Villainous Overview

The Origin Story

Much like how ordinary good guys eventually became heroes, villains themselves also have an Origin Story of how they eventually become the villains that the heroes ultimately face later on. In TV Tropes, this is called the Start of Darkness.

In order to keep their characters current, various media companies frequently rewrite the origins of their oldest characters; this goes from adding details that do not contradict earlier facts to a totally new origin which makes it seem that it is an altogether different character.

"Origin story", or pourquoi story, is also a term used in mythology. It can refer to narratives of how the world began, how creatures and plants came into existence, and why certain things in the cosmos have certain qualities.

How the characters eventually became the very villains that everyone known were varies, though some cases tend to be related with Mad Science.

Variations of Origin Story Scenarios

Each villains had various scenarios regarding how they went to the dark side, which includes:

  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil Scenario: Popularized by TV Trope of the same name, this scenario revolves around how a villain comes to being as product of torture or abuse, mentally and psychically. Motivation of torture that resulting a character become evil in this way ranges from simply mere amusement to more complex and systematic one, the way a Big Bad indoctrinated his subjects.
  • Rival Turned Evil: Also popularized by TV Trope of the same name, this Origin Story route revolves around how a villain comes to being as mere rival of the hero until they went bad.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Also popularized by TV Trope of the same name, this Origin Story route revolves the villain who started off as either outcast or nobody before their shocking descent into villainy.
  • From Champion to Power Hungry: Origin Story route where the villain started off as either nobody or respected figure/hero who is given power and/or authority only to be consumed by it and turned evil.
  • Was Once A Man: Exclusive to monsters who started off as ordinary man. May overlapping with other routes, but the consequence remained same: The character transformed into a literal monster.
  • Evil Former Friend: Also popularized by TV Trope of the same name, this Origin Story route revolves around villains who begins as the hero's friend. May overlaps with Rival Turned Evil case.


That day, I gave up my own unsightly face. And I let go of the old me, the one that was so weak, so that I could become stronger. And then, at last... I obtained the power. The power to make all yield to my will. I... was... REBORN!
~ Infinite
Eggman: As a child, I looked up to my grandfather because of all the great things he accomplished in his life. He was my hero! And I wanted to be a great scientist like him. But... did he really mean to destroy us?
Tails: I don't know. But, what I DO know is... we all did it together!
Eggman: You're right.
~ Dr. Eggman and Tails about Professor Gerald Robotnik.
Now, it all started at Baby Corp, a long, long time ago. I was a hotshot executive, heading start to the top. Everyone loved me. They gave me a promotion, the Corner Office, and my very own (Boss Baby: ... personal potty.) SHING! I had it all, but then one day, I made a terrible discovery: I was getting... old. The formula wasn't working anymore. It turns out I was lactose Intolerant. (Boss Baby: No...) Yes! I got called in to see the Boarding Directors (Tim: Who are the Boarding Directors?) The biggest baby bosses of them all! I thought they loved me, but they replaced with someone new... someone younger. (Tim: That's horrible!) All of a sudden, she got all the love, all the attention.... you know how that feels, don't you, Tim? It hurts, doesn't it? (Tim: Yeah, it does. And then what happened?) Well.... they fired me! And took away my special formula. Then they sent me down to live with a f-f-family! (Boss Baby: Oh Francis no!) Baby Corp betrayed me, and I'm finally going to get revenge with...the Forever Puppy!
~ Francis E. Francis explains his backstory and plan for revenge.
There was a time when he was the outcast of the litter. Born blind in one eye. Abandoned by his own kind. Little did they know that his blindness would give him a sense of smell like no other leopard before him. And he would grow up to be a great hunter. He got his revenge, but it seems that isn't enough for him. (humba: So he keeps on killing.) Having everyone live in fear of you doesn't change who you are.
~ The Black Eagle telling to Khumba about Phango's origin, how he become ruthless killer.
Long ago, in ancient China, the Peacocks ruled over Gongmen city. They brought great joy and prosperity to the city for they have invented fireworks. But their son, Lord Shen, saw a darker power in the fireworks. What had brought color and joy could also bring darkness and destruction. Shen's troubled parents consulted a Soothsayer. She foretold that if Shen continued down this dark path, he would be defeated by a warrior of black and white. The young lord set out to change his fate. But what he did next only sealed it. Shen returned to his parents full of pride. But in their faces, he saw only horror. He was banished from the city forever. But Shen swore revenge. Someday, he would return, and all of China would bow at his feet.
~ The Soothsayer's opening narration of Lord Shen's backstory. He became disturbingly obsessed with fireworks as he saw they could also be used in warfare. His concerned parents consulted the Soothsayer who foretells Shen's destined downfall at the hands of "a warrior of black and white." Shen overhears this prophecy and decides to avert it by massacring a nearby village of innocent pandas. Shen's parents, horrified that their son would do such a wicked deed, banished him from the city as punishment. Shen, believing his parents wronged and hated him, vows revenge that he will return to Gongmen one day.
I think you man OUR old room. (Lewis confused: What?) (Bowler hat guy removing his cloak revealing his tiny, filthy Little League Baseball uniform) Yes! Yes, it is I, Mike Yagoobian!(Lewis gasps) I know, I'm disgusting. But one learns to love it. (How did you end up like this?) Well it's a long pitiful story, about a young boy with a dream. a dream of winning a Little League championship...(flashback to a Little League baseball game, Yagoobian is asleep in the outfield; a sleepy Yagoobian fails to catch a ball headed his way) A dream that was ruined in the last inning. We lost by one run because of me.(Goob wakes up and finds himself surrounded by his teammates as began to beat on him)(Baseball kid: Get him!)(Goob angrily telling his day at the oprhanage: If I hadn't fallen asleep, I would have caught the ball! And we would have won! Do you understand?!) For some reason, no one wanted to adopt me.(Reporterover radio as Goob listens: Whiz kid Cornelius Robinson graduates from college at age 14 - This year's Nobel Prize goes to a young Cornelius Robinson) (Goob walks through the hallway as student greet him but was too angry to notice) (Student 1:Hey Goob. what's up? Cool binder)(Hey Goob, want to come over to my house today) They all hated me. Eventually, they closed down the orphanage and everyone left... except me. (Years go by as Goob listens on the radio of Lewis's successes and comes to a realization.) It was then that I realized it wasn't my fault. It was yours. If you hadn't kept me up all night working on your stupid project, then I wouldn't have missed the catch, So I devised a brilliant plan to get my revenge. (Mike Yagoobian throwing eggs outside Robinson Industries) Robinson, You stink!! Then, just as I was on the brink of destroying Robinson Industries, I met 'her'. We retreated to our villainous lair, where Doris spun a tale of deception and woe. Apparently, you invented her to be a helping hat, a slave to humankind... But Doris knew she was capable of so much more!... (Doris's eye turns red and pulls herself over the lab assistant's eyes and controlling him) However, you didn't see her true potential...(Cornelius: Got it!) So you shut her down... or so you thought. (Doris reactivates herself, breaks free from the glass incasing and secretly escapes from Robinson industries) We both had a score to settle with you, and while my plan for revenge was brilliant, Doris's was... well, we went with Doris's, but I made a very, very important contribution. (Showing her the Science fair flier) Together we made the perfect team. (On a stormy night, Goob and Doris arrive at Lewis's home with Doris putting her night vision goggles, spying on Wilbur) (Franny: Wilbur, make sure you shut that door tight, or else the alarm won't engage.)(Wilbur: Yeah, Mom.) (Lewis leaves without closing the door all the way) I went to your house, snuck in the garage, and stole the time machine. All thanks to that pointy-haired little kid who forgot to lock the garage door. (Mike Yagoobian laughs maniacally as the flashback ends) And now, all that's left is to return to Inventco, where I'll pass off your little gizmo as my own. (Lewis: But you have no idea what that could do to this future!)I don't care! I just want to ruin your life!
~ Bowler Hat Guy reveals himself as Lewis's old roommate and explains his backstory of how he came to be, how he met Doris and plan their revenge on Lewis by stealing his memory scanner and destroying his future.
Once upon a time, long ago, there was a little girl who was different from the other people in her village. She could see and do things that no one could understand! And that made them scared of her! She turned away from everyone and became sad and lonely, and had no one to turn to! The more she turned away from people, the more scared they were of her. And they did something terrible! They became so scared that they took her away and they killed her! And even though she was dead, something in her came back! And this part of her, wouldn't go away even after three hundred years! And the longer it stayed, the less there was of the little girl.
~ Norman Babcock telling Aggie Prenderghast her origin story to make her realize what she has become now.
But there was one. A great Ultra - young, strong and ambitious. In his quest for greater power he tried to take the energy from the Plasma Spark. But it was too much for him. He was exiled from the Land of Light. That's right, the birth of the dark Ultra Warrior, Belial.
~ Mirai Hibino aka. Ultraman Mebius about Belial.
That is a very old traditional costume from the Nordic regions. It wasn't until years later, it became a... silly character. The original clown.. it was not funny at all. (Kent McCoy: So, tell me Mr. Karlsson. How are we gonna get this thing off of me?) Very few people know the true origin of what we called "the clown". I can show you here. It lived up in the mountains with a skin white as snow and red nose blistered by the cold. It lured children out of villages into its cave. Five children. One child for every month of winter. Over the centuries, the legend of the Cloyne was long forgotten. He became the clown. His white face and red nose to make people laugh. To entertain children. If only they knew.
~ Herbert Karlsson explaining to Kent McCoy the origins of the Cloyne, an ancient mythical demon from Northern Europe.
I know I had my doubts, but it was worth leaving home. I'm glad I had Xara and Romeo with me. I don't know what Romeo wants anymore. It hurts. All I wanted was the three of us, together. Maybe we should have never left the cabin. We weren't just happy there. We were home. Dear Xara, if you're reading this, I'm already gone. I hid this in one place I knew you would look for it. Fitting the key to ending all this would be here… where it all started. This is the key to defeating Romeo… #POTATO451. Take this word of passage and use it at the primary terminal. You can take away his power and end this. I still have hopes for Romeo. He just wanted us to stay together… more than anything. I know that's why he's doing this. Maybe I'm being foolish, but I need to know for sure before taking the step. Though I guess if you're here, I got my answer. Maybe someday we'll be together again. Your friend, always… Fred.
~ Fred's journal talking about the Admins' past, including Romeo's.
Locked away by her cruel father, Salem was a girl who desired but one thing: freedom. She lived in a time when kings and their kingdoms were plentiful, when men and women were capable of greatness, and magic was a gift from the gods that all could wield. And yet, there she sat within her tower. Until one day, a legendary hero came to brave the challenges within the tower's walls. The people of the lands knew him as Ozma. Unlike those who had come before, this warrior was not driven by the prize of the young maiden's hand. He fought only for righteousness, and his pure heart and courageous soul prevailed. They escaped the wretched fortress, and yet something bound them together. Ozma had been ready to give his life for justice countless times, but now saw a woman worth saving it for. And Salem, to her surprise, found her freedom not in the outside world she had yearned for, but in the eyes of the man that had saved her. The two fell deeply in love, planned adventures around the world, and lived happily ever after. Or at least that's what should have been. Ozma, the infallible hero of legend, fell ill. And where all the beasts and blades of the world had fallen short, a single sickness prevailed. The gods, brothers of light and darkness, creation and destruction. Salem prayed they would see the injustice that had befallen her love and make things right. The Domain of Light was a sacred place. It was here the elder brother dwelled beside his fountain of life and creation. It was here... where mankind would fall to ruin. The God of Darkness... None dare to enter his home, as men knew what monstrosities emerged from his blackened pools of annihilation. And so you must understand the Dark Lord’s surprise when he found a lone woman kneeling before him. Salem understood it well. She told him of her loss and professed that she knew only he could answer her prayers, all while careful to make no mention of his elder. Salem was a prisoner once again. Her fruitless attempts to reunite with Ozma eventually became nothing more than acts of spite and defiance against the gods. But perhaps the gods were not as powerful as they seemed... She had lied to them, turned them against one another, they... were fallible. If she were to turn humanity against light and darkness, she could rid herself of their curse, or at the very least... she could make them suffer. Salem traveled from one kingdom to another, telling tales of how she stole immortality from the gods, welcomed any swordsman to cut her down, and demonstrated her powers. With the kings and queens in awe, she pulled them deeper into her scheme. She painted them pictures of a time when they would no longer have to watch their loved ones wither and die, when they could claim the powers of their creators for themselves, and in turn, perfect their own design. All they needed to do was destroy their old masters. The gods had hoped that Salem would learn from her eternal curse, and she did. She learned that the hearts of men are easily swayed. Once again, Salem was alone... She cursed the gods. She cursed the universe. She cursed everything, everything but herself. She wandered the face of the planet, awaiting a death that would never come... Until fate led her back to the Land of Darkness. This was it. This had to be it, the brothers Grimm, the pools of black that continued to give rise to horrific nightmares. If the fountain of life granted her immortality, then surely, the pools of Grimm will finally take it away. She was wrong. This force of pure destruction could not destroy a being of infinite life. Instead, it created a being of infinite life with a desire for pure destruction. And in time, she would find her adversary... And so Ozma was reborn. Ozma had found himself in a world completely unfamiliar to him. Cities looked different. Creatures known as the Faunus wore fangs and claws and were locked away in cages. And without the blessing of the gods, no one could perform magic like mankind was once capable of, no one but himself and woman known as... the witch. During his years of travel, he heard the same frightened whispers that spoke of a terrifying sorceress who commanded dark powers in the wilds among the beasts and monsters. Ozma was convinced that this witch was Salem, and decided he needed to see what she had become. Call it magic or call it something stronger, but in that moment, the two knew exactly who it was that stood before them. As Salem and Ozma recounted the events which had brought them back together, each withheld parts of their story. Salem, fearing Ozma would reject her, blamed the end of the world on the gods. Ozma, still unsure of where the truth lay, kept his task and the Relics a secret. Though time passed and all seemed well, Ozma's conversation with the God of Light still lingered in his mind. He had found happiness, but humanity seemed more divided than ever before. The hearts of men... are easily swayed. The two amassed a following. That following grew into a prosperous kingdom. And at the head of that kingdom blossomed... a family. It was a miracle, their children could perform magic. But what should have been a joyous occasion was short-lived. Ozma told Salem everything, the true reason the God of Light had brought him back, the Relics that they scattered around the world, and the day of judgement he had been told to prepare for. Thus began a long and painful cycle of death and rebirth for Ozma. Some lives were spent in mourning, many were spent attempting to forget it all. But no matter what, his mind would eventually turn back to the task he had been burdened with. And as the centuries went on, Ozma began to learn the importance of living with the souls with which he had been paired. But no matter where or how he lived, her presence was always felt. If humanity were ever to stand a chance at being united, one thing was clear... Knowing he could never rid the world of her through any mortal means, Ozma sought out the power of the Relics. Armed with my knowledge, he believed he could fulfill his promise to the God of Light. He asked me his questions. And though I gave him my answers... not all of them were to his liking. You can't.'
~ Jinn's narration of Salem's backstory.
(On Titan, a portal materializes and the bulking figure of Thanos emerges from it, finding only fresh debris from Ebony Maw's ship. He then sees Doctor Strange sitting on what may have been plaza steps once.) (Doctor Strange: Oh, yeah, you're much more of a "Thanos".) I take it the Maw is dead. This day extracts a heavy toll. Still, he accomplished his mission. (Doctor Strange: You may regret that. He brought you face-to-face with the Master of the Mystic Arts.) And where do you think he brought you? (Unbeknownst to him, Star-Lord crouches behind wreckage with his weapon ready, behind Thanos and to his left, Spider-Man peeks from above and behind Strange.) (Doctor Strange: Let me guess. Your home?) (Thanos smiles reminiscently.) It was. And it was beautiful. (Thanos curls his gauntleted fist and activates the Reality Stone to show Strange Titan before it was destroyed - green lawns, intact buildings, water-filled ponds, strolling citizens, the jack-like structures hovering and connected to the ground-based buildings with beams of energy.) Titan was like most planets. Too many mouths, and not enough to go around. And when we faced extinction, I offered a solution. (Doctor Strange: Genocide.) At random. Dispassionate, fair to rich and poor alike. They called me a madman. And what I predicted came to pass. (He relaxes his fist; the Stone stops glowing and the illusion fades back into the true state of Titan.) (Doctor Strange, sarcastically: Congratulations, you're a prophet.) I'm a survivor. (Doctor Strange: Who wants to murder trillions.) With all six stones, I could simply snap my fingers. They would all cease to exist. I call that... mercy. (Strange stands up.) (Doctor Strange: And then what?) I finally rest... and watch the sun rise on a grateful universe. The hardest choices require the strongest wills. (Strange summons his Mandalas and enters a fighting pose.) (Doctor Strange: I think... you'll find... our will... equal to yours.) Ours? (He looks up to a see a chunk of wreckage descending rapidly on him, too rapidly to react -- and powered by Iron Man. He is subsequently crushed by it.) (Iron Man: Piece of cake, Quill.) (Star-Lord: Yeah, if your goal was to piss him off!) (The wreckage on top of Thanos erupts in purple as he bellows in rage, setting the Battle of Titan into motion.)
~ Thanos telling Doctor Strange about the history of his home planet Titan while altering the reality around it using the Reality Stone to show it's former beauty before stopping. He then explains how he plans to commit painless and randomly fair genocide across the entire universe with the assistance of the Infinity Stones, after which he simply intends to rest, before Iron Man drops a massive piece of debris on him, which only serves to infuriate Thanos and ignite the Battle of Titan..
(growls) Perhaps you forget that it was a rat who cast me from paradise! (Le Frog: Oh, please! Not the scrapbook again!) My memoirs. Volume One details the dire and tragic story of my youth. (Le Frog: Oh, mon dieu.) Of all the pets in Buckingham Palace, the young Prince Charles fancied me the best. (Le Frog moans.) We would frolic, day after sunny day in royal abandon; sharing that sweet and ever-magical bond between boy and toad. (Le Frog: You're gonna make me throw up.) We were inseparable until... it arrived. That rat! While the poor boy's head was turned, I was cruelly plunged into a whirlpool of despair. (sobs.) (Le Frog: I know. I know. You were flushed away down the loo, right?)
~ The Toad telling his backstory to his cousin, Le Frog.
Drebin 893: (opening the tank's hatch to see Raging Raven and her Sliders on the sky) Figures... The B&Bs are here. Things are about to get hairy.
Solid Snake: B&Bs?
Drebin 893: You never heard of 'em? They're Beauty and the Beast. Together they're called B&B Corps. They're a squad of enhanced female soldiers - belong to the PMCs. Any time there's a mess that needs cleaning up, they're on the scene leading the elites.
Solid Snake: That's a female?
Drebin 893: Probably freelancers hired by the PMCs. They're run out of a separate parent organization. Guess it's time for the good ol' Drebin to let you in on a few things... (closing the hatch as he and Snake sit) Ever since you showed up in the Middle East, the B&B Corps has got orders to kill. Their number one priority is to eliminate some guy on sight. A guy named Solid Snake. But from where I'm sitting, "Old Snake" seems a little more appropriate.
Solid Snake: (sighed) Old, huh?
Drebin 893: Cheer up. That's the bad news. (showing Snake a coin that he plays as he continue the story) Word on the street says that beneath those ugly-*** suits, the B&Bs are real babes. Drop-dead gorgeous. They also say each one of them's been traumatized by war. Badly. They weren't even soldiers to begin with, you know? More like victims of war. (tossing the coin to Little Gray) They suffered shell-shock on the battlefield... Post-traumatic. It damaged their minds pretty much beyond repair... So the only way they could cope with the reality of battle was to become war machine themselves. The remnants of their human side are buried deep within. The beast... that's what you see on the outside. War transforms us, Snake... into beasts.
Solid Snake: War transforms us...
Drebin 893: But deep within that shell, something human survives. A fragile, scarred heart. Without a shell to protect it, it's like the yolk of an egg. Word going around is their natural, flesh-and-blood bodies can't survive in the open for more than a few minutes. And they've been convinced that by killing Snake, their minds will be cleansed. They think it's gonna free them from all the pain... and all the fury... and all the sorrow. Which makes these babes pretty much obsessed with killing you. Four B&Bs have been identified so far. The one you just saw was Raging Raven. There's also Laughing Octopus, a master of mimicry... And Crying Wolf... she runs on four legs. And finally, the mistress of mind control, Screaming Mantis.
Solid Snake: Mantis?
Drebin 893: Yeah, there used to be a guy by that name in the US military. A Russian psychic - he could control people's minds. I guess she inherited the title. She keeps the other B&Bs' minds in check with her powers.
Solid Snake: Octopus, Raven, Wolf, Mantis...
Drebin 893: You got it. They're the SNAKEHOUND Unit, and they've got you in their sights. Sh*t, I'd hate to be in your shoes.
~ Drebin 893 telling Snake about origins of Beauty and the Beast Units.

See Also

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