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Temporarily a Villain

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"When a strange alien symbiote turns Spider-Man's suit black, his darkest demons come to light - changing Spider-Man inside as well as out."
Spider-Man 3 DVD back cover

This is for when a character who is normally neutral, good or just normally non-villainous, temporarily switches sides and/or has a noticeable temporary drop in morality. May be caused and justified by a character being Not Himself, or Forced into Evil if someone else threatens them or a loved one. Otherwise Negative Continuity will likely play a huge role. The latter is especially true in nonsensical and farcical comedies where consistency is not a strong element. The character will go back to being his or her old self by either the end of the episode or the next episode.

Compare Face–Heel Turn and Heel–Face Turn, when a character either turns evil or good permanently or for a few episodes or seasons.

Contrast with Jumping Off the Slippery Slope and/or Moral Event Horizon, which are more permanent and generally take place in a series with a standard level of continuity (though the Moral Event Horizon can take place in a Negative Continuity show and overlap with this in some special cases). See also Compressed Vice for problems other than villainy (though they may be the cause for it) that last an episode. Not to be confused with The Infiltration, when a good guy pretends to turn bad to infiltrate the villain's organization.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Food Wars!: Akira Hayama temporarily joins the now Central-controlled Council of Ten under Azami Nakiri's administration, much to the consternation of Soma when he appears to evaluate him as part of the Promotion Exams. It's later revealed he did so because Azami blackmailed him by threatening to take Jun's lifelong research and shut down the Shiomi Seminar.
  • In the Black Rose duelist arc of Revolutionary Girl Utena, some of the people Utena has to fight are her brainwashed friends.¨

    Asian Animation 

    Comic Books 
  • AXIS: Numerous superheroes — Iron Man, Power Man, and the X-Men, to name a few — have their moral alignments inverted, resulting in Power Man becoming a ruthless gangster, and the X-Men deciding to carry out a genocide on all non-mutants.
  • During the late nineties, Iron Man went insane and became a villain, only to be replaced briefly by a younger version of himself from a different time. He also Took a Level in Jerkass and acted like a villain in the Marvel Universe for about a year after Civil War (2006).
    • The Civil War thing was solved by a Heroic Sacrifice, that knocked his mind back to a 'him' made before the Civil War.
    • After the events of AXIS, Tony has been reverted, yet again, to his former Jerkass ways.
    • And in All New, All Different Marvel he's back to being a good guy.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Indiana Jones temporarily becomes a Thuggee cult member in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and nearly sacrifices Short Round and Willie in the process, but he manages to snap out of Mola Ram's mind-warping in time.
  • While he doesn't quite become a full-blown villain so to speak, Spider-Man shows a semi-evil side in Spider-Man 3 when the symbiote he has on his suit results in a major increase in vengefulness and aggressiveness. He doesn't switch sides and keeps fighting against the same enemies as he was immediately before, but his "influenced" side has him doing things he severely regrets and that the series portrays as very clearly wrong such as hitting Mary Jane after a brutal (if silly) dance number meant to humiliate her.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffyverse:
    • Buffy the Vampire Slayer briefly toys with the dark side a few times. At the opening of season two (induced by trauma) and in a brief arc in season three.
      • Willow at the end of season 6 when she becomes Dark Willow and eventually tries to destroy the world. She gets better.
    • Done again in the Angel episode "Sanctuary" where Buffy is the villain because she wants to kill Faith out of revenge.
  • In many episodes of Charmed one of the Halliwell sisters will go to the dark side for a day before switching back by the end of the episode.
    • A particularly notable one early in "Bride and Gloom" on has all three sisters turn evil by the end of the episode, only for Leo to save them.
    • The episode "A Wrong Days Journey into Right" where Paige does a spell to conjure up a 'Mr. Right' for 24 hrs which inadvertently also produces a 'Mr. Wrong' who she allows to seduce her with his seductive naughtiness.
  • Doctor Who: The Time Lord Victorious from "The Waters of Mars." He comes to his senses very quickly, though.
  • The Flash (2014):
    • Season 5: Upon tapping into the Negative Speed-Force, Nora West-Allen becomes engulfed with resentment and rage. Having been manipulated by Eobard Thawne into despising her father, Barry, she pulls a brief Face–Heel Turn. However, being a kind-hearted person by nature, Nora finally accepts Barry's plea and rejoins the team.
    • Season 6: This time it's the Flash himself who fails to resist corruption. Upon absorbing some of the blood cells of the Big Bad Ramsey Rosso/Bloodwork, Barry soon falls into a catatonic state during which he is entrapped within his own mind. Controlling his cells by remote, Rosso slowly twists Barry's mind with beautiful lies and promises too good to be true. Despite the Speed-Force's assistance, Barry eventually gives in and becomes a zombie-like Dark Flash. However, he does not give up, and just like in Nora's case, his inherent goodness finally shines through, though not without his friends' help. Moreover, the bond between the Flash and Ramsey allows the former to access the latter's mind as well, which in turn helps Barry incapacitate the villain.
  • Duncan Macleod on Highlander when he has the Dark Quickening.
  • Clark on Smallville when affected by Red Kryptonite.
  • The EMH on Star Trek: Voyager was reprogrammed to perform unethical-at-best medicine by the Equinox crew.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Shawn Michaels was basically always a face after his comeback in 2002, but he turned evil for about a month to beat up Hulk Hogan. Literally the night after the match he was back to being a good guy. Other than that, he plays a heel whenever he’s in Canada. Post-retirement, he did briefly turn heel after costing Daniel Bryan a WWE title match, but went back to being a face once that was over.
  • "Stone Cold" Steve Austin was always an Anti-Hero Villain Protagonist, since he was a face who did heel stuff, but at WrestleMania X-Seven he made a heel turn after forming an alliance with Vince McMahon and Triple H. Then during the InVasion angle he just went along with the rest of WWE against WCW/ECW as part of an Enemy Mine scenario, and (because he was WWE Champion), everyone in WWE assumed he'd stand with them. The he changed sides, which was by definition the "bad" side of the angle. As soon as the angle was over he was back to his old self again.
  • Ron Killings, as R-Truth, has been a consistent babyface in WWE ever since his return in 2008, but had a brief stint as a heel for the latter half of 2011.
  • Kofi Kingston was a heel for most of The New Day’s first year together as a team. Other than that, he’s always been a babyface.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • Phoenix himself for the first half of the final case of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice, going up against Apollo in court after having been hired by Paul Atishon to prove the Founder's Orb is legally his. Even when it becomes apparent later that Paul literally killed for the item, Phoenix doesn't let up and even tries to throw suspicion on someone he knows to be innocent, something he'd usually never do. It turns out he's being blackmailed by Paul's "benefactor", who claims to have Maya Fey held hostage.

