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The love story that enslaved a galaxy.

"I feel like we hear the phrase "love and justice" a lot, but no one seems to ever mention "love and evil". An evil guy whose love is deeper than the ocean. If the object of affection is narrowed down to Celty, then I am one. If it's for the love between Celty and me, I'm pretty sure I can become as bad as bad can be. "
Shinra, Durarara!!
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The Power of Love ain't always a good thing.

How many times have we heard this? "I did this for you! So we could be happy together!" Love can be a strong motivation for good. But if you're in a Love Triangle, or your loved one is dying of cancer, it can also be a great motivation for murdering the hypotenuse, making a Face–Heel Turn, embracing The Dark Side, selling your soul to the devil, raping your love interest, or cursing yourself by opening the Tome of Eldritch Lore, up to causing The End of the World as We Know It. And if that person should die, they are willing to go to horrific lengths to bring them back.

This often happens when a simple love spirals into a dangerous obsession; the love goes out of control, becoming their number-one motivation beyond everything else, including their reason, morals and others' well-being, and they self-destruct in the end. A common, yet, severe manifestation of this is usually cries of "If I Can't Have You... Then No One Will." If both lovers follow the downward spiral, you may end up with Outlaw Couple or Unholy Matrimony.

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Sometimes, it's not quite "love" but the lack thereof that drives a rejected suitor to serve the Big Bad for revenge. The object of their affections will probably think whatever damage they cause is All My Fault.

Sometimes, the person who will go to extreme, evil lengths for love is a villainous Stalker with a Crush who has no grasp of the true concept of love, and emulates it as best he can. With knives.

Sometimes, it's a genuinely well-meaning, severely Genre Blind Love Martyr who wants their beloved to be happy or protect them from their enemies, even if it means damning themselves in the process. They will hear endless rants of What Were You Thinking? before breaking out in cries of My God, What Have I Done? and dying nobly, using their last breath to assure their beloved, "I still love you. I always will love you."

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Frequently, the motivation for the sympathetic Fallen Hero to fall. The belief that, had he been a little less lenient, a little less forgiving, that special someone who was Stuffed In A Fridge might still be alive. Leads into Well-Intentioned Extremist territory.

An especially unpleasant extent of how Love Hurts and Makes You Crazy. Might start with, or end in, Destructive Romance. Since this is both a Love Trope and a Betrayal Trope, there will be spoilers. See Yandere for a version of this trope that is mixed with, or camouflaged by, Moe tropes. If the character who is in love was evil before falling in love, it's a Villainous Crush. Contrast Evil Virtues, where a villain has love as a good trait, or Love Is a Weakness, where a (usually villainous) character avoids love for fear it will spoil them.


Examples:

