Discord: You don't understand. I'm not evil, Princess. I'm chaotic. Not the same thing. I oppose order, not good.
Luna: Order is good.
After all, Order is often associated with good things like peace, tolerance and cooperation. Which means if you stand for Chaos, you can also represent horrors like war, mass destruction and mindless killing.note And for this reason, you can often find bad guys trying to actively affiliate themselves with the word.
NOTE: Chaos Is Evil is a very specific kind of Invoked Trope, where villains like speaking about chaos or including words synonymous with chaos (disorder, disarray, etc.) as part of their title or name.
Compare with Chaotic Evil, where a bad guy just acts chaotically instead of actively trying to reference chaos. When the opposite occurs, and evil and order become synonymous it can become a case of Industrialized Evil or Assimilation Plot. Contrast Order Is Not Good and Both Order and Chaos Are Dangerous.
- In Digimon, the digimons with "Chaos" in their names generally are evil. ChaosDukemon is a corrupted Dukemon, ChaosDramon is a violent and destructive mechanical dragon, the three Chaos Generals (ChaosGreymon, ChaosSeadramon and ChaosPiemon) and the Chaos Lord are villains in Digimon World 2, and Lucemon's mode change was named "Chaos Mode" in the Digimon Frontier dub.
- Johan Liebert from Monster is called a "monster of chaos" by the title of episode 36 and is described as "Chaos incarnate" and someone who embraces chaos by Inspector Lunge.
- Played with in Nyaruko: Crawling with Love!. Nyarko (a.k.a. Nyarlathotep) describes herself as "Chaos", but is generally a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. However, she is ruthless in combat, annoys the protagonist, and bends the rules to suit her needs.
- The Greater-Scope Villain of Sailor Moon is called Chaos, but is other than its alignment, it has no ties with Chaos so much as Evil.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, the true Big Bad and ruler of the Barian World, is Don Thousand, a God of Chaos who plans genocide against the Astral World, which represents Law. (Unfortunately, Eliphas, the ruler of the Astral World who represents Law can hardly be considered a benign force in the conflict, but Don Thousand is obviously a greater evil.)
- In PS238 the forces of Chaos and the forces of Order are portrayed as Demons and Angels, respectively. Though given both side's habit of driving mortals to conflict whenever they get the chance to access our dimension, the forces of Order are portrayed as equally bad.
- In Doctor Strange, both Dormammu and Shuma-Gorath have Lord of Chaos as one of their titles, and Dormammu once represented the Anthropomorphic Personification of Chaos in a chess match with Odin, who represented Order. Both of these villains are actually Multiversal Conquerors and God-Tyrants of alternate dimensions, and while they may qualify as Chaotic Evil in terms of their personalities and behaviour, they don't otherwise seem to represent Chaos any more than any other really deplorable villain. Dormammu, for example, has non-chaotic character traits like a code of honor, devotion towards his sister, and a consistent tyrannical way of thinking that "follows set formulas".
- Another Marvel Comics example is Chthon, the resident God of Chaos who has clashed with numerous heroes, who once again is Chaotic Evil by nature, but as no ideological devotion to Chaos. It's slightly more justified in his case, though, as he is also the creator and source of Chaos Magic, which here is a form of Black Magic that pulls off feats of reality warping and affects probability, though still usually towards a very specific end.
- Yet another Marvel example is Venom's symbiotic "offspring", Carnage. His motive for being a serial killer — if he can even be said to have one — is that he thinks Law is an illusion, and that Chaos is the only reality. As a result, he tries to spread this sick philosophy by mass murder. It would be easy to label him Chaotic Stupid, but he can actually be rather smart in his methods sometimes. (Which makes him a living oxymoron, really, being someone who plans out ways to spread Chaos.)
- This was originally played straight in DC Comics, mainly because the heroic sorcerer Doctor Fate was a Lord of Order. However during the '80s there were story arcs deconstructing the trope, with most Lords of Order shown as uncaring if not ruthless, and a few Lords of Chaos in a sympathetic light. Still, since the troubles were mainly caused by Chaos (and it was left to superheroes to deal with them) the impression it gave was that the DC Universe was a Crapsack World.
- Marvel's toy tie-in comic The Saga of Crystar the Crystal Warrior had a typical Order-Versus-Chaos dynamic, with the hero fighting for order and his villainous brother Moltar for chaos. Subverted: a distinction is drawn between Moltar's "Chaos-as-means-to-an-end" and the "Chaos-for-its-own-sake" of Zardeth, or the Demon Lord. Moltar brings chaos, but reluctantly and only because of his feud with his brother, and he does mostly respect the edicts of his uncle (who personifies Balance).
- Moriarty: Tartarus is a vile terrorist who worships chaos and believes it to be the natural state of things. He intends to throw all of Europe into chaos so he can rule afterwards as a god
- The Dark Knight has The Joker, who gives a speech about being an "agent of chaos". His definition of chaos, seems to be a little too specific and limited however: he wishes to destroy every and all belief in morality and have everyone embrace the depraved monster that (he claims) hides inside them. He is MUCH more about evil and the only order that he truly fights is one of ideals and of enforcing behavioral rules. The crumbling of society that such a lack of any pretext of empathy would surely lead to is merely an acceptable after-effect, his true endgame is for everyone to become as openly amoral as he is.
- The world of Fighting Fantasy considers Evil and Chaos to be the same thing, to the extent that the Tricksters, who in D&D terms would definitely be Chaotic Neutral, can't be considered chaotic because they're neutral. This is despite the rigid hierarchy of Demon Lords and Archdevils — Chaos is, by definition, not required to be consistent.
- Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melnibone stories, despite officially being set in a multiverse where Both Order and Chaos Are Dangerous, tended to have the forces of Chaos almost always acting in a Chaotic Evil manner, and the adherents of Law portrayed as Lawful Good (especially when fighting Chaos). There was lip praise towards the original intention — it was noted that absolute Law led to stasis and sterility and a certain amount of Chaos was necessary for creativity and change — but generally it was other books in the same multiverse that would better showcase positive Chaos and negative Law.
- In The Kane Chronicles, the main conflict is Order vs. Chaos, first with Card-Carrying Villain Set representing chaos for The Red Pyramid, and then with Apophis, Ra's arch-nemesis and the God of Chaos.
- In the Discworld novel Thief of Time, this is played straight and averted. Initially, we see Chaos was something primitive man feared greatly, playing this trope straight. Later in the novel, we find the modern conception of Chaos as a powerful driving force with great complexity, averting this trope.
- L. E. Modesitt's Recluce series has order magic and chaos magic, with the good guys typically practicing black magic and the bad guys practicing white magic. The colors are based upon the complete absence of light (void, perfect order) or the presence of all kinds of light (making white, and chaos). The series recognized that chaos and order didn't necessarily line up with good and evil, recognizing either extreme was bad, but chaos magic causes lots of harm unless the practitioner is very careful. And being careful means being orderly.
- The Cthulhu Mythos has Azathoth, the "Nuclear Chaos" and Nyarlathotep, the "Crawling Chaos". The first is a literal Primordial Chaos, while Nyarlathotep creates it through its myriad forms. Both are considered evil, or at least dangerous for mankind. Another example is Xexanoth, the Lurking Chaos. Capable of warping time, its power is considered too blasphemous for even evil sorcerers to use. Azathoth is an interesting example in that it is literally the God equivalent of the Cthulhu Mythos. It's dangerous to humans but also created them, though less out of a plan and more out of dreaming them randomly. Once it wakes up, humans and reality will disappear. It's less "evil" than unaware, though some humans who learn of it in Lovecraft's stories see it as chaos and evil.
- In Poul Anderson's Three Hearts and Three Lions, The Fair Folk are explicitly called Chaos and are overtly evil, as opposed to the good forces of order.
- On Get Smart the bad guys are KAOS, while the good guys are CONTROL... a synonym for law.
- Inverted in the short-lived Chaos where the title is the nickname of the good guy's little group in the CIA.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, characters who explicitly identify with Chaos are almost always evil. (Although the good characters often take a fairly Chaotic role.)
- Nowhere Boys
- Subverted in Season 1. The Big Bad is a Restoring Demon obsessed with restoring order, and does many horrible deeds from trying to kill the boys to possessing others to attack them.
- Played straight in the feature film, The Book of Shadows, where the Big Bad, Tegan, is a teenage girl who is the personification of Chaos. She is very evil, and very nearly ends The Multiverse itself.
- In The Magicians Ember, a god of chaos, lacks any empathy for mortals, seeing them as only tools for his personal amusement. When his counterpart Umber is driven out of Fillory, Ember proceeds to torment the populace and wreak havoc on the world with the end goal being its destruction.
- Older Than Feudalism: Classical Mythology features Eris, the malevolent goddess and personification of chaos, strife and discord. In her case strife and discord mean simply conflict and violence between people. Her Roman name, Discordia, reflects on this.
- Older Than Dirt: Egyptian Mythology took this even further, with almost its entire world view being divided into perspectives of "order" and "chaos". The embodiment of chaos, as well as the ultimate evil, was the serpent, Apep (also called Apophis).
- The god Set is a bit of a subversion. While Apophis represents Primordial Chaos and is inimical to all life (maybe even all existence), Set is mostly portrayed as merely disruptive. Although Egyptians didn't much like him, he still had an important role in the grand scheme of things, defending Ra from Apophis on his journey through the night (one of his only heroic deeds in the whole mythology).
- Chaos from Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000. Everyone in the setting is evil to some degree or another, but Chaos proudly takes the cake. The Chaos gods can also represent positive traits like hope, honor, love etc. Or at least, they used to. A good example of this is the Chaos god Khorne. Khorne is the god of blood, but also the god of martial prowess, and in early material he took a dim view of slaughtering the helpless or the weak because there was no honor or glory in it. Nowadays, however, the golden rule is, "Khorne cares not from whence the blood flows, only that it flows." Today Chaos is indisputably the most evil faction in the setting. While other factions may rival them in the kill count, they tend to be motivated by bestial instinct, dispassionate efficiency, or desperation. Chaos, however, does it because they are sadistic bastards who literally want to turn the galaxy into Hell.
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- The original version had three major alignments: Lawful, Neutral, and Chaotic. Since many bad guys (such as ogres, dragons, demons, undead etc.) were on the side of Chaos, it wasn't long before "Chaotic" was equated with "Evil". The nine alignment system that has become associated with D&D was an attempt to mitigate this, as not everyone who is Lawful is necessarily good, and not everyone who's Chaotic is necessarily evil. This brought its own little host of problems.
- To try and fix these problems, 4th edition changed the entire alignment system, remaking it into a five-point pattern consisting of Unaligned, Good, Evil, Lawful Good and Chaotic Evil. Although commonly misconceived of as being "more good" or "more evil", Word of God instead describes Lawful Good and Chaotic Evil as merely being particularly distinctive types of Good/Evil; a Lawful Good character is Good but also The Fettered, whilst a Chaotic Evil character differs from a standard Evil character by being The Unfettered. As with all 4e changes to sacred cows, controversy ultimately persuaded Wizards of the Coast to change it back in 5th edition.
- This is the fundamental underpinning of the Harmonium faction in Planescape, who believe that peace and order are both the most worthy goals in the multiverse and completely synonymous with each other. In reality, though, they're probably best known for serving as a picture-perfect example of the inversion — Order Is Not Good — thanks to their combining Lawful Stupid and Well-Intentioned Extremist activities.
- In the Glorantha setting of RuneQuest Chaos itself is neutral (being the void outside the universe) but its manifestations within the universe tend strongly towards evil due to their twisting of reality's rules.
- Subverted in the Palladium RPG system, where the "most evil" alignment is "Diabolic", which is similar to D&D's Chaotic Evil, but the "most chaotic" alignment, "Anarchist" is considered selfish in the sense of being a hedonist, but isn't considered evil.
- In the original Marvel Super Heroes RPG made by TSR, "order magic" was good magic and "chaos magic" was evil magic. Confusing the issue, though, chaos magic was said to have the goal of bringing about an evil tyranny, which doesn't actually sound chaotic.
- Super Paper Mario has the villains trying to destroy The Multiverse using an Artifact of Doom called the Chaos Heart. Interestingly, the 'chaos' denoted by the name 'Chaos Heart' references the original meaning of the word, given how the Chaos Heart is the key to opening The Void.
- Kid Icarus: Uprising has an Arc Villain known as the Chaos Kin, which is stated to be a mindless entity who wants a world of eternal conflict.
- Final Fantasy:
- The Big Bad of Final Fantasy is called Chaos. Legacy Characters throughout the series may take the name, and with the exception of Vincent Valentine, they are always villains; even then though, Vincent's Chaos form is stated to be an evil being in a Knight Templar sort of way, Vincent is just strong enough to assert control over it.
- Final Fantasy XIII-2 and its sequel Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII establishes "chaos" as a malevolent type of celestial energy from the goddess Etro. Thus her Fallen Hero servant Caius tends to call upon the powers of chaos, is said to have the Heart of Chaos in his chest, and his One-Winged Angel transformation is named Chaos Bahamut.
- The Ascians in Final Fantasy XIV are forces of darkness that revel in spreading chaos and destruction everywhere by manipulating people and empires. By inciting chaos in everyone (wars, using forbidden powers, etc), the Ascians can trigger a calamity that will bring their dark god, Zodiark, one step closer to being resurrected. The Warrior of Light and their Scion companions fight for the side of light to drive out the darkness as well as the chaos it brings.
- AdventureQuest Worlds has Good and Evil joining forces to battle Drakath, the Champion of Chaos, and his 13 Lords of Chaos. While the power of Chaos itself is not inherently good or evil (both the Hero and certain NPCs can use Chaos without being evil), the way that Drakath and his minions use it is very, VERY evil, especially later on in the game.
- Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn: The goddess of chaos has been imprisoned in Lehran's medallion for centuries, and if she breaks loose, it it prophesied that the world will be destroyed. Subverted, it turns out that the goddess of chaos actually is rather friendly, while the opposing goddess of order is a Well-Intentioned Extremist Knight Templar.
- That being said, Yune was responsible for a great disaster in the distant past, causing her to be sealed, and possession of her medallion does cause certain individuals to go mad. However, Ashera without Yune is cold, distant, and wishes to create a world of perfect order by turning everyone to stone. Yune without Ashera is inquisitive, impulsive, and lacks foresight to what damage her actions may cause. Only together, with Order and Chaos in balance, can Ashunera truly act as the guiding force of Tellius.
- It is also discussed when Yune admits that she could have been the evil god everyone feared she was, but during the entirety of her imprisonment she was comforted by the songs of the heron clan, then later by Elena and Mist, preserving her connection to mortals. Yune believes that Ashera lost that connection because she spent her sleep in in complete isolation.
- In Sonic Adventure, Eggman takes control of a water god called Chaos, whom Eggman calls the "God of Destruction". Once it becomes Perfect Chaos, it stops obeying Eggman and starts just destroying everything. This trope is later subverted when it's revealed that it was just a Mad God that needed pacifying.
- Generally averted by the Chaos Emeralds. While many of Eggman's evil schemes have involved them, they can easily be used for good purposes as well, such as Super Sonic.
- Just before the True Final Boss of Sonic Rush Adventure, Eggman Nega declares that he will bring about a glorious age of fear and chaos.
- Skylanders plays with this, naming the Big Bad of the series Kaos.
- Ancient Domains of Mystery: The alignment axis is a Law/Chaos one, with Chaos the evil side. The chief evil fought in the game are the corrupting forces of Chaos, rather like in the Warhammer games.
- The Chaos fairies in ZanZarah: The Hidden Portal are the favorites of the game's bad guys, along with the Dark fairies. Fairies themselves obey their masters (so Amy can train and use them for good purposes) but the association is rather enduring.
- Zig-Zagged in The Battle For Wesnoth. The game has only one alignment axis (Lawful, Neutral, Liminal, and Chaotic); most of the evil creatures (undead, necromancers, orcs, bandits) are Chaotic. However, Chaotic creatures aren't necessarily bad — for example, you can recruit thieves while playing as the decidedly good Konrad, and the outlaw campaign (Liberty) features a band of freedom fighters which are all represented in-game as Chaotic units (specifically, Chaotic humans).
- Resident Evil 6: Carla Radames openly admits that she wants to use the C-Virus to wipe out civilization completely and rule over the chaos that remains.
- Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2: Dracula, the Villain Protagonist, uses Chaos Magic in combat, largely through his Chaos Claws.
- Discussed and deconstructed in Persona 5, where Yaldabaoth is fueled by this belief having become rampant throughout the citizens of Tokyo, due to an overemphasis on the virtue of societal harmony, resulting in a massive case of Apathetic Citizens and widespread systemic corruption.
- Mainline Shin Megami Tensei has Chaos as Evil... however, the forces of Order are just as bad. While Lucifer is a recurring foe in the franchise, he is rarely the final boss, and often sees the various protagonists as a Worthy Opponent, the same of which cannot be said of the agents of YHVH.
- Nexus Clash has Tholaghru, the Eldritch Abomination god of Chaos and one of the three Dark Powers behind the demonic forces of evil. He/she/it manifests Chaos as mutation which, given the nature of the series, usually manifests as Body Horror.
- Mantorok of Eternal Darkness is a force of chaos, but considering that its enemies are the Ancients who want to destroy human civilization, it's something of a necessary evil for you to rely on its magick provided by the Tome of Eternal Darkness. Then again, depending on what its plans are once all three Ancients are destroyed, it might play the trope straight after all.
- Superhero League of Hoboken: The stated goal of Dr. Entropy, the Big Bad of the game, is spreading chaos and destruction.
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has Dharkon, an Eldritch Abomination who's the Embodiment of Chaos and Darkness. While his counterpart Galeem wants to establish order by remaking the world in his own image, Dharkon's goal is simply wanting to destroy everything. He even manages to pull it off in his bad ending.
- Similarly to ADOM and Warhammer/40K, the primary antagonists of For the King are chaos cultists. Chaos events cause the enemy to gain a 5% increase in HP, up to a maximum of +15%, among other things. However, chaos doesn't corrupt the player characters.
- In Warcraft III, Chaos magic is considered evil as it draws power from the Legions of Hell. It's also the only effective attack against Divine Armor.
- In the webcomic 8-Bit Theater (a parody of Final Fantasy), the main characters are told that their task is to defeat chaos, leading Black Mage to go on an angry rant about this trope (before calming down when it's explained that's just the villain's name).
Black Mage: I refuse to take part in an adventure that is metaphysically rooted in the destruction of an abstract and artificial concept like chaos simply because connotatively speaking it's less desirable than the equally artificial term "order".
When will you people learn that these are merely patterns that our temporal minds have made for us in a desperate attempt to make sense of an unimaginably immense and impersonal universe?
Order, chaos, these are words for things we don't even understand. Chaos is not something you fight against, order is not something you protect. They have no more power or importance than that which we give them.
And I, for one, will not perpetuate this asinine paradigm that there is something inherently wrong about chaos!
- El Goonish Shive. The character Pandora Chaos Raven is an immortal with a highly chaotic nature (e.g.her cloud form constantly shifts and changes) who says she's going to destroy our world and replace it with another one. She has also tried to have several human beings killed. Pandora merely punched Magus away; also, he's the only one who calls her "Chaos". She tried to get Abe killed — but it's not that she haven't an understandable reason to be very upset. She calls herself "Pandora Chaos Raven". However, there are indications that "destroying the world" and "bringing an apocalypse" doesn't mean what it sounds like: "Apocalypse" literally translates to "revelation". If her intentions are non-murderous, then she would more closely represent a very unscrupulous form of Chaotic Neutral.
- Inverted: Last Res0rt has the tagline "Embrace Cha0s", with the implication that the Celeste and the Church of the Endless represent a repressive version of Order.
- Invoked in The Fourth. Since the Royal Family of Idoneau was given their authority by the gods, any sort of violation of their laws, no matter how slight, is evil as that's indirectly defying the will of said gods, leading to Lord skärva's minions standing on grass and loitering because there's signs saying not to.
- As one would expect from Chaos itself when he appears and comes calling in Aladdin: The Series he zigzags instead of going all the way with evil and ultimately scraps it. While his total lack of order can be occasionally harmful and scary to mortal beings, he is just not willing to be consistent enough to play the heavy role.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- Discord as introduced in "The Return of Harmony": The spirit of chaos and disharmony, a Reality Warper. He usually likes to speak of chaos as his thing, but intertwined with the disharmony he also sows, it makes him an antithesis to the concepts associated with good in the setting. Subverted in that Discord ultimately behaves himself and becomes a friend to ponies whilst still being the spirit of chaos.
- Invoked in one of the tie-in comics, where belief in this leads to Discord reversing his entire being to become "Accord", an Order Spirit, in hopes that this will make ponies like him better. Then Inverted into Order Is Not Good when Accord, under the logic that individual thoughts and feelings are disorderly, attempts to brainwash all of Equestria into a Mind Hive.
- Vaatu, the spirit of Chaos and Darkness, in The Legend of Korra. He is the God of Evil of the Avatar-verse whose release sparked thousands of years of unbalance and conflict in the world that the Avatar cycle was started to counter.
- Book 3 plays with the trope in regards to the Red Lotus; on one hand, they are a cabal of Bomb-Throwing Anarchists who want to create chaos by tearing down the world's governments and destroying the Avatar Spirit, but on the other hand their leader states that chaos is not evil, just the natural order of things, and with all governments gone a better world would rise up from the ashes.
- Seemingly fully turned on its head by Book 4, when the main villain is a force for tyrannical and oppressive order, and the main characters turn to chaos as a means to defeat her by, among other things, getting aid from the aforementioned leader of the Red Lotus. What's Book 4 called? Balance.