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Evil Feels Good

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"It feels so good to be bad!
So delicious to be a despicable cad!
It's just so thrilling
And so fulfilling
To give somebody the worst time they've ever had!
It feels so good to be bad!"

No one understands Evil Is Cool better than the hero with a Superpowered Evil Side. Once their inner Hyde is unleashed, they become nearly invincible, all but immune to pain, and stronger and more powerful than all the Applied Phlebotinum and Training from Hell in the world could make them. Is it any wonder they get Drunk on the Dark Side?

But the effect on their body is just a fringe benefit to the effect on their mind. Their conscience just shuts up. They're free to break all the rules, do anything they want. No more scruples, no morals, no inhibitors to hold them back from tearing their arch enemy to shreds. And it feels good.

Often a motivation for For the Evulz, although For the Evulz doesn't have to involve the character even enjoying the evil they do — they just do it because it's evil.

For many a hero with a Split Personality, that's the scariest thing about their Unstoppable Rage or Enemy Within — realizing that, deep down, they like it...

The reason people take Psycho Serum. Cue This Is Your Brain on Evil. Because being bad felt so good, this often leads villains into Reminiscing About Your Victims. When it can be acted out within a video game, this is Video Game Cruelty Potential. Counterpart to Good Feels Good. Usually pit against Being Good Sucks. May have a horrible hangover when Being Evil Sucks. This can also overlap with Card-Carrying Villain and is one of the defining traits of a sociopath.

Compare Fame Through Infamy when evil feels good because of the "fame" it brings.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Berserk:
  • Claymore might have the most straightforward interpretation of this trope, as the Claymore warriors feel greater pleasure the further they utilize their demonic (yoma) powers. In fact, part of the reason why all Claymores are female is due to how male warriors are unable to suppress the need to transform all the way once they start using their yoma power, a less than subtle allusion to ejaculatory inevitability (in fact, it's downright explicitly stated that releasing yoma power is akin to the feeling of orgasm).
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • Vegeta was a firm believer in this during his Evil Prince days. He laughs gleefully as he slaughters a Namekian village and enjoys putting his opponents in pain before he kills them. Part of the reason why he sells his soul to Babidi is to recapture that feeling of glee he felt when he was evil. However, the strong ties he formed on Earth, especially to Bulma and Trunks, proves to be stronger than any joy he felt being evil again, which is why he gives his life to stop Buu and make amends for all the evil he has done.
    • Goku tried to convince Captain Ginyu to pull a Heel–Face Turn, but Ginyu quickly shot that down and remarked hurting others and lording over them was what made him happy.
    • Frieza is this to the extreme. His entire fighting style revolves around Cold-Blooded Torture, and he constantly goes out of his way to ensure his enemies die in pain and despair, knowing they never had a chance at defeating him. A perfect example is when he blew up Planet Vegeta, Laughing Mad all the while.
  • In Heavy Object Skuld Silent-Third is a Serial Killer who is so ecstatic when she has the chance to kill she almost seems to be on drugs. A scene from her point of view while selecting a new target is flashing in psychedelic colors, furthering the drug comparison.
  • The Major from Hellsing Ultimate really, REALLY likes war. He likes it so damn much, in fact, that he delivers an entire speech on the specific aspects of war that he loves.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders: DIO sucks Joseph's blood bone-dry, hyping up his vampire power. He's all too happy boasting that the Joestar Bloodline exists only to be his personal tools.
  • As if to signal his further descent into insanity, Sasuke of Naruto ranted about how killing Danzo, who is no saint himself and responsible for the downfall of his clan felt great.
  • One of the grittier aspects of Ranma ˝ is the very well-established presence of this trope. Ruthlessly amoral and self-centered characters like Nabiki Tendo and Happosai are almost always serene and upbeat, usually getting down only when things don't go their way (which doesn't happen to Nabiki). More moral and decent characters, such as Ranma Saotome and Ryoga Hibiki, on the other hand, tend to often be depressed as their conscience punishes them for the various ill deeds they either perform or allow to happen. The best example are the Polar Opposite Twins Pink and Link; Pink is a sadist who gleefully poisons anyone she sees just for laughs, while Link is a noble altruist who considers it her duty to heal anyone her sister poisons — and because they are identical twins, is often beaten up by her charges, as they can't tell the difference. The easiest way to tell them apart? Pink is always smiling, Link is always frowning.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul, Kaneki describes the temptation to give in to his Horror Hunger as "falling into hedonism" and has to struggle with how good fresh human tastes compares to the more humane options available to him. The sequel gives another example of this with another Half-Human Hybrid, who gives a speech about how being a monster means not having to be afraid anymore.
  • In the Battle City arc of Yu-Gi-Oh!, tombkeeper Marik Ishtar has another, psychotic evil personality (who is actually NOT another soul unlike with Yugi and Bakura) that is sealed by the consciousness of his step-brother Odion (Rishid in the original). When Odion is knocked unconscious by The Winged Dragon of Ra, the evil Marik comes out. He remarks about how weak his other side is, and how scared he is of the dark. "But not me, I love the dark. It fills me with purpose!" Yami Marik gloats. He then proceeds to show how insane he is by rendering Mai and Joey (Jonouchi) comatose after putting them through hideous torturous Dark Games.
  • In the dub of YuYu Hakusho, the younger Toguro brother (a human turned into a demon for winning the Dark Tournament a long time ago) mentions that, while demonic energy is not always more powerful than human spirit energy, it "gives a much more pleasurable sensation when used".

    Comic Books 
  • This trope was a staple of the '90s Anti-Hero genre (as well as their predecessors, notably Wolverine).
  • Batman: Of the many, many backstories The Joker has, the one consistent thing about his character is that he really enjoys being a vile bastard to everyone around him.
  • Miss Misery of the comic book Sleeper (WildStorm) was a villain who suffered from an interesting take on this - not only did being evil make her happier, healthier, more beautiful, and physically stronger but being kind and unselfish was hazardous to her health. Back before she became a criminal, she was nice, ordinary, and extremely ill. Becoming amoral and hurting people elevated her health to the point of perfection. Once she fell in love with the main character, she started falling ill again.
  • The Incredible Hulk: When Red She-Hulk's identity is revealed to be Betty Ross Banner, she tells Bruce Banner how she became what she is.
    Red She-Hulk: "They filled me with rage... stripped away my will... but you know what? I kind of liked it. You understand what I'm talking about, Bruce. Maybe you're the only one who really can. That insane rush of really cutting loose, of not caring at all what will happen as a result... just smashing and smashing and smashing anyone they sent me against."
  • Rex the Wonderdog gets a taste of this when he puts on a hellhound's collar and transforms into one to spy on the forces of Hell. He claims that it's the first time he ever understood the desire to be a "bad dog".
  • In Sin City, most villains mention how good it feels to be evil. The Yellow Bastard referred to it as "having the time of [his] life." Eva Lord seemed to be a little too excited by the prospect and Senator Roarke loved the gloat that he could get away with anything he chose to get away with. While the Serial Killer Kevin never spoke on panel, he had mentioned to his surrogate father that eating people "filled him with the touch of God", although he also felt guilty for his actions. Finally, even the anti-heroes of the universe get in on this, often finding a great deal of joy when killing bad guys.
  • In the 1940s, a German boy named Johann Schmidt tried to woo a Jewish girl. When she turned him down, he killed her... and realized that he enjoyed the feeling. He joined the Nazi Party in order to get more chances to feel that rush, and then one day happened to meet Adolf Hitler. This is where the Red Skull got his start.
  • Forever Evil (2013): Johnny Quick and Atomica love doing evil things for the fun of it.
  • In the IDW comic book My Little Pony: Nightmare Knights former villains Princess Luna (AKA Nightmare Moon) and Stygian (AKA The Pony of Darkness) have to play up their former evil sides to enter a villains-only casino
    Princess Luna: I am Nightmare Moon! I defeated my sister, the Sun, and plunged Equestria into darkness! I visit nightmares upon innocent foals. I haunt every shadow you fear in the night. I see what you fear, and I will use it to destroy you!
    (The guards' Evil-o-meter maxes out)
    Casino Guard 1: Jeez, lady, leave some drama for the rest of us.
    Casino Guard 2: Go on through.
    Stygian: That's the first time I've ever seen you like that.
    Princess Luna: I don't like doing it.
    Stygian: Does it hurt?
    Princess Luna: On the contrary ... It feels great.
  • X-Men: Chris Claremont really liked this trope, usually having it brought on via brainwashing, and since he was on the franchise for seventeen years, you can bet it came up several times. The Dark Phoenix Saga is one of the biggest examples. Over a period of months, Jean Grey is lured into evil by Jason Wyngarde and starts liking it. Not a good mix with a cosmic powered telepath...

    Fan Works 
  • In the Supergirl fanfic Hellsister Trilogy, Satan Girl is Kara Zor-El's embodiment of her dark desires and impulses without a conscience to hold back or channel them. Engaging in mass-murder and untold destruction only because she can arouse her.
  • Interesting variation in Split Second (My Little Pony): All ponies feel pleasure when performing their special talent, and are driven insane by Cutie-Mark-Failure-Insanity syndrome if they don't practice it. Normally, this would be a good thing, except Sparkle's special talent is necromancy and Cobalt/Red Fields' special talent is assassination.
  • In The RWBY Loops, Cinder Fall eventually dumps her Hidden Agenda Villain in favor of this. However, she also comes to realize that Good Feels Good; the obvious conflict directly feeds into her growing insanity.
  • With This Ring: Edward Clariss AKA The Rival/The original Reverse Flash, the Evil Counterpart to Jay Garrick, the first Flash. After his death years ago, he was cast into Hell for his horrible crimes, but eventually began associating the torture he was receiving with the ecstasy he felt slaughtering helpless people in life with his speed, allowing him to ascend to demonhood.

    Films — Animated 
  • In the page quote from All Dogs Go to Heaven 2, former Big Bad Carface is tricked into selling his soul to the Cat!Devil (voiced by George Hearn!) who convinces him that it won't be so bad.
  • In Moshi Monsters: the Movie, Fishlips (the main villain's sidekick) says that he greatly enjoyed shoplifting at one point.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • This is the most prevalent theme of the film Spider-Man 3.
    Eddie Brock/Venom: I like being bad. It makes me happy.
  • Fight Club: "I look like you want to look, I fuck like you want to fuck, I am smart, capable and most importantly: I am free in every way that you are not."
  • Army of Darkness: "I may be bad, but I feel good."
  • Ginger Snaps: "[Transforming into a Werewolf]- It's like touching yourself. You know every move. Right on the fucking dot. And after - see fucking fireworks... supernovas. I'm a god damn force of nature. I feel like I could do... just about anything."
  • In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, the (in)famous moment where Khan explains to Kirk that he has achieved brinkmate and sentenced him to a Fate Worse than Death (well, it is if you thrive off attention as much as The Captain does); Kirk loses his temper; Khan has a quite evident evilgasm.
  • Star Wars: The Dark Side is the easier side of the Force from which you can draw power, making it tempting to use it as a shortcut to awesome. It is also the "more seductive" side, as Yoda puts it, giving it an addictive quality. Once you've used it once, the temptation to use it again becomes harder to overcome, resulting in a vicious cycle of addiction that just can never end well.
  • When Dr. Channard becomes a Cenobite in Hellbound: Hellraiser II, which comes with a fair amount of body horror, and a giant tendril burrowed into his head, what is his reaction?
    Channard: And to think... I hesitated.
  • Atlantic City: Lou is a two-bit elderly hood, a collector in a penny-ante numbers racket, who likes to tell tall tales about his fictional past as a bad-ass mob enforcer. When he finally gets the chance to shoot two gangsters to death, he is absolutely giddy, beside himself with glee. He is even more thrilled and excited when a police sketch of the suspect looks nothing like him. He calls Grace to brag about it. He even brags to a random hotel desk clerk about it.
  • In Max Payne, B.B. has Max at his mercy and confesses that he was the one who murdered Max's wife and daughter. B.B. says at first, he just wanted to kill the wife because she discovered incriminating documents on him, but then he discovered killing someone with his bare hands was the first time he truly felt alive and happy.
  • Sodom and Gomorrah: When Lot kills Astaroth, Queen Bera says that the only pleasure greater than watching a killing is being the killer, and in her final conversation with Lot before he leads the Hebrews out of the city, she says that what he calls "sin", she calls "virtue".

  • Harry Potter:
    • To use an Unforgivable Curse you really have to mean it, meaning a strong desire to inflict pain and suffering (or outright death) to the target. Otherwise the effects are actually fairly mild. Harry ends up using two of the Unforgivable Curses to great effect in the seventh book. One of them was used at a moment of high emotion, however (when McGonagall is insulted), and the other is more out of necessity when infiltrating Gringotts, when the alternative would be murdering the guards and all the witnesses.
    • It's established throughout the series that if Hermione Granger, she who is a Soapbox Sadie By-the-Book Cop most of the time, feels that it's necessary to break the rules for a greater good, she goes the completely opposite way and pulls off utterly sociopathic actions like cursing the Dumbledore's Army oath so that any member who betrayed the others would be permanently disfigured. At least once (although in a more comedic moment) she says that breaking rules does feel good.
  • This starts to happen to the main character of the Goosebumps book The Haunted Mask.
  • In The Wheel of Time:
    • Referenced in Elyas' advice to Perrin concerning his axe: specifically, that he should keep it until chopping things up starts to feel good, at which point he should throw it as hard as he can and run the opposite direction. Which he does, much later, following a Jack Bauer Interrogation that gets out of hand.
    • The overt descriptions of the ecstasy that the Chosen/Forsaken are stated to feel whilst basking in the presence of the Dark One. Graendal further elaborates, implying that while some of the Forsaken were always morally and ethically challenged, others had to really apply this trope to themselves in order to eradicate their values—evidently, it worked.
  • Also an aspect of the Discworld character Vimes, who regularly has to fight back his "inner beast" during the later books as to avoid slaughtering particularly despicable suspects/criminals. However, there are occasions when he decides to unleash it to great effect.
    • Granny Weatherwax as well. She's firmly good but knows she could just as easily have been the bad witch. And she'd have enjoyed it, unlike her sister Lilith, who became a Light Is Not Good Knight Templar.
  • The Dresden Files has this all over the place. Black magic is addictive, feeding for Red and White court vampires is addictive (and the former have narcotic saliva and the latter it's basically better sex, so it's addictive for the victim as well). The belts used in the second book that turn the users into a hexenwulf (one of the many forms of werewolves) were intentionally created to be addictive as well.
  • A recurring theme in I Am Not a Serial Killer. John is deeply committed to a creed of nonviolence, so when The Devil's Only Friend sees him stabbing an enemy to death and Pummeling the Corpse, what upsets him the most is the memory of sheer, unrestrained ecstasy, and knowing that touching that freedom again would mean sacrificing the morals he's worked years for.
  • In Dragon Bones, Ward notices that killing people in battle feels good. He's rather concerned about it, as his father, an abusive, sadistic jerk, had the same mindset, and he doesn't want to become like that.
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a trope codifier. The reason Jekyll keeps using the chemical that brings his evil side out is that he feels he is allowed to do as he pleases, though he does try to stop when his conscience catches up to him.
  • Fire in the Blood has Vampire P.I. Jack Fleming realize this when he hypnotizes Doreen Grey and nearly drains her dry. He spends much of the rest of the book resisting the urge to do it again.
  • The Dark Court in Wicked Lovely, especially Irial.
  • In The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dorian Gray starts as an innocent and beautiful boy worried about his beauty going away with his youth, but after the suicide of Sibyl Vane and the change in his picture, he notices that he doesn't feel anything about it (and the picture absorbs most consequences), leading to him quickly becoming addicted to various vices.
  • Defied in The Screwtape Letters, where evil is not at all fun, and good demonic style means gaining a human soul while offering nothing in return.
  • In All The Rage, when Jack is unwittingly dosed with Berzerk, his normally-stable inner monologue gives way to power fantasies in which he feels like he's the rightful owner of the city, the road, and everything around him. And too bad for anyone he kicks the crap out of for getting in his way because they were dumb not to have known better.
  • In the Transformers: TransTech story "I, Lowtech", when executive Bulletbike loses his "clarity codecs", he discovers his first accidental evil/violent act... actually wasn't that bad, really. And then keeps going from there. At first he pretends he doesn't enjoy it and justifies it as being for nobler purposes, but eventually progresses to reveling in it as his mental justifications become more and more half-hearted, petty, and selfish.
  • In A Wolf in the Soul, being in wolf form provides Greg with some very tempting escapism.
  • In The Year of Rogue Dragons, The Rage actually feels good when dragons stop resisting it. Karas resisting it so much while she seems to crave for it speaks gallons about how heroic she is.
  • Andersonville: Willie Collins was "thunderstruck and delighted" after first killing a man at the ripe old age of nine, by whacking him over the head. Willie grows up to be a brutal and vicious thug.
  • Villains by Necessity: An implied effect of Valeriana's medallion.
  • The hydrites from the German SF series Maddrax are a peaceful and pacifist species ... as long as they are vegetarians. When they eat meat, they become evil and aggressive, even inclining to cannibalism. The rush of the hunt and the desire to kill and eat is described as very enjoyable.
  • All four of the libertines firmly believe this in The 120 Days of Sodom by Marquis de Sade and his other works also feature it. Libertines will usually extol rape, torture, and murder as the best things ever, as they give them all extreme pleasure from their infliction. In Juliette they claim hurting people is far more pleasurable than helping them, and even if someone feels differently, doing harm will start feeling better after they get used to it. They even train people to get rid of that pesky conscience and live a remorseless criminal lifestyle.
  • In Only Ashes Remain, Nita successfully lures three of the people hunting her into a trap and kills them all in cold blood. It makes her feel so strong and powerful, she loves it... and realizing how much she likes it immediately scares her.
  • In Worm the final conflict of the story kicks off when Jack Slash convinces Scion to stop being a hero and try being a villain. Scion does and experiences his first moment of satisfaction in decades, kicking off a reign of devastation that renders millions of parllel Earths extinct.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Season 5 of Arrow, Adrian Chase (a.k.a. Prometheus) combines Cold-Blooded Torture and Break Them by Talking to get Oliver to admit that, before he implemented his no-killing policy, he didn't kill criminals because he had to, but because he liked it.
  • In Smallville, when Clark Kent is affected by red kryptonite, his "Kal" persona surfaces, and he has mentioned that being ruthless and uncaring feels good.
  • The eponymous character of Angel has commented that he misses the "clarity" of having no morals. Angelus does seem to truly, deeply enjoy being infamously evil.
  • Buffy plays with this a lot really, mainly using Buffy and Willow.
    • Mentioned in season 6 when Spike encourages Buffy to do things his way, which will include all sorts of badness and mixing with evil creatures. "Try on my world. See how good it feels." Comically subverted when Spike's big plans for the night involve gambling kittens with a group of Ambiguously Evil demons. Buffy sits in the corner drinking and snarking at Spike about it.
    • When Faith pulls a Face–Heel Turn, she goes from living in a dive motel that can and had been attacked by vampires with a barely functioning A/C and TV, to living in a studio loft with all of the fixings and no worries about vampires getting in. Suffice to say it's no wonder she felt proud to be a bad guy.
    • As Season 6 goes on, Andrew becomes enamored with the idea of getting away with crimes; by the time of "Seeing Red", he's gleefully cheering for Warren to kill Buffy.
    • Buffy runs into a former schoolmate who's been turned into a vampire. He doesn't seem to mind.
    "Feels great. Strong. Like I'm connected to a powerful all-consuming evil that's gonna suck the world into a fiery oblivion. How 'bout you?"
    • Spike once explicitly emphasizes that creating new vampires on the vampires who do it causes a rush that is supposed to be similar to sexual feelings. Because of this, most vampires only turn other humans into vampires, if they are sexually attractive to them (as an example, a heterosexual female teenager who is a vampire would turn male teens into vampires and simply feed on other people).
  • George (a werewolf) has a great speech about this in Being Human.
  • Breaking Bad:
    • Walter White alternates between Evil Feels Good and Being Evil Sucks. His involvement with the meth trade slowly but surely ruins his relationships with his family, but he can't bring himself to stop because he loves being successful and widely feared as a drug lord.
    • In the Grand Finale, he finally stops lying to his wife and himself and admits that everything he did, he did for himself because he liked it and was good at it.
  • Morgana from Merlin looks positively orgasmic every time she kills an innocent person, plots against her friends and family, or performs destructive magic.
    • Surprisingly and heartbreakingly subverted when she actually does succeed in killing Uther. Morgana tells Agravaine she isn't celebrating her victory because Arthur is still in the way but she is obviously shocked and deeply upset - and baffled at her own total lack of joy.
  • Once Upon a Time: After using magic for the first time, Regina (The Evil Queen) tells Rumplestiltskin that she'll never use it again... because she loved it. Magic itself isn't inherently evil in this universe, but since in this case it's explicitly being talked about in a bad way, it certainly qualifies here.
  • House of Anubis: Upon becoming Sinners, each of the turned Sibuna members claimed they were glad they turned because having no conscience made them feel so free and powerful. They enjoyed doing things For the Evulz as much as possible.
  • Game of Thrones: In the Season 6 finale, Cersei happily admits to this to a captive Septa Unella — every horrible thing she's ever done, she's done because it made her feel good. Murder and incest brought her joy. Not to mention, she got away with lying to the High Sparrow about her affair with Jaime. Notably, she's saying this while preparing to have Unella slowly tortured to death, and right after her single most atrocious act of blowing up the Sept of Baelor and killing all her political enemies (and hundreds of innocent bystanders) in one fell swoop. Then Cersei leaves Unella to Gregor Clegane, smiling as she hears Unella screaming in fear.
  • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid has three different flavors:
    • Kuroto Dan is an immensely petty villain, who will screw up someone's life just because they looked at him the wrong way. He thoroughly enjoys being a Mad Scientist with Awesome Ego, which he gloats about any time he gets.
    • Masamune Dan is about as vile as Kuroto is petty. He largely derives his pleasure from fear and suffering he induces in people. Evil Gloating comes into play every so often, too. Like Father, Like Son.
    • Graphite was programmed to be a villain in a video game and while he loves to act out his ideas of appropriate villainy, he refuses to be associated with either Kuroto or Masamune as he is neither evil nor insane.
  • Gossip Girl (2021): Gossip Girl says in Episode 5 that it's simply a fact being bad just feels better.
  • One episode of Cobra Kai has Daniel try to warn Robbie about Terry Silver's Evil Mentor tactic of manipulating and corrupting people, only for Terry to overhear it and intervene. Terry accuses Daniel of this, pointing out how for all of Daniel's moral highroading he enjoyed being the bad guy.
    Terry Silver: Please! You were a hothead. All I had to do was wind you up and get out of the way. And if you're being honest with yourself, you know you liked it. You were... powerful... free. You just don't want to admit there's always been a little Cobra Kai in you.

  • In S&M, Rihanna reminds us that "Feels so good being bad / There's no way I'm turning back".
  • As does Voltaire in "When you're evil".
  • As a general rule, this trope frequently occurs in the lyrics of Horrorcore artists.
  • Zigzagged in Billy Joel's "Only the Good Die Young", where the speaker tries to seduce Virginia by telling her "I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints, the sinners are much more fun." However, as Joel himself points out, he's not convincing Virginia much at all.
  • Beast in Black's "The Fifth Angel", about Griffith's actions as Femto during the Eclipse, notes that "Evil has never felt so fucking good."
  • Diamond Head's "Am I Evil?" answers that question.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In Calvin and Hobbes, Hobbes stops Calvin from smacking Susie in the head with a snowball and counsels him that true happiness comes from a life of virtue. Calvin spends the day being a model son, but upon reflection finds himself deeply unsatisfied, so he completes his original task of pasting Susie with that snowball, then laughs his head off. "Virtue needs more cheap thrills," observes Hobbes.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Jimmy Jacobs spent eleven months trying to purge himself of evil and also tried to turn Steve Corino from his evil ways. Then, when it finally looked to be working, Kevin Steen provoked Jacobs into using his trusty railroad spike at Final Battle, which gave Jacobs and Corino a realization. They liked being evil. Thus was the birth of S.C.U.M. at Showdown In The Sun.

  • In the Captain Kremmen radio serial by Kenny Everett, our hero demands his Evil Twin give up his evil ways and surrender, which leads to yet another No Fourth Wall gag.
    Evil Kremmen: Never! I'm enjoying being a baddie! It's much more fun being a baddie! Isn't that right, kids?