  • Eerie Cuties: Chloe underwent a period of villainy when she donned the Doom Panties prematurely. This caused her crush on Layla's fiance, Dio, along with her feelings of inadequacy, to draw out her Superpowered Evil Side. Thankfully, she got better and is back to her lovable self... and promptly shipped off to a spin-off series.

    Web Original 
  • All four main characters in Eddsworld are this for at least one episode. Edd in Tord's Adventure, Tom in Zanta Claus III, Matt in most of the Zombeh Attack trilogy and Matt Sucks, and Tord is revealed to be the villain of The End.
  • Agent Washington from Red vs. Blue is temporarily half of a Big Bad Duumvirate during the latter part of Red vs. Blue: The Recollection, but at the end returns to the heroes' side and stays there for the rest of the show.

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius has done this several times: Examples include Sheen in "Sheen's Brain", Libby in "The Tomorrow Boys", and even Jimmy himself in "Hall Monster". The first Jimmy Timmy Power Hour meanwhile did this to Goddard.
  • Gumball has stinted as this in various The Amazing World of Gumball episodes:
    • He becomes a Villain Protagonist in "The Saint", doing a series of increasingly cruel and harmful things to Alan solely to prove that Alan can't possibly be as perfect as he appears and that something must upset him, going so far as selling Alan's parents to Elmore’s resident Monster Clown and showing Alan a tape of them being twisted into balloon animals; at this point, Darwin remarks that Gumball has long since crossed the line and will most likely go to prison.
    • In "The Name", he becomes a villain because of a different part of his personality that he can not control.
    • Gumball can be considered this in "The Dream", where he passes most of the episode acting as a Jerkass to Darwin and even tries to choke him (although he fails miserably because Darwin doesn't have a neck).
    • In "The Ex", he tries to help Rob destroy Banana Joe, and explodes the Tobias' house, clearly hurting him (Tobias may be a Jerkass, but it's worse than he deserves).
    • In "The Stars", he blackmails Larry with bad reviews of the many businesses where Larry works, in order to get high-quality products, sometimes free, and even obliges Larry to break the laws of nature.
  • Because The Backyardigans like to invent new stories every time, they always switch roles with each other. Each of the five characters has played the villain at least once.
  • Happens on several occasions in Codename: Kids Next Door:
    • In ""Operation: L.O.C.K.D.O.W.N."", during a Lockdown of the Sector V treehouse, Numbuhs One, Two, Three and Four, as well as Numbuh Three's Big Bottom Rainbow Monkey doll, become this when they are transformed into Spank-Happy Vampires, and Numbuh 5 narrowly avoids falling victim to the curse after she is caught using the Quadruple Emergency Bypass Code to lift the lockdown early. Numbuh 5 initially suspected that Count Spankulot escaped from prison and snuck into the treehouse during the lockdown, but in the end, Numbuh 1 was revealed to have done all the spanking, having been lured out of bed into Count Spankulot's cell.
    • Numbuh 3 in "Operation: H.O.T.S.T.U.F.F.", when she undergoes a volcanic transformation after she turns up the thermostat at her house, causing it to transform into a volcanic netherworld.
    • "Operation: M.I.S.S.I.O.N." has Numbuh Four always having to polish his father's bowling trophies after he has won a tournament and the next one has one of the largest trophies he's ever seen waiting to be awarded, about the size of an oak tree, and Numbuh 4, desperately wanting to avoid polishing it, has to make sure his father loses the next tournament. How does he do this? By securing an unauthorized release of adult villains, which consist of Count Spankulot, Stickybeard, Soccer Mom and Mr. Boss, and the Toilenator, who desperately wanted to be part of the action, pulling the old Poison and Cure Gambit in which he poisoned their sodas and he'd offer them the cure afterward, plus full pardons for the crimes they've committed. The scheme is soon found out when his teammates come bursting in during the tournament, and Numbuh 4, after his father wins the tournament, has to spend a stint in the arctic prison polishing the trophy.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog: Courage's Computer is usually a helpful, if vituperative, source of information. But in "Mega Muriel the Magnificent", he possesses Muriel and endangers her body out of a misguided attempt to prove his own superiority to organic creatures. After Courage proves his bravery, however, he returns Muriel's body and goes back to normal.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy:
