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Token Evil Teammate

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One of these things is not like the others...
Castor: Let's be honest, Arudin, you're more evil than most of the villains we face.
Khagoth: Meaner too.
Arudin: I am not evil! I am just... colorfully pragmatic!
Dungeon Crawl Inc

Just because the main characters are fighting to oust the Big Bad doesn't mean they're heroes... at least, not all of them.

In a team composed of good members, there will often be one Token Evil Teammate. Narratively, this character can serve as a distinct and amoral foil to his more strait-laced colleagues. If the Heroes start putting Honor Before Reason, the Token Evil will often remind them that sometimes unpleasant methods are needed to save the world. They also provide Your Approval Fills Me with Shame for when the heroes are getting too pragmatic and forget their morals.

These characters are often Played for Laughs as the Heroic Comedic Sociopath. A lot of the humor they provide is of the Crosses the Line Twice variety, doing obscenely wrong things because it's shocking and unexpected, as well as a form of escapism. On the other side of the fence, a very serious character that fills this role might see it as Dirty Business, and do what they have to on behalf of The Team.

Despite the name, the Token Evil Teammate has a lot of leeway as to his Character Alignment. There are many kinds of (the meaner) Anti-Heroes, Anti-Villains and yes, outright villains who can fill this role. Regardless of character type, the mainstays of this role are usually: snarkiness, jerkiness, violence, and a tendency to become the Butt-Monkey for their behavior. It should also be mentioned that "treachery" was not on that list. The thing with the Token Evil Teammate is that evil does not mean incapable of friendship. While they are usually out for themselves first, they will often have reasons to stay loyal to their team as a whole, or at least individual members.

Sometimes they'll (very) begrudgingly admit that they like their teammates, or at least find them less intolerable than they say, and frequently they find their association either lucrative, entertaining, or even enjoyable. If it's pointed out by somebody that they're not as bad as they make themselves out to be though, they'll generally tell them to shut up, or to take it back. For extra points, this can be done in either a very cold, aloof or very rude and loud way.

If they do betray their teammates, expect The Captain to tighten the Morality Chain or Restraining Bolt and use various threats like Death Glares to bring them back in line. Why don't they kill him or at least kick him out? Because sometimes you just need the firepower, and they can "do more good than malice" (or at least less harm) on the good guys' side than dead or cut loose. Kind of like controlling a brush fire to good ends.

Some variations include:

  • They are a Psycho Sidekick who has a mutual friendship, or family relationship, with one of the heroes which survives despite their evil orientation. But don't expect them to be helpful for anybody else. Sometimes, the friendship is established during the show, at which point the purely money-hungry evil teammate will "tip his hand" and save his friend rather than get the idol.
  • The Psycho Supporter is the Well-Intentioned Extremist of the party, willing to do anything for their buddy's ideals.
  • They were recruited because they have skills, cunning, and general attitude that the heroes know will be useful, even if they hate having them around.
  • On rare occasions, Who Watches the Watchmen? In a setting where a Balance Between Good and Evil matters, or just any setting with Grey-and-Gray Morality, having somebody on your team with some shaky morality can help keep things in perspective. See Your Approval Fills Me with Shame, and Even Evil Has Standards.
  • They have an ulterior motive for joining the heroes, and the heroes' plans will further their own agenda. This may be as simple as a group of rebels fleeing the Evil Empire being joined by a guy who is trying to escape a punishment that he actually deserved. It depends on the heroes' luck if this guy doesn't turn out to be a Wild Card.
    • They're Only in It for the Money, or the opportunity to loot, pillage, and plunder, and Good Pays Better. Bribes and financially based threats keep them in line.
    • They're just in it For the Evulz. The hero is on an exciting, heroic quest that will save the world, but it also involves a lot of killing mooks, and they've got nothing better to do right now. They want to cause chaos and rain down carnage, and this is the best way to sate their bloodlust. Alternatively they are a type of Blood Knight or Psycho for Hire and recruiting them allows the heroes to turn their violence towards the heroes' enemies rather than innocents.
  • They have a grudge against the Big Bad, they may want to put a stop to them because Even Evil Has Standards, or The Starscream is simply using the heroes as a way to topple the existing Big Bad. Either way, they want the Big Bad to be taken out, and helping the good guys is the best way to ensure that happens.
  • They are former villains whose code of honor keeps them on the heroes' side for one reason or another, but does not extend to any other traditionally "good" behaviors.
  • The evil member is a captured former enemy the heroes consider too dangerous to be left unsupervised, but too useful or important to be killed so they add them to the team (often with insurance) to keep an eye on them.

Compare Enemy Mine, for when the alliance with the evil/antagonistic character is less permanent. When you've got an evil person using a traditionally heroic role to cover up his behind-the-scenes evil, you have an Evil Hero on your hands. Contrast Big Bad Friend for where the teammate's evil nature is a shock revelation. For the inverse, see Token Good Teammate. Usually, but not always, a Nominal Hero. If the heroes actually like having them around, they may be Affably Evil. Otherwise, they often qualify as The Friend Nobody Likes. May be the subject of Speaking Up for Another.


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    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: Crovax, in the short time between becoming a vampire and undergoing a Face–Heel Turn.
    • Deconstructed later on in the story arc, in which Urza takes a team of the multiverse's most powerful planeswalkers to Phyrexia to perform a raid on the plane in his efforts to destroy Yawgmoth...including the Evil Sorceror Tevesh Szat, who had posed issues to Dominaria in the past. As it turns out, he ends up turning on his comrades and slaughtering a few of them. And Urza was fully expecting this to happen - he hired Szat just because he had hoped he would betray the team so that he'd have an excuse to siphon out the souls of Tevesh Szat and his victims and use them as bombs. Really, by this point the only thing keeping Urza anywhere close to the side of good was the fact that he was doing this in order to kill someone a hundred times worse than he was.
    • As of the Eldritch Moon storyline, Liliana Vess is now this to The Gatewatch, with mixed reactions. Gideon distrusts her, Nissa vocally dislikes her, Jace (who was the one who vouched for her to join) is cautious of her. Chandra seems to get along with her well enough, but actively tries to hold her back from killing people, while Liliana in turn tries to convince her to be darker. Like when she tries to convince Chandra to murder the man who killed her parents.
      • Interestingly, this reflects the interaction of the five colors of mana, each of which is used by a member of the Gatewatch. Black mana (Liliana) is enemies with White (Gideon) and Green (Nissa), but allies with Blue (Jace) and Red (Chandra).

