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Playing With / Necessarily Evil

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Basic Trope: A character who assumes the villain's role out of necessity. Usually to prevent the Evil Power Vacuum or to counter a greater kind of evil.

  • Straight: Alice's country is ruled by Bob, an evil dictator, and she figures the only way to stop him is to become a dictator herself and overthrow him.
  • Exaggerated: Alice's country is ruled by Bob, an evil dictator, and she figures the only way to stop him is wanton murder and destruction of anything having to do with him.
  • Downplayed:
    • Alice behaves like a Sadist Teacher so her mischievous pupils will behave, as she actually cares about them and wants them to succeed.
    • Cruel to Be Kind - Alice acts like a cruel, callous jerkass to her friends, but this is because she doesn't want them to get hurt.
  • Justified:
    • Trying to do the right thing to stop Bob is never enough and leaves Alice feeling that there is no choice but to sink to his level.
    • It is only Bob's iron-fisted rule that keeps his more ambitious underlings in check. Should Alice simply overthrow him, it give them an excuse to compete for power, thereby very likely casting the country into a bloody civil war as a result.
  • Inverted:
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  • Subverted: Alice doesn't care about doing good and really is just as selfish and evil as Bob.
  • Double Subverted: But only because she's Becoming the Mask. She started out good, but became hardened, cynical and possibly even crazy by years of doing bad things.
  • Parodied: In order to achieve a noble goal, Alice must play Bob's role as the villain who jaywalks.
  • Zig Zagged: Alice is a big fan of I Did What I Had to Do; she indulges in evil actions if that's what it takes in a particular situation, but is equally willing to do good things when she thinks that will help. Sometimes she makes mistakes and acts the opposite of the useful way because she thinks it's necessary.
  • Averted: No one performs evil actions for noble reasons; all villains are true villains and all heroes act only nobly.
  • Enforced: ???
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  • Lampshaded: I Did What I Had to Do.
  • Invoked: Pretty much any example of this trope, as Necessarily Evil characters intentionally and consciously have to choose to be this way.
  • Exploited: Emperor Evulz knows Alice will reluctantly stoop to necessary evil to stop him, and when she does broadcasts it to the whole world, turning her into a Hero with Bad Publicity.
  • Defied: Alice refuses to do anything evil to stop Bob as she knows it won't actually change the problem with the system, it'll just replace one dictator with another.
  • Discussed: The General Bob ponders with another General on whether or not they should overthrow a corrupt or Fascist, but Inefficient monarch, considering the theoretical improvements in the country and the probable political unstability.
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed:
Reconstructed: Alice realizes that the necessity of the evil doesn't negate the evilness of it, and once Bob is overthrown, she accepts her fate and turns herself in once a stable new regime is formed.
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