Created By: neoYTPism on March 20, 2011 Last Edited By: neoYTPism on October 19, 2012

Evil Style Evil Actions

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Do We Have This One??

The various traits associated with evil characters (apart from evil itself, of course) aren't always a scalar multiple of how evil they are; an Anti-Villain can have the supervillain's traits, while a Complete Monster can be relatively lacking in them. There does seem to be some separation between evil style and evil actions.

However, in some cases they aren't separated by character, but by time. The same character just having the old Evil Laugh and Villain Song earlier on may be shown kicking the dog or crossing the Moral Event Horizon later on. The work goes from implying that Evil Is Cool to reminding the audience what evil actually IS, as if to shame them for rooting for it.


  • The page image character in the top, Palpatine, doesn't show the "evil traits" in his Palpatine persona, but once Anakin chops off Windu's hand Palpatine becomes a Large Ham. He crosses the Moral Event Horizon not that long after.
  • In Ocarina of Time, the first time you see Ganondorf you just see him bowing to the off-screen hylian king, while young Zelda says she doesn't trust Ganondorf's sincerity. The game doesn't even specify that Zelda's right, though seems to be implying it, but even if she is, the game makes clear that Ganondorf is at least good at FAKING humility. Later on you see him chasing Zelda on horseback, stopping to ask Link where Zelda went, and saying to Link "I am Ganondorf, and one day I shall rule the world!" which basically sounds like something a Card-Carrying Villain would say. However, not long afterwards, when you warp seven years into the future, you emerge to see Hyrule Castle Town burned to the ground, with its former inhabitants wandering around in the ruins, it becomes undeniably clear at this point that Ganondorf is no Harmless Villain.
Community Feedback Replies: 5
  • March 20, 2011
    I have no idea what this trope is supposed to be about. Is it about a character sho starts off being a little evil, who acts in increasingly evil manners as the story progresses?

    If so, the page image makes absolutely no sense. What does the alien girl at the bottom have to do with it?
  • March 20, 2011
    I agree with Vampire Buddha. The picture isn't clear, and the description is vague. I assume you are talking about villains who despite being the Designated Villain don't do all that much evil stuff until much later.
  • March 20, 2011
    ^^ So far it's generally about the emphasis being more on evil "style" at one point in a work and being more on evil "actions" at another point in the work.

    Though I haven't entirely narrowed it down yet so I'm not quite sure what it is myself...
  • October 19, 2012
    This is just really vague and confusing at the moment, and I don't think it's a trope since focus shifts naturally in a work -- not everything is of constant and equal importance. Anyone else think it should be discarded?
  • October 19, 2012
    I'm discarding it.