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Even Evil Has Loved Ones

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"Scum, maybe. But even scum has family."

Being evil doesn't always mean hatred and negativity 24/7. Even evil characters (and real people) can find someone to love. Often, that love is twisted, a cause for villainy, or an act, but sometimes a work can show an evil character's love is genuine and deep. This serves to humanize the character, to give the hero doubts about fighting them, or to provide a weakness for the hero to exploit. At an extreme end, it can provoke Mama Bear or Papa Wolf reactions if they are threatened (or turning into a Tragic Monster at worst), or prompt the loved ones to Avenge The Villain. It also marks the villain as hypocritical and shows his twisted worldview by treating everyone else as insects but excluding the few ones he has feelings of affection for.

Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas, Villainous Parental Instinct, and Unholy Matrimony are subtropes.

For the reciprocal situation, where an evil character has someone who loves them, see Even Evil Can Be Loved.

Compare Even Evil Has Standards (when an evil character objects to or is disturbed by certain acts towards anyone and not just his own), Morality Pet, Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter, Daddy's Little Villain, The Family That Slays Together, Villainous Friendship, Minion Shipping, and Unholy Matrimony. Can often overlap with Evil Parents Want Good Kids, especially if the villain is an Anti-Villain. Archnemesis Dad, Evil Matriarch, and Antagonistic Offspring can overlap with this, but it's far from guaranteed. If the evil character in question is a mook, and said love brings them in conflict with their own boss, that's Even Mooks Have Loved Ones. Guaranteed that it will overlap with Moral Myopia when the villain sees no problem with their own methods, until those methods are turned on the ones they love. When the villain turned evil as a result of their love for others, it's Love Makes You Evil. Contrast with Even the Loving Hero Has Hated Ones, where an All-Loving Hero despises at least one character. Can be related to Treated Worse than the Pet, when someone treats their pet better than they treat a family member.

Villains who are Complete Monsters can never qualify as this trope, as they are incapable of feeling love for anyone but themselves. Sometimes, if they show a sort of love that seems genuine, it's revealed to be for pragmatic or self-serving reasons. Even if it was genuine at some point, that love is twisted into something vile and selfish to the point where it's no longer genuine love but rather possessive obsession.

Compare Criminal Found Family.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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    Asian Animation 
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Wolffy is near-constantly hit with a frying pan by his wife Wolnie due to always failing to capture the goats for them to eat, but the two still love each other very much regardless. The two also have a child named Wilie that they care for.

    Fairy Tales 
  • "The Devil With the Three Golden Hairs": The Devil loves and respects his grandmother enough to listen to her and to calm down when she disturbs his sleep three times by pulling hairs out of his head.

  • When the hero has the chance to kill the villain, he decides not to, because "He's not a murderer". The villain calls him out on this because he had no problem killing one of his mooks, pointing out that said mook was the godfather of his children and was a very dear friend of his. On that note, he also points out that the mook had a family of his own.

  • Slim Shady is entirely amoral, and loves his daughter.
  • Gorillaz: His exact motivations are unclear, but Murdoc seemingly panicked and rushed to help when discovering that the real Noodle was alive and under attack by pirates. It can't be just for the sake of the band, because he still has Cyborg Noodle, which he used to make the Plastic Beach album. Real!Noodle served as his Morality Pet before her disappearance, so...
  • Evillious Chronicles:
    • Gallerian Marlon sentences to death those who hasn't bribed him (or bribed him sufficiently). He's also a Knight Templar Parent for his crippled daughter, who isn't his daughter at all. She is a doll, who he thinks is his daughter because the sorceress Ma tricks him into it after his real daughter is murdered by his other daughter along with her mother.
    • "The Servant Of Evil" shows the bond between Princess Riliane, a genocidal ruler, and Allen, her brother turned servant.
    • Banica Conchita, possessed by the demon of Gluttony, shows affection to her lover Carlos Marlon, and has a child with him. She also seems to grieve as she devours Carlos' remains after his failed murder/suicide attempt kills him alone. The poison he uses, though, greatly weakens the demon of Gluttony, thereby allowing Banica to later resist and commit Autocanibalism instead of eating her child by Carlos and become the new demon of Gluttony, having consumed the one that had possessed her. By the end of the Chronicles, Banica appears to have formed a full-on Family of Choice dynamic with not only her twin servants Arte and Pollo and a resurrected Carlos, but also her new servants Lich and Eater and the Demon of Wrath Seth Twiright.
  • Played for Laughs in the Andrew Jackson Jihad song "Darling, I Love You", in which the singer serenades a woman he loves while also going out of his way to sing about just how morally bankrupt he is.
    I like laughing at retards
    And I like throwing rocks at dogs
    But darling, I love you
    I love you like the moon and stars
    When little kids get hit by cars
    Girl, you know it's true
    Darling, I love you
  • "All the Stars in Texas" by Ludo is told from the perspective of an unrepentant robber and murderer, who is on a crime spree with his girlfriend. He obviously adores her, and they first got together because he killed her abusive father and took her with him when he fled, leading to her becoming his partner in crime. The song indicates she's just as enthusiastic about their illegal activities as he is.
    I wanna take you home and start a family, yeah.
    But all the stars in Texas
    ain't got nothing on your eyes when you say,
    "Let's hit 'em, one more time."
  • Nautilus Pompilius: In the song "Wheels of Love", it is mentioned that even Hitler and Genghis Khan had loved ones.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible mentions this to make a point: If evil people know how to give good gifts to their children, then how much more does God know how to give gifts to His? Also given as one of the reasons we are supposed to love our enemies: Even evil people love those that love them, so there is nothing really extraordinary about loving those that love you.

  • The Magnus Archives: in the episode "A Father's Love" a woman tells the story of living with her serial-killer father as a child. She recounts that her father, despite his crimes, always seemed to love her, and she believes his love was genuine. And unlike everyone else, she doesn't think her mother was one of his victims.
  • CLINTs of Mission to Zyxx are militant clones who commit genocide on a moment's notice. They are raised by Ms. Janelle Fitzmeyer, who loves each and every one of them and is adored in return.
  • Scorpius from Sequinox genuinely loves her stars, and is furious when they're defeated by the Sequinox team. She tells the Sequinox girls that she gave into the sky in order to save her stars, and that there's no shame if they do the same.
    • When the team harms Gemini's star Propus in episode 12, Gemini appears and is much more venomous towards them than their previous interactions. Shannon describes her interaction with said star as something like a mother holding her child.
      • At the end of the arc when Castor is killed, Pollux is left screaming and crying. She even refuses to fight after that, demanding Winter kill her since the girls have already taken everything from her.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • In Prairie Wrestling alliance, notoriously savage heel Michael Richard Blais—who refers to himself as "God's Gift To Wrestling"—calls his valet Connielynn Blais "God's Gift To Me". Their loving relationship is on constant display, as is his brotherly bond with his partner Brandon Van Danielson.
  • Vince McMahon refused to grant Mick Foley a title shot until Foley had Shane McMahon in a variation of a nelson hold, prompting a clearly concerned Vince to give in to Foley's demands.
  • There is only one person in the world that Bray Wyatt truly loved, and that was the long-dead Sister Abigail, to the point that destroying her rocking chair was enough to piss him off. When Randy Orton burned down the compound that contained Abigail's soul, Bray was livid.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Rich Burlew covered this as a way to make villains more fleshed-out in his Villain Workshop articles. In the presented example, two villainous siblings were honestly planning to divvy up the world between them and rule without fighting each other, but the heroes believed Evil Cannot Comprehend Good and assumed they were both gearing up to backstab the other. This led to a very shoddy attempt to play one side against the other that failed in the worst possible way.
  • Pathfinder
    • The goddess Urgathoa encourages these, believing that a pleasure shared is one doubled. Her marriage vows lack an "until death" clause, with the deity of undeath expecting such commitments to last beyond it, and it's encouraged for any undead creature marrying a living person to have plans to either transform them or have some other way of extending their life so they need not be parted. Although murdering your spouse and keeping them around as a mindless undead servitor is considered a preferrable alternative to divorce.
    • The archdevil Dispater's most notable trait is his surprisingly functional romances. While neither he nor anyone else has any idea what his relationship with his first wife was like, he's been married two other times. His marriage to Feronia lasted a few centuries, which is a short marriage by deity standards but a long time for a neutral goddess of freedom to stay with the archdevil of prisons, and the two are amicably divorced and stay in touch, while more typical fiendish breakups involve eternal torment or becoming nemeses. His third wife Erecura, also a non-evil deity, is apparently quite happy, has turned her section of the harsh city of Dis into a garden, and even has the authority to overturn Dispater's rulings. He also honors the spirit of their arrangement, an exceptionally rare thing among devils.
  • A platonic version is that between Archie-3 and Hagan Lonovich, from Rifts; though the AI initially took Hagan the technopath in as an "idea man" to counter his Creative Sterility, by the time of the second world book (the Mechanoids invasion), the two have actually become very close friends and each would do whatever he can to protect the other.
    • In a familial example, Emperor Karl Prosek cares deeply for his wife and son, and they return the feeling.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The infamous relationship between Nurgle, Chaos God of Disease, and Isha, Eldar Goddess of Healing. It's kind of one-sided, but it's the closest to nice that a Chaos God can ever get.
    • More generally, this is Nurgle's relationship with all his worshipers. He genuinely loves everyone, even his enemies, and will offer comfort and succor to all who suffer the travails of the condition of being mortal. That said succor involves making a person comfortable with the idea of decaying into a bloated and twisted form for however long they may last, and that refusal will result in his followers battering a person until they accept Nurgle's love is irrelevant to the affection he feels for them.
    • Going even further, Nurgle truly loves everyone and everything, it's just that things like bacteria, germs and vermin deserve love too, and they outnumber sentient life by several orders of magnitude.
    • Beasts of Nurgle are ginormous, acid-spewing slugs with the personality of a Big Friendly Dog. They're not even trying to kill people, they just see new friends to chase and hug and play with, at least until their new friends stop moving.
  • Warhammer:
    • Just like in the 40,000 spin-off, Nurgle's shtick is that he's affably evil and genuinely loves his followers, who often pay it back in kind (in their own special way). His greatest champion, Ku'gath the plaguefather, is known to be surrounded by the nurglings he constantly creates and coos and pets them as a grandfather might treat his beloved grandchildren.
    • Warriors of Chaos has a character named Valkia the Bloody. She has a rule called "Consort of Khorne"; it lets her reroll on the Eye of the Gods table if she doesn't like the results. The reason she can is because her patron god, Khorne, who went so far as to resurrect her following her first death, can't stop watching her. This is a god whose throne is made of Nothing but Skulls.
    • Valkia had a great deal of attachment to her late father.
    • Outside of Chaos, there's Vlad von Carstein; an ambitious, ruthless vampire lord, Vlad adored his wife Isabella, even vamping her so she could rule at his side for all eternity (though he was initially hesitant to do so and only caved when she was dying of tuberculosis). The feeling was mutual, so much that when Vlad was killed for real Isabella threw herself off the walls of Altdorf to join him in death. If they are part of the same army on the tabletop, they gain a bonus in combat if the other is killed.
    • Skarsnik, the chief Night Goblin of the Eight Peaks, is a nasty little piece of work, but he adores his pet squig Gobbla and treats the creature as a dear friend. In Warhammer: The End Times, Gobbla is killed by a Skaven Packmaster and Snarsnik suffers a Villainous Breakdown, loses all will to fight and just wanders off into the distance, never to be seen again before the world is destroyed.
    • This trait seems to be common to Dark Elves, who are normally slave-taking, sadistic sociopaths but are capable of long-running friendships amongst themselves (albeit extremely rarely). These are often family, as can be seen with Lokhir Fellheart and his father and Malus Darkblade and his mother (and one of his sisters).


  • A semi-common occurrence in Transformers: Generation One. A number of Decepticons have loved ones that they genuinely care for. This has become more prominent over time, as villains with redeeming qualities has become a bigger part of the franchise:
    • Dreadwind and Darkwing are brothers in some continuities and always protective of one another, with Dreadwind's depressive episodes getting far worse whenever he and Darkwing are stationed in different areas.
    • Likewise, Thundercracker and Skywarp are brothers (or at least view themselves as such) and really do care about each other, though in some continuities they have falling outs due to Thundercracker's doubt in the Decepticon cause.
    • Deathsaurus is married in at least one continuity and deeply loves his wife, being motivated to be a Decepticon partly out of a desire to provide for her. His right-hand-man Leozack has a sister that he's highly protective of and vice-versa.
    • Soundwave is extremely protective of his cassettes and views them as family, flying in an Unstoppable Rage or Villainous BSoD if they're ever hurt or killed. They return the favor and are incredibly loyal to him.
    • In the Wings Of Honor continuity, it's mentioned that Swindle had a relationship with Thunderblast in the past. They're not together by the time of the story, but he clearly still likes her, given that he named a weapon of his after her.
    • The IDW 2019 continuity gave us Mesothulas (later Tarantulas), one of the most intensely depraved and unflinchingly psychotic characters in the storied history of the franchise... who still has feelings of intense loyalty and fondness for his one-time partner and partner in crime Prowl, as well as a twisted parental love for his greatest achievement, a fully artificial Cybertronian without an original spark. He names his creation Ostaros and treats him like a son, to the point that after returning from banishment and learning from Prowl that Ostaros "died a nameless soldier in the war," Mesothulas is gripped with grief that he clearly wants to take out on Prowl, but can't because of his lingering affection. (As with many things involving Prowl however, this is a manipulative lie: Ostaros was not killed. He became the Autobot war hero Springer, leader of the Wreckers.)
  • Ever After High: For as wicked as the Evil Queen is, she does love her daughter, Raven. (Though she wasn't always a great parent.) Her greatest desire is to conquer the world with Raven, and is sincerely excited when Raven appears to agree... and visibly heartbroken when it's revealed Raven was faking her out.

    Web Animation 
  • Helluva Boss:
    • Blitzo is the founder of the Immediate Murder Professionals group. He is an abrasive, rude, crude, petty, selfish and perverted imp with little-to-no regard for the lives he ends and/or ruins with his business. He is also the doting and overprotective adoptive father of the hellhound Loona and considers the other members of the I.M.P. the closest thing he has to a family.
    • Loona, for her part, has an even worse personality than Blitzo but though she does not return his affectionate behaviour, she does care deeply for him — though she'd rather be caught dead than referring to him by anything but his name, she has had a couple of Freudian Slips revealing that she actually does care for him as an actual dad.
    • Within the I.M.P. group there's also Moxxie and Millie, a pair of highly efficient imp assassins locked in Unholy Matrimony who border on Sickening Sweethearts at times. Their music video, "OH MILLIE", reveals that Moxxie is at least partially attracted to Millie because of her evil and penchant for murder.
    • Stolas is a Goetian Prince of Hell who ropes Blitzo into a Sex for Services deal — despite the fact that Stolas is already married — his infidelity with the lowly imp being something that really pisses off his wife, Stella. All that said, for all of Stolas' bumbling and fumbling around he still deeply loves his daughter, Octavia, and it's strongly implied that he thinks she's the only good thing that ever came out of his and Stella's marriage. Also, for all of his obliviously condescending antics towards Blitzo, and the imp's cold attitude towards Stolas in return, it's also strongly implied that he is the only person Stolas has ever sexually and romantically desired in his entire long life.
  • The short animated film Reversal of the Heart is kicked off, after a prince murders a baby dragon... to give the gem in its neck as a gift to his love. The Prince's anger over seemingly losing The Princess and his look of regret when he realized he almost killed her, show that he genuinely did love her.
  • RWBY:
    • Roman Torchwick expresses grief when Ruby manages to knock his loyal minion Neo off the airship.
    • This is the theme of Neo's Image Song. She may be a violent criminal but Roman was her best friend and the one thing she had in this world. After his sudden death she's angry and wants revenge.

    Web Original 
  • AFK: Vanya is a pretty brutal guy with few compunctions, but he seems to genuinely love his girlfriend Sheena, bringing healers in succession for her when she's injured and near death by septicemia.
  • The Dark from Brennus is the most powerfull supervillain in the world. He is also a caring father and a Benevolent Boss.
    • Also, Basil's older sister Amy/Mindstar. She's The Dark Chick for the Dark, an unrepentant murderer and rapist, and more than a little Ax-Crazy at times, but she's extremely protective of her brother, and she even supports his decision to become a superhero rather than joining the Dark like her.
  • Tom Collins of Demo Reel has a girlfriend and treats his film company like his family. When they all leave him for acting like an obsessive ex with Donnie, he takes it out on Rebecca and Tacoma, destroying the movie they made for their friend.
  • Diamanda Hagan threatens to kill The Nostalgia Chick's puppy, friends and BFF Nella if she doesn't shout the word "paaaaink" in a cameo for the former's review. As you can imagine, Chick's pissed off about this.
  • The Fire Never Dies:
    • The Ku Klux Klan are, well, The Klan, but they do genuinely care about the welfare of white Americans. When the American Flu hits, the KKK takes it very seriously, recruiting nurses and enforcing quarantines with the same zeal they used to enforce white supremacy. This is contrasted with President Woodrow Wilson, who takes effectively no action to combat the pandemic just as he did in real life.
  • The Kindness of Devils:
    • The Dreams of Lonely Stars has Thomas Nero, the leader of a cult trying to destroy the world. Despite this, he still mourns for his wife and daughter, both of whom died several years before the story began.
    • Subverted in Under The Cold Moon with Siegfried Gunmarsohn. He doesn't care about any of his children except Sieglinde Nomura, one of his daughters he's very close to. However, when Siegfried finds out that she was killed by Erin, he shrugs off her death and tells himself "oh fucking well."
  • Teshirock from Noob who turns out to have gone into his villainous activities in hope to restore communication with his estranged son in the first place. He also seems to care deeply about his guildmates from the time he was an actual player, to the point of still being on good terms with the one that turned to Real Money Trade and asking his guild master to stop playing upon realizing that he has a mental condition that makes him a great MMORPG player, but can also cause an unhealthy level of addiction to the game.
  • Legatum:
    • Smirvlak's Stone has Wervin and Loxx, both of whom are very close friends. It's even implied they may have been lovers, considering that Loxx broke down sobbing hysterically after Wervin died and begged Lorko Maeliss to resurrect him.
    • Scrambled Egg has Sonya, a dark mage who became distraught after she miscarried and her husband committed suicide. Even when she's moments from death, she's content knowing she'll be reunited with her lost ones.
    • The Green Wanderer has Marrox, a former Blood Knight who slaughtered hundreds in his past, but still loves his daughter dearly, despite everything he's done.
    • The Road to Hell... has several orc soldiers working for the Big Bad and killing anyone on his orders. Many of them also have their own friends and/or family that they care deeply about.
  • Mirror World has Zeil, an antagonistic Jerkass who doesn't care who he has to slaughter in order to avenge Pye, a member of his House who was like a sister to him.
  • Nightmare Time:
    • The main redeeming qualities of the Clone and the Android from "Forever & Always" is that they're madly in love with one another and sincerely want to live out the rest of their lives together. Makes sense, as they're genetic copies of the Official Couple Paul and Emma; they're just as well-suited to each other as their "originals" were. The episode ends with them planning to kill anyone who threatens their new life, and reaffirming their devotion to one another.
    • "Jane's a Car" plays with this. The story focuses on Jane Perkins coming Back from the Dead, but it quickly becomes clear that she Came Back Wrong. Her primary goal is to reunite with her husband Tom and their son, but her actions in doing so show a complete disregard for their happiness and safety—especially Tom's, whom she forces to become her accomplice in attempted murder. Their interactions throughout the episode veer into Domestic Abuse territory, even as they swear their love to each other. She winds up killing Tom's girlfriend Becky so she can take over her body, and doesn't seem too broken up over the fact that Tom ends up being institutionalized. She then goes home to her son, not sparing a thought for how the whole situation might hurt, confuse, or even traumatize him.
  • While not necessarily evil, Dr. Jack Bright is one of, if not the, craziest of the scientists working for the SCP Foundation, being driven insane as the result of his unwanted immortality. However, he does seem to genuinely care for his younger brother, TJ. Though, this doesn’t entirely play out in TJ’s favor as Jack ends up reducing TJ to the mind of a toddler by having him cure several cases of mental retardation as a way to protect him from realizing he was being used as nothing more than a tool by the Foundation.
  • In Survival of the Fittest, Danya is usually presented as a monster who orchestrates the game for no known reason and treats most of his subordinates like crap. However, versions one and three gave him a Pet the Dog moment when announcements showed him visiting his family, who he loves dearly and is viewed as a hero by.
  • Tails Series:
    • Subverted in Tails of Fame with Rast Racklyn. He acts friendly towards his sister Carla and his best friend Lamson, but both of them annoy him; he just tolerates them. Rast, at one point, comes close to killing Lamson but doesn't solely because he didn't feel like cleaning up his corpse from within his apartment.
    • Tails of the Bounty Hunter has Milz Dillvor, an assassin who cares about her best friend's well-being and even surrenders herself to Cale Tomlik just to save her. And when Cale allows her to have a phone call before heading to prison, she immediately calls her parents and warns them to go into hiding so her employers won't kill them for her failure.
  • Needless to say, given the premise of the school's neutrality, this figures highly in the Whateley Universe. Some villains are more protective than others, however: both Strega and Dr. Diabolik go to great lengths to protect their families, while Gizmatic, the Troll Bride, and the Bell Witch... not so much.
    • Lady Havoc was a Mad Scientist with a severe mental illness and a body count in the dozens. She had escaped from prison years before, and was on the run, all the while building weird science devises and going on rampages. Yet she risked everything to save her father's life from a terminal illness. Later, she made a deal to turn herself in if the local superheroes would help her save her younger brother from a sadistic supervillain who was holding him hostage... and kept her word afterwards.
    • This trope is also why the titular Superhero School is a Truce Zone recognised by almost every superhero and supervillain. However much they may hate each other, no one wants to see their kids dragged into it, and will temporarily join forces even with a hated arch-rival in order to drop anyone violating this truce into a world of hurt.
  • Worm has a couple examples. The supervillain Marquis cares deeply and sincerely about his daughter Amy, putting her wellbeing and happiness ahead of his criminal enterprises and his own life.
    • Similarly, the white supremacist super villain Purity cares deeply about her daughter and goes out of her way to take care of her stepson.
    • A much creepier example is Bonesaw, an incredibly screwed up little girl who treats the other members of the Slaughterhouse Nine, a band of psychopathic spree killers, like a family.
    • Likewise, the invincible cannibal known as the Siberian, a fellow member of the Nine, feels maternal affection for Bonesaw. Or, more accurately, Siberian's creator expresses paternal affection through the projection.


Video Example(s):


Dick Dastardly Rescues Muttley

Dick Dastardly as despicable he may be genuinely cares for his faithful companion and lackey Muttley (despite getting briefly mad with him for making him think he was dead) going as far as risking his own life to rescue him by opening the Underworld gates where Muttley was trapped. Muttley in turn also genuinely cares for his owner.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (24 votes)

Example of:

Main / EvenEvilHasLovedOnes

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