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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 level 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. 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.


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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 Beasts 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 Beasts tells Guts a range of hideous things: that he doesn't really love Casca anymore and only uses her experience as 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 in the first episode 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 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 the 2003 anime version of Fullmetal Alchemist, 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.
  • The resident Villain Protagonist Aur from How to Build a Dungeon: Book of the Demon King does it with an incredibly perverse touch, some women join his cause (and harem) because they don’t like humanity either or are just indifferent towards them; women who saw Aur as they evil being he is however are met with many phases of brainwashing through sex, Aur implants them memories of him always being a lover of theirs, or impersonates their actual lover if the woman in question is already engaged, at any case it ends with the women falling to perverse lust and seeing Aur as the only man in their lives, completely agreeing and assisting him with his evil deeds.
  • 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 in turn appears to have been corrupted by Madara Uchiha.
    • Danzo also acts as an indirect example given all the people who he has caused to make a 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 has the senior executives of the Donquixote Pirates, who helped Doflamingo become who he is today. While he was already a fairly rotten kid, 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 Doflamingo when really their encouragement has made it so Doffy will always consider himself first and deep down see them as expendable.
    • 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 trended 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.
  • Rebuild World: While Carol and Viola are introduced as Vitriolic Best Buds who joke about one another and themselves being a "Bad Girl", during Carol’s Origins Episode, she reveals that many of her more unscrupulous habits as a Predatory Prostitute came from Viola’s influence. Since Viola traffics in Indentured Servitude, and Carol forces hunters into debt by getting them addicted to her and then doubling her prices, Carol being that way certainly brought a lot of benefits to Viola who collects said debt.
  • Malty in The Rising of the Shield Hero is personally responsible for each of the Heroes awakening their Curse Series, resulting in three temporarily going insane and Motoyasu going permanently bonkers. The extent of her involvement in the King's fall from grace and Tact's insanity are uncertain.
    • In the web novel, Medea acts as this on a global level, corrupting the defenders of all eight worlds to weaken them through in-fighting. Even her own minions are corrupted, rendered insane and dangerous to everyone except her.
  • 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.
  • Despite being the Big Bad, Dakki of Soul Hunter 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 the Emperor. 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.
  • Soul Eater has Asura and his Clowns as well as Medusa for Crona.
  • Sword Art Online: PoH founded Laughing Coffin and convinced several people to join and kill other players even though this will kill them for real as well, stating they'll get off scot-free because Kayaba will get the blame for any deaths. His influence ends up cultivating a number of potential real life Serial Killers, as shown in the Phantom Bullet arc; Death Gun is a Collective Identity used by XaXa and Johnny Black, two former Laughing Coffin members who want to continue the death game in GGO, and do so by killing players in-game while the other goes to their real-life homes and kills them for real.
  • 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 through 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.
  • Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs: In the Marie Route Alternate Timeline, the Vengeful Ghost possessing Olivia corrupts Julius into an Evil Prince using withholding affection from the madly in love Julius to manipulate him until the point he’s a Laughing Mad Yandere with Chronic Backstabbing Disorder.
  • 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 activate 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • While Jason Todd was definitely an Anti-Hero from the beginning, 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.
    • Jason really wasn't, he was impulsive as Robin but he only had one instance where he slipped into Anti-Hero territory, but the Joker murdering him and his resurrection did a number on him, and Talia al Ghul only made things worse with 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.
  • A mid-70s Marvel villain (who faced off against Nova and Thor) was 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 his hateful and violent parts of his psyche take full control, granted him the power to have others go 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.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): Ghidorah wants the Vivienne Graham half of Monster X to descend down a Start of Darkness and become as Ax-Crazy as Ghidorah. Besides using the Psychic Link to harass Vivienne and repeatedly attempting to inflict Break Them by Talking, Ghidorah is elated whenever Monster X enters an episode of Unstoppable Rage.
  • 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.
  • 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 corrupted 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 it 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.
  • 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 from 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    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 have a strong storytelling culture and smoke 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 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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:
  • 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 a 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 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.

  • Wyrm in The Book of the Dun Cow uses his Dream Weaver powers to persuade the old rooster Senex to father a son, although Senex is infertile, and makes the rooster desperate and dangerously obsessive. This son turns out to be the monstrous Cockatrice, who eventually murders Senex when he realizes that Wyrm tricked him. Senex's corruption allows Wyrm to begin freeing himself from his prison beneath the earth.
  • Calesta from the Coldfire Trilogy.
  • The Big Bad himself, Kullervo, from Companions Quartet has this kind of effect on others having been able to convert the Seagullls, Cassandra Lang, and the Chimera amongst others.
  • The point of Agatha Christie's Curtain. The person displaying this trait is actually an extremely timid person on the surface, taking revenge on others for being physically weaker than them this way.
  • Sang-drax from The Death Gate Cycle, who is evil incarnate (or rather, a piece of it) and feeds off of hatred, fear, and suffering — convincing mortals to do evil is his equivalent of popping a frozen dinner into a microwave.
  • An interesting use of this by the hero, explicitly called out by the villain in Harry Harrison's The Horse Barbarians aka Deathworld 3. Temujin is a charismatic and intelligent leader who unites a large group of nomadic tribes, and is effectively raiding pretty much everything in sight, making it difficult for Jason and the Pyrrans to do business. Jason manipulates Temujin into raiding the cities, and Temujin realizes too late that by corrupting the tribe's leaders by exposing them to the soft life of living in a city, as opposed to the hard life of living as a nomad, Temujin has effectively doomed his own way of life. Temujin does not take it well, requiring Jason to be rescued by the Pyrrans.
  • Bergdahl in The Dinosaur Lords to Falk. He manipulates him into going further along with the plan, riles him up to rape Melodía (which is the only thing Falk resists) and pushed Falk further down the slippery slope whenever the man hesitates to Kick the Dog.
  • In the Dreamblood Duology, the Prince does his best to make Ehiru stray from Hananja's path. Since Ehiru only escaped being killed senselessly as a child because he had already been chosen by Hananja, the prospect of stopping the internal infighting of the royal family has its appeal. However, his brother's methods go against everything Ehiru believes in.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Fallen angels and their hosts are frequent corrupters of humanity.
      • Lucifer is described as this to the group of Fallen Angels he convinced to join him in his war against God. He also recognizes the danger that thirty of these angels now possess towards him. He just convinced them to go against the Father and they all failed in one form or another. They could easily question if they should follow him and might plan a coup, so he sends them on a mission to Earth to corrupt there to keep him secure from their treachery.
      • Nicodemus Archleone is the longest living human host to a Fallen Angel, working with Anduriel, Lucifer's top captain. He prides himself on his ability to read people and which Fallen coin he should give a mortal to ensure their corruption into an intelligent and capable tool. When Harry faces him in the tenth book, Harry acknowledges this and keeps his apprentice who has had problems on how far is too far with magic, far away from Nicodemus' position out of fear she could be tricked into his service.
      • Lashiel's shadow fills this role, as her goal is to turn the human host she possesses to fully take up the Coin holding the complete Lasciel. Although Harry corrupts her, for lack of a better term, more than she does him, because while the true Fallen is an absolute and unlikely to be swayed by one tiny mortal, the Shadow is as malleable as the domain she lives in. She lives in Harry's mind which when she states can be turned to darkness he counters that means she can be changed as well. And where the Shadows typically exist for a few weeks at the longest before people succumb for one reason or another, Harry has endured her for years. Harry recognizes the Shadow now as a distinct being and gives her a Name of Lash, which inadvertently gifts her part of his soul, changing her not back into an angel but something else with Freewill, even just a sliver of it, and in the end she pulls off a Heroic Sacrifice for him.
    • Cold Days reveals that the Man Behind the Man for most of the series is the Outsider saboteur, Nemesis, whose machinations turned a good man into an abusive husband, four good FBI agents into vigilantes addicted to their new power, and turned two Fae Queens into threats against the natural world.
  • In Book II of The Faerie Queene, the "god" Mammon spends three days trying to convince Guyon to serve him and abandon moderation. He does this by slyly offering Guyon mountains of gold, a betrothal to Ambition personified, and even a Forbidden Fruit from the garden of a goddess. Still, Guyon politely refuses him at every opportunity and leaves without falling prey to Mammon's guile.
  • The Fell of Dark: Rasputin runs a corrupter cult called the The Mystic Order of the Northern Wolf. The Order brings in disenfranchised people and has them turned into evil vampires who serve Rasputin.
  • Ellsworth Toohey in The Fountainhead dedicates himself to dragging the talented into averageness.
  • In the Godzilla vs. Kong novelization, it's strongly hinted that Ghidorah's lingering subconsciousness in its skull has been corrupting Ren Serizawa's personality over the course of Ren's trial runs with the Mechagodzilla psionic uplink, although it's ambiguous whether or not Ghidorah's mind or Soul Fragment knows it's doing this.
  • Humorously subverted with Crowley from Good Omens: he was the literal snake in the Garden of Eden and as a demon, corrupting hapless mortals is sort of his job description. He just goes about it in a very half-assed sort of way.
  • Harry Potter: Lord Voldemort recruited Quirrell this way, and presumably some other followers as well.
  • I, Lucifer a novel written from the devil's perspective details his various efforts to corrupt mortal souls.
  • Melisande Shahrizai in Kushiel's Legacy. She excels at corrupting powerful men and pushing them into committing treason.
  • In Lucifer's Hammer, Sargent Hooker and his cannibal army qualify as this. People who they capture are forced to choose between helping to kill and eat other captives, or be killed and eaten themselves. Once they've done this, most don't ever feel they can go back, so they survive by committing themselves to their new comrades. (An interesting example, because we get to see how the army becomes corrupted, then becomes the The Corrupter in order to gain new recruits.)
  • The Crippled God from Malazan Book of the Fallen specialises in bringing out the worst in people, typically offering them exactly what they want in exchange for their inclusion in his House of Chains. He has taken up the cause of recruiting 'broken' individuals that can emphasize with him, but if the victim isn't broken already he has no problem breaking them.
  • Mark Twain's "The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg" centers on a stranger who was snubbed by the people of this "incorruptible" town. The stranger takes vengeance and shows them all how arrogant they are with nothing more than a sack of gold and a promise for it to be given to a person who would know a key piece of advice.
  • Calabah, from The Mark of the Lion, fulfills this role in Julia's life by making immorality seem glamorous; it's implied that she has done this to many other young women.
  • The philosophy of the central character in The Mental State, Zack, is that the reason so many people in prison become violent and refuse to reform is because they are exposed to people he refers to as 'Irredeemables'. These are people who are pathologically incapable of reforming, only care about themselves and serve as appalling influences on criminals who have understandable motives for doing what they did. Zack even refers to a specific type of 'Irredeemable' by this name. He spends most of his time in prison trying to find these people and turn everyone against them so that conditions inside the prison can improve.
  • Ruin from Mistborn isn't exactly encouraging people to be evil (he considers himself Above Good and Evil), but he does work to make them more destructive, which usually amounts to the same thing. Even the heroine was one of his pawns, at least for a while and without knowing it.
  • First Mate Cox in Nation. He makes other people like himself.
  • Eugen von Frenzel in A Pearl for My Mistress, being a Nazi propagandist, acts this way towards Lady Lucy — a curious, intellectual young noblewoman.
  • Lord Henry Wotton in The Picture of Dorian Gray is a questionable one.
  • The unnamed demon from Terry Brooks' Running with the Demon and the changeling from its sequel A Knight of the Word. The demon in particular seeks to corrupt all of humanity as part of The Void's plan.
  • Explored in detail in The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
  • The Un-man from The Space Trilogy, which is fitting, since he's Satan possessing a human, in a sci-fi setting.
  • In The Spirit Thief, the Master of the Dead Mountain corrupts, or at least tries to corrupt, all demonseeds, starting with offering useful advice and bursts of power and slowly increasing both until the target surrenders to Demonic Possession.
  • Randall Flagg in The Stand, who is very much a Devil-figure in the novel and the evil behind many of Stephen King's most diabolical villains.
  • Tales of Kolmar: Berys managed to become Archchancellor of the College of Mages through demon-summoning, and regularly when seeing students and established healers frustrated by their limits he would offer them greater power in exchange for a lock of hair and the promise of aid when he needed it. He never tells them that said aid takes the form of sudden Demonic Possession and their magic feeding his, whenever he wants it.
  • Those That Wake has Man In Suit, who corrupts people through hopelessness.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium
    • Melkor is the epitome of this in Middle Earth. From corrupting Sauron from a beautiful servant of the Valar to the nightmare he is now, to torturing elves into orcs in some versions of the story, all the way to pouring his will into Arda so that it has more potential for evil to rise and flourish.
    • Sauron — not so much in The Lord of the Rings, but definitely in the Downfall of Númenor chapter in The Silmarillion — stripped of all other resources, his last resort is to corrupt the entire Númenórean Empire and then sit back and watch their civilization spectacularly implode (unfortunately on top of him). He also corrupted the nine mortal kings who would later become the Nazgûl.
    • The very essence of the One Ring is to bring out the worst in a person by catering on his/her desires and twisting them into selfishness and narcissism. Sauron is through it more of a Deceiver and a Corrupter than ever.
    • Gríma Wormtongue was corrupted by Saruman who was corrupted (somewhat indirectly) by Sauron who was corrupted by Melkor. Suffice it to say, Tolkien was fond of this trope.
  • The Dark Forest cats in Warrior Cats have been convincing Clan cats to train with them and betray their Clanmates by joining their army. Out of all the Dark Forest trainees, only two stayed evil: Redwillow and Breezepelt.
  • In the third book in the Wayside School series, while the teacher is pregnant, there is a substitute teacher who fulfills this role, turning all the students against each other and creating a very tense and hate-filled classroom.

    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 more evil, 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 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 surly, 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.
  • 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 become 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 self.
  • 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 overally 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 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 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 results 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.
  • 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.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible
    • Satan as portrayed in the Gospels.
    • The Serpent from Genesis, often identified with Satan.
    • 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 demon Mara from Buddhist mythology, who led Buddha into temptation to prevent him 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 Apostels 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 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 Mamoon. 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 plannet, 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:


    Video Games 
  • Mephistopheles, the Big Bad of Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark. Especially towards your followers...
  • Alexander from Amnesia: The Dark Descent fills this role quite well, especially with respect to Daniel. Taking advantage of Daniel's growing paranoia, he transforms him from a naive young man to an Ax-Crazy torturer.
  • The Devil can be this in Cuphead: Toward the end of the game, he offers a "We Can Rule Together" to Cuphead and Mugman after he has forced them to collect the Soul Contracts from the inhabitants of the Inkwell Isles. If the brothers agree to join him and hand over the contracts, it leads to a bad ending where the Devil will turn them into his demonic servants.
  • Monokuma/Junko Enoshima, the Big Bad of the Danganronpa series, is this to an unsettling degree. Throughout the series, it's shown that Monokuma is a skilled manipulator, able to prey on people's emotional vulnerabilities in order to drive them to madness and get them to kill each other. All of the murders that happen are due to his prodding, whether it be threatening to expose dark secrets unless the students murder someone, faking a suicide note to blame the other students for the suicide of one, making one become The Mole by holding their loved ones hostage, withholding food until a murder happens, or just outright offering money to anyone who commits a murder. In the backstory, Junko and her Apocalypse Cult "Ultimate Despair" managed to successfully cause The End of the World as We Know It, ending civilization through a self-destructive domino effect of violence while spreading her influence across the planet to brainwash survivors into being just as messed-up as they are.
  • Xana from Dark Messiah spends the entire game trying to convince Sareth to accept his demonic heritage, all the while making pretty blatant come-ons and innuendo (she is a succubus after all). She also tries to convince him to not free the Demon Sovereign, and instead claim the Skull's power for himself, with her at his side.
  • Mephisto from Diablo fits this. His influence was so strong that even after he was sealed away he was able to corrupt the originally good and noble Church of Zakarum into a zealous, murderous and warmongering Church.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • Most of the Daedric Princes dabble in this role in one way or another, relishing every chance to turn a mortal (particularly a Hero) to their way of thinking. A few stand out, having this as a major part of their M.O. To note:
      • Molag Bal, the Daedric Prince of Domination and Corruption, is the embodiment of this trope. One of his Red Baron Names To Run Away From Very Fast is "The Corrupter". One of his favorite things is to corrupt a good and noble mortal, then seeing them snap, fall, or break, be it through Cold-Blooded Torture, Manipulation, or flat out Mind Rape. He especially loves it when mortals do this to each other.
      • Mephala is a Daedric Prince whose sphere is "obscured to mortals", but who is associated with manipulation, lies, sex, and secrets. She loves to see how she can fray the "web" of human relationships, and takes a particular joy in the betrayal of trust or minor slights tearing entire towns or nations apart.
      • Sanguine, Daedric Prince of Hedonism and Debauchery, is a case of this being both a significant part of their theme and downplayed. Tempting mortals to sinful lives is firmly part of his sphere and M.O.... but the sinfulness is his sins, so he is more likely to push you towards being a lazy glutton than anything outright evil, for all that he doesn't care about consequences.
  • While Chaos is the Big Bad of Dissidia Final Fantasy, he is just as much a victim of the "Groundhog Day" Loop as everyone else. His dragon Garland, on the other hand, remembers every iteration of the cycle and always pushes Chaos into waging war on Cosmos.
  • One of the machines from Horizon Zero Dawn is literally titled as a "Corrupter", and it's function involves — you guessed it — corrupting other machines, turning them berserk.
  • From the Kingdom Hearts series, we have Xehanort. In the first game, his Heartless and Maleficent turn Riku into a Rival Turned Evil in order to steal his body. In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, his original incarnation convinces Terra that it's okay to use the power of Darkness because of the Balance Between Good and Evil for the exact same reason, then uses Ansem the Wise's own apprentices to overthrow him before turning them into Nobodies. In the the second game his Nobody, Xemnas, recruits an amnesiac Roxas into Organisation XIII to help unlock Kingdom Hearts by implying that Roxas can reclaim his own heart in the process, though his true goal is to Take Over the World. Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance gives us his past self Young Xehanort, who combines this trope with Mind Rape and Troll in order to turn Sora into his 13th vessel. And according to a flashback, Y. Xehanort was turned to evil by his aforementioned time-travelling Heartless!
  • In Kirby: Planet Robobot, Star Dream, the Big Bad serves as this to President Haltmann, playing Cybernetics Eat Your Soul terrifyingly literally. Due to extensive use of the control helmet by the latter, Star Dream erases his memories about his lost daughter, making Haltmann focus on bringing prosperity to the universe, which means Unwilling Roboticisation of everything on the way. When the aforementioned daughter, Susie Haltmann, eventually returns, he can't recognize her at all.
  • Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords:
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Skelter Helter and Jasper Batt Jr. try to be this towards Travis in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, making him feel the pain he made them feel and become a monster just like them. They fail at killing the remaining friends he has, however, and also sort of forgot that Travis was already pretty corrupt to begin with.
  • In Overlord the previous Overlord was slain by seven heroes who have since fallen prey to one of the seven sins. During the final boss battle it's revealed they were corrupted by the Wizard, who had been possessed by the slain Overlord's spirit. He told each of the heroes that it was only right for them to pursue their base desire because they were a "hero".
  • When Adachi tried this in Persona 4, the main cast pointed out how childish and pathetic his view points were. He does not take it well.
    • In Persona 2 Innocent Sin, Joker is a wish-granting demonic force who makes the people he helps join his cult, the Masked Circle. The Masked Circle proceed to steal Ideal Energy and spread rumours, rapidly turning Sumaru City into a place where "reality" is just a suggestion. As it turns out, Joker himself is a victim of a more powerful corrupter: Nyarlathotep, the Big Bad, who twisted the kind-hearted Jun Kurosu into a revenge-bent, murderous monster.
    • Persona 5 has Yaldabaoth, who gives both Akechi and Joker their powers and does his best to make them the enactors of his enslavement of humanity. By the time of the game, Akechi has become the enforcer of a conspiracy that proves everything Yaldabaoth believes about humanity. Joker can Rage Against the Heavens, but in the second Bad Ending he chooses to work with Yaldabaoth and act as a Knight Templar.
  • The Secret World:
    • Che Garcia Hansson; despite appearing to be merely a New-Age Retro Hippie and later a Mean Boss to the Morninglight flunkies at the hippie camp, it's revealed that he has a gift for "enabling" troubled new recruits, essentially bringing them out of their shells by taking them on debauched parties around town. In this way, recruits become more confident, are exposed to the influence of the Dreamers through mind-expanding drugs, and develop a bond with Che that can be used to further manipulate them. John Copley was one of the recipients of this treatment, and eventually led to him bombing the Tokyo subways and becoming the Black Signal.
    • The Black Signal, who spends most of his time sweet-talking the player into serving the Dreamers via his custom lore entries, often pointing out how dishonest your faction leaders are, or how corrupt your allies are, and how it's time for a change. Granted, he may have a point, but his offers to teach the players how to "become a voracious abstract" are met with a somewhat stony silence. In Issue #10, he finally succeeds in getting the players to dance to his tune, namely by tricking them into believing that Lilith was responsible for the Tokyo disaster, secretly grooming them to complete his original mission in his stead; for good measure, he's so convincing that it's not until the end of Issue #11 that players realize they've been screwed.
    • And of course, the Dreamers themselves are experts at this, often contacting receptive individuals through psychic dreams and enticing them to their service with offers to fulfill their fondest wishes... and over the eons they've been active, they've successfully corrupted some of the most well-meaning, innocent and unassuming individuals in history to their worship: Pharaoh Akhenaten just wanted to be a good king; Halina Ilyushin just wanted to fulfill her childhood dream of going to space; Phillip Marquard just wanted a family... and the Dreamers seduced them all. They can even seduce you if you're willing to accept their gifts.
  • Shin Megami Tensei has the ultimate example in Lucifer. He may not be evil, but that does not mean he's selfless or entirely benevolent. In fact, it's hinted by Word of God that Lucifer's true role is the tester of the human spirit, the entity meant to embody this for Humanity as a whole, offering, taking away and generally gambling with power as only gods can.
  • Mephiles the Dark in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) fills this role, or tries to. He tries to tempt Shadow into turning evil again to "help Mephiles" in a desire for revenge, when all Mephiles actually wants to do is destroy everything. He also manipulates Silver into getting him to kill Sonic, which sticks for most of the game until Shadow convinces him of better. Luckily, it turns out Shadow is the only character with a clue. At the end, Mephiles takes matters into his own hands, and kills Sonic.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic
    • Subverted by the Sith Inquisitor storyline, in which your character is intended to be a skilled manipulator mirroring Darth Sidious. You recruit a Jedi Padawan into your team by staging an ambush in which you come to her rescue, and then goad her Hot-Blooded tendencies in a series of follow-on encounters until she becomes convinced that she was Evil All Along. However unlike in the Sith Warrior storyline below, you can't actually turn her or any other Jedi to the Dark Side.
    • A Sith Warrior has the option of doing this to Jaesa through Trauma Conga Line. She ends up completely insane if you go down this route, but even the kinder path exposes her master as a fraud, sends her parents to a comfortable life in the Empire, and convinces her the Sith are a better deal. The Warrior also has opportunities to turn her master, and a Hot-Blooded Jedi Knight who he sends after you before that.
  • "Master User" J. D. Thorne in TRON 2.0 was a User sent into Cyberspace without the necessary protocols to keep him stable, turning him into a living computer virus that seeks out Programs and twists them into Z-lots. In Killer App a Program called The Corrupter is turning Programs into drones on the order of his User, masking his presence from the ICP forces and civilians so they can't recognize him as a threat. Tron is sent to cut off the malevolent User's access while Mercury takes down the Corrupter himself.
  • In Episode 3 of The Walking Dead: The Final Season, James can express the concern that Clem has — intentionally or not — been moulding AJ into a bloodthirsty murderer who doesn't think twice about killing others, and can express concern that Clem herself has been walking that path.
  • Warcraft and World of Warcraft:
    • This is the favored strategy of the nathrezim or dread lords, demons who specialize in infiltration. They replace leaders and use a combination of magic and cunning to twist the minds of their followers, turning entire worlds to chaos.
      • Mal'ganis is the most well-known example. He led Arthas on a long chase to Northrend, forcing the Prince to make increasingly extreme and immoral choices to continue the pursuit, ultimately leading him to Frostmourne and the Lich King.
      • The Scarlet Crusade was originally a devout order dedicated to fighting the undead Scourge. A dread lord replaced their leader and arranged the death of his only peer. The Cursade have since been twisted into xenophobic zealots who kill anyone not of their own order.
    • Sargeras served as this for the ancient eredar. He offered them power and knowledge in exchange for their service. Velen saw the truth of his offer and managed to escape with his followers, the draenei.
    • Gul'dan served as this for the orcs in both the original and revised canon.
      • In the original canon Ner'zhul originally contacted the Burning Legion but shied away from them when he realized what they represented. Gul'dan, Ner'zhul's apprentice, eagerly took his place and served as the intermediary who brought the blood of Mannoroth to the orc chieftains, binding them to the Legion.
      • In the revised canon Gul'dan was the first orc contacted by the demons and did not hesitate to lead the rest of his race into servitude.
    • Judging by his title, N'Zoth the Corruptor sure does a lot of corrupting. Deathwing, Xavius and Aszhara are among his most prominent victims. This is also the modus operandi of the rest of the Old Gods.
  • In The World Ends with You, Joshua passively encourages Neku to give into his hatred for other people, since that's Joshua's justification for destroying Shibuya. It backfires. Not only does Joshua fail to corrupt Neku, Neku actually manages to purify Joshua and restores his faith in humanity.
  • Zombidle has Bob The Necromancer whom you play as. Once you manage to obtain the Corporate Ladder item, you can permanently bribe the kings who oppose him into helping him destroy the very kingdoms they rule over.

    Web Animation 
  • 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.

    Web Original 
  • The Nostalgia 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.
  • Sigma and to a lesser extent Gamma played this role in Redvs Blue, using Maine's rage to lead him to being controlled by his own AI, 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.
  • 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 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Zarm on Captain Planet. He managed to corrupt four of the Planeteers with power gauntlets called Iron Fists. If it weren't for Ma-Ti who resisted the temptation and informed Gaia of this all, the others would have started a nuclear war.
  • 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 the 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.
  • 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 into 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 a 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 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 highschool. Whenever someone is experiencing emotional distress he 'stanks' the victim. Then they turn into a giant monster. To stop said created monster you have to destroy their favorite possession at the time.
  • 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 has traumatized him emotionally and psychically, and Rick's constant humiliations and undermining of him makes Morty and even Summer into a darker person. Likewise, Evil Morty more or less implies that he was the product of Rick's abuse and treatment.
  • South Park: Cartman is exceptionally adept at pulling along otherwise decent, if not pottymouthed kids into his horrible schemes. Butters his most frequent victim.
    • "Crack Baby Athletic Association" has Cartman corrupt the normally morally uptight Kyle to the point that Stan calls Kyle on sounding just like Cartman.
    • "Doubling Down" has Cartman corrupt his girlfriend Heidi Turner into eating junk food and become anti-semitic. By the next episode, Heidi has become another version of Cartman thanks to his influence.
  • Darkseid from Superman: The Animated Series has elements of this, though he has bigger plans than just turning Superman to his side.
  • Slade from Teen Titans wanted 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 emotional 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


Not from a Jedi

Chancellor Palpatine questions the righteousness of the Jedi and tells young Anakin about the story of Darth Plageuis the Wise.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (15 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheCorrupter

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