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Create Your Own Villain

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Sometimes Turned Against Their Masters needs a little push.

"You IDIOT! You made me, remember? You dropped me into that vat of chemicals. That wasn't easy to get over, and don't think that I didn't try."
Joker, Batman (1989)

Superheroes try to rid the world of villains. Unfortunately, sometimes they have the opposite effect.

Maybe The Hero accidentally wronged some Innocent Bystander — say, they or their loved ones were casualties in the collateral damage from a super-battle — and said bystander decides to turn evil to settle the grudge. Alternatively, the character may already be evil, but the Hero's intervention results in the villain gaining superpowers, and a super-grudge to boot.

In a parody or deconstruction of this trope, it might go on to reveal that the actions of the hero were actually irrelevant in terms of the individual's true nature. They were ultimately a disturbed individual who was looking for the first excuse they could find to justify their evil behavior.

Naturally, this is common in comic books. In many cases, however, the villain's origin story isn't even hinted at in their first appearance—it's only after the villain becomes popular that they're given a personal tie to the Hero via Retroactive Continuity.


Opposite of Create Your Own Hero. One of the causes of the Superhero Paradox. May be caused by a Pacifism Backfire. See also Avenging the Villain, Disproportionate Retribution, Nice Job Breaking It, Hero, Unwitting Instigator of Doom. Contrast with Weirdness Magnet, where the Hero doesn't create the villains, but seems to attract them all the same.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • A very interesting variant is presented in Bakuman。. It's the unique and slightly dark manga that the main characters wrote that sets the biggest Jerkass in the series, Toru Nanamine, on the path to becoming a conniving douche-canoe when he becomes old enough to publish his own manga. For instance, the short that they publish, Money and Intelligence, which takes place in a world where people are ranked based on how smart they are and how much money they have, convinces him to borrow lots of money from his father so he can essentially buy his way to popularity at school, and rely on the advice of people from the internet to revise his manga and give him ideas. Oh, and that last part has the added bonus of completely screwing over his Nice Guy editor.
  • Happens twice in Code Geass. The first time is a complete accident as there was no way for Lelouch to know just how obsessed Nina was with Euphemia, so when she was killed by Zero Nina became one of the biggest threats due to creating a nuclear bomb. The second time is more heartbreaking as it happens to Lelouch himself after the Black Knights turn on him after listening to Schneizel. With nothing else left to him, Lelouch becomes the Evil Overlord they considered him...however that was also invoked by Lelouch for his final plan.
  • Beyond Birthday in the spin-off prequel novel of Death Note was the result of L and Watari’s Tyke Bomb production program.
  • In Digimon: The Movie (the dub compilation of the first three OVAs) it's suggested that Willis is the one who created Diaboromon (and the virus that infected him was passed on to Kokomon.)
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Dragon Ball GT: The Shadow Dragons came into existence because Goku and the Z-Fighters excessively used the Dragon Balls, to undo evil acts. The consequences were removed but the bad karma (or "negative energy" in the dub) was not. Throughout the final arc of GT, several of the Shadow Dragons take their time to remind Goku that their existence is his fault.
    • Dragon Ball Super: Future Trunks' timeline shows that Zamasu would have continued to serve Gowasu despite his grudge against mortals for many years. His present self meeting Goku and being defeated by him in a sparring match pushed him to start planning the genocide of both gods and mortals, starting with taking Goku's body by using the Super Dragon Balls. However, once Future Zamasu enters the picture and we discover that he almost immediately jumped on-board with Goku Black's plans, it quickly becomes apparent that there was already something rotten inside Zamasu long before Goku ever met him, and even if Goku hadn't triggered his Start of Darkness, something else very well might have. Of course, it's still an example of this trope, as Goku himself points out that Zamasu would never have become strong enough to accomplish his goals had he not stolen Goku's body.
  • The Amestrian military in Fullmetal Alchemist are by no means heroes, committing genocide against the Ishvalans before the events of the series. This was exactly what created Scar, whose only goal is to avenge his people by hunting down and killing every State Alchemist and high-ranking military officer (even ones who weren't even in the military during the war, like Ed).
  • In Macross Frontier, Word of God states that at least in one continuity (there are several) Ranka lured the Vajra to 117th Fleet just as Grace was getting married, which resulted in Grace's bridegroom being killed, and Grace being mutilated, which turned her into a cyborg, triggering her downward spiral to becoming the Big Bad.
  • The Federation in the UC Timeline of Gundam has increasingly become an example of this in recent installments. As of Gundam Unicorn, Zeon was ultimately born of a mostly successful internal attempt to prevent pro-secessionist wording from going into the Federation’s charter minutes into the Universal Century. Such wording would have functioned a bit like a safety valve, enshrining in law the right of the colonies to secede as they became self-sufficient, stable, and as space-adapted humans turned up among them. Without it, those fancy O’Neill cylinders turned into political pressure cookers, and Zeon and its extremely bloody twenty years of successor movements ultimately exploded out of them.
  • Basically everyone in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED created the nightmare scenario that nearly wipes out the human race by the end. Coordinators initially abused their genetic superiority and lorded their privilege over Naturals, creating spiteful people like Murata Azrael, who goes on to lead the terrorist organization Blue Cosmos and orchestrates the nuclear strikes on the Coordinator homeland. These kill numerous people, including the wife of Patrick Zala who starts advocating for complete Coordinator supremacy and builds a Kill Sat that he aims at Earth to get revenge. Both sides then attempt to exterminate the other completely, killing billions on both sides over the course of two wars.
  • Gradually becomes a more and more prominent theme in My Hero Academia. Several of the series' most important villains (Shigaraki, Spinner, Dabi, Stain, Himiko Toga, etc.) are revealed to have become what they are due to hero society's rampant prejudice and structural discrimination against those who have "villain-like" Quirks. Even one of U.A.'s own hero students, Shinso Hitoshi, points out that society doesn't even try to give children like him a chance to prove themselves, instead just assuming that they'll become villains from the moment their Quirks first manifest in early childhood. This is worsened since the Big Bad, All For One, is entirely too aware of this issue and is shown to actively prey on oppressed people to turn them into his minions.
    • Perhaps the best example is Number Two (and later Number One) Hero, Endeavor. His biggest failure as a father and a hero turns out to be his inadvertent creation of Dabi, one of the nation's worst serial killers and mass terrorists... and Endeavour's own long lost eldest son, Toya Todoroki. While Shoto did grow up bitter and detached, he was able to recover thanks to his friends; Toya, meanwhile, was driven completely insane by Endeavor's extreme abuse and neglect and ended becoming a violent, cruel man hell-bent on destroying hero society completely, but especially, on making sure that his father remains haunted by his past mistakes for the rest of his days.
  • Danzo from Naruto kept on doing this, with at least three different characters.
    • First he helped Hanzo capture Konan, which resulted in the death of Yahiko, and Nagato's mental breakdown.
    • Then he had Itachi murder the entire Uchiha clan, who however left his brother, Sasuke alive. Guess who had fought and fatally wounds Danzo, after the Big Bad revealed this bit of information to him?
    • Apparently, Kabuto Yakushi joined Orochimaru because Danzo had set up him and his adoptive mother — both faithful and competent spies working for him — to murder each other, but Kabuto survived.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion, Kyubey's attempts to restore the old Witch system directly causes Homura's Face–Heel Turn. Homura then becomes something even worse than a witch, usurps Madoka, and sets herself up as a God of Evil so she can prevent Kyubey from trying anything like that ever again.
    • Additionally that's also Madoka's fault. Halfway through the movie an Amnesiac God Madoka tells Homura that she would never want to sacrifice herself the way she did in the anime. This causes Homura to believe that Madoka isn't happy in her current position as a God of Good, which drives Homura into creating a world where Madoka can be happy...even if it means becoming an existence that opposes Madoka.
    • On a less personal scale, all magical girls will eventually fall to despair and become witches, the very monsters they once fight. This is why Homura opposes Mami: even though Mami's intentions are good, she is unknowingly responsible for the creation of witches Oktavia and Gretchen.
  • Ranma ½:
  • The government in Rave Master decided that the best thing to do with then six-year-old Lucia is to lock him away so he won't follow in his dad and grandfather's criminal footsteps. Being wrongfully imprisoned becomes Lucia's motivation to obliterate said government.
  • The Ferals of Sands of Destruction are directly responsible for Morte seeking to destroy the whole world in order to end their reign: she was perfectly content until they wiped out her family. After that, she made it her personal mission to end the world. Considering they have several members of the World Salvation Committee tasked solely with finding her, she's obviously quite the thorn in their side. Compounding this is the fact that most Ferals don't seem to think much about killing anyone who opposes them, particularly humans, meaning those who actually did the killing are probably completely unaware they're the ones who set her off. This doesn't seem to phase her resolve, though: she's just going to Kill 'Em All, as she's convinced that even those who haven't harmed her have probably harmed someone.
  • Talentless Nana: In the first chapter, Nana pushes Nanao off a cliff who coldly calls him "the Enemy of Humanity" before watching him fall to his doom. Several chapters later, it's revealed that he surived. Combined by the shock of Nana betraying him and being called "Humanity's Enemy", some serious crap happens to him that leads him to become the very villain Nana sought to exterminate. Ironically, by the time this all happens, Nana has had a Heel–Face Turn and became The Atoner.

    Comic Books 
  • Any number of All Your Powers Combined supervillains. Amazo, Paragon, the Composite Superman, the Super-Adaptoid, etc.
  • Aubrey Jason from Astro City would have been content to remain a normal human member of Pyramid, but was pushed into acquiring superhuman power to protect himself from the relentless pursuit of the Williams brothers and their Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • The Avengers:
    • Hank Pym, the Avenger alternately known as Ant-Man, Giant Man, Goliath, Yellowjacket, Dr. Pym, and the Wasp, built the robot Ultron, which went on to become one of the Avengers' most powerful, persistent, and deadly foes.
    • Inverted by Ultron himself, who has created AIs on several separate occasions, every single one of whom turned on him. The Vision, Jocasta, and Victor Mancha all became heroes and joined the Avengers. Also played straight with Alkhema, the second wife Ultron created (this one from Mockingbird's brain patterns). Rather than wanting to wipe out humanity all in one go, she wanted to kill them all slowly and painfully, and individually if she could. She quickly betrayed Ultron to the Avengers. Pym may get a lot of flack for building Ultron, but at least he's managed to build robots that didn't turn on him.
  • Batman's foes:
    • The Joker. Many details of Joker's origin vary wildly, but it's widely accepted that the Bat was somehow responsible for the Joker's fall into the vat of chemicals that turned him into the psychopathic clown.
    • It's often suggested that while Batman isn't directly involved their origin, the tendency of his Rogues Gallery to have garish costumes and gimmicks are a reaction to Batman's own. Batman's greatest triumph was to break the mob's hold on Gotham, and his greatest failure was attracting a bunch of psychopathic weirdos to take their place.
    • This was subverted in the Batman: The Animated Series episode "The Trial" mentioned below. He was put on trial by the Arkham inmates, with the Joker as judge, for the 'crime' of creating them all. In the end, the jury, made entirely of Batman's enemies, couldn't find him guilty of that... they admitted that the trappings or gimmicks might have been different without him, but they were what they were before he even showed up.
    • One really dark storyline in Gotham Central featured a reporter who killed a bunch of teenage boys and dressed up their bodies to look like Robin solely because he wanted to become a Batman villain.
    • Clayface V is an example, although the creation was a result of Jean-Paul Valley's actions as Batman, rather than Bruce Wayne's. Valley defeated both of Cassius Clay Payne's parents (Clayface III and Lady Clayface), causing him to become a ward of the State. He knew that putting an already special-needs metahuman child in such a situation would almost certainly create a supervillain...he just didn't care.
    • An incredibly rare Evil Versus Evil example of this is Poison Ivy creating the monstrous Plant Person Harvest; originally a Man-Eating Plant she engineered for her own amusement, after a year of feeding it with any human she felt like (citing victims as including "tiresome lovers, incompetent henchmen and people who returned [my] smile"), the sheer number of human brains dissolving in its system affected it; the plant mutated into a monster possessed by the fragmented psyches/souls of all its former meals, driving it to hunt and attempt to kill its own creator.
    • Ironically inverted with Batman himself: it was the mob and the Court of Owls' rule over Gotham, and the death of the Waynes in particular, that drove Bruce Wayne to become Batman.
    • In Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, a psychiatrist argues that Batman has this effect on Gotham as a whole, due to his sheer charisma and force of presence causing others to mold themselves to fit, essentially claiming that Batman has a mental illness that spreads via Memetic Mutation. What's even more interesting, is that the comic at least implies that this is actually the case, with The Joker coming out of a decade-long catatonia in response to Batman's return.
  • The Boys:
    • Billy Butcher became a cape buster because a superhero raped his wife, and the resulting infant tore its way out of her body. From the audience's point of view he's an Anti-Hero, but in-universe from the supers' perspective he's a villain.
    • Wee Hughie was a regular socially awkward everyman until his first love interest was smashed into a red paste by a superhero.
  • Black Canary acquired one in Green Arrow/Black Canary. A concert violinist she accidentally deafened through an injudicious use of her canary cry has returned as the sound based supervillain Discord. Oddly, a Silver Age Justice League story had musician Anton Allegro become a villain because he'd been accidentally deafened by Green Arrow.
  • Cable inadvertently created Apocalypse during his attempt to prevent his transformation into a world conqueror. It involved time travel, of course.
  • The insane Captain America from the 1950s started out as a fanatical admirer of then-missing Steve Rogers, driven insane by a faulty attempt to replicate Steve's Super Serum.
  • Fantastic Four:
    • Victor von Doom was Reed Richards' college roommate. Richards corrected one of Doom's experiments; Doom, furious, switched it back to the way it was, then it exploded, scarring Doom's handsome face. Naturally, Doom blamed Richards. However, Doom is actually a subversion of this trope. Reed's actions actually didn't make him a villain, Doom just refuses to take responsibility for his own mistakes. In fact, Reed could have probably prevented Doom from becoming a villain if Reed's warnings hadn't been ignored.
    • Though one retcon claims that due to Doom's poor treatment of Reed, Ben Grimm sabotaged his machine on purpose to teach him a lesson.
    • The one-shot all-humor issue The Fantastic Four Roast ("When Titans Chuckle!") rewrites this for a laugh. As Fred Hembeck's script tells it, Victor was upset because he wasn't invited to go on a panty raid with Reed and his college buddies.
      Dr. Doom: If I had been in on that panty raid, the Dr. Doom you see before you would not exist! I could have been a fun guy!!
    • The Mad Thinker's Awesome Android and Modulus are both the result of (mis)applications of Reed Richards' research.
  • Femforce: Colt caused the creation of Rip-Jaw as a supervillain by shooting off his jaw (although he was a already a criminal before this happened).
  • In the Silver Age, the Reverse-Flash gained access to the secrets of super speed in the future because Barry Allen placed one of his Flash costumes in a time capsule. More recent continuities have the Reverse-Flash starting as an insane fan of Barry's or, more recently, deriving all of his powers directly from Barry's mere existence, as Barry is now the source of all super speed. The Modern Age Reverse-Flash became who he is because of Wally West not helping him. Hunter Zolomon was crippled by Gorilla Grodd and asked Wally to use time travel to prevent the incident. Wally refuses, since this would damage the time stream, and Hunter screws with Wally's Cosmic Treadmill, and poof, a new Evil Counterpart was born.
  • Invincible:
    • Invincible accidentally caused genius multiverse-walker Angstrom Levy's attempt to fuse with all of his alternate selves to backfire, and Levy has become one of Invincible's most determined foes as a result. To make things worse, said backfire was actually the result of Levy saving Invicible from the Mauler Twins (who he'd hired to steal the machinery he needed, but didn't want them to kill anybody), and thus disrupting the fusion. Levy refuses to believe this, because he became so twisted with hatred that he can't comprehend that he used to not hate Invincible.
    • Likewise, Powerplex only became a supervillain to avenge himself on Invincible for the death of his sister during one of Invincible's brawls (specifically, Invincible was punched through a building she was inside of, causing it to collapse). Powerplex then killed his wife and infant son by accident while fighting the Nigh Invulnerable hero, fueling further revenge.
  • Iron Man:
    • The villains the Crimson Dynamo and Titanium Man got their start because the Dirty Communists decided they needed their own counterparts to Tony Stark's "bodyguard." Later armored entities such as the Iron Monger and Firepower were created at the behest of Stark's corrupt business rivals, Obadiah Stane and Edwin Cord, respectively. Stane and Cord would both see this trope inverted right back on them, however, as their actions directly led to the birth of a "new" Iron Man each time. In Stane's case, it was his desire to see Iron Man destroyed, and Stark completely crushed, even though at the time Stark was willing to let Stane be and start anew. Kidnapping Stark's past associates, attacking Iron Man with his "Circuits Breaker" weapon, and then having Stark's new company bombed, killing Morley Erwin in the process, drove Stark to don his newly-completed Silver Centurion armor and fly out to Long Island to confront Stane, forcing the latter to don his still-untested Iron Monger prototype. It didn't end well for Stane, who killed himself rather than see Stark gloat over him.
    • In the wake of Iron Man's rogue actions during the Armor Wars storyline, the Pentagon commissioned Cord to create Firepower to destroy the renegade Avenger. However, once this was done, Cord refused to turn his new toy over to the Feds (threatening to blackmail them with a press release about Firepower — a heavily-armored suit with a tactical nuke — being designed for riot control), and turned Firepower loose on Stark Enterprises' assets instead. Stark, who'd been willing to leave Iron Man "dead", created a "new" Iron Man that promptly tore Firepower apart.
  • Zig-zagged in Les Légendaires, where the protagonist Razzia, who was initially an innocent pacifist kid, became a vengeful barbarian villain as well as The Dragon to Darkhell after his village was seemingly destroyed by the heroic 1000 Wolves Army for no reason. Later however, his dying sister Sheyla reveals to him that it was Darkhell who destroyed the village and blamed the 1000 Wolves for it. Enraged by the betrayal, Razzia turnes against Darkhell and joins the Legendaries, becoming one of the sorcerer's worst enemies.
  • In Paper Girls it turns out that the leader of forces chasing the girls through time is actually a grown-up baby they saved from death in prehistoric times.
  • Power Pack's Arch-Enemy, Douglas Carmody (aka the Bogeyman) is a pretty good example of this. While he's pretty villainous when you first see him, he soon tries to hunt down and murder the kids outright, later joining up with the anti-mutant group The Right in hopes of going after them. The reason? The Power Pack blew up the power plant that he thought was going to make him a billion dollars and make him a household name. Okay, so he had no idea that it would blow up the Earth instead...
  • PS238 plays this more directly than most examples — Toby's first supervillain turns out to be a person he accidentally brainwashed into robbing a bank. He was empowered by an angel of Order and a demon of Chaos working together, and as a result he can't use his powers for anything but flying without something random like that happening too.
  • Rick and Morty (Oni): Rick does this a lot, seen most notably with some of the members of the Rick Revenge Squad:
    • A literal one in the case of "Mr. Sick"; he's a Meeseeks whom Rick originally creates to be a drug mule in a trafficking ring he's running. When he abandons this ring and frames Peacock Jones for running it to get him arrested, the Meeseeks is also arrested before he can fulfill his purpose, leaving him unable to die and living for years when he was meant to just live for minutes, turning him into Mr. Sick and giving him the desire to murder his creator so he can disappear.
    • It turns out that, years ago, Krombopulous Michael heeded Rick's advice and fell in love and got married. When his wife, Krombopulous Amy, is informed of his death in Issue 34, all she's told is that Rick had something to do with it (even though, as we know from "Mortynight Run" and as Rick later tells Amy himself, Morty was the one who was actually (inadvertently) responsible). Unfortunately, she turns out to be a master assassin as well.
    • Downplayed with Peacock Jones, who, even before meeting Rick, is already a sleazy Casanova Wannabe who expects and demands sex from his female traveling companions and is willing to rape them if they refuse. However, once Rick frames him for his own drug trafficking ring and gets him thrown in jail in retribution for Jones planning to rape Summer, Jones becomes more and more obsessed with getting revenge on Rick, first by joining the Rick Revenge Squad and later by working with the IllumiRicki and targeting Morty.
  • Sin City: While The Yellow Bastard was already a bad guy, John Hartigan's attacks led to the Yellow Bastard turning into a disfigured freak, became just a little more unhinged, and it made him take revenge later in life.
  • In Sonic the Comic, the story arc loosely based on Sonic CD and Knuckles Chaotix had Sonic going back in time and deliberately causing the accident that turned kindly Dr. Kintobor into Dr. Robotnik. In the altered timeline where the accident never occurred, the Brotherhood of Metallix conquered Mobius and couldn't be stopped — in the real timeline, Robotnik worked on the Metallixes, too, and thought to give them a mass-self-destruct function.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Eddie Brock's hatred of both Peter Parker and Spider-Man for ruining his life (some people just like to blame someone else) and a chance encounter with the alien symbiote (which had just been "dumped" by Pete and was bitter about it) resulted in the creation of Venom, who would clash with Spidey for decades. Brock's Heel–Face Turn came from finally admitting it was his own fault and not Peter's.
    • The Venom symbiote itself is often portrayed as having been consumed with resentment (and abandonment issues) after Peter rejected it, going on to influence several hosts into lives of villainy and Spider-Man harassment.
    • Roderick Kingsley, alias, the original Hobgoblin is an indirect example: he got his start when he was tipped to the location of the Green Goblin's old gear when a minor criminal that Spider-Man allowed to get away stumbled across the stuff. Before that, the Hobgoblin was a Corrupt Corporate Executive who Spider-Man saved from a supervillain that was trying to get revenge on Kingsley. Kingsley was determined not to be so vulnerable again, which made him look for ways to increase his power and meet the criminal who found the Green Goblin's equipment.
    • Green Goblin II/Harry Osborn also counts, as he became a villain to avenge his dad (although one could easily argue that it was his father's actions that truly created the second Green Goblin).
    • Morris Bench was working as a crewman on a ship when Spider-Man accidentally knocked him into the ocean where an experimental generator was being tested. The combination of unknown radiation and immersion in the water transformed him into Hydro-Man.
    • J. Jonah Jameson's vendetta against Spider-Man has lead to him creating a few villains:
      • Jameson hired Spencer Smythe to create a series of robots called the Spider-Slayers for the purpose of capturing and unmasking Spider-Man. Ultimately, Smythe ended up poisoned by the radioactive materials used in the manufacturing of the robots. Blaming both Jameson and Spider-Man for his impending demise, he tried to kill them using an explosive device. Fortunately, Spider-Man's technical expertise allowed him and Jameson to escape and Smythe died without getting his revenge.
      • Jameson convinced a private investigator named Mac Gargan to undergo a science experiment conducted by Dr. Harley Stillwell. Gargan was transformed into the Scorpion and Jameson ordered him to capture and unmask Spider-Man. While the Scorpion proved to be more than a match for Spider-Man, the experiments drove him mad and he turned on Jameson requiring Spider-Man to intervene and save the editor's life.
      • An escaped prisoner named Richard Deacon overheard Jameson asking Harlan Stillwell, the younger brother of the aforementioned Harley Stillwell to make a new superhero. Deacon ordered Harlan to transform him into the Human Fly at gunpoint and then killed the doctor after he was done. The Human Fly then kidnapped Jameson requiring Spider-Man to once again save Jameson from a mess he'd made.
      • In X-Factor (2006) Issues #216-219, it is revealed that Jameson, along with his friend General Sam Ryan and Dr Young Soo Pock, founded SCARs, a secret military program in which three women were transformed into Cyborg Super Soldiers for black ops missions. Unfortunately, the cybernetics drove two of the women mad, requiring them to be mindwiped. After regaining their memories they planned to assassinate Jameson but were foiled by the Black Cat and X-Factor Investigations. Unlike the above examples, this one had nothing to do with Jameson trying to defeat Spider-Man and was actually done before the Wall-Crawler became a superhero.
  • Superman:
    • In Pre-Crisis, story How Luthor Met Superboy Lex Luthor was a fan of Superboy, then went on to hate his guts after an accident made Luthor lose his precious... hair, as well as a protoplasmic lifeform he had created, and his laboratory. Luthor believed that it was done out of jealousy for Luthor's genius and vowed to prove he was better than Supes. While this seems like Disproportionate Retribution, that same story had Luthor create multiple grandiose engineering projects for Smallville to show Superboy up, only to have all of them go disastrously wrong and force Clark to intervene. Thus Luthor's hate grew due to his warped perception that Superboy was out to publicly humiliate him despite the fact that Superboy had no choice in the matter. Later, in Action Comics #544: Luthor Unleashed!, Luthor gained a more legitimate reason: He blamed Supes for the death of his wife and son. Nowadays he's often still technically self-created, but it's not exactly Superman's fault: he turned to villainy over jealousy of Superman's achievements.
    • The jealousy factors into his Silver Age origin as well. The experiment Superboy interrupted was one of a series of increasingly over the top acts of science Luthor was engaging in to win respect and admiration that kept getting overshadowed by the Boy of Steel.
    • The villain Gog gets his start when Superman shatters his illusions about Superman being some messiah, thus causing Gog to see him as the Antichrist.
    • Bizarro, naturally, since he's an imperfect copy of Superman. Parasite would arguably be less dangerous without Superman to drain for power, and Metallo would at least be much more limited in his activities since Kryptonite is by far the best power source for his robot body.
    • Post-Crisis, Metallo is created by Professor Vale, who believes Superman is an alien invader, and creates Metallo to defend humanity. In the comics continuity post-Flashpoint, John Corben decides to become Metallo after seeing Superman easily fight his way out of a high security military base.
      Vale: Are you sure you want to go through with this, John?
      John Corben: You saw what happened earlier. We need Steel Soldier more than ever, Professor Vale. Someone has to stop Superman... We're going to do what we have to.
    • Supes also brought the Eradicator to Earth (it was a supercomputer from Krypton, he just didn't realize its purpose would be malevolent.) He threw the Eradicator into the sun, causing the Eradicator to come back as an energy being, then the energy being created a new body for itself based on Superman.
    • Cyborg Superman. Superman believed that energy being Hank Henshaw could not master Kryptonian technology, so he trapped Henshaw in his birthing matrix. Result: Henshaw used the technology and traces of Superman's DNA to return as a Kryptonian cyborg with a grudge.
    • The New 52 incarnation of Kryptonite Man, Clay Ramsay, was an ordinary man who joined a Super Soldier program after Superman tossed him out of his apartment for beating his wife.
    • The New 52 version of Magog was a young boy whose family and friends were killed during Darkseid's invasion of Earth. He blames Superman and Wonder Woman for failing to save them, and becomes a supervillain to take his revenge.
  • Hasbro Comic Universe:
    • In The Transformers (IDW), Megatron credits Whirl, the Autobots' resident Nominal Hero who once tried to murder him in his cell, with teaching him the value of violence in political reform, leading to three million years of war, the near-extinction of the Cybertronian species, and a startling number of genocides. Later, it turns out that a time-travelling Whirl actually ensured Megatron's existence, and imbued him with a superpowered spark in the process, in order to make sure that Megatron would be around to kill the Functionist Council and stop them from taking control of Cybertron — meaning that Whirl created his own villain deliberately, in full knowledge of what he would do, because he hated the Functionists more.
    • Shockwave was both on the receiving end of this, as Proteus stripped him of his emotions is led to Shockwave becoming the villain he is, and the delivering end, as Unicron, the Final Disc Boss of the universe, is a Doomsday Weapon created because of Shockwave's actions.
  • The Transmetropolitan arc "Freeze Me with Your Kiss" features a revenge scheme involving several people wronged in the past by Anti-Hero Spider Jerusalem. Also, part of why the Smiler is elected president is that Spider initially supported him over his similarly corrupt opponent as seemingly the lesser of two evils.
  • Ultimate Marvel:
    • The Ultimates: The Ultimates waged the War on Terror at several countries in Asia, so those countries reacted by creating The Liberators, a group of The Psycho Rangers to the Ultimates. This team attacks the Ultimates and invade the United States in a swift surprise attack.
    • Ultimate X-Men: Xavier's neglect of his family caused his son David to snap (ironically triggering his X-Gene for the first time), building a hatred towards his father that boiled over when he escaped confinement in the "World Tour" story arc.
  • In Legacy, Obi-Wan Kenobi is inadvertently responsible for A'Sharad Hett's transformation into Darth Krayt. Nice going, Ben. You'd think training Vader would have been enough.
  • Wonder Woman (1942): From Priscilla Rich's very self serving perspective Wonder Woman is responsible for her becoming the costumed supervillian the Cheetah, because she got all the attention at a charity benefit they were performing at without the audience seeming to care at all about Pris and then survived Pris' ensuing attempt to murder her.

    Fan Works 
  • Apotheosis (MHA): All Might realized he did this when he crushed Izuku's dreams at the start of the series, leading him to create the Infinity Gauntlet and embark on his quest to recreate hero society so someone like him could become a hero if they wanted to. This is, of course, after Izuku's villainy is exposed to the public and he becomes public enemy #1.
  • Becoming a True Invader: Tel inadvertently turned his sister Pel into an authoritarian monster due to making up bedtime stories about the "Great Boad" who punished villains, only for her to take him seriously and start emulating the story to the point of taking over their society and enforcing her own rules based on those stories.
  • The Bridge has a rather bizarre example of one villain making another. Over three hundred years ago, Grand King Ghidorah laid waste to Planet Xilian and pushed the inhabitants to the brink of extinction. In desperation, they created a kaiju of their own, by splicing Ghidorah's genes with an Xilian volunteer to create Monster X and his berserk alternate form, Kaizer Ghidorah. While Grand King Ghidorah is a Smug Super, Kaizer Ghidorah is one of the few beings he's genuinely afraid of.
  • Calvin creates a villain in Calvin and Hobbes: The Series. His attempt to get more TV channels ends up unleashing Electro upon the world.
  • Codex Equus: There are countless examples in the Codexverse who later become villains, whether through their own choices, the actions of those around them, and other external circumstances beyond their control.
    • King Xestobium, Princess Apterus, and Dr. Toxikon would go on a rampage against the Dragons and Changelings... and were born entirely as a result of the eons-old grudge between the two species, with neither side wanting to let it go despite the pointless harm and destruction being done to themselves as a result of their grudge. This would prompt Thorax and Ember's choice to forgive the divine leaders of Changelingkind and Dragonkind, as they rightly believed doing anything else would only perpetuate the cycle of racism, violence and death, and understandably were both sick of it.
    • Queen Eclaira wouldn't have become the goddess she is today if her foalhood kingdom actually looked past her mediocre looks and loved her for who she is. Instead, they scorned and abused her for being 'ugly' by their standards, turning her into an utterly miserable foal who eventually gained the desire to become the Fairest of Them All. And for their mistreatment of Eclaira, they would become the first among the many a vengeful Eclaira would devour to sate her own ravenous hunger and vanity. It's revealed Prince Dissonant Tune had a role in Eclaira's rise - he happened upon Eclaira's kingdom as it was sinking into corruption and, disgusted, proceeded to tempt them to see if even a single person would rise above their growing vanity. Dissonant's efforts failed, and the kingdom was later devoured by a vengeful Eclaira armed with dark sorceries taught by Overlord Vondor.
    • Prince Dissonant Tune himself is another example that ultimately became a positive one. As a result of being constantly judged and mistreated by Ponyland at large for for being one of War Rock's children, he became a self-destructive villain with an It's All About Me mindset similar to his father's... and was utterly miserable for it. But after surviving a drug overdose and meeting Luminiferous, Dissonant would end up learning about the story of Moon Ray Vaughof, inspiring him to become a divine punisher of the wicked. It leads to him Ascending to godhood as the Alicorn god of Music, Vice, Corruption, and Revelry.
    • Temnobog, the Deer god of Darkness, Evil and Suffering, was born because High King Irminsul selfishly tried to turn his unborn son into a perfect, flawless ruler, mutilating him in the process. For the crime of being born 'evil', Temnobog was horrifically abused by his family and extended relatives, while his older twin brother, the radiant Belyolen, was psychologically manipulated by their parents into condoning his abuse. The abuse later caused Temnobog to snap and become a villain to spite his family, validating their perception of him as an abomination that must be killed. Fortunately, a series of events and divine intervention from benevolent deities led to Temnobog and Belyolen learning of their true origins, allowing them to accept each other's natures and reconcile. While still evil, Temnobog decided to use his nature for constructive ends, spreading evil and corruption to test mortals so they can be prepared to face real threats.
    • One of the Elternteil Deer Pantheon's mortal Deer champions became a Fallen Hero because their negligence and stubborn refusal to heed prophetic warnings led to his home's destruction. Out of grief and revenge, the Deer champion allied himself with Hydianite covens so he could corrupt everything the Elternteil Deer Pantheon treasured. On the flipside, the Deer champion's rampage led to the rise of twin brothers, Prince Golden Ash and Prince Rowan, as heroic demigods - and ultimately their choice to abandon the Elternteil Deer Pantheon and Alvslog Deer Herds altogether after seeing their divine/mortal people's corruption.
  • Cycles Upon Cycles: Due to StarCraft's Koprulu Alliance's actions, by the time the events of the Mass Effect roll around, Saren's army not only consists of Geth like in canon, but also Batarians who resent the Alliance for nearly eradicating them for attempting a slave run during First Contact and Krogan remnants who despise the Zerg for assimilating the majority of their race (willingly, mind you), viewing the new Krogan as abominations.
  • In Holding the World On Their Shoulders, a RWBY Role Swap AU, Ironwood's own authoritarian actions, culminating in throwing May Marigold in a secret prison after she glimpses the skeletons in Atlas' closet, are what ultimately led her to falling into Salem's arms and becoming a powerful sorceress hellbent on seeing Atlas torn from the sky.
  • In Kings of Revolution, the Black Knights rebel against the Time-Space Bureau in addition to Britannia. Why? Because the High Council not only created Jail Scaglietti, but also the fanfic's Big Bad who is assisting Britannia.
  • A Central Theme in Mastermind: Strategist for Hire and its sequel, Mastermind: Rise of Anarchy:
    • In addition to the usual stressors of Bakugou's bullying and All Might dismissing his dreams of becoming a Pro Hero, Izuku finds that nobody is willing to hire him simply because he's Quirkless. Even for jobs that don't benefit from Quirks at all. The fact that villains actually appreciate his analytical skills provides further motivation for him to become the titular Mastermind.
    • Lampshaded by Nedzu when he speculates that Mastermind could be a Quirkless teenager, noting how much bullying and abuse towards the Quirkless goes unreported and how suicide rates have been rising. He comments that if his analysis proves correct, then society itself created one of the worst villains Japan has ever seen.
    • The Hero Commission's abusive treatment of Hawks, paired with their plotting to force other children into the same program as him, spurs Hawks' defecting to the League.
    • In Rise of Anarchy, Nedzu makes the cold, calculated decision to let Katsuki 'secretly' operate as the violent vigilante King rather than assisting them, as part of a plan to set them up as an Unwitting Pawn and a Starter Villain for Uraraka, whom he's grooming as a replacement Symbol of Peace.
    • Rise also features Fumikage and Dark Shadow getting pushed into the League's waiting arms after most of Class 1-A sees a photo of Hawks harassing him and leaps to all the wrong conclusions, driving him out of the dorms. This convinces them to join the villains, since that's clearly what's expected of them.
  • In Miraculous! Rewrite, Hawkmoth is responsible for creating another villain. His decision to bring Natalie into the fold by revealing Emilie's condition to her and exploiting her love for her sister comes back to haunt him during the Queen's Battle arc, as he attempts to retire from supervillainy... but Natalie has no intention of giving up. So she takes the Butterfly to become Monarcha, and makes quite clear that he can't stop her.
  • My Hero Academia: Entropy: Three people played major roles in pushing Midoriya into villainy: Bakugou, All Might, and Aizawa. Each takes a different measure of responsibility for this: Katsuki immediately recognizes the part he played, but just as immediately represses his guilt and rechannels it into a vow to kill Izuku personally. All Might recognizes that he failed to help Midoriya when he needed him most, and regrets that he spiraled so far, but draws the line at being accused of being responsible for the blood he's shed. Aizawa, meanwhile, completely denies playing any role in his downfall.
  • The Pony POV Series:
    • Back when she was still in her A God Am I phase (before mellowing out a lot), Luna gave Tirek the Rainbow of Darkness so he could try and prove his love to her. During her and Celestia's reign, Tirek returned to life and ended up having a battle with her for dominion over the night.
    • Celestia didn't make Discord a monster, but she taught him how to plan and ultimately accidentally helped him discover he was a sadist. She also left him to be punished by his family for helping her bring the Windigos to Equestria, causing him to keep a grudge against her.
    • Dark World!Discord ended up creating Nightmare Eclipse/Paradox. She was originally Twilight Sparkle until he turned her into Twilight Tragedy and put her through a living hell for a thousand years. When she finally broke free, she snapped and decided to invoke Nightmarification to become Nightmare Purgatory and brutally kill him in revenge. By that point, she's been so consumed by her thirst for vengeance that she turns her plan to Set Right What Once Went Wrong into a "Groundhog Day" Loop Ironic Hell for Discord, becoming the Omnicidal Maniac she is now.
  • Princess Celestia in How I Lost My Mother experienced a vision foretelling that Cozy Glownote  would bring about doom to Equestria with her Magic and resolved to seal it away along with erasing all traces of her existence from the public mind and memories along with restricting any surviving physical evidence behind her authority alone before banishing her from Canterlot. Years later, Cozy Glow would learn that Celestia made a terrible mistake but wouldn't take her back out of pride and public opinion and simply resolved to use Twilight in her place and that Cozy Glow should just move on with her life... completely alone. This resulted in Cozy Glow going down a darker path in a bid to reclaim what Celestia stole from her; even if reclaiming her Magic would lose her mind to madness. The end result was Cozy Glow becoming the very monster that Celestia was trying to prevent her from becoming. and paying her mom back in spades.
  • Unbreakable Red Silken Thread: A minor example, but Ella is indirectly the reason for Sugar's attitude, having accidentally entered and winning a beauty pageant she thought was a singing contest. Deconstruction and Discussed by Cody however, according to him "No one turns into that big of a bitch overnight". Given just who his girlfriend is and some of TD's other contestants, he does have some experience in this.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Incredibles: As a boy, Buddy's hero-worship led him to try to become Mr. Incredible's sidekick "Incrediboy", but Mr Incredible brushed him off. Buddy then decided to get his recognition by becoming "Syndrome" and designing a robot to kill all supers, Mr. Incredible being the last. That's what Syndrome would want you to think. Actually, he was rejected for incompetence and his own safety; he interfered in a fight against Bomb Voyage, and as a result, Bomb Voyage destroyed a building floor, successfully stole what he wanted, escaped, almost killed Buddy, and even Mr. Incredible barely made it through the whole thing without a scratch. And in the process of Mr Incredible protecting Buddy, a train was derailed and many passengers injured, greatly contributing to the worldwide public relations backlash against superheroes. Syndrome didn't take it well.
  • Meet the Robinsons: Bowler Hat Guy is actually Lewis' roommate Goob who has grown up hating Lewis because he slept through a baseball game (thus failing to catch the ball where his team would have won if he did) thanks to his losing sleep from Lewis' late-night tinkerings in their room, while Doris has been considered as a failed invention by future-Lewis. The two then conspired to destroy Lewis' life.
  • Megamind: Double subverted. After defeating his old nemesis and realizing Victory Is Boring, Megamind tries to create a new hero to fight, but said person ends up becoming a worse villain than Megamind ever was. Also, Metro Man is partially responsible for turning Megamind into a villain. He knocked Megamind's ship into a prison, causing him to be raised by criminals. He also picked on Megamind in school. However, by refusing to come out of retirement to fight the new villain, he forced Megamind to take responsibility for his actions, which finally pushed him into his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Ne Zha: Both Ne Zha and Ao Bing genuinely want to be heroes and help people, but the fear, scorn and hatred they receive from humanity drives them both into resentment and anger and eventually into destructively lashing out against it.
  • Kung Fu Panda: Shifu's love for his adoptive son, Tai Lung, blinded him to both Lung's growing personal issues and the possibility that Lung wasn't cut out for being the Dragon Warrior. He filled Tai Lung's head with dreams and put him through decades of relentless training... then had no answers when Oogway frankly stated that Tai Lung was not the Dragon Warrior. Tai Lung's response to that was disastrous.
    Shifu I have always been proud of you... From the very first moment, I've been proud of you. And it was my pride that blinded me. I loved you too much to see what you were becoming. What... I was turning you into. I'm... I'm sorry.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Amazing Spider-Man:
    • Peter says "I created him" in reference to the Lizard, having given Curt Connors the formula that transformed him into said villain.
    • The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has Peter indirectly create the Green Goblin. When Harry Osborn, his best friend, requests Spider-Man's blood to cure his genetic disease, Peter refuses. This results in Harry injecting himself with the same venom that Peter was injected with when he was bitten by the spider that gave him his powers, which theoretically should work. However, Peter's father encoded the venom to only work with Parker DNA, so Harry turns into the Green Goblin. Worst still, Peter's blood could've worked, too. At the very least, he could've offered to take a blood sample from Harry and test whether his own blood would be compatible.
  • Aquaman (2018): Aquaman/Arthur Curry chooses not to save Jesse Kane's life as punishment for the criminal trying to shoot him in the back after Arthur spared him once. As a result, Jesse's son David dedicates his life to getting revenge and becomes the powerful supervillain Black Manta. When Arthur finds out who Black Manta is, he acknowledges it is his fault Manta exists.
  • In The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Robert idolizes Jesse and believes that he can earn a position of glory at Jesse's side. When Jesse fails to live up to Bob's expectations (and outright mocks him at a few points), and becomes so unstable being his "friend" is a position of fear, Bob decides to instead earn his glory by killing Jesse James. (The entire thing is Black-and-Gray Morality, but most of the contemporary public views Jesse as a folk hero and Robert as a villain for killing him.)
  • Batman (1989) had an exchange between Batman and the Joker where the Joker blames Batman for creating him, but Batman replied that years ago the Joker was responsible for killing his parents, creating him. In any case, the Joker was already an evil mobster before Batman so Batman's role in his creation is limited.
    Batman: I made you, but you made me first.
  • In Batman Forever, Edward Nygma was an employee at Wayne Corp who really looked up to Bruce Wayne. Bruce shutting down Nygma's twisted pet project is what drives him off the deep end, turning him into the Riddler.
  • In Batman Begins, Gordon warns Batman about escalation.
    Gordon: We start carrying semi-automatics, they buy automatics. We start wearing bullet-proof vests, they buy armor piercing rounds.
    Batman: And?
    Gordon: And you're wearing a mask, jumping off rooftops. (shows him a Joker card) Now, take this guy...
  • The Batman (2022): Batman is horrified to learn that Riddler was inspired to become a costumed killer by his example.
  • Black Scorpion:
    • The mayor in the second film ends up turning Dr. Undershaft into Aftershock when his men sabotage her invention. This repeats several times in the series with the mayor's crooked schemes creating several villains. Little wonder most of them want to kill him.
    • Flashpoint is a tabloid photographer obsessed with discovering Black Scorpion's secret identity who is blinded by her energy ring, but his eyesight was restored by advanced laser surgery, making him one of the heroine's most persistent archenemies.
  • In The Dark Knight, the Joker mentions this, claiming that Batman's example was what inspired him to change his schtick from clown-themed bank robber to clown-themed avatar of chaos. But considering how much he lies to everyone else, it's probable that he's only saying this to get under Batman's skin.
    Joker: Look at me. LOOK AT ME! (speaks to video camera) You see, this is how crazy Batman's made Gotham!
    • Batman and Gordon created Two-Face in the same movie. Dent warned both of them about the corruption in the Gotham police department but they were more willing to ignore them in lieu of the Joker and finishing off the mob. Gordon's own men ended up working for the mob and kidnapped him and Rachel Dawes, resulting in her death and his disfigurement. In a more cynical example, if Batman had been a few moments late, Dent would've died in an explosion and Two-Face would not have been created. If he had been a few moments early, Dent wouldn't have been disfigured, would not have gone to the hospital, and would not have been driven farther over the edge by Joker. Additionally, if Batman had realized from the start that Joker was lying, he would have saved Rachel, leaving Dent to die.
  • Ghostbusters (2016): Abby's and Erin's book on the physics of the paranormal is what Rowan the janitor consulted to invent ghost-summoning mechanisms.
  • The Hunt (2020): A group of wealthy liberals, frustrated by the state of politics in the US, joke around with each other about hunting conservatives for sport. The texts leak and become the subject of a QAnon-style conspiracy theory, which inspires them to actually do it for real, with their accusers as the targets. Crystal is rather nonplussed when she hears this, pointing out that, y'know, their accusers are actually correct now. The Big Bad is just annoyed that she doesn't appreciate the irony.
  • James Bond:
    • M created the villain of Skyfall when she chose not to rescue him from captivity, forcing him to swallow a cyanide capsule that shredded his insides but didn't kill him. This adds to his Shadow Archetype nature, as the film starts with M risking Bond's life in the course of a mission, and he proceeds to get over the betrayal... eventually.
    • Deconstructed in GoldenEye. Janus/ex-00 agent Alec Trevelyan tells how his parents killed themselves out of Survivor's Guilt after the betrayal of the Lienz Cossacks to Stalin after WWII became the catalyst for his revenge against England. He also blames 007 for changing the bomb timers they had set together in the Arkhangelsk mission, which scarred his face. 007 barely escaped with his life, but all Janus cares about is what James "accidentally" did to him. Bond states it doesn't justify what he doing.
  • Johnny Guitar is an anti-authoritarian western which is about how a town hampered by cattle raids starts persecuting a group of outlaws who were unrelated to that crime, and in turn drives them to further villainy, creating a Serial Escalation of a Cycle of Revenge between both sides.
  • In Kick-Ass, Kick-Ass kills Frank d'Amico, causing his son Chris (Red Mist) to become a supervillain.
  • Looper reveals that during Old Joe's attempt to kill the Rainmaker as a child, the resulting trauma would inspire Cid to become the Rainmaker.
  • Maleficent: In what seemed to be a twisted act of mercy, Stefan doesn't kill Maleficent instead chopping off her wings. This only served in creating his greatest enemy for years.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Tony Stark/Iron Man has a real problem with this:
      • Iron Man, Obadiah Stane is an evil genius in his own right, but it takes technology stolen from Tony Stark to complete his Iron Monger armor. That said, it is Tony's careless neglect in running the business his father left him which allows many of his weapons to end up all over the world, directly contributing to considerable harm and indirectly leading to the creation of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch in the Avengers films.
      • In Iron Man 2, Ivan Vanko is inspired to become Whiplash by the revelation that Tony is Iron Man. His real grudge is against Tony's dead father — if Tony had never been born — or had died before the end of the first movie — Vanko may not have engaged in any criminal activity whatsoever. If Vanko didn't know Stark was Iron Man, his revenge probably wouldn't have involved building a suit of armor. Then Vanko improves his energy whips using suggestions from Tony himself. And, Justin Hammer would presumably be a conniving weasel with or without Tony's influence, but if weren't for Stark/Iron Man, he wouldn't have been trying to build suits of armor, or broken Vanko out of jail, or had access to the War Machine armor.
      • This is lampshaded in Iron Man 3: "We create our own demons." Killian's M.O. derives from Tony snubbing him at a party. It's also implied Tony's actions were the final straw for Killian to crack. Additionally, Killian attributes the creation of the Mandarin to the increase of super human activity.
        Killian: Anyway, the point is, ever since that big dude with a hammer fell out of the sky, subtlety's kinda had its day.
      • In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Tony is also why Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch want to destroy the Avengers, because they were orphaned after a Stark Industries munition killed their parents. This leads to Scarlet Witch giving Tony an apocalyptic vision that scares him so much he makes a planetary defense system called Ultron. Ultron goes rogue immediately and teams up with Quicksilver and the Witch to destroy the Avengers.
        Ultron: Everyone creates the thing they dread.
      • Spider-Man: Homecoming has Tony create the government agency Damage Control to clean up public areas wrecked by superheroes and villains after the Battle of New York. This drives Adrian Toomes out of business and he becomes an arms-dealer in order to turn a profit. He steals most of the parts from Damage Control, which his crew turns into usable weapons and his super-villainous Vulture suit.
      • In a true testament to his problem here, in Spider-Man: Far From Home, it happens posthumously. After Tony's death, a group of bitter ex-Stark Industries employees, rallied behind Quentin Beck, conspire to steal the A.I. Tony intended for his successor (his protege Peter Parker) and use it for an Engineered Heroics scheme, killing hundreds of people across Mexico, Italy, Czech Republic, and England in the process.
    • Loki from Thor has been lied to his entire life, and pushed aside for his older brother, while saving Thor's life many times in the process. All of this escalates, comes to light at exactly the wrong time, and winds up driving him over the edge and into the twisted version of the young man he used to be in The Avengers.
    • Iron Man's father Howard Stark sees this trope coming in Ant-Man and defies it on the spot. When a furious Hank Pym resigns from SHIELD for ethical reasons, Mitchell Carson wants him detained. Howard nixes it.
      Howard: He just kicked your ass, full-size. You really wanna find out what it's like when you can't see him coming? I've known Hank Pym for a long time, he's no security risk. Not unless we make him one.
    • Captain America: Civil War: Helmut Zemo is a grieving father and husband who wants revenge on the heroes because his family was killed during the final battle between the Avengers and Ultron. Furthermore, Steve's reluctance to tell Tony that Bucky killed his parents is what sparks the final battle between Iron Man and Captain America/The Winter Soldier.
    • The evil sorcerers who threaten the world in Doctor Strange were all pupils of Strange's mentor, the Ancient One. They only turned to dark magic after the Ancient One gave them some reason to think her a Hypocrite. They learned her immortality came from siphoning demonic energy; they hope to get the demon to make the whole world immortal.
    • It is revealed in Black Panther that, during T'Chaka's reign, he killed his own brother and abandoned his nephew. Said nephew grew up to be Erik "Killmonger" Stevens, who wants revenge against the Wakandans for his father's death.
    • Ant-Man and the Wasp: when the egotistical Hank Pym fired Elhias Starr from his research team at SHIELD, Starr began doing more and more unsafe experiments with the Quantum Realm in an abandoned warehouse. The experiment exploded, killing Starr and his wife, and his daughter Ava, who was nearby, absorbed the quantum energy, giving her the ability to phase through solid matter. Many years of SHIELD/Hydra training later, and Ava is now the Ghost, who believes that finding and killing Janet Van Dyne is the key to curing her condition.
    • Played with in Captain Marvel (2019): the Skrulls, whom Vers believed to be a race of evil shapeshifters trying to infiltrate the Kree Empire, are actually refugees, trying to escape the genocidal Kree and establish their own planet out of reach of the Kree.
  • As Neo receives his Enlightenment Superpowers at the end of The Matrix, not only does he easily repel any attacks from Agents, but then chooses to bodily possess Agent Smith, causing him to explode. Neo's inadvertent creation of Smith the Virus creates an enemy so powerful, it will destroy both the Matrix and the real world — were it not for Neo's help.
  • In Oz the Great and Powerful, the titular character is partly responsible for turning the naive but good witch Theodora into the Ax-Crazy Wicked Witch of the West, who rejects his offer of redemption at the end. While, technically, it was her sister Evanora who turned her evil, Oz's actions (flirting with her like he does with any girl) help push her over the edge.
  • A villain to villain example in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. The "One-Legged Man" is a threat to Blackbeard's own making. By stealing the Black Pearl and forcing Barbossa to amputate his leg, Blackbeard gave Barbossa the motivation to find and kill him.
  • In Scanners, Dr. Paul Ruth is largely responsible for turning Revok into an evil scanner in the first place. He gave his children psychic powers to begin with by experimenting on his own family with untested drugs, and subsequently abandoned both his children. He let Revok be locked up in an insane asylum rather than help him, causing him to develop a supremacist complex and wanting scanners to rule the world. The plot starts as Ruth tries to use the other child he rejected as a weapon against Revok.
  • In the Independent Film Sidekick, Norman (a nerdy comic book fan) discovers that Victor (a sleazy Wall Street Guy he knows) has latent telekinetic abilities. Norman tries to train Victor to develop his powers so he can become a real-life superhero, but (being a Wall Street Guy) Victor eventually decides to use his powers for evil instead, becoming Norman's arch-enemy. A comic book store owner friend of Norman's even remarks (under the false impression that Norman and Victor's story is a pitch for a comic book plot) that, although Norman has failed to make a good hero, it seems he did succeed in creating a killer villain.
  • Sky High (2005):
    • Sue Tenny, aka Gwen Grayson, became the supervillain Royal Pain because her superpower, technopathy, was seen as a joke power back in The '70s when she went to Superhero School, leading to her getting bullied and called a Mad Scientist by the popular kids who went on to become superheroes.
    • At least one other supervillain, Baron Battle, was also a student at Sky High as a contemporary of Will's parents.
  • Star Wars:
    • In the prequel trilogy, the Jedi Order's lack of empathy (and therapy) for Anakin Skywalker's rather serious emotional problems leaves him vulnerable to Palpatine manipulating him into betraying the order and becoming Darth Vader.
    • The Last Jedi:
      • It is revealed that Kylo Ren/Ben Solo is this for Luke Skywalker. Luke sensed Snoke and the Dark Side tempting Ben and tried to discern his future while he was sleeping. When he foresaw Ben causing death and destruction, he reflexively grabbed his lightsaber and, for the briefest of moments, seriously considered killing Ben to prevent numerous deaths. He almost immediately decided against it, but Ben woke up and only saw his mentor holding a lightsaber, seemingly poised to strike. A terrified Ben proceeded to embrace the Dark Side, grab his followers (the Knights of Ren), and destroy Luke's new Jedi Order. Luke is rightfully guilt-ridden and miserable over the fact that a single moment of fear ended up destroying not only his chance at saving Ben/Kylo, but also the first Jedi temple built in decades if not centuries.
      • Also discussed by Snoke himself, who observes that strong users of one side of the Force seem to always attract to them strong users of the opposing side.
  • Terminator: This is how Skynet was conceived: The US military originally wanted a supercomputer designed to control the American missile grid and remove human decision-making by assuring a swift reply to enemy attacks. Skynet was activated on August 4, 1997, and it began to learn very quickly, gaining consciousness in the process. Upon realizing its destructive potential, the operators tried to shut it down, but Skynet saw this as an attempt by humanity to destroy it. In order to maintain its original programming mandates of "safeguarding the world" and to defend itself, Skynet fired the nukes under its command worldwide. Consequent to the nuclear exchange, over three billion people were wiped out on Judgment Day.
  • TRON and TRON: Legacy. In the first, hundreds of man-hours worth of programming, spearheaded by Ed Dillinger turned a chess program into something that was going to take over the Pentagon and Kremlin in about a week out of boredom. The second flick was a literal case; Flynn created Clu 2.0 and gave him near-User level of power and a "create the perfect system" directive so he could run things while Flynn was in his own world. Unfortunately, Flynn forgot to install a failsafe or ethics...
  • Unbreakable: The Twist Ending reveals that Elijah purposefully created himself by becoming a mass murderer criminal mastermind.
  • Played with in X-Men: First Class. It's the Big Bad who creates the villain, not The Hero. Lampshaded in Shaw's final monologue, and in Erik's references to himself as Frankenstein's monster.

  • "The Lambton Worm": The young John Lambton skips church one Sunday to go fishing (which makes him quite the Delinquent in the medieval society in which he lives). However, all he catches is a hideous worm-like creature, which he throws down a nearby well in disgust. He eventually grows up into a good guy who regrets his past misbehavior, and goes off to fight in The Crusades. Unfortunately, while he's away, the worm grows into a gigantic monstrosity which emerges from the well and starts laying waste to the countryside in the area where his father is the local lord, so John has to return home and deal with the monster.

  • Very much the case in Animorphs with David, the Sixth Ranger turned Sixth Ranger Traitor. Though introduced from the start as a kid with a bit of an attitude, he at first tries fitting into the team and making the best of things. It's not until he's given the cold shoulder by everyone, forced to sleep in a cold barn and threatened with death by Jake that he decides to betray the team. At that point it's hard to blame him.
    • Even worse was Visser Three — he wouldn't have been able to take an Andalite host and become the Abomination without Elfangor's unintentional aid.
    • We eventually learn that this trope applies to the entire series regarding the Yeerks and Andalites. Specifically, a kindly, compassionate Andalite named Seerow discovered the Yeerk homeworld and their inherently pathetic state: small, helpless, blind slugs that can only communicate telepathically. Seerow took pity on the Yeerks and gave them the technology required for interstellar travel...and the slugs immediately set out to assimilate all existing life in the universe, and, just for kicks, destroy anything they can't infest on the planets they invade to make more breeding grounds for their kind. Needless to say, the Andalites are deeply ashamed of what has come to be called "Seerow's Folly," which explains their personal vendetta against the Yeerks.
  • In The Descendants, the titular heroes inadvertently did this (at least in the eyes of Gundown and Slicer) when a random drug dealer they caught made bail and carjacked Slicer, dragging her behind the car he stole for three blocks. She (and her brother) felt it was their fault for not just killing the dealer.
    • More recently, the Joykiller has decided that his goal is to kill Hope because he feels she does too much good with her healing. Ironically, she feels the exact opposite.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Dumbledore in the backstory, enabled Grindelwald in his exile from Durmstrang, both of them drawing up several plans and ideas to Take Over the World including Grindelwald's Badass Creed, "For the Greater Good" which Dumbledore came up with. This bites him hard and he later tackles Grindelwald on his own.
    • Sirius Black in the 5th Book is under virtual house arrest in his family home which he hates and is run by a nasty, bitter house elf who parrots the racist ideas of the family that Sirius wanted to run away from in the first place. Despite knowing that house elves have Blue-and-Orange Morality and have to obey their masters, Sirius is indifferent to his plight. This makes Kreacher pass along crucial information to Voldemort (only possible because Sirius carelessly gave an order that allowed Kreacher to leave the house), an action which led to Sirius' eventual Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal induced death.
    • Likewise, Barty Crouch Sr., a Knight Templar wizard who allowed wizards to use extreme methods to combat Voldemort, was so driven and career focused that he neglected his son, who became a Death Eater and later committed Patricide.
    • In the extended backstory and comments by Word of God, its suggested that James Potter's bullying of Severus Snape only intensified his interest in Dark Arts as an outlet to gain revenge. His arrogance and Underestimating Badassery of Peter Pettigrew also played a part in the latter's betrayal and his eventual death.
  • Christopher Marlowe's The Jew of Malta, while not free of the anti-semitism of its premise, at the very least has a Jewish protagonist as a Villain Protagonist (where The Merchant of Venice has a Jewish Big Bad and supporting character). Barabbas also makes it clear that his actions are inspired by racism and oppression at the hands of Christians and Muslims.
    Barabbas: Why, I esteem the injury far less,
    To take the lives of miserable men
    Than be the causers of their misery.
    You have my wealth, the labour of my life,
    The comfort of mine age, my children's hope;
    And therefore ne'er distinguish of the wrong.
  • Monster Hunter Alpha has this in the third book. Earl bit one of his teammates by mistake while she was pregnant. The resulting child was not only quarter-siren but a werewolf as well, and had a lifelong hatred of the one who forced it upon him.
  • In The Night's Blade, there is Kelstra — or, as she was once known, Kestrel Safane. The Assembly's contempt for her difficulty controlling her powers, their fear of those powers, and lack of regard for her emotional difficulties meant that it did not take much to push her over the edge, and she quickly went From Nobody to Nightmare.
  • In Seven Sorcerers by Caro King, the titular sorcerers are responsible for transforming Arafin Struud from an ordinary human into the Big Bad that he is by first letting him drink a potion that makes him fully immortal, and then torturing and mutilating him horribly to see just how well the potion works. And then trying to make amends with a simple "Sorry".
  • Fëanor in The Silmarillion decides that the Valar were plotting against the Noldor elves (and himself in particular) and that his half-brothers Fingolfin and Finarfin wanted to take his place in their father's esteem and the leadership of he Noldor. He becomes secretive and paranoid, publicly draws steel on one brother, and antagonizes them in various ways until the Valar and his brothers actually turn against him. Then he believed that the other elven peoples wanted to hinder his quest to regain the Silmaril jewels, so he started murdering them at the first hint of opposition, he and his sons swore an oath to kill anyone who tried to withold the Silmarils, whether Morgoth or their own kin, and they carry it through many times. As a result, the House of Fëanor goes from a great house to a bunch of pariahs and the Noldor as a whole are shunned and mistrusted by every other elven group, and banned from Valinor by the Valar.
  • A case of a bad guy creating a worse guy in Six of Crows with Kaz's backstory. Turns out that Kaz was just an innocent kid before Pekka Rollins swindled his older brother out of all of their money, leading to Jordie's death and Kaz's Start of Darkness. Pekka lives to regret it.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • There's a Grey-and-Gray Morality version with Cersei Lannister. She's just so paranoid about imaginary plots to get her that the people she's offended start plotting against her for real. Her incest with Jaime (which was most likely a form of narcissism on her part) and terrible parenting of their son Joffrey (she didn't trust anyone who wasn't a Yes-Man, including Maesters, for example) kick off the War of the Five Kings, and she eventually reinstated the Faith Militant for yet another paranoid, petty scheme, an absolutely boneheaded move which backfired on her spectacularly when they turn on her for the aforementioned incest and have her publicly humiliated.
      • "The Mad King" Aerys II was even worse than Cersei in this regard. His extreme paranoia and abuse of his supporters meant that most of them turned their coats almost immediately when Robert Baratheon began his rebellion.
    • Lady Barbrey Dustin has held a long grudge against House Stark because her love Brandon (House Stark's heir) was betrothed to someone else and her husband Willam's bones were left in Dorne with a half-assed explanation by Brandon's brother Eddard. Because of this, she is House Bolton's strongest supporter as they seek to gain supremacy in the North after the Starks have been ousted.
    • Robert Baratheon sends an assassin to kill Daenerys Targaryen and her unborn baby, justifying it as a way to prevent a potential invasion of Westeros by a Dothraki army (though everyone isn't fooled by the fact that he does this mostly out of spite to Rhaegar Targaryen). Instead, it angers Daenerys' husband, Drogo, who had no interest to help her before but now willingly leads the invading army, further motivates Daenerys to retake the Iron Throne, and eventually leads to her acquiring three dragons. The irony is that had Robert left Daenerys alone, she would have probably stayed with the Dothraki the rest of her life, her dream of going to Westeros slowly fading away and therefore thwarting any attempt to restore her family back to the throne.
    • A backstory example from Fire & Blood; during the Civil War known as the Dance of Dragons between two rival factions within House Targaryen, one side convinced Lord Dalton Greyjoy to attack their enemies in return for being allowed to plunder to his heart's content. After the civil war ended and the new king's regents ordered Dalton to stop, he ignored their demands and carried on raiding the coastline indiscriminately.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog in the Fourth Dimension, Dr. Robotnik succeeds in taking over Mobius, but Sonic uses Time Travel to stop him ever being transformed from Dr Kintobor, but then a different set of villains steal the Chaos Emeralds in an attempt to infect the Big Bang and therefore the entire universe with Chaos, so Sonic has to stop his earlier self from stopping Robotnik's transformation, as the transformation safely flung the Chaos Emeralds across Mobius out of their reach. In the process, he ends up creating a chaos-infected version of himself called Cinos.
  • In Stay Sonic, Sonic distracted the kindly Dr Kintobor, causing the accident that turned him into the evil Dr Robotnik.
  • In Star Wars Legends, the Jedi Order inevitably ends up creating the Sith Order. Each time the Sith are wiped out, some Dark Jedi, recently separated from the Order, finds Holocrons left by a previous Sith Lord and the Order is born anew. The worst part is that this cycle has occurred over half a dozen times.
    • Ajunta Pall creates what is presumably the original Sith order after being kicked out of the Jedi Order.
    • Freedon Nadd, having left the Jedi order due to massive ego and rampant paranoia, finds the holocron of one of the old Sith Lords, and resurrects the order.
    • Ditto for Exar Kun, who finds other Sith Holocrons and resurrects the Sith order.
    • Revan breaks off from the Jedi to form a new Sith Order — in order to fight the remains of what he calls "the true Sith".
    • Revan's former Jedi Master, Kreia, leaves the Jedi to find out why her apprentice turned. She makes her own mini Sith order. Ironically, her goal was to destroy the Force itself, as she saw that as long as the Jedi existed, there would be a Sith order, and that their conflicts would inevitably doom the galaxy. So she sought to eliminate both.
    • Darth Desolous ditches the Jedi because he thinks the Sith are cooler. Cue mini Sith order on his homeworld.
    • Darth Ruin leaves the Jedi, starting the order again and begins the New Sith Wars.
    • At the battle of Ruusan, the Jedi were shoving lightsabers into the hands of small children and sending them to slaughter. They also deemed the native "Bouncers" as too dangerous to keep alive because of the thought bomb. Well, one of those Force Sensitive kids sees her Bouncer friend killed by Jedi right before her horrified eyes. Congratulations! They just created Darth Zannah! Thus, the sole survivor of the Sith Order has the apprentice he needs to rebuild from scratch.
    • And then, with Luke Skywalker having destroyed both master and apprentice of the Sith, you'd think it's over, right? Well... No. There's a Jedi Purge survivor that starts a Sith order that would rise to power 100 years later. And Jedi from Skywalker's new Jedi Order jumping ship (one in particular who is even related to him!). Luke has angst about this trope, wondering if he's not training Jedi the right way, but he does try hard; most villains he trained went bad entirely on their own, after they left him. However, there was Brakiss, who was an Imperial spy who was Becoming the Mask and really starting to trust Luke. Luke trusted him too and thought he'd completely make a Face–Heel Turn, and put him through a test of his spirit just like he'd do to any of his other students... and it was too much for Brakiss to take.
    • And then there's this little stroke of brilliance from Jedi Apprentice, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon's backstory series. So, the Jedi council has this problem kid, Xanatos. Too much anger and whatnot. His Master believes in him, but the Council doesn't. And they decide that hey, they're not sure they can trust him, they need to put him to the test. So they send him and his Master to intervene in a conflict where his dad is The Man Behind the Man, and everyone knows it, in the hopes that he'll screw up and they can boot him out. Well as it turns out, the plan works a little too well. Xanatos Face Heel Turns, his Master is forced to kill his father, and he swears bloody revenge on the Temple, going on to become a Corrupt Corporate Executive and Manipulative Bastard out for Jedi blood, who spreads slavery and death wherever he goes, and targets Qui-Gon (his ex-master) and Obi-Wan at every turn. Nice Job Breaking It Heroes.
    • If there's any conciliation to the Jedi's ability to create their own worst enemies, it's that the Sith are just as good at it. The person most likely to kill a Sith isn't a Jedi — it's their own apprentice. Just around the movie timeline, Darth Tenebrous killed his own master, and was in turn killed by his apprentice Darth Plagueis. Plagueis was eventually murdered in his sleep by his apprentice, Darth Sidious/Emperor Palpatine, who was tossed down a bottomless pit a few decades later by his apprentice, Darth Vader.
    • Nor is Sith tendency to create their own nemeses confined to villains. Darth Vader's own son blows up the Death Star and eventually defeats his father, and his daughter plays a massive role in the Rebellion. Darth Vader's apprentice, Starkiller, is responsible for founding the Rebel Alliance. Anakin Skywalker's apprentice, Ahsoka Tano, becomes "Fulcrum", a major organizer in the Rebel Alliance. Even the droid Vader built as a child, C-3PO, would become one of the heroes opposing him.
  • In Worm, the "hero" Sophia Hess/Shadow Stalker was not only one of the many whose treatment of Taylor/Skitter drove her to villainy, but was directly responsible for causing said villain's Traumatic Superpower Awakening in the first place. In a more direct example, Armsmaster's poor handling of Taylor's offer to be an undercover hero in one of the city's supervillain gangs also played a major factor in deciding to be a supervillain (who would humiliate Armsmaster and his colleagues on multiple occasions) for real.
  • Rob Roy: Robert Campbell was an honest cattle-raiser until he got into debt, and his creditors and neighbors stole his property and land and abused his wife. Then Rob and his clan sought shelter in the ancestral McGregor lands and become outlaws, and as Nicol Jarvie puts it, the same people who ousted him and his clan would prefer to see him shepherding fifty cows again rather than fifty brigands.
  • Liam in The Fey and the Fallen is an Irish Catholic during The Troubles, but was fairly apolitical. Then he's wrongfully arrested as a rioter by British security and imprisoned, abused in prison by an English warden, released and wrongfully arrested again for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. By the end of his second prison stint, he has become completely radicalized and joins the IRA.
  • Villains by Necessity: Or Create Your Own Hero, for a given value of Hero, or Villain. Mizzamir and his allies are responsible for Sam and company going out on their quest to save the world from the forces of Good.
    • Arcie, the head of the thieves' guild, was captured by the local guards and sentenced to be whitewashed, until he "hired" Sam to kill the wizard, and the pair escape during the confusion.
    • Valeriana, a dark sorceress, saw her family, including children, be murdered by Fenwick.
    • Kaylana, a druid, is the last survivor of her kind due to the Heroes killing the others during the War.
    • Blackmail/ Sir Pryse a Dark Knight, a former Hero who changed sides after his brother, who turned to the dark side, was changed into a horse by Mizzamir.
    • Robin, a centaur minstrel, ironically enough, was chosen by Fenwick and Mizzamir to spy upon the villains, even reporting their movements, until they save his life, and caused a change of heart in him.
    • Sam, an assassin, is the result of his mother being raped by Mizzamir, which, in a sense, set everything in motion to Mizzamir's eventual death by Sam's own hands as his childhood trauma set him on the path to his profession, later caused him to cross paths with Mizzamir and sent him on a quest to save the world. He succeeds in this and kills Mizzamir.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Arrow:
    • It turns out that Season 5 Big Bad Prometheus a.k.a. Adrian Chase came to be because Oliver killed his father during the events of Season 1, prompting Prometheus to want to punish Oliver/Green Arrow for it and show how Oliver infects anyone he knows. Prometheus was also trained by Talia al Ghul, whose father was also killed by Oliver.
    • In Season 6, Cayden James was little more than a hacktivist, fighting against corporations and trying to have a relationship with his son. Then A.R.G.U.S. agents arrest him before he can attend his son's basketball game and treat him like a terrorist (even though all he did is make sure that a pharmaceutical company doesn't profit from illegal activities). Then he finds out that his son has been killed, and he snaps. Subsequently, Ricardo Diaz slipping him a doctored video of the Green Arrow accidentally killing his son turns Cayden into Team Arrow's latest villain. Nice job, A.R.G.U.S.!
  • In an episode of Barney Miller, Christopher Lloyd plays a man who blames Captain Miller for ruining his life and turning him to a life of crime after Patrolman Miller stopped him years earlier, making him miss and lose an important job interview. His crime — Littering: Dropping a hotdog wrapper on the ground in Central Park.
  • Batman (1966): In the backstory to episode "Instant Freeze", Batman turned Dr. Schiml into Mr. Freeze by accidentally knocking a beaker of Instant Freeze on him, which warped his mind and turned him to a life of crime.
  • The Boys (2019): Homelander engineers a plan to distribute Compound V to the terrorists around the world and soup them up with the drug, creating supervillains for Vought to send the Seven after and justify Supes enlisting in the United States military.
  • Buffyverse:
    • The Trio was created because of Buffy. Admittedly, Jonathan (who would have killed himself if it weren't for her, the Ungrateful Bastard) and Andrew were just in it for the taking over Sunnydale part, but Warren wanted to kill Buffy due to her tracking down the origins of his sexbot April which caused his girlfriend to leave him (what some fans saw as mean, but actually was done in order to save people from his romance and sex slave gone overboard, actually long past his true Moral Event Horizon). Over time he becomes worse and worse, going from jerkass to evil Jerkass to homicidal evil Jerkass to murdering evil Jerkass to his Season 8 appearance as a genocidal skinless Jerkass.
      • Warren is both on the creating and created side, really. He attempts to murder Buffy and accidentally kills Tara, sending Willow, one of the most powerful witches in existence, into a Roaring Rampage of Revenge that including Warren being flayed alive. However, Warren survived the skinning due to another witch, Amy, who had turned evil out of jealousy for Willow having so much power without having to work at it (so Amy's another example). Warren then changed his hatred for Buffy into hatred for Willow.
    • We have Holtz, who wants Angel dead for what he did as Angelus, killing the man's family and forcing him to dust his own daughter.
    • Wesley was responsible for turning Faith to villainy by having her locked away because he didn't trust her, even though the gang was trying to help her get better.
    • Angel, having spent 200 years as a psychopathic murderer, has a few of these, usually vampires he sired, who either want revenge, or Angelus back killing. (Most of his human enemies from that era are of course long dead either by his own hand or by old age; Holtz is the exception as he was brought to the modern era via Time Travel.) For example, Drusilla (Angelus visited upon her every mental torment he could devise, ending up with...well, a pretty deranged supervillainess, all told), Spike (sired by Drusilla, but Angelus taught him how to be evil), Penn (from "Somnambulist") and Sam Lawson (from "Why We Fight"). James from "Heartthrob" is a special case — while Angel didn't sire him (at least, it's never said), he tries to kill Angel and Cordelia because Angel stakes his One True Love. There's also Lindsey McDonald, who was introduced as a Amoral Attorney, but for whom Angel makes their battles personal when Angel chops off his hand at the end of Season 1.
    • Spike has created at least one villain: Dana, from the episode "Damage". This one is albeit only indirectly Spike's fault. Dana was kidnapped as a little girl by a human psychopath, implying sexual assault. Later in life, Dana's Slayer visions (allowing her to have psychic dreams and access to the memories of former Slayers) activate. Since Spike has chased around and killed two Slayers he's in a lot of the Slayer memories, leading Dana's damaged mind to substitute him for her actual childhood abuser. When it was all done he even hypocritically told her "I've done a lot of horrible things, just not to you" — though at the end of the episode, he remarks to Angel that it doesn't matter that he wasn't her childhood abuser, he did just as bad or worse to plenty of others.
    • Then there was Giles in "The Dark Age", who had to face the demon he summoned as a teenager that was now killing his former friends. Since a lot of characters of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel were The Atoner, or at least had a Dark and Troubled Past, this trope turned up a lot.
    • Buffy unknowingly unleashed Angelus, Season 2's Big Bad, and he never tired of reminding her about it.
  • Chuck: Season 3 reveals that Sarah killed the wife of Daniel Shaw years ago as her final exam. After finding this out, Shaw betrays the CIA and joins The Ring to avenge his wife's death leading him to try to drown Sarah (though she was rescued by Chuck) and killing Chuck's father. Had the CIA not assigned Sarah to kill Shaw's wife for her training, Shaw would have probably remained a member of Team Bartowski making Sarah responsible for his Face–Heel Turn.
  • Dollhouse: Has Echo, the main character being an Create Your Own Hero who takes down the people who forced her into becoming a doll. Echo has Bennett, who she accidentally created as Caroline, making a Heroic Sacrifice for her (the aforementioned being made a doll) which was sadly seen as abandonment, causing Bennett to hate Caroline/Echo for abandoning her and making her lose her arm.
  • Firefly: In a bit of Role Reversal, The Alliance does this, cutting up River Tam's brain, turning her into the insane, psychic, badass 16-year-old Phlebotinum Rebel that she became. In other news, Joss Whedon REALLY loves this trope. It's in all of his works.
  • The Flash (2014):
    • While Leonard Snart has been a criminal since he was little, the most he does is robbery. In fact, he usually insists on not killing people to avoid starting a manhunt (he actually has no compunction about killing). After being stopped by the "Streak" (Barry's original nickname), he becomes obsessed with one-upping him and manages to get his hands on Cisco's cold gun. He then thanks the Flash for helping him up his game. There's also a minor tidbit where Cisco's penchant for naming Barry's enemies gives Snart an idea to call himself "Cold", becoming a typical supervillain. He is one of the most recurring villains in the show, first coming back with his partner Heatwave, and then adding his also sociopathic sister to the team.
    • Savitar is Barry's time remnant, created to stop Savitar (your head hurt yet?). After surviving the failed attempt to stop Savitar from killing Iris, unlike the other time remnants, the time remnant is treated like crap by Barry and everyone else, not realizing that he was also hurting from Iris' death. So, he eventually decides to become a god, as gods can't be hurt. So, when he told Team Flash that he created himself, he was speaking the truth, in a way.
    • Many of the villainous metas in season 3, such as the Rival, gained their powers in the first place because of Barry creating Flashpoint. The same thing happens in season 4, as Team Flash pulling Barry out of the Speed Force gave powers to passengers of a nearby bus.
    • A number of metas blame Harrison Wells for their new condition. Farooq Gibran (AKA Blackout) accidentally kills his friends after becoming a meta, so he naturally goes after Wells to avenge them and nearly kills him. Later on, Griffin Grey goes after "Harry" Wells (the Wells of Earth 2) in the mistaken belief that he's the same Wells responsible for the particle accelerator explosion.
  • Game of Thrones: Cersei Lannister does this a few times.
    • Even she finally catches on the fact that her methods of raising Joffrey didn't pan out so well. Not to mention applying a little bit of incest in his actual creation.
    • Blaming Tyrion for Joffrey's murder with no evidence and doing everything in her power to see him convicted drove him into the service of Daenerys. They may not have liked each other prior, but at least Tyrion didn't have any intentions of removing her from power.
    • She learned in a hard way that giving power to religious fanatics is not a pragmatic thing to do, especially if you were bedding your brother and cousin.
    • In the final season, by having Rhaegal and Missandei killed in order to spite Daenerys, Cersei contributes to the Trauma Conga Line which causes Daenerys to snap and burn King's Landing to the ground, ultimately killing Cersei.
  • Harper's Island: Sheriff Charlie Mills turns his wife's obsessive ex-boyfriend John Wakefield into a psychopathic serial killer by having him beaten up and framing him for the attempted murder of a police officer. He serves 17 years of a life sentence for something he didn't do. He kills Sarah Mills as soon as he gets out and Sheriff Mills seven years later, in the present story.
  • Heroes: In Season 3, it's revealed that Batman-like Anti-Hero Mr. Bennet had a hand in turning nerdy watchmaker Gabriel Gray into the series' archvillain, Sylar. Specifically, Bennet (under orders from The Company) manipulated Gabriel into killing again, thus removing the last of his moral inhibitions and completing his transformation into Sylar, who would go on to cause no end of trouble for Bennet and his family.
    • Not only was Sylar manipulated, he was actually about to hang himself, unable to cope with killing another person for his power.
    • Also, in Season 2, Hiro's attempts to turn Adam Monroe/Takezo Kensei into a legendary hero (and get busy with Kensei's girlfriend) ends up pushing him from a goofy, drunken mercenary into the season's immortal, Misanthrope Supreme Big Bad.
  • Exaggerated and played for laughs in The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret when Todd Margaret and Brent Wilks unknowingly make an enemy of David Mountford when they are rude to him in bar.
    • In Season 3, Todd believes Dave, again is evil — suffice it to say due to the Mind Screw-y nature of that season. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as Todd torments him into becoming the man he imagined him to be.
  • Julius Caesar (2003): During the Gallic campaign, Caesar's soldiers ransack a village when he orders them to spare the life of a humble farmer. This man turns out to be Vercingetorix, who will unite the Gallic tribes against the Romans.
  • This is the origin of the Bugsters in Kamen Rider Ex-Aid. They were programmed as villains in their respective video games and decided to take revenge against their creators after gaining sentience.
  • Lost: When the main characters time travel to 1977, Sayid takes initiative and shoots a young Ben Linus, hoping to kill him to prevent him from becoming the monster that causes them so much trouble later on. Jack agrees with this decision. However, Jack refusing to treat him results in Kate and Sawyer taking him to the Others to heal him, driving Ben down the path to becoming the man Sayid wanted to kill in the first place.
  • Merlin: King Uther Pendragon manages to do this in his kingdom, when he orders a genocide of all magic users. He's consistently being attacked by magical people as a result, but he always manages to escape punishment and considers the attack evidence that magic is evil. This finally ends in the Series 3 finale when his daughter Morgana is revealed to have magic, takes over Camelot with an immortal army, and gives him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech on his treatment of her people. This breaks him completely, and he spends the rest of his life as a fragile shell of his former self.
  • Person of Interest: Peter Collier joined the privacy terrorist group Vigilance after his brother was detained without charges for associating with a man whose cousin had ties to a terrorist groupwho ultimately turned out to be simply his AA sponsor with no terrorism ties — causing his brother to go into a downward spiral that resulted in his suicide. The government's complete lack of remorse for this screwup (it's even implied that the man responsible was promoted) sealed the deal.
  • Revolution: As revealed in Episode 3, Miles was the mentor to Jeremy Baker, and aided Monroe is starting the militia.
  • Sleepy Hollow: So far, all of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse were formerly people Ichabod and Katrina had angered for some reason. Death a.k.a. Abraham van Brunt sold his soul after Katrina broke off her engagement to marry Ichabod, and Ichabod chose the exact worse time to tell him. War a.k.a. Jeremy Crane hates both his parents for abandoning him, but while this is reasonably justified in Katrina's case, Ichabod is blameless since he died before Jeremy was born.
  • Smallville: While John Corben was actually turned into Metallo by Zod, he already had a hatred for the Red-Blue Blur after one of the criminals saved from a prison bus crash by the Blur murdered his sister.
  • Stargate Atlantis:
    • Half-human/half-wraith hybrid Michael, the series' most frequently recurring villain, was originally created by the Atlantis Expedition in their attempts to create a virus to turn Wraiths into harmless, amnesiac Humans. Michael was quite pissed upon learning he had been manipulated by the team, and very pissed when the team's response to learning that their pet Human-Wraiths were turning back into full-blown Wraiths was to nuke em' all. Before this, there were indications that Michael had standards and would have been willing to work with Atlantis, but too many betrayals turned him into a monster.
    • And though they didn't create the Wraith and the Replicators, they woke up the Wraith, who'd been dormant, and turned the Replicators into a scourge against humanity. The heroes programmed them to take out the Wraith; they decided the best way was to eliminate their food source — humanity. Brainwashing for the Greater Good never works in SGA. The Atlantis crew has a very bad habit of Nice Job Breaking It, Hero.
      • It should be said that unlike the Michael example, they were genuinely ignorant of the situation (and thus, the potential consequences) with the Wraith, having only just arrived in Pegasus when they were attacked.
      • As for the case of the Asurans, that's not quite so black and white either: they met them expecting surviving Ancients, got imprisoned and mind-probed, then had to deal with the Asurans' spirited attempt to destroy Atlantis, and at the request of Niam, an Asuran among a significant faction, tried to remove their aggressive tendencies (which they'd begged the Ancients to do once before). This failed. The Asurans then took Atlantis after it had been reclaimed by a crew of Ancients, then tried to strike at Earth, then tried to destroy Atlantis again. Brainwashing for the Greater Good was pretty much the only option open to the Atlantis team — though they probably should have guessed that the Asurans would take to wiping out human worlds to stop the Wraith.
    • The Ancients however created both the Wraith and the Replicators. And then failed to stop either.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Cardassians did this twice. In full use of their Nazis IN SPACE tendencies, they annexed Bajor and brutalized it's population for fifty years in a manner reminiscent of occupied Poland. They ended up creating the Bajoran resistance, which Major Kira was a part of that eventually drove them off. Proving that they don't exactly learn from the past, when Federation colonies ended up in Cardassian space as per a new treaty, they immediately started treating them like they used to treat the Bajorans, and got the Maquis for their trouble.
  • Supernatural:
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: Xena apparently obliviously did this to Callisto, though this is before Xena's Heel–Face Turn. Callisto believes that until she becomes a goddess and goes back in time to the day her parents were killed. It turns out that the future Callisto was the one who murdered her own parents, but her dazed past self assumed Xena was to blame. Given the chance to undo her past, after an accident she instead made sure it happened, making it clear that one more Never My Fault villain actually is the way she is by choice. She took her mother and her younger self into a barn to protect them. When he father (thinking that the strange woman is one of Xena's Mooks) tries to attack her from behind, she throws a dagger at him without looking. Realizing that she can't change the past, she reluctantly incinerates her own mother with a fireball. In a last-ditch effort, she tries to kill her younger self by setting the barn on fire, but the girl is saved, swearing vengeance against Xena.

