, the Star Rod.
  • The Baron from Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror. Greed and Gluttony. He appears to be wealthy and elegant, but on the inside, he's just a simple creature who likes stealing things. When Haruka's mirror was brought to Oblivion Island, he made the residents think it was stolen from him by bandits just so he could plan to steal that mirror and build a better island. He has a huge fascination with mirrors, and frequently adds them to his collection without sharing with anyone. He was eventually done in when his collection of mirrors collapsed as Haruka and Teo attempted to grab the mirror back from him. While they were successful, the Baron was reduced to a cowardly pig-like creature that he was underneath his robes all along.

    Comic Books 
  • Obadiah Stane from Iron Man, especially in the movie. Greed and Envy. In addition to Bald of Evil, he is also rather tall and imposing, and is a smooth talker in contrast to Tony's more brash way of talking. While Tony is naive, and thus allows evil acts to happen through inaction, Obidiah is cunning and manipulative, causing many of the events in the storyline. Throughout the movie he pretends to be helping Tony Stark brave the wrath of the stockholders (after his decision to get out of the weapons business), while secretly closing him out. Partway through the movie, it is revealed that he not only is closing Tony out of the company, but he tried to kill him and is illegally trading weapons / dealing with terrorist organizations. Stane's Iron Monger suit in the movie also heavily contrasts with Stark's. While Stark's armor is sleek, colorful, and outfitted with weapons designed for efficiency and precision, the Iron Monger is grey, bulky, and heavily relies not only on Gatling guns, missiles, and excessive overkill, but targeting computers as well. Stane is eventually brought down thanks to Stark's assistant, falling into the prototype arc reactor after he stole Tony's second miniature version.
  • Superman: Lex Luthor. Ambition and Pride with heavy helpings of Wrath and, depending on the writer, Envy and Greed. The Trope Maker of Bald of Evil, Lex Luthor is nowadays a Corrupt Corporate Executive who excels in manipulating the moment and cares little for the fates of people who get in his way, in contrast to Superman, who not only feels that no one is above the law, but has that whole Truth, Justice, and the American Way thing. Lex, who is perfectly fine with ruining the lives of those he needs to get ahead and breaking the law to cement his power, is constantly defeated by Superman, who saves those whose lives he ruins and tends to stop his law breaking before it starts, and despite his Villain with Good Publicity status, Superman not only repeatedly refuses to look away, but pledges to expose and defeat him. As time went on, Lex began to become obsessed with Superman, and, in the current continuity, gave away his Good Publicity status for good (or, at least, for a while) to try to kill Superman with a battlesuit and Kryptonite-laced steroids. Is eventually defeated by his own Pride and Wrath, throwing away his status for revenge.
  • Batman: The Joker. Greed and Pride often motivate his evil deeds, but he's largely defined by Wrath; the thief had "one bad day" years ago that led to him falling into a vat of chemicals and emerging as a Monster Clown. Batman, though a vigilante, is on the side of law and order; by comparison the Joker loves destruction and chaos. The men are aware of their status as foils to each other; in fact, Batman was unintentionally responsible for the Joker's origin. Because of this, the Joker believes he is the only one who can kill the Bat — and he will stop others who try to beat him to the deed.

    The Dark Knight pushes the Order Versus Chaos theme further: while we know this Batman's backstory, the Joker's is never revealed (instead of his appearance being permanent, he wears makeup). The only motivation for this Joker's crimes is to create mayhem and encourage others to let go of their own moral codes in hopes of stopping/avenging it, and he openly admits he needs Batman as a foil because it makes things fun.
  • The Dread Dormammu, ruler of the Dark Dimension and long-time foe of Doctor Strange. Pride and Ambition. Dormammu aesthetically actually is not very different from Strange in attire, as both utilize the Badass Longcoat. However, Dormammu is nonetheless a great challenge to Strange, as both are powerful sorcerers, but both also are willing to get their hands dirty in Good Old Fisticuffs. However, Dormammu is a Dimension Lord plain and simple, and his prideful desire to take Earth's dimension has lead him to become Strange's Arch-Enemy, even with a more powerful Eldritch Abomination lurking out there. After all, pride is what Strange had to overcome in order to become Sorcerer Supreme, and Dormammu is dominated by his pride. Furthermore, his pride often leads him to making foolish decisions, like the time he stopped to beat Strange in a fist fight rather than obliterate him with his full magic power. Even more, while he might be a thinker, he is still a Smug Snake, leaving his complex plans constantly beaten down just because he stinks at Xanatos Speed Chess.
  • Transmetropolitan: The Smiler. Greed, Pride, Wrath, and is eventually taken down by his Lust.
  • Red Skull. Ambition, Wrath and pure Hatred. The living embodiment of the horrific evil of Nazism, fed by a difficult childhood where murderous violence was his only release. Unlike Captain America, who is a direct warrior who inspires his fellows into fighting for the greater ideal of America while recognizing his nation's failings, The Red Skull is a manipulator and schemer who seduces his own followers with his foul ambitions of domination and extermination of all who dare oppose him, first in the name of the Third Reich and then for himself alone.
  • Doctor Doom. Pride/Envy/Wrath and Ambition in all of their forms. Convinced that he is superior to everything on earth, he is obsessed with proving himself more intelligent than his arch-rival, Reed Richards and also with destroying Richards because he blames him for scarring his face. Aside from his vendetta with Richards, Doom is obsessed with world domination. Perhaps one of the more obvious contrasts, Doom sports a Badass Cape and Power Armor compared to the relatively simple designs the Fantastic Four have in their uniforms.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Incredibles: Syndrome: Envy/Wrath. Tons of Wrath. While not exactly completely distinctive, Syndrome is still about a foot or two shorter than most of the characters, and has a notable costume (with a cape), since the heroes called the red and black motif. Decieves our hero into thinking that his inventions had gone rogue, but was actually using them to kill heroes. Biggest explicit body count of any Disney animated villain. Uses technology while the heroes use their own powers, and has a second in command who may or may not be a super and may or may not be romantically involved with him. Is a deconstruction of the stereotypical comic book origin/villain. Defeated when his cape, a symbol of his over the top overcompensation, due to his lack of self-esteem (that's right, we just went psychiatrist on him), is caught in a plane turbine, which then explodes. By Word of God may not be dead, maybe.
  • Cars: Chick Hicks wears his Ambition and Pride on his hood, but Envy and Wrath are also present, especially when he's losing. In the beginning of Cars, he's simply a slightly darker copy of Lightning McQueen's own flaws; a car who has languished in the shadows for years behind racing legend Strip "The King" Weathers, and has become a ruthless competitor with an arrogant streak, though not without his Villainous Valor as well. It's no surprise that he's green with envy, and his mocking of Mcqueen eventually leads to the main plot being set in motion. However, whereas McQueen undergoes Character Development, Hicks doesn't change at all. By the end of the movie, he and McQueen are complete opposites in all ways, which helps highlight just how far McQueen has matured. Done in by his Wrath and Pride, Chick ends up disgraced by fans and booed off the stage despite having won the greatest race in Piston Cup history due to his underhanded wrecking of The King leading to McQueen stealing the spotlight from him.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Star Wars
  • Elijah Price a.k.a. "Mister Glass" in Unbreakable, distinguished physically by his malady. In this case his physical contrast with the hero is the actual basis of the plot, and not just a signifier.
  • General Zod, Ursa and Non in the Christopher Reeve Superman film series. Whereas Superman was sent to his world to live peacefully with the natives of Earth and decides to be its champion, The Phantom Zone criminals choose to come to Earth and conquer it as the supposed right of being innately superior. In doing so, while Superman is like the arrival of a benevolent and humble god, the Trio is a walking/flying armageddon of arrogant selfishness.
  • Captain Vidal of Pan's Labyrinth representing Pride and absurd amounts of Wrath. A Wicked Stepfather obsessed with continuing his legacy, Vidal does not care for others and only uses them as tools for his own benefit. He's pretty much the complete opposite to Ofelia: Where as she is young, optimistic, kind and forgiving, Vidal is older, ruthless, cruel and beyond redemption. The clothes he wears (clean, fascistic grab) not only share a difference to Ofelia wears but to the very rebels he fights, who wear ragged and downtrodden clothes.

