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Playing With / Token Evil Teammate

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Basic Trope: A group of heroes has sole or minimal member(s) who is/are obviously amoral or lack of decency at best- they can range from being a Jerkass to being unambiguously evil.

  • Straight: Inexplicably, Captain Awesome and Amazing Girl tolerate Dark Blood who is treacherous and a casual murderer.
  • Exaggerated: Captain Awesome, Amazing Girl and their good friend Dark Blood, who's worse than the villains.
  • Downplayed:
  • Justified:
    • By having him on The Team, Captain Awesome and Amazing Girl are able to keep Dark Blood from doing more evil than they would otherwise, hereafter known as the Bitterleaf Argument.
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    • Dark Blood is in an Enemy Mine with the heroes against an even worse evil.
    • The token evil teammate's only virtue is loyalty, and that loyalty happens to be to a good character.
    • Dark Blood who is Chaotic Evil would rather join the Chaotic Good heroes than the Lawful Evil Big Bad.
    • Dark Blood who is Lawful Evil would rather join the Lawful Good heroes than join the Chaotic Evil Big Bad.
    • The hero's side, unlike the villains, get paid for what they're doing and Dark Blood is well-known for his greed.
    • Dark Blood is a Glory Seeker who wants to be admired, loved, & respected.
    • Dark Blood can't get away with killing innocents, but he can get away with killing villains (the corollary of the 'Bitterleaf Argument') and Dark Blood decides to use this to his advantage & join the heroes.
    • Dark Blood was a minion of the Big Bad until his boss committed an unforgivable act of betrayal or abuse. He joined the do-gooders out of a desire to get revenge on his former employer.
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    • Captain Awesome saved Dark Blood's life, and whatever faults Dark Blood may have, he does repay his debts.
  • Inverted: Token Good Teammate.
  • Subverted:
    • First. Dark Blood joins them, only to betray them later on.
    • Second: Dark Blood isn't really that bad and in some ways might be more moral than the Captain Awesome and Amazing Girl.
    • Third: Dark Blood might seem evil, but when Captain Awesome and Amazing Girl are captured and nearly killed, he risks his life to save them.
  • Double Subverted:
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged:
    • Dark Blood just kicked a dog! Wait, he only did it to save the old woman. So... why is he throwing her into traffic??
    • Dark Blood has multiple personality disorder and one or some of his personalities is/are evil.
    • Dark Blood is the Chaotic Stupid Wild Card of the group who switches back-and-forth between good and evil just because he feels like it.
  • Averted: All of the heroes are solidly good and it's clear that even the least heroic is no worse than a Lovable Rogue.
  • Enforced: "Audiences like a Heroic Comedic Sociopath character so we'll have an evil member of The Team."
  • Lampshaded: Captain Awesome remarks on how Dark Blood is more evil than many villains they fight.
  • Invoked: Dark Blood knows he'll have more opportunity for mayhem if he fights with the heroes, so he asks to join them.
  • Defied:
    • Captain Awesome and Amazing Girl don't let Dark Blood join them because that character is evil.
    • Once Dark Blood joined the team, he decided to undergo a Heel–Face Turn and become a better person.
  • Exploited: The villain, Mystery Murder, wants to convince one of the heroes to switch sides or tell him/her about the rest of the team's weaknesses. Aware of Dark Blood's immorality, (s)he chooses him, thinking that he will be the easiest to convince.
  • Discussed:
    • "Why is it every team I've been in has a villain or a jerk (or Crystal Dragon Jesus Save Us, both)?"
    • "Everyone on this team is so nice! ... Wait! Does that mean I'm the evil teammate? Crap! I suck at being a Jerkass!"
  • Conversed: "Wait a minute, why is there a villain helping out the heroes?"
  • Deconstructed:
    • 1.) Other good characters are disgusted by Captain Awesome and Amazing Girl putting up with such a horrible person and/or the heroes tarnish their reputation by allowing the teammate to do nasty things in pursuit of their goals.
    • 2.) Dark Blood gets kicked off Team Good because Captain Awesome and Amazing Girl are fed up with his insatiable bloodlust.
    • 3.) A bunch of nerds play a tabletop RPG, and most of them play heroic characters. At the start of a new campaign, one of them rolls an evil character, causing uneasiness in the group. Ultimately, the player playing the evil character touches the trigger of another player, resulting in real life drama.
    • 4.) Dark Blood throws his allies under the bus because Captain Awesome and Amazing Girl finally start trying to rein him in and/or Mystery Murder made him a better offer.
    • 5.) Dark Blood explicitly states that he is not going to stay on the side of the heroes forever at the beginning of the story as he has his own agenda to deal with. Later on, despite all their bickering and and outrages about him, Dark Blood finally leaves and the entire team is left with a bad taste in their mouths from losing him.
  • Reconstructed:
  • Played For Laughs:
  • Played For Drama: Dark Blood is going after the Big Bad to usurp the position for himself, thus creating a Meet the New Boss scenario for Team Good but they need Dark Blood for one reason or another. It's a tense who-will-betray-who first situation.

Back to Token Evil Teammate.

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