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"I believe most people are inherently good... but overcoming our nature is what separates us from the animals."

The prey of The Corrupter, or The Corruption.

Hmm, a member of the Five-Man Band looks constantly kinda glum? Perhaps he prefers to be alone when the rest of the party is celebrating? Perhaps at times he takes fighting a little too seriously? And is freaked out when you intrude on his privacy? Or, on the contrary, he is too good to be true, to the point you wonder if he can possibly be so heroic and so perfect despite opposing our authoritative author's views on a seemingly unimportant point of the story ? Or are you scratching your head about why the writer keeps him around while he grows more popular than his hero and the Creator's Pet ? Looks like you've got a case of the corruptible on your hands.

The role of this character is to be a constant threat of a Face Heel Turn. While temptation sometimes happens to all heroes, it's more of a permanent condition with this guy. Whether it's a Super-Powered Evil Side he needs to suppress, a personal interest in him by The Corrupter (often a family member or former loved one), a deep dark past locked away by faltering Laser-Guided Amnesia, the corruptible will labour on, facing his personal demons alone.

If things go bad, expect a Face Heel Turn, often into the Big Bad. If things go good, then usually The Corruptible realises that You Are Not Alone, and defeats temptations with The Power of Friendship. At their most desperate, the corruptible may demand a Shoot the Dog, but usually granting this request is a bad idea.

Contrast Big Bad Friend, where the character is evil all along, and The Mole, where the character is evil all along and works to undermine the rest of the team. The most likely member of a Five-Man Band to be this is The Lancer, though sometimes The Hero has this, too. See also Token Evil Teammate. The opposite of Incorruptible Pure Pureness. A character with poor resistance to supernatural influence is Weak-Willed, not The Corruptible. See also Corrupt the Cutie, when a sweet and lovable character gradually turns to the dark side.

Examples of The Corruptible include:

Anime and Manga

  • Claymore has almost every character (who isn't evil already) as The Corruptible.
  • Soul Eater has this for many characters, especially Stein and Crona.

    It's also said that while everyone has some kind of insanity in them, some are more susceptible to The Corruption of Asura than others. Then again, Stein also said that those who had strong faith were less likely to be driven mad. That one backfired quite amusingly.
  • Sasuke from Naruto. What Itachi started on his return to Konoha, Tobi finished; Tobi is more than happy to take advantage of Sasuke's confusion and unhappiness after Itachi's death, and his reveal of the truth about Itachi pushes Sasuke right off the deep end.
  • In the manga Legend of Zelda: Four Swords, Shadow Link hoped Vio might be one of these. Turns out, he wasn't.
  • Griffith from Berserk is a prime example of this trope. While not wholly "good," Griffith's strongest trait was his love and loyalty for his men. Eventually he sacrificed his men to a horde of demons in order to turn himself into a demon-god.
    • And now, this is Guts whenever he is under the influence of his Enemy Within, the Beast.


  • Jedi Knight Quinlan Vos of the Star Wars: Clone Wars comic series is a perfect example of this trope. He is constantly fighting his darker urges and experiences so many alignment shifts that halfway through the series you have no idea what side he's on...and neither does he. He even has several climactic battles with his inner darkness while fighting an external darkness at the same time. The kicker? His master tells him that, even after his major victory over himself and the enemy, he is still not free from The Dark Side. He will always struggle. What makes him a hero? He never gives up the fight.
  • In All Fall Down, Pronto proves to be this. He simply wants his powers back more than anything.


  • Anakin Skywalker being The Corruptible drives the overarching plot of the Star Wars series.
  • A Man for All Seasons has Richard Rich, a young acquaintance of Sir Thomas More, who asks Thomas to use his influence to secure him a powerful position at the Royal Court. More, however, knows full well that Rich is corruptible, and instead recommends that Rich accept a job as a schoolteacher, where he won't be tempted. In the end, Rich does get an important position- that of the attorney-general for Wales- given to him by More's rival and the Villain of the piece, Thomas Cromwell. In exchange for the job, he commits flagrant perjury that sends Sir Thomas More to the executioner. More's response? "Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world... but for Wales?"
  • Cypher in The Matrix
  • Farva in Super Troopers

Live-Action TV


  • In the Ciaphas Cain books, Cain's enemies always assume that he is the corruptible. Fortunately, they are wrong. (At least, so long as Jurgen's around, and there's an audience armed with guns watching him.)
    • In "The Beguiling", Cain manages to resist a Slaaneshi sorceress's seduction attempts without Jurgen or an audience thanks to his powerful self-preservation instincts. Coward or not, Cain knows that Chaos would ultimately destroy him on every level possible.
  • Boromir from The Lord of the Rings is the member of the Fellowship most open to the Ring's seduction, though he's a good and honorable man otherwise. He does fall to it eventually, but is horrified by what he almost does and becomes The Atoner briefly before completely redeeming himself via Heroic Sacrifice.
    • Isildur himself also qualifies big-time -- without his fall to the evil influence of the Ring, it would not have survived the fall of its master. The race of Men in general are easier to corrupt to evil than the other major races, though there are those who resist such corruption.
    • Gollum even more so. He fell to the Ring's influence almost immediately after finding it and murdered his best friend for it.
    • In point of fact, Sauron's downfall was ultimately a consequence of his inability to conceive that any individual could defy this trope for long where the One Ring is concerned. He was almost right actually.
  • In Poul Anderson's World Without Stars, the crew of a crashed starship must survive among the primitive natives of a planet mostly conquered by a race of telepaths. Before meeting a group of these telepaths in person, the protagonist specifically explains to the reader that telepathic powers aren't actually that dangerous because "you know your own nervous system better than anyone, and you're closer to it". And then it turns out that one slightly odd member of the crew was the victim of a botched medical procedure on his brain which resulted in him essentially no longer being able to recognize himself. And so the telepaths are able to immediately convince him to switch sides.
  • Dirty Coward Peter Pettigrew in Harry Potter was one of these, but his best friends never realized this at all. Some fanfics also subvert this trope by making the reason Sirius distrusted Remus either wrong conclusions due to mix-ups combined with Remus's lycanthropy, or having Remus be framed by Peter without Remus realizing it.
  • Some Gospel passages in the New Testament have Judas be one of these, often questioning Jesus' teachings.

Video Games

Visual Novels

  • Throughout the Heaven's Feel path of Fate/stay night, there is constant fear of Sakura Matou succumbing to The Corruption. She eventually does, but only after resisting more than seems humanly possible.

Web Animation

  • Marqua from Card Players which ultimately gets her killed.
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