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"Lust is a weak, poor, whimpering whispering thing when compared with that richness and energy of desire which will arise when lust has been killed."

Lust is an intense desire for something that doesn't properly have material existence. It is most commonly understood as sexual desire for another, but can in fact refer to massive desire for anything abstract. Lust for power is a very common motivation for villains, especially the Evil Overlord. Conquest, honour, respect, knowledge, and even attention are also things that can be lusted after.

Sexual lust is a character trait of the Chivalrous Pervert, Covert Pervert, The Casanova, Lovable Sex Maniac, Dirty Old Man, All Women Are Lustful, and Panty Thief. It often leads to Sex Signals Death. The worst practitioners of this sin in a sexual sense are usually predators of some kind who prey on others, like the Stalker with a Crush, those who practice Villainous Incest, the vilest of Serial Killers and the villain who says "I Have You Now, My Pretty." Stupid people who are controlled by lust fall under Lust Makes You Dumb.

Among the Seven Deadly Sins, this is similar to greed, but greed refers to desire for material possessions, lust is desire for abstract concepts. Like greed, lust is rarely satisfied, and just keeps growing until it often brings down the character. Both often go hand in hand with gluttony.

Supertrope to In Love with Looks. Compare or contrast For Happiness and Ethical Slut, depending on viewpoint. Compare Sex Is Evil, and I Am Horny and The Power of Lust. In certain viewpoints, compare Heteronormative Crusader. See also Asmodeus, a demon associated with Lust.


Examples

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Lust for Sex

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Kokou no Hito, one of Buntarou's main struggles early on in the story is struggling with his sexual desires after an encounter with Yumi (a former classmate of his who became a prostitute after her reputation got ruined), in contrast with his desire to be alone climbing the mountains.
  • Panty from Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt is a major case of this. In the intro, her brain shows her thinking about nothing but having sex with hot men, and she has no problem constantly showing her body off to the public. She was also flippant about broadcasting an old sex tape of hers, something that would cost her and Stocking their jobs if it was ever made public. Her ultimate goal in life is to bang 1000 men, but she puts this aside in the last episode once she starts to develop feelings for Brief.
  • Happosai, in Ranma ½, could practically be considered the Patron Saint of Stealing Women's Underwear and Lecherous Old Folks. He's over a century old (three centuries in the anime), and has been stealing lingerie, ogling women, groping women, and chasing tail since he hit puberty. He's such a pervert that he actually gets weak and sickly if he can't regularly admire a bra or touch a woman.

    Film — Animated 
  • Judge Claude Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Disney) is a Pride-focused villain at the beginning of the story, but when he sets eyes on the gypsy Esmeralda, he is consumed by his lust for her, and decides to have her executed when she refuses to go along with him.
  • In Turning Red, Mei and her friends lust after Devon and after 4*Town in the form of Celeb Crushes.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Beowulf (2007), it is the titular Beowulf's weakness for beautiful women that allows Grendel's mother to manipulate him so easily (though oddly, the tagline of the film was "pride is the curse").
  • In Epic Movie (2007), the main character Peter is very lustful, especially towards a parody of Mystique, portrayed by Carmen Electra. Our first look at her is him imagining her dancing sexily towards him. He asks her to go to the dance with him, but he clearly seems mainly into it because of how hot she is. Hell, despite originally considering him a loser, Mystique herself becomes lustful towards Peter after he becomes king, dragging him into a tent, making out with him, and asking what he'd like her to shapeshift into before they have sex. He ends up asking for bigger breasts, a larger ass size, a unibrow, which he refers to as a "mamabrow", and finally, "Big Flabby Grandma arms"/"Bingo Wings like a fat blue Britney Spears"... even if his likings are odd, it's clear that his motive for getting with her is for lustful reasons (especially with the shapeshifting powers).
  • Excalibur: Lust for sex.
    • When Uther sees Cornwall's wife Igrayne, he absolutely has to have her, and doesn't care about the consequences.
    • Arthur's queen Guenevere and champion Lancelot cannot resist each other, even after Lancelot has to fight a duel to prove that they are not having an affair. Arthur finds out.
  • This is the Fatal Flaw of Seth Brundle in The Fly (1986). He has so devoted himself to his great professional goal — developing teleportation technology — that at the top of the movie he is a lonely recluse; the first scene takes place In Medias Res as he awkwardly tries to woo the beautiful journalist Veronica Quaife by offering to show him his work. She ends up interested enough in his work that he arranges for her to exclusively chronicle it, and the professional relationship not only ends up elevated to a personal one (she makes the first move), but in the process helps him finally crack the challenge of teleporting living things. However, his passion for her is so intense that he doesn't take it well when he mistakenly believes he's being cuckolded; he copes by getting drunk and deciding to jump ahead to the Grand Finale of his work: teleporting himself. He unknowingly genetically merges himself with a housefly in the process, resulting in a Slow Transformation into a Half-Human Hybrid whose passions come to hold total sway over his slipping human mind, culminating in his attempting to genetically fuse himself with Veronica and their unborn child to create "the ultimate family... More human than I am alone!" — with tragic results.
  • In Ladyhawke, it is the Bishop of Aquilia who arranges a Deal with the Devil so that the lovers Etienne of Navarre and Isabeau d'Anjou are placed under a curse. His motivation is thwarted lust for Isabeau.

