Playing With / A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil

Basic Trope: A mentor's student pulls a Face–Heel Turn and becomes a formidable villain.
  • Straight: Alice's mentor Bob tells her the story of his first pupil, Alex, who turned against his master when his heart was corrupted by power. That Man Is, of course, the Big Bad now styling himself Lord Killfrenzy.
  • Exaggerated: Bob's first pupil goes rogue after only a day of learning the technique.
  • Downplayed: Bob's first pupil joins a rival team with Bob's teaching, said team is just The Rival and not necessarily evil.
  • Justified: Bob is the last Master of a Dangerous Forbidden Technique - forbidden because it can drive the weak-minded mad with power. For Killfrenzy, It's Personal, and for Bob, a new student needs to be around to keep Alex in check once Bob has died.
  • Inverted:
    • Our hero is the best possible Foil to the villains because he was once the star pupil at the Academy of Evil before experiencing a Heel Realisation and turned to the side of good. For their part, the villains want him dead because He Knows Too Much.
    • Alice's mentor Bob is the one who turns evil, forcing Alice to take down her own teacher.
  • Subverted:
    • Alex isn't really "evil", he just disagrees with Bob's use of his powers.
    • Alex is a Fake Defector.
    • Bob appears to be benevolent but turns to be a vicious Knight Templar, and the reason why he considers Alex "evil" is because he had the guts to abandon him when he found about it.
    • The reason why Alex is considered evil is because he killed Draco, who used to be Bob's most brilliant pupil. However, as the story progresses, we discover that Draco was a double agent sent to infiltrate Bob's dojo and murder him when he least expected it. Alex found out about his plan, and had to kill him in order to protect his master.
  • Double Subverted:
  • Parodied:
    • Bob acts this way about the fact that his professional rival and Sitcom Arch-Nemesis used to be under his training. Alice wonders if owning a competing restaurant can really be described as "evil"...
    • Bob's apprentices invariably turn evil—Alex, Alice, and anyone after these two—for no good reason, but Bob keeps taking in apprentices hoping that eventually, one of them won't turn into a world-conquering villain.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob tells Alice about his former pupil ... but when she tracks the guy down, he's perfectly friendly, and laments the fact that Bob took his branching out on his own so badly. It's later revealed that he's a Rival Turned Affably Evil, and really is plotting Bob's destruction! He describes it as self-defense against Bob's selfish refusal to accept Alex's independence; this is what has created such hate between them. Then Alice learns that Alex is practicing Dark Arts and Bob tried to reign him in.
  • Averted: Good and Evil are two entirely different sides, no-one on either of which has ever been friends with the other.
  • Enforced: The Big Bad is meant as a Shadow Archetype to The Hero, and having them share a mentor shows their opposite reactions to the same upbringing.
  • Lampshaded: "Ohhh, you guys have an Obi-Wan/Darth Vader thing goin' on? Well, I for one am much more invested in this conflict now that It's Personal."
  • Invoked: The Big Bad deliberately turned one of his rival's closest allies as a Xanatos Gambit: whichever of them won, Bob would be either killed, emotionally devastated, or at the very least, one ally short.
  • Exploited: Alex turned away from Bob of his own volition, but the bad guys picked him out because his connection to Bob could become useful.
  • Defied: Resignations Not Accepted — when a pupil of Bob's tries to rebel, he kills him immediately on the basis that He Knows Too Much.
  • Discussed: "And this year's Most Likely To Turn Evil And Become A Nemesis Feared All The More Because You Were Once A Friend goes to... Alex!"
  • Conversed: "Why did Alex cross over to The Dark Side?" "I'm sure they'll do an episode about that."
  • Played For Laughs: Bob and Alex's pre-battle banter plays on their old relationship:
    Bob: So, we meet again. I see you still can't keep your wrist straight...
    Alex: Shut up! You're not my teacher any more!
    Bob: Watch that mouth, or I'll have you writing lines.
    Alex: Wh- You can't... Aaargh!

Back to the main page. I taught him once, you know, until he turned to The Dark Side.