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"Before we begin I'd like to discuss the subject of screaming. By saying this — go right ahead."
Black Mask, Batman

A sadist is someone who enjoys the suffering of others. While a sadist who has a good sense of morality and empathy will stick to playing a Cruel Player-Character God or doing some Casual Kink in a Safe, Sane, and Consensual way, sadism becomes outright Nightmare Fuel when combined with Sociopathy. This is the kind of character that takes pleasure in inflicting Cold-Blooded Torture and psychological abuse. Whether it's physical or psychological, a sadist will take pleasure in making or seeing others suffer. Sometimes, a sadist has a Lack of Empathy that stops them from feeling any guilt from the suffering they cause. However, that is not a prerequisite: Some of these characters do indeed feel bad about their actions; they just enjoy it too much to stop.


Note that while real-life sadists are usually of the decent kind and psychiatry stopped perceiving sadism and masochism as mental disorders long ago, fictional sadists are usually of the truly despicable kind. After all, a sociopathic sadist is much easier to use for drama or for eroticized daydreaming. When the non-sociopathic kind of sadism is included in fiction, it tends to be either for a plot twist, some lighthearted fun, or maybe even tragedy.

The original Trope Namer is the author Marquis de Sade, who in his books used sexual sadism both for fetish fuel and for satirical ways of describing the hypocrisy and injustice rampant in pre-revolution France. Back when psychiatry viewed all sexual minorities (including homosexuality) as "mental disorders", regular BDSM was considered pathological under the diagnoses "Sexual Sadism" and "Sexual Masochism". For a little while long ago (in an appendix to DSM III, but not included in the later versions DSM IV or DSM V), psychiatry also had a concept of non-sexual sadism as a mental disorder of its own. Sadist characters may or may not fit any diagnosis, or in the case of sympathetic characters, be unfairly labeled with such a diagnosis.


Many sadist characters are not physically violent, and the ones who are usually come from a violent culture or background. Psychological and emotional sadism is much more common and, in some cases, much more sophisticated and harmful, being easier to disguise from either the victim or their loved ones. It's also, often, very mundane — the Mean Boss, The Bully, and the Domestic Abuser are all often types of sadist. Many target family members in particular, as they are "safe" targets they can control easily, or otherwise go after someone who is in their power (eg. a Mean Boss with their employees, or a Sadist Teacher with their students) so that it becomes harder for them to resist. Others, including the nastier types of internet Troll, prefer to target strangers and may hide their behavior from those closest to them (at least, if they feel they will be judged for it), essentially leading a double-life.


The difference between The Sociopath and the sadist is that the latter wants to hurt others; the former is defined by their utter indifference and lack of remorse, and typically cause harm only as a means to an end. A sadist is not necessarily devoid of guilt; rather, like the Narcissist, they just ignore or find excuses for it, frequently blaming their victim ("You're stupid"; "you're weak"; "Why Did You Make Me Hit You?", etc). That being said, the two disorders are highly co-morbid, meaning that there are plenty of sadistic sociopaths and sociopathic sadists both in fiction and in Real Life. When sadism meets narcissism, the results are equally ugly. Serial Killers and, indeed, many violent criminals and personalities, often have shades of all of the above. Many sadists won't see or even consider the idea that there is a problem with their behavior. However, sadism just gives you unusual appetites rather than removing your sense of morality — there are heroic sadists out there who either suppress their desires or find socially-acceptable outlets for them.

The difference between this trope and a Blood Knight is that a sadist may not even enjoy fighting. They simply love the misfortune of others. Whereas a Blood Knight will enjoy fighting his opponent (and are likely to lose interest if their target is unable or unwilling to fight back), most sadists will be perfectly fine with torturing a helpless victim. Expect them to take extreme actions to make their victim suffer as much as possible. That said, there are plenty of characters who fit both bills. The Comedic Sociopath is usually this trope Played for Laughs. See also It Amused Me (which may or may not include torture), Hollywood Personality Disorders, Soft-Spoken Sadist, and Unsexy Sadist. An easy, psychologically realistic option to explain a villain who does things For the Evulz — in fact, most characters who don't have some more abstract or alien reason for adhering to that trope will be sadists who let their appetites rule them. Frequently overlaps with Ax-Crazy, The Sociopath, Mad Doctor, Sadist Teacher, Depraved Dentist, Blood Knight, and Loves the Sound of Screaming. Compare and contrast with Combat Sadomasochist, who's just as happy with receiving pain as dishing it out. Dystopia Justifies the Means and To Create a Playground for Evil often involve sadistic delight in the misery of a whole setting.

A sadist is quite capable of delving into Stupid Evil if they take their joy for harming others over actually choosing the more intelligent decision. In fact, many villains have sadism as a Fatal Flaw, choosing to make their enemies suffer and drive them to despair instead of just shooting them and getting it over with.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Esdeath from Akame ga Kill! qualifies as this. She's The Social Darwinist, works as The Dragon for The Empire, and enjoys hurting those weaker than herself, such as by stripping them nude and forcing them to lick her shoes while chained. Her name even derives from the Japanese word for "I am a sadist."
  • Rio Miyaichi from Ana Satsujin clearly enjoys her killings and frequently uses her main character boyfriend as an unwilling pawn in luring in victims, often at the expense of his own health and safety.
  • Basilisk: Tenzen Yakushiji really loves making his enemies feel pain. Among other things, he tricks Gyobu into striking at a child, forcing the boy's father to take a fatal blow solely so the child's pain rattles Gyobu enough for Tenzen to win, and later ties up Kagerou and tortures her by shooting needles into her bare torso purely For the Evulz.
  • In Black Butler, Sebastian and Grell fit well into this trope.
    • Grell's favorite color is red, and she delights in painting the world red with blood. Her line of work as a reaper effectively involves her hacking up people with a chainsaw every night. With paperwork in between. She is also actually Jack the Ripper.
    • Sebastian isn't sadistic 24/7. He can be somewhat caring when it comes to Ciel, but he drops straight into sadism whenever he fights Grell: "You have a lovely screaming voice."
  • Bleach:
    • The Hollow Shrieker enjoyed killing people brutally when he was alive, and as a Hollow he psychologically tortures the soul of a little boy for kicks.
    • Many of Mayuri Kurotsuchi's attacks are designed to inflict maximum pain even on a helpless opponent - such as his paralysis ability he uses on Ishida (which Mayuri notes does not numb the user from pain - which he demonstrates by stabbing the defenceless Ishida in the shoulder) or the painfully slow death he uses to finish off Szayel. He is quite fond of taunting and bullying his enemies in battle too (as well as his allies). The manga goes further by detailing the nature of the experiments he performed on the captive Quincy- essentially, he tortured them all in horrifically cruel and senseless ways or forced them to kill each other in the most violent ways possible.
    • Gin Ichimaru cultivates this image very convincingly, due to the Slasher Smile that he keeps on his face whenever he causes someone pain, from mentally torturing Rukia to cutting Hiyori in half. He even points out that he toys with his "prey" like a snake.
    • Szayelaporro Granz greatly enjoys performing grotesque experiments on others, and goes out of his way to torture Uryuu and Renji during his battle with them.
    • Cirucci Sanderwicci seems to enjoy inflicting pain. The whip should have been your first clue.
    • Sternritter Driscoll Berci greatly enjoys the carnage he causes and mocks and taunts his enemies when he thinks he has the upper hand, to his delight.
    • While he conceals it pretty well usually, Yhwach absolutely delights in the pain of others. His first appearance in the series shows him torturing Luders by blasting his arm off and mockingly permits him that he can rest on the floor, but says he will blast Luders' legs off as well because he doesn't need them to sit. He then kills both Luders and Ebern simply because he can. After he kills Yamamoto, he gives a taunting speech to him about how "weak" he has gotten and obliterates Yamamoto's corpse even though he was already dead. He also enjoys playing cruel mental games with his victims, as during his second battle with Ichigo, he could've used 'The Almighty' to immediately defeat Ichigo on the spot, but instead chose to drag the fight on, both to enjoy it, and to give Ichigo the hope that he could win. When he reveals his future manipulation power, he breaks Ichigo's new Bankai, thoroughly beats him down, severely injures Orihime with the tip of Tensa Zangetsu, and by the end starts indulging in hysterical evil laughter at the emotional pain of Ichigo.
  • Maika from Blend-S is an inverted example of sadism, as she's almost too kind and gentle. However, genetics has gifted her with a certain cruel look whenever she concentrates and a certain natural ability that comes off as vicious. Due to this, she can only get employment in a Character Cosplay Café where she acts against type by pretending to be a sadist to the customers. This is all played for laughs.
  • Date A Live: In Volume 15, an Inversed Tohka sits on top of Shido and tries to make him eat cake from the floor, spanking his butt when he starts to object.
  • Death Note: As he gets in the habit of killing, Light Yagami starts to really enjoy it and often smiles and laughs as he slaughters people by the score. He also appears to get off on being a Manipulative Bastard, and can't resist the urge to gloat to his enemies that he's literally signed their death warrant, or take cruel pleasure in discarding and betraying his own allies, even girlfriends. Some of his kills are needlessly nasty as well (eg. said girlfriend was forced by the Death Note to set herself on fire), and on several occasions, he takes a moment to watch his victims die; for example, when he writes Naomi Misora's name in the Death Note, he reveals himself as Kira to her just because he wanted to see the look on her face before she died. And of course, like many sadists, he absolutely believes that his victims had it coming, and that he himself is blameless.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • Frieza enjoys slowly tearing apart his enemies and having them die in despair rather than outright killing them, as shown when he impales Krillin with his horns, shoots up Piccolo, brutally beat Vegeta to near death, and tears Goku apart with only half of his full power. When he is almost killed by the Spirit Bomb, he slowly picks off Goku's friends in front of him to rub in how helpless he is. This, however, backfires when Frieza's killing of Krillin and threatening of Gohan unleashes the very thing he most feared in Goku, a Super Saiyan.
    • Cell is also this to even greater degrees. While Frieza is satisfied with the physical suffering of his victims, Cell prefers to add the psychological element to his cruelty, terrorizing and destroying any chance for hope his opponent has, before killing them. On top of that, Cell freely admits that the extent of his plan after winning the Cell Games is to hunt down every last human being on the planet one by one, and savor their fear and despair before he kills them. From there, he'll go to other planets and rinse and repeat until everything's dead.
    • Kid Buu is a very sadistic Omnicidal Maniac. His only purpose in life is to kill until there is nothing left, and he loves violence, given how he brutally beats Vegeta and his good counterpart until they can't even move anymore. Interestingly, however, he doesn't seem to take much, if any, pleasure in the pain of others, as he never really takes his time killing his enemies or watches their pain inactively. Even when he beats Vegeta and Fat Buu mercilessly, he isn't enjoying their pain so much as just the act of pummeling them both repeatedly.
      • His Super Buu form is on par in terms of sadism and is even worse than Frieza or Cell. He specializes in killing his victims in extremely gruesome ways. He killed a man by liquefying his own body, forcibly going down the guy's throat, and making him explode from the inside out. He also turned Chi-Chi into an egg and steps on her in front of her family and friends. Super Buu even adds psychological torture to his list, such as his fight with Gohan, which is one long breaking speech.
    • Nappa. He absolutely enjoys dominating his foes, as seen when he fought the Z-Fighters. In fact, he seems to have a sadistic joy with each act of destruction he performs, such as his grin when he blew up East City.
    • Vegeta, especially in the earlier seasons where he could be just as bad as Frieza, often killing people with a Psychotic Smirk on his face. He massacred an entire Namekian village with a huge grin on his face and laughed when it's revealed that they weren't wished back by Shenron because of the way the wish was worded. Before then, in his Great Ape form, he ruthlessly crushed every bone in Goku's body while laughing his head off. He does get over it once he settles down on Earth and tends to kill people for pragmatic reasons instead of joy.
    • Future Androids 17 and 18 definitely qualify. They spent decades slowly torturing the people of Earth with running them over with cars, shooting them while they're running, and promising to spare them only to kill them anyway. That's not even getting started on how they treated beating Gohan and Trunks to near-death like it is a game.
    • King Piccolo. Once he took over the world, he set all the criminals free and abolished all laws, just so he could enjoy watching humanity tear itself apart. He then had a lottery where he would destroy one section of the world for the next 36 years, all so he could enjoy the terror on people's faces during their final moments.
    • Piccolo started out as this, taking more than a little joy in breaking Goku's legs and trying to saw off his arm. He grins in delight when he's about to make the killing blow against Goku and Raditz. His training with Gohan was also brutal and he did seem to enjoy the boy's pain at first. He largely gets over it after he becomes more good, although he still likes inflicting pain on those that get him mad or hurt Gohan.
    • Broly. This may stem from his general insanity. As with others such as Frieza, Cell, Buu, etc., this leads to his downfall — though he is shown as clearly capable of killing the Z-warriors in one fell swoop, he chooses to torture them instead, granting them the time to pull off a miraculous comeback.
    • Gohan becomes this when Cell's sadism triggers his Super Saiyan 2 transformation, deciding to torture Cell instead of just killing him. He drops this behavior, but only after his sadism results in the death of his father and the almost-destruction of the Earth thanks to Cell refusing to accept that he could ever be beaten and mocked like this.
    • Zamasu of Dragon Ball Super shows this to various degrees, in all his incarnations. Goku Black murdered Goku himself and then his family purely for the sake of being cruel after stealing the former's body, and then he and Future Zamasu reveal this to Goku after impaling him with a Laser Blade just to rub salt in the wound. Also, the Present Zamasu who was killed by Beerus was positively delighted to discover the chaos Black and Future Zamasu had inflicted upon the future Earth, happy that his dream of a mortal-free universe was becoming a reality.
  • In Durarara!!, Izaya genuinely screws with people simply because he enjoys it and likes seeing their reactions — except for Shizuo. He hates Shizuo.
  • Fairy Tail
  • Fist of the North Star features many villains who enjoy inflicting torment and cruelty on the innocent. As Kenshiro despises such villains, they are often subjected to just as cruel ends.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist Envy delights in giving pain to others, taking every possible opportunity to Kick the Dog and gloat about the atrocities he commits to anyone who'll pay attention.
  • Okita Sougo from Gintama. Loves to see everyone, allies or enemies, in distress, but especially Hijikata. He's pretty dependable though when the times need for it.
    • Borderline everyone in Gintama acts as a sadist at some point or another.
  • The Yakuza Princess Mikako from Heaven's Lost Property.
  • Russia from Hetalia: Axis Powers almost always wears a smile despite being flat-out cruel.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Stardust Crusaders:
      • Devo is a Combat Sadomasochist who loves inflicting pain just as much as he loves receiving it.
      • J. Geil makes it very clear that he enjoys women screaming and inflicting guilt onto their loved ones.
      • Mannish Boy seems to get a lot of enjoyment out of torturing the Crusaders in the dream world.
      • It's made pretty clear from his Psychotic Smirk that Pet Shop relishes in his job as the guard falcon of DIO's mansion, enjoying inflicting fear on his prey before violently killing them.
    • Cioccolata from Vento Aureo delights in the pain and suffering he brings to other people.
    • JoJolion:
      • Ojiro Sasame would often pass the time by using his Stand to non-fatally drown any woman that came near him.
      • Tamaki Damo seems to get a lot of enjoyment out of interrogating people.
  • Quattro from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, a borderline sociopath who takes great pleasure in torturing Nanoha's six-year-old adoptive daughter Vivio, an act for which Nanoha more than makes her pay.
  • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: Yazan Gable. He goes out of his way to put the "sociopath" in Sociopathic Soldier and in the final episodes laughs as he goes on a Hero Killer rampage.
  • Monster: Johan Liebert. He clearly enjoys tormenting people. Some of his ways of inducing people to suicide are unnecessarily cruel as well.
  • Naruto:
    • Suigetsu enjoys cutting off the limbs of his opponents before cutting off their heads.
    • Sakon in the Creepy Twins duo of the Sound Five also counts, since he always likes to prolong fights.
    • Hidan is the most obvious example. He intentionally strikes non-vital areas of his opponent so that he can make them die a "good death". Though he does feel the need to join a Religion of Evil before acting on his sadistic impulses, so at least he feels his sadism needs some "higher" purpose.
    • Orochimaru is a power-hungry psychopath but he clearly likes making people suffer along the way. He also seems to enjoy making a mockery of other peoples' beliefs and values, for example by how much his horrific actions freak other people out, as well as manipulating others to fight and die for him; in addition, his stated reason for trying to start another global war was "peace is boring". He also once lost the use of arms because he dragged a fight out for too long- because he was trying to make his opponent, his mentor the Third Hokage, psychologically suffer before losing.
    • He once tells Kabuto, his underling, that he is even crueler than he is. Kabuto is a Mad Doctor who earned Oro's praise because he was able to keep their human experiments alive for longer, and later forces the zombies of various famous ninja to fight their friends and family as a form of psychological warfare.
    • Gaara the Sand ninja is introduced as a psychotic sadist- he believes he must kill people to feed the chaos inside of himself, driven as he is by a combination of Demonic Possession, lifelong insomnia, and a horrifically traumatic childhood. He once killed three ninja in battle, and then tried to find more people to kill because it wasn't enough. He also kept his older brother and sister in line by threatening to kill them if they didn't do what he said. He got better though.
  • One Piece: Almost all the primary villains have this, but some stand out more than others:
    • Kuro, captain of the Black Cat Pirates, who went into great detail about why he despised working under Kaya and says how he was looking forward to the day he kills her. This is despite treating Kuro like a friend and father figure for three years.
    • Arlong who laughs at Nami's misery after he breaks his promise to her. He then brags to his crew about he would keep Nami under his control for the rest of his life.
    • Crocodile goes out of his way to cause pain and misery to others for no particular reason other than to be cruel. He causes Vivi great emotional distress by causing a Civil War that nearly destroyed her country, sending sandstorms just to torture some old man in another town, creating Hope Spots just to drive home how helpless everyone is. It is strongly hinted that he does this because his own dream of becoming Pirate King was crushed by people like Whitebeard, so he wants everyone to be as miserable as him.
    • Rob Lucci. He enjoys making people bleed and licking their blood. He actually bites Luffy in his leopard form.
    • His boss, Spandam is even worse. While Lucci has no problem making people who can fight back suffer, Spandam mercilessly beats and brutalizes Robin and Franky, both mentally and physically, when they couldn't fight back, disgusting even Lucci.
    • Doflamingo who enjoys torturing people in much the same way as Crocodile. After he forcibly takes over a country, he has people fight until they're maimed in gladiator battles and turn others into toys to serve as his slaves. He also delights using his powers to control people's bodies and make them attack their own love ones and allies.
      • Diamante, Doflamingo's right-hand man, is an utterly inhuman dick who, like his boss, revels in both physical and mental torment. He drags out his battle with Rebecca far longer than he needs to, given the vast difference in power between them. He not only reveals to Rebecca that he was the one who killed her mother, Scarlet - he gloats about it, and never stops doing so once he brings it up. He pulls the same card against Rebecca's father Kyros, which only serves to make Diamante's defeat at his hands that much quicker.
    • Kid, one of the Supernova. He is known for his sadism. He crucified pirates for daring to try to leave the New World.
    • Law zigzags. He is known for being overly cruel and does enjoy causing pain, but he does so for mostly pragmatic reasons. The only person he truly enjoys torturing is Doflamingo and his family, but that's purely for personal reasons.
    • Blackbeard. This guy enjoyed telling Luffy in detail about how he defeated his brother and how he's on death row because he tried to protect him. He also mocks Whitebeard for his inability to save Ace. To really show how sadistic he is, he laughs like a maniac as he and his crew are shooting Whitebeard to death.
  • Enter Vincent Nightray from PandoraHearts. If he isn't molesting his stuffed animals with scissors, he's stalking his hot older brother or kidnapping women.
  • Pokémon:
    • For the fourth Pokemon movie features the Iron-Masked Marauder. He succeeds in capturing Celebi with his Spider-Machine's claw, brutally electrocuting it. Then, he plans to use Celebi and attempts to usurp and kill his own boss Giovanni in order to take over Team Rocket and the entire world for himself.
  • Ross/Shion from Senyuu. does this to the main character Alba pretty much every chance he gets, like in episode one, after being asked to fight in the next battle, instead of attacking the enemy, he punches Alba in the back. In episode two, he even explicitly states he likes seeing people suffer. He does it to other characters as well, but not as often.
  • Sword Art Online:
    • Nobuyuki Sugou. Not only does he meddle with the Pain Absorber to torture Kirito, Sugou goes so far as to pin him down and sexually assault Asuna right in front of him, just to make him suffer psychologically. He even takes the time to look right at Kirito and smirk while doing so. He also seems to thrive on trying to be a Hope Crusher towards Asuna and is ecstatic when Asuna attempts to reassure Kirito, saying nothing Sugou does will really hurt her.
    Sugou: I was hoping you'd say that. But I wonder how long your pride's going to last. Thirty minutes? An hour? Why don't we see how long you can HANG ON TO IT?!
    • Gabriel Miller as well. He began studying the concept of mortality when he was a kid by killing childhood friend Alicia Klingerman. And as Vector, the dark god of Underworld, he tortured even more souls (artificial ones, but no less satisfying to him). His prime goal in Underworld though is hunting down Alice - who resembles Alicia - and torture her as well.
    • Vassago "PoH" Cassals is this taken Up to Eleven. Born to a Japanese father, who sold him and his mother away, he created the Laughing Coffin guild just to see Japanese people kill each other. Vassago later brings in Chinese and Korean gamers into Underworld to fight the Japanese gamers who are rescuing his SAO-era archnemesis Kirito, just to revel in the sight of Asians beating each other up. But wait, there's more. Vassago proceeds to torture Kirito in front of his True Companions just to spite them, planning to cut off his limbs and force Kirito to watch him torture Asuna. And when Kirito recovers and soundly defeats him, Vassago vows that he will never stop coming after Kirito and Asuna until he finally manages to kill them in real life by cutting their throats and ripping their hearts out. This backfires on him epically; after hearing this, Kirito has had enough of him and subjects Vassago to a Fate Worse than Death by permanently trapping him in a tree and leaving him to rot in Underworld.
  • Slayers: Hellmaster Phibrizzo is a manipulative sadist. He revels in his victims’ suffering and despair, as evidenced when he kills all of Lina Inverse’s friends one by one.
  • Ryouko Mendou from Urusei Yatsura, a rich and bored girl who found that causing trouble and watching people squirm was the best form of entertainment. She uses underhanded mischief and devilish practical jokes as a primary source of pleasure.
  • Dark Marik from Yu-Gi-Oh! is a pretty clear case of what used to be Sadistic Personality Disorder. He's a psychological and physical sadist, who rigs up his duels so that they will cause the maximum amount of emotional and physical trauma to the victims, gloating about it the entire time. The Spirit of the Millenium Ring is of a similar mindset, though he's not near as blatant about it as Dark Marik is.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS: Towards the end of Aoi's and Spectre's duel in Episode #34, Spectre made Aoi believe that she was about to win and was about to save him. However, it was only a façade as Spectre's Sunbloom Doom made him nowhere near losing. He even mocked her, calling her "a worthless woman who will never become a Blue Angel" and claiming he was the Blue Angel who killed Aoi. He then tore up the copy of the ''Blue Angel'' book he materialized and burned the shreds. The story meant the world to Aoi and gave her comfort after her parents died about ten years before the start of the series. To see it be so carelessly destroyed, in addition to her being so cruelly manipulated and mocked just moments ago, destroyed her. Seeing as the Tower of Hanoi would absorb those who lose duels in Link VRAINS and leave their real bodies in a comatose state with no hope of waking up, Spectre essentially tortured her mentally before Player Killing her in cold blood.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman:
    • Providing the page quote above is the flagrantly Ax-Crazy Black Mask, an Evil Counterpart of Bruce Wayne who went crazy and turned to crime after failing as a Corrupt Corporate Executive. Becoming a mob boss was how he found success, but torture was where he really found his passion in life, especially after he started feuding with Catwoman. In one particularly horrifying storyline, Black Mask kidnaps Selina's sister and brother-in-law, torturing the latter with power tools and then forcing the former to eat pieces of her husband's corpse after he succumbed to his injuries, including his eyeballs. By the time Selina arrived her sister was driven thoroughly into insanity and her friend Holly Robinson was on the verge of meeting a similar fate. Black Mask gets his in the end though... sort of.
    • The Joker is typically characterized this way as well. His original Golden Age incarnation was out simply to kill people and terrorize the city, and many later versions are, if anything, worse. Sometimes subverted, however, in that he's not out to just hurt others for its own sake, but when it's funny to do so, and he's been known to spare people when he finds it funny. For instance, in Emperor Joker, he got annoyed when one of his minions killed Superman (who had been turned into a dog) because he didn't see any humor in it. In a Judge Dredd crossover, he also teamed up with the Dark Judges but quickly got bored with doing nothing other than killing people.
    • Ironically enough given the above, some incarnations of Batman himself verge on this, in particular his notorious ASBAR incarnation who gleefully brutalizes criminals while calling them strange things such as "boy of mine". Predating ABSAR Bats is The Dark Knight Strikes Again, in which Batman declares with satisfaction that striking terror is the best part of his job. Interestingly enough, both of these stories were written by Frank Miller, though he is far from the only creator who has written Batman as being just as little too into beating up criminals.
  • Bullseye gets so much enjoyment from brutally murdering and torturing people. So much so that he doesn't even bother spending money he gets from his hit jobs. The money is just a handy way of keeping score of the people he slaughtered. There's a reason why he's considered the Marvel version of The Joker.
  • Fantastic Four: The Marquis of Death. Just dear God. He makes it a habit of torturing the heroes of a universe right before destroying it. He even outright states that he only does it for the fun of it.
  • The Midnighter is a violent anti-hero of the ASBAR Batman sort, being distinguished from the former by two traits: being an Empowered Badass Normal compared to Batsy's vanilla Badass Normal and being confirmed to be compared to Batsy (who has frequently been coded as such but would never be made one outright).
  • Malekith the Accursed from The Mighty Thor demonstrates a penchant for torture and dismemberment that few can rival.
  • In Moon Knight, there's a secret society of elite sadists who are both extremely wealthy and brutally sadistic. Membership is restricted to "very special" individuals, so latest members include a cutting-edge piercing artist who's become a billionaire from his work while enjoying piercing people to death as a side-hobby. During the induction feast, Moon Knight jumps in and claims he deserves to be a part of this. He's just as rich as these assholes and he says LOVES, LOVES torturing and brutally harming criminals in battle and he intends to do just that to the circle.
  • Mystique's Fatal Flaw is her penchant for sadism, both of the physical and Manipulative Bitch varieties. This was most prevalent during her early years as a Ms. Marvel villain, in which she was more or less a Distaff Counterpart of Black Mask above, gleefully kidnapping and torturing Carol's friends and loved ones. This side of her took a backseat for a time after she became a Rogues Gallery Transplant into the X-Men's baddie catalogue, though as the years went on her fervor for mutant rights waned while her original passion has returned. She's developed a particular love over the years for playing the Love-Interest Traitor to various X-Men, including Forge, Iceman, and even Professor X himself.
  • The Red Skull sees Cold-Blooded Torture as "recreation", frequently murders his subordinates for no reason whatsoever, trains himself by fighting his underlings to the death without telling them it is "to the death", and seeks Take Over the World and godlike power mainly because he wants to terrorise as many people as possible. He joined the Nazi Party because he wanted a quasi-legal reason to assault and kill people, and has expressed empathy for both his abusive, drunken father and his Evil Mentor Adolf Hitler- specifically, for their psychological need to have victims, be it family for his dad or the Jews for Hitler, and is himself guilty of numerous war crimes and acts of terrorism. His backstory suggests he is driven by a monomaniacal desire to take revenge on the entire world for his crappy life. He suffers the odd bout of depression, but can be cheered up by reminding him of all the atrocities he has committed in his life. And then there is his treatment of Mother Night... The Red Skull's entire motivation for villainy is recreating the sheer bliss he felt when he murdered a Jewish girl who rejected his creepy advances back when he was a bitter angry teenager. He's so twisted that torturing and killing people are the only things that make him happy.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Norman Osborn has built his entire supervillain career around the torment of one man, usually by targeting said man's friends and family. He is a misogynistic Control Freak who was finally caught after it was discovered he was murdering his employees and nosy female reporters For the Evulz in his spare time, and his Green Goblin persona is an Ax-Crazy Mad Bomber whether or not it is Osborn himself who is running the show. And he bullied and dominated the life of his only son Harry, in the delusional belief that this would make him more of a man.
    • Another Spidey villain sadist is Carnage, whose mission in life is to go on ultraviolent killing sprees. He thinks the world is dull and uninteresting but can be made more colourful by spraying the streets red with blood. He is also a Straw Nihilist who thinks the very idea that "murder is wrong" is just The Man keeping you down, and that cowardice and weakness are the only reasons everyone else isn't killing too.
    • Much like Frank Miller's Batmen above, some incarnations of Venom have been just a little too into punishing the guilty, especially early on when he was more or less a sadistic Villain Protagonist trying to ape Spider-Man. As Character Development has mellowed him out over the years this aspect of him has gradually tapered off, though it made a brief comeback when he first became Anti-Venom.
  • Superman:
    • Brainiac likes to play The Stoic, but occasionally lets it slip how much he enjoys causing others pain, being especially prone to a Psychotic Smirk while abducting planets. Brainiac 13 is particularly sadistic; he could have killed Superman instantly, but took the time to torture him to death, because in his own words: "I have run simulations of your death 1,098,288,546 times; this one is a particular favorite."
    • Darkseid is a sadist on a tyrannical scale. He has built a galaxy-spanning empire as well as a Religion of Evil entirely on the concept of spreading misery and suffering and his self-proclaimed right to control, dominate, and enslave all life in the universe. All of his underlings are absolutely terrified of him and he often has them tortured or killed for the most trivial offences — or for no offence at all. One of those, Desaad, is actually the God of Sadism, though of the depraved spineless bully variety rather than the relentless force of evil his master embodies.
    • Minor baddie Jax-Ur is more or less a Kryptonian Expy of the infamous Nazi scientist Josef Mengele, with all the associated sadism and Mad Scientist motifs thereof. Note that most of his adaptations subvert this, save for his appearance in Man of Steel which played it very straight.
    • The Bronze Age Superman villain Mongul is a psychological sadist of the first degree, who in the Superman story For the Man Who Has Everything locked Superman into a mental delusion that he can only escape by throwing away the things he cares about most. Superman was less than happy with Mongul upon finally escaping.
  • X-23's former handler, Kimura. Despite being a victim of emotional and physical abuse herself (and in fact having a childhood which in some ways paralleled Laura's), she joined the Facility both for the means to exact revenge on her tormentors and to put herself into a position where she could torment others. She was one of X-23's chief abusers, and routinely tortured her for the slightest of infractions; notably, after the mission where Zander Rice (who could justify an entry of his own) left her to die, Kimura actually punished her for surviving entirely because she was told X had been killed and her return to base meant it was a lie. She has pursued Laura relentlessly since her escape and is gleefully willing to murder and torture her loved ones for no other reason than to punish her for it, even when Laura offers to return to spare them.
  • X-Men:
    • Most of the baddies from the Age of Apocalypse were this, owing to the Crapsack World Nature of the reality where they ruled. The Dark Beast was the most prolific of the AoA sadists, but Abyss, Holocaust, the AoA Domino, and of course Apocalypse himself all reveled in the pain they inflicted on their victims.
    • The Shadow King is an Evil Counterpart of X-Men Big Good Professor X, and nothing brings him greater delight than to inflict Mind Rape on his victims (which are always X-ladies for some reason). Fortunately for the X-Men, he's so intent on getting his sadistic jollies off that he leaves himself vulnerable at crucial moments, allowing lesser telepaths like Psylocke to defeat him.
    • Like the Shadow King, Stryfe is a sadist who is frequently defeated because he places higher importance on tormenting heroes than killing them.
    • Exodus of Magneto's Acolytes is an Informed Attribute case, as trading cards during the 90s made frequent mention of how cruel he was, but in the actual comics he was more an extreme case of Pay Evil unto Evil than an outright sadist (he tormented Fabian Cortez in the Blood Ties story before killing him, but as Cortez was the very definition of an Asshole Victim and had just tried to use a little girl as a Human Shield, it's hard to argue that he didn't have it coming).
    • And speaking of Magneto, during his 2014 solo title he exhibited a grim satisfaction similar to that of his one-time disciple as he hunted down and killed those he considered threats to mutantkind, though as with Exodus above it's easy to argue his actions were more motivated by Pay Evil unto Evil than sadism.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Volume 1:
      • Priscilla Rich (Cheetah) kidnaps Gail Young and Brenda West to "hunt" them for fun even after she has already terrified Gail into working for her and has enough blackmail on Brenda to force her to and tortures them supposedly to force them to see they have no choice but to work for her since they have no hope of outrunning and escaping her when such an action was entirely unnecessary and she straight up tells them she's doing it for her own enjoyment. She also turned away from killing Di when she had her asleep and at her mercy with a kife posed over her heart because she wanted her to suffer.
      • Queen Clea really likes watching captives be tortured to death. She will set things up so that prisoners who didn't bend to her will and submit to her during their first round of torture are killed in painful and creative ways, or put through some kind of dangerous gauntlet for her while she looks on.
    • Volume 3: Shortly after her first homicidal rampage Genocide realizes that there are things humans fear more than death and that she actually gets even more enjoyment out of causing suffering and pain than she does out of straight-up slaughtering people. This does not mean she now intends to allow her victims to live in the long run though.


    Film — Animated 
  • A Bug's Life: Hopper is a ruthless tyrant who delights in the fear he instills in the ants and was fully prepared to publically execute their queen to keep them compliant. He even admits to his minions that they don't even need the food the ants provide, implying his actions are motivated purely by sadism.
  • Thrax from Osmosis Jones as well.
  • Rattlesnake Jake from Rango. He constantly terrorizes his victims. In his first appearance, Jake strangles Beans and licks her face, and strangles her again in another scene, looking like he's enjoying it way too much.
  • In Disney's The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, we have a Big Bad Judge Claude Frollo. He has a sadistic Slasher Smile on his face after he sets fire to the platform Esmeralda is on when he tries to burn her at the stake. Also note his glee in witnessing a prisoner being tortured in the Palace of Justice.
    Frollo: Ease up. Wait between lashes; otherwise, the old sting will dull him to the new.
  • In Wreck-It Ralph, we have Turbo, known as King Candy. "I should thank you...but it'd be more fun to kill you!"
  • Lotso Huggin-Bear from Toy Story 3 is so embittered that his owner lost and replaced him that he snapped, took over the Sunnyside daycare centre, and turned it into a toy prison where he rules with an iron fist. While his principal aim is to ensure that he and his cronies get to live the good life and have run of the place, he clearly takes pleasure in deceiving new toys and bullying those under his power and gets especially mean when the idea of owners actually loving their toys is brought up and nearly laughs as he leaves Woody and the others to burn to death, saying "Where's your kid now, Sheriff?". Even his underlings seem more than a little scared of him.
  • Lord Business from The LEGO Movie is so sadistic, it's a wonder how they managed to put him in a kids' film. He kills a man in cold blood by decapitating him, he psychologically and physically tortures his lieutenant Good Cop Bad Cop to turn him into his puppet for his master plan, and he crushes Emmet's self-esteem brutally in the climax when Vitruvius claims the prophecy was made up just before he dies before leaving him and the Master Builders to die in the Think Tank, which he sets to self-destruct. Oh, and let's not forget that after using Bad Cop for his own goals, he abandons him to the same fate.
  • In Disney's Pinocchio, we have the most evil villain in the movie, The Coachman. He takes great pleasure in turning innocent children, such as "The Stupid Little Boys" into donkeys, enjoying their pain with whipping them, and also selling them into slavery.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Alex DeLarge from A Clockwork Orange. He tortures, rapes, and assaults innocent random people for his own amusement (or, as he said, "for a bit of the old ultra-violence").
  • Sergio Leone's villains Ramon and Esteban Rojo from A Fistful of Dollars, El Indio from For a Few Dollars More, Angel Eyes from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Frank from Once Upon a Time in the West, and Gunther Reza from Duck, You Sucker! all enjoy hurting other people; for Indio and Frank in particular it is their whole raison d'etre.
  • Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street was a sadistic child killer before his death at the hands of the parents of Elm Street, and became even worse afterward, trapping his victims in horrible dreams that kill them for real.
  • In the film version of Battle Royale, Kiriyama actually joined The Program to kill students he doesn't even know, and shoots at them with a smile.
  • In The Crow: City of Angels, crime lord Judah Earl admits point-blank to one of his goons he executes (because the guy objected that the bad quality of their drugs was cutting into their profits since it killed too many customers) that hurting people is his only enjoyment.
    Judah: Weren't you listening before, Basset? I said we all have our pleasures. Mine is the pain of others.
  • The Scorpio Killer from Dirty Harry is completely Ax-Crazy and very sadistic as well, his worst act being kidnapping and burying a teenage girl alive.
  • Nathan from Ex Machina. He programs his creations to desire freedom so that they would suffer in captivity. And it's visually implied that he enjoys their psychological pain as evidenced by his smug and satisfied expression when one of his creations goes mad from isolation.
  • Jason Voorhees of the Friday the 13th is an Ambiguous Situation case. Despite being a Serial Killer on par with Freddy Kreuger above, it is implied (and in later films stated outright) that he is an extreme Knight Templar who kills those he views as immoral, committing his murders out of a twisted Psychopathic Manchild's sense of morality rather than any sadism. And yet, despite this Informed Attribute Jason often inflicts a Cruel and Unusual Death on his victims, killing them in elaborate ways or toying with them in ways that certainly suggest to viewers that he enjoys terrorizing them. Being a Silent Antagonist, we'll probably never know for sure exactly how sadistic Jason truly is, but he can certainly be interpreted as such.
  • Tommy De Vito from GoodFellas is constantly seen using sadistic violence to threaten others, and shows no apparent mercy for his victims. He also seems to be very familiar with utilizing fear and humiliation, especially when he kills Spider.
  • James Bond:
    • Red Grant of From Russia with Love. His SPECTRE file describes him as a homicidal paranoiac, which comes into view when cornering 007, where instead of just going with the fake murder/suicide, Grant plans to humiliate and torture Bond.
    "The first [bullet] won't kill you. Not the second. Not even the third. Not until you crawl over here and kiss my foot!"
    • Franz Sanchez from Licence to Kill. "See You in Hell" "(Evil Laugh) No; today is the first day of the rest of your life.".
    • Xenia Onatopp from Goldeneye, whether it be crushing her victims to death during sex or gleefully machine-gunning a bunch of computer programmers.
    • Spectre: Whether by doing Cold-Blooded Torture on 007 in an effort to weaken his morale or by kidnapping the Bond Girl just to rattle him, Franz Oberhauser/Ernst Stavro Blofeld does have a knack for sadism on his foster brother. While all versions of Blofeld were psychopaths in general, Franz Oberhauser is later revealed to be the darkest and most violent incarnation of SPECTRE's nefarious leader, yet he remains eerily calm and soft, trying to weaken 007's morale in any way possible. To twist the knife even further, he even sadistically rubs Bond's past failures in his face several times.
  • Jurassic Park
    • In Jurassic World, the Indominus Rex doesn't strictly kill for food, she hunts for sport. This is most chillingly brought to light upon discovering she left an entire herd of her suffering victims still alive to expire in an excruciating slowness.
    • In Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the Indoraptor, is less sadistic and evil than the I-Rex, but still fits here. He can be shown playing with his prey and while he does eat them unlike the Indominous, he still takes a bit before doing so.
  • Orin Scrivello from Little Shop of Horrors. His Villain Song is about how as a kid he loved to torture animals and his mother encouraged him to get a job where he can cause people pain and suffering and get away with it, so he decided to become a dentist where he often gave people root canals without anesthetics. He likes to beat up his chubby female assistant, and he abuses his girlfriend Audrey — he's also notably disappointed by a sadomasochist patient who loves pain.
  • Mr. Blonde from Reservoir Dogs.
    "I don't give a good fuck what you know, or don't know, but I'm gonna torture you anyway, regardless. Not to get information. It's amusing, to me, to torture a cop. You can say anything you want, but I've heard it all before. All you can do is pray for a quick death... which you ain't gonna get."
  • The Big Bad of Shotgun is a traditional sexual sadist who enjoys beating prostitutes.
  • Palpatine/Darth Sidious from Star Wars. This was best demonstrated with him using Force Lightning to torture both Mace Windu and Luke Skywalker when he could have just killed them.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit features the main villain Judge Doom. His enjoyment in doing evil to people is quite like a child having fun while playing with his toys. He orders first Smart Ass to let Eddie watching Roger and Jessica being Dipped and then to shoot him when he could have just had him killed right now. Again, during the final confrontation he starts the Dipmobile on in order to Dip Roger and Jessica with a deranged smile simply to hurt Eddie, he saws a chain to show Eddie how powerful he is and what is going to happen to him. Also, his plan to destroy Toontown appears to be more For the Evulz than for greed.
  • The Gravedancers: Kira is being haunted by the ghost of Judge William Langer, an honored man who was admired by the entire community and died peacefully. Upon his death, they found journals he wrote, which tell of his fetish with sadism and masochism. He would lock women up in cages and tie them with masks over their faces, and eventually kill them, after brutally raping them.
  • Ghidorah and Gigan from Godzilla seem to enjoy causing suffering, over and above the usual expectations of giant marauding kaiju. Gigan likes to get up close and personal, where he tries to slowly and painfully carve up his enemies with the buzzsaw built into his stomach, while most versions of Ghidorah like to take their time when killing other kaiju.
  • Mars Attacks!: The Martians are incredibly sadistic; the novilization clarifies that their entire way of life revolves around attacking other planets and killing the populace to sate their sadism and hedonism.
  • Halloween: Film critic Kim Newman put it best in the 25 Years of Terror documentary when he noted that for Michael scaring people is perhaps more important than killing them. He seems to enjoy ratcheting up his victims' fear before he kills them — most perfectly exemplified by stringing the bodies of Laurie's friends up for her to find in the first film. And that's not even getting into the increasingly elaborate and brutal ways he dispatched his victims as the series went on... There's also the way how he tilts his head after usually killing someone, as if he wants to admire his work from another angle.
  • Wonder Woman (2017): Dr. Poison and General Ludendorff revel in the suffering and panic of others. When they turn on the German high command and lock them in a room with Poison's corrosive gas they toss in a gas mask, which will do nothing against said gas, to laugh at the men desperately fighting over it to try to survive.
  • Sodom and Gomorrah: Queen Bera and the other Sodomites find high entertainment in watching slaves who revolted die by torture.

  • In A Brother's Price, Keifer Porter was this kind of person. Most of his abuse was emotional abuse of his adult wives, he threw tantrums, played them out against each other by making them jealous, and locked himself up in his room for days when things weren't done as he wanted it. Ren suspects that he hurt her on purpose when he first had penetrative sex with her. (She was a virgin and had nothing to compare him to) By far his worst offense was torturing teenage Trini, after giving her a Tap on the Head and tying her to his bed.
  • Visser Three from Animorphs is so fond of playing the Torture Technician (a job he could easily pass off on others at his current rank) that his hobby is collecting exotic torture devices from across the universe. Unsurprisingly, his second-in-command Taylor shares his passion for torture, to the point where most of an entire book (The Illusion) is dedicated to her gleeful torture (both physical and mental) of a captive Tobias.
  • The Crapsack World of A Song of Ice and Fire provides numerous examples, including:
    • The Blood Knight Gregor Clegane, who as a child held his younger brother Sandor's face in a fire for playing with his discarded toy, and who leads a band of Psychos For Hire in a campaign of Rape, Pillage, and Burn against the hapless peasantry.
    • Sadism runs In the Blood of the Obviously Evil House Bolton, who have a history of flaying their enemies alive, and continue to practice it in secret despite it being outlawed by their overlords. Ramsay Snow, after capturing Theon Greyjoy, engages in psychological and physical abuse. He flays Theon's fingers and toes and possibly castrates reducing him from a proud handsome man to a broken wreck, terrified of and submissive to Ramsay. Ramsay's behavior is atrocious enough that his father Roose berates him for it — not because he's appalled by what his son is doing, mind you, but because it's bad for PR.
    • The Caligula Joffrey Baratheon takes delight in his absolute power over his subjects, and particularly enjoys ordering executions, mutilations and forced duels to the death.
      • Joffrey appears to be a pure sadist. Unlike the other examples on this list, he is never even hinted to actually have sex with or rape his victims. Remember, this is a teenage boy with near-total power who was engaged to two if the most beautiful girls in the Seven Kingdoms, and yet may very well have died a virgin. It seems Joffrey gets off on pain and nothing else.
      • Joffery groped Sansa during her wedding to Tyrion Lannister and tried to rape her, or it was implied that he would do something like that to Sansa, by spontaneously kick-starting the undressing ceremony. He was very sadistic but it can't be said that he wasn't without a libido.
    • And Joffrey is often compared to Aerys II, who did such lovely things as lighting people on fire and setting up Saw-like traps for the people who weren't on fire. At one point, one of his bodyguards reminisces that Aerys would get sexually aroused from seeing people burned alive, and one time clawed his own pregnant wife so fiercely while having sex with her that she had to be evacuated from the capital, covered in scratch marks.
    • Euron Greyjoy crosses this line with gusto and likes manipulating people before torturing them for that extra evil touch.
  • A Wrinkle in Time: IT, the Brain in a Jar that rules over the world of Camazotz, refers to itself as "The Happiest Sadist".
  • In Dragon Bones, Ward's father is suspected to be a sadist, who beat his children just for fun, though he certainly also had a nasty temper. There is also Bastilla, Kariarn's slave, who plainly "likes to hurt people".
  • Morgoth, the Big Bad of The Silmarillion, The Children of Húrin, Unfinished Tales, and The History of Middle-earth, has sadism rounding out of his many, many unpleasant qualities. While torturing captives can get him useful information, he often just does it for fun even when it has no practical purpose, and takes great joy in his victims' agony. Something that can be traced to his real motivation behind everything, that he wants to completely nullify any life-form that he encounters as it is a reminder that it didn't originate from him and is and will always be beyond his control.
    • Sauron as well, though for slightly different reasons. Several thousand years of being thwarted and forced to run away from fights — and on more than one occasion, the physical death of his body — along with general decay of his powers, has left him extremely embittered and completely intolerant of anyone who defies his will. Case in point, his torture of Thorin's father — he tried to get him on side with a We Can Rule Together bargain, but one refusal from the dwarf was enough for Sauron to flip and torture him for days on end out of spite. By the time of The Lord of the Rings he wants to dominate the world and destroy all opposition simply because that's all he's got left.
  • As a child, Peter Wiggin from Ender's Game flayed squirrels alive and subjected his brother to cruel games. His genius qualified him for Battle School, but he was rejected as too dangerous. As he grew up, his moral compass largely overcame his sadistic tendencies, and he used his intelligence for good.
    • Achilles de Flandres in Ender's Shadow is his inverse. He doesn't take pleasure in the method of death, favors efficiency over pain, doesn't even need to witness it, and only goes out of his way to kill someone if they have shamed him in some way. Yet he is more evil than Peter.
  • The Villain Protagonist libertines written by the Marquis de Sade were all about enjoying themselves, very frequently at other people's expense — and their treatment of others, particularly those they hated, was beyond cruel. There's a reason this guy is the inspiration for the word "sadism".
  • From That Hideous Strength, Miss Hardcastle a.k.a. The Fairy. She uses cigarette burns to interrogate a prisoner — then she gets so carried away with the torture that she neglects to get any actual information from the prisoner.
  • Drake Merwin from the Gone series is one of these. A vicious psychopath who serves both a sociopath and a God of Evil purely for the chance to hurt as many people as possible. There is rarely anything he does in the series that is not for the pleasure of harming another human being. His psychological profile at the Coates Academy even diagnosed him as a sadist. Diana drew a smiley face next to it.
  • Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter is one, considering her aptitude for torture.
    • Barty Crouch Jr. deeply shared her affinity for torture but was quite smart about dealing with it. Case in point, he managed to rub in the face of a student of his how he tortured his parents into a permanent vegetative state, without anyone none the wiser about his intent.
    • Lucius Malfoy is quite the exemple. He is extremely abusive to his house-elf Dobby, and in the fifth book,he is described as blushing in pleasure at the thought of hurting teenagers, some younger than his son. His sadism is a lot more covert...but that doesn't make him any less creepy.
    • Dolores Umbridge shows clear signs of being one in Order of the Phoenix when she uses a blood quill on two students and is willing and eager to use an unforgivable curse on Harry and Hermione to force them to answer her questions. This aspect of her nature is wholly confirmed in Deathly Hallows where she relishes her new power to hand muggle-borns over to the dementors.
  • Venandakatra from Belisarius Series is also known as the Vile One (a name given to him by the psychotically evil Malwa regime), and fully lives up to it. Anyone who crosses him in even the slightest way ends up on the wrong end of a short stake, even minions who failed at impossible tasks. He also gets a kick out of beating up kids, among far worse things. Venandakatra is so gratuitously evil and pointlessly, self-sabotagingly cruel that the racist, fascist-lite Malwa regime that considers gang-rapes and mass murders of captured civilians standard military policy thinks he's beyond the pale.
  • Ivarr Ragnarson of The Last Light of the Sun is a Serial Killer and Torture Technician whose dream in life is to successfully blood-eagle somebody while keeping them alive. Since blood-eagleing involves cutting open the victim's ribs and removing their lungs while they are still alive, this means all his victims are in for a long, drawn-out, and thoroughly agonizing death, which Ivarr enjoys every moment of.
  • Department 19 has two examples. Alexandru Rusmanov is a cruel brute who revels in death and pain, inflicting it on his own minions when they fail him. Dracula is even worse, thinking up nauseating tortures and using them any time he has any kind of excuse, and it's made clear that he greatly enjoys this.
  • Most of the Forsaken of The Wheel of Time have cruel or spiteful streaks, particularly towards those who defy them, but Semirhage takes the cake. Also known as "the Lady of Pain", she was once a world-renowned healer who defected to the Shadow after the fact that she went out of her way to cause her patients pain came to light. She became the Dark One's favorite torturer, and even her fellow Forsaken — The Dreaded one and all — tend to be wary of her cruelty.
  • Mollyl from Kane story "The Cold Light" is one. He likes causing pain to people and the fact that he comes from famously degenerate island of Pellin does not help, either. He joins Lord Gaethaa (aka the Crusader) simply because it gives him a lot of possibilities to inflict pain. When Gaethaa's men rape Kane's lover Rehhaile and his second-in-command Alidore later checks on her, seeing bruises and welts on her body, he reflects that she isn't really badly messed up, compared to other women with whom Mollyl played.
  • Achilles Desjardins from Rifters. He controls his urges very well, with help of sofisticated technology, but when it fails, all hell breaks loose.
  • Duke d'Angouleme from Malediction Trilogy is a very powerful troll and the main enemy of troll prince Tristan and his human wife Cecile. He uses pain and terror as a tool to intimidate his enemies but he also thoroughly enjoys it. And then he gets to look after Tristan's younger brother Roland, very powerful but also raving mad and it goes from bad to worse.
  • Roderick Whittle, aka Jack the Ripper, from Richard Laymon's Savage.
  • George Mellis in the Sidney Sheldon novel Master Of The Game is this of the sexual variety. His first scene is of him beating and sodomizing Eve Blackwell, who was perfectly eager to have sex with him before discovering his true nature—there are frequent descriptions of him going to bars and picking up women or men and leaving them broken and battered. He also mentions a realistic consequence to his needs—he doesn't like having sex with masochists. In fact, he does his best to avoid them, because they enjoy the pain he inflicts, which decreases his pleasure.
  • Malkar Gennadion in Doctrine of Labyrinths, physically, emotionally, and sexually, and he enjoys it to the hilt. His former protege Felix Harrowgate also has a taste for cruelty, although Felix tries to confine it to verbal sniping and consensual BDSM.
  • All vampires in The Shadowspawn are clinical sadists, though they can vary between mildly creepy and murderously, psychopathically Ax-Crazy. However, most are the latter.
  • In The Stormlight Archive, Shallan's brother Balat has a compulsion to hurt things, which he usually vents on small animals. Combined with the time he set the estate's servant quarters on fire, there's some indication that he's a psychopath. Unusually for the trope, he knows that something's wrong with him and takes great pains to avoid harming people, especially his loved ones; it's strongly implied that the setting's God of Evil is causing or exacerbating his urges.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Angelus absolutely thrives on causing pain to others, with virtually everything he does being geared towards destroying someone physically, mentally, and/or emotionally. He slowly drove Drusilla insane by slaughtering everyone she loved and turned her into a vampire so her torment would continue for eternity. At the end of Buffy season 2, when he's captured Giles in order to torture him for information, he freely admits that he hopes Giles won't give up the information he needs willingly because he doesn't want to be deprived of the opportunity to torture him.
  • Toby Meres from Callan takes great pleasure out of 'interrogating' members of The Opposition, is the only assassin in The Section who volunteers to visit the interrogation department, and generally enjoys seeing even his co-workers in pain (emotional or physical) and is inclined to try to see how much he can get away with in regards to increasing it.
  • Cursed: Brother Salt shows a clear enjoyment of his work as a torturer.
  • Doctor Who: In "Planet of the Ood", slave overseer Mr. Kess takes a disturbing pleasure in trying to kill the Doctor with the warehouse's robotic crane arm.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Gregor Clegane does not specifically love battle, just wanton slaughter—he gets just as many jollies from butchering civilians, raping women and murdering children. When he asks Cersei who he's going to kill in a Duel to the Death, she asks him if it matters. He merely shakes his head. Ser Gregor cares not from where the blood flows, only that it flows.
    • Even the established torture-happy monsters like Gregor Clegane, who had people killed via terrified rats gnawing through their chests for the hell of it, don't hold a candle to just how utterly sadistic and cruel Ramsay can be with those who fall into his hands.
    • Joffrey's only genuine source of joy seems to be hurting other people. He forgoes even sexual sadism in favor of more direct physical violence.
  • Many killers from Hannibal, but explicitly the man himself when somebody tries to copy his crimes and both Will and the FBI realize the key difference between the two killers- the copycat didn't torture his victims to death. It's strongly implied in the novels that this is how Lecter kills but it is made crystal clear here. Beyond that, of course, is that he is the Trope Namer of Hannibal Lecture for a reason, and in his particularly twisted pathology seems to regard psychological torture, Criminal Mind Games, exercising and abusing power over others, and pitting people against each other as acts of love. He likens himself to God and thinks that he is Above Good and Evil, and believes that both he and God are cruel to those they love because that is simply their nature.
  • Justified:
    • Dickie Bennett, Big Bad Wannabe of Season 2 is a cowardly drug dealer who wants respect and will inflict as much pain as he can on anybody who doesn't give it to him. His Establishing Character Moment has him forcing a man to put his leg in a bear-trap because the man dared to grow weed without his permission. He later captures protagonist Raylan Givens, strings him up from a tree, and tries to beat him to death, gloating the entire time.
    • Robert Quarles, Big Bad of Season 3 is a Serial Killer and Serial Rapist of male prostitutes (as well as a Detroit gangster). He kidnaps boys off the street, tortures and molests them, and then kills them, all as part of a hideous ritual that he can't seem to stop doing. Most of it stems from the utterly horrifying abuse he suffered at the hands of his own father.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Takeshi Asakura/Ouja from Ryuki. He is completely psychotic and extremely sadistic as well, his worst act being killing The Rider, including Jun Shibaura/Gai, Miyuki Tezuka/Raia, Shuichi Kitaoka/Zolda and Mitsuru Sano/Imperer, and also killing Miho Kirishima's sister.
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is a show about sex crimes, and sadists show up from time to time. Whenever the Villain of the Week is a Serial Killer, there is a good chance of him being one. Interestingly, the victim from the Pilot was one.
  • Many of the killers on Luther. The most notable example is Villain Protagonist Alice Morgan, whom Luther diagnoses as a malignant narcissist, a particularly nasty condition that combines narcissistic, antisocial, and sadistic behaviour into one vicious package.
  • It's a family comedy, but Reese from Malcolm in the Middle has been shown to have no empathy and enjoy bullying others, especially his brothers. In one particular episode, he makes the neighborhood kids, whom he's bullied horribly for years, think that they're finally getting to beat him up, when in fact Reese had kidnapped a kid of about the same size as a stand-in.
  • Charles Augustus Magnussen from Sherlock. Sherlock describes him as "a shark", as well as the worst person he had ever met, and says that he "picks on people who are different". He is a media baron who is secretly the "King of Blackmailers"; digging up dirt on people — usually people in positions of power or influence — seems to be his very raison d`etre. But he doesn't use this information just to gain advantages for himself or his newspapers; he uses it, along with his own position of power, to bully and humiliate people in extremely cruel and childish ways, such as forcefully licking a government minister (i.e.. sexual assault) after threatening to paint her husband as a child molester (her husband had earlier committed suicide over this threat — he cheated on her with a 15-year-old girl, but he thought she was of legal age — so Magnussen going after the man's wife afterwards is beyond low), to pissing in Sherlock's fireplace, to having Watson thrown in a bonfire (claiming afterwards that he had a man there ready to save him if Sherlock didn't) and watching it on his television over and over and over again... all for no other reason than he can. He also admits at the end that he is willing to publicly humiliate and ruin people in his newspapers regardless of whether he can actually prove anything he says.
  • The Society: Sam relates that Campbell once tortured a bird to death for fun, while Elle says he's inflicted pain on her for pleasure since their relationship began.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Gul Madred in the episode "Chain of Command" holds Picard prisoner and tortures him with a remote-controlled device that induces excruciating pain. At one point, he admits that he no longer needs anything from Picard; he's just enjoying the process of breaking Picard's mind.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The main antagonist in the episode "Duet" is the former commander of what's basically the Cardassian version of Auschwitz, and he pulls no punches about his enjoyment of the horrors he inflicted on Bajoran prisoners. It turns out he's actually a file clerk who worked for said commander, and far from being a cold-blooded sadist, he's setting himself up to take the fall because he feels that someone needs to be punished for the atrocities, but the fact remains that the commander in question was a real person who, it's implied, really did think that way. And what's worse, the real commander died some years earlier and thus can't be brought to justice.
  • Star Trek: Picard: Narissa derives great pleasure from the suffering of others. In "Absolute Candor", she chuckles after molesting her brother Narek and then has an amused, open-mouthed smile after strangling him. She relishes the idea of torturing Soji for information and utters the words "pain and violence" with reverence. In "Nepenthe", a Psychotic Smirk forms on her lips and she hums in satisfaction after reducing Hugh to a blubbering pile of Broken Tears when she and her lackeys gun down several of his xB patients.

  • Many lyrics from Death Metal songs have a quite sadistic quality to them.
  • Since Macabre sings about real life killers, it helps that some of the scum they sing about were actually diagnosed with this.
  • In the Hip-Hop, several Gangsta Rap and Horrorcore songs (especially in the Horrorcore) tell stories of people quite sadistic.
  • The Beatles song "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" is about Maxwell Edison, an Ax-Crazy kid (and pretty sadistic) that uses the title hammer to murder a girl, his teacher, and the judge who took his case, in front of a full courtroom.
  • Doom Metal band Saint Vitus, The Sadist.
  • The subject person in Adam and the Ants' "Whip in My Valise", whose activities include pulling the wings off flies, killing grandmothers, and good old punishment.
    Your sadistic suits my masochistic

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Dario Cueto and Catrina, the two competing jefes of the Lucha Underground Temple, are two different flavors of sadist. Cueto simply loves violence in almost all its forms. He gets queasy around the subjects of Child Abuse, Domestic Abuse, abuse of the kidnapped, basically of people who he feels wouldn't be able to fight back, but giving an abuse victim an equal chance to inflict violence on the perpetrator is still fair game. He will gleefully coerce business partners, Tag Team partners, friends, and family into matches they may not want with little regard to physical safety or property damage, even if it is his own property. And if a person he doesn't find interesting, such as Mascarita Sagrada(VII) or Pimpinela Escarlata enters his temple he will do everything he can to ensure they are destroyed. To discourage them from coming back. He is generally regarded as a Drunk with Power asshole even by the show's most shameless blood knights. Catrina is much more personal, as she likes singling out individuals, be they enemies, subordinates or simply "interesting" and doing whatever she can to make their lives miserable, be it having them beaten into bloody messes or breaking up their relationships. She has the more common case of enjoying the power to hurt people when she can in whatever way she can. She did genuinely love Fenix however and felt bad about manipulating him, not that she ever let guilt stop her.

    Roleplaying Games 
  • Dino Attack RPG: Only the vilest of wide cast of villains are Sadists, including Michelle Glados, Carolyne Provencal, Zed Provhezor, the Brickspider Bot v1.0, and the Darkitect, for they are the ones who actually enjoy watching the suffering of others.
  • Legend of the Five Rings: Hida Tsuneo was the Crab Clan Champion and Right Hand of the Emperor during the reign of Hantei XVI. He was also unquestionably brutal, was personally involved in killing or torturing the Emperor's political enemies, and seemed to draw particular joy from hurting those who were physically weaker than himself. His defining moment probably came right before his death, when he was ordered by the Emperor to kill the Emperor's mother- and did so by crushing her head with his bare hands.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Pathfinder: Chuuls take perverse enjoyment from other creatures' physical and emotional suffering. They strictly prefer sapient beings prey, eating them alive and taking time before each kill to insult and torment their victims and talk at some length about how they will enjoy devouring them.


    Video Games 
  • Yuuki Terumi of BlazBlue loves mind raping others, and trolls them as they get defeated. And that's not even mentioning the great enjoyment he appears to take in physically hurting his opponents in battle, either. In fact, his entire playstyle revolves around inflicting as much pain to his opponents in the most brutal and humiliating ways possible. It's suggested by another character in-story that he gets off on ruining people's lives and Terumi doesn't deny it.
    Terumi: Make sure you do your part, and scream for me!
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition: Downplayed but present for Sera, who can't seem to enjoy anything unless it's at someone else's expense. As a Red Jenny, she relishes humiliating, tormenting, and executing abusive nobles more than actually helping commoners, and her only idea of fun is being The Prankster or The Gadfly (when she's not being a Blood Knight). If romanced, she loves making your relationship public mostly because she relishes the irritation and discomfort it must cause other people. ("It's one thing for people to know, but shoving it right in their faces... Vivienne's face must have puckered pinky-tight!") And in Trespasser, she proposes mostly to flip a big old middle finger at the world. "We showed them! We won!"
  • The Grand Theft Auto series is full of sadists, obviously being a Crapsack World:
  • AM from I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream is a supercomputer with amazing god-like powers who has held the last 5 living humans captive in his dungeon, keeping them alive for eternity while making them endure endless Cold-Blooded Torture to entertain the eons of endless time he has in his new rule over Earth. Approximately, 90% of his dialogue is also Kick the Dog moments and he actually says all he feels is hate.
  • StarCraft: Kerrigan, the "Queen of Blades" and leader of the Zerg, loves playing mind games with the other factions and pitting them against each other, usually by feigning innocence to gain their trust. In StarCraft II, this attitude of hers returns, when she tries to weaken Zeratul's mind by making him believe the Protoss will be doomed to extinction no matter what he does, although it's eventually revealed that she doesn't actually believe any of this as she was actually under the influence of Amon the Fallen Xel'Naga.
    • This trope is played absolutely straight with Highlord Alarak. Alarak adores combat and has no qualms about letting people around him die, nor violently torching or killing innocent individuals. He threatens to outright destroy the entirety of the capital of Korhal simply due to a single human faction attacking one of his outposts. He outright kills one of his own soldiers when he is low on health in order to avoid death, and actively heals from the deaths of his enemies. Furthermore, he literally has an ability called "Sadism" in Heroes of the Storm, which increases the damage dealt to enemy heroes by 100% (which can be decreased if certain abilities are chosen). It can also be increased by choosing the ability that causes it to increase every time an ally dies.
  • Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World: Alice, a Cute and Psycho antagonist, is mentioned to be a Sadist. She's also seen kicking around her subordinates, and laughing at their pain.
  • Yuuka Kazami from Touhou Project. So much that she received the nickname "Ultimate Sadistic Creature" from the fans, and spawned the "Everyone is M for Yuuka" meme.
    • In her first appearance in Lotus Land Story, she playfully threatened to reduce you to a mist of atoms.
    • In her second appearance in Mystic Square, her motive for wrecking through Makai and beating people up is basically because she's bored and wants to play. She also uttered her infamous "Genocide is just a game" line. Her tendency to add "<3" at the end of every sentence doesn't help.
    • In the Windows era, she reappears in Phantasmagoria of Flower View, where she's supposedly has calmed down a lot. She still threatened everyone who met her, or accepted other characters' accusations of being the culprit of the incident, even when she's really not, just so she has a reason to beat them up. When Eiki Shiki confronted her about this, she said it was just 'daily teasing'.
    • In fanworks, she's often portrayed as downright Ax-Crazy.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories introduces us to Larxene, a member of Organization XIII (and the only female member discounting Xion). She takes clear glee in kicking the dog on several occasions, going so far as to say outright that "more pain for you means more fun for me!" The manga adaptation even shows her reading one of the Marquis de Sade's books.
  • Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal features Courtney Gears, an Evil Diva who works for Dr. Nefarious, and sings peppy songs about hate and genocide. Her pre-boss cutscene has her claim that using the Biobliterator prototype that turns organic life forms into robots "doesn't hurt... much". Most of her Boss Bantering spells sadism.
  • Erol of Jak and Daxter series is very cruel, heartless and sadistic as well. He hopes to have Keira's heart and eventually kill Jak.
  • The Metal Gear Solid franchise provides us with two. The first being Revolver Ocelot, who is outright referred to as one in the first game, and takes great joy in torturing Snake, and tortured Donald Anderson to death. If the player forfeits during the torture sequence, he promises to kill Meryl, for no other reason than to be cruel. Of course, some of this is also Characterization Marches On, as his motives are much more complex as the games go on.
    • But worse than him, by far is Colonel Volgin, from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Unlike Ocelot, who serves higher (if extremely convoluted) purposes, Volgin's sole motivation for anything he does is to cause other people as much pain and suffering as humanly possible, which is why there's no small reason why he's one of the only MGS villains to not get the Draco in Leather Pants treatment. Within minutes of being introduced, he nukes his own country just because he can, knowing full well it could spark a war, and during the game, he abuses EVA, both physically and sexually, he beats a suspected informant to death with his bare hands, beats Sokolov also to death, and tortures Snake/Big Boss as well, expressing enthusiastic enjoyment when he sees Snake losing bladder control due to the pain. He is also stated to be personally responsible for hundreds of murders, most of them again, by beating people to death with his bare hands. He's too much even for Ocelot, who begs him not to go through with firing nukes at his own people to no avail.
      • Revolver Ocelot actually credits Volgin with introducing him to the joy of sadism, stating that witnessing one of his 'interrogations' made him realize that the true quality of a man is only revealed when he's in pain. Appropriately, many of his torture sessions are framed as endurance tests for the victims.
  • From the Street Fighter series, we have Juri Han. She loves to have fun but unfortunately, her fun involves beating her opponents within an inch of their lives. It doesn't matter if they're a guy or girl as long as she gets to torture them. It gets to where she literally gets off on the pain she inflicts.
  • Darkstalkers:
    • Lord Raptor is an Ax-Crazy, mass-murdering zombie who thrives off the deaths of countless people.
    • BB Hood outright states that she will never give up killing until every last living creature on Earth is dead.
  • Don Morello from Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven, who is introduced beating an innocent person who accidentally rammed into his car to death. The next cutscene he is in shows him torturing a dockworker who went on strike.
  • Luca Blight from Suikoden II is a bloodthirsty sadist and a completely insane prince of Highland. He takes immense pleasure in telling the scared woman to act like a pig and kills her anyway when he burned down the Ryube village to the ground. As well he might, as he feeds the blood of Muse people to unleash the Beast Rune. Unlike the other sympathetic villains, he is considered to be the most evil, brutal and sadistic JRPG villains with absolutely no redeeming qualities in this series.
  • Dr. Vile/Weil of the Zero series is a huge sadist. He admits that during the Elf Wars he personally enjoyed the mass slaughter and devastation brought by his Dragon Omega, and in the present enjoys watching "pigs squeal." In Zero 4, he makes life in Neo Arcadia horrible and takes glee in the idea of destroying nature. While he does have a reason for this (mainly make humanity suffer for what they did to him), it's made all too clear from his attitude he's enjoying this. Combined with his narcissistic personality and desire for destruction, this makes Dr. Weil one of the most horrifying villains with absolutely no redeeming qualities in Mega Man history.
  • Ramsay Snow lives up to his gruesome characterization in Telltale's Game of Thrones by purposely escalating a war between two feuding families so he could amuse himself by watching the two duke it out in a battle to the death. Either way, he's the only one to benefit, both for his sadistic appetite and business-wise.
  • The titular mask from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. Everything it does, from threatening to drop the moon onto Termina to ruining the everyday lives of its people, is all because it finds the pain and misery it causes hilarious.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
  • The Mad Scientist Relmyna Verenim in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion's Shivering Isles expansion has a nigh-religious devotion to pain, though for all her musings on its purifying power, she only ever inflicts it on other people.
    "I became sheltered within a tapestry of tranquility, woven from the screams of the Breton's anguish..."
  • Stanislaus Braun in Fallout 3 plays this straight. As the head of Vault-Tec, he turned what should have been safe havens to shelter from a nuclear apocalypse into brutal experiments mostly For the Evulz. This ran the gamut from forced mutations, intentional exposure to virulent diseases, intentional class conflict, exposure to mind-altering madness-inducing chemicals, and so on. When you find him in Vault 112, he has subjects trapped forever in a simulation just so he can find more cruel ways to torment them because “It Amused Me.” He instructs you to go and make a little boy cry, and his true sadism is revealed in that he is displeased with you for simply punching that kid, but loves it if you break up his parents and make him believe that he’ll be sent away to live in a miserable foster home.
  • The title character from Bayonetta is a rare heroic example. One of the gameplay mechanics is her literally throwing her enemies into spectral versions of medieval torture devices.
  • Handsome Jack from Borderlands 2 is an extremely cruel person, and even when not being physically violent he still likes to say things to hurt people, such as making fun of Helena Pierce's scars and taunting Moxxi about how he burned herUnderdome to the ground
  • In Persona 5 Royal After dropping his princely mask entirely in the final act of Royal, Akechi gleefully indulges in his most violent and psychopathic tendencies when fighting Shadows.
    Akechi: Working together means EXTRA PAIN for them!

    Visual Novels 
  • Fate/stay night:
    • Kirei Kotomine confesses that he is capable of feeling joy only in witnessing the suffering of others. His abuse is mostly psychological and he prefers to guide events so that others inflict suffering on themselves. At the same time, he still has a conscience and so knows taking pleasure in others' suffering is evil.
    • Gilgamesh qualifies for one as well, if his treatment of Artoria is anything to go by. Even in his more likable portrayal in Fate/EXTRA, he still says that he loves the sound of a heart breaking.
      Gilgamesh: That which appeals my heart the most is the sound of a heart breaking that, when you washed the beautiful (heart), drips an even more beautiful water. When you lick it, it tastes sweet.
  • Fate/hollow ataraxia: Caren Hortensia, as Kirei's daughter, inherited his sadistic nature, though she usually limits herself to being a Troll to make people miserable.

    Web Animation 
  • Mechakkara from Atop the Fourth Wall usually sports a sadistic grin on his face when he's harming Linkara.
  • RWBY:
    • Mercury Black enjoys hurting people and watching them suffer. He's entirely happy to taunt and terrify Ruby, and when he sees Ruby crying over Penny's destruction, he has an immensely cruel and satisfied grin. Later, when Vale is being overrun by Grimm after Cinder's plan comes to fruition, Mercury records the resulting chaos, all with a Slasher Smile on his face, in direct contrast to his partner Emerald, who somewhat regrets it.
    • Cinder Fall also seems to enjoy the pain of others. She describes watching the Grimm slaughtering Vale citizens as "wonderful", and when she stole the first half of Amber's power, she drew out the pain of Amber's last conscious moments with needless theatrics that gave Amber the chance to see what was going to happen to her and beg for life in horror. When she kills Pyrrha, she doesn't simply shoot her through the heart, her arrow also burns Pyrrha from the inside out — while Pyrrha is still alive. After Ruby disfigures her, she motivates herself to grow stronger by burning alive illusions of a begging Ruby that are created by Emerald. In Volume 5, her sadism becomes more pronounced as shown when fighting Jaune in "The More The Merrier", by taunting him over his failure to save Pyrrha and when he damages her mask, she impales Weiss with a flaming spear just to spite him. It's very likely that she picked up this behavior from her equally sadistic stepmother, who would often tortur her with an electrical collar more for the sheer enjoyment of it then to punish her for doing something wrong.
  • Dreamscape: Ethan and Curien love to torture and torment their victims for their own twisted amusement.
    • In the Master of the Dammed's own words, he breaks the spirit of people before he breaks the spirit of people.

  • Adria and Quixoto from Charby the Vampirate. She kept Zerlocke chained and repeatedly gave him mortal wounds for a human lifetime, his preferred prey is human children, and he likes to mentally torment his prey and let them try to escape him before eating them.
  • Goblins:
    • Mryorg the ogre, who, as the result of one too many journeys into hell, has been stripped of his ability to get satisfaction from anything except inflicting suffering on others.
    • Dellyn Goblin-Slayer enjoyed the Cold-Blooded Torture he inflicted on monsters, both the physical and the emotional. He also couldn't fully enjoy raping Kin unless he'd beaten her to near death at the same time.
  • Jae of Magience enjoys other people's pain.
    Jae: Memories of your screams will be my lullaby for the next decade, at least.
  • Unlike many of the other bullies in Weak Hero, Teddy torments the weak because he gets a kick out of it. Even as he's working his way to the good guy's side, he can't help but resist the urge to be nasty here and there.

    Web Original 
  • Pretty Pink Ponytails in Angel of Death loves nothing more than a nice, long session of Cold-Blooded Torture in the form of a childish game in her special "playroom."
  • Gray Boy in Worm is this, greatly enjoying using his time-looping powers to subject people to eternal torture.

    Western Animation 
  • Family Guy:
    • Stewie Griffin in the earlier seasons.
    • Even Brian has sadistic tendencies. He frequently kills and terrorizes squirrels for pure sadism. However, this is an act that even shocks Stewie.
    • Carter is even worse. Although not an inventor nor showing a particularly murderous streak, he is often gleefully sadistic, particularly towards Peter, and is shown to keep a Rancor in a pit below his house in "Peterotica". Worse, he torments orphans For the Evulz.
    • Jeff Fecalman from "Screams of Silence: The Story of Brenda Q." definitely qualifies as well. Unlike Peter and the other reoccurring jerks of the show, he is known as one of the evilest villains of the show and has no redeeming qualities.
      • Ditto with Mike Pulaski from "A Fistful of Meg".
  • Lord Commander, the first Big Bad in Final Space is this. The worst thing he did next to tearing off Gary's left arm for no reason was having his soldiers kill their firstborn to prove their loyalty to him. He crosses the line when he kills Little Cato's father, Avocato, in Chapter 6, in a spiteful, last-ditch effort to murder his son.
  • Bender from Futurama has his moments. He has no qualms when he has the opportunity to hurt someone and is very heavily implied to enjoy doing that.
  • The Mr. Bogus episodes "Computer Intruder" and "Bad Luck Bogus" featured a huge and hideous Evil Knockoff of the eponymous character who delighted in torturing Bogus.
  • Sideshow Bob from The Simpsons, who enjoys tormenting Bart in particular.
  • South Park
    • Eric Cartman is frequently shown to have a horrific sense of humor at the expense of others. He laughs at several of Kenny's deaths, delights in torturing Kyle relentlessly (and revels in the idea of actually killing him), and is revealed at one point to have bullied a classmate to the point of being Driven to Suicide. And probably, one of the most sadistic moments in the entire series was in the ending of "Scott Tenorman Must Die".
    Mr. Mackey: Well, what did you use to think was funny?
    Cartman: You know, all the usual stuff. Dirty jokes, funny movies, seeing someone die...
    • Saddam Hussein might be even more sadistic than Cartman. First off he takes sexual pleasure murdering and torturing innocent people (including Kenny), enjoys abusing his boyfriend Satan, and depraves kids from their adopted families For the Evulz.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987), a mobster named Don Turtelli is presented as a sadist, who likes to interrogate people by tickling their feet with a feather (which is presented as Cold-Blooded Torture in the show), unlike other villains, who just put heroes in dangerous situations, especially since he clearly enjoys making his victims suffer. This is presented in one episode where Turtelli is torturing two kids; Rat King, who is a dangerous villain, was disgusted with Turtelli's method, saying "I can't stand to watch..."
    • Utrom Shredder from TMNT 2003 has his moments.
    • The 2012 series features Dr. Victor Falco, later known as The Rat King.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • Plankton. Even in one episode where he is seen in a dream, he is destroying Bikini Bottom, even trying to crush Gary with sadistic glee. And this is evident even in the movie, where he expresses great excitement and joy when Mr. Krabs will be executed.
    • The people of Bikini Bottom have sadistic tendencies in later seasons. This is evident in episodes like "No Hat For Pat" and "Spongicus".
  • Invader Zim is a completely Ax-Crazy Psycho for Hire, but also very sadistic.
    • The Almighty Tallests as well.
  • Stevearino (Steve's evil clone) from American Dad! is a good example. He sadistically tortures and kills cats for fun.
    • Barry, when he is not medicated.
  • Eddy's Brother from Ed, Edd n Eddy's Big Picture Show. He had no qualms about beating his little brother and Edd. Unlike Kevin and Sarah, he has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
  • Ren Hoek from The Ren & Stimpy Show. There have been several episodes where it is implied that he loves to inflict physical and psychological pain on others and even himself.
  • Batman: The Animated Series: Several villains, with The Joker and the Scarecrow being the obvious examples, the latter especially since his crimes are almost entirely based around spreading terror and driving people insane with fear. There is also the one-shot villain Lock-Up, a cruel and power-mad guard at Arkham who thinks that criminals deserve to be tortured and clearly enjoys doing it — and when stopped, expands his definition of "criminals" to those who got him fired or condemned his actions, as well as Gordon, the Mayor, and Batman, because he thinks they are too "soft" on criminals. He is so scary the other Bat-rogues tried to escape Arkham solely to get away from him.
  • The Powerpuff Girls.
    • Mojo Jojo has his moments.
    • Him as well. He enjoys torturing his victims psychologically.
    • One episode features the one-shot most evil villain Dick Hardly. He attempted to kill The Powerpuff Girls to make even more knockoffs of them and forced Professor Utonium to stay with him and make more Chemical X.
  • Katz from Courage the Cowardly Dog is a very sadistic villain, to the point of being frightening.
  • Vicky the Babysitter from The Fairly OddParents. Her main hobby? Torturing, tormenting, and presumedly trying to kill children For the Evulz, though she also tries to profit from this by hiring out her services to gullible people who think she is good at her job. She also bullies her little sister and even her own parents.
    • Crocker (a Sadist Teacher) as well, especially in the earlier seasons.
    • A One-Shot Character named Miss Doombringer is even worse than Crocker.
    • Wanda herself is this in "A Bad Case Of Diary-Uh!", at the point of being an Ax-Crazy; after Vicky pushes her Berserk Button by calling her fat in a diary entry.
    • Francis, The Bully.
  • Total Drama has the host of the show, Chris McLean, who throws teenagers in the most perverse, screwed-up challenges ever just for kicks, ratings, and money. By the time of the fourth season, the original cast is so sick of him that they have sworn to never be on the show again in any capacity, barring contract requirements like having to participate in the fifth All-Stars season (with many explicitly stating that they hated Chris). DJ freaked when he was back in Camp Wawanakwa for a challenge in the fourth season, and he was the judge.
  • Mrs. Robinson from The Amazing World of Gumball is a monstrous old lady who feasts off of the suffering of others. Her most prominent episode The Wicked outright shows the audience and characters that she amuses herself by poisoning animals, framing others for her crimes, kicking people when they're down, fooling others into letting their guard down before harming them, robbing people, vandalizing property, assaulting children, carjacking, disrupting the peace, attempting murder on a daily basis, making life a living Hell for all those around her, and drinking the tears of young children she bullies. The moment she truly crosses the Moral Event Horizon is when she purposely allows Darwin to choke to death while smiling and waving goodbye as she shuts her door on him. Even her own Jerkass husband is terrified of her cruelty and goes into a monologue about how she loves committing horrible things For the Evulz. She has no reason to act so cruel, but she just loves to make everyone suffer out of pure joy.
  • The worst habit of Lord Tirek from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. He has superior strength and intelligence, as he only prefers an opportunity to cause pain and suffering.
  • Steven Universe: In "Alone At Sea", Lapis admits to enjoying taking out all her frustrations and anger on Jasper while holding her down.
  • G-rated, Jerk with a Heart of Gold example: Slappy Squirrel in Animaniacs. Wrong her, annoy her, otherwise get on her list... and she will enjoy every second of making you miserable. She stays sympathetic partially because she at least waits until she's provoked, partially because she does care for her nephew Skippy, and partially because it's a cartoon and even the most ridiculous injury is survivable. Best exemplified in "Frontier Slappy", dealing with someone attempting to cut down her tree.
  • Wander over Yonder: Lord Dominator. She loves causing hopelessness, panic, and especially destruction because it amuses her greatly. Her Villain Song, "I'm the Bad Guy", sums it up pretty nicely.
  • Tarantulas from Beast Wars takes a perverse amount of pleasure from inflicting pain and dominating others, physically and mentally. Some “hobbies” we see him engage in include killing animals for fun, abusing Blackarachnia on nearly every level, and making a few attempts at cannibalism. It’s heavily implied he was a Serial Killer of some sort back on Cybertron.
  • Sledgehammer O’Possum from the ‘’What A Cartoon! Show’’ cartoon “Out and About” inflicts all kinds of pain and suffering on a dog who did nothing to provoke him, and he often laughed at his misery.


Video Example(s):


Scar Overthrows Mufasa

Scar takes some moments to savor Mufasa's impending fate, gloating "Long live the king" and making sure that his brother fully realizes what his true nature is, instead of simply shoving Mufasa to his death.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / Sadist

Media sources:

Main / Sadist