    Literature 
  • In Cloud of Sparrows, Zephaniah's first point of view scene is a detailed description of his lust for Emily.
  • In his Confessions (Saint Augustine), St. Augustine describes the lust he fell into in his youth as a whirlpool of shame that threw him from affair to affair without any rest or peace. By the time of his conversion, he managed to overcome his appetites.
  • The Divine Comedy:
    • The Second Circle of Hell is made up of those most guilty of the sin of lust, all of them lost in the winds of a great storm.
    • Special mention that the "panderers and seducers" (essentially those who used sex and lust to commit fraud and other atrocities) are instead sent to the first ring of the 8th Circle to be whipped and beaten by demons in a two-laned march.
    • The seventh and last terrace of Purgatory is where souls atone for the sin of lust.
  • The Anthropomorphic Personification of Lust in The Faerie Queene is an ugly, filthy man named Lechery who rides around on a bearded goat. He holds an exposed heart in his hand and loves nothing more than to prey on weak women and get them to cheat on their husbands.
  • In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, when Archdeacon Claude Frollo sets his eyes on the beautiful gypsy Esmerelda, he is consumed by his lust for her, which slowly drives him insane until he decides to try to overcome his sexual desires by killing her. However, he's not a villain, but rather a complex and sympathetic figure. Phoebus also suffers from this; he's a shameless womanizer even while engaged to someone he spends most of the book seducing.
  • Brian de Bois Guilbert in Ivanhoe. Though nominally a Knight Templar (not a Knight Templar, though), he stalks and tries to rape the Jewess Rebecca. In the end, during a Duel to the Death he dies of a heart attack, likely not because Sir Walter Scott minded having the hero kill him but because he wanted the poetic justice of having the villain killed by his own lust.
  • C. S. Lewis:
    • The author explains in The Four Loves that the difference between Lust and Romantic Love (eros) lies in "his attitude to her five minutes after fruition (one does not keep the carton after one has smoked the cigarettes)."
    • Also from Lewis is The Horse and His Boy. The second half of the book's action is based on a Calormene Prince's lust for Queen Susan, who uses this as his excuse for invasion.
  • In Lolita, Humbert is motivated by his lust for the young Dolores.
  • The Wheel of Time:
    • Balthamel originally became evil so that he could indulge his sexual lust with reckless abandon.
    • Rahvin, who uses mind control to force women into having sex with him, since he can't handle rejection.
    • Graendal. She was actually celibate before her Face–Heel Turn, but now she regularly holds orgies.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Phoebe from Charmed (1998) got hit by lust pretty bad in an episode centered on the Seven Deadly Sins. Of course, this only magnified what was there originally — her high school nickname was "freebie".
  • Hawkeye and Trapper of M*A*S*H are well known as a pair of unrepentant skirt chasers, though they do tend to keep their libidos under control when performing surgery.
  • Merlin (1998) provides a particularly interesting example in King Uther. His Fatal Flaw, and his doom, is his lust for Igraine, the wife of the Duke of Cornwall. To satisfy his desire, he goes to war against the Duke, causing the death of hundreds, eventually kills him, and with Merlin's help, rapes Igraine by deceit. After he's satiated his desire, however, he has no more interest in her, and simply leaves her and the bastard child he'd begotten (Arthur). Over time after the incident, Uther slowly slips into madness until he is almost The Caligula before he finally commits suicide. At the same time, his killing of her father enrages Morgan le Fay, who later becomes a pivotal enemy of Merlin and Arthur.

    Music 

    Mythology & Folklore 
  • In Greek Mythology, The Trojan War started because of Paris' lust for Helen of Sparta.
  • Pick any version of Robin Hood. Chances are that either the Sheriff of Nottingham or Guy of Gisborne will lust after Marian.
  • The White Witch of Rose Hall: With the number of husbands and lovers the titular witch had (the lovers coming from among both plantation bookkeepers and slaves), one can't help but suspect that she suffered from this.

