From Nobody to Nightmare

From Nobody to Nightmare

Why not? I've been hurt my life.
~ Carrie White (about using her psychokinetic powers against those who wronged her) to Sue Snell in Carrie (2013).

From Nobody to Nightmare is a TV Trope-popularized villainous event which is one of the possible routes of a villain's Origin Story where in this case, starting off as a nobody.


From Nobody to Nightmare is a TV Trope-popularized villainous event involving a character, either a hero or ordinary good guy who was either harmless/helpless, looked down upon, his/her existence was ignored, and worse, considered as an outcast or an individual that often being abused by other people that dislikes/hate them, either the Big Bad or minor yet crucial antagonists/villains in the story where they were featured at. Every abuse and misfortune the character endured holds a role in their character development, but in stark contrast of From Zero to Hero cases, said development takes a negative turn which lead to his/her growth into a villain, often the terrifying ones.

In addition of whether the future villain will eventually give in to the growing bitterness in his/her heart, there are external factors which contributed to this kind of character development:

In either way, once this character descended into villainy, he/she would prove him/herself as one of the world's most terrifying villains ever seen. Befitting to this Origin Story route, his/her Rising to Power would be particularly terrifying for the audience as he/she unleashes her rage upon the world that has wronged him/her, often at the most catastrophic level possible as demonstrated by the titular character from Stephen King's Carrie.


Anime and Manga

  • Naruto:
    • Gaara: Due to carrying the misunderstood Tailed Beasts with notorious reputation and god-like powers, all Jinchuurikis have the risk of taking this path with constant mistreatments they endured at hands of their own home village as the titular character discovered upon learning Gaara's sad backstory and descent into villainy, which stemmed from being chosen as Jinchuuriki of Shukaku the One-Tail who developed into bitter shinobi: He had his father the Fourth Kazekage pushed him to the dark side just so he can synch with his Tailed Beast's bitterness by having his own caretaker trying to kill him, shaping him into a sociopathic killer until he found salvation from meeting Naruto, a fellow Jinchuuriki who has more fortunate than him.
    • Tobi: The masked man who inherited Madara's name that later turns out to be none other than Obito Uchiha, the same kid that spent his childhood failing at everything, pining for Rin, feeling jealous of Kakashi, and pretty much like Naruto that we know today, is now the villain who murdered Naruto's parents (one of which was his own mentor) on the same vein with Lord Voldemort with Harry's parents (albeit in his case, indirectly through setting Kurama the Nine Tails loose), took part in the Uchiha massacre, corrupted Nagato and later Sasuke, co-led the aforementioned evil army against the five great powers of the world and was working to unleash Juubi. Little that did he knew that Tobi, along with Madara, was merely a pawn of the true apocalyptic being.
  • Bleach
    • Kaname Tōsen: Tōsen was a Captain of the 9th Division of the Gotei 13 who strongly believed in justice. After recovering from his fight with Kenpachi Zaraki to whom he lost he was revealed to be Sōsuke Aizen's underling. Later on he accompanyed him to the fake Karakura Town where he started fighting his former friend Sajin Komamura and his former lieutenant Shūhei Hisagi in which he revealed his motive for betrayal of the Gotei 13: revenge. He even tried to kill them both while fighting them.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Jellal Fernandes: Jellal was on Erza Scarlet and the rest of the Tower of Heaven slaves' side till he was possessed by Ultear Milkovich while being captured. He became worse than his tormentors as well as guards of the Tower of Heaven, strangled Erza to near death and then yelled at her to never come back which she complied and bombed the escape ships and framed Erza for it and instructed the rest of the slaves to finish the tower. 8 years later he orders his team to kidnap Erza in order to use her as a sacrifice for the resurrection of Zeref whom he believed to be dead and when he tried to kill Erza he accidentally killed Simon who sacrificed himself for her.


  • Apocalypse: When En Sabah Nur was born, he was abandoned for having grey skin, blue lips, and unusual facial markings. He would eventually rise to become a strong warrior and soon, a powerful mutant by mastering his powers and acquiring alien technology. He would be worshipped as a god by many and years later, he would awaken from dormancy into the modern world and pose the biggest threat to the X-Men as he would seek to destroy the current world and build a new one in his image referred simply as the Age of Apocalypse.



  • Lotso: Was once a soft-spoken, gentle, lovable teddy bear who first started out as a Christmas present for Daisy, a young kind-hearted girl who immediately became overjoyed the moment she unwrapped him. Things suddenly take a dramatic turn when on a family trip, as Daisy happily played with her toys including her very special Lotso, she fell asleep after lunch, accidentally leaving her toys behind. Lotso and his friends decided to go back home afterward, but by the time they got there, it turned out Daisy bought another Lotso to compensate for the original one she lost during the trip. Right when Lotso saw this, something snapped inside him that day. It should be noted, that Daisy only bought another Lotso because he symbolized how much she truly loved her original. As pointed out by Woody, it was Lotso who abandoned Daisy.
  • Syndrome: Buddy Pine was just a geeky kid who wanted to be Mr. Incredible's super-sidekick using his gadgetry. After he is rather roughly dismissed by Mr. Incredible, it drives Buddy into a hateful vengeance and grows up to become the supervillain Syndrome, spending his life designing technology so he can kill superheroes, take their place, and then eventually sell his inventions so that everyone can be super, depriving superheroes of their uniqueness. He also takes special glee in his attempts to kill/abduct Mr. Incredible's wife and kids.
  • Aggie Prenderghast: Aggie was executed because her community mistreated and later have her hanged out of believed her ability to see the ghosts was due to her practices witchcraft. Enraged, Aggie curses the judges whom executed her so they would become zombies that endure mistreatments that worse than hers but is prevented by Prenderghast family line who read her favorite tale in her grave up until Norman failed to do the same, resulting her wrathful spirit went rampage and watch the now undead judges being mistreated by modern citizens.
  • Tighten: Hal Stewart started out as an awkward cameraman with an unhealthily obsessive crush on Roxanne Ritchi but obtained superpowers via Megamind and became the supervillain Titan, an Omnicidal Maniac who is willing to obliterate an entire city just because Roxanne will not give into his even more disturbing advances.


  • Godzilla: In 1954 film, Godzilla was used to be the member of a species of prehistoric intermediate reptiles that having its habitat at the Pacific Ocean destroyed by American's H-bomb which not only destroyed his habitat and any lifeforms that inhabited it (which includes its family). Missing its family, and scarred and mutated by a radioactive residue of the blast, the creature goes to nearby human populate to wipe out mankind in revenge.
  • Sebastian Caine: When he tests the invisibility serum on himself after lying to the Pentagon, he becomes increasingly obsessed and learning the identity of Linda's new lover as he begins to destroy the faculty and murder his former mentor, Dr. Kramer.
  • Electro (Max Dillon): Lived his whole life without anybody merely acknowledging his existence. After his mother forgets his birthday, Max is placing a large electrical wire into a vent at Oscorp when he is suddenly electrocuted. He falls, dragging the wire with him, into a tank full of genetically altered electric eels. Max feels that he is betrayed by love, his family, and his job. He wants to rid the world of power so that everyone can feel what he once felt.


  • Alice: Originally known as Beth Kane who was a sweet, innocent girl and Kate Kane's beloved sister. However, after being kidnapped and imprisoned by August Cartwright, Beth suffered a great of psychological and physical abuse through Cartwright and his selfish, elderly mother. This caused her to slowly become mentally unstable and become an insane, murderous, fantasy-loving criminal known as "Alice."


  • Carrie White: The only thing that Carrie had in her entire life was mistreatments that she endured due to her fanatical and insane mother, which worsened with bullies (particularly Chris Hargensen whom never satisfied in bullying her until she would kill her), made Carrie instigate the Black Prom incident.
    • This dark history ultimately repeated itself when Rachel Lang, who was also mistreated in the same way with Carrie, ultimately snapped and killed her tormentors in gruesome ways.


  • Alessa Gillespie: Like Carrie White of the titular Stephen King novel, she was endured abuse and mistreatment by her peers and her religious mother, and when nearly killed by a ritualistic fire so she can become the mother for The Order's God, it was the last straw: As revenge and the attempt to stop The Order's sinister plan to destroy the world, she plunged the whole Silent Hill into the Otherworld and manipulate Travis Grady to bring portion of goodness in her heart in form of a baby that later named Cheryl out of the infamous ghost town.


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See Also

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