Not every villain has to sound like one. Perhaps, instead of having a [[EvilSoundsRaspy malevolent rasp]], a gloating shrill, or a [[EvilSoundsDeep booming baritone]], the villain's voice is instead light and low. They don't yell or intimidate, and might not even be impolite -- instead they speak with a soft tone that seems unassuming, meek or even kind, with a soft chuckle and a sort of warm energy... hiding the menace within. The end result is something dissonant and creepy, a monster who might describe just how horribly he's going to mangle you, while speaking in a voice that's anything but monstrous.

Keep in mind this doesn't always mean the character in question is a {{Sadist}}.

See also AffablyEvil, FauxAffablyEvil, DissonantSerenity, and CreepyMonotone and compare WickedCultured. Note that if and when they eventually drop this soft-spoken demeanor, then that's a surefire sign things are going to get worse. Contrast with EvilIsHammy.
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!!Examples:
[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Frieza from ''Manga/DragonBall'', in all but the Brazilian dub, where he had a BadassBaritone instead.
** In the Latin-American dub [[PlayingWithATrope it's a bit of both:]] GerardoReyero is also a BadassBaritone, but as Frieza, he [[AffablyEvil speaks in a very smooth tone and with quite polite speech patterns]]. [[VillainousBreakdown Until he's on the losing side, that is.]]
* [[Creator/ShowHayami Sosuke Aizen]], [[KojiYusa Gin Ichimaru]], [[KosukeToriumi Szayel Aporro Grantz]] and [[Creator/DaisukeOno Shuukuro Tsukishima]] from ''Manga/{{Bleach}}''.
* ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'': Of the four Dark Masters, Machinedramon is easily the most prolific killer, effortlessly slaughtering dozens of Numemon with no hesitation whatsoever and being willing to bring down entire cities to capture his targets. He also barely raises his voice above a cold, robotic whisper and has little interest in idle banter. It truly is something to hear him [[CallingYourAttacks call his]] [[WaveMotionGun Giga Cannon]] in a completely lifeless, quiet voice.
* [[AkiraIshida Xellos]] from ''LightNovel/{{Slayers}}''.
* ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'': Itsuki's [[KoujiTsujitani smooth, mellow voice]] tends to hide his [[PsychoSupporter inner crazy]].
** [[MegumiOgata Kurama]] is a heroic example. He's always polite and charming, even though he's ''even more'' willing to brutally kill or maim (or both) his enemies than [[NobuyukiHiyama Hiei]], [[{{Foil}} who generally fights with a sort of controlled anger instead.]] In the manga, he takes particular pleasure in messily killing an opponent who threatened his [[MoralityPet mother]].
* [[Creator/MamoruMiyano Light]] [[Creator/BradSwaile Yagami]], VillainProtagonist of ''Manga/DeathNote'', who stays cool and calm even while delivering his judgments face-to-face. [[spoiler:Poor Naomi Misora.]]
** Later subverted, [[spoiler: once he is outed as Kira.]] By the final episode of the series, he seems to have forgotten how [[LargeHam inside voices even work]].
* In the American dub of ''StarBlazers'' Desslok has an almost feminine voice, which makes him far more creepy than his original bog-standard Japanese villain growl.
* [[Creator/NozomuSasaki Johan Liebert]], the eponymous ''Manga/{{Monster}}''. He speaks in the quietest and most innocent sounding voice possible.
* ''Franchise/SailorMoon'''s male villains tend to speak like this as well. [[Creator/KanetoShiozawa Dirmando]], [[TsutomuKashiwakura Sapphire]] and [[Creator/ToshioFurukawa Tiger Eye]] are some nice examples.
* Mukuro and Byakuran from ''Manga/KatekyoHitmanReborn''.
* [[TheBeautifulElite Iason]] [[BastardBoyfriend Mink]] of ''LightNovel/AiNoKusabi'' as part of his HotGuysAreBastards persona.
* Kanzaki from the ''{{Area 88}}'' TV anime is a ManipulativeBastard who betrayed his best friend. In contrast to his ominous voice and mannerisms in the OVA, his voice comes across as reserved and completely ''normal'' in the TV series -- which makes his villainy all the more chilling.
* Vincent Nightray from ''Manga/PandoraHearts'', [[AmbiguouslyEvil though not exactly evil]], has done quite a few morally ambiguous things and takes any chance he gets to act needlessly sadistic. [[http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m9f010htqE1rek056o1_1280.jpg This picture]] sums it up quite nicely.
* Kyubey in ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' was voiced by [[EmiriKatou the same woman]] as [[LuckyStar Kagami Hiiragi]] and [[LightNovel/BakeMonogatari Matoi Hachikuji]] and shares their high, thin voices, and seems to be like another cutesy MagicalGirl series mascot. [[spoiler:This is not [[FauxAffablyEvil the case]].]]
* ''Anime/CardfightVanguard'': Picture it, a boy with [[ShrinkingViolet Aichi]]'s unfailing politeness and [[BigBad Ren]]'s sadistic personality. That's [[spoiler:how Aichi acts under [[FaceHeelTurn the manipulation of Ren]]]].
* For the most part, Russia from ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia''. Despite being a huge man who finds it amusing to bully, he usually speaks in a soft, high, [[PsychopathicManchild childlike]] voice and he has a sweet, [[StepfordSmiler gently smiling,]] blushing face to match.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* Garland Greene from ''Film/ConAir'' almost always have a [[DissonantSerenity dissonant smile]] on his face, takes time out of their criminal escape to have a tea party with a cute little girl, and is more than happy to pleasantly talk to whoever sits by him. At the same time, he gets the full [[Film/TheSilenceOfTheLambs Hannibal Lector]] treatment when being transported, has nearly all the other hardened criminals on the plane ''terrified'' of him for the atrocities he's committed, and the things he talks about? He ''calmly discusses his murders and his twisted views on semantics and human psychology without a shred of regret for the things he has done.''
** ''[[NightmareFuel And he gets away in the end.]]''
* Angel Eyes from ''TheGoodTheBadAndTheUgly''.
* Kaa from {{Disney}}'s ''Disney/TheJungleBook'' (played by Sterling Holloway), especially in the first movie where, despite having the gentle voice of an genial old man, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRASn4tcXFE&feature=related is menacing enough to scare]] ''[[PapaWolf Bagheera]].'' Later, he uses that soft quality in his voice to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSVkY-01r5o&feature=related "convince" Mowgli to trust him]].
* ''Film/TheSilenceOfTheLambs'': Hannibal Lecter.
* ''Film/InglouriousBasterds'': Col. Hans Landa, sometimes.
* Mr. Blonde from ''Film/ReservoirDogs'' is a very cool-headed, soft-spoken individual who always exudes a casual aura. This makes it all the more unnerving when [[AxCrazy he slaughters a store's worth of people after the alarm goes off]], or when he calmly describes to a captured cop [[PsychoForHire how much he will enjoy]] giving him a slow, painful death.
* Quentin Tarantino apparently likes this trope. His character Richie in ''Film/FromDuskTillDawn'' is a sadistic rapist with a soft, calm voice.
* Anton Chigurh from ''NoCountryForOldMen'' embodies this trope to a disturbing degree.
* Gaear Grimsrud from ''Film/{{Fargo}}'', when he is not [[AxCrazy snapping]] randomly.
* ''Film/TheThiefOfBagdad'' has Jaffar, an EvilVizier and EvilSorcerer who raises his voice once, in order to cast a spell at sea. It sort of gets rid of the common "who would trust ''that'' guy" FridgeLogic about more ObviouslyEvil viziers: he sounds extremely trustworthy. Too bad he isn't.
* Toht (the bespectacled Nazi) from ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk'' is usually smirking and speaks with a halting, breathy delivery as if he's on the verge of chuckling.
* Christopher Guest's portrayal of Count Rugen in ''Film/ThePrincessBride''.
* Dr. Jonathan Crane is easily the most softspoken character in ''Film/BatmanBegins.'' [[spoiler:(He also sprays people with a toxin designed to cause intense panic attacks, tries to burn people alive, and gives his fear toxin to someone who supposedly told him the plan was to hold the city to ransom.)]]
* Mister Teatime in the adaptation of ''[[Literature/{{Discworld}} Hogfather]]''.
* Loki in ''Film/{{Thor}}'' and ''Film/TheAvengers'', when he isn't being a zealous would-be ruler, is overwhelmingly cool and polite. When the Avengers are all gathered on the [[spoiler: flying aircraft carrier]], the [[spoiler: imprisoned]] Loki actually seems to be the calmest of them all. And even though, when things stop going his way, [[EvilIsHammy he breaks that pattern]], he's right back to it at the very end.
--> ''If it's all the same to you, I'll have that drink now.''
* Esther from ''Film/{{Orphan}}'' is soft spoken and very rarely raises her voice, even if she's threatening your life with a gun.
* Nurse Ratched in ''Film/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest''
* In ''Film/{{Sneakers}}'', Marty finally comes face to face with the BigBad, Cosmo, who he's thought long dead. Cosmo speaks casually of crashing entire countries' economies. Plus this little gem:
** Cosmo: I cannot kill my friend. [to his henchmen] Kill my friend.
* Bradley Uppercrust III in ''WesternAnimation/AnExtremelyGoofyMovie'' has a light, mild voice, and is so evil he has [[spoiler: life-threatening assault, arson, and attempted murder]] under his belt. The vast majority of the other series antagonists are saints compared to him.
* HAL 9000 of TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey has this, overlapping with CreepyMonotone.
* [[Creator/RichardBurton Richard Burton's]] portrayal of O'Brien in the film release of ''Film/NineteenEightyFour''. He never raises his voice and, in his own creepy way, actually seems to think he is being ''kind'' in torturing Winston.
* ''Film/{{Nightbreed}}''. A major contributing factor to how creepy the psychotic Dr. Decker is is how calm and collected he always remains even during his hands-on murders.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Roose Bolton from ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' is mild-mannered, courteous, and speaks so softly that others have to listen closely to hear anything he says. He's as cold-blooded a lord as the Seven Kingdoms can offer. His family uses a flayed man as their sigil and has a legendary reputation for torture.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'':
** Snape is described as being able to keep a whole class at attention without going much louder than a whisper in the first book, and though his speech often contains contempt and sarcasm, he rarely ever does anything but speak softly - which serves to make the times he does outwardly show his rage all the more significant. Demonstrated when he and Sirius have an argument; as they both get closer to violence, Sirius loses his indoor voice while Snape gets tenser and more waspish. Also, Voldemort who speaks in an almost snake-like whisper, especially shown during the first chapter of Book 7. He rarely raises his voice, and when he does, it is supposedly extremely terrifying.
** Crabbe and Goyle spend so much time serving as Malfoy's DumbMuscle that Harry hardly ever hears them speak. When he finally does in book seven, he's surprised by how soft Crabbe's voice is. By this point, Crabbe's had plenty of lessons on torture from the Carrows, so he definitely fits the "sadist" part.
* Nurse Ratched in ''OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest''.
* In Creator/VernorVinge's ''Literature/AFireUponTheDeep'', Flenser is described as having a voice like this.
* Lord Vetinari of ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'', in his scarier moments, though he's at least nominally a good guy.
* After decades of being the very face of AxeCrazy and EvilIsHammy for the {{Warhammer 40000}} franchise, the HorusHeresy series has revealed that Kharn the Betrayer's voice was once "soft, low, and measured" before he became the herald of [[WarGod Khorne]].
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' has Nicodemus, a 2000 year old in a willing partnership with a FallenAngel who feeds off pain and suffering. His demeanour is usually completely calm, reasonable and friendly, and though he does occasionally slip he quickly regains control. Harry specifically notes that when Nicodemus laughs it is with the rich laugh of the supremely confident rather than the the typical sadistic EvilLaugh of a CardCarryingVillain (and Harry's had enough experience with them to tell the difference). The fact that most of Harry's enemies are DrunkOnTheDarkSide to one degree or another makes Nicodemus' reserve all the more noticeable.
** Harry's earlier encounters with [[TheDon Gentleman Johnny Marcone]] led him to think of Marcone this way, but it becomes apparent that Marcone cannot really be considered "evil", nor is he in any way sadistic, being far too pragmatic to be anything other than ruthlessly efficient.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': Adam never ever loses his cool or faux affability, yet he kills a child for the hell of it in his first few minutes.
* [[TortureTechnician Desaad]] from ''{{Series/Smallville}}'', who never loses the creepy, even tone as he kills tons of people by [[NightmareFuel making them bleed to death from the inside.]]
-->'''Desaad''': When is the last time [[TheSmartGirl you]] had a [[BreakTheCutie good, hard cry]]?
* Roose Bolton from ''Series/GameOfThrones''. [[EstablishingCharacterMoment In his very first scene]], he advocates torturing prisoners for information as if it's the only logical course of action, even while acknowledging that few if any of them will have any useful intelligence. [[spoiler: He also [[MoralEventHorizon betrays Robb at the Red Wedding.]]]]
** And then there's [[spoiler: his [[BastardBastard bastard son Ramsay.]]]]
* The Reaper from ''CriminalMinds''. He's condescendingly soothing while stabbing Hotch in 'Faceless, Nameless'. And in '100', he uses such a cool, conversational tone to taunt Hotch on speakerphone while calmly playing toy soldiers with Hotch's son. He even covers the kid's ears and spells out D-I-E-S. He plays it so well, the kid isn't even sure if he's a bad guy. This is seconds before he [[spoiler: murders Hotch's ex-wife while he listens]].
* In ''TheTwilightZone'' episode "What's in the Box", Sterling Holloway (his second time on this list!) plays a mysterious but malevolent television repairman who he acts the role of the friendly old blue-collar worker, who gives an exasperated man some extra perks in his cable, and then gets to watch, smile, and subtly gloat as his "product" ruins two lives, never dropping the benign facade.
* In ''Series/TheXFiles'':
** The Cigarette-Smoking Man has a pleasant, avuncular New England accent. (Except for the times he has a pleasant, avuncular [[OohMeAccentsSlipping Canadian accent]].)
** The death fetishist Donald Pfaster from season 2 episode "Irresistible" has an unsettling soft voice.
* In the ''[[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries Star Trek: TOS]]'' episode "Wolf in the Fold," John Fiedler played a serial-killing alien, and he spoke in the same tremorous, timid voice he used when he was playing [[Disney/TheManyAdventuresOfWinnieThePooh Piglet.]]
* Adelai Niska, ''Series/{{Firefly}}'s'' resident psychotic crimelord, can be very soft-spoken in the tone of a kindly old man. The fact that he does this while he's [[ElectricTorture zapping the living daylights out of you]], [[EarAche cutting off your ear]], or [[ColdBloodedTorture even worse things]] makes him ''utterly rutting creepy''.
* Marlo Stanfield from ''TheWire''. He's very soft spoken and almost never raises his voice -- even when ordering the murder of a man and his family.
* In ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', Lucifer is very calm, collected, and acts in a casual and gentle manner. He also tortures and kills anyone to get what he wants.
* The [[PuppeteerParasite Goa'uld]] Tanith in ''Series/StargateSG1''. Unlike most of his kind, who are very much of the LargeHam variety, Tanith preferred to coldly taunt his enemies before utterly destroying them. Politely wiped out a civilization.
** Ba'al, after spending [[GoingNative too much time]] on Earth, eventually stopped using his Goa'uld-voice entirely, with his later interaction with [=SG-1=] was conducted in a rather pleasant, if sardonic, tone of voice. No-one is fooled that he's not still the same guy who repeatedly used a Sarcophagus to revive Jack after torturing him to death.
* Wynn Duffy from ''Series/{{Justified}}'', played by Jere Burns, is a ruthless Dixie Mafia henchman, but he has a very soft, almost meek voice.
* On ''Series/BurnNotice'', Anson Fullerton, the DiabolicalMastermind behind Michael's burning, affects this, in keeping with his PsychoPsychologist persona. Played by Jere Burns, as with Wynn Duffy above.
* Arnold Rothstein from ''BoardwalkEmpire'' is polite and soft-spoken - but he's a ruthless gangster, who once tricked a man into choking to death just for his own amusement.
* In ''Series/BabylonFive'' Captain Sheridan gets captured and is brought to a TortureTechnician to be physically and mentally broken until Sheridan disavows his cause and publicly supports the fascist regime of [[PresidentEvil President Clarke]]. The torturer is a skinny, balding, older man with glasses who looks and sounds as if he should be teaching math to children.
* The killer in the ''LawAndOrder'' episode "Hubris." [=McCoy=] tells the jury that he's going to ask them to realize that this "nicely dressed, soft-spoken young man" is a murderer.
* In the third season of ''Series/TheWalkingDead'', [[spoiler:the Governor]]. He very rarely raises his voice, but he definitely enjoys killing.
* Deucalion in ''Series/TeenWolf'' is like this whether he's exhorting someone to murder, scheming, or disciplining his subordinates. Except the time he screamed "I AM THE DEMON WOLF!" at the top of his lungs, but that's very much the exception.
* In NBC's 2013 ''{{Hannibal}}'' series, serial killer Hannibal Lecter speaks calmly and softly at all times.
* Wyatt from ''{{Prison Break}}''. He sounds like he's telling his son a bedtime story, just as he's about to kill you.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Role-Playing Games]]
* In ''Roleplay/DinoAttackRPG'', Dr. Carolyne Provencal is known for acting sweet, kind, and polite. She is also one of the most sadistic villains in the RPG.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* From the Harold Pinter play ''One For The Road'', Nicholas is an extremely genial person who happens to be in charge of torture for his government.
* [[Theatre/{{Hamlet}} CLAUDIUS]]. Dear God, Claudius.
* Theatre/SweeneyTodd, in his Sondheim incarnation.
--> ''Inconspicuous Sweeney was,
--> quick, and quiet and clean he was.
--> Back of his smile, under his word,
--> Sweeney heard music that nobody heard...''
** Which makes it fantastically ironic that [[LargeHam Hearn]] was cast as Sweeney, really.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* [[MagnificentBastard Yuri]] from ''[[CommandAndConquer Command and Conquer Red Alert 2]]''.
* Leon in ''VideoGame/StarFox'' is implied to be a sadist in more ways than one. Character-wise, however, he fits.
* Dutch Van Der Linde of ''RedDeadRedemption'' has a rather quiet, soft voice, which contrasts sharply with his violently insane nature.
* Ingun Black-Briar in ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' fits this trope quite well. She's always very polite, happily greets you and thanks you for your [[FetchQuest hard work on her behalf]] and rewards you nicely. However, she also reveals herself to be a NightmareFetishist with a penchant for alchemy and mixing poisons, largely because she finds glee in the horrors these poisons can inflict on a person.
* Lord Ghirahim in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'' frequently swings between this trope and EvilIsHammy, but even when he has his temper under control, he still threatens to beat Link within an inch of his life and talks rather casually about burning him to a crisp in the Earth Temple.
* ''VideoGame/{{Bioshock|1}}'': Subverted with [[spoiler: [[BitchInSheepsClothing Atlas (alias Frank Fontaine)]]]], who spends a good two-thirds sounding friendly, jovial and humane before TheReveal gives us his [[BrooklynRage actual voice]]. [[VideoGame/BioShock2 Sofia Lamb]] plays it straight (ala her TautologicalTemplar personality). Both were designed to contrast Andrew Ryan's LargeHam persona.
* [[spoiler:Iris]] in ''{{Rosenkreuzstilette}}''. She may certainly look {{Moe}}, and even speak politely, [[spoiler:but that doesn't stop her from causing suffering for others for her own entertainment, does it?]]
* Osmund Saddler, the leader of Los Illuminados from ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4''. This quality makes him all the more creepier, seeing how he managed to convert an entire village to his insane cult with pure charisma, even before they were injected with [[HatePlague Las Plagas]].
* Jamie Washington in ''[[VideoGames/SplinterCell Splinter Cell: Double Agent]]'' is kind of geeky with somewhat poor social skills and would be the lovable dork in any other story, but in this one he's a cold-blooded PoisonousFriend with absolutely no qualms about killing anyone.
--> '''Jamie [[spoiler:(After shooting a hostage if Sam refuses to)]]:''' Sorry... (chuckles sheepishly) s-sorry.
* Akechi Mitsuhide from ''VideoGame/SengokuBasara'', a consummate CombatSadomasochist, speaks using a seductive yet sinister purr in both the [[ShowHayami Japanese]] and [[VicMignogna English]] versions. However, in the Japanese he tends to turn into a LargeHam when excited.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Erika Furudo in ''VisualNovel/UminekoNoNakuKoroNi'' speaks in a soft, polite and composed manner most of the time. She also defines herself as an "intellectual rapist" who loves to unveil people's secrets against their will and [[LackOfEmpathy utterly lacks anything ressembling human empathy.]] Even when she snaps and screams, she keeps using polite forms.
* ''RoseGunsDays'' Season 3 introduces Gabriel Kaburaya, [[TryToFitThatOnABusinessCard Special officer in charge of counter-measures against organised criminal activities.]] This ManOfWealthAndTaste very rarely shows any other expression than a soft smile... and wants to "try and drench his own hands in mafia blood". He also does ''something'' to Butler in the toilets that isn't shown nor described, but is unlikely to be anything pleasant -- with the same smile all along.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomic]]
* [[http://www.daemonslayers.net/characters.htm The Daemonslayers]] Lady Blood (aka Aster), a [[HornyDevils seductive demoness]] whose sole purpose in life is to torture, interrogate and ultimately break her prisoners into serving the demonic armies, which she does with orgasmic relish. It was Aster who eventually broke Blackjack's mind when he was transformed into a dracosvulf by the late demon queen Shine and stripped of his memories to make him more pliable.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Katz from ''WesternAnimation/CourageTheCowardlyDog''.
* Stewie Griffin from ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy''. He is quite AffablyEvil, [[EvilGenius as long as not in their evil intentions.]]
* Catbert: Evil Director of Human Resources is portrayed this way in the ''WesternAnimation/{{Dilbert}}'' animated series.
* Pythor in ''{{Ninjago}}'' certainly counts. Until he gets angry at least.
-->'''Pythor''': Humbly, I am Pythor P. Chumsworth.
* Mozenrath from the ''WesternAnimation/AladdinTheSeries''.
* Airachnid in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'' who likes to eviscerate her victims inside-out, and she has smooth feminine voice, and likes to make small talk to her victims and psychologically tormenting them.
** Shockwave is disturbingly effective at this. Especially when applying the [[JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind Cortical Psychic]] [[MindRape Patch]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'', the Clock King always talks naturally because he has no emotions to display except maybe annoyance. So, he can deliver a YouHaveNoChanceToSurvive speech [[CreepyMonotone without any emotional intonation]].

[[/folder]]

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