    Newspaper Comics 

    Professional Wrestling 

    Theatre 

    Video Games 
  • In Vaati's first appearance in The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, his only motive seems to be kidnapping young women and making Zelda his bride.
  • Sir William the Black from Overlord is a fallen paladin-turned-cult leader who has spent most of his recent time ignoring the deaths of the people in Heaven's Peak to satisfy his own carnal desires.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Legend of Zelda (1989), Ganon's motivations for kidnapping Zelda sometimes include getting his hands on her, as well as the Triforce of Wisdom. Of course, this may just be part and parcel of his unending lust for power.

Lust for Power

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Superman: This is a major trait of Lex Luthor. It is repeatedly shown that the primary reason for his loathing of Superman is that his existence as Metropolis' all-powerful symbol of justice means that LexCorp is not the ones in charge. Whenever he speaks of humanity overcoming aliens and gods, he generally means himself, let alone all the times he's extremely blatant about it. It does overlap with Pride and Envy, but come on now.

    Film — Animated 
  • A few Disney Animated Canon villains have this as their primary motivation.
    • In The Little Mermaid (1989), Ursula manipulates Ariel in order to get Triton's trident, which will let her rule the seas.
    • In Aladdin, Jafar manipulates the Sultan and tries to forcibly marry Jasmine in order to become Sultan himself. He throws in a bit of lust for Jasmine herself once he gets the power he desired. For the sake of power, he also uses Genie to become the world's most powerful sorcerer, but when he discovers that he's still weaker than Genie, he decides to use his final wish to become an all-powerful genie.
    • In The Lion King (1994), Scar murders his brother and attempts to kill his nephew in order to rule Pride Rock.

    Literature 
  • Everworld: Senna Wales, whose plan follows the ideals of a Take Over the World villain. Of course, this is only the start.
  • Harry Potter: Voldemort wants nothing more than to rule over Wizarding world in Britain, and achieve immortality. And he is ready to kill anyone to achieve his goals, be it his enemies or even his own followers.
  • Melkor from The Silmarillion. He desires to rule over all life in Middle-Earth, and that which he cannot create or control he destroys. Which is everything and everyone not under his rule.

    Live-Action TV 

    Video Games 
  • In Kingdom Hearts, Lust happens to be Clayton's Fatal Flaw. His lust for power was what summoned the Heartless to Deep Jungle, and his bloodlust against the gorillas, willing to hunt them to extinction, ended in him being crushed to death by a dying Heartless.
  • Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time: Penelope wants to Take Over the World and make billions of dollars in weapon designs, a combination of greed and lust for power. Heck, she's easily committed all of the Seven Deadly Sins.details  This did come with the consequences, in that her relationship with Bentley ended violently, and the Cooper Gang declared her a sworn enemy.

    Web Animation 

    Webcomics 

    Western Animation 
  • Fire Lord Ozai of Avatar: The Last Airbender, who plans to have the Fire Nation be the most dominant power in the world, with him as its absolute ruler.

Other Lusts

    Anime & Manga 
  • Lust for respect is one of the main flaws of Light Yagami in Death Note; it combines with his pride to generate a severe god complex. The only time that Light shows a strong emotion (besides when he's defeated by Near) is when he feels L humiliated him.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • In the manga, Lust mostly provokes lust in others, since she's the literal embodiment of the sin. She mostly has a lust for causing harm. This makes sense, as the emotions she is made of came from Big Bad Father, who has a definite sadistic streak.
    • General Raven, one of Father's pawns, also suffers from lust, for sex and power, but most of all, for more life. He's an old man whose time is running out and he cuts a deal with Father in the hopes of living forever.
    • Ironically, the final moments of the homonculus Greed implies that what he wanted more than anything was to have friends, which is desiring an abstract concept. Similarly, in the 2003 anime, Greed's ultimate desire is to be free of his creator, either by outliving or killing her.
    • In Fullmetal Alchemist (2003), Lust's motivation is an intense desire to be human.
  • The Big Bad Major from Hellsing expresses his lust for war with these starting words:
    The Major: Gentlemen, I like war... Gentlemen, I love war.
  • Ren Kouen from Magi: Labyrinth of Magic lusts after knowledge. He claims to care about his empire, but his brothers Kouha and Koumei know he just conquers as many lands as possible in case they have the answers he's looking for. After meeting Aladdin, he agrees to fight a horde of monsters just to get a chance to talk with him, and in the middle of said fight, his mask of calmness cracks and he slaughters everything in his path for the sake of that chat.
  • Goether the Goat-Sin of Lust from The Seven Deadly Sins is an Emotionless Boy who spends his time trying to learn emotions from books. Any books. He has an inappropriate longing for knowledge, or by the "pining after an abstract concept" definition, well, what's more abstract than emotions?

