When they were halfway across the river, the scorpion stung the frog. "You fool!" croaked the frog, "Now we shall both drown! Why on earth did you do that?" The scorpion shrugged. "I'm a scorpion. It's in my nature."
Hansel and Gretel, the insane twins from Black Lagoon. After being hired to perform an assassination, they proceed to abduct and torture a bunch of random mooks for sport, and then murder the person who hired them, not because he was planning on betraying them, but because they just felt like it. They then decide to go through with the assassination anyway, even after it's pointed out to them that they are no longer being paid. It should also be noted that their target makes a policy of surrounding herself with some of the most deadly soldiers in the world, is a world-class markswoman in her own right, and is justifiably considered within the series to be the most dangerous woman alive...and the twins try to take her out armed only with an axe. It turns out exactly how you'd expect.
Another example is Chaka from Fujiyama Gangsta Paradise, who got the bright idea of kidnapping the daughter of his boss, a Yakuza. This incurred the wrath of not only Ginji Matsuzaki, her hulking samurai-sword wielding bodyguard, but Revy as well. Needless to say, his fate was not pleasant yet most still believe he got off easy.
The Apostle Wyald in Berserk, A berserker who put so much effort into being a vicious sadist that he tried to kill Griffith, the one person he was absolutely not supposed to kill. When he's called on it, he mouths off to his superior, Zodd, who tears Wyald in half for being such a moron.
Particularly in the manga version, all of the characters of Ranma ½ have moments of acting like this, particularly if "Smart Evil" threatens the status quo. Two of the most notable examples are Soun Tendo stealing a cure for Ranma's curse with the intent of blackmailing him into wedding Akane with it, only to blab about it in front of Genma Saotome, who promptly stole it... and Nabiki's attempt to sell Ranma Saotome's engagement to one of the other members of his Harem during her stint as his officialfiancee, only for the girls to spontaneously decide that it would be better to simply kill her rather then pay her price. If it wasn't for the fact Ranma is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, she would have been killed, making this an example of Stupid Evil on the parts of both parties.
Bellamy from One Piece was little more than a sociopathic bully who terrorized an entire town with his crew with no real reason or goal; he just wanted to push his weight around and be as much of a dick as possible. Of course, he was also operating under the flag of the Warlord of the Sea Donquixote Doflamingo, who was NOT pleased to find out that he was being associated with Bellamy's idiocy, which led to his ordering Bellamy's execution.
His Number Two, Sarquiss, takes after him as well. Blackbeard is checking out Luffy's bounty when Sarquiss threatens him for no real reason (other than being annoyed at Luffy being mentioned) and promptly gets himself knocked out.
Ribbons in Gundam 00 blows up his own allies, and replaces them with worthless kamikaze machines, that are a complete waste of technology and time and only seems to make him look even more evil for using such machines. Most of the atrocities his puppets committed early in the second season including blowing up a country or two were committed for no solid reason.
Lolly and Menoly of Bleach. "Let's beat up the human girl our boss told us to specifically not hurt as she is useful to "the plan" for no reason other than we're jealous!"
Aaroniero Arruruerie could have killed Rukia almost immediately. Instead, he feels the need to pointlessly mentally assault her. The only possible reason is that he's just really sadistic, but what's the point?
This was slightly pragmatic at first, as on the off-chance that he could convince Rukia to kill her friends, it would be easier for him, but if not, who cares?
Zommari is similar, as he could have used his body controlling powers to off Byakuya with little effort, but was so full of himself and explained everything about his powers that he ended up dead.
That whole battle was pretty stupid. Byakuya had shown himself to be perfectly capable of blocking Zommari's technique and using a power that the Espada had NO defense against. It took him literally losing an arm and a leg, and being forced to disarm himself before finally dropping the Idiot Ball.
Szayelapporo is pretty awful at this for a mad scientist. He doesn't seem to have bothered to even research the Captains, even though he could just ask Aizen, he invents a room that seals Bankai and deliberately turns it off to watch Renji try to beat the clones he's made with it, at which point Renji destroys his lab, and finally started eating strange people, which resulted in him being poisoned. It's also questionable why he makes mindless subordinates whom he can heal from by eating them when there's no conceivable reason he couldn't just make a pill, or something.
To his defence, he is supposed to be the embodyment of insanity. You cannot expect him to think completely logical.
Yammy is only 2 things: Stupid and evil. He kills a nurse who healed his arm just to test it, and several other of Aizen's minions for no real reason.
Before Aizen found him, Barragan was going to divide his army in half to kill each other for his own amusement. Granted, Hollows get stronger from eating each other, and he's far more powerful than any of his soldiers, so he's not really losing much military strength, but he still loses half of his servants. Then again, he didn't really seem interested in attacking Soul Society or the World of the Living, so it's unclear if he was actually using his army for anything.
The buffoonish Genma of Darker than Black has a scene where he uses his Instant Armor powers to dismantle a truck and then amuses himself by beating up the protagonist while transformed into a human mech. This wasn't the brightest idea for two reasons: First, the protagonist was interested in the MacGuffin in one of the trucks, and Genma showed him which was the decoy. Second, when the protagonist starts escaping, Genma's first reaction is to get in the truck to pursue him, but then he does an Oh Crap when he remembers he just disassembled his mode of transportation.
Paul from the Pokémon anime trained his Chimchar vigorously enough that it was legitimately exhausted enough not to be able to battle the next day. We know this because Nurse Joy, a medical professional told him this. So what does he do? He forces Chimchar to battle anyway, and then when she turned out to be right, he was, for some reason, disappointed by this and left Chimchar, thinking it was simply too weak. This led to Ash taking Chimchar into his care and raising it into one of the strongest members of his team.
Not only that, it was the Pokemon that defeated Paul in a later battle.
Team Rocket, oh so very much. They're so dumbly obsessed with stealing valuable pokemon, that they haven't taken the time to even think about Meowth. A pokemon that speaks human language fluently could be the single most valuable and useful pokemon in existence: he could solve countless problems between humans and pokemon, and could give priceless insight on the behavior and mental abilities of every pokemon to have ever lived (which, in a world with a culture so heavily ingrained with said creatures, would be a big deal). They would go down in history and be amongst the richest people on the planet if only they put Meowth to proper use instead of blindly chasing some kid and his Pikachu.
In Fullmetal Alchemist, both Lust and Envy fall into this, loving to inflict pain so much that they can't resist "twisting the knife" and antagonizing the heroes, even when it is foolish to do so.
Much worse in Envy's case. She/He's got super strength and instead of using all of it he/she tends to torture his/her victims rather than killing them quickly.
Yami Marik in Yu-Gi-Oh! has a few bouts of this, most notably when he sabotages Noah's computer system during the Virtual Nightmare Arc, not seeming to realize that destroying it would kill both Yugi and Kaiba, ruining the most vital part of his master plan: gaining their two Egyptian God Cards. (To make things worse, he laughs like a lunatic while doing it.)
There's also the question of what the heck he was doing on the airship for most of that arc. Sleeping? Seriously, he wanted to kill Rashid and had a prime opportunity with only a skeleton crew there, but for some reason, he didn't seem to put much effort into finding him.
The regular Marik did something very stupid too (which was the biggest reason his Super-Powered Evil Side took over in the first place). First he put a counterfeit copy of The Winged Dragon of Ra in Rashid's deck (given what had happened to all of the his other minions who had tested the fake copies, it really wasn't smart to have such an important minion have one). Rashid was smart, and knew that it was likely dangerous to use it, and would have beaten Jonouchi without it; but when it seemed likely that everyone was going to figure out that Rashid was acting as Marik's stand-in, Marik ordered him to use it.. He did, and... turned out Marik really should have listened...
Amon showed this in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. His ace card was Exodius the Forbidden Lord. It seemed completely indestructable and immune to all card effects, and granted him an automatic win if it attacked five times. But he became so Drunk with Power because of it, he challenged Yubel using it... Completely forgetting that she was the one who gave it to him. You'd think if anyone had known a weakness in this card, she would, and she did. It ended badly for Amon.
In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds, the Earthbound Gods and their servants the Dark Signers displayed this a LOT. One instance was thinking that recruiting Carly Nagisa to their side was a good idea, despite the fact that she was in love with the Signer that they wanted her to oppose. (The Earthbound God controling her ended up having to control her like a puppet after she rebelled, and even that failed to work.) Another act of stupidity on their part was thinking that Bommer would be easy to manipulate, because he thought that Godwin had destroyed his village... And then put him under the sway of the Earthbound God who was really responsible for destroying it. (Again, after he learned the truth, the creature had to completely dominate him, and still failed.) Demak summoned the hostage Ancient Fairy Dragon during his duel with Ruka, practically, inviting her to rescue it (which is exactly what she did, causing him to lose). Possibly the stupidest move one of them made was when Kiryu didn't kill Yusei when he had the chance, claiming it "wasn't the right time" (a mistake villains tend to make fairly often).
Know what the irony of this is? Rudger's motivation for causing Zero Reverse and leading the Dark Signers is because he was disgusted with humanity, and thought that destroying the world would only make quick something that they would eventually do themselves. In other words, he thought humans were stupid.
Aporia fits during his duel with Z-One, which is strange, because he was anything but stupid previously. Basically, he made the same mistake that Amon made, thinking that the Meklord Emperors would be effective against Z-One, despite the fact that Z-One had given them to him. The duel was a Curb-Stomp Battle in every sense of the term, with Aporia never having laid a glove on Z-One.
Yu Gi Oh Zexal, Tron has a habit of giving his henchmen who are his sons, by the way cards that are too powerful for them to control, which cause disasters when played. The first example was when he gave IV a Spell Card called Flaming Hell Blessing to use in a duel against Rio Kamishiro; it won the duel for him, but it also caused a raging fire that destroyed the building they were in. Rio was in the hospital for months recovering; IV managed to get out (carrying Rio to safety before she was killed) but not unscathed. The accident left a scar on his face that never healed.
Even worse was the card he gave III to use against Yuma, Angolmois. The true effect of this card was to open a portal to the Barian World, which would basically have done the same thing that a black hole does. If it had worked, it would have killed everyone, Tron included (and he didn't even seem to care; he was laughing his head off as he watched the duel). Fortunately, III came to his senses before that happened, and Yuma was able to win the duel before the full effect occured.
The vast majority of Comic Book villains between 1930 and 1980 qualify, especially the ones made during World War II.
Of course, The Joker is sometimes considered a Genius Magnificent Bastard. What is not up for debate, however, is that he is 100% insane.
"Stupid" isn't really a term that should be applied to him, yeah, he gets caught a lot, but that's mostly because he views the conflict between him and Batman as being a game, so if he gets caught, he usually either doesn't care, or actually wanted to be caught.
Superboy-Prime also goes from Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds to this, as he's a psychotic teenager with the Hair-Trigger Temper to end them all, though with a very strong Freudian Excuse. That notwithstanding, he flies off the handle at the slightest provocation and responds by destroying everything in sight and killing anyone who looks at him funny.
Norman Osborn had the world as his oyster during Dark Reign, with him in charge of the US security, the Avengers replaced with a team of villains loyal to him, and all the regular heroes incapacitated or wanted fugitives. But he just had to defy the President and go rogue and attack Asgard for some reason, losing everything and getting the good guys back in power in one day.
The fact that the Norse god of mischief tricked him into doing it explains but does not excuse his behavior.
During the Acts of Vengence storyline, Loki's plan may have looked good on paper: form a Legion of Doom consisting of several supervillain masteminds so that they and their minions could wipe out The Avengers (and most other heroes) once and for all. Loki's biggest (and stupidest) mistake was putting both Magneto and the Red Skull on this team. Magneto is a Holocaust survivor and the Skull is a Nazi, and if that wasn't a disaster waiting to happen, I don't know what is. You can't get much more stupid than that.
Mammoth: I want to destroy the United States for putting us in jail all those times!
Psimon: Shimmer, please explain to your brother that it's a bad idea to nuke the United States. Where we are.
Mongul II, while certainly capable of formulating and carrying out fairly complex schemes (and he sometimes does), tends to waste far too much of his time trying to go further and further beyond the pale by way of being a horrifically sadistic and cruel bully for no real good reason other than because he thinks it's funny or amusing, or just because he feels like being a dick. It's the cause of his many, manyHoist by His Own Petard moments, the last one of which more or less put him away for good.
Iznogoud, while displaying intelligence from time to time (and being much smarter than both most people around him and the Caliph) occasionally falls in this trope: a lot of his plans backfire precisely because he made idiotic mistakes, or couldn't resist the temptation to Kick the Dog at the wrong time.
Given the fact that they had previously created such technological miracles as a Cosmic Cube and the Super-Adaptoid, A.I.M. had a pretty stupid choice for an assassin to use against the Thunderbolts back when people still believed they were heroes: Giant-Man. Hello? The Thunderbolts had Atlas, who can do the same thing that Giant-Man can do, only better, with the rest of the T-Bolts to back him up. A pretty dumb move on A.I.M.'s part.
Belluzub in Star Wars: Paranormalities. He's too intent on making his victims suffer to kill them quickly by simple means such as depressurizing a room when he can survive in vacuum. Zolph Vaelor lampshades this both after trapping him in a force cage and after he gets out of it.
Many Naruto fanfics point out Gato's incredible stupidity for bleeding Wave dry. It's an island country with easy access to almost half the continent. He's a shipping magnate. With a little imagination and money, he could have made the country incredibly prosperous, made himself richer, and gained a boatload of good will.
Evil Bill and Evil Ted from Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey. They try to run down cats while steering their time-traveling phone booth, just because.
The Umbrella Corporation in the film series seem to live and breathe Stupid Evil. Their actions are geared entirely towards nothing more than propagating the existence of a deadly, uncontrollable virus that has no discernible practical applications.
Particularly by the third film, where most of the planet is destroyed by the Zombie Apocalypse and money no longer matters to the roving bands of survivors. Yet Umbrella keeps making new strains of the T-Virus to sell to... actually, the films never explain who they hope will buy the damn thing. Maybe to Take Over the World? Who wouldn't want to rule dry deserts covered with the walking dead?
Resident Evil Damnationfinally shows BOWs being used in the context of mildly conventional war. Lickers and other creatures are depicted as being very, very effective weapons in the right context. But then, unlike the live-action films, Damnation is actually made by Capcom, where they prefer their Rule Of Cool stuff to also make some semblance of sense.
Aguirre's followers in Aguirre, the Wrath of God betray their commander Ursua and go downstream on the Amazon in search of El Dorado. They all die. Turns out that taking orders from a raving Chaotic Evil lunatic wasn't a very good idea.
A big problem in Johnny Mnemonic. The thought of an evil Mega Corpprofiting from distributing a cure for a deadly virus affecting half the world's population lacks the real oomf villains need so they try to suppress it, instead. However, even though they have no plans on using the cure in any way for themselves or their own benefit, they still want to go through the very specific trouble of cutting off and cryogenically preserving Johnny's head (the only remaining source of the data for the cure), even though they could just shoot him or completely destroy his head, and the cure would be permanently suppressed, anyway.
The Wishmaster films, in a big way. The Jerkass Genie actually has motivation for his job: once the person who releases him makes three wishes, genies will be freed from the hell-dimension they're trapped in and rampage across the Earth. He time and again proves not just to be Obviously Evil, but also a unique combination of Stupid Evil and Chaotic Stupid. He could simply trust that the person who released him would have three things that they wanted to wish for (and odds of that are pretty high), but instead, he insists on causing mayhem and destruction whenever someone makes a wish (particularly random people who aren't the person who can free the genies with three wishes), ensuring that whoever actually did free him will never make their three wishes.
It's justified, although it tends to depend on the movie. In all movies, granting somebody's wish effectively allows him to take their soul when they die (and the interpretations of these wishes usually end up with the person making the wish dead), in the third movie, it's mentioned that he needs 1000 souls before he can achieve his goal, although this detail wasn't present in the first two movies.
It's not the granting wishes that pushes him into the Stupid Evil category, it's his inability to curb his Jerkass Genie nature just enough to delay the bad effects of the wish from occurring for even an hour or two so that the person who frees him would go ahead and make all three wishes and free him.
The Weyland-Yutani Corporation in Alien, which has place a great deal of effort and resources in their attempt to acquire live xenomorphs. How do they profit in weaponizing xenomorphs is unknown, especially if they can't even keep them from escaping, or catching one alive. But they have wasted a lot of man power, all for the sake of profit. A case of the sunk-costs fallacy in action, perhaps?
Max Schreck in Batman Returns, what was he thinking when he decided make a clearly psychotic circus freak into a mayor? The worst part is, he almost succeeded.
The made-for-tv Dungeons And Dragons The Book Of Vile Darkness has the evil adventuring party acting like this. At one point they slay a dragon and the undercover paladin just barely convinces them not to raze the nearby village so they can treat them like heroes instead, and the evil adventurers still murder some of the villagers offering them hospitality for no discernable reason.
Roderick from Jack The Giant Slayer does a lot of actions just to show what an evil Jerk Ass he is; he has his sidekick send four soldiers to their death which in-turn leaves the group with barely any rations. And then he goes out of his way to throw another one off a cliff for literally no reason despite knowing he's in a hostile territory and could use the protection until he seized control.
Discutible: He wanted to control the giants with the crown, and the less people who could challenge his possession of it, better. Except for his henchmen, all the others were disposable, and rescuing the princess was just the perfect excuse for going up the beanstalk.
The Forsaken from the Wheel of Time series pretty much ran the areas they were in charge of during the Age of Legend into the ground because the only thing they were capable of doing was fighting. Asmodean, a relatively weak Aes Sedai, was made one of them because he only did things like kill all of his musical rivals, instead of feeding everyone to trollocs. When they were released from their prison, they didn't do much better. Most of the times they are seen holding the Idiot Ball, because they don't seem to understand that they can hold off on being evil for one day. Rahvin allows Morgase to escape because he's too busy brainwashing people so he can have sex with them, and Sammael does such a poor job running Illian that the nobles hand the country to Rand as soon as he kills Sammael. There are implications that they were picked by the Dark one precisely for being people with huge issues.
And all the less important Darkfriends (anyone who pledges himself to serve the Ultimate Evil) are even stupider. They spend slightly less time committing evil than their Forsaken masters, but only because they're too busy dying like flies. If they're not being ordered off into suicide missions or being executed for failing other impossible tasks, they're being stabbed in the back by their rivals or casually tortured and killed just for being in the wrong place when somebody important has a temper tantrum. And to add to the Stupid Evil of it, they all earnestly believe that they'll get the immortality and infinite power they were promised even though the Ultimate Evil hasn't given that to anyone in over three thousand years.
Jordan himself noted that much of the Forsaken's behavior and group dynamics are based on Nazi internal politics, a group notorious for being really good at out backstabbing one another and not so good at running things. Of the Forsaken only Ishamael cum Moridin has a deeper more philosophical understanding of the nature of oblivion and the Dark One's seeming true goals, arguably he is the most dangerous because he isn't selfishly evil and is much more deeply nihilistic.
Draag, the Dark Paladin in Game Night by Jonny Nexus, plays Stupid Evil to the hilt, as his answer to nearly every problem is either A) Pull out his evil sword DeathSinger and stab it or B) Pull out his evil sword DeathSinger and torch it. The opening chapter has the GM/God of the world having to rewind time several times as Draag first stabs a gatekeeper before he can tell them the riddle they need to solve to get past, and then stabs the gatekeeper after he delivers the riddle, but before they can answer. Then, once they do solve the riddle, he kills the gatekeeper anyway.
Joffrey Baratheon. Crown Prince and later king of Westeros, and a spoiled brat with way too much power. Throws his royal weight around whenever he possibly can, openly mocks everyone regardless of their standing or authority, has a friend of Arya's killed as vengeance for Arya making him look like an idiot, sends an assassin after Bran Stark armed with a Valyrian steel blade that no common assassin would have, which leads the Starks to start suspecting the Lannisters of treachery, and orders the Execution of Ned Stark, sparking off a gigantic Civil War.
Also Ramsay Bolton. His father discusses this trope in A Dance with Dragons, pointing out the foolishness of his son's openly cruel ways.
Cersei Lannister as well. She does such things as dismissing the idea of paying the money that the realm owes to the Iron Bank of Braavos (an institution that has a reputation of replacing rulers that don't pay debts), as well as spending a very large amount of money building an entire fleet of warships, then handing it over to a man of questionable integrity and reliability. As soon as she's imprisoned in A Feast For Crows, the guy makes off with every ship. The only thing she succeeds at during her stint as a ruler after Joffrey dies in A Storm of Swords is running the Seven Kingdoms into the ground, whilst in the process amuses Littlefinger greatly and makes the realm that much easier for Varys to help Prince Aegon Targaryen VI - the lost son of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen - take for his own. In fact when Cersei's competant uncle, Kevan Lannister, takes over the Regency, Varys kills him as he was actually beginning to stabilise the realm.
The whole premise behind the goals of the goverment in The Hunger Games. They actually think that killing children and forcing the populace to watch will prevent another insurrection?
One could argue it's a particularly brutal and extreme example of Make an Example of Them, but forcing the tribute kids to kill each other in a heavily-publicized and mandatory gladiator game instead of quietly Unpersoning them? That's what pushes it into Stupid Evil.
Also, Peter Petrelli during his brief Face Heel Turn phase after absorbing Sylar's ability and its corresponding psychosis. In comparison, Sylar, for his part, is perfectly capable of faking normal if it will advance his long-term goals, or even of occasionally showing mercy if the mood strikes him. Evil Peter, on the other hand, had No Indoor Voice and was instantly compelled to decapitate every single person that he met after he gained Sylar's craziness.
The Master of Doctor Who seems to want to take over the universe for the fun of it. In "Logopolis," he not only accidentally kills octillions of people, he draws attention to himself by randomly killing a policeman and The Doctor's companion's aunt. This is caused by extreme Flanderization he went through soon after his first appearances.
The Rani calls him on this: she just wants to rule one planet, beneficently if she can get away with it — but what are you going to do with the Whole Universe?
The new series attempts to rectify this by making the destruction of his homeworld and his species in the Time War the motivation to take over the universe, and giving him a Freudian Excuse as motivation for his more psychotic actions. Its success is debatable. Although he still enjoys killing lots of people just for the hell of it.
Alternatively, this has led to the completely serious fan theory that the Master is evil simply to get the Doctor's attention, in the manner of the stereotype of a boy pulling the hair of a girl he likes. After all, why would he consistently target the Doctor's favourite planet?
The most likely explanation, offered by the new series, is that while he claims to want to conquer the universe and have big plans, he is simply driven to acts of destruction by the pathology that started when he looked into the Time Vortex and the sound of drums filled his head.
Any vampire who, knowing who she is, attacks Buffy the Vampire Slayer instead of running away from her. Newly-turned vamps who are unaware get a break.
In detective shows, anyone who commits a crime when they're aware that the famous detective is in the area.
In the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode "Bad to the Bone", the killer is close to this (he's shown to have a short temper and be extremely violent). He steals poker chips (and never cashes them in despite having thousands of dollars worth), starts fights (in which he beat a man several times his size to death with his bare hands) and then walks into a diner covered in blood to wash his hands and order a sandwich. He's killed when he decides to try and stangle Grissom when he's swabbing his hands for blood residue and dies in the ensuing brawl with the police (his sister, and only surviving family member, is relieved he finally got himself killed). The rest of the episode is devoted to the team finding the remains of one of his victims in his garden.
While he's not the only example in the series, he's the only one who doesn't have the excuse of being on drugs or a stupid kid.
Any heel who clearly has the match won but can't resist posing for or taunting the crowd, or further assaulting the helpless face, when he should just go for the pin then and there.
Any ally of a heel wrestler challenging a face champion for a title who will enter the ring and strike the champion for no apparent reason, thus getting their partner disqualified (though this actually makes sense if the heel is the one who is champion, since a champion can get disqualified and still keep the title). Sometimes the interfering ally will weakly try to justify this by claiming to have wanted to "help" his friend, which is not only completely ridiculous but kind of insulting as well, particularly if the challenger who was just "helped" is the interferer's superior.
Of course, since Professional Wrestling matches are completely scripted, actions such as this are more for added entertainment than due to genuine stupidity.
Or sometimes the ally will at least try to wait until the ref's back is turned to do something. Of course, the ally will usually fail in their effort and end up getting their ass kicked.
Kane kept falling into this pattern of behavior when he was trying to get John Cena to "Embrace the Hate" in the course of their recent feud. Although his long-term plan was to poison relations between Cena and the "Cenation" (his fans in the stands) and then between him and his friends Zack Ryder and Eve Torres (and this plan proved partially successful), Kane just could not restrain himself from attacking and maiming Ryder (or further maiming, since he had already put Ryder in a wheelchair) simply because he could, which only shifted attention away from Cena's ambivalent relationships with his allies and motivated Cena to oppose Kane all the more.
The forces of Chaos (appropriately enough) make some pretty questionable tactical decisions from time to time, including sacrificing hundreds of their own cultists for purely symbolic reasons (as opposed to sacrificing hundreds of cultists for perfectly practical reasons, like summoning daemons, bigger daemons, and really really big daemons to attack their opponents). In addition, infighting between various Chaos factions has spelled the ruin of more than one attack on the Imperium.
A specific example: Kharn the Betrayer is such a bloodthirsty, frothing Ax Crazy that even his fellow Ax Crazies don't want to get anywhere near him. This is because he has a tendency to slaughter friend and foe alike when his blood is up. At one point, when the World Eaters (Kharn's legion of Chaos Space Marines) were attacking an enemy force of Emperor's Children (another Legion of Chaos Space Marines), a blizzard so terrible even the genetically-enhanced and daemonically-powered Super Soldiers couldn't take it descended and forced both sides to retreat into shelter. In a fit of rage, Kharn burned the World Eaters' shelters to the ground and proceeded to run around in a psychotic frenzy, slaughtering anyone that came within chainsaw-axe range. Both Legions suffered such horrendous casualties that they were never again able to take the field as a unified fighting force, and are now reduced to fighting alongside other Chaos warbands as shock troops. This is represented in the tabletop game by Kharn's special rules: if you roll poorly to hit in close combat, where any other character would simply miss, Kharn instead hits someone on his own side. Though he does have a little Justification; Kharn is fanatically dedicated to Khorne, the Blood God, and Khorne cares not from where the blood flows,so long as it flows. Thus, as far as his faith is concerned, he was doing the right thing and all the other world eaters where being cowards.
Diverting shock troops in extremely rare and strong armor, even by Space Marine standards, from a strategically important battle to take out an enemy propaganda station run by a dozen unarmed monks, then annihilating it from orbit while the shocktroops are still inside. Chaos commanders seem to have a collective inferiority complex or something.
The symbol for Chaos is an arrow that points in eight different directions
The Imperium of Man suffers heavily from this, half the time it seems like it's done to keep them from completely wiping out the Chaos Marines. Acts done by the Inquisition are the worst case, they can vary from committing acts of Necessary Evil, but are infamous for doing things like leveling whole planets just because a few people came into contact with alien technology. The Imperial Guard, Depending on the Writer, will be led by incompetent General Rippers that can't think of any tactics beyond throwing human wave tactics at things that will tear them in half, as opposed to say, shooting them from a distance with their huge tanks.
Dark Eldar love torturing stuff. Technically, they do have a reason, as they do it so that an evil god their ancestors ended up creating won't eat their souls, but let's face it, they just love torturing people for fun (especially when you consider that doing stuff like that created the thing in the first place). So much so, in fact, that their vehicles are designed for swooping in, grabbing prisoners, and zooming off into the sunset at the expense of all else — including armor and crew & passenger protection, though not necessarily firepower.
Orks are done this way on purpose. They pick a fight with anything they meet, including each other if there's nothing else around. But for them, it's part of their appeal.
Drow elves in most D&D campaign settings. Being forced to live underground, surrounded by swarms of magic-eye-beam-firing, mind-controlling, acid-spewing and other nastiness-causing beasties? Sure, why not worship an insane demon and turn your own civilization into a Social Darwinist nightmare so you expend three-quarters of your energy fighting yourselves?
It helps that in most settings the Drow have an Ax Crazy Goddess who rules their society DEMANDS that they constantly double cross each other. She is specifically described as "constantly watching for signs of too much cooperation."
Of course, the Drow are far from alone amidst evil D&D monsters and villains here. In fact, some of the most blatant examples are human (many of the Forgotten Realms's Zhentarim come to mind) — in this case, their individual evilness may be unconsciously or deliberately played up because they have no convenient "monstrous" traits to clearly mark them as Obviously Evil otherwise.
Intentionally employed in the ParanoiaRPG system, where all of the player characters are supposed to be stupid evil and the "plot" is just an excuse to put them all in one room while they try to out-backstab each other. Not only that, but they're all at the mercy an omnipresent Lawful StupidNPC, Friend Computer, so that have to try get away with being Stupid Evil while acting like they're Lawful Stupid.
The Skaven of Warhammer Fantasy are very much Stupid Backstabbers. While this serves a useful purpose in ensuring only the strong survive, this isn't saying much since Skaven take the We Have Reserves and Zerg Rush approaches; on the other hand, their tendency to turn every minor engagement into a five-way leadership battle is pretty much the sole reason apart from sheer troop inadequacy that they haven't taken over the entire friggin' world. Seriously, in one of the Gotrek And Felix novels, Thanquol could have won by page 200 if he hadn't been sending the heroes to eliminate his rivals out of fear for his position.
Lampshaded in the Mage: The Sorcerers Crusade supplement Infernalism - The Path of Screams: "Here comes my Dark Lord! Booga-Booga-Booga!" "No, you don't - taste my steel!" SPLAT! End of story, right? Not if you do (Infernalists) justice." That passage goes on to describe complex and intelligent motivations and behaviors for Infernalist antagonists.
World of Darkness as a whole seems to always have a Stupid Evil faction for the players to fight against (or join). In Vampire, we have the Sabbat, who want to rule over humankind openly, ignoring that the Camarilla, their opposing faction ALREADY basically rules the world. In Werewolf, we have the Black Spiral Dancers who would really really like to help the Wyrm destroy the universe. And finally, for Mage, we have the Nephandi who want to help Demons/The aforementioned Wyrm/Every other otherworldly abomination destroy the universe basically for the lulz.
...Unless you happen to have their book, which shows them to be more of a Gnostic Religion of Evil that views the chaos they cause as needed for their enlightenment, and quite capable of subtlety and patience if the situation calls for it. In fact, the pneuma (soul-focused) factions are actually all about subtlety and patience-the Nameless are primarily researchers and scholars, while the Mercy Seat regards playing The Corrupter as a holy mission.
Subverted with Exalted and the Infernals... most of the time, anyway. Even after offering their souls to the Yozi and merging with a demon, most Infernals are at least practical in their quest to turn Creation into a living hell. That being said, Infernals are expected to be paragons of demonic will while they are in Malfeas, and participate in baby-eating contests and the like.
Played straight with the Ebon Dragon, Shadow of All Things. He is one of the Primordials, one of the great creators of the world, the embodiment of literal and metaphorical darkness... and he defines his win condition as "making you lose more than he does." He is perfectly willing to screw himself over so long as it screws you over more, and has apparently done so on numerous occasions.
The Rakdos from the Magic: The Gathering Ravnica bloc are this intentionally. They even draw a great deal of their strength from mindless slaughter, which is also reflected in their representative gameplay mechanic (Hellbent).
The Gruul might also be either this or Chaotic Stupid, depending on who you ask. They have good reason to be pissed, though: Backstory tells that when the guilds were first formed, the Gruul were put in charge of "protecting nature." The problem is that Ravnica, their setting, is a plane-wide city, so between having much of their purpose being co-opted by the other Green-based guilds, or just eliminated by urban planning, they were eventually cast down as a guild. They didn't take it well.
Arcanum is a perfect example. Most evil actions fall into the stupid evil category. For example, you recover a wedding ring for a person who offered you 200 gold for it, the wedding ring is worth 30 gold in the pawn shop. The good option is to sell him his ring for 200 gold, the evil option is to murder him (and not get any money since he doesn't carry it on him). Almost every single morality choice in the game is of a similar vein.
Kind of an overstatement. There plenty quests where the evil option is more beneficial. Like when the King of Cumbria sends you to collect taxes, the chest of gold you get from the Mayor of Blackroot is worth more in a shop than what the King will give you in return. Or when some guy in Ashbury sends you to retrieve his set of Machined Plate and only offers you a pitiful amount of gold for an item that can only be crafted with high end tech skills and rare components.
The textbook video game example is Morrigan, from Dragon Age: Origins. She's supposed to come off as merely practical and ruthless—but given that she actively suggests you screw over other people who you need to defeat the Blight, encourages betrayal and being a prick to people whose aid you need, and in general, just being a snarky asshole, she comes off as Stupid Evil. Also, Arl Howe definitely qualifies. While he thinks he's being a Magnificent Bastard, he actually is just a Smug Snake who makes ridiculously bad decisions simply because they are the most evil option available. Arl Eamon even lampshades this by saying that Howe is the type of man who will kick a puppy for fun.
Can be played straight, Averted or even Subverted in the first two Fallout games. While it's quite possible to go through the games killing nearly everything that breathes, many of the "evil" sidequests can be accomplished without wholesale slaughter or dog-kicking malice, and many of the "good" sidequests can be solved with needlessly violent acts as well. Need to get a hostage from the slavers? Don't bother negotiating a deal that benefits everyone, or seducing the leader. You can just kill them all! An evil-pacifist run isn't entirely impossible, just annoyingly difficult.
To be specific, in Fallout 2 the most ideal ending for New Reno, where it stops being a Wretched Hive and becomes somewhere you'd actually want to live, is gained by wantonly killing everyone save the Wrights (and not becoming a made man with the Wrights, since this will lead to the Wrights using the military tech in the Sierra Army Base to create a military dictatorship).
Or you can simply cloak and dagger tactics to eliminate the heads, each being a case of being Hoist By Their Own Petard (Each New Reno head have a way to die without pissing off their fellow family members.
A common criticism of Fallout 3 is that, while the game allows you to play "good", "neutral" or "evil" characters, the Karma system much more frequently gives you "good" points for completing quests. It's virtually impossible to become "evil" or even remain "neutral" by playing just the main quest. Therefore, the only way to be recognized by the game as "evil" is to be an unthinking sociopath, literally going out of your way to be a dick, paying no attention to what you're actually supposed to be doing, and in the process engaging in numerous acts that are unnecessarily risky. In other words, the same thing as Neverwinter Nights mentioned below.
Some of the main quest "evil" choices make no sense even from the perspective of immoral self-aggrandizement and can only be justified by misanthropic, psychopathic stupidity. The extra caps given for doing the evil options are usually a pittance and in many cases even major rewards aren't worthwhile. What's more valuable? A house in a well placed settlement on several major routes throughout the wasteland (good reward) or an apartment on the extreme edge of nowhere that is under siege by ghouls (evil reward)? (This is even assuming you find and reach the evil option entirely on the other side of the game map before completing what is essentially the very first sub-quest in the entire game.)
And the evil choice presented in the main quest endgame is incredibly idiotic in-game for you to do. It's well past psychopathic into suicidal. It's a Press X to Die option. Granted, without Broken Steel, you died having to deal with the repercussions, but the main character, and non-spoiled players, didn't know that would happen. And Broken Steel let you live with that choice. (Resulting in a lot of confused forum messages by players who weren't paying attention to the plot and wanted to know why drinking water killed them.)
Fallout New Vegas is much better about how evil you really can be, but still a bit stagnant. Legion playthroughs and quest chains amount to about 1/3 of the content of a NCR or House friendly Courier. Granted, New Vegas also reduces the importance of Evil Karma, but at the end of the day you'll probably end up mindlessly gunning down every NCR soldier you can, followed up by gunning down most civilians who are happily aligned with NCR.
Really, a Legion-aligned Courier is this. The Legion is said to ''ideologically support" rape, mass murder, slavery, racism, and the killings of the weak, the sick, the elderly, and the homosexuals. They also have a policy of enslaving all their allies; in fact, everyone but Caesar himself is effectively a slave. On top of that, anyone with two brain cells to rub together knows that the Legion is near collapse due to their disastrous war with the NCR. Yet a Courier can still help them. They don't even have the excuse of wanting personal gain, as Mr.House offers way more wealth and rewards if that's all the Courier is after- certainly more than the militaristic, dystopic, anti-technology group of barbarians that make up the Legion.
And it's very, very stupid if the Courier is female. No one can seriously think they would really promote a woman to a position of power within their society, or even let her live freely in it.
New Vegas also featured Fallout 3's weird bits of random karma for killing certain NPCs. In particular before being patched, killing randomly encountered(fixed location, but they respawn) Fiends would give you something ridiculous like +100 Karma per kill. If you've spent the entire game as the sickest bastard in the Mojave, your first trip down the west side of outer New Vegas can turn you into a saint in as little as two shootouts.
Street Fighter M. Bison. Not only does he aspire to Take Over the World, not only does he routinely tell the hero that Soon I Will Be Invincible, he also routinely betrays his own freaking underlings, most of whom would be perfectly happy serving him if they continue being paid (Balrog) or if they get to keep fighting/killing (Sagat and Vega). Incidentally, Bison's lackeys usually turn against him and kill him in their (generally non-canon) endings.
Bison turning his henchmen is mostly in non-canon stories. The canon cases we have is Sagat turning on him due him having moral issues about Bison's attempted Grand Theft Me with Ryu, and the other case we with Seth, who is a Starscream.
Guilty Gear: I-No is a dumbass who frequently causes huge messes in the name of That Man. Not only do said messes more often than not have nothing to do with what he wants, but he usually has to clean up after her. As such, it's really quite surprising that he even still lets her work for him.
Most of the things you have to do to get 100% corruption in Overlord are just For the Evulz and grant no practical benefit. The most egregious being the last peasant-killing requirement, which can only be reached by repeatedly reloading one of the town areas to spawn more villagers to kill.
The sequel's 100% destruction path is the same. Among other things, requiring you to kill off all the people in your own towns instead of making them work for you. Since the game is not that serious, however, it's not that much of an issue.
In the original overlord you had evil vs good, where evil is a mix of a lot of destruction with a little domination. In the sequel you are evil, and your meter is "destruction" vs "conquest". Enslaving people is "conquest", slaughtering towns is "destruction". In the sequel you are not actually forced to be stupid evil if you don't want to.
Many of the options for "Closed Fist" in Jade Empire fell under "Kill people or trick them into killing others or themselves just because you can." However, more memorably and in something of a subversion, many of them actually offered the opportunity to provide interesting justifications; you might not just kill the fox spirit protecting a forest because you could, but because her weakness in allowing evil to taint it was a sign she wasn't fit to guard it anymore... or have a girl who was about to be sold into slavery kill her would-be buyer to teach her that freedom is worth fighting for. On the other hand, most of the Closed Fist choices of have absolutely nothing to do with the philosophy.
It is worth noting that if you get your Closed Fist meter to maximum, the dogs which can be seen walking around the city become targetable. Yes, once you're pure dang nasty evil, you really can Kick the Dog. When you kill them they drop health powerups!
It is further worth noting that if you're in the city where these dogs are you could also find a chi(health & chi) and focus altars that instantly restore their respective energy bars. Even if you get into a fight near a dog but far way from any altars you can force enemies to drop any powerup on death. Thus, this action is purely For the Evulz, serving no purpose and offering no benefit to the player.
In the game Harvest Moon DS, to marry the Witch Princess, the player has to kill 50 animals (which cost a lot of money to acquire, and then make the player a lot of money in return), litter in the road and poison the stew pot at a festival (which makes everyone else in the valley hate you, naturally), and pass out from overwork 100 times (which costs time and money, again, as passing out will cause you to go to bed immediately and lose half of your gold). Surely there are easier ways to prove that she's evil besides making you play the game horribly to make her like you?
Lilarcor from Baldur's Gate II is Stupid Evil personified, seeking only to kill everything the party meets — and he's a sentient sword, with a personality apparently based on a fantastically stupid hick, which fortunately means he's incapable of doing anything on his own.
Lilarcor: I don't know what you were expecting, but as a sword I'm pretty one-dimensional in what I want.
This is also actually consistent with the AD&D rules for intelligent weapons at the time the game was created — they had intelligence, but no wisdom as such.
The Baldur's Gate series in general. Most often, the 'evil' dialogue and quest choices have you acting like a big Jerk Ass to everyone you meet, for no good reason. And the rewards are usually worse than if you'd taken the 'good' path.
Evil party members demand you have a low reputation and will actually leave the party or even attack you if your reputation gets too high. Possibly justified in the case of some of the more Ax Crazy characters, but at least half of them are smart enough to easily see the benefits of being a Villain with Good Publicity yet still insist that you consistently stay Stupid Evil.
Fortunately, the second game eventually gives you a quick and easy way to lower your reputation without resorting to Stupid Evil-ness: Just turn into the Slayer and turn back. Bam, two reputation points gone.
Mass Effect is a notable exception to the "evil or equivalent is always Chaotic Stupid" tendency in CRPGs. The evil-equivalent options tend more towards I Did What I Had to Do or even Lawful Stupid. Even things as subtle as taking a more aggressive or reckless tack in conversations can earn you a few points for it. You do tend to have to kill more people on this route, but you tend to kill them because it's the most expedient route or "lawful" option, while the good-equivalent emphasizes restraint, helping those in need, and finding a peaceful and equitable solution whenever possible.
Renegade Shepard does, however, engage in a great deal of Insane Troll Logic on occasion to justify racking up those renegade points.
Mass Effect 2 has probably the dumbest idea when you have the fight between your party member Samara and her evil daughter Morinth. A very high-score Renegade has the option of siding with Morinth over Samara and having her take her place in your crew. While this doesn't have any huge repercussions for the player, it's still an incredibly dumb idea from a logical standpoint. Samara is a justicar fanitcally devoted to her code and has sworn her on her life to aid you (until the oath expires, which you can plan for ahead of time), Morinth is a serial killer that had just tried to murder you for fun. You have no reason to trust Morinth and every reason to trust Samara, so there is really no practical reason for Shepard to side with Morinth.
A low-score Renegade Shepard may be the best example, as not only will their overly aggressive dialogue fall flat on its face and fail to intimidate anyone, the only way to really get a low score in Paragon or Renegade is to alternate answers. It's no wonder s/he can't intimidate people, s/he probably just made some compassionate overtures, then said something bigoted, then over threats and then back to compassionate.
There's also Renegade Shepard's actions in the third installment, where picking Renegade choices often results in deaths for the target (including party members and vital political figures whose support you need) which can result in you trying to take back Earth from the Reapers with a fleet that starts getting shredded by them within minutes of engaging.
Neverwinter Nights (and its related expansions) works like this when it comes to the Good/Evil alignment axis. It's almost impossible to gain evil points unless you kill anyone who looks at you a little bit funny, regardless of the number of witnesses or your own personal credo. Meanwhile, performing any kind of altruistic act — even for nefarious or selfish purposes — will have you racking up the Good points.
Unfortunately, this is one of the major weaknesses of alignment in NWN, in that most characters end up as dog-kicking evil, or good. Almost no subtle, selfish evil, and it's very hard to maintain a neutral character over a long (series) of modules.
Neverwinter Nights 2 expansion Mask of the Betrayer introduced a mechanic of "soul consuming". Your character is given the option to suppress the urge (lawful & good points on alignment meter) or indulge in it (evil and chaotic points on alignment meter). Suppressing / consuming happens at regular intervals of real time. Indulging actually increases the rate of hunger generation, should you indulge, your hunger will grow enough to consume your own soul, ending the game permanently and requiring that you restart the entire game from the beginning or a far enough ago save where you can still salvage it via suppression. The consume path is thus nearly impossible to play to completion unless you do a speed run. This means almost everyone suppresses and are 100% Good/Lawful despite being utterly evil in their choices. A patch was released to resolve this situation by making suppression not affect your alignment.
The Sith on Korriban are little more than a bunch of violent bullies with force powers. Even one of the masters is actively encouraging hypothetical decisions like executing a loyal subordinate for an explicitly minor and insignificant mistake, or backstabbing a competent superior to take his place, despite the implication that he does a far better job than you could ever do. His answer to the logical counterargument that a capable commanding officer is a valuable asset to the Sith and killing him would be counterproductive? FORCE LIGHTNING! One of the disciples actually switches sides after realizing that he just signed up because he likes bullying people and ended up with a bunch of freaks that do a far better job.
The Sith on Korriban's way of thinking is a problem that follows the Sith throughout the Star Wars Expanded Universe. The Sith insist that conflict amongst themselves strengthens them because it weeds out the weak from their ranks, but ultimately this leads to more than a few wars against the Republic and that Jedi that the Sith lost in part due to their infighting. And they still insist on that tradition even though any sane person can see that when the Sith fight each other the only winners are the Jedi.
KOTOR's Big Bad Darth Malak heavily suffers from this. Everyone you talk to says he's little more than a lunatic that does nothing but throw the endless fleet the Star Forge provides him with at the enemy, and he lives up to that since the first time we see him he orders and orbital bombardment to level an entire planet just because he was impatient about his army's progress with looking for one Jedi.
Knights of the Old Republic II presents much more variety in dark side options, such as convincing a mother to sell herself into slavery so she can be together with her daughter. In fact, the game recognizes two kinds of dark side acts: "cunning", which represent a Manipulative Bastard and which your teacher Kreia approves of, and "psychotic", which correspond to Chaotic Stupid and which Kreia scolds you for. There are other party members who do approve of psychotic acts, though, like the assassin droid HK-47.
On the other hand, there are moments when you are forced to learn how bad Lawful Stupid and Chaotic Stupid are by the mechanism of only giving you those options. No matter how subtle a villain you are, when a beggar asks if you have any spare change, your only options are giving him money or threatening to kill him. Which means it's lecture time from Kreia, and she won't be telling you to just keep walking and avoid eye contact.
In The Old Republic Overseer Tremel will actually call you on this during one of the opening quests for the Sith Warrior if you decided to kill a spy that the Empire had taken prisoner instead of taking the light side points by sparing her life in return for her service to Imperial Intelligence. If you kill her Tremel basically tells you to never waste someone who could be of use to you.
The Combine in Half-Life 2 are the Lawful Evil version. They invade Earth for the sole purpose of consuming all its resources (including draining the oceans) and using humans as cannon fodder soldiers, and while they're there they implement a needlessly brutal totalitarian regime in which the "civil protection" forces have "beating quotas" and any captured "Anticitizens" are transformed into the horrific Stalkers.
The beating quota isn't actually a thing, it's just Barney lampshading the Stupid Evil nature of the Combine.
The Ilwrath in Star Control 2. Turns out there's a reason for it, though — the Umgah have been interfering with their culture for generations as a practical joke.
You can even momentarily confuse them in a conversation by pointing out that they self-identify as "evil" yet it's the preferred behavior in their society, meaning that acting "evil" is actually a good thing in their value system, and therefore them calling it evil is a paradox.
While calling anyone in Touhou evil is inaccurate at best, there are still those that fall into this trope (Stupid Antagonism?), causing mayhem for petty reasons (if they have any at all) in spite of the miko with impervious Plot Armor that will not hesitate to beat the living crap out of them. The best example is Utsuho, who goes mad with power and has ambitions to Take Over the World almost immediately upon receiving her powers from Kanako.
If you decide to venture down the path of Corruption in Dawn of War 2: Chaos Rising, you'll end up doing things this way most of the time. For example, the very first atrocity to commit is to blow up the city gates thus leaving it unprotected...OR you can walk ten meters aside and open the gates with a switch. Every time corruption points are awarded for lingering with a mission, rest assured that you will have to actually wait for the timer to expire twiddling thumbs two steps away from the objective. Tainted wargear is just moderately better then the "clean" one so it'll be more like "damn, Cyrus' corruption level is low! Ok, what can I give him to fix things up?" And powers of Chaos, while great, have such long cooldowns it makes them essentially Too Awesome to Use, so they too will be mostly used for they corrupting potential.
There is a mission in City of Villains that invokes this trope. When checking on a Arachnos base, the agents you come across are spouting Stupid Evil lines. This is your first clue that something is wrong, as most Arachnos agents are Punch Clock Villains. Then, when you defeat one and it blows up, you figure out that they're Nemesis Automatons, which are known for being perfect replicas, until you look closely.
Colonel Volgin from Metal Gear Solid 3. When he captures Big Boss, and "interrogates" him, he actually manages to reverse interrogate him, as Big Boss is too busy being beaten half to death to say anything, and Volgin is busy disclosing the location of The Philosopher's Legacy. Later, when he and Snake are preparing to fight to the death, Snake asks what that is exactly, and Volgin tells him for no discernible reason.
Shao Kahn in Mortal Kombat is obsessed with conquering other realms, and merging them into Outworld, so that (being the megalomaniac tyrant he is) he can not only cause devastation during his invasions, but exploit and oppress survivors for his own egotistical gain. He's treated as the personification of evil in the series. Problem is, as indicated in his ending in Armageddon, he conquers everything in the universe, destroying all land, seemely destroying all life too. And with nothing else left to conquer, he is left alone forever... to essentially grow mad with bordom.
Moloch's ending somewhat counts as well. Yes he is a lumbering, towering, destructive demon from hell, but his non canonical ending in Armageddon reinforces that stereotype by telling that he would gain so much power and rage, becoming the ultimate destroyer, but in his stupidity and haste to unleash his power straight away, he destroys all portals to escape the realm he is in, and thus is unable to inflict his wrath upon other worlds.
In the Lost Chapters version of Fable, the evil option of the final choice is this. The options are either A. Throw an evil talking mask into the lava (Good) or B. put on the talking mask that tempts you with power and obviously just wants you to put it on so it can possess you (evil).
Inotia 4: Assasin of Berkel. The Berkelen Empire wants to go to a "holy war" with the empire of Arnen just for the heck of bloodshed. That in itself is isn't that bad, but then they dispatch an entire army and risk sending hundreds of elite knights to their deaths, even risking sending them through a faulty portal gate which will cost them several lives, only to track down and murder one helpless woman because she refused to read war propaganda in public. There's probably some social commentary here but as these things usually turn out, it's so incredibly naive and detached from reality that it's impossible to take seriously.
While Megatron in Transformers War For Cybertron was some evil moments that would easily lead on question his leadership quality, Starscream in the sequel puts him to shame when he actually manages to briefly lead the Decepticons. After Starscream blunders an assault on a huge Autobot energon transport, he orders the mission called off even though the Combaticons are still in the fight and making progress, and succeed in bringing down the transport. Starscream berates them destroying half the energon from crashing, and when they point out that the Autobots would have gotten all of it if they did nothing and point out Starscream's incompetence, he has them arrested for talking back to him.
Alpha Protocol averts this, for the most part. The game has no Karma Meter, and most choices are more questions of values than morals. Even the more straightforward "evil" choices are more ruthlessly pragmatic (you execute an enemy because you don't want to risk letting them live, or let an arms dealer go free so you can get more intel from him). There are, however, some Stupid Evil actions you can take, such as massacring everyone at a party for absolutely no reason, or abandoning valuable intel to rescue an ally from a villain who plans to kill them, and then immediately killing them anyway. However, all significant choices give you different "perks," so there may be some benefit to a player who takes such actions, even if they are still Stupid Evil in universe.
Mild version in The Sims 3. If you have the evil trait, your Sim will most likely just piss off most non-evil Sims and make it hard to actually be friends with anyone in town. You can also "donate" money to sabotage charities, for no other reason than to be a dick.
In Looking for Group, Richard started out like this. In fact he's still like this a lot. It helped with him being undead and a powerful sorcerer, not having to suffer any real consequences for his actions - although the other party members certainly did.
Later revealed that his Stupid Evil acts DO have a point though. When he murders innocents for no reason he gets to keep his inability to feel pain or be harmed.
"I am compelled to do evil, regardless of its utility."
Belkar from The Order of the Stick is a great example because he's not just evil in a stupid way, he's evil because he's stupid. When Vaarsuvius cast a wisdom-boosting spell on him, he swore off evil and needless killing. Then V dismissed the spell and he ran off to kill things. However, he had a vision/hallucination of Lord Shojo which has seemingly convinced him to avoid this; if he's a bit more selective with his carnage and act as if he's playing by everyone else's rules (in his word "faking Character Development"), he can get people to stop hating him and possibly even get them to do what he wants.
Considering the setting (Dungeons and Dragons), Belkar is eerily effective at times compared to more intelligent and less stab-happy people.
Belkar may also be smarter than he looks, as shown when he did a pretty effective job of dismantling Miko despite her ridiculous combat proficiency. He is defeated off-camera.
Of course, then he was just as stupid as you'd expect when the little hole in his resurrection plan is pointed out.
Subverted in the RPGamer comic Knights Of The Dinner Table, where player Sara Felton becomes evil because of a cursed object, but acts, as she points out, definitely not Stupid. And she likes it.
Kary is also this, considering she blows up her own minions just for fun and to prove that she is evil. Later, she blames the Light Warriors for killing her minions despite admitting that it was all her fault.
Minor villain, Jaxon, in Dominic Deegan is in the middle of a chaotic and extremely dangerous wilderness when he decides to stab his boss and go hunting for a monster that completely outclass him. Later, while wounded, he decides to attack the unscathed main character. He's either classic Stupid Evil or just suicidal.
Bangladesh Dupree of Girl Genius has to be beaten unconscious so she stops trying to kill the guy trying to keep the airship they're on from being destroyed. Her attempts to follow orders inevitably add a lot of "kill people" between the lines.
In all fairness to that first example, she was dazed, delirious and barely awake, and he had recently broken her jaw. And he did that because she attacked him when she saw him dragging her unconscious boss through the halls.
Bang also (surprise) see Klaus as some sort of a fatherly figure, so the first time she could as well be protective. In her case it's sometimes hard to tell motivated violence from unmotivated. She's the girl who complains about orders to not burn any towns and then adds "even if a town really needed burning".
In his regular editorial for the Role Playing Public Radio podcast, Tom Church explained that part of his hatred for the Star Wars RPG is the insistence of players on playing Sith while unable to grasp the concept of quiet, calculating menace that makes them such appealing villains in the first place. "Would you like to go out for some babies later this evening?" "Why yes, that would certainly hit the spot."
In one episode of Samurai Jack, Aku promises a genius scientist to spare his village if he will make some super-robots to destroy the title character for him. The scientist does so. After they are done, Aku decides to "test them" by destroying the scientist's village for no reason whatsoever. This naturally leads to said scientist giving Jack the means to defeat these robots. Aku threw Villain Balls around a lot; there were many occasions he successfully caught Jack but ultimately came out short due to his sadistic tendencies, be it stalling his execution in favor of a Cool and Unusual Punishment or doublecrossing a Noble Demon that has the means to his escape for the sheer kick of it.
Which is Fridge Brilliance as Aku is constantly portrayed as the physical embodiment of evil. This means that his nature compels him to do Stupid Evil things even though forgoing them temporarily would allow him to solve his problems faster.
It's telling that Aku went for the direct killing blow exactly once, having beaten down Jack, pinned him with a massive claw, and was in the process of skewering with his own blade. Sadly (for Aku anyway) the blade simply goes 'plink' against Jack's skin, leaving Aku so shocked that his eyeball flames poof out. Turns out that, since Jack's blade was forged to fight the ultimate evil - AKU HIMSELF - it couldn't hurt those who were pure of heart.
Mind you, there was no reason to use that particular method instead of the rest of his lethal arsenal, other than it was kinda ironic. So yeah, even when Aku decides to just kill him, he still does it in a Stupid Evil way.
Almost all the Captain Planet villains seem to have no other desire in life than to pollute the planet for the sake of polluting the planet. It's rare that the villain is actually trying to accomplish another goal with pollution being an unwanted (or even wanted) side effect.
Plunder, with his endangered animal hunting, seems to have basic greed as his ulterior motive as he seeks to cash in on his extreme poaching. This is the most sense that any villain makes on that show, and even then it's as one-dimensional as it gets.
Even then, Plunder already has enough cash to finance any business he feels like and yet he consistently chooses those that will lead to a superhero and his teenage hit squad wrecking everything for him seemingly just so he can be an asshole to the environment.
Though Sly Sludge was just out for money. In one episode, he was almost a good guy, legitimately disposing of toxic waste for profit, although he didn't realize that his method, a shrink ray, would undo itself after a certain amount of time.
In Codename Kids Next Door, this is the reason why most of the Delightful Children From Down the Lane's plans fail, either because of their own incompetance or because of their dim view of the heroes' own intelligence. The worst part is, they are pots calling kettles black most of the time; they never get tired calling the Kids Next Door fools, when the truth is, their own intelligence can often be compared to that of a box of hammers. "Operation: F.L.A.V.O.R." and "Operation: U.N.D.E.R.C.O.V.E.R." are two of the best examples.
In an episode of Darkwing Duck where Quackerjack teamed up with Megavolt, Quackerjack pulled out a fire truck the size of a bumper car with a hose that acted as a flamethrower. After he used it, there was this exchange between the villains:
Megavolt: Not bad... But... Shouldn't a fire engine shoot water?
Quackerjack: Course not! Then it would be a water engine.
Megavolt (Looks around nervously): Uh... Got one of those?
In case you missed the point, Quackerjack's stunt had set the entire city block on fire, and they were in the middle of it. Really not smart.
In Avatar The Last Airbender, Admiral Zhao of the Fire Nation invades the capital of the Water Tribe; while there, it's revealed to him that there are spirits present that represent elements in nature and that harming them will have dire consequences for the world — not just the Water Tribe, the whole world (Fire Nation included). So what does he do? He decides to kill the Moon Spirit for no other reason than spite and pride. Gee Zhao, you think having the Moon might be a little important? He, of course, dies a Karmic Death when he once again chooses spite over common sense.
In the Grand Finale of Transformers: Beast Wars, Megatron picks up the Villain Ball by deciding to kill the entirely helpless human village before the armed Maximals, and was attacked while waiting for it to recharge. To add insult to injury somehow the attack failed, and it appeared the only ones who died were Quickstrike and Inferno.
To be entirely fair, if he had succeeded in the attack, it might have erased the Maximals from time, as it would have prevented the humans from aiding the Autobots, which was what led the Autobots to ultimate victory over the Decepticons. It wasn't so much "Stupid Evil," as "The initial strategy failed, and he was left vulnerable to the counter-attack."
Not really. After Megatron's first attempt to nip humanity in the bud(the incident that got Dinobot killed), the proto-humans scattered, which was why he never tried it again. Even if Megatron had succeeded in wiping out that particular settlement, the proto-humans would have still had others humanity could have developed from.
Dick Dastardly of Wacky Races is on the low end of evil, always wanting to cheat to win, but finds himself, despite pulling ahead numerous times, stopping to try and sabotage the racers ability to race, despite having a huge lead. In the unaired pilot for Wacky Races Forever, Dick gets ahead, takes a nap, has a conversation with his boss, disobeys a direct order to win because he's got it in his head that this was a coded message telling him to do the opposite, and then drives toward the other racers to try and drive a giant cheese wedge into his opponents... despite being only a few feet from the finish line. Dastardly openly declares it's because he can't win fairly, he has to cheat.
Though this was almost subverted in one episode where Dastardly, at the end of his rope, decides he's going to win fairly, and immediately blows past all the racers....only to stop to sign an autograph for Muttley, costing him the race.
There was another instance he almost won, but he just has to extend the nose of the Mean Machine to make sure he gets in first, resulting in him getting disqualified. Another time, he's one of the racers tied for the lead, untill he hears it will be a photo finish, causing him to immediately stop, get out of the car and pose.
Lampshaded in Justice League Unlimited: The Flash, stuck in the body of Lex Luthor (don't ask), has to keep up the charade of being Luthor in front of a gang of supervillains. The problem is, all-around-good-guy Flash has no idea how to act like a bad guy, much less one as suave as Luthor, which leads to this exchange as he's walking out of the bathroom:
Dr. Polaris: Hey, aren't you going to wash your hands?
Flash (in Luthor's body): No! 'Cuz I'm evil.
Megatron in Transformers Prime is VERY abusive towards his subordinates and constantly berates if they fail to please him. Not surprisingly, most of them aren't especially loyal.
Starscream sometimes seems Stupid Evil with all that arrogant gloating he does, but that's more his bad habit of thinking out loud - something which even Megatron has called him out on. He also thinks that every bot should bow down to him because he's in charge(or he thinks he should be), even if those bots tend to be twice his size and strength.
The Vreedle Brothers from the Ben 10 franchise take this trope plus Chaotic Stupid and run with it Up to Eleven. They are supposed to be bounty hunters, but have ended up with the reputation to fail at bringing anything alive. They only reason they survived so far is because there are actually an army of them.
South Park has an episode where Satan sends three serial killers from Hell back to Earth in order to get him a birthday cake and a car. Unfortunately, they keep killing the vendors, ruining their efforts.
SpongeBob SquarePants has Plankton who's own evil schemes keep failing because of his own stupidity. He claims to be an evil genius yet he doesn't know some of the simplest things like snow and blinking.
Insofar as lying is "evil", then the knaves in Raymond Smullyan's logic puzzles count; they always lie, even if they would give away their being knaves (eg, if you ask them "Is the Pope Catholic?", they will say "No"). The most famous and widely imitated such puzzle is described under Knights and Knaves. In that one and its variants, puzzle solvers are limited in the number of questions they can ask, and there is often a more conventional "Normal" character hidden among the Stupid Evil knaves, who can usually imitate a knight or knave whenever convenient.