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Deceptive Disciple

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"I'm being undermined by my own disciples!"
Elijah Kalgan, Space Mutiny

Is there really no such thing as a bad student, only a bad teacher?

The Deceptive Disciple gives the impression they are faithfully and respectfully following the teacher of whatever Way is being taught, but in reality, they have their own agenda and will end up betraying both the teacher and the Way. The "Way" can be anything — magic, religion, martial arts, business methods, governmental policy, or any combination of these things.

Compare Bastard Understudy, A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil (the pupil actually was good before), and The Paragon Always Rebels. Compare and contrast the Rule of Two. A Merlin and Nimue pairing is likely to have this character. The Treacherous Advisor and Evil Mentor are their equivalents on the other side of the Chain. The Mole may take this approach when dealing with any branch of Evil, Inc.


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     Anime and Manga 
  • 3×3 Eyes: when first mentioned, the great monk Madurai is described as a man who managed to seal away Benares. We later learn from his mouth that he was Benares' apprentice and closest follower, and turn on him both to remove his growing threat for the world and because he was afraid to lose his own daughter to him.
  • Assassination Classroom: The greatest assassin, the Reaper/God of Death, used to be the disciple of the original Reaper/God of Death, a.k.a. Korosensei. He betrayed his teacher, took his title and left him to be caught during an infiltration mission. It's quite a downplayed example though since it crosses to A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil, since The Reaper's current twisted personality was resulted from the original Reaper's inability to realize that his pupil wanted recognition from him despite working tirelessly to earn his approval. And when he knew that he was nothing but a tool to him, it lead to his treachery against his master.
  • In Attack on Titan, Zeke Yeager's parents were members of La Résistance trying to secretly overthrow the Marleyan government and restore the Eldia Empire to its former glory. Zeke was to be their "hope", as he's a descendant of the royal Fritz family through his mother. However, at a very young age, he betrayed his parents, turning them into the military for treason. His parents, Grisha and Dina, ended up on Paradis Island, along with the rest of the members of their movement. To this day, Zeke still resents his father and is trying to save his half-brother Eren from his impending doom that Grisha is responsible for bringing upon his younger son.
  • Hyunkel in Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai is evil but becomes Aban's disciple to avenge his father. It turns out that Aban didn't kill his father and he joins the forces of good after Dai defeats him.
  • Light Yagami of Death Note is this to L during the Yotsuba arc, particularly emphasized in the religious symbolism of the series, which casts L as Christ and Light as Judas.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Laxus at least tried to become one, though it turns out he cared much more about his grandfather and his guild than even he himself thought.
    • Played straight with Ivan, who is son of Makarov, thus Laxus's father, and also master of the dark guild Raven Tail.
  • Inverted in Fist of the North Star: Souther's master tricked him into killing him, since There Can Be Only One master of Nanto Ho'Oh Ken at any time. Souther, who was actually very fond of his master, promptly goes insane with grief and becomes bent on building his master a the form of an insanely large pyramid that is built with children as slave labor. He also forces a blind guy to set the capstone, or else.
  • Ribbons Almark from Mobile Suit Gundam 00.
  • Naruto
  • Zoro from One Piece is a heroic version of this. He begs "Hawk Eyes" Dracule Mihawk to teach him so he can surpass him someday. Amused by his reasons and impressed by Zoro discarding his pride, Mihawk accepts him as his disciple.
  • Hiruma Gohei in the anime version of Rurouni Kenshin.
  • Saint Seiya
    • Subverted with Ikki did respect his master, Guilty, despite the horrible Training from Hell that the other put him through with full intention of having Ikki killing him no matter what the boy thought or felt. Ikki kept rejecting the mere idea of killing Guilty until he killed his own daughter/servant girl Esmeralda, one of Ikki's Morality Pets (the other being his brother Shun), making poor Ikki completely snap and punch through his body. And Guilty was happy about it, since that meant Ikki had eliminated his own humanity to become the Phoenix Saint... Or so he thought.
    • Subverted with Volker and his adoptive son Mime, as the whole "abuse your son/disciple and tell him that you killed his real parents so he snaps and kills you" was actually a Thanatos Gambit mixed with Redemption Equals Death.
    • Played straight with Ohko and Libra Dohko, though Ohko was more of a Jerkass than anything.
  • Rando of YuYu Hakusho apprenticed himself to a notable psychic, learned his master's techniques, then murdered his master and used the techniques to go on a killing spree. Ninety nine times. Yusuke defeated him as he attempted to make Genkai Master Number One Hundred.

     Comic Books 
  • Baron Mordo from the Marvel Universe attempted to kill his teacher, the Ancient One, and ended up as the main nemesis of the Ancient One's star pupil — Doctor Strange. There's overlap with A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil, but the Face–Heel Turn (if there was one) happened long before Strange entered the picture.
    • It should be mentioned that the Ancient One even knew of Mordo's planned betrayal. It ended up being a Secret Test of Character for Strange since he was still a Jerkass at this time who had no magic skill, yet was planning to defy Mordo in the face of certain death.
  • Miles Warren, the mastermind behind The Clone Saga was once a student of the High Evolutionary; the Evolutionary kicked him out of Wungadore when he realized Warren's true intent, but the damage had been done, Warren having learned far more about genetics than any mortal man had a right to.
  • In The Tick comics, Shing was once leader of all ninja operations in America before he was ousted by a student with less skill but more business sense. Shing recruited and trained a young woman named Oedipus to return the ninja to their former glory, in a parody of Daredevil's Stick/Elektra storyline.
  • Tron: Betrayal (a prequel comic to TRON: Legacy) indicates that while Flynn thought Clu was A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil, the truth was closer to Clu being a bastard all along. This is clearest when it's shown that he has system guards loyal to him plant bombs in the City to kill Programs and frame the Isos and changes the Games into lethal contests. Flynn had been too overwhelmed with analog-world responsibilities to notice until it was much too late.
  • Luke Skywalker tried this in Dark Empire, in which he joins the Sith as the Reborn Emperor's new pupil, with the intent of bringing them down from the inside. On a technical level it worked, but there are strong hints that he was Becoming the Mask; he only turned back the first time because his love for his sister outweighed paranoia and lust for power.
    • Quinlan Vos tries to buddy up to Count Dooku with the intent on finding and killing his Sith partner in Republic. He doesn't succeed, but does turn on Dooku and helps defeat several other ex-Jedi he'd also recruited.
  • In Über, Olesya is ordered by Joseph Stalin to learn all she can from the first generation USSR superhuman Katyusha Maria, and then kill her. She fails in the second part, leading to an early death for Stalin.

    Fan Works 
  • In All Things Probable Series, Maze is utterly self-assured that he is a true follower of the Great Bear Spirit, even after the Great Bear rejects him in favor of Rhonda and tells him in no uncertain terms that he's following the wrong path.

     Film - Animated 
  • Robots: Ratchet has sidelined and usurped the power of robot patriarch Bigweld.

    Film - Live-Action 
  • Elle Driver/California Mountain Snake from Kill Bill eventually assassinates her old master, Pai Mei, and ends up facing his star pupil, The Bride/Beatrix Kiddo. Meanwhile, Beatrix herself is on a mission to kill her other former master, Bill, though the Bride's mission is more about vengeance than anything else.
  • Trumpy (Terrence Howard) in the Outkast musical film, Idlewild. He kills both Sunshine Ace and Spats because he felt Spats was going to throw it all away on Ace.
  • Inverted in Batman Begins. Bruce Wayne is the Deceptive Disciple, but the League of Shadows are evil Knight Templar murderers. (This is debatable as Bruce initially joined the League with the intention to legitimately lead them in fighting corruption. It was not until he was asked to kill a criminal or himself be killed that he betrays the League.)
  • In Balls of Fury, the Big Bad learned everything in how to become a master ping-pong player from Master Wong, but left before his training was complete and became a crime lord with a penchant for ping-pong death-matches. The incompleteness of his training becomes a Hoist by His Own Petard during his battle with Daytona.
  • In Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Blart trains Veck to be a security guard early in the film, but later realizes that Veck was only trying to be one for a while just to help his goons study the mall so that they can carry out their heist.
  • In The Shadow, the mystic teacher known as the Tulku tried to save Shiwan (the self-proclaimed last descendant of Genghis Khan) like he did with Lamont, helping him harness his inner darkness to use for good, but the Tulku ended up getting killed for his troubles and unleashing a more dangerous Shiwan on the world.
  • Storm Shadow in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. It's implied he turns on his master for feeling the foreign student, the kid who becomes Snake Eyes, is more talented than him.
    • Even though the Rise of Cobra version implies this, it's unconclusive. However, the G.I. Joe: Resolute version of Storm Shadow definitely follows the trope.
  • Tommy "The Machine" Gunn in Rocky V. After practically begging to be coached by him, he leaves Rocky shortly when he gets the better offer from George Washington Duke.
  • Prince Einon in Dragonheart, who only pretended to follow Bowen's code to learn how to fight, completely ignoring the knight's "Old Code". Though it was initially assumed that it was Draco giving him a piece of his heart that turned him bad, he reveals at the end that he was Evil All Along.
  • Deceptive Disciple: Eddie's smarmy lawyer Arthur (Hume Cronyn). Arthur makes out like he's looking after Eddie's best interests, but it eventually becomes clear that he wants both Eddie's money and his wife. He succeeds in getting both, although Eddie doesn't mind, having acquired a hot young girlfriend of his own.
  • In the Saw films:
    • Amanda Young is a former victim of the Poetic Serial Killer John Kramer, aka Jigsaw, who survived the Death Trap he put her in and subsequently became his apprentice, feeling that he had given her renewed purpose in life. However, John felt that his mission was to impart moral lessons to those he felt were wasting their lives, and so he always designed his traps so that the victim had a chance of survival, even if not necessarily in one piece. Amanda, on the other hand, took the social Darwinism of John's message much further, designing inescapable death traps for people who she felt did not deserve to live. In the third film, John found out what Amanda was actually doing and subjected her to a Secret Test of Character in order to get her to change. She failed, and got shot dead as a result.
    • John's other apprentice, Mark Hoffman, was even worse. He started out as a police officer who created a Jigsaw-style trap to inflict vigilante justice on the man who killed his sister and got Off on a Technicality, using the trap to deflect suspicion to the known Serial Killer. This got the attention of John, who kidnapped him and forced him to become his proper apprentice. Like Amanda, Hoffman too went back to his old ways of straightforwardly murdering people he thought didn't deserve to live, especially after John died. Only at the end of the seventh film did he finally get his comeuppance at the hands of Dr. Gordon, the only one of Jigsaw's apprentices who didn't turn treacherous.
  • The serial killer, Charles Lee Ray in Child's Play befriened a voodoo priest who taught him how to transfer his soul to other objects like dolls to perserve his life, but never taught him how to transfer his soul to possess other people, because he soon learned that Charles was evil. Charles used his teachings for evil and possessed a Good Guy doll and contiuned his serial killings For the Evulz. However, after realizing his was starting to become flesh while inside the doll, he goes back to the now defiant voodoo priest and tortures him using his own voodoo doll into telling how to possess a human being before killing him.

  • The Dark Elf Dalamar made a career out of betraying his master, Raistlin, in the Dragonlance series. Admittedly, Raistlin wasn't what you'd call benevolent, but still...
    • Raistlin himself is an even better example. After having gained power and knowledge from the ghost of the undead evil archwizard Fistandantilus, Raistlin became the next Master of Past and Present. He then traveled into the past to usurp all of Fistandantilus powers by going back to a time when the man was still mortal and posing as one of Fistandantilus' own apprentices. When Fistandantilus tried to suck out Raistlin's lifeforce and take over the young man's body to extend his own life (as he used to do with his apprentices), Raistlin killed Fistandantilus instead and took his place in history; fittingly Raistlin used Fistandantilus' own talisman to suck out the evil mage's lifeforce and improve his (Raistlin's) own frail health. He then found out that he was karmically locked into following Fistandantilus' path through history, until he finds a cosmic loophole that allows him to change the timeline.
  • In Ben Jonson's Volpone, Mosca pulls the rug out from under Volpone by using the old swindler's techniques against him, showing that taking the greedy impulse to its logical extreme means living for onesself and onesself only, to the exclusion of even each other.
  • In Wolf of the Plains, as soon as Yesugei dies, Eeluk announces that he is the new khan and kicks Yesugei's family out of the clan to prevent them from stabbing him in the back, leaving them to die of hunger and exposure. Unfortunately for him, one of Yesugei's sons will grow up to become Genghis Khan. Oh, and this actually happened.
  • In The Warlord Chronicles Nimue starts off as an extremely loyal follower of Merlin, which includes occasionally being his lover and never questioning him, even when he abandons her to chase after the Treasures of Britain. (During which time Nimue endures a horrific Trauma Conga Line that includes being raped, losing an eye, and going insane for awhile. All of which Merlin more or less brushes off.) However, when Merlin gets cold feet about using a specific Human Sacrifice for their cause, Nimue is furious at him and goes further than Merlin ever dreamed in pursuit of their goals. That includes imprisoning and torturing Merlin, and eventually using the old druid as a Human Sacrifice.
  • In the Forgotten Realms novel The Crystal Shard, the incompetent wizard Akar Kessel murders his master, Morkai the Red, in order to usurp his position. The situation here is slightly more complicated than usual, as he is goaded into this by his master's colleagues, betrayed by them and left to die in the snow, and then finds an Artifact of Doom that makes him an aspiring Evil Overlord almost overnight.
  • Harry Potter series Big Bad Voldemort played the role of an upstanding and gifted student during his time at Hogwarts back when he still used the name Tom Riddle. All while recruiting like-minded students who would become the first Death Eaters, probing the secrets of the school, researching methods of achieving immortality, and engaging in acts of villainy such as killing Myrtle and framing Hagrid for it. The only staffmembers Tom didn't have completely fooled were Dumbledore, who saw enough of his true nature when he picked Tom up from the orphanage, and maybe Slughorn, who never saw Tom in quite the same light after he asked too many questions about Horcruxes.
  • In the Dale Brown novel Act of War, Zakharov turns out to be this, pretending to believe in Ruiz's eco-terrorist goals until the time is right to take over and switch to full-blown terrorism. He's not The Starscream because his treachery catches both Ruiz and readers by surprise, nor a Bastard Understudy because Ruiz is something of a Wide-Eyed Idealist who's more Well Intentioned than Extremist in Well-Intentioned Extremist.
  • The Rudyard Kipling poem "The Disciple" is about such people, and how often they pop up in religion.
    "He that hath a Gospel / Whereby Heaven is won
    (Carpenter, or cameleer, / Or Maya's dreaming son),
    Many swords shell pierce Him, / Mingling blood with gall;
    But His Own Disciple / Shall wound Him worst of all!"
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "The Tower of the Elephant", Yara imprisoned and tortured his mentor who would teach him only White Magic voluntarily.
  • Happens a couple of times in Star Wars Legends:
    • A weirdly annoying subversion cropped up in Legacy of the Force. After spending years showing how Jacen Solo's curiosity, training, and raw Force talent taught him all kinds of useful tricks that other Jedi couldn't do, the series has him seeing through the Force that doing one thing will result in him killing his uncle, his teacher—which he does not want to do. So he goes the other way...and turns dark anyhow. You Can't Fight Fate, apparently (though he didn't end up killing Luke).
    • Palpatine/Darth Sidious is an inversion, who instead deceives and abuses his disciples. The Expanded Universe reveals that Palpatine never intended to be replaced by an apprentice at all; rather, he concocted a complex scheme to achieve practical immortality through the use of clone bodies. Taking on apprentices seems to be somewhat of an amusing diversion to him. However, the novel Darth Plageius revealed that Palpatine was basically this to his own master; Plageius had intended that he and his apprentice would be in a relationship of mutual trust where they would rule the galaxy together, but once Palpatine became Chancellor he got Plageius drunk enough until he could more easily kill his master, proclaiming that he no longer needed the older Sith any more.
    • Luke Skywalker sets up a Jedi academy. One of his first set of pupils, Brakiss, intended to be this. He was an Imperial plant with a lot of baggage in his background. Luke knew about this and thought he could change him - and it looked like it was working, Brakiss was Becoming the Mask. Then, Luke put him through a mental test of himself that went too far and traumatized his pupil, who fled. In The New Rebellion, Brakiss largely unwillingly works for Kueller, A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil. Luke still thought he could be saved, and writing from Brakiss's POV suggest that he'd like that, but it's not to be. He dies in Young Jedi Knights.
  • In Warrior Cats:
    • Tigerstar was noted by other cats as knowing the Warrior Code by heart. He really was planning to kill his leader and take over ThunderClan, something that, obviously, is against the code.
    • Brokenstar did the same but succeeded, with the added bonus of the cat he killed and usurped being his own father.

     Live Action TV  
  • Turlough from Doctor Who was not exactly an apprentice, but he was one of the Doctor's two or three companions. For much of his time on the TARDIS Turlough was working for the Black Guardian, although he eventually sided with the Doctor when his betrayal came to light, and was forgiven.
    • Turlough is an interesting case, because he is recruited as an infiltrator under false pretenses, and struggles for a while with which side he's on. Eventually, he receives the thing he desires most, which is the right to choose his allegiance for himself.
  • One of the Immortals on Highlander: The Series used this as a tactic- she'd impersonate a new Immortal, get someone to 'mentor' her, and use that as a chance to learn their weaknesses and/or new methods. Then, she'd behead them.
  • Kamen Rider Ryuki: Kagawa Hideyuki has impressed on his student, Toujou Satoru, that a hero must be prepared to sacrifice things. Toujou takes the consequence of this and sacrifices Kagawa.
  • In Stargate SG-1, Anubis pulled one of these on Oma Desala, pretending to be different from other Goa'uld so she would help him to ascend, and then revealing his true intentions once he got what he wanted. To Oma, this is My Greatest Failure.
    • In an unusual positive use of this trope, after being captured by the Big Bad Adria during season ten, Daniel Jackson pretends to convert to her ideology, even allowing her to turn him into a Prior (i.e. a sort of warrior missionary with telekinetic abliities) so he can use the new abilities as part of his plan to destroy the enemy for good.
      • Of course when he gets his friends to find him, they assume that his transformation is some sort of Face–Heel Turn, or that he's been Brainwashed, but he convinces them just in time before he's due to turn back human. It's doubly subverted briefly in that when Adria finds them mid-mission, he acts the part again, much to the horror of his teammates... only to knock her out and finish going through with the plan once he's certain that the device they brought is preventing her from using her special powers.
  • Tahleen in the Farscape episode "Rhapsody In Blue", who approaches Zhaan, asking to be taught how to control her darker impulses; when Zhaan agrees, Tahleen quickly realises that she doesn't have the time to learn the technique through normal tuition, so she simply tears the information out of Zhaan's mind, driving her insane in the process.

  • Big Bad Morganthe from Wizard101 used to be Ambrose's apprentice and her brother Malory was the king's right hand man. She and her brother had been trying to take over Avalon under his nose. Malory sabotaged the king's armor so the king mortally wounded in a duel but was discovered and killed afterward. Morgathe took advantage of the confusion and used an Artifact of Doom to brainwash the king and turn him into a monster.
  • In Star Wars: The Old Republic, imperial player characters on Dromund Kaas are tasked with infiltrating the Order of Revan as an aspiring initiate in order to obtain information on the Order for the Sith. Whether the character decides to go along with the Sith's commands and become this trope, or actually embraces the teachings of the order depends on the player.

  • The viewpoint character from The Police's song "Wrapped Around Your Finger" is this, and promises to "turn your face to alabaster/when you find your servant is your master."

