Captain Snow sure has his priorities straight.
"The perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility. I admire its purity. A survivor, unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality."
The Dreaded Killemall
, describing the Xenomorph
rises from the deep and stomps through Manhattan, squishing everything in its path! Alice
starts to panic. Charlie
braces himself for a futile last stand. And Bob
is.... grinning like a loon?
"It's the rare Purple Killemall! I knew they existed! It can generate enough force per square foot to crush iron. It could destroy us and never even notice! Its as glorious as I dreamed it would be!
Alice and Charlie exchange worried glances, terrified that their friend has gone off the deep end... but no. Bob has spent his lifetime researching Killemalls. Or he has the only copy of a book that describes them and has always wanted to see them. Or he risked his reputation on the fact that they exist and now is vindicated.
Never fear, viewers: Bob's fanboy trance will last only a moment and then he will swiftly come up with a plan to defeat the Killemall because knows its one weakness- or demonstrate that it is only enraged because of the large branch trapped under a scale on its highly sensitive dorsal crest
. In more comedic works or works in which It Can Think
, the sincere flattery can even lead to a full-fledged Fluffy Tamer
Obviously this trope can apply to more mundane threats, usually natural (like tornadoes, or sharks).
Compare Beetle Maniac
; contrast Misaimed Fandom
, Nightmare Fetishist
, In Love with Your Carnage
, Measuring the Marigolds
, The Xenophile
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Anime and Manga
- Doctor Strange has one of these moments in a Marvel Adventures title. ("Such magnificent power. It could destroy us at whim.")
- In the Tintin story The Shooting Star, Prof. Phostle is excited about the upcoming end-of-the-world meteor, saying such absurdities as "It will destroy the world tonight. Tomorrow, everyone will know my name for discovering it!"
- Fluttershy's comment that "Nature is so fascinating!" from a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW) comic book has achieved memetic status on the internet. Now people are posting it combined with all kinds of abhorrent nature facts.
- In The Stormlight Archive, Shardbearers are even more dangerous than usual against soldiers who have never seen one before because they are often tempted to just stand and stare, even as they are cut down.
- In the Ciaphas Cain novel Caves Of Ice, the Omnissiah worshipping enginseer who accompanies Cain when he discovers a Necron tomb while searching the mines below the processing plant his unit's guarding can't understand why Cain wants to blow up the entrance to it and call in the navy to bomb the place into oblivion. He changes his mind after he's the only survivor of a group of "Cogboys" who entered the tomb; he eventually gleefully helps drown the tomb in promethium.
- In Dragon Bones, when Ward sees a Basilisk, he admires its beauty, so fascinated that he hardly notices anything else. Luckily, he is not the one about to be fed to the monster, and he does manage to avoid it's gaze. A much milder example occurs when Ward sees a live dragon for the first time ... but of course, protecting dragons is his family's (woefully neglected for the past few centuries) job, and the dragons are benevolent, usually.
- In President's Vampire Konrad flat-out admires the nauseating and Squicky effects his poisons and viruses have on people, even going as far as pausing his evil plan for a few minutes so that he can admire their effect on one unlucky visitor. He generally loves viruses, and the worse the effects, the more he appreciates them.
- In Dracula, according to Van Helsing, the Count "must indeed have been that Voivode Dracula who won his name against the Turk, over the great river on the very frontier of Turkey-land. If it be so, then was he no common man: for in that time, and for centuries after, he was spoken of as the cleverest and the most cunning, as well as the bravest of the sons of the 'land beyond the forest'"
- Done by a biologist during a river cruise in one of The Witcher novels. Geralt tells him to name the creature after an annoying brat that traveled with them.
"What a specimen, what a specimen," Pitt quickly noted, thrilled no end. "Prehensile cephalic limbs, four pairs of chelae... Strong tail-fan... Sharp claws..."
- Dragon expert Lady Sybil has this reaction to the Noble Dragon in Guards! Guards!.
Sybil: Do you realise we're very probably seeing something no-one has seen for centuries?
Vimes: Yes, it's a bloody flying alligator setting fire to my city!
- Near the end of The Illuminatus! Trilogy, the main characters are captured by the Leviathan, a mountain-sized, aeons-old unicelluar life-form.
"Let it come closer for a while," Hagbard said. "I want to get a good close look. I've never had a chance like this before, and I may never see this creature again."
"You'll be seeing it from the inside with that attitude," said Dillinger.
- In Momo, when the kids play explorers in the South Pacific. The smart boy playing the professor does this with the "schum-schum gummilastikum" (as it's called in the original German text) and protests when the captain wants to shoot it. Someone knows his tropes.
- In Meg, almost everyone who encounters the Megalodon has a mix of this and gut-wrenching fear. The fear usually becomes dominant since being that close to the Meg usually means it's going to try to eat you.
- The late Steve Irwin (aka The Crocodile Hunter) always reacted to wild animals, particularly the very dangerous ones, with a blend of respect and boyish glee. Ironically, he was killed by a creature that's largely harmless.
- In a similar vein, Jeff Corwin clearly has a lot of respect and admiration for venomous snakes and dangerous reptiles. However, despite displaying a similar level of Man Child glee, Jeff also tended to be much more cautious than Steve Irwin when it came to the overall handling of certain animals or situations.
- Teppei from Ultraman Mebius tends to burst out in admiration of any historical Monster of the Week.
- Doctor Who does this practically Once an Episode - the Doctor is sort of an intergalactic Crocodile Hunter. This is deconstructed in the episode "Tooth and Claw" when Queen Victoria (It Makes Sense in Context) declares The Doctor to be persona non grata in the British Empire due to his flippant treatment of horrible monsters.
- In the old series story "The Green Death," after he kills the giant insect that the giant maggot has evolved into, he says that it's beautiful.
- In "Asylum of the Daleks" the leader of the Daleks explains that they don't simply destroy the aberrant (and therefore imperfect) Daleks because they find the hatred born of their insanity to be beautiful.
- While battling a robot intent on killing him in "Robot", the Doctor is able to disable it by putting his hat over its eyes. It suddenly stops moving, and he Hubristically goes right up to it, smiling and whispering to himself "it's so beautiful, so beautiful". Of course, this just leads to the robot karate chopping him in the neck.
- In The Girl In the Fireplace, Ten examines the delicate clockwork an elaborately costumed (18th Century French Versailles) killer Steam Punk robots, and exclaims "You are beautiful!"
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Giles occasionally gets excited over the Monster of the Week. "A werewolf! One of the classics!"
Giles: Grave robbing? That's new. Interesting.
Buffy: I know you meant to say "gross and disturbing."
Giles: ...Yes, yes, yes of course. Uh, terrible thing. Must... must put a stop to it. Damn it.
- A big part of Walter Bishop's character in Fringe.
- An episode of CSI featured a Mad Artist Serial Killer that killed people and used rigor mortis to pose their corpses. At one point the team interrogate another artist played by Jeffrey Tambor who had met the killer at some point. While he thought the killer's regular sketches were trash, when he is shown the photos of the corpses he is in awe at their artistic value. Never the less, he helps them catch the killer.
- Raina in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. gives this impression. She appears to work in her incredibly unethical, extremely illegal, and very dangerous field primarily to get the opportunity to be close to and create super beings. She's thrilled at the chance to get to talk to The Clairvoyant, even though the reason is because he just killed her predecessor, and is very disappointed when he turns out to be just a very well informed person without superpowers, especially because he doesn't share her interests.
- The Adeptus Mechanicus of Warhammer 40,000 have a notoriously poor record when it comes to uncovering Necron Tomb Worlds. They become awed by all the shiny, advanced technology, poke a little too far, wake the Necrons up, and die horribly.
- Also, radical Inqusitors tend to end up this way. Often used to highlight just how far they've fallen into heresy.
- Urza from Magic: The Gathering spent millenia preparing for the war against Phyrexia. But the longer he fought them, the more his methods began to emulate Phyrexia's and the more he came to admire Phyrexian technology. This eventually reached a head when he and his allies ventured into Phyrexia itself to destroy it. As they ventured deeper into Phyrexia, Urza realized that it embodied everything he ever wanted the world to be. When Urza finally entered the heart of Phyrexia, Yawgmoth asked him what he desired. Urza then betrayed his allies and everything he once fought for by bowing down to Yawgmoth, claiming that he only wished to stand by his side.
- The Cult of the Beast God in the Mecha vs Kaiju setting revere the giant monsters, and attempt to placate them with prayer and offerings. It's a Path of Inspiration - the real objects of its veneration, known only to the inner circle, are the Oni, who are pretty much the bad guys of the entire setting.
- Ghostbusters: The Video Game has Egon admiring Ivo Shandor's work from time to time. He's quick to add that he was completely evil. Ray reminds Egon to "stick to the Light Side." "It's hard."
- Mass Effect 1 has both Liara and Shiala expressing regret over the destruction of the Thorian as it was an unique and ancient life-form.
- In Mass Effect 2, The Illusive Man wants you to preserve the Collector Base for Cerberus, in order to study its technology. A base that was liquefying kidnapped humans to turn into a Reaper. One of your followup dialogue options reads 'This place is an abomination'.
- Much later, in Mass Effect 3 Garrus explains to a handy crewman how perfect the Reapers are as Eldritch Abomination killing machines. When the crewman is horrified, Garrus adds that if you can't respect your enemy's strengths, you'll never truly understand them.
- Similarly, the turian primarch remarks to Shepard that the soldier in him admires the Reapers' proficiency at warfare (in particular, that they're better at turian tactics than the turians are). The turian in him knows he's watching the death of 14,000 years of civilization.
- Most of Paragon Shepard's teammates repeatedly think that they must have gone off their rocker, since Shepard seems to have a consistant need to seek out, befriend and then earn the loyalty of every ridiculously scary alien race in the Galaxy. Highlights include having a Geth wearing part of Shepard's former armour as a tribute to them, having an Odd Friendship with the Rachni Queen and semi-adopting a teenage Krogan.
- Inverted with the Reapers, who freely acknowledge that they have come to admire Shepard's uncanny knack of being able to repeatedly thwart them. In the second game, after Shepard was temporarily killed, the Reapers even ordered that Collectors to try to retrieve their body for study, simply because they couldn't fathom how a single human could be so utterly dangerous!
- A more straightforward inversion comes in the form of the Leviathans, an Eldritch Abomination race that admires Shepard for being the first thing in any cycle to scare the Reapers. It is due to this that they agree to help them in this cycle.
- Crysis 2 has Jacob Hargreave admiring the Ceph bioweapon currently decimating humanity:
Hargreave: Cleaning up - it's ingenious, isn't it. Think of the Argentine Cattle Crisis two years ago. Or the British BSE outbreak in the last century. The issue was not slaughtering the animals, that was easily done. The problem was disposal. What do you do with the millions of rotting corpses? Well, there you see the answer the Ceph have evolved. They wipe us out, they break us down, they reduce the environmental impact almost to zero. Exemplary.
- While she's not studying a monster per se, Merrill in Dragon Age II has a moment in the Legacy DLC where she expresses fascination over the magical powers of an altar dedicated to the Old God Dumat. Keep in mind that Merrill is a Dalish elf and the Old Gods were the deities of the Tevinter Imperium, which once crushed the elven civilization of Arlathan and turned them into slaves.
- General Castor of Dawn of War 2: Retribution openly admires the Tyranid Hive Tyrant, mostly because its head will look perfect on his trophy wall.
Castor: Aim low.
- Cynthia, from Pokemon Diamond And Pearl, loves learning and teaching new facts about the Creation Trio. Especially, Giratina.
- Blitz in Shadowrun Returns Dragonfall is downright impressed by the MKVI, a massively cyber-modified troll that's had its sentience and humanity surgically removed by all the chrome and wants you to keep it. All your other party members are disgusted and want it dead.
- Pokey Minch from EarthBound speaks highly of the universal cosmic destroyer Giygas, and eventually becomes his right-hand man. This admiration is short-lived, however, as he pulls the plug on the machine sustaining Giygas's mind and proceeds to call him an "almighty idiot."
- In Dragon Age: Inquisition, Iron Bull reveals that the Qunari revere dragons for their power and believe that their horns are due to the Qunari having some kind of connection to dragons. At the same time, the Qunari do not hesitate to slay dragons because they embody raw chaotic fury, and the Qun abhors chaos. Bringing Iron Bull with you to fight high dragons is one way to gain approval from him.
- From XKCD: Okay, never mind, what's wrong with scientists is that you do see wonder and beauty in everything. Oh god, it's moving!
- Girl Genius Sparks are known to do things like open city gates so they can take a closer look at the enemy war machines/mutants/etc. that are attacking them at the time.
- In Skin Horse, when Sweetheart describes the Necropolis to her teammates and Officially Not A Mad Scientist Virginia Lee:
Sweetheart: Over the decades, various zombie plagues have spread there, producing its current population of over one million undead. It's an empire of flesh-eating horrors. Any questions?
Dr Lee: Are all the pathogens biological or has nanotech been introduced? What happens when plagues interact? Have new strains evolved?
Sweetheart: Do that thing again where you convince us you're not mad.
- Biologists LOVE finding new and creepy things. They also love finding OLD and creepy things. This is not an attractive fish. This is not an alien. It is a squid. This is not a xenomorph, it is a shark with detachable jaws.
- It is fun to go on a walk with a group of biologists. If someone mentions that there's a really big spider in that bush over there, everyone will come running and admire it - about the opposite of the reaction you get from the average person.
- Winston Churchill had this attitude towards Adolf Hitler for his role in Germany's economic recovery.
- Storm chasers can often do this (and it's even gotten the derisory nicknames "stormgasm" and "tornadogasm" from their almost-orgasmic sounds on seeing a tornado). The reason for it is from the storm chaser's perspective is that they have invested time, money, and more into getting the perfect video of a tornado + the adrenaline rush of seeing one, especially a historic one = this reaction. Unfortunately, however, it's often taken for/seen as self-indulgent disrespect to the victims of tornadoes and severe storms, even if no disrespect is intended.
- Expect to be looked at as if you're doing this if you like spiders, and are called upon to remove some particularly big and beautiful specimen. Especially weird if you live in Europe and there are no spider species venomous enough to really endanger humans. (Of course, a biologist may have this attitude to a real dangerous animal, too, see above.)