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Good Girl Gone Bad

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"Easy for a good girl to go bad, and once we gone, best believe that we've gone forever."

She is adorable, sweet, nice, good-hearted... your stereotypical good girl. Until that fateful day. Abduction, murder, rape, any kind of violence. You name it. The nice, good girl goes through an event (or series of events) that changes her character and shapes her to the way she is now.


And now she's a bad, bad girl.

They come in various different flavors. Sometimes they're simply an Ice Queen. Other times, they are worse. Many female villains tend to be good girls gone bad.

Subtrope of Face–Heel Turn. See also Good Bad Girl. May also relate to Used to Be a Sweet Kid, Corrupt the Cutie and Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds.

In-Universe Examples Only:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Elfen Lied has Kaede, commonly known as Lucy. She was nice and sweet, until a group of orphans beat to death Lucy's puppy, the only being in the world she actually cared about. And they found out about it from a girl who pretended to be her friend, the first human she was beginning to trust. That's when her murder spree began, although it was put down eventually thanks to Kouta. However, after he lies about his cousin's gender and she finds out the truth, she's gone for good.
    • Anna could be considered, but due to her being Affably Evil, it's doubtful. She does have a rough past, since her own father used her for experimentation and much, much worse, but she's not truly bad herself.
  • Boa Hancock from One Piece, although she got better.
    • Nami was one as well, until she was freed from Arlong.
    • Robin, while she was a villain, also qualifies.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry: Just about all the female villains, sans Rina and Nomura, were once good before the Hate Plague got to them. Each one also has an event at a respective arc that makes her snap.
    • Miyo Takano, who was revealed to be the Big Bad in Kai. Her actions speak for themselves, and all because the investigation of her grandfather was laughed at and treated as rubbish. Her horrible life before being found by him contributed as well.
      • Rena in Tsumihoroboshi-hen after killing Ritsuko and Teppei.
      • Shion in Meakashi-hen when Mion and Keiichi's relationship makes her remember that Satoshi's gone.
      • Satoko in Tatarigoroshi-hen after seeing Rika dead in the shrine, and Keiichi in front of her. And an axe on his hands.
      • Mion does not fall into this in the anime and manga, but in the visual novels it is implied that, in one of the worlds Rika was in, Mion went Yandere for Keiichi, going as far as to murder others to keep him for herself.
  • Madam Red from Black Butler, after the death of Ciel's parents and meeting Grell. Although she does redeem a bit at her last moments, when she is unable to kill Ciel.
    • Subverted by Elizabeth, who was a bad, kickass girl until she met Ciel and decided to remain a cute, good girl for him.
  • Future Diary:
  • Megumi from Shiki was a common schoolgirl... until, she met the Kirishikis. Then, when she comes back as a shiki, she becomes much more bad, almost reaching Yandere levels for Natsuno.
  • Yuka Minase from 11eyes could be considered this, even if in the end she returns to her old persona, becoming the sweet girl she was in the beginning once again, she does have her bad moments.
  • School Days is famous for this.
    • Sekai starts off as the protagonist's best friend and a comical plucky girl, which she was until she gets pregnant by Makoto who, terrified that his secret lover could be carrying his child, leaves her for Kotonoha and orders Sekai to get an abortion. Needless to say, things do not end well.
    • Kotonoha is this ten times worse. She was possibly the nicest girl in the series; honest, pure and compassionate. And then she starts seeing Makoto, falling in love with him. But when he starts secretly having sex with Sekai, Kotonoha starts to break, completely breaking after Setsuna kisses Makoto right in front of her to let her know that their relationship was over. Not to mention she had seen Makoto and Sekai dancing at the couples dance the previous night, which caused Kotonoha a Heroic BSoD that led to her being raped by Taisuke. The result is not pretty. You've been warned.
  • In Naruto, we have Konan, who used to be a cheerful young girl... then things happen.
  • Misa Amane from Death Note may or may not be a case of this. It's unclear which was the moment that made an Ax-Crazy Yandere out of her: the death of her parents when she was a little girl, or getting her hands on the Artifact of Doom mentioned in the title.
  • There's also Belarus from Axis Powers Hetalia. We see her in her, Russia's and Ukraine's backstory as a cute little girl who clings to her brother and pouts to her older sister. And then, we see her now, as a scary girl in a frilly Elegant Gothic Lolita dress...
  • In Deadman Wonderland, when we see Minatsuki's (Hummingbird) past before the earthquake, she comes around as a sweet, innocent girl who loved helping her mother out in her flower shop. Then, the earthquake came along, and she's trapped on the shop. What does her mother do? Grab a pot of flowers and left her to die. And that's when she became as we know her now.

    Comic Books 
  • In Scott Pilgrim, this is the general consensus for Natalie V. "Envy" Adams, Scott's ex back when he was in university. She was a rather nice otaku girl and her relationship with Scott was quite a happy one. However, her success with Scott and Steven Stills' band Kid Chameleon began influencing her. She sold her otaku possessions for more expensive clothing while becoming less invested in her relationship with Scott. It gets worse as the band gets more people and she takes main control over it, steering to a direction where the others (namely the band's founders, Scott and Stephen Stills) were not happy with and there was even suspicion that Envy may have cheating on Scott. This all led to the disasterous breakup, admittingly started by Scott where he ended in a big fight with her after getting drunk at a party, having no memory of the fight or even getting drunk and causing a good deal of heartbreak and emotional damage to Scott. It's telling that everyone calls her by her stage-name Envy while Scott remains the only person to call her by Natalie.
    • Even taking into account Scott's unreliable memory, the general concensus among Scott's friends is they view her as more-or-less a bitch (except for Julie, who is attempting to use her newfound popularity and Knives, who was starstruck for a while.) Wallace is the largest example, having met her while in the later developments of her into a bad girl and recommended Scott dumped her immeditately. He was very angry to hear her returning.
    • Ultimately, she stays as Envy though she does get closure with Scott and appreciates he still remembers her as Natalie.
  • In Seven Soldiers: Bulleteer, Sally Sonic is a former Golden Age heroine who became evil under the influence of an emotionally-manipulative boyfriend who drugged her up, forced her into doing porn, and later auctioned her off to supervillains. By the time she meets Bulleteer, the only thing that gives her any enjoyment is ruining other people's lives.

  • Selina Kyle from the Batman comics is usually portrayed as a criminal who grew up on the streets. In Batman Returns she has a regular job and a home but hates her life and eventually snaps when her boss pushes her out of a window.
  • Both female protagonists in Bride Wars become bad girls after their weddings get booked on the same date. And since, to them, weddings are Serious Business, they each become obsessed with ruining the other one's great day.
  • The main villain in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle is the former agent Madison Lee, who was an angel previous to the three protagonists and lost her path after leaving said position.
  • Averted in The Bad Seed. Rhoda Penmark was never good; she's been evil literally from birth, and the mystery of why she's evil is part of the creepiness.
  • In The General's Daughter, the titular character was an honor student at West Point—until she was brutally gang-raped, and her father helped to cover it up. This led her to sexually act out as a form of revenge.
  • The title character of Maleficent was originally a very kind and polite - if not naive - orphaned fairy girl, who used her powers to heal damaged trees and defend the Moors from human armies who tried to invade it. She even befriended a human boy named Stefan and came to love him. However, this all changed when Stefan betrayed her trust and cut off her wings in order to become king, resulting in her becoming a cold and ruthless woman capable of cursing an innocent child to get revenge. Luckily, in this version Maleficent comes to love Aurora like a daughter and she helps her redeem herself.
  • Qi'ra from Solo started out as a kind-hearted orphan but goes through enough crap that she ends up a manipulative and self-serving Femme Fatale. She does have a bit of a soft spot for Han Solo, though.

  • Rachel from Animorphs. She starts the series as a confident, poised and assertive young woman who excels in academics and gymnastics alike. But three years of fighting a guerrilla war gradually brings out the Blood Knight within her, and by the end she's a straight-up Sociopathic Soldier.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire has Cersei Lannister, enemy of the Starks and queen of Westeros. Back in her childhood memories (which we get from her POV chapters in the fourth book), Cersei behaved as a nice little lady as she was promised she'd be married to Prince Rhaegar. A visit to a fortune teller later told her that she wasn't going to marry the prince, but also that she was going to have three children, and they would all die before she did, and her eventual death would come at the hands of her own younger brother. Also, after leaving the psychic, it's implied that she may have drowned her friend in a well in a desperate attempt to prevent the prophecy from coming true. Cersei's paranoia for the prophecy (combined with not being able to get over Rhaegar) is what turns her into the Manipulative Bitch we know today. Well, that and being raised by Tywin.
    • Notably, Cersei was not much of a "good" girl even before the visit to the seer. From Jaime and Tyrion's recollections, she was bossy, selfish and cruel from an early age.
    • Arya Stark can be seen as this. She went from a young noble girl who didn't want to be a lady to a little girl who has killed a lot of men, despite her very young age. Not to mention she's now on her way to become a magical assassin of sorts.
    • Her mother Catelyn completely loses it after the death of Robb (plus, she assumed Arya, Bran and Rickon were all dead as well), and after her own death and resurrection, going on a killing spree against every Lannister and Frey on her way. So far, Sansa seems like the only Stark good girl left.
      • That may not be so, as the fourth book implies that she might have to kill her cousin Robert, or at least allow him to be killed by Littlefinger.
  • Lorelei and Morwenna of Eludoran.

    Live Action TV 
  • As the World Turns did this with the character of Julia Lindsey Snyder, whose introduction to the soap was merely that of a Mary Sue nice girl. Julia oftentimes acted like a heroine initially (especially when David Stenbeck terrorized Oakdale), but was not particularly popular with fans since she was the third angle to a love triangle with supercouple Jack and Carly. Once her marriage with Jack began to deteriorate, so did Julia's sanity until she suffered a miscarriage and she went full-on Yandere. In the storylines that followed, Julia was a lampshaded psychopath who played out pretty much every crazy trope to extremes.
    • Guiding Light's Annie had virtually an identical character arc.
  • from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • Faith fits this trope perfectly, although she gets better after appearing in Angel and turning herself in to the police.
    • Also, Willow after the death of Tara on the episode "Seeing Red".
  • In the fourth season of Chuck Vivian Winterbottom, a sweet, naive character, is manipulated into following in her father's footsteps after being hurt by both him and the show's heroes. In the end her father himself is able to redeem her.
  • Heroes gives us Niki Sanders, although in her case she didn't turn into a bad girl, she developed a second personality that was a bad girl. So, there was good girl Niki and bad girl Jessica. Jessica took control over Niki's body, though, so she counts.
    • And then there's Elle Bishop, a bad girl as result of years of torture by her own father since she was eight.
    • The future version of Claire Bennet we see in Season 3 counts as well.
  • Game of Thrones: Daenerys Targaryen in Season 8. While she always had a ruthless streak, Daenerys was a fundamentally compassionate and heroic young woman for the majority of the series, aspiring to end slavery and create a better society for the smallfolk; she's also far kinder and more idealistic compared to most characters in the setting. However, the Trauma Conga Line she goes through in the final season (including finding out her lover is her long-lost nephew, violently losing a lot of her army, two of her closest friends and another of her dragons, being rejected by the Westerosi despite her sacrifices to help them and one of her advisors plotting against her) snaps her sanity and turns her into a merciless tyrant who tries to justify mass murder as being 'necessary' to create her vision of a "good world".
  • In Gossip Girl Jenny Humphrey, possibly the most innocent character of them all, is nearly raped and gradually transforms first into a bad girl and by season four is even something of a villain. She mostly learns her lesson though after loosing her virginity to Chuck, her own would-be rapist from before at the end of season three.
    • Serena is a very bad girl who went very good.
  • Morgana from Merlin (2008) discovers she has magic in a kingdom where it's punishable by death, lives in terror of her guardian the king, tries to run away only to be brought back again, can't prevent her powers from manifesting, becomes estranged from all her friends, meets her half-sister who places her under a spell that causes all of Camelot to fall asleep, and is poisoned by a friend she trusted in order to break the enchantment. She comes back after a year's absence with a few bones to pick...
  • Quinn from Glee becomes this in the beginning of the third season, due to the events at the end of the second season, complete with whole new look: pink-dyed hair, piercings and cigarette in hand, she is the complete opposite of her old self.
  • Subverted in "Last Whiff of Summer", the two-part fourth season premiere of The Middle. Sue realizes that even the negative attention her older brother gets is attention, and decides to start going bad to get some of that from her parents. However, the transgressions she comes up with—not wearing her headgear at night, wearing a red hair extension, and not taking her multivitamins—aren't really that serious. Double subverted by her parents not noticing or caring.
  • Inverted with Claire from Modern Family, who makes sure her daughter doesn't make the same mistakes she did.
  • Regina Mills from Once Upon a Time is a clear example of this, after her mother killed Daniel, the man she truly loved, in order for Regina to marry the king.
  • The final season of Lost reveals that Claire has become this. She becomes good again in the end, however.
  • Pretty Little Liars: Alison is strongly implied to be this prior to meeting CeCe. In one of the webisodes, Jason tells Cece that Ali was just a little girl until she came along and made her what she was prior to her disappearance.
    • As of the season two finale, Mona fits this trope to a T.
    • And Meredith. Dear God, Meredith.
  • Subverted by Sara Tancredi from Prison Break, who was a good girl before she got hooked on drugs, as revealed through flashbacks dating prior to Lincoln's arrest. Her father even had to use his influence to prevent it from going on her record. It is only after she is unable to save a life due to being drugged at the time that she decides to straighten up and get over her addiction.
    • On the second season, while she's on the run with Michael and Lincoln, she is classified as this again.
  • Supernatural:
    • Bela Talbot. Even if we don't exactly know whether she was good or bad before she made her deal with a demon, it was certainly implied that she was somewhat innocent... and being abused.
    • Ruby qualifies as well. Before being the demon we know, who eventually betrayed the Winchester brothers, she was a human witch who lost her soul to the demon Tammi. The torture she underwent in hell, that eventually turned her into a demon as well, is responsible for making her a bad girl.
  • In True Blood, Debbie after getting hooked on V (aka vampire blood). We also have Jessica, who's not evil or anything, but before being turned into a vampire she was a good girl who went to church and classes and obeyed everything her father told her, and now she's a blood-thirsty vampire so... you can see how she might fit in here.
  • The Witcher (2019): At the beginning of her story arc, Yennefer is a shy, unconfident but otherwise sweet-natured girl who has only ever wanted to be important to someone. After a lifetime of being shunned, abused and manipulated, though, she finally has enough and embraces a pursuit of power, becoming an arrogant, selfish and sometimes ruthless sorceress who does whatever she wants and pushes everyone away. However, Yen's not all bad and does occasionally show compassion to others; by the end of the first season she's risking her own life to help stop (or at least slow down) Nilfgaard's invasion.

  • Invoked by Rihanna with her album Good Girl Gone Bad, which provides the page quote.

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 
  • Damara Megido from Homestuck was apparently fairly nice in the early stages, but following something of a bad breakup she went Ax-Crazy.
  • White Mage from 8-Bit Theater tries to embrace this when (after talking to Fighter of all people) she starts to blame herself for all the damage done by the Light Warriors and her inability to do much good in the world. However, her greatest attempts at villainy are really just Poke the Poodle moments and Fighter (again) convinces her to switch alignments back to Lawful Good.


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