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Love Makes You Evil

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"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!!

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 are 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 the Outlaw Couple or Unholy Matrimony.

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."

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. See also Love Ruins the Realm. 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.

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Other examples

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    Asian Animation 
  • In Season 3 of Flower Angel, the reason Princess Fannie lets herself succumb to the Dark Demon's power and become a villain is because of her crush on Prince Kukuru. During their childhood in the fairy world, Prince Kukuru promised to Fannie that he will protect her from harm. When they grow older, however, Kukuru decides he wants to be with Xia An'an instead, which breaks Fannie's heart since she takes it as Kukuru breaching the promise he made to her. At some point in that season, Fannie goes as far as to magically alter the red string of fate connecting An'an and Kukuru so that it connects Kukuru to Fannie instead, also causing him to turn against An'an.

    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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 
  • 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.
  • The Black Widow's mentor Ivan Petrovich had unrequited feelings for her for almost as long as he knew her, despite her only seeing him as a friend and father figure. Eventually, this caused him to snap and concoct a plan in which he faked his death, unleashed nanobots that targeted everyone Natasha knew and cared for, including her former lovers, transferred his brain into a cyborg body, and intended to unleash nuclear devastation upon the world. Natasha was forced to kill him to put an end to his evil plot and as a result lost her oldest and dearest friend.
  • Jean Loring's ultimate motivation in Identity Crisis (2004). The "so we can be together" quote in the trope description is even repeated, almost verbatim, at The Reveal.
  • Becomes a Discussed Trope in Mega Man (Archie Comics). 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), 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...
  • Spider-Man: 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. (It should be noted that although Warren received the financial backing of Norman Osborn, the true mastermind of The Clone Saga, he was kept in the dark about his identity.) 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."
  • 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".
  • Supergirl:
    • 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.
    • Legion of Super-Heroes/Bugs Bunny Special: Brainiac 5 builds an A.I. called Computo 2 to help him to find a cure for his lover Supergirl's alien illness. When his teammates remind him that the first Computo attempted to kill them all, Brainy replies the newest model will never turn on them because he has been programmed to love. Shortly after Computo 2 attempts to kill the Legion because he has fallen for his creator and is jealous of Supergirl.
  • Marvel Universe: Inverted with Thanos, who was evil from the very beginning, but through it found love in (the Lady Death) itself. However, their tumultuous relationship has been known to drive him crazy at times.
  • 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.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Paula von Gunther refused to work for the Nazis so they made her watch as they murdered her husband and then took her daughter Gerta hostage. In response, Paula decided that even if she'd probably never see her daughter again that Gerta was worth more to her than the rest of the world and came to enjoy her sadistic torture and experimentation on people for the Nazis, even if she never did stop hating the Nazis themselves.

    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 he tells her that 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 what 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 so-called insubordination and plotting the end of the world) because in his mind nothing — NOTHING! — is as important as his wife and he will do everything and anything to save her.
  • From The Awakening of a Magus:
    • Wormtail's motive for betrayal turns out to be jealousy toward James for having Lily.
    • Snape states that the Death Eater captured at the beginning of the story most likely joined Voldemort because she liked Lucius.
  • Child of the Storm:
    • While Loki is more or less redeemed (more or less), as per canon he is willing to go to some truly horrifying lengths to protect his loved ones.
    • Like Loki, Magneto is mostly an amiable, grandfatherly figure... who still scares the entire supernatural world witless for some very good reasons, and is more than able to call on his inner monster when needs must. Or, as it transpires, when someone has threatened or harmed a loved one of his, at which point he gets downright sadistic.
    • Harry also has some alarming tendencies in this direction. At one point, after his best friend/borderline Mindlink Mate is nearly killed, he frankly admits he was willing to threaten the Council Elite of Skyfathers with unleashing the Phoenix - something which not only risked him becoming the Dark Phoenix but also unleashing the original Dark Phoenix and potentially destroying the Nine Realms - to make them bring her back. While he had other plans, and is both aware of this tendency and alarmed by it (relying heavily on Morality Chains), this is not the only time that he's noted as being willing to do some very frightening things for the sake of/to avenge his loved ones - the results tend to draw Magneto comparisons.
  • In Custody Battle, a My Hero Academia fanfiction, All for One's familial love drives him to kidnap both his little brother and his son "for their own protection."
  • In Forgiveness is the Attribute of the Strong, a My Hero Academia fanfiction, past All for One become a villain to protect his younger brother.
  • 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 has Jac's backstory and Freudian Excuse. It doesn't make him less of a 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 in his father's footsteps.
  • 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.
  • CAGED: Discussed between Cat Noir and Viperion at the end of the story. While Viperion discuss how love can act as a strong motivation for great acts both good and evil, as seen with Gabriel, Cat argues that whatever love his father held for his mother had been twisted into a dark obsession that refuses to let him give up and move on in a healthy matter. Viperion also brings up an inversion, of how his own love for Adrien was twisted by the akumazation, locking his boyfriend in a Gilded Cage despite Adrien being locked away by his father being the main source of his rage. It shows that while love can be a motivation towards evil, the same evil can easily corrupt the original love.
  • 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!"
  • Seventh Endmost Vision: this seems to be why Vincent is a monster instead of his canonical antihero status- his love for Lucrecia means he'll follow her to the ends of the earth.
  • 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.
  • Bass in Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race is a complicated case, in regards to his feelings for Roll. He was already a villainous character, but his misinterpretation of Roll's words caused him to go back to Dr. Wily and commit even more heinous acts, thinking that she meant he wasn't strong enough for them to be together. Later on, he starts inverting the trope when he discovers that he feels well about stopping criminals and helping others. Roll takes notice of this and tries to bring out the goodness inside him, but it only causes him to become even more conflicted.
  • Downplayed with Feral in running with lightning feet. He's actually very sweet, awkward, and nice, but his older brothers are Sith warriors and because he wants to be a good sibling, he's following their orders. Plo Koon and Wolffe try to point out that it kinda makes Feral Accomplice by Inaction and might not be the best way to live for the young Zabrak, as it obviously runs contrary to his very temperament.
  • In Ghost of You after Harry discovers Daphne's death is due to a blood malediction which was laid on the Greengrasses by one of the Weasley ancestors, he and her sister Astoria start killing all of the present Weasleys in order to lift the curse. When his daughter dies of it as well, they change their plans and use the death of the seven remaining Weasleys to power a time-travel ritual.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Barbie as Rapunzel, it's revealed that the reason Gothel kidnapped and enslaved Rapunzel is because she was in love with Rapunzel's father, King Wilhelm, and he did not reciprocate. Even after knowing her actions led to a feud between kingdoms Gothel does not feel remorse.
  • Yokai a.k.a. Professor Callaghan of Big Hero 6 becomes a villain because he is consumed with grief about the apparent death of his daughter and wants to avenge her, no matter the cost.
  • Inverted in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Disney). Frollo was clearly a holier-than-thou bastard who hates everyone except himself to begin with. And when he meets Esmaralda, he hates her as much as everyone else. However, he develops a lustful obsession that causes him to go to insane lengths to either make her his own or kill her if she refuses.
  • Chirin, the main protagonist of Sanrio Animation's 1978 animated film Ringing Bell is about a baby lamb who wants to avenge the death of his mother by a wolf. As the movie goes on, Chirin slowly loses his cuteness and becomes more monstrous until he becomes a fully grown ram. The film is also based on a Japanese children's book by Takashi Yanase.
  • Bowser in The Super Mario Bros. Movie, while already being a cruel, remorseless tyrant bent on world domination, due to his obsession with wanting to marry Princess Peach, has started committing countless heinous crimes because of this, such as destroying an entire kingdom inhabited by countless innocent penguins and stealing their Super Star, then not only imprisoning said penguins, but also kidnaps Mario's brother Luigi (due to him accidentally going down the wrong pipe after being separated from him) and has him imprisoned as well, along with the Kongs and Lumalee, which Bowser plans to kill them by dropping them into lava during the wedding, and even orders Kamek to torture Toad to force Peach to finally marry him. However, due to Peach's intense hatred of Bowser, the moment she finally starts fighting back at him, it then turns out that Bowser's desire to marry Peach was actually out of pure selfishness, and Bowser then plots to destroy the Mushroom Kingdom with a Banzai Bill now that his wedding has been thwarted, but Mario stops the Banzai Bill by luring it into the Warp Pipe serving as the entrance into the Mushroom Kingdom, only for the resulting explosion sending everyone in the blast radius to Brooklyn, and once Bowser's backup plan has failed, he finally loses it and goes on a violent rampage trying to kill the plumber, blaming him for ruining his wedding, thinking that marrying Peach was the only thing that makes him happy, and now wants Mario to suffer like him, although this may have been a coverup for all the terrible things he committed, and that Bowser was in fact merely just selfish the whole time. Once Mario and friends finally defeat Bowser by knocking him out and shrinking him and then locked in a birdcage, Bowser finally admits that he no longer loves Peach, and vows revenge on the heroes by plotting to kidnap Peach instead...
  • Lots-O'-Huggin' Bear from Toy Story 3. His owner Daisy loved him more than anything in the world, but he was inadvertently left behind by her on an outing. Determined to reunite with her, he made his way homeward, only to discover that he had been replaced by a new Lotso. Believing he had been deliberately spurned by Daisy, he becomes a twisted tyrant of the Sunnyside Daycare center and a G-rated nihilist.
    Chuckles the Clown: Something changed in Lotso that day. Something snapped.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Beast (2017): Moll lies to the police to protect Pascal when he's arrested for murder, out of love for him. She justifies it to herself that she 'knows' he's innocent, but it eventually becomes clear this isn't true, at which point the guilt starts to eat away at her.
  • 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.
  • Invoked in The Body (2012). Álex' decision to kill his wife Mayka is a result of him fearing to lose his lover Carla.
  • 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 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).
  • This can be said of Two-Face in The Dark Knight after Rachel Dawes dies.
  • Event Horizon: It is strongly implied that Dr. Weir's wife Claire committed Bath Suicide in his absence while he was working on the gateway drive. The guilt gnaws at him, and the haunted ship uses this to drive him insane and turn him into a pseudo-Cenobite.
  • 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.
  • Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald: Queenie Goldstein joins Gellert Grindelwald's army because she believes he can create a world where she can pursue a relationship with a No-Maj like Jacob Kowalski openly. Never mind that Grindelwald's entire motivation is to establish a wizarding supremacy over No-Majs, or that Jacob is horrified at her decision, calling her crazy and refusing to go with her, but she is not deterred.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!"
  • 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.
  • 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 The Last Circus it is Javier's love for Natalia that leads into his downfall and eventual descent into insanity.
  • Let Me In has Owen. He has been neglected by his family, brutally bullied and beaten at school, and has no other friends or anyone else to look after him. Abby is the only one who shows real love and affection for him and protects him. Technically, Owen hasn't done anything bad yet other than helping his vampire lover Abby hide a corpse. But at the end of the plot, he leaves the city with her. Whether she turned him into a vampire or her new caretaker, he will kill people for the rest of his life to get their blood.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Non-romantic love, but Loki in Thor loves his father and his Asgardian home very, very much. His desire to be acknowledged and loved on par with his brother Thor leads him to attempt genocide.
    • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: Xu Wenwu, who plans to locate and invade Ta-Lo so he can be reunited with his dead wife.
    • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness: Though the corruption of the Darkhold is also a factor, Wanda Maximoff transforms into the dreaded multiversal conqueror Scarlet Witch because she wants to move to a universe where her children truly exist. There is also Sinister Strange, an evil alternate universe version of Stephen Strange who is basically the Scarlet Witch's male counterpart, except instead of trying to have children, he wants to move to a universe where he and Christine Palmer got together.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • The hidden setup of So I Married an Axe Murderer as we find out in The Reveal. It is questionable, however, whether the culprit Rose Michaels is actually insane the whole time.
  • 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.
  • 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 sit well for Chad as he starts to stalk them and tries to get 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 in kidnapping Angela and their newborn son so that they can be a family together.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Three Musketeers (1993). Arthos has a bit of a story about love. It doesn't end well.
  • Universal Soldier: The Return: It's easy to interpret S.E.T.H.'s intent to turn Luc's daughter into a Unisol as some sort of twisted fatherly affection on his part since she was one of his only human contacts and he looks genuinely concerned when he visits her in the hospital and realizes she has a fever. In S.E.T.H.'s mind, he's just ensuring that she will never die.
  • In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Victor did not take his brother James leaving him for a life of peace well... not in the least.
  • X-Men: First Class shows that Erik's greatest motivation has always been love, be it for his people, his mother, the X-Men, or Charles. He loves them all and is willing to do terrifying things to avenge them and keep them safe.

