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Jumping Off the Slippery Slope
aka: Jumped Off The Slippery Slope

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Jumping off the slippery slope is when a morally ambiguous character raises an ethical question by doing morally ambiguous things, but instead of answering those questions, the character closes the debate by going on to do something unquestionably and unforgivably evil. The actions remain pretty much ambiguous, while the character himself no longer is. It turns out that the character's point of view and ideology was more warped than what their initial actions suggested.

This is a condensed form of the Slippery Slope Fallacy — instead of Slowly Slipping Into Evil by gradually becoming more evil, they go straight from "may or may not be moral" at the top of the slope to "unquestionably evil" at the bottom, skipping all of the intermediate shades of gray — thus jumping off the slippery slope.

A form of Debate and Switch, because they never really address the question of whether the original ambiguous action was acceptable or not. As such, this trope is sometimes a sign that the creator is biased in favor of the less morally ambiguous answer to a conflict, but realized part-way through that the alternative they are trying to argue against makes more sense than they intended to present it as. Also helps to maintain the status quo by ensuring the main characters never question their own morality too closely, thus keeping the more simpler Black-and-White Morality from degrading into Grey-and-Gray Morality. Compare Slowly Slipping Into Evil for a longer, more developed process of going from "ambiguous" to "evil". Compare Face–Heel Turn for when it is a morally good character who turns evil. For a character who pretends to be unambiguously nice for the sake of manipulating others, that's a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, which can overlap with Evil All Along.

Compare with Bait the Dog, Moral Event Horizon, Motive Decay, Aesoptinum, and He Who Fights Monsters. Can be a result of a Well-Intentioned Extremist realizing that there is No Place for Me There and becoming a full-time villain. Frequently accompanied by Then Let Me Be Evil. In case the characters in question were friends prior to Slope-Slipping, it probably triggers We Used to Be Friends. If the slippery slope has been greased with Applied Phlebotinum, that's The Dark Side. One justification is to make this a particularly grim consequence of hitting someone's Berserk Button or Rage-Breaking Point, giving them exactly the right provocation to make them throw everything away except their rage.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Avoided in Higurashi: When They Cry. Shion goes insane and embarks on an attempt at revenge after the boy she loves, Satoshi, disappears. A lot of people are captured, killed or both, including her twin sister, her sadistic grandmother, and the village headman, who are all part of the village mafia. Then Shion goes after Satoshi's little sister, Satoko, because she's mad that Satoko's dependence on Satoshi wore him out. Shion captures Satoko and tortures her to death. Then she remembers that Satoshi's last request was that she care for Satoko for him. Shion was already crazy, but now she loses any pretense of acting for anything besides her own dark pleasure.
    • To add to the issue it's revealed their deaths were in vain. None of them had to do with Satoshi's disappearance, and if anything they all liked him.
  • Death Note: Light Yagami begins using the supernatural notebook to rid society of objectively unforgivable criminals, but soon his blacklist expands to include anyone who stands in his way for any reason, starting with Lind L. Taylor, a patsy used by L to denounce and threaten Kira and the FBI. Along the way, he coolly manipulates the feelings of both people and shinigami. Repeatedly stating that he plans to become the god of the new world he is trying to create doesn't help matters, either. When he gets Laser-Guided Amnesia and temporarily reverts to his pre- Death Note self, it's shown he used to be less ruthless in general, which is basically new information for the reader because he changed so fast at the beginning that we never got to see a different side. On the other hand, Near expresses the opinion that Light's behaviour after gaining the Death Note wasn't normal, implying he must have always been a potential psycho. Then again, it could be the that the Death Note itself just has a magically corrupting influence.
  • Shu Ohma in Guilty Crown after Hare dies. Now regards all the 'F-Rank' Void users as worthless cannon fodder, sending them on suicidal missions to get supplies (including from a sunken ship, even the idiot Souta), eventually; after learning that breaking a void kills someone, in addition to a Trauma Conga Line, he starts on a path to The Atoner.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00:
    • Depending on your viewpoint, Celestial Being itself was doing a lesser version of this before Trinity even showed up. They certainly had no compunctions about blowing up a training facility for Super Soldier children, and all the civilians inside, as a revenge operation.
      • Allelujah certainly had his compunctions.
      • As did the rest of Celestial Being. Halleluah, Allelujah's dark half, enjoyed it and egged him on.
    • It must be noted that Celestial Being actively tried to avoid civilian casualties, such as Lockon shooting to disable enemy suits when possible, or Setsuna taking off their limbs but not gutting them or cutting them in half. Celestial Being attacked only areas of active combat and repeatedly tried to prevent situations that would increase civilian casualties, such as stopping a terrorist attack on a nuclear waste dump. Trinity, by contrast, repeatedly attacked civilian targets (including simple factories) and expressed neither remorse, guilt, or sadness for it, and then in a childish fit attacked a WEDDING. That's why the Trinities are portrayed as much farther down the slope.
      • Yet it must be pointed out that Gundam 00 was heavy on the All There in the Manual aspect and the side documents explained that the Trinities resorting to extreme measures and having sociopathic natures were not of their own intentions, but rather as a result of their development. (Nena, the one who attacked said wedding, was kept in stasis from her birth to her tenth birthday and thus has always the mentality of a little girl) Because their role was to make Celestial Being look bad, and then die immediately afterwards, their resorting to harsh measures was simply to cause a public relations nightmare with the group, and to ensure that Celestial Being would not bother helping the Trinity siblings in their hour of need (Setsuna did not intentionally save Nena, but rather was attempting to stop Ali al-Saachez from using a Gundam, especially since they used the Trinities' fight for survival as battle strategy for opponents).
  • The Big Bad of Air Gear jumped long before the series began. At one point he contemplated concepts such as mercy and forgiveness, then he put on a pair of Jade-Colored Glasses and became utterly ruthless.
  • The last two episodes of the first generation in Mobile Suit Gundam AGE shows Flit Asuno taking the dark descent to becoming a revenge-obsessed Earth Federation fanatic. His refusal to accept the UE as human beings and his Unstoppable Rage from seeing Yurin die only matters worse for him. As an adult, he leads a task force that purges the Federation government of any and all Vagan sympathizers, accusing them of collaboration and having them executed. When it's pointed out that this action will kill any chance of a peaceful resolution to the conflict, Flit merely says "Yes, I know. That was my intention from the beginning". Honestly, the man is getting dangerously close to the Moral Event Horizon here, if he hasn't crossed it already. Then he raises his grandson as a Child Soldier to take his place, is outraged when said grandson decides committing Vagan genocide would be bad, and advocates to have a captured base destroyed with an untested superweapon despite the presence of enemy civilians and Feddie prisoners.
    • Zeheart Galette has crossed it in the third generation by putting his full faith in Ezelcant's true Social Darwinist agenda, despite the fact that it involves killing Vagan citizens and Ezelcant himself admitting that he was insane. The next episode, he's fully willing to open the EXA-DB, a database of all weaponry from previous, devastating wars, despite warnings that it is basically a Pandora's Box. Before this, he was a committed Anti-Villain who made a point of remembering that The Dead Have Names, still acknowledged that Asemu had been a friend, and said that he was fighting to return his people to the "Eden" of the Earth Sphere.
  • Subverted in Fullmetal Alchemist when Roy goes batshit insane against Envy, but is talked down from dealing the killing blow by his friends.
  • Subverted in Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) when Ed almost does the heinous deed of using the prisoners trapped in Lab 5 to create a Philosopher's Stone he's been searching for.
  • Twin Princess of Wonder Planet: Fine and Rein find out that Mirlo is in an Arranged Marriage with a rather undesirable dimwit, and are out to break it up. Reviewer Al1701 pointed out that this action seems short-sighted since the deal for the marriage is in exchange for dimwit's father repairing the Waterdrop Kingdom's cloudmaker. That is, until the whole Arranged Marriage turns out to be a big ruse by the Moon Kingdom chancellor. Doesn't stop this from being one of the best eps of the whole series.
  • In Berserk, no one ever really addresses Griffith's actions, since they're so amazed at how far he's willing to go in order to achieve his dream of having his own kingdom. Even if those actions may have included whoring himself out to an old pedophile to raise funds for his army, or planning assassinations to eliminate opponents or kidnapping kids and using them as leverage against other opponents. However, the audience is shown this from a more sympathetic light, and its relatively easy to see it as self-defense considering that they attempted to kill him first especially so after his one-year imprisonment and torture which destroyed any chance of him achieving his dream since he speaks of his dream so noble and pure. And then the Eclipse happened. The audience lost all sympathy at that point.
  • In Durarara!!, Mikado went from an Ordinary High-School Student to leading a gang in a gang war to trying to kill a middle-schooler with a pen, all in the timeframe of about six months.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion, where a massive buildup for Homura Akemi's morality struggle to break free from her own mental prison and Kyubey's ultimate plan ends up with a Sudden Downer Ending where Homura herself abruptly rebels against Goddess Madoka and becomes a Satanic Archetype.
  • Dragon Ball Super: Zamasu, a Supreme Kai of Universe 10, is first introduced as being distrustful of mortals and of gods for allowing mortals to live. From his introduction, he's Slowly Slipping Into Evil... and he finally jumps off the slope when he learns of the Super Dragon Balls and the power he could gain from them, which spirals into him breaking into Zuno's temple and outright threatening his life in order to get information about them. From there, rather than simply wait a year for the Super Dragon Balls to be active again, he decides to kill his master Gowasu and steal his Potaras so he can use his Time Ring, jump ahead a year, wish for Goku's body, and begin his quest to wipe out all mortals, but not before killing all the gods knowing they would do everything to stop him. Zamasu freely admits that what he's doing is evil, but it's all to serve a greater good. At the same time, Future Zamasu deserves special mention. When Goku Black murders Gowasu, he is at first horrified and rushes to his master's side. After some words from Goku Black, he immediately joins his side and helps him murder all the other gods in the universes before going on to wipe out mortals.
    • Even before that, there was Baby from Dragon Ball GT. He is an artificially created parasite hosting the DNA of the last king of Tuffles, an advanced species that existed on the planet Plant before the Saiyans invaded and slaughtered them. Baby can hatch his eggs in other lifeforms, transforming them into his obedient puppets that consider themselves Tuffles. Initially, his goal is to make an entire universe of Tuffles by infecting every single sapient being (except for Saiyans, whom he wants to slaughter). So far, not exactly righteous, but at least somewhat understandable: he's been wronged and he's only trying to "restore" his species and punish their enemies. But as Baby grows more powerful, he starts becoming more and more cruel and selfish, and his motivations gradually degrade into more simplistic ones: "rule the world", "be the strongest in the universe", "kill Son Goku". This culminates when he's fighting SSJ 4 Goku and becomes a Golden Great Ape: Baby starts causing havoc and killing his own loyal servants just to trick Goku into thinking he's lost his mind, and then try to kill him with a surprise attack. By the end of his saga, he's just plain evil.

    Comic Books 
  • Astro City has El Hombre, a former superhero who fell from grace after he started engaging in Engineered Heroics and tried to use Engineered Heroics to refresh his glory. He eventually masterminds a plan to slaughter hundreds of super-villains all so he could take the credit and make a name for himself once more.
  • Jean-Paul Valley's tenure as Batman was exactly this. When given the mantle of the bat by the injured Bruce Wayne, he started out simple and was willing to follow rules. However, after The Scarecrow doused him with Fear Gas and the System kicked in, Jean-Paul's morality started to waver. He came close to viciously murdering villains such as The Joker, Tally Man, and Mr. Freeze, and nearly killed Tim when he tried to get Az!Bats to tone down the violence. After letting Abbatoir die by falling into a vat of molten steel, which ensured his captive's death, he decided to embrace his more vicious and brutal side once and for all, leading Bruce to come back and take the mantle from him by force. It's implied by some stories that Bruce's fear of going down that same path is why he adheres so rigidly to never killing villains, no matter how evil they are and no matter how likely they are to escape and kill again.
  • Notably averted by Alan Grant's DC Universe character of Anarky: where originally the character was scripted to be willing to murder in pursuance of his anarchic philosophy, as written he upholds the same moral standards as Batman, which makes for some nice "Not So Different" Remark interactions.
  • In the Chick Tract "Fairy Tales," a young boy named Harry has a shocking revelation that immediately causes him to go on a violent rampage and become a mass murderer, ultimately winding up next to Osama Bin Laden on the FBI's most wanted list. What was this world-shattering revelation, you ask? He realized that there's no reason for morality when he was told that... Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy aren't real!
  • Green Lantern: Hal Jordan, who got so pissed off that the Guardians forbid him to use his ring to temporarily recreate Coast City that he flew to Oa, maiming numerous other Green Lanterns in the way and stealing their rings, leaving them for dead in space, killed Kilowog, killed Sinestro, absorbed the whole power of the main battery (destroying it in the process), became the villain Parallax and then tried to destroy the universe in order to recreate it "the right way" actually, successfully destroyed the universe, but then the heroes hijacked his attempt to recreate it to make an acceptably similar replacement. In Green Lantern: Rebirth it was retconned as he being possessed by the fear entity Parallax.
  • Both Iron Man 2020 and its lead-up detail this for Arno Stark, who Took a Level in Jerkass by having Tony declared illegitimate and taking away his very identity, taking rather draconian actions to prevent an event, and even replacing other humans with robots. It's all for naught as his disease has come back and he's suffering from Sanity Slippage, the "Extinction Entity" merely being a delusion.
  • The Killing Joke is all about The Joker trying to break Commissioner Gordon. He fails. Ironically in virtually every adaptation of Joker's origin story, this trope is the main reason he... um, well... is the way he is.
  • Dealt with in a two-issue arc of New X-Men: Academy X involving Prodigy, a student at the Xavier Institute with the ability to absorb the knowledge of anyone in the immediate vicinity, but only as long as they're in the immediate vicinity. When Emma Frost discovers that he's subconsciously put a block in his mind that prevents him from retaining the knowledge permanently, David asks Emma to remove the block, figuring he'll be able to do so much good for the world that way. The story then fast-forwards a few months, and David is already head of his own Mega-Corp that has developed cures for cancer and AIDS. How did he achieve this breakthrough? He killed his friend, the healer Elixir, and harvested his organs. Okay, that's certainly bad, but we're still at the point where it can be argued to be worth it. The next issue fast-forwards again, to twenty years later, and David is now the President and has united most of the world's countries into a utopian One World Government. And he's also planning the genocide of the Chinese because they refused to join. Okay, now he has to die. Fortunately the whole thing turns out to be an illusion, courtesy of Dani Moonstar, in an effort to convince him to leave the block in.
    • Another X-Men example in one of X-23's creators, Dr. Xander Rice: He forces Dr. Kinney to carry Laura's fetus to term by refusing to allow her to search for another host (so it's do it, or let the embryo die), shoves the girl into a radiation chamber at the age of seven to forcibly jump-start her healing factor by nearly killing her with radiation poisoning (when it's implied he could have gotten the same results with a "safer" dosage. Or just allowed her to manifest naturally), denies her anasthesia when he surgically removes her claws several days later to coat them in adamantium, uses Cold-Blooded Torture to condition her to the trigger scent, puts her in the "care" of an Ax-Crazy psychopath, treats her as an animal and subjects her to years of physical and emotional abuse, tries to kill her at one point by abandoning her on a mission, and oh yeah, sends her to kill the man who practically raised him from a toddler, and the man's wife and son (who is actually his son from an affair with the woman). Rice doesn't so much jump off the slippery slope as take to it in a rocket sled. And then keep on going.
  • The majority of heroes who meet The Punisher in the Marvel Universe are usually technical pacifists, so most of them think that this Anti-Hero has jumped off and is now gaily frolicking at the bottom. In fact, any Anti-Hero who lives in a verse that's on the idealistic side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism could be said to have jumped, at least from an in-universe perspective.
    • Averted sometimes when he doesn't kill (for various reasons, mainly when having to team with the majority of the protagonists), and averted in his MAX series where to date things have been almost entirely on the cynical side and... Then again, arguably he's not treated that nicely there either, it's just that his targets are apparently much, much worse, and the reason that he keeps a select few alive? Well...
      • Garth Ennis admitted that his sheer anger regarding human trafficking and sex slavery led to the infamous arc "The Slavers," which has Frank Castle graphically disembowel a slaver, throw his sister face first into a window repeatedly until the shatterproof window breaks off from the frame, and then set their father on fire... even after Frank admits that this won't make a big difference. The end of the arc is a brutal reality check on the fact that he has not made a dent in human trafficking, and the victims of it are forever scarred by the experience no matter what justice he provided.
      • In the miniseries Born it's pretty much stated the Punisher is a sociopath who's addicted to killing, and that if it wasn't criminals it would just be someone else. It is also sort of ambiguous as to whether he sold his soul to some sort of demonic entity, or was just going increasingly insane.
  • Discussed in Robin when Robin and Spoiler foiled a convenience store robbery and Stephanie took a soda. Tim assumes she's going to pay for it, while she explains that she's earned it as they saved the whole store. She grudgingly puts down some money when Tim asks what prevents her from bending all the rules if she's willing to steal. Scans Daily commented on the scene with:
    "It just starts with stealing a soda after saving the store... next thing you know, you're hacking up people and putting them in your freezer!"
    • In the final issues of Robin Stephanie worries Tim is about to jump off the slippery slope when he uses Scarecrow's fear toxin to neutralize the beginnings of a gang war. She then straight up accuses him of doing so in Red Robin when she learns he was leading a portion of the League of Assassins for a while. He doesn't argue, though by the time she learns of this he'd already decided he was going to back away from making such compromises with his own morality.
  • Skull Island: The Birth of Kong: Amongst the expedition to Skull Island, Riccio seems a little off from the start, and as the story and his own Sanity Slippage progress it becomes no surprise that he's likely going to become the main human threat to the cast. But still, he firmly crosses the line when he shoots down the expedition's Osprey, essentially murdering Cejudo in the process.
  • In Star Wars: Legacy, Emperor Roan Fel is willing to use Sith powers to get his Empire back. He finally slips to the dark side when he plans to use a bioweapon on Coruscant to wipe out the Sith, unbeknown to him they are immune to it, but it will kill his allies and billions of lives still on the planet.
  • Superman:
    • It's arguable how far down the slope he already was, but the arc Superman: Ending Battle is this for '90s Anti-Hero Manchester Black. Initially, Black managed to just hover on the line between Unscrupulous Hero and Nominal Hero, but, after he learns Superman's secret identity, he leaps across the Moral Event Horizon; telepathically takes control of the supervillains (literally, all the supervillains) to attack anyone who's ever had any contact with Clark Kent, mind rapes the rest of the Elite (the only people who give a damn about him), and finally tortures and pretends to kill Lois Lane, all as part of a massive Thanatos Gambit to destroy Superman by goading him into breaking the One Rule pointlessly. When Superman refuses, Black suffers a major Heel Realization and telekinetically blows his own brains out.
    • In Superman Annual 3 in the Armageddon 2001 crossover, Superman declared war on all nuclear weapons. At first, he just took away all nuclear weapons. Then, he started to steal from rich countries to give to the poor countries. Over the course of ten years, he became more intense and actually started sinking submarines that has nuclear weapons on them. When people started to die (accidentally), everyone started to get worried that Superman has gone too far. So, Batman decided that he had to kill Superman with the kryptonite ring.

    Fan Works 
  • Arrow: Rebirth: Felicity Smoak did a lot of morally ambiguous and outright selfish things in the previous timeline, but the former were almost always for good causes so her loved ones were more willing to ignore the latter. Then she plots to murder Laurel (who doesn't even know her in this timeline) just to get Oliver back, chucking out any idea of moral ambiguity out the window and cementing her as a villain. When Oliver finds out what she was up to after she died, he's genuinely shocked, and it makes him wonder if he ever really knew her in the first place.
  • Be All My Sins has Natalie, a sweet innocent girl thrust into the grim darkness of the 41st Millennium. She immediately offers her devotion to Slaanesh in order to live, then has to undertake a human sacrifice to prove her commitment, and from there it's pretty much a head-first dive into drugs, cannibalism, dark rituals, and murder.
  • The Human Liberation Front, usually the go-to anti-pony La Résistance in TCB stories, went through this in The Conversion Bureau: The Other Side of the Spectrum. They first started off as a simple support group for people whose friends and family members had become newfoals, but it quickly attracted many unsavory characters when the war began and went further off the deep end, going from killing new foals to eventually killing all ponies on suspicion of them being Equestrian spies. Moreover, they also show a distinct lack of regard for civilian casualties, and at some point, it became ordinary for them to post videos of themselves torturing ponies online while expecting gratitude for their horrible actions. Then they went after PHL ponies, who, by the way, are the ultimate defectors from decadence in the story, and only want to help humanity overthrow Celestia. The last straw came either when they tried to murder Ambassador Lyra Heartstrings (who had tried to reach out to them for aid), or the horrific crimes that they perpetrated on a PHL pony nurse. They're also a group of Right Wing Militia Fanatics of the highest order, who are considered to be downright dangerous, ineffectual, and even suicidal, and their rabid anti-pony stance does way more harm than good.
  • Sasuke in Eroninja goes from "Kill my brother to avenge my clan" to "Kill the ones who "made" my brother kill my clan"note  to "destroy the current shinobi system and kill people close to Naruto because it'll hurt him". Notably, Sakura gives up on Sasuke much sooner than Naruto but everyone (Naruto included) consider Sasuke past the Moral Event Horizon when he tries to kill his own mother.
  • Guardians, Wizards, and Kung-Fu Fighters: The first time Nerissa killed someone (namely Yua), she was horrified by it. To cope, she threw herself into studying magic and becoming more controlling, eventually becoming a Knight Templar.
  • In the The Dresden Fillies story False Masks, the plot is that the Order Triune, an ancient society have mistaken Harry Dresden to be their ancient foe, resurrected after 1200 years, and try to kill him. They attempt to poison him, and then kidnap the ponies close to him, like Twilight. When their covert efforts fail, they take a direct approach. Summon HE WHO WALKS BEHIND (TWICE) to kill him, ignoring all the ponies around him that could have also died. And when that fails, they were ready to go through the Mane 6 and the princesses to kill him and would have done so, had they not been sacrificed themselves to summon a demon. And it turns out that Obsidian never was resurrected, so they had committed all these crimes for nothing.
  • Harry's Madness: Harry Potter goes insane in Fifth Year and begins murdering all his real and perceived enemies, turning the DA into his dark legions of global conquest.
  • I Will Not Bow series: Noboru starts out as a Dirty Coward who abandons Alice and Mai to save his own skin, but he's not exactly evil at first. Come Blazing Revolution, he, out of jealousy that Alice chose Ren over him, throws all moral concerns out the window, making a doctored video involving a fight with Laughing Coffin in an attempt to frame Kirito and Ren for murder, and outright assaulting Alice in real life while forcing her to grovel before him to prevent him from posting another video to completely ruin their reputation.
  • Mass Effect: Human Revolution's version of Toombs. It was one thing when he was hunting the Illuminati scientists who conducted unethical experiments on him, but he lost any moral high ground when he started taking hostages with intent to kill in order to force out into the open the one who rescued the final scientist.

  • Null:
    • Blake starts off as a White Fang terrorist who's clearly becoming increasingly ambivalent about the lengths that the organization has sunk to. But in the process of defecting, she goes out of her way to abandon Jaune — a traumatized boy who's only sticking with the Fang to help find his family, and is constantly forced on the run from the Government Conspiracy who experimented on him as a wanted criminal — in the middle of a populated city, with Jaune speculating that she did this hoping he would get captured and she'd be absolved by the authorities for feeding them a wanted criminal.
    • Jaune is steadily becoming more and more used to killing people as the fic goes on, but after his mother is killed because of Penny and Team RWBY's interference at the docks, he completely snaps. Deciding that he might as well be the monster that the world thinks he is if trying to avoid harming RWBY got his mother killed, Jaune proceeds to burn Weiss, savagely maims Yang, and then tries to shoot Ruby dead in front of Yang to make the latter understand what they took from him. Even Torchwick is horrified at this.

  • Ho-oh from Poké Wars wants Pokémon-kind to live in a utopia and he limits his targets to humans only and tries to limit the damage he causes. He soon starts engaging in things like ordering the wanton killing of Pokémon contrary to his ideals, utterly ruining the environment and not giving a damn about it, and generally being a filthy hypocrite.
  • Recklessness (Miraculous Ladybug): Alya decides that the fastest way to deal with Hawkmoth is to combine the Ladybug Earrings and Black Cat Ring and make a reality-rewriting Wish to learn his Secret Identity. While she initially plans to 'just' go behind Marinette's back and steal the Miraculi, she swiftly proves willing to rationalize away anything she does to achieve her goal, reasoning that it won't matter once she rewrites reality... and thus, has absolutely no reaction to getting Adrien akumatized and Marinette killed, even dismissing others' horrified reactions to this as 'needlessly dramatic'. This Lack of Empathy illustrates that she absolutely deserves the Laser-Guided Karma that results from her ill-considered Wish.
  • Allysion from Sonic X: Dark Chaos is an incarnation of this trope, at least according to the perspective of Jesus. Originally, she simply tolerated Angel excesses while focusing entirely on the defeat of Maledict. By the time of Dark Chaos, she's turned into a megalomaniac Blood Knight who channels God Is Evil and fully endorses rape and genocide simply to glorify herself, making her just as evil as Maledict if not even worse.
  • In Spring Trapped this is revealed to have been the case with Springtrap. He started off as a normal night guard at Fazbear Entertainment... until Golden Freddy started to attack him at night. Short on sleep and terrified for both his own and the customers' safety, he looked into the occult for solutions, eventually turning to blood sacrifices. The chickens he used worked... but slowly became less effective, so he used a child sacrifice, which gave him the Puppet to deal with. His job from then on became a downward spiral of more human sacrifices to keep the animatronics at bay and accumulating more and more haunted robots out for his blood, until he finally gave up, framed another employee for his crimes, and left his mess for Jeremy to deal with. Add in 30 years of being trapped in a saferoom after being messily killed by the Spring Bonnie suit, and you get the Springtrap of the third game- outright murderous with no ulteriour motive.
  • Summer Days and Evening Flames: Sergeant Sherry's logic for starting a gang war is sound, in a twisted sense, as it eliminated all the major players in the Farrington crime circuit. However, she somersaults off the ledge when she's about to be arrested for the indirect murder of dozens of city guards, where she shows little remorse and violently escapes. Sherry made a perfect landing when she pulls all of her connections to get Iron removed from his post and threatens him and his family if he pursues her.

    Films — Animated 
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games: Human Twilight, after transforming into Midnight Sparkle goes from a well-meaning but somewhat reckless investigator of magic to raging she-demon that tries ripping apart her own world to get to Equestria so she can study magic.
  • Frozen: In A Frozen Heart, a Tie-In Novel to the movie, once Hans gets his first taste of real power from controlling Arendelle in Elsa's absence, it goes right to his head and clouds his judgment, driving him to start dehumanizing everyone else, manipulate others and be desperate to cling onto power at all costs in order to escape his father's wrath and become king of Arendelle.
  • Narrowly averted in Big Hero 6 when Hiro attempts to use Baymax to kill Yokai/Robert Callaghan, but both his team and Baymax bring him back to his senses before he could kill him.
  • Kung Fu Panda 2: The introduction shows Lord Shen to be experimenting with a more destructive side of fireworks, which isn't downright evil in itself .... until he ordered the genocide of the pandas.
  • In Superman vs. the Elite, '90s Anti-Hero group The Elite start out as Well Intentioned Extremists providing valid counterpoints to Superman's Thou Shalt Not Kill philosophy. However, they quickly escalate from killing supervillains and terrorists to murdering the leadership of entire countries, trying to do the same to Superman for getting in their way, and threatening to extend their wrath to the rest of the Justice League of America. And in the comics, The Leader Manchester Black just gets worse from there.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • When The Batman (2022) gets on the trail of a mysterious serial killer of the city's officials who calls himself Riddler, and the revelations of the supposed victims' crimes are enough to make Batman second-guess himself, it appears that this will be the case with the Riddler and that he slowly loses contact with reality over who is to blame for the state of the city when he puts civilian lives in danger with an out-of-control-car and attempts to murder Bruce with a bomb for his father's crimes. It then turns out zig-zagged as the final part of his plan doesn't so much come to light but proves to have been there all along: flooding Gotham City and gunning down the survivors, leaving no doubt that he sees every single person in the city as just as guilty as the sell-outs and the mafia and will not tell them apart. Thus he was over the slippery line to begin with, but the way that his deeds are gradually presented still brings into question the righteousness of his starting point.
  • Star Wars:
    • Yoda warns of the danger of The Dark Side, giving a slippery slope argument on how it works: "Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate... leads to suffering." However, it is exceedingly rare for somebody to not simply skip directly to hate and Dark Side in the EU.
    • Anakin Skywalker from the prequels. Specifically, note how quickly he goes from agonizing over his role in Mace Windu's death to killing younglings without a problem. Anakin finally slips so far that his own wife, Padmé Amidala, loses the will to live and eventually dies, and Obi-Wan Kenobi is forced to duel him, which ends gruesomely. In order to keep Anakin alive, Emperor Palpatine — a.k.a. Darth Sidious — subjects him to painful body reconstruction. The final push to the Dark Side comes from Palpatine himself: when Anakin asks if Padmé is still alive, the Emperor tells him that, in his anger, he killed her. In pure disbelief of this, Anakin's true power flares up, and he screams out in despair, fully overtaken with pain and hate, completing his transformation into Darth Vader. What was especially loathsome of him was that, rather than desiring everyone's well-being, his honest desire for good was corrupted into infatuation and affection (he wanted to be together with her, alive, rather than desiring what's best for everyone); a desire to be with her for the sake of his pride; to feel good about himself for being able to keep the people he knows personally from dying (although, sadly for him, Palpatine never had any concern for his wife, to begin with).
  • Amanda Young from the Saw series makes Jigsaw look downright merciful by the third movie. Of course, this was the fault of Jigsaw himself, who made her another murderer in an attempt to "help her", much to his shame when he realizes this. It didn't help that Jigsaw's other major apprentice in the first seven films, Mark Hoffman, was already far down the slope too, tugging on Amanda's leg at the time.
  • Magnum Force has Dirty Harry dealing with cops who have been executing guilty criminals who escaped justice due to technicalities. They murdered Harry's unstable friend, Officer Charlie McCoy, simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, making them obviously bad guys even in a franchise glorifying Cowboy Cops.
  • Crimson Tide is often noted as quite admirably morally complex for a Jerry Bruckheimer film, with Gene Hackman's character given quite a bit of sympathy in wanting to launch the missiles. At least until the ending, when he makes a thinly veiled racist comment to Denzel Washington, which Washington promptly reverses on him.
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Koba begins the film as Caesar's closest friend and Blue Eyes's honorary uncle. Once humans are rediscovered and Caesar tries to make peace with them, he becomes paranoid. Spying on the humans and discovering an armory, Koba furiously berates Caesar leading to a fight between the two and destroying his loyalty. Koba then betrays Caesar by shooting him, framing the humans in the process, and after taking over the human settlement with human casualties, orders the humans rounded up, and when Ash refuses his orders to kill unarmed humans, he kills Ash and has any remaining Caesar loyalists imprisoned.
  • The Dark Knight, Harvey Dent didn't so much "jump off" as much as get kicked a little push from The Joker. This one ends up declaring that chance is the only fair and unbiased judge in the world and decides to force this upon those that he blames for the death of his fiance and his disfigurement which includes the dirty cops who put them in that situation and crime boss Maroni who had them follow the Joker's orders. The thing is he decides to also include in his new twisted worldview Gordon and his family for failing them, despite the fact that Jim really did the best he could.
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: Sweeney Todd goes from wanting to just get revenge on two specific people to randomly murdering people off the streets who won't be missed and having them baked into pies about halfway through the movie (same thing goes for the stage version as well).
  • Major König in Enemy at the Gates might be a Punch-Clock Villain or a Worthy Opponent for most of the movie. He even shows a veiled contempt for brutal goons who beat up prisoners. And then he hangs a little kid.
  • In Super, Rainn Wilson's character decides to fight crime. This begins with trying to stop drug dealers but turns into him brutally beating people with a pipe wrench (for cutting in line at the movie theatre).
  • A German Film Stahlnetz: PSI begins with two brothers kidnapping a rich girl actually she is not... for ransom. They reason a girl is a Spoiled Brat anyway and a few days in captivity won't hurt - and for her family, a million is only pocket money, so it's not really bad. But then the younger brother decides that it is better to leave the girl to die, and when the other brother objects, beats him up, and locks him together with the girl to die.
  • Some Guy Who Kills People: The killer kills a Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up who tortured his best friend Ken in high school and is continuing to bully him as an adult. He kills several other people who bullied Ken and are still cruel as adults while enjoying each death even more than the last. By the end of the movie, he has his and Ken's Mean Boss (although not too mean) tied up in a closet to torture and is reluctantly prepared to kill Ken's daughter so she can't testify against him.
  • In The Star Chamber, the turning point comes, if not before, when Hardin and the rest go vigilante in order to pursue justice as they see it.
  • In Ghostbusters (1984), EPA agent Walter Peck had a point that the Ghostbusters' operations needed some inspection, especially considering Egon was getting worried about the abnormal amount of spectral energy they are containing in their protection grid. However, he had the wrong attitude as he acted all important and showed his control-freak nature. When Peck later vindictively barges into the business with a court order and imperiously orders the grid shutdown despite the warnings of the Busters and the reservations of the accompanying utility worker, he is shown to be totally unreasonable and completely in the wrong. And he goes beyond his inspecting duties showing how petty his motivations are and how the most important thing for him is throwing his weight around. If anything it was he who pointed out it could be dangerous and therefore had no business toying with it. The fact that Peck then orders the Busters arrested for an explosion he himself clearly was responsible for makes him truly despicable.
  • Armored: Mike Cochrane, to the max, as observed by Tyler throughout the course of the plan going awry. Mike finding the opportunity to pull a $42 million heist irresistible to the point he had to pull Tyler in to get the necessary numbers for it was the first sign to Ty that things were going too far. Not abandoning ship (or letting Ty do so) once Baines broke their "nobody gets hurt" promise let Ty know that he couldn't trust Mike. From there, Mike would repeatedly hatch every plan in the book to try to get out with the money anyway as well as kill Ty and deputy Jake Echkehart to keep him from talking. This winds up forcing Palmer to kill first Dobbs, then himself, because of their consciences, and gets Quinn and Baines killed when Tyler decides to blow up the money in his car and they get caught in the blast. Finally, the fiasco ends... with Mike's soul so far gone that even with all the money burned and all his conspirators dead, he tries to viciously run over and kill his own godson with the armored truck rather than admit this whole thing went a million degrees wrong.
  • Juice: Bishop was originally just a Chaotic Neutral who was tired of constantly being harassed, who eventually loses it as he kills a store owner, his best friend, and nearly kills one of his other closest friends.
  • The Godfather: At first Michael Corleone got involved in the Mob War simply because he wanted to protect his father from a rival faction. He tried to get out of it but it was too late, after he actively participated there was no way out. That's why it could still be argued that ordering all the executions of those rival mobsters was in a way self-defense since they showed clear intent to kill him and it was a matter of who would get whom first. However, sending his assassins to also kill casino owner Moe Greene went clearly beyond that, as he posed no threat to him and only did it because he refused to sell him his casino. This is the part where it becomes obvious that Michael has fully embraced the life of a crime boss and has nothing else to live for.
  • Dogma: Bartleby and Loki are angels, exiled to Wisconsin. After the Tenth Plague, Bartleby convinced Loki to abandon his post as the angel of death. Dogma is about their ploy to get back into Heaven, through a loophole in Catholic rules. Throughout the movie, Bartleby seems to be the sane man to murder-happy Loki. But when they find out that the Last Scion (distant grand-niece of Jesus) has been dispatched to kill the two of them, Bartleby snaps. He goes directly from complacent in the antics of his empathy-lacking partner, to murdering clergymen and innocents indiscriminately because he's bothered about humanity being favored.
  • Adam starts This Is Your Death with noble—if morally dubious—aims: as a means of providing meaning to the deaths of those who wish to commit suicide, and to make the audience re-evaluate what their life actually means, with added goal of shocking television out of its complacency. However, he quickly capitulates to the changes the network forces on him in order to keep the show on air; changes that makes he programme more of a game show, thereby diluting his original message. As the show becomes more popular, he is seduced by the fame and wealth it brings him. However, he jumps off the slope when he murders a woman who changes her mind part way through her suicide—despite the fact contestants are supposed to be able to pull out at any time—because her living would damage the ratings and go against the 'point' he believes he is making.
  • Body: After the girls think they have killed Arthur, Cali proposes framing Arthur for attempted rape and claiming they killed him in self-defence. However, when Arthur turns out to be Not Quite Dead, she proposes waiting for him to die and then continuing with the original plan rather than calling for an ambulance. And when he continues to linger, she decides to murder him over Holly and Mel's objections: somehow believing that all three actions are morally equivalent.
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe had already established Scarlet Witch as not quite good in the heroing business following her Heel–Face Turn. But Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness takes the ending of WandaVision, where Wanda lost her family created out of magic and left with a Tome of Eldritch Lore, and makes her corrupted by the book's dark magic and obsessed with recovering her sons, which she would do by draining the powers and life of Dimensional Traveler America Chavez. And she makes it pretty clear that no one will keep her from America by attacking the whole of Kamar-Taj's sorcerers.

  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • Fëanor in The Silmarillion starts out arrogant and slightly paranoid. Then Morgoth is released, and Fëanor starts doing things like drawing a sword on his half-brother, abandoning said half-brother to cross the Helcaraxë, and swearing/making his sons swear an oath to reclaim the Silmarils whatever the cost. This has nothing to do with Morgoth's corruption of the Elves, since Fëanor never trusted him as far as he could throw him; he does this all on his own.
    • In The Lord of the Rings, Galadriel and Gandalf refuse the One Ring for fear of this.
    • Considering that Sauron’s own backstory (that Tolkien wrote for his own notes and never planned to publish) makes him a major case of this too, Gandalf and Galadriel have a point. Namely, Sauron was originally one of the faithful Maiar who entered the world in order to make it beautiful and prepare it for habitation by Elves and Men, so when Morgoth ruined it, Sauron was among those who strove to fix it. But since he disagreed with others on how to do so, he eventually came to believe he knew better than the Valar — the Lords of the West and direct viceroys of God Himself — and this disobedience eventually led Sauron to believe that Morgoth wasn’t so bad (presumably because of their common antagonist) and actually join him, after which all the goodness in him evaporated.
  • Oh dear lord Jacen in Legacy of the Force. In the first book, he has a vision that the galaxy will fall into chaos and he will end up killing his mentor Luke Skywalker unless he listens to the Villain of the books, and is forced to kill one of his allies who refuses to listen to Jacen's reasoning. Cut to book two when he tortures a prisoner because she knows about a plot to kill his parents and accidentally kills her. Cut then to book three where it is he who is trying to kill his parents because "My parents are terrorist scum, and that is why I have to show no mercy towards them." This might be a clever showcasing of exactly how "Falling to the Dark Side" works - turning the most justifiable cause into For the Evulz-Obviously Evil.
  • In Damon Knight's short story "The Analogues", a scientist invents a procedure to create a "better conscience" in the form of hallucinations that prevent you from committing crimes. This raises a lot of questions about the morality of removing free choice, but then it turns out the scientist plans to use it to take over the world, and has already used it on the protagonist to prevent him from stopping the plot.
  • In The Dresden Files, the White Council is extremely strict with their 7 Laws of Wizardry. First violation means an instant beheading unless a wizard on the Council bets their life they can reform the wizard, except in rare cases of self-defense (as in it's rare that they admit it was a case of self-defense). This is because Black Magic is almost always a slippery slope.
    • In Changes, Harry- after surviving a brutal Trauma Conga Line- decides that he will do anything to save his daughter and that the ends justify the means. He ends up making a Deal with the Devil, and personally considers himself evil from that point on. Once his daughter is safe, he commits suicide, not wanting to live if it means being the Winter Knight. But that only makes things worse. He eventually climbs back up the slope when Archangel Uriel tells him that just because Mab owns his loyalty doesn't mean she also owns his soul and he still has free will.
  • King Erius in Lynn Flewelling's Tamir trilogy starts by taking the throne from his insane mother, who was executing people left and right, in defiance of the divine edict that for no apparent reason essentially promises Bad Things if a man ever rules the country. Bad Things happen. You could debate whether or not he is really to blame for all that, but then he proceeds to institute sexist practices and start killing off his all-female relatives.
  • Ho boy, does this ever happen in the eleventh book of Everworld to Senna Wales. K.A. "Ambitious, intelligent, controlling, Visionary Villain with a taste for power" into "batshit insane, power-mad, Genre Blind Bad Boss Evil Overlord."
  • In Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, this trope in a nutshell is the Backstory of the Big Bad, the Sitha prince Ineluki. Once a purely heroic figure, his ambition and willpower darkened when the Sithi's lands were invaded by savage humans. Dismayed by his people's despair in the face of their approaching doom, he delved into These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know and constructed a weapon so terrible that his father the king insisted he destroy it. Maddened by this rejection and by his torments, Ineluki murdered his father and took the crown, leading a final, futile resistance against the humans that ended in his death via Dangerous Forbidden Technique. It is deeply unfortunate for the world of Osten Ard that he did not stay dead.
  • Rachel from Animorphs spends three years trying not to fall into this as her Blood Knight tendencies slowly but surely turn her into the team's Token Evil Teammate. She has high points and low points, but generally she manages to keep it together until the events of The Return and the subsequent unmasking of the Animorphs by the Yeerks. Once she's abandoned the facade of ordinary life entirely what little restraint she had left quickly follows, and one of the last books in the series, The Sacrifice, consists of her mostly just kicking one dog after another. Realizing she's fallen into this, she agrees to a suicide mission at the end, knowing she could never fit into normal society again.
    • David is an example too. Breaking into a hotel room because the alternative is sitting in a barn? That's entirely forgivable. A few chapters later, he's surrendering to the enemy, assaulting the Animorphs, and worse.
  • The Scholomance: This is one of several effects of Galadriel Higgins's natural affinity for apocalyptic spells. If she ever uses even the slightest amount of malia, even at the kill-bugs-and-rot-wood level that any other mage could use without difficulty, she'll pretty much become a full-on cackling Evil Sorceror on the spot. And on top of that, her affinity also means that if she ever tries to cast a spell without having enough mana ready to hand, her magic will automatically turn to malia to make up the difference without her even having a choice in the matter.
  • Ship Core has the actions of Commodore Brigit of the Corporate Systems. Thanks to the actions of Intelligence Agent Fallon and Captain Rolks Walker, he has the Pretext for War to march on NU Crateris, because the colony Dedia IV is guilty of breaking the Octis accords, trying to subjugate the native sentient race known as Rexxor, and intentionally hiding the fact that the Rexxor queens are sapient. Captain Walker himself is guilty of instigating the conflict on Dedia IV by intentionally dumping a colony of millions of refugees right atop a Rexxor nest, and it's implied Fallon egged him on. Commodore Brigit proceeds to lead his fleet through 92 Pegasi, en route to NU Crateris and orders Ackman station to surrender, or be destroyed, and then secures the station with 2 cruisers, a destroyer, and some frigates, before taking the rest of his fleet to NU Crateris. Tactically, it's a valid move, but it's legally questionable. The fleet left behind in 92 Pegasi then goes after orbital refinery A-3123Y, run by the protagonists, and try to seize the entire facility, on the false pretext that it's an illegal mining operation, even attacking after being provided evidence that this premise is false. When this fleet loses the fight, one of the escaping survivors goes and whines to Brigit. His response is to go all genocidal mad-man and try to kill everyone in NU Crateris, even ordering the ships he's got blockading the jump points to attack approaching unarmed civilian freighters who just want to get out of the way of the firefight.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Theon was a jerk, but a pretty tame one by the standards of the series. However, after taking over Winterfell and losing his hostages, he allows Reek to kill innocent people in a cover-up, including two children.
  • The Neverending Story: Bastian becomes an evil psychopath toward the end of the book due to Xayide's manipulation, but snaps out of it, leading to a breakdown.
  • The Burnt Orange Heresy: James Figueras starts off as merely a pretentious Jerkass who dreams of becoming a famous art critic. His efforts to achieve this goal lead to him resorting to burglary, arson, and finally murder.
  • Wearing the Cape: The villain of the first book originality went back in time to Set Right What Once Was Wrong by killing one terrorist. When that didn't change history, he killed that man's lieutenants, and then government officials who didn't stop him, and then became frustrated and desperate enough to engage in terrorist bombings himself and kill thousands.


    Tabletop Games 
  • World of Darkness has a mechanic for this: Morality degradation. Every type of playable creature has some form of a Karma Meter that goes from 0 to 10, although some are stranger than others (Werewolves have to balance their opposing natures, so 5 Harmony is the ideal and breaking points get you to extremes, Demons' Cover measures how well they hide from the God-Machine, Changelings' Clarity doubles as a Sanity Meter, and so on). 10 is Incorruptible Pure Pureness, 7 is assumed to be the normal starting point, and at 0 your character becomes unplayable (Humans become sociopaths, Vampires become mindless monsters, Changelings completely detach from reality, et cetera). Commit some act that a person at your level of morality would view as 'bad' makes you roll for Degradation, and if you fail the roll you lose a point, and possibly gain a derangement. While each level down takes greater and greater sins (falling from 1 to 0 requires serious atrocities), as your morality gets lower and lower, you stop caring about the harm you're causing, which can make it easier for you to do worse and worse things.
  • Over in the fangame Genius: The Transgression, Genii have an alternate way of going off the slope- failing Unmada checks. Fail one check, and you're an Unmada, a genius who has lost their connection to real science and thinks that their Wonders are the way the world really works. While not necessarily evil, Unmada are quite dangerous. Unmada can take Unmada checks of their own, and if they fail that, they become Illuminated, just the same as if they had fully bottomed out their Obligation. It's actually much more common for Genii to become Illuminated in this way than by Obligation bottoming.
  • Chaos in Warhammer 40,000 is grease on the Slippery Slope. As Chaos is a sentient form of The Dark Side by way of The Corruption, this trope becomes rather understandable.
    • The entire theme of the Alpha Legion in 'Legion'. They are a secretive legion who achieve victory through the best means necessary, even if it means the deaths of hundreds of Guardsmen but are still loyal to the Emperor. However, at the end of the book, they join the forces of Chaos, believing it's what the Emperor would want. Though it is possible they only wanted it to look like they had jumped off the slope so that they could manipulate Horus into losing the war.
    • Tau as well, when one considers that it is for the greater good for sterilization policies, and special "helmets" for their bug allies.
    • The Inquisition contains two major factions: Puritans and Radicals. Puritans are the standard "burn the planet to ashes if there's a hint of Chaos on it" guys, while Radicals are the ones willing to use chaos against itself (i.e., get a guy possessed by a demon so he can use stupidly powerful magic or wield possessed weapons). Strangely, Radicals tend to be older than Puritans, it's implied seeing a lifetime of fighting against Chaos have so little effect they start using The Dark Side. Pretty much all of them end up falling to Chaos anyway.
  • Exalted: averted. Pledging yourself as an Abyssal or Infernal Exalt might seem like this trope, since it requires pledging loyalty to the Deathlords or Yozis, respectively. However, it's entirely possible (if not somewhat difficult) to go renegade and do your own thing, if you decide that being a Card-Carrying Villain is for suckers.
    • Then there's the demons, dead and raksha themselves, who tend to be less evil and more along the lines of a Blue-and-Orange Morality. Demon summoning is a fairly common practice for everything from construction to medicine to entertainment, some places in Creation have regular interactions with the denizens of the Underworld, and The Fair Folk makes great trade partners because of their ability to buy and sell immaterial concepts (like dreams and emotions).
    • Played straight with the akuma, who allow themselves to be completely remade as agents of the Yozis in exchange for power. However, given the circumstances that lead many to become akuma, they tend to be a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds.

  • Transformers:
    • Some iterations have the Decepticons starting out with a legitimate grievance, only to gradually lose their grip on it and become full-time Robot Assholes from Space. Both The Transformers (IDW) and Transformers: Prime have Megatron as a rebellious miner whose vengeance twisted back on him and turned him into the mirror image of the corrupt Cybertronian system he fought to overthrow, for example.
    • In some continuities, The Fallen starts out as doing what he considers to be necessary For the Greater Good of the Thirteen as they help establish Cybertron's civilization. However, a dispute that leads to a civil war among the leaders eventually results in him killing his lover Solus Prime (sometimes accidentally, sometimes not) before abandoning their covenant. Sometimes this leads to him establishing the Decepticons, other times in him joining Unicron and becoming his herald.

  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Paladin Miko Miyazaki starts out as a narrow-minded, Holier Than Thou Knight Templar who the titular Order despise and even her own comrades tend to look for excuses to send her off on missions to distant lands that keep her out of town for long periods. Then she overhears Lord Shojo talking to Roy and Belkar about their plans to do the dirty work behind the paladins' backs, ignores his perfectly good arguments about why he had to do it, declares him guilty of treason and executes him on the spot. She's IMMEDIATELY stripped of her powers by the gods for murdering an unarmed octogenarian and goes into a psychotic breakdown when she refuses to accept that she could have been wrong.
    • Vaarsuvius took a jump, too. While empowered by a Deal with the Devil they cast an Epic Spell that killed a whole lot of black dragons and beings related to black dragons. Driven further by commentary of providers of the deal that the best way to get a good person to do horrible things is to convince them that they aren't responsible for their own actions. However, later when they learn the full extent of what they did, they themselves acknowledge it as an atrocity that no amount of Pay Evil unto Evil justifies, and start seeking redemption.
  • Wanda from Erfworld. Ever since she attuned to the Arkenpliers, she has become more and more sadistic and cruel, to the point that, when the team's Foolamancer is injured and unconscious, she says they should kill and zombify him instead of healing him, simply to save on resources.
    • It ends up being subverted in that Jack knew something that Parson really needed to know, but Jack was contractually obligated not to tell anyone for the rest of his life.
  • The inspector in Chisuji. First, he decided to take justice into his own hands against the criminal who killed his wife and put his daughter in a coma; then he saw the killer's girlfriend holding said daughter's plush toy, and... snapped.
  • Eridan in Homestuck was introduced as a Butt-Monkey Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain Jerk with a Heart of Gold, but some of his later appearances have shown that he pulled a Face–Heel Turn and plans to ally with the Big Bad, then proceeds to slaughter his teammates and destroys the one thing that could have saved his people, which he was trying to protect.
  • Vampire Cheerleaders: At the beginning of the comic, Heather is seemingly sweet and somewhat naive, until she's initiated into the Bakerstown High cheerleading team, where she chose to become a vampire. At that point, she reveals her true colors, as her first order of business was to use her newfound powers to turn on her parents and, under Lori's instruction, made them her thralls. They spend the remainder of the story as her mindless slaves.
  • ReBoot: Code of Honor: In the original series, Turbo was a Reasonable Authority Figure and saved Mainframe from destruction by delaying the detonation of the bomb the Guardians planted on Mouse. Here, Turbo is a straight-up Knight Templar, berating Bob for the latter's beliefs in reformatting viruses instead of outright deleting them, blaming that for the Viral War getting as bad as it did. Turbo also complains about the Guardians being Obstructive Bureaucrats, despite them not really being portrayed as such in the original series.

    Web Original 
  • In the Dream SMP roleplay, Dream could, at least initially, be argued to be a Well-Intentioned Extremist who believes he's doing the right thing. However, over the course of the SMP, his methods become more and more extreme, with Season 2 being the jumping-off point as he abuses Tommy to the point of attempted suicide, destroys L'Manberg permanently by having it nuked to bedrock, commissions the construction of a nigh-inescapable Hellhole Prison to hold dissenters from his rule, and plans to kill Tubbo and imprison Tommy in the aforementioned prison.
  • Red vs. Blue: In the Recollection and Project Freelancer arcs, Malcolm Hargrove, the Chairman of the UNSC's Oversight Sub-Committee, is presented as a morally ambiguous figure and the closest thing to a Big Good that the series has. He shuts down Project Freelancer and attempts to arrest its Director for engaging in illegal, unethical, and highly dangerous experiments involving A.I., but it's implied that his motives are insincere and that he's only in it to increase his own power. Hargrove arrests Agent Washington for assisting in the theft of the Epsilon A.I. unit but promises the agent's freedom when Wash says that he can recover it, but Hargrove also turns a blind eye to Wash's unsavory methods. Hargrove attempts to arrest the Reds and Blues when they steal the Epsilon unit again, but he gives everyone — including Agent Washington — a full pardon when they bring down the Director for good. In the Chorus Trilogy, Hargrove is revealed to be a Corrupt Corporate Executive who ignited the civil war on Chorus, orchestrated countless deaths — including some of his own personnel — kept trophies of the Director's downfall — including the gun that killed him, and Epsilon-Tex's head — and was willing and fully prepared to commit genocide on a planetary scale.
  • RWBY:
    • After Volume 3, General Ironwood becomes increasingly unstable and paranoid, taking ever-more authoritarian measures in the name of the greater good. He admits his willingness to do anything to stop the Big Bad. This leaves the heroes spending as much time worrying about him going to too far as they are about the Big Bad and her subordinates. He snaps upon having his PTSD triggered by Cinder leaving a black queen piece in his office and discovering that Salem is en route with an army. He decides to abandon Mantle to the Grimm, declare martial law and either arresting or shooting anyone who disagrees with his decisions; eventually, he even threatens to nuke Mantle in pursuit of his goals.
    • Volume 6 reveals that the Big Bad was isolated and imprisoned from birth until rescued by a legendary hero with whom she found love until his death from sickness. For trying to manipulate the gods into resurrecting him, she is punished with Complete Immortality, triggering her descent into villainy. After turning humanity against the gods, she tries to end her life by diving into the Pools of Annihilation; instead, she emerges as a being of infinite life and pure destruction. Once she learns that the God of Light has given humanity one chance to be redeemed, she makes it her mission to make humanity as irredeemable as possible, pitting her against the champion the god has chosen to carry out his will... her now resurrected lover, Ozma.
  • Discussed in this article for Hard Drive, Superhero Movies Love to Have Villains Who Are Totally Right… Until They’re Randomly Super Wrong, which uses the presence of the trope in superhero films (especially The Batman (2022)) in terms of both how the trope works and why it's so popular.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar:
    • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
      • Jet's goal is to protect children like himself orphaned by the warmongering Fire Nation and to fight back. However, it's made pretty clear that Jet has jumped off this slope when he attempts to drown an entire town uninvolved with the war effort, murder innocent elderly people, and put his own life at risk for the purpose of revenge. He notably later attempts to jump back on the slope, but it doesn't turn out too well. It's implied he had already fallen that far long before they met him- the plan was already in place and he had apparently been attacking travelers indiscriminate to their threat level for a while now. Not to mention his "enforcers" thought nothing of Jet ordering them to kill Sokka. It's not entirely clear whether he truly regretted his actions for being morally wrong.
      • This is what leads to Zuko's eventual Heel–Face Turn. He'd been hesitating for a while, thinking that his family really were good people, despite all the massive evidence otherwise: it's when his father and sister plan to burn an entire country to the ground that he realizes they've jumped off.
    • The Legend of Korra:
      • Tarrlok starts out as a jerkass and manipulative Sleazy Politician. Then he goes completely off the deep end by imposing a curfew on all non-benders and arresting anyone who complains or even has connections with Equalists. He arrests Korra's friends to blackmail her to join him and when she refuses, attacks her and reveals himself to be a bloodbender. By the end of the episode, he's got her locked in the back of a Satomobile to take her somewhere she'll never be found.
      • Amon and the Equalists start off with a relatively valid complaint: Benders really do have all of the power in Republic City. Up until Episode 10, they had only committed a really extreme crime. Then, they jump fully off the slope by launching a full-scale invasion of Republic City, complete with bombings and gas attacks!. Arguably, their point is also undermined by the fact that Amon is actually a stupid-powerful waterbender himself and uses his own bloodbending ability to destroy others' ability to bend, but whether that's this trope or simply being a hypocrite is open for debate.
      • Kuvira starts off Book 4 a Well-Intentioned Extremist with valid reasons for reuniting the Earth Kingdom under her own rule. She uses some questionable means to persuade cities to side with her, but given the incompetence of the heir to the Earth Kingdom's throne, people didn't fault her for refusing to relinquish her power to him as had been previously agreed, because she seemed much more capable of actually leading. Attacking the United Republic might have been going a little far, but a lot of fans could still sympathize with her point of view, given that it used to be Earth Kingdom territory. Then, when her fiance is captured and she is offered a deal that will basically allow her to take Bataar Jr. and go home as the uncontested ruler of the Earth Empire if she only agrees to leave the United Republic alone, she decides it would be a better idea to launch an attack with the spirit cannon that will kill her fiance because she believes it will kill Korra as well. The show makes a point out of the fact that Bataar Jr. is not okay with sacrificing his life for the cause.
  • Batman: The Animated Series:
    • The episode "Lock-Up" introduced Lyle Bolton, the ruthless head of security at Arkham Asylum, who eventually goes crazy and becomes the supervillain Lock-Up. He starts off making some good points about his regime bringing Arkham's role as a Cardboard Prison to a halt. Fortunately - so to speak - he also turns out to be a sadistic monster who steps way past his boundaries, abuses his inmates, and eventually starts locking up politicians and media members, blaming them for allowing crime to run rampant in the first place, allowing Batman to take him down without any worries.
    • When new-vigilante-in-town The Judge shows up later on, attacking the villains and not caring whether or not he kills them, this is never even brought up. It is taken for granted that his actions are wrong, which (given the long, horrible careers of Batman's rogues gallery) seems like it would be open to debate here. The big jump probably comes moments before Batman intervenes, when he is about to kill a small-time corrupt politician who had helped him, but still. The Judge showed how extreme he can really get when he tried to kill Two-Face in his own escape room. As it turns out, The Judge is Two-Face, as he is a third persona made by Harvey Dent to fight crime.
    • Commissioner Gordon in "Over The Edge". After his daughter is killed in a fight with the Scarecrow, he blames Batman and launches a manhunt for him, going as far as to make a deal with Bane. Fortunately, it was All Just a Dream.
  • Darkwing Duck has this happen with the most likable villain of the show Dr. Bushroot in his origin episode. He starts off by being driven to murder the people who bullied him, made him lose his job For the Evulz and mocked him after his mutation. Then he deteriorates morally by seeking revenge against the Dean who cut his funding and then against Darkwing and Launchpad for stopping the attempted murder and by the end he tries to mutate the girl that he liked against her will so that he could have company. Good Lord!
    • If Bushroot's descent was bad, the fall of Jim Starling for Darkwing's rebooted counterpart in DuckTales (2017) makes that one look tame by comparison. Starling used to be an actor who played a Show Within a Show version of Darkwing, which was cancelled in part because of his own egotism, leaving him with menial work and an unsalvageable career for years. Then, when he learns the series is being rebooted as a gritty movie, he gets so incensed that he's not reprising his role that he tries to sabotage the production, culminating in a battle between him and his replacement on a burning movie set. It's thanks to an impassioned speech from Launchpad that makes him realize he's gone too far, but in saving the pilot from an exploding pylon does Starling seemingly perish... only for that one act to drive him to think his replacement sabotaged him, driving him to become NEGADUCK.
  • Final Space: After Ash gives in to Invictus' corruption and betrays the rest of the Team Squad, any remaining uncertainty over their Face–Heel Turn is completely put to rest when they attempt to get back at Gary for all the pain they feel he supposedly caused them by attacking Mooncake and possibly killing him whilst Gary is helpless to watch, and they're enjoying every second of hurting Mooncake even though he never did anything hurtful to her.
  • Played for laughs in the Futurama episode "Anthology of Interest", where Leela asks for a What If? scenario with the premise of "what if I were more impulsive?" The first real sign of her newfound attitude (aside from buying new boots that are identical to her old ones but with a green stripe) is killing Farnsworth because he's left her a large inheritance. This then escalates to her killing Hermes after he learns she did it and then killing Bender when he learns and tries extorting her. After having killed three people, she realizes that she's been solving far too many problems with murder lately, and tries to calm down... and then proceeds to murder Amy for insulting her looks.
  • Harley Quinn (2019): Though always an asshole, it's in the latter half of season 2, Psycho realizes he's gone soft and loses almost all of his redeeming qualities, betrays the crew, and tries to kill Harley and lead a parademon army in massacring Gotham and conquering Earth.
  • Justice League:
    • Cadmus. Their stated goals: Provide America (and her allies, probably) a defense against the super-powered types, especially the Justice League. What with Superman nearly taking over the world when being brainwashed by Darkseid, the Justice Lords in a parallel universe taking everything over, and the Justice League having an Orbital Superweapon pointing down, this seems entirely okay. Up until the cloning, torture, firing nuclear weapons, being allied with Luthor, creating Doomsday...
    • What made Cadmus utterly irredeemable was finding out that they were responsible for putting Ace (the youngest member of the Royal Flush Gang) through hell, robbing her of having a halfway normal life and, eventually killing her by overloading her brain to evolve her psychic powers, and triggering a fatal aneurysm in the process. However, she died naturally after Batman went to be with her in her final moments.
    • There is also the fact they tried to blow up the Watchtower before the League had ever done any harm, and that Gen. Eiling was willing to a nuke an island to "kill three birds with one stone," i.e. kill both Superman and Doomsday and stop the drug smuggling that came through it. Granted, only Eiling was behind this, and Amanda Waller is furious as soon as she finds out about the nuclear air strike.
    • And the Justice Lords from a parallel Earth. Superman abandoning Thou Shalt Not Kill to stop Luthor from starting a nuclear war: justifiable. The entire team doing away with the concept of Joker Immunity altogether and resorting to killing and lobotomizing on a semi-frequent basis: arguable. Setting up a totalitarian state in which elections do not happen until the Justice Lords say they do and people can be arrested for complaining too loudly: completely unnecessary.
    • And for that matter, Doctor Destiny's origin story in "Only a Dream". At first, he seems to be a fairly decent guy whose big mistake was simply getting hired as a guard by Lex Luthor, and the story starts raising questions about What Measure Is a Mook? and the hypocrisy of the henchmen going to prison and having their lives ruined while the villains themselves keep getting away scot-free. But once he gains superpowers himself, his Roaring Rampage of Revenge throws him right off the slippery slope, and into territory that even Lex never touched, with lemming-like gusto.
  • Kim Possible: Each member of Team Impossible went from just being a Punch-Clock Hero who wanted Kim to stop saving the world so they could get paid for doing it themselves to basically trying to permanently put an end to her heroics.
  • Robot Chicken: a crossover sketch of Jaws and Jabberjaw uses this in the last part of it. Jabberjaw panics after he accidentally kills Quint, certain that he'll get the death penalty, and then tries to kill Brody so that there wouldn't be any witnesses. It ends badly for him.


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Alternative Title(s): Jump Off The Slippery Slope, Jumps Off The Slippery Slope, Jumped Off The Slippery Slope, Jumping Off Of The Slippery Slope


Admiral Buenamigo

Admiral Buenamigo reveals he did some very illegal and dangerous stuff to make a name for himself as admiral. Freeman actually lampshades this, insisting that he isn't a "bad-faith admiral up to no good" and is better than this. He bluntly says that he isn't, then turns the Aledo on the Cerritos to silence them, ignoring Rutherford's warning about how unstable the A.I. is, which ends up costing his life.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (24 votes)

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Main / InsaneAdmiral

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