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Neutra Levil
"For mine own good, all causes shall give way."
Macbeth

One of the nine alignments from the best-known Character Alignment system. Sometimes known as the "Asshole Alignment" or "True Evil". Characters of this alignment fit neither end of the Law—Chaos axis, hence "Neutral", but they land at the morally worse end of the other, Good—Evil axis. Their methods vary; just as the Neutral Good character will ally with anybody to do what's right and nobody to do what's wrong, the Neutral Evil character will ally with anybody as long as it advances their own interests — and it is all about their own interests. These characters do not respect other people as people like themselves with feelings and needs; rather they are tools or obstacles inferior to the Neutral Evil, to be used for their advancement. Neutral Evil characters are intrinsically selfish people, regardless of whose side they are on, and as a Token Evil Teammate, they are the most likely to sell out to the bad guy.

Some of the world-shaking ones may seek to tear down an old order, good or bad, to set up their own order — not because their way is better, or for the pleasure of tearing it down, but because they want to be in charge. They will do it using any means at their disposal. To a Neutral Evil character, honour, standards and keeping your word is all well and good, so long as it doesn't get in the way. If their opponent is honourable and decent, that's great because they can exploit it. They are very prone to saying, "I Lied".

While they are usually villains, they can also switch to the good guy's side for a while, if it's better for them at the moment. True Magnificent Bastards of the Neutral Evil persuasion can sometimes (with a little luck) lure other villains into an Enemy Civil War, usually along the lines of Order Versus Chaos — playing Lawful Evil against Chaotic Evil — and cleaning up at both sides' expense.

Neutral Evil types can come in a variety of different flavors:
  • Type 1 characters are amoral and commit evil for self-serving, but not necessarily malicious purposes. They tend to be in it for money and power but (generally) eschew motives like revenge or sadism, viewing them as barbaric or simply unprofessional, if they regard them at all; that does not mean they'll always, or ever, stop their bosses, partners or lackeys from indulging in such behavior, though, and they are usually prepared to Kick the Dog or perform Cold-Blooded Torture as a means to an end. Perhaps they are a Punch Clock Villain, or maybe they believe there is Better Living Through Evil, or perhaps they are Blessed with Suck and their talents happen to lend themselves to evil (like, say, a talent for professional hits). Essentially, this is anyone who would be a True Neutral if not for the lack of conscience or empathy, or their practice of putting either aside to further their own ends. A type 1 will either not understand the difference between right and wrong, or understand but choose wrong anyway, perhaps justifying it with Necessarily Evil, or perhaps simply not viewing the whole Good and Evil thing to be of any special importance in the first place. On the other end of the scale, this can ramp up to Scary Dogmatic Aliens or Eldritch Abominations and anyone else operating on Blue and Orange Morality or Above Good and Evil, but who are just culpable enough to still qualify as evil.
  • Type 2 characters, in contrast, are immoral and deliberately evil. Egotistical, selfish, malevolent and sadistic, they recognize the difference between right and wrong (at least superficially) and wilfully and gleefully choose wrong. But this does not make them Chaotic Evil, since they get the same amusement from using orderly or chaotic techniques. They are likely to do bad things just For the Evulz. Some are made of Jerk Justifications and try to justify their actions with insincere What Is Evil? or Above Good and Evil arguments; many others are Card Carrying Villains who revel being the bad guy and will boast about all the horrible things they have done or plan to do.
  • Type 3 characters on the other hand are egomaniacal; they believe that they are the good, or even The Hero, and evil either doesn't exist or is whatever they don't like. These guys might recognize that the rest of the world has different ethical standards from them, but those standards are for lesser mortals and they will obey them only when it is convenient to do so. Often elitist and smug with a grandiose sense of entitlement and self-worth, they often think The Hero thwarts their plans out of jealousy, ignorance or spite and often fail to understand altruism or selfless behavior. They treat the bulk of humanity with indifference if not utter contempt, even if they regard themselves as a Well-Intentioned Extremist, believing themselves to be the center of the world, perhaps sharing it with a handful of semi-worthy competitors and everyone else exists to serve their needs or glorify them. Others don't care about the common person at all except as means to an end, while some are simply the Misanthrope Supreme and will shut themselves off from the trash that is mankind; or, worse, take a Kill 'em All approach to Put Them All Out of My Misery. A Type 3 is fully capable of doing heinous or petty things For the Evulz and can be extremely sadistic and vindictive; they just won't consider such acts to be evil (at least, in general) because they feel they are entitled to do them.
  • Type 4 characters are devout- they are actually devoted to the cause of Evil (or similar sinister concept, eg. the Dark Side, Crime, Death etc.) and seek to spread it wherever they go. A Type 4 serves the resident God of Evil, seeks to open the Sealed Evil in a Can, or is the most fervent and sincere follower of the Religion of Evil, as well as actively opposing the forces of Good and going out of their way to do so. Others are more philosophical or political and advocate destructive, bigoted or Straw Nihilist creeds. The nuttiest of this type even believe Good Is Bad And Bad Is Good and think that normal or heroic characters are the true villains while applying Insane Troll Logic to demostrate that the "villains" are actually good. In spite of this servile approach, most are just as selfcentred and egotistical as any other Neutral Evil type; this often manifests in the real or delusional belief that they are "special"- perhaps The Chosen One, the Dark Messiah or even The Antichrist-, and they might view other followers as useful pawns or hated rivals. Some simply become addicted to Black Magic or assign religious meaning to torture and death; others are more mission orientated and come to serve as agents of dark powers or simply try to spread as much misery or death as possible. Though sometimes portrayed as cartooshily evil, the most serious of this type make very dangerous villains, as they truly do Evil for its own sake, and not (just) evil for the sake of themselves.

In practice, Neutral Evil often simply means "Evil", so Lawful Evil or Chaotic Evil are simply cases where one of the above types meets Lawful or Chaotic Neutral inclinations.

Neutral Evil can be the most dangerous alignment because such characters are willing to step on, betray, take advantage of, hurt, and kill other people to reach their goals and get what they want. The Neutral Evil have no difficulty working with others so long as their own needs are met. However, they also have no difficulty betraying former companions if there is some gain in doing so. They are also extremely susceptible to bribes.

In Dungeons & Dragons, characters who are selfish above all else are Neutral Evil by default.

If you have a difficulty deciding which alignment a evil-aligned character belongs to, the main difference between Lawful Evil, Neutral Evil and Chaotic Evil is not their devotion to their evil wishes, but the methods they believe are best to realize it:

  • Even though there are some situations where they can't always use this method, Lawful Evil characters believe the best way is to have a specific, strict code of conduct, whether self-imposed or codified as a law. Their first impulse when making a moral decision is to refer back to this code; those with externally imposed systems (codes of laws, hierarchies, etc.) will try to work within the system when those systems go wrong. Depending on whether they are more Lawful or more Evil, they will either refuse to break the code even though it would hurt their evil objectives, or else break it only very reluctantly, and only when it would hurt their evil objectives if they kept their code.
  • Neutral Evil characters are indifferent to Order Versus Chaos, and their only interest is in realizing their evil wishes. They will use whatever means will help in realizing their evil wishes, whether that means tearing down a code of laws, following a code of laws, creating an orderly society, causing the breakdown of justice, or staying away from society altogether. Their only goal is to realize their evil wishes, full stop.
  • Most Chaotic Evil characters don't constantly break the law, but they cannot see much value in laws (or, for weaker-CCEs, do not see the value in laws that do not function solely to their depraved objectives). They believe that their own evil impulses are their best guides, and that tying themselves to any given code of conduct would be limiting their own ability to realize their depraved wishes. They do not get along with anyone who tries to instill any kind of order over the Chaotic Evil character, believing these people to be restricting their freedom; Chaotic Evil characters often focus very strongly on their own individual rights and freedoms, and will strongly resist any form of oppression of themselves.

See Also: Lawful Good, Neutral Good, Chaotic Good, Lawful Neutral, True Neutral, Chaotic Neutral, Lawful Evil, Chaotic Evil


Examples of Neutral Evil villains:

Others, such as the Big Bad, can vary between Lawful Evil, Neutral Evil, and Chaotic Evil.

Expect any Neutral Evil state to be Mordor, and a Neutral Evil city the Wretched Hive. Neutral Evil characters are likely to be Unfettered. If they are, they can also be the most lethal kind of villain, as the most extreme kind of neutral evil (not Chaotic Evil like one might think) is what gave rise to the concept of the Omnicidal Maniac (though most Omnicidal Maniacs tend to slide into Chaotic Evil by the end). Many Corrupt Corporate Executives are Neutral Evil Jerkasses in charge of Lawful Evil MegaCorps - it's easier to get ahead in business when you cheat. Unlike a Lawful Evil CCE who'd fly into a rage over somebody else's infractions, Neutral Evil sorts rarely care (as long as they themselves stay ahead) - a suitably Affably Neutral Evil businessperson might even applaud a fellow cheater's "initiative."


Examples

When dealing with the examples of specific characters, remember that assigning an alignment to a character who doesn't come with one is pretty subjective. If you've got a problem with a character being listed here, it probably belongs on the discussion page. There will be no Real Life examples under any circumstances; it just invites an Edit War. Plus, real people are far too complex and multi-dimensional to really be classified by such a straightforward alignment system.

On works pages: Character Alignment is only to be used in works where it is canonical, and only for characters who have alignments in-story. There is to be no arguing over canonical alignments, and no Real Life examples, ever.

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Ryo Narushima from Shamo
  • Most characters in Black Lagoon are of this alignment - living in a world as violent as theirs, both a tolerance and an occasional willingness to do evil to come out on top is practically a necessity. Mr. Chang, Shenhua and Sawyer the Cleaner are the most prominent Neutral Evil characters.
  • Griffith from Berserk
  • The Godhand from Berserk (with the exception of Void, who is Lawful Evil), and many of their Apostles, who view humans as little more than toys for their own amusement. Griffith himself steps into this territory during his moment of depravity as Femto during the Eclipse.
  • Shapiro Keats from Dancougar. He betrayed his kind and his planet to join the Muge army and he tried to manipulate them in order to get the chance to become god of the universe.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Piccolo started off as the Big Bad, until Raditz first appeared and outmatched him. Piccolo decided to join Goku in defeating him only because Goku was as strong as or maybe even stronger than him, and to keep Raditz from taking over the world, which he planned on doing. In training Goku's son, Gohan for the other two Saiyans, he starts to diverge from his evil nature, leading to a full on Heel-Face Turn when he sacrifices his life to save Gohan.
    • Vegeta in the Namek saga. He spends most of the saga as a Villain Protagonist until joining Krillin and Gohan to fight the Ginyu Force. However, he's only joining them because they're the only other people who could possibly help them, and made it very clear that he was still planning on killing them and stealing the Dragon Balls. Thanks to circumstances, he eventually goes through Heel-Face Turn.
    • Frieza is absolutely of this alignment. He is an utterly selfish Galactic Conqueror whose modus operandi is taking over a planet, cleansing it clean of life and selling it to the highest bidder; though he is the ruler of The Empire it doesn't seem to serve any purpose other than making him more money, glory, and power. He is a Bad Boss of the worst sort who once blew up a world of his elite warrior race because he heard a rumor that they might become strong enough to defeat him, and his goal is to achieve Immortality so he can be the strongest in the universe forever.
  • Death Note:
  • Naruto:
    • Sasuke Uchiha started out Lawful Neutral, became Neutral Good after becoming part of Team 7, going into True Neutral when he abandoned Konoha and sought out Orochimaru's help, but after Tobi told him the truth about the destruction of the Uchiha clan, and he subsequently attacked the Five Kage Summit, with the intent of killing Danzo to avenge his family's deaths and proceeded to proclaim that he would kill everyone in Konoha as revenge for his family, which firmly established him as Neutral Evil.
    • Kakuzu, whose only goal is profit, and Sasori, who wishes to make as many puppets as possible to establish the immortality of his art, also fit this alignment.
    • Tobi aka Obito Uchiha and Kabuto Yakushi, as well. Madara Uchiha too.
  • Vicious from Cowboy Bebop is only interested in killing Spike and is willing to do anything to accomplish this.
  • Redda of Mon Colle Knights.
  • Akihiro Kurata from Digimon Savers.
  • Yujiro Hanma from Baki the Grappler. He wavers more between Chaotic Evil and Chaotic Neutral in the sequels. He is excessively cruel and the reasons for his cruelty are sometimes just as excessively flimsy, but he'll also stay out of the "good guys"' way if he doesn't feel like fighting them or even help if he's got personal stakes in their fights.
  • Mai-Otome:
    • Tomoe Marguerite has this alignment written all over her. She is extremely vicious and selfish, to the point of not caring who gets hurt or dies because of her schemes, and will either play by the rules or break them outright. It doesn't matter which, as long as she gets away with it and gets what she wants: Shizuru's love. She becomes increasingly Chaotic Evil as time goes on.
    • Several of the antagonistic Hime become this later on in Mai-HiME. Their allegiances typically lie with themselves and they are willing to hurt others in order to advance their own agendas.
    • The Big Bad of the manga, Sergay initially appears loyal to the real Mashiro even after being exposed as a villain, only to dispose of her when she's no longer useful and attempt to destroy the world.
  • Gundam - again - is a good source for examples.
    • Famously Char's original alignment is still debated. Being evil without question, his balance of being a proud soldier but killing friends and superiors to revenge his father would put him in NE alignment.
    • Manipulative Bastard and The Chessmaster Paptimus Scirocco in Zeta Gundam. He will betray anyone and break any oath to fulfill his objectives, but can play along with his "superiors" for as long as needed.
    • Glemmy Toto from Gundam ZZ fits this alignment as well, considering he is The Starscream of the series.
    • G Gundam has the secret main villain Major Ulube is planning to rule the Earth sphere with Devil Gundam. Putting him in lawful or chaotic is not really possible, so he's probably best left here.
    • Wang Liu Mei from Gundam 00 will aid whoever can be useful to her goal of changing the world into a place that suits her desires, and elevate herself into an higher being akin to the Innovators, and at the same time will sacrifice anything or anyone she deems necessary. She has loyalty to no one but herself, not even to her own brother Hong Long, whose death only elicited the most minute emotional response from her.
    • Muruta Azrael of Gundam Seed. A Smug Snake whose desire is to slaughter every Coordinator in existence while gaining as much political influence and money as possible. His successor, Lord Djibril, started here, but devolved into Chaotic Evil as the events of the series turned against him. Djibril's Tykebombs, the Extended, are likely Neutral Evil as well: sure they're being forced into fighting, but Sting and Auel at least would cheerfully do it anyway.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha:
    • Jail Scaglietti may be a giggling Mad Scientist, but unlike Precia, he's kept his sanity where it counts. He's not prone to abusing his minions for no reason for one, and he will happily play by the rules of his employers... that is, until he's deemed them too obstructive to his goals.
    • It's argued by some fans that Precia, with her selfish desires that nonetheless were not actively thought up to cause death/destruction, plus her love of discipline (which implies a bit or order), fits this alignment better than she does Chaotic Evil. This topic has caused Flame War arguments.
  • Bleach:
    • Mayuri Kurotsuchi certainly counts in this area as a Mad Scientist of the worst caliber. Although he serves the Soul Society (and seems to have no interest whatsoever in the Big Bad's evil plan), he shows very little care for standards and is willing to bend (or outright break, if he can get away with it) the rules "For Science!". Mayuri is an example of an effective Neutral Evil character on the good guys team done right; all he wants is research, and will kill anyone he has to to get it and that's it. He won't backstab, didn't even backstab Urahara even when Urahara informed him that all that stood between him and being the leader of 12th Division was his own death, because Mayuri was getting what he wanted anyway. A curious case of an Affably Evil character who isn't Affably Evil.
    • Grimmjow Jaggerjack. Yes, he is under Aizen's command, but he holds no loyalty to him beyond the fact that Grimmjow himself is not strong enough to take him down (which is a great irritation to said arrancar). He goes against orders on a number of occasions, including going so far as to break Orihime out of her prison and sealing Ulquiorra into a pocket dimension temporarily just so he can have his showdown with Ichigo.
    • Big Bad Sosuke Aizen shows himself to be definitely this. He has freely admitted to being unbound by any type of honor, law, morality, or even decency. Everything, including (read: especially) his own underlings, are pawns used to achieve his own goals. Naturally, he believes this makes him the only viable candidate to become the world's new God. While he may have used the political system on his behalf for an unspecified amount of time, even years. He did not have a plan for bettering people or order, or society, it was just a selfish lust for power, and to become "God", not to rule, but because as he described it, the seat has been empty for a while, so he would take it, aka be the strongest being in existence. He has no loyalty to his minions, they are all dead at the end of his arc, some directly or indirectly because of him, he just views them as tools to further his ambition.
  • Neuro from Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro. His motives may benefit humanity in the short term, but this is somewhat spoiled by the fact that every time he saves humans from outside forces, he is essentially saving them in hope that they will kill each other some day, and create a puzzle. And yet, he's not actively Chaotic, either, preferring to manipulate law rather than destroy it.
  • Abe no Kaii from Lone Wolf and Cub. Notable because he's the only major non-lawful character in the story, and his total inability to follow Bushido makes him stick out like a sore thumb.
  • Enishi Yukishiro, the Big Bad of Rurouni Kenshin's Jinchu arc is willing to use anyone and anything to get his revenge on Kenshin for his sister's death. To him nothing else matters except that.
  • Sartorius, The Dangerously Genre Savvy 2nd Big Bad from Yu-Gi-Oh! GX.
  • Fate Averruncus of Mahou Sensei Negima!. It's currently unknown what his true goals are, but there isn't much he's not willing to do for it, including taking out multiple gate ports and framing Negi for it, petrifying * permanently* anyone he sees as an obstacle (including non-fighters like Nodoka and Konoka), kidnapping those he sees as crucial to his plans, and not-so-subtly threatening a city full of innocents when meeting Negi.
  • One Piece:
    • A Neutral Evil organization being served by the Lawful Neutral Marines; while the Marines run the gamut from Akainu's Lawful Evil to Smoker's Lawful Good, with a great many Lawful Neutral marines balancing it out, the World Government that commands the Marines has two goals and only two goals; remaining in absolute control of the world that has no choice except them or the pirates, and making sure that the many skeletons in their closet stay there. To this end, the World Government is a patron of the at least partially pirate-run Slave Trade, has civilians and children (pregnant women and babies not exempt!) massacred to keep their secrets under wraps or try to suppress a notorious pirate's bloodline. Worse, however, is that the World Government is fully willing to actually obstruct the Marines from doing their jobs if it serves their own ends, such as hushing up warnings that Impel Down was destroyed, releasing the worst criminals in the world out in massive numbers out of fear that it would hurt their reputation. Sengoku does not seem pleased when he realizes that the government he's responsible for protecting is a lot more interested in keeping its reputation clean than it is in protecting people from the various pirates now free to pillage and rape in secret.
      • G-5 is notable for having problems with authority (though once Smoker is transferred there, he manages to win their loyalty through intimidation and sheer badassedry) and for gleefully torturing captured pirates. They manage to avoid Chaotic Evil status by the fact that, evil-aligned as they are, they're still True Companions and look out for each other, and are devastated when their commander, Vergo, turns out to be a spy for Doflamingo and turns on them.
    • Quite a few of the lesser East Blue pirates like Bluejam, Alvida, Buggy, Kuro, Don Krieg & Arlong, some of the Seven Warlords of the Sea like Sir Crocodile, Gekko Moriah & Blackbeard Leans more on Chaotic Evil based off Marineford, though, at least Capone Bege of the Supernovas and those bureaucrats who use the system to their advantage like Wapol & Spandam all share the badge of Neutral Evil.
  • Code Geass has Luciano Bradley, the Knight of Ten. He serves a Lawful Evil empire solely because it gives him opportunities to kill without consequences. V. V., in spite of his goal he shares with his brother, Charles, to rid the world of lies, is deceitful in his goals, even towards Charles himself, most of all in that he murdered Marianne. After one lie too many, Charles takes V. V.'s code and leaves him to die.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Sociopathic Soldier Solf J. Kimblee goes along with the military's genocide in Ishval, but chooses to keep the Philosopher's Stone they lend him to test it out, killing the people who know he has it. His loyalty to the homunculi is questionable at best, given that his primary motivation is to see whether they or humanity survive. In the end, he betrays Pride when the latter hypocritically goes against his idea that homunculi are superior to humans. He personally admits his views are at odds with society, and says that because he knows they are, he's gotten by through pretending to be normal.
    • Among the homunculi, Pride comes across this way - he is really loyal to Father, but he likes senseless cruelty for its own sake a bit too much to qualify as Lawful Evil.
    • In the 2003 anime version, its Big Bad Dante was this, arranging a conspiracy over the course of centuries whose ultimately goals essentially came down to achieving eternal youth for herself and screwing over those she had a grudge against.
      • Dante's Dragon and son, Envy, is this as well. Even though he's loyal to Dante, it's really only for his own purposes.
  • Sniper from Ginga Nagare Boshi Gin is scheming to take control of the entire pack for purely selfish reasons, and will stop at nothing to realize his goals, going as far as killing his former allies if they stand in his way. He's seen betraying his allies and is more than once trying to start conflicts to weaken both sides so he can more easily take over. He holds little to no regard for his allies lives, and will abandon them as soon as they can no longer help him further his agenda. He also cheats and lies at his own discretion.
  • Some members of the Rozencreutz Orden from Trinity Blood, but most predominantly, the leader, Cain Nightroad.
  • Doctor from Black Cat, who follows the Big Bad not to change the world, but to satiate his lust for knowledge.
  • The Gankutsuou's version of The Count of Monte Cristo.
  • Walter C. Dornez of Hellsing.
  • Jerkass Woobie Depraved Homosexual Rune Kodaria and his Goth Doji Jealous from Karakuridouji Ultimo.
  • Takao Hiyama, Enfant Terrible Reisuke Houjo, Manipulative Bitch Tsubaki Kasugano, Beastmaster Karyuudo Tsukishima and Vigilante Man Yomotsu Hirasaki from Mirai Nikki.
  • Elfen Lied:
    • The Unknown Man
      • Director Kakuzawa, whose sole concern was wiping out humanity and creating a new race out of his own descendants.
  • The Caligula Delphine Eraclea from Last Exile.
  • Sociopathic Soldier and Empty Shell Zaied from Full Metal Panic! is this. As long as he's on the winning side he doesn't care who he works for or what they want him to do.
  • InuYasha: Common for the more intelligent demons, who simply don't care about others and only want to be unstoppable.
    • InuYasha's full-demon half-brother Sesshoumaru is initially almost emotionless and completely unconcerned with anything but his own personal goals, ready to destroy anyone in his way without a second thought. As the story progresses, Character Development starts to take him slowly at least a little towards True Neutral as he learns to care about others beside himself.
    • The demon Naraku seems at first to be a completely heartless, opportunistic Manipulative Bastard who's willing to hurt anyone to advance his goals. In truth, he's doing much of it out of malice rather than simply rationally to achieve his goals. Still, it doesn't change the fact that he's just doing evil things by any means available, with no code of rules but also not impulsively or randomly.
      • The numerous separate entities Naraku spawns from himself, while having their own wills and personalities, tend to be Neutral Evil as well. They generally spend most of their time doing two things: doing his evil bidding without particularly caring what's going on other than to take a little (or a lot of) sadistic pleasure in it, and/or plotting to betray him. He's Genre Savvy enough about his own alignment that the only way he "trusts" them is because he could destroy them at a whim, or in some cases because he's counting on their betrayal and planning to betray them back.
    • The Band of Seven, while being Ax-Crazy Psycho for Hire could qualify them for Chaotic Evil, except that they have strong morales such as viewing themselves as True Companions and only attacking for their own interests (Mukotsu- women, Jakotsu- men, Ginkotsu-Renkotsu, Kyokotsu- eating in order to preserve power and life, Suikotsu- his Split Personality stops him from going completely amoral and kill everyone in sight, Renkotsu- self preservation and Bankotsu- fighting and fulfilling a promise/contract)
    • Yura of the Hair: A demon who basically just consumes people in her own way, but is not unintelligent and takes a certain sadistic pleasure in what she does.
  • Shion Izumi from Gantz. He'll kill anyone to get back to the game, where he'll kill aliens and follow the rules or break them.
  • Lady Jagara from Wolfs Rain.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Yoshikage Kira, unlike most of the main villains who want total domination or rewriting history, he's only concerned with keeping his life undisturbed without distractions, that being a Serial Killer with the facade of being a normal businessman. And goes to get lengths to do so.
    • Kars also qualifies, caring only about obtaining the Red Stone of Aja for his own interests of being the Ultimate Life Form
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Kyubey starts off as a True Neutral Well-Intentioned Extremist: his role was after all to prolong the life of the universe. Unfortunately, this involved tricking prepubescent girls into contracting with him and then slowly breaking their psyches. It WAS all For The Greater Good. What pushed him into Neutral Evil, however, were the events of Rebellion: despite gaining all the energy he needed in Madoka's exponentially kinder system, it wasn't enough for him. So he locked Homura in a tortuous isolation chamber with the intent of observing and ultimately controlling the Law of Cycles to bring back the good ol' days of the Witch System.

    Comic Books 
  • Wonder Woman's archenemy Ares wants nothing other than endless war and he'll use any means to achieve it.
  • Loki from both Marvel and DC Comics. Lying, deceitful, manipulative, and cares less about power and glory than about making Thor and the other Aesir miserable and will engage in convoluted plans to make this possible.
  • The Kingpin, one of the Marvel Universe's Magnificent Bastards, has no compunctions about ordering murder, kidnapping, or arson against anyone who tries to stand up to him, and is quite content to enrich himself off the victims of his criminal empire, but he'll also exploit whatever legal loopholes he can to make sure the long arm of the law can't catch him.
  • Big Bad Gideon Gordon Graves of the Scott Pilgrim series. A Jerkass who's two goals are 1. Ruin Scott's life by manipulating the 6 other Evil Ex's and 2. Capture Ramona and keep her for himself, forever. The embodiment of malice, indeed.
  • Marvel's Kang the Conqueror, while a builder of empires and a commander of armies, has shown to care little for their management and is obsessed with conquest, fighting, and warfare more out of a desire for the thrill it brings than any value he may place on them. Once he obtains something, he tends to lose interest in it, and battles The Avengers for the challenge rather than hatred. His dragon Baltag was Lawful Evil and turned on Kang when he made an exception to their code of honor in sparing a princess's life who had defied them in the past when Kang was in love with her. It has been shown that Kang will learn the value of statesmanship, proper management, and negotiation which will make him lean to more Lawful alignments, eventually becoming the Lawful Neutral Immortus.
  • Doctor Sivana, Mad Scientist extraordinaire and archnemesis of Captain Marvel, has been described as a cross between Lex Luthor and the Joker in terms of persona. He always has some evil scheme that he's dead-set on, but he most decidedly does not play well with others.
  • Green Lantern villain Larfleeze/Agent Orange, the keeper of the Orange Light of avarice, is practically the living embodiment of selfishness. He kills other ring-users and steals their identities, crafting Orange Lantern constructs in their image to be his slaves. His only motivation is to hold onto what he has and take ever more from others.
  • Deadpool in his first appearances before turning (becoming) a Sociopathic Hero.
  • In Ultimate Marvel, Deadpool goes from just plain screwy to racist, murdering, scumbag who hunts mutants on television for sport
  • Sangreco from Mesmo Delivery It's implied that he may actually be a demon or an agent of the devil.
  • Bluebeard and Goldilocks from Fables. Bluebeard lives comfortably in Fabletown and appears to be a legitimate citizen, but in secret, he hoards magic objects, blackmails his fellow Fables, and forces the leaders of the city to bow and scrape for his annual donations, up until Prince Charming kills him. Goldilocks presents herself as an idealistic revolutionary, but is really only concerned with gaining power as governments topple and people die around her.
  • Wallenquist in Sin City is a simple businessman that never takes anything personal... he just so happens to be The Don. The Roarks and Colonel almost fit this trope they have varying degrees of For the Evulz, resulting in them being a bit "purer" in their evilness.
  • The Anti-Monitor, Guardian of the Sinestro Corps. He started off completely conquering his home universe and made a chosen people who worshiped him as a God-King with some structure of rank (the Shadows and the Thunderers) and privilege. While his goal is often stated to be the destruction of every positive matter universe, his actual goal has always been to rule an anti-matter universe with the power provided from the destruction of the other positive matter universes. The Anti-Monitor has never been shown to use deception and always does what he says he is going to, even if it is limited "You will die." or "I won't kill you yet," and has even offered to generously reward the minions that serve him (Psycho-Pirate was offered control of a world, Hank Henshaw was offered oblivion) if they will help him meet his goal. However, he is completely solipsistic and kills inhabited planets in his universe to gain more power.
  • Post embracing his supervillain lineage, Wesely of Wanted does plenty of things For the Evulz, including a rape, killing every person who ever slighted him, and killing a police station just for kicks. However, he gets along much better with the relatively restrained, Lawful Evil members of the Fraternity than he does with Mr. Rictus, who is For the Evulz as his sole motivation in life (i.e. Chaotic Evil). What's true of Wesley is also true of his father, the Killer, and his/his father's girlfriend, The Fox.
  • Norman Osborn is neutral evil, fulfilling his needs by using both legal and illegal means, desiring mostly respect, money, and power, though hampered by his numerous mental health problems. When he is the Green Goblin, he becomes Chaotic Evil. When he presents himself as Iron Patriot he is Lawful Evil. But the most evil and effective of the three is prime Osborn's personality, which is not restricted by madness or rules.
  • Terra (Tara Markov) from The New Teen Titans is very much this during The Judas Contract storyline where is revealed she was a ruthless mercenary who worked for Deathstroke all along. However, her animated counterpart is alot different.
  • Mainstream Thanos is certainly evil, but has famously stood outside the boundaries of Chaos and Order. Thanos is a high-functioning Neutral Evil- methodical, calculating, but ultimately usually driven by whatever the hell he feels like doing at a given time, or a nigh-omnicidal romantic obsession with Death, and usually a Straw Nihilist who doesn't believe any moral or ethical authority, answers to nobody but himself, and is The Unfettered in everything he pursues. He will just as easily make alliances with good characters and evil ones, but can occasionally be relied on to keep his words. Even if it is his Exact Words.
  • Lobo fits this perfectly, all the stuff he does is mostly because he felt like doing it. He wiped out his own race as a school project to which he gave himself an A.

    Fanfiction 
  • In the Mass Effect roleplay, "The Council Era", krogan adviser Halak Marr classifies as a neutral evil, being that he is fully willing to outside the boundaries of law in order to further his cause of eliminating the rest of the galactic population, thus rendering the krogan as a Master Race. The Overlord that he used as an Unwitting Pawn, on the other hand, was Lawful Neutral, and his Worthy Opponent, the Villain Protagonist, is Lawful Evil.
  • In the Touhou fanfic Imperfect Metamorphosis, Yuuka seems to be this. It would probably best to simply describe her as being just like Nyarlathotep, at least by Shin Megami Tensei-Persona standards.

    Film 
  • Emperor Palpatine of Star Wars. True, he created the Lawful Evil Empire, but he did so through careful manipulation of the system and various extralegal means, and the only real rule in the Empire is "don't piss off the Emperor". He can adjust even the most carefully-laid plans to fit a changing situation, but always keeps his goal in mind: POWERRRRRRRR! UNLIMITED POWERRRRRRRR!
    • Boba Fett also fits this alignment as a Type 1, as most bounty hunters do. His concern for profits and his total lack of empathy for his targets clearly display this when Darth Vader specifically asks him for "no disintegrations." He may also be considered Chaotic Neutral.
  • Anton Chigurh from No Country for Old Men, although he is quite an enigma. He appears to follow some vague form of rules, but these rules seem to allow for the arbitrary murder of anyone unfortunate enough to cross paths with him. Even though he was only hired to retrieve a satchel of money, he ends up killing plenty more, notably a deputy, benign civilians, his two mooks, his old partner, his boss, and the widow of his late-nemesis. In addition, he appears to offer a coin toss to anyone he feels should have one last chance at living.
    • The last victim calls him on the BS of the coin flip and giving people a "chance"; since he's the one choosing to put their life on the line in the first place it's not random, it's not chance, it's not the victim getting a chance, it's just him being a killer.
  • Phyllis Dietrichson from Double Indemnity, who by her own admission is "rotten to the heart". Her best description would be the human version of a praying mantis.
  • Harry Lime is an Affably Evil and charismatic example of this alignment.
  • Davy Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean sails the seas, recruiting any lost sailors he into his crew, then sailing the seas some more. Sometimes though he'll execute them, depending on his mood (Chaotic behavior). However, he does engage in carefully worded agreements in order to recruit members of his crew (Lawful Evil). In this way Davy Jones appears to balance out to be Neutral Evil. He's less than pleased in the third movie when he suddenly has to obey the rules of the Lawful Evil Lord Beckett.
  • Col. Landa aka 'The Jew Hunter' from Inglourious Basterds would appear to be Lawful Evil but has a chaotic streak: choking von Hammersmark to death, letting Shosanna live on a whim and ultimately sells out Hitler to save his own skin and be richly rewarded by the US government, landing him here in Neutral Evil Land.
  • Gordon Gekko from Wall Street. Keeping the rules, breaking the law, he doesn't care as long as it gives him an advantage.
  • Yuri Orlov, the arms-dealing Villain Protagonist of Lord of War.
  • Agent Smith was part of the Lawful Evil agents as part of the programme. After his return he seems to be neither part of the lawful nor chaotic elements of the matrix and is more in it for himself.
  • As debatable as...everything is in the film, one thing is for sure: by the end, Daniel Plainview is only looking out for Daniel Plainview.
  • The mysterious biker in Raising Arizona is a Psycho for Hire, much like Anton Chigurh in The Coen Brothers' later No Country for Old Men but seems perfectly willing to work for Nathan Arizona - as long as he gets to inflict as much pain as he wants and still collect a paycheck.
  • Michael Corleone by the end of the first Godfather film. Unlike his father, he considers selling drugs, breaking peace talks and offing family members to be viable options.
  • Biff Tannen from Back to the Future is almost a textbook example of a Neutral Evil character who would do anything to further himself if he could. The only sort of moral sensibility in his personality is shown after he gets beaten up by George in the first film, after which he reluctantly stops being a jerk towards him only because it's in his personality. That is not to say he has any moral standards, however, because when we see the 1985 as altered by Biff getting the sports almanac, he's even worse, even willing to kill and blackmail to maintain his status.
  • Max Cady of Cape Fear uses both Lawful and decidedly un-lawful means against this target- at one point he successfully sues for a restraining order against the hero.
  • Carl Showalter, one of the two main bad guys in The Coen Brothers' Fargo. He cares about himself above all else, and unlike his more unpredictable partner Gaear Grimsrud, is happy to work within the rules when he thinks that's what will benefit him the most. Unfortunately for him it turns out he's more Smug Snake than Magnificent Bastard.
  • Frank McCabe in Desperate Measures is a complete sociopath and multiple murderer who acts purely out of self interest. He never undergoes a Heel Realization due to his "It's All About Me" mentality, and it's heavily implied by the final scene that he escapes anyway. He does have one Pet the Dog moment with the boy with leukemia he took hostage who needs his bone marrow to survive. The boy is ready to give up and die because it seems there is no hope, when Mc Cabe tells him the only way to have hope in the face of death is to keep fighting and never give up.
  • Dino Velvet and Eddie Poole from Eight Milimeter.
  • The Seven Psychopaths.
  • Frank C. Dobbs from The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, a man driven mad by greed. Doubles as Stupid Evil.
  • Amanda Young and Mark Hoffman from the Saw franchise.

  • The Home Alone Movies have some excellent examples of this: The Burglars Harry and Marv, with Harry being more Lawful Evil and Marv more Chaotic Evil and Frank Mcallister who is all about himself and his own needs throughout the entire movies examples being: In the first one he opts out of helping his Sister In Law pay for the pizzas. In the Second movie rather than be horrified with what Buzz did to Kevin he was laughing along with the rest, he also had to be woken up to watch the Concert. Also told Kevin off saying that he better not wreck "his trip". However he did have some very rare Heartwarming moments

  • Emperor Commodus as depicted in Gladiator.
  • Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. Ra's al Ghul in the first film wanted Gotham destroyed to bring "balance" back to the world, and The Joker in the second just wanted to watch the world burn. Bane acted like he was on the side of "the people" when he was really out to break not just Batman, but his legacy...out of spite.
    • And Miranda Tate, better known as Talia al Ghul probably fits as well.
  • Noah Cross of Chinatown is a Faux Affably Evil tycoon who has more money and power than he knows what to do with. Doesn't matter: he wants more.
  • Voltan The Dark One from Hawk the Slayer.
  • Angel Eyes, the titular Bad of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. A cold-blooded mercenary out only for himself, Angel Eyes runs a gang of outlaws, while simultaneously masquerading as a sergeant in the Union Army. Willing to use whatever means are necessary to achieve his goals, Angel Eyes is indifferent to order and chaos; he's Only in It for the Money.
  • Edwin Epps from 12 Years a Slave fits Type 3 pretty well. He tries to use The Bible to justify his behavior, while raping his underage "favorite" slave, and attempting to get in the way when legal authorities free Solomon Northrup.
  • In 'Hackers The Plague appears to have this as a personal philosophy, nothing is important other than him having a good time. He works as a security expert trying to get the protagonists arrested, but only to take the focus off his own crimes.
    "There is no right or wrong. There's only fun and boring. Now, a twenty-year prison sentence sounds a trifle dull to me."

    Literature 
  • Achilles from Orson Scott Card's Shadow series. He will do anything from betraying countries, kidnapping, and starting wars just so long as it means he'll get rid of those who saw him when he was weak.
  • Heathcliff, the Villain Protagonist & The Chessmaster of Wuthering Heights.
  • The sea-witch from Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid. Unlike her Disney incarnation she has no interest in seizing the throne from the king of the sea and hence does not deliberately manipulate things so that the eponymous mermaid will fail to win the heart of the prince on becoming human: she just accepts the payment of her voice and turns her into one with a potion that has numerous painful side-affects, leaving the heroine to succeed or fail depending on what she does.
  • Grendel and the dragon from Beowulf. (Grendel's mother less so, as she slots more into the category of Lawful Evil.)
  • Nicolae Carpathia, Leon Fortunato and much of the Global Community of Left Behind become this. They are not Lawful enough to make a self-sustaining Evil Empire, and yet aren't Chaotic enough to completely disregard order and structure. People have rank and privilege, but the change-over rate is high. All of them lie continuously, oppress and back stab others while flattering their higher-ups, are willing to kill and torture without hesitation and with zeal and have no real overall goals other than to obtain and maintain their power. Their society eventually falls apart because no one is doing any necessary maintenance work, and yet Carpathia insists on continuous worship of himself and the obedience to his every whim.
  • In a weird, passive sort of way, Cowslip and the others from his warren, since, whilst they care about enlarging their population, they will say nothing about the snares being hidden in the fields to any visiting rabbits, but are equally accepting of any of their own getting caught and will instantly behave as though anyone killed in that manner had never existed, scratching or killing any that talk openly about the snares or missing rabbits.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Lara Raith is definitely amoral, and has no qualms about sacrificing innocents to achieve her ends (and she survives by eating people's life force), but can alternately help the heroes maintain the balance of power, or threaten to send the entire world spinning off into anarchy, depending on what her agenda is at any given moment.
    • Nicodemus walks the line between this and Chaotic Evil, while his wife, Tessa, is plainly Chaotic Evil.
  • On the subject of Jim Butcher characters who will stab you in the back as soon as they get a good shot: Meet Lady Invidia Aquitaine, of the Codex Alera. She turns on (or attempts to turn on) everyone over the course of the series, and by Cursor's Fury, you can all but hear the phrase "sudden but inevitable betrayal" going through everyone's heads.
  • Harry Potter:
    • The Death Eaters and Voldemort, who are content to work either within or outside of the system, whichever one best helps them achieve their evil goals. Specifically:
      • Barty Crouch, Jr. definitely falls here. He is loyal to Voldemort and his goals above all else, and doesn't care how he has to achieve them. In the film version, however, he's definitely more Chaotic Evil as his motives were more For the Evulz.
      • There are a few other Death Eaters who could arguably fall here, but more likely fall into one of the other evil tropes. Fenrir Greyback makes some steps toward Neutral Evil in Deathly Hallows but overall remains Chaotic Evil, as his goal is still about being a sadist and turning kids into werewolves/killing them; he remains a Psycho for Hire on the fringes of the group, and seems to prefer it that way. The Malfoys are more Lawful Evil; they'll work against the system if they have to, but overall they overwhelmingly prefer being in positions of power, authority and respectability, closer to Lawful Evil. In Draco's case, it's heavily implied that he fancies himself as a lot darker and more sadistic than he actually is, and isn't truly capable of the depth of evil required to be a Death Eater - making him more of a mild Lawful Evil.
    • Dolores Umbridge is another example, if she's not Lawful Evil, as she only seeks power and doesn't care how many children or innocents she has to step on, abuse, torture, or commit war crimes against to do it. This is why she is indirectly allied with the Death Eaters in the final book.
    • The dementors are the ultimate example in the Harry Potter universe. They have evil ends (eating people's souls, which for that person leaves them an Empty Shell and is a Fate Worse than Death) but don't care whether the soul they're eating belongs to a good character or a bad character. They simply feed off misfortune, whomever it's coming from, and they're used by both the Ministry and the Death Eaters to the same effect. (What makes them this rather than True Neutral is the truly good people want nothing to do with them - for example, Hermione, in her position as head of the Dept. of Magical Law Enforcement, eventually outlaws their use in Azkaban - and that even if their ends are not aligned with either side of the book's main conflict they are still very, very evil.
  • Nom Anor of the Star Wars New Jedi Order series was decidedly less fanatically devoted to his religion as his fellow Yuuzhan Vong, furthering his own agenda sometimes at the expense of others of his species. As a fellow Vong noted "Nom Anor is a consummate infidel. He thinks only of his own ambitions."
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Evil Chancellor Lord Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish. Throughout the series, not only does he use and then discard anyone he come into contact with, but he is also revealed to have engineered a particularly brutal civil war that resulted in the deaths of thousands for no other reason than to get back at the girl who had once rejected him. Seriously, what an enormous asshole.
    • Cersei Lannister also qualifies. She may fancy herself as a Lawful Evil Evil Overlord, but she's really just a self-centered, power-seeking bitch.
      • Her brother and lover Jaime too, though more out of cynicism and moral laziness than anything else.
    • Walder Frey, who openly admits to his liege lord's daughter that he doesn't give a shit for honor, and slaughters the Stark/Tully army for personal gain and because of a petty grudge.
    • Bronn is an amoral mercenary who freely admits that he kills for the highest bidder. When Tyrion asks him whether he would unquestioningly kill a child like some of the Goldcloaks, Bronn emphasizes that he wouldn't do it unquestioningly: he would ask "How much?". Neutral Evil in a nutshell.
  • Bob Ewell in To Kill a Mockingbird. He sends an innocent man to his death and attempts to murder a child all out of sheer spite, bigotry, and selfishness. He's possibly the ultimate fictional example of the ordinary, everyday evil that any of us may well encounter.
  • Tolkien was quite fond of these kinds of villains, it seems:
    • Smaug the dragon from The Hobbit. Don't involve him in any of your petty wars, just leave him and his stash of gold alone.
    • Gollum/Smeagol - more so than when he appears in The Hobbit- in The Lord of the Rings. While clinging tenuously to sanity and humanity, he's more about weaseling out pity to save his life/obtain his Precious than striking fear or making a point. Hence, the only living thing he appears to see as any kind of role model (and his alliance there is somewhat dubious) is the other, more formidable Neutral Evil of the series, Shelob.
    • Shelob's mother Ungoliant and- particularly after he goes mad from eating a Silmaril- Carcharoth from The Silmarillion.
    • Saruman. He had no scruples whatsoever and he had neither the aspirations of Sauron either - he was completely self-centered and egotistical.
  • Milo Minderbinder from Catch-22 is a war profiteer who takes contracts from both sides, including one to blow up his own army base so he can sell his overstock cotton, which he also tries to get rid of by covering it in chocolate and making the other soldiers eat it.
  • In The Wheel of Time, virtually all of the Chosen Forsaken are Neutral Evil, serving in or atop of institutions to further the goals of the Dark One, but otherwise driven entirely by personal ambition and spite. At least, this is how they started out- several of them have plenty of moments that slide them towards Chaotic Evil, which is the personality of Big Bad Shai'tan himself- its implied that he looks for people who act and kill on their whims (or will in the right situation) and are violently or emotionally unstable and constantly plot against one another to the detriment of their mutual goals, which are probably suicidal in themselves since if the Dark One gets free he will probably simply destroy and kill all of them and thats that. Ishamael / Moridin is the only one who thinks this is his endgame- and since he heartily approves, and believes that he IS the Dark One, with the rest of his personality puts him firmly in the Chaotic Evil category too.
  • Achimas Welde, a merciless assassin from Boris Akunin's novels The Winter Queen and The Death of Achilles.
  • Thénardier of Les Misérables, a selfish, greedy scoundrel who exploits and abuses the main female characters, steals from the dead, cheerfully backstabs anyone he knows for the right price, and in the epilogue becomes a successful slave trader after getting away with his crimes.
    • In many ways, he's a foil to Javert, whose real issue is that he confuses Good/Evil with Order/Chaos and thus will do whatever the law tells him because he believes the law is always right. The sign of Javert's morality is that, when he realizes he may not have been in the right after all, he can't deal with this revelation and commits suicide. By contrast, Thénardier knows he's evil, and either doesn't care or (especially in the musical) seems to revel in it.
  • Yarol, the amoral Venusian from Northwest Smith.
  • Some of the more vicious Redwall villains. Predominantly, Slagar, Vilu Daskar, Emperor Ublaz, Zwilt the Shade, Swarrt Sixclaw, and Tsarmina.

    Live Action TV 
  • Whoniverse:
    • The Master from Doctor Who, particularly in the new series, whose motives seem to be an odd blend of revenge against the Doctor, and just because he can and it's a bit of a laugh. This would explain why he dances to pop music while his minions slaughter over half a billion people - Evil is Fun.
    • Captain John Hart from Torchwood. He loves to cause chaos and hurt people because he's a cunning, sadistic bastard, but he really enjoys it when he's in charge and there's something in it for him, as he heavily implied in the series 2 finale, "Exit Wounds," when he was coerced into being Gray's Dragon.
    "You're so self-obsessed you thought I'd want to blow up your stupid city, when I could be experiencing seventeen simultaneous pleasures in the Lotus Nebula!"
    • The Rani. Destruction is not her endgame, but she has no qualms about causing it if it gets her what she wants, such as destroying a whole planet to convert it into a time manipulator.
  • The Romulans of Star Trek seem to thrive in their Always Neutral Evil society.
  • Doctor Smith from Lost in Space. Both the original tv show and the film, though in different ways. His main method of causing trouble is cutting a deal and selling out the other crew members to some Monster Ofthe Week in exchange for wealth, power, or some luxury item or just a trip back to Earth. Needless to say he is a Dirty Coward. The film version is a Card-Carrying Villain who has chosen evil as philosophical choice. When his future self becomes a hideous spider-creature he now wants to rule the Earth and eat its inhabitants.
  • Ares of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess is characterized much the same way as Wonder Woman's.
  • Alex Krycek from The X-Files will work for a far-reaching conspiracy or a group of terrorists, with little concern for anyone but himself. He also willingly commits acts of violence, murder, and blackmail, all in the name of self-interest.
  • As well as a character can fit an alignment in a show like LOST (a recent D&D guidebook even used Sawyer as an example of Neutral Evil, but he only fits in the first two seasons as afterwards he turns into a Jerk with a Heart of Gold), Benjamin Linus is placed here pretty well. He's ultimately trying to have control of the Island and alter it to his benefit, and although he does join the Losties, he's ultimately using it as a means to an end, and killing whoever gets in his way. Until Season Six, where he begins to atone for his actions, becoming Neutral Good by the end of the series.
  • Jubal Early of Firefly tries to paint himself as Lawful Evil, but River deconstructs his facade to reveal that deep down, he's just a sadistic bastard who took his job because he enjoys being paid to hurt people.
  • Farscape:
    • Scorpius is prepared to do anything to take revenge against the Scarrans and ensure the survival of the Sebacean people- in that order. This means that his numerous acts of murder, torture and psychological warfare are balanced neatly by his tendency to Pet the Dog or assist his enemies, should it serve his purpose.
    • Rygel tends to be more neutral evil than not. While his conscience occasionally bothers him, those instances are few and far between. Generally he is selfish, willing to abandon or sacrifice his friends if the situation is convenience, and exploits or ignores laws as suits his needs. In general, Rygel will always do what's best for Rygel, and screw everyone else.
  • Babylon 5:
    • The Centauri race fits the "Asshole Alignment" to a tee save for Vir and Vir alone. Even he uses Magnificent Bastard methods to achieve his goals.
    • Alfred Bester of the same universe would also fall into this category.
    • In fact, both the Vorlon and Shadow races actually fit into this alignment once you've watched the entire story unfold. Both races use respectively lawful and chaotic means to force growth in the younger races. But in the end, their methods are purely incidental as their goal was always to keep the younger races growing and evolving. The evil part comes in later when their goal seemingly changes to control over the younger races like selfish parents dominating their own children.
  • Vic Mackey from The Shield might not always appear Neutral Evil. After all, he takes care of his friends and family and, with one notable exception (Terry Crowley), only performs heinous actions towards violent criminals (or at least people he believes to be such). In the end, though, he throws his one remaining friend under the bus, frightens his ex-wife to the point that she seeks witness protection, and arguably drives a former friend to murder/suicide. So... yeah.
  • Victor from Burn Notice seems to be headed this way. He has his motives and is methodical and careful, but his manic personality lends a level of chaos to what he does. He describes his motivations as being mostly revenge (and sympathetic) but also he had no real purpose besides that. He just wanted to hurt the people who killed his wife.
  • Basco Ta Jolokia from Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger. He works as a privateer for the Zangyack Empire (having betrayed Aka Red and Marvelous to them before the series began not because he has any real respect for their authority but because it's easier to go about his goal of obtaining the Greatest Treasure in the Universe without the Zangyack breathing down his neck. He lets the heroes get away now and then (and even fakes their deaths when Damaras wants them dead) because he figures it'll be easier to just eventually take all the powers they've collected rather than hunt down a member of every single team (though he does do some collecting on his own). He threatens a pregnant woman and later a whole high school to get what he wants, and even goes so far as to sacrifice the life of Sari, the only being that may have had any positive feelings toward him, the moment her internal dimensional lock is emptied of Pseudo-Organic Combat Lifeforms for him to throw at the heroes.
  • Heroes:
    • Arthur Petrelli seems to go here in how he chooses allies from both sides to help achieve his own goals and gladly turns against his own sons to get what he wants.
    • Sylar also qualifies, as he is willing to work with anyone one minute and change sides the next to get what he wants...power.
    • Samuel Sullivan passes himself off as a Well-Intentioned Extremist, but in truth his goals are all based on a petty grudge against Muggles and he's even willing to kill his own True Companions if they turn against him just to get what he wants.
  • Stargate SG-1: The entire Goa'uld race is as evil as you can get, so fit well into the Neutral Evil alignment. They're arrogant, egomaniacal, megalomaniacal, power-hungry without the slightest bit of sympathy or conscience. They'll backstab even allies if it is profitable, yet submit themselves against more powerful forces such as the Asgard. There are some exceptions among them though, most notably the Chaotic Evil Anubis and the Lawful Evil Lord Yu.
  • Jim Profit.
  • Deadwood:
    • Cy Tolliver
    • Al Swearengen. He regularly conspires to have innocents including a child killed to protect his own interests. He personally murders men without hesitation and boasts that he could burn down the entire town if he wanted to. Although he does have a personal code of honour, it's also implied that he would remove the law and the system enforcing it if doing so increased his own prosperity.
  • Sue Sylvester of Glee is a comic version of this trope; she is almost 100% evil on a show where most characters are pretty conflicted. The fact that she'll use any means necessary to take down Will and the glee club, whether that means going through the principal's authority or putting the elderly nurse in a coma, is frequently played for laughs. Later episodes push her more toward the "evil for the sake of doing evil" kind of Neutral Evil though, as it becomes clear that her cheerleading team may not actually need the money they'd get from the glee club being disbanded, and Sue may just love messing up Will's life for the hell of it.
  • Ryan O'Reilly, resident Magnificent Bastard of Oz.
  • In Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined), a universe populated largely with Well Intentioned Extremists and Knight Templars:
    • Number One (aka, John Cavil), stands out as easily the most selfish and egomaniacal villain in the entire series. Neutral Evil, for sure.
    • Gaius Baltar (before Character Development) would definitely fall under this trope, as he lives only to serve himself and is utterly self-centered. When secure, he is a Smug Snake; when threatened or in danger, he becomes a sniveling coward. Perhaps his defining moment is when we first meet him: when he sees Caprica being nuked due to his unintentional efforts, he wails in fear; not because billions of people are dying, but because he will be blamed for it.
  • Charles Logan of 24.
  • The Ice Truck Killer/Brian Moser of Dexter. Unlike his eponymous fellow serial killer and younger brother, Brian has no code and kills mostly for pleasure and encourages Dexter to do the same, starting with Deb.
    • Miguel Prado also qualifies, posing as Dexter's friend and protege to learn Dexter's 'code' and methods, and then uses them to kill innocents and criminals alike to protect and advance his own career.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The entire gang, but especially Dennis, who will only do something if and only if in his best interests to do so.
  • In The Cape, Peter Fleming, the Corrupt Corporate Executive in charge of Ark Corporation's expansion into Palm City. He has no particularly morals, ethics, or codes of honor and doesn't hesitate to use legal or illegal means to eliminate threats to his plan to seize complete control of the city. He is naturally opposed by his Neutral Good Foil Vince faraday, who is the series' titular superhero.
  • Katherine Pierce of The Vampire Diaries. "Better you than I."
  • Regina/the Evil Queen from Once Upon a Time is presented as completely selfish and indifferent to others' well being to the point that she was willing to sacrifice the one person the truly loved and her ability to love in order to guarantee that no one else would have a happy ending. As mayor of Storybrooke, she is perfectly willing to both use the law and break it in order to get what she wants.
  • Walter White of Breaking Bad. Though YMMV on when he crossed into being a Villain Protagonist, as the series progresses Walter's ego devours his morality. After making the decision to become a meth cook, the law, family ties and even the criminal codes of caution, professionalism and not harming children have all gone by the wayside in favour of his naked lust for power, control and recognition in the underworld.
    • Hector Salamanca aka 'Tio'. Unlike his psychotic nephew or Gus Fring, Hector doesn't care about mindless violence or the power-games and codes of The Cartel. As he puts it, after almost drowning his nephew: "The family is all".
    • The Aryan Brotherhood from season 5 most likely fit here as well. Uncle Jack, with his Honor Among Thieves tendencies, might tend more toward Lawful Evil, but the sociopathic Todd, whose only motivation for any action he takes is self-interest, is a perfect fit. Todd's business partner and crush, Corrupt Corporate Executive Lydia Rodarte-Quayle, probably belongs under this alignment as well.
  • Moriarty from Sherlock has made a career of this, working as a "consultant criminal" who assists anyone who needs a crime committed, be it murder, smuggling, fraud, etc.
  • Blackadder is defined by his constant efforts to scale the social ladder, by any means necessary (although the fourth version just wants to get out of the trenches). The third cheerfully admits to having no principles beyond self-advancement, and to that end arranges at least seven deaths in six episodes.
    "...The toffs at the top, the plebs at the bottom, and me in the middle making a fat pile of cash out of both of them."
    "A man may fight for many things: his country, his principles, his friends, the glistening tear on the cheek of a golden child. But personally, I'd mud-wrestle my own mother for a ton of cash, an amusing clock and a stack of French porn."

    Newspaper Comics 
  • One of the enemies of The Phantom is a worldwide criminal organisation called the Vultures that keeps an eye on catastrophes and the like and shows up to rob the helpless victims. It doesn't even pretend to have a motivation or justification beyond easy gain at the expense of the weak.
  • Dogbert. He can never seem to decide whether he wants to take over the world or become the richest being in it. So he's done both several times.
  • The King from The Wizard of Id. "He who has the gold, makes the rules" - the rules being do what he says, and don't make him mad. His dungeons are full of the wise and sensible who tried to give him honest advice and frank opinions. And don't joke about his height.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • This is the classic heel alignment- breaking the rules whenever it's convenient ad hiding behind them as soon as they face consequences.
  • The Rock in all his heel runs.
  • Those with the Rich Bastard gimmicks such as "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase and John Bradshaw Layfield.
  • Edge is a pretty good example of Neutral Evil in action. Always calculating, always scheming, willing to play the numbers game when it suits him, willing to turn on anybody close to him when it suits him, and always, ALWAYS looking for a way to scratch, bite, and claw his way to the top... there's a reason they call him "The Ultimate Opportunist".

    Radio 
  • As soon as he took over the role of main villain, Hercules Grytpype-Thynne from The Goon Show became this alignment. A fair number of plots ("Lurgi Strikes Britain" and "The Spanish Suitcase", for example) were based upon Grytpype pulling off a Zany Scheme to make a fat profit, and leaving Neddie to take the fall.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Examples from Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Goblins in the 1st and 2nd editions of the game were Lawful Evil and said in manuals to have a strict pecking order in their culture, but most of the time they were just played as screaming hordes. In 3rd edition, they were changed to Neutral Evil (though individual goblins can be any alignment, naturally).
    • Daemons, also known as Yugoloths, are the Neutral Evil answer to the Lawful Evil devils and Chaotic Evil demons. They mostly work either as mercenaries in the war between the demons and devils (they don't care whom to slaughter) or as guardians for mortal summoners—for the right price. The more powerful Yugoloths see themselves as The Chessmaster and view mercenary work as a ploy to make every side dependent on them, and they believe that they can end the war and conquer the world on their own terms when they deem it fit. The distinction between the three groups of fiends is that devils want to own you, demons want to destroy you, and daemons only care about what they can gain from you. One sourcebook (Evil) that contains rules for summoning and bargaining with fiends naturally stresses how incredibly dangerous it is to deal with either demons or devils, as well as giving advice on how to do it — but about daemons it just says that there's no point in even trying.
    • Tharizdun used to be filed under Neutral Evil; 4th edition asked, "If he wants to destroy everything everywhere, why isn't he Chaotic Evil?" and, failing to come up with an answer, shifted him over to CE.
    • "End of All Things" was the defining characteristic of the extreme version of Neutral Evil until 4th Edition. To explain it one way, Chaotic Evil wants to rape and pillage along the way, and enjoys their work. The end of the everything is an incidental side effect to what they do. (Extreme) Neutral Evil just wants everything to cease save for themselves. "Watching the world burn" isn't as important as the world just burning, and the end results thereof. Taking an example from 2nd edition Yugoloth philosophy, Neutral Evil lacks the raw... passion that Chaotic Evil has. Usually.
    • Additionally, a number of undead fit the Neutral Evil alignment, more by default than anything else contradicting other rules in having it (mindless or "animal" intelligence creatures normally don't have an alignment because they can't comprehend morality).
  • Pathfinder reuses the name Daemons for its Neutral Evil fiends, and redefines them as the Omnicidal Maniac fiend faction, being born from various forms of death and yearning only to destroy all of reality. With the loss of the Blood War from Pathfinder's mythos, this destructive interpretation of Neutral Evil makes Daemons the primary source of large-scale inter-fiend conflicts, alongside the Demon vs. Qlippoth feud.
  • Warhammer 40,000 has a few candidates:
    • The Dark Eldar fall here, especially in their latest incarnation. The Dark Eldar in Kabals, Wych cults and Incubi covens are Lawful Evil, and the Dark Eldar in Haemonculi covens, mercenary groups, street gangs and pirate groups are Chaotic Evil. Because the different Dark Eldar sub-groups all put their differences aside and work together during raids, the faction as a whole rounds out to this alignment.
    • Slaanesh is the Chaos God who personifies selfishness, with its every thought and purpose bent towards self-satisfaction and new sensations. Its followers are the ultimate hedonists and take this trope to a self-destructive extreme, as pain, defeat and death are all considered new experiences to enjoy.
      • The Thousand Sons Chaos Space Marines, who follow Tzeenetch, could also qualify. Three things drive them (1) the desire to acquire more knowledge and arcane power for themselves, (2) the lust for vengeance against the Imperium for the destruction of their home-world of Prospero (particularly the Space Wolves), and (3) the need to justify themselves that they were loyal to the Emperor until the Emperor betrayed them. All arguably selfish desires, but still makes them one of the more nobler seeming of the Chaos Space Marines.
    • The Necrons. They fight the Chaos Gods, by eradicating every lifeform in the Universe. The basic Necron units could be considered as Lawful Evil, or even Lawful Neutral, but their Gods, the C'Tan just want to eat the universe for their own satisfaction. They do have their distinct personalities and methods, however, which leads to varied alignments. The outsider, gone completely mad from the voices from the other C'Tan he has eaten, is most likely Chaotic Evil. The deceiver, far more methodical, but still very treacherous to the others of his kind, is Neutral Evil. The Void Dragon has presumably manipulated the Adeptus Mechanicus for over ten millennia as their Omnissiah, making him seem more Lawful Evil, while the Nightbringer has been known to spare those who pledge loyalty to it (and thereby agreeing to become a necron), putting him in a more lawful direction too. The C'Tan are, in all respects, beings of anti-Chaos, thereby putting them in a more lawful perspective as a whole.
  • Warhammer Fantasy Battles:
    • The Vampire Counts fit into this category by default, but mainly because there are several different types of vampires, with vastly different methods and mannerisms. While there are many who hide amongst the nobles of imperial cities, manipulating them from within, there are also several who are nigh close to hulking, degenerated beasts. This makes them range across the evil alignments more than any other evil army in the game. A perfect example of this is exemplified within the three Carsteins, with the courtly but corrupting Vlad being Lawful Evil, the absolutely mad Konrad being Chaotic Evil and finally the manipulative Mannfred being Neutral Evil.
    • The Greenskins - that is, Orcs and Goblins. They are not similarly law-bound and disciplined like Dark Elves. They are simply a ravening horde living off robbing and plundering but not intending to wanton destruction for its own sake. Their society is based on the stronger bullying the weaker and the unscrupulous the gullible. They have two gods, Gork who is brutally cunning, and Mork, who is cunningly brutal
  • Manipulative Chessmaster Nicol Bolas from Magic: The Gathering nicely fits this alignment.
  • The majority of the Yozis in Exalted. Malfeas can't consider other points of view other than his own, and will not tolerate dissension from his absolute rule-by-power. The Ebon Dragon (when he's not being Chaotic Evil) is the principle of selfishness and vice, deception and betrayal being his very nature. If Kimbery loves you, she considers you her personal property, and never forgives a slight-ever. We also have a couple semi-benign examples: Szoreny mainly cares about his own well-being, but is called the "kindest of the Yozis" for a reason, and Oramus just wants out of the prison the Solars made his wings into.
  • The Vamp Roodaka of BIONICLE.
  • Munchkin enforces a Neutral Evil type of character for a chance at winning. Per the game's mechanics, you're able to benefit from forging (and betraying) alliances, helping (and backstabbing) your buddies, trading (and stealing) treasure, employing (and sacrificing) hirelings... Winning is all about selfish, flexible play.

    Theatre 

    Video Games 
  • Ganondorf from The Legend of Zelda. In the earlier games, as Ganon, his only goal is to capture the Triforce through violence or subterfuge. In Ocarina of Time, he takes over as Hyrule's king, but his reign seems to consist mainly of reducing the countryside to a charred wasteland and eliminating everybody, not crushing them under his boot with ironclad laws, secret police, and other things you'd expect from a Lawful Evil overlord. The Gerudo under his command do seem to have a fairly regimented organization, but all his other minions are just unorganized monsters. In fact, he never seems to actually rule anyone, and the conquest of Hyrule is really just a stepping-stone towards obtaining the Triforce.
    • It actually varies by the incarnation of Ganondorf in question. Especially since there are like 3 versions of him, not even counting reincarnations because of the Triple Timelines.
  • General Shepherd from Modern Warfare 2 instigated a US-Russian war which could quite possibly lead to World War III, all in the name of reawakening America's military might, after it went very gun-shy when 30,000 Marines were nuked in the first game. He does have a slight justification; those 30,000 Marines were all commanded by him, causing him to cross the Despair Event Horizon when they got nuked.
  • The Baldur's Gate series:
    • Jon Irenicus. This being a Dungeons & Dragons game, it is a part of his gameplay stats. He exemplifies an extreme version of the alignment in caring about nothing other than his own goals, displaying a horrifying lack of empathy. (Some versions of him in the game files are technically "Chaotic Good", but you can kind of tell that's not right. It's apparently because they modified those files from Elminster's, because Elminster was almost as high in level as a mage. Scared yet?)
    • There's also Broken Bird Viconia deVir. She's having a hard time being unfairly persecuted at every turn for being a drow elf, but she also hasn't actually stopped thinking like drow usually do, merely switching from worshipping the drow goddess of frantic backstabbing and power-grabbing to a human goddess of cold self-interest and cynical denial of love and hope — a remarkably small change.
    • Handsome Lech Eldoth, a sleazeball womanizer happy to exploit women for all they're worth.
    • And Montaron is a Neutral Evil probable Psycho for Hire.
  • Testament from Guilty Gear just wants humanity gone. To that end, he tried to wake up Justice in the first game. Oh, he looks like he mellowed out after he found his Morality Pet Dizzy, but just look at his win quotes: his desire hasn't changed, it's just on the back burner out of love for her, since she's been taken in by the Jellyfish Pirates. (When Dizzy does die in one of his story mode endings in XX, he kills his way through the Jellyfish Pirates and goes right back to Kill All Humans.)
    • However, if the right paths are taken, Testament has been taking steps to be more True Neutral, judging on how he did accept that he'll try trusting humans again and also at one point, decided to be serious in protecting the grove Dizzy used to reside as well as reminiscing the times that he respected his father Kliff Undersn. In the bad end, even after humans burned down his grove and he cursed them for it, Testament for once didn't go to a killing spree and chose to rest with the burnt grove forever.
  • The Warcraft franchise:
    • After his Face-Heel Turn, Prince Arthas Menethil becomes the primal example of this alignment in the games. His only priority is to serve the Lich King as well as kill everyone he once cared for while grinning madly and throwing around bad one liners. Later he merges with his lord and they become a single Lawful Evil being.
    • There's also Gul'dan, who created the Horde in the first place, not because he wanted to rule the orcs, but because a demonlord had promised him great amounts of demonic magic in return for annihilating another people off the face of the planet. After said demon doesn't show up to reward Gul'dan, he constructs a portal to another world to steal their magic instead. His sole goal was always personal power, for which he would cynically manipulate anyone to do anything as necessary.
  • Aria T'Loak from the Mass Effect series, is a ruthless leader of several mercenary bands, who kills anyone that gets in her way, does whatever she has to in order to maintain her power, and otherwise doesn't care what people do with their time so long as it doesn't involve pissing her off or interfering with her business. She gives Commander Shepard information on several missions that involve removing unwanted persons from Omega, because it furthers her own objectives, and rewards Shepard with info on where to find valuable cargo, but otherwise does little to help him/her unless it can also further her own goals.
  • Some characters in Fate/stay night that have the Neutral Evil alignment:
    • Caster (Medea). True, she comes off sympathetic, with her screwed up life with Jason, and her desperate wish to be together with Kuzuki. But her actions to preserve the last one, namely trying to siphon all the mana of the people in the town without much care of their welfare or the Holy Grail rules, or goading Saber to her side, to name a few... well, just cements her as Neutral Evil.
    • Assassin (Sasaki Kojiro). This one seems to be in name only, because Assassin does not actively act out like an evil asshole, but being a Blood Knight stuck at one place and engages in duels honorably. TRUE Assassin on the other side... note 
    • Shinji Matou, a despicable Casanova who abuses his adoptive sister Sakura and his Servant Rider, and will stop at nothing to win the Grail War, is also argued to be of this alignment.
    • Ilya could fit if you mixed her alignment with It's All About Me. If you're on her side, wonderful! If not, she'll brutally murder you. She doesn't appear to have a conscience or good impulse control.
    • Ilya's a difficult case to pin down, for various reasons. It's safest to say that she slides between the various neutral alignments - Neutral Good, True Neutral, and Neutral Evil - based on the Route and storyline involved.
    • Kirei Kotomine bounces all over the scale over the course of the series. In Fate, Unlimited Blade Works, and the anime adaptation he appears to be little more than Chaotic Evil, as he subverts the rules of the Grail War while posing as the referee, lets his Servant feed on the souls of orphans, and plans to unleash an Eldritch Abomination that will destroy the world, apparently just for shits and giggles. Heaven's Feel, however, goes deep into his motivations and lends him enough Lawful Evil traits to end up here instead. Kirei was born with some sort of mental defect that only allowed him to take satisfaction from acts that others considered "evil", but he also possessed a conscience and recognized that those deeds were wrong. After trying to find satisfaction as a mage, a priest, and a loving husband, he finally cracked after his wife died and he realized he was more upset that he hadn't been able to kill her himself. His plot to unleash Angra Mainyu is a desperate bid to get some answers about his own existence, the fact that it will wipe out most of humanity is just a side-effect. He also Will Not Tell a Lie and holds to his duties as a priest when Shirou asks for his help with Sakura.
  • General Gismor from Drakengard 2 is a selfish jerk who only cares about himself and getting as much power as possible. He might be the leader of the Knights of the Seal, but it is obvious that he couldn't care any less about the law, his underlings (as he shows by almost killing Eris) or peace - he simply does what benefits him, and only him, the most.
  • Lobo of Soul Nomad & the World Eaters is the leader of an underground criminal organization that is known to do many shady dealings, up to selling children (a rare commodity since birth rate is low in the game's setting) for anything (usually sexual slavery).
  • Shang Tsung in Mortal Kombat is driven by a selfish desire for power and eternal life via Your Soul Is Mine. In Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance, he joins forces with the Chaotic Evil Quan Chi to betray his master Shao Kahn, raise an army of undead warriors, and open a portal to the Heavens to give Tsung a steady supply of souls to feast on forever. In the end, both Tsung and Quan Chi betray each other so they don't have to share power. Throughout the series Tsung is portrayed as a Manipulative Bastard and Dirty Coward who will go to any lengths to survive and further his own ambitions without giving scant regard to anyone else, and Kahn only kept him (and everyone else) in line through sheer terror.
    • Shinnok, the Fallen Elder God, is likewise interested solely in pure power, and wishes to consume the energies of everything in the universe to become The Omnipotent and rule over everyone, including the other Elder Gods. He is willing to ally with both the Lawful Evil Red Dragon and the Chaotic Evil Quan Chi in pursuit of his goals, but he has no allegiance to anyone but himself and no interest in anything but his own power.
  • Aurum in the Disgaea series.
  • Adachi from Persona 4, who you learn later on is responsible for starting the entire mess in Inaba For the Evulz. While he is a police officer, he states that the only reason he became a cop was so he could legally carry a gun.
  • Krew in Jak II: Renegade. We are dealing with someone who lets Metal Heads into the city for a quick buck. He gleefully steals everything that catches his eye, and employs some very unsavory types. Oh yeah, and he's so far into the Villainous Glutton trope that he has to use an antigrav chair to get around.
  • Hector from Dept Heaven series is a tough call between this and Lawful Evil.
  • Most Ratchet & Clank Big Bads are this. Most notably is Drek, who plans to continue polluting his people's planets in order to receive the funds to continue destroying other planets to build a new one.
  • Doctor Eggman from the Sonic the Hedgehog series will ally with anyone and anything to get his way. He will release an Eldritch Abomination to crush Sonic one day, and form an Enemy Mine with Sonic to stop said Abomination the next. He seeks to tear down a functioning order to replace it with his own, and while he is Affably Evil, his standards really only rise so high as to prevent the world being destroyed so that he can rule it.
  • Exdeath of Final Fantasy V. His primary goal is to use the power of the Void to create a world of monsters ruled by himself. However after he's partially absorbed by the Void that causes his motivation to change to erasing all existence, including himself, thus becoming a Chaotic Evil Omnicidal Maniac.
  • Shadow from Final Fantasy VI. After all, even though he wouldn't enjoy it, he would still kill anyone for money, innocent or not. Until his Heel-Face Turn. Said turn takes place over a significant portion of the game however, and by the end of it, he's only True Neutral, unlike the rest of the decidedly good heroes.
  • Sephiroth of Final Fantasy VII once his personality settles after his Face-Heel Turn. He starts out a "hero", being something like True Neutral, already with the beginnings of that indifferent attitude that goes much further later on. After the Heroic BSOD that sends him over the edge, he may go through a brief Chaotic Evil phase as he comes to hate humans and razes Nibelheim, but by the time of the game's main storyline, he emerges having found out what he truly is and having fully accepted it, and simply cares nothing for anything or anyone else, willing to destroy the Planet to become a god, without either hatred or regrets.
  • Kuja of Final Fantasy IX and Seymour of Final Fantasy X both start off in this trope before sliding into Chaotic Evil.
  • Makarov of Modern Warfare 2. "[He's] Fighting his own war, and he has no rules. No boundaries. He doesn't flinch at torture, human trafficking, or genocide. He's not loyal to a flag or a country or any set of ideals. He trades blood for money."
  • Bernkastel from Umineko no Naku Koro ni. When she calls herself the cruelest witch in the world, she's not kidding.
  • Ghetsis is Type 3 Neutral Evil. A megalomaniac in the extreme, he wants nothing more than sole rule of Unova; he fancies himself a king already, dressing in outrageous robes and screaming “I AM PERFECTION!” even as his plans are crumbling around him. While he has set up the requisite criminal gang, Team Plasma, and seemingly groomed (i.e., mind-raped) his son N to be his successor, it later becomes apparent that he would probably liquidate them once he's taken over.
  • B.B. Hood/Bulleta from Darkstalkers. She's Faux Affably Evil and doesn't care about anything but making money and killing any resident of Makai for her own profit and just for shits and giggles. It's even pointed out in the game due to her win quotes "I won't stop until every living thing in this world is dead. I hate poverty, this is what I do for a living"! Though her outward appearance suggests otherwise, she's a psychotic bitch.
  • Jin Kisaragi in BlazBlue after hearing about the Grim Reaper in Kagutsuchi switches from Lawful Evil to this, as he tried to not notice his allies that he left his post to do his own agenda. He fell hard to Chaotic Evil when he is confronted with either Noel or Ragna for... lots of personal reasons.
    • These days, however, Jin has slowly moved away from his Neutral Evil self and at best, he can be called True Neutral, due to his lingering care to Tsubaki, but mitigated that he's still a little 'off' on Ragna and still a Jerkass to Noel. (although he dreamed to be a Neutral Good or Chaotic Good due to his hero complex).
    • Relius Clover is tethering between this and Lawful Evil. Lawful in that he'd still adhere to the rules given so far by NOL. Neutral as in he's completely sociopathic, regards everything as 'test subjects' or 'specimens', that anything (and we mean anything) for him is fair game when it comes For Science!, and these 'anything' include turning family members into Nox Nyctores, leaving his son sorely traumatized and anyone calling out his parenting skills is to be personally put to death. Plus his love for Cold-Blooded Torture just because, and including even Mind Rape. And these are the activities he'd keep hidden from public, even the Imperator.
    • On the other end of the spectrum, Yuuki Terumi has shades of tethering beween Type 2 Neutral Evil and Type 4 Chaotic Evil. (Yeah, he's that kinda guy.) He's primarily Neutral in his evil when in his restrained Hazama guise... please, try not to rock the boat and give him a reason to cut loose...
  • The Father from the fan-made King's Quest II: Romancing The Throne remake, and maybe the Black Cloak Society in general. They're too organized and methodical to be chaotic evil, as the lot of them engage in long term plans (Mordack and Alhazred's plans for Cassima, Mannanan's kidnapping and enslavement of young boys as servants), but they show little respect of laws or rules aside from how best to use them to further their ends. The Father, in general, is rather pissed off that he isn't able to get the Crown of Daventry because of a stipulation left by Daventry's first king. He tries all sorts of torments on Graham and family to try and get around it, including cutting deals, sending spies, and assuming the guise of a "harmless" adviser to con his way into what he wants. Too bad for him Graham ain't falling for any of it.
    • Lord Lundgren from Fire Emblem. He tries to pass himself off as Lawful Evil, but his actions - slowly poisoning his own brother; hiring assassins and more skilled soldiers to kill his grandniece, even if it means destroying relations with neighbouring territories; and marking said grandniece as an imposter and her knight escorts (loyal to Caelin) as traitors - are all done purely so he can inherit power for himself.
    • Also, Lord Darin showed signs of this, serving Nergal in exchange for a promise to become ruler of the world. This isn't entirely his fault though, and it's implied that Darin was originally Lawful Evil - he was dissatisfied that Laus was not the centre of Lycia, but was still a loyal servant of the Lycian League until Ephidel corrupted him.
  • The Fallout setting supplies many examples. In additon to be able to play as someone of this alignment, we have:
    • Mister Burke from Fallout 3. Nuking a peaceful town because ... well, we don't know why. But it's the thing he does. He just needs someone to push the button.
    • Benny Gecko is a sleazy, opportunistic criminal who shoots you in the head the first time you meet him. Even after that, he lies to you time and time again, even when you break him out of slavery.
    • Despite being a member of the New California Republic, Colonel Cassandra Moore is this according to Word Of God. She enjoyed her status as a Ranger specifically because it gave her the authority to do whatever she wanted to do and has no problems eradicating otherwise good factions like the Kings primarily because she sees diplomacy as ineffective. She'll also make sure to get Ambassador Dennis Crocker fired if the Kings make a truce with the NCR and go on a smear campaign against the Courier if you ally with the Brotherhood of Steel (the faction that she has an intense hatred of due to crippling her to the point that she was forced to a desk job).
    • Father Elijah, whose lust for control and megalomania has led him to enslave people and force them through a death gauntlet to achieve his final goal: the means to slaughter the entire population of the Mojave, as a salve for his wounded pride as much as anything else.
    • Dean Domino of the Dead Money DLC is entirely self-serving and amazingly vindictive, and will attempt to kill you at the first chance if you haven't been completely servile towards him. He also kept the Sierra Madre's mistress as his drug-slave and sought to destroy her husband and their marriage out of ''jealousy'', making him responsible for much of the Sierra Madre's horrors.
    • Myron from the second game also qualifies, being a teenage drug chemist who's found a way to make the Wasteland even more miserable by producing Jet in exchange for money, power and to satisfy his massive ego. He can also attempt to rape a female Chosen One.
  • Big Bad and Chessmaster Darth Traya from Knights of the Old Republic 2. Possibly the two Dragons as well, though Sion's loyalty seems to imply a more Lawful bent while Nihilus might lean more Chaotic.
  • The Spy class from Team Fortress 2 fits the 'sneaky Jerkass' brand of NE to a tee—while being ostensibly polite and cultured, his MO is to disguise himself as enemy team members and backstab them and, when dominating players, shows the juvenile, pun-laden glee he takes in outwitting and murdering them.
  • Bowser due to his strange on-again-off-again Villain Decay appears to fit this alignment moreso than any other. He's an unrepentant jerk who seems to love nothing more than trying to take over the Mushroom Kingdom and appears to have no actual cause for doing so beyond his personal pleasure.
  • Evil Chancellor and Big Bad Richard RICHAAAAAARD!! Hawk of Metal Wolf Chaos. Building a Wave Motion Gun on Alcatraz Island, unleashing a poison gas attack on Chicago, and wrecking up New York in a giant Spider Tank after turning against the most Bad Ass Humongous Mecha-piloting President Action EVER (which may put him in the running for Stupid Evil). He's just that much of a bastard.
  • Kain fits here nicely. Magnificent Bastard, Sociopathic Hero, Evil Overlord. He's trying to save the world from decay, corruption, ruin, damnation, and demonic invasion, but he's trying to save it so that his vampire brethren can return to their rightful place as rulers of the world, and so that he can return to his rightful place as ruler of the vampires. A sadist who takes pleasure in stalking and killing, he has a capacity for mercy, and he never lies. In the end, his motives are selfish, but it just so happens that what is good for him is good for the world.
  • Firebrand of Demon's Crest. He's a demon, so he's evil in all his appearances, but he's only out to take over the Ghoul Realm for his own sake using the powers of the Crests. In the previous Gargoyles Quest games, he's operating willingly under the orders of his king and thus fits Lawful Evil better; they're just going up against a bigger evil than themselves.
  • The Practical Incarnation from Planescape: Torment probably qualifies as this. He has a clear goal in mind and doesn't act with the intent to sow evil or disrupt order, but he still tends to leave unspeakable suffering in his wake, to the point where some of his victims have endured centuries of torment thanks to his actions. At one point you can get a glimpse into his mind, and a Good-aligned protagonist goes nearly insane from seeing how cold and opportunistic he is.
  • Alex Mercer. The original Alex Mercer, that is. Blacklight Alex grows a conscience and works to save people later in the game, but the human Alex Mercer was willing to wipe out the human race just to spite the people who ultimately killed him.
  • Xehanort's ultimate goal in all Kingdom Hearts games is to use the titular heart of all worlds to reshape the universe and become a god.
  • Arcturus Mengsk from StarCraft. Throughout the series he has displayed both lawful and chaotic tendencies, but they are always incidental for his own personal gain and anything goes as long as it suits him. He used to be a terrorist using increasingly extreme methods to fight the corrupt and oppressive Terran Confederacy. After the Confederacy’s fall he formed and established himself as emperor of the equally oppressive Terran Dominion, once again using increasingly extreme methods to crush any opposition to his rule. His intentions may seem sound but deep inside he is just a narcissistic bastard. To quote the man himself:
    "I will rule this sector or see it burnt to ashes around me!"
  • Gen from Street Fighter. Except for maybe Dorai and Chun-Li, he shows no attachment to anyone, and if you annoy him enough, he'll kill you without an ounce of remorse. The same goes for his victims during the time when he was an assassin.
    • Gen seems to have shifted to at least True Neutral when he began training Chun-Li and decided not to be an assassin anymore when he was forced to kill someone in front of her. He may have fallen back to Neutral Evil when he contracted leukimia and decided he'd rather die in a deathmatch than a deathbed.
  • While the villains from TRON and TRON: Legacy fall more into Lawful Evil, the three primary antagonists of Tron 2.0 fall into this category. It doesn't matter if they use lawful methods (a corporate takeover of Encom) or outright illegal ones (kidnapping Alan Bradley and threatening to kill him, using the Datawraiths to seize everything from state secrets to bank accounts). All Crown, Popoff, and Baza are interested in is power and control over other people.
  • Arguably, all Grand Theft Auto protagonists until San Andreas fit this alignment.
  • Ammon Jerro from Neverwinter Nights 2 is canonically a borderline Type 3, but he doesn't really fit any of the above categories well. Best way to describe him is Machiavellian: he's a Well-Intentioned Extremist of the He Who Fights Monsters variety, and is willing to do anything and everything it takes to protect his home city from an extraplanar abomination that nobody else believed existed.
    • Belueth the Calm from Storm of Zehir is type 1. She is an amoral aasimar thief who believes only in the thief-god Mask and in the awesome power of money.
  • Several characters in F.E.A.R. fit under this alignment.
    • Genevive Aristide, CEO of Armacham, is directly responsible for setting in motion the events of the first game, and her only subsequent desire is covering her own ass. She deliberately orders her own security troops to open fire on US military and government agents as well as "clean things up" by murdering everyone associated with Project Origin. Later on, she orders the destruction of the Origin facility, which involves effectively setting off a nuclear explosion in the heart of the city of Fairport. (technically, the Point Man was the one who set off the reactor, but Aristide initially ordered the explosion) By the second game, she is desperately trying to contain Alma, subjecting people to Mind Rape, brutal surgical procedures, and using the psychic members of team Dark Signal are bait to keep Alma distracted until she could trap both Beckett and Alma in a containment device - but makes it clear that her only concern is keeping her job.
    • Harlan Wade was this while Project Origin was ongoing, showing utterly no remorse regarding the horrible things he was putting Alma (his own daughter) and the Point Man and Fettel (his grandchildren) through. He seems have shifted away from this by the end of the first game, however, and tries to atone for his acts by letting Alma kill him.
    • Though we only see hints of his twisted nature in the first two games, Paxton Fettel is definitely this in the third. There's nothing in him but a desire for revenge, power, and to inflict suffering on others. He has his reasons, as his youth was one of the most screwed-up experiences imaginable, but that doesn't change the fact that he's flat-out evil. He goes so far as to kill and eat his own mother's ghost.
  • Ocelot in the Metal Gear series definitely qualifies as one. Yes, he serves under various villainous organizations, but he plays both sides almost flawlessly for his own agenda.
  • Pigma Dengar in Star Fox, motivated primarily by greed in every action he takes.
  • Ryuji from Ryu ga Gotoku 2 certainly counts. He really only cares about himself and his own status, hating that he's known as the Dragon of Kansai when it implies that he bows to another man. His role in the game is motivated by his own selfish desires.
  • Path of the Dragon in Dark Souls, Covenant of the last dragon, The Everlasting Dragon. The followers of the Dragon, the Dragon Apostles, seek the transcendence of life itself, attainable by transformation into an ancient dragon.
  • Handsome Jack of Borderlands 2. This obnoxious posterboy of malignant narcissism basically plans to rule Pandora with an iron fist, as a stepping stone to remaking it into a gleaming monument to his own awesomeness. Oh, and he'll murder anyone who gets in his way.
  • Magus of Chrono Trigger. He has two goals in mind: defeating Lavos and saving his sister and will do anything to achieve them, whether it means working with the heroes, leading an army of monsters to attack peaceful nations or risking the total destruction of the world twice. He also enjoys warping people's appearances for fun and even abandons his own subjects once they're no longer useful to him.
  • Baron Albert von Seltsam in The Riddle of Master Lu. He takes everything as a sport or game, but it's no use to point out to him he's being unsportsmanlike, since he's also quite willing to cheat if it's necessary. "Whatever it takes to win." He tries to kill the protagonist to get the MacGuffin and use its vague powers to compete with the big boys like Hitler, apparently not minding a second world war as much as its having poor players.

    Web Comics 
  • Royce from Heartcore is as neutrally evil as they come, and a total dick to boot.
  • Sarda from 8-Bit Theater ends up being this, type 3, being motivated by selfish desires with a slight sense of righteousness. Leans towards chaos when he screws with people's lives after little to no provocation, yet firmly believes that history cannot be changed.
    • Also, Red Mage is a combination of type 1 (amoral) and a little bit of type 3 (indifferent to the good/evil conflict), concerned only with maximising his stats. It also helps that, despite few characters being anywhere near stable, he is by far the most insane character in the series.
  • Sluggy Freelance:
    • Bun-bun the mini-lop is Neutral Evil to the bone, never seeming to do anything that isn't directly in his own interest, and completely ignoring the interests of everyone else. He does enjoy violence for violence's sake, but even then he generally channels it towards people who annoy him. Everyone seems to annoy Bun-bun to a certain extent.
    • Nash Strawnote  is a hired assassin mostly concerned with getting the job done, with no apparent empathy towards anyone, but also not a very reliable employee if it doesn't suit him to be.
  • In The Order of the Stick, Tsukiko is an evil necromancer who resents the powers-that-be in Azure City telling her what not to do, but she's willing to work for Xykon, making and leading his undead Mooks. There's also Haerta Bloodsoak, and Linear Guild member Leeky Windstaff (who, as a druid, has to be Neutral Something).
  • Lamika and Major Kohi from Blade of Toshubi. Advisor Toh is a tough call between this and Lawful Evil.
  • Skoll of Cry Havoc falls here due to her propensity to disobey orders countered by her loyalty toward Karcharoth. Shes evil because, well she tortures and kills people for fun...
  • Umbria Sampson, the protagonist of the 'B Plot' of Our Little Adventure.
  • The Devil in Sinfest.
  • President Evil and Magnificent Bastard Zexion of Ansem Retort.
  • Angelique of Kevin & Kell is mainly motivated by a desire to spite Kevin, even going so far as to take ownership of and try to liquidate his business to do so. Her status is even remarked upon in one crossword puzzle. Vin is similarly motivated by jealousy toward Rudy, although he eventually puts it behind him.
  • Eridan Ampora of Homestuck fame. He's selfish and self-centred: when anything goes wrong, he takes the opportunity to pontificate on how it affects him and wax lyrical about his many inadequacies - solely to fish for compliments. Give him one, and he will hit on you. When he's rejected by his former Love Interest, he throws a fit, tries to murder her new boyfriend, succeeds in murdering her, DOOMS HIS SPECIES TO EXTINCTION, kills his self-professed "only friend" and then runs away to try and join the Big Bad.

    Web Original 
  • Neopets: Snargan, a green skeith serving as the treasurer of King Skarl of Meridell, always uses Meridell's treasure to gamble in Double Or Nothing to try to win money from players for his own.

    Western Animation 
  • Disney Villains usually fall under this alignment.
    • Cruella de Vil. She'll gladly break the law if it gets her a fashionable fur coat.
    • Gaston turns into this alignment through the course of the movie, starting off as a jerkass who is a little too used to getting what he wants, and slowly turns into a villain willing to blackmail his love interest into marriage and tries to Murder the Hypotenuse to get to her, despite her not even wanting him! He has several lovely fangirls who are just dying to get into his pants most of the time, and yet he still pursues a lady with no interest whatsoever in him.
    • Scar: he's an underhanded schemer willing to have a child killed in order to become king. Yet when he gains said power, he abuses it and is more interested in keeping himself well-fed, entertained, and feared than in keeping any kind of law or order, but only lets the Pride Lands slide into desolation and chaos because of negligence rather than any Chaotic Evil ideals.
    • Mozenrath from Aladdin: The Series. He betrayed his master, the Evil Sorcerer Destane, and took his place as the most powerful sorcerer alive at the time and the ruler of The Land of the Black Sand and its undead population. Throughout the series he has shown himself willing to harm, step on, or betray anyone and everyone to get what he wants. Being the most powerful sorcerer alive isn't good enough for him; he wants to go on to rule Agrabah and the rest of the Seven Deserts.
  • Most characters displaying traits of The Starscream (including Starscream himself in all his forms) are Neutral Evil. Ironically, whenever G1 or Armada Starscream did honestly bring up some issue of honor or rules, Lawful Evil Megatron berated him for even daring to respect Cybertron law.
    Starscream: I was just raising a legal issue.
  • ThunderCats: "Ancient Spirits of Evil..."
  • Skeletor probably fits in here as well.
  • Eric Cartman from South Park is definitely Neutral Evil. His goals may require chaos, or they may require everybody to follow the same pattern. Alternately his goal may require exploitation of a legal loophole, which he is fine with taking to the extreme. He will use almost any method to get his way. He idolises other manipulators (including Adolf Hitler) and has no preference for law or chaos as long as he can use either to his advantage. He usually uses people's fears to manipulate them into doing anything he says.
    • More so from S4 onward. During the first three seasons, he's mostly a True Neutral character. His manipulative tendencies (barring his mother, who he's able to manipulate right from the show's beginning) don't really develop until around the beginning of S4, at which he gradually becomes more of a Neutral Evil character. "Scott Tenorman Must Die" is probably the episode that solidified this development.
  • Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender .
    • The same could be said for her father Ozai.
    • Also, Admiral Zhao. The fucker tried to kill the moon. For no reason other than to stroke his own vanity.
    • Fire Nation officers generally skirt between this and Lawful Evil, though it's hard to tell from their lack of definite characterisation. The Warden of the Boiling Rock may count, as he is perfectly willing to drown himself and escaping prisoners in boiling water just to ensure he maintains the prison's 'no one escaped under my watch' ratio, but nonetheless "pulled some strings" to release his niece Mai from prison - due to lack of specific information though, he may simply be Lawful Evil or even simply Neutral.
    • After starting out Lawful Evil, Unalaq from The Legend of Korra slides into this territory as his plan advances.
  • Selfish Eric Raymond from Jem fits in this slot better then Lawful Evil. At one point he outright admitted to embezzling money from Starlight Records to personally fund The Misfits.
  • Thailog, the Evil Twin of Goliath from Gargoyles.
  • Alejandro from Total Drama World Tour.
    • Heather from Total Drama Island, Justin from Total Drama Action, and Lightning late in Revenge of the Island also qualify.
    • Blainley is another example in World Tour.
  • Arguably Rusty Venture of The Venture Bros., an utterly amoral scientist who has no standards for his creation (as shown by his using an orphan's heart to power one of his inventions) and shows little to no care for his sons (though the fact that he had a bunch of clones of them for backup may be part of this) and is generally recognized as a Jerkass by most everyone who knows him (Brock Samson himself considers Venture partly a Villain Protagonist, even if he's not exactly terrifying.).
    • To be fair, the orphan was probably already dead. Well, except for the fact that his heart was still beating.
    • Phantom Limb seems to fit this alignment as well. It's pretty common in the show's Crapsack World.
  • Shego from Kim Possible. Granted, at times the writers have trouble deciding if she's Lawful Evil (she has no interest in taking over the world) or Chaotic Evil (but she doesn't want to destroy it either), but most of the time she's evil for her own enjoyment.
  • Lydia from Barbie & The Diamond Castle has supremely selfish reasons for becoming a villain: she wants to be the only muse and keep all music for herself.
  • Equinox from Batman: The Brave and the Bold. He was originally given his powers in order to serve as a True Neutral force and uphold the balance of Order Versus Chaos. Then he snapped and started "balancing" things in the most destructive manner possible. General Kafka's home village was destroyed? Allow Kafka to destroy an American city in retaliation. Gorilla Grodd's villainous scheming upsets the balance? Kill Grodd, and The Question, too. Balance!
  • Slade and Blackfire from Teen Titans both count. The former cares primarily about power, but there's enough pure cruelty in his motivation to shift him here from Lawful Evil, while the latter seems to live her life as one giant act of pure selfishness (which is all the more evil in contrast to the rest of her species).
  • Both Sideshow Bob and Fat Tony from The Simpsons qualify for this alignment pretty well, both being ultimately in it for themselves and working within or outside the law when it fits them. Both have ''tried'' redeeming themselves at various points, but gotten rejected at every attempt.
    • Bob varies between outright criminal and leader (he was in charge of a dam-building project and the mayor of a small town in Italy). Fat Tony is a crime lord who is just as often seen cooperating with the police (who are too dumb to see through him) as well as evading them.
  • Mr. Krabs from SpongeBob developed into this, as he has no qualms breaking the law to make a quick buck.
    • Plankton is another example.
  • Vlad "Plasmius" Masters from Danny Phantom is supremely selfish in his motives for evil, though he himself doesn't seem quite capable of recognizing this- he doesn't care that Maddie is already Happily Married and doesn't want to be his wife, or that Danny doesn't want to be his surrogate son. Vlad wants it, and that's all that matters. Everyone else are just convenient pawns to help him accomplish this.
  • The Weavils on Jimmy Two-Shoes. Whether it's one of them or a group, they generally just do whatever profits them at the moment while being jerkasses about it. They seem largely indifferent to Lucius' goal of spreading misery, as long as it doesn't harm them.
  • Big Bad Phobos (he likes to pretend he's Lawful Evil but really gives no shits for his subjects at all) and The Dragon Cedric from W.I.T.C.H..
  • The (Utrom) Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003). Being both a respected philanthropist and a ruthless crime lord, in the end, it means nothing to him. All that matters is power and absolute immortality.
  • The Boondocks has A Pimp Named Slickback.
  • The Choten from Kaijudo.
  • Hobgoblin from Spider-Man: The Animated Series. He's a cackling hitman played by Mark Hamill doing his Joker voice, but, unlike Mr. J, he's motivated entirely by self-interest. He wants all the money and power he can get his hands on, and he'll do anything (that could get past the Fox Kids censors) for it.
  • Sterling Archer is a textbook case of the Narcissist version of this. As a consequence of some massive Freudian Excuses, he's hedonistic, inconsiderate, murderous, self-obsessed, the list goes on. He's too disobedient and erratic for Lawful, but far too dependent for Chaotic - he just does what he wants, because he never really got what consequences are.
  • Being a show for little girls, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is constrained in its depictions of evil, with most villainous characters revealed to be either bland forces of nature or simply in need of a good hug. Not so Diamond Tiara, school bully and spoiled brat extraordinaire, who, after hovering between this alignment and True Neutral for years, finally crossed over in "Flight to the Finish", when she calculatedly and in cold blood, psychologically destroyed a handicapped person to better her chances of winning a competition.


Near Villain VictoryEvil Tropes Never Hurt an Innocent
Nausea FuelYMMV/HomepageNeutral Good
Lawful EvilVillainsChaotic Evil
Lawful StupidAdministrivia/No Real Life Examples, Please!Neutral Good
Lawful EvilPt/Índice de TraduçãoChaotic Evil
Lawful EvilCharacter AlignmentChaotic Evil
Nausea FuelYMMVNeutral Good

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