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    Comic Books 
  • Happens to both Aquaman and Martha Wayne in Flashpoint. Aquaman does this out of vengeance for his wife's murder at the hands of Wonder Woman, after his wife caught them in an affair. In Martha's especially tragic case, she bears witness to her son dying in her arms at the hand of the mugger who originally killed her and her husband. Unable to bear it, she quickly goes from crying over their loss to manically laughing with her son's blood staining her face in a look reminiscent of the Joker. Which she just so happens to become.
  • In Supergirl (Rebirth) Cyborg Superman does horrible, horrible things like turning corpses into reanimated, soulless zombie cyborgs and making human sacrifices. And everything — everything — he does is because he loves his daughter — Supergirl — and wants her to be happy. He says "I'm doing this for you!" over and again, and he means it.
  • Inverted with Thanos of the Marvel Universe, who was evil from the very beginning (or best case, a Noble Demon), but through it found love in (the Lady Death) itself. However, their tumultuous relationship has been known to drive him crazy at times.
  • Black Adam in The DCU first turned to totalitarianism when his wife was killed while he was away. Eventually (as in thousands of years later) he started to reform, especially when he fell in love again with Isis as seen during 52. When Isis was murdered, he leveled an entire nation and took on every active superhero on Earth at once. Later he combined this trope and With Great Power Comes Great Insanity. When he resurrected Isis with a fraction of his power she turned evil, ripped Captain Marvel from his powers and wrought chaos in the world seeking revenge. Later in that same story Mary Marvel, corrupted with powers Black Adam gave her, threatens Billy's ex-girlfriend, forcing him to take a part of her powers, which turned him evil.
  • Batman:
    • Harley Quinn in the DCU. She was a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum until she was assigned to The Joker. Falling in love with him, she broke him out and joined him as his girl sidekick. To what degree the Joker returns her feelings is questionable, ranging from 1% to zero. However, almost all her evil acts are an attempt to secure his affection.
    • Also, in some versions, this is why Mr Freeze is a villain, for the love of his Ill Girl wife Nora.
    • And according to The Killing Joke, The Joker himself would not be who he is if he did not (once upon a time) have good intentions to give his late, pregnant wife a better life.note 
  • Ramona Flowers of Scott Pilgrim has seven evil exes that the titular character must defeat, and in a few cases the ex-boyfriends have been hinted at as being not exactly evil to begin with, but turning evil after the inevitable breakup. The same fate may befall Scott, as well.
  • Depending on the writer, Marvel Comics villain Whirlwind is this. At one point, he accuses The Wasp of "owing" him, because his attacks on The Avengers were attempts to get her attention.
  • The Jackal's Start of Darkness began with the death of Gwen Stacy. As Professor Miles Warren, he was secretly in love with his student, and could never get it out of his head that Spider-Man (who he later discovered was another of his students and her boyfriend) was more to blame than the Green Goblin was. (Why he would actually work for Norman Osborn, the true mastermind behind The Clone Saga, is anyone's guess.) Indeed, he tried to recreate her with a clone of Gwen (dozens, actually, but only one shared Ben Reilly's apparent immunity to the degeneration factor). When the second Carrion (Malcolm McBride) appeared (with Warren still believed dead) Spidey called Warren "A sick man obsessed with a dead woman" in disgust. But even when revealed to be alive, he would never let Spidey forget it. In fact, in one of the last fights between them (when his consciousness was inside the body of a coroner who had turned himself into the third Carrion, in Spider-Man: Dead Man's Hand), Spidey told him, "Still hung up on Gwen, huh? Some things never change."
  • The Mighty Thor:
    • Skurge the Executioner fought on the side of evil because he was in love with Amora the Enchantress. At first it seemed like she only strung him along, using him as valuable muscle, since he was strong enough to fight Thor. But she actually did miss him and even tried to bring him back from the dead several times.
    • A juvenile, nicer incarnation of Loki gleefully explains to his current love interest that he was willing to postpone whatever plan he had to help Asgardia, thus risking it failing, just to increase the odds of saving her too. Loki, when he has people he cares for, which is admittedly not often, has a general tendency to do terrible things for their benefit. Putting them before the fate of the world or making deals with literal devils several times over.
  • In the Squadron Supreme limited series, Golden Archer brainwashes his girlfriend after she rejects his marriage proposal. Hyperion's extradimensional duplicate murdered Zarda's husband after falling for her. Admittedly, this is more accurately an example of "Love Makes You More Evil Than You Were Already".
  • At some point in time during The Ballad of Halo Jones, Toby the robot guard dog brutally murders his owners in secret. When Halo listens to his old memory tapes and hears her friends dying, she asks herself why he did it. Whereupon he promptly appears in the room and says "Love, Halo. I did it all for love." Toby's owners had left him to Halo in her will and apparently the robot dog's love for Halo was powerful enough to override any programming he might have along the lines of "Hey, robot dog, don't kill your owners." Cos Halo is just that sexy, obviously. Anyway, Halo pretends to be pleased that he loves her that much, but Toby can tell from her heartbeat that she's hell terrified, so he attempts to kill her. And fails, of course.
  • Jean Loring's ultimate motivation in Identity Crisis. The "so we can be together" quote in the trope description is even repeated, almost verbatim, at The Reveal.
  • In Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog, Fiona Fox pulled a Face–Heel Turn because she fell in love with Sonic's Evil Twin Scourge. At least, that's her story; considering who we're talking about...
  • Becomes a Discussed Trope in Archie Comics' Mega Man. Agent Stern warns Dr. Light that giving his robots emotions is a really dumb idea because of this trope and gives some nice Foreshadowing of the Mega Man X series in the process.

    Fan Works 
  • A Crown of Stars: Shinji loves Asuka so much he — someone who hates killing even in self defense — would kill with his bare hands, crush or burn alive whoever hurt her, and he would "burn Heaven down for her". It disturbs him severely when he realizes that he would become a monster if something happened to Asuka. So that he tells her he would do anything for her, even becoming a monster, and he trusts her to hold him back.
  • Advice and Trust: It's pointed out several times in-story and out-of-story by the author that Gendo does that he does (which includes treating his children and subordinates like crap, using child soldiers and treating them like replaceable and expendable troops, using suppressant drugs to turn Rei into an obedient, mindless puppet, firing Shinji and Asuka — his best pilots — for a so-called insubordination and plotting the end of the world) because in his mind nothing — NOTHING! — is so important like his wife and he will do everything and anything to save her.
  • HERZ: Misato feels she has much blood on her hands because she has done many questionable, shady things. And she did everything because she loved Shinji and needed to see him happy.
    "Everything I did, I did it for Shinji. I wanted to... I needed to see him grow up. To have a family. A chance to be happy. I needed that..."
  • The Bleach fanfic series Heirverse, Jac's backstory and Freudian Excuse it doesn't make him less of a Complete Monster though.Well maybe a little
  • The One I Love Is:
    • Gendo tells that his hands are blood-stained because he thought it would be the only way to reunite with his wife.
    • In an alternate ending Shinji is so determined to get Asuka back that he is following on his father's steps.
  • Koga from The Sun Soul qualifies for this trope. He might have betrayed his clan, city, and code to Team Rocket, but only because he wanted to take care of his daughter.
  • MALIK from the Buzz Lightyear of Star Command / Lilo & Stitch / Invader Zim crossover series Both Syllables is a dedicated, if misguided and aggressive, space ranger... until she meets Zim, and goes over to the side of the planet-conquering Irken Empire.
  • My Immortal: "When Voldemint was in Hogwarts before he became powerful he gut his hearth borken. Now do you fink he would still become Volxemort if he was in love?"
  • The Second Try: Shinji caused Third Impact because Asuka rejected him ("No one loves me, so everyone must die"). In the altered timeline, he almost caused the Third Impact again because he believed Asuka was dead.
    Yui: Is it okay now?
    Shinji: Yeah. She's fine. That's all that matters to me.
  • RE-TAKE: Shinji, very nearly — "I will throw the world into the pits of hell to find Asuka again!"
  • In Til the Sun Grows Cold and the Stars Grow Old, a fanfic of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, this is the reason behind Zant's conquest of both the Light and Twilight realms — he proposed marriage to Midna and was rejected.
  • In The Official Fanfiction University of Middle-earth, all of the Legolas fangirls are willing to stab each other.
  • Inner Demons: It's implied throughout the story (and eventually confirmed posthumously at the end) that Trixie is in love with Twilight Sparkle. That's why she ignores her moral compass and becomes The Dragon when Twilight is consumed by the Darkness and becomes the Big Bad.
  • The first finale of Children of Time has two examples, the latter an Ironic Echo of the former. Sherlock Holmes submits to Professor Moriarty's Sadistic Choice — Moriarty is playing with a full deck and uses the Watson card. On the other hand, Holmes later explains that he jumped off the slippery slope willingly because he was tired of hurting.
    • The Ironic Echo is Beth, who, having previously dressed Holmes down for willingly surrendering, does so herself, trading her life for his, Watson's, and the Doctor's. Also, like Holmes, her motivations are not entirely pure: part of her bargain is that she be kept in Victorian London and not have to leave that era (and, by extension, Holmes).
  • While Vanitas from The Shrouded Path certainly isn't a good guy, he does seem to have some morals. Then he gets a chance to finally be with Aqua and Terra and all those go out the window.
    • Likewise, many of Ven and Terra's morally ambiguous actions, especially in the sequel, are motivated by their need to protect each other and Aqua.
  • Phaedra from My Brave Pony: Star Fleet Magic III, turned to evil because her boyfriend Royce left her.
  • In Thousand Shinji:
    • Played straight with Gendo, who would do anything to get his wife back.
    • Zigzagged with Shinji. On one hand, he became slightly tolerable when he got a girlfriend, family and friends. On the other hand, he'll kill ruthlessly and bloodily whoever threatens them, and started an Impact event to bring Asuka and Misato back from the dead.

    Films — Animated 
  • Lots-O'-Huggin' Bear from Toy Story 3. After believing he was spurned by his owner (who loved him more than anything in the world), he becomes a twisted tyrant of the daycare center and a G-rated nihilist.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Star Wars
    • Once-noble Jedi Anakin Skywalker became the Sith Lord Darth Vader because he hoped the Dark Side of the Force would grant him the power to save his pregnant wife from the death by childbirth he foresaw. She ended up dying anyway, partly because of his turn to the Dark Side. What's interesting is that, three films later, his son's love for him made Anakin good again.
    • In fact, an ironic commonality in Star Wars is that both the Jedi and the Sith believe this. The Old Jedi Order believe love is an inherently corruptive emotion that at best draws a person's attention away from the Force towards the physical world and at worst makes them vulnerable to the lure of the Dark Side. The Sith, meanwhile, believe something closer to Love Is a Weakness, with a philosophy that love should be shunned because it can quench hatred and rage, weakening the power of the Dark Side.
  • When Sarah finally confronts Jareth at the end of Labyrinth, he claims that he's put her through all this because he loves her. Whether he is sincere, taking a desperate gambit to delay her until time runs out, or trying to tempt her to The Dark Side is an open debate. Most of the Fanfic community (naturally) falls into the first camp or a combination of the three.
  • In Ghostbusters II, Jaonsz falls into this. He's initially a Dogged Nice Guy, but then undergoes Demonic Possession for most of the film. In the third act, he rejoices at the prospect of Dana becoming his wife if he helps Vigo abduct Oscar. He gets better later in the end.
  • The hidden setup of So I Married an Axe Murderer as we find out in The Reveal. It is questionable, however, on whether the culprit, Rose Michaels, is actually insane the whole time.
  • The version of Dracula in Bram Stoker's Dracula declares war on God because of love (specifically, because his fiancee killed herself upon hearing lying reports of his death, and the church taught that her act irredeemably damned her soul to Hell).
  • The 1956 horror film The Black Sleep stars Basil Rathbone as a 19th century neurosurgeon named Cadman who uses experimental brain operations to turn his colleague into a mindless brute with an incestuous longing for his daughter and keeps him around to force his daughter to work for him, has his assistant abduct homeless people with promises of shelter and pay, destroys a test subject's ocular faculties so he cannot see and escape, frames his star pupil for murder, fakes his pupil's death, and then blackmails him into helping him or risk exposure. Why is Cadman doing this? So he can learn enough about how the brain functions to save his wife from a paralyzing brain tumor.
  • Imhotep in The Mummy Trilogy. He spends most of the two movies he's in trying to bring Anck-Su-Namun back. And, you know, raining down the ten plagues of Egypt and sucking the life out of anyone who stands in his way. He's a combination of this trope and Cursed with Awesome, with some Bad Powers, Bad People thrown in for good measure (that is, even if you weren't so evil to begin with, becoming able to rain down the ten plagues of Egypt is a sure sign of villainy). In a rather brutal twist, it turns out that all of Imhotep's actions were in vain. He finds out in the last moments of his life that Anck-Su-Namun doesn't love him as much as she loves her own life, and she certainly doesn't love him as much as Eve loves Rick.
  • Davy Jones in the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels. He fell in love with Calypso, goddess of the Sea, and became Captain of the Flying Dutchman so they could be together in ten years. When she failed to show up, Jones carved out his own heart, helped the Pirate Court trap Calypso in a mortal body, and made the Dutchman his personal torture chamber, (turning himself and its crew into Fish People as a side-effect).
  • Auntie in the Japanese campy slapstick horror-comedy movie House (Hausu) kills and eats young, unmarried girls and possesses the body of her niece just so she can remain immortal and marry her long dead fiancee, who she believes will return to her.
  • Lifetime movie Stalked At 17 flirts between this and Love Makes You Crazy. Chad, a twenty-two-year-old college student, becomes obsessed with his sixteen/seventeen-year-old girlfriend, Angela, when she reveals that she's pregnant. When Angela's parents find out about her pregnancy and the father of their grandchild, they try to create some distance. This doesn't set well for Chad as he starts to stalk them and tries getting in contact with them. His Yandere levels go through the roof when he tries attacking Angela's father for getting a restraining order against him. He even turns to his mother, who was recently released from prison, for help on kidnapping Angela and their newborn son so that they can be a family together.
  • The Three Musketeers (1993). Arthos has a bit of a story about love. It doesn't end well.
  • In The Brain That Wouldn't Die (seen on MST3K), Mad Doctor Bill Cortner only went Jumping Off the Slippery Slope when his fiancee Jan was decapitated in a car crash and he had to use Mad Science to turn her into a Head In A Pan; going from just "borrowing" spare limbs for medical research to cruising strip clubs and seducing Broken Birds to get a replacement body for his loved one, even as she only asks "Let me die".
  • The Hole combines this with Love Makes You Crazy in not just one, but two examples, owing to its use of "Rashomon"-Style. In the first version of the story, Liz explains that Martin's love of Liz and jealousy of her liking Mike led him to lock Liz, Mike, Frankie and Geoff in the titular bomb shelter (in which they had been hiding to avoid going on a school trip) until she realized she didn't really like him very much. In the second, true version, it is revealed that Mike wanted to leave the bomb shelter early to go patch things up with his ex, but Liz had become so obsessed with him that she decided to lock herself and the others inside the bomb shelter to prevent him from leaving, ultimately leading to Frankie, Geoff and Mike dying. She then kills Martin too to cover her tracks.
  • The loss of his wife is what primarily pushes Khan over the edge in Star Trek II. Not that Khan was ever a nice guy, of course, but beforehand he was an apparently sane Social Darwinist, as seen in "Space Seed". Nero has similar issues in the new film due to his own dead wife.
  • This can be said of Two-Face in The Dark Knight after Rachel Dawes dies.
  • In every incarnation of Little Shop of Horrors, Seymour slowly becomes a murderer because he believes success is the only way to win Audrey's heart.
  • Doctor fuckin' Phibes! He slowly kills the doctors he believes responsible for his wife's death.
  • In Hot Fuzz Frank Butterman forms a deadly city council to eliminate all flaws to the community after his wife commits suicide after Travelers ruin the town, causing them to lose the Village Of The Year award. Lampshaded by his son: "If Mum knew what you were doing she'd kill herself again!"
  • If you assume that this trope could come up in a film called Love Is The Devil, you are most certainly right in doing so.
  • It appears that this is Horvath's true reason for betraying Merlin and siding with Morgana in her quest to destroy the world in The Sorcerer's Apprentice. He just couldn't handle Veronica choosing his best friend Balthazar over him.
  • In The Last Circus it is Javier's love for Natalia that leads into his downfall and eventual descent into insanity.
  • Non-romantic love, but Loki in Thor loves his father and his Asgard home very, very much. His desire to be acknowledged and loved on par to his brother Thor leads him to attempt genocide.
  • In The Other Boleyn Girl Henry tells Anne how he broke off from the Catholic church for her. "I have torn apart this country for you, gone against every principle in my heart, I've endured the doubts and counsel of good men and silenced them with the axe...just to be with you."
  • In the 1960 French horror film Eyes Without a Face, Dr. Génessier's beloved daughter Christiane is in a car accident that leaves her with a horribly disfigured face. Obsessed with making her beautiful again, the doting father starts kidnapping other young women and transplanting their faces onto his daughter's.
  • Subverted with Professor Fassbender in The Pink Panther Strikes Again, who would rather die than help Dreyfus destroy the world and succumb to Stockholm Syndrome, but he can't bring himself to let his daughter suffer either.
  • In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Victor did not take his brother James leaving him for a life of peace well... not in the least.
  • In I Shot Jesse James, Robert Ford kills Jesse James, attacks John Kelley, and gets into a final duel to win Cynthy's hand. However, not only does this drive Cynthy away from him, it also leads to his eventual downfall.