    Literature 
  • Haruhi Suzumiya lusts for weirdness. In fact, the reason why she's so screwed up is probably because there is nothing in this "boring world". That's what she thinks.
  • Each of the villains in the Keys to the Kingdom series represents a deadly sin, with Lady Friday representing lust. To be precise, lust for human memories and experiences. She seems to be addicted to them, and routinely kidnaps senior citizens (who have had more experiences) and drains them of all their emotions. They never wake up again. If the experience is deemed too "impure" (in a quality sense, not anything else), she discards it and gives it to a subordinate.
  • Making Money has the ghost of a professor, whose Dirty Old Man tendencies are instantly displayed when talking to Moist's fiancée Adora, but sidelined when she takes out the lump of Umnian-enscribed pottery she needs translated (with the narration noting that lust takes many forms). He's later incorsized (inverted exorcism) in a strip club.

    Video Games 
  • BlazBlue's resident Bishōnen Jin Kisaragi has "Lust SIN" as his musical theme, though whether this is referring to his obsession for killing his older brother or something else remains to be seen. On another note, Hazama/Terumi manages to mix Lust with Wrath and Envy — he is prone to torturing people not just to mold them for his own twisted plans, but in many cases just because he feels like it. While there is some justification in that he requires people to acknowledge his existence in order to persist (getting people to hate him is easier for him), the level of excess he takes it to (which also mixes this with Gluttony) is just plain disgusting. He even shows rather violent 'withdrawal' symptoms, as he screams loudly whenever he loses a torture victim (he really hates Rachel over this) and is willing to kill whoever interferes if they stick around (see Jin and Makoto). This is not all Hazama entitles, either; he's actually fits all Seven Deadly Sins.
  • Kromer from Limbus Company lusts after two things in particular: violent retribution against those who dare have prosthetics, and Sinclair's undivided attention. One may think the latter is a lust for sex, but she really doesn't care. Making herself someone he hates so much that he can only ever think of her is just as valid of a result for her.
  • Rengoku: Statius in the second game is a Blood Knight with a "lust for battle", searching for a feeling he doesn't understand he gets by defeating enemies.
  • Trillion: God of Destruction: Ashmedia, Zeabolos' blood-related cousin is the holder of the Crest of Lust. True to her Crest, she speaks with a very seductive tone and enjoys dishing out pain to her enemies, and is even known to tease others with both her words and eye-catching body. It turns out that she's a virgin, and something of a romantic, teasing others for fun and being a surprising Shipper on Deck for couples she finds cute. Other events show that most think her a Brainless Beauty, and she forms a friendship with Faust, often hanging out with the woman in her laboratory.
  • In Umineko: When They Cry, the youngest sister of the Stakes of Purgatory is Asmodeus, who represents the sin of Lust. However, it is stated in her TIPS that she desperately wants to fall in love. If those around her don't fall in love and simply give in to their lusts, it increases her vice.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Zuko's obsession with "honor" and his constant searches for his father's approval fit the description of lust quite nicely.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Squiwards longs for fame and fortune, and will do any means to achieve it. Weather by his non-existent talents, or by stealing or sabotaging other people for his benefit.

All of the above and More

    Anime & Manga 
  • Digimon: Lilithmon, one of the Seven Great Demon Lords, is the personification of lust. True to her name, she's sultry, seductive, wears a rather exotic outfit, and has one of the largest set of breasts in the franchise, rivalled by Angewomon (who is an archangel and yet ironically even more Stripperific), Venusmon (the Digimon counterpart of Aphrodite/Venus, the Greek/Roman goddess of love and mad hot sex), and Mervamon. Naturally, she lusts for many other things, including power. It also manifests as one of her own unique abilities — she can take the shape of whoever her chosen target desires most at the moment, like a lonely little girl's mother.

    Comic Books 
  • The Sandman (1989): Desire of the Endless is the Anthropomorphic Personification of, well, Desire. Which basically entails this trope.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Queen Clea's lust for power has destroyed one Atlantean principality and caused a long war with another. Her lust for men compounds this given she abducts and strips whole shiploads of them, keeps those willing to be submissive to her as her personal shirtless slaves and devises executions for the others that involve them struggling while scantily clad for her amusement.

    Literature 
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Cersei Lannister. Among her many desires is for her to be a ruler in her own right. She is ready to use sex, bribery, and manipulation to achieve her goals, and will not let anyone, be it other people or her own family to get in her way. But she also still lusted after Rhaegar Targaryen, the prince she wanted to marry, she even took in a bastard sailor in her court because he looked liked him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Lady Cassandra from Doctor Who has this as one of her villainous traits and Fatal Flaws. When the Doctor and Rose first meet her, she is nothing but a Brain in a Jar linked to a moving piece of skin taken from her body. Her plan in "The End of the World" involves putting people in danger so that she can get enough money to keep her expensive life support, but she is defeated by the Doctor and Rose. Cassandra's lust is so great that in "New Earth", despite having a lot of pride in being an upper-class lady and the last human, she decides to leave her pride aside in order to possess the body of Rose Tyler so that she can get revenge on her. She is at first sulky about the idea of merging with Rose, but after realizing how attractive she has become, she can't help but admire her new (Rose's) beauty while she takes a moment to enjoy her new assets and show off her new body when she gets the chance. Since she is a Foil and Evil Counterpart to Rose, she is much more straightforward and honest about her lust towards the Doctor, giving him a passionate kiss and enjoying possessing him too once she gets the chance.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Nomine: Andrealphus is the Demon Prince of Lust. He mostly (and enthusiastically) focuses on sexual lust, believing that Love Hurts and is a weak thing as a result, but also covers all other areas of intense desire.
  • Warhammer 40,000: This is Slaanesh's main purview. The actual subject of the lust doesn't matter — it is the extreme desire that fuels Slaanesh (indeed, he/she/it was spawned from the highly psychic Eldar's millenia-long decadence).

    Video Games 
  • In Azure Striker Gunvolt, Zonda of the Sumeragi Group is one of the Seven Swordsmen, seven powerful Adepts who represent one of the Seven Deadly Sins, and they're known as the Lustful Mirage. At first, they seem to be all about sex and love given how much they harp on about the power of love, their love of Double Entendre, and hitting on anybody in sight. However, Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 reveals her true colors; she was in fact The Mole for and child leader of Eden, a nation of Adepts that seek to annihilate humanity for their discrimination and oppression against them. She joined Sumeragi specifically to gain access to their technology to plan her own revolution for Adepts, and her entire gambit in the game is to see it through. And while she stills speaks about love a lot, she also desires to gain the necessary strength and lead her people to a glorious destiny, showing that she also lusts for both power and, uniquely, freedom.
  • In Persona 5, this is Suguru Kamoshida's sin and motif. Not only is he obsessed with the female volleyball team he coaches, but he also has a Hot for Student complex towards Ann. Further, his out of control Shadow form is none other than Asmodeus, the demon of lust. His treasure in the real world turns out to be an Olympic medal, thus his lust was not only for his students but his glory days when he was somebody other than a High School PE teacher.
    • In Persona 5 Strikers, Alice takes Kamoshida's place as the Lust villain. In her case, she lusts after Joker (or at least her Shadow does), likes to steal other women's boyfriends, and acts like a dominatrix to everyone around her, but her truest lust is for revenge against the bullies who ruined her high school life- and, after she got her revenge on them, to all women who in any way remind her of said bullies... mostly by living the happy lives Alice was denied.
  • Sector Bootes from Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey. The entire subdimension is modelled after a red-light district, with a huge central tower nicknamed in-game as the "Palace of Pleasure". It is, however, also home to a fair number of Mad Scientist demons, who express an obscene lust for knowledge.

    Webcomics 
  • Drip, the sin of lust in Jack (David Hopkins), is motivated by sexual desire mixed with a lust for power and causing pain. When alive, Drip was a murderous Serial Rapist.
  • Unsounded: The child-raping slaver Starfish is obsessed with Sette, an anomalous child who hasn't aged a day for a decade. It should be noted that there are humans in this world who have been genetically altered to live for centuries, meaning they are physically children for decades, and he casually disposed of one such slave. The implication is that he wants a child bride who will stay physically and mentally young forever, no matter how much heart-hardening abuse he fosters onto them, to cement permanent power over them for the rest of his life.

    Western Animation 
  • In Steven Universe, Fusion can cause all of the above; it's basically the Gem equivalent of sex which in turn gives a major Power High, especially if one Gem or more has a strong attachment to the other. It almost never ends well if their lust gets out of control... just ask Pearl or Jasper.

 
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Asmodeus

A titanic rooster-like demon, Asmodeus, also known as Ozzie, is one of the Seven Deadly Sins and rules over the Lust Ring. Along with ruling the ring, he runs his own personal night club appropriately named Ozzie's as well as being the one who provides all the Robo Fizzes throughout Hell.

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