have a personality or manner that underscores how evil they are. They may kick puppies for giggles
, be particularly insensitive
, or might just be too unknowable to be anything but evil
Then there are villains who are Affably Evil. There is absolutely nothing separating them from being normal, polite people except for the fact that they want to Take Over the World
or use human souls
to power their Artifact of Doom
. They're not the Stepford Smiler
— their affability is a genuine part of their personality, not a mask. If they have underlings, expect them to be a Benevolent Boss
. In one way, they're the opposite of an Anti-Hero
. They may Pet the Dog
on occasion, but won't hesitate to kick it with steel-toed boots the next second if it helps them accomplish their Evil Plan
. They may well be a Villain with Good Publicity
because, after all, being evil doesn't mean you have to be rude
This villain will invite the hero out to tea
, offer him a favorite dish
, make pleasant small talk, try to appeal to the hero's better nature, and convince the heroes that the villain's plan
isn't worth getting involved in. Of course, if the hero still won't change their mind, the villain will remind them that they are, after all, still a villain. It may or may not involve a Death Trap
, depending on how nice the villain really is when crossed. Of course, inviting the hero's mom out to tea
might send a stronger message. The friendliness of said villains can serve to humanize these guys.
Almost always either a Wicked Cultured
, charismatic Magnificent Bastard
. He is occasionally comedic or a Well-Intentioned Extremist
who really believes that they are the good guys
. Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor
is not true for them, and their affability even makes them easy to "compliment" with an Insult Backfire
. Captives of an affably evil villain won't be kept in dungeons, but in a Gilded Cage
Please note, in the event an Affably Evil villain does undergo a Villainous Breakdown
, the very traits that make them so pleasant often serve to make their breakdown extremely creepy or outright scary. A kind, friendly man suddenly going into a psychotic rage is made all the more scary by the simple fact that he was previously so nice and kind. If they keep their inviting personality
while going utterly Ax Crazy
, it makes them seem downright creepy and disturbing.
Good Is Not Nice
- Friendly Enemy: When the main villain of the work is legitimately friends with the protagonist.
- Punch Clock Villain, who, depending on what their villainous duties are, may not even be evil at all — they simply have a job to do, and their employer just happens to be evil. note
- Villains Out Shopping for Affably Evil behavior in otherwise normal villains. Often a trait of a Card-Carrying Villain, especially in the more ironic portrayals.
- Villain with Good Publicity. This trope may be the reason why he is so popular with common people.
is the good(ish) Sister Trope
, and such good guys are particularly good at giving the Affably Evil a proverbial punch in the nose. I'm Not Hungry
is often dealing with this villain. A villain will often engage in Too Funny to Be Evil
to achieve this effect.