    Music 
  • Sound Horizon's Elysion Paradise Illusion Story Suite album is full of seemingly nice girls doing really terrible things due to love (like the girl who loves her brother so much that she stabs him to death so they can go to Paradise together, or the one who kills the girl she loves for rejecting her...)
  • The Mountain Goats song 'Love Love Love' is sorta about this. It's off an album about the songwriter's stepfather abusing him as a child; his point was that his stepfather may have done terrible things to his kids, but he still loved them, and love can make you do terrible things.
    Love love is gonna lead you by the hand/Into a white and soundless place/Now we see things as in a mirror dimly/Then we shall see each other face to face
  • Dschinghis Khan's "Der Verräter" (German for "The Traitor") is about a guy, who went AWOL from gate guard duty to see his girlfriend and allowed the enemy to enter the city. Afterwards, he's brought up on charges of treason and sentenced to death by hanging and everybody believes, that him claiming to have been seduced is only a pretext for the collaboration with the enemy and that his real motivation was promises of wealth and honor.
  • Downplayed in Mark Morrison's "Return of the Mack". The song is about a Casanova who fell in love with a woman who promised to never leave him. She did, and left him heartbroken, prompting him to return to his womanizing ways. So it's less "love makes you evil" and more "love makes you kind of a dick".
  • In The Willow Maid the titular willow maid is murdered by a man who claims to be in love with her. After she rejects him, he chops down her tree, and forces her to leave the forest with him. As he wanted to force her to marry him, and it was clear from the beginning that there would not be a happy end, the fact that she turns in a flower and wilts after leaving the forest comes across as Bittersweet Ending. At least she is spared worse.

    Opera 
  • Giuseppe Verdi loved the trope, as proved by:
    • Count di Luna in Il trovatore.
    • Amneris in Aida.
    • Eboli in Don Carlo.
    • Abigail in Nabucco.
  • Gérard in Giordano's Andrea Chenier.
  • Scarpia from Puccini's Tosca is a subversion - it's not love, it's lust, and he was pretty evil to begin with.
  • Claggart in Britten's Billy Budd, if you interpret it as Foe Yay.
  • Alberich from Wagner's Tetralogy "Ring of the Nibelungs". Rejected by the Rhein Nymph Sisters for being a Gonk, he curses love and steals their gold, creating the infamous ring.
  • Monostatos in Mozart's The Magic Flute.

    Professional Wrestling 

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the Fellowship of the White Star event "London Fires," the arsons are caused by a woman who is in love with a heroic NPC who once saved her from a fire demon. She is setting various locations in London on fire in an attempt to meet him again and properly declare her love for him.note 
  • This is yet another trope that the Ravenloft setting was (literally!) built out of. From Strahd von Zarovich's obsession with stealing his brother's fiancee, to Victor Mordenheim's determination to restore his wife's shattered body at any cost, love — or, at least, what villains claim is love — is a far better candidate for the Root Of All Evil than money, in the Land of Mists.
  • In a sourcebook for the Star Wars d20 role playing game this is used as a justification for Jedi not being allowed to love. More often than not it leads to anger, jealousy and the dark side.
  • Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000: the Chaos god of decay and disease Nurgle is the embodiment of the emotion born out of man's reaction to death, usually interpreted as the emotion of love. And indeed, of all the Chaos gods, he's the nicest to his cultists (who refer to him as Papa Nurgle or Grandfather Nurgle), showering his faithful with gifts. Followers of Nurgle then seek only to bring the joy of pestilence and death to the universe.

    Theatre 
  • Nessarose, Elphaba's beautiful but unstable sister from Wicked. Her obsessive love for Boq leads her to enslave the Munchkins so he can't leave her. When she discovers he doesn't return her feelings and has really loved Glinda all along, she shrinks his heart so he can feel her pain; Elphaba has to turn him into the Tin Man in order to save him.
    • Later, in the song "No Good Deed," Elphaba's transformation into the Wicked Witch of the original Wizard of Oz is significantly assisted when Fiyero throws himself to an angry mob to save her. She frantically tries to magically protect him from afar, utterly unsure that she is doing him any good. In frustration, she declares that "no good deed will I attempt to do again," and is a Straw Nihilist for most of the rest of the show.
  • One of the oldest deconstructions of this trope occurs in William Shakespeare's Richard III. Richard, claiming that because he is "deformed" no woman has ever loved him; as he sees it, there are but two courses in life for men to take - that of the lover, or that of the villain - and because no woman would ever allow him to be their lover, he must therefore become a villain. This, therefore, turns the trope on its ear, into Lovelessness Makes You Evil, leading to a very Cry for the Devil idealism. (Shakespeare then subverts Richard's excuse by showing him, in the very next scene, successfully wooing the widow of a man he killed.)
  • Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Sweeney too, but it's just as much about revenge.
    • Judge Turpin could also qualify, though much like Frollo above, there's more than a bit of lust involved as well.
  • Older Than Feudalism: Medea murdered her brother and betrayed her people for her love of Jason. Then in the play he leaves her, and she goes a bit murderous then as well, though that's more about revenge.
    Medea: Oh, what an evil power love has in people's lives!
  • All the murders in Little Shop of Horrors are influenced primarily by Seymour's love for Audrey.
  • Stephen Sondheim's Assassins, a musical about the men and women who have either killed U.S. presidents or attempted to do so, gives us the examples of John Hinckley, Jr. (see Real Life below) and Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, who tried to murder Gerald Ford in an attempt to impress Charles Manson. They even have a duet about it: "Unworthy of Your Love."
  • The seventeenth-century English drama The Changeling has this happen with both main characters. Beatrice-Joanna, the daughter of a wealthy nobleman, falls for a handsome sailor named Alsemero, but is betrothed to an older man; she becomes so obsessed with marrying Alsemero that she hires DeFlores, her father's deformed servant, to take care of her fiancee for her. Unfortunately, DeFlores himself is in love with Beatrice-Joanna, and after committing the murder, blackmails her into sleeping with him. It's Beatrice-Joanna, though, who's the more villainous: she's the main instigator of all of the crimes in the play, but even as she confesses her deeds to Alsemero, she cries, "It for your sake was done!"
  • The framing device for Thrill Me is Nathan's parole hearing, where he explains his crimes (theft, arson, murder) as being due to his feelings for Richard.
    But you've asked a simple question
    And I've told you why
    It wasn't on a dare or on a whim
    It's hard to comprehend now
    That the reason why
    Was simply that I went along with him

    Visual Novels 
  • Denny and Capek, the first two antagonists of Shikkoku no Sharnoth. The latter is necromantic, and the former has some twisted motivation about becoming king in order to win love.
  • Hatoful Boyfriend has a route called "Bad Boys Love". Why is it called that? Most likely because it's about the human protagonist being Killed Off for Real, her main love interest being traumatized to hell and back, and the genocide of the entire human race being set up all because of Doctor Shuu's unrequited love for Ryuuji Kawara that caused him to do his best to fulfill his promise to said love to fulfill any wish of his son in the best way he knew how. Of course, Doctor Shuu wasn't the most stable of creatures to begin with, but it doesn't change the fact that none of this would have happened if he hadn't loved Ryuuji enough to take his promise to him so horribly seriously.
    Angie Gallant: All he has done, he has done for love. HORRIBLE HORRIBLE EVIL UNEARTHLY INFERNAL LOVE.
  • Roa of Tsukihime was apparently a very pure and probably decent person before apparently falling in love with Arcuied at first sight. He decided it was hate for some reason, so he tricked her into drinking his blood, making him a Dead Apostle and making her kill off all the other True Ancestors. Apparently all he wanted was for him to like her...
    • To expand on that, Roa was a completely pure priest and member of the Church's Burial Squad. He was doing some research on immortality until the point where he first saw Arcuied. The moment he saw her, he fell in love, but because until then he had never felt either love or hatred, he was confused. Thus, he decided that the pain in his heart must be hate; It's actually quite a tragic chain of events.
    For the first time since he was born. Probably, no definitely, the only time in his life. -Michael Roa Valdamjong fell in love with that white woman- "————" This is the first time. Not an impulse, but truly Roa's heart. The only remaining emotion. Roa's personality had long died, but it continues to exist without disappearing, that eternal memory. "?? I, see." That's why—-he hated Arcueid so much. The woman who stole his purity. Just an instant. He only saw her for an instant, but his heart was stolen. That hated True Ancestor that caused his purity to fall. That existence. He hated everything about that white vampire princess. "?? What a mistake." What a mistake it was. Roa hated her so much that he reincarnated so many times and always waited for Arcueid to come pursue him each time. For that, he did anything. He deceived Arcuied, fooling her when she didn't even know she was a vampire, and let her suck his blood. Becoming a dead apostle of Arcuied, he used her power to destroy the remaining True Ancestors, and waited for her. Why did he not understand? The hate that caused him to reincarnate and wait for Arcueid. That isn't hatred. The man called Roa was so pure, he didn't even understand his own emotions. To think about someone else so much it makes you go almost crazy. That feeling is very similar to hatred. But, merely a single word. If this man called Roa could have been told his feeling was love, he wouldn't have made this mistake—-
  • Caster from Fate/stay night. At one point in UBW her arrogant, calculating mask slips and she's absolutely scared to death about her prospects. She's started doing horrible things, much worse than she did as Medea in pursuit of a goal she doesn't believe is actually possible. It's not helped along by Kuzuki's incredibly emotionless behavior.
  • This and Idiot Plot are the main tropes leading to the Bad Ends in School Days. Well, those of the anime and manga adaptations anyway. The bad endings in the original Visual Novel are entirely avoidable.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry gives us a case of psychosis and mass murder over a bad case of one-sided Love at First Sight. And psychosis and murder over brotherly love. Twice. Essentially, Love Makes You Evil and crazy. This is played straight with Shion, but subverted with Tomitake, who is horrified at Takano's plans.
  • In Sunrider, the Prototype named Alice was taken in by a benevolent revolutionary called Arcadius. Alice fell in love with him, but when Arcadius was killed by his own followers for trying to stop them from butchering a helpless man in cold blood, she snapped, deciding that Humans Are Bastards and deserve to be wiped out in revenge for Arcadius’s senseless death. She and the other Prototypes then took up his identity, becoming the tyrannical Veniczar Arcadius seen in-game.
  • Doki Doki Literature Club! has Monika, the club president. She is aware of the fact that she is a character in a visual novel and knows about the existence of the player, who she becomes obsessed with. So much that she makes the character flaws and issues of the other three girls even more problematic than they were before in order to make them "unlikable" and when that doesn't work, she straight up erases them from the game.

    Web Comics 
  • In Sluggy Freelance, Oasis's love of Torg has taken her into serious Yandere territory, complete with trying to kill anyone she sees as a rival for Torg's affection (including chocolate ice cream), chaining Torg up so she can force him to marry her, and at one point planning to sew herself to Torg with industrial strength cable so they can never be apart. As seen in the "Phoenix Rising" arc, when she's not actively pursuing Torg she's ... well, not exactly good, but definitely more of an Anti-Hero than a Villain.
    • However, in Oasis' case, her insanity is due to her strange and large unrevealed abilities, which allows her to be resurrected from death, but radically alters her personality Solomon Grundy style; she could be completely Ax-Crazy one incarnation, and rational and contemplative the next. On the other hand, before meeting the heroes she was mind controlled by a villain, whose brief order to love Torg has been thought to have conflicted with later orders, which is thought to be the root of her insanity in the first place...
      • Even though Oasis herself came up with the idea, it's not at all clear she actually changes personalities between incarnations, as opposed to just as a reaction to different events and circumstances as part of her instability.
    • There was also the "Love Potion" arc, where the titular Love Potion brings out the most violent and destructive side of love in everyone it's used on.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court:
    • Even in a world where there aren't any outright evil characters, love can make you do evil things. Zimmy loves Gamma more than anyone or anything else in the world; so to make sure Gamma never leaves her side, Zimmy intentionally mistranslates what her peers say, to convince Gamma that all the other students think she's stupid and ugly. Yes, Word of God (specifically The Rant below this page) confirms that this is intentional:
      "Zimmy is straight up lying. She knows the best way to keep a friend is to make them think everyone else hates them."
    • Diego. Dear God man you made the robot cry. And sent the one you love to her death.
    • And Reynardine's backstory, when he fell in love. . . involved killing someone.
  • Smiling Man from The Crossoverlord was a hero, who travelled through Alternate Universes with his beloved wife, until something went wrong, and she started to merge together with all her alternate counterparts, including evil, sick and dead ones. This forced guardian of The Multiverse to kill her, which drive her husband crazy and turned him into a sick mix of Slasher Smile, The Chessmaster, Emperor Scientist and Multiversal Conqueror.
  • The Order of the Stick gives us Vaarsuvius's soul-splice arc. Although lust for power and control had a big influence on the eventual decision to take the fiend's deal, the initial motivation for contacting them truly was out of fear for Inkyrius and the children.
  • In Collar 6 this seems to have happened to Trina.
  • Spacetrawler:
    Growp: You're like a work of art, Emily. Battling you fills me with emotion. I've never met someone who could match my ferocity, my brutality.
    Emily: If you adore me so much, stop trying to kill me.
    Growp: You don't understand, do you? To kill you would complete this piece of art, would be an expression of life, of being. And your death can only be art if the kill is made by the master skill of a hand as poetic as mine.....Grrr! What I'm saying isn't coming out right, what I'm trying to tell you is... Is that... I... I love you.
  • In Haru-Sari, we have Chi-Min, who could've healed June's Calphanika's, but because he wanted her to need him. Alberich may also count, he stated that'd he'd do anything for Phoenix. ANYTHING.
  • Lana from MSF High, to the point she beats up anyone who makes eye contact with Donovan.
  • Aaronev Wilhelm Sturmvoraus from Girl Genius. Considering his family's history, he probably wasn't the best or the most sane person around before he met Lucrezia Mongfish, but it was his obsessive love for her that made him even more crazy and ruthless, to the point he sacrificed possibly hundreds of young girls (including his own daughter) to bring her back.

     Web Original 
  • Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is about a comically ineffectual supervillain who is constantly humiliated by his Arch-Enemy, Jerk Jock Captain Hammer. Dr. Horrible doesn't truly start to turn evil until Hammer steals his would-be girlfriend, Penny, making it personal and driving him to attempt to Murder the Hypotenuse. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!.
    • And then the Bittersweet Ending reveals that, after his weapon exploded and killed Penny, Doctor Horrible has become even more evil.
    "And I won't feel...a thing..."
  • Atop the Fourth Wall: "What these comics are trying to tell us is that love ultimately leads to death, destruction, and the devil. In other words, love no one. Ever."
  • The Nostalgia Chick's "love" for Todd in the Shadows. Nella (dressed up as a nun) summed it up best when she said God would judge the Chick harshly for how low she's fallen.
  • Sailor Nothing: the Dark Queen unintentionally created the Yami-gaia in an attempt to save her lover from dying of consumption.
  • Zig-Zagged in Tasakeru. In the Mythology, two of the settings death-gods come about from mortals corrupted by unrequited love (The Scarred One, who had the good part of his soul die upon being rejected by the object of his affections and subsequently being disfigured by her lover, and Aconite, who was so desperate for the perfect husband she offered to submit to him utterly and became the embodiment of decay when her sisters slapped her with The Punishment), while in-story, love triggers two of the main characters ascension to demigods.
  • Twilight of Friendship is Witchcraft is already unstable, but her love for her adoptive brother Francis drives her to kill off his fiance and brainwash him into requiting her feelings.
  • In Worm, Trickster betrays his teammates for Noelle, his ex-girlfriend who had gone insane and become an Omnicidal Maniac.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • John Hinckley, Jr., who shot Ronald Reagan to impress Jodie Foster. It didn't work.
  • The infamous Long Island Lolita case of Amy Fisher. A sixteen year old girl who shot Joey Buttafuoco's wife in the face. Fortunately, she survived. Joey Buttafuoco was having an affair with the teenage girl, despite being twice her age. The case got national attention during the early 90s and many made-for-television movies were created based on the case. These films were famous for starring known eye-candy as Amy Fisher. For example: Alyssa Milano and Drew Barrymore.


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