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Evil Learns of Outside Context

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"Wow. I see everything. There are worlds beyond my own. Worlds that need… me."
Ultron deciding his crusade to "correct" needs to go multiversal, What If…? (2021)

Someone or something arrives or has been discovered from a land, world, society, time, localized group or fictional genre that the bad guys were unaware of or once considered Beneath Notice. Regardless of the details, this Outside-Context Problem has gained their attention and, naturally, any power-hungry villain will crave it for nefarious ends.

What's more, this may have brought knowledge, magic, technology, sources of power or even Medium Awareness that creates new and dangerous possibilities. Now, the visitor has put themselves or the people back home in danger and/or handed the villain a new way to doom the world. At the very least, knowing about the Outside Context may hinder the heroes, should the villain develop a defense against it.

The appearance of this trope often marks a Rising Conflict, and escalation of the Sliding Scale of Villain Threat. After learning of lands outside their borders, the villain who previously only wanted to take over a kingdom now wants to do the same to the rest of the world. After a visit from aliens, one that already controls the world can now aspire to be a Galactic Conqueror. And if they've become aware of The Multiverse, Alternate Timelines or Alternate Universes, they can scheme of being a Multiversal Conqueror. Or, the exact inverse can happen, with a threat that once seemed broad or distant now becoming more personal for the heroes being targeted.

NOTE: In this case, the "outside context" cannot be the Start of Darkness for the villain or their first known act of villainy. There must already be some sort of conflict in which the villain is involved, or the villain must have already been doing evil somewhere. Otherwise, there's no context for the new discovery to be "outside" of.

The reason this trope almost exclusively applies to villains is that they are more likely to be some form of The Sociopath or The Conqueror. Power that was once being used for good can now be twisted for evil. The unknown may have been one of the few "safe" places remaining from the bad guy, but is now in jeopardy because they know it's out there. Good guys may also adapt to outside context, but stories don't use this as a raising of the stakes, and heroes usually don't try to exploit remote populations (see Alien Non-Interference Clause).

A Sub-Trope of Outside-Context Problem, as that's what's required for the bad guys to broaden their scope. A Sister Trope of Awakening the Sleeping Giant. For its inversions (which can also overlap), see The Hero's Journey and the Call to Adventure. Or, more specifically, see Summon Everyman Hero, Sealed Good in a Can, and Sealed Badass in a Can when the good guys need someone from outside context.

This trope is usually a given for any Space Opera, particularly if either Aliens Are Bastards or Humans Are Bastards (or both). Planet Looters and a Horde of Alien Locusts feed (literally) on this trope. Preventing this trope at any cost is usually the only possible form of "victory" in a Cosmic Horror Story.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bleach: One of the oldest and most powerful Vasto Lorde in existence, Barragan, became wracked with boredom because he already controlled the entire world of Hueco Mundo. He becomes immediately intrigued when the three villainous Soul Reaper Captains Aizen, Gin, and Tousen arrive, eager to know where they came from since it means there's now someplace new he can conquer. Unfortunately for him, Aizen and his lackeys defeat and subjugate him themselves, forcing Barragan to serve underneath them until he could find a chance for revenge.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • The conflict against Vegeta and Nappa kicks off when Piccolo unknowingly reveals to them that Earth has Dragon Balls which will grant any wish. This piques Vegeta's interest, who immediately heads toward Earth to collect them and wish for immortality. Later, the exact same thing leads to Frieza learning of the Dragon Balls but deciding to take the Namekian ones.
    • Double Subverted in regards to the Galactic Conqueror, Frieza. While Frieza himself was unaware (and unconcerned with) Earth because it was Beneath Notice, Frieza's servants, the Saiyans, knew of the planet and planned to use one of their infants (young Kakarot, aka Goku) to wipe out its native life and conquer it.note  However, due to the heroes thwarting his plans on the planet Namek, as well as the humiliating defeat he suffered at the hands of Goku, Frieza (as well as his brother Cooler and other members of his empire) then specifically targets the Earth on multiple occasions in order to exact revenge.
    • After being hatched in the future, Cell spent time building his strength by absorbing humans, all the while searching for the two Androids that he would also need to absorb to reach his complete form. His search brings him to Capsule Corp., home of Trunks and Bulma, where he learns that Trunks has already destroyed both of those Androids. However, he then realizes that Trunks has a Time Machine and that he can use this to go back in time to when the Androids were still active. In the original timeline, Trunks had no idea Cell existed and was killed by him; in the new timeline (ironically created when Cell did go back in time), Trunks is ready and easily overpowers him.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2016): Although he is from the timeline where he was executed before he could actually do anything, Ganondorf has become aware of the events of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, as well as his role in the franchise's Eternal Recurrence.

    Comic Books 
  • Exiles: A common threat for the Exiles team (as well as their sinister counterparts, Weapon X) was that a threat or antagonist on their current world would learn about The Multiverse and then seek to steal or copy their technology to travel other worlds for nefarious purposes. This actually did happen multiple times. One of the most dangerous examples being King Hyperion, who actually took over the Crystal Palace and secretly sent the Exiles on repeated Suicide Missions. Another was Proteus, who began dimension-hopping and searching for more powerful hosts using his body-possession abilities, forcing the team to chase after him and resulting in the deaths of multiple team members.
  • Judge Dredd: The Dark Judges inhabit a Mirror Universe where the judges reasoned that they could eliminate crime once and for all: by eliminating all life. No life, no crime. When they learn of Judge Dredd's universe and acquire the means to travel there, they embark on a multiversal killing spree to make every dimension like their own. However, Judge Death had apparently already heard a prophecy from a psi-Judge centuries earlier about the dimension-jump devices and simply waited for them to show up.
  • Marvel Zombies: Although things like alien worlds and The Multiverse are widely known by most residents of the Marvel Universe, after the zombie plague destroyed the home Earth of the titular zombies, many of them became too obsessed and driven by hunger to think about such concepts. However, as "food" (aka people) became more scarce, the zombies become desperate to start looking for other solutions. When the Silver Surfer and Galactus appear, they immediately get the idea to eat them and take their powers to scour the universe for more food. After eating pretty much the entire known universe, they then return to Earth to find a working time machine/dimensional transporter that can let them continue to feast on other universes.
  • The Mega Man (Archie Comics) and Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) crossovers "Worlds Collide" and "Worlds Unite" begin with the respective main antagonists learning about worlds other than their own. In the former case, Dr. Wily and Dr. Eggman join forces to eliminate their hated foes while secretly planning to double-cross the other, while Sigma forces both doctors to help him take over the multiverse and become a god in the process.
  • New X-Men: After defeating the murderous psychic Cassandra Nova, Professor Xavier decides to leave for space to rest with his lover Lilandra, Empress of the Shi'ar empire. Just as he's leaving, Beast discovers that Cassandra has taken control of Xavier's body and now has access to Shi'ar technology, which she plans to use to wipe out all mutants.
  • In the "Dead End Kids" arc of Runaways, the titular team gets stranded in 1900's New York, where they are some of the most powerful and technologically advanced people available. This aggravates things between the two super-powered gangs that are already there, sparking them to a war.
  • Venomverse: The Poisons were unaware of the existence of the Multiverse until Doctor Strange started bringing in Venoms from other universes to oppose them, and were unaware of symbiotes other than Venom until he summoned an iteration of Carnage. This led to them attempting to conquer the Multiverse in Venomized and ransacking Klyntar in order to do so.

