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Evil Is Petty

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Dr. Polaris: You gonna wash your hands?
The Flash (in Lex Luthor's body): No! 'Cause I'm evil.

The tendency of "evil" to include not just major acts of villainy and attempts to take over/destroy the world, but also generally being an utter dick. Some examples include:

This is when you have a villain that slaughters a village, bombs a country, murders the president... And then picks a pocket, trips an old lady, sticks a kick-me sign on a police officer, takes someone's parking space, and cuts in line at a fast-food place.

They're not just evil on a large scale; they're evil on all the tiny little details of everyday life they might experience in any possible situation. This trope opposes Affably Evil and Evil Is Cool — this villain is just a colossal pain in the ass, even leaving their alignment out of the question. And often, they get a kick out of being a pain. And it must be pointed that petty motivations do not take from the cruelty and malice of the acts — in fact, they are just as likely to lead past the Moral Event Horizon, and may even make the villain more hated to the audience than they would be otherwise, as there is nothing grandiose or admirable about him. They are just a scumbag of a bully. More often than not, it is a trait of a Psychopathic Manchild.

In video game settings with a Karma Meter, this means that being classified as Evil requires not just being uncaring towards people, but going out of your way being nasty in any circumstances. This is an unfortunate side effect of there being an in-game benefit from reaching particular levels of evil. When maxing out your Karma Meter gives you a Stat Boost, you're strongly encouraged to do every little act of evil you can to get there as quickly as possible.

May overlap with Hate Sink, a character massively despised for actual villainous actions. Contrast with Poke the Poodle when all the supposed villain does is something actually harmless — they don't do anything overwhelmingly evil, but frequently behave like a mild dick to maintain their Villain Cred. See Harmless Villain for someone who lives for doing this.

An opposite trope is Affably Evil, in which a villain genuinely behaves in a very pleasant, friendly, and/or downright honorable manner. The Magnificent Bastard is well-advised to avoid this trope; magnificence and pettiness don't mix.

See Also: For the Evulz, Card-Carrying Villain, The Devil Is a Loser, Even Evil Has Standards. For examples where a petty action ends up harming the villain, see Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat, The Dog Bites Back, and Stupid Evil. If the villain manages to keep his reasons secret until the climax and the protagonists act stupefied at the discovery of such a petty reason, see Disappointed by the Motive. Badbutts can have similarly petty motives.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • InuYasha: Naraku's only real motivation is his love/hate feelings for Kikyo and pure hatred for Inuyasha, although he doesn't want to admit that to himself. Even after discarding his human feelings, he had no real idea what he was going to do if he finally managed to end Inuyasha and his companions. But he still ruins or attempts to ruin the lives of seemingly everyone he encounters For the Evulz.
  • K from Karakuridouji Ultimo has no problem with killing five billion people, because it means he won't have to wait in lines as much.
  • Roberto from Monster. Johan destroys lives like some kind of freakish artistry, but using a polite facade. Roberto kills people, commits acts of vandalism, and works as Johan's enforcer, while at the same time being sexist, creepy, petty, and rude.
  • In Durarara!!, Izaya first shows how far he'll go to troll people by kidnapping a suicidal girl named Rio Kamichika to "prove" that, since she was scared, she's not really suicidally depressed and is just being a whiny Emo Teen (and then he invites her to prove him wrong by showing her a ledge to jump off of and dangling her from it). His second act of vile depravity? Breaking someone's cellphone.
  • Inukami!: As if killing Kaoru and beating down the Inukami weren't enough, Jesei stoops to reading Yohko's diary aloud.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • In the 2003 anime, the Big Bad Dante takes over people's bodies and has thousands of people die to make the Philosopher's Stone to use just to live longer, manipulating the Homunculi by lying about making them human, which she has no intention of doing. In addition, Dante also wants to take over Rose's body next so she can screw Ed, the 15/16-year-old son of her former lover (and possibly husband) Hohenheim, and is very abusive towards the Homunculi servants to the point that she is killed by Gluttony after she lobotomized him so he wouldn't think about anything besides eating.
    • In the manga and Brotherhood, Shou Tucker voluntarily sacrificed his own family for a research grant, first his wife, then his daughter and her dog. Brotherhood adds a scene after Ed's done beating the stuffing out of him and while Al's trying to comfort Nina/Alexander. Tucker just crawls up to his nearly-broken State Alchemist pocket watch on the floor and happily declares that he'll get to keep his job. Ed breaks the watch completely by kicking it out of Tucker's hand, saying there's no way in hell he'll get to keep his job after what he did.
  • Ren Sohma from Fruits Basket is a selfish bitch who ruins the life of her daughter, Akito, the God of the Zodiac, and thus those of everyone surrounding her, purely because Ren was deathly jealous and envious of Akito because her father, Akira, adored her. Considering the horrifying consequences, Ren comes off as not just evil, but repulsively self-centered, vain, and pathetic.
    • Later in the manga, Ren finds out that Akito has a box, which a maid had fixed up to comfort Akito after Akira's death (Akito had been told that her father's soul was in it). Ren first sends Rin to steal the box for her, misleading Rin into thinking that she'll tell her how to break the Zodiac Curse if she does this, and leading to Rin being attacked and imprisoned by Akito (which Ren feels absolutely no remorse over), and then going to steal the box herself, threatening Akito at knifepoint. All of this for a box, and her justification simply being that everything of Akira's is hers by right. Akito hands the box over, only to reveal that it was completely empty the entire time. Akito and Ren had been at each other's throats over an ordinary, empty box.
  • Rosario + Vampire: Gyokuro Shuzen actually rivals Ren Sohma in terms of being a petty Evil Matriarch. She helped set up the anti-human organization Fairy Tale and embarked on a mission to Kill All Humans all because she was jealous that her husband Issa paid more attention to his mistress Akasha Bloodriver than he did to her, and is perfectly willing to sacrifice her own daughters along the way. On top of it all, her reasons for wanting to exterminate humanity are not out of any real Fantastic Racism, but simply to spite Akasha's dream of human/monster coexistence.
  • Although how evil she is is a bit debatable, Crea, the leader of the evil organization Jackal in Ratman, ordered the titular hero (who is her underling) to cut the power to a restaurant because the waitress was rude and her food was late.
    Crea: If I had a bomb, I would have blown that place up!
    Shuto: You've said that five times already.
  • Although he was The Dreaded and Shrouded in Myth in backstory, Madara Uchiha is striking in several aspects once he makes an appearance in Naruto; he is strikingly powerful, to the point that Only the Author Can Save Them Now actually hits a Writer's Block... and yet, as a person beneath all that power and status, he's actually repulsive in a rather pathetic way. Madara is phenomenally self-centered and egotistical for a legend whose claim to fame is being Always Second Best to his rival Hashirama Senju, the First Hokage in Konoha's history; he reveals in a flashback that he was responsible for the poor diplomatic relations between Konoha and the Hidden Stone village when he sabotaged peace talks he was supposed to oversee purely to spite Hashirama's plan of making peace between the five great nations. And later not only did he attack the first Hokage but also attempted to destroy Konoha all because he isn't declared Hokage. He then dips into sexism during his posturing to try and intimidate the Kages, looking down on Tsunade's strength because she's a woman (though to his credit, he quickly recants his statement when she wrecks his Susano'o). When you realize the Assimilation Plot Naruto is racing to thwart was cooked up by a spiteful, sexist warmonger out of no greater ambitions than as an ego trip, it allows Madara to rather spectacularly avert Evil Is Cool.
    • It says a lot that even the Nine-Tailed Fox, a self-proclaimed "living mass of malevolence", finds Madara to be too much of a douchebag to tolerate. Enough that he's willing to unconditionally help the protagonist defeat him. Edo Tensei Hashirama is more sympathetic and believes that Madara is still lashing out in grief over his brother Izuna's death.
  • Muruta Azrael of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, who commits genocide against Coordinators because he was slapped around by Coordinators once as a kid. He's also a misogynistic Bad Boss prick who seems to get off on belittling his subordinates.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
  • The reason many villains of the week in Detective Conan have to perform murder and widespread mayhem comes down to petty slights. To provide some examples:
    • The Big Bad Mad Bomber of the Non-Serial Movie Countdown To Heaven turns out to be a famous painter, who remains Beneath Suspicion for most of the movie because he's an old man and he's wealthy and living a pleasurable life. The reason he's going around Tokyo murdering people and blowing up buildings? He's getting revenge on a company that built a condominium that is blocking the view of Mount Fuji from his home. He made his fame from replicating that view in his paintings, but fact still remains that he doesn't cares who gets caught as collateral damage in his retaliation.
  • In The Devil Is a Part-Timer!, after letting The Hero Emi Yusa stay at his place the night before since she lost her wallet during an attack, the police bring Maou in for questioning regarding the incident. To get released, he calls Emi in to sign for him in the middle of work despite all his other options because it's his duty as an overlord to annoy heroes. Then there was the whole manner of having Lucifer prank call her while she was at work. Of course, these are the evilest things he's ever actually shown doing.
  • A few Dragon Ball villains fit the bill quite well:
    • Commander Red, leader of the Red Ribbon Army. We're initially led to believe that he wants to use the Dragon Balls to Take Over the World. By the end of the saga, it turns out he only wants to use the balls to make himself taller, and he's perfectly willing to sacrifice every last soldier in his army to do so. When Staff Officer Black finds out, he's not pleased and promptly shoots him dead.
    • Mercenary Tao. For starters, after forcing a tailor to do a week's worth of work on his ruined uniform in three days, he refuses to pay him on the grounds that doing so would ruin his reputation as a cold, ruthless assassin, and kills him instead (he offers to "pay" him by carrying out a contract killing on anybody of his choice, only for the tailor to quite understandably balk at that). Not only that, but Word of God is that in the past, Tao killed Mr. Satan's master and beat Satan himself within an inch of his life simply because the two made fun of his hairstyle.
    • This is Frieza's Fatal Flaw. Going hand in hand with his overwhelming arrogance, Frieza can't resist doing unnecessarily cruel things to those weaker than him, often just to prove he can. This became his downfall as it was his murder of Krillin in front of Goku — and then threatening to do the same to his son — that ultimately triggered Goku's ascension to Super Saiyan, and resulting in him being blown to pieces and left for dead. Even when he is brought back as a Villain Protagonist for the Tournament of Power, Frieza can't help but indulge in this: Upon finding out that Cabba is something of a student for Vegeta, he resolves to defeat and ring out Cabba for just that reason. Surprisingly, Frieza's beatdown of Cabba was arguably the least drawn out or brutal one he had handed out until that point, but even so, he tells the helpless Saiyan that he will hunt down his teammates next just to get a rise out of him.
    • Vegeta, during his Evil Prince days. For starters, his response to Goku giving him a bloody lip was to absolutely Freak Out and try to blow up the Earth out of spite.
    • Dr. Gero's entire vendetta against Goku, which resulted in the Android and Cell Sagas, is simply because Goku cost him his job and funding when Goku destroyed the Red Ribbon Army... at least, in his early depictions and his initial appearances. Later material reveals his motivation goes somewhat deeper, and while it's still very myopic (his son may have died for Red Ribbon, but his son still died for a leader who didn't care about his men and a cause that would've made the world a worse place) and ultimately petty, it's at least more understandable.
    • Spopovich beats Videl within an inch of her life, to the extent Videl is crying in agony, purely because Mr. Satan, her father, beat him in the last tournament. It's even implied he let Babidi control him just so he could get back at Mr. Satan.
    • Beerus, the Big Bad of Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods. While more Ambiguously Evil, he has a history of destroying planets for pretty petty reasons, such as losing at video games or being denied food. In Dragon Ball Super, the Old Kai even explicitly describes Beerus' acts of destruction as pointless and petty.
    • Zamasu, part of the Big Bad Duumvirate of Super's Future Trunks Saga. When it comes down to it, everything he does during the saga is purely to get back at Goku for losing to him in a simple sparring match. It's even worse in the manga, where he never even meets Goku. He just sees his fight with Hit on Godtube and becomes furious at the idea of a mortal rising to the power of a god.
    • Goku Black, the other part of the saga's Big Bad Duumvirate. Before he was Goku Black, he was Zamasu, the Apprentice Supreme Kai of U10. After losing a sparring match with Goku and learning that he had access to god energy through his Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan form, he goes off the deep end and begins a plan to wipe out all the mortals in the multiverse. After using the Super Dragon Balls to take Goku's body, he teleported to Earth and personally killed Goku, who's trapped in his old body, and then butchered his family. Since he goes to Future Trunks' timeline after this, there was no reason for him to murder Goku or his family. He did it purely out of spite.
    • While making a movie, Barry Khan allows Gohan to be a stuntman and hopes that he'll be badly injured at the very least simply because Videl snubbed him when he tried hitting on her. He then tries to ruin Gohan's marriage by setting him up with Cocoa, taking pictures of her kissing Gohan, and then showing those pictures to Videl. Videl isn't fooled for a minute and shreds the pictures before shooting Barry down with a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, remarking how pathetic it is that Barry is treated like royalty and still acts like an insecure little brat:
    Videl: Did it sting that much to be told I don't need your autograph? Does seeing Gohan stand out sting that badly? You get treated like royalty, but you have no self-confidence. How pitiful.
    • Broly. A ludicrously powerful Saiyan who managed to survive Planet Vegeta's destruction, his entire reason for his beef with the because when he and Goku were babies, they were in the same ward, and Goku was crying. THAT'S IT. Broly is homicidally angry at Goku because he cried.
  • Julio Ikaruga Misrugi in Cross Ange might as well embody this trope. In the entirety of his screen time, he has outed his sister as a Norma, sent her to no-person's island to fight against dragons from a different world, lures her out by making their youngest sister pull off a Wounded Gazelle Gambit, making their youngest sister attack Ange, and subject her to a Kangaroo Court leading to a public lashing and hanging. All in order to get rid of her and quell any uprisings that might have been caused by the revelation of the family secret of harboring a norma and reclaim the royal ring given to Ange. After that plot fails and Ange escapes, Julio jumps at the opportunity given to him by Embryo: extermination of all norma, which naturally includes Ange. Embryo's motives are a little different; Julio only wants to kill his sister.
  • A lot of villains in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure are doing things For the Evulz, but the most notable examples are Steely Dan and Dio Brando: the former takes advantage of holding the protagonist's grandfather hostage by treating him like a lowly servant, having him clean his shoes and build him a human bridge over a small gap. Also, he overcharges Joseph for kebabs before attacking the heroes, and he takes as much pleasure from that as from any of the legitimate things he did to them. Dio Brando, on the other hand, is having fun with his Stand ability to stop time by killing a stray cat and messing around with bystanders' food. Both of their karmas are built this way to piss Jotaro off.
    • Dio was especially this when he first met Jotaro's great-great-grandfather Jonathan Joestar, making it his mission in life to ruin Jonathan's life, including murdering his dog, stealing his girlfriend's first kiss and gloating about it immediately afterwards, murdering his father and becoming a vampire all to cause Jonathan as much misery as possible.
    • Rubber Soul from Stardust Crusaders is a sterling example. His Stand, Yellow Temperance, lets him impersonate anyone perfectly...but he acts like a fool while doing so because he likes making the people he's copying look like idiots. Of course, this wasn't too bright a move since his bizarre behavior is exactly what clued Jotaro into the fact that "Kakyoin" wasn't what he seemed.
  • Soul Eater: Medusa constantly makes grand speeches about change and progress and acts quite smug, but whose "coolness" tends to extend to things like physically and mentally abusing her own child, making hurtful and taunting remarks toward others for little reason other than to be a bitch, and having a grand plan that amounts to fucking up the world because she doesn't want people to be happy.
  • In the Tokyo Ghoul franchise, pettiness seems to be quite common among the villains.
    • In the Prequel Jack, Lantern is revealed to have targeted and killed Taishi Fura's friends because their delinquent behavior annoyed her, and she resented them for not appreciating their good fortune at being born human.
    • Yamori was already vile enough to begin with, being a brutal Torture Technician that enjoyed making people suffer, but when Kaneki refuses to go along with his Sadistic Choice, and Nico expresses unease over this particular "game", Yamori throws a temper tantrum and kills both hostages. He then slaps Nico on his way out, blaming them for ruining his fun.
    • In the sequel :Re, Nimura Furuta is incredibly petty and cruel in a number of ways. He belittles others in hypocritical ways just to upset them, makes sexually suggestive threats, and when Eto mocks him for being a Bastard Bastard, he swears to punish her for this slight. He later shows up with a "present" for her: he's murdered her editor and cooked the body into a pate, bringing it to her as lunch. For all his skill and brilliance, he's still just a petty young man with serious Daddy Issues that has to have the final word.
  • Dan in Genma Wars is a Jerkass bandit who loves robbing helpless peasants and make their lives even harder than they already are. He tricks one of the protagonists Gin into eating human flesh that was disguised as a roasted pig. This ends up costing Dan his life as Gin becomes so furious that he kills him for it. It's revealed shortly afterwards that it really was just a pig and he said it was human flesh just to screw with Gin.
  • Death Note: While Light Yagami/Kira has much loftier ambitions, like ridding the world of all crime and becoming God of the New World, he nonetheless has shades of this and often indulges in unnecessarily cruel and petty acts either because someone criticized him or just because he can.
    • Most notably, he kills Lind L. Taylor on national television simply because he was pissed at Taylor for telling him that what he was doing was evil.
    • Then there's his murder of Naomi Misora, in which he tells her that he's Kira the moment before the Death Note takes effect, just to see the look of horror on her face as she realizes what's about to happen, and taunts her with offers to get her in touch with the Task Force, knowing that she can't do anything about it. Unlike all of his other victims, Light did all of that for no other reason than to be cruel.
  • In Fairy Tail episode 162: Toby Horhorta has lost his sock (which was on a necklace he was wearing the whole time), Black Snake gestures to show him it's hanging from his chest. Toby starts sobbing and thanking Black Snake, only to have him rip it to shreds in front of his face for laughs. Toby also has anthropomorphic dog features, so this could also be a nod to the Kick the Dog trope.
  • The titular character of Samon the Summoner is this and proud of it, as he's made it his mission to corrupt Teshigawara by constantly harassing her with the demons he summons just because he finds her goody two shoes attitude annoying.
  • Berserk: Griffith takes this trope to the most depraved extreme during the Eclipse. He's ascended to become Femto, a member of the Godhand, and wields power over reality and causality. And what's the first thing he chooses to do upon his transformation? He has Casca restrained and then rapes her so brutally that the experience drives her completely insane, and makes Guts watch the whole thing, all just to spite and hurt him for leaving the Band of the Hawk one year before.
    • Guts's adoptive father, Gambino also takes a cake to this trope. He sold out his own adopted son to a pedophile mercenary for one single night, for 3 silver coins. Said mercenary then proceeded to rape him outright. Gambino failed to exist for long after this came out. And why did he do that? Because Gambino blamed Guts for his girlfriend Sys's untimely deathnote .
  • Sword Art Online:
    • Grimlock arranges for Laughing Coffin to kill his wife, all because he hated how much more confident and assertive his previously meek and submissive wife was becoming. Both Kirito and Asuna are rightfully appalled and disgusted.
    • Nobuyuki Sugou dips into this during his first meeting with Kirito. After revealing his Arranged Marriage with Asuna, he gloats to Kirito's face that there's nothing he can do to stop it, and mockingly invites him to their wedding just to twist the knife. He takes great delight in describing Kirito's reaction to said wedding to Asuna, openly admitting he barely stopped himself from laughing at it.
    • Quinella brainwashing and forcing immortality on skilled swordsmen and criminals so that they can enforce her control is one thing, but her doing the same to some seemingly random girl with a knack for Wind Sacred Arts just so she can have someone to operate an elevator is where you truly realize how low her opinion of the Underworld's residents is.
  • Princess Malty Melromarc of The Rising of the Shield Hero. Her Establishing Character Moment is to falsely accuse Naofumi of trying to rape her, after she stole all of his money and equipment, just for her own amusement. Later, she tries to have her younger sister Melty assassinated simply because Melty gave her a mild reminder that it was her duty to care about the kingdom, as the next in line for the throne. Later chapters reveal she was programmed that way by her true self, Medea Pideth Machina, an absolute narcissist of an evil goddess who intentionally seeds the worlds she plans on devouring with narcissistic heroes from completely alien worlds and daughters reality-warped into existence and created from her soul fragments, just to drag the brutal conflict out as long as possible. Note that this isn't a tactic to weaken worlds - she's strong enough to devour them at full-strength but simply enjoys the show. Also, she enjoys watching her own daughters pray to her to save them since she loves the feeling of subsequently betraying and murdering them.
  • Major: Tetsufumi Egashira, the Chief Manager of the Kaido Baseball team, goes to extreme lengths to screw protagonist Goro Shigeno and prevent him from playing baseball, including blackmailing pretty much every major school with a baseball team into refusing him entry (forcing Goro to enroll in a school without a baseball club and start it himself), ordering one of the players to intentionally injure him during a friendly match, and during the regional tournament he's obsessed with breaking Goro either emotionally or physically (or both) with little care for winning the match itself or even using the players as tools for it. All because Goro refused to be his poster boy to increase Kaido's prestige since he never intended to play for them anyway.
    • Worse still, twenty years later in Major 2nd it's revealed that he's still bitter about it, and it's all but stated that the difficulties the Fuurin baseball team is going through since Goro's son Daigo entered the school are all but stated to be his doing, and he's clearly bent on getting the baseball club shut down (refusing the offer of Coach Kunitomo, thus leaving the team without a coach and a full roster of players, and appointing Yamaguchi as the advisor for the club when she clearly is not the person for the job). While the full reasons haven't been revealed yet, he's in all likeness trying to get revenge on Goro through Daigo.
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Going hand in hand with his ego and Hair-Trigger Temper, Muzan Kibutsuji can't resist doing unnecessarily cruel or petty things to those around him, either because of minor slights or just because he can. Case in point: he brutally murdered two drunks just for being rude to him before going on to kill their female companion, who had done nothing, all while proclaiming his own perfection and superiority.

    Asian Animation 
  • Noonbory and the Super 7 loves this trope.
    • Wangury, the series Big Bad, and by extension his henchmen, Mungury and Taegury. Most of their "diabolical" schemes only involve stealing food. The only thing they've done that could be considered evil is bringing a giant Wangury statue to life and having it go on a rampage.
    • Coldygury, despite being considered a villain, really only has explosive overreactions. Out of all the villains, he's probably the nicest.
    • Dozegury may be an Evil Genius, but that doesn't exempt him from being this. Some of his crimes include: trying to catch a wishing star, creating an evil Noonbory clone, and ruining one of Cozybory's paintings (although framing Totobory for the last one is pretty heinous, for obvious reasons).
    • Rosygury is probably the only villain whose crimes are actually evil. She's actually kidnapped creatures native to Toobalooba multiple times (once by accident).

    Comic Books 
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: Various incarnations of Dr. Robotnik/Eggman across different continuities indulge in this; despite their much loftier ambitions, they just can't resist indulging in unnecessarily cruel and petty acts just because they can.
    • The Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) incarnation of Eggman is among the most blatant examples, both before and after the Cosmic Retcon:
      • He once listened to Mina Mongoose's songs on the radio and ended up so annoyed by her music that not only did he have his mooks destroy all of her memorabilia and jam the airwaves in his territories so no one could listen to her in them, but personally hired Nack the Weasel to assassinate her. All because he couldn't get one particular song out of his head.
      • Most damning of all is the ending of Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Collide. The Cosmic Retcon, and the residual chaos energy of the Super Genesis Wave shattering Mobius, could have been prevented had Eggman not deliberately interfered with Sonic's Chaos Control restoration attempt out of spite; as far as he was concerned, if he couldn't have the universe his way, then he wouldn't let Sonic have it at all.
      • During the Shattered World Crisis, which again is entirely Eggman's fault to begin with, he actively interferes with the Freedom Fighters' attempts to repair Mobius, purely because he wants the planet to be put back together on his terms, not theirs.
      • The original prime version of Robotnik was also revealed to have an emergency program installed that, should he ever come to a point that he knew Sonic and the Freedom Fighters would definitely overthrow him, it would activate all his resources to destroy the entire planet in essentially a genocidal Rage Quit.
    • The Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) version isn't much better:
      • In issue 18, he chooses to attack Cream's hometown specifically not because of any strategic merits, but simply to Kick the Dog because Sonic often passes through and some of his friends live there.
      • In issues 31 and 32, he whips up a Humongous Mecha and attacks Spiral Hill Village in the middle of the gang throwing a party to celebrate the destruction of the Metal Virus. Even when Sonic returns and helps them fight it off, Eggman decides he still wins because he crashed and ruined their party.
    • Sonic the Comic: During his time as the dictator of Mobius, Robotnik was prone to such actions as having his Badniks attack Zones he already ruled just to prove he could.
  • The Flash:
    • Professor Zoom (Eobard Thawne) is addicted to using his Time Travel powers to get what he wants and abuse people he feels have slighted him. He once crushed on a woman and, as a consequence, went back in time to erase her husband and every man she had ever dated from history just to keep her all to himself. When she still rejects him, he goes back in time and does something that leaves her catatonic into the present day.
    • Once he realizes he can't kill the Barry Allen (the second Flash) in the past without disrupting his own timeline (Barry is his inspiration), Professor Zoom begins an anonymous reign of terror over the Barry's childhood, seeing just how far he can go while keeping his history intact. In addition to eventually killing Barry's mother, and framing his father, we are shown shots of him erasing his best friend from existence, leaving Barry a friendless child. But there's also shots of Professor Zoom pushing him downstairs, causing him to miss a catch in baseball and blowing his homework away. Professor Zoom's dickery has reached memetic levels in the fandom, especially because of instances like those last two.
    • In The Button, Professor Zoom breaks into the Batcave and beats Batman up. In the process, he finds a letter that Bruce's father Thomas Wayne (the alternate version from Flashpoint) had written to him. He rips it up, commenting he knows it was Thomas' last gift to his son.
    • Flash #750 shows that he's not above using his time travel abilities to go back to Jay Garrick's time and whisper in his ears that he'll be forgotten.
  • Thanos:
    • The cosmic villain usually indulges in grand scale crimes as part of trying to woo Death. Then there's that one time he was shown to turn up every year on the birthday of an Unlucky Everydude named David and do something horrible to him, which is usually monumentally petty. Sometimes, it's relatively minor, like removing a blanket from him as a sleeping baby, stealing his phone when David's 16, and sending his girlfriend a horribly abusive message to break them up. Or, it's murdering his father, killing his catnote , burning down the grad school he'd got into, and killing everyone who turned up to his 21st birthday party. David assumes that it's part of a plan to break his will and ensure he's Driven to Suicide and prepares to tell Thanos just why he doesn't let it break him, despite the fact that he's now The Pig-Pen and fairly miserable... then Thanos casually tells him that he doesn't care, wrenches out a water main, flooding the apartment, and says he'll see him next year.
    • Another time he went out of his way to crush a single flower, just because it brought people hope.
  • This is, quite often, the reasoning behind The Joker's less horrifying crimes. In a way, it just makes the Joker seem even worse as he truly sees no difference between throwing cream pies, robbing a museum, and brutal, torturous mass murder. To him, it's all just part of the joke.
  • Batman: Crimson Mist: When we see the Scarecrow, he's out killing the former Jerk Jocks who bullied him in high school.
  • The Kingpin dives headfirst into this in the Born Again arc, sacrificing his calmness and methodical approach (the factors that made him such an intimidating and effective villain in the first place) for his vendetta against Daredevil.
  • Janus Valker from Rat-Man can't stay good for a single minute. It's not just killing people out of boredom, ruling a shadow corporate agency, and hunting his heroic nemesis. He likes to cripple laboratory assistants, ruin careers for very slight (or imaginary) reasons, and starve houseplants. On purpose. Now, the comic's hero has an obsessive compulsion to kill cats and cripple noisy children, but still...
  • Darkseid usually plays this trope straight - examples include forcing his minions to murder their pets, murdering (or trying to murder) relatives of his enemies for foiling his Evil Schemes, executing his minions for speaking out of turn, and setting free his slaves...and putting them in charge of the next batch, just so the hero can watch them become as cruel as the old slave drivers.
    • Mister Miracle (2017) takes the cake though: that series culminates with Darkseid offering Scott Free a ceasefire in the war between Apokolips and New Genesis, even giving up the Anti-Life Equation, and all Scott has to do is...hand his newborn son over to Darkseid to be tortured and raised as his heir, thereby recreating the most traumatic event in his life, this time in the role of the father. When you're willing to give up universal domination to hurt one man in a way that only you can, you're petty, to say the least.
  • Superman:
    • Lex Luthor has many moments where he indulges himself in petty acts of evil and cruelty. He once frequented a diner for a week so he could court a particular waitress. Then he offered her a life of fame and luxury if she would be his lover. But he drove away in his limo before she could make a decision, leaving her to ponder opportunities lost. Just something to amuse himself with.
    • In The Death of Superman, he also strangled his female martial arts instructor, just because she knocked him down during a sparring session. It was also a case of him being able to rub his superiority in the face of Superman (who'd just been killed fighting Doomsday), as now he could freely commit crimes on a whim without having to worry about Supes making him pay for it. Post-Crisis Luthor is depicted as a petulant asshole who holds grudges against anyone who even slightly challenges his authority.
    • He also frequently addresses Clark Kent as "Mr. Lois Lane" and openly puts the moves on Lois and/or makes disparaging comments about Clark's masculinity right in front of them, just to be an irritating dick to two people whom he dislikes.
    • Taken to new lows in The Black Ring. Luthor gives up omnipotence and the chance to give everyone in the universe eternal bliss — all because one of the conditions of keeping that power is that he can't do anything negative with that power such as, say, destroying Superman. To Luthor, godhood is meaningless if he can't use it to crush his greatest foe.
    • Luthor's entire grudge against Superman is proof of his pettiness. He's all but admitted that the only reason he hates Supes with such a passion is that Superman is the first person he met that is both more powerful than he is and completely unwilling to bend to his will. The fact that he's the world's greatest hero and has inspired others to defy Luthor only galls him more. Supes has called him out on this complete waste of his potential multiple times to no avail.
    • In Bruce Wayne: Fugitive he framed Bruce Wayne for murder when Bruce cut all ties between Wayne Enterprises and the US Government in protest of Luthor becoming president.
    • In 52, he turned off the superpowers of several superheroes he created while they were in mid-flight, killing them and causing lots of collateral damage when he found out the process that gave them superpowers wouldn't work on him.
    • The Superdictionary: And he once stole forty cakes from the school bake sale in his youth because the school administration wouldn't let him enter a fission-powered toaster in the science fair!
    • In Lex Luthor: Man of Steel, Luthor crosses into almost Stupid Evil with his pettiness and obsession, destroying two of his own greatest creations (the Science Spire and Hope), as well as undoubtedly costing himself millions upon millions of dollars. The reason he does so? To make Superman look bad. Superman is not impressed in the slightest.
    • Adaptations of Luthor, particularly in animated settings like the DC Animated Universe, also tend to involve this. Though it must be noted that the page quote comes not from Luthor, but from The Flash during a "Freaky Friday" Flip with Luthor and trying (ineptly) to disguise himself as Luthor.
    • Brainiac is another incredibly petty Superman enemy. In Superman: Brainiac, right after Superman defeats him, he commands his ship to fire a missile at the Kent Farm. Superman ruined his home so he wants to destroy his. In other words, Brainiac attempts to murder an elderly couple who never did anything to him and he has never met because their foster son defeated and humiliated him.
    • In Many Happy Returns, Supergirl enemy Xenon is so obsessed with killing all different Supergirls that he doesn't care whether killing Earth-One Kara Zor-El will end The Multiverse.
    • In Action Comics #309: The Untold Story Of Argo City, Kara is following a lead to find her missing parents. However, the criminals exiled to the Phantom Zone ruin her chance to locate her parents' whereabouts out of spite.
    • In Supergirl (Volume 5) and Who is Superwoman?, Reactron attempts to rape and kill Kara several times, murders her parents and blows her planet up... because she had the gall to defend herself and beat him down when he first attacked her.
    • The Great Phantom Peril: After apparently driving Superman out of his city, Faora Hu-Ul amuses herself by flying around at super-sonic speed and shattering every window in Metropolis. Later, when the remainder Phantom Zoners are released from the Zone, they utilize their godlike powers to destroy a Superman statue and engage in other acts of petty urban vandalism.
    • In The Unknown Supergirl, Lesla-Lar is a well-off scientist, whose research has been recognised and awarded and who has no trouble finding work, including movie roles. And still she sets out to ruin Kara's life, whom she does not even know, only because Supergirl will receive way more acclaim and praise than Lesla ever got when she goes public.
    • The Coming of Atlas: If you are a LexCorp employee and you happen to use company resources to help Superman, no matter the reason, not only you will be fired on the spot, but also your ex-boss will do everything he can to ruin your job prospects afterwards.
    • Sleeze, the New God in charge of porn. Darkseid banished Sleeze from Apokolips because he thought a god of porn was too petty to play any part in his schemes to conquer reality. It says something when Darkseid thinks you are too petty. His lowest moment came when he had total mental control over Superman and Big Barda, another powerful New God, and instead of forcing them to do any number of terrible atrocities against the human race, he made them star in a porno just because he can and to see her poor husband's (Mister Miracle) reaction.
  • Doctor Doom may act exactly like a Magnificent Bastard of an Evil Overlord with delusions of grandeur and adhere to the appropriate conventions of nobility and respectability to go with it, but it doesn't change the fact that he's still an arrogant prick who's spent half his life obsessively trying to kill his old college pal Reed Richards for being smarter than he is and whose attempts to Take Over the World, overthrow governments, and gain supreme powers are all motivated by the desire to prove that he's smarter than Reed and rub it in his face. He's a Spoiled Brat who wants the chance to yell "nyah nyah nyah nyah!" at the object of his jealousy. This is directly contrasted to his bombastic, overblown persona as an aristocrat because that's how he imagines a great man to be.
  • In the infamous Spider-Man arc One More Day, Mephisto makes a deal with Spider-Man to erase his and Mary Jane's marriage from the timeline in exchange for Aunt May's life. He doesn't even want Spider-Man's soul since that would be a Heroic Sacrifice, nor does he have any sort of complex Evil Plan in the works—he just doesn't like the fact that Peter and Mary Jane are happy together. Mephisto was just as petty when he went after Silver Surfer back in the day. He didn't attack him because of some master plan or because Surfer had done something to him. He just couldn't stand the Surfer's nobility. For a hell lord, Mephisto is pretty petty. He also tricked a hapless bartender into agreeing to become his personal living immortal inkwell because the guy had the balls to ask for a tip. This after he spent the night talking about all of the various irons he has in the fire that led to Fear Itself among other things.
  • Norman Osborn started off with a plan to take over the criminal underworld of New York by killing Spider-Man and gaining a rep. By his second appearance, he was in it just to kill Spidey, but even that changed. For the next forty years, he existed for the sole purpose of screwing with Peter, going so far as to orchestrate The Clone Saga just to mess with his head. If he committed that much effort into taking over the world, he probably would have become a major Marvel villain much earlier than Dark Reign.
  • Eddie Brock, the first Venom is another example. His reasons for wanting to kill Spider-Man vary by medium (usually involving losing his job), but they're usually extremely petty, especially because in most versions, it's his own damn fault. Later writers usually try to work around this by depicting his firing as the breaking point of a life filled with pent-up frustration to at least better frame his vendetta. The symbiote itself is less petty; it wants Peter dead because he rejected it once he found out it was alive and wanted to make their bond permanent, which on a surface level basically puts the symbiote on the same level as a jilted ex-girlfriend, but Peter nearly killed it in the process, which makes the Symbiote's frustration a bit more understandable, though not justified.
  • Sonic the Comic: During his time as the Emperor Scientist of Mobius, Dr. Robotnik was prone to such things as having his Mecha-Mooks attack areas of the planet he already owns just to prove he could.
  • Red Skull has some pretty grand and horrifying ambitions, but he always takes the time to stop and be a total dick to his most loyal followers just for the hell of it. It all comes down to the fact that Red Skull hates everything in existence. If he can't cause widespread misery with plans that threaten the world and beyond, he'll happily settle for petty acts of cruelty, like eating food in front of starving children.
  • Loki prior to his Heroic Sacrifice and subsequent reincarnation is the self-described God of Mischief. He has the same lofty ambitions of any other typical Evil Overlord — conquer everything, kill the hero, etc. — but his hobbies include torturing helpless fish for fun. Loki's reasons for his mischief are also rather petty: they are all rooted in his inferiority complex due to his Frost Giant heritage, lack of martial prowess (relatively speaking) in a society of warrior gods, and his conflicting feelings of hate and love towards his foster brother Thor.
    • In a storyline in Alpha Flight, Northstar was led by Loki to discover his "true origins" as a member of a fairy race brought to Earth and went to the land to find "his people." The new writers, however, retconned it with Northstar discovering Loki was just lying for kicks, Northstar was human after all.
  • In X-Men, Sabretooth is most famous for his truly grisly acts of evil, including a wanton love of slaughter and casual cannibalism. However, he can also be a truly colossal dick. All he really wants out of life is an endless string of opportunities to make Wolverine miserable and gets the same kind of joy out of following Wolverine into a diner and eating the pie he just ordered, then wandering off, as he gets from setting up an elaborate ploy to make Wolverine kill all of the bastard children he'd unknowingly fathered. Under Chris Claremont, at least, he also makes it a hobby to find Wolverine every year, on Wolverine's birthday, and do whatever he can to make sure that day is miserable for Wolverine. Most of the time, he settles for "only" beating Wolverine into a coma.
  • Aquaman's archenemy Black Manta will go great lengths to murder and abuse anyone who associates themselves with the aquatic hero. When he learns that Aquaman has returned after a long period of absence, he kills everyone in the butcher shop he was working at for being happy at the news, blows up his house, and goes back to tormenting his archenemy.
  • In The Sandman, Desire of the Endless. S/he still finds time to destroy the lives of completely random mortals. For example:
    You see that lady in red? Over there? Go and talk to her, have a passionate weekend during which both of you make love until you’re sore and bleeding. Then, without knowing why, refuse to see her again. She’ll phone you up, and hang around your house. When you ask her to leave you alone she’ll just cry and not say anything — look at you with hurt eyes and follow you around. Eventually, this will make you so angry you’ll find yourself needing desperately to make her say something. To make her react. To hurt her. To get her eyes out of your mind. After that, it will be just a matter of time.
  • Tintin "Flight 714" has the villains acting like this. When Carreidas sneezes of his hat Allan kicks it round and finally jams it over Haddock's head so he can't see.
  • Iznogoud: When Iznogoud first sees the current owner of the title object in "The Unlucky Diamond" seemingly begging on a street corner, he is not amused:
    Iznogoud: A beggar!? I thought I'd outlawed begging, it encourages charity!
  • Batman villain The Penguin could be the Trope Namer. He likes to style himself as an aristocratic gentleman, but in reality, he's really just a thug who deals with the inferiority he feels because of his stunted appearance by lashing out at every possible slight, both real and imagined. This is the main focus of Penguin: Pain and Prejudice, which shows how Penguin murdered his abusive father and brothers, and in adulthood, systematically destroys the lives of anyone who angers him for ANY reason, such as a man who bumped into him at a nightclub and called him fat before he realized who he was talking to and desperately apologized, and a coroner who was chewing gum while removing the body of the Penguin's mother from her bedroom.
  • In Peter Bage's Apocalypse Nerd, after McNeely Vile, a commune set up by a bunch of engineers from Seattle, is destroyed by a roving Native American gang, Dylan McNeely, the son of the late founder of Mcneeley Vile, teams up with another survivor of the massacre, and two rednecks to enact brutal revenge. Specifically, revenge on the residents of the nearby women's only commune that beat him up after they caught him using them as "imagination fuel."
  • Getaway from The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye is not only convinced he's worthy to be Prime, but also hideously insecure and reacts to even minor slights with utter rage. At one point he throws a horrific temper tantrum and smashes up his office because someone didn't answer his call. Later he tries to murder Riptide because the latter insulted his intelligence and when his Dragon complains about how needlessly cruel he's acting, Getaway responds by forcing the poor guy to kill an innocent person for no other reason than to put him in his place. Thunderclash manages to piss him off just by existing, as Getaway is almost self-righteously jealous of him and makes every excuse to hurt Thunderclash.
    • In the sibling series, The Transformers: Robots in Disguise (or more accurately the part of the line dubbed Till All Are One), Starscream is like this - as one would expect given that 'Scream's reputation for weasely behavior has been more or less intact for thirty years. He's self-aware about it, at least.
      Elita One: Starscream, we're reading a large number of ships off our bow. Do you really want to waste time and resources you don't have fighting your friends?
      Starscream: I think you underestimate the depth of my pettiness.
  • Ultimate Marvel:
    • All-New Ultimates: Bombshell has been turned into a living puppet, and Diamondback uses her to go to the Ultimates' base of operations. But, before that, let's take a detour to an ATM and make her take out all the cash from her debit cards.
    • The Ultimates
      • Can you believe that Those Wacky Nazis shot down a plane filled with Camel cigarettes? Kowalski can't.
      • The Red Skull not only forced Petra Laskov to kill her husband with a pair of scissors, then tossed her baby out the window and had his men gang-rape her, he also then stole every bit of food in her house. This stands out more to Nick Fury than the other stuff.
    • Ultimate X-Men: When Cyclops temporarily joins the Brotherhood, Magneto asks him to refer to him as "father" at Wanda's poetry recital purely to be a dick to Pietro.
  • In The Umbrella Academy, The Reveal that Vanya always had powers, but was brainwashed into forgetting them puts Monocle's already-horrible abuse into a new light. He didn't neglect her because she was a Muggle, but because she was the only child he couldn't control on his own. He had to order Allison to help him subdue Vanya, a sting to his ego he didn't forget for over a decade.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Cheetah (Priscilla Rich) is so annoyed at other women getting attention when she's not that she'll murder them over it. This includes times when she specifically and intentionally created the situation that brought attention to the woman in question.
  • Rick and Morty (Oni): Rick's old drinking buddy has been dethroned and imprisoned by the new queen that Rick told him not to marry. Rick risks not only his own life but Morty’s as wellnote  just to deliver a letter to the king telling him that he told him so.
  • East of West: Archibald Chamberlain is smart enough to generally avoid this in favor of Pragmatic Villainy, which proves to have been a good attitude when he finally does indulge in a bit of petty spite (shooting Solomon first in a Mexican Standoff despite having secretly emptied his gun beforehand) and it near-immediately gets him killed; by wasting his first shot on a harmless old man for the sake of gratification, Chamberlain leaves himself wide open for his other, actually dangerous enemy, the Ranger, to shoot and kill him.

    Comic Strips 
  • In one Sherman's Lagoon arc, Megan falls victim to identity theft. Even worse, the thief is buying things she wanted but never had the chance or reason to buy. Megan comments that the thief knows her personally and is buying those things to upset her, and Sherman wonders aloud if they know anyone that mean and petty. Not to mention bored. Cut to Hawthorn the hermit crab's hole, where Hawthorn has a defaced picture of Megan.

