->"''The road to hell is paved with good intentions.''"
-->-- '''Bernard of Clairvaux'''

%% Click the blue quote marks above for a place to put your other favorite related quotes.

[[VisionaryVillain A villain who has an overall goal]] which the heroes [[VillainHasAPoint can appreciate in principle]], but whose methods of pursuing said goal (such as mass murder) are [[DontShootTheMessage problematic]]; despite any sympathy they may have with their cause, the heroes have no choice but to stop them. Taken to extremes, they may fully believe that UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans. Such an idealistic extremist is likely to be either a TotalitarianUtilitarian or a PrinciplesZealot, depending on whether they’re aiming ForHappiness or ForGreatJustice. The most well-written examples of this trope are the kind that the reader/viewer stops just short of agreeing with.

Other times, the villain may be out for simple {{revenge}} against a person or corporation or other entity that has undeniably wronged them. Again, the heroes may sympathize with their plight, but are obliged to stop them because they care not who gets in the way of their planned revenge. However, the heroes will often investigate the villain's grievance themselves and will complement stopping the villain with taking down the offending party as well.

Maybe [[FallenHero they started out with actions as good as their intentions]], but were [[DrivenToVillainy forced to take more extreme measures]]. Either way, it's a common end result of JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope. Their favorite phrase is IDidWhatIHadToDo.

On the extreme end, may result in the even darker KnightTemplar who chooses to either [[TheEvilsOfFreeWill remove free will]], believing it the best way to save the world or destroy whoever they don’t consider worthy enough to live. Unlike this, The Well-Intentioned Extremist isn't a punisher of all flaws or a dictator who argues that they are good and therefore everyone else is bad; they actually realise that some of their victims don't deserve to die or suffer, but insist that it is for the greater good and actually isn't ''entirely'' wrong. They could also be a [[FallenHero fallen]] WideEyedIdealist that [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope was driven over the edge]], and sometimes a WorthyOpponent or even ReluctantWarrior. VigilanteMan is a case where the Well-Intentioned Extremist [[MotiveDecay hasn't (yet) descended]] to the point of not caring who gets hurt. Often ends up in rivalries with the KnightInSourArmor. Maybe they're ObliviouslyEvil and don't realise they're the bad guy, in which case they're prone to MyGodWhatHaveIDone and becoming wracked with guilt and horror if they're ever enlightened. Some of those seeking to bring about a OneWorldOrder to end international strife may count as this.

This can be a difficult line to walk: push too hard in one direction and you make it seem as if the extreme methods are acceptable; push too hard in the other and you run the risk of denying the validity of their initial cause, of arguing ''for'' oppression (for instance) instead of against it. When the balancing is done they more often than not tend to be either [[AntiVillain Anti-Villains]] or even dark [[AntiHero Anti-Heroes]], especially if put more emphasis on the "well-intentioned" part than the "extremist" one. However there are some who seem like ones but in reality are [[NotSoWellIntentionedExtremist just straight-up villains, particularly if they are the other way around in terms of what they put more emphasis on and if they are obviously just using their philosophy as a shallow excuse to commit evil]]. Another version of a darker villain being this trope is that they have an actual philosophy which they believe will "improve" the world but the philosophy itself is too obviously evil to garner any sympathy, such as is often the case with the MisanthropeSupreme and [[ANaziByAnyOtherName genocidal maniacs]].

Often, these characters are presented as more dangerous and terrifying than some who are straight-up ForTheEvulz and TakeOverTheWorld types and with good reason: EvenEvilHasStandards does not usually apply to them, as it might be for some others. After all, if you think you're doing the right thing, then it's easy to consider [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans even the most horrific actions an acceptable compromise.]]

Compare with NecessarilyEvil, where the villain in question has a HeelRealization and recognizes that he deserves punishment (of course, he may always choose to just [[IgnoredEpiphany Ignore That Epiphany]]). See also ALighterShadeOfGrey. A staple trope of the MasterComputer [[AIIsACrapshoot gone mad]]. If the positive intention is overthrowing an evil government, the Well Intentioned Extremists will be an example of TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized. If the positive intention is helping a friend- realizing things that said friend sees as immoral- the Well Intentioned Extremist will be an example of PoisonousFriend. If his extremism actually ''succeeds'' in making the world a better place, it's TheExtremistWasRight. The SmallStepsHero desperately wants to avert this trope. The NotSoWellIntentionedExtremist has no such convictions.

As this trope often goes hand-in-hand with the FaceHeelTurn or may involve the reveal of a villain's true plans (or intentions), expect spoilers.

* WellIntentionedExtremist/AnimeAndManga
* WellIntentionedExtremist/ComicBooks
* WellIntentionedExtremist/FanFic
* WellIntentionedExtremist/{{Film}}
* WellIntentionedExtremist/{{Literature}}
* WellIntentionedExtremist/LiveActionTV
* WellIntentionedExtremist/{{Machinima}}
* WellIntentionedExtremist/{{Music}}
* WellIntentionedExtremist/TabletopGames
* WellIntentionedExtremist/{{Theatre}}
* WellIntentionedExtremist/{{Toys}}
* WellIntentionedExtremist/VideoGames
* WellIntentionedExtremist/VisualNovels
* WellIntentionedExtremist/WebAnimation
* WellIntentionedExtremist/WebComics
* WellIntentionedExtremist/WebOriginal
* WellIntentionedExtremist/WesternAnimation


[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* [[Wrestling/{{Nova}} Simon Dean]] is tired of traveling this country and seeing so many fat monstrosities. So he is going to help solve the problem by selling his patented Simon System at a discount. Because even though he does not like you, Simon Dean believes in you!
* Wrestling/StevieRichards in Wrestling/{{TNA}}, trying to save the world from Abyss, and Abyss from himself, turned out to be worse than Abyss by the end of their feud.
* Coming out of left field, "The World Famous" Wrestling/{{Kana|koUrai}}, then on a mission to defeat Wrestling/YoshihiroTajiri and all the other "old men" of his SMASH promotion, wrote a "manifesto" on the Joshi half of Puroreso, emphasizing, among other things, a need to isolate every wrestler and dump the worthless ones after evaluating them all.
* Jessicka Havok has always been a menace to Wrestling/{{WSU}}, but was cast in a new "heroic" light after DJ Hyde [[BadBoss took over the company]] and proclaimed not only her but many others who were long time fan favorites PersonaNonGrata[[note]]Drew Cordeiro was the one dismissing, banning or alienating people, DJ Hyde just [[DastardlyWhiplash took credit for it]] at shows or [[{{heel}} enforced his decisions]][[/note]]. Since Havok did not care about WSU rulings to begin with, she continued to show up anyway and do what she does, to cheers. Jessicka's also fond of the Shine promotion, admitting that she had consciously not stooped to her usual lows while working there, not complaining when punished by officials for her [[NoHoldsBarredBeatDown post match rituals]] and attacking those who she feels are bad for the promotion or disrespectful to it, though she ignored the LegionOfDoom who were guilty of every "crime" she charged all her other targets with because Allysin Kay, Havok's best friend from WSU, was a part of it.