Created By: Peteman on September 29, 2009
Troped

Even Standards Have Evil

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
A subversion of the Even Evil Has Standards trope, when a villain refuses to to something abhorrent not because it too horrible, but rather because it is too inefficient, ineffective, or he could have done something better with them. Often with the implication that he found this out through first-hand experience.

Examples:
  • In the Order Of The Stick prequel series Start Of Darkness, Xykon refused to do any villainous scheme involving deflowering virgins. Because it's like giving a guy who doesn't know carpentry a hammer and expecting him to build you a house.
  • In (admittedly what I read on the TV Tropes only) the Draka series, the Draka are horrified at the Holocaust. Because the death camps were a massive waste of resources.
Community Feedback Replies: 35
  • September 28, 2009
    Earnest
    Sort of like Even Evil Has To Be Efficient? This would make an obvious foil to Evil Is Stylish abiding villains, though some do manage to pair the two.

  • September 28, 2009
    TBeholder
  • September 28, 2009
    Peteman
    No, Do Wrong Right is about trying to get someone do something evil properly, while this is meant to subvert Even Evil Has Standards, because the villains here have professional standards instead of moral ones.
  • September 29, 2009
    TBeholder
    And the difference is?..
  • September 29, 2009
    Hertzyscowicz
    For example, if a Corrupt Corporate Executive nixes the plans to cut down a hundred acres of rainforest to get to the natural resources under it because destroying the environment is bad, it's Even Evil Has Standards. If s/he does it because the lifetime net profit from the mine wouldn't cover the lumberjacks' wages, its Villainous Standards. In other words, it's not too evil to do but it wouldn't make a profit and the bad guy isn't in it For The Evulz.

    EDIT to add: in the example, Even Evil Has Standards would preclude cutting down a hundred acres of forest ten miles to the west if the lifetime net profits of a mine there would exceed the lumberjacks' wages, whereas Villainous Standards would not.
  • September 29, 2009
    Michael
    Pale Rider: "I want that preacher with a rope around him. No wait, if we get too rough we'll make a martyr of him, last thing we want to give them is a martyr to fight for."
  • September 29, 2009
    Iron Salticus
    T Beholder was pretty clearly asking about that difference between Villainous Standards and Do Wrong Right, not about the difference between Villainous Standards and Even Evil Has Standards. Honestly, the only difference that I can see is that someone who wants to Do Wrong Right is not necessarily a Card Carrying Villain, making this a possible Sub Trope if anything.
  • September 29, 2009
    Arilou
    "defrocking a virgin"? Isn't breaking celibacy a more common reason for defrocking? :p
  • September 29, 2009
    Earnest
    Well, Do Wrong Right is a comedy trope where a poorly executed evil act is corrected rather than punished. This is a bad guy not doing a poorly executed evil act because there's no profit in it.
  • September 29, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Yeah. Do Wrong Right is "That's not how you be evil, this is how you be evil." Villainous Standards is "I refuse to do such an evil act. There's not enough payoff."
  • September 29, 2009
    Ryusui
    • Even Evil Has Standards: "I'll do just about anything to get what I want, but destroying a planet is crossing the line!"
    • Villainous Standards: "Why would anyone want to destroy a planet? I'd rather conquer it first."
    • Do Wrong Right: "Fire a laser into the planet's crust? Are you mad? That won't do squat! Here, take this Dr. Device and use it instead!"

    That said, the title could be more clear. Even Standards Can Be Evil? Pragmatic Villainy?
  • September 29, 2009
    Peteman
    Even Standards Have Evil?

    Also, to Ryusui: less "I'd rather conquer it first" and more "I've lost far too much earning potential doing that"
  • September 29, 2009
    Hertzyscowicz
    Evil Doesn't Pay My Bills? Although Even Standards Have Evil is a good one, too.
  • September 29, 2009
    Peteman
    Great! Now we just need more examples, otherwise it appears this is not a very common trope at all.
  • September 29, 2009
    Iron Salticus
    Observation: This trope seems to be based around averting the Villain Ball, as it is about the villain refusing to Kick The Dog if it is inefficient or impractical to do so.
  • September 29, 2009
    Tzintzuntzan
    The Ferengi from Star Trek Deep Space Nine are a Planet Of Hats based on greed. They've never practice mass slavery or genocide -- because people who are enslaved and/or dead can't buy things.
  • September 30, 2009
    askyle
    Pragmatic Villainy hits the nail a lot better than Even Standards Have Evil IMO. The latter sounds more like "having an evil (not necessarily practical) reason to justify a standard of behaviour".
  • September 30, 2009
    henke37
  • September 30, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Efficient Evil ?

    In The Hobbit, the three trolls don't want to eat Bilbo, simply because he wasn't big enough to go through the trouble of skinning and boning him.
  • September 30, 2009
    witchdoctor
    The Draka example, if correct, is actually a case of Truth In Television. The Nazi's themselves were like this, they ended the Ghetto program because it wasn't killing people fast enough. So they graduated to lining people up and shooting them. This was also seen as not efficient enough they finally went to the Death Camp system. Note that the entire time they didn't stop what they were doing because it was wrong but because it wasn't working well enough. One can only imagine what they might have come up with that was more efficient than the Death Camps if given enough time.
  • September 30, 2009
    Asami
  • September 30, 2009
    Iron Salticus
    Even Standards Have Evil sounds like it's saying that even the most pragmatic and reasonable of villains will go out of their way to Kick The Dog occasionally - which is the exact opposite of what this trope is about.
  • September 30, 2009
    streussal
    Pragmatic Villainy sounds best to me.
  • October 3, 2009
    askyle
    Got quote? That's pretty much the only thing keeping me from saying Just Launch It Already...
  • October 3, 2009
    Kujo
    Niccolo Machiavelli comes to mind.
  • October 4, 2009
    Ub3rD4n
    Vetinari, from the Discworld, does not really rule his realm with an iron fist. He has the novel idea of maintaining control by making people actually WANT him in charge, or at the very least, make removing him from power an unsavory prospect.
  • October 4, 2009
    askyle
    In the page for Niccolo Machiavelli there's this quote: "The prince can always avoid hatred if he abstains from the property of his subjects and citizens and from their women". It is currently cited as an example for Even Evil Has Standards, but methinks it'd fit this trope better.
  • October 4, 2009
    Micah
    "The true interest of an absolute monarch generally coincides with that of his people. Their numbers, their wealth, their order, and their security, are the best and only foundations of his real greatness; and were he totally devoid of virtue, prudence might supply its place, and would dictate the same rule of conduct."
    -- William Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter V
  • October 7, 2009
    askyle
    Waiting for a second JLIA...
  • October 7, 2009
    Earnest
    This YKTTW rocket isn't going to launch itself, so Just Launch It Already. :D
  • October 7, 2009
    Some Guy
    Watchlisted.
  • October 7, 2009
    witchdoctor
    Good god man, this thing is huge. Just Launch It Already before it grows any more and starts tearing around downtown Tokyo.
  • October 8, 2009
    askyle
    K, grabbing. Unless OP shows up I'll launch this behemoth over the weekend as Pragmatic Villainy. Deal?
  • October 8, 2009
    melloncollie
    Launch please!
  • October 9, 2009
    witchdoctor
    askyle, you have yourself a deal! Will you be wanting any refreshments to consume while you launch this dreadnought of a YKTTW?
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=33n1mugsz49gj054he442gf7