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Aristocrats Are Evil

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"We do not eat human. We eat peasants. We eat undesirables. We devour life undeserving of life. That is the nature of nobility. What else would be the point?"
SCP-3288-Alpha, SCP Foundation

A lot of tropes have origins way back when media was still forming; this is one of them.

It might have been an early way to appeal to the masses, or just due to the way aristocrats tended to look down on the general public. But it was then and is now really popular to cast aristocrats as villainous, malevolent, or evil.note 

A variety of Meaningful Titles exist — people with feudal titles are very commonly evil. Popular titles are Count and Baron — two titles which are rarely seen on a good guy. (Oddly enough, a Countess has a better-than-even chance of being a decent woman. And though it doesn't show up a great deal, you should break out in a cold sweat when you meet a Viscount. Interestingly, both counts and barons are fairly common titles among Continental Europeans, but rare among the English (where the rough equivalent of a count would be the earl who is usually depicted as a stodgy but typically benevolent patriarch), which may suggest a regional bias in which aristocrats are cast as villains.

Barons fare the worst in popular fiction. Maybe it's something to do with the old nickname "Sugar Baron", who makes his wealth off the labour of the poorest of the poor, and from slaves. (In the U.S. this became the "Robber Baron", the derogatory term for wealthy industrialists that made their money off the backs of immigrant labor.)

One major exception: Dukes are usually relatively nice. This may be because the title was awarded to those who rose to aristocracy as war leaders. Thus, the Duke has a "grass roots" feel to it, and a badass quality; as well, much like The Good Captain, military titles are generally for good guys, with the possible exceptions of Admiral and Major. Also, before the 18th and 19th centuries, Dukes were generally too high up the ladder of aristocracy to really have much contact with common people at all. Because of this, Dukes were not the nobles that were directly oppressing the common people, and so didn't receive quite the same stigma, especially since in some local cases, a Duke actually ran interference against a lower-ranking nobleman on behalf of the masses. Grand Dukes, however, have a 50/50 chance of being either good or evil, especially if the Hero of a story is a Royal.

For more discussion on how characters of different titles are often portrayed in media, see the Analysis page.

Aristocrats are often willing to be polite and even with people of their own rank. Moral Myopia, however, often limits it to fellow aristocrats. Commoners are just out of luck — especially servants. If they're not actively in charge, expect them to be part of the Omniscient Council of Vagueness.

Very prone to Screw the Rules, I Have Money!, Screw the Rules, I Make Them!, and Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!. Sometimes even prone to Screw the Money, I Have Rules!. Related tropes include The Baroness, The Caligula, Decadent Court, Eat the Rich, Kill the Poor, Hates Rich People, Slobs Versus Snobs, and The Von Trope Family. For the modern version of this trope, see Corrupt Corporate Executive, and to a lesser extent, Nouveau Riche.

Not to be confused with The Aristocrats, a "stock joke" based on this premise.

