Trope Talk: Pure Evil

100 thoughts on “Trope Talk: Pure Evil”

  • I think you're going too easy on flat, unmotivated villains who are just evil for the sake of evil. How is that "good" writing? There's a difference between "good" and "fun". It's okay to concede that stupidly simplistic, unrealistic villains can be enjoyable while at the same time not being well-written. Maleficent is not a good or well-written villain just because she's classic.

  • comic thanos is better (what could be more insane than killing half of the universe just so you can bang the personification of Death? )

    though i like darkseid more

  • 1:53 I'm sure you'll find that Bill Cipher isn't really a purely evil villain once you actually analyze him.

  • The pure evil and complicated foil is kind of swapped in the game Nefarious with Crow and his secretary. Since if you pick the good guy ending, she will hop in the death machine and take over the world herself

  • I mean if Thanos did know that the dwarves made awesome weapons, he kinda had to kill them for insurance, just look what stormbreaker did to him

  • My all time favorite villain breakdown is ( and in my opinion makes up for the whole second arc is) light yagami’s from death note

  • Thanos needs cruelty every to ensure his place atop the pecking order. Plus he develops as Infinity War goes on. After (Spoiler Alert) killing Gamorrah, Thanos doesn't kill a single person until the Snap, even though it would be insanely easy and convenient for him to do so.

  • I don't think I've ever heard anyone stand for pure evil characters so hard and so well 🙂 Lady, you are awesome ! And if you have written anything, do let me know, I'd read the living hell out of it !

  • Me: casually doing homework while listening to this
    Me: but i need to do my home-
    Brain: NOW BEFORE WE LOSE IT >:[
    15 minutes later…
    Me: now has an entire hierarchy of villains for pretty much no reason

  • Oh, oh I have another good pure evil villain:
    Don Juan from "Much ado about nothing" (some Shakespeare play)
    The second scene he appears he literally says: I can't be the good one so let's try being the bad one and have a bit fun.
    And in that story it works pretty well, cause it's funny how he sees himself and what he really does and that is, in fact, nothing much.

  • If Maleficent continues to be a sucess, Disney will probably make prequel called Cruella, in which we find out that the Cruella's father raised dogs for fighting, and she was attacked by a dalmatian when young, so her quest for dalmatian fur is really just repressed trauma

  • Don’t know if this is a channel that pays much attention to anime (new here), but All for One is the most hateful, utterly detestable villain I’ve ever encountered, and he’s not complicated at *all*. The two factors that motivate him are 1) wanting to rule the world, and 2) hating All Might for stopping him from ruling the world and wanting to torment him and make his life a living hell. He is the definition of a simple, pure evil villain, and yet he’s the best villain I’ve ever seen, and is utterly horrible and hateable and scary.

  • I agree with what you're saying but, don't attack the Maleficent movie, it was called MALEFICENT because it was meant to be a spin on the classic sleeping beauty story, Maleficent wasn't meant to be the villain

  • I love the Pure Evil Villain tbh, like no matter how “Boring” they can get, I personally like to remedy it with their choice of action
    Like this one villain from my favorite toy series as a kid, Mecha One, that dude was simplistic, but he had so many mechs and plans in the first few comics
    Also Makuta, shoutout to my Bronicles

  • Yoshikage Kira (Motivation: Hand-fetish) from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure and Muscular (Motivation: Just wants to fight and kill people) from My Hero Academia fall into this category.

  • I love just listening to your videos while writing my campaigns for Pathfinder. I think as far as true evil goes, I never use a true evil villain as an antagonist, but rather as a plot device. Right now, i have a campaign that is centered around a king that is planning to go all Sauron on the world because he is being possessed by a really powerful demon. However, the demon isn't the endgame boss. The king is. once they defeat the king, the demon's influence will be gone.

  • Wanna hear a good villain? Well I have multiple, the chaos gods from warhammer 40k. You have murder god man, god of murderfucking things to mega death, slime god of ooze being sick and shit, and the confusing back stabbing bird fuck. Their back story? Who gives a shit they be killing things.

    Also I am surprised you didnt bring up Aku, he is a very good example of a pure evil villain. He's got the charisma, the gravitas and no actual connection to his backstory on why he is the way he is (besides being practically the severed finger of Azathoth or something).

  • I love how, (SPOILERS FOR REBOOT)

    Megabyte doesn't go down like a chump even after Matrix first dents him. It's a satisfyingly even fight for the most part, with Megabyte still holding the advantage. But yeah. Love Megabyte, and Hexadecimal!

  • I always just think that thanos likes to act deep because he wants people to ACTUALLY join his side! because what IF someone isnt imgonnajoinyourside scared of him? well he will have to kill them or make them think that he is good!

  • This video screamed Freiza to me. Freiza is arguably the perfect pure evil, of course that may be because he is the best Dragonball villian and is the perfect fit for that series. Simple goal get dragon balls become immortal and kill literally everyone that gets in the way. Oh shit Super Sayian. The Final battle with Freiza during the Namek arc of Dragon Ball Z was far and away the best one in the series. and that was made possible by the Evil Space Tyrant and an Alien martial artist raised on earth fulfiling an ancient prophecy of his people. 10/10 would binge again

  • Someone seriously needs to fix up the "Pure Evil" page on Villains Wiki; there are villains that deserve that title. Aku, Toffee, Lord Shen, Kai Chisaki, even Eddy's Brother!

  • "Villainous charisma means you like to see them succeed, but their evilness means you like to see them crash and burn." Honestly, I love this quote, it's my favorite one in this video;Imma steal it. 😈.

  • my fav thing from darth vader is hia comic quotes
    "do you know who i am??, you killed my father!"
    darth~ ive killed many "fathers" your going to have to be more specific

  • one part I have to disagree with – Thanos. You may learn that people like that exist, and they're usually the narcissistic a-holes that TRULY BELIEVE on one thing yet act a completely other way. Either way, he makes sense to me. It's as if he's lying to himself saying it's a necessity when in reality he just wants to.

  • But…I loved Maleficent…
    Is good writing any writing that works even when I hate it?
    Everything you said in this video might be true, but evil for the sake of evil will still annoy me.

  • I have an example of a pure evil villain that was written well(in my opinion) by the author

    Note, spoilers to Danganronpa under the cut
    Try : Junko Enoshima from Danganronpa, the first villain I thought of when I saw this video. She's crazy, we know really little of her backstory and it doesn't really matter anyways, and all she want is despair and plunge the world into despair, and she's a confident villain who's okay with taking risks. Has a third-act breakdown when she realised all her work is foiled by this one dude with an ahoge and terrible luck cycle before prompting killing herself because of the sheer despair she wants (although it deviates slightly as she doesn't face her fears, she wanted it, but she does have a breakdown). The author purposely made her this way, saying it's much scarier to see a villain that has no backstory to explain her actions, she just is. And in a way, she is.

  • My favorite pure evil villain has to be Yoshikage Kira. He's just… such a purely sick bastard. He has no real backstory other than really, really liking the Mona Lisa. And his third act breakdown, which he has more than once, each seriously changing himself, are great. Hands down the best purely evil villain I've encountered.

  • I just recently found your channel and have been binge watching your mythology series. Hearing you gush about Reboot was completely unexpected and I love Megabyte getting the recognition he deserves here.

  • Thank heck I finally found a video that broke down the whole "BAD VILLAIN BAD WRITING REEEEEE" crap. It feels so bizarre to me when there's plenty of stories, tropey as hell, basic ass pure evil because I love it villain, and they're fantastic stories. I struggled to reason why, but this is a great video that gave me a break down of it.

  • The problem I have with pure evil villains, is how unrealistic they are. There's no one in real-life like that, and I just feel like this misrepresents people and conflicts. It makes the "bad side" seem like a solid evil thing and it's super obvious your the good guy and they're the bad guy. And I feel like this can make people just bias, or narrow. In real life, good and evil are just perceptive illusions, but all these stories make it seem like a black and white obvious thing. And that's just not how it works in real life, even the literal anti-social personality disordered tier II psychopath has more to them. There's no sadistic in real life that only ever existed to do what is culturally defined as evil to you. And this also reinforces the belief of what is good and bad, and that you are totally good, in one particular culture. I feel like stories should challenge people's cultures, understandings, and perspectives. And sure, there's a lot of that everywhere, but it kind of gets mixed in with classic Disney villains. And the more complex and sympathetic villains still do reflect upon the culture that made them.
    And I mean, yes yes. There's nothing wrong with "pure evil" since the main purpose of a story is ENTERTAINMENT. And that, they can be. But that doesn't mean entertainment is the only thing stories have to be about. There's a reason why they keep asking you: "what's the theme?". Heck, some stories are pretty much just more about the philosophy than the entertainment, they want to teach you a lesson. And every story does have some type of thing you can learn from them. But "pure villainy" in my opinion, is also just "pure entertainment." Because, in order to make a conflict meaningful, you have to learn from both the protagonist AND the antagonist. And there's not much to learn when the villain is literally incapable of learning from mistakes. How can you show someone this is bad, is the person does not experience any mental consequences from it? And instead just puts it up against the actual person themselves, rather than their action. This also leads to a feeling of, yay! They're dead! That's great and have absolute zero sympathy for them because they basically had no reason to exist. They were practically the personification of death and suffering. It's not like they were actually alive or anything. And to be honest, not sure they are with they're impossible tier of anti-social personality disorder. Which just makes they're entire existence just an imaginary, non-existent, aspect of human psychology and how people want to view their enemies as things they shouldn't care about. That they associate this unrealistic personality with everything that is against their own culture. And is that really a good trait of human psychology? Because it mainly reflects on the bias, and narrow view people will generate towards other cultures that are substantially different from their own. Like the act of killing someone is seen as evil, so then they associate it with this impossible personality that has no care. But then in other cultures, this may be different. And no one there is even close to that unrealistic personality. But that's how we view this action. Does this not narrow ourselves? Make of think of things wrongly with this psychopathic figures? Is Disney not corrupting THE YOUTH OF ATHENS!?!?!?! I mean, America and various other countries?

    Just my thoughts. And I'm pretty sure absolutely no one read it. Oh, well.

    And about Thanos, no one will ever realize just how super philosophically deep he was. Especially some of the things he said. Darn. But they could have portrayed this better though. I'm pretty sure his actions a the beginning were just to make people think he was that stereotypical twirling mustache villain. But then they chose to reveal his true side later on. The paradox is that they're using contradiction techniques to make the story-line more interesting, but at the same time they're messing up the character, because that's not something he would've actually done. But at the same time, the wanted him to develop, but still, not something he would do. And when Endgame brought back past Thanos, they completely screwed up the philosophically deep Thanos, and me personally, absolutely hated it. The only good part that relates to Thanos the real Thanos' death scene. It had meaning, and showed that he wasn't doing any of this for power, that'd he'd just throw away the stones because all that's left for them now is temptation. That he was, inevitable. But past Thanos screwed it up, for me. But then again, Endgame wasn't Thanos' movie, Infinity War was. The Russel Brothers even stated that he pretty much was the protagonist for Infinity War, since he really did have to most screen-time, and pretty much the only reason people didn't get that was because it was labeled Avengers and he was doing things that was considered unethical by most people. I personally liked Thanos in Infinity War the most out of all villains, though. But that's mostly because he touches upon topics so rarely spoken of, and does it quite well, for me at least. Most people didn't get it, so maybe he didn't.
    Like the part where he recognizes Tony and is like, "You're no the only one to share the curse of knowledge."
    That was pure beauty and soooo deep, I loved it. And pretty much no one even understands why they put it in there . . . .
    You know, what's even the point of appealing to the general audience? Feels kinda greedy to me. Maybe we should all focus more on appealing to audiences that care. It would make stories so much better, but only to some people. But those people don't get good content too much, because everyone is too focused on appealing to the general audience so most people would watch it and they would actually make money. But these minorities deserve it. I'm tired of seeing fake sword fights just so most people would find it appealing. Maybe, for a change, they should make the sword fights realistic to HUGELY appeal to the HEMA audience. Maybe they should focus on super deeper philosophical concepts for the audience that's thought of it, maybe even actually teach the general audience as confused as they may be. Maybe they should put real science into their sci-fi's and hugely appeal to the nerd community. Maybe, they should stop making things that reflect and appeal to human psychology and actually be CREATIVE!
    Maybe, I'm just weird, and I'm sick of seeing aspects of stories that are a representation of people's own's psychologies without them even realizing it. But regardless of my thoughts are anything, what we need is just for stories to be more diverse. That's all. Too many stories have too many similar goals: money, entertainment. Too many similar audiences: general. Too many lazy and cowardly writers, who don't put in the effect of research, creativity, and though. And instead, choose to put green make-up on a human, and somehow call it an alien (don't even get me stated on how sheerly ridiculous that is).

    What we need, is writers that put more effect into this.
    WHAT WE NEED, is for me to stop talking.

  • I still maintain that TheShadows from Babylon5 are some of the best villains ever written, because they both fall into a philosophical category of almost Platonic-pure evil, BUT ALSO have some pretty compelling arguments for why they believe as they do; so compelling they convert several heroes over the series and nearly flip the main hero just through calmly explaining how they see things differently. And make creepily valid arguments. They’re fantastic. While also being as you say "flamboyant" in their villainy. Proud of it, pleased with it.

  • Not all pure evil villains have the third-act breakdown tho. Like, say, the bad guy of Guy Gavriel Kay's The Fionavar Tapestry. He's super fucking pure evil, he enjoys the suffering of others, he's evil to the point that he actually causes his own end (long story. He's literally unkillable, unless he fathers a child. And like… the only crime you shouldn't commit in that case is rape. And then he goes and rapes a woman and she gets pregnant). But he doesn't really get the time for a villainous breakdown, because he thinks he's in control and on top of the situation until the very moment he is killed (his death involves a bit of magic fuckery and curse-related rules lawyering too). Like, he was brought down. And he was brought down extremely dramatically, in a manner fit for the kind of fantasy evil dark lord like him. But he didn't have a breakdown, and it still worked

  • My favorite types of villains are villains who are extremely villainous but are also right. Examples include Light Yagami and Dr. Doom.

  • i haven't really seen a pure evil villain… most have their own stories…

    if we are talking about a pure evil one then let's use dragon ball names for a bit for my hypothetical pure evil villain…

    let's say freiza wanted to find the dragon balls and goku and co. plus the namekians are standing in his way.
    what a truly evil villain would have done is not stall for time, rather, send all saiyan forces to overwhelm and kill goku and co. or if they were captured, frieza will kill them on the spot, no talking, no waste of episodes powering up, just straight up kill, they're a bother anyway. and then take his time searching for the dragon balls with no one to bother him.
    if resisting, he may use a namekian youngling to coerce the other namekians to search for the dragon balls, and after getting them, kill them all and blow the planet up.

    if we are talking about villains that are cold-bloodedly pure evil, then i can only vote for fang ming/leylin farlier from Warlock of the Magus World chinese novel. he is as close to a pure evil villain as can be. though… he is the MC of the novel…

  • 8:17 that’s, wow.
    I never realised until this exact moment, but that’s literally Vegeta’s character to a T.

  • Ok, so I am halfway through my third time watching this and only JUST NOW realized that the background music is Michael Jackson's "Bad". Nice touch.

  • I guess people have their own preferences. Pure evil villains and pure good, incorruptible heroes started getting boring to me years and years ago. Too many come across as flat caricatures. It's OK to like those kinds of characters, but it gets a little weird when people sometimes try to project pure villainy on a real person because that person made one or two horrible decisions in life. Actual people are very complex and if you choose to write your fictional characters that way and still spit out a great story, I say go for it.

  • 03:19 This
    I watched a couple movies in which the villain was so cool and pretty intimidating in the beginning, but somewhere along the way they lose their confidence and become a coward (Often when they are close to being beaten). It's so much more fun when a strong villain remains strong and confident until the end!
    Sometimes them being a coward works, but now I have had that sinking feeling two times! Two times that I got disappointed and lost faith in a character who was so strong/interesting in the beginning.

  • 10:10 I got more of a tactically brutal engine of his own will than a reluctant monster. Like fighting the Hulk was an indulgence for him as a warrior and the whole Loki and the dwarves… and the Asgardians was because they posed a greater tactical threat to him. Being a race of gods, a god of deception(we all know what Sun Tzu says about deception), and the race capable of creating a weapon that could prevent him from achieving his goals. Maby I misread it but it made decent sense that he would take out those that could take him out with relative ease but no one more.

  • I disagree that Avengers Infinity War portrayed Thanos inconsistently. It seemed pretty clear to me that all of his self-justifications about saving the universe were presented as just that – self-justifications so that he could pretend to himself that he was not a monster.

    Thanos' motivation wasn't what he said it was, and the "inconsistencies" that you pointed out were intentional clues to this. He claimed that he was trying to prevent a Malthusian crisis, but he never even considered a different solution than the one that he had offered to save Titan. And that's very important, and is why even with the reality-changing power of all of the infinity stones he never wavered from "cull half the population." It wasn't about saving the universe – it was about proving that he was RIGHT, that his solution WOULD have saved Titan if only they had just listened to him.

    This is why he CAN'T even consider another solution. If he acknowledged that he could just use the Infinity Stones to, say, reduce birth rates, or increase resources, or any of the other things that people have suggested, he would have to admit that his culling solution would not have worked, and that his post-Titan, pre-Infinity Stones campaign of conquest and culling had accomplished nothing. That he was NOT the universe's unacknowledged savior, but just a monster who had slaughtered millions.

    That this is both selfish and delusional is seen in the Thanos' repeated expectation that the survivors of his culling should be grateful to him. In Avengers Endgame, it was seeing that his future self succeeded, and that rather than be grateful the survivors were desperate to undo his "great work," that stripped away Thanos' "I'm just trying to save you" justifications and led to his new plan of "I'm kill to kill and remake the entire universe so that the new universe HAS to acknowledge how super special and awesome I am."

  • Wasn't Maleficent's thing that she was super pissed the royals didn't invite her to the celebration of the babies birth? Like, that was a grievous insult back in those times and fey can be straight assholes when they want to be.

  • I have a villain who is evil because "fear is just most remember than hope and I want poeple remember emotions I inspired once I died"
    And her partner just because it's fun ^^"

  • My favorite example of a pure evil villain is Cioccolata from Jojos Bizarre adventure, hes given no real backstory aside from how he would torture the elderly and patients he had just because he enjoyed watching death and feeling superior to the point that even the main villain calls him a piece of shit, and he nearly wiped out all of Rome because he can

  • My favorite book series Phenomena has a villain who is pure evil, Sherpa. But he's very old so while he doesn't do much he manipulates people around him tries getting Ilke (the blue girl in the video) to join him saying that they aren't that different but never specifies, tells Tarkan (the green man in the video) that he's the only one who cares about him while also making him doubt himself, and more I won't specify because huge spoilers. He's interesting and he only wants to take over more and more countries and has worked for thousands of years to eventually take over Aldra. He alludes to a tragic backstory but it never gets told and he's one of the few other people the protagonists kill, but still leaves you with a "but what do we do now?". So it's pretty great, in my opinion at least.

    Tarkan I mentioned earlier is called "the very idea of evil", but is more sympathetic than Sherpa as we learn about his messy and honestly confusing backstory. Especially with the latest book. I like him as a character and many older fans say he's their favorite character due to his complexity. They probably show that having evil ideas may not make you evil, but using those ideas to hurt others is. Which is a pretty good life lesson honestly.

    Tarkan himself is also manipulating the chieftain of a tribe keeping elves as slaves (the story is about two kids being chosen to abolish slavery), who is more of an Ozai type who blames his son for killing his wife for being born, he's honestly a big spoiled brat like trump who wants everyone to do his bidding, unfortunately we don't get to know him well although one of my friends finds him really interesting. There's also two mermen, one who seems to be driven by jealousy (Kain and Abel situation kinda but Abel kills Kain) and the other is an implied rapist, for kids! And then there's Tarkan's mother/lover but that's too many spoilers.

  • I mean, it is my opinion, but I always thought that that was the intention, Ultron didn’t really care about world peace, it was only something that Tony programed him to do, but he had a mind of his own so he developed a personality and self-awareness; as for Tanos, I see him as someone that doesn’t care about the Universe, but as a megalomaniac that desperately wants to be right

  • oh god, the Warrior Cat side of me is KICKING IN!
    DAMN YOU BROKENSTAAAAR! (he was Yellowfang's son and was born evil, that's it)

  • Whoa wait. Are you a Canadian? Cause you are speaking the language of my childhood with Reboot. All I need from you is Are You Afraid of The Dark and we'll be sarcastic soul family 😂


  • Maybe one good piece for reference on a charismatic evil character is Christopher Marlowe's Tamburlaine the Great. Where, he's actually the protagonist. And he's written as so passionate, poetic, charming, and self-made, that we can't help but love him, and follow along with him until we're absolutely SICK of him.

  • Ultron wanted to kill the Avengers because he thought they had made him to destroy the Earth, and he hated them for that.

  • So, I have a thing about the Thanos rant. In the comic books I have, Thanos literally only wanted to kill half the universe to impress Lady Death. His story has tradegy in the sense that he was a misfit, power hungry Prince with a point to prove to the society that rejected him and to a woman he's obsessed with that doesn't love him back. It's SOOOO much more interesting to movie Thanos and just amazing by comparison to the complicated mess we got. It pissed me off sooooo much. I think they tried to have this in the movies, but without Lady Death and that's why he sucked

  • Frankly, I'm surprised you didn't use the Beast Wars version of Megatron as an example for this, considering he hits most (if not all) of the checkboxes. To wit:

    We don't know his backstory (with supplementary material revealing that prior to the series, he was just a common crook)

    He has a very simple motivation (once he confirms that he is indeed on prehistoric Earth, he plans to alter history to ensure the Decepticons win the Great War, first by trying to kill off humanity's ancestors and then by shooting a stasis-locked Optimus Prime in the chest)

    Has self-confidence and charisma to burn, yesss…

    And lastly, he has a breakdown during the series finale when Dinobot II, having gained some sense of his former self, rebels against him.

  • I love pure evil villains, escpecially if I get to act as them in a play (I got to play scar in a musical my school was doing), but I also like the mentally unstable, don't know what their past is, but they're so bat-shit crazy, that when they do finally break, you get to see their past, and end up being their own demise, either figuratively, or quite litterally with Suicide. It's a twist, but before that you get to see how the villain changes the characters ideals on things, and it causes the main characters progression. While yes, I absolutely love pure evil villains, seeing these kind of emotionally unstable, actually insane(by that I mean the legal definition.) Or sociopathic, villains are good to watch cause they keep you on your feet, like a jump scare.

  • A lot of people seemed to misunderstand Thanos. He wasn't supposed to be "sympathetic" he was meant to seem like he was onto something. He is an abusive powerful figure and IW was HIS story. He wanted to convince everyone, even the audience, that there was anything sympathetic about his motives but the death of loki and many other moments (Esp Endgame!) show he has and always will be a sadistic sociopath delusional that he is the hero of his story. He was never sympathetic, just a miserable little pile of ssssseveral layers of deep narcissistic personality traits and a god complex.

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