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Privilege Makes You Evil

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Spoiled Brat Turned Villain

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
Animeking1108 on Jan 12th 2018 at 2:33:53 PM
Last Edited By:
Animeking1108 on Jan 23rd 2018 at 12:55:42 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

For some villains, they have a good reason to be evil. Maybe they had a terrible upbringing. Maybe they snapped after they watched somebody they care about die. Maybe they were victims of prejudice and decided to fight back.

However, some villains had everything in life handed to them, and yet they still chose to be evil. Characters common of this trope include:

Compare Screw the Rules, I Have Money! and Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!. Contrast Misery Builds Character, Freudian Excuse, and Spoiled Sweet.

No Real Life Examples.


Examples

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    Anime & Manga 

  • Akame ga Kill!: Syura, the son of Prime Minister Honest (arguably an example of this as well), abuses his father's power maliciously. He torments the citizens of the empire, knowing full well that if anybody tried anything, they'd have to deal with Honest.
  • Blue Exorcist: Reiji Shiratori, the bully from the first episode, comes from a rich family and only got in to True Cross Academy because of his connections. When Rin confronts him for killing birds for fun, he tries to bribe him so that his family's reputation doesn't get threatened. When Rin refused, he tried to brand him. This leads to him getting possessed by Astaroth.
  • Death Note: Light Yagami is popular with the ladies, gets praised for his intellect, and has some of the kindest parents. And yet, when he finds the Death Note, he uses it to be viewed as a god.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Freeza is the heir to an intergalactic empire. His father, King Cold, is overly doting, and as Cooler implies, he spoiled him rotten. He's also a mass-murdering sociopath that has destroyed many planets.
    • Beerus used his power as God of Destruction to basically bully planets into giving him finer foods.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • Katsuki Bakugou gets blessed with a really powerful Quirk at a young age, leading many to praise him. This causes him to develop a huge superiority complex and become The Bully.
    • Endeavor, Shouto's father, is incredibly famous and wealthy from becoming the 2nd Highest Ranked Hero (at a relatively young age at that). However, he wasn't satisfied with his position and forced a woman with an ice Quirk to marry him for the sole purpose of breeding a powerful heir that could usurp All-Might and subjected him to a Training from Hell. Ironically, after All-Might retires and he becomes the Number 1 Hero, he actually makes a legitimate effort to improve himself.
  • Narutaru: Aki Honda is an Academic Alpha Bitch who torments a girl named Hiromi just for getting better grades than her and many are too scared to stand up to her. One of her offenses includes raping Hiromi with a test tube.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Seto Kaiba. Say it with us, now: "Screw the Rules, I Have Money!."
  • YuYu Hakusho: Sakyo admits that he had a great childhood raised by his wealthy, loving parents. In spite of that, he chose to be a crime lord that hires demons and gambles in death games.

    Comic Books 

  • Subverted with Harry Osborn. While he was raised by a wealthy family, and his father is the Green Goblin of all people, he didn't turn evil until after his father died.
  • Kick-Ass: While Red-Mist was a Lonely Rich Kid in the film adaptation, he was much more cruel in the comics. He came from a wealthy mafia family and he has plants in the police force that turn a blind eye to his actions.
  • Lex Luthor is the most notable example of a Corrupt Corporate Executive in comic books.

    Film 

  • The Goonies: Troy is a Jerk Jock and the son of a wealthy industrialist. He also drags Brand while on a bike with his car and pushes him off the road, which could have killed him.
  • Star Wars: Emperor Palpatine's backstory shows that his pampered upbringing by his noble parents prevented him from facing the consequences for his actions as a teenager, leading to his training with the Dark Side of the Force.

    Literature 

  • Flip-flopped with Penny from Gone. Despite having a father who sexually abused her sisters, she was the only one he never touched. If anything, she was more upset that he didn't give her that kind of attention. When people started sympathizing with her sisters, she poisoned one of them out of jealousy. When she gains a power that has its heroic uses, she uses it to torture the people in the FAYZ.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Dudley, Harry's cousin, gets spoiled rotten by his parents and acted as a bully to Harry. When he was forced to go on a diet, he starts to gain muscle and starts beating up kids younger than him.
    • Draco Malfoy comes from an incredibly wealthy family. He's also a bully, a card-carrying racist, and later joins the Death Eaters.
  • Let the Right One In: Jonny (who was renamed "Conny" in the film adaptation) sadistically bullies the protagonist, Oskar. He threatens to leave him on the train tracks, push him in ice, and tried to drown him when he fought back. However, it's implied that he was raised by loving parents.
  • Michael Vey: Dr. Hatch tries to deliberately make it happen with the Glows. With the hopes of making them his loyal killers, he showers them with expensive gifts and constantly reminds them that their powers make them superior to humans.
  • Percy Jackson: A natural given since villains in this series are either gods or the offspring of gods.

    Live Action TV 

  • Stranger Things: Troy, the bully from season 1, has a mother that spoils him rotten and never holds him accountable for anything. He also tried to stab Dustin in Mike didn't jump off a cliff.

    Video Games 

  • Persona 5: Many of the antagonists the Phantom Thieves face embody this.
    • Suguru Kamoshida is a former Olympic Gold Medalist-turned-Gym Teacher who uses his past fame to get away with physically abusing his male students and sexually assaulting his female students.
    • Ichiryusai Madarame is a famous artist who started suffering from Artists Block, so he began stealing his students art projects to pass off as his own. One of his former students committed suicide, and he deliberately let another student, Yusuke's mother, die from a seizure so he can get away with selling her painting.
    • Kunikazu Okumura is the Corrupt Corporate Executive of a fast food chain that subjects his workers to deadly conditions. He also tries to marry his daughter, Haru, off to a bratty domestic abuser.
    • Subverted with Goro Akechi. While he was a celebrity with legions of fangirls, he also was the bastard child of Masoyushi Shido, which is treated much more harshly in Japanese culture, and his mother committed suicide after years of Slut-Shaming.
    • Masoyushi Shido is a Corrupt Politician who uses his connections to get away with atrocities including murder and rape. When the Protagonist caught him trying to have his way with a woman and he ended up tripping on his own feet, he pressed charges against the Protagonist.
  • Dangan Ronpa: Junko Enoshima, the Big Bad of the series, is also a famous fashion model.

    Western Animation 

  • Batman: The Animated Series: In the episode The Terrible Trio, the titular antagonists are a group of rich kids who go around committing crimes simply because they their wealth can let them get away with it. One of them even tries killing his girlfriend when she finds out what he's been doing.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Mr. Burns willingly abandoned his loving parents (and his favorite teddy bear, Bobo) so he can be raised by a more wealthy family, leading him to becoming the Corrupt Corporate Executive that he is.
    • Homer invokes this in A Star is Torn, by becoming the manger of a rival of Lisa's and revamping him into "Johnny Rainbow", a rich kid singing a boastful song about how he uses his wealth to make his life better than everyone else's. It works, and the kid is immediately rejected by the audience.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Princess Azula is spoiled rotten and favored by Fire Lord Ozai. She's also an Ax-Crazy Sociopath.

Feedback: 14 replies

Jan 12th 2018 at 10:06:35 PM

There's also Royal Brat.

This sounds like supertrope material, right?

Jan 13th 2018 at 4:09:56 AM

  • In The Simpsons, Homer invokes this during the episode "A Star is Torn", by becoming the manger of a rival of Lisa's and revamping him into "Johnny Rainbow", a rich kid singing a boastful song about how he uses his wealth to make his life better than yours. It works, and the kid is immediately rejected by the audience.

Jan 13th 2018 at 6:15:07 AM

Anther for the list: Privileged Rival.

  • Interesting Times: The Emperor is a terrifyingly sociopathic and ancient Man Child, described as being the result of no ever daring to tell him something was forbidden for his entire life.

Jan 14th 2018 at 5:02:49 AM

  • Truth In Television. There have been numerous studies in which it has been discovered that the more wealth a person gains, the more their empathy for other people diminishes. Taken a step further, such people rationalize themselves as innately superior, and thus deserving of their choice position in society.

Jan 14th 2018 at 8:52:25 AM

Should real life examples be included? Because we have Brock Turner (a rapist who got a light sentence because of his athletic status) and Ethan Couch (who only got probation for killing four people while drunk driving after his lawyer used the "Affluenza" defense).

Jan 14th 2018 at 7:47:42 PM

I'd say this is probably a touchy subject and avoid real life examples. Even if I agree with the ones above.

Jan 14th 2018 at 10:07:26 PM

Real life examples exempt, then.

Jan 15th 2018 at 1:05:40 AM

Any trope that describes persons as "evil" is pretty much automatically No Real Life Examples Please.

Jan 19th 2018 at 4:18:51 PM

  • Touka Bergatt from Akagami No Shirayukihime was raised as the spoiled heir apparent to a very powerful noble family. When a large portion, but not all, of the family's lands were confiscated from them by the Royal family due to their misuse of their people Touka was infuriated at the loss of his property and murdered his father to take over as family head. He then set in motion a plot to assassinate members of the royal family, including the queen and later the second prince, which included attacking and murdering many others who supported the monarchy.

Jan 23rd 2018 at 12:55:42 AM

I agree that this should be No Real Life Examples, because of being potential Flame Bait. The description can briefly mention that there are some psychological studies that imply this is Truth In Television, i.e. being more wealthy often makes people feel less empathy, but let's not go into details, and especially not specific examples.

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