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! You made
me. Remember? You dropped me into that vat of chemicals. That wasn't easy to get over, and don't think that I didn't try.
try to rid the world of villains. Unfortunately, sometimes they have the opposite effect.
Maybe The Hero
accidentally wronged some Innocent Bystander
— say, they or their loved ones were casualties in the collateral damage from a super-battle
— and said bystander decides to turn evil to settle the grudge. Alternatively, the character may already be evil, but the Hero's intervention results in the villain gaining superpowers, and a super-grudge
In a parody or deconstruction of this trope, it might go on to reveal that the actions of the hero were actually irrelevant in terms of the individual's true nature. They were ultimately a disturbed individual who was looking for the first excuse they could find to justify their evil behavior.
Naturally, this is common in comic books. In many cases, however, the villain's origin story
isn't even hinted at in their first appearance—it's only after the villain becomes popular that they're given a personal tie to the Hero via Retroactive Continuity
One of the causes of the Superhero Paradox
. See also Disproportionate Retribution
, Nice Job Breaking It, Hero
. Contrast with Weirdness Magnet
, where the Hero doesn't create
the villains, but seems to attract
them all the same.
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Anime and Manga
- Beyond Birthday in the spin-off prequel novel of Death Note was the result of L and Watari’s Tyke Bomb production program.
- Inverted in Full Metal Panic. The last original founder of Amalgam, Mr. Mercury, was so disgusted with what his organization had become that he created Mithril to oppose them.
- Yami Bakura from Yu-Gi-Oh! became Yami Yugi/Pharaon Atem's archnemesis after Yami Yugi in his past life in Ancient Egypt raided Yami Bakura's home village.
- In Macross Frontier, Word Of God states that at least in one continuity (there are several) Ranka lured the Vajra to 117th Fleet just as Grace was getting married, which resulted in Grace's bridegroom being killed, and Grace being mutilated, which turned her into a cyborg, triggering her downward spiral to becomming the Big Bad
- Danzo from Naruto kept on doing this, with at least three different characters.
- First he helped Hanzou capture Konan, which resulted in the death of Yahiko, and Nagato's mental break down.
- Then he had Itachi murder the entire Uchiha clan, who however left his brother, Sasuke alive. Guess who had killed Danzo, after the Big Bad revealed this bit of information to him?
- Apparently Yakushi Kabuto joined Orochimaru because Danzo had set up him and his adoptive mother -both faithful and competent spies working for him- to murder eachother, but Kabuto survived.
- A very interesting variant is presented in Bakuman。. It's the unique and slightly dark manga that the main characters wrote that sets the biggest Jerk Ass in the series, Toru Nanamine, on the path to becoming a conniving douchecanoe when he becomes old enough to publish his own manga. For instance, the short that they publish, Money and Intelligence, which takes place in a world where people are ranked based on how smart they are and how much money they have, convinces him to borrow lots of money from his father so he can essentially buy his way to popularity at school, and rely on the advice of people from the internet to revise his manga and give him ideas. Oh, and that last part has the added bonus of completely screwing over his Nice Guy editor.
- Ryoga tries to call this on Ranma. According to his version of events, Ranma ran out on the fight between them (after Ryoga made him wait three days), "forcing" Ryoga to follow him... all the way to Jusenkyo, where he was kicked into a Cursed Spring that makes him turn into a harmless little black pig if splashed by cold water by a certain red-headed girl...
- Mousse and Kuno do the same sort of thing, insisting they only do the things they do because Ranma "stole" the heart of the appropriate girl (Shampoo for Mousse, Akane Tendo and "the pigtailed girl" for Kuno).
- One could argue that Shampoo is a villainess that Ranma created. Yeah, she would probably be just the same if she had never left her village, but Ranma was the one who humiliated her by eating her prize and then effortlessly beating her in battle, so it's his fault she's in Nerima making a nuisance of herself.
- In Digimon: The Movie (the dub compilation of the first three OVAs) it's suggested that Willis is the one who created Diaboromon (and the virus that infectd him was passed on to Kokomon.)
- Calvin creates a villain in Calvin And Hobbes The Series. His attempt to get more TV channels ends up unleashing Electro upon the world.
- The Pony POV Series:
- Back when she was still in her A God I Am phase (before mellowing out a lot), Luna gave Tirek the Rainbow of Darkness so he could try and prove his love to her. During her and Celestia's reign, Tirek returned to life and ended up having a battle with her for dominion over the night.
- Celestia didn't make Discord a monster, but she taught him how to plan and ultimately accidentally helped him discover he was a sadist. She also left him to be punished by his family for helping her bring the Windigos to Equestria, causing him to keep a grudge against her.
- Dark World!Discord ended up creating Nightmare Eclipse/Paradox. She was originally Twilight Sparkle until he turned her into Twilight Tragedy and put her through a living hell for a thousand years. When she finally broke free, she snapped and decided to invoke Nightmarification to become Nightmare Purgatory and brutally kill him in revenge. By that point, she's been so consumed by her thirst for vengeance that she turns her plan to Set Right What Once Went Wrong into a Groundhog Day Loop Ironic Hell for Discord, becoming the Omnicidal Maniac she is now.
