Follow TV Tropes


General Ripper

Go To

Doctor Doom? The Green Goblin? The real menace is those damn superheroes!

"Restraint? Why are you so concerned with saving their lives? The whole idea is to kill the bastards. At the end of the war, if there are two Americans and one Russian left alive, we win!"
General Thomas S. Power, Commander-in-Chief of USAF Strategic Air Commandnote  1957-1964

General Ripper is a high-ranking military officer who's utterly obsessed with defeating a particular enemy. He is so obsessed with this enemy that he'll act unilaterally, outside the ordinary military chain of command.

This kind of character makes for a great Implacable Man — someone who will never stop until their enemy is defeated. If General Ripper convinces himself that the good guy is his enemy, he becomes a super-persistent villain. But even if his enemy is an actual villain, his obsession with this enemy can be a liability, as he's willing to do whatever it takes to win — the heroes have to Prevent the War and stay the General's often very itchy trigger finger. General Ripper tends to be mired in Black-and-White Insanity — everything the enemy does is evil, even if all logic suggests otherwise. Even if the "enemy" is clearly not doing anything, General Ripper will interpret even the smallest action as a threat, see everything as a possible conspiracy by the enemy, and try to Do Unto Others Before They Do Unto Us.

Such characters are often highly experienced, perhaps even otherwise brilliant military minds undone by their obsession with a single enemy. Sometimes they've had a traumatic past war experience and want to preempt future hostilities with a preemptive strike. Sometimes their past war experience clashes with the softer civilians in charge. But more often than not, there's a geopolitical shift of some kind that drags the General far outside their comfort zone. It could be the end of the Cold War changing everything they fought for, or the emergence of superheroes, aliens, or other fantastic entities changing the paradigm for all of humanity. This essentially shows that someone who's trained for one thing their entire life will have a hard time adjusting to something else.

If General Ripper is otherwise a highly competent leader, he's likely a Four-Star Badass who can rally the rank and file behind him, making him all the more dangerous as a character. If not, he'll be a General Failure — but that kind of character is more likely to defy orders (or possibly even orchestrate a Military Coup to put himself in charge).

The Trope Namer is Air Force General Jack D. Ripper from Dr. Strangelove, who's hopelessly lost in a paranoid delusion involving Communists, fluoride, and his "precious bodily fluids", and unilaterally starts World War III. He's also the Trope Codifier, but in an odd way, because he's unnerving in his Dissonant Serenity (especially compared to the more logical and yet more hysterical General Buck Turgidson). Most General Ripper characters tend to be super-patriotic firebrands.

A Sub-Trope of Insane Admiral; for the grunt version, see Sociopathic Soldier. Compare with the Warhawk, 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. If General Ripper works for himself, rather than a greater power, he may be The Warlord. If General Ripper wants to get revenge/retribution on another character, uses a gun to get his way, and wants them to follow their directions with no funny business, then they can be a Pushy Gun-Toting Villain.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Albegas: General Duston doesn't get along well with the other Generals because of his perfectionist attitude. He is willing to ally with them, but holds them to rigid standards, wanting to see his Arch-Enemy Albegas defeated at any cost.
  • General Gennon of Chudor in Berserk. He and his army are stationed in Doldrey, a nigh-impregnable fortress with three walls, a moat, and its 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, Gennon 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: Gennon 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, which led directly to his death at Griffith's own hands.
  • Buso Renkin: Ever since he failed to stop a school full of children from being eaten, Warrior Chief Hiwatari has become utterly convinced that homunculi and Victors need to be exterminated. This belief is so strong that his superior had to give him a violent, if comedic, off-screen beatdown to stop him from continuing his attempts to re-exterminate Nice Guy Kazuki Muto.
  • 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.
  • General Miwa Sakimori from Daimos becomes worse as the series progresses. Already a bigot who hates all Barmians equally, Miwa begins calling Kazuya Ryuzaki and his allies traitors for trying to make peace with the non-violent Barmians. Miwa's bias blinded him to the point of attempting to drown innocent humans just to kill some Barmians as well. He eventually escalates to torturing Kazuya and attempting to ignore UN sanctions to resolve things peacefully, culminating with an attempt to nuke everyone who dares defy him. That's the last straw for Kazuya, who finally goes insane and beats the ever-loving hell out of him.
  • 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 bad that 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.
  • 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.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • 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 Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Martian Successor Nadesico: Haruki Kusakabe, the leader of the Jovian Federation, is of a Knight Templar variety, since he's convinced that the Jovians are righteous heroes who deserve "justice" against the "villainous" Earthlings. When there's finally a chance for peace talks, he makes a series of ridiculous demands to Earth's United Forces that amount to absolute surrender and submission, and orders his subordinate Tsukumo Shiratori killed and blames the Earthlings to make him a martyr in order to rally his forces against them and continue the conflict. That said, by the time of The Movie, when he's finally arrested he requests that his men's lives are spared, showing that he's not completely heartless.
  • 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.
  • Flit Asuno in Mobile Suit Gundam Age, especially as he grew older. After witnessing the death of his first love Yurin at the hands of Desil Galette, an Ax-Crazy Psycho for Hire Vagan pilot at the age of fourteen, he decided that eradicating the Unknown Enemy/the Vagans was the only solution to end the war once and for all. However, he's finally talked down by his grandson Kio by the time he attempts to nuke Second Moon, the home of the Vagans, even admitting that he thought it would be a Mercy Kill compared to their own superweapon about to destroy it anyway. Fortunately, they're able to Take a Third Option.
  • 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.
  • A, the Fourth 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, as he has a good reason to hate Sasuke and want to kill him with that much force, and when said good reason turns out to be still alive, he calms down immediately. In the War, he defers solely to Shikaku's knowledge, or lets Onoki and Tsunade take the lead in leading the Kages.
  • It's implied that Misato in Neon Genesis Evangelion is like this as well: she always hated her father, but when he gave his life to save her during Second Impact, she went on to discover what really happened. Upon finding out that the Angels were responsible, she joined NERV and is determined to destroy the Angels... so determined sometimes she pushes her wards to run unnecessary risks to ensure their destruction.
  • 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. And in the main series, he does in the end see the Marines as protectors of the world and its people; having them be treated as "attack dogs" for the World Nobles, which they often are (and with Luffy running around, has happened more and more) chafes him immensely.
  • 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...)
  • 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.

    Audio Plays 
  • Big Finish Doctor Who: In The Wrath of the Iceni, Boudica will not settle for anything less than the death of every single Roman in Britain. And any Briton who collaborated with them. Or any Briton who was made a slave by them.

    Comic Books 
  • 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.
  • 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 a 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.
  • Atari Force: Captain Hunter, chief of security of New Earth, won't stop at anything to put his hands on the Champions.
  • The Incredible Hulk:
    • General Thaddeus "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 — in issue #319, after having committed treason by conspiring with the Abomination and subsequently being dishonorably discharged from the armed forces, he tries to shoot a de-Hulked Bruce Banner on the day Bruce marries his daughter. Part of it is due to Ross' secret envy of Banner's power; deep down, Ross wants to be the Hulk. He finally gets his wish when he Hulkifies himself (and his daughter, in addition to brainwashing her) in order to fight the Hulk one-on-one.
    • Just below him is Ross's underling, Major Glenn Talbott, a slimy jerkass who was convinced Bruce Banner was an evil Commie spy from day one, was just as obsessed with getting the Hulk, even defying orders from the president to do so, and finding out that Banner was the Hulk made things so much worse. Eventually, he snapped completely, and went renegade, stole an experimental piece of hardware and tried to kill the Hulk with it. He ended up getting killed in the process, and has stayed so since. And good riddance.
    • There's also Ross's expy General Ryker.
    • In Hulk (2008), 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. Fortean returns in Immortal Hulk, which showcases some of the differences between them — Ross has some humanizing elements and the occasional standard, while Fortean does not, and will do absolutely anything to destroy his enemies, including ignoring the chain of command and forcing everyone under him to go along with his insane vendetta.
  • This seems to be how the Knights of the Old Republic prequel comics will explain the Face–Heel Turn of Admiral Saul Karath, one of the major antagonists of the first video game of the franchise. He's certainly been increasingly obsessed with Zayne, the comics' protagonist, thinking him a spy and blaming him for much of the collapse of the Republic.
  • 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?
  • The 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 edge of a cliff, to callously throwing an infant off said cliff when their mother begged him to spare their baby. In fact, his actions were so bad that the Soviets had him fired for his actions.
  • The Simpsons: Subverted, with a side-order of parody, with one issue of Radioactive Man, when 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.
  • 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.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): Not only did Admiral William Stenz as per canon almost hastily settle on the option of nuking Godzilla and the MUTOs in an attempt to kill them in 2014, but five years later, Vivienne Graham suspects that he was responsible for launching the Oxygen Destroyer which devastated Isla de Mara in an attempt to kill Ghidorah which instead nearly killed an intervening Godzilla, as she thinks Stenz would actually be stupid and careless enough to do it. Assuming she's right, this would absolutely make Stenz' death (confirmed by Ilene Chen in a later chapter) at Washington D.C. amid the subsequent apocalypse unleashed by Ghidorah poetic.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • Star Wars vs Warhammer 40K has Davik Thune, the Chapter Master of the Crimson Razors. He is characterized as an aggressive warmonger who views all Artificial Intelligence as soulless abominations that must be destroyed with no exceptions. At the start of the series, he broke off from the main Imperial refugee fleet and took half of the Imperium's military with him. Upon first encountering the Separatists at the Battle of Anaxes and learning of their society's heavy reliance on droids, he wages a war of annihilation against them, mercilessly destroying planet after planet in his quest to rid the galaxy of the "Abominable Intelligence".
  • 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 had 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.
  • 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 issuing 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".
  • 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.

    Film — Animation 
  • 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.
  • 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.. Even after it turns out he was telling the truth, Rogard realizes from the ensuing battle that the Iron Giant is only responding to their attacks in defense and ceases fire to prevent further destruction, along with pointing out a huge problem with Mansley ordering a nuclear strike: "That missile is targeted to the giant's current position! WHERE'S THE GIANT, MANSLEY?!" With the Iron Giant's immediate help, he and his troops are able to prevent Mansley from cowardly escaping.
  • 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!"

    Live-Action Films 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • Colonel Straker in Battletruck is the last guy in the world that you want to fuck with. His very first scene has him encountering two survivors with access to a secret fuel depot, and after asking them where it is, listens to their attempts at misdirection for about a second before stabbing one in the heart and telling the other one to quit the funny business.
  • 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. He 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 they 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.
  • 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.
  • General Gore in Friend of the World. "I have many faces. What do you think you see? Evil and good. Mere absolutes. Whatever you make of me." He claims he had to "get them before they get us":
    Gore: To survive this world you've got to be, well, perfect.
  • 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."
  • Glory:
    Shaw: That man is a civilian!
    Montgomery: That man is a Secessionist.
  • In Hostile Waters, many of the senior officers on the American side are portrayed this way — distrustful of the Soviets even under the backdrop of the Reykjavik summit. One goes so far as to suggest that the K-219 should have been sunk at the beginning of the crisis, and would have "if the politicians weren't running things." The lone civilian in the room promptly puts him in his place, loudly informing him that, "That's exactly why the politicians are running things!"
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Jim Phelps (Jon Voight) in Mission: Impossible shows a fair number of the symptoms of this character type, for a good reason.
  • General Orlov, from the James Bond film Octopussy. An unprovoked peacetime nuking of West Germany is just step one of his grandiose plan. (Possibly based on real-life Soviet Field Marshal Andrei Grechko, who was infamous for advocating a nuclear first strike against NATO and for using the Soviet military to crush dissent abroad, most notably in Czechoslovakia.)
  • Operation Crossbow: General Linz is very eager about the idea of the Nazis using the rockets to destroy London and then take over the world.
  • The singularly loathsome General Mireau in Paths of Glory follows this trope to a tee. His most pivotal actions are ordering a bayonet charge against a heavily fortified opponent with machine guns, calling for an artillery strike against his own men when the second wave sees the first get mowed down and refuses to budge, and trying to have a hundred men court-martialed and executed for cowardice in the wake of the disaster, which he then scales down to simply executing one man from each company (one of said men had received a commendation for gallantry). He's heavily based on the real figure Géraud Réveilhac, a man who once demanded an attack resume because his troops hadn't taken enough losses yet.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Lord Cutler Beckett is willing to do anything and everything in his power to end the pirate threat anywhere in 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.
  • 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).
  • 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 the 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.
  • 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:
    Kirk: Let them die! (Interestingly enough, William Shatner then acted out Kirk having an immediate My God, What Have I Done? reaction to his outburst, but this was cut out of the final film.)
  • 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.
  • General Leland Zevo in Toys, who converted his dead brother's toy factory into a preschool-ish weapons facility.
  • 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.
  • In What's the Worst That Could Happen?, Max Fairbanks' head of security is a lunatic, still reminiscing on the glory days of working for the government during the Cold War. This lunacy is the reason he remains loyal to Max when literally everybody else on his side has become fed up with the damn fact that Fairbanks is militantly willing to keep playing "keep away" with a ring he took from a thief even when said thief is bringing him to near-ruin at a rapid pace and has made clear all that Fairbanks needs to do for him to stop is to give it back.
  • Wonder Woman (2017): Ludendorff is depicted as a sociopathic general who relishes war, longs to use devastating chemical weapons on his enemies, and is disgusted by the idea of an armistice. His lust for war is so great that he shoots a fellow officer who warns him that German troops are running low on supplies and gasses a room full of German generals who see the need for the armistice. Field Marshal Douglas Haig, the example of this trope in British media, appears briefly here but isn't much better off, displaying his characteristic attitude of reducing men to numbers by shrugging off Steve's desperate pleas to eliminate the new gas by basically stating that soldiers die and it's normal.
  • In X2: X-Men United, William Stryker is technically a colonel, but demonstrates 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.
  • 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.

  • 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 by Visser Three, the only Yeerk to control an Andalite host.
  • In Armada, Admiral Archibald Vance turns out to be one.
  • 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.
  • 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 Tavi Rufus Scipio.
    • High Lord Antillus is a more sympathetic version of this trope towards the Icemen. He's been defending Alera from their attacks since he was fourteen, and after forty years of seeing them kill his men, soldier and civilian alike, he is completely convinced that peace with them is impossible.
  • Colonel Kurtz from Stephen King's Dreamcatcher also fits here. Even when the landed aliens show no sign of hostility, he insists on killing every single one of them, as he thinks it's just a trick. He's right.
  • 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).
  • 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').
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • It's implied that the only reason why Saturday is able to get away with wasting agency resources stalking Jesse to the extent that he has in Paranoia Retardant is because their boss — Head Agent Black Friday — is just as crazy as he is.
    Saturday: Head Agent Black Friday believes in me. He said this investigation could save a lot of lives down the line.
    Sunday: Head Agent Black Friday thinks the Soviet Union dissolving was faked by the KGB!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, it is hinted that Sherlock Holmes 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Arch-demon Niturni in Wars of the Realm. He sacrifices a whole platoon of demon Mooks just to find out how good Validus' team is.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Arrowverse:
    • 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.
    • Subverted in Superman & Lois. Although General Sam Lane is usually portrayed as this, the series version trusts and regularly cooperates with Superman and even has a signalling device to summon him for help in a crisis. It probably helps that he knows Superman is really his son-in-law and the father of his grandkids. They even go on fishing trips together.
      • Deconstructed by General Mitch Anderson. He gradually becomes convinced of a conspiracy against America with Superman at the centre, and eventually goes rogue and tries to kill him with stolen Super Serum and Kryptonite weapons. He gets declared AWOL and a traitor.
  • General "Bull" Fulbright from Season 4 of The A-Team. If you replace "Enemy X" in the example above with "The A-Team", you get his general approach to catching the A-Team.
  • 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 on 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.
  • 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.
  • Blackadder:
    • The Duke of Wellington (as played by Stephen Fry) in "Duel and Duality". He declares that the only way to win a campaign is to "shout, shout, and shout again". When it's suggested that conditions in his army are appalling, he misunderstands the comment and says that those are his conditions and you'll just have to accept them. His regimental crest is two crossed dead Frenchmen emblazoned on a mound of dead Frenchmen and duels with cannon because "only girls fight with swords these days."
    • Field Marshal Haig is portrayed as one in "Goodbyeee" in a much darker manner. He's played by Geoffery Palmer with no bombast, nor even Melchett's enthusiastic delusion. Instead, he quite calmly sweeps up rows and rows of toy soldiers with a dustpan and chucks them over his shoulder as he plans out the battle in which the show's protagonists are about to take part.
  • On Black Sails, Captain Flint is portrayed as being single-mindedly 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 that they are desperate men and figure that they need Flint to get to the treasure. Afterwards, all bets are off.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • In "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).
    • "The Ambassadors of Death": General Carrington. 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.
    • "Frontier in Space": The crazy and paranoid General Williams, 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 Doctor's Daughter": General Cobb is positively bloodthirsty about wiping out the Hath, and when it looks like the mythical Source has been located, wants to use it as a weapon against them.
    • "Cold Blood": Silurian military commander Restac's mind is overrun with thoughts of violence, as she is obsessed with "protecting" her people from humans to the point of nearly staging a coup against her government and murders one of her people as part of this supposed protection.
  • 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.
  • Game of Thrones: Ser Alliser Thorne of the Night's Watch simply cannot take the long view on the wildlings, viewing them as barely if at all even human (not that some wildlings such as the cannibalistic Thenn haven't given the Night's Watch good reason to regard them in such a way), and Thorne refuses all the way to the end of his brief mutiny to acknowledge that 100,000 wildlings behind the Wall, however bad, is better than 100,000 wights assaulting it.
  • The Greatest American Hero episode "Operation: Spoilsport" had one of these plotting to start World War III.
  • Inspector George Gently: Colonel Darwin in "Gently with Honour". He is so obsessed with defeating the communists that he subjects his men to unauthorised drug experiments, tortures and murders them, and then commits further murders to cover up his crimes.
  • Jeremiah:
    • In the season two premier, General Waverly is the highest ranking Valhalla Sector military officer and is the most passionate advocate behind recreating the Big Death to kill the grown-up children who survived the first pandemic and are challenging the Sector's power monopoly. He also tortures Jeremiah with electric shocks and spends his last moments before dying unrepentantly ranting about how America could have conquered the whole world if not for the intervention of Jeremiah and the others.
    • Sims is the Frontline General of the Army of Daniel, casually burns towns that are in negotiations with his enemies, and admits that he enjoys killing. While he does have an extremely Dark and Troubled Past and is Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life, when he learns that all of his atrocities are based on a lie, he shows no guilt or introspection and is even excited at the idea that he can use this knowledge to overthrow his superiors.
  • A Driving Question in Last Resort is about whether submarine Captain Marcus Chaplin has become one of these or is a Defector from Decadence.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Galadriel became a military commandant of her own small company just to hunt down Sauron. After centuries of getting consumed by pure hatred, she became a Knight Templar with little regard for other people's lives, to the point that she cannot conceive having a life outside of obsessing over Sauron.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Stargate SG-1 episode “Chain Reaction” saw the SGC’s commanding officer General Hammond being temporarily forced to retire by the NID and replaced by General Bauer. While Bauer wasn’t directly affiliated with the NID, others guessed that he was chosen for the role in the belief that he would be a more ruthless leader in the campaign against the Goa’uld where Hammond was perceived as “soft”. After Bauer’s actions nearly endangered Earth when he disbanded SG-1 and ordered the test of a naquadah-enhanced nuclear bomb without adequate safety precautions, resulting in the destruction of a (potentially uninhabited) planet and Earth almost being exposed to the resulting radiation fallout, he was swiftly replaced by the restored General Hammond.
  • 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 (the 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, at least until it turns out that he's Evil All Along — and not quite the "real" Lorca, either.
    • 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.
      "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 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).
    • The Changeling impersonating General Martok was this, pushing the Klingon Empire towards unwinnable or costly wars to weaken it. The actual General Martok is a Reasonable Authority Figure, but it's unclear if that's how he always was or if his time in a Dominion prison camp mellowed him out.
    • 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 the 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 suspicions 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.
    • Season 2 of Star Trek: Picard introduces an Alternate Universe that's not too dissimilar from the Mirror Universe. In it, humanity is xenophobic and militaristic to the extreme, with the Confederation of Earth leading a crusade to subjugate the galaxy under the motto "A safe galaxy is a human galaxy." They are significantly more successful than the Terrans and have even managed to wipe out the Borg. And the man leading the charge? General Jean-Luc Picard of the CSS World Razer. When Q transports Prime!Picard to this alternate reality, he shows him the skulls of the enemies General Picard has personally slain, including Grand Nagus Zek, Gul Dukat, General Martok, and Director Sarek.
  • Stranger Things: Season 4 introduces Lieutenant Colonel Sullivan, a U.S. Army officer who seeks to bring Eleven back into government control without any thought for consequences. He uses torture at the drop of the hat and openly deploys uniformed soldiers who cause extensive damage and casualties in civilian-heavy environments.

    Multiple Media 
  • MonsterVerse:
    • Colonel Packard in Kong: Skull Island, who starts the film off as somewhat unstable and then goes completely overboard in his increasingly mad obsession with killing Kong to avenge his fallen men, reaching the point of a full-blown murderous hate-boner and causing him to endanger the lives of all his remaining men and the rest of the cast to get his own way. It's hinted that it's in part a result of the US's obvious impending defeat in Vietnam that's driven him over the edge.
    • Downplayed with Admiral Stenz in Godzilla (2014) and Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019). He is persistently distrustful of Godzilla and he's prone to thinking Nuke 'em moves on the Titans will do anything other than cause an Epic Fail; although it should be noted he only resorts to seriously considering such tactics when he thinks the situation has gotten really dire, and he does try to be reasonable when hearing out the ignored experts.
    • Inverted with the U.S. government in Godzilla Aftershock and King of the Monsters, who are shown to be at least as short-sighted as Stenz, and even more unreasonable, distrustful of Godzilla, and dismissive of the experts than he is, latching onto any excuse that might see Godzilla killed and being blatantly blind to the long-term consequences of Godzilla's death by MUTO Prime biting all of humanity in the ass.
    • General Puckett in Monarch: Legacy of Monsters is a fairly understandable case, given what the Titans physically are combined with how little-understood they and Godzilla were in Puckett's time (The '50s). His express reaction to Titans' existence is abject horror and fear of what a creature as big as Godzilla could do if it ever encroaches on the U.S.. When Lee Shaw, Keiko Miura and Bill Randa request 150 pounds of uranium to lure Godzilla out of hiding, Puckett instead puts that uranium to use building an atom bomb to try and kill Godzilla without telling the trio, and when they find out, he turns down their protests to killing Godzilla before they even know if Godzilla will pose a threat, of his true nature, or what his greater role in the world might be. When Godzilla is seemingly killed by the blast, Puckett turns to his celebratory men with a grin and boasts, "Magnificent!"

  • General Yagov from F-14 Tomcat.
    Yagov: Now you die, comrade!
  • In America's Most Haunted, the tombstone for Captain Dixon, ghost of the War Fort, reads "He grew too fond of war."


    Tabletop Games 
  • Battletech: The Taurian Concordat has a history of producing rulers with a predisposition against the nearby Federated Suns. For the saner of them this was simply healthy Realpolitik (the Suns are almost ten times the size of the Concordat, has a strong imperialist streak, and annexed almost half the Concordat's territory during The Unification War). For rulers like Thomas Calderon and Grover Shraplen, this led them to see the hand of the Federated Suns in everything. Calderon's heir dies in a Jumpship accident? Federated Suns assassination plot. Terrorist gas attack on one of their planets? Federated Suns testing their ceasefire in preparation for an invasion. Unlicensed settling of border worlds by Concordat citizens? Federated Suns spy-plot intended to divert funds from the military. Invasion of the Inner Sphere by a Proud Warrior Race? Federated Suns disinformation intended to explain a removal of Federated Suns forces from their border and make the Concordat lower its guard before an inevitable invasion. Unannounced mercenaries in Concordat space? Federated Suns intelligence operation. Meteor impact on their capital world? You probably get the picture by now.
  • 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).
  • The Court Of Storms in Princess: The Hopeful. While they're not wrong that the Darkness is utterly and categorically vile and that the world would be a better place if it and all its servants were destroyed, they only care about destroying the Darkness and do nothing to build up the Light. Worse, they have a nasty habit of ignoring collateral damage in their war against the Dark, and they will often kill even those who could have been saved from the Taint.
  • 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.
  • 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 it's 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.

    Video Games 
  • 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.
  • In Blade & Soul, there is General Yonkai, a sociopathic Stratus empire Colonel who is searching for Mushin's Legacy, something that could turn him into a God. He has a habit of overreacting to slights in disgustingly overkill ways and pulling rank to justify his crimes. The worst part is, your character is stuck more or less subservient because he threatens to wipe out a village you swore to protect from him, and that still doesn't stop him from working villagers to death in his mine while you're doing what he asks. It's telling that not even his own men shed a tear when karma catches up to him and he meets a satisfyingly cruel death at Jinsoyun's hands.
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2: Your first clue that General Shepherd is a bit off the hook is when you see, and — an ally says — Shepherd doesn't care much about the concept of "danger close". Your second 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: Modern Warfare'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."
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Destroy All Humans!: General Armquist in the first game believes the only solution to the Furons is to kill them. Scanning his thoughts even gets a Shout-Out to the trope namer's Madness Mantra.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Dragon Age: Origins:
      • Loghain Mac Tir 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 death of King Cailan (which he himself caused when he ordered his men to retreat, leaving everyone to die at the hands of the Darkspawn), then seizes the reins of power from his daughter (who was married to King Cailan) and refuses to let Orlesian reinforcements inside the nation despite the fact that they are desperately needed against the Darkspawn.
      • 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. Her red lyrium broadsword certainly does no favors to what's left of her sanity either.
  • 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 rival the Mages Guild in Vvardenfell, Trebonius decides that the best way to deal with them is to simply kill all of their councilors.
  • Fallout: New Vegas:
    • Legate Lanius of Caesar's Legion. 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. He had war protestors rounded up to serve as human test subjects, and called the manager of a wastewater treatment plant a "pinko Commie-eyed puke" simply for requesting more funding that he thinks should go to the war effort against China.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Though it seems he is a classic case at first, General Tor of the Komato Empire turns out to be a major subversion. He's actually a Slave to PR, and arguably a shadow counterpoint to Pacifist Iji.
  • 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.
    Shepard: Admiral, you jeopardized the mission and your people. Get the hell off my ship.
    • 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. He doesn't stop there either, his dedication to destroying the geth is the biggest obstacle to avoiding the Genocide Dilemma, and may ultimately doom his species.
    • 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.
  • MechWarrior 2: Ghost Bear's Legacy Star Captain Bekker, your commander for a good chunk of the game turns out to be this when you're sent to identify the mech of a General of the Draconis Combine in order to gather information in your hunt for the Clan's stolen genetic material and capture the General for questioning. When it turns out that the General is already inside his mech, he offers to give you the information you seek, but only if you turn around and leave. Bekker, however, demands that you kill him despite him being the only lead in your search, and if the player refuses, he's so offended by your completely necessary act of insubordination that he ignores his own superiors and challenges you to a Duel to the Death.
  • METAGAL has General Creeper, the Big Bad who kidnapped Meta's creator, Dr. Ray, and had her eight sisters reprogrammed into combat robots to help him Take Over the World.
  • General Morden of the Metal Slug games. Then again, losing your family and eye to a terrorist attack that could have been prevented were it not for corruption within the system can have that effect on you...
  • Mortal Kombat
    • 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.
    • Mortal Kombat 1 has General Shao, a ruthless warlord who believes Earthrealm to be the true enemy of Outworld despite the former only showing good intent.
  • The New Order Last Days Of Europe: The Oficerskaya Klika of the All-Russian Black League are a collection of War Hawks and maniacs plotting to unify the country and bring about the Great Trial — a prophesized final war between Russia and Nazi Germany that will see the latter annihilated forevermore as revenge for the defeat of the Soviet Union and the twenty-year campaign of subjugation and humiliation of the Russian people they have inflicted. Nothing will be allowed to stand in the way of this Great Trial, not even nuclear holocaust and the end of human civilization on Earth, as long as Germany is destroyed.
  • 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!"
  • Soviet army general Alexei Guba from the Operation Flashpoint series.
  • 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.
  • Punky Skunk: Commander Chew, leader of the chew forces, and The Dragon to Badler.
  • 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.)
  • The unnamed General in Vivisector: Beast Within is obsessed with the Half Human Hybrids that are the enemies in the game, first as a source of disposable Super 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 convince 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 III appears to be one, he's really a racist Jerkass 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, 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.)
    • 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 that 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.

    Web Animation 
  • 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, the angel-demon war has gone on long enough to turn both sides into endangered species. This left the fascist Council of Angels in charge of Heaven, while the strongest and most psychotic of demons become generals of the armies of Hell. Both sides will bully anyone who doesn't conform to their standards, send conscripted civilians straight into the meat grinder, and kill children to depopulate their enemies. The kicker? Since both sides are too weakened to try to eradicate each other directly, the generals have decided to prey upon the mortal world.
    • Suizhan Senior is a decorated war heroine and the last warrior of the Wind clan, which technically makes her its general. She's also a domestic abuser to Kieri for letting compassion get in the way of combat performance, and indoctrinated Kazai with Angel-supremacist bigotry because the death of her family twisted her into a genocidal demon-huntress.
    • Iratu is obsessed with fulfilling the bloody dreams of the strongest general in Hell a Fallen Angel who claims to be their God of Evil reincarnated, and has disowned his brother for being weak.
  • Unsounded: General Bell wants to invade Alderode and slaughter the Aldish and is furious Queen Sonorie is trying to politically cripple them instead. He also despises the Inak as little more than animals and uses bigotry against them to gain political favor and start slaughtering them in the streets, even though their labor is part of what allows Cresce to have an essentially Post-Scarcity Economy.

    Web Original 
  • In Magik Online we have Blackcinders, Concordia's Red Minister, who is the supreme commander of Concordia's armed forces, is a brutal dragon supremacist military leader with a love of power, destruction, and doomsday devices and is in charge of conquering new galaxies for Concordia.
  • 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.
  • The Fire Never Dies has General Vincent St. John. While he is fairly competent, he is both ruthless and egotistical. He demands to be given command of the Army of Denver despite Pancho Villa or Louis Tikas being the more competent commanders (he gets his way because he has more political influence). He becomes particularly infamous for razing Salt Lake City with artillery after the city refused to surrender (although that was perhaps justified by his desire to avoid the high casualties of a direct assault).

    Web Videos 
  • The Great War tends to depict Austro-Hungarian general Conrad von Hötzendorf this way, stating that he constantly (read: more than 30 times) advocated for Austria-Hungary to go to war with various of its neighbours in the run-up to World War I.

    Western Animation 
  • 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, though a flashback in one episode shows that he was a much more aggressive military leader prior to the death of his son.
    • 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.
  • DC Animated Universe:
    • 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 the Justice League episode "Fearful Symmetry", he still harbors an 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 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 Dark Heart. He then goes even further in "Patriot Act" when he concludes that even his fellow conspiracists aren't being tough enough on the metahuman/superhero "threat" and uses a mutagenic compound to turn himself into a variant of the Shaggy Man (a creature that is almost completely invincible and 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 from The Incredible Hulk, even to the point of gaining a "Hulk form" like Ross did later.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • 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 Call-Back 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.
  • In Hazbin Hotel, Lute was The Dragon to Original Man Adam with the two leading the Demon Slaying Exorcist angels. While Adam was a hedonistic Blood Knight just in it for the violence, Lute was a fanatic with a deep hatred for each and every resident of Hell to the point that she mutilated Vaggie for sparing a child.
  • 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!"
  • Downplayed in My Adventures with Superman with Lois Lane's father General Sam Lane. After a mysterious Kryptonian warrior implied to be General Zod slaughtered his comrades two decades prior to the start of the series, he became partners with the Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist Amanda Waller and led Task Force X in an effort to prevent it from happening again. He antagonized Superman throughout the first season with the help of Deathstroke, but unlike Waller and most examples of this trope he refused to let his paranoid grudge endanger civilians aside from the Cadmus scientists he allegedly murdered for refusing to make him weapons. After interrogating Superman he realizes that he's innocent, but refuses to disobey his orders and Waller uses his hesitation to steal his job and try to finish Supes off herself.
  • General Buck Rockgut in The Penguins of Madagascar with his obsession with the Red Squirrel.
  • 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.
  • The Simpsons: The episode "G.I. (Annoyed Grunt)" has a parody of this trope; the Colonel ends up leading the Army unit to invade Springfield due to Homer Simpson and his unit going AWOL, going from trying to get the civilians to capture Homer's Unit (although they don't capture Homer), and eventually locking up all of those who are either fat, bald, and/or were ever amused by the antics of Homer Simpson. His second-in-command also tries to convince him to call off the invasion, feeling that it's gone far enough, especially seeing how the entire operation cost the military $15 billion just to continue. Eventually, he does end up surrendering due to a hangover. Also, the reason why Homer's unit goes AWOL in the first place is due to their being in COMPNOR, which means they are to be tested with weapons. Unfortunately for Homer and his unit, the Colonel in question seems to think that they should test them with live weapons rather than simulations.
  • South Park:
    • 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.
    • In "AWESOME-O", the government thinks that 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.
      General: If we got our hands on that robot, we could re-program it and turn it into a weapon!
      Soldier #1: Yes, that might be the best thing to do.
      Soldier #2: Uh-huh. I don't see how we have a choice.
  • SWAT Kats: Commander Feral means well and has the city's best interests at heart, but his animosity and tendency to act first and ask questions later (if ever), particularly where the SWAT Kats are concerned, make him come across as antagonistic and singleminded. He's really a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, however, and in "Metal Urgency" he makes clear where his priorities lie when he shuts down the Metallikats (who just one minute ago had wrecked half the city with Kaiju-sized Mecha and were stopped by the SWAT Kats and do lots of damage via gunfire whenever they appear) even after they told him that they know the SWAT Kats' real identities and they will tell him if he lets them go.
  • 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.
  • Underdog: 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.
  • X-Men: The Animated Series: General Chasen, the Department H man behind Alpha Flight, Canada's premier super-hero team. He seems convinced Canada is in some kind of cold war with America, and views Wolverine leaving to join the X-Men as "defecting". He's also behind some military experiments to recreate the process that made Wolverine in the first place, and when they fail decides the best thing to do is abduct Wolverine and vivisect him.

Precious bodily fluids!


Video Example(s):


Jallianwala Bagh Massacre

Brigadier General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer oversees the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre.

How well does it match the trope?

4.39 (18 votes)

Example of:

Main / CompleteMonster

Media sources: