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We Can Rule Together

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A father and son ruling an empire of pure evil together doesn't resolve as many of their psychological issues as one might think.

"Come! Take thy rightful place at my side! Do so, and I will grant unto thee dominion over half this world!"

Say you're a villain and your Evil Plan is being ruined by this pesky hero who just will not let you scheme in peace. You've sent Mooks, you've berated your underlings for their failure, maybe you've even tried shooting him/her. No dice, the hero keeps coming. You can't beat them!

Well, if you can't beat them, don't join them — offer to let them join you. That's right: you can become the partner in crime/trusted advisor/ruler of Australia if you will just drop this silly crusade against the Evil Overlord and get with the program. Go on, those oppressed peasants you're fighting for won't mind — they'll understand that you can't let an opportunity like this slide. The offer is usually made by someone who needs to Pick on Someone Your Own Size with a Circling Monologue.

When this offer is made, it's usually a sign that either the hero or the villain is going to die very soon. If not, it's the hero's final rejection of the villain's vision, and marks the point where things get serious...


Because the hero rarely follows up on the offer. From the human perspective, it's a pretty foolish move anyway. How could any villain ever be serious about hiring someone who's been thwarting their evil schemes every step of the way, especially when it's a morally righteous Cape? How could the villain possibly trust someone treacherous enough to do such a blatant Face–Heel Turn?


  1. From the evil perspective, it makes perfect sense. Temptation is part of the complete Evil package. Every evil force is looking to expand its membership. (Of course, some villains are more persistent than others.)
  2. Some villains are just so evil that they literally cannot comprehend why the hero's fighting — they don't believe in love, loyalty, honor, and so forth, and can't believe the good guy really does, either.
  3. The villain just decides it's worth the risk - if the good guy's this impressive when Good Is Dumb, imagine how great he might be as an Evil Minion!
  4. The villain has some connection to the hero (either blood relation or childhood friends, usually), and despite being evil still cares about him. He'd much rather convince the hero to join him than to kill somebody he'd prefer to keep alive.
  5. The villain takes an interest in the hero either as a Worthy Opponent, or as Not So Different from himself, or may perhaps even have a Villainous Crush on him or her. In the former two cases, the villain sees a potentially powerful ally, while in the latter it may qualify as a case of Even Evil Has Loved Ones.
  6. The villain has a huge ego and craves the validation that having the hero join him would bring.
  7. The villain is using More Than Mind Control to undermine the hero's confidence, morals or even his very identity. A hero crippled by self-doubt is much more likely to listen to the villain's offer.
  8. The villain may need the hero to join him for some Evil Plan he's putting into motion to work.
  9. The villain is an Affably Evil Well-Intentioned Extremist who genuinely believes that he's in the right and would rather win the hero over than kill him.

The final case can be particularly chilling because the villain believes he is offering the hero a chance to do the right thing, and will be surprised (or in the case of a Knight Templar, outraged) at being turned down.

The villain's momentary admiration for the hero usually (intentionally) leaves lasting Not So Different scars. If the villain is a little too insistent, then expect Foe Yay to occur. The specific and openly romantic variation where a villainess offers the hero a chance to become her consort is covered under Villainesses Want Heroes.

Some Videogames may give this option to the player, leading to an alternate ending or a Non-Standard Game Over, in a great many cases, an "evil" player's scripted response to this offer is commonly the player killing the villain and seizing the Cosmic Keystone. Certain villains should be aware that even success can be dangerous to them if the Fallen Hero doesn't feel like sharing power.

The three most common responses are:

  1. The hero agrees, and gladly partakes in evil deeds.
  2. The hero joins, only to betray the villain later on.
  3. A refusal that consists of either a "World of Cardboard" Speech, Kirk Summation, Shut Up, Hannibal!, or a mix of the three, where a hero shows his true colors.

The inversion is Last-Second Chance, when it's the hero making the offer to the villain. I Can Rule Alone is a very common subversion.

Contrast You Could Have Used Your Powers for Good, which is another way the hero may try to bring the villain over to the good side, and Offered the Crown, where the hero is offered power by the good guys as a reward for heroism.

Compare Last Chance to Quit, Deal with the Devil.

See also "Leave Your Quest" Test.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Soul Eater: Medusa offers this to Stein on several occasions, in an Unholy Matrimony sort of way, and confesses her "love". Professor Stein turns her down flat on (almost) all occasions.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Seto's side of the story in the Memory World arc centers largely around this trope, with a Luke, I Am Your Father for good measure.
    • Later in the series, Yami Marik tries this on good Marik in a last-ditch effort to avoid banishment to the Shadow Realm. He's completely ignored.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions, Aigami thinks that Humans Are the Real Monsters, but starts to think of Yugi as the exception, so he asks Yugi to help him create a new world without hate. Yugi tells him to shove it, since Aigami is driven by hate, so he could never create a world without hate.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, Carly, as a Dark Signer, showed Jack a world where they would rule together as King and Queen. Jack almost fell for it, too bad that his Hamminess snapped him out of it.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V: Roget, the main villain of the Synchro arc, proposes this to Yuya: if Yuya beats Jack, he will take his place as the city's champion, and keep the peace between the two warring states of the city. Yuya declines, as he realizes that Roget has no intention of using the role to actually fix the problem, and would rather keep the peace and retain his control over the city. Roget also tries to groom Serena as his next pawn, but Serena refuses his hand-outs and doesn't want to work with him.
  • Valvrave the Liberator: In the third episode, enemy soldier and ace mecha pilot L-Elf reveals that he wants Haruto to "form a contract with him and serve as his right hand", essentially asking Haruto to become his personal Dragon, to bring revolution to Dorsia. Haruto eventually accepts, realizing that L-Elf's genius can potentially minimize the losses his friends will have to face. That wasn't part of L-elf's plan, but Haruto says that L-elf is like bitter coffee that needs sugar, and offers to be L-elf's sugar.
  • In the last episode of Mai-HiME, the Obsidian Lord offers Mai a chance to replace Mikoto as his right-hand, after the latter does a Heel–Face Turn when Mai shows her The Power of Love. Mai tells him where to stick it, and the final battle begins.
  • In the last episode of season one of MegaMan NT Warrior Lan, fused with Megaman, is fighting with a giant navi-fused Dr. Regal. Our hero is on the ropes, but rather than taking Lan out, Dr. Regalexplains that he's impressed with him and explicitly states "I want you by my side, Lan." His offer is refused.
  • Also used in Naru Taru. The maddened Lonely Rich Kid Hiroko offers this to her friend Shiina as they face each other after Hiroko's Freak Out and Roaring Rampage of Revenge with Oni. It doesn't end well.
    • And before that, Akira Sakura gets offers from the likes of Tomonori Komori and Naozumi Sudo to join their respective causes of creating a new world. These don't end well, either.
    • The entire ending of the manga is the result of Shiina accepting one of these. After the deaths of her father, mother, boyfriend, best friend and everyone she'd ever cared about, Mamiko asks her if there's any reason left not to end the world. Shiina replies that there isn't.
  • In an interesting example, in the first Vampire Hunter D novel (and comic), The Dragon Rei-Ginsei give this offer to D "As two beautiful lords ruling the night" (to paraphrase) - despite that Magus Lee would most certainly have something to say about the attempt to double-cross him.
  • In Corrector Yui, Grosser offers this to the titular Magical Girl in the first season finale. Yui says no.
  • Touma of Digimon Savers gets this offer from his Evil Counterpart Nanami. In this case, it was combined with a different kind of temptation.
  • Blood+:
    • Amshel appears to want to bring Saya to the Cinq Fleche's side by revealing that Diva is her sister. It is then revealed that Amshel did this in order to isolate Saya and Haji so he could "convince" Haji into becoming Diva's groom. Amshel actually plans to kill Saya as she will never stop trying to kill Diva.
    • Solomon- more out of love for Saya than any agenda- asks her to reject her humanity; reasoning that in spite of their bad history, Saya, Diva, and their chevaliers are family while Saya's human family will reject her. She is strongly tempted this time but ultimately turns him down, mainly because on principle, Saya cannot let Diva live after all she has done and plans to keep doing to humans.
    • In the manga, Saya and Diva had a sisterly friendship in The Zoo until Diva escaped. Saya immediately hates Diva for killing everyone but Diva is oblivious to her rage and earnestly believes that Saya will join her as soon as the humans are out of the way.
  • Creed from Black Cat practically lives this trope. According to him, his entire plot to rule the world will always be incomplete if Train isn't by his side. It could be said that he is the most persistent character in the entire series, offering Train this countless times.
  • Tabool from Now and Then, Here and There, a child soldier whose predicament has driven him to the brink of scathing insanity, tries to convince his sane best friend Nabuca that they can take over Hellywood together. Strange subversion in that Nabuca refuses, but it's Tabool who winds up killing Nabuca.
  • Senator Kurt Godel proposes this to Negi in Mahou Sensei Negima!. It initially seems to have the sole purpose of making him angry (which works wonders), but later turns out to be a serious offer. He wants Negi to take up Queen Arika's legacy and become King. In the end, Negi nearly does take him up on it, but ultimately rejects it, as Kurt's Fantastic Racism means that he would only save about an eighteenth of the population. According to Negi, Arika would have tried to save everyone, so if he's going to follow in her footsteps, he's saving everyone too.
  • In Berserk, the Apostle and Dark Magical Girl Rosine offers this to her best friend Jill. Who refuses, so Rosine abducts and tries to transform her into one of her followers instead.
    • Later, Emperor Ganishka offers Guts a position in his army so he can get revenge on Griffith. Guts tells him to fuck off.
  • In Pokémon Special, Red was given the offer twice with Team Rocket and The Elite Four. Both times he refused, though the outcomes were quite different. First time, epic battle which he barely wins thanks to a Chekhov's Gun. Second time, not so lucky as he ends up as a Human Popsicle.
  • In the first episode of Transformers: Robots in Disguise, Megatron offers to let Optimus Prime join him so they can despoil Earth together. Optimus, naturally enough, refuses.
  • In the Ocean dub of Dragon Ball Z, Vegeta makes this offer to Goku. Goku turns him down, not only for moral reasons, but pointing out that Vegeta killed his last right-hand man. This is changed back to the original dialogue of Vegeta bragging about how he was going to kill Goku for the Funimation re-dub.
    • A lot of DBZ villains try this. Vegeta, Frieza, King Cold, Zarbon, Raditz, Turles... probably a bunch of others, too.
    • This actually goes all the way back to Adviser Black from the original series. After taking over as leader of the Red Ribbon Army, he offers joining forces with Goku, even going so far as to propose first using the Dragon Balls to revive the man Goku is trying to bring back to life. Goku still refuses.
    • Frieza does it again in the Resurrection F movie, offering Vegeta the chance to kill Goku while the latter is helpless and reinstating Vegeta as supreme commander of Frieza's army (second to Frieza himself, naturally). Vegeta seems to be intrigued for a moment, but turns him down, saying that he needs Goku alive because their rivalry is what pushes him to better himself... and besides which, Frieza blew up Vegeta's planet, and he still hasn't forgiven him for that.
  • Genkaku of Deadman Wonderland frequently offers this to Nagi who always turns him down.
    • Gokudo, being an Anti-Hero, actually takes the offer. It backfires, but he still tried.
  • Faye Valentine gets an offer like this from Big Bad Vincent in Cowboy Bebop The Movie. She rejects it.
  • Maoyuu Maou Yuusha has an interesting take on this trope. The Maou wants the Yuusha to work together with so they can end the war between their races peacefully with the least repercussions and enough benefits for everyone. They also note that offering to rule together is considered standard procedure for a Maou (one of the manga adaptions shows a picture of the Dragonlord with a Censor Box over his eyes during this explanation), and lampshade how a real hero would never accept such an offer. They also discuss how such division would not actually end the war, just change the names for the sides (from human-demon to Hero-Demon King)
    • Later, the spirit of a previous Maou who's possessing the current one makes a similar offer. The Yuusha again points out how ridiculous it is to expect a hero to accept such an offer.
  • In K: Return of Kings
    • The Green King, Nagare Hisui, makes this offer to Shiro, the Silver King, right after the latter has formed an alliance with the other Clans to defeat the former. Shiro turns him down, because his ideas sound a bit too familiar to Shiro, considering his backstory.
    • Later, Nagare makes this offer to The Mole, Saruhiko Fushimi. Nagare is something of an Anti-Villain, and Saruhiko is definitely an Anti-Hero - it was ambiguous up to that point whether he was in Jungle as a mole or as a real traitor, and he legitimately might accept the offer. He turns it down in his usual brilliant deadpan way.
  • In chapter 581 of Naruto Kabuto actually asks this of Sasuke twice. He refuses the offers.
    • After killing Neji and giving Naruto a Hannibal Lecture about his naivety and inability to protect everyone, Tobi asks Naruto what he even has left in this reality and invites him to stop prolonging his suffering and join him and Madara. Naruto hesitates, but Hinata snaps him out of it.
    • Madara asks Sasuke about this in the recent chapter. Of course, his offer has been refused.
  • Bleach:
    • Kirge Opie offers Apacci, Mila Rose and Sung-Sung the chance to join with the Vandenreich. They refuse. Since he has a join or die mentality, he obliterates them.
    • Yhwach makes this offer as well. To both Aizen and Ichigo. They both refuse. Yhwach doesn't mind; he planned for that.
  • Katekyō Hitman Reborn!: In chapters 385, 386, and 387 Bermuda asks Reborn to join him and says he likes him and wants him (for his team). Reborn refuses and Bermuda responds by capturing him.
  • At the height of his madness in the finale of the 2003 Astro Boy series, Dr. Tenma takes over the Ministry of Science and demands to see "Tobio" again. Fully believing that Astro is Tobio, he asks him to join him. When Astro refuses, Tenma snaps completely and tries to commit suicide.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, this offer is already in effect with most of the high-ranking Amestrian military.
  • Queen Beryl from Sailor Moon offers Prince Endymion the chance to join her and rule over her kingdom (and presumably whatever else she conquers) during her attack on the Silver Millennium. Naturally, he refuses which results in his death.
    • The second time around, she doesn't bother offering it she just brainwashes him.
  • This is the same proposal that Light offers anytime he sees a potential tool to use. Usually, though, he's secretly planning on killing that person once they have done what he wanted them to do. This is actual a common idea that fanfic writers have him use.
  • Attack on Titan:
    • Reiner Braun makes various attempts to convince Eren and Ymir to join their side due to considering both friends. Eren refuses outright, while the ever-pragmatic Ymir weighs the benefits and drawbacks of such an alliance.
    • Rod Reiss makes his daughter Historia such an offer. If she takes the serum and eats Eren, she can become ruler of the Walls and "reunite" with the inherited memories of her beloved sister, Freida. She almost takes the offer, but then recalls Ymir's words and realizes she's being used. She takes a third option, rejecting his offer completely but later killing Rod's Titan form before hundreds of witnesses, claiming the throne on her own terms.
  • One Piece, full of heroes and villains and being all about dreams and goals, have had these moments;
    • Near the end of their fight on Drum Island, Wapol offers Luffy the title of 'Vice King'. In this case, it's because Luffy's winning the fight, and all Wapol can do is throw out worthless positions in the hopes that it'll stop Luffy from Bazooka-ing him off the island. It fails.
    • After Enies Lobby, Blackbeard offers Portgas D Ace, who had been hunting the former because he had killed a crew mate, to join on his plan to killed Whitebeard and become Pirate King. It fails for two reasons; One, Ace idolizes Whitebeard, and two, during the pitch Blackbeard outlines the first step of his plan- Killing Luffy to become a Shichibukai. When Blackbeard shows himself to be the stronger of the two and asks Don't Make Me Destroy You, Ace retorts that giving in would invalidate him being born as a man.
    • A flashback during Dressrosa shows that Don Quixote Doflamingo was so impressed by Trafalgar Law's Troubling Unchildlike Behaviour that he offered to make him his right-hand man someday. Initially, Law loved the idea, but after circumstances involving Doflamingo's brother (The then-current right-hand) and the Op-Op Fruit, he realized that Doflamingo only saw his minions as tools to be used and sacrificed if need be. But even after Law left the Don Quixote Pirates, Doflamingo apparently kept the Heart seat open for Law.
    • The soon to be Pirate King hinself was offered this by a rival of his, Shiki. The two apparently had many disagreemsnts and issues in the past, but Shiki was willing to ignore it if they could team up. Unfortunately, Roger had no interest in dominating the world.
  • Ping Pong: Kaiō Academy's consistent proposition to Smile. Surprisingly, even Mr. Koizumi, his trainer thinks the opportunity is nice.
  • Riful from Claymore offers the Clare and several other warriornesses. For this purpose, the warriors are supposed to awaken before, but they refuse.
    • In the manga you can also see Luciella, who sees her sister Raphaela again, and she also asks to awaken, so that they can rule the continent together.
  • In InuYasha the Movie: Swords of an Honorable Ruler is the sword So'unga, which promises tremendous power to anyone who leads it. It is explicitly stated during the film that this sword prefers humans as carriers.
  • Tokyo ESP has the adoptive family of Kyotaru, who offers him this. However, Kyotaru decides to be a hero.

    Comic Books 
  • In the Esperanto comic 10 Jarojn Poste ("10 Years After"), Big Bad Colonel Osto offers hero Orajno "wealth, women, whatever you desire!" if Orajno will join him. A disgusted Orajno knocks Osto to the ground.
  • Inverted in a story in The Authority. Diminutive supergenius Jacob Krigstein creates hundreds of superheroes in order to attack the titular super-team, kidnap newborn Jenny Quantum, and use her to influence the course of the entire next century. The good guys beat up the bad, fly into Krigstein's secret base...and offer him a job. Clearly he's got the brainpower necessary to help change the world; it just needs to be appropriately channeled.
  • In Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog, the villainous wizard Ixis Naugus attempts to sway his fellow villain Mammoth Mogul to his side. The trope is inverted somewhat when Naugus realises that Mogul is the more powerful villain of the two, and immediately swears himself into Mogul's service.
  • Used twice in the Milestone Comic Hardware. The first time was played completely straight. The second time, the titular character's Bad Boss, Edwin Alva finally realised that his employee was really the superhero who was thwarting him at every turn, so he sweetened the deal. He would give Hardware's alter ego, Curtis Metcalf, a Vice-Presidency, and would try to curb his extra-legal activities. To do this, though, he would need Hardware's help, as most of the time he had only done illegal things out of (to his way of thinking) necessity. With a powerful superhero enforcer, he wouldn't need to rely on criminal operations to maintain his profit margin. Hardware actually accepted this deal, and not only got the promotion but also an unlimited budget to improve his Hardware armour, which to that point had been constructed out of whatever he could steal from work.
  • Superman:
    • Used almost obligatorily in Superman: At Earth's End by the twin clones of Hitler running the show. The potentially interesting idea of cloning Superman into a race of "Supermen" with Nazi/Aryan overtones goes undeveloped beyond a single sentence, because this is Superman: At Earth's End.
    • Used in Supergirl story Adventure Comics #415 when Supergirl is abducted by a wannabe space dictator who wants to destroy Earth, conquer the universe and make her his mate. She turns him down, wrecks his warship and turns him over to the authorities. As he is being put away, the tyrant cries the universe could have been theirs.
    • Reign offers Supergirl a chance to join her team of Worldkillers. Of course, Supergirl refuses.
  • X-Wing Series: In The Making of Baron Fel, Ysanne Isard first gives Ace Pilot Soontir Fel a Forceful Kiss, then says she could raise him up, make him take Tarkin's place, become bigger than Vader. When he adamantly rejects both, she wipes her mouth and says that this was a Secret Test of Character. She'd told the Emperor that Fel was utterly loyal and incorruptible, and she was right. A few years after this, Fel defected to the Rebellion both because what the Empire had become disgusted him and because the Rebels would help him find his wife, the sister of Wedge Antilles.
  • Red Skull tried this with Spider-Man in the finale of The Assassination Plot, trying to bribe the hero with a million dollars to "look the other way" while he planted a bomb in the National Archives. The Skull was counting on Spidey to be angry at the U.S. government for kicking him off the team due to legal issues - and he was - but clearly, the Skull overestimated such anger. Spidey quickly told him where he could shove it.
  • After having Blue Beetle beaten up by a cyborg, Max Lord tries to recruit him into Checkmate and his plan for "Curbing superhuman aggression." With a literal gun to his head.
    Blue Beetle: So that's it. Join me or die time, is that it?
    Max Lord: That's it exactly.
  • In the Valiant Comics series based on The Legend of Zelda, Ganon makes this offer to Link after Link gets his hands on the Triforce of Power.
  • In Scott Pilgrim, after Gideon discovers that Ramona has left Scott, he asks Scott to join him, telling him that "together, we can rule Ramona's future love life!" - parodying Darth Vader. Naturally, Scott rejects the offer, then gets killed. He did get better, though.
  • There's a rare successful version of this in Dark Empire. After capturing Luke, Palpatine offers to become his Master. And although Luke has his lightsaber, the guards have been dismissed, and there is no Vader standing by... Luke accepts. Palpatine can Body Swap into anyone after his current body is killed, and Luke would be an ideal body to take, with such horrific potential consequences for the New Republic. Luke thinks he can thwart Imperial efforts from within, and indeed he does some of that... but the Emperor isn't that easily duped. When Luke starts killing the Emperor's unborn clones, he's Mind Raped into submission.
  • In Squee!, Senor Diablo offers Squee a position in Hell since he's friends with Pepitio. When he politely declines, he shrugs and says "I guess that's that."
  • In the Batman comic "Mistress of Fear," the Scarecrow tries to Mind Rape Becky Albright after she testifies against him in court and discovers that she was bullied as an Ill Girl child, which forces him to recall his own experiences with bullying. He then makes this offer to her, arguing that her psychological profile is perfect for supervillainy.
  • In the Blacksad album "Somewhere Within The Shadows" Ivo Statoc tries to offer Blacksad a job in his employ when he's finally tracked him down and already dispatched his bodyguards; Blacksad refuses.
  • Magneto likes to poke Professor X with this idea from time to time in X-Men but the Professor's ideals of mutant equality (not supremacy) always win out. Professor X in turn tries to convince his old friend to give peace a chance. Magneto has actually tried doing things Xavier's way a few times, but for the most part Status Quo Is God since he's just too compelling as a Foil.
  • Similarly with Ra's Al-Ghul and Batman, Ra's has tremendous respect for Batman and would love to bring him round to his own Well-Intentioned Extremist point of view—especially since Bats and Ra's's daughter Talia are in love. Ra's ultimately wants Batman to agree to be his successor. He considers Bane and later Tim Drake for the role and extends them offers. Tim blows up most of Ra's hidden bases in response.
  • Tiberius Stone makes this offer to Tony Stark after trapping Tony in a virtual reality. Tony's second option, surprisingly, isn't death. No, he can either rule beside Tiberius or be forced to grovel at Tiberius' feet with the naked sycophants who are chained to Tiberius' throne. Not surprisingly, Tony doesn't find either option very appealing and instead opts to escape the virtual reality and leave Tiberius trapped inside.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (IDW) Chrysalis tries to convince Twilight to join her upon seeing the magic power she possesses. Naturally, Twilight refuses.
  • In Asterix and the Secret Weapon, this is how Bravura makes her marriage proposal to Asterix, promising they can become joint chiefs of the village. Asterix totally loses his temper at this and refuses, but she just ploughs on as if he'd said yes.
  • The Hand wants Daredevil to be their new leader. They actually got what they wanted in one storyline, though they had to shove a demon inside him to make him more agreeable to the offer.
  • Cable gets this offer from Madelyne Pryor, his mother who, despite evil, still has soft spots on him when they are reunited. He obviously refuses, though.
  • In the first volume of The Masters of the Barley, the rich, old, greedy brewer De Ruiter offers his young, idealist competitor Charles Steenfort to betray his best friend and associate, his pregnant lover and his ideals to marry his daughter and become his associate and heir at the head of the the biggest brewery in the area. Much to the reader's shock, he accepts!
  • In The Transformers: Dark Cybertron, Nova Prime forcefully tries to convince Orion Pax (whom he insists on calling Optimus Prime even after he renounced the title) that they are the rightful masters of all existence because they are Primes.
  • Ultimate Wolverine: Quicksilver would have no problem killing his brother Jimmy if needed, but he would prefer if he joined the Brotherhood.
  • In Paperinik New Adventures Moldrock does this proposal to any Worthy Opponent he meets simply because, in his own way, he's a relatively nice guy: being a Physical God and knowing it he doesn't need their help in any way, he just thinks it would be better if the strongest warriors didn't die a useless death. While Paperinik refuses, Moldrock implies he's been rather successful in the past, and pulls this successfully with Juniper Ducklair, then the queen of Corona, by mopping the floor with her capital's garrison while holding back enough to not kill anyone and continuously repeating his proposal.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Jackie Chan Adventures fic Queen of All Oni, Jade offers Viper a chance to join with her early on. Viper refuses, partly due to her concern for Jade, and otherwise because she's reformed, and she promptly throws an onion in Jade's face. After a Villainous Breakdown some chapters later, Jade decides Viper doesn't have a choice in the matter, and kidnaps and brainwashes her.
  • In the The Great Mouse Detective story The Professor's Portrait, Basil talks about his youth, when he was a student with Professor Ratigan as chemistry teacher. Rattigan had always been an outcast who had barely managed thanks to his exceptional intellect to reach a status in the mice's society but still suffered from the mice's prejudices against him. His pupil Basil, though a mice, was somehow the only person Ratigan could relate to, as Basil was quite as intelligent as Ratigan and also not well-liked for other reasons. When Basil uncovers Ratigan's first attempt at ruling Mousedom, Ratigan didn't even try to deny the facts: he said to be impressed by Basil finding out, and took this is as the last proof that Basil was the right mouse Ratigan would choose to rule with him. He then genuinely offers the detective this trope, and doesn't understand Basil's scruples. (It must be noted that Ratigan's plan involved drugging all the Mousedom citizen to make them mindless and easily manipulated). Basil, though, still thinks that Ratigan was one of the greatest minds who ever lived, and that it's a pity that he used it for evil and could not forgive the mouse society.
  • In the JLA Watchtower/DC Nation universe, Hades attempted to persuade Omen to his side, and convince her to let him kill the Titans so that they could go to Elysium, instead of letting her and Troia return to life with them. They would have a life in paradise as innocent children, with Omen taking Persephone's place as Queen of the Dead. Particularly vicious, as Omen was under More Than Mind Control at that point, and Hades used Omen's own love of her teammates to try and convince her why it was a good deal. Hades also broadly hinted at why heroes get a revolving door at the afterlife...and this was written 4 years before Blackest Night!
  • Galaxy Rangers Fanon frequently has the Queen offering this to Niko. To a lesser extent, she sometimes offers it to Zachary, sweetening the deal by offering Eliza's crystal. The answer of "Go to Hell, Your Majesty" is the usual Foregone Conclusion.
  • In My Greatest Adventures, Ares, the God of War attempts to tempt Superman into joining him, which fails.
    Ares: Don't think that way. My true duty is to regulate strength and aggression. I support Darwin's Theory of Evolution because it is true. The strong live and the weak die! (He points out the surrounding plants and animals, which are dying from the unnatural cold.) I sent that deluded fool Mr. Freeze to test you. And you, my friend, are strong! And open to aggression! Join me, in the ultimate war! With you at my right hand, I shall conquer this pathetic world. In the new world order, you can have anything you want, even Lois.
    Superman: No. I'll never serve you, evil one. I'm taking you down.
  • Admiral Lindy Harlaown pulls off a magnificent rebuttal to one of these in the Lyrical Nanoha fanfic Infinity at one point when she faces a Well-Intentioned Extremist who tries to pull this on her by appealing to her honor, morals and sense of duty as a Reasonable Authority Figure working for a government with corruption problems, the alternative being working for an imperialistic dictatorship with a Utopia Justifies the Means mindset. Lindy's defense of the TSAB?
    Enlil: I am offering you the universe. And you are... you are seriously snubbing that in favor of an organization that regards you as expendable? For no reason other than...
    Lindy: You are an admitted military dictator and something of a hypocrite? That you claim the moral high ground despite claiming responsibility for murder, torture, and warmongering against peaceful worlds? Maybe it does result in a happy, shiny empire filled with joy and rainbows, but that is only because the people know that if they complain too loudly they'll be murdered. The TSAB might have many and significant flaws, but if nothing else, at least I can claim with certainty that those flaws do not change the fact that the organization as a whole exists for a purpose that I truly believe to be a noble one. You, on the other hand, appear to be offering a system that has some very significant flaws of its own, operates in pursuit of goals that most reasoning beings would consider abhorrent, and which you then attempt to put a positive spin on so that nobody will notice. And that, to me, seems like a very good reason.
    Vita: ...Daaaaaaaaaaaamn.
  • In The Lord of the Rings fanfic The Captain and the King, Saruman offers to help restore Aragorn to the throne of Gondor in return for his allegiance and the Ring. Aragorn doesn't bite.
  • The Immortal Game: When Rarity is confronted by her father, General Esteem, he offers her a chance to join him in serving Titan and living like royalty. Rarity basically tells him to shove the offer up his ass, before proceeding to call him out.
  • As it could be expected it eventually happens in a Star Wars fanfic By The Grace of Lady Vader, but the one who actually offers Luke this isn’t Anakin, but Padme. It works much better than in canon, because Padme is a Magnetic Hero and Luke desperately longs for a family.
  • My Little Mages: The Nightmare's Return: Much like The Immortal Game above, Pinkie's father the Grand Master repeatedly tries to get Pinkie to rejoin the Shadow Blades and serve Nightmare Moon. And like Rarity above, Pinkie refuses (though she's more civil about it.
    • Near the end of the story, Nightshade tries to talk Rainbow Dash into joining the Shadowbolts, even encouraging her to be a Bastard Understudy. Dash responds by shooting her.
  • Just before the climax of Rainbooms and Royalty, Nightmare Moon offers to give Rainbow Dash everything she's ever wanted (and offers to do the same with her friends) if she swears loyalty to her. Dash momentarily considers the deal, but realizes that Nightmare is just using her and refuses.
  • Red Eye from Fallout: Equestria torments Littlepip with this for most of the story, as he has the most sensible, most realistic chance of actually making the wasteland a better place and sees Littlepip as a worthy opponent deserving of ruling over it once his plan is complete.
  • Drake from Power Rangers GPX tried to tempt Red Ranger Sean O'Callahan into joining his alchemical organization using Sean's own personal beliefs. It almost works... until Sean points out he's still a Power Rangers villain. His only goal is to Take Over the World. Oh, and one more thing: His organization had nearly killed his sister. It's Personal doesn't even begin to describe Sean's feelings.
  • In The Jaded Eyes Series Harry/Tristan makes this offer to Voldemort. At first Voldemort thought he was joking.
  • In A Cure for Love after taking over the world Light/Kira keeps asking L if he's changed his mind yet and is going to join him whenever he calls.
  • Empath: The Luckiest Smurf: In "The Exile From Psychelia", Empath learns that the Psyche Master has been grooming him to be his successor and is hoping that he would someday forsake the Smurf way of living and embrace becoming the next Psyche Master. Empath refuses the Psyche Master's offer. However, in the alternate timeline story "Hefty, The Luckiest Smurf", Empath is forcibly taken back to Psychelia and is eventually made the next Psyche Master.
  • Inverted in the Death Note AU Sex Note where L wants to find the vigilante Kougoukan in order to protect him and, if Kougoukan continues to use his powers responsibly, recruit him as his partner.
  • In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, ProtoMan wants Mega Man to join him. In this continuity he extends the offer to Roll as well, and would be happiest with both on his side.
    • Bass wants Roll to rule at his side as his queen.
  • Justice League of Equestria:
    • At the climax of The Princess of Themyscira, Ares offers Diana a chance to rule the world by his side as he conquers it with a Forever War. She naturally refuses.
  • In Blonde Ambitions Light makes this offer to Mello after getting caught up in some rather compromising circumstances.
  • In Seigikan Light makes this offer to L:
    Light: How about we be together and execute justice as Kira? You want to be together so bad, then join me. Come with me and we can rule the world together. Together we can be unstoppable. Think of all the good we can do.
  • In The Sorcerer's Bride, Morgause offers this to Merlin, saying they can take over Albion and rule over those without magic with an iron fist. When he tells her to shove it, she goes with brainwashing instead.
  • In Opening Dangerous Gates:
    • When Harribel kicks his ass, Xiphias Gladius desperately tries to persuade her to join the demons of Zeref, claiming Zeref can give her power beyond her wildest imagination. She doesn't listen.
    • Later, a demon offers Lucy the chance to join them and use her keys in service to Zeref. When she refuses, he shrugs and says he'll just have to kill her then.
  • In The Umbra King, Sombra does this with Rarity, saying that he'll save her and her sister from the Ruin Worms (which actually have nothing to do with him) in exchange for her becoming his slave. Rarity's refusal and subsequent “The Reason You Suck” Speech leads to his redemption, death and, in the sequel, Heel–Face Turn.
  • In the Facing the Future Series, we have Tucker receiving this from Ghost Tucker. Fortunately, it doesn't work thanks to Tucker's Character Development.
  • Wisdom and Courage: During the final battle, Veran offers Link this. Of course, considering the fact that Veran had quite literally put Link and Zelda through absolute Hell For the Evulz during the course of the fic, committed all manner of horrible atrocities against both Hyrule and Termina, as well as the fact that Veran gives Link said offer after she just gave him a savage No-Holds-Barred Beatdown that ended with her sadistically slicing out his right eye, Link flat-out tells Veran that he would rather die.
  • Pagan Vengeance: Ghenghis Khan makes this offer to Juvage, even throwing in his daughter in marriage. Juvage refuses, since he wants to be the one who killed the Khan or die trying. He even asks the Khan to keep his gifts ready, since he'll be taking them after the battle.
  • In nearly every Harry Potter story written by The Fictionist, Voldemort tries to manipulate Harry Potter into fulfilling this trope using a variety of means. He is very persistent.
  • In Harry Potter and the GOOD Finale a dying Voldemort offers this to both Harry and Neville. They pretend to consider it and string him along for a bit before finally stating what they really want from him.
    Harry and Neville: We want our families back you son of a bitch.
  • Pony POV Series: Right before the final battle, Discord offers Pinkie Pie a chance to marry him and become his queen. To sweeten the pot, he offers to bring her lost friend Minty back. Pinkie refuses, both on principle and because the method to bring back Minty would require sacrificing Twilight Sparkle.
  • In Conversion Bureau:United We Stand, after transforming Megan into an alicorn using the newfoal potion, TCB!Celestia tries to convince Megan to join her crusade of transforming humans. Subverted however, in that Celestia tries to use the Mind Control properties of the potion to turn Megan rather than words, which Megan only can barely fight off.
  • A villain-to-villain example occurs in Pokémon Reset Bloodlines. The Bloodline King is the leader of a faction of bloodliners who believes they should rule the world over normal humans and Pokémon, and offered Sabrina the chance to be his queen. Says a lot that Sabrina finds him disgusting and wants nothing to do with him, especially considering she is a Social Darwinist who seeks to purge the world of mediocre and unremarkable people, either by pushing them (through fear) to develop their full potential, or outright killing them if she feels they're but a waste of space.
  • RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse: A dragon-based variant, with Kindle and Raindrops, who tries tempting her with "we can serve Corona together while she rules Equestria". Since Raindrops is astoundingly pissed at Kindle for seducing her without mentioning he served an insane alicorn, she rejects this offer aggressively.
  • The Flash Sentry Chronicles: Sombra offers his childhood friend Ruby Scarlet a chance to rule by his side as his queen, which she refuses.
  • Hero: The Guardian Smurf: In the "King Smurf" adaptation from the cartoon show, Brainy tempts Smurfette with the possibility of her being his queen and ruling beside him over the Smurf Village together. She rejects and joins the rebels.

    Films — Animated 
  • Happens in Despicable Me 2, where Eduardo/El Macho offers is quite enthusiastic about working with Gru.
  • In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, there's Kadaj's speech to the kidnapped children.
  • In Megamind, Titan makes this offer to Megamind, claiming they could rule Metro City together, the Brains and Brawn method. Megamind, who gave Titan his powers specifically to get back into a comfortable hero-villain routine, is bewildered.
  • Happens twice in Toy Story 3. First off, Buzz is offered a position among the toys to be able to get out of the torturous position, which he declines because he doesn't want to leave his friends behind. Unfortunately, it wasn't a request. The second is, to a lesser extent, with Barbie. She isn't aware of the truth when she accepts Ken's offer and immediately changes her mind when she learns the truth.
    • Although she and Ken kind of do rule together at the end, when Lotso is removed and his dictatorship over the toys in the preschool is dismantled. The two take over as head in his place, albeit much kinder.
  • In The Powerpuff Girls movie, a powered-up and gigantic Mojo offers this to the girls. Naturally, this being an origin-movie, they refuse.
  • In The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue, there's a song based on this, appropriately titled "Just Say Yes", where Martin tries to get Tim to help him take over Thorn Valley.
  • Rise of the Guardians has Pitch Black practically proposing to Jack Frost, saying what goes together better than cold and dark. Both of them being very similar spirits in a lot of ways makes them somewhat sympathetic to each other and Pitch's offer is seemingly a sincere attempt at getting a friend he can relate to... The look on his face when Jack turns down the offer is actually quite sad and almost heartbroken.
  • The direct to DVD film Green Lantern: First Flight has Sinestro trying to convince Hal throughout the movie that the Guardians are failing at their duties, though it's only near the end that he actually makes the offer.
  • At the climax of Barbie: Mariposa, Henna is about to take control over Flutterfield and tells Mariposa that they can rule it together. Not too surprisingly, Mariposa refuses.
  • During the climax of Zootopia, the Big Bad Mayor Bellwether attempts to convince Judy Hopps to pull a Face–Heel Turn, pointing that they are Not So Different as both of them are small mistreated prey animals, and that working together they have the power to unite the prey species to drive all of the predators out of Zootopia. When Judy refuses, she attempts to murder her by turning Nick savage.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Star Wars: Sith in general are fond of this one, as it fits with their overall theme as tempters, and they seem to take a particular pleasure from corrupting Jedi into minions.
    • Darth Vader's offer in The Empire Strikes Back is probably the most heartfelt, if not the Trope Maker, as he offers to take his son Luke on as his apprentice so they can destroy the Emperor together and take over the Galactic Empire. Vader goes so far as to point out (concerning teaming up to destroy his master) that "The Emperor has foreseen this," and some of the Extended Universe novels mention that although (of course) he later pretended to Emperor Palpatine that he was just making a false offer to tempt his son to the dark side, they both knew the offer was wholly credible and that Vader would quite certainly have delivered on it if Luke had accepted.
    • In Return of the Jedi, The Emperor also tries to lure Luke to the Dark Side, though he's obviously less than sincere about wanting to be replaced; he actually wants to replace Vader. (It fails partially because the Emperor is far, far too obvious about it, and partially because of the very different circumstances under which this latter temptation takes place.)
    • Happens again in Attack of the Clones, with Dooku offering to team up with Obi-Wan to defeat the Sith. Dooku's motives for making this offer are a bit unclear, since Dooku himself is a servant of the Dark Lord he claims to be opposed to. Most likely he wants to destroy Darth Sidious and become the new Sith master with Obi-Wan as his apprentice, but the way he frames it makes it seem like he's been infiltrating the Sith to destroy them from within (unlike Anakin to Luke, who makes no bones about the fact that he wants to rule the Empire from the Dark Side).
    • And, again, in Revenge of the Sith, with Anakin offering to rule the galaxy with Padme as his Empress. Also earlier in the same film with Palpatine's offer to Anakin, which, unfortunately for the galaxy, he accepts.
    • The sequel trilogy does this again. This time it's a Villainous Crush variant with Kylo Ren and Rey:
  • A considerably less credible version of this occurs in the first Spider-Man movie: the Green Goblin recommends to Spider-Man that he "join me" — notwithstanding the extreme improbability of Spider-Man's possibly being interested in joining the psychopathic killing spree of the man who tried to murder his girlfriend. This prompts the Goblin to play the Untrusting Community card, claiming that in prolonging their feud, Spider-Man will be held responsible for anyone killed as collateral damage. Spidey's not buying any of this, of course.

    This offer is particularly bizarre because at that point in the movie, the Green Goblin had already killed the general who'd wanted to pull Oscorp's funding and the board members who'd wanted to give his alter ego Norman Osborne the boot. Since he'd already settled his scores and secured his position, he had no clear motive to continue operating behind a mask himself, let alone team up with anyone else. What exactly he and Spider-Man would actually do if Spidey had accepted the offer is an utter mystery. Then again, he isn't really thinking straight anyway. To the extent that if Green Goblin's thought processes had any logic at all at this point, he could simply have been thinking that since he and Spidey are both "better" than mere humans, they ought to be on the same side.
  • Subverted in The Princess Bride: when Inigo Montoya has the his father's murderer at his mercy, he actually demands the villain try tempting him out of revenge:
    Inigo: Offer me money!
    Rugen: Yes.
    Inigo: Power too, promise me that!
    Rugen: All that I have, and more. Please...
    Inigo: Offer me everything I ask for.
    Rugen: Anything you want. *attacks Inigo again*
    Inigo: *jabs Rugen in his heart* I want my father back, you son of a bitch. *drives the blade home*
  • At the end of 300 Emperor Xerxes offers the Spartan King Leonidas the opportunity to serve him as Warlord of Greece, by simply kneeling before him, or else die in a hail of arrows. Leonidas responds by wordlessly removing his helmet, dropping his spear and shield, and kneeling before Xerxes...the better to aim as he hurls a spear at Xerxes' face and proves "that even a God-King can bleed."
  • In the sequel 300: Rise of an Empire, Artemisia is looking for a man to be at her side, and as her Generals prove to be totally incopetent. She summons Themistokles to her ship, gives him a We Can Rule Together speech and tries to kiss him. He falls for the temptation and they procede to have sex so violent that it's more like a "Who's raping who" contest. Just at the climax, when she shows her satisfaction for finally finding a real man up to her status, he simply replies "No".
  • In Star Trek: First Contact, the Borg Queen invites Data to join her, causing him to actually consider the offer. (For a total of 0.68 seconds - almost an eternity for an android with a supercomputer in his head.)
  • In Flash Gordon, Ming offers Flash rulership of the Earth in his name at one point. However it's pointed out earlier that Ming is clever re this trope: by giving troublemakers their own lesser kingdoms, they'll fight each other and not cooperate to overthrow him.
  • In David Cronenberg's Scanners, Revok has been tracking down Vale for the whole movie specifically to offer him to lead his new empire together, because they're brothers. He seems to feel genuinely hurt and betrayed when the offer is refused. He also has a more roundabout way to force Cameron to comply: by devouring his mind.
  • Dick Tracy (1990). Big Boy Caprice captures Tracy and offers him $15,000 to join Big Boy's organization.
    Big Boy Caprice: Welcome to new waters, Dick! We're gonna run one hell of a ship with you aboard. There's a big world out there, and it's up for sale. All of it. All we gotta do is make sure that the people know I'm the one big enough to run it.
    Dick Tracy: And that you are guilty of attempting to bribe an officer of the law.
  • Long John Silver offers Jim Hawkins a chance to join him and the pirates in Muppet Treasure Island.
  • Damien: Omen II: Damian Thorn, the adolescent antichrist, offers to let his beloved cousin join him. Unlike in most stories, when the young idealist refuses and vows to stop him, Damian has an attack of "real life" and just kills him.
  • Judge Dredd. Rico makes the offer to Judge Dredd after capturing him.
  • The Avengers (1998). Diabolical Mastermind Sir August tells Mrs. Peel, "Join me, Emma, and we have the world."
  • Adrian sort of makes this offer to Jon in Watchmen. He explains that the plan was Jon's achievement as much as it was his own, and that without Jon's interference, a united humanity could create a perfect world. Jon leaves Earth.
  • In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the Big Bad makes this kind of an offer to The Mole, though it's not so much "join me" and more "stick around a while longer". The Mole declines — not out of any particular moral code or personal conviction, but simply because he doesn't think it's worth the effort. He's been around long enough to see other empires crumble, and so knows that the Big Bad's is going to follow suit eventually.
  • In Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Major Cain is hopeful in getting Action Girl Alice to join him: "With my help, just imagine what [we] can achieve!"
  • X-Men: First Class:
    • At the climax, Sebastian Shaw offers Magneto a chance to join him so that together they can ensure mutant supremacy, a goal that Magneto actually agrees with. Unfortunately, Shaw was the one who killed Magneto's mother in the concentration camp, so Magneto kills him and takes up his "mutant vs. human" crusade himself. Later, he tells Xavier that he wants him by his side in the cause, but Xavier refuses.
    • When Shaw introduces himself to the kids this is his main pitch.
    • Also implied between Magneto and Mystique.
  • In the first scene of Superman: The Movie, as Jor-El is about to sentence Zod and his followers to the Phantom Zone, Zod tries to sway him with this trope. "Yours will be a powerful voice in the new order, second only to my own." Jor-El just walks away, prompting Zod to create a trope; "YOU WILL BOW DOWN BEFORE ME, JOR-EL! BOTH YOU, AND THEN ONE DAY, YOUR HEIRS!"
  • Justified Trope in Man of Steel due to the Fantastic Caste System on Krypton. General Zod and his followers are genetically-engineered to be soldiers, so don't have the natural skills or temperament to rebuild their world. Jor-El was created to be a scientist, and Kal-El (Superman) is his son, so Zod tries to enlist both men to his cause. When they refuse however, he's fully prepared to continue regardless.
  • James Bond:
    • Played with in Dr. No. Dr. No says that he was impressed by Bond's skills and was considering offering him a job. Unfortunately, Bond has pissed him off way too many times, so instead he's going to have him tortured and imprisoned. In fairness, Bond also offered Dr No the opportunity of working for the West, only for Dr No to inform Bond that both sides of the Cold War had already rejected his services.
    • Also played with and subverted in GoldenEye. Trevelyan says that he considered making this offer to James, but realised that Bond would never accept it.
    • In Skyfall, Silva had first tried to persuade Bond to ally with him against M.
    Silva: You see, we are the last two rats. We can either eat each other... mmm... or eat everyone else.
  • In the 1997 film version of Prince Valiant, Morgan le Fay tries to convince Valiant to join her and kill everyone, so they can rule together as King and Queen. She even shapeshifts into his beloved Princess Ilene. The real Ilene arrives and snaps him out of it.
  • Wild Wild West. After Jim and Gordon attack Loveless' spider tank with a flying machine, they're captured. Loveless then compliments them on their ingenuity, and offers them to come work for him. West tells him to shove it.
  • After Cmdr. Shaw is captured by the rogue Chinese in Battle Beneath the Earth, General Lu offers him a position as a puppet leader to the soon-to-be-demolished-with-atom-bombs United States.
  • Wishmaster 4: The Prophecy Fulfilled: The Djinn offers Lisa to rule beside him as his queen, and offers her immortality and eternal bliss along with it. The contents of her wish ("I wish I could love you for who you really are", not knowing that he's an evil Djinn at the time) dictate that his offer of ruling beside him be sincere.
  • In Ben 10: Alien Swarm, the Queen attempts this on Ben and fails.
  • In Dragonheart 2, Osric regains his dragon form and asks Drake to join him in his campaign to wipe out humanity. Drake is initially overjoyed to find a fellow dragon, but his human friend Geoff reminds him that Osric tried to steal Drake's heart to change into a dragon again and only stopped because he found another heart instead. Drake angrily declares that Geoff is his true brother, not Osric. Cue the final battle.
  • In Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth, Pinhead promises Monroe a place by his side for helping him. When Monroe fails, he makes the same offer to Terri, and she gives in. He "rewards" them both by turning them into lesser Cenobites.
  • In Machete Kills, Voz says he sees Machete as the ultimate warrior and tries to recruit him, or at the very least, get him to consent to being cloned. Machete refuses both requests.
  • In End of Days, Satan offers Jericho to forget his mission to protect the chosen girl from Satan and to bring back his dead wife and child in exchange and come work for him in his new hellworld. Jericho is genuinely tempted by the offer because of his grief, but he ultimately rejects.
  • In Good Burger, Kurt tries to get Ed to quit his job at Good Burger and work for him in order to gain his ultra-popular sauce recipe.
  • In Anaconda, the human villain Paul Sarone suggest to Owen Wilson's character that they should become partners so he can help him catch the Anaconda. Wilson looks forward to getting rich off it and filming the whole thing. He gets bitten for his troubles, with Sarone sacrificing him without a second care.
  • Implied in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King when Aragorn leads his ragtag army to assault Mordor in order to buy time for Frodo to complete his mission. Aragorn looks into the Great Eye atop Barad-dûr and hears the Black Voice whispering his Quenya Elvish name, Elessar, in the same seductive tone that has been previously heard from the Ring. After taking a moment to compose himself, Aragorn's only response is to whisper "For Frodo"... and charge
  • In Kingsman: The Secret Service, The Mole offers Eggsy the chance to join him and Valentine in honour of Harry's memory. Eggsy says he'd rather join Harry.
  • The Running Man: A variation. After Ben Richards kills several stalkers, Killian offers him a job as a Stalker. Having had to close the eyes of his friend who was just killed by a Stalker, Ben strongly refuses in a way that even Cinema Sins admired.
    Ben Richards: You cold-hearted bastard! I'll tell what I think about it. I live to see you eat that contract! But I hope you leave enough room for my fist because I'm going to ram it into your stomach and BREAK YOUR GODDAMN SPINE!
  • In Terminator Genisys, John offers his parents a chance to be assimilated willingly, so they can become one Big Badass Family of cyborgs. They don't agree to it.
  • Doctor Mordrid: Kabal gives Mordrid the standard "join me and we'll rule this world together" offer, though with more cause than most examples as they used to be sworn brothers. Mordrid naturally refuses, pointing out that wizards have no right to rule humanity.
  • Kull the Conqueror: After arranging Kull's fake death on their wedding night to usurp the throne from him, Akivasha wakes up Kull in the dungeons. Since he was so good in the bedroom she offers him to rule by her side. He instantly refuses.
  • Nemesis: Commissioner Farnsworth offers Alex to join forces with the other cyborgs late in the movie. Alex shoots him in the face while delivering a Precision F-Strike in response.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
  • Vampirella: From the moment they meet, Vlad tries to get Vampirella to join his side.
  • Ares offers Diana a chance to work together at the climax of Wonder Woman (2017), the two using their powers to destroy humanity and return Earth to the natural state it was before Zeus created Man. After all, she's his sister, as well as the only person able to kill him. Even after having her idealism shattered by the hell that was World War One, Diana refuses to take part in mass genocide.
  • In A Face in the Crowd, the scene in which Marcia finally realizes that Lonesome Rhodes is utterly Drunk with Power and must be stopped at all costs is the one in which he tells her, "I'm gonna be the power behind the President and you'll be the power behind me."
  • In Tragedy Girls, Lowell tries to persuade McKayla to let him go, in exchange for making her his partner in crime, claiming that McKayla's current partner Sadie is only holding her back. McKayla laughs in his face, since Sadie is also her best friend; she confidently claims that nothing could ever get between them. After the girls have a falling out, McKayla does team up with Lowell... but she was prepared for his sudden, but inevitable betrayal. The second he threatens Sadie, she shoots him dead, and the two girls make up.
  • In The Film of the Book of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, although he is not a villain, Edmund is still an Anti-Hero tempted by evil who actually tries to convince his little sister, Lucy, to gain power along with him.
    Edmund: Lucy, we'd be so one could tell us what to do. Or to live with.
  • Mythica: Szorlok makes this offer to Marek, which she seriously considers since he promises to save the rest, but ultimately rejects.

  • A peculiar example happens in Agent G Infiltrator by C.T. Phipps. There, the titular Agent receives a job offer from The Mole to work for the U.S. Government against his employers, the chance to keep all of the money he's made from assassinations, as well as a pardon for his crimes. G takes it.
  • In Atlas Shrugged, John Galt is offered leadership of the "looters" he's been fighting against. For entirely selfish reasons, he refuses - even at gunpoint. By the end, Galt is being tortured to force him to agree — unsuccessfully. The concept is known in the novel as "the sanction of the victim" — Hank Rearden and others conclude that the looters do "crave the validation that having the hero join [them] would bring" exactly.
  • In desperation, Torak tries this toward the end of The Belgariad, sending Garion a dream in which he offers to become Garion's father, and Polgara his mother. Garion is troubled, and tempted to take the offer, but finally responds with spite. Torak also offers Polgara the chance to be his bride. That was not out of desperation, Torak genuinely wants Polgara to love him.
    • The sequel series The Malloreon sees the new Child of Dark Zandramas desperately offer to be (Bel)garion's new bride and for them both to become gods with the powers of the Stones after almost every plan she had to stave away the Choice between Light and Dark fails. Garion tells the Dark Prophecy that was behind Torak and is behind Zandramas off for being so unchanging as to try a ploy that didn't work on him the last time either.
  • In Patricia A. McKillip's The Bell at Sealey Head, when Nemos Moore learns that Ridley Dow is his great to the nth grand nephew (how many generations is never made clear), and Dow rejects the notion of leaving, Moore offers to teach him magic — and perhaps, in time, to think like him.
  • Occurs quite famously in The Bible, where Satan tempts Jesus with control over the entire Earth. Jesus' choice is fairly obvious.
    • This has interesting theological implications: Jesus rejects the offer, but never implies that Satan couldn't deliver. Therefore, Satan apparently has some degree of authority over Earth.
    • In fact, John 12:31 describes Satan as the "ruler of this world."
  • Samis of Chanters of Tremaris tries this twice. First, to his closest friend Darrow, then later to The Heroine, Calwyn.
  • Taran, protagonist of Lloyd Alexander's The Chronicles of Prydain, is shocked to find his beloved and idolized mentor offering him the chance to conquer and rule the Kingdom of Prydain together with him near the end of the series. Its actually the Big Bad in disguise.
  • In Dinner at Deviant's Palace, the villain makes this offer to the protagonist at the eponymous dinner, noting that they're Not So Different and could work together for their respective selfish benefit. The protagonist initially dismisses the offer as "insincere, impossible, and definitely, absolutely unattractive"; after the villain has elaborated on his offer, he withdraws all three objections but says that he's still not going to take it.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Nicodemus makes this kind of offer to Harry several times.
    • In Dead Beat, Harry assumes Kumori is going to say this when she says she's going to "make him an offer", and says as such. He guessed incorrectly, though his second guess, "go away and I won't kill you", is entirely accurate.
    • However, in Ghost Story, "Evil Bob" also says he's going to make Dresden an offer. That time, it's this trope played entirely straight. (Dresden refuses, obviously.)
  • Lorelei makes a variant of this speech to her cousin Malachi in Eludoran.
  • At the end of the second Empire from the Ashes book, Battle Comp, the AI commander of the Achuultani invasion, enthusiastically makes this offer to Dahak after it realizes Dahak is a fellow AI. Dahak leads it on for a moment, then hacks Battle Comp's core programming into total shutdown.
    Then join us! You are ending — join us! We will free you from the bio-forms!
  • Rider, the Boisterous Bruiser of Fate/Zero, interrupts Saber and Lancer's duel, declares his true name (even though it was supposed to be kept secret) and offers that if they both surrender now, "we could conquer the world together". Naturally, they refuse. After staring at him a bit in flabbergasted silence because of his ridiculous his offer is.

    This actually happens to be his Modus Operandi, backstory-wise and again towards Gilgamesh. It's implied that, though he selfishly pursues his own desires, he does this so that he does not have to destroy people he likes in the process, even if they are his enemies, making this a heroic example.
  • Fevre Dream has a moment of this kind, when Damon Julian offers Abner Marsh to stay aboard the ship as a captain. Worth notice, Abner does not actually reject the deal because running a ship full of vampires is wrong, but because he realizes Julian is trying to manipulate him in order to break Joshua's spirit.
  • Baelan in Greystone Valley offers this option to Sarah, but it's questionable as to how sincere he is.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Voldemort offered Harry this back in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, also stating they could bring Harry's parents back. What with Harry being The Chosen One, this was a lie, since it is impossible to bring the dead back to life even with magic, and Voldemort actually planned to kill him as soon as he handed over the Stone.
    • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: When everyone thinks Harry is killed by Voldemort, Neville attempts to attack Voldemort, but is effortlessly blasted away. Voldemort is actually impressed by Neville's courage and, given Neville is a Pureblood, offers him a spot among his Death Eaters. Neville immediately refuses the offer.
  • Hurog: In Dragon Bones, Ward gets such an offer from the villain. As he's desperate and sees no other option, he agrees (but of course helps his friends escape, give him a Tap on the Head to make it look like he didn't). When Oreg suggests another path of action, Ward takes it, killing the villain.
  • In Brisingr of the Inheritance Cycle, Eragon receives this offer from his father Morzan... but A.) It was only a nightmare (Morzan had long been dead.) and B.) Morzan wasn't really his father; he just thought that he was, until he later learned otherwise.
  • The Egyptian gods in The Kane Chronicles offer this to the siblings Carter and Sadie again and again. Although these gods are not really evil, there would be no good consequences for them if they embarked on the trade.
  • Subverted in the Roger Zelazny story "The Last Defender of Camelot", where an immortal Lancelot tries to stop an awakened Merlin turned evil from attempting to conquer the world. Merlin easily disables Lancelot with magic, and then offers him a place at his side. Lancelot, unbelieving, asks how stupid Merlin would have to be to trust someone who changed sides so easily. Merlin counters that he wouldn't, and admits he just asked that question to give Lancelot false hope, out of spite.
  • The Lord of the Rings: Saruman offers to 'share' the power of the Ring with Gandalf — who doesn't bite. Moreover, he reasonably points out that a Ring of power can't be shared- one hand has to wear it.
  • The Man with the Terrible Eyes: After the Man gains the upper-hand in their fight, the Supervisor offers the Man the chance to be an equal partner with him in Iotech rather than a test subject if he stays. The Man wants nothing more to do with any of them at this point, and refuses.
  • In the beginning of DJ MacHale's The Pendragon Adventure, Saint Dane offers Bobby the chance to join him several times. Doesn't work.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians has Luke Castellan, who offers Annabeth this thrice and Thalia once. Becomes a Tearjerker/Harsher in Hindsight when you learn of his past with these three in book 5.
  • The Running Man: At the end CEO Killian offers Richards a job at the network to replace the head Hunter of The Running Man. Richards responds to his offer in the most spectacular way possible, by hijacking a passenger plane and ramming it into Killian's ivory tower office while flipping the bird at him.
  • The protagonist of Jennifer Fallon's Second Sons series is given this offer at the end of the second book. In a subversion, he accepts, and uses his newfound position of power within the enemy ranks to bring down The Empire from within with misdirection and trickery. As the series is largely a subversion of heroic fantasy in general, this is fitting.
  • In The Silmarillion, Melkor/Morgoth tries to convince Fëanor to defy the Valar and come to Middle-Earth with him. Fëanor almost agrees until he realises Melkor wants his Silmarils, and proceeds to slam the door in his face. Morgoth later offers to make Húrin his greatest lieutenant if he tells the location of Gondolin. Húrin refuses.
  • The Stainless Steel Rat is seeking to depose a planetary dictator by fair means or foul in The Stainless Steel Rat for President. At one stage the dictator meets with Jim DiGriz in private and suggests We Can Rule Together — he'll run the government, DiGriz will run the opposition, and they'll quietly eliminate anyone who's a real threat. DiGriz refuses outright because he believes in democracy and thinks the dictator is a total scumbag. The dictator rejects this as all politicians are out for themselves. Fine, says DiGriz, and goes on a spiel about how he wants all the goodies for himself, "All the power, the money, the women" causing the dictator to shed Manly Tears. "You remind me of myself when I was young." The truth is that DiGriz is doing all this for fun, so he fakes his death at the end to get out of running the planet.
  • In Stark's War, after Stark leads a mutiny, the General holds out the offer of high rank and protégée status as an inducement to pretend it never happened.
  • In Star Trek: The Eugenics Wars Khan tries to recruit the other superhumans to his cause. The others flatly refuse, not liking the idea of serving under Khan.
  • Star Wars: The non-canon picture book Darth Vader and Son depicts Vader making this offer to little Luke Skywalker. Little Luke asks if he can then have a treat.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • In Galaxy of Fear, the entity called Spore tries to appeal to Tash, who earlier in the book stated her fear of being alone and her desire to have a stronger connection with the Force, so she could feel like part of a team, part of something bigger than herself. It's gaining on her, and while it doesn't look like it thinks she'll really stop for it, this is distracting.
      "You will join me. You'll be a part of me. Didn't you want to become one with the Force? Isn't that what you told me? [...] The Force is nothing. If it ever existed, it belonged to Jedi who died years ago. I can offer you something more. Join me, and you will join thousands, millions of others. [...] You know, you're not strong enough to stop me. Not nearly strong enough. Once you're under my control, I'll make you my primary host. I will be you."
    • In the novelization of Revenge of the Sith, Anakin Skywalker / Darth Vader actually makes this offer to his wife Padmé, saying that Palpatine can make call himself "Emperor" and make himself the most-hated man in the galaxy and then they can overthrow him and rule together. Padmé, who has been a tireless advocate for democracy, is naturally appalled.
  • In Ira Levin's This Perfect Day, those who successfully rebel against the dystopia to the point of reaching the ruling cabal's headquarters are offered the chance to join them.
  • This happens more than once to the heroine of the Thursday Next novels, although the most recent example was a subversion — the villain knew she would reject the offer, and was only stalling to let Medusa sneak in behind her.
  • In The Underland Chronicles, Henry says this to Luxa, trying to convince her to side with him in his betrayal.
  • The Unexplored Summon://Blood-Sign: The White Queen has made this kind of offer to Kyousuke several times, due to her obsessive love for him. Since she is responsible for most of the trouble in the world, and because he thinks she isn't actually in love with him, Kyousuke always refuses.
  • In the Vampire Academy series, Dimitri is turned into a Strigoi and comes face to face with his ex-girlfriend Rose. He wishes to turn her into a Strigoi too and uses this as one of methods to coerce her. It nearly works, but she eventually manages to decline.
  • In John C. Wright's War of the Dreaming, villain Azrael de Gray tries to pull this one on a captured hero (incidentally, one of his distant descendants). The hero, though, correctly points out that the offer is merely because Azrael is up a wall, and proceeds to Hannibal Lecture him out of the room.
  • In Warrior Cats, Tigerstar convinces RiverClan and ShadowClan to combine into one Clan, and offers the other two Clans the chance to join, saying the all the leaders will rule jointly. Tallstar and Firestar refuse, and Tigerstar snarls to Firestar that he just gave up his last chance to save ThunderClan.
  • Both Lanfear and Ishamael try this on Rand in the early books of The Wheel of Time. Lanfear was serious, but her idea of "ruling together" would have ultimately involved turning Rand into a sex slave. Though a section from her perspective in book 9 shows that she meant every word of her offer, Lanfear is so intrinsically obsessive, clingy, and manipulative that any partnership with her that started equal would have ended with one member controlling or killing the other.
  • In The Witchlands, after Kullen comes back from the dead, he offers Merik this, proposing that they kill Vivia and put Merik on the throne. Merik declines.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel: The protracted war between Angel Investigations and Wolfram & Hart LLC comes to an apparent close in S4, when the firm suffers huge losses at the hands of Jasmine and her pet Beast. The firm magically rematerialized with a new office building, but with a worker shortage: Impressed by Angel's ingenuity and ideas, they offer him an ever-increasing suitcase of money — essentially corporate head-hunting — until he finally caves and unilaterally merges his agency into the firm (admittedly to save his son). This leads us into S5, aka Dilbert with vampires, where most of Angel's ideas for reform end up in the conference room wastebasket anyway.
  • The Shadows from Babylon 5 are prone to making sinister deals with other species, though in their case it's more about inspiring conflict than convincing people to join their side. The most straight example in the series was the offer given to Sheridan through his Brainwashed and Crazy wife.
  • Blake's 7
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The First Evil tries this on Andrew and Spike.
    • After Faith kills Genevieve, Roden tries to convince her to replace her in his plan to kill Buffy and survive the End of Magic.
  • This is essentially Larry's entire motivation on Burn Notice. He's nostalgic for the days when he and Michael cut a swath through three continents and he wants to do it again. However, lately he's figured out by now that Michael isn't as much like him as the forged dossier floating around would have everyone believe.
  • Oddly invoked and lampshaded in Diagnosis: Murder, in the episode "Blood Ties" (a backdoor pilot for a cop drama involving two female police officers). A team of renegade cops, who have taken to murdering known felons and placing "organ donor" stickers on their drivers licenses so their organs can be harvested for transplants, tries to convince the two protagonist cops to join them. One of the two officers comments that this reminded her of a James Bond scene, where the villain tries to convince Bond to join him in taking over the world. She says, "All Bond had to do was say 'yes', and he could buy enough time for his fellow agents to rescue him and save the day. I never understood why he never said 'yes'... until now. The answer is 'no'."
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "Colony in Space", the Master (believing he's got control of an all-powerful Doomsday weapon) offers his old school chum the chance to jointly rule the universe as a benevolent dictatorship. The Doctor replies that he wants to see the universe, not rule it.
    • The Master gives this speech to Adric in "Castrovalva" to try and get him to help him. Adric pretends to accept, but the Master sees through it immediately. Since the Master already had Adric strung up in a hadron web, being used as a human computer against his will, it doesn't put his plan in much jeopardy.
    • "School Reunion": The leader of the bat-like Krillitanes offers the Doctor the chance to join their A God Am I plan, tempting him with the power to bring his long-dead people back and ensure he'll never outlive his human loved ones. Sarah Jane talks him out of it.
    • An evil offering evil example from "Doomsday". The Daleks and the Cybermen meet face to face for the first time, both regard each others as hostiles, but the Cybermen can see that together, the two groups would be all-powerful, and propose an alliance. The Daleks, being Daleks, reject this offer with lasers.
    • The Master does this a lot — until it's inverted beautifully in "The End of Time", when the Doctor asks the Master to join him, even paraphrasing the dialogue from "Colony In Space". "You don't need to own the universe, just see it." The Master seems tempted, then slingshots back to evil... then saves the Doctor from Rassilon at the last minute.
    • Missy (aka the Mistress, aka the Master regenerated into a female form) spends series 8 setting up another one of these, just to prove that she and the Doctor aren't so different. Having assembled an army of zombie Cybermen, she hands total control of them to the Doctor, daring him to use them against the Daleks and all his other enemies.
  • Averted and then played straight in Highlander. In the episode "Comes a Horseman", Kronos offers Methos the chance to join forces with him. Methos accepts but later turns on Kronos when Silas offers him Cassandra's head. The real question is whether Methos joined forces as a stall tactic, genuinely joined forces and later changed his mind, or joined forces as part of a plan to kill Kronos.
  • On Las Vegas, Montecito owner Monica Mancuso offers this to Danny McCoy after she fired Ed; Danny, fed up with her bullheaded way of running the casino, chooses to team up with Ed against her instead.
  • The Card Carrying Magnificent Bastard Prince of Fire offers this to Xev in Lexx.
    Prince: I will be King, you will be Queen...or, perhaps, you'll be my slave. Same thing really.
  • The Masked Rider episode "Mixed Doubles" had Count Dregon offer that his heroic nephew Dex can join him in his rule. Dex, of course, turns him down.
  • Merlin sometimes receives offers like this, with his enemies usually throwing in the Not So Different card. Most notably, a powerful sorcerer sweetened the offer by playing up his insecurities and the past abuse heaped upon him. Once he threatened Arthur however, all bets were off.
  • Parodied in The Deadly Mantis episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, where Crow imagines the titular Mantis giving a speech to the hero that is equal parts this and Not So Different:
    Crow: "We're very alike, you and I, colonel; join me! care too much, don't you?!"
  • In the climax of The Outer Limits (1995) episode "Dark Child", Laura and her daughter Tammy are confronted by an alien who reveals that he is Tammy's biological father, who was conceived when he abducted and raped Laura years ago. He puts an apparent brainwashing necklace on Tammy and offers that she and Laura join him. They are family, and Tammy's status as a Half-Human Hybrid makes her potentially more powerful than a regular member of his race, so she will be a valuable asset in his race's invasion plans for Earth. Laura's encouragement gives Tammy the strength to remove the necklace. The alien loses his temper at their rejection and attempts to telekinetically strangle Laura, but Tammy angrily knocks him away and Laura stabs and kills him.
  • In the final episode of The Shadow Line, Gatehouse outlines his plan to Jonah Gabriel and offers him a chance to join him. Gabriel refuses, which is what prompts Gatehouse to have him killed.
  • In Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Redemption II", the Duras sisters offer Worf a regency (through marriage) over the Klingon Empire, which he rejects immediately out of disgust (and hey, they were scheming all over the place). The Romulans just as quickly make themselves known, since it was their hands in it.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • Hilariously inverted in the episode "Our Man Bashir", where Bashir is playing a Bond-like hero on the holodeck, and due to complicated reasons is attempting to keep the story going without killing any of the villains like he's supposed to, or have any of the Bond Girls die like one of them is supposed to. It ends with Bashir, the good guy, gives the reverse of the speech, saying he's tired of being the good guy and will join the villain, and then he himself destroys the world while the holodeck characters act like he's gone utterly insane. The holodeck villain is visibly confused by this complete and utter derailment of the plot and then attempts to kill him anyway.
    • In the episode "You Are Cordially Invited", we learn that an occurrence of this in the Klingon creation myth is the traditional source of their concept of marriage. It's also why they believe all of their creator gods are dead.
    • This is standard First Contact procedure for The Dominion- if they want to annex a civilisation they send in the Vorta to offer a single military officer or government official total domination over his people and nation in exchange for allegiance. If this fails, send in the Jem'Hadar.
  • In Supernatural, Lucifer tries to tempt Castiel, a fellow fallen angel, into joining his cause. Castiel tells him he'd die first. And Lucifer's overall plan through the entire series was to get Sam to agree to be his vessel, and in the end Sam says yes- but only so he can trap him in an inescapable prison.
  • Survivors: Dexter attempts to use the line on Tom, who's got him at his mercy. It doesn't work.
  • The White Queen: In exchange for her freedom, Margaret of Anjou offers to name Richard of Gloucester as her heir, which would make him King of England after her husband dies. To sweeten the deal, she will even allow him to marry her just-widowed daughter-in-law Anne Neville after she notices the attraction between them. Richard, who is loyal to his brother Edward IV, isn't interested.

  • In Wicked, the Wizard explains his true history to Elphaba towards the start of Act Two and suggests that, though he can't change her skin, he can make her as popular and beloved as she is, if she joins him. She's tempted by the offer - so much so that she joins him in song and dance - and then she sees Doctor Dillamond, or what's become of him, and is reminded of every reason why she despises the Wizard, and always will.
    • Interestingly he also makes this offer to her at the end of act 1, where a younger and more fiery Elphaba rejects his offer out of hand. It seems that in Act 2, Elphaba is less fiery and more willing to consider alternatives, if still just as passionate.
    • Also, in the number "Defying Gravity", Elphaba asks Glinda to join her, saying, "Together we're unlimited," but Glinda reluctantly turns her down and wishes her happiness on the path she has chosen.

  • In Richard Wagner's Götterdämmerung, Hagen asks his father Alberich who will inherit the "eternal power" (ewige Macht) of the Ring if he gets it back from Siegfried. Alberich says: "I... and you!" He can't fool his son though.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Victoria makes this offer to Melina Perez on Monday Night Raw (or rather, a Raw Brand Pay Per View). Melina accepts because Victoria was in one of her psycho phases.
  • Austin Aries made this offer to Rich Swann, a gaijin who thought he was being overlooked in Dragon Gate. Swann refused to be Aries's underling though.
  • Triple H made an offer to Roman Reigns to join the Authority but he refused.

  • In the Star Wars radio series Motti points out that Tarkin could use the Death Star to intimidate the Emperor into sharing power. This doesn't happen because the Death Star gets blown up ten minutes later, taking Motti and Tarkin with it.
  • Bleak Expectations: Mr. Benevolent makes this offer to Pip Bin, in a direct reference to The Empire Strikes Back. Pip accepts, since it sounds like fun. They then spend the next several decades ruling the Earth, until humanity gets fed up with them. This earns Pip a severe chewing out from The Creator of the Universe.

    Tabletop RPG 
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • In the adventure Vecna Lives, the avatar of Vecna is ready to weaken all the other gods and place himself as the only greater god of Grayhawk. When confronted by the heroes, he'll offer to make one of them a demigod in Vecna's service, if he will just slay the other heroes.
    • Dragonlance module DL12 Dragons of Faith. Just before Kitiara leaves the heroes, she says, "Why not join me? Together, we would be invincible!"
  • Magic: The Gathering archvillain Yawgmoth defeated Urza this way. Yawgmoth's entire plan to defeat Urza was simply to let him see Phyrexia for himself. Since Urza and Yawgmoth had similar ideas of what the world should be like, it worked.
  • During the End Times of Warhammer, this is offered twice to Settra the Imperishable. The first time was shortly after his defeated at the hands of Nagash, when the First Necromancer offered Settra a place at his side and command over his old kingdom, and the second time was when the Chaos Gods restored him in exchange for his service in destroying the world. Both times Settra ends up spitting in their faces, and he only allies with Nagash so he can have the pleasure of killing the necromancer himself.
    "Settra does not serve!... Settra rules!"
  • This was the offer the Lawful Evil Seers of the Throne extended to the Nameless Orders early in the nineteenth century: rulership of the world under the Exarches, as the Seers themselves claimed. Most of the Nameless Orders said no. Then they formed the Free Council. Then they backed that "no" up with guns and bombs. The subset of the Seers who extended the offer still haven't recovered from this.

  • This happens a few times in BIONICLE:
    • Makuta says this to Mata Nui prior to their Final Battle, although he seemed to be using it as a taunt rather than a serious proposition.
    • Earlier on, there's a variation where Sidorak had an open invitation to another villain, his second-in-command, Roodaka; offering to make her co-ruler as Queen. She holds off an accepting until she can say I Can Rule Alone.
    • Meanwhile, during the same arc, Roodaka sways Vakama to her side, as The Dragon of sorts over the Visorak horde. That is, until the end of the movie.
    • During the Mahri Nui arc, Makuta, disguised as Maxilos, attempts to sway Matoro to his side.
    • This is how Nidhiki wound up joining the Dark Hunters.
  • Ever After High: The Evil Queen offers this to her daughter, Raven (whom she does sincerely love).
    It'll be a great bonding experience. Like shopping! Only word domination.

    Video Games 
  • In Wizard101, when you meet up with Morganthe, Big Bad of Arc 2, in Mirror Lake, she will offer to take you under her wing, citing that the two of you are Not So Different. Naturally, you don't have the option to accept and you proceed to fight her minions.
  • System Shock 2 does this, word for word.
    • Which is followed by a hilarious, and oh-so-satisfying, rebuttal.
    (Camera zooms in on PC, complete with "Whooshing" sound that kills the music)
    "Nah." (BAM!)
  • Pool of Radiance (the original 1988 game): The standard offer is given by Tyranthaxus before the Final Boss battle. In a small twist, the offer is made to each character in your party individually; if some characters accept and others refuse, the character who refuse fight against the Big Bad along with the accepting characterings in the Final Boss battle. (Evil aligned NPCs automatically accept.)
  • Dragon Quest: After fighting your way to the Dragonlord's throne room, he gives the standard offer. Refusing leads to the standard Final Boss battle, while accepting seems to produce a Nonstandard Game Over. But in actuality, you can betray him and start the normal boss fight at any time, and the normal ending will proceed as if your brief Face–Heel Turn never happened.
  • Dragon Quest Builders takes place in an alternate continuity where the hero from the original Dragon Quest accepted the Dragonlord's offer, only to be betrayed by the foul fiend and the realm plunged into a dark age. Near the end of the game, it's revealed that he made good on the letter of his offer, with the fallen hero granted dominion over a small castle titled "Half the World". When you eventually confront the Dragonlord, he gives you the same offer. If you accept, he'll bestow upon you dominion over a similarly tiny "half" of the world: your tomb!
  • Jade Empire has a twist: you can agree to leave the Big Bad alone and let him have his dream of world domination, in return for being idolized as a hero by future generations. The resulting ending is not quite a Nonstandard Game Over, but it's not exactly uplifting either.
  • In Deus Ex, your final confrontation with the villain will have him growing increasingly nervous as you're demolishing his great scheme for world domination, and he'll gladly offer up a lion's share of the world to make you stop.
  • in Deus Ex: Invisible War you can actually accept the offers of all the feuding factions. Although how much power you receive under the new regimes is debatable, and you're free to backstab all of them.
  • As per Sith customs, very common in Star Wars videogames, though those endings are usually not canon.
    • In Dark Forces: Jedi Knight, if Kyle has built up significant negative Karma through out the game, when offered this choice Kyle takes a third option: "Why do I need you, Jerec, when I can take all the power of the Valley myself?".
    • Averted for once in Jedi Knight: Jedi Outcast: the game's Big Bad attempts in a cut-scene, but Kyle, having fallen to The Dark Side in the last game, obviously refuses and counters with a Last-Second Chance. It doesn't work either.
      Desann: I was wrong about you, Katarn. Your failure as a Jedi hasn't weakened you; it's only made you stronger. Come, join me. You know in your heart that you'll never truly be one of them.
      Kyle Katarn: Maybe, maybe not, but I know I won't be alone. How 'bout you, Desann? Even now, after all this pain, there's still hope. Come, join us.
    • And in the next game, Jedi Academy, played the same way as in Jedi Knight: if the player chooses The Dark Side, Jaden responds to the proposition with "Why should I change one master for another?".
    • Offered to the player several times in the first Knights of the Old Republic. Yuthura Ban offers this to you as a sidequest. Bastila offers it at the climax. If you take the latter offer, you can turn around and be the one making the offer to your party. Most of them will refuse. You'll have to kill them.
    • In an inversion, near the end of Knights of the Old Republic, Malak's latest Dragon offers to join with you to crush both Malak and the Republic, you're free to accept and doing so locks you into the darkside ending. The variation to the standard theme is that the Dragon offers to become your Dragon if you turn against the Republic (generally, the We Can Rule Together offer suggests you'll be the Dragon or at best that you'd be equals). They also assure you than once they become strong enough they will kill you, as a good Sith should. Nice it's all planned out, huh?
    • The video game adaptation of Revenge of the Sith included an Alternate Ending, where Anakin pisses all over Obi-wan's "high ground", impaling him. Cue this exchange:
    Palpatine: Excellent work, my apprentice. There are none left to oppose us. The galaxy is ours now. Your new weapon, Lord Vader. (Gives Anakin lightsaber. Anakin kills him with it.)
    Darth Vader: No. The galaxy belongs to me.
    • In Star Wars: The Old Republic, this option comes up at the end of the first act of the Imperial Agent storyline, in which Darth Jadus gives you the choice of either working for him or be forced into a Sadistic Choice in which you must either try and stop either him or his doomsday weapon. This does actually impact the story somewhat, but not too heavily since Jadus is all about working in the shadows. Alternatively, you can bluff him into backing off without accepting or rejecting him, but you'll need to tread carefully.
    • In the Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion pack, Valkorion/The Sith Emperor offers both you and Darth Marr power and a place at his side, since he considers the two of you some of the only worthwhile beings in the galaxy. Marr rejects the offer and dies trying to kill Valkorion, while you have the option of rejecting or accepting the offer. If you reject it, Arcann, Valkorion's son, will hand you your weapon, which you use to kill Valkorion. If you accept the offer, however, Arcann himself will kill his father while he's distracted giving you some of his power. No matter the choice, Valkorion still dies.
  • The Anti-Climax Boss of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time does this.
  • In Suikoden V, this happens relatively early in the game. It's really more of a "be a figurehead king while I pull the strings" deal, but still. Agreeing results in a Nonstandard Game Over/Bad Ending where the guy who made you the offer decides that he can rule alone and has you killed.
  • Battlezone 2 gave you this option about halfway through the game (well, technically it was joining the rebels, but the gist of it was this anyway.) If you refused, your commander takes over and prepares to invade Earth and institute a fascist government. If you joined them, they turn the tenth planet into a base in preparation to turn Earth into a Utopia. Or something.
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon 2 does this in the game's second storyline. Darkrai offers you a chance to give in and rule the world alongside him. Your partner even accepts Darkrai's offer and urges you to give up as well. After a while, however, the game ultimately leads you to the conclusion that Darkari has you in a nightmare, causing the player to break free and attack him, setting the mood for the subsequent boss fight.
    • Not only that, but your partner tells you that if you refuse, your partner and best friend will die.
    • In the first pair of games the "personality test" in the beginning may include this trope as a question. Accepting the offer boosts towards various personalities (and thus different species for the player) by small amounts, while refusing gives a massive boost towards Courage.
  • Subverted in Pokémon Colosseum. Nascour, the apparent leader of Cipher, asks if you would like to become a permanent competitor at Realgam Tower, with promises that you will rise to the top in no time... only to backpedal and state that he isn't that merciful, and that he intends to destroy you instead.
  • In Streets of Rage, the final boss offers likewise (although if you accept, he immediately betrays you). This leads to an interesting alternative ending if, in a two-player game, one player accepts and the other does not: the two players get to fight one another, and if the "bad" player wins, he gets to defeat the final boss on his own, and replace him as a crimelord.
  • In Neverwinter Nights 2, an evil player character has the opportunity to join the King of Shadows as his Darth Vader. Good player characters are not offered this opportunity. In fact, all of the player's henchmen are also offered this opportunity, and you can lose some of them and have to fight against them if you do not have enough influence with them.
  • Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark:
    • Your henchmen get tempted during the final battle with Mephistopheles. Whether or not you have to fight against them depends on your persuasion skill or if one of them is your love interest.
    • The Valsharess makes such an offer to you at the midpoint of the game before it is revealed that Mephistopheles has been the real Big Bad all along and was manipulating her into bringing the one who could defeat her (and incidentally free him) right to them.
    • An interesting catch though is that no matter what has happened, no matter how tempting the offer might be, and regardless of your persuasion skill Deekin will always side with you. He's just that awesome.
    • You can also turn this back on Mephistopheles: if you find his true name in the final chapter, you can use it to control him, and one of the optional endings has you ruling the Hells together.
  • In Way of the Samurai, if the player has managed to forge an alliance between the two ruling factions of Rokkotsu Pass and fend off the evil army effectively, he will be asked by the Big Bad if he would like to switch sides. Accepting the offer is the only way to acquire the game's fifth ending.
  • Happens early in EarthBound with Mr. Carpainter. Accepting just gives the villain a "first strike" with a lightning bolt, but you automatically deflect it if wearing the Franklin Badge. Incidentally, if you don't accept it, he still zaps you with lightning, making this a But Thou Must! choice.
  • Boktai 2 allows you to take the offer from Black Dainn. You get a strange Non-Standard Game Over where a spooky image of Django's vampire form appears, and the game fades out over Sabata's protests. After the credits, the doomsday prophecy is played again, implying that you and Dainn have fulfilled it and ended the world.
  • In Fate/stay night's Fate Scenario, Kotomine attempts to tempt Shirou and Saber with the Holy Grail. Both refuse, though Saber can end up accepting if you have a low relationship with her.
    • There's also, in Unlimited Blade Works, Caster, who tries to tempt Shirou and Archer to join her team and share the Holy Grail. When they both refuse (Shirou because Caster is a villain, Archer because she's not strong enough a villain), she later takes Taiga hostage and repeats the offer. Shirou can say yes, but her 'use' for him is a mite... Unpleasant.
  • In Bio Motor Unitron, the Unitice asks you to turn all your UNITRON power over to it. If you accept, the Unitice thanks you and proceeds to engulf the entire planet in a metal shell, presumably killing all other life forms (including the protagonist). (It's not explained why it's so significant that the player surrender for the Unitice to do this. I suppose it just wanted to give the player a chance.) If you refuse, you battle and the Unitice is defeated. Though the destruction of the Unitice means that all the robots that you've been training and battling with throughout the entire game are reduced to dust, crippling a lot of the modern economy. Heigh ho.
  • In Contra: Hard Corps, one of the villains gives you the chance to join him. Accepting immediately results in a bad ending, while refusing will result in a boss battle instead.
  • Cuphead ends in a similar way to the aforementioned Contra: Hard Corps: After getting all the Soul Contracts and beating King Dice, Cuphead and Mugman meet up with the Devil, who gives them an offer of whether they can rule the Inkwell Isles if they hand over the contracts. Accepting the offer can result in the Devil turning them into demonic servants and lead to a bad ending; but if they refuse, it will lead to the ultimate battle with him, where they will (literally) risk their necks not just for their own lives, but for the lives of everyone on the Inkwell Isles whom they will save from eternal servitude to the Devil.
  • Subverted in The Bard's Tale, where The Bard has the option of joining with the Demon Queen. Yes, the world is screwed, but it's the one that works best for his interests (Coin and Cleavage).
  • Final Fantasy VI has Gestahl and Kefka offer this to Celes. She doesn't buy it, because by this point she's come to believe that too much power only leads to destruction. That, and it probably didn't appeal to her that Gestahl implied he wanted her and Kefka to breed with each other to create new Magitek troops for him...
  • In Dissidia: Final Fantasy, Kefka pulls this on Terra due to her destructive nature and past Heel–Face Turn. Terra, too, doesn't fall for it.
    • The Emperor makes a similar but far more eloquent proposal to the Warrior of Light, the Warrior however doesn't fall for it either.
  • The Final Boss's introductory cutscene in Link: The Faces of Evil: "Join me, Link, and I will make your face the greatest in Koridai! Or else you will DIE."(It Makes Sense in Context - the faces of Gannon's Koridian elites are carved into mountains, as shown on the map.)
  • Happens in the Ghouls & Ghosts spinoff game, Gargoyle's Quest. The Big Bad tells the player that he will make you a king if you join him, but if you accept, he simply laughs and drains you of all your powers, leaving you hopelessly outgunned in the ensuing fight.
  • Super Robot Wars subversion: In SRW64, you are eventually asked to assist one of the several villainous factions in the game. You can actually join any of them, and none of them are bad choices, nor do they result in a betrayal.
  • In Shadow the Hedgehog, you can choose to fight with or against Black Doom, and you can switch whenever you choose.
    Mephiles: Come with me, Shadow. Let us punish this foolish world of humanity.
    • Shadow turns him down in a most awesome way though.
    • In Archie's Sonic, Scourge suggests to Sonic that they work together and rule the multiverse, the two of them working as one, because they're so powerful. You even get the feeling he wouldn't betray Sonic if he'd agreed to Scourge's way of thinking. Sonic freezes up, and Scourge takes it as a serious consideration, but Sonic later explains that he was so utterly disgusted at the suggestion that he couldn't even speak.
  • In Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army, the villain Munakata asks the main character to join him every time they meet. The player appears to get to make this choice, but it's really a But Thou Must! situation.
  • In The World Ends with You, right before the final boss battle with Megumi Kitaniji, he asks you to join him in order to brainwash everyone into thinking exactly the same, thus letting him rebuild Shibuya. You are actually allowed to make this choice, but Neku refuses no matter what you choose.
  • One of these happens in every Breath of Fire game to date. If Ryu takes the offer, he'll usually go on to slaughter his former party members, destroy the world, and otherwise become the embodiment of the Big Bad. Since this almost always occurs at the end of the game, it's more like a bad ending than a Nonstandard Game Over.
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, Sebastian LaCroix (your boss and the current Prince of Los Angeles) offers you this if you choose to stick with him all the way to the end. Sadly, you also both end up dying in a massive explosion. Oops.
  • Subversion in Tsukihime. Roa admires Shiki's Mystic Eyes of Death Perception so he says that Shiki and he will work together now. Shiki asks if Roa is offering this trope, and Roa retorts not, he'll just suck his blood and make him into a minion, because a minion can't betray him or say 'no' to the offer in the first place.
    • Arcueid also offers to make Shiki her minion in the Ciel path, reasoning that it'll work out for both of them since it lets her keep Shiki by her side, and Shiki will gain the backup needed to fight off Roa's Demonic Possession. Shiki ends up refusing her regardless, but the manner in which you refuse her decides whether or not you get the Good ending.
  • Mors Gotha makes this offer to the Avatar in Ultima Underworld II, on the condition that you surrender a weapon to her (it doesn't have to be your main weapon; a dagger will suffice). You end up fighting her regardless of whether you take up the offer.
  • The Neverhood gives 2 choices after this proposal: Klaymen can either accept Klogg's proposal and then betray him through I Can Rule Alone, or return the crown to the legitimate king.
  • Ceville does not openly contain such a proposal, but ends in the best possible way: Evil Ceville marries dumb but good hearted Queen Gwendolyn and actually rule together. After all, goodies are no less evil they just hide it better.
  • This can happen a few times in E.V.O.: Search for Eden. The first time, you are offered to join the tyrannosaurs in ruling over the world. You can, but you are then treated to viewing the extinction of your new allies...and you. Later in the game, you are given the choice to join King Rogon in his undersea kingdom. Another Nonstandard Game Over awaits you if you accept. The actual Final Boss, Bolbox, doesn't make this offer because he has the same motivations as the Protagonist—getting to Eden and becoming Gaia's partner—which only one person can achieve at a time.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • Morrowind:
      • Big Bad Physical God Dagoth Ur was a trusted friend of the original Nerevar in the backstory, and wishes for this to be the case once again. He repeatedly makes offers for the Nerevarine, supposedly Nerevar's Reincarnation, to join him, even right up until the final battle. However, there is no way for the player to actually choose this option. (An actual chance to do so was cut from the game before release due to time constraints.)
      • In the Tribunal expansion, Tribunal deity Almalexia, who was the wife of the original Nerevar, wants the Nerevarine to prove that he's really Nerevar, so they can reunite. This is despite the fact that, depending on which version of the events of Nerevar's death you believe, she and the other members of the Tribunal may have been the ones to betray and murder Nerevar. Regardless of what you do, Almalexia proves to have gone completely off the deep end due to the loss of her divine powers as a result of the main game's main quest. She kills fellow Tribune Sotha Sil, tries to murder the Nerevarine to be a martyr to her cause, and plans to murder the other Tribune, Vivec, leaving her as the only figure for the Dunmer people to worship in her new monotheistic state.
    • Skyrim:
  • Halo:
    • In Halo 3, Gravemind unsuccessfully attempts this on Master Chief: "I am a timeless chorus; join your voice with mine, and sing victory everlasting". Though in this case it was less "join with me" and more "become part of me".
    • In Halo 5: Guardians Cortana offers Master Chief and Blue Team this. His counteroffer is her returning home with him. So she decides to lock him away for 10,000 years under the assumption that by then they'll be able to convince Master Chief to see it their way.
  • Interesting twist in Star Trek: Elite Force 2, Munro interrogates a Ferengi and tricks him into offering him his own planet, but then arrests him for attempted bribery. (If you accept the offer you lose).
  • In Wizardry 8, when the final boss (who you've been simultaneously stalking and avoiding the whole game for three games) sees you attempting to alter history (your party and him just became gods; you snuck around behind him arguing with a robot about where the old gods were because he wanted revenge) in order to revoke his godhood, he confronts you and you're given three options: rewrite history (beat him up, become gods alone, doing the best you can), tear out the page that banished him from godhood (beat him up and his past-self helps you be benevolent gods), or join him and form a universe of terror with him as your mentor.
  • In Ninety-Nine Nights, Yesperratt tries this line on Tyurru. Tyurry doesn't even stop to consider it before starting to lay on the smackdown. It didn't help that the villain killed her mentor right in front of her just before offering...
  • In Diablo III Zoltun Kulle offers this repeatedly to the player character in Act II.
  • In Alpha Protocol, Henry Leland will make this offer to Mike if he likes Mike and Mike agrees to work with him. At that point, Mike can do this, or either wipe out Alpha Protocol or do the above and slip an explosive surprise to Leland, and then take over Halbech himself. Depending on what transpires earlier, this is a rare case where accepting the offer is not only an option, but makes sense.
  • In Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Barkley is offered this right before the final battle. Accepting results in a Nonstandard Game Over.
  • In Viewtiful Joe, Fire Leo offers Joe half the world if he joins Jadow. Joe not only turns it down, but says he wouldn't join even if Jadow offered to give him the whole planet.
  • In The 7th Saga, the villain of Patrof offers this to you. If you say 'yes', the castle gates will unlock. You must eventually say 'no' to progress the story.
  • In Darksiders, Abaddon the Destroyer offers War the chance to conquer the universe together with him under the banner of Hell. A deal that Abaddon himself accepted when he realized he would be disgraced if he went back to Heaven. He notes that War has nothing to lose and everything to gain since all of Creation hates War anyway. He ends his offer with a final question: "Will you serve in Heaven? Or rule in Hell?" War's response: "I choose what once...a coward did not". Cue boss battle.
  • The climax of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed has Starkiller defeat Darth Vader in a Boss Battle. In a parallel to Return of the Jedi, Emperor Palpatine laughs and says, "Yes! Kill him! He was weak! Broken! Kill him and take your rightful place at my side!" You can choose the Light Side and attack Palpatine, or choose the Dark Side and finish Vader off.
    • In the second game, when Starkiller storms the Imperial stronghold on Cato Nemoidia trying to rescue Rahm Kota, Baron Tarko is impressed by his strength and tries to recruit him as a gladiator, even shouting, "You can have all the wine, women, and blood you want!" Starkiller simply presses on.
  • In Infinity Blade the God King will make this offer to the Warrior if he survives the first phase of the fight. Should the Warrior accept the God King then reveals that he was once a mortal and that there are worse Deathless out there. To fight them, the God King needs a strong champion like the Warrior at his side. It's actually a pretty decent, if short, ending... but since it breaks the self-destructive cycle of revenge that's the focus of the entire game, you get booted back to before the fight after the credits roll to try again.
  • Tales of Monkey Island: LeChuck does this to Elaine after fatally stabbing Guybrush and telling her about his playful acts of "kindness":
    LeChuck: I know you've developed feelings for me... join me as my demon bride and together we'll lay a bloody siege to the very heart of voodoo itself!
    Elaine: Go to hell, LeChuck.
    LeChuck: Well, you can't say I didn't try... Looks like we'll be doing this with all that voodoo...
    • She finally accepts that offer in Chapter 5... but only when she needs to hold the untouchable (for humans) Cutlass of Kaflu in order to destroy LeChuck once she is returned to normal.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, there's a few of these.
    • In the main game, this is Mr. House' offer for you to work for him. By doing so you become his Dragon. He entirely makes good on his promises.
    • Caesar also makes a similar offer, although it's closer to "join me and you'll be one of my main lieutenants" than anything else.
    • In the Dead Money DLC, you can join Father Elijah in his genocidal plans at the end if you're an enemy of the NCR. If you do, you get a Nonstandard Game Over where it's stated that the Courier and Elijah unleashed the Cloud and the holograms on the Mojave Wasteland killing everything in it's path and that they remained in the Sierra Madre waiting for the world to "begin again".
    • Old World Blues has a Dummied Out bad ending where the Courier becomes a member of the Think Tank and helps them take over the Mojave.
  • Earth 2150 has an interesting version where choosing yes actually works out and changes the next missions. As the Lunar Corporation you are allied with the United Civilised States until you come across the Hacker "Neo". Since your avatar Fang knows him, he offers you to change alliances towards the Eurasian Dynasty by simply destroying the UCS container vehicles. Cue a different set of missions against the UCS and a lot of humorous remarks from Neo. The alliance is later killed by the ED.
  • Langrisser II's remake Der Langrisser gives you the choice of joining the Evil Empire midgame... And doing so branches off into a completely different campaign. Several, in fact.
  • In the Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning "House of Ballads" questline, the Maid of Windemere makes this offer to you several times. After you gain the upper hand against her in battle, she begs for mercy and explains that she just wants to be loved and is sick of being the Designated Villain of the Telling. This creates a truly unusual variation of this trope: since you're "King Wencen" now after the original chickened out, you effectively rule the House of Ballads already. The player character is the one who can make the We Can Rule Together offer to the defeated villain.
  • In Parasite Eve, Big Bad Eve attempts to convince Aya several times to join her in taking over the world where sentient mitochondria are the supreme rulers (since Aya has powers just like Eve). Aya says nothing at first and just fights Eve since Aya is not sure of herself or if her powers would make her become like Eve. Near the end of the game, Aya gains more determination and realizes that her mitochondria is the only thing that can stop Eve.
  • The remake of Tomb Raider has Natla pull this trope on Lara Croft. Natrually, Lara doesn't buy it.
  • The Street Fighter series has Bison telling more than one fighter around the world to join him and Shadaloo. No one accepts.
  • Vanitas in Kingdom Hearts offers Ventus this.
    • Braig offers it to Sora in Kingdom hearts 3D, and of course he refuses. But he isn't given much of a choice.
  • Anji Mito receives this offer from That Man in Guilty Gear X. Uncommonly for the trope, he accepts. For a while, anyway.
  • Averted in the 2010 Wii remake of GoldenEye 007. Alec says he pondered the idea of offering James a chance to fight on his side but ultimately realized that Bond's loyalty would always stand in his way and opts to do away with him instead.
  • Jossed in the Marathon 2 manual.
    Hint: Durandal is not your father, and you will not join the Dark Side or rule the galaxy together as father and son. Sorry.
  • In the Mass Effect series, Saren and The Illusive Man both attempt this, trying to convince Commander Shepard to join their side. Inverted by Paragon Shepard, who instead repeatedly tries to get them to join their side instead and help them stop the Reapers.
  • In Tactics Ogre, as Denam is about to help Catiua take her rightful place on the throne, Brantyn Morne offers him the chance to rule Valeria alongside him.
  • In MechWarrior 4: Vengence, Ian Dresari is giving this offer not once,not twice, but THREE TIMES in rapid succession. After refusing all three offers he is asked what he WOULD like for the offerer's life. His response is likely the most badass response to this trope in history.
    Offerer: Well then Mr. Dresari, what DO you want?!
    Ian Dresari: I want my family back.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine: Nemeroth asks Titus to join him, so he can lead the Ultramarines in domination of the galaxy. Titus refuses, and the final battle begins.
  • In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Senator Armstrong immediately dusts off Raiden and helps him up after beating the crap out of him when it seems like Raiden actually agrees with his philosophy. Even after being defeated in the end, seconds from death, Armstrong is satisfied because he believes he found a kindred spirit in Raiden. The ending shows that Raiden did share some of Armstrong's opinions.
  • In Fire Emblem Awakening, Grima ultimately needs his chosen vessel that would be the player character to merge with him. He has found a workaround, but it's strictly plan B. As long as he and his vessel are separated, his power is incomplete.
  • Massmouth 2: The Big Bad attempts this on Massmouth, twice. The first time, your choice determines the next mission only—if you agree to work for him then at the end he decides you're too dangerous to keep alive anyway. He tries it again at the end of the game; cue Multiple Endings.
  • In Assassin's Creed III, Haytham Kenway tries more than once to make his son Connor adopt the Templar way of thinking. It's a mix of types 2, 3, 4, and 5. Haytham is so dedicated to the Templar cause that he doesn't quite get why Connor is so opposed to it, Connor would be a very deadly Templar agent, Connor is his son, and (perhaps most importantly) Haytham really wants to hear Connor say "Father, you were right."
  • In Assassin's Creed Origins, the Order of the Ancients spares Bayek's life after the incident that led to his son Khemu's death in hopes of him coming around and joining them. Given that they are very cosmopolitan and diverse, including Romans and Egyptians alike in their ranks, they'd probably be willing to take him in. But considering what they have done previously, its baffling they ever thought a Papa Wolf like Bayek would ever side with Khemu's murderers.
  • At the end of Dante's Inferno, Lucifer proposes that he and Dante join forces, saying Dante can have anything he wants. Dante flatly refuses. In the comicbook version, Dante replies, "All I want is to be rid of you!"
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable : The Gears of Destiny, choosing former Artifact of Doom Reinforce in the Sequence 4 battle against Lord Dearche will have Lord Dearche giving this offer to her. Reinforce naturally refuses.
  • In Deus Ex: Human Revolution, certain e-mail messages reveal that the Illuminati asked David Sarif to join their ranks. David refused since he's fundamentally opposed to their goals. The Illuminati want to maintain the status quo as much as possible to control the world and David is an idealist who wants to usher in sweeping changes to the world via augmentation.
  • At the end of Half-Life you have the choice between joining the G-Man or a Bolivian Army Ending. Subverted in hindsight, in that joining him is canon and the G-Man isn't that evil, but at that point you don't know that.
  • Tales of the Abyss has the God Generals and Van ask a couple of the heroes (and Asch) to help free the world from Yulia's Score. While the heroes do agree that the Score shouldn't be followed later in the game, they don't agree with the villains' way of going about it.
  • Far Cry 4 gives the player the option of actually doing this with a Secret Ending you can see within 15 minutes of starting the game. All you have to do is simply stay at Pagan Min's table rather than try and escape. He eventually comes back, sincerely apologizes for being delayed by the Golden Path attack, takes Ajay to scatter his mother's ashes, then the two board the helicopter with the clear implication that Ajay has become his new dragon.
    Pagan Min: Oh good. Do you feel better now? Did you get it out of your system? Good. And now maybe we can finally shoot some goddamned guns.
  • Trajkov in Geneforge is a megalomaniac bent on building an army of genetically modified supersoldiers and overthrowing the established Shaper government, but he's quite charismatic about it and even offers the player a place at his side in exchange for helping him achieve demigod-like powers. He's entirely truthful about his bargain and the resulting ending arguably results in a better off fate for the protagonist than helping out any of the "good" factions.
  • At the end of Kult: Heretic Kingdoms, Alita, the protagonist turns out not to be The Chosen One, but is in possession of the magic sword which the real chosen one requires. This can result in a deal like this being struck, depending on player choice.
  • In Axiom Verge, Athetos makes the classic "with you at my side" offer, and Trace thinks it over a little before responding:
    "Okay, I've thought about it, and my answer is... hell no, you self-righteous jerk!"
  • Pony Island: The devil laments during 'Adventure Mode' that you're going to fix/exploit bugs, and not going to play by the rules, however, becomes excited that the player will help them play-test his newest "game design revolution" together. What makes it tragic for him (see YMMV) is you make progress faster than he can code up levels, and refuse to take breaks.
  • In Nocturne: Rebirth, the Big Bad, Khaos, plans on decomposing the world and reconstructing it to a certain time in the past, essentially allowing time travel and timeline alteration. He offers to use this power to undo Reviel's massacres so he can restart his life with a clean slate and to undo Luna's transformation into a vampire. They both refuse and decide that it's better to live with their mistakes and deal with their obstacles in the present, since using this power means everything they've ever been through would be for nothing.
  • Happens twice in Persona 5. The first is when corrupt politician Masayoshi Shido's Shadow offers to employ you, but he isn't being sincere and will try to kill you even if you don't outright refuse him. The second one is offered after Yaldabaoth and his plan to enslave humanity is exposed. This offer can be accepted, as a result of which the Phantom Thieves end up in control of the city at the expense of remaining under Yaldabaoth's thumb.
  • Bookworm Adventures:
    Dracula: Join with me and reject Codex!
    Lex: 'Join with you'? When does that EVER work?
  • In Ikemen Sengoku's prologue, Nobunaga Oda asks the female main character, "How would you like to rule the world at my side?" after she saves his life. She (who, unbeknownst to him, is an accidental time traveler from the modern day who just wants to get back home) immediately turns him down. Being more of an Anti-Hero than a villain, however, he bears no ill will toward her for her refusal (even though his subordinates are all shocked that someone dared refuse the Devil King something) and if the player chooses to romance him, the main character eventually has a change of heart and asks him if his offer to rule by his side is still on the table.
  • Dawn of War: If you play the chaos campaign, then Kyras will give Eliphas an offering to join him and destroy the galaxy, however Eliphas refuses as he is under orders from Abaddon to kill Kyras.
  • In Pillars of Eternity, this offer is made by Woedica, through Skaen to the player character. Accepting it is not a Non-Standard Game Over, but a perfectly valid ending.
  • In the true ending of the main game of Nioh, Sir John Dee the true mastermind behind Edward Kelley and the devastation he inflicted on Japan for the purpose of gathering amrita is confronted by William. He asks William to join him in leading England to greatness with the power of amrita. When William refuses, he becomes the True Final Boss.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • In There Will Be Brawl, Zelda tries this on Link, though it fails. Ganondorf tries this on more or less everyone, to set up for a certain other trope...
  • In Dragon Ball Z Abridged, Dodoria attempts this with Vegeta.
    Dodoria: "Vegeta, wait! We can team up against Freeza! Rule the universe, as husband and wife!"
    • Later, Zarbon tries the same thing, except without the proposal, and Vegeta casually blows him off (and up).
      • No homo.
  • Dora the Explorer: The Search for the Infinity Orb - "Join me, Dora. Together we'll be the greatest Swipers the world has ever seen." (Unfortunately, this isn't real, it's just a fake trailer, albeit a really well done one, with Ariel Winter as Dora.)
  • During the "Frollo Beats up Evil Residents" arc of The Frollo Show, Achmed Frollo tries to convince regular Frollo to join him in conquering the world with their zombie virus, but fails, possibly because he said Frollo would get to rape Panty.

    Western Animation 
  • Subverted in an episode of Duck Dodgers. Dodgers joins the Green Lantern Corps after getting Hal Jordan's ring due to a drycleaner mishap. He ends up as the last one standing against Sinestro, who has subdued the rest of the Corps. When Sinestro offers him the chance to join with him, Dodgers replies, "Yeah, sure, why not?" Sinestro suddenly launches into a tirade ("You fool! You defy my generous offer", etc.) before stopping and asking if he actually agreed. Sinestro is then disappointed because he didn't get the chance for his angry rejection speech. Being a good sport, Dodgers lets him give it anyway. And this incident subverts the trope in another way: by showing the folly of forging an alliance with the kind of fickle character who would agree to switch sides on the drop of a hat. Duck Dodgers has a sudden change of heart, and frees the other Corps members when Sinestro isn't expecting it.
  • Teen Titans:
    • Slade's hidden motive all along was revealed to be just to get Robin to join him. The Diabolical Mastermind finally resorted to outright blackmail — apprenticeship in exchange for his friends' lives. At least, he used the word "apprentice," but what he really seemed to want was a catamite son:
    Slade: Who knows? I may even become like a father to you.
    Robin: I already have a father.
  • Danny Phantom:
    • Before Motive Decay set in in Season 3, Vlad Plasmius held a similar obsession for Danny, offering him partnership from Day 1: "Think about the things I could show you. The doors I could open for you. You, Danny Phantom, and I, Vlad Plasmius... together, we could rule!"
    • This is also said word-for-word by Sam, when she's mind controlled into becoming The Dragon for a plant-based ghost, complete with Stripperiffic Poison Ivy-ish outfit.
  • Xiaolin Showdown:
    • In the first Season Finale, Wuya offers this to Raimundo, who's feeling unappreciated... and he accepts, helping her regain her physical form and Take Over the World. He has a change of heart and leaves her in the second season's opening two-parter.
    • Incidentally, this results in Raimundo asking his friends to serve Wuya at his side - he joined her because of his own selfish reasons, but never really wanted to hurt anyone. So when Wuya threatens his friends, the only way he can think of to spare then and keep what Wuya's given him is to pull this trope. They tell him they'd rather kiss the backside of a mule.
    • Chase Young has this as his entire motivation - he knows Omi has the potential to defeat him someday, but also that their combined power would make him invincible. Therefore, he never puts his Evil Plan into motion until Omi is at his side. Throughout season 2, he is shown to be making progress slowly luring Omi to the side of evil, only to use a magic Mirror Morality Machine... but while Omi is under its effects Chase gets him to swear his loyalty, so that when he's snapped out of it, he goes over willingly.
  • Superman: The Animated Series:
    • Lex Luthor tries this (in a roundabout way) at the end of the pilot movie, but is soundly rebuffed.
    • In the comics (Post-Crisis, pre-Infinite Crisis, at least) Lex hires some Mooks to hijack his own boat just to see Superman in action. He's so impressed by what he sees he offers Supes a blank check and a permanent staff position. The mayor offers to temporarily deputize Superman so he can arrest Luthor for reckless endangerment of the passengers. Three guesses on what Superman decides to do, and the first two don't count.
    • Darkseid delivers one of these to a weakened Superman in a pivotal episode. It even plays out at the top of a tall mountain, paralleling the Biblical temptation of Jesus.
  • Occurs frequently in Avatar: The Last Airbender, but what would you expect when the Big Bad is voiced by Luke Skywalker?
    • Azula makes such an offer to Zuko — a chance to help her capture Ba Sing Se and kick ass together as siblings. In a rare exception, he joins her, and they do indeed kick ass as evil siblings, even conquering a country in a few hours. However, he quits later.
    • Azula later tries to use it as a pickup line in the Beach Episode combined with flaming hands, but that doesn't work out as well for her.
    • Over 100 years previously, Firelord Sozin used the same pickup line on Avatar Roku. Roku declined, and Sozin got pissed.
    • Mai's father continues the tradition in the comic Rebound when he tries to persuade Mai to join his movement to overthrow Zuko now that she's broken up with him.
  • Happens again in the sequel series The Legend of Korra. Hiroshi Sato attempts this on his daughter Asami so they can take out all the Benders. It looks like she accepts, but then she attacks him.
  • In one episode of Invader Zim, Zim outsmarts a mall security guard who then declares his respect for Zim's skill and offers him a partnership - "Together, we can rule the mall!" Zim declines the offer - obviously because he plans to rule the Earth.
  • In the second episode of the classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, Shredder makes this offer to the Turtles, on the grounds that his having accidentally been responsible for their mutation (in the course of betraying and attempting to poison their sensei) means they are destined to work with him. The response:
    Raphael: Does the phrase "Go suck a lemon" hold any meaning for ya?
  • In an episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Eris tries this with Mandy, and has her considering taking the offer, until she slips up and says "You'll be the second most powerful person in the universe."
  • In the Fairly OddParents episode "End of the Univers-ity", Dark Laser tries to corrupt Timmy into joining his team by giving him a dark suit that begins to take over Timmy's personality. Fortunately, Timmy snaps out of it at the last second when he was about to destroy Earth and rebels against Dark Laser (albeit he keeps the suit anyway).
  • One episode of Phineas and Ferb has Dr. Doofenshmirtz trying to turn Perry into his ally by zapping him with a Turn-Everything-Evil-Inator.
  • Done twice in The Spectacular Spider-Man. First with Tombstone offering Spider-Man a job that amounts to not fighting crime, and with Green Goblin offering to Spidey that the two of them could rule New York together. Too bad he doesn't partner with anybody green. Or, you know, psychotic.
    • Although in Goblin's case it was done with such over-the-top sarcastic glee, he was likely just making fun of Spidey and giving a Shout-Out to the movie.
    • The symbiote also makes this offer while simultaneously trying to drive Peter across the Despair Event Horizon in a Battle in the Center of the Mind, so he'll permanently bond with it. A timely intervention from the spirit of Uncle Ben saves Spidey from "becoming one with the ooze".
  • Protoman does this several times throughout the course of the Ruby-Spears Megaman series; it's more "we can level this city and many more together", though, considering that Protoman's The Dragon.
  • Being a Captain Ersatz of Darth Vader, Dark Laser tries this on Timmy in an episode of The Fairly OddParents!, offering him a suit with dark powers to tempt him. Naturally, it doesn't work.
    • Anti-Cosmo also wanted Timmy to join him in taking over the universe, as he desires an evil godchild to mold in his image.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door:
    • When Sector V traveled to the Mirror Universe, Negative Numbuh Four offers Sector V a chance to become his bodyguard. They flat out refuse. ( Actually, only one of them could be his bodyguard, and the rest would be sent to the broccoli mines in a very there can be only one-esque fashion. They refuse because they don't want to sell out one of their teammates in an exchange for their own safety.)
      • A straight example of the Trope was made in the same episode by Negative Numbuh Three towards Numbuh Four, saying she didn't like him (a subtle clue that the real Numbuh Three did like him, as she's her complete opposite) but she liked his guts. His reaction to her proposal for him to betray his friends and join her side? He clocked her in the face and said through clenched teeth, "You must be from another world..."
    • Also, Stickybeard made this offer to Numbuh Five the first time they met, saying he liked her spunk. Although she turned the offer down, he did seem to consider her a Worthy Opponent in future episodes.
  • At the end of season 3 of Winx Club Valtor makes this offer to Bloom, in an attempt to get her to target the three ancient witches (who have taken control of his body since he failed to do as they had wanted) instead. Bloom refuses, naturally.
  • During one episode of Darkwing Duck, villain Morgana teams up with a creature called Nodoff - he gives her sleeping sand, she puts people to sleep; he controls their dreams so Morgana can rob them. When Darkwing stumbles onto the plot, he tries to convince her that Nodoff is not to be trusted, prompting Nodoff to say that together, they would have the city's riches. Interesting in that he was offering her what she was already doing with him. But this time, (though the riches clearly tempt her) she sides with Darkwing.
  • Knight Templar Lyle "Lock-Up" Bolton makes this offer to Batman in Batman: The Animated Series, arguing that Batman can go on catching the criminals while Lock-Up keeps them secured in a personal prison that's not made of cardboard.
    • Poison Ivy says this to Batgirl -or, rather Barbara Gordon- during their debut in The Batman.
    • Poison Ivy does this again to a filler episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold. In that episode, she conquers Gotham and offers to spare Batman if he agrees to marry her and rule along side her. He refuses both offers.
  • In Alfred J. Kwak, Dolf twice offers this to Alfred, first when he's looking for money to fund a political party, second when he's found the money elsewhere and is already in the process of seizing power in the entire country. After the second time Alfred himself inverts it when he tries to convince the Card-Carrying Villain to stop his evil plans and immediately step down. Dolf just summarily imprisons him.
  • The Evilutionary Biologist Dr. X offers this to Alex in the series finale of Action Man (2000), since they're both in possession of the superhuman AMP ability, and are thus both part of the "Neo-human race", which he thinks they should nurture together. Alex just retorts that X is a complete lunatic before sending him on a one-way ride into deep space.
  • Dr. Klotzenstien makes this offer to Quailman on Doug.
  • The Lich from Adventure Time attempts this during the season 4 finale episode "The Lich". Finn refuses... which is exactly what he wanted, as Finn shattering The Enchiridion grants him access to The Multiverse.
  • In Totally Spies! the Great Kandinsky offers this to his grandson in episode "Do You Believe in Magic?". When it doesn't work he hypnotizes him.
  • In Gargoyles, Matt Bluestone nearly ruined his career trying to expose the Illuminati. The Illuminati in this series is very real, and eventually became impressed by Matt's determination. They make him a member partly because he'd be a valuable asset and partly to keep him in check.
  • When Bubbles of the The Powerpuff Girls thinks she is Mojo Jojo and manages to successfully defeat her sisters in a fight, the real Mojo suggests this to Bubbles before she declines, going on a long speech in a manner similar to himself. Keep in mind she refused not because he's evil, but because she thinks she's the real Mojo.
  • Qilby the Traitor in Wakfu in episode 21 of season 2 makes the offer to Adamai trying to convince him that they should drain the World of Twelve of its wakfu to power up the Zinit for another journey into the cosmos because it's not their world. He's not surprised when Adamai refuses, since Adamai's previous incarnation also refused.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode Twilights Kingdom Part 1, this is how Tirek sways Discord to his side. He claims to offer something far more valuable than friendship: freedom. In Part 2, however, he decides that I Can Rule Alone, and drains Discord of his magic once he has outlived his usefulness.
  • My Life as a Teenage Robot: Jenny gets this offer repeatedly from Cluster Prime, which is a pretty nice place...unless you oppose enslaving the human race, which of course X-J9 does.
  • Attempted by Bill in Gravity Falls to Ford, who rejects his offer and gets turned into a golden backscratcher for his troubles.
  • In Steven Universe's "Alone At Sea", Jasper, suffering from Power High, makes this sort of offer to Lapis:
    Jasper: (Clasps her hands around Lapis' and lands on her knees.) Let's be Malachite again. (Dramatic Thunder)
    Lapis: Why... would you want that?
    Jasper: I was wrong about fusion. You made me understand! Malachite was bigger and stronger than both of us! We could fly!
    Lapis: I was terrible to you. I liked taking everything out on you. I needed to. I-I hated you. It was bad!
    Jasper: It'll be better this time. I've changed. You've changed me. I'm the only one who can handle your kind of power. Together, we'll be unstoppable!

    Real Life 
  • It's actually perfectly ordinary arrangement as an after-victory peace resolution in pre-industrial societies that the loser gets to keep most of his territory and pledges loyalty and/or tribute to the winner. It is difficult and non-profitable for a pre-industiral society to occupy, incorporate and administrate a foreign territory. How loyal the former enemy is to his new lord varies of course.
  • Adolf Hitler repeatedly offered this to Britain before and during World War II, proposing that the British would rule an oceanic empire, while the Germans a continental one. Even when the Luftwaffe was raining down bombs on London he still held out hope that the British would "wise up" and join "their Aryan cousins" in the Nazis' bid for world conquest. They ignored him.
    • The British historian Ian Kershaw, one of the world authorities on the Third Reich, said that he was motivated to get into history when he was studying in Germany in the 1970s and an old man said to him in a cafe: "You English are mad - together we could have ruled the entire world."
    • Poland got a similar offer in 1934. Hitler's plan was for Poland to join Axis powers and attack USSR. One should wonder what could have been did Piłsudski accept this offer. The WWII would probably turn into anti-communism war in which Axis powers would possibly have conquered western Asia if not whole Russia. But the entire plan was shaky from the start for Hitler talked to Piłsudski and only to him, disregarding his political heirs to the point diplomatic talks were reduced by 1938 to "The Führer asks the impossible / Poles show the middle finger".
      Hitler: "He's the only one I could do a deal with."
  • Italian statesman Niccolò Machiavelli, in countless examples in his tract The Prince, says that offering this arrangement to another person or fellow ruler is actually a bad idea. After all, people who might be dissatisfied with you can go demand redress to your co-regent and isolate you further.