"That's the problem with heroes, really. Their only purpose in life is to thwart others. They make no plans, develop no strategies. They react instead of act. Without villains, heroes would stagnate. Without heroes, villains would be running the world. Heroes have morals. Villains have work ethic."
— Narration from The Last Avengers Story
"Iím sorry if this offends you, but you fellows really need us. Oh, yes. Weíre the only ones who know how to make things work. You see, the only thing the good people are good at is overthrowing the bad people. And youíre good at that, Iíll grant you. But the trouble is that itís the only thing youíre good at. One day itís the ringing of bells and the casting down of the evil tyrant, and the next itís everyone sitting around complaining that ever since the tyrant was overthrown no oneís been taking out the trash. Because the bad people know how to plan. Itís part of the specification, you might say. Every evil tyrant has a plan to rule the world. The good people donít seem to have the knack."
"Gee, it sure is boring around here. I just wonder what Ganon's up to."
— Link from Zelda CD-I: The Faces of Evil
"Damn it! If they would just do something, we could fight back!"
— Raimei from Nabari No Ou
"If the man wishes to become the hero, the serpent must first become the dragon. Lest he lack the proper enemy."
— Friedrich Nietzche
"Villains are much more pro-active than heroes. Heroes, by their nature, are purely reactionary forces. The villain is, in all ways, an agent of change. A catalyst."
"[Spider-Man] emulates the creatures he names himself after in some respects: he is purely reactive. A spider will often not bother to seek prey, preferring to weave a web and wait for the prey to come to it; then it acts. Spider-Man is the same. He cannot anticipate my actions—he cannot ever hope to. He can but react when I make my move."
— Doctor Otto Octavius from the novel Untold Tales of Spider-Man chapter "Arms and the Man"
"I'm not like you scum."
"No, Aramaki, you are. We've been fighting the dark forces of this world with the Puppet Master and with finance. You've been fighting with tanks and guns. That's the only difference between you and me. What make you think you're any better?"
"Because I've been fighting against criminals while you've only been fighting for power. Take him away, boys."
—Chief Aramaki and Director Nakamura weigh in on this trope, Ghost in the Shell.