    Mythology and Religion 
  • The Bible has the most famous example in Judas, who sold out Jesus to the Pharisees for thirty pieces of silver. Just how corrupt he really was is still debated, as are his motivations for the betrayal. Other New Testament books warn against apostates and heretics trying to turn the church to their own ends.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Jerry Lawler training Bill Dundee almost turned out to be his undoing down the line, though they eventually made up.
  • In the late 90s, The Legion of Doom began teaming with Darren "Puke" Drozdof, and he shortly thereafter became an LoD disciple, getting his own pair of spiked shoulderpads. While this was going on, Hawk's real struggles with drugs and alcohol were being played up on television, and it was implied that Droz was pushing him closer to the edge while pretending to help him. This culimnated with Hawk climbing the Titantron and threatening to jump, Droz climbing after him to "save" him, and Hawk falling. Shortly after this, Droz turned heel and admitted he'd been enabling Hawk in order to take his place in the Legion of Doom. Shortly after this, Hawk and Animal, who'd hated the angle, quit the WWE, aborting the angle.

     Tabletop Games  
  • In HeroQuest, the Big Bad is a Evil Sorcerer and Chaos Lord called Morkar who gained his powers by secretly reading up on all his master's forbidden advanced magic stuff before running away. At least he didn't kill his master at that time.
  • Warhammer has Egrimm van Horstmann, a brilliant and charismatic student of the College of Light Magic in Altdorf who was secretly a follower of the Chaos God Tzeentch. He posed as a great champion of the Empire until his eventual flight from the College to the Chaos Wastes, when he took many forbidden magical artefacts from the College's vaults and the imprisoned Chaos Dragon Baudros with him.

     Video Games  
  • Xehanort/Xemnas/Ansem from the Kingdom Hearts series was the apprentice of Ansem the Wise, and continued Ansem the Wise's research into the "Heart of Worlds" after his master had realized the dangers implicit in it, and forbidden it. After banishing Ansem to the realm of nothingness, Xehanort took his master's name as his own, continued the research - and promptly ended up as a Heartless. His "Nobody", Xemnas, gets to confront Ansem the Wise towards the end of Kingdom Hearts II, and at this point, he maintains that he was right in continuing the research.
    • All of the founding members of Organization XIII were of this variety, following Xehanort, but Braig/Xigbar pulls this twice. Xehanort and the others were loyal until Ansem interfered with their research and for most of them it's implied that the research on Darkness itself caused these feelings, but Braig is shown in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep to have been out to dethrone Ansem the Wise from the get go, long before Xehanort and the research came into the picture and for no real reason beyond being evil it seems.
      • Taken further in Kingdom Hearts III. Xigbar wasn't any more loyal a disciple to Xehanort than he was to Ansem, seeing Xehanort only as a means to an end and fleeing to leave Xehanort to his fate once that end had been achieved.
  • Knights of the Old Republic gives the player a suspicious dialogue option upon first becoming a Jedi apprentice, in which he can lie that he intends to follow the light side (this is distinguished from the truthful equivalent option with the [lie] prefix).
    • In the sequel, Kreia outright encourages this behavior, telling the Exile to take anything useful from her teachings, then discard her when she has outlived her usefulness.
  • Akuma/Gouki from the Street Fighter series murdered his master, Goutetsu, in order to master the Shun Goku Satsu technique. This is a subversion, however, since Goutetsu deliberately taught him the technique and was actually happy that Akuma killed him, since the only way to fully embrace the "Killing Intent" that powers the Shun Goku Satsu is to give up all compassion.
  • Lilith from Vampire Savior and it's manga adaptation, Tamashii no Mayoigo. In both, she betrays Jedah, but for different reasons.
    • In the game, Lilith betrayed Jedah after not only finding out Jedah saved her just to use her in his world recreation scheme, but also that the other half of her soul was going to be on his list of victims.
    • In the manga, Lilith betrayed Jedah because not only was she bored of Makai, but also because Jedah - in her eyes - fit the profile of a Mean Boss.
  • In the adventure game Full Throttle, the nice CEO Malcolm Corley is killed by his VP, Adrian Ripburger, who wants to turn Corley Motors's motorcycle production-lines into making minivans — and money.
  • People in Bioware games seem to live for this: it happens in KOTOR 1 and 2, Jade Empire and at least one of the Neverwinter Nights games. The other popular tactic is a Broken Pedestal.
    • Jade Empire plays this straight with the Disciple Gao (though he barely even tries to keep up any deception) but later inverts it: Master Li was a Deceptive Mentor who brought you up to be a hero as part of his Evil Plan.
  • Frost betrays her Sifu Sub-Zero in her ending for Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance. However, she severely suffers the consequences.
  • In the Fire Emblem series:
    • In Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, the Black Knight/Zelgius was once a student of Greil, but turned on him out of a desire to surpass him.
    • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Edelgard spends a full year studying at the Officer's Academy, under Byleth's direct tutelage on the Black Eagles route, and ultimately intends to betray them and destroy the Church who runs said academy. However, they do form genuine bonds with their classmates and teacher, and she can actually sway Byleth into pulling a Hazy-Feel Turn along with her if you meet the requirements.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, the villainous Mad Bomber Fatman turns out to be a former student of your friendly neighborhood Bomb Disposal Technician, Peter Stillman. Apparently, Fatman decided that it was more fun to use his intimate knowledge of the inner working of bombs to MAKE them, rather than disarm them... and, as any Deceptive Disciple would want it, he eventually kills his mentor with one of his bombs.
  • In DragonFable, Nythera. At first it's played for laughs, given her rather ineffectual efforts. Then she manages to kill Warlic and drain his powers thanks to your help, displays her ability to shapeshift into Warlic (meaning she might be the Warlic in AdventureQuest), and goads the Elemental Lords into attacking Falconreach to keep you busy.
  • Near the end of Pokémon Platinum, Charon takes over Team Galactic and goes into a Motive Rant about how the team's original plans were pathetic and how immature and foolish Cyrus and his other superiors were for wasting their potential.
  • In Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia Albus steals the Dominus glyph that was supposed to be able to defeat Dracula, apparently annoyed that the far less experinced Shanoa was chosen over him. Then it turns out the Dominus glyphs are evil, will kill the user when all used together and are instead used to SUMMON Dracula. Essentially he was sacrficing himself to save Shanoa, he just SEEMED like a Deceptive Disciple
  • Feng Wei, introduced in Tekken 5, was a Deceptive Disciple in his backstory. He killed the dojo master who raised him from childhood because he felt slighted after his master scolded him for picking fights outside the dojo, and only joined the tournament because he wants to steal back what the Mishimas stole from his master and use it for himself.
  • One of the Nameless One's past incarnations in Planescape: Torment did this. In order to progress, you have to find someone able to read a very specific language. The only known person able to do so has been dead for a long time. Upon eventually contacting his spirit, he relates a story of how he taught it to one student, and that this student turned around and murdered him afterward. It's masterfully done; while he's telling the story, you're remembering killing him, and when it's done, you recall the language.
  • Cole in Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure is this, stating that he's sick of being the Hypercompetent Sidekick that does all the work of actually finding the treasures while Henry gets the glory.
  • Cardinal Kingston in Luminous Arc. He tries to betray his own church and god because he wants god's power for himself. The heroes stop this from happening, however.
  • Geese Howard of Fatal Fury learned hakkyokuseiken under Tung Fu Rue for the sole purpose of gaining power. When Tung passed over Geese in favor of Jeff Bogard to inherit the style's secrets, Geese killed Jeff.
  • In Tears to Tiara 2 Enneads and Monomachus believes Izebel betrayed Hadrubal seven years ago to take over his place as Governor-General of Hispania.
  • In Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Alchemist Nane Hanri's apprentice, whom she believes she has formed a deep friendship with and asks the player to find and rescue, has actually stolen a a biological weapon from her and is selling it to criminals.
  • Odin in Odin Sphere once apprenticed under the Three Wise Men, disguised as a young boy. He sought to learn the power of the psyphers and when he succeeded in doing so, he revealed his true form, defeated the three in battle and briefly turned them into frogs as a final insult. They remain just a tad miffed at this treatment.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series backstory, Mannimarco, the King and later God of Worms, was originally a student in the extremely selective Psijic Order. He actively studied and practiced The Dark Arts while he was a student (including the trapping of sapient souls and necromancy) before being discovered and kicked out of the order.
  • In the backstory of the Diablo franchise, Mephisto the Lord of Hatred was once an Evil Mentor to Belial Lord of Lies, and taught him the art of scheming. Belial used what he learned to manipulate the other Lesser Evils into leading a coup against Mephisto and his brothers, Diablo and Baal, that ended with the 3 of them being exiled to Sanctuary, the world of humans. Given some of the events that played out after their banishment, and the havoc they were able to cause on Sanctuary, it's possible that this was part of Mephisto's plan all along.

    Web Comics 
  • El Goonish Shive: Defied when the Anime Style Martial Arts Dojo closes down to avoid the hazard of accidentally Super-Empowering people who'd use their new magic to do harm.
  • In Kill Six Billion Demons, Solomon David did this. Having been taken in by an order of Martial Pacifist monks practicing The Greatest Style after his homeworld was destroyed in a war, Solomon spent years becoming their disciple and learning their style and philosophy. Then, when they had taught him everything they knew, he killed all of them (because they could have stopped the war and put an end to the sacking and destruction of Solomon's homeworld yet explicitly chose to just watch and do nothing) and became a Multiversal Conqueror.

    Web Original 
  • Moira Vu Noi in The Gungan Council. While Sith are meant to perform this eventually, she managed to keep the ruse that she would blindly follow Darth Apparatus until after her trial on Kesh.
  • In the Copper-Colored Cupids short story The Resurrection of the Wellsians, the alchemist Mandragora is quite dismayed to realize that Digger, whom he humored by calling him his "apprentice" but always thought too stupid to be a danger to him, has been feigning stupidity and, once he's figured out all his secrets betrayed him to the rebels.

     Western Animation  

  • In the backstory for the original Animated Adaptation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Shredder and Splinter, who was then known as the human master Hamato Yoshi, originally studied together as pupils in the Foot Clan. After framing Yoshi for attempted murder by pinning his dogi to the wall with a dagger (so that when he pulled it out, the others would draw the wrong conclusion) and forcing him into exile, Shredder, who was then known as Oroku Saki, took control of the Foot Clan (by unknown means) and turned it into the evil band of ninjas that we know today. His relationship with Splinter closely matches the evil student/good student version of this trope.
  • Batman Beyond had multiple instances of children betraying and causing the death of their parents, and getting away with it. However, Batman always paid a visit to remind them that they usually don't stay dead. However, in both instances, the parents never appeared in the series proper again.
  • Bubbles from Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers uses the Cola Cult's belief in "fizzing" away all their worldly goods to gain said goods... under the nose of the kindly, well-meaning leader.
  • Happens in one episode of Jackie Chan Adventures when Jade travels into the future following a Dark Chi wizard named Iso...who turns out to be Toru's apprentice.
    • Valmont does this in another episode where he spends time at a monastary training with some monks with the intention to get the directions to a secret treasure from its leader.
  • In SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron biochemist Dr. Elrod Purvis worked as a lab assistant to Dr. N. Zyme and helped him create Viper Mutagen 368, a plant regeneration formula containing snake DNA. Despite being Obviously Evil, Purvis allowed the naïve Zyme to think he shared his dream of using the formula for the betterment of the world - only to then steal it from him so he could sell it on the black market because he believes his employer is an "idealistic fool." He then promptly spilled it on himself and got mutated into the evil Dr. Viper.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic episode School Raze, Cozy Glow, considered a model student of the School of Friendship, turns out to be Evil All Along and was taking advantage of Twilight and all of the fake friendships that she created in order to drain the magic out of Equestria and take over the country because she wanted power. As of Season 9 she's now actively working with other villains, applying the skills she learned at the School of Friendship to foster friendship between the bad guys so they can harness The Power of Friendship, but it later becomes clear that she is actually still trying to manipulate the other villains with fake friendship to get them to do what she wants for herself, which none of them fall for.