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"I've adopted a strategy of pleasantness. It turns out that one can perpetrate all manner of heinous villainy under a cloak of courtesy and good cheer. It seems a man will forfeit all sensible self-interest if he finds you affable enough to share your company over a flagon of ale."
A villain whose polite mannerisms only serve to enhance their evil. They lack a villainous demeanor yet they are truly, wholly and unrepentantly evil regardless. This kind of villain maintains a friendly, courteous mask even as they commit incredibly heinous acts. Unlike Affably Evil characters, whose niceness is genuine, Faux Affably Evil villains adopt this pleasant persona. An Affably Evil villain will treat The Hero like a friend and will be reluctant to mark them as an enemy. A Faux Affably Evil villain will treat The Hero like a friend, even as they are torturing them.
A Faux Affably Evil character's demeanor is an act. At heart, they're utterly soulless, but they mask it with a pleasant, polite, "normal" attitude, perhaps because they have social standards to live up to or because their pleasantness reflects their sheer enjoyment of evil. It's anyone's guess what this kind of villain will do if they suffer a Villainous Breakdown; maybe they will drop all pretenses and find that they are Not So Above It All or maybe they will fall into a state of Dissonant Serenity, blabbering off-kilter pseudo-mannerisms as they lapse into their final and greatest puppy-murdering spree.
Do not confuse with Laughably Evil, which is a villain who is funny rather than polite. While many Faux Affably Evil villains are also Laughably Evil, many other villains are one but not the other. Compare and contrast Affably Evil (whose affability is sincere) and this Trope's opposite, Noble Demon (whose demeanor is evil in contrast to their actions). For the Evulz is a common motivation, though using this trope as a form of Obfuscating Stupidity is also possible. Also see Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, where a Jerkass is hiding behind a Nice Guy facade, and Stepford Smiler, when a miserable or mentally unstable person is hiding behind a cheery and sweet facade.
Anime and Manga Edit
- Jojo's Bizarre Adventure gives us Dio Brando. He's a smooth talker with legions of crazy-devoted followers, but at his core, he's completely self-centered and evil.
- Kakyoin notes this in the case of Terence T. D'Arby:"You give the impression of a gentleman...but you are the worst kind of madman."
- Dr. Hell from Mazinger Z is a Complete Monster with a good helping of It's All About Me always keeps an educated, polite behavior and mannerisms, even when he is going to dissect someone to turn him or her into his next enslaved Cyborg.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! has Yami Bakura. Unrepentantly evil, Sadistic, Deadpan Snarker, and extremely charismatic.
- Tobi from Naruto likes to play the trickster archetype, which is why it's so disconcerting every time he reaffirms how much of a horrible, horrible person he is.
- Let's not forget Hidan from the Akatsuki, especially his anime rendition. Snarky, prone to weird faces, hammy, almost childish sometimes, and so damn fun to watch as he hammily pounces over the Moral Event Horizon. Too bad some fans took it in another way.
- On that note, Deidara counts as well. Just as loud as Hidan and even more flamboyant, yet he is stated by Pain to have joined Akatsuki only for shits and giggles.
- Genma from the new season of Darker Than Black is a pretty laid back guy who initially seems to be Plucky Comic Relief and keeps that attitude even after it becomes clear that he is a vicious psychopath. The first indication of his Faux Affably Evil nature is a train hijacking he does, wherein to create a distraction, he runs down tons of people and shouts out something like (paraphrased) "All aboard" with the mangled corpse of the actual conductor beside him. Also fitting this trope is the fact that while he's clearly a Depraved Bisexual pedophile, he expresses this through behavior and commentary that is disturbingly similar to your typical Lovable Sex Maniac.
- Izaya Orihara of Durarara!! is a manipulative, arrogant prick who nevertheless manages to maintain a facade of politeness with almost everyone, even while discussing how best to screw over the maximum number of people possible for the maximum amount of enjoyment possible.
- Gauron from Full Metal Panic almost embodies this. He has a very quirky, highly amusing personality - while going around rampaging and killing people. Including his employers and co-workers. He has pretty much no redeeming qualities and has almost every vice and evil you can think of (being an Ax Crazy, pedophilic rapist and necrophiliac that will kill anyone and everyone, just because, and gets jealous of and tries to kill a freaking sixteen-year-old girl just because she's the girl Sousuke likes). But let's face it - it is very amusing to watch him mass murder while he cracks horrible jokes and acts all happy.
- Kekkaishi's Mudou. Complete Monster, sure, but damn is he fun to watch!
- Frieza from Dragon Ball Z. He is fairly polite, when he's in a good mood... and an Omnicidal Maniac Evil Overlord, who will kill anyone who he feels is a threat to his power, in fear that someone will surpass him, going as far as driving entire species to extinction, or blowing up planets just because he feels like it.
- His incarnation in Dragon Ball Abridged fits this trope even more so.
Freeza: Hello. Allow us to introduce ourselves. My name is Freeza and we're a traveling improv group. Here, let me give you a demonstration: My men shall play a group of drunken sailors, and you're a bunch of baby seals. And... Go!
- Perfect Cell was also a rather good sport in battle... Unless he started losing, that is.
- Muruta Azrael of Gundam Seed. His charismatic nature and excitable personality lead to a lot of morbidly funny scenes (and who can forget the infamous 'YATTA!' scene), but he's also a genocidal sociopath hellbent on wiping out every Coordinator that exists.
- Also Rau le Creuset. While behaving as a empathetic and professional leader for the benefit of ZAFT and the PLANT leadership, he is literally playing both sides against one another in an effort to cause the extinction of the entire human race, Natural and Coordinator.
- From G Gundam, Prime Minister Wong Yunfat, who presents an air of politeness and refinement even as he schemes, but loses it when things don't go as he planned.
- Gremmy Toto of Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ is polite and quirky and initially seems to be a Laughably Evil Noble Demon who is in over his head with Haman Khan and her army. He's actually far more evil than Haman could ever hope to be, is the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler wannabe Gihren Zabi, and has plans that involve armies of mass-produced psychic cloned Child Soldiers. Some of his lines suggest that, behind the charismatic facade he is screaming on the inside.
- Kyubey in Puella Magi Madoka Magica. As the series progresses, we see him slowly morph from helpful (if you are lucky enough to get your questions right) Mentor Mascot to uncaring Manipulative Bastard. Worse, he stays polite and helpful (again, if you are lucky enough to get your questions right) the entire time. It's eventually stated that he's simply unable to understand why what he's doing is monstrous.
- From Black Lagoon, arguably Balalaika, but most definitely Chang, who is openly friendly with the Lagoon Company and Balalaika, cool, suave and apparently has a terrible sense of humor. But during his Hannibal Lecture moment with Rock, he reveals that his friendliness quite literally doesn't mean a damn thing.
- Envy of Fullmetal Alchemist can sometimes be fairly amusing and even seem like a Friendly Enemy, but it's all an act, and Envy is by far one of the most cruel and sadistic characters in the series. Father also might qualify. He can seem polite and reasonable and is even kind of goofy in his first meeting with the Elric brothers, but beneath it all, he's devoid of empathy towards anyone, and there's plenty of scenes which show him savoring opportunities to torment humans.
- Zolf J. Kimblee most certainly qualifies, too. He's shown many shades of Wicked Cultured and can be polite, charming, and an all-around charismatic fellow...when he's not making bombs out of women, children, and any other poor saps within arm's length.
- Shaman King's Hao Asakura seems to go back and forth between this and being a genuinely goodhearted guy, who commits monstrous acts for the greater good. A complex character, to be sure, but no matter how you view him, he's undeniably entertaining to watch.
- Diva of Blood Plus. Kills lots of people, drinks others' bloods, rapes and kills a boy to impregnate herself, all while singing, prancing around in a white dress, and laughing childishly.
- Mayuri Kurotsuchi of Bleach. As Soul Society's Token Evil Teammate, he engages in friendly-seeming banter with one of the main characters, whose grandfather he brutally murdered and dissected.
- Likewise, his evil(er) counterpart, Szayel Aporro Grantz. He can almost be compared to Freeza in how he puts on a mask of fiendish politeness, but loses it the instant something goes wrong for him.
- To a far greater extent, Big Bad Aizen. Sure, he pretends to be a charming, laid-back guy, but in reality, he's just being condescending; other people are insignificant insects to him and he doesn't hesitate to tell them this, when he doesn't need them anymore. When he realizes Urahara's smarter than he is and Ichigo's a lot stronger than he is, the Mr. Nice Guy -act goes right out the window.
- Tsukishima, in contrast to his Card-Carrying Villain partner, Ginjo. He acts polite and serene almost all the time, even while he Mind Rapes people with Fake Memories. When someone suffers a mental breakdown due to conflicting memories, the facade drops, revealing a sadistic monster.
- Gargoyle from Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water. He's willing to kill anyone so that his plans could go accordingly, yet he is so polite and refined towards his foes. Especially with Nemo and Nadia (who he calls Princess).
- Trigun's Legato Bluesummers does a bit of this, although he is as freaky-evil as possible in his first meeting with Vash, specifically.
- The anime version of Knives does a bit of this whenever interacting with Vash. Notably, his cheerful "yo, Vash!" upon their reunion in July, while sitting on a desk next to the just-murdered corpse of its owner, whom Vash was coming to visit. A similar but more elegant friendly greeting appears when Vash arrives for the final battle. However, because this demeanor only applies to his brother, and because he would probably not do anything to said brother if Vash just got out of his way, this may be more of a single-target Affably Evil.
- Johan, the title character of Monster, has this as his specialty. He charms, he smiles, he seems to care and he's such a beautiful and brilliant young man... as he uses you and kills you and if he takes enough of an interest in you, he will probably take the time to kill all your hopes and dreams, first.
- Quattro from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha affects a cute, friendly persona most of the time, but she's actually an unrepentantly evil Smug Snake.
- Michio, the protagonist of MW, really has a friendly personality, but is really a criminal who commits atrocious crimes for fun.
- The Caster/master pair in Fate/Zero usually act like normal people, even while shredding little children to bits with Combat Tentacles because they were bored. Caster himself enjoys pretending to be nice before horribly murdering someone for the extra shock value; his master seems to be just completely desensitized.
- Nightmare from Kirby Right Back At Ya is an oddly laid-back sort of tyrant. He respects his employees and prefers to amuse himself with watching current events... and at the same time shows what a Complete Monster he himself is as he creates Demon Beasts/monsters, terrorizes planes, levels or enslaves civilizations, and tortures others by entering their sleep and giving them nightmares just for the fun of it. Oh, and not only did his army slaughter an entire La Résistance unit, he also sped up an asteroid's course to crash into Popstar. Whoa.
- Picodevimon from Digimon Adventure presents himself as a friend to several of the heroes and proceeds to utterly deceive them, all with an oily polite demeanor. He drops this facade when his plans go awry, though.
Comic Books Edit
- The Joker, Depending on the Writer. Sometimes he's this, sometimes he's Laughably Evil, and sometimes he's just a Monster Clown. Sometimes, he's more than one at the same time.
- The Penguin has been called a "gentleman of crime" before. (Also a bit of a case of Depending on the Writer.)
- During his time as king of Gotham's criminal underworld, the Black Mask had some great lines. Considering he built his empire on a mountain of corpses, and his hobby is torture, a lot of it Crosses the Line Twice.
- James Gordon Jr. is a very well-mannered and thought-to-be-rehabilitated psychopath. Is also a very recent villain.
- The Daredevil villain Bullseye. He may be a Psycho for Hire with few redeeming features, but he does love to quip.
- Yanno, I have always been Crazy Awesome, but I vary between being a Noble Demon and being Faux Affably Evil, depending on my current state of sanity/writer. It should be noted apropos the page quote (now former page quote, screw you, Tropers! Vengeance will be mine), when Nolan North voiced me, he played a Composite Character version, with the personality and dashing good looks of Deadpool in the main universe (in which my morality and sanity varies) and the motivation of Ultimate Marvel Deadpool (in which I am a Cape Buster and straight up villain).
- Dr. Finitevus from Archies Sonic the Hedgehog comics is one of the most urbane characters you'll ever meet - it also happens that his main goal is to "purify the world in flames."
- Dr. Eggman fits this to a T in a side story involving him rebuilding Lien-da, one of his underlings. He talks to her in a jolly, friendly mannered way, smiling the whole time while simultaneously showing her and then installing the bomb that will kill her if she attempts to betray him. "You'll all go up like a fireworks festival. Very festive. Very colorful."
- Mr. Hyde from The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, whilst not evil, is a perfect example of this with his Blue and Orange Morality, frequent dog shooting, and his Poisonous Friend attitude. The most notable example of this is where he maintains a polite demeanor, observes the London cityscape, and discusses how lucky and chipper he feels whilst he pummels and rapes Griffin because he assaulted Mina. This is then further added to in a later scene, where he maintains a conversation even when he notices that he is covered in the gradually appearing invisible man's blood (due to his recent demise). Hell, he even deserves bonus points considering that, upon seeing the horrific aftermath of the above event, Captain Nemo tries to kill Hyde in disgust whilst Hyde continues eating his dinner.
- Most of The Trust and the veteran Minutemen in 100 Bullets, with the exception of Wylie Times who is Affably Evil and Jack Daw who doesn't even try.
- Pinkie Pie from Cupcakes. She maintains her trademark Genki Girl attitude even while torturing and killing other ponies.
- Radcliffe from Keepers of the Elements is this. He blows up a planet, kidnaps, tortures with spells just because, and enslaves someone with mind control, and certainly isn't above brutal murder, yet acts rather calm and charming most of the time.
- Yuuka Kazami in the Touhou fanfiction Imperfect Metamorphosis takes great pride in being a gracious host and pleasant conversationalist, and is completely unapologetic about her passion for torture, rape, and mass murder. Indeed, part of the reason everyone finds her so terrifying is that no one knows how much of her pleasantry is an act, and she is just as likely to affectionately pat someone on the head as she is to casually crush their skull.
- Mr.Evil's Original Character Lord fits this to a T. He hardly goes a sentences without a ridiculous rant and crazy laugh, all whilst he is mind raping his victims, slaughtering over a billion people, and thinking of killing an innocent girl as a good way to pass the time.
- His other Original Character Alexander Sovereign comes close, as he can talk about a grand war that would make the first two look like child's play, all while speaking in a polite tone. The only reason he bypasses this is because he has no emotions to begin with.
- The dark wizard Lung from Queen of All Oni starts out seemingly polite, if a bit condescending. Then he starts torturing Jade in order to try and break her to his will.
- Metroid: Kamen Rider Generations Vol. 3: Fates Intertwined: Shingetsu. Depending on the Writer, he zig-zags between this and the usual Affably Evil, albeit a more subdued case. While he's a Noble Demon looking for a worthy opponent to rival his strength and is very polite towards his rival Goro and praises his skills. Only Sento Kiryu and Night Rogue can see his true nature who takes his Social Darwinist mindset to extremes, taking sadistic joy at making anyone's lives a living hell, along with a severe case of malignant narcissism and a god complex taken Up to Eleven, in which Goro himself is aware of.
Films -- Animated Edit
- Rumpelstiltskin in Shrek 4-Ever After. Right up until his victims sign the Deal With The Devil, he is all politeness and sweet talk. Then he laughs manically at their doomed fate.
- Fairy Godmother from Shrek 2.
- Rothbart from The Swan Princess - he killed the king and kidnapped the titular princess in order to gain control of the kingdom - because he learned the first time around that stealing it was not the way to go, and constantly remains one step ahead of the heroes - if not for blind luck, the main characters would be dead. He's also a Deadpan Snarker of sorts and never loses his temper.
- Many Disney villains:
- Yzma from The Emperors New Groove.
- Jafar from Aladdin is closer to this than to the Affably Evil he's sometimes listed as. Affably Evil might kill you, but it couldn't hurt to sing about humiliating you and make your girlfriend watch right?
- In the TV series there's Mozenrath, Disney's most charmingly diabolical teenager. "Okay, then. Everybody else expires at dawn, while I blow away Agrabah. Then, say, noon-ish, I return and devise some way to destroy you."
- Gaston of Beauty and the Beast has few redeeming characteristics, but avoids being a Complete Monster by virtue of being a parody of over-the-top masculinity. Until Belle spurns him once and for all, that is.
- And then, of course, there's the magnificent, marvellous Mad Madame Mim!
- Disney's Hercules has Hades as its Faux Affably Evil Big Bad. He talks like a used car salesman and makes wisecracks while screwing over everyone as much as possible.
"Baboom. Name is Hades, lord of the dead. Hi, howya doin'?"
- "A tip of the hat from Dr. Facilier."
- And let's not forget Percival C. McLeach...
- "You'd better pay attention now, 'cause I'm the Boogie Man!"
- Don't forget Scar
- "I have given me word not to lay a finger or a hook on Peter Pan. And Captain Hook never breaks a promise..."
- Ratigan. This is ultimately one of the things, as mentioned above, that makes his Villainous Breakdown all the more terrifying; he puts up a slick and suave exterior, but we occasionally see hints of his feral nature kept just under control...until the final showdown.
"My dear Bartholomew, you've... gone and upset me."
- The Thief and the Cobbler: Zigzag, the Evil Chancellor. He gives the king a "bountiful maiden" and a massage, and even speaks in rhyme - but his "friendly" actions are just for manipulation and to keep the king busy.
Films -- Live-Action Edit
- M. Bison in the live action Street Fighter film. Raul Julia is just grand; the way he talks about World Domination makes it clear that he thinks it's the most natural thing in the world.
- Peter Stormare as Lucifer, in what's easily the best scene of Constantine. Lucifer manages to be hilarious and genuinely creepy at the same time.
- Freddy Krueger, the main monster of A Nightmare on Elm Street. He's good at making a sardonic joke every now and then, but damn if he's not scary as hell, at least partially because of it. This is more apparent in the sequels -- in the first film, he doesn't talk much.
- The Sheriff of Nottingham, as played by Alan Rickman in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, embodies this trope to such an extent that he more or less uses the line as a skipping rope. He makes Attempted Rape look funny!
- Alex DeLarge in A Clockwork Orange.
- Alan Rickman also does this beautifully in Die Hard. "Mr. Takagi. I could talk about industrialization and men's fashions all day, but I'm afraid work must intrude, and my associate here has some questions for you."
- Nero from Star Trek has his share of killer lines, despite, for the most part, being a humourless Omnicidal Maniac. For example, his response after giving Starfleet a heck of a whooping:
Pike: This is Captain Christopher Pike of the Federation Starship Enterprise.
Nero: Hi, Christopher. I'm Nero.
- Referred to, in some circles, as the "Speed-dating moment." It's oddly fitting.
- Jason Lee as Azrael in Dogma. "I'll have a...Holy Bartender."
- Eddit Quist of The Howling. "Go on, bright boy. Call it a gift."
- Max Zorin in A View to a Kill. He gives a knowing wink to his Femme Fatale when she's killed someone. Completely coldly gun down her associates later. Laughs when he realises he's about to die. Is played by Christopher Walken, with all the hamminess it brings. Might have been played by none other than David Bowie.
- Even Zorin might have been creeped out by one of Walken's lesser-known but still memorably malevolent characters: James Houston, the Manipulative Bastard of the direct-to-video low-budget film Vendetta. A filthy rich New Orleans plantation owner in the 1890s who desires to become even richer, Houston has no qualms - absolutely none - about (secretly) instigating two incidents of ethnically charged street violence (namely, the assassination of the city's police chief and a mass lynching of Italians) just so he can take over the profitable immigrant businesses down on Decatur Street. Completely shameless and with about as much emotional capacity as a mannequin - and even gets a literal Kick the Dog moment as he watches a staged dog fight and takes an almost scientific interest in how the weaker dog realizes it is beaten and rolls onto its back to allow its throat to be torn out. The worst part? James Houston was a real person...and never got any sort of comeuppance for his part in one of the bloodiest race wars in U.S. history, as the movie's epilogue explains.
- Kathryn Merteuil of Cruel Intentions. She's like the Lady MacBeth of the Upper East Side. Makes smug little pronouncements that make you want to strangle her in the most demure, ladylike tones imaginable.
- Virtuosity's Sid 6.7 is a better Joker than most portrayals of the Joker (and has a natty purple suit to match). At one point, he decides to make music from the assorted screams of his terrified hostages. Loves his work.
- Inglourious Basterds has Col. Hans Landa. "Oooh! That's a Bingo! Is that how you say it? That's a Bingo?"
- Jules in Pulp Fiction plays this trope to the hilt in the scene in which he acquires the briefcase. Jules acts chipper and polite toward a bunch of young men who are clearly terrified of him and know that he's there to do horrible things. He starts politely imposing himself, aware that they have to agree to his requests to continue his friendly facade. Even after shooting one of the men, he continues acting polite until finally breaking into scenery-chewing villainy.
- Timothy in The Long Kiss Goodnight.
Mook (over the radio): I'm hurt real bad, I think I'm dying...
Timothy (annoyed): Continue dying. Out.
- Xander Drax, the Diabolical Mastermind of The Phantom movie. He really does seem to be Affably Evil...right up until he puts out an innocent man's eyes to teach him a lesson about not talking to reporters, then snaps the guy's glasses in half and laughingly says, "Well, won't be needing these anymore!"
- The main villain of The Spirit, the Octopus, has shades of this. He talks to the hero like an old friend, even while having him tied up and detailing his plans to torture him. His reactions to his own bizarre Mad Science is pretty mundane, too.
"Now that is just plain damn weird. Don't you think that's just plain damn weird?"
- Jack Nicholson's portrayal of The Joker in the Tim Burton Batman movie very much qualifies as this, most notably in his scene with Vicki at the museum and his scene with Bruce and Vicki at Vicki's apartment.
- The Villain Protagonist in The Killer Inside Me never loses his puppydog eyes, southern drawl and gentlemanly ways, even when he's beating someone to death.
- Nigel, the sadistic Dragon-in-Chief in Rio. He rarely outright insults someone, and tends to talk in a calm, friendly manner...while relishing in his villainy and "convincing" someone to be his Mook by dropping them from several hundred feet.
- Mr. Blonde from Reservoir Dogs happily chats along with the other members of the gang, cracks jokes, never raises his voice once or use many bad words in the same breath as he explains how he executed an unarmed 20-year old girl for touching the alarm of the jewelry store they were robbing, and sings and dances along to a song played while he's cutting someone's ears off for the hell of it. It underlines that he is The Sociopath and doesn't really care about his fellow robbers or any of the stuff he's doing.
- Maxim Horvath from The Sorcerers Apprentice. He's polite. He's charming. He's impeccably dressed and well-mannered. He's witty, intelligent, clever, well-read, culturally literate, and erudite. And he's a Complete Monster perfectly willing to slaughter much of the planet's population as part of his plan.
- Star Wars
- Chancellor Palpatine, until, suddenly, he isn't.
"Good, Anakin, good. Kill him."
- And when he's tempting Luke in Jedi:
"Oh, I'm afraid the deflector shield will be quite operational when your friends arrive..."
- Also, Grand Moff Tarkin in the original:
"Charming to the last. You don't know how hard I found it, signing the order to terminate your life."
- A pretty blonde Southern woman in CSA: Confederate States of America (which is based on the premise that the South won the Civil War and slavery has survived into the 21st century) hosts a slave auction on the Internet and delightfully coos over some cute "pickaninnies" - black children being placed on the auction block. Probably intended to be Affably Evil - or, come to think of it, just plain affable - in-universe, but due to Values Dissonance it's more this trope for us
- Sebastian Shaw from X Men First Class. Polite and rarely raises his voice, even when facing an enraged Erik Lehnsherr out for his blood, the man is a former Nazi who shot Erik's mother to make him use his powers and later murdered another mutant for trying to lie to him.
- Some of the best conversations in The Matrix trilogy are between Neo and Faux Affably Evil Agent Smith, who famously insists on calling Neo "Mr. Anderson" even in the thick of battle. One of the best, from Reloaded:
Smith: Now here I stand because of you, Mr. Anderson; because of you I'm no longer an Agent of the system, because of you I've changed, I'm unplugged, a new man, so to speak; like you, apparently free.
Smith: Thank you.
- Reno Smith is nice to Macreedy in the beginning of Bad Day At Black Rock.
- The younger Magpyrs from Carpe Jugulum fit fairly well. To poke fun at the goths/vampire wannabes, dressed in all black and always gloomy and angsty (at least most of the time), but pretty much normal people, Pratchett presents their inverse: colorfully dressed and cheerful vampires who are murderous and Chaotic Evil.
- Carcer in Night Watch is an unrepentant serial killer who will gleefully deny all responsibility for his crimes with a charismatic grin, and then casually stab you between the ribs before you can argue.
- Mr. Teatime can be this way. Especially in the BBC Hogfather TV film.
- The novel Vanity Fair has this in Sir Pitt Crawley of whom the narrator comments "he was fond of drink, of swearing, of joking with the farmers' daughters: he was never known to give away a shilling or to do a good action, but was of a pleasant, sly, laughing mood, and would cut his joke and drink his glass with a tenant and sell him up the next day; or have his laugh with the poacher he was transporting with equal good humour." Notably, the narrator explicitly comments that if the character was slightly more honest, he would be a very successful scoundrel, but instead, is simply too crooked to prosper.
- Sang-drax treats Haplo like an old friend in the Death Gate Cycle, and it's made clear he does it just to mess with him rather than out of any feelings of genuine affection. He's also shown to be capable of sounding positively cheery when describing the Fate Worse Than Death his people have planned for the whole universe. Genuinely thwart his plans, though, and he gets very nasty very quickly.
- In Harry Potter :
- Voldemort actually exhibits this trait a few times, mostly in Goblet of Fire when he makes some terrible "hand" puns to Wormtail during a related task. From what the reader sees of his younger days, he was even more of this trope before his sanity was completely gone.
- Dolores Umbridge is arguably worse than Voldemort, and possibly more hated to boot. She makes Hogwarts into a dictatorship, but her office is decorated with gambolling pictures of kittens, and she wears knitted sweaters and bows in her hair. Possibly magnified by the fact that while Voldemort does his terrible deeds towards an end with some sort of magnificence, and was even prepared to embrace his Pureblood enemies as allies if they turned, Umbridge merely gets off on her ability to make people suffer.
- In the Redwall series, Ferahgo the Assassin is this. As the narration puts it, he "smiles a lot, but he never jokes".
- If they're not Affably Evil, most Dean Koontz antagonists will be this.
- The Gentleman With the Thistledown Hair, from Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. The scene where he's so happily, enthusiastically telling Steven Black how many people he's had to kill in order to try and restore his true name to him makes him seem like a big, friendly, amoral murder-puppy.
- O'Brien in Nineteen Eighty-Four. He talks to Winston in a calm tone while torturing him.
- In Exile's Duology, Heralds of Valdemar, Lord Orthallen straddles this, most vividly seen (or not, rather) when he was acting as Selenay's confidant.
- A Song of Ice and Fire
- Roose Bolton is always polite and soft-spoken, and has a rather amusing dry sense of humor. He's also a cold-blooded sadist that casually threatens to cut off a child servant's tongue for talking too much, and allows his Complete Monster son to rape and torture as much as he wants, so long as it advances his plans.
- Littlefinger sits uneasily between this and Affably Evil. He always has a joking, flippant attitude even around people he's about to backstab (which is pretty much everyone), and that does seem to be genuine to the extent that he acts the same way around those he (probably) isn't plotting against. What makes him more Faux Affably Evil is that he seems to totally lack genuine emotion and empathy toward others.
- High-end villains in the Zones of Thought series tend to be this.
- Tomas Nau in A Deepness in the Sky fooled pretty much everyone, including remnants of the faction which he backstabbed and almost wiped out in cold blood, for decades with his nice guy act.
- True Flenser in A Fire Upon the Deep, besides being a Consummate Liar, was the sort of guy who becomes more friendly when he's about to put you through the experiments that earned him his name.
- The Dresden Files
- Nicodemus is a two thousand year-old human who made a pact with a Fallen Angel to essentially inflict as much misery and pain on the world as he could; in his own words, he believes in Armageddon as less of an event and more of a mindset, one that he wants to share with the world. He is also incredibly polite and friendly and civil, even while he's got you tied up and offering you a choice between recruiting you for his organization or getting your throat cut. The affable demeanor hides a genocidal monster and doesn't waver even when he's getting ready to unleash a deadly plague across an entire country or while his minions are kidnapping and torturing a twelve-year-old girl.
- Even more so Duke Ortega of the Red Court. Nicodemus is polite whenever he has no reason not to be, generous when it costs him nothing, and appreciates the "artistry" of a classical painter and a serial killer on equal terms. Ortega is a pure barbarian who has spent his unlife carefully learning to pretend to have ethics, manners, and reasons for his actions beyond the basic infliction or avoidance of pain for those times the fiction proves useful.
- Virtually everyone in the Winter Court who's not too savage to have a conversation with has this going on.
- In Death: A number of the murderers in the series are very much this. Sure, they will act like they're so nice and polite, but that is just an act. Of course, a number of them are The Sociopath, which might explain it.
- The Phantom of the Opera: In the original book, Erik explains how he pulled the Practical Joke on Carlotta with his Ventriloquism and then he casually uses it to prank Raoul and the Daroga in the Torture Cellar.
- Sisterhood series by Fern Michaels: Henry "Hank" Jellicoe, despite having elements of Affably Evil, might actually be this. Cross Roads reveals that he is at least a He-Man Woman Hater and at most a Straw Misogynist. He treated his wife Louise like she was just a servant and didn't care if she overheard his conversations on the illegal dealings he made. She managed to escape him, and he has never been able to find her. He very much wants to kill her for having the nerve to leave him years and years ago!
- The Supreme Custodian in Septimus Heap has mannerisms and charisma, but readily throws people he dislikes into jail and is otherwise a pretty nasty person.
- Uriah Heep may well be literature's most triumphant example of this trope. Even as he openly hints his scheming to the main character, he constantly put on a fawning, "'umble" air.
- Aro, head of the Volturi from Twilight puts forth a very charming persona to hide how power hungry and ruthless he is.
- Berys in Tales of Kolmar clearly enjoys himself when doing various terrible things, and at those times is usually rather cheerful and upbeat.
Live Action TV Edit
- Essentially, any Nazi character in a lighthearted series could be considered this way, therefore implicitly being given a Villainy Discretion Shot. For example, Herr Flick of Allo Allo is the kind of character who, in a serious work, would be the Torture Technician, but is a very funny and likable parody of the stock "Hollywood Nazi" Secret Police officer. "You do have a soft side, Herr Flick!" "Yes, I almost failed my Gestapo exam because of it."
- The Sheriff of Nottingham in the BBC Robin Hood series kind of fits this, being a Smug Snake with an extremely cruel sense of humor, yet hard to loathe given the humorous way he goes about his crimes. Notably, his insults against Robin generally are accurate in identifying unpleasant aspects of his character, and similarly, the Sheriff is very effective in mocking his humorless and angsty Dragon, Guy of Guisbourne.
- Doctor Who
- While the Master varies Depending on the Writer and/or actor, one of his constant traits is the ability to be charming and polite one moment, then ruthless and brutal the next, switching on a whim. No where is this more evident than in his interactions with the Doctor, particularly the Roger Delgado incarnation, which would often be quite pleasant if one ignored how he would invariably be discussing his plans to cause widespread death and destruction.
- House. A Complete Monster of a Genius Loci, who kills Time Lords, stitches them back together, and screws around with the companions. Despite this, he's oddly polite and fun to watch.
- The Brother Cavil model (the Ones) of Cylon from Battlestar Galactica display this sort of behaviour. Cavil, despite being depicted as the most out and out evil of the Cylons (perhaps the only one), is continually making snarky asides and hilarious observations about his fellow Cylons and humanity. This was even brought up by one of the others when he cracked a joke after having been shot on the orders of the speaker.
Natalie (a Six): Is there anything that isn't fodder for a joke with you, or is that really how you see our very existence, as some sort of nihilistic punchline?
Cavil: Nihilistic punchline, I like that. But quite honestly, I'm feeling very serious. Getting riddled with bullets affects me that way.
- Also this exchange, which occurred before we found out:
Chief Tyrol: How do you know I'm not a Cylon?
Cavil: Well, because I'm a Cylon and I've never seen you at any of the meetings.
- It gets even funnier when we find out Tyrol is a Cylon, but neither he nor the "regular" Cylons, aside from Cavil who wanted to Final Five to not know they were Cylons, knew it. Even better when you realise that there were Cylon meetings happening aboard Galactica. Yes. He just admitted to being a Cylon and meeting other Cylons and got away with it!
- Croup and Vandemar from Neverwhere. Croup lampshades this trope moments before stalking and killing the Marquis de Carabas.
Croup: You find us funny, Messire Marquis, do you not? A source of amusement. Is that not so? With our pretty clothes, and our convoluted circumlocutions--
Vandemar: I haven't got a circumlo--
Croup: --and our little silliness of manner and behavior. And perhaps we are funny. But you must never imagine that just because something is funny, Messire Marquis, it is not also dangerous.
- Sylar, the smirking, hero-slaying, brain-stealing supervillain of Heroes.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Spike : Comparing him with The Mayor is a good object lesson in the differences between the Faux Affably Evil and the Affably Evil.
- Warren Mears: "Remember how I couldn't stop crying?"
- Angelus. Actually, come to think of it, pretty much all villains from those two shows are this to some degree.
- Glory's a pretty good example of this too. She's actually rather funny, and acts affably toward the Scooby Gang...while she's torturing them and draining their sanity. She's even rather civil to Dawn, shortly before she attempts to ritually sacrifice her.
- Sahjhan from Angel is a witty demon who spends a good amount of time making jokes. He also lives for chaos and feeds on violence.
Sahjan: I flitted back and forth through time, changed a vision here, rewrote a prophecy there...flitted in a manly way.
- Joss Whedon seems to like this trope. Alpha of Dollhouse is likewise highly entertaining despite being unquestionably monstrous.
- Jubal ruttin' Early
- Also, Adelai Niska.
- Glee: Sue freaking Sylvester
- The Shield
- Played straight with Detective Vic Mackey. Much is made toward the fact that over the course of the series, just about all of the police officers in the Farmington District Precinct turn a blind eye towards Vic's evil, largely because of his charisma, leadership skills, and fratboy humor. Even the ones who know Vic is a monster who shot a fellow police officer often fall victim to the spell, to such an extent that Claudette Wyms (Vic's "arch enemy") basically FIRES her hand-picked, 100% non-dirty cop replacement because he was too squeaky clean.
- Antwon Mitchell from season four. Antwon may be the only villain from the show that would qualify for Faux Affably Evil as opposed to being just another Complete Monster. The infamous scene where he kills a young girl to blackmail Shane Vendrell with the crime after Shane gets all uppity towards Antwon showcases actor Anthony Anderson's ability to mix unrelenting sadism with a sly sense of humor, as he humiliates Shane with his cruel actions.
- Herrick from Being Human would seem to fit. In the first episode, he spends the first half his introductory scene making nice with the hospital staff, and the second half talking about world domination and the hypothetical idea of turning terminally ill children into vampires. This is highlighted in the season finale when we see that he turned that mousy cafeteria worker, who is apparently now his lover.
- The League of Gentlemen has the charmingly creepy butcher Hilary Briss, as well as Tubbs and Edward, a Serial Killer couple who also happen to be brother and sister, and whose relationship is portrayed as sort of sweet. Awwwww...
- Ethan Zobell, the charming, nattily dressed Neo-Nazi businessman in Sons of Anarchy. Politely attending a business meeting one day, ordering a woman raped the next.
- Satan in Reaper. He's evil, but he's just so damn cheerful about it that you have to love him. Until you disappoint him.
- Deep Space Nine'
- Garak is a rare example of a Faux Affably Evil character on the side of the heroes. However, his Strange Bedfellows eventually turn him into more of an Affably Evil character, and eventually into an outright Anti-Hero. He's more Affably Evil when we first meet him, his Faux Affably Evil days having occurred off-screen before the series starts.
- Gul Dukat is a straight example. Because of their different values, most Cardassians are Affably Evil. However, Gul Dukat lacks the selflessness of most Cardassians. Whereas most Cardassians do what they do for the greater benefit of Cardassia, Dukat only cares about himself, taking his narcissism to hallucinatory and Ax Crazy levels towards the end.
- Gul Dukat may have become this by the end, but he was genuinely troubled by some of the terrible things he did to the Bajoran people and had to construct elaborate Well-Intentioned Extremist justifications for his actions to make himself okay with them. And he did have a great deal of fondness for both his half-Cardassian bastard daughter and main protagonist Benjamin Sisko. At least at first, much of his affability was probably genuine. Then "Waltz" happened....
- Benjamin Linus from Lost is pretty damn close to pure sociopathy. He's also wonderfully sarcastic and deadpan, bizarrely compelling, and gets all the best lines.
"No, John, we don't have a code for 'there's a man in my closet with a gun to my daughter's head.' (Beat) Although we obviously should."
- From Lost, We also have Anthony Cooper, Locke's father. He gives off the impression of being polite, charming, and very fatherly, giving Locke the relationship He always wanted. But beneath it he is a thoroughly unrepentant, sociopathic monster who couldn't care less about the innumerable lives he has destroyed. His crimes include scamming countless people out of Their money including Sawyer's parents leading to Their deaths, murdering a young man who correctly identified him as a con artist, taking John's kidney and severing all ties with Him, and pushing John out of a building, resulting in his paralysis. And he does it all with a sadistic grin and a charming word.
- Aleksei Volkov from Chuck. He can seem like a pretty nice guy, and is able to convince Chuck that he was one of the good guys until he outlived his usefulness. He's also perfectly willing to kill his Right Hand Man and love interest, just to keep her from living without being at his side.
- Matthias Mutukula from the BBC miniseries Moses Jones, an African warlord-in-exile. Usually polite and well spoken, especially towards people he needs something from, but it only takes one wrong word for his pleasantries to become laced with threats. Threats he has no qualms in carrying out, such as having a restaurateur's teeth smashed in with a claw-hammer after the police speak with her. Then there's all the standard African Warlord atrocities he committed back when he was in power.
- Larry Sizemore from Burn Notice is a truly charming guy. If you met him at a party, you'd probably find him quite entertaining. Right up until he knifed you or poisoned you because he was paid to, because you were in his way, or just because he felt like it.
- One of the things that makes Kai from Kamen Rider Den-O so frightening is his ability to keep a well meaning expression and tone of voice while being completely Ax Crazy. When he finally snaps in the finale and sets loose a huge army of Imagin on the city while preparing to release a blast of temporal energy to erase it from time, he still keeps this personality, making him downright disturbing.
- Boardwalk Empire
- The historical gangster Arnold Rothstein is a good example of this, as a contrast to the Affably Evil Villain Protagonist Nucky. Rothstein is cold, ruthless, and amoral, but has a polite and somewhat charming manner, and gets his fair share of good lines.
- Jewish gangster - and kosher butcher - Manny Horvitz. Friendly and charming . . . until you screw him over and try to have him killed. He tends to go nuclear. Cue the Roaring Rampage of Revenge and fridging.
- Cesare Borgia in The Borgias starts out as The Dutiful Son, but with each episode, he becomes more sadistic. He justifies his actions pretty easily but certainly takes pleasure in killing. Of course, he remains the most charming male character on the show.
- Rodrigo is somewhat Faux Affably Evil as well. He cares about his family, but with most other people he's figuring out how to manipulate and deceive them and is only polite as long as he has to be. (He also threatened to excommunicate an entire city.)
- However, it should be noted that, particularly in season 2, Rodrigo's loyalty to the city and people of Rome is very sincere, and when he finds out that the cardinal responsible for charity has three palaces while the peasants starve, he is genuinely disgusted and tries to improve Rome for the benefit of the commoners rather than just himself. While it is true that he drops the mask of civility with people he needs to bully and manipulate, he is generally quite nice to people unless there is some real benefit to being nasty, and he never indulges in wanton cruelty with anyone who hasn't wronged him first. Rodrigo is a rare character who is both genuinely Affably Evil as well as Faux Affably Evil, depending on who he's dealing with at any given time.
- Rodrigo is somewhat Faux Affably Evil as well. He cares about his family, but with most other people he's figuring out how to manipulate and deceive them and is only polite as long as he has to be. (He also threatened to excommunicate an entire city.)
- Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It is perfectly capable of being very polite when it suits him. It usually suits him as the setup for a string of abuse so painful you may find it psychologically impossible to move for several minutes afterward.
- Lyndysty in Babylon 5. She is a charming, sweet, and beautiful little Centauri who is a Complete Monster.
- Luther Mahoney, one of the few recurring villains of Homicide: Life On the Street. He's a drug lord who poses as a community activist, and at first, his affable demeanor is all part of his Villain with Good Publicity facade. After a while, though, he's clearly doing it just to mock and enrage the detectives, rubbing their noses in the fact that they can't prove he's a child-murdering Complete Monster, rather than the lovable local hero he says he is.
- Gustavo "Gus" Fring from Breaking Bad The owner of Los Pollos Hermanos will gladly refill your soda, wipe down your table, smiles with customer service, and even makes generous donations to the police. What a great guy. Mess with his meth operation, though, and he "will kill your infant daughter."
- In Supernatural Dick Roman, the leader of the Leviathans. Having stolen the identity of a billionaire businessman, he likes to talk in a friendly, forward thinking fashion while planning the enslavement of mankind. Best exemplified by him talking to a subordinate about turning his failure into a "teachable moment" by making him eat himself.
- Jaime Lannister from Game of Thrones, who spends most of the time smiling, making self-deprecating jokes and retaining his dignity in bad situations, and the remainder of it ruthlessly killing anyone, from children to family members, who 'was in my way'. His father, Tywin Lannister, is more genuinely Affably Evil, being almost as affable as his son and just as ruthless, but rather less vicious about it.
- The Swede from Hell on Wheels. Sure he'll put on a good show and ham it up for audiences from time to time. But there hasn't been a character yet that he hasn't snitched about, knocked their tent down, tried to get hanged, or stabbed in the face with a fork.
- Benjamin from Jekyll affects mannerisms more appropriate for a goofy used car salesman than the kind of guy who buys a zoo just so he can throw a child into the lion pit.
- Jim Moriarty in Sherlock. His often cheerful and very campy behavior doesn't really detract from his terrifying presence in the show.
Newspaper Comics Edit
- In Dilbert, Catbert, Evil Director of Human Resources, was hired precisely because he possesses this quality. The caption of the page image is a quote from the strip in which he was hired.
Professional Wrestling Edit
- So many examples that they would probably take up their own page. But just for starters...
- "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, who could sound folksy and charming even while deliberately cheating a little boy out of a chance to win some of his money.
- Eric Bischoff, whenever he's a heel.
- John "Bradshaw" Layfield, especially during his final heel storyline against Rey Mysterio. You have never heard the word amigo delivered with so much dripping sarcasm.
- Michelle McCool, who was so good at this trope that she called to mind the Uncanny Valley.
- Chris Jericho owned this trope while performing his "Anton Chigurh" tribute gimmick from 2008 to 2010.
- Lord Darkness from BBC Radio's Elven Quest almost borders on Well-Intentioned Extremist whenever he temporarily forgets that he's evil incarnate, but is always this trope.
- It has been said that Satan doesn't come to you as a scary and intimidating devil, but rather, he will appear to you in a seemingly nice and appealing way. He's known as the Father of Lies for a reason.
Tabletop Games Edit
- Asmodeus in Dungeons and Dragons. Despite being probably the most evil being in the setting and responsible for countless acts of torture even against his closest allies, he's always portrayed as urbane, unflappable, and chillingly reasonable.
- The Dark Eldar in Warhammer 40000 are surprisingly cheerful and fun-loving for a society based around torturing people and eating their souls. Given that their own souls are involuntarily devoted to an Eldritch Abomination that feeds on sensations, its probably part of the job.
- The presentation of the Thenardiers in the Les Misérables musical is a good example -- they do pretty much all of the same evil things as the characters in the book, but because of their humorous way of doing it, they are some of the most popular characters.
- Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett, especially in "Have a Little Priest" -- they're very droll, even as they make people into meat pies.
- For context, their first order of business on deciding to murder everybody who comes into Sweeny's barber shop and then make them into meat pies is a Hurricane of Puns about what different people taste like.
Mrs. Lovett: Here's the politician, so oily it's served with a doily. Have one!
Sweeney: Put it on a bun. Well, you never know if it's going to run!
- William Shakespeare was good at this, with Richard III and Shylock from The Merchant of Venice. And Iago from Othello, who manages to be pretty much everyone's favourite character.
Video Games Edit
- Reaver in Fable III is perhaps the best example for video games. As his voice actor stated in the third video diary: "Reaver is not as much immoral as amoral; he has no morality whatsoever -- he doesn't even have a concept of morality."
- HK-47 of Knights of the Old Republic is inordinately popular not simply because he is a ruthless assassin droid well versed in the art of death, but because of how much pleasure he receives from the task.
Statement: HK-47 is ready to serve, Master. Who would you like me to kill?
- Charnel of Sacrifice, the amusingly bloodthirsty God of Death who also gets some great lines.
Charnel: "I am Charnel. God of Strife, God of Slaughter, God of DEATH! Where there is pain, I'm there. Where there is suffering, I flourish. Where there is joy...Yes, well, one could hardly have joy without another's suffering, no?"
- Despite being relatively calm and collected, Dr. Eggman Nega, Eggman's alternate-dimension counterpart in the Sonic Rush Series, is much more vicious than that Affably Evil doctor we all know and love.
- In Blaz Blue: Continuum Shift, Hazama / Terumi is completely made of this trope. He's the Big Bad who set the entire plot in motion for an unclear reason, a Complete Monster who takes delight in fucking with everybody for the sheer lulz of it all. At first, he is a straight example of Affably Evil, being polite and reasonable while clearly having something off about him, and then in the second game when his cover is blown, he drops the act and becomes this trope.
- Adachi of Persona 4 is an Ax Crazy Complete Monster who committed the murders for the fun of it, mocked his victims while recounting his killings, and, when he reveals his true personality, is pretty damn funny.
- About half the cast of Team Fortress 2 are either this or normal Affably Evil. The Scout is just an asshole, The Spy is coldly professional, and The Sniper and Engineer are nice people when not being paid to kill, but the rest would probably do this for free, whether it's because death is just a normal side-effect of their hobbies (Demoman, Medic), they're crazy (Pyro, Soldier), or they just plain like killing (Heavy, Scout).
- Sho Minamimoto of The World Ends With You: sadistic, utterly unpredictable, and Crazy Awesome.
- In a game full of villains who are Complete Monsters, Waylon from Advance Wars: Days Of Ruin manages to avoid this despite the whole 'climbing his way to luxury on the back of everyone else' deal. Nothing says this trope like saying the army opposing him is "up in my business", while leaving his injured wingmen behind to keep from slowing him down in the same scene. (Luckily, the heroes took them in.)
- GLaDOS of Portal fame, who gets progressively more entertaining as she reveals her psychopathic nature.
G La DOS: Burning people! He says what we're all thinking!
- Alpha Protocol has Konstantin Brayko, a brutal Russian mob boss who is a rather sadistic and brutal individual, but ends up more entertaining than disgusting due to a strange obsession with the 80s and just how plain loopy he is.
- Okage has Evil King Stanley Hihat Trinidad the XIV, a Living Shadow that spends most of the game attached to Ari. Despite being a Harmless Villain (most of the time), making it no secret that he intends to take over the world, he provides a majority of the hilarious dialogue found in the story. Mostly found in his interactions with fellow party member, the Hero Rosalyn.
- Professor Putricide from World of Warcraft is a funny, quirky old Mad Scientist who sewed his "children" together from a pile of corpses, and spends his time creating deadly plagues for the Scourge to use in their war against the living.
Professor Putricide: Good news, everyone! The slime is flowing again!
- The Joker acts this way in Batman: Arkham Asylum.
- April May in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - until her Villainous Breakdown.
- Damon Gant, laughing and clapping until the bitter end.
- He's more genuinely affable.
- A better example would be Morgan Fey and Kristoph Gavin.
- Vincent from Silent Hill 3.
- Kerrigan becomes like this in Brood War. No longer just a bloodthirsty zealous slave to the Overmind, she develops a prepossessing, well-mannered, and regal demeanor to her guests and allies (that is, before she betrays them and lets them be devoured by the Swarm). Mengsk also qualifies.
- Alex/Arcanus from Golden Sun and Golden Sun Dark Dawn is starting to appear this way.
- At a fairly early juncture in Shin Megami Tensei, you encounter Ambassador Thorman, who is deeply concerned about JSDF leader Gotou's attempts to use demons to prevent the americans' peace efforts and wants your aid. He's actually the norse god Thor himself, acting on orders from the most holy YHVH Himself, and intends to drop his Mighty Hammer (that is, several ICB Ms) on Tokyo to annihilate everything in it, including the JSDF, the demons, innocent civilians, american troops, and the heroes. Yes, even if you decide to take his side.
- The Illusive Man in Mass Effect is incredibly polite, classy, and cultured. Even when he gets pissed, he barely raises his voice at all. He pretty much does this just to make it very difficult for someone to tell whether he's lying or not.
- Ghirahim of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword describes himself as having a sense of dignity fitting his position, but he declares his intention to torture, and later, kill Link in as painful a manner as possible when his plans to revive his master don't follow through.
- Otani Yoshitsugu from Sengoku Basara, in the English dub (the Japanese version is Obviously Evil), is constantly affable and polite (provided you haven't pushed his Berserk Button) even as his overt misanthropy and ambitions to spread misery to every human on Earth makes it clear it's all just an act.
- Surprisingly, there's only one truly good example from the No More Heroes series. Destroyman adores causing pain and killing people, with a nasty Evil Laugh when he succeeds and a lot of Evil Gloating. Amazingly, he is really good at selling himself as a normal mailman. When he came back in the second game, however, one half of him was like his past self but more convincing...while the other half was Ax Crazy, obviously angry but also really loving doing what he did.
- Belkar and Xykon, especially Xykon, from Order of the Stick. The latter's Hannibal Lectures tend to be very conversational in tone if not subject matter, and he "kindly" offers mercies when his enemies are plainly outmatched by him, like:
Xykon: Bring the phylactery back, and I'll let you keep two internal organs of your choice. Act fast, this offer is for a limited time! (Fires a Meteor Swarm at the fleeing heroes)
- Even Redcloak, who loathes Xykon and has been subtlely manipulating him for years, admits that Xykon can be pretty funny and charming. He warns Jirix that this does not mean that Xykon can be trusted one iota.
- Issac Jenner from Demonology 101, though gradually less so after meeting Madeline.
- Bangladesh Dupree from Girl Genius, who derives much endless glee from torture, murder, and mass destruction. Her upbeat personality and casual attitude only make her more likeable -- to the audience, at least. Most other characters rather fear her. Contrast to the Other who showers cutesy and "darlings" all the time, but tries too hard.
- Also, Castle Heterodyne, which has an attitude rather like that of the aforementioned HK-47 and a fanatical devotion to the Heterodynes. Except it's the size of a vast, sprawling complex and a lot more creatively vicious.
- Used liberally in The Last Days of Foxhound, where at least half the jokes are mostly Mantis and Ocelot making each other's life a living hell.
- The main cast of Narbonic, except Artie and early Dave.
- Unity, from Skin Horse.
- Yocchi from Yamara. There's hardly anything "redeeming" about her, as she happily plays villain, but...She manages to be so stylish and funny even in the To the Pain sequence that even her victim doesn't seem to hold too much of a grudge, and after all, she herself is known to be Too Kinky to Torture, cheerfully crazy, and The Chew Toy to boot, so it's somehow hard to blame her.
- Richard from Looking for Group slaughters entire villages on a regular basis and is very funny while doing it. Just watch "Slaughter The World", and find yourself laughing yourself sick as Richard literally and figuratively drop-kicks puppies over the horizon.
Richard: You got Dick-roll'd.
Cale: Hah! Dick-rolled!
- Black Hat Man from Xkcd, he has no qualms with killing and actively attempts to hurt and humiliate random strangers, but will calmly and politely explain why most of the time.
- The evil wizard Faden from Exiern, like Mister J, is in the evil game as much for the lulz as anything else.
- Alaster Wight of Suppression treats everyone as his best buddy despite being a self proclaimed "sadistic badass bastard". He's got a smile that's equal parts Chesire and Slasher.
- Reiko and her sisters from Contemplating Reiko are Evilly Adorable.
- Cal V1n of Weapon Brown is charismatic, enjoys jokes (especially his own), and is quite friendly. Up until he decides that you need to die. For any reason, including "because it would be funny", "because you're annoying", and even "because I can". Even leaders of The Syndicate, each of them several flavors of Complete Monster all wrapped into one villainous package, are terrified of him, for the simple fact that, basically, he's an unstoppable killing machine who only does what he's told due to some severe mental conditioning, and even that is of questionable effectiveness.
- Part of this comes from the fact that he was basically transformed into a living weapon at the age of seven, and his first actions upon gaining his powers were to kill every other test subject. He was impossible to control without mental conditioning, and it's implied that the conditioning won't hold for very long.
- Angelo, from Our Little Adventure. He's quite the little monster, but acts fairly polite and friendly most of the time. The main reasons he is so good to his minions are because they serve him on a pseudo-religious level and his husband Brian (whose kindess is quite a bit more genuine) advised him to.
- General Levaughn Matsui "Hugo" Xinchub from Schlock Mercenary.
- Devil in Sinfest can be very funny when he's in a good mood. And sometimes throws loud but harmless prima donna hissy fits or long rants, which sometimes has comedic effects too. Of course, depending on the subject, his clownade can be more than sinister -- still hilarious though, isn't? And when he's in a bad mood, there may be barely enough time to say "Oh Crap".
- Doc Scratch from Homestuck corrupts an entire world, manipulates children into ushering in the end of the universe via careful omission of key facts, imprisons and abuses a little girl to make her into a monster, and is responsible for pretty much every horrible thing in the series. But he's an excellent host.
Web Original Edit
- Terrence in Kate Modern is this 60% of the time (he has a terrible temper, though).
- This is a popular way of characterizing villainous characters in the more light-hearted fandom-based online roleplaying games, if a Complete Monster played seriously would ruin the mood.
- Mr. Popo is interpreted as this in Dragon Ball Abridged.
- Freeza was already this in the original, but in Abridged, this aspect is further magnified to make him even more terrifying. Little Kuriboh's magnificent performance helps.
- Marik, Melvin, Bakura, and Gozaburo in Yu-Gi-Oh the Abridged Series.
- Ask That Guy. A completely depraved, devil-worshiping murderer, he is nonetheless quite cheerful as he answers all your questions in the most disturbing ways imaginable.
- Simon Talbot from The Descendants makes up terribly punny names for his various experiments. For example, he asks if 'Cadmus' is too cutesy for a project involving inflicting Body Horror on a captive to splice dragon genomes into her. He then names her after a Disney villain.
- Dr. Heiter of Human Centipede the Musical adopts this demeanor while, among other things, kidnapping, threatening, and murdering people. This is particularly noticeable during his Villain Song.
- Liruru Von Astaroth, in the MSF High IRC and MSF High forums (backstory only), is somewhere between this, Affably Evil, and Complete Monster. She, amongst other things, has genuine True Companions, is a kind, gentle ruler of a planet...and is willing to commit millions of murders for her goals, and has, thanks to A Million Is a Statistic.
Western Animation Edit
- Tarakudo of Jackie Chan Adventures never loses his temper and has dry wit in spades.
- Beast Wars Megatron and both G1 and Transformers Animated Starscream in the Transformers franchise.
- Beast Machines Jetstorm, all the way. In the Jetstorm persona, that is -- his true self, beneath the shell program, is another story.
- And honorable mention goes to Sideways, as well as the not-really-evil-in-the-end Alpha Quintesson. He's trying to restore his and other Unicron-destroyed inhabited worlds, but he's causing a metric buttload of death and destruction to do it, apparently not realizing it's wrong. And he's hilarious.
- Saddam Hussein from South Park. "Hey, buddy, relax, take a load off."
- Due to their reliance on random humor and excessive Comedic Sociopathy, a lot of characters in Seth McFarlane's shows come off this way due to lacking consistant noble or redeeming qualities. Roger from American Dad may be the king of this trope, however; he has an extreme Lack of Empathy that shows an indifference for his family and friends' well being, and frequently commits all sorts of callous or outright murderous acts for minor indulgences or offenses, and so it goes without saying that he is a fan favorite.
- This trope was also played perfectly with Steve's mentally retarded friend Barry turning out to be conniving, cunning and British; this is thus extended when he forces others to perform trivial things (such as play board games) at gunpoint. Of course, he is a completely different person without his meds.
- Carter Pewterschmidt, father of Lois in Family Guy. Proud to be an asshole, he uses his mass fortune to be a Jerkass to people - yes, that includes orphans. Yet, he's a fun guy and a kid at heart.
- Let's not leave Peter Griffin out as well, he's a close second to Roger, with his mental disability as a poor excuse.
- Prior to the mass Flanderization of the cast, Stewie was cast a psychotic mastermind vehement on taking over the world and killing anyone who gets in his way (particularly his mother), usually making for some of the show's earliest laugh-out-loud moments. Granted, as time passed in the show, Stewie's personality calmed and he gained redeeming aspects, ironically making him one of the few genuinely sympathetic characters in the show.
- The Simpsons has Mr. Montgomery Burns. Though, granted, Depending on the Writer Mr. Burns can be anywhere between a Complete Monster and Affably Evil.
- The version of the Green Goblin presented in The Spectacular Spider-Man. He's a playful character with an oddball sense of humor, but by the end of the second season, there's no doubt whatsoever that he's also the most ruthless and dangerous villain on the show. Until he takes the mask off, and he's just Norman Osborn, that is; despite being the same person, he acted completely different when out of costume.
- Codename: Kids Next Door: The Delightful Children are freaky insane children who, despite being well-behaved around adults, are incredibly cruel to other children. However, they end up providing some of the most hilarious lines on the show, and they are fan favorites.
- Lucius Heinous VII from Jimmy Two-Shoes.
- Marceline's dad in Adventure Time may be a soul-sucking Humanoid Abomination, but he's not above playing with his food.
- The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog version of Robotnik. Though his villainy is normally ineffective and taken quite lightly, some of his actions and schemes can seem pretty extreme when you think about it. If he were competent enough, he could possibly be rather hellish.
- Gibbs from Titan Maximum is irredeemably evil, but undeniably funny at the same time. Then again, the show comes from the creators of Robot Chicken, so it's practically a given.
- Bender of Futurama.
- Darth Vader in the Robot Chicken sketches, especially in the "Dinner with Vader" sketch.
- Pretty much everyone in PSA The Return of Count Spirochete, especially The Grim Reaper.
- SpongeBob SquarePants has one with Mr. Krabs, thanks to the show's Flanderization and the reliance on Comedic Sociopathy in later seasons. While he occasionally is still nice to Spongebob and act as a mentor, like in the early seasons (when not swindling him), his greed went Up to Eleven. Such as serving his customers with spoiled or super-greasy food just to make an extra buck, torturing Plankton to the point where he is nearly Driven to Suicide, framing SpongeBob, and making Spongebob's pet, Gary, into a money magnet even though it's painful to the snail. All this said, he would have been labeled as a Complete Monster if it wasn't for the show's Negative Continuity and the Played for Laughs nature of the portrayal of his villainy.
- Chris McLean from Total Drama Island
- Season 2 villain Discord, in My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic. He keeps up the act even while he mind rapes the Mane cast! The first time it slips -- and the only time in the first part of a two-part episode -- is when Fluttershy proves too accepting of her own faults for this to work on her and he gets furious. And the sudden snap just made it all the more frightening. He lets it slip again twice in the second part, first by taking obvious sadistic glee in finally breaking Twilight -- mind you, this isn't just being happy he won; he'd already won by that point, and is just delighted to see his last opponent emotionally devastated and utterly crushed on top of it. Later it slips in favor of fear rather than malice when he realizes that all his plans thus far have failed and he's about to be defeated by the Elements of Harmony.
- To a lesser extent, the minor antagonists Flim and Flam from later in the series fit this trope.
- The Venture Brothers has many examples, such as the Wicked Cultured Phantom Limb who will maintain a polite and gentile attitude while he murders you with a simple touch.
- M. Bison from Street Fighter'. At least he tires to be polite when talking about how he murdered everyone's fathers.