    Literature 
  • Harry Potter: Voldemort, full stop. Ambition, snake-headed, hissing speech, his time as Tom Riddle in the diary, and everything else. In the end, its his pride or arrogance that is his downfall, since his egocentric worldview means that 1: he constantly underestimates his opponents, even after he is beaten a dozen times, 2: make him a bad judge of character, as he cannot comprehend love and friendship, and doesn't see Snape's Heel-Face Turn and the Malfoy family's betrayal coming, and 3: refuses to admit he needs and relies on others, treating them as pawns instead of comrades (see the above spoiler for how that worked out).
  • Sauron from The Lord of the Rings. Greed and Ambition to control everybody in Middle-Earth. Though being incorporeal throughout the book, his ring serves as the primary obstacle to the Fellowship. His powers of deception are entirely unmatched by anybody else in Middle-Earth; his early exploits include fooling a Númenórean king into starting a war against the Valar, which ended disastrously for his kingdom. He even ends up twisting Saruman into serving him (who, incidentally, is also very good at convincing others and thinks he will double-cross Sauron, something Sauron knows all too well). Sauron commands vast armies through his will alone. Frodo and Sam sneak into a fiery volcano to destroy his ring, and he is completely broken.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Khan from Star Trek: Pride till his wife died on the planet that Kirk left them on, then transformed utterly to Wrath! Befriends the heroes in the original "Space Seed" episode. Done in by his pride in the climax, leading directly to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, much of which takes place in a dangerous yet visually arresting nebula. He and his henchmen have a kind of biker band look going for them in contrast to the heroes' clean-cut Starfleet uniforms. Khan may fit better as a Tragic Villain, with Pride and Wrath as his tragic flaws that overcome his otherwise noble nature and eventually push him past the Moral Event Horizon, sealing his fate. Consider all the similarities between Kirk and Khan (such as their arrogance, loyalty to friends, and proctiveness for those who serve under them)
  • Doctor Who
    • The Master has been repeatedly described as the Doctor's equal and opposite. Pride and creeping madness are what defines him, and motivate him to seek to dominate the entire Universe. Originally conceived as a suave, Wicked Cultured manipulator to foil to the Doctor's more hands-on approach, recently he's changed into a more active, childish and visibly agressive character (again, to reflect the changes in The Doctor's character). This might be explained by the fact that he's going more and more insane (culminating in Joker-level crazyness coupled with massive Foe Yay). The two's similarity is lampshaded multiple times throughout the show, even by them.
    • Davros is the other notable archvillain The Doctor has (not counting the countless species that hate him). This man is made of Pride and insanity, even more so than the Master. He is repeatedly betrayed by his own creations, the Daleks because he cannot conceive of them judging him inferior to them, even though he himself programmed them to see any non-Dalek as inherently inferior and worthy only of destruction. To that is added his idea that destruction is the only expression of power: when asked whether or not he would wipe out all life in the Universe should he have that power, he declared that he would without hesitation, since in his mind, such an exercise of power would place him above the gods. In the 2005 revival, he planned to destroy The Multiverse in its entirety, for that exact reason.
  • Major Zod in Season 9 of Smallville: Wrath and Pride. Has all the same powers as Clark, inverted: he gains his abilities under a red sun. His British accent marks him as very different from any member of the main cast, as does his fondness for military dress. He eventually gains the same powers as Clark, and at the same time, takes advantage of him while he is infected with Red Kryptonite, then blames him for the death of one of his men. It's all revealed in the finale, when his ego and rage get the better of him. His men abandon him, and he's defeated by Clark in a very brutal Knife Fight.
  • Mitsuzane Kureshima of Kamen Rider Gaim. He didn't start out as one, though, starting as a ally to the main hero, but when his darker self got more and more powerful, more uglier traits surfaced, and soon becomes a demonic caricature of a character he was introduced as, culminating into a Quisling to invading aliens from a world-eating forest.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Strahd Von Zarovich from Ravenloft is a villain whose main vice is Lust, as he has continually pursued the incarnation's of Tatyana, even though he can never have her. He is also very visually distinct in all of his appearances, although he is often said to pose as his own servant. He is also sometimes depicted inviting the PCs to his Castle, such as in the computer game Strahd's Possession. While he has never been killed, any battle in which the PCs face him is likely to be in Castle Ravenloft, a very dramatic place for a battle.

