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Jan 12th 2019 at 8:08:18 PM •••

can someone make an Analysis page for this trope?

Edited by duffhead
Jul 10th 2017 at 10:33:17 PM •••

What about lion king where Scar did won by Assasinating mufasa and took over the pride lands?

Also the first Spongebob film where Plankton did get the formula from a Frozen Mr krabs and enslaved bikini bottom?

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Jul 10th 2017 at 10:38:35 PM •••

I don't think it applies as The Bad Guy Wins is an ending trope. So their winning before the end only to have it undone doesn't count, that's You Can Thwart Stage One instead.

Jul 8th 2013 at 6:42:10 PM •••

"The Wire ends with two of the main police characters, Mc Nulty and Freamon, who have been fighting the good fight for five seasons being forced to retire after being corrupted into faking evidence"

I think this should be removed. The writers have made it clear that one of the whole points of the Mc Nulty character is that debunks the idea that police want to catch criminals because they care about victims and are fighting for good. He does it for himself not for the greater good. And his actions caused people to die so it was right he lost his job.

"The only positives in the ending are that Mc Nulty's relationship with Beadie survives"

YMMV but this isn't positive to me. He was mistreating her and didn't deserve to keep her.

Jun 11th 2013 at 3:37:46 AM •••

I'd really go for removing Rurouni Kenshin's Shi-shi-o Makoto fight from the bad guy wins list. All his allies die, none of the heroes die, and then he gets burned to death. Just because he momentarily knocks the heroes down before biting it can't possibly mean this is a "bad guy wins" ending.

Whats the protocol from removing completely unfitting entries anyway?

Edited by Hide/Show Replies
Jun 11th 2013 at 5:37:04 AM •••

Misuse is a free pull. And that is misuse.

Jan 21st 2013 at 12:24:41 PM •••

If this is an ending trope and the complete and utter victory of the bad guy...why do we have land mark or season by season examples listed? Like Avatar and Code Lyoko.

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Mar 9th 2013 at 10:56:51 AM •••

Cause in something Episodic each episode and to a degree each Season are meant to be viewed as Self Contained stories on their own, in addition to a larger story.

Jul 6th 2012 at 12:43:22 PM •••

Wrestling example correction, Hogan had already ended The Undertaker's undefeated streak before the Survivor Series match, the SS match was a rematch fo that. It's on the Hulkamania 6 VHS.

Jul 6th 2012 at 12:36:26 PM •••

"complete and ultimate triumph for the villain" is why I contrary to popular opinion don't think The Empire Strikes Back counts.

Oct 29th 2011 at 12:24:12 AM •••

Technically, the bad guy wins in every film dealing with the Alamo, since the good guys have to be slaughtered to the last man unless you're going to rewrite history. But they held back overwhelming odds long enough to buy time for some other army that doesn't appear in the film, so it was sort of a victory - a moral victory, anyway. This is of course the exact same plot as 300, in which Xerxes gets away with a slight flesh-wound, whereas the Spartans are totally annihilated.

Note also that, in order to be even slightly historically accurate, Braveheart is required to show William Wallace losing to Edward I and being killed in a fashion that includes having his intestines pulled out before his very eyes! Edward coincidentally dies of natural causes at roughly the same time, and the Scottish victory at Bannockburn is achieved after the film ends by Robert the Bruce, a minor character who has been consistently depicted as a weak-willed and sometimes downright treacherous wimp just so that Mel Gibson will seem all the more manly. So in terms of what we actually get to see, the bad guy wins.

The Big Silence, directed by Sergio Corbucci, is probably the only spaghetti western in which the bad guy wins. Though since the good guy is some dude you've never heard of, and he's up against Klaus Kinski, this isn't too surprising. Apparently Corbucci did shoot an alternate ending in which mute gunslinger Silence, despite having to fight about eight men with both hands horribly mutilated, won by wearing the gauntlets from a suit of armour he happened to stumble upon, which gave his ruined fingers enough strength to pull the trigger, but it looked so silly that he went with the original totally unexpected depressing ending.

Although it's nowadays a standard trope for horror films to end with the bad guy triumphant, or at least still at large, a very early example indeed has to be Henry James' book The Turn Of The Screw, later made into the film The Innocents with Deborah Kerr. The basic plot is that c. 1890 a woman is hired as a governess to two children who may or may not have been sexually corrupted by the antics of a previous governess and a "depraved" (as in, fairly uninhibited for that era) male servant. Furthermore, these two people, both of whom are now dead, may or may not be attempting to possess the bodies of the children.

Whether or not this is true - the lady herself is the only one who can actually see the ghosts, and she seems to be suffering from some kind of severe neurosis based on sexual frustration - the ultimate result is that, having gradually worked herself and the children up to a peak of raging hysteria, her attempts to shield the little boy from some ghastly incubus visible only to herself results, for whatever reason, in the child's heart stopping.

It's true that, since this is pure psychological horror, the author never makes it explicit whether the governess was psychic or simply mad, though the probability seems to be the latter. But either way, it's not exactly a win, is it?

Good call on the two Abominable Doctor Phibes movies - the whole idea was to spoof the genre by having the bad guy win. Although the first film ends with him dead (he got better) and the last victim still alive, that final victim did succeed in beating the challenge Phibes set him - performing heart surgery on his own son in record time before something even worse happened to the boy (incidentally, the entire Saw franchise was probably inspired by that scene) - everything, including his own suicide, went just as he planned, and the final victim saved his son by playing by the rules, not because the police were the slightest bit of use.

And in the sequel, Phibes wins hands down yet again, achieving everything he set out to do. The token victim who is rescued at the end is some girl Phibes didn't care about either way, and the secondary semi-villain who rescues her does so at the cost of sacrificing his own chance to compete with Phibes for the Water of Life, which was the whole point of the diversion. And once again, the police bumble about achieving nothing, except to be killed in horrible yet hilarious ways.

As for Phibes apparently reforming at the end, nope, sorry, he was as bad as ever, and he was all set to star in Phibes Ressurectus! before Hammer pulled the plug because the second film was a box office flop.

And I can't believe that nobody mentioned The Blair Witch Project, in which the bad guy (or in this case, gal) wins so overwhelmingly that she doesn't even have to bother appearing in the freakin' film! The bad guy wins in Blair Witch II as well, but by that stage, who cares?

(On a related note, you can see the alternative endings to Paranormal Activity on the DVD, including that throat-cutting one they only showed once, which is by far the best, though it's still a terrible, boring film about two people too stupid to live, at least one of whom should gave died shortly after, or ideally before the opening credits.)

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May 16th 2012 at 8:12:16 PM •••

The one and only thing I wish about the now-standard (as noted above) bad guy victory in horror films is that its makers wouldn't pat themselves on the back for being 'innovative' and 'breaking the mold'. Bad guys have been winning in horror since the late 60's - its now about as innovative as showing a woman punching out a man. And if the villain is any sort of body swapper - forget it, game over. I think Peter Jackson's The Frighteners is the one and only such work where the flesh-jumpers are actually sent away forever.

Edited by Gojirob
Jan 8th 2013 at 12:37:59 AM •••

Their not really the Bad Guys winning though, just downer endings. Yeah the Hero(s) may be Dead or traumatized or locked up forever because no one believes them. But Horror films almost never have their bad ending because an evil Magnificent Bastard Chessmaster had a diabolical plan that went off without a hitch, which is what I'm looking for when I come to this page for movie rental ideas.

Example all the Vampire films that are included here, everyone becomes Vampire anyway make sit a downer ending, but Count Yorga was the Bag guy of those films, so him dieing still means the bad guy lost to me. The only true Vampire film with the bad Guy Winning I know of is Lemora.

For books The Vampire Countess has a nice ambiguous nature to it, either interpretation of the ending has the Countess dead, but if the interpretation where she was a real Vampire has her killing herself after fully get out of Paris with everything she went there for.

Edited by MithrandirOlorin
Jan 2nd 2011 at 4:19:13 PM •••

Would Trent (the "Evil Magician") from Piers Anthony's (Xanth) "A Spell for Chameleon" fit? He had earned his bad reputation as a younger man, but became a better man after his exile, so it's something of an inversion.

I ask this here because I am almost certain there is a better place for this, but don't know where it is offhand.

Edited by DerScotten Hide/Show Replies
Jan 3rd 2011 at 12:59:49 PM •••

For it to qualify under this trope, Trent would have to "win" while everyone was still convinced that he's evil, only it turned out he wasn't so evil anymore. More specific information would be helpful in determining what trope he falls under, assuming that we even have a trope for which he qualifies right now.

Mar 17th 2011 at 9:29:36 AM •••

What about this from "What If? Mirror Mirror" back in 2005: What if the Fantastic Four were Cosmonauts?"

The Four, known as the "Ultimate Federalist Freedom Fighters" were Natasha Romanoff ("Widow Maker": she is the electrical version of the Human Torch), Colossus (Piotir Rasputin) takes the role of Ben Grimm, Iliana Rasputin is this world's "Invisible Woman," and Rudion "Rud" Richards can open up discontinuities from his own body, projecting parts of it over great distances by ruptures in time and space.

Their "Bad Guy" moment comes in Cuba when the Avengers, led by "General America" (the descendant of Steve Rogers, who in this world had been given the powers of Captain America during the Civil War), face off against the "Four".

Rud is able to kill Giant Man by turning Hank's size-control unit all the way instead of the half-way mark he had it set on. Piotir tries to stop Iliana from killing General America (who'd saved her from a falling Hank) but her gun explodes and she is dead as well. In horror, Rud realizes "I killed a man—whose hands were empty," a concern his father had warned him about.

Rud, Natasha and Piotir teleport to face Khruschev and the KGB, who Natasha turns to ash with her power. It leads to Rud telling Natasha when she hints at being the power behind the throne, "Except there will be no throne. No ranks. No orders. No sanctioned murder."

Natasha quips, "You see, Comrade Richards, you DO have a political agenda."

The following day a new Manifesto was drawn up, and in that world, the USSR hadn't fallen. Instead it became a colossal post-human republic. A Genosha whose doors were open to baseline humans too.

Though in this instance, the "bad guy" label in theory is questionable.

Oct 24th 2011 at 9:35:14 AM •••

The UK TV Series "Blakes-7" meant to be a cliffhanger, but it turned out to be the final ep. Yep, they were all killed by the evil Alliance. Its old enough not to be a spoiler.

Sep 16th 2010 at 7:13:42 PM •••

Silent Möbius — episode 20 is one of the best example of "bad guy wins". Total complete virtory for the villain: Ganossa Maximillian.

The episode is title "love". Basically, Ganossa beatifully pushes Katsumi Liqueur to admit her love for Roy de Vice. Then the morning after they spend their first night together, he kills Roy in a bloody way while Katsumi is showering. When Katsumi discovers the dying Roy covered in blood, she goes insane with grief, unleaches a flood of power and vaporising her appartment building. The episode ends with Ganossa Maximilli standing in the ruins, bowing to the viewer...

It is the most total, PERFECT victory of a villain I have ever seen in any medium.

Edited by Hide/Show Replies
Sep 16th 2010 at 8:14:45 PM •••

Then why in the name of Odin haven't you added it yet?

Sep 17th 2010 at 3:24:38 PM •••

I just added it. It's my first edit on TV trophes, so I am not sure if I got the formatting right.

Aug 20th 2010 at 2:15:23 PM •••

Spoilers should be unmarked on this page, no? Considering it's an ending trope.

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Mar 17th 2011 at 8:16:33 AM •••

In "Justice League Adventures" #15, a variation of this happens. Kanjar Ro manages to finagle the Gamma Gong away from Queen Hyathis, one of the Warlords of Antares, and uses it to take a lot of her alien weaponry (privately supported by her two rival Warlords, who couldn't be seen publicly doing this due to the rules of their "war games", which is how they "fought" and managed to avoid the bloodiness of "savage, total, war"), with the intention of coming back with his allies to destroy it and Hyathis as well. Batman saves Hyathis from guns Ro has aimed at her, and convinces her to give him "a proposition": to be named a Warlord of Antares (mirroring his Silver-Age status), but be subject to the rules of their "war game" (limiting both the use of his ill-gotten gains, and the ability of the other two to pounce on the weakened Hyathis and her world). Should the other three try to subvert the rules again, she promises to call in her NEW allies: The Justice League!

This might be "fight to draw" or not, I don't know.

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