You being the hero of all of this, means that I have to be the villain. BUT I NEVER WANTED TO BE THE VILLAIN! I wanted to be the cute sidekick who gets his own plush toy and a spinoff show!
~ Rob to Gumball.
It would perhaps not be amiss to point out that he had always tried to be a good dog. He had tried to do all the things his MAN and his WOMAN, and most of all his BOY, had asked or expected of him. He would have died for them, if that had been required. He had never wanted to kill anybody. He had been struck by something, possibly destiny, or fate, or only a degenerative nerve disease called rabies. Free will was not a factor.
~ The narrator about Cujo.

Villains by Proxy are villains who DO NOT wish to be evil but are pushed into it by circumstance or a story's unique angle; in other words they are not villains by choice. They are also the polar opposite of Heroes by Proxy.

Villains by Proxy include several kind of characters:

  • Pawns: Those who are tricked, blackmailed or forced into becoming regular threats to the forces of good against their better judgment. Often they don't want to fight, but the Big Bads or Bigger Bads force them to cooperate (e.g. Itachi Uchiha and Nooroo).
    • Enslaved Species: Minions, evil creations or even entire races who are under the command of a Monster Master or Evil Creator. Their masters force them to perform evil acts and they comply because they are either non-sapient or have no choice in the matter, which usually makes their masters the true villains (e.g. the Animatronics and most Pokémon species).
  • Antagonist Heroes: Contrasted to Protagonists, whenever it is not Evil Vs. Evil. More than a few stories feature Villainous Protagonists who fight Non-Evil Antagonists (e.g. Olympians).
  • Incidental Villains: Villains who are only precisely as evil as they need to be to reach their goals, which are for the greater good. They commit evil acts for purely practical means to an end, similar to Extremists and often overlapping with Rivals, except that it is never personal (e.g. V and Sandman).
  • Predators: Carnivorous Animals and/or Monsters are usually only hostile out of hunger and survival instincts. They usually have no true hatred or dislike for the protagonists; and like incidental villains, it's nothing personal. They simply view their targets as prey and want to eat them, like any real-life wild animal views its prey. (e.g. Anacondas).
  • Unaware Villains: Characters who are unaware of circumstances surrounding what they are doing. They are often Misguided Heroes and nearly always redeem themselves after realizing what they are doing (e.g. Alister Azimuth, N and Sid Phillips).
  • Possessed/Brainwashed: Individuals who became antagonists due to hypnotism, brainwashing or possession (e.g. Cynder, Vanny. Winter Soldier, and Boris the Wolf). Regardless of how cruel or unnecessary their acts are, it is never their fault unless they have someone brainwash them.
  • Mentally Ill Scapegoats: Characters who lived horrific events and perpetual abuse through their lives which completely shattered their sanity with no hope of recovery such as (e.g. Hansel & Gretel and Leatherface). These characters, while still dangerous, usually don't understand the difference between right and wrong.

Whether blackmailed, tricked, amoral, unwell, enslaved or simply by merit of being in a protagonist's way, just about all villains by proxy are antagonists because they need to be and not by their own design. However, there are cases where villains by proxy do become actual villains due to them starting committing evil deeds that make them less sympathetic.


  • All characters must still function as antagonists. Please do not use this category to try to pass off Antagonist Heroes and/or Antiheroes; Antagonists MUST either have at least some malicious intent or cause serious conflict in order to apply.
  • Unless they were tricked into committing atrocities they didn't intend to do, Mercenaries and Assassins are not Villains by Proxy since they willingly choose to work under a villain's orders for some kind of profit or monetary gain.
  • None of these characters are Pure Evil since, unlike Villains by Proxy, that category applies to intentional evildoing. In the case of the Mentally Ill, they can count if they do understand the difference between right and wrong and meet all of the criteria.

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