    Theater 
  • Julius Caesar: Caius Cassius. Envy, possibly Ambition. He is also described as having a "lean and hungry look". While pretending to be Caesar's friend, he conspires to assassinate him, and it is not entirely clear (as is often the case with Shakespeare motives), whether he truly believes the stories he feeds Brutus about how Caesar is attempting become dangerously powerful, or whether he is simply jealous of his position and wishes to take it. In any case, he manipulates Brutus and others into conspiring and killing Caesar. His plan backfires when Marc Antony rallies the people of Rome against them, and they are forced to fight in a war, in which Cassius eventually takes his own life after being defeated. (haven't read it in a while, please fill in the gaps)
  • Iago, from Othello is a classic example of Envy and Pride. Though not visually distinct, he has lots of asides and soliloquies. Iago has a bit of a reputation among critics. Some serious critics contend that Shakespeare wrote him to be a perfectly primal and archetypal villain, turning him into the embodiment of the Classic Villain, explaining why he is so successful. Applying this characteristic to him makes him come off as a Humanoid Abomination during the play due to how amazingly, egregiously Villainous he is. Also, while he may have no real physical differences to the Good Guys, his speech patterns vary quite a lot. He is one of the only characters in Othello to speak in normal prose (as opposed to Iambic Pentameter), which contrasts with Othello's quite beautiful speeches throughout the play.
  • Richard III, physically distinguished by his hunch back and limp. His opening soliloquy makes clear his Ambition arising from Envy of the healthy: "... to command, to check, to overbear such as are of better person than myself". A twisted body creates a twisted mind.

    Toys 
  • BIONICLE: Makuta. Pride, Ambition and Envy. A shapeshifting master of shadows determined to seize the power and respect the Great Spirit Mata Nui had by embarking on a millennia-spanning plan involving putting him to sleep and taking control of his Humongous Mecha body, and going after the whole universe from there. The deception is shown in the prequel chapters, where he impersonates a ruler and turns a city against its heroes in order to further his plot. At his core, as he once described himself and other characters brought up again in Shut Up, Hannibal! moments, he is nothing, lacking true purpose after turning his back on his intended destiny of helping Mata Nui achieve his ultimate goal. It is that rejected destiny that ends up killing him, severe head trauma from a falling chunk of the planet he was supposed to help re-assemble.

    Video Games 
  • Ganondorf from The Legend of Zelda. Just look at the man and you can tell he's Obviously Evil.
  • Dimentio in Super Paper Mario. Ambition. A harlequin-like villain who wants to remake the world in his image. While deceiving his ambiguously villainous superiors into thinking he's on their side, he essentially deceives the player into thinking he's going to turn out to be on the hero's side the whole time. Turns out that, while his superiors want to destroy the universe completely, Dimentio wanted to remake it into something better (IE, his). After usurping his boss' power, he is defeated after a Final Battle in a nightmarish room covered with his trademark harlequin smile.
  • Ghetsis from Pokémon Black and White. Pride and Ambition. He's a robe-wearing middle-aged man who made a plan to Take Over the World by raising his son N to hate other humans and convince him to seperate humans from Pokémon by using the power of one of the legendary dragons that N and his team revives, while Ghetsis acted as The Dragon to him. He then wanted to take advantage of a weak Pokemon-free society by using Pokemon's destructive forces that would be exclusive to him. When N and his dragon was defeated by the protagonist, Ghetsis reveals his true intentions and fights the hero, only to lose to him/her. This lead to his Humiliation Conga via losing all of the support he had save the Shadow Triad and having the plan he took years to make become completely destroyed.
  • AdventureQuest Worlds
    • Chaos Shogun Kitsune. Pride and Wrath. He sided with Chaos in an attempt to restore Yokai Island to its former secluded sanctuary by using the Hanzamune Dragon Koi Blade to release the O-dokuro from the rift of time because he was angry with Emperor Daisho extending Yokai Isle's hospitality to the rest of Lore. His anger eventually got the best of him when the hero opened up a portal leading him right back to the Yokai world.
    • Chaos Lord Tibicenas. Pride. He tried to become as powerful as the Efreet by playing with Chaos magic, for which he was punished by being banished from the Djinn world and made to spend years as an outcast. He used Zahart as his master until Zhoom destroyed his ring so that he could return for revenge against the Efreet. His pride became his own undoing when the Efreet granted the hero's wish to have him strip him of his powers.
  • Magolor from Kirbys Return To Dreamland. Envy and Ambition. Being the Magnificent Bastard he is, he acted as a friend to Kirby, King Dedede, Meta Knight and Bandanna Dee in order to manipulate and trick them into defeating Landia for him so he could steal the Master Crown from it and become an Evil Overlord. He eventually got what he deserved for betraying them when Kirby and co. teamed up with the four Landias that Landia was made up of and defeated him in a two-phase final boss battle.
  • Sarevok from Baldur's Gate. Ambition, wrath; attempts to ascend to godhood as the new Lord of Murder through a war of sacrifice. Starts off the hero's journey by killing their foster father and sending others to hunt for the hero. Appears as an enormous Black Knight (or as close as you can be without the armour being actually black) with glowing eyes. Doesn't befriend the hero, but deceives everyone else, both the good guys and the bad guys. Comes extremely close to being able to declare the war he seeks right before being thwarted. The dramatic Final Battle takes place in an ominous underground temple of Bhaal, and the ending cinematic shows the moments right Sarevok's death as his body disperses into golden dust and his essence rejoins that of his father the dead god. Is physically stronger than the hero, but embraces and becomes a puppet to the essence of Bhaal within him, whereas the hero, whether good or bad according to the Karma Meter, truly conquers its influence.
  • Malefor from The Legend of Spyro. Ambition, Gluttony, and Pride. He's a power-hungry purple dragon who delights in breaking dragon eggs just for the reason of believing it's Because Destiny Says So. His ambition is to "purify" the whole world by destroying and remaking it. Interestingly, he gets done in by his own disbelief in The Power of Friendship when he is defeated by Spyro and Cynder, just before being sealed away again, this time for good.
  • Believe it or not, Iris Sepperin from Rosenkreuz Stilette. Represents Ambition as well as Pride, Lust, Envy, and Greed, with the added fun of Cute and Psycho. She got bored with the world the way it was until she learned what she was capable of and that she was a reincarnation of Rosenkreuz himself, and decided to pit RKS against the Empire for fun - that while also deciding to use her powers to become a god herself. She also serves as the counterpart to Spiritia Rosenberg's Incorruptible Pure Pureness. Like all villains, Iris undervalues love and The Power of Friendship, which, while she didn't die, led to her being punched out by Tia (and Grolla).
  • Handsome Jack of Borderlands 2, representing Pride and Greed mainly, with a nice heaping of Wrath near the end of the game. A ruthless, narcissistic and petty tyrant, Jack is more than willing do anything to gain power and control over the land of Pandora, whether it be mass murder, manipulating the system to get what he wants or even using his own daughter as a means to power an ancient alien artifact.
  • Otto Destruct in Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters qualifies for this trope. His apparent motivation is for the technomites to be recognized thanks to the titular duo continuously foiling their plots in the original trilogy, which makes his sins Envy and Pride. His dragon, Luna, is an even better example: "she" manages to befriend the duo before capturing them to clone Ratchet.
  • Dr. Robotnik/Eggman from Sonic the Hedgehog represents Ambition, Pride and occasionally Wrath as he constantly attempts to take over the world and remake it in his image. He sticks out from the rest of the cast by being one of the few human characters in the series and wearing red and black. The main protagonist Sonic is also egotistical but is also caring about his friends, while the doctor is ultimately selfish and seeks control over others, going as far as turning animals into robotic minions. His schemes tend to involve either creating a powerful robot to counter Sonic, or capturing an ancient monster to take over the world. Both are thwarted by him underestimating Sonic and his companions or by betrayal by the forces he thought he had perfect control.
  • Hazama/Terumi of Blazblue. Represents Ambition, Pride and Wrath, with some child-hate, misogyny and casual racism thrown in for flavour. Dresses in black. Has the snake as his Animal Motif. Deceptive trickster and Magnificent Bastard to a tee. Or if you just squint it... he can represent the whole 7 Deadly Sins himself.
  • General Wilhelm "Deathshead" Strasse from the Wolfenstein franchise, especially The New Order, represents a nice combo of Pride and Ambition, with an emphasis on the former. Labeled as "The most dangerous man in the Third Reich", Deathshead has been B.J. Blazkowicz's arch foe since Return to Castle Wolfenstein and his reputation shows, from his diabolical experiments to his cheerfully creepy demeanor. His appearance and age serve as a pretty sharp contrast B.J.'s: Where as Blazkowicz is fairly youthful, muscular and featuring several Aryan features such as blonde hair and blue eyes, Deathshead is old, horribly scarred and frail. Their final confrontation at the end of New Order takes place at Deathshead's castle, during a massive thunder storm, in which the man himself pilots a Mini-Mecha to confront B.J. once and for all.

