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Renegade Splinter Faction

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Faisil: Now he's formed his own splinter faction called Crimson Jihad.
Gib: Guess he thought the other terrorist groups were too warm and fuzzy for his taste.

Basically, a group who decides to Start My Own and separates from a larger organization — holding the main beliefs or goals of the original, but are wholly or mostly evil.

Three common ways of applying this trope:

  1. The writer doesn't want to portray some organization, nation or religion as entirely evil. It may be a real-world institution, or an institution from this fictional world which was previously described as at least semi-decent. But the author still wants villains belonging to it, so they invent a renegade group.
  2. A faction that operates without authorization, and their methodology differs from the main body. Often they are extremists: escalating a conflict, willing to break the rules, far more infamous than their mother alignment — but this isn't always the case.
  3. A faction that crosses Pragmatic Villainy lines that would, in Real Life, invite massive retaliation.

Note that it doesn't apply to out and out turncoats: the faction must still keep the general ideas of the original; only with less benevolent policies. It may, however, adhere to ideals that the original faction has abandoned. If the factions are religious in nature, related to The Heretic. Can result in Enemy Civil War. Renegade Russian is a common nation-specific subtrope, since Russians and Soviets get this treatment especially often. If the original organization was bad-ish, but not bad enough, this may result in The Good, the Bad, and the Evil. This may be used to provide an inversion of My Species Doth Protest Too Much by setting up an antagonist, then revealing that the rest of their faction doesn't like them either.

For the individual version, see Rogue Agent. A major source of Terrorists Without a Cause.


Compare La Résistance.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Attack on Titan:
    • The Survey Corps becomes this for the royal government after they send the Military Police's Central 1st Brigade to execute The Purge of the Survey Corp after the King and the government see them as becoming too powerful and closer to the truth.
    • The Yeagerists are a faction that believes their commanders and the military junta of Paradis is not doing enough to protect the island, and only Eren Yeager can save them from the threat Paradis faces. They proceed to free Eren from prison and execute a coup against the military junta. Most of their members are defectors from the Survey Corps, disgruntled with Hange Zoe's leadership.
  • Gundam has a variety of examples:
    • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED has two major samples:
      • Blue Cosmos, an anti-Coordinator terrorist group and movement within the Earth Alliance. Many in the Alliance don't share such extremist views. Sadly, Blue Cosmos ends up gaining enough influence to control the policies of the government.
      • The Clyne Faction. Originally the Moderates within ZAFT, they broke off when the Zala extremists came to power. Subverting the trope, they're outright good guys. The Faction managed to form an underground resistance, steal key equipment, and join up with the heroes.
    • The Treize Faction in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing. A splinter group of OZ / the Romafeller Foundation, the Faction opposed the introduction of automated mecha. An inverse of the trope, the splintering had made Foundation come off as increasingly villainous, though Treize was hardly a saint himself.
      • In Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz, it's revealed that the Gundam pilots had split from the Barton Foundation. Disagreeing over the goal of world conquest, the pilots decide to focus on stopping OZ instead.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 provides several examples:
      • La Eden, a violent right-wing political group within the AEU, though not supported by the Superpower. The group commits a series of terror attacks to stop the protagonists. Celestial being responds by simultaneously curbstomping the entire faction.
      • Team Trinity claims to be part of Celestial Being, sharing the similar technology and goal of eliminating warfare. However, the Trinities are much more ruthless - attacking without provocation nor mercy. Eventually, the two groups come into conflict.
      • The Innovators were originally part of Celestial Being. But thanks to the events of Season 1, the two groups splinter, with the Innovators causing most of the problems for the next season.
      • The ESF Coup detat Faction. Splintering off from the Federation military, the Coup seeks to expose the A-Laws' atrocities. Like the Trieze Faction, their going "renegade" makes the Earth Sphere Federation come off as increasingly antagonistic.
    • The Titans in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. Though officially part of the Earth Federation serving as a special security force, the group was used by a corrupt politician to gain control of the Earth Sphere. Their actions were zealous, which including gassing an entire colony. Eventually they went full renegade after they were exposed by the AEUG.
  • The sinister Beylin Fist faction in Metal Fight Beyblade. The group had splintered from China's Beylin Temple training school.
  • In Digimon Tamers, the protagonists thought that since the Devas were serving one Digimon Sovereign, then all four might be against them. It turns out Zhuqiaomon, the Sovereign who the Devas serve, is acting on his own. He and the other three leading Digimon couldn't agree on a single defense strategy against the D-Reaper.
  • WILLE of Rebuild of Evangelion, consisting of former NERV agents who oppose the progenitor agency. An inversion of the trope, WILLE's goals are benevolent compared to NERV's, but their means just as ruthless.
  • Rebuild World: In the Private Military Contractor company Drankam, The Rival Katsuya’s Battle Harem led by Airi and excepting Yumina, form one of these, disappearing all at once and planning to get revenge on Akira for killing Katsuya and much of the harem. Even though it was in self-defesce.

    Comic Books 
  • Halo: Escalation: Sali 'Nyon decides to break off from Jul 'Mdama's anti-human and Forerunner-worshipping Covenant remnant and start his own, all because Jul destroyed the Forerunner world of Requiem and has the human Dr. Halsey working for him.
  • Nextwave split itself off from H.A.T.E. when they learned that HATE was actually owned by the Beyond Corporation, which was a cover group for S.I.L.E.N.T., their ostensible nemesis. Nextwave tries to do good when they're not on the run from their employers.
  • The Sand Blast City Freedom Fighters in Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics). Unlike the other Freedom Fighters, the Sand Blasters are ruthless and their actions questionable. It was because of their abusive treatment that the deroboticized Robians joined the Eggman Empire. Yes, it got so bad that the former slaves entered into an alliance with their former master.
  • The HYDRA of Marvel Comics was initially this for Nazi Germany, created due to the desire to maintain the relevance of Captain America and other wartime heroes in spite of the Wartime Cartoon Values Dissonance. This has created historical acknowledgement issues of its own: World War II ended up depicted as being waged mostly against HYDRA while Those Wacky Nazis are relegated to a historical in-joke.
    • HYDRA itself has had several splinter groups: AIM, the Hand (although the Hand consider themselves to be the originals and HYDRA the splinter group), and the Secret Empire among others.
  • Legends of Baldur's Gate: A splinter of the Cult of the Dragon (part of the Forgotten Realms source material) is the main antagonist. Unlike the original, the splinter believes in usurping the power of evil dragons rather than just worshipping them.
  • Doctor Who (Titan) introduced the Volatix Cabal who are a Renegade Splinter Faction of the Time War era Daleks and manage to achieve the almost impossible and be even worse than them (they're an entire culture of Axe-Crazy sadistic Mad Doctors).
  • Monstress: The Blood Court is composed (aside from the Lord Doctor's personal cult) of various Arcanic warlords who no longer acknowledge the authority of the Dawn and Dusk Courts, and have banded together to restart the war with the Federation on their own terms. And as those warlords control the bulk of the Arcanics' military might, this makes the Blood Court the most powerful faction on the planet.
  • In The Flash the Trickster (during a time when he was an FBI agent) recruits fellow reformed Rogues (Pied Piper, Heatwave, Magenta) into a strike force with one purpose: to hunt down the rest of the Rogues. This culminates in the Rogue War storyline. Eventually Trickster and Heatwave (actually victims of a Heel–Face Brainwashing Retconnote ) were Easily Forgiven and welcomed back into the "main" Rogues.

    Fan Works 
  • Cycles Upon Cycles has a few examples:
    • The Heretic Geth, as per canon. Reinforced by the main Consensus making peace with the Quarians and joining the Alliance early on.
    • A faction of the Krogan, enraged over the bulk of the species voluntarily being absorbed by the Zerg, break off and go their own way.
    • When the Quarians are first joining the Alliance, a movement starts up opposed to both this and the peace with the Geth. Later, they go outright rogue, with plans to conquer their people and enslave the Geth.
  • Bait and Switch (STO): Reality Is Fluid reveals that the Undine responsible for the attacks on the Federation and Klingon Empire in Star Trek Online are members of a rogue tribe. Kanril Eleya makes peaceful contact with another tribe that considers them "shameful" and "beneath contempt", and defeats them offscreen; these Undine subsequently aid The Alliance during the Iconian War in Beat the Drums of War.
  • In Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, it's revealed that Maxie and Archie used to be part of a bigger organization known as Team Zenith in their bid to change the world (and even worked together for a while), but due to disagreements and infighting ultimately decided to take each his own path and founded Teams Magma and Aqua respectively.
  • Earth's Alien History:
    • When Sirius is blockaded by the Terran Treaty Organization, a portion of their military which was off-planet at the time escapes and goes rogue, becoming terrorists. Especially years later when the Siriusi government capitulates and signs a peace treaty with TeTO, leading to the renegades denouncing them as traitors.
    • The Race has to deal with a wave of terrorism by ultra-conservatives who despise the many progressive reforms made by the Empire ever since joining TeTO. At one point, they even try to assassinate the Emperor (who, it should be remembered, the Race view as a god).
    • Ronan and his forces break from the main Kree Empire in order to keep waging war on the Novan Empire despite the recent peace treaty between the two.
    • Scorponok's group of Decepticons, who refuse to accept peace with the Autobots and go rogue to keep fighting them and organic life.
    • When the Last-of-all-Cities (a Lost Colony of militant pre-Surak Vulcans) captures a TeTO ship, their leadership decides to reverse engineer the technology and plan a long-term strategy to reconquer Vulcan. A more radical faction, however, goes rogue with the ship, operating under the delusion that using it in a show of force will make both their government and Vulcan surrender to them.
    • The Amazons of Bana-Mighdall betrayed the rest of their people to serve the Goa'uld, on the grounds that the Greek Gods did nothing to aid them.
    • The Zhat Vash are disavowed by the Romulan government after their attempt to kill Hanka Kamiya and her Digimon partner, both to preserve relations with TeTO and because the government and its partners in the Pact of the Raptor don't share the group's hatred of digital lifeforms, instead seeing them as an asset.
  • The Seferite Order in Star Wars: Paranormalities are an inversion, being a more benevolent splinter faction of the Valkoran Empire that performed a Heel–Face Turn following Emperor Valkor's decision to exterminate all life on Christophsis just to torture Zolph Vaelor with Force backlash. The Seferites still desire to carry out their parent faction's claim of trying to make the galaxy more stable (especially in the wake of the Yuuzhan Vong war), but without the desire for galactic conquest and being another cult for the Forceless Collective. What's left of the Valkoran Empire after the Seferites' formation are a group of unhinged fanatics that have doubled down on their loyalty to the Collective.
  • A Man of Iron: One of the main antagonists in A Crack of Thunder is Ivan Vanko, who along with Asha Greyjoy is leading a group of Ironborn on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the lords of mainland Westeros. However, it's eventually revealed that this is being done without Balon Greyjoy's consent; he's so pissed by the defiance to his will (and how it ruins his own plans for launching a war) that he commands all Ironborn back to Pyke to reaffirm his control over them.
  • In Son of the Sannin, a minor subplot deals with Hinata becoming head of the Hyuga Clan after she awakens the Tenseigan, due to the power it entails, and her first official act is to abolish the Caged Bird Seal practice altogether to eliminate the division of Main and Branch houses. Naturally, this causes a serious stir as many members do not conform to this, and the Hanabi Gaiden sidestory reveals they even planned to split and form their own clan until they were killed by Hanabi while plotting to murder her along with Hinata and their mother.
  • Inverted example in Hazredous Interruptions. The interruption of Tukson's canon death leads to a more conservative faction of the White Fang splitting off and forming a less violent group, called Bastion, that strove to be truer to the Fang's original goals of peaceful coexistence with human.
  • Infinity Crisis: A recurring threat throughout the spinoffs/sequels is a rogue faction of warmongering Skrulls opposed to Talos' peaceful leadership, who want to return their people to the days of conquest. To this end, they've started infiltrating other universes to subvert those worlds' resources to their own aims.
  • What It Takes: Athena and her followers are treated like this after Nanda Parbat is nuked. As far as everyone else is concerned, that is the end of the true League of Assassins, and they're just a band of sycophants uselessly holding on to a bunch of outdated traditions that don't even matter anymore. When they become too much of a nuisance, the heroes decide to set Talia on them, not even bothering to deal with them themselves.

  • The Crimson Jihad in True Lies is a splinter group that broke off of a larger Islamic terrorist organization (possibly Islamic Jihad), apparently because their leader Salim Abu Aziz didn't think the bigger group was crazy enough.
  • Star Trek
    • Given that the Klingons are Cold War analogs, the renegade Klingon commander on Star Trek V: The Final Frontier counts as a sci-fi version of this trope.
    • The crew of the Narada in Star Trek (2009). When Captain Pike confronts the Narada, he states that the Federation and the Romulan Star Empire are not at war with each other. However, Nero replies that his crew does not represent the Empire, as they "stand apart". Which is the truth: in Nero's time, there isn't much left of the Romulan Star Empire, as Romulus and Remus were wiped out by a supernova.
    • In Star Trek Into Darkness, Starfleet's Section 31 has its own agenda.
  • The various permutations of the Judean People's Front from Monty Python's Life of Brian.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In Captain America: The First Avenger, HYDRA and the man who became the Red Skull fall out with Nazi Germany early on, although unlike many examples of this trope it seems that he had his own agenda all along rather than splitting off over ideological differences that cropped up later.
    • The bad guys in Guardians of the Galaxy are led by Ronan, a religious extremist rogue allying with a bigger evil. His original faction basically disavows him, telling the people he attacked that he's their problem now.
  • Blown Away takes great pains to emphasize that the villain was definitely not in the IRA because he was "too crazy for them." (Oddly, the film is less reticent about claiming that he did freelance work for the Red Brigades and the Libyan government. Possibly this was due to the IRA having more popularity than for Americans.)
  • Black Cell in Swordfish, an unofficial counter-terrorist unit founded by J. Edgar Hoover to do whatever it takes to protect America. It's the unit Gabriel heads, planning to steal DEA slush money to fund his vigilante activities. Black Cell goes full rogue when the Senator overseeing the unit tries to terminate Gabriel.
    • It may go full rogue, but the ending implies that they still continue following their original mandate, as the news report mentions the destruction of a yacht belonging to a sheik suspected of funding terrorists.
  • Patriot Games: Like the novel, the Ulster Liberation Army is an offshoot of the Provisional Irish Republican Army. In the movie, they're unnamed, though, and it goes even further: they kill/snitch on IRA members, as O'Donnell does to a couple of hitmen in one scene, and Annette during sex with another IRA member. At one point, Ryan himself refers to the group as an "ultra-violent faction of the IRA, fighting the cause their way."
  • Early in Rogue One, Mon Mothma tells Jyn Erso that her Parental Substitute Saw Guererra broke off from the rest of La Résistance because his ways were considered too extreme.
  • Mission: Impossible – Fallout has the Apostles, formed by remnants of the Syndicate following the defeat of Solomon Lane in the previous film and are now under the payroll of a mysterious fundamentalist named John Lark.

  • In the Discworld novels set after Small Gods, the Omnian church schisms on a daily basis. The scary fanatical ones who want to go back to the days of Vorbis are named in The Science of Discworld IV: Judgement Day as the Church of Latter-Day Omnians.
  • The third book in The Flight Engineer trilogy reveals that the Fibians that have been helping the Mollies fight the Commonwealth are under the command of a renegade queen. Fleeing their pursuit, Peter Raeder and his crew blunder into contact with the Fibian central government, which after some deliberation decides to come to the rescue.
  • In the Frontier Magic series, the mainstream Rationalists simply believe that not being dependent on magic is a good idea; but an isolated settlement of fanatical Rationalists ends up condemning magic as evil.
  • The Faithful of the Church of Humanity Unchained, who settled Masada in the Honor Harrington series. Originally part of the Church of Humanity Unchained on the planet Grayson, they broke from the main church over theological disputes. In contrast to the Grayson church, the Masadans are such extremists that they've rejected all of the New Testament.
    • Splinters of the Masadan branch later appear, somewhere between this trope and Former Regime Personnel, Pure in Faith and the Church of Humanity Unchained (Defiant).
  • In the novel Patriot Games, the Ulster Liberation Army is a Marxist splinter faction of the Provisional IRA. Naturally, the ULA is more ruthless than the group they left.
  • Fëanor and his sons and followers in The Silmarillion are more or less a Renegade Faction of the High Elves.
  • Star Wars Legends: The Second Imperium from the Young Jedi Knights was retconned to be one of these because another series, Hand of Thrawn, established that a peace treaty was brokered a few years earlier between the Republic and the mainstream Imperial Remnant under the leadership of the relatively nice mustachioed Admiral Gilad Pellaeon. Hand of Thrawn itself features a power struggle between Pellaeon and a group of Imperial officers led by Moff Disra that seeks to derail the peace negotiations, nearly managing to start a civil war in the New Republic in the process.
  • In Oleg Divov's Trail of the Zombie trilogy, the Project was a secret Soviet government program involved in developing psychotronic weapons and studying the paranormal with the ultimate goal of world domination through thought control. After their experiments unleashed ghosts and zombies, they were disavowed and shut down, with most of the records purged as was customary at the time. In the third novel, taking place during The '90s, the protagonists work for the Service, an official Russian agency handling the paranormal (that's not widely known, though) and cleaning up after the mess left behind by the Project. Later on, though, the protagonists learn that the Service is merely the new name and face of the Project, which was never actually shut down and which has made some success in exerting psychic control over the world (the so-called Russian Cultural Expansion, which makes everyone adore everything Russian).

    Live-Action TV 
  • The second season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. sees the conflict between two remnant S.H.I.E.L.D groups: Coulson's team, (semi-) officially appointed by Nick Fury himself to rebuild the agency in the aftermath of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the first season's finale, and the "True S.H.I.E.L.D." led by Commander Gonzales, who (kind of hypocritically) sees Coulson's group as this (thanks to a brutally severe case of Fantastic Racism and Well-Intentioned Extremism).
  • Alias: SD-6 worked as a sometimes-splinter group of the Alliance of Twelve since its head Arvin Sloane had his own agenda apart from the Alliance.
  • Andromeda has the Knights of Genetic Purity, who utilize highly advanced technology to hunt down and eliminate any genetically engineered humans, particularly Nietzscheans, whom they blame (rightly) for the fall of the Commonwealth. While they're too weak to take on the major Nietzschean prides like the Drago-Kazov and the Sabra-Jaguar, they have no problems with going after the lesser ones. Then it's revealed that the Genites (as they're known) are a splinter group of the Templars, founded by Admiral Constanza Stark, Dylan's former superior. While the Templars mainly focus on secretly helping rebuild the Commonwealth, they also plan to destroy the Nietzscheans. The Genites simply take it one step further and go after all genetically engineered people, which represent the vast majority of humans at this point (Dylan himself is half-Heavy Worlder). It's also clear that the Genites are much better equipped than their parent organization.
  • Babylon 5:
    • Home Guard, a xenophobic paramilitary faction within the Earth Alliance, committing attacks on aliens.
    • The faction of the Minbari Warrior Caste who tried to kill Kosh in the pilot episode.
    • A different Minbari Warrior Caste extremist group who caused some trouble when Sheridan was first appointed commander of Babylon 5.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The villainous Ice Warriors led by Azaxyr in "The Monster of Peladon" are said to be an extremist group who want to revive their culture's aggressive warrior tradition, since the previous Ice Warrior story had established them in general as having become good galactic citizens.
    • The, ahem, Renegade and Imperial Daleks who battle it out in "Remembrance of the Daleks", though the so-called Renegades are actually the mainstream Daleks, while the Imperials are a new species of Daleks created by Davros and conditioned to be loyal to him personally. They both view each other as offences against genetic purity, though.
    • "The Time of the Doctor" reveals that Madame Kovarian and the Silence who were terrorizing the Doctor during Series 5 and 6 were this. In the episode, we see the events on Trenzalore that caused them to break away from their organization, travel back in time and attempt to prevent the Doctor from ever reaching the planet in the first place. However, their meddling with the past is what causes the Doctor to travel to Trenzalore in the first place.
      • Not to mention the reason they didn't want the Doctor going to Trenzalore was that if he did, they feared he would release the Time Lords back into reality and the Time War would restart, running the risk of causing equal if not greater devastation as the first time. Their first big plan to stop the Doctor ended up DESTROYING THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE.note 
    • "The Zygon Invasion"/"The Zygon Inversion" is based on the idea that the Zygon refugees who were welcomed onto Earth in "The Day of the Doctor" have spawned a Renegade Splinter Faction who want to conquer Earth.
  • Several episodes of Highlander involved a splinter faction of the Watchers, which had decided to exterminate immortals instead of watching them.
  • The Expanse: Each of the three main factions of the show has these, to greater and lesser degrees:
    • Earth has the Protogen Corporation, which doesn't really care about Earth at all and was merely selling out to the highest bidder, as they are practically a fourth party non-government mega-corporation. Heck, Protogen outright turns on its UN allies in Season 2 and tried to sell out to rogue elements of the Martian government, only to then be browbeaten back into working for the UN. Presumably, the only reason Protogen didn't try to sell the proto-molecule to the OPA is because the Belters couldn't afford it.
    • The UN also features a cabal of hardliners led by Undersecretary Errinwright who conspire with Protogen in order to gain an advantage in their Space Cold War with Mars. While they initially seem to share the same goals as Protogen, they differ in that they are wholly dedicated to ensuring that Earth remains the dominant power in the solar system at all costs.
    • Similar to Earth, the Martian Congressional Republic also features hardliners who actively seek to escalate tensions between Earth and Mars. After learning about the proto-molecule, they gleefully allow Protogen to slaughter Martian marines in a test run of the hybrid weapons. After several seasons of subtle buildup and background references, in Season 5 they overtly break off from Mars to found the Laconia faction - absconding with a third of the MCRN's fleet (or rather, what remains after their losses in the recent war with Earth) to settle on a new colony world beyond the Ring.
    • A major issue with the OPA - which isn't really a unified organization so much as an idea/movement. Word of God compares them to real-life revolutionary movements like the Irish Republican Army - each terrorist cell claiming to be the "real" OPA, though they can occasionally be browbeaten together to act towards a unified goal. Fred Johnson's powerful faction based on Tycho Station is trying to establish the OPA as a legitimate government diplomatically recognized by Earth and Mars - and while Johnson would like to acquire long-range nuclear weapons and/or the proto-molecule, he only wants them as deterrents to establish balance of power. Other groups are outright terrorists carrying out targeted assassinations, such as the "Black Sky" cell, and the more extreme Ceres cell led by Anderson Dawes. And then there's Marco Inaros's small but utterly ruthless "Free Navy", who are so radical that they basically are a Renegade Splinter Faction compared to the other collective OPA factions. The distinction is that while Dawes is an extremist, pro-war politician, he's still a politician, and can be negotiated with if it serves his own interests (grudgingly deciding to ally with Johnson to explore the Ring in Season 3 so the OPA can present a united front against Earth and Mars). In contrast, Inaros is just a fanatical Blood Knight. In Season 5, Inaros forces all the other factions to unite under the Free Navy through sheer ruthlessness, hostage-taking, and outright assassinating both Johnson and Dawes, to the point that by the season finale "OPA" and "Free Navy" are being used synonymously. They even enter into an alliance of convenience with Laconia, the hardliner Mars splinter faction. But then in Season 6, Inaros' growing instability leads to an Anti-Mutiny situation, with Johnson's former second in command Camina Drummer rallying a growing number of OPA ships as a splinter faction back from the Free Navy, and allying with the Earth-Mars joint fleet.
  • Iron Fist (2017): The Hand has different groups with different philosophies. At first, it seems like Bakuto's faction of the Hand (of which Colleen Wing is a recruiter) is trying to help people by giving orphaned and runaway kids a place to live, in contrast with Madame Gao's faction, which is a drug-smuggling ring, or the faction that Nobu ran in Daredevil (2015) which kidnapped people for experimentation. Then it turns out Bakuto and his people are actually just as bad as the others, actively seeking out people who can function in society as perfect sleeper agents for the Hand.
  • The Lost Room has Karl Kreutzfeld and his Mooks. As it turns out, Kreutzfeld used to be a member of the Legion. While members of the Legion tend to avoid killing in order to acquire Objects, Kreutzfeld and his cronies have no such compunctions.
  • An episode of NCIS features a group called the "MAH" (Military at Home), who believe that America should focus on fighting crime and social problems, instead of policing the world. A group of MAH decides to take it a step further, plotting to destroy a communications tower to make a point, with no intention of harming anyone. However, the renegade group also had a splinter group who decide to attack people as well.
  • Stargate:
    • Stargate SG-1:
      • The rogue NID was this for Earth. While the regular NID was rather shady, the renegade group turned outright criminal, stealing technologies the SGC had failed to negotiate for from other planets, including from Earth's allies the Tollans and the Asgard. Eventually, the rogue NID finally splintered off into the Trust once their wealthy backers were arrested. Freed from any government restrictions, the Trust was even more violent - conducting chemical attacks and assassination. When their operatives were driven away from Earth by the SGC, the group managed to get themselves captured and implanted with Goa'uld. Ironically, Ba'al and Athena ended up in charge of the Trust, and headed several major corporations.
      • In one second-season episode the SGC encounters a species of aliens called the Reetou who exist out-of-phase from the rest of the universe (read: they're invisible), and were mostly exterminated by the Goa'uld because proximity gives the snakes headaches. One faction of Reetou decided to exterminate the Goa'uld, and that the best way to do it was a scorched-Earth (pardon the pun) policy against humanity, whom the Goa'uld use as hosts. The Reetou Central Authority found this reprehensible and sent an agent to Earth to warn the SGC.
    • Good/evil-flipped with the Ancients, a splinter group from their progenitor race the Ori; the Ancients believe that Sufficiently Advanced Aliens should not play god, whereas the Ori believe they should, having learned to draw power from mortals' worship of them.
    • In Stargate Atlantis, after Michael is rejected by his fellow Wraith for being a Half-Human Hybrid, he goes off on his own and forcibly turns a large group of humans into hybrids like him, while also modifying himself so that he doesn't need to feed on humans anymore (freeing himself from this weakness). His goal is to destroy both the humans and the Wraith, establishing the hybrids as the dominant race in the Pegasus Galaxy. In a Bad Future, he succeeds.
    • Atlantis also introduces the Vanir, a rogue group of Asgard, who believe that their species must survive at any cost, up to and including experimenting on humans to solve their Clone Degeneration problem. Millennia ago, they split off from the larger Asgard group and left for the Pegasus Galaxy, where they started experimenting on humans without any oversight. In modern times, they are perfectly willing to cause untold destruction across the galaxy in order to keep the Wraith contained. When they find out that their Asgard cousins have all died out, it only serves as proof to them that they were right all along.
  • Star Trek:
    • Section 31 of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is this for The Federation. A covert and officially nonexistent group, the Section deals with any threats to the Federation, even if it has to violate its principles.
    • At least two post-Deep Space Nine continuities (Star Trek Online and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Relaunch) feature renegade Dominion forces in the Alpha Quadrant that refuse to acknowledge that the Dominion War is over (several, in the case of Online, who in addition to featuring three groups allied under a single banner — rogue Alpha Jem'Hadar, the Cardassian True Way, and Laas' New Link — has a time-shifted Dominion fleet refuse to give up their occupation of Deep Space Nine even after being informed by Dominion officials that the war is over). The True Way were originally introduced in DS9: "Our Man Bashir" and aren't much different in their EU portrayal.
    • Another Star Trek example is the Maquis, a paramilitary group that opposes the Cardassians. Originally consisting of former Federation citizens, the group also had Starfleet officers aiding them illegally. They leaned heavily on Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters, believing that the Federation is shirking its responsibilities to its citizens in the DMZ. The Dominion wiped them all out after allying with the Cardassians.
    • The three-parter that opened season 2 of DS9 had the Circle, a Bajoran xenophobic isolationist sect that came perilously close to overthrowing the provisional government and forcing the Federation to withdraw under the Prime Directive. They're foiled when the cast proves that the Cardassians are secretly supplying the Circle.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise provides a few notable examples:
    • The Suliban Cabal, a terrorist faction that seeks to alter the timeline. Because of the tendency to lump the same species into one group, many assumed all Suliban were bad. It turns out the Cabal is just a renegade group.
    • The xenophobic Terra Prime, committing terrorist acts so humanity adopts an isolationist stance.
  • Supergirl: Project Cadmus starts out as a severely off-books black-ops US government organization that is obsessed with persecuting aliens, and is even willing to harm normal humans who get in their way. By Season 2, however, they've gone outright rogue, carrying out terrorist attacks armed with alien weaponry, in order to prove that aliens are the true threat. Additionally, the leader of Cadmus is revealed to have a personal score to settle with aliens in general and Supergirl in particular. The leader is Lex Luthor's mom, who thinks that her son was unjustly imprisoned for only wanting to show the danger posed by aliens and, specifically, Superman.
  • Van Helsing (2016): Season 4 reveals that Harrison's operation in Season 2, which created the Daywalkers for no other reason than because they could, was rogue from the main Blak-Tech organization, which is dedicated to protecting what's left of humanity from the vampires.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Word of Blake in BattleTech, which broke off from ComStar. When the mother organization reformed to lessen focus on its mystical aspects, the conservatives broke off. The Word eventually started an all-out war that affected in entire Inner Sphere.
    • On the Clan side, the Society is (or was, the Clans certainly did their best to stamp them out upon discovering their existence) this to the scientist caste at large, believing in their own group's superiority over the ruling warrior caste and secretly working towards an eventual goal of supplanting the latter at the top. The Wars of Reaving forced their hand well before they were truly ready.
  • The eponymous Delta Green. Once working for the government, it illegally continues its operations to defend America from the Cthulhu Mythos. Unsurprisingly, they also subvert the usual evil nature of the trope, even though they are often quite ruthless. Understandable, considering the alternative...
    • After 2001, Delta Green was reactivated under the pretense of fighting terrorism. Some old members of Delta Green weren't very happy with this and decided to keep the old conspiracy running. The "official" Delta Green is called "The Program" and the "renegade" is called "The Outlaws".
  • 2nd Edition Dungeons & Dragons supplement The Complete Druid's Handbook. The Shadow Circle is a secret society of druids within the larger druidic order. It sees Nature as a hostile, cleansing force that ensures the survival of the fittest and thinks that civilization has weakened humanity and the demihuman races. They support barbarians and think that people should go back to nature. They use evil and vicious tactics to carry out their beliefs.
    • The Order of the Emerald Claw in Eberron are an outcast Karrnathi military order who actually serve Erandis d'Vol, leader of the Blood of Vol. Most of them do, admittedly, believe they serve Karrnath, but they're functionally independent at this point and the Karrnathi government has declared them traitors in a very genuine, non-Xanatos Gambit sort of way.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Chaos Space Marine Legions split off from the Imperium during the Horus Heresy because Horus was tricked into believing that the Emperor would make himself be worshiped as a God and betray half his Primarchs. The Horus Heresy caused that to happen. And it's heavily implied that the Blood Ravens are a splinter chapter from the Thousand Sons Legion, one of the ones that went rogue. The Black Legion has the 3 warbands collectively known as the Thrice Cursed Traitors who refuse Abaddon the Despoiler's leadership.
    • The Farsight Enclave broke away from the Tau Empire out of a dislike for the Ethereal caste's control of the Empire. Commander Farsight still agrees in principle with the aims of the Empire; the sticking point is the means. It may be an Inversion since both the Farsight Enclaves and the Tau Empire have dark secrets.
  • Shadowrun: Black Star was a paramilitary offshoot of Anarchist Black Cross that became more mercenary after falling under the sway of a charismatic and possibly corporate-backed leader. They were mostly wiped out in the Az-Am war though.
  • Eclipse Phase has A few:
    • Project OZMA, the Planetary Consortium's secret agency, "might" be only pretending to being loyal to PC and long since became a pseudo-Illuminati-like organization.
    • The alliance of Minervan Fleet and Special Intelligence Secretariat. The former is a Jovian deserter fleet of military men who wanted a more pro-active and permanent policy against transhumanity, while the latter are former Jovian Space Force Intelligence personnel who lost the power struggle in Jovian politics. Both of them see themselves as the true Jovian government.
  • In Starfinder, when the undead-ruled planet Eox joined the Absalom Pact, part of its military broke away to form the anti-living Corpse Fleet.
  • While many secret societies in Paranoia were actually created by The Computer to provide an outlet for rebellious tendencies, they tend to develop splinter groups from time to time.

  • The Lieutenant of Inishmore: Padraic joined the INLA, a splinter faction of the IRA after the IRA threw him out for being too psychotic. He is also planning on starting his own splinter group, because he doesn't like that the INLA doesn't stop the drug dealers they "protect" from selling drugs to Catholics (not to mention that the INLA think he's too psychotic for them too and would be happy to see the back of him). Plentiful lampshades are hung on the "splinter group of a splinter group"-idea.

    Video Games 
  • Bloodborne: Byrgenwerth College broke up into three factions based on different ideas of how to contact the Great Ones. Byrgenwerth, under its original leader Provost Willem, focused on scientific investigation and gaining Insight, while School of Mensis explored necromantic rituals and the Healing Church (led by Willem's student Laurence) wanted to study the Old Blood. The Healing Church ultimately wound up the most widespread, founding a religion based on worshipping the panacea properties of the Old Blood in order to experiment on its use with the people of Yharnam.
  • This basically happened to Team Plasma in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2. N's Plasma just wanted people to stop using Poké Balls, though they're still on the 'release your Pokémon' kick. Ghetsis' group wants to take over Unova.
  • Fallout 3 has a benevolent example in the DC chapter of the Brotherhood of Steel, which has more or less gone rogue from the western chapters and abandoned the goal of finding tech at all costs to trying to protect the locals from super mutants and raiders (and eventually the Enclave). However, after the death of the Lyons and Arthur Maxson taking the helm of Elder, the DC chapter eventually reunited with the west coast chapter and refocused their efforts on preserving tech and eradicating mutants and non-humans as of Fallout 4.
    • There's also the Midwestern Brotherhood in the semi-canonical Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel. Unlike the main Brotherhood, they have been forced to recruit all-comers from the surrounding areas, eventually even including intelligent Deathclaws, due to many of them dying, when their airships crashed and all contact with the Main Brotherhood was lost. While they're less benevolent than the DC Brotherhood, they are still forced to become protectors of the surrounding area in order to maintain their flow of new recruits and to fight the Calculator's Mecha-Mooks. Of course, the whole reason they were sent out in airships in the first place was that they were already a dissenting faction, claiming that the Brotherhood should extend its mandate to protecting people and open up its membership.
  • Command & Conquer: Generals
    • One mission has a renegade Chinese army (allied with the Middle Eastern terrorist faction which is the villain of the game) as one of the enemies. In this game, China is one of the "good" factions.
    • The final US mission in Zero Hour has the player allying with the GLA against Dr. Thrax, whose use of bioweapons disturbs even them. The first GLA missions focused on it reforming by defeating splinter factions led by the likes of Stealth Expert Prince Kassad.
  • The NSA in Perfect Dark. The director of the agency, Trent Easton, is in league with a shadowy conspiracy. And unlike today's NSA, Easton seems to have his own personal army. In order to accomplish their goals, Easton plans to replace the President with a clone as part of a larger scheme.
  • Mass Effect:
    • The human supremacist terrorist organization Cerberus started out as the black-ops division of the Human Systems Alliance.
    • Mass Effect 2 reveals that the geth you spent most of the first game fighting are in fact a splinter faction considered heretics by the mainstream geth population, who call themselves the True Geth. The True Geth believe that they and all other creatures should be free to choose their own fates, whereas the heretics serve and obey the Reapers.
    • Mass Effect: Andromeda:
      • The primary example is the Roekaar, who split off from the mainstream Angara Resistance when the Andromeda Initiative arrived in the Heleus Cluster. Rather than just wanting the kett kicked out of Heleus, the Roekaar also want to wipe out the Milky Way colonists and will sometimes murder other angara for "collaborating" with the Nexus or the Exiles. They play a big role in your angara party member Jaal's loyalty mission, which may end in their leader Akksul being discredited before his own followers and the Roekaar mostly disbanding.
      • The Exiles themselves are an example, being individuals who were banished from the Nexus for various crimes (mainly a mutiny that occurred before Ark Hyperion arrived) and have turned Space Pirate to survive. Ryder can work to promote reconciliation over the course of the story.
      • The krogan broke off into a third faction after they helped put down the mutiny and the Nexus leadership refused to honor the terms agreed to.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Templar Order separates itself from the Chantry following the events of Dragon Age II to wage war on the mages on their own. By the time of the sequel, smaller Templar factions have split from the order and turned to banditry in the Hinterlands, and they were disavowed by their leaders.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition had two separate splinter factions serving as the Big Bad's enforcers:
      • The Venatori, a terrorist organization originated from the Tevinter Imperium that have pledged their allegiance to the Elder One and aim to sow chaos in Southern Thedas. It's stressed by Dorian that these individuals do not represent Tevinter or its values, though he cynically points out that some fellow Magisters do agree with them in private. The current leader of the Imperium, Archon Radonis, doesn't like them either, as he enlists the Inquisition help to root them out and employs a mage-killer to assassinate Venatori leaders.
      • The Red Templars, who have turned to consuming red lyrium to gain immense power at expense of sanity, are also another splinter faction from the Templar Order. The irony is that in other circumstances, this group and the Venatori would have easily been enemies since the Templars were an organization devoted to fight and contain mages, specially ones from Tevinter who have a sinister reputation on Southern Thedas.
  • Guild Wars 2 has this for every player race: Humans fight the zealous White Mantle. Charr have the dogmatic Flame Legion. Asura compete with the amoral Inquest. Sylvari fight the alien Nightmare Court. Nords struggle against the vicious Sons of Svanir.
    • The Renegades and Separatists are Charr and human factions whose hatred for the other race was so intense that they refuse to abide by the peace treaty between their people. They are now openly hostile to anyone not a member of their faction and wage guerilla warfare against their racial enemies and the "traitors".
  • In the Command & Conquer: Tiberian Series, The Brotherhood of Nod has a chronic issue with these. Various factions of the Brotherhood end up fighting with each other for power; Kane is the only one to really unite them all. Here are a few notable examples:
    • The Black Hand, led by Anton Slavik. They go renegade when Hassan (Nod's leader and GDI puppet) tries to execute Slavik. Slavik manages to reconquer the Brotherhood before Kane shows up.
    • CABAL, after manipulating both sides to accomplish its goals. It was so much of a threat that both GDI and NOD work together to eliminate it.
    • The Marcion-led Black Hand, which was but one of the many splinter factions after CABAL's defeat and Slavik's death. Believing the Brotherhood strayed from its "pure" path, Marcion took the Black Hand into exile and reformed the group into a religious order.
    • The Nod Separatists, who opposed Kane's alliance with GDI. They saw it as a betrayal of their own core beliefs.
    • GDI tends to be a rather stable bunch, but in Tiberian Twilight one GDI army goes rogue over the alliance with Kane, which leads to infighting within the organization.
  • In the Red Alert series it's a staple to include at least one mission where Soviets fight against each other. In the third game, the Allies get some of this too. Led by the President of the United States at that.
  • Skullgirls lore has the Anti-Skullgirl Labs. They conducted research in order to understand the Skull Heart and develop weapons to destroy the Skullgirl it periodically creates. Unfortunately, they weren't exactly known for the humane treatment of their test subjects. After his wife became a Skullgirl and was subsequently killed, the King had a change of heart and decommissioned the Labs, but later disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Several members of the ASG Labs took advantage of this and moved to restart the experiments, this time without official supervision and with even shadier laboratory practices.
    • Finally, one sect, Lab Zero, broke off entirely. The members of Lab Zero operate in complete secrecy, even from the other rogue Labs. Their methods are also much, much more heinous than the others.
    • It's implied that the restarted Labs may have reformed to be more ethical after Princess Parasoul came into power, making the situation an at least partially subverted example of the trope.
  • In Star Control II, the victorious Ur-Quan conquerors are split in a Doctrinal War between the Kzer-Za, a faction that believes that their enemies should simply be enslaved as Battle Thralls, and the Kohr-Ah, which believes they should be annihilated. Unlike the average version of this trope, the split happened long before the Ur-Quan (Kzer-Za) invasion of Free Alliance space — it just wasn't relevant prior as the two deliberately went off in different directions and wasn't to meet again until the time of Star Control II to see who were the superior force. The Reveal of this trope also shows that the war between the Kzer-Za and the Free Alliance, while ending in the victory of the former, has severely depleted their strength, which may spell their defeat in the Doctrinal War, meaning the Kzer-Za would stand back and allow their Kohr-Ah cousins to wipe out every other race in the galaxy. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero.
  • In Galactic Civilizations II, mirroring (and probably a deliberate Shout-Out to) the Star Control example, the Korath Clan, which believes that other races should be exterminated outright, rebels against the villainous Drengin Empire.
  • The Majestic 12 from Deus Ex are that part of the Illuminati who shed "ethical inflexibility".
  • For a time, the Patriots of the Metal Gear series were the American faction of the original Philosophers. The truth is a little more complicated. There was a splintering of the Philosophers when the Wisemen's Committee died off, with the American, Chinese, and Russian groups breaking off from one another. The conflict in Metal Gear Solid 3 led to the rise of the American branch. However, by Portable Ops, Zero was tired of the Philosophers' bickering. So he stole back the other half of the Philosophers' Legacy and reformed the group into the Patriots.
    • FOXHOUND in Metal Gear Solid, originally an advanced special forces unit, they go rogue and take over a research base holding nuclear weapons and the means to launch them, and kidnap the DARPA Cheif and ArmsTech President. This is especially bad since FOXHOUND would have been the go-to unit to solve this sort of situation if they weren't the ones creating it! Instead, former FOXHOUND operator Solid Snake is asked to save the world by his FOXHOUND's former commander and Snake's personal friend, Colonel Cambell. A similar incident happens later in the series when the CIA FOX unit goes rogue under the name XOF (wearing their FOX patches backwards).
  • In Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, Eirika faces such a faction during her route. The nation of Carcino is divided between the Kilmt faction (which wishes to stay allies with Frelia) and the Pablo faction (which is aligned with Grado). Using unscrupulous means, Pablo takes over the country and attempts to hinder Eirika.
  • Star Trek Online:
    • Played straight with the True Way Alliance, a justification for having Cardassian and Jem'Hadar enemies in the game without conflicting with the ending of Deep Space Nine, where the Dominion and Cardassian Union made peace with the Federation, Klingons, and Romulans and the Cardassians acquired a civilian-ruled government. The True Way are terrorists who want to restore the old military regime and resume the Dominion War. See also Live-Action TV above.
    • Inverted with the Romulan Republic, the faction for Romulan player characters. They broke away from the Romulan Star Empire after the Hobus supernova and Empress Sela and the Tal Shiar seizing control, and are a democratic polity that just wants to rebuild Romulan society in peace.
  • The main bad guys in Star Trek: Bridge Commander is a rogue Cardassian faction who have found a powerful new race and are tricking them into building the faction powerful ships, as well as the technology to make stars go boom.
  • The main villains of Time Crisis 4, the Bio-Weapons Special Ops Unit, often referred to as the Hamelin Battalion, are revealed to be this to the U.S. Army.
  • Valkyria Chronicles III: After a peace accord is signed between the Autocratic East Europan Imperial Alliance and the Principality of Gallia, the former's all-Darcsen Calamity Raven legion (whose members cared little for the Empire to begin with) become this, as they decide to go to extreme length for a chance to establish an independent Darcsen nation by attempting to activate a Valkyrian Pointless Doomsday Device as their trump card, with their first intended target being the Gallian capital. The game's Final Battle revolves around the heroes fighting to prevent the last of Calamity Raven from firing said Doomsday Device.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the Yiga Clan are a splinter faction of the Sheikah who could not forgive Hyrule rejecting them. As a result, they've thrown in their lot with Calamity Ganon and serve as recurring enemies for Link.
  • Forever Home: Downplayed with the Judgment Faction and the nation of Tren, since the latter is still an aggressor towards Auria, but isn't nearly as destructive as the faction. Eventually, this is played straight when Tren makes peace with Auria in order to save the planet from the Judgment Faction.
  • One sidequest in the The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Game Mod Beyond Skyrim deals with a small breakaway group from the main game's secessionist Stormcloak faction tentatively called "the Stormcloak Breakaways". Like the main Stormcloak army, the Breakaways want to see Skyrim made independent from The Empire, but while their progenitors only aim to drive the Imperials out of Skyrim and remove Imperial-aligned leaders from power, and are at least pragmatic enough to realize that escalating the conflict to an all-out war with Cyrodiil would be a bad idea, the Breakaways believe that the only way to liberate their country is to kill the Empire itself, and planned to infiltrate Cyrodiil attack the Imperial City directly.
  • Street Fighter IV has S.I.N., which is a splinter faction of Shadaloo that has broken off after Bison's supposed death in Street Fighter II. It was led by Seth until Juri overthrew him and took over the organization.
  • Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned has Brian Jeremy start his own splinter faction of the Lost M.C., leading to a Civil War within the gang.
  • The New Order Last Days Of Europe: The SS, lead by Heinrich Himmler, has mostly split off from the greater Reich, as Himmler has found them too decadent for his tastes and decided to engineer a new form of government to correct this: The Burgundian System, named after his Burgundy territory. Anyone championing it is inevitably a renegade from regular old National Socialism, championing for a system where even the Master Race is treated like ill-fed conscripts at best because The Spartan Way is the only way. The less said about everyone else, the better.

  • In Terra the Shadow Cabal started as a personal army for the Sovereign of the Asurian Empire (the founder is Sovereign Northazul Kalar's son Solus), but it mutated into a barely controllable paramilitary faction with its hands in everything from slave-raiding to salvage operations.
  • In Girl Genius Madwa Korel's faction of Smoke Knights chose (or were possibly brainwashed into) loyalty to the Other, subsequently all other factions of Smoke Knights will drop their current missions and conflicts with each other to take out Madwa or any of her Knights should they encounter them.

    Web Original 
  • Hellsing Ultimate Abridged depicts Maxwell and his army of crusaders as an extremist splinter faction of the Catholic Church, contrasting from the source material.
  • In the fourth Volume of RWBY, two representatives of the White Fang in Menagerie, Corsac and Fennec Albain, tell the former leader, Blake's father Ghira, that the assault on Beacon Academy was due to the actions of Adam Taurus's sect of the White Fang, who they claim has abandoned the management style of the main organization led by High Leader Sienna Khan. Volume Five reveals that they were telling the truth; however, Corsac and Fennec themselves are both secretly allied with Adam, who proceeds to assassinate Khan and take over the mainline White Fang himself.

    Western Animation 
  • The Rooters to the Plumbers in Ben 10: Omniverse. They started out as the Black Ops of the organization, but split off to begin their own agenda. Instead, they seek to free the universe of Ben Tennyson. However, they aren't technically renegades until the end of their story arc, where their Plumber status is revoked.
  • The final season of Codename: Kids Next Door hints at a splinter cell of KND agents who want to remove all adults, good or bad, from the world. However, Operation: T.R.E.A.T.Y. reveals that the cell doesn't really exist, and it's actually a cover for a different organization, revealed in the Grand Finale as the Galactic Kids Next Door.note 
  • The Red Lotus from season 3 of The Legend of Korra is this to the White Lotus. Originally splitting off due to the White Lotus' decision to become a public organization that openly helps the Avatar, the Red Lotus is instead a group of Anarcho-Primitivists who seek the dissolution of all government and authority, along with the Avatar's destruction.
    • Kuvira's army started out as one to Zaofu's security force, hurrying off to restore order to the Earth Kingdom due to Kuvira seeing Su's hesitation as cowardice. Kuvira becomes powerful and popular enough that when she ousts the current Earth Kingdom heir, she is greeted with applause.
  • The Crystal Gems in Steven Universe, who broke away from their Homeworld. An inversion of the usual trope, the Crystal Gems are the good guys here - seeking to protect Earth instead of exploiting it. The earliest, chronologically speaking, we meet them is when it's just Rose and Pearl. The Homeworld Gems are still terrified of the pair, and they would grow into a strong enough force to fight the Homeworld forces off Earth altogether.
  • The crew of the Darksyde in Beast Wars are considered to be criminals by the larger Predacon faction. Not because of any offense to Predacon morality, what little there is to offend, but because their blatant theft of Maximal artifacts and attack on their personnel incur reprisals that are a serious hindrance to the more subtle long term plans of the Predacons as a whole. That and Megatron’s ambition and sheer ruthlessness make even them a little nervous.
  • Played for laughs in an episode of The Tick. The City is invaded by a group of Swiss supercriminals (sporting Swiss Army knife-style weapons, of course). The Tick (in a moment of near-lucidity) says he's confused, because he thought the Swiss were strictly neutral. The baddies laugh and say they don't represent the Swiss government. "We are — how you say? — criminals!"

    Real Life 
  • It's not that uncommon for terrorist groups and guerrillas to split into factions based on political goals, tactics, and where they stand on peace talks.
  • The Taliban and Al-Qaeda were splinters of the Mujaheddin, rebels who fought against the Soviet occupation. They broke off because they were enforcing Sharia law in a case considered too extreme for the Mujaheddin - not all of whom were that Islamists, it was really an alliance of rebels with several differing ideologies overall (some were even Maoists themselves since they had Chinese backing). Many Mujaheddin formed the post-war government, which was later toppled by the Taliban, and the remnants of this government formed the "Northern Alliance", which helped the NATO forces during the 2001 invasion and formed the core of the Afghan government that ruled until the Taliban's return in 2021.
    • In turn, the Islamic State was a splinter of Al-Qaeda when one of the higher-ups in the terrorist group split off after performing actions not sanctioned by the rest of the group as well as losing the role as head of Al-Qaeda following a succession crisis.
  • The Armed Islamic Group (also known by its French acronym GIA) in the Algerian Civil War was a rogue faction that splintered off from the ultra-conservative and fundamentalist Islamic Salvation Front party which was barred from being elected by the government who called off elections. Despite its very radical rhetoric, the Front was relatively moderate compared to the GIA, which was largely composed of angry, unemployed, and hateful young men who carried out a series of assassinations against intellectuals, doctors, artists, and secularists, as well as a series of village massacres.
  • The Khmer Rouge were Cambodian communists trained and supplied by both North Vietnam and the Viet Cong during The Vietnam War. Following the falls of Phnom Penh and Saigon and subsequent end of the war, the Khmer Rouge begin attacking all of their perceived enemies, including the much better equipped and trained Vietnamese. This backfires spectacularly for them, as the Vietnamese simply elect to invade Cambodia and overthrow them.
  • In 1997 the Irish Republican Army (IRA) called a ceasefire in their armed insurgency against the UK government and held a meeting in which the majority of the IRA leadership decided to put down arms for good and instead find a political solution by backing the Northern Ireland peace process, which would eventually result in the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. Not all of the IRA leaders agreed with this though, and a couple of them wanted to continue the armed insurgency. These dissidents eventually formed a splinter group, calling themselves the "Real Irish Republican Army" (RIRA), and continued using IRA's old terror bombing methods throughout the late 1990s, and even a couple of further sporadic bombings during the 2000s. The most recent significant development the RIRA went through happened in 2012, where they merged with the Irish vigilante group, Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD), and formed the New Irish Republican Army (NIRA), ushering in a new wave of small scale terror bombings and shootings which has so far lasted throughout the 2010s.
  • The Revisionist Zionist group Irgun split from the larger Haganah (which later became the IDF) over what they saw as weakness in the Haganah leadership's policies. Most major Zionist organizations at the time, including the Jewish Agency, considered them a terrorist organization. Later on, the group Lehi split from them for not being extreme enough (and for advocating temporary cooperation with Britain against Nazi Germany). Both groups were forcibly disbanded after the War of Independence in 1948, and the Israeli government actually declared Lehi a terrorist group and arrested its members, though it later gave them a general amnesty in 1949.note 
  • One theory states that Peto's Paradoxnote  may be solved thanks to this trope. Cancer cells are effectively mutant rebels, developing large colonies that eat up resources and muscle in on important organs and infrastructure. However, since cancer cells only got this way by nature of being unstable, it is inevitably likely that one of these unstable cancer cells will mutate again, turning into a new renegade splinter colony, which then begins competing against the original colony, hindering its efforts to consume and expand. If either colony wins the war or grows beyond it, the cycle continues with more splinter cells. This chain of self-destruction is so persistent that with a large enough body, none of the cancer colonies will ever grow to life-threatening proportions.
  • Inverted by the Woodcraft Folk, a left-wing Scout-style organisation in Britain for children who object (or whose parents object) to the theism and royalism of the Scouting oath. It began as a milder splinter group of the Kibbo Kift, a serious religious neo-pagan organisation for adults. Nowadays the Woodcraft Folk are still going while the Kibbo Kift are long-defunct (although viewed as influential predecessors by some Wiccans).
  • The various Mormon fundamentalist groups which split off from the main LDS Church after the latter banned polygamy, and tend to be run as cults.


Video Example(s):


Bards Against The Throne

A group of bards who feel the Emperor and his coven are unjustly imprisoning people. Led by Raine, the group tries to find and free all wild witches.

How well does it match the trope?

2.45 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / RenegadeSplinterFaction

Media sources: