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The Corrupter

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"I live for the moment when I can turn something pure into something perverse."

Not to be confused with The Corruption, which is more of an impersonal force, this character's primary role in the story is to bring out the worst in everyone around them. Often, their ultimate goal is getting the hero to do a Face–Heel Turn.

They fulfill this role willingly and knowingly — perhaps they are doing it For the Evulz, or because they seek validation by dragging others down to their level. Perhaps corrupting the hero advances their own agenda in some way — perhaps opening the hero to recruitment as an ally, perhaps something more subtle. Or maybe they just think that Humans Are Bastards and are trying to prove it.

In any case, do not expect these guys to get a whole lot of development themselves — they are less characters in their own right than they are the metaphorical devil on someone else's shoulder given physical form. If they do get much Character Development, they will probably be a Shadow Archetype for the character they are trying to corrupt. Expect them to be very smooth and clever, though precise competence levels will vary.

This character will almost always be a serious villain, though they can be parodied by being made particularly inept. If they're not the Big Bad, expect them to still be an important villain with a lot of screen time — this trope doesn't work too well if you can't interact with the characters you're corrupting.

Do not expect these guys to pull a Heel–Face Turn; they are more likely to go into a Villainous Breakdown if they are definitively rejected. If they fail, it will probably be because they cannot comprehend good. Perhaps they want to rule with the hero, though this is by no means a universal trait, and not everyone who makes that offer is an example of this trope. May offer a Deal with the Devil at some point, but is just as likely to use mental and emotional manipulation to force their victim's hand without any sort of formal bargain — see Break Them by Talking and "The Reason You Suck" Speech for some favorite tactics.

Sometimes the Corrupter cares more about turning the hero than his own life and invites them to Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred!.

Can be of any evil alignment; a Lawful Evil who wants a new minion, a Neutral Evil who wants an apprentice to continue their work or a Chaotic Evil who just likes screwing with people. If it turns out that it was all a Secret Test of Character or otherwise necessary, see A Chat with Satan.

Closely related tropes are Manipulative Bastard, The Chessmaster and Toxic Friend Influence. See The Vamp or Lady Macbeth if female. See Corruption of a Minor for corruptors who specifically target children. Will often overlap with an evil Warrior Therapist, an Evil Mentor or Treacherous Advisor. See The Corruptible for the typical victim of this kind of villain, and Incorruptible Pure Pureness for those immune to their wiles. Contrast The Conscience, which tries to put someone on the right path, and The Redeemer, who brings someone to atonement.

The Shoulder Devil is a literal version of this trope, though these days is one more likely to be played for comedy.

Not to be confused with the movie with the same name.

Example subpages

Other examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Beast from Berserk. The Berserkerverse's resident super-powered evil hellhound entity that dwells within our main character, this mean puppy constantly tries to egg Guts into killing his friends — especially Casca, who is the only person who stops Guts from becoming a sociopathic killing machine. However, the Beast wants this to happen in order to take over Guts' soul, so whenever he gets the chance, whether Guts is emotionally fragile from longing for intimate affection from his lost love or mentally vulnerable from wearing the berserker armor, the Beast tells Guts a range of hideous things: that he doesn't really love Casca anymore and only uses her experience as a way to fuel his hate for Griffith, or that he enjoys being a heartless killing machine because it gives him power. The Beast comes in and out of the picture, but always reminds Guts that it'll be back...
  • Black Butler: It's implied that Sebastian's influence in Ciel's life is making the already cynical Ciel even more ruthless.
  • Schneizel el Britannia from Code Geass has a knack for this, compelling a distraught scientific genius to build a Fantastic Nuke and turning a sweet young girl against her brother.
  • Embryo from Cross Ange has a definite knack for this by baiting any desperate soul. He is responsible for corrupting the entire World of Mana, by genetically altering their DNA to be both aggressive and submissive, giving them magical powers to make them complacent, and manipulating world leaders to keep this Crapsaccharine World as is. Midway through the series, he resurrects and turns Chris against her allies who thought abandoned her, rescues Salia and tempts her with the possibility of upstaging Ange, and resurrects the kids Ersha was protecting and gives her another chance to protect them under his service. He's also a creep who uses his powers to seduce and date-rape women into becoming Manchurian Agents, including Jill and Ange.
  • Light Yagami of Death Note plays this role for the (albeit less-than-heroic) Misa, Takada, and Mikami, turning each of them in turn from moderately unpleasant people with mild psychological problems to unrepentant mass murderers. Then, of course, there's his cult and the unnamed masses he screwed up there...
    • Light also inadvertently causes his father to make a deal with Ryuk that results in his death, bringing the most innocent character in the series into the mess and nearly making him a murderer too. Though in the end, Soichiro turns out to be too pure-hearted to ever use the Death Note, which Ryuk notes meant he was able to die free from its curse of misery and fear.
    • Light himself was corrupted at the very start of the story by the Shinigami Ryuk and the Death Note itself, though he was definitely The Corruptible, to begin with.
    • Ryuk plays this role in the TV drama, in which he deliberately drops the book so Light is the one to find it (rather than it being a coincidence like in the original series) and goads him into continuing to use it when Light hesitates.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • It is stated by Master Roshi that Shen became corrupted after witnessing King Piccolo's cruelty and humiliating his master. Also, part of the reason why Piccolo frees all the prisoners and abolished all laws is to stroke the darkest aspects of humanity.
    • In the Japanese text, Piccolo humored twisting Gohan into his image and turning him against his father. The opposite ended up happening.
    • Frieza, on multiple levels:
      • He served as this to Vegeta, corrupting him into a cold-blooded sociopath even by Saiyan standards by nurturing his dark tendencies and treating him like trash for being a Saiyan. In the original Funimation dub, Vegeta even states outright that Frieza was the one who made him the way he is.
      • In Super, he is this to Tagoma. In the Resurrection 'F' film, he merely killed Tagoma by throwing him out into space. In Super, he tortures him by shooting him in the kneecaps, then has him assigned as his sparring partner during his four month training regiment. After four months of brutal training, Tagoma's sanity is shot to hell and he becomes every bit as cold and ruthless as Frieza, so much so that he ruthlessly kills Shishami in an attempt to kill Gohan. Frieza is so impressed by his ruthless cunning that he offers Tagoma his own planet if he kills the Z fighters.
      • He also serves as this to Frost during the Universe Survival Saga. Frost was initially A Lighter Shade of Black to Frieza, being more pragmatic and not a sadist, but during his brief moments under Frieza's tutelage, he begins picking up Frieza's sadism and Ax-Crazy tendencies, highlighted when he tortures Master Roshi with a Beam Spam while laughing his head off.
  • In Fist of the North Star, Jagi — resentful to Kenshiro for being named Hokuto Shinken's successor and his disfigurement when he lashed out in response — coaxed Shin, Kenshiro's then-Friendly Rival in Nanto Seiken, into nearly killing Kenshiro by playing on his feelings for Yuria. After Shin abducts Yuria and leaves Kenshiro for dead, he goes on to become a viscious warlord in his own right thanks to Jagi's influence.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist (2003), Lust's job is to be The Corrupter who tempts desperate alchemists into seeking the forbidden knowledge of how to make Philosopher's Stones. Envy also ends up creating Wrath by tempting the nascent homunculus with incomplete Philosopher's Stones.
  • Pasder and the Zonderians in GaoGaiGar, and the Primevals later on.
  • Despite being the Big Bad, Dakki of Hoshin Engi counts as this. One of her paope gives off a scent that eventually drives men to her side and makes them devoted slaves. Mix in her own skills at manipulation with just her looks and words and you have a nasty combo to deal with. Just look at King Chu. He starts off normal and many chapters in, gets turned into a human paope weapon that is barely aware of who he originally was. And she's been doing this for hundreds of years as well.
  • Naraku from Inuyasha frequently tries to corrupt the hearts of the heroes; sometimes this is for a practical purpose (usually corrupting the Shikon Jewel), while sometimes it's just for the sake of evil. At one point, he tries to force Kagome to choose between killing the priestess he has mind-controlled (which would allegedly both condemn the priestess to hell and corrupt Kagome's heart for killing her knowing that) or being killed by her; at another, he tries to get Sango to kill an innocent little girl in order to kill him, which is also the only way to save her love interest's life (only Naraku wouldn't have died anyway because she was only talking to an illusion of himself).
  • In Kasane, Habuta largely plays this role to the title character. He's so obsessed with making her an actress of her mother's caliber that he constantly encourages her to let go of her qualms and remorses, and throw morality in the bin to achieve success. This includes keeping a comatose Nina in a dark room for a full year to "use" her face at will or tricking Nina's father into thinking his wife (who rightfully suspects that their daughter is an impostor) has gone insane. Each time, Kasane expresses some doubts, and each time Habuta gives her a little push.
  • In the Monster Rancher anime, Moo has the ability to change good monsters into bad ones.
  • Moriarty the Patriot: Milverton uses blackmail to force people into committing horrific acts because he finds it amusing to watch humans fall to evil.
  • Naruto:
    • Tobi/Obito Uchiha, who managed to corrupt Nagato (Pain) and have him turn Akatsuki into a terrorist group with him as a Decoy Leader, and render Itachi's attempts to protect Sasuke pointless by revealing all of Itachi's secrets to the younger Uchiha, making him Go Mad from the Revelation.
    • Tobi in turn appears to have been corrupted by Madara Uchiha, who convinced Obito of carrying the Moon's Eye Plan by making the young genin lose any hope on the current world and create an ideal, illusionary world.
    • Danzo also acts as an indirect example, given all the people (Nagato, Itachi, Sasuke, and Kabuto) who he has caused to make Face–Heel Turn through his actions. All of these combined examples add up to a Gambit Pileup.
    • It is implied that Zabuza had a similar effect on Haku, though Haku never saw him as anything other than a loving master. More like, they met each other halfway. Zabuza taught Haku how to be harder and more ruthless, but Zabuza also learned to care about someone other than himself.
    • Orochimaru gets no mention here? Most of his Otogakure shinobi became twisted and insane due to his influence, especially the ones marked with Cursed Seals. The only one who didn't succumb fully was Sasuke and even then he didn't emerge from it unscathed.
  • One Piece:
    • The senior executives of the Donquixote Pirates, who helped Doflamingo become who he is today. While he was already a fairly rotten kid (what with being a former World Noble and all), they're the ones who fed his ego, gave him his signature gun and Devil Fruit, and razed a town to the ground because its uneven pavement made Doflamingo trip. Trafalgar Law lampshades how twisted it is, since they think that Doflamingo values them as much as they value him when really their encouragement has made it so Doffy will always consider himself first and deep down see them as expendable.
    • Doflamingo is this trope with shades of Omnicidal Maniac thrown in. He explicitly states that his goal is to "destroy everything" in revenge for the World Nobles denying him his birthright, but he's not content with that: he wants the world to destroy itself. To that end he goes out of his way to try and corrupt Dressrosa from a peace-loving country to one whose citizens crave bloodshed (via the Corrida Colosseum fights, where behind closed doors he viciously punishes gladiators who try not to spill blood), and on an international scale he sells weapons in the black market to stoke conflict and war in other countries.
    • Shockingly, Big Mom's head chef Streusen is revealed to have been this to her. As a very young child, Charlotte Linlin was terrifyingly strong and had an eating disorder that led to her going on hunger-fueled rampages. She also tended towards being Obliviously Evil, thinking she was helping the people she was hurting. The chef was so impressed by her power that he took her in and channeled that power in the direction of piracy by telling her she could carry out her dreams that way.
  • Rosario + Vampire: Kuyou seems to have served this role to the Public Safety Commission. Before he took charge of the group, they were actually a good, necessary institution; it was largely under him that they deteriorated into the band of corrupt yakuza-esque thugs we all know and love to hate.
  • Ferid of Seraph of the End is mentioned by Crowley to have the kind of beauty and personality that corrupts people. Indeed, he enjoys killing and screwing people over For the Evulz and playing mind games with those he likes, unfortunately for Krul, Mika, and Yuu.
  • Soul Eater has Asura, the Kishin who irradiates Madness, and his Clowns (being Madness given physical forms), as the Madness he irradiatesnote  is a force of chaos that affects humans and other supernatural beings and thus threatens the balance of the world; as well as Medusa for Crona, her own child who she treats as nothing more than a lab rat for her experiments with Black Blood, and raised them as a killer in order to hunt innocent souls in order to create the ultimate Kishin.
  • Tokyo Ghoul plays with this quite a bit.
    • Although she's already dead, Rize appears to Kaneki as a hallucination and encourages him to surrender completely to his Horror Hunger. Eventually, she walks him through his Dark and Troubled Past to convince him to accept her — she's merely the form he chose to represent his own anger and resentment, so he has someone else to blame. He embraces these emotions, and his Ghoul nature, by symbolically (and messily) eating her, then spends the next six months on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
    • In the sequel, the One-Eyed Owl/Eto Yoshimira twists numerous individuals through a combination of mind games, torture, and Xanatos Speed Chess. The Owl slowly worms into Hinami's life, convincing her to seek power by joining Aogiri and becoming one of their most valuable members. Takizawa and Kanae both end up twisted through the Owl’s influence, and get used as Co-Dragons in a larger scheme involving Kaneki- the various manipulations have resulted in him regaining his memories, abandoning his comrades and adopting an utterly cold and ruthless persona.
  • In Tower of God, Grace Mirchea Luslec is this to Twenty-Fifth Bam, to the point he adopts his name and become Jue Viole Grace (Jue Viole, adopted by Grace).
    • In a way, the Tower itself, a Genius Loci, corrupts its inhabitants with the promise of having everything you wish for at the top, demanding small tributes of self and lethal conflicts among their teammates to advance each floor, until the few remaining victors have lost most of their identities and can only think of using the power they receive to enforce the oppressive system governing the entire process.
  • In Umi Monogatari, Sedna corrupts the islanders, sea creatures, and Urin to suit her needs.
  • Dartz, and for that matter, the Seal of Orichalcos, from Yu-Gi-Oh! do this to anyone who activates its power by bringing out all of the darkness in one's soul.

    Comic Books 
  • In All Fall Down, Phylum becomes this to Pronto, thanks to a booby-trapped voice-box that gives poisonous advice.
  • Batman:
    • The Joker is this to Harleen Quinzel, a promising psychiatrist who falls in love with him after hearing one of his many fabricated back stories and becomes his right-hand woman, Harley Quinn.
    • Jason Todd had his Anti-Hero moments even as Robin, but it was his death at the Joker's hands and his thirst for vengeance after being brought back that really pushed him over the edge. Talia al Ghul only made things worse by finding him teachers to train him to be a better killer and wanting revenge against Bruce herself by the end of Red Hood: The Lost Days.
    • Depending on the Writer, Joker's burning ambition is to prove to people in general (and Batman in particular, though sometimes he'll focus on other individuals like Commissioner Gordon) that they'd be just as insane and twisted as he is if they were pushed far enough. This became key to his entire persona in the Nolan films.
    • In Batman (Chip Zdarsky), Batman finds himself in a world where Bruce died before he became Batman. The main threat is the Red Mask, a Joker who didn't become the Joker because of Bruce's death, and is seeking to go through the multiverse. When he does, his influence is so strong that he not only affects living Jokers, he ends up resurrecting dead Jokers in the process.
  • In DC Rebirth, the Watchmen Myth Arc involves a mysterious figure named Mr. Oz who's been engineering disasters and violence with his supporters across the planet in order to prove to Superman that Humans Are Bastards. Oz is later revealed to be Superman's father, who was rescued from Krypton's destruction by Dr. Manhattan and forced to continually bear witness to the worst humanity has to offer after he was already embittered by his warnings about Krpyton being ignored.
  • In Hellblazer, Nergal attempted to corrupt a young John Constantine by disguising himself as a boy and offering him a cigarette. John took the cigarette and Nergal privately gloated that he had started the boy down a path of corruption. Then he noticed that John had managed to steal the entire pack from him when he wasn't looking. The two eventually become archenemies.
  • In Jew Gangster, Ruby becomes this to his friends Heshel and Hymie, recruiting them into the mob's various criminal activities when they need a few extra hands.
  • New Gods: Darkseid, being the God of Evil of the DC Universe, has played this role from time to time. The one he bragged about to Eclipso? He once visited New Genesis long before he took on the mantle of Darkseid and saw a beautiful young boy, pure and innocent. With little more than words and the death of a pet bird, Darkseid twisted the youth and gave him a new name — Desaad.
  • A mid-'70s Marvel Comics villain who first appears in Nova #4 is actually called the Corruptor. He was a worker at a factory that made pharmaceuticals until a fire doused him in a mix of psychoactive chemicals that made the hateful and violent parts of his psyche take full control, granting him the power to drive others crazy or follow his orders just by touching them, and turned his skin a dark blue and his eyes red.
  • Oxymoron: Oxymoron tries to goad Mary into becoming a killer just like him by tracking down and delivering an elusive criminal who killed her former partner, but she refuses and instead arrests him. Oxymoron responds by murdering her family.
  • The main villain of The Ultimates (2015) is one of these on a multiversal scale. The opening monologue of the second series elaborates that it's draining life, hope and joy from the universe. By that point, it's also corrupted Master Order and Lord Chaos, as part of its plan to destroy the current multiverse.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Mars' associates the Duke of Deception, Count of Conquest and Earl of Greed in the Golden Age were portrayed as influencing people to commit deception, feel like they have a right to conquer or otherwise take land which belongs to others, and to covet. This gets to the point that when the Duke of Deception is imprisoned by Mars Imperial Japan becomes more honest with their allies.
  • Moira MacTaggart of the X-Men who's goal was to break Charles Xavier of his idealism, getting him to a point he was willing to do all sorts of shady things out of desperation to avoid yet another mutant genocide which he obviously regrets. Even before that point though her plans involved a lot of manipulation and secret keeping which would have only exacerbated Xavier's own manipulative and secretive tendencies, something that would carry over to affect more than just his work with her, which without Moira's influence he would have kept more in check and/or worked to overcome. It also happens to provide a in-universe explaination for the Flanderization his character has undergone with post-Claremont writers as even his pre-Claremont characterisation was not that much of a jerk.
    Professor X: There's no denying what you have done, Moira. You shaped us into this... you made us into this... we are the perfect tools for an imperfect age. You should celebrate what you have done for you have done it well. But now it is time for you to step aside and let us do the good work for which we were created.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): Ghidorah wants Vivienne Graham to go down a Start of Darkness and become just as crazed, violent and evil as Ghidorah. Using its Psychic Link to Vivienne and San, Ghidorah telepathically harasses and torments Vivienne from afar while doling out breaking speech after breaking speech to her, and it's delighted when Vivienne loses control of herself in an Unstoppable Rage.
  • All For Luz: All For One is this to Luz throughout all the horrible situations she's in, with some results to his liking. This includes getting her to steal more Quirks, Gaining the Will to Kill, and having some resentment towards her mother. He's essential trying to be the Palpatine to her Anakin Skywalker.
  • The Boys: Real Justice
    • The Joker isn't merely interested in killing but in yanking superheroes down to his level by bringing out the worst in them. He succeeds in humiliating Homelander to the point that he lashes out in a way that leads to the death of dozens of people.
    • Circe, who exploits Maeve's insecurities to bring her under her thumb.
  • Cat-Ra
    • Shadow Weaver has to put a lot more work into keeping Adora on her side than Catra, with quite disturbing results.
    • After enough time using the shadow powers, Adora starts seeing a dark version of herself named Aroda who's constantly pushing her to be more ruthless. It's actually a parasite brought out by the Spell of Obtainment trying to completely take her over.
  • The Chaotic Masters: The Chaotic Masters are clearly quite skilled at getting into people's heads and getting them to switch sides, as evidenced by all the princesses they managed to seduce back in the day. And now the Collector is doing the same with Raven, playing on her desperation to escape her destiny by offering to help her control her powers to such the point that Trigon can't use her.
  • Code Prime: Megatron, as always. He's deliberately trying to push Suzaku down a darker path, mostly for his own amusement.
  • Fade: After reading his half of the Kira story and becoming addicted to the Death Note, L resolves to become The Mentor to Kira and teach him how to use the Death Note the "right" way. However, once Kira (Light) shows himself nowhere near as corrupt as his story counterpart (sticking only to the worst of criminals and no one else), L, angered that his "villain" isn't acting like the villain he needs to stop, uses his Death Note to kill criminals undeserving of death, both to frame Light and to convince him to kill like that so L can redeem him and teach him to use the Death Note "correctly". After that, any illusions that L will be The Mentor to Light are shattered for both the audience and Light himself once he figures out what L has done. The only person L is really fooling is himself.
  • In Fate/Grand Order, the Heroic Spirit Blackbeard is infamous for being a perverted otaku. In Fate/Sunny Order, it is shown that Kana Tohsaka introduced a recently summoned Blackbeard (who has yet to show these traits) to anime and manga such as Eromanga Sensei after he was summoned. The results were so prominent that they affected Blackbeard in The Throne of Heroes, and it's demonstrated when Okeanos!Blackbear makes a blatant Jojo reference. Needless to say, Kana was horrified when she found out.
  • In Frozen Turtles, Shredder plans to be this for Elsa, but the Turtles rescue her before Shredder can do more than talk about how he will force Elsa to be his weapon.
  • Guys Being Dudes: At least as a joke, Arlo enjoys getting Spark to do irresponsible or morally sketchy acts and discusses the possibility of "converting" him to The Dark Side.
  • In Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail, the grief and stress of Chloe's disappearance and her email saying she won't come back until everyone changes cause her brother Parker to unintentionally activate the Unown Professor Hale brought to Professor Cerise to examine, creating a twisted version of Chloe named UnChloe. UnChloe encourages Parker to use the Unown to brutally punish Chloe's bullies and anyone that wronged her, along with brainwashing Ash, Trip, and Serena so they'll be his and Chloe's friends (even though they were willing to be friends beforehand). UnChloe is intent on making Parker embrace his darker desires, and blocks off any contact with the real Chloe to keep her from interfering.
  • Jaune Arc, Lord of Hunger: Darth Nihilus became a master of this trope after his soul was trapped in his mask. Over the course of several months, he influences Jaune into drawing from the Dark Side and encourages him to embrace his worst impulses. More than a century ago, he was also responsible for corrupting Petros Krizoz and turning his sect of the church into a death cult worshipping himself. He also tried to be this to Jaune's ancestor Alix, but Alix was able to resist him through his Heroic Willpower.
  • lie in reverse: Teen Sasuke is this to his younger self because he wants to make him hate Konoha as much as he does, so the two of them can destroy it together and then go searching for Itachi. Like Tobi did with him in canon, teen Sasuke's winning card is that the truths behind the Uchiha Massacre are horrifying. What he didn't account for is that, when he was that age, Sasuke was not as sociopathic and desperate as he gradually becomes in his teenage years.
  • The Path of Lila's Karma: In this Recursive Fanfiction, the entity known as Karma is shown can brainwash everyone in the world on mass for his own agenda and "justice." He is responsible for Adrien's entitlement, Marinette's cruelty, the class's obsession with Lila and Marinette's new friends equally unhealthy devotion to her, as well as the nigh psychotic hatred that the Parisian public had/has towards all parties involved. Lila even calls Karma "the epitome of a social curse" and more the embodiment of spite than true justice.
  • In The Road to be a Pokemon Master, a Sabeleye plots to do this to Serena after sensing her psychic powers and inner darkness. He already demonstrates this power by using Torment to turn a wild, peace-loving, non-Seviper-hating Zangoose into a savage beast that goes after Serena's Seviper, who is only cured from the affliction after Serana and Seviper defeat it and capture it, where it comes out of its Pokeball with its gentle nature.
  • Tarkin's Fist: Jason Bogan is this, inadvertently, to Brakatak. While Brakatak had already chosen to pursue a life of crime, his altercations with Black Sun lead Jason to call him out for his nonchalant approach to being attacked. Jason insists that, if Brakatak is going to be a gangster, he has to go all the way, because the other side isn't going to pull its punches. Brakatak is amazed that the normally relaxed Jason can get so intense, but readily adopts a more hardline attitude after being told more about the Mafia on Earth and how ruthless criminals can really get. Jason's advice is meant to keep his friends safe, but likely escalates the growing mob war between the Gran Kajidic and the Black Sun.
  • In What If... Wanda Cast The No Way Home Spell?, the Darkhold's status as this is made even more explicit; while Wanda initially resists its influence, the Darkhold shifts its focus to the Green Goblin persona in Norman Osborn, and later not only corrupts Wanda but restores Flint Marko's powers, leaving the three Spider-Men and Doctor Strange to face the Darkhold-enhanced Goblin, Sandman, Electro and Scarlet Witch.
  • The Uzumaki Tales: Return Of The Whirlpool: Played for Laughs. Jiraiya and Kakashi corrupt Naruto and Sasuke, respectively, by turning them into perverts. Naruto is designated as the next writer for the Icha Icha series after Jiraiya's death or retirement (whichever comes first) while Sasuke becomes addicted to the series like Kakashi is. Understandably, once their girlfriends find out, they are not happy. Jiraiya was also the one to teach a young, innocent Hiashi about the... advantages of having a Byakugan.
  • What Is Written In Bloods Erich Vanith spent most of his work cultivating a murderer's way of thinking into his Diclonius test subjects before training them to become his assassins.

    Films — Animation 
  • Frozen: While it's known that Prince Hans tried to seize control of Arendelle through manipulation, the Tie-In Novel A Frozen Heart reveals that his father, the king of the Southern Isles, manipulated and corrupted most of his thirteen sons into becoming his sycophantic enforcers. It took an attempt to escape his father's abusive and toxic influence for Hans to finally resort to his family's twisted actions that he once refused to do.
  • Pinocchio:
    • The anthropomorphic fox J. Worthington Foulfellow.
    • The coachman even more so.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Cloud Atlas: Old Georgie, the future Hawaiian imagery of the devil. Zachry's tribe has a strong storytelling culture and smokes a whole lot of weed, so for them, seeing and hearing Old Georgie is as normal as anything. He very appropriately looks like a Hawaiian witch doctor in the film version.
  • Many versions of the Joker have shades of this, though the one from The Dark Knight is perhaps the most explicit about it.
  • In Ghost Ship, it's Ferriman's job to bring out the absolute worst in people, because if they commit enough sins they'll effectively damn their souls, which he can then harvest and take to Hell. He pressures a segment of the crew on the Graza into starting a complete orgy of the violent murder of everyone else on board so they can get their hands on all the gold he brought with him. He tries the same routine on the present day salvage crews, but it's only Epps who takes a definite stand against his material offers at the end.
  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019): Alan Jonah plays this role to Emma Russell, nudging her to do evil in the name of the so-called greater good.
  • Grudge Song, the fourth of the Female Prisoner Scorpion films, features a desperate attempt by the protagonist to do this to a calm, earnest Buddhist inmate in order to cause enough havoc to escape from Japan's equivalent of death row.
  • Quentin Tarantino's screenplay for Kill Bill introduces the title character in this way, stating that the archetype known in older times as "the Conqueror" is, in modern times, known as "the Corruptor", but what makes Bill unique is that, no matter what corrupting influence he has on others, he always remains true to himself.
    • Lampshaded by The Bride in Part 2:
      I was your woman. I was a killer who killed for you. Before that strip turned blue, I would have jumped a motorcycle onto a speeding train... for you.
  • Hornsby, from The Miracle Woman, manipulates Florence to believe that she needs to get even with her father's former churchgoers. Hornsby's only motivation is that he knows he can make a lot of money, but only with Florence's help.
    Hornsby: You think you beat those people, don't you? Well, you didn't. There's only one way to lick a mob, sister, join them. You're not a hypocrite if you admit it. Most of the trouble in this world comes from people who have beliefs. The answer is: don't have any! If you have none, you can assume the ones that happen to pay.
  • In Mirror Mirror (1990), the demon in the mirror grants wishes to its owner that gradually cause the owner to slide into evil.
  • Pearl (2022): Since this film is the prequel to X, where Howard is shown to be in cahoots with the murderous Pearl, yet here he is repeatedly talked about as a hard-working and patriotic young man who does not mind working on a farm and jumping at the call to serve in WW2, despite his high socioeconomic status, thereby presuming a person of good ethics, it is safe to say that she has got him very agreeable to her lifestyle between the times not covered by Pearl and X.
  • Angelica claimed that Jack was this towards her in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
    Jack: You displayed a great deal of technique for someone I supposedly corrupted.
  • Pitch (2009): Belial the demon sweet-talks others to get them to do bad things.
    • He talks Gene into trying to shoot his wife Cheryl after he catches her cheating. In the end, it's revealed he's also been doing the same with Cheryl, convincing her to murder Gene for insurance money.
    • He distracts Jim the angel from helping Gene by bringing up and playing into fantasies of his high school crush, though Jim manages to rise above it.
  • In Sodom and Gomorrah, the Hebrews are usually typically pious Old Testament followers of Jehovah's word. But once Queen Bera of Sodom agrees to let them live among her citizens as salt merchants instead of outside the city walls as farmers, the easy access to money and pleasures of the flesh soon makes them all forget about their faith, culminating in their leader, Lot, murdering Astaroth, Bera's brother, after disarming him during a Duel to the Death. At this point, the Hebrew god, Jehovah, has enough and sends angelic messengers to Lot to tell him to get the Hebrews out of the cities, as they have been marked for destruction.
  • Star Wars:
  • Theresa & Allison: Allison successfully lures Theresa into killing a human captive with her, after she'd been resisting this for most of the film and was initially horrified by the idea.
  • Warlock III: The End of Innocence: The Warlock is a lot more subtle this time around, slowly corrupting Kris' friends to become his servants rather than simply going for the kill right away. It's implied that all of Kris' friends showing up to help her unintentionally invoked protective magic that the Warlock can't simply ignore, so he must convince them to forsake her of their own free will.
  • Wonder Woman (2017); the climax reveals Ares reinvented himself as this following his defeat in ancient times. He drifts through the minds of generals, kings, and inventors, sowing ideas for newer and more deadly weapons and battle strategies. He doesn't actually tell them to go and use them, instead allowing humanity's own prejudices and hatred to do that for him. Perhaps fittingly, Ares' avatar in the film is not General Ludendorff like Diana initially suspects, but kindly peace advocate Sir Patrick Morgan (who's introduced advising the British War Council to accept the coming Armistice, betting that it wouldn't last).
  • The World of Kanako: Akikazu's daughter Kanako gets the narrator being caught and handed to a prostitution ring, where he gets physically abused and later beaten up and thrown into a river. He now wants vengeance and follows a girl from the gang and tortures her to get Kanako’s location. However, when they finally meet, he is unable to kill her as he is still in love with her.
  • In X-Men: First Class, Sebastian Shaw is responsible more than any other figure in the X-Men Universe for Magneto's Start of Darkness.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Arrowverse.
  • In the third season of Ashes to Ashes (2008), this is the whole motivation of Jim Keats. He wants to see Gene Hunt brought down and, resenting him for bringing good police officers under his sway, plans to turn the others against Gene. It seems like he may have a point... then he grows into more of a Shadow Archetype of Gene Hunt, just as brutal but considerably eviler, and he becomes an almost Satanic figure. Then he becomes an actual Satanic figure, as it's revealed the whole reason for his corrupting of the others was so that he could lure them down to Hell. It's that kind of show.
  • Mr. Morden on Babylon 5, who is introduced by going around the station asking the ambassadors "What do you want?". His job under the Shadows is to find pliable people that he can tempt into a Deal with the Devil by making them accept Shadow's aid.
  • In Breaking Bad, Walter White is this both in a Downplayed intentional fashion and in an unintentional fashion. While Jesse was already in the meth business, Walt coerces and manipulates him into doing things that he would never have considered doing beforehand. Unintentionally, Walt's influence has a similar effect on everyone around him. One of the writers noted, "Walt has corrupted everyone."
  • Buffyverse:
    • A number of demons, including Moloch the Corrupter.
    • Angelus, to a practically legendary degree. Spike cites him as his "Yoda," and states outright in "Destiny" that Drusilla may have been the one who turned him, but Angelus was the one who actually made him a monster.
    • The Senior Partners of Wolfram and Hart could have squashed Angel like a bug at any point during the series, but they care more about trying to get Angel on their side during the Apocalypse than they do about the damage he is doing to their organization. In the final episode Angel finally pisses them off enough that they stop trying and decide to just send everything they have at him to take him out.
  • On Burn Notice, Larry's goal in life is to get Michael to cross the Moral Event Horizon and then go into business with him.
  • Great Professor Bias of Choujuu Sentai Liveman sends tests to three students of Academia, in the beginning, corrupting them and causing them to work for him. It turns out one of them, Goh, was corrupted by the other two and was simply let in out of pity. As such, he was ultimately saved, though the others were not.
  • Daredevil (2015):
    • As a teenager in rural Vermont, Karen hooks up with a drug dealer as an escape from the stress of managing her family's struggling diner. Things escalate until she's essentially said dealer's accomplice. It takes her brother getting killed in a car accident to get Karen to realize how royally screwed up her dependency on drugs has made her.
    • Stick sends Elektra to seduce Matt in law school with the hope of getting him to break his morals and be willing to kill for the Hand. She does so by tracking down Roscoe Sweeney, It doesn't work out.
    • Wilson Fisk in spades. His M.O. when it comes to getting people to work for him is to play them like a fiddle and get them to compromise their morals until they're trapped with no means of getting out cleanly. Through this long-term corruption, he gets good-hearted FBI agents like Tammy Hattley and Ray Nadeem to function as a private hit squad for him. Best seen in Fisk's relationship with Benjamin "Dex" Poindexter. When they first meet, Dex is just another SWAT officer on the detail transporting Fisk to the Presidential Hotel after Fisk's pre-arranged shanking by Jasper Evans. But after Dex kills some Albanian hitmen who attack the convoy trying to kill Fisk in retaliation for snitching, Fisk takes notice of Dex. Dex treats him with great disdain over the first two days. But slowly and surely, Fisk manages to make himself Dex's north star, arranging Dex's suspension and sending Dex to the New York Bulletin in a Daredevil costume to get rid of Jasper Evans and discredit Karen. By the time Dex dons the Daredevil suit for a second time when Fisk sends him after Karen to avenge her murder of James Wesley, Dex is revering Fisk like a father he's afraid of disappointing. And by the time Vanessa comes back to New York, Dex is convincing himself he's "the new James Wesley", even going behind Fisk's back to do some things that make Fisk begin to worry about him.
  • The Devil Judge: Sun-ah takes advantage of Jin-joo's desire to be in the spotlight and encourages the eager and innocent Jin-joo to "overpower everyone because power is appealing." On another occasion, Sun-ah teaches troubled teenage girls to steal if they have to, bite those who hit them, torment any man who comes on to them until the day he dies, and threaten to take everything he has as means of survival in a live broadcast.
  • Doctor Who: In "Journey's End", Davros makes the argument that the Doctor is this to his companions, noting how, even if the Doctor himself is a pacifist, his companions invariably become more willing to use force through their adventures with him, and often end up doing the Doctor's dirty work for him.
  • Leland Townsend of Evil (2019) is a Card-Carrying Villain who'll use any method available to bring out the worst in people, sometimes using his position as a therapist. He's advised one Serial Killer on how to commit his murders and use the Insanity Defense, turned a lonely computer geek into a misogynistic would-be mass shooter, and seduced Kristen's mother Sheryl, which also helps him get his hooks into one of Kristen's daughters. At the end of the first season one of his schemes has apparently provoked Kristen herself into killing.
  • Fargo has Lorne Malvo, who drives innocent do-gooders into evil, insanity, and general mischief for no apparent reason other than fun. The finale reveals that his suitcase is full of tapes recording his favorite victims' pleas and accusations toward him, which he spends his time alone listening to.
  • Gotham:
    • Theo Galavan is being set up to be this to Gotham in general and Jim specifically.
    • During both of his lives, Jerome Valeska influenced many people into evil and madness, most notably his brother Jeremiah, who becomes The Joker.
  • Dr. Hannibal Lecter. More than the serial killing and the cannibalism, this is what he gets off on: using his psychiatric training to manipulate his patients into becoming killers themselves. Sometimes he's motivated by morbid curiosity, and other times he is, in his own twisted way, being a good psychiatrist by helping people realise and accept their true selves.
  • Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother is a Played for Laughs version, especially towards Ted, and is constantly trying to get Ted to become more like him. However, when he's not doing this, Barney is a genuinely good friend.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia has the main characters: Dennis, Dee, Mac, Charlie, and Frank; AKA “the Gang”. Just interacting with the Gang consistently causes Sanity Slippage or some other life-ruining outcome, almost completely without fail. Victims of the Gang's corruption include Rickety Cricket (goes from a clean-cut priest to a horribly mutilated Crazy Homeless Person), Maureen Ponderosa (has become a literal Crazy Cat Lady), Bill Ponderosa (Dee helped ruin his marriage, and with Frank as his AA sponsor he's become a drug-fueled suicidal maniac), Mac's dad Luther (whose murder case was horribly mismanaged by Mac and Charlie), the Waitress (is driven insane by Charlie's stalking and Dennis' sociopathic manipulation and also gets fired from her job, causing her to sink further and further into poverty), and the Lawyer (despite outsmarting the Gang on multiple occasions to his own benefit, they've ruined at least one of his marriages and indirectly caused his eye to be pecked out in court).
  • Méléagant in Kaamelott (Seasons 4, 5, and 6). Who or what he is stays unclear, but it is hinted he's incredibly ancient. With a mix of guile and carefully-used magic powers, he works at corrupting Lancelot even further than he already was, and push a depressive King Arthur toward suicide.
  • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid: This is usual part of conversations between Parado and Emu. Kind doctor he is, all that matters to Emu is saving his patients and overall making them feel better. On the flip side, all that matters to Parado is playing (video/mind) games without care if anyone gets hurt. He tries to convince Emu to abandon his mission and play with him at every other turn. Emu is not amused and doesn't off Parado because a) he is busy with doctor stuff and b) he believes that Parado can be better. By the end, Emu basically acts as The Uncorrupter for Parado, pulling him into Heel–Face Turn.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Sauron is trying to bind Galadriel to his side during season 1 because he genuinely believes they are kindred spirits. Despite hiding his true identity from Galadriel, he apologizes for the death of her brother, tries to teach her how to take advantage of other's people fears, and wanted to create two rings for him and Galadriel when he would ask her to rule Middle-earth with him. Galadriel almost falls for his smooth-talking, but refuses last minute because she realizes it would like making a Deal with the Devil. Sauron goes through a Villainous Breakdown for being rejected.
    • He also almost succeeded with Celebrimbor too if it wasn't for Galadriel learning that his Halbrand persona doesn't exist causing Sauron to flee.
  • The Man In Black from Lost. Not only is his smoke form a literal corruption of the Light in the Island's center, his modus operandi is also to corrupt people with nightmares and apparitions, or sometimes even infect them, so he can use them as pawns to defeat Jacob.
  • Morgause from Merlin. Her first appearance is her attempting to get Arthur to kill Uther by telling him the truth about his conception. When that fails she whisks away Morgana for a year and has corrupted her completely when they return in Season 3.
  • An episode of Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation revealed that Dragonlord was this for the entire Rank race.
  • Simon Adebisi from Oz is very good at corrupting the people around him. His incessant pressure and bullying of his subordinates result in Kenny Wangler and Johnny Basil sinking into depravity, while his manipulations drive Clayton Hughes and Guillaume Tarantino into becoming violent criminals.
  • Pretty Little Liars:
    • Canon Foreigner Cece Drake acted as this for Alison DiLaurentis, giving her several of her traits and mannerisms, exacerbating her already considerable penchant for lies and manipulation. It goes so far that the two of them act like twins at times, and Cece has been mistaken for Alison several times — particularly as Red Coat.
    • Alison herself acted as The Corrupter to her Girl Posse, making them accessories to arson and Jenna's (accidental) blinding, encouraging Hanna's body image issues and eating disorder, and helping Aria trash her father's office and frame Meredith for it, who he was sleeping with at the time.
  • In Princess Returning Pearl the role is played by conniving servants Rong Mou Mou and Gui Mou Mou.
  • Sadakatsiz:
    • Volkan is a Crazy Jealous Guy obsessed with his former wife Asya. He explodes whenever any men approach Asya, especially if they are courting her. Consequently, he shamelessly takes advantage of the fact that Ali, their son, is Asya's weakness — she will prioritize Ali's comfort and happiness over even her own. This is the most glaring with Aras, the first man Asya falls in love with after the fiasco of her marriage. At first, Ali and Aras get along pretty well over their shared love for video games. Volkan then poisons Ali's mind about how Aras cannot be trusted because he's violent and a stranger. Volkan is also preying on Ali's worry over his mother's well-being (she had a near-death experience last year). This results in Ali opposing Aras and Asya's blooming relationship. He yells and offends Aras at every turn, gets into increasingly disobedient acts (from ignoring his mother to getting into a bar brawl), and lies about Aras beating him.
    • Downplayed with İpek seeing that she's not a villainous character (more like a misguided kid) but a bad influence nonetheless. Her family life is horrible: her parents are divorced, her stepfather hits her, and her father is a criminal. This causes her to try "adult stuff" (drinking, smoking, sneaking away, etc.) to make her parents pay attention to her. When she meets Ali and Demir, the former's parents are already divorced while the latter's family is having a crisis. She convinces them to attend a college party in a fishy part of the town to have fun and forget their stupid family problems. There, she tries to get them to drink alcohol and convinces Ali to drive (he doesn't have his license) to buy booze. This ends with them suffering a mild car accident together. Later, when Ali's hatred for his stepfather reaches a peak and he throws a massive tantrum (he destroys some of his house's furniture and his console), İpek suggests he blames his stepfather and teaches him how to bruise his own arm.
    • Ceren starts as a reasonable, confident girlfriend who doesn't feel threatened by her boyfriend Selçuk's ex working at the restaurant he owns. That is, until Selçuk confesses to Ceren that he was never quite able to move on from Nil and ends their relationship. By contrast, Derin, Ceren's closest friend, has been in a similar situation since before her marriage started and is a very Clingy Jealous Girl. So, when a heartbroken Ceren goes to Derin for comfort, Derin starts teaching Ceren her ways — while Derin is mostly good-intentioned, her own lack of dignity and toxic idea of love cause her advice to be awful. Derin convinces Ceren to keep seeing Selçuk by appealing to his compassionate nature. And, when their last encounter leaves Ceren pregnant of him, Derin relentlessly pushes Ceren to cause strife in Selçuk and Nil's restarted relationship. Them getting married only incenses Ceren further.
  • Smallville
    • Darkseid and his minions Godfrey, Granny Goodness, and especially Desaad fullfill this role in the tenth season, turning the entire world against the JLA while strengthening their own power in the process.
    • Earth-2 Lionel did this to Lex, Tess, and Clark in his home universe, and tries it on Alexander when he makes his way to Earth-1.
  • In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Alice", the titular ship through its female avatar plays this role to Tom Paris, getting him to steal parts from Voyager and to drive himself and the ship into a particle fountain which she calls "home." Near the end of the episode, Tom's girlfriend B'Elanna Torres acts as The Conscience to draw his attention away from Alice long enough to transport him out of the ship before it is destroyed.
  • Supernatural
    • Azazel, the Yellow-Eyed Demon. Arranged for his psychic kids to be manipulated by demons their entire lives, so that by Season 2, they're ready for him to swoop in and start whispering in their ears. He succeeds in turning Ansem and Ava and Jake evil, drove Scott to seek therapy, and tried his damnedest to corrupt Sam too. Right before Azazel gets killed, he's thrilled to see Sam gun down a pleading Jake in cold blood.
    • In Season 4, Ruby is revealed to be one of these. Over the season she drives Sam away from his friends, gets him addicted to demon blood and tricks him into releasing Lucifer from Hell.
    • Lucifer is this, naturally. He focuses most of his efforts on Sam, as he wants Sam to say yes to becoming his vessel. However, he also takes time out of his day to try it on Castiel, since his little brother is also on Heaven's most-wanted list and he would appreciate having another angel on his side. Both characters resist. Until Sam says yes as part of their plan to take Lucifer out.
    • Crowley is arguably this in Season 6, convincing Cas to make a Deal with the Devil and happily riding along with his Slow Slip Into Evil. However, in this case, he wasn't interested in corruption for corruption's sake and was more interested in the power he could acquire through the deal.
      • Crowley is this to a lesser extent for Dean as the series goes on. In Season 11, he briefly fantasizes about a world where everyone is evil, but then quickly decides that he doesn't actually want that after all, because corrupting good people into turning evil is much more enjoyable.
    • In Season 11, it's revealed that Lucifer himself was initially corrupted by The Mark sealing the Darkness, and fobbed it off on Cain as part of their deal for him to stop trying to corrupt Abel.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): The aliens in "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street", by way of suggestion.
  • Klaus Mikaelson from The Vampire Diaries. He made the hero of the show (Stefan) do a Face–Heel Turn by bringing out his sociopathic alter ego, the Ripper.
  • Willow: Willow relates that the Crone had indoctrinated Bavmorda long ago into her cult, turning her evil.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible
    • THE ultimate Corrupter archetype, Satan of course. His modus operandi is to bring out the worst sins in humanity and lead them to damnation. He's also identified with the Serpent from Genesis, who caused Adam and Eve's fall, introducing pain and death into the world. However he tried to do this with Job and Jesus, but he failed.
    • James the Lord's brother warns believers in his epistle not to accuse God of being this by saying "I am being tempted by God", for he says God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone.
  • The Summa Theologiae examines the Devil's role as the Corrupter in Part I, Q. 114 and Part II-1, Q. 80. St. Thomas Aquinas says that the Devil and the demons definitely can have a role in causing a Christian to sin, but in the sense that they suggest to the Christian or propose an object of appetite (tendency or inclination). That said, the principle of a sinful action is the will, and every sin is voluntary. This means that the Devil neither has to tempt a Christian into sinning nor has to cause evil thoughts, as sometimes the Christian can do such things entirely by choice. Even if the Christian commits a sin as the Devil suggested, it is still by choice on the part of the Christian because he chose to go along with the Devil's suggestion.
  • The demon Mara from Buddhist mythology, who led Buddha into temptation to prevent him from achieving enlightenment.

  • In In Strange Woods, after Jacob's death, Peregrine initially spends time processing her trauma and grief, as do her friends. Howl's influence drives her to embrace her grief instead and come up with the plan for The Final, which puts her and everyone in danger before it even begins when one of her friends injures himself during training.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • The Masked Miser Angelo Poffo was usually a baby face, both as a wrestler and as manager, in his earlier years but could easily be convinced to turn heel by evil managers Bronco Lubich, particularly during his Chicago run of the 1950s, and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, who paired him together with Chris Markoff to form "The Devil's Duo" Tag Team during the 1960s.
  • Kevin Sullivan took hold of a mild-mannered photographer from New York passing through Championship Wrestling From Florida and transformed him into Paul E. Dangerously, who remained a self-serving menace wherever he went from then on out. Sullivan also turned the innocent reporter Trudy Herd into the deranged Luna Vachon, though that was more like Brain Washing since he had knocked her unconscious first and though the name stuck Luna would eventually go through a much more convincing Heel–Face Turn than Paul ever did away from Sullivan.
  • Vince McMahon tried to corrupt "Stone Cold" Steve Austin in 1998 but failed. He was more successful in 2001.
  • Pin up lady Miss Maulie, in addition to being a seductress, has a reputation for leading people towards gambling and alcoholism.
  • Ring of Honor stable Special K rapidly expanded its membership by drugging other wrestlers, particularly from JAPW, and turning them into drug addicts who only cared about their next fix. Samoa Joe was the one to finally put a stop to them. (The Spanish Announce Team, The Carnage Crew and Low Ki all beat them up but Joe actually convinced them to do something else)
  • This was the entire character of Sean O'Haire's last WWE gimmick — he'd pop up to try and convince faces backstage to turn heel, in between vignettes urging ordinary people to do things like cheat on their wives simply for kicks.
  • Héctor Garza was the one who turned Perro Aguayo Jr. evil in CMLL after Los Guapos had successfully got people to like him. Thus, Garza could be seen as the real big bad of Perros Del Mal and PDM Producciones, even though Jr. was the one in charge.
  • Jimmy Jacobs has been this way in Ring Of Honor during his Age Of The Fall and Decade runs. Delirious, Adam Page and Ta'Darius among his "successes". He also played this role in Chikara, toward the promotion's first grand champion Eddie Kingston.
  • Michael Kovac, particularly in Yoshihiro Tajiri's SMASH, approached the distressed, the frustrated, the luckless and the like with promises of help which, if he had his way, lead to them joining him as Apostles of Hell.
  • This is the gimmick for Kane after The Rock returned and became champion, as he attempted to get John Cena to "embrace the hate", and presumably, turn heel, in the belief that it was the only way Cena would stand a chance(and because he sick of Cena's goodie-goodie routine anyway). In the end, it was Eve Torres who became the heel instead, although Kane likely didn't intend for that to happen, as she was just a random casualty in his ongoing attempts to break Cena.
  • Likewise Bray Wyatt and The Wyatt Family not to only Cena but beforehand, Daniel Bryan. It worked on Bryan (although only for two weeks) but not Cena.
  • Wade Barrett during his Nexus days, tried to corrupt Cena as well. Once again, he failed.
  • Summer Rae acted as this towards Sasha Banks on NXT. After suffering a few losses, Summer got into Sasha's head and convinced her she was worthless. After losing an important match to Paige, Sasha turned heel and allied herself with Summer. Charlotte later also turned heel to join them so we can assume Summer (or maybe Sasha) could also have done this offscreen to her too.
  • John Laurinaitis did this to The Big Show in 2012, by offering him an iron-clad can't be fired ever contract and convincing him that none of the other faces on the roster really felt bad for him to get into his good graces.
  • The Authority has been known to be this, with Triple H and Stephanie convincing wrestlers to turn against their friends and loved ones. Examples include Seth Rollins and Nikki Bella being convinced to betray the rest of The Shield and Brie Bella respectively. The Authority also got The Big Show to go to the heel side at Survivor Series 2014 and did the same to Sheamus by having him screw Roman out of the title exactly one year later.
  • Kris Wolf was a dissatisfied English teacher introduced to joshi puroresu in an attempt to cheer her up. Wolf was an eager, respectful student who strove to be a good sport but Kyoko Kimura told Wolf to "follow her heart" and Wolf's heart said, "fuck everything!". From there, Kimura had an easy time molding Wolf into another member of her Monster gun dead set on conquering World Wonder Ring STARDOM.
  • Kay Lee Ray on WWE NXT. On the 27th of February edition of WWE NXT UK, how she enjoyed torturing Toni Storm with handcuffs and a steel chair in an I Quit match for the NXT UK Women's Championship. And it resulted in Toni's first Face–Heel Turn on the November 25th edition of WWE NXT when she betrayed Ember Moon joining with Candice LeRae.

  • Simon in Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues has an evil split personality, the Dark Dragon, that tries to tempt him into committing villainous acts by speaking into his mind.
  • The Gungan Council has many Sith, like Darth Apparatus, tempting Jedi to the dark side.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Hellfire wyrms are draconic agents of the Nine Hells sent to the material plane to infiltrate societies and manipulate them and their rulers into committing evil acts, spreading death and misery, and ultimately damning themselves.
    • Forgotten Realms: Gargauth is a literal god of corruption. Some sources indicated it was specifically political corruption, but with his other spheres of influence being betrayal and cruelty, and him being a former arch-devil allegedly kicked out for being too foul even by devil standards, he indulged in encouraging other kinds of corruption too.
  • Exalted has the Ebon Dragon, the Anthropomorphic Personification of being-an-utter-jerk, who exists only to corrupt, betray, and subvert anything good.
  • Games Workshop games:
    • Any daemon or Chaos cultist can fulfill this role in Warhammer, Warhammer: Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000 with the minions of Tzeentch, god of fate, and Slaanesh, the god of pleasure, being particularly adept at turning the innocent from the path of righteousness.
    • Warhammer 40,000 specific examples:
      • Probably the most infamous Corrupter is Erebus of the Word Bearers legion. Generally seen as the instigator of the Horus Heresy (and all the hell that brought on the Imperium and the rest of the galaxy), Erebus turned his Primarch to Chaos when Lorgar was having his Crisis of Faith and also was the driving force behind the corruption of Horus himself. From there the corruption spread throughout the Word Bearers and then to other legions.
      • Calas Typhon of the Death Guard, who manipulated his legion into having the Destroyer Plague unleashed on them, setting them up to turn to Nurgle and become Plague Marines. Typhon was rewarded by becoming Typhus the Traveler, a Chaos Champion of Nurgle.
      • Deacon Mamon. Later known as the "Arch Corrupter", he was once simply an advisor to Cardinal Xaphan, but through manipulating the Cardinal into going to war with the Imperium of Man and later bringing Chaos forces into the fray, he was capable of creating one of the most bloody and destructive battles ever seen on a single planet, turning large portions of it into inhospitable plague land along the way. When all seemed lost to the deacon he was taken by Nurgle and rewarded with daemonhood.
      • Ahzek Ahriman of the Thousand Sons (who, in an odd twist, was attempting to save his legion from corruption when he became their ultimate undoing).
    • Warhammer: Age of Sigmar: When Sigmar's followers returned to the Mortal Realms, the Herald of Tzeentch known as the Changeling disguised itself and moved through the new cities that had been established, leading countless followers of the God-King astray with its lies and promises of power.
  • In Nomine: Shedim are this trope; an alternate name for this particular type of demon is "Corruptors". They accomplish their corruption by Demonic Possession and driving their hosts to do things of escalating levels of evil every day, and the host thinks it was their idea in the first place.
  • Magic: The Gathering: After the dark wizard Mairsil became a mind trapped inside a ring, he tempted and corrupted those who wore him in order to use them as tools for his revenge. Most notable are his corruption of a common Kjeldoran soldier, who became the necromancer Lim-Dûl, and of a pre-planeswalker Jaya Ballard, whom he drove into attempting to murder her mentor Jodah.
  • The World of Darkness:


    Web Animation 
  • 442oons: Senor Red Card for Sergio Ramos... Although he already was quite the Jerkass without him.
  • Sigma and to a lesser extent Gamma play this role in Red vs. Blue, using Maine's rage to lead him to being controlled by his own A.I., Carolina's jealousy of Texas causing her to try to use two A.I.s at once, trapping Alpha Church in a simulation to torture him and playing an indirect but major role in the eventual destruction of Project Freelancer itself from their search for the Alpha to combine with.
  • The Forbidden Power in TOME does this to Alpha by convincing him that he needs it to keep his friends.

  • Anakin is this in Darths & Droids, particularly focusing on Palpatine in a reversal of their roles from the source material. Unfortunately for him, he succeeds a little too well with Palpatine...
  • While it's never stated in as many words, the very existence of Black Mage in 8-Bit Theater is suspected to be the reason the rest of the Light Warriors are so inept, stupid, violent, destructive and selfish.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Nioi believes Lord Tedd is being corrupted by someone (presumably General Shade Tail).
  • Doc Scratch from Homestuck is this for a species, turning the Trolls of Alternia from Perfect Pacifist People into the ultimate Warrior Race.
  • The IFCC from The Order of the Stick, who may have a behind-the-scenes Evil Plan going on, but are also just as interested in claiming souls as any other fiends. Sabine states that she'd seen them take down mortals way more righteous than True Neutral Vaarsuvius.
  • Larisa from Sandra and Woo started trying to convince her friends to take the sexier option about whatever they're doing after she made a Deal with the Devil to become a succubus upon her death.
  • How King Sombra is influencing Spike in The Shadow Shard.
  • K'Z'K in Sluggy Freelance: While he acts in a way pretty remote from a patient mastermind — more sort of horribly goofy and even a bit dumb — he's always managing to find someone to entice with promises of power who will summon him to cause the End of the World as We Know It. When he's trapped in the Book of E-Ville, he's aided by King Farahn, whose spirit is also trapped there and who repeatedly charms mortal women to unlock the book's power before they realise he's a complete Jerkass.
  • Springtrap and Deliah: The dead children act as this to Springtrap, continually stoking his fears of abandonment and insecurities about being a bad friend and father figure to Deliah. Simultaneously they give Deliah nightmares about Springtrap killing her to drive a wedge between them and fuel Nick's suspicions against Springtrap. They abandon this role in the Light Ending when they see Springtrap is making an honest effort to become a better person, though they still don't forgive him for their murder.

    Web Original 
  • The Nostalgia Critic: The Critic has been established in-universe and out as a horrible influence on people. Problem is, he doesn't know he's doing it and he's the one who usually ends up getting killed, raped or otherwise hurt in some way.
  • Worm:
    • Tattletale is this to Taylor, offering her friendship without reservation and a place in her supervillain gang, which given Taylor's status as a bullied fifteen-year-old almost immediately earns her affection. This example is notable in that Tattletale genuinely does want what's best for Taylor, and thinks that she can get a sense of fulfillment and empowerment with the Undersiders that she won't get if she just keeps going to school and being bullied.
    • Later, Taylor herself gains this reputation after she convinces both Parian and Flechette to defect to the Undersiders. She also uses tactics from other corrupters such as Jack Slash and Tattletale.
      • Ultimately, however, Taylor inverts this. The other Undersiders, already anti-villains from the get-go, slowly become less and less evil through her influence, until they're more of a heroic vigilante group than a criminal one by the end.
    • Jack Slash excels at this, but his motives aren't nearly as benign. He even talks Scion into pulling a Face–Heel Turn and deciding to wipe out humanity.
    • Of the Endbringers, which include a monster that can automatically ignite anything within fifty feet of him, a kaiju that can sink islands the size of Newfoundland, a temporal manipulator that can teleport anywhere in the world, a creature that can copy the powers of anything it wants, and a thousand foot tall tower that turns the surrounding landscape into hell on earth, the most feared is the Simurgh. She appears weaker physically than any other, though her combat skills are still beyond the level of most cape. What's terrifying is that she exerts a telepathic force that acts like the proverbial flap of the butterfly's wings, meaning that anyone caught in the effect for too long is not so much driven insane as turned into a living guided missile that only becomes active years after the fact.

    Western Animation 
  • Amphibia: The Core, or more specifically its latest assimilee King Aldrich, is responsible for molding King Andrias into the person he's become, and more than that he ultimately tries to tempt Marcy into becoming permanently absorbed by the Core using a Lotus-Eater Machine.
  • Angel Wars: Plenty of demons meet this description, entering the minds of humans and convincing them to make bad decisions. Some even attempt to corrupt angels!
  • Arcane: Silco is this to Powder/Jinx. Granted, Powder was already unstable due to her Dark and Troubled Past, and Silco did genuinely care about her as his adopted daughter and tried his best to keep her safe and under control, but he still plays a major role in twisting her into Jinx by making her his enforcer and encouraging her to let Powder die.
  • Avatar franchise:
    • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Azula fits this. While she doesn't bring down someone who was good, she did corrupt her brother Zuko right before he could complete his Heel–Face Turn at the end of Season 2. Despite their uncle's protests, he joined her. Though he did eventually make up for it with a real Heel–Face Turn in Season 3. Azula also manages to turn the Dai-Li against the Earth Kingdom, understanding they follow who looks most powerful.
    • The second season of The Legend of Korra has Unalaq, a dark priest who can turn normally good or neutral spirits into Dark Spirits. This is thanks to being a disciple of Vaatu, a powerful dark spirit. Korra learns how to invert this trope, and turns the spirits back to normal.
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers:
  • DuckTales (2017): It's implied throughout "The Last Adventure!" (and, retroactively, "The First Adventure!") that Black Heron functions as this towards Bradford, having turned him from a Well-Intentioned Extremist into a full-on supervillain despite how much he denies it, with her actions in both episodes arguably being her most extreme examples of her Card-Carrying Villain and For the Evulz tendencies in the third season. Heck, even after directly telling him she knew she'd be able to make a villain out of him in the finale, he cannot come up with a way to refute her, only growling at her in anger. Immediately after Bradford pushes her to her death, Black Heron has a reaction of satisfaction after realizing what has happened and uses her last moments before death to taunt Bradford over his status as a villain, suggesting her true goal was turning Bradford into a supervillain in order to completely pervert and ruin his goal of protecting the world. And she did.
  • Final Space: Invictus is a master of this. It's shown during Season 2 that Invictus' type-2 Demonic Possession works by exacerbating the host's doubts and negative traits to all-consuming levels whilst Invictus proverbially whispers in their ear. But more than that, in Season 3, Invictus is actively trying to manipulate Ash into making a Face–Heel Turn and joining it in destroying all life in every dimension, playing on her history of being betrayed by her loved ones to make her see her friends as the bad guys.
  • Harley Quinn (2019): Harley's hardly a saint after leaving Joker but Psycho plays this part towards Harley at the tail end of season 2, trying (and briefly succeeding) to talk her into pursuing higher level Take Over the World level supervillainy.
  • Johnny Bravo: The episode "Johnny's Inferno" has a demon possess Johnny to commit evil. He can do it on his own, but the principle is making others do it.
  • Legends of Chima: Crooler uses the Persuader Plants to put her brother Cragger, leader of the Crocodile Tribe, into a state where she can convince him to do whatever she says.
  • The Little Prince (2010): The Snake is this trope in its purest form. His modus operandi is to compel the most important person on every planet to indulge in their whims, with always disastrous results for their world. Naturally, he attempts it with the title hero too, trying to convince him to return to Asteroid B612 and leave the Snake free to corrupt people.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: The Big Bad, Hawk Moth, has this as his M.O.: he is able to sense negative emotions, and when he finds them, he sends an akuma to that person, promising to grant them powers to right the wrongs done to them or otherwise achieve their long as they steal Ladybug and Chat Noir's Miraculouses for him, of course.
  • Moral Orel: Clay is effectively this to his son Orel. He's seriously psychologically damaged, in a position of both political power and familial bullying, and has an obsession with dragging the pure-of-heart Orel down to his level. He succeeds in the Season 2 finale. Fortunately, Orel is strong enough to take in just enough corruption to gain resistance to his father's bad influence AND stop being such a Creepy Good kid that, up until that point, was an Unwitting Instigator of Doom due to his naive and dangerous interpretations of fundamentalist Christianity.
  • Discord from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic does this to most of the Mane Six for fun and to keep the Elements of Harmony powerless. When Fluttershy proves immune to his mindgames, he throws a hissy fit and forcefully brainwashes her anyway. He's later on the receiving end of this trope in the Season 4 Finale by Lord Tirek.
  • HIM in The Powerpuff Girls (1998) could easily end the planet if he wanted to. He chooses his schemes based on tearing down the morality of the Girls, especially Bubbles, and admits defeat even when he doesn't have to, if the plan fails.
  • Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja has the Sorcerer, an ancient evil entity who lives under the high school. Whenever someone is experiencing emotional distress, he 'stanks' the victim, who then turns into a giant monster. To stop said created monster, you have to destroy their favorite possession at the time.
  • The Real Ghostbusters: In "The Grundel", the titular monster is an Allegorical Character representing parents' fears of their children falling under Toxic Friend Influence and going bad. He spends the episode turning a somewhat difficult boy called Alec into a thieving, cat-kicking menace.
  • Rick and Morty: Jerry openly sees his father-in-law Rick Sanchez as a corrupting influence on not only his children but also Beth. Morty ends up doing horrible things in his adventures with Rick, including several acts of murder which have traumatized him emotionally and psychically, and Rick's constant humiliation and undermining of him makes Morty and even Summer into darker people. Likewise, Evil Morty more or less implies that he was the product of Rick's abuse and treatment.
  • South Park: Eric Cartman is exceptionally adept at pulling along otherwise decent, if not pottymouthed kids into his horrible schemes. Butters is his most frequent victim.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: As Ludo's wand, Toffee of Septarsis advises Ludo on the course of action he should take. This makes Ludo susceptible to Toffee's manipulations but also more unhinged and ruthless than he was before.
  • Darkseid from Superman: The Animated Series has elements of this, though he has bigger plans than just turning Superman to his side. He doesn't actually succeed in corrupting him except when he has the Man of Steel under direct mind control. When Lois breaks him out of it, Superman is very much still a hero and fighting mad at what Darkseid did to him. However, Superman's fury at the incident (as well as Darkseid being a monster in other ways) makes the guy one of the very few people Supes doesn't have any qualms about letting be killed...or even killing himself.
  • Slade from Teen Titans (2003) wants Robin and Terra as apprentices to make them as sadistic and merciless as he is. He has relatively little effect on Robin, only managing to make him slightly unhinged in opposition and temporarily force Robin to do his bidding by taking his friends hostage. Terra, who is much more emotionally vulnerable, he turns into a full-blown supervillain.
  • Mumm-Ra in ThunderCats (2011) shows some signs of this. He manages to use Grune's ambition and paranoia to make him betray the Cats, and he uses the Lizards' hatred of the Cats to recruit them into his army. And in the finale it's revealed Mumm-Ra used a dying Pumyra's hatred of Lion-O for supposedly abandoning her to make her work for him as The Mole.
  • Nerissa from W.I.T.C.H. has elements of this, though she's unusual in that she's a Well-Intentioned Extremist — it's just that she's also a big-time control freak and finds people's moral flaws to be an easily-exploitable weakness she can use to control them.
  • Xiaolin Showdown:
    • Chase Young spends almost the entire second season working to corrupt Omi and convince him to join the forces of evil.
    • Third season introduces Hannibal Roy Bean, the one who successfully corrupted Chase.
    • Wuya successfully turned Raimundo against his friends by offering him power and respect after he felt snubbed by Master Fung near the end of the first season. Hannibal tried to corrupt Raimundo again but failed miserably.
  • Yogi's Gang: Each Villain of the Week wants to make people have the character flaw they're named after.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): The Corruptor


Up Jumped the Devil

The 1946 Andy Panda cartoon "Apple Andy" features a rendition of the Ginny Simms song "Up Jumped The Devil in A White Nightgown", sung by an anthropomorphic apple as Andy is paying the price for letting his bad conscience convince him to steal and eat several under ripe apples.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / WarningSong

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