Films — Animation
- Syndrome from The Incredibles. As a boy, his hero-worship led him to try to become Mr Incredible's sidekick, but Mr Incredible brushed him off. Syndrome then decided to get his recognition by designing a robot to kill Mr. I.
- Double subverted in Megamind. Megamind tries to create a new Hero to fight, but said person ends up becoming an even worse villain.
- Also, Metro Man is partilly responsible for turning Megamind into a villain. He knocked Megamind's ship into a prison, causing him to be raised by criminals. He picked on Megamind in school.
Films — Live Action
- The '89 Batman film had an exchange between Batman and the Joker where the Joker blames Batman for creating him, but Batman replied that years ago the Joker was responsible for killing his parents, creating him.
Batman: I made you, but you made me first.
- In Batman Forever, Edward Nigma was an employee at Wayne Corp who really looked up to Bruce Wayne. Bruce shutting down Nigma's twisted pet project is what drives him off the deep end, turning him into the Riddler.
- In Batman Begins, Gordon warns Batman about escalation.
We start carrying semi-automatics, they buy automatics. We start wearing bullet-proof vests, they buy armor piercing rounds. And you... you're wearing a mask and jumping off rooftops. Batman:
Take this guy
- In The Dark Knight, the Joker invokes this, claiming that Batman's example was what inspired him to change his schtick from clown-themed bank robber to clown-themed avatar of chaos. But considering how much he lies to everyone else, it's probable that he's only saying this to get under Batman's skin.
Joker: Look at me. LOOK AT ME! (speaks to video camera) You see, this is how crazy Batman's made Gotham!
- Batman and Gordon created Two-Face in the same movie. Dent warned both of them about the corruption in the Gotham police department but they were more willing to ignore them in lieu of the Joker and finishing off the mob. Gordon's own men ended up working for the mob and kidnapped him and Rachel Dawes, resulting in her death and his disfigurement. In a more cynical example, if Batman had been a few moments late, Dent would've died in an explosion and Two-Face would not have been created. If he had been a few moments early, Dent wouldn't have been disfigured, would not have gone to the hospital, and would not have been driven farther over the edge by Joker. Additionally, if Batman had realized from the start that Joker was lying, he would have saved Rachel, leaving Dent to die.
- In the Independent Film Sidekick, Norman (a nerdy comic book fan) discovers that Victor (a sleezy Wall Street Guy he knows) has latent telekinetic abilities. Norman tries to train Victor to develop his powers so he can become a real-life superhero, but (being a Wall Street Guy) Victor eventually decides to use his powers for evil instead, becoming Norman's arch-enemy. A comic book store owner friend of Norman's even remarks (under the false impression that Norman and Victor's story is a pitch for a comic book plot) that, although Norman has failed to make a good hero, it seems he did succeed in creating a killer villain.
- In Iron Man 1, Obediah Stane is an evil genius in his own right, but it takes technology stolen from Tony Stark to complete his Iron Monger armor.
- In the sequel, Ivan Vanko is inspired to become Whiplash by the revelation that Tony is Iron Man. His real grudge is against Tony's dead father - if Tony had never been born - or had died before the end of the first movie - Vanko may not have engaged in any criminal activity whatsoever. If Vanko didn't know Stark was Iron Man, his revenge probably wouldn't have involved building a suit of armor. Then Vanko improves his energy whips using suggestions from Tony himself. And, Justin Hammer would presumably be a conniving weasel with or without Tony's influence, but if weren't for Stark/Iron Man, he wouldn't have been trying to build suits of armor, or broken Vanko out of jail, or had access to the War Machine armor.
- Vanko was already a criminal, though, due to his own father's actions that got him deported with Tony just being the scapegoat for his own miserable existence. Tony does seem to be worried about supervillains being created from his technology and takes steps to prevent this, but Vanko already had the knowledge and genius to make an arc reactor without Tony's help (though the advice he gave did come back to bite him).
- Additionally, North Korea (among other nations) is trying to build its own Powered Armor. Fortunately, they're failing epically.
- And again, in Iron Man 3, Killian apparently became a villain because Tony snubbed him at a party.
- In Kick-Ass, Kick-Ass kills Frank d'Amico, causing his son Chris (Red Mist) to become a supervillain
- TRON and TRON: Legacy. In the first, hundreds of man-hours worth of programming, spearheaded by Ed Dillinger turned a chess program into something that was going to take over the Pentagon and Kremlin in about a week out of boredom. The second flick was a literal case; Flynn created Clu 2.0 and gave him near-User level of power and a "create the perfect system" directive so he could run things while Flynn was in his own world. Unfortunately, Flynn forgot to install a failsafe or ethics...
- In The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, Robert idolizes Jesse and believes that he can earn a position of glory at Jesse's side. When Jesse fails to live up to Bob's expectations (and outright mocks him at a few points), Bob decides to instead earn his glory by killing Jesse James. (The entire thing is Black and Grey Morality, but most of the contemporary public views Jesse as a folk hero and Robert as a villain for killing him.)
- Inverted in the film Black Scorpion as the the villain of the first film creates the hero by killing her father. Played straight with the mayor in the second film as he ends up turning Dr. Undershaft into Aftershock when his men sabotage her invention. This repeats several times in the series with the mayor's crooked schemes creating several villains. Little wonder most of them want to kill him.
- Flashpoint is a tabloid photographer obsessed with discovering Black Scorpion's secret identity who is blinded by her energy ring, but his eyesight was restored by advanced laser surgery, making him one of the heroine's most persistent archenemies.
- As Neo receives his Enlightenment Superpowers at the end of The Matrix, not only does he easily repel any attacks from Agents, but then chooses to bodily possess Agent Smith, causing him to explode. Neo's inadvertent creation of Smith the Virus creates an enemy so powerful, it will destroy both the Matrix and the real world—were it not for Neo's help.
- Looper reveals that during Old Joe's attempt to kill the Rainmaker as a child, the resulting trauma would inspire Cid to become the Rainmaker.
- M created the villain of Skyfall when she chose not to rescue him from captivity, forcing him to swallow a cyanide capsule that shredded his insides but didn't kill him. This adds to his Shadow Archetype nature, as the film starts with M risking Bond's life in the course of a mission, and he proceeds to get over the betrayal... eventually.
- Loki from Thor has been lied to his entire life, and pushed aside for his older brother, while saving Thor's life many times in the process. All of this escalates, comes to light at exactly the wrong time, and winds up driving him over the edge and into the twisted version of the young man he used to be in The Avengers.
- In The Amazing Spider Man Peter says "I created him" in reference to the Lizard, having given Curt Connors the formula that transformed him into said villain.
- In Oz The Great And Powerful, the titular character is partly responsible for turning the naive but good witch Theodora into the Axe Crazy Wicked Witch of the West, who rejects his offer of redemption at the end. While, technically, it was her sister Evanora who turned her evil, Oz's actions (flirting with her like he does with any girl) help push her over the edge.
- In Scanners, Dr. Paul Ruth is largely responsible for turning Revok into an evil scanner in the first place. He gave his children psychic powers to begin with by experimenting on his own family with untested drugs, and subsequently abandoned both his children. He let Revok be locked up in an insane asylum rather than help him, causing him to develop a supremacist complex and wanting scanners to rule the world. The plot starts as Ruth tries to use the other child he rejected as a weapon against Revok.
- In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, the Jedi Order inevitably ends up creating the Sith Order. Each time the Sith are wiped out, some Dark Jedi, recently separated from the Order, finds Holocrons left by a previous Sith Lord and the Order is born anew. The worst part is that this cycle has occurred over half a dozen times.
- Ajunta Pall creates what is presumably the original Sith order after being kicked out of the Jedi Order.
- Freedon Nadd, having left the Jedi order due to massive ego and rampant paranoia, finds the holocron of one of the old Sith Lords, and resurrects the order.
- Ditto for Exar Kun, who finds other Sith Holocrons and resurrects the Sith order.
- Revan breaks off from the Jedi to form a new Sith Order - in order to fight the remains of what he calls "the true Sith".
- Revan's former Jedi Master, Kreia, leaves the Jedi to find out why he apprentice turned. She makes her own mini Sith order. Ironically, her goal was to destroy the force, as in a fit of Genre Savvy, she saw that as long as the Jedi existed, there would be a Sith order, and that their conflicts would inevitably doom the galaxy. So she sought to eliminate both.
- Darth Desolous ditches the Jedi because he thinks the Sith are cooler. Cue mini Sith order on his homeworld.
- Darth Ruin leaves the Jedi, starting the order again and begins the New Sith Wars.
- At the battle of Ruusan, the Jedi were shoving lightsabers into the hands of small children and sending them to slaughter. They also deemed the native "Bouncers" as too dangerous to keep alive because of the thought bomb. Well, one of those Force Sentitive kids sees her Bouncer friend killed by Jedi right before her horrified eyes. Congratulations! They just created Darth Zannah!
- And finally, with Luke Skywalker having destroyed both master and apprentice of the Sith, you'd think it's over no? Well... No. We have a Jedi Purge Survivor that starts a Sith order that would rise to power 100 years later. And Jedi from Skywalker's new Jedi Order jumping ship (one in particular who is even related to him!) Luke has angst about this trope, wondering if he's not training Jedi the right way, but he does try hard; most villains he trained went bad entirely on their own, after they left him. However, there was Brakiss, who was an Imperial spy who was Becoming the Mask and really starting to trust Luke. Luke trusted him too and thought he'd completely make a Face Heel Turn, and put him through a test of his spirit just like he'd do to any of his other students... and it was too much for Brakiss to take.
- And then there's this little stroke of brilliance from Jedi Apprentice, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon's backstory series. So, the Jedi council has this problem kid, Xanatos. Too much anger and whatnot. His Master believes in him, but the Council doesn't. And they decide that hey, we're not sure we can trust him, we need to put him to the test. So they send him and his Master to intervene in a conflict where his dad is the Man Behind the Man, and everyone knows it, in the hopes that he'll screw up and they can boot him out. Well as it turns out, the plan works a little too well. Xanatos Face Heel Turns, his Master is forced to kill his father, and he swears bloody revenge on the Temple, going on to become a Corrupt Corporate Executive and Manipulative Bastard out for Jedi blood, who spreads slavery and death wherever he goes, and targets Qui-Gon (his ex-master) and Obi-Wan at every turn. Nice Job Breaking It Heroes.
- Inverted in Harry Potter: Dumbledore underlines the fact that Voldemort created his own foe. Villain creating his own hero.
- Except Dumbledore's not telling the whole story, because he created Voldemort by helping Tom Riddle learn magic despite his obvious psychopathic tendencies. And then Voldemort accidentally shoved a piece of his soul into Harry, so Dumbledore decided to use this unique situation to create someone who could destroy Voldemort. Just to make things even more circuitous, Dumbledore himself was largely created by Grindelwald, the pre-Voldemort dark wizard, by virtue of them being close friends for many years before Grindelwald turned evil. Relatively speaking. They were both evil, but Dumbledore turned good due to a tragic accident that made him especially determined to beat Grindelwald. So, Grindelwald created Dumbledore, who created both Voldemort and Harry because of something Voldemort did.
- It could be argued that the decision to train Riddle was not Dumbledore's; after all, he was not the headmaster yet. It is stated that any child with magical ability automatically has a place at Hogwart's, and there is no suggestion that even the headmaster has the power to veto that.
- Very much the case in Animorphs with David, the Sixth Ranger turned Sixth Ranger Traitor. Though introduced from the start as a kid with a bit of an attitude, he at first tries fitting into the team and making the best of things. It's not until he's given the cold shoulder by everyone, forced to sleep in a cold barn and threatened with death by Jake that he decides to betray the team. At that point it's hard to blame him.
- In Seven Sorcerers by Caro King, the titular sorcerers are responsible for transforming Arafin Struud from an ordinary human into the Big Bad that he is by first letting him drink from a potion that makes him fully immortal, and then torturing and mutilating him horribly to see just how good the potion works. And then trying to make amends with a simple "Sorry".
Live Action TV
- Batman: The 1960's TV show. In the Back Story to episode "Instant Freeze", Batman turned Dr. Schiml into Mr. Freeze by accidentally knocking a beaker of Instant Freeze on him, which warped his mind and turned him to a life of crime.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Trio was created because of Buffy. Admittedly, Jonathan (who would have killed himself if it weren't for her, the ungrateful bastard) and Andrew were just in it for the taking over Sunnydale part, but Warren completely was in it for the killing Buffy due to her tracking down the origins of his sexbot April which caused his girlfriend to leave him (what some fans saw as mean, but actually was done in order to save people from his romance and sex slave gone overboard, actually long past his true Moral Event Horizon). Over time he becomes worse and worse, going from jerkass to evil Jerkass to homicidal evil Jerkass to murdering evil Jerkass to his S8 appearance as a genocidal skinless Jerkass.
- Warren is both on the creating and created side, really. He attempts to murder Buffy and accidentally kills Tara, sending Willow, one of the most powerful witches in existence, into a Roaring Rampage of Revenge that including Warren being flayed alive. However, Warren survived the skinning due to another witch, Amy, who had turned evil out of jealousy for Willow having so much power without having to work at it (so Amy's another example). Warren then changed his hatred for Buffy into hatred for Willow.
- In Angel, we have Holtz, who wants Angel dead for what he did as Angelus, killing the man's family and forcing him to dust his own daughter.
- Angel, having spent 200 years as a psychopathic murderer, has a few of these, usually vampires he sired, who either want revenge, or Angelus back killing. For example, Drusilla, Spike (sired by Drusilla, but Angelus taught him how to be evil), Penn (from Somnambulist) and Sam Lawson (from Why We Fight). James from Heartthrob is a special case - while Angel didn't sire him (at least, it's never said), he tries to kill Angel and Cordelia because Angel stakes his One True Love. There's also Lindsey McDonald, who was introduced as a Amoral Attorney, but for whom Angel makes their battles personal when Angel chops off his hand and the end of Season One.
- Spike has created at least one villain: Dana, from the Angel episode "Damage". This one is albeit only indirectly Spike's fault. Dana was kidnapped as a little girl by a human pychopath, implying sexual assault. Later in life, Dana's Slayer visions (allowing her to have psychic dreams and access to the memories of former Slayers) activate. Since Spike has chased around and killed two Slayers he's in a lot of the Slayer memories, leading Dana's damaged mind to substitute him for her actual childhood abuser. When it was all done he even mused in the hypocrisy of trying to tell her "I've done a lot of horrible things, just not to you."
- Then there was Giles in "The Dark Age", who had to face the demon he summoned as a teenager that was now killing her former friends. Since a lot of characters of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel were The Atoner, or at least had a Dark and Troubled Past, this trope turned up a lot.
- Buffy unknowingly created Angelus, season 2's Big Bad, and he never tired of reminding her about it.
- Dollhouse: Has Echo, the main character being an Create Your Own Hero who takes down the people who forced her into becoming a doll. Echo has Bennett, who she accidentally created as Caroline, making a Heroic Sacrifice for her (the aforementioned being made a doll) which was sadly seen as abandonment, causing Bennett to hate Caroline/Echo for abandoning her and making her lose her arm.
- Firefly: In a bit of Role Reversal, The Alliance does this, cutting up River Tam's brain, turning her into the insane, psychic, badass 16 year old Phlebotinum Rebel that she became. In other news, Joss Whedon REALLY loves this trope. It's in all of his works.
- Harper's Island: Sheriff Charlie Mills turns his wife's obsessive ex-boyfriend John Wakefield into a psychopathic serial killer by having him beaten up and framing him for the attempted murder of a police officer. He serves 17 years of a life sentence for something he didn't do. He kills Sarah Mills as soon as he gets out and Sheriff Mills seven years later, in the present story.
- Heroes: In Season 3, it's revealed that Batman-like Anti-Hero Mr. Bennet had a hand in turning nerdy watchmaker Gabriel Grey into the series' archvillain, Sylar. Specifically, Bennet (under orders from The Company) manipulated Gabe into killing again, thus removing the last of his moral inhibitions and completing his transformation into Sylar, who would go on to cause no end of trouble for Bennet and his family.
- Also, in Season 2, Hiro's attempts to turn Adam Monroe/Takezo Kensei into a legendary hero (and get busy with Kensei's girlfriend) ends up pushing him from a goofy, drunken mercenary into the season's immortal, Misanthrope Supreme Big Bad.
- Not only was Sylar manipulated, he was actually about to hang himself, unable to cope with killing another person for his power.
- Kamen Rider: Inverted Trope in the original show, where Shocker had not one, but TWO super-cyborgs escape from them and become superheroes! This inverted trope is VERY common throughout the Showa era.
- Merlin: King Uther Pendragon managed to do this to a big part (possibly most) of an ethnicity in his kingdom, when he ordered genocide of all magic users. He's consistently being attacked by magical people as a result, but he always manages to escape punishment and considers the attack evidence that magic is evil. This finally ends in the series 3 finale when his daughter Morgana is revealed to have magic, takes over Camelot with an immortal army, and gives him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech on his treatment of her people. This breaks him completely, and he spends the rest of his life as a fragile shell of his former self.
- Revolution: Miles was The Mentor to Jeremy Baker, and aided Monroe is starting the militia.
- Smallville: While John Corben was actually turned into Metallo by Zod, he already had a hatred for the Red-Blue Blur after one of the criminals saved from a prison bus crash by the Blur murdered his sister.
- Stargate Atlantis: Half-human / half-wraith hybrid Michael, the series' most frequently recurring villain, was originally created by the Atlantis Expedition in their attempts to create a virus to turn Wraiths into harmless, amnesiac Humans. Michael was quite pissed upon learning he had been manipulated by the team, and very pissed when the team's response to learning that their pet Human-Wraiths were turning back into full-blown Wraiths was to nuke em' all. Before this, there were indications that Michael had standards and would have been willing to work with Atlantis, but too many betrayals turned him into a monster.
- And though they didn't create the Wraith and the Replicators, they woke up the Wraith, who'd been dormant, and turned the Replicators into a scourge against humanity (Our heroes programmed them to take out the Wraith; they decided the best way was to eliminate their food source, us. Brainwashing For The Greater Good never works in SGA.) The Atlantis crew has a very bad habit of both Moral Dissonance and Nice Job Breaking It, Hero.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: If the Cardassians had not immediately started indulging their Nazis IN SPACE tendencies by terrorizing the colonies that wound up in their space as the result of a treaty, the Maquis would never have existed. Proves they're not good at learning, either; they did the same thing to the Bajorans and got the Resistance, from which Major Kira hails.
- Xena: Warrior Princess: Xena obliviously did this to Callisto, though this is before Xena's Heel Face Turn.
- Callisto believes that until she becomes a goddess and goes back in time to the day her parents were killed. It turns out that the future Callisto was the one who murdered her own parents, but her dazed past self assumed Xena was to blame.
- And Callisto did it deliberately. Given the chance to undo her past, she instead made sure it happened, making it clear that one more Never My Fault villain actually is the way she is by choice.
- Actually, she tried to prevent it. She took her mother and her younger self into a barn to protect them. When he father (thinking that the strange woman is one of Xena's Mooks) tries to attack her from behind, she throws a dagger at him without looking. Realizing that she can't change the past, she reluctantly incinerates her own mother with a fireball. In a last-ditch effort, she tries to kill her younger self by setting the barn on fire, but the girl is saved, swearing vengeance against Xena.
- In Neverwinter Nights, the rulers of Neverwinter technically created The Dragon of The Dragon of the Big Bad by obeying the wishes of the mob over whatever sense of morality they possessed.
- Champions Online: At level 25 you make your character's arch-nemesis.
- Dragon Fable combines this trope with Failure-to-Save Murder with the story of Drakonnan.
- Some endings of Star Fox Command lead to Dash Bowman, initially hoping to join Star Fox, becoming evil in response to choices made by other characters.
- This is how Sukhov became Nuclear Winter in Freedom Force. Minuteman was trying to hit him with one of his Minute Missiles, but hit a bunch of liquid nitrogen canisters beside him, covering him with the stuff. This, combined with the latent Energy X in his body, turned him into a An Ice Person with a penchant for stealing atomic bombs.
- Inverted in Minuteman's origin story, where he is shot by an American traitor during his meeting with Sukhov. The mortally wounded man crawls to the statue of a minuteman nearby, which has been hit with Energy X and absorbs the energy.
- The Licensed Game of Spider-Man 2 combines Mysterio's comicbook and animated series villainous motivations. Quentin Beck tries to publicly discredit Spider-Man, but gets arrested after releasing several criminals into the arena, who subsequently hold the audience hostage. He blames his arrest on Spidey and devises the Mysterio identity (which he tries to pass off as an evil space alien) to get his revenge.
- In Ghost Trick, Yomiel strictly speaking got his powers from a freak accident... but he was only in the place where it happened, and unable to notice or react to the meteorite that killed him, because of a standoff with police over a crime he was later exonerated of. He isn't the only one to consider it at least partially the cops' fault; both Cabanela and Jowd consider it My Greatest Failure.
- It also features two inversions: Yomiel accidently shot the lead, giving him his ghost powers, and indirectly compelling him to go on the journey that would bring him down, and the foriegners killed Missile, cause him to come back as a relentless ghost.
- Disgaea 3. Super Hero Aurum, having defeated Mao's Overlord father, found that he had run out of strong, evil opponents. So what does he do? He takes the guise of Mao's butler and heaps loads of mental issues and scewed opinions onto his already strained psyche to make his into an Omnicidal Maniac for him to beat and have a chance of being a hero again.
- The Ultima series is notorious for this. The only games in the main series in which the problems the Avatar has to solve are not the direct or indirect result of something he did in a previous game are the first and fourth.
- In Ratchet And Clank Full Frontal Assault it is revealed that Zurgo was the Qwark Fanboy from Ratchet And Clank Going Commando who became disillusioned with Qwark after his involvement in numerous scandals and plotted to take revenge on him.
- Flay's ending to Mana Khemia gives this a bit of a twist. He wants to become a "Hero of Justice" and drags Vayne along as his sidekick (not that it was hard), but quickly finds that no one seems to need one. Vayne points out the lack of a viable threat, which gives Flay the idea to become one. This, in turn, forces Vayne to become The Hero. It's hard to say who created who.
- The Onion: New Bomb Capable of Creating 1,500 terrorists in a single blast.
- Dr. Horrible was an Technical Pacifist and an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain. So, Captain Hammer, the way to deal with him is to Bully The Dragon by dating Penny and then firing a broken Death Ray, accidentally killing her in an attempt to kill him. Nice job breaking it "hero".
- It is heavily implied (and outright stated in the prequel comics) that Captain Hammer's belief that anyone who is nerdy or uncool is a potential supervillain is why Dr. Horrible got to be the way he is. And because you read the above, you know what happens next. And then our hero (Not Captain Hammer, who would barely register as a Nominal Hero) loses his humanity and everything we loved about him.
- The villainous speedster Slipstream blames the Global Guardians for the death of his father, the superhero Dogfight (a former member of the Guardians himself) in the 9/11 attacks. Slipstream has sworn vengeance.
- In StarCraft Mengsk was responsible for making Kerrigan the Queen of Blades by leaving her to the Zerg.
- In Worm, the hero Shadow Stalker was not only one of the many non-heroic "heroes" whose treatment of Taylor i.e. Skitter drove her to villainy, but was directly responsible for causing said villain's Traumatic Superpower Awakening in the first place.
- Fragments of the Tesseract Prophecy from Phaeton seems to indicate that Trayen is destined to turn at least one of his friends against him.
- This trope occurs and is discussed in Batman The Animated Series:
- A story of a villain creating their own villain, it was Rupert Thorne's attempt to blackmail Harvey Dent that lead to Dent's transformation into Two-Face, the transformation itself lead to Two-Face's extra-legal war on Thorne's criminal organization. Candace, Thorne's right hand, is well aware of this.
Mook: "I thought we got rid of this guy."
Candace: "Are you kidding? We created him.
- In "Trial," the Arkham Asylum inmates put Batman on trial, accusing him of creating them. This trial leads to the revelation that even if Batman had not pushed them off the edge, they were all deeply disturbed people and would have entered villainy anyway from their own motivations. In fact, they created him. The villains then come to terms with this and find Batman innocent... and then, because they are such bad guys, they try to kill him anyway.