    Visual Novels 
  • Kotomine Kirei from Fate/stay night. He personifies... well, everything evil, but Ambition and Wrath mainly. He's easily most physically imposing character in the entire cast, he's a Large Ham voiced by Joji Nakata, and he pretends to be allied with the heroes until he does something utterly evil ( kidnapping Ilya and showing off his basement full of peeled orphans in Fate and trying to force the birth of Angra Mainyu in Heaven's Feel) to break the illusion. In both routes, the final fight is him vs. Shirou in front of a Negative Space Wedgie caused by the Holy Grail.

    He is outright said to be Shirou's polar opposite in nearly every way, and although his deaths aren't ironic in any way, they're thematically appropriate: in Fate, Shirou himself triumphs and stabs Kotomine in the heart with the Azoth Dagger, fitting with the route's extremely idealistic nature. In Heaven's Feel, Kotomine simply dies due to Heroic RROD after Shirou uses the last of his Heroic Resolve simply to not die from the No-Holds-Barred Beatdown Kotomine delivers, fitting with the motif of external help being the only thing that saves Shirou throughout the route. Kotomine is different from Shirou in nearly every way, the ultimate similarity between them is what keeps Kotomine from being a cut-and-paste villainous archetype: he and Shirou both only feel meaning through others. They're standing on opposite sides of a very thin line with each still being on the line itself.

    Web Animation 
  • Nazo from the Sonic the Hedgehog fan animation Nazo Unleashed. Is Pride through-and-through. He's an embodiment of evil Chaos Energy who desires to destroy the entire world and the Master Emerald so that he can be the most powerful entity in the universe. He accesses the power of the Chaos Emeralds in a similar way to Sonic and Shadow and eventually he becomes Hyper by using the Super Emeralds just like Sonic and Shadow. He is defeated because Sonic and Shadow are fighting for their friends and they all give their fusion Shadic the rings needed to destroy him, and Hyper Knuckles and Super Tails, both friends of Sonic, assist them.

    Web Comics 
  • Xykon of The Order of the Stick, mainly embodying Greed/Ambition with a Prideful streak. Visually distinct by virtue of being undead, complete with white-on-black speech bubbles. He's Roy's opposite in many ways: ruthless and sadistic (in a pretty Chaotic Evil way, though its not explicitly stated) versus Lawful Good, Obfuscating Stupidity versus cerebral leadership, lots of one-liners versus Roy's Straight Man. Any deception on his part has yet to be revealed, but given his character and the nature of the plot so far it would not exactly be a surprise. That said, despite not having the attention span for much real scheming, he's pretty decent at manipulating people when he can be bothered (see the climax of Start of Darkness).
    • He even plays into his Sorcerer class in a dark mirror of Roy as the Fighter. Not only are they a full caster vs the epitome of a completely martial class, but where Xykon embraces the stereotype of Sorcerers as brute force magic users, Roy actively defies the stereotype of Fighters as Dumb Muscle. That said, both of them have a sore-spot when it comes to other people looking down on their class choice based on those stereotypes (Roy insists Fighers are/can be more than that, while Xykon likes to demonstrate just how effective magical brute force can be).