  • In Goddess Creation System, after Ping Yang Hou's wife was indirectly assassinated he quietly went crazy after he figured it out and began plotting to seize the throne and destroy the royal family. He might even have made for a good king nonetheless despite usurping the throne but his obsession with his dead wife causes him to force through impossible imperial edicts, even executing a man on the spot for refusing to have his dead wife acknowledged as queen.

  • 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 fairy 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 into a flower and wilts after leaving the forest comes across as a Bittersweet Ending. At least she is spared worse.
  • Daughtry: "Evil" is about the singer falling for a woman who is a bad influence, calling her the devil at one point, which drags him down to "The Dark Side of life".

  • Gérard in Giordano's Andrea Chénier started as a Well-Intentioned Extremist, genuinely wishing to help the commons, but, thanks to his passion for Maddalena de Coigny, he almost became a Jacobin version of Scarpia.
  • Claggart in Britten's Billy Budd, if you interpret it as Foe Yay.
  • Don José in Bizet's Carmen started out as a simple soldier who intended to marry his childhood sweetheart Micaela. But he was led astray by the Femme Fatale of the opera's title, whose subsequent love for the charismatic bullfighter Escamillo ends up costing her her life through Don José's belief that "If I Can't Have You…, Escamillo can't either!" Unfortunately, the controversial 2018 Florence production flanderized Don José's character based on the somber conclusion alone, making him out to be a Domestic Abuser from the beginning.
  • 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.
  • Giuseppe Verdi loved the trope, as proved by:
    • Count di Luna in Il trovatore is so jealous of his rival that he outright says he wants to act as evil towards him as possible. It ended in his rival and his beloved both being dead.
    • Amneris in Aida is madly jealous after she realizes Radames loves Aida. Her actions lead to her rival and her beloved both being dead (you can probably see a pattern here).
    • Eboli in Don Carlo goes berserk after realizing her beloved Don Carlos is in love with the queen.
    • Abigail in Theatre/Nabucco.

    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 
  • Princess: The Hopeful has the Court of Tears, whose philosophy essentially revolves around having some one person or nation or group that you love so dearly that you will do anything, even make a Deal with the Devil and condemn everyone else to Darkness, if that is what it takes to preserve those you have chosen to value.
  • 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.

  • 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. 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!"
  • All the murders in Little Shop of Horrors are influenced primarily by Seymour's love for Audrey.
  • Marie Antoinette (Musical): Orléans in the Hungarian production. He was in love with Marie Antoinette but, when she rejected him, he decided to have revenge and becomes the antagonist as a result.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Wicked:
    • Nessarose, Elphaba's beautiful but unstable sister. 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.