    Comic Strips 
  • Hsu and Chan: Though Hsu and Chan aren't exactly the most moral duo, Gila Mobster fits this role perfectly in their misadventures, using methods which the title brothers insist that he keep to himself. He's also carrying out several odd jobs for local mafias and corporations, which actually leads to him trying to murder Hsu in Brand Loyalty.

    Films — Animation 
  • While The Bad Guys (2022) are mostly ok with trying out a Heel–Face Turn (even if they initially believe it's all an act), Mr. Snake never really buys into it and would rather stay a bad guy, with only his friendship with Mr. Wolf keeping him in the group. This makes his fake betrayal more believable.
  • Mittens from Bolt is an example only in the titular dog's mind, but she gleefully plays up the role to discomfort him.
  • Xibalba, of the three main Gods in The Book of Life. He won't hesitate to indirectly ruin the lives of innocent mortals if it somehow benefits him. He changes by the end.
  • Diego the Saber-tooth from the Ice Age franchise, which is not surprising given that he's the only predator amongst the heroes, and an apex one, no less. However, his ruthlessness is mostly an Informed Attribute, and he doesn't live up to his species' fearsome reputation as much.
  • In The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, Plankton, being a superhero, is fighting alongside the protagonists in the climax. After they beat Burgerbeard, he has the chance to take the formula for himself. He does consider it, but ultimately gives it back to Krabs. Granted once SpongeBob returns the group home, he back to his usual villainy but by this point, it's just routine.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Dirty Dozen:
    • Archer Maggott is a bigoted, psychotic, woman-hating, murdering rapist, and Major Reisman knows it. But given that Maggott is also a trained G.I., and the operation needs all the help it can get, Reisman retains his services. Maggott doesn't mind volunteering for the mission once he realizes it could save him from the hangman. Ultimately he goes completely insane, attempts to kill his teammates, and almost sabotages the entire operation, but for a while at least he was a warm body with a machine gun.
    • Victor Franko is a member of the Mafia (and a convicted murderer), has no respect for authority, and makes several attempts to escape and/or undermine Reisman's authority. He got better, though.
  • In The Gamers: Dorkness Rising:
    Sorceress: I am not evil! I'm Chaotic Neutral!
    Everyone: (deadpan) You are evil
    Paladin:...and a whore.
  • The Indiana Jones series features two Evil Teammates.
  • In The Lost World: Jurassic Park, although Peter Ludlow is the film's Big Bad, none of his crew are really villains... except Dieter Stark.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Loki being a Trickster God is most certainly this becomes this for Thor and his friends in Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok. Especially in the latter film where he’s nigh-constantly trying to double cross his brother and the other good guys (leading to one glorious moment where Thor effortlessly foils his betrayal). Averted in the ending of Ragnarok where Loki finally resolves his issues with Thor and they have a touching moment.
    • The Guardians of the Galaxy are an Anti-Hero Team, but Rocket stands out as the most bloodthirsty and amoral. He gets better though. Nebula is this in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Avengers: Infinity War still being ruthless and cold but is on the heroes’ team. Like Rocket she gets better.
    • In Spider-Man: No Way Home Green Goblin is this among the Rogues Gallery while most of them of are bad (excluding Sandman), Goblin is the only one of the villains that does cross the line and the only one that kills another person Aunt May in the universe. Though it’s important to note this only applies to the Goblin side of Norman’s personality as without that darker half he does seems to be a genuinely decent and tragic man.
  • Mercenaries: Three of the women are in jail for charges relating to them wreaking vengeance on men who spread pain in the world. Raven just likes getting paid to kill people.
  • Kano in Mortal Kombat (2021) while he does join the heroes and kills Reptile for them, he’s still an utter bastard who creeps on and insults Sonya constantly and just when it seems like he’s gonna pull a Heel–Face Turn joins the villain team.
  • Zed McGlunk in the Police Academy franchise; a criminal-turned-cop. He was the main villain of the second movie, yet he becomes a police officer in all later installments, and remains kind of crazy and violent.
  • In Predators the whole cast is a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits with even the nicest Isabelle and Nikolai both being seasoned killers but the two most clearly evil and depraved are Stans and Edwin given unlike the rest of the group who kill for either the military or money, Stans and Edwin by contrast being serial murderers kill and hurt simply out of sadistic pleasure. Shockingly Stans despite being an implied rapist somehow manages to be marginally better than Edwin as he at the very least bravely helps out the team to the point of sacrificing his life to save them from the Super Predator and doesn’t harm Isabelle whereas Edwin is a Dirty Coward and Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who does attack Isabelle and tries to torture her before Royce delivers him a Karmic Death.
  • Rakka. Deconstructed with Nosh, a Pyromaniac and Mad Bomber. He's glad the Alien Invasion happened because now he can burn or blow up whatever he wants, whenever he wants. He's good at scavenging electronic junk and using it to build brain-blockers to fend off the aliens' Mind Control, but the Resistance regard him as Necessarily Evil who would be locked up in any sane world. Part of this evil is providing him with The Bait to set bigger booby traps; people who are too sick to fight so can be expended in suicide attacks.
  • "Ogre" in the Revenge of the Nerds franchise. Starts as a bully like all the other Jocks, but then eventually defects and join the Tri-Lambdas (the Nerds), yet he's still rude, tough and by far the most menacing of the Nerds.
  • David from Shaun of the Dead is the most unpleasant of the main gang, being cocky and trying to upstage Shaun. He is a borderline bastard boyfriend to Dianne, who he only dates to get closer to Liz. Things get worse from there as he has a Lack of Empathy response to Shaun's mother getting killed and almost shoots Shaun in a fit of rage. Appropriately, he receives the least pitiful death in the entire film.
  • Hannibal Lecter acts this way to both Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs and Will Graham.
  • In Sodom and Gomorrah, Melchior is established immediately as the most slimy and selfish of the Hebrews when he goads Ishmael into helping himself to water from the sacks that their leader, Lot, has set aside for the exclusive use of the sick. Later in the film, he acts as a double agent on behalf of Astaroth and the Elamites, and proceeds to sabotage the Hebrews' defences when the Elamites attack. Karma quickly strikes when he falls into a pool of burning oil created by his sabotage.
  • Universal Horror: Dracula fills this role among the Universal movie monsters. While all of the monsters are technically villains, most of them are shown as more animalistic than actually malevolent, or else have some kind of sympathetic motivation. Dracula is the only one who's just pure evil with no redeeming qualities.
  • Ajax in The Warriors fits this role in so many ways. He was recruited for his brute strength and fighting ability, he's a lecher and potential rapist, he threatens to become the Evil Chancellor, and he's unexpectedly good-hearted toward weaker members of the gang.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • In X-Men, Sabretooth's one the few pure evil members of the Brotherhood unlike the others who are simply Well Intentioned Extremists.
    • In X-Men: First Class, Erik is part of Charles' team primarily because he has a personal grudge against Shaw, and views the youngsters' mutant powers as useful tools to topple the Big Bad. At the end Erik tells his foe that he agrees entirely with Shaw's ideas, with only the personal matter standing in the way.