- In "Lock-Up," the eponymous villain was formerly a guard at Arkham Asylum who got his position due to endorsement and support from Wayne Enterprises. When he goes insane and begins kidnapping the people he blames for the cities problems (The police, bureaucrats and reporters that he says cause the criminals) Robin snarkily comments "Another fine villain brought to you by the Wayne Foundation." The look Batman shoots him is not happy.
- An inversion occurs in "Beware the Creeper": A villain (The Joker) creates his own hero (the Creeper). And he even does it referencing the way he claims The Batman created him, throwing someone into a chemical vat:
- Batman Beyond:
Terry: You mean... I made him that?
Bruce: You may have... in part.
...Good. (Bruce gives him a stern look
) Hey, this guy had my father murdered and all he's done since is hide from the law. Well, no more hiding for Mr. Derek Powers. Now everyone can see what he is. Even in the dark
- A lesser example is with Shriek, who was pressured into using his sonic weapons to kill Bruce Wayne by Derek Powers. While at first he "only" intended to murder Bruce, and that only to secure more funding for his research, once Batman causes him to go deaf during their battle he went insane and became a full-fledge supervillain with the sole goal of getting revenge on Batman.
- Both were already villains by any standards: Powers flat-out admitted he'd killed others besides Terry's father and Shriek was trying to commit murder for monetary gain. Fighting Batman just made them worse, unfortunately. Powers actually did the inverse and recreated Batman since his attempts to cover up his abuses brought Terry and Bruce together.
- Inverted by Batman The Brave And The Bold: Plastic Man was a henchman and thief until he was Cursed with Awesome as a result of Batman's actions. Batman personally sees to Plas' reform and rehabilitation; now, larceny-related issues aside, Plastic Man is a genuine superhero thanks to Batman's influence.
- Another inversion (a villain creates a hero) is from "Chill of the Night!" Batman confronts Joe Chill (the man who murdered his parents) during a weapons auction, where many of his Rogues Gallery are in attendance. In the fight, Batman reveals to Chill that he's Bruce Wayne. Chill realizes that by killing Thomas and Martha Wayne, he inspired Bruce to fight crime. He's the reason Batman exists. In a panic, Chill admits this to the Rogues. They aren't amused (except for Joker; he thinks it's hilarious).
- Parodied on The Fairly Odd Parents when Timmy becomes The Masked Magician. The Crimson Chin warns Timmy about creating his own supervillain, and lo and behold... The Hanker-Chief!
- Crimson Chin is speaking from experience: His archenemy, the Bronze Kneecap ("and his big BRONZE KNEECAP!!!"), turns evil when, in a parody of supervillain origins, the Chin accidentally breaks his leg during a jai alai tournament, causing him to get
second third place once again, and then doesn't apologize. And so Ron Hambone melted down all his third-place bronze trophies...
- The third crossover with Jimmy Neutron had Timmy and Jimmy purposly making a new villain after they discovered how easily their combined skills trumpted all their regular enemies. What makes this funny is that they made a villain, though he wasn't quite as evil as they had hoped, so they ditch him, which then causes the trope to be played oh so wonderfully straight. Confusing? It Makes Sense in Context.
- And in another episode when Timmy wished for a world of superheroes, he accidently created super-villains as well.
- In Transformers Animated, Cyrus "The Colossus" Rhodes hates the Autobots apparently because he lost his job to a machine, and Prometheus Black has a gripe against Sumdac because Sumdac Systems gets all the lucrative contracts instead of him. Interestingly, before Black became Meltdown, he was receiving funding from a member of Sumdac Systems' board of directors.
- Blackarachnia in the same series
might count definitely counts, as she allied herself with the Decepticons after Optimus and Sentinel abandoned her on Archa 7, a spider planet, believing she was dead.
- Sentinel also came to hate Optimus after the very same incident, sparking an intensely antagonistic relationship between the two.
- Wasp was falsely implicated as being a Decepticon spy and during his time in the stockade went nuts and wants a lot of revenge on Bumblebee.
- In Danny Phantom (probably as a parody to the Fantastic Four example above), Vlad, Maddie and Jack are working on their first Ghost Portal. Jack pours diet soda into a crucial part, and it blows up in Vlad's face, giving him Ecto-Acne, and with it, his ghost powers. Then he goes all evil and revengey.
- Technus, though in a more Lamp Shading and humorous way. Danny unintentionally frees him from the Ghost Portal (or something) when he first meets him. Assuming him to be a villain, Danny tells him he will not take over the world. Technus, confused, then enlightened actually takes his advice, thus setting his path of villainy.
- Señor Senior Senior from Kim Possible. Not a particularly serious example, inasmuch as he becomes a villain when it's observed how much he seems like one already.
- Gargoyles has an episode that toy with this, as a bystander who appeared in many prior episodes plots to get his revenge on the gargoyles and relates every previous encounter he had with them. Played for comic relief, as his revenge was merely a pie-shooting bazooka.
- For the record, the gargoyles inadvertently cost him every job he ever had since 1997. And the pie was banana creme.
- But David Xanatos did create Thailog, a clone of Goliath educated with Xanatos' own worldview. Naturally, Thailog turned on everybody.
- The Hunters were created when Demona slashed the face of a farm boy. Said farm boy then dedicated his life to hunting down every last gargoyle in existence. And when he died, his moniker was adopted by another who created generations of families whose whole life is killing Demona and gargoyles.
- Darkwing Duck accidently causes Bud Flood to fall into a vat of contaminated water, turning him into the Liquidator.
- It sounds awfully familiar...
- Flood contaminated the water himself, and Darkwing was in fact there to stop him from doing exactly that; so, really, The Liquidator created himself, Darkwing just helped.
- Ben 10's Evil Counterpart Kevin 11 was just a emo New York City street kid with the superpower of absorbing and channeling energy, until Ben teamed up with him to go on a criminal joyride, allowing Kevin to absorb the Omnitrix's energy and gain all of Ben's superpowers. Already selfish and mean-spirited, access to all that power quickly turns Kevin into a full-blown Psycho for Hire who goes on a nation-wide crime spree and attempts to kill Ben on multiple occasions. He got better.
- In The Powerpuff Girls, Mojo Jojo was originally created by Professor Utonium, and worked as his assistant. The professor and the girls indirectly turned him into a villain by making him jealous, as the girls hogged the spotlight, leaving Mojo in the shade; which eventually drove him out into the street. As an added twist, Mojo was himself responsible for Chemical X being added into the concoction that spawned the girls.
- And, according to one episode, Mojo's traveling back in time to try to eliminate Professor Utonium as a child and being thwarted by the girls is what inspired Professor Utonium to become a scientist in the first place. Bringing the whole thing full circle...
- An episode of The Simpsons featured the heroes not so much creating a villain as recreating one. While in Italy the Simpsons run into an apparently reformed Sideshow Bob living happily and honestly as the mayor of a small town. Bob isn't exactly delighted to have the Simpsons around but he treats them well enough... until Lisa gets drunk and 'outs' Bob as a former criminal. His new life destroyed he promptly swears revenge.
- In Spider Man The Animated Series, Spider-Man created Mysterio: He exposed special effects man Quentin Beck as the one responsible for a helicopter getting damaged during the shooting of a film, and Beck invented the Mysterio identity upon getting out of jail to take revenge.
Mysterio: It's payback time!
Spider-Man: Payback? For what? You did it all to yourself.
Mysterio: That's what my psychiatrist said, but you know what? His sessions never made me feel this good!
- In "The Sting of the Scorpion," Jonah has hired PI Mac Gargan to trail Peter to figure out how he gets all those great pictures of Spider-Man. After finding out, Spider-Man bursts into the Daily Bugle and purposefully plays tough to try to scare some sense into them - even webbing Gargan to the wall, humiliating him. Unfortunately, all he did was give Jonah motivation to bankroll a Neogenic experiment and a willing test subject - making Mac Gargan the Scorpion.
- And like in the comics, Venom - with the symbiote being rejected (and nearly killed), while Eddie Brock had been fired from the Daily Bugle and repeatedly humiliated.
- In The Batman Mr Freeze considers Batman responsible for making him what he is now. However as Victor Fries he was already a criminal to begin with, had not been for that cryo accident he would have been just some common crook.
- The Veggie Tales episode "Larry-Boy and the Rumor Weed" actually begins with the title superhero accidentally creating the title weed by knocking a plant off a building and onto some power lines.
- Doc Venture in The Venture Brothers has a singular talent for this. Baron Ünderbheit became his enemy after an unspecified lab experiment blew off his jaw, The Monarch—probably justifiably—blames him for some college Noodle Incident that ruined his life, and Richard Impossible lost his mind after his wife tried to leave him for Rusty.
- In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Tony Stark "creates" the villainous Energy Being Wonder Man. When Simon Williams' company goes under because of Tony Stark, Simon is prompted by his brother (Grim Reaper, an agent of H.Y.D.R.A.) to volunteer for an experiment conducted by MODOK to gain the power he needs to take his revenge. Tony was actually trying to help him by employing him, but he didn't get around to actually saying this to him.
- In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012), the Turtles accidently cause Snake's mutation by sending a van smashing into the front of the Kraang's lair as a distraction (so that they could sneak in). In the crash some Mutagen that was in the back of the van gets splattered over Snake, thus mutating him into Snakeweed.
- Justice League presents the darkest inversion of this trope in "Epilogue", where Well-Intentioned Extremist Amanda Waller reveals to Terry McGinnis that when she noticed Bruce Wayne was getting too old to be The Batman, she decided to create her own hero by cloning Batman, injecting the DNA in an unborn child (Terry), and when he was 7 years old, Waller commissioned the Phantasm to assassinate Terry's parents in his presence. Thankfully, the Phantasm decided to abort the operation to honor Bruce's legacy, instead of taint it.