This character is not necessarily an Omnicidal Maniac, a nihilist who wants to destroy everything for the sake of destruction, nor a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds who was mistreated, snaps, and lashes out on the world. This person is simply trying to cure an ailment, and are willing to go to any length to do it. While Put Them All Out Of My Misery villains are usually at least slightly sympathetic in the sense that at least their motive is understandable, they come off as jerks for putting their own misery ahead of others' safety.
There might be many reasons this villain believes he must cause trouble for others to heal himself:
- Good Hurts Evil, so the villain seeks to destroy good first, in self-defense.
- The villain desires to alter some aspect of the physical world which they view as harmful to themself, and if others are harmed by the change, it's not their problem.
- The villain finds some aspect of the heroes' society so fundamentally incompatible with their own beliefs, etc., that they declare war on all "normal" society.
- The villain experienced injustice and plans to rid the world of the society that caused it. Almost like Utopia Justifies the Means, but there's no Utopia to replace the destroyed society.
- The villain is indestructible, but wants to commit suicide, believing that they will succeed in suicide if they destroy the whole world or can force a Suicide by Cop by someone who can get the job done if they stay on the right side of the Moral Event Horizon, and perhaps also that they are doing the murdered victims a favor by granting them the "gift" of death they are trying to get for themselves. After all, Who Wants to Live Forever? See also Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum which is the game plan for a villain exhibiting this type of the trope.
On the Sliding Scale of Antagonist Vileness, this character is often a Card-Carrying Villain who is aware of the possible negative consequences of their intended actions but just does not care. Selfish and dispassionate, they may go about their plans for destruction with little more emotion than the heroes might when making a shopping list. Occasionally, the character is closer to a Non-Malicious Monster who doesn't really comprehend that their plans to alter the Earth's climate would cause not just inconvenience for others, but catastrophe.
Compare and contrast Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, which is somewhat of the inverse of this trope yet may also overlap with it in certain cases. Note: Both this trope and that one can fall anywhere on the scale of villain threat. It's the scope of the story that defines the threat: They may be up against everyone in the town the story takes place in, or the entire world. Not the same as Well-Intentioned Extremist or Utopia Justifies the Means. While the villain may wish to destroy humanity for what they regard as noble or important ends, this fellow is ultimately driven by pure misanthropy and his own misery. The key to this trope is that they rationalize their actions due to self-pity, or contempt for the setting that they view as harmful.
Motive Rant, Cry for the Devil, and/or Strawman Has a Point may apply. If An Ice Person wishes to freeze the entire planet simply to heal himself, Fridge Logic may ensue. If hatred of an antagonist is their only motivation, see Best Served Cold.
For putting an actual wounded character "Out Of Its Misery", see Mercy Kill. Which this character may think they're doing.
- Rokudo Mukuro from Reborn! (2004) wants to cleanse the world of mafia (and then everything else) in blood due to his tragic backstory. Also because he hates humanity. Either way.
- Black WarGreymon from Digimon Adventure 02 wanted to destroy the Digital World because he thought that was the only way for him to understand his purpose in his artificial life and soothe his pain.
- In the original, the final villain, Apocalypmon, was formed from the combined essences of every Digimon that inadvertently destroyed itself while trying to "digivolve" to a higher form. Somehow surviving in a miserable place outside of normal time and space, it sought to escape in order to make everyone else just as unhappy.
- From Kurohime: Dark Zero who is really "Rei", the older brother of the real Zero wants to wipe out humanity because of the numerous sins he's seen them commit, and experienced on his own. Considering what his childhood was like, this is hardly surprising.
- Ookami Kakushi gives us Sakaki, whose motivation stems from Type 4: His fiancee was murdered, and he received no cooperation from the authorities to find and punish the murderer—Nemuru Kushinada, who had to carry out the old laws on dealing with Kamibito who lost their self-control. This caused him to develop a grudge against the entire city of Jougamachi, and he ultimately attempts to flood the village at the end of the anime.
- It happens under slightly different circumstances in the Visual Novel: Up to that point, he was just investigating the truth behind his fiancee's death. But what finally pushed him to it was learning that Kaori, the woman whom he had fallen in love with, had been taken away to become a "White Wolf Kannon", which he interpreted as a human sacrifice. Convinced that it was Jougamachi's laws that had taken away the women he loved, he planted bombs to blow up the dam and wipe away the city for good.
- In One Piece, one of Enel's priests wants to stop suffering in the world and stop the fighting. How? By killing everyone.
- Naruto: When Sasuke discovers his clan was killed to prevent them from staging a coup against the Leaf Village, he decides they can only be properly avenged by killing not just those responsible, but also everyone who benefited from their deaths (which is to say the entire Leaf Village).
- In Trigun, anime Legato Bluesummers just hates humanity, including himself, and is loyal to Knives, therefore genocide. The manga version has a back story: child sex slave, whose response to discovering his psychic powers was to attempt to kill everyone he had ever met, instead of just his immediate tormentors. The delay this involved allowed them to figure him out and start raping him to death. Then Knives killed the building and everything in it. Except Legato.
- First time was an accident. Second time, after the kid pledged his loyalty so touchingly, was on purpose. Legato honestly was better treated by Knives than by anyone else he'd ever known. Because Knives didn't-kill-him, and asked him his name, and let him follow. Therefore, Legato wants to Kill All Humans.
- The King of the Night in Is This a Zombie? just wants to die but Eucliwood won't let him so by God he will kill every last person on Earth if he has to convince her to finally kill him.
- Genkaku from Deadman Wonderland in reality he wants to save everyone from the burden of living by erasing them. This stems from a very skewed take on Buddhism: he was revealed to have been beaten and raped by a group of bullies who hung around the temple when he was younger; when the Great Tokyo Earthquake happens and these are trapped under the rubble he has an illumination of sorts and decides that it is best not to exist than to live in pain. He proceeds to butcher them all. Complete with a moment of Dissonant Serenity as he explains all this while covered in blood.
- The motives of King Joseph of Gallia in The Familiar of Zero can be explained as such. For a long time, he was overshadowed by his immensely talented brother and was intensely jealous of him. He thought he would feel better if he got his brother out of his way, but it did not work and he ended up becoming devoid of any feelings. And then he thought perhaps destroying the world would fill the void in his heart...
- Ashtaroth in Ghost Sweeper Mikami. He can't bear the fact that as a demon, he'll be despised by the mortal world more often than not just for that, even though demons are not innately evil, but innately chaotic and exist precisely to keep the Chaos side of the cosmic balance vibrant. So he sets up a scheme that can end in two ways, equally viable to him—either he gets to be the sole god of a rewritten creation, or he forces God and Satan to obliterate him.
- In Fairy Tail, Zeref decides on this course of action after observing the world for the last seven years and seeing that it is still a place filled with strife. His own powers making him an Enemy to All Living Things and a Walking Wasteland don't help. In his own words, "If the world continues to reject me, then I will reject this world." He's forcing a situation where his enemies will be forced to kill him or be killed. Either outcome is fine by him.
- Shiki gives us Motoko Maeda, who reacts to the death of her children at the hands of the vampires by burning down the entire village, just to get revenge on her father-in-law, whom she blames. She also sells out the vampire mother of her best friend to the vampire-hunters, despite the fact that said best friend's mother had never attacked anyone and never would because she's angry that nobody in her family came back to her!
- Played With for the protagonist in Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion; after Rei Ayanami hijacks the apocalypse from Gendo and SEELE, she decides to leave it up to Shinji Ikari whether or not to implement The End of the World as We Know It. Shinji, having just crossed his Despair Event Horizon many times over, seriously considers doing this. He doesn't go through with it. Maybe.
- This is Tougo's goal at the end of Yuki Yuna is a Hero, though she is a hero instead of a villain. After learning the Awful Truth about the Earth, she considers it best to kill everyone instead of letting more girls suffer by becoming Magical Girls and holding off the inevitable demise of the planet. On a more personal note, she especially wants to stop herself and her friends from becoming vegetables.
- In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, all of the Witches embody a kind of despair (related to their human lives) and force it onto people, usually driving them to suicide. However Walpurgisnacht, who has a motif of theater and shows, attacks whole cities directly; according to extra materials, she desires to destroy all life in order to make the world into one giant "stage."
Episode 10's Production Notes: If everything is a play, no unhappy things will exist. It may be a tragedy, but it'll all be part of the script.
- This may extend to other Witches too. Elsa Maria's Labyrinth has Catholic iconography, and her official description says that "she continually prays for all of creation and drags all life equally into her shadow." There's also the potentially most powerful Witch of all, Kriemhild Gretchen (aka Madoka herself), who wants to draw all of humanity into her own personal "heaven" and can only be defeated by eliminating all pain from the world.
- In Attack on Titan this is revealed to be the motivation of Zeke towards the Eldians. He sees their heritage as a curse that has doomed them to be miserable and believes the best solution is using the Founding Titan to sterilize the entire population. "Euthanizing" the entire race ensures the Titans will cease to exist and the long-standing hatred of others towards the Eldians will finally end.
- Mr. Freeze from Batman is a villain whose body has been altered in such a way he must be refrigerated to stay alive. Naturally, he would like to change Gotham's weather so he can walk around safely without all his life support gear (Type 2) but in many versions of the story, he also is angry over the fate of his wife (Type 4).
- Superboy of Earth-Prime, Superman of Earth-2, and Alexander Luthor of Earth-3 in Infinite Crisis - especially the first one.
- In Hero Squared, Captain Valor hurt his girlfriend, so she became a supervillain and destroyed the entire universe. He managed to escape to another universe and found his non-superpowered equivalent; she followed. Caliginous has decided that life is nothing but pain, misery, cruelty, and death, and should be ended in preferably the most all-encompassing fashion possible.
- Calvin forced to wait for the bus in the rain against his wishes to go to school he has no desire to attend once expressed a similar sentiment:
Calvin: (angrily) I'm sick of everyone telling me what to do all the time! I hate my life! I hate everything! I wish I was dead! (taken aback by what he said) ...Well, no, not really. (angrily again) I wish everyone else was dead.
- There always is Mic Microphone's and The Living Tombstone's PMV video "September".
I just remembered
what happened in September.
I'm the one who killed them all,
I survived after the fall!
- In The Games We Play, this is revealed to be why Malkuth turned evil. Feeling the combined negative emotions of mankind causes him physical pain. After centuries of futile attempts to fix the problem, he's decided that the best way to deal with the problem is to wipe out mankind.
- This is what Hokuto's plan ultimately boils down to in Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness Acts III and IV. He views all life, human and monster alike, as a plague that needs to be wiped out, and thinks the only way to achieve true peace is by resurrecting Alucard and allowing him to bring about The End of the World as We Know It.
- In Nobody's Hero, this is why Ai turned evil and wants to kill all humans. Soulburner bitterly notes while they understand why Ai wants revenge for Yusaku's death after he was shot by a tank, less so when he blames everyone and tries to kill everyone. This was revealed to be opposite to Ai's original plan since he cannot self terminate, but grief and two years of self-isolation is not good for one's mental health.
- Azrael in Dogma, a formerly pacifist angel who was cast into Hell for refusing to fight in the war between God and Satan, tries to end the universe via a cosmic Reality-Breaking Paradox to end his suffering.
- Once Azrael's been defeated, his former Unwitting Pawn Bartleby snaps, realizing that God has always favored man above angels like himself and striking back by attempting to fulfill Azrael's plan. Even his Ax-Crazy partner Loki turns on him, protesting that this isn't what he wanted. It doesn't go well for Loki.
- Nero the Romulan, from Star Trek (2009), REALLY wants Spock to understand his pain...by destroying his homeworld, as Romulus was destroyed in Nero's original timeline. And after Spock, the rest of the Federation is to get the same treatment, starting with Spock's mother's homeworld, Earth.
- Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: "We all deserve to die - even you, Mrs. Lovett, even I - For lives of the wicked should be made brief - for the rest of us death will be a relief..."
- In Law Abiding Citizen, Clyde Shelton seeks revenge not only on the man who destroyed his family but on the entire system that failed to adequately punish him. He even goes as far as to describe his murder spree "biblical" (probably in the Samson kind of way).
- In the 2007 Beowulf film, Grendel was made somewhat more sympathetic with the inclusion of a justification for his attacks: somehow the acoustics of the mead hall meant that the revelry within was painfully loud for his sensitive exposed eardrum.
- Grace in Dogville can be interpreted like this (type 4). Or as a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds. Or a whole lot of other ways.
- Kadaj from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children wants to absorb all the people infected by geostigma into the Lifestream to join his "mother", Jenova. While he is a Remnant of Sephiroth, his amnesia made it appear that he sees that the end of all life on the planet as a GOOD thing.
- While 'Dark Alessa' from the Silent Hill movie qualifies as Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, her original, 39-year-old, now soulless body ends the film by finally getting her revenge on the cult who burned her alive by killing them all, with the exception of her mother, Dahlia.
- Batman Begins: Henri Ducard comes across as a case of either type 3 or type 4 (or maybe both) with the type 3 component being evident from his Knight Templar attitude, and the type 4 component being apparent from his earlier talk (if he means it) about how his wife was taken from him and he "learned the hard way that there are those in the world without decency, who must be fought without pity." The sign of Put Them All Out Of My Misery itself is in his conversation with Bruce Wayne about the prospect of destroying Gotham.
Wayne: You're gonna destroy millions of lives.Ducard: Only a cynical man would call what these people have "lives," Wayne. Crime. Despair. This is not how man was supposed to live. The League of Shadows has been a check against human corruption for thousands of years. We sacked Rome. Loaded trade ships with plague rats. Burned London to the ground. Every time a civilization reaches the pinnacle of its decadence, we return to restore the balance.Wayne: Gotham isn't beyond saving. Give me more time. There are good people here.Ducard: You're defending a city so corrupt, we have infiltrated every level of its infrastructure. When I found you in that jail, you were lost. But I believed in you. I took away your fear, and I showed you a path. You were my greatest student. It should be you standing by my side, saving the world.Wayne: I'll be standing where I belong. Between you and the people of Gotham.Ducard: No one can save Gotham. When a forest grows too wild, a purging fire is inevitable and natural. Tomorrow the world will watch in horror as its greatest city destroys itself. The movement back to harmony will be unstoppable this time.Wayne: You attacked Gotham before?Ducard: Of course. Over the ages our weapons have grown more sophisticated. With Gotham we tried a new one, economics. But we underestimated certain of Gotham's citizens, such as your parents. Gunned down by one of the very people they were trying to help. Create enough hunger and everyone becomes a criminal. Their deaths galvanized the city into saving itself, and Gotham has limped on ever since. We are back to finish the job.
- Erik Kilmonger Stevens/NJadaka ultimately boils down to this in Black Panther. Most of the film depicts him spouting his anti-white, black supremacist ideals as justification for his murderous ride to try to take the throne of Wakanda, and once he gets in power he declares the start of a race war in which Wakanda will arm the black people around the world with vibranium weapons, ostensibly to help the oppressed blacks overthrow the whites systematic racism. However, his argument gets picked apart by how he has no intention of helping other minorities oppressed by whites and how Wakanda is just one country going against the rest of the world that is catching up to their technology. Further showing how he has no regard for even the future of Wakanda is how he burns the garden of the Heart-Shaped Herb to destroy any chance of future superhuman Black Panthers. When TChalla calls him out on this and points out hes no better than the white imperialists who took part in the African slave trade, Kilmonger finally snaps and shows his true colors: hes still a traumatized, grieving boy not over the death of his father, and now wants the world to suffer like he has using the country that not only orphaned him, but shunned him all his life.
TChalla: You will destroy the world, Wakanda included!NJadaka: (on the verge of tears) The world took everything away from me! Everything I ever loved! But I'ma make sure we're even!
- Remy (Michael Rapaport), the Anti-Villain of Higher Learning turns to neo-Nazism not because he is inherently malicious, but because he has come to believe that white Aryans are the truly persecuted group in modern America — schemed against by Jews, deprived of jobs by Asians, and bullied by gangs of blacks. He even comes to hate all non-Nazi Aryans, believing them to be unwilling to defend their own people. So at a multicultural festival he shoots two people, one of whom is a black girl who dies vomiting up blood. He commits suicide soon after, though it is not clear whether that is out of remorse or because of this trope.
- In How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, the Grinch wants to remove the holiday from society because he finds the mindless joy, celebration, and materialism annoying (Type 3) and also because the singing hurts his ears (Type 2). In the live-action and 2018 versions, it's revealed that it's really a case of Type 4 - in the former, the Grinch subconsciously desires revenge for being ostracized as a child because of his odd appearance, while in the latter, his lonely childhood at the local orphanage was always contrasted by the togetherness of every Who in town but him.
- Ishamael has elements of this- he teamed up with the Dark One because he came to the conclusion that the endless repetition of The Wheel of Time made life pointless misery, and he decided to end it by simply breaking the Wheel (which would also have the effect of destroying the universe). He's also a Death Seeker, but knows his cosmos runs on reincarnation, meaning that if he wants to kill himself, dragging the rest of reality down with him is the best way to make sure it sticks.
- World of Ptavvs demonstrates this in its most basic form, with the last survivor of a telepathic alien race stranded on Earth and surrounded by humans, their unshielded minds boring into his. In fury, he blasts a powerful command: "STOP THINKING AT ME!" Quite a number of people do, and everyone else in the world is left dazed. This isn't a matter of lack of control, by the way—he views all non-telepaths much the way most humans view cattle, and if they must be sacrificed for his comfort, well, it's not like they're people like him. And the whole mess is solved by a Finger Poke of Doom. From one of the cattle.
- In Wintersmith, the Wintersmith wants to win Tiffany's heart by saving people from their constant fear of death... forever.
- In Guards! Guards! when Vimes sees Sybil Ramkin's room the narration says something about how anyone witnessing it might be filled with a "diffuse compassion and decide that the best thing for everyone would be to wipe out the human race and start over again with amoebas".
- In The Dresden Files book Summer Knight, Aurora, the Lady of the Summer Court thinks it would be better to plunge the world into a new ice age than continue the harmful battles between the Faerie Courts.
- Debatable example: Aurora claimed to be doing it for the sake of mortal humans who get caught up in the battles, she just failed to consider the consequences of disrupting the cycle of the seasons on earth.
- Subverted in the New Jedi Order. Onimi, the real Big Bad, has a lengthy Motive Rant in which he describes to a captive Jaina Solo how horrible his life has been and how he's going to kill every living thing in the galaxy so he can become a god, all to get back at the gods he believes in, because he thinks they ruined his life (oh, and he also thinks Jaina is the avatar of one of these gods). The subversion comes because contrary to what Onimi thinks, rather than making him sympathetic, this rant just makes him come off as very, very insane.
- One of many stories in The Name of the Wind is about legendary hero Lanre, who decides after the death of his wife that the world isn't worth living in any longer. For anyone.
- Prince Gaynor the Damned of the Corum series by Michael Moorcock. Long ago, he was cursed with eternal life, and he joins the side of some Eldritch Abominations who are trying to plunge the world into an eternal winterland where everything will die—hence, he will finally achieve the death he yearns for.
- The northern dragon in The Pilgrim's Regress by C. S. Lewis is heard praying for God to destroy all the other creatures in the world so that he won't have to guard his nest.
- Lewis gave us another example in the backstory to The Magician's Nephew, when the Empress Jadis wiped out all other life on her homeworld so she wouldn't lose the throne, then preserved herself in suspended animation in the hopes that some dimensional travellers would wake her up and provide a way to escape her dying world.
- In Keys to the Kingdom, The Man Behind the Man is a Type 5 kept alive by a Cosmic Keystone.
- Subverted in the fifth Spellsinger novel: a cosmic being is captured by a madman and its attempts to escape will eventually destroy the world. Clothahump assumes this is a grandiose suicide. It's not; Braglob is just too stupid and crazy to realize what'll happen.
- Lord Foul in the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant is a type 2. He's a Cosmic Entity trapped within physical reality and linear time, and he wants to return to his natural state. Problem is, the Arch of Time is in his way, and to get out, he needs to destroy it. Destroying the Arch would, be extension, destroy the world. Being a God of Evil even before his imprisonment, Foul's not too fussed about the whole "destroying the world" part of the plan.
- In "Cold Snap", the villain is an Evil Genius who has spent most of his life stewing in perceived slights and has concluded that the human race is a failed experiment that should be wiped out, for which purpose he has summoned a prehistoric elemental being to create an eternal ice age. When asked if he expects the Cold to spare him, he says that he fully expects to be wiped out too and doesn't care.
- Willow Rosenberg, in Season 6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She attempted to destroy the world out of grief in the sixth season finale after her Roaring Rampage of Revenge over the death of Tara ended with a magical overload that briefly attuned her to the thoughts and feelings of everyone else on the planet. Overwhelmed by the world's collective pain, she decided that "your suffering has to end" and turned her newfound power towards bringing about The End of the World as We Know It. She was finally stopped by The Power of (Platonic) Love.
Glory: You're just a mortal. You couldn't understand my pain.
- Season 5's Glory, though she's much less sympathetic than the above. Buffy is rather stunned when she learns that Glory just wants the Key to return to her home dimension, which ostensibly would be better for everyone. She's then informed that the process will also open the gateway between every dimension, quite probably causing The End of the World as We Know It. Glory just doesn't care.
Buffy: Then I'll just have to settle for causing it. (smacks her with a magical war hammer)
- A minor villain in the short-lived Birds of Prey (2002) had the ability to mimic the abilities of other metahumans. Unfortunately, he was also an anti-meta bigot who had horrifying migraines whenever another metahuman was around. His motivation was thus a combination of Types II and III, in that his physical and emotional pain was caused by the presence of metahumans (to the point that he commits suicide in the end) and that he considered metas to be an abomination.
- The Evil Queen in Once Upon a Time convinces other fairy tale villains to go along with her plans to cast the dark curse by telling them that it will create a world where they can finally win and get their happy endings.
- In season 6, the Agrabah plotline actually reveals Jafar to be this. He doesn't want to rule Agrabah; he hates the city so much for how it had treated him in the past that he wants to wipe it off the map. He threatens to destroy Agrabah unless Jasmine marries him...then uses the ring she gives him to destroy Agrabah anyway.
- Adam's first wife Lilith (referenced in certain non-canonical Jewish sources) was essentially a Psycho Prototype for Eve and got booted from Eden for refusing to be subservient to Adam. God decreed that for every day that she was gone, a hundred of her children would die. In retaliation, she is said to kill and eat human babies.
- In Classical Mythology, Lamia has a similar setup. Hera killed the children that she had with Zeus, and as a result, she goes around killing any children that she can find. In some versions, she specifically targets pregnant women.
- Exalted features the Neverborn, an example of Type 5. Once, they were Primordials, the creators of the universe, but as they designed it, they didn't believe the cycle of death would ever need to incorporate something as grand as themselves. So when they ended up getting killed, they found they couldn't pass into Lethe, eventually undergoing the cosmic equivalent of sepsis without ever being able to die from it. So they plotted to feed Creation into Oblivion, mainly so it'd stop the pain.
- A few of their chosen soldiers, the Deathlords, are a mixture of Type 2 and Type 4. The Dowager of the Irreverent Vulgate in Unrent Veils, the Bishop of the Chalcedony Thurible, and Walker in Darkness all consider themselves priests of Oblivion, dedicated to bringing the peace of nonexistence to a suffering world. The others just want to Take Over the World to varying degrees.
- The Daemons of Pathfinder are this without being at all sympathetic. Formed from the souls of particularly evil mortals they despise all life and find their own a torment- but they all want to be the last thing alive in the universe before they kill themselves.
- This is Meredoth's approach to virtually all other life in Ravenloft, leading to things like the time he killed everyone in his small kingdom in a necromancy experiment. Despite its origins in an abusive childhood, it's not played particularly sympathetically; even overlooking that he's a Darklord, a title that amounts to "person who is so awful the Dark Powers opted to cram them in an Ironic Hell forever", even Azalin Rex - another Darklord - thinks Meredoth is an asshole who has no business running a domain.
- Warhammer 40,000: The Scourged are a Chaos Space Marine chapter whose battle cry is "The lies! The lies!". Before falling, they used to be the Seekers of Truth, a Chapter essentially devoted to the Inquisition's service, particularly the extraction of confessions and the execution of Imperial citizens, mostly innocent. Their Chapter Master would regularly pray that the Emperor would grant them the ability to tell truth from lies, and that prayer was answered... by Tzeentch. Soon the Seekers could not only hear every lie spoken to them, but even those spoken across the entire galaxy. Hearing Voices all the time did little to help their sanity (that, and the fact that the basis of the Imperial Creed was written by the traitor Primarch Lorgar...).
- Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh features a rare "realistic" example of this trope. The action takes place in a small bar and boarding house where numerous people drink their days away, all while claiming that they're going to get their acts together and make something of their lives soon. They eagerly await their friend Theodore "Hickey" Hickman to celebrate a party, but when Hickey arrives, he instead repeatedly and even fervently tells them to stop wasting their time and try to achieve their dreams instead. The majority of the characters do so, only to fail miserably and come back worse than ever. Hickey, though, is delighted by this and reveals that this was his goal all along—to make everyone realize that the world is horrible and there's no point in trying to achieve anything. The bar patrons are stunned by his newfound nihilism, and Hickey reveals the truth: despite his constantly cheating on his wife and drinking heavily, she always forgave him because she couldn't live without him and genuinely believed that he would someday improve. Hickey couldn't bear her faith in him and so murdered her, then deliberately set out to destroy other people's illusions about life to justify his own selfish deeds: by proving that people were better off without their false hopes, he could be forgiven and even celebrated for killing her. It doesn't work.
- The Delphi Organization from Trauma Center believe that doctors are ruining the world by creating an inequality in society where the poor die and the rich get treatment. They believe the world would be better off without medicine and create a disease, GUILT, which will attack anyone without discrimination.
- Belkt, the Big Bad of Another Century's Episode 3, is this due to an immense quadruple-whammy. Not only was he born into a Crapsack World where everyone is trying to kill each other (as well as Aliens and Monsters) with Humongous Mecha after barely surviving The End of the World as We Know It as well as being considered nothing more than an expendable tool to his superiors in The Federation, but he's also got a bad case of Cloning Blues coupled with the fact that he thought his "father" didn't care about him either. So not only does he decide to wipe out his own Earth, but also the Earth of an Alternate Universe where his "father" was originally from and his "base" (i.e., the boy he was cloned from) is living a somewhat less screwed-up life as an Ordinary High-School Student via smashing them into each other.
- In Fable II, Lord Lucien became obsessed with the power of Old Kingdom technology after the death of his wife and daughter, which eventually drives him to reconstruct an Old Kingdom device known as The Spire, with slave labor, and use it to reshape the world to his liking. Oh, and along the way he murders your sister, along with countless others, including your wife and kids, if you have a family, and your canine companion.
- Final Fantasy has a few:
- Kuja in Final Fantasy IX, after learning that his lifespan is limited and will soon run out, throws a Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum, and decides to destroy the Crystal, the source of all life (think the spring from which The Lifestream flows) to wipe out all life on the planet. And why? Because he thinks it's unfair that life will go on and people will continue to exist after he's dead.
- Seymour in Final Fantasy X. His backstory transforms him from an Omnicidal Maniac to a Well-Intentioned Extremist. He was subject to Fantastic Racism due to being born a Half-Human Hybrid, then was Forced to Watch his mother perform a Heroic Sacrifice to save those people while his father nodded approvingly when he was twelve. Is it any wonder that he Went Mad From The Revelation that the church that encouraged all of this was in fact The Necrocracy dedicated to keeping things this way forever? From that perspective, destroying Spira to put an end to its pain is simply the obvious conclusion of the state religion's position that death is peace! It's hard to Take a Third Option if your entire existence is based on denying such a thing is possible.
- Played with in Sands of Destruction. Morte wants Kyrie to do this by showing how crappy the world is with the ferals' supremacy, hoping that he'll want to destroy it with his Destruct powers. He doesn't.
- Os-Gabella in Fall from Heaven, the jaw-droppingly awesome dark fantasy mod of Civilization 4. She's hoping the destruction of Erebus will finally allow her to escape her pretty sucky everlasting life.
- Professor Gerald from Sonic Adventure 2 initially seems to be a genocidal Mad Scientist, but once we learn that the cause of his insanity was losing his home, his research and his granddaughter, all that was important to him in rapid succession, it's hard not to feel a bit sorry for him.
- Shadow follows the same mold. Gerald's granddaughter, Maria, was his only friend. Seeing her killed by a group of humans changed him. 50 years later, he followed Eggman's plot for world domination, while fulfilling Gerald's goal of destroying it, believing that Maria also wants this. It's not until the plan is set in motion when he remembers that the granddaughter's dying wish to him was actually to save the world, not to destroy it. Shadow became a hero, or anti-hero in this case, since then.
- Silent Hill: Claudia from the third game and Walter from the fourth certainly count, wanting to summon a Cosmic Horror they view as divine ("God" and "Mother" respectively) to cleanse the world of pain and loneliness.
- Yggdrasill of Tales of Symphonia. He spends 4,000 years trying to bring back his dead sister while trying to fulfill her last wish of a world without discrimination. Unfortunately, he ends up deciding that the best way to accomplish that is by creating a world of lifeless beings.
- The Warcraft universe:
- Sargeras the Fallen Titan became depressed and then omnicidal after fighting the endless evil forces of the universe for long enough, becoming convinced the universe was inherently flawed and would need to be destroyed so that it could be built anew.
- Malygos from World of Warcraft wants to destroy the world because he doesn't like how mortals are using magic. His life sucked before he ultimately snapped. He was betrayed by his best friend Neltharion (aka Deathwing, who had been corrupted by the Old Gods), who then went on to wipe out almost all the other blue dragons, coming very very close to making Malygos the Last of His Kind. He later supposedly regained his sanity (after being exposed to some volatile magical energies from another planet). Um, yeah.
- Purge from Space Channel 5 Part 2 could be considered this if you take the time to read the profiles for some of the Rhythm Robots and his own profile.
- Wander, the player character in Shadow of the Colossus, needs to kill sixteen Colossi in order to revive Mono. Not because the Colossi were hurting anyone, mind; that's just what the ominous voices in the temple demand of him before they will help him.
- The Big Bad of Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura, Kerghan, first of the necromancers, plans to kill every living thing in existence before allowing himself to die, because he died once already and discovered that the afterlife is a state of eternal peace, whereas life is pain and misery. He brought himself back from the dead in order to carry out his plan, claiming that people only fear death because they do not know the eternal bliss that lies beyond. Also, because living necromancers can summon the spirits of the dead back from the afterlife, so he himself cannot be certain that his eternal peace will not be disturbed by the living.
- Takaya in Persona 3, like Kuja, is doomed to die young and plans to take the rest of the world with him. Both he and Ikutsuki believe that the world is too corrupt to be allowed to continue on.
- In Shin Megami Tensei IV, the White are incredibly ancient spirits of despair and decided the whole Order Versus Chaos Forever War was entirely pointless, to the degree the world simply didn't deserve saving. By proxy, since Neutral endings are mere islands of stability between the larger conflicts, it also has to go. They created a machine whose destruction would trigger an Apocalypse How and do everything in their power to convince you that reality is so horrible nothing short of a Mercy Kill can "save" it. And they can succeed.
- The Big Bad of Radiant Historia essentially decided that since most people are selfish dicks who are more interested in short-term profit than actually trying to fix anything, awful people keep ending up in positions of power, the exceptions to the former keep getting killed by the latter for being inconvenient, and the only reason the entire continent hasn't disintegrated into sand yet is through a Heroic Sacrifice every few years by someone who has no real choice in the matter, the world doesn't deserve to be saved, especially if doing so would require him or his nephew to die. Cue Refusal of the Call and deliberately sabotaging the timeline to make the apocalypse as hard to prevent as possible.
- Penny Arcade Adventures: The Brahe clan has, over the course of generations, discovered that their world goes through an endless cycle of destruction and rebirth, each time getting more horrific. By destroying the seeds by which it reforms itself, they hope to end the cycle and send everything to oblivion. Tycho Brahe (the most recent one, anyway) has an alternative plan: to seed its rebirth with a perfectly good individual — his niece, Anne-Claire. Also, the player character of the first two episodes is his backup.
- Otani Yoshitsugu from Sengoku Basara is more a case of "Put them all in as much misery as me". His goal is to spread the same pain throughout the world as he suffers due to his leprosy.
- At the end of Dragon Age: Inquisition, Corypheus opens a second breach after a very long series of losses to force the Inquisitor to either come and fight him or allow the world to end. It's implied he doesn't care much what happens, at least until you defeat him and he starts praying to the Old Gods for help.
- La Pucelle: After a lifetime of witch hunts from humans and demons Noir came to the conclusion that everyone is a jerk. But he's not trying to murder them out of revenge (having already dealt with those that wronged him). He had an epiphany about the nature of individualism; how there are literally an infinite number of conflicting viewpoints, and everyone has the potential to torture and murder each other over what they believe in. No matter how much brainwashing you stuff into the throats of your minions, they will always see things in a slightly different tint than you, and they will always have a petty motivation for conflict, so instrumentality is tossed out the window. He thinks that if he's the only person in all of existence, then suffering ends and he's happy. Unfortunately for him, that's not how the Disgaea universe works.
- The entire monster species in Evolve is motivated by this. They're waging a war of galactic extermination against humans, but that's because the Patterson tech used by humans has been reducing their home dimension to a barren lifeless void. To them, the complete extermination of humanity is the only way to stop the destruction of their own dimension and collapsing the human dimension is the only way to ensure that there will never be another species to repeat their actions.
- Cyrus of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl believes that living beings are doomed to suffer because of their incomplete spirits. Emotions, free will and knowledge all cause suffering by their very nature, weighing living things down and making their lives meaningless. His solution to this is to create a new world in which spirit simply does not exist, and destroy the current incomplete world in the process. After you defeat him, you learn a few things about him which explains why he thinks this way. His parents were neglectful at best, and he struggled to get along with his peers as a child. His grandfather realised that he needed help, but was too afraid of intruding to give it to him, meaning that Cyrus's underlying issues only got worse. Cyrus himself will wonder if things could have been different when encountered in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.
- In Pokémon X and Y, the leader of Team Flare, Lysandre sees competition over limited resources as a fundamental problem of the world. It causes fighting and suffering and divides people into the haves and the have-nots. His solution to this problem is to drastically reduce the population of the world by killing everyone not in Team Flare with the Ultimate Weapon. Even Pokemon are not safe from this mass slaughter, he laments, because the magnificent and innocent beasts are condemned to be used by evil humans for their own selfish ends and, for the greater good, are best eliminated as well.
- To put the cherry on top of this insanity, we learn from defeated members of Team Flare that, in order to be on the team, they have to pay exorbitant dues to their leader and buy the expensive team outfits themselves, sometimes putting themselves in massive debt to do so. So he's simply perpetuating the gap between the haves and have-nots that he's purportedly against.
- Zero, the Hive Queen of the Dark Matter race from Kirby, is said to be unable to feel any sort of positive emotions whatsoever. So its endeavors and incarnations over the series are all attempts to annihilate everyone that feels happiness, or at least subject them to the same eternal misery it has to suffer through.
- Awful Hospital: a disturbingly large portion of the multiverse is constantly angsting over the death of God and how they're all broken pieces of the divine flesh, and their children by rape are stealing their powers and using them to act like Jokers. The Parliament in particular is bioengineering an all-devourer to consume the multiverse and bring it back to a single surviving being.
- In Drowtales, Ni'bai Val'Sharen's family was wiped out by traitors during The Purge of the former Queen's loyalists. To get revenge, she enacts a plot that risks destroying the entire world by empowering a Psychopathic Manchild into a Physical God. While the actual end of the world is not quite her intent, she does intend to wipe out all of the clans and has absolutely no concern for the collateral damage.
- Tavor from Looking for Group: After losing his family and kingdom to invaders, he decides to take his pain out on the rest of the world by trying to destroy the city/empire that abandoned them to the invaders, even if the city represents the world's last hope for justice and peace.
- Last Blood: it is revealed, by the end of book 1, that (Warning: major spoiler) Francis, the schaemiac (a vampire turned zombie-like by decades of blood starvation) who launched the Zombie Apocalypse, did it all out of spite and jealousy for his best friend Sullivan's popularity, and the latter being chosen by his Love Interest.
- Parodied in The Non-Adventures of Wonderella by the Blue Behemoth, who is driven to omnicide because he can't finish his pie.
- In one version of Butch R. Mann's psychopathy, he both sees himself as The Everyman and deeply hates himself. He repeatedly chickens out of suicide, so he instead kills other people to metaphorically kill himself over and over again. If he could, he would kill everyone in the world, but he would then go even crazier with no one left to kill. (Given how wildly Butch's personality varies from strip to strip, this often doesn't apply at all.)
- In Broken Saints, Big Bad Lear Dunham's entire Evil Plan can arguably be traced back to his despair after the passing of his wife. Whether the pain of his loss unhinged him somewhat or whether it drove him to become the humanitarian Determinator he was prior to losing hope, there is no denying that losing the love of his life had some part in Lear's motive to restart human civilization.
- This seems to be Dr. Horrible's motivation for becoming a villain: he wants to topple the system and bring about some kind of vaguely defined social change. Or at least that was originally it; this desire becomes more and more of an afterthought as the plot progresses.
- In an episode of The Real Ghostbusters, "Ragnarok and Roll", a wealthy young man tries to do this because he got dumped by his girlfriend.
- Played for Laughs in Futurama:
Bender: I'm so embarrassed. I wish everyone else was dead.
- Also played with in another episode where Bender launches a campaign against technology. Upon meeting up with the Planet Express Crew, his greeting wasn't meant to imply this trope, but Bender quickly realizes why they might think it was.
Bender: I've come to free you from your complicated lives! ...the "complicated" part, not the "lives" part.
- Also played with in another episode where Bender launches a campaign against technology. Upon meeting up with the Planet Express Crew, his greeting wasn't meant to imply this trope, but Bender quickly realizes why they might think it was.
- Demona of Gargoyles has suffered a great deal at the hands of humanity across her centuries-long life, and this ultimately leads her to an attitude of genocidal insanity towards that species. She's never entirely unsympathetic, though, due to her tragic (almost Shakespeareanly-so) backstory. True, a lot of it was indirectly her own fault, but that just winds up making her more pitiable. In any event, she thinks she can end her pain only by wiping out the human race, making her a definite example of this trope.
- Made all the worse by the fact that, since she's immortal, she's Cursed With Awesome, since she'll outlive everyone and thing she's ever cared about at all. Besides which, five words: "The access code is... Alone."
- And that's not all. She repeatedly tries to kill any gargoyle who tries to stop her, even her ex-husband and her father.
- As the series progresses, it becomes increasingly obvious that Demona has no one but herself to blame for her many problems. For instance, she told a group of Viking warriors to attack the ancient castle where she, the other gargoyles, and the humans who shared the space with them lived during the day, as the gargoyles would be stone then. Not only did she sell out the humans (because she felt that the gargoyles had been their "first" and thus should be isolationist), but she didn't tell her clan, instead choosing to hide away from the carnage. Similarly, she brutally attacked a young farmer while stealing food from him when she could have easily fled, leading to the creation of a tribe called Hunters dedicated to attacking her kind, and later betrayed Macbeth, her longtime ally and closest thing to a human friend, simply because she overheard one of Macbeth's advisors (that is, not even the man himself) suggesting a betrayal of the gargoyles; Macbeth didn't immediately shout this idea down (even though he would clearly never betray Demona), which was enough to "prove" that he was, in her opinion, a villain. The problem is that Demona absolutely refuses to accept any responsibility for her own mistakes, instead blaming humans at every turn. By the end of the second season, it's painfully clear that her desire to exterminate the human race is really a desperate attempt to justify her own horrible deeds and get past her guilt and shame.
- Toxzon, the villain from the 6th Max Steel movie, is a type 2. He wants to contaminate the world because he needs a toxic environment to survive without his mask and containment suit.
- Duke Nukem, the radioactive villain from Captain Planet (and not the action hero by the same name) wants to spread radiation because he draws strength from it and actually weakens when not getting a regular dose; he wants to turn the world into a radioactive paradise where he and his kind can live and thrive. Compare to the other eco-villains who are mostly motivated by greed or evulz.
- Wakfu: Qilby will live forever without ever forgetting a moment of his life, and has found living on a single planet for thousands of years hopelessly repetitive. If reaching a new planet to explore requires killing all life on the old one, that's just fine because they lack inherent worth and he's learned all he can from them.
- Essentially the premise of Miraculous Ladybug. The villain chooses a person who's been through hell lately, giving them thematic superpowers and manipulating them into revenge.
- In Castlevania (2017), the murder of Dracula's (human) wife by the Church spurs the vampire lord to launch a campaign of genocide against humanity. It's strongly hinted that he's not looking to survive the conflict either way, and he's definitely not all that fussed about how the other vampires will fare should he succeed.