Pinky: Gee, Brain, what you wanna do tonight?Of course! Why would any reputable villain or Imperialistic Global Superpower set their sights on anything less than World Domination®! As Evil Plans go, world domination is ambitious, more logical and sometimes easier than wanton destruction of everything. They want to be in charge of everything and everyone. This could be just to feed their massive egos and Greed, or else they've got somewhat twisted ideals that they want everyone else to adhere to. Sometimes it's because world domination is the Path to a Better Future. Or it's just because they are dicks. Either way, this ambition will put them in direct conflict with the heroes, whether professional or "I just want everything to go back to normal" types. Usually said villains fixate on the hero or someone/thing close to them as being part of their master Evil Plan. For a villain who has finally acquired godlike power, and did not use it to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence or euthanize the universe, then this is the next logical goal and use for said power. Villains who want this will occasionally combat other villains who want to destroy the world or use it for other purposes, and sometimes, just sometimes, team up with the heroes to do it. After all, you can't conquer the world if it's destroyed, right? Whether or not the villain attempts to stab the heroes in the back the instant the world is safe, or they nod and civilly go back to their Secret Lairs in a gentleman's agreement to face each other tomorrow depends on the villain. The results of world domination is sometimes subverted, parodied or deconstructed when the villain actually succeeds, and it turns out that ruling the world isn't nearly as gratifying as they thought it would be — exactly what does one do with the world once one has it, after all? As any immortal would tell you, ideas to try for the world (whether utopian or dystopian) can be limited. Plus, once you're ruling the world, you literally have to be in charge of everyone, and that's like herding giraffes. Seven billion giraffes, as a matter of fact. You actually have to run things, and make sure it works, and dang, Dystopia Is Hard. You will end up snapping or getting crushed under the workload of trying to dictate everything. If they did it with Mass Hypnosis to get rid of The Evils of Free Will, then it'll be considerably easier to rule... and so dreadfully boring they undo the whole thing just to have someone to talk to. No wonder that "illogical" world destruction has an appeal that competes with world domination. The more fleshed-out villain will have some specific perception of what is wrong with the world and believe that a strong central authority with vision and strength of purpose can set it right. For more information, check out the Evil Overlord List, a detailed guide on what an evil overlord should and should not do. Typically, this is accomplished with Stock Evil Overlord Tactics. Although sometimes the plans of villains with this motivation go rather in the Missing Steps Plan direction. There have been several country-specific SubTropes which have been popularized in American thought and media, each country taking its turn to be the boogeyman for a few decades. These would include:
Brain: The same thing we do every night, Pinky: try to take over the world!
Brain: The same thing we do every night, Pinky: try to take over the world!
- America Takes Over the World, which has generally always been a concept people in the post WWII era have entertained, especially in the post Cold War world with USA being the sole hyper power.
- Russia Takes Over the World, which was popular during the Red Scare in the 1950s and 1960s. The advent of detente however led to...
- Japan Takes Over the World, which was influenced by Japan's powerful economy that emerged in the 1970s and the spread of its pop culture in the 1980s. The lost decade of Japan in the 90s which led to an economic and production standstill has led to another East Asian superpower filling this role, which would be...
- China Takes Over the World, a concept that has gained influence in the 1990s with the rise of the Chinese Economy and manufacturing center. The economic liberalization and large population which has also made the Chinese an influential target for corporations and movie studios back this claim alongside China's powerful army. With a recession in the 2010s however, this trope may now be discredited.
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Anime & Manga
- The Mazinger trilogy:
- Mazinger Z: According his Backstory revealed in one of the manga versions, Dr. Hell was abused and belittled by everyone when he was a child until his mind snapped and he decided he wanted to make all pay: he would purge the world off idiots and force everybody to bow down to him. During the rise of Hitler, he realized if he took over the world he COULD do just that. Over ten years after the World War II he finally found the means as he researched several ancient ruins.
- Great Mazinger: The Mykene were an ancient civilization had been forced to survive underground for millennia. Big Bad and Physical God Emperor of Darkness and The Dragon Ankoku Daishogun wanted to return to the surface world and let their people walk freely over earth and enjoy sunlight, fresh air and clean water, and they thought take over the world was the only way to achieve that.
- UFO Robo Grendizer: Planet Vega had become unstable due to the overexploitation of ores of vegatron, a highly radioactive material. King Vega needed to find another world to settle his people on, and so he began conquering other worlds. That expansionist campaign finally led them to Earth.
- Played with in Shugo Chara!. Tadase, leader of the heroes, repeatedly states that his goal (or at least his would-be self's goal) is World Domination.
- When discussion the motives of the actual villains, the Easter corporation, the heroes quickly dismiss World Domination as a possibility.
- Princess Tutu's Japanese official website listed profiles for most of the major characters—pretty standard stuff, including height, weight, and each character's "likes" and "dislikes". Most of it isn't too much of a surprise, like Ahiru's love for ballet and dislike of food with chicken in it... but then you get to Autor's profile. What he likes? "World Domination". Apparently that's the reason he's so obsessed with Drosselmeyer's story-spinning powers!
- Il Palazzo of Excel Saga wants to take over the world, which he believes has become corrupt. He decides a more reasonable goal is to start with just Japan, and the best way to take over Japan is to start with one city.
- After Chao Lingshen is revealed as the Big Bad of the Mahora Festival in Mahou Sensei Negima!, we finally get a peek at her character bio. Listed under her Likes? World Domination.
- Now that she's out of the way, Haruna has stepped in. Lately, she overtly proclaimed herself "future mistress of this world".
- Axis Powers Hetalia: "Everyone will become one with Russia." Alternately, The Awesome Prussia will seize your vital regions.
- Code Geass: Lelouch vi Britannia eventually decides to conquer the whole world, rather than just destroy the Britannian Empire, as was his original plan. In subversion he doesn't actually want to keep it for himself. Magnificently, having taken over half the world and been betrayed, he the proceeds to take over the other half, then uses that to finish the job.
- Light Yagami in Death Note wants to be the god of the world, which effectively is the same thing.
- Cleo in Glass Fleet wants to take over the galaxy. Luckily, the Big Bad, Vetti Sforza, has already conquered most of it. Cleo decides that taking down Vetti is the quickest way of doing it. Things don't go exactly as planned...
- Jio's goal in 666 Satan, by collecting all the O-Parts to rule the world.
- Katekyo Hitman Reborn!'s Big Bad Byakuran actually has taken over the world millions of times over. Being able to share his consciousness across parallel universes, he has become supreme ruler of all but one.
- Dragon Ball
- Piccolo Daimao's goal is to conquer the world. And he does. Easily.
- Pilaf, the Red Ribbon Army, Vegeta, Frieza and his relatives, and Babidi, who all had plans for world/universal domination at one point or another. Specifically, Frieza was in the business of conquering and selling planets.
- Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny: Gilbert Durandel wants to do this as part of his Utopia Justifies the Means plot.
- Fullmetal Alchemist: This is one of Greed's stated goals, though in the end Ling calls him out on his bluff and Greed grudgingly admits that deep down his true desire was to have friends.
- In the 2003 anime version, Bradley seemed to have this as his intention, which makes sense, him being a Hitler-expy and all.
- He is actually holding the title "Führer"!
- In the 2003 anime version, Bradley seemed to have this as his intention, which makes sense, him being a Hitler-expy and all.
- When 4Kids was dubbing the Pokémon movies, they had a habit of changing the villains' motives to this, because kids wouldn't understand their original motives.
- This is now Team Rocket's goal. Since they've become competent and now have frikken jet-packs, they might actually have a shot.
- That didn't last long though.
- This is now Team Rocket's goal. Since they've become competent and now have frikken jet-packs, they might actually have a shot.
- Pain of Naruto originally claims this to be the goal of Akatsuki. As a small mercenary force of exceptional skill they would build a strong reputation and slow supplant the established villages; then they would use the captured Bijuu to start small wars, promptly ending them, to gain complete dominance of the market. At that point, they would crush the weakened nations reliant on their services and become the sole world power.
- Kuroda from Neko-de Gomen!.
- This is the goal of all of the evil organizations in Hajimete No Aku. Their methods and reasons are generally more benign than most of the other examples on this page.
- In Read or Die, the British Library apparently wants to take control of the world's information networks, so they can get the world to doublethink itself into believing that they already rule the world.
- Ika Musume's ultimate goal is to take over the world in order to punish humans for polluting the oceans and harming the ocean life. Thus far, her invasion has stalled at the beach house where she first made landfall.
- The Evil Organization Florsheim from Tentai Senshi Sunred has this as their objective B. It will follow objective A; the defeat of their mortal enemy Sunred. So far, they're stuck at objective A. And probably will be for some time.
- This is the goal of Rider, aka Alexander the Great, in Fate/Zero. Which is to be expected, given that it was his goal in Real Life. An unusual case in that he is a hero rather than a villain. He's delighted to discover that the world is larger than he had realized in life, because that means there's more of it to conquer.
- Poseidon in Saint Seiya. Cue his one-time help against Hades, who wants to destroy the world.
- The Zabi family of Mobile Suit Gundam have this as their ultimate objective, seeking to grind Earth and all of the space colonies under their jackbooted heels. Their reasons for doing so differ—Degwin and Kycilia want to bring their familial political philosophy to the entirety of humanity and make Zeon the strongest nation in existence, Garma and Dozle just want to make their father proud, and Gihren sees it as an exercise in stroking his own ego. All of them, and particularly Gihren and Kycilia, believe that Despotism Justifies the Means.
- From the New World features a particularly hideous example: Monster Rat Yakomaru plans to overthrow humans by exploiting the fact that Humans Are Psychic in the Future by kidnapping a human infant and raising him into an unstoppable, animalistic sociopath and unleashing him against the communities on the Japanese archipelago, and using the chaos to capture even more infants to repeat the process until all humans have been wiped out.
- Momonga in Overlord2012 more or less ends up accidentally beginning a campaign to conquer the New World when his subordinate Demiurge takes an off-hand remark too seriously. His subordinates, without his knowledge, have dedicated themselves to delivering the New World to him. Momonga just wanted to make his guild famous in the New World hoping to find fellow Yggdrasil players. He only finds out what his minions are really doing in volume 8 of the light novel. To save face, he goes along with it.
- Played straight in Mark Waid's Empire limited comic series. The supervillain mastermind Golgoth actually conquers the world. All opposition is crushed, all superheroes are defeated, and Golgoth is still victorious at the end of the tale. Needless to say, it's a VERY dark story. However, Golgoth finds that ruling the world is not exactly easy, either.
- Dilbert: Dogbert has taken over the world a few time. In one arc he does so through hypnosis, but abdicates after he gets bored. He's also taken over the company frequently, usually becoming obscenely wealthy and retiring within a matter of days.
- Darkseid, the Lord of Apokolips, wants to rule the entire DC Universe.
- In the Marvel Graphic Novel Emperor Doom Doctor Doom succeeds in taking over the world. He hits the Reset Button himself when he realizes he didn't want the world, he just wanted the quest to take it over.
- The Doomster also pulled it off in Marvel Ultimate Alliance, complete with building an army with hybrid Doombot and Iron Man technology and giving himself a castle the size of Latveria. Then the heroes beat him up and Odin blows him to vapor with a lightning bolt.
- In the aftermath of the Onslaught Saga, Franklin Richards created an alternate Earth and Doctor Doom conquered THAT before getting bored with the absolute power over it he'd usurped from Franklin Richards' weird computer overseer thing.
- He pulls it off in Doom 2099 (or the United States, anyway, which is not actually the entire world). The twist? He's actually a pretty good leader.
- From AVENGERS #290, in one of his few impressive moments Dr. Druid points out to the Super-Adaptoid the importance of thinking things through:
Dr. Druid: And once you have conquered the people of Earth, what then?Super-Adaptoid: I will rule them, Dr. Druid.Dr. Druid: To rule means to dictate. What will you tell your billions of subjects to do?Super-Adaptoid: I... I had not yet considered that.
- "Rule the world" is the key phrase that Piffany taught Yeagar to differentiate between the good guys and the bad guys in Nodwick.
- Lex Luthor's original goal was to take total control of Metropolis as a foundation for taking over the world, and from there the rest of the universe. Then Superman showed and started ruining all of his plans. Now his goal is to get rid of Superman so he can get back to his original goal and soothe his massive ego.
- Parodied by Disney Italy's comics linked to the character of Paperinik:
- In one Paperinik New Adventures story, Paperinik guesses that Leonard Vertighel altered a number of the Time Police's droids to try this. Vertighel, who was actually trying to create the perfect woman to love and be loved, laughs and replies "Be frank with me: you read a lot of comic books, do you?".
- In one of Angus Fangus' short stories published on Paperinik New Adventures, our reporter has been captured by the mysterious Fang-Ho, and we get this gem:
Fang-Ho: "That nice gadget, placed on the back of your neck, will turn you into a faithful servant, whose only will will be... mine! Each new servant will make new devices that, in turn, will make new servants, until I have an endless army at my command! Do you know what I'll do then?"
Angus: "You'll Take Over the World?"
Fang-Ho: "There must have been an information leak!"
- In one of the stories of Fantomius (of whom Paperinik is a sort of Legacy Character), the cruel Fu-Man-Etchu wants a mask with hypnotic powers. Fantomius guesses it's to try and take over the world... But the villain reveals it's actually to subdue all the pharmacists in the world and force them not to make allergy drugs, so everyone would suffer from his own continuous sneezes. Fantomius promptly laughs and declares it would have been less crazy trying to take over the world.
- Discussed by Mercury and Jadite in Dungeon Keeper Ami. Due to the tremendous forces arrayed against Ami, both the Dark Gods and their followers, and the Light Gods and their followers; it is speculated that if she ever wants to get home, Ami is going to have to do this.
- Thousand Shinji: Shinji often mentions in passing that he plots to conquer the world after the Angel War. His motivation for it varies depending on the time: he is ambitious just like that, he doesn't want anything hurt him and Asuka again, or in revenge for Asuka, Rei and Misato's getting hurt. Whatever the case may be, for the end of the story he's become the God-King of humanity and Asuka, Rei and Misato are his three Queens ruling alongside him.
- Subverted and discussed by the Calamitous Zone's Dr. Eggman(!) in Always Having Juice.
- This is the ultimate goal of Dr. Brainstorm in Calvin and Hobbes: The Series.
- Mr. Uppity puts all the Mr. Men and Little Misses in jail in order to do so in The Mr Men Movie.
- Subverted in Queen of All Oni. The Enforcers assume, due to their experience with past Big Bads, that this is Queen Jade's ultimate goal. However, Jade is Genre Savvy to know that aiming for a goal that large is what led to said past Big Bads being defeated, and as such is more small-scale — she merely wants enough power to ensure she's never defeated, in order to maintain the comfortable and hedonistic life style she's created for herself.
- Shadows Awakening: One thing that the Big Bad Ensemble has in common is that they all want to rule the world.
- Ojamajo Doremi Rise Of The Shadows: This is the goal of Black Queen. However, she doesn't just want to rule the world; she wants to destroy all Light Beings so her kind, the Shadows, can rule all worlds.
- In the final story of the My Hostage Not Yours series, Gaz convinces Zim to get off his ass and finally conquer the world. And they do, well before the story is over.
- Kuvira is given a vision of herself doing this by the Swamp in Repairs, Retrofits and Upgrades, showing how far her megalomania would have developed had she not been stopped.
- Soul Eater: Troubled Souls: The end goal of Medusa Gorgon. Her research is catered toward the evolution of the Black Blood to help her develop ways to manipulate Madness itself, with the Black Clown and the Portable Purple Clown being by-products. Kishins are the only entities capable of manipulating Madness and creating one takes too much time and effort, so she sets her sights on Kishin Asura. With the Black Blood, she wants to fuse and resonate with the Kishin via Madness. Why? As she says: “Those who control Madness control the world.”
Films — Animated
- While it's never explicitly stated that Lydia, the villain of Barbie & The Diamond Castle, wants to take over the world, the heroines bent on stopping her treat her actual goal, ruling the birthplace of all music (and keeping all the music for herself) as the same thing.
- The Horned King in The Black Cauldron plans to raise an undead army, kill all who stand in his way, and rule over whatever is left.
Films — Live-Action
- The Blood Waters of Dr. Z: Dr Z wants to take over the universe — by turning himself into a humanoid catfish and mutating all sea life.
- G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra: the goal of Cobra is to — you guessed it!
- Audrey II In Little Shop of Horrors.
Seymour Krelborn: We're not talking about one hungry plant here, we're talking about world conquest!.Audrey II: And I wanna thank YOU!.
- Drax's Evil Plan in Moonraker is to wipe out humanity and replace it with a "master race" under his rule.
- Recurring villain goal in the Scanners movies:
- Darryl Revok plans to do this in Scanners by initiating a country-wide scheme of covertly prescribing pregnant women with a dangerous drug that will turn their unborn children into "scanners" (telepathic and telekinetic psychics), who he will then convert to his cause - being one himself with a deep hatred for normal humans.
- Commander Forrester in Scanners II: The New Order advocates the creation of a "New Order" to "cure" the cities of crime, which really means that he'll be in control of everything. He tries to build an army of scanners to keep the rest of society in line, and uses their abilities to get himself into successively higher public offices, going from police commander to police chief and planning to run for mayor next.
- In Scanners III: The Takeover Helena hatches such a scheme after discovering that scanners abilities work through camera and television signals. Her first step is to mind control thousands of people through a widely televised public broadcast of her, but she doesn't seem to think much further ahead than this.
- In The Shadow the villain is a descendant of Genghis Khan. He says that his ancestor conquered half the world and he's here to "finish the job".
- Star Wars: Senator Palpatine, AKA Darth Sidious, didn't just take over a world, he took over a galaxy. Beat that!
- M. Bison in Street Fighter. All he wants to do is create the perfect genetic soldier, and sending them out to wipe out every creed and every nation... until all of mankind bows before him in humble gratitude, with the entire planet united under the loving grip of the Pax Bisonica.
M. Bison: OF COURSE!
- General Zod in Superman II did take over Earth after defeating the pesky son of Jor-El. It just didn't last because of Superman.
- Clu in TRON: Legacy wants to escape from the Grid into Real Life and bring his army with him. How he plans to take over the world with a few thousand troops and no real weapons (or, at least, something that would work in the real world) is never explained, although some fans claim he can program more troops once outside. One thing's for sure though, if Clu escapes he will stop at nothing to make our world open and available to all of them. Yes! TO ALL OF THEM!!!!!
- The Austin Powers trilogy obviously pokes fun at this with Dr. Evil's own schemes involving holding the world hostage. Interestingly, his right hand man, Number Two, is much more successful in raking in cash with various legitimate projects, and is quite frustrated when Dr. Evil still goes for the schemes that Austin Powers is more likely to stop.
- Help! - an indestructible ring stuck on Ringo's finger is coveted by a trite, hackneyed Mad Scientist (as described by John):
Fantastic! With a ring like that I could - dare I say it - rule the world.
- Adenoid Hynkel of The Great Dictator, which is not surprising given that he was a parody of Hitler. Best shown with him dancing with an inflatable globe to Wagner's Lohengrin.
- Shaw's ultimate goal in X-Men: First Class.
- In The Invisible Man, this becomes Griffin's plan after he goes insane.
- In the Super Mario Bros. movie, Lena plans to use the meteorite to rule the universe.
- In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there are several examples:
- In Captain America: The First Avenger, Hydra tries to kill millions of people in their attempt to rule the world, and in Captain America: The Winter Soldier they come even closer to winning than they did during their first attempt, proving themselves to be more ruthlessly pragmatic than ever in their pursuit of power.
- In The Avengers (2012), Loki wants to rule Earth so that he can have the throne he was promised, and because he seems to believe that if he rules Earth, his less advanced subjects will be too busy worshiping him to war with each other.
- In the Scooby-Doo live action film, this is Scrappy's plan after absorbing all the souls with the Daemon Ritus.
- In Dragon Bones the villain wants to become emperor. (Which would be one step above the highest known ruler, who is only high king) There hasn't been an emperor for a long time, and it seems he is mainly doing it out of vanity, even though his method of achieving his goal is well thought out. While it is not clear whether he intends to rule the whole world, he does intend to rule all countries that have been mentioned - which may be the whole known world.
- George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four is the definitive literary example of this trope actually succeeding, and the consequences thereof. While the world may not technically be under the control of a single power, each of the three totalitarian superstates that do rule the world are effectively in tacit alliance with one another against their own peoples, and engage in an endless proxy war the aim of which is not to win but to divert resources, manpower and focus away from their home populations. Although we are given details of only one of the three, it is suggested that all follow roughly identical ideologies. In a rather brutal lampshading, the regime insider O'Brian acknowledges that Dystopia Is Hard, even for them, but they do not care, because the ultimate aim of the regime is pure power, rather than material or personal satisfaction.
- The Lord of the Rings: Sauron already controlled the greater part of the world when the main story opens. Two ages before that, his boss — a fallen angel type, name of Morgoth — had similar ambitions before the gods dethroned him. The key difference is that for Morgoth, world domination was merely one step in his ultimate plan to corrupt and destroy all reality, whereas for Sauron it was an end in and of itself.
- Harry Potter: Lord Voldemort has this goal, now that he's functionally immortal.
- Deconstructed in Soon I Will Be Invincible. As he works on his latest Evil Plan (and afterwards) Doctor Impossible wonders what "taking over the world" even means, having tried everything from Time Travel to an army of fish:
What does it mean to conquer the world? Is there really a way to do it? Do you have to be the richest one, or the smartest one, or to beat everyone in a fight? Or just to know you could? Is it to be invincible? ... Does it just mean to get the girl you really wanted?
- Ender's Game: Peter Wiggin, the brother of Ender begins putting his Take Over The World plan in motion at the age of, like, fourteen? He succeeds several books later. And in an interesting turn, is a very effective and respected leader.
- In Edgar Rice Burroughs's A Fighting Man of Mars, this is the jeddak of Jalar's intention — though being a Dirty Coward, he insists on marvelous Mad Scientist inventions in sufficient quantities first. Also Phor Tak, who had made him those inventions and been exiled by him; desire for Revenge drives him insane.
- It is eventually revealed late in the Everworld series that this is the master plan of the witch Senna Wales.
- The Draka: The Draka seek to conquer the world so that there are no other competing ideologies or worldviews to their own. The existence of liberal democracy is considered a direct threat to their empire.
- In Powers That Be the Big Bad corporation, Intergal, wants to take over the planet of Petaybee because it terraformed it in the first place and has only just realized that it might be more profitable to mine it than to allow settlers to live there.
- Petyr Baelish's goal at this point in A Song of Ice and Fire seems to be "control as much of Westeros as possible". Given that this is Littlefinger we're talking about here, he may have a bigger ultimate goal, a smaller ultimate goal, or no goal at all.
- The Magister wants to do this, very much in The Infernal Devices.
- The Mesan Alignment in the Honor Harrington novels plans to take over the galaxy (or at least the part explored by humans). And they've been diligently working towards this end for centuries.
- The Power of Five: The goal of Nightrise.
- Swellhead has a different take on this; the Reality Warper villain plans to change the world so it all exists inside his head.
- In the Rainbow Magic series, Jack Frost tries this in the movie, planning to conquer Fairyland and the human world.
- In the Fashion Fairies series, he tries to take over the fashion world with his Ice Blue clothing line.
- The title hero in Ultimate Hero tries to do this, although he first focuses on conquering America.
- Julian The Apostate, having been assured by a Phony Psychic that the gods (and Alexander The Great) are with him, launches an invasion to this end. They aren't with him, and it ends badly.
- In The Mysterious Benedict Society books, Mr. Curtain's goal is to take over the world, manipulating people's opinions and memories with his Whisperer so that they accept him as M.A.S.T.E.R. (Minister and Secretary of All the Earth's Regions.)
- Pretty much every villain in the Age of Fire series wants to conquer the world, for varying reasons.
- In Heart of Steel, Alistair Mechanus wants to conquer planet Earth in order to make it a better place. The triggering event for his psychotic break was learning that his comatose girlfriend was taken off life support because her parents ran out of money to keep her alive.
- Sarina Kaur's ultimate goal in Star Trek The Eugenics Wars is for the superhumans to replace "common breed" humanity. Khan later takes up the task, along with a number of other gene-enhanced humans.
- This was Illyria's plan when she first reemerged. She went to revive her demonic army to conquer the earth, and found she'd been dead so long they had all crumbled to dust. She was so depressed she just gave up on it after that.
- And one season before that, rogue Power that... Am, Jasmine, nearly succeeded as she was able to brainwash everyone who saw or heard her, even via electronic media, into loving her. She was ultimately only defeated by epic Glamour Failure and Connor turning into a full-blown Nietzsche Wannabe who punched through the back of her head.
- Being Human: This is Big Bad Herrick's ultimate plan in season 1.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- Warren Mears. He mostly fails because he's less like Lex Luthor, and more like Max Cady.
- Apparently the goal of The Mayor, though he never got past the "become giant demon snake" stage of his plan. Presumably this would give him the power to do so.
- The Master also showed interest in ruling the world, as did Adam, who planned to re-populate Earth with an army of beings like himself and the First wanted to possess every human being on the planet, so it probably applies as well. The only Big Bad with no ambitions of this kind was Glory who just wanted to go home at the cost of the apocalypse (and even then, she only wanted to go back to her home world so that she could rule it).
- Simone's stated goal to Buffy. Started by taking over an island near Italy and kicking everyone off of it, beating up an old woman who had given her food and shelter while doing so.
- Danger 5: Unsurprisingly, this is Hitler's goal. He is also depicted as being in charge of Benito Mussolini and Emperor Hirohito - the show being a parody of pulp and exploitation fiction, he's pretty similar to the stereotypical megalomaniacal supervillain.
- Doctor Who:
- In "The Tomb of the Cybermen", Kleig, a human helping the Cybermen for power, goes on a rant about how the world is a disorganized mess of conflicting ideals, and only his superior intellect could bring it together to solve all its problems. The following season, in "The Invasion", Tobias Vaughn, also helping the Cybermen, would make almost word-for-word the same rant.
- In the new series Series 3 finale, The Master takes over the world. It gets undone. He does however seem to enjoy it, playing music, torturing his prisoners and planning to take over the universe for all time. In The End of Time, the Master takes over the world again. Once again, it gets undone.
- It's probably worth noting that in the new series, at least, when an episode takes place on Earth, chances are good the Alien of the Week is trying to take over the world or some variant on that theme. Recurring villains the Cybermen are also proponents of Taking Over The World. Notable exceptions to this rule, however, are the Daleks and the Time Lords.
- Eureka: Nathan Stark admits in one episode that he has dreams about world domination. "But not all the time!"
- Kamen Rider: Tons of Showa era villains had this as this as their plan. Not so much in the Heisei era, where the villains plans are usually more complex. The only villains whose end goal plan is conquering the world is Smart Brain from Kamen Rider Faiz, whose plan entails a Zombie Apocalypse.
- The Middleman: The show is Genre Savvy about this being a standard Evil Plan.
- Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers:
- Makes Rita's motivations clear the moment her
canspace dumpster is unsealed. "After 10,000 years I'm free! It's time to conquer Earth!" Same goes for the motivation of every other Power Rangers villain ever.note
- To be fair, some villains have slight differences in objective. For example, in Power Rangers Dino Thunder, Big Bad Mesagog wants to return the world to being reptiles. This even gets Lampshade Hanging by Tommy: "Why can't you just want to conquer the world like all the other sickos?"
- Makes Rita's motivations clear the moment her
- Revolution: As episode 5 and episode 11 demonstrate, General Sebastian "Bass" Monroe of the Monroe Republic wants to take over the continent of North America one territory at a time. By the first season finale, Bass ends up on the run from his own militia, and Tom Neville has apparently adopted this as his new goal.
- Sabrina the Teenage Witch: The Spellman family cat Salem is actually a former warlock who's being punished for plotting to rule the world. In one episode he is denied parole (and a return to his human form) when he lets it slip to the interviewer that he still dreams of overlordship.
- Stargate SG-1: The ultimate goal of each System Lord, the Replicators and the Ori is dominion over of the Milky Way galaxy. Many villains-of-the-week, however, had more modest goals.
- Star Trek: The Original Series: Khan Noonien Singh wakes up after a 270-year nap and decides to take over the galaxy.
- Also, Captain ("LORD!") Garth of Izar, who declares himself "Master of the Universe" and, like Khan, plans to use the Enterprise to conquer the galaxy.
- In the Supernatural episode "Devil May Care" (S09, Ep02), Abaddon reveals that she not only wants to rule hell but also earth and the fallen angels.
- "I Want To Conquer The World" by Bad Religion:
And I want to conquer the world, / Give all the idiots a brand new religion,Put an end to poverty, uncleanliness and toil, / Promote equality in all my decisionsWith a quick wink of the eye / And a "God you must be joking!"
- "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" by Tears for Fears.
- This is the goal of the villainess Dark Queen from Pro Pinball: The Web, who plans to dominate the world by unleashing an army of spiders. Don't ask how...
- In Pro Pinball: Timeshock!, this is a Side Quest. After exploring all seven continents, the player can go to Atlantis and start "Global Domination", where the game gives one minute to try and light all of the continents for massive bonuses.
- In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Fit the Eleventh, the Dolmansaxlil Galactic Shoe Corporation takes over planet after planet by forcing them to build more and more shoe shops. This process is confirmed to be already taking place on Earth on Oxford Street, and its ultimate outcome is the Shoe Event Horizon, when the world economy overbalances and collapses and the survivors evolve into birds so they never have to put feet on the ground again.
Religion and Mythology
- Inanna's Descent to the Netherworld: Inanna's reason for going to the netherworld in the first place? She wants dominion over the heavens, Earth, and the underworld, and everything there. She actually gets it, too, though not in the exact way she wanted it and at some great cost.
- Risk, "The Game of World Domination".
- In the German version, it has been bowdlerised to a "Game of World Liberation".
- World War IV, which is Axis And Allies meets Fallout.
- History of the World.
- All the evil gods in the Forgotten Realms have this goal.
- Bane has this as his main goal and almost all of his followers' failed plots revolve around this to some degree. Indeed, he is the god of tyranny.
- In Crucible: Trial of Cyric the Mad, the main character's goal towards the beginning was to get a book that would make everyone worship his god, Cyric, thereby allowing him to take over not only the world, but the entire pantheon.
- Shar is an exception: the Lady of Loss wants to destroy the world, not rule it.
- In the Kalamar D&D setting, the holy book of the god of tyranny is a political manifesto that not only proclaims the deity's intention to do this, but why it's absolutely imperative that his followers make it happen, for the greater good of all sentients.
- Cartoon Action Hour: All three sample series' Big Bads (Nekkrottus, General Archnid, and Maxilliam Mercy) have this trope at their goal—but this is justifed as it's a 1980s Shout-Out to goals of most 1980s cartoon villains.
- The Netrunner card "World Domination". If the corp manages to score the card, it wins the game.
So, Wilson, how in the frack did you know the fileset was secret plans for world domination?'Cause it was labeled 'Secret Plans for World Domination.'
- In Mwahahaha, the players are all Mad Scientists competing to be the first to do this.
- In Warhammer 40,000, there's the Monodominant faction within The Empire: they believe that peace will come when Mankind has conquered the entire Galaxy and eradicated every other intelligent species in it. The irony is that the theory was originally formulated as a sarcastic joke by a guy who thought it obviously impossible to achieve.
- Time Master: The Demoreans are obsessed with taking over the Continuum.
- In Rocket Age the Red Scorpion intends to use his self named crime syndicate to take over the solar system.
- This is Doctor Octopus' long-term plan in The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, with the takeover of New York City being his first step.
- King Goobot in Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast plans to steal Jimmy's latest Mark IV rocket and duplicate it so that he can use it to enslave earth.
- In Transformers: The Ride, Megatron once again sets out to steal the AllSpark shard and use it to turn all technology into Decepticons, so that he may rule the world.
- Gary from Bully. His goal is ostensibly to "take over the school", but nobody seems to have figured out what that actually means, least of all Gary.
Gary:"I keep imagining myself in charge of a large empire."
- At the end of the first half of Final Fantasy VI, Kefka conquers the world. The goal of the second half is to dethrone him, preferably before he gets bored of nuking the survivors with the Light Of Judgment and really gets cracking on the stated goal of "building a monument to nonexistence.".
- This is the raison d'etre for the Big Bad of Final Fantasy II, The Emperor. Why he wants to rule everything is never gone into in the game itself.
- The Combine from Half-Life 2 do this on a regular basis. When they were introduced, it became the reason the Vortigaunts invaded Black Mesa in Half-Life, as they were fleeing their conquered homeworld. Taking over Earth actually was an afternoons work for the Combine.
- This is the (repeatedly) stated goal of Murray, the mighty demonic skull in the Monkey Island series. Exactly how he is planning to do this, being a talking disembodied skull with a superiority complex, is slightly less apparent.
- Parodied in the Baldur's Gate series with Tiax, an utterly unhinged gnome priest of Cyric, who claims his destiny is to rule the world. Appearing as a recruitable NPC in the first game, the sequel places him in an asylum from where Tiax claims that he already has taken over the world and now rules it all from inside his
little padded cellthrone room.
- This is the ultimate goal in Evil Genius, a Real-Time Strategy game where players take control of a wannabe overlord and set off to conquer the world with various criminal means.
- Beautifully mocked by Shadow Hearts: Covenant. When the Bonus Boss Orobas appears he begins to spout off about his plans for world domination. At that point, however, Anastasia - who by this point has seen a half-dozen different enemies say much the same things - steps forward and asks, "And Then What??" When Orobas asks what she means, she demands to know what he's going to do with the world once he conquers it. Orobas stammers for a bit, and then mutters that he'll have to think about it... at which point Anastasia tells the party to just beat him down.
- Ocelot in Metal Gear Solid 4 is trying to take over the world to trick the heroes to into helping him freeing the world from its real secret rulers.
- Most strategy video games have this as an explicit or implicit victory condition.
- Almost all 4X games give you victory when you conquer the world or the galaxy.
- This is the explicit goal of most of the villainous factions (Nod, the Soviets, the Imperial Japanese, CABAL, etc.) in the various Command & Conquer series. The good factions on the other hand (GDI, the Allies) more often than not strive for a return to status quo, seeing the defeat of their enemy as a way of preventing this trope, not to practice it themselves. Because their endings are usually canon this leaves the door open for another rematch in a sequel.
- The campaigns from Dawn of War: Dark Crusade and Soulstorm fulfill this. They end only when the player faction rules the planet or, in the latter, the solar system.
- Syndicate ended with your Mega Corp. conquering the entire world. In the sequel, they control the planet uncontested until the game starts.
- Purple Tentacle in Day of the Tentacle wants to do this, after drinking some sludge-contaminated water. In fact, he succeeds, as the human sent 200 years into the future, Laverne, can attest to. The objective is to travel to yesterday and prevent the water from being contaminated in the first place, as he's nigh unstoppable otherwise (somehow).
- Threads of Fate has a main character example in Princess Mint. While Rue, the other main character, seeks to revive his sister, Princess Mint has but one goal in mind: World Domination, baby!
- Kira "The Maiden who wants to take over the world" Daidohji of Arcana Heart has this as her goal even though she hasn't hit puberty yet. She's naturally against Mildred's plan, which would destroy the world that she's trying to conquer.
- Your goal in Overlord. Why? Because you're THE OVERLORD!!
- Mega Man Zero's own Big Bad, Dr. Weil. He succeeds, too...well, conquering what's left of it, anyway. This guy ruling the last gasp of humanity is NOT a very good thing...
- Dr. Wily of the original series, though he wasn't as good at it.
- Subverted in Arc the Lad: the Big Bad became the world's master the spirits called him "The Ancient King of Humans" in Arc 2 long before the game started: what he wanted was not control over mankind, but control over the whole planet's ecosystem, and he almost succeeded more than once, leaving the world crippled each time the heroes managed to seal him
- Street Fighter II: This is the goal of M. Bison.
- The goal of Demon's Crest is to destroy Phalanax, the demon who conquered the world. There's a catch: your character is Firebrand, a Red Arremer from Ghosts 'n Goblins, and he wants to kill Phalanax because he intends to conquer the world.
- Malladus from The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, apparently, until his revival is about to be undone and he decides that an Earth-Shattering Kaboom is good to go as well. At least Ganon(dorf) was modest enough to limit himself to just Hyrule...
- Hyrule is pretty much the center of The Legend of Zelda universe, so the whole world is screwed if Ganon takes over Hyrule.
- In Paradox Interactive games like the Europa Universalis series or the Hearts of Iron series it's a challenge to take over the world before the time limit is reached. This is called a 'World Conquest' or WC in the community and is a common Self-Imposed Challenge if attempted with a small, weak country.
- Bowser, the main villain of the Super Mario Bros. series games is constantly known for his tendency to take over the entire Mushroom Kingdom besides kidnapping Peach, but there are actually occasions where Bowser will actually expand his plans for world domination by actually taking over outer space!
- This is the stated objective of the various Campaign modes in Rise of Nations:
- World: Take over the entire world in a free-for-all between every sizable nation on Earth from the beginning of history up to the future.
- Alexander: Take over the known world of ancient times as Alexander the Great.
- Napoleon: Take over Europe, and hence the colonized world, as Napoleon Bonaparte.
- New World: Take over the New World as either the Americans, a European colonizer, or one of the Native nations.
- Cold War: Take over the entire world as either the Americans or the Soviets.
- The goal of Metal Command in Shatterhand.
- The whole point of Psycho Waluigi. Oh no, it's not enough just to conquer kingdoms of worth, you must have it ALL! Even bathrooms!
- The Big Bad in The Perils Of Akumos plans to use his evil spiders to dictate terms to earth's government.
- In the old Might and Magic 'verse, this was surprisingly uncommon, with most would-be evil overlords aiming for continental domination instead. Kastore's faction of Terrans is an exception (they might have been able to pull it off, too, if they hadn't been hampered by lacking a key component to repairing the Heavenly Forge and the fact that the world blow up only a few years after they began phase one).
- Bruno from Solatorobo plans on reawakening and controlling an evil power to take over the world.
- Mugen Souls: Chou Chou practically beats a lot of these people because her goal is to conquer seven worlds! And in the Golden Ending, she plans on conquering the universe!
- Lord Dearche of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable : The Gears of Destiny, after her minions convince her that her original goal of destroying everything is meaningless, decides to change her goals to going to another world besides earth and establishing her rule there. The ending and subsequent Sound Stages reveal that she succeeds with Eltria, mainly because her idea of "conquering" the world involves fixing it first and raising the standard of living for everyone.
- In the Deus Ex series, the Illuminati plan to do this with by gaining control over an advance A.I. to control everything.
- This is the major goal of Warrior's Way.
- True to their trope namesake, the Templars in Assassin's Creed have been waging a secret war with the Assassins for thousands of years with the goal of overthrowing the world and bringing an end to The Evils of Free Will.
- In Robopon, this is Dr. Zero's ultimate goal. He succeeds at this in the first game, but Cody makes sure his reign is short-lived. The second game elaborates that it formed from his childhood dreams and living up to his family name.
- The Sonic the Hedgehog games usually have Dr. Eggman trying to take over the world in some way or another.
- In Nefarious, this is the goal of the main character Crow.
- In the Crash Bandicoot series, this is Dr. Cortex's goal.
- The primary goal of Eiyuu Senki: The World Conquest- given it's even in the title- but for the purposes of having a united world against a common foe that's powerful enough to destroy them all.
- MAG ISA — The main antagonists in this comic are demons. Their agenda is to bring hell on earth and turn planet earth into a giant prison... all for the lulz.
- Tony of Real Life Comics, being the Mad Scientist that he is, does set out to accomplish this goal for one story-line because, according to him, that's what evil people are supposed to do. He manages to succeed in the end, even defeating a challenger to his reign, but relents when he starts to discover just how much work is involved.
- Bob and George featured Dr. Wily's attempts very early.
- It was deconstructed the trope in a short-lived sub-comic Raw Lemons and Baked Pizza. After having it up to here with Dr. Wily, Mega Man finally spells out just what taking over the world will require. Namely, having to sort out the already noticeable mess of differences between various nations, having to deal with the various uprisings, learning ever language known to man just to communicate with them, getting people to accept his rule in the first place and the insane amounts of stress that would be implied. It ends on a nice humorous note as Dr. Wily, having clearly gone too insane to recover, laments that he already had a custom gold world-domination crown made.
- Subverted in Girl Genius, where by the start of the story, the evil mad genius Baron Wulfenbach has already taken over the world with his no-nonsense straightforward plan. It is then doubly subverted by the Baron hating being the ruler of Europe, but doing it anyways because he believes the world needs him (and it probably does). Indeed, the Baron took over the world largely to stop everyone else from trying to do so and wrecking everything in the process. Because the comic takes place in a world full of Mad Scientists, there's always at least a dozen factions trying to rule the world. Without the Baron stamping them down, the entire continent would probably be aflame with the burnt wreckage of a million war clanks. England still has a queen, and it's implied that France (or at least Paris) is under the control of a powerful spark of its own.
- Sluggy Freelance: Happens a number of times. Bun-Bun and K'Z'K have both tried to take over the main Sluggy universe (Bun-Bun actually succeeded, for all of ten minutes). The Dimension of Pain demons apparently took over their home dimension in order to make it "of Pain," and tried to do the same thing to the Dimension of Lame. This is also the long term goal of the Hereti Corporation and the K'Z'K cults that have sprung up following the Demon's death.
- Friendly Hostility: Collin, is a megalomaniac who has dreams of becoming a dictator to politically unstable third world countries. Several arcs have sprung from this desire.
- Kevin & Kell used the subversion - in a plotline where it appeared that Herdthinners CEO R.L. had been eaten by bears, his even more ruthless wife, Angelique, took over the company and slowly replaced the normal employees with ones that suffered from domestication. Since domestication causes absolute loyalty, she planned on creating an army of them to eventually Take Over The World. After her husband returned alive and well, he reminded her of the headaches of trying to run the whole world and they agreed to just make gobs of money instead. But the last strip in the storyline did show her encouraging her children to play Risk and learn from it.
- Evil Inc. is also an example — When Evil Atom gives some perspective interns to Evil, INC his personal tryout, a lady proclaims "One day I will rule the world!" to which Evil Atom gives the "Whoa, think about that! You'll be responsible for everything. Try again." The young lass replies "One day I will rent the world!"
- Dr Nonami: Mechano's goal is world conquest. So far it's not going very well.
- Deconstructed by Bug.
- Nukees: This has been the stated goal of Gav since the beginning, but especially since Ma'at told him it was his destiny. As of August 2010, he seems to have succeeded, albeit in a way no one could have expected.
- The Order of the Stick.
- Xykon, though it is mostly out of boredom.
- Tarquin, more in spirit than the word. He is perfectly content to kick back and relax as his master plan slowly absorbs the rest of the continent into a completely secret dictatorship. Or in other words, he literally owns everything he sees, so in his own words, he has "lived like a god for over three decades."
- According to Rhea, in To Prevent World Peace, "Born mages have a manifest destiny . . ." (To destroy all Magical Girls and take over the world, presumably.)
- Also, the main character was going to take over the world for its own good. Because only magical girls could be trusted to be pure dictators, right?
- Raichan in Vinigortonio needs to destroy one of the main character's building in order to conquer the world. Or at least so he says. It turns out he needs to destroy it to get to the only known source of Raichanium.
- In Commander Kitty, both Anti-Hero CK and Big Bad Zenith seem to have galactic conquest on their agendas. Of course, CK's is limited to his dreams.
- Greek Ninja: The villain's intentions are to control the world to bring back the reign of the Olympians.
- Agamemnon Tiberius Vacuum: Agamemnon's hobby is "collecting the universe" and he wishes to add the Earth to his collection.
- Dimension Heroes: The Dark Overlords from the web fiction serial took over a dimension.
- Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog: Precisely what the titular Mad Scientist protagonist tries to accomplish: take over the world, change the Status Quo, put power into different hands.... and impress the girl from the laundromat that he has a crush on.
Dr. Horrible: (re: Johnny Snow, his self-proclaimed "nemesis") "Look, I'm just trying to change the world, okay? I don't have time for a grudge match with every poser in a parka!"
"The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it!"
- Doctor Steel: Dr. Steel for World Emperor!. Toward a Utopian Playland!
- The basic goal of the New Villain Order
- Every Big Bad in The Questport Chronicles has this as a motivation, although for three different reasons: The Master of Darkness wants to cover the entire world with darkness; the Prince of Shadows and Illusions just wants to kill everyone. The mysterious mage's motivations are never made clear.
- Skippy's List has examples:
203. "To conquer the earth with an army of flying monkeys" is a bad long term goal to give the re-enlistment NCO.
- That Guy with the Glasses:
Nostalgia Critic: His goal is to - you guessed it - take over the world.
- This trope is a running joke for the Nostalgia Critic in his reviews. When the antagonist of any film is revealed to have this goal in mind the review will be interrupted by M. Bison as he was played by Raul Julia in the movie adaptation of Street Fighter. The joke goes like this:
M. Bison: Of course!
The line is completely out of context (it was actually in response to Sagat saying "Guile? Alive?"), but deliberately so as part of the Critic's motif of using clips and bytes in response to himself.
- Other members of the team such as Paw Dugan and Linkara have adopted this gag for their own videos as well, effectively making it a Running Gag for the entire website.
- The Dom has a variation, effectively his own running gag: Every time he tries to set up the joke, either the clip misses the cue, or the wrong clip plays. Sometimes it's the right line, but the wrong movie, sometimes vise versa.
The Dom: He wants to, you guessed it, take over the world!M. Bison: It was Tuesday.The Dom: *Beat* I'm going to keep working on that.
- In the website's second-year anniversary epic Kickassia, this is the Nostalgia Critic's plan, starting with the invasion of Molassia. When he gets Molassia, he soons forgets this, becoming Orcus on His Throne. Receives an epic lampshading when the Critic actually dresses up as
M.N. Bison when launching his attack and subsequently taking over the place. Rollo T even tries to get him to recreate the clip in an interview, asking him if his plan is this as he's leaving (to get him to turn around and say it, as per the clip.)
This backfires; N. Bison only gives the line after being asked if he gets a lot of pussy with that outfit. Somewhat misplaced deliberately in the The Thief and the Cobbler review. Zigzag is trying to take over the Golden City, not the world. But Doug couldn't fit an Of Course in there if he had actually mentioned that.
- Landing on a red space during a Mario Party TV episode apparently signals that the character's plotting to do this, particularly if it leads to a 3-on-1 minigame.
- This is the future aspirations of The Sharkasm Crew's Kason, Sauxuas and Vyzor with their game company. Subverted in that they mean no harm and only seek to revolutionize the gaming industry.
- On The Irate Gamer, this is the main goal of the Evil Gamer and the Shadow Overlord.
- In Sonic.exe Round 2: X plans to one day cross over to our world and enslave us all.
- He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983): Skeletor was always trying to take over Greyskull, and with that, the universe.
- Samurai Jack actually opens with Aku taking over the world. The entire thrust of the series was Jack trying to go back in time to stop it from happening.
- Most of the villains (especially the recurring ones) in Kim Possible. To quote Shego:
Shego: Every villain needs an evil plot. Take Drakken. His plot? Yeah, always 'taking over the world.' Always.
- The Brain of Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain. Every episode ended this way, and every episode began with some inane plot to take over the world.
- It's refutable whether Brain is truly a villain, since he honestly believes the world would be better off with him in charge—he said as much in Megalomaniacs Anonymous. Also notable is the lack of any regularly-appearing nemesis to thwart his schemes (unless you count Pinky); they generally crash and burn on their own.
- On the other hand there's Snowball, Brain's archrival from the later series, who has all of the ambition and none of the morals or good intent.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Fire Nation. It takes them a century to do it, but they eventually manage to either conquer, exterminate, or marginalize all their enemies. The only problem? They can't hold onto their global empire. There's too many rebellions across too much occupied territory for their army to effectively counter. Their solution to this problem is to genocide the vast and populated Earth Kingdom.
- The Legend of Korra: Amon and the Equalists. Their stated goal is a world revolution against benders of the four elements, but they never manage to take control of more than a single city. There's little to suggest their ultimate goal was remotely plausible, given the lack of known appeal of their revolutionary ideology to foreigners, and the practical matter of their city-state being economically dwarfed by the rest of the world.
- Lampshaded in an episode of the Spider-Man: The Animated Series: When the Kingpin announces he is planning to take over the world, Spidey retorts that he sounds like a Saturday morning cartoon villain.
- On the very last episode of The Powerpuff Girls, Mojo Jojo manages to take over the world by stealing The Key To The World. At first he surprises everyone by creating the perfect utopia, but then gets bored with it and resumes trying to destroy everything. Most of the episode consisted of every single villain than has ever appeared on The Powerpuff Girls (yes, even the Villains of the Week) fighting to the get the Key to the World. The girls try to stop them, but once they get the key they become mad with power and start planning what they would do if each of them ruled the world and start fighting for the key themselves.
- Also lampshaded in an episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: A Wonderful Life episode ("Shredderville") shows an Alternate Universe where Big Bad Shredder succeeded in taking over the world, only to find the actual job of ruling so difficult and boring that he begs the Turtles to relieve him of this responsibility.
- The generally-assumed goal of the Legion of Doom on Challenge of the Superfriends, albeit it got a bit problematic in the execution. As has been pointed out elsewhere, when you've snagged all the money in the world, exactly what do you spend it on?
- On The Fairly OddParents, most villains want to do it. According to Norm the Genie, most (or all) of humanity wants to. In fact, Crocker and Vicky succeeded in 2 of the movies, albeit Vicky only in a Bad Future.
- On the episode where Timmy wishes for mind-reading powers, he finds out (yet makes no conscious effort or reaction) that Elmer's boil has a mind of its own... and is evil. Instances including the boil trying to convince Elmer to attack Timmy, whipping him to make sure no one suspects of him, and that his favorite flavored pie is "Take-over-the-world-berry!"
- Phineas and Ferb
- Parodied: Dr. Doofenshmirtz restricts all his evil schemes to the Tri-State Area for no obvious reason. The first episode even has him seemingly about to announce that he's going to take over the world, only to pull out a magnifying glass and finish with "Tri-State Area!" It's later revealed that he used to date Phineas's mother, who encouraged his set more realistic goals than "take over the world," so at her suggestion he scaled back to "the entire Tri-State Area!".
- Lampshaded in "The Beak", when Dr. Doofenshmirtz makes a public announcement that he already has taken over the Tri-State area. The idea was that if he claimed this with enough conviction, people would believe him, and treat him like their new Evil Overlord. Only Major Monogram and Carl were fooled.
- According to Doofenshmirtz, taking over the world is crazy.
- The Incredible Crash Dummies: Junkman's plan, after he's picked up lunch.
- Danny Phantom Big Bad Vlad only hinted that he had potential desires for the world as his current evil plans focused more on personal vendettas, but then Season Three came where it's revealed he wants it. Only one has ever succeeded in dominating the planet: Dark Danny in an alternate future, though that can be a case of destroying the planet. Pariah Dark gets special mention as well, since he took over the Ghost Zone (and Amity Park) before he was turned into Sealed Evil in a Can again.
- Invader Zim: This is Zim's goal right from the start, along with destroying all humans.
- Reboot: In The Medusa Bug", the chaotic villianess Hexadecimal fabricates a viral bug that gradually converts all of Mainframe and its occupants to stone. The only character that manages to avoid this fate is Bob, the Guardian, who eventually convinces Hexadecimal that while she may have perfect control over their world, life would be awfully dull with everyone frozen. And, really, the last thing Hex would want is predictability, so she terminates the bug and the system returns to normal.
- In Storm Hawks, to spread her empire over the whole Atmos is Master Cyclonis' number one goal (and seeing as she is the latest in a royal family, the ambition seems to run In the Blood). She's demonstrated some pretty impressive schemes to do so, but has always failed so far on behalf of those meddling Storm Hawks and her bumbling minions.
- Darkwing Duck lampshades this in the episode that introduced the villian Moliatry.
Darkwing: It's probably just another 'take-over-the-world' plot. We should be back by dinner.
- In another episode, Honker gets controlled by an alien-hat Puppeteer Parasite, who then announces his plan to take over the world via a TV broadcast. After the alien is defeated and Honker gets home, his dad, having only seen the broadcast, sympathetically says "Sorry the whole 'take over the world' thing didn't work out, Honk!"
- In Futurama it is implied that the United States has taken over the world sometime in the past and simply adopted the name "Earth". The "Earthican" Flag looks like the American flag just with the stars replaced with Earth. And when Nixon is running for president of "Earth" in the year 3000 at first they say he can't run because "no body can be president twice" implying the government of Earth is a continuation of the American government.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive Mom wants to take over the world, and uses mind control chips planted in every robot (which encompasses virtually all known technology in the future) to get it. This leads to the memorable line, "Go conquer Earth, you bastards!" This is inspired by the fact that Farnsworth dumped her, leading to the next one: "Hell hath no fury like the vast robot armies of a Woman Scorned!"
- Xiaolin Showdown: The goal of every main villian. Three of the four actually do rule the earth for a few hours before they're stopped by the heroes of the show. Jack Spicer rules the longest, for entire decades.
- In Teen Titans, while Slade rarely elaborates on his goals beyond what he's immediately after but this seems to be the desired end result, judging from "Aftershock II". Later, new Big Bad Trigon does take over the world- as a stepping stone to conquering the entire physical universe.
- Dolf in Alfred J. Kwak. Because of an innate fear of being perceived as weak by others, when he's still a child Dolf decides that one day he will simply rule over everyone and everything. Moreover, when he stages his coup he outright declares that he simply wants power for its own sake. A dream he has in the final episode reveals that despite many years having passed he still harbours this desire.
- Many of Baron Silas Greenback's plots on Danger Mouse involved taking over the world.
- The side story of the Sealab 2021 episode "Happy Cake" has Sparks secretly building an army to take over the world.
- In Jackie Chan Adventures, there are numerous villains with this as their goal, from the draconic Demon Sorceror of Fire, Shendu, and his siblings, to the Oni generals, to Shendu's son, Drago.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, "Magic Duel": After Twilight Sparkle proves that her amulet "from beyond the Everfree Forest" is more powerful than Trixie's Alicorn Amulet, Trixie steals it, switches amulets, and announces her plans to use its powers to take over all of Equestria. Such a pity it's a complete fake.
- In Max's audition video for Total Drama Pahkitew Island, he feels that being a contestant would be a great step towards world domination.
- In Barbie and the Secret Door, Malucia plans to take over Zinnia while her parents are away.
- This used to be one of Stewie's primary goals (the other being to kill his mother) in Family Guy, before his Character Development.
- In the Pound Puppies movie Legend Of Big Paw, Mcnasty plans to use the Bone Of Scone, a bone that lets humans and dogs understand each other, to do this. Yeah. His plan doesn't really make sense.
- Vilgax of the Ben 10 franchise wants to obtain the Omnitrix, mass produce it, and use it's power to conquer the universe.
- Earth is ours!
- If you count humanity as one deeply fractionated empire then we've already achieved this. But as we all know, one world is not enough.
- The person in real life who set the record for most land conquered was Temujin, better known by his title Genghis Khan (even more, if you also count the conquests of his sons). He even invoked this goal when choosing that title, which roughly means "universal ruler".
- Alexander the Great conquered what the Greeks, a tiny backwater civilization in the far north-western-most corner of Eurasia, had previously thought to be the world... whereupon he, and they, realised that it was a lot bigger than any of them had thought. Alexander is reputed to have lamented that "Of all the worlds, I have conquered none!" Alexander didn't live long enough to cement his control over most of it (dying at 33) or raise a good heir — important in a culture where men traditionally killed one another to get the throne. The empire didn't last.
- On the opposite side of the (old) world from Alexander, some other guy did take over the whole known-world to his people. His empire also did not last, ultimately because the penalty for lateness (death) was the same as the penalty for mutiny (death). When combined with a disregard for realistic timetabling, this ultimately led to an entire Army deciding that it might as well rebel and risk death than obey and die.
- Culturally, most Chinese cultures ultimately held that their nations were the only civilised nations on the planet. Ergo, to conquer the Chinese nations and rule a unified Empire of China was effectively to rule the (civilised) world. In three thousand years of history, no less than half a dozen nations managed to do this. After several non-consecutive centuries of political unity and cultural chauvinism, about four hundred years ago there became a serious case for asserting the pan-Chinese national identity as a valid one in itself.
- Caesar Augustus accomplished this, in that he took over an already-powerful republic and made himself absolute ruler. Contemporaries would compare him to Alexander the Great, but Augustus pointed out that it was far more difficult to rule an empire than to conquer one.
- The Spanish colonial empire is the Trope Maker of the empire where "the Sun never set". At its height, Spain ruled Americas, Portugal, Flanders, the south of Italy, the Philippines and controlled the Mediterranean Sea. Its colonial empire only began to fall apart at the beginning of the 19th century, when Simon Bolivar came along.
- Napoleon Bonaparte, maybe.
- It must be noted that The Napoleonic Wars was an extension of the French Revolutionary Wars. Those wars began when the Girondin faction declared war on neighbouring monarchical nations in the aim of "spreading the revolution" though Danton got on board with "expanding the natural frontiers". Napoleon earned his first promotion at the height ot the Jacobin Republic and the Wars of the First and Second Coalition that triggered as a result of the First French Republic's failure to make peace (which it must be noted is very hard to do for a belligerent side). When Napoleon came to power, he formed the Treaty of Amiens with Britain which provided the only year long peace for over 25 years.
- The Peace of Amiens was broken by... Great Britain who declared war on France, after a failure of diplomatic talks in upholding the original conditions of the treaty. Napoleon did start preparing his army on the coast of Normandy and apparently made preparations to prepare for an invasion of England but whether these were defensive measures or if Napoleon eventually planned on conquering Europe all along is difficult to know. What is certain is that he wanted to make France the principal hegemony in Europe, a large and prosperous military power full of national pride that would cement and legitimize his regime. Napoleon knew all along that he came to power in a coup and that his claim of being the Emperor of France was not recognized as valid by the old aristocracy of Europe, so his peace agreements with various powers were never honoured on the part of the aristocrats and later Napoleon himself for reasons of expediency.
- In any case, Napoleon's plans for global conquest was never anything more than pipe dream, since the failure of the Haitian Expedition which led to him selling the Lousiana territory to the United States, doubling its territory overnight and bidding farewell to the New World. The French navy could never hold a candle to the British Navy which restricted Napoleon to a Land Empire forcing him to capitalize on that via his continental blockade of denying English goods their biggest market: mainland Europe. This embargo actually succeeded in weakening the British trade and it was for breaking this embargo on the part of Russia and Spain, that he made the two crippling errors that finally ended his regime.
- He did say to Benjamin Constant in 1815, 'I wanted to rule the world - who wouldn't have, in my place' but at that time, during the Hundred Days, he made overtures that insisted that he would be content to remain in France and respect already existing boundaries. The other nations were having none of it, for understandable reasons, and this led to the Congress of Vienna declaring him an Outlaw.
- The British, through a combination of trade and military action, created an empire that covered a quarter of the globe (as well as the world's oceans), across so many lines of longitude that famously "the sun never set" on their Empire. The British Colonial Empire actually has the Genghis' empire beat for the title of largest empire in history, although it wasn't created by a single conqueror.
- Those Wacky Nazis:
- Historians dispute whether Hitler's ambitions were European or global in scope. While he believed that to ensure "Aryan" supremacy Germany needed to conquer a lot of territory, he knew full well that any attempt at world conquest would take a lot of time (he was 50 when he started the war in 1939) and so only planned to make western Europe into puppet states and ethnically-cleanse all of eastern Europe to make space for ethnic-Aryan-German settlement in his lifetime, leaving the rest of the task to his successors. However, much of Hitler's supposed "planning" is post-hoc analysis. In reality he was an impulsive 'gambler strategist' playing an all-or-nothing game, resulting in the increasingly bigger alliance formed against Germany that ultimately defeated it. Despite its massive military successes in the first half of the war thanks to the Wehrmacht's leadership and efficiency, Germany is still a second-rate power compared to the continental states like America, Russia, and China. But the Nazis would likely not have had much choice about continuing to expand due to how their economy was structured by looting other countries.
- Hitler specifically did not want to establish a blood dynasty, and given his personal situation it's doubtful he would have lived long enough to groom a descendant as a successor anyway. He also kept his subordinates squabbling for position within the Nazi Party as a means of holding onto power himself. Most likely if Hitler had succeeded the Greater German Reich would have collapsed into chaos soon after his death. Nazi Germany's leadership was too busy playing hacky-sack with the Idiot Ball to plan for long-term conquest as Hitler envisioned.
- Historically and culturally, Russia in all its myriad forms (Imperial Russia, the USSR, modern Russia) has been characterised as being bent upon World Domination. While Imperial Russia certainly tended to be expansionist, this was actually driven by fears of Russian weakness and the strength of the outside world - 'defensive Imperialism' - and not thirst for glory or power, let alone designs upon World Conquest. This deeply paranoid outlook has often being counterproductive, leading to unnecessary conflicts and creating enemies where there didn't have to be any. A well-known modern example is the seizure of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine, which although sensible from a narrowminded national security outlook was an incredibly bad move in diplomatic terms: today, all of Russia's neighbour's - all of them - fear and hate Russia with the sole exception of China, who just hate them (but like their money).
- When your founding father Vladimir Lenin repeatedly states his eagerness for what he calls the "Worldwide Conflagration", and tries to put it into action in various stages, it is a fair bet you are aiming for this. In fact, the original idea for the generically-named Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was that it would be a world government in which each nation-state was a Soviet Socialist Republic of that union. In theory, of course, the aim was "global liberation" rather than "global domination"... this would all be checked by the rise of Stalin, who believed that "Socialism in One Country" was more realistic and necessary to allay Capitalist fears.
- Do note that the Soviet Union after Lenin is not an example because it expected that eventually, the rest of the world would liberate itself from the shackles of Capitalism - and that when it did, the Soviet Union's role would be to help the proletariat in its struggle, not act as their overlord or conqueror. Although it integrated most Russian-speaking territories into its own Republics during World War Two the Soviet Union conceded the nominal independence of others whilst also safeguarding against any defections to the Capitalist bloc. Throughout the Cold War the Soviet Union attempted neither to expand its territory nor extend its political domination, though it did play a very active role in supporting anti-Imperial liberation movements throughout Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
- This is the stated goal of Bungie, the makers of the game Halo. It's stated all over the special features of the second two games. And the web site. And the promotional material...
- Here's Google's plan to take over the world.
- A lot of Conspiracy Theorists tend to come up with stuff that involves some Ancient Conspiracy that plans to create a One World Order.
- Since the end of World War II, the practice of large states attacking their neighbors in order to take territory for themselves has become obsolete.
- A lot of Biblical end times speculation has a sign of the end times being the creating of one world order, under The Antichrist. This tends to be a stumbling block against any organization - no matter how truly peaceful or well-intentioned - whose aim is one world government.
- Many religious fanatics, from sociopathic crackpots who have no actual resources (e.g. Charles Manson and his Helter Skelter plot) to those who present an actual threat to the world (e.g. Islamic terrorist groups like Al Qaeda).
- This appears to be the ultimate goal of Daesh/ISIL, although they're focused mainly on the Middle East.
- Al-Qaeda also had a plan to do this. Like Daesh, they intended to conquer the world through military force, but they first intended to crash the global economy to make it easier. This strategy was apparently based on the fall of the Soviet Union. See here for more details.
- Long before Alexander the Great, Cyrus The Great of Persia became the first man to conquer what was then the known world, bringing an estimated 40+ percent of the planet's population under his control. His empire outlived him by two hundred years, and despite its portrayal in media like 300 was renowned for how peacefully it ruled its subjects.
- Despite his reputation, Genghis Khan probably did not have any ambitions in this direction. His self-proclaimed heir, Timur(-e) Lang (Tamerlane to most Westerners), was a different story. Claiming that "as there is one God in Heaven, so there should be one ruler on Earth", Tamerlane overran most of Central Asia, and was planning an invasion of China when he died.
- Francis E. Dec claimed that the goal of Worldwide Mad Deadly Communist Gangster Computer God is to take over the entire universe.