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Most villains have logical motivations for (morally) reprehensible actions and intentions. Ambition, greed, zeal, fear, love, hatred, revenge, a troubledchildhood, the desire for utopiaand other warped "ideals" can all drive people to evil in ways that we understand and may be familiar with. If a villain's motivations can just be understood, they can be reasoned with — sometimes.
On the other hand, some villains cannot be reasoned with because there is nothing reasonable about their reasons for acting... well, evil. Unlike the amoral motivation we call It Amused Me, which may lead to evil in the pursuit of (attachment-free) amusement, someone whose motivation is For The Evulz knows and cares about the morality of their actions — insofar as they choose to do evil, and delight in doing so. To them, evil is not a bad meansto a good end or even a bad meansto an evil end; to them, evil is the means and the end, their motivation and their justification.
This may be because Evil Feels Good while Good Is Boringand dumb, but The Evulz is different from It Amused Me in that the Evulz-seeker need not find any pleasure in their evil acts — in some cases they themselves (also) suffer as a consequence of the crapsack world they inflict upon themselves and others. In other words, while many villains who follow this trope enjoy what they're doing, their actions also possess an underlying sense of indifference. Note that self-centered and amoral types merely seeking amusement wouldn't bother doing something bad if it harmed them too.
What keeps a villain going in the name of The Evulz (and The Evulz alone) is not strength of character, however, but rather a fundamental lack of personality. The quintessential For the Evulz villain's suicidal bravery actually stems from their non-existent sense of self (beyond 'I love doing and being evil') and, by extension, lack of a self-preservation instinct. They probably don't actively want to die or be tortured, but they really don't (and physically can't) care about it either.
A character whose personality is defined by this trope is almost invariably a Complete Monster, the Complete Monster being defined as, well, completely monstrous — needing no justifications for doing evil and having no humanising or sympathetic elements (e.g., good intent or self-doubt) whatsoever. Note however that the reverse is not true — the Monster after all is a character defined by their heinousness, not by having reasonless evil as their only possible motivation. Other villainous personality types associated with For The Evulz include the Psycho for Hire (who is very likely to be Ax-Crazy), the Straw Nihilist, The Sociopath and variants of the Chaotic Evil character alignment.
Please note that Chaotic Evil is not the same thing; it's a likely alignment for someone with this as their motivation, since irrationality and acting chaotically often go hand in hand, but Chaotic Evil encompasses anyone else who is clearly more evil than good and more chaotic than not. This means that realistically, even if someone is Chaotic Evil, they still can and likely do have more logical motivations than For The Evulz. Furthermore, it's possible to be Neutral Evil or even Lawful Evil and be in it For The Evulz.
Of course, Tropes Are Tools without fail. Poor writing of this trope can lead to Stupid Evil territory when villains do petty things or even dumb things that lead to their own downfall. Laziness in regards to this motivation can also lead to writing a Generic Doomsday Villain since some writers tend to not put any characterization behind the motive to make it believable.
Some variants of For the Evulz characters, such as the Straw Nihilist and most notably The Joker, compensate for this character flaw through using philosophy; they question and challenge the heroes' conception about justice, order, reason and the workings of the world, especially when it's a Crapsack World where those who do evil without any reason whatsoever can get away with it. These people are very likely to give a Breaking Speech that deconstructs the other characters' assumption that there should be a logical, beneficial, realistic reason behind every behaviour.
Video Game Cruelty Potential is when the player of a game is allowed or even encouraged to do things For The Evulz. If a whole race has a motive like this, it's Always Chaotic Evil (but Always Chaotic Evil can have other flavours of shared evil). Compare It Amused Me, for (comedically) callous or amoral seekers of amusement, If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten for the demand of evil acts as proof of evil, and Trolls.
Compare Made of Evil, which is a character which also does evil for the sake of it, but do so because they are actually an Anthropomorphic Personification of evil. See also Dystopia Justifies the Means, when a character strives to create a perpetual dystopic world simply for the sake of suffering.
In the Real Life, this trope is common amongst psychopaths and sociopaths. Let's leave it there - any specific examples are redundant.
The Trope Maker for Chaotic Evil.
Sister Trope to Threw My Bike on the Roof.
The Evil Counterpart to For Great Justice.
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Ladd Russo for Baccano! makes it clear that the only reason why he works as an assassin and goes on a murderous rampage on the train is because he FEELS LIKE IT.
(Dis)honorable mention goes to Eliza Reagan from Candy Candy who specifically tortures and abuses Candy a lot just because she can and she is amused at torturing her.
The motivation, understanding and epitome of villain Majin Buu once he's stripped down to his true form. Super Buu kills every human on Earth to take up some time while waiting for Gotenks to fight him. This is, in hindsight, a hint as to what Kid Buu will be like.
Broly does unspeakable acts of destruction and slaughter just because he thinks it's hilarious.
Frieza has moments of this as well. For the Evulz is actually his extreme sadism. Frieza does half of what he does for this reason. He kills the Namekians after they give him the Dragon Balls and fully intends to destroy the planet once he gets his wish. He even laughs like a lunatic as he blows up Planet Vegeta, declaring it to be magnificent.
The reason the cruel kids from Lucy's childhood beat her dog to death and make her watch it.
Why Mayu's mother didn't do anything to protect her from her rapist pedophile stepfather and call child protective services to remove him from the family, and actually actively contributed to her abuse.
Lust (in the manga version) is like this, carrying out Father's orders just because she gets to cause pain and suffering towards humans. Though she isn't as bad as...
Envy, who also displays this trait way too much for his own good, as his sadistic tendencies introduce him to a world of hurt when he's up against smarter opponents. (Subverted) Though it turns out that all along Envy was trying to make people act like selfish animals since he envied human bonds and human strength and wanted to think they weren't really better than him at all.
Barry the Chopper, though he occasionally does good things.
In the first anime, Zolf J. Kimbley plays this completely straight, as he loves to cause explosions and makes people living bombs, because it amuses him. He confirms this during his showdown with Scar.
Scar: And what is it you fight for?
Scar: 'Nothing'?! You mean to tell me you sacrificed all these people, for NOTHING?!?
The trope also applies, at some extent, to Nena Trinity in season 1 who blows up a wedding (which Louise just happens to be attending) because she's tired and simply found the fact that they were having fun a complete insult.
Millennium from Hellsing have no motive other than causing as much chaos and destruction as they can, because they REALLY like war. The Major himself lampshades this when he responds to the question of Millennium's purpose with "Our purpose is a complete absence of purpose".
In Houshin Engi, Dakki seems to delight in nothing more than sheer sadism to the point that her own allies find her actions incomprehensible, but what makes her truly dangerous is that she's apparently studied the Evil Overlord List, thwarting her opponents at every turn — and then she reveals that everything she's done was all part of a massive Gambit Roulette.
A strange deconstruction of this is one of the reasons why Johan Liebert, the namesake Monster, is so horrifying. He has no reason at all for what he does. There's no evidence it's fun for him so it is not for the evulz per se and he demonstrates more than once that he can stop whenever he wants. In other words, while the Joker wants to watch the world burn, Johan just wants to set it on fire.
Gauron, from Full Metal Panic!. He inspired Ali in Gundam 00, and, like with Ali, the fandom is divided on whether this makes him horribly, horribly flat, or utterly, utterly awesome.
Kuroudo Akabane, the transporter from Get Backers, fits this to a T. He's a transporter for the sole purpose of cutting people into bloody bits — many of whom are not as skilled as him. The goal of this endeavor is to find someone who is a challenge to fight, which he finds with Ban and Ginji. (Cue the Ho Yay.) This is his idea of "fun."
There are two quotes from Dangaioh both uttered by the resident Psycho for Hire Gil Berg, who spent his first few appearances getting kicked around by the heroes. He has one of the (teenage female) pilots trapped, and is torturing her. He says "You might think I'm doing this for information, or revenge, but the truth is I just like torturing little girls. I know it's sick, but everyone needs a hobby." Later, after handing the heroes their asses and destroying their mentor, the camera zooms in on his face and he says "Do you know anyone who has as much fun as I do?"
Those lines are dub only, though. In the original he was more insanely Axe Crazy at this point and driven mad with revenge. As another example, in his appearance in Super Robot Wars K, he backstabs every person he ends up working with - because those people killed the leadership of the Bunker Pirates, and he joined their organization (multiple times!) with the intention of killing them all along.
Wiseman/Death Phantom from Sailor Moon wants to wipe out all life in the universe with the power of his Evil Black Crystal just because he prefers silence and nothingness.
One Piece features Donquixote Doflamingo, who seems to be that universe's incarnation of the Joker. He's been seen forcing a couple of Mooks to fight each other to the death just because he's bored, has been seen involved in slavery rings, arms dealing, and general bad deeds, and has a near-PerpetualSlasher Smile. Obviously evil, and seemingly falls under this. Then in Chapter 753, we learn his motivation: he really DOES just want to watch the world burn, or more specifically, DESTROY IT.
Although Drosselmeyer in Princess Tutu does have a few things in his back story that give him a motive, there's strong indication that his biggest motivator is he just finds tragedy... fun! As he was a writer, he may be Doing It for the Art and it just so happens that he enjoys his art.
Contrary to expectations, Ryuk is an example of It Amused Me and not For The Evulz. He just wanted to see what a human would do with the absolute power of life and death and didn't care who might die as a result - he didn't enjoy the evil of it, he was just bored and amoral.
BeyondBirthday, on the other hand, did what he did because he wanted to become the greatest serial killer in history.
Mon and Toshi of The World Is Mine are Mad BomberSerial Killers (Mon is also a serial rapist) who don't really have a motive, although Toshi is a Butt Monkey turned Manipulative Bastard who "wants power"; Mon is just pure id. The only demand Toshi gives, "to live in a peaceful world where everyone is equal", is to stall the police and keep them from discovering that their hostage is already dead.
This was a common theme in Osamu Tezuka's later manga, such as in Alabaster and MW; evil for the pleasure of evil, power and domination.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Every awful thing Dio Brando does (read: everything he does) that's not motivated out of greed or revenge is for his own amusement.
Before him, Kars of Battle Tendency deeply, deeply enjoyed doing horrible things to humans. Why? As a Pillar Man, he felt that he was superior to all other life on the planet. He was willing to defend lesser animals, but even then he did it in horrible ways; his crowning moment was protecting a small dog from being hit by a car... by cutting the driver's hands off and forcing the car to crash.
Naraku had no plans to take over the world or divide and conquer. He simply wanted to break the bonds between people just because he could. Everything he did was motivated towards destroying people's lives. His pursuit of the Shikon no Tama, his manipulation of all the characters and even the setting events he instigated. Inuyasha lampshaded it when he told Naraku that a hanyou's dual heritage meant a hanyou could create bonds everywhere whereas Naraku simply used his dual heritage to destroy bonds. Word of God stated she wanted a villain who was driven by the desire to ruin lives just because he could because it's much harder for normal people to understand this kind of mentality.
Gatenmaru, the heartless moth demon in episodes 51 and 52, largely seems to drain human women of blood for fun rather than to satisfy any hunger.
The original Black Black Club members, revealed in the Chapter Black saga, basically tortured and killed demons for what looked to be sexual pleasure, doing worse things than what could be expected from demons.
Yokoya from Liar Game participates in the namesake game solely for a chance to control, dominate and generally screw other participants, preying on their fear and desperation - unlike other players he's rich and does not need prize money. Being a tyrant and forcing the worst in people to the surface is his hobby.
GinIchimaru seems to have this as his sole motivation for getting out of bed in the morning. Perhaps his most notorious demonstration of this was just prior to Rukia's execution. Seeing that she was prepared to die, he offered to save her, just to suddenly take it back and tear apart her resolve, leaving her a screaming wreck just because he could. He managed to one-up that when he sliced Hiyori in half for no apparent reason. He certainly didn't do it because she was attacking Aizen. He did it because he could. All this makes it pretty odd when it's revealed that he joined Aizen just to get a chance at revenge against him for hurting his childhood friend Matsumoto. It fails to even explain why he went about doing it in the most jerk-like way possible. All this could point out to Gin having become a bad guy while seeking to get back at another one. Or and still pretty bad is that, Gin wanted to make sure both protagonists and antagonist understood how evil he was so he could fool Aizen when he turns he wasn't. Didn't work though.
Yoshi in the Bount filler arc. She admits during her fight with Ishida that she's only going along with Kariya's plan for the fun of it.
Not that she's a bad person or anything but, this is the only reason why Kämpfer's Student Council President would embarrass Natsuru.
Orochimaru, former Big Bad of Naruto, stated the only real motive he has for his (more noticeable) atrocities is that he finds peace too boring and wants to see what will happen when he kills the Kages. Much later, after being resurrected by Sasuke, it is revealed that For the Evulz at least isn't his only motivation, but his true motives have yet to be revealed.
Itachi states the reason for killing his family was because he wanted to test his limits. Then it is revealed that he was lying and his real motive was to push Sasuke into getting the Mangekyo Sharingan so he could steal it. Then it is revealed that this was a lie as well and that all the horrible things he did was to protect Sasuke and he only killed his family because they were attempting a coup on the village. Him using Tsukuyomitwice on Sasuke was still a very questionable action that is not well regarded within the fandom.
Akatsuki member Hidan decided to kill his neighbors, abandon his village, join the Jashin religion and, later, the Akatsuki. The last one he did, because he wanted to spread Jashinism. The rest, we're led to understand, he did because he was bored.
In the very first chapter of the manga (as well as the very first episode of the anime) there is the Baron of Koka Castle. As soon as he hears about the arrival of the Black Swordsman (our protagonist Guts), he goes on to slaughter the town he's been tyrannizing. This is despite the fact that the townsfolk have nothing to do with Guts at all. In the manga, Guts is, at the moment, imprisoned and tortured. Even if this was interpreted that the Baron wants to show Guts that resistance against the Apostles is, in his own words, pure folly, the Baron still could get it over with Guts just by bothering to give an order to dispose of him. The only explanation for the murder spree is because he's decided it would be good fun. As the Baron says:
Baron: Gold... Prisoners... I don't care about such things. All I wish to see are humans within a fiery apocalypse, trying to escape. All I wish to hear is the sound of snapping bones crushed under the hooves of horses. I don't even need an excuse. None at all.
Later in the manga (but earlier story wise), we meet Wyald, another apostle, who considers this his personal philosophy. Even the brutish, bloodthirsty thugs from the military unit he leads are terrified of the guy.
You'd think Munekata from Medaka Box would be this, with this little (paraphrased) speech:
"I don't kill for no reason, I have reasons to kill. I'll kill you because I don't want to fight you. I'll kill you because you're in my way. I'll kill you because the weather's nice. I'll kill you because my phone's batteries are low. I'll kill you because I had a good dream. I'll kill you because I'm in a hurry. And I'll kill you for no reason at all. (To Medaka in particular) I'll kill you because the chairman told me not to."
Kumagawa, though, probably is a straight example. It is technically possible, that he might want Revenge against the rest of the world, but so far all of his actions were aimed towards torturing other characters, because he could (up to and including intending to return one of his most dangerous enemies to life to hurt him some more). Also, the main character of the series considers Kumagawa the main exception from her character-defining belief that no human is truly evil (rather than twisted by circumstances) and unworthy of trust.
Chances are if you have a Minus Power in Medaka Box you are in it For The Evulz, at one point the Battle Butler asks his fellow Minus' whether they would prefer to go to a Mountain or the Sea for a vacation, the fact that he was referring to a Mountain of Corpses or a Sea of Blood was a given to the rest of them.
This is why Izaya does anything in Durarara!!. It is subverted by the anime's finale in which Simon implies that this is purely an excuse and he is jealous of Shizuo's influential status - only in the anime though. During that scene, Simon says something completelydifferent.
Texhnolyze, Yoshii came down from the surface world in order to instigate a massive war between the groups. He states that his goal is to awaken the people from their sleep in order to build leaders of them, or in other words, to help them realize their full potential, even if they don't want him to. This involves him murdering innocent people and starting gang wars because he finds it "interesting", all with a pleasant smile on his face. While he may have an ideological purpose behind it all, it is so obscure that it only makes him look all the more hysterical.
School Days: Otome's friends Natsumi, Minami and Kumi are a bunch of unlikeable, backstabbing bitches and not only towards Kotonoha, but to their "friend" Otome and to Nanami. The first is the target of their bullying just because she's pretty and rich; the second is betrayed by them twice as they first videotape her having sex with Makoto and then they have sex with him; the third has her reputation absolutely smeared at school when they not only tape her having sex with her boyfriend, but they show the video to the whole school, especially to the Jerkass sempai. And they do all of this shit for no reason at all.
Creepy Twins Hansel and Gretel from Black Lagoon. Gretel does an Evil Laugh when Eda asks her why they're still after Balalaika even though they killed the guy who hired them and then she replies "We don't have a reason. We do it because we want to."
While Mukuro of Katekyo Hitman Reborn! does have a reason for doing what he does (Changing the ugly world into a pure and beautiful sea of blood, starting a world war, etc.) no other explanation other than he did it For The Evulz can be made for how during his fight with Tsuna he possessed his friends' bodies, knowing Tsuna wouldn't attack them, and spent some time having Tsuna's friends beat him up, stating (and laughing) all the while that Tsuna "makes a good sandbag".
Tsukoyomi from Mahou Sensei Negima!. While most villains in this series seem to have some kind of motive, Tsukoyomi kills people because she likes it.
King Dedede in Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, while not necessarily evil, is a mean old bully, who makes other people's lives as miserable as possible just because he thinks it's fun. Especially by buying Demon Beasts/monsters to help him in doing just that.
In Holyland it turns out that Katou beat up Shinichi just because.
Averted and invoked after Izawa beats the shit out of Yoshi, who was the main antagonist for most of the series. Most characters think everything he did was for the evulz, turns out he was simply jealous of Izawa, but didn't wanted anyone to know it, so he pretended to do it for the evulz. Even when asked directly, he answered "because he's an eyesore".
In chapter 172 King gives "fun" as the reason why he brought his drug into town.
Mewtwo in Pokemon The First Movie brings it home in the Japanese version that he really is beginning to enjoy the humans' terror by letting them go... knowing that they know there is nowhere for them to escape to.
Assuming one character's interpretation is correct, Pariston of Hunter × Hunter falls into this. Despite showing he can do so easily, he's making not attempt to win the election for Chairman of the Hunter's Association. Instead, he's merely dragging the race out as long as possible so he can take advantage of his position to use especially dangerous monsters in the next Hunter's Exam.
Higurashi: When They Cry: In Meakashi-hen, the killer begins with a motivation - avenging the boy she was madlyin love with. However, after killing said boy's little sister (who she was meant to be protecting in his stead), she breaks down screaming, which turns into her regular, sinister laughter:
"Oh, what the hell? I knew it all along. The fact that this side of me has been a demon all along!"
She then goes on to dispose of the bodies, attempt to kill her twin sister's love interest (with her imprisoned sister listening from the other room), but ends up sparing him and killing her sister to escape from the police. Then she stabs her now dead sister's love interest. Just because the demon makes her.
She thinks the demon makes her. She's just delusional, which wasn't her fault to begin with.
In Popcorn Avatar, Kurando calls Ravanna out for having this motivation, in contrast to Vritra who has a goal and strategy to work toward.
While played for laughs, Ryoko of Urusei Yatsura, enjoys tormenting her brother Mendou and the rest of the shows case whenever she's bored.
In A Certain Magical Index, Richard Brave tried to trick a little girl named Patricia Birdway into touching a Grimoire, which would have blown her arm off. Fortunately, Stiyl Magnus stopped her in time. Richard said he didn't have anything to gain from doing that, but he thought it would be funny.
Even before he became a vampire, Skinner Sweet of American Vampire was fond of committing needless atrocities in his outlaw career. Hattie Hargrove is also perfectly happy with slaughtering people, but she could be (partly) explained as insane.
Example: In one issue of The Batman Adventures, Harvey Dent has reformed and is starting a romance with his lawyer Grace Lamont. Joker hints to Harvey that Lamont is dating Harvey's friend Bruce Wayne, and is just seeing Harvey out of pity. Then he gets his assistant Harley Quinn to leak to a newspaper that Lamont is planning to marry Bruce and delivers the newspaper to Harvey. One breakdown, jailbreak, attempted murder and broken heart later, Batman asks the Joker why he caused such a horrible disaster. His response?
Even when he is out for money, he only really wants it to fund his sadistic plans. One of the first things he does in Brian Azzarello's Joker is to rob a bank. While he does get a decent of amount of cash, he considers the robbery itself to be ho-hum at best, due to a lack of carnage.
Hellblazer: One of the trope that introduced the Devil (known here as The First of the Fallen) perfectly in the celebrated Dangerous Habits storyline. Being the sole personification of evil himself, John is surprised to discover the First of the Fallen and his friend Brendan had made a deal to give the latter the biggest wine collection, seeing that Brendan was just a simple pathetic drunkard. The First off course, responds by saying he finds Brendan amusing, and wanted to see him fail as he try to cheat the Devil. This of course, triggers John to try and save his friend. The rest was history.
Victor Zsasz, a Batman foe who, even more than the Joker, just likes to kill people. That's it. Unlike the Joker he does not have schemes, plans or esoteric motivations, he just likes to kill. When Black Mask, the criminal mastermind who managed to take control of all crime in Gotham City after the War Games crossover, tells him he has potential for greater evil as a part of Mask's criminal empire, he asks Zsasz what he would like to do. Zsasz's reply is simple: "I like to hurt people." The Joker sometimes claims not to have schemes, plans or esoteric motivations either. In The Dark Knight he does a whole villainous monologue about how he doesn't actually have a plan.
Some versions of The Riddler. Sometimes he steals purely for the financial gain and only leaves riddles because of a psychological compulsion that he cannot defeat. However, in other stories he just wants to see if he can leave a clue and still get away with his crimes.
Daredevil's Bullseye. It's the reason why The Kingpin and other crime lords hire him. The cops have a hard time figuring out when he kills because he was hired to and when he kills because he felt like it. He even claimed he probably has more money than Norman Osborn yet doesn't feel the need to spend it and continues killing "because it's fun". Sometimes, he'll even kill his client's own mooks just to entertain himself when he's bored, as lampshaded in the film version when the Kingpin finds Bullseye sitting in his office with the still warm corpse of his security guard.
Kingpin (motioning at the body): Was that really necessary?
Bullseye: Necessary? No, it was fun.
Whenever Sabretooth isn't carrying out a job, he's either tormenting Wolverine or slaughtering random innocents. Sometimes he does those things anyways even when he is on a job.
One comic had Wolverine running into a group who videotapes themselves hunting and murdering innocent mutants; when confronted, they readily admit that they're just doing it for kicks and that they don't have a specific agenda in targeting mutants; as Logan put it, "It could have been anyone — blacks, or gays, or Jews".
This was the only visible motivation of Antonio Prohías' Sinister Man and Sinister Woman.
When The Hobgoblin was asked why he framed Flash Thompson for his crimes, he answered "Why not?" That being said, this in fact turns out to be a subversion, since there was a reason the Hobgoblin decided to frame him. At the time of Tom DeFalco's story where The Hobgoblin frames Flash, Ned Leeds (whom DeFalco was using at his Hobgoblin Red Herring) had discovered Flash had been sleeping with his wife. This would be a "clue" to the readers, as Leeds would be understandably pissed. Years later, Roger Stern wrote a retcon in which the true Hobgoblin was actually Roderick Kingsley (his original choice when he created the Hobgoblin). Kingsley also had a reason to single out Flash, however; Flash had been on TV calling the Hobgoblin a "creep and a coward", among other things.
The Sandman: Doctor Destiny's Diner of Death. A supervillain armed with the King of Dreams's ruby wandered into a diner full of perfectly ordinary people, and spent an issue just breaking them. When he briefly freed his victims from his control, one of them demanded to know why he was tormenting them this way. His answer? "Because I can."
Supreme Power villain Redstone's reasons for killing: "Because I can, because I'm good at it, and because I like it." Well, okay, the real reason he does it is because he's crazy and he thinks nobody can stop him, but as you can imagine he doesn't recognize this.
Willy Pete. What else is there to say about a cannibal who doesn't even need to eat at all, but just happens to like the taste? (Plenty, actually, but the squick doesn't need to be mentioned here.)
Sid Fernwilter of Piranha Club (formerly known as Ernie), who is vicious just because he can. Purely on principle, he refuses to spend money on anything useful or necessary. He would rather sit in the darkness and freeze than to pay the electricity bill - And he has.
Mr. Mxyzptlk in Whatever Happened to The Man of Tomorrow? He explained that since immortality is boring, he tries out different things to break the monotony. He spent 2,000 years not moving at all, another 2,000 years being purely good, and then the last 2,000 years being a mischievous prankster. Now he's going to be evil. Things gets ugly, fast.
The "Reaver-Cleaver" killer from Preacher confesses to one of the protagonists that he only does what he does because it's fun, being amused at having gotten away clean with killing a man in a drunken hit-and-run and just kept on killing to see how far he could push his luck.
"I didn't get involved in this because I'm some cackling super-villain who gets off on hurting people or anything."
Cletus: "Hell, I did."
Kaizen Gamorra from the very first Warren Ellis arc. When asked why he orders his armies to invade major cities, he answers that Gamorra -nation is built on terrorism, because Terror is its own reward. In addition, just before his Karmic Death thanks to Midnighter, he whines: I just wanted to have some fun.
Prometheus: Money isn't what motivates me. If I want something, I just take it. I'm in this for the buzz.
In the third Batgirl series, the final arc dealt with the Reapers, a semi-cult of college students with advanced combat armor who had been running around Gotham for a few weeks. In their final battle, after Batgirl had foiled their individual schemes for money and power, Batgirl asked them why they were doing any of this in the first place. The response was the simple "because we can."
Gary "The Smiler" Callahan, the President Evil of Transmetropolitan. He flatly tells protagonist Spider Jerusalem that he ran for President simply because he likes to hurt people and wants to do it on as grand a scale as possible. By the time he's done, Spider is almost nostalgic for Callahan's predecessor, a thinly-veiled Richard NixonExpy dubbed "The Beast."
The Red Skull. As a teenager, he tried to woo a Jewish girl and murdered her after she rejected his creepy advances. He realized that he enjoyed it more than anything else. Everything he's done since are attempts to relive that moment of dark bliss. Conquering the world with the Cosmic Cube, abusing his lovers and his daughter, eating an apple in front of a starving child...as long as he's hurting or killing someone, he's happy.
Dave Stidider Pokemon Traner has Team Bad, who want to kill Dave and take his Pokemon for NO REASON. They wanted this since the first chapter, when they haven't even met Dave yet.
Ultimate Spider-Woman: Change With the Light features Jack O' Lantern, who starts out with bank robberies before graduating to hostage-takings, gassings, Mind Rape, and finally orchestrating a city-wide gang war. He implies that the reason he commits these increasingly ghastly crimes is, quite simply, because he knows it's wrong. Jack O' Lantern also brags about being so superior to people who in his mind hide their impulses behind their civilized facades, and develops an almost insane hatred for Spider-Woman in part for defending those people and in part for interfering with his fun.
Blizzard is a less malevolent example, in that he and his entire family are a group of chronic jailbirds who are always in and out of prison for offenses ranging from drug dealing to armed robbery to car theft. They actually enjoy prison, which for them is an extended family reunion. On the other hand, Even Evil Has Standards and Blizzard and draws the line at rape or murder. When an army of Brainwashed and Crazy supervillains are invading New York, Blizzard actually helps Spider-Woman protect the people of the city, before sticking around for the police to take him back to Ryker's Island.
Anything relating to yukkuri abuse tends to revolve monsters of humans who delight themselves in causing harm and death towards defenseless head-like creatures just because they can. Then there's the factory, which all yukkuri are naturally afraid of. They say it won't let them "take it easy", but it's way more sinister than that. There are even yukkuri shops people can go to select their "victim" on some works.
The spiritual descendent to yukkuris, fluffy ponies, are just as subject to this. "Fluffy abuse", in which humans torture and slaughter fluffy ponies, was at one point so rampant that not only did it drive the original creator of fluffy ponies out of the fandom, Derpibooru banned fluffy pony art and stories altogether. (The moderators eventually found a compromise.) Unlike yukkuri writers, some fluffy-abuse fans are viciously defensive of the practice.
Equestrylvania: This is pretty much the only reason any of the villains do anything. It's clear they enjoy their work. During the epilogue to the first book, Aeon tells Applejack about why Dracula's minions would do the things they do, leading to an explanation of this trope.
In Sonic Evil Reborn Zero, the Serdist aristocrat, Malfiore de Torquemada sets a dying apprentice on a ridiculously simple mission for her, then complicates it to nigh-unbelievable levels, sabotaging her own mission for this reason. Malfiore is also a Troll so it's in character.
Play The Game has Bardot, a zoner who, due to his white chalk, red chalk combination, does not really care about what he does, and does it for no other reason other than sadistic pleasure.
In Mega Man Recut, Proto Man is only working for Wily because he wants to do whatever he wants.
Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness: Jovian and Jacqueline Kikion revel in committing mass murder, tormenting people, and blowing things up simply "because it's fun," in their words. Among other things, they hold Tsukune's cousin Kyouko hostage and rape her, and then taunt Tsukune about it over the phone, and blow up Tsukune's house just to torment him; they would have killed his mom in doing so if Gin hadn't gotten her out in time.
Didier, the Big Bad of the Blood+ fic Nobility. Everything he does is for the sole purpose of making his brother Anjou suffer, even starting a war to this end. It's been noted that he's had several chances to kill Anjou, but passed them over in favor of Mind Rape.
In the The Legend of Zelda fic Wisdom and Courage, Veran displays this trait to a T. As pointed out by Zelda during the final battle, for all of Veran's claims that she seeks to avenge her fallen ancestors, it's obvious that all she's really doing is stealing or trying to steal any sources of raw power she can find (the Triforce, Majora's Mask, etc.) just so she can use said power to cause all manner of destruction and death for her own amusement.
Films — Animated
All the Mad Scientists in Igor are of the traditional sort, loving evil for its own sake. But the prize goes to the king, who created a weather-controlling device that cast the entire country under permanent storm clouds, destroying the citizens' livelihood, and then suggested they all turn to mad science to make the country successful again. Okay, and... why did he do this, again?
Sid from Toy Story spends most of his free time thinking up ways of torturing toys for a quick laugh, including, but not limited to, tearing them apart and switching their pieces together. Sid only seems this way to the audience and the toys—who are aware that he is doing this to sentient beings—but as far as he and any human in the movie is concerned, he just has a creepy hobby. He does wreck his sister's toys and delights in her horror at the monstrosities he creates, but bullying your sibling isn't exactly "evil."
The Coachman from Pinocchio, who actually kidnaps naughty young boys, brings them all to Pleasure Island, turns them all into donkeys, and locks them all up in crates headed either for the salt mines or the circus just for the fun of it! And to make matters worse, he's actually a Karma Houdini!note Though not in the Licensed Game
Films — Live-Action
The film version of Battle Royale features a character Kazuo Kiriyama who voluntarily entered the Program, with kids he had never met, just for the fun of it. The others are all unwilling conscripts.
Sky High: Penny, Speed, and Lash, apparently. Unlike Gwen and Stitches they're never given a Freudian Excuse or likable quirk, and they seem to be fairly popular in school, which would write off being kindred spirits to Gwen as motivation.
The Nolanverse version of The Joker is the page image for a reason. He does not care about lost lives or pain, including his own. He lives without rules and enjoys showing others how stupid it is to live with theirs. He finds destroying social and moral standards as amusing as blowing up hospitals. Every time he puts on the Straw Nihilist act, it's to someone whom he is trying to convince to forsake their moral code.
The Burmese Bandit in Alfred's story (who is the true subject of the page quote) stole gems that were intended to be given by the SAS to various tribes as bribes, and then scattered them, strongly implying that he only stole them because he could and that such antics greatly amused him.
Angela Baker in the Sleepaway Camp sequels. She kills the people who commit the standard Slasher Movie 'sins' first, but after that she goes on to kill the regular people, all the while smiling, singing, and even skipping on occasion.
Pirates of the Caribbean has Davy Jones, who by the time of the films, has no other aim than simply causing pain and suffering.
Ramon Rojo from A Fistful of Dollars. He just enjoys killing and robbing. In For a Few Dollars More, there is no reason when El Indio tortures Manco and Colonel Mortimer (just for fun) or for raping Mortimer's sister.
The main character's former partner in End of Days suggests they cast their lot with Satan under the reasoning that their long careers as mercenaries meant they had no chance of "going upstairs" anyway, so they might as well have fun while alive. The partner having been set on fire at the time of the deal and being offered a way out of getting burned to a crisp from the Devil was also fairly persuasive.
Castor Troy from Face/Off loves to do evil things just to torment Sean Archer. Best emphasized in his first standoff with Archer when he says, "You're not having any fun, are you, Sean? Why don't you come with us? Try terrorism for hire, we'll blow some shit up. It's more fun!"
Kathryn: You were very much in love with her. And you're still in love with her. But It Amused Me to make you ashamed of it. You gave up on the first person you ever loved because I threatened your reputation. Don't you get it? You're just a toy, Sebastian. A little toy I like to play with. And now you've completely blown it with her. I think it's the saddest thing I've ever heard.
At least, she says that's the reason to Sebastian. It's heavily suggested that jealousy in regards to her twisted relationship with Sebastian was the actual driving force at work. In that light, "For the Evulz" is a less creepy reason.
The sociopathic door gunner from Full Metal Jacket. While machine-gunning Vietnamese peasants from his helicopter:
Joker: How can you shoot women and children?
Gunner: Easy. You just don't lead 'em so much! (cackles) Ain't war hell?
Deconstructed by the two killers in Funny Games. They give several conflicting backstories and motives, but ultimately they have none. They exist solely to be villains in the film.
Reservoir Dogs: Mr. Blonde, who tortures a cop not to get information, but because "it's amusing" to torture a cop.
Schindlers List: Amon Goeth, a Untersturmführer Nazi overseeing construction of a concentration camp. The man sniped his prisoners during his free time, severely beat and enslaved a woman who, in a different reality, he might have called a wife, blew the brains out of an argumentative engineer because 'we're not going to have arguments with these people,' shot a 14 year-old boy for failing to completely clean his bathtub, and when asked, during an 'Aktion' (pre-deportation sorting of prisoners) 'what was going on,' thought the question was about his semi-annual medical physical. "He does this," Schindler explains to Helen Hirsch, "because [his other victims] mean nothing to him." (The actor who portrayed him — Ralph Fiennes, who also plays Voldemort—nails his portrayal so effectively that one Holocaust survivor who met him on set began to shake uncontrollably because he felt so much like the real Goeth.
The worst part is that the real Goeth was even worse. That's right, the film toned down his most horrific acts, such as having a personal torture chamber underneath his house. And he's just one Nazi of a few cut from the same cloth. The whole 'system' was full of opportunistic monsters looking for the best place possible to enact this trope, such as Oskar Dirlewanger.
Luther: No reason. I just like doing things like that.
The Wizard of Oz: The Wicked Witch of the West. Hey, bitch stole her shoes - that shit don't fly in the merry old land of Oz.
Michael Myers from the Halloween films is never given a concrete motivation (they're always retconned) and Dr. Loomis, his psychiatrist, is convinced that Myers is pure evil, plain and simple. Moreover, he isn't even shown to enjoy his actions. Apparently, he murders people for no reason, which makes him all the more frightening.
Doctor Loomis: I met him fifteen years ago. I was told there was nothing left. No reason, no conscience, no understanding; even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, good or evil, right or wrong. I met this six year old child with his blank, pale, emotionless face... the blackest eyes, the Devil's eyes. I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realized what was living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply evil.
Also the only explanation for why he takes the time to elaborately stage the bodies for others to find.
Agent Smith of The Matrix is an aversion. He may do a huge amount of evil things, but he does them for a simple reason:
Agent Smith: More.
In the first film Agent Smith's motivation is simply entirely self-serving: "I hate this place. This zoo. This prison. This reality, whatever you want to call it, I can't stand it any longer. It's the smell, if there is such a thing. I feel saturated by it. I can taste your stink and every time I do, I fear that I've somehow been infected by it." In the sequels his motives start sliding to that direction. It's clear at the very end of the trilogy that for all the philosophical nihilistic extracurricular motives he claims to be acting on, Smith doesn't really understand WHY he is doing what he does, but he DOES seem to enjoy himself in the process.
Bane: (Being assimilated into Smith.) "Oh, God..."
Gabriel: I kill firstborns while their mamas watch. I turn cities into salt. I even, when I feel like it, rip the souls from little girls, and from now till kingdom come, the only thing you can count on in your existence is never understanding why.
Chad in In the Company of Men. When asked why he manipulated a deaf woman into a love triangle, he says "Because I could."
Alex from A Clockwork Orange has no other motive for his rape and ultraviolence than that he enjoys it. This actually brings him into conflict with the rest of his gang when they start to insist that their crimes yield a more substantial payout.
A deleted scene in Dogma revealed that the triplets from Hell died, when they were being carted to Juvenile Hall for bashing in a baby's head to see what it would look like.
Josie and the Pussycats, of all places. As soon as the band and Wyatt meet he is nothing but rude and dismissive of Valerie, to the point of leaving her by the side of the road when their car starts (He thought she was "already in") and delivering only two party invitations instead of three (Well, she could still come anyway). Towards the end of the film she learns too much, so then he begins to deliberately try to push her out of the picture for the sake of the evil plan, but for the first hour there is absolutely no goal or plan, he seems to be doing it just to watch her squirm. In the commentary, it is stated that Wyatt is less interested in Valerie because of her being the bassist. Though I have thought this lack of interest had led him dismissing her inattentively as simply being "forgetful" toward her, rather than it deliberately done out of spite.
The villain in The Vanishing is an emotional blank slate. The greatest high of his life was when he saved his daughter from drowning. Now he wants to see if he can get a similar high from doing something really evil.
In The Crow, Top Dollar gives a speech about how profiting from Devil's Night has grown boring to him and the criminals of the city should sow mayhem purely for the evil of it.
In Space Buddies, Dr. Finkle mentions that if the mission fails, he will take Pi's place at Vision Enterprises. He is specifically told that Vision Enterprises would be crippled by the bad PR that the mission failure would cause now the media knows there are pet dogs on board the shuttle. Dr. Finkle continues trying to screw everyone over regardless.
The Search for Santa Paws has Ms. Stout, the evil head of the orphanage who hates Christmas. She isn't even given a Freudian Excuse, she just hates Christmas for no reason. And she destroys any toys and decorations she finds in the orphans' possession. The only thing she does with an actual motivation is attempt to run off with her boyfriend with embezzled money and leave the orphans by themselves.
Paranormal Activity: Katie's demon. Honestly, it slams the door shut then bangs on the other side of it just to fuck with them. Indeed, Katie even acknowledges this trope when she asks "Do you think it would have left footprints if it didn't want to? Do you think it would do ANYTHING if it didn't want to?" In the 2007 ending, the demon fucks with them one last time. Just before the police discover Katie, a light down the hall is turned on and then turned off. The police end up shooting Katie because they were startled by the sound of someone slamming a door behind them.
This is discussed in the Scream series, which was lampshading various horror film tropes. Randy points out about halfway through the first film that in most horror movies "Motives are incidental." Most Ghostfaces claim to have a Freudian Excuse, although Sidney's Kirk Summation in the third film implies that they're all just that excuses to kill people For the Evulz. The exception to this is Jill, who openly admits that she's a monster and cites that "sick is the new sane".
Several of the villains in Eight MM. The rich old man who commissioned the snuff film? According to his lawyer, "He did it because he could." Machine, the man who actually committed the murder, sums it up horrifically:
"Ghidorah", of the series of films, for his debut movie Ghidorah The Three Headed Monster. He's just here to destroy Earth for seeming kicks, like he apparently has for countless planets, including Venus. We're never given a reason why he's been doing this, nor do we know where he's originally come from.
Terry Silver in The Karate Kid Part III is an unintentional example. He's supposed to be helping avenge his war buddy John Kreese and restore the dignity of the Cobra Kai, but in practice he's far too into it given that it's not his disgrace, seems to be aware that his buddy Kreese is the one who stepped over the line, and is neglecting his multi-million dollar business to get vengeance on a teenager and his elderly mentor. Also, the vengeance is all his idea and is planned and executed by him with Kreese only getting to jump out from behind a cardboard cut-out to scare Daniel in one scene.
The Martians from Mars Attacks! are the Played for Laughs version of this trope. They even make us think they can be negotiated with just to laugh at us when we try right before they kill us anyway, because they enjoy the killing so much.
Freddy Krueger from the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise can be viewed as an example born of deconstruction of Freudian Excuse. His mother was viciously raped by mental patients. He was bullied by his classmates. Growing up he killed animals and cut himself. He got beaten by his foster father, whom he later killed. Last of all, he was burnt alive after being found out as a child killer. One can see how his past has molded him into a twisted person he is today, undoubtedly with deep mental issues. Except, it's not like he minds himself being as monstrous as he is. He is quite content in being that way. Even before he turns into a King Of Nightmares, he takes sadistic glee in murdering children, as shown in the scene in Freddy vs. Jason where he's admiring a scrapbook of all the newspaper clippings of missing children. It is thus conclusive that he is the kind of person, who wouldn't even need an excuse. It is a fact that he takes all too much joy in hurting people.
He gets worse as the series goes on. At first he targets those children whose parents were responsible for his death, implying he was out for revenge. But by the fourth movie it becomes clear that the only reason he limited himself to those targets is he had no choice; for whatever reason, he can't get into the dreams of others, but he finds away around it and just keeps killing. By the sixth movie he's killed every kid in Springwood and still wants more, setting up a Batman Gambit to allow him to escape the town.
Freddy Krueger: Now no one sleeps!
A relatively mild example occurs in the comedy Airplane! when airport-employee Johnny thinks it's funny to briefly unplug the runway lights just as the plane is making its emergency landing. In the sequel, Simon Kurtz covers up flaws in the shuttle and leaves everyone on it to die for no apparent reason.
The gang member at the beginning of Assault on Precinct 13 (1976), who shoots and kills a little girl while they're robbing an ice cream truck just because she's there.
Boddicker's gang in RoboCop (1987). While they're bank robbers and drug manufacturers who really are out to turn a profit, they could have easily just shot Murphy once to disable him and leave him for dead. Instead, they laugh their asses off while pumping him full of bullets. They only stop when out of ammo (which at least one seems visibly disappointed about), after which their leader outright declares, "Okay, fun's over." Later in the film, they gleefully blow up a few shops along a city street just to see what an anti-cannon laser can do, referring to it as a "new toy."
Byzantium: The Captain's motivations for his kidnap, imprisonment and repeated rapes of Clara. Throughout film it's made clear he simply enjoys turning innocent girls into sex slaves for his own sick amusement. Clara was just unlucky enough to be his "favourite girl" he'd sold to the brothel.
The Nature Of The Beast: Lance Henriksen and Eric Roberts star as a meek serial killer and a brash vagabond. Just before he's about to be murdered, the vagabond finally asks the killer why he chops his victims into little pieces. The killer sneeringly replies, "For the fuck of it."
In Return to Cabin by the Lake, the Film Within A Film's script writer Allison, as part of her attempt to get inside the killer's mind, theorizes that there must have been something that drove Stanley to start murdering teenage girls, such as a bad childhood or his previous writing work never having been recognized. Stanley has to explain that there's no reason that he's as evil as he is; he just enjoys killing people.
The opening scroll of Anaconda implies that the Anaconda itself is sadistic, as it regurgitates its prey just for the pleasure of hunting and killing something again. It actually does this in the climax with one unlucky guy, and the victim is still alive after having been devoured.
Tom Ripley in Ripley's Game on why he got Jonathan involved in his scheme:
Tom Ripley: Partly because you insulted me, partly because you could, but mostly because that's the way the game is played.
In The Night Angel Trilogy, one of the most dangerous Wetboys out there is Hu Gibbet. While he can be considered a Psycho for Hire, the main reason he does his work is because he enjoys it: working for the criminal organization that basically runs the city from the shadows lets him kill often, without having to worry about getting pursued by law enforcement. The thing is, he really, really, REALLY enjoys killing people. Especially when it comes to large groups of people. Shortly before he is killed, he is genuinely concerned that he has been given a contract larger than any he has ever been given before. He's worried that he might enjoy himself so much that he might get sloppy and miss a few of the targets, which is the ultimate no-no for a wetboy.
BKR of Rod Albright Alien Adventures certainly counts. His plan to create a Merged Reality between our world and Dimension X, and then his plan to disrupt space-time so time itself will stop, would have effected him just as it did everyone else. His Arch-Enemy Grakker explicitly says that he knows' that he would also be affected, but as long as he can hurt other people, he just doesn't care.
There needs to be a special place here for Quinn Dexter, the central villain of Peter F. Hamilton's The Night's Dawn Trilogy. A cunning, vengeful Satanist that was cast out of his coven and exiled on a fresh colony many light-years from Earth for being too devout. He gets possessed by a soul returning from the dead, only for him to eventually scare the possessing soul sh*tless and re-assert control of his body while maintaining the Reality Warper abilities that possession brings. From there, it's a jolly journey back to Earth to exact terrible vengeance on his former boss, gathering up followers and bringing slow, agonizing destruction to entire planets as preparation for ending the Universe. Because, hey... that's what Satan would want.
Carcer from the Discworld novel Night Watch. "The sort that joins up for the looting, and that you end up hanging as an example to the men". Possessed of a pair of shoulder demons, in competition with each other.
Jack Mort, a minor villain from The Dark Tower series likes to hurt people and has ruined the lives of two major characters just for his own sadistic joy.
Randall Flagg in The Stand and his other roles in the Stephen King universe. He's not really seeking out anything concrete with his actions: he just likes spreading chaos and misery. He'll enjoy some of the fruits of being an all-powerful sorcerer, but he mainly just likes mucking things up.
The title character of Mr. Mercedes enjoys causing death and destruction on a large scale for his own personal amusement.
While Nyarlathotep from HP Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos often works to fulfill the wishes of the Outer Gods or release the Great Old Ones, a lot of the times he seems to be messing with mankind for no other reason than his own amusement. In Nyarlathotep, he seems to be destroying the world without any actual motive. In The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, his goal is apparently to snatch off the earthly gods from their scented revels in the glorious sunset city purely to screw with them. Also, in spite of apparently sending Carter off to achieve this goal, he betrays Carter for no apparent reason other than, again, to be a real dick. The ways of the Outer Gods are essentially beyond human comprehension. In The Dreams in the Witch-House, he appears as a black-skinned expy of Satan. He's even worse in other authors' appropriations of the character.
While Nyarlathotep may have had a reason to return the Gods of Earth to Kadath (that's where they're supposed to live), him sending Carter to accomplish the task for him and subsequently betraying him serves no point other than being a dick. Especially since in the end it's revealed he's powerful enough to return the Gods to Kadath with no effort at all.
In Hell's Children by Andrew Boland a race of aliens travel light years to wipe out all life on earth. Their motivation for this, they were bored.
In Borges's Deutsches Requiem, the Nazi murderer zur Linde tortures a Jewish poet until he kills himself purely For the Evulz; indeed, it seems that zur Linde thinks that by destroying David Jerusalem, he can destroy whatever goodness remains within himself, and that's what he deliberately sets out to do. At the end, zur Linde is actually happy that Germany is being defeated and destroyed, because he believes it will lead to a world of pure violence, warfare, and cycles of domination, and that's worth the death of both himself and his nation.
In the Abarat series, Christopher Carrion enjoys walks on his island full of gallows, releasing unnamed horrors from the deeps of the ocean, and torturing people by allowing his own nightmares to feast on their fear.
Fantômas: the valuables he steals is just an added bonus, what he really enjoys is to spread fear.
The guiding philosophy of Acheron Hades from the Thursday Next series, and probably the rest of his family as well. He even says as much in one of the quotes from his book "Degeneracy for Pleasure and Profit"; despite the title he feels that crime-for-money is rather crass and much prefers evil for evils sake.
Inverted in The Acts of Caine. The bad guys always act out of self-interest, ideology, or pure hedonistic lust. The protagonist is the one who, for shits and giggles, escalates conflicts almost compulsively. So far this includes "escalating" a verbal argument into a lethal fight, a skirmish with an ogrillo tribe into ethnic cleansing, and a minor political conflict into a civil war. (And the bad guys are still worse.)
Edgler Vess from Dean Koontz' Intensity is a self-proclaimed homicidal adventurer, who loves to kill just for the sheer intensity of it. Vassago from another Koontz novel Hideaway kills people so he could be reincarnated as one of the demon princes in Hell(it's not clarified what he would gain from it). As a matter of fact, simply every villain in every Dean Koontz book ever written.
In Perelandra, Satan himself is this. While he has real (and deeply malicious) ambitions, when he can't move directly toward them he's just as happy torturing small animals or tearing up the turf, so long as he can hurt something.
Averted in The Screwtape Letters. The preface to later editions notes avoidance of "the absurd fancy that devils are engaged in the disinterested pursuit of something called Evil (the capital is essential). Mine have no use for any such turnip ghost. Bad angels, like bad men, are entirely practical. They have two motives. The first is fear of punishment.... Their second motive is a kind of hunger."
Averted again inside the letters themselves, which deal with the attempts by a devil to tempt a man to damnation from within C.S. Lewis' own eschatology. Screwtape, a senior devil, advises his junior Wormwood that big, bad, horrible evil is not the best option. He wants the petty, small, low-grade denial of Grace and Salvation - just enough to damn a man, but not enough to make him willful and defiant enough to repent.
"It does not matter how small the sins are provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing. Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts."
In Mere Christianity, Lewis offers a theological deconstruction of the trope: It is possible to do good simply for the sake of doing what is right, but nobody does evil simply for the sake of doing what is wrong; evil deeds are merely the pursuit of some good in the wrong way.
In James Beauseigneur's Christ Clone Trilogy when Decker, the viewpoint character, asks The Antichrist ( Christopher Goodman) why he does what he does when he knows he's going to lose, the reply is "Because it feels so good to twist the nose of God!" The same Antichrist later muses how an eternity in Hell will be tolerable in the knowledge that he tricked millions of people to join him there so he can listen to their screams forever, including his own parents.
A Song of Ice and Fire — The series has some minor villains, who seem to be along just for their own sick pleasures. The worst ones would be the huge rapist knight Ser Gregor Clegane (among countless other atrocities sickening in nature), the inhumanly cruel outcasts in the Brave Companions, aka the Bloody Mummers, sadistic Ramsey Snow and the heartless boy-king Joffrey Baratheon, who practically revels in his power and prefers to make people fear him. Joffrey also (has Ned Stark executed and sends a hitman after Bran Stark for no reason).
Alex from A Clockwork Orange. This guy likes to kill, beat up and rape people for his own enjoyment and one could say he certainly deserves the treatment he gets after being brainwashed.
"I know what is right and approve, but I do what is wrong."
Organizations with essentially the same motives as 1984's The Party are a recurring element in the satirical horror novels of Bentley Little. e.g. The Store is about a Walmart-esque retail chain that goes far out of its way to be as oppressive and cause as much unnecessary suffering as it can; The Association is about a homeowner's association that does the same; The Policy is about an insurance company that does the same.
Warrior Cats: Okay, so we know that Sol wants to use the Three's powers to gain control over all cats living around the lake and eliminate belief in StarClan, but his manipulation of the Twolegplace cats doesn't have anything to with his plans, and was seemingly done for the hell of it. Plus, he doesn't seem that committed to his goal, doesn't approach it with much urgency, and seems to get way too much enjoyment from messing with the main characters' minds.
Dr. Mabuse, who was inspired by Fantômas (see above). In addition to spreading fear, however, Mabuse wants to destroy the world... and laugh maniacally over the rubble.
Bellatrix Lestrange always seems to have way too much fun killing people, breaking their stuff and torturing innocent people into insanity. Much more obvious in her movie portrayal, where she spends quite a bit of her screen time laughing maniacally. Even more obvious near the end of Half Blood Prince, where while all the other Death Eaters are just calmly leaving the castle after Dumbledore's been killed, she decides to cause as much destruction as possible, clearly enjoying herself.
The werewolf Greyback. He takes to infecting small children because he thinks they will be more likely to join his cause if they are infected young. He claims motives such as overthrowing the wizards, but most of his actions are purely for the fun of destroying people. According to the Harry Potter Lexicon, all Dark creatures (including werewolves) harm people for the sake of harming people, not for survival like normal animals. Greyback is unique because he hurts people in his human form.
At the end of the The Saga of Darren Shan, it is revealed that Desmond Tiny's plan - fortunately foiled by Darren - involved magically fathering both Darren and Steve and giving the Vampaneze the fire coffin (so that they could find the Vampeneze Lord) and the Vampires a special stone that would help them in their hour of need (made from the brain of a dragon). He then manipulated events to ensure that Steve and Darren both went to see the Cirque du Freak, paving the way for Darren to eventually become a Vampire Prince and Steve to become the Vampaneze Lord. He then pits the two against one another, insisting that the vampires only have three chances to kill Steve before he overthrows the Vampires and later tells them that whichever boy won - Darren or Steve - would become the Lord of Shadows and kill all of their friends. When the vampires used the stone gift to create more vampires, it would create a new breed of violent ones. The reason he did all of this? He looked into the future and saw that things were going to be too peaceful for his liking, so he set the stage for a lot of chaos to amuse him.
The protagonists of the Marquis de Sade's The 120 Days of Sodom, as well as many of the men in the prostitutes' stories, like to rape, torture, murder, financially ruin, and otherwise harm innocent people, for pleasure.
Speculated as being one of the motives of the mutineers in the first Empire from the Ashes book for meddling with human civilization.
The protagonist in Edgar Allan Poe's The Black Cat starts hurting people and animals around him For The Evulz or, as he himself puts it: in the "spirit of PERVERSENESS". Poe's perverseness is an odd supposed psychological motive (but perhaps related to negative suggestion) that goes a step further than For The Evulz, inspiring not just morally wrong acts harmful to others, but any kind of irrational and wrong acts even just harmful to oneself; inspires one to do anything they shouldn't just because they know they shouldn't. The protagonist hangs his pet cat, because he knows that it's just about the worst thing he could possibly do.
One morning, in cool blood, I slipped a noose about its neck and hung it to the limb of a tree; hung it with the tears streaming from my eyes, and with the bitterest remorse at my heart; hung it because I knew that it had loved me, and because I felt it had given me no reason of offense; hung it because I knew that in so doing I was committing a sin — a deadly sin that would so jeopardize my immortal soul as to place it, if such a thing were possible, even beyond the reach of the infinite mercy of the Most Merciful and Most Terrible God.
Melisande Shahrizai, of the Kushiels Legacy series. When asked why she started a civil war and tried to conquer her own country she responds with, "Because I could."
An awful lot of misbehavior in the Nightside series, from heinous torture of innocents to the merely rude, is attributed to the "just because he/she/it/they could" motive.
The Order of the Blackened Denarius from The Dresden Files are explicitly stated as being out to inflict as much chaos, death, and destruction as possible, and are responsible for inciting numerous plagues, wars, and other disasters. Shagnasty, if anything, was even worse than the Denarians, deliberately striking out at hapless bystanders and opponents far too weak to hurt it, simply to show off how much pain it could inflict.
Both of these examples, however, might have ulterior motives beyond the Evulz. It's noted that the Denarians gain power through the pain and suffering of others, and Skinwalkers like Shagnasty draw strength from the fear others feel for them - doing horrible, nasty things increases this fear, and thus the Skinwalker's power.
In Death: A number of times in the series, the murderer or criminal says that s/he is doing what s/he is doing because s/he can. If that's not another way of expressing this trope, then what is?
Venandekatra the Vile in the Belisarius Series seems so evil that one wonders if the writer was doing a whimsical exercise in how to create the most evil villain.
The vampire Lestat from the novel by the same name and others by Anne Rice. When asked why he is so cruel, Lestat simply states that he likes it and enjoys it.
The sadistic serial killer in Spider Robinson's novel Very Bad Deaths exemplifies this: He inflicts horrible cruelties upon his victims because he enjoys it. He derives the same sense of satisfaction from cruelty than most people get from kind ones.
In The Millennium Trilogy, "Zala's" real (though unstated) motive for running a ring of sex-traders seems to be that he's simply a misogynistic sadist who enjoys dominating and hurting women. Even The Dragon thinks that the sex-trade is too high-risk for its mediocre profits and that they ought to do something else. This also seems to be his main reason for horrifically abusing Lizbeth's mother (playing cruel mind games and beating her into permanent brain damage), and it's clear from the manner he draws on Screw the Rules, I Have Connections! that he relishes making life difficult for the people who have to bail him out.
In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Vogon poetry is considered the third-worst in the galaxy. The Vogons' first attempts at composition were a blundgeoning attempt to prove themselves as a properly evolved and cultured race, but now they do it out of sheer bloody-mindedness. One Vogon explicitly states he writes poetry simply because hearing it hurts people and bring his cold, heartless exterior into sharp relief.
In The Stoneheart Trilogy, the Walker hunts down glints and steals their heart stones (which slowly sends them insane), not out of any duty to the London Stone, but because he finds it entertaining. And to make it worse, the Walker displays the stolen heart stones on the walls of his lair.
Jonathan Teatime in the novel Hogfather: "People say I'm the kind of person who would just as soon kill you as look at you, but that's not true. I'd much rather kill you"
The various Great Enchanters in the Diogenes Club series can be like this.
At first sight the most prominent example, Derek Leech, is an exception; he is a yuppie (albeit a demonic one) who does evil in pursuit of profit. On closer inspection, however, he pursues profit because this maximises how much unpleasantness and misery he can spread.
Croup and Vandemar from Neverwhere appear to have this motivation. They kill people horribly on a professional basis, and are quite proud of this. For recreation, they kill people even more horribly. Croup also eats works of art.
Fate/Zero has a cast full of characters that fight for various ideals but the Evil Duo of Ryunosuke Uryu and the Gilles des Rais do what they do for the sake of their Mad Artist streaks and for the sake of evil. Gilles des Rais manages to humanize this trope somewhat in that the death of his beloved Joan of Arc broke him so much that he snapped and became a serial killer to cope with the pain, but eventually and slowly began to love killing by the time he's summoned into the nineties when the story takes place, though in death, he realizes he never should have become a serial killer and lived For the Evulz. Ryunosuke on the other hand just loves killing and always has, and worse than that, loves killing children and turning peoples' bodies into art. Ryunosuke technically has an ideal in that he loves death, even being happy at his own death but he fully admits that he knows what he is doing is considered evil and loves it. Worse than that, he thinks God should like him for it since God must be amused by both the "heroes and villains" in the world.
"Everything you say, Waterfield, is true. If we cannot find Jamie, the Daleks will take pleasure in killing everyone in sight, and their greatest pleasure will be in killing me." - the Doctor, The Evil of the Daleks.
Zaroff in The Underwater Menace, when he tries to destroy Earth just for the fun of it.
In his first appearance their creator, Davros, was posed a philosophical question by the Doctor: "If you had a virus that, when released, would kill everyone in the universe, would you release it?" Davros' answer was that yes, he would release it, for no other reason than because he could.
The Gods of Ragnarok who were trapped in a parallel dimension (possibly by the Doctor himself) and take over a circus to force people to perform for them, just to alleviate their boredom. When they lose interest in an act, they kill the performer.
Played for Drama and deconstructed in the Big Finish audio Master. All his evil plans were never expected to work, they were only designed to cause as much misery and destruction as possible. Why? Because as one of the Doctor's titles is Time's Champion, the Master is Death's Champion.
In The Parting of the Ways, the Daleks arrive at the space station on floor 494 and must get to floor 500 to defeat The Doctor. Before doing that, however, they go all the way down to floor 0 to exterminate a group of innocent humans because they were there.
This dialogue between Martha and a Toclafane. (However, since they were engineered out of innocents by the Master, it's very safe to assume that it's actually the Master's opinion.)
Martha: But why? Why come all this way just to cause all this death and destruction? Toclafane: Because it's FUN.
While he hasn't always been as open about it as in his John Simm incarnation, The Master has always been more interested in screwing with the Doctor than actually taking over the world. In The Sea Devils, he flat-out admits he's only working with the villains so they can get rid of "the human race of which you are so very fond."
In the 2010 episode "Flesh and Stone", the Weeping Angels tell the Doctor they are forcing Amy to count down to her death "for fun, sir."
And there's this quote from a charming recurring villain in "Exit Wounds". (Although he was deliberately overacting, to try and hint at Jack that he was forced into being evil and that the real villain was listening.)
Captain John Hart: Do I mean fun or carnage? I always get those two mixed up.
Dr. Mikoto Nakadai in Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger is an Evil Genius who is utterly bored with life... until he discovers that tormenting the heroes and plotting widespread death and destruction is just the kick he's been missing.
Similarly, in the Supernatural episode "The Benders", Sam gets captured by a family of cannibal hillbillies, and Dean allies himself with a female county cop (whose brother was captured by the same hillbillies) to get him back. At the end, the female cop asks the hillbilly patriarch why they killed her brother, and he answers, "Because it was FUN." She shoots him off-screen.
Subtly subverted in the Millennium episode "Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me". Four demons cause death and destruction behind the scenes apparently just because it's fun for them. Except at the end, it's revealed (by Frank Black himself) that the demons are very lonely, simply doing evil not because they like it, but because it's what they've been doing forever and they don't know what else to do.
About the only reason why Arthur Petrelli of Heroes does anything. Mr. Linderman of Season 1 wanted to blow up NYC to heal the world and Adam Monroe of Season 2 wanted to release a deadly virus to give his people a second chance, but Arthur didn't even bother with idealistic pretense. He just spouted the usual villainous cliches, and in a half-hearted fashion, as if he could barely be bothered to even offer a modicum of justification for his douchery.
The only justification for anything Sylar has ever done aside from wanting more abilities is simply because he can.
Everything Angelus does in Buffy the Vampire Slayer is for sheer sadism and cruelty. He tortured Drusilla relentlessly, making her life a living hell and killing her family and then a church full of nuns the day she took her holy orders, and when he finally succeeded in driving her batshit insane, he turned her into a vampire so her suffering and madness would go on forever.
In the season 2 finale of Buffy, he tries to awaken the demon Acathla to suck everyone on Earth into hell for the fun of it. Beforehand, he kidnaps Giles with the intent to torture him for the information he needs to do so, and openly admits to Giles that he hopes that he won't part with said information willingly because he doesn't want to be deprived of the opportunity to torture someone.
In Angel, he speculates that he was not affected by Billy Blim's power because, even as Angelus, he never hated his victims... he did everything for pure enjoyment.
Most demons and vampires are like this, by their very nature. Two villains, however, get special mention: Spike and Ethan Rayne. Spike at least has an excuse, he's a vampire, and therefore is Always Chaotic Evil. Ethan doesn't even have this excuse; he's just an ordinary human who worships pain and chaos. His powers come from his worship of Janus.
After Slayers are outed and vilified by Harmony, Simone thrives on the fear and hate she gets from ordinary humans, and proceeds to commit crimes and acts of terrorism that only further cement Buffy and her crew's bad image.
Straw Misogynist Billy Blim from Angel season 3. He can generate a Hate Plague that turns any man he comes in contact with into brutal woman bashers like himself. As he puts it, he just likes to watch his handiwork play out.
Angel and Spike have a conversation in Angel concerning how they committed atrocities For The Evulz — but in different ways. Spike loved killing for the sake of it and didn't bother to give his victims another glance. Angelus couldn't look away from his victims and relished their suffering.
Spike could also be considered a subversion. While he enjoys killing humans as individuals, he actually likes human society in general (with Sex Pistols being his favorite rock band) and doesn't want to see it destroyed.
Spike: "The thing is, I like this world. You've got Manchester United, dogracing, and people. Millions of people, all walking around, like Happy Meals on legs."
Then after Spike's Heel-Face Turn it turns out he absolutely loathes Angelus, and Angel by extension. Why? Because he saw Angelus was such a monster wanted to make others just like him so there'd be someone else as vile in the world. This would come back to bite Angel again and again, with resentment for what he did and having to pay as Angel.
One episode of Angel had a twist on this; the demon possessing a small boy did all his crimes For The Evulz, but the boy was a complete psychopath who trapped the demon in his mind and resisted control attempts, then burned things and killed people anyway (even after a successful exorcism) because he didn't see any reason not to. The demon was absolutely terrified by this, since demons see doing things out of a belief in evil as a valid reason but the boy lacked even that.
Hauser, a former employee of Wolfram and Hart, believes in evil.
Jonathan Creek, given that it focuses on Locked Room Mysteries and other planned murders, usually has very rational and logical villains with complex motives. Thus this trope came as something of a surprise when it was played in season four - after the media suggests that a series of murders are inspired by the fact that all the women killed were named after flowers (as an attempt to "deflower women") and the real killer is caught, Jonathan notes that no-one had considered the idea that a young woman would kill other young women "simply because she likes to". The floral connection of the names was just a coincidence.
A trio of killers graduate from vandalism to murder, and one of them is caught editing footage from their latest killing (to The Dead Weather). When asked why they did it especially in light of the fact that unlike the profile they had steady jobs in a bad economy, the lone survivor can only say "Because it's fun."
Also the (unrelated) rioters in the same episode.
This seems to be the case for the Reaper George Foyet as well. The core of his character is that he gets off on manipulating and having power over people.
Adrian Bale in the early episode "Won't Get Fooled Again". He agrees to tell the BAU how to disarm a complicated bomb, and in exchange he will be transferred from his maximum security prison to a mental hospital, and Agent Gideon will have to apologize to his victims' families, and admit that it was entirely his fault their respective relative died. When the inevitable Wire Dilemma occurs, Bale, even though doing so completely invalidates his deal, purposely tells them to cut the wrong wire... because the bomb blowing up will give him some kind of "emotional release".
It's a TV show about FBI profilers who hunt down (mostly) serial killers. At least half the episodes fall into this trope. The other half, however, subverts it.
Subverted in the episode "To Hell And Back". The team profile someone who is abducting random drug users and homeless people as someone who is killing For The Evulz - but it is actually a Man Child who is carrying out orders of his crippled Manipulative Bastard brother, who says he was using the victims to perform horrible human experiments in the hope of finding a cure for his condition. Then a Double Subversion when Rossi calls bullshit on that and says he's just a sadist, who enjoys forcing his brother to torture and kill people while he watches, since none of the equipment he has on hand is remotely suited to advanced medical research.
Ben Bradstone from "Proof". He doesn't understand why people ask why someone would do these horrible things. He says its the same reason people do anything, because it's fun. That's why he kicked his dog as a kid.
In the season two episode "The Boogeyman," Gideon asks young Jeffery Charles why he killed three children and almost killed another one. His response? "Because I wanted to."
The killer in the Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior episode "Jane" outright claims he had no reason to torture and kill women, he just did it. According to Coop, he's telling the truth; to the killer, people and most things are just indistinguishable blurs, and he is incapable of anything even resembling emotion, especially (and sadistic) joy or happiness, even while torture-murdering.
Rico in Hannah Montana explains the fact that he is always trying to make people (his so called friends no less) miserable as "I'm rich and bored, It's What I Do."
On an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a serial rapist and murderer who is also a Phony Psychic keeps butting into a case in which he is actually the killer. After he's captured, a detective asks him why he did it, since he'd probably have gotten away with it if he hadn't. His response? "I just had to see what I had set in motion. The expressions on your faces were priceless. This place was like a big beehive that I poked with a stick."
In one episode, a Romanian boy is kidnapped and murdered after school. The detectives are led to believe that a man with the mind of a child, who's living with his mother, committed the crime. But it was actually two teenage girls whom framed the mentally challenged man and planted evidence in his room. When the detectives finally figure it out, Olivia asked the blonde teen, who was the leader of the two, why she did it. Her answer? "Why not?"
CSI episode "Fannysmackin'", where local teens beat tourists to death. The point made at the end is that these kids were bored and were stupid enough to pick this to break the boredom.
Niska seems to look for any excuse to make people scream.
In the episode "Our Mrs. Reynolds" Saffron implies she might be this, after Mal questions her about why she needed such a convoluted plan.
Saffron: "You're assuming the payoff is the point."
In Kamen Rider Kuuga The Big Bad was quite different from other final bosses of Kamen Rider. No speech about his desire to win the game, all he wants to do is fight Yosuke and as he died fighting him, he didn't whine about how a mortal had beaten him, just smiling as he watches Yuusuke being so violent.
A rather light example in The Goodies: Bill's just signed up to do a row of extremely violent shows for the BBC. Graeme and Tim, bewildered, simply ask why he'd join up for such 'immoral, gratuitous violence'.
Bill: Oh, don't worry, I have a perfectly good reason.
Graeme: Oh really? What's that?
Bill:I like violence! (jumps Graeme, beginning to strangle him)
Jim Moriarty from Sherlock: he threatens to blow up a series of bombs in London because he was bored, and as an attempt to get Sherlock's attention.
Stefan was told by Klaus to stop Damon from tracking them but Stefan killed Damon's girlfriend Andie just for the hell of it. YMMV as it could be just to prove a point to stay the hell away from him and Klaus.
On Degrassi The Next Generation, Peter likes Manny, but Emma likes Peter. Manny gets drunk, and Peter films Manny stripping and uses it for blackmail. Emma then puts Peter in leather pants and blames Manny, but starts dating the guy who filmed her best friend stripping. Strike that. That whole plot was For The Evulz. Peter's motives are clearer in season 6. (Sean likes Emma, Peter's dating Emma, Peter frames Sean for "possession".) And he actually gets a random Face-Heel Turn in season 7.
This is Sue Sylvester's primary motivation in Glee. So much so that when she finally got the opportunity to shut down the Glee Club forever, she chose not to just so she could continue to torment them.
The motivation of Joey Heric, the resident Magnificent Bastard on The Practice. As his psychiatrist points out, he is clearly smart enough to commit murder in such a way that he would never be suspected, but that wouldn't be nearly as much fun as letting everyone know he is guilty and then getting away with it anyway.
Francis from Malcolm in the Middle, during his youth, and currently, was implied to have done things like steal a neighbor's car, crash it onto a tree, as well as drink, smoke, gain multiple piercings, break curfew, slept around, as well as torture his brothers, lock them in a closet, steal their toys, and presumably scar Reese with a Bayonet because of this trope, almost certainly the prior stuff was simply to spite his mother.
In sentai series, a general rule is that the villain's only ideology is evil.
Farscape: Selto Durka, Peacekeeper Captain, enthusiastic torturer, and all around bastard. He's so horrible that when Rygel — one of his former victims — finally kills him, Rygel spends the next several days carrying his head around on a stick. It's really hard to blame Rygel for being so happy.
Thomas and O'Brien from Downton Abbey, who have attracted criticism that the mostly realistic series suffers from having these cartoon villains with no identifiable motivation. And ironically, the one thing O'Brien at least thought she had a motivation for (planting a bar of soap so Cora would have a miscarriage, and wouldn't fire her) is the only one she actually shows regret for.
One episode of The Pretender has Jarod try to get into the mind of a serial killer in order to track down a copycat in time to save his latest victim. Jarod almost Logic-Bombs himself because he can't understand the reason why the killer does what he does. The killer then helpfully informs him that there is no reason; he kills because he wants to.
When Methos from the Highlander tv series finally tells Duncan about his days as an evil marauder back in the depths of time, he sums up his motives as a combination of this and Evil Feels Good.
Killing was all I knew. Is that what you want to hear? I killed. But I didn't just kill fifty, I didn't kill a hundred. I killed a thousand. I killed TEN thousand! And I was good at it. And it wasn't for vengeance, it wasn't for greed. It was because... I liked it.
Jordan openly admits that she torments people "for funsies."
Dr Kelso at least sometimes seems to act this way, and is always suspected of it. When Dr. Cox tells him how miserable having his wife working with him makes him Dr. Kelso immediately makes the position permanent. He turns to Dr. Cox and asks how he didn't see this coming. Other times he acts for good reasons, for instance when he fires two nurses. Carla claims he did it for no reason, but there were good budgetary and personal reasons for it.
Hannibal has no motive for any of the things he does beyond proving his own superiority and simple curiosity. When Will finally figures it out, he admits that the lack of any traceable motive is what made Hannibal so hard to spot.
In House of Cards (UK), Francis Urquhart takes delight in making people very angry, and while his schemes in the first series are rationally attributable to ambition, in the second one he's determined to destroy the King just because he's bored and decides he would like a new challenge.
I'm openin' a church to sell coke and Led Zeppelin
And fuck Mary in her ass.. ha-ha.. yo
I'm fuckin' Goldilocks up in the forest
In the three bear house eatin' their muthafuckin' porridge
I tell her it's my house, give her a tour
In my basement, and keep that bitch locked up in my storage
Rape her and record it, then edit it with more shit
The Bright Young Things by Marilyn Manson is this meets The Hedonist, referencing the titular "Bright Young People" of 1920s London.
We set fashion, not follow
Spit vitriol, not swallow
Good for nothing but being
Everything that's bad
"The Curse of Milhaven" by Nick Cave is a prime example.
I keep telling them they're out to get me
They ask me if I feel remorse and I answer, why of
There is so much more I could have done if they'd let
"Sinner" by a) Judas Priest doesn't seem to give a motive to the subject of the song beyond enjoyment of his (or her) own sin (evulz), the same can be said of the b) Drowning Pool song of the same name. No particular preference is given to any one sin in particular over the others.
Euronymous, the late guitarist for the Black Metal band Mayhem, often claimed to support murder, rape, necrophilia, and dictatorship, solely because they are evil. The scary part is, he was dead serious about this. On a side note, this is the same guy who, after his band mate committed suicide, took pictures of the messy aftermath and put it on the cover of his new album.
Many so-called "Orthodox" Black Metal bands seem to follow this line of thinking. Members of Deathspell Omega, Watain, and Funeral Mist have all claimed to support terrorism, war, and basically anything that brings about human suffering. Few of them actually have the actions to back up their talk, though, so it's unknown if they would still hold to those viewpoints if push really came to shove (Euronymous's band Mayhem, and a couple others, are the few examples of musicians actually committing murder).
Doing this in pro wrestling is generally called garnering "Cheap Heat"; being booed by the fans, not for doing something legitimately vile, but for doing something simply for the sake of being jeered. Interrupting someone's well-deserved title match to spoil their opportunity at glory is a truly nefarious act, and being booed for this is well-earned. Reminding the town you're in that their local football team just lost to [some other city] is done For The Evulz. Sometimes, cheap heat really adds to a wrestler's charisma (it's a great way to show how arrogant their character can be), but done sloppily, the facade is easily lost and the obviousness that it's a swing at just being bad for bad's sake is made evident.
The Big Boss Man practically sprinted past the Moral Event Horizon for no reason whatsoever on multiple occasions, other than that he enjoyed it. This included everything from breaking the wrist of a much smaller woman while threatening to use a nightstick to club her (the woman was more than 200 pounds lighter than he was and had no chance to defend herself); tormenting another wrestler after his father's death; and chopping up the carcass of a dog, using its meat as the main ingredient of chili and then feeding the chili to the deceased dog's master, only telling him afterward what he had just eaten.
During Mike Knox's short run in WWE, he attacked Rey Mysterio multiple weeks in a row. When asked what he had against Rey Mysterio, he said he didn't have anything against Mysterio. He was then asked why he kept attacking him, to which Knox replied Hm... I don't know. I guess I don't really have a reason.
In one George Carlin routine he discusses the Catholic doctrine of sins of intent: "What you want to do, that's how we'll judge you. You wake up one morning and say to yourself, 'I'm gonna go down to Forty-second Street and commit myself a mortal sin.' Save your carfare, you did it, man!"
Many older RPG modules had this in spades due to the focus being on the gaming rather than the story - why did the evil overlord capture the princess, build a ten-level dungeon, hire all those monsters and threaten to destroy the world with his ritual? I already mentioned he's Evil, didn't I? So do you want this loot and XP or not?
In Exalted, the Ebon Dragon is the incarnation of this trope. Seriously, when the world was being created from formless chaos, he invented the entire concept of betrayal. He also argued for the invention of a being of virtue and light to defend the world solely because its formation would empower him as something to oppose. His power suite is built entirely around dicking people over. Just to cap it off, while he's trapped in the prison-body of his king like the rest of his kin, he would gladly make his escape back into the world and slam the door shut behind him in the face of the Yozis, and possibly seal them away for all eternity just to laugh in their faces. This guy just doesn't do it For The Evulz, he wrote the book on it as a checklist for personal life goals. The only consolation is that he is such a complete pathological dick that when sealing his kin while escaping, his own component souls are likely to betray him and trap the rest of him within the permanently sealed hell.
Some of the material implies that he actually orchestrated the war that resulted in him and his fellows being trapped in said Hell. And actually came out ahead for it — he was a fairly minor Primordial, but he's one of the most powerful and prominent of the Yozis.
On RPG.net, threads involving acts of unmotivated malice, especially when the malice is counterproductive or self-destructive, are sometimes tagged "Pleasing to the Ebon Dragon."
As for Chaos, most who serve it do so for the promise of power and advancement from them, or are even just clinging to it for the hopes their god(s) may help them (they generally won't, and if they do, you still probably won't find it pleasant). However, it's not uncommon for many of their servants to simply become addicted to the horror they inflict in the names of Chaos. With Khorne's followers, it's generally hard to tell due to their sheer Ax-Crazy. It also is worthy of mention that once you get far enough into slaaneshi cultism, everything you do to yourself/other beings is for some kind of high. Removing your own arm then replacing it with someone else's leg, for teh lolz.
Remiare, the assassin, in Mechanicum, who casually burned out a man's memory centres simply because she enjoys making living beings suffer.
The old fantasy Warhammer has the Skaven... Frankly, most of their clans neither want nor need a motive for what they do. Though they are pretty goal-oriented whenever they are put up against someone of equal or superior skill (and considering the strength of the average skaven, that isn't too hard).
"To understand a demon is to know what drives it. All demons crave carnage and absolute ruin, but to what end? Unlike devils, demons do not commit acts of violence from a philosophical desire to foment evil for its own sake. The desires of a demon are less existential. More instinctual."
This was what basically what Chaotic Evil was retconned into in 4E. Which is a common misinterpretation of what the term actually means.
In the Magic The Gathering set Ravnica, the Rakdos Cult is populated entirely by Always Chaotic Evil demons and supplicants, whose entire reason for doing their actions is For The Evulz. Interestingly, in the magically-enforced government of Ravnica, there needs to be that sort of group as part of the government... even if it spends most of its time trying to destroy said government.
Most agents of the Wyrm in Werewolf: The Apocalypse don't have a whole lot of motive for what they do. A fair amount of the Pentex book is scary not because of the malevolence on display, but because most of it seems to have no motive at all beyond "yay Wyrm".
Despite all that, however, the Wyrm isn't necessarily about making everyone suffer. While its minions want to see the world rot, both physically and spiritually, because that's what their dark master commands, the Wyrm wants to make the world rot because it's literally bound up in the fundament of reality, and the contortions those bonds put it through have driven it mad.
The Fabled/Magoshin are this according to the Yu-Gi-Oh!Duel Terminal story, as they would randomly attack warring factions already in battle just for the hell of it. Fabled Leviathan takes it to the extreme as he would randomly appear during great battles and kill everyone there before disappearing again.
Iago's motives from Othello were noticeably thin and contradictory, which leads many scholars to surmise that he doesn't have motives at all, only excuses. This trope was almost named "The Iago" because of this. The alternative title Motiveless Malignity is a term Shakespearean scholars often use to describe his actions. Verdi's opera version of Iago, however, made him into a Straw Nihilist with his Villain Song.
The "Villains by Necessity" speech in King Lear Edmund gives, in which he mocks people blaming their faults on the stars, as they did him, for being an illegitimate son of the Duke of Gloucester conceived under "bad stars." Edmund sums up with "S'foot (bullshit): I should have been what I am had the maidenliest star twinkled on my bastardizing." It's also possible that he went bad because people thought he would, in something like a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. To Edmund it doesn't matter anymore...
Don John from Much Ado About Nothing, actually mentions early in the play that since people have pegged him as a bastard already, he might as well get into it and enjoy himself.
Richard III: He tells us in the very first speech of the play that he's going to be a villain because he has nothing else with which to occupy himself.
Aaron of Titus Andronicus does everything he does over the course of the play because he simply likes being evil.
Ah, why should wrath be mute and fury dumb?
I am no baby, I, that with base prayers
I should repent the evils I have done;
Ten thousand worse than ever yet I did
Would I perform, if I might have my will.
If one good deed in all my life I did,
I do repent it from my very soul.
The witches in Henry Purcell's opera Dido and Aeneas (text by Nahum Tate) have lines like 'Harm's our delight and mischief all our skill' and 'Destruction's our delight, delight our greatest sorrow', and they decide to ruin the life of Queen Dido of Carthage just because they 'hate [...] all in prosp'rous state'.
In Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, it's implied that Voldemort sent the Dementors in to attack the guests. Since there's not much he could gain from this, other than possibly making Harry and Dumbledore look bad, his motivations probably fall under this.
Even Makuta Teridax himself strayed into this territory at times, like when he became the Matoran Universe itself, and so gained control over the natural forces of the universe.
Though he isn't truly evil, Brutaka decided to amuse himself by using his mask to drop the forty-foot Tahtorak into Metru Nui, causing it to both terrorize the Matoran there and become scared and confused as to how it got there.
The Purr-Tenders had to deal with Ed-grr, the grumpy pet dog of the owner of Pick-A-Dilly Pet Shop. While they'd all gotten adopted thanks to their disguises, meaning his owner didn't have to care for them anymore and they were out of his hair, Ed-grr wanted to capture and drag them back to the shop just so they'd be unhappy and he could laugh at their misery.
Undercity Champion: I punched a penguin on my way in here. Argent Confessor Paletress: Oh, my. Do you feel remorseful, at least? Undercity Champion: Nah, not really. I just wanted to see the look on your face. (laughs)
A lot of player behavior in general faults into this and not just towards the other faction.
A more serious example is what drove Sargeras to madness. After defeating the Nathrezim he could not come to peace with himself over the cruelties they had inflicted on others simply for the sake of doing so.
Kefka from Final Fantasy VI is the result of crossing this trope with Straw Nihilist. Thanks to the Magitek experiments he's undergone, his mind has rotted to the point that destruction and death are the only things that bring meaning to his life, so he destroys and kills everything and everyone he can because it's the only thing that puts a smile on his face. And boy does it ever. Towards the end, it's possible that the only reason he stops playing this trope straight is because he's so ridiculously powerful that it just isn't fun anymore. Without the Evulz to drive him, he no longer has any use for either the world or even his own existence.
Saleh, one of the Quirky Miniboss Squad in Tales of Rebirth is an extreme case that he is very much repulsed with anything good and strives to do evil and it just delights him to see people suffer.
Both Psycho for HireGrims and Lubikka Hakinnen. Archibald forced Elzam von Branstein to make the Sadistic Choice between killing his wife or having his whole colony gassed, as well as bombing an excavation site all for the lulz. His predecessor Lubikka is also said to have done a lot of atrocities for the lulz, and takes extra lulz if he is torturing Tytti Noorbuck mentally.
Archibald actually does have a grudge against the Branstein family, but when not torturing them, he just really likes killing people. His hobbies include joining rebellions that he couldn't give a damn about, "accidentally" firing on civilians in an occupied country, and drinking red tea because it looks like blood.
This is what The Adel Bernal's motivation boils down to essentially in Super Robot Wars Z.
The eponymous mask from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. This is emphasized by the fact that the person it chooses to possess is a (skull) kid, and during one of its three boss fights, it dances around giggling like a child, rarely attacking you. It doesn't seem to have a clear reason for all of the horrible things it does, part of what makes it scary as fuck. Note that Majora hands Link the Oni Mask and treats the Final Boss fight as a simple game.
Doubly so in the questionably canon manga adaptation, where the Mask is revealed to have hexed Kafei into a child for the hell of it when he refused to play with the possessed Skull Kid, and once discarding the Skull Kid, comments that Link "looks like a fun fellow" and tosses off a few inexplicably creepy lines about how he wants to play with Link now, eventually settling on "tag". Majora further has a Villainous Breakdown as he and Oni Link fight, calling Oni Link a "meanie" when he hits him the first time and giggling madly before repeating his actions from the video game of running around tittering with excitement. In the final form, he bawls out Link for ruining his "game", screaming that humans had always "played" willingly with him before. We're given a pretty good view that Majora threw the entire world into chaos and tried to destroy it purely because it was fun.
Not Majora himself, but they establish a Freudian Excuse for the Skull Kid, who was being influenced by him at one point in the game. A long time ago, the Skull Kid and the Giants were friends (his ONLY friends), but the giants left to sleep in the four compass directions leaving the Skull Kid all alone and feeling he had been abandoned. This caused him to become bitter and antagonistic toward people, which got turned Up to Eleven when Majora possessed him.
Plus the evil plan brings his friends back to visit/stop him from destroying the world!
Minions (especially brown ones) from Overlord might also count toward this trope - they simply enjoy killing and crashing everything (this is evident from their constant remarks, like "Kill, kill!" or "Burn, burn!").
Coco Bandicoot: Cortex, why do you keep doing stuff like this? Doctor Neo Cortex: Well, actually it's pretty fun. You should try it. Y'know, riding around in huge, rumbling machines and whatnot? Very stimulating.
Perhaps in the new games, but in the original three Neo Cortex was always all about World Domination.
"I did that stuff 'cause I could. And it got interesting, so I watched."
Rugal Bernstein from The King of Fighters. Some of his plans have a reasonable motivation, but he usually just does evil because he's amused at how low he can sink. Why do you think he killed all those people he then made into decorative bronze statues? Because he could.
Carnage and mass destruction are integral parts of fun for Gig. He is very open about this, by the way.
Likewise, Thuris seems to cook up virulent, nigh-incurable plagues mainly for shits and giggles. The protagonist of the Demon Path trumps them both by a long shot. His/her final words after destroying reality itself in a Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum? "It doesn't matter. It was fun."
Pokey/Porky Minch from the Earthbound series seems to fit this trope perfectly in Mother 2and Mother 3. Though the series most famous villain is undoubtedly the cosmic horror Giygas, he's actually edged out by a worse evil: a frustrated, self-absorbed child willing to set the world on fire because he never gets his way. He once states that being the hero doesn't sound like fun to him.
In Mother 2 he seemed more like a harmless example who usually appeared to taunt or hinder Ness. Mother 3 however... his actions shifted more towards pure evil territory, transforming a peaceful island's plants and animals into violent chimeras, then gathered all the inhabitants on the island to his flying "utopia" so they could all watch as he awakened a dragon to destroy all of existence. All this because he was bored and needed a quick laugh.
Rosso from Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus. Her motivation boils down to "why not?". The rest of the Tsviets say similar things, to the tune of "We were made as killing machines, so why not do what we do best?"
The Legend of Spyro: Malefor kidnaps a baby dragon only to have some company after exposing her to darkness - no doubt putting her through terrible misery and suffering in the process. Then he launches an army of crazed apes (whom he eventually condemns to a Fate Worse Than Death simply because they do not seem loyal) to kill anybody who tries to stop him, so that he can destroy the entire world with a deadly blast. His motive is apparently Because Destiny Says So, but seriously - what would his actions accomplish? When the heroes show up to stop him, he gets a kick out of using Mind Control to turn one against the other, and is visibly miffed when she breaks free, ruining his game. Then as the planet starts to disintegrate during the final battle, he gets an even bigger kick out of taunting them for being too late: "Welcome to the end of the world!"
And if you you're really looking for nasty evil leadership, seems like the whole place of SimNation is an ultimate Crap Sack World that corrupt mayors can run cities in. Crime can be rampant on the streets, or a mayor can summon a tornado to hit that peaceful neighborhood, or he can even drive around and spill toxic waste in shopping districts. The people living in those cities aren't too bright for staying there either. Try reducing all firefighter budget to zero and set a few fires. As the industries explode and set the entire map on fire, you will find that even with a third of the map burning and another third already turned to ashes, 30% of people polled will still find traffic or taxes to be the biggest problem in town...
Word of God states that this is Wario's reason why he's working with the Subspace Army in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.  Wario does have motivation in greed, but the efforts he goes through to get it, right down to shaking money out of enemies way too gleefully just proves he enjoys the methods as much as the gains.
Metal Wolf Chaos gives us RICHARD Hawk, who laughs constantly while testing out a superweapon on New York City and filling Chicago with poison gas for no reason other than the fact that he just hates freedom.
Most villainous contacts in City of Villains use you as a tool in their Evil Plan, for some petty thefts or revenge plots, or trying to further their own (and, in some cases, your) agendas. Westin Phipps, on the other hand, poses as a charity worker and sends you to do things like kidnap an inspirational schoolteacher, destroy textbooks, and poison food supplies. Why? For no reason other than to crush the hopes of the downtrodden poor. People are split over whether or not he's evil enough to make even villains uncomfortable.
Murray, the Demonic Talking Skull from the Monkey Island series fits this trope quite nicely.
"What! Murray, I did you a favor!" "Yes, thus making my betrayal all the more evil! Muhahaha!"
In the first game, it seems the Reapers plan to purge the galaxy of all intelligent life, including mankind, because... that's simply what they've been doing for ages.
"Your extinction is inevitable. We are the end of everything. ... The pattern has repeated itself more times than you can fathom. Organic civilisations rise, evolve, advance and at the apex of their glory, they are extinguished."
And in Mass Effect 2, their secondary motivation has been revealed to be reproduction. By way of melting the most appropriate races into primordial porridge. This porridge is then used as the primary ingredient for a gargantuan cyberorganic gestalt of the entire species in question, that then becomes the core of a new Reaper. While the biological imperative of this motivation is typical, the sheer absurd horribleness of it is probably Lulz related.
Summoner: Emperor Murod, Prince Sornehan, and Queen Galliene purposely cultivate Zero Percent Approval Ratings upon taking power? Because they're part of a demonic cult whose acolytes fuel their magical power with evil and suffering.
If that's their primary motivation then their evil has the motive of increasing their power, and doesn't really fit here. It's only a case of For the Evulz if the main motive is because they enjoy playing Kick the Dog.
SHODAN from System Shock. She's an apegy of villainy and bloodlust. First, Edward Diego tricks the hacker into removing her ethical restraints, and how does she thank him? By turning everyone except you into her mutant slaves, while letting Diego still have at least somewhat of a mind. Worst of all, she plans to use Citadel Station's mining laser to destroy the cities of Earth, and then use her mutant virus on anyone who survives her wrath.
After you defeat her in the first game, there's also her appearance in System Shock 2. SHODAN merely used Dr. Marie Delecroix as a pawn for disposing of The Many after Dr. Janice Polito commits suicide. But she abandoned her when she needed her most. She also made a deal with you: if you destroy The Many, she will let you live. She never lets you come to the aid of another human being in need of your help. You destroy the Many, and she leaves you for dead. Only to fight you... and die. But not really, because you then see her TAKE OVER REBECCA SIDDONS! Why? 'Cuz she's "a perfect immortal machine!"
Nene in Blue Dragon has an actual ultimate plan: he tricks your party into powering up their magic so he can steal it and save himself from a wasting disease, but in order to pull this off, he simply cackles and invokes this Trope at every one of their meetings. At a certain point, it starts to seem like he just sits around brainstorming new ways to make the heroes mad.
In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion there is the Dark Brotherhood which the player can join by murdering someone who doesn't deserve to die. The first time you 'sleep rather soundly' after doing so and consequently meet Lucien Lachance and ask him about the Dark Brotherhood, he remarks:
Lucien Lachance: '''We kill for profit, for enjoyment and for the glory of our Dread Father Sithis."
Some of the victims are slain for revenge, for selfish gain of whoever pays, to (assumedly) remove someone seen as a threat or to send a powerful message to the Brotherhood's enemies. Even the murder of Baenlin on your second mission, the harmless old man who doesn't seem to have done ANYTHING to deserve dying in the 'accident' you staged, is explained. His nephew Caenlin moves into the house soon after the hit is complete. If you talk to him and/or read the black horse courier article about Baenlin's death, you'll likely assume Caenlin used the hit to claim his inheritance. However, there are a few instances where there is no hint in that direction. For example, in one mission you are sent to a fancy manor where five guests have been lured to by a false promise of hidden gold. No matter how much you socialize with the guests and how much information you get them to tell you about themselves (and each other), at no point do you get any slightest clue about why someone would pay the Dark Brotherhood for their deaths. Quite frightening, if you think about it.
The Dark Star in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story is this. He's already a Made of EvilEldritch Abomination, and as a result, has no motivations other than destruction. His 'plan' is to destroy the Mushroom Kingdom or world, and he doesn't even consider that he happens to be 'living' there at the time. Then again, he's Made of Evil itself, so it's unlikely he'd understand the concept of having motivations or reasons.
By the time Travis Touchdown reaches her, Bad Girl in No More Heroes is so utterly burned out by her career as an assassin that she slaughters countless gimp clones just for the fun of it. She openly admits that she has no reason to kill anyone, she does it to keep herself entertained. Travis, who is only slightly less of a Villain Protagonist than Kratos, finds himself disgusted.
Assassin's Creed I: Majd Addin is the only one of Altair's targets not to try and justify his actions by claiming they were for the greater good. When asked why he executed innocent people (to the point of performing the executions himself), he replies that he simply enjoyed the feeling of holding someone else's life in his hands.
Assassins Creed II: Rodrigo Borgia freely admits to Ezio that, while he did execute Ezio's father to stop him from exposing a Borgia-sponsored conspiracy, he also had Ezio's brothers executed simply because he felt like it. It's actually because of this that even the Templars themselves consider him to be nothing but a corrupt tyrant, describing his leadership over them as the "Dark Age of the Order."
You (as Alex Mercer) can run around murdering absolutely anyone you care to using a multitude of techniques and abilities. True, they drop some health for you, but then why not absorb them instead of, say, throwing the smoldering remains of a helicopter at some random grouping?
Blackwatch is implied to be heavy believers of this trope. One of the consumed memories are about Blackwatch troopers shooting civilians just for the hell of it, laughing the whole time.
The Blood Roses from All Points Bulletin are bored rich kids who commit crimes for fun. Their leader, Jeung, started with killing a hobo just because he felt like it.
Terumi Yuuki from BlazBlue is directly responsible for a lot of the bad things that have happened to Ragna, Jin, Noel, Kokonoe, Arakune, and many others, and he has no motivation for doing many of these things except to be a dickTroll.
It goes deeper than that, though. Terumi has stated that if he is not hated, he would cease to exist. Therefore, he had to be as Troll-ish as possible and make as many people hate him. It's a double-subversion, however, because Terumi himself enjoys inflicting sufferings here and there.
He actually put it best himself when Hakumen demanded to know his motives:
Hazama/Terumi: C'mon, you know me better than that 'old buddy!' Surely you don't mean to imply that I need a reason to destroy and manipulate and KILL!? OK, all right, fine! How about this reason? Seems as good as any. I do all the wonderful things I do because I want to see the miserable look on the faces of people like YOU when you're wallowing in despair, dismay, grief, frustration, misery... all sorts of other unpleasant nouns... I guess you could say I'm bored. At least misery is interesting.
Gary from Bully personifies this trope, what with his justification for putting Jimmy into power as the King of the School, then sabotaging him completely and getting him expelled, then plunging the school into complete chaos being because he could...
In the second Pokemon Mystery Dungeon game, it's never explained why Darkrai wanted to cover the world in darkness aside from destroying both space and time in order for his evil plan to work.
Iris Sepperin of RosenkreuzStilette states that she made the organization of RKS fight against the Holy Empire just for her own amusement. She also amuses herself with other people's suffering, such as Zorne's when she killed her father whom she was desperately trying to get to accept her as his real daughter, and Grolla's when she had arranged for her long-dead grandfather to be brought back by her father as The Grim Reaper.
"There's something rather edifying about hurting people."
By the time Fable III rolls around, he's compounded his villainy by becoming a wealthy and powerful industrialist who provides one-man justification for proletarian rebellion. Shooting workers? Hosting ludicrously hedonistic depraved parties? Blood sport? Opening a brothel in place of an orphanage? That's not even Tuesday for Reaver, it's just what he does. This being Reaver, you cannot make him pay for his crimes and he inevitably becomes your Evil Chancellor.
Bulnoil in Brigandine, due to being a Card-Carrying Villain. He wants to summon Ouroboros to engulf Forsena in chaos... for no reasons other reasons aside of he's a huge dickhead.
In Final Fantasy XIII, was there any sensible reason for Primarch Dysley to shoot Jihl Nabaat in the back when she was about to defend him from the party? Even if his killing her was important to the plot and his characterization, wouldn't waiting until she'd fought the party and then invoking You Have Failed Me have made more sense? Sure, there's that whole two incompatible Focuses thing he has going on, but really.
The Nightmare Court in Guild Wars 2 manages to have an actual plan that requires its followers to kill and torment For The Evulz: By creating terrible memories for themselves and their victims, they try to make sure that their pseudo-Hive Mind, the Pale Tree, gets darker too, and will cause newly born Sylvari to be less accepting of the Lawful Good teachings from Ventari's tablet, which the Nightmare Court considers Stupid Good as opposed to their own Knight Templar approach.
Munenori from Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams is a crazy piece of work. His motivation in this is cemented when he learns that his eye from his mother was not forced upon him to make him strong but given by his mother willingly to save his life. He begins to break down....and then starts cackling and explaining that it's irrelevant to why he does anything.
For The Horde toys with this a bit, as the goblins and trolls have a sort of Moral Myopia about this sort of thing. When one of them dies the vocals show they care much for each other, as a large tribal family, and they swear vengeance or cry out unintelligible names, but the reason they're warring with everyone in the first place is because they just want to sack things.
Another community example: EVE Online. So, you've just finished building the biggest ship in the game, the Titan, after months of back-breaking work. Its destruction is not a matter of if, but a matter of when: this very trope is all most people need in this game to happily destroy months of work and real-world money.
Street Fighter has JuriHan, Seth's sadistic, hedonistic Dragon. She joined S.I.N. after receiving the Feng Shui Engine, but she also freely admitted that it was her idea of a good time. Sadly, her idea of "fun" involves people getting beaten within an inch of their lives. It also tends to overlap with other tropes as she literally getsoff on the pain she inflicts.
Deconstructed in Batman Dark Tomorrow: the Joker takes over Arkham Asylum and kidnaps Commissioner Gordon. Batman figures out that somebody hired him to do these things because the Joker isn't playing this trope straight.
Lash, the resident Mad Scientist and Perky Goth of Black Hole's forces in the Advance Wars series, openly admits her only interest in being on their side is to be evil and play games. Unlike Hawke who becomes increasingly worried about Black Hole's motivations and their goal, Lash couldn't care less because it's "still as evil as ever."
Kirei Kotomine, the Big Bad of the Fate route in Fate/stay night, was going to empty the contents of the Holy Grail, an Artifact of Doom containing a tangible form of all of man's evil upon the world, causing untold amounts of death and destruction. When The Hero asks him why he's doing it, he replies with a speech that can be summed up as: "Just as some people find music or art entertaining, I can only find amusement in watching other people suffer".
The Heaven's Feel scenario turns this into a Deconstructed Trope by giving us Kotomine's backstory and showing just what sort of twisted and tormented person he is: Kotomine is perfectly capable of understanding the nuances of right and wrong and has, in fact, on several occasions tried to live a good life — by for instance becoming a priest specializing in healing and trying to have a family — while at the same time being utterly unable to get any pleasure from life unless he's causing (or simply observing - he's not picky) someone pain and suffering. He is fully aware of just how deviant this makes him and he considers his birth to be a 'mistake'. This in fact turns his motives into a subversion. What he is truly aiming for is something close to a Rage Against the Heavens.
A more fitting and non deconstructed example within the same work would be Zouken Matou, the big bad of the heavens feel scenario. To put his for the evulz actions into perspective, even the aforementioned example above has a problem with him and considers them a Complete Monster. In Fate/ZeroHe chose for the evulz over being able to wish for anything.
Most of the villains in Ace Attorney have motives for their crimes, because their motives are often key to proving their guilt in court. However, there are a few villains that exhibit this on occasion:
From Trials and Tribulations, there's Dahlia Hawthorne, who committed a string of terrible murders. Most of her murders were designed to cover her own guilt, but she executes them in the cruelest way possible. For example, her first crime - in an attempt to get back at her father - was a staged kidnapping in which she was supposed to receive a giant uncut diamond as a ransom. Once she gets the diamond, she fakes her own death and gets her boyfriend - who assisted with the kidnapping plot - convicted of her murder. Why? It's never even stated that she wanted the diamond for herself. She's just crazy.
And from Justice for All we've got Matt Engarde. Sure, he's got a motive for paying an assassin to kill Juan Corrida, but he pulls a For the Evulz when he asks Phoenix to feed his cat. Why? Because he's plotted to abduct Maya Fey and is holding her hostage in his wine cellar, and the assassin he paid is there guarding Maya and posing as Matt's butler. He's sending Phoenix to his house essentially just to enjoy the fact that Phoenix can't solve his case or escape his blackmail plot even when the killer (and Maya) are literally right in front of him.
Jeff of RPG World, Eikre's former best friend, essentially killed Eikre's mother, neighbor, and burned down part his village simply to show everyone what true evil was and because he enjoyed it. By the end of the comic, he had ascended to Dragon status.
One Stolen Pixels strip has Francis trick Bill into thinking a pushbroom is the best weapon.
The lich Xykon, the Big Bad, is simply out to be as evil as possible, and often goes out of his way to commit atrocities just 'cause it's fun. The result is the bizarre twist of Affably EvilFaux Affably Evil.
Xykon: ...sure, I could've just blasted you all from above with fire and lightning and such... But I've always felt that when it's really important, it's worth to go that extra mile. Don't you agree?
<Last moving warrior in the room commits ritual suicide for the horrible deeds she did because of Xykon's tricks>
Xykon was like this even as a mortal, but he got even worse when he realized that, as a lich, he could no longer taste coffee. Killing and torturing people are the only pleasures Xykon has now that he can no longer enjoy a good or bad cup of coffee.
Belkar in his more murderiffic moments. Especially when he tries to get a Paladin to murder him in cold blood solely so she'd fall, because of how funny it would be.
General Tarquin is a flamboyant case. He thinks he's Above Good and Evil, but he keeps doing things in the most cruel and unusual (and often Obviously Evil) way possible. Often it's pragmatic, ruthless evil, but sometimes he's just in it for the drama. Basically, evil isn't good; it's dramatic awesome.
"But you can't make an omelette without ruthlessly crushing dozens of eggs beneath your steel boot and then publicly disemboweling the chickens that laid them as a warning to others."
Bun-bun of Sluggy Freelance fame is sometimes this. A lot of the time, he's after something (money, strippers, alfalfa hay), but sometimes, he just wants a bit of a laugh. A sadistic one. Ka-CLICK.
Richard from Looking for Group is a delightfully evil character who will happily slaughter entire villages out of sheer boredom. He takes great joy in seeing the hero of the comic, Cale, slowly become less innocent, more violent, and more cynical. His motivations are largely unknown for most of the story until it's revealed that his immortality is literally powered by destruction, but after each of the other characters had explained their reasons behind the main quest, he simply states "I like to kill things. How do you not get that by now?"
Penny: She never tries to win. She just tries to make everyone else lose.
Juathuur averts this trope, and explicitly evokes it here. The comic, as a whole, makes a point that no one is evil 'just because', everyone has his reasons.
This is the motivation for easily half the people and events involved in Ansem Retort. Axel even explicitly stated that this is why Zexion should steal tax dollars from his constituents to finance Axel's wedding: just to prove he could.
In Girl Genius, most of the old Heterodyne family's sadistic experiments were For Science!, but they left behind a Castle whose motivation for messing with prisoners is, aside from protecting heirs of the Heterodyne family, For The Evulz.
Norman from Dragon Tails wants to conquer the world and destroy Enigma seemingly because he has nothing better to do. Unfortunately for him, he's... not very good at either.
The Grand Highblood from Homestuck seems to be the troll incarnate of this trope, killing those who seek him out on a whim simply because he truly thinks of himself as the highest on the troll totem pole. And he's also Gamzee's ancestor, and the moment Gamzee sobers up, he decides it's time to prepare for The Vast Honk via killing off all the other remaining trolls. Which he successfully does in a doomed timeline (except for Aradia), considering he has their blood to paint with.
This seems to apply to bad guys in general in Axe Cop. Being a bad guy is almost like a medical condition, except that it makes you a free target for good guys to kill rather than excusing your actions. It can even be induced or cured; in "The Dogs", one bad guy who was given a good potion and turned into a good guy noticed that he "no longer wanted to hurt people." Before that he had just wanted to destroy the world for no particular reason.
Entire basis of Evil FTW, but not NEARLY so extreme.
Dionne's impetus to do pretty much anything in Precocious. Example. Not that the Gemstone Estates kids usually cite any other reason..
Starfish in Unsounded is a fairly practical version. He does a lot of bad things for practical reasons, but when he does things purely for cruelty it's something he thinks won't come back to bite him. He beats his already dying henchman to death rather than just letting him bleed out. After all, either way he's dead, but it's more fun. And he tries to make Matty watch his father die because he already intends to dispose of him too.
Milkman Dan in RedMeat. Anything is fair game to him. "I hate you Milkman Dan" indeed.
In NekoTheKitty, McJefferstein, the 'evil' counterpart of Jeff, often says, "The evil is the fun part!", even though he rarely does anything particularly harmful.
Maxwell Lombardi is one of the few killers in v4 who genuinely enjoys killing, and often goes out of his way to kill people. He's... quite good at it.
Don Sebastiano of the Whateley Universe. His idea of 'romance' is seducing a classmate, having sex with her until she's in love, then humiliating her in front of the whole school. And that's the least damaging side of him.
Though a fair chunk of Worm's truly despicable villains have developed motives or at least evidence of one being there, several of the worst are just in it for kicks. Jack Slash, the leader of the Slaughterhouse Nine, is the standout example. Upon finding out that he will cause the end of the world, he decides that sounds like a great idea.
Dr. Horrible's sole motivation for trying to take over the world is so that he can qualify as a supervillain and get into the Evil League of Evil. Dr. Horrible is also a subversion; it's made a clear on a couple of occasions that he feels the world is corrupted, and the only way to "save" it is to take control himself; most obviously in his opening spiel and during the song "My Eyes". Indeed, when it comes time to kill the "hero" of the piece, he can't bring himself to do it until he's lost his chance.
That Guy with the Glasses did a sketch about the Joker from The Dark Knight trying to come up with an origin story. After several rather ridiculous attempts, he decides to forsake the attempt altogether.
Joker: "Argh, that will never work! You know what? I'll just say I'm an asshole!"
When contemplating what to do after he becomes immortal, Freeza decides that for the first century or so he'll take it easy on his subjects, lull them into a false sense of security, before becoming a full on bloody tyrant for another few centuries. After that, he'll disappear for a millennium or so, until they come to believe the old stories were false and Freeza never actually existed... at which point he'll return and Kill 'em All.
This is the only conceivable reason for why Guru decided to kill himself after he sensed that the main characters had summoned the dragon. He even acknowledges what a dick move it would be right before he does it.
Veronica Carter of Shadowhunter Peril, through a technicality, falls under this category. When she originally existed in Fan Fiction, Veronica was a psychotic vampire who had bullied her three siblings into working for her in her quest for total destruction of everything, murdered her rebellious little brother's best and only friend, killed and drained blood from the bodies of humans well after she was full satisfying her thirst, and went on a celebratory trek across of vandalism across the country after she killed her own army and attacked the opposing one (her idea of vandalism is burning everything she sees). Her reasoning for all this is because she "was just bored".
Even in Shadowhunter Peril, she will occasionally do something that could be slightly considered evil towards the Resistance, such as setting demonic, tentacled, man-eating pies on her friends (she commands them to eat Nicholas and Umbra); and firing missiles at Oblivion. When asked why she does this, she just giggles. It goes without saying that Veronica is definitely insane.
In The Cartoon Man, Simon starts out with a plan to exploit transformative black ink for his own profit. After he consumes some of the ink himself, however, he becomes a Dastardly Whiplash type cartoon villain with a plan to take over the world. His reason: "Why not?"
While all the villains from Captain Planet seemingly pollute for no reason, they actually have some incentive ranging from Looten Plunder being a Corrupt Corporate Executive to Verminous Skumm wanting to wipe out humanity so his kind can take over. Dr. Blight is the only one truly fitting of this trope to a degree (and she in fact, evokes it in the episode "A Perfect World"). Her motives vary from episode to episode, and she is the only villain other than Zarm to scheme to destroy the Planeteers and Gaia.
Although eponymous Invader Zim does have a motive, it's obvious from his actions, particularly in flashbacks, that he's more concerned with the evulz than anything else. Especially since his actual mission is to observe and report. His decision to conquer and destroy is all for the heck of it. Well, and his ego.
The anti-fairies go out to cause bad luck, for no other reason than to go out and cause it. They are the Evil Counterpart to the Fairies, who go out to help kids For Great Justice (and to fill the void of not having kids of their own.)
Vicky also counts. Her very purpose in life is either to swindle cash or torture those under her care, even her own little sister. When Timmy (who needs to have his tonsils removed) asks why she is working in the hospital, she replies with this obvious answer: "I like volunteering in places where there's pain." When Timmy's parents finally stop being useless for once at the end of Channel Chasers, Vicky gives a rather half-assed excuse for her obvious sadism: "I blame television!" Thankfully, Timmy's parents don't buy this for a second.
Samurai Jack: In the DVD Commentary, Genndy Tartakovsky mentioned the idea that Aku set up the Jackass Genie well in Episode VII as well as several other obstacles Jack encounters throughout his travels. He notes this isn't to capture Jack, but so Aku could just mess with the people he's already enslaved.
One memorable episode featured the season's Big Bad trying to create a giant tidal wave to drown the city - for no discernible reason at all. Admittedly, the one-shot villains often fell into this too, though were usually just following whatever their gimmick happened to be (except for Adonis, who just seemed to wreck things because it helped boost his ego).
Also the Brotherhood of Evil, at least in their first appearance. There is no logical reason, other than being a massive dick (quite an accomplishment for a Brain in a Jar), that the Brain would use a black hole machine to destroy the Titans' home city. They weren't even there at the time, and he knew it. Even their later plan to capture and freeze every hero only seems to be so they can be evil without interruption. On the other hand, there's really quite a lot that the head of an international crime ring could do with a black hole machine, even if it's not spelled out. Can you say "extortion", anyone?
Even Slade flirted with this — see "Forces of Nature", where Robin wonders why Slade wanted to destroy the city, and never gets an answer. For that matter, Thunder and Lightning from the same episode would fit under this label, although they have a more believable "motive" of causing trouble for the fun of it because they're immature jerks. (Being forced to consider the victims of their actions gives Thunder pause.) Slade in that episode could be Fan Wanked into setting the whole thing up to see what the Titans would do to stop it (thereby helping pick an apprentice - and it's only after that episode he decides to focus on Robin alone). Or it could just be Characterization Marches On, as they hadn't quite decided what they wanted to do with him yet.
Trigon, being the God of Evil, kinda has to fit this trope.
There is no doubt that this is the cause of Megabyte's actions later in the series. Shapeshifting as Bob and almost marrying Dot was done for no other reason than to amuse him.
Hexadecimal is so chaotic that she sometimes falls into this trope, for example creating the Medusa Bug and overriding the system Paint command. She even fires The Hardware at the Principal Office, despite Megabyte's warning that doing so will destroy the entire system and everyone in it, including herself, simply because it is "screaming out to be destroyed".
In the Super Mario Bros. cartoons, King Koopa and his kids are Card Carrying Villains that are always doing evil for the sake of doing evil. Occasionally they would have plans that involved financial gain, but evil always took top priority and financial gain was a bonus.
Skeletor in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983). His motive was simply that he enjoyed being evil. He waxed rhapsodic about how much he loved evil. He found joy in any act of nastiness, no matter how petty or arbitrary, and was repulsed by anything good or nice. (Being an '80s cartoon character, he never did anything really evil like, say, trying to kill anyone. But given how much fulfillment he found in even the smallest acts of evil, maybe he didn't feel the need to.) For these types of villains, one can Hand Wave that sort of behavior by realising if they DID manage to kill people, they wouldn't be able to mess with them anymore, and therefore wind up as bored and disaffected as Kefka.
Eris from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. Even though her actions are justified since she is the goddess of chaos after all, she seems to enjoy way too much what she does, and the worst part is that most of the time her goals are just petty or meaningless, like ruining a kung-fu tournament or tormenting the main characters while they aren't even bothering her.
Mr. Black in episode 401 of The Simpsons, "Kamp Krusty", as demonstrated by his toast to the three juvenile delinquents he is employing as camp counselors:
One episode of Johnny Bravo had the devil's nephew, IIRC, possess Johnny in order to turn off the filter to the city's water supply, giving the water a metallic taste. When Pops asks why the demon couldn't have done it himself, the demon says that he could, but it wouldn't be as interesting as forcing someone else to do it.
While many of the other ghostly villains from Danny Phantom did what they did for money, power, revenge, or just because it was their job, Dark Danny clearly caused chaos and destruction throughout the Earth and the Ghost Zone mainly for this trope. Unlike most Western Animation examples, which are hammy, Anvilicious or just an excuse motif, Dark Danny playsthisfor pure terror.
Many villains in Megas XLR live by this trope. Two explicitly notable examples include Gerrkek the Planet Killer and Ender.
Ender: My name is Ender. I end things. People, planets, galaxies.
Avatar: The Last Airbender: Azula may have her eyes set on the crown and other external motivations, but a lot of times she seems to just enjoy being an evil bastard. Especially when you consider how cruel Azula was to Zuko during their childhood. This blatant evil comes back to bite her in the ass when she has a tremendous Villainous Breakdown.
Discord from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic loves causing chaos with his reality warping powers simply because he wants to. He shows pretty quickly that he possesses godlike power and could likely win with a fingersnap, but instead locks everyone in a rigged game where he can Mind Rape them at his leisure. Any possibility that his motivation might be more It Amused Me is put to rest when Fluttershy wins his game by being too mentally stable to fall for More Than Mind Control, when he promptly loses his temper and cheats at his own game by breaking her through more brute force methods — which incidentally makes her embrace this trope as well while under his influence, as she's brainwashed to be cruel and does things solely from that motivation.
In G.I. Joe: Resolute, Zartan says this about why he does what he does: "But I like the idea of living in a world where I can kill anyone I like, anytime I like. I don't need the money; I just need the killing."
Mirage is a cat goddess who's labeled as "Evil Incarnate" and whose primary motivation is to destroy good and spread misery. She developed into wanting revenge on Aladdin, but started out trying to hurt Agrabah because there was too much good in it. As Iago puts it, "She hates good. She annihilates good. Evil is all she does."
The being named Chaos. Aladdin and Co. think he's following this trope, but it's really more because It Amused Me. They eventually find out he's not ACTUALLY evil, just making things "interesting" for them because of the "rut" that Aladdin is in, always being the hero and whatnot. When he accidentally lets slip that Mirage sent him there? They proceed to let him know that Aladdin's life is already pretty chaotic, but Mirage? ALWAYS the same thing, nothing but evil, evil, evil. He decides to go make HER existence a little more... Varied. It's even revealed that screwing with Mirage for trying to manipulate him was his real plan all along.
Jackie Chan Adventures: Subverted with Daolon Wong. Jade did theorize this as the reason Wong broke into Santa's workshop (she believed him to be just another Christmas-hating villain) but Uncle explained that Santa spends the whole year accumulating chi (despite not knowing chi by that name - he wondered if Wong wanted cheese) to help him deliver gifts and that makes Christmas time the occasion he has more of it to be stolen. So, it wasn't a matter of hating Christmas but a matter of not caring enough about it to pass up a chance to steal Santa's chi when he's got the most of it.
All the villains in the short-lived Saturday Morning cartoon series ProStars.