    Western Animation 
  • Discord from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Pride, with occasional moments of Wrath. Discord is an evil spirit of chaos and disharmony who takes the form of a Mix-and-Match Critter that has a very sadistic sense of humor and plans on ruling Equestria while turning it into a World of Chaos with the population as his play-things. After he steals the Elements of Harmony, the only things that can defeat him, he lures the main characters into a maze by tricking them into thinking that that's where the elements are, where he uses a Hate Plague on each of the heroes, with the exception of Twilight Sparkle, by using each of their character flaws so that they can't use the Elements of Harmony anymore once they find them. Just when Twilight Sparkle was crossing the Despair Event Horizon after a failed attempt to defeat Discord, she receives all of the letters she wrote on The Power of Friendship in the first season which reminded her how much her friends mean to her and taught her that she must continue to fight for them. When Twilight Sparkle helped the others recover from their control of Discord, Discord was too prideful to consider them threats anymore until the heroes successfully used the Elements of Harmony which led to his defeat.
    • And before Discord, there was Nightmare Moon, the Mr. Hyde like alter-ego of night goddess, Princess Luna. Consumed with Envy and Wrath over people enjoying the day but sleeping during her beautiful night, she went Omnicidal Maniac mode on Equestria, attempting to plunge it into The Night That Never Ends.
    • And now we add Queen Chrysalis to our MLP rogues gallery. Like Discord, she favours the original sin with generous helpings of Ambition and Lust. A shapeshifting alien queen/succubus, she's determined to rule Equestria and make its inhabitants cattle to her race, the Changelings.
  • Megatron from Transformers Prime. Ambition, Envy, Wrath and Pride. Megatron contrasts with his Arch-Enemy Optimus Prime in two key ways. First, his grey design is curved and angular with large shoulder spikes compared with the more colorful and smooth Optimus and other Cybertronians. Second and more importantly, in his backstory, Megatron and Optimus used to be partners in action, as Megatron sought at first to change how the Elders of Cybertron treated other Transformers. Their key split was that while Megatron sought to be named the next Prime and overthrow the guard with force, Optimus asked that the guard reform and was thus recognized as true prime material despite not asking for it. Overcome with Wrath, Megatron destroyed Cyberton searching for the Matrix of Leadership before bringing his war to Earth afterwards. While he was first thought to be destroyed by his inability to allow his legion of the undead to be destroyed in the Five-Episode Pilot, he came back and his ultimate demise was at the hand of Bumblebee. Reported to be the weakest of the Autobots going into the series, he's struck down with the star saber, which he copied and sought to use to become A God. Killed by beings he thought weaker than himself and beaten because he failed to see the other Autobots outside Optimus as a threat.
  • Firelord Ozai from Avatar: The Last Airbender: Pride and Ambition. Gleefully contributed to the project of his father and grandfather to Take Over the World, switching in the finale to Omnicidal Maniac and A God Am I to further eliminate all hope in the heart of those who resist him. Through he doesn't face The Hero Aang directly until the finale, he's the main reason why the Deuteragonist Zuko stays so messed up for most of the series. As a Social Darwinist Evil Overlord who choosed Kick the Dog as a hobby, he's the direct opposite of the Badass Pacifist Warrior Monk Aang, which shows in their final confrontation, where even in defeat, he doesn't understand Aang sparing his life.
    • Ozai's daughter, Azula is motivated by Pride and Ambition as well as a generous helping of psychotic madness.
    • Let's not forget Zhao, also displaying copious amounts of Pride and Ambition which ultimately cause his downfall. His short temper and scorn toward Zuko add Wrath and Envy and as a middle-aged man with striking sideburns, he is definitely visually distinctive from his opponents, all in their teens.
  • Reboot: Played Straight with Megabyte and Hexidecimal. Megabyte embodies Greed, Pride, Envy and Ambition, appears borg-like, often initiates plots and comes dangerously close to succeeding fairly often. Hexidecimal likewise embodies Sloth, Wrath and Lust (with a few shades of Pride) and appears like a very creepy harlequin. ( And later she subverts this entirely when she pulls a Heel-Face Turn.) Completely averted with Daemon, who could easily pass for a Sprite, has no particular vices, is rarely outright hostile, and dies fulfilling her plans rather than falling in battle.


The Chooser of The OneArchetypal CharacterThe Cynic
Civilian VillainCharacterization TropesCloset Geek
Chronic VillainyArch-EnemyDriven by Envy
Classical Anti-HeroLit. Class TropesThe Climax
Big EntranceImageSource/Animated FilmsEvil Chancellor
Civilian VillainVillainsClock King
Barbarian TribeSliding Scale of Antagonist VilenessPirate
Captain Smooth and Sergeant RoughFoilCommander Contrarian

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