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Love Makes You Evil / Live-Action TV

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People turning evil out of love in live-action TV.


  • EVERY Soap Opera that has turned a beautiful, intelligent woman with numerous other appealing qualities into a psycho bitch hell-bent on doing everything she can, up to and including murder to hang on to a man who doesn't love her, despite the fact that she could easily get another.


  • 24:
    • Tony Almeida learns the identity of the man whose actions lead to his family's death and attempts to get close to him so he can kill him in revenge. He does this by murdering the head of the FBI, performing a number of terrorist attacks, and attempting to expose a crowded subway terminal to a lethal pathogen.
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    • Jack attempts to assassinate the mastermind behind the death of his love interest in the final season even though doing so would kickstart World War III and recklessly endangers innocent lives in his attacks on the conspirators. And then subverted, as he is talked down when his allies make him realize what the consequences will be; and because they point out his lover wouldn't want this.
  • Altered Carbon. Reileen Kawahara's love for her brother Takeshi and desire for them never to be separated again cause her to betray their fellow Envoys to the Protectorate to prevent Takeshi going on a suicide mission. She then ruthlessly assembles wealth and power over centuries until she's in a position to have her brother released and pardoned, by which time he's horrified at the monster she's become.
  • Babylon 5:
    • Lennier's last act in the series is an attempt to kill Sheridan so Lennier can have Delenn for himself. It goes badly...
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    • John Sheridan narrowly avoids this trope... TWICE. When he first sees Mr. Morden come on the station, knowing he had been on the same ship as his wife Anna when it exploded, he has him arrested and held without cause or proof. The act is so much against Garibaldi's principles (who has been known to bend the rules a few times) that he quits. It is only when he is told that there is a greater danger that he snaps back out of his obsession and frees him. The second time, he witnesses Delenn's stabbing and runs down the sociopathic would-be assassin and very nearly kills him... with his bare fists.
      • Given that the latter assassin is a guerrilla under the command of a government Sheridan is at war with, killing him would be perfectly justified.
    • Morden uses this against Londo by murdering his true love Lady Adira and implying that it was done by Lord Refa, Londo's rival:
      Londo: All I want now is revenge and safety for my people. The rest of the galaxy can BURN for all I care.
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    • Depending on how one interprets Delenn's connection with Dukhat, this trope might apply here as well.
  • Part of the reason Boomer had a Face–Heel Turn on Battlestar Galactica was that Cavil was the only sympathetic shoulder for her to lean on.
  • Walter White of Breaking Bad actually has this as the endearing motive for his actions. His entire journey into meth manufacturing begins because he loves his family and doesn't want to die leaving them with nothing but a mountain of debt from his medical treatments. It later becomes clear this isn't the whole story and Walter is also driven by much darker motives he doesn't want to recognize; he keeps making meth long after he has more than enough money to know what to do with.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • This is literally the case with Angel. As an act of revenge his soul was restored to him, causing Angel to suffer constant guilt and anguish. While this motivates Angel to do good, falling in love with Buffy and making love to her cause him to momentarily forget his anguish, breaking the spell and thus allowing his evil vampire self Angelus to resurface.
    • In Season 6 after Tara is murdered, Willow goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge that endangers her own friends due to all the Dark Magic she absorbs for the task. After absorbing all of Giles magic power, she feels all the pain and suffering in the world and decides to put everyone out of their misery. Yet she is brought back to normal thanks to The Power of Friendship, so the trope is ultimately averted.
    • Spike snapping and trying to rape Buffy after enduring a long string of mixed signals and abuse from her might count as this, although the trope is ultimately averted in his case by his leaving to obtain a soul and seeking after redemption, with his and Buffy's relationship ultimately recovering into a mutually respectful and close partnership in the final season of the show.
    • Love spells create obsession rather than genuine love, so they're not above attempting to murder potential rivals or obstacles, or even the object of their obsession if he refuses their advances.
    • The argument could definitely be made that Faith fits into this category as well, particularly if one believes - as many do - that the subtext throughout her arc indicated that she had feelings for Buffy. This would strengthen the argument, but even if restricted to purely platonic love, there is this; all Faith ever wanted was to be loved, by the Scoobies, but particularly by Buffy, as is confirmed by the First in Season 7. How does she react when she thinks that she has essentially been rejected by them all? She goes evil. Granted this is not the only force at work here, but the change is at least in part driven by her desire for love.
    • It's very heavily implied that Andrew had a crush on Warren. Practically stated.
  • This happened in Charmed a few times. Leo willingly became an Avatar to save his wife and before that, he killed an elder to save his son. Phoebe willingly became the Queen of the Underworld to stay with Cole. And Cole had absorbed all sorts of demonic powers to be reunited with Phoebe. And he's the only one they didn't forgive.
  • Chuck: Daniel Shaw was once a loyal CIA agent and a member of Team Chuck, but turns traitor and joins the Ring to avenge his wife's death after finding out the murder was set up by the CIA as Sarah's Red Test.
  • In CSI many cases were caused because of this trope. Crime shows in general love this. You will never find a crime show that doesn't feature this a few times a season at least.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Kassia in "The Keeper of Traken". She desperately wants to stop her husband becoming the next Keeper, because then she would lose him. As it turns out, she succeeds in this. But by then she's not around to see, he still doesn't make it to the end of the serial, and the rest of the Traken Union doesn't outlive her by very much either.
    • The Master to the Doctor, according to certain fans.
    • When the power to destroy worlds falls into the hands of a small child who wants his mother. As the Doctor puts it, "There isn't a little boy born who wouldn't tear the world apart to save his mummy. And this little boy can."
    • River loves the Doctor so much that in "The Wedding of River Song", when she's being forced to kill him during a fixed point in time, she refuses, causing time to collide with itself and begin disintegrating. Normally, this would only be a matter of Love Makes You Crazy, but when she finds out what she's done, she not only continues, but claims she'll suffer more than anyone else in the universe if she has to kill the Doctor.
    • Similarly, the Twelfth Doctor loves Clara Oswald so much that in "Hell Bent" (the Series 9 finale), he does everything in his power to save her from her fixed-point death — which happened two episodes prior. While he understands the risks involved all too well, admitting he's going too far, he honestly thinks he can avert catastrophe (and if anyone could do that it would be him), in the process approaching the Moral Event Horizon and becoming Woobie, Destroyer of Time. He has his Heel Realization when he finally realizes that the life he intends to give her isn't what Clara wants, and that he is only hurting her by not living up to his usual standards. In the end, she will live on for a while before returning to the fateful moment, but he loses most of his memories of her and they must be parted forever. For his part, he realizes this is fitting, and becomes a selfless man once more. Note that in his case this trope crosses over with Being Tortured Makes You Evil, as the events of the "Heaven Sent" resulted in him being Driven to Madness and more willing to become The Unfettered than usual.
  • This was Alpha's motivation for attacking Whiskey after his composite event in Dollhouse. He just wanted Echo to be the best, after all. Really, this is a large part of Alpha's schtick—his break-in near the end of season one was to get Echo out. When he reappears in season two, it's killing all her clients who loved her—or as he put it, loved part of her.
  • Father Brown: This provides the motive for the murder in "The Crimson Feather". After accidentally declaring her love to the wrong person, the killer is so humiliated by the laughter she received, that she murdered the other person before she could spread the news.
  • The popular Dutch series Flikken Maastricht has Jens Bols, who actively kidnaps Eva up to two times, just because he thinks they are similar and that they should marry. He uses her as a Replacement Goldfish for his own wife who disappeared a long time ago. Ultimately, the criminals that are after Jens' money, kidnap her again, just to get that five million bucks out of him. It backfires horribly.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Jaime Lannister pushes a 10-year-old out a window to hide his secret affair with Cersei, even saying, "The things I do for love..." He later assures her that he would kill everyone in the world if that's what it took for them to be together.
    • Cersei Lannister was, like many women at the close of the rebellion, quite in love with Robert when they married, but years of arguments, inattention, his love for Lyanna Stark and occassional Domestic Abuse end in her plotting her husband's death. Her relationship with Jaime doesn't seem to bring out the best in her either.
    • Petyr Baelish's unrequited love for Catelyn feeds his obsession with achieving power over his social betters.
    • Maester Aemon warns Jon that love is the one thing that can make a man ignore his duty.
    • Tyrion has implied that he expects he expects this to happen to him at some point when he remarks that he would kill for Shae and expects he will have to someday.
    • Ellaria Sand loses it after watching Oberyn getting his skull crushed by The Mountain, changing her from a lovable Ethical Slut to a vengeful and crazy crusading mistress War Hawk against all the Lannisters.
    • Somewhere between this and Love Makes You Dumb, Jorah Mormont explains that he sold poachers into slavery to finance his beloved wife's lavish lifestyle.
  • Subverted in the miniseries adaptation of Gormenghast. Steerpike claims everything he has done was for love of Fuchsia, but while he may or may not have felt something for her, this declaration is clearly a lie by which he hopes to further manipulate her.
  • In Jekyll, a modern retelling of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, it's revealed that the psychopathic Hyde is not a manifestation of all the dark impulses of human nature as commonly believed, but represents the ruthlessness of pure love, prepared to sacrifice anything and anyone for the object of his affection. The Split Personality was created in the first place when the original Dr. Jekyll fell in love with his servant who due to the class difference he couldn't marry. Over a century later, Tom Jackman earns his Split Personality after he and his wife are menaced by a gang of thugs; Tom's frustration over not being brave enough to protect his wife leads the newborn Hyde directly to the gang's leader. Cue Extreme Mêlée Revenge.
  • This has happened a few times in Kamen Rider:
    • Ryuki's Shiro Kanzaki started the Rider War and is just fine with the Mirror Monsters devouring people if he can save his sister. Noble goal, but we're talking a body count in the hundreds.
      • In the Kamen Rider Zi O Rider Time Ryuki special, Tezuka has fallen in love with Shibaura, leading him to betray Shinji's team for Shibaura's sake; have Evildiver devour Ishida alive; and casually murder Ishihashi.
    • In Wizard, we have the White Wizard and Wiseman, the Big Good and the Big Bad, respectively, who are both Sou Fueki. Apparently, saving your daughter outranks the fact that everyone with magical potential will become a Phantom and everyone without it will drop dead if your spell to steal the mana from everyone in Tokyo goes as intended.
    • In Gaim, Mitsuzane/Kamen Rider Ryugen starts off as The Lancer, but his obsession with protecting his friends (especially Mai, who he has feelings for), leads him to join the villainous Yggdrasil Corporation and become both a Manipulative Bastard and Poisonous Friend.
  • Legend of the Seeker:
    • Kieran, a previous Seeker, went mad with grief and started killing innocent people after his wizard had persuaded his Confessor lover Viviane to kill herself so he would be freed from Confession to her (which happened when the pair had sex), forcing his wizard to kill him with his own sword and trap his spirit in his remains as he threatened to wreak havoc in the afterlife unless he was reunited with Viviane. Worse, he possessed Richard's body and got Viviane's spirit to possess Kahlan's, obviously not caring what either of them thought.
    • The Keeper was originally the Creator's lover at the beginning of time, but he grew jealous over the gifts that she gave their children, human beings, including immortality. So he made all of them mortal and introduced suffering to spite her.
  • Michael in Lost murdered Ana Lucia and Libby and sold out his friends to the Others to save his beloved son Walt, kept as a hostage by said Others.
  • Uther Pendragon from Merlin started his genocide of every single magic user when one killed his wife Igraine. Even though he had no one to blame but himself.
  • In Noah's Arc, Guy's love for Trey leads him to do progressively crazier things, including setting up a fire for him to put out to look like a hero, and cutting himself and blaming it on Alex. The cross into evil though comes when Guy writes a fake suicide note from Alex, heavily implying that Guy planned to kill him to get him out of the way for good.
  • In Once Upon a Time, this has been the motive for virtually every villain so far:
    • Rumpelstiltskin took on his evil powers for the purposes of saving his son from the Oger Wars.
    • The Mirror Spirit was a good guy until he fell in love with Regina, the Evil Queen.
    • Regina herself became evil after the death of her lover, something for which she blamed Snow White.
    • Captain Hook became hell bent on revenge after Rumpelstiltskin killed Milah; Hook's lover...and Rumpel's wife.
  • Seems to be a Central Theme in Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.
    • First, we have Anastasia, whose entire motivation throughout the series has been to correct the mistake she made in abandoning the one she loves. She's done some horrible things. Though evidently nothing bad enough that she isn't fully forgiven by series end and reconciled with Alice and Cyrus.
    • Second, we have Jafar, who craves his father's affection more than anything, and will stop at nothing to get it. Though as it later turns out, he doesn't really love his father at all. He wants to force his father to feel affection for him so that he can break his heart before killing him.
    • Finally, we have Amara, who, after losing her children, became a sorceress with no qualms about killing an innocent man to use his liver as a spell reagent, and turning another man to stone for shiggles.
  • Oz:
    • Chris Keller kills every guy that Beecher sleeps with, including the guy who murdered Beecher's father, has Beecher murder Schillinger unknowingly, acts overly aggressive with him at times, on two occasions has knocked him out with a blow to the head when Beecher goes against his wishes and later handcuffs him to a chair away from other people where he forces a kiss on him, and finally murders the Aryans so that they don't pose a threat to him or Beecher anymore.
    • As well as Ryan over Dr. Nathan. After she helped him through cancer, he immediately divorces his wife. Later, he forced a kiss on her, paid a fellow inmate to steal her stethoscope, and when she started ignoring him, had his brother Cyril kill her husband. After she was raped, he very quickly murdered the man that did it. It was even said outright that his love for her was more of an unhealthy obsession. However, Dr. Nathan actually falls for him in the end.
  • Stargate SG-1: The Replicator Fifth's obsession with Samantha Carter heightens his reaction to her betrayal, turning him from a nice guy who wants to help SG-1 to a dangerous foe who kidnaps and tortures Sam, tries to trick her into staying with him, and finally creates a Replicator version of Carter to rule the galaxy with him. It doesn't go quite as planned.
  • Ianto Jones in Torchwood tricked his boss into giving him a job so he could hook up his potentially murderous girlfriend in the basement and hopefully revert her to human form, and even after she tried killing him, he tried to defend her. She could have killed the planet - he saw what happened with the other Cybermen.
  • The Vampire Diaries: Damon Salvatore became the Fully-Embraced Fiend he is today out of a combination of Katherine's Ax-Crazy influence as well as his bitterness and jealousy over her refusing to choose between him and his brother.
  • Every other episode of Warehouse 13 has someone abusing artifacts out of desperation caused by love. The major difference between these episodes and ones where the bad guys are truly bad guys is the ones based around love generally don't leave as much of a body count. The first Big Bad's Start of Darkness turns out to have been a misuse of a deadly Artifact that allowed him to save his love from a burning building (meanwhile, Artie, who was also in love with her, was unwilling to cross that line), resulting in another person's death.
  • Westworld. William falls in loves with a Westworld android called Dolores. After they are separated he's determined to find her again, but his Roaring Rampage of Rescue only makes him a hardened and sadistic killer. He eventually catches up with her only to find she's been reprogrammed to forget him, and the season finale reveals that he is in fact the Man in Black, the villain who's been raping Dolores and indulging in other sadistic activities the past thirty years.


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