    Fan Works 
  • All For Luz: In chapter 16, Tyler Wittebane informs Belos that a Mass Super-Empowering Event occurred in the Human Realm a month ago and that there's a new All For One residing there and now they plan to kill them off. However, Tyler leaves out that the new All For One is Luz Noceda.
  • Boldores And Boomsticks: After learning about Pokémon and Earth, Salem manipulates Lusamine into allowing large numbers of Grimm to stay at Aether Paradise.
    • A little subverted, since Salem was already aware of Earth and Pokemon from the last time the Ultra Wormholes connected Earth and Remnant a few millenia ago. She's mostly intent on stopping the heroes of Remnant from finding out, since not only would Pokemon themselves make a powerful ally against the Grimm, Earth's technology is ahead of Remnant in just about every field except weapons; widespread contact and interdimensional trade would be a disaster for her.
  • In Code Prime when Mao approaches Megatron to offer him a deal, he reveals the existence of Geass to him. When Mao fails to keep his end of the bargain, Megatron has Shockwave experiment on Mao to learn more about Geass. Eventually, after V.V. reveals himself to still be alive to Megatron, as well as finding a deposit of Dark Energon, Megatron is able to give himself a Geass using the data that Shockwave had collected from Mao and V.V., along with combining their energy with Dark Energon.
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: Queen Beryl of the Dark Kingdom eventually learns that Sailor Mercury was sent to another inhabited world, and launches an expedition to reach and conquer it, since there are presumably fewer Sailor Senshi there to stand in her way. The dark gods take exception to her intrusion, though, and counter-invade.
  • The epilogue of Jaune Arc, Lord of Hunger features two examples as bait for a Sequel Hook.
    • Salem learns of Darth Nihilus' existence from recovered footage of the Fall of Beacon and is so intrigued that she puts her hunt for the four Relics on hold so she can find out everything Ozpin knows about him. She also takes an interest in acquiring the Mask of Nihilus from Beacon's Vault and sends out Tyrian to capture Ruby (the new Fall Maiden and the only person able to open said vault).
    • Darth Krayt was in the process of planning a False Flag Operation against the Yuuzhan Vong to plunge the galaxy into another civil war when he suddenly senses a galaxy-wide disturbance in the Force originating from Remnant. While he doesn't know that Darth Nihilus is specifically responsible, he correctly deduces that the disturbance was caused by a darksider stronger than him. Paranoid of a possible rival, he takes an army of Sith with him to scour the Unknown Regions for the source with the intention of forcing Nihilus to either bend to his will or be destroyed.
  • In Shattered Skies: The Morning Lights, Joker learns of the existence of the magical girl multiverse upon his arrival in the villainous afterlife. The knowledge of an infinite number of magical girls in infinite other timelines pushes him from Hope Crusher to full-on Omnicidal Maniac.
  • Superwomen of Eva: The titular superheroines are an Outside-Context Problem for SEELE and NERV and their "scenario", but in many tales they eventually figure out a way to fight them… if it is not revealed that they already had a method at hand. To supply some example:
    • In Superwomen Of Eva 2 Lone Heir Of Krypton, Gendo Ikari eventually kidnaps Dr. Emil Hamilton (the STAR Labs scientist who performed the In-Vitro procedure that created Asuka Langley Sohryu (a.k.a. Supergirl)) and torture information out of him. Not Supergirl's true identity… but unfortunately, they did managed to get information on Kryptonite out of him. It is also revealed that SEELE took all of STAR Labs' data on the crashed rocket that held the sadly deceased baby Kal-El and tried to make a half-Kryptonian of their own, with the result (Kaworu) arriving to Tokyo-3 late in the story.
    • In Superwomen of Eva 2: Emerald Courage, Gendo Ikari gets his hands on a Yellow Lantern ring early in the story, but has no clue of how to use it and that it's a weapon that can counteract the Green Lantern that is causing trouble to his operations until approximately a day or two before the events of End of Evangelion.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Lampshaded in The Avengers (2012) when Thor calls out S.H.I.E.L.D. for experimenting on the Tesseract.
    Thor: Your work with the Tesseract is what drew Loki to it, and his allies. It is a signal to all the realms that the Earth is ready for a higher form of war.
  • Avengers: Endgame: Late in the movie, the past versions of Thanos and Nebula figure out that the Avengers have discovered time travel and are using it to collect the Infinity Stones. Thanos' forces quickly figure out how to replicate the Avengers' method of time travel and use it to come to the present so Thanos can take the Stones for himself. It also tips Thanos off to a potential flaw in his original plan (that people will never accept what he plans to do), resulting in him changing him plan to destroy the universe and then make a new one that cannot help but be grateful to its new god: him.
  • Back to the Future Part II: When Biff Tannen learns that Doc Brown and Marty have a Time Machine, he uses it (along with the sports almanac Marty bought but Doc threw away) to go back in time to 1955 and make himself wealthy. By the time Marty and Doc realize what's gone wrong, they wind up in a nightmarish version of 1985 where Biff is a Corrupt Corporate Executive with almost total control of Hill Valley.
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Corrupt and sociopathic businessman Lex Luthor uses Kryptonian technology and General Zod's corpse to create a monstrous abomination whose sole purpose is to kill Superman; unfortunately (and made clearer in the Extended Edition), he also inadvertently attracts Darkseid's attention to Earth, leading to the events of Justice League.
  • Last Action Hero: After Danny Madigan is given a magical movie ticket, he finds himself unexpectedly transported inside the movie, Jack Slater IV. Unfortunately, the ticket ends up in the hands of the villain, Benedict, who after learning that he's actually a movie character, escapes into the real world. Worse, he quickly learns that here, the bad guys can win, and plans to recruit other movie villains to wreak havoc.
  • Retroactive: Karen starts a series of temporal loops while trying to use a time machine to save a woman from her psychotic husband, Frank. Each time the loop ends in a worse situation, until ultimately Frank finds the time machine himself, and plans to use it to create chaos just For the Evulz.
  • Stargate: Continuum: Ba'al uses a Time Machine to stop the Stargate program from ever getting off the ground and restores the former Goa'uld Empire with himself at its helm. However, his weird behavior (for a Goa'uld) causes his minions to get very suspicious of him and Queen Qetesh ultimately assassinates him. After learning of the time machine and ordering the rest of the Fleet to wipe out the Earth rather than make a deal with them like Ba'al intended, she attempts to seize it for herself and rewrite history even further.
  • Superman Returns: Lex Luthor is released early from prison and, having restored his fortune, takes a trip to the Antarctic to find Superman's Fortress of Solitude. He figures out the crystal mechanisms and uses it to learn about Kryptonian technology. Afterward, this knowledge allows him to invoke his scheme of raising an artificial landmass created from Kryptonian crystal, and use it to sell or lease property to the highest bidder. He also claims to have figured out Kryptonian weapons to defend himself from the inevitable retaliation by the world governments.

  • Dark Shores: The world of Reath is divided into the East and the West. Since they are divided by the ocean and the impassable Doldrums, they are oblivious as to the other's existence. The Celendor Empire has conquered the whole of the East and Corrupt Politician Lucius Cassius is at first just trying to become its consul, by any means necessary. And then he accidentally learns of the existence of the West and sends an expedition to conquer it for the Empire, too.
  • The Trope Namer for the entire 'Outside Context' trope, the Iain M. Banks novel Excession, has this occur when the Affront learn about the titular entity and attempt to it exploit it for their own gain, with the help of a conspiracy within the Culture. They end up not only failing, but nearly dooming the galaxy in the process.
  • Mentioned by Gandalf in The Fellowship of the Ring while advising Frodo to take the One Ring out of Hobbiton. "If Sauron hadn't known about the Shire before, he does now." Frodo and three comrades will venture east to lure the Nazgul away from Hobbiton, and to meet with Aragorn, who's going by the name Strider at the time.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Arrowverse has a few examples, usually due to crossovers bringing villains into larger scale stories than they were in before.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Numenor's existence is this for Sauron. When he arrives in Numenor with Galadriel he expresses he never thought it was possible for Men to build such an advanced civilization. Galadriel has to narrate the history of Numenor for him. It's not exactly clear if he really didn't know about Numenorians despite them fighting against his former master, Morgoth, or he knew but never expected them to have such a flourishing civilization.
  • Night Visions: The episode "A View Through the Window" involves a dimensional portal appearing in the middle of the desert, apparently leading to a quiet farming community some indeterminate time in the past. Eventually, the "humans" are revealed to actually be ravenous aliens who use their technology to close the portal on our end and start to look for a way to travel to Earth.
  • Stargate-verse:
  • Stranger Things: Played for Horror. It's chilling to watch as the Mind Flayer, an entirely alien entity with initially no understanding of Earth, slowly gains more and more knowledge of human behaviour and the larger situation, employing increasingly intelligent tactics as a result. It's especially frightening when the creature figures out that El and The Party are its primary opposition, learning to single them out specifically and make the kids suffer. This is subverted when the Mind Flayer is revealed to be an avatar of Vecna, a former human psychic who was banished into the Upside-Down by Eleven and thus knew about Earth all along.
  • Star Trek:
    • On Star Trek: The Next Generation, the Borg began their mission of absorbing all sentient life in the universe long ago, but are largely limited to the further reaches of space and thus billions of miles away from our heroes (their premiere episode revealed that the nearest starbase to their current location is 2.5 years away at maximum warp). It isn't until the Reality Warper Q puts Picard through a Secret Test of Character in the episode "Q Who" that the Borg become aware of the existence of the United Federation of Planets, and specifically Earth—and they immediately start gunning for it. Somewhat downplayed in that Picard realizes the Borg would have eventually learned about the Federation and humans regardless of Q's actions, although the sudden discovery does cause series-spanning problems for the heroes. (Presumably they'd have had more time to prepare if Q hadn't been such a jerk. Though Q's antics also gave the Federation advance notice of what they needed to prepare for.)
    • In a more limited example, the episode "Elementary, Dear Data" sees Data, Geordi, and Dr. Pulaski using the holodeck to simulate immersive Sherlock Holmes mysteries for fun. Data plays the detective, but since he has literally encyclopedic knowledge of the Holmes stories, he easily solves all the cases, much to Geordi's chagrin. He decides to make things more challenging by specifically asking the computer to write a program "capable of defeating Data." Unfortunately, the computer interprets this literally and grants the simulation of Professor Moriarty sentience and sapience, as only someone aware of Data's true identity could defeat him. Moriarty thus realizes two things: that he's a hologram and that there is a "real world" that he cannot access. He sets out to take control of the holodeck and, in the later episode "Ship in a Bottle", the entire Enterprise to keep himself alive.
    • In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Bride of Chaotica!", the holodeck is invaded by photonic lifeforms, whom the holodeck villains interpret as invaders from the fifth dimension and go to war with, immobilizing Voyager in the process. Naturally, the holodeck can't just be shut down to end this problem, so the crew have to act out roles in the program to vanquish Chaotica, and the Doctor has to negotiate with the aliens because they don't view matter-based lifeforms as being 'real'.
  • The Walking Dead (2010) frequently sees groups of antagonists who were going about their business only learning of the main cast by chance, but there are a few notable examples.
    • Season 3 has The Governor who is deeply shaken to find a small, battle-hardened group has taken up residence in a “red zone” he and Merle had deemed uninhabitable due to too many undead. Due to being a power-hungry zealot who wants to eliminate any people he does not bring into his community himself, he becomes obsessed with destroying and later conquering the prison for his own gain.
    • Season 6 introduces the Saviors, a powerful empire of survivors led by the tyrannical Negan, who seeks to build a society based on his cult of personality and who subjugates entire communities to give up their supplies to keep his base happy and fed. A small group of Saviors initially bumps into Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham only by chance and are killed; the Saviors are left in the dark about Alexandria until later in the season after one of their outposts is massacred in a surprise attack. Rick points out that given their ways of looking for people to enslave, they would’ve found Alexandria anyway.
    • The Whisperers are a nomadic group who wipe out any civilized community they come across, so they stumbled onto the coalition in Season 9 by pure chance after migrating to the region. It takes several episodes for Alpha to assess the threat to her way of life and strike out against them.
    • The Reapers from Seasons 10 and 11 were unfamiliar with Alexandria until they made it clear they were allied with Maggie’s group, the Wardens. Even then, Daryl uses the Reapers’ unfamiliarity with Alexandria against them by lying that Maggie has dozens of soldiers lying in wait for an ambush to stir up Pope’s paranoia and set him up for failure.

    Video Games 
  • Chrono Trigger: When the party travel back in time and get defeated by the Big Bad, said Big Bad also destroys the advanced Precursor society. These events allow Dalton to rise up and take control with his flying fortress, the Blackbird. In addition to this, he also takes control of the party's Time Machine and outfits it with wings so that he can use it as his personal fighter jet. The party fights him to take it back, and Dalton winds up accidentally sealing himself inside of a portal. In the Updated Re-release of the game, a new section is later added where the party fight Dalton in a Dimensional Vortex, where it's implied that he has learned of (and possibly mastered) Time Travel, which he now plans to use to personally raise an army and take revenge on the three protagonists. Based on the events of Chrono Cross, he appears to be successful.
  • Doom Eternal: It's revealed that the Khan Maykr, the "archangel" of Urdak, only learned about the demons' existence from the Doomslayer himself after he was stranded on Argent D'Nur. She then made a pact with Hell to provide them with new worlds to devour in exchange for a continuous flow of Argent Energy harvested from tortured souls to fuel her own Dying Race.
  • Final Fantasy XIV: As part of the Ascians plan to rejoin The Multiverse, they caused an apocalypse on a world called The First which then caused another apocalyptic event on The Source (the game's main setting). Centuries into the future, a group of survivors led by the Crystal Exarch figured out how to send The Crystal Tower back in time to the First, and then summoned the Player Character and their allies to Save Both Worlds. The Ascian in charge of their plans on The First, Emet-Selch, was initially confused where this second Crystal Tower came from, but quickly pieced together the truth. However, though he knew what had been done, he still needed to know how it was done, and thus captures the Exarch at the end of the game planning to torture and experiment on him to learn the secrets of Time Travel for the Ascians' own purposes.
  • Friday Night Funkin': Week 6 features The Boyfriend and The Girlfriend getting sucked into a dating sim home to an angry spirit that got trapped in the game. Upon realizing The Girlfriend is the daughter of the man who trapped him, the spirit breaks out of his person-shaped can and challenges The Boyfriend to a music battle for his body.
  • Half-Life 2:
    • After the Resonance Cascade event accidentally opens a portal between the Earth and the alien world of Xen, this alerts the Combine (who had enslaved the species inhabiting Xen) of Earth's existence. After an extremely brief "war", the Combine conquer Earth and add it to their collection of enslaved worlds. Twenty years later, a similar problem threatens to happen: the Combine have mostly turned their attentions away from Earth to allow their local puppet (Dr. Breen) to rule, but Breen warns that the insurrection started by Gordon Freeman might make the Combine start paying direct attention to the Earth, which would not go well for anyone. Even after Breen is defeated, portal storms start occurring over Earth, only making it more likely that a huge Combine force will arrive to put down any further sedition.
    • Obscure details within the game lore reveal that this trope actually makes Earth extremely important to the Combine's plans. Despite their massive multiversal empire, the Combine fall into the same trap that most massive empires do: being much too large to effectively rule. Although they are capable of using portals to travel from world to world, this only transitions them between dimensions and not space. However, Earth scientists were on the cusp of discovering inter-spatial teleportation that, if perfected, could allow the Combine to mobilize their entire fleets anywhere within their massive empire at any time. This was the bargaining chip that Dr. Breen used to convince the Combine that Earthlings were valuable, but should the Combine gain such technology, then they would effectively be unstoppable.
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us: In the Injustice universe, the Joker's actions culminate in Superman becoming a megalomaniacal dictator and forming a Regime to subjugate the Earth. With most of the world's heroes either dead or supporting the new government, Batman has no choice but to recruit heroes from another dimension to put a stop to the mad tyrant. However, this also makes Superman aware of the existence of other realities, inspiring him to extend his influence across the multiverse.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • In the backstory of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, a tribe of Evil Sorcerers attempted to use their shadowy power to claim the Triforce. As punishment for their deeds, the Spirits of Light had them sealed away in the Twilight Realm, where they eventually became the Twili and mostly forgot about both Hyrule and their previous evil ambitions. Centuries later, in the "Child timeline" created at the end of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Ganondorf is also banished to the Twilight Realm. However, he has a piece of the Triforce himself, and he uses a God Guise to convince Zant to usurp the Twilight throne and raise a new army of monsters to conquer Hyrule on his behalf. So this counts as a double example: Ganondorf becomes aware of the Twilight Realm and its resources, while Zant becomes aware of Hyrule.
    • A similar situation occurs in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. Hyrule's alternate-dimension counterpart Lorule suffers a massive civil war that results in the destruction of its own Triforce; since the Triforce is a Cosmic Keystone, Lorule begins to collapse (with the implication that the entire dimension will cease to exist after enough time passes). Hilda, the Princess of Lorule, somehow learns of Hyrule's existence and, in a passionate but misguided move, sends the Evil Sorcerer Yuga to the other dimension to steal its Triforce and thus bring stability back to their own kingdom.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda: In his war to conquer the angara, the Archon, leader of the kett, has spent years trying to access and master the technology of the Remnant, but has failed to figure out a way. After human Pathfinder Alec Ryder and his team arrive in the Andromeda Galaxy, they manage to instantly do it in seconds. This makes the Archon obsessed with finding his successor (Ryder, the Player Character) to learn what makes the human species able to do what the kett have failed to. When he finds out that it's because the Ryders have their brains connected to an A.I., he captures Ryder's twin and uses them to take control of the Remnant and thus finally have the means to destroy entire planets.
  • In Phantasy Star Online 2, Shiva, the final antagonist of the story, is intrigued when she meets Phaleg Ives, a warrior who is able to briefly force her back without the use of photons. In response, Shiva deploys an entire Photoner fleet to besiege Earth.
  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart: Emperor Nefarious has conquered his own dimension, but feels no satisfaction from his conquest. The arrival of his counterpart Doctor Nefarious, along with Ratchet and Clank, through a malfunctioning Dimensionator gives him the idea that the reason he isn't satisfied is because he hasn't truly conquered everything, and that he needs to conquer every universe.
  • Ultima II: After The Stranger arrived on Sosaria in the previous game and thwarted her master/lover's plans, the sorceress Minax learns all she can about him and the world he comes from: Earth. She then uses time magic to raise an army and conquer that world in addition to Sosaria.

    Web Original 
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged: In addition to the examples of Vegeta and Frieza playing out exactly like their original versions, Goku also comes to Cell investigating the destruction of South Galaxy, accidentally letting Cell know that there are other galaxies.
    Goku: Ceeeeeeell, did you destroy South Galaxy?
    Cell: There's a South Galaxy?
    Goku: Forget you heard that.
    Cell: No.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: This is the reason why Wan Shi Tong hates humans in his library, as he believes they only seek out knowledge so they can destroy other humans. When Team Avatar tries to explain they only want to learn how to defeat the Fire Nation to protect their loved ones, Wan Shi Tong points out that everyone thinks their causes are just. His beliefs aren't exactly unfounded since when Zhao got in, he used what he read in the library to kill the moon spirit.
  • In The Jimmy Timmy Power Hour, Timmy Turner needs help with a science project and wishes to go to "the best laboratory in any universe." Cosmo and Wanda thus transport him to Jimmy Neutron's lab. Jimmy then accidentally crosses back over to Timmy's own universe while fiddling with his Auto-Poofer. There were three such specials, and each one dealt with a different villain (Mr. Crocker in the first, Professor Calamitous and the Anti-Fairies in the second, and a monster Timmy and Jimmy create together in the third) discovering the existence of the other world and setting out to either conquer or destroy it.
  • Justice League:
    • In another dimension, Lex Luthor gets elected President of the United States and kills the Flash. This proves to be too much for Superman, and he finally breaks his rule against killing to murder Luthor. He thus discovers that Evil Feels Good and leads the heroes, known now as the Justice Lords, in conquering the planet with their power (and lobotomizing anyone who dares to cross them). Both the Justice League of "our" world and the Lords learn of each other's existence at roughly the same time, with the Lords deciding to conquer Earth while the League desperately works to stop them.
    • The meeting of the Justice League and Justice Lords leads to the CADMUS arc. When Amanda Waller, who already distrusts the League, learns about what happened in the Justice Lords' dimension, she starts considering what would happen if the League ever also lost control. After computer simulations show that the League would inevitably defeat the United States military in any given scenario, Waller creates CADMUS, a top-secret project specifically designed to defeat the Justice League through the creation and cloning of superhumans loyal to the U.S. government alone.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: Throughout the first four seasons, Hordak was attempting to create a portal to allow him to escape the planet and contact his master, intergalactic conqueror Horde Prime. This trope comes in because Horde Prime had previously believed Hordak dead (he'd sent the guy on a suicide mission) and Etheria was trapped in another dimension. While curious enough to investigate a signal seemingly coming from nowhere, Prime had no idea Etheria even existed but was quick to deploy his vastly superior forces to add the planet, and the superweapon it housed, to his empire.
  • In Star Wars Rebels, after finally tracking Obi-Wan down to Tatooine, Maul questions Obi-Wan as to why he specifically chose to come to this planet of all places. Maul is quickly able to decipher that there's someone on Tatooine whom Obi-Wan is protecting, and because Maul now knows this, Obi-Wan can no longer let Maul leave Tatooine alive.
  • Teen Titans (2003): When the Teen Titans appear to help the Doom Patrol face off against the Brotherhood of Evil, this makes the Brotherhood's leader (the Brain) aware of the Titans, as well as other Kid Heroes, whom he now sees as threats equal to that of the Doom Patrol.
  • What If…? (2021): In "What If... Ultron Won?", ending life on Earth causes Ultron to expand his scope to the universe and, when he's done with that, he has an existential crisis until he becomes aware of the multiverse and yet again continues his omnicidal rampage.
  • This gets Invoked in Young Justice (2010) by the Light, who let the galaxy know about Earth and its metahuman population by mind-controlling six members of the Justice League and sending them on a rampage on another planet. This brings both the Kroloteans and the Reach to Earth, who want to exploit the super-powered potentials of humans.


Video Example(s):


Ultron Destroys the Universe

With the power of the Infinity Stones, Ultron destroys various realms of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (28 votes)

Example of:

Main / OmnicidalManiac

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