  • The Fairly OddParents!:
    • Jorgen Von Strangle in the episode "Action Packed!". While he's normally merely a Jerkass (albeit with a Hidden Heart of Gold), Timmy's wish that his life was an action movie turns Jorgen into an action movie villain, who kidnaps fairies and uses a machine to suck the magic energy out of them and transfer it to himself, making him even more powerful and gigantically muscle-bound. Luckily, he's returned to normal when the wish is unwished.
    • Timmy himself in "Nega-Timmy", who is transformed into a villain after he wishes to do the opposite of what he is told, but is told to "be as evil as possible" by his dad.
    • Cosmo and Wanda in "Future Lost", after they become Brainwashed and Crazy robots.
    • Timmy's dad in the Bad Future shown in "Father Time".
    • "The Masked Magician" has two examples, Mr. Bickles throughout most of the episode, and Britney Britney by the end.
    • Tootie is usually a sympathetic character, but she's clearly a villain in a number of episodes, like "Timmy's 2-D House of Horror" and "Dread n' Breakfast".
  • In The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy most main characters have their own episodes as antagonistic threats, usually when they get the motivation to screw the rest of the cast over. A special mention goes to Irwin who in one episode manages to get his hands on Grim's scythe. Naturally, he gets Drunk with Power and uses the scythe to unleash all sorts of pandemonium upon Endsville and hypnotize Mandy to be his mindless concubine. Eventually, Billy manages to defeat him with some super-hard sandwiches he made and Irwin ends up turned into a sea monkey, whom Billy quickly takes as a pet.
  • The usually nice prankster Luan from The Loud House becomes Ax-Crazy during April Fools' Days, with her borderline Deadly Pranks.
  • Happens Once per Episode in Miraculous Ladybug, as Hawkmoth has the power to turn people experiencing negative emotions into supervillains. Fortunately, the heroes can easily reverse the process once the villain is defeated at the end of the episode.
  • Many episodes of Muppet Babies (2018) will sometimes place certain characters in antagonistic roles to fit the fantasy. "Animal Kong" has Animal grow to giant size and throw a temper tantrum when he isn't allowed to play his drums. The superhero episodes will have Gonzo as Dr. Meanzo with Animal and Fozzie as his sidekicks, Meanimal and The Noodler. "Library Leapfrog" puts Summer and Piggy in the role when they act like thieves and steal Robin's game.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic uses this every now and then, typically with mild examples.
    • Spike the dragon is normally gentle, but becomes mad with envy in "Owl's Well That Ends Well" at the attention Owlowicious is getting. This drives him to do some very morally objectionable things complete with a Dastardly Whiplash get-up, such as planting a fake mouse corpse to try to make it look like Owlowicious killed the mouse. note 
      • A more threatening temporary villainy occurs during Secret Of My Excess, when his greedy dragon nature gets out of control. When Rarity, not knowing he is the same Spike, talks about how generous Spike was, he feels ashamed of what he has become and immediately reverts back to his old self.
    • Twilight Sparkle has this in "Lesson Zero", when Twilight is driven insane in her rush to find a friendship problem, to the point where she deviously creates one herself. Her Apple of Discord plan, however, goes horribly right.
    • Babs Seed in "One Bad Apple" joins Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon in their bullying of the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Babs then sees the error of her ways and when the bullies confront the CMC again, she stands up to them and threatens to tell their mothers about their behavior.
    • Trixie goes from a Jerkass and arrogant but hardly evil stage performer to a rather sadistic villain who takes over Ponyville in "Magic Duel" thanks to the influence of the Alicorn Amulet.
    • Rarity becomes this in "Inspiration Manifestation" after learning a spell that allows her to alter anything with her imagination, wanting to make Equestria a more beautiful place. By which she means transforming everything into a golden, gem-encrusted, or otherwise impractically gaudy version of itself.
    • In "Tanks for the Memories", Rainbow Dash decides to stop winter from happening just so her tortoise Tank didn't have to hibernate, going as far as sneaking into the weather factory in Cloudsdale to stop any kind of snowfall.
  • In Phineas and Ferb, there are four different episodes in which a character is either Brainwashed and Crazy or has their mental faculties increased and/or twisted to villainous levels: Baljeet becomes an Evil Genius bent on removing Earth's atmosphere For Science! in "Cranius Maximus", Carl The Intern, who is normally a doormat to Major Monogram, turns against him after accidentally being blasted with Doofenshmirtz's Ultimate Evil-Inator and attempts to take over the O.W.C.A. and the Tri-State Area in the "Where's Perry?" Two-Parter, Lawrence is accidentally turned evil as well and finds himself becoming king of the pharmacists in "Bullseye!", and in the "Star Wars" episode, Ferb is blasted with a Sith-Inator, becomes an expy of Darth Maul, and attacks Phineas. According to Word of God, this was the only feasible way to orchestrate a fight between the stepbrothers.
  • The Powerpuff Girls:
  • In Roswell Conspiracies: Aliens, Myths and Legends, this happens to Sh'lainn twice;
    • Once when she suffers from an affliction called "the iron death", which causes a banshee to go insane and merge with all the machinery around her after staying away from nature for too long.
    • In another episode, she's nicked by a vampire, who uses her blood to turn them both into vampire/banshee hybrids she resists when she's asked to drain Nick dry, giving The Alliance time to turn up, knock them out and reverse the process.
  • Principal Skinner is turned into an antagonist in a few of the musical episodes of The Simpsons such as "The President Wore Pearls" and "Yokel Chords", even explicitly having an "evil plan" in the former. Superintendent Chalmers as well, although he's ordinarily a Jerkass anyway.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
  • In the Star Trek: Lower Decks episode "Crisis Point", Ensign Beckett Mariner's frustrations with her mother, Captain Carol Freeman, leads her to hijack a Holodeck simulation of the Cerritos crew and go on a killing spree against them. It is only when she ends up fighting her own doppelganger, however, when Mariner comes to her senses and accepts her place on the crew.
  • Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!:
    • In "Thingy", Gibson gets infected with a virus created by the Skeleton King to make mechanical beings turn evil and monstrous.
    • In "The Hills Have Five", Jinmay briefly joins a criminal biker gang after its leader reprograms her and turns her into his arm candy.
    • In the Season 4 finale, Sprx gets turned evil by the Fire of Hate and becomes crucial to helping Valeena and Mandarin in the resurrection of the Skeleton King. He turns good again thanks to a Love Confession from Nova and the rest of the team purge the evil out of him.
  • The Vampirina episode "April Ghoul's Day" has the Hauntley family, particularly Vee, take on a slightly antagonistic role when they keep pranking Poppy and Bridget with a barrage of tricks. Fortunately, it's portrayed in an Innocently Insensitive way where they're just really into their game. They accept being pranked by Poppy and Bridget as well as apologize for going too far, realizing that it's all about everyone having fun.
  • Yin Yang Yo!: Master Yo is accidentally made evil thanks to drinking from a cup that had Carl's evil germs, and goes on a city-wide rampage. Yin manages to get Yo to drink from a cup that has her germs, which defeat Carl's germs and turn Yo good again.