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Eviler Than Thou

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I don't expect Thanos is interested in any of your deals, Mephisto.

Jax: I'll never forgive you, Joker.
The Joker: Which of my crimes have your panties in a twist?
Jax: Making Kano seem like less of a monster.


In the Big Bad business, There Can Be Only One, and it had better not be you when I'm Eviler Than Thou.

Two villains are rivals, each wreaking havoc in their own special way. For instance, one is direct and violent, while the other is a cowardly but clever schemer, or one is selfish and the other is a Well-Intentioned Extremist. Each one has the potential to be the one and only Big Bad. The poor Heroes are caught in the middle between two completely different threats, and have to be flexible enough to stop both.

As the two villains plot, their Evil Plans will begin to collide and interfere with each other. If they meet, they will have the same reaction every time: the other villain is a disgrace to villainy's good name (or bad name, or... you know what we mean). The sneaky one thinks the violent one is a dumb brute, while the violent one thinks the sneaky one is pathetic. They may team up against the heroes for a while (each planning to double-cross the other), but usually they go for each other's throats, and the cross-fire threatens to destroy the world.


Whichever villain wins will rub it in with a cackling "The Reason You Suck" Speech about how the other villain is deficient. "People think you're scary, but deep down you're just a dumb thug." Or, "All your plotting and scheming has come to nothing when facing a real man who just fights." This is usually the end of the less horrible one. If they survive, they will often be so shocked at what the other one is planning that they team up with the heroes in an Enemy Mine. "I always thought I was doing right — this guy is just a selfish monster!" Or, "I only wanted to steal money, but his mad utopian schemes could doom the world!" They may or may not reform.

Often, the heroes (and the writers) will ponder at length which villain is worse morally, with An Aesop. Usually, the moral is about avoiding either of two extremes (for instance, pragmatic heroes dealing with a selfish villain and a fanatic villain).


Note that the victorious one doesn't necessarily have to be the more strictly evil of the two, just the more dangerous. It's entirely possible for the loser to be more twisted while simultaneously being weaker or otherwise less of a threat, and by extension less able to implement their evil as effectively.

Some villains collide, but some stories just have their contrasting plots pass each other by. Or one of the villains may be more of a comic-relief distraction from the more threatening one, which does not necessarily mean that the comic relief one is less evil.

See also Evil Versus Evil. May be part of an Evil Versus Oblivion or The Good, the Bad, and the Evil conflict. Anti Heroes (Type IV or V) and Anti Villains generally have another villain around who is eviler. Contrast Arson, Murder, and Admiration, Holier Than Thou, Lesser of Two Evils, More Hero Than Thou, A Lighter Shade of Grey. The villain claiming to be Eviler than Thou is showing that sometimes it's not true that Even Evil Has Standards, while the villain they're claiming to be worse than (if it's true and the other villain proudly agrees) may be a straight example of Even Evil Has Standards. Also one of the defining traits of a Stupid Evil character (who is usually too idiotic or shortsighted to realize that they may have to work with someone again down the line and that betraying them tends to make this impossible); this is where the phrase "don't shit where you eat" tends to show up a lot, as villains with Chronic Backstabbing Disorder borne of this trope tend to have difficulty finding people who will work with them and will have to contend with a lot of other villains who want to kick their asses. In extreme cases it may lead to Body-Count Competition particularly between public enemies and serial killers who will treat the number of their victims as proportional to their criminal status.

Compare Make Way for the New Villains, when the bigger, eviler threat is a newly introduced character, and Hijacked by Ganon, when an older Big Bad usurps a newer one.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Mayuri Kurotsuchi VS Szayel-Aporro Granz in Bleach, though it is less an "Eviler Than Thou" moment so much as "More Crazy-Prepared Than Thou".
    • Though Mayuri's Breaking Speech is all about what he sees as the unscientific nature of Szayel's way of thinking. "More Mad Scientific Than Thou"?
  • Magic Knight Rayearth II has the girls fending off three invading nations that are all plotting against each other. But when Lady Debonair starts showing up, she ends up coming off as a far more imposing threat.
  • Inuyasha:
    • Done all the time by Naraku. He's constantly employing lesser villains to help him out and ultimately they die, sometimes due to his direct influence. Seemingly subverted when Naraku is absorbed and seemingly killed by Moryumaru, but later on we find out Naraku let Moryumaru absorb him so he (Naraku) could absorb Moryumaru from the inside-out, proving anew Naraku is Eviler than Thou.
    • In the second movie, Naraku is killed during the opening credits, but it turns out it's a ploy to lure the film's main villain out of hiding so Naraku can kill her and steal her powers, and thus he returns at the climax alive and well. Nonetheless, Kaguya proves the greater evil than Naraku this round and sends him packing. When he appears yet again to absorb her while she's distracted, InuYasha blasts him with a Wind Scar, and he calls it quits... for that movie.
  • El-Hazard: The Magnificent World: Jinnai joins the heroes at the last possible moment due to an Enemy Mine situation — whereas the Phantom Tribe want to destroy the world, he wants to save the world so that he still has a chance of ruling it someday.
  • Played with in Fairy Tail. Master Hades, leader of Grimoire Heart, had his entire Evil Plan revolve around using Zeref to create a utopia ruled by mages. Despite the fact that Zeref had been built up throughout the entire series as the Greater-Scope Villain, when he finally appears on screen, it turns out he's a self-loathing Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds who wants absolutely nothing to do with Hades or his Evil Plan, and kills Hades on the spot.
    • Played straight when Minerva, a notorious Jerkass and all around psycho from previous chapters who joined a Dark Guild for entirely Sore Loser related reasons, comes face to face with Kyouka, and is immediately horrified at Kyouka's merciless slaughter of her entire guild, with the dismissive reasoning behind it being "They were weak." When someone like Minerva is shitting herself in terror, you know this person is bad news.
      • And then we have Kyouka cowering in fear of MARD GEER!!! She acted like a battered housewife right in front of him! For good reason to, as he proceeds to torture her and callously wipe out his own Mooks in order to defeat Fairy Tail, which horrified even her.
    • And Mard Geer himself finds in this position when Zeref shows off his new malevolent turn by killing Mard while he's helpless and begging Zeref for another chance.
    • Worst of all, Zeref states that using the Fairy Heart to go One-Winged Angel is the only way for him to defeat Acnologia, the Black Dragon of the Apocalypse, and without it even he is absolutely helpless. Sure enough, Acnologia is the True Final Boss of the series, requiring more power to stop than even Fairy Heart Zeref.
  • From Chapters 75 to 77 of the Manga Elfen Lied, we have a three-way portrayal of this trope, showing the three most dangerously psychotic characters from the whole Manga fighting one another: Lucy, Bando, and The Unknown Man.
  • In Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, the mercenary Black Beauty Sisters agree to work for both Gackto and Michel so that they can gain powerful humanoid forms. Both times, they plot against their superiors as soon as they get enough power (although in the second season of the anime, their betrayal comes out of a Heel–Face Turn rather than greed, as opposed to the manga). They're quickly found out both times before they can do anything. Gackto is nice enough just to turn them back into fish. Michel, however, absorbs their souls in the anime; he has a much worse punishment in the manga.
  • One Piece:
    • Capone Bege thinks he can take on Big Mom. He is wrong. And Big Mom also pulls it on Vinsmoke Judge simultaneously.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!
    • Pegasus and Bandit Keith Howard in the Duelist Kingdom arc. Pegasus is the Big Bad of the arc, a Corrupt Corporate Executive, Gentleman Snarker, and Squishy Wizard who desires to see his deceased loved one again. Keith's a thug who infiltrated the tournament and beats people up to take their Star Chips and advance to the finals; his goal is to defeat Pegasus, who once beat him in an exhibition match. After Keith is beaten by Jonouchi/Joey in the semi-finals, he confronts Pegasus and is disposed of (whether or not he lives varies between adaptation).
    • And then Pegasus ends up on the receiving end of this trope after he's defeated by Yugi, as Bakura tracks him down and takes his Millennium Eye.
    • The duel between Dark (Yami) Bakura and Dark (Yami) Marik. Marik wants to kill Yugi (or to rule the world in the dub), but Bakura is after the Millennium Items for his own purposes, and Marik has the Millennium Rod which he is willing to give up once he achieves his goal. They try to work together, but when Marik's evil alter-ego takes over his body, Bakura teams up with Marik's good half to defeat his evil half with the rod as his reward. Unfortunately for Bakura, Dark Marik turns out to be Eviler Than Thou.
    • Subverted in that it turns out later on that Dark Bakura was Eviler than everyone, it just took about "another two hundred bloody episodes" before he got his chance to show it ...or, as the case would be, even remembered it.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX has Yubel vs Amon. Considering this is the first time in the franchise since the above Bakura vs Marik example that two villains turned on each other, it's a great Moment of Awesome - the gimmick of the two, the Sacred Beasts vs Exodia, doesn't hurt either. Yubel turns out to be Eviler than Amon, but we find out during the duel Amon is a Well-Intentioned Extremist who believes Utopia Justifies the Means, which includes double-crossing his girlfriend and killing her in order to gain power after she showed Undying Loyalty to him.
  • Goes along with the Sorting Algorithm of Evil in Kinnikuman and its sequel Ultimate Muscle. At first, there's the Zangyaku/Brutal Choujin, who have no shame in fighting dirty. They don't kill unless they absolutely have to. Then we get the Akuma/Demon Choujin, who fight to kill but have a strong sense of friendship and morals. Then we get the Perfect Choujin, who feel they can do whatever they want provided their "rules" such as "Never lose, use weapons, or show emotion" don't forbid it. Then we now have the Jikan/Time Choujin, who don't even care if they mess up history to achieve their nefarious goals.
  • Lone Wolf and Cub has Abe-no-Kaii making a pretty good try at this trope, what with his willingness to poison a whole river just to kill Itto, or leaves poisoned spikes on the ground to kill Itto, plus his tendency to drink urine for no particular reason. Culminates in his accidentally flooding all of Edo, probably killing thousands. The regular evil, Retsudo Yagyu, eventually sets him up for suicide after Kaii betrays Yagyu.
  • The current battle between the newly-reincarnated Griffith and Emperor Ganishka in Berserk.
  • Black Lagoon: caps off its Hansel and Gretel arc with a confrontation between insane child-mercenary Hansel and charismatic mafia queen Balalaika. Balalaika uses snipers to effortlessly fell the psychopath and then delivers a crushing Breaking Speech to him as he bleeds to death on the floor in front of her.
  • Baccano! finishes off the Flying Pussyfoot incident with a train-top show-off between the Ax-Crazy Psycho for Hire Ladd Russo and the Ax-Crazy Awesome Sociopathic Hero Claire Stanfield. In this case it's not so much Eviler than Thou as Crazier Than Thou (especially since Claire is actually fairly heroic and virtuous compared to Ladd)
    • In addition, in the DVD bonus episodes, Ladd and Claire both separately have Crazier-Than-Thou showdowns with Talkative Loon Graham Spector.
      • And then Claire gets into a Crazier-Than-Thou match with Psychopathic Manchild Christopher Shouldered in the Light Novels. (For those wondering, by the way: nobody is crazier than Claire.)
    • There's also a strange, ongoing Eviler Than Thou competition going on between Fermet and Elmer. Fermet considers Elmer his nemesis, and has tried long and hard to break him through tormenting his loved ones and tearing down any faith in the world he might have - something that's entirely ineffective, because Elmer's a genuine sociopath, only sees his "loved ones" as tools, doesn't give a damn about the world beyond what he can get out of it, and couldn't care less about how vile his self-proclaimed "nemesis" may be. While Fermet may be an awful human being, as far as he's concerned, Elmer is far worse.
    Fermet: Your existence itself is a world-destroying evil.
  • The epic match between Ryo Mashiba vs. Ryuuhei Sawamura in Hajime no Ippo. They even let off lines like "If Mashiba is a demon, then Sawamura is the devil himself". Naturally, the match involves lots of brutal cheating on both sides. In the match however, Mashiba practically loses the veneer of humanity he had and proceeds to lay down a savage beating on Sawamura, gloating over the fact that his bloodlust is back and that he silenced his own fandom with his cruel actions. Mashiba gets disqualified for it, making Sawamura the winner, but technically Mashiba was the better boxer.
  • Tobi and Kabuto spent most of the Fourth Ninja War Arc competing for the Big Bad position of Naruto. Tobi was presented as the traditional Big Bad and had far more influence over the story than Kabuto, but Kabuto had a trump card over him, along with the Story-Breaker Power of Edo Tensei. Their goal was to gain the power of the Sage of the Six Paths but each went to do it in their own way. Kabuto planned to achieve this by getting Sasuke's body and developing his Sharingan into a Rinnegan. Tobi planned to achieve this by resurrecting the Ten Tailed Beast in order to become its Jinchuuriki for advance his plan entitled Infinite Tsukuyomi. The conflict has been resolved with Kabuto getting defeated by Sasuke and one of his resurrected pawns Itachi, his trump card (the real Madara Uchiha) breaking free of Edo Tensei and Tobi having used two resurrected shinobi owning Nine-Tails chakra to resurrect the Ten-Tails in any case.
  • This isn't really touched by the actual villains in Death Note, but in the manga, Rem really starts to see Light Yagami's good points when a Corrupt Corporate Executive obtains his Artifact of Doom.
  • In Monster, many have tried to manipulate Johan Liebert for their own means. Johan shows these people that Evil Is Not a Toy. He follows along with them to achieve his own plans but as soon as they have served their purpose, he disposes of them without a second thought. There are also quite a few insane serial killers who meet him and instantly realize that they are way out of their league and become awed by him. For example, one who believed he was a vampire, later claimed he was a mere baby bat compared to him.
  • Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns: Domino proves herself to be the greater evil than Jessie, James, and Meowth; after revealing herself to be a Team Rocket Elite, she pops the trio's balloon while expressing disgust at their bumbling natures and declaring them a disgrace to Team Rocket. Later, she frees them from a cage simply to force them to work as cleaning staff.
    • Jessie, James, and Meowth also often got this from Butch and Cassidy in the early seasons, at least before the latter were Flanderized to become just as incompetent as them.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • In Dragon Ball Z, Frieza proves to be this to Vegeta, even to the point of making the latter cry and beg Goku to defeat him, claiming that Frieza is the reason why he and most of his race ended up the way they did.
    • Dragon Ball Super reinforces this trope with Frieza. Whenever he shows up, the story goes out of its way to portray him as more evil than any other villains who happen to be around. King Yemma even states that most other villains that Goku has fought over the years have had their souls purified in Hell and been reincarnated, but Frieza's soul is still intact because he's actively resisting being purified, simply out of pure spite. Particularly in the Tournament of Power, wherein Universe 9, ruled by incompetent gods with a smarmy, greedy Supreme Kai, are horrified by Frieza's willingness to betray his own Universe if it meant an advantage, and he betrays his Universe 6 counterpart, Frost, while cruelly mocking him for being too soft and trusting (for the record, Frost has deliberately engineered genocides and profiteered off the ensuing wars).
  • Parodied in Tentai Senshi Sunred: A new and up-and-coming Evil Organization moves into Kanzaki city and demands to become Sunred's Arch-Enemy. Sunred points out he already has an Evil Organization Arch Enemy, Harmless Villains Florsheim, and tells them to go beat up Florsheim if they want the spot. Kayoko, his girlfriend, then scolds Sunred for being mean to his Arch Enemies by forcing them into actually fighting people. Sunred then reveals that Florsheim are actually very powerful as Evil Organizations go, they're just not anywhere near his level. Que Gilligan Cut of the up-and-coming Evil Organization being beaten up by a single one of Florsheim's boss monsters and Vamp scolding them for looking like no-good punks who make his monsters look bad.
  • Shinzo: Queen Rusephine uses her time travel powers to summon a past version of the Dark King Mushrambo so that he'll take care of Mushra, Sago, and Kutal. He immediately kills her instead to absorb her power.

    Comic Books 
  • In DC Versus Marvel, Darkseid does some Leaning on the Fourth Wall by sneering Thanos is a "pale imitation" of himself.note 
  • The X-Men comic book and movies contrast William Stryker, a bigoted clergyman who thinks mutants are animals, with Magneto, a mutant supremacist who thinks mutants should enslave humans (or separate themselves from humans, or just kill the humans; Magneto's opinions on what to do with normal humans vary from time to time and writer to writer, and that's not even getting into his periodic Heel Face Turns). The parallels with white supremacists and minority racists are very much open.
  • In the Tintin book Flight 714, the Big Bad and an eccentric billionaire argue under the influence of a Truth Serum about who's the most ruthless of them. This is also done faithfully in the Animated Adaptation...and is somehow even more funny when Rastapopolous and Carredias repeatedly say, "I'm the baddest! I'm the baddest!" to each other. Jump Cut to Captain Haddock spinning a roll of tape saying, "I'M the baddest!" after having taped their mouths shut.
  • Green Lantern:
    • In "Rage of the Red Lanterns", the Red Lantern Corps pulls this on the Sinestro Corps by interrupting the Sinestro Corps battle with the GLs to free Sinestro and slaughtering both sides.
    • In Blackest Night, the Black Lantern Corps have forced all of the other seven corps to work together just to survive.
    • When the Rise of the Third Army arc ended and the Wrath of the First Lantern arc began, Volthoom (the titular First Lantern) proves himself to be a far greater threat than the corrupt Guardians by effortlessly imprisoning them and annihilating their Third Army. And while the Guardians were running a universe-wide Assimilation Plot, that pales to Volthoom's plan to unravel time and space for no other reason than to prove his superiority.
  • The backstory of Darkseid's master assassin Kanto is that he was a kid on Apokolips called Iluthin who killed the previous assassin, Kanto 13. Kanto 13 was a Villainous Valor type who believed in honorable combat. Iluthin challenged him to a fight just after his workout and got his ass handed to him, but just as he was about to strike the killing blow, Kanto 13 keeled over, and it turned that Iluthin had poisoned his water. Darkseid was so impressed and glad to finally get an assassin who was unburdened by honor that he not only gave Iluthin Kanto 13's job and the name Kanto, but he got rid of the numbering system for assassins, indicating that he believed Kanto was the best he would ever get.
  • In the Spider-Man story Goblins at the Gate, the Hobgoblin (Roderick Kingsley) thinks he's manipulating the Green Goblin (Norman Osborn) to free him from prison and help him defeat Spider-Man, before he executes a takeover of Osborn's business empire. Turns out Osborn knew Kingsley was trying to use him and was just playing along to find out if Kingsley really had any blackmail material on him — and has managed to take over all of Kingsley's business empire instead. How was he able to carry it off so quickly? Easy:
    Norman: I'm Norman Osborn.
    • Fellow Spider-Man villain Mr. Negative feels no one can approach him when it comes to evil or good, because he is both in equally ridiculous proportion. He subscribes to a philosophy that because his alter ego Mr. Li is as kind as a saint, this makes his evil as Mr. Negative all the more despicable, and vice versa. In being both, he is greater than any who is but one.
  • In Spider-Man and Batman: Disordered Minds, The Joker and Carnage have an argument over who's the better serial killer. The Joker tops it off by calling himself Orson Welles and Carnage David Hasselhoff.
  • As proved by Alexander Luthor's fate at the end of Infinite Crisis, no matter what cosmic scale genocide or Crisis a DCU villain has carried out, the most dangerous villain is still a psychopath in a purple suit. Cross him at your peril.
    • In fact, the villains of the DC universe generally agree that working with the Joker is a bad idea. Only Lex Luthor is willing to do it on a regular basis, and makes sure to keep Joker on a short leash when he does, on the grounds it's best to keep him where you can see him.
    • In Justice, Luthor does leave The Joker off the supervillain team, as a reference to The Joker being left out of the Legion of Doom in Superfriends. The Joker goes even more bonkers as usual.
  • While responding to fan mail in his Dark Reign tie-in, Venom (the Mac Gargan incarnation) said:
    Venom: I know I'm not the nicest guy on the Earth, but try to compare me with the rest of my team. Daken has to kill four people per day to count it as good, Bullseye once killed a kitty that got struck in a tree just to prove he can, Norman seduced his son's girlfriend, and Ares is fricking GOD OF WAR. Next to them I'm looking like Tom Hanks.
  • Whole point of Resurrection from Star Wars Tales #9 - Sith cultists clone Darth Maul to make him fight Darth Vader, because they believe Vader has too much good inside him to be Palpatine's apprentice. This could be a Secret Test of Character, schemed by Palpatine to find out if Vader is evil enough as well.
  • In the Teen Titans storyline "The Judas Contract", Slade quickly realized that his own Dragon Terra was far more evil and dangerous than him due to her mental problems, worrying him frequently. His plan to bring down the Titans from within went off without a hitch thanks to her prowess, but immediately fell apart the moment she got pissed off at him.
  • Relatively early on in Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), Mammoth Mogul proved himself eviler than Enerjak (who was more or less the Big Bad of the Knuckles spin-off) by using the Sword of Acorns to steal his powers, reducing him to a frail old man, all while giving him "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
    • Pre-Super Genesis Wave, Dr. Eggman was said on multiple occasions to be many times more cruel and vicious than the original Dr. Robotnik ever was. Considering the fact that the original Robotnik roboticized countless Mobians, overthrew King Max, and polluted much of Mobius, as well as planned to use his Ultimate Annihilator to wipe out Knothole Village completely, that's saying something.
      • This also applies to other villains in the series, pre-Super Genesis Wave. Even if they're immortal, even if they've strange mystical powers, it's almost unanimously agreed upon that Robotnik/Eggman represents the greater evil even when he's not the most immediate threat.
  • Near the end of Grant Morrison's run on the pre-reboot Batman's books, Oberson Sexton AKA: The Joker playing hero shows Doctor Hurt why he's pathetic with a line of dominoes and an Ironic Echo of what Hurt said to him.
  • In Legacy, Darth Krayt and Darth Wyyrlok have this happen between them. Wyyrlok begins as Krayt's loyal Dragon, advisor, and chief spokesman, but after he decides Krayt is too erratic to be an effective leader any more, he kills him and takes over. Except Krayt was Only Mostly Dead and managed to come back for a head-to-head confrontation over which Dark Lord lead the Sith. Wyyrlok was cunning and had mastered all sorts of esoteric dark powers, but Krayt basically turned himself into the Star Wars equivalent of a lich and was a veritable juggernaut of dark side power. Wyyrlok didn't stand a chance.
  • The Beast and the Smiler from Transmetropolitan. The Beast is definitely not a good person, and too lazy, venal and cynical to bother with trying. The Smiler, on the other hand, is a puppy-punter of the first order, who goes out of his way to abuse any power he gets.
  • In the Boom Comics Darkwing Duck series, Negaduck uses this as justification as to why only he should be the one to turn Darkwing's life into a living hell. He also uses it to give Quackerjack "The Reason You Suck" Speech that broke him so badly, mentioning Negaduck to him sets off his Berserk Button.
  • In Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fightesr, Father Time thought he could use Gonzo the Mechanical Bastard as a puppet to rubber-stamp his authoritarian plans for the United States. He discovers almost too late that Gonzo instead plans to plunge the U.S. into chaos, and is thus forced to turn to his enemy Uncle Sam to stop it. Although it later turns out Father Time knew all along how evil Gonzo was, and set up the scenario to get the Freedom Fighters together and expose Gonzo before turning him into an Orphan Box.
  • When the Secret Six were first put together, Cheshire proved she was by far the worst of the group when she betrayed them to the Secret Society just to be free of Mockingbird's blackmail. And for added sting, she got around the threats made on her daughter's life by conceiving a replacement baby and then using that as a way to get Catman to defend her from Deadshot and the others. In every following interaction between Cheshire and the Six, she's tried to manipulate and/or kill them.
  • Revolution (2016): The different villainous factions all team-up (barring the since dissolved Decepticons, whose antagonistic members largely stayed out of the event). Miles Mayhem teams up with the Dire Wraiths who conspire to bring Baron Karza into their dimension. The Wraiths had promised Mayhem the rulership of Earth, but they betray him and in turn Karza betrays them and absorbs their ground force into himself to become the event's final boss. Interestingly enough of the three antagonists, Karza is the most sympathetic (having definitive loved ones and a goal that's noble but extreme) contrasting the Wraith's Always Chaotic Evil nature and Miles' megalomania.
  • In the Mickey Mouse Comic Universe story "Fatal Distraction", Black Pete complains that the Phantom Blot is perverse for not wanting to keep stuff he could have stolen, whereas the Blot considers anything less than Taking Over The World as an unworthy evil goal.
  • In Hack/Slash, Akakios murders the Black Lamp leadership for rebelling against him and wiping his memory, but also upbraids them for being evil in a self-serving and hedonistic way instead of getting on with his "cull humanity" plan.
  • The Batman Who Laughs, first introduced in Dark Nights: Metal, is this to The Joker. While the Joker has only once expressed Omnicidal Maniac desires (in Emperor Joker) and typically is only a threat to Gotham, the Batman Who Laughs managed to kill everyone on his world (except Damian and Alfred whom he corrupted) and joined Barbatos just so he could keep doing killing entire worlds of people. He even tried to destroy the multiverse. The Joker even leaves the Legion of Doom in Justice League (2018) because he's horrified by the Batman Who Laughs and hates playing the straight man. In Dark Nights: Death Metal, he makes another attempt at destroying the multiverse, in which he declares himself Eviller Than Thou to Perpetua, the Social Darwinist and Multiversal Conqueror who up to then had been the Big Bad of the DCU since DC Year of the Villain.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Wonder Woman considers the second Cheetah "far worse than Priscilla Rich" because all Priscilla "cared about was personal revenge on her imagined enemies" while the new Cheetah sees "the whole world as her enemy".
  • Sabretooth once managed to bring Lady Deathstrike and Omega Red together to target Wolverine's friends and family, only to end up betraying both of them and forcing an Enemy Mine between Wolverine and the Weapon X Program itself.
  • The miniseries Batman: Three Jokers is about three men sharing the identity of the Joker. The three Jokers represent different periods in the character’s history: the Criminal (the Golden Age Joker) is the most serious and the de factor leader of the trio; the Comedian (The Killing Joke Joker) is a sadistic psychopath; and the Clown (the Silver Age/A Death in the Family Joker) is Laughably Evil and largely along for the ride. The Clown is executed by Jason Todd in the first issue, and the Criminal serves as the Big Bad of the series, working towards a larger goal of creating the ultimate Joker by exposing Joe Chill to the Joker Venom, with the Comedian serving as his henchman and focussed mostly on tormenting Jason and Batgirl. However, in the final pages of the last issue, the Comedian kills the Criminal, leaving him as the one true Joker. He explains to Batman that unlike the campy and unimaginative Clown, or the Criminal who had plans and ideals, all he wants is to cause Batman pain until one or both of them is dead, even manipulating Batman into forgiving Chill so the Joker could be the person he hates the most. This is also a case of Adaptational Villainy, as The Killing Joke is the most sympathetic backstory ever offered for the Joker. This version is heavily implied to have been an abusive asshole even before becoming the Joker, and it’s revealed that his pregnant wife didn’t die, she faked her death to escape him.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics): In the pre-reboot series, Dr. Eggman was considered this to the rest of Sonic's Rogues Gallery. Even if they're immortal, even if they've strange mystical powers, it's almost unanimously agreed upon that Eggman represents the greater evil even when he's not the most immediate threat:
    • For starters, he's repeatedly described as many times more cruel and vicious than the original Dr. Robotnik ever was. Considering the list of atrocities that the original Robotnik wracked up before being taken downnote , that's saying something.
    • During the Brave New Moebius arc, the Council of Acorn refuse to let the Freedom Fighters take back Freedom HQ from Scourge and the Suppression Squad for this very reason, insisting that compared to Eggman, Scourge is no threat. Their reasoning is vindicated when Eggman overwhelms and nearly defeats Scourge using Metal Sonic and Metal Scourge, the latter of which he literally put together and sent out on the fly.

    Fan Works 
  • In The Official Fanfiction University of Middle-earth, Morgoth and Sauron constantly fight over this.
  • At one point during Queen of All Oni, Ikazuki proves himself eviler than Jade, due to his greater experience (and arguably the fact that he's a full-blooded Oni, compared to Jade's hybrid status), and quickly assumes control of the Shadow Hand, forcing her to serve him.
  • In the Death Note fic Constant Temptation Beyond somehow manages to make Kira look like a decent human being.
  • In the Death Note fic A Cure for Love when Misa approaches the terrorist organization Astraea for help, they are not at all impressed, and if not for Rem they would have killed her. However, most of Astraea's members Squee! like rabid fanboys when they meet Light, the original Kira. Light himself is less than impressed with them and takes issue that they used his name and his powers to target innocents.
  • Child of the Storm:
    • Lucius and Von Strucker eventually end up in one of these in Book 1. Lucius wins. However, it is perhaps a moot point since it's blatantly obvious to all concerned that Gravemoss is far more evil than either of them could ever be. The only reason he doesn't take charge is that he doesn't want to. Plus, he's too insane and erratic.
    • In the sequel, there's a brief one as part of Dracula's Establishing Character Moment, as he makes it very clear that he will not play the part of Voldemort's pawn simply because Voldemort's dangling information he really, really wants under his nose. Instead, Voldemort will give him all the relevant information, and then, and only then, if it is sufficient, will he work with Voldemort. Then it gets turned on its head, as Voldemort successfully manipulates him onto a collision course with Harry - who's got a fragment of the Phoenix inside him, an entity that Dracula is terrified of and with damn good reason - and the Avengers, at the right time to serve as a distraction for Voldemort's own plans, which apparently go off without a hitch.
  • In Harry Riddle Grindelwald regards Voldemort as just an upstart. Also, Harry is completely unfazed by Filch's threats:
    Filch: Oh yes. Hard work and pain are the best teachers if you ask me. It's a pity they aren't still using the old punishments. You probably wouldn't be so quick to break the rules if you'd end up hanging by your thumbs from the ceiling for a day or two.
    Harry: Sounds like something my father does to people on his days off.
  • The Pony POV Series:
  • Equestrylvania: The aura from just one of Dracula's body parts is described as feeling worse than Nightmare Moon, King Sombra, or even his own minions.
  • In Kage, a Jackie Chan Adventures and W.I.T.C.H. crossover, Jade mentally compares Prince Phobos and Shendu, who were both tyrannical rulers. She decides that Phobos is worse, since unlike Shendu, Phobos was human like some of his subjects, and therefore didn't have Fantastic Racism as an excuse for how he treated them.
  • Heaven's Light: Mother Gothel's no saint, but when she gets mixed up with Frollo, it's clear who the bigger bad is.
  • Mercury of the Inheritance Cycle fanfic Phoenix-fire gave a "The Reason You Suck" Speech about the old Big Bad Galbatroix to the captured female protagonist, who is also his former/current Love Interest. What makes it especially interesting is that Mercury had up until that story worked with the dragon riders.
  • Hope for the Heartless — a fanfic set after the events of The Black Cauldron — centers around the Horned King being resurrected for an impossible Redemption Quest. It's revealed that the Black Cauldron contains the spirit of his former master, Arawn, the Death Lord of Annuvin. Before his death, Arawn was the only one who surpassed the Horned King in evilness. He also shows disgust at his former apprentice — who was his finest warrior — for "becoming a disgrace to the name of Evil" due to Avalina.
  • During her attempts to convert various worlds in The Conversion Bureau: Worlds Where It Wouldn't Work, Xlestia has repeatedly come across even worse villains who often turn the tables are her.
  • Webwork: Simon Leston, the new Squid Khan General, is an Ax-Crazy Misanthrope Supreme who intends to become a full Omnicidal Maniac, simply because he can. Tohru mentally declares him to be worse than any other villain that the J-Team has ever faced, since they used death and destruction as a means to an end, while Leston sees it as an end in and of itself.
  • In Evil Be Thou My Good, while Harry is willing to admit that Voldemort is scary under the right circumstances, after having witnessed the sheer evil of the Cenobites, he knows the Dark Lord can't compare. When he tricks Voldemort into opening the Lament Configuration, the Death Eaters are wiped out in a single night.
  • In the Kung Fu Panda fic The Vow, Lord Shen acknowledges that the destruction Tai Lung wrought upon the Valley of Peace upon the snow leopard's Face–Heel Turn doesn't look nearly as heinous as the panda massacre the peacock noble himself committed.
  • Played with in The Ultimate Evil when Valerie compares Shendu with Valmont; she never thinks that either of them is morally superior, but she decides that the demon dragon who has continuously saved her life and is trying to win her heart by her terms has more honor than the greedy crime lord.
    In her eyes — she didn't know whether it had always been so, or if this was something new — Valmont was a scumbag criminal who would stoop to any means and do anything and everything just for a little money. But Shendu, despite being a lying, murderous and evil demon, had at times shown some form of honour, and he was more sophisticated and regal then Valmont. Valmont hid what he was behind an air of aristocracy and superiority that made her blood boil, but Shendu let you know up front what you were dealing with. That little shred of honesty, no matter how vile in its using, still made Shendu more worthy to Valerie then Valmont could ever hope to be.
  • '''Sailor Saturn and the 8 Mistresses''' introduces Mistress 9’s older sisters, the titular 8 mistresses all of whom are more depraved and sadistic than she is. Dr. Tomoe had them sealed away rather than harness their power, but they get unsealed by accident, starting the events of the story.
  • The New Adventures of Invader Zim:
  • This feeds into Cinder's insanity in The RWBY Loops. When she started looping, she was the closest thing to a Big Bad Remnant had; after the expansion where Salem's existence was revealed, the part of her that indulged in villainy grew increasingly frustrated and disgusted with her position as damaged minion, leading to her repeatedly usurping Salem and eventually attempting to achieve power greater then she had ever offered.
  • Once Darkseid kills Vandal Savage in Young Justice: Darkness Falls, the Light essentially goes on the defensive, playing subservient to him, or going into hiding rather than try and subvert a merciless alien. All except for Klarion who ends up carrying out his plans openly.
  • Infinity Crisis:
    • In The Stinger, Lillian Luthor finds this out the hard way when Lena turns out to really be Morgan Le Fay.
    • Thanos actually finds himself struck by the sheer evil of Darkseid.
    • Lucifer observes that Mephisto is the entity responsible for all the really negative things he was meant to do.
  • Nightmare in Arkham (Batman, A Nightmare on Elm Street )
    • One fascinating truth about the Batman comic and the "villains" inside it is that there really are no bad guys per se. Yes, there are people who do evil deeds, but all of them are also victims of society themselves once, just like Batman. That's another important connection that links them all together. Freddy Krueger, on the other hand, chooses to be evil from the start, and the twisted methods he uses to kill the "villains" of Arkham by targeting their tortured pasts really highlights how human they really are. And When Batman goes up against him, he actually proves to be just as vulnerable as the rest of his victims because of his relatable flaws and fears and the tragic events that molded him into what he is. But then Freddy comes face to face with the Joker.
    • The only villain in the Batman universe that actually deserves the title of "villain" is the Joker. The Joker has no credible backstory, no clear motivation, and no reason in his decision making. He is the complete embodiment of pure insanity, which is actually way worse than the embodiment of fear/evil like Freddy. The main difference is, evil is predictable. People who are evil have clear motivations and will stop at nothing to carry them out, no matter who or what has to suffer for it. Fear can easily be overcome by a willing victim, but insanity is a whole different story. There is no predictable pattern when it comes to insanity, and sometimes not even a motivation. Insanity can sometimes be treated, but it can never be fully cured or even completely understood. This is how the Joker is able to turn the tide against Freddy. With absolutely nothing to exploit from the Joker, Freddy's power of fear and evil is rendered completely useless against the Joker's chaotic, twisted mind.
  • In Loved and Lost, Prince Jewelius allies with Queen Chrysalis to conquer Equestria on Princess Cadance and Shining Armor's wedding day, but he ends up betraying her and helping Twilight Sparkle in stopping the Changelings so that he can use the aftermath of the invasion to make himself Equestria's king. He afterwards plans to create a Slave Race out of the imprisoned Changelings and have Chrysalis killed like an animal, mocking her for actually believing he'd start an Unholy Matrimony with a "despicable animal" like her. In the end however, once all of Jewelius' minions are defeated and he's cornered by the heroes in the climax, the escaped Changelings (whom Jewelius arrogantly refused to consider as a threat) come to take their gruesome revenge on Jewelius who's too spineless to even fight back.
  • In The Dimensional War Snoke and Count Graduon are quite dangerous on their own. But Ganondorf is much worse, tortures the former in two separate pots of tar for each of his halves and brutally kills the latter in one hit when challenged for the throne.
  • A Diplomatic Visit: Discussed in chapter 2 of the sequel, Diplomat at Large, where Queen Tegmina admits that Chrysalis, with her greed and selfishness, was worse than even Tirek, who also lusted for power, in that regard.
  • J-WITCH Season 1:
    • As the story goes on, it becomes increasingly apparent that Daolon Wong is worse than Prince Phobos. While Phobos is an Evil Overlord, he still has some standards; by contrast, Wong relishes in being evil and actively works to try and make Phobos do so as well.
    • When Phobos tells his other chief minion, Lord Cedric, that he has no intention of killing Elyon once he has stolen her magic, Cedric's thoughts reveal that he thinks Phobos is too soft and that like Daolon Wong, he's planning to usurp Phobos when the time is right.
    • When it becomes clear to Phobos that Tarakudo's plan to make Jade the Queen of the Shadowkhan again only resulted in her becoming the Guardian of Shadows, he threatens to end his Villain Team-Up with the Oni King. Tarakudo responds by restraining the prince with his telekinetic powers and tells him in a calm tone that while he intends to keep his end of their bargain, he won't tolerate such a tone from Phobos in the future, or there'll be unspeakable horrors in store for the latter. Fearful for one of the few times in his life, Phobos relents.
  • Harry Potter and the Mystic Force: Once the true Big Bad (Ivan Ooze) reveals himself, he quickly puts the other villains in their place. He sends Voldemort running, kills Imperious and the Ten Terrors, and strips Necrolai of her powers.
  • This image. All the other Disney villains are, for most part, very entry-level in terms of evil deeds. Thanos, however, managed to wipe out half of his universe and considers it to be for good.
  • Code Prime: The Britannians are an empire of Social Darwinists who brutally oppress everyone they conquer. However, for the most part they still operate with a certain honor code, if only to delude themselves into thinking they're in the right. By contrast, the Decepticons are even more brutal and they fully embrace it, not even trying to pretend to be anything else. And in the end they prove themselves more powerful, easily crushing the Britannian military and destroying their capital, seizing control of all their territory.
  • Equestria Girls: A Fairly Odd Friendship: The Dazzlings establish themselves as the most dangerous villains in the setting, not just outwitting everyone but managing to intimidate Doombringer into being their minion.
  • Earth's Alien History:
    • Darkseid is noted to be the one being in the universe that Ra and the other System Lords are afraid of.
    • A group of Scrin corrupted by Dark Ichor (a mixture of Tiberium and Phazon) attempt to take over Phazee, even corrupting Dark Samus... who proceeds to turn the tables and enslave them.
  • Stormwolf Timeline has the Force Dyad between Rey and Kylo being created by the Dark One, an evil worse than Palpatine who is also an enemy of him.
  • Becoming A True Invader: The Employer's forces make mincemeat of the Irken Empire, quickly devastating every major planet they come across.

    Films — Animation 
  • Megamind: The title character is horrified when he finds out that Titan/Hal turned out to be a villain who enjoys wreaking havoc out of pure spite.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks: Adagio Dazzle is essentially an even more jerkass version of the first film's Sunset Shimmer, only with far more threatening abilities and a diabolical mindset thrown into the mix. She even goes so far as to tell the Heel-Face Turned Sunset herself that the Dazzlings will succeed where she failed and further mocks her by saying that no-one will remember her actions when they're done with CHS. Fittingly enough, it's Sunset Shimmer who ultimately provides the winning edge the Rainbooms need to win.
  • In The Batman vs. Dracula, the titular Dracula proves just how much he outclasses any threat previously seen in Gotham when he enslaves Joker and Penguin, the two most dangerous criminals the city has to offer. First, he hypnotized Penguin into becoming his human servant and turned Joker into another vampire minion.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy:
    • In The Dark Knight, The Joker constantly berates small-time crooks and mobsters for being petty and shallow enough to care only about profit while ignoring loftier ideals of Evil:
      Joker: You and your kind, all you care about is money. This city deserves a better class of criminal. And I'm gonna give it to them!
    • The Dark Knight Rises: John Daggett hires Bane to help him in his schemes to take control of Wayne Enterprises, and realizes all too late that Bane was the one who was using him all along. Bane is also implied to have actually been too evil and extreme for Ra's al Ghul and the League of Shadows themselves.
      Daggett: You're pure evil!
      Bane: I'm necessary evil. (snaps Daggett's neck)
  • In The Rocketeer, Mob boss Eddie Valentine turns on his partner, actor Neville Sinclair, the moment he learns the latter's scheme is to turn the rocket-pack over to the Nazis. "I might not make an honest buck, but I'm one hundred percent American!"note 
  • Star Wars:
  • A major plot element in The Ninth Gate is that two very rich and rather nasty people — a Satanist and a guy who just wants the power — are both after a book believed capable of summoning the devil. Ultimately this leads to an epic scene in which the latter crashes the former's black mass, kills her in plain sight of the other cultists, and gives a rant saying "You Satanists are amateurs, only I understand the true power of this book" while they flee in terror.
    Balkan: Look around, what do you see? A bunch of buffoons in fancy dress. You think the Prince of Darkness would deign to manifest himself before the likes of you? He never has and he never will!
  • The "black" Predators in Predators are bigger, nastier and somehow even uglier than the classic green Preds. Instead of hunting humans on their own turf, they kidnap human warriors to hunt them on a "game preserve" planet, in between torturing the classic ones they've captured.
  • In Captain America: The First Avenger, Johann Schmidt betrays a delegation of Those Wacky Nazis when they come to see his work (having reassigned him to the Alps for his transformation), revealing that one of the cities he plans to bomb in his attempt to gain power with his Asgardian weapons was Berlin. You know the guy is evil when he becomes worse by taking off the Reich.
  • In Akira Kurosawa's Ran, the Setting Update of King Lear, Lady Kaeda plays the same role that Edmund plays in the play, but she is even more evil than Edmund, as it turns out that the daimyo in the role of Lear destroyed her entire family when she was little, and she's been in it for revenge for decades.
  • In Hellraiser: Bloodline, Pinhead berates his demon ally Angelique for trying to win John Merchant over through seduction. He thinks it takes too long and wouldn't be as much fun as torturing John and his loved ones until they give in.
  • In Stargate Continuum, the other Goa'uld System Lords are appalled at Ba'al's choice of a pragmatic strategy for the invasion of Earth by framing it as the start of a benevolent new alliance for the Tau'ri/humans. His consort Qetesh assassinates him for this and orders the fleet to get back to their traditional way of doing things: obliterate every human on the planet with an orbital bombardment.
  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie: Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa free Ivan Ooze from his prison, expecting him to be willing to work for them. Instead, Ivan imprisons them in a snowglobe and usurps their minions and operations.

  • In The Elric Saga, Stormbringer compares himself to Elric immediately after killing and devouring Elric's soul. "Farewell friend. I was a thousand times more evil than thou." Despite Elric being an anti-hero, having destroyed his homeland and most everyone in it, partnering with entities of chaos, conveniently falling "in love" with every major female character in The Multiverse and generally being an amoral prick should constitute him evil enough for comparison. Stormbringer is eviler than Elric though — Stormbringer is a demon forged into the shape of a sword, and has often been a corrupting influence on Elric. This line could also be read as something of a subversion. Taking responsibility for the actions throughout Elric's life that had left him racked with guilt, rather then claiming superiority.
  • Makuta gives at least two of these in BIONICLE
    • The first came in Time Trap to the Shadowed One when the latter seals the former in protodermis, says he'll "deal with him later", and turns to leave.
    Makuta: Dark Hunter. If you believe that you can "deal with me", then you know nothing of Makuta! (shatters bonds, advances) You have challenged me. Wounded me. Imprisoned me. Dared to place your petty ambitions above my wishes. You sought to make time your ally, Shadowed One— now let it be your death! (hurls Shadowed One against time-creature Voporak, the former begins to rapidly age)
    Makuta: You...made a...mistake, Karzahni. You see, I don’t get nightmares... (backhands Karzahni and sends him to the ground) I give them. Your shadow plays are impressive, tyrant – but never forget who is the true master of shadows. (proceeds with the Mind Rape)
  • Harry Potter:
    • The early books contrast the all-consuming evil of Voldemort with the petty, selfish bullying of Draco Malfoy. In later books the misguided and corrupt Ministry of Magic, personified especially by Dolores Umbridge, takes over as secondary villain.
    • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows contrasts the 1940s-era Dark Wizard Gellert Grindelwald (a Knight Templar who believed Wizards should oppress Muggles for the Muggles' "own good") with the series's perennial antagonist Lord Voldemort (a deranged terrorist who thinks Muggles should just be killed). At the end, it's a guy who thought he was doing the right thing (who felt remorse later in life and spent his entire prison sentence wondering if he was right or not), versus someone who's just in it for power and the Evulz. Three guesses who wins.
    • However, when the two meet, Grindelwald is an old, powerless man who has been in prison for almost sixty years, pondering whether he was doing the right thing. Grindelwald in his prime could conceivably have been a match for Voldemort in terms of power and wickedness. And Grindelwald refuses to give Voldemort the information he wants, and laughs at him despite knowing that Voldemort would kill him. Given that he was entirely at Voldemort's non-existent mercy, that's pretty impressive.
  • In Tigana, two wizards from different foreign lands have each conquered nearly half of the land where the story is set. One is simply a sadistic bully. The other has more redeeming qualities, but causes his subjects even more misery by crushing a province to avenge his son's death there. Not merely crushing; he seeks to obliterate all memory that it has ever existed, and renamed it after its most hated rival.
  • Animorphs had Visser Three and Visser One. Visser One was in charge, but Visser Three did the micromanagement and was who the heroes dealt with most often. Nevertheless, on more than one occasion, they had to stop Visser Three from getting promoted, because his tactics would have been worse. And they were. In the arc leading up to Visser One's death and Visser Three's promotion, especially in Visser, Esplin (Visser Three) proves himself to be far and away eviler than Edriss (Visser One). Stupider, but definitely eviler.
  • In the Chaotic Evil versus Lawful Evil showdown, may we present Psycho for Hire John Dread and Corrupt Corporate Executive Felix Jongleur from Tad Williams' Otherland? Fight, boys!
  • The protagonist of For Love of Evil twice has to battle other villains for the job of being Satan. Oddly enough, he wins, at least in part, because he isn't as evil as they are — he has friends who are willing to help him, while his rivals don't.
  • Recurring theme in the Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher. In the first book, Kord is contrasted with Well-Intentioned Extremist Fidelias. It is even explicitly spelled out in one dialogue, where someone concludes that the latter is more dangerous than the former.
    • In later books, we see contrast between High Lord Aquitainus and High Lord Kalarus, and ultimately between all of the human(oid) villains and the Vord.
  • Mordeth in The Wheel of Time series compared to the Dark One.
  • In Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files, Harry has several possible Big Bads who want the pleasure of either killing him or having him join them: Cold blooded fallen angels, Well-Intentioned Extremist / Lawful Stupid other wizards, devious vampires, and secret societies. Thus far the fallen angels are probably in the lead, but given that the Black Council has barely acted overtly at this point it seems the likely favorite. Especially as it's been implied that there may be some Denarians in the Black Council.
    • In the backstory, there's Heinrich Kemmler, a necromancer from the time of the World Wars (and a serious appreciation for Putting on the Reich). While he is extremely super mega-dead in the present, basically everyone who knows about him thinks he's a real monster. Even beings who normally don't bother with morality like Bob the Skull and Queen Mab flatly call him a monster.
  • While William Walker and Doctor Alice Hong from S.M. Stirling's Island in the Sea of Time trilogy are not exactly rivals they do have a conversation about this. Walker argues that while Hong tortures people in an extraordinarily sadistic fashion compared to the normal methods of killing he employs, he is far more evil than she is because of the sheer volume of people he kills. While Hong and her priestesses have tortured hundreds of people to death Walker's armies have slaughtered tens of thousands of people in his campaigns of conquest. Hong concedes that Walker is right. What's most amusing is that this instance of "Eviler than Thou" is actually Walker giving Hong a peptalk. She is feeling a little down what with being a horrible monster who castrates people without anesthetics and gets off on it. He gives her a speech about how he is ten thousand times worse than her and feels nothing because he is an Übermensch, and that she should be too. She feels a little better after this hilariously twisted exchange.
  • Marching Through Georgia, the first installment of Stirling's Drakaverse series, has the sadistic, slaveholding Draka face off against Nazi Germany, whom the Draka see both as a strategic threat and as barbarians for murdering people in concentration camps rather than putting them to good use. The book gives many readers the uneasy feeling of wanting the Nazis to win once the Draka philosophy is outlined.
  • Friday the 13th: Hell Lake contrasts two serial killers, one based on Richard Ramirez and the other based on Ted Bundy.
  • In The Prefect by Alastair Reynolds, Panoply's only hope is to defeat an evil super intelligent AI is to enlist another super intelligent AI who is merely bad, insane and bent on vengeance ..maybe.
  • In Peter F. Hamilton's The Reality Dysfunction, the souls of the dead are returning to possess the living, but they need permission to take control of a live person's body. No problem; they use their reality-warping powers to torture and terrorize the victim until the living soul goes catatonic and lets the dead soul in. Then one of them tries this with Quinn Dexter, who happens to be a Satanic cultist, a psychotic serial killer, and possibly the most evil person in the galaxy. Dexter has no trouble terrorizing his own possessor into submission, which leaves him in control of both his own body and his possessor's supernatural powers. The former possessor can only watch helplessly as Dexter becomes a malevolent demigod bent on enslaving humanity and turning the galaxy into a literal Hell.
  • In Outlander Leander Signe and Lieran are rival villains. While Lieran is content to keep the counterfeiting ring as it is and staying under the radar of the law, Signe intends to expand her mother's crime ring and gain access to better weapons and vehicles.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Littlefinger ultimately pulls this on House Lannister when he plots with House Tyrell to kill the Lannisters' Puppet King, Joffrey Baratheon. Stretching even further, they were one of his many Unwitting Pawns in starting the War of the Five Kings.
    • Theon Greyjoy, meet Ramsay Snow. Have fun.
  • In 1984, a character representing the Party disparages other dictatorships for not having realized the true For the Evulz logic of power and thus being hypocrites.
    We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.
  • In the Gods of Mars, Phaidor thinks that she and her fellow Holy Therns rule Barsoom, because their fake religion has tricked almost all of the Red and Green Martians into making a suicidal pilgrimage. She is disabused of this notion when the Firstborn show up; it turns out that the real objective of the Holy Therns' religion is to make them fat and complacent so that the Firstborn can carry them off to be enslaved and/or eaten.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Tales of the Bounty Hunters: The IG-88 that took the bounty on the Millennium Falcon follows Boba Fett to Cloud City, planning to snatch the bounty out from under him. Instead, Fett ambushes the droid and destroys it, hence why there's a dead IG-88 in the scene where Chewie and the Ugnaughts are fighting over C-3PO's limbs. Two of the other droids try to avenge their fallen brother between films, but Fett destroys those, too. The last tries to do this to Palpatine by copying itself over the Death Star computer with the intention of wiping out both sides in the battle of Endor; other than messing with elevator timing nobody ever even noticed.
    • The Yevetha from Black Fleet Crisis and the Yuuzhan Vong from New Jedi Order have a number of similarities, both being Scary Dogmatic Aliens with pain obsessions and a taste for genocide. About midway through the NJO series, a group of planets the Yevetha had previously targeted worry that they're preparing to try again (with good reason) and make a Deal with the Devil: they surrender to the Yuuzhan Vong without a fight, in exchange for the Vong glassing the Yevetha homeworld and wiping out the entire species. No great loss.
  • Judge Holden in Blood Meridian confronts and eventually murders the kid, a multiple murderer who's at least complicit in the mass slaughter the gang takes part in, for holding some "clemency" in his heart.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode "Face My Enemy", HYDRA leader Daniel Whitehall confronts Raina, who's responsible for stealing the Diviner before HYDRA could get their hands on it. Raina attempts to talk her way out the situation, like she has so often before, but Whitehall quickly cuts her off and leaves her in no doubt that she bitten off way more than she can chew getting on HYDRA's bad side.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The vampires Angelus and Spike during the second season. Angelus, the more sadistic of the two, tried to drag the world into Hell, but was defeated when Spike and Buffy teamed up against him. Ironically, Angelus and Spike both underwent a Heel–Face Turn (although at different times) from Buffy's arch-enemy to Buffy's ally and lover. Both were karmically "punished" by regaining their souls (and thus their conscience and ability to feel guilt), and both underwent a sort of Karmic Death: Angel was swallowed by the demon Acathla and spent centuries in hell, while Spike became the show's Anti-Villain Butt-Monkey, suffering numerous humiliations and beatdowns and Badass Decay. Plus, then he had a literal Karmic Death in his Heroic Sacrifice in the final episode of season 7, though came back to life (or unlife) for "Angel" season 5 and carried on as a character in the comic continuations of both series.
    • Mr. Trick comes to regard Kakistos as an old-fashioned fool, abandoning him to be killed by Faith and Buffy ("These vengeance crusades are out of style, it's the modern vampire who sees the big picture.")
  • Degrassi, in its third and fourth seasons, contrasted Jay (a sociopathic criminal mastermind) with Rick (an unstable maniac who beat his girlfriend). When their schemes collided, Jay turned out to be Eviler than Thou — but Rick got more dangerous as Jay backed him into a corner. The sixth season has contrasted Drake (a violent gang leader) with Peter (a sleazy operator who was born to blackmail and frame people). So far, their schemes have not collided.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Master teams up with an evil alien in all five stories of Season 8. With two exceptions, he proves himself Eviler Than They. The exceptions: he agrees to help the Doctor destroy Axos in "The Claws of Axos", and he gets completely owned by Azal in "The Dæmons".
    • A very ironic variant in "Genesis of the Daleks". Davros, the creator of the Daleks, ends up being killed by his creations because they are programmed to believe that no other being is superior to them. Including Davros.
    • In "The Five Doctors", the Master teams up with the Cybermen, whose intentions to kill him later are clear to the audience from the beginning of the partnership. They never get a chance to, though, as he leads them directly into a death trap. Ironically, in this example the Master is actually on the Doctor's side, until he finally gets sick of the fact that none of the Doctors — not exactly without just cause — refuse to believe him.
    • "Army of Ghosts"/"Doomsday": An entire army of Cybermen stomps onto Earth from a parallel universe, seemingly taking control of the planet. Then four Daleks show up, and make it clear they view the Cybermen as no more than a pest problem even before they get matching numbers.
    • In "The End of Time", Rassilon proves to be even more evil than the Master, demonstrating it by listening to the Master's Evil Plan, then effortlessly undoing all he'd done so far with a literal flick of his wrist, restoring humanity, but not out of altruism — the way he immediately pulls a Kneel Before Zod on everyone present (which, scarily enough, they comply with) shows that he did it solely to screw with the Master and demonstrate who held the power. Needless to say, the Master gets the message, and immediately changes tack, submitting to Rassilon. Heck, Rassilon turns out to be responsible for driving the Master towards villainy, as part of a plan to escape the Time War and achieve godhood. However, the Master ultimately gets his own back, frying Rassilon and killing him so brutally, electrical energy mixed with shoving white star diamonds down his throat that his regeneration turned him into a frail old man — and that was after it was stabilised.
    • "World Enough and Time"/"The Doctor Falls": The "Harold Saxon" Master is responsible for the creation of Mondas-type Cybermen aboard a giant colony ship and allying with his future self Missy. Ultimately, though, thanks to the Doctor, the Cybermen grow out of control and start hunting Time Lords as well, and the Master and Missy end up killing one another over Missy's plan to go and help the Doctor.
  • Scorpius to Crais in Farscape. In fact, it is Scorpius's bullying of Crais that leads the latter to his Heel–Face Turn and Heroic Sacrifice.
  • The Maniax of Gotham had a brief contest between Jerome Valeska and a cannibal named Robert Greenwood, about who should lead the group of escaped maniacs. Greenwood's argument was that he terrorised the whole city and ate twelve women while Jerome merely chopped his mother to death. Jerome retorted that he despite his young age, has a vision and ideas about chaos and ambition and just eating people grows old after a while. And he proves to have all those qualities along with a total disregard for his own life which earns him the leadership among the psychopaths, essentially winning by proving that no matter how depraved others are, he has taken the idea of amorality and evil to a level that very few can even comprehend.
  • Bennet and Sylar were villains in the first season of Heroes, Sylar being a sociopathic power cannibal, and Bennet a "for the greater good" kidnapping Government Conspiracy-employed Magnificent Bastard. Sylar eventually proved the greater threat thanks to the former's Start of Darkness and Morality Pet daughter.
    • Linderman and Sylar could be considered the two driving villains of the show's first season. Linderman being The Faceless Anti-Villain, wanting to do "good"; and Sylar the ever present Implacable Man. They never meet or intersect, but Linderman's plot for world renewal hinged on Sylar (or two other people) exploding in New York. His reasons for being so sure this would happen were sketchy.
    • On the other hand, Sylar was given a sympathetic Start of Darkness episode, too, in which we got to meet him as the gentle and nerdy Gabriel Gray before Chandra Suresh put all that talk about an Evolutionary Imperative into his head. In another episode, we got to meet Gabriel's neurotic mother. Sylar was horrified at the idea of becoming an Exploding Man and wiping out millions of lives. As evil villains go, he's not completely without redeeming qualities. The third season of Heroes will show if he comes out Eviler than Thou when pitted against other homicidal superpowered villains, or if he effects a Heel–Face Turn.
      • Sylar's doubts about destroying New York last for about ten minutes before he's out pursuing exploding powers, laughing as Peter is about to explode, and preventing Hiro from stopping the Exploding Peter. I don't think we can really think of Sylar as being all that sympathetic.
    • And now, Season 3 has brought us Arthur Petrelli, whose plan seems certain to blow up the world... and who has effortlessly defeated most of the other villains on the show. It's gotten to the point where a villain has defeated at least as many evildoers as the actual heroes!
    • It would seem that Sylar has won the Eviler than Thou contest. Arthur Petrelli lost due to a bad case of bullet to the brain, courtesy of Sylar.
    • The second part of Season Three has Sylar (still a super-powered egomaniac following his own whims) versus Danko (a non-powered, highly disciplined government agent acting on orders from the President). Sylar turns out to eviller this time too. We should perhaps just accept that you cannot out-evil Sylar... but Samuel wants to give it a try.
    • And Samuel vs. Sylar results in a draw on technical grounds — because Sylar makes yet another Heel-Face Turn before helping Peter defeat Samuel.
  • Horrible Histories gives us four of the nastiest Roman Emperors trying to one-up each other through a Villain Song (based on Michael Jackson's "Bad"). Despite the presence of The Caligula himself, the clear winner is Nero.
    Nero: I'm bad! So baddy! Of badness, I'm the daddy! Come on, I wanna see a more evil bloke than me!
    Others: You're bad! Real bad! Nothing more to add! We all thought that we were awful, but you are really, truly, maaad!
  • iZombie: Blaine and Vaughn in the later parts of the first season and throughout most of the second one. Blaine is a small-time crook trying to make it into the big leagues through charisma, guile and by profiting off of the zombie community. Vaughn is a Corrupt Corporate Executive who only thinks he's brilliant and charming but only really poses a threat due to being so obscenely wealthy, and who wants to kill all zombies as a side project. Adding to the symmetry is that they are jointly responsible for the existence of zombies in the first place: the zombie outbreak came from a combination of tainted drugs sold by Blaine and an experimental new energy drink developed by Vaughn's company.
  • Several Kamen Rider shows have this happen to at least one villain:
    • Kamen Rider OOO presents Kazari as the evilest of the five main Greeed, even devouring the Cores of two of his companions in a bid for more power. He's outdone, however, by Dr. Maki, a mere human who Kazari unwittingly hands the keys to become a monster far beyond anything Kazari could have imagined. The flashbacks to the original OOO show it's not the first time a human was a bigger menace than any Greeed, either.
    • Kamen Rider Fourze sets up a rivalry between the Libra and Cancer Zodiarts, the former being one of the oldest but least talented Horoscopes while the latter is the newest and so talented that even the Big Bad is somewhat concerned by how quickly his powers develop. Cancer's newfound and rapidly escalating power makes him increasingly arrogant and depraved in his behavior, but at the end of the arc Libra proves the eviler of the duo and finally gets his revenge.
    • Kamen Rider Gaim consists in no small part of various villains trying to prove that they're the evilest of thou all. Mitsuzane is usually on the losing end of these arrangements.
    • Kamen Rider Drive sees the Roidmudes make use of their creator, Dr. Tenjuro Banno, enslaved in the form of a tablet to assist in reviving themselves. Banno at first appears to have been a helpless participant, before revealing that he was manipulating the Roidmudes for his own ends the entire time. The Angel and Paradox Roidmudes, villains of their respective movies, were also drastically more evil than normal Roidmudes and had plans that would have been just as disastrous for their own kind as for humans.
    • Kamen Rider Build sees Blood Stalk proving he's the evilest of thou all by backstabbing his way through every other villainous faction in the show, none of whom realize he's actually an Omnicidal Maniac as they jockey against each other for a prize that doesn't exist. He also turns out to be an immensely powerful and ancient alien invader who's wiped out countless worlds.
      • And then there his older brother Killbus who can outdo Blood Stalk in the Cross-Z V-Cinema.
  • The Bad Future season 1 finale of Legend of the Seeker does this with Nicholas Rahl, the son of the season's Big Bad Darken Rahl and the Seeker's Love Interest in an I Have You Now, My Pretty moment. When Kahlen gives birth to a boy instead of a girl, she immediately begs Rahl to let her kill him, as per Confessor custom, as male Confessors invariably go mad with power and confess everybody around them in order to ensure loyal support. Darken Rahl refuses and claims both of them can raise little Nicholas to be a good ruler (yes, Rahl is under the assumption that he is a good ruler). Instead, Nicholas turns out exactly as expected, gets his mother executed for trying to kill him and confesses a guard to kill Darken Rahl during the funeral. By the time Richard arrives to the future, almost everybody in D'Hara and, possibly, beyond has been confessed by Nicholas Rahl.
  • An episode of Masters of Horror had two serial killers (one who picked up and murdered hitchhikers, and another who posed as a hitchhiker and killed anyone who picked him up) in competition with each other.
  • Has happened more than once in Power Rangers.
    • Lord Zedd versus Count Dregon in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers season 3's Poorly Disguised Pilot for Masked Rider.
      • That same season, Master Vile (Rita and Rito's father) dropped by for several episodes. He routinely sought to prove that Zedd was inferior to him. Vile did achieve some major victories (most notably turning the Rangers into children), but he also suffered some big failures. He got so outraged by the Alien Rangers thwarting his ultimate plan that he rage quits and goes back home, much to Zedd's delight.
    • The rivalry between Lord Zedd and the Machine Empire in Power Rangers Zeo.
      • For a time, Zedd and Rita had to flee rather than face the Machine Empire. They had to go to the one person so evil that even Mondo and Machina would hang back: Master Vile. Unsurprisingly, Zedd was infuriated and felt humiliated.
    • Only momentary, but Power Rangers Lost Galaxy has Trakeena and Captain Mutiny. Mutiny is greedy and a slaver, but Trakeena is so ruthless she blows his ship out of the sky the moment she sees it.
    • In the crossover of Lightspeed Rescue and Lost Galaxy, Olympius shows he's more wicked than Trakeena by sabotaging her plan to remutate herself, causing her to transform into a mindless giant monster.
    • The Dino Thunder / Ninja Storm Reunion Show ends with the Villain Team-Up breaking down and the two main villains fighting. Mesogog wins by hitting Lothor with his psychic Agony Beam and... turning him into an action figure. "Very collectible."
    • Power Rangers Operation Overdrive has no less than four villain factions fighting each other as well as the Rangers: Flurious, Moltor, Kandor, and the Fear Cats.
      • Though this is more played as an Enemy Civil War until Flurious kills his brother Moltor when the latter is beaten by the Power Rangers and then proceeds to collect all the last MacGuffins and becomes the series' Big Bad.
  • Saturday Night Live has a sketch about a group of Mad Scientists competing to make the world's most evil invention. The competition screeches to a halt once one guy, Roy (Dwayne Johnson) presents a child-molesting robot. When everybody else is disgusted, Roy reminds them that "evil" means "amoral" and their Cartoonish Supervillainy isn't nearly as evil as child molestation.
    Roy: You know, I want to remind you guys that Webster's Dictionary defines "evil" as "profoundly immoral."
    Baronesse Antarctica: We know what "evil" means!
    Roy: Well, doesn't seem like you do, 'cause you built a freeze ray. I mean, Benito Mussolini used to force-feed people castor oil until they literally died of diarrhea. I mean, that's gotta be where the goalposts are, right? Am I crazy?
  • Stargate SG-1 has the Goa'uld System Lords who are all completely evil, but will often fight against each other for territory or other things. Some even manage to outclass the others in pure malevolence.
    • Sokar, who was really into that Satan thing. He beats previous Big Bad Apophis after the latter's failure to conquer Earth, and then captures him to torture him for eternity and eventually dumping him on a hell world, giving Apophis time to plan his revenge.
    • Inverted with Yu, who is a ruthless tyrant like every System Lord, but he still plays things straight when negotiating with the Tau'ri despite their being "inferior" humans. And it was at least implied that he led the call for Anubis's original banishment in part because Anubis was too extreme even by System Lord standards. He was much less megalomaniacal, not desiring galactic conquest and not particularly interested in events outside his area of the galaxy, which included Earth. Yu becomes noticeably more megalomaniacal after his senility set in; the first time he explicitly declared himself a god (despite having, unlike every other known Goa'uld, taken on the persona of a real historical figure instead of a god) was shortly after the viewers were informed that Yu was senile.
    • Anubis was supposedly way too evil even for the Goa'uld. The Goa'uld System Lords enslaved the galaxy and were extreme egomaniacs. Anubis was more competent than the rest and his ultimate goal was to erase all life in the entire galaxy (including the total extinction of his own race) and then recreate it according to his own preferences. He was smart enough to trick Oma into letting him ascend, making him an immortal Energy Being far beyond any regular Goa'uld. Furthermore, he made a lot of Goa'uld (including System Lords) work for him, and crushed the rest of them, including most of Yu's fleet.
  • In Star Trek: Voyager, Species 8472 is more lethal than even the Borg. Yes, the near-unstoppable, all-consuming cybernetic Hive Mind that has been the terror of the galaxy for centuries is completely outclassed by the genetically superior, highly territorial eldritch aliens. The Borg want to assimilate everyone into their collective; Species 8472 wants to annihilate every other living thing because they consider it an affront to their vaunted purity.
  • The Vampire Diaries frequently features multiple villains of varying importance and potency all playing the game at once, but up until season 4, the Ax-Crazy megalomaniac Klaus had been well-established as the most evil and formidable vampire in town (in the world really) - the mere mention of him was enough to terrify most people. Cue the introduction of Silas, who on his first appearance curb stomps Klaus with little effort and stabs him with a white oak stake, then proceeds to Mind Rape him brutally with the use of powerful hallucinations. While the other characters would normally rejoice at seeing the smug and arrogant Klaus receive such a thoroughly humiliating defeat, when Caroline finds him curled up on the floor weeping, begging for help, and desperately trying to pry a large splinter of wood from his own back with a pair of pliers before it can reach his heart and kill him, she is alarmed, because if Silas is able to reduce Klaus of all people to a sniveling wreck, she can only imagine what he's capable of doing to the rest of them.
  • Wynonna Earp: Bobo Del Rey, leader of the revenants, and Constance Clootie, a "Stone Witch" who seems to have some kind of larger plan involving the Ghost River Triangle, have a fraught relationship over the course of the first season, with it being very unclear who's the real Big Bad and who's just The Dragon. Bobo turns out to be the more dangerous one - when Constance tries to renege on their deal, he attacks her, kills her newly-resurrected demon son, and would have killed her if not for the appearance of the heroes.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess and later Hercules: The Legendary Journeys: Dahak is trapped in another realm, but he's still so powerful and intimidating that even the Olympians are terrified of just the idea of him getting out. Ares, one of the franchise's biggest threats, is afraid of directly acting against him (relying instead on Xena to do the dirty work) and was even once scared into being Demoted to Dragon. On another occasion, Ares (forcibly de-powered after Dahak did enter the world) was on the run and only made a move against Dahak after Hercules had already restrained him with the Stone of Creation.

  • GWAR. In many songs and albums the band find themselves in rivalry with other forces of evil, including among others the devil and a tyrannical theocratic giant robot named Cardinal Syn, who are incompatible with their philosophy of mindless destruction.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • When Victor Quiñonez arrived in Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling from IWA Japan, he formed the Puerto Rican Army, who proved eviler than former invaders, the W*ING Alliance, who ended up allying with the FMW roster against him.
  • The brothers of destruction pull this on Kaientai, who were specifically out that night to prove they were the most evil beings in the WWF.
  • James Mitchell pulled this on Raven in TNA, going so far as to steal The Gathering (CM Punk and Julio Dinero]] from him.
  • The meaning of "El Rudo de Los Rudos", though despite the claime, Axel Cruz is a friendly guy.
  • In WWC, former top threat to the promotion Ray González has this pulled on him by the Maestro, after he becomes the manager of La Artilleria Pesada and has them lay out all of the WWC except for Carly, forcing an enemy mine situation between them.
  • Molly Holly had pulled this on Gail Kim, who had shifted from a baby face to Tweener after it was revealed she was really only out for herself on Monday Night Raw by basically promising to beat up Kim as many times as necessary until she agreed to serve Holly.
  • Die Bruderschaft des Kreuzes pull this in Chikara on UltraMantis Black and his Order Of The Neo Solar Temple, purposefully calling out Mantis upon revealing himself, beating down his group and anyone else around who was at arm's length, taking Mantis's followers and his resources for getting more.
  • Crazy Stalker with a Crush Mickie James has this pulled on her by Edge, when he and Lita decide they are going to take out Trish Stratus, whom Mickie had been feuding with for half of her then WWE career. Soon, Lita even had won Mickie's title belt.
  • El Poder Supremo pulled this on the The Broncos, La Revolición Dominicana and their valets (with Rico Suave personally power bombing Black Rose in favor of Lady Demonique and Sexy Juliette) and allied with WWC's invaders from NWS and New Empire. Hans von Doering then proved himself an eviler foreigner when he laid out Bronco #3 and covered him with the German flag.
  • Black Rose has been the target of this a lot. She turned on La Amazona out of envy for the IWA belt but would be blindsided and supplanted by Lady Demonique. Amazona herself would set out to prove she could be even worse than Black Rose after Genesis won the belt. La Rosa Negra was the top threat to the PWS Bombshells thanks to Vinny Vice but then was upstaged by Strength In Numbers.
  • SIN also pulled this on Jennifer Cruz, who had been abandoned by her cousin, Amber Rodriguez, for the group.
  • Sheik Abdul Bashir's motivation in TNA was to give people the "evil Arab terrorist" he's tired of getting accused of being. So Sheik runs afoul of Samoa Joe, who drags him back stage, chains him up and tortures him with unwilling suspension, a tribal knife and a kendo stick before warning Bashir to never get in the way of his "Nation Of Violence" again.
  • 3MB have this pulled on them when they set an ambush for Triple H only to be jumped by The Shield. When they decide to call out the Shield they are instead confronted by Brock Lesnar.
  • In 2012, DJ Hyde pulled it on everyone directly involved in the Combat Zone or under its ownership, including WSU, with the possible exception of CZW's All Devouring Blackhole Loan Sharks, The Front, who themselves pulled this on Drew Gulak's Campaign For A Better Combat Zone.
  • After Kazuchika Okada joined and eventually became centerpiece, though not leader, of New Japan's resident evil Power Stable, Chaos, he's had this pulled on him twice. First by another power stable called Suzukigun after two of its members, Minoru Suzuki and Taichi, ganged up on him and then again when Chaos bailed on him in the face of AJ Styles and Bullet Club.
  • Montel Vontavious Porter originally returned to TNA as an investor who was tired of owners abusing wrestlers who needed the work and the fans who wanted to see a better product. He took over from Dixie Carter and all was well, until he saw LA Clipper's owner Donald Sterling lose his basketball team and realized being in charge of wrestling relations might not be enough to secure his position in the company. This lead to him becoming Drunk with Power, which lead to him, Kenny King and Bobby Lashley beating up Dixie Carter's nephew while basically asking her to do something about it.
  • In 2015, not long before the temporary closure March, Joe Bravo and The Gentlemen's Club did this to Director Of Wrestling Operations Savio Vega, who was basically a face by default anyway, as well as Americas Champion Mr. 450, who was quickly becoming a face by default. Around the same time, La Rabia, a group who were also faces by default who were "feuding" with Vega and "La Corporation" were beaten for the Trios Title belts by three members of the original Los Rabiosos, who had called them out as "fakes". Legio would then attack Rabiosos leader Mr. Big and ultimately defeat the group for the belts with their new member Vassago and take their manager Glenda Lee while The Gentlemen's Club would find their Television Champion Hiram Tua laid out after he walked into an ambush set by Superestrella Ash, who was leading a new group called La Verdadera Revolución(a Take That! towards WWC's Revolución). Evil aint a happy family here.

    Tabletop Games 
  • An ongoing contest between various factions in the Crapsack World that is Warhammer 40,000.
    • Fabius Bile, who may have accomplished the highly impressive task of being eviler than the Chaos Gods. As he puts it, "The Dark Gods and their slaves have nothing more to offer me now, but I have far more to offer them." In fact, he was once taken prisoner by the Dark Eldar, but they were so impressed by his own sadistic genius that they shared some of their knowledge with him and let him go.
    • Abaddon also seems to enjoy showing off just how much of a nice guy he isn't, by doing things like destroying a ship because its captain pissed him off and killing a slave for looking at him. It's like he had the Villain Ball welded to his armour.
    • Certain factions of Tyranids and Orks, two of the greatest threats to the galaxy, are currently duking it out as one of the hive fleets got diverted by an Inquisitor straight into one of the largest and fightiest Ork empires in the galaxy. When the conflict is finally over, the surviving force will be stronger than ever; the Tyranids will have absorbed the Orks' biomass and will make more resources, or the Orks will have been empowered by the conflict enough to go on a near-unstoppable rampage. Either way one goes on a rampage throughout the galaxy.
    • In one short story, a Chaos Daemon possesses a Dark Eldar Reaver. The Daemon tells his host that he will use his body to cause great harm and suffering. The Dark Eldar's response?
  • There's also the epic, eternal Blood War between baatezu (Lawful Evil) and tanar'ri (Chaotic Evil) in Dungeons & Dragons over which of them best exhibits capital "E" evil. The yugoloths (Neutral Evil) milk this for all it's worth. This has gone on to the point that the critters on the Good side of the table sit back and watch instead of doing anything active to combat it. The idea was born largely in the Planescape setting, which used the Blood War to overtly demonstrate how the setting was more concerned about Law versus Chaos than Good versus Evil.
    • Some supplements imply that without the Blood War, the devils and demons would be able to present a unified front against the forces of good, which would be a Very Bad Thing. This was more explicit in older editions, particularly in the Greyhawk setting, as the ancient god of destruction Tharizdun actually had once united the fiends untold eons ago, requiring all the gods of Good and Neutrality (and their followers) to team up for survival.
      • In fairness, that's often presented as the point of the Blood War. Asmodeus, the first/greatest baatezu, was originally a celestial, who was essentially made to fall with a following by the celestial powers that be exactly in order to rival and combat the tanar'ri.
    • Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition downplays the Demon/Devil rivalry in favor of the God/Primordial rivalry, but since devils are fallen angels who overthrew their god, and demons are corrupted primordials, a semblance of it still exists. The contrasts between the two are further magnified, though, with demons being the violent destroyers of existence and devils being the clever schemers out to corrupt people.
      • The Blood War is referenced in Manual of the Planes: it's been put on hold, not stopped. The devils want to make sure that it's at a time of their choosing. On the other side of the Material Plane, each demon lord would gleefully shred devils by the score, but the first one to make a move will return (if he returns) to find his layer has been divided among his rivals, who took advantage of his back being turned. An attack on certain Abyssal sites, such as Twelvetrees, by devils (or PCs pretending to be devils) could light the tinder before you can say "Fireball".
    • Another 4e example would be the battle between the God of War, Bane, and the God of Savagery, Gruumsh. Bane is a strict, disciplined soldier who believes in The Spartan Way, while Gruumsh is the living embodiment of unbridled Unstoppable Rage. Gruumsh wants Bane's title. The kicker is that the other gods, even the good ones, recognize that Bane is truly the more evil(he plans on getting rid of that nasty little free will problem, and sponsor Gruumsh against him, figuring that if nothing else, they'd keep each other occupied.
  • In Exalted, the setting faces three kinds of cosmic danger: The Fair Folk, who want to assimilate the world into the sea of primal chaos that spawned it; the demonic Yozis, who want to conquer and rule the world (Which, in all fairness, they created); and the Neverborn, who want to unmake the world into perfect nothingness. The three forces haven't clashed significantly (In fact, the Fair Folk and the Neverborn worked together once) in the history of the setting, but considering their single-minded focus and the fact that in a few years any of them will have the power to accomplish their objectives, a big showdown is inevitable.

  • A humorous example of this trope occurs in the play and film Arsenic and Old Lace, where the "good" murderers, the Brewster sisters, are contrasted with the bad murderer, their Ax-Crazy nephew Jonathan. After losing an argument with his lackey about which has the highest body count, Jonathan replies with, "Well, that can easily be taken care of," and prepares to kill again immediately.
  • Older Than Steam: This goes at least as far back as King Lear by William Shakespeare, which contrasts Lear's two spoiled daughters with Gloucester's embittered bastard son Edmund. They eventually team up, all planning to double-cross each other — but Edmund, who has had to struggle for everything, turns out to be smarter and meaner.

    Video Games 
  • Undertale:
  • An actual game mechanic in Armello: if two characters infected with Rot do battle, the one who is more corrupted gains additional dice equal to the amount of Rot their opponent has. Doing this to the King nets the player a Rot Victory.
  • In the Metal Gear universe, there's a conflict between Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters and the Government Conspiracy. Villains such as Big Boss, Liquid Snake/Ocelot, and Solidus Snake formed their own, child-killing terrorist organizations to free the world's soldiers from the real villains, the manipulative politicians who consider entire civilizations expendable, particularly The Patriots (aka, the La-Li-Lu-Le-Lo), whose ultimate goal is total mind control of all humanity via nanomachines, followed by endless war. This forces Solid Snake and his friends to form a third side to combat the threat of both sets of villains, so that they could save the world from the war of two ideologies. Eventually they decide to side with the Patriots over the increasingly insane Liquid Ocelot, but Sunny manages to triple-cross the Patriots by re-purposing Ocelot's nuclear super-base as a backdoor into the Patriots' AI core, effectively lobotomizing them.
    • For an extra layer, the Patriots themselves were originally created to combat an even older group of world controlling politicians.
    • Metal Gear V's Skull Face tries to turn the entire world into a totalitarian state by turning every unstable dictatorship into a nuclear power, while infecting everyone with language-triggered diseases so they cannot talk it out. The Patriots are so afraid that they save Big Boss from death and create their own super-soldier based on him to take Skull Face out.
  • BioShock features a background conflict between the objectivist Knight Templar Andrew Ryan, who goes to great and terrible lengths in an attempt to preserve his utopia, and the scheming mobster Frank Fontaine, who's just trying to claw his way to the top in the name of money and power.
    • The sequel also shows that Ryan also faced opposition from collectivist cult leader and enemy of free will, Sofia Lamb.
    • BioShock Infinite also has this as the backstory. On one side, you have Comstock and his cronies who are rabidly bigoted and theocratic. On the other hand, you have the Vox Populi resistance, who while meaning well, are overly radical. Though the Burial At Sea DLC Retcons the latter as being more reasonable than they seem in the game itself.
  • The three primary villains of BlazBlue are Hades Izanami, the goddess and incarnation of death, who seeks to kill God and put the universe out of its misery, Relius Clover, a Mad Scientist and Abusive Parent, who seeks to usurp God and replace it with Ignis in order to create a perfect world inhabited by perfect humans, and Yuuki Terumi, a right evil asshole, who seeks to kill and usurp God and turn the world into a cesspool of hate, fear and despair. Though they initially cooperate with each other due to a common shared goal, their end goals are incompatible and their alliance is ultimately dissolved in the third game when Izanami betrays the latter two and abandons them to fend for themselves against the heroes. Of course, they both survive, and were the ones who created her in the first place, with Terumi revealing his true form as Takehaya Susano'o no Mikoto and being the Final Boss.
  • The villains of the Star Control series are the two races of Ur-Quan: The green Kzer-Za, who swept around one half of the galaxy enslaving every living thing. (with the ultimate intention of sealing them on their respective homeworlds in impenetrable bubbles. They would also allow relative freedom if your race agreed to serve them as battle thralls.) And the black Kohr-Ah, who swept around the galaxy killing every living thing. Once both met at the opposite end of the galaxy, they were both going to fight it out to decide whose approach is "better".
    • Even better yet, both approaches are supposed to be for the citizens own good. The Ur-Quan were originally part of The Sentient Milieu, which accidentally stumbled upon the most evil species ever, the Dnyarri, telepaths so powerful that a single individual could utterly dominate the minds of a solar system. The Ur-Quan barely managed to free themselves from the Dnyarri's control by a fluke and destroy them after millennia of the most horrible abuse imaginable. While both Ur-Quan are extremely paranoid after said horrible abuse, the Kzer-Za don't want to kill everything, deciding that universal enslavement was enough to ensure that nobody could ever enslave the Ur-Quan, or anyone else, again. (That sounds strange, but the Kzer-Za see themselves as fair masters and usually do not permit their subjects to harm each other. Compared to every other "bad guy" race in the game, and some of your allies, they seemed downright beneficent). The Kohr-Ah just have a few screws loose, and outright state that, since they believe in reincarnation, by killing every non-Ur-Quan race in the galaxy, they are doing them a favor by giving them a chance to be reborn as Ur-Quan.
      • A rare example when a mediocre villain invoked much more disgust and ire than the major one. Unlike the Ur-Quan who, despite their omnicidal/totalitarian tendencies, retained a strict code of honor and had thorough and near-commiserable motivation, the Druuge were nothing but greedy heartless dregs.
  • Kuja, Garland and Queen Brahne in Final Fantasy IX all come into conflict with each other over who gets to be the main villain. Brahne and Kuja work together until she betrays him and he kills her, and Kuja is Garland's servant until he overthrows him.
  • Final Fantasy XV: Ardyn plays the Nifelheim Empire so he can cause the apocalypse. Bahamut intentionally manipulated events so Ardyn would turn evil and cause the apocalypse. The novel reveals that while Ardyn wanted petty revenge and had serious brain damage, Bahamut was sick of humanity not reaching his unreasonable standards and wanted to kill them to start over.
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy has three factions within the villains - those who want to rule the world, those who want to destroy it, and those who are doing their own thing and don't care about the other two factions. Though the heroes spend most of the time in the spotlight, we see hints of the various villains making plays for power against each other.
  • Team Aqua and Team Magma in Pokémon Emerald, Aqua wanting to flood the world and Magma wanting to expand the landscape.
  • Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow has this all over the place. The Big Bad orders Dario, the brute, and Dmitrii, the schemer, to compete for the position of Big Bad; Dario winds up dead and Dmitrii goes on to kill the Big Bad and become the Big Bad himself, albeit only briefly. Unless the hero does it first.
  • Halo: The original trilogy's main and opposing evil factions are the Flood, led by the Gravemind, and the Covenant, led by the Prophet of Truth. In Halo 3, the heroes manage to stop Truth's plan to destroy the galaxy, which plays right into the hands of Gravemind's plan to infect the galaxy.
    Truth: I shall become a god!
    Gravemind: You will be food.
  • Most games with a Karma Meter will end up with something like this if the player chooses the Evil end of the spectrum - for example, Knights of the Old Republic ends, if you choose to go Dark, with the Sith Lord Revan facing off against his old apprentice Malak, whereas KotOR 2 has the evil Sith Lord Jedi Exile (again, if you decide to go that way) fighting Darth Traya- formerly known as Kreia- in the ruins of the world she destroyed in the backstory to prove there's nothing more she can teach her.
    • Strangely, while it does have Dark and Light endings, The Force Unleashed plays this straight both ways. The Dark Side Starkiller ultimately proves eviler than Darth Vader, but then the Emperor ends up being eviler than them. Though ultimately, as the expanded What If? Dark Side storyline is to be believed, Starkiller manages to one up the Emperor and Vader by corrupting Luke Skywalker, something that the other two never managed in the real timeline.
  • In Okage: Shadow King, a good deal of the game is spent helping Evil King Stan beat up the Fake Evil Kings to reclaim his title.
  • Appears within the Dwarf Fortress fandom, as many of the players dream up greater and more monstrous ways to abuse the Dwarves, Goblins, Elves, cats, and everything else. One of the most well-known examples being a plan to drain an ocean in order to capture mermaids, simply because crafts made from their bones are very valuable. The game's creator apparently deemed that stunt to be going too far as he almost immediately nerfed the value of mermaid bone after finding out about it.
  • In StarCraft II, this is one possible Alternate Character Interpretation for the relationship between the Overmind and the Fallen One (the other possibility being a case of Good All Along). Thus far we've only been given teases about it being a future plotline, but what is known is that the latter tried to use the former for his own ends, and the former pulled off a Thanatos Gambit to stop him.
  • In Mario Super Sluggers, Bowser and King K. Rool have absolutely terrible play chemistry when on the same team.
  • Galeem and Dharkon are both this in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
    • And Galeem (And in turn, Darkhon) are this to Sephiroth in his Fighter reveal trailer, with Sephiroth destroying Galeem, who worfed the entire Smash Bros Casts pre DLC sans Kirby, in one slash.
  • In stages that feature both Dr Eggman and Black Doom in Shadow the Hedgehog, Eggman's missions are considered the "Hero" ones.
  • In God of War, we have Chaotic Evil Kratos against the Lawful Evil Jerkass Gods. Take your pick.
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds: When Princess Hilda reveals herself to be the mastermind behind the sage kidnappings and attempted theft of Hyrule's Triforce, albeit to save Lorule from destruction, she demands that Yuga give her the Triforce; instead, Yuga betrays her, revealing that he was playing her all along and plans to use the Triforce to remake Lorule in his own image.
  • In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, the Big Bad, Sir Grodus, is trying to unleash and take control of the Shadow Queen so that he can take over the world. He does his best to make this work, but she uses her powers to decapitate him- in the first place, he was a pawn of Bedlam, one of his supposed minions.
  • In Bloodborne, you can become this if you are cunning enough yourself, you can tell the Beggar is an Abhorrent Beast in disguise by seeing him eating a corpse. Why dealing with him on you own when you can send him to Iosefka's Clinic?
  • Pony Island: In the escape, Theodore's soul is the blackest and darkest among the thousands trapped in Limbo. He rivals Satan. And complete with draconic head firing lasers and wings, he looks like a demon in his own right.
  • In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, the Dark Brotherhood versus the Morag Tong. Both are Murder, Inc., but the Morag Tong is government contracted and has a strict code of ethics, while the Dark Brotherhood is comprised of Psycho for Hire criminals who practice a Religion of Evil. Ditto, to a lesser degree, for the Thieves' Guild and the Camonna Tong: the former has a strict code of ethics as well and favors clean, stealthy burglary and smooth talking, while the latter is made of xenophobic thugs who just kill and plunder.
  • In Mogeko Castle, the Mogekos are rapists who are obsessed with high school girls. Moge-ko is aslo a rapist who is obsessed with high school girls, but torture and cannibalism as well. She also preys on the Mogekos.
  • In Yandere Simulator, there's a clique of bullies, delinquents, an amoral Information Broker who deals in panty shots, and a substitute teacher in gross violation of occupational ethics. Yandere-chan can be worse than any of them. And her mother is worse than her.
  • Do It For Me: The "Psychopath" ending has the Villain Protagonist mock and kill his girlfriend for thinking she was in control when he killed the students of his own free will. Averted in the other endings, where the girlfriend remains the Big Bad and greater menace.

    Visual Novels 
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney has 2-4. Two actors use increasingly more evil means to one-up each other, with innocents being collateral damage. Until the more evil one gets his rival killed.
    • Also, Redd White might be thouroughly and almost easily beaten by two clean lawyers, but he could keep any corrupt person, even ministers, at bay through his blackmail.
  • Fate/stay night loves this trope. Firstly, there's Caster getting shown up by Gilgamesh (who serves Kotomine) in Fate, followed later by the plot of Unlimited Blade Works, with Caster trying (and failing) to out-evil Kotomine, who is himself out-competed by Gilgamesh (though mostly because of a self-caused Villain Ball moment). Finally, in Heaven's Feel, Kotomine, Zouken and Dark Sakura end up in a three-way villain free-for-all after Gilgamesh and Caster are defeated by Dark Sakura, with Zouken partially controlling Sakura before he is all but killed by Kotomine and later finished off by Dark Sakura. Dark Sakura also all but kills Kotomine in the process, but as the True Ending reveals, he is still left as the last standing and his plan is again the one that Shirou has to thwart.
    • No matter what, however, Shinji is always on the losing side of villain showdowns. Always.

  • In Adventurers!, Khrima and Eternion got into this a lot, dueling for the role of Final Boss. While Khrima had been around longer, Eternion was the eviler of the two, and Khrima was quite annoyed by the other's attempt to capitalize on that and force him into an Enemy Mine with the heroes. Ultimately, the trope is subverted, as the heroes defeat Eternion and then fight Khrima.
  • During the "Love Potion PART 2" arc of Sluggy Freelance, Yandere assassin Oasis comes into conflict with demon possessed Gwynn. The demon K'Z'K proves eviler.
    • When Riff first meets Diabolical Mastermind Minion Master, they face off in a 'Madder Scientist Than Thou', until he bribes Bun-bun to show he's Eviler.
      Riff: He doubted my scienceness!
  • The Order of the Stick
  • In Nodwick (Yeagar's pupils arc) Count Repugsive was kicked out of his own castle by "someone more evil".
  • Ja Wangnan from Tower of God invokes, lampshades and discusses this trope when he gets Viole to help him fight Kim Lurker.
    "Somebody once told me that the one who beats down the bad guy is not the good guy, but an even worse guy. And you, you're the worst guy in this Tower, aren't you? So why don't you punish that pathetically evil with me. Then I'll give you this."
  • Dragon Ball Multiverse: The match between Raichi and U13 Vegeta has Raichi repeatedly try to mindgame Vegeta with the massacre of the Saiyans in his universe, only to be stunned when Vegeta not only doesn't care, he enjoys the chance to slaughter them all as Raichi's ghosts.
  • 8-Bit Theater: The Dark Elves had the national anthem of Elfland: And Screw You Too, which included the line We are a race of total bastards. Then the elven population Thief hails from usurped them, banished them underground, and stole their national anthem. Tells you something about the elves in this comic.
    "There's a line in the song about it. It goes... 'We are a race of total bastards.'" — Thief

    Web Original 
  • Michelle Clore and Terrence in KateModern. One is a high-ranking member of an evil secret society, the other a psychopathic loan shark.
  • LifesBlood Labs, the evil corporation from LG15: the resistance, along with the good old Order of Dederah, the Ancient Conspiracy from lonelygirl15 who don't take kindly to their new rivals. LBL don't exactly do anything to endear themselves to the Order either, as Sarah notes:
    Sarah: They're so bad that they're stealing from the bad guys! That's like taking candy from a baby. Who is totally evil!
  • Garrelf and Beardbeard of Dorf Quest both get declared the ultimate villains of the plot when things hit the fan and they end up on opposite sides.
  • Epic Rap Battles of History:
    Joker: When I compare your antics to the fiendish schemes I revel in, they pale like the moonlight you can dance with the Devil in.
  • Episode 44 of Ask That Guy with the Glasses has Ask That Guy attempting to disturb Bennett the Sage. The end result is Ask That Guy huddled in the corner in the fetal position as Sage rapes him.

    Web Video 

    Western Animation 
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic:
    • In "Twilight's Kingdom, Part 2", Lord Tirek proves to be worse than Discord, bullying the former chaos spirit and stealing all his magic when Discord is no longer useful.
    • In "School Raze, Part 2", when Chancellor Neighsay takes control of the school Cozy Glow is better at manipulation than him and easily turns the other students against Neighsay and getting control of the school for herself.
    • In "The Beginning Of The End, Part 2", Grogar intimidates Tirek, Chrysalis and even Cozy Glow, who were dangerous villains in their own right, into remaining in his Legion of Doom after showing them how Sombra failed to defeat the Mane Six alone, and even throws in an Implied Death Threat for good measure.
      • Come "The Ending of The End", Part 1", the above example is subverted when Grogar turns out to be Discord in disguise, and has his chaos magic drained by Tirek, Chrysalis, and Cozy Glow. Furthermore, the front he put up was intended to boost Twilight's morale for her coronation; what he didn't anticipate was the villains finding a way to turn the tables in their favor.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has never been subtle about this. Its first season quickly introduced rivals Prince Zuko and Admiral Zhao, the latter whom was eviler than the former. With Zhao's Karmic Death in the season finale and Zuko's cemented status as an Anti-Villain, it became a subject of great debate as to which Season 2 villain would prove the most threatening: Ozai's Dragon Princess Azula, or the Evil Chancellor Long Feng (most bets were against a Power Trio of teenaged girls). The two eventually teamed up in the second season finale, each and planning to double-cross the other, but the charismatic and sociopathic princess ended up the unequaled victor, which she made clear Break Them by Talking style.
    Long Feng: You've beaten me at my own game.
    Azula: Don't flatter yourself. You were never even a player.
    • One of the misapplied examples is where Zuko outs himself as the heir to the Fire Lord to a village wrecked by the Earth Kingdom 'soldiers'. Zuko's banishment is pretty popular out there. However, the exile itself was Ozai showing Zuko how much worse he is.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • Tarrlok has always been a bit of a dick and definitely a villain. Too bad Amon's better. In terms of historical parallels, Tarrlok was the fascist to Amon's communist, which fits the theme of two extremes quite nicely. It should be noted that it was revealed that Tarrlok was Amon's younger brother, and that of the two, he's the one who redeemed himself in the long run.
    • The Red Lotus vs. the Earth Queen in Season 3. It ends badly for the Earth Queen. Ironically enough, The Red Lotus are actually less evil than the Earth Queen, but they're also far more competent and dangerous.
  • Yin Yang Yo!:
    • Carl the Evil Cockroach Wizard and his brother Herman get along just as badly as the two main protagonists. Carl retains magical abilities and makes use of planned out schemes, while Herman retains colossal strength (contrasts with his ant-like size) and prefers to use brute strength to achieve victory. Naturally, the two have worked together (albeit forcibly) on occasion to take on Yin and Yang, but their extreme dislike of being within two feet of each other always leads to their failure.
    • Played with with Carl and the Night Master - Carl helped the heroes defeat the Night Master, because he stole Carl's idea to blot out the suns. Initially, Carl insisted he didn't care and had gotten over such things. Then Yin and Yang pressed his Berserk Button by claiming the Night Master would say he stole the idea from Herman, not Carl.
  • Transformers:
    • This is done with a rare subtlety in Beast Wars amongst the Predacons, with a nice contrast between Megatron and Tarantulas. Rather than fighting outright, the two do the best to bend the other to their own purposes. Don't think for a second that it's just between the two of them. Blackarachnia's also a major player, and other contenders come and go from the game over the course of the series, but that'd be telling.
    • Starscream and Megatron acted like this all the time in G1 (and any number of alternate continuities). In general, the Autobots always teamed up with Megatron after he'd inevitably been betrayed by Starscream, because Starscream's ambition was limitless.
  • In the conclusion of the storyline of the fourth season of Teen Titans, Robin formed an uneasy alliance with Slade, after Slade convinced him that Trigon was a far greater evil (which Robin really couldn't deny). Later, however, Slade proved that he was still a contender when he faced Trigon's demonic guardian:
    Demon: Fool. You cannot defeat pure evil!
    Slade: Yeah? Well... I'm not such a nice guy myself.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons (1983), Venger and Tiamat were at each other's throats just as often as they fought the heroes.
  • Speaking of D&D, in ReBoot, Megabyte and Hexadecimal could be considered Lawful Evil and Chaotic Neutral. They were constantly trying to get one over on each other, and it was revealed near the end of the second season that they were, in fact, siblings. In the end, Megabyte took over Mainframe, while Hexadecimal did a Heel–Face Turn and Heroic Sacrifice. A subversion occurs with Daemon, who is more powerful than both of them, yet not very evil at all and considers her apocalyptic goal to be "bringing peace to the net".
  • In Shadow Raiders, Blokk and Lamprey were constantly vying for power as the Beast Planet's sole Dragon, even though they served the same master both functioned as Big Bads. Blokk was overt and militaristic, Lamprey used subtle political manipulations to destroy target worlds from within. Eventually, Blokk was killed in battle and Lamprey may have survived the season 2 battle. Being just parts of The Beast, they can just be replace.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door:
    • In Operation: Z.E.R.O., Grandfather's first act after getting his memories back is to banish Father for being too ineffectual and not evil enough. Though it's heavily implied that Father is actually stronger than Grandfather — he just suffers from a severe lack of self-confidence and major "Well Done, Son!" Guy issues. Ironically enough, of Grandfather's two sons, Monty Uno, a.k.a. Numbah Zero was the favorite.
      • Grandfather's second act is to proclaim his intention to zombify the children of the world to forcibly bind them to his will — but not before he does the same to every recurring villain in the series, establishing beyond all doubt that he is the Ultimate Evil.
    • A lighthearted and hilarious example occurs in "Operation: A.W.A.R.D.S." The nominees for best villain of the year are Father (who is favored to win), Mr. Boss, Grandma Stuffum, and Stickybeard. Unfortunately, after Numbuh One (who they intended to use as the reward) is rescued by the rest of Sector V, the four villains get into a fight over who should win, and when Knightbrace actually opens the envelope to announce the winner, a bomb set by the heroes goes off, preventing anyone from knowing who the winner is. (The fight between the four continues into the end credits.)
  • Doubly subverted (but not a Double Subversion) in Invader Zim. Tak isn't Eviler than Zim, she's merely more competent (Tak at least tries to Breaking Speech him, but Zim just continues screaming), and Zim doesn't form an Enemy Mine with Dib because he's disgusted by her methods, but because she's stealing his job.
  • Kim Possible
    • A Sitch in Time has Dr. Drakken, Duff Killigan, and Monkey Fist team up with Shego against Team Possible. During the course of the movie, Shego betrayed the other villains by stealing the Time Monkey Idol for herself, took over the world, and made herself The Supreme One. Bad girl.
    • Ron's Superpowered Evil Side is this to effectively every other villain in the show. The first time he turned evil in "Bad Boy", not only is he a far better villain and scientist than Drakken ever was, he also cowed Shego into obedient submission and captured and nearly defeated Kim. The second time, in "Stop Team Go", he ruthlessly mows down an army of evil Wego clones, then tries to hijack the Attitudinator to complete his own plan, which completely blows Electronique's out of the water: turning Kim evil.
  • The Powerpuff Girls:
    • Mojo Jojo and Him end up in this kind of contest, attempting to show the Rowdyruff Boys who's the better father. In the end, the Boys decide they're both pathetic and go out to fight the Powerpuff Girls on their own. (The most ironic thing about this episode is, the Girls don't appear at all.)
    • Also, the girls were once defeated by an alien, who was using some of Mojo's ideas. When Mojo realized the alien was actually achieving everything he always wanted to, he went berserk, beat the tar out of him, and forced him to admit that he's more evil.
    • Only for the townsfolk, the PPG, and the narrator to all laud him as a hero, to his chagrin.
  • Total Drama:
    • In Island Heather was this to Duncan, who was disgusted by Heather's actions and said that at least he was "straight with people."
    • World Tour gives us this little gem from Alejandro:
      Alejandro: ...because compared to me, Heather's a saint.
    • And Alejandro himself is less evil compared to Chris.
    • And every single villain in the series to date (yes, even Chris) are saints compared to Mal in All Stars, lampshaded by former Big Bad Alejandro.
      Alejandro: But I am not the true villain, a greater evil is lurking.
    • Also this line.
      Alejandro: Mal doesn't belong in juvie. HE BELONGS IN JAIL!
    • Pahkitew Island brings us the villainous duo of Max and Scarlett. Max is a Card Carrying Harmless Villain who declares Scarlett to be his sidekick, only for her to actually be stringing him along to take attention away from herself. When Scarlett finally reveals her true colors by holding the remaining contestants hostage on the soon-to-explode island, Max is left sucking his thumb in a Troubled Fetal Position.
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes:
    • This is the relationship every member of the Heinous family has with their offspring. When Lucius VI is unfrozen, the first thing he does is chastise Lucius VII for not making everyone miserable enough.
    • In "Heloise's Rival", a girl named Mean Jean comes to Miseryville and challenges Heloise to a "mean-off." Heloise wins.
    • Heloise in general is shown to be far more evil and better at making people miserable than her boss Lucius Heinous VII, who is an ineffectual Big Bad Wannabe with delusions of grandeur. Many episodes have Heloise outsmarting and humiliating Lucius with one of his own misery-making schemes. However, she's happy enough with being Lucius' employee that she will never take Miseryville and Misery Inc. from him.
  • DCAU:
    • In the crossover episode between Superman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures, Lex Luthor discovers that making a deal with The Joker, and then trying to betray the Monster Clown when the latter failed to kill Superman for him, is a very bad idea. It results in Joker taking Lex hostage, and then using a LexCorp developed bomber to attack Metropolis, specifically destroying buildings owned by Luthor. Which, as pointed out by Superman, apparently make up around half of all the buildings in Metropolis.
    • While Darkseid doesn't show up anywhere near as much as most other villains like Lex Luthor or Gorilla Grodd, when he does show up, there is no question as to the Big Bad is. Even Brainiac falls before him.
    • The Batman Beyond episode "Meltdown", where Blight gives a Curb-Stomp Battle to Mr. Freeze.
  • Turtles Forever. The 2003 Shredder is this when compared with his 1987 counterpart and Krang. At first, 1987 Shredder hoped they could form a Big Bad Duumvirate with him... then he discovered Ch'rell was murderously violent and Karai's involvement allowed him to take over the Technodrome, and all of 1987 Shredder/Krang's assets, upgrade them to his own means, and use them in a plan to destroy the Multiverse. The 2003 Shredder considers the '87 villains incompetent and worthless, and eventually has them imprisoned when he can't stand them any longer (except Bebop and Rocksteady, who he allows to serve him....BIG mistake.)
  • Filmation's Ghostbusters has at least two episodes featuring Big Evil trying to usurp Prime Evil's status as the main Big Bad. The first episode even had Jessica commenting that Big Evil makes Prime Evil seem to be a good guy. Both episodes invoked the Enemy Mine trope by having Prime Evil teaming up with the heroes against Big Evil.
  • Played for laughs in an episode of Evil Con Carne where the title character tries to form a Legion of Doom; the plan falls apart because everyone at the meeting claims that he or she is the most evil and the most fit to lead the group.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • Doofenshmirtz goes through this three times, first when Agent P gets reassigned to the Regurgitator, making the OWCA drop Doofenshmirtz down to a "minor threat". He's extremely offended by this and decides to take care of it... only to realize how bad the Regurgitator really is, and starts working for him (hey, the job came with maternity leave). Being as incompetent as he is, his incompetence actually defeats the Regurgitator, puts him in jail and his threat level goes back to normal.
    • Later said word for word by Doofenshmirtz to his more evil counterpart (Doofenshmirtz-2) in Across the 2nd Dimension, due to the latter's actual competence in doing evil and maintaining his rule of his Tri-State Area for 5 years.
    • Later said in Phineas And Ferb Save Summer, where Aloyse von Roddenstein (or Rodney for short) happens to be far worse than Doof-2 and the Regurgitator combined, as he created a machine that will send the Earth into a new Ice Age, something which everyone is completely horrified to hear about; even Doofenshmirtz openly objects to Rodney's plot, knowing that it will endanger the entire world population.
  • In Potsworth & Company, one knows the villain who replaced the Big Bad is the eviler one when the heroes resort into tricking the Greater-Scope Villain into firing him and rehiring the original Big Bad.
  • Happens occasionnally in all series of the Ben 10 franchise:
    • In the original series, the Season 2 finale has Kevin 11 finding and freeing Vilgax to help him find and kill Ben. This is quick to end up with the two fighting each other (and Vilgax owning Kevin). They eventually team up, but Kevin then attempts to betray Vilgax, which results in both of them ending up trapped in the Null Void. Basically, their attempts to prove who's eviler than whom ends up their downfall.
    • Hex ended up being betrayed by his niece and Bastard Understudy Charmcaster in her debut appearance.
    • Surprisingly averted for most of the Highbreed story arc in Ben 10: Alien Force, despite the Highbreeds being basically Nazi aliens, and as such technically enemies to everybody. The only villain who ended up fighting them however was Darkstar, who is portrayed as irredeemable.
    • Season 3, on the other hand, has a quite impressive fight between Vilgax and Ghostfreak, with the latter beating out the former.
    • Ben 10: Ultimate Alien: Season 1 has Aggregor vs Adwaita (though he manipulated him and attacked him from behind rather than fighting him directly), and later Aggregor vs Kevin 11; Season 2 had a brief Charmcaster vs Adwaita and, eventually, a melee between the Forever Knight, Diagon and Vilgax. Vilgax wins.
  • In Adventures of the Gummi Bears, Duke Igthorne had a Spot the Imposter situation with Princess Calla magically disguised as himself and Zummi had just magically altered his voice to give it a much higher pitch so the Ogres could not tell them apart by their voices. To prove his identity, Igthorn proposed a nastiness contest in which the one who was nastier to the Ogres would be the real Igthorn.
  • The Italian series Farhat: Il Principe del Deserto has a magnificent example, done by the Big Bad, the demon Egokhan, to The Dragon Rashid as a warning against betraying him:
    Egokhan: You are cunning, evil and treacherous, but I am Egokhan, don't ever forget it.
Later in the same episode, Egokhan catches Rashid betraying him, and he gives us this gem...
Egokhan: You don't understand, you don't want to understand. You mortals are nothing! You are just pawns that can be sacrificed for the one great design, my only, absolute, uncontested, all-powerful might! I tried to make you understand, I warned you to be loyal, but you refused to understand! So now I shall punish you.
(Egokhan sets on fire Rashid's skyscraper and the whole town to burn the MacGuffin Rashid was supposed to destroy)
  • Darkwing Duck:
    • When the original Negaduck becomes supercharged as an energy-throwing, telekinetic Person of Mass Destruction, his creator Megavolt is looking forward to all the crimes they'll commit together. Negaduck scoffs at him and says that committing crimes is small potatoes, but complete destruction of everything is what he's really into.
    • While Quackerjack himself is a Villainous Harlequin, he's far more comedic and ineffectual than the Monster Clown Paddywhack, who is an intangible demon who feeds on fear. Eventually, Paddywhack puts Quackerjack in his place and seals him inside his own magic box.
  • The Simpsons: Bart is an infamous troublemaker, but he learns he can't hold a candle to Jessica Lovejoy. Before the episode, she was kicked out of boarding school. During the episode, she steals from the collection plate, which appalls Bart, and frames him for it.
  • In one episode of Rugrats, the babies are tired of Angelica bullying them, so they leave her to play with a kid named Josh, who acts nice at first but then turns out to be even worse, and in the end, they have to be rescued by Angelica.
  • In Season 5 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Darth Maul ends up on both ends of this trope. Alongside Pre Viszla's Death Watch, Maul conquers Mandalore. When Viszla betrays and imprisons him, Maul challenges Viszla and defeats him in single combat, leaving Maul the uncontested ruler of Mandalore. However, this attracts the attention of Darth Sidious, who is less than pleased at his competition. One Curb-Stomp Battle later, Maul is reduced to cowering and pleading while Sidious taunts him between bouts of Force lightning.
  • Wander over Yonder: Lord Dominator, as such she's described by the series creator as a better hater than Lord Hater.
    • Hell, her Villain Song (directed at Lord Hater, no less!) is called "I'm The Bad Guy".
  • Gravity Falls; Preston Northwest is your typical rich Smug Snake. In the Season 2 finale, he asks Bill Cipher if he can join in on the Apocalypse. Bill thought it would be funnier to rearrange Preston's face instead.
  • Kaeloo: Mr. Cat and Olaf both greatly despise each other, despite both being villains. Olaf is much eviler than Mr. Cat since Mr. Cat does care about the heroes deep down whereas Olaf doesn't and wants them dead.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: Ludo and Toffee. Toffee has bigger plans for Star and Queen Moon while Ludo has ever barely managed to obtain Star's wand. His scheme is so good he possesses Ludo's body/half of Star's wand without Ludo knowing it.
    • End of Season 1 Toffee wins Ludo's castle and minions by simple persuasion. Marco later relates Toffee to a lawyer.
  • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: While Zurg is an Evil Emperor and Card-Carrying Villain, when he tries working with an evil Buzz Lightyear from the Mirror Universe, he is quickly reduced to a sycophantic, eager-to-please nervous wreck, afraid of being seen as "soft" by his new partner. The same goes for the Mirror Universe!Zurg, who "found himself in a new line of work" note  after evil Buzz rose to power.
  • DuckTales (2017):
    Louie: How did this go so wrong so quickly?!
    Goldie: Rule number one, kid. If you want to pick a pocket, you gotta get close. Better luck next time, rookie.
    Louie: Rookie?! I'll have you know I am the evil triplet, OK!?
    Goldie: Sure, you're the scariest bunny in the pet shop.
    • In "Glomtales", it's a Running Gag that everyone considers Magica de Spell to be Scrooge McDuck's greatest enemy and the leader of the Villain Team-Up, which frustrates Glomgold to no end.
    Scrooge: I knew this day would come... Magica's grand revenge!
    Glomgold: I'm clearly standing in front!


Video Example(s):


Impossible Ideology Monsters

The first of these monsters describes ethnonationalist fascism as too moderate and vows to make Nineteen Eighty Four look like The Conquest of Bread.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / EvilerThanThou

Media sources:

Main / EvilerThanThou