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The Chronic Backstabbing Disorder

Chronic Backstabbing Disorder

No one double-crosses Lord Zedd and lives!
~ Lord Zedd before Ivan Ooze immediately traps both him and Rita Repulsa in a snowglobe while he takes over the Moon Palace.

The Chronic Backstabbing Disorder is when a specific character constantly and successfully betrays their apparent allegiances, only to move on to a new group and repeat the pattern. The character may be doing it for a higher purpose (making them The Chessmaster) or their own selfish betterment (making them a Wild Card), or they could just be Ax-Crazy. Different from the Heel–Face Revolving Door in that it's not always a hero/villain swap, and in fact is usually switching between different groups of antagonists.

Named for Revolver Ocelot's "condition" in The Last Days of FOXHOUND, which is his proclivity for this deliberately flanderized into a physical compulsion for comedic reasons.

Frequently happens when a Magnificent Bastard plays the Enigmatic Minion. Related to The Starscream, except that that character type does not succeed (most of the time, anyways, and when they do, they usually do not get to revel in it for long). These characters are also commonly Chaotic Neutral, Chaotic Evil, Chaotic Stupid, Stupid Evil, or Stupid Neutral (lawful and/or good characters tend to see betrayal as a big no-no, and Neutral Evil characters (probably) won't betray their current allies just for the hell of it). Often a characteristic of The Starscream who has his own ruling plans but just as often an Opportunistic Bastard who doesn't mind being a follower and living in the shadow of the strongest side.

Examples

Animated Films

  • Scar: He has his own brother killed, tricks his own trusting nephew Simba into blaming himself, tries to have him killed as well, drives the hyenas (who helped him kill his brother) nearly to starvation, and then when confronted by his previously self-blaming nephew, (who finally saw Scar for the backstabber he truly is) Scar tries to blame everything on the hyenas to save his own hide. Even though all this lying and backstabbing is what got him into the situation he is in to begin with. The last backstab proves to be the final straw for the now enraged and starving hyenas. After being shoved off the edge of Pride Rock by Simba, Scar finds himself surrounded by his furious hyena goons, who maul him to death.
  • Joseph Korso and Preed reveal themselves to actually be mercenaries for the Drej, having been promised money if they destroy the Titan. Upon cornering Cale and Akima on the Titan, Preed then betrays Korso and holds him, Cale and Akima at gunpoint, stating if he kills the three, the Drej will spare his own life. Korso kills Preed by snapping his neck from behind. Later, when Cale comes up with a way to defeat the Drej that actually makes sense, Korso comes around and helps Cale defeat the Drej, at the cost of his own life.

Live-Action Films

  • Eric Qualen: For all his crafty and tactical expertise, Qualen sure is a lousy judge of character. He forms a band of henchmen that are so sociopathic and mean-spiritedly selfish that they can barely trust and cooperate with each other.

Western Animation

  • Trigon strips Slade of his powers for his failure to bring Raven to him.

Gallery

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