    Visual Novels 
  • It would seem like Junko Enoshima from Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc would hate her classmates, judging by the fact that she put them in a killing game, but the series' creator Kazutaka Kodaka has the opposite to say; he explained that, "Enoshima loves her classmates," and, "It's like, the more she loves someone, the more she wants to treasure their mutual killing," which is to say that she wanted to feel the despair of seeing her beloved friends kill each other, and you can't feel pain at watching someone die if you don't care about them.
  • 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.
  • 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 by Kuzuki's incredibly emotionless behavior.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies, Aura Blackquill was so tormented by the murder of her unrequited love, and her little brother having been wrongly imprisoned for it, that she came to honestly believe an 11-year-old child had committed the crime. On the day before her brother was going to be executed, Aura took several people hostage, threatening to kill them if he wasn't declared innocent. And she does, in the Bad Ending.
  • This leads 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Arcueid, fooling her when she didn't even know she was a vampire, and let her suck his blood. Becoming a dead apostle of Arcueid, 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—-

    Web Comics 
  • In Collar 6 this seems to have happened to Trina.
  • 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.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Pandora's apparent madness is driven by the loss of her husband and her attempts to care for her son.
  • 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.
  • 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. 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.
    • Ysengrin loved Coyote so much that he killed him and stole his power, because seeing Coyote not use the power to be as feared and respected as Ysengrin thought he should be tore him up. Which, of course, was exactly what Coyote planned all along.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 allow her to be resurrected from death but radically alter 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.
  • 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.

     Web Original 
  • 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."
  • 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..."
  • In Lift You Up, Robot having a crush on Iris is the reason why he destroys her home planet and kills Mike (who lives on Earth) before taking Iris to a different plant to get close to her.
  • 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 Mommy Sleeps in the Basement, Tom claims he loves Claire more than anyone else, but his twisted love for her led him to abduct her, keep her locked in his basement for over a decade and impregnate her against her will. And it didn't stop him from killing her eventually, though he expresses regret over this.
  • 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.
  • Salem from RWBY was once a lonely girl who longed for freedom. She found that freedom in the eyes of the dashing hero who rescued her and fell deeply in love. It did not end well. The man she loved, Ozma, died from a fatal sickness. For trying to manipulate the gods into restoring his life, she was cursed with immortality to prevent her from being with Ozma in the afterlife until she learned the importance of life and death. Instead, she incited humanity to rebel against the gods which led to the destruction of humanity and the moon. When the God of Light restored humanity, he gave humanity a single chance to earn redemption and gave Ozma the responsibility of making it happen. By then, however, Salem had dived into the God of Darkness's pools of annihilation; instead of ending her curse as she hoped, it corrupted her into a being of pure destruction. Now Salem and Ozma are bitterly opposed to each other, one trying to unite humanity to save it while the other tries to divide humanity to destroy it.
  • Sailor Nothing: the Dark Queen unintentionally created the Yami-gaia in an attempt to save her lover from dying of consumption.
  • In Worm, Trickster betrays his teammates for Noelle, his ex-girlfriend who had gone insane and become an Omnicidal Maniac.

    Western Animation 
  • Amphibia: Played with. It’s not love that turns King Andrias evil, but rather, friendship. He once had two incredibly close friends, those being Leif and Barrel. However, their friendship would be strained, as Leif would end up betraying Andrias by stealing the Calamity Box (she foresaw that it was bad news and wanted to prevent it from getting into the wrong hands). Barrel ends up siding with Leif and helps her get away. Completely devastated by the loss of the two people he could trust most, Andrias ultimately decided to follow through with his father’s plans to make him a tyrant.
    King Andrias: That’s the thing about friends, isn’t it? The more you love them, the more it hurts when they go. Allow me to demonstrate [drops Sprig].
  • Batman: The Animated Series:
    • Harley Quinn, although listed above, did originate in the DC Animated Universe. She is shown to be a generally good (if crazy) person when on her own. Being in love with The Joker though brings her to all the depths one would expect.
    • This incarnation of Jervis Tetch, aka the Mad Hatter, is originally a lonely genius who develops Mind Control devices for Wayne Tech Enterprises. He falls hard for a secretary named Alice, but she has a long-time boyfriend, and though it's a struggle, Tetch genuinely tries to leave her alone because he knows that it would be wrong to force them apart. It isn't until he gets a chance at a date with her (Alice and her boyfriend fight, and Tetch decides to take her out on the town) that he develops the Hatter persona and starts using his technology for nefarious purposes—and when Alice returns to her boyfriend, Tetch goes Jumping Off the Slippery Slope and tumbles into complete insanity.
    • It was also The Animated Series that gave Victor Fries, or Mr. Freeze, his tragic backstory. He was originally a scientist whose wife fell ill with an incurable disease, so he started stealing technology from his workplaces to develop a cryogenic machine to preserve her until a cure could be found. When Corrupt Corporate Executive Ferris Boyle finds out, he shoves Fries into a table of chemicals, which turns him into the permanently-frozen Mr. Freeze. All of Fries's crimes are dedicated to either getting revenge on Boyle or saving Nora.
  • Castlevania (2017):
    • Having to watch his beloved wife be burned at the stake on false charges of witchcraft drives Dracula utterly insane, leading to his campaign to essentially commit murder-suicide on the whole world.
    • In Season 4, Trevor and Sypha's friend Saint-Germain is so determined to gain the power to free his lover from the Infinite Corridor that he's willing to resurrect Dracula to gain the power to do so.
  • In the Codename: Kids Next Door episode "Operation: S.N.O.W.I.N.G.", Gallagher Elementary's fourth grade class president Jimmy turns evil as part of an elaborate scheme to win the affection of Lizzie, Numbuh 1's girlfriend. It doesn't work, and it's unclear why Jimmy thought villainy would be attractive to Lizzie in the first place as both she and his romantic rival Numbuh 1 are good.
  • Danny Phantom has Vlad Masters/Plasmius who tries to murder his once best friend to obtain the woman he loves, not to mention try and constantly Mind Rape Danny into being his surrogate son, later going as far as making a perfect clone of him. The ultimate irony is that in an alternate timeline, Vlad ends up marrying Maddie, but it's not a happy marriage due to the fact that he's a total control freak. What's more, Maddie still prefers Jack.
  • Darkwing Duck, "Time and Punishment", has Knight Templar DarkWarrior Duck becoming bad all because of losing his little girl Gosalyn. Even when she turns against him and tries to reset time, he can't bring himself to harm her and breaks down in tears.
  • In The Dragon Prince, love tends to be a driving force for a lot of the main characters, familial or romantic. A familial variant of this trope comes into play with Claudia. She's willing to do anything to keep her remaining family happy, even if that means betraying her childhood friends, going against her brother who knows better, and even reviving her dead father after he was thrown off a mountain top by that "wretched elf" Rayla.
  • One of the reasons why Trina Riffin from Grojband changed her name from Katrina and became the way she is now was so she could win over her crush Nick Mallory.
  • Harley Quinn (2019): While Harley Quinn always had a repressed dark side, it was falling in love with Joker that drove her to embrace her murderous impulses and become a villainess. Later, thinking she can't get Ivy because the latter already has Kite Man, Harley makes a deal with Darkseid and uses a Parademon army to massacre the people in Gotham, mostly just to distract herself from the pain.
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) episode "The Cosmic Comet". A comet goes evil because it lost its love.
  • Kaeloo: Mr. Cat wasn't a very nice person to begin with, but it's heavily implied that most of his evil deeds are done for the purpose of pushing Kaeloo past Rage Breaking Point just so she will transform into a monster, who he has a crush on.
  • In The Legend of Korra, Hiroshi Sato's reason for joining the Equalists was the murder of his wife by a firebender.
  • In Miraculous Ladybug, there are plenty of akumatized villains that came about because of something bad happening to a victim's loved one; for example, Mayor Bourgeois was akumatized because his beloved daughter was going to leave him and Paris for New York, Marc Anciel was akumatized after his crush accused him of playing with his feelings, and Luka Couffaine was akumatized when a Corrupt Corporate Executive threatened his crushnote .
    • This extends to the main villains as well; Hawk Moth wants the heroes' miraculouses in order to undo the events that left his beloved wife comatose, while Mayura is driven by her unrequited feelings for Hawk Moth. Even Lila Rossi falls into this — her vendetta against Ladybug began because the heroine harshly humiliated her in front of her crush (the fact that Lila was not guiltless slips her mind).
    • The process of akumatization seems to require the target to feel intense emotions of anger and hurt, so several of the akumatized villains are people who were angry over the mistreatment of their loved ones (love interests, family members, or close friends), or were in emotional pain because they were betrayed by someone they loved. Lê Chiến Kim felt betrayed because his crush rejected his romantic advances and humiliated him, Sabrina Raincomprix felt betrayed because her best friend was angry with her and wanted to terminate their friendship, and Chloé Bourgeois felt betrayed because the hero she idolized rejected her genuine efforts to help with a case.
  • Rick and Morty: Morty Smith shows little concern for morality when he’s trying to court Jessica. To elaborate:
    • Morty asks Rick in “Rick Potion #9” to make him a Love Potion for Jessica and still decides to use it even after Rick calls him out for essentially using a date rape drug.
    • One of his mindblowers shows him eager to torture an alien because he tried to kill Jessica, and he probably would have killed the alien immediately if Rick wasn’t present.
    • In “Edge of Tomorty: Rick Die RickPeat”, Morty is willing to let Rick stay dead by not cloning him if it means dying old with Jessica, and even after he learns the truth of the death crystal’s vision, he’s just pissed off that his efforts were All for Nothing rather than remorseful that several people died because of his actions.
  • Oroku Saki/The Shredder in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) was in love with the same woman Hamato Yoshi/Splinter loved. When she chose Yoshi over Saki, he became jealous of Yoshi and came to hate him. His entire plan is to kill Splinter by using his long-lost daughter as a weapon.
  • In Teen Titans (2003), Terra is so desperate to control her power and become more than a broken disaster in the public’s eye that she accepts Slade’s mentorship. Although she infiltrates the Titans on his orders, she becomes closer and closer to Beast Boy to the point that she brings him on a date after deactivating the team’s security, not caring if everyone else dies as long as he stays safe. When he rejects her after finding out about this, she fully gives into Slade’s influence and tries to wipe out the team wholesale. Ultimately, Love Redeems and she sacrifices herself to save Beast Boy and her other former teammates from Slade.
  • The Soul Sever from the ThunderCats (2011) episode of the same name is a robot powered by the soul of a dead man who slaughtered the original coven of Mechromancers (think a Lighter and Softer version of the Necrons) when they wouldn't also resurrect his family. He stole their secrets and placed his family's souls in machines that kept them tied to the material realm, and began researching how to replicate his condition. It turns out, only a select few have the capacity to become Artificial Revenants like him, and anyone else becomes mindlessly hungry zombie robots.
  • Nox, the Big Bad from Wakfu. His love for his family that he lost 200 years prior to the show drives him to do terrible things. Up to and including genocide.
  • Wander over Yonder has an entire episode centered around this trope entitled "The Lonely Planet". The titular character and Sylvia find a drab and empty planet but ever the optimist, Wander complements it by saying that it has lots of potential. It turns out that the planet can talk and change her environment. She tells Wander how thrilled she is to have visitors before introducing herself as Janet and making the planet an all-out paradise for him. The same cannot be said for Sylvia though. Janet blows fire in her face, gives her the universe's equivalent of poison ivy, grows jagged sharp rocks seconds after Sylvia gleefully tumbled down a hill. and basically goes from Clingy Jealous Girl to Yandere when she decides to flat out kill her.
  • What If…? (2021):
  • On WordGirl, Tobey's villainy seems to be at least somewhat motivated just by his desire to interact with Word Girl.
  • On Young Justice (2010), this serves as the cover story for Aqualad's fake Face–Heel Turn in order to go deep undercover.


Video Example(s):


Well, Forget You!

Jimmy, fourth grade president of Gallagher Elementary, reveals that he turned evil in a vain attempt to impress his "true beloved" Lizzie.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / LoveMakesYouEvil

Media sources: