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Your father was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed.
~ Obi-Wan Kenobi tells how Luke Skywalker's father Anakin turned to the dark side of the Force.
I did love being a hero... but if this is where it leads, I'm done with it.
~ Superman to Lex Luthor before burning him to death.

Heroes walk a thin line between good and evil and many once-proud Heroes have Fallen into negativity or descended further into darkness fighting against people they once protected and/or fought alongside. Some end up becoming even worse than those they opposed.

Originally protagonists or forces of good these Villains turn evil due to events in their lives such as being corrupted by other Villains, relationships, or any in which they question whether or not the good side is worth fighting for. Sometimes, they betray their friends, family, or even country out of cowardice.

Fallen Heroes or Heroes Turned to the Dark Side are usually the end result of being Betrayed, Vengeful, Tragic, In Love, exposed to Corrupting Influences, Deal Makers, Brainwashers, Extortionists, Blackmailers and/or Bond Destroyers. However, some Heroes can turn for the sake of greed (i.e. "From Sugar to Excrement").

In the worst cases some Heroes Turned to the Dark Side can become Purely Evil to add drama as they are willing to be evil without remorse or other positive qualities (i.e. Makuta Teridax, Herrscher of the VoidTerumi YuukiDark DannyIsaac Ray Peram WestcottZamasu, Griffith, Grand Moff TarkinLight Yagami, Zombie Giant-Man, Shinnok). However, some can still redeem themselves, especially if they were Minions who turned on their masters or themselves after realizing how evil they were (i.e. Big Baby, Speckles). Villains who were mind-controlled can count as this if they were good before being controlled or in rare cases, fake being mind-controlled to get away with their crimes.

There are various scenarios for why these individuals turned to the dark side though said individuals often fall into multiple scenarios:

  • From Zero to Nightmare: A scenario where the said hero turned to the dark side in this way often became a shocking event for either viewer, heroes or other people that found out. Reason of this mainly because the said hero always looked down upon, his/her existence was ignored, and/or worse, considered as an outcast or an individual that often being abused by other people that dislike/hate them (either the Big Bads or minor villains) no matter what kind of good/heroic efforts that he/she did for others' acknowledgement. Once this individual turned to the dark side, they (usually) became feared by many people, includes heroes that faced them. Good examples of this include Savitar, Dave, and various incarnations of Frankenstein's Monster.
    • From Victim to Villain: In this sub-scenario, these characters were once people who tried to be friendly and do good, but were rewarded with injustice and ingratitude by society. Often, they were victims of bullying or abuse, and eventually they were pushed so hard they finally snapped and now seek revenge on the very society or people that shunned and hated them. Despite their tragic nature, very few of these characters actually are redeemable. Not because they are Pure Evil but because they almost never forgive or forget and/or are now completely insane and cannot be reasoned with. They enact the same or even worse cruelties on tormentors and even innocents making them no different or worse than them (i.e. Lucy, Andrew Detmer). Furthermore, they often use their tragic upbringing to excuse the nature of their crimes which makes them less sympathetic if their actions outweigh any injustices they experienced.
  • Not Good with Rejection: Character may have once had acquaintances or love interests who befriended them prior. One day the individuals made an offer, confessed their love and/or presented a certain proposal to the heroes which the heroes rejected. The individual, unable to cope and thus turned to the dark side. Generally, the worse the heroes rejects the individual, the farther that individual turns to the dark side (i.e. BillAlex Forrest).
  • Being an Extremist: A character has well-intentioned goals for the greater good, but their methods and ultimate ends are proven to be very extreme to the point that they become something that is greatly despised, whether by those whom they know, the heroes, or themselves. The said actions may even potentially drive them to the dark side as well even if they become Anti-Villains (i.e. Nathaniel Barnes, Renegade Shepard, Damon Gant).
  • From Sugar to Excrement: These characters were once revered but turned evil, either by greed, lust or because they were "tired" of being good bringing shock and despair to those who knew them (i.e. Baron Kelvin, Tankor, Yoshihito Kanamori).
    • From Defender of Life to Power-Hungry: In this sub-scenario these Heroes wanted to protect others but eventually realize that they can use their powers to get more (i.e.  Zanza, Sunset Shimmer, Ultraman BelialElgen Inc.).
  • Being Possessed/Brainwashed: Once heroic these characters were either possessed or brainwashed by another villain or corruptive presence and consequently became villains. However, this is the rarest and most controversial form of a hero turning to the dark side since they did not turn evil by their own free will and essentially had to be programmed into being villainous. Examples may include most of the characters from the Possessed/Brainwashed category, such as Liu Kang from Mortal Kombat X. Most of these characters redeem themselves after snapping out of their current state. Another example was Angor Rot from Trollhunters, who was a hero to troll kind and tried to help people who are unsafe in Gunmar’s war, only to be brainwashed by Gunmar’s indirect creator, Morgana into being evil when he asked her power to protect his village. By the series finale, Angor redeems himself after he realizes whom he was and how eveil and cruel he once was.
  • Desperation: These characters were people who, despite having followed the rules of life and following their principles, are even affected by the crisis both socially and economically, and puts them in danger of putting their daily lives or the things they have managed to maintain during years ( a company, for example) to ruin; this causes these characters to fall into (irrational) despair, in order to prolong, or even to "eradicate" the inevitable, forcing them to break the rules and act immorally, whether stealing things (such as money obviously), kidnapping, or even killing the people who persecute them, either for economic reasons, or because they witness their crimes. A good example includes Henry James Waternoose III, he was only driven to villainy out of desperation to keep Monsters, Inc. afloat in the midst of the energy crisis, as well as due to stressful financial problems and his responsibilities as CEO. Mr. Waternoose became more villainous and manipulative, as this drive and desperation stripped away his morals and was determined to not let anything stop what he believed would be the best way for the company to keep going, never bothering to look for alternative energy sources. He even turned on his most loyal employee to ensure that his plans works out.

Notes

Please note that a character has to have been established as a hero before turning evil.

  • Pure Good heroes can't turn evil and become fallen heroes because they're completely immune to corruption. If some heroes were considered to be Pure Good but eventually turn evil, it means that they were never Purely Good in the first place. Therefore, they can never count unless they became villains through mind-control.
  • Morally neutral characters (a la "average joes") or characters initially un-involved with any side of the conflict do not count (e.g. Lots-o'-Huggin' BearBalthazar Bratt, or Jerry Rassic). Some such as the former can, however, can still become purely evil. 
  • False heroes, if they never were good, do not count either (e.g. Kristoph Gavin, Napoleon of Animal Farm,, Prince Hans from Frozen ,Scar from The Lion King, and Dr. Robotnik from SATAM). Save that for Faux Affably Evil. However some False Heroes still can be originally heroes (e.g. Rex Dangervest).

Note that Tragic villains do NOT automatically mean that they are heroes turned to the dark side. This category is meant for villains who used to actively work for the good side. Also, this kind of hero is the polar opposite of Pure Good heroes that are absolutely incorruptible.

  • Also, do not create pages based on this category, as long time heroes who were only briefly fallen or on and off "jerks" (Such as Barnacle Boy who only fell to the dark side over a Silly Meal and called himself Barnacle Man in the Spongebob Squarepants episode Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V but then eventually redeemed himself, Luan Loud who only turns evil in the April Fools episode and does eventually learn her lesson in the end or Mushu who only was bad when he deliberately tried to put end Mulan and Shang's love to save his career in Mulan 2 but then eventually redeemed himself at the climax of the film) do not count. On the other hand, heroes that are villains in more than several episodes can count if they turn evil as time goes on.

See Also

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