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For The Evulz / Live-Action TV

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  • Dr. Mikoto Nakadai in Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger is an Evil Genius who is utterly bored with life... until he discovers that tormenting the heroes and plotting widespread death and destruction is just the kick he's been missing.
  • On Blood Drive, some of the things that Heart Industries does can be written off as just amoral money-making schemes. But others, such as the creation of Smax candy (which drives the eater insane) and the Dionysus Strain (which turns people into zombies), make no logical sense whatsoever beyond being done to create death and destruction.
  • Breaking Bad.
    • Beyond his urge for power and money, some acts committed by Walter White are very unnecessary:
      • In "Over", where he forces Walt Jr. to drink tequila until he vomits. While this is far less horrible than many of the others, it has the distinction of being the first time he did something sadistic for no conceivable rational reason, but just because he could. Furthermore, this stands out for his serious drive for malice, egomania, and a desire to be dominant.
      • He finally admits to Skyler in the last episode that he did all those awful things as Heisenberg for himself and because he liked it, not because he wanted to protect the family.
      Skyler: If I have to hear one more time that you did this for the family...
      Walt: I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And I was really... I was alive.
    • The Cousins. Some of the murders they carry out are pretty unnecessary and have nothing to do with The Cartel's business, suggesting that there is some pure enjoyment to it.
  • Buffyverse:
    • Everything Angelus does in Buffy the Vampire Slayer is for sheer sadism and cruelty. He tortured Drusilla relentlessly, making her life a living hell and killing her family and then a church full of nuns the day she took her holy orders, and when he finally succeeded in driving her batshit insane, he turned her into a vampire so her suffering and madness would go on forever.
      • In "Becoming Part 2", he tries to awaken the demon Acathla to suck everyone on Earth into hell for the fun of it. Beforehand, he kidnaps Giles with the intent to torture him for the information he needs to do so, but he says he hopes Giles resists:
        "You could probably… tell me what I'm doing wrong. But honestly, I sorta hope you don't— ’cause I really wanna torture you."
      • In "Billy", he speculates that he was not affected by Billy Blim's power because, even as Angelus, he never hated his victims... he did everything for pure enjoyment.
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    • Most demons and vampires are like this, by their very nature. Two villains, however, get special mention: Spike and Ethan Rayne. Spike at least has an excuse, he's a vampire, and therefore is Always Chaotic Evil. Ethan doesn't even have this excuse; he's just an ordinary human who worships pain and chaos. His powers come from his worship of Janus.
    • After Slayers are outed and vilified by Harmony, Simone thrives on the fear and hate she gets from ordinary humans, and proceeds to commit crimes and acts of terrorism that only further cement Buffy and her crew's bad image.
    • Straw Misogynist Billy Blim from Angel season 3. He can generate a Hate Plague that turns any man he comes in contact with into brutal woman bashers like himself. As he puts it, he just likes to watch his handiwork play out.
    • Angel and Spike have a conversation in "Damage" concerning how they committed atrocities For The Evulz — but in different ways. Spike loved killing for the sake of it and didn't bother to give his victims another glance. Angelus couldn't look away from his victims and relished their suffering.
      • Spike could also be considered a subversion. While he enjoys killing humans as individuals, he actually likes human society in general (with Sex Pistols being his favorite rock band) and doesn't want to see it destroyed.
        Spike: The thing is, I like this world. You've got Manchester United, dogracing, and people. Millions of people, all walking around, like Happy Meals on legs.
    • Then after Spike's Heel–Face Turn it turns out he absolutely loathes Angelus, and Angel by extension. Why? Because he saw Angelus was such a monster wanted to make others just like him so there'd be someone else as vile in the world. This would come back to bite Angel again and again, with resentment for what he did and having to pay as Angel.
    • "I've Got You Under My Skin"; the demon possessing a small boy did all his crimes For The Evulz, but the boy was a complete psychopath who trapped the demon in his mind and resisted control attempts, then burned things and killed people anyway (even after a successful exorcism) because he didn't see any reason not to. The demon was absolutely terrified by this, since demons see doing things out of a belief in evil as a valid reason but the boy lacked even that.
    • Hauser, a former employee of Wolfram and Hart in "Conviction", believes in evil.
  • Mau ("Bad") from Castelo Rá-Tim-Bum is very fond of his reputation of being evil. When he starts telling about his terrifying deeds, Godofredo always interrupts him to tell that Mau actually chose to do an act of kindness in the end, which Mau did not want him to tell.
  • Criminal Minds:
    • "3rd Life". The three thrill killers from "Hopeless" and the (unrelated) rioters in the same episode.
    Morgan: You know what gets me? All this time we figured you guys were down and out. But here who are working? What the hell is so so God-awful about your lives that you have to take it out on everyone else?
    J.R. Baker: It was fun, boss.
    • Syd and her husband in "The Thirteenth Step," though they have a reason. It's leading up to killing their sexually abusive fathers. Syd's especially, since she's the leader of the two and all but one of the attacks happen in places that remind her of her dad.
    • This seems to be the case for the Reaper George Foyet as well. The core of his character is that he gets off on manipulating and having power over people.
    • Adrian Bale in the early episode "Won't Get Fooled Again". He agrees to tell the BAU how to disarm a complicated bomb, and in exchange he will be transferred from his maximum security prison to a mental hospital, and Agent Gideon will have to apologize to his victims' families, and admit that it was entirely his fault their respective relative died. When the inevitable Wire Dilemma occurs, Bale, even though doing so completely invalidates his deal, purposely tells them to cut the wrong wire... because the bomb blowing up will give him some kind of "emotional release".
    • It's a TV show about FBI profilers who hunt down (mostly) serial killers using psychological analysis to develop profiles of the likely unsub (unknown subject) so, obviously, most episodes avert this. However, some unsubs do still fall into this trope, making a particularly tricky case for the BAU.
    • Subverted in the episode "To Hell And Back". The team profile someone who is abducting random drug users and homeless people as someone who is killing For The Evulz - but it is actually a Manchild who is carrying out orders of his crippled Manipulative Bastard brother, who says he was using the victims to perform horrible human experiments in the hope of finding a cure for his condition. Then a Double Subversion when Rossi calls bullshit on that and says he's just a sadist, who enjoys forcing his brother to torture and kill people while he watches, since none of the equipment he has on hand is remotely suited to advanced medical research.
    • Ben Bradstone from "Proof". He doesn't understand why people ask why someone would do these horrible things. He says its the same reason people do anything, because it's fun. That's why he kicked his dog as a kid.
    • In the season two episode "The Boogeyman", Gideon asks young Jeffery Charles why he killed three children and almost killed another one. His response? "Because I wanted to."
  • The killer in the Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior episode "Jane" outright claims he had no reason to torture and kill women, he just did it. According to Coop, he's telling the truth; to the killer, people and most things are just indistinguishable blurs, and he is incapable of anything even resembling emotion, including (sadistic) joy or happiness, even while torture-murdering.
  • CSI episode "Fannysmackin'", where local teens beat tourists to death. The claim made at the end is that these kids were just bored and evil enough to pick this to break the boredom.
  • On Degrassi: The Next Generation, Peter likes Manny, but Emma likes Peter. Manny gets drunk, and Peter films Manny stripping and uses it for blackmail. Emma then puts Peter in leather pants and blames Manny, but starts dating the guy who filmed her best friend stripping. Strike that. That whole plot was For The Evulz. Peter's motives are clearer in season 6. (Sean likes Emma, Peter's dating Emma, Peter frames Sean for "possession".) And he actually gets a random Face–Heel Turn in season 7.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Underwater Menace": Zaroff tries to destroy Earth just for the fun of it.
    • "Everything you say, Waterfield, is true. If we cannot find Jamie, the Daleks will take pleasure in killing everyone in sight, and their greatest pleasure will be in killing me." — the Doctor, "The Evil of the Daleks".
    • In almost any given incarnation, you can expect The Master to be more interested in screwing with the Doctor than actually taking over the world. In "The Sea Devils", the Delgado Master flat-out tells the Doctor he's only working with the villains so they can get rid of "the human race of which you are so very fond."
      • Played for Drama and deconstructed in the Big Finish audio Master. All his evil plans were never expected to work, they were only designed to cause as much misery and destruction as possible. Why? Because as one of the Doctor's titles is Time's Champion, the Master is Death's Champion.
    • "Genesis of the Daleks": Davros, creator of the Daleks, is posed a philosophical question by the Doctor: "If you had a virus that, when released, would kill everyone in the universe, would you release it?" Davros' answer is that yes, he would release it, for no other reason than because he could.
    • The Gods of Ragnarok, who were trapped in a parallel dimension (possibly by the Doctor himself) and take over a circus to force people to perform for them, just to alleviate their boredom. When they lose interest in an act, they kill the performer.
    • "The Parting of the Ways': The Daleks arrive at the space station on floor 494 and must get to floor 500 to defeat the Doctor. Before doing that, however, they go all the way down to floor 0 to exterminate a group of innocent humans because they're there.
    • "Last of the Time Lords": This dialogue between Martha and a Toclafane. (However, since they were engineered out of innocents by the Master, it's very safe to assume that it's actually the Master's opinion.)
      Martha: But why? Why come all this way just to cause all this death and destruction?
      Toclafane: Because it's FUN!
    • "Flesh and Stone": The Weeping Angels tell the Doctor they are forcing Amy to count down to her death "for fun, sir."
    • "The Magician's Apprentice": Missy kills two bodyguards just to make the point to Clara that "No, I've not turned good."
  • Thomas and O'Brien from Downton Abbey, who have attracted criticism that the mostly realistic cartoon series suffers from having these cartoon villains with no identifiable motivation. And ironically, the one thing O'Brien at least thought she had a motivation for (planting a bar of soap so Cora would have a miscarriage, and wouldn't fire her) is the only one she actually shows regret for.
  • Drake & Josh: Megan certainly doesn't let the lack of a proper motive get in the way of her fun most of the time.
  • Farscape: Selto Durka, Peacekeeper Captain, enthusiastic torturer, and all around bastard. He's so horrible that when Rygel — one of his former victims — finally kills him, Rygel spends the next several days carrying his head around on a stick. It's really hard to blame Rygel for being so happy.
  • Firefly
    • Niska seems to look for any excuse to make people scream.
    • In the episode "Our Mrs. Reynolds" Saffron implies she might be this, after Mal questions her about why she needed such a convoluted plan.
      Saffron: You're assuming the payoff is the point.
  • The Flash (2014): Zoom. Every other Big Bad in the series, from the one before him to all those after him, had some ulterior motive for their villainy — some sympathetic, some not. Zoom, however, had no such motive. He became a villain to gleefully kick as many puppies as possible, to the point that he pretended to be a hero to give hope to the people of his earth so he could rip it away from them as Zoom. He did involve himself with Barry initially to steal his speed so he could be cured of his cellular degeneration (though it becomes clear he equally enjoyed screwing with Team Flash for his own personal enjoyment), but after he was cured he decided to keep messing with Barry and co. for no other reason than just because. While he did try to justify all his many, many terrible crimes with his Freudian Excuse, in the end it became blatantly obvious that Hunter Zolomon of Earth-2 was just a depraved individual that got off causing as much misery to others as possible.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • This is Joffrey's motivation for most of his endeavors, but it's possible one of his most nefarious acts, namely Ned Stark's execution, is actually a subversion since it is unclear how much of the plan he was told and he seemed to believe he was making a clear example of what happens to his enemies.
    • Theon's captor in Season 3, Ramsay Bolton, tortures him and eventually extracts one piece of useful intel: Theon did not in fact kill Bran and Rickon Stark. Then Ramsay continues brutally torturing Theon, admitting that it's not for any reason other than he enjoys doing it.
    • Locke plans to gang-rape Brienne and then, having expected a larger ransom, he tosses her into a bear pit with nothing but a dress and a training sword instead, saying it gives him more pleasure than gold ever could. He also cripples Jaime Lannister just to make a point. He would rather maim, rape and kill people for no reason than be a rich man until the end of his days. Qyburn explains that such men live for the moment because they don't expect to be alive when all the fighting's done.
    • Zigzagged with Roose. He shuns mistreating high-profile prisoners because there's nothing to gain from it and is aware of the dire repercussions it may bring. However, if he can get away with being a dick, he will be a dick just because people's reactions amuse him. Later, he's quite upset at Ramsay (his son and the above sicko from Season 3) destroying Theon's value as a hostage, as it means there's no chance of an alliance with the Greyjoys and solidifying his new position as Warden of the North will be much harder.
    • By the finale of Season 6, Cersei has more or less embraced this. She admits to a captive whom she is about to have slowly tortured to death that her main motivation for the evil things she's done in her life was that it all made her feel so damn good.
    • Ser Amory Lorch seems to have graduated in the same knight school as Ser Gregor — i.e. be as much of a jerk as you can as long as you are still loyal to House Lannister.
    • Polliver will kill even when he doesn't need to, for the sheer joy of it.
    • After he gets a prisoner to confess, the Tickler has the torture continue just to kill the man. The Tickler's set of four questions never changes, nor does his nonchalant way of asking them. It looks more like he is playing a creepy killing ritual than trying to obtain information at all.
  • This is Sue Sylvester's primary motivation in Glee. So much so that when she finally got the opportunity to shut down the Glee Club forever, she chose not to just so she could continue to torment them.
  • A rather light example in The Goodies: Bill's just signed up to do a row of extremely violent shows for the BBC. Graeme and Tim, bewildered, simply ask why he'd join up for such 'immoral, gratuitous violence'.
    Bill: Oh, don't worry, I have a perfectly good reason.
    Graeme: Oh really? What's that?
    Bill: I like violence! (jumps Graeme, beginning to strangle him)
  • Rico in Hannah Montana explains the fact that he is always trying to make people (his so called friends no less) miserable as "I'm rich and bored, It's What I Do."
  • Hannibal has no motive for any of the things he does beyond proving his own superiority and simple curiosity. When Will finally figures it out, he admits that the lack of any traceable motive is what made Hannibal so hard to spot.
  • About the only reason why Arthur Petrelli of Heroes does anything. Mr. Linderman of Season 1 wanted to blow up NYC to heal the world and Adam Monroe of Season 2 wanted to release a deadly virus to give his people a second chance, but Arthur didn't even bother with idealistic pretense. He just spouted the usual villainous clichés, and in a half-hearted fashion, as if he could barely be bothered to even offer a modicum of justification for his douchery.
    • The only justification for anything Sylar has ever done aside from wanting more abilities is simply because he can.
  • When Methos from Highlander finally tells Duncan about his days as an evil marauder back in the depths of time, he sums up his motives as a combination of this and Evil Feels Good.
    Killing was all I knew. Is that what you want to hear? I killed. But I didn't just kill fifty, I didn't kill a hundred. I killed a thousand. I killed TEN thousand! And I was good at it. And it wasn't for vengeance, it wasn't for greed. It was because... I liked it.
  • House of Anubis: A lot of what the Sinners did was for this reason, when it wasn't to get more souls for Ammut. One notable example being Fabian giving Joy a cruel speech when she came to him specifically for comfort after being heartbroken, leaving her feeling completely destroyed, and then going on his way. Another example is with Alfie insulting and dumping Willow just before flirting with Joy and Mara directly in front of her.
  • In House of Cards (UK), Francis Urquhart takes delight in making people very angry, and while his schemes in the first series are rationally attributable to ambition, in the second one he's determined to destroy the King just because he's bored and decides he would like a new challenge.
  • Jonathan Creek, given that it focuses on Locked Room Mysteries and other planned murders, usually has very rational and logical villains with complex motives. Thus this trope came as something of a surprise when it was played in season four - after the media suggests that a series of murders are inspired by the fact that all the women killed were named after flowers (as an attempt to "deflower women") and the real killer is caught, Jonathan notes that no-one had considered the idea that a young woman would kill other young women "simply because she likes to". The floral connection of the names was just a coincidence.
  • In Kamen Rider Kuuga The Big Bad was quite different from other final bosses of Kamen Rider. No speech about his desire to win the game, all he wants to do is fight Yosuke and as he died fighting him, he didn't whine about how a mortal had beaten him, just smiling as he watches Yuusuke being so violent.
  • On an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a serial rapist and murderer who is also a Phony Psychic keeps butting into a case in which he is actually the killer. After he's captured, a detective asks him why he did it, since he'd probably have gotten away with it if he hadn't. His response? "I just had to see what I had set in motion. The expressions on your faces were priceless. This place was like a big beehive that I poked with a stick."
    • In one episode, a Romanian boy is kidnapped and murdered after school. The detectives are led to believe that a man with the mind of a child, who's living with his mother, committed the crime. But it was actually two teenage girls whom framed the mentally challenged man and planted evidence in his room. When the detectives finally figure it out, Olivia asked the blonde teen, who was the leader of the two, why she did it. Her answer? "Why not?"
  • In Lexx, Prince (always implied to be but never named as Satan) locks an astronaut out of the Space Shuttle, stealing the ship. When the suffocating astronaut asks "Why do you do these things", Prince replies "Because I'm bad. Because I'm very, very bad."
  • Francis from Malcolm in the Middle, during his youth, and currently, was implied to have done things like steal a neighbor's car, crash it onto a tree, as well as drink, smoke, gain multiple piercings, break curfew, slept around, as well as torture his brothers, lock them in a closet, steal their toys, and presumably scar Reese with a Bayonet because of this trope, almost certainly the prior stuff was simply to spite his mother.
  • Subtly subverted in the Millennium episode "Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me". Four demons cause death and destruction behind the scenes apparently just because it's fun for them. Except at the end, it's revealed (by Frank Black himself) that the demons are very lonely, simply doing evil not because they like it, but because it's what they've been doing forever and they don't know what else to do.
  • The motivation of Joey Heric, the resident Magnificent Bastard on The Practice. As his psychiatrist points out, he is clearly smart enough to commit murder in such a way that he would never be suspected, but that wouldn't be nearly as much fun as letting everyone know he is guilty and then getting away with it anyway.
  • One episode of The Pretender has Jarod try to get into the mind of a serial killer in order to track down a copycat in time to save his latest victim. Jarod almost Logic-Bombs himself because he can't understand the reason why the killer does what he does. The killer then helpfully informs him that there is no reason; he kills because he wants to.
  • In Revolution, Monroe admits to being intimidated by the torturer Strausser, his subordinate. Monroe's own acts of cruelty are always motivated by ideals or tactical sense, whereas Strausser does what he does for sheer enjoyment.
  • A Finnish kids' show, Rölli, has this as its main character's motivation. He isn't as mean as he wants to be, as he did save Tiina the Elf from the other trolls. He did think that it's the most mean thing to do in the forest, though.
  • Scream: Both Ghostfaces start their killing sprees, in addition to wanting revenge for percieved slights, because, “killing people is way more fun than therapy”.
  • Scrubs:
    • Jordan openly admits that she torments people "for funsies".
    • Dr. Kelso at least sometimes seems to act this way, and is always suspected of it. When Dr. Cox tells him how miserable having his wife working with him makes him Dr. Kelso immediately makes the position permanent. He turns to Dr. Cox and asks how he didn't see this coming. Other times he acts for good reasons, for instance when he fires two nurses. Carla claims he did it for no reason, but there were good budgetary and personal reasons for it.
  • Jim Moriarty from Sherlock: he threatens to blow up a series of bombs in London because he was bored, and as an attempt to get Sherlock's attention.
  • Smallville
    • A good deal of meteor freaks have this mentality. While some of them have "goals" like mating with Lana, some just liked killing.
    • Icicle Jr. originally kills for revenge (judging by how many he killed it already borders on Disproportionate Retribution), but then his freeze-choke on Chloe (whom he never met) is like this.
    • In season ten, Darkseid. Unlike in other adaptions, where he is usually goal-driven (albeit still an Omnicidal Maniac), this one just likes to corrupt people.
    • Clark Luthor, Clark Kent's Earth-2 counterpart, is an Ax-Crazy Psycho for Hire who kills whoever and whenever he wants. He even casually admits that it "doesn't feel right" not to have someone's blood on his hands before lunch.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • Q, half the time. The other half he's playing a mentor...
    • Armus, the liquid entity in "Skin of Evil", is a justified example because he's literally Made of Evil. However, though he's mainly motivated by plain sadism, he also desires revenge on the aliens who created him and left him behind on the dead planet.
    • Lore fed the inhabitants of Omicron Theta to the Crystalline Entity as ridiculously Disproportionate Retribution for ostracizing him (they were rather understandably uncomfortable having an unstable sociopath with superhuman strength, speed, and intelligence roaming their colony). He would later try to feed the Enterprise, itself, to the same creature. This time it was for no particular reason.
  • Star Trek: Voyager: In the episode "Persistence of Vision", Janeway asks the alien who's been mind raping the crew why he did it. His chilling response is "Because I can".
  • Similarly, in the Supernatural episode "The Benders", Sam gets captured by a family of cannibal hillbillies, and Dean allies himself with a female county cop (whose brother was captured by the same hillbillies) to get him back. At the end, the female cop asks the hillbilly patriarch why they killed her brother, and he answers, "Because it was FUN." She shoots him off-screen.
    • According to Dean, most demons in the show exist only to cause death and destruction "for its own sake."
    • Interestingly played with in Azazel. Unlike other demons, such as Lilith, he's never shown taking time off to torture people for the sake of it, and for his entire time of the series is consistently working towards his goal of releasing Satan. However, he tends to do things in the most sadistic way possible such as mentally tearing Dean down before mortally injuring him. The way he kills the mothers of his "Special Children" is particularly and pointlessly cruel.
  • Torchwood:
    • A villain in "Countrycide", when asked the reason for his actions, simply responds "Because it makes me happy." It's Played for Drama.
    • And there's this quote from a charming recurring villain in "Exit Wounds". (Although he was deliberately overacting, to try and hint at Jack that he was forced into being evil and that the real villain was listening.)
      Captain John Hart: Do I mean fun or carnage? I always get those two mixed up.
  • The Vampire Diaries - The motivation for most of Damon Salvatore's actions.
    • Stefan was told by Klaus to stop Damon from tracking them but Stefan killed Damon's girlfriend Andie just for the hell of it. YMMV as it could be just to prove a point to stay the hell away from him and Klaus.
  • In the The X-Files episode "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" the killer asks someone why he does these terrible things. The answer is "because you're a homicidal maniac".
    Killer: That... that does explain a lot, doesn't it. It's all starting to make sense now.
  • In The Christmas That Almost Wasn't, the Big Bad Phineas T. Prune seems to have no concrete explanation for why he does what he does, until the end, when he experiences his Heel–Face Turn.


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