For the Evulz

"It's not about money. It's about sending a message: Everything burns."note 

"Some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn."
Alfred, The Dark Knight

Most villains have logical motivations for (morally) reprehensible actions and intentions. Ambition, zeal, greed, love, hatred, revenge, a troubled childhood, the desire for utopia and 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 means to a good end or even a bad means to 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 Boring and 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 for no reason') 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 non-comedic character whose personality is defined by this trope can be 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 boundless heinousness, not by having reasonless evil as their only possible motivation. Note also that a character defined by For The Evulz can avoid being a Complete Monster by being depicted humorously; a Complete Monster's evil is always played seriously. 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.

That said, Chaotic Evil is not the same thing as For The Evulz. Chaotic Evil a likely Character 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. A villain who is self-aware enough to boast that their acts are just for the sake of evil are a Card-Carrying Villain. See also Dystopia Justifies the Means, when a character strives to create a perpetual dystopic world simply for the sake of suffering.

Sister Trope to Threw My Bike on the Roof.

The Evil Counterpart to For Great Justice.


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    Comic Books 
  • 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.
  • Nearly all depictions of Batman's arch-nemesis, The Joker.
    • 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.
  • Batman: Some other members of the Rogues Gallery have played this card:
    • Victor Zsasz, a 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."
    • 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.
    • The Scarecrow. While he claims he's exposing people to his fear gas for scientific interests, it's pretty generously implied that he just likes watching his concoction's effects.
  • 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.
  • In Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog, this is Fiona Fox's reasoning for turning traitor and joining Scourge, Sonic's anti-universe counterpart.
  • Judge Dredd's enemies, the Angel Gang, are described as "never committing a murder when a vile atrocity would do."
  • A Star Wars Boba Fett comic featured a Mengele-analogue who has given up any pretense of being scientific. He openly admits that he's butchering entire alien races because it's fun.
  • Blackblood from ABC Warriors ran a weapon shop where you didn't pay with money or goods, but with videotapes of the weapons being used on orphanages and such.
  • Carnage, of Spider-Man. Blood. Just 'cause he can. It isn't the symbiote's influence on Cletus either. He was a murdering psychopath before he ever bonded with the Carnage symbiote.
  • Norman Osborn. Green Goblin's motivation in all of the situations is just for evil fun. That's just his Goblin persona. Osborn himself is usually out to extend his power and influence. Sometimes the Goblin's lulz actually bite him in the ass.
  • 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.
  • In the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics, this trope was explicitly stated to be the motivation behind Baxter Stockman's plan to blackmail the city with his mousers. He was using the Mousers to rob banks as well. When April O' Neil tries to explain that he could have made millions of dollars legally, Baxter says he just did it because "it was FUN!"
  • 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.
  • Cletus from The Authority
    "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.
  • JLA villain Prometheus had this exchange with Lex Luthor during "World War III", the last arc of Grant Morrison's run on JLA.
    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 Nixon Expy 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 long as he's hurting or killing someone, he's happy.

    Fan Fic 
  • Batman Beyond Revisited: A lot of what Chainsaw does seems to be purely sadistic pleasure.
  • 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.
  • In Ace Combat: The Equestrian War, Gilda breaks Medley's wings after a prolonged torture for no other reason than her own entertainment and (perhaps) driving Rainbow Dash into a Heroic BSOD.
  • 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.
  • Tsali from Sonic X: Dark Chaos has shades of this. Though he has actual reasons to want revenge against the Seedrians, he butchers entire worlds simply because he can, even if they had nothing to do with his enemies.
    • Beelzebub rapes Chris in Episode 67 not because he needed to run a demented experiment like he did on Cosmo, but because he thought it would be fun.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog fanfic Project Mobitropolis Act One: Evil Rises has Robotnik respond to Sonic questioning why he's done so much evil with, "Because I can."
  • Warriors of the World: Soldiers of Fortune has Big Bad Argath, who has Mind Control powers and toys around with people's heads just because he got bored and finds watching others react to it fun.
  • Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness:
    • In Act III, this is essentially the only reason Kuyou burns Astreal alive.
    • The original Jovian and Jacqueline who served Hokuto revel in committing mass murder, tormenting people, and blowing things up just for kicks. 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. While they're often acting under Hokuto's orders, there's no doubt that they enjoy doing committing acts of evil for the sake of it, and their brief revival via Babylon in Act V proves once and for all that even without Hokuto, they enjoy committing acts of wanton mass murder and city-wide destruction simply as a matter of course.
    • The new Jovian and Jacqueline who serve Talon in Act VI, while considerably less sadistic and cruel than Hokuto's, aren't above indulging in this either; in Act VI chapter 43, when they're looking for Akua and Kahlua in the Shuzen castle, Jacqueline suggests that they just blow up the castle, leading to this exchange:
    Jovian: Why is it that whenever we can't find somebody your first instinct is to blow up everything around you?
    Jacqueline: Because it's fun.
    • In Act VI chapter 25, it's mentioned that during their time enslaved to Babylon, Rathieal regularly abused the Otonashi sisters and tortured them with their Slave Collars just for laughs.
  • 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. Using the Sins of Our Fathers card as a poor excuse to mask her own immense bloodlust, she constantly goes above and beyond to gather power so she can use/abuse said power to cause as much collateral damage and kill as many innocent people as she possibly can, simply because she can.
  • The Two Sides Of Daring Do gives this as Ahuizotl's motivation. However, despite Ahuizotl's character this is NOT Played for Laughs, as Ahuizotl is a Sadistic psychopath who considers the prospect of being the only living being still alive on a lifeless Death World a thing of beauty. Yearling even admits he's more of a joke in the books because on paper this sounds a lot less horrific than it actually is.
  • In Harmony Theory, Max Cash is a criminal mastermind with complex plans to seize ultimate power, which require the sacrifice of specific individuals. He also admits that he sets fire to schools and kills random people he runs into even if it is unnecessary because it is fun and makes him happy.

    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?
  • Sleeping Beauty has Maleficent. She tries to murder the titular character. And when that fails, she captures her Prince Charming so she can send him back when he's old and grey. Why? 'Cuz she's "the mistress of all evil!" That and she didn't like the fact she wasn't invited to the little baby princess's birthday party.
    • The family doesn't seem to be Fantastic Racists against fairies in general; after all, they do invite the somewhat truculent Merryweather. They specifically didn't invite Maleficent because they believed she would do something nasty. "Mistress of all evil", remember? The "snub" just gave her an excuse.
  • Madam Mim in The Sword in the Stone despises anything pleasant (such as flowers and sunshine) and tries to murder Arthur just because Merlin sees something good in him.
  • Wreck-It Ralph: At the climax of the movie, the villain King Candy gloats to Ralph that because of his gamejumping, the giant mechanical bugs Ralph introduced to Sugar Rush have turned the King into one. This has made him powerful enough to take over the whole arcade. Still, he tries to kill Ralph first, apparently just because he feels like it.
  • 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."
  • Gnorga, the Queen of Trolls in A Troll in Central Park, who likes to watch babies cry just for fun and goes so far as to sing a song about this being her motivation.
  • 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 

  • Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash:
    "But I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die."
  • Voltaire's "When You're Evil" sums up the trope.
    And it's so easy when you're evil
    This is the life, you see
    The Devil tips his hat to me
    I do it all because I'm evil
    And I do it all for free
    Your tears are all the pay I'll ever need
  • My Chemical Romance's "I Never Told You What I Do For A Living"
    It ain't the money
    And it sure as hell ain't just for the fame
    It's for the bodies I claim
    And those only go so far
  • "Only a Lad" by Oingo Boingo discusses Johnny, who appears to have been born this way, despite society's attempts to suggest otherwise (Primarily as an excuse not to deal with it.)
    His teachers didn't understand,
    They kicked him out of school at a tender, early age just because
    He didn't want to learn things,
    Had other interests...
    He liked to burn things!
    • Johnny does have motives occasionally, but they are so absurd that they hardly count. (He once shot a neighbor in the leg just so he could steal her radio.)
  • Such Horrible Things by Creature Feature:
    I'm not a bad man
    Even though I do bad things, very bad things, such horrible things
    But it's not quite what it seems, not quite what I seem
    Ah hell, I'm exactly what I seem.
  • French by Tyler, the Creator:
    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).

     Professional Wrestling 
  • 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.
  • Seth Rollins once took Edge hostage and threatened to Neck Snap him. After John Cena gave in to all his demands, Seth decided to stomp on Edge's neck anyway. Fortunately, Cena was fast enough to stop him.

     Stand-Up Comedy 
  • 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!"

     Tabletop Games 
  • 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, threads involving acts of unmotivated malice, especially when the malice is counterproductive or self-destructive, are sometimes tagged "Pleasing to the Ebon Dragon."
  • Warhammer 40,000
    • Quite a few Dark Eldar and followers of Chaos have lost whatever reasons they once might have had for their journey to what lies beyond the Moral Event Horizon and are now in it for the giggles. The Dark Eldar are a particularly stellar example as the reason for their current predicament (hiding in the Webway and constantly hunted by the god of perversion) is that their entire civilization imploded in an orgy of hedonism and depravity, and they have no intention of stopping (while this is buried away in some fairly obscure canon, the Dark Eldar carry on as they are out of a deep-seated spiritual dread. All the evuls are to try and stave off the attention of the god of perversion for just a bit longer).
      • Played with. While they do need to torture living souls to survive, Dark Eldar tend to feel genuine pleasure doing it. Should be also noted that they engaged in such activities well before the Fall. And the only reason they "need" to offer up souls to Slaanesh to protect themselves unlike the rest of the Eldar is because they are still engaging in the behavior that spawned Slaanesh in the first place (which naturally attracts Slaanesh's attention). All they really need to do to is stop acting like such horrible monsters. Occasionally, a Dark Eldar realizes this, grows weary of the madness and evil in their lives, and leaves the Dark Eldar city to find a new life. Sometimes they even join a Craftworld.
    • 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.
      • It also should be noted that any association with Chaos tend to corrupt a person. More often than not it reaches For the Evulz status even if his original intentions were noble and pure.
    • The Orks, meanwhile, are an entire species who embark upon interstellar campaigns of genocide for entertainment purposes. "Orkz wuz made fo' fightin' an' winnin'!"
    • 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).
  • Tends to happen rather spectacularly every time PCs are permitted to be actually evil rather than just designated. The Full Frontal Nerdity take on this gave us Dark Lord Evisceratrix O'Kittensquisher. This is not much of an exaggeration.
  • Depending on what Haunt you trigger in Betrayal at House on the Hill, the Traitor's motivation can range from Tragic Monster to More Than Mind Control to this. The poor preacher might randomly turn into a werewolf, or the geeky Tagalong Kid may just decide the Giant Spiders are just too cool to fight.
  • Vampire: The Requiem has the Crassus family. It's a horrible, horrible example to retype here, so just check it out on their section on the Requiem article.
  • Fiends in Dungeons & Dragons. As the Witch-queen Iggwilv explains in the Demonomicon:
    "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.

  • William Shakespeare is known for doing this:
    • 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'.
  • Ursula in the stage version of The Little Mermaid, from her Villain Song entitled "I Want the Good Times Back".
    I wanna taste their tears
    I wanna hear their screams
    I want that special rush
    You get from crushing
    Hopes and dreams
  • In Shrek The Musical, Farquaad describes his plans for total domination ("with some torture, just for fun!") in "The Ballad of Farquaad".

    Theme Parks 
  • 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.

  • From BIONICLE, we have the Piraka, six (formerly seven) former Dark Hunters out for the Mask of Life.
    • 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.

    Visual Novels 
  • 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 bastard. In Fate/ZeroHe chose for the evulz over being able to wish for anything.
  • Seems to be almost the entire motivation for the witches in Umineko: When They Cry especially the Voyager witch Bernkastel. But when you live for a thousand years, your sources of entertainment eventually start to run out.
  • 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.
  • Danganronpa's Big Bad Junko Enoshima is an intentional creation of this kind of character. Head scenario writer Kazutaka Kodaka feels that giving a villain a Freudian Excuse is "cheating," and so crafted Junko to be defined by a complete lack of purpose in creating the Deadly Game that the series is based around.

  • 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 Order of the Stick:
    • 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 Evil Faux 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?
    • 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.
  • In the second Dungeons and Discourse, Dmitri's character in Dresden Codak excuses stopping to eat the philosophical zombies with "Evil for Evil's sake." Then he kills off the entire party with the Dungeon Boss's mega-weapon. Again, For The Evulz. His character type, Dark Kantian, is based on this trope. His Categorical Imperative is that he must do evil regardless of its utility. (And all the Platonists have headaches now. Whee....)
  • 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?"
  • Black Mage from 8-Bit Theater frequently has this as the motivation for his behavior. Here's just one example out of many.
    Dwarf Villager: By Moradin's beard! Why do only our homes and children burn!
    Black Mage: Because it seemed excessively cruel! [winks]
  • Cyndi of Penny and Aggie toys with others' lust for her, and manipulates people into abandoning their friends or into eating disorders and suicide attempts, simply because it amuses her: "I do like to play." Best summed up by Penny:
    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 is the only discernible reason why Christian Weston Chandler's enemies continually try to ruin his Love Quests in Sonichu. In fairness, Chris is a Jerkass at best, so it's probably the same reason why many people troll him in Real Life-they think he deserves to be trolled.
  • The black hat guy in xkcd enjoys inventive ways of being cruel, and only sometimes as payback for someone being stupid.
  • Aram of Men In Hats. His two entertainments are television and the physical and psychological torment of his housemates.
  • In Sinfest, Satan, peeved at having to restore two succubi, decides it's time for some gratuitous mean-spiritedness. (He had difficulties bringing back Fuschia.)
  • 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 Red Meat. 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.

     Web Original 
  • Survival of the Fittest
    • Word of God states Blood Boy does have a motive, but it A) Doesn't make sense, and B) If it did, boils more or less down to this anyway.
    • There's also the Alternative Character Interpretation some handlers have that this is essentially why Danya is abducting American students and making them kill each other.
    • 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.
  • Dr. Heiter in Human Centipede: The Musical, even more so than his film counterpart.
  • 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!"
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged
    • 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.
    • When Future Trunks demands to know why the Androids are killing and terrorizing everybody, 17 answers, "Why not?"
  • 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?"
  • Smiffy is the Token Evil Teammate of Hat Films, and tends to commit evil actions either out of spite or to amuse himself, such as killing their tamed animals, setting things on fire and weaponising what the team create (up to and including building nuclear weapons).
  • Kim Richards becomes... rather excited at the thought of going into a Crematorium where they are dead bodies with a cannibal on the loose. Hannah Rutherford is not so excited.
  • Simon Lane's more bizarre and irritating troll moves can largely be put down to this, such as frequently committing RDM (killing without evidence or good enough reason) in Trouble In Terrorist Town or shooting Lewis Brindley in the head just because he can.
  • This is nothing short of the motto for Kakos Industries as commiting Evil acts is no different than everyday life. To "Do Evil Better" is simply a way of living with no real rhyme or reason necessary.

Alternative Title(s):

Motiveless Malignity, Did It For The Evulz, For The Evil, For Great Evil, Evil Is Fun, For Teh Evulz