main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
After Action, Villain Analysis
"Burns became consumed by greed, he'd steal from anyone . . .
and when he tried to steal our sunlight, he crossed the line from everyday villainy into Cartoonish Supervillainy!"
Smithersnote , The Simpsons, "Who Shot Mr. Burns, Part 2"

"He learned almost too late that man is a feeling creature, and because of it, the greatest in the universe..."

This is when either an enemy of a major villain, or maybe a minion who turned against them, explains to others the nature of their conflict, typically when the villain is not around, likely after the villain has either been defeated or is at least temporarily out of power. An alternative title for this, "explaining the villain explains the conflict," refers to the notion that explaining what happened makes the actions of the villain's enemy or former rival more understandable.

Note that this is not a Motive Rant; the tone of the conversation will be very calm and gentle despite the subject matter, as indicated by many of the examples...

Compare Kirk Summation, which is addressed to the actual villain. See also You're Insane!.

Not to be confused with How We Got Here.

Examples include:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Bleach has Ichigo deliver one about Aizen.

  • Perhaps most famously (if lamely) in the Alfred Hitchcock film, Psycho.
  • In The Lion King II: Simba's Pride.
    Simba: Scar couldn't let go of his hate, and in the end, it destroyed him.
    Kovu: ... I've never heard the story of Scar that way. He truly was a killer.
    Simba (while brushing the remains of burned plants): Fire is a killer. Sometimes what's left behind can grow better than the generation before, if given the chance.
  • Troy: The Trojan priest says this when they find the beach abandoned. (It's a Trap.)
    Plague! Don't get too close, my lord.
    King Priam: What happened here?
    They desecrated the temple of the gods, and Apollo desecrated their flesh.
    They thought they could sack this city in a day. Now look at them... fleeing across the Aegean.
  • Chuckles the Clown does this in Toy Story 3 to explain Lotso's turn to evil.
  • The film (and comic) version of Sin City has a scene in which Cardinal Roarke explains to Marv why his adopted son ate people and subsequently admitted to joining in.

    Live Action TV 

    Video Games 
  • In the postgame in Pokemon Platinum, you come across an old man who explains why Cyrus was after a world without emotion. Of course, the old man (probably) doesn't know that you're the one who defeated Cyrus, or even that you ever met him. He's just a grieving grandfather who blames himself for his grandson turning out like that.
  • Subverted towards the end of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: After Link defeats Ganondorf's first form, Zelda's Crystal Prison slowly moves towards the roof and dissipates, and Zelda looks at Ganondorf's body and says "Ganondorf, pitiful man. Without a strong, righteous mind, he could not control the power of the gods." Then they realize the place is collapsing, that Ganondorf is using his "last breath" to bury Link and Zelda in the remains of the castle...of course, after they escape, it turns out Link has to fight another of Ganondorf's forms, confirming that Zelda's earlier line isn't really an AFTER action villain analysis.
  • When she defeats Kefka one final time in Dissidia: Final Fantasy, Terra reflects on his lust for destruction and concludes that he was trying to fill the void left by his broken heart.

    Visual Novel 
  • In the Unlimited Blade Works route of Fate/stay night Shirou analyzes Archer who has already been defeated. He realizes that despite his cynicism and attempts to Ret Gone himself by killing Shirou, Archer never regretted his choices in life, only the consequences he faced after dying. That was why during their last fight Archer did not counter Shirou's final attack.

    Web Original 
  • In Worm, Villain Protagonist Skitter is analyzed several times in this fashion. Dragon notes her sliding further into acts of villainy and speculates that her past as a bullied teenager has led to a severe distrust of authority, and the government's therapist for superheros, Mrs. Yamada, analyzes her repeatedly and discovers a pattern with her escalating her levels of force in response to threats to her father.

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons episode "Who Shot Mr. Burns", quoted above.
  • Frequently parodied in The Tick, when the eponymous hero gives one of his Cloudcuckoolander speeches concerning the villain which seldom make any sense.

Arson, Murder, and LifesavingSpeeches and MonologuesBalcony Speech
Acquitted Too LateCrime and Punishment TropesAll Crimes Are Equal
After-Action PatchupDialogueAhem

alternative title(s): Villain After Action Report; Explaining The Villain Explains The Conflict
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy