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.
Kakarot… Please… Destroy Frieza. He made me what I am. Don't… let him… do it… to anyone else. Whatever it takes… Stop him… Please.
~ Vegeta before his first death.
I didn't choose to be this.
~ Sandman about him being a supervillain.

Villains by Proxy or Punch Clock Villains are a subset of the amoral 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 Villains despite themselves.

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 Big Bads or Bigger Bads force them to cooperate (e.g. Itachi UchihaNooroo).
  • 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, SandmanLord Qin).
  • Predators: Carnivorous Animals and/or Monsters only hostile out of hunger and survival instincts. They often have no true hatred or dislike for the protagonists; they simply 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. They nearly always become Redeemed after realizing what they are doing (e.g. Alister Azimuth, NSid Phillips).
  • Possessed/Brainwashed: Individuals who became antagonists due to hypnotism, brainwashing or possession (e.g. Cynder, Boris the Wolf). Regardless of how cruel or unnecessary their acts are it is never their fault.
  • 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, Leatherface).

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.


  • 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 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.
  • All Villains by Proxy are Amoral; unless in role-playing or similar games when players are randomly chosen to be villains because the player has an agency and could choose not to be evil yet are not responsible for being chosen as Antagonists. An excellent example of this is the Murderer.
  • None of these characters are Pure Evil since, unlike Villains by Proxy, the category applies to intentional evildoing.

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