* Needs More Examples
This villain comes across as really imposing. And he probably (but not necessarily) have real power to back it up. However, he's really nerdy underneath.
He's hiding it, or try to hide it, behind a tough Facade
. So it's a big surprise when he's revealed for the nerd he is. This surprise can come to other characters, the audience, or both.
The classical Facade
to hide behind is a literal helmet. But it can also be something else.
Note that being a nerd does not
equal being a wimp. However, the villain might exploit such stereotypes and pull a Wounded Gazelle Gambit
or similar after his nerdy side has been revealed, even if he actually is truly Bad Ass
Contrast Bitch in Sheep's Clothing
. Compare and
contrast Evil Is Sexy
. Can be the same kind of dissonance as Villains Out Shopping
- Dark Helmet in Space Balls. The surprise came to the audience only, since his staff already knew him (and was used tp prending they don't know he's playing with dolls).
- Ogre in the Revenge of the Nerds series is revealed to be this at the end of the 2nd movie.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer season six, the trio desperately tried to be this trope. Sometimes they managed to pull it off for a little while in the eyes of various characters, but never the audience.
- Arcane, revealed to be Clyde Randolph in the Dollhouse episode The Attic.
- General Tarquin in The Order of the Stick. the surprise came to the audience as well as the characters.
- Dark Smoke Puncher from The Adventures of Dr McNinja. After seeing how his parents practically disowned his older brother for pursuing a medical degree, DSP took on a wannabe-gangsta persona to hide his intelligence and interest in robotics.
- One episode of Bonkers dealt with the Laminator, a toon with a creepy mishmash appearance who collected other toons by - you guessed it - sealing them in plastic. However, when his glove was ripped off, it turned out he had five fingers instead of four, and when his mask came off afterwards, he was fully outed as a geeky-looking human.
- An episode of Garfield and Friends had The Masked Mauler, a pro wrestler so bloodthirsty nobody will wrestle him because he never follows the scripts. When he roped Jon into a match against him, Garfield saves him by discovering that he's allergic to cat hair, making him sneeze so hard that his mask flies off, revealing his nerdy face.
- Dark Vegan on Johnny Test comes off as a parody of this.
- Elmer Fudd in in What's Opera, Doc?, wearing a magic helmet instead of his usual hunter cap.