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The Sociopath / Western Animation

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Indeed, The Sociopath even permeates Western Animation...


  • Adventure Time:
  • Allen Gregory: Richard DeLongpre thinks very highly of himself and lives solely to satisfy his immediate whims, something best shown in his relationship with Jeremy. He had a wife and children until Richard stalked him and tore his family apart, giving Jeremy no choice but to give in to his advances and become his Trophy Husband, treated like a Sex Slave at best, and utter trash at worst. If that weren't enough, Richard also feels entitled to a big position in his father's company despite doing nothing to deserve it, and threw temper tantrums until he was eventually Kicked Upstairs. In one episode, he happily admits to his son that he aims to be as much of a deceitful, underhanded slimeball as he can get away with, and only considers being honest as a absolute last resort.
  • Roger Smith from American Dad! freely admits this of himself, and provides near-constant displays of Comedic Sociopathy. One episode involving a Journey to the Center of the Mind showed that he does, in fact, have a conscience in the form of Jiminy Cricket... which was caged and dying of neglect.
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    • Barry, one of Steve's best friends, has certainly shown shades of being this when particularly off his medication and as rather intelligent as well as high functional at that.
  • Arthur's sister D.W. fits a disturbing amount of the criteria of this trope considering that she is only four years old. She likes to intentionally torment her brother and get him in trouble for no apparent reason other than that she enjoys it (need for stimulation), usually shows no remorse at all for the bad things she does to others, including her own friends and family, is highly skilled at manipulating others, has no qualms about manipulating others, including her own family, into catering to her whims, is self-centered and tends to blame others for her own wrongdoings, including her "friends", rather than acknowledge any fault on her own part, believes she is entitled to special treatment over her siblings Arthur and Kate, and nearly always fails to learn her lesson from being punished for her actions. Despite her very young age, she is easily the second cruelest character on the entire show.note 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
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    • Fire Lord Ozai doesn't seem to feel anything for anybody but himself. Not his son, Zuko, his daughter, Azula, his brother, Iroh... he doesn't even bat an eyelid when admitting he banished his own wife as punishment for the assassination of the previous Fire Lord, which she did to protect her son!
    • Azula is a Manipulative Bastard, a pathological Consummate Liar ("Azula always lies..."), and a Control Freak. Subverted since not only she fails to demonstrate pathological need for stimulation or lack of impulse control, but also she reveals aspects sociopaths don't have. She has No Social Skills, harbors self-loathing out of belief that her Missing Mom considered her a monster, seeks to please her father no matter the cost, and suffers from a massive Villainous Breakdown triggered by the betrayal of her closest friends and her father. It's also confirmed by Bryke's word in Sozin's Comet: The Final Battle that she could have turned better in a healthier environment.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • Unalaq has a superficial charm which he uses to put a rift between Korra and her father, as well as Korra and Tenzin so he can become Korra's spirituality teacher. He fakes caring about his brother Tonraq (Korra's father), Korra herself, and Eska and Desna while things are going his way and honestly seems surprised when people object to his fleet taking over the Southern Water Tribe. And when all of his pretenses are stripped away, he becomes a cruel, absolutely heartless man who cares for absolutely no one. Not even his wife in the North, nor his son and daughter. All he cares about is his power and increasing it, to the point of releasing the equivalent of Satan himself, Vaatu and then merging with it to become the equivalent of the Anti Christ. To this end, if he has to kill a 11-year-old girl or even his own niece, he doesn't care.
    • Earth Queen Hou-Ting. Reviewing her key personality traits is like reading through a sociopath diagnostic checklist: superficial charm, a grandiose sense of self, pathological lying, a penchant for manipulating others to achieve her own ends, an absolutely astonishing lack of empathy or remorse for any of her actions, and an insatiable lust for dominance and importance that drives her every move. She has no qualms whatsoever about sacrificing those closest to her if it suits her purposes.
  • Kevin 11 from Ben 10, and when the Time Skip Sequel Series shows had him become good, first Kevin's Evil Counterpart Darkstar and then the evil alien Aggregor came around to fill the void.
    • Ultimately, it's revealed that for Osmosians like Kevin and Aggregor, using their powers to absorb energy (which Kevin did as a kid, and Aggregor still does) induces a sociopathy-like state. Kevin stopped absorbing energy before Alien Force began, which was what allowed him to regain his sanity.
    • Omniverse gives us Malware. A mutated Galvanic Mechamorph appropriately described by Ben as a total psychopath. Before his upgrade, Malware started out feeding on other Mechamorphs to sustain himself. Arrogant and devoid of any moral compass, he even had the gall to claim that they deserve to be destroyed. When he finally got his upgrade, he became even worse. One episode had him attempting to murder a busload of innocent children to make a quick escape from Ben. Then the Showdown 2-parter revealed that in the past he Destroyed Feedback, one of Ben's alien forms, solely to hurt the boy out of spite. Then he proceeds to top that by destroying his own homeworld.
  • Bojack Horseman: While the show's themes (depression, happiness, life, fame, futility, cruelty) and its characters thrive on White and Grey Morality at best (rarely) and Grey and Grey Morality at worst (mostly), quite a lot fits the criteria to the point of occasionally shifting its stance to Black and Grey Morality.
    • Hank Hippopopalous, a stand-in for Bill Cosby, David Letterman and every Hollywood scumbag with godhood delusion and narcissism, has an affable vibe and calm demeanor toward everyone which doesn't stop him from revealing in private how stuck in his own orbit he is. Even then, that's just the tip of his depravity with his mask covering a complete lack of regard toward anyone not in his circle of connections or whoever dares stand in his way. It can go further with his well-webbed self denial of his cruel actions even if he's quite conscious about the pain he causes: long as he has a career, he can do as he pleases and no one else has to get hurt...if they stay in line and don't threaten his livehood. Mostly a high-functioning case, Hank's nastier side can show up when there are people who aren't buying into his personal truth in which he'll resort to give them a warning through thin-veiled threats and personally parading his victim as a coated good gesture.
    • Esteemed Character Actress Margo Martindale zig-zags through this profile, as she would do, really: She meets most of the criteria to qualify, except she's far too calculating and cautious to count. Her hysterical fits and desire for cheap thrills, even with how she intentionally screws up every mission she has just for the sake of seeing violence erupt, does see her tip-toe through the edges. There's also her twisted sense of empathy and "warrior" honor. Plus, she's hilarious.
    • The father and son of the chicken slaughterhouse Gentle Farms (chicken themselves) have their own takes: the patriarch is superficially charming, has a good sense of acceptable behavior and has no qualms over his farm's business, grooming his kid to follow his every command and carry on the family business, even in shooting trespassers. The son, a budding example, has normalized this and sees nothing wrong with this behavior, even if he sometimes questions if it's good or moral to do so.
    • Joseph Sugarman, patriarch of the Sugarman family, Beatrice's father, Butterscotch's boss and BoJack's grandfather, is the living embodiment of the Standard '50s Father; that is, a complete evisceration of the trope: his deep belief in old-fashioned values has made him devoid of any sort of empathy for his family, describing emotions as "woman's feelings" and happy that he may suppress his. This is not going into how easily he shown to be willing to harm his family and abuse them emotionally and physically if he deemed necessary or to keep them safe (e.g. his wife Honey's lobotomy, conditioning Beatrice to occupy a woman's place in society and destroying her psyche in any way he could, giving Bea reasons to harm her son BoJack turning him into the screwed-up horse seen in the present.)
  • The Boondocks has a decent number of villainous characters who could probably qualify for this trope. Given what kind of show this is, their antisocial behavior can be depicted as anything ranging from hilarious to horrifying (or both).
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog:
    • Katz is a sophisticated, Soft-Spoken Sadist Serial Killer who lures his victims into fake businesses to kill them.
    • Mad Dog is a realistic take on a Domestic Abuser. A more low-functioning sociopath, Mad Dog keeps Bunny in line by threatening her and Kitty and pretends to feel remorse for yelling at her only to then bury her up to her neck in dirt.
  • Cyberchase:
    • The Hacker is a self-centered cyborg whose main characteristic is his massive ego. The Hacker has such an inflated sense of self-importance, this often impedes his plans. He has also had shown instances of manipulation such as when he tricked some denizens of Cyberspace into helping him escape the Northern Frontier or convincing another denizen that the number zero was worthless. Funnily enough, the Hacker actually has a heart disc that enables him to feel empathy for others, but it ends up falling out when the Cybersquad tried to insert it into him.
    • Ledge is a highly intelligent cyborg practically spewing artificial charm. In his first appearance, he creates a device which transforms the citizens of Sensible Flats and nearly succeeds in hackerizing the entirety of the Cybersquad. Much like the Hacker, Ledge is also arrogant about his capabilities, but the only difference between him and Hacker is that he puts in more thought in his schemes.
  • DC Animated Universe:
  • Dark Danny from Danny Phantom definitely counts as this. He feels no emotion, single-handedly caused an apocalypse, and ruthlessly manipulated all the people who loved his past self, to their horrible deaths to ensure he would exist as he did.
    • Vlad Plasmius also counts. He has all the traits listed on the main page, and his "love" for Maddy is shown to be shallow and mostly for her beauty; he tries his best to repress her strong personality and forcibly forge her into a "model wife" in the bad timeline where he gets her.
  • Eddy's Brother from Ed, Edd n Eddy's Big Picture Show. Let's see: lack of empathy, even to their own family (to Eddy) and is incapable of remorse. And where does all this transpire? Where does this guy live? A trailer at an amusement park. Yes, the implication is obvious: he gets to torment kids every single day. His whole life is just getting off on bullying those smaller and younger than him.
  • Jeff, Quagmire's sister's abusive boyfriend from one episode of Family Guy. As if beating his girlfriend over the smallest things wasn't monstrous enough. The gang has had enough of him and decide to take him to the woods to kill him, but he turns the tables on them, knocks out Peter and Joe, and beats Quagmire within an inch of his life, seemingly choking him to death. Then it turns out Quagmire survived (since he chokes himself for sexual pleasure), and rams Jeff into a tree, killing him.
  • Final Space: The Lord Commander is a psychotic overlord who wishes to use Mooncake as a means of opening a portal to Final Space. The Lord Commander commits several murders throughout the series — and in one instance has his top lieutenants execute their own children as a display of loyalty — and his first impulse when dealing with a problem is to torture or kill the obstacle, maybe even both. The Lord Commander expresses zero empathy towards any other living being in the universe best exemplifying it when he tried to release the Titans, knowingly full well that they'd destroy reality just as long as he became a god.
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends has a lot of characters who are jerkasses who often border on Ax-Crazy territory. But the character who fits this trope the most is Mac's older brother Terrence. He takes great pleasure into bullying Mac in the most horrifying ways possible and would even go as far to put him into great danger, such as shoving him (as well as his other friends) inside the box of the Extremeasaur to get zapped by said monster! Needless to say, it's a wonder how such a kind-hearted kid like Mac could put up with the horrible bullying in the hands of such a horrible teenager for so long.
  • Futurama: Zapp Brannigan. Not all sociopaths are moustache-twirling maniacs; it is a mental disorder, not a sign of evil, and Zapp displays the classic signs. He lusts for power and women, with no care for the distress he might cause others in his pursuit of these goals. He's shamelessly manipulative, as he will deliberately inspire pity in others to gain their assistance, which he will then take advantage of. Of course he's also charming when he wants to be, at least in the pursuit of sexual conquests. He's vain - his incompetence doesn't stop him from pursuing power even though he can't actually do his job. He's an exceptional liar, shamelessly blaming others when he fails - and indeed believing it himself, even convincing our heroes that he can and will change if they help him, and then not making the slightest attempt. And of course, he places a value of exactly zero on any life other than his own, even that of Kiff, his 'friend'. Perhaps this is best seen in a combination of how he treats his own troops as pure cannon fodder, and the way he manages to keep his own job despite his regular displays of gross incompetence and stupidity.
    • It's a good idea to compare Zapp to Bender, who, while clearly showing signs of Addictive Personality Disorder, Kleptomania, and Narcissism, shows that he has over the course of the show, learned the lives of others do have value and finds his own life less enjoyable when they are absent. Unlike a Sociopath, he cannot simply replace one friend with another, and most importantly, when those friends are unhappy, feels bad that they are unhappy.
    Fry: "He was a good robot! He was a bad friend!"
  • Gargoyles:
  • In Gravity Falls there's Lil'Gideon: he acts like an adorable kid one minute, and swings to a total jerk the next, he is willing to use any diabolical scheme to get revenge on the Pines family and killing people is no problem to him.
    • The main antagonist Bill Cipher is a Dream Demon who sought to merge the Nightmare Realm with the human realm, viewing the destruction of mankind as a grand game. Bill possesses superficial charm when making deals such as when he assists Stanford in his research. He lies often such as when he uses Dipper's body by using his Exact Words against him. Bill had also destroyed his own home dimension as revealed through the episode and an AMA thread on reddit.
  • The Title Character of Kevin Spencer. He regularly breaks the law just because, looks out only for himself most of the time, and is able to manipulate people into thinking he's on their side when he wants something from them. A good example would be how he pretended to be nice to his dad in order to lure him into a false sense of scrutiny, before ratting him out to the cops and collecting a reward.
  • Miraculous Ladybug:
    • Hawk Moth remorselessly manipulates innocent civilians into becoming his evil minions and is willing to cause massive destruction in Paris all so he can obtain Ladybug and Cat Noir's Miraculouses, and has a grandiose sense of self-worth. However, he is ultimately a subversion, since he genuinely loves his son and wife. In fact, the reason he wants the Miraculouses in the first place is so he can use their magic to revive the latter, who appears to be either dead or comatose.
    • Lila Rossi, the New Transfer Student in Marinette's class, is a Consummate Liar and skilled manipulator who never shows any remorse for her actions and believes herself to be better than everyone else, and in seasons 2 and 3 of the show, she even goes as far as to willingly allow herself to be akumatized by Hawk Moth for the sake of getting Revenge on Ladybug for exposing one of her lies back in the first season.
    • The Monster of the Week Reverser is also implied to be this as well, as he doesn't care how many innocent people he has to curse to achieve his goals. Not only is he perfectly happy let an innocent bystander fall into the river during his first battle with Ladybug and Cat Noir, but he also cursed Mayor Bourgeois into summoning an entire city's worth of garbage to rain down on Paris, which would have resulted in who knows how many people being crushed (and being killed) by the resulting debris.
  • Discord from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is a sadistic Reality Warper who utilizes magic-assisted psychological warfare to Mind Rape the mane cast, and wastes little time in turning Equestria into a chaotic hellhole For the Evulz. His later Heel–Face Turn is effected by making him realize that having friends means you have to consider how they will feel about your actions, something he apparently had honestly never considered.
    • Lord Tirek from "Twilight's Kingdom" feels no empathy for anyone he hurts as long as he gets his way and will manipulate anyone he pleases to serve his ends. If even Discord finds you repulsive, you definitely qualify.
    • Starlight Glimmer from "The Cutie Map" is a nasty combination of paranoia, and this. She's focused on removing the cutie marks of other ponies (their very life's essence) purely to advance her version of a perfect society, demanding everyone else live by her rules while not following them herself, manipulative, and maintains an outward image of benevolence but won't hesitate to physically hurt or mentally torture dissenters. Most telling, when revealed as a hypocrite, she accuses others of ruining her life and ends her appearance by twice refusing to admit any wrongdoing, still convinced it was her victims who rebuffed her generosity. It takes literally seeing how her actions in taking revenge cause The End of the World as We Know It in one Bad Future that she finally surrenders and makes a Heel–Face Turn, and it's shown in multiple episodes afterwards she has problems connecting with others on a personal level, preferring to use magic as a "quick and easy" method to solve her friendship problems and has problems properly reading social cues.
    • Ex-Wonderbolt, current Washout and Dash's rival Lightning Dust is possibly the most blatant example in the series. Her entire MO is to be the best at everything she does and to win, which has her putting not just her own well-being at risk but the well-being of other, most notably Rainbow Dash's friends in "Wonderbolt Academy" and Scootaloo in "The Washouts." The last example almost seems like she intended to put Scootaloo in peril just to spite Rainbow.
    • As seen in "Rarity Investigates," Wind Rider, a retired Wonderbolt (and Frame-Up artist, according to Word of God), goes to great lengths to preserve his flight record. He seems positively unconcerned that Rainbow Dash considered him her primary idol and thus the main reason she wanted to be in the Bolts.
    • As evidenced by her background appearances through the eighth season, the two-part "School Raze" cements Cozy Glow's status as an example. She is a master manipulator, using her innocent appearance and voice to deceive others into befriending her exclusively for her ends. In short, she believes not in Power of Friendship but friendship as power.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: Mayor Jones. Initially, it just seems like a case of Comedic Sociopathy not too uncommon in modern day cartoons, but it becomes more evident as the season goes on that he's not the Jerk with a Heart of Gold/Tsundere that Fred believes him to be deep inside, as well as the fact that he may know more than he lets on about the show's Myth Arc and is more ambitious than we think. By the end of the first season, it turns out that he's a Manipulative Bastard. It later turns out that he wasn't always this way, largely due to the Curse of Crystal Cove, as suggested in flashbacks, seen by his mental good side, and version of him in the fixed timeline show.
  • The Simpsons: Sideshow Bob. He meets all the criteria of a sociopath. He is ruthless, manipulative, intelligent, sadistic, brutal and deeply obsessed with killing a 10-year-old boy.
  • South Park:
    • Eric Cartman is a perfect example of a sociopath with particularly poor impulse control. First of all, he displays a Lack of Empathy for any living person, nor has he ever shown any feelings of guilt for anything. His list of crimes is vast, but he has committed them frequently just to alleviate boredom, or for an immature personal gain. When he thought he was dead and a ghost, he endeavored to atone for his sins, but only did so to stop being a ghost — he didn't consider he might otherwise go to Hell. He showed no sympathy for the suffering Butters went through for helping him, and once he realized he hadn't been a ghost, he considered all these acts of atonement a waste of time. Cartman has one exception to his otherwise total lack of empathy; he doesn't like it when somebody hurts his mother. Regardless, Cartman manipulates and bullies her mercilessly himself, so he effectively thinks of her as a possession of his, rather than somebody with feelings.
    • Mr. Garrison could rival Cartman in terms of this. He has no sense of respect for others' well-being, has murdered and raped people, and nuked Canada while being President all without feeling any shred of remorse for his atrocities.
    • Saddam Hussien, from the earlier seasons, was also this. He's a charismatic manipulator who manipulates Satan, God, and an entire country into doing whatever he wants, is an emotionally abusive boyfriend to Satan, murders innocent people, and taking kids away for their adopted families, all while expressing no remorse for these crimes.
    • The Big Bad of Season 19 Leslie Meyers could be seen as a high functioning example. She is capable of faking numerous emotions to manipulate people and is superficially charming, but she's actually very unfeeling and devoid of any real emotions. She also isn't afraid to get violent, as such when remorselessly beats up handicapped kid Jimmy Valmer, and shows no concerns that her scheming could possibly lead everyone in South Park to become homeless as her race of sentient ads takes over their town.
    • Lennart Bedrager, one of the Big Bads of season 20, could qualify as a sociopath. He attempts to intentionally cause World War III for no other reason than his own amusement.
  • Despite heavy censorship, Spider-Man: The Animated Series still managed to make their version of Cletus Kasady, aka Carnage, into a bonafide psychopath, portraying him as a Laughing Mad Bomber, who cackles with glee at the possibility of vaporising a city block—himself included—in his first appearance. He shows no remorse for his actions, and after becoming Carnage is downright eager to get back in action and start stealing souls for Dormammu (an Omnicidal Maniac who will consume the souls of everyone in the world if he is unleashed). He displays no regard for human life (least of all his own) and goes out of his way to injure anyone who tries to help him, including his psychiatrist, Anne Kafka.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil has Toffee who exhibits artificial charm with a knack for casual manipulation as evidenced by him tricking Ludo into hiring him. He is highly intelligent in his planning. When he gets Star to destroy her wand, Toffee expresses no concern for his fellow monsters who would get caught in the explosion, and he had no remorse for any of his actions. According to the creator, Toffee compared him more to Magneto in his goals for monster supremacy, but that vanished over the years.
  • In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Darth Maul definitely qualifies. Lack of Empathy? He's either killed, tried to kill, or would be willing to kill almost everyone he's come across in the series, and even his one Morality Chain in his brother Savage Oppress at multiple points looked like he was just as expendable. Consummate deception skills? He managed to con Pre Vizsla into an alliance, and it was Maul's plan that convinced Mandalore that the Death Watch were heroes and liberators. Superficial charm and persuasion? He manipulated Vizsla, Almec, and legions of criminals into serving him. Troubling childhood? He was "raised" by Darth Sidious. Maul is a high-functioning example, but he fits all the criteria of a sociopath.
    • Palpatine, aka the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, is the mastermind of the Clone Wars and is willing to sacrifice anyone and anything necessary to achieve total domination over the Galaxy.
  • Slade from Teen Titans. He's a ruthlessly cold-blooded Manipulative Bastard to extremes, taking an obsessive interest in tormenting all the heroes (especially Robin). The first season has Slade forcing Robin to become his "apprentice" and partner-in-crime, in hopes of making the boy just as sick and twisted as he is, and threatening to murder all of his friends if he refuses. He later tries to do something similar with Terra in the next season, exploiting her emotional insecurities to trick her into becoming his new apprentice, and is (somewhat) more successful at turning her evil.
  • In Total Drama:
    • Mike's Split Personality Mal who shows no remorse whatsoever over leaving Cameron to die or trying to hit Zoey over a cliff, and is evil just for the fun of it.
    • Scarlett is also one who would have killed the entire cast without a seconds hesitations if she hadn't been stopped.
  • The Transformers: In almost all series, Megatron/Galvatron is sociopathic. He is utterly callous to everyone and everything, throwing it aside the second it stops being beneficial and caring only about improving his position. He crosses the Moral Event Horizon casually, his only consideration being how it will affect him and his long-term plans. However other examples include:
  • Wander over Yonder: Lord Dominator. Despite being a dorky teenager, its clear she is completely heartless, and utterly ruthless about conquest. If her minions fail in their duties, she has no problem throwing them into space and letting them burn up in the atmosphere like someone disposing of an old appliance. And then there are her motivations, revealed near the end of the second season: she doesn't want to rule the galaxy, but rather destroy it, for her own personal entertainment, as she finds suffering and destruction fun. As soon as she's finished with one galaxy and can no longer derive the stimulation she craves, she moves on to the next. She doesn't understand concepts like friendship, sacrifice, and morality, totally rejecting Wander's offer of redemption in the series finale, and is left to live out the rest of her days depowered and alone.
  • Miss Power from WordGirl counts. She manipulates the entire town into bullying each other, she teaches WordGirl to mock the other villains, she throws Mrs. Botsford into jail for a disagreement they had, she severely beats up WordGirl, and she tries to kill Dr. Two-Brains. This was all her plan to Take Over the World. Also, she's one of the few villains in the show that do not have any redeeming qualities.
  • Most of the bad guys in X-Men: Evolution have shades of this. The Brotherhood is primarily filled with narcissistic and amoral mutants who, despite often been said to be more 'sympathetic' than normal, they're anything but when you take a good look at it. Pietro was self caring and allowed a train of bystanders be derailed and let it crash into one filled with fuel. Blob kidnapped Jean and showed incredibly creepy, rapist vibes, as well as other violent behavior. Toad was amoral, selfish, vulgar, and cruel, with his attraction to Wanda being his only redeeming quality. Avalanche was aggressive and violent, and while he looked rather sympathetic in the second season, a number of things made it look like he was faking the nice guy persona he had during that season. Of the Acolytes, Pyro and Sabretooth are the closest we get to text book Sociopaths in a show for kids; the two attempted murder, enjoyed their work, and are the definition of why mutants may be a risk. Averted with Colossus and Gambit; the former a good guy forced to work for bad people, the latter a Card Carrying Villain.

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