  • In the Cthulhu Mythos, most of the Outer Gods are either ambivalent or disinterested in humanity, or dormant in eternal slumber, and with what could best be described as Blue-and-Orange Morality. Nyarlathotep is the one that is neither, being a Black Sheep who is not only active and has human-like morality, but loves to screw around in mankind's affairs and drive people insane because it's funny to him.
  • The Discworld novel Unseen Academicals introduces Dr. Hix, the Unseen University Professor of Necromanc — no, I'm sorry, Post-Mortem Communications. By university statute he is required to commit acts of moderate evil on a regular basis, which makes him the Faculty's designated Deadpan Snarker. The position of Official Dark Wizard exists in order to have someone who can deal with unofficial dark wizards. With fireballs.
    • Hix was first introduced in Making Money, but as he wasn't yet on the University Council, his acceptable level of rule-breaking was much lower and he still spelled his name "Hicks."
  • Raistlin Majere from Dragonlance Chronicles. Although he quit the party some time around his Face–Heel Turn.
  • Nomax from Dragons: Lexicon Triumvirate, always seems to be the one who wants to kill things, and it's not a big surprise when he turns out to betray the rest of them.
  • In The Dresden Files, the gangster Johnny Marcone is this. Although he runs a criminal empire, and has no qualms about killing most people in cold blood, he is practical, cunning and often works with Harry, in one case saving his life. Given that he Wouldn't Hurt a Child, and keeps his word, Harry has a hard time seeing him as a monster. And we see in Ghost Story that he goes much further by funding an organization devoted to defending Chicago.
    • Lea. Especially in Changes. Turning everyone into hounds, ambushing fellow teammates, reminiscing fondly over past human sacrifices, all while greedily eyeing the Swords, she plays the role to perfection.
    • Harry himself frequently angsts that HE is the token evil teammate while working with the Knights of the Cross... not entirely without justification. For instance, consider his unapologetic beatdown of Quintus Cassius with a baseball bat in Death Masks after Cassius gave up his Coin. This tendency towards self-doubt goes up to 11 after he takes up the mantle of Winter Knight.
  • In the Druid of Shannara, Pe Ell plays this to Quickening's group, specifically inducted into the group because he was evil enough to bring about Quickening's necessary death.
  • By Freedom, Loki/Gragg realises that he has become this, since the Darknet community has largely evolved beyond its early disaffected-and-misfits days to encompass many normal people and has little need of sociopathic hatchetmen like himself.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Peter Pettigrew, a member of the original Order of the Phoenix, ended up betraying his friends so he could save himself by joining the Death Eaters. And he was sorted to Gryffindor, a House known for its heroic and brave qualities. As far as we can tell, he is the only known Gryffindor shown to be genuinely evil.
    • Although he's not evil, Mundungus Fletcher is a criminal and a con artist. He was disliked by the other members of the Order of the Phoenix because he was considered untrustworthy. He did eventually end up stealing from a member of the Order, and unwittingly giving a horcrux over to Dolores Umbridge. He also abandoned Mad-Eye Moody during battle, possibly causing the latter's death.
    • Severus Snape is a Double Reverse Quadruple Agent whose real loyalties turn out to be with the Order. But this is mainly for his personal goal of avenging The Lost Lenore — he doesn't care much about anyone else, as evidenced by his general bitterness and cruelty. This also makes him a Nominal Hero.
  • The Healing Wars has Vyand, a Bounty Hunter who sides with La Résistance mostly because they're paying her, though she's also curious as to what happens next and has developed a crush on the King Incognito. She sticks around for the Final Battle and proves an excellent ally.
  • In the tenth Haruhi Suzumiya novel, Kimidori revives Ax-Crazy Ryoko Asakura because "Your potential usefulness was marginally greater than the threat you present."
  • Project A75:
    • While Jack Lane isn't a bad person, he is by far the shadiest of the four main heroes, and it's later revealed that he had been deceiving them and knew that Adam was going to die but let it happen anyway.
    • While the group of villains are all evil, out of them, Ryan Rhodes is the only one without any positive traits and actively enjoys doing as much harm as he can.
  • 'Maximum Ride: Angel, despite being the youngest of the Flock, is also the most morally ambiguous; she's willing to use her powers to get her way (whether keeping her family from getting arrested or forcing a woman to buy her a toy bear), and her ping-ponging of morality rivals that of the resident Manipulative Bastard.
  • In the first N.E.R.D.S. book, Jackson Jones sort of counts, considering he was against the nerds before getting his braces, and being the only on a team of nerds to have been popular at one point.
  • Mogget the white cat/albino dwarf from Garth Nix's Old Kingdom Trilogy, actually a powerful Free Magic elemental that attempts to kill the nearest Abhorsen whenever he is freed from his binding. He frequently travels with and helps the protagonists in his bound form (though sometimes, especially during the last book, his motives and loyalties seem questionable). Still, he does come through for the good guys in the end when he lends much-needed assistance to bind Orannis, because he just loves the living world too much.
  • In Prophecy Approved Companion the chapter introducing Definitely Bad Guy (helpfully re-named such by the player character) is labelled Token Evil Teammate. Given his experiments, and some of the references to what the others found in his tower, he's aptly named.
  • The Reynard Cycle: Tybalt, who is a Jerkass at best. Reynard's continued association with him in book three is a pretty big red flag that all is not well.
  • In River of Teeth, Adelia Reyes seems like the stock Emotionless Girl who is hired to overlook the operation, but not only is she the only one on the team to actually be a known murderer (among various levels of outlaws and criminals) and a contract killer, she is also being paid by Travers to kill the other team members.
  • In The Rook, discounting the explicit traitors, vampire Bishop Alrich is this to the rest of the Court; other characters half-seriously observe that they may ask him to eat people they find annoying, and there is an unspoken agreement that Alrich will never rise beyond his current rank of Bishop despite having been in the Court for over a century.
  • In The Saxon Stories, King Alfred's nobles include one Uhtred, known as "Uhtred the Wicked". He's a savage brute, a Pagan who despises Christianity and loves their Viking enemies, and hugely arrogant. He several times murders unarmed priests (and boasts about it), beats and disowns his own son for being a Christian, professes to hate Alfred himself (although in time he comes to respect him), and likes to spend his spare time raiding, pillaging, and killing anyone who annoys him. He's only tolerated because he's a terrifyingly skilled warrior and brilliant general. Oh yes, and he's the hero of the series.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Robb Stark has one in the form of the cruel and ruthless Roose Bolton, who's more than willing to use monsters like the Brave Companions and allows his soldiers to Rape, Pillage, and Burn freely. He even goes as far as to turn against Robb purely out of opportunism at the Red Wedding, with his forces joining the massacre of his former allies and him personally killing his former king.
    • The Lannisters had a bit of this (from the Starks' perspective, at least), since they killed Mad King Aerys and (most of) his children and family, directly or indirectly. Ned admits that it had to happen, but still views them with suspicion. Tywin remarks that he invoked this deliberately; the family took so long to pick a side that they had to leave no doubt as to whether they had truly abandoned the old regime. The situation is... a bit more complicated than that, but the Lannisters are not exactly nice. And not exactly teammates anymore either.
  • Lokor in Star Trek: Klingon Empire. Of all the Klingons who consistently follow Klag's authority and have yet to pull a Face–Heel Turn, Lokor is the one guy who has the fewest scruples in screwing people over to get them to toe the line and not buck the system, and most of his methods are disturbing in their effectiveness. On the other hand, he's also unbelievably useful and indispensable to the point that Klag trusts him implicitly.
  • The aptly-named Cat Evil of The Traitor Son Cycle. While some members of the Red Company are crass and unpleasant to be around, he's an outright misogynist, and at one point threatens to rape Blanche before Wilful Murder and Cully show up to make sure he doesn't do anything irreversible.
  • Worm:
    • The Undersiders are Villain Protagonists, but for the most part are Noble Demons. Then there's Regent, a sociopathic Deadpan Snarker who's a multiple-murderer, former rapist, and entirely incapable of remorse except in the most abstract sense.
    • For the Wards, this would be Shadow Stalker. For one thing, she's Sophia Hess, one of the bullies who made Taylor's life at school hell. On top of that, she's only on the team because her early career as a vigilante was violent, and it was this or jail. Even then, she's all too willing to use lethal ammo in the field, and her internal monologue in one chapter indicates that she's still happy to take out criminals who won't be missed if she's sure the forensics won't be traced back to her.
  • In The Year of Rogue Dragons, Brimstone become one for the heroic party when they're forced into an alliance with him.

  • Murdoc Niccals of Gorillaz certainly qualifies as this, especially in the earlier Phases, during which he makes a Deal with the Devil for fame and fortune (which to the surprise of absolutely no one, he tries to get out of as soon as it seems like he'll have to pay up), is consistently verbally and physically abusive towards the band's singer 2-D (and during the events of Phase 3, even going as far as kidnapping him when he can't get any of the members to join him for a new album after Noodle's death, and constantly uses his celebrity status in order to indulge as many of his hedonistic tendencies as possible. Oh, and he's The Antichrist. Understandably, even after he mellows out in the later Phases, none of the other band members trust him or even particularly like him anymore, and though he's supposedly "turned over a new leaf" it doesn't do anything to keep him from doing things like injecting 2-D with a syringe full of truth serum while on a motorcycle ride, for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible:
    • King David's nephew, Zeruiah's son Joab, acts this way. Though ostensibly commander of David's army, Joab was doing evil things like disobeying David to kill David's son Absalom (who'd just staged a failed coup) and his intended replacement Amasa. Unlike many examples of the type, he does get killed for it once he outlives his usefulness (and supports a rival of the legitimate heir to the throne).
    • In some interpretations, Judas followed Jesus more out of personal ambition than true belief, and he sold Jesus out when things weren't quite going like he expected. Judas is of the Wild Card brand.
    • In the Book of Job Satan himself is part of God's Court and can speak with Him as any other angel.
  • Loki seems to fill this role for the Norse Gods sometimes. Not that the rest of them are really paragons of virtue. In a lot of cases they were asking for it, really.
  • While the Olympian gods might be good or evil depending on the story, Ares, the god of war, arguably qualifies. He embodies the bloodiest aspects of warfare and enjoys killing just for the sake of it, and as a result, he's not well liked by the other gods.
  • Arthurian Legend:
    • Sir Kay appears to embody this along with The Friend Nobody Likes as all the other knights of the round table are constantly presented and described as the archetypal Knight in Shining Armor. Sir Kay is instead known for his acid tongue and bullying, boorish behaviour, oftentimes being dehorsed in a joust by other better knights in their stories. This is actually something that came about in later literature as in earlier accounts he was one of King Arthur's premier warriors, and Arthur trusts Kay enough to make him seneschal of Camelot's castle.
    • There are other Knights that more directly fit into this category. One is Sir Agravain, who was said to have a one-sided rivalry with his younger brother, at times trying to get him killed, and a vicious jealousy of Sir Lancelot.
    • Another is Sir Mordred who was actually the main contributor to the end of the Golden Age of King Arthur's Reign, the one that led a coup while the King was away and brought about the final battle that fatally wounded King Arthur and saw every knight of the round table killed.

  • Fallout Is Dragons:
    • Doctor Fractured Tibia, more commonly called Tibbs. He'll often threaten other characters, including his so called allies, with painful death or torture, and has gone through with his threats on several occasions.
    • Famine, one of the leaders of the Four Horses raider gang. Which, given that the Four Horses were introduced as antagonists, is really saying something.
  • The Jade Regent Campaign from RPGMP3 features a character called Skygni, who's a magically Awakened frost-breathing Winter Wolf. He swore a Blood Oath (under duress) to not eat people. Well, at least not the ones travelling with the heroes' caravan, anyway.
  • Solvin from The Fallen Gods is lawful evil, the most willing member of the party to deal with problems underhandedly, the most bloodthirsty, and the most willing to steal things. If that didn't make things obvious, he's hurt by everything having to do with Mishakal. She's the goddess of healing, restoration, and general goodness, and clearly does not like him.
  • Interstitial: Actual Play has Larxene join the party near the end of the first season. Though they're not so much evil as "mean, but in an endearing way".

    Pro Wrestling 
  • CHIKARA King of Trios 2010, Night I, April 23, 2010 was supposed to have featured a match between Team Mexico (Skayde/Turbo/El Valiente) and Die Bruderschaft des Kreuzes (Claudio Castagnoli, Ares and Tursas. Team Mexico didn't appear due to El Valiente getting double booked and wrestling on the CMLL show instead. Skayde apparently tried to hold up CHIKARA for more money, leading to the company cutting all ties with him. Names were drawn out of a hat for a replacement team. The first names were Well Dunn, but, sadly, Steven Dunn had passed away a year earlier. Then they drew Strike Force, who were not there. Then they drew CHIKARA regulars The Osirian Portal (Amasis and Ophidian), who were there and came out to the cheers of the crowd. Then Sara Del Rey's name was drawn, meaning the Portal was teamed with a BDK member against three BDK members. During the match, Sara broke up the Ophidian Death Grip on Claudio by kicking Ophidian low. She couldn't be DQ'd because it was her own partner. The BDK won, with Ophidian taking Ragnarok for the pin.
  • Among the tecnicos regularly fighting said BDK group in Chikara was Eddie Kingston, who was really still a rudo, but one who prioritized taking down BDK over anything else, meaning he wasn't paired with other rudos during this time and had no designs on betraying the tecnicos.
  • After Donovan Dijak joined the The House Of Truth's Ring of Honor branch, it slowly underwent a collective Heel–Face Turn to the point every HOT member in ROH, including Truth Martini himself, was a face, except for Taeler Hendrix, who abandoned her original mission in favor of stunting Mandy Leon's career, something even the appointed enforcer Joey Daddiego stopped getting involved with.

  • Even though Nights has happily tortured people in the past, Krauzer still takes this title in AJCO — he's a jerk to everyone, including his allies, and has revealed that he murdered the man who raised him and taught him all he knows because he felt he was "getting in the way". Also killed his own parents aged four, but even he doesn't know that.
  • In We Are Our Avatars, The Merchant counts as one for the Group but he didn't really cause a major amount of trouble, regardless of his alignment. Caim is the other Token Evil Teammate, being a Heroic Comedic Sociopath that often gets called out for his violent approach to... well, anything.
  • Is a given for 'Murdergame' roleplays such as Airlocked or We Could Be, as there's always someone who decides to play a villan that, typically, comes out of the game at the very least siding with the more heroic characters out of necessity.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Of the Icons of 13th Age, the Crusader is the only major genuinely evil NPC to be considered a full part of the sort of heroic Dragon Empire, because even though he's listed as "the fist of the Dark Gods" in multiple places, he's at least kind of loyal to the Emperor and spends most of his time fighting demons rather than anyone else. To a lesser extent, the Three may qualify, because while they're malevolent chromatic dragons, they're still technically part of the Empire due to a past scheme of the Blue. Of the other evil Icons, the Lich King, the Diabolist, and the Orc Lord are much closer to being part of the problem than the solution.
  • In the original Dungeons & Dragons adventure The Keep on the Borderlands, there are opportunities for NPCs to join the party, and some of them are of evil alignment.
    • In the same vein, The Temple of Elemental Evil (or at least Troika's computer adaptation) features many joinables, the majority of them are evil aligned (a few good joinables and several neutrals exist though).
    • In the original AD&D, the Assassin is the most likely candidate for this role, as the class in question requires an evil alignment.
    • Bhaal, god of murder in the Forgotten Realms, manages to be this, even though his teammates are also evil. Bhaal, Myrkul and Bane took over various divine domains from the old god of death, Jergal. Bane is god of tyranny, which, while traditionally evil, does have positive connotations, like authority and order. Myrkul is god of the dead, a usually Lawful Neutral or True Neutral domain, Myrkul was just being a dick about it. Bhaal, however, is the god of murder. His domain has no positive aspects, and he himself is an unrepentant killer and bully. Some sources even indicate that the domain Bhaal took was actually death, as in the moment of going from living to dead, he just reinterpreted it as specifically murder because that's what he was interested in.
    • Black Robe Wizards will typically fill this role in a Dragonlance game; the Black Robes are liberally defined as "The Evil Wizard" subfaction of the Towers of High Sorcery, being associated with the most malevolent schools of magic (Necromancy and Enchantment) and serving as the priesthood of Nuitari, the Black Moon God and patron deity of evil magic. However, the Black Robes are defined by embracing magic in pursuit of ambition and power, so whilst they are often evil, it's usually the kind of evil that can form a stable cooperation with a party of adventurers over a shared goal. Even if that goal is only "find valuable treasures and get stronger".
    • In the Nentir Vale setting, the Evil gods as a whole are tolerated amongst the divine community because they only survived the apocalyptic Dawn War against the Primordials through forming a united front — in contrast, the Chaotic Evil deities stand apart because they are too unreliable. In particular, Bane, God of War and Tyranny, has a very strong representation of Unaligned or sometimes even Lawful Good followers, since a deity of martial prowess, discipline and strong authority governs aspects that are quite appealing in an Adventure-Friendly World. It's actually quite common for otherwise benevolent local faiths to incorporate Bane into their personalized pantheons by focusing on his more admirable, pro-civilization qualities. Vecna, the malevolent god of secrets and necromancy, also has a large cult of Unaligned worshippers who revere him as a kind of protector deity, seeking to suppress the darkest and most obscene knowledge for the good of the world... which, in a world where Angels, Devils and Squid is a major cosmic conflict, is a pretty heroic thing to do.
    • In Ravenloft games, playing a Token Evil Teammate is a little harder since outright evil acts can lead to one being destroyed by the game's Karma Meter system, but certain backgrounds do lend themselves towards a more inherently antagonistic or nonheroic character. These include playing a Mulan (a member of an extremely racist ethnicity of evil aristocrats and Sorcerous Overlords) or playing a member of the Tepest Inquisition (which are Ravenloft's analogue to the witch-hunters of the Salem Witch Trials).
  • Among the sample characters given in GURPS 4th Edition, Baron Janos Telkozep seems to be one. He's a vampire who's backstory is that he's working for the good guys for purely selfish reasons, and close inspection of his character sheet suggests he's not a Friendly Neighborhood Vampire but rather a murderous, greedy bastard. Oh, and he's named after a god with two faces.
  • In Hunter: The Vigil, this is the Hat of the Ashwood Abbey Compact. Originating as a Hellfire Clubnote , they only got worse when they found out that monsters exist. Most other Compacts and Conspiracies hunt out of some semblance of honor, nobility or righteousness. The Ashwood Abbey hunts monsters because its fun, especially since, by the logic that "human laws only protect humans", there's no limit beyond their imagination to what they can do to the monsters they hunt. The sourcebooks openly describe the Abbey as some of the Vigil's most sadistic and depraved hunters, frequently engaging in drugging, raping, torturing and cannibalizing their victims.
  • The Dark from Interstitial: Our Hearts Intertwined is all about being cruel and manipulating others, but since it's a playbook, any player could take up that role.
  • Legend of the Five Rings: The Scorpion Clan is this to the entire Emerald Empire. They lie, they cheat, they steal, they murder and they blackmail. All in the name of Loyalty and Duty. This is their job, to be the Underhand and do the dirty but necessary things that the other Clans will not.
  • The One Ring: Downplayed, since adventurers aren't allowed to be evil, but Dunlendings have some shady abilities and come from a people that sides with Sauron in The Lord of the Rings. In particular, one of their cultural Virtues lets them use social Skills with creatures of the Shadow, who can otherwise only be cowed or fought.
  • Pathfinder: Seltyiel, the Lawful Evil half-elven Eldritch Knight / magus, who's canonically the paladin's pet project.
  • In Sentinels of the Multiverse, a few of the hero variants - specifically Visionary's Dark variant (representing her being possessed by the spirit of an evil version of herself from another universe), the Argent Adept's Dark Conductor variant (where he's falling under the influence of an Artifact of Doom), and Luminary's base variant (because that's just Baron Blade making common cause with the heroes) - represent characters who are actively harmful and dangerous, but are handled as heroes because they're still technically on the side of justice.
  • The Space Marines of Warhammer 40,000 have two worthy nominations: the murderously psychotic Flesh Tearers and the hyper-arrogant and haughty Marines Malevolent. They're loyal to the Imperium of Man, but several of their actions are so brutal and immoral that you wonder sometimes why they haven't been declared Excommunicate Traitoris by the Inquisition.
    • Speak of the devil. The Inquisition fill in this role for the Imperium as a faction. No-one in the Imperium is squeaky-clean apart from maybe some of the more rational and casualty-conscious Imperial Guard and PDF regiments, but if you have an Imperium character who opposes the protagonists or becomes too extreme even for them, chances are very, very, very high that it will be an Inquisitor.
    • In the 5E Imperial Guard codex, every special character is either A Father to His Men or a Sergeant Rock. And then there's Commander Kubrick Chenkov, who's only real "tactic" could be summed up as We Have Reserves. His past atrocities include ordering his men to march into minefields to clear them for the tanks, sending them in hand-to-hand combat against the enemy to tie them up and then wipe them both out with artillery, and executing a million of his own men to build a bridge with their bodies. And if you show a hint of hesitation, he'll see it as cowardice and shoot you. Not only does he continue to survive despite leading from the front, but he is also repeatedly showered in commendations and rewards for his brutal tactics because they bring results.
    • Prior to the Horus Heresy, the Night Lords (sadistic experts in terror tactics) and to a lesser extent the Iron Warriors (mercilessly pragmatic siege experts with no concern for allied casualties) and World Eaters (crazed berserkers) played this role for the nascent Imperium. Then came the Heresy, and all three are now enemies of the Imperium for all time.
    • While Chaos warbands are all evil, they also do as much damage to each other as they do to the enemy. Sometimes because they serve opposing gods, and thus considered... not so much "evil" as "wrong kind of evil" (the War God hates the Sense Freak, the god of Chronic Backstabbing Disorder hates the god of disease and decay, and each despises the other two), and other times because the gods are empowered by rage, desire, hope (yes) and despair respectively, and nowhere does it say the victims are necessarily enemies (although in Khorne's case, presenting the skulls of the weak and defenseless as mighty trophies is a good way to get turned into a Chaos Spawn).
  • Warhammer: Age of Sigmar: The Grand Alliance of Order are the de facto heroes of the setting, fighting against the forces of Death, Destruction, and Chaos. Despite the franchise's reputation for Black-and-Grey Morality, they actually manage to be genuine heroes. Most of the time. However, every faction in the Alliance is made up of various sub-factions, who range from The Paragon of that faction's ideals, to representing it's worst aspects:
    • The Sylvaneth: The Dreadwood Glade take the Blue-and-Orange Morality of the Sylvaneth to new heights, despising all other races, and would happily wage war against men, duardin, and aelves as eagerly as they do daemons and orruks, if Allarielle wasn't keeping them on a very, very tight leash.
    • The Fyrselayers: While all Fyrselayer lodges are, by necessity, mercenary armies, most have some degree of ethics in who they'll fight for or against. They Greyfyrd Lodge, however, have absolutely no compunctions about taking contacts from anyone, and against anyone, even if it means working for Chaos Lords, something that would be unthinkable to most duardin.
    • The Idoneth Deepkin are a race of Reluctant Monsters: a flaw in their souls forces them to steal souls from other sapient species to give to their children, but they don't enjoy it, and a few Enclaves have actively sworn themselves to Sigmar, trying to balance their curse with good deeds. Less so the Idoneth of Fuethán, a Hot-Blooded and militaristic Enclave who actively hate surface-dwellers, and are deeply distrusted by other Enclaves.
    • The Kharadron Overlords are mercantile and greedy, but operate under strict codes of conduct, and most would prefer, on average, to strike a deal rather than start a fight. Those of Barak-Mhornar, the city of shadow, however, are functionally sky-pirates, who choose violence at the first oppurtunity.
    • The Daughter of Khaine are the only faction that seems to be on the whole this trope to the Alliance of Order: a cult of assassins dedicated to the god of murder, and led by a woman everyone knows to be the most untrustworthy person in the Mortal Realms, they're nonetheless dedicated to the fight against Chaos, and some of their numbers are genuinely good — as much as an assassin can be, anyway.
    • The Stormcast Eternals are an interesting case; they are by definition recruited from the bravest, most noble heroes of humanity, but a flaw in their design cases them to become less and less human each time they die and are ressurected, becoming vicious, oppressive Knight Templars after enough time has passed. There's no one Stormcast Chamber that's inherently more pre-disposed to this than others, though some have undergone enough attrition for it to become the majority.
  • In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, this is the Hat of the Red Talons tribe, whose intense Fantastic Racism makes them all determined to essentially slaughter humanity back to "manageable levels" (if not exterminate them entirely) and/or to wipe out humanity's technology. At least, this is their Hat in theory; in practice, many Storytellers and players consider them a tribe of Designated Heroes and so they are the tribe most frequently banned from being a player option, as their fluff is typically used as an excuse to be highly disruptive to the party.

  • Repugnus in The Transformers G1 was this according to his bio. While devoted to the Autobot cause, he didn't bother trying to uphold the moral values part. He thought things like assassination and sabotage were great. Sometimes he was kicked off the team for going too far, but sooner or later he'd be back on it because like it or not, they needed someone willing to carry out the dirty assignments. This characterization was never actually shown in any media. The closest was his appearance in The Transformers: Maximum Dinobots, where he agreed to help Grimlock in exchange for money and had no loyalty to the Autobot cause at all.

    Web Animation 
  • Eddsworld's Tom and Tord are usually this as well as being the most harmful of the cast.
  • The Most Popular Girls in School:
    • Out of the three Cheer Squad members, Mackenzie has the least amount of redeeming qualities and is the one most likely to turn on her friends if the opportunity is worthwhile. While Brittnay will at least hold back her rage to the people she genuinely cares about, Mackenzie will be more blinded by her goals and be more unconcerned about how her actions negatively affect others, regardless of who they are and how close they are to her.
    • Out of the three Van Buren sisters, Cameron has the least amount of redeeming qualities and is the one most likely to turn on Shay and Mikayla if the opportunity is worthwhile. In season one she gladly joined her sisters in planning revenge on the Cheerleaders for calling Shay "A fucking liar," while in season five she not only eagerly accepts Mackenzie's invitation into the American teen modeling team but joins in mocking Shay for assuming they asked her.
  • Many of the characters from Red vs. Blue can occupy this role depending on their current motivation. Sometimes Church; most often, Tex. After season 2, when the teams are frequently allied against a greater threat, Sarge views the Blues as a collective Evil Teammate, though he's probably closer to this.
  • RWBY: Harriet Bree of the Ace Operatives is obsessed with competition and will regard even allies as a challenge she must compete against. Her teamate Vine Zeki admonishes her for this behaviour when they're first properly introduced to Team RWBY; her only interest in the heroes is to see what they're capable of. Team RWBY and Ace-Ops end up fighting when Ironwood orders Team RWBY's arrest and the heroes resist. Harriet tells Ruby that she had Team RWBY pegged from the start and proceeds to try and defeat her violently, even attempting to strangle her with her legs. In the middle of the fight, she and Marrow argue about it: she admonishes Marrow for holding back against Weiss while he criticizes her for behaving excessively towards Ruby, whom she's only supposed to arrest. It reaches the point that, when Winter and the other Ace-Ops turn on Ironwood upon discovering his intent to bomb Mantle, Harriet doesn't and goes so far as to try to carry out his plan herself. She only ends up being stopped by Qrow, Robyn and her other teammates after making her have a Heel Realization and the bomb is activated anyway by Arthur Watts before Vine sacrifices himself to save the others as Harriet cries out before his death.
  • Kirby from Sonic for Hire, who is a whole lot eviler in this series than he normally is. He doesn't mind swallowing or hitting innocent creatures or servants with umbrellas.

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 
  • Gavin Free used to be considered this for Achievement Hunter, often trolling the others regularly in an effort to make videos more entertaining. Since then, however, Ryan Haywood (aka "Mad King Ryan") had surpassed him (and in fact got kicked out due to actual sexual misconduct), regularly making sadistic challenges for the others, imprisoning animals for petty reasons and constantly betraying the others For the Evulz. All of the Achievement Hunter group will slip into being a troll because It Amused Me, meaning this role alternates.
  • Typically, whenever Lewis Brindley, Simon Lane and Duncan Jones play Minecraft together, it's a fair bet that Lewis and Duncan will both work fairly efficiently on their various projects, with the odd moment of trolling or silliness in between. Simon, however, will remorselessly set things on fire, kill the others for relatively petty reasons (such as Duncan talking about a golf course that wasn't practical to finish), use TNT to "solve" a problem more often than not, steal things from others and insult them. He's fairly bad in Trouble in Terrorist Town as well, in which he tends to RDM note  while innocent and do his fellow traitors in with suicide bombs when a traitor. Ironically, he's the complete opposite in Yoglabs.
  • Critical Role:
    • Grog from campaign one leans hard on his chaotic neutral alignment. He relishes violence and fighting, and is perfectly comfortable torturing enemies, though between his Hidden Heart of Gold and his low intelligence modifier, he usually falls more into the Heroic Comedic Sociopath role,
    • Campaign 2 has Essek when he joins the party in Aeor as an 11th-Hour Ranger. His initial lack of remorse for his role in igniting the war between the Empire and the Dynasty left the Mighty Nein very hesitant to trust him again. Doubly so from a meta perspective, since the Explorer's Guide to Wildemount lists his official alignment as Neutral Evil.
  • Discussed in Counter Monkey, in which Spoony actively discourages letting a player make an evil character in a party of good guys since not only because the player simply just want to actively fuck with the party, there is no reason that a group of heroes would trust said character, especially if there's a Paladin or Cleric (who can cast Detect Evil) within the group. He does however offer some possible ways to make the character work (a Lawful Evil character or one who hates the current villain more than he does the party).
  • Tyce from Deagle Nation is this to the rest of Deagle Nation. Not only has he started a "civil war" within the group twice now, but he's also a neo-nazi and has stated plenty of times that he's wanted to start a race war to "free the skeletons" among other goals.
  • Many guests in Escape the Night have been assigned roles that imply this trope, such as 'The Mobster', 'The Outlaw' and 'The Troublemaker'. Season two has Destorm play this role straight, as he's not only a massive Jerkass to everyone, he also betrays them the first chance he gets (and keeps doing so). The team only works with him out of necessity, as people need to die in order for the others to escape, so killing him wouldn't be very pragmatic.
  • While the whole main cast of Flander's Company is made of Villain Protagonists, it's revealed in Season 2 that their Token Good Teammate possesses a Superpowered Evil Side.
  • Hat Films has Smiffy (Alex Smith), although "evil" might be an exaggeration. While (at least when playing Minecraft) the Sirs are mostly immoral and ended up being the biggest threat to the rest of the Yogscast server before it was deactivated, they have some limits. Smiffy, on the other hand, regularly sets things on fire, does cruel things for his own amusement, tries to weaponise anything that the trio makes (up to and including making nukes), trolls others on the public server and kills tamed animals for petty reasons.
  • Jreg's videos depict multiple alliances among ideologies as having these:
    • Among the extremists, Nazi is depicted as being the most blatantly evil and having the least valid points. Most of what he suggests that comes off as more positive is either a smokescreen for something else or him agreeing with another extremist who said it first.
    • Anti-Radical is the most violent and bloodthirsty of the centrists, even threatening his own teammates for taking action he considers "too extreme".
    • In Ancapistan, most of the magnates have at least some genuine redeeming qualities... and then there's Hoppean, a creepy white supremacist who boasts about his territory not having any black people and openly talks about having anyone he considers degenerate "forcibly removed into the ocean".
    • The Anarchists get two:
      • Anarcho-Fascist is an unhinged maniac whose end-goal would involve ethnic cleansing on a massive scale and who hates the government at least partially because it stops him from committing violent hate crimes.
      • While Insurrectionary Anarchist lacks Anarcho-Fascist's prejudices, he also lacks his vision of a better world for his people. Instead, he wants to cause destruction and carnage for its own sake.
  • In Noob Gaea is not exactly this for most of the story despite her Manipulative Bastard status. Omega Zell is quite prone do underhanded behaviour himself and Arthéon's behaviour has several time implied that he could throw his benevolent Guild Master personality out the window if it meant getting back some of the status he lost in the backstory. They were also all equally guilty of considering that the Sparadrap was the sole reason of their lack of progress despite their respective flaws playing a big part in it also. She however definitely became the token evil of the team after Arthéon and Omega Zell left the guild and all the other remaining members were much more on the good side.
  • Outside Xbox:
    • This is Jane Douglas's persona in the team as the token Mad Scientist. Played for Laughs.
    • In the Dungeons & Dragons videos, The Oxventure, Jane's character Prudence the Tiefling Warlock stands out as the only adventurer who is actually evil, being a warlock that openly serves Cthulhu and favours killing any resistance first and foremost. Fittingly enough, Jane plays Prudence as an exaggeration of her onscreen persona.
    • In the Oxventure spin-off for Blades in the Dark, the role is shared between Kasimir Jones (played by Johnny Chiodini) and Barnaby "the Butcher" Fortescue III (played by Mike Channell). On the one hand, Kasimir is a career criminal and has the fewest moral qualms with committing crimes that actively harm someone else. On the other hand, Barnaby became a criminal by choice unlike the rest of the gang, including Kasimir who is implied to have become one to survive, and is actively antagonistic and largely selfish to anyone in the gang or outside it.
  • In Trapped in the Bird Cage while Saturn and Nejma both have their psychological and ethical problems Will is substantially more amoral than either of them, never mind Reader. However around episode 8 after Reader saves her life she does show, briefly, a Hidden Heart of Gold.
  • Unwanted Houseguest has had periodic Crossover episodes with Doctor Wolfula in which the Houseguest seeks help from Doc. Saying Wolfula is the more evil of the two is putting it mildly.
  • In the Yogscast series Cornerstone, the participants such as Duncan, Hannah Rutherford, Sjin, Kim Richards and Rythian are largely capable of cooperation, although most factions have built a secret base or two and arguments tend to crop up. This is not the case with Hat Films, who generally antagonise the other seven players, stole a lot of gold all to build a "Mile High Club" base, steal jetpacks, found a cult to a golden hand and try murdering the others when their own secret base is ravaged. This applies to a lesser extent with Strippin, who essentially acts as their muscle.


Video Example(s):


Dr. Nefarious

Dr. Nefarious is the only full-n villain among Ratchet, Clank and Qwark's group (group being a former hero-turned-villain-back to-hero).

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / TokenEvilTeammate

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