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 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. It's like a Beware the Nice Ones
moment but taken Up to Eleven
- Anti-Villain: A villainous character that is morally in a grey area, often overlaps with this trope.
- 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.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The non-villainous equivalent (although Affably Evil villains may also qualify as this).
Good Is Not Nice
- Faux Affably Evil, which is a villain who adopts an affable demeanor that isn't genuine, basically mocking Affably Evil. note
- Freaky Fashion, Mild Mind.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, where the character hides a more sinister side behind a nice facade — unlike them, Affably Evil characters are genuinely nice.
- Harmless Villain, when the villain is only affable, without the actual Evil part.
- A Hero To His Hometown can sometimes be seen as this by other characters in-story, even if they're not actually a villain.
- Good Is Not Soft, where a hero is genuinely nice but ruthless to their enemies. Essentially the good version of this trope which could be interpreted as "affably Anti Heroic".
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. No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine
is a subtrope in many instances.