A hard, grizzled military man, promoted to the highest echelons of power because of his exemplary record. At some point, however, something changed.
Maybe the war he'd been fighting for his whole life ended abruptly. Maybe he's haunted by his past in the field, or by real ghosts. Maybe he's just flipped under the strain of command. At any rate, he's obsessed with a specific enemy, and will take any measures to rally the troops to battle against this foe, "Enemy X".
Terrorist attack? Gotta be Enemy X. Monster attack? Unleashed by Enemy X. That new Super Hero that just flew into town? Obviously a spy for Enemy X! Everything quiet on the front? Enemy X is just lulling us into complacency so he can strike when our guard is down!! Does it look like Enemy X is trying to surrender? It's a trick!!! Shoot 'em while they're distracted!!!! Wait, you say Enemy X was defeated last year? Sure, that's just what they want you to think!!!!!
They usually want to instigate hostilities whenever they can, which often leads heroes to desperately try to Prevent the War. If they even bother trying to explain their attack objectively, they will likely characterize the enemy as an inherently evil and eternal foe, and follow it up with Do Unto Others Before They Do Unto Us. After the fact, you'll be lucky if you get any more than a smug I Did What I Had to Do. As for making him stop, he will probably only listen to the orders of the highest superiors, like the Joint Chiefs of Staff and more often only the President himself. Though even that's not a sure thing. While Ripper may just pout a lot if he doesn't get his way, he's equally likely to blatantly defy orders, execute hesitant subordinates, or even launch a coup d'etat and put himself in charge if he's convinced the whole chain of command are cowards who haven't the stomach to do what is "right". In stories in which the Godzilla Threshold is brought into discussion, the General Ripper will always advocate that it's been crossed long before any other characters agree with him (if ever).
A character type that is an aftereffect of the Cold War. It's officers like him that turn The Cavalry into a case of Armies Are Evil. Basically, who The Brigadier becomes when you sap and impurify his precious bodily fluids.
Named for Air Force General Jack D. Ripper, the patriotic madman who triggered World War III in the film Dr. Strangelove. He launched his wing of B-52's on an irrevocable attack mission because of a paranoid delusion involving Communists, fluoride, and his "precious bodily fluids". His portrayal (along with that of the slightly milder Gen. Buck Turgidson from the same film) set the example for all to follow. Ripper is, of course, named after a certain Victorian serial killer.
This trope, while a common one, is actually a fairly unrealistic one. It has its origins in the Bombing campaigns of World War II, when the British and the American political leadership permitted senior officers to undertake operations and campaigns, pretty much at their discretion.note However,this was a case of senior officers being give wide leverage as to the conduct of the war, rather than unauthorised operations, which is the heart of this trope. Military operations are a highly complicated and intricate undertaking, requiring the coordinated actions of several different and disparate units and formations, to be effective and all but the highest ranking General Ripper will have direct authority over only a few. At the highest levels, it's less General Ripper and more "national policy". For instance, to undertake an aerial bombardment, a General commanding a wing of Bombers, needs fairly up to date information about the target area, enemy assets, and tanker and Electronic Warfare support, all of which come from other units, not under his control, who might wonder why exactly they are being asked to act that way. In fact, its a common joke among military types that the real General Ripper is one who does not move when he is supposed to; and real life shows that this is the most common method of "rogue" Generals.
A Subtrope of Insane Admiral; for the grunt version, see Sociopathic Soldier. Compare with the War Hawk, Well-Intentioned Extremist, Inspector Javert, and Colonel Kilgore. Contrast with The Brigadier and Reasonable Authority Figure. Is very often a Blood Knight. Can very easily become the fate of He Who Fights Monsters.
- General Gennan of Chudor in Berserk. He and his army is stationed in Doldrey, a nigh-impregnable fortress with three walls, a moat, and it's back to a mountain range. And if that wasn't enough it's guarded by the considerably more capable General Boscogn and his numerically superior Purple Rhino Knights. Yet in spite of this, Gennan takes command from Boscogn and orders a Leeroy Jenkins charge against the Band of the Hawk who are positioned with their back towards a river, without even bothering to see if it's a trap or not. Casca and her crew, could more or less just WALK into Doldrey. There's a reason for this though: Gennan didn't actually care about the battle, all he wanted to do was to have sex with Griffith again. He took every precaution he could to make sure Griffith was not killed.
- Fairy Tail: The Spriggan Twelve of Alvarez has the Winter General, Invel Yura. He may not look the "ripper" part, but if he feels like it, he can be just as cruel and brutal as Zeref in combat. Just ask Gray and Juvia.
- August is also a general of Alvarez, but for the most part, he's calm and pacifist in nature - until you make him angry, that is.
- Sakazuki, aka Akainu, the Red Dog, from One Piece. As with many other major marines, he is a firm believer of "Absolute Justice": the mindset that justice must prevail at any cost. To him, all criminals - especially pirates - are inherently evil, including The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything.
- In his first appearance, in a flashback, Sakuzaki wiped out an evacuation ship carrying civilians away from a military bombardment operation, just in case one of his targets (in this case, scholars who were researching an Ancient Conspiracy involving some Lost Superweapons) may have hidden on board. The marines had themselves provided the evacuation ship, and a number of Sakuzaki's colleagues were surprised that he went that far.
- Later on, during the World Government's war against Whitebeard and his allies, Akainu is seen personally blasting deserting Marines. Granted, the penalty for desertion in many navies is death, and this was a war on their home base. However, these marines could contribute little except attrition against the other side's mooks, and he had more pressing concerns. When Coby, a Marine tired of the war's excessive bloodshed, asks him to stop, Akainu decided he needs to die as well for wasting his time.
- However, he's personally personable to fellow marines who don't desert during war. During the Time Skip, he was nominated for the position of Fleet Admiral, alongside "Lazy Justice" Admiral Aokiji. Morally opposed, their conflict eventually boiled down to a death match on Punk Hazard that lasted ten days, which Aokiji ultimately lost, and which permanently turned the island into Hail Fire Peaks. However, Akainu, in a rare moment of sympathy, spared Aokiji's life. The latter then formally resigned, because he didn't want to be under Akainu's command supporting a form of Justice he was that strongly opposed to.
- While there's no denying that Akainu is this trope, even he draws a line at things. For one, even he disapproved of Z's method to rid the Grand Line of all pirates, since it involved turning the entire Grand Line, including the New World, into a fiery wasteland. While undoubtedly killing all pirates, the sheer amount of civilian casualties and property damage was too much, even for Akainu.
- In Fullmetal Alchemist, we have Lt. General Raven, who tries to lure in Major General Olivier Armstrong (a heroic example of one of these) into joining the Government Conspiracy. He's killed for his efforts, as Olivier had already learned about the conspiracy from the Elric brothers and has decided she's not really interested in sacrificing her men's lives just so that she can achieve immortality.
- Lt. Colonel Frank Archer from the 2003 anime version is always out to hunt down anyone his superiors labels an enemy of the State with extreme prejudice, if it means promotions and glory for himself. He's the perfect dupe for whatever Government Conspiracy is being cooked up by the Homunculi. The 2003 anime also turned Basque Grand (a Colonel Badass and Reasonable Authority Figure in the manga) into one of these.
- Lt. General Regius of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Strikers, who sees Hayate as one of the criminals they should be persecuting due to her connection to the incident in the second season. Considering his not so clean connections with Jail Scaglietti which led to the death of his friend, Zest, it may be his way of projecting his guilt.
- Miwa Sakimori from Daimos, a very bigoted racist commander who will do all he can to torture and eradicate all Brahmins, even when they're Not So Different. This riles him up so bad that he'd dare to even shoot down Brahmin and humans that were already in danger of drowning. That's the last straw for Kazuya, who finally goes insane and beat him. While telling him that the Brahmins are not the monsters... He (Miwa) is.
- Colonel Hopkins from Sound of the Sky. He's obsessed with defeating Roma, Helvetia's neighbour country, to the point of using biological warfare and trying purposely to ruin peace talks. He also believes war advances civilization.
- Patrick Zala, Chairman of the ZAFT Supreme Council in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED. He's out to wipe out all of the Naturals due to personal hatred and paranoia. This culminates in him using a Wave Motion Gun to try and kill every Natural on Earth, after attempting to have his own son, Athrun, executed for failing to comply with his crazed orders.
- He has his old friend Siegel Clyne gunned down because Siegel was a moderate and therefore opposed a war of annihilation. He then goes to great lengths to silence the entire moderate faction. During the final battle, he is perfectly willing to destroy his own forces with GENESIS, while trying to end all life on Earth.
- On the Earth Forces' side, we have Captain William Sutherland, who despite what sounds like a relatively low-ranking titlenote , is a member of the General Staff, and thus in a position to influence the outcome of the war. He's also the closest thing that Muruta Azrael has to a Dragon, and is more than willing to consent to the very worst of the latter's plans, using the Cyclops system on his own men and ordering the launching of nuclear weapons at ZAFT in a bid to exterminate all of the Coordinators. He doesn't get as much screentime as Patrick (due to being overshadowed by Azrael) but is every bit as mad.
- After being captured and tortured by Zeon during the previous war, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam's Captain Bask Om bears an intense hatred for all colonials, and the colonial independence movement in particular, abusing them to the point where he is in fact creating the very rebellions he is determined to stop. Since he seems to want to kill as many colonists as possible, that doesn't really bother him.
- Captain Ethan Ryer in Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team, is a General Ripper on the Federation side of the war. Seeing his men as expendable, and utterly determined to eradicate Zeon, no matter what the cost, Ryer nearly destroys his own forces with his paranoia about enemy subversion.
- Yondaime Raikage has many shades of this in Naruto, instead of listening to Naruto about what Sasuke's motives could be, he immediately tells him that when he kills Sasuke it's up to Naruto to NOT to make it a chain of hatred. He is also willing to go to any means in fighting Sasuke, to the point where he sacrifices his ARM just to hit him instead of trying a long ranged attack. Technically subverted though, he has a good reason to hate Sasuke and want to kill him with that much force. In the War, he defers solely to Shikaku's knowledge, or lets Onoki and Tsunade take the lead in leading the Kages.
- The Holy Britannian Empire of Code Geass is full of these. They don't just win fights—they won't be satisfied until everybody they deem a threat (and many, many other people that are standing in the way but are ethnically the same) is completely annihilated. The ones that can be considered the Only Sane Employee (like Euphemia) at least try to reduce collateral damage.
- Flit Asuno in Mobile Suit Gundam Age, especially in his old age. After witnessing the death of Yurin by the hands of Desil Galette, an Ax-Crazy, Psycho for Hire Vagan pilot at the age of fourteen, he realized that eradicating the Vagans is the only solution to end the war once and for all. However, this is talked down by his grandson telepathically by the time he attempts to nuke the home of the Vagans.
- The Devil Is a Part-Timer!: Emi can come off as this sometimes, though never to the point of risking innocents (she is a hero of justice after all). She considers anything that bad happens to be Maou's fault by default. Justified since she was raised by the Church as a Tyke Bomb and Maou's army was responsible for her father's death. She softens a little after she learns that not only did Maou's army not kill her father, he's still alive.
- Chief Doyle from episode 13 of Guardian Fairy Michel will stop at nothing to catch Kim and Michel, even though they aren't the thieves he's after.
- Possibly Admiral Donald Hayes, Lisa Hayes's father, in Robotech, and most prominently Supreme Commander Anatole Leonard in "The Robotech Masters" (Claude Leon in the original Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross).
- More pronounced with Admiral Takashi Hayase, the original version of the above from Super Dimension Fortress Macross. He genuinely believed that firing off the Grand Cannon at the Zentradi fleet was an appropriate way to open peace negotiations, even over the protests of Admiral Global and his own daughter, Misa. He learned the hard way that the aforementioned two were right. (On the other hand, the Zentradi weren't exactly in a "peace negotiation" mood themselves...)
- In Marvel Comics, and various Incredible Hulk adaptions, General "Thunderbolt" Ross (the picture provider) is obsessed with stopping the Hulk at any cost, often interfering with Bruce Banner's attempts to cure himself in the process. Which one he actually hates can get blurry — he once tried to shoot a de-Hulked Bruce Banner on the day Bruce married his daughter. He's even willing to Hulkify himself (and his daughter, in addition to brainwashing her) if it means stopping the Hulk (he became the Red one).
- There's also Ross's expy General Ryker.
- The Red Hulk has his own General Ripper nemesis in General Fortean, Ross's former apprentice, who blames him for Ross's death. Of course, Red Hulk is Ross. The irony is not lost on him.
- Part of it is due to Ross' secret envy of Banner's power. Deep down Ross wanted to be the Hulk.
- Punisher Max villain General Nikolai Zakharov practically wrote the book on this trope. He was at his worst during the Soviet-Afghan War, were his monstrous actions earned him the nickname: "The Man Of Stone". His various atrocities include gathering up entire villages and forcing them off the ledge of a cliff, to callously murdering an infant while her mother screams in horror. In fact his actions were so bad that the Soviets had him fired for his actions.
- This seems to be how the Knights of the Old Republic prequel comics is going to explain the FaceHeel Turn of Admiral Saul Karath, one of the major antagonists of the first video game of the franchise. He's certainly been increasingly obsessed by Zayne, the comics' protagonist, thinking him a spy and blaming him for much of the collapse of the Republic.
- Superman tends to come across one or two occasionally, who see him as an alien threat, but there were also hundreds of Kryptonians alive and powered. One of the main ones was none other than General Sam Lane, Superman's father-in-law! New Krypton took this to new extremes, with Lane and his Project 7734 (which recruited the likes of Lex Luthor, Metallo, and Reactron as agents) facing off against Kryptonian General Dru-Zod II, a war criminal who blames non-Kryptonians (and Superman) for all of his problems. The arc consisted of Lane and Zod trying to provoke one another into open war, while Superman and his allies ran damage control in an effort at keeping a lid on the violence. In the end, Lane and Zod get their way, and the resulting war between Earth and New Krypton results in the destruction of both of their forces, the deaths of countless humans, and the obliteration of New Krypton.
- In Aliens: Nightmare Asylum, General Spears is an insane tyrant who runs a breeding program to turn Xenomorphs into soldiers. He refuses to back down after Xenomorphs took over Earth (in the previous story, Outbreak) and plans to use his aliens against them. He gets his comeuppance when his forces turn against him due to his horrible conditioning-by-fire.
- New Avengers (2015): General Robert L. Maverick, who's introduced angrily rejecting the possibility of talking things out with Avengers Idea Mechanics, and goes straight to siccing a giant green fire-breathing lizard on them. The next issue even introduces him with a caption stating that aforementioned General Ross thinks he's too extreme. He does mellow out considerably by the time of U.S.Avengers, setting up a deal to turn AIM into a true force of good working alongside S.H.I.E.L.D.. He even gets to be the Red Hulk (for an hour a day)! Though, as Squirrel Girl wonders after he goes Red Hulk and demolishes the enemy Helicarrier in about a minute, what exactly is he going to do for the next 59 minutes?
- Subverted, with a side-order of parodied, with one issue of Radioactive Man, where the eponymous hero meets with a military general named after General Ross, and designed after J. Jonah Jameson. Only he's reasonable, measured and helpful.
- Bad Planet has the aptly named General Wahrmunger, who takes charge of the US after the President and other chiefs of states go AWOL when an hostile alien invasion takes place in Washington D.C., as he is the highest ranking officer and his first order is to nuke the entire city to kingdom come.
- A Crown of Stars: Colonel Jinnai, UN Secretary-General (a post which in this world merely means he is the blood-handed dictator with the biggest guns and bombs) appointed himself to that position after a successful coup against his predecessor and former boss. Before the coup he was a psychotic, scheming, abusive Jerkass who treated the female main character like his toy for two years. After the coup he became smug, arrogant, paranoid and at the same time over-confident. He killed whoever opposed to him, held his troops' families hostages in order to ensure their loyalty, and was perfectly willing to nuke his whole fleet and a chunk of Argentina when he learnt his invasion force had been seized.
- Advice and Trust: Commander Gendo Ikari. He devised a real dumb strategy to fight Bardiel, and when his pilots had to change the plan and adapt to survive and win he got in their way nonstop, distracting them, berating them and ensuing stupid commands. Then, when Shinji, Asuka and Rei managed destroy the enemy and rescue the pilot with no casualties he got so angry at them for not winning how he wanted that he got Shinji and Asuka -his best pilots- detained and fired and lectured Rei for "insubordination".
- In Child of the Storm, General Ross has his usual shades of this, now being at least partially obsessed with the search for the so-called 'Lost Omega', a young Omega Class being and subject of rumours throughout intelligence circles. It's actually Clark Kent, partially conflated with Jean Grey. He also expresses interest in getting a briefly (actually permanently, though no one knows it yet) powered-up Carol in for experimentation. Her uncle, Brigadier Jack O'Neill, objects to this. Very pointedly. A cracked conference table was involved. It stopped just short of being a cracked skull for General Ross.
- General Aleksandr Lukin, commander of the Red Room, doesn't look like this trope at first, but as his Mask of Sanity frays... let's just say that he's intent on restoring Russian power and pre-eminence by any means necessary. Kidnapping and torturing a child to make them into a Living Weapon is just the start.
- The Blood+ fic Waking Dream has one in Maxim Kiril, who took over the Red Shield sometime after the death of Joel Goldschmidt VI. Under his leadership, the Red Shield deteriorates; in one chapter, he actually has several soldiers incapacitate and gang-rape Diva just to see if humans and chiropterans can interbreed. Upon finding out the extent of his actions, Saya ultimately defects from the Shield in disgust.
- Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness: Jenner Rythmore, the head of the Human Defense Agency founded in response to The Unmasqued World in Acts V and VI. He's a blatantly anti-monster Jerkass who makes no effort to hide his open distrust of monsters, going so far as to accuse them of setting up Alucard's attack during the climax of Act IV just so they could kill him and make themselves look like heroes, and in Act V chapter 20, even openly states that he's just waiting for an excuse to declare open war on the monster world. In the early chapters of Act VI, the gang ends up killing Jenner in self-defense, and he is subsequently replaced by Hothorne Tamaka, who is far more of a Reasonable Authority Figure than Jenner ever was.
- AQUA: The First Step: Commander Vasilyevich is noted by Dr. Polendina to be one of the worst commanders the Atlesian army has ever seen, known to unnecessarily sacrifice his own men to ensure a victory; according to the good doctor, the only reason he hadn't been stripped of his position is because of his connections to Jacques Schnee. Under his lead, the Jaeger Program is perverted and set up as an anti-Faunus assassin group, and all but Alexander are either killed after attempting to escape or commit suicide; Alexander himself personally kills him during their final rebellion.
- General Hein of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within becomes obsessed with wiping out the alien invaders at the source, and eventually wipes out an entire city to accomplish the goal. In his favor, he was almost Driven to Suicide out of guilt... but then he got the permission to use the Zeus orbiting laser cannon which was the entire point of the wipe-out. The cannon overloads and kills him.
- Note that he never intended to wipe out the city, just sacrifice a small portion of it as a scare tactic. His fatal mistake was assuming the Alien Ghosts were alive, and thus he never predicted they could use the city's energy pipelines (which would kill any living being) to spread beyond the portion he had intended to contain them.
- General Rogard in The Iron Giant is an inversion. He acts reasonably and cautiously, leaving the ranting and recklessness to Kent Mansley, a minor government agent. Who still manages to almost get everybody killed. Also, when it seemingly becomes apparent that the Iron Giant was a hoax due to Hogarth warning Dean beforehand about the military's arrival, Rogard makes it quite clear that he did not like how Mansley got them involved for what was apparently nothing, shouting at the top of his lungs to Mansley outside, in his words: "Do you realize how much hardware I've brought down here? YOU JUST BLEW MILLIONS OF UNCLE SAM'S DOLLARS OUT OF YOUR BUTT!" and heavily implies that he's going to fire Mansley for the seeming blunder when they return to Washington, D.C.
- General Mandible of Antz who deliberately sends thousands of soldiers loyal to the queen to their deaths in an attack on the termites, so that he can then wipe out the rest of the colony, and start his own colony that consists of nothing but soldiers in it.
- Subverted in Monsters vs. Aliens with General Warren R. Monger. He comes across as this trope, but proves in the crunch to be reasonable and decent.
- Governor Ratcliffe from Pocahontas. "Savages! Savages! Barely even human!"
- Dr. Strangelove:
- The Trope Namer, Air Force General Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden), is the epitome of cool, collected calm, despite being completely insane. If you were to watch a dubbed version in a language you didn't understand, you could easily be excused for thinking he's the one rational person in the film. Also an Unbuilt Trope because, while many other examples that Follow the Leader on this page are belligerent psychos that make you wonder how the hell can maintain their careers, the Ripper's Mask of Sanity is the very reason he was able to get access to "Plan R" and the capacity to nuke the living hell out of Russia, and the reason for his Improperly Paranoid attitude is as silly (or chillingly petty) as it will ever get: he's blaming the Russians for his sexual impotence.
- Turgidson (also mentioned above), on the other hand, is clearly channeling his inner three-year-old and having a great time playing soldiers (watch him explaining how the bomber could avoid radar if you doubt this). However, despite being less restrained, he is saner and more reasonable than Ripper and is right about the Soviet ambassador trying to spy on The Big Board. note Also an Unbuilt Trope because his belligerent attitude makes President Muffley ask him to shut the hell up and when he figures out how big the risks are he at least has the conscience to have one moment to act incredibly horrified about it.
- Col. Miles Quaritch from Avatar. He is focused primarily on Jake for siding with the Na'vi, but he also quite enjoys stomping Na'vi from his giant gunship.
"And that's how you scatter the roaches."
- General Orlov, from the James Bond film Octopussy. An unprovoked peacetime nuking of West Germany is just step one of his grandiose plan.
- Mercilessly skewered in Mars Attacks!. General Decker rants and raves with the best of them, but his instincts prove entirely correct about the nature of the Martians. On the other hand, his attempts to fight back prove entirely useless.
- Captain Skroeder in Short Circuit, whose pursuit of wayward military robot prototype Number 5 encompassed defying the orders of the CO of the company he was head of security for and setting up one of the robot's designers as bait for an ambush when said designer was having a meeting with the robot's female companion (a meeting that could've easily landed the robot in their hands had he not interfered), mostly due to his high level of technophobia (though, given that the robot's primary laser weapon was armed and combat-ready when it went AWOL, even the movie's crew admitted he was technically in the right for dogging it as he did, despite his questionable methods).
- Deconstructed with Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now, a highly decorated officer (one scene has Captain Willard going over his dossier and marveling at Kurtz's accomplishments) who one day just snapped and went native, becoming as much a cult leader as a soldier, taking his orders from only the jungle as Willard says. However, Kurtz is a unique example, being quite aware that he is in fact a General Ripper. He thinks that if America wants to win the Vietnam War, it cannot afford to "play fair" - it needs "Rippers" to do the dirty work and is acting hypocritically by pretending that the war can be won "cleanly" with nothing but a technological advantage over the enemy (and history tells us he was right, too). He basically gives his superiors two choices: either get the hell out of 'Nam, or become as ruthless as he has become. His final actions indicate that he prefers they choose the first option, or at least doesn't believe they can afford to choose the second.
- The (unnamed) General in Z is a somewhat restrained version of this. He can almost seem normal — and then he throws in a bizarre metaphor about sun spots into a speech that's already slightly off-kilter, or goes into an antisemitic tirade. Of course, it's his tendency towards dramatic pronouncements that gives him away in the end.
- General Midwinter (Ed Begley Sr.) in Ken Russell's Billion Dollar Brain.
Colonel Stok: He was a very stupid man. A patriot, of course... very brave... During a war, such men earn medals, win victories... we are proud of them. But at such a time as now, a little bit stupid.
- General Leland Zevo in Toys, who converted his dead brother's toy factory into a preschool-ish weapons facility.
- In the first movie by Brazilian comedy group Casseta & Planeta, General Manso (an ironic name, it means "calm"), an enemy of the leftists with phrases such as: "Surrender with your hands up and suicide! Not necessarily ...In That Order!". A stark contrast with General Mirandinha, who entered the army for calmer things such as the Independence Day parades.
- In X2: X-Men United, William Stryker is technically a colonel, but demonstrating pretty much the same spirit in being hellbent on killing all mutants.
Stryker: I was pilotin' Black Ops missions in the jungles of North Vietnam while you were suckin' on your mama's tit at Woodstock, Kelly. Don't lecture me about war. This already is a war.
- In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, he is a Major, with anti-Mutant sentiment still in formation.
- General Chang from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. He even joins a conspiracy to sabotage the peace treaty between the Klingon Empire and the Federation. Chang is that afraid of a peaceful future that has no place for someone like him.
- As for the rest of the conspirators, most of them are either too low-ranking to count as this trope or would serve their nation's interests if they arrange for a Federation-Klingon war. Admiral Cartwright is the exception, Starfleet's counterpart to Chang (though with the Klingons rather than peace as Enemy X).
- Of course, Captain Kirk is just as much so with the Klingons:
- Captain Ramsey in Crimson Tide is all too eager to launch the nukes and unwilling to wait for the counter-order that was cut off during a comms blackout.
- Bruce Boa's unnamed colonel during his cameo in Full Metal Jacket where he berates Joker for wearing a peace-symbol button on his flak jacket. "Inside every Vietnamese is an American fighting to get out."
- A lot of the Joint Chiefs are portrayed this way in Thirteen Days. They keep advocating escalation so they can invade Cuba and finally remove Castro from power (which they failed to do during the Bay of Pigs), knowing full well that it would lead to a nuclear confrontation with the Soviets.
- Jim Phelps in the first Mission: Impossible movie shows a fair number of the symptoms of this character type.
- Notable subversion with General Beringer in WarGames: he seems at first to be a stereotypical General Ripper, and is quite prepared to launch America's nuclear missiles at the Soviet Union, but he is actually very reasonable, and makes the decision not to launch when Falken tells him that the incoming Soviet attack is just a computer glitch.
- Admiral Marcus in Star Trek: Into Darkness. He blames everything on the Klingons, wants to start a war with them, builds a new class of warship to defeat them, and is willing to blow up another Federation ship that wants to talk reason to him.
- The Hunt for Red October: The Russians try to convince the Americans that Ramius has gone insane and become this, planning to nuke America, so that they'll kill him when he tries to make contact to defect.
- A Few Good Men: This is involved in Colonel Jessup's justification for ordering a hazing that resulted in the death of one of his Marines (partially due to an undiagnosed heart defect). Commanding the US garrison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, he seems to have become stuck in the Cold War (the movie was made in The '90s) and is obsessed with defending America from the Dirty Commies on the other side of the barbed wire.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Captain Norrington is willing to do anything and everything in his power to end the pirate threat anywhere is the world, including the scuttling of the equivalent of a multi-million-dollar naval interceptor which a pirate has stolen, or mass executions without trial of anyone even suspected of being involved with piracy in even the most peripheral way.
- In the HBO film By Dawn's Early Light, after a nuclear exchange between the U.S. and the Soviet Union damages, but does not destroy, both countries, we have Colonel Fargo who advocates using the B-52 fleet to wipe out the remaining Soviet command bunkers. His spouts anti-communist paranoia straight out of the fifties to convince Condor, the new Acting President, to agree to his plan. The Navy admiral opposite him, who is a massive aversion, all but begs Condor not to because without the Soviet leadership, no one will be able to order the Soviet nuclear forces to stand down.
- General Sline in Spies Like Us. Unlike most of the other characters, he's played completely seriously, arranging a CIA team to launch an ICBM against America to have it taken down with his Strategic Defense Initiative-esque defense system. However, when the system fails, and WWIII is imminent, he refuses to stand down and tell President the truth about this attack.
Sline: When we commissioned the Schmectel Corporation to research this precise event sequence scenario, it was determined that the continual stockpiling and development of our nuclear arsenal was becoming self-defeating. A weapon unused is a useless weapon.
Shaw: That man is a civilian!Montgomery: That man is a Secessionist.
- Older Than Television: Kurtz in Conrad's Heart of Darkness, although not a general, is an agent for an ivory trader, turns himself into a demigod amongst the natives and is unable to pull himself away from the jungle where he can carry on hunting his worshippers, was the direct inspiration of all the other Kurtz's in this list (and was himself based on real life man 'Klein').
- The Alternate History novel Resurrection Day by Brendan DuBois takes place in a United States where the Cuban Missile Crisis turned into World War III. The US is a military dictatorship ruled by General Ramsey "Rammer" Curtis, obviously based on Curtis LeMay. At one point, Curtis even jokes about himself being 'the mad general'. Although President Kennedy is popularly blamed for starting WWIII, it later turns out that Curtis launched an air raid on Cuba against his orders, triggering the war. The book centers around efforts by an American reporter, British Intelligence, and the military government to find a cache of documents that prove this.
- General Stanis Metzov in The Vor Game by Lois McMaster Bujold. None too stable to start with, and with dark secrets in his past, he becomes fixated on a certain Ensign Miles Vorkosigan after Miles repeatedly crosses him... pretty much by accident.
- In Sandy Mitchell's Ciaphas Cain novel For The Emperor, Amberley Vail includes excerpts from Stententious Logan's Purge the Guilty!: An impartial account of the liberation of Gravalax, and apologizes not for its Stylistic Suck but for the author's single-minded obsession with rogue traders as the source of all evil (even though, from her point of view, it's fortunate, as it means he won't guess at the truth).
- Alloran-Semitur-Corass in Animorphs behaves like this in The Andalite Chronicles (he's disgraced because he released the quantum virus onto the Hork-Bajir homeworld, literally breaking nearly all Hork-Bajir into molecules) and he demands that Elfangor slaughter an entire pool of Yeerk prisoners. In a cruel twist of fate, Elfangor's defiance and insistence on not becoming the monster directly leads to Alloran being possessed Visser Three, the only Yeerk to control an Andalite host.
- In Armada, Admiral Archibald Vance turns out to be one.
- In R.A. Salvatore's Pirate King, Hralien the elf fully believes that Tos'un Armgo, a drow, is lending the orcs some tactics, refusing to believe that they could be intelligent enough to discover new tactics themselves. Of course, he might just be right.
- Senator Arnos in Codex Alera, particularly Captain's Fury, is absolutely convinced that the Canim are primitive savages, the army of former slaves working with them are all traitors who need to die, and the fact that the Legions stationed nearby haven't exterminated them yet (despite being outnumbered something like 10 to 1) just shows a lack of moral fiber. And he treats the whole thing as an excuse to advance his political career. Needless to say, Arnos doesn't really get along well with Captain
- In the Dale Brown novel Battle Born, General Park will do anything to protect United Korea from Chinese aggression, even Nuke 'em and having the president killed to get the necessary codes. Fortunately, he is stopped before he can carry out the attacks.
- By the Great War, the version of George Armstrong Custer in Harry Turtledove's Timeline-191 series had become one of these, with a virulent disgust toward all things Confederate, ordering thousands of troops forward in reckless charges in an effort to allow his cavalry to massacre the foe. His opinion of Canadians was rather lower.
- General Patton could also fit the bill in the Settling Accounts series. When the United States started pushing the Confederates back, Patton would order suicidal counter-attacks instead of defending, which meant high casualties and not a very strong defense. This trope shows best when he almost shoots one of his soldiers suffering from shellshock during an attack.
- Jake Featherstone is convinced that every problem with the Confederacy is caused by the blacks (he'd use a stronger word). Admittedly, he only attains the rank of Sergeant by the end of the First World War (though he ultimately becomes President of the Confederacy), probably because he's an Expy of Hitler.
- Colonel Kurtz from Stephen King's Dreamcatcher also fits here. Even when the landed aliens show no sign of hostility, he insists in killing every single one of them, as he thinks it's just a trick. He's right.
- Admiral Josef Byng from Storm from the Shadows takes the traditional Solarian arrogance towards "neobarb" star nations to ridiculous levels. He becomes an Unwitting Pawn for the Mesan Alignment.
- In The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, it is hinted that Sherlock Homes, himself is this. Moriarty turns out to be his math teacher who flunked him, and much of making him the archnemesis of his mysteries were supposedly due to his drug-crazed brain.
- Admiral Volskiar in Star Trek: Vulcan's Heart, with the Klingons as his "enemy X":
Think, Romulans, of our colony worlds. Think of the honest, hardworking, loyal men and women who ask nothing but to serve the Empire. Now picture foreigners imperiling those Romulan men, women, yes, Romulan children. And such invaders do threaten, brutish creatures who know nothing of honour, nothing of glory: Klingons! Klingons who know nothing but blood lust! You ask, how can this be? Have we not dealt peacefully with the Klingons, even purchased warships from them? Yes! We made that mistake! We let them sell us faulty ships — but no more! That was all part of their plan to weaken us, then overwhelm us.
- Star Wars Expanded Universe
- Captain Joak Drysso from the X-Wing Series becomes this right at the end of The Bacta War. The Lusankya, his Super Star Destroyer, is badly damaged, is rapidly losing offensive capability, and has run out of fighter cover, a problem compounded by the arrival of a second Star Destroyer captained by Booster with three squadrons of A-wings on board. Wedge asks the guy to surrender. Drysso responds by promoting himself to Admiral, saying that he will never surrender. He responds to the beginning of another plea by screaming "How dare you insult me!" when Wedge calls him "Captain". Eventually he orders the Lusankya to be rammed into Thyferra, though none of the crew follows the order, and almost immediately after giving it, the guy's first mate shoots him.
- In the Fate of the Jedi series, Admiral Daala is voted in as the Galactic Alliance head of state. However, she pretty much ruins everything with her obsession over bringing down the Jedi, believing that they are the source of all of the galaxy's problems and willfully ignoring the fact the entire galaxy is crumbling around her due to her inept leadership, and draconian policies, such as sending her Mandalorian enforcers to stamp out dissidents.
- Malevil briefly considers this. World War III occurs and nobody is certain why it happened, they lived through it and yet the lack of information and details turns it into the Great Off Screen War. One of the possible, never to be confirmed, theories as to why the world ended was a General Ripper.
- Phryne Fisher: General Harbottle, the Asshole Victim in "Overheard on a Balcony" in A Question of Death. He was responsible for scores, possibly hundreds, of deaths at Gallipoli: sending men up an unclimbable hill to take an untakeable machine gun.
- Red Alert by Peter Bryant, which was the original inspiration for the film Dr. Strangelove, had General Quinten (instead of Ripper) who went insane and sent his bombers into the Soviet Union because he had been diagnosed with an incurable disease.
- Captain Ed Cutler in The Long Earth. Considers any American who settled on the Long Earth to be basically a traitor, and had to be stopped from firing on civilians in The Long War, and exotic fauna in The Long Mars. There's a lampshading Shout-Out near the end of The Long Mars: Mac sarcastically suggests that Cutler drinks grain alcohol and rainwater; "Got to maintain the purity of those bodily fluids." Cutler doesn't get the reference.
- One Nation Under Jupiter: Legate Aurelius Taurus, a Roman war hero who's more than happy to decimate an entire city if he thinks it's necessary.
- Miles Taylor And The Golden Cape has General Breckenridge. He's convinced himself that Gilded is actually Earth's enemy, and seems more convinced than ever following the events of "Attack Of The Alien Horde".
- Battlestar Galactica:
- Admiral Helena Cain, commanding officer of the battlestar Pegasus in Battlestar Galactica (2003), may be a rare female example — a hotshot young (at least compared to Adama) military commander who cracked under pressure after the Cylon attack, leading her to abandon civilians to die after "requisitioning" all their supplies and fuel, use torture, allow her troops to keep their morale up by raping female Cylons, and punish any disobedience with summary execution, all in the name of her suicidal quest to obliterate the Cylon fleet.
- Helena Cain is the new series's take on Cain (played by Lloyd Bridges) from Battlestar Galactica (1978). The original Admiral Cain was apparently based in turn on George S. Patton. Ron Moore notes this in the Razor DVD commentary. The original Cain, much like the character he was based upon, was more of a Magnificent Bastard than a General Ripper.
- Every captain in the Star Trek franchise have each come to the brink of becoming General Rippers, before pulling back: Captain Kirk in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (Klingons); Captain Picard in Star Trek: First Contact (Borg); Captain Sisko in the latter seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (The Maquis and later The Dominion); Captain Janeway in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Equinox" (Captain Ransom, he himself a bona fide General Ripper ironically enough, and his crew of the titular ship), and Captain Archer in the latter half of Star Trek: Enterprise (The Xindi). Captain Lorca started as a borderline General Ripper, having been brutally traumatized during an early action in The War, but has flashes of a more human past.
"So: I lied... I cheated... I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all: I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again, I would."
- Sisko borders on becoming a full blown General Ripper at times, though he does realize it and, under the circumstances, decides it's necessary to get his hands bloody in exchange for saving billions. "In the Pale Moonlight" when he authorizes the creation of a fake Dominion plot to attack Romulus in order to get the Romulans to come into the war and then covers up the murder of the Romulan Senator who discovers the hoax and threatens to expose it.
- Sisko held many personal vendettas over the course of his tenure. These ranged from a bitter enmity, such as toward traitorous Security Chief Michael Eddington (whom Sisko hunted across the universe), to a Vulcan bully from his academy days who challenged him to a baseball game. (Sisko ruthlessly drills his entire staff to defeat the Vulcan team.)
- Major Kira Nerys starts as a lower-ranking version of this (with the Cardassians). She gets better via Character Development ("Duet" being a major turning point).
- There was also Admiral Satie, renowned for her zeal in sniffing out conspiracies, going loco in the Next Generation episode "The Drumhead" looking for Romulan collaborators. Apparently, being famous as a conspiracy-uncoverer makes one pretty paranoid in one's old age...
- And Admiral Leyton, who tried to overthrow the Federation government and install a Starfleet-run military regime because he believed it was necessary to combat the Dominion.
- And Admiral Pressman, who as a captain violated an interstellar treaty and started developing a Federation cloaking device, and only got more fanatical about Starfleet being "held back" by the treaty with age and promotions...
- It's a running joke among Trek fans that any Starfleet Admiral with a speaking role will almost certainly be evil and/or crazy. Lampshaded by Ronald D. Moore after creating Admiral Pressman: "I am proud to say that I've written another insane Admiral. They must put something in the water at Federation Headquarters."
- Commodore Decker in TOS episode "The Doomsday Machine". His goal was fine, but his methods were suicidal... literally, as it turned out.
- In the TNG episode "The Wounded", the Enterprise is sent to intercept a rogue starship whose captain is about to start a war with Cardassia because he believed the Cardassians was preparing to launch a surprise attack on the Federation. The trope is played with, since while the rogue captain is shown as being a paranoid wreck who never recovered from the murder of his family by the Cardassians, as it turns out, his suspicious were right even though his methods were wrong. Also, unlike most Rippers, he knows when to fold them, at least after a trusted former crewmember confirms that his situation is unwinnable.
- During the events of Babylon 5, the entire leadership of the Minbari Warrior Caste seems to be made up of General Rippers. For a race that prides itself for being culturally and spiritually superior, they are incredibly brutal and merciless. However, it is likely that both Neroon and Shakiri were bad even for their kind, as they started the first civil war among Minbari in over a thousand years. Neroon, at least, overcame this mentality, but by that point the civil war was in full force, and he was forced to negotiate a secret agreement with Delenn behind Shakiri's back.
- General "Bull" Fulbright from Season 4 of The A-Team. If you replace "Enemy X" in the example above with "The A-Team," and you get his general approach to catching the A-Team.
- The Greatest American Hero episode "Operation: Spoilsport" had one these plotting to start World War III.
- General Slade Wilson on Smallville is firmly convinced all heroes need to be under government control, else they threaten the stability of the government. And if he has to use Cold-Blooded Torture, murder, and corruption by Darkseid to get his way, so be it.
- In Doctor Who, the Doctor has become this towards the Daleks after fighting them for centuries, eventually even counting their narrow escape as complete and utter failure and defeat on his part. In fact, his entire race became this to the point where they were preparing to destroy reality to stop the Daleks for good, instigating a time war that destroyed entire civilizations and led the Doctor to disown one of his own incarnations. This tendency was later turned against the Doctor by Missy when she briefly traps his companion Clara inside a Dalek and tries to goad the Doctor into destroying it in his hatred.
- The Doctor meets one as well in "The Doctor's Daughter".
- In William Hartnell's final episode, "The Tenth Planet" (which introduces the Cybermen), the main villain is an American general who is a perfect Ripper type. He wants to destroy the Cybermen's planet with a planet-busting "Z-Bomb" to avenge his own son and is ready to disobey orders to do it (the Doctor realizes that doing nothing is the better course of action; and most of the story is his companions trying to stop the out-of-control general).
- General Carrington in "The Ambassadors of Death". His actions are prompted by xenophobia driven by his own encounter with the alien beings when he piloted Mars Probe Six some years earlier. His co-pilot, Jim Daniels, was killed on contact with the aliens and Carrington signed the treaty with the aliens to lure three of their number to Earth, where he hoped he could unveil their real agenda of alien invasion.
- The crazy and paranoid General Williams in "Frontier in Space", who wants immediate and destructive war against the Draconians at every slight and advocates for extreme measures at every counsel with the President of Earth.
- The Daily Show satirized John McCain blaming wildfires in Arizona on being started by illegal immigrants by bringing in a puppet version of him for an interview. Puppet Senator McCain started blaming illegal immigrants for everything from starting fires to hiding his remote in his freezer and knocking over his trash bins.
- Oddly subverted in the Firefly episode "Bushwhacked" when an Alliance cruiser captain thinks Mal is one of these.
Alliance captain: You're still fighting the same war, only those weren't soldiers you murdered.
- But as Mal puts it to a store manager he's robbing in the movie:
Mal: War's long done. We're all just folk now.
- But as Mal puts it to a store manager he's robbing in the movie:
- Last Resort is about whether submarine Captain Marcus Chaplin has become one of these or not.
- On Black Sails Captain Flint is portrayed as being single-mindly obsessed with his goals and willing to sacrifice his crew to achieve them. Some of his crew members are already suspicious of him due to an earlier incident where he convinced them to pursue a certain ship that was supposedly carrying valuable cargo. Capturing the ship cost six pirates their lives and the loot was far less than they could have gotten going after an easier target. Flint's real target were two noble passengers who he wanted to kill for revenge. In the present, his pursuit of the Urca and its treasure has caused him to deceive his crew and put the ship at risk multiple times. The only reason the crew has not risen against him is because they are desperate men and figure that they need Flint to get to the treasure. Afterwards, all bets are off.
- General Matthew Shrieve in Arrow. Besides being an actual general, he seems like a Reasonable Authority Figure at first, but is revealed to be an over-zealous, militant bastard in "Broken Arrow" when he enacts a hostile takeover of A.R.G.U.S. and plans to kill thousands of Hong Kong citizens with the Omega.
- In the same universe, General Wade Eiling in The Flash (2014), who's willing to resort to torture, murder or anything else to create super-soldiers and gain any potential weapon to strengthen the U.S Military.
- Inspector George Gently: Colonel Darwin in "Gently with Honour". He is so obsessed with defeating the communists that he is subjects his men to unauthorised drug experiments, tortures and murders them, and then commits further murders to cover up his crimes.
- Colonel Flagg in M*A*S*H is this, as a member of the CIA and Army Intelligence. Normally when he shows up it's to sniff out potential disloyalty, cowardice, or Communist sympathy. However, despite his Ripper tendencies (he claims that BJ and Hawkeye are both on a list for never taking him seriously, often threatens people to get compliance, and is fully willing to torture), he's always played as an idiotic nutcase that no-one takes seriously. In his final episode, "Rally 'Round the Flagg, Boys", it's revealed that he's raised so many false alarms that no-one takes him seriously anymore. The MPs even chide themselves for believing his hype.
- Ronald E. Army acts like this in Dino Attack RPG. However it is partially a subversion in that nobody takes him seriously and he isn't even a general, he just thinks he is because of a sarcastic remark by his superiors.
- General Sergei Khvostov of GRU from Red Dawn +20 is nicknamed "The Butcher of Clear Lake City" after his bloody first days in Houston. That does not begin to cover his insanity.
- The Imperial Guard in Warhammer 40,000 makes this a matter of policy from Lord Commander Militant to Lieutenant, and hopes for combat skill to match. It doesn't always get it.
- It is rather Flanderized in fan depictions, though generally because its Played for Laughs. The quotes page for General Failure tells you that such aggressiveness without cause is naturally discouraged - the Imperium has more than enough actual problems requiring billions to be thrown in the meat grinder without creating new ones, thank you very much.
- The most notable example is Commander Kubrik Chenkov of the Valhallan Ice Warriors. One of his campaigns involved sending legions of his own men straight to the enemy citadel, without armor or artillery support. This cost about 10,000,000 guardsmen to achieve victory. On one hand, he sacrificed ten million men charging a fortified city without support. On the other, he retook a Hive city - the population of which are usually measured in billions - and he did it in a single year, while presumably keeping most of the infrastructure intact (what with not employing anything heavier than field guns). He also got the Star of Terra for it.
- For the forces of Chaos, there is Kharn, who - technically speaking - is an HQ choice. He somehow manages to command a warband of Chaos Space Marines despite having said nothing but "KILL! MAIM! BURN! [etc, repeat]" and "Blood for the Blood God, Skulls for the Skull Throne" for the last ten thousand years. Luckily, nobody minds, as his men are just as psychotic as he is.
- FASA's Star Trek: The Roleplaying Game adventure Decision at Midnight. Captain Vellacora of the U.S.S. Arkadelphia has become obsessed with the Klingons and feels that only he can perceive their threat and save the Federation from Klingon domination.
- Paranoia. The Computer is obsessed with traitors (Communists, mutants, secret society members) as enemies of Alpha Complex.
- One mission involves an Armed Forces general who's decided that virtually everyone is a traitor and can only be stopped by destroying all of Alpha Complex, evacuating just a hundred-odd citizens so they can rebuild. Naturally, the PCs stumble across an Old Reckoning antimatter bomb that actually could destroy the entire Complex, and are told in no uncertain terms to keep it the hell away from him (among others).
- Legate Lanius of Caesar's Legion in Fallout: New Vegas. The rank of Legate is equivocal to General, and Lanius literally means butcher... so his translated name is General Butcher. An interesting example, as he was elevated to his rank because of his Blood Knight tendencies, not despite them.
- The NCR are not exempt from this. Most notable are Colonel Cassandra Moore, whose answer to the various tribes of Vegas seem to just be to try and wipe them out (especially the Brotherhood of Steel, to the point that she'll be pissed at you for managing to come to a diplomatic solution between the two) and General Oliver, a Glory Hound General Failure whose main strategy is just to bide his time until he can Zerg Rush the Legion.
- Lanius's predecessor, Joshua Graham was renowned for his cruelty to the point that he was considered to make Lanius look tame in comparison. Even after becoming The Atoner after his failed execution, Graham instead shifted gears to a Knight Templar.
- The Lonesome Road DLC features the e-mails and writings of a General Devlin, who is clearly inspired by the Trope Namer.
- In No One Lives Forever 2, American General Hawkins favors attacking the Russians first using trained sharks with nukes attached to them that would swim up the Volga to Moscow. When he gets to push the red button at the end of the game, he comments with glee, "I wish I had some popcorn!"
- The unnamed General in the PC First-Person Shooter Vivisector: Beast Within is obsessed with the Half Human Hybrids that are the enemies in the game, first as a source of disposable uber-soldiers, then as a force to control and exterminate after they rebel against his cruel treatment. He goes as far as to nuke the rebelling hybrids' village and allow a train-full of them to be destroyed to keep them in line, and even kills the protagonist's friend to ensure he helps him corral the beasts.
- Shades of this appeared in Garrosh Hellscream's character in World of Warcraft Wrath of the Lich King. High Overlord Saurfang, remembering the multiple Kick the Dog acts the demon-controlled Horde committed in the past, tried to get him to tone this down. In Cataclysm he ran the Horde like this, including a side story where it is implied he would have gladly sacrificed the entire Forsaken military for a single victory.
- Mists of Pandaria sees Garrosh completely reach this level, most notably when he levels Theramore with an experimental weapon and manages to unite and convincing all of the Alliance leaders against him. Even the Horde began to openly rebel against his heavy-handed tactics, culminating in the Horde and Alliance joining forces to dethrone Garrosh.
- Many of Garrosh's favored subordinates also fall under this. They show a callous disregard for their troops, but their hatred for non-orcs makes their treatment of their allies even worse.
- While Garithos in Warcraft 3 appears to be one, he's really a racist Jerk Ass who hates all non-humans. In Garithos' mind, the usefulness of the Blood Elves was simply outweighed by his burning hatred of them.
- Jaina's father, Daelin Proudmoore, came to believe that the Orcs needed to be wiped out and was willing to start an impossible war to do so.
- Varian Wrynn, the "leader" of the Alliance, that hates the Horde so much he would rather let an Eldritch Abomination of Lovecraftian proportion destroy the planet, than help the neutral faction battling it because they also asked the Horde to help too. (Of course, the fact that Garrosh Hellscream had picked a fight with him moments earlier probably didn't help.)
- Over time, he becomes more reasonable, at least in comparison to Garrosh, and Jaina while she gets close to Jumping Off the Slippery Slope in the aftermath of Theramore's destruction. Sky Admiral Rogers takes up the mantle, as she harbors a grudge against the Horde for destroying Southshore and killing her parents, and machine gunning Horde troops trying to surrender while barely staying afloat after the destruction of their ship.
- Arthas himself becomes something like this during his campaign against the undead. There's Stratholme to consider. The only reason he doesn't command every last soldier to this undertaking is because Uther is very much opposed to the notion. Medivh points out to him that his course of aggression against the undead only makes life easier for the Scourge. Even Muradin, Arthas' lifelong friend and teacher, calls out the prince's new qualities after he burns his own ships to force his army forwards.
- Mists of Pandaria sees Garrosh completely reach this level, most notably when he levels Theramore with an experimental weapon and manages to unite and convincing all of the Alliance leaders against him. Even the Horde began to openly rebel against his heavy-handed tactics, culminating in the Horde and Alliance joining forces to dethrone Garrosh.
- Admiral Greyfield from Advance Wars: Days of Ruin (Dark Conflict). Originally a high-ranking Rubinelle leader, he became obsessed with destroying the Lazurians, believing them to be mostly responsible for the world's current state. Since he feels that the Rubinellians aren't doing enough to wipe out Lazuria, he heads the New Rubinelle Army and decides to finish the job himself... except now he has the old Rubinellians gunning for him as well, after he shoots and kills both Forsythe and Brenner in cold blood. To be more accurate, he shoots Forsythe after he surrenders and takes on all responsibility for the actions of his soldiers. Then he imprisons the surviving Lazurians, planning to execute them later, but Brenner won't have any of that and helps them escape. Greyfield's response? He nukes Brenner, as well as ALL the New Rubinelle forces that had his position surrounded. General Ripper indeed.
- Tasen Elite Krotera from Iji. His response to Iji's plea to get the Tasen to leave Earth is to refuse and then attempt to kill her, even if she hasn't killed a single Tasen up to this. If you're playing on the Pacifist route, this attitude causes him to get killed by one of his own troops. However, he does have a very good reason to refuse Iji: Enemy X is actually here, and the Komato are quite capable of exterminating every last Tasen if they find out where they are. No one ever thought of both species peacefully staying on Earth.
- General Randall from [PROTOTYPE] has been fighting the infection for forty years and is willing to burn Manhattan to the ground to win. In the Wildstorm comic, we see that he was "poached" from 'Nam by a General Stilwell, who was nutty and obsessed enough with the cause that he coldly executes members of Randall's then-squad in order to recruit him.
- Your first clue that Modern Warfare 2's General Shepherd is a bit off the hook is when he inserts an undercover man in villain Makarov's organization, allowing him to mow down innocent Russians at an airport in hopes of destroying the organization from within. But he goes from Well-Intentioned Extremist to Magnificent Bastard when you discover that he was behind everything, including framing the US for the airport attack and allowing Russia to invade Washington, D.C.. After losing 30,000 of his men in Call of Duty 4's nuclear explosion, Shepherd needed an excuse to exercise the might of the US military, and essentially started World War III to do it. Protagonists "Soap" MacTavish and Captain Price take Shepherd down at the end of the game, but by then Shepherd's plot has essentially succeeded, just without him at the helm, while Price and Soap even before his death are international fugitives wanted for "treason, global terror, violent acts against the government."
- Doesn't help that Shepherd doesn't seem to have the concept of "danger close" down pat...
- Loghain Mac Tir in Dragon Age: Origins is a wonderful example of this trope. Having fought against the Orlesian Empire his entire life and only recently seeing his country freed from them, he is paranoid that they are using the Blight as an excuse to take over again. In fact, thinking the Grey Wardens (the only people who can stop the Blight) are under Orlesian influence, he frames them for the murder of King Cailin, then seizes the reins of power from his daughter (who was married to King Cailin) and refuses to let Orlesian reinforcements inside the nation despite the fact that they are desperately needed.
- It is in fact an opening statement you can make in the Landsmeet, reminding everyone that the threat is the Blight, not Orlais. Loghain allowed an accomplice to murder one of his peers (another Teyrn), attempted to poison Arl Eamon to death by means of an apostate mage he spirited out of the Templars' custody, allowed Tevinter slavers to operate in the city and sell the nation's elven citizens into slavery, and plunged the nation into civil war by ham-handedly consolidating power through bullying while the Blight is on their doorstep... All so he can keep the Orlesians from helping with the problem.
- The Return To Ostagar DLC and Awakening expansion hint that Loghain may not have been as crazy as everyone thought; the player can discover secret letters to King Cailan implying he may have been planning to divorce his current wife (Loghain's daughter) and marry the Empress of Orlais. A few Orlesian Nobles are also "interested" in Ferelden after the Blight and civil war left it greatly weakened. While this would make Loghain Properly Paranoid, it does not excuse his actions.
- Of course, the reason that some Orlesians are "interested" in the weakened Ferelden was entirely his fault. If he hadn't allowed (almost) all the Wardens to die at Ostagar, the treaties would have been completed faster, as well as civil war not nearly breaking out and Ferelden would be in a far better state than it would have been when he interfered.
- The sequel, Dragon Age II, introduces Knight Commander Meredith. Her Enemy X is blood mages.
- Soviet army general Alexei Guba from the Operation Flashpoint series.
- Admiral Geoffrey Tolwyn from the Wing Commander series became this by the time of the fourth installment of the games. The Kilrathi war was over, peace had been re-established, and Tolwyn was already hard at work committing treason by staging fake terrorist attacks and breeding a new army of unstoppable killers and biological weapons to combat the next big threat. The irony of the next big threat arriving after his death was not lost.
- Commander Dominic Lockhart from Crysis 2 is utterly obsessed with destroying the Nanosuit and "Prophet". A brief line of Enemy Chatter early on mentions that he lost a nephew who was prototyping the Nanosuit.
- General Bayel in Guild Wars Nightfall. Is quite happy to destroy as many villages as needed, and work with demons, to get rid of the sunspears.
- In Mass Effect 2, the quarian admiral, Han'Gerrel, showed shades of this with his desire to go to war with the geth, quarian-creations that drove them from their homeworld, and wipe them out. By Mass Effect 3, he has fully gone into General Ripper territory now that his species is at war with the geth. He is even perfectly willing to fire on and destroy a geth dreadnought when another quarian admiral and Shepard are on said dreadnought, with said admiral potentially being the daughter of his sadly deceased oldest friend. He also forces the other admirals to support him in this attack by making sure it's so reckless that if they don't back him up, the entire Heavy Fleet will be blown to scrap metal by the other geth forces, at which point the geth will take the Patrol and Civilian fleets apart. It's a rare Mass Effect player who is able to resist the Renegade interrupt to punch him in the stomach after he pulls that one.
- For added meta points, not only is Han'Gerrel voiced by Simon Templeman, but he uses the exact same voice as for Loghain Mac Tir.
- A krogan military leader is pretty much this by default. Wrex averts it due to knowing how important it is for the krogan to stop fighting until they can cure the genophage, while Grunt averts it due to having spent time around Commander Shepard.
- The first game's prequel novel Mass Effect: Revelation gives shades of this to the game's Big Bad, Saren Arterius. His Freudian Excuse for hating humans is that his brother was killed in the First Contact War. Early in the book he brutally slaughters a group of turian smugglers for selling to humans; upon telling this reasoning to a wounded smuggler, said smuggler replies that the war is over. Saren bitches him out, then shoots him.
- The prequel comic Evolution revealed that this Freudian excuse is, in fact, a lie. Saren's big brother Desolus was a full-on General Ripper who was screwing around with Reaper technology and tried to turn the entire Turian Hierarchy into fanatical zombies, just so that he could wage a new war against humans. Saren killed his own brother in order to stop this insane plan.
- DEFCON has you playing as one of these. The objective of the game is to make sure the capitalist/communist/fascist/human dogs die in nuclear fire. Every. Single. One.
- Star Fox Adventures: General Scales is riding right in the middle between this and Colonel Kilgore, being a quasi-nazi dinosaur trying to Take Over the World with an M.O. of Rape, Pillage, and Burn (and occasional enslavement via You Said You Would Let Them Go.)
- Mortal Kombat X has Sonya Blade. She's the General of the Special Forces and is not on pleasant terms with her ex-husband (Johnny Cage) or their daughter (Cassie Cage). She does get better at the end, though.
- In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, Mages Guild Archmage Trebonius Artorius is one. He is an extremely talented Battlemage, but was so incompetent at running Guild affairs that his superiors put him in charge of the Guild Branch in the most backwater district in the Empire to minimize the damage he could do. In dealing with Great House Telvanni, a native Dunmer Magocracy made up of extremely old and somewhat amoral wizards which rivals the Mages Guild in Vvardenfell, Trebonius decides that the best way to deal with them is to simply kill all of their councilors.
- Red vs. Blue: Sarge always ties everything back to the Blues. Or at least, he believes the Red/Blue conflict is the most important thing he could possibly deal with.
- In Slightly Damned, all but a few angel and demon characters are like this about the other side. Both groups at least start out about like humans do, but are then indoctrinated into hatred.
- An aversion is General Iratu, despite the fact that he is currently the closest thing the comic has to a Big Bad. Despite being a Demon, he is willing to work with both Medians and traitorous Angels, which makes sense considering he was adopted by an angel as a child. The comic has not yet revealed what is goals or motivations are, so he possibly is an Anti-Villain if he has good intentions.
- The SCP Foundation has General Bowe. Not obsessed with a particular enemy, but with the idea of weaponising any SCP he can, even the doves of Peace and the pufferkittens. Even Dr. Bright thinks he's a nut.
- SFDebris rationalizes Captain Archer's blunders on Star Trek Enterprise as the paranoia of a Vulcan-hating conspiracy nut. Archer's dislike of Vulcans on his show was well-known, as it was Vulcans who denied his late father the privilege of seeing his revolutionary warp engine in action. But Chuck's parody literally wears tinfoil to protect his brain from mind-melds.
- Worm has Director Tagg of the Parahuman Response Team, a former soldier hell-bent on "liberating" Brockton Bay from the Undersiders, who among other things deliberately tries to provoke a fight with a notorious supervillain inside a crowded high school.
- John Canmore, aka John Castaway, in the last season of Gargoyles. After he accidentally shoots his brother while trying to kill Goliath, he starts "What have I..." only to correct himself with "What have ''they'' done?!" From then on, he fits this trope well.
- Castaway is a callback to Demona's Start of Darkness. A scheme to drive humans away from her clan ends up in said clan getting massacred, prompting the same "What have they done?!" correction and leading to a hatred of humanity.
- A hatred which led to the scarring of a certain man's face and the birth of The Hunter, whose traditions and descendants lead us right back to...guess who. It's a vicious cycle.
- Demona's Ripper tendencies go all the way back to when she helped some Vikings sack Castle Wyvern (her clan's home) and was then surprised when they betrayed her by killing the gargoyles along with the humans. Canmore's "What have I... What have they done?" was even an Ironic Echo to Demona's own reaction to the Wyvern massacre.
- Castaway is a callback to Demona's Start of Darkness. A scheme to drive humans away from her clan ends up in said clan getting massacred, prompting the same "What have they done?!" correction and leading to a hatred of humanity.
- The DCAU:
- Pretty much every American military officer in Justice League Unlimited is either one of these or "Just Following Orders" in order to destroy the menace that is also their only hope against a universe full of baddies.
- General Hardcastle from Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League. His feelings about the Man of Steel slowly grew from mild xenophobia (can't trust'im, he's not from Earth) to becoming a key player in a governmental conspiracy against him and pretty much all the other JL members. By Justice League, he still harbors immense distrust of all Kryptonians. He even threatens Supergirl with a kryptonite-loaded gun while declaring "YOUR kind can be... fickle", even though she and Green Arrow just saved him from a hit-squad sent by the same conspirators he works for to silence him.
- General Wade Eiling, from Justice League. Eiling started out simply mistrusting the League, but eventually went to conspiracy-joining levels just like Hardcastle after witnessing the Watchtower's laser being used to combat the Darkheart. He then went even further when he concluded even his fellow conspiracists weren't being tough enough on the metahuman/Super Hero "threat" and used a mutagenic compound to turn himself into a variant of the Shaggy Man (a creature that is almost completely invincible & monstrous) in order to protect America from the League... and ends up only fighting members of the League without metahuman powers (though the heroes in question have some cool gear). He Who Fights Monsters... It's worth noting that Eiling is voiced by (and physically resembles) J. K. Simmons, who has played another hero-hater: J. Jonah Jameson, and that he's a pretty clear Expy of Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross, even to the point of gaining a "Hulk form" just like Ross did.
- In the Rick and Morty episode "Get Schwifty", when planet-sized aliens threaten to destroy the Earth unless humanity puts on a show for them, one general decides the best course of action is to hold the President hostage and launch nukes at them. When that fails and everything is resolved, for no reason he decides to charge the president with a rifle and ends up getting himself killed by Rick.
- South Park
General: If we got our hands on that robot, we could re-program it and turn it into a weapon!
- Parodied in the episode "ManBearPig", wherein Al Gore has dedicated his post-political career to tracking down and destroying the titular ManBearPig, a hybrid monster which he blames for all of his personal and political failures.
- Also the "Robot Friend" episode where the government think the Awesom-O disguise Cartman uses to fool Butters is a real robot. They figure that if the Japanese develop robots before them it will be Pearl Harbor all over again- but with robots.
Soldier #1: Yes, that might be the best thing to do.
Soldier #2: Uh huh. I don't see how we have a choice.
- Taken to humorous extremes in a late episode of Megas XLR: the characters encounter a giant robot built by the US military in the '50s, which was built to fight "the enemy". When asked who that was, it found that piece of data missing — therefore, "EVERYTHING is the enemy!"
"I was designed to defend this land, and I will do it by destroying everyone!"
- General Buck Rockgut in The Penguins of Madagascar with his obsession with the Red Squirrel.
- The blustering, impetuous, and ultimately incompetent Captain Matthew Marcus from Exo Squad. Constantly chomping at the bit to take the fight o the enemy (initially the Space Pirate clans of Saturn, then the Neosapiens), he repeatedly makes tactical blunders as a result of his over-eagerness to fight. He flies straight into several pirate ambushes in the first few episodes, then charges off to retake Earth when the Neosapiens attack, despite knowing this will result in half the fleet (outnumbered to begin with) being left behind. This culminates at the end of the first season with him leading The Mutiny against Admiral Winfield, because he disagrees with Winfield's orders that Exofleet must repair and rebuild its ships and E-frames before trying to take on the vastly numerically superior Neosapien armada, an act that gets him killed off. It's amazing (and, frankly, ridiculous) that it was JT Marsh and Able Squad who spent a year in the brig for insubordination when Captain Marcus's actions proved, as JT warned, "immoral and incompetent".
- The Simpsons episode "G.I. (Annoyed Grunt)" had a parody of this trope, where the Colonel ended up leading the Army unit to invade Springfield due to Homer Simpson and his (retarded) unit going AWOL, going from trying to get the civilians to capture Homer's Unit (although they didn't capture Homer), and eventually locking up all of those who were either fat, bald, and/or were ever amused by the antics of Homer Simpson. His second in command also tried to convince him to call off the invasion, feeling it's gone far enough, especially seeing how the entire operation cost the military $15 billion just to continue. Eventually, he did end up surrendering due to a hangover. Also, the reason why Homer's unit went AWOL in the first place was due to their being in COMPNOR, which meant they were to be tested with weapons. Unfortunately for Homer and his unit, the Colonel in question seemed to think that they should test them with live weapons rather than simulations.
- General Steel from Sym-Bionic Titan. Steel's violent obsession to stop any aliens tends to endanger his men and everyone around him. During his mecha's first battle, his fighting style is far more aggressive than the Titan's and tends to cause a great deal of damage.
- The Roswellian General in Buzz Lightyear of Star Command.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: The antagonists have numerous, in a flashback, one thinks of sending new recruits in a suicidal charge to distract the enemy.
- On the heroic side there are Generals How and Sung, but there's also Fong, a very aggressive man who pressures the Avatar into assuming the Avatar state and defeating the Fire Nation, even showing the medical bay of grievously injured troops, and implying further deaths from the war. He even goes so far to attack Aang, and almost kills Katara. Though when the actual invasion of the fire nation commences, all the other Earth Kingdom Generals have been defeated, and he does send some of his troops to help invade the fire nation. Sung, however, is more of a paranoid coward.
- Averted with General Iroh, who is in fact a very decent and honorable man.
- Sequel Series The Legend of Korra has Councilman Tarrlok, who is obsessed with defeating the Equalists just to make himself a hero. His obsession drives him as far as targeting non-bending civilians to get his message across and threaten anyone who refuses to support him.
- Col. Kit Coyote from The Go-Go Gophers. Whenever his battle plan against the Indian gophers is questioned by his sergeant, Col. Coyote won't hesitate to pull out the regulation book to quantify his actions.
- Zapp Brannigan from Futurama is a comedic case, but his obsession with attacking enemies who pose no threat (the Brain Balls, the Neutral Planet, the Retiree People) and utter disregard for the men under his command ("Stop exploding, you cowards!") make him this. If he weren't so blisteringly incompetent, he'd be an incredibly scary villain.