Welcome to Evil Inc. We have many departments, including manufacturing weapons of mass destruction, genetically modifying orphan children to create super villains, and producing herbal soups made of weed. Chances are, you've heard of us, considering we are a publicly traded company with thousands of branches across the globe, as well as a few secret labs cleverly disguised as bakeries. Oh, and don't try to stop us, because chances are that you work for us. Have a nice day!
Evil Inc. is the standard Lex Luthor back-up plan: Create a front that, in case anything goes wrong, gives you the perfect alibi as well as the resources to start again. They will be one of three types:
- Unassuming ("Milwaukee Bakery, The" actually being the front for an international terrorist group)
- Suspicious but not too strange (PMCs, weapon developers, pharmaceutical companies, etc.)
- Cartoonishly evil (look up Big Evil Corp.)
Regardless of which type, they will always have one basic goal: Take Over the World.
Often this is considered Camp (especially if it's a Type 3), a Dead Horse Trope, or both in movies (excluding environmental ones). In video games, it's still running strong and considered a decent plot twist. And in (mainstream) comic books, LexCorp, and OsCorp have been running without interruption for decades, and are therefore still the medium's prime examples. Often this can be seen coming from a mile away, but the test for whether or not the hero is working for Evil Inc. is to ask whether his mission is some level of top secret or whether he ever saw the CEO's face. If the answer to the first question is yes and the second one no, congratulations! You're one of the bad guys!
Evil Inc. is likely to be ruled over by a Corrupt Corporate Executive.
When Evil Inc. would make more money without being used as an evil front, it's an example of Cut Lex Luthor a Check. When Evil Inc. is a legion of super heroes gone awry, it's a subversion of Heroes "R" Us. When it's actually succeeded, more or less, in taking over the world, it's turned into Mega-Corp. Toxic, Inc. is a subtrope, where the company is depicted as not just evil but with a specific focus on pollution.
Also the name of a webcomic by Brad Guigar.
Corporations with various of the traits of this sort of business have existed, and do exist, in real life, from the usual suspects in Big Tech and Big Pharma to more colorless monopolies who simply exploit their market dominance to unethically stall innovation, influence legislation, destroy competition and gouge the customers. However, fewnote of them will ever self-consciously advertise themselves as evil, preferring instead another trope. By definition, Evil, Inc. as used here is an exaggerated and caricatured example of corporate villainy. Therefore, No Real Life Examples, Please!
- Medical Mechanica from FLCL, which wants to eliminate free thought and has some killer robots and a giant clothing iron with which to accomplish that goal. And that's all you ever find out about them.
- Midas Bank from [C] - The Money and Soul of Possibility is a parallel-dimensional, worldwide organization which uses its customers' futures as collateral. Although they're less "Evil Inc." and more along the lines of "Lovecraftian Inc."
- Dark Agency from Codename: Sailor V. It is a talent agency instead of a manufacturer corporation, but promotes several teen idols and other teen media with the sole purpose of gathering energy and brainwashing the youth.
- Hugtto! Pretty Cure has the Dark Tomorrow Corporation, who seek to remove the futures from humankind. Their CEO wishes to freeze time to leave everyone happy.
- TransGene of the Astro City story "Pastoral" — abducted many victims for experiments, with only a sole, superpowered survivor; he escaped but is now a fugitive from justice, and the corporation is now hunting for him with more experimental subjects, in order to dissect him and learn why the process worked on him.
- Vought-American, from The Boys. Responsible for both a WW2 fighter plane that almost cost the US its advance in the Pacific and an assault rifle so crappy the Vietcong didn't even steal it from the soldier's corpses, who only survived thanks to their extensive bribing network. Now they're the only ones producing superheroes, kept in check by the rest of the military industry and The Boys.
- DC Comics has a few examples.
- The best known example is Lexcorp, the corporation that Superman's Arch-Enemy Lex Luthor uses to forward his evil schemes. Almost every time after one of his plans fails, he'll say something to the extent of "Arrest ME? But I'm just the head of a perfectly legitimate Mega corp! Why arrest me?"
- Batman: The Animated Series gives us Daggett Industries, whose products include face-melting and dangerously addictive plastic surgery cream Renuyu, synthetic viruses and health resorts run by Hugo Strange.
- The second volume of Mystery in Space introduced the Eternal Light Corporation, which is what would happen if this trope was fused with the Corrupt Church. They're mostly put out of business by Captain Comet, but are shown to still have a small core of hardliner supporters.
- Marvel Comics has several examples - most of whom are Iron Man villains.
- The oldest example is Roxxon Oil, which was swallowed up by another evil corporation, Kronos.
- Roxxon has returned as an independent company and major antagonist in the recent The Mighty Thor Comics.
- Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM) used several shell corporations as fronts for their dealings, before the whole thing was bought out by Roberto "Sunspot" DaCosta and rebranded as "American Intelligence Mechanics".
- Osborn Industries was retconned into one, once Norman Osborn was reconned to be Evil All Along.
- The X-Men have Trask Industries, which exists solely to manufacture Killer Robot Sentinels. Shaw Industries picks up the Sentinel slack after Trask and his company go the way of the dodo.
- The oldest example is Roxxon Oil, which was swallowed up by another evil corporation, Kronos.
- The High School A.U. fanfiction More Than Human has an evil corporation called John Smith (JS) Inc. The Rowdyruff Boys work for them in the Special Cases unit, which deals in weaponry, espionage, assassinations and other evil.
- Anywhere But Here: It is never stated what exactly the Diamandis Company makes, but all we really know is that it is environmentally unsafe and involves exploiting its workers to the point of various protests and acts of eco-terrorism is done against them. Since Blue and Yellow are a Hanging Judge and Corrupt Corporate Executive respectively, going up against them in any way is risking life in prison or the electric chair.
- Weyland-Yutani and/or its surrogates from the Alien franchise are in the continuous habit of forcing ill-prepared humans into encounters with the insanely dangerous Xenomorphs, all in the hopes of somehow using the aliens for profit.
- Virtucon from Austin Powers is a example of a fully functional Evil Inc. that was screwed over when Dr. Evil came back and insisted that they start working on doing nefarious deeds again.
- The film version of BigTrouble morphs the book's Penultimate Corp into Penultra and erases its Type 1 angle. Mostly Type 3, but flirting with Type 2. Penultra is mostly a construction company, but as corrupt as the day is long, willfully incompetent to the point of cartoonishness, but so well connected that they still keep raking in contracts. They have no trouble blaming any problems on subcontractors and disposing of said blame magnets in "boating accidents" on a regular basis. Oh, and there's an M1919 machine gun on the boardroom table.
- Carry On Spying has STENCH (the Society for the Total Extinction of Non-Conforming Humans), who steal a drug.
- PANTAC from Dottor Jekyll e Gentile Signora is a company which deliberately destroys economy of underdeveloped countries to gain cheap labour, and which produces poisonous food in prospect of selling cures for the maladies it induces.
- The Shield Corporation from Highlander II: The Quickening. The company's founder is the hero himself, who intended it as a bulwark against the depleted ozone layer. Alas, it is presently under the guidance of crooks who bilk consumers and governments for the service, and are covering up data showing the ozone layer has restored itself.
Spoony: And why is everyone so eager to buy into the stereotype of the greedy evil monolithic corporation just because this is a cyberpunk action movie set in a dystopian future? It's not as if their CEO is clearly a suspicious shifty-eyed weasly money-grubbing douchebag.
David Blake, CEO: WHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!
- Omni Consumer Products (OCP) from the RoboCop franchise is an omnipresent company that runs Detroit as a corporatocracy, monopolizing every consumer service and privatizing civil institutions like the police force. They also use highly unethical tactics to maintain control, such as employing violent criminals and producing defective military products (like ED-209).
- Sorry to Bother You has Worryfree, which has its workers sign lifetime contracts where they live at the factories, and that's before you find out about the equisapiens.
- Umbrella Corporation in the Resident Evil series. Never one to miss a chance to accidentally unleash a Zombie Apocalypse, Umbrella can always be counted to pick the most dickish of dick moves over anything else. Then the final movie reveals that they intentionally unleashed the T-virus, so that they could rule the post-apocalyptic world after the rest of humanity is decimated.
- Penultimate Corp in BigTrouble cuts across all three types. Penultimate Corporation is mostly a construction company, but as corrupt as the day is long, willfully incompetent to the point of cartoonishness, but so well connected that they still keep raking in contracts. They have no trouble blaming any problems on subcontractors and disposing of said blame magnets in "boating accidents" on a regular basis. On top of this, Penultimate's main shadow goal is to overthrow Castro.
- In Company, Zephyr Holdings doesn't just have a Bad Boss, its entire business is creating them. The whole company is just one big laboratory for finding the cruelest, most demeaning ways that a corporation can treat its own employees without losing productivity... and then teaching those techniques to managers at other companies.
- The Sombra Corporation in The Dark Tower series.
- Tresisda from the MARZENA Series, is a computer software company based in Germany and Russia. Their very name is an anagram for DISASTER and their goal is global market domination by any means. You're such a literary genius you do the math.
- Played for Laughs in A Murder of Manatees: The Further Adventures of Tom Stranger, Interdimensional Insurance Agent, where a multiversal conglomerate is staging a takeover of several major evil corporations in order concentrate all evil in one place. The list includes Weyland-Yutani, Cyberdyne Systems, LexCorp, Umbrella, Kentucky Fried Velociraptor, and United Airlines.
- In Kelley Armstrong's The Otherworld, back in the 16th century, the Sorcerers decided that they wanted to be the main supernatural power and duped the church into forming the Inquisition. Now, the Sorcerer cabals operate as massive, family-owned multinational corporations with more than their fair share of shady dealings...
- BeauTek from The Ultra Violets, masquerading as a biocosmetics company while manufacturing mind-controlling perfume and their own army of mutants in the Mall of No Returns.
- Leech Enterprises in Kim Newman's fiction, including the novel The Quorum. Its Corrupt Corporate Executive Derek Leech is actually the Devil, or something very close, and seems to have as his ultimate aim simply making the world a worse place, possibly to its destruction. (But on his terms; there have been two Enemy Mine situations when something else wanted to destroy the world.)
- Manpower Incorporated from the Honor Harrington series. Their main product is genetic slaves. Unlike many examples, their own nature is plainly visible for the galaxy to see. Actually, Manpower is both a source of revenue and a distraction for the Mesan Alignment, which plans to Take Over The Galaxy.
- The Goliath Corporation in the Thursday Next books.
- Angel: The law firm Wolfram & Hart is a front for the Wolf, Ram, and Hart, a cabal of powerful demons commonly called the "Senior Partners". The firm's goals are to represent the evil and unnatural in mortal courts, further the aims of the Senior Partners to bring about the final Apocalypse, to keep man's inhumanity to man running smoothly, and grow their yearly profit margin. Their clients include other Evil Incs. such as Weyland-Yutani, Yoyodyne, Newscorp and the patent holder of cancer. It's also an awesome Evil Lawyer Joke. Some of the lawyers really are soulless, bloodsucking monsters; the rest are only soulless by contract.
- Veridian Dynamics of Better Off Ted certainly flirted with being one. Its management practices certainly held true with the average Evil Inc., and some of their divisions were engaged in work that wasn't just morally dodgy, but outright evil insanity. Happily, its general incompetence kept it from actualizing.
- Blood Over Water has Sleet Mountain, with its CEO Clyde Spendelworth. In the novel remake, he's revealed to be running an illegal sex slave trade, using his role as CEO of Sleet Mountain as a front. In the original miniseries, he was merely a con man who was ripping off the government and polluting a pond. The novel keeps the pollution and cleanup fraud theme, but expands to make Clyde unlikeable regardless of which end of the political spectrum you're on.
- Conspiracy Thriller Utopia features Corvadt and Pergus Holdings, massive multinationals spanning dozens of different industries. They are close to perfecting a Sterility Plague that takes effect when a flu vaccine combines with genetically modified corn.
- In Get Smart, K.A.O.S. is a Delaware corporation for tax purposes.
- The Colbert Report has Prescott Group, a shady Mega-Corp Stephen Colbert shills for. The pharmaceuticals division, inevitably featured during the "Cheating Death" segment, makes products always have a litany of hilariously horrifying Side Effects.
- In Mr. Robot, the company E Corp is ridiculously powerful and is directly and indirectly responsible for a lot of bad things, including killing the main character's father via radiation. In fact, Elliot hates them so much that he actually mentally refers to the company as Evil Corp, and since the story is told through his eyes, whenever anybody mentions it, we hear Evil Corp as well.
- In series Bad Robots, TezCorp is a megacorp who specializes in robotics and electronics. Created to punish humans for mistreating their electronic appliances. By a malevolent robot.
- Dilbert's workplace veered into this as the strip went on, primarily in the abusive ways in which the employees are treated. Heck, two of the higher-ups actually have "evil" in their job titles!
- Desert Bluffs, the town neighboring Night Vale, is owned in its entirety by a company called StrexCorp Synernists Inc., which as of "Yellow Helicopters" has begun to expand into Night Vale.
- The entirety of Kakos Industries deals with a company who doesn't hide their ambitions in the slightest and is determined to "Do Evil Better."
- Pentex from Werewolf: The Apocalypse is the multinational cabal behind a series of seemingly disparate corporations, an entity that most legal officials aren't sure exists. It's also made up of executives who are in thrall to the Wyrm, and who use the many arms of the corporation to spread Banes amongst the populace, corrupting them in moments of weakness and turning them into further soldiers for the Wyrm.
- While every Mega-Corp in the Shadowrun Verse has its share of corruption, ruthlessness and conspiracies, Aztechnology probably takes the prize when it comes to fitting this trope.
- Arasaka in Cyberpunk2020 is the best example there, even if the other MegaCorps of that setting are anything but "Good, Inc".
- In Borderlands, the various gun manufacturers run the gamut from just being criminally negligent (Dahl abandoning their workforce on Pandora led to them becoming insane bandits) to outright Cartoonish Supervillainy in the case of Hyperion under Handsome Jack's rule. Tales from the Borderlands shows that Hyperion corporate culture puts heavy emphasis on worshiping Jack and emulating his psychopathy with Klingon Promotion a completely viable way to climb up the corporate ladder.
- Close Your Eyes's V.I.E.W seems to be playing this role and, from what's implied (especially by the protest signs and clues left by the Witch), the participants (or many of them) in the Cognitive Transfer program were not entirely willing.
- The FutureTech company in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 almost certainly qualifies. Over the course of the Allied campaign in the main game, and especially during the short side campaigns and Commander's Challenge mode of the expansion pack, it becomes bitingly apparent that the corporation has no real stake in which of the three sides emerges victorious - only that the state of the world-wide conflict provides an excellent opportunity to field test their technology. This includes, among other things, helicopters and armored troopers capable of flash-freezing men and machines alike; massive aerial gunships mounting a scaled-down version of a superweapon; a sentient robot tank that decimates entire armies with neutron particle cannons. Even the voice-overs for units specifically stated to be the product of FutureTech are decidedly more sociopathic, bloodthirsty, or outright indifferent to the carnage they can inflict, in comparison to the otherwise defensive and patriotic sentiments of the Allies' baseline troops.
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution mostly centers around two corporations. Sarif Industries, the protagonist's employer, is a generally benign, if not exactly benevolent, company that treats its employees well and just wants to make an honest buck bringing augmentation technology to the world. Tai Yong Medical, on the other hand, plays this trope for all it's worth. Its CEO cares for nothing but profit, outright demanding that employees use untested and even defective materials in its augmentation products in order to meet profit and schedule goals, engaging in hostile takeovers and corporate espionage to eliminate competition, producing "upgrades" that allow her to shut off augmented people or drive them insane, and even planning to merge with the Hyron Project.
- Kremkroc Industries, Inc. and Frantic Factory in Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong 64, respectively.
- The UAC in Doom (2016) have gone straight into this trope, in contrast to their positive portrayal in the previous games, thanks to the upper echelons becoming a demon cult. Their antics include sacrificing their employees to summon demons and trying to create fusions of demons and machines, like the Cyberdemon. Other things include encouraging employees to voluntarily give up their souls, get pentagram brands to "show their faith in the UAC", and institute a seven-day work week (since God created the Earth in six days, so think about how much better we can do!) as they try to exploit Hell for its resources. The whole thing is Played for Laughs at points, with cheerful announcements that offer slogans like "Weaponizing demons for a brighter tomorrow!" Towards the end of the game, they degenerate into Black Speech.
- The Fallout series has Vault-Tec, who are the creators of the Vaults and the ones behind all the various horrible social experiments that often result in disaster and unnecessary human suffering. The Vault-Tec Workshop DLC of Fallout 4 gives a good look into the mentality of Vault-Tec employees: They are typically amoral psychopaths dedicated to nonsensical experiments that results in nothing worthwhile and any employee with an interest in actually improving the quality of life of Vault Dwellers are hated and shunned by the others.
- Shinra Power Co. from Final Fantasy VII. This is the company that drains the life of the planet (literally) to make a profit and they have a private army that they enjoy sending to quell anyone who opposes them. Story-wise, they are just stooges, accidentally unearthing a malevolent alien while surveying sites for a new plant.
- From Fur Fighters, this billboard:
Viggo Industries: You will buy our products.
- Czerka Corporation in Knights of the Old Republic is only marginally less evil than the Sith, and siding with Czerka on some dispute is a rite of passage in any Dark Side playthrough. Its business opportunities have included botching up the Telosian restoration with short-sighted profit-grubbing, dealing with the Exchange (only to have your Dark Exile kill the leader when that relationship becomes...inconvenient) and trading in Wookiee slaves.
- Thankfully according to the Expanded Universe (before the reboot, that is), their shit finally caught up with them and they were eventually gutted by the Republic and ended up changing their name and restructuring themselves to try and distance themselves from their former reputation.
- Aesir Pharmaceuticals in the original Max Payne. The company's founder, Nicole Horne, originally worked for a secret government project. When the super solider serum they were working on was discontinued, Horne stole and repackaged it as a designer street drug (which led directly to Max's family being killed). Max notes that Horne's laptop probably has info about other sundry world-domination plots (and more mundane things like pornography), but Max confesses he isn't interested in learning the depth of her evil (he already wants to kill her for what she's done to him and the city, and has "seen too much of it already") and shoots the monitor.
- Interestingly enough, Aesir Pharmaceuticals is implied to be very profitable on the books, in addition to their illegal activities, as their stock prices are extremely high and rising, and they own a very large tower in prime New York real estate territory, neither of which would be possible with the dirty money gained from drug trafficking.
- The Magog Cartel of the Oddworld series are a conglomerate of multiple horrifyingly corrupt companies. Openly using slave labor, supervisors having the authority to administer on-the-spot executions on employees for little to no reason, and planning to genocide their entire working force to sell as delicious snack food are only some of many of their atrocities.
- DataDyne in Perfect Dark counts as this. They try to help an evil alien race retrieve a very powerful weapon. They try to kidnap the US president so they can use the government's submarine to reach said weapon. Prior to this, no one suspects them of any wrongdoing except the protagonist's organization.
- Aperture Science from Portal is a humorous example. Founded by eccentric billionaire Cave Johnson (who becomes more eccentric after contracting lead poisoning during a botched murder attempt on his industry rivals), the company bases its ideas on his crazy delusions. Unsurprisingly, the company is hemorrhaging money. They originally used pro athletes and astronauts to perform simulations; however, as the tests became more lethal and Johnson's fortunes began to dwindle, they resorted to using vagrants and ultimately their own workers.
- Resident Evil's Umbrella Pharmaceutical Company was founded by a group of creepy English Evilutionary Biologists, who wanted to create a race of superhumans and Take Over the World. While the company is a massive conglomerate that has multiple subsidiaries dealing in legitimate businesses, almost all of these serve as some sort of front for the company's illegal activities in creating biological weapons. In the original game, the company stumbled on a zombie virus while performing genetic experiments. In Resident Evil 2 The virus leaked into the water supply after a botched mercenary operation, unleashing an epidemic on their Company Town, Raccoon City. Rather than try to, you know, help save the town from the epidemic so that it wouldn't spread any further and their reputation wouldn't be completely ruined, the company sees a golden opportunity to test their newest line of biologically engineered supersoldiers in a combat environment and use them to conduct a Fiery Coverup while at it. Things ultimately go so bad that the US government ends up nuking the city and Umbrella's stocks plummet as nobody wants to work with a company that has such a massive stigma attatched to it and United States drives the company into bankruptcy by freezing its assets and filing a massive amount of lawsuits at it.
- Sonic the Hedgehog's nemesis Dr. Robotnik is shown to own a few companies as fronts for his evil schemes, especially in the Sonic Riders sub-series where he's the owner of Robotnik Corp., the provider of the Extreme Gear used in the first installment, and MeteorTech, a security company that produces androids. He's also been known to lease out his older robot designs to security companies.
- Sluggy Freelance has Hereti-Corp, a both very straight and parodic example. They're among the most major antagonists in the Myth Arc of the comic and have dabbled in various "taking over the world" schemes, from trying to gain control of the gymnastic assassin Oasis for reasons as mysterious as her origin to wanting to clone the resident alien Aylee as a living superweapon. At one point, they almost went under after being exposed, but they resurfaced as "House of Cheese", selling pizza made entirely of cheese, and under new leadership eventually regained the name Hereti-Corp and are now involved in a potential end-of-the-world scenario.
- Homestuck has the Betty Crocker wing of General Mills, which may or may not be its own company Crockercorp depending on what universe you're in. Betty Crocker is real, and is also known as The Batterwitch. She's an alien empress acting in the service of the Big Bad and trying to overthrow him and take over herself.
- Cthulhu Slippers has Cthulhu Corp, a biotechnology company owned and operated by Lovcraftian monstrosities. Products are more often than not fatal to their users ("Can o' Shoggoth", "Face Squid", and "Stress Brick"), and employees both human and nonhuman are routinely eaten, mauled, afflicted with Body Horror, driven to insanity, or ritually sacrificed by their coworkers for raises and promotions. It's all played for laughs.
- Charon Industries from Red vs. Blue is a weapons manufacturing company whose CEO Malcolm Hargrove is willing to kill off the population of an entire planet just so his company can have unrestricted access to the alien technology there.
- Ludevic Laboratories, the company featured in the Professor's video showcasing his exclusive Shadows Over Innistrad preview card, Prized Amalgam. The video is chock full of dressed up corporate speech nonsense meant to earn good PR when the company exists solely to create monsters that consume the living.
- Dogstar: Bob Santino's company SRC (Santino Robotics Corporation) is devoted to the global domination of an many markets as possible. It actions have included accidentally triggering a planet-wide Robot War, blowing up Pluto as a demonstration, creating a product so pointless that it then attempted to inflict the population of New Earth with a stupidity virus so they would become dumb enough to buy it, and attempting to destroy the ark carrying all of Earth's dogs.
- In The Oblongs, Bob works for a company with the not-at-all-suspicious name Globocide.
- OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes has Boxmore, a store that manufactures robots for villains whose boss tries to destroy the neighboring plaza.
- Phineas and Ferb has "Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated". While more blatant than most examples (and with a catchy jingle), it's also smaller, consisting of one evil scientist attempting to rule the tri-state area.
- McFist Industries in Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja, which is the result of Hannibal McFist making a deal with the Evil Sorcerer to destroy the Ninja in exchange for a superpower. McFist owns almost everything in Norrisville and creates and funds numerous projects for profit, from amusement parks to killer robots.
- Roswell Conspiracies: Aliens, Myths and Legends: Intracom, a company with many dubious enterprises, lorded over by vampires.
- The Simpsons has the Globex Corporation, run by Hank Scorpio, a man whose twin desires are world domination and the well-being of his employees.