  • Even The Bible admits the validity of this trope in the Book of Hebrews, when it says that Moses forsook being called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.
    • This is one justification for belief in an afterlife: giving up pleasure in this world in order to have eternal pleasure in the next.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Many of The World of Darkness games explore this concept through their Karma Meter system, Morality (moreso in the nWOD than the oWOD). It's explicitly stated that maintaining a high Morality/Humanity/etc. is done by feeling remorse and horror at one's misdeeds. What causes it to degrade is reveling in one's power and enjoying the feeling.
    • In the world of Mage: The Awakening, lower Wisdom can give the character access to greater powers at the cost of his sanity.
    • Played with in Vampire: The Requiem: sure, there are mechanical penalties for losing your Humanity, but who has more fun in the cutthroat world of the undead, the Tragic Monster or the Fully-Embraced Fiend?
      • Played very straight with the Red Surrender, the ability of the Gangrel to merge partially with their Beast. Compared to the constant struggle to keep the Beast under control, it feels wonderful.
    • Subverted with Demon: The Fallen - sure, being evil kinda feels good at first, but their Karma Meter is called "Torment". The more you give in, the more you're haunted by your memories of Hell, and the more you lash out at those around you because of it. Hit Torment 10 (it goes up, not down like most meters), and you are completely consumed by your hate, unable to do anything but rage against the world around you.
    • In Princess: The Hopeful, this is actually one of the effects of becoming Darkened. Normally in the New World of Darkness, fulfilling your Virtue (which usually requires some level of self-sacrifice) restores all your Willpower, while indulging in your Vice only restores one point. Darkened invert this, so indulging your Vice restores all Willpower while fulfilling your Virtue only restores one point.
  • Half the reason that Renegade Marines in Warhammer 40,000 exist. The other half being Chaos, which is The Corruption distilled.
    • Chaos in general for both Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 is this trope played ridiculously straight and horrifically subverted, acquiring a near-constant supply of recruits despite being Always Chaotic Evil due to the overwhelming, almost cathartic release it provides, but over time their actions and the fickle nature of Chaos itself dulls any sense of satisfaction until they must reach and exceed increasingly brutal extremes to feel anything at all.
    • Played especially straight with the followers of the Chaos God Slaanesh, also known as the "Prince of Excess," or "Prince of Pleasure." To say they are Too Kinky to Torture is akin to saying that... well, it usually makes them stronger.
    • The Dark Eldar are a society of Always Chaotic Evil space elves who will have their souls drained away if they don't torture people. In one story, one high-ranking member of the species tries to woo another. He sacrifices everything, including his most trusted servant/best friend/sorta daughter, and only then does his beloved accept him, because he now has "A hole in his heart," that will stay there forever. It was semi-obvious that she was having an evilgasm as she said this.
  • Blackguards in Dungeons & Dragons (pre-fourth edition) actually get BONUS abilities for being fallen Paladins.

  • The newspaper comic strip Tumbleweeds was once adapted into a musical designed to be performed by high school students. The show's Villain Song is titled "It Feels So Good To Be Bad".
  • Jekyll & Hyde, like its source, has Jekyll revel in the freedom he finds as Hyde until he can no longer control the transformations. The song Reflections directly paraphrases the book, as Jekyll pities Hyde and revels in his lust for life even after he murders people.
    • This also applies to the song Alive in which Hyde revels in feeling alive from committing evil acts.

    Video Games 
  • This is the reason that Video Game Cruelty Potential exists.
  • The PC game Dungeon Keeper immortalized this trope with the quote "Evil is Good."
  • Sarah Kerrigan from StarCraft after being captured and mutated into the Queen of Blades by the Zerg.
  • The Taint in Lusternia produces this effect, amongst some others.
  • Queen Fay in Overlord II, after her corruption via the Overlord's Magic while trying to perform a Heroic Sacrifice for her people by sacrificing her energy to power the Tower Heart and letting the Overlord drain her magic. As the process continues, she begins to accept that Evil Feels Good and embraces her Fallen Hero status.
  • In Persona 2, a strange force starts causing a segment of the population to start transforming into Jokers, vicious white-skinned, ruby-lipped killers with paranormal abilities. This even extends to one of the party members, and when attacking during her boss fight, one of her quotes is "It feels good!"
  • All incarnations of Doctor Robotnik from Sonic the Hedgehog seem to KNOW that they're bad, and generally seem to have a kickass time doing so.
  • In Rey Mysterio's Road to Wrestlemania storyline in WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2011, once he regains his memory, you can choose to have him go back to being a Face or have a full-blown Face–Heel Turn. If you choose the latter, he reveals that he actually got his memory back a while ago, but played dumb because being a bad guy was so much fun.
  • The Boss from Saints Row 2 flat out tells this to Julius, right before he/she blows his brains out. He/she's a complete sociopath by the sequel anyway.
  • Many of the assassins in the No More Heroes series seem to have fallen into this. Mainly Destroyman, who delights in every violent act he does.
  • Just one of the nasty side effects of the Curse of Darkova in Odin Sphere. Exemplified in King Gallon, who's perfectly aware that everything he does during Armageddon, including razing his own kingdom until it sinks into the sea, killing his son, and in one of the bad endings even devouring his grandson alive, is absolutely horrible, but he can't stop because it just feels so good.
  • In Mortal Kombat 9, many of the heroes are Forced into Evil by Quan-Chi, transformed into Netherworld revenants. In the next game, Quan-Chi is finally Killed Off for Real, but due to Scorpion's tampering, Raiden is unable to restore most of them, and the newly-liberated revenants are actually starting to enjoy themselves. Liu Kang is the worst; in one Arcade Ladder ending, he even tries to ally himself with Jason Voorhees, of all people. Kitana is another example, as being a revenant allows her to be the perpetrator rather than be a victim. Kung Lao, however, averts this; he simply wants to get out of the Netherrealm and return to the side of good (in his and Kung Jin's endings in MKX, he manages to do this thanks to Kung Jin coming to his aid and fight the corruption in his soul.)
  • Throughout the Splatterhouse remake, the Terror Mask tries to make Rick admit that he likes the powers it gives him. Rick, at first, is pretty offended by the statement. As the game goes along, he doesn't flat-out state it, but he stops trying to defend himself.
  • In Endless Legend, the Broken Lords were once a noble human society who, in order to survive the endless winters of Auriga, transformed themselves into a form of living armor. However, to survive in this state they required Dust, which could be consumed via either refining naturally-occurring deposits from the environment, or by draining it from the bodies of living beings. While the former is honorable and doesn't harm anyone, the latter is far faster, more pleasurable, and much, much cheaper, which causes the Broken Lords to struggle with their noble codes and whether it is even worthwhile to continue adhering to them.

    Visual Novels 
  • Fate/stay night:
    • Dark Sakura in the Heaven's Feel route.
    • Kotomine Kirei, from the same game, is a particularly extreme example. The only thing in the world that makes him feel fulfilled is the pain and suffering of his fellow human beings, whether he inflicted it or he's just observing it. To him, evil doesn't just feel good... it's the only thing that feels good. Yet, as the Heaven's Feel route reveals, he still has a conscience and knows being evil is 'wrong'. The very fact that Evil Feels Good makes Being Evil Sucks for him, in a weird deconstruction of both tropes. He just can't win.
  • Tsukihime:
    • When Shiki taps into his Superpowered Evil Side, he discovers to his horror that killing feels really good and that he apparently wants to kill very much. In one possible path, he's finally informed that his Evil Side never wants to kill humans, only monsters and demons. In one possible Bad Ending, his psyche is so badly broken that he decides he really is a serial killer, and goes out to be just that.
    • Vampires also embrace this trope, especially Satsuki. Is possibly responsible for Shiki's issues with it.

    Web Comics 
  • Played with in this strip of 8-Bit Theater.
    Mirror Black Mage: Moral quandaries have lost all meaning. The complexities of life have simple, violent answers. I have to admit, it's liberating.
    • The real Black Mage expresses similar sentiments in this strip after dying and going to Hell.
    Black Mage: You say I did wrong, but it always felt so right at the time...
    The Devil: Well, that is why you are here, ya know.
  • Infamously parodied in The Order of the Stick, when Xykon, who thought they were commanding a small group of hobgoblins, discovers he and Redcloak are actually in charge of a massive army. "I think I just had an evilgasm."
    • Later Vaarsuvius discovers this trope as well, much to his/her own surprise. "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA .. Wait .. why am I laughing?"
    • And then there's General Tarquin, who observes from stories that an Evil Overlord's life consists of decades of decadence terminated, with extreme prejudice, in ten minutes of unpleasantness in the hands of a hero. His conclusion is that while those last ten minutes will suck, on the whole it's a pretty sweet deal for the villain. It's subverted for him when Elan leaves him behind while escaping on an airship, leaving him with an unsatisfactory ending and the knowledge that he wasn't important enough to the narrative for the main characters to deal with for good.
  • This The Parking Lot Is Full strip suggests that the development of the Happy Gun triggers The End of the World as We Know It.
  • In Ava's Demon, Ava Ire's first words upon using Wrathia's demonifying powers for the first time? That it isn't so bad. That it actually feels pretty good. That it feels like she could- correction: that she might- correction: that she will paint the whole town red... And then she gets to work.

    Web Original 
  • This is what Dr. Horrible of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog learns in Act II. Before, his determination to get entrance into the prestigious Evil League of Evil was merely a wish to gain respect. Now, It's Personal. Now, he wants revenge.
  • KateModern: Precious Blood, when the phrase "The Hymn of One is fun" is chillingly given a whole new meaning.
  • Lenny Priestly in web RP Survival of the Fittest is this trope with what seems to be intense commitment to his twin sister Elizabeth. At first he was reluctant to kill, dreading the fact that he would have to in order to get his sister off the island, but after killing Anna Vaan he realizes that killing gives him a feeling of power he's never had before, and becomes addicted to that rush to the point where he attacks anyone he sees without any provocation with the excuse that they're threatening his sister. His reasoning is that if he's going to die to get her off the island, he might as well have fun. Ironically, his earlier actions come back to bite him hard when Gabe McCallum, furious with Lenny for one of his earlier murders, kills Elizabeth.
    • Maxwell Lombardi from V4 originally viewed dispatching his classmates as simply a necessity to get off the island. After killing Cody Jenkins (his 4th victim), he realises that he's actually starting to enjoy it instead.

    Western Animation 
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012): In her debut episode, Karai thrives on the freedom being a member of the Foot Clan grants her, and tries to convince Leonardo that Being Good Sucks and just do whatever he wants. When she tries to steal a priceless katana and goad Leo into doing the same, Leo tells her she doesn't have to do such things, to which Karai retorts "That's what makes it fun!"
    Karai: Don't tell me the goody-three-toes thing doesn't wear thin after a while.
    Leo: Better than the alternative.
    Karai: Which is what? To have fun? To cut loose? To live your own life?
    • When discussing his and Karai's first encounter with April, Leo admits he thinks Karai had a point: earlier that same episode, the other Turtles (Raphael in particular) kept second-guessing his leadership when all he was trying to do was keep them safe when they went into action. Meanwhile, Karai was just... fun.
  • The episode of The Tick where Arthur gets Baron Violence's belt pastiches this storyline.
  • Even Futurama gets in on this, as Bender's Transformation Trauma into a Werecar begins to feel pretty good.
    • Futurama's first Movie Bender's Big Score lampshades this trope:
    Leela: Don't you realize you're totally under their (the scammers') control?
    Bender: Of course I realize it! Does that mean I can't enjoy it?
  • In Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, during The Reveal of Agent Z/ Warp Darkmatter, he brags that "evil is just so much more profitable than good and more fun."
  • Vlad Plasmius often uses this reason when egging Danny into the dark side in Danny Phantom. Since this is part of Danny's Myth Arc, he goes through several episodes where he feels good using his power for dubious reasons. Mind-controlled or not, in "Control Freaks", Danny had himself a ball!
  • In Dan Vs., the titular character is a Villain Protagonist who dedicated his life to enacting a Roaring Rampage of Revenge in response to any slight he experiences. This prevents him from doing anything worthwhile with his life or forming any meaningful, healthy friendships aside from his Extreme Doormat Best Friend Chris. However, "The Barber" shows that he enjoys getting revenge so much that he thinks this is worth it.
  • Ron from Kim Possible is normally a bumbling, loser-type who frequently loses his pants in wacky mishaps, but the moment he turns evil all hell breaks loose. There's something about one screaming Booya-hahaHAHA!
    • Most alarmingly, Ron is an effective and successful villain; making Doctor Drakken look sick, even on the blue one's best day. He certainly had Shego coming to heel; quite an achievement, and one that scared her into getting Dr D back.
    • The second time he was turned evil (by an upgraded version of the same device), he proved to be insanely competent at martial arts, to the point where his prowess surpassed Kim herself.
  • One X-Men: The Animated Series episode has Storm go mad and create a natural disaster after being hypnotized by Sauron. At the end after everything (including her) had been restored to normal she commented that she never felt herself so free.
    • The adaptation of the Dark Phoenix Saga has it as well. Jean laments after the Phoenix's solar system destroying rampage that she enjoyed it, while Cyclops insists it was the Phoenix who did it, not her.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987), Shredder exclaims, "It feels so good to be so bad!"
  • In the episode "Attack of the Autobots" of the original Transformers cartoon, several Autobots (including, alarmingly, Optimus Prime) are turned evil by the Decepticons sabotaging their recharge slabs. They engage in hearty bouts of evil laughter when they go to attack a nearby airfield. Optimus in particular is so desperate to remain evil that he uses his rarely-utilised ability to split his mind into his three components: his primary robot body, his drone Roller, and the Combat Deck (i.e. his trailer). When he's finally restored, he admits never feeling that sort of rush before.
    • Much, much later in the third season, the multi-part episode "The Return of Optimus Prime" features the Hate Plague (the trope namer). Just about all the infected become giggling, gleeful maniacs. Ultra Magnus, a Consummate Professional, laughs at Rodimus Prime's attempt to talk sense into him before trying to infect him.
  • Lord Dominator from Wander over Yonder, whose Villain Song "I'm the Bad Guy" is a memorable ode to her love for being a Planet Destroyer and hurting people for fun.
  • Ninjago: Lord Garmadon, especially through seasons 2-3, often falls under this trope. This is due to the evil that flows through his veins that he had long since lost the fight to. However he will occasionally dip into guilt for enjoying chaos, often when talking about or with Lloyd, but he simply can't help himself. After season 3 and his redemption, Garmadon loses the pleasurable feeling that comes from evil and the want to be evil altogether. He instead feels great regret for what he has done and trains in the passive arts to try to at least somewhat atone for his violent, destructive past.
  • A subtle example is shown in the Justice League episode "A Better World". After Justice Lord Superman kills President Lex Luthor, Wonder Woman asks him if he's okay. His response is "I'm great" while smirking, marking his transition from hero to Knight Templar.
  • Harley Quinn (2019): As a child, Psycho got a big rush from watching a Ferris wheel he wasn't ever tall enough to get on collapse and kill everyone on board. It was his Start of Darkness moment.


Video Example(s):


Sometimes... I miss it

Upon concluding his tale about his time as a captive of Atilla the Hun, the old monk, Father Armand, makes a bonechilling confession to his young listener.

How well does it match the trope?

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Main / EvilAllAlong

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