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[[quoteright:300:[[WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse1983 http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_skeletor_7159.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:I dunno guys, [[HorribleJudgeOfCharacter he looks pretty legit to me]].]]

->'''Finn:''' I can't shake this weird feeling about Ricardio. I think he's... a villain!\\
'''Jake:''' Why? Is it because his face is so foldy and dramatic?
-->-- ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'', "Ricardio the Heart Guy"

A lot of fiction out there has a tendency to employ [[BlackAndWhiteMorality incredibly black and white perspectives]] to the characters and their actions. Due to the belief that its target demographic (usually children) can't understand subtler shades of evil, many works of fiction create a stark contrast between the heroes and villains. When this happens, the creators will bring in their Obviously Evil[[TradeSnark ®]] Design Team. (Of course, another reason obvious villains are used in some fiction is simply because [[EvilIsCool everyone loves a badass villain]].)

If a work of fiction indulges in Obviously Evil[[TradeSnark ®]], every villain will be a CardCarryingVillain, usually ColourCodedForYourConvenience in shades of [[DarkIsEvil black]] and [[RedAndBlackAndEvilAllOver red]]. There won't be any {{Well Intentioned Extremist}}s, [[KnightTemplar Knights Templar]] or pretty much anyone that doesn't accept and accentuate their evilness. If you see anybody that might seem to be a shade of grey on the side of the villains, it will usually basically be a [[TokenGoodTeammate hero with a slight bit of behavior modification to work with the villains]] (and an inevitable HeelFaceTurn coming up during UsefulNotes/{{Sweeps}}). If the villainous group is a governing body, it will always be an [[TheEmpire Evil Empire]] with a ZeroPercentApprovalRating. There aren't any [[PunchClockVillain Punch Clock]] [[{{Mook|s}} minions]] that just accepted the job because it's work, but instead AlwaysChaoticEvil FacelessGoons that act like miniature versions of the main villain and provide no guilt whatsoever when they get killed by the truckload. TheDragon will always be TheStarscream and never have any ulterior motive beyond a lust for more power. There will never be any {{Worthy Opponent}}s or {{Tragic Villain}}s or any kind of antagonist presented sympathetically as this doesn't accentuate the author's need to make the bad guys '''ALL''' bad.

The goals of the villains and their organization are always incredibly ''eeeeeevil'', [[EvilPlan with one of five purposes]]: [[TakeOverTheWorld world domination]], [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt world destruction]], [[TheCorrupter corruption]], [[FinalSolution genocide]], or [[ProtagonistCenteredMorality antagonizing the heroes]]. Nobody on the side of evil will ever PetTheDog (except maybe the none-too-subtle HeelFaceTurn candidate). Even their imagery is blatantly made as a contrast to the heroes, with [[SkeletonMotif lots of skulls]], SpikesOfVillainy, and other assorted things. Imagine a villain whose entire body is made of {{Red Right Hand}}s, stitched together with thread made from the skin of [[KickTheDog dead puppies]] and you're beginning to get the idea.

Fiction that relies on this is almost always {{Anvilicious}} to a fault, being the most extreme example of BlackAndWhiteMorality. If the writers don't like X, they can just have someone Obviously Evil [[HitlerAteSugar doing X]].

Note that it's possible to have Obviously Evil figures in a normally more subtle setting; frequently, the justification is that the character is so far gone into his {{Card Carrying Villain}}y (or some brutal variation of BlueAndOrangeMorality) that he doesn't care what other people think of him.

This trope actually has two aspects:

The first is Obviously Evil Behavior, where the villains act in extremely vicious and unnecessarily cruel fashion to heighten their ''evilness'' may overlap with StupidEvil. Extremely common in fan fiction were authors use this as a shortcut to establish the "Bad Guy" of the fic and often happens to the author's [[RonTheDeathEater least favorite character]]. Prone to RapeAsDrama. See KickTheDog.

The second is Obviously Evil Appearance where the villain [[VillainousFashionSense merely]] [[SpikesOfVillainy appears]] [[RedAndBlackAndEvilAllOver evil]]. Unlike behavior, the appearance tropes are just stereotypes that have been drilled into our head over the years and as such make for prime subversion fodder when they appear on [[DarkIsNotEvil heroes]] and [[AntiHero anti-heroes]]. (After all, who would expect [[WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse1983 Skeletor's]] skull-faced mug up there to appear on a [[ComicBook/GhostRider good guy]].) Even when they appear [[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds on]] [[AntiVillain certain]] [[TragicVillain types]] [[AlasPoorVillain of]] [[WorthyOpponent villains]] they can still be used for the subversion aspect as people who have grown up on "Spikey-armor = Irredeemable" can still get thrown for a loop when it appears on a character presented sympathetically. If the villain of the series is a KnightTemplar of VillainWithGoodPublicity then having a hero with an "obviously evil appearance" can create an interesting commentary on the nature of good and evil as the "Evil" looking hero battles the "Heroic" looking villain. See DarkIsNotEvil.

Compare BlackAndWhiteMorality, BlackAndGrayMorality, and VillainousFashionSense. Not to be confused with DevilInPlainSight or ObliviouslyEvil, though the former can overlap. Contrast DarkIsNotEvil, GreyAndGreyMorality, MoralityKitchenSink, and FaceOfAThug. If the revelation that this guy turns out to be evil is [[CaptainObviousReveal treated as a shocking twist]], that's ObviousJudas.

!!Tropes invoked in the establishment of this style include:
* ZeroPercentApprovalRating
* AlwaysChaoticEvil
* AnAxeToGrind
* AxCrazy
* BadPeopleAbuseAnimals
* BadPowersBadPeople
* BarbaricBully
* BigRedDevil
* BlackCloak
* BlackKnight
* BlackSpeech
* BlackEyesOfEvil
* BlatantBurglar
* BloodBath
* CardCarryingVillain
* CatsAreMean
** RightHandCat
* ColourCodedForYourConvenience
** GoodColorsEvilColors
** RedAndBlackAndEvilAllOver
* CompleteMonster
* CreepyHighPitchedVoice
* CreepyMonotone
* CreepySouvenir
* DarkIsEvil
* DarthVaderClone
* DastardlyWhiplash
* DressCodedForYourConvenience
* EldritchAbomination
* EvilCannotComprehendGood
* EvilChancellor
* EvilEyebrows
* EvilHasABadSenseOfHumor
* EvilIsBurningHot
** InfernalBackground
* EvilIsDeathlyCold
* EvilIsHammy
* EvilIsNotWellLit
* EvilIsPetty
* EvilLaugh
* EvilSlinks
* EvilSmellsBad
* EvilSoundsDeep
* EvilSoundsRaspy
* EvilWearsBlack
* ExcessiveEvilEyeshadow
* FadeAroundTheEyes
* FangsAreEvil
* FatSweatySouthernerInAWhiteSuit
* FemmeFatalons
* FingerTenting
* ForTheEvulz
* FurAndLoathing
* GenuineHumanHide
* GlowingEyesOfDoom
* GoodEyesEvilEyes
* GoodHairEvilHair
* GoodProstheticEvilProsthetic
* GoodScarsEvilScars
* GoodSmokingEvilSmoking
* GoodTamingEvilTaming
* GoodWingsEvilWings
* GotTheWholeWorldInMyHand
* HeroKiller
* HellishPupils
* HighCollarOfDoom
* HornsOfVillainy
* KickTheDog
* KingKoopaCopy
* LooksLikeOrlok
* MadBomber
* MakeUpIsEvil
* MalevolentMaskedMen
* MalevolentMutilation
* MarkOfTheBeast
* MoralEventHorizon
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast
* ANaziByAnyOtherName
* OminousOperaCape
* OmnicidalManiac
* PaedoHunt
* PoisonIsEvil
* PsychoElectro
* PsychoForHire
* PyroManiac
* PuttingOnTheReich
* RedAndBlackAndEvilAllOver
* RedEyesTakeWarning
* RedRightHand
* SackheadSlasher
* SatanicArchetype
* SecondaryColorNemesis
* SensibleHeroesSkimpyVillains
* SicklyGreenGlow
* SinisterSchnoz
* SinisterScimitar
* SinisterScythe
* SkeletonMotif
* SkeletonsInTheCoatCloset
* SlasherSmile
* SnakesAreSinister
* StupidEvil
* SwampsAreEvil
* SpikesOfVillainy
* TattooedCrook
* ThinChinOfSin
* TinTyrant
* ThoseWackyNazis
* TwoFaced
* UncleanlinessIsNextToUngodliness
* VillainByDefault
* VillainSong
* VillainousCheekbones
* VillainousWidowsPeak
* XenomorphXerox

* ObviouslyEvil/AnimeAndManga
* ObviouslyEvil/ComicBooks
* [[ObviouslyEvil/AnimatedFilms Films Animated]]
* [[ObviouslyEvil/LiveActionFilms Films Live-Action]]
* ObviouslyEvil/{{Literature}}
* ObviouslyEvil/LiveActionTV
* ObviouslyEvil/TabletopGames
* ObviouslyEvil/VideoGames
* ObviouslyEvil/WebComics
* ObviouslyEvil/WebOriginal
* ObviouslyEvil/WesternAnimation


* In ''AudioPlay/TheUnfinishedSpellingErrorsOfBolkien'', Martin Pearson laments that Gandalf did not pick up on the fact that Saruman was a bad guy, despite living in a tower completely painted black, and even worse, played by Creator/ChristopherLee.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''Franchise/XMen'' fanfic ''FanFic/MutatisMutandis'' by [[http://www.fanfiction.net/u/2359030/Artemiss_Liege Artemis's Liege]], Chapter Ten opens with the Pro-Regs going about their daily routine: Reed Richards is experimenting on Goliath's corpse, condoned by all others, while he and Tony Stark discuss how much of a traitor Franchise/SpiderMan is for not helping them imprison rebel heroes in the Negative Zone with the regular supervillains.
* ''Fanfic/AceCombatTheEquestrianWar'' gives us Red Cyclone, who, aside from having [[RedEyesTakeWarning red eyes]] and body color, is also an A-class SmugSnake and seeks to [[KillEmAll obliberate the ponies]].
* Titan from ''FanFic/MyLittleUnicorn''.
* ''FanFic/PleaseStopEatingTheHellButterflies'' makes out Aizen to be this. As the fic goes on, you can see why nobody noticed.
* Yukari in ''FanFic/GameOfTouhou'' is basically a walking corpse [[spoiler:and an imortal from Qarth]] but Reimu still trusts her (not that she has other option).
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12587977/2/Foxstar-s-Reign Foxstar's Reign]]'', the protagonist is shocked when a guy named Cruelheart turns out to be abusive.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* Exaggerated to the point of ridiculousness in ''ComicStrip/{{Lio}}'': everyone who's evil has bad teeth. It's almost a RedRightHand, except there's nothing in-setting to explain ''why'' they would all have bad teeth and why "good" ([[VillainProtagonist sorta]]) characters all have nice teeth.

* In ''Pinball/PopeyeSavesTheEarth'', this is invoked by the names of Bluto's polluting companies Earth Pavers, Never Green Logging, Blutonium Waste, and Spill Oil Co.

* Podcast/DiceFunk: The headmaster of the Pickman Academy is so shady that the players wonder aloud if he will turn out to be the final boss somewhere down the road.

* ''Theatre/{{Starship}}'':
-->'''Bug''': You're evil!\\
'''Pincer''': No duh!
* Creator/WilliamShakespeare wasn't immune to this trope. In ''Twelfth Night'', the major villain is a lying, deceitful servant named Malvolio--that's ''Mal'', as in "malicious" or "malpractice," from the Latin "mala" for evil--volio.
* This is an extremely common trope in nineteenth century melodrama, which birthed many of the examples on this list--that genre was among the first to introduce the mustache-twirling villain who loudly declares his plans to steal, lie, cheat, commit crimes, and generally be a total {{Jerkass}}.
* The titular character in Moliere's ''Tartuffe'' is ''clearly'' a con artist and form of SinisterMinister, preaching about sacrifice while indulging in all sorts of debauchery. In this case it's an InvokedTrope, as it's plain as day to everyone who meets Tartuffe ''except'' the family patriarch and that patriarch's mother, who are the only people who have any influence in the matter.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Josef Capek in ''VisualNovel/ShikkokuNoSharnoth''. However, he turns out to be more sympathetic than he appears. He's simply not entirely sane anymore and hasn't been sleeping for months. ...Somehow.
* From''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', [[EvilOldFolks Zouken Matou]]. He looks like some sort of deformed little troll man and has jetblack eyes. Plus he manages to talk in a sinister fashion all the time - despite not having any audible clues - even before you realize that he is not the world's friendliest, cheeriest grandfather. The rest of the cast averts (Caster[[note]]Medea[[/note]]) and subverts (Berserker[[note]]Herakles[[/note]], Rider[[note]]Medusa. Yes, really[[/note]]) this though. The novel also makes it blatantly obvious that [[SinisterMinister Kirei Kotomine]] is up to no good. WordOfGod even confirms this trope was what they were going for when they made him.
* ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' has Manfred von Karma, a terrifying guy with a booming voice, who even Miles "Demon Persecutor" Edgeworth considers ruthless. It's quickly made clear that he is not above forging evidence and using underhand tactics to get what he wants (like [[spoiler:hiding incriminating evidence, and tasering Phoenix and Maya to steal the evidence they'd acquired]]), and values a flawless record over putting the truly guilty in prison. It probably doesn't come as a surprise to many when it's revealed that [[spoiler:he was the one who killed Gregory Edgeworth, for [[EvilIsPetty proving he used false evidence and thus putting a mark on his perfect record]]]].
** In ''Justice for All'', the second case opens with a voice-over accusing a man named Dr. Turner Grey of a murder. When the players meet Grey, he's tense, irritable, and downright nasty; his name [[MeaningfulName implies a moral gray area]]; he makes a big deal about how innocent he is; and other characters relate stories of an incident in which many patients died under his care. When he becomes the victim in the case, it's plain as day that he really was behind a great many deaths. [[spoiler: [[SubvertedTrope Except he's]] ''[[SubvertedTrope not]]''--Grey was actually totally innocent of the incident wherein the patients died. While he might be slightly to blame for putting a young, inexperienced nurse in charge of distributing those patients' medicines, he certainly didn't kill anyone. It's eventually revealed that Grey was getting dangerously close to learning the truth about the fatal incident, prompting the nurse in question, who was living as her own sister after a car crash killed her sister, to kill him.]]
** In ''Trials and Tribulations'', Pheonix and Maya meet Furio Tigre. Who looks like Phoenix, except his skin is pure orange and he has scars over one eye and much spikier hair. [[spoiler: Guess who the murderer was...]]
* In ''VisualNovel/VirtuesLastReward'', Dio is so repugnant that the reveal that [[spoiler:he's actually a terrorist who has planted bombs all over the warehouse]] is... actually very surprising since it's so unsurprising.
* Despite the fact that ''VisualNovel/HatofulBoyfriend'' displays everyone as birds (not counting the few second pseudo-human visual of their human appearance), it's easy to tell that Doctor Shuu is not a good guy. Not because everybody ''tells'' the player over and over that he is evil. But Shuu is a partridge bird, definitely a lot more on the chubby side than the rest of the cast.