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

Villains by Proxy are villains who have absolutely no wish to be evil and know that they are not evil, but are pushed into it either by circumstance or as a result of the story's unique angle.

There are a few different forms of this that can be done:

  • The Amoral Force of Nature: Many god-like entities do not do what they do out of malice but are just far above or beyond conventional morals or life; as such, despite being vastly destructive, they are forces of nature rather than villains. A good example of this could be Galactus.
  • The Pawn: Those who are tricked, blackmailed or forced into becoming regular threats to the forces of good against their better judgment. Often they don't even want to fight the heroes, but more powerful villains have forced them to cooperate with them. Murtagh from The Inheritance Cycle and Itachi Uchiha are note worthy examples.
  • The Antagonist Hero: Contrasted to the Protagonist Villain whenever it is not a case of Evil Vs. Evil. More than a few games feature villain protagonists who fight non-evil antagonists, such as the Olympians from God of War.
  • The Incidental Villain: Villains who are only precisely as evil as they need to be to reach their goals. 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. This can be seen with villains like Carmen Sandiego and V.
  • The Hungry Predator: Carnivorous animals or monsters that are only hostile out of hunger or survival instinct. 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. See Sabor and Sharptooth.
  • The Unaware: Villains who are simply completely unaware of the circumstances surrounding what they are doing. Often, they are heroic characters who simply don't know any better in that situation. These villains nearly always redeem themselves after realizing what they are doing. Examples would include Alister Azimuth and Sayaka Miki.
  • Possessed/Brainwashed: Individuals who have become antagonists due to hypnotism, brainwashing, possession or illness such as Cynder and Euphemia li Britannia.
  • The Mentally Ill Scapegoat: villains who lived horrific events which twisted their sanity such as Hansel & Gretel from Black Lagoon.

Whether blackmailed, tricked, a hired hand, amoral, enslaved, or a villain simply by merit of being in the protagonist's way, just about all Villains by Proxy are only antagonists because they need to be and not by their own design.

Editing Note: All characters must still function as antagonists. Please do not use this category to try to pass off heroes as villains; antagonists must either have at least have some malicious intent to them or must cause conflict in order to apply. Also please note that, none of these characters are Pure Evil since it applies to intentional evildoing.