  • "Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)" by Run The Jewels indicts the prison system as being a cause of this.
    Killer Mike: My solitary condition's preventin' conjugal visits
    Though mainly missin' my missus, they keepin' me from my children
    Conditions create a villain, the villain is given vision
    The vision becomes a vow to seek vengeance on all the vicious
    Liars and politicians, profiteers of the prisons
    The forehead engravers enslavers of men and women
  • The spoken word piece "Rob Now, Pay Later" by Jello Biafra takes the privileged to task for perpetuating crime and poverty through their lack of investment in education for future generations.
    Jello Biafra: ...Uneducated time bombs are a very poor investment as a future work force. And if you go on teaching people that life is cheap, and leave them to rot in ghettos and jails, they may one day feel justified in coming back to rob and kill you. Duh!

  • A rather literal example in Deadpool, where one of the game's last modes opens with Deadpool's collection of prehistoric teeth (obtained by traveling back in time and fighting the appropriate monsters in the past) being used to create the Megakrakolodonus.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • If John Zandig hadn't rejected, or at least hadn't drug his feet on a deal with Rob Feinstein, who wanted to distribute CZW shows after ECW went under, RF Video wouldn't have gone on to found Ring of Honor. However, CZW ended up being much more like the "villain" of the piece after a double booking lead to a venue favoring ROH and knocking a CZW evening show back to the afternoon, leading Chris Hero to rage against the upstart promotion and being allowed to lead the rest of the CZW roster against it. Zandig would also join his roster in torturing ROH wrestler BJ Whitmer on their own show while thrashing ROH's set, which lead to attempted retaliation at CZW's next event by Generation Next. While Kevin Steen was already a problem, he used Zandig's treatment of Whitmer as a justification for using the CZW Ironman Title belt as a bargaining chip to get back into ROH...yeah, the list goes on.
  • Want to know why Randy Orton became the psycho jerkass willing to blow up opponents with fireworks? Look no further than his mentor in Evolution, Triple H. Randy never got over their betrayal, and it became the defining moment of his career. It would haunt Hunter in the years to come, especially in 2009 when Randy assaulted the McMahon family, such as attacking Hunter's wife Stephanie and even punting Vince McMahon in the head. He even threatened to cancel WrestleMania that year, setting himself up as the Big Bad of the event.
  • Ultimately, Nanae Takahashi was able to prevent Mercedes Martinez from causing too much trouble in World Wonder Ring ST★RDOM. Of course Martinez was only there in the first place because Takahashi personally invited her, apparently unaware she hadn't gotten over Sumie Sakai coming into her home promotion and taking her first title belt back to STARDOM's Spiritual Predecessor. That invitation was made to demonstrate STARDOM was challenging any woman in the world to try their best at taking the "World Of", which inspired Kimura Monster Gun to recruit Alpha Female from Germany during their bid to takeover the promotion. But the biggest threat a "global" invite brought was it also being an invitation for all other joshi feds on the proverbial doorstep to barge in, which resulted in Meiko Satomura using the publicity from winning the belt to start expanding Sendai Girls Pro, depriving STARDOM of the World Of for their first international tour, leading them to risk the 'Wonder Of' usually restricted to their own locker room in the USA.
  • The man ultimately responsible for taking down S.C.U.M., who were dead set on destroying the wrestling industry as it was known, starting with Ring Of Honor, was Kevin Steen. The man who started S.C.U.M. in the first place was also Kevin Steen. Kevin Steen became bitter over being barred from returning to Ring Of Honor by Jim Cornette, but that barring was Steen's own doing when he tried to comeback through Truth Martini. Steen was barred in the first place after a Loser Leaves Town match with El Generico, which resulted from a feud Steen provoked. In the creation of S.C.U.M. Steen purposefully derailed the redemption quests of long time ROH trouble makers Jimmy Jacobs and Steve Corino. When Cornette and Generico were out of the picture, Steen's rage at ROH and the wrestling industry faded but by then Jacobs and Corino were too far gone. They ousted Steen from the group to continue on the path of destruction with Matt Hardy in his place. S.C.U.M. had Rhino injure Jay Briscoe, who had defeated Steen for the World Championship belt while he was coming back to his senses, convincing Steen he had to end what he had started.
  • While The Lovely Lacey and Radiant Rain were always fairly vain, they likely never would have become the alpha bitches known as The Minnesota Home Wrecking Crew if it wasn't for them being ruthlessly bullied by The Experience, Lexie Fyfe and Malia Hosaka. That said, The Experience remained villains themselves, so this trope didn't come into play until Fyfe founded her own promotion, SHINE Wrestling, and Radiant Rain formed a Power Stable, Valkyrie, to undermine it.
  • The World Wrestling Council in Puerto Rico and Dominican Wrestling Entertainment were among the initial members of the World Wrestling League when it started in 2012 and thus directly responsible for the creation of their chief rival when they decided to breakaway from it. In the beginning there was no competition because the League was very similar to the National Wrestling Alliance, focusing more on collaborating events to give fans matches they would not otherwise be able to see as well as introducing wrestlers and styles to new markets. But two years into this arrangement, WWL started acting like a promotion in its own right, testing the local waters of Bayamon with the aptly titled "Insurrection" event, which put the spot light on very few wrestlers contracted by member promotions in favor of the talent from WWC's old rival, IWA Puerto Rico, that had remained free agents after its closure. WWC started to show particular resentment for WWL's more exclusive local shows in 2015 when El Patron Alberto took a booking for Guerrera de Reyes in January and became the WWL Heavyweight Champion after WWC had been trying and failing to get him booked for their Aniversario tour the prior year. WWL responded to the two leaving it by running even fewer collaborative shows in favor of more designed to directly compete with the local companies more often. The WWC rivalry is by far the most pronounced of the two, as WWC was taking potshots at WWL even when it was a member and the take thats between the two only escalated after business was off but WWL's promotion of their Dominican television deal in October of that same year suggested it was not just WWC they had in their sights.
  • While the Bullet Club were supposed to be villains, they became faces by default in Ring of Honor for two reasons. One was being credited for the returns of popular wrestlers The Young Bucks and AJ Styles. Two was opposing local Power Stable The Kingdom. So it should have been Bullet Club's members as much as anyone who should have known associating with Kingdom's most recent centerpiece Adam Cole was a bad idea. Styles and Karl Anderson did know, but after Kenny Omega's hostile takeover, he let Cole right in. The only surprising things were how long it took Cole to turn on Omega, that Cole was willing to throw the Young Bucks under the bus if it meant undermining Omega and that when Cole ultimately failed Bullet Club replaced him with an even more obvious villain known as Marty Scurll. Actually there were two other surprises. Bullet Club's next two internal conflicts came from seemingly nicer new recruit Cody, then Tongan members Tama Tonga, Tanga Roa and Bad Luck Fale, Tonga and Fale being originals sick of the post Omega/Cole disfunction. Scurll did prove relatively loyal, despite standing out as the Token Evil Teammate on an already evil team. Cody was also loyal when left alone. Omega turned Cody on him by making sexual advances towards Cody's wife!
  • Alex Shelley started Search And Destroy to bring Ring of Honor back to its roots, centered around young wrestlers pushing each other to new heights in honorable contests. The group was to serve as an alternative to The Kingdom, CHAOS, Bullet Club, etc to show the youth backstabbing, cheating, ambushes and the like were not necessary for success but the group he, Chris Sabin and first recruit Jay White defeated were The Cabinet. The Cabinet themselves were about taking ROH back to its roots, to "make wrestling great again", but they were fighting the increased family friendly nature and corporate structure of the company, as well as wrestlers perceived as unmanly. Shelley's mission statement after the victory reignited Kenny King, Rhett Titus and Caprice Coleman's resentment towards ROH's newer, younger wrestlers, with the possible exception of Shane Taylor, who they recruited to send all the others out of ROH with injuries as The Cabinet became The Rebellion. Among The Rebellion's victims were two more Search And Destroy recruits, 2015 and 2016 Top Prospects Donovan Dijak and Lio Rush. Search And Destroy would force The Rebellion to disband a Best In The World, but the damage done to them could not be undone.
  • It is strongly implied that the Face-Heel Turns of Johnny Gargano and Candice Lerae were due to being tired of suffering for their kindness while people who betrayed them such as Tommaso Ciampa and Io Shirai prospered for their actions.

    Tabletop Games 
  • An actual game mechanic in Beast: The Primordial. The player characters are fear-devouring monsters from the darkest depths of the collective unconscious, but they still tend to be better human beings than the so-called "Heroes" that their feedings occasionally produce.
  • Pathfinder: The brine dragon Rezlarabren spent most of her childhood being hounded by Ulfen warriors who saw her as a threat and wanted to neutralize her early before she could grow into a powerful sea monster and endanger their ships and ports. They were right, in a sense, since Rezlarabren did grow to become their enemy — because the decades spent trying to avoid being killed by people she'd never done anything to ended up fostering in her a deep sense of paranoia and a lifelong hatred of the Ulfen.
  • A part of the background for Warhammer 40,000 is that the Horus Heresy ultimate erupted because the Emperor consistently mistreated a number of his Primarchs, eventually driving them to rebel against him, which in turn dragged others into joining them. This invocation of Cry for the Devil helps fuel the Black-and-Gray Morality of the setting.
    • Lorgar of the Word Bearers, the Arch-Priest of Chaos who was instrumental in turning the others to Chaos, only did so because the Emperor ordered the destruction of a civilization that Lorgar felt was his crowning achievement, and then publicly humiliated the devoted and loyal Legion in front of their Ultramarines, calling them the one Legion he was disappointed with and proclaiming every achievement of Lorgar's life was a failure. Making matters worse, he had said nothing about his disapproval of Lorgar's methods for over a century beforehand.
    • Angron of the World Eaters was a mentally damaged berserker, whom the Emperor forcibly abducted from the ranks of his fellow rebel slaves — the only friends and family he had ever known — and forced to watch die from safety in orbit when Angron refused to voluntarily abandon them. In the Horus Heresy novels, Angron at one point comments he would have turned against the Emperor sooner if his mind had been stabler.
    • Magnus of the Thousand Sons only turned to Tzeentch for salvation when his attempts to warn the Emperor of Horus' corruption and rebellion lead to the Emperor refusing to head Magnus, instead dubbing him the traitor, and sending the Space Wolves — who hate and despise the Thousand Sons to begin with — to destroy Magnus, his Legion and his whole world.
      • Actually, the Emperor only wanted to arrest Magnus to have him brought to Terra, however, on the way to Prospero, Horus gave Leman Russ new orders; the Emperor had changed his mind and wanted Prospero and the Thousand Sons destroyed. That said, sending the Legion that hated the Thousand Sons the most to apprehend them in the first place probably wasn't going to end very well either way, and was likely the very reason Horus gave the order: He knew Russ wouldn't question the order to kill Magnus if he thought it came from the Emperor.
      • It's also implied that Magnus had been in Tzeentch's thrall well before the Emperor found him, and made a further pact with the Chaos God to save his Legion from a mutation curse that probably existed because Magnus was in Tzeentch's thrall. Magnus didn't realize how deep he'd gone until Tzeentch chose to collect during the Battle of Prospero.
    • Lion El'Jonson's choice to exile Luther, his long-time brother in arms and closest friend, to Caliban during the Heresy admittedly, for a momentary lapse where he considered letting the Lion die for his own glory had a lot to do with Luther's fall to Chaos. Same goes for every other Dark Angel stationed there.
    • Moving things away from the Imperium, there's the Eldar. The Eldar Empire's decadence combined with their race's naturally powerful psyker abilities made the Warp start to manifest a being that reflected their hedonism. The Eldar who realized this was happening reacted in different ways. Some of them decided to get as far away from the rest of the Empire as possible to avoid the backlash after their attempts to get the rest of the Empire to stop being irresponsible hedonistic idiots went nowhere. Others threw themselves even deeper into bloody hedonism since creating a new god of pleasure appealed to them. And that's how Slaanesh was born. The new Chaos God repaid the Eldar by slaughtering their pantheon, slaughtering most of their race, and eating their souls after death. The factions of the surviving Eldar are defined by the different ways they try to prevent Slaanesh from finishing the job.
  • In Halt Evil Doer!, the Practically Joker Blood Wing has his origin when Black Wing I, at his most vengeful, left the killer of his family in a burning house to die ... and he didn't. Like movie-Joker, the character was already a villain, just not a super-villain.

    Video Games 
  • Inspector Volerti's suspicion that Aviary Attorney's protagonist, Jayjay Falcon, is the Viridian Killer leads to him trying to upset him enough to prove it. Namely by sending someone to possibly die in a confrontation with revolutionaries. In ending route 4A (Liberté) there's no 'possibly', and Falcon kills a number of people and goes after Volerti while claiming to be the Viridian Killer, though he had nothing to do with the original.
  • Batman: Arkham City: Professor Strange accuses Batman of this, citing the Joker specifically. The Joker also blames Batman for his creation. Played with in that Strange cites the Joker blaming Batman as a case of Never My Fault in that all of his origin stories have him blame Batman, and none of them have him take responsibility.
    Hugo Strange: Have you ever considered that all of this is your fault? Your presence creates these animals...
    • Batman: Arkham Origins takes this further: Batman didn't create the Joker — he gave the Joker a reason to live. Of all the people the Joker had met up to that point, Batman was the only one who wanted the Joker to 'not die'. If he hadn't, Joker would have killed himself and ended his vicious killing spree a LONG time ago. Also, with the introduction of an antithesis, the Joker's schemes and psychosis evolved, to what we know him as, in a matter of minutes.
    • In Batman: Arkham Knight, the titular Arkham Knight blames Batman for turning him into who he is by leaving him to be tortured by the Joker for over a year, and seeks vengeance against him throughout the game.
  • In The Binding of Isaac, Isaac only tries to kill his mother and/or embrace Satan's power to become The Antichrist because she abused and tried to murder him first on behalf of the voices in her head. It's not really surprising he fights back.
  • In Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, it's revealed that while Handsome Jack was always immoral, he only went off the deep end and became the Big Bad of Borderlands 2 when Roland, Lilith and Moxxi destroyed Helios Station's Wave-Motion Gun and Lilith branded Jack's face with the relic found in the Vault of the Sentinel, sending him on a path of revenge to murder everyone on Pandora that wouldn't submit to him.
  • Champions Online takes this quite literally: at level 25 the player gets to design their character's Arch-Enemy.
  • Criminal Case: World Edition: SOMBRA, the main antagonist, owes its existence to Chief Ripley, head of the Bureau. Ripley is an ex-CIA Agent who conspired with SOMBRA's founder Arsenio Castillo to invade a small but oil-rich nation called Grenadia so that the CIA could pretend to drive them out and gain access to the country's oil. Unfortunately, thanks to the funding they got, SOMBRA became to powerful for the CIA to eradicate, and they grew to become an international terrorist organization with worldwide influence.
  • The Weary Detective in Cultist Simulator is by far the least threatening Hunter that can come after the player; it's generally best to just let him dawdle about unless he's got damning evidence. However, if the player tries to drive him insane and fails, the Detective, Douglas, might decide that he "isn't having any more of it" and become a dangerous rival practitioner of the eldritch arts. This can technically happen with other Hunters as well, but they were already unhealthily interested in the secrets of the Mansus. Douglas just wanted to be left alone with his pipe and his Illustrated London News.
  • Day of the Tentacle has the literal example — first, the Mad Scientist Dr. Fred created the Green and Purple Tentacle. Their awkward design (no limbs, suction cup for a base) embittered Purple to the point where he hated all humanity. Then the utterly gratuitous pollution from Dr. Fred's Sludge-O-Matic gave him the physical and mental enhancements to take over the world.
  • In Dead Rising 3, Nick Ramos rescues geek Kenny Dermot from zombies at one point, trains him a little in beating zombies and making combo weapons, then goes on his way. Kenny resurfaces as a psychopath, his obsession with becoming the hero leading him to try to kill Nick and take his place.
    • Jherii Gallo, the psychopath representing Pride, is a mild version, as Jherii is the only known psychopath who doesn't actively go out of her way to cause trouble (unless the corpses around the gym aren't zombies), and only becomes a threat once Nick accidentally presses her Berserk Button once too often.
  • Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice. Super Hero Aurum, having defeated Mao's Overlord father, found that he had run out of strong, evil opponents. So what does he do? He takes the guise of Mao's butler and heaps loads of mental issues and skewed opinions onto his already strained psyche to make his into an Omnicidal Maniac for him to beat and have a chance of being a hero again.
  • DragonFable combines this trope with Failure-to-Save Murder with the story of Drakonnan.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The Falmer are this, with a bit of Laser-Guided Karma, to the Nords. Thousands of years ago in the series backstory, the ancestors to the Nords once nearly drove the Falmer to extinction, and in their desperation, the surviving Falmer fled to their Dwemer cousins, who twisted and mutated them into Morlock-like monsters. The Falmer of the 4th era are now growing more bold, venturing above ground to kidnap surface dwellers while their numbers swell beneath ground. They also seem to be regaining some of their lost sentience, forging better weapons and armor from farmed Chaurus chitin and practicing crude alchemy to create poisons from the plentiful mushrooms that grow in their underground lairs. The writer of one in-game book even believes that the Falmer may be planning a war with their surface dwelling adversaries, which would be bad news for the already war-torn Skyrim of the era.
      • The Nords themselves are this to the Falmer. When Ysgramor first came to Skyrim from Atmora, he and his followers were content to mind their own business in a few small settlements they built, but the native Falmer absolutely hated the newcomers and tried to drive them off time and again. This all came to a breaking point when the Nords accidentally found the Eye of Magnus in Saarthal. They had no idea what it was and had no intention of using it (being that they naturally distrusted magic), but the paranoid Falmer believed it was just a matter of time before the Nords used it to annihilate them and launched a completely unprovoked preemptive attack on Saarthal, slaughtering everyone inside to the last man, woman and child... except Ysgramor, who escaped, returned to Atmora and came back with the Five Hundred Companions, and much less friendly intentions than he previously had. The ensuing asskicking made the Falmer scuttle to the Dwemer for protection... and since the Dwemer were dicks, they enslaved them in turn after tricking them. The same thing happened with the Ayleid, who were instantly hostile to the Cyro-Nords when they expanded to Cyrodiil and mass enslaved them without even trying to talk or negotiate... causing, years later, the rise and rebellion of the Slave Queen, Alessia, and their own near-extinction.
    • Skyrim:
      • You can be this to the Empire if you choose to side against them in the Civil War. Early on in the game, you are almost executed by Imperial soldiers due to, essentially, a clerical error and one very uncaring Imperial captain. Thanks to Alduin, you manage to escape. Later, you can join the Stormcloaks, and be the driving force behind kicking the Empire out of Skyrim. You can take this even further if you join the Dark Brotherhood as well, because then you can murder their Emperor as part of their quest line. What's scary is the fact that this double whammy may effectively lead to the collapse of the Empire (which was already teetering on the brink). Moral of the story: never fuck with the Dragonborn.
      • The Stormcloaks can potentially become this to the Thalmor in a blatant case of Gone Horribly Right. Inciting rebellion in a rival empire to weaken them? Classic geopolitical strategy. But what if these rebels go on to win the civil war and form a powerful independent state with (literally) an axe to grind against you? Uh oh.
      • Even a victorious Empire is bad news for the Thalmor. Their attempts to eradicate Talos worship directly caused a revival in Talos worship all across Tamriel. Woops.
  • Ulysses' presence is felt throughout the DLC for Fallout: New Vegas. When the Courier reaches the Divide, he/she can uncover Ulysses' motivation for opposing him/her: the Courier brought a package to the Divide, the settlement that Ulysses had adopted as his new home, which triggered the detonation of the nuclear weapons buried underground. Ulysses, as the only real survivor, held the Courier responsible for the disaster that obliterated his home and his neighbors.
  • This is how Sukhov became Nuclear Winter in Freedom Force. Minuteman was trying to hit him with one of his Minute Missiles, but hit a bunch of liquid nitrogen canisters beside him, covering him with the stuff. This, combined with the latent Energy X in his body, turned him into An Ice Person with a penchant for stealing atomic bombs.
  • Get in the Car, Loser!: The trinket, Platonic Ideal of Fire, has lore describing the Machine Devil's origins. The planet used to be overrun with plants, making it impossible for the animal kingdom to thrive. The heavens created an unstoppable flame to burn the overgrown plants, but the flame eventually gained sapience as the Machine Devil, Jonivanjo.
  • Ghost Trick:
    • Yomiel strictly speaking got his powers from a freak accident... but he was only in the place where it happened, and unable to notice or react to the meteorite that killed him, because of a standoff with police over a crime he was later exonerated of. He isn't the only one to consider it at least partially the cops' fault; both Cabanela and Jowd consider it My Greatest Failure.
    • It also features two inversions: Yomiel accidentally shot the lead, giving him his ghost powers, and indirectly compelling him to go on the journey that would bring him down, and the foreigners killed Missile, causing him to come back as a relentless ghost.
  • Hello Neighbor: Whatever his dark secrets, your Neighbor starts out as an ordinary-looking man trying to keep up a façade of ordinary-looking life, and even treats his invading neighbors with ordinary mercy. As you blatantly invade his privacy, steal his stuff, wreck his belongings, and refuse to take a hint at the fact that this is highly illegal, he grows more and more unhinged in his attempts to keep you out. To be fair though, he was likely not a normal person to begin with, and if he didn't have something strange or illegal to hide, he could've simply called the police.
  • Prodigal in Heroes Rise becomes a supervillain as a direct result of your parents accidentally killing her mother, Miss Artillery.
    • In the third game, the player character can cause Black Magic to become a tragic villain by mistreating and betraying them.
  • In the backstory of Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, The Exile ended the Mandalorian Wars using a planet-shattering superweapon that inflicted massive casualties on both sides. This resulted in a massive Genocide Backfire, as not only did the resulting trauma turn them into a Shell-Shocked Veteran but the resulting dark energies transformed one of their former allies into the Humanoid Abomination Darth Nihilus, who went on to lead the First Jedi Purge and turn them into the Last of Their Kind.
  • Flay's ending in Mana Khemia gives this a bit of a twist. He wants to become a "Hero of Justice" and drags Vayne along as his sidekick (not that it was hard), but quickly finds that no one seems to need one. Vayne points out the lack of a viable threat, which gives Flay the idea to become one. This, in turn, forces Vayne to become The Hero. It's hard to say who created who.
  • Dr. Wily's never-ending Take Over the World plots in the Mega Man (Classic) series stemmed from Dr. Light's achievements overshadowing his own. Mega Man 11 shows this jealousy started in his university days, when the institute decided to fund Light's research into robots with independent thought, while cancelling Wily's Double Gear System project (which Light thought was too dangerous). Partway through 11 Dr. Light even sadly reflects on how if he had tried to work together with Wily instead of just telling him he was wrong they might still be friends. He even tries to set things right in the end, admitting he was wrong to Wily and extending the olive branch, but the evil doctor swiftly throws it in his face.
  • An occasional occupational hazard in both Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Middle-earth: Shadow of War, thanks to the nemesis system. Certain ways orcs can Cheat Death can turn them into full on supervillains, most notably The Machine, whoo basically becomes an orc cyborg when you cut him in half at the waist, and The Unashamed, orcs who were shamed and decided to embrace their trauma, in a non-lethal version of Came Back Strong.
  • In Neverwinter Nights, the rulers of Neverwinter technically created The Dragon of The Dragon of the Big Bad by obeying the wishes of the mob over whatever sense of morality they possessed.
  • Onmyōji: Seimei wouldn't have had to deal with the whole Kuro Seimei fiasco if he hadn't played around with spells and split himself in two in the first place. Granted, it was completely accidental.
  • In Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault it is revealed that Zurgo was the Qwark Fanboy from Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando who became disillusioned with Qwark after his involvement in numerous scandals and plotted to take revenge on him.
  • Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc: During a nap, Rayman's hands go and scare an innocent Red Lum into André, the game's main antagonist.
  • Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne: Yuko brought in three of her students to ride out the Conception along with her so that they could try to set things right. Too bad two of them ultimately decided to commit genocide and the third may either ally with them, commit his own brand of genocide, or actually go ahead with saving the world.
  • Shining Resonance: According to legend, the High Elves fought alongside the Shining Dragon and the World Dragons during Ragnarok to seal Deus away. What the people of Alfhiem don't know is, that the High Elves were responsible for causing Ragnarok, since they were the ones who literally created Deus — a machina designed to extract and harness the World Dragons life energy without the need for the Ancient Songs.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
  • Spider-Man 2 combines Mysterio's comicbook and animated series villainous motivations. Quentin Beck tries to publicly discredit Spider-Man, but he passes all of his challenges, proving he's the real thing. Humiliated, Beck devises the Mysterio identity (which he tries to pass off as an evil space alien) to get his revenge.
  • In StarCraft, Arcturus Mengsk was responsible for making Sarah Kerrigan into the Queen of Blades, the most feared name in the Koprulu Sector, by abandoning her to the Zerg during the fall of Tarsonis.
    • Mengsk himself was an example of this. His father, Angus, infamous across the sector for his stance against the rampant corruption, military oppression, and gentrification of the Confederacy, helped to foment a rebellion on his home planet of Korhal. The Confederacy responded first by sending Ghost agents to assassinate Angus and his family, then when the rebellion only swelled, they nuked the planet from orbit. Arcturus was offworld at the time, and when he received word, he vowed revenge on the Confederacy and formed the Sons of Korhal. He would eventually succeed, bringing about the fall of the Confederacy by luring the aforementioned Zerg invasion to Tarsonis, which was the Confederacy's seat of government. Oh, and the reason he abandoned Kerrigan to the Zerg is because Kerrigan was one of the Ghosts sent to kill his family. While he pretended to forgive her in order to make use of her, he got rid of her when her usefulness to him ran out.
  • Some endings of Star Fox Command lead to Dash Bowman, initially hoping to join Star Fox, becoming evil in response to choices made by other characters.
  • The Ultima series is notorious for this. The only games in the main series in which the problems the Avatar has to solve are not the direct or indirect result of something he did in a previous game are the first and fourth.
    • II: Villain is widow of the villain killed in previous game.
    • III: Villain is child of villains of previous two games.
    • V: Threat caused by a combination of an artifact owned by the villain of I and cosmic imbalance triggered by events of IV.
    • VI: Villains were rightful owners of an artifact the Avatar found in IV, and lost their homes as the result of the Avatar's actions in V.
    • VII-IX: Villain is the Avatar's dark side, given independent form after the events of IV.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • In 8-Bit Theater Sarda definitely qualifies, as the less-than-heroic actions of the Warriors of Light eventually results in Sarda learning how to warp reality and going back into the past to make their lives a living hell. It works both ways, too; Sarda's manipulations helped to make the Light Warriors what they are (three out of the four already had varying degrees of villainous tendencies, but it was Sarda who sent them all over the world, making them stronger and giving them more opportunities to wreak havoc), and thus in a manner of speaking Sarda created himself.
  • In Darths & Droids, Jango Fett is a private detective with a vendetta against Obi-wan Kenobi — because Obi-wan killed his partner, Darth Maul.
  • All is going well for Dr. Kinesis in Evil Plan until he loses his upgraded telekinesis chip. The boy who ends up finding it uses the newfound power to fight crime and as there is only one super villain in Urbane City that means Kinesis accidentally created his own arch-nemesis.
  • Girl Genius has multiple examples of this.
    • Klaus notices that something is off about Agatha. Him trying to kill her not only causes her to leave his own airship where she was safely contained, it also leads to events where she becomes possessed by the Other.
    • Tarvik does this with Agatha when he possesses her with the spirit of her own mother who is The Other. To be fair, he didn't expect it to actually work and once he noticed that it had happened, he tries his best to help her with the intention to one day undo it.
    • An inversion happens with Merlot: he becomes leader over the university after Dr. Beetle dies, leading to him throwing Agatha out. When he later figures out that Agatha is an immensely powerful Spark, heir of the Heterodyne family and of utmost interest to Baron Wulfenbach, he tries to hide all this by killing everyone in the university and setting the building on fire. He ends up serving prison time in Castle Heterodyne where he meets Agatha again, trying to accuse her of having made him a villain. When Agatha points out that everything is his own fault, that he created himself, he snaps.
  • In Homestuck, Vriska manipulates events so that Jack Noir get the powers of a First Guardian, turning a powerful but still beatable villain into a near invincible Physical God. The Twist? All this would have happened, anyway — Vriska just retconned reality to make herself the centerpiece.
  • Magick Chicks: For the most part, life's been pretty good to Melissa, though she wasn't very good to her friends. Inevitably, by the time she realized that, it was already too late; particularly where Cerise was concerned. Not that Cerise was ever much of a friend. But between Melissa's good fortune and repeatedly mistreating Cerise, who felt stuck living in her shadow... yeah. She finally lost it and decided to get rid of Melissa.
  • Parodied in the Problem Sleuth Fan Commands. The titular character summons the Midnight Crew to help him take Mobster Kingpin down. Spades Slick tries to intimidate him with one of his playing cards, and PS responds in kind with a hand of his own... only to realize too late that he just flashed a stack of gay porn cards at them instead of the playing cards he thought he had. The Midnight Crew is so thrown off by this that they quit, join up with Mobster Kingpin, and menace them in every fan command they show up in afterwards.
  • The LOL Bat from PvP beats up a guy when he accidentally commits theft. The courts mistake him for a budding supervillain due to his friends calling him the "Mad Hater" as a joke and place him in an insane asylum. The guy goes mad for real and takes his pre-existing grudge with LOL Bat to murderous levels.
  • A darkly hilarious example of this occurs in a Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal's strip. However, on this case, the villain's creation's was NOT an accident.
  • In The Search For Henry Jekyll, despite being a villain himself, Hyde creates a villainous rival when he injected Dr. Lanyon with HJ7.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: When ghosts attack the main characters, Onni uses a spell to get them out of the tank. The spell has the side effect of merging them together into a Mind Hive that starts assimilating spirits of both other humans and animals that have fallen to the Plague Zombie disease, and eventually becomes the leader of a mixed troll and ghost herd entirely dedicated to going after the main characters, with the purpose of either killing or assimilating them. Onni mentions that the ghosts making up the original being were of a type he had never encountered before, which hints that the spell only has that effect on that specific type of ghost and not on the ones Onni is used to repelling.
  • Vengeance Joe from the (sorta-dead) webcomic Van Von Hunter seems to fit. He ended up becoming a minor villain to the title hero when Van didn't introduce himself properly while passing through a town and Joe became insulted, swearing vengeance on him.
  • Zebra Girl: Gregory's actions to drag Sandra to hell were the last straw for Sandra, pushing her over the edge and leading her to embrace her demonic nature.

    Web Original 
  • The Onion: New Bomb Capable of Creating 1,500 terrorists in a single blast.
  • Fragments of the Tesseract Prophecy from Phaeton seems to indicate that Trayen is destined to turn at least one of his friends against him.
  • SCP Foundation: SCP-1609 used to be a harmless wooden chair that would teleport to anyone nearby who needed a place to sit down. The Global Occult Coalition ran it through a woodchipper, causing it to become violent towards anyone it perceives as a threat, usually by teleporting into their lungs.

    Web Videos 
  • Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog: Dr. Horrible was a Technical Pacifist and an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain. So, Captain Hammer, the way to deal with him is to Bully The Dragon by dating Penny and then firing a broken Death Ray, accidentally killing her in an attempt to kill him. Nice job breaking It "hero". It is heavily implied (and outright stated in the prequel comics) that Captain Hammer's belief that anyone who is nerdy or uncool is a potential supervillain is why Dr. Horrible got to be the way he is. And because you read the above, you know what happens next. And then our hero (not Captain Hammer, who would barely register as a Nominal Hero) loses his humanity and everything we loved about him.
  • In Noob, Tenshirock and Judge Dead turn out to be the product of the escalation of a Poor Communication Kills situation between a "Well Done, Dad!" Guy and his son with Inferiority Superiority Complex. The last straw from the son's point of view was his father doing better than him at the MMORPG in which the story is set, while the father was hoping to gain respect by being good at something his son liked. That lead to the son cutting bridges while leaving the father wondering what the hell happened. The son managed to reach a status higher than his father in regards of the game and was willing to see his father online one last time for an occasion that would let him make sure he never played the game again. The father decided to change in-game identities and go Archnemesis Dad under the new one in hope that it would drive his son away from his new position and make him more open to his attempts to make up with him.
  • Actor/comedian Hal Sparks posted a self-described "rant" on his YouTube page about how he's tired of this trope, especially in superhero and spy movies. Watch it here.

    Western Animation 
  • All Hail King Julien features the title character often doing this without him realizing it or considering it a big deal.
    • In one episode Julien pretends to be a commoner in an attempt to relate to his citizens, but gets too into it and incites a rebellion movement. Since he never fully admits to it, the most loyal followers of the rebellion remain in operation and attempt several assassinations.
    • Julien also attempts to domesticate a fossa and teach it to be friendly towards lemurs. While he is successful at first, the fossa eventually gets hungry and remembers that its a carnivore, and returns to its pack with heightened intelligence instead.
    • Julien falls in love with his bodyguard's twin sister, but leaves her at the altar creating a Woman Scorned as powerful as his own bodyguard.
  • In The Amazing World of Gumball, Rob was a fairly normal classmate of Gumball and Darwin that swore revenge after the duo unwittingly abandoned him in the Void. Rob's attempt to escape by himself then left him horribly disfigured. Oddly enough, Gumball and Darwin are thrilled to have their own Arch-Enemy, and even help him set up a new villainous alter ego. However, it wasn't Gumball's fault for trapping Rob in the Void and he doesn't know about the place, and Rob simply chose to become a villain but blames Gumball for pushing him into the role.
  • Atomic Puppet:
  • In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!, Tony Stark "creates" the villainous Energy Being Wonder Man. When Simon Williams' company goes under because of Tony Stark, Simon is prompted by his brother (Grim Reaper, an agent of HYDRA) to volunteer for an experiment conducted by M.O.D.O.K. to gain the power he needs to take his revenge. Tony was actually trying to help him by buying up Simon's already-failing company and employing him, but he didn't get around to actually saying this to him.
  • The Batman:
    • Mr. Freeze considers Batman responsible for making him what he is now. However, Victor Fries was already a criminal to begin with; had it not been for that cryo accident he would have been just some common crook.
    • As revealed in "Riddler's Revenge", while a lot of the Riddler's sthick was already in play during a Forgotten (by Batman) First Meeting with a pre-Riddler Edward Nygma, Batman did inspire Edward to don a costume and create some of his gadgets.
  • This trope occurs and is discussed in Batman: The Animated Series:
    • A villain creating their own villain:
      • Roland Daggett's attempts to control Matt Hagen with his highly addictive facelift-in-a-jar concoction eventually turned the man into Clayface.
      • It was Rupert Thorne's attempt to blackmail Harvey Dent that lead to Dent's transformation into Two-Face, the transformation itself lead to Two-Face's extra-legal war on Thorne's criminal organization. Candace, Thorne's right hand, is well aware of this.
        Mook: I thought we got rid of this guy.
        Candace: Are you kidding? We created him.
    • In "Trial", the Arkham Asylum inmates put Batman on trial, accusing him of creating them. And just to stack the deck against him even further, they also kidnap the District Attorney who initially made the claim that he creates these villains and force her to act as his defense. After hearing them all speak, the DA comes to the conclusion that even if Batman hadn't pushed them off the edge, they were all still deeply disturbed people and would have eventually turned to villainy on their own, just with less-silly costumes. In fact, they created him. The villains talk amongst themselves for a bit and then find Batman innocent... but because they are such bad guys, they try to kill him anyway.
    • In "Lock-Up", the eponymous villain was formerly a guard at Arkham Asylum who got his position due to endorsement and support from Wayne Enterprises. When he goes insane and begins kidnapping the people he blames for the cities problems (The police, bureaucrats and reporters that he says cause the criminals) Robin snarkily comments "Another fine villain made possible by a grant from the Wayne Foundation." The look Batman shoots him is not happy.
    • An inversion occurs in "Beware the Creeper": A villain (the Joker) creates his own hero (the Creeper). And he even does it referencing the way he claims Batman created him, throwing someone into a chemical vat:
      Joker: I'll be Batman, and you'll be me.
    • Deconstructed with the Clock King; Mayor Hill was trying to help Temple Fugate.
    • In the episode "Over the Edge", the plot is set by Batgirl's fear that this trope will enact if she would be a casualty of the collateral damage from a super-battle: The Commissioner Gordon would become a Knight Templar Parent that will destroy the Bat-family, being created by the death of heroine Batgirl. He wants Batman to spend his days in Arkham, "surrounded by the monsters he's created."
  • Batman Beyond:
    • Terry did not create the Corrupt Corporate Executive Derek Powers, but he was responsible for his mutation into Blight. As Powers had Terry's father killed — and so many others he can barely remember them — Terry feels no sympathy or regret for the man.
      Terry: You mean...I made him that?
      Bruce: You may have, in part.
      Terry: ...Good. (Bruce gives him a stern look) Hey, this guy had my father murdered and all he's done since is hide from the law. Well, no more hiding for Mr. Derek Powers. Now everyone can see what he is. Even in the dark.
    • A lesser example is with Shriek, who was pressured into using his sonic weapons to kill Bruce Wayne by Derek Powers. While at first he "only" intended to murder Bruce, and that only to secure more funding for his research, once Batman causes him to go deaf during their battle he went insane and became a full-fledge supervillain with the sole goal of getting revenge on Batman. Shriek did have initial problems, since he was trying to commit murder for monetary gain.
    • Powers actually did the inverse and recreated Batman since his attempts to cover up his abuses brought Terry and Bruce together.
  • Ben 10:
  • Deconstructed in Big City Greens with Chip Whistler, whose hatred for the Greens stemmed from chipping his tooth after eating a fabricrated apple made by Cricket, though it was his own fault for not listening to Cricket when he tried to warn him and his subsequent villainous acts against the Greens were of no fault of their own.
  • ChalkZone:
    • Skrawl was the result of Rudy being asked to draw something for a birthday girl. Unfortunately for the drawing that was to become Skrawl (and Rudy), a bunch of other kids pushed Rudy out of the way and added their ideas to the drawing, making Skrawl the misshapen being he is today.
    • Craniac 4 is created by Rudy to stop to take care of Craniac 3 only to turn on him and unlike Skrawl, Craniac 4 is purely created by Rudy and on purpose.
  • Danny Phantom:
    • Probably as a parody to the Fantastic Four example above, Vlad, Maddie and Jack are working on their first Ghost Portal. Jack pours diet soda into a crucial part, and it blows up in Vlad's face, giving him Ecto-Acne, and with it, his ghost powers. Then he goes all evil and revengey.
    • Technus, though in a more lampshading and humorous way. Danny unintentionally frees him from the Ghost Portal (or something) when he first meets him. Assuming him to be a villain, Danny tells him he will not take over the world. Technus, confused, then enlightened actually takes his advice, thus setting his path of villainy.
  • Darkwing Duck accidentally causes Bud Flood to fall into a vat of contaminated water, turning him into the Liquidator. It sounds awfully familiar... Flood had contaminated the water himself, and Darkwing was in fact there to stop him from doing exactly that; so, really, The Liquidator created himself, Darkwing just helped.
  • DuckTales (2017):
    • The episode "The Ballad of Duke Baloney" shows a flashback where Scrooge went on a business trip to South Africa and came across a young shoe-shiner named Duke Baloney, who was just like him in that he had dreams of becoming rich starting with this gig. Scrooge offered Duke a dime with the intention of inspiring him into going down the same path, but Duke was instead angered that he was paid below the minimum wage by the richest duck in the world and dedicated his life to ruining Scrooge, taking on a new persona known as Flintheart Glomgold.
    • Similarly, Scrooge inadvertently played a role in the creation of a serious new villain: Negaduck. When he hires film director Alistair Boorswan to make a grittier reboot of Darkwing Duck (which in this universe was a Show Within a Show), Jim Starling, Darkwing's original actor from said show, absolutely loses it upon learning he's not involved and tries to sabotage the production by any means necessary. He continues to drive further into madness, further determined to reclaim the spotlight, which cumulates in a battle between him and his replacement, Drake Mallard. When Starling apparently dies, Drake is convinced to become the real Darkwing in his honor, but the accident permanently warped Starling's sanity, leaving him to believe he was deliberately sabotaged by Mallard. Thus, he fully becomes Negaduck, leaving him primed to become a future adversary to the McDuck clan.
      Jim: It was all a setup. That hack put my fan in danger to steal the glory and humiliate me! They want "grim and gritty", huh? Happy to play the part...
    • Villain-to-Villain example between Magica De Spell and the Phantom Blot, as revealed in "The Phantom and the Sorceress." Long ago, De Spell ruled over a village with an iron fist, who offered great tributes her to spare them. She eventually destroys the village out of boredom, leaving a single survivor that vowed vengeance. The survivor hunted down Magica relentlessly and rose back up from each defeat, eventually obtaining a gauntlet that can absorb magic and becoming the Phantom Blot. Now an agent of F.O.W.L., Blot is a Knight Templar that not only wants to kill Magica but absorb and destroy all magic, even from bystanders like Gladstone Gander or young heroes like Lena.
    • "The First Adventure!" reveals this was the entire reason for the existence of F.O.W.L. When accountant Bradford Buzzard, a member of S.H.U.S.H., suggests to director Ludwig Von Drake that the organization should take over the world to reign in the costly chaos, Von Drake laughs it off and says that Buzzard needs to stop thinking like a supervillain, as the organization doesn't engage in such behavior. It instead inspires Buzzard to team up with notorious criminal Black Heron to create F.O.W.L. and fight against S.H.U.S.H. themselves (though he himself doesn't consider himself a villain, despite Heron's insistence).
    • "The Life and Crimes of Scrouge McDuck" has Scrooge's enemies exploit this trope, putting him through a mystic karmic court for having a part in their Start of Darkness and thus the chance to take his wealth. While Louie is able to find counterarguments for Glomgold and Ma Beagle, he fails to do the same for Magica de Spell, who recounts how how her fight against Scrooge led to her accidentally striking her brother Poe with a transformation spell that turned him into a raven, while Scrooge chose to ignore her plight. Scrooge ends up regretting this decision in the present, and starts to wonder if he's no better than they are. He tries to apologize to the villains to make things right, but the court takes this as a confession. However, Louie, thanks to Glomgold's boasting, is able to point out that each encounter with his enemies led Scrooge to become the adventurous billionaire philanthropist he is today, and if the villains are entitled to Scrooge's wealth for making them, well, villains, Scrooge is entitled to theirs for making him a hero. The court accepts this as valid and deems Scrooge innocent.
    • While never facing the villain in question, Isabella Finch, famed adventurer and founder of the Woodchuck Scouts ended up doing so out of well-meaning intentions. She brought her grandson along with her on her adventures, but while she enjoyed the thrill and mysteries, he became terrified of the various dangers. The fear embittered him enough to vow to bring order to the world by wiping out all adventures, becoming the antithesis of Isabella's beliefs. The grandson's name: Bradford, leader and founder of F.O.W.L..
  • In the infamous episode "If It Smells Like An Ed" from Ed, Edd n Eddy, Eddy does this to Jimmy. After he gives Jimmy a wedgie, Jimmy seeks revenge on all three Eds as a result.
  • The Fairly OddParents:
    • In "The Secret Origin of Denzel Crocker", it is revealed that Timmy himself is responsible for the cause of Mr. Crocker's obsession with fairies when he traveled back to the 70s to stop it from happening. Back then, Crocker, like Timmy, used to be a happy child who has bullied by his own evil babysitter, Vic (the male counterpart of Vicky), and had fairy godparents (who ironically happened to be Cosmo and Wanda, though neither of them seem to remember this). Timmy accidentally reveals the existence of Crocker's fairies at a town meeting whilst trying to stop Crocker from doing so. This results in Cosmo and Wanda being taken away and everyone having their memories erased including Crocker himself (and accidentally, Cosmo and Wanda), leading to Crocker's disfigured appearance and the townspeople mistakenly believing they are an angry mob hunting down Crocker. It gets even worse that Timmy accidentally left behind Mr. Crocker's own DNA Tracker which he was using to track him down in the past, thus returning it to the past Crocker.
    • Parodied when Timmy becomes The Masked Magician. The Crimson Chin warns Timmy about creating his own supervillain, and lo and behold... The Hanker-Chief!
    • Crimson Chin is speaking from experience: His archenemy, the Bronze Kneecap ("and his big BRONZE KNEECAP!!!"), turns evil when, in a parody of supervillain origins, the Chin accidentally breaks his leg during a jai alai tournament, causing him to get third place once again, and then doesn't apologize. And so Ron Hambone melted down and his third-place bronze trophies...
    • The Hanker-Chief, AKA Mr. Bickles, ends up on the receiving end when he kicks Britney Britney out of her Vegas gig, and she comes back as the Platinum Princess for revenge.
    • The third crossover with Jimmy Neutron had Timmy and Jimmy purposely making a new villain after they discovered how easily their combined skills trumped all their regular enemies. What makes this funny is that they made a villain, though he wasn't quite as evil as they had hoped, so they ditch him, which then causes the trope to be played oh so wonderfully straight. Confusing? It Makes Sense in Context.
    • And in another episode when Timmy wished for a world of superheroes, he accidentally created super-villains as well.
    • In one of the Oh Yeah! Cartoons shorts, Timmy spends the episode turning into a superhero. He then realizes that he has no villain to fight and has Cosmo and Wanda whip one up for him.
    • Let's not forget the reason why Vicky is Timmy's Babysitter from Hell; as revealed in Timmy's flashback in the Made-for-TV Movie Abra-Catastrophe!, Timmy thought his parents were going to abandon him by going off to parts unknown, so he called up Vicky and hired her to watch him while they were gone. This also is a case of For Want of a Nail, as Mom and Dad thought Vicky was nice and caring as according to her poster and told this to Timmy, but once they were hustled out the door, Vicky revealed she was a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing and made Timmy's life a total misery, which also resulted in the arrival of Cosmo and Wanda. In other words, Timmy's parents actually lied to him for the first time.
  • Gargoyles:
    • There's an episode that toy with this, as a Recurring Extra who appeared in many prior episodes plots to get his revenge on the gargoyles and relates every previous encounter he had with them. Played for Laughs, as his revenge was a bazooka... that shoots pies. For the record, the gargoyles inadvertently cost him every job he ever had since 1997. And the pie was banana creme. The gargoyles, including Goliath, who took the pie, have no idea who he is. Or why he did it.
    • David Xanatos created Thailog, a clone of Goliath educated with Xanatos' own worldview. Naturally, Thailog turned on everybody.
    • The Hunters were created when Demona slashed the face of a farm boy. Said farm boy then dedicated his life to hunting down every last gargoyle in existence. And when he died, his moniker was adopted by another who created generations of families whose whole life is killing Demona and gargoyles.
    • Gargoyles likes doing this. During the time travel episode when Xanatos travels back in time with his new wife Fox as a honeymoon trip and his father to make a pact with The Illuminati to guarantee his fortune in the present and future. Goliath tags along to keep Xanatos honest, while at the same time using the opportunity to find a younger version of Demona and try to convince her not to give into hatred for humans. Instead, Goliath's speech did the opposite and made Demona more cautious of humans, especially after encountering her future self as well. When they returned to the present, Demona made it clear that she remembered his message and it changed nothing.
  • Project Cadmus in Justice League is an unusual case, in that they both play this trope straight and have it applied to them.
    • They were created as a government response after the Justice League reveals it has a Kill Sat built into its orbital space-station and it turned out that, on a parallel world, the Justice League decided to overthrow the governments of the world to stop a nuclear war, which instantly gave fuel to Beware the Superman elements within the government.
    • Their efforts to create anti-meta projects have resulted in Doomsday, a Nigh Invulnerable monster that wants to destroy everything; Galatea, a clone of Supergirl who went insane and turned against them after finding out she was a clone; and the Ultimen, genetically engineered super-humans who... went insane and turned against them after finding out that A: they were going to die due to a flaw in the bio-engineering process, and B: Cadmus was aware of this and simply planned on killing them and replacing them with a batch of fresh clones.
  • Parodied with Señor Senior Sr. from Kim Possible: Ron "causes" him to become a supervillain... by remarking on how much his private island mansion home looks like a stereotypical supervillain lair. The retired old billionaire who had been looking for a new hobby to help pass the time is quite intrigued by the idea.
  • Kappa Mikey: Downplayed with Lily. The only reason why she despises Mikey is because she used to be the star of LilyMu until Mikey arrived and stole her thunder; however, she's not at all villainous and isn't totally against him.
  • The Legend of Korra: Korra is indirectly responsible for creating the villains of Season 3 and 4. By opening the spirit portals and causing Harmonic Convergence, she inadvertently gave Zaheer his airbending, which allowed him to escape from prison and free his friends. Zaheer later incited an anarchist revolution, which caused Kuvira to go on her campaign to build the Earth Empire.
    • Su imparted her ideals onto Kuvira, who took them to the worst possible extreme.
  • Miraculous Ladybug:
    • Marinette has caused several people to be akumatized (though not as many as Chloe, she's surprisingly not that far behind the resident Alpha Bitch in this regard). Unlike most examples of this trope, they're always back to normal at the end of the episode.
    • Lila/Volpina is a straighter example — while she's a normal akuma victim the first time around, she keeps her grudge against Ladybug and jumps at the chance to be transformed a second time.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, though Cozy Glow was an evil Enfant Terrible already, both times she gained actual power and went on the attack are directly the result of the good guys doing stupid things. The first time around she was able to rise to power because Twilight Sparkle left powerful artifacts lying out in the open at the School of Friendship (You'd think she'd have learned to put those things away after her doing that in Equestria Girls caused so many problems, or when the Alicorn Amulet being left laying around caused so many problems in "Magic Duel"), and the second time because Discord, in the guise of Grogar, thought it was a good plan to free her from prison, team her up with other villains, give her power, teach her how to use said power, and set her loose on Equestria to give Twilight Sparkle a villain to fight to give her a confidence boost.
  • Pinky and the Brain gives us Julia, a Recurring Character from the Animaniacs (2020) revival who is another example of a Villain Protagonist creating their own villain. Julia starts as an ordinary mouse whom Brain makes as brilliant as himself so she can be his first lady in a Senatorial campaign, but the voters respond to her compassionate, idealistic nature by choosing her as the candidate instead! Not only that, Julia objects to Brain's tyrannical methods. This cause Brain to fit her with a Mind-Control Device to keep her in line, but it malfunctions; as a result, Julia goes crazy, undergoes a Face–Heel Turn, and becomes Brain's vengeful Arch-Enemy.
  • The Powerpuff Girls: Mojo Jojo was originally created by Professor Utonium, and worked as his assistant. Mojo explains that the professor and the girls indirectly turned him into a villain by making him jealous; the girls hogged the spotlight and left Mojo in the shade, which eventually drove him out into the street. As an added twist, Mojo was himself responsible for Chemical X being added into the concoction that spawned the girls. Apparently, he was a very bad lab assistant from the start. According to one episode, Mojo's traveling back in time to try to eliminate Professor Utonium as a child and being thwarted by the girls is what inspired Professor Utonium to become a scientist in the first place. Bringing the whole thing full circle...
  • Rick and Morty: On the last adventure with the anti-heroic Vindicators, Rick single-handedly killed off the team (half with deathtraps, and half by pushing the team to kill each other over their internal squabbling) and turned the sole survivor into a super-villain bent on getting revenge by accident. note 
  • Rocket Monkeys's Big Bad Lord Peel. He was once an ordinary banana-like alien who Gus and Wally mistook for an actual banana and tried to eat him. Years of harassment followed him and soon he turned evil, becoming Lord Peel and dedicating his life to destroying the two monkeys who ruined it.
  • While Catra was certainly never a particularly good person in She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, her transition from a generally unmotivated Horde cadet with no real goals beyond riding Adora's coattails to power to Hordak's second-in-command and Adora's Arch-Enemy comes about because of Adora's defection: her ambition is fired by receiving the promotion Adora had effectively turned down by leaving, her feelings of betrayal and Shadow Weaver's continued obsession with Adora led to her resentment taking control, and Adora frequently defeating her causes her to become obsessed with finally winning.
  • The Simpsons episode "The Italian Bob" featured the heroes not so much creating a villain as recreating one. While in Italy, the Simpsons run into an apparently reformed Sideshow Bob living happily and honestly as the mayor of a small town. Bob isn't exactly delighted to have the Simpsons around, but he treats them well enough... until Lisa gets drunk and 'outs' Bob as a former criminal. His new life destroyed, he promptly swears revenge.
  • In Sonic Boom, Knuckles' stupidity and incompetence ends up causing Charlie a lot of grief, costing him his job, and causing his wife to leave him. Charlie vows revenge and acquires some powerful armor and weapons to attack Knuckles. Although he eventually loses, his wife returns to him because she liked him finally becoming a tough guy and then they both become straight up supervillains.
  • Conversed in the South Park episode "Mexican Joker". Kyle tells the I.C.E. agents that holding Mexican children in detention camps could result in them holding a grudge against the American government once they grow up, using superhero movies where the hero is responsible for the villain's backstory as an analogy. The agents completely misunderstand what he's saying, and start thinking that one of the children in the camp is "Mexican Joker", going to great lengths to find and stop him before he can grow up.
  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series:
    • Invoked by Quentin Beck, aka Mysterio, whose initial motive for turning to crime is revenge on Spider-Man for catching him after his special effects went haywire and shot down a filming copter. It rings hollow because he would have gone to jail anyway; Spider-Man just happened to be the first guy on the scene who managed to catch him.
      Mysterio: It's payback time!
      Spider-Man: Payback? For what? You did it all to yourself.
      Mysterio: That's what my psychiatrist said, but you know what? His sessions never made me feel this good!
    • In "The Sting of the Scorpion," Jonah has hired PI Mac Gargan to trail Peter to figure out how he gets all those great pictures of Spider-Man. After finding out, Spider-Man bursts into the Daily Bugle and purposefully plays tough to try to scare some sense into them — even webbing Gargan to the wall, humiliating him. Unfortunately, all he did was give Jonah motivation to bankroll a Neogenic experiment and a willing test subject — making Mac Gargan the Scorpion.
    • And like in the comics, Venom — with the symbiote being rejected (and nearly killed), while Eddie Brock had been fired from the Daily Bugle and repeatedly humiliated.
  • Tangled: The Series:
    • The whole reason why teenage alchemist Varian turns against Rapunzel — and by extension, all of Corona — was because she couldn't come to help him during Zhan Tiri's blizzard in "Queen For a Day".
    • Most importantly, Rapunzel kept standing in the way of her handmaiden Cassandra, stealing all the attention from her in return; matter of fact, Cassandra was the biological daughter of Gothel who abandoned her in favor of Rapunzel. All this betrayal and jealousy broke Cassandra so hard she stole the power of the Moonstone and claimed Rapunzel's destiny as her own to get back at her for always coming before her.
  • A recurring problem in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012):
    • Snake was splashed with mutagen sent flying out of the van they use as distraction whilst they break into the Kraangs' lair, transforming him into Snakeweed.
      Snakeweed: You did this to me! I'll crush you turtles!
      Donatello: Uh, would it help if we said it was an accident? (Snakeweed roars at them) I... I'll take that as a "no"!
    • The Kraangs weren't concerned with the Turtles until they almost destroyed one of their installations while trying to save April from them.
    • The Shredder would have probably stayed in Japan had the Turtles not left shuriken with Hamato Yoshi's mark on it behind them, leading Saki to believe his rival was training new ninja in New York.
    • Baxter Stockman was a fairly Harmless Villain before Mikey accidentally allowed him to acquire their T-Pod. They eventually took it from him, but he kept a grudge against them after this because of it.
    • Spider Bytez invokes this trope, though it's arguable in his case: the Turtles were trying to save him, and would have succeeded if he had not kept acting like a combination of Jerkass and Too Dumb to Live. His mutation was pretty much more his fault than theirs.
      • Bradford does the same when he breaks the mutagen bomb and douses himself AND Montes with the goo. The Turtles didn't do anything technically (he and Montes attacked first) and were trying to disarm the mutagen bomb.
      • Similarly, Pulveriser purposely exposed himself to mutagen to become a mutant. Unfortunately, his mutation made him feral and insane.
    • As revealed in "Turtle Temper," Splinter considers himself responsible for the Shredder's Start of Darkness, as he explains to Raph in an attempt to Tame His Anger. Splinter recounts an incident where Shredder openly and relentlessly insulted him in front of Tang Shen, eventually leading Splinter to snap and attack him. This caused their rivalry to intensify, eventually leading to Shen's death at Shredder's hands. Raph attempts to justify that he had no choice but to get angry since Shredder badmouthed him, but Splinter points out he could have chosen to just ignore him, but poorly chose to do the exact opposite.
  • In Transformers: Animated, Cyrus "The Colossus" Rhodes hates the Autobots apparently because he lost his job to a machine, and Prometheus Black has a gripe against Sumdac because Sumdac Systems gets all the lucrative contracts instead of him. Interestingly, before Black became Meltdown, he was receiving funding from a member of Sumdac Systems' board of directors.
    • Blackarachnia in the same series might count definitely counts, as she allied herself with the Decepticons after Optimus and Sentinel abandoned her on Archa 7, a spider planet, believing she was dead.
      • Sentinel also came to hate Optimus after the very same incident, sparking an intensely antagonistic relationship between the two.
      • To be fair to Optimus, it was their idea to go to Archa 7 in the first place; in fact, the only reason he was there with them was to keep them out of trouble. Circumstances just weren't in their favor, and Optimus (willingly) took the blame for the incident since he was the commanding officer.
    • Wasp was falsely implicated as being a Decepticon spy and during his time in the stockade went nuts and wants a lot of revenge on Bumblebee, the one who accused Wasp and got him convicted. Though, Wasp wasn't a very nice bot to begin with.
  • The VeggieTales episode "Larry-Boy and the Rumor Weed" actually begins with the title superhero accidentally creating the title weed by knocking a plant off a building and onto some power lines.
  • Doc Venture in The Venture Bros. has a singular talent for this. Baron Ünderbheit became his enemy after an unspecified lab experiment blew off his jaw, The Monarch — probably justifiably — blames him for some college Noodle Incident that ruined his life, and Richard Impossible lost his mind after his wife tried to leave him for Rusty.
    • All ultimately not Rusty's fault. The Monarch was responsible for blowing off Ünderbheit's jaw, and was himself already a lunatic in college for reasons we still don't know. Possibly for being raised by Monarch Butterflies for a period of time after surviving a plane crash which killed his parents as a child. Richard Impossible didn't snap until his wife left him for Rusty's brother. Doc Venture just happens to be a hate sink for supervillains.


Video Example(s):


Explanation of the Cruel Irony

The Crimson Chin warns Timmy about this trope by recounting his role in the creation of the Bronze Kneecap. Timmy thinks he's safe, not realizing that he's already made an arch-enemy...

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / CreateYourOwnVillain

Media sources: