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"Oh please, everyone's always on about the children. I already tried leaving them alive, but all they do is grow up under my rule or dedicate their pathetic lives to revenge. Usually both."
Freeza, Dragon Ball Z Abridged, "Episode 28: Leave It To Freezer"

The Big Bad's had it pretty good so far, steamrolling through any opposition in their path, taking over the world and generally being a complete and utter bastard with no one being able to stop them in any way.

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Unfortunately for them, they end up killing the family of a child that grows up to be an utter badass with a vengeance, or cause an accident which gives someone superpowers, or through their actions force a Heroic Neutral to declare that It's Personal and be Neutral No Longer, usually with a Doomed Hometown. In other words they've created their own hero. Someone to be a beacon of hope in the world's Darkest Hour, someone to lead the token resistance against their rule and eventually overcome them, all because of an act they did on a random Tuesday that they can't even remember sometimes involving a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. Now they have to deal with the possibility of being killed in a fight with their personally created nemesis, or (in some cases) killed by their partners when they realize whose fault it is that this do-gooder keeps ruining all their plots.

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Subtrope of Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!, and the ultimate expression of Villains Act, Heroes React. Opposite of Create Your Own Villain, and Superhero Paradox. Related to Genocide Backfire and Nice Job Breaking It, Herod! Supertrope to Phlebotinum Rebel and Faustian Rebellion (in that the villain literally and intentionally empowers the would-be hero who then rebels against them) and so examples of that kind fall into those tropes.


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Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Banana Fish: Dino Golzine spent years training Ash Lynx, first as a Sex Slave, then later as the ultimate Cultured Badass. It works too well; when Ash eventually finds the means to take Golzine down, he does so—hard.
  • Bleach: One of Aizen's Hollowfication experiments ultimately led to Ichigo's birth. Aizen even went out of his way throughout the series to toughen him up in the hopes of fighting a Worthy Opponent.
  • Code Geass has V.V. eventually revealed to have done this: him killing Marianne is what drove Lelouch originally to fight against Britannia and do all he can to figure out why she was murdered and who did it.
  • Codename: Sailor V (the manga Sailor Moon is a spin-off of) shows that the Dark Kingdom (through its subdivision the Dark Agency) pulled the trope thrice with Sailor Venus:
    • At first Minako wasn't exactly thrilled by Artemis' attempts at getting her to become Sailor V (in fact at first she thought it was a joke)... Then the boy she was crushing on revealed himself as a youma and attacked her, leading to Minako first becoming Sailor V.
    • At one point Minako has decided to retire... Cue another youma attack, this time specifically directed at her, getting Minako to unretire for the time being.
    • In the final chapter Minako is still considering retiring once the thing is settled. Then Danburite succeeds in awakening Minako's memories of her past life and her legendary sense of duty, resulting in Minako deciding to stay Sailor Venus for good. Worth noting that Danburite did it on purpose: he was in love with her since their past lives, and knowing they would never be able to stay together planned to have her fall for him and then kill him to make sure she rediscovered her sense of duty when she could still recover from the shock.
  • Date A Live: The reason why Shido and the Spirits exists in the way we know is all because of the Big Bad, Isaac Ray Peram Westcott. You can hate him with all your might but without this guy, the story of Date A Live would have never existed. If Westcott had not caused the destruction of China and Eurasia with the summoning of the First Spirit, Tohka, Yoshino, Kurumi and many other Spirits who appears on the series would have never existed and they would have been raised as normal humans, given their background where all Spirits were humans once with the exception of Mio Takamiya, also known as the First Spirit. It was also Westcott's atrocity in kidnapping Mana who lead Shido to his first death. As soon as Shido refused to give Mio to him, Westcott shot him and killed him right in front of Mio, resulting in the Spirit "eating" Shido to give birth to him again in her womb in an attempt to revive him; this resulted in Shido being reborn as a Spirit able to seal the power of other Spirits. Without Westcott's corruption, Elliot and Karen would have never created Ratatoskr, the main heroic faction of the series that has been around since from Volume 1, helping Shido and saving all Spirits from DEM's threat. He is also this one for Mana Takamiya. If Westcott decided to kill Mana years ago, she would have never existed in the series and consequently she would never have saved Origami and the SSS Wizards from Minerva Liddell. Not to mention that without Mana, with the powers of an Adeptus Wizard given by Westcott, she would have never saved Shido from Kurumi Tokisaki and many of DEM's minions.
  • Dokuro: Kanehira Aiichiro taking sexual advantage of and then casting the mother of Takeo aside motivated him to take down the Church.
  • Dragon Ball Z: As shown in Dragon Ball Minus Frieza recalled all the Saiyans back to their home planet so he could kill as many of them at once. This alerted Bardock and Gine that something was wrong, so they sent their youngest child away to protect him. That child is Goku, the same Saiyan Frieza meets on Namek. Despite having the advantage, Frieza toys with Goku, giving him time to form the Spirit Bomb that nearly kills him. In anger, Frieza picks off Goku's friends until he becomes the legendary Super Saiyan, the very thing he was trying to prevent. In the end, Frieza is beaten by a monster that he himself created.
  • Fairy Tail: Fairy Tail Zero reveals that Zeref, the Black Wizard, is the one who taught the founders of Fairy Tail magic in the first place, and is thus indirectly responsible for creating the guild that would oppose him. The same character is also responsible for bringing Natsu Back from the Dead for the express purpose of being killed by him, so long as Zeref's curse would let him allow it.
  • Full Metal Panic!: The last original founder of Amalgam, Mr. Mercury, was so disgusted with what his organization had become that he created Mithril to oppose them.
  • The titular Goblins of Goblin Slayer. For untold years, no one spared a thought to seriously exterminating them, seeing them as low rank monsters not worth the time or money. Then they pulled their Rape, Pillage, and Burn routine on a specific village, and violated the sister of a certain little boy. That little boy grew up to be the Goblin Slayer the series is titled after. And he's really good at it.
  • In My Hero Academia, this is the origin of the unique transferable quirk One for All. Way back when quirks were first appearing, there was a supervillain with the power to take and give out quirks, called All for One. He had a more heroic brother, who was thought to be quirkless. All for One gave his brother a minor power stockpiling quirk. The thing was, the brother did have a quirk, just an extremely subtle one. The brother could pass his quirk on to others, and this ability fused to the stockpile power to become One for All, which not only became stronger with every generation, but was immune to being stolen and was thus the perfect power to face All for One with.
  • One Piece: Donquixote Doflamingo created his own Anti-Hero in his former protégée Trafalgar Law, by murdering his former right hand Corazon aka his biological younger brother, Donquixote Rocinante, who came to be Law's Parental Substitute and eventually saved Law's life at the cost of his own. In turn, Law swore to end Doflamingo's evil and avenge Corazon's death by any means necessary. He worked towards this goal for thirteen years, eventually culminating in the Dressrosa arc, where Doflamingo's criminal empire, the one he's spent almost all his life building, falls apart in the span of a single day.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman: Batman confronts Joe Chill, the man who killed his parents. In a panic, the guy runs to his fellow criminals for help — only for them to kill him in retribution, as he created the hero who's been making their lives difficult.
    • The first Robin, Dick Grayson, turned to crimefighting in order to track down the man who killed his parents.
  • Played with in Les Légendaires, where Darkhell actually gets wise about this trope, and, after slaughtering a village, framed a local army of heroes by leaving their banner behind. As a result, the only kid who survived ends up directing his hate toward said heroes, grows into a villain and becomes Darkhell's Dragon. However, he eventually does learn the truth, causing him to pull a Heel–Face Turn and join the protagonists.
  • Huntress: Helena Bertinelli was the supposed daughter of mob boss Franco Bertinelli, the actual daughter of mob boss Santo Cassamento, and the niece of mob boss Tomasso Panessa, making her pretty much the ultimate Mafia Princess. Cassamento and mob boss Stephen Mandragora conspired to kill all the Bertinellis, leaving only Helena alive. She then went to live with her cousins, who were mob assassins; they taught her to fight and to kill. She eventually became a vigilante, murdered Mandragora and Cassamento, and became the scourge of the mob in general. Of course, this was really more a case of the mob creating its own antihero.
  • Ultron is a prime example of A.I. Is a Crapshoot and Create Your Own Villain... so it's poetic justice that he's had this happen to him several times over. Over the years, he's created the Vision, Jocasta and Victor Mancha as part of various schemes, and they've all turned on him and joined the good guys.
  • Wanted: Invoked by Mr. Rictus, a Card-Carrying Villain who routinely murders a kid's parents in front of him to see if this will happen (in this world, the supervillains won decisively by banding together and rewriting reality so heroes forgot who they were). So far, nothing.
  • In Alan Moore's Supreme, due to a Stable Time Loop, the villain becomes the source of the hero's powers.
  • The Red Skull proved to be such a terrifyingly potent propaganda mascot for Nazi Germany that the US decided to counter it by making Steve Rogers Captain America.
  • Captain Atom: Wade Eiling led the experiment that transformed Nathaniel Adam into Captain Atom and also led the conspiracy that manipulated Nate into volunteering for the experiment.
  • A Nazi villain named Iron Jaw kills a war correspondent and his wife, prompting their son to become the Golden Age Hero Crimebuster.
  • Uncle Ben's killer is just as responsible for creating Spider-Man as the radioactive spider. While Peter was already Spider-Man by the time Uncle Ben was murdered, he was only interested in using his powers for personal gain, looking to achieve fame and fortune as an entertainer. It was only after realizing the criminal he let go was the same man who killed Uncle Ben that he decided to use his powers for something greater than himself, and started living by the creed of "great responsibility". In summation, Spider-Man probably wouldn't be the hero we know today if not for the cruelty of a petty crook. Not to mention the reason he lived with his Uncle Ben is because the Russian Red Skull Albert Malik ordered Karl Fiers/Finisher to eliminate Richard and Mary Parker who were assigned to infiltrate and spy on his organization.
    • Speaking of Spider-Man, the case was more explicit in Ultimate Spider-Man. In the very start of the series, Norman Osbourne is dealing with big and ugly experimental spiders, while wearing protective gloves. Then his lawyer calls and he starts discussing with him at the phone, and casually hands the spider to the employee next to him (who was no wearing any protection). Terrified, this guys throws the spider into her box. But he forgots to close it. The spider climbs and gets out, and the rest, as they say, is history.
  • Legends of the Dead Earth: In Superman: The Man of Steel Annual #5, the people of Hydros are wiped out by the Empire on the orders of Luthor the 60th. This inspires the planet's last survivor Kaleb to join the rebellion and fight the Empire as the new Superman.
  • In The Transformers: Autocracy, it's shown that while Orion Pax was always badass, he would never have become Optimus Prime or united half of Cybertron against the ascendant Megatron if Megs hadn't betrayed him and dropped him into a deep hole - Orion survived the impact, and the structure at the bottom of the hole happened to be the hiding place for the Matrix of Leadership.
    • Even before that Megatron and a friendly senator had a lot of influence on forming Pax's strong principles that make him The Paragon he is as Optimus.Transformers: More than Meets the Eye also reveals that in the tragic turn of fate that senator was Shockwave, before the Institute turned him into a monster. Meaning two people who helped Optimus Prime gain his famous moral code, without which he wouldn't be half a hero he is, were two of his deadliest enemies.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Pony POV Series:
    • Discord accidentally did this in the most literal way possible: during the G3 apocalypse, he decided to spare Pinkie and Minty for giggles and just to annoy he this partner Luna. This not only results in Pinkie surviving the entire thing and being reincarnated into the next world, but Pinkie Pie puts mortally wounded Minty's Light of Existence into the Shadow of Existence of G1 Twilight, creating G4 Twilight. In other words: two of Discord's greatest enemies are a direct result of him screwing with Luna for laughs eons ago.
    • In Dark World, it turns out that Nightmare Eclipse has been Running Both Sides in her Evil Plan to torture Discord via "Groundhog Day" Loop, meaning Twilight rebelling and assembling a team to defeat Discord was all her doing, and thus she created the very team that ultimately beats her. Discord's Heel–Face Turn and helping them beat her was also a result of her hundreds of thousands of years of torture to him.
    • Due to the nature of the Rumors, several of the Cutie Mark Crusaders' allies in defeating them gained powers or were even created outright from the Rumors themselves.
  • Invoked by Sabrina in her sidestory of Pokémon Reset Bloodlines. She begins to terrorize her hometown using her powers in hopes that someone will stand up to her. She succeeds when a Bug-catching trainer named Tommy decides to try and fight her, and she ultimately spares him, waiting for the day they meet again for another confrontation.
  • In Amazing Fantasy, Prowler's failure to obtain the genetically-altered spider Mysterio sent her after allowed it to bite Izuku and grant him spider-powers. Then her attempt to assassinate Peter led Izuku to rush into the fray to help him, which inspires All Might to give Izuku the pep talk Izuku needed to accept Peter's tutelage and begin training to become Spider-Man. Mysterio is also guilty of this, since it's implied that he was the one who tried to replicate the spider that gave Peter his powers.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Disney's Hercules, Hades failed attempt to kill Hercules as a baby to guarantee his future plans to usurp Olympus won't fail ends up causing Hercules to become the very hero that ultimately defeats Hades in the end.
  • Played with in Megamind. The title character is a supervillain who, having gotten rid of his nemesis, finds that Victory Is Boring and purposely creates another superhero to oppose him. Unfortunately, the new superhero does a Face–Heel Turn, forcing Megamind to do a Heel–Face Turn of his own.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: the spider that bites Miles and gives him powers isn't one from his universe, but is pulled into his universe by Kingpin's experiments underneath New York. When a frightened Miles returns to the scene of the bite, he witnesses a battle between Kingpin and his universe's Spider-Man, and when the battle ends in Spider-Man's death, he vows to finish what Peter Parker started. Furthermore, the other five Spider-people - Peter B. Parker, Gwen Stacey, Peni Parker, Spider Ham, and Spider-Man Noir - are pulled into Miles's universe by the same experimental tech.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Andhadhun, Akash was content to pretend he never witnessed anything, and then Simi blinded him and Manohar tried to kill him. Only then does he start to plot against them—because he wants his eyesight back and he wants to be sure that they don't try to kill him again.
  • In Tim Burton's version of Batman, Jack Napier's murder of Bruce Wayne's parents was the event causing him to become Batman. Ironically, Batman himself would later cause the accident resulting in Napier becoming The Joker.
  • Black Scorpion: The villain of the first film creates the heroine by killing her father.
  • The Crow: Top Dollar unwittingly created his own nemesis when he orders T-Bird's gang to lay waste to several apartments and murder their residents to create chaos. He never paid it any second thought until Eric Draven returns from the dead to exact revenge on his killers.
  • Inglourious Basterds: Hans Landa murdered the family of Shoshana Dreyfus in their home, leaving only her alive. A few years later, we find her running a cinema as she plots her vengeance against the Nazis.
  • In the movie version of Kick-Ass, Frank D'Amigo ruining Damon McCready's life was what caused the former cop to become the superhero Big Daddy and train his daughter into becoming Hit-Girl.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Iron Man: The Big Bad Obadiah Stane causes Tony Stark to become Iron Man after the latter spends three months in the captivity of an Afghan terrorist group (defying Stane's instructions to kill him). Not only is he confronted with the reality of war for the first time, but he learns that his own weapons are being sold to terrorists without his knowledge. Tony is forced to create the first Iron Man prototype to escape, and he and Pepper Potts eventually expose and stop Stane.
    • Thor: Loki gets Thor exiled from Asgard by setting things up to show that his brother isn't worthy of taking their father's throne. In doing so, he humbles Thor enough for him to become worthy. Sending the Destroyer after him gave him a chance to prove it.
    • Guardians of the Galaxy: Gamora is initially one of Thanos's minions, fiercely loyal to her father until she meets the other Guardians, and her sister Nebula rebels in the same way in the sequel. Vol. 2 and Avengers: Infinity War show that years of being forced to fight each other has children, countless cybernetic upgrades, and the slaughter of half of Gamora's homeworld, including her mother (and likely the same fate for Nebula's as well) built up enough resentment to cause the two sisters to finally break away.
    • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: along with the literal implications of the trope, Star-Lord's father Ego qualifies. Ego, a Celestial with nearly limitless powers, passed on many of these powers to his son Quill. Unfortunately, Ego also slaughtered hundreds of Quill's half siblings who didn't manifest Celestial powers, and he killed Quill's mother to avoid getting too attached to her; the trauma of discovering both (but especially the latter) caused Quill to open fire on Ego immediately.
    • Captain Marvel: doubly so with Vers, a Kree who was saved from an explosion and Skrull attack by her superior Yon-Rogg, who infused her with his blood and gave her photon blasts. In reality, Vers is a human named Carol Danvers and was given her photon blasts when Yon-Rogg attacked an experimental light-speed craft carrying herself and her mentor, an undercover Kree named Mar-Vell; the exploding engine after the crash infused her with the powers of the Tesseract. Yon-Rogg saw her value, returned her to the Kree homeworld of Hala, and altered her memories to fit this new purpose. When Vers learns this, as well as the fact that the invasive, evil Skrulls she's spent six years hunting and killing are actually refugees escaping the genocidal Kree, she turns on the Kree and Yon-Rogg and wipes the floor with them.
  • Deadpool: Ajax, who was running mutant test-programs disguised as new cancer treatments, successfully recreated Wolverine's healing powers in mercenary Wade Wilson. Unfortunately, these tests involved incredibly painful torture, caused the destruction of Wilson's relationship, and made him ugly, so he destroys the lab, takes up the moniker Deadpool, and hunts down every single person involved in Ajax's plot, up to and including Ajax himself.
  • The Patriot: Benjamin Martin was actively trying to avoid becoming involved in the Revolutionary War for the sake of his family. He only starts a guerilla movement to oppose the Redcoats after Colonel Tavington burns down his home and shoots one of his sons in front of him.
  • Likewise with The Lady (becoming an expert gunfighter) in The Quick and the Dead, when the villian gets her to accidentally shoot her own father when she is a young girl.
  • This is the origin of RoboCop: in the original film, Cop Killer Clarence Boddicker guns down police officer Alex Murphy, but OCP then turns Murphy into the titular cyborg. Likewise, in the 2014 remake, crime boss Antonie Vallon sends one of his thugs to place a bomb in Murphy's car and it goes off, maiming Murphy, only for Omnicorp to turn Murphy into RoboCop. For both Boddicker and Vallon, this bites them in the ass as Murphy ends up confronting and ultimately killing them.
  • Showdown in Little Tokyo: The current Yakuza boss killing the hero's parents as an assassin decades earlier is what drove him to become a cop in the first place.
  • In Street Fighter, Chun-Li says to M.Bison that her father used to lead an uprising against him when he was killed, supposedly by one of Bison's cronies, and it drove her to avenge him. Bison's response?
    "For you, the day Bison graced your village was the most important day of your life. But for me, it was Tuesday."
  • Unbreakable: This happens in the Twist Ending. Elijah, aka "Mr. Glass", kills hundreds of people in order to find a real-life superhero, then convince him to follow the call.
  • In The Waterboy, it happened twice to Coach Red Beaulieu, the film's main antagonist. First, he fires Bobby Boucher, the eponymous water boy from the University of Louisiana Cougars. When Bobby is hired by Coach Cline of the South Central Louisiana State University Mud Dogs, they both discover that all of Bobby's repressed anger allows him to run fast and tackle any and all opposing players, and helps break the Mud Dog's legendary losing streak. Later, it's also revealed that Beaulieu and Cline were both assistants to the head coach of the UL Cougars, and when he was to retire, they both applied for the position, with Cline creating a playbook that would secure his bid, which Beaulieu bullied Cline into handing over. Once Beaulieu became head coach of the Cougars, he fired Cline on the spot. Just as Cline inspired Bobby to stand up for himself, Bobby inspires Cline to no be afraid of Beaulieu, and they win the championship game.

    Literature 
  • Harry Potter has a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy variant of this: when learning a child with the potential to kill him would come, Voldemort tracked down the baby and tried to kill him. This ironically resulted in him marking the kid as his equal just as the prophecy foretold.
  • In The Last Apprentice, Grimalkin, while already not a fan of the Fiend, didn't seem to really care about him that much, and was still pretty much a villain in the setting. Only after he brutally killed their child did she go on a vendetta against him, eventually leading her to an Enemy Mine with the protagonists.
  • In Soon I Will Be Invincible, the future Dr. Impossible ends up accidentally creating his arch-nemesis CoreFire (an ersatz of Superman) with a Freak Lab Accident during their time in college. The funny thing is, CoreFire doesn't even remember Impossible as a student, despite having interacted with him on several occasions. It's pointed out that Dr. Impossible has tried everything he could think of to try to destroy CoreFire, but nothing works. CoreFire appears to be utterly invulnerable to anything, except perhaps iridium, but the heroes made sure to get rid of any of that stuff long ago. While CoreFire is a member of the Champions (and, later, the New Champions), he's easily the strongest member of the team (despite Blackwolf claiming to be able to beat him). Without CoreFire, Impossible manages to single-handedly beat and capture the rest of the New Champions, having learned about their weaknesses long ago.
  • The Seventh Tower begins with Tal trying to replace his family's Sunstone — a Functional Magic artifact that's a necessity for life in the Castle. After the Evil Aristocrat Sushin and Sharrakor, a rogue Spiritshadow possessing Sushin repeatedly stymie his efforts out of simple malice, Tal resorts to a desperate heist that sets him on the path to learning the truth about Sushin, his own Disappeared Dad, and the Awful Truth behind the history of the Castle.
  • Chrysalis: Completely on a whim, the Terran chooses to show Daokat mercy when they find him cowering in some wreckage for dear life with a palace servant, helping the two out of the wreckage and even building them a rudimentary ship so they can leave the planet. This act proves to the Xunvir and other members of the Galactic community that the Terran is in fact sapient, and potentially able to be reasoned with.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Arrow, Oliver Queen's transformation into the Green Arrow began when his family's yacht, the Queen's Gambit, sank, and he became stranded on Lian Yu. There, he was trained to fight by Slade Wilson. The Queen's Gambit was sunk by Malcolm Merlyn, the Big Bad of season one, while Slade Wilson became the Big Bad of season two. Oliver even expressly acknowledges at the end of season two that it was Slade who made Oliver into a hero.
  • The Flash (2014):
    • The man in yellow, also known as the Reverse-Flash, deliberately played a major role in making Barry Allen into the Flash. The irony is that Eobard Thawne deliberately traveled back in time to try to kill Barry as a child. Future!Barry saved his past self, so Thawne ended up killing his mother. His trip back in time messed up his connection to the Speed Force, making him unable to return to his own time. Determined to bring about the Flash sooner than in his own history, he stole Harrison Wells's identity (and killed the real one) and built the particle accelerator 6 years earlier than expected. His eventual goal is to train Barry to be at his best, and then use him (willingly or otherwise) to open a time portal and return home.
    • In Season 4, the Thinker ends up masterminding the transformation of a busload of people into new metahumans. While a number of them end up becoming criminals, one ends up becoming Central City's newest hero (under Barry's tutelage) - Ralph Dibny (AKA the Elongated Man). How does this work against the Thinker? Dibny uses his Shapeshifter ability to spring Barry from prison, where he was put by the Thinker framing him for murder.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Kamen Rider: In the original show, Shocker had not one, but TWO super-cyborgs escape from them and become superheroes! This trope is very common throughout the Showa era, and is so recurrent that it has been given an In-Universe name: The Cross of Fire, and for the most part, it has happened a couple of times. A villain causing an eclipse caused a wizard with the potential to be a real pain to be born, a corporation using kids as guinea pigs ended up with several kids gunning for them, hell even killing a guy ends up in them becoming a Kamen Rider. Even if the villains didn't accidentally create the heroes powers, their actions will somehow result in this. Notably, the Cross of Fire is implied to be some cosmic force, meaning this trope is technically a law of reality in the Kamen Rider universe!
    • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid follows a more Showa-era approach to the main rider. Emu was used as a test subject to help refine the Bugster virus by Doctor Pac-Mannote . As a result, not only does this allow him to use the Gamer Driver and a Gashat without the special immunity surgery the other Riders had to go through, but his special biology later opens the way for completing the Mighty Brothers XX Gashat.
    • Kamen Rider Build has the real Big Bad invoke this with the main heroes! Sento was formerly known as Takumi Katsuragi aka the Devil's Scientist who was the creator of Faust along the Build system. After wanting to quit Faust, Blood Stalk knocks him out and uses his powers to arrange Takumi's appearance into Sento Kiryu from Tarou Sato who was killed at that time... then framing Ryuuga for the murder of Takumi Katsuragi who then became a test subject for Faust who didn't turn into a Smash and escaped. After erasing the memories of the man who is now known as Sento, he is founded by Soichi who helped him become Kamen Rider Build to become the hero while Ryuuga becomes Sento's ally and eventually becomes Kamen Rider Cross-Z to fight against the Smash and Soichi's daughter Misora has powers to purify Fullbottles from the Smash to help aid the heroes for justice. However, Soichi is none other than Blood Stalk of Faust! So Soichi "rescued" his daughter from Faust while setting Sento up as the hero of justice while had his daughter believe she was purifying the Fullbottles for good after refusing to do so when she found out it was for Faust even when threatened. So he has the heroes fight to collect all Fullbottles and Panels to use the Pandora Box for his own reason as he's the astronaut who founded the Pandora and then opened it to cause the Skywall Incident. Then comes the revelation that Ryuuga is not human as he was born half human and blood tribe due to an alien specimen coming across his mother and she give birth to him in two months. His origin is similar to Evolt who is actually Soichi being possessed by him the entire time and that they can weld the Pandora Box!
  • In the pilot of Leverage, Victor Dubenich hires most of what would become the Leverage team to steal back airplane plans from his business rival. However, when it comes time for payment, Dubenich instead tries to kill them instead. After narrowly escaping from the attempt and the authorities that came to investigate, they find out they were actually just plain stealing the plans, and decide to get both payback and the payment they were promised. So, they recruit Sophie and not only do they steal back the plans, with evidence that Dubenich's company stole them, but they also run his reputation and company to the ground and use the ensuing plummet in the company's stock price to make an enormous killing in short-selling. And then the team finds that they enjoyed it so much and want to do it again, and the rest is what makes up the rest of the series.
  • Supernatural: Dean and Sam Winchester were genetically engineered to be the human embodiment of the archangels Michael and Lucifer respectively. To make them strong enough to physically/emotionally handle their essence the Winchesters' lives were made a living hell, almost from infancy. Guess who defeated, multiple times, Michael and Lucifer's attempts to end humanity?

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Greek Mythology: Done by accident several times: when a king hears a prophecy that their son/grandson will cause their death/be greater than them, the steps they take to avert this result in it happening:
    • A prophecy foretold that Priam's son Paris would be the downfall of Troy, so he was sent away to Mount Ida. Then he judged which of the three goddesses was most beautiful and promised the hand of Helen, and was recognized as Priam's son, who could not send away his newfound son but also had no wish to see all of Greece allied against him.
    • Oedipus' parents, the king and queen of Thebes, heard a prophecy that their son would kill his father and have children with his mother. Horrified, they had the child taken away to be killed, but he was saved and raised by a different couple. When Oedipus learned of the prophecy, he thought it applied to his (unknowingly adoptive) parents, and left, killing an older man and marrying the recently widowed queen of Thebes...
    • Perseus' grandfather Acrisius learned that his grandson would kill him, so he locked his daughter in a tower. This didn't stop Zeus from entering and impregnating her, and she and her son Perseus were cast out to sea. Perseus grew up to slay Medusa, and ended up accidentally killing his grandfather during a sports contest.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Ray González and his La Familia del Milenio probably would have successfully taken over WWC by sheer attrition if not for the fact González thought making his feud with Carlos Colón, one of the company founders and its top baby face, more personal by attacking his non wrestler son Carly after learning Carly was acting as a cameraman to help business along. Initially Carly had no interest in becoming a wrestler, but after being embarrassed by González he trained very hard, defeated most of La Familia and became a constant thorn in the side of González for decades to come.
  • This is very common in Dragon Gate. Even during the Toryumon Japan days, M2K turned perennial renegades Crazy Max into faces by default when they purposefully sabotaged El Numero Uno Tournament CIMA and Magnum Tokyo were favorites to win in order to make Masaaki Mochizuki look better. After losing a hair vs hair match to CIMA caused Masaaki Mochizuki to realize what a jerk he had been and clean up his act, Crazy Max ensured the now virtuous M2K would still oppose them by manipulating Darkness Dragon and Chocoball KOBE into betraying Mochizuki and M2K itself would make an unnecessary enemy out of one of it's own founders for that matter when Susumu Mochizuki rejected Masaaki's reforms and banished him from the group. Darkness Dragon ultimately brought one of the keys to ending his own Power Stable Do FIXER in his own protege Dragon Kid, who would go on to join the more facey Typhoon of CIMA.
  • Post Toryumon Japan, Muscle Outlaw'z hazed their own personal referee Kinta Tamaoka in an overly elaborate plot that ended with all the referees of Dragon Gate taking a stand against the power stable. Blood Warriors made Ronin from DG USA their enemies, perhaps unintentionally, when Austin Aries attacked Johnny Gargano, Rich Swann and Chuck Taylor to prove his dedication to CIMA. Shingo Takagi and YAMATO had no interest in forming a Power Stable, but changed their mind after witnessing Mad Blankey's unnecessary bullying of their rookie friend Tominaga and created -akatsuki- with Tominaga and Super Shenlong. Mad Blankey turned on Akira Tozawa, despite him successfully leading them to victory time and time again, for being too facey, which in turn only made him more facey, and then turned on Uhaa Nation for not destroying the banished Tozawa for them. This lead to Nation and Tozawa joining with the World 1 rejected Shachihoko BOY, Ricochet and Masato Yoshino to create Monster Express. VerserK basically created their sworn enemy MaxiMuM. The first step was when T-Hawk punished Naruki Doi for Kotoka's betrayal of the group, kicked Doi out of the stable, and VerserK then gave Doi a gang beating for asking to come back later. Second was when Takagi, T-Hawk, and Lindaman won the New Years Unit War 6 Man Tag Team Tournament and proved to be very unsporting winners by continuing to attack fellow finalists Masato Yoshino, Kotoka and Ben-K after the match, which inspired Naruki Doi to save them and propose an anti VerserK alliance. Despite being an explicitly anti VerserK alliance The Jimmyz quickly managed to end up at the top of MaxiMuM's hit list when the Jimmyz attacked them after a match so Genki Horiguchi could show everyone the difference between "professionals" and "amateurs".
  • Valkyrie, the first Power Stable of Shine Wrestling, brought about it's own downfall when it recruited Ivelisse Vélez and Su Yung. Velez was an average talent with no resources or connections that interested Valkyrie, had no discernible reason to resent Shine as much them and wanted to prove herself better than all other wrestles, including the rest of Valkyire. The many enemies Valkyrie made created a steady schedule for Velez, and she grew from average to best in the group. Their first mistake was recruiting her, their second was dumping Velez after she knocked off their leader and became champion, which resulted in Valkyrie not having another champion until SoCal Val's hostile takeover. Their third mistake under, Val's leadership, was the attempted kidnapping of Velez's injured friend La Rosa Negra. This made things even more personal for Velez, who now had resources and connections comparable to VALkyrie's own. Su Yung, a wrestler driven crazy by Valkyrie's reign of terror, was recruited when Velez was dumped. Valkyrie's hired muscle Sweet Saraya turned Yung into an obedient zombie, seemingly to save money by having Su openly do for free what Saraya did covertly for pay, but Valkyrie had no idea how to handle Yung without Saraya around and Val proved so abusive even Saraya lost control of the now more dangerous zombie Su (which Saraya was proud of). Velez took VALkyrie's last title belt. When Yung failed to get it back, Yung finished off VALkyrie herself.

    TV Tropes 
  • The Evil Overlord List has advice on avoiding this kind of scenario.
    • "If an enemy I have just killed has a younger sibling or offspring anywhere, I will find them and have them killed immediately, instead of waiting for them to grow up harboring feelings of vengeance towards me in my old age."
    • "Orphans will be placed in foster-homes, not abandoned in the woods to be raised by creatures of the wild."
    • "Prior to kidnapping an older male scientist and forcing him to work for me, I will investigate his offspring and make sure that he has neither a beautiful but naive daughter who is willing to risk anything to get him back, nor an estranged son who works in the same field but had a falling-out with his father many years ago."
    • "If I know of any heroes in the land, I will not under any circumstance kill their mentors, teachers, and/or best friends."
    • "I will be an equal-opportunity despot and make sure that terror and oppression is distributed fairly, not just against one particular group that will form the core of a rebellion."
    • "I will have a staff of competent detectives handy. If I learn that someone in a certain village is plotting against me, I will have them find out who rather than wipe out the entire village in a preemptive strike."
  • TV Tropes Additional Evil Overlord Vows has a few more.
    • "If I ever have a child, I will keep them as happy as possible, as an unloved child would likely betray me and defect to my enemies."
    • "Whenever I take over another country, I won't force them to give up their culture and follow mine."

    Video Games 
  • In Bravely Default, the Grand Marshal had his daughter train to eventually fight against him. Later, it turns out that Airy did this by leading the heroes through the five worlds and guiding them, to eventually be defeated. And in Bravely Second, Anne did this with you in the first game, making it so you could defeat Ouroboros and clear the way for Providence.
  • In Ghost Trick, Yomiel causes Sissel's death, triggering the events of the night and eventually leading to his plans foiled. Also, One Step Ahead Tengo in turn causes Missile's death, which turns the latter into the Big Good of the story.
  • The Big Bad of Pillars of Eternity, Thaos, does this twice to the Watcher: once, when his ritual at Cilant Lis Awakens the Watcher to their past lives, and many centuries before that, when Thaos made a previous incarnation of the Watcher betray Iovara, which effectively tied all three of their souls together, bound to clash with each other again, sooner or later.
  • Exploited in Jade Empire. After the sacking of Dirge, Master Li discovered a Spirit Monk baby, whom he adopted and trained to be the instrument of his revenge against his brothers. Once the Monk was ready, Li told them of their heritage, got himself kidnapped and the town where he lived destroyed, all to set the Monk on a quest to rescue him. Once the quest was finished and Li's brothers dead, Li killed the Monk using weaknesses he had deliberately taught them for that very purpose; if not for the Water Dragon's intervention, he would have won then and there.
  • Freedom Force: In Minuteman's origin story, he is shot by an American traitor during his meeting with Sukhov. The mortally wounded man crawls to the statue of a minuteman nearby, which has been hit with Energy X and absorbs the energy.
  • Metroid: Ridley's attack on three-year-old Samus' colony and the murder of her parents ended up creating his greatest enemy.
  • The Big Bad of Persona 5, Masayoshi Shido, is guilty of this twice over. First, he got the Protagonist convicted of assault because he got a minor scratch when the Protagonist tried to stop him from sexually harassing a woman. This gets the Protagonist put on probation, which gets him sent to Tokyo and puts him in a position and mindset to interfere with Shido's plans. Later, Shido shoves Ryuji out of the way in order to get onto an elevator. While much more minor than the earlier incident, this gives Ryuji the idea to form the Phantom Thieves of Hearts.
    • He also literally created his own Anti Villain as well. Shido abandoned his pregnant mistress, leading her to commit suicide shortly after giving birth. The child born of this affair desired to be loved and wanted, and fostered the needs to be loved by their father but also to seek revenge for the abandonment. After acquiring Persona powers, they presented themselves to Shido as an asset to take down rivals through mental shutdowns. Being publicly loved for "solving" those cases became an added bonus. Then at the peak of Shido's political career, the child would destroy Shido's reputation through a public tell-all. So while the child's goals were somewhat heroic in exposing Shido, the methods were far less noble.
    • While only a Starter Villain, Kamoshida created 3 out of the 4 founding members of the Phantom Thieves by causing a Career-Ending Injury to one, molesting the friend of another and trying to commit statutory rape on said member, and spreading rumors about the third, ruining their reputation.
  • StarCraft uses this twice, in the same campaign, with the same character. Jim Raynor was originally a marshal on a backwater Confederate world of Mar Sara. When Mar Sara fell victim to a Zerg invasion, Raynor took matters into his own hands rather than wait for Confederate backup, and destroyed an infested Command Center. The Confederacy responded by placing Raynor under arrest for destroying Confederate property. Enter the Sons of Korhal, a rebel group led by the charismatic Arcturus Mengsk, who were evacuating Mar Sara and offered Raynor a way out, which he accepted. But later, Mengsk crossed the line by deliberately luring a Zerg invasion to the Confederate capital world of Tarsonis, and abandoned Raynor's Love Interest, Sarah Kerrigan, when her outpost got overrun by Zerg. These led Raynor to split with Mengsk, and he formed Raynor's Raiders to combat Mengsk's new regime — which quickly became as oppressive and corrupt as the one it replaced.
  • In Mass Effect 2 Commander Shepard is literally brought back from the dead with a reinforced skeleton, enhanced mental capacity, off the charts biotic powers, on top of Shepard's pre-existing military training and inherent instinct for battle, in order to fight off hordes of Reapers who seem to be harvesting humans. Shepard was engineered by Cerberus to be a nigh unstoppable super soldier. However, when Commander Shepard finds out that Cerberus is allowing human colonies to be targeted in order to track Reaper movement, s/he breaks with Cerberus who then tries repeatedly to kill Shepard if they can't control him/her. That's right. They try to kill the already badass military (wo)man that they then enhanced into a super soldier engineered to be able to take on hordes of insanely overpowered aliens single handedly. And they try to bring him/her down with mid-level goons with guns.
  • League of Legends
    • Evelynn's extended lore says that, as one of her many sadistic flings, she killed a pair of Demacian nobles in front of their child. She then left, figuring that the look of trauma on the child's face was funny enough. Said child grew up to become Shauna Vayne, one of the most feared, proficient and ruthless demon hunters in all of Runeterra - and, in the right hands, one of the strongest ADCs in the game.
    • Gankplank coldly executed the gunsmith who forged his flintlock, along with her young daughter. But the daughter survived, growing up to be rival pirate Miss Fortune. Who got her revenge in spectacular fashion by blowing his ship, his crew and his arm to pieces.
  • Assassin's Creed: The Templars have a really, really, really bad habit of doing this, routinely motivating one person to dismantle their latest operation via their own pettiness. And they never learn from it.
    • Assassin's Creed II: Ezio Auditore was a layabout Florentine youth, until the day Rodrigo Borgia had his father and brothers arrested and killed for being a thorn in his side. Ezio spent the next twenty years hunting down and killing all of Rodrigo's confederates, before taking the fight to the man himself in Rome, rebuilding the Italian Assassins while he was at it.
    • Assassin's Creed III: Connor Kenway was a child when Charles Lee and his fellow Templars attacked him, insulted him, and apparently tried to burn down his village, killing Connor's mother. Connor's efforts to find Lee wound up not only getting all those Templars killed, but helped kick-start the American revolution. Connor's father, Haytham, even pointed out to Lee that this wouldn't have happened if Lee hadn't hit a kid in the face with a rifle for no reason.
    • Assassin's Creed Origins: Bayek and his wife Aya were just minding their own business in Siwa, until the Order of Ancients rolled through, looking for a Precursor vault in their village, resulting in the death of their child. The couple's Roaring Rampage of Revenge is what ultimately cause the founding of the Assassins.
  • Done deliberately in NieR: Automata. The entire YoRHa project 2B and 9S were created for is part of a larger charade between machine lifeforms and androids to perpetuate the Forever War. If YoRHa ever got the upper hand (which they eventually do,) contingencies were in place to destroy the entire project and either kill or infect and convert everyone involved with it. Unfortunately for the machines, there were still survivors.
  • Omega in Final Fantasy XIV activly Invokes this trope. It desires to fight powerful enemies to further grow in strength and evolve. After reading about countless accounts of "heroes", both factual and fictional, who overcame objectivly impossible odds to save the day, it purposefully acts villainous by threatening innocents and attacking those close to the Warrior of Light to shape them into the perfect heroic opponent.
  • Albert Wesker in the Resident Evil series was one of the founders and original leaders of Raccon City's S.T.A.R.S. unit. He would go on to betray the unit in the first game as part of his schemes. Unfortunately for him, two of the unit's members, Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine, would survive to become thorns in his side. In his final appearance in Resident Evil 5, Chris has foiled his latest scheme and he's backed into a corner. Wesker admits that he should have killed Chris years ago.

    Visual Novels 
  • Done deliberately by Mercurius in Dies Irae. He specifically created the protagonist Ren with the explicit purpose of being the antagonist towards his close friend and the Big Bad Reinhard. All to give Reinhard the fight he has so longed for to allow him to go all out. Mercurius also has a secondary purpose to this. Namely to allow the soul within Ren to grow in order to be able to replace Mercurius as the God of the world.

    Western Animation 
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold:
    • Plastic Man was a henchman and thief until he was Cursed with Awesome as a result of Batman's actions. Batman personally sees to Plas' reform and rehabilitation; now, larceny-related issues aside, Plastic Man is a genuine superhero thanks to Batman's influence.
    • Chill of the Night!: Batman confronts Joe Chill (the man who murdered his parents) during a weapons auction, where many of his Rogues Gallery are in attendance. In the fight, Batman reveals to Chill that he's Bruce Wayne. Chill realizes that by killing Thomas and Martha Wayne, he inspired Bruce to fight crime. He's the reason Batman exists. In a panic, Chill admits this to the Rogues. They aren't amused (except for Joker; he thinks it's hilarious).
  • In Ben10, Vilgax trying to get the Omnitrix for his scheme was what eventually led the device to end up on Earth and stick itself on the wrist of Ben Tennyson. This even gets a lampshade in Ben 10: Omniverse.
  • DCAU:
    • Batman Beyond has Terry McGinnis become the new Batman, not long after his father Warren is murdered by the orders of Derek Powers, the main antagonist of the first season.
    • Justice League presents the darkest version of this trope in "Epilogue", where Amanda Waller reveals to Terry McGinnis that when she noticed Bruce Wayne was growing too old to be Batman, she decided to create her own hero by collecting Batman's DNA, finding a couple with an identical psychological make-up as Thomas and Martha Wayne, overwrite the husband's reproductive DNA with Batman's without the man's knowledge, with Terry being the resultant child. Then when he was 7 years old, Waller commissioned the Phantasm to assassinate Terry's parents in his presence. Thankfully, the Phantasm decided to abort the operation to honor Bruce's legacy, instead of taint it.
  • On The Powerpuff Girls, it's eventually revealed that Mojo Jojo was once Professor Utonium's lab partner and caused the Chemical X to be added to the formula the girls were made from. Realising this causes Jojo to suffer a Villainous Breakdown. In another episode it gets even worse for him when he tries going back in time to Ret Gone the girls and ends up giving Utonium the idea to create them in the first place.
  • Samurai Jack: Ironically in Season 5, the High Priestess raising her seven daughters to kill Jack is what led to her eldest daughter, Ashi, pulling a Heel–Face Turn and assisting Jack in his quest.
  • In Steven Universe, Pink Diamond created the Rose Quartz line. One of those Rose Quartzes would go on to found the Crystal Gem rebellion. At least that's the story Rose spread. In reality, she and Pink Diamond were one and the same. It was all part of a plan to free herself from her role as a Diamond and to free the Earth and the Crystal Gems. Which goes around to making Pink an example, as the other diamonds probably created her and their aloof, condescending attitude indirectly lead her to sympathize with Earth life and Homeworld's undesirables.
  • Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters reveals via flashbacks in the second season that Stretch Monster killed two scientists, signed onto a project to undo any attempts he'd make to turn other people into monsters, but the child of those two scientistsnote  would grow up to carry out revenge against the monster.
  • In Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!, the Alchemist's last act before the Dark Ones' corrupting influence transformed him into the Skeleton King was to create and empower the Hyperforce so that they would protect the universe from him. Antauri later tries to reach out to Skeleton King by reminding him of this, to no avail.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987): Shredder ends up creating the Turtles. He poured a caustic chemical down the sewer where Hamato Yoshi was living in an attempt to kill him. The chemical turned out to be a powerful mutagen which made the Turtles anthropomorphic and transformed Yoshi into an anthropomorphic rat named Splinter. Shredder tried to use this information to convince the Turtles to join his side, but they declined.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) also does this, though less directly. The ooze that mutated the turtles and Splinter was a by-product of experiments by the stranded Utroms...who were only stranded in the first place because Shredder made their ship crash. Donny spells this out for everyone in the Clip Show episode. Shredder also personally killed Hamato Yoshi, who in this version was Splinter's owner when he was a rat. The mutated Splinter treats this as You Killed My Father, and is committed to stopping Shredder as a result.

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