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* ''Franchise/WonderWoman'': Queen Atomia seemed like she was genuinely trying to reform, and then started a riot and tried to kill a bunch of people which led to her getting [[BrainwashingForTheGreaterGood permanently welded into a mind altering device to force her to behave]].

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* Another famous "[[WhatIf Imaginary]]" story had Luthor successfully pull this off, even ''creating the cure for cancer'' to get himself released, all part of his gambit to lure Superman into a false sense of security and kill him. And thanks to its non-canon nature, it actually works. It's a PyrrhicVictory for Lex though, as the Kandorians have him [[AndIMustScream banished to the Phantom Zone]] for killing a fellow Kryptonian.


An important part of this plot is that [[IdiotBall everyone else will usually believe the villain right away]], [[MadeOutToBeAJerkass it's the heroes who are made to look like fools by their paranoid suspicions]]. This can veer into ThroughTheEyesOfMadness territory. The villain may [[RedHerring set up a situation]] that looks like they’re up to old tricks, so that the heroes will come barging in to stop thier... [[VillainsOutShopping perfectly lawful activities]]. This makes the villain look like [[WoundedGazelleGambit an innocent victim]] of [[WhatTheHellHero petty harassment]] and discredits any heroes who continue to suspect that they’re still up to no good. Matters may escalate to the point where the duped heroes end up with [[HeroWithBadPublicity tarnished reputations]] or [[ArrestedForHeroism trouble with the law]].

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An important part of this plot is that [[IdiotBall everyone else will usually believe the villain right away]], [[MadeOutToBeAJerkass it's the heroes who are made to look like fools by their paranoid suspicions]]. This can veer into ThroughTheEyesOfMadness territory. The villain may [[RedHerring set up a situation]] that looks like they’re up to old tricks, so that the heroes will come barging in to stop thier...their... [[VillainsOutShopping perfectly lawful activities]]. This makes the villain look like [[WoundedGazelleGambit an innocent victim]] of [[WhatTheHellHero petty harassment]] and discredits any heroes who continue to suspect that they’re still up to no good. Matters may escalate to the point where the duped heroes end up with [[HeroWithBadPublicity tarnished reputations]] or [[ArrestedForHeroism trouble with the law]].


Contrast HeelFaceTurn (where the villain actually becomes an out-and-out hero) and/or ReformedCriminal (where the villain genuinely changes their ways), RetiredMonster (where the villain gives up villainy simply because he's tired of it), VillainWithGoodPublicity (where the villain cultivates a long-term respectable reputation while continuing thier evil deeds out of the public eye), ChronicVillainy (the villain sincerely attempts to reform but cannot get over thier old obsessions), and ReformedButRejected (the villain really does give up thier evil ways -- but the hero still doesn't believe it). See also ThenLetMeBeEvil, where a character (re)turns to evil because everyone treats them with suspicion.

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Contrast HeelFaceTurn (where the villain actually becomes an out-and-out hero) and/or ReformedCriminal (where the villain genuinely changes their ways), RetiredMonster (where the villain gives up villainy simply because he's tired of it), VillainWithGoodPublicity (where the villain cultivates a long-term respectable reputation while continuing thier evil deeds out of the public eye), ChronicVillainy (the villain sincerely attempts to reform but cannot get over thier their old obsessions), and ReformedButRejected (the villain really does give up thier evil ways -- but the hero still doesn't believe it). See also ThenLetMeBeEvil, where a character (re)turns to evil because everyone treats them with suspicion.


** In an earlier episode, Man-Ray pretends to have changed in order to get revenge on Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. But, thanks to Spongebob's TickleTorture, when he goes to rob a bank, he decides to just open a checking account instead. Later, however, he forms the villain group, E.V.I.L. Then, he's less proactive at evil deeds and decides to be a villain for hire.

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** In an earlier episode, Man-Ray pretends to have changed in order to get revenge on Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. But, thanks to Spongebob's TickleTorture, when he goes to rob a bank, he decides to just open a checking account instead. Later, however, he forms the villain group, E.V.I.L. Then, he's less proactive at evil deeds and decides to be a villain for hire. In any case this is downplayed because he can't be the supervillain he once was and is more focused on making ends meet.





[[folder:Videogames]]

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[[folder:Videogames]][[folder:Video Games]]



* In ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork 3'', Mr. Match convinces Lan he's reformed, only to [[spoiler: trick Lan himself into firebombing Sci Lab]].

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* In ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork 3'', ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork3WhiteAndBlue'', Mr. Match convinces Lan he's reformed, only to [[spoiler: trick Lan himself into firebombing Sci Lab]].


* Very common for recurring SpecialGuest Villains on ''Series/{{Batman}}''. For instance, the Penguin runs for mayor in "Hizzoner the Penguin," and in "Catwoman Goes To College," well.... In one episode, this trope actually works against the Penguin. After opening a high class restaurant to get the signatures of its rich clientele, he purposely ''tries'' to get put in prison so he can hook up with an expert forger. The Penguin actually [[CantGetInTroubleForNuthin proved somewhat inept]] at getting himself arrested.

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* Very common for recurring SpecialGuest Villains on ''Series/{{Batman}}''. For instance, the Penguin runs for mayor in "Hizzoner the Penguin," and in "Catwoman Goes To College," well.... In one episode, this trope actually works against the Penguin. After opening a high class restaurant to get the signatures of its rich clientele, he purposely ''tries'' to get put in prison so he can hook up with an expert forger. The Penguin actually [[CantGetInTroubleForNuthin proved somewhat inept]] at getting himself arrested.arrested, and when he's finally brought in, [[spoiler:the forger is put on parole thanks to Wayne Enterprises sponsoring him]].


* ''WesternAnimation/StretchArmstrongAndTheFlexFighters'' has an example containing spoilers for both of the first two seasons.[[note]]Malcolm Kane initially seems to have long-abandoned a gangster past to become Head of Security for the MegaCorp Rook Unlimited, and reluctant trainer for the Flex Fighters. However, it eventually turns out that he secretly joined another gang of thieves, the Tech Men. The last few episodes of season two revolve around Stretch, with help from both friends and foes, having to thwart Kane's and the Tech Men's scheme to conquer Charter City through MindControl.[[/note]]

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* ''WesternAnimation/StretchArmstrongAndTheFlexFighters'' has an example containing spoilers for both of the first two seasons.seasons, as the character in question already "reformed" prior to his introduction.[[note]]Malcolm Kane initially seems to have long-abandoned a gangster past to become Head of Security for the MegaCorp Rook Unlimited, and reluctant trainer for the Flex Fighters. However, it eventually turns out that he secretly joined another gang of thieves, the Tech Men. The last few episodes of season two revolve around Stretch, with help from both friends and foes, having to thwart Kane's and the Tech Men's scheme to conquer Charter City through MindControl.[[/note]]


->'''Dr. Eggman:''' This amusement park was constructed entirely out of a sense of remorse for my past transgressions, and is in no way associated with any sort of evil plot or premeditated misdeeds.\\
'''Sonic:''' [[SarcasmMode Well,]] ''[[SarcasmMode that's]]'' [[SarcasmMode a relief.]]
-->-- ''VideoGame/SonicColors''

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->'''Dr. Eggman:''' This ->''"This amusement park was constructed entirely out of a sense of remorse for my past transgressions, and is in no way associated with any sort of evil plot or premeditated misdeeds.\\
'''Sonic:''' [[SarcasmMode Well,]] ''[[SarcasmMode that's]]'' [[SarcasmMode a relief.]]
-->--
"''
-->--'''Dr. Eggman''',
''VideoGame/SonicColors''


* ''WesternAnimation/StretchArmstrongAndTheFlexFighters'' has an example containing spoilers for both of the first two seasons.[[note]]Malcolm Kane initially seems to have long-abandoned a gangster past to become a security guard for Rook Unlimited, and reluctant trainer for the Flex Fighters. However, it eventually turns out that he secretly joined another gang of thieves, the Tech Men. The last few episodes of season two revolve around Stretch, with help from both friends and foes, having to thwart Kane's and the Tech Men's scheme to conquer Charter City through MindControl.[[/note]]

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* ''WesternAnimation/StretchArmstrongAndTheFlexFighters'' has an example containing spoilers for both of the first two seasons.[[note]]Malcolm Kane initially seems to have long-abandoned a gangster past to become a security guard Head of Security for the MegaCorp Rook Unlimited, and reluctant trainer for the Flex Fighters. However, it eventually turns out that he secretly joined another gang of thieves, the Tech Men. The last few episodes of season two revolve around Stretch, with help from both friends and foes, having to thwart Kane's and the Tech Men's scheme to conquer Charter City through MindControl.[[/note]]

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* ''WesternAnimation/StretchArmstrongAndTheFlexFighters'' has an example containing spoilers for both of the first two seasons.[[note]]Malcolm Kane initially seems to have long-abandoned a gangster past to become a security guard for Rook Unlimited, and reluctant trainer for the Flex Fighters. However, it eventually turns out that he secretly joined another gang of thieves, the Tech Men. The last few episodes of season two revolve around Stretch, with help from both friends and foes, having to thwart Kane's and the Tech Men's scheme to conquer Charter City through MindControl.[[/note]]


* ''WesternAnimation/{{SpongebobSquarepants}}'':

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* ''WesternAnimation/{{SpongebobSquarepants}}'':''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'':


* In ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', Melkor, after a long imprisonment, is pardoned by [[BigGood Manwë]], over the objections of certain other Valar, having pretended to repent of his past atrocities. He spends a good while after that playing TheCorrupter to the Noldor, trying to turn them against each other and against the Valar.

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* In ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', Melkor, after a long imprisonment, is pardoned by [[BigGood Manwë]], over the objections of certain other Valar, having pretended to repent of his past atrocities. He spends a good while after that playing TheCorrupter to the Noldor, trying to turn them against each other and against the Valar. Eventually, enough of the Eldar and Valar realize that Melkor has not at all abandoned his old EvilOverlord ambitions, and try to get him reconfined, but he escapes.

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* In ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', Melkor, after a long imprisonment, is pardoned by [[BigGood Manwë]], over the objections of certain other Valar, having pretended to repent of his past atrocities. He spends a good while after that playing TheCorrupter to the Noldor, trying to turn them against each other and against the Valar.


And if you believe that, I've got a slightly used DeathRay [[LandmarkSale to sell you]]. This is usually just a ruse on the part of the villain, who's plotting thier crimes in secret. It may even be part of an elaborate scheme to get the heroes to drop their guard and insinuate the villain as a HeelFaceMole.

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And if you believe that, I've got a slightly used DeathRay [[LandmarkSale to sell you]]. This is usually just a ruse on the part of the villain, who's who has been plotting thier new crimes in secret. It may even be part of an elaborate scheme to get the heroes to drop their guard and insinuate the villain as a HeelFaceMole.

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