The Dragon Ball franchise is the Trope Codifier for modern shōnen action series, including its villains. Most of them are Card Carrying Villains who do things out of the heck of it, but not too evil. And there are some who were created evil and do some questionable things. Then there are the few who are so twisted that they are memorable for being so ungodly demented and cruel and lacking the morals/mercy of their fellow villains, who are either horrified and can't do anything about it or actually admire the person due to their overwhelming power.
Dragon Ball Z
- Frieza is the tyrannical head of the Galactic Frieza Army, an organization that wipes out all life from planets, then sells the planets to the highest bidder. Prior to the events of the series, Frieza destroyed Planet Vegeta, bringing the Saiyan race to near extinction despite their loyalty, as he feared that he was going to be overthrown by a Super Saiyan. During his invasion of Namek, Frieza killed many civilians, including Dende's caretakers and brother, even after he got the Dragon Balls. He also slaughtered several warriors and tortured Nail, Gohan, and Vegeta to near-death, and had Vegeta crying and begging Goku to stop Frieza, who then shoots Vegeta through the heart. He then blew up Dende, when he learned the boy could heal people. He then blew a hole through Piccolo, proceeded to blow up Krillin, and threatened Goku's son. When Goku showed mercy by giving the dying Frieza some energy, Frieza promptly tried to kill him, leading Goku to blow him apart. He later came back as a cyborg, and went to Earth with his father to destroy it, only stopped by Future Trunks. Resurrected by his underlings Sorbet and Tagoma, Frieza craved revenge on the Saiyans, and would stop at nothing to achieve it. After Tagoma suggested that Frieza should ignore the Super Saiyans and focus on his empire, Frieza killed him by blasting him into space. He started an invasion of Earth, destroyed an entire city, killed his entire army, except for Sorbet after they lost to the Z fighters, and tortured an injured Goku by stomping on his chest. When he was overpowered by Vegeta, he destroyed the entire Earth not caring if he would be killed in the explosion, just to spite the Saiyans. Genocidal, arrogant, and sadistic underneath his polite exterior, Frieza set a new standard for Dragon Ball villains.
- Android Arc: Cell is a bio-android from an alternate timeline created by Dr. Gero to become the Ultimate Lifeform by absorbing Androids 17 and 18. When he discovers that the Androids of his timeline have been defeated, he kills the Future Trunks of his timeline. Cell then steals Trunks's time machine and travels back in time to complete his goal. Cell goes to town after town, devouring thousands with his tail just to increase his powers. When pursuing Android 18 and unable to find her, he begins bombing islands full of inhabitants to flush her out. Upon reaching his Perfect Form, Cell hosts the "Cell Games", promising that once he wins he will terrorize Earth before destroying it and that he would relish the expressions of fear and terror of the people he would hunt down one by one. Cell, wanting to unleash Gohan's hidden potential, begins physically and emotionally torturing the boy. He spawns the Cell Juniors to torture and kill the Z Fighters to further goad Gohan into transforming, succeeding when he callously kills Android 16 in front of Gohan. But when the fight stops going his way, Cell attempts to self-destruct and take the Earth with him out of spite, forcing Goku to perform a Heroic Sacrifice. Cell survives his suicide attempt, however, and kills Future Trunks when he returns, before firing an attack that he promises would wipe out the solar system. Inheriting Frieza's sociopathic sadism and Vegeta's pride, Cell has full agency over his actions and takes full pleasure in it.
- Majin Buu Arc:
- Babidi, the doppelgänger clone of Bibidi, who uses the evil in a person's heart to make them want to serve him, orchestrated the revival of Majin Buu, ultimately making him the one responsible for the cataclysmic amounts of death and destruction that occur later. Babidi kills his men when they are no longer useful, including brainwashed minions Spopovich and Yamu, after which he comments how enjoyable their deaths were; and throws Dabura, his loyal right-hand man, under the bus once Buu is revived. He took great delight in having Buu systematically kill the people of Earth so he could lure out Piccolo, Goten, and Trunks all for the purpose of getting his petty revenge against them. When he's asked to stop this by Goku, he then announces that he'll have more people killed just to spite him. Finally, he crushed the head of someone who gave him the names of Piccolo, Goten, and Trunks, just because he found the information to be useless. He also constantly threatens Majin Buu when the latter doesn't obey him.
- Super Buu has agency over his actions, unlike his previous forms, and simply chooses to be an Omnicidal Maniac. When Piccolo distracts Super Buu to allow Goten and Trunks time to master the fusion technique, Super Buu irritably uses his "Human Extinction Attack" to eradicate the entire population of Earth. Tormenting those not killed by staying in Kami Tower, Super Buu turns Chichi into an egg and smashes it for annoying him, and turns everyone else except Gotenks and Piccolo into candy before eating them alive. Absorbing Gotenks and Piccolo, Super Buu beats Gohan to near-death while repeating a mockery of Piccolo's teachings to mentally torment him. Absorbing Gohan as well, Super Buu declares he will use his newfound, nigh-limitless power to enjoy systematically wiping out all life on every planet in the universe he comes across. Becoming enraged by neither being able to overpower nor outsmart Vegito, Super Buu shrieks in frustration, releasing his power through them and begins warping the space between dimensions, causing them to collapse on each other and threatening the stability of the multiverse. A callous sadist, Super Buu would happily snuff out all sentient life just to spite Vegito for besting him in combat.
- Resurrection F Arc: Frieza critically injures Tagoma after the latter suggests that Frieza forget about the Saiyans, before forcefully makes him his "sparring partner" for his training, torturing Tagoma to the brink of death every day for the next four months. After reaching Earth, Frieza tells his men that whoever kills Krillin will get their own planet, knowing how much Krillin means to Goku. Frieza tortures Gohan by shooting him with energy beams, and is highly amused when Piccolo gets in the way of the blasts to save Gohan. When Frieza hears that Gohan has a family, he promises to kill them too, and orders Ginyu to kill Goten and Trunks. When Goku arrives, Frieza states that after he destroys Earth, he will destroy New Namek as well so there is no way to undo his evil acts. Before fighting Goku, Frieza kills all his minions just to demonstrate his power. During his fight with Goku, Frieza fires blasts at Goku's friends just to distract him. Just like in the movie, he then tries to destroy Earth when he finds himself cornered, all to spite the Saiyans. During the Universe Survival Arc Goku makes a deal with Frieza that, in exchange for Frieza fighting for Universe 7 in the Tournament of Power, he'll revive Frieza with the Dragon Balls. Frieza agrees, only to nearly kill Goku with Sidra's Energy of Destruction and attempt to make the same deal with Universe 9.
- Future Trunks Arc: Zamasu, a former Kai from Universe 10 and apprentice to the Supreme Kai Gowasu, has a strong distrust towards the mortals, because they keep making the same mistakes. Once Goku shows a power capable of rivaling the gods, he considers the mortals as inherently evil and dangerous. Eventually falling into villainy, Zamasu plans to eradicate all mortals in the multiverse, with a scheme that he calls "Zero Mortal Plan". To enact this plan, Zamasu murders his own mentor Gowasu, stealing the Potara earrings to usurp his status as a Supreme Kai, and the time ring to travels through timelines. Then, he travels in another timeline to collect the Super Dragon Balls, exchange his body with Goku's and kill him right in front of his family, before killing them as well, solely out of spite. Knowing that no one would be willing to help him for his plan, Zamasu, as Goku Black, formed a team with his future self. Together, they proceed to travel in Trunks timeline to destroy the Super Dragon Balls so that there is no way to reverse their plan, slaughter all gods to keep them from interfering, destroy many planets and slowly reduce humanity into near-extinction. Upon fusing with his future incarnation, Zamasu proceeds to cause mass destruction on Earth just to demonstrate his power as the "ultimate god". When Trunks managed to destroy his physical body, Merged Zamasu's spirit survives, and attempts to exterminate all life throughout the multiverse by merging with it, extending the effect on the others timelines. In all of his incarnations, Zamasu is a petty, hypocritical, and sadistic narcissist who thinks that the world should be reshaped in his own vision.
- Budokai: Frieza is the Villain Protagonist of the first game's What If? story "Raging Frieza" & "The True Ruler". He becomes enraged when he's beaten to the Dragon Balls and thus can't become immortal, and fights the heroes. In succession, he defeats and presumably kills Gohan, Piccolo, and—after powering up—Vegeta and Goku. He successfully wishes for eternal life, then blows up Namek, after which he flies to Earth, planning to destroy it as well.
- Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors duology:
- Both games: Cell, in addition to his actions in canon, commits many crimes throughout various routes. During his story in the first game, when Dr. Gero tells Cell that they'll revive the Red Ribbon army, Cell refuses and remorselessly kills his creator when it results in a fight. After killing Gohan and the rest of the Z fighters, Cell creates countless Cell Juniors to hunt down and kill every last person on Earth while he goes to sleep. When Cell defeats Majin Buu, he decides he has no further use for Earth and destroys the solar system, going on to terrorize the rest of the universe in search of another fighter to give him a challenge. During one of his routes in the sequel, while waiting for the Cell Games to begin, Cell kills Future Trunks and takes his time machine for the sake of fighting and killing an alternate version of himself. In another route, enraged by Goku giving up during their fight in the Cell Games, Cell breaks his own rules and destroys the Earth anyway. During one of Piccolo's routes, Cell goes to Namek in an attempt to revive the destroyed Android 18 for the purpose of absorbing her. While there, he makes a deal with Cooler that he'll help Cooler terrorize Namek in search for the Dragon Balls, secretly planning on killing Cooler when they're all gathered.
- Second game only: Cooler proves to be far worse than his movie counterpart. Upon hearing of his brother Frieza's defeat, Cooler, angered by the blow to his family's pride, ravages a city in hopes of drawing out Goku. In one of his routes, after succesfully killing Goku, he terrorizes Earth for years on end, slowly hunting down and purging every city for his own amusement. When he discovers that Frieza has been feeding Gohan and Trunks information, Cooler kills his brother despite saying he'd spare him if he swears loyalty, before moving on to betray King Cold in an attempt to take over the empire. In one of Piccolo's routes, Cooler and his men attack Namek in search of the Dragon Balls, threatening wipe out all of the Namekians if they don't cooperate. In one of Frieza's routes, Cooler uses the Big Gete Star to consume several planets to add to his power behind the family's back. After consuming Namek, he reveals that he intends to kill both Frieza and King Cold, sickening both of them with his betrayal of the family, and use the Big Gete Star to consume all planets in the universe.
- Fusions: Frieza and Cell prove to be just as monstrous as they are in canon. When Frieza is freed from hell by Tekka and his team, Frieza orders The Ginyu Force to kill them for no reason. When Tekka's team comes across Cell, Cell immediately tries to kill the group to lure out Goku for the purpose of fighting him. Later, the heroes find out that Frieza and Cell have joined Pinich's team for the purpose of manipulating him into performing the Ultra Fusion. Frieza and Cell then take over the fusion before attempting to destroy the Timespace Rift and everybody in it as Ultra Pinich, only stopped due to Beerus and Whis. The two then flee, opening up a portal to hell to create more chaos. They later escape to the real world in an attempt to destroy the entire galaxy.
- Xenoverse: The Demon God, Demigra, was imprisoned in a crack in time by the Supreme Kai of Time. To free himself, he sends out an image capable of acting on the physical plane to cause chaos and distort time. One of the timelines has him brainwashing Piccolo into trying to kill Goten and Trunks. Another has him trying to brainwash Beerus into destroying Earth. After his release, he plans to destroy the universe and reshape it so that everything revolves around him.
- Evolution: King Piccolo is an evil Namekian who attacked Earth alongside Oozaru, bringing the human race to brink of annihilation before he was sealed away by seven mystics. Returning 2,000 years later, Piccolo decides to seek out the seven Dragon Balls with the intention of wishing for eternal youth, and then eliminating the human race in revenge for his imprisonment, beginning his search by destroying a village filled with innocent people. Piccolo would then attack Goku's grandfather, Gohan, in his home, before killing him by crushing him with the house's rubble. After Goku and his friends manage to retrieve the Dragon Balls, Piccolo has Mai steal them, nearly killing Goku in the process. When Goku transforms into Oozaru during his final confrontation with Piccolo, the latter has Goku attack his own friends, while also having him choke Master Roshi to death before he could re-seal Piccolo.