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Berserk: Counts, barons, queens, kings, lords, emperors, what have you. No matter the title, they all tend to have ill-intent for their fellow man (or are at least big jerks). If that's not enough, just wait until they turn into Apostles... there are a couple exceptions in the manga: not counting Serpico (who was not really born a noble) or Farnese (whose Heel–Face Turn coincided with her abandoning her status), Roderick is pretty nice, Princess Charlotte is a Princess Classic, while Laban and Owen actually give a crap about protecting commoners.
  • Black Butler:
    • Baron Kelvin, a madman who forced those he adopted off the streets (and thus were indebted to him) into kidnapping children. Kelvin then proceeded to torture said kidnapped children and have their bones made into prosthetics once they inevitably died in the dangerous stunts he forced them to perform. He's obsessed with beauty to the point of perversity and has an extremely disturbing fixation on 13-year-old Ciel Phantomhive, a fixation that began when Ciel was eight.
    • There's also Baroness Angelina Burnett, née Dalles, AKA Madam Red, Ciel's maternal aunt. She and another woman, grim reaper Grell Sutcliff (who was posing as her servant at the time), were their universe's version of Jack the Ripper, and together they killed at least five people.
    • More recently in the manga is Baron Chris Heathfield. He regularly sleeps with his maids, which is inherently wrong given his position of authority over them, and they consistently disappear afterwards. Turns out, they're all drugged and thrown into the basement of his mansion to have their blood collected indefinitely without their consent.
    • The entire Earldom of Phantomhive seems to be evil, including protagonist Ciel Phantomhive and his late father Vincent, although Vincent is definitely the worse of the two. The family head is tasked with maintaining the division between polite society and the criminal underground by any means necessary. They must also cover up any crime committed by the royal family (which includes annihilating anything and anyone that could link the royals to said crimes) and do pretty much anything else asked of them by the monarch and it's always something shady. Ciel for one has committed mass murder by proxy at least twice and someone dies either to him or directly because of him every other week.
    • The second season of the non-canon anime introduces house Trancy. The current earl, Alois Trancy, isn't the most morally upstanding character (the time he gouged his maid Hannah's eye out for no reason at all comes to mind) but he's not the worst in the series on that front. His predecessor, however, sexually abused an untold number of young boys, Alois included.
  • In Black Clover, there is a 95% chance all nobles — including the slob of a king — are massive douchebags who absolutely abhor citizens of lower ranks and treat them like dirt. If a child happened to be conceived through a mistress not part of nobility, chances are even the half-noble child will be ostracized by the nobles and lead a pathetic life of abuse and mistreatment. God help them if the blue-blooded child happens to be inept at magic, which is another ticket to be looked down upon by the rest of the family. And no matter how many heroic deeds a peasant Magic Knight (like Asta or Yuno) has done, the nobles will STILL treat such people like dirt.
  • Candy Candy: Twins Eliza and Neal Leagan play it straight, being spoiled brats who constantly try to ruin Candy's life For the Evulz and Eliza in particular is a textbook example of Rich Bitch. Their mother and Madame Elroy are downplayed examples, both being stuck-up and a bit elitist and the latter having spoiled her children excessively.
  • Dragon Ball Z has Lord Frieza, an evil space tyrant/monopolist who becomes Son Goku's first real arch-enemy in the series. Dragonball Super brings us the God of Destruction, Lord Beerus.
  • Endride: There are a lot of evil aristocrats of different flavours. It's generally agreed that Delzaine was a fairly bad king (and an usurper to boot) as far as the common folk were impacted, but he held the kingdom together, and so the Ignauts wanted to reason with him first rather than violently depose him. When he dies suddenly, society begins to collapse and the wicked petty lords start raiding villages and hoarding wealth and resources. The trope is averted, however, with Demetrio, the idealistic Rebel Leader who is noble-born, and some of the lords that the Ignauts reportedly managed to recruit to their cause.
  • In Fushigi Yuugi, the Emperor of Kutou is a bloodthirsty glory hound, rules with an iron fist, does nothing to help the poorer citizens of Kutou, and repeatedly rapes an 11-year-old boy who grows up to be the Big Bad Nakago.
  • Gilgamesh: Countess Kageyama Hiroko of Werdenberg is supposed to be a good guy, but comes off as an Evil Matriarch.
  • In Goddess Creation System the first household Xiaxi enters is that of the Wang Pu family, generals who serve under the king. The first thing we see them do is have the frivolous brother simply take the protagonist away from where she was working, give her to his brother as a practical joke, and then that brother has her executed and used as fertilizer because the joke offended him. She then restarts the mission keenly aware of how horrible these people are, though their better sides tend to get more emphasis later. Surprisingly, after she finishes up here and tricks her way into the imperial household she finds them to be actually rather nice people, if perhaps arrogant and not nearly as simple as they appear. Though the seemingly nice uncle turns out to be The Caligula after assassinating the king and usurping the throne.
  • Great Mazinger:
    • The Emperor of Darkness of and Great King Vega from UFO Robo Grendizer. The latter conquered several planets after exterminating their whole native population.
    • Marquis Janus. A Two-Faced witch, conniving, manipulative, and treacherous. In one of the manga versions, she tore a girl in half to get back at The Hero Tetsuya for an earlier humiliation.
  • Gundam:
    • Most of the second Universal Century is spent with Evil Aristocrats as the enemy. Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam reveals that the Ronah family was sponsored heavily by the Jupiter Empire, who had similar ideals and wanted to soften up the Federation in preparation for their own attack on the Earth Sphere. Even after they are defeated, some members of the Jovian aristocracy head to Earth and start up the Zanscare Empire in Mobile Suit Victory Gundam as yet another attempt to establish aristocratic rule (this time blended with Newtype supremacy).
    • Mobile Suit Gundam F91 features an uprising by the aristocratic Ronah family, who attempt to establish an empire in space called "Cosmo Babylonia" because they believe firmly that humanity should be ruled by the upper class. The family actually both plays the trope straight and averts it: "Iron Mask" Carozzo believes that humanity needs to be purged from Earth altogether. His father-in-law Meitzer Ronah is the one ordering the invasion but is unaware of this plan, and at the very least seems to be a good family man who genuinely has the best intentions. Also, Carozzo's wife and daughter both believe in equality among human beings and are major factors in the eventual downfall of Cosmo Babylonia.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam has the Zabi family, a group of upper class Spacenoids who were able to maneuver their way into power in Side 3 and transform it into a militaristic, monarchist dictatorship bent on invading and committing genocide on Earth. The worst among them are Gihren and Kycilia, both of whom are responsible for Zeon's worst war crimes.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ gives us Glemy Toto, son of the aristocratic Toto Family. Originally a subordinate to Haman Karn, he eventually betrays her and begins secretly amassing his army to take over AXIS-Zeon. In addition, his goals and ideals are very similar to Gihren Zabi, who may or may not be his father.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans: Gjallarhorn is ruled by the Seven Stars, a council comprised of the descendants of seven of the founders of the organization, who regularly meddle in the politics of the Earth Sphere (despite Gjallarhorn supposedly being neutral), promote elitism towards Martian citizens and those born in the colonies, and engage in power plays that often come at the expense of ordinary civilians.
  • The Hidden Dungeon Only I Can Enter: With the exception of the main characters and their immediate families, the aristocrats in this series (ranked from Dukes at the top, with Barons at the bottom) are all entitled twits who preen around based entirely on the merits of previous members of their bloodlines, or use money to skate past any test they can. Noir even lost his job as a librarian at the beginning to some unnamed higher-tier noble, who bribed the interviewer just to deny him the position. Later, though, this starts to fade as Noir racks up heroic accomplishments, and the nobles realize it's a good idea to be on good terms with a powerful and promising adventurer, regardless of social status.
  • In Infinite Apostles and Twelve War Girls, the three major families (rank unstated) of the Felm empire and crown prince Razzel of the Kenz kingdom are all horribly corrupt and will do anything to advance their ambitions, no matter how vile. Not only are they on-screen shown attempting to murder the protagonist and his love interests on several occasions, but their children are all arrogant asshats that automatically look at commoners as total weaklings that they have the duty to kick around, even as they're getting their asses kicked, and won't hesitate to unleash lethal force in public for any slight, real or imagined.
  • Mazinger Z:
  • My-Otome: Grand Duke Nagi Dai Artài is the Big Bad who, like many evil Dukes, seeks to take the throne of Windbloom for himself and uses the terrorist group Schwarz to help him do so. He is also a little boy with white/cyan hair. In the manga, he plays the same role but, unlike his Faux Affably Evil anime version, is more openly a Jerkass about it, and this one is actually a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who sacrifices himself to save the heroes.
  • Miyuki-chan in Wonderland: The Queen, a Yandere Dominatrix with a fearsome reputation, who chases Miyuki with a whip trying to get her to "submit."
  • In Moriarty the Patriot, pretty much every member of the nobility except for Albert is an evil dick who sees the lower-class citizens as subhuman trash whom they can mistreat and even murder at whim. In fact, the presence of this trope serves the primary motivation of the Villain Protagonists, who becomes a Serial Killer to get rid of the evil nobles and abolish the class system.
  • One Piece: Aristocrats are mostly villains:
    • The World Nobles, also known as the Celestial Dragons (Tenryuubito in Japanese), are the descendants of the Kings of twenty different kingdoms who later created the World Government. To try and give you an idea of how messed up they are... imagine what the typical aristocrat would be like after hailing from 700 years of being revered as a living deity and explicitly told that no rules apply to them — their in-universe title is Saint, which, in Real Life, is considered higher than any normal noble title. To say they are corrupt to the core is, frankly, an understatement. The World Nobles are allowed to kill and maim people on a whim, live in obscene luxury supported by taxes extorted from the nations allied to the World Government, and totally believe their own hype of being living gods. Despite the fact that slavery is illegal everywhere else in the One Piece world, they openly keep slaves, thinking nothing of abusing them to death for convenience or even amusement, and can abduct people off of the street on a whim to a life of slavery. And nobody dares lift a finger in retaliation because not only can they kill on a whim, but anyone who strikes a World Noble is immediately the target of a Navy Admiral, one of the most powerful fighters in the World Government's pocket, who is duty-bound to eliminate the assailant with extreme prejudice. Unless the assailant is another World Noble, as Saint Charlos learned the hard way.
    • The leaders of the World Government are the Five Elder Stars, the highest-ranking Celestial Dragons, who are willing to go full-on scorched earth on entire islands, and put a massive bounty on an 8-year-old child's head for the mere "crime" of being able to read a certain language, solely to protect some Ancient Conspiracy concerning the World Government's founding.
    • The nobility of Goa Kingdom routinely sent out all their trash out of the city and let it pile up to the point that it became a small town unto itself, the Grey Terminal, a zone where even the people who lived there were seen as trash. When an inspection team with Celestial Dragons was scheduled to arrive, the nobles arranged to have the trash heap burned to the ground, people and all, in order to appeal to the Dragons. On top of this, they seemed incapable of understanding why a protagonist, who was a White Sheep among the nobles, who discovered this was horrified.
    • Wapol had all doctors who did not work for him murdered so he could charge ridiculous sums of money for medical treatment, and beat up small children (which would have possibly sparked an international incident) simply because they were in his way.
    • Donquixote Doflamingo, one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea, used to be a World Noble because his father gave up the title to live as a commoner. But due to the atrocious acts of the World Nobles, many of the lower class, most of whom were previous victims, wasted no time in tracking them down to dole out retribution to them even though the Donquixote family was one of the more benevolent nobles, save for Doflamingo himself who was always a bad seed due to the toxic environment he was influenced by. Doflamingo tried to get his title back after killing his father but the other nobles considered his family traitors and refused him. He had to make due as a pirate, practically bribe his way into becoming a Warlord and taking over Dressrosa which his family originally ruled before moving to the "holy land" of Mariejois with the other World Nobles. While he puts on an act of being a benevolent king to the public (which started with him framing the former king to make him look like a bad guy), behind the scenes, Doflamingo uses his kingdom as a front for faux Devil Fruit operation for one of the Four Emperors.
    • The Vinsmoke family of Germa Kingdom, headed by Vinsmoke Judge. Apart from doing some decidedly unethical genetic experiments, Judge firmly believes his family's status makes them superior to other people (and makes sure his children share this belief), being horrified when he learns one of his sons (Sanji) stooped so low as to cook for other people.
  • Trash Skill Gacha has several key examples:
    • The entire Bahurst family, save protagonist Crest Bahurst, are all cartoonishly evil, who view themselves as better than the protagonist because they tell themselves he's a "devil's child" who murdered his mother by daring to be born when she died in childbirth, and not only loved to torment him growing up, but in the present Crest's four older brothers only see each other as political rivals to eliminate, and Crest's first and third oldest brothers are shameless skirt chasers, one of whom pursues Crest's own fiancé, from another duke house, the other pursues the daughter of the third duke house, and both of them have absolutely zero respect for the king, asking the girls to ditch an official summons so they can all play around.
    • The fiancé in question, Ellis Rifeld, is an Obliviously Evil Yandere Sadist who made Crest's academic life hell through slander, social isolation, and domestic abuse, obsessed with having him all to herself by any means possible, and is also quite vain, almost to the point of narcissism, seeing herself as "perfect" and can't understand why he'd turn her away when she demands he allow himself to be treated as her slave to escape being banished to near certain death for a crime he didn't commit, just because his father's an asshole, and is totally flummoxed when he slaps away the foot she was shoving in his face to lick and told her to go screw herself in a rage.
    • The patriarchs of both the Rifeld house and the Mycelian house, the two other dukes, respond like sharks that smell blood in the water when the prophecy is read and Duke Bahurst has to explain his screw-up and demand that Crest be given the duke title for the Bahurst house and offer to sell their respective daughters, knowing that the power of two duchies together is strong enough to usurp the crown, if need be.
  • Vampire Knight: Played straight with Ichijou's grandfather, averted with the rest of the main aristocrats cast (Aidou, Ichijou, Kain, etc).
  • In Wolf's Rain, Lord Darcia has some sympathetic traits to begin with, but after his comatose lover Hamona is killed he turns increasingly evil. His adversary Lady Jagara is pretty evil to begin with, though.

    Comic Books 
  • The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones: The Big Bad in the "Trail of the Golden Guns" is Count Alexander Salkovich who, despite being a nobleman is now partnered with the Bolshevik government who provide him with troops in exchange for his keeping the Ukrainian Cossacks suppressed. His theft of the eponymous golden guns from an American museum brings Indiana Jones into his orbit.
  • Lady Mechanika: Lord Blackpool. Given that he's a Corrupt Corporate Executive, it seems likely his title is a life peerage awarded for services to industry.
  • ''Les Légendaires': Count Kasino. Arrogant, said to rule his own territory as a ruthless dictator, and evil enough to attempt murder on his cousins in order to become king.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Count Nefaria is a supervillain and crime lord.
    • Baron Blood is a vampire Nazi supervillain.
    • Baron Karza, nemesis of the Micronauts (and their IDW incarnation as well as being from the toyline of the same name. Given that the title baron is at the low end of the hierarchy, one has to wonder why Karza didn't promote himself when he gained control of the Microverse. It should be noted that in the toyline, Karza was but one of several characters (along with Force Commander) below an underboss called Red Falcon and an Emperor called Magus.

      His IDW counterpart, however, originally started out as a mercenary for hire, and got hired by the Emperor of Microspace (the equivalent to the aforementioned Magus) to defend him from a revolt; this put him on the path to becoming Minister of Defense. Eventually, after he killed Red Falcon (the Emperor's son) and put the Emperor himself into cryostasis, at which point, the mysterious Entropy Storm was beginning to destroy Microspace; he, at this point a Well-Intentioned Extremist, disagreed with his Ministry of Science counterpart Baron Daegon (equivalent to Force Commander) on how to deal with the Entropy Storm, and both then started leading factions in a civil war; when he ventured into the Entropy Storm himself, he lost his mind and spent years within the storm, realizing that Microspace was in fact inside the body of Micronus Prime, and began getting in contact with villains outside Microspace, specifically Miles Mayhem and the Dire Wraiths to utilize Ore-13, which he thought could help stop the Entropy Storm. Ultimately, things came to a head during the events of Revolution, where he absorbed the power of Ore-13 enhanced Wraiths via his "Enerchange" ability, turning himself into a giant fusion monster, and it took the efforts of multiple characters to bring him down; ejected back into Microspace, he began plotting to conquer Earth and save Microspace again, leading into the Wrath of Karza miniseries, where his efforts again failed and saw him stranded in Illinois.
    • Baron von Strucker, a Nazi supervillain and the leader of the global terrorist group Hydra.
    • Baron Zemo, a Legacy Character supervillain.
    • Doctor Strange: Baron Mordo, an occasional supervillain and full-time Evil Sorcerer.
  • Raptors: The vampires hail from Spanish nobility and all of them, both the Molinas and Y Cera's minions, are depraved monsters.
  • Robin Series: Sir Edmund Dorrance, Bane's father and the first contender for Big Bad of the series, is a disenfranchised British noble whose criminal actions have lost him any favor he once had due to his status.
  • Slylock Fox: Count Weirdly is some kind of Dastardly Whiplash Mad Scientist. However, in Reynard Noir he's presented as a complete loony.
  • Star Wars Legends: Satal and Alema Keto in Tales of the Jedi are two bored nobles from the Empress Teta system that decide to dabble in Dark Side sorcery and end up forming the Krath, terrorizing their homeworld and even throwing their lot with Exar Kun to ignite a war with the Jedi Order. Among their most horrific crimes was freezing people in carbonite for their sick pleasure, including their own family.
  • Star Wars (Marvel 1977): Baron Orman Tagge, who's a Corrupt Corporate Executive to boot. Granted, he isn't that evil, but he is scheming, haughty, and Empire-aligned. Compare and contrast his brothers, the twisted Doctor Silas Tagge and the conflicted but honorable General Ulric Tagge. The latter inherits the baronship after Orman's presumed death.
  • Swordquest: King Tyrannus. One of his first acts as king was to order the deaths of two newborn infants simply because his Evil Sorcerer told him of a prophecy that they would eventually lead to his death.
  • Tintin: The Marquis di Gorgonzola (aka Rastapopoulos) is arguably the series' Big Bad. Whether or not he is a real Marquis is less clear.
  • Tomahawk: The British spy Lord Shilling is the arch-enemy of the titular Revolutionary War hero.
  • Ultimate Fantastic Four: Victor Van Damme. He acts like an aristocrat, certainly, and has ancestry going back to Vlad the Impaler, which he can recite from memory, which makes him technically one by breeding. He's also an incredibly self-centered bastard who is determined to conquer the world out of his own egotism.
  • Wonder Woman: The Duke of Deception is a cruel Martian nobleman who traditionally acted as Ares' Starscream.

    Fan Works 
  • In The Assassination of Twilight Sparkle, Prince Blueblood arranges for the titular event, believing that he's more deserving of becoming an alicorn since he has Celestia's blood. Other nobles join in because Twilight's vision of Equestria included things like no xenophobia.
  • In A Brief History of Equestria, up until the post-Warming generation, the unicorn nobility are all so petty and corrupt that all they care about is their own power, at the expense of their commoners and the other tribes. Is it any wonder that Princess Platinum dedicated her life (and death) to systematically removing their power?
  • Deadshots
  • Jericho (MLP): Jericho discusses this trope on his way to meet the Baron of Sleepy Oaks: "So, a baron, eh? Ten Equestrian Bits says that he's evil — all barons are. It’s the rule." This is then oddly subverted by the Baron of Sleepy Oaks himself, who appears to just be another victim of the Government Conspiracy. Make no mistake, he's a cowardly, elitist jerk, but he is at least trying to do the best for his "peasants".
  • My Mirror, Sword and Shield: With the exceptions of Euphemia, Nunnally, Gino, and Anya, there's nothing nice to say about the Britannian aristocracy. In the case of Lelouch's first Royal Guard, made of aristocratic second sons, they are actively incompetent. In the case of the Knights of Round and the conspirators who had Marianne assassinated, are actively malicious. Despite Emperor Lelouch's selfish reasons for it, everyone agrees that dissolving the aristocracy helped in the long run.
  • Points of Familiarity: Count Mott. This also carries over to his appearances in Surrogate of Zero, and Unfamiliar. In the former two, he manipulates Siesta into becoming one of his mistresses, and forces himself on her in Points. In Surrogate, Guiche all but says outright that Mott has a taste for rape, and throws orgies for other nobles as a way of securing influence.
  • RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse: Luna's refusal to be a fully assertive ruler (for fear of becoming a tyrant) has allowed the Night Court to become hopelessly corrupt. Even the nicest members scheme for position and power, and can be petty and cruel when crossed — Night Light actually delays relief funds to Ponyville and tries to block Trixie's ascension through the Court's ranks in order to punish her for his daughter becoming a fugitive (which really was more Twilight's own fault than Trixie's).
  • Rites of Ascension shows several nobles contributing to the breakdown of Equestria by both overtaxing their own citizens and taking more power from Celestia, who in turn has been trying a long game to work against this, as part of being The Chessmaster.
  • Silver Blood has the Baron Zolton, who is actually Giovanni. His mother, who earned the title in the first place, has been implied to have been even worse.
  • The Tainted Grimoire: Duke Reighlard is described as merciless and he is trying to gain control of St. Galleria and the vast natural resources at their disposal so he can achieve dominance.
  • War of Remnant: A RWBY Anthology: Carter Pillar is described as an aristocrat, as he is very wealthy and owns multiple properties around Patch. This is because his family founded Patch. He's also a vicious racist and Faunus trafficker who has Faunus butchered out of petty hatred.

  • Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses: Duchess Rowena is a master manipulator bent on seizing the throne from her cousin, the good king Randolph, by poisoning him and psychologically breaking his twelve spirited daughters.
  • Frozen:
    • The Big Bad, Prince Hans of the Southern Isles, turns out to be a manipulative and sociopathic Jerkass who was planning to seize control of Arendelle by faking his romance with Anna so she could unwittingly hand over the kingdom to him on a silver platter after "staging a little accident" for Elsa. Knowing what an idiotic fool Anna is, he chooses to use her as an Unwitting Pawn to his scheme, seeing that Elsa was a bit too reclusive to approach.
    • Downplayed; the Duke of Weasel Town (WESELTON!) is very greedy, planning to exploit the riches of Arendelle, and willing to use assassination as a means to an end. However, his concerns are genuine (after all, he is trapped by an endless winter and they are at risk of freezing to death), and when he sees Prince Hans despairing over the "loss of Anna" (though he's really faking it), he shows genuine sympathy.

  • Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure: The clueless duo winds up in medieval times, and tries to save two Royal English Babes from their tyrannical father, who wants them to marry "Royal Ugly Dudes". Unfortunately, they barely make it out alive after meeting him, but Rufus manages to get the princesses out later.
  • Brotherhood of the Wolf: In a subversion, the Marquis is just about the only aristocrat who isn't evil, and in fact borders on the heroic. It doesn't save him from the guillotine, though.
  • In Braveheart, the working-class Scottish villagers get pitted against the snobbish, aristocratic English nobles led by King Edward.
  • Ever After: Baroness Rodmilla de Ghent, a Wicked Stepmother
  • In Gentlemen Explorers, the wicked Prussian agent in charge of the mission to secure the Infinity Pistol is known only as the Count.
  • History of the World Part I: Count De Monet quite literally walks all over poor people and slaps servants around if they address him as the Count De Money. More small-minded and petty than outright evil, but also a typical aristocrat in pre-Revolutionary France, so probably more in the bad column.
  • The Big Bad of Invention for Destruction is Count Artigas; a megalomaniac who plans to use Prof. Roch's super-explosive to conquer the world.
  • The Invitation (2022): Walter Deville is a very wealthy aristocrat who's revealed along with the aristrocrats serving him as a vampire who regularly eats the help.
  • James Bond:
    • The Big Bad of Octopussy, Kamal Khan is an exiled Afghan prince living in India but is in cahoots with General Orlov, who wants to trigger a nuclear war in Western Europe. To finance their Evil Plan, the duo hatch a scheme to generate funds by stealing jewelry from the Kremlin's state armoury and selling them on the black market, while replacing them with fakes. Using Octopussy's circus troupe as a cover, they then plan to smuggle a bomb into a US military base in West Germany and detonate it, hoping that NATO would be disbanded and that this would enable the Warsaw Pact to invade and conquer Western Europe without fear of retaliation. In turn, Kamal Khan, who is getting paid from the sale of the jewelry, hopes to kill Octopussy in the process and take over her organization afterwards.
    • In On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Ernst Stavro Blofeld poses as a Fake Aristocrat and renames himself "Comte Balthazar de Bleuchamp" by having his earlobes surgically removed to back up his phony claim to the title. Once 007 is in Piz Gloria, he learns that Blofeld secretly plans to contaminate and ultimately sterilize the world's food supply using biological warfare, carried by his brainwashed Angels of Death. Blofeld claimed he would not carry out his plan if all his past crimes were pardoned and he is recognized as the current Count de Bleauchamp.
    • Live and Let Die: Baron Samedi, who is clearly evil in this version, although whether he is truly an incarnation of the real Baron Samedi or simply just another henchman of Mr. Big who knows a lot of convincing parlor tricks is uncertain.
  • In Jupiter Ascending, galactic society operates on so vast a scale that the lives of entire planets are nothing but trade goods to the "Entitled", who themselves are Time Abysses thanks to a Longevity Treatment produced by harvesting billions upon billions of people for Human Resources in a regime of Industrialized Evil.
    Kalique: You cannot know right now what it will be like when you're offered wealth beyond your imagining; when you can choose to remain young, beautiful; or when you can have the power to change the lives of your family for the better... and all you have to do is close your eyes.
  • A Knight's Tale: Count Adhemar (played to vile perfection by Rufus Sewell) oozes smarmy malevolence. The movie does subvert this trope with Prince Edward though — he's a good guy through and through.
  • Layer Cake has another self-proclaimed Duke, who is a downright moron with delusions of being a criminal mastermind out to make a name for himself and does so by stealing from scary Serbian mobsters. He doesn't even die at the Serbs' hands, but at those of another gang he inadvertently manages to piss off.
  • Once Bitten: The Countess. Actually, if you ignore the fact that she was a vampire temptress willing to convert a young teenager against his will, she and her coven are actually pretty nice as far as vampires go.
  • Orphans of the Storm is a fictional story set during The French Revolution that features the French aristocracy running over peasant children with their carriages, kidnapping women off the streets for raping, and literally bathing in wine while the masses go hungry.
  • The Phantom of the Opera (1962): Lord Ambrose D'Arcy, who stole credit for the music of poor composer Professor Petrie. This set in motion a series of events that led to the latter being disfigured by acid and becoming the titular Phantom.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Lord Cutler Beckett led the East India Trading Company and sought the complete eradication of piracy. His plan however failed, when the powers he cleverly manipulated were turned against him.
  • Rob Roy: The Marquess of Montrose is the film's main antagonist, but the Duke of Argyll is a Reasonable Authority Figure, who goes out of his way to help Rob.
  • Salň, or the 120 Days of Sodom: The Duc de Blangis and his companions are guilty of almost anything you can think of, and some things you probably can't.
  • The Seven Samurai: The writer said he was motivated in part by a desire to atone for what his Samurai ancestors had done to the people of Japan. That of course means that he was an aristocrat who was not personally evil. Lampshaded in the same movie when one of the seven of humble birth gives an angry speech about the behavior of Samurai.
  • Sherlock Holmes (2009): Lord Henry Blackwood, who attempts to seize control of the British Empire.
  • Smiles of a Summer Night: Count Malcolm is a thoroughly unsympathetic character.
  • Star Wars: Count Dooku from the prequel trilogy. Oh so very evil. And oh so very Christopher Lee to boot.
  • In Swashbuckler, acting governor Lord Durant is a despot who strips the colony for his own gain; jailing his political opponents without trial; removes the Lord High Justice from office, jails him, and evicts his wife and daughter; and attempts to flee when the going gets tough. He is also probably a pederast.
  • Taken features a lecherous and corrupt sheikh.
  • In 31, the owners of Murder-World are depicted as looking like French aristocrats.
  • In Utu, the British Colonel Kilgore who massacred the Maori protagonist's tribe is a Lord.
  • Watch on the Rhine: Count Teck is an utter weasel who's willing to betray a La Résistance leader to the Germans.
  • Zorro: Don Diego de la Vega, a.k.a Zorro is the one good nobleman who stands up for the common people against the greedy, oppressive aristocrats in colonial California.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Andromeda: One episode involves the somewhat backwards planet called Ne'Holland. When the Andromeda gets to the system, they find the royal ship full of dead bodies, including the dying King Florin, who has been the target of a coup by the Ne'Holland aristocracy, spearheaded by Archduke Constantine. Florin's son Erik survives, being an Unexpected Successor since one of his two older brothers was supposed to inherit the throne. Dylan quickly finds out that Florin was cut from the same cloth as Constantine. Constantine plans to have Erik assassinated and rule in his stead and is not above using human shields to get his way. The other nobles are behind Constantine. In the end, Tyr, who pretended to ally with Constantine, kills all the nobles, and Dylan's influence convinces Erik to turn Ne'Holland into a democracy (by promising any soldier who lays down his arms a piece of the land formerly owned by the nobles).
  • Bassie & Adriaan: "The Baron" (no real name given) is a recurring enemy, although it's unknown if he actually is a baron or simply gave himself this title because he considers himself to be a criminal mastermind.
  • Batman (1966): Lord Marmaduke Ffogg and his sister, Lady Penelope Peasoup, Special Guest villains in a three-parter.
  • Battlestar Galactica (1978):
    • Anyone with the title Sire is a lesser evil: Sire Uri (ambitious and officious), Siress Bellaby (greedy and lustful, Sire Bogan (manipulative).
  • Blackadder: Queen Elizabeth I of England and Ireland, or at least her Alternate History persona in the second series, is also very fond of ordering people's execution at the slightest whim. A Royal Brat taken to a sadistic extreme.
  • CSI: Subverted in an episode where a maid is found dead in the hotel room of a Saudi prince who's on a gambling trip in Las Vegas. CSI Riley Adams suspects that the prince killed the maid for refusing his advances, and thought that he'd be able to buy his way out of any trouble he got into. It turns out that the maid was killed by another maid who she caught trying to steal the jewelry the prince was keeping in his hotel room's safe. When he finds out that the maid was murdered for trying to protect his property, the prince donates an amount of money to the maid's family equal to what the jewelry was worth, as a way of expressing his condolences and gratitude.
  • Deus Salve O Rei: Duke Constantino of Vicenza serves as The Dragon and lover to Princess Catarina.
  • The Devil's Whore: Most of the Cavaliers are portrayed as this, especially Prince Rupert. An exception is Angelica's husband, a clearly good-hearted Royalist who is executed by Charles I at the end of the first episode for surrendering his manor to Parliamentary forces.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "The Vampires of Venice", the House of Calvierri, led by Signora Rosanna, are secretly aliens who are forcibly converting young women into more of their kind and plot to sink Venice so they can live there.
    • Doctor Who "The Caretaker": Soldier-turned-math teacher Danny Pink jumps to this conclusion after learning the Doctor is a "Time Lord" and an officer after constant belittling due to the Doctor's own prejudices against wars and those who participate in them. Of course the Doctor doesn't see lower-class people as cannon fodder and Danny isn't a blood-thirsty thug but their rivalry for Clara's attention plus the stress of an invading alien robot prevents them from talking like adults and as far as is shown they never do, and then Danny is killed.
  • In Horatio Hornblower episode "The Frogs and the Lobsters / The Wrong War", the Marquis de Montcoutant is a one-man justification for the entire French Revolution. He shoots the new mayor of his former village (and would have shot a kid if Hornblower hadn't talked him down), compares the villagers to livestock, and ignores the military objectives of General Charette to set up shop with a guillotine in the town square. The best that can be said about him is that he was Defiant to the End when the expedition went south and the villagers gleefully dragged him off to his own scaffold.
  • Kamen Rider Gaim:
    • The initial antagonists are a dance team known as Team Baron, with their leader Kaito being able to transform into Kamen Rider Baron. This is a subversion though, as they are not truly evil, nor true nobility. Kaito just chose the name in reflection of his desire to live like a noble, but, with baron being the lowest in terms of titles, still give him the motivation to climb further.
    • Ryoma Sengoku. His Rider suit bears the name of Kamen Rider Duke, but he is not of noble descent and, in contrast to most bearers of the title Duke, he's not a good guy in the slightest.
  • Lois & Clark: Unlike General Zod, who tried to rule Krypton by force, Lord Nor is a depraved nobleman angling to inherit control of his people through marriage and other underhanded means. He's the Sheriff of Nottingham, if he were Kryptonian.
  • Merlin (2008):
    • King Uther, who concerns himself mostly with the nobility and royalty and looks down on peasants and servants as expendable.
    • There have also been a number of guest stars that invoked and subvert this trope. King Odin, King Caerleon, and King Alined have been antagonistic, whilst King Godwyn, King Olaf, and King Bayard have been anything from benevolent to neutral. As of the end of Series 4, King Arthur and Queen Guinevere are subversions. Queen Annis proves herself an ally to Camelot, whilst Queen Morgana (whenever she manages to seize the crown) is a definite case of God Save Us from the Queen!.
  • Mission: Impossible: In "The Devils", the IMF stop a British baronet who involves foreign and domestic officials in Satanic rituals and human sacrifice for blackmail purposes.
  • Norsemen: Jarlnote  Varg, a hairless sadist with a habit of brutally murdering people who disappoint him, ordered his Vikings to Rape, Pillage, and Burn another Norse village, and practices dentistry as a hobby. Notably the leader of Norheim is called simply a "chieftain", which was roughly synonymous with "jarl" in 8th century Norway, but two of Norheim's three chieftains in the series are pretty good (for Vikings) and the third is an incompetent tyrant.
  • Oliver's Travels: Baron Kite, the Corrupt Corporate Executive behind the conspiracy.
  • Once Upon a Time: Most of King George's villainy is based on politics.
  • Ressha Sentai ToQger: Almost all of the leaders of the Evil Army Shadow Line are modeled and named after European aristocracy. Their names are Emperor of Darkness Z, Baron Nero, Madame Noir, Count Nair, and Marchioness Mork.
  • Smallville: Countess Marguerite Isobel Theroux is an evil witch.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Downplayed in "Once More Unto the Breach", which mentions that Kor, a Klingon nobleman related to the Klingon royal family, was known to blacklist commoners who tried to become officers in the Klingon Defense Force. General Martok made it Up Through the Ranks despite this and hates Kor because of it.
  • Tipping the Velvet (2002): Diana Lethaby and her decadent friends. They cruelly exploit lesbians younger than themselves in their parties and for sex overall.
  • Torchwood: The Duchess from the radio play Golden Age. Whimsical and old-fashioned, so much so that she was ready to kill thousands to keep things the way they were in 1924, having taken the end of the British Empire and India's independence very, very badly.
  • You (2018): Multiple members of season 4's cast are the children of English peers or their societal equals, and (with the exception of Lady Phoebe) invariably turn out to be vile, classist bigots.

  • David Bowie: The Thin White Duke, a cold-hearted cocaine addict with a taste for fascism, spends time "throwing darts in lovers' eyes" according to the title track of Station to Station.
  • Evillious Chronicles: There are numerous examples, among them Banica Conchita, a cannibalistic duke; Sateriasis Venomania, a lecherous Smug Snake duke; Prim Marlon, an Evil Matriarch queen who uses her children as pawns in her schemes and basically caused the entire Story of Evil to happen in her pursuit of vengeance; and Margarita Blankenheim, a marchioness who murders her entire town after her marriage begins to fail. Princess Riliane Lucifen D'Autriche was an example but was later deposed, which ironically coincided with her reforming herself.

    Myths & Religion 
  • In Haitian Voodoo, Baron Samedi is the Loa (or god) of death. (He also has many other incarnations with that title, including Baron Cimetière, Baron La Croix, and Baron Kriminel.) Seeing as he's supposedly one of the most powerful and wisest of the Loa, it's unclear why he's "only" a Baron or even why he needs a title at all. While most myths about him don't truly depict him as evil, they do tend to depict him as a trickster, who is noted for disruption, obscenity, and debauchery, often at the expense of mortals.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Anima: Beyond Fantasy has a somewhat indirect version of this in Nobility magic. It's a minor path of magic, but it nonetheless features quite horrifying spells, if you think of the implications. This magic in general features spells that seem to define Nobility as a question of appearances. At no point is nobility of heart mentioned. Examples include:
    • Perfume, a spell which, when cast at a sufficiently high level, induces a state of fascination with the caster in people who can smell the perfume generated by the spell, making them more susceptible to their words.
    • Win Hearts, a spell that makes the target an image of "intoxicating sensuality" to anyone with a compatible sexuality who fails their save against it.
    • Finally, this magic's ultimate spell is King of The World. Anyone who happens to fail its save in the affected area will revere the caster as a perfect being, and try to satisfy them, as long as they stay within the area of effect of the spell. They do not get a saving throw again unless they leave. However, if someone succeeds at that saving throw, they will have to do it again if they leave and re-enter.
  • BattleTech: Being a neo-feudal setting, there are numerous characters who are this trope, avert it, subvert it or zigzag it. Two of the chatacters who play this straight are Grand Duke Michael Hasek-Davion and Duke Frederick Steiner who each schemed in the 3020s to take over their nation's thrones. On the other hand, Grand Duke Morgan Kell was one of the major Big Good characters of his time, and a leader of the loyal opposition to the tyrannical Katherine Steiner-Davion.
  • Dark Sun: Almost all remaining scraps of civilization on Athas are ruled over by the diabolical Sorcerer Kings, who rule their people with a combination of brutal oppression, control of precious resources and their life-stealing Defiler magic.
  • Dishonored Roleplaying Game: The description of the Aristocrat NPC states that by and large, the Empire's aristocracy are a bunch of ruthless, decadent backstabbers who should not be trusted, and the two suggested story hooks for them include a nobleman trying to frame a rival for piracy and a noblewoman plotting to murder her own illegitimate son for being inconvenient to her if someone found out.
  • Exalted: The entire Scarlet Dynasty is profoundly corrupt, continually scheming and backstabbing one another for the sake of power, wealth, and prestige. There are exceptions, but they are few and far between. Furthermore, the Scarlet Empress set things up this way deliberately, to ensure that her empire could never function without her.
  • Mutant Chronicles is all over this trope.
    • Mishima is the worst offender, following a particularly harsh brand of Tokugawa-style bushido. Intrigue, assassination, and constant competition are everyday occurrences, and commoner lives are cheap. Mishima is not particularly afflicted by The Corruption, but the Big Bad doesn't really need it to be, things being what they are.
    • Bauhaus nobility are better since they are raised with a strong sense of noblesse obligé and Bauhaus has some measure of social mobility. There are always exceptions, though. Erwin Stahler and Max Steiner's former commanding officer are prime examples.
    • Imperial nobility are better still, but much given to Honor Before Reason, and will gladly kill each other and drive their clansmen into meat grinder battles over slights hundreds of years old. Again, there are exceptions, and some Imperial nobles sign on with the Big Bad.
  • Grim Hollow: The Ostoyan Empire is ruled by an aristocracy of vampires. Not even secret ones, but openly undead monsters that magically keep the sky under a constant pall of darkness. This Crimson Court keeps the rest of the country trapped in grinding poverty while holding lavish parties. That said, while it's certainly a cruel system, it's also a stable and safe one, so long as you don't go out at night, and most citizens don't openly challenge it.
  • Warhammer: Despite all about being a land of chivalry and honour, Bretonnia is a land where the nobility have effectively unlimited authority over their dominions and can treat peasants however they want — usually awfully. Peasants are legally prohibited from owning wealth or leaving their lord's land, and are effectively their liege's property; lords routinely mass-conscript hordes of peasants to use as Cannon Fodder and to soak up arrows and enemy charges; in some dukedoms, peasants are subjected to a 90% tax rate on all the crops they own, leading to mass starvation and poverty while nobles are ludicrously wealthy; in others, simply touching a knight's warhorse is punished with on-the-spot execution; and one obscure kingly decree states that legally speaking, every male of a certain age must shout "Griffon fingers!" to the sky while saluting it on the evening of a full moon (though only one of the counties actually enforces this law, the rest of the nobility are sane enough to pretend that it doesn't exist). Bretonnia is a Deconstructive Parody of Arthurian England and the Chivalric Romance.

  • In British Pantomime, a stock character is Baron Hardup. He'll be an impoverished noble of some sort, but whether he is good or evil or, more importantly for panto, competent or incompetent, will vary depending on the actor playing him and the jokes the cast want to perform that year. Sometimes he is a caricature of the friendly but broke gentry of recent years (usually if there is a female villainess to outmaneuver him) and sometimes he'll be the robber baron of medieval history (and he'll probably resemble a sitting politician of some sort if that is the case) out to bilk the hero and heroine out of their inheritance or steal their home. In Cinderella adaptations he is consistently a benign but ineffectual figure whenever he is present in that troupe's cast, but in Mother Goose or Jack and the Beanstalk he'll probably be the greedy grasper to whom Alan Rickman's Sheriff of Nottingham from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is frequently compared.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Violet Beauregarde isn't evil, but she is a Hate Sink: a Spoiled Brat Shameless Self-Promoter who with her father's help has parlayed her non-talent of gum-chewing into a Hollywood career. In a Boastful Rap, she proclaims herself to be "The Double Bubble Duchess" and her father calls her "royalty of the highest order". Fittingly, when she meets her comeuppance — a transformation into a giant blueberry — in the Wonka Factory, the Oompa-Loompas' mocking Crowd Song gives her the Embarrassing Nickname "Juicy!"
  • Cyrano de Bergerac:
    • Count De Guicheis is a Jerkass who wants to bully Roxane into being The Mistress, prepares an Uriah Gambit for Roxane's husband and a Last Stand for all the guys who had humiliated him, but he is not as villainous as he thinks, because he has a Heel–Face Turn.
    • In Act I Scene I, a marquis explains the reason why the band of young Marquises are always late to the theater:
    A Marquis (seeing that the hall is half empty):: What now! So we make our entrance like a pack of woolen-drapers!
    Peaceably, without disturbing the folk, or treading on their toes!—Oh, fie!
    • Viscount De Valvert is a Jerkass willing to be The Beard for Count De Guiche.
    • All the Gascon Cadets are Barons that indulge in killing any Baron who is not Of the People trying to join them, and their ideal is to be a Sociopathic Hero.
  • Richard III was the Duke of Gloucester before becoming king. Whether his evilness was Truth in Television or a product of Shakespeare is left for the reader to decide.
  • Rigoletto: The incorrigibly lecherous Duke of Mantua also has the habit of executing people who complain too much about his seducing their wives/sisters/daughters. Being an Italian city-state, this particular Duke was probably a royal Duke and ruler of the state — he certainly has the power of a monarch (in the original play, he was actually a king, but this was changed because Italy had recently attained a king of the whole nation, and an evil king was felt to be too politically sensitive).
  • In Ruddigore, baronets of Ruddigore bear a hereditary curse to commit at least one evil action daily or die in agony and basically serve to parody the Dastardly Whiplash trope.

    Visual Novels 
  • Cecilia from Daughter for Dessert wants to destroy the protagonist's life based on something he’d done 20 years before - all the while, “forgetting” some of the key mitigating and exonerating details around this incident, and possibly crossing several legal lines as well.
  • This trope was the reason why Klint van Zieks became the infamous mass murderer known as "The Professor" in the backstory of The Great Ace Attorney. The British Aristocracy was soaked with corruption, but their status meant that it was all but impossible to make them face consequences for their crimes, at least legally.

    Web Comics 
  • Girl Genius:
    • While most aristocrats are evil to some degree (also being Mad Scientists and all), the Lords and Ladies of House Heterodyne took the cake for much of history. Almost every Heterodyne was a Card-Carrying Villain Evil Overlord who made a hobby out of looting and pillaging the European continent. Inverted with the current Lady Heterodyne — our heroine Agatha — and her father Bill, the White Sheep of the family.
    • ZigZagged in the person of Baron Klaus Wulfenbach. He is a brutal tyrant who obtained his empire on no other legal principle than having the biggest army and is apparently willing to kill his best friend's daughter for being a threat to his kingdom's stability, but in a textbook example of The Extremist Was Right, he also managed to maintain the rule of law over most of Europe for almost two decades and keep the common folk of his lands largely protected. He also provided his lands with a wide variety of communication and public works services, and kept at bay the Other. Finally, he does genuinely appear to love his son and apparently greatly misses his wife. Two and a half years after the Baron is incapacitated, his reign is described as "seeming like some lost Golden Age".
    • Played completely straight with the Knights of Jove and the Fifty Families, who were the older noble and royal families that ruled before the Baron took charge. They're all stuck scheming to take power and backstabbing their allies in ther bids to crown themselves the lone Storm King of all Europa, and their main objection to the Baron's dictatorship is simply that he's not a royal. The Big, Screwed-Up Family of Tarvek Sturmvoraus — the lone White Sheep (albiet an Anti-Hero) of his house — serves as a telling sample of the setting's royals: his father Aaronev Wilhelm kidnapped children to help the Other return, his sister Anevka was a homicidal maniac, and his older cousin Martellus tried killing him and kidnapping Agatha to be his bride.
  • Glorianna:
    • Queen Idonta rose to the throne via murder and kidnaps women from other tribes for nefarious purposes.
    • Duke Ludwig is not only generally unpleasant, he's also an alien in disguise.
  • Homestuck:
    • The literally Blue Blooded high-caste trolls are more violent than the lower classes, and most known historical aristocrats have been villainous, from the Pirate Marquise Spinneret Mindfang to E%patriate Darkleer to the Grand Highblood to Orphaner Dualscar and finally Her Imperious Condescension, a space-traveling tyrant also known as the Baroness, aka Betty Crocker. Their descendants either play this straight or subvert it, though the Condesce's descendant, Feferi, totally inverts it by being one of the nicest members of the cast.
    • While the Marquise Spinneret Mindfang wasn't explicitly a villain, she definitely wasn't a nice person by any sense of the word.
    • In Terezi's courtroom drama games, nobles and politicians, such as Senator Lemonsout and Duke Pinesnort, play the role of murderous, thieving scumbags brought to face justice.
  • Kaiten Mutenmaru: Although Sick himself Used to Be a Sweet Kid, the poverty-ridden rebels targeted him solely for being the son of Pain and Yamai Solitude, the aristocratic tyrants of Throne.
  • In Knights of Buena Vista, Weselton of Frozen is made a baron instead of a duke due to this trope.
  • In Monsieur Charlatan, the Count is introduced hiring an assassin.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • The throne of the Asian-themed Azure City is threatened by an evil scheming aristocrat with the title of Daimyo, named Kubota who makes a deal with a (minor) devil in exchange for aid in assassinating the rightful heir Hinjo after he's ascended to the throne just in time to have a war to defend the city fall into his lap and makes several attempts while the battered fleet that evacuated the city seeks to find a safe harbor.
    • The previous lord of the city kept all of the backstabbing, ninja-assassin-happy aristocracy from killing him by pretending to be senile so that they instead played an elaborate game to attempt to influence the old man into ruling in their favor.
  • Winters In Lavelle: The King and Blue Princes aren't well-liked. Ashton, unfortunately, happens to share the biggest identifying traits of Princes (almost inhumanly bright blue eyes). They've haunted the poor kid his whole life — his mother was even shown calling him a monster in a flashback, back when he looked to be around ten years old. And of course, nowadays, if any of the Retainers of Wistar — a group aiming to overthrow the king and assassinate the Princes along the way — see him wandering around...

    Web Original 
  • The Gamer's Alliance:
    • Queen Adevia is a war-mongering, ambitious monarch who stops at nothing to defeat her enemies and expand her kingdom.
    • Duke Koschei Dravaris is very much evil, constantly plotting behind the scenes to discredit the Grand Alliance and even leads his superior Belial to an ambush. The four demonic dukes and duchesses are ambitious and ruthless each in their own way, willing to fight among themselves but also against the other races whom they see as lesser beings.
    • The four demonic Dreadlords/ladies of Yamato hold the rank of count/countess, and they are very cruel and ambitious while serving their masters' needs. Counts Belial and Antigonus of Maar Sul are a bit of a mixed bag, though: on the one hand they are very ruthless in politics and tend to use people for their own ends, but they also have a code of honour.
  • lonelygirl15: Lord Michael Byron Carruthers is evil, selfish, and creepy.
  • Pretending to Be People: While the denizens of the Den of Sin aren't explicitly stated to be aristocracy, they are extremely rich, quite powerful, and well-connected to at least one supernatural conspiracy. What portrayals we see of them are indicative of the British upper class. They also watch gorn-filled Blood Sports and will gleefully lap up any blood that is spilled in the arena. Including their brother's blood, or their own.
  • The Salvation War: Hell's hierarchy included Barons, Counts, Dukes and Grand Dukes topped by His Infernal Majesty Satan. All of them evil, of course, although prone to a Heel–Face Turn if the circumstances press.
  • Tales From My D&D Campaign: Averted. One of the party members is a Marquis, the two kings of humanity are Reasonable Authority Figures, and The Duke Of Newland is a badass who responded to a call for surrender from the evil Kua-Toa by jumping off the wall of his fort onto the enemy herald.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventures of the Gummi Bears: Duke Igthorn is scheming to take over the kingdom.
  • Adventure Time: The Earl of Lemongrab, though it's hard to say how much of his villainy comes from genuine evil and how much comes from his complete insanity.
  • The Angry Beavers: Norbert once had a supervillain persona as Baron Bad Beaver. In a later episode, the Baron has a Heel–Face Turn into Baron Once Bad Now Good Beaver, only to make a Face–Heel Turn into Baron Once Bad Then Good Then Bad Again Beaver.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Fire Lord Ozai is the king of the Fire Nation. He and the last two generations of Fire Lords were all pretty evil, but the next Fire Lord is a nice guy. His daughter Azula is no less evil than him, and probably quite a bit more crazy.
  • Batman: The Animated Series "The Cape and Cowl Conspiracy" features a would-be crime boss named Baron Wacklaw Jozek; he's really more selfish than evil, but he's an associate of Wormwood, a criminal whom Batman needs to catch, leading the hero to track Jozek down and question him (rather harshly), making Jozek pretty upset. Jozek later hires Wormwood to steal Batman's cape and cowl. Or so it seems. Jozak actually left town to go to Europe after the confrontation with Batman, and Wormwood had been dealing with Batman himself, in disguise, using the strategy named after him.
  • The Legend of Korra has the Earth Queen Hou-Ting. Compared to the Earth King in the last season, she is an uptight, demanding tyrant. She also uses the Dai Li to forcefully conscript air benders (i.e: kidnap) for her army.
  • ReBoot: Some of the viruses. Megabyte's title is the "King of Control", Hexadecimal's is the "Queen of Chaos" and Daemon's is the "Monarch of Order".
  • "The Scarlet Pumpernickel": The titular Pumpernickel does battle with a diabolical Duke.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Evil Aristocracy


The Four Houses

While not 100% accurate to the myths, the nobles houses all hold a resemblance to various Gothic Horror monsters. House Dimitrescu are an Aristocratic Clan of Vampires, Lord Heisenberg is a Dr. Frankenstein-like engineer who's building an army of cyborg zombies, Lord Moreau evokes the Hunchback while also being a Fish Man, Lady Donna Beneviento and Angie evoke the Woman in Black and Demonic Dummy respectively and they all answer to Mother Miranda, who's black wings and Dark Messiah role give her the appearance of a Fallen Angel.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / MonsterMash

Media sources: