Playing With / Necessarily Evil

Basic Trope: A character who assumes the villain's role out of necessity. Usually to prevent the Evil Power Vacuum or to counter a greater kind of evil.
  • Straight: Sally's country is ruled by Bob, an evil dictator, and she figures the only way to stop him is to become a dictator herself and overthrow him.
  • Exaggerated: Sally's country is ruled by Bob, an evil dictator, and she figures the only way to stop him is wanton murder and destruction of anything having to do with him.
  • Downplayed:
  • Justified:
    • Trying to do the right thing to stop Bob is never enough and leaves Sally feeling that there is no choice but to sink to his level.
    • It is only Bob's iron-fisted rule that keeps his more ambitious underlings in check. Should Sally simply overthrow him, it give them an excuse to compete for power, thereby very likely casting the country into a bloody civil war as a result.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted: Sally doesn't care about doing good and really is just as selfish and evil as Bob.
  • Double Subverted: But only because she's Becoming the Mask. She started out good, but became hardened, cynical and possibly even crazy by years of doing bad things.
  • Parodied: In order to achieve a noble goal, Alice must play Bob's role as the villain who jaywalks.
  • Zig Zagged: Sally is a big fan of I Did What I Had to Do; she indulges in evil actions if that's what it takes in a particular situation, but is equally willing to do good things when she thinks that will help. Sometimes she makes mistakes and acts the opposite of the useful way because she thinks it's necessary.
  • Averted: No one performs evil actions for noble reasons; all villains are true villains and all heroes act only nobly.
  • Enforced: ???
  • Lampshaded: I Did What I Had to Do
  • Invoked: Pretty much any example of this trope, as Necessarily Evil characters intentionally and consciously have to choose to be this way.
  • Exploited: Emperor Evulz knows Sally will reluctantly stoop to necessary evil to stop him, and when she does broadcasts it to the whole world, turning her into a Hero with Bad Publicity.
  • Defied: Sally refuses to do anything evil to stop Bob as she knows it won't actually change the problem with the system, it'll just replace one dictator with another.
  • Discussed: The General Bob ponders with another General on whether or not they should overthrow a corrupt or Fascist, but Inefficient monarch, considering the theoretical improvements in the country and the probable political unstability.
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed:
    • Sally finally overthrows Bob but not only does she do actions that make her just as evil as him, but it sends out a message that only evil can beat evil, which results in a never ending cycle of evil dictators being overthrown again and again and ultimately, nothing ever actually changes.
    • Sally overthrows Bob, but her deception is exposed to the world and the people erupt into utter chaos and anarchy in the aftermath.
    • Sally goes so over the deep end about what is acceptable as Necessary, she becomes the Well-Intentioned Extremist.
  • Reconstructed: Sally realizes that the necessity of the evil doesn't negate the evilness of it, and once Bob is overthrown, she accepts her fate and turns herself in once a stable new regime is formed.

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