    Fan Works 
  • This tends to crop up in fanfictions that go way overboard in trying to "prove" the evil nature of a character. For example, Harry Potter fanfictions that make Dumbledore full-on manipulative treat every single thing he does, no matter how insignificant or meaningless it was in the books, as something done purely to spite or upset Harry.
  • In Chaos Theory, Morgan Le Fay reveals she is serving Angra Mainyu willingly. She simply hates Saber/Arturia Pendragon so much that she would rather let the world get destroyed and everyone die than let Saber be happy for a single second. Morgan also acts as a colossal bitch to everyone.
  • Ash's father in Clash of the Ketchums starts a movement to raise the Trainer licensing age to eighteen (with any current trainers under eighteen forced to go back to school) in an effort to "protect the children" all because of an argument with Ash when he calls him out on trying to interfere with his life despite being a Disappeared Dad for Ash's entire life up to that point. That Ash proves him wrong about all his assumptions of Pokemon training being a waste of time only makes things worsenote .
  • Megatron is without a doubt the most petty character in Code Prime:
    • It's implied that he ordered the Lancelot to deploy at Narita just to spite Zero by forcing him to fight Suzaku, as Megatron knows Zero's true identity as Lelouch.
    • Attacking the SAZ after Euphemia declares her intent to ally Britannia with the Autobots and Black Knights to oppose the Decepticons is cruel but understandable. However, Megatron's actions fall into this trope when he kidnaps Euphie and replaces her with a Pretending in her likeness and using said Pretender to initiate said massacre. And there's also having Airachnid make Euphie watch the carnage.
    • He keeps calling Elita-One "Ariel" long after she changed her name. Kallen even lampshades the pettiness of it.
    • He made the Dark Queen using Marianne's preserved corpse just to screw with Lelouch. While he acknowledges Marianne's skills as a pilot, that appears to be secondary to tormenting Lelouch.
  • In the Total Drama story, Courtney and the Violin of Despair, the spirit enforcing a lethal curse on the titular violin decides that the 11-year-old Courtney isn't worth killing, so it contents itself with inflicting petty humiliations on her.
  • The Black Fairy's entire M.O. in The Dark Lady. Aside from kidnapping Zelena's baby, she stages the miscarriage of her own unborn grandchild so that she could escape the Dark Realm, holds her now still-living grandson and granddaughter hostage in exchange for Rumpelstiltskin’s heart, only to use it to alter Rumpelstiltskin’s memories so that he does not remember Belle as being anything more than a maid. She casts a barrier that traps Belle, Mrs. Potts, and the rest of the family in the Dark Castle and threaten to hurt Belle and her children if they do not pretend everything is fine.
  • In Darth Vader: Hero of Naboo, this is a major characteristic of Palpatine/Sidious. Plagueis even says that his apprentice has a habit of savoring even the smallest victories too much.
  • Subverted in X-Men fanfiction Devils Diary. As snooping around New York City under an assumed identity, Magneto visits the offices of Marvel Comics and meets Stan Lee. Stan tells him among other things he and Kirby met Doctor Doom once (which indeed happened in Fantastic Four (1961) #10), and Stan thought Doom was going to murder them because he plays the villain role in their comics. But it turned out that Doom considers their antics below his notice. Magneto briefly considers to get rid of them when, not if, they put him in a comic book, before deciding it's not worth it.
    Stan Lee: Doom knew who we were, because we put out the book, and he knew that Reed Richards was going to pay us a visit that day, to tell us about that recent case with, um, Sub-Mariner, I think. All I could think of was: I'm gonna die. He's gonna murder me right in my office, because we've been putting out comic books with him as a villain. We were lucky. He didn't give a hang about our comic books. He just wanted to take out Reed Richards, and he waited around until Richards came, and knocked him out.
  • In the sixth story of marcus00721's Fairy Tail series, Final Chapters, Emmeraude, the final antagonist of the previous story, Dawn of Darkness, after losing almost everyone she cares for, her subordinates, the daughter she created whom sacrificed herself and her dreams to create peaceful world, abandons her dream and joins Zeref in his desire to destroy humanity. All for the opportunity to destroy Fairy Tail but most of all Lucy. Lucy had stumbled upon her experiments while investigating disappearances, something Emmeraude was responsible for, back in Isle of Dragons and unknowingly took a key part of Emmeraude's plan with her. Once she captured Lucy, Fairy Tail took on the whole kingdom to get her back. This led to Emmeraude's downfall. And she blames Lucy for all of it. She even outright admits that she is petty.
  • In For Love of Magic Lucius Malfoy keeps Penelope Clearwater from getting a decent job after she graduates because she once gave his son detention.
  • Halloween Unspectacular: In the story "Alien!", it turns out that the reason the government agents are convinced Gaz is an alien is that Zim told them she was. Apparently, he was hoping she'd get dissected, for no other reason than he knew it'd upset Dib.
  • Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail: Sara envied Chloe for seemingly having a better life than her, what with being the daughter of a Professor and all. So she mounted a one-girl campaign to make her miserable, gradually turning the bulk of their classmates against her. Her pettiness proves to be her downfall: she goes out of her way to rub in Parker's face the idea that she 'won' by driving Chloe away, and even after her true nature has been publically exposed and she's been duly punished, she continues making casually cruel, needlessly nasty comments about Chloe. Even when she's completely surrounded by Chloe's friends and family, or when she's facing down a pissed-off Parker powered by the Unown.
  • Selene Gallio, aka the Black Queen in The Last Son has it in for Superman and the Kryptonian race as a whole. Given that she couldn't hurt him directly (because an unknown force implied to be Doctor Fate stopped her every time she tried to get close), she took to sabotaging a friendship he struck with a young girl he had saved from a fire, by manipulating her father into intercepting Clark's mail so she thought he'd forgotten about her. Said girl? A young Emma Frost, and years later she even twists the knife further by revealing this fact to her face.
  • Leave for Mendeleiev:
    • Chloé feels entitled to harass Marinette whenever she pleases, and responds to her transferring into another class by barging in and trying to brag about how she can't escape her. When Ms. Mendeleiev shuts that down, she becomes obsessed with proving that she can still hurt her favorite victim, and does whatever she can to punish anyone who gets in her way.
    • Adrien proves himself to be a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing with a massively petty streak, constantly taking out his frustrations on Plagg by exploiting the power he holds over his kwami, such as transforming before he can finish eating and threatening to feed him nothing but mushrooms.
    • Nathaniel got Jean banned from the art room by complaining that his improv comedy had no place there, and feeds into Mme Bustier's delusions by claiming that Jean's a 'bad influence' on Marinette. Because neither he or his teacher are too happy about Marinette learning how to stand up for herself, and he's jealous of Jean getting to spend time with her.
  • Loved and Lost: Prince Jewelius shows himself to be beyond spiteful once he has stolen Equestria's throne and turned the public against most of the heroes. After he has sentenced the heroes to slavery and/or exile, he gifts Spike and later Rarity with specific itemsnote  just to remind them of the failures they were banished for. He makes the life of Ponyville's inhabitants miserable through raised taxes and trading prohibitions on the excuse that the home town of the "traitorous" heroes needs to be made an example of. In reality, he just hated Rarity's comment that nopony would possibly want to ruin "such a glorious event like the wedding of the wonderful Princess Mi Amore Cadenza". Even his entire hatred toward his aunt Princess Celestia and loving cousin Princess Cadance boils down to petty jealousy. After he himself destroys his own credibility, he decides to rule through fear instead of propaganda and massacre all the inhabitants of Ponyville along with the heroes, throwing a guard out of a window simply for questioning if this is going too far.
  • In Marinette Dupain-Cheng's Spite Playlist, Marinette transfers to another school after the "Chameleon" incident. Despite 'winning' their feud, Lila makes a point of targeting Marinette's former best friend Alya, making sure she's particularly engulfed in her lies. During one encounter, Lila tells Marinette outright that she's going to keep hurting her classmates with her manipulations purely because she knows it bothers her.
  • It may not exactly be an 'evil' act, but in the DC Animated Universe fic Mercy, Zatanna muses that Hades literally rubbed Hippolyta's face in the fact that the Amazon queen was 'the other woman' by deliberately sculpting Diana to be an almost exact double for his true wife Persephone, save for the fact that Diana has her mother's eyes.
  • A memorable example in the Crossover Doctor Who/My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic fanfic Mines of Dragon Mountain. The team is at the mercy of an ageless immortal embodiment of evil that blames The Doctor for its imprisonment 500,000 years prior. He rants at length about how he will make them immortal just so they will suffer longer as he tortures them for all eternity. As a character points out, he's immortal and already billions of years old and as such shouldn't be all that bothered by the 500,000-year imprisonment. He responds, "What can I say, I'm petty."
  • The Council in Naruto Veangance Revelaitons kills the entire audience of a Cooking Duel after their team of Madara and Sasuke loses to Ronan. Ronan himself, while not intended as evil, also counts, as he's willing to kill people over the most minor reasons, such as a shopkeeper who tries to stop him from shoplifting merchandise, a gay man who likes his penis, and several women for being fat.
  • Didier of the Blood+ fic Nobility, who exists solely to torment his brother Anjou as much as possible. It's actually noted that not only did Didier go so far as to start a war just to hurt Anjou, but has actually blown off multiple chances to kill him just so he could mess with him more.
  • As in canon, Crowley of Good Omens tends to perpetuate low-grade evil in fanfictions. For example, in Not Quite the Devil You Know, Dean is baffled until realizing that unlike the body-snatching, murderous demons he's used to, Crowley's idea of evil is to glue a coin to the sidewalk and skip out of paying for a meal.
    Crowley: "I'm also responsible for hotel plastic card keys that never work, the Z-block appearing when you don't need it in Tetris, and restaurants being fresh out of dessert despite it being an hour until closing time."
  • In Of White Trees And Blue Roses, King Aerys vetoes Rhaegar's idea of reviving the ancient tradition of Targaryen polygamy in order to stop Robert's rebellion by wedding Lyanna, simply because he had not thought of reviving the tradition himself in order to hold on to Joanna Lannister.
  • In Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, Cyrus being an Omnicidal Maniac bent on creating a World of Silence is terrifying, but using Ash as his test subject for his Reality Warper abilities (by screwing with his intelligence and skill levels as he pleased) was a major dick move.
  • In the Jackie Chan Adventures fic Queen of All Oni, Jade's entire motivation, other than amassing enough wealth to live a life of comfort, is to prove that she's "better" than her family. On top of that, she's also apparently spending her free time tormenting her Jerkass classmate Drew.
    • Daolon Wong also qualifies: even depowered and arrested, he still gloats about how his spell has ensured that the Chan family's future is ruined.
  • Queen of Blood: The S9 being this is the focus of Dracul's "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Jack Slash. When it comes down to it, the Slaughterhouse 9 are actually somewhat pathetic in the long term, based primarily around Jack's ego and desire to prove his own selfishness as a valid way of looking at the world. To an Evil Overlord, even on a purely selfish level, this is quite possibly the most pointless, self-defeating goal in the world – the planet may remember Jack and spit on his name, but when it comes down to it, he will remain a footnote, as nobody will care who such a small-minded monster was.
  • Roar of the LION: Inori, hands down. When Cinder decides to wash her hands of her and tries to steal her research, Inori hacks into her Do Not Adjust Your Set threat after Pyrrha accidentally kills Penny to broadcast her own, outing Cinder, Emerald, and Mercury to everyone in attendance and exposing Cinder's planned attack on Vale purely to spite her.
    • When El Toro costs him Kuro's mask, Hak Foo takes his as payment. Jade actually points out how petty this is, but does admit that they are evil.
  • Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness:
    • Falla Cii killed her parents, destroyed her homeland, and wiped out the entire chronofly race, with the exception of herself and her sister Luna, simply because she was jealous that Luna was chosen to be the next queen over her. Furthermore, it's revealed in Act VI that the reason Luna could never get a date is that Falla lied to all of her potential suitors that their father would execute any of them who tried to approach Luna without hesitation, for no reason other than to be a Jerkass.
    • As revealed in a flashback in Act IV chapter 29, Felucia, before her Heel–Face Turn, once stole a car, nearly killing two human teens in the process, simply because it matched her eyes.
  • Played for Drama in Shorn - a Recursive Fanfiction for Last Evening Together where Rarity refuses to shave her hair at the monks' request - Traumatic Haircut is examined to detail in this fic. She even explains this trope to the rest of the Mane Six and the princesses: The Big Bad and Eldritch Abomination of the season are big and obvious like a rolling boulder, and thus everyone knows to avoid them, and they also know that they have to be stopped... but the lesser cruelties are much harder to stop, precisely because they are so small and petty - few people bother, or they don't think of striking at the heart of the problem. Even worse? Some times, it's tradition, making otherwise Reasonable Authority Figure Celestia support it due to sheer peer pressure and "expectations".
  • Ozai in silent before it's shearers, despite holding no love for Zuko, asks Iroh to return his son to him simply because he hates the idea that Iroh is the official father of Zuko, someone that, from his point of view, rightfully belongs to him.
  • This basically sums up Electro's attitude in Spider-X; as in canon, Max Dillon has the power to be particularly dangerous, but while determined to apply himself at school, he makes it clear more than once that he is less interested in the Brotherhood’s long term agenda of war against the humans in favour of having fun with his abilities right now, such as going out and robbing ATMs. This can also be shown in his first actions when he realizes that he has his powers; what he did to his father was essentially an accident (albeit one he wasn't sorry about), but Dillon then proceeds to render his old school bully brain-dead.
  • In the beginning of The Stronger Evil, following the double-crossing from Shendu's part and the loss of his magic, Daolon Wong steals a gun and shoots Valerie Payne — whom Shendu called his bride — in order to have revenge on Shendu. Trying to hurt a good character just to have revenge on what someone else did is petty enough, but what makes it more so is the fact that Wong first met Valerie only hours earlier and doesn't really know her as a nemesis like he knows the Chans as. Just the knowledge of her being meaningful to Shendu suffices for him to use her as a way for retribution. It gets him immediately killed.
  • In Tara Sheppard, Warren and Amy’s vendettas against the Scoobies are based on fundamentally petty motives, and Warren even destroys a small hotel and kills fifteen people just to try and kill John Sheppard when John had only had one direct confrontation with Warren at that point (and that was actually with a robot that Warren had apparently set up to get destroyed as part of his plan anyway).
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows: Everything Shredder does is motivated purely by his Irrational Hatred of Yoshi/Splinter, as well as being pissed that Tang Shen chose Splinter over him. Kasumi openly calls him pathetic on multiple occasions.
  • In Team Tobi, Tobi/Obito kidnaps Team 7 during the Wave mission and forcibly recruits them as Amegakure Genin with him as their Jounin Instructor solely because he saw how much Kakashi cared for them and wanted to prove that he could be a better teacher.
  • In This Bites!, the World Nobles have Vivi accused of treason because the Nefertari family refused to ascend with them 800 years ago.
  • Zim the Warlord: Irken Reversion: After Zim and the other Reverted Irkens are declared as Warlords, he celebrates by going to his former banishment site on Foodcourtia to rub Sizz-Lorr's face in the fact that he's no longer legally bound to work for him. In turn, Sizz-Lorr makes him eat at the tentacle monster-infested Booth 12 just to spite him.

    Film — Animation 
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Evil Queen. Don't you dare be prettier than her.
  • Alice in Wonderland: The Queen of Hearts. Painting her roses red is generally not a good idea.
  • Sleeping Beauty: Maleficent. "How dare you not invite me to your baby shower!"
  • 101 Dalmatians: Cruella de Vil. She's not the trope namer for Cruella to Animals for nothing. She wants to kill the eponymous dalmatians to make a fur coat out of them. Dog hair isn't particularly soft or warm, so why does she want this sort of coat so badly? Just so she can be sure that they're dead, that's why!
  • Robin Hood: Prince John spends most of his time tormenting and abusing his assistant, Sir Hiss.
  • The Rescuers: Madame Medusa, natch. "What makes you think anyone would want a homely little girl like you?" Said to a child with heavy self-image issues — and after she'd tried to get the kid to like her, no less!
  • Beauty and the Beast: Gaston slowly slips into this when Belle constantly rejects him, since he thinks he "deserves it".
  • Pocahontas: Governor Ratcliffe is constantly bullying Thomas.
  • Treasure Planet: Scroop bullies Jim around and when Mr. Arrow puts a stop to it he kills him and makes it look like it's Jim's fault.
  • The Thief and the Cobbler: Zigzag tries to have Tack beheaded, and later has him thrown in the dungeon and tries to feed him to his pet vulture Phido, purely because he stepped on a tack that Tack accidentally dropped in his path.
  • Aladdin: Jafar keeps hurting his own pet parrot for very little reason. (Of course, everything else hurts Iago too.)
  • The Lion King II: Simba's Pride: Mentioned in Zira's Villain Song.
    Now, the past I've tried forgetting
    And my foes I could forgive.
    Trouble is, I know it's petty,
    but I hate to let them live!
  • Gru in Despicable Me. He hits the cars in front and back of his monstrosity of a vehicle repeatedly while he's parallel parking. Not out of ineptitude, mind you, he parks perfectly; he does it just because it will make two strangers' days a little worse. Other examples abound. He gets better.
  • The Book of Life: Don't you dare make Xibalba lose a bet, however unintentionally.
  • The LEGO Batman Movie is all driven by The Joker feeling spurned once Batman says he is not his Arch-Enemy. Whenever they discuss it again afterwards, it's treated as if it's an actual relationship.
  • Ernesto in Coco is such an arrogant, self-obsessed jerk that after he murdered his best friend and ghostwriter Hector, he included a scene depicting the exact way that he killed Hector in his movie, casting himself as the hero in Hector's place who realized he was poisoned. It's bad enough that he killed the man, but Ernesto apparently felt the need to brag about it and posthumously rub it in Hector's face.
  • Balto gives us Steele: he routinely antagonizes Balto whenever he has the chance and takes extra measures that nobody else but him wins the praise and glory of retrieving the medicine to keep his ego pacified.
  • Incredibles 2: Part of the villain's plan involves framing an innocent person to lull the heroes into a false sense of security. The victim is a pizza guy because he was "surly" and the pizza was cold.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In the final chapter of the 1943 movie serial The Batman, the villain has Batman tied up in a chair and brings out Batman's girlfriend Linda and her uncle, who are under the influence of his mind control. Could he be about to threaten Linda’s life in some fiendishly clever way in order to put Batman through exquisite psychological torture? ... Well, actually, he just makes Linda slap Batman in the face. And then laughs at them. Don’t worry, he gets eaten by alligators.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • A big part of Aldrich Killian aka The Mandarin's villainy in Iron Man 3 is nothing but payback for Tony Stark blowing him off at a New Year's party over a decade ago.
    • Guardians of the Galaxy: Big Bad Ronan killed The Other just for being annoying, and, when betraying Thanos, he recalls the Mad Titan's previous insult (namely, referring to Ronan as "boy"), indicating that he took the relatively minor remark very personally.
    • In Spider-Man: Far From Home the reason why Mysterio and his support crew are willing and able to cause massacres and mass destruction around the world for the sake of creating Engineered Heroics is that they are all former Stark employees that have all been slighted, in some way or another (but highly implied to be minor), by Tony's antics. Even Mysterio himself, who is mentioned to have always been an "unstable" employee, admits he hit his Rage Breaking Point when Tony decided to name the device that uses his holographic technology (the memory-reading glasses first shown in Captain America: Civil War) "B.A.R.F." Even in death, Mysterio finds a way to spite Spider-Man from beyond the grave by releasing doctored footage to the Daily Bugle, framing Peter for his own rampage in London and outing his Secret Identity.
  • A Cinderella Story: Shelby constantly makes fun of Sam for having to work for a living. Borders on Fridge Horror when you realize she does not have a problem with Austin being a gas-station attendant (who like Sam, works for his family's business, they are just taking advantage of the situation like Sam); when you think about it, she essentially tortures Sam for being an abuse victim.
  • Extends to Mr. Scratch, the devil incarnate, in The Devil and Daniel Webster. Aside from stealing souls, he enjoys petty theft and vandalism. Old Scratch ends the film by stealing a pie Jabez Stone's mother baked. (Fortunately, she had made two).
  • No Country for Old Men: Anton Chigurh shows this a few times.
    • He's willing to kill a gas station attendant in simple annoyance at him for making polite small talk and revealing that he "married into" ownership of the gas station.
    • Anton attempts to shoot a crow he passes by in his car for no apparent reason other than to kill something. He misses.
    • Llewelyn gets told later on in the film that, even if he had just ditched the money and ran away once he figured out how much over his head he was, Anton would have still hunted him down and killed him for the sake of getting rid of a man who "inconvenienced" him.
    • He carries out the promise he gave to Llewelyn that he would kill Sara Jean (Llewelyn’s wife) even after Llewelyn is dead because he promised he would.
  • Star Wars:
    • Darth Vader is normally too disciplined to indulge in this, but he does show one subtle instance if one considers Obi-Wan's line of "I have the high ground" from their duel on Mustafar during Revenge of the Sith. Rogue One shows that Vader lives in a castle rising several stories above Mustafar's soil. In the same scene, he Force chokes Director Krennic just for the sake of a pun (and because he thinks Krennic is annoying).
    • In the climax of The Rise of Skywalker, the reborn Emperor Palpatine force grabs an already defeated Ben Solo and declares that the last Skywalker will fall as he did... literally; he spitefully hurls Ben into a nearby pit just as Anakin did to him in Return of the Jedi, for no other reason than to posthumously stick it to Anakin through his grandson.
  • In the Harry Potter movies:
    • Draco Malfoy is a kleptomaniac.
    • In Order of the Phoenix, among the various things she did in the books, Umbridge forces the students to conform to various old-fashioned rules for behavior (among other things, two students are forcibly separated from kissing and a later rule states that students of opposite genders must remain set distances apart at all times).
  • In Bedazzled (1967), with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, the devil's petty pranks are a Running Gag. We see him scratching new albums and putting them back on the shelf at a record store and send out a pigeon to do its "doo-dahs" on a passerby.
    Stanley: Your pranks are so miserable.
  • In Bedazzled (2000), Elizabeth Hurley's Devil likes to give people parking fines, tell high school kids not to bother with their studies because they were boring, and swap medication for Tic Tacs. A little more severe when you think of the consequences. Also, cock-blocking Brendan Fraser every chance she got. The end of the movie shows her cheating at a chess game with someone heavily implied to be God.
  • In Space Cowboys, NASA project director Bob Gerson is this trope. He denied the heroes their chance to go into space 40 years ago by replacing them with a chimpanzee and is bent on not letting them go in the present because they're old and maintains an important part of the mission's intel that could risk both their lives (and those of a significant amount of people on Earth, if it goes wrong) secret out of spite. When the team finally succeeds, he goes around saying to everyone that he always knew they could do it.
  • In End of Days, the Devil's first actions upon assuming Gabriel Byrne's form is to grope a woman and then blow up the restaurant she's in, then makes a kid who bumped into him get hit by a car.
  • When you find out who the devil is in the movie Devil, you really have to ask yourself why did she bother to steal that guy's wallet earlier?
  • Byzantium: The Brethen have spent two centuries hunting down a mother and her daughter. The reason? Clara was not allowed to sire a vampire because she's a woman. Their motivation is proven to be little more than petty sexism when it's made clear Clara and Eleanor are more than capable of maintaining The Masquerade. In fact, hunting them is arguably leaving more evidence around than simply letting them be.
  • In Jacob Two Two Meets The Hooded Fang, Mister Fox spends his time in town sabotaging toys so that puzzles can't be finished, chemistry sets won't work, etc.
  • After her grand curse, Maleficent divides her time between defending the thorn wall with terrifying magic power, and petty trolling magic at the fairies' cottage for no real reason. She just enjoys making their lives slightly more difficult.
  • American History X: Seth is a fat Neo-Nazi who's also a Big Eater. In one of the most pointlessly petty acts of racism possible, he eats a scale full of white jelly beans but picks out a single black one first. There's no one else in the room so he's not trying to impress any of his Nazi friends, it's not directed against a member of any race he hates, he rejects a piece of candy that no one will know about simply because he's a racist.
  • We Need to Talk About Kevin is essentially a film made entirely around this trope. Many examples, but perhaps one of the most entertaining is when Eva tells Kevin that he may have a new brother or sister. He spends the entire conversation snapping all his crayons in half. He even goes the extra mile of performing the massacre on his school with a bow and arrow. Afterwards, Kevin wants to make it extra clear that he didn't kill all of those people because of some "hot-button" political issue that will inevitably be flung around in the aftermath — he just wanted them dead because they annoyed him.
  • In The Green Mile, penitentiary inmate "Wild Bill" Wharton is a child molester and murderer - and also a Psychopathic Manchild who asks for a fudge cupcake just so he can spit it in a guard's face and laugh about it. He killed the twin girls that J.C. was framed for killing just because he couldn't tolerate them being happy together.
    • On the other side of the bars, there is guard Percy Whetmore. He kills Mr. Jingles just out of pure mean-spiritedness. He later cruelly snuffs Del's final moment of happiness by telling him there is no "Mouseville," for no other reason than he saw the chance.
  • In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, Snow had no real reason to respond to Katniss during the rescue operation and did it simply to reveal that he knew what was going on, and to make sure she remembered him saying that the ones you love are the ones who kill you. If Gale had acted on his suspicions about how the rebels got away even when it was clear they'd walked into a trap, Snow might well have blown his chance to get Peeta to kill Katniss.
  • Hot Fuzz: This film could have easily been labeled Evil Is Petty: The Movie. The main character, Sgt. Angel, suspects that the murders happening throughout the film were committed because of a conspiracy about a land deal, but when he actually gets to confront The Conspiracy, the members confess that they killed all of the victims for silly and very banal reasons, though for them it was deeply Serious Business. Martin Blower was killed for being a bad actor, Eve Draper was killed for having an affair with Blower and an Annoying Laugh, George Merchant was killed for having a modern-style home that clashes with the local rustic aesthetic, Tim Messenger was killed because of his awful spelling and for running tabloid-esque tripe in the local newspaper. And that is not mentioning their other victims, like the underage drinkers, that shoplifter, those crusty jugglers, the weapons-owning farmer, and the Living Statue.
    Skinner: Blower's fate was simply the result of his being an appalling actor!
    The NWA Members: (in unison) Appalling!
    Angel: You murdered him for that?!
    Skinner: Well, he murdered Bill Shakespeare.
  • Tales from the Hood:
    • When Duke Metzger's slaveholding ancestor had to surrender his slaves at the end of the Civil War, he preferred to massacre all of them.
    • And "Mr. Simms" spends the entire movie hammily toying with his three latest victims before revealing who he really is.
  • Batman Forever: Edward Nygma turned to evil and became the Riddler for no other reason than because Bruce Wayne, his employer and the man he admired most in the world, rejected his idea that they become partners in marketing Nygma's invention. What makes this especially petty is that Nygma made twice as much money going into business on his own, and in fact taunts Wayne about his "bad" decision afterward when Nygmatech outperforms Wayne Enterprises. But apparently all of that isn't good enough: the Riddler never forgave Wayne for failing to "understand", and decided to devote the rest of his life to humiliating and then killing him. Chase Meridian actually speculates that Nygma's vendetta with Bruce will only end when Bruce is dead.
  • American Ultra: During the operation to kill Mike and Lasseter, Yates quarantines the town and feeds the news channels a cover story about the two of them carrying an infectious disease. However, he also takes the opportunity to humiliate Lasseter, his rival at the CIA, by claiming that she contracted the disease through inappropriate contact with infected monkeys.
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice features one of the more petty versions of Lex Luthor, as his reason for his hatred of Superman stems from viewing Superman as a violation of his belief that God Is Evil or doesn't exist, and thus Superman's mere existence is an affront to him, and sends a senator a jar of his urine just to mock her before killing her and a good chunk of people in Congress, including his own (highly loyal) assistant.
  • James Bond:
  • Raising Arizona: Leonard Smalls, the lone biker of the apocalypse, is introduced in a nightmare driving down a desert road using his shotgun and hand grenades to kill various lizards and rabbits he passes by for no other reason than simple malice.
  • True Lies: After Juno taunts Helen about her husband Harry's likely death, Helen slaps her in the face, which leaves a scratch mark. Juno's response is to try to shoot her, but she's stopped by Aziz.
  • Ocean's Twelve: Toulour, the "Night Fox", tries to destroy Danny Ocean and his ten conspirators after hearing his mentor praise Ocean's Bellagio heist as one of the best robberies ever. The night before the crew are due to steal the Faberge egg, Tolour calls Danny's hotel room and pretends to be his 5am wake-up call even though it's only 11:30pm just to be a jerk.
    Rusty: Oh. (disgusted) Oh! He's mean... He's just mean-spirited.
  • Discussed in The Hitman's Bodyguard, where Kincaid bitterly remarks upon the fact that the man who murdered his father wasn't motivated by any sort of larger goal. He wasn't after money or carrying out a personal grudge or anything like that. He was just an angry, sadistic man who wanted to hurt somebody, and Kincaid's dad was as good a target as any.
  • Saw: Jigsaw's motives are nowhere near as noble as he likes to think.
    • While his primary victims are "people who have wasted their lives," Jigsaw also targets people who have wronged him in some way, and later in the series targets the police operatives investigating him. As the series continues and back-builds his history, it becomes increasingly clear that many of his victims are people he has a personal connection with and just doesn't care for how they chose to live their lives.
    • The criteria of targeting "people who have wasted their lives" or lived lives that caused harm to others, is pretty broad. The victim roster ranges from drug dealers and rapists to prostitutes and drug addicts, to people feeling suicidal and practicing self-harm, to just people that suffered Bystander Syndrome and did nothing while seeing something terrible happen. In Jigsaw's mind, all of these offenses are deserving of death.
  • The Kurgan from Highlander isn’t just a sadistic murderer and rapist, he also takes a bizarre amount of joy from even tiniest, most inconsequential acts of evil imaginable. At one point he snuffs out memorial candles and behaves crassly in a church for no reason other than finding it funny. He also likes to indulge in petty and childish taunting whenever he meets other immortals, such as rubbing the rape of Macleod’s wife in the latter’s face and using it to claim he’s a better lover than Macleod.
  • When Tree finally finds out who's been causing all her deaths in Happy Death Day, it's her roommate Lori, who didn't like that Tree was having an affair with the (married) guy she liked. Tree is disappointed.
  • A repeated motif in The Death of Stalin. Despite Stalin being monstrously evil and all the members of the Presidium collaborators at best or (in the case of Beria) outright enabling the purges, all the principal characters are also incredibly petty, childish, and willing to ruin each others' lives in the most small-minded of ways while innocents get caught in the crossfire. This includes Nikita Khrushchev, the closest thing the film has to a 'good guy'.
  • In Shandra: The Jungle Girl, Corrupt Corporate Executive Travis Fox refuses to pay Diego for his services as a jungle guide (despite Diego's brother dying on the expedition). This comes back to bite him on the ass when Diego provides assistance to a group of employees looking to screw Travis over.
  • In Violent Saturday, the murderous bank robber and benzedrine addict Dill stomps on the hand of a small boy who collides with him.
  • Shortcut to Happiness: After two kids on scooters almost collide with the Devil, she causes them to crash. When Stone objects, she airily replies that she should have set them on fire.
  • In Our Friend Power 5, the actions of The Shark Gang range from "messing with people's lunches" to "stealing Yesular's wand" to "murdering children".
  • In What's the Worst That Could Happen?, Fairbanks catches Kevin in fraganti while the latter is stealing his house and calls the cops. Kevin overall is okay with that, as getting caught is an occupational hazard for a burglar. And then Fairbanks lies that a ring Kevin is wearing (a gift of Kevin's girlfriend) is his property just for the sake of the fun of "stealing something from the thief". This puts Kevin on the warpath. And then Fairbanks absolutely refuses to give the ring back even after Kevin has brought him to near ruin and makes clear there is only one thing that will make him stop, and the only other person that doesn't thinks it's stupid is Fairbanks' insane head of security.
  • Django Unchained: Calvin Candie is a sadistic slave owner who commits several atrocities during his screentime like having one of his slaves torn apart and eaten by dogs. Later on, he has outsmarted Django and Schultz but allows them to leave after paying him an exorbitant amount of their own money to leave with Broomhilda. Candie tries to force Schultz to shake his hand just to humiliate him further, and even threatens to kill Broomhilda if he doesn't comply - something which Schultz find stupid and counter-productive as that would break the contract they signed. This ends up costing Calvin his life since Schultz decides to kill him for his pettiness.
  • More Dead Than Alive: After luring Cain into an ambush and beating him into unconsciousness, Luke Santee steals back the $2 he had paid Cain to trick him into the ambush.
  • Knives Out:
    • Jacob is an alt-right troll, but all the audience sees of his budding alt-right tendencies are pettily mean actions. He calls Meg "Liberal snowflake." During the chaos that ensues when Harlan's will is read out, he yells derogatory racial remarks at Marta. He also films Marta leaving for his Instagram Live, causing masses of people to gather outside the Cabrera household. It adds to the mounting pressure Marta is already facing and helps his father blackmail her.
    • Apart from being a bona fide felon and villain, Ransom is also just a dickwad, period. He takes unbridled pleasure in the tumult that ensues after Harlan's will is read out, and bars "the help" from calling him by the name he actually likes to go by — "because you're an asshole," as Marta plainly puts it.
  • In Antebellum, Elizabeth messes up Veronica's hotel suite for no reason other than to mess with her mind. This includes leaving strands of her hair in Veronica's bed, stealing Veronica's lipstick, and using the toilet and not flushing.

  • Another Note: Beyond Birthday murders at least three innocent people, but he has nothing against any of them, nor does he even know them. To him, they are just collateral damage against the real target of his anger, L, who he's trying to "call out" for allegedly not caring about the kids who were being groomed as his successors, including BB's friend A, who committed suicide due to the pressures of living up to L, and BB himself, who was Always Second Best. In other words, the entirety of the LABB Murders was a "Notice me, Senpai!" gambit.
  • The Cask of Amontillado: Montresor murders Fortunato in an extremely cruel manner for merely offending him (and quite possibly not even intentionally at that).
  • A Chorus of Dragons: A footnote by Thurvishar suggests that Gadrith murdered his academy roommate and bund his soul in order to take his spot as the highest-scoring student in their class.
  • Deathstalker: Finn Durandal overthrew his friend Douglas Campbell and usurped the throne, turning a golden age into a reign of terror. He gave fanatical human purists control of the military while slaughtering alien ambassadors; he arranged for former colleagues to be possessed by esper terrorists as their playthings and his personal hitmen; he destroyed the hereditary Campbell homestead and razed the Deathstalker homeworld after slaughtering the family. And he did all of this because Douglas decided to give his other friend, Lewis Deathstalker, the ceremonial role of King's Champion.
  • In the first Discworld novel, The Colour of Magic, Death has a very different personality than in later books and does things like kill flies because he's annoyed. He also takes one of a cat's nine lives purely out of spite, despite being a Kindhearted Cat Lover in later books.
    • Death in the later books is effectively a different character however. He's not at all petty, and he's actually rather benevolent rather than evil, fighting on behalf of humanity on more than one occasion. He's also not responsible for killing anything, but rather helping them move on when they do so.
  • Dortmunder: In What's the Worst That Could Happen?, Max Fairbanks catches Dortmunder burgling his beach house. Fairbanks hands Dortmunder over to the cops, which Dortmunder regards as a fair cop as he was caught fair and square. But then Fairbanks claims that Dortmunder's ring is actually his and takes it off him. This act of petty vengeance means It's Personal for Dortmunder and kicks off the plot.
  • Dragon, Dragon has a dragon that goes out of his way to be a total prick to a nearby kingdom by doing the following: frighten maidens, stopped up chimneys, broke store windows, turned back clocks, caused dogs to bark endlessly, tipped over fences, robbed graves, putting frogs in the drinking water, tore out the final chapters of every book, put firecrackers in everyone's cigars, stole the clappers from the church bells, sprung all the bear traps, swapped everyone's house numbers so neighbors would be sleeping in strangers' beds, and change the directions of the road so people would go the wrong way.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • In White Night, Dresden is forced to ask crime lord Gentleman Johnny Marcone for a favor. Marcone makes him say please. Then pretty please. Then pretty please with a cherry on top.
    • Ghost Story reveals that, after Dresden's apartment was burned down and Dresden himself seemingly killed during the events of Changes, Marcone purchased the property and used it as the site for his new castle. This ultimately backfires on him though, as in Battle Ground Dresden is able to use the fact that it's his former home to wrest the property -and by extension, the castle- away from Marcone.
    • This is ultimately what derails Nicodemus' plan in Skin Game. Nicodemus has just destroyed Fidelacchius, the Sword of Faith, and has Harry and Karrin at his mercy. Just as he's planning to kill them, Michael appears and offers to give himself up to Nicodemus in exchange for their lives. Nicodemus has no practical reason to agree to this -Michael is crippled and retired, and no longer a serious threat, while Harry is one of his biggest enemies. However, Michael was formerly a huge pain in Nicodemus' ass during his time as a Knight of the Cross, and he just can't stand the fact that he got to Earn His Happy Ending. So he agrees, with the intent of killing Michael and then killing Harry the next time an opportunity presents itself. Not only does he fail to actually kill Michael, due to Uriel's intervention, but his sparing Harry leads to both him being humiliated and losing most of his followers, and Fidelacchius reconstituting itself in the hands of a new Knight of the Cross.
    • From the same author, Codex Alera: Kord is a brutal slaver solely because he enjoys feeling powerful over other people (especially women) and blatantly ignores a threat to his own life and power base because he wants to break a woman who had previously shown him up. High Lord Kalarus commits large-scale atrocities (like when he creates a Brainwashed and Crazy slave army by attacking their minds from the start of childhood and later plans to unleash a volcano on his own city when his coup attempt gets beaten back,) but also collars a female hostage (who is taller than him and had previously faced him down,) to the floor with a chain that allows her to move around but is slightly too short for her to stand at her full height. Invidia in the last two books has submitted herself to the Vord in exchange for the poison in her blood being suppressed, fully aware that she's dooming the rest of Alera and is only prolonging her own life until she outlives her usefulness, but she does it anyway because she's too much of a Dirty Coward to let herself be killed by the poison, which she only got hit with because she lost the treacherous games of intrigue she started.
  • In the Erevis Cale trilogy of Forgotten Realms novels, the ultimate plan of the Big Bad Vhostym the Sojourner, in pursuit of which he commits such atrocities as destroying whole cities, slaughtering thousands and torturing to death dozens of angels? To create the "Crown of Fire", an artificially started and prolonged solar eclipse, so he can walk upon a beach like a normal being one time before he dies. In case this doesn't sound petty enough, one should be aware that not only is Vhostym an incredibly powerful (Archmage-level) Wizard/Psion, meaning he has a wide variety of far less evil methods of doing this (including body-snatching others to experience the world through their senses and shapechanging into non-albino forms so he isn't burnt/blinded by the son), he's also lived for millennia and so has had dozens of opportunities to do during natural solar eclipses. Cale himself calls Vhostym on this at the trilogy's end; Vhostym simply retorts that it "wouldn't be as satisfying" to do things that way, and besides, he is strong enough to do it his way, so he will do things his way.
  • Skewered in Good Omens. Crowley's M.O. is perpetuating petty evil. Other demons will spend all their time trying to corrupt a politician or cause a priest to lose his faith. Crowley sets up telemarketing networks and causes traffic jams. Other demons accomplish one great act of evil. Crowley accomplishes a hundred thousand petty acts of evil, thus, in the aggregate, causing more evil than the other demons. Not that the other demons see it his way...
    • From the authors' 'Crowley's New Year's Resolutions, 2006' post:
    Resolution #1: I must accept that Super-Gluing valuable coins to the sidewalk and then watching events from a nearby café is not proper demonic activity.
  • Harry Potter:
    • In Order of the Phoenix while the Big Bad and his minions are busy torturing, murdering, and attempting world domination, Dolores Umbridge is slowly usurping power at Hogwarts, making students in detention write lines with a pen that carves whatever they write into their hand, discriminating against non-humans and Muggle-borns, and just being an arrogant and irritating Jerkass in general. While the Death Eaters use Unforgivable Curses left and right, Umbridge merely threatens people with them. The fact that she isn't as over-the-top evil as the REAL villains ironically makes her even more fun to hate than they are.
      • Umbridge also delights in Screw the Rules, I Make Them! Umbridge suspects that Harry has information on Sirius Black (who is actually completely innocent), so she decides to use the highly illegal Cruciatus Curse on Harry to make him tell her. Hermione calls her out on this, but Umbridge brushes this off with a "What Cornelius [the Minister of Magic] doesn't know won't hurt him."
    • Draco Malfoy is a fairly petty villain as well - his misdeeds are mostly limited to insulting others, using his family connections to get whatever he wants, cheating at Quidditch, and abusing his power as a prefect. That is, until Book 6, when he gets in way over his head and learns the hard way that Evil Is Not a Toy. 6 years is a pretty long time to hate Harry to the point where he mainly targeted him and his friends for bullying because Harry rejected his "offer of friendship".
    • Before Voldemort became a genocidal Evil Overlord, his evil acts were at first limited to things like petty theft and bullying. He then moved on to unleashing Slytherin's monster and framing Hagrid for the ensuing deaths, and things only went downhill from there. And he cursed the Defense Against the Dark Arts position at Hogwarts so no one can hold the job for more than one school year after Dumbledore wouldn't hire him, even though he was only visiting as an excuse to hide another Horcrux and probably knew Dumbledore would turn him down anyway. In the final book, he also murders an entire family just because the person he was looking for no longer lived there. Culminates with Voldemort telling everyone that an apparently dead Harry was killed trying to cowardly flee Hogwarts to save his own neck when Harry did the exact opposite (deliberately going to his apparent death to save everyone in the castle), with Harry noting that Voldemort was relishing in the lie he was telling.
    • Invoked in-universe with Snape. Harry and Ron are convinced that Snape is evil because...he's mean to Harry (and to a lesser extent, Gryffindors in general) all the time. It's not until Book 6 (out of 7) that he actually does something outright evil. Of course, it later turns out he did it for altruistic reasons, completely subverting this trope. Snape is extremely petty, but he's not evil.
  • If you see anyone's early inner monologue in an Honor Harrington novel include the phrase "that bitch" or a variant thereof in reference to Lady Harrington, rest assured they're the villain and will probably die in some bloody fashion before you reach the back page. The same thing is true of most other Weber novels. The heroes generally don't use profanity, even inside their heads.
  • James Bond:
    • Hugo Drax, the Big Bad of the novel Moonraker, screws himself over with his trope. The entire reason M brings James Bond into contact with Drax in the first place is that...Sir Hugo Drax cheats at cards.
    • Goldfinger: The title character is not just a criminal mastermind, he cheats at cards and golf.
    • As in the films, 007's Arch-Enemy Ernst Stavro Blofeld is quite a brutal Bad Boss towards his minions. Also, when his Evil Plan in On Her Majesty's Secret Service is foiled, he even manages to spite Bond by killing his wife Tracy on their wedding day.
  • In John Dies at the End, the Big Bad, Korrok, is an Eldritch Abomination who talks like a stereotypical Xbox Live kid.
  • C. S. Lewis:
    • Played for horror in The Space Trilogy with Satan, of all people. Inhabiting a human body, he attempts to re-create the fall of mankind with the newborn humanoids on Perelandra/Venus. He's forbidden to harm Ransom, the protagonist, unless Ransom attacks first, so while the Eve equivalent is sleeping, he spends his time doing such petty things as killing small animals and tearing up the turf, even resorting to childishly tormenting Ransom ("Ransom!" "What?" "Nothing." ... "Ransom!"). Ransom is quite disturbed by this, finding it more troubling than he would a clever, charismatic Satan (he can be very charismatic, but only when he's trying to convince the Queen to sin). He comes to realize that Satan considers all virtues, including cleverness, taste, and the capacity to feel shame, to be a means to an end and discards them when they do not serve his purposes. He is pure evil and cares for nothing but making things worse for everyone else.
    • Lewis' logic of the pettiness of evil is further explained in The Screwtape Letters. It's complex, but the reasoning is actually fairly sound; when you need a steady influx of sinners, it's in their best interest to keep a good flow of slightly evil folks that are afflicted by petty vices coming down. Sure, they're not as enjoyable as spectacular sinners of legend, but it makes sure Hell isn't starved of souls when such are in short supply.
  • In Marked, Aphrodite's various crimes, which convince Zoey she has to be "taken down" for, include having oral sex with her boyfriend in the hallway (granted the boyfriend clearly was trying to get her away from him, but the fact that she was trying to have non-consensual sex was glossed over in favor of the fact that having oral sex at all is skanky and degrading), generally being self-centered and catty, tricking Zoey into drinking wine with Fledgling blood in it via lying by omission, and not showing concern after having seizure-like visions of disasters.
  • Les Misérables has an important scene that's omitted from the musical: Shortly after Valjean's run-in with the bishop, he encounters a boy walking down the road. The boy drops a coin, and Valjean almost reflexively covers it up with his foot. Realizing that he's sunk to the level of stealing from a kid, right after having been forgiven by the bishop for stealing from the church, prompts his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Agent Franks of Monster Hunter International is an extremely violent Well-Intentioned Extremist with no compassion whatsoever at the best of times. In the fifth book, we learn that he's also a fallen angel. Shortly after we learn this, we see him park a car across two spaces, both of which are reserved for other people. When his passenger points this out, he angles the car further so it blocks a handicapped space as well.
  • The first Big Bad in Murderess, Bridget is this. Having been overpowered by the protagonist Lu, she tries to get back at her by tripping her and spreading rumours. Lu, on the other hand, isn't so different, and gleefully tortures her back.
  • Thoroughly spoiled Emperor Ublaz from The Pearls of Lutra slaughters entire tribes and puts in ridiculous amounts of effort to get hold of a pink pearl crown, expressing no interest whatsoever in the other plunder taken from the raid or in anything else he could gain from it.
  • Please Don't Tell My Parents I've Got Henchmen: Why does Charles reveal his powers at the football game? Because he can't stand playing without them. While a lot of super kids would agree that hiding your powers is annoying, doing it to win a football game is just eye-roll-worthy.
  • In the Rainbow Magic series, some of Jack Frost's schemes are very petty, such as ruining all desserts or taking over the world of fashion.
  • In Shaman Blues, the villain is willing to reveal her massive reserves of Black Magic (having which is a heavy crime), torture ghosts, and cause thousands in collateral damage just to get back at a man who revealed her to be a Phony Psychic.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • With Royal Brats Joffrey Baratheon and Viserys Targaryen around, it's a little hard to say who the pettiest of them all in this series is: both manage to take their excesses to extremes while having very little of practical substance at the heart of their Evil. Plenty of bonkers between, them, too. Joffrey just got more power with which to get over-the-top, wastefully petty; yet, it's more than clear Viserys would have been just as much of a puppy-crossbowing mistake on the Iron Throne had he got it.
    • Joffrey's mother, Cersei, does definitely have her moments of petty douchebaggery (usually aimed at Tyrion or servants), thereby amply showing where her son gets it from... even if she's not as reliably proficient with the sheer mind-numbingly stupid emptiness that her little boy is. She actually needs alcohol to eventually get there; he doesn't.
    • Lord Walder Frey might beat everybody hands down simply due to living up to the trope well into his 90s while infecting the rest of his family with the bug on top of that. He's a major (and very irritating) Troll with a Small Name, Big Ego problem which pushes him into some truly petty, short-termist actions. Few Freys are escaping the consequences: poor things.
    • Even for a Chessmaster and Magnificent Bastard par excellence, Lord Tywin isn't above the odd, spiteful low blow just to put Tyrion down.
    • Arguably, another Xanatos Speed Chess player does this, too: Littlefinger isn't above mixing a little pettiness and puppy-kicking into his (usually) complex schemes here and there when he feels like it. He takes care of little, forgotten trifles in some of the most horribly strung-out ways when other, quicker and cleaner options would work... isn't that right, Jayne Poole, Ser Dontos Hollard, and Marillion?
  • In Dale Brown's Starfire, the Russian president orders Patrick McLanahan's tomb robbed and desecrated, not for any military or political advantage, but just because he wanted to use the urn as a paperweight and literally piss on the medals.
  • The Stormlight Archive: Odium/Rayse, aside from his grander plans, also goes out of his way to be an insanely petty and vindictive dickhead who takes everything way too personally. When he notices Dalinar taking solace from his copy of The Way Of Kings, he burns the book out of pure spite. His Everstorm is shown going out of its way to destroy as much as possible, even specifically targeting Talenel's temple for delaying Desolations so much, and it's implied that his hatred for humanity is mostly him being pissy over the fact that humans chose to follow Honor and Cultivation instead of him. What else do you expect from somebody who's powered by a Shard of pure divine hatred?
  • In The Sum of All Fears, Elizabeth Elliot goes to considerable effort to attempt to sabotage Ryan's career and marriage because he took offense to her bad manners in Clear and Present Danger. This takes up considerably more of the story than the ostensible main plot (the terrorists with the nuclear warhead) and mainly serves to explain why Ryan can't get the President to listen to him when the bomb goes off. The film version cuts Elliot out of the script and creates a different (and much more sensible) reason for the President to distrust Ryan, which improves it considerably.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • The Silmarillion: Despite once being the greatest of the Valar, Morgoth becomes incredibly petty, focusing more and more on ruining the lives of Elves and Men and ruling over them as a tyrant. He even curses Húrin's entire bloodline to be Cosmic Playthings when Húrin defies him. On the other end of the scale, he raises the Misty Mountain range just to inconvenience a rival Vala on his hunting trips.
    • The Lord of the Rings: This is the root reason behind Sauron’s fall: a great, proud creature would have eventually used the lost Ring to try to conquer Middle Earth, only to be found and Out-Gambitted by Sauron in order for it to return to him. But after the Ring escapes from human Isildur (who it betrayed at the first available chance), it's only found and used by hobbits, rather than creatures with power and sweeping dreams of grandeur to corrupt. The Ring, in short, gets to serve mischief rather than capital-E evil: Déagol only wants to possess a beautiful thing... and, is promptly murdered before he can do something with it. Sméagol uses the Ring to torment his relatives and decides to hide for millennia in the heart of a mountain, only using it to survive day by day. Bilbo uses the Ring to mainly to escape from his obnoxious relatives and neighbors or play what amounts to pranks. Frodo mostly wants adventure and uses it only to try to survive the process (usually by hiding), only falling at the last minute to fully claim it... exactly when the ring cannot help him. Sam's possible dreams of conquest are so nebulous (an army of enslaved gardeners?) that even he finds the Ring's attempts to find something to work with utterly ridiculous, and just laughs. Sauron never got the chance to reclaim his ring with those completely small-time losers, even though it was really trying very hard to get back to him. The only big-timers it bumped into were either on to it, too big to properly mess with in a short space of time or genuinely liked/ pitied the hobbits too much to really want to harm them.
    • Saruman is the final example in The Lord of the Rings. With his dreams of becoming a proper Evil Overlord dashed, he settles for taking over the Shire with some outlaw Men, purely to make the hobbits' life miserable for a few months until they rise up and take him down again. He can't even wreak much in the way of genuine ruin beyond a handful of deaths; they quickly repair the damage to their country and get back to business as usual.
  • Trapped on Draconica: Zarracka's undying hatred for Daniar is based on her younger sister forcing her to play 'goblin queen' when they were children. Subverted. Their mother died giving birth to Daniar so Zarracka blames her for it. Double Subverted. She hates Daniar because their mother favored Zarracka herself and so Daniar stole the limelight away from her. There is little she won't do to make her sister suffer.
  • Many of the Forsaken are like this in The Wheel of Time, devoting as much time to payback for slights real or perceived as they do to world domination, and even then are too selfish to work together well. Moridin, the head Forsaken, really finds the rest of them rather tiresome (being a more philosophical kind of bad guy) and is in general much more courteous to his Arch-Enemy Rand than he is to his own allies as a result. The Forsaken Demandred is something of a deconstruction; he was driven to evil almost entirely by his envy of Lews Therin Telamon, but it's made plain just how much he has let jealousy and hate to eat up his life and he's ultimately played more for fear and tragedy than scorn.
  • A Little Princess:
    • Miss Minchin started resenting Sara after the latter accidentally embarrassed the former in front of the class for something that was Miss Minchin's own fault. So once Sara lost her fortune, Miss Minchin wasted no time on mistreating the young girl.
    • Other characters, such as the cook, who treat Sara coldly really don't have any motivation other than that they envy Sara's wealth.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Arrested Development: Lucille Bluth invents a holiday, "Cinco de Cuatro", just so there would be no party supplies left for the Hispanic community on Cinco de Mayo.
  • Arrowverse:
    • Eobard Thawne/The Reverse-Flash/ Harrison Wells of The Flash (2014) is a legitimately threatening Big Bad, but also spends a lot of time just being a major dick: He killed Barry's mom just because the Barry from his stopped his plan to kill the present-day Barry and he was pissed about it. Also, he apologizes to Cisco, whom he killed in an alternate timeline, then adds that he isn't sorry for doing it since he's sure he had a good reason, but he's sorry that Cisco remembers it.
    • In Legends of Tomorrow "Doomworld", the Legion of Doom have rewritten reality to their liking. Some of these differences actually make the world better, but they get extremely petty with how they deal with the Legends.
      • Thawne keeps Rip trapped in a miniaturized Waverider, turned Stein into a browbeaten employee, and Jax into a jerkass security chief who enjoys tormenting Stein. He's also turned Nate into a Basement-Dweller (with a far less stylish haircut, to boot) and Ray into a janitor.
      • Darhk uses Sara and Amaya as his personal attack dogs.
      • They are all topped however by Malcolm Merlyn who took the time to ensure Nyssa (who isn't even a Legend) is living a "miserable, closeted life in Ohio". Making it even more petty is that he apparently didn't make himself Ra's Al-Ghul in this reality, so he really did it just to be a dick. The mere mention of it even brings a smile to his face.
    • Crisis on Earth-X: Professor Zoom works alongside the Nazis of the titular Alternate Universe not because he aligns with their beliefs or something similar — he just wishes to continue to make Barry Allen's life hell and attacking his wedding with a bunch of Nazis sounded as good a way as any other.
    • Crisis on Infinite Earths (2019) has an example of petty evil so excessive that it's insane: The Lex Luthor of Earth-38 steals the Book of Destiny and goes on a multiversal killing spree of Alternate versions of Superman and then later defaces the Book so he'll be one of the few people that remain alive once the antimatter wave eats everything, and then when the multiverse is restored and he becomes a Villain with Good Publicity via Retcon, he takes the time to covertly gloat his victory to Supergirl on national television, just to be a dick and literally nothing more.
    • The crossover also has another example that stands out because it's a hell of a Happy Ending Override: The Joker massacred all of the staff of the Daily Planet (including Lois Lane) in the years in between Superman Returns and the Crisis, purely because he was pissed off that the Planet, which is a respected periodical but based nowhere near Gotham City, wasn't printing enough news about his atrocities.
  • Breaking Bad:
    • "Cornered": Walter White's slip into villainy takes a new low when, after tricking his former boss into selling his business at a loss, White refuses to let the man keep his framed "first dollar" keepsake purely out of spite. He then breaks it out and sticks it in a soda machine.
    • In "Ozymandias", having already sold Jesse into slavery, Walt stops the Neo-Nazis dragging him away just long enough to tell Jesse that he was there the night Jane died, and chose not to save her. Vince Gilligan considers this one of Walt's worst deeds due to its simple, pointless sadism.
  • In season 3 of Better Call Saul Jimmy breaks down Chuck's door and destroys a cassette tape containing an incriminating recording. Jimmy is later ordered to pay Chuck damages of $321 to cover the cost of repairing the door. Chuck insists on adding the cost of the tape- a lousy $2.98.
  • Whenever Satan drops by to check on Ezekiel Stone in Brimstone, he will engage in some petty prank of anonymous evil. Such as ticketing a legally parked car or loosening a salt shaker. Interestingly enough, this does not stop him from being Affably Evil. Probably because he's played by John Glover, who performs even petty acts of evil with style and panache.
  • Deputy Chief Madeline Wuntch, Holt's Sitcom Arch-Nemesis on Brooklyn Nine-Nine takes this to an art form. True, she's on the right side of the law, and she's at least not a bigot, but she's also the sort of person who'd install a portrait of herself in her foe's office just so she'd always be looking down on him, send an internal investigations officer into his precinct as a mole just to see if she can catch him screwing up, and threaten to make his squad, whom he considers his True Companions, miserable by transferring to jobs they'd hate if he doesn't go along with what she wants. Why? Because she doesn't like Holt; that's the only reason. Wuntch is so petty, it's actually kind of impressive.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In "Seeing Red", in addition to being a blatant Straw Misogynist, when he gets the Orbs of Nezzla'Khan, the very first thing Warren Mears decides to use them for is to get revenge on a jock who bullied him in high school and try to steal his girlfriend.
    • When Glory finds out that Buffy is the Slayer after their first fight, she is absolutely horrified and offended, describing such a face-off as "unbelievably common."
    • Spike often indulged in this after being chipped.
      • In "Doomed", after nearly staking himself, Willow and Xander take him along out of pity. Spike doesn't want their pity and gives them a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, showing he can still inflict damage even with the chip in his head, and smirks evilly to himself once his back is turned.
      • In "A New Man", he nonchalantly grabs Xander's radio when packing up to leave Xander's apartment. When Xander calls him on this, Spike replies, "And you're what, shocked and disappointed? I'm evil!"
      • In "Crush", he steals money from Xander at the Bronze to buy himself drinks.
      • In "Life Serial", Spike attempts to demonstrate to Buffy how to extract information from a group of demons by playing poker, which they're playing with kittens as currency. Spike has no use for kittens, but cheats anyway, which Buffy notices.
    • Throughout season 2, Angelus' Evil Plan amounts to little more than "mess with Buffy's head and torture her and her pals as much as possible," because he's disgusted that Buffy made him feel human while ensouled ("She made me feel like a human being. That's not the kinda thing you just forgive."). It isn't until Acathla enters the picture that he has an actual goal to work towards, and even that is centered around making people suffer as much as possible because he thinks it's hilarious.
  • Castle featured an interesting variant where it actually worked in the heroes' favour; in the seventh season episode "Reckoning", Richard Castle is lost for leads on serial killer Jerry Tyson, AKA 3XK, and so he goes to ask Tyson's former cellmate and accomplice Marcus Gates for leads. Gates and Castle both know that Gates isn't in a position to make deals of information in exchange for a reduced sentence given his crimes, so the only reason he would help Castle is the chance to make Tyson suffer. This proves to be enough for Gates to guide Castle to a cabin where he lures Tyson into a trap and takes him out.
  • Many fans felt that the Master beating his wife in Doctor Who was an example of this. He killed a huge percentage of the Earth's population, the president of the US, and enslaved the last pathetic remnants of humanity from the end of time to do his bidding. But only seeing him beat his wife would let us realize just how evil he is! The Doctor points out the Master's pettiness to him in "The Deadly Assassin": "You would delay an execution to pull the wings off a fly!” By the time the Master becomes Missy, all of the mass murder he/she casually leaves behind whenever they are in town is compared to texting the Doctor of all things.
  • Fargo:
    • In season one, Lorne Malvo is an evil bastard who kills close to 40 people. However, he seems to take particular delight in petty acts of evil that corrupt other people. He convinces a teenager working at a motel to urinate in his boss's gas tank...and then calls up the boss so the kid will be caught in the act. Malvo also calls up the dimwitted son of the late Sam Hess, pretends to be the late Hess's lawyer, and tells the kid that the will left everything to his younger brother. Malvo keeps a briefcase filled with tape recordings of strangers that he corrupted and led into ruin.
    • Sam Hess is the crooked owner of a trucking company with strong mob connections. However, he still takes great delight in tormenting Lester Nygaard the same way he did when they were in high school.
    • Lester Nygaard starts off as a sympathetic Butt-Monkey who finally snaps and commits a horrible act when he kills his wife Pearl. However, when he gets away with his crimes, he becomes a Smug Snake and soon starts exhibiting petty behavior similar to that of Hess.
    • In season 3, VM Varga often likes to exert petty shows to emphasize how rotten he is. He insults Sy's wife by calling her fat, insinuates she's unfaithful, then rubs his penis on the inside of Sy's "World's Best Boss" mug, and forces Sy to drink from it at gunpoint.
  • The Following: Joe Carroll is a Magnificent Bastard. He has one of his followers however, target the book critics that gave his book (which came out after he was arrested no less) bad reviews. Hardy even comments on how this seems unusually petty of him, but Carroll comments that he isn't above being petty.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Joffrey Baratheon:
      • The Caligula Joffrey mocks Tommen for crying while Myrcella is sent to Dorne, then after having spent three seasons racking up an impressive list of atrocities, Joffrey demonstrates that he's not above a bit of small-scale dickery by taking away his dwarf uncle Tyrion's stepladder at his wedding, making him embarrass himself by struggling to reach up to his much taller bride, so that Tyrion has to ask Sansa to kneel for the fastening of the bridal cloak, causing the guests to laugh at Tyrion. A larger-scale version comes about during his wedding when Joffrey humiliates many of his former adversaries and current allies with a mocking reenactment of the recent war staged with dwarf actors, simply because he finds it funny. It's little wonder that next to no one cared about finding his killer.
    • Cersei Lannister has plenty of moments whenever she's feeling powerless where she makes people miserable, assuming she can get away with it, including deriding Sansa for keeping hope alive during the Battle of Blackwater and domineering Pycelle. This is best typified in "The Lion and the Rose", in which to make herself feel better about her son's wedding, she makes a circuit of the reception and upsets everyone she crosses. This plays into her Stupid Evil tendencies, as she'll act to hurt someone who's wronged her in the short term without regard to the long-term consequences. Case in point: after detonating the Great Sept of Baelor with everyone who ever stood in her way within, Cersei happily skips to the dungeons to torture a servant who once copped an attitude with her. Meanwhile, her despairing son Tommen, having lost literally everyone else in his life with the explosion and knowing full well Cersei was the responsible party, was left alone to step out of a very high window.
    • Locke maims Jaime Lannister just because his aristocratic attitude was annoying.
    • Due to jealousy over Tywin more or less running the kingdoms, when Tywin advised something, Aerys Targaryen would do the opposite purely out of spite and even turned most of the Lords against Tywin.
  • The Good Place:
    • The demons of the Bad Place inflict terrible tortures, but they are also petty jerks who do things like ordering thousands of Hawaiian pizzas (the worst pizza) to someone's office, clipping their toenails at the dinner table, and having a train dining car that serves only room-temperature Manhattan clam chowder and is always closed. The first season finale then reveals that the set-up for the whole show is that one Bad Place architect (Michael) decided it would be more fun for them to pose as Good Place inhabitants and gaslight the damned humans into torturing themselves and each other.
    • In Season 3, the heroes discover that nobody has gotten into the Good Place in over 500 years, as the world has become so deeply interconnected to the point that no one can score Good Points anymore just because their actions have far-reaching consequences that can either bring harm to another person or benefit a bad person in some way. This was the very reason why people like Florence Nightingale could get hit hardest, because, in their attempts to help as many people as they could, they happened to help a few bad apples, never mind that they could help the bad apples become good apples. This means that since 1497 AD, every good person has gone to the Bad Place just because they exist in the same world as bad jerks who they have never met, all because humanity developed culturally and learned to trade with and tolerate other cultures who had a few bad people. The Accountants, the celestial beings in charge of the system, see this as a perfect form of justice and refuse to change it for human concerns.
    • In Season 4, Shaun celebrates Gen's decision to wipe out all of existence by gleefully smashing glass sculptures and peeing in a fountain.
  • Gotham: A lot of the villains on the show fit this description:
    • Penguin has such a Hair-Trigger Temper that he sometimes kills people because they are unfortunate enough to be in his vicinity when he gets bad news or because they failed him.
    • Riddler sometimes kills people if they are unable to solve his Riddles, and once went on a murder spree for that reason, though he was more unstable than usual that episode because he had just killed his best friend and had drugged himself to the point that he was hallucinating.
    • Jerome Valeska, though he's a terrifying, laughably evil mass murderer, also acts as a petty bully to his fellow inmates in Arkham by forcing new inmates to do something humiliating to make him laugh as a sort of horrifying initiation into life in an insane asylum. (Horrifying, because if they can't make him laugh, he has them lobotomized.)
    • His identical twin brother, Jeremiah Valeska, also has his moments. At the end of the fourth season, he takes every opportunity possible to gloat about what he sees as his victory over his brother and try and convince people that he's superior to his brother in every way even after Jerome is dead. He even makes sure to tell all of Jerome's former followers to spit on his grave, and kicks his brother's body back in his grave like it's garbage. To be fair, Jerome sprayed him with insanity toxin immediately prior to those episodes as revenge for lying about him when they were children, so it's not surprising if that made him a little bitter, no matter how insistent he is that the toxin helped him reach his true potential.
    • Theo and Tabitha Galavan, a brother and sister team who are part of an ancient conspiracy to get revenge on Bruce's family, can be very petty, though Tabitha gets better after she stops working with her brother. When she's introduced, though, she's a sadist who enjoys tormenting her brother's captives, and repeatedly taunts Penguin after she kills his mother, seemingly just because reminding him that his mother died in his arms amuses her. Her brother, if possible, is even worse, setting up an elaborate plan of revenge for something that happened hundreds of years ago. His plan involves hiring criminally insane murderers to commit terrorist acts around the city and then, only after dozens of people have already died, saving the city from them on national television. This is all so he can become popular enough to be elected as mayor, which then puts him in a position to get revenge on someone who is related to someone that was mean to a member of his family centuries ago.
  • House:
    • In the first season, the Arc Villain Edward Vogler is gradually revealed to be extremely petty in his running of the hospital. He demands House fire one of his team and give a speech praising Vogler's heart disease medication, all because House refused to wear a doctor's coat and was rude towards Vogler. While he may have been justified in criticizing House's attitude, his actions show him going far beyond the appropriate behavior of a well-adjusted boss.
    • The third season's Tritter arc revolves around the titular detective bullying House and all of his associates with Dirty Cop tactics in retaliation for House making him wear a rectal thermometer for several hours in retaliation (which in itself was in response to Tritter being an ass to House and kicking his cane when he came to the clinic, so one could say that the whole thing started with Tritter being a jerk for no reason). Like Vogler, Tritter may be right that House is too much of an asshole (and a drug addict), but there is absolutely nothing noble about his quest to put House behind bars.
  • House of Anubis: When turned into a Sinner, Fabian's evil actions range from whispering cruel things to Joy and taunting Alfie, to ripping out the last pages of every book, to putting jam in the milk.
  • iCarly: Nevel always holds petty grudges against people for the simplest of things that annoy him the most. He tried to kiss Carly and vowed to destroy iCarly after she rejected his advances. He also yelled at a little girl for knocking over his jar of pickles in the supermarket. Pretty much anything that Nevel does is out of pettiness rather than actual evil.
  • Kuroto Dan/Kamen Rider Genm from Kamen Rider Ex-Aid, despite being the man who put the planet at risk with the Bugster Virus, is largely motivated by equal parts spite and God complex. When his own ally Pallad turned on him in order to protect Emu Hojo out of his desire to have a fair fight with the hero, Dan responds by telling Emu that he's Patient Zero for the Bugster Virus, hoping to kill him entirely to screw over Pallad. He considers himself the "one true Game Master" and thus whenever someone develops an "unauthorized" Gashat, he sets out to destroy it with a vengeance. Then The Reveal of his Start of Darkness makes it even worse, showing that he's had these attitudes since he was a young man, thanks to being a prodigy who helped design video games for his father's company. Then one day, he got a fan letter from a little boy named Emu Hojo, who submitted his own ideas for a game. The idea that anyone else would dare try to step on his glory offended Kuroto so much that he sent Emu a prototype game infected with an early version of the Bugster Virus to breed stronger Bugsters.
  • This trope put a damper on the popularity of Silas from Kings. Killing political enemies and manipulating the press? Par for the course for the resident Magnificent Bastard. Publicly dropping a six-letter F-bomb on his own son? Not so much with the magnificent.
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: The middle sister from the episode "Stranger" turns out to be this. In addition to being an existing bully to her younger sister, we also learn that she killed the real Heather, who she said had run away to avoid being sent to fat camp, years earlier due to the fact she caught her and her boyfriend at the time doing drugs and was going to tell.
  • In the midst of trying to destroy Camelot from the inside, Morgana from Merlin often takes the time to goad Guinevere on her relationship with Arthur.
  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Rita Repulsa, between moments of actual villainy and plots to take over the world, tends to use her evil sorcery just to ruin the Rangers' day. In one instance, she sends a team of putties down to ruin a model of a parade float Kimberly was making, "Just to make Kimberly feel bad."
  • Mr. Robot: After Elliot found out that Angela had manipulated him and exploited his mental illness, her response is to blame him for setting the events in motion in the first place, harshly ridicule him for his mental illness and then act like she doesn't know him anymore. And this is all because he was upset with her.
  • In One Tree Hill Dan repeatedly ridicules Lucas for being poor and fatherless, which is cruel in and of itself, but tips into petty when you remember that Dan is Lucas' biological father who abandoned Lucas and his mother. Dan also makes sure that no one, including Lucas, ever forgets that Dan really loves, acknowledges, and provides for Nathan, Lucas' half-brother and early series rival.
  • Scrubs: While more of a Jerkass than outright evil, the Janitor hates JD and constantly goes out of his way to make JD's life difficult simply because JD accidentally lodged a penny in the door on his first day at Sacred Heart and didn't come clean about it.
  • Sherlock:
    • In "His Last Vow", blackmailer Charles Augustus Magnussen exercises power over his victims through very petty actions. For example, having information that could get John Watson's wife killed, he tells him to try to keep his eye open while he (Magnussen) flicks it, and says that he's done the same thing to at least one other person. He also urinates in Sherlock's fireplace to demonstrate that he can do whatever he wants.
    • A grimmer example of this happens in "The Six Thatchers", wherein Vivian Norberry shoots and kills Mary in response to Sherlock's attempt to Break Them by Talking after she is arrested. It is made clear to the audience that this wouldn't have happened had Sherlock just shut up.
  • The crew of Star Trek: The Next Generation encountered a being Made of Evil, "Armus", a black oil slick that had been created by some other race when they purified themselves of evil. The thing isn't too bright or clever, and all it wants is to torment people for its own amusement, but in rather pedestrian ways like "make Data point guns at everyone." Everyone else refuses to give him the emotional hand-wringing he desires, which frustrates him to no end.
  • Stranger Things: The Eldritch Abomination that rules the nether is this, full stop. Sure, it's an all-powerful, nigh-unkillable, world-devouring horror that has a recent body count in the dozens. Except that means it has next to no understanding of coping with failure, social behaviors, and feeling weakness; any time someone causes it pain, it plans specifically to get revenge regardless of how thoroughly that compromises its agents. After Eleven barely beats it once, it develops an unhealthy obsession with torturing Eleven as long as possible instead of taking her out discretely, and even with that goal in mind, it gets distracted with murdering anything that barely begins to slip away from its thousands-strong mind control.
  • Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad: Malcolm Frink is practically the embodiment of this.
  • Supernatural:
    • As season 5 goes on, more and more characters start to point out that, for all his wisdom and power, in trying to bring on the Apocalypse, Lucifer is being little more than a bratty child throwing a tantrum because 'Daddy' (God) loved 'the new baby' (humanity) more. He doesn't listen.
    • Sam's Inner!Lucifer seems to be all about this trope after his mental wall is taken away by Cas. Two episodes are dedicated to mentioning/showing all the things Lucifer does simply to keep Sam from getting a night's sleep. They include singing "Stairway to Heaven" upwards of fifty times, shouting at him with a megaphone, making him think his food is filled with maggots, and blasting "Wake Up Little Susie" from a stereo while throwing firecrackers at the side of his bed.
    • Zachariah goes to the trouble of making a fake Mary Winchester, just so he can make out with her to Squick Dean and Sam. He even proudly tells them as he's doing it, that while Lucifer may be strong — he's petty. Tellingly, Supernatural is one of the few places you can see an angel refer to someone as a MILF.
  • On 3rd Rock from the Sun, Dick's Evil Twin has plans to take over the world by breeding his own slave army, but he also takes pleasure in asserting his dominance over the rest of the Solomon family in various ways, from forcing one of them to wear skirts, forbidding them from using the car, and changing all of their names to "Tommy". As the Big Giant Head put it: "He should be considered armed and extremely unpleasant."
    Evil Dick: When coupons arrive in the mail, I get first dibs. I may open a box of cereal to get the prize, but I do not then have to eat the cereal. The bathroom has been stocked with two kinds of toilet paper; I, and I alone, get the quilted kind.
  • Too Old to Die Young: Vigilante Man Martin is spying on the maker of Snuff Films at a bar. The man orders four drinks and doesn't have enough hands to carry them back to his table, so he enlists Martin himself to carry two of them. Martin complies. When Martin deposits the drinks on the man's table, the man just stares rudely back at him and then dismisses him without even acknowledging the favor.
  • The Wire:
    • In Season 2 Valchek has a personal vendetta with Frank Sobotka (chairman of the stevedore's union) after a local church accepted the latter's donation of a stained glass window over his own. He considers the Major Crimes Unit's investigation at the time to be solely a means of getting revenge on the man and absolutely blows his top when he is told that the case is about more than a few dockers helping to run drugs into the city.
    • Even by the standards of Baltimore's criminal underworld, Marlo Stansfield is a Complete Monster. He will order the death of absolutely anyone he wants to, simply for the feeling of power it gives him (this includes a store security guard who he purposefully antagonises in the first place).

  • The mad science fantasies in Barenaked Ladies' "Some Fantastic" apply murder and brainwashing to solve minor problems or make romantic gestures.
  • Eartha Kitt's famous "I Wanna Be Evil" differs from standard Villain Songs in that she doesn't sing about riches, power, or triumphing over the hero, just everyday Jerkassery and slightly unwholesome behavior.
  • The protagonist of "When You're Evil" by Voltaire is mean For the Evulz. He loves how much of an evil jerk he is.
    While there's children to make sad,
    While there's candy to be had,
    While there's pockets to be pick,
    While there's grannies left to trip
    down the stairs, I'll be there,
    I'll be waiting 'round the corner,
    It's a game, I'm glad I'm in it,
    'Cause there's one born every minute
  • Basically the premise of Denis Leary's song "Asshole":
    I use public toilets and I piss on the seat,
    I walk around in the summertime sayin' "How about this heat!"
    I'm an asshole!

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Done in excess with the majority of the Heel roster in any fraction or franchise in fictional wrestling, just to make sure the audience knows who to boo. Almost every bad guy wrestler is an overblown Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up, playing dirty tactics, picking on weaker or severely incapable members of the roster, or just in general finding any petty excuse to make someone else's life an utter hell. A good example is Ryback, who went from dealing out potentially crippling injuries to guys in the ring to dumping a plate of food on some guy at the buffet table backstage and mocking him about it.
  • Vince McMahon himself. After losing the ECW Championship (which he didn't win fairly in the first place) to Bobby Lashley, Mr. McMahon temporarily lost his mind, becoming eerily silent and then babbling random nonsense. When he recovered, he did everything he could to make everyone else feel as miserable as he did, starting with forcing titleholders into impromptu title matches in the hope they'd also lose their gold and culminating in "indefinitely suspending" Ashley Massaro because she accidentally spilled coffee on him. Which was made all the worse by his seeming reasonableness at first, "forgiving" Ashley as long as there were other people around and then, once he had the two of them alone, vindictively turning on her and then mocking her when she burst into tears.
  • Carlito Caribbean Cool, during his then most recent feud against his enemy of thirteen years, Ray González, joined Juan Manuel Ortega's group that was put together to end Carlito's own family and The Revolucion dedicated to making sure he'd never be WWC Universal Champion again, used them to give what he thought was a Career-Ending Injury to González, went to Ray González's mini market to rearrange the merchandise, harassed Ray's son while he was at it, and then made a video of the whole thing so the audience could watch him watching it and laughing about it. The irony is that Carlito was so consumed by his desire to belittle Ray González that he didn't realize he basically became Ray González by doing everything González did that that lead Carly to become a pro wrestler in the first place.
  • After winning WWC's Universal Title belt "The Precious One" Gilbert got on a plane to Tampa Florida and then stalked Orlando Colon for the purpose of finding out when Orlando's son was alone so he could taunt the boy over the fact his dad was not Universal Champion. Why? Because Orlando tended to interrupt the group beatings Gilbert directed at random baby faces by swinging Carly's shovel. Also, Orlando made Gilbert bleed once.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Each Beholder considers itself the paragon of its kind and will fly into a murderous frenzy upon seeing another, even if the differences between them are minute things like eye size or skin color.
    • Shemeshka the Marauder often acts like this in the Planescape canon in general, and is especially like this in Shemeshka's Planescape Storyhour, although she is more than capable of horrifically averting this trope is she chooses to.
    • Greyhawk's Nerull — Greater God of Death, Hater of Life, Foe of All Good — is known for manifesting at gravesides just to put the fear of Himself in funeral-goers.
  • In Exalted, this is kind of the Ebon Dragon's thing, as the Principle of Villainy. To pathological extremes: it would give him a psychotic break if he didn't screw someone over when he had the opportunity, no matter how small.
  • The gremlins in Pathfinder personify this trope: they are all small and not very powerful but they like to curse people and wreck property just to be assholes.
  • Games Workshop:
    • Most Chaos worshippers will (if not right away, then eventually) start committing atrocious acts of evil and carnage for no other reason than they can. The Chaos Champion Sigvald the Magnificent from Warhammer Fantasy, for example, once razed an Imperial town he was passing through because he didn't like the taste of the wine they served him.

  • Cyrano de Bergerac: Poke the Poodle/Aristocrats Are Evil: In Act I Scene I, a Marquis explains the reason because the band of young Marquises always get late to the theater:
    A Marquis (seeing that the hall is half empty): What now! So we make our entrance like a pack of woolen-drapers!
    Peaceably, without disturbing the folk, or treading on their toes!—Oh, fie!
  • In Ruddigore, when Sir Despard must commit an evil act daily to appease his family curse, the only crime that his ghostly predecessors will give him a pass on is shooting a fox. For context, Victorian aristocrats would consider shooting it unsportsmanlike, since that's what hounds are for.
  • Iago in Othello decides to destroy Othello's life over not getting the promotion he wanted.
  • Doctor Faustus: You might think a so-called genius like Faustus would be able to accomplish a lot with his demonic powers, but instead he squanders them on childish pranks.
  • Don Juan in Molière's play of the same title engages in some of this apart from his traditional womanizing. He stiffs his tailor of payment, and in what has been judged a Moral Event Horizon crossing since the play was written, shows his evil atheist credentials by telling an old beggar that he will only give him money if the beggar blasphemes against God.

    Video Games 
  • Pick a BioWare RPG. Any Bioware RPG.
    • In Baldur's Gate, the only way for the game to register you being evil is to randomly murder townspeople, though you can also choose to be unpleasant to everyone you meet. Most of the main- and side-quests shift your reputation upwards, to the degree that the Superpowered Evil Side you eventually gain is often used by evil players just for controlling unchecked alignment growth.
    • Similarly, the large number of quests that shift up your Karma Meter in the first Neverwinter Nights mean that unless you go out of your way to threaten and murder people for no particular reason, you automatically do a Heel–Face Turn. Even a lot of actions that should be evil but aren't pointlessly so (like committing genocide on the Elk Tribe instead of negotiating peace) don't shift you down.
    • Despite the pretenses of being a deeper philosophical movement, with only a few exceptions the Way of the Closed Fist in Jade Empire in practice seems to amount to being a dick to everyone you meet, mugging peasants for insignificant amounts of silver, and generally ostracizing and ruining the lives of everyone around you for no other reason than because you can.
      • A particularly egregious example is a situation where a mother asks you to help her daughter who is being sold into slavery. The choices are to save the daughter, to sell the daughter AND the mother to the slaver or to convince the daughter to show her individual strength by killing the slaver and thus "earn" her freedom. According to the stated philosophy of the Closed Fist, the third option is the closest to it, as the daughter has proved that she has the strength and will to survive by overcoming her would-be captor. Yet, it is the cartoonishly evil option, selling both to the slaver, that earns the most Closed Fist points AND a Closed Fist martial arts move. Exemplified by the fact that, once you have enough Dark Si...Closed Fist points, the game actually unlocks a context-sensitive move to KICK PUPPIES.
    • Knights of the Old Republic: The Sith in KOTOR are defined by this. The way their philosophy is written actually sounds reasonable - following your passions will lead to personal freedom. Taken to a reasonable level, this is putting the people/things you care about first. Taken to a realistically extremist level, this is being willed to protect the people/things you care about at the expense of anything else out there. Taken to Stupid Evil, this is killing people just because you don't like them, or just because you can. Guess which one BioWare picked?
      • A long sidequest that, at one point, requires you to notify a father of the death of his son (who was mauled by a pack of space wolves) offers the option to refer to the unfortunate lad as a chew toy. Truly a sign of pure evil. Although in Bioware's defense, it DOES offer the option to extort money from the poor man in exchange for his son's journal.
      • Discussed in the second game. You can threaten to kill a beggar, sending him running away. Your creepy mentor Kreia will ask what the point was and the Exile will reply that these petty cruelties are all the universe gives them most of the time. Kreia suggests that with a little forethought, and the Force, even these little moments can be turned into greater tragedies.
    • Mass Effect tends to be one of the better implementations of a Karma Meter, with Paragon and Renegade being more like Merciful vs. Ruthless than Good vs. Evil. However, to get all the Renegade points still requires some level of petty jerkiness such as being highly xenophobic and pointlessly rude. Thankfully, the special options requiring Renegade points are more just pragmatic and badass.
      • Stupid jellies.
      • Pointlessly killing enemies who've already surrendered, shaking people down for money, and helping carry out less than honorable tasks issued by morally ambiguous individuals.
      • Kai Leng, the series' biggest Smug Snake and immensely fun to hate, at one point sends Shepard a gloating email. He even uses a deceptive email title to trick you into reading it. Not to mention the infamous rumor that he once ate Captain Anderson's cereal.
      • General Oleg Petrovsky, of Cerberus, took Omega from Aria, has ruthlessly suppressed its citizenry, has a multistage plan to deal with Aria when she comes back, replaced her nightclub headquarters with a sophisticated tactical command hub... and threw out that couch she likes lounging around on. Certainly not the high point in his career. It does help get her angry enough to blindly charge into a trap later, though.
      • The Big Bad of Mass Effect 3's DLC Citadel (a Cerberus-crafted clone of Commander Shepard) may be the most petty villain in the series, including belittling Shepard's companions, getting Samantha Traynor fired for fraternization, and throwing Shepard's hamster in the garbage (with a note attached requesting it be sent to an animal shelter and euthanized), making Kai Leng appear humane, in comparison.
    • Dragon Age: Origins doesn't have a Karma Meter and thus has no mechanical way of measuring your evil. Still, many of the 'evil' dialogue options (Morrigan, Sten, Shale approve, Wynne, Alistair, Leliana disapprove) are needlessly confrontational and petty.
      • Still a lot less anvilicious than most BioWare Role Playing Games. There are a lot of petty Jerkass options, but there are also a fair number where you can commit atrocities in a sneaky way and still end up looking like a saint. For example, selling a child's soul for the power of blood magic. And in general, what your party members don't know won't hurt them.
      • Bonus points for selling a child's soul for sex.
    • In Dragon Age II, a sillier version of Hawke considers Meredith's command to slaughter mages who have surrendered to him in the templar campaign of The Last Straw as being petty. When s/he decides to spare them, Meredith angrily glares at Hawke while her men carry out Hawke's orders.
      • Rather than talk their way through a situation, Angry!Hawke can choose to demonstrate that they have no love for the Qunari to the resident fanatic racist mob by flat out killing the hostage, leaving the resident Knight Templar shocked and impressed that you're actually as much of a jerk as him.
    • Star Wars: The Old Republic plays it a little odd in regard to faction. Many times, the Republic players' "dark side" action is cold-hearted pragmatism (like sacrificing a ship's engineers or an obnoxious ambassador during a crisis instead of taking extra time to rescue them) and the Light Sided actions are very much "Wide-Eyed Idealist." The Empire's Light side actions are more Pragmatic Villainy or Noble Demon, with their Dark Side actions falling squarely in this territory. Oddly enough, on flashpoints that are shared by both factions what is the Light Sided option for one faction is the Dark Sided one on the other.
  • Fable I. There are very few evil sidequests, and several of the story quests give good points, so the only way to get evil points is random acts of cruelty, such as petty theft, random murder, and the game's Moral Event Horizon: beating your wife, which is viewed as ten times as evil as actually killing her. There are a (very) few story actions that are construed as evil, but you're railroaded into saving the world anyway.
    • Fable II is much better about this: the main story quests are neither good nor evil, but you get the option of committing decidedly evil acts during at least one such quest. In addition, every sidequest either has an evil path from the beginning or culminates in a choice between good and evil by the end of it. It's much, ''much'' easier to go full evil and never go back. Conversely, it's much harder to go full good and never go back.
    • One quest in Fable III has you tracking down rare books for the Brightwall Academy. A few of them are of famous killers, but one of them is not a killer at all; The author only wrote that he was to make his life miserable. All because he sat in the author's chair.
  • Wario and Waluigi from the Super Mario Bros. series mix this with Goldfish Poop Gang. Usually, their shenanigans when they appear together consist of doing something dickish because of some petty reason (like losing a tennis match) or for fun. There are times, however, when the things they do are pretty dangerous.
    • Especially Waluigi. Most of his acts consist of doing something crazy or jerkish for no explicit reason. Like the time when two Shy Guys interrupted him while he was looking for Luigi, asking him if they could borrow his binoculars. Waluigi threatened to beat them up if they showed up again. As the two Shy Guys fled, Waluigi just sneered and cackled to himself.
  • Fallout 3 adopts a karma system that gives more evil brownie points for petty and obnoxious comments and actions, and yet the scale so easily slides toward good that you can nuke an unsuspecting population and, if you don't pay attention, you'll be a saint before you realize! This is bizarre coming from a development company that has tended toward reputation over alignment-based systems, applied to a series that has never placed as much story or game emphasis on karma as on reputation, and in a genre that just doesn't support the polar alignment model.
    • The earlier Fallout games essentially invert this trope, as every little errand you can run for anyone gives good karma, even if you're paid to do it. Bad karma is usually only gained from the bad choices in large quests or wanton slaughter.
    • Fallout: New Vegas puts little emphasis on karma, so the game mostly averts this. That, and it's borderline impossible to end up with anything but Very Good karma, unless you ironically choose to not fight back against Powder Gangers trying to rob you, which would be something you'd think a Good character would do.
      • In-story, we have Big Bad Caesar, a man who threatens to kill you if you bring up his defeat at Hoover Dam and throws a temper tantrum, complete with name-calling if you refuse to work for him. In Honest Hearts it's also revealed that he ordered New Canaan — a peaceful, prosperous, altruistic town — to be slaughtered and burned. He did this just to spite Joshua Graham, who was born there. His entire faction seems to operate on this logic. One of the actions that gets you Legion fame? Taking a little girl's teddy bear, watching her cry, and then ripping it up in front of her.
      • For the NCR, there's Colonel Cassandra Moore. If the player works with Ambassador Dennis Crocker to resolve the situation with the Kings peacefully as well as make a truce with the Brotherhood of Steel, Moore will not only get Crocker fired from his job but also go on a smear campaign that reduces the Courier's rep with the NCR.
      • Dean Domino is pretty much the entire reason the Sierra Madre is full of aggravating bullshit that can easily kill you, including poisonous gas that constantly ticks down your health whenever you are outside. It was all part of his scheme to utterly ruin the Sierra Madre's owner, Frederic Sinclair. Why did he want to ruin Sinclair? Because Sinclair was happier than him, which due to Evil Cannot Comprehend Good Dean interpreted as Sinclair deliberately and maliciously rubbing his success in his face. Also, it's completely impossible to convince Dean to ally with you in the end if you insult him even once. This means you constantly have to kiss his ass whenever you talk to him and deliberately not pass any of his (very low) skill checks (because, like with Sinclair, he'll interpret that as you showing off and thinking you're better than him), even though he's a total dick who you'd probably gun down within two seconds if it wasn't for the fact that your Explosive Leashes are linked to each other so that if he dies, so do you. In fact, he'd certainly gun you down within two seconds if it wasn't for that fact.
  • Averted in inFAMOUS, where, while you have the option of being a dick and killing random people for the lulz, such actions don't give you evil points. Just like killing enemies won't give you good points. The good/evil axis is defined instead as selflessness vs. selfishness: are you going to turn off that valve and get more psychotropic gunk all over you or are you going to make that random dude there do it for you?
    • You actually do gain tiny amounts of evil karma for assaulting random pedestrians, but it's hardly enough to notice unless you really invest some time in it, and you can actually recover it by healing them afterward.
  • In The Godfather: The Game, you are advised against overly indulging in the Videogame Cruelty Potential.
  • With rare exceptions, "evil" in Forum Warz is almost exclusively petty, since there's not much you can do to people over the Internet. Most of your darker actions are things like directing people to Shock Sites or faking a terrorist threat.
  • Hades, from Kid Icarus: Uprising, just loves to make fun of Pit and kick him when he's down, and that's before he admits that committing acts of destruction and evil is his idea of a good time.
  • Gig in Soul Nomad & the World Eaters, who tries to encourage Revya to do anything that might be constructed as evil. This starts out with encouraging acts like mass murder and genocide, and, when that fails, stuff like being rude to your companions, pickpocketing people, and gluttony. One place it is averted, however, is in the Demon Path. Revya goes right on to using his/her powers for mass murder and wanton destruction, and suddenly, Gig isn't too fussed about the little stuff anymore. Possibly because Revya very quickly makes Gig's evil look petty.
    • From Gig's standpoint, this is actually pretty logical. If he can't corrupt Revya enough to let him take the driver's seat through quick, monstrous evil. He'll have to hope that tempting him/her towards smaller, less obviously objectionable acts will be enough to eventually do the job. If Revya's gone Demon Path, Gig quickly realizes his evil wasn't nearly monstrous enough for Reyva.
  • Assassin's Creed II featured several villains who seemed mainly to be involved with the Knights Templar for political cover who are as mean, vicious, and cruel as possible, though Vieri de' Pazzi and Marco Barbarigo stand out as the most overt examples; overall, the Templar order seems to have devolved towards this by the time of the game's events (compared to its Assassin's Creed incarnation).
    • Rodrigo Borgia himself mentions to Ezio that he didn't need to execute Ezio's brothers Federico and Petruccio (their father was the star witness against a Borgia-backed conspiracy), but did it simply because he could.
  • In the Disgaea series, it's generally accepted that, no matter what demons themselves actually tell you, most of them aren't really evil so much as they're just jackasses.
  • In Portal 2, GLaDOS has a habit of slinging petty insults at Chell for killing her in the first game, most of them being targeted at her incompetence and saying how she's a horrible person. (And in both games she insults Chell because she was adopted. For some reason, GLaDOS thinks that's a bad thing.)
  • In Crisis Core Chapter 3, Zack is about to run after Angeal and Genesis... trips him.
  • This is one of Alphonse's defining traits in MacGuffin's Curse. Among other things, he pressured the mayor into banning the performing arts, just so he could get revenge on one performer (the protagonist) for seducing his girlfriend. (Also, he paid someone to cut a school bus' brakes just because the bus cut him off in traffic, but that ties into a different aspect of his evil...)
  • Handsome Jack of Borderlands 2, a self-centered bastard who brings a constant barrage of general nastiness For the Evulz. He frequently calls up the Vault Hunters from time to time just to throw petty mockery at them and/or brag about how mind-blowingly rich he is, and can be counted on to twist the knife after every Player Punch.
    • Hyperion in general, possibly because Jack is the head of the company. From building respawn machines that mock you to giving you, as a quest reward, a gun that berates you for firing it, Hyperion can be relied upon to go out of its way to make everyone's life just a little bit worse.
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: Ultimately, Skull Face's entire Evil Plan is a mix of being Driven by Envy towards Big Boss and twisted payback at Zero, the latter because he's pissed at a black project Zero might not have even gone through with.
  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance:
    • In the Jetstream Sam DLC, Senator Armstrong expresses disgust with cherry blossoms and other forms of transient beauty upon seeing the Japanese-style garden in World Marshal. He even states that, at the very least, he was going to fire the "candy-ass" who designed it.
    • Similarly, in the Bladewolf DLC, Mistral sets up an elaborate Batman Gambit to dupe Bladewolf into killing Khamsin simply because she found the latter obnoxious and annoying.
  • Ultima IV makes the point that petty evils are just as significant as great evils. The millions of petty evils you're used to committing as an RPG protagonist (B&E, petty theft, occasional muggings and murders, running away before your allies do, etc...) are progress-hampering errors in a game where the goal is to become a paragon of self-denying and self-sacrificing virtue. Most evils you perform are when weighed against the crimes of villains past, petty and basically meaningless - but any of them can stop you in your tracks until you atone for them.
    • The Virtues which became a staple of the series from then on were partly a response to real life criticisms that the previous Ultimas let you be as evil and petty as you like without consequence. While this and future games would continue to allow you to be horribly petty up to causing a mass extinction event because you're bored, the series would no longer simply allow you to do it without consequence.
  • In The Sims 3, Sims with the "Evil" trait can do things like steal candy from babies, troll internet forums, ask a genie for "world misery," and donate money to sabotage a charity.
  • Sly Cooper has a few examples:
    • Clockwerk from the first game, who went so far as to roboticize himself to stay alive for hundreds of years just to stalk and destroy the entire Cooper family line simply because he was jealous of their reputation.
    • Le Paradox from the fourth game. At first, it seems like a case of Avenging the Villain because his father was shamed by Sly's own and left holding the bag for a crime he himself was about to commit, but it turns out he doesn't care about that: even though he's got a large power base already and is a Villain with Good Publicity, he still feels the need to Time Travel for Fun and Profit and steal the Cooper family's various canes simply to prove he's a better thief than them. Sly even calls him out on it; he blew his own cover to Carmelita and triggered Sly's interference because of his ego, and it cost him everything.
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Manfred von Karma murdered Gregory Edgeworth and then adopted his son Miles, raised him to be an Amoral Attorney that Gregory would have utterly despised, and then tried to get him convicted for murdering Gregory 15 years later. All just because it was Gregory's fault that von Karma received his first and only court penalty in his entire 40-year career, ruining his otherwise immaculate record.
    • Matt Engarde, who seemed innocent at first but is actually the "murderer" by proxy of hiring an assassin to kill for him, was indirectly responsible for the suicide of Celeste Inpax two years ago by informing his rival (and eventual assassination target) Juan Corrida that he and Celeste had dated previously just after Juan and Celeste announced they were engaged, knowing that Juan was just as petty as he was and would call off the wedding over it.
    • Kristoph Gavin tricked Phoenix Wright into presenting a piece of forged evidence in court, which he had tipped off the prosecution about ahead of time, getting Phoenix disbarred. Just because the defendant in that case originally had Kristoph as his lawyer but switched to Phoenix at the last minute (if he hadn't, Kristoph would have just used the forged evidence himself to win the case). 7 years later, he runs into that defendant again purely by coincidence and takes the opportunity to murder him. Again, just because he dared change to another lawyer back then.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • In Sonic Shuffle, Eggman doesn't factor into the story: his only role in the game is to stop the players in events and mini-games, which can range from stealing a player's rings to abducting losers in some mini-games to shaking up a soda can and sticking it in a pop machine the players will order from.
    • In Sonic Heroes, Metal Sonic's entire scheme of copying the powers and traits of Sonic and his friends to empower himself stems solely from his grudge and desire to defeat Sonic and prove that he is better than him. Although to be fair it is technically all Eggman's fault because he created and programmed Metal for the sole purpose to kill Sonic and to believe he is the superior one. So Metal's actions are justified.
    • Sonic Lost World: The Deadly Six's Zeena develops a grudge against Sonic after their first meeting results in him messing up her nail polish, which only gets worse after he gives her a Backhanded Apology over it.
    • Sonic Forces: Infinite manages to make the examples above look like the pinnacles of maturity. He helps Dr. Eggman take over the world, murders the Avatar's entire squad, beats Sonic within an inch of his life, and generally does everything in his power to inflict suffering on everyone around him. Why? To soothe his fragile ego. He used to be the leader of a mercenary team and went around boasting about being "the Ultimate Mercenary" until Shadow effortlessly defeated him. His arrogance meant he couldn't accept the idea of others being better than him, so he joined up with Eggman to get access to the Phantom Ruby and become stronger. All the evil things he does are done purely because he's a petty, sadistic bully who hurts people to feel better about himself.
  • In Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Hugh Darrow is willing to drive a good chunk of the world insane to smear augmentation technology, ostensibly to prevent The Illuminati from using it for Mind Control. Except he's not even consciously aware that he's doing it because he himself is incompatible with augmentation technology; while anyone else with the money can turn themselves into a superhuman, he, its inventor, is stuck with a cane and a leg brace. When Adam uses his CASIE mod to point this out, the revelation that he's committed the worst terrorist act in recorded history simply because he feels “I was betrayed by my own genetics! Ruined by my own flesh!” will trigger a Villainous Breakdown.
  • The Combine "Civil Protection" goons in Half-Life 2 are happy to assault citizens for littering, loitering, getting within a few feet of them, or just because they feel like it. It quickly becomes apparent that undercover resistance member Barney isn't exaggerating when he mentions his "beating quota".
    • The most iconic example of this is just before leaving the train station, you have to get past a CP officer blocking a doorway who waits for you to get close, knocks an empty can off a trash bin, and makes you dispose of it before letting you through. It's simultaneously a tutorial on how to solve future physics puzzles and a way not to feel bad about all the Civil Protection grunts you'll be mowing down in later levels.
  • In The Elder Scrolls, while not inherently "evil", this is a trait of Hermaeus Mora, the Daedric Prince of Knowledge. In Skyrim's Dragonborn DLC, Mora covets the secrets of the Skaal, a shamanistic Nord community on the isle of Solstheim. These secrets are nothing more than religious rituals of no real consequence or meaning to outsiders, but Hermaeus Mora refuses to help the Dragonborn against Miraak unless he gets the secrets, because as the Prince of Knowledge, he can't abide the thought of not knowing something.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask has the titular mask itself. While its ultimate goal is to destroy Termina, that doesn't stop it from committing smaller and petty acts of cruelty such as shattering the Great Fairies into fragments of themselves, de-aging Kafei into a child days before his wedding, turning Link into a Deku Scrub, attacking Koume in Woodfall Swamp and cursing Termina's four main regions. Unlike most examples, however, this only serves to make Majora all the more terrifying as like the Joker above, it seems completely indiscriminate in its villainy. Whether it's ruining someone's life, turning people into strange objects, or wanton acts of mass slaughter, it's all part of the same sick game.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines: pretty much the reason Prince LaCroix keeps trying to get you killed in increasingly more dangerous suicide missions, no matter how useful and loyal you have been to him. He knows absolutely nobody in Los Angeles remotely likes or respects him and the only reason he is still in power is that the Sheriff scares away opponents, and you just happen to be the only person he can throw his weight against, as well as someone he spared only to preserve his image.
    • In a rather hilarious case of this trope, Andrei the Tzimisce, one of the major villains in the game. When he isn't using his powers to create hideous monsters out of people he murders or coming up with plans to defeat the Camarilla, he apparently likes to troll late-night radio shows.
  • Persona 4:
    • When Tohru Adachi is revealed as the true culprit behind the murders, it's also revealed that both of his initial murders are for incredibly petty and perverted reasons; the first one was just him throwing a temper tantrum because a celebrity he had a crush on had an affair, and the second was just because he saw a high school girl talking to an older man and deemed her a "whore" who had to die. From then on, he freely admits that he did everything else, including the other attempted murders, purely because he could, and because it was fun; the Investigation Team even lampshade how petty and immature he is.
    • The first suspect for the murders, Mitsuo Kubo, is arguably just as bad, if not worse. He tried to take credit for the murders purely because he wanted people to pay attention to him and went so far as to commit an actual murder to this end. The entire Investigation Team is rightfully disgusted by his reasoning.
  • Persona 5:
    • Masayoshi Shido, who proves he is willing to ruin innocent people's lives at the slightest provocation; just ask the Protagonist (framed for assault after he intervened in Shido's attempt to rape his subordinate), Futaba (blamed for her mother's "suicide" after Shido pulled a He Knows Too Much on her), or Akechi's mother (abandoned after she got pregnant with his bastard son, driving her to suicide and turning Akechi into a man willing to kill countless people for acknowledgment and revenge). He also cuts Ryuji in line for the elevator at one point.
    • The Traitor, who explains in a Motive Rant to the rest of the Phantom Thieves that he's a Bastard Bastard who only wants the attention of his father, Shido. And even then, just to rip it away from him by publicly revealing himself as Shido's bastard son after Shido is elected Prime Minister, which would cause a massive political scandal. However, after defeating the Traitor in battle, they admit they don't really care about their stated objective; they just want to prove they're better than Joker.
    • Starter Villain and Evil Teacher Suguru Kamoshida. His destruction of the track team and his conflict with the Protagonist boil down to him being a petty, spiteful bully who can't accept anyone else overshadowing him in any way and doesn't believe you deserve a second chance.
  • Sephiroth's deeds in Final Fantasy VII run the gamut between: torching a town of innocent civilians; manipulating Cloud into obtaining an artifact of unspeakable black magic and delivering it to him; summoning a Meteor to kill all life on the Planet other than himself; killing the woman attempting to stop him; Gaslighting various characters, especially Cloud, apparently more out of amusement than because it helps his plan; and throwing a Materia at Cloud like a rock before flying off over Cloud's head with his mouth open. There's a reason Sephiroth likes to torment Cloud; Spikey had challenged Sephiroth during the Nibelheim incident and won and Cloud had been a regular infantry grunt at the time. Sephiroth's Pride just won't let him accept this, so he uses every opportunity he can to "put Cloud back in his place", so to speak. Still petty, though.
  • Final Fantasy XV:
    • In the Episode Ardyn DLC, the Villain Protagonist takes pleasure in killing the people of the kingdom his brother founded, hoping to commit regicide of his distant descendant, and... destroying public decorations.
    • It is implied in the supplementary novel, Dawn of the Future, that Bahamut chose Somnus as the Founder King and condemned Ardyn to become the Immortal Accursed simply because Somnus bore a greater physical resemblance to him.
  • In Spooky's Jump Scare Mansion, Spooky has a rather lofty goal: conquer the world with an Army of the Dead culled from the mansion's many victims. Her motivation on the other hand is as petty as it gets: she was an adorable little girl who wanted to scare people, but her own cuteness got in the way. The sole reason she wants to take over the world with an army of ghosts is so that no one will ever call her "cute" again.
  • Legacy of Kain: While more of an Anti-Hero than truly evil, Kain has shades of this.
    • In the first Soul Reaver, it's believed that the reason he has Raziel executed is simply that Raziel grew wings and Kain was jealous that Raziel evolved before he did. Defiance subverts it by revealing that the truth is far more complicated; The visions within the Chronoplast informed him of Raziel's future, and in executing Raziel and ensuring his resurrection as a wraith, he created a creature that truly possesses free will and thus was Immune to Fate, a key factor in his ultimate goal to restore Nosgoth.
    • Kain holds a particular dislike of Malek, as he was the only Pillar Guardian in Blood Omen he couldn't defeat in single combat; he had to summon Vorador to do it. He defaced Malek's headstone in the Tomb of the Sarafan, and in Defiance when he needs to retrieve a sword and shield for a statue of Malek to open the path forward, he takes a moment to snark that restoring the statue's dignity is not a task he enjoys.
  • Megatron from Transformers: War for Cybertron and its sequel at first tells Optimus and his Autobots to leave Cybertron but they refuse to do so until they discover Cybertron is shutting down and they need to go but Megatron starts shooting down their escape ships because they defied him. He's even worse in the second game, trying to destroy the ark and even chasing it down in a warship because "No one leaves without his permission".
  • In EvilQuest, Galvis, aside from his grandiose schemes, he isn't above general dickishness. In one case he refuses to Mercy Kill a man afflicted with frostbite.
  • In Shining Song Starnova, Kamijou wants to destroy the titular idol group because Starnova’s producer and two of its Idol Singers (Mariya and Sasami) all used to work for his company, Golden Calf Productions, before getting fired or washing out. He’ll be damned if he’s going to let people who couldn’t make it at Golden Calf become successful on their own.
  • A Hat in Time: At the end of Chapter 2, "Battle of the Birds", whichever bird wins the movie award is revealed to have kept a Time Piece for himself, becoming the boss of that chapter. The Always Second Best DJ Grooves wants to use it to go back in time and undo all of his previous losses, believing the Conductor had to have cheated to keep winning year after year (despite, by his own admission, having no proof of said claim), while the Conductor takes pettiness to extremes and wants to use it to go back in time and undo his one loss in 52 years of competing for the award, just to have a perfect winning streak.
  • In Yakuza 3, Yoshitaka Mine has a group of thugs bulldoze an orphanage in front of the orphans, in addition to almost killing one of the children's caretakers with a sledgehammer, out of pure spite for Kiryu.
  • Dr. Fetus from Super Meat Boy is not only the Big Bad of the franchise but an all-around massive dickhead in general. He's rude, narcissistic, and frequently commits Kick the Dog actions, such as kidnapping hero Meat Boy's girlfriend, beating up said girlfriend, kidnapping their daughter, and slaughtering forest critters for no reason other than the sake of it. He also pushes down old ladies and destroys sandcastles, according to a game manual. Oh, and he flips people off too.
  • In the Injustice: Gods Among Us universe, Superman and his Regime may all have a good reason to want to Take Over the World (eliminate crime altogether in the aftermath of The Joker nuking Metropolis), but all other media in which they have made an appearance or has expanded the universe demonstrates that they are all a bunch of super-destructive dicks who answer to any kind of criticism (be it from another superhuman or some random kid in the streets) with murder, terror and fascism and hide behind their Freudian Excuse because it's an easier thing to do.
  • In the World of Light campaign for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, this is the most exploitable weakness of Galeem and Dharkon in the final battle of the adventure. It's so immediately obvious given their lack of redeeming qualities and come out for the sake of pure evil, because the two hate one another far too much to cooperate — even when they try to pull an Enemy Mine, it almost instantly disintegrates into the two's minions, and eventually they themselves, attacking one another with as much fervor or more than they have to stop the fighters.
  • Kingdom Hearts: As pointed out by Master Eraqus during a flashback in Birth by Sleep, Master Xehanort's entire plan to cause a second Keyblade War and essentially bring about The End of the World as We Know It is motivated largely by his own personal curiosity.
    • In Birth By Sleep, the first sign of Terra's weak will is that he's tempted to use Darkness to win a harmless sparring match against a friend. Darkness isn't inherently evil- more like a potentially dangerous tool- but drawing on such an alien force solely out of competitiveness is like using a sword to cut fruit. It's possible, but not necessary or safe for you, and the more you do it the more reckless you become. This is why Master Eraqus was disturbed by the event.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II: Linder Kemm sold his soul to the Greater-Scope Villain, orchestrated a massacre of his political rivals, tries to execute a subordinate for accepting enemies' surrender, and throws a dog's favourite ball away.
  • The Prophets from Wild ARMs 3 have incredibly petty motivations and are not above attacking the heroes for equally petty reasons. Leehalt develops a particular ire for Virginia and injects her with nanomachines because she's the daughter of his romantic rival via the woman he'd hoped to end up with. The first time you fight Melody, she will only attack Clive because he insulted her beauty. And Malik? He gets annoyed with the heroes when they call him out for trying to revive his dead mother for... um... purposes.
  • In Red Dead Redemption 2, it's strongly implied that Dutch chooses to abandon John to death during the final heist purely to spite Arthur who had stood up to him and insisted twice that Dutch allow John and his family to leave peacefully.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY:
    • Adam Taurus wants to make Blake suffer by slaughtering everyone close to her, all because she walked away from him when she couldn't stomach his increasingly violent behavior anymore. Blake believes that Adam's desire to destroy humanity isn't because he believes that equality between humans and Faunus is impossible, but rather because he doesn't want equality to come about due to the injustices that he personally suffered in the past. To drive home just how pitiful he is, Blake admits that she's come to see him as the embodiment of spite. Not hate or even rage, just spite.
    • Going hand-in-hand with her egomania, Cinder Fall is driven to uplift herself while bringing everyone else down. If someone she perceives as beneath her gets the better of her, she will pay them back in the worst way possible, even if doing so is either pointless or detrimental to the long-term plan. She agrees to a deal with Raven to kill Qrow in exchange for her services because it will also allow her to get back at Ruby for maiming her, blowing off Watts' argument that doing so could jeopardize Salem's plans, and when Jaune damages her eyepatch, she flies into an Unstoppable Rage, rants at him for his audacity in thinking he could fight her, and impales Weiss with a flaming javelin reminiscent of Pyrrha's just to spite and hurt him.
    • In addition to his constant unnecessary jibes towards Cinder and her injuries, in his first appearance in volume 7, Dr. Watts causes several traffic accidents and a full-on collision just so he doesn't have to break his stride as he walks down the street. Because Mantle's security software is so outdated it still uses the programming code he helped design, he can remotely hack the system to control traffic lights and road bollards, ensuring lights change whenever he wants them to, and the bollards rise to prevent cars from crossing the road where he is walking. That's not even getting into the reveal that a significant portion of his motive for joining with Salem is out of jealousy and spite that General Ironwood chose Pietro Polendina's work over Watts' own and denied him the respect and credit he feels he deserves.
    • Salem, the ruler of the Grimm, wants to cause ruin and destruction for misdeeds that were her fault to begin with. Granted, her children are dead, but it's been hundreds of years and she still blames her ex-husband Ozpin for having a slight disagreement with the way she murdered anyone who didn't bow to her rule with death by Grimm. And the worst part? She learned this behavior from the Dragon Gods who originally ruled over humanity; they 'cursed' her with immortality (and then insulted her ego to really hammer it in) because she tricked them into fighting with each other by accident, and responded to her harmless rebellion by destroying the entire world and intentionally leaving a mentally-unstable Salem to inherit it.
  • O'Malley the megalomaniacal AI from Red vs. Blue once launched into an evil rant when handling a $20 co-pay for his host's medical services.
    O'Malley: Hah, huhaha you fool, and we want the twenty dollars up front!
    Church: Fine!
    O'Malley: And in cash...
    Church: Oh whatever!
    O'Malley: Ah you moron! If you'd used a credit card you could have gotten airline miles! Or at least a thirty-day grace period with no interest. You fiscally irresponsible fools!
  • In If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, Tzeentch comes across less like Magnificent Bastard he is in canon and more like petty bully, swinging insults at Magnus and launching into overthinking everything just to annoy the Emperor. Nurgle as well, as his idea of making the Emperor go over to their side consists of giving him phantom itching.
  • In Hellsing Ultimate Abridged, Alucard tends to do tiny, evil, petty things to get at his co-workers and boss mostly because he knows it either annoys or makes them uncomfortable. These include things like pretending to be aroused over the phone while in an argument with Integra, tilting every painting in the hallway while going to a meeting, and mind-controlling a desk clerk in a hotel into throwing Chevy Chase out of a penthouse so he can take it for himself (and also making him believe White Chicks was "amazing"). Of course, this doesn't mean he won't also do monstrously evil things too; after all, he does have a massive army of millions of souls he's enslaved from all of the people he's killed and eaten for several centuries.
  • In Sword Art Online Abridged, the incident described in the anime section is even worse- Grimlock killed his wife (and there's no indication that he got Laughing Coffin to do it this time) because she wouldn't make him a sandwich one day (she was planning a raid with the rest of her guild). Unlike in canon, where Grimlock is sent to prison, here his guildmates beat him to death just offscreen.
  • Share My Story: It's implied that Brandon only got together with Clara to spite the protagonist.
  • The Most Epic Story Ever Told in All of Human History: Some of Ridiculously Epic’s behavior doesn’t gain him any advantages and is simply done For the Evulz. For example, taking Epic Fail’s slurpie and spitting it in his face, and later taking Captain Epic’s slurpie just to spike it into the ground. Neither of them did anything to warrant this.
  • Hazbin Hotel: In addition to all the murder, arson, cannibalism, rape, and rampant drug use, the denizens of Hell are just assholes. Constantly and unnecessarily. Katie Killjoy refuses to shake Charlie's hand because she doesn't touch "the gays," Sir Pentious spends half his time demeaning his own loyal minions, and everyone mocks Charlie's idea for redeeming demons.
    Vaggie: Wait, are you being sexist or racist?
    Angel Dust: Which one pisses you off more?
    • Sister series, Helluva Boss, isn't much better, with beings that were actually born in Hell as main characters. In one case, a squabble over a parking spot leads to the wanton spread of venereal disease, several murders, and a mutant fish attack, all against human college kids on spring break.

  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Xykon positively revels in being evil. Sure, he's got his Evil Plan for World Domination. But he's never so busy being the Big Bad that he won't take time to kill his minions because they asked for a pay raise, kill his minions because they asked to be paid, or inflict pointless suffering on random innocents out of boredom. He once murdered a potential minion vying for his allegiance just because his name was too long to remember. As is clearly spelled out in The Order of the Stick: Start of Darkness, he thinks Even Evil Has Standards is for pussies.
      Rich Burlew: He's completely and wholly unapologetically Evil, but more to the point, he's kind of a dick.
    • The protagonist team's Token Evil Teammate Belkar is just as bad. If he can't get away with pillage and mass murder, he'll happily settle for petty theft and random insults For the Evulz. Even as he begins to undergo some character development, Belkar seems determined to maintain an image of pettiness so others won't notice his mild alignment shift.
    • Tarquin also falls into this, to the point of trying to destroy a man's life for daring to speak to him as an equal.
  • This Stolen Pixels presents Lucien, Big Bad of Fable II, as this trope. Given he in-game kills your family and dog only because he can, he may be an example of the trope canonically as well (but since he's the villain, he has no Karma Meter).
  • Eerie Cuties: This applies to Melissa whenever she's in "Heel"-mode. During which, she'll lash out at anyone who gets on her bad side, even if it's unprovoked. Simply looking at her the wrong way is enough to make her cast a spell on whoever did it. She even cast a spell on Layla to take away her boobs, just 'cuz she said Melissa couldn't compete with her figure.
  • Magick Chicks: If you think Mel's petty, Cerise has her beat by a landslide. So much so, that she was willing to kill 9 classmates, including her two best friends, Melissa and Jacqui for the sake of popularity!
  • The villains of Sonichu commit murder and attempt to destroy the town several times, but their entire goal is to prevent Chris from getting laid and post homoerotic art of the Sonichus online.
  • MS Paint Masterpieces: The character Allegro definitely counts. Discussed and lampshaded here.
  • In El Goonish Shive, this filler strip shows Pandora considers nonsensical graffiti to be Chaotic Evil. Later comics reveal that she's not actually evil, she just likes doing random and occasionally annoying things because she finds them funny.
  • Looking for Group has Richard, who throughout the series has several moments of both badass villainy and this, both shown in his musical number. It's shown that he needs to commit petty acts of villainy to maintain his immortality, so how much of this is genuine For the Evulz or just a Necessary Evil is up in the air.
  • The Blacksmiths of Godslave, after losing the second ba to Edith, start to harass her daily and pick fights with her by stealing her stuff and forcing her to battle them to get it back. At some point, they take her phone and change her Instagram password before she can get it back.
  • Princess Chroma gives us the Shade, who kidnaps the heroine and leaves a note for her mentor, mocking him in Leet Lingo.
  • Dregs: Von Willendorfer has an evil plan to make all of his peers' plumbing overflow simultaneously, in revenge for having been disrespected. Unfortunately, he's also dangerously stupid and thinks the best way to go about this plan is to set off the entire blastol store at once.
  • Kill Six Billion Demons: Solomon David is nothing but polite and courteous to everyone, even his enemies... but he also constantly engages in tiny little micro-instances of dickery to demean those who annoy him. He shatters a table the other Seven are using because Mottom questioned his abilities, unleashes his hyper-deadly Ki Rata on a bunch of tournament participants to psyche out the heroes for calling him a tyrant, and it's noted that he always "suspiciously" has a better-looking gi than whomever he duels at the end of his tournament.
  • How To Be A Mind Reaver: In order to get revenge on Rowan, Cthu decides to get back at her by... using the Sacred Flame and making pudding to make her too fat to wear her favorite dress. Talk about evil.

    Web Original 
  • The Fear Mythos has the Fears, who tend to be treated like this when not incomprehensibly eldritch. (This rarely makes them less intimidating, although this can be lampshaded and deliberately flanderized when it comes to more comedic stories.)
  • The Ivory Lagiacrus from the Jaya hunting mission in We Are Our Avatars. It destroyed ships around Jaya for the hell of it, posed in photos like an egotist, and took a little girl's ice cream cone. The hashtag for that particular picture was YOLO.
  • In Musical Hell, Diva makes no secret of the fact that she sometimes judges a movie's "sins" based on purely petty reasons. Or in her own words: "I'm a demon. I don't do fair."
  • On If I Were You, Jon Wolf pretty much is this trope. Hosts Jake and Amir will frequently recount stories of Jon Wolf going out of his way to make the lives of others more inconvenient. To cite one particularly petty example, he and his friends will frequently go to a fancy restaurant and each of them will order the most expensive item on the menu (usually lobster). Once their dinner is served, none of them will take a single bite, and they'll leave the restaurant without so much as touching their food. They'll pay for their food and even leave a hefty tip, but they won't eat it. And Jon Wolf does this solely for the satisfaction of knowing that the restaurant will have to throw out several perfectly good lobsters later that night.
  • This is probably the most disturbing and terrifying thing about the main antagonists of Deep Rise: they will intentionally and thoroughly sacrifice themselves after decades of ruthless genocide just to insult the protagonists. This is the equivalent of stomping on a horde of ants for fun, then lying down and slitting your throat so the ants can eat you alive. The fact that they will go to such lengths just to control a few individuals within a civilization that they have no respect for is well-discussed and derails most of the protagonists' plans. It turns out that as much as they loathe the protagonists, they HATE the "Alien Sunshine and Ponies Forevah" Royal EVEN MORE - and the protagonists are the only ones who can kill her.
  • The Nazi leadership in The Anglo/American – Nazi War engage in this when it issues Order 571: as the Nazis are losing the war in Europe, they begin withdrawing back behind the German border and systematically destroying anything of cultural significance as they go. This include a televised destruction of Paris so thorough that the capital of post-war France has to be moved to Lyon. In-universe, post-war historians are baffled at the insanity of diverting a considerable amount of military manpower and resources to what is effectively glorified vandalism.
  • Tails of the Bounty Hunter has Gobor Grizzer defecating on the floor and daring Cale Tomlik to eat it, and if he doesn't, Gobor will order one of his men to set off a chemical weapon inside of a crowded basketball stadium. One of Gobor's own men is disgusting by this, and Cale calls out Gobor on how childishly petty he's being.
  • Tails of Fame features Rast Racklyn criticizing a random pedestrian for wearing shoes. He later steals twenty dollars from a homeless person just because he felt like it.
  • Fear, Loathing and Gumbo on the Campaign Trail '72 has POTUS Donald Rumsfeld ordering for wounded US soldiers to be executed by their own officers, just to duck out of paying for their medical expenses.
  • Under The Cold Moon features Siegfried repeatedly dicking with Hardestadt in childish ways, such as kicking at his cane just to watch him stumble and nearly fall down.
  • The narrator accuses Cao Cao of this in Farce of the Three Kingdoms, for executing Yang Xiu. Cao Cao objects, saying that he had completely logical (albeit still evil) reasons for doing so.
  • The Magnus Archives has this as a common trait of servants of The Desolation, especially Jude Perry. As the Desolation represents the fear that all that you hold precious will burn, its cultists are typically petty, destructive bullies who revel in destroying people just when their lot is about to improve.

    Western Animation 
  • On Adventure Time, Gunther is apparently the most evil being that Hunson Abadeer, the so-called Lord of Evil, has ever met. When he gains the power to take over Ooo in "Reign of Gunthers", all he does is force its citizens to provide him with an endless stream of glass objects for him to break. (Though his evil credentials are helped by his willingness to destroy sapient glass.)
  • Roger of American Dad! is a self-proclaimed sociopath and as such takes this trope to its most extreme, victimizing or destroying others either for some minor slight or sheer curiosity or boredom. He once convinced Steve he was adopted for stealing his cookie, for example, going so far as to burn all of Steve's baby pictures, and another point tried to blow up the Earth because Stan insulted him (which itself was provoked by Roger being his usual apathetic self). He also once hunted down and killed five teenagers one by one, slasher-style, for not paying him the $20 tip he earned by driving them to the prom on a limo (collateral damage was extensive, including bringing down a passenger jet), and he casually mentioned at some point nearing the end of his rampage that the week before he killed six over $19. There is some slight justification as his species are in fact Made of Evil, and if they don't let out their "bitchiness" on a frequent basis it takes the form of poisonous bile that kills them. Since he has little to no problem with this behavior, however, it still counts.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, almost every villain has been a small, petty, spiteful person to some extent or another. However, most of them are made no less and, in fact, are more dangerous because of it.
    • Ozai is a twisted psychopath who tried to set half the world on fire and mutilated his son for speaking out of turn and is jealous of his brother.
    • Azula's primary motivations are getting approval from Daddy and destroying her brother because he was Mummy's favorite. On the other side of things, apart from trying to murder children, she also spends a vacation literally kicking over little kids' sandcastles.
    • Zhao has a personal rivalry with a teenager and a 12-year-old that has driven him to hire assassins at least once.
    • Sequel Series The Legend of Korra:
      • Book 2 has Unalaq as one of the Big Bads, and while their ultimate plan is impressively large-scale, he takes time out from it to personally screw with his older brother simply because he hates him. Also counts as holding the Villain Ball. This ultimately becomes his undoing as Korra eventually finds out his true motives sooner and ends up unraveling his plans.
      • Kuvira, the Big Bad of Book 4. Much like Unalaq, she has large scale goals and ambitions, but she has a habit of doing petty and unnecessary things to people she's already screwed over often just to prove she can such as forcing the Governor of Yi to pledge his loyalty to her after she forced him to sign an unfair contract reducing him to a mere figurehead or using her authority to get Prince Wu booted out of the Presidential Suite and then smugly telling him that she always gets what she wants. Unlike Unalaq, however, she's crafty enough to only do so when she knows she can get away with it.
  • Batman: The Animated Series:
  • In The Batman, Oswald Cobblepot (aka the Penguin) is a rude overbearing jerk in addition to being a villain. In his introductory scene (party-crashing a charity fund-raiser), he high-handedly orders Alfred around (addressing him as "Jeeves") and gets himself slapped while hitting on a woman. On his way out he makes his donation by way of throwing a wad of cash into a fireplace forcing Alfred to stomp it out. When Alfred unwraps it, it turns out to be just a bunch of $1 bills.
  • The Highbreed of Ben 10: Alien Force consider themselves the Master Race and want to wipe out all other species in the universe. The thing is, they aren't doing this simply because they think they're superior and everyone who isn't them needs to die (like some people). No, that's somehow not petty enough. They're doing this because their efforts to maintain the purity of their gene pool has left them all sterile due to inbreeding, and they can't stand the thought of any other species outliving them.
  • The Red Guy from Cow and Chicken and I Am Weasel. He is supposed to be The Satan, yet he has nothing better to do than mess with the main characters.
  • Detentionaire: In one episode, The Serpent breaks into Lee's house to further his own mysterious agenda...but also takes the time to dunk Lee's toothbrush in the toilet.
  • In an episode of Dinosaucers, the Big Bad, Genghis Rex, decides to grab a phone book and prank call people because he is bored.
  • Extreme Dinosaurs: The Reckless Raptors want to cause global warming simply because they think the Earth presently is too cold.
  • The Devil in God, the Devil and Bob. In his introductory scene, he pops a kid's balloon, kicks an old lady's cane out from under her and keys a car.
  • Harley Quinn: Many of the supervillains, as befitting the comedic tone of the series. The Joker is a domineering egotist who constantly puts down people around him just to feel superior to them, The Queen of Fables horribly mistreats her minions (like making omelettes out of Humpty Dumpty), Bane kills people over getting quiz answers wrong or people misnaming him, and Lex Luthor refuses to validate parking.
  • In the Hercules/Aladdin animated crossover, Hades is constantly berating Jafar for how petty his plans and schemes are, such as giving up on conquest for control over the world and the throne of the gods just for petty revenge against a single mortal who tricked him.
    • Hades himself is a lesser example; though his plans aren't petty at all, he's very easily angered and often inflicts harm on his minions for insignificant reasons.
  • On Histeria!, J.P. Morgan is shown stealing candy from a child, then giving her a balloon in exchange, then popping the balloon as he cackles at his own evilness.
  • On Invader Zim, Zim tends to fall into this a lot. Once, in an interview, Jhonen Vasquez commented that Zim wasn't really stupid; he just had a horrible sense of priorities—he took the episode "Megadoomer" as an example, where Zim gets a Humongous Mecha and immediately decides that "beating up Dib" is its best possible use (to the exclusion of taking any time to devise a practical power source for it).
  • Lucius Heinous VII on Jimmy Two-Shoes prides himself on spreading misery, so even when he's not running Misery Inc. and abusing his employees, he's still finding ways to make people around him miserable (including his own son).
  • Aku, the main antagonist of Samurai Jack, cannot resist committing unnecessarily cruel and petty acts to people he's already screwed over, often to prove he can or just for a sick kick at their expense. He ends up taking it to Stupid Evil levels as he always backstabs anyone he makes a deal with, just to laugh at their misfortune.
  • Johnny Bravo has this with the demon Derek in the episode "Johnny's Inferno". His idea of evil amounts to petty and rather childish things, such as disobeying a "keep off the grass" sign, going into the ten-items-or-less line at the grocery store with eleven items and then paying in Canadian pennies, tampering with a "You Must Be This Tall to Ride" sign at an amusement park, and then turning off the city reservoir's filter system simply to give the water supply "a nasty, metally taste."
  • Invoked in Justice League Unlimited by the Flash, who is inhabiting Lex Luthor's body at the time and trying to avoid discovery, as per the page quote above. Of course, this humorous pettiness goes unquestioned, because it's supported by Luthor's actual example in the previous season. His entire presidential campaign in the second season had nothing to do with his real Evil Plan uploading his mind into an Amazo android. Luthor ran for President just to, in his own words, "tick Superman off", and he's quite successful at doing so. He even based a side plan around this, via Briar Patching Amanda Waller and Project Cadmus, attempting to provoke the heroes to rash behavior so the world will lose faith in them.
  • Kaeloo: In addition to doing regular villain-y things, Mr. Cat also stoops to low levels to do petty things just for the sake of it, such as traumatizing Quack Quack and scamming Stumpy because he wanted to steal from Stumpy the grand sum of... four cents.
  • Kim Possible: Several of the villains, but special mention goes to Gemeni, who created an evil organization simply because his sister signed on with Global Justice, and the two of them had never gotten along.
  • Kung Fu Dino Posse: When no one came to his birthday party, Skor swore to conquer the world so he could force everyone to come to his parties.
  • The main villain of Li'l Elvis Jones and the Truckstoppers, W.C. Moore, spends a surprising amount of time inflicting a minor form of Electric Torture on his chief underling and swindling kids at games of marbles using his remote-controlled Unobtainium super-marble.
  • Miraculous Ladybug:
    • Often invoked by Hawk Moth; in his civilian identity, he'll set up a lot of petty annoyances like firing someone for a stupid reason. This increases the person's negative emotions, allowing Hawk Moth to akumatize them into a supervillain. His pragmatic reasons aside, he pretty clearly enjoys his meaningless acts of evil more than he should.
    • Audrey Bourgeois, Chloe's mother, is the queen of the fashion world who always demands everything to be perfect and tries to fire anyone who doesn't immediately give her everything she wants (including people who don't even work for her). In her debut episode, Gabriel Agreste reserves her a seat in the second row rather than the first. This pisses her off so much that she gets akumatized. Even her husband and daughter are shocked to discover she's that petty.
    • Lila Rossi is willing to throw her lot in with known domestic terrorist Hawk Moth to get revenge on Ladybug for... calling her a liar in front of the boy she liked. After she'd stolen his book. Even though she actually is a compulsive liar, she still blames Ladybug for humiliating her. Her pettiness isn't limited to Ladybug, though; come season three, she's antagonizing Marinette (who is Ladybug, but Lila doesn't know that) for no reason aside from Marinette being the only member of the class willing to call her out on her Blatant Lies (it probably doesn't help that Marinette's ALSO interested in Adrien).
    • Félix, Adrien's cousin, is in on his mother's mission to steal back Gabriel and Emilie's wedding rings. However, posing as Adrien to send all of the latter's friends an insulting video message does not in any way relate to his goal. Later, he tries to get Hawk Moth to help him steal back the rings (despite the fact that Hawk Moth is secretly Gabriel, and would not help him anyway). At the end, his reaction to Adrien forgiving him is to steal Gabriel's ring anyway.
    • By extension, Félix's mother Amelie also counts, as stealing the rings was her idea, and she gives Gabriel some thinly-veiled insults over him still wearing his ring, even though her own husband has recently died.
  • Fizz from Mr. Magoo (2019) often tries to eliminate Magoo for constantly foiling his schemes, despite being fully aware that Magoo is blind and doing it completely by accident.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Discord has godlike powers and is overall one of the most powerful characters in the show, meaning he could momentarily get rid of all his opponents if he wanted to. He prefers to play games with them instead, either For the Evulz or because it amuses him. After his Heel–Face Turn he sometimes tries on the role of the Trickster Mentor and still engages in needlessly cruel acts, like making Twilight fight a giant worm or befriending Mane 5 just to make her feel jealous and paranoid.
    • In "A Canterlot Wedding", a fake Princess Cadance is mostly cold towards everyone, insists on being addressed formally, and is demanding and critical about everything that will be part of the wedding, including refusing to let the groom wear something that belonged to his favorite uncle because she just doesn't like it — even though it's actually Queen Chrysalis the shapeshifting impostor who only cares about it all as emphasizing her triumph for some reason, who is supposed to be masquerading as a pony whose normal behavior is the exact opposite. Most characters put this down to stress, but it's a big part of why Twilight Sparkle comes to suspect her of "being evil". Makes it a case of the Villain Ball, really, which ball she continues to carry in the next stage of the plot.
    • While Starlight Glimmer, in her evil days, didn't exactly waste time on petty dog-kicking and preferred to go big (after all, her ultimate goal was to make everypony equal), the very reason that had turned her into a Well-Intentioned Extremist was simply losing a childhood friend, Sunburst, after he got his cutie mark before she did. Plus, though her main motivation to travel back in time was to make sure her enemies never meet each other and form a friendship, she also did it because she simply wanted to take Twilight's friends away as Twilight did to her.
    • In "Rarity Investigates!", Wind Rider framed Rainbow Dash for a crime just because he didn't want her to potentially break his speed record.
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: Boxmore and his minions. Their efforts in trying (and failing) to destroy the plaza has made them enduring characters.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • This trope appears to be the Doctor's general operating guide. Almost all of his schemes revolve around him taking incredible Disproportionate Retribution against whatever minor issue happens to be bugging him at the moment. This, like everything else in the show, is often lampshaded by Doof himself;
      • Played with in "Oil on Candace", after Dr. Doofenshmirtz fails one of his schemes while trying to impress his old teacher, she tells him that you can also be evil in little ways, but then complains that he can't even do that right.
      • Lampshaded in the episode "Tree to Get Ready", where Dr. Doofensmirtz is planning to have trained pigeons crap on his "goody-two-shoes brother" Roger and admits the plan is "a truly petty act, brought on by my own mindless jealousy!"
      • There's also "Perry Lays an Egg" where Doofenshmirtz's latest scheme involved learning how to speak whale just so he could insult the one who stole away one of his ex-girlfriends. He had to chase Perry the Platypus down and demand Perry thwart his "evil" scheme.
      • In "Hail Doofania!", after his brother got elected Mayor, he created a metropolis he called "Doofania", complete with its own original anthem, which included the line, "It's founded on spite!"
      • He also steals his neighbor's magazines from the mail, even though they're in Spanish. "You know, evil never rests." (He also speaks Spanish himself in a few episodes...)
      • One episode also saw Doofenshmirtz try to find out where Perry lives so he could...ring his doorbell and run away.
    • The evil organization LOVEMUFFIN, denied Dr. Diminutive a chance to run for leader because he's too short. They cite this trope as why they're able to get away with it.
    • There's also Candace's entire motivation. She's not constantly attempting to tell on Phineas and Ferb because she's worried the boys will get hurt or because she thinks what they're doing is dangerous. Her entire motivation is literally just to get them in trouble and be seen as "in charge."
  • The Powerpuff Girls:
    • Him is a huge example of this. If his powers alone in conjunction with his One-Winged Angel seen in "Speed Demon" are any indication, he could probably beat the girls handily if he really wanted to. However, for better or worse, he's more interested in inconveniencing them and just generally being a dick. Some of his plots have included sending the girls on a wild goose chase and giving them free candy so they get cavities.
    • Marianne Smith from "Just Desserts" is a slight example of this, as she rallies her family together in that episode to destroy the Utoniums for getting her husband arrested and ruining her dinner, on top of it all, in Supper Villain. The Girls just brush off this as being ridiculous and give them the usual villain beating.
  • ReBoot: While Megabyte has more grand ambitions, like turning Mainframe into Megaframe and trying to infect the Super Computer, he dips into this when he returns in Season 4 as a Trojan Horse virus; he disguises himself as Bob, convinces everyone that he's the original Bob and the other one is a fake, and almost manages to marry Dot just to screw with everyone in Mainframe. When he's exposed, Bob demands to know why he did it. Megabyte's response?
    Megabyte: It amused me.
  • Rick and Morty:
    • In "Morty's Mind Blowers" we find out Rick removes the most traumatic of Morty's experiences on their many adventures to keep him from going insane, and then storing them in memory vials. However, not only does Rick remove Morty's traumatic experiences and horrifying mistakes but he also removes his own embarrassing moments from Morty's memories just to make himself look better, including incredibly minor incidents like losing a game of checkers, thinking the phrase "taken for granted" was "taken for granite", and hitting a tree on a ski trip.
    • While Rick is always extremely petty, he takes it to the next level in "The Vat of Acid Episode" episode. Rick builds a remote control device that he lets Morty believe will allow him to "reset" to a "save point" as desired (or if he dies) via real life Save Scumming but really teleports Morty to an alternate timeline by killing the Morty in that timeline and replacing him, just to get back at Morty for making fun of Rick's plan of faking their deaths in a fake vat of acid in the beginning of the episode. Even more specifically, when the FBI and several other disgruntled parties show up in a mob in front of the house when Rick merges the timelines, Rick makes sure that the only way Morty can get out of it is by using the same "faking your death in a fake vat of acid" trick that they used at the beginning of the episode, as payback for Morty being so unimpressed with the ploy. He even forces Morty to say that the vat is good, and makes him kiss it, before jumping in.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Who Shot Mr. Burns: Part I", Mr. Burns blocks out the sun from the town, forcing everyone to use his power all the time. His desire to steal candy from a baby afterward is a sign that he's crossed the line. And a plot point, believe it or not. But Burns' pettiest moment was in "Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in "The Curse of the Flying Hellfish"", where he was willing to kill Grampa Simpson, his commanding officer over paintings they hid away during the war. Yeah, priceless paintings, but he is plenty rich. He then tries to kill Bart for insulting him after he took away the paintings at gunpoint.
      • The episode "And Maggie Makes Three" showcases that Burns has a special door in his office for those coming back begging to get their jobs back: it is labeled "Supplicants" and it's a tiny tunnel that forces people to literally come crawling to him, covered in dirt and spider-webs. And because Homer got pretty cheeky when he quit, Burns orders a special plaque to be installed in Homer's station that reads: "DON'T FORGET — YOU'RE HERE FOREVER", to kill Homer's spirit.
      • Burns' Historical Rap Sheet includes him ordering the assassination of Amelia Earhart — Burns felt "that woman was getting too big for her britches".
    • Homer Simpson's Hair-Trigger Temper and penchant for Disproportionate Retribution get him into this as well. He does it even when it is to his detriment to do so, such as when he chased another motorist down the freeway for miles and threatened to club him with a baseball bat when he caught up to him - causing the family to miss their vacation flight to Hawaii - just because the other guy cut him off while changing lanes. Yes, the cutting-off was completely unjustified and itself a Jerkass move, but Homer!
    • In one episode Marge enters a baking contest and all of the other contestants try to blatantly sabotage her food (with one of them even destroying her meal, forcing her to start all over again and almost getting disqualified for running out of time). Why do they do this? because they found her entry, the dessert dogs, a threat to their own entries. Talk about petty losers... and Marge eventually gets back at them by sabotaging their meals when nobody's looking.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Robotnik commits petty crimes in his spare time when he's not trying to take over Mobius. For example, one of the ways he uses his new superpowers in "Super Robotnik" is to steal candy from 4,822 babies.
      • Even more damning is Robotnik's Start of Darkness - he tried to kill a guy with a robotic snake because the girl Robotnik was in love with loved the guy instead! And when he started his conquest of Mobius, he was the first guy he locked up!
    • While it's more subtle, Robotnik's Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) counterpart has blatant shades of this, too. He takes a lot of pleasure in the fact his industries are polluting and destroying the planet, and rather actively belittles his minions (usually Snively) or gloats over his roboticized slaves.
    • Sonic Boom: Given the Denser and Wackier tone, most of Dr. Eggman's schemes are pretty small-time, simply amounting to just messing with Sonic and his friends or some other outlandish reason. Examples include:
      • In "Buster", he creates a fireman robot at the beginning of the episode to attack the village and has the robot do things like putting a baby walrus in a burning house or putting a kitten in a tree.
      • In "My Fair Sticksy", he uses a ballot bot to stuff the ballot box with votes for him so he would win an award. When he doesn't win regardless of his cheating, he decides to have his Bee Bots attack the gala.
      • In "Fortress of Squalitude", he hires and later kidnaps Amy... to force her to redecorate his lair so he'd be on the cover of a magazine that features evil lairs.
      • "Three Minutes or Less" has Eggman realizing that Sonic is working at Meh Burger and comes up with a plan to make Sonic late in hopes of Eggman getting the meal for free.
  • Eric Cartman from South Park is this trope personified. Cartman has shown that his ruthless intellect could propel him to the top as a Corrupt Corporate Executive, but he frequently sabotages his own efforts when they don't cause suffering to his designated targets. When not causing mass murder, inciting riots, trying to start another Holocaust, giving Kyle AIDS, engaging in piracy, or manipulating Cthulhu to do his bidding, etc., he will do things like toilet papering a teacher's house or giving Butters a Dirty Sanchez in his sleep. His Moral Event Horizon was murdering Scott Tenorman's parents and sticking their corpses in Scott's stew, simply to get back at Scott for cheating him out of $16.12 and to literally lick Scott's tears off his face.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Mr. Krabs comes off like this in part due to his Money Fetish, he is willing to go to extreme lengths to get or save as much as a single penny. He will rip a man's arm off for one, sell his fry cook's soul for less than a dollar, and in "Plankton's Regular," he becomes obsessed with taking away Plankton's first (and only) customer simply because he "just can't afford" letting Plankton have any business, legitimate or otherwise, despite this meaning he wouldn't have to worry about the safety of the Krabby Patty formula anymore.
    • In "Naughty Nautical Neighbors", Squidward becomes antagonistic simply for being annoyed by the duo's antics behind his house, even though they otherwise weren't bothering Squidward at the time.
  • Star Wars Rebels: Agent Kallus has a few moments of this.
    • In "Spark of Rebellion", after the Ghost has escaped, he irately kicks a stormtrooper off the support pillar they were both clinging to after the trooper asked him if Kanan was the first Jedi he'd ever seen.
    • In "The Honourable Ones", after losing a rematch to Zeb at the beginning, he expresses his anger by questioning how Zeb could've beaten him if he'd lost back in their first fight.
  • Steven Universe has Yellow Diamond, who in her first official appearance reveals herself to be arrogant and petty despite one of her underlings, Peridot, describing her as highly logical. She makes it clear she wants to destroy the Earth in spite because of the rebellion despite Peridot pointing out it's more useful keeping it alive, then after Peridot insults her she attempts to kill her by detonating her communicator immediately after she cuts off communication. Though with the revelation that Rose Quartz apparently shattered Pink Diamond during the rebellion, Yellow Diamond's motivation is more justified, albeit still pretty petty.
  • Superman: The Animated Series; Darkseid leaves Earth after Superman gets a Heroic Second Wind and Orion arrives with reinforcements from New Genesis. Just as he's leaving, Darkseid decides to get one last dig in at Superman and vaporizes Dan Turpin, for no other reason than it would piss Superman off and he would be able to get away with it. When Superman confronts him again in the Grand Finale and gives Darkseid an And This Is for... punch, Darkseid ask who Turpin was and comments that if Superman was so broken up about him killing one man, he would have killed more.
  • Total Drama: When Mal isn't manipulating the entire island, causing eliminations, and harming his other personalities, he's usually breaking the other contestants' things. Special mention goes to the fact that the whole time the season is going on, he's literally destroying the alters' dreams so they're forced to have nothing but nightmares.
  • The villains of Totally Spies! tend to be a pretty petty bunch. Candy Sweet from "The Black Widows" was turned down by the Honeybees cheerleading squad as a kid, so she kidnaps them and builds an army of robots that uses the Honeybees' moves to infiltrate an international cheerleading contest and slaughter the competition (quite literally) in the finals. Dr. Bittersweet from "Passion Patties" was kicked out of the Happy Girls for eating the cookies she was supposed to sell, so she tries to discredit them with super-addictive, super-fattening cookies. The titular Big Bad of "Evil Ice Cream Man Much?" would prefer to turn the entirety of Los Angeles into a frozen wasteland rather than expand his ice cream line with flavors that modern teens like. And so on.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012): Shredder had created a fully functional and prosperous Ninja Clan for years, but the moment he finds out that Hamato Yoshi is in New York, he packs his bags and devotes most of his efforts to having better men just to destroy Yoshi. Literally everything he does is because he's pissed that Tang Shen chose Yoshi/Splinter over him, and almost every loss he ever has in the series is due to prolonging the feud just so he can twist the knife further.
    • It's especially bad when you compare him to previous iterations of the Shredder. While the likes of the '87 Shredder, 2003 Shredder and the 90's Live-Action Shredder all had a hatred for Splinter and were willing to wipe out the Hamato Clan, they also had ambitions of conquest and forging an empire. All this Shredder cares about is his revenge. Even when Karai brings the Kraang to his attention and insists that there is a bigger picture to consider, Shredder completely ignores the fact that there are alien invaders in New York because he deemed it irrelevant to his vengeance... until it's revealed that they have a common enemy in the Turtles, upon which he's perfectly willing to help the Kraang.
  • In Transformers: Prime, during the "Operation: Bumblebee" two-parter, Starscream doesn't just help MECH exploit Bumblebee's T-cog, he goes out of his way to insult Bumblebee for being unable to transform. Watching him wake up without his T-cog at the end is very karmic.
    Starscream: Time to jet, because I can!


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Taking Candy From A Baby


Klaus is Petty

On top of being an unrepentant Nazi, Klaus is also a shitty roommate who constantly pushes at boundaries, takes up more and more of the fridge for his beer, and uses Atun-Shei's computer without permission.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / EvilIsPetty

